Archive for the ‘Nathan Deal’ Category

Why the Atlanta stadium debate remains alive: Location, location, location

The latest Journal-Constitution poll now measures opposition to a new, $1 billion version of the Georgia Dome – and a new home for the Atlanta Falcons, its chief tenant – at 72 percent of all Georgians.

That level of unpopularity shouldn’t shock you. But you might be surprised by the fact that, despite an approval rating only slightly better than that of Congress, the issue will be very much alive when the Legislature opens this week.

State lawmakers will be asked to approve $300 million in public funding, through a hotel-motel tax on visitors to Atlanta. Mayor Kasim Reed remains confident of success. Gov. Nathan Deal and House Speaker David Ralston are less so, but neither has closed the door on the project.

Such a situation is sure to breed cynicism. Politicians doing the bidding of billionaire Falcons-owner Arthur Blank, one jaded voice in your head is saying. Another directs your attention to the much-vaunted friendship between the mayor of Atlanta and the …

Continue reading Why the Atlanta stadium debate remains alive: Location, location, location »

Your daily jolt: Nathan Deal wants to stay out of gun debate

Gov. Nathan Deal’s sit-down with Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action News on Wednesday was primarily intended to spread the news that the state’s economic woes had eased enough to boost HOPE scholarships by 3 percent and add 10 days to the pre-kindergarten schedule.

But Geary was also able to sneak in a question about gun legislation – which has become a hot topic for governor’s elsewhere. Said Deal:

”It is a time that is fraught with emotions on both sides of the issue. I’ve heard of proposed legislation, but none of that is part of my agenda.”

Don’t consider that declaration of neutrality to be a green light for the handful of bills already filed in the House, in anticipation of the new session of the Legislature that begins Monday. Several have been filed by incoming freshman Charles Gregory, R-Kennesaw, who has proposed removing state bans on (permitted) concealed weapons in churches and on public university campuses.

The governor’s statement could very well …

Continue reading Your daily jolt: Nathan Deal wants to stay out of gun debate »

Your daily jolt: A fix for unintended victims of Ga.’s illegal immigration law

State Rep. Dusty Hightower, R-Carrollton, this morning dropped legislation on behalf of Secretary of State Brian Kemp to unclog the processing of half-million professional licenses – unintended victims of Georgia’s illegal immigration statute.

HB 87, passed in 2011, currently requires all license applicants – from nurses to barbers to plumbers – to submit proof of citizenship before new or renewed licenses are granted.

Wait times for licenses have increased five-fold as a result, Kemp says.

HB 32 will only require applicants to submit proof of citizenship only once. A similar measure was attempted last year, but failed when it became wrapped into legislation that would have barred all undocumented students from public universities.

***
Meanwhile, the state Senate’s newly configured Committee on Assignments today gets down to the business of doling out chairmanships and committee memberships. The biggest prize: Chairmanship of the Senate Rules Committee, through which …

Continue reading Your daily jolt: A fix for unintended victims of Ga.’s illegal immigration law »

Chambliss campaign manager’s thoughts on Deal: “Nothing”

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., (right) with Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., in 2011. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., (right) with Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., in 2011. (Alex Brandon/AP)

By Daniel Malloy

The long-time campaign manager for U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss said today that all the hullabaloo around a potential primary race has been “a real net positive” for Chambliss, dismissed the “rumors” and “rumblings” about a big-name primary challenger as nothing more and said the senator is focused on his day job.

I asked Tom Perdue over the phone what he thought of Gov. Nathan Deal’s comment last week that “it’s way too early to be picking winners and losers” in a Chambliss primary. Perdue replied: “Nothing.”

Frosty is an understatement to describe the relationship between Perdue and Team Deal since Perdue said Deal should drop out of the 2010 governor’s race following revelations about Deal’s financial troubles. Charlie Harper of Peach Pundit pointed out that Perdue’s public appearance with Chambliss at a politically fraught Cobb County GOP breakfast Dec. 1 likely …

Continue reading Chambliss campaign manager’s thoughts on Deal: “Nothing” »

Your Daily Jolt: Deal tells legislators money is tight

Closing out the biennial pre-session meeting of state lawmakers in Athens, Gov. Nathan Deal laid out the not-so-pretty picture for state finances. From Walter C. Jones at Morris News Service:

In years past, governors have used their luncheon speech to outline ambitious agendas.

Deal, though, used the occasion to dampen expectations.

“I must tell you it is a rather daunting budget this year. We have some challenges,” he said.

The looming federal budget cuts would offer another blow to Georgia’s budget-writers, and there is little sign of progress toward altering or averting them in any way. President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner apparently traded offers Tuesday that did little to move the ball.

The Wall Street Journal reports that there is one new aspect to the closed-door negotiations: Corporate tax reform.

***

The key excerpt from the dead tree version of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s announcement that he backs gay marriage:

Reed is running for re-election …

Continue reading Your Daily Jolt: Deal tells legislators money is tight »

A Christmas miracle marks the end of a tumultuous era

Note to readers: This marks my last post of 2012 — I’ll be on vacation the rest of the year. My AJC colleague Daniel Malloy in Washington, dmalloy@ajc.com, has graciously agreed to take on blogging duties and keep you informed as we stray ever closer to that fiscal cliff. Best holiday wishes to all.

Much has been written about the sudden departure of Chip Rogers for a custom-made job with Georgia Public Broadcasting, four weeks after his re-election to the Legislature and three weeks after he was forced to withdraw his bid for a second term as state Senate majority leader.

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, left, cracks a smile as he talks with Sen. Ronnie Chance, R-Tyrone, right, during last session’s debate on the proposed constitutional amendment on charter schools. Chance will replace Rogers as majority leader next year. Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, left, cracks a smile as he talks with Sen. Ronnie Chance, R-Tyrone, right, during last session’s debate on the proposed constitutional amendment on charter schools. Chance will replace Rogers as majority leader next year. Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com

But too heavy a focus on Rogers detracts from the larger development: The return of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle as a figure of …

Continue reading A Christmas miracle marks the end of a tumultuous era »

PPP survey: 42% of Ga. Republicans would secede, Nathan Deal job approval at 37%

After declaring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss “theoretically vulnerable” this week, Public Policy Polling of North Carolina has run out the rest of its Georgia poll, with these highlights:

– Apparently bruised by bitter campaigns over transportation (lost) and charter schools (won), Gov. Nathan Deal’s job approval rating stands at 37 percent among voters – one reason why Deal, moving into his crucial third year as governor, needs a smooth and productive legislative session in January.

The PPP survey declares Deal to be vulnerable if Democrats are able to muster the right candidate in 2014 – a very large “if.” Some hypothetical match-ups: U.S. Rep. John Barrow, 44/40; Kasim Reed (never happen), 47/40; State Sen. Jason Carter, 46/38.

– Likewise, the fiscal cliff debate may be taking its toll on U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, whose approval rating also stands at 37 percent. But he isn’t up for re-election until 2016.

– Former President Jimmy Carter approve/disapprove …

Continue reading PPP survey: 42% of Ga. Republicans would secede, Nathan Deal job approval at 37% »

Nathan Deal-Kasim Reed alliance a model for Washington?

The Economist, the influential London-based magazine, today points to the bipartisan relationship between Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Gov. Nathan Deal as the cure for what ails Washington.

The magazine cites Porsche North America’s new headquarters in Atlanta and the so-far-successful quest to finance the dredging of the Port of Savannah as products of cooperation between the two. A small taste:

It helps that Messrs Reed and Deal both come from a legislative background, where—elected officials in Washington take note—compromise breeds progress. It helps also that neither is an ideologue: tea-partiers have called Mr Deal a RINO (Republican In Name Only), just as Mr Reed has taken heat from his party’s left wing. And it helps, as Mr Reed says, that he and Mr Deal share the view that “if you are not going to accomplish as much as you can because the person sitting across the street is from a different party, you’re eliminating one-third of what you can do.”

A …

Continue reading Nathan Deal-Kasim Reed alliance a model for Washington? »

The power of a name at the center of Medicaid debate

The first step on the road to wisdom, Confucius declared thousands of years ago, is to call a thing by its proper name.

Republicans in Washington have taken the Chinese philosopher’s advice to heart, and are now engaged in a debate over whether an increase in federal revenue can correctly be labeled a tax hike. Anti-tax guru Grover Norquist says yes. U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss says no.

A Georgia version of this name game – no less intense than the one in D.C. — is already percolating. Two-and-a-half years ago, the state Legislature passed what came to be known as “the bed tax” – a levy on Georgia’s hospitals used to leverage federal dollars and prop up the state’s Medicaid program.

It expires next year. Gov. Nathan Deal, House Speaker David Ralston and soon-to-be Senate president pro tem David Shafer all agree that without it, there will be hell to pay.

But a bed tax? They’ve never heard of it. “Medicaid assessment fee,” says Ralston. “Provider fee,” …

Continue reading The power of a name at the center of Medicaid debate »

Nathan Deal on Saxby Chambliss’ re-elect bid: ‘It’s way too early to be picking winners and losers’

It is possible to call a man friend and still leave him dangling.

My AJC colleague Daniel Malloy in Washington just finished a telephone conversation with Gov. Nathan Deal that touched on the topic of U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss and his 2014 re-election bid. It went something like this:

Malloy: “There is a lot of talk going around the state about Saxby Chambliss getting a Republican primary challenge. Would you support him if he does?”

Deal: “It’s way too early to be picking winners and losers and people that you’re going to support and not support. He’s a friend of mine. I served with him in the U.S. House and he will continue to be a friend of mine.”

Sounds like a definite maybe.

On a similar note, Public Policy Polling of North Carolina was in the field over the weekend with a Georgia poll focused on Chambliss. We haven’t seen the results yet, but PPP just tweeted this:

The only Republican who gets anywhere close to Saxby Chambliss in a one on one primary at …

Continue reading Nathan Deal on Saxby Chambliss’ re-elect bid: ‘It’s way too early to be picking winners and losers’ »