Some things, in some places, are better left unsaid.
Gov. Nathan Deal is sticking his neck out for the July 31 transportation sales tax, in speeches and fundraisers. As noted by the Saporta Report:
On [Wednesday], Deal is inviting business and civic leaders to the home of Jennifer and Tom Bell in Buckhead to a reception aimed at raising campaign dollars to help get the tax passed in the 11 regions outside of metro Atlanta.
The goal is to raise a total of $4.5 million among the regions for a grass-roots campaign in favor of the transportation sales tax. So far, the Connect Georgia campaign has raised between $2.5 million and $3 million, according to Chris Clark, president of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
But more than a few Republicans at the state convention in Columbus noticed that, as Deal listed the accomplishments of his administration to the conservative crowd, the governor gave no mention to the Transportation Investment Act.
Deal was booed by the crowd last year, and apparently wasn’t eager to repeat the experience. But come to think of it, not a single person on the GOP stage gave a mention to the transportation referendums – either for or against.
Except for those lapel stickers in opposition, the issue didn’t exist in Columbus.
After his welcome to the state GOP convention, Johnny Isakson – interviewed backstage – said he’s not tempted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s musings that the U.S. Senate would be better off if it corralled the filibuster.
Even though Republicans have a good shot at taking control of the chamber in November. Said Isakson:
”I learned a long time ago, when you start trying to think about the future, and you scheme – thinking that you know what’s going to happen, you make a mistake.
“We have a history in the U.S. Senate of having a cloture rule – 60 votes. It used to be 67. Sixty votes to close debates and vote on pieces of legislation. It was designed to make sure that the minority at least still had a voice. Early on in the Obama administration they could beat cloture – after the 2010 election we got back to way over 41.
“As frustrating as it is when you’re in the majority, and I’ve been majority, to have the minority keep a vote from coming up, it also gives them leverage to negotiate a position. Having worked with it for eight years, six years in the minority, two years in the majority, I think it serves a good purpose. It keeps runaway government from taking place.”
The most important item to come out of the 2012 state GOP convention may be the strong ballot issues that will now be put before Georgia Republican primary voters on July 31. Below are the questions, as they will be worded:
1. Should Georgia have casino gambling with funds going to education?
2. Do you support ending the current practice of unlimited gifts from lobbyists to state legislators by imposing a $100 cap on such gifts?
3. Should active duty military personnel who are under the age of 21 be allowed to obtain a Georgia weapons license?
4. Should Citizens who wish to vote in a primary election be required to register by their political party affiliation at least thirty (30) days prior to such primary election?
5. Should the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the paramount right to life is vested in each innocent human being from his or her earliest biological beginning without regard to age, race, sex, health, function, or condition of dependency?
When it comes to ethics, you’ll notice that the ballot question is more specific than the resolution approved by GOP convention delegates:
Whereas: Republicans believe that public service is a respected and honorable call and;
Whereas: Republicans have always expected high ethical standards for those in elected office and;
Whereas: Georgia elected Republicans have made substantial and continuous reforms in Georgia Ethics laws since becoming the majority party and;
Whereas: Special or extravagant gratuities and considerations extended to those in elected office can encumber and hinder objective and ethical policy making; and
Whereas: Georgia is still one of only a few states with no cap on gifts to elected officials;
Therefore let it be resolved that: The Georgia Republican Party urges the Georgia General Assembly to introduce additional ethics reform legislation as relating to a reasonable cap on gifts to elected officials from lobbyists in the upcoming 2013 Session.
The size of a gaffe can often be measured by the speed in which a politician attempts to unsay what has been said. And Newark Mayor Cory Booker — very, very quickly — attempted to spin his Sunday appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” in which he said he was “nauseated” by the Barack Obama campaign’s attack on Bain Capital:
The New York Times today explains the strong bond that has quickly developed between political strategists and Super PACs:
In the insular but fast-growing world of super PACs and other independent outfits, there are no cranky candidates, no scheduling conflicts, no bitter strategy debates with rival advisers. There are only wealthy donors and the consultants vying to oblige them.
In Sunday’s Florida Times Union, U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, pitched his solution for a redistricting process that has nearly eliminated partisan competition in Congress:
State-level efforts throughout the country seek to take the partisanship out of redistricting by establishing nonpartisan commissions to draw districts to represent the will of the people — not just the major political parties.
The American people want those of us in Washington to accomplish the same basic goals: Stop spending more money than we take in. Help people provide for and educate their families. And keep all Americans safe.
If our nation is going to get what the majority wants, people need a way to vote for it. But we’ll never get what we want if the districts our representatives run in have been rigged so as to produce leaders who would rather fight than cooperate.
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s statement that the recent distribution of $3 billion worth of airport vending contracts was the “most open and transparent procurement process in the city’s history.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider