Archive for the ‘Georgia Republican convention’ Category

Paul Broun on Saxby Chambliss challenge: ‘How can you not think about it?’

However coyly, U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Athens, this morning admitted he’s thinking about a 2014 primary challenge to Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

“I don’t know. I’m honored that a lot of people are asking me to run. I’ve not made that decision,” Broun told Tim Bryant on WGAU (1340 AM) in Athens. “It’s not time to think about it.”

But when Bryant pressed him, Broun said this: “When people encourage you to run, how can you not think about it?”

Part of keeping the powder dry: Broun said he’ll oppose the new House resolution that postpones a confrontation over the debt ceiling until May.

The Athens congressman, who proudly boycotted the 2008 presidential inauguration, didn’t go to this one, either. “I had a lot of folks who wanted my tickets, so I didn’t go,” the congressman said.

So now we see why the organizers of President Barack Obama’s second inauguration were so anxious to be shed of the Rev. Louie Giglio of Atlanta – who was originally assigned the task of giving the …

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Chip Pearson withdraws from state GOP chairmanship race

The race to replace Sue Everhart as chairman of the state GOP may be over before it really got started.

On Sunday afternoon, former state senator Chip Pearson of Dawsonville – the first announced candidate in the contest – has pulled out of the contest. That leaves B.J. VanGundy, now second vice-president in the GOP hierarchy, as the only active candidate.

VanGundy was a top Newt Gingrich operative in Georgia during the presidential primary, and was recently nominated by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle to the state’s newly re-authorized charter school commission.

In withdrawing from the race, Pearson cited the press of other interests. A few paragraphs from a note he sent to supporters on Sunday afternoon:

It has been my hope to lead that charge here in Georgia and help take the Georgia GOP to the next level in the process. In fact, many of you had helped us start the preliminary framework for a new party model this last fall. I believe the plan we sketched out is sound, prudent, and …

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Tea partyers push for a GOP floor fight over 2016 rules

TAMPA — Matt Kibbe, the president and CEO of FreedomWorks, one of the top organizations behind the tea party movement, was at the Monday morning meeting of the Georgia delegation – attempting to foment a revolt that could undo GOP efforts to keep tea partyers happy, and quiet.

That’s one reason why Georgia’s delegation meeting was closed to press. The other: State GOP Chairman Sue Everhart on Tuesday wants to pledge all of Georgia’s 76 delegates to Mitt Romney. Newt Gingrich has cut loose his delegates, and Rick Santorum has done the same.

But four Georgia delegates refused to sign a document that would allow their votes to be cast by proxy – despite the pressure of “Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!” chanting by other delegates.

Ron Paul won no delegates in Georgia’s primary. But three of the four holdouts have now declared themselves Ron Paul supporters, despite signing pledges to support the party’s nominee.

Which brings us back to the rule change up for approval by the convention on …

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Your morning jolt: Lawmaker wanted leniency for Brandon White attackers

Two young men were sentenced to five years in prison and five years on probation last week for the YouTube-recorded beating of Brandon White, a gay man, as he exited a convenience store in the southwest Atlanta community of Pittsburgh.

But reverberations will continue through the July 31 Democratic primary.

On Friday, after Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jackson Bedford handed down his sentence, Project Q Atlanta published a letter written by several gay rights activists, asking that the assailants be subjected to no further incarceration. The most prominent signature belonged to state Rep. Simone Bell, who is locked in a District 58 Democratic primary race with fellow incumbent Ralph Long.

From the letter:

”Our primary interest is seeing an end to the homophobia that seems to have been a dominant factor in the attack on Mr. White. We do not believe that this will be accomplished by a long sentence of imprisonment….

We believe that the time each of these young men has …

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The mystery of the Republican casino question

Ladies and gentlemen: With this post, I’m taking a few days off. Have a safe Memorial Day weekend.

The mark of a successful political convention is an absence of surprises.

By the time thousands of Republicans fled Columbus last weekend, the forces of Ron Paul had been routed with a heavy hand. Not a surprise.

Delegates to the annual state convention had rebuked the GOP-controlled Legislature for refusing to get serious about ethics reform. Important but predictable, given the anger of tea partyists.

And the Republican party’s executive committee, just before delegates jumped into their cars, had announced the five non-binding questions that will be placed before GOP voters on the July 31 primary ballot.

Topping the list: ‘Should Georgia have casino gambling with funds going to education?”


The very topic stunned the highest-perched Republicans in the land. “The casino question was a shock coming out of the convention — given the prominence of social conservatives in the …

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Your morning jolt: GOP convention silent on transportation sales tax

Some things, in some places, are better left unsaid.

Gov. Nathan Deal is sticking his neck out for the July 31 transportation sales tax, in speeches and fundraisers. As noted by the Saporta Report:

On [Wednesday], Deal is inviting business and civic leaders to the home of Jennifer and Tom Bell in Buckhead to a reception aimed at raising campaign dollars to help get the tax passed in the 11 regions outside of metro Atlanta.

The goal is to raise a total of $4.5 million among the regions for a grass-roots campaign in favor of the transportation sales tax. So far, the Connect Georgia campaign has raised between $2.5 million and $3 million, according to Chris Clark, president of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

But more than a few Republicans at the state convention in Columbus noticed that, as Deal listed the accomplishments of his administration to the conservative crowd, the governor gave no mention to the Transportation Investment Act.

Deal was booed by the crowd last year, …

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Conservative groups challenge House speaker on ethics

COLUMBUS, Ga. — On Friday, House Speaker David Ralston tried to warn delegates to the state GOP convention away from a resolution to endorse a cap on gifts from lobbyists to state lawmakers, declaring that liberals were using the issue of ethics to divide the party.

Members of the Capitol Coalition of Conservative Leadership this morning issued this response:

“We strongly condemn the comments made by Speaker Ralston regarding ethics reform. Strong ethics and accountability are not a matter of right versus left. They are a matter of right versus wrong.

“His comments imply that voters and activists should hide our eyes from the realities of ethics violations and the need for reform, and stand by everyone no matter what they do, simply because they have an “R” behind their name.

“Rather than open his heart to the cries from citizens that we have the right to call for accountability, he comments reflect those of someone who seeks to divide our party by falsely accusing those who …

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Casino gaming, not just ethics, to be placed on GOP ballot

COLUMBUS, Ga. — More from the state Republican convention: We’re headed for a very newsy July 31 ballot.

My AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin told you a few hours ago that the GOP executive committee had approved the placement on this summer’s primary ballot a non-binding referendum on a $100 cap on gifts from lobbyists to state lawmakers.

But we’ve also been told that, for the first time, Republican voters will be asked their opinion on casino gaming in Georgia – a potent issue given a study on the topic produced by the Georgia Lottery Corporation last fall.

Another topic: A “personhood” question on whether every embryo should be accounted an individual with legal rights — much pushed for by Georgia Right to Life.

These questions would only appear on GOP ballots. But if Democrats could be persuaded to adopt those first two – GRTL has little sway in that party — we could have a genuine sense of the state. On issues aside from the transportation sales tax, I mean.

- By Jim …

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Your morning jolt: Brandon Beach to challenge Chip Rogers

Last week, out of the blue, a press release in the name of state Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers declared that the Cherokee County lawmaker had received re-election endorsements from every Republican in the north Fulton legislative delegation.

Brandon Beach, member of the state transportation board. AJC file

Brandon Beach, member of the state transportation board. AJC file

Now we know why Rogers felt the need to put the information out there.

This morning, Brandon Beach, president of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce and a member of state transportation board, announced that he would challenge Rogers in the July 31 primary.

Beach, who was narrowly defeated by John Albers of Roswell in a 2010 race for the Senate, named jobs and transportation as his top two priorities – but apparently expects dissatisfaction in the local education community to provide much of the spark for his campaign.

Beach, from the press release:

“We have excellent schools in Cherokee County and North Fulton because of dedicated parents, teachers and principals. …

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Your morning jolt: The Port of Savannah’s competition – on the West Coast

As Georgia pursues federal funding for the $650 million dredging of the Port of Savannah, much attention is given to competition with other East Coast ports such as Jacksonville, Miami and Charleston.

But the West Coast may be the more important rival to Savannah’s success. From McClatchy News Service:

Several factors make a significant shift from one coast to the other unlikely. The first is speed. It’s less expensive for a ship to go the all-water route to the East Coast instead of docking on the West Coast and offloading containers onto trucks or trains, but it also takes at least a week longer. For consumer electronics and other high-end goods that need to get to store shelves quickly, retailers will pay more for faster transit times.

Second, ports in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland, Calif., and Seattle and Tacoma, Wash., are deep enough to handle the bigger ships. They have warehousing space for containers, and they have highly developed rail connections to the …

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