Your morning jolt: House Dems signal an ‘OK’ on charter school vote

House Democratic leaders at the state Capitol cut loose their caucus members this morning, declaring lawmakers should vote their districts when it comes to HR 1162, the proposed constitutional amendment to allow the state to create charter schools over the objections of local school systems.

Early this month, a House vote on the constitutional amendment fell 10 votes shy of the required two-thirds majority to approve it.

Caucus Chairman Brian Thomas of Lilburn, cited Democratic changes to the legislation accepted by the measure’s primary sponsor, Speaker pro tem Jan Jones, R-Milton. From the press release:

“The House Democratic caucus fought to protect local control, and the new concessions are a step in the right direction. We negotiated to improve a fatally flawed bill that stripped funds from local schools and given a blank slate to political appointees creating new schools. Our caucus sought to protect local funds and local control, and we are pleased that this negotiation was prevailed.”

But House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams of Atlanta indicated she’ll remain a “no” vote:

“A substantial number of legislators continue to object to the unnecessary expansion of state authority, while we fail to meet our basic obligations in education. My personal belief is that a constitutional amendment is ill-advised and an over-reach of government. However, with the protections Democrats secured, this is now a local issue, where legislators should vote as their constituents demand. The Senate will continue to vet HR 1162 and make additional improvements.”

***
Tonight marks what’s likely to be the season finale of “House-husbands of Tampa Bay,” that long-running series of GOP presidential debates. But renewing the series remains a possibility, and so the storyline will end with an Arizona cliff-hanger.

Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul will gather at 8 p.m. tonight on CNN. The focus won’t be on Gingrich this time, but the pressure to perform will be. From the New York Times:

Mr. Gingrich, more than any other candidate, has seen his fortunes ebb and flow with debates, and there is a consensus in his team that his big loss in Florida’s Republican presidential primary last month was in no small part because of debates in which he strained to look above the fray. According to one top aide, Mr. Gingrich’s two daughters had advised him to strike a presidential pose, but that was not the Newt Gingrich voters craved.

“To some extent,” said Bob Walker, another top adviser, “we didn’t let Newt be Newt in those debates.”

***
A CNN/Time magazine poll released this morning declares Arizona to be a toss-up. From the Swampland:

Romney is backed by 36% of likely Republican voters in the state, a slight edge over Santorum’s 32% in the winner-take-all scramble for the state’s 29 convention delegates. Newt Gingrich lags in third with 18%, while Ron Paul nabs 6%. The survey, conducted Feb. 17–20, has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points….

Romney has cobbled together a coalition that includes female voters, urbanites and more moderate and educated Arizonans. He leads Santorum among women (38% to 33%), white collar Republicans (39% to 32%), college graduates (38% to 31%), voters who are neutral toward or oppose the Tea Party movement (42% to 27%) and those who make under $50,000 (36% to 28%)….

Santorum’s lone significant demographic advantage is among born-again Christians, with whom he leads Romney 37% to 28%.

***
Down in the polls, and reduced to circling the wagons around Georgia and Tennessee, Newt Gingrich is trying something different: A 30-minute address aired “in key cities between now and Super Tuesday,” aimed at voters worried about gasoline prices, according to Politico.com. Here’s the video, if you have the time, and the transcript if you don’t:

***
Charles Edwards of WABE (90.1FM) reports that Gov. Nathan Deal is already mulling over whether he might freeze an automatic increase in the state’s gasoline tax, which can be triggered by higher prices:

“The last time we froze the tax and avoided the increase on the state level,” said Deal. “We are in discussions right now as to whether or not that would be appropriate to do again.”

Deal froze the tax last summer costing the state $40 million dollars. The Governor told reporters today he doesn’t know how much it would cost the state this time.

Don’t look for this to happen any time soon. The windows for taking such action are at the beginning of the state’s fiscal year (July 1) or its midpoint (Jan. 1). Or if the price of gasoline rises more than 25 percent within a three-week period. So far increases have been more gradual than that.

***
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has created this video pitch for the March 6 vote to continue a sales tax for sewer repairs:

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

162 comments Add your comment

liberalefty

February 22nd, 2012
9:44 am

whichever candidate calls OBAMA the “N” word will win the debate…

Mary Margaret

February 22nd, 2012
9:45 am

The “Father of Lies” has convinced me to call in sick to work this a.m.

td

February 22nd, 2012
9:50 am

This is all anyone that works hard to invest for their own retirement needs to know about Obama and what he really believes:

“Mr. Obama is proposing to raise the dividend tax rate to the higher personal income tax rate of 39.6% that will kick in next year. Add in the planned phase-out of deductions and exemptions, and the rate hits 41%. Then add the 3.8% investment tax surcharge in ObamaCare, and the new dividend tax rate in 2013 would be 44.8%—nearly three times today’s 15% rate. ”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204880404577225493025537660.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories

Centrist

February 22nd, 2012
9:50 am

This blog is FINALLY acknowledging that Gingrich’s campaign results are on life support. Also, now that there will not be a debate in Atlanta, the debates are mocked here as “ ‘House-husbands of Tampa Bay,’ that long-running series of GOP presidential debates.” Only last week a Georgia debate was being hyped.

Perspective bias or as some people call it – “spin” can make a lot of folks look like pretzels.

liberalefty

February 22nd, 2012
9:56 am

td

wow another “unbiased” critique from you…..must be nice to sit around collecting a check and complaining about the government all day

clyde

February 22nd, 2012
9:59 am

30 minutes of Gingrich or beating myself on the thumb with a hammer???Hmmm;which to choose????

Raquel Morris

February 22nd, 2012
10:01 am

Good call by the House Democratic Caucus. Parents and children do not have time to wait on education reform. There is no demand for public charter schools where the neighborhood public schools are working.

The General

February 22nd, 2012
10:02 am

@ leberalefty–While I usually don’t agree with td, please tell me where he is incorrect in his quotation of the WSJ?

The General

February 22nd, 2012
10:03 am

Sorry, meant liberalefty

liberalefty

February 22nd, 2012
10:10 am

@the general

everything td says is a lie..once he claimed to know some men who said they slept with OBAMA…hes just a rightwing nut job…

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
10:12 am

Finally Dems are starting to come around regarding Charter Schools. Maybe they will start using common sense on the other issues.

liberalefty

February 22nd, 2012
10:12 am

the repubs will mess up a wet dream..

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
10:12 am

The General….Don’t entertain liberlefty, he is not worth our time.

Hazel

February 22nd, 2012
10:13 am

From Wonkette:

Dow Soars 62% Since Obama Took Office; Do Stocks Have Liberal Bias?

The Dow is up 62% since Obama took office. Imagine how high it would be if Obama weren’t a Kenyan Muslim socialist communist Nazi deliberately trying to destroy America and capitalism.

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
10:13 am

wet dream…..Is that what happened to Monica’s dress?

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
10:14 am

Hazel….It is HILARIOUS that the dems now want to brag about Wall Street….So are you for OWS or not???

Dow soars…….unemployment skyrockets and gas prices are near $4 gallon. Tell me which affects you most?

Hazel

February 22nd, 2012
10:15 am

BTW, the WSJ piece is in the Opinion section, not the factual news. And we know about opinions. . .

liberalefty

February 22nd, 2012
10:16 am

uga

now u mad because the DOW hit 13000….lol..thank god DUMB DUBYA is gone…

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
10:17 am

Liberalefty….NOPE thank god for the 1% that operate businesses and Wall Street…Great job fellas.

liberalefty

February 22nd, 2012
10:18 am

@MARK

yeah hes on here 24 hours a day, must not have a job..lol

liberalefty

February 22nd, 2012
10:18 am

uga

but youre not in the 1%…lol…

td

February 22nd, 2012
10:20 am

Hazel

February 22nd, 2012
10:15 am

So we should not believe all these opinion pieces here on Jim’s blog because they are all lies about how great Obama is.

change we can only hope for

February 22nd, 2012
10:25 am

I guess that David Morgan (Cobb Board of Education, paid lobbyist for charter schools) is worth the money he’s paid, of course being married to the Dem co-sponsor of the bill that will financially benefit their family doesn’t hurt.

liberalefty

February 22nd, 2012
10:34 am

TD
i knew u couldnt resist telling that lie again..just like u lie about owning a business yet youre o these blogs all day ranting and raving at JIM…if they were halfway credible then the rightwingers would be having a field day with this…but just like the birthers they cant find anything on this president…and if they were lying on HERMAN he would still be campaigning instead of being the entertainment for the GOP …he dropped out because more was gonna come ..come out about his affairs with white women…i know u hate the truth..

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
10:35 am

This is hilarious.

liberalefty

February 22nd, 2012
10:37 am

i’m UGA i get my manhood from

liberalefty

February 22nd, 2012
10:38 am

I’M uga i get my manhood from the GEORIA BULLDOGS..lol..youre a joke

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
10:38 am

Liberal….Do you ever discuss the issues or do you just try to come up with as many 3rd grade conversations as possible?

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
10:39 am

liberalefty…..What is “Georia”?

liberalefty

February 22nd, 2012
10:40 am

GM’S made record profits and the repubs are mad that the bailouts worked…OSAMAS dead {repubs mad about that too..they wanted OBAMA to look weak like DUBYA

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
10:40 am

Liberalefty….YOU RETARD…..Bush bailed out the auto industry……HAHAHA

liberalefty

February 22nd, 2012
10:41 am

UGA

discussing issues with a bunch of racist liars is a waste of time…

liberalefty

February 22nd, 2012
10:44 am

UGA

every repub wanted no bailout…arent u glad OBAMA didnt listen to them or to the angry rightwing radio shock jocks..all the repubs said to let gm fail…hahaha

td

February 22nd, 2012
10:45 am

liberalefty

February 22nd, 2012
10:34 am

Does you boss know you are on the back of the truck blogging all day when you should be picking up those trash cans? You are a prime example of why the taxpayers in the ATL are paying such high taxes.

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
10:46 am

Liberalefty….You are the one that says racist remarks. SO who is the racist here?

liberalefty

February 22nd, 2012
10:46 am

all THE REPUB CANDIDATES WANTED OBAMA NOT TO GIVE OUT THE BAILOUTS…hows that working fer ya…lolo.ol

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
10:46 am

td…..Isnt it funny that he thinks Obama bailed out the auto industry…..This is great!

IGNORANCE 101

liberalefty

February 22nd, 2012
10:48 am

td

sorry but i peeped your game..youre an angry ole dude who seems to be mad that youre a failure so u blame OBAMA,AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, HISPANICS,ILLEGALS,homosexualsetc for your shortcomings..lol

Mary Margaret

February 22nd, 2012
10:49 am

Can’t wait for the debate tonight: Santorum will wear his hairshirt, Mitt will be sporting his starched magic undies, Gingrich will wench up his girdle, and Paul will try to capture the birds floating around in his head. Should be great entertainment.

liberalefty

February 22nd, 2012
10:49 am

uga

why did the repubs want OBAMA to let gm and chryler go bankrupt???????/

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
10:52 am

Leftyliberal….I want to see you write it. Who bailed out General Motors?

The Kingfish

February 22nd, 2012
10:53 am

First, when are them charter schools gonna start the outperforming of regular public schools?Sounds like another one of them scams to me — outsourcing education.

Second, look for Newtered Newt to come out swinging tonight. This ol’ boy has got lots of ground to make up and my guess is he’ll promise to add a golf course and spa to them condos on the moon.

All these ol’ boys have gone chasing after rabbits and are mad as a wet hen that the stock market is up and that things seem to be getting somewhat a little better.

Watch’em start on gas prices like the President controlled the commodities markets and the Koch Brothers ain’t manipulating the gas prices a bit amidst all the troublesome folks around the global world. Sit back and relax. It’s comedy time. Santorum may just have an altar call.

Mark

February 22nd, 2012
10:54 am

Mary Margaret

February 22nd, 2012
10:49 am

Can’t wait for the debate tonight: Santorum will wear his hairshirt, Mitt will be sporting his starched magic undies, Gingrich will wench up his girdle, and Paul will try to capture the birds floating around in his head. Should be great entertainment.

Yes, every Republican debate provides entertainment like cable could never provide.

Random Reader

February 22nd, 2012
10:55 am

“and they are just as credible as all the reports about Herman and his affairs.”

OK Point us to a first hand interview with a credible news source where someone says that they had a downlow affair with the POTUS….

Centrist

February 22nd, 2012
10:55 am

Nobody is refuting the WSJ the FACTS in their opinion piece that pointed out the Obama tax proposal. What some liberals might dispute is that they are wrongheaded as the piece says.

Bankrupt companies that dump pensions, employee contracts, stockholders’ equity, debt liability, and receive government subsidies/grants/loans that are forgiven EASILY make future profits. Those “profits” (and of course management bonuses) are on the backs of retirees, employees, former stockholders, former creditors, and taxpayers – in other words, SUCKERS.

liberalefty

February 22nd, 2012
10:58 am

@random reader

he cant hes just mad that his token negro got taken down by the truth, so he blames everybody except CAIN…dontcha love how conservatives take responsibility for their actions

liberalefty

February 22nd, 2012
11:00 am

uga

i love seeing a black family in the whitehouse…lol..sorry CAIN but the only way u getting in on the repub ticket is through the backdoor with a broom in your hand..

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
11:00 am

Liberalefty…..”responsiblity for their actions”. Who is Barry Soetoro?

Mary Margaret

February 22nd, 2012
11:02 am

If God has a sense of humor, please start the rapture tonight during the debate and float everyone up but mullah santorum.

UGA 1999

February 22nd, 2012
11:03 am

Mary….Santorum would be waiving DOWN at you.