Archive for the ‘David Ralston’ Category

John Boehner: Joe Biden-Paul Ryan debate will be ‘greatest show on the planet’

TAMPA — House Speaker John Boehner, touting GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s convention debut, told members of the Georgia delegation late this morning that Ryan’s upcoming debate with Vice President Joe Biden will be “the greatest show on the planet.”

We know this because, after five days, members of the press were allowed into a delegation meeting. All previous sessions had been ordered closed by state GOP Chairman Sue Everhart.

But intervention by state House Speaker David Ralston – Boehner was his guest at the event, and Ralston saw no reason to hide the fact – resulted in a handful of reporters being allowed entry. For the 13 minutes of Boehner’s remarks only.

Boehner opened his remarks with a nod toward Doug Collins, who won the GOP nomination for the new 9th District congressional seat, and Lee Anderson, the presumed GOP victor in the race to face down U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta.

Boehner also spoke about Mitt Romney, who accepts the …

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Your morning jolt: Charlie Crist to speak at Democratic National Convention

Tampa – Vice President Joe Beiden canceled his trip to Florida, but Democrats have found a way to make headlines while Republicans mill around, waiting for things to start. From the Miami Herald:

Florida’s former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist will be a speaker at the Democratic National Convention.

An official with President Barack Obama’s campaign said Sunday that Crist will speak at next week’s convention in Charlotte, N.C., but the days hasn’t been worked out.

The official wasn’t authorized to speak and requested anonymity.

Crist announced Sunday that he is endorsing Obama. Republicans called the decision political opportunism and pointed out Crist has previously criticized the president on issues like his health care overhaul.

For those new to politics, Crist withdrew from the 2010 Republican race for U.S. Senate, as Marco Rubio overshadowed him, then attempted a run as an independent.

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The weather in Tampa today is windy, but the heavy rain that was …

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Your morning jolt: Tuesday was a good day for Nathan Deal, Zell Miller

To no one’s surprise, the 12th District contest to pick a Republican opponent for U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, turned out to be the closest race of the evening.

State Rep. Lee Anderson of Grovetown, with the help of Gov. Nathan Deal, edged out Augusta businessman and self-funder Rick Allen by a mere 154 votes out of 27,406 cast.

The Associated Press indicates that six precinct boxes are outstanding.

But if those results hold, Gov. Nathan Deal would emerge as the winner of Tuesday evening. State Rep. Doug Collins, the governor’s choice in the 9th District race, easily defeated former radio talk show host Martha Zoller.

Worried about the anti-incumbent fever that still lingered from the TSPLOST debacle in July, Deal kept a low profile in each contest until the final weekend, when he boosted Collins and Anderson in robocalls throughout the two districts.

The former governor of Alaska is now 0-for-2 in Georgia races. Sarah Palin had endorsed Zoller, though she made no …

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House Republicans consider total ban on lobbyist spending

This blog is about to go silent for a few days, to rest up for the Aug. 21 runoffs.

But we’ll leave you with this tidbit: You know that House Republicans, especially Speaker David Ralston, have endured a great deal of criticism for their opposition to a $100 cap on gifts from lobbyists to state lawmakers.

Last week, 87 percent of GOP voters in the July 31 primary endorsed the cap, which Ralston has called a “gimmick.” To give the speaker his due, it is indeed a low bar. A lobbyist would be able to spend $100 on a lawmaker’s breakfast, and still be allowed to buy him a $100 lunch.

We’ve gotten reliable information – and not from a single source — that House Republican leaders are considering legislation next January that would ban all lobbyist spending on lawmakers altogether. Nothing. Zip. Nada. And that Ralston is among those who have expressed interest in this path.

The impact on the culture of the state Capitol would be tremendous.

Leaders of the state Senate …

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Mountain vs. tea party, Zell Miller vs. Sarah Palin

Icons, it seems, are made for smashing. Or at least discarding.

Eight years after he became a GOP hero — especially in Georgia — for breaking ranks with his fellow Democrats and advocating a second term for President George W. Bush, Zell Miller stands an even chance of being deposed.

By the likes of Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum, no less.

The Republican race for the new 9th Congressional District in North Georgia, drawn to be the most conservative in the state, has become a blistering mountain-vs.-tea party affair.

The 80-year-old former Georgia governor and U.S. senator from Young Harris stands behind state Rep. Doug Collins of Gainesville. “I felt I had a mountain relationship with him,” Miller said.

But that quartet of cable TV veterans, all popular preachers on the tea party circuit, has endorsed Martha Zoller, a former talk radio host in Gainesville. “Martha is running against the establishment, which, as we know, is an uphill …

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Your morning jolt: Johnny Isakson’s opposition kills Law of Sea treaty

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson on Monday was one of three Republicans to add their names to the list of opponents to the controversial Law of the Sea treaty backed by President Barack Obama, depriving Senate Democrats of the super-majority needed to move the maritime pact toward ratification.

Read Isakson’s brief explanation here. He opposed it in 2007 as well.

The other two senators, Rob Portman of Ohio and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, have both been mentioned as running mates for Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. In a joint letter, Portment and Ayotte expressed serious concerns about the breadth and ambiguity of the Law of the Sea treaty, according to the Associated Press:

The development was a blow to the Obama administration, military leaders and the business community led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who had argued that the treaty would improve national security and enhance U.S. standing in the world. They had pressed for ratification of the treaty, which was …

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Your morning jolt: Jimmy Carter’s grandson and Mitt Romney’s finances

Perhaps some of you who have a liberal bent saw the following about Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney:

According to government documents reviewed by Mother Jones, Romney, when he was in charge of Bain, invested heavily in a Chinese manufacturing company that depended on US outsourcing for its profits—and that explicitly stated that such outsourcing was crucial to its success.

But maybe you didn’t see this tagline at the end: “Research assistance: James Carter.”

We’re reliably informed that the above Carter is James Earl Carter IV, son of Chip Carter and grandson of the former president. According to his Twitter profile, Carter IV is an “Internet investigator / oppo researcher; political junkie; news sponge; policy wonk. Currently looking for work.”

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The Associated Press passes on word that legislative opposition to increased penalties for boating under the influence is melting away:

House Speaker David Ralston of Blue Ridge said he has the support of …

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Your morning jolt: House speaker calls gift cap ‘a gimmick,’ urges independent ethics panel

Advocates of a $100 cap on gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers will be at the state Capitol this morning to begin a 13-city bus tour pushing a “yes” vote on the July 31 Republican ballot question addressing the issue.

It will be led by state Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, who will also be attending a called meeting of the Senate Ethics Committee. Which may or may not be – the sessions are closed to press and public – considering a complaint lodged against Senate Rules Chairman Don Balfour, R-Snellville.

On the same topic, House Speaker David Ralston on Wednesday indicated that, rather than a cap on gifts, he’d rather see more secure funding for the panel formerly known as the State Ethics Commission. Ralston made his remarks on the last of a four-day swing through the state by House Republican leaders. According to Jon Gillooly and the Marietta Daily Journal, Ralston said:

”I am not opposed to real ethics reform. … I think the cap is a gimmick, frankly.

“I have …

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Your morning jolt: Chip Rogers says he’ll vote ‘yes’ on casino gambling

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers and his Republican challenger, chamber executive Brandon Beach, met in a debate up in Milton last night, sponsored by the North Fulton & Friends Tea Party.

Yours truly served as one of two moderators. For the record, the time needed to drive the 40 miles from the state Capitol was one hour, 55 minutes. My partner was former secretary of state Karen Handel, who – should she ever give up on politics – will make a fine TV news anchor.

Topics included the transportation sales tax, ethics, and a new Milton County. Both men support the latter. But stark differences showed up when it came to education and gaming.

Atlanta developer Dan O’Leary wants to harness the Georgia Lottery as the engine to drive a vast entertainment and gaming complex in Gwinnett County. We asked the candidates what they thought about the idea. Said Rogers:

”If people earn money, and they want to spend it in a way that doesn’t violate anybody else’s rights, it’s …

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Your morning jolt: House speaker says state to blame for long license lines

On a statewide fly-around by House Republican leaders, Speaker David Ralston on Monday pointed his finger at the state agency in charge of issuing drivers licenses for failing to be ready for new ID requirements – resulting in huge lines of applicants across the state.

New requirements, passed down in part by the federal government, include a birth certificate or passport. From the Columbus Ledger Enquirer:

“I think we did know that there would be some delays, but frankly, I’ve been a little disappointed by the level of preparation by the Department of Drivers Services,” Ralston said. “I think they understand now that this is taking more time.”

Many of the changes that state made were required by federal law, so state lawmakers’ hands were tied, Ralston said.

“In the post-9/11 world, we have a lot more security measures that we are required to implement,” Ralston said. “We have had some problems, but some are being ironed out as we speak. I’ve communicated to the department …

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