Aside from the shedding of reporters, other signs of a Newt Gingrich death spiral include this from the National Journal:
HOCKESSIN, Del. — In a sign that his campaign is in need of fresh funds, Newt Gingrich on Monday began charging $50 to have a photograph taken with him following a campaign speech to Republican groups here in the northernmost part of the state.
And this from the Raleigh News & Observer:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s campaign swing to North Carolina on Wednesday has been canceled, his campaign has confirmed.
There were no details available on why he had changed his plans.
Gingrich had been scheduled to make some appearances in Raleigh as part of the lead up to the May 8th primary. The change of plans was abrupt. His campaign sent out a schedule at 1 p.m. Sunday that listed a trip to North Carolina. But by Monday morning, the visit was canceled.
In Atlanta, a bill to repay the federal government cash borrowed to pay unemployment benefits – largely by slashing future benefits — is one of the last big-ticket items facing the Legislature this session. But Labor Commissioner Mark Butler has repeatedly warned that SB 447 runs afoul of the constitutional mandate that all bills on taxation – premiums for businesses would rise slightly – begin in the House.
On Monday, the Senate Insurance and Labor Committee stripped out HB 347 inserted the contents of SB 447, giving the bill a House number and allaying any constitutional concerns. On Senate passage, HB 347 would then be returned to the House for a simple agree-disagree vote – avoiding the committee process and, perhaps, some hot debate.
And what do we lose by eviscerating HB 347? A bill to prevent future state insurance commissioners from exempting themselves from required insurance agent examinations — as did Republican John Oxendine before he left office in 2011.
Over at Atlanta Unfiltered, Jim Walls says a complaint has been filed with the entity formerly known as the State Ethics Commission, alleging that state Sen. Don Balfour has filed false requests for reimbursements – pointing to mileage claimed while the lawmaker was out of state.
File these two items under “Things You Need to Worry About – Tomorrow.” First, from the New York Times, a poll showing support for the war in Afghanistan dropping sharply among both Democrats and Republicans:
The survey found that more than two-thirds of those polled — 69 percent — thought that the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan. Just four months ago, 53 percent said that Americans should no longer be fighting in the conflict, more than a decade old.
Iran is ramping up imports of wheat, including rare purchases from the U.S., in a sign Tehran is building a strategic stockpile of grain in anticipation of harsher sanctions or even military conflict.
The country has bought wheat from the U.S., Australia, Brazil, and Kazakhstan in the past few months, and is in talks on what could be a major wheat buy from India, according to market watchers and official data.
Finally, in celebration of U.S. Supreme Court arguments over the Obama administration’s health care overhaul, the AJC’s Politifact Georgia looks at U.S. Rep. Tom Price’s claim that the 10-year cost of the changes are double the the $940 billion estimated by Democrats.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider