Your morning jolt: Mitt Romney to highlight Newt Gingrich defector in Ga.

Updated at 9:07 a.m.: This notice just arrived from Politico.com:

Georgia State Rep. David Casas will announce later this morning that he’s jumping ship and joining with Mitt Romney. At 1:15 p.m., the Romney campaign will convene a conference call for Casas to attack Newt Gingrich. “Over the last few weeks, I have had a serious change of heart,” he explains in a forthcoming statement.

“While I initially supported Speaker Gingrich, his continued attacks upon the free enterprise system that has made our country great are particularly something I will not stand for.” Casas’ parents were political refugees from Cuba, and he was a high school teacher before winning election to the legislature in 2002.

Orginal: One day before Mitt Romney was due in Atlanta for a Buckhead fundraiser, his GOP presidential campaign dropped a first hint that it intends to challenge Newt Gingrich in the former U.S. House speaker’s “home” state.

The Romney issued a press release that listed a handful of examples in which Gingrich allegedly acted as a lobbyist at the state Capitol. Included was this December piece from the Savannah Morning News:

…Gingrich met on behalf of the center in 2004 with the Georgia House Republican caucus and talked up, among other paid members of the health transformation center, a firm called VitalSpring Technologies.

The McLean, Va., company, which calls itself “an innovator in health benefits supply chain intelligence,” was paying at least $20,000 a year in membership fees.

Updated at 5:28 p.m.: A well-connected Gingrich supporter sent this note about Georgia lobbying law:

“What Romney doesn’t understand, because he doesn’t know Georgia very well, is that vendor lobbying wasn’t included in the definition of “lobbying” in the Ethics in Government Act until 2006. The vendor lobbying provision was adopted in H.B. 48 in 2005, which went into effect on January 9, 2006.

The Savannah Morning News article is wrong; it states that, in 2004, the Speaker “was a lobbyist as it was then spelled out in Georgia law, and failed to register as a lobbyist, as the law required.”

It also states that, in 2004, “people who were paid to promote products or companies to lawmakers or if they spent more than $250 on such efforts were considered lobbyists under the law. And they were required to register.” These statements are incorrect, because the law didn’t include vendor lobbyists in the lobbying definition until 2006.

***
Meanwhile, the AJC’s Politifact Georgia examines accusations by Georgia Democrats that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has flip-flopped on the deportation of illegal immigrants.

***
U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston gets a mention in this Washington Post investigative piece:

Thirty-three members of Congress have directed more than $300 million in earmarks and other spending provisions to dozens of public projects that are next to or within about two miles of the lawmakers’ own property.

The article includes an interactive map that shows the properties in question, along with these details:

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, was in a position to secure the funding to protect the beaches of the three-square-mile barrier island. He co-sponsored a $6.3 million earmark for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to replenish the beach in 2008. “This is better than we hoped for,” Kingston said in a news release his office issued at the time.

What the statement didn’t say is that Kingston owns a cottage on Tybee Island that sits about 900 feet from the beach. It’s a modest vacation home that he has rented out in the past. It’s worth about $142,900, and its value has been falling because of the downturn in the real estate market.

***
The re-election campaign of President Barack Obama returned more than $200,000 after the New York Times began asking questions about this:

Two American brothers of a Mexican casino magnate who fled drug and fraud charges in the United States and has been seeking a pardon enabling him to return have emerged as major fund-raisers and donors for President Obama’s re-election campaign.

***
In Gainesville, Attorney General Sam Olens on Monday echoed Capitol talk about a rail line-for-water deal with Tennessee. From AccessNorthGa.com:

“My perspective is pretty simple: I think we should be open to the discussion…as long as they are open to the discussion that there is a pipe that comes into Georgia with water from the Tennessee River,” Olens said to a smattering of applause.

“In return, I want water,” Olens said, nodding his head in affirmation.

***
After Gov. Nathan Deal announced the formation of a privately funded, a needs-based scholarship program, Senate Democrats declared the governor was attempting to distract the public from a debate over the future of the HOPE scholarship:

Afterwards, Deal spokesman Brian Robinson tweeted the following:

Only GA Senate Democrats could criticize a privately funded needs-based scholarship. They hate anything that doesn’t raise taxes.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

126 comments Add your comment

PTC Bernie

February 7th, 2012
9:26 am

People are tired of the lies from ALL sides. Stop wasting my time and get talking about your position and plans for issues such as the economy, restructuring the banking industry, illegal immigration, etc.

Enough!

Double Zero Eight

February 7th, 2012
9:28 am

Gingrich needs to take off the gloves to avoid being
embarrassed in his home state. Romney will spend
millions, Gingrich needs to do the same. If Romney
wins in Georgia, the race is over.

Gingrich needs to portray Romney as a “flip-flopper”,
and use his recent gaffes in his political ads.in
Georgia.. Romney has as much baggage as Newt,
if not more.

RIGHTISWRONG

February 7th, 2012
9:28 am

None of this matters.

OBAMA 2012, let’s keep going in the correct direction.

findog

February 7th, 2012
9:31 am

Georgia is not Newt’s home state. That would be Virginia. He has not lived here since leaving congress, which was the only reason he lived in Cobb County. I therefore will not be voting for that malicious slanderer Mitt Romney for sullying our great state. I will instead be voting for the last remaining true conservative Rick from PA.

Johnny Leroy

February 7th, 2012
9:40 am

Who really wants a person as president who spends millions digging up dirt on his opponent.
Romney needs to back up and tell us what he is going to do to defeat Obama and bring our county back economically and as One Nation Under God.
Enough of the dirty politics.

td

February 7th, 2012
9:41 am

Double Zero Eight

February 7th, 2012
9:28 am

This race is already over. Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee. I will be voting for Newt in Georgia and Newt maybe will win Georgia but Mitt will be the nominee because he has more money, is better organized and has the support of the Republican establishment.

Arturo Ho

February 7th, 2012
9:41 am

Obama must go, my vote for this socialist was a huge mistake. He has ceased enforceing immigration laws, but the AJC is happy to leave that story out. Gingrich is loudly both crazy and anti-Capitalist – and an amnesty man, and would help the Dems get millions of new voters while putting the finishing touches on Mexicanizing the USA. The Capitalist, immigration enforcement choice is Romney, So be it.

We must get Obama out!

Johnny Leroy

February 7th, 2012
9:44 am

When Soros says he can live with Romney as easily as Obama you had better do a lot of soul searching before voting for Mitt. You may get another pig in a poke.

Centrist

February 7th, 2012
9:45 am

Since Romney is going to be the GOP nominee, it only makes sense for politicians to get on board if they want any future goodies. It simply does not matter if Gingrich gets enough Democrats to vote for him in the GOP primary in Georgia to win – Romney is way too far ahead to for it to matter. Gingrich and Democrats trying the flip-flop issue about Romney on any and all subjects is not sticking – it only matters to his potential voters where he is now.

Mr. Jim Galloway just won’t give up on his hopes to socialize the Hope scholarship. He knows it isn’t going to happen, but campaigns for it anyway.

PMC

February 7th, 2012
9:45 am

Would love to see a few canidates who don’t get 800 dollar haircuts for once.

Is there anyone who isn’t smarmy who wants to be president?

Does Obama think we forgot?

February 7th, 2012
9:46 am

Do not forget what Obama has done to us. Forced us to swallow a Health Care Plan that we screamed we didn’t want, threw Israel under the bus when the majority of the country wants to support them, gaffes in Libya, Egypt. He still hasn’t shut down the border.

Look at our debt and unemployment. All he seems to do is say it’s Bush’s fault. Give us a break.

Michael

February 7th, 2012
9:47 am

Newt is from Pennsylvania. Born and raised. He went to Emory, though, and stuck around.

Justin

February 7th, 2012
9:48 am

@ RIGHTISWRONG

February 7th, 2012
9:28 am

HERE! HERE!

OBAMA 2012!!!

td

February 7th, 2012
9:49 am

Johnny Leroy

February 7th, 2012
9:44 am

Do you think it is possible that Soros made that statement to make conservatives discouraged and to one keep the fighting up to split the Republican party and to get a few to stay home in November? I will vote for Newt but Romney will win the nomination. It is time for conservatives to start coming together and seeing the real enemy to freedom and capitalism.

findog

February 7th, 2012
9:50 am

Mr. Ho, so you would vote for Obama lite? What a plan!

UGA 1999

February 7th, 2012
9:51 am

Looks like Mitt is going to be the nominee. Now the question is, who will be the VP. I am thinking Christie.

td

February 7th, 2012
9:54 am

Centrist

February 7th, 2012
9:45 am

” Romney is way too far ahead to for it to matter”

I agree that Romney is going to be the nominee but it is not because he has to many delegates at this point in time and can not be caught. There has only been 5% of the delegates handed out to this point and will only be 10% after Super Tuesday.

Romney will win because he is better organized, has more money and the Republican establishment is behind him.

findog

February 7th, 2012
9:55 am

Centrist,
Don’t try to blame democrats for a Newt win; the 20th Century democrats that are now the ruling republicans now, but not the moderates that are trying to change the party from within. If we, they, I were going to vote for anyone it would be: Paul, then Romney, then just for beer sales on Sunday…

td

February 7th, 2012
9:59 am

UGA 1999

February 7th, 2012
9:51 am

Looks like Mitt is going to be the nominee. Now the question is, who will be the VP. I am thinking Christie.

Christie brings no advantage to the ticket. Rubio is a better choice for ensuring Florida and getting the Hispanic vote. I would love to see Allan West as the VP. He is a hard core African American conservative, ex military and does not hold any punches. It would absolutely drive Dems crazy.

honested

February 7th, 2012
10:00 am

All this pandering to whoever is the second place candidate in November.

Who cares?

GA will peg it’s hopes on Novembers loser and barrel straight ahead over the cliff that is the ‘conservative mirage’.

After 8 years of lunatic policies, one can’t help but wonder, when will the republicans do anything that improves GA’s economy, employment, education policy or standing in the Nation?

UGA 1999

February 7th, 2012
10:00 am

td….I agree with you but Rubio has said he does not want it.

Old Hippie

February 7th, 2012
10:01 am

Arturo Ho – the Obama administration has deported more illegals this past year than Bush did in four years. Get your facts straight.

Gingrich is toast, and it was his GOP buddy who burned him.

td

February 7th, 2012
10:05 am

Old Hippie

February 7th, 2012
10:01 am

Arturo Ho – the Obama administration has deported more illegals this past year than Bush did in four years. Get your facts straight.

More spin by the Obama WH. If you look closely at the numbers you will find that a great deal of the “deportations” are people that have chose to voluntarily leave the country because the economy is so bad.

DannyX

February 7th, 2012
10:06 am

“Romney is way too far ahead to for it to matter. Gingrich and Democrats trying the flip-flop issue about Romney on any and all subjects is not sticking”

It may not be sticking with Republicans but it sure is with independent voters. Gingrich has helped lead independents back to Obama. Obama has opened up a sizable lead in a match up against Romney. Gingrich has helped Obama immensely. Romney is looking unelectable.

[...] Article from http://blogs.ajc.com/political-insider-jim-galloway/2012/02/07/your-morning-jolt-mitt-romney-hits-ne…Your morning jolt: Mitt Romney to highlight Newt Gingrich defector in Ga. – Atlanta Journal [...]

td

February 7th, 2012
10:08 am

honested

February 7th, 2012
10:00 am

Gas prices are heading towards $4 per gallon and if they are there next Oct then Obama will lose 40 states and all those environmental wacos like you will be the ones to blame. Although I know you will deny it.

Tom

February 7th, 2012
10:09 am

Agree that Mitt is going to be the eventual nominee, for pretty much the reasons already stated above.

I will vote for Mitt in November, just as I would have done for Newt or Ron. Santorum?…..I’d probably stay home. There are some things a person just can’t rationalize.

Tommy Gunn

February 7th, 2012
10:09 am

First, I too will vote for Newt, but I do believe Romney will be the nominee. That being said, as painful as it maybe, I along the millions of of other ReganRepublicans (which by the way is nothing more than “true” old time Democrats) will be forced to vote Obama. i will take the devil I know anytime, for I can no one but the wealthy benefittng from a Romney presidency. there is the shame, instead of electing who is right, we often choose who will ‘benefit’.
I will also agree with Mr.Carter’s grandson, Gov. Deal is making big noise about a program to help 12 kids to divert attention form debate on HOPE and imposing a income qualifier. His comment that the wealthy would then be denied says VOLUMES as to where the problems lie, and to where this will end. The wealthy will go one way or another, the HOPE only means to they drive an Explorer or an Expetion. The poor who will miss out will lead to higher dropout rates in high school, a less educated population and more social ills. But then again, when has doing whats right mattered to politicians?

UGA 1999

February 7th, 2012
10:10 am

Tom…I actually liked Santorum but he didnt have the money or recognition to surpass Romney or Newt.

David H

February 7th, 2012
10:10 am

I loved “rightiswrong”’s comment, about Obama leading us in the right direction. Sure, if you are a welfare recipient. Obama’s economic policies have lost 2 million jobs in real terms since 2009, and housing starts were the lowest in history last year (which means builders/construction workers weren’t, and people WITH jobs couldn’t afford to buy a house. Of course, all of this is well beyond rightiswrong’s level of intelligence.) Be that as it may, if there were a button I could push that would make Newt President, I would push it. It is not going to happen. Romney is a good man and a proven, capable leader. He is not my first choice, but I am voting for him because he can defeat the worst President in American history, bar none. The time has come to stop speaking ill of Newt, start discussing IN DETAIL just what you, Romney, will be doing in your first 100 days in office, and the direction you wish to take over the subsequent 4 years. Romney needs Newt on his side, along with all of the other prior contenders.There is nothing more important to all Americans, welfare recipients included, than getting this Marxist who is destroying the economic base of the United States, OUT of office. We Tea Party people (or Tea Baggers, as the foul mouths like to call us) will take care of the House and the Senate in November. We can temporarily compromise on the White House occupant (if it even turns out to be a compromise) in the end.

UGA 1999

February 7th, 2012
10:11 am

Surprise Surprise….Obama now backs Super PACS!

td

February 7th, 2012
10:11 am

DannyX

February 7th, 2012
10:06 am

Early poll numbers mean nothing at this point in a Presidential race. In 1979 Carter was up by 17 points on Reagan.

If you want to look for a poll number then watch the gas prices. The closer they get to $4 per gallon the closer the more unlikely Obama gets re elected.

Centrist

February 7th, 2012
10:12 am

@ td – I don’t mean Romney’s current DELEGATES, but his insurmountable polling leads with voters. I understand you like some of Gingrich’s stances, speeches, statistical recall, debating skills, etc. I just have a hard time understanding how you can get past his ethics, personality, past behavior, and scorched earth campaigning. The sooner his supporters defect, the less damage he will be able to inflict.

@ findog – Since Georgia has an open primary and there is no Democrat opposition, Democrat voters like yourself will mostly vote for Paul or Gingrich to cause mischief. It is a known fact, and along with Gingrich having been a long time Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House from Georgia – the GA primary results will be as meaningless as Virginia where Gingrich is not on the ballot. Those who aren’t partisans could watch Ohio on the same day if to see an example on how most of the country is picking the GOP candidate.

Tommy Gunn

February 7th, 2012
10:12 am

Sorry a few typos in earlier post, in the sick bed today did not proof first!

honested

February 7th, 2012
10:14 am

td

‘Gas prices are headed towards 4.00 a gallon’.

Another classic ‘free market fail’. Driving is down, gasoline inventories are up, oil prices are down, yet somehow that magic of ’supply and demand’ ain’t working.
What is the imaginary bogeyman today? We spent last spring watching oil prices rise because of some imaginary supply disruption of the oil we don’t buy from Libya.

Luckily, much of the population has come to understand that gasoline prices are another ‘1%Game’ and they are probably smart enough to NOT blame the President for that.

Any other fantasies this morning?

jconservative

February 7th, 2012
10:15 am

“When Soros says he can live with Romney as easily as Obama you had better do a lot of soul searching before voting for Mitt.”

This the same Soros who paid Newt to make the pro global warming ad with Nancy Pelosi?

Newt looked so warm and fuzzy in that ad, finally able to snuggle up to someone famous.

UGA 1999

February 7th, 2012
10:15 am

honested….Yep and Obama killed the Keystone pipeline. He should be doing everything possible to help lower gas prices. Remember he said that we should be paying $5 per gallon.

Obama – FAILED

td

February 7th, 2012
10:19 am

Centrist

February 7th, 2012
10:12 am

I will agree that his scorched earth methods of late towards fellow Republicans are starting to make me a little sick. The ethics stuff about the house investigations is spin and was democratic payback for Jim Wright. I am also a realist. The is not a politician in office (either side) nor a corporate leader that is not ethically challenged. One can not rise to any level of power today without having cut corners and walking over others.

honested

February 7th, 2012
10:24 am

jconservative

You are already harping on Soros.
It’s too early to Drink, so how about ‘Drink Credit’!

Lynn43

February 7th, 2012
10:24 am

Our state is in such a mess that I can’t see past it to the national level. The governor’s latest scholarship deal is not a “deal” in the long run for students or the school systems involved. As private funds dry up and the governors involvement in it discontinues, school systems will be obligated to do extensive private fund raising as, by law, tax monies cannot be used to fund it. Please look at the fine print, and let the people know that this is not a good thing, but just a political move on the part of the governor.

[...] Article from http://blogs.ajc.com/political-insider-jim-galloway/2012/02/07/your-morning-jolt-mitt-romney-hits-ne...   If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing [...]

honested

February 7th, 2012
10:26 am

uga

Let’s go over it again.
Keystone was a scam to bring liquid bitumen to the bogus ‘free trade’ zone in east Texas so it could be converted into Diesel Fuel for immediate shipment to China.
No petroleum products for consumption in the US would have been involved in the whole pointless project.
Ask your favorite am rant radio host about that.

Billy

February 7th, 2012
10:26 am

We ought to know about both side’s plans. If I have to look up some 1000 page position paper, then you don’t have a focused enough message. Cain was famous for the 9-9-9 plan, even though he himself was not a serious candidate. It’s time for the candidates to hone down their message and tell us what they will do. Deficits, employment, dangerous world, energy; believe me, there’s plenty of problems out there. Where would you start, what would you do? We already know what the current occupant will do–campaign for another four years, even though he’s term limited. Enough of that BS–let’s get back to common sense and away from ultra leftist fantasy football…

td

February 7th, 2012
10:26 am

honested

February 7th, 2012
10:14 am

What you are saying about prices may be partially true but it does not matter. Obama will get the blame and I can see the commercials now from the Republican Superpacs. Just like Bush got blamed for Katrina and all the suffering in NO and no blame was laid on Mr. “Chocolate city” man that forced opened the super dome instead of evacuating the city and the Dem Governor that did not activate the national guard when the Feds begged her to.

The “independent voters” that will decide the election are White suburban middleclass married women with children. They are not going to like having to pay over a $100 to fill up their SUV’s and they will blame Obama for it.

Don Abernethy

February 7th, 2012
10:27 am

If this guy wants to join the Democrats (namely Romney) we don’t need him in the conservative Republican camp.

honested

February 7th, 2012
10:29 am

td

‘Partially true’?
Oil has retreated 6.00 a barrel since the artificial ‘peak’ two weeks ago, yet gas prices are up.
The system is rigged.
Don’t you think exposing they who pull the strings on such ‘markets’ will also make some nice ‘citizens united funded’ commercials?

UGA 1999

February 7th, 2012
10:31 am

honested….I know two people that would have worked on the Keystone project. Your claim is 100% false. Speculation brother, speculation.

Taylor Wooten

February 7th, 2012
10:32 am

How about some “mentions” of all the Obama goings on/self serving “directives” and political paybacks.

Holler at me…. if you need some guidance on where to look

honested

February 7th, 2012
10:32 am

uga

Your educational deficiencies are showing.
Tell me then, o wise sage, just what the Keystone plan really was?
Hint, it was a very detailed and public plan.

DannyX

February 7th, 2012
10:33 am

“They are not going to like having to pay over a $100 to fill up their SUV’s and they will blame Obama for it.”

If the economy keeps improving Obama wins easily. It is funny to see Republicans cheering on higher gas prices though, it’s really the only thing they have left. Their candidate is a dud.