On a statewide fly-around by House Republican leaders, Speaker David Ralston on Monday pointed his finger at the state agency in charge of issuing drivers licenses for failing to be ready for new ID requirements – resulting in huge lines of applicants across the state.
New requirements, passed down in part by the federal government, include a birth certificate or passport. From the Columbus Ledger Enquirer:
“I think we did know that there would be some delays, but frankly, I’ve been a little disappointed by the level of preparation by the Department of Drivers Services,” Ralston said. “I think they understand now that this is taking more time.”
Many of the changes that state made were required by federal law, so state lawmakers’ hands were tied, Ralston said.
“In the post-9/11 world, we have a lot more security measures that we are required to implement,” Ralston said. “We have had some problems, but some are being ironed out as we speak. I’ve communicated to the department that we need to do whatever it takes to make sure Georgians are well served, and frankly, I think in the opening days of that they weren’t.”
It is the profile that Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, chose to take Monday that surprised many when he announced his opposition to metro Atlanta’s transportation sales tax – not the fact that he declared against it.
Late last week, the Political Vine had this PDF, sent out by the Metro Atlanta Chamber, detailing where every state lawmaker stands on TSPLOST. It’s dated June 19, and a chamber contact advises that some changes may have occurred, but Rogers shows up as an opponent, along with 24 other Republicans and Democrats.
The list of 21 “neutrals” is more interesting. It includes House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta; House Speaker pro tem Jan Jones, R-Milton; Sen. Emmanuel Jones, D-Decatur; and state Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snellville.
Rick Allen is the first Republican up with TV ad in the 12th District race to pick a Republican challenger to U.S. Rep. John Barrow. The 30-second spot below, of the introductory variety, is airing in Augusta and Savannah over the next seven days.
My AJC colleague Daniel Malloy in Washington notes that the ad mentions President Barack Obama, but not Barrow:
On the other hand, Larry Peterson of the Savannah Morning News says 12th District rival Maria Sheffield has launched a video that hopes to remind voters of Republican Paul Coverdell’s U.S. Senate victory over Democratic incumbent Wyche Fowler in 1992. Writes Peterson:
She’s launched a TV ad featuring a ditty sung by her 86-year-old aunt. It touts Sheffield and slams incumbent Democrat John Barrow.
…In 1992, it’s widely believed, a similar ad for Republican Paul [Coverdell] helped him upset Democratic U.S. Sen. Wyche Fowler. That year, the song was sung by Margie Lopp, 73.
“We’re just trying to inject some fun into the campaign,” said Kathryn Ballou, Sheffield’s campaign manager. “It doesn’t have to be all drudgery.”
See for yourself:
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney out-raised President Barack Obama by $35 million in June. From today’s Washington Post:
The momentum shift marks a change in fortunes for Obama, whose 2008 victory was propelled by a breathtaking fundraising operation that brought in $745 million by Election Day, much of it fueled by grass-roots donations. In September 2008 alone, Obama and the DNC brought in $193 million.
The roles appear to be reversed this time, as Obama’s cash advantage over Romney rapidly deteriorates because of blockbuster fundraising by Republicans. The Obama campaign also faces a tide of spending by pro-Republican advocacy groups that can raise unlimited funds from wealthy individuals and corporations.
The worry among the president’s team was palpable.
“We had our best fundraising month yet, and we still fell about $35 million short,” Ann Marie Habershaw, the Obama campaign’s chief operating officer, wrote in a fundraising plea to supporters. “We can win while being outspent — but we need to keep it close.”
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at U.S. Rep. Tom Price’s contention that “16,000 new Internal Revenue Service agents will be “empowered to enforce” the new health care legislation.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider