Atlanta publicist and tea party backer Randy Lewis emailed last night as he was listening to a briefing on the U.S. Supreme Court’s health care ruling by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who argued that the decision has made repeal of the measure a more achievable goal for the GOP:
[Cuccinelli] said that one additional largely unknown issue from the ruling today is that with the court declaring the law constitutional because it is a tax, that the law can now be repealed with 51 votes in the Senate — not 60. Tax votes only require simple majority. All other legislation requires 60 votes. So, Repubs picking up three seats and a VP can repeal Obamacare.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will be holding onto this CNN video clip for a while – for bar bets if nothing else. It contains the mayor’s prediction on Tuesday, minutes before President Barack Obama’s plane touched down in Atlanta and 48 hours before the actual decision was made public, that the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold the health care overhaul.
The Gallup organization says Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney will have to work to make health care a frontburner issue again:
[F]ew Americans so far in 2012 mention health care when asked to identify the most important problem facing the country. Six percent say healthcare is the top problem in June, behind mentions of the economy, jobs, the deficit, and problems in government.
The numbers go far higher, the organization concedes, once voters are prompted.
We’re all teenagers at heart. After digesting Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling, U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston tweeted out this break-up note:
With #Obamacare ruling, I feel like I just lost two great friends: America and Justice Roberts.
The Georgia chapter of Americans for Prosperity will take to the state Capitol to protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s upholding of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul at 3 p.m. this afternoon. Attorney General Sam Olens and Secretary of State Brian Kemp are among the scheduled speakers.
On Wednesday U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, joined House Republicans and 16 other Democrats to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt over the Fast and Furious mess – while most of the rest of Georgia’s Democratic delegation walked out in protest.
Fortunately for Barrow, the contest that counts for him is more than four months away – plenty of time for people to forget this Associated Press article:
The Rev. Joseph Lowery, the Atlanta-based activist and former lieutenant to Martin Luther King Jr., said he called Barrow on Wednesday and denounced him for betraying his party. Lowery said he views the contempt vote as nothing more than a Republican attempt to embarrass President Barack Obama before the fall election.
“I told him, ‘You are a Republican hiding in Democrat’s clothing,’” Lowery [said]. “…He doesn’t count in the Democratic column. He might as well go on and be a Republican.”
It was the second time this month that Barrow, the last white Democrat from the Deep South, has sought to put distance between himself and his party. Barrow recently said he won’t attend the Democratic National Convention, where the party will officially nominate Obama for a second term.
Missed during the health care hoopla was an endorsement of the transportation sales tax by the Georgia Conservancy, the environmental group headed up by former lieutenant governor Pierre Howard. From the group’s website:
A vote against the referendum is a vote for even more traffic congestion. We will also vote to consign Atlanta to an uncertain future, allowing cities such as Charlotte, Dallas, Denver and Seattle to surge ahead of us in the competition for new corporate headquarters. We will be voting to stay in the past while other cities have voted to move into the future.
The Georgia chapter of the Sierra Club opposes the measure.
The fight over the transportation sales tax in Georgia hasn’t even reached its peak yet, but the next big policy clash – over charter schools – is already brewing. The website for Vote Smart Georgia, a coalition made up of PTA groups, the Georgia School Board Association, the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, the Southern Education Foundation and others, is up and running.
It looks like they’ll be attempting to portray the state’s effort to reestablish its right to create charter schools – backed by Gov. Nathan Deal – as a ALEC-generated attempt to steer public monies to private friends.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider