If Wednesday’s House vote on charter schools was intended to smoke out the opposition, consider it done. Supporters of the proposed constitutional amendment fell 10 votes short of the 120 needed for a two-thirds majority.
At the Georgia Report, Tom Crawford identified the defectors in an otherwise partisan affair:
[S]even Democrats voted with most of the GOP majority for HR 1162: Alisha Thomas Morgan, Rahn Mayo, Margaret Kaiser, Stacey Evans, Sheila Jones, Karla Drenner, and Ralph Long….
There were some defectors in the Republican ranks as well.
Lawmakers from rural districts, where it’s a struggle to keep public schools in operation, consider charter schools to be a metro Atlanta issue and are concerned that HR 1162 would harm their local schools.
There were nine Republicans from outside metro Atlanta who voted against HR 1162: Tommy Benton, Ben Harbin, Mark Hatfield, Susan Holmes, Tony McBrayer, Tom McCall, Ed Rynders, Kip Smith, and Jason Spencer.
Republicans Jason Shaw and Willie Talton were excused from the vote, but those non-votes had the same impact on HR 1162 as two no votes. Another Republican, Andy Welch, attended Wednesday’s House session but did not cast a vote – which is the same as a no vote where a constitutional amendment is concerned.
If any of the above lawmakers are spotted with an arm in a sling today, you’ll know why.
According to today’s Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, University of Georgia president Michael Adams told the UGA athletic board on Wednesday that he expects a four- or even eight-team football playoff system to be in place by 2014.
Last year, former Gov. Sonny Perdue was a national co-chairman for Newt Gingrich’s presidential run. Perdue dropped his support for the former House speaker last spring when top campaign aides and consultants walked out on the former U.S. House speaker. Now Perdue is just an informal designer of expectations for the Gingrich campaign:
“I think if he wants to continue he has got to win Georgia,” former Gov. Sonny Perdue told The Associated Press. “And I think he must win fairly decisively.”
You think only Republicans get to play in presidential politics in Georgia? Not hardly. The campaign to re-elect President Barack Obama on Wednesday quietly reminded reporters that Pete Petit, one of the members of the host committee for the Mitt Romney fundraiser in Atlanta, was the subject of a civil complaint from the Securities and Exchange Commission, for allegedly passing insider information to a friend in 2007.
Petit denies the allegations.
The National Republican Congressional Committee on Wednesday announced that three Republican candidates out to challenge U.S. Rep. John Barrow in east Georgia – Rick Allen, Lee Anderson and Wright McLeod — had earned its “on the radar” ranking by meeting a series of organizational and fundraising goals.
Missing from the list: Maria Sheffield, the former candidate for state insurance commissioner, who has moved into the 12th District from Cobb County for the contest.
One of the many reasons that so little legislation has been introduced in the General Assembly this year has been the turmoil in the state Senate. Sponsors are fearful that their bills will become pawns in the tug-of-war between Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams, R-Lyons. We may have a case in point:
This week, a bipartisan crowd of senators introduced SB 401, legislation designed to encourage private investment in solar power and other sources of renewable energy. The lead sponsor is Buddy Carter, R-Pooler. Ronnie Chance, R-Tyrone, the governor’s floor leader, has the No. 2 position. Two Democrats have also signed on: Jason Carter of Decatur, and Doug Stoner of Smyrna.
But so have Williams and Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock.
Ordinarily, the proper committee for the bill would have been the Senate committee on regulated industries, chaired by David Shafer, R-Duluth, who is a member of the ruling Committee on Assignments that performs many of the duties that once were the property of the lieutenant governor.
This week, Cagle assigned SB 401 to the Senate Natural Resources Committee chaired by Ross Tolleson, R-Perry. Backers of the bill are assuming that the unusual path is a sign that the measure has become a bargaining chip in a game they can’t see.
Ben Fry, spokesman for Cagle, said any worries about the bill’s situation are unfounded. “Ross Tolleson is the chamber’s leading expert on the environment and renewable energy,” Fry said.
Charlie Harper has more details on SB 401 over at Peach Pundit.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider