Slightly less than a year ago, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich launched his GOP campaign for the presidency with a speech before an assembly of the Georgia GOP in Macon.
Then he tanked. Then he resurrected himself. Then he tanked again. And got up again. And tanked again.
This week, it’s been pretty well established that Gingrich will abandon his debt-wracked campaign on Tuesday. At an event in the Washington D.C. area.
But never fear – the bookend is coming. Gingrich will be the twice-featured speaker at next month’s state GOP convention in Columbus, chairman Sue Everhart announced last night. The former Georgia congressman will speak at a May 18 dinner for party donors, then address the entire crop of delegates the next day – before the arguing begins over the final slots for the national convention in Tampa.
If we’re lucky, we’ll get a glimpse of the next, post-campaign edition of Newt Gingrich.
By now, you’ve heard the friendly reception that Arizona’s law to drive out illegal immigrants received from the U.S. Supreme Court. From the Associated Press:
The United States could see an official about-face in the coming months in how it confronts illegal immigration if the Supreme Court follows through on its suggestion that it would let local police enforce the most controversial part of Arizona’s immigration law.
Obviously, this bodes well for HB 87, passed by the Georgia General Assembly in 2011. But before you pop the champagne – if you’re so inclined – consider this:
Supporters of bills like HB 87 have consistently pointed to inaction by Congress as their motivation. A divided House and Senate have been unable to get their arms around the problem – and the presence of several million unlawful residents in this country.
A Supreme Court endorsement of the course chosen by Arizona, Georgia and other states could effectively remove what little pressure exists for Congress to tackle the issue. Which means a patchwork approach that could linger for years.
One of the problems faced by opponents of the transportation sales tax in metro Atlanta and elsewhere is that there is no face to focus on. Arguing with project lists generates little heat.
A note arrived last night from Fayette County Commissioner Steve Brown, who has become one of the more vocal opponents of the sales tax, trying to address this tactical problem. Wrote Brown:
If there were ever any doubts that metro Atlanta needs to take a deep breath and go back to the drawing board on the Transportation Investment Act, the appointment of 26-year old Toby Carr as State Transportation Planning Director should, pretty much, solidify things for you.
Sorry, guy. Carr is 34. A well-preserved 34, but not exactly wet behind the ears. A few paragraphs from my AJC colleague Ariel Hart’s backgrounding:
If the governor is to be closely involved, Carr apparently has the relationship with Deal to fulfill that role.
Carr served as Deal’s liaison to the Georgia House of Representatives, and as an aide to House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones when she was House majority whip. According to Deal’s office, Carr, of Decatur, graduated from the University of Georgia with bachelor’s degrees in finance and in agricultural engineering.
Carr’s nomination requires approval by the House and Senate transportation committees, but Chairman Jay Roberts, R-Ocilla, said he did not anticipate trouble for Carr in the House committee.
And from Deal spokesman Brian Robinson:
”As more and more people see the great need for transportation improvements in the metro Atlanta region, we can expect to see opponents resorting to even more outlandish personal attacks. Toby is the governor’s transportation policy adviser.
“He’s as well versed in the governor’s priorities and vision for transportation as anyone could possibly be. That’s what the job is. Governor Deal is committed — and he’s proven it — to investing in infrastructure that will get Georgia moving and prepare for the economic development needs of the future.
Because good news from the Middle East is so rare, we offer this from the Washington Post:
Israel’s military chief said in an interview published Wednesday that he believes Iran will choose not to build a nuclear bomb, an assessment that contrasted with the gloomier statements of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and pointed to differences over the Iran issue at the top levels of Israeli leadership.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider