Former Gov. Sonny Perdue has declared himself out of a 2014 contest to replace U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, but placed himself on the side of Republicans who believe the party has become too rigid in its approach.
In a statement e-mailed this morning, the governor declared himself “flattered” by the support that has been offered, but cited his reasons for avoiding the contest: A dozen grandchildren, business obligations and “a loving and devoted wife who has absolutely no interest in living in Washington.” From his statement:
“Our country deserves more than the current dysfunction in Washington D.C. and our party needs to return to problem-solving conservatism. We have an opportunity, led by the examples of Republican Governors across the nation, to prove to the country that we are the party that can rise above the dogma and intransigence that dominates political discourse today. We need members of Congress who will stop playing political games and get to the business of addressing our real challenges, just as we have done here in Georgia.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Coweta County, is at least mildly interested in moving to the upper chamber. Here’s the quote from the Times-Georgian: “Over the next several days and weeks my family, friends, supporters and I will determine if I am interested in being a part of that discussion.”
Meanwhile, former congressman Jim Marshall, the middle-Georgia Democrat defeated by Austin Scott in 2010, ruled himself out during an interview with The Hill newspaper in Washington. But in the same article, Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson, who has close ties to both Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and U.S. Rep. John Barrow, offered this thought:
Johnson argued that Democrats’ best hope would be to find a ticket for governor and senator that “looks like Georgia” and avoids an expensive and divisive primary.
That’s usually Democratic code for a white/black ticket that keeps alive the beleaguered party’s biracial coalition.
Maria Strollo Zack, a longtime state Capitol lobbyist and Republican activist, told us Monday that she’s closing in on a decision to run for state GOP chairman. Here’s a little bit about her. Right now, it’s a one-man race – second vice-chairman B.J. VanGundy is the only announced candidate to replace current GOP chair Sue Everhart.
My AJC colleague Leon Stafford reports that last year’s boycott of Chick-fil-A by gay rights activists hasn’t touched the Atlanta company’s bottom line:
The fast food giant, the nation’s second-largest chicken chain, ended 2012 with $4.6 billion in sales — up 14 percent from $4.1 billion a year earlier. The company also opened 96 news stores, four more than the year before.
However, according to the Los Angeles Times, the company has also kept its promise to bow out of the same-sex marriage wars:
[A]ccording to gay rights group Campus Pride, the 2011 IRS 990 filings for Chick-fil-A’s charity arm WinShape Foundation show no sign of gifts to organizations such as Family Research Council or Exodus International, which advocate against same-sex unions and other privileges for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The documents, filed Nov. 15, instead exhibit nearly $6 million in funding to beneficiaries supporting youth, education, local communities and what Campus Pride called “marriage enrichment.”
Fox5 has this tidbit on the continuing, behind-the-scenes negotiations over a new stadium home for the Falcons:
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is warning city council members about business interests in Los Angeles who want to move the Falcons to the west coast. Team owner Arthur Blank shared that information with top city and state officials in their discussions about financing a new stadium in downtown Atlanta.
A spokeswoman for the mayor this morning sent this message via Twitter:
@KasimReed clarifies story re: Falcons: Arthur Blank & the team have never threatened to leave #Atlanta. But other cities are interested.
Speaking of Kasim Reed, the Atlanta mayor is in Las Vegas today, enveloped in President Barack Obama’s unveiling of his own proposals for immigration reform. An eight-member, bipartisan group of U.S. senators, including Arizona’s John McCain and Florida’s Marco Rubio, launched their own effort on Monday. Both proposals are to include a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
The new dynamic in Washington has upset D.A. King, head of Georgia’s Dustin Inman Society and an immigration activist at the Capitol. From a press release sent out this morning:
“The anti-enforcement, open-borders coalition of the race-baiting La Raza network, the ACLU, the Chamber of Commerce, the Democrats, Big Religion, Big Academia and some shameful anything-for-a campaign-buck collaborators in the Republican party will never stop fighting against enforcement” warned King. “Amnesty-again will not change that fact. Americans must be ever vigilant and become aware and active in defense of our right to have and enforce borders and immigration laws” he said.
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at three claims made by Gov. Nathan Deal in his recent state-of-the-state address, including his statement that “spending of government money is 17 percent less than it was a decade ago.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider