Archive for the ‘Don Balfour’ Category

Your morning jolt: Cash-starved Newt Gingrich charging $50 per photo

Aside from the shedding of reporters, other signs of a Newt Gingrich death spiral include this from the National Journal:

HOCKESSIN, Del. — In a sign that his campaign is in need of fresh funds, Newt Gingrich on Monday began charging $50 to have a photograph taken with him following a campaign speech to Republican groups here in the northernmost part of the state.

And this from the Raleigh News & Observer:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s campaign swing to North Carolina on Wednesday has been canceled, his campaign has confirmed.

There were no details available on why he had changed his plans.

Gingrich had been scheduled to make some appearances in Raleigh as part of the lead up to the May 8th primary. The change of plans was abrupt. His campaign sent out a schedule at 1 p.m. Sunday that listed a trip to North Carolina. But by Monday morning, the visit was canceled.

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In Atlanta, a bill to repay the federal government cash borrowed to pay unemployment benefits – …

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Bank exec, tea partyers bash developer ‘bailout’ bill

You don’t always find the executive of a major bank and tea partyists lining to bash the Republican state Senate. But that’s the case today.

Both are pointing to SB 448, sponsored by Senate Rules Chairman Don Balfour, R-Snellville, which they say would allow developers to escape payments on personally guaranteed loans for projects that have gone bust during the Great Recession.

Most impressive is a March 12 letter from BankSouth CEO Harold Reynolds that is making the rounds of the state Capitol today. In his letter, which can be read here, Reynold asks the House to halt the “disaster” contained in the Senate legislation. A couple excerpts:

If the Legislature can retroactively annul a guarantor’s promise to pay, then banks cannot make loans based on a borrower’s signature. That is one of the surest means to restrict needed capital for small business. Certainly, you know of many businesses started in a garage with a signature loan from a community bank. What will the …

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Senate peace treaty brokered by Nathan Deal falls apart

Update: The deal brokered by Gov. Nathan Deal on Monday, intended to end a 15-month leadership feud in the state Senate, collapsed on Tuesday when it was rejected in a closed-door vote of the Republican caucus.

The plan was intended to reassert at least some of the authority stripped from Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in late 2010.

A spokesman for the governor said Deal was under the impression that an agreement had been reached last night, after a three-hour session that brought most of the parties together. But a spokesman said the governor was privy to the reasons for the collapse.

“Senate leaders asked the governor to host a meeting in his office and that’s what he did. He was there, and he was hopeful, but in the end, the Senate’s business is the Senate’s business,” said Deal spokesman Brian Robinson. “We want a body operating efficiently and well.”

This is the second time that the governor has stepped into the fray between Cagle and Senate Republicans led by …

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The Sunday sales bill is dead. But there’s still time to save the American light bulb

While a scrum of TV, radio and print reporters waited outside a Senate office door for the formal pronouncement that the Sunday sales bill was dead, the AJC’s Christopher Quinn was getting a bit of analysis from the deposed ruler of the chamber.

Said Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle:

”This is Majority Leader Chip Rogers’ bill – which he co-authored, and made certain commitments. So it’s a little surprising and somewhat different course of action than has been taken in years past.

“Usually you have a committee process by which bills are passed through, and then after they passed, they go to a rules committee.

“Having a caucus vote determining what bills come the floor and what bills do not actually to my knowledge has not been done in the past. So this is a little bit of a change in the procedure with the Senate, and the minority party is pretty much shut out of the process.”

Now, a little background here. First, many senators blame Cagle for the eruption over Sunday sales. It …

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A late jolt: A little Sunday sales diplomacy

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers surprised a few people around the state Capitol when he said that Senate legislation to permit package sales of alcohol on Sundays would not come up for a floor vote this week.

A call to Senate Rules Chairman Don Balfour quickly explained the situation. His committee, which supervises the flow of legislation in the Senate, has yet to meet – but will later this week.

However, Republican senators don’t want the Sunday sales bill to be the very first measure to hit the chamber floor. They’re loathe to be seen as thumbing their noses at conservative Christians, who – despite losing this fight – remain a vital constituency within the GOP.

Moreover, Balfour said, Republican senators would prefer that the first floor vote by the chamber be on a stated priority of the GOP caucus.

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One consideration may be a blistering, Feb. 4 letter to senators sent by the Georgia Council on Moral and Civic Concerns, which years ago was the …

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Don Balfour picks up GOP opposition for return to Senate

He who hesitates is primaried.

Travis Bowden of Lilburn announced today that he would drop out of a crowded race for House District 102 and into a primary contest against state Sen. Don Balfour (R-Snellville).

Balfour was the first Republican to announce for the 7th District congressional seat of retiring U.S. Rep. John Linder, then abruptly pulled out – and said he was done with politics. Earlier this month, backed by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and other Senate Republican leaders, Balfour said he’d run for re-election to the Senate.

Bowden’s press release is pretty rough – and full of implied meaning:

“After several insightful months of meeting with Lilburn residents, I have decided to focus on the Senate District that encompasses much of Lilburn, as well as the communities of Snellville, Lawrenceville, Grayson, and Loganville. It is not a decision I make easily or hastily. However, I can no longer abide our current Senate representation and feel I can better serve my …

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Your morning jolt: NAACP rescinds endorsement of anti-abortion bill

The Georgia chapter of the NAACP has formally rescinded its endorsement of SB 529, a bill that would bar physicians from performing abortions in cases where the fetus has been targeted because of race or gender.

The measure, intended to challenge Roe v. Wade before the U.S. Supreme Court, could come up for a House floor vote on Tuesday. The statement from Edward DuBose, chapter president:

Earlier this month, the Georgia NAACP submitted a letter to support Senate Bill 529. We now fully understand the intention of this legislation and wish to retract our support for it.

At the time, we were of the understanding that this bill would work to benefit the women in our community. However, after many conversations with membership and constituents, we now realize that this is nothing more than using women’s health as a political tool.

Women of color in Georgia need more than divisive messages and deserve better access to health care.

We look to the Georgia General Assembly to support …

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Don Balfour says he intends to remain in the Senate

When U.S. Rep. John Linder announced his retirement in February, Balfour was the first to jump into the 7th District congressional race. But several weeks later, without much explanation, the Republican pulled out of both the sudden congressional race – and the Senate.

This from the release Balfour sent out on Saturday:

“I would like to thank my family, friends, and devoted supporters who reached out to me and encouraged me to continue leading and making a difference in the lives of Georgians by seeking re-election for the 9th District Senate seat.

“I have spent many nights worrying about the safety of my son in Afghanistan and the future of our country at home. There is still much to be done and I simply cannot continue to make the changes that Americans need from the sidelines. In times like these, what our state needs most is a dedicated, seasoned leader who will stand up for what’s right and put Georgia back on the road to economic recovery and prosperity.”

But …

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Your morning jolt: ‘I might not agree with repeal and start over’ on health care, says Phil Gingrey

At least a few Republicans have begun parsing what they mean when they call for the repeal of the new health care law.

On Tuesday, in a CNN interview, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) admitted there were portions of the legislation he likes – including the provision that would allow parents to carry their offspring on their insurance until age 26.

Said Gingrey:

“When we say start over, we don’t mean throw everything out – throw out the baby with the bath water. We mean, take the best of this bill and combine it with our ideas like buying insurance across state lines and equalizing the tax treatment and creating high-risk pools.

“Of course, all of the language regarding electronic medical records I’m in favor of. So I might not fully agree with completely repealing and starting over.”

Here’s the clip, posted on YouTube by the liberal group ThinkProgress:

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich and Gov. Sonny Perdue will have a joint press conference on health care at …

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David Shafer endorses Clay Cox in 7th District race

With state Sen. Don Balfour (R-Snellville) pulling out of the 7th District congressional race, many have asked whether state Sen. David Shafer (R-Duluth) will reconsider the contest.

Here’s the answer Shafer just issued, in the form of a press release from the Clay Cox campaign:

Senator David Shafer (R-Duluth) today endorsed state Rep. Clay Cox to succeed U.S. Congressman John Linder.

“Clay Cox is a good friend and he will make an outstanding Congressman,” Shafer said. “When I decided three weeks ago not to enter this race myself, I encouraged Clay to run. I am counting on him to fight for our conservative principles and help bring fiscal sanity to Washington.”

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