Archive for the ‘Jack Kingston’ Category

Let the Senate race polling begin

WASHINGTON – Astute reader Jacob Hawkins of Cartersville already got an automated phone poll on the newly open Senate seat, designed to target Republicans — and seemingly to test a crossover candidate.

The poll starts by asking for preference among the following GOP names: U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, Herman Cain, former Secretary of State Karen Handel, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, U.S. Rep. Tom Price and U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland.

The poll then asks if the caller would “be willing to contribute financially to your candidate.” Then: “If your candidate does not win the primary election, for which of the following potential Democratic candidates would you most consider voting for in the general election?”

The Dems listed are state Rep. Stacey Abrams, former Attorney General Thurbert Baker, U.S. Rep. John Barrow, state Sen. Jason Carter, former Commissioner of Labor Michael Thurmond, former state Rep. DuBose Porter and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Our friends …

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Your daily jolt: Bloody Marys, stogies dropped from Senate lunch menu

By tradition, Coca-Cola has served as the corporate sponsor of a luncheon honoring the president pro tem of the state Senate at the opening of each year’s session.

Also by tradition, the menu has included Bloody Marys and cigars. But no more. We’re told that both alcohol and stogies have been removed from this afternoon’s festivities honoring David Shafer, R-Duluth, the Senate’s newly elected leader.

The reason? The flourishes were thought to clash with the Capitol’s embrace of ethics reform, including a $100 per lawmaker cap on gifts from lobbyists passed by the Senate on Monday.

Or perhaps it was fallout from Coke’s new anti-obesity campaign. Either one.

Speaking of ethics, here’s the exchange that just took place between House Speaker David Ralston and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle at this morning’s Eggs & Issues breakfast, sponsored by the Georgia Chamber. My AJC colleague Greg Bluestein said Cagle had just finished bragging about the Senate’s approval of a $100 …

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Your daily jolt: Isakson, Chambliss say White House will have to bargain over debt ceiling

President Barack Obama may not want to negotiate over another increase in the federal debt ceiling, but Republicans nonetheless intend to bring him to the table, Johnny Isakson said this morning, in one of his first interviews as a member of the Senate Finance Committee.

Isakson was on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” and first was asked to explain his vote in favor of a fiscal cliff agreement that set tax rates – but failed to address spending. Said the Georgia senator:

”It gave certainty to American business, small business, and families on what taxes would be. It made them permanent for everybody except those at $400,000 – and $450,000 for a couple. It’s good policy to make your tax policy permanent, so there’s not uncertainty every year….

“That was the good part. The bad part is that it was done behind closed doors, between just a very few people, when the issue should have been debated before the American people. That I’m sure will happen on the debt …

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Fiscal cliff deal passes House; Ga. GOP’ers vote no

Crisis averted. Let the countdown to the next crisis begin.

After a day of remarkable swings, House Republican leaders folded and brought to the floor a bill they knew they needed Democrats to pass. The final tally was 257-167, with 172 Democrats joining 85 Republicans in favor. This broke House Speaker John Boehner’s practice (named for ex-Speaker Denny Hastert) that bills must pass with “the majority of the majority.” It will be interesting to see whether conservative members’ ire remains focused on the Senate or whether it will shift to Boehner with the Speaker’s re-election coming up on Thursday.

Georgia Republicans lined up unanimously against the American Taxpayer Relief Act: Reps. Tom Price of Roswell, Lynn Westmoreland of Coweta County, Phil Gingrey of Marietta, Rob Woodall of Lawrenceville, Jack Kingston of Savannah, Paul Broun of Athens, Austin Scott of Tifton and Tom Graves of Ranger all voted no.

That’s a major break from the state’s Republican senators — Johnny …

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Boehner whipping Georgians on ‘Plan B’

As Georgia Republican Reps. Phil Gingrey, Jack Kingston and Paul Broun sat together on the House floor during a vote this evening, House Speaker John Boehner plopped down in the row behind them and gave them an earful. Boehner, viewed by this reporter through a door a few yards away, appeared pretty intense.

House Speaker John Boehner in June (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

John Boehner in June (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Gingrey said the Speaker was making “strong arguments” in favor of his “Plan B” on the fiscal cliff negotiations — a floor vote tentatively scheduled for Thursday to maintain the marginal income tax rates for earnings $1 million and less, as well as the estate tax rates.

“The Speaker feels very, very confident if we don’t do this it’s going to end up at the 250 mark [raising taxes on income above $250,000]. … He said that’s what his great fear is,” Gingrey said.

Still, the Republican from Marietta is unsure about voting effectively to allow some taxes to rise. “My powder’s dry,” Gingrey said.

Several Republican members of …

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Video: Jack Kingston spars with MSNBC host on gun control

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Let no one say Savannah Republican U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston hides in a conservative media bunker. Today he had a tough interview with MSNBC host Thomas Roberts on the subject of gun control in light of Friday’s tragedy in Connecticut. Kingston said gun control laws should be under discussion, but the discussion should also include mental illness and other aspects of mass shootings.

A key moment comes around the 7:30 mark, after Kingston describes mass shootings in Europe that occurred in spite of strict gun laws:

Roberts: So there’s nothing we can do? …. We need to just be complacent in the fact that we can send our children to school to be assassinated?

Kingston: Thomas, I think one of the problems we have on the gun control debate is it immediately starts dividing people into: ‘You disagree with me, therefore you are the enemy.’ I’ve opened up by saying let’s put gun control up for …

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Your Daily Jolt: Kingston suggests short ‘cliff’ dive

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met at the White House Thursday with no apparent progress on the fiscal cliff, and things are getting so bad that NBC News’ Chuck Todd on “Morning Joe” — what Washington watches on the treadmill — brought up 1990s literature. Todd said the negotiations are proceeding so poorly that it seems like Obama is from Mars and Boehner is from Venus.

With most everyone shut out of the mano-a-mano discussions, members of Congress are floating ideas. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., according to the Washington Post, is proposing to let the marginal tax rates rise for earnings above $250,000 for a family — but maintain current policy otherwise, including dividend, capital gains and estate taxes. The idea is to end up with a tactical victory for the GOP because this would create far less increased revenue than even Boehner has proposed.

Savannah Republican U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston told the AP’s Chuck Babington that he does …

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Your morning jolt: Apply charter campaign restrictions to governor, Dems say

Suddenly, the hottest debate in Georgia is over who can say what about charter schools and the November ballot issue.

We told you yesterday about the Glenn Delk lawsuit against the state’s 180 school districts, demanding that a Fulton County judge order public school officials into silence – at least during school hours. See the lawsuit here.

The court petition leans a great deal on a letter of guidance issued by Attorney General Sam Olens to state School Superintendent John Barge last week, reminding those same school systems that public resources aren’t to be used on either side of the argument. Barge, for instance, removed notice of his opposition to the charter school amendment.

Democrats have now demanded that Olens apply the same measure to Gov. Nathan Deal, an advocate of the proposed constitutional amendment to give the state another avenue through which to create charter schools – over the objections of local systems.

From a letter sent to Olens by Mike …

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A win for Jack Kingston – Army yanks its NASCAR sponsorship

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah, has apparently scored at least a partial victory. Just posted by

Prodded by critics in Congress, the Army is pulling out from its often costly sponsorship of a NASCAR racing team to attract recruits.

The announcement Tuesday came from Stewart-Haas Racing, which said the Army would no longer be the primary sponsor in 2013 of the No. 39 Chevrolet driven by Ryan Newman “due to a reallocation of its marketing budget that will not include a presence in NASCAR.”

The action comes just days before the House is to take up the annual Pentagon spending bill to which the Appropriations Committee has already attached language intended to bar such sponsorships.

Kingston, a member of the appropriations committee, is the fellow who has pushed for a halt to the spending. Here’s a bit of background.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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Your morning jolt: Miscreants, armed citizens clash in Athens

According to the Athens Banner-Herald, three people in Athens have used guns to halt crimes in progress recently, prompting cops to caution that a call to 911 may be safer:

“Athenians seem to be making more use of the Second Amendment these days,” said Ron Carlson, professor emeritus at the University of Georgia School of Law.

“These and other recent cases involve very different facts, but one theme resonates as a common denominator: citizens seem more ready these days to protect themselves or others who may be in mortal danger by using a gun,” Carlson said.

From Athens police:

“I believe in the Second Amendment, but I wish people wouldn’t take the law into their own hands unless it’s a direct threat where they know their life is in danger or someone else’s is,” said Capt. Clarence Holeman, commander of the Athens-Clarke police Centralized Criminal Investigations Division.

“If time permits, the appropriate thing to do would always be to call the …

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