Gov. Nathan Deal’s sit-down with Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action News on Wednesday was primarily intended to spread the news that the state’s economic woes had eased enough to boost HOPE scholarships by 3 percent and add 10 days to the pre-kindergarten schedule.
But Geary was also able to sneak in a question about gun legislation – which has become a hot topic for governor’s elsewhere. Said Deal:
”It is a time that is fraught with emotions on both sides of the issue. I’ve heard of proposed legislation, but none of that is part of my agenda.”
Don’t consider that declaration of neutrality to be a green light for the handful of bills already filed in the House, in anticipation of the new session of the Legislature that begins Monday. Several have been filed by incoming freshman Charles Gregory, R-Kennesaw, who has proposed removing state bans on (permitted) concealed weapons in churches and on public university campuses.
The governor’s statement could very well be a declaration that he wants no part of that debate. Not now.
Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement that the Obama administration might tackle some aspects of gun violence through executive action generated a wall of outrage among Second Amendment enthusiasts on Wednesday. But my blogging colleague Jamie Dupree of WSB Radio fame notes a pair of precedents:
The first time it happened was in 1989, after a mass school shooting Stockton, California, as President George H.W. Bush used a 1968 gun control law to limit the importation of foreign firearms – his executive order banned the shipment of certain assault weapons, unless they were used for sporting purposes.
In 1998, President Bill Clinton expanded on the Bush Administration move by banning the import of almost five dozen different assault weapons that had been modified to get through that “sporting purposes” exemption.
The aforementioned Charles Gregory, R-Kennesaw, who will be sworn in as a member of the House, is quickly earning a reputation as a conservative of a different sort – i.e., a full-fledged apostle of Rand Paul.
In town meetings and other such gatherings, Gregory has already theorized that Georgia should issue its own currency. We suggest Zell Miller’s face on the $20 bill.
On Wednesday, Gregory a) decried the practice of House Republican leaders protecting incumbents with campaign cash; and b) proposed a conservative loophole for those struggling with the concept of gay marriage. From Jon Gillooly and the Marietta Daily Journal:
“You know, marriage is a religious institution,” Gregory said. “It belongs in the church, and it should be between you and your God. It’s not the domain of the government. I don’t think anybody should be asking government permission to get married. So it takes gay marriage out of the whole equation. It’s not an issue anymore if it’s not a government thing. It’s a church thing. If your church is in favor of gay marriage, they would marry you. If your church is not, they won’t marry gay people. It would be up to the church. It has nothing to do with the government in my mind. It should not have to do with the government.”
This isn’t a brand-new thought. I heard state Rep. Bobby Franklin say almost exactly the same thing shortly before his death.
Check out this curious quote from U.S. Saxby Chambliss that my AJC colleague Kyle Wingfield tacked onto the end of his column today:
[D]oes the bitterness in Washington ever make him think twice about running again?
“This is an eight-year decision for me. It’s two years [campaigning] plus six years” in office, he said. “And if I thought the next eight years were going to be filled with contentious debates and the wrong way to govern that we have just gone through in the last two months, it would have a significant impact on my decision. But yeah, right now my plans are to run.”
Potential strategies assigned to President Barack Obama, who wants to avoid a showdown with Republicans over an increase in the federal debt ceiling, include a trillion-dollar platinum coin and the 14th Amendment, which states that “the validity of the public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned.”
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson doesn’t think either one is an option. From the Athens Banner-Herald:
“I don’t believe the Constitution allows either of those things to happen,” Isakson said during a legislative preview with the Athens and Classic City Rotary Clubs and the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce. “And I don’t think we ever want to get into a situation where one individual in this country unilaterally has the ability to determine how much we’re going to owe.
A Fulton County judge has rejected Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s attempt to settle a border dispute between Bibb and Monroe counties. From Mike Stucka and the Macon Telegraph:
Superior Court Judge Kelly Lee ordered Kemp to use the controversial 2009 survey by Terry Scarborough, which Kemp has rejected multiple times. Monroe County first appealed Kemp’s rejection to Kemp himself, filed and lost in Fulton County courts, then filed again in Fulton County to win Wednesday’s victory.
John Ricketson, a Monroe County resident, attended the hearing and said Lee’s order shocked attorneys for the state, leaving them “stammering like you had taken a baseball bat and slapped them upside the head. It was just that, really. Everybody in the court was just going, ‘Unbelievable.’”
The Washington Post today highlights a $1 million donation given by Sherry Huff of Rossville, Ga., to a super PAC that opposed President Barack Obama’s re-election. Huff lives in a $50,000 house:
“I didn’t like the way the election was looking,” Huff wrote in an e-mail message to The Washington Post. “Desperate times call for desperate measures.”
CREW, however, believes the source of the money is more likely to have been Huff’s employer, businessman Carey V. Brown, who built a fortune with Internet payday loans he routed through Bermuda to avoid lending laws. Brown recently pledged $1 billion to a Christian charity and has a history of political contributions to Republicans.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider