Archive for the ‘Gwinnett County’ Category

Your morning jolt: Abortion and the Democratic race for governor

DuBose Porter, the Democratic candidate for governor, called Saturday afternoon to discuss his acknowledgement that he considers himself “pro-life” in the abortion debate.

He had signaled as much already. Porter was the only Democratic candidate for governor to attend a forum hosted this winter by the Georgia Christian Alliance.

(By coincidence, while Porter and I were talking, Sadie Fields, leader of the Alliance, was telling supporters that she was retiring her group. But this is another topic.)

At the root of Porter’s call was a weekend piece by the Athens Banner-Herald, noting the collapse of a set of gubernatorial debates by GeorgiaBio and what it said about political attitudes toward embryonic stem cell research in Georgia.

It’s a big issue among the research community at the University of Georgia. But in the course of researching the article, ABH reporter Blake Aued had to ascertain Porter’s related position on abortion. Wrote Aued:

I prefaced a question about embryonic …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: Abortion and the Democratic race for governor »

Qualifying suprises — and Roy Barnes hits TV today

Click here to look at the details yourself, but these are some suprises as qualifying shut down at noon today:

– Chuck Efstration, the 27-year-old assistant district attorney in Gwinnett and chair of the county GOP, jumped into the GOP race to replace U.S. Rep. John Linder in the 7th District.

Other top candidates are former state Rep. Clay Cox of Lilburn and Linder’s former chief of staff, Rob Woodall. A total of eight Republicans are in the contest.

– Democrats Angela Moore of Decatur, a former 4th District congressional candidate, state Rep. Georganna Sinkfield of Atlanta, have all jumped into the primary for secretary of state. The race is no longer a fight between state Sen. Gail Buckner and party activist Gary Horlacher.

– Former state Rep. Roger Hines of Kennesaw failed to qualify in a GOP primary challenge to Republican incumbent School Superintendent Kathy Cox. Cox still faces a primary challenge from school administrator John Barge of Rome.

On the Democratic side, …

Continue reading Qualifying suprises — and Roy Barnes hits TV today »

Your morning jolt: The woman who beat Sarah Palin in Alaska takes aim at the Georgia House

The woman who beat Sarah Palin for the beauty queen title of Miss Alaska in 1984 is aiming for the Legislature.

Maryline Blackburn, once of Alaska, now of Smyrna

Maryline Blackburn, once of Alaska, now of Smyrna

Singer and actress Maryline Blackburn of Smyrna, now a 24-year resident of the state, will announce Thursday that she’ll mount a Democratic challenge to Republican incumbent Rich Golick for his House seat.

Blackburn was Alaska’s first African-American representative to the Miss America beauty pageant. Palin, the future GOP vice presidential nominee, was a flute player from Wasilla. She was named Miss Congeniality.

Blackburn has said nice things about her encounter with Palin 26 years ago. But she voted for Barack Obama in ‘08.

Blackburn’s entrance is a happy development for Democrats. The 34th District has some rapidly shifting demographics.

Dan Becker is not a happy man this morning. The president of Georgia Right to Life woke up this morning to this piece from my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin:

House Speaker …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: The woman who beat Sarah Palin in Alaska takes aim at the Georgia House »

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 …

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

Your morning jolt: ‘I could have been an impact player,’ Ralph Reed says

So far as we know, Denny Schaffer with WGKA (920AM) – a conservative talk radio station based in Buckhead — landed the only one-on-one interview with Ralph Reed following his Wednesday decision to skip a run for Congress.

Schaffer has this link to the full interview, from which we plucked a few tidbits.

Reed said he was confident he could have run a “very competitive race” to replace U.S. Rep. John Linder, but he would have been forced to put his new organization, the Faith and Freedom Coalition, in storage. Said Reed:

“I realized that I couldn’t do both. I had to decide. I was either going to help put 50 to 100 people like me in the U.S. Senate, Congress and state houses, or I was going to spend the next eight or nine months focusing solely on me. I ultimately decided the country was more important than me having a congressional seat.”

On what might have been:

“It would be pretty exciting if I could be part of a freshman class that was back in the majority in the House. Had …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: ‘I could have been an impact player,’ Ralph Reed says »

Your morning jolt: Roy Barnes rips state officials for taking free college football (and other) tickets

From this morning’s Athens Banner-Herald:

Former Gov. Roy Barnes ripped state officials Wednesday for taking free tickets to college sporting events while tuition and student fees are rising.

Lobbyists for state universities, mainly the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech, gave away 570 sets of football and basketball tickets worth $93,771 in the past five years, according to State Ethics Commission records.

Dozens of elected officials took the tickets, including three Republican candidates for governor – Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, former Senate President Eric Johnson and former Secretary of State Karen Handel – and two Democrats, Attorney General Thurbert Baker and House Minority Leader DuBose Porter.

“It’s not right,” said Barnes, the Democratic frontrunner for governor. “It sends a bad signal for legislators and governors to come down here, living high on the hog and seeing championship games and everything else, and not pay. Let them pay.”

The newspaper …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: Roy Barnes rips state officials for taking free college football (and other) tickets »

Your morning jolt: There’s nothing like a ‘Colbert Report’ grilling to start the new year

Ever since U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland flunked a pop quiz on the Ten Commandments, “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central has been uncertain ground for hard-core Republicans.

Stephen Colbert’s faux-Reilly schtick can be thoroughly baffling.

Nonetheless, last night, Erick Erickson of Redstate.com, the conservative provocateur from Macon, agreed to become Stephen Colbert’s first victim – er, guest – of 2010.

Here’s the official version:

The Colbert Report
Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c

Erick Erickson

www.colbertnation.com

Colbert Report Full Episodes
Political Humor
Economy

Much of the interview was a lesson in responsible Twittering:

Colbert: You, sir, have put me to shame. You have Twittered the following things: You said of Justice [David] Souter that he was a goat-[bleep] child molester.

(Erickson nods.)

Colbert: You said Linda Douglas, the White House health care spokesperson, was the Joseph Goebbels of health care.

Erickson: Yeah.

Colbert: And you …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: There’s nothing like a ‘Colbert Report’ grilling to start the new year »

Your morning jolt: Last-minute numbers in the ATL race for mayor

When local reporters where composing their final stories on campaign finances and the Atlanta mayoral race, the campaign of front-runner Mary Norwood released a summary that disclosed how much she had raised and how much she had spent – but did not identify individual donors or expenditures.

See the AJC article here.

But all of Norwood’s information is now on display on the city of Atlanta web site.

Opposing campaigns – Kasim Reed, in particular – are focusing this morning on an Oct. 9 payment to former state Rep. “Able” Mable Thomas for “consulting services.” The grassroots activist endorsed Norwood on Oct. 23.

But it’s also worth looking at some of Norwood’s contributors:

– The Atlanta Taxicab Industry Association: $2,000;

– Renee Glover, head of the Atlanta Housing Authority: $300;

– Individuals associated with Stephens Rock & Dirt of Oakwood, Ga.; $4,000;

– The Rev. Jasper Williams of Salem Baptist Church, $500;

– Author and former newspaper columnist Rick Allen of …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: Last-minute numbers in the ATL race for mayor »

Your morning jolt: Judge Thrash warns others to steer clear of Atlanta’s water

Update at 10:55 a.m.: This post originally misidentified the federal judge in the transcript below. He is U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash.

Water is the essential ingredient to the establishment of any new city. And in recent years, efforts in the Legislature have been aimed at putting two new entities in the water-delivery business.

In 2007, S.B. 306 would have permitted Sandy Springs and other areas of north Fulton County to create a water and sewer authority. This year, H.B. 406 would pave the way for a reservoir in south Fulton County.

Both measures have stalled, over the city of Atlanta’s objections that the projects would erode the financial underpinnings of a court-mandated overhaul of its water-and-sewer system.

Renewed attempts at both are expected in the Legislature next year. But during a hearing on Monday, U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash had a warning for state lawmakers in general and north Fulton in particular. A kind soul sent us a partial …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: Judge Thrash warns others to steer clear of Atlanta’s water »

Your morning jolt: Who’s earning what in the Atlanta mayoral race

In these difficult economic times, the Atlanta mayoral race is helping political operatives cover the rent.

According to my AJC colleague Cameron McWhirter, the most recent campaign finance reports show that campaign managers are making a pretty penny helping bosses pitch the city’s financial recovery to voters.

Lisa Borders’ campaign manager, Stacey Abrams, a state representative from Atlanta, brought in $33,281.55 in compensation, reimbursement and retainer, according to July-through-September financial reports.

Letetia Jackson, a political consultant from Dothan, Ala., earned $28,888.95 as Jesse Spikes campaign manager. Spikes is, and has been, in single digits since the outset. And Jackson is no longer employed by Spikes.

Tharon Johnson, former state senator Kasim Reed’s campaign manager, earned $27,000. The least costly campaign manager was front-runner Mary Norwood’s Roman Levit, who earned $13,163.88. Norwood didn’t hire him until August.

That kind of …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: Who’s earning what in the Atlanta mayoral race »