When the Legislature passed new maps for the state House and Senate last year, Republicans gave themselves extra slices of certain counties.
Earlier this month, House Speaker pro tem Jan Jones of Milton bluntly explained the merits of the tactic to a group of north Fulton voters. From Neighbor Newspapers:
In January, according to Jones, there will be a north Fulton majority in both the House delegation and the Senate delegation.
Which means, “we can cut Fulton County down to size until we get Milton County,” she said.
“My goal is that we reduce the thumbprint … of Fulton County on your lives and your pocketbooks such that in a very few years, Atlanta and south Fulton will not fight us on recreating Milton County because Fulton County will be insignificant,” she said. “We will begin that process next year.”
Jones said she actually thinks splitting Fulton into three counties would be in the best interest of all citizens.
“My goal is not to re-create Milton County. My goal is to end Fulton County and bring government closer to the people,” she said. “But it will take convincing.”
Jones’ comments, reported last week, are only now circulating within the city of Atlanta. They explain the motives behind HB 1052, which would have given the power to appoint two of three Fulton County representatives on the MARTA board to municipalities in north Fulton, said state Rep. Rashad Taylor, D-Atlanta.
“The strategy is to chip away at any power that Fulton County has. One of the greatest powers the county has is the appointment of representatives to the MARTA board,” Taylor said.
Taylor has invited Jones to a town hall meeting in his neck of the woods – on any Saturday in the next two months — “so that my consituents and others not in north Fulton may have the benefit of your views.”
Over in the editorial department, my AJC colleague Kyle Wingfield reports this bit of news:
Multiple GOP districts last month voted to propose that a ballot question about ethics reform be put to voters in July’s Republican primary. This and other potential ballot questions will be weighed tomorrow as the party begins its annual two-day convention in Columbus.
A question about ethics reform is a slam dunk at the ballot box, if opinion polling is any sign. In a statewide poll before this year’s legislative session, 82 percent of self-identified Republicans said they supported a cap on gifts from lobbyists to legislators — the central plank in this year’s stymied ethics reform bills.
The New York Times has two articles worth your time today. The first is about groundwork being laid for a $10 million Republican effort to redefine President Barack Obama in harsh terms:
A group of high-profile Republican strategists is working with a conservative billionaire on a proposal to mount one of the most provocative campaigns of the “super PAC” era and attack President Obama in ways that Republicans have so far shied away from….
“The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way,” says the proposal, which was overseen by Fred Davis and commissioned by Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade. Mr. Ricketts is increasingly putting his fortune to work in conservative politics.
A new study released by the Brookings Institution argues that Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion is unlikely to hurt him at the polls in November.
The researchers based the conclusion on an experiment in which people were asked whether they planned to vote for Mr. Romney or Mr. Obama. Some of the respondents were first given information about Mr. Romney’s religion – and in some cases, quite detailed information – while others were given none. Those who received the information first were no less likely to support Mr. Romney.
Over at the Savannah Morning News, Larry Peterson has this on the Republican race to challenge U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta:
A 12th Congressional District hopeful is ducking an opponent’s claims that he broke federal election law.
Rick Allen says Wright McLeod didn’t fully report expenditures, took donations larger than allowed and stole campaign donor information.
Members of the executive and state committees of the Democratic party on Wednesday received this note from Russell Edwards:
”While I intended to stay on board as the Treasurer to help finalize a budget and provide information to Committee members until my replacement was elected, the situation has changed due to circumstances beyond my control.
“My access to the Party’s financial information was terminated last Monday, effectively cutting off my ability to perform my duties. After unsuccessfully attempting to reinstate my access to perform my job for the State Committee, I am left with no choice but to resign immediately.”
The party’s April financial report is due on Monday, which will give everyone a peek at the party’s financial situation.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider