U.S. Rep. Allen West continues to hold out hope that he can prevail with a recount in his coastal Florida race. But the Republican firebrand has ruled out a return to Georgia should he need to restart his political career.
My AJC colleague Daniel Malloy caught West in a Capitol hallway on Wednesday, and asked him about the invitation from Georgia GOP chairman Sue Everhart, who noted West’s Atlanta roots and said she hoped they would lead West to replant his standard here.
West wasn’t interested. “No,” the former lieutenant colonel replied. “Look, let me tell you something. I have moved my wife around for 20-some-odd years, being in the military, and she was also the daughter of a career military guy. When I retired, she chose Florida. That’s where my daughter’s in school, in college, my youngest daughter’s in high school. That’s our home. It’s a very nice thing, but I’m not an NFL free agent.”
Johnny Isakson took to the floor of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, shortly after President Barack Obama’s first post-election conference, and noted that the White House had refused to draw a line in the sand when it came to how federal revenues ought to be raised in order to attack a $16 trillion deficit.
Couple that with House Speaker John Boehner’s willingness to talk increased revenue, and it’s time to deal, Isakson said. Here’s his 10-minute speech – it’s worth listening to:
Isakson even proffered his own idea for a solution. “Maybe the answer is means-tested deductions, which raises revenue without raising rates,” he said.
As for those who say jumping off the fiscal cliff in January wouldn’t be so bad: “I would, with all due respect, say that’s pretty stupid,” Isakson said.
U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, who just renewed a two-year lease on his own job, declared Wednesday that Nancy Pelosi’s decision to remain as House minority leader is a “missed opportunity” for Democrats.
He still doesn’t intend to vote for her.
“If the last election has taught us anything, it’s that the voters do not want politics as usual,” Barrow told my AJC colleague Daniel Malloy. “They want us to find ways to work together and sometimes I think that involves finding new people — the leadership to take up the new issue of finding common ground and working together.”
Barrow supported North Carolina Rep. Heath Shuler’s challenge to Pelosi two years ago, after the party was decimated in the 2010 elections. Shuler’s bid was easily quashed and Barrow ended up voting for Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta on the floor in protest. Barrow is not sure who he will vote for this time.
Rep. David Scott of Atlanta, meanwhile, applauded the decision.
“My whole point about Nancy is I think there is a greater value in the continuity of leadership at this time, whereas no matter who it was, if there was such a breakup and the leader goes, then you turn inward and you start having this other problem and it dissipates the focus that we have,” Scott said. “There’s such energy now. I think it’s a good thing and the American people agree with it. Leader Pelosi knows as well as I do and others that we’ve got to work together. We’ve got to avoid this cliff.”
The GSU Law School chapter of the American Constitution Society on Wednesday hosted a panel that looked at the upcoming session of the Legislature, attended by three Democratic lawmakers from DeKalb County. Yours truly was the moderator.
State Sen. Emanuel Jones reported that the city of Dunwoody would seek its own school system.
Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver predicted that a proposed “personhood” amendment to the state constitution, to give embryos full rights as human beings, might pass the Senate but would not make it to the House floor for a vote.
Sen. Jason Carter pointed to the vast uncertainty hanging over his chamber, where Republicans have yet to decide who will hold the positions of Senate president pro tem and majority leader. “We don’t even know who the rules chairman will be,” he said.
But the most popular figure at the hour-long session didn’t speak. He was Jason Carter’s cousin, James Earl Carter IV, who helped bring Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” video to light. The man has even got groupies.
We told you Wednesday that Marietta-based WellStar Health System had acquired one of the shattered remains of Newt Inc. It plans to reboot the bankrupt Center for Health Transformation.
But don’t think that this will help former House speaker Newt Gingrich address his think-tank’s multi-million dollar debt. According to my AJC colleague Scott Trubey, WellStar paid only $20,000 for what’s left of the concern that once was at the center of Gingrich’s empire.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider