Archive for September, 2012

Your morning jolt: James Earl Carter IV and the ‘poetic justice’ behind the Romney video

Updated at 5:30 p.m. with link to WABE (90.1FM) interview:

One of the most ironic notes of the 2012 presidential campaign was sounded last night when a video surfaced — courtesy of liberal magazine Mother Jones – in which Republican nominee Mitt Romney told a group of California fundraisers that he considered nearly half of all Americans to be unreachable moochers who can’t be weaned away from President Barack Obama.

The fellow who dug that video up was James Earl Carter IV of Dunwoody, 35-year-old son of Chip and grandson of the former president. “There are some people on Twitter and other places who are saying it was poetic justice that it was a Carter that found this, because of the way the Romney campaign has treated my grandfather,” Carter IV said. “I completely agree with that sentiment.”

Carter IV, who is currently unemployed and trying to break into the political research business, said he conducts daily searches on YouTube and other sites, looking for …

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The $30 million price tag on a drought declaration

The Los Angeles Times today noted that Georgia is in the middle of a brutal drought – especially in southwest Georgia — that remains officially unofficial:

Environmentalists, scientists and farmers point to places like the Flint [River], as well as reservoir levels and stream and rainfall data as proof of drought. Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and much of the business community contend that there is no drought. Unlike his predecessor, Deal has yet to declare one.

The state’s resistance to more drastic measures stems from its desire to protect its business-friendly image, critics say. “Atlanta is the brightest symbol of the ‘New South,’ and the Southern miracle depends on the use of natural resources,” said Gordon Rogers, executive director of Flint Riverkeeper, an environmental group. “And the key resource is water.”

A drought declaration would indeed allow the state to impose tougher water conservation restrictions. The 2007-2008 drought declaration by Gov. Sonny Perdue had a …

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Your morning jolt: Clarence Thomas concedes U.S. Constitution didn’t originally include him

In a Sunday piece timed to mark the 225th birthday of the U.S. Constitution, Robert Barnes of the Washington Post wrote of a recent question-and-answer session with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who conceded that the opening phrase of the nation’s founding document – “We the people” – didn’t originally apply to people like him.

The Georgia native said he often contemplates the gap between America’s promises and its delivery:

“I always think it’s so fascinating to think of these black kids in the segregated school in Savannah reciting the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States or standing out in the schoolyard saying the Pledge of Allegiance every day before school,” Thomas said.

“I mean, everything so obviously in front of you is wrong. You can’t go to the public library. You can’t live in certain neighborhoods. You can’t go to certain schools. But despite all of that, you lived in an environment of people who said it was …

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An ‘SNL’ debut: ‘Barack Obama’ on the ‘Christmas miracle’ of Mitt Romney

He’s no Tina Fey, but Jay Pharoah kicked off the new season of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” as President Barack Obama last night, describing the “Christmas miracle” of Republican Mitt Romney:

Pharaoh/Obama’s opening line:

”Before we start – ‘Sasha, Malia, go to bed.’ I do that to remind you that I have two adorable young daughters, and not five creepy adult sons.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

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A private electronic memo outlines charter school campaign

The November campaign to re-establish state government’s authority to set up local charter schools in Georgia will look very much like this summer’s effort to pass a transportation sales tax.

But in a good way.

That’s according to a private PowerPoint outline that’s being passed to members and friends of the Georgia Charter Schools Association, and which has fallen into our hands. You can see it here.

The presentation describes a $2.7 million statewide campaign that will be divided into a $974,000 tax-free “educational” effort dubbed “Brighter Georgia,” controlled by the charter schools association, and a traditional get-out-the-vote campaign with a $1.8 million price tag called Families for Better Schools. That’s a page torn right from the T-SPLOST push.

The two organizations had raised a combined $988,000 as of Sept. 1, the memo said.

At the top of the organizational chart of the Families for Better Schools campaign — contained within the memo — is a …

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GALEO demands slice of voting power for Latinos in Gainesville

The state’s most active Latino organization has served notice that it intends to challenge the electoral system of the city of Gainesville, home to both the governor and lieutenant governor, for allegedly shutting Hispanics and other minorities out of local politics.

The Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials has sent a letter to Gainesville City Attorney James Palmour, informing him that it had retained legal counsel – Keegan Federal, the former DeKalb County judge – and wanted to negotiate a solution that would “avoid the expense of litigation which would be imposed on taxpayers in these already-difficult times.”

The issue GALEO is aiming at would be familiar to anyone who covered local government 30 or 40 years ago – Gainesville’s requirement that all members of its city council live in specific districts, but be elected citywide, rather than by single district itself.

Read Federal’s Aug. 21 letter in its entirety here. A few excerpts:

I want to …

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Your morning jolt: Marriage as a license to vote for Mitt Romney

If voters were required to be married, Republican Mitt Romney wouldn’t be sweating the November outcome of the race for president, the Gallup organization says this morning.

Married registered voters prefer Romney over Democratic incumbent Barack Obama by 54 to 39 percent, according to data collected by the polling group this summer:

Nonmarried Americans strongly prefer President Obama to rival Mitt Romney, 56% to 35%; this group includes those who are single, in a domestic partnership, widowed, divorced, and separated. Support for President Obama varies among these subgroups — those who are single (61%), are in a domestic partnership (62%), or are separated (58%) are especially supportive of the president, while the divorced (51%) are somewhat less so, with those who are widowed breaking even.

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Other Republicans may be critical Mitt Romney for piling on President Barack Obama in the midst of this week’s eruption of protests in the Mideast. But Saxby Chambliss, the …

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To meet budget cuts, public will lose access to state historical records

Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced this afternoon that, to meet a 3 percent ($732,626) budget cut ordered by Gov. Nathan Deal, he’ll be forced to cut off general public access to the state archives collection in Morrow, effective Nov. 1.

From Kemp:

”The decision to reduce public access to the historical records of this state was not arrived at without great consternation. To my knowledge, Georgia will be the only state in the country that will not have a central location in which the public can visit to research and review the historical records of their government and state.

“The staff that currently works to catalog, restore, and provide reference to the state of Georgia’s permanent historical records will be reduced. The employees that will be let go through this process are assets to the state of Georgia and will be missed. After November 1st, the public will only be allowed to access the building by appointment; however, the number of appointments could be …

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Your morning jolt: Lee Anderson’s list of demands for a debate with John Barrow

The loquaciously challenged Lee Anderson is entirely willing to meet U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, in a debate this fall.

But first, says the Republican challenger from Grovetown, the Deep South’s last white Democrat in Congress must prove himself worthy. From Larry Peterson and the Savannah Morning News:

He’ll “consider” a debate if Barrow first discusses on TV his recent tepid endorsement of President Barack Obama.

And, if spokesman Ryan Mahoney adds, Barrow says on camera who he supports for Speaker of the House.

“Barrow,” Mahoney said, “… is incapable of telling the truth to voters … and doesn’t deserve a platform to further promote his empty campaign promises and tired political rhetoric.”

Already, Anderson has slapped his preconditions on two debates – one in Statesboro, the other in Augusta, Peterson reports.

Barrow has refused Anderson’s demands.

There is talk that Anderson is ready to heap on more requirements intended to even the debating …

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Otis Brumby gives up his seat on the 50-yard line

My experience with Otis Brumby Jr. began 33 years ago this month, when this newspaper decided it could no longer allow smaller publications to eat into Atlanta’s suburban market.

Brumby’s Marietta Daily Journal and his chain of weekly Neighbor Newspapers were the largest part of that competition, as I found when I inherited the AJC’s new Cobb bureau. As first impressions go, I’m sure we were wary of each other.

Several college friends who worked for Brumby had two primary objections: a) He paid little more than minimum wage; and b) felt fully entitled, as publisher, to rewrite any reporter’s copy so that it made the point he wanted.

Most MDJ hires left as soon as they could, which suited Brumby just fine. Journalism schools churned out new graduates every year.

Three decades can have a remarkable influence on one’s thinking. What a young outsider might have denigrated as cheap in 1980 looks like a business model today – but maybe one that we will not see …

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