Ever since he sacked the head of the Georgia National Guard and his No. 2 last year, Gov. Nathan Deal has been dealing with the intricacies of a system that attempts to mesh – sometimes poorly – aspects of a state militia with a national military machine.
For instance, when the governor replaced Major Gen. William Nesbitt with state Sen. Jim Butterworth, R-Cornelia, there was the matter of rank. Butterworth had left the Air Guard years earlier with the rank of captain — but now wears the uniform of a two-star general.
Now it seems that the governor has been handed a problem from the other side of the fence.
Shortly after he named Butterworth the state’s new adjutant general, Deal appointed a No. 2: Joe Jarrard, a retired lieutenant colonel from Dahlonega with 20 years’ service in the U.S. Army.
Jarrard has a Bronze Star, has served in Iraq, did some advising in Afghanistan – but it turns out that, according to state law, he isn’t qualified to hold the post of assistant adjutant general to which Deal had appointed him.
The current statute holds that Jarrard must have at least five years’ service in the National Guard. Which he does not. And so we have HB 800 whipping through the House to tidy things up. The bill adds five years of continuous service in the U.S. military as a substitute for five years of Guard service.
“It’s true that [Jarrard] doesn’t have five years of continual [Guard] service,” Brian Robinson, spokesman for Deal, admitted in an e-mail. “The governor points out that this merely affects the designation as assistant adjutant general, not the propriety of his appointment. The law simply needs updating. Under the current language, Gen. [David] Petraeus wouldn’t able to be assistant adjutant general of the Georgia National Guard. That doesn’t serve us well.”
On Thursday, in some statistical clean-up of the presidential primary vote in Florida, Alan Abramowitz of Emory University pointed out that, according to exit polls, Jewish participation in Tuesday’s balloting had dropped from 3 percent in 2008 to 1 percent.
Hardly evidence that Jewish voters were flocking to Republican criticism of President Barack Obama’s Middle East policies, the political scientist noted. But hours later, the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press issued a new analysis indicating that Jewish support for the GOP has grown dramatically since 2008:
The findings could point to trouble for the Democrats in the 2012 presidential election, where both parties are counting on strong showings among Florida’s Jewish voters in particular.
“The increase among Jews is greater than in the general public, and greater than the increase in an number of other religious groups,” said Alan Cooperman, associate director for research at Pew.
Jews who support or lean Republican jumped from 20% in 2008 to 29% in 2011. And Jews who support or lean Democratic fell from 72% in 2008 to 65% in 2011. The 2011 study has a 6.5% margin of error.
U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Someplace Other Than Savannah, is doing his best to prepare for a rough year. From the Savannah Morning News:
A report to the Federal Election Commission indicates the Savannah Democrat raised more than $272,000 in the third quarter of last year.
He’s seeking a fifth term in a new Republican-leaning district where four GOP candidates have emerged so far and three have raised substantial sums.
Barrow’s third-quarter take nearly matched the $284,000 he collected over the previous three months.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider