Archive for the ‘Jack Abramoff’ Category

Your morning jolt: For $26 a pop, federal court in Atlanta will sell recordings of health care arguments

Lemonade, popcorn and T-shirts will be offered separately in the lobby. From the Associated Press:

The federal appeals court in Atlanta issued an order allowing the high-profile arguments over the federal health care overhaul to be recorded so they can be sold to the public.

A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling Tuesday that suspends a ban on audio devices in the courtroom for the June 8 oral arguments.

A court memo says officials plan to sell CDs of the recordings for $26. Electronic devices for the general public are still banned.

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Many sports fans have noted the failure of metro Atlanta politicians to jump into the effort to keep the Thrashers and professional hockey in Atlanta. But in an interview with Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM), sports economist J.C. Bradbury of Kennesaw State University said disappointed hockey fans can blame the Gwinnett Braves:

”It’s fair to say that the politicians were being smart. In an age where we’re …

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Oaky Woods at double the price in a down market

The Political Insider blog is on hiatus until the new year.

Here’s something to ask yourself today: Is your house, and the land it sits on, worth twice as much today as it was in 2004? Probably not.

In fact, odds are that your little slice of heaven is worth a good deal less. No matter what your mortgage says.

But the real estate market can be a tricky thing.

On Wednesday, the Board of Natural Resources agreed to pay $28.7 million for 10,015 acres of Oaky Woods wilderness in middle Georgia. Six years ago, the price was roughly the same — for the entire 20,000-acre tract.

By passing on the property in 2004, over the protests of environmentalists, the state allowed the pristine black bear habitat to pass into the hands of Houston County developers — whose plans to build a private city did wonders for local land prices.

The assessed value of 101 acres adjacent to the Oaky Woods property, purchased by Gov. Sonny Perdue a year or so earlier, more than doubled to $750,100.

Oops. …

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With Jim Marshall gone, Sanford Bishop and John Barrow become the next GOP targets

Over at The Fix, Washington Post writer Aaron Blake has an excellent, lengthy take on the games Republicans might play with U.S. Reps. John Barrow, D-Savannah, and Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, when redistricting rolls around next year.

In part:

In a Republican dream scenario, they could try to draw both Barrow and Bishop tougher districts, by borrowing GOPers from strongly Republican districts held by Reps. Jack Kingston, Lynn Westmoreland and Paul Broun.

A more likely scenario, though, is that Republicans actually shore up Bishop, potentially turning his district into a majority-black district, and use the more Republican areas of his district to help shore up Rep.-elect Austin Scott (R), who just beat Marshall next door. Once they do that, they need to decide whether they want to go after Barrow.

The GOP could strengthen Bishop by moving the heavily black parts of Macon (from Scott’s 8th district) and Valdosta (from Kingston’s 1st district) into Bishop’s 2nd district in the …

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Before he heads for the exits, Sonny Perdue finds spots for more aides

Tom Crawford of the Georgia Report continues to look into where Sonny Perdue is placing his top aides, as the governor prepares to make his exit:

The latest twist involves the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC), a state agency that disburses federal grants to local police departments and coordinates programs involving local and state government agencies.

In 2005, Perdue appointed Molly Perry, who had been working with the Council for Superior Court Judges, as executive director of the CJCC. In his announcement of her appointment, Perdue said, “Molly Perry has always approached issues in a professional, balanced way and I have valued her advice over the years in her position with the Council for Superior Court Judges. I am confident that she will continue her commitment to public safety in her new role as executive director of the CJCC.”

Evidently, that “confidence” is now gone. Perry is being pushed out of her state job and Kenley Finlayson, who had been a …

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‘Casino Jack’ the documentary, followed by the feature film

No doubt Ralph Reed, the former state GOP chairman, had many reasons not to jump into the 7th District congressional race to replace U.S. Rep. John Linder.

For one thing, Linder and Reed haven’t always gotten along. To the point that some think Linder would have rescinded his retirement if he thought Reed might replace him in Congress.

Then there’s the untimely, May 7 release of “Casino Jack and the United States of Money.” Here’s the new trailer from the documentary by Alex Gibney:

Hollywood also reports that the feature film on Abramoff’s doings, starring Kevin Spacey, is also nearing release. Christian Campbell will play Reed.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

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