Archive for the ‘2012 redistricting’ Category

Your daily jolt: Signs that John Barrow might survive

If U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, has a little bounce to his step this morning, it could be that some number-crunchers have given him some hope that today may not mark the end of his congressional career.

As newly redrawn, the 12th District in east-by-southeast Georgia has an overall African-American population of perhaps 32 percent. Republicans have been calculating that a slightly depressed black vote, 30 percent or lower, might spell doom for the last white Democrat from the Deep South – and send GOP state lawmaker Lee Anderson to Washington.

Advance ballot stats place African-American participation in the 12 District contest at 36 percent, thanks to President Barack Obama’s name at the topic of the ticket, and a Richmond County sheriff’s race.

Statewide, African-Americans cast 34 percent of Georgia’s early ballots.

Never mind that joke that caused such a fuss last week. We’ve gotten word that the Rev. Joseph Lowery, one of Barack Obama’s frontier supporters in …

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When an Obama adviser called Benghazi an al-Qaeda hotbed

If you are Mitt Romney and about to settle down for a weekend of study of U.S. foreign policy, in preparation for Monday’s debate in Florida, you will probably pay particular attention to a March 29, 2011 article in the Washington Post that included these paragraphs:

“It’s almost a certitude that at least part” of the Libyan opposition includes members of al-Qaeda, said Bruce Riedel, a former senior CIA analyst and adviser to President Obama. Riedel said that anti-Gaddafi elements in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi have had “very close associations with al-Qaeda” dating back years.

“I would hope that we now have a good sense of the opposition in Libya and can say that this is 2 percent, not 20 percent,” Riedel said. “If we don’t, then we are running the risk of helping to bring to power a regime that could be very dangerous.”

Here’s the latest on the topic from the Associated Press:

The CIA station chief in Libya reported to Washington within 24 hours of …

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Mitt Romney: ‘No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate’

From the Associated Press:

COMMERCE, MI — Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney Friday raised the discredited rumor that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States and thus ineligible to be president.

The presumptive GOP nominee, joined for a rally outside Detroit Friday by running mate Paul Ryan, joked that he had been born in a nearby hospital and that “no one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. ”

The president’s reelection campaign swiftly responded that Romney was directly enlisting himself in the discredited “birther movement” and that “should give pause to any rational voter,” said Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt.

Obama has been dogged throughout his presidency by question about his birthplace. He released a long form copy of his birth certificate last year, showing he was born in Hawaii in 1961.

Romney grew up in Michigan and his father, George Romney was a popular governor of the state.

Last week, Obama got in a quip about Romney’s long-ago …

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John Barrow banks $1 million to defend House seat

U.S. Rep. John Barrow, one of Augusta’s newest residents, apparently has supporters willing to bet the Democrat has a shot at surviving in November. From Russ Bynum and the Associated Press:

SAVANNAH, Ga. — With more than six months to go until the fall election, U.S. Rep. John Barrow already has more than $1 million in the bank to defend his eastern Georgia seat after Republican lawmakers redrew the district in hopes of ousting the four-term Democrat.

Campaign finance reports due over the weekend show Barrow, the last white Democrat in Congress from the Deep South, maintaining a large fundraising advantage over four Republicans competing to challenge him in November.

Barrow raised $256,763 in the first three months of 2012, bringing his total haul for the election cycle to $1.4 million. His disclosure report showed the congressman still has $1.04 million unspent — more than four times the bank balance of his closest GOP competitor.

“Can we catch up to him financially? I …

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Four groups launch a pre-emptive strike against Bob Barr

This week, one after another, four prominent, national conservative groups issued a rare series of public warnings to a private citizen considering a run for Congress.

Don’t do it, they told Bob Barr. We will bury you.

The first organization was the most important – the anti-tax Club for Growth, whose members are a deep source of Republican campaign contributions. Then came Concerned Women, a Beverly LaHaye group, followed by Eagle Forum led by Phyllis Schlafly.

On Friday, the influential Family Research Council joined the pack.

Each group – or, officially, their political action committees – endorsed U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, the tea party favorite and Republican incumbent who replaced Nathan Deal, now governor, in Washington.

But each one also gave specific mention to Barr, the former congressman and 2008 Libertarian candidate for president. Once a favorite of the conservative movement, who helped lead the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, the four groups denounced …

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Your morning jolt: Casey Cagle dips into a pair of Senate races

Next Tuesday’s runoff elections for two state Senate seats have the potential to strengthen the hand of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in his struggle to regain control of the chamber.

Cagle has made personal appearances this week on behalf of both John Wilkinson of Toccoa, a Republican candidate for the District 50 seat, and Duke Blackburn of Newnan, in the contest for District 28.

The lieutenant governor’s public endorsement of Wilkinson came on Tuesday, according to Wilkinson’s Facebook page. But the lines of battle were drawn much earlier. Former state Rep. Rick Austin, R-Demorest, who finished first with 43 percent of the vote in the first round of voting, is backed by Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams of Lyons and Majority Chip Rogers of Woodstock.

Last year, Williams and Rogers led a successful revolt to strip Cagle of much of his authority over the Senate. The chamber has been in turmoil since.

A Wilkinson victory in northeast Georgia by itself wouldn’t be a gain …

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Club for Growth warns Bob Barr against run for Congress

The anti-tax group Club for Growth, a prime source of campaign contributions, issued a warning today to former Georgia congressman Bob Barr: If he mounts a Republican challenge to U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, they’ll back their tea-party favorite:

“Tom Graves is a champion of economic freedom and deserves re-election,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “He has been an outstanding member of Congress and a leader in the pro-growth cause. The Club for Growth PAC will work hard for his reelection and we are confident Club members will enthusiastically support his campaign.”

“Bob Barr’s record has significant flaws,” added Chocola. “Bob Barr voted for No Child Left Behind, to raise the debt limit, and to raise his own pay. If Bob Barr runs against Tom Graves, the Club for Growth PAC will work to educate Georgia voters about Bob Barr’s record of supporting bigger government.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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Jerry Shearin passes on challenge to Tom Graves, but Bob Barr still in wings

We’ve confirmed that Jerry Shearin, the former chairman of the Paulding County Commission, will pass on a Republican primary challenge next year to U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, in the new 14th District.

That makes it more likely that former Libertarian presidential candidate and congressman Bob Barr – as a renewed member of the GOP — will take a stab at unseating Graves, who won the spot last year.

But given that we’re on the cusp of the holiday season, when the much of the body politic turns away from politics, don’t look for Barr to make a formal decision until next year.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

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New rule for Democratic lawmakers: Don’t talk to feds without your GOP lawyer present

We have an interesting kerfuffle underway at the state Capitol. That’s the word first used to describe it to me. Kerfuffle.

It will take some explaining.

The first thing you have to understand is that Anne Lewis, a partner in the law firm of Strickland Brockington Lewis LLP, has been involved with GOP redistricting matters for many years.

It is one of the reasons she was named general counsel to the Georgia Republican party, replacing Randy Evans.

The second thing you have to understand is that Lewis, general counsel to the state GOP, was hired this summer by the General Assembly in toto to oversee the legal aspects of the special August session of the Legislature, which was dedicated to redrawing the political boundaries for the state House districts, the state Senate districts, and 14 congressional districts.

Now, this did not mean she was everyone’s lawyer. When House Democratic Leader Stacy Abrams questioned Lewis about redistricting details, the General Assembly’s …

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Fight for Senate control reaches into northeast Georgia

When the Legislature returns in January, much of Gov. Nathan Deal’s agenda will depend on whether the state Senate has resolved the leadership dispute between Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams of Lyons.

Cagle lost one of his top supporters,, state Sen. Jim Butterworth, R-Cornelia, when the governor named Butterworth as the state’s new adjutant general.

Two northeast Georgia candidates survived last week’s special election to replace him. State Rep. Rick Austin won 43 percent of the vote, out of more than 15,000 cast. John Wilkinson, a former candidate for state agriculture commissioner, came in second with 39 percent. A third candidate, David Strickland, has endorsed Wilkinson. The runoff election is Dec. 6.

Austin won the first phase of the fund-raising battle with $39,095 to Wilkinson’s $32,621.

Austin is being backed by GOP senators intent on keeping the power to name chairmanships, determine committee memberships, and guide …

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