Archive for November, 2012

On Sam Olens and the power of Twitter — plus some angry Tech fans

Attorney General Sam Olens has just been given an education in the power of social media and angry Georgia Tech fans. This morning, the following was sent out from his Twitter account:

“I just saw a billboard congratulating Tech ACC Coastal football champs! Miami won it, Tech is 6-6, how embarrassing.”

The Yellow Jacket response was apparently swift and sharp. The above Tweet no longer exists. But this one does:

sam2

Olens, by the way, is an Emory University law school grad who did not attend the University of Georgia. Which means no blood feud was involved.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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Your daily jolt: Erick Erickson passes on 2014 challenge to Saxby Chambliss

Erick Erickson, who discourses on Republican politics for both CNN and AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB, has quickly resolved any talk that he might challenge U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss in 2014. From Redstate.com:

Were I to run for the Senate, it would be a terribly nasty campaign. It’d actually be really awesome, but it’d be really nasty. I have a seven year old, a soon to be four year old, and a wife who does not like being anywhere near a stage. I’m not putting my family through that when the best outcome would mean a sizable pay cut in pay and being away from my kids and wife all the time huddled in a pit vipers often surrounded by too many who viewed me as a useful instrument to their own advancement.

On the same topic, an analysis of Chambliss’ situation by Aaron Blake of the Washington Post includes these two paragraphs:

….Chambliss is hardly Public Enemy No. 1 when it comes to the tea party and the conservative base — at least not right now. Both the Club for …

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Newt Gingrich vs. Johnny Isakson on the fiscal cliff

One of two Republicans you know quite well is struggling with reality. Your job this evening is to decide which one.

On Wednesday, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich, in a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., declared the fiscal cliff to be a gross fiction, and urged House Republicans not to “cave” to President Barack Obama. From the Daily Caller:

“There is no fiscal cliff. It’s absolute, total, nonsense,” Gingrich said.

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich. (AP file /Jeff Roberson)

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich. (AP file /Jeff Roberson)

“It is an excuse to panic. It’s a device to get all of us running down the road so we accept whatever Obama wants because otherwise we have failed the fiscal cliff, and how can you be a patriot if you don’t do what the fiscal cliff requires, and the fiscal cliff will appear to us one afternoon, much like the land of Oz, where there will be this person hiding behind the machine who will say, ‘Raise taxes now,’” Gingrich intoned, …

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Nathan Deal: ‘Cost and control’ behind his refusal to set up Georgia insurance exchange

Gov. Nathan Deal was on Fox News this morning, explaining why Georgia and 16 other states (so far) will not set up the health care insurance exchanges required by the Affordable Care Act:

The federal government will set up the operations in Georgia and those other states. Said Deal:

“Historically, the regulation of insurance has been a state function. That’s why we have state insurance commissioners. We don’t have a federal insurance commissioner. We will have one, of course – maybe not in name, but in practicality.

It is not politics. It is the cost and the question of state control of an issue that’s so important to the citizens of our state.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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Your daily jolt: Nathan Deal gets comfortable with a new Falcons stadium

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is no longer out there by himself. For the first time, Gov. Nathan Deal has indicated his support for a new $1 billion stadium that would serve as a home to the Atlanta Falcons.

From Lori Geary and Channel 2 Action News:

Said Deal:

”I think that, overall, if we get a new facility that’s upgraded and meets the current demands and needs of the future, then being on the hook for less than a third – that is repaid from money that comes from outsiders – I think that’s probably a pretty good deal.”

That deal would require the Georgia World Congress Authority’s bonding capacity to be increased from $200 million to $300 million – which would require legislation passed by the General Assembly. Geary reports that the governor now says he’s “open” to the idea.

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We’re picking up word that state Sen. Doug Stoner, the Smyrna Democrat who was successfully targeted by Republicans this month, is quietly campaigning for the 13th District spot …

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Signs that a GOP civil war may be headed Georgia’s way

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, arrives for a closed-door oversight hearing of the committee on Capitol Hill in Washington earlier this month, looking into the circumstances surrounding the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. AP/Alex Brandon

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, arrives for a closed-door oversight hearing of the committee on Capitol Hill in Washington earlier this month, looking into the circumstances surrounding the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. AP/Alex Brandon

In politics, two years is the equivalent of two eternities. But already, signs are pointing to a Republican civil war headed Georgia’s way, settling into an orbit around the 2014 re-election bid of U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

Seven days ago, just as they were about to fire up their turkeys, Chambliss’ assessment of Grover Norquist’s no-tax-increase pledge allowed the state’s more fierce Republicans to cook their birds without an oven.

“I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge,” said Georgia’s senior senator, who has spent the past two years trying to broker a bipartisan deal in Congress to tackle a $16 trillion federal …

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First cracks appear in House GOP opposition to tax hikes

For those who believe that avoidance of the “fiscal cliff” boils down to a test of will between the White House and House Speaker John Boehner, this Associated Press piece matters:

WASHINGTON — The first cracks are developing among Republicans over whether to accept a quick deal with President Barack Obama on allowing the top two income tax rates to expire.

Conservative Oklahoma GOP Rep. Tom Cole told GOP colleagues in a private meeting on Tuesday that it’s better to make sure that tax cuts for the 98 percent of taxpayers who make less than $200,000 or $250,000 a year are extended than to battle it out with Obama and risk increasing taxes on everyone.

Cole’s remarks are noteworthy because he’s a longtime GOP loyalist and a confidant of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. They were made in a meeting of the House GOP Republican whip team, which is a sounding board for GOP leaders.

“If we don’t believe taxes should go up on anybody, why can’t we accept a deal that takes 98 …

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Your daily jolt: Newly elected state lawmaker sends refunds to contributors

In an email sent last night, reader George Mortensen reported something strange and wonderful: A political candidate has written him a check.

Michael Caldwell of Woodstock is the young Republican – he was 23 as his campaign began — who ousted longtime state Rep. Charlice Byrd in the July primary, and in November defeated Democrat Lillian Burnaman.

As of Oct. 25, Caldwell reported raising $16,967 for the contest, and still had $2,343.

So the successful candidate has been sending his 13.8 percent surplus back to contributors on a pro-rated basis. Mortensen had given $20 to Caldwell this spring. Caldwell has sent him a check for $2.76.

Sigh. If only this kind of conduct would catch on. We’ve got a call into Caldwell, but have not heard back.

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A rumor was floating around the state on Monday that U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, having survived another GOP attempt to oust him, was being courted by Democrats to run statewide in 2014 – whether against U.S. Sen. Saxby …

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Tom Price: ‘Completely premature’ to consider 2014 Senate race against Saxby Chambliss

Senate race? What Senate race?

My AJC colleague Daniel Malloy, who never stops working, just finished up an interview with U.S. Rep. Tom Price – his first since that race for U.S. House conference chairman. The Roswell Republican lost to Cathy McMorris-Rodgers of Washington state, who was backed by House Speaker John Boehner.

Writes Malloy:

I asked Price if he had given any thought to running for Senate.

“No, it’s completely premature at this point to even consider that,” he replied.

Asked about his path in the next Congress, after losing his bid for Republican Conference Chair, Price said he would focus on work in the Budget and Ways and Means committees — both of which will be active in spending and tax battles.

“You don’t have to be the leader to lead,” he said. “And so we’ll continue to lead as we’re able in our conference to move us in a positive direction.”

But as far as challenging Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss is concerned, note that Price didn’t say …

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Your daily jolt: Fiscal cliff talks begin – between Saxby Chambliss and Grover Norquist

Crucial negotiations over the fiscal cliff are finally underway in Washington. So far, they only include Republicans.

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss told my AJC colleague Daniel Malloy that he and anti-tax maven Grover Norquist had a long chat on Monday and that they are still buddies, despite continuing differences over what constitutes a tax hike.

“Grover and I are friends, and as we said we were friends before last weekend and we’re going to be friends after my comments because he understands we have a disagreement on this issue of what you do with revenue generated from the elimination of loopholes and tax credits,” Chambliss said this morning. “We’re going to continue to dialogue with him, and if we have issues we’ll work through them. We had a very good conversation.”

At issue is Norquist’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which has been signed by Chambliss and nearly every Republican in Congress, promising not to increase tax revenue to the federal government …

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