Archive for the ‘Brian Kemp’ Category

Let the Senate race polling begin

WASHINGTON – Astute reader Jacob Hawkins of Cartersville already got an automated phone poll on the newly open Senate seat, designed to target Republicans — and seemingly to test a crossover candidate.

The poll starts by asking for preference among the following GOP names: U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, Herman Cain, former Secretary of State Karen Handel, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, U.S. Rep. Tom Price and U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland.

The poll then asks if the caller would “be willing to contribute financially to your candidate.” Then: “If your candidate does not win the primary election, for which of the following potential Democratic candidates would you most consider voting for in the general election?”

The Dems listed are state Rep. Stacey Abrams, former Attorney General Thurbert Baker, U.S. Rep. John Barrow, state Sen. Jason Carter, former Commissioner of Labor Michael Thurmond, former state Rep. DuBose Porter and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Our friends …

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Your daily jolt: Nathan Deal wants to stay out of gun debate

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 …

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Brian Kemp’s quick course in election night returns

With the July primaries, Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office unveiled a new election night tabulation system that essentially allows you to customize the evening’s Georgia returns on your laptop — concentrating on the essentials and weeding out the gimmes, if that’s your choice.

But the system requires some practice, so Kemp’s office has created this five-minute tutorial. Practice, and enjoy the evening:

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

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White voter registration in Ga. dips below 60 percent

For the first time, white voters in Georgia will make up less than 60 percent of all “active” registered voters in the state, according to statistics just released by Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

White voter registration, which stood at 63 percent in 2008, has dropped to 59 percent of the 5.3 million signed up to cast ballots in this year’s presidential contest. African-American registration stands at 30 percent, just as it did in 2008.

The difference comes from the growing pool of voters who decline to identify themselves by race, or describe themselves as something other than white, black, Asian-Pacific, Hispanic-Latino, or Native American. That group grew from 3.6 percent in 2008 to 8 percent today.

The decline of the white vote in Georgia has been slow but steady. In January 2001, whites made up 72 percent of registered voters; in January 2007, they were 67 percent. Blacks in 2001 made up 26 percent of the electorate, and 27 percent in 2007.

As a whole, the number of …

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Your daily jolt: In New Jersey, Christie praises Obama’s handling of Hurricane Sandy

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a strong supporter of Republican Mitt Romney, may have offered up the first hint of Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the presidential contest, as he showered President Barack Obama with early praise. From Politico.com:

“It’s been very good working with the president,” Christie said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “He and his administration have been coordinating with us. It’s been wonderful.”

The GOP governor also sent out a thankful tweet: “I want to thank the President personally for all his assistance as [we] recover from the storm.”

Christie said he spoke with Obama three times on Monday, including at midnight, when Obama agreed to speed along an major disaster declaration for New Jersey without all the “normal FEMA mumbo jumbo.” The declaration was issued this morning, according to Christie.

Christie is just as effusive in this clip from CBS’ “This Morning”:

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Saturday voting pushed the number of votes cast in Georgia beyond the 1 million mark. …

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Firearm raffle aimed at voters now opened to all

The owner of a gun store in Cobb County offering voters a chance to win a free firearm has been visited by investigators with Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office, and has agreed to open his raffle to all comers.

The offer is made on a billboard that still can be seen on southbound I-75.

News of the agreement comes from state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, who lodged a complaint with Kemp, alleging that the offer violated a state prohibition of gifts in exchange for votes.

Kemp declared Fort to be “absolutely right” in a letter that can be found here. Further, Kemp enclosed a letter that he has sent to Jay Wallace, owner of Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna, documenting the session with investigators. Read it here, but in part:

In our conversation on the matter this morning, you clarified that it was not your intention to restrict the opportunity to enter the drawing only to people who voted, and that anyone who requested to enter the drawing for the free firearm would be allowed …

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Cash found to keep Georgia archives open ’til June 30

You librarians, historians, archivists and genealogists out there – put down those pitchforks.

Here’s the press release – but you’ll see that it doesn’t address the issue of seven archivists slated to lose their jobs at the end of this month. That still looks to be up in the air:

Gov. Nathan Deal and Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced today that the state will restore $125,000 to Kemp’s budget to keep the Georgia State Archives open to Georgians for the remainder of the budget year.

“Georgia’s Archives are a showcase of our state’s rich history and a source of great pride,” said Deal. “I worked quickly with my budget office and Secretary Kemp to ensure that Georgians can continue to come to Morrow to study and view the important artifacts kept there. I appreciate Secretary Kemp’s commitment to work with me to find a solution.”

The extra funding provides for Georgia State Archives to be open to the public through June 30 of next year. On July 1, the Georgia Archives will …

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Brian Kemp links Georgia Archives closing to illegal immigration bill

Because Georgia felt it necessary to seal off its borders from illegal immigrants, your access to state history will soon be sealed off, too.

That’s not my conclusion.

That was the connection drawn Wednesday by Secretary of State Brian Kemp as he explained why he decided to lay off seven archivists and close – except by Saturday appointment – the place where Georgia’s most treasured documents are kept.

Response to Kemp’s decision has been surprisingly strong. Minutes after our chat, 100 or librarians, archivists, historians and genealogists descended on the state Capitol in protest. Some called for his impeachment. My AJC colleague Kristina Torres has the details here.

While he has cited budget pressures created by the Great Recession, Kemp has never before pointed to the state’s efforts to combat illegal immigration as a factor in his decision to close the Georgia Archives.

The secretary of state is no fan of illegal immigration. He has no quarrel with state lawmakers who in …

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Your morning jolt: Charter school support holds steady at 58 percent

The forces behind Georgia’s charter school amendment to the state constitution are out with a new poll this morning that shows voters still comfortably in favor of the measure.

Fifty-eight percent of voters are prepared to vote in favor of the amendment – unchanged since the previous poll in July. See the polling note from John McLaughlin and Rob Schmidt here.

The real purpose of the poll was to measure the effectiveness of arguments we’re likely to see put forward in coming weeks. Opponents have argued that giving a state agency the power to grant charter school licenses over the objections of local systems would sap education funding from traditional schools.

Here’s one test argument from the poll:

If approved, this amendment would not take a single dollar away from traditional public schools. This amendment simply provides for a fair appeals process for families that are not fortunate enough to have great public schools or enough resources to enroll in private …

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To meet budget cuts, public will lose access to state historical records

Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced this afternoon that, to meet a 3 percent ($732,626) budget cut ordered by Gov. Nathan Deal, he’ll be forced to cut off general public access to the state archives collection in Morrow, effective Nov. 1.

From Kemp:

”The decision to reduce public access to the historical records of this state was not arrived at without great consternation. To my knowledge, Georgia will be the only state in the country that will not have a central location in which the public can visit to research and review the historical records of their government and state.

“The staff that currently works to catalog, restore, and provide reference to the state of Georgia’s permanent historical records will be reduced. The employees that will be let go through this process are assets to the state of Georgia and will be missed. After November 1st, the public will only be allowed to access the building by appointment; however, the number of appointments could be …

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