Archive for December, 2011

A move to end Georgia’s statute of limitations on child sex crimes

The state Legislature will be asked in January to erase the statute of limitations on child molestation charges — the first such measure to surface in a post-Penn State era.

H.B. 676 was submitted Thursday by state Rep. Ben Harbin, R-Evans.

Currently, acts of child molestation in Georgia must be reported within seven years after the alleged victim turns 16. Former Penn State football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested last month on charges he had sex with young boys over a 15-year period – meaning that some of the alleged incidents would not have been prosecutable had they happened here.

The bill would allow prosecution at any time for child molestation, aggravated child molestation or other related offenses when the victim is younger than 16 years of age at the time of the commission of the crime.

From Harbin, via press release:

“The recent events at Penn State University and at Syracuse University have strengthened my resolve to move this bill quickly through …

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Your morning jolt: Casey Cagle dips into a pair of Senate races

Next Tuesday’s runoff elections for two state Senate seats have the potential to strengthen the hand of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in his struggle to regain control of the chamber.

Cagle has made personal appearances this week on behalf of both John Wilkinson of Toccoa, a Republican candidate for the District 50 seat, and Duke Blackburn of Newnan, in the contest for District 28.

The lieutenant governor’s public endorsement of Wilkinson came on Tuesday, according to Wilkinson’s Facebook page. But the lines of battle were drawn much earlier. Former state Rep. Rick Austin, R-Demorest, who finished first with 43 percent of the vote in the first round of voting, is backed by Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams of Lyons and Majority Chip Rogers of Woodstock.

Last year, Williams and Rogers led a successful revolt to strip Cagle of much of his authority over the Senate. The chamber has been in turmoil since.

A Wilkinson victory in northeast Georgia by itself wouldn’t be a gain …

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Herman Cain admits he should have told his wife about ‘friendship’

On Thursday, Herman Cain went visited the New Hampshire Union Leader, the newspaper he stiffed last month – and which subsequently endorsed former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich in the Republican presidential primary.

C-SPAN recorded the encounter and intends to broadcast it here at 6 p.m.

The topic of Ginger White was inevitable. A taste from the Union Leader:

He said he told his wife about White only after White went public.

Cain said that in retrospect he should have told his wife about his friendship with White, “but retrospect doesn’t necessarily change what’s going on now.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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Washington takes note of the late Larry Munson

On the floor of the U.S. Senate today, 48 hours before LSU and Georgia meet for the SEC championship, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson both gave tributes to the late voice of the Bulldogs, Larry Munson.

Chambliss went first:

Chambliss spoke of Munson’s “bipartisan” appeal:

”That term to this man meant he was respected by Georgia Tech fans as well as University of Georgia football fans.”

Isakson followed:

Said Isakson, in part:

”It’s said that the Southeastern Conference, football is not a game, it’s a religion. In that analogy, if it’s a religion in the Southeastern Conference, Larry Munson was the high priest.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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For Lin Wood, a trip down Irony Lane

In 1997, former Georgia attorney general Michael Bowers was the Republican favorite to end the GOP drought of governors in the state.

But he had a secret – a long-term affair with a woman who had once been a state employee and his secretary. Pressed by guilt and the likelihood that the relationship would surface on its own, the married Bowers summoned reporters, confessed and apologized.

What most people don’t know is that the former secretary, engaged in a consensual relationship with a married man, had her own attorney.

His name was Lin Wood, the same Atlanta attorney who is now speaking for Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, who himself stands accused of a long-term, off-and-on affair with a Dunwoody woman named Ginger White.

There is a certain consistency here. Each case finds Wood on the side of the party who was involuntarily outed.

Bowers lost the 1998 Republican primary for governor to Guy Milner, who lost in the general election to Democrat Roy …

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Your morning jolt: Mitt Romney shows his sensitive side

On Tuesday, Fox News aired what was, by all appearances, a straight-up interview with Mitt Romney, the lead survivor in the GOP race for president.

Bret Baier asked the logical questions: The New Hampshire Union Leader had just endorsed Newt Gingrich, yet another of Romney’s surging opponents – at the same time alluding to the former Massachusetts governor’s multiple positions.

Last night, in a conversation with Bill O’Reilly, Baier said that, off-camera, Romney declared he had been mistreated:

Said Baier:

“He said he thought it overly aggressive….As we were walking in the walk-and-talk, and then after we finished he went to his holding room — and then came back and said he didn’t like the interview and thought it was uncalled for.”

And in today’s New York Times, columnist Gail Collins has this account of Romney’s on-camera reaction as his interrogator went down a roster of his flip-flops:

Romney looked approximately as comfortable as the three wealth managers …

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