Your morning jolt: Nathan Deal raises big money for transportation sales tax campaign

If we’ve given the impression that Gov. Nathan Deal has only spoken up for a statewide transportation sales tax, we hereby apologize.

Deal’s not merely dipping a toe in the water. He’s hip-deep in the effort.

Click here to see the invitation for a May 23 fundraiser for the statewide arm of the campaign, hosted by the governor but held at the Atlanta home of former Cousins Properties CEO Tom Bell.

Just in case you’ve got some loose change in your pocket, you can become a “platinum” sponsor for only $100,000. Which is no big deal. The metro Atlanta sales tax campaign has a category for gifts of $250,000 and more.

Deal also hosted a fundraiser in Savannah this week. And will show up at yet another in Augusta next month.

***
This is the upset that has Washington talking this morning. From the Lincoln, Neb., Journal Star:

In a dramatic, come-from-behind dash to the finish line late Tuesday evening, state Sen. Deb Fischer of Valentine laid claim to the Republican Senate nomination.

Her late surge, perhaps unprecedented in modern-day Nebraska political history, upended a Senate race that appeared to be settled as recently as 10 days ago with the GOP prize within the grasp of Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning.

Fischer suddenly gained momentum with late endorsements from 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Lincoln, then rode the momentum of a weekend TV ad blitz mounted by Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts and his political action committee.

***
On a somewhat related topic, months of haggling over the Export-Import Bank ended Tuesday, as the U.S. Senate approved a bill to extend the bank’s charter and won a new lease on life from Congress on Tuesday, as the Senate approved a bill that raises its ceiling on loans to $140 billion — a 40 percent increase.

The final vote was 78-20, and was strongly opposed by Club for Growth and other tea party forces. From Politico.com:

South Carolina’s GOP delegation was the true ground zero, and in vote after vote Tuesday afternoon, Sens. Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham butted heads without apology.

Boeing’s huge investment in the state — where the company’s 787 Dreamliner passenger jets are rolling out to meet foreign sales orders dependent on Ex-Im financing — punctuated this spat. And last Wednesday, South Carolina’s five Republicans in the House broke only 3-2 for the bill, again influenced by the Boeing jobs in hard economic times.

According to Graham, eight out of every 10 Boeing planes are sold using financing from the Ex-Im bank, which does not use taxpayer funds. In fact, the Associated Press noted this Georgia-South Carolina clash of interests:

A side issue has been the split between supporters of Boeing Co., the Ex-Im Bank’s largest beneficiary, and Delta Air Lines, which has claimed that its bottom line has been hurt because its foreign competitors, such as Air India, have used Ex-Im financing to buy Boeing’s newest aircraft….

The compromise also addresses the Boeing-Delta dispute by directing the treasury secretary to initiate multilateral negotiations on reducing and eventually eliminating government export subsidies for aircraft and ultimately ending all government export subsidies.

Apparently satisfied, Georgia’s two senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, voted yes.

***
On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta issued an order to limit the flying time of Marietta-built F-22s around the world, until the source of a respiratory disorder among pilots can be found. Click here to read it.

***
In U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey’s reaction to President Barack Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage, it is the concept of a sacrament administered by a government-ordained justice of the peace that might cause some debate. Kennesaw Patch caught up with Gingrey at a Monday night event at Mount Paran Christian School:

“I don’t like the secularism that’s occurring in this country one bit and I think it is incumbent upon those of us [that] stand strong, to stand very strong, in regard to that and say ‘look, Billy and I believe that marriage is a sacrament,’” Gingrey said. “I’m not ashamed to say that, and I won’t be ashamed to say that, and I hope our nominee on my side of the aisle will not back away from saying that and stand strongly.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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91 comments Add your comment

Danny O

May 16th, 2012
9:23 am

The marriage of two men or two women has absolutely no effect whatsoever on Rep. Phil Gingrey or on Billy, or anyone else for that matter. They are still allowed to live their lives as they please.

Gingrey’s paranoia about “secularism” is shared by the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 16th, 2012
9:33 am

Delta, in case you didn’t know, is highly favored by and invested in by …shall we say…”Utah Interests” which, in case you hadn’t observed, are very very much on the rise in the Republican party at the moment.

Expect that to continue.

In the meantime, time to pull my stock out of Ameritrade. (shudder)…disgusting.

Pompano

May 16th, 2012
9:35 am

Pretty obvious that if they expect some folks to pony up in excess of $100k to promote the T-SPLOST then the eventual payback to these individuals must be enormous! Gwinnett has included an $88 million slush-fund under the guise of a “rail feasibility study” (that usually costs about a mil to do) to line the pockets of the politically connected.

And let’s face it – can any board/committee with H Lamar Willis (he of the fake charity game) actually be expected to work in the best interest of the citizens? If he will rip-off high-school kids, what do you think his eventual take from the T-SPLOST will be?

Centrist

May 16th, 2012
9:36 am

As noted, Sarah Palin’s influence has not totally disappeared as her Nebraska endorsement seemed to have made a difference. The underdog candidate for the GOP nomination, Deb Fischer, is now a favorite to win in November taking on former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey. Kerry has been living in New York for the last ten years, and considered running for Mayor. Kerry was the President of New School University in New York City but was forced to resign over a year ago under pressure from faculty and students.

The race has drawn national attention because a GOP win would push Republicans closer to a Senate majority by flipping this seat.

The general election winner will replace Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson, who isn’t seeking a third term.

Tom

May 16th, 2012
9:36 am

If a church chooses to extend the sacrament of marriage to same-sex couples, isn’t government prohibition of that marriage an attack on religious liberties?

Jamie Roberts

May 16th, 2012
9:40 am

I don’t agree with Nathan Deal on many things but you have to admit that he is a pragmatic leader on key issues, such as criminal justice reform. He also recognizes that the Atlanta Metropolitan Area is the goose that lays the golden eggs for the state’s tax coffers and that it can catch ill and die if we don’t figure out how to make our transportation system more efficient and modern. One would think after the embarrassment at the ‘96 Olympics with athletes not able to make their matches because of traffic snarls that the General Assembly would have sprinted to make improvement possible, but sadly this has not been the case. Let’s not screw this one up, y’all!

DannyX

May 16th, 2012
9:41 am

Republicans want to raise your taxes and are doing everything in their power to make it happen.

td

May 16th, 2012
9:48 am

On the subject of Gay marriage. It appears what the Congressman is saying could be seen in the new polls in NC. One month ago Obama and Romney was is a tie in NC and now Romney has a 51 to 43 lead. Does this mean that Obama coming out in favor of state sanctioned gay marriage this much of a factor or is it that the people are not buying Obama’s message on the economy?

XOT

May 16th, 2012
9:49 am

It’s going to cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars and millions if not billions of lives to build the new infrastructure of roads and bridges we’ll need to move traffic along at a brisker pace. But it will be worth it when we can reduce the drive time from downtown to suburbia from the current 17 dog years down to a shake of a lamb’s tail, man. You’ll see. Support Nathan Deal, and his efforts to bring the fun back to our traffic snarls.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 16th, 2012
9:56 am

The governor of the most corrupt state in the country who was the most corrupt candidate in a slew of bad ones running for said office, wants to initiate a project that has a tiny token public transit project and the rest is filled with 8 BILLION worth road projects which, FYI will, if the Republicans are to be believed, will be controlled by the most corrupt department in the state.

Why would I vote yes for this again?

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 16th, 2012
9:57 am

@TD – I actually might have agreed with you until I found out about Republican plans to play chicken on the debt ceiling again.

Mitt Romney’s biggest advantage is about to become his biggest albatross.

deegee

May 16th, 2012
10:03 am

Make no mistake, Nathan Deal doesn’t give a rat’s azz about your commute. The concrete and asphalt guys bought and paid for Nathan and now it’s time to deliver the goods.

RCB

May 16th, 2012
10:17 am

Danny X:
And the Democrats want to make major cuts to our fiscal nightmare and are doing everything in their power to make it happen.

Ifmoneytalked

May 16th, 2012
10:18 am

This whole episode brings up the history of the construction of spaghetti junction. It cost more money that the wall street bailout. It took more lives than the Titannic. All that just to move traffic a little easier through that intersection. Hell, I coulda accomplished the same thing just by putting up a yield sign. I think it’s time we spend smarter and rethink MARTA.

Ga Values

May 16th, 2012
10:30 am

It’s easy to see how our less than honest Governor has gone from broke to rich. My guess he will leave REALLY RICH, just like Sonny.

Newt is nuts

May 16th, 2012
10:34 am

Congratulations, Jim, on instituting your new rules for this blog. I realize it requires you (or others) to spend more time monitoring the blog, but it is worth it. The question now is what do the vitriolic crazies do.

td

May 16th, 2012
10:36 am

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 16th, 2012
9:57 am

If it did not poll well and in favor of the Republicans to bring it up then they would not be doing it. This time around Obama will not have the bully pulpit alone because all the media will want to hear Romney’s views everyday and then you will have all of those super pacs and their money getting the message out.

Not sure if it works or not but it will keep the focus on the economy and off war on women, gay marriage, republicans are racist, dogs on cars, eating dogs, being a bully as a child and Bain.

Centrist

May 16th, 2012
10:37 am

wanker patrol

May 16th, 2012
10:42 am

Seems to me what we have here is a failure to communicate.

Centrist

May 16th, 2012
10:44 am

Sorry – I meant to post this as next week’s Time Magazine cover which I think is funny: http://sigforum.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/320601935/m/4810058882

td

May 16th, 2012
10:47 am

Centrist

May 16th, 2012
10:44 am

I saw that one earlier in the week floating around on Facebook and I actually laughed out loud.

WOW

May 16th, 2012
10:59 am

Jim:

Don’t know that I would agree that Nebraska was a Tea Party win.

1. They actually favored Stenberg and not Ms. Fischer. (the super pacs and Demint have been behing him for the entire race)
2. Palin’s and Fortenberry’s endorsements came aweful late after the polls were already moving in her favor.

What I saw was two cadidates beat the crap out of each other and Ms. Fischer play resposible adult in the room. Since she will probably win the general, here is to hoping she governs in that fashion.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 16th, 2012
11:00 am

@TD – If it did not ‘poll well’…well see…that’s really the question isn’t it. Because who is doing the polling? Who is paying for the polling? Its one thing to use Rasmussen and such to project your desire out there for how you want people to see your campaign…

Its another if you use it to set your internal policy.

And yes, let’s have the conversation of Romney vs Obama on the Debt Ceiling. If that’s the contest you want then yes, let’s have that argument.

Because what really hurt the economy most was the down grade we got BECAUSE WE COULDN’T GET ANYTHING PASSED.

And who got the blame for that last time?

But hey, maybe Romney, you know, that GREAT COMMUNICATOR is going to out perform Obama on this issue. Oh wait, Romney is a businessman, so he’ll be able to explain using EMPATHY in terms that people can understand…

Oh wait. Maybe he can talk about his experience at BAIN to help him instead.

Yeah.

Go with that. Please.

tired

May 16th, 2012
11:01 am

So far as I know, marriage is a sacrament only for Catholics. Certainly it holds deep significance in Christian and other religions, but Protestants (or at least Methodists and Presbyterians) recognize only baptism and Communion as sacraments.

CobbGOPer

May 16th, 2012
11:05 am

Deal is certainly hip-deep in this mess. And I hope – when it is defeated at the polls – that he will be sufficiently embarrassed by the loss. And hopefully, all those corporate sponsors of T-SPLOST will remember the millions they wasted at the behest of Mr. Deal and his cronies in the legislature when 2014 rolls around and ole “Raw” Deal comes around with hat in hand for campaign donations.

Kandie

May 16th, 2012
11:10 am

Gingrey and his right wing friends want to institute a Taliban type theocracy in this country. Very frightening. Rep. Gingry, stay out of my bedroom; don’t tell me who to marry; or as a woman, what to do with my body. Those things are none of the government’s business. Instead you need to be working on jobs, the economy, and the tax structure.

td

May 16th, 2012
11:10 am

WOW

May 16th, 2012
10:59 am

What you said is what they were saying this morning on MSNBC and they think this seat will definitely go to the GOP now.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 16th, 2012
11:12 am

@TD and as to this list…let’s relate these to the economy…

War on women – “Why aren’t they trying to pass laws to create jobs to help the economy instead of this?”

Gay marriage – “Why aren’t they trying to pass laws to create jobs to help the economy instead of this?”

republicans are racist – “Why aren’t they trying to pass laws to create jobs to help the economy instead of this?”

dogs on cars – “If the man doesn’t even care for his own dog, do you think he’s going to work for you or work for his rich buddies?”

eating dogs – “Why is Romney talking about this again?”

being a bully – “Why is Romney talking about how cool he was in high school instead of how he’ll fix the economy?”

Bain – “Wait. Romney says he’s more qualified to be President than the President because unlike the President he has executive experience as the head of Bain Capital. Because he wants to talk about the economy and how he’ll fix the economy just like he fixed things at Bain capital. Bain isn’t relavent except for how Romney will fix the economy just like he fixed things with bain.”

Yeah.

The problem is, when distraction is your most effective tactic, focusing with ‘laser precision’ is hard to do.

It isn’t Democrats that have to worry about distractions from the economy, they just have to respond and counter attack.

Look before I leap...

May 16th, 2012
11:17 am

Ms Fischer should stay home with the kids and leave the politickin to the menfolk.

Seriously, it really makes little difference what party has control of the Senate and House (or even the WH). Democrats and Republicans alike are spendaholics Even the congress critters who were swept in amid all the tea party fervor in 2010 rated only slightly better regarding fiscal discipline.

The only difference between the D’s and the R’s is what they want to spend the money on.

Centrist

May 16th, 2012
11:17 am

The extreme political left has been unsuccessful in shutting down oil and natural gas drilling. They have used the BP Gulf accident, ANWAR off-limits, temporary stoppage of the Keystone pipeline, and bogus water contamination and earthquakes from fracking to slow some development – but it is rapidly growing: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/story/2012-05-15/1A-COV-ENERGY-INDEPENDENCE/54977254/1?csp=Dailybriefing

Joseph

May 16th, 2012
11:22 am

Hillarious video…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYwkNCwADzQ&feature=youtu.be

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 16th, 2012
11:24 am

The extreme political right has been unsuccessful in shutting down solar and wind power. They have used birds, claims about battery power, claims about science being bad, claims about how wind power isn’t economically viable, Solindra, claims of government waste, but it is rapidly growing.

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/05/16/largest-solar-power-plant-in-world-now-under-construction-largest-solar-pv-plant-in-north-america-now-in-operation/

Meanwhile, people are beginning to realize that Frakking is less about getting more natural gas and more about setting up questionable business models that poison well water and people.

http://www.npr.org/2012/05/16/151762133/medical-records-could-yield-answers-on-fracking

Centrist

May 16th, 2012
11:27 am

Look before I leap… posted “it really makes little difference what party has control of the Senate and House (or even the WH). Democrats and Republicans alike are spendaholics.”

Agreed that has been past behavior. But with the advent of the Tea party, alarm over rising deficits and debt, and how close we came to a “Grand Bargain” of mostly spending reductions – I think there is now, finally, a difference.

While I want the filibuster to remain (no “nuclear option”) to stop the right wing from screwing with women’s rights and pushing us into a Christian theocracy, I hope it isn’t used to queer the next “Grand Bargain”.

TBone

May 16th, 2012
11:30 am

Look, all of the establishment republicans got Deal into power despite his dubious dealings in the congress. Let’s not forget he was about to be hammered by ethics charges before he exited. Nathen Deal is no conservative and will favor this money generating measure to reward his supporters. This is payback plain and simple and the measure needs to be defeated.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 16th, 2012
11:30 am

Hilarious video….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8A9b7t6esE

td

May 16th, 2012
11:33 am

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 16th, 2012
11:24 am

The extreme political right has been unsuccessful in shutting down solar and wind power.

Not true. I am a at the far right and shutting down the development of solar and wind power goes totally against all their principles of abundant cheap energy. We want all energy. Now if you equate “Shutting down” with no government subsidies then you are correct. The government should not be involved in the industry beside the R&D side.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 16th, 2012
11:34 am

@TD – Oil tax breaks first.

WOW

May 16th, 2012
11:38 am

@ Centrist:

While I want the filibuster to remain (no “nuclear option”) to stop the right wing from screwing with women’s rights and pushing us into a Christian theocracy, I hope it isn’t used to queer the next “Grand Bargain”.

You can keep dreaming. No matter what party wins control of the Senate (neither party has a chance to get close to 60 votes) or who wins the White House the fillibuster will keep any reasonable Grand Bargain from occurring.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 16th, 2012
11:41 am

@WOW

-Actually, if the Dem’s win, the Filibuster may finally be in peril.

Failure to honor your word does have consequences at least with the people you see every day. If Harry The Wimp can change his mind, anyone can.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/11/harry-reid-filibuster-reform_n_1510167.html

Centrist

May 16th, 2012
11:41 am

td posted “if you equate “Shutting down” with no government subsidies then you are correct. The government should not be involved in the industry beside the R&D side.”

Very well put. Subsidies for uneconomic production is wasteful, if not outright corruption. It is done to reward Iowa farmers (ethanol) for political purposes every 4 years with their nomination caucuses, and for cronies invested in certain companies. Both political parties do it – just like earmarks.

Aaron Burr V Canada

May 16th, 2012
11:44 am

@AVBM posted -

I admire what you said. I just want you to know you are the wind beneath my wings. I agree with you in any and every way.

Well, I do think that Canadian timber should be exempt from NAFTA but otherwise, I think you’re right.

GaBlue

May 16th, 2012
11:44 am

Oh, good! FINALLY some sense from the mouth of a Ga GOP Congressman! He’s standing strong (with Billy…??) that “marriage is a sacrament!” YAY! That means it belongs in the church, and therefore, the government needs to get out of the marriage-license-peddling business all together!

Think of how much better off we’ll be when the “sacrament” part of marriage happens in church, and all the legal issues attached thereto exist under civil contracts — for everybody who chooses to marry. Think about it: When straight couples are forced to cement their legal union with a civil contract beforehand, then divorce lawyers become obsolete and must find a new line of work — maybe even at the bottom of the ocean. SWEET! (Can I get a “Amen?”))

td

May 16th, 2012
11:50 am

GaBlue

May 16th, 2012
11:44 am

Look to the Eastern skies because Jesus must be returning. I agree with everything you just said.

Bill from Atlanta

May 16th, 2012
11:51 am

Sad news today. Our rinos from GA voted for the export/import bank and our Governor is determined to get the Transportation boondoggle passed. Libs…you shouldn’t be too upset with GA republicans. You may be getting more accomplished with them instead of the dems.

I think I kind of agree with A Burr on the transporation bill but I don’t think for the exact same reasons.

Centrist

May 16th, 2012
11:55 am

WOW posted “No matter what party wins control of the Senate (neither party has a chance to get close to 60 votes) or who wins the White House the fillibuster will keep any reasonable Grand Bargain from occurring.”

The whole thing about a “Grand Bargain” is to get a majority of centrists in agreement. If Obama had not reneged last year, enough Democrats and Republicans would probably have had over 60 Senate votes. It or something like it will have even a better chance in 2013.

Who knows what direction the use of the filibuster will go in the future. It got crazy when Democrats started using it against Bush judicial appointees, and Republicans responded in kind. The “nuclear option” has been discussed and rejected by both parties in the past – there is currently a gentleman’s agreement not to go there, but always subject to reversal.

Look before I leap...

May 16th, 2012
12:02 pm

“…when Democrats started using it against Bush judicial appointees”

I think the GOP made liberal use of the filibuster in the 90s.
Did they not block something like 50-60 Clinton appointments?

Look before I leap...

May 16th, 2012
12:04 pm

“Look to the Eastern skies because Jesus must be returning. I agree with everything you just said.”

Did td just come out in favor of gay marriage?

Centrist

May 16th, 2012
12:14 pm

@ Look – A slightly different tactic than the filibuster during the Clinton years – the Republican controlled Senate simply refused to hold hearings on many Clinton nominees. That would not be the case for a “Grand Bargain”.

I don’t care for partisan tactics either way – but do like the filibuster if used for only the major issues, forcing more mainstream legislation and nominees instead of partisan shoving down each other parties’ necks. This “tit for tat” mentality needs to be replaced by statesmanship.

DannyX

May 16th, 2012
12:14 pm

Using the Republican biased Rasmussen polls which had Romney up by 8 on the day President Obama endorsed same sex marriage, and comparing that to today where the same poll shows Romney now with only a 1 point lead, it is obvious that Obama has greatly benefited from his announcement.

Now, lets see how the Bush announcement affects Romney. No, Bush didn’t just endorse gay marriage, he endorsed Romney for president! Romney will probably lose another 7 points after Bush’s announcement. Heck Bush’s endorsement is even more damaging for Romney, maybe up to a 10 point loss for Romney in the Rasmussen poll.

The Snark

May 16th, 2012
12:24 pm

Rep. Gingrey is so brave, so unashamed to stand up for “the sacrament of marriage.” What act of fearless courage and leadership will he perform next? Saying “amen” in church? Yelling “Go Chipper” at a Braves game? Buying a hamburger at Wendy’s?