Demography, like a glacier, is slow but relentless.
If you wonder why there’s been so much discussion of the Latino vote lately, take a look at these figures that Alan Abramowitz, the Emory University political scientist, drew from the Georgia Secretary of State’s monthly data:
In May of 2008, African-Americans made up 28 percent of active registered voters in Georgia while whites made up 65 percent and “other” race (a category that’s hard to interpret but presumably includes a lot of Hispanics and Asians since very few of them identify themselves as Hispanic or Asian) made up 7 percent.
In May of 2012, African-Americans made up 29.4 percent of active registered voters, whites made up 60.2 percent, and “other” race made up 10.4 percent.
So the downward trend in the white share of voters in Georgia has continued. There is certainly no evidence here that nonwhites have been disappearing from the rolls of registered voters. In all likelihood, the nonwhite share will increase further between now and November, as it did in 2008.”
Abramowitz uses the stats to argue that polls from the Gallup organization are slightly skewed toward the GOP. But the same figures can also be used persuade Georgia Democrats that, as dismal as the present is, they’re likely to be back in the game within the next decade.
Twenty years later, Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison can’t say who was Cleavon Little and who played Gene Wilder. From Channel 2 Action News:
On his Facebook page, John Garst of Rosetta Stone, a political service firm with Republican clients, said they’ll be conducting a poll this week for Channel 2 Action News, to be released Thursday.
On Saturday, while explaining his support of the transportation sales tax, U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Coweta County, lodged this tidbit with the Newton County Times-Herald:
Westmoreland related a conversation a few years ago with Ray LaHood, the U.S. Transportation secretary and a former Congressional colleague.
Westmoreland was seeking funds for a transportation project in Georgia, but LaHood pointed out Georgia has a lower transportation tax than its neighboring states.
He said LaHood told him there was no need to talk about the project further “until you start doing something to help yourselves.”
Westmoreland said it is important for transportation taxes to go for transportation only — and for states to provide for their own transportation needs.
“I have just voted and we passed out of the House an amendment to a bill that says we can’t spend any more than the motor fuel tax brings in” for federal transportation projects, Westmoreland said. He said the federal fuel tax is being supplemented from the general fund.
He said the federal transportation projects need to be scaled back. “We don’t need to be doing cart paths. We don’t need to be doing bike paths,” he said.
President Barack Obama’s visit to downtown Atlanta on Tuesday for a fundraiser has prompted a reader to send in the following:
“My question is, when a president comes to town, is that town legally obligated, federally or locally, to shut down the traffic and routine on-goings for the city along the president’s route; or could they decline to make the special accommodations? Could the local governments just say, we are not going to inconvenience our citizens for your trip; you will just have to get around the best you can? I’m sure it wouldn’t happen simply out of respect for the Office. Just curious. “
Anyone in officialdom have an answer for this? My assumption is that, since JFK visited Dallas in 1963, no local police force has wanted anything to happen on its turf, on its watch, though presidential trips can get aggravating.
I’m still chafed by that day in 1978 when Jimmy Carter made a trip home as president. I’d had a flat on the Downtown Connector, and left the scene to get a length of pipe to pry off the lug nuts frozen on my ’68 Beetle.
The car was quickly towed away. Jimmy Carter still owes me $50.
(In an earlier version of this post, I had put the Carter visit at 1977. But I am one of those who measures his life by automobiles, and I realized that my ‘66 Chevy station wagon — with three on the tree — didn’t die until the winter of ‘77-’78.)
We poked through this Washington Post piece, but didn’t find any direct mention of members of Congress from Georgia:
[U.S. House Speaker John] Boehner is one of 34 members of Congress who took steps to recast their financial portfolios during the financial crisis after phone calls or meetings with Paulson; his successor, Timothy F. Geithner; or Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, according to a Washington Post examination of appointment calendars and congressional disclosure forms.
The lawmakers, many of whom held leadership positions and committee chairmanships in the House and Senate, changed portions of their portfolios a total of 166 times within two business days of speaking or meeting with the administration officials. The party affiliation of the lawmakers was about evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, 19 to 15.
But U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson did make this Sunday piece on the same topic by the Post:
In the spring of 2009, investigators for the Senate Commerce Committee began looking into complaints about deceptive billing practices on the Internet.
Before the results of the probe became public in a hearing that fall, four members of Congress reported selling all of their stock in one of about 90 companies under scrutiny, the nation’s largest video game retailer, GameStop.
One of the lawmakers, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), was a member of the committee. The other three were Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) and Sen. James Webb (D-Va.).
Isakson’s reply, also from the Post:
In an interview, Isakson said the timing of his GameStop trades and the investigation was coincidental. He said he was “not engaged at all” in his stock portfolio, which is handled by a professional manager. He said he had no conflict, because he was unaware of the committee investigation at the time, did not attend the hearing and has no memory of the issue.
“Fast and Furious” dominated Sunday morning news shows. Most outlets went with some version of this, from the Washington Post:
There is no evidence that White House officials were involved in withholding information related to a congressional inquiry into the botched gun-trafficking operation known as Operation “Fast and Furious,” the Republican lawmaker leading the investigation said Sunday.
Several Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), charged last week that President Obama’s decision to invoke executive privilege over documents related to the probe suggested that top administration officials were involved in withholding information.
“The decision to invoke executive privilege is an admission that White House officials were involved in decision that misled the Congress and have covered up the truth,” Boehner told reporters last week.
But asked Sunday whether he had any evidence to back up those claims, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said “No we don’t.”
Even so, Texas Gov. Rick Perry on CBS’s “Face the Nation” declared the Justice Department debacle to be worse than Watergate. From Politico:
“We’ve had over 300 Mexican nationals killed, directly attributable to this Fast and Furious operation, where they brought those guns into Mexico. A former Marine and a Border Patrol agent by the name of Brian Terry lost his life,” Perry said. “With Watergate you had a second-rate burglary.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider