This morning’s topic appears to be whether – like Hurricane Irene, an earthquake, or Chuck Norris – the tea party wields enough power to be declared an act of God. Campaigning in Florida on Sunday, Michele Bachmann seemed to think so.
“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.”
In Georgia, there was less enthusiasm for giving the tea party credit – or blame — for the failure of Gov. Nathan Deal’s effort to move the next year’s transportation sales tax vote to November. From the Associated Press:
House Speaker David Ralston downplayed the tea party’s role in sinking the transportation measure.
“I think the Republican caucus in the House thinks for themselves,” Ralston said. “We listen to a lot of groups here.”
To be sure, counties also opposed moving the date of the transportation referendum, which had an effect on the outcome.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle stopped short of calling the transportation tax a victory for the tea party, but agreed they are having an impact on the state’s politics.
“I think all constituencies that bind together have a voice,” Cagle said. “This is what democracy is all about. They clearly weighed in very heavily, but (they were) not the deciding factor.”
And speaking of the transportation SPLOST, an interesting few Sunday lines from Laura Armstrong of the Marietta Daily Journal:
…[T]here’s the perception among more than a few educated citizens that the Atlanta Regional Commission and their friends the municipal associations, community improvement districts (CIDs) and chambers of commerce (that have sadly evolved from really great networking organizations into just more power-imbued lobbyists with major political influence) not only want our dollars, but are also trying to force certain lifestyle concepts down our throats.
Urbanization, high density-no back yards (HDNBY) Agenda 21 “sustainable community” stuff that will transform our once quiet suburbs into, well, something very few of us seek.
Strange doings down in Lowndes County. From the Valdosta Daily Times:
Valdosta Mayor John J. Fretti entered a guilty plea Friday morning stemming from an investigation into his being doubly reimbursed by the city and state for the same trips.
At approximately 9:45 a.m. Friday, Fretti entered a guilty plea in Lowndes County Superior Court to felony false statement, but did not step down as Valdosta’s mayor.
Fretti knowingly signed Georgia Department of Community Affairs vouchers between June 3, 2009, and June 2, 2010, according to Southern District Attorney David Miller, and also returned to Valdosta and claimed mileage reimbursement from the city for the same trips.
Additionally during these trips, he accepted the $105 per diem from DCA, while charging all of his lodging and food expenses to the city….
The charge carries a sentence of one to five years in prison and a fine of approximately $1,000. DA David Miller requested that the sentence include full restitution to the City of Valdosta in the amount of $4,194.
We didn’t go to Saturday’s GOP fish fry down in Perry. But Shannon McCaffery with the Associated Press did:
Saturday’s event featured an awkward moment as Gingrich bumped into former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, who initially signed on to be national co-chairman for his presidential bid only to quit _ without so much as a phone call _ when the Gingrich campaign unraveled earlier this year. Perdue launched the middle Georgia fish fry as governor. Since he left office, the state party has taken over the event.
“It was cordial,” Perdue said of his brief hello with Gingrich. “Listen, I still respect his intellect and ideas.”
…..Gingrich said Saturday he was “saddened” that the political action committee he founded _American Solutions _ has shut down. The 527 group had struggled with financial support since Gingrich left to run for president.
Under Gingrich, the group had been a fundraising juggernaut, raising millions of dollars that allowed Gingrich to travel the country prompting his ideas.
That red carpet treatment of Jon Huntsman at the state Capitol last week apparently paid off. GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, who placed first in Saturday’s GOP straw poll in Perry, will address the Senate at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday – just before the General Assembly flees home for the rest of the year.
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today examines GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s recent Tweet that “We spend less on defense today as % of GDP than at any time since Pearl Harbor.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider