Archive for the ‘John Lewis’ Category

About the poll that pit Kasim Reed against John Lewis

Last week, we began getting a number of calls from residents of the Fifth District who reported an automated phone call to their households with the strangest question: If Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and John Lewis were in the same race for Congress, whom would you support?

Strange because Reed has already said he’s running for re-election in 2013.

Michael Johnson, the former Fulton County judge, and an announced Democratic challenger to Lewis, was also mentioned in a second match-up that also included Lewis and Reed.

According to a press release distributed today, the poll was apparently the promotional work of a firm called HEG, LLC, whose principle is Fredrick Hicks. We put a phone call to him, but have not heard back.

Beverly Isom, spokeswoman for the Lewis re-election campaign, says her candidate had nothing to do with the survey. “We did not order it, did not sanction it, did not request it,” she said. Which sounds pretty emphatic.

According to Hicks:

At a time when …

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Your morning jolt: An ‘Occupy Atlanta’ dissing of John Lewis

Anybody who had a camera was at Five Points in downtown Atlanta on Friday, recording the finger-waggling process of the Southern version of Occupy Wall Street.

That included a conservative blogger who recorded – and chortled over – that crowd’s decision to block U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ request to address them. The YouTube clip already has 176,000 hits:

After being blocked by the crowd, Lewis talked with a CBS Atlanta crew:

“I was going to say, I stand with you. I support you, what you’re down,” said Lewis….

The Associated Press had a weekend piece on the way that activists from ‘60s are looking at Occupy Wall Street. Material included this from former Atlanta mayor and Martin Luther King Jr. lieutenant Andrew Young:

“There’s a difference between an emotional outcry and a movement,” said Andrew Young, who worked alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as a strategist during the civil rights movement and served as mayor of Atlanta and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. …

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Georgia’s three horsemen of the Apocalypse Caucus

An insightful treatment of Congress from David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post:

On Capitol Hill, they are the apocalypse caucus. Twenty lawmakers, from both parties, who calculate that the best way to fix government is to act as if you wouldn’t mind if it burned down.

In April, the House needed to pass two budgets to prevent a government shutdown. They voted no and no. In August, the House needed to pass a debt-ceiling agreement to prevent a national default. No again.

Then, this fall, the House voted three times on bills to keep the government going until Nov. 18. No. No. No.

The group now includes 12 Republicans and eight Democrats…This unofficial caucus believes that power goes to those who seem least afraid of catastrophe.

The punchline: Georgia supplies three horsemen in the apocalypse caucus: Republicans Paul Broun of Athens and Tom Graves of Ranger, and Democrat John Lewis of Atlanta.

One suspects that the motivation for Broun and Graves is somewhat different from …

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Troy Davis reaction: Resignation from John Lewis, and a call for a prison strike

As you probably know, the state Board of Pardons and Paroles this morning declined to commute the death sentence of Troy Anthony Davis, convicted of the 1989 murder of an off-duty police officer.

The decision was immediately denounced by Amnesty International, the NAACP and other groups that made the case an international cause – arguing that the recantation of multiple eyewitnesses had thrown sufficient doubt on the verdict.

Republicans, including Gov. Nathan Deal, have remained largely quiet, preferring the system to run its course.

The reaction from Democrats has varied. U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta expressed resignation. In part:

“We have come a great distance in Georgia, but today we have demonstrated we still have a great distance to go before we build a society based on simple justice that values the dignity and the worth of every human being. We are not there yet. I am deeply saddened and deeply disappointed by this decision, but in light of all I have seen …

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John Lewis, Hank Johnson, David Scott, Sanford Bishop seek clemency for Troy Davis

The Georgia members of Congress have asked the state Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant clemency for Troy Davis, who is scheduled to face execution next week the 1989 killing of off-duty Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail.

Hank Johnson of Decatur, John Lewis and David Scott of Atlanta, and Sanford Bishop of Albany, all Democrats, put their signatures to the letter that can be read here. A total of four dozen members of Congress signed.

Among the letter’s points:

“It is clear now that the doubts plaguing Davis’s case can never be adequately addressed; the lack of hard scientific or relevant physical evidence has made it impossible to resolve with any degree of certainty.

“Over the last four years, the inability of our courts to resolve these uncertainties has shaken public confidence in our judicial system, and an execution under such a cloud of doubt would do nothing but further undermine that confidence. Public faith in the integrity of justice in Georgia is at …

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Your morning jolt: When Jackie Kennedy called Martin Luther King Jr. a ‘terrible’ man

That TV special featuring post-assassination interviews with former First Lady Jackie Kennedy – scheduled for next week — will open some old wounds in Atlanta. A teaser issued last night by ABC News:

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in 1962 during a boat ride on Lake Pichola in India with her sister, Lee Radziwill. (Metropolitan Museum of Art/The New York Times)

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in 1962 during a boat ride on Lake Pichola in India with her sister, Lee Radziwill. (Metropolitan Museum of Art/The New York Times)

Speaking in the months after her husband’s assassination, Jacqueline Kennedy was so upset with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that she told a friend and interviewer that she could barely look at images of him.

“I just can’t see a picture of Martin Luther King without thinking, you know, that man’s terrible,” Mrs. Kennedy said, as part of an oral history series of interviews released this month.

The widowed first lady soured on King as a result of secret wiretaps arranged by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. Hoover had told President Kennedy that King tried to arrange a sex party while in town for the March on Washington, …

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Pinning the future of Democrats in the South on John Barrow

Shannon McCaffrey of the Associated Press has turned a quick profile on the largest Republican target in the redistricting session that just wrapped up in Atlanta:

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Nearly 50 years ago, every congressman from the Deep South was a white Democrat.

Now the U.S. House has just one white Democrat from the five states that comprise the region: Georgia’s John Barrow.

U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga. at a 2006 forum in Vidalia/AP

U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga. at a 2006 forum in Vidalia/AP

Barrow last year survived the Republican tide that wiped out 20 white Democratic members of Congress from the across the South, yet his toughest battle may lie ahead. New political maps approved by the Republican-controlled Georgia legislature leave him politically homeless, placing his residence outside the 12th District that he now represents and stripping away the base of his Democratic support — largely African American — along the coast.

His precarious fate raises a larger question: Can white Democrats chart a course back in the Deep South — …

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Rob Woodall and the case against political nest eggs

Democrats and Republicans in Washington haven’t finished playing chicken with your 401(k). But they have, fortunately, decided to take August off.

In that, they’re like your neighborhood’s teenage vandals — who politely wait for you to repaint and reseed and rebuild before they strike again.

Rob Woodall (left), in a crowded 2010 debate for the 7th District congressional seat. Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

Rob Woodall (left), in a crowded 2010 debate for the 7th District congressional seat. Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

Because we are a red state, the debt-ceiling deal and Wall Street’s unhappy reaction have focused attention primarily on President Barack Obama, whose approval ratings have sunk to the 40 percent range.

But it would be wrong if we failed to also note American disappointment with the 535 members of Congress. According to a CNN poll, voter approval has sunk to a historic, 14 percent low.

And yet, truth be told, it can be harder to fire a member of Congress than a president.

In the U.S. House, the national practice of building safe districts for incumbents in power — set to begin …

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John Lewis’ chief of staff cited for failing to report, pay taxes on $54k

The House Committee on Ethics on Friday released a letter “of reproval” to Michael Collins, chief of staff to U.S. Rep. John Lewis, for his failure to report or pay taxes on $54,000 from his boss’ re-election campaigns over five years.

A very detailed report can be found here.

“[I]t is the determination of the Committee that your conduct has brought discredit upon the House of Representatives,” says the letter to Collins from the bipartisan panel. Click here for the PDF – you can be read the spanking in its entirety below:

August 5,2011

Mr. Michael Collins

Office of the Honorable John Lewis

343 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Collins:

By a unanimous vote on August 1, 2011, the Committee on Ethics (Committee) voted to issue you this letter of reproval as result of your failure to disclose a total of $54,000 of income over the course of five years on either your Financial Disclosure Statements or your tax filings and failure to pay taxes on that …

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New congressional districts — and why Buckhead will remain Democratic territory

Fresh from rescuing the nation from economic calamity, Georgia’s members of Congress will spend the next few weeks indulging in self-preservation.

We are 10 days away from a special session of the Legislature assigned the task of redrawing Georgia’s political boundaries.

Georgia's congressional districts, as currently drawn

Georgia’s congressional districts, as currently drawn

Americans often think of democracy as the process by which voters pick their leaders. Redistricting is the B-side of that record —the once-in-a-decade chance for many incumbent politicians to pick their voters, and thus preserve their hold on power.

This is the first time in Georgia history that Republicans will have start-to-finish control of the process, which will be primarily, but not entirely, driven by last year’s census.

Under Democratic rule, GOP lawmakers criticized a process that was ruthless and secretive. Republicans promise to conduct themselves more openly. But score-settling will still be the rule — and the targets won’t always be …

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