Charlotte, N.C. — Only a few hours after a late-night stint on the floor of the Democratic National Convention, 90-year-old Joseph Lowery was back it, slamming a GOP-controlled General Assembly and a proposed charter school amendment that “frightens” him.
From my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin:
“I don’t trust the General Assembly to handle the education of my children,” Lowery said at a Georgia delegation meeting intended to honor him and other civil rights figures.
The proposed amendment to the state Constitution, on this November’s ballot with the presidential election, would re-establish state authority to create public charter schools – if even if local school boards object.
“All my life I’ve heard the legislators talk about local control, local control, local control. Now, they’re advocating taking away the local control from local school boards and putting it in the state Legislature. I don’t trust the Legislature,” said Lowery, who is officially the chairman of the 124 delegates and 9 alternates attending the convention.
At the same morning meeting, U.S. Rep. John Lewis said Wednesday’s move to change the party platform to include references to God and to Jerusalem being the rightful capital of Israel will not have lasting effects. Again, from my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin:
“I don’t think it’s going to be an issue,” Lewis said. “It was corrected.”
Lewis, who will address the convention this evening in advance of President Barack Obama, told reporters, “God was restored and Jerusalem was restored. The Democratic Party is a big tent. We make up America. We are a reflection of America.”
His Georgia colleague, Rep. David Scott, however, said it was a “bonehead” move to not include those references in the first place.
For those of you in Atlanta wondering why Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker had a speaking role at the Democratic National Convention, and Mayor Kasim Reed doesn’t, we offer two words: Chris Christie.
The governor of New Jersey, touted as a potential 2016 candidate for president, is up for re-election in 2013. Democrats would dearly love to tarnish the big guy’s presidential hopes — and Booker’s name has been highly touted as a Democratic alternative. Hence, Booker gets the face time – no matter that he screwed up that “Meet the Press” interview a while back.
Several hundred delegates, journalists and guests were locked outside Time Warner Cable Arena on Wednesday night. Fire marshals at first declared it a matter of overcrowding, but it quickly became clear that the lockdown was because of President Barack Obama’s “surprise” arrival to give former President Bill Clinton a hug.
A Channel 2 Action News crew posted this brief clip of the scene outside:
More evidence that all is not sweetness and light in Charlotte, from the New York Times:
Karen Geronimo, a member of the Mescalero Apache tribe in town for the Democratic convention, knows what she wants from Elizabeth Warren, the Senate candidate from Massachusetts: a blood sample.
“Someone needs to make her take a DNA test,” said Ms. Geronimo, whose husband, Harlyn Geronimo, is the great-grandson of the legendary warrior Geronimo.
Shortly after Secretary of State Brian Kemp declared the GOP race for the 12th Congressional District over on Wednesday, recount loser Rick Allen, the Augusta businessman, issued a relatively sour concession:
”While we fell a few votes short, I’m proud that our campaign was always truthful, honest and was based on principle, qualities sorely lacking in today’s political environment.
“I want to thank Secretary of State Brian Kemp for working with local election officials to conduct this recount in a timely, accurate and efficient manner. We respect the results of the recount and congratulate Lee Anderson on his nomination.”
There is talk – we don’t know how serious – that Allen intends to file a defamation suit against Anderson, now the GOP nominee in the race against U.S. Rep. John Barrow, for accusing Allen of donating to Democratic candidates in order to federal government contracts.
Speaking of John Barrow: the Democrat from (now) Augusta has kept busy while not attending the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Earlier this week, he sponsored two-day business forum in Augusta – devoting one day to opportunities for minority businesses.
Today, he’s in Savannah for the annual State of the Port address. And he’s got a new commercial out, declaring himself an enemy of out-of-control spending in Washington:
In response, the Republican National Congressional Committee has helpfully pointed out that Barrow voted for a 2009 appropriations measure that included this:
Half a million dollars went to Arizona State University to study the genetic makeup of ants to determine distinctive roles in ant colonies; $450,000 went to the University of Arizona to study the division of labor in ant colonies.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider