Archive for September, 2011

Jerry Shearin weighs a 2012 challenge to Tom Graves

I met Jerry Shearin at a Starbucks in west Cobb County this morning.

Shearin is the former chairman of the Paulding County Commission. He’s considering a Republican challenge next year against U.S. Rep. Tom Graves of Ranger, who has found himself in a vastly redrawn district – now called the 14th.

Graves, a tea party favorite who ran five races last year to secure his seat in Congress, finds himself a stranger (at least on the ballot) to 52 percent of his new district.

Among Graves’ new counties, Paulding will provide 25 percent of the vote in a GOP primary. Floyd would add another 13 percent. That’s a tempting start for anyone on the southern end of that district.

Shearin, a businessman, said he’s still weighing his options. “I’m talking to all the people I need to talk to right now,” he said.

But he added this thought. “It is my dream job,” Shearin said.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on …

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Troy Davis reaction: Resignation from John Lewis, and a call for a prison strike

As you probably know, the state Board of Pardons and Paroles this morning declined to commute the death sentence of Troy Anthony Davis, convicted of the 1989 murder of an off-duty police officer.

The decision was immediately denounced by Amnesty International, the NAACP and other groups that made the case an international cause – arguing that the recantation of multiple eyewitnesses had thrown sufficient doubt on the verdict.

Republicans, including Gov. Nathan Deal, have remained largely quiet, preferring the system to run its course.

The reaction from Democrats has varied. U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta expressed resignation. In part:

“We have come a great distance in Georgia, but today we have demonstrated we still have a great distance to go before we build a society based on simple justice that values the dignity and the worth of every human being. We are not there yet. I am deeply saddened and deeply disappointed by this decision, but in light of all I have seen …

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Your morning jolt: The White House’s glass ceiling and the Richards Effect

The 2012 Project, a non-partisan campaign to lure more women into politics, will pay a visit to the state Capitol on Friday.

Georgia is one of 20 states that have no women in their congressional delegations, organizers point out. (Although the race for the “new” 9th Congressional District has Republican Martha Zoller, the Gainesville radio talk show host.)

Yet the South has no copyright when it comes to glass ceilings. From today’s Washington Post:

Friction about the roles of women in the Obama White House grew so intense during the first two years of the president’s tenure that he was forced to take steps to reassure senior women on his staff that he valued their presence and their input.

At a dinner in November 2009, several senior female aides complained directly to the president that men enjoyed greater access to him and often muscled them out of key policy discussions.

Those tensions prompted Obama, urged on by senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, to elevate more women …

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David Ralston hosts a pair of fundraisers for Doug Collins

Gov. Nathan Deal is putting air between himself and state Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, one of two announced candidates in the 9th District congressional race.

But House Speaker David Ralston isn’t.

Ralston, who hails from Blue Ridge, is headlining two fundraisers for Collins in two weeks. The first, which features much – but not all — of the House Republican leadership, is Wednesday at the Commerce Club in Atlanta. A minimum contribution of $250 is required.

The invitation we copped was attached to an endorsement from former state lawmaker Kevin Levitas, who was “D-Atlanta” when he left the Capitol. Writes Levitas:

“Doug is the right person at the right time to provide ethical, fiscally responsible leadership in Washington, D.C. at a time when it is so sorely needed.

“A chaplain, an Iraq War veteran, an attorney and a true Conservative, Doug possesses the intelligence, humility and generosity of spirit that have enabled him to succeed both as a Representative …

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Beware of GOP bill to require E-Verify, says Bob Barr

In the Daily Caller, former Georgia congressman Bob Barr today says Republican legislation in Congress to mandate the use of E-Verify by businesses is getting worse, not better:

Originally, the most troubling aspect of this legislation — supposed to protect the American economy against illegal immigrants being employed by U.S. businesses — was its requirement that businesses run names of job applicants through the government-run E-Verify database to ensure new hires are legally authorized to work in the United States. Although its supporters said that the bill was not a “National ID,” it clearly incorporated the potential to become just that. It even included a mandate that the government sign off on any persons hired by companies.

Now, we have learned that mission creep has already infected the legislation and dramatically broadened its reach. For example, language that purported to prohibit use of the database for purposes other than citizenship verification suddenly …

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Rick Perry schedules a first Georgia appearance

Even before GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney touched the ground in Atlanta on Monday, his chief rival for the nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, let it be known that he’ll be challenging Romney for Georgia’s cash – and votes.

Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has a fundraiser ($1,000 minimum, $2,500 for a photo) this evening at the home of Equifax CEO Rick Smith.

We’ve just received notice that Perry will be in Atlanta on Sept. 30 to kick off his Georgia campaign with a fundraiser at 103 West in Buckhead. Entrance fee is roughly the same as Romney’s. See the invite here.

It would be Perry’s first Georgia appearance as a presidential candidate.

Calling the shots for Perry in Georgia and the rest of the campaign will be Dave Carney, the New Hampshire-based strategist who served as chief adviser to Newt Gingrich — until he abandoned the campaign with many other Gingrich staffers in June. Longtime GOP activist Jay Morgan of Atlanta will be pulling the …

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Your morning jolt: Sam Olens wonders if metro Atlanta needs a super mayor

Seriously, though. If metro Atlanta had a “super mayor,” would a cape be one of the perks?

Attorney General Sam Olens, former chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission. Curtis Compton,

Attorney General Sam Olens, former chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission. Curtis Compton,

Over at the Saporta Report, former Atlanta Regional Chairman Sam Olens, now attorney general, wonders out loud whether the 10-county region needs a “region-wide elected chairperson.”

From his interview with Maria Saporta:

In other words, electing a regional chair of ARC would create a position that could be considered a metro mayor — having someone whose constituency would be the whole 10-county region rather than just a slice of the area.

“Everybody complains that ARC doesn’t do enough, but few people have read the statute to see how little power it has,” Olens said. “Having someone elected from the region — it would be a healthy discussion.”

More than a dozen tea party and anti-tax groups will gather Saturday for an all-day meeting at the Cherokee …

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Filling in blanks at the Georgia National Guard

Gov. Nathan Deal has begun filling some of the blanks at the Georgia National Guard. From the Gainesville Times:

Gainesville native Joe Jarrard is Georgia’s new deputy adjutant general.

Gov. Nathan Deal named the retired lieutenant colonel to the post Friday, lauding Jarrard for his “long and distinguished history of service to the country,” including two active tours of duty in Iraq and 25 months of civilian service in Afghanistan….

Jarrard returned Tuesday from Afghanistan, where he was part of the Counterinsurgency Advisory and Assistance Team, formerly under the command of Gen. David Petraeus….

Deal’s appointment “came out of nowhere,” Jarrard said. “But I’m very honored and looking forward to the challenge. I’ve basically been a soldier most of my life, so it’s good to be back in that business.”

The press release issued by the governor’s office on Friday made no mention of the woman Jarrad will replace, Major Gen. Maria Britt, who resigned when the governor put an …

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Your morning jolt: Nathan Deal on the next DOT chief

My AJC colleague Ariel Hart had a revealing game of cat-and-mouse with Gov. Nathan Deal on Thursday, over the topic of who might replace the exiting Vance Smith as head of the state Department of Transportation:

Q: Do you have a preference for who ought to be the next GDOT commissioner?

Deal: No, I hope that they will come up with someone that’s qualified, and has an experience factor of being able to deal with difficult problems.

Q: Have you suggested anyone to (the DOT board)?

Deal: I have suggested that there may be some existing state employees who might be considered, but this is their decision and we’re going to watch and see what they do.

Q: Would that be Steve Stancil (who is executive director of the Georgia Building Authority)?

Deal: Well, Steve Stancil is someone that we think has done an excellent job in his current position and I think possesses the kind of qualities that you would be looking for.

Q: You suggested him?

Deal: (chuckling) I think I’ll leave it at …

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Your weekend constitutional

Virginia “No Relation” Galloway of Americans for Prosperity sends the following notice for this weekend:

What: Constitution Night at the Museum

Featuring Artist Steve Penley live for an artist showcase, musical performances by PRIME of Atlanta, heavy hors d’ oeuvres, a cash bar, strolling close up magic and more.

When: Saturday, September 17, 7-11PM

Where: Marietta Cobb Museum of Art – 30 Atlanta Street, Marietta GA 30060

Tickets: Individual $75 Couples $120 – Details & Tickets @

The event is black tie optional & benefits the Constitution Day Festival of GA, the work of AFP Foundation Georgia and the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art.

What: Constitution Day Festival of Georgia:

Featuring 7Sharp9, Sunset Concert with Men In Blues, student performances, Kids Area with inflatables, car show, food vendors, Emcee Melvin Everson, Founding Fathers
re-enactors and the Walk Thru The Constitution Challenge.

When: Sunday, September 18, 12:30-6PM

Where: Glover …

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