Archive for November, 2012

Lawmakers speak up for Clayton County’s sheriff-elect — whose name escapes them

An awkward press conference just wrapped up at the state Capitol, called by Clayton County lawmakers in defense of Sheriff-elect Victor Hill. At least that’s who we think they were talking about.

Hill, you’ll recall, faces a couple dozen felony indictments for alleged misbehavior during his first stint as sheriff, which ended when voters booted him in 2008. Hill revived his law enforcement career by beating incumbent Kem Kimbrough in the Democratic primary this summer, and defeated a write-in candidate this month.

Once Hill takes his oath of office in January, Gov. Nathan Deal has the option of suspending Hill until his legal issues are resolved. The Georgia Sheriffs’ Association last week recommended the governor take that route, and even suggested a replacement.

It was that move from the sheriffs’ association that provoked the Clayton County delegation. “I want to see the process work,” said state Sen. Gail Davenport, D-Jonesboro, chairman of the delegation. …

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Tea party group weighs in on Chambliss-Norquist dispute

A polite word of warning for U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, just arrived from Julianne Thompson and Debbie Dooley of Atlanta Tea Party Patriots:

“We are very disappointed by Senator Chambliss’ statement that he no longer intends to honor the pledge he signed promising not to increase taxes. This is not about Grover Norquist. The pledge was to the citizens of Georgia and we strongly encourage him to continue to honor it and a commitment to a smaller federal government.

“We understand the dire situation we are facing as a nation, but we did not get into this economic crisis by giving tax deductions, or by cutting the tax rate. We are in this situation because of a bloated federal government spending…. And now, instead of concentrating on solving the problems that got us into this situation, many in Washington want to punish the American people with higher tax rates instead of taking responsibility for what got us here in the first place.

“Senator Chambliss has always been …

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Karen Handel vs. Saxby Chambliss? It’s possible

Friends of former secretary of state Karen Handel tell us that Rob Simms, once her chief of staff – now a D.C. media consultant, wasn’t blowing smoke when he said Handel was considering a 2014 challenge to U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

She is.

Simms dropped Handel’s name last week in a Weekly Standard roundup of potential primary rivals to Chambliss – a well-timed piece, given the senator’s decision to renew his fight with Grover Norquist as the Thanksgiving recess began. Other possibilities included U.S. Reps. Tom Price, R-Roswell; Paul Broun, R-Athens; and Tom Graves, R-Ranger. (U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey sent word to Chambliss and state GOP Chairman Sue Everhart weeks ago that he’s not considering it.)

Over at PeachPundit.com, Charlie Harper has a few thoughts on Chambliss’ situation – as does Jason Pye. But let’s do some realistic handicapping here as well.

We haven’t talked to him, but we’re told that Graves is less than interested in mounting a challenge …

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Your daily jolt: White House warns that ‘fiscal cliff’ fears could freeze Christmas spending

As the country’s tryptophan high wears off, the sobering debate over the fiscal cliff begins. From the Associated Press:

White House economists warned Monday that the uncertainty of a potential hike in taxes next year for middle class taxpayers under the looming fiscal cliff could hurt consumer confidence during the crucial holiday shopping season.

In a new report that coincides with Congress’ return after the Thanksgiving holiday, the White House says that if lawmakers don’t halt the automatic increase in taxes for households earning less than $250,000, consumers might even curtail their shopping during the current holiday season.

“As we approach the holiday season, which accounts for close to one-fifth of industry sales, retailers can’t afford the threat of tax increases on middle-class families,” the report says.

The study by President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council and his Council of Economic Advisers also says a sudden increase in taxes for middle-income …

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Grover Norquist’s reply to Saxby Chambliss: ‘His promise wasn’t to me’

So it looks like we have a renewal of last year’s sniping between U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss and Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and originator of the no-tax-increase pledge that many Republicans – Chambliss among them – say will only aggravate a $16 trillion federal deficit.

Given the dearth of news on Thanksgiving Day, Chambliss’ comments on Norquist and his pledge, made to WMAZ in Macon, drew an inordinate amount of attention. Said Chambliss:

“I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge. If we do it his way then we’ll continue in debt, and I just have a disagreement with him about that.”

That kind of rebellious chatter could have an impact on negotiations between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans that are set to begin in earnest on Monday. Late Friday, Norquist sent us this lengthy response:

Senator Chambliss promised the people of Georgia he would go to Washington and reform government rather than …

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Saxby Chambliss: ‘I care more about the country than a 20-year-old anti-tax pledge’

As the nation began to shut down for Thanksgiving Day, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss tackled that anti-tax increase pledge he once signed – the one pushed by Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform. From 13WMAZ in Macon:

From the TV station’s website:

“I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge,” Chambliss says. “If we do it his way then we’ll continue in debt, and I just have a disagreement with him about that.”

….Does Chambliss think Norquist will hold the anti-tax pledge against him during his next re-election bid in 2014? Yes.

“But I don’t worry about that because I care too much about my country. I care a lot more about it than I do Grover Norquist,” Chambliss says.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

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Gone turkey hunting

Time to take a few days off. Enjoy the holiday, eat lots of turkey and fixings, and if you’re at a loss for politics, go see “Lincoln.” It’s the best movie you’ll see this year or next.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

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The Georgia video connection between Mitt Romney and Chip Rogers

Mitt Romney and Chip Rogers have something in common.

Both politicians — one an unsuccessful presidential nominee, the other an undone state Senate majority leader — have been stung by lengthy, Internet-posted video clips of scenes you were never meant to see.

Their connection is more than coincidence. Both videos were the work products of a small coterie of young, tech-savvy Georgia Democrats out to change the way this state does politics.

By now, you know that James Earl Carter IV, grandson of the former president, helped bring to light that secret iPhone recording of Romney at a high-end Florida dinner party where the candidate declared that 47 percent of American voters were bought and paid for with federal government checks.

What you probably don’t know is that, weeks later, Carter served as a consultant to the progressive group known as Better Georgia for another project: The insertion of a camera into an October seminar at the state Capitol, arranged by Rogers, on …

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Newt Gingrich on Mitt Romney and Barack Obama’s gifts: ‘Why didn’t you outbid him?’

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich had a wicked response Friday to Mitt Romney’s contention that President Barack Obama had outbid him among blacks, Hispanics and young people in the race for the White House:

Said Gingrich:

“I’m very disappointed with Governor Romney’s analysis, which I believe is insulting and profoundly wrong. First of all, we didn’t lose Asian-Americans because they got any gifts. He did worse with Asian-Americans than he did with Latinos. This is the hardest-working and most successful ethnic group in America. They ain’t into gifts. Second, it’s an insult to all Americans. It reduces us to economic entities. You have no passion, no idealism, no dreams, no philosophy. If it had been that simple, my question would be, why didn’t you outbid him?

“He had enough billionaire supporters, if buying the electorate was the key, he could have got all his Super PAC friends together and said, don’t buy ads, give gifts. Be like the northwest …

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Your daily jolt: With new GOP leadership, state Senate rift may be at an end

The state Senate’s two-year experiment with self-rule may be about to experience a major correction.

In a private meeting held at the edge of the earth – well, Little Ocmulgee State Park down in south Georgia – the Senate Republican caucus voted 25 to 10 to make David Shafer of Duluth the president pro tem and No. 1 leader in the chamber.

On the losing end was Bill Cowsert of Athens. He had been at the top of a slate of candidates put together by outgoing President pro tem Tommie Williams of Lyons and other GOP senators who banded together two years ago to strip Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle of his authority over the chamber.

From the official press release:

“I am humbled by the support shown by my Senate colleagues in today’s election,” said Senator Shafer. “With the upcoming legislative session less than two months away and with several critical issues needing immediate attention, it is imperative that we begin work now.”

In that same press release, Cagle – whom the …

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