It worked last year for the Sunday sale of alcohol. Maybe the local-vote option will work for those who want to see lottery-driven gaming machines in Georgia. From the Savannah Morning News:
Hoping to overcome Gov. Nathan Deal’s objections, state Rep. Ron Stephens is tweaking his plan to add video games to Georgia’s lottery.
The Savannah Republican’s goal: A politically acceptable way to bail out the state’s ever-more-financially strapped HOPE scholarship program.
His new wrinkle is to let the state allow lottery video games in communities where the governing bodies seek them.
As an incentive, Stephens says local governments could negotiate a piece of the proceeds.
On the presidential front, Newt Gingrich ran away to join the circus on Tuesday. Or something close to it. From the Associated Press:
For all the big ideas, Gingrich’s campaign still has something of an improvisational feel. He ventured to the San Diego Zoo on Tuesday without bringing or notifying the reporters assigned to cover him. He visited the elephant exhibit and fed a panda, with only a handful of local press — alerted by the zoo, not the campaign — on hand to record the visit.
Gingrich also knocked the surging Rick Santorum, who suggested last week that women should not serve in military combat.
“I just think Rick completely misunderstands the nature of modern warfare,” Gingrich said. “The fact is if you are serving in uniform in Iraq or Afghanistan … you’re in combat, whatever your technical assignment.”
Gingrich has come a long way since the 1990s, when he offered up trench warfare as a reason that women were hygienically unfit for combat.
Matt Towery of InsiderAdvantage, during an interview with Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM), on the limits of Newt Gingrich’s appeal as a favorite-son candidate in Georgia: “Basically, anyone under the age of 45 doesn’t know a whole lot about his speakership.”
In 1988 and 1990, Democrat David Worley ran against U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich – and came within a few hundred votes of defeating him on the second try. Worely has donated his papers to Georgia State University. They include an opposition research file on Gingrich.
Buzzfeed recently hired someone to peruse them, and offers a few samples here. Our favorite: A 1982 Gingrich letter to congressional colleagues proposing a Space Caucus to preserve federal funding for inter-planetary exploration – lest the Soviets get an upper hand.
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at the claim by Restore Our Future, the Mitt Romney-affiliated super PAC, that Newt Gingrich “co-sponsored a bill with Nancy Pelosi that would have given $60 million a year to a U.N. program supporting China’s brutal one-child policy.”
The city of Rome has decided to follow the example of St. Lous and host its own welcome home party for veterans of the Iraq war on June 16. From the News-Tribune:
“St. Louis put their parade together in a month with just two guys, but we’re doing a lot more than that,” said organizer Linda Liles, Congressman Phil Gingrey’s constituent services representative in Rome.
The day-long event will kick off with a massive parade winding its way from the Coosa Valley Fairgrounds, down Broad Street, to wind up at Barron Stadium.
Perhaps the most sobering news of the day comes from the Associated Press:
Georgia lawmakers have plenty of leeway over how to use a significant chunk of the $815 million the state’s receiving as part of the massive national settlement over mortgage abuses.
The settlement, part of a $25 billion landmark settlement reached by 49 attorneys general, includes millions of dollars to help some struggling homeowners refinance their homes and pay down their debt. But it also includes a payment of $104 million that goes directly to the state with no strings attached.
The settlement’s drafters want the funds to be used to reduce preventable foreclosures and bolster law enforcement efforts to prevent and prosecute financial fraud. That could include more legal assistance, anti-blight projects and funding for training teams that target financial fraudsters, according to the deal.
But there’s no legal requirement that the funds be spent for any particular purpose, and Georgia law lets state legislators determine how it’s doled out.
Attorney General Sam Olens said he drafted a letter to legislators stressing that the funds should be used to buffer the effects of the foreclosure crisis, but said he has little say in where the money will go.
“It’s up to the Legislature,” he said.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider