Archive for the ‘georgia power’ Category

Your morning jolt: GOP tries to paint John Barrow with Solyndra debacle

The National Republican Congressional Committee has taken aim at 51 House Democrats – including Savannah’s John Barrow – for their support of a loan program included in the stimulus package that made the Solyndra solar debacle possible.

As Barrow pointed out in this space last week, the New York Times notes that the Georgia congressman is blaming the GOP abandonment of earmarks:

“Congress has not been as good a custodian of the people’s money in the past and as a result of past abuses of the earmarking process, with highly placed members of Congress abusing their incredible influence at the closing stages of the appropriations process,” Barrow said. “The political repercussions of that have been to forswear all earmarks, which is basically Congress abandoning its responsibility to decide how the people’s money gets spent.”

One other argument you’re likely to hear Barrow make: The loan program that allowed Solyndra is the same one that is guaranteeing $8 billion for the …

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Your morning jolt: A Buckhead revolt over Democratic future?

You’re reading the blowback edition of the Morning Jolt.

In a Thursday column, we posited what we thought was a well-thought-out theory of why the Legislature, during the upcoming redistricting session, won’t make the Buckhead portion of Atlanta part of the 6th Congressional District of U.S. Rep. Tom Price, the Republican from Roswell:

[B]y allowing Buckhead to remain in the hands of a Democrat, every Republican member of Congress in the state will consider Georgia’s largest cache of wealthy voters to be fair game for campaign cash. Buckhead, in essence, would remain an open city for fund-raising.

This admittedly cynical assessment resonated poorly with state Rep. Ed Lindsey, R-Atlanta, who represents what many in the GOP believe to be sacred ground. In an e-mail sent last night, he counseled his constituents to burn a few miles of telephone cable:

I have heard both political and policy reasons from many of you for putting Buckhead in a Republican Congressional District. …

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Your morning jolt: John Lewis joins six Republicans in vote against debt-ceiling bill

Last night’s vote in the U.S. House on a debt-ceiling deal ripped Georgia’s congressional delegation in two, with Democrat John Lewis of Atlanta joining six Republicans in a final condemnation.

In quoting Mohandas Gandhi, Lewis sounded not unlike some tea partyists we’ve run into: “’All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. All compromise on fundamentals is surrender. It is all give and no take.’ The Democrats gave and gave and gave, but we received nothing in return. This is not a fair deal. It is not a good deal. It is not a balanced compromise.”

Voting for the bill were two Republicans – Tom Price of Roswell, Rob Woodall of Lawrenceville – and four Democrats – David Scott of Atlanta, Sanford Bishop of Albany, John Barrow of Savannah, and Hank Johnson of Decatur.

Voting against the bill were congressmen with major military concerns in their districts: Phil Gingrey of Marietta, Austin Scott of …

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Your morning jolt: Handcuffs and a backseat ride for ex-Cobb EMC chief

Roy Barnes is mightily ticked off.

His client, retired Cobb EMC chief Dwight Brown, was re-indicted on racketeering charges last week. Shortly afterward, on his way to his lawyer’s office, Brown was stopped by a sheriff’s deputy, handcuffed and taken to jail in the back of the cop car.

From this morning’s Marietta Daily Journal:

“He said, ‘I’m not going anywhere, why did they have to do this?’” Barnes said. “Dwight Brown has had a very distinguished business career, starting with Georgia Power. He does not believe, and neither do I, that he has committed a criminal act. He is befuddled and upset at the fact that this has come down and he’s become a punching bag for everybody that’s dissatisfied about everything.”

Barnes said he believes that the district attorney’s office notified the sheriff’s office on Wednesday that an indictment could be forthcoming and that District Attorney Pat Head, or someone in his office, told deputies they wanted Brown …

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Your morning jolt: Shifting from stick to carrot on illegal immigration

With the Legislature leaving early for a 10-day break, illegal immigration is one of those issues left in the lurch.

HB 87 failed to reach the Senate floor for a vote, after substantial committee changes. Which means no conference committee action is possible until the General Assembly returns on April 11.

But signs have been tossed around this week, indicating that we may be headed toward a resolution of the debate’s trickiest proposition.

The argument in the state Capitol has never focused on giving local law enforcement the power to ask for proof of U.S. citizenship. That has always been a given among the Republican lawmakers in charge.

The meat of the conflict has been over how to bring pressure on Georgia businesses to stop hiring illegal immigration. Agricultural concerns have all but said that crops won’t be able to make it out of the field without that cheap and plentiful labor force.

HB 87 originally contained penalties for businesses that don’t enroll in the …

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Tim Echols: ‘Let’s privatize handling of nuclear waste’

China is subjecting Japanese tourists to radiation tests, and Germany has sworn off nuclear power. But Tim Echols, a member of the state Public Service Commission, has a more interesting response to the nuclear debacle in Japan: Increased privatization.

From his op-ed piece in today’s Athens Banner-Herald:

The nuclear plant crisis in Japan threatens to chill any nuclear renaissance in the United States. One reason is that it appears the Japanese have procrastinated with regard to the disposal of nuclear waste, just as we have in this country.

I believe it’s time to demand that our government turn nuclear waste management over to the private sector. As Heritage Foundation nuclear expert Jack Spencer recently testified, America’s disposal strategy has failed…..

This country has more than 60,000 tons of high-level nuclear waste stored at more than 100 sites in 39 states. The country’s 104 commercial reactors produce approximately 2,000 additional tons of used fuel annually. …

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Your morning jolt: Sales tax on groceries, Girl Scout cookies abandoned in Tax Reform 2.0

At 2 p.m. today, House Republicans are set to unveil a revised attempt at tax reform that drops two of its most controversial provisions – a return to the state sales tax on groceries and on goods sold by non-profits.

In other words, Girl Scout cookies and Boy Scout popcorn would remain tax free. As would a can of pork and beans.

Details are yet scarce, but here are the changes we hear are in the works for a bill engineered to build a majority for House passage:

– A new sales tax on the casual sale of automobiles and boats would remain;

– A sales tax on car repairs stays in;

– The sales tax on satellite TV and other communication devices, such as cell phone, also survives;

– Any thought of a sales tax on legal services has been abandoned;

– An energy sales tax disappears, but would remain on coal – an important point to Georgia Power;

– The state’s personal income tax would drop from 6 percent to somewhere in the 4 percent range.

– The corporate income tax remains the …

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Your morning jolt: ‘Not time to shut down’ nuclear power, says Phil Gingrey

This week, Republicans in Washington were prepared to highlight the need for more nuclear energy in the United States.

Given the events still unfolding in Japan, they intend to stick with the topic. But the tone will be different. U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, a Marietta Republican and a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, was on Fox News on Sunday, cautioning against overreaction:

Said Gingrey:

”I think we should go forward. This nuclear reactor withstood a 9.1 Richter scale earthquake and a tsunami, and although there was a hydrogen explosion in the outer containment, the inner containment building is secure. Of course, it remains to be seen – we’ve got to watch this evolve….

“But this is not the time for us to shut down our ability to generate nuclear power. We’re only doing 20 percent. We probably need to be doing 30 percent.

The situation has indeed evolved. A Japanese official is now saying that fuel rods were exposed at one plant. The fallout in …

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Your morning jolt: Why Tommy Irvin was the tallest man at a Republican fundraiser

Gary Black, the Republican nominee for agriculture commissioner, held a fundraiser at the Depot near the state Capitol on Thursday evening.

State Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin/AJC

State Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin/AJC

We were only there a few minutes, so we have no crowd count. But certainly the tallest man in the room was state Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin – a Democrat who will be absent from the November ballot for the first time since most Georgians have been alive.

Why was he there?

“It’s a big job, a big department with a lot of people. He’s going to need some help,” said Irvin. And he was speaking of Black. Say what? asked a mentally sputtering reporter.

“I think he’s going to win,” said Irvin.

And somewhere in the distance, Democrat J.B. Powell of Blythe, Ga., the Democratic nominee for ag commissioner, is shaking his head and wondering why he ever agreed to leave the state Senate.


The Cato Institute, a Washington-based Libertarian group, has made its peace with Gov. Sonny …

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