Archive for the ‘David Scott’ Category

House Republicans balk at cliff deal

U.S. House Republicans emerged from a lengthy caucus meeting this afternoon declaring their opposition to the “fiscal cliff” deal that hastily passed the Senate overnight with an 89-8 vote. After hearing a festivus-style airing of grievances against the deal — struck by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — House leaders are still trying to figure out what to do with it. Many Republicans want to amend it to include more spending cuts.

Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, said: “The lack of spending cuts in the Senate bill was a universal concern amongst members in today’s meeting. Conversations with members will continue throughout the afternoon on the path forward.”

Lawrenceville Republican Rep. Rob Woodall was walking the halls clutching a report from the Congressional Budget Office that illustrated members’ concerns. According to the nonpartisan CBO, the deal would add $3.97 trillion to budget deficits in the next decade …

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Your Daily Jolt: Watch the Dow on cliff day

Like energy drink-guzzling college students pulling an all-nighter, our federal lawmakers are up against the “fiscal cliff” deadline today. And who’s the man you call when you need real work to get done? Biden. Politico this morning reports Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Veep have made “major progress” toward an accord:

McConnell and Biden, who served in the Senate together for 23 years, are closing in on an agreement that would hike tax rates for families who earn more than $450,000, and individuals who make more than $400,000, according to sources familiar with talks.

The vice president and the Senate minority leader only began talking Sunday, after negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and McConnell sputtered.

Sources close to the talks said a deal is now more likely to come together but cautioned that obstacles remain, including how Speaker John Boehner and House Republican leaders react to any tentative agreement.

But both …

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Your daily jolt: Allen West rejects move to Ga. — ‘I’m not an NFL free agent’

U.S. Rep. Allen West continues to hold out hope that he can prevail with a recount in his coastal Florida race. But the Republican firebrand has ruled out a return to Georgia should he need to restart his political career.

My AJC colleague Daniel Malloy caught West in a Capitol hallway on Wednesday, and asked him about the invitation from Georgia GOP chairman Sue Everhart, who noted West’s Atlanta roots and said she hoped they would lead West to replant his standard here.

West wasn’t interested. “No,” the former lieutenant colonel replied. “Look, let me tell you something. I have moved my wife around for 20-some-odd years, being in the military, and she was also the daughter of a career military guy. When I retired, she chose Florida. That’s where my daughter’s in school, in college, my youngest daughter’s in high school. That’s our home. It’s a very nice thing, but I’m not an NFL free agent.”

Johnny Isakson took to the floor of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, shortly after …

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Your morning jolt: Apply charter campaign restrictions to governor, Dems say

Suddenly, the hottest debate in Georgia is over who can say what about charter schools and the November ballot issue.

We told you yesterday about the Glenn Delk lawsuit against the state’s 180 school districts, demanding that a Fulton County judge order public school officials into silence – at least during school hours. See the lawsuit here.

The court petition leans a great deal on a letter of guidance issued by Attorney General Sam Olens to state School Superintendent John Barge last week, reminding those same school systems that public resources aren’t to be used on either side of the argument. Barge, for instance, removed notice of his opposition to the charter school amendment.

Democrats have now demanded that Olens apply the same measure to Gov. Nathan Deal, an advocate of the proposed constitutional amendment to give the state another avenue through which to create charter schools – over the objections of local systems.

From a letter sent to Olens by Mike Berlon, …

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Your morning jolt: Nathan Deal to sign bill to require drug tests for welfare recipients

Georgia Public Broadcasting quotes state Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, as saying that Gov. Nathan Deal today will sign into law his bill to require drug tests for welfare applicants.

A lawsuit to block enforcement – which recently happened in Florida – is likely.

Most, but not all, district meetings of the Georgia GOP came off smoothly on Saturday. GOP activist Vikki McReynolds posted this account of deliberations in the 13th congressional district (David Scott, D) on Facebook:

”I just got kicked out of the 13th District convention because I called for a point of order because they did not seat our delegates and were seating alternates instead. … Police tried to carry me out and I laid on the floor !”

The meetings chose the bulk of Georgia delegates who will attend the Republican National Convention in Tampa. We’ll try to assemble a complete list this afternoon.

Speaking of the gentleman from the 13th: U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, on Saturday accused Republicans of …

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The benefits of family ties to House members from Georgia

Today, much of Washington is poring over a mammoth study on members of the U.S. House, documenting how federal and campaign cash flow to their family members.

Eight of Georgia’s 13 House members earned a mention. An overview by the New York Times starts this way:

The 346-page report by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, is an extraordinary compendium of creative accounting, self-interested budgeting and generous expense reimbursements. It highlights common practices that translate into tens of millions of dollars in payments to relatives or the lawmakers themselves.

Read the CREW report here. The look at Georgia congressmen begins at Page 86.

On Sanford Bishop, D-Albany:

From the CREW report:

Rep. Bishop earmarked money to his daughter and son-in-law’s employer, and to an organization with which he is affiliated. He also awarded scholarships to family members through a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) program.

This was aired out during …

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Your morning jolt: Nathan Deal on the next DOT chief

My AJC colleague Ariel Hart had a revealing game of cat-and-mouse with Gov. Nathan Deal on Thursday, over the topic of who might replace the exiting Vance Smith as head of the state Department of Transportation:

Q: Do you have a preference for who ought to be the next GDOT commissioner?

Deal: No, I hope that they will come up with someone that’s qualified, and has an experience factor of being able to deal with difficult problems.

Q: Have you suggested anyone to (the DOT board)?

Deal: I have suggested that there may be some existing state employees who might be considered, but this is their decision and we’re going to watch and see what they do.

Q: Would that be Steve Stancil (who is executive director of the Georgia Building Authority)?

Deal: Well, Steve Stancil is someone that we think has done an excellent job in his current position and I think possesses the kind of qualities that you would be looking for.

Q: You suggested him?

Deal: (chuckling) I think I’ll leave it at …

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John Lewis, Hank Johnson, David Scott, Sanford Bishop seek clemency for Troy Davis

The Georgia members of Congress have asked the state Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant clemency for Troy Davis, who is scheduled to face execution next week the 1989 killing of off-duty Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail.

Hank Johnson of Decatur, John Lewis and David Scott of Atlanta, and Sanford Bishop of Albany, all Democrats, put their signatures to the letter that can be read here. A total of four dozen members of Congress signed.

Among the letter’s points:

“It is clear now that the doubts plaguing Davis’s case can never be adequately addressed; the lack of hard scientific or relevant physical evidence has made it impossible to resolve with any degree of certainty.

“Over the last four years, the inability of our courts to resolve these uncertainties has shaken public confidence in our judicial system, and an execution under such a cloud of doubt would do nothing but further undermine that confidence. Public faith in the integrity of justice in Georgia is at …

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Johnny Isakson, two House Republicans to vote for debt plan

Many members of Georgia’s congressional delegation – Democrat and Republican – still remain undecided about final passage of the debt-ceiling deal, but sides are being chosen in a hurry.

On Saturday, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson gave a passionate speech about the need to come to an agreement. This afternoon, has this line:

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said she was inclined to support the plan, as did Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

We have yet to hear from Georgia’s Saxby Chambliss, but the two senators only rarely cancel out one another’s votes. The vote in the Senate is expected tomorrow morning.

In the House, where the vote will come this evening, we may have as many as three “no” votes cast by Georgia members. U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, and Paul Broun, R-Athens, are solid opponents. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, is leaning that way.

“I took the pledge that I would not vote to increase the debt ceiling by one penny unless the balanced …

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Your morning jolt: Post-election intrigue and an attack on the RNC’s Nick Ayers

Two weeks ago, a Democratic operative sent news of a curious online ad – with a link to this new web site – that he had run across at

It was an attack on Nick Ayers, the former aide to Gov. Sonny Perdue who made good in D.C. as the executive director of the Republican Governors Association.


The anonymous web site takes a look at a DUI charge that Ayers, at age 24, was hit with in 2006 while he was campaign manager of Perdue’s multi-million dollar re-election bid. The charge was later reduced, as these things often are in Georgia.

Without knowing the source of the attack, we let the tip pass. But the Ben Smith team at, knowing a little more about the Internet, did not:

”We’ve tracked an anonymous site set up to attack Ayers to the IP address of a Georgia Democratic consulting firm with informal ties to former governor and losing 2010 gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes….

An email to the site was not answered — but an IP tracking tool in a separate email …

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