Archive for August, 2012

Chances of hurricane evacuation in Tampa placed at 3 percent

Just posted by Jeff Masters at Weather Underground:

Isaac is a threat to affect Tampa during the Republican National Convention, August 27 – 30, and the official [National Hurricane Center] forecast now has Tampa in the 5-day cone of uncertainly. The latest 11 am EDT wind probability forecast from NHC gives Tampa a 9% chance of receiving tropical storm-force winds for the 24-hour period ending on the morning of first day of the convention (Monday).

I blogged about the climatological chances of a hurricane causing an evacuation of Tampa during the convention in a post last week, putting the odds at 0.2%. I put the odds of an evacuation occurring during the convention in the current situation at 3%.

This weekend, J. Marshall Shepherd, who directs the atmospheric sciences program at the University of Georgia and is president-elect of the American Meteorological Society, had an article on the topic of hurricanes, Florida and global warming, published in the Tampa Tribune. It …

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In Tampa, Sam Olens will be half of a duet for attorneys general

The Republican National Committee today released next week’s Wednesday schedule for Tampa – a day primarily devoted to a display of GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

But also on the RNC agenda will be a prime-time appearance by Attorney General Sam Olens of Georgia.

He’ll follow U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and John McCain on the evening schedule in a kind of duet for attorneys general. Olens will share the podium with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Both attorneys general were strong supporters of Mitt Romney during the primary. Both participated in the 27-state lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul – a likely topic for their address.

Olens and Bondi also represent a pair of GOP firsts. Bondi is Florida’s first female attorney general. Olens is the first Jewish candidate to be elected to a statewide, partisan office.

Filling out the night will be former U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice — another nod to diversity — followed by …

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What’s next in the Victor Hill saga? A lot of waiting

Before you get your underwear in a twist about Victor Hill and Clayton County, consider that this saga has miles to go before we weep.

First, a quick review of the situation from my AJC colleague Rhonda Cook:

Former Clayton County sheriff Victor Hill has reclaimed the office he lost four years ago despite 37 pending felony charges that accuse him of using his government office and his 2008 campaign to enrich himself.

With only one precinct uncounted, Hill was ahead. But the charges he’s facing make it uncertain whether he will take office in January because the governor could suspend him until he goes to trial.

“Don’t be sorry for me. Be sorry for Clayton County,” Democratic incumbent Kem Kimbrough said. “I’ll be fine but there are a whole lot of people’s lives that will be affected by this and maybe they have to see this for themselves. It’s something I’ve heard a million times; only in Clayton County. It is what it is.”

So what happens next?

There is no Republican candidate, …

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Your morning jolt: Tuesday was a good day for Nathan Deal, Zell Miller

To no one’s surprise, the 12th District contest to pick a Republican opponent for U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, turned out to be the closest race of the evening.

State Rep. Lee Anderson of Grovetown, with the help of Gov. Nathan Deal, edged out Augusta businessman and self-funder Rick Allen by a mere 154 votes out of 27,406 cast.

The Associated Press indicates that six precinct boxes are outstanding.

But if those results hold, Gov. Nathan Deal would emerge as the winner of Tuesday evening. State Rep. Doug Collins, the governor’s choice in the 9th District race, easily defeated former radio talk show host Martha Zoller.

Worried about the anti-incumbent fever that still lingered from the TSPLOST debacle in July, Deal kept a low profile in each contest until the final weekend, when he boosted Collins and Anderson in robocalls throughout the two districts.

The former governor of Alaska is now 0-for-2 in Georgia races. Sarah Palin had endorsed Zoller, though she made no …

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John Barrow, NRCC hit the ground with ads in the 12th

Who’ll win the Republican nomination in the race for the 12th Congressional District in Georgia tonight — Rick Allen or Lee Anderson?

U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, doesn’t care. And neither does the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Both released ads Tuesday in advance of tonight’s results. Barrow, anticipating that the GOP will characterize him as a full partner of President Barack Obama, has this TV spot:

Here’s the radio spot from the NRCC, now airing in east and south Georgia, using audio from Barrow’s 2010 contest:

The fight over the Last, White, Deep South Democrat in Congress has begun.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

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Why Josh McKoon wanted tougher punishment for Don Balfour in ethics case

State Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, the only dissenting vote on the Senate Ethics Committee last week in the matter of Senate Rules Chairman Don Balfour, has sent a copy of his “minority report” laying out his position for a harsher punishment.

Balfour was fined $5,000 and ordered to pay $300 and change in additional restitution. Read the entirety of McKoon’s report here. This appears to be the gist:

Without getting into the question of intent on the part of [Balfour], the facts are that false reports were filed with the Legislative Fiscal Office by [Balfour] and that [Balfour] received monies he was not entitled to under the law. The Committee decided it was sufficient to fine [Balfour], ask for further restitution to be paid and that the Audit Subcommittee be appointed and begin meeting.

The Minority [i.e., McKoon] reviewed the case of State Senator Roscoe Dean, who was censured by the State Senate in 1976 for similar offenses, namely filing false expense reports, including …

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Saxby Chambliss to Todd Akin: ‘Go home’

Macon — Even as Missouri congressman Todd Akin vowed one more time to stay in his race for U.S. Senate, another of his would-be colleagues urged him to leave the race.

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss had just finished his gig with the annual Georgia Chamber of Commerce gathering here. At the tail end of an interview on sequestration, I brought up the topic of Akin, whose Republican Senate campaign has collapsed since he asserted – in a televised interview – that women who are “legitimately raped” rarely become pregnant, and thus need no exemption from abortion bans.

Do you have any advice for Akin? I asked Georgia’s senior senator.

Chambliss heaved a sigh and said:

”Yeah. ‘Go home and spend time with your children.’ He needs to withdraw, period. That’s a seat that should be our seat. Todd’s a nice guy. But in politics, you can say the wrong thing – and he said the wrong thing. I don’t care how hard he attempts to put the genie back in the bottle, you just can’t do it.”

The Missouri …

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Your morning jolt: In Georgia, presidential contest could be 2008 redux

When Karl Rove recently shifted Georgia from “safe Romney” to “lean Romney,” he hinted that the adjustment was motivated by the lack of recent polling.

But Better Georgia, a Democratic-leaning group, is out today with an automated poll indicating that the 2012 presidential contest in Georgia could be a near-repeat of 2008, with Mitt Romney leading Barack Obama, 49 to 46 percent.

In 2008, Republican John McCain beat Obama, 52 to 47 percent.

Click here for more details.
The automated poll of 1,158 likely voters was conducted Aug. 15-18 and has an MOE of 2.9 percent.

The statewide poll also declares that 57 percent of likely voters support want the current Medicare program kept in place even if it means raising taxes. Thirty-one percent favor a voucher system.

The paragraph below, excerpted from an email sent by Scott Paradise, campaign manager for 12th District congressional candidate Rick Allen, is notable on many levels.

But look how quickly a certain Missouri congressman …

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On rape, pregnancy and the GOP fight for the U.S. Senate

Life, as every member of the GOP knows and accepts, isn’t fair.

Monday was to be the day given over to celebration of the fact that the most important playground in Republican society, Augusta National, would let Condi Rice and Darla Moore play through. As the club’s first female members.

Instead, we are embroiled in an argument over whether a Missouri member of the U.S. House, seeking promotion to the U.S. Senate, should withdraw from the contest because of his declaration – now retracted with much apology – that raped women have natural impediments to prevent pregnancy.

Karl Rove’s Crossroads organization has said it will spend no money on Todd Akin’s campaign. An official with the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee said the group’s head, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, called Akin on Monday to tell him that the committee had withdrawn $5 million in advertising planned for the Missouri race.

Here’s the lede of the Associated Press’ 13th write-through on the topic …

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Your morning jolt: Independent group backs Tim Lee in Cobb

Spending in Republican runoff for Cobb County commission chairman has been an uneven affair.

According to the Marietta Daily Journal, incumbent Tim Lee has raised $56, 455 since Aug. 1, while challenger – and former commission chairman – Bill Byrne estimates his take at between $6,000 and $7,000.

The disparity may actually be a bit larger. This weekend, the Insider answering machine in Kennesaw was chockfull of messages on behalf of Lee (none from Byrne), including this attack:

”Something stinks. Bill Byrne, the candidate, wants you to think he’s a fiscal conservative. His record is the opposite. Bill Byrne cost Cobb taxpayers over $80 million in the failed Bedminster composting boondoggle. And then he tried to hide this from the public with an Enron-style accounting gimmick….”

The message was paid for by Cobb 2012, an independent committee whose officers are chairperson Ashley Jenkins and treasurer Bryan Tyson, an Atlanta attorney. According to its most recent filing, on July …

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