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

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126 comments Add your comment

UGA 1999

February 7th, 2012
12:42 pm

honested….hmmmm lets see.

8.4% unemployment (true unemployment around 10%)
25% unemployment for returning military.
Increasing Healthcare costs.
$4 gas

Yep I would say Obama is doing a fine job! haha

UGA 1999

February 7th, 2012
12:42 pm

Oh lets not forget that $15 TRILLION number.

Look before I leap...

February 7th, 2012
12:44 pm

This was poorly worded:

“Based on the above, there is no corollary between gas price trends and the election results for an incumbent. Indeed, more recent history indicates that the opposite is true”

I should have said:
Based on the above, there is no corollary between UPWARD gas price trends and the election results for an incumbent BEING UNFAVORABLE. Indeed, more recent history indicates that the opposite is true

honested

February 7th, 2012
12:44 pm

Look….

But you have to take into account, they’ve got nothing, so they have to make up an imaginary gas price impediment.
Of course, it is up to the American Public to take a look at which individuals and companies are involved in FIXING gas prices. Then hold THOSE individuals and companies responsible.

Buy a fuel efficient vehicle and let them sit on their gas!

honested

February 7th, 2012
12:46 pm

uga,

Nice try.

Now factor in:
Deferred costs for the Iraqi war of choice.
Stranded costs for the Afghan fiasco.
Reversal of the average monthly job loss consistent from 2005-2008.

Yeah, I think in comparison to the dark days of 2001-2008, things are coming up roses.

Random Reader

February 7th, 2012
12:47 pm

UGA…That number is 8.3…but its just like the you to get is wrong….. Just like A Republican was in office when the Towers were hit, and When the housing bubble started to burst, and when the finacial sector started to crash….But you will find a way to throw it off on the Dems…. ” Good Job Brownie”…Yeah right….

honested

February 7th, 2012
12:47 pm

uga

That ‘Athens math’ thing is getting to you.
The only place where there is a ‘15 trillion’ number is on talk radio.

DannyX

February 7th, 2012
12:50 pm

Wow UGA you can’t get any facts right.

LMAO at your Clinton Iraq war story.

Look before I leap...

February 7th, 2012
1:11 pm

honested

February 7th, 2012
12:44 pm

Look….

But you have to take into account, they’ve got nothing, so they have to make up an imaginary gas price impediment.

Just trying the conversation focused on something that has relevance.
td has been throwing the $4/gallon meadow muffin out for weeks and it was getting tiresome.

double

February 7th, 2012
1:14 pm

Why care about the poor when they don’t care.Sounds like Mittmormex.The same old republican view of the NO party.

UGA 1999

February 7th, 2012
1:36 pm

Honested…the job numbers have NOT gotten better they have gotten worse.

UGA 1999

February 7th, 2012
1:36 pm

Random…the number is not 8.3, it is closer to 10%.

findog

February 7th, 2012
1:37 pm

Centrist,
One more time:
Don’t try to blame democrats for a Newt win.
We vote for safety not mischief like Rush would support
If we were going to vote for anyone it would be:
Paul – no new wars
Then Romney – moderate from MA
Then just for beer sales on Sunday…
Ok, don’t try to blame Newt on us!

Mark

February 7th, 2012
1:41 pm

Look before I leap…

February 7th, 2012
1:11 pm

honested

February 7th, 2012
12:44 pm

Look….

But you have to take into account, they’ve got nothing, so they have to make up an imaginary gas price impediment.

Just trying the conversation focused on something that has relevance.
td has been throwing the $4/gallon meadow muffin out for weeks and it was getting tiresome.

td and UGA 1999 having been trying to hype the gas issue. Well it didn’t work against Bush just like it will have no effect at all on the President. Sensible Americans realize that the current President has nothing to do with the price of oil and gas; however Republicans are desperate now so they are going to be throwing what ever they think will stick. I love it!

Random Reader

February 7th, 2012
1:42 pm

UGA…please show us anything officail that says the number is 10… And that paper that came out of Hannity’s A** is does not count!!!!

UGA 1999

February 7th, 2012
1:43 pm

Random…What is “officail”??

findog

February 7th, 2012
1:47 pm

UGA,
Brother Rush told you to not believe any reports from the Federal Government; I don’t think he said to make up your own, but then I didn’t catch today’s show

UGA 1999

February 7th, 2012
1:54 pm

UGA 1999

February 7th, 2012
1:54 pm

findog….nice try.

Look before I leap...

February 7th, 2012
2:00 pm

findog

February 7th, 2012
1:47 pm

UGA,
Brother Rush told you to not believe any reports from the Federal Government;

No, what Rush said was, government reporting that favors Democrats are false, reporting that favors the GOP = GOSPEL.

UGA 1999

February 7th, 2012
2:08 pm

So actually TRUE unemployment is not at 10% it is more like 11.3%

findog

February 7th, 2012
2:28 pm

True is what you believe.
Many republicans believe that President Reagan cut taxes, increased defense spending, and did not add to the national debt.
Some people believe that sex must include vaginal penetration because of President Clinton.
Some people believed that Newt was really going to complete everything in the contract with America and not just try.
So, UGA to your point get an accountant and tell him what you want the number to be like W’s Kenny Boy at Enron.

UGA 1999

February 7th, 2012
2:31 pm

finedog….it is not about what I believe. IT is about facts. I posted them now you have to live with them.

Kimmo

February 7th, 2012
2:34 pm

I think it’s time for Mitt to play the Mormon card… he’ll never get over the hump if he keeps hiding his religion…

http://mankabros.com/blogs/chairman/2012/02/07/mitt-romney-its-time-to-play-the-mormon-card/

UGA 1999

February 7th, 2012
2:39 pm

kimmo….I dont think Mitt has ever hidden his religion.

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