However coyly, U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Athens, this morning admitted he’s thinking about a 2014 primary challenge to Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
“I don’t know. I’m honored that a lot of people are asking me to run. I’ve not made that decision,” Broun told Tim Bryant on WGAU (1340 AM) in Athens. “It’s not time to think about it.”
But when Bryant pressed him, Broun said this: “When people encourage you to run, how can you not think about it?”
Part of keeping the powder dry: Broun said he’ll oppose the new House resolution that postpones a confrontation over the debt ceiling until May.
The Athens congressman, who proudly boycotted the 2008 presidential inauguration, didn’t go to this one, either. “I had a lot of folks who wanted my tickets, so I didn’t go,” the congressman said.
So now we see why the organizers of President Barack Obama’s second inauguration were so anxious to be shed of the Rev. Louie Giglio of Atlanta – who was originally assigned the task of giving the benediction at Monday’s ceremonies. In his speech, Obama underlined the importance of gay rights and marriage equality – the first such mention in the history of presidential beginnings. Certainly those remarks would have clashed with any extensive discussion of past statements by the pastor of Passion City church, even if they were thoughts expressed 20 years ago.
The conservative wing of religion in America was instead upheld by the Rev. Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Ga., who delivered the sermon at the morning church service attended by the Obama family. Little advance notice of Stanley’s participation was given.
Former Republican congressional candidate Martha Zoller said this morning that she’s ruled out joining the race for chairman of the state GOP. “I was asked by a few people to consider it. I met with a few people and decided it wasn’t something I wanted to pursue,” she said in an email this morning. Zoller said she’s “very happy” with her new radio show on WGAU (1340AM) in Athens with Tim Bryant. (See above: Broun, Paul)
Former state senator Chip Pearson of Dawsonville dropped out earlier this month. GOP activist B.J. VanGundy remains the sole candidate to replace term-limited Sue Everhart in May.
By now you, you’ve probably heard about state Sen. Barry Loudermilk’s resolution that would have the Legislature formally declare that the enslavement of human beings was wrong. It is something that we’ve seen pushed by African-American Democrats more so than white conservative Republicans.
In the past, such resolutions have been tripped up over the word “apology.” Loudermilk’s bill negates it: “Even the most abject apology cannot right the transgressions, injustices, and oppressive acts of the past.”
Still, in an interview with Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1 FM), state Rep. Tyrone Brooks, D-Atlanta, one of the few remaining civil rights originals in the General Assembly, says he’s okay with SR 28. “I think you have to get what you can get, when you can get it,” he said.
Besides, Brooks added, “profound remorse and lamentations” is pretty strong stuff.
On Feb. 5, voters in south Georgia will put an end to the special election Senate District 11 runoff between Republicans Dr. Dean Burke and former House member Mike Keown. Over the long weekend, Georgia Right to Life dipped into the race with an email that included this:
”Dr. Dean Burke has not been endorsed by the Georgia Right to Life PAC or the National Right to Life Committee PAC. The NRLC PAC does not make state endorsements and its state affiliate – GRTL PAC – has only endorsed Mr. Keown. Any claims to the contrary are false.”
Political consultant Mark Rountree, working for Burke, says there’s no substantive difference between the two candidates on the issue of abortion. Local conversation, he says, has focused more on the $100 cap on gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers. Burke has pledged support for that limit, Rountree said, while Keown has not.
State Senate Republicans declare their vote last week on Gov. Nathan Deal’s “bed tax” solution was a choice between a rock and a hard place. Here’s Lindsey Tippins of west Cobb County in today’s Marietta Daily Journal:
Tippins said the alternative to levying the tax is forgoing federal matching funds and paying for Medicaid services through the state budget.
“So you’d be taking another $700 million out of existing state funding, and that would come from other agencies,” Tippins said. “You’re going to be hitting education very, very strongly, and all the other good services that the state provides. The reality is that money would have to come from somewhere because the state in their agreement to access the federal stimulus money cannot change the delivery pattern for Medicaid until 2014, so we’re locked in under the same eligibility and also under the same payment program.”
The New York Times has an article on Georgia tuition tax credits going to private schools with strict anti-gay policies. Sounds like a federal lawsuit waiting to happen:
At least 115 religious-based schools in Georgia have severe antigay policies, according to a report issued this month by the Southern Education Foundation. Public information about the scholarship program is limited by law, so the number is probably much higher, according to the foundation, which was founded in 1867 to improve education for poor children in the South.
Steve Suitts, the vice president of the foundation and the author of the report, said that as many as a third of the schools in the scholarship program have strict antigay policies or adhere to a religious philosophy that holds homosexuality as immoral or a sin.
As a result, his report says, public money is being spent by private educational institutions that “punish, denounce and even demonize students in the name of religion solely because they are gay, state that they are homosexual, happen to have same-sex parents or guardians, or express support or tolerance for gay students at school, away from school or at home.”
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at a Twitter post from U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, in which he said that “Social Security has nothing to do with the federal deficit.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider