Archive for the ‘John Lewis’ Category

Kasim Reed announces support for gay marriage

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has officially evolved. Through a press release this afternoon, Reed announced his support of gay marriage.

President Barack Obama in May said his views “evolved” in announcing his support, and Reed today says he has “gone through a good bit of reflection on this issue, but listening to the stories of so many people that I know and care about has strengthened my belief that marriage is a fundamental right for everyone.”

When Obama made his announcement there was some pushback on the issue in the African-American church. At the time Reed said he was still “wrestling with my own personal beliefs.” There are signs that black public opinion quickly shifted on the matter, particularly in Maryland, where voters approved same-sex marriage last month. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to consider the issue next year.

From a political standpoint, Reed aligns himself with U.S. Rep. John Lewis — a proponent as far back as 2003 — and gets ahead of what is likely to …

Continue reading Kasim Reed announces support for gay marriage »

Your daily jolt: Signs that John Barrow might survive

If U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, has a little bounce to his step this morning, it could be that some number-crunchers have given him some hope that today may not mark the end of his congressional career.

As newly redrawn, the 12th District in east-by-southeast Georgia has an overall African-American population of perhaps 32 percent. Republicans have been calculating that a slightly depressed black vote, 30 percent or lower, might spell doom for the last white Democrat from the Deep South – and send GOP state lawmaker Lee Anderson to Washington.

Advance ballot stats place African-American participation in the 12 District contest at 36 percent, thanks to President Barack Obama’s name at the topic of the ticket, and a Richmond County sheriff’s race.

Statewide, African-Americans cast 34 percent of Georgia’s early ballots.

***
Never mind that joke that caused such a fuss last week. We’ve gotten word that the Rev. Joseph Lowery, one of Barack Obama’s frontier supporters in 2008, …

Continue reading Your daily jolt: Signs that John Barrow might survive »

Watch John Lewis cut a gangnam-style rug

His appearance is a brief one, but U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta, obviously a flexible 72-year-old, dances gangnam style with the hip-hop group Innonim in this get-out-the-vote video posted by Kollaboration Atlanta:

As you can see, most of the video was shot outside the state Capitol.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

Continue reading Watch John Lewis cut a gangnam-style rug »

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 Berlon, …

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

Barack Obama endorses John Lewis in Democratic primary

President Barack Obama left something in Atlanta on Tuesday – an endorsement of U.S. Rep. John Lewis. From the congressman’s campaign press release:

“Whether it was improving educational opportunity for children, expanding access to quality, affordable healthcare, or helping Georgia families struggling to make ends meet, the 5th district has been able to count on John Lewis,” said President Barack Obama. “Congressman John Lewis is a true American hero, and he has been dedicated to fighting for equality throughout his life. That is why I need him back in Congress to continue the fight with me for the 5th congressional district and for our nation. I need you to cast your vote for Congressman John Lewis in the July primary and again in November.”

Lewis faces Michael Johnson, the former Fulton County superior court judge, in the July 31 Democratic primary.

By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

Continue reading Barack Obama endorses John Lewis in Democratic primary »

John Robert Lewis spars – kind of – with Stephen Colbert

Just in case you missed U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ appearance last night on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report:”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

Continue reading John Robert Lewis spars – kind of – with Stephen Colbert »

John Lewis, Hank Johnson, Common Cause file lawsuit challenging Senate filibuster

My AJC colleague Bill Rankin has sent this copy of a just-filed federal lawsuit challenging the use of the filibuster in the U.S. Senate. Plaintiffs include the watchdog group Common Cause and three members of the U.S. House – including Democrats John Lewis and Hank Johnson of Georgia.

Other plaintiffs include three children of illegal immigrants living in the United States, who would benefit from passage of the DREAM Act – which would allow them to gain citizenship after going through college or serving in the military. The legislation has been blocked by the Senate requirement of 60 votes to begin or end debate in the Senate.

The lead defendant named in the suit is Vice President Joe Biden, who formally presides over the Senate.

Read the suit here. A small taste:

Both political parties have used [the filibuster] when they were in the minority in the Senate to prevent legislation and appointments proposed by the opposing party from being debated or voted on by the Senate.

For …

Continue reading John Lewis, Hank Johnson, Common Cause file lawsuit challenging Senate filibuster »

John Lewis uses his jailhouse mug – to raise street cred and campaign cash

As a general rule, a politician’s career ends on the day that his jailhouse mug shot appears in the local newspaper. Yet there are exceptions.

JL poster

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, has decided to use his arrest record – more than 40 times, the latest in 2009 – as a way to raise campaign cash for his Democratic primary race against former Fulton County judge Michael Johnson.

For $30, you can get an autographed poster marking Lewis’ visit to the Atlanta Police Department on Dec. 22, 1963. That arrest followed a sit-in at the local Toddle House – a grillery akin to today’s Waffle House – to protest its refusal to serve blacks.

(You can actually see a young Lewis, minutes away from his Toddle House arrest, in this archival footage from WSB-TV.)

In addition to raising cash, the jailhouse photo – offered on T-shirts and coffee mugs, too – serves as a reminder of Lewis’ past as a civil rights leader. And may give the 72-year-old congressman, who has held the 5th District seat since …

Continue reading John Lewis uses his jailhouse mug – to raise street cred and campaign cash »

Barack Obama gambles on gay marriage

Just perhaps, Gamblers Anonymous should make some discreet inquiries at the White House. There may be a membership opportunity.

With his re-election already hanging on the thin thread of an improved economy, Barack Obama on Wednesday recast the presidential contest along starker, social terms with an abrupt declaration of his support for gay marriage.

The man who only a week ago had basked in his decision to send boots into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden appeared slightly less sure of himself when explaining his latest roll of the dice.

“I have hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought that civil unions would be sufficient,” Obama said in the ABC News interview as he laid out the scope of his gamble. “I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people the word ‘marriage’ was something that invokes very powerful traditions, religious beliefs and so forth.”

Obama’s hand was forced by Vice President Joe Biden, who on Sunday had declared, on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” …

Continue reading Barack Obama gambles on gay marriage »

Your morning jolt: A Skittles-and-hoodies protest headed for the state Capitol

Monday is shaping up to be a day of protest at and around the state Capitol.

Students from Morehouse College, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, and John Marshall Law School are putting together a Skittles-and-hoodies protest focused on the Florida killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and Florida’s “stand your ground” law.

Demonstrators will be targeting several gun bills still under consideration by the Legislature, which they term “a continuation” of Georgia’s 2006 law that expanded the circumstances under which a shooter could claim self-defense.

***
The annual President’s Day fund-raiser for the Georgia Republican party on Monday – usually a sleepy event – is likely to get more attention this time around. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is facing a recall election after last year’s confrontation with public employee unions, will be the keynote speaker.

Union workers in Atlanta are already planning a welcome for Walker at the downtown Marriott …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: A Skittles-and-hoodies protest headed for the state Capitol »