Archive for the ‘Michael Thurmond’ 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 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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Behind the $635 million that Georgia owes the feds for unemployment benefits

Since 2008, the federal response to the Great Recession has resulted in a deficit that has become the focal point of Republicans and tea partyers alike.

Far less talked about has been our state government’s response to the downturn — and the borrowing of $635 million from the federal government to cover unemployment benefits for hundreds of thousands of jobless Georgians.

The bill is about to come due. Almost certainly, the result will be a hike in payroll taxes for businesses across the state, or a reduction in benefits for the hard-hit unemployed. Or both.

Other states, like California and North Carolina, owe far more. But Georgia’s case is special because of what was squandered. First by Democrats, then by Republicans.

Gov. Roy Barnes, early in his term. AJC file

Gov. Roy Barnes, early in his term. AJC file

In 1999, the state’s Unemployment Trust Fund — fueled by record growth — had squirreled away an astounding $2 billion for hard times. Far more than any recession required, thought the new governor, Democrat Roy …

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A late jolt: A little Sunday sales diplomacy

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers surprised a few people around the state Capitol when he said that Senate legislation to permit package sales of alcohol on Sundays would not come up for a floor vote this week.

A call to Senate Rules Chairman Don Balfour quickly explained the situation. His committee, which supervises the flow of legislation in the Senate, has yet to meet – but will later this week.

However, Republican senators don’t want the Sunday sales bill to be the very first measure to hit the chamber floor. They’re loathe to be seen as thumbing their noses at conservative Christians, who – despite losing this fight – remain a vital constituency within the GOP.

Moreover, Balfour said, Republican senators would prefer that the first floor vote by the chamber be on a stated priority of the GOP caucus.

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One consideration may be a blistering, Feb. 4 letter to senators sent by the Georgia Council on Moral and Civic Concerns, which years ago was the most …

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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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Your morning jolt: Port authority members paid for Sonny Perdue portrait

Money for Gov. Sonny Perdue’s portrait in the state Capitol was donated entirely by members the board of the Georgia Ports Authority.

So board chairman Alec Poitevint, former chairman of the state GOP, tells Tom Crawford of Georgia Reports:

The portrait of Gov. Sonny Perdue and his wife Mary that will hang in the state Capitol. John Spink, jspink@ajc.com

The portrait of Gov. Sonny Perdue and his wife Mary that will hang in the state Capitol. John Spink, jspink@ajc.com

Poitevint declined to disclose how much money the authority members donated for the artist’s commission. “It was very reasonable for the quality of the portrait,” he said.

Rossin’s portraits of the high and the mighty – he has painted both presidents Bush and Sen. Saxby Chambliss – reportedly bring him commissions in the range of $18,000 to $35,000.

The decision to raise the money from Ports Authority members is ironic, in light of recent media reports that representatives of Perdue’s trucking and grain businesses had met several times with port officials for tips on how to increase the amount of business the Perdue companies …

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Your morning jolt: State cuts to unemployment benefits on the table in January?

Huge changes in unemployment benefits could be in the works when the General Assembly convenes in January. The state owes $418 million – and ranks 17th among a list of 32 debtor states – for money borrowed from Uncle Sam to cover payments to the jobless.

State Sen.-elect Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody, was interviewed by Lori Geary with Channel 2 Action News:

Millar said that total grows to $1.1 billion by the end of 2013 if the state does not make changes to taxes or how it pays benefits.

“Most of your elected officials, certainly in the General Assembly, I don’t think have a clue about the magnitude of this obligation,” said Millar.

“We need to be talking about fixing it; we need to be talking about fixing it right now.”

The fixes aren’t easy. If Georgia’s current 10 percent unemployment rate doesn’t improve then tax hikes for employers and benefit cuts for the unemployed must be on the table, according to Millar.

The video:

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Kennesaw State University’s most famous student, …

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Robert Brown: ‘I’ll back Michael Thurmond for chairman of state Democratic party’

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Senate Minority Leader Robert Brown, D-Macon. AJC file

Two days after a defeat that was stunning in its scope, an important Georgia Democrat dusted himself off and offered a look at what may be coming next.

Senate Democratic Leader Robert Brown, D-Macon, is famous for his sharp tongue and his ability to hold matters close to his vest. So when he talks, you can bet a deal is in the works – if not already done.

Brown is considered very close to U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Macon, who lost his seat on Tuesday.

In a meeting with reporters, Brown:

– Said he would back former U.S. Senate candidate Michael Thurmond as the next chairman of the state Democratic party. Brown acknowledged that Thurmond – until ran last among all statewide Democrats on Tuesday – but said that was in part because of a lack of support from the state party.

Jane Kidd is the current chairman, but her term is coming to an end.

– Said rural Democrats, anticipating a poor outcome on Tuesday, met in mid-October in …

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Your morning jolt: Georgia politics as fantasy league

On the second day after an election, the fantasy league aspects of politics take over.

By Thursday, we all know who won the game. But within the team, who scored highest?

By the numbers, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson again proved himself the most popular politician in the state, leading the Republican ballot. Governor-elect Nathan Deal and Sam Olens, the next attorney general, who faced the two strongest Democratic opponents, brought up the rear.

The surprise on the Democratic side was Ken Hodges in the race for attorney general, who – boosted by a raft of Republican endorsements from fellow prosecutors and sheriffs — led the ticket.

In his last available disclosure, Hodges, a former Dougherty County district attorney, reported raising $1.5 million for his race. Democratic nominee for governor Roy Barnes, who earned 5,115 votes less, reported $8.7 million raised.

The worst statewide Democratic performance came from U.S. Senate candidate Michael Thurmond, who failed to break the …

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Roy Barnes: ‘I’ll vote for Michael Thurmond in U.S. Senate race’

Democratic candidate for governor Roy Barnes, left, is joined by Democratic candidate for commissioner of labor, Darryl Hicks, and 9th District Democratic party chairwoman Margaret Ball, at statewide fly-around campaign stop, Monday, Nov. 1, 2010, in Dalton, Ga. AP/The Daily Citizen.

Democratic candidate for governor Roy Barnes, left, is joined by Democratic candidate for commissioner of labor, Darryl Hicks, and 9th District Democratic party chairwoman Margaret Ball, at statewide fly-around campaign stop, Monday, Nov. 1, 2010, in Dalton, Ga. AP/The Daily Citizen.

Democratic nominee for governor Roy Barnes on Monday backed off any hint that he would vote for Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson in the U.S. Senate race – in a final-day attempt to quell expressions of dismay from supporters Michael Thurmond, the Democratic candidate for Senate.

“Roy is going to support the ticket, and will be voting for Michael Thurmond tomorrow,” said Emil Runge, spokesman for the Barnes campaign.

We understand that Barnes and Thurmond are to meet this evening at the finale of a statewide fly-around at Peachtree-DeKalb airport. And that Thurmond might even introduce the former governor – after peace is made.

In a telephone interview this afternoon, Thurmond – who is …

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