Attorney General Sam Olens, Mitt Romney’s top elected supporter in the state, was rewarded this morning with a speaking role at this month’s Republican National Convention in Tampa.
His will be the most prominent Georgia face at the four-day launching of the fall presidential campaign. Olens was one of five convention speakers announced by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. Apparently intended to advertise the diversity of the GOP, they include:
– Pam Bondi, Florida’s first female attorney general;
– Ted Cruz, who was Texas’ first Hispanic solicitor general. Cruz just won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Consider this a nod to tea party enthusiasts;
– Luis Fortuño, the first Republican elected governor of Puerto Rico since 1969;
– And Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the first U.S. governor to beat a recall election.
Olens is identified as the former chairman of the Cobb County commission. The press release does not note that Olens was also the first Jewish candidate elected to a statewide partisan office in Georgia.
Health care is a likely speech topic for Georgia’s attorney general. Olens quickly joined the lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul upon his election as attorney general in 2010. Olens was with Romney in Washington, offering an instant analysis, when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision upholding the constitutionality of the measure.
Another connection: Olens’ primary political consultant, Heath Garrett, is part of the Stevens & Schriefer Group. Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer are lead strategists for the Romney campaign in Boston.
“Elections do have consequences and we will start to put our country back on track at the Republican National Convention when we nominate Mitt Romney,” Olens is quoted as saying. The GOP notice does not indicate when the five will address delegates. The convention runs from Aug. 27-30.
State Rep. Doug Collins, the GOP candidate for the new 9th District congressional seat, this morning launched this TV attack on runoff rival Martha Zoller and her career as a talk radio host:
Zoller also began airing this runoff campaign closer today, highlighting Collins’ ties to the state Capitol – and her endorsements from the likes of Sarah Palin:
South Georgia GOP activists Pat Tippett and Kay Godwin, co-founders of Georgia Conservatives in Action, have endorsed Martha Zoller in the GOP race for the 9th Congressional District in north Georgia.
From the press release:
“As a conservative activist, Martha has been a force for good in promoting the values we hold dear: faith, family, and freedom. As a radio host, she has been a voice for the values of the Tea Party movement since before the movement even had a name.
The endorsement is important, given that rival Doug Collins is characterizing Zoller’s endorsements by Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Herman Cain as interference by cable TV celebrities from abroad.
At a meeting of Kiwanis Club of Atlanta, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss said his Gang of Six (now 46) effort to construct a bipartisan approach to deficit reduction intends to make its mark during Congress’ lame-duck period. From Maria Saporta of the Saporta Report:
The group is putting together a legislative package (even though there’s still some negotiations and differences within the gang) that will include spending reductions, addressing entitlement issues and instituting tax reform, which likely would result in additional revenues. The overall goal is to have a debt reduction package of at least $4 trillion. That’s the only way the country can protect its economic future, Chambliss said.
“The key is timing,” said Chambliss, when asked if the Gang of 46 would seek support of at least another 14 senators so it could have a solid majority. “The timing right now is between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We want to have a process in place that says this is the number ($4 trillion) you have got to hit.”
The failure of TSPLOST votes in metro Atlanta and much of Georgia prompted a broader piece from Ed Kilgore – a former Georgia political operative – at the left-leaning New Republic:
The Georgia experience matters nationally for a simple reason: Since 2008, the GOP and its business allies have energized its movement-conservative base (rechristened as the Tea Party Movement) to savagely fight for radically reduced public spending. Now, when increased public investments and the revenues necessary to pay for them are obviously essential to keep a state economy growing, Republicans can no longer dial back the rhetoric, or even count on Democratic voters to help bail them out.
If Republicans conquer Washington in November and Republican-controlled state governments derive the bitter harvest of radically reduced federal support for public services, it will be interesting to see if a “governing wing” of the GOP survives at all in state capitals around the country. And it will be equally interesting to see whether business interests are happy with obtaining better tax rates and less regulation in exchange for dysfunctional government from sea to shining sea.
Not many people – including me – noticed these two paragraphs in a weekend Associated Press piece on the Boy Scouts of America’s recent decision to continue its ban on gay leaders and members:
Back in 1994, during a political debate in Massachusetts, [Mitt] Romney said this: “I support the right of the Boy Scouts of America to decide what it wants to do on that issue. I feel that all people should be able to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation.”
A Romney spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, said in an e-mail that this remains Romney’s position today.
The political influence of state Sen. Jason Carter, D-Decatur, appears to be rocketing through the American heartland. Sort of.
[A] local teacher who aspires to be the next representative in House District 54 lifted nearly all of his election platform from the website of Jason Carter, a member of the Georgia State Senate.
A North Providence resident and Providence educator, second-time District 54 candidate William “Bill” O’Brien copied approximately 1,000 words of Carter, an incumbent state lawmaker in Georgia and the grandson of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and pasted them onto his own website, www.williamobrien2012.com.
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today examines statements by state Sen. Fran Miller, R-Dunwoody, who says that, in the down-sizing of state government, education has received the fewest cuts.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider