Archive for August, 2011

Rick Perry vs. Mitt Romney: A presidential rivalry — and longstanding feud

Pat O’Connor at the Wall Street Journal today traces the origins of the long-standing feud between Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney:

In 2006, during a meeting in Austin, Mr. Perry, the Texas governor, questioned a decision Mr. Romney, then the governor of Massachusetts, had made as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Mr. Romney had hired the media adviser Alex Castellanos for the group, though Mr. Castellanos was working for one of the candidates trying at the time to unseat Mr. Perry.

In the meeting, Mr. Romney defended his decision, according to multiple people familiar with the exchange, and the shouting match that ensued has quickly become campaign lore.

The piece raises a future debate topic that would be unusual even in a hard-bit Republican field. Perry thinks Romney has a “Boy Scout” problem – because the neckerchief crowd wasn’t allowed to volunteer in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, which were …

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Your morning jolt: Michele Bachmann and the tea party as an act of God

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.

From the St. Petersburg Times:

“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 …

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Herman Cain edges out Ron Paul in Georgia GOP straw poll

Georgia native and tea party favorite Herman Cain edged out libertarian Ron Paul at the GOP annual fish fry down in Perry on Saturday.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney finished a surprisingly distant fifth, behind Texas Gov. Rick Perry and another Georgia favorite, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich. Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann also had a weak showing.

Results were just phoned in by B.J. VanGundy, the party’s second vice president. Over 1100 tickets were sold, he said, and 890 votes were cast.

The totals:

– Herman Cain, 232 or 26 percent;

– Ron Paul, 229 or 25.7 percent;

– Rick Perry, 179 or 20 percent;

– Newt Gingrich, 162 or 18 percent;

– Mitt Romney, 51 or 6 percent;

– Michele Bachman, 29 or 3 percent;

– Rick Santorum, 4 or .4 percent

– Jon Huntsman, 3 or .3 percent;

– Thad McCotter, 1 or .1 percent;

– Buddy Roemer, 0;

– Gary Johnson, 0;

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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Karl Rove’s strategy comes to Georgia

As you probably know, with his independent expenditure tactics through the group American Crossroads, Republican strategist (and Sarah Palin pincushion) Karl Rove has injected a new force into American politics.

Unlimited amounts of money can rally to a candidate or cause – as long as there is no direct cooperation or communication with said campaign. Kind of like allowing a NASCAR driver to draft behind a vehicle on the track that’s not subject to any of the rules.

Until this summer, use of the independent expenditure has been limited to statewide and federal races. Not anymore.

In today’s Macon Telegraph, Erick Erickson of reveals that such a group was behind the victory of incumbent Robert Reichert in the Macon mayor’s last week, as well as Miriam Paris’ trouncing of former state Rep. David Lucas in a state Senate race. Both are Democrats.

To Erickson’s point:

A bipartisan group came together quietly. Having aided and abetted the Lucas’ and others …

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Ka-ching! Federal appeals court says athletic groups can charge for Internet broadcasts of high school football

Light bulbs – presumably fluorescent, energy-saving ones – have just appeared over the heads of scores of revenue-hungry, high school football coaches in Georgia.

From Gannett Wisconsin Media:

CHICAGO — The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association is constitutionally entitled to sign exclusive contracts for Internet streaming of high school sporting events, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The decision has national implications for media organizations that hoped to produce online broadcasts of sporting events free from restrictions by state athletic associations. It stems from a lawsuit against the Appleton Post-Crescent; its parent company Gannett Co. Inc.; and the Wisconsin Newspaper Association.

“We conclude that WIAA’s exclusive broadcasting agreements for Internet streaming are consistent with the First Amendment,” a three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided in a 33-page ruling.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant …

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Your morning jolt: Arizona sues over Voting Rights Act

Because we’re still in the midst of a redistricting session, this from is worth noting:

The state of Arizona filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the federal government’s authority to enforce part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, becoming the first state to challenge the constitutionality of sections of the federal law that bars states from denying or limiting a person’s right to vote based on their race or color.

Specifically, state Attorney General Tom Horne is questioning the provision that requires U.S. Department of Justice review of all changes to that state’s election laws. Georgia is subject to the same pre-clearance requirement, which Horne declares to be archaic.

Hurricane Irene has forced the postponement of the formal unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. monument in Washington D.C. this weekend. But news outlets are still cranking out interview with King’s lieutenants.

Here’s former Atlanta mayor and gubernatorial candidate Andrew …

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Tim Echols on his Masters request: ‘It was a mistake’

The following article by my AJC colleague Kristi Swartz is raising eyebrows around the Capitol:

Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols began criticizing his fellow commissioners for being too cozy with lobbyists even before he took office.

I am uncomfortable taking admission, taking tickets to sporting events from those that I regulate,” he said.

Yet, using official Public Service Commission letterhead, Echols went straight to the Augusta National Golf Club to request two complimentary practice round tickets to this year’s Masters, long after tickets had been distributed to one of the world’s most prestigious golf tournaments through a lottery system.

Echols, rather than defending himself, is acknowledging the breach. He just sent the following in an unsolicited e-mail:

”The March 2 letter requesting my name be put into the practice round lottery should have been done on my personal letterhead. Period. It was a mistake.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For …

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Your morning jolt: Georgia Democrats discover power of the word ‘no’

Like Republicans in Washington, Democrats in the state Capitol may have just learned of the power behind the word “no.”

Similarly, Georgia Republicans may have just experienced the first consequence of their plan to render the Democratic opposition irrelevant in the state.

Removal of Democrats from the political equation on Wednesday resulted in a GOP paralyzed by a clash between its two dominant factions – a tea party opposed to new taxes under any circumstance, and business interests who see slow-moving disaster in Georgia’s stubborn failure to invest in its own infrastructure.

By now, you know of Gov. Nathan Deal’s announcement late Wednesday that he – and leaders of the state Capitol – have abandoned efforts to shift the vote of next year’s regional transportation sales tax vote from the July primary to the November general election.

Look for business leaders and political strategists today to express confidence that the shift can be accomplished when the …

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Transportation sales tax effort implodes

Gov. Nathan Deal’s push to move the date of next year’s transportation sales tax vote imploded late Wednesday.

Attached to the end of a notice that Deal had signed House and Senate redistricting plans:

The governor today reached a joint decision with House and Senate leadership to suspend further consideration of legislation to move the date for T-SPLOST referendum.

“We’ve had a healthy debate on the T-SPLOST referendum date here at the Gold Dome,” Deal said. “I’m a supporter of the referendum, and I believe it’s important to job creation and economic development throughout Georgia. I further believe that it is a sound conservative principle to allow as many taxpayers as possible to participate in this important decision. Our time during this special session, however, is precious, and it’s now obvious that it will take too much time to reach a consensus on changing the date. It’s best for taxpayers that we not let this special session drag on. …

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Behind the red carpet treatment of Jon Huntsman

GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, a man so reasonable that Gallup has placed him dead last in its latest poll, won a standing ovation from a chamber full of lawmakers at the state Capitol on Wednesday.

In part, merely because he showed up.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (left) addresses House members Wednesday at the invitation of Speaker David Ralston. Brant Sanderlin,

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (left) addresses House members Wednesday at the invitation of Speaker David Ralston. Brant Sanderlin,

In the high-drama Republican sweepstakes for the right to face down President Barack Obama, Georgia again is playing the role of the loyal and reliable ATM. We are an open wallet for the candidate who needs money to spend — in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina.

Huntsman was the first Republican in the field to visit the state Capitol since then-Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty last November.

This, of course, doesn’t count Newt Gingrich, who at one point was supposed to be running a Georgia-centric, favorite-son campaign. Not even Herman Cain, whose headquarters is in …

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