Archive for August, 2012

A conventional jolt: Johnny Isakson is nice and frustrated

TAMPA — Johnny Isakson may be the nicest and most frustrated U.S. Senator at the Republican National Convention.

The “nice” part is officially documented. Washingtonian magazine, in its biannual ranking of the chamber, awarded Isakson the title in its most recent issue. “The cordial Georgian got more votes than half a dozen runners up, “ the magazine declared. The ballots came from congressional staffers.

Isakson is pictured with a halo over his head.

Is it dangerous to be declared a nice guy in Washington?

“I hope not,” Isakson said this morning. “I sold houses for 33 years. I never sold a house to somebody that didn’t want to buy it, and I never sold one for somebody that didn’t want to sell it. you don’t convince them of either thing by calling them a son of a [blatherskite], or trying to convince them you’re right. What you do is try to let them come to that decision.”

Which brings us to that other part. What happens when no one in Washington – …

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Ann Romney: No ’storybook’ marriage

TAMPA — Some passages from Ann Romney’s speech tonight about her husband Mitt, who just officially became the Republican nominee for president:

”I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a ‘storybook marriage.’ Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS or breast cancer.

“A storybook marriage? No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage.”

This is a likely closing passage:

”This is the man who will wake up every day with the determination to solve the problems that others say can’t be solved, to fix what others say is beyond repair. This is the man who will work harder than anyone so that we can work a little less hard.

“I can’t tell you what will happen over the next four years. But I can only stand here tonight, as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, an American, and make you this solemn …

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Pushback on charter schools: Gwinnett Chamber flips to neutral, Georgia PTA under pressure

One of the biggest opponents to the November ballot issue to re-establish state authority to license charter schools in local systems has been pushed into neutrality.

Another may quickly follow.

This afternoon, my AJC colleague Nancy Badertscher obtained the following memo sent out by Gwinnett Chamber CEO Jim Maran to the organization’s board of directors and other parties (emphasis is mine):

We have had recent conversations with members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and Gwinnett’s Legislative Delegation regarding state-controlled charter schools and the related constitutional amendment referendum.

With respect to all parties engaged in the issue, the Executive Committee of the Board has decided the Chamber shall remain neutral on this subject. As such, the September 5 event has been cancelled.

The Sept. 5 event was a fund-raiser for opponents of the measure.

Gov. Nathan Deal addressed the Gwinnett Chamber only last week. Do not persuade yourself that this is a …

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Saxby Chambliss gets no buy-in from Nathan Deal on deficit reduction deal

(Left) Daniel Malloy, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Kyle Wingfield and Jim Galloway at AJC headquarters at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Special/Charlie Harper

(Left) Daniel Malloy, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Kyle Wingfield and Jim Galloway at AJC headquarters at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Special/Charlie Harper

TAMPA — U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss stopped by AJC headquarters at the Republican National Convention this afternoon.

One of the first topics we hit him with were Gov. Nathan Deal’s comments on his effort to broker a grand deal on the federal deficit that included a Simpson-Bowles approach – a 3:1 mix of budget cuts and revenue increases.
Said Deal:

”Not necessarily. I think this is a terrible time to be talking about tax increases.”

Chambliss’ reaction wasn’t one of dismissal, but it was close to that neighborhood:

”It’s not his issue. We need senators signing on. It’s great to have governors, but he’s got his own issues he’s got to deal with. As he well knows, this is something that we’ve got to figure out.”

And truth be told, Deal has just finished weathering a transportation …

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Nathan Deal on Glenn Richardson, Tampa and Medicaid

TAMPA — Blue skies hang over Tampa this morning, for the first time since Isaac threatened. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will arrive sometime today.

But at least until the 2 p.m. start of today’s first real session of the Republican National Convention, talk in the Georgia delegation has been directed homeward, where former House speaker Glenn Richardson has declared that, nearly two years after an attempted suicide followed by scandal and resignation, he intends to run for a west Georgia state Senate seat.

In an interview this morning at the delegation hotel, Gov. Nathan Deal said that Richardson came to speak with him at the state Capitol to discuss his possible return to politics. Said Deal:

”First of all, it was not my decision to make. That’s certainly something that every candidate has to decide on their own. I expressed my concern to him about his health, whether he was still fragile, and my concern about the impact on his family.”

Here’s the AP version from …

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Just in case: GOP rules for a convention floor fight

The possibility of a floor fight over rules for the 2016 presidential campaign is much diminished, given a compromise reached last night. See the background here and here.

But a challenge could occur. Below is a letter sent to Georgia delegates by Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Ann Lewis, the Georgia GOP’s legal counsel, on what must happen for that to happen:

Dear Delegates:

Thank you all for your calls, emails and conversations with us regarding the rules amendments. As it stands right now, there will be several minority reports offered on a host of issues. We have not received those yet but expect to when the Committee convenes. We may decide to offer our own minority report if there is not one that captures the important issues without including a whole host of other issues. We did send out a suggested compromise on Rule 15 (new 16) to all of you last night.

In addition to the amendments, we have had a good many people ask how the process works. Here it is …

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Romney, GOP’s right wing resolve dispute over 2016 contest

TAMPA — That rebellion that threatened to spoil Mitt Romney’s day at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday? Consider it over.

Originally, a rule change adopted by the rules convention last Friday would have allowed the Republican winner of the 2016 presidential contest veto power over the list of delegates to the nominating convention.

Ron Paul supporters were able to enlist the support of FreedomWorks, the Family Research Council and other conservative groups to call foul, taking advantage of Monday’s Isaac-forced empty calendar to organize serious opposition and threaten a floor fight on what’s now the opening day of the RNC.

Here’s the email that’s flying around Tampa, designed to solve the problem:

To the Members of the Republican National Committee and the Convention Committee on Rules:

The undersigned are very pleased to announce that the leadership of the Republican National Committee and the Romney for President campaign has heard the concerns of the …

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New Obama button features his birth certificate

TAMPA – Last week, the re-election campaign of President Barack Obama went ballistic when Republican Mitt Romney, in his home state of Michigan, quipped that no one ever asked for his birth certificate.

Apparently, outrage can be assuaged by a profitable copyright.

This afternoon, my other-media colleague Jamie Dupree sent word that the Obama campaign store is now selling campaign buttons and bumperstickers featuring the president’s birth certificate:


The price tag: $5.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

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Frank Luntz to GOP delegates: Avoid the word ‘capitalism’

We were barred from listening to him speak, but we’re told that GOP pollster Frank Luntz this morning – in a lecture on messaging — urged Georgia delegates to the Republican National Convention to avoid the word “capitalism” in their arguments.

It’s a term that Karl Marx favored, and sounds leftist. When attempting to persuade independents, it’s better to use the phrase “free markets,” he said. We presume that sounds more Adam Smithish.

Possibly, “free markets” would test even better if spoken with a soft Kirkcaldy lilt.

According to several Georgia delegates, Luntz also said that Republicans had lost control of the phrase “middle class.” But the GOP wins when the phrase “hard-working taxpayers” is employed, he said.

The latter point isn’t too far from what we’ve already heard Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich hammer on here. “It’s not going to work when half of the people aren’t paying income tax, and half of the people are,” Bachmann …

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Tea partyers push for a GOP floor fight over 2016 rules

TAMPA — Matt Kibbe, the president and CEO of FreedomWorks, one of the top organizations behind the tea party movement, was at the Monday morning meeting of the Georgia delegation – attempting to foment a revolt that could undo GOP efforts to keep tea partyers happy, and quiet.

That’s one reason why Georgia’s delegation meeting was closed to press. The other: State GOP Chairman Sue Everhart on Tuesday wants to pledge all of Georgia’s 76 delegates to Mitt Romney. Newt Gingrich has cut loose his delegates, and Rick Santorum has done the same.

But four Georgia delegates refused to sign a document that would allow their votes to be cast by proxy – despite the pressure of “Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!” chanting by other delegates.

Ron Paul won no delegates in Georgia’s primary. But three of the four holdouts have now declared themselves Ron Paul supporters, despite signing pledges to support the party’s nominee.

Which brings us back to the rule change up for approval by the …

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