Archive for the ‘John Linder’ Category

Clay Cox jumps into 7th CD race, demands that Don Balfour give up Senate chairmanship

Updated at 12:30 p.m. with comments from Clay Cox.

State Rep. Clay Cox of Lilburn just made his formal entry into the 7th District race to replace U.S. Rep. John Linder.

And in doing so, he took direct aim at state Sen. Don Balfour (R-Snellville), who jumped into the race on Monday.

We’re told that, at the Lilburn city hall with supporters, Cox said he had voluntarily resigned his chairmanship of the House Human Relations and Aging Committee. One could say that Cox was simply complying with a new policy laid down by Speaker David Ralston — that House members running for other offices shouldn’t be able to use their committee chairmanships as battering rams for fund-raising.

But that’s not the point here.

Cox noted that Balfour is chairman of the all-powerful Senate Rules Committee, and demanded that he give up his chairmanship, too.

After the event, Cox checked in by phone. “It is a conflict of interest to hold legislation sponsored by people or groups whose support you want in …

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A 7th District update: Shafer, Cox and numbers Reed is no doubt pondering

We’re late on this, but state Sen. David Shafer said this afternoon that he won’t be among the GOP candidates running for John Linder’s 7th District seat in Congress. Said Shafer:

“I will be doing everything in my power to help elect a strong, principled conservative to succeed John Linder in Congress. But I have determined that my public service is best performed here in Georgia, on the state level, near the ones I love.”

State Sen. Don Balfour of Snellville has already jumped in. State Rep. Clay Cox, who has some congressional campaign experience, is a likely entry.

Cox and Ralph Reed may be the most significant shoes left to drop. Many national news outlets are reporting that Reed, the former state GOP chairman, is giving serious consideration to the race – and we’ve been told the same. But it’s worth noting some stats.

In the 2008 Republican primary (Linder was unopposed), Gwinnett County made up two-thirds of the 48,668 votes cast. In his unsuccessful 2006 race for …

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From Egypt, Don Balfour becomes first candidate in race to replace John Linder

Just talked to Don Balfour in Cairo, Egypt. He’s become the first announced candidate in the race to replace U.S. Rep. John Linder in Congress.

State Sen. Don Balfour (R-Snellville)

State Sen. Don Balfour (R-Snellville)

The chairman of the state Senate Rules Committee just shipped out the release, which you can read in its entirety here. The version I saw had a cell phone number, which Balfour promptly picked up.

Balfour, who has long had his eye on a congressional run, was in the Lawrenceville audience when Linder made his surprise announcement. “I was shocked like every one else,” Balfour said.

But he had to hop a plane on Sunday night for Egypt, where he’s to speak at an education conference. Balfour is president of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“I am running to be the voice of principled conservative leadership for the 7th District,” Balfour said in his press release when he touched down in Cairo. Balfour promised to pick up Linder’s Fair Tax torch.

“The Fair Tax is about the freedom to …

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Popping the balloon: John Smoltz says he’s not interested in Congress

Had a text-message exchange this morning with former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz, who was caught off-guard by Republican interest in seeing him run for U.S. John Linder’s seat in a July primary.

Linder announced his retirement Saturday morning. We immediately got a call from Washington letting us know that Republicans intended to approach Smoltz to enter the campaign to replace him.

Pardon the language, but the brief conversation with Smoltz went something like this:

Me: jim galloway w ajc politics here. Could u call re ur interest in linder seat? Thx.

Smoltz: I do not know what you are talking about I am not in any way involved in anything regarding politics sorry.

Me: [Certain Washington source] says u would make gud candidate to replace john linder who has announced retirement. Interested?

Smoltz: Sorry I am not.

Smoltz followed this messages with a phone call an hour or so later, and — and from a volleyball tournament in Alabama — confessed that he’d thought someone …

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A change-up: How does Congressman John Smoltz sound?

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher John Smoltz reacts after throwing his 3,000th career strikeout in 2008. AJC file.

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher John Smoltz reacts after throwing his 3,000th career strikeout in 2008. AJC file.

Within minutes of U.S. Rep. John Linder’s announcement that he won’t seek a 10th term in Congress, the phone began vibrating.

Late this afternoon, a Washington source called with this surprise: One of the people likely to approached as a candidate for Linder’s seat by Republicans will be former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz.

Smoltz has been paying down some dues in several Republican contests in Georgia over the last two years. He’s been part of a fund-raiser for U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Roswell, and if memory serves, he cut a robo-call for U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss in ‘08.

Linder’s retirement has caught many Republicans off-guard. Who replaces him could be settled in a quickly approaching July primary – the district is trending Democrat, but not that fast. Advantage could go to someone who could put up his own cash, especially in this economy.

Two GOP names …

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John Linder announces retirement from Congress

linder2

U.S. Rep. John Linder was first elected to Congress in 1992/AJC file.

U.S. Rep. John Linder, the Republican from Gwinnett County, this morning announced that he would retire from Congress after 18 years.

Linder made the announcement at the dedication of a new Gwinnett County GOP headquarters. Linder aide Derick Corbett confirmed the congressman’s decision. “He will not seek re-election,” Corbett said.

The announcement, made at the tail end of a brief speech by Linder, caught attendees off-guard. “Nobody knew it was coming,” said David Hancock, District 2 manager for the Gwinnett GOP.

Linder was one of Newt Gingrich’s top lieutenants when he was U.S. House speaker, and most recently has been an advocate (paired with radio commentator Neal Boortz) for a sales tax to replace the federal income tax.

His retirement will set off a rush for his seat, which is solidly Republican. Among the likely contenders is Don Balfour, the state Senate rules chairman.

For instant updates, follow …

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Your morning jolt: ‘Out-conservatized’ in Washington

In 2008, three Georgia congressmen – Phil Gingrey, Lynn Westmoreland and John Linder – tied for first in the National Journal’s ranking of most conservative U.S. House members.

But the National Journal’s 2010 rankings, just out this morning, indicate our Republican crew may be mellowing:

Unlike Dems, GOPers get to fete a clear winner in the most-conservative sweepstakes: This year, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) takes the prize. He’s closely followed by Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Jim Bunning (R-KY) and Tom Coburn (R-OK). In the House, Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Pete Olson (R-TX), John Shadegg (R-AZ) and Mac Thornberry (R-TX) share the prize.

Nary a Georgian in the crowd.

Overlooked in all the hoopla over Carol Porter entering the Democratic race for lieutenant governor is this from Larry Peterson of the Savannah Morning News:

State Labor Commissioner Mike Thurmond will be the keynote speaker at the local Democrats’ major annual fundraiser on …

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Georgia’s congressional delegation unites on Iran

Americans have found themselves divided on health care, cap-and-trade, the bailouts and Afghanistan.

But we all seem to agree – even in Georgia – that Iran is something to worry about. The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press today released a weighty poll that shows exactly that:

The public approves of direct negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, although most Americans are not hopeful the talks will succeed. And a strong majority – 61% – says that it is more important to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means taking military action. Far fewer (24%) say it is more important to avoid a military conflict with Iran, if it means that the country may develop nuclear weapons.

There is broad willingness across the political spectrum to use military force to prevent Iran from going nuclear. Seven-in-ten Republicans (71%) and two-thirds of independents (66%) say it is more important to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons even if …

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Your morning jolt: Iranian president has ‘Jewish roots’?

The Telegraph of London is – quite seriously – raising the question of whether Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Holocaust-denying president of Iran, has a more nuanced background than he lets on:

A photograph of the Iranian president holding up his identity card during elections in March 2008 clearly shows his family has Jewish roots.

A close-up of the document reveals he was previously known as Sabourjian – a Jewish name meaning cloth weaver.

The short note scrawled on the card suggests his family changed its name to Ahmadinejad when they converted to embrace Islam after his birth…

Experts last night suggested Mr Ahmadinejad’s track record for hate-filled attacks on Jews could be an overcompensation to hide his past.

Unfortunately, the rival Guardian newspaper apparently has no sense of irony and this morning declared the idea to be hogwash:

Professor David Yeroshalmi, author of “The Jews of Iran in the 19th century” and an expert on Iranian Jewish communities, disputes the validity …

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