Archive for the ‘Grover Norquist’ Category

Your morning jolt: The anti-abortion bill that will move

With first and second choices sidetracked, anti-abortion forces will be putting their remaining efforts for the session behind SB 210, a bill to permit physicians who perform abortions to be sued – by the women undergoing the procedures – if they don’t follow all state restrictions now in place.

That includes requirements such as parental notification for women under the age of 18. And in this instance, Republicans don’t appear to believe in tort reform — no liability caps are included.

SB 210 was remanded directly to the Senate Rules Committee – usually a sign of greased tracks. The measure is sponsored by state Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville. Another anti-abortion bill by Loudermilk suddenly morphed last week into a measure that would have restricted abortions to hospitals – which by and large do not perform abortions.

It was tabled after being judged too fraught with legal issues.

A House measure to bar abortions after 20 weeks, citing the pain that anti-abortion …

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Grover Norquist: Sunday sales bill would ‘reduce threat of tax increases’

Grover Norquist, president of Washington-based Americans for Tax Reform, has already flexed his muscles in Georgia’s debate over tax reform.

Now he’s taken on Sunday sales.

In a letter sent to Georgia lawmakers, Norquist ties the issue of package sale of alcohol on Sunday to the issue of taxes. My AJC colleague Christopher Quinn has the details here.

Click here for the complete letter. The juicy part:

….[T]his legislation is currently being held up at the behest of a small handful of senators. I urge you [to] reject these opaque, behind-closed-doors efforts to prevent a transparent and public debate on this much needed legislation, which recently passed out of committees in both chambers with sweeping majorities.

The small handful of senators that seek to preserve the status quo by blocking an open debate on the matter of Sunday sales referenda are effectively supporting greater government regulation and unnecessary intervention in the private economy – which Georgia voters …

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Your morning jolt: Saxby Chambliss, the Gang of Six, and the apostasy of tax increases

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss and the “Gang of Six” effort to shape a massive deficit-reduction package have sparked the curiosity of two of the world’s top business publications.

The Economist starts with the early conversations between Chambliss and U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.:

To limit partisanship and keep the proceedings low-key, Mr Chambliss and Mr Warner initially only invited senators who were not seeking re-election and not part of their party’s leadership. When the deficit commission, led by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, released its report on December 1st, however, the two Democratic and two Republican senators who supported the final report joined the group…..

The group now has an informal membership of around 30. They have yet to coalesce behind a single proposal, but are considering a bill that would instruct committees in Congress to enact the commission’s major recommendations, with triggers that would cut spending automatically and eliminate tax breaks if …

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Your morning jolt: Like White House, Republicans in disarray over Egypt

Over the weekend, the New York Times described the split between Barack Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, over U.S. reaction to the Egyptian revolution:

A president who himself is often torn between idealism and pragmatism was navigating the counsel of a traditional foreign policy establishment led by Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Biden and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, against that of a next-generation White House staff who worried that the American preoccupation with stability could put a historic president on the wrong side of history.

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich in Iowa on Saturday. AP/The Hawk Eye

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich in Iowa on Saturday. AP/The Hawk Eye

But Republicans, too, have been all over the map. On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, was asked what he thought of the Obama administration’s handling of the matter. Said Boehner:

”I think they’ve handled what is a very difficult situation about as well as it could be handled.”

Yet on his second trip to Iowa this year, former …

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Your morning jolt: Barbara Bush endorses gay marriage

A Legislature that once cowered in the face of angry church-goers out to protect their Sabbath is now entirely comfortable with a bill to permit the Sunday sale of six-packs and more.

The same state lawmakers who joined Zell Miller in his effort to deposit miscreants in state prisons for decades are giving second thoughts to the state’s two-strike policy.

Gov. Nathan Deal’s drug court idea, as a way to deal with addiction, is taking hold. Says the liberal state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, in today’s Savannah Morning News:

“It’s a sort of convergence of liberal and conservative ideas,” he said. “This idea is fiscally sound as well as socially responsible.

“We need to distinguish between the people we are afraid of and those we’re just mad at. We can’t afford to lock up everyone.”

Republicans often talk of the scare that November gave to President Barack Obama. Only rarely do they acknowledge that the same vote signaled the rise of a more libertarian brand of conservatism …

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Nathan Deal: Climate isn’t right for tax rewrite

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, right, and aide Tom Willis exits the third floor of the state Capitol – legislative territory – on Thursday. AP/David Goldman

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, right, and aide Tom Willis exits the third floor of the state Capitol – legislative territory – on Thursday. AP/David Goldman

On the fourth floor of the state Capitol this morning, those behind a proposal to rewrite Georgia’s tax code will be trying to persuade anti-tax guru Grover Norquist to drop his condemnation of it.

But they might want to invite the fellow on the second floor, too. In an interview with Larry Peterson of the Savannah Morning News, Gov. Nathan Deal said he has no taste for two of the tax reform panel’s recommendations: A cigarette tax hike, and a return to a state sales tax on groceries. To wit:

[Deal] took big-ticket revenue-raising ideas off the table and signaled that hopes for major tax overhaul will simmer for another year.

Those include his proposals for lower and simpler state income and corporate taxes.

“We’re not going to sign anything that is a tax increase … in this climate, no matter how intentioned it is,” Deal …

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An effort to persuade Grover Norquist to back off — at least temporarily

One of the more important closed-door meetings of the legislative session is set for 10 a.m. Friday on the fourth floor of the state Capitol.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. AJC file

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. AJC file

The Georgia Center Right Coalition will host an invitation-only discussion of the proposals issued in December by the special panel examining tax reform. The one that would restore the state sales tax on groceries in return for lower corporate and personal income tax rates.

The draw: An “open conversation” between A.D. Frazier, chairman of the tax reform panel, and Grover Norquist, president of Washington-based Americans for Tax Reform.

Earlier this month, Norquist condemned the proposed tax code rewrite as a tax increase, and thus a violation of ATR’s no-tax pledge, signed by many state lawmakers and – according to Norquist – Gov. Nathan Deal.

“This is akin to shards of glass in a delicious crème brûlée. It is a bit of desirable tax reform ruined by an overall tax hike,” …

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