Closing out the biennial pre-session meeting of state lawmakers in Athens, Gov. Nathan Deal laid out the not-so-pretty picture for state finances. From Walter C. Jones at Morris News Service:
In years past, governors have used their luncheon speech to outline ambitious agendas.
Deal, though, used the occasion to dampen expectations.
“I must tell you it is a rather daunting budget this year. We have some challenges,” he said.
The looming federal budget cuts would offer another blow to Georgia’s budget-writers, and there is little sign of progress toward altering or averting them in any way. President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner apparently traded offers Tuesday that did little to move the ball.
The Wall Street Journal reports that there is one new aspect to the closed-door negotiations: Corporate tax reform.
The key excerpt from the dead tree version of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s announcement that he backs gay marriage:
Reed is running for re-election next year. He is eyed as a potential statewide candidate for the Democrats, but Kennesaw State University political science professor Kerwin Swint said this announcement makes it harder for Reed to win a statewide race right now.
“I think it’s for the long term,” Swint said. “One thing I would take from it is he’s not interested in running for statewide office in Georgia anytime soon, but he’s looking to the future.”
Augusta U.S. Rep. John Barrow is one of the few remaining Blue Dog Democrats, and he will once again have a hand in leading the moderate caucus. Barrow on Tuesday was announced as the caucus’ co-chair for administration for the 113th Congress, taking over for the departing Heath Shuler of North Carolina, who probably has a better arm. In the current Congress, Barrow is the Blue Dogs’ co-chair for policy.
Sean Jerguson has qualified for the Jan. 8 Senate special election to replace Chip Rogers. The Cherokee County state Rep. broke the news on Facebook on Tuesday, saying: “For the past 6 years I have been proud to serve Cherokee County as a State Representative and look forward to continuing that service in the State Senate.” He also launched a new Facebook page for the bid.
Jerguson will face off against North Fulton chamber executive Brandon Beach, who said Monday he had already raised $30,000 for the effort.
Paging Saxby Chambliss: Sen. Jim DeMint, Teaparty-S.C., who is departing the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body to run the conservative Heritage Foundation will not endorse candidates in the 2014 elections. DeMint is known to turn on Republican senators he feels are too moderate.
“I am anxious to get away from the political angles, the partisan angles and focus on just the ideas,” DeMint told POLITICO on Tuesday. “Hopefully candidates will embrace these ideas. But part of what we have to do is convince Americans that the ideas are right.”