Atlanta markets itself as the ATL. A better nickname would be the ATM.
Four major GOP fundraisers will be draining cash from the area today. And unless you’ve got a well-stocked wallet, you’re not invited.
U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss are hosting a fund-raiser for their Republican colleague Scott Brown, who’s attempting to fend off a challenge from Democrat Elizabeth Warren. And Georgia’s House Republicans will have Speaker John Boehner of Ohio in town.
But neither Brown nor Boehner will be at the largest event, a 6 p.m. bash at the Cobb Energy Centre that will feature a “special introduction” by Newt Gingrich of Republican presidential champion Mitt Romney. So far as we know, it’s the first joint stage appearance for the pair since that long-ago debate in Arizona.
It will also be a very private moment, limited to those willing to shell out at least $1,000 for the privilege. The Sunlight Foundation tells us that donors are being asked use the bundler code of Atlanta attorney Ray Smith, a well-known Republican fund-raiser.
It is possible, we’re told, that a single print journalist will be allowed inside to bear witness to the Romney-Gingrich reunion, but otherwise all other members of the Fourth Estate will be corralled across the street as guests of the U.S. Secret Service.
So we will be highly dependent on some smart aleck with a smart phone who is willing to send us some shaky, unflattering video of the event.
Afterwards, Romney will retire to a private resident that’s yet to be identified, for dinner with some friends willing to part with $50,000 each. Cash from the entire evening will go to Romney’s presidential campaign, the Republican National committee, the state republican parties in Idaho, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Vermont; the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee.
With Mitt Romney in Atlanta today to raise cash, Georgia Democrats my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin and other reporters that the former Massachusetts governor’s brand of leadership is wrong for the state and the country.
House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, and DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis said a Romney presidency would pit middle class Americans and the working poor against fat-cat investors and corporate executives.
“Look at his actions,” Ellis told reporters in a conference call organized by the Democratic National Committee. “It wasn’t about investors and workers playing by the same set of rules and it certainly wasn’t about building an economy meant to last.”
Ellis and Abrams attacked Romney’s recent statement that seemed to suggest he opposed adding police officers, firefighters and teachers to public payrolls. Romney’s remarks came after President Barack Obama suggested that public sector layoffs were hurting the economy.
“You have to have people who provide public safety,” Ellis said. “You have to have teachers. It depends on our citizens being safe and it depends on having strong infrastructure.”
Abrams said Romney only focuses on the short-term and misses the point that public employees contribute to the overall economy.
Laying off government employees “removes customers from those private sector jobs he said he’s trying to create,” Abrams said. “President Obama is looking at the totality of the economic system. These are two components that must work in tandem. Romney squints his eyes and only looks at the portion he likes.”
One certain topic of conversation at these GOP fundraisers will be the health of the man who almost became the first elected Republican governor of Georgia, nearly four decades ahead of schedule:
Howard “Bo” Callaway, who in 1964 became the first Republican elected to Congress from Georgia since Reconstruction, and who two years later was denied the governorship of the state even though he garnered the highest number of votes in the general election, is hospitalized in intensive care with a cerebral hemorrhage.
The Gallup organization today reports that a majority of union members currently say they intend to support President Barack Obama’s re-election. But support isn’t monolithic, says the polling group:
While 57% of union workers who are registered to vote would support Obama, 35% would vote for Mitt Romney. Workers who are not union members tilt toward Romney over Obama, 48% to 44%.
Channel 2 Action News has some audio of the prank 911 call that sent cops rushing to the home of Erick Erickson, editor of Redstate.com and a CNN commentator.
In Sunday’s Marietta Daily Journal, Gov. Nathan Deal extended an effusive thank-you to state lawmakers who found $300 million in the state budget to pay for a set of reversible lanes up I-75 and I-575:
”We have to give credit to the members of the General Assembly who were willing to put this in the supplemental budget for 2012. That was a step of confidence by them to indicate their willingness to deal with issues that are by some peoples’ category could classify as regional, but I think it gives an indication that the members of the General Assembly are willing to look at the greater good for for the state of Georgia…”
At the Daily Caller, former Georgia congressman Bob Barr says that, even in the South, Republicans are summoning their inner nannies:
My home state of Georgia — long a place where candidates and elected officials seeking re-election have earned their chops by railing against Washington busybodies — has succumbed to the notion that the role of government is to protect people by controlling them. From small towns to the bustling and largely Republican-dominated Atlanta suburbs, helmet laws and smoking and “texting” bans are becoming the norm.
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at U.S. Rep. Paul Broun’s description of the impact of the new Caterpillar plant near Athens.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider