Archive for the ‘John Linder’ Category

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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Your morning jolt: Rare agreement on the flaws of an illegal immigration bill

D.A. King, the illegal immigration activist, and representatives of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Official get along like a house on fire.

If that house is also filled with kegs of gunpowder and roofing nails.

State officials have been known to insist that King and Jerry Gonzales, GALEO’s executive director, sit on opposite sides of the room at hearings.

So when the two sides agree on anything to do with immigration, we must pay attention. This morning’s topic is SB 40, state Sen. Jack Murphy’s attempt to require all businesses in Georgia to use the federal computer registry called E-Verify – or something like it – to make sure their hires are legal U.S. residents.

The bill includes this exemption, presumably intended for farmers:

This Code section shall not apply to any person or entity who has filed an H-1 or H-2 application, or similar type of application, with the United States Department of Labor.

Last week, King labeled the loophole “preposterous.”

“On …

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November could bring a north Georgia triumvirate

If things go the way Republicans want, the biggest news coming out of the November ballot box will be the establishment of north Georgia as the state’s new power center.

House Speaker David Ralston, assured of re-election, resides in far north Blue Ridge. GOP nominee for governor Nathan Deal and Casey Cagle, seeking a second term as lieutenant governor, share a single geographic base: the city of Gainesville, on the banks of Lake Lanier.

The three most powerful men in the state Capitol would live within 50 miles of each other, all within the 9th Congressional District.

“It’s a big state to have everybody in one little corner,” admits Ruth Bruner, mayor of Gainesville.

Republican nominee Nathan Deal (left) of Gainesville, and House Speaker David Ralston of Blue Ridge

Republican nominee Nathan Deal (left) of Gainesville, and House Speaker David Ralston of Blue Ridge. John Spink, jspink@ajc.com

Georgia has never had a governor and lieutenant governor hail from the same city, according to the Georgia Municipal Association. Bruner is torn at the prospect.

On one hand, she’s a …

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Your morning jolt: Why Rob Woodall refused to sign a pledge not to increase taxes

Pay attention to this Republican runoff in the 7th District race to replace U.S. Rep. John Linder of Duluth. We’ve got something approaching an actual discussion of issues.

On Monday, Washington-based Americans for Tax Reform declared front-runner Rob Woodall – Linder’s former chief of staff – to be “outside the Republican mainstream” because he refused to sign ATR’s pledge not to increase taxes.

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Jody Hice, who finished second on July 20, has signed. So did Linder, who Woodall now seeks to replace, said Grover Norquist, president of ATR.

“Why on earth in these times is Woodall talking about hiking taxes?” baited Norquist. “Instead, he should be taking tax hikes off the table.”

Read Norquist’s entire statement here.

Candidates are usually eager to sign such pledges – especially if they’re running in a Republican primary. Once they’re in office, the promise becomes less attractive. One can’t govern by slogans, Gov. Sonny Perdue famously told his fellow Republicans.

Woodall’s …

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Hem and huff over hammers and sickles in the 7th District

Over the past two mornings, Tim Bryant of WGAU (1340AM) in Athens has hosted the two GOP runoff candidates in the 7th District congressional contest – Rob Woodall, the former chief of staff to retiring John Linder, and Jody Hice, who is also in the talk radio business.

The “Had enough of Obama’s change?” billboards placed by Hice in the district, prominently spelling the word “change” with a hammer-and-sickle, were a natural topic.

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Bryant asked each candidate if he thought the communist symbolism was over the top. Said Hice on Wednesday:

7th District GOP candidate Jody Hice

7th District GOP candidate Jody Hice

“I make no bones about it. I respect the office of the president, but I make no bones about it – I do not respect the policies of this president, which are socialistic.

“We are watching this administration take over the health care industry, the banking industry, the student loan industry, the insurance industry, automobile — one part of the private sector after another.”

But Woodall was of another …

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Your morning jolt: Georgia’s GOP delegation fractures over Iraq, Afghanistan funding

The Republican portion of Georgia’s congressional delegation on Tuesday showed a significant fracture when it comes to funding the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From the New York Times:

The House of Representatives agreed on Tuesday to provide $59 billion to continue financing America’s two wars, but the vote showed deepening divisions and anxiety among Democrats over the course of the nearly nine-year-old conflict in Afghanistan.

The 308-to-114 vote, with strong Republican support, came after the leak of an archive of classified battlefield reports from Afghanistan that fueled new debate over the course of the war and whether President Obama’s counterinsurgency strategy could work.

Voting for the measure were Georgia Democrats John Barrow of Savannah, Sanford Bishop of Albany, Jim Marshall of Macon, and David Scott of Atlanta; Republicans Tom Graves of Ranger, Jack Kingston of Savannah, Tom Price of Roswell, and Lynn Westmoreland of Sharpsburg.

Voting against the …

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Your morning jolt: Clay Cox trolls for D.C. money

You can’t say that he’s already measuring the drapes for his office, but the invitation below indicates that Republican state lawmaker Clay Cox of Lilburn is pretty darn confident of his chances in the 7th District race to replace John Linder.

That said, the Capitol Hill Club is a fine place to troll for lobbyist money. Cox warns political action committees not to give him more than $10,000 – because that would be wrong.

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Meanwhile, lesser candidates are restricted to YouTube events. Possibly you read a week or so ago that an arm of the conservative Southern Baptist Convention is among the parties pushing for a resolution to the immigration crisis – one that includes a path to legal status for millions of undocumented workers.

It is not a universal opinion among Southern Baptists, including pastor Jodie Hice – another 7th District candidate in the Republican primary. He’s got a video here on the topic.

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Nathan Deal brags about a Neal Boortz endorsement

Nathan Deal, the Republican candidate for governor, has Tweeted out an offhand endorsement from WSB Radio’s Neal Boortz this morning. Said Boortz, according to a Deal campaign transcription:

“This one has been fun to watch over the past week. Virtually all of the Democrat candidates have had their noses stuck so far up the teacher’s union hindquarters that some of them are going to need resuscitation….

“Roy Barnes is so beholden to the teacher’s unions that if they asked him to moo like a cow … he would do that and give milk as a bonus.

“You folks in Georgia need to do something. For my money, Nathan Deal is your best bet.”

This is not really a surprise. Boortz has co-authored two books on the Fair Tax with U.S. Rep. John Linder, who is backing Deal.

But an obnoxious reporter asked the Deal campaign if it was comfortable with the Talkmaster’s libertarian-like refusal to disavow either gay marriage or abortion. Boortz might even know a few Log Cabin Republicans.

“We hate …

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Your morning jolt: Unemployment benefits ‘too much of an allure’ for some, says John Linder

He’s said it before, but this time retiring U.S. Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.) is getting some attention with his argument that federally funded extensions of unemployment benefits are counterproductive.

From the Huffington Post:

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U.S. Rep. John Linder of Gwinnett County/ Cox Washington Bureau

Georgia Republican Rep. John Linder suggested Thursday that extended unemployment benefits keep people from looking for work.

After complaining that the Democrats’ stimulus bill has failed to keep unemployment from hitting double digits, Linder said, “And even when businesses are willing to hire, nearly two years of unemployment benefits are too much of an allure for some,” said Linder. “The evidence is mounting that so-called stimulus policies rammed through Congress are doing more harm than good.”

Linder made his remarks during a hearing held by the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support. He’s the ranking Republican.

The Gwinnett County congressman, who …

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Clay Cox first to hit the airwaves in 7th district race

State Rep. Clay Cox of Lilburn on Friday will likely become the first candidate up on TV in the 7th District congressional race to replace John Linder.

Below is the introductory spot, which touts the Republican’s support for the Fair Tax – Linder’s baby – and an endorsement by Atlanta Tea Party Patriots:

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