Archive for September, 2011

Your morning jolt: John Barrow says Georgia immigration law has left crops ‘rotting in field’

U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Savannah, on Tuesday said the state Legislature, whose members include at least one Republican opponent, acted in a short-sighted manner when it approved a measure to require businesses – including farmers – to use a federal data base to screen out illegal immigrants.

U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Savannah/AP file

U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Savannah/AP file

The most salient points of H.B. 87 have been placed on hold by a federal judge while the right of a state to enforce federal immigration laws is hashed out in court.

In a series of interviews with Capitol reporters in Atlanta, designed to shine statewide attention on his south Georgia effort to survive in a newly drawn, heavily rural district, Barrow declared that he could support a federally mandated E-Verify program – but only if it applied to all states. Several are now moving through Congress, he said.

Barrow has already picked up one Republican opponent, state Rep. Lee Anderson of Grovetown, a farmer who supported passage this spring of …

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Sigh. Gwinnett students allowed to opt out of Obama’s speech

The parents of students at Hull Middle School in Gwinnett County today received permission to move their children out of range of President Barack Obama’s voice:

September 27, 2011

Dear Parent(s) or Guardian(s):

We will air President Obama’s third annual national address directly to students on Monday, October 3, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. President Obama’s speech coincides with the beginning of school for many districts across the nation. His actual speech will be delivered on Wednesday, September 28, 2011, at 1:30 p.m.

If you do not want your child to view the address, please complete the
bottom portion of this letter and return it to your child’s homeroom teacher no later than Friday, September 30, 2011. Those students who will not view the broadcast at their parents’ request will report to the gymnasium with an appropriate book, magazine, or newspaper after reporting to homeroom.

Please feel free to contact me if you have additional questions or concerns.

Regards,

Denise P. …

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ICYMI: Johnny Isakson’s Peace Corps bill passes Senate

Late last night, as this latest showdown in Congress over spending suddenly vanished, the U.S. Senate indulged in a rare moment of bipartisanship and passed the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011.

The legislation, named for a Georgia volunteer who was murdered in 2009 while serving in Africa, is intended to mandate better security and protection measures for those who join the 50-year-old agency.

The bill is the joint effort of Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. Isakson serves as the ranking member on the Subcommittee on African Affairs, and Boxer serves on the Subcommittee on the Peace Corps in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

A House version of the bill has passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee and could come to a floor vote as early as next week – especially if House leaders want to demonstrate that their chamber can still function without tearing itself apart.

Here’s the background of the bill and Isakson’s …

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AJC pollster: 51% in T-SPLOST support is cause for worry

Over the weekend, a Mason-Dixon poll showing a thin wafer of majority support in metro Atlanta for next year’s transportation sales tax was released by the AJC and Channel 2 Action News.

Fifty-one percent of voters said they would support it, and 36 percent said they would oppose it.

In a conversation with Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon this morning, Tim Bryant of WGAU (1340AM) in Athens pointed out that a 15 point lead looks pretty good. Coker’s answer, in this clip Bryant sent over, might surprise you:

Said Coker:

”Typically in tax referendums, the undecided voters more often than not will break strongly against the tax increase. So I’m a little less optimistic that this will actually pass once the time [to] vote comes around….

“I’ve been polling referendums for 25 years, and usually a referendum gets its strongest support at the very start of the campaign, and over time – it’s always easier to flip people into the ‘no’ column. One of the reasons is that …

Continue reading AJC pollster: 51% in T-SPLOST support is cause for worry »

Your morning jolt: Coke chief says U.S. becoming more hostile to business than China

Coca-Cola’s top dog on Monday told the Financial Times that, thanks to an antique tax code and political infighting, the United States is becoming a more hostile place to do business than China:

Muhtar Kent, Coke’s chief executive, said “in many respects” it was easier doing business in China, which he likened to a well-managed company. “You have a one-stop shop in terms of the Chinese foreign investment agency and local governments are fighting for investment with each other,” he [said].

And Washington gridlock? “There’s too much comfort. We need more needles to stick in politicians.”

Kent made his remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative conference. See the FT video here.

***
Apparently, a certain former political figure has no plans to return to elective office. Bloomberg reports that former Democratic attorney general Thurbert Baker has been hired by the debt collection industry to help fight new restrictions in several states:

DBA International, the …

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Crosstabs on a T-SPLOST poll, and the tea parties organize

There’s evidence that a shift in attitude toward transit among metro Atlanta voters, including in counties such as Gwinnett and Cobb that traditionally oppose MARTA, could be pivotal to the passage of next year’s transportation sales tax referendum.

That’s according to a new poll of 625 registered voters in the 10-county metro region that Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. conducted for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News.

Click here for many of the details, and here for the wording of the questions. You want crosstabs? We’ve got ‘em here:

In the meantime, in an e-mail distributed this afternoon, tea party opponents outlined the organization of their effort to block passage of the transportation sales tax in 2012:

Atlanta Tea Party will focus on defeating the Metro-Atlanta T-SPLOST and Georgia Tea Party Patriots will be there to assist tea parties in other regions. We have formed a Tea Party T-SPLOST Task Force Coalition with Bob Frey as the …

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Video of a real Washington shake-up

Below is security video from within the Washington Monument during the Aug. 23 earthquake. The tea party has nothing on Mother Nature:

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

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Herman Cain breaks with House GOP on shutdown threat

Taking great advantage of his Saturday win in the Florida straw poll, GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain appeared on an array of news shows on Monday.

They included this CNN encounter in which Cain broke ranks with House Republicans on the latest threatened government shutdown:

Said Cain:

”We should not play politics with tragedies. You’re talking about human beings out there, not a group of statistics. The fact that they want to play politics with it – I would blame both parties. Secondly, you and I both know that there is plenty of money in Washington D.C. to offset anything that we need to spend on FEMA. I would make sure that FEMA got the money that it needed, and if I had to go find the offsets later, go find it later. Stop playing with people’s tragedies….”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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Rick Perry schedules a Friday speech to Georgia Public Policy Foundation

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has scheduled his first appearance in Georgia as a presidential candidate – a 10:15 a.m. Friday speech on his state’s economic success before the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

Click here to register for the event, which will be at the Cobb Energy Centre. The title of the address: “Taxes ,Torts and Texas: The Key Policies Supporting the Growing Texas Economy.”

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Perry’s highest-ranking supporter in the state, is already scheduled to be there. But we’re told that Kelly McCutchen, president and CEO of the GPPF, will do the honors.

“We’ll introduce him to the Southeastern Conference,” McCutchen said.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

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APS scandal as an argument for charter schools

Bob Bowdon, a filmmaker dedicated to charter school reform, has turned a six-minute video on the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal:

The clip appears on Choice Media, which defines itself thusly:

Choice Media is a non-profit education news service, devoted to covering all facets of K-12 education quality and reform. Our mission is to expose the scandal of America’s high-cost, low-performing schools, while highlighting successes where they occur and pointing the way to a more hopeful tomorrow.

The video makes the argument that charter schools, though not immune to cheating scandals, can respond more quickly when they occur. Kelly McCutchen of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation makes an appearance.

One suggestion: There were many African-Americans who were appalled by the APS scandal, and were essential in pushing an investigation through to the conclusion. We can provide e-mails and phone numbers if Bowdon intends to expand his piece.

- By Jim Galloway, Political …

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