Archive for August, 2012

Your morning jolt: Charlie Crist to speak at Democratic National Convention

Tampa – Vice President Joe Beiden canceled his trip to Florida, but Democrats have found a way to make headlines while Republicans mill around, waiting for things to start. From the Miami Herald:

Florida’s former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist will be a speaker at the Democratic National Convention.

An official with President Barack Obama’s campaign said Sunday that Crist will speak at next week’s convention in Charlotte, N.C., but the days hasn’t been worked out.

The official wasn’t authorized to speak and requested anonymity.

Crist announced Sunday that he is endorsing Obama. Republicans called the decision political opportunism and pointed out Crist has previously criticized the president on issues like his health care overhaul.

For those new to politics, Crist withdrew from the 2010 Republican race for U.S. Senate, as Marco Rubio overshadowed him, then attempted a run as an independent.

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The weather in Tampa today is windy, but the heavy rain that was …

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Republicans shift their Tampa convention to Tuesday

The Republican National Convention will come to order on Monday, then immediately adjourn to clear the way for Isaac. Here’s the memo that just arrived:

MEMO

DATE: August 25, 2012

FROM: RNC Chairman Reince Priebus @Reince

TO: Interested Parties

RE: RNC Convention

Due to the severe weather reports for the Tampa Bay area, the Republican National Convention will convene on Monday August 27th and immediately recess until Tuesday afternoon, August 28th, exact time to follow.

Our first priority is ensuring the safety of delegates, alternates, guests, members of the media attending the Republican National Convention, and citizens of the Tampa Bay area. RNC Convention officials and the Romney campaign are working closely with state, local and federal officials, as well as the Secret Service, to monitor Tropical Storm Isaac and preserve Florida’s emergency management resources. Officials have predicted participants may encounter severe transportation difficulties due to sustained …

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Saxby Chambliss, Johnny Isakson take aim at lame-duck session and a ‘fiscal cliff’

Georgia’s two U.S. senators have spent the month of August laying the groundwork for the campaign after the campaign.

In December, with a bitter and exhausting race for the White House in the rear view mirror, a lame-duck Congress will be forced to come to grips with the consequences of last year’s failure to approve a plan to significantly reduce a $16 trillion federal deficit.

Without bipartisan agreement in both the House and Senate, $1.2 trillion in cuts to domestic and defense programs will begin at years’ end. Of that, $492 billion in cuts over 10 years will be aimed at the Pentagon. Plus, those Bush-era tax cuts will all vanish.

The operative term is “sequestration.” But “fiscal cliff” will do.

Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson have held session after session at Georgia’s military bases and their surrounding communities, emphasizing the “devastating” impact the cuts would have on local economies – not to mention defense readiness.

“This is just …

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RNC committee adopts ‘atom bomb’ rule for 2016 calendar

States that jump to the front of the line in the 2016 GOP race for president will be subject to even harsher penalties, according to changes adopted Friday by the rules committee of the Republican National Convention.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a member of that body, just called from Tampa with news.

We all know that Florida agreed to sacrifice half of its 99 delegates this year in order to hold its presidential primary in the calendar space reserved for Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

If it tries the same thing next time, Florida – and any other state – will lose all but 12 of its delegates. Nine at-large delegates, plus three members of the Republican National Committee.

Call it the atom-bomb rule. “If you only have 12 delegates to the convention – it makes you wonder if candidates would go to Florida and spend five to ten million dollars to try to win that state for 12 delegates. I think it’s going to make people think long and hard about …

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Mitt Romney: ‘No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate’

From the Associated Press:

COMMERCE, MI — Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney Friday raised the discredited rumor that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States and thus ineligible to be president.

The presumptive GOP nominee, joined for a rally outside Detroit Friday by running mate Paul Ryan, joked that he had been born in a nearby hospital and that “no one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. ”

The president’s reelection campaign swiftly responded that Romney was directly enlisting himself in the discredited “birther movement” and that “should give pause to any rational voter,” said Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt.

Obama has been dogged throughout his presidency by question about his birthplace. He released a long form copy of his birth certificate last year, showing he was born in Hawaii in 1961.

Romney grew up in Michigan and his father, George Romney was a popular governor of the state.

Last week, Obama got in a quip about Romney’s long-ago …

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Former House speaker Glenn Richardson to run for state Senate seat

Are you ready for the return of Glenn Richardson?

Sometime this afternoon, Gov. Nathan Deal will name state Sen. Bill Hamrick, R-Carrollton, as the newest superior court judge on the Coweta Judicial Circuit.

Hamrick has already handed to the governor a letter of resignation, effective Sept. 10.
The date, within 60 days of the next election, will allow Deal to call for a special primary election for Nov. 6, the same day as the general election. A general election for the District 30 Senate seat would be held on the day currently scheduled for the December runoff.

We’re told that one Republican certain to make a bid for Hamrick’s empty seat is Richardson, the former House speaker, who resigned in 2010 following a suicide attempt, and the revelation by his wife that he’d had an affair with a Capitol lobbyist.

Another possible candidate is state Rep. Bill Hembree, R-Winston, the former House rules chairman. But Hembree would have to resign his House seat by Sept. 6, to allow …

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Your morning jolt: Bush to mark start of RNC — with a speech in Georgia

Former President George W. Bush won’t be in Tampa when Republicans gavel their national convention to order on Monday.

Rather, the 43rd president will be in Columbus, Ga.

Bush has an 8 p.m. speaking gig at Columbus State University at a leadership forum. He’ll be introduced by Gov. Nathan Deal.

Coincidentally, the Washington Post has a retrospective piece on the former president this morning, which includes this:

Bush, who left office in 2009 with a historically low popularity level, seems content in self-imposed exile. “I crawled out of the swamp, and I’m not crawling back in,” he said in a rare interview with the Hoover Institution this year.

This is not exactly a shattering development for a Republican Party that is hoping to put its best face on display at next week’s convention in Tampa. Despite rallying around Bush for years, especially after the Sept. 11 strikes, the party hasn’t exactly clamored for input from the man who led the country for eight …

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Victor Hill takes his trial on corruption charges public

One day after a Clayton County judge set Nov. 26 for the start of his trial on 37 felony counties, former sheriff Victor Hill – now the Democratic nominee to replace incumbent Sheriff Kem Kimbrough – took his troubles public.

The former sheriff released a batch of documents that he said would prove his innocence, and promised to show reporters even more. See the docs here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

From the press release, which arrived shortly after midnight this morning:

The attached documents and time line not only bring into question the credibility of the case against Victor Hill, but also brings into question the credibility of the sitting sheriff and District Attorney. This clearly indicates that they are both capable of and probably have made questionable cases on other individuals.

Victor Hill will be available today for an interview and will also make available for the media to see the 350 surveillance photos (to include pictures of him campaigning …

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Nathan Deal, Gwinnett Chamber lock horns over charter schools

My AJC colleague Nancy Badertscher has filed this:

Gov. Nathan Deal put in a plug for November’s charter school amendment Thursday, saying state-approved charter schools “have their place.”

“In many parts of our state, students are stuck in schools that are failing … in schools that are not making adequate yearly progress,” Deal told members of the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce.

The success of the all-girls Ivy Prep is proving “that even in high performing systems such as Gwinnett, these state-approved charter schools have their place,” Deal said.

Now, a governor speaking up for his own cause is nothing unusual. But the venue was important. Earlier this month, Jim Maran, president and CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, sent out invitations for a Sept. 5 fund-raiser – to build cash for a campaign in opposition to the charter school amendment.

From the invitation:

The Gwinnett Chamber holds the fundamental view that decisions about education should be made at the …

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Your morning jolt: TV networks snub Ann Romney and RNC opening

Aside from a yet-to-be-confirmed visit from Hurricane Isaac, the driving force at the opening day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa is scheduled to be Ann Romney, whose job it has been to emphasize the softer side of her husband.

Ann Romney is currently scheduled to address delegates at 10:30 p.m. Monday. But according to the New York Times, this is what you’ll see if you are tuned into one of the Big Three television networks:

CBS plans instead to show a rerun of “Hawaii Five-O,” its hit police series. Viewers of NBC will see a new episode of “Grimm,” about a homicide detective with the supernatural ability to sense evil. And ABC plans to show “Castle,” a series about a best-selling mystery novelist who helps solve crimes.

The networks, which reap considerable advertising dollars even from summer reruns, have told the Romney campaign that they will broadcast an hour of convention coverage on the final three nights — but no more.

Advisers to Mitt …

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