Archive for December, 2011

Gingrich, Bachmann, Huntsman and Santorum join Perry in Virginia ballot challenge

Des Moines, Iowa – Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum have allied themselves with Rick Perry in an effort to have their names placed on the Virginia presidential primary ballot.

Mitt Romney and Ron Paul were the only candidates to obtain the necessary — and vetted — 10,000 signatures.

Perry filed suit against the Virginia Republican primary and that state’s election board last week. Click here to read the letter from attorneys for the other four Republican candidates. It includes this:

Please be advised that the four Republican Candidates for President listed above will be filing a single, joint motion to intervene in the Virginia action.

In light of these developments, Congresswoman Bachmann, Speaker Gingrich, Governor Huntsman, and Senator Santorum respectfully request that the Board either take action to add them to the ballot mooting their challenges (and avoiding unnecessary costs and expenses to the state and the parties) or not undertake …

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Herman Cain won’t make an Iowa endorsement

If you remember your ancient Republican history – about four weeks ago – you’ll remember that Herman Cain, as he bowed out of the race, strongly hinted that he would make an endorsement in the presidential contest.

But we haven’t heard much from Cain since, and the plains of Iowa loom.

Several times during Cain’s final rough patch, Newt Gingrich spoke up for his Atlanta comrade-in-arms. Each cited a friendship that stretched back decades. They even staged that love fest in Houston for Texan tea partyists.

But also remember that Cain endorsed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in the 2008 campaign.

By way of straightening things out, my AJC colleague Jeremy Redmon shot an e-mail to Mark Block, who remains Cain’s chief of staff.

Replied Block:

There are no plans currently to endorse any of the candidates. Keep in touch.

You’re on your own, Newt.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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Gingrich PAC: ‘Don’t let liberal Republican establishment pick candidate’

Winning Our Future, the Super PAC acting on behalf of Newt Gingrich, has launched this ad in Iowa – an appeal for the most conservative heart of that state’s GOP:

The eye-popping message:

”Don’t let the liberal Republican establishment pick our candidate.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

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CNN: Newt Gingrich, not wife, pressed for first divorce

Last month, on a campaign website, GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said it was his first wife, Jackie Battley Gingrich, who asked for their divorce back in 1980.

But CNN reports that it has obtained previously – shall we say – protected documents from the Carroll County court system that indicate the separation was requested by Gingrich, then a Georgia congressman.

See the documentation here.

Not a good thing to come out a week before the Iowa caucuses, when one is trying to draw a comparison with a desperate Washington crossing the Delaware River.

From CNN:

The documents, and interviews with people close to the couple at the time, contradict the Gingrich claim about who wanted the divorce.

Newt Gingrich filed a divorce complaint on July 14, 1980, in Carroll County, saying that “the marriage of the parties is irretriebably (sic) broken.”

Jackie Battley Gingrich, the congressman’s wife and the mother of Jackie Gingrich Cushman, responded by asking the judge to …

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Nine reindeer, but not fat guy, given special clearance to enter Georgia

Ladies and gentlemen, the Political Insider and the rest of the AJC family thank you for your kind attention this year. A vacation now looms, and is likely to stretch until after Christmas. And then on to Iowa. We’re shutting down commenting on this blog until I return.

In the meantime, in the spirit of the season, we offer this Monday news release:

Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary W. Black has granted a special 24-hour permit waiving the routine identification and other health requirements for nine flying reindeer slated to visit Georgia on the evening of December 24 into the early morning hours of December 25.

The permit application was filed this week by a North Pole toymaker who signed the paperwork “S. Claus.” The reindeer named on the permit are: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen and Rudolph.

Identification, laboratory testing and certificates of veterinary inspection are part of the state’s health requirements which assist the …

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Herman Cain and his wife’s permission

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, with his wife Gloria in the background, salutes the crowd before announcing the suspension of his campaign. AP/David Tulis

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, with his wife Gloria in the background, salutes the crowd before announcing the suspension of his campaign. AP/David Tulis

In the end, Herman Cain’s wife, the diminutive woman he said held the key to his future as a presidential candidate, was a case of misdirection.

For days, Herman Cain had told the friendly faces on cable TV that he would head home to Atlanta for a face-to-face discussion with Gloria, his spouse of 43 years – the woman he first romanced with a movie date at Lenox Square, but who had declined to become part of his political quest.

Without her support, Cain said, his Republican campaign would collapse in the face of a new allegation that he had engaged in a long-time affair with another woman – a charge that he had denounced not just as untrue, but unproven.

So on Saturday, a very specific question hung over the new state headquarters for the Cain campaign, a storefront operation close enough to I-85 in …

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David Doss makes a GOP bid for state Senate

David Doss, the former chairman of the State Transportation Board, announced this afternoon that he’ll run for the state Senate – in an open, Republican-leaning district created by this summer’s redistricting.

Doss, who is also the former chairman of the Floyd County Commission, declared his familial ties to the seat. From the press release:

“ I chose today to make this announcement on the occasion of my father’s 84th birthday. My Dad served the 52nd District with distinction from 1968 to 1979, and as a young boy, I often watched with great respect as the State Senate went about their business.

“But much has changed over the past 40 years in the State Senate and the public’s confidence and trust of this great institution has slowly eroded. Gone are the statesmen who placed principle over politics; who placed the needs of their district ahead of party politics; who believed in cooperation rather than stalemate; and those who adhered to a strong code of ethical …

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On the topic of drug-testing: We’ve been here before

So we are back to talking about mandatory drug tests for those who receive government assistance. State Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, is one of those backing the measure.

A federal judge has blocked a similar measure in Florida on constitutional grounds. Fourth Amendment protection against search and seizure is alleged. But we are entering an election year, so the odds favor passage here in Georgia.

In reaction, state Rep. Scott Holcomb, D-Atlanta, on Friday dropped a measure to require that all members of the Legislature submit urine or blood samples so that they, too, can be screened for mind-altering substances.

If all this sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve been here before. A well-informed reader reminded us of a particular April 15, 1997 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. From the AJC archives:

A state law that requires candidates to pass a drug test before seeking elected office may have helped Georgia bolster its image of being tough on drugs , but the statute …

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Four groups launch a pre-emptive strike against Bob Barr

This week, one after another, four prominent, national conservative groups issued a rare series of public warnings to a private citizen considering a run for Congress.

Don’t do it, they told Bob Barr. We will bury you.

The first organization was the most important – the anti-tax Club for Growth, whose members are a deep source of Republican campaign contributions. Then came Concerned Women, a Beverly LaHaye group, followed by Eagle Forum led by Phyllis Schlafly.

On Friday, the influential Family Research Council joined the pack.

Each group – or, officially, their political action committees – endorsed U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, the tea party favorite and Republican incumbent who replaced Nathan Deal, now governor, in Washington.

But each one also gave specific mention to Barr, the former congressman and 2008 Libertarian candidate for president. Once a favorite of the conservative movement, who helped lead the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, the four groups denounced …

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The day before the one that will live in infamy

If you are of a certain age, you will recognize this passage from a press release issued Friday by the Japanese consulate in Atlanta as proof that time — and new disasters — heal most wounds:

During the month of December, 196 Japanese embassies and consulates around the world will celebrate Japan’s national holiday, the birthday of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor Akihito, who will turn 78 on December 23, 2011. The Consulate General of Japan will hold its reception on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 from 5:30-7:30 pm at the official residence of the Consul General of Japan.

Governor Nathan Deal, who was one of the first Georgians to sign the Book of Condolences at the Consulate following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and Georgia Senator Josh McKoon (R-Columbus), first sponsor of Senate Resolution 397, which extended sympathies and encouragement to Japan, will be in attendance to receive words of gratitude from Consul General Takuji Hanatani.

Dec. 7, of course, is the 70th …

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