Archive for the ‘Atlanta Falcons’ Category

Your daily jolt: Paul Broun’s wife declares he’s running for U.S. Senate

Ready or not, here comes Paul Broun.

Karen Handel, the former Republican candidate for governor, was supposed to the featured attraction at a Tuesday night meeting of Georgia C.H.A.R.G.E (Citizens Helping America Restore Government Ethics).

Then an unscheduled Republican congressman from Athens arrived with his wife and a staffer in tow. Broun spoke, but stopped short of announcing a 2014 run for the U.S. Senate. We’ll let Andrew O’Shea of Viral Read take you the rest of the way:

As Congressman Broun sat down to a room full of applause followed by a short silence, Dr. Broun’s wife, Niki, stood up in front of the crowd and courageously declared that not only did her husband have her permission and support to run to be Georgia’s next junior U.S. Senator, but that he was openly announcing his candidacy, the first to formally do so in the wake of Senator Chambliss’ declaration to resign following the remainder of his current term.

This morning, we called O’Shea, a Republican …

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Sonny Perdue takes himself out of 2014 race for Senate

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:

Gov. Sonny Perdue has removed himself from the long list of Republicans considering a 2014 run for the U.S. Senate. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Gov. Sonny Perdue has removed himself from the long list of Republicans considering a 2014 run for the U.S. Senate. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

“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 …

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Survey USA/11Alive poll: Majority would support new stadium to keep Falcons in Atlanta

On behalf of 11Alive, Survey USA has conducted an automated, statewide poll that shows Georgians willing to use taxpayer funds to help build a $1 billion – if it’s the only way to keep the Atlanta Falcons in downtown Atlanta.

From the TV station’s web site:

The survey of 500 adult Georgians conducted Wednesday night shows that 47 percent oppose using hotel-motel tax funds to help build a new stadium. 43 percent favor it. 10 percent are undecided.

When asked if they would support the project if it’s “the only way to keep the Atlanta Falcons team playing in downtown Atlanta,” 54% supported it and 37% opposed. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 and a half percent.

See more details here.

The 11Alive poll paints far rosier possibilities for a new Georgia Dome built via a public-private partnership with the Falcons and the NFL. A Journal-Constitution poll released just last week indicated 72 percent of Georgians opposed the measure – though the newspaper survey …

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Your daily jolt: Bloody Marys, stogies dropped from Senate lunch menu

By tradition, Coca-Cola has served as the corporate sponsor of a luncheon honoring the president pro tem of the state Senate at the opening of each year’s session.

Also by tradition, the menu has included Bloody Marys and cigars. But no more. We’re told that both alcohol and stogies have been removed from this afternoon’s festivities honoring David Shafer, R-Duluth, the Senate’s newly elected leader.

The reason? The flourishes were thought to clash with the Capitol’s embrace of ethics reform, including a $100 per lawmaker cap on gifts from lobbyists passed by the Senate on Monday.

Or perhaps it was fallout from Coke’s new anti-obesity campaign. Either one.

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Speaking of ethics, here’s the exchange that just took place between House Speaker David Ralston and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle at this morning’s Eggs & Issues breakfast, sponsored by the Georgia Chamber. My AJC colleague Greg Bluestein said Cagle had just finished bragging about the Senate’s approval of a $100 cap on gifts …

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Nathan Deal: Dollars for new stadium ‘belong to Atlanta’

He didn’t give it his endorsement, but Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday laid out some arguments likely to be used by supporters of a new, $1 billion stadium that would serve as a new home for the Atlanta Falcons.

First of all, the governor told my AJC colleague Greg Bluestein that he wants the team to stay put. “I think it’s important for us to keep the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. We are proud of them, and they’ve had a great year, and we’re hoping they’re going to go all the way to the Super Bowl.”

Critics of a new stadium point out that the Georgia Dome is only 20 years old. But the governor said that if a new stadium doesn’t replace it, expensive updates would be required. “We do know the existing stadium, even though it looks very good now, within the not too distant future there will be significant repairs and upgrades that will be needed to maintain the current Dome,” he said.

As he has before, Deal said his involvement in the matter was limited, and refused to say whether he …

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Jeff Mullis moves into his new quarters — as Senate Rules chairman, we think

At 4:40 p.m. Monday, Jeff Mullis was slouched in a red chair outside chambers, in conversation with yours truly, when an aide brushed by to let him know that the letter containing his Senate leadership assignment had been sent out.

“What’s it say?” the senator from Chickamauga asked, pretending that his appointment as chairman of Senate Rules Committee wasn’t the most badly kept secret in the state Capitol.

State Sen. Jeff Mullis totes his object d'art to his new offices.

State Sen. Jeff Mullis totes his object d’art to his new offices.

With a reporter present, the aide refused to bite, and said the sealed news was waiting for him in his basement office. The committee assignments had been due out at 3 p.m., but had been delayed due to some last-minute tweaks – made to account for angry floor speeches from former Senate president pro tem Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, and Sen. Mike Crane, R-Newnan.

Both had expressed disappointment that their fellow senators, by adopting a new set of chamber rules, this morning returned much of Lt. Gov. Casey …

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Why the Atlanta stadium debate remains alive: Location, location, location

The latest Journal-Constitution poll now measures opposition to a new, $1 billion version of the Georgia Dome – and a new home for the Atlanta Falcons, its chief tenant – at 72 percent of all Georgians.

That level of unpopularity shouldn’t shock you. But you might be surprised by the fact that, despite an approval rating only slightly better than that of Congress, the issue will be very much alive when the Legislature opens this week.

State lawmakers will be asked to approve $300 million in public funding, through a hotel-motel tax on visitors to Atlanta. Mayor Kasim Reed remains confident of success. Gov. Nathan Deal and House Speaker David Ralston are less so, but neither has closed the door on the project.

Such a situation is sure to breed cynicism. Politicians doing the bidding of billionaire Falcons-owner Arthur Blank, one jaded voice in your head is saying. Another directs your attention to the much-vaunted friendship between the mayor of Atlanta and the governor.

But …

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Your Daily Jolt: A long-term Democratic majority?

Emory University political science professor Alan Abramowitz, a frequently cited scholar of presidential politics, has written a 31-page analysis of Barack Obama’s victory to be presented next month at the annual Southern Political Science Association meeting entitled: “The Emerging Democratic Presidential Majority.” According to an early copy provided to Jolt, Abramowitz concludes thusly:

The structural advantages that Republicans enjoy in House and Senate elections would appear to guarantee the party’s continued competitiveness in congressional elections for many more election cycles.  As a result, divided government will probably be a persistent feature of American politics for some time.  And at the state level, Republicans are likely to remain the dominant party in most of the South as well as a number of sparsely populated, predominantly rural states that are relatively insulated from the demographic and cultural trends affecting the rest of the country.  Republicans …

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A Q&A with Speaker David Ralston on ‘personhood,’ immigration, a new Georgia Dome and hospitals

House Speaker David Ralston recently sat down to discuss the November elections and their impact on the next session of the state Legislature, which begins in January.

Ralston predicted that Republican re-engagement on immigration reform in Washington would forestall further state legislation on the issue. He also suggested that a “personhood” amendment to the state constitution was unlikely to fly and said he has urged state lawmakers to think coolly and calmly about two hot issues: a new stadium that would serve as home to the Atlanta Falcons and renewal of an “assessment fee” on hospitals to help prop up the state Medicaid program.

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House Speaker David Ralston greets supporters of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan during the election night party for the 2012 U.S. presidential election results at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead. Jason Getz/jgetz@ajc.com

Some excerpts from our conversation:

Q: So what’s your verdict on the 2012 campaigns?

A: I think the November elections were a mixed bag. …

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Your daily jolt: Nathan Deal gets comfortable with a new Falcons stadium

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is no longer out there by himself. For the first time, Gov. Nathan Deal has indicated his support for a new $1 billion stadium that would serve as a home to the Atlanta Falcons.

From Lori Geary and Channel 2 Action News:

Said Deal:

”I think that, overall, if we get a new facility that’s upgraded and meets the current demands and needs of the future, then being on the hook for less than a third – that is repaid from money that comes from outsiders – I think that’s probably a pretty good deal.”

That deal would require the Georgia World Congress Authority’s bonding capacity to be increased from $200 million to $300 million – which would require legislation passed by the General Assembly. Geary reports that the governor now says he’s “open” to the idea.

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We’re picking up word that state Sen. Doug Stoner, the Smyrna Democrat who was successfully targeted by Republicans this month, is quietly campaigning for the 13th District spot on the state Department …

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