Archive for the ‘Nathan Deal’ Category

A Q&A with Speaker David Ralston on ‘personhood,’ immigration, a new Georgia Dome and hospitals

House Speaker David Ralston recently sat down to discuss the November elections and their impact on the next session of the state Legislature, which begins in January.

Ralston predicted that Republican re-engagement on immigration reform in Washington would forestall further state legislation on the issue. He also suggested that a “personhood” amendment to the state constitution was unlikely to fly and said he has urged state lawmakers to think coolly and calmly about two hot issues: a new stadium that would serve as home to the Atlanta Falcons and renewal of an “assessment fee” on hospitals to help prop up the state Medicaid program.

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House Speaker David Ralston greets supporters of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan during the election night party for the 2012 U.S. presidential election results at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead. Jason Getz/jgetz@ajc.com

Some excerpts from our conversation:

Q: So what’s your verdict on the 2012 campaigns?

A: I think the November elections were a mixed bag. …

Continue reading A Q&A with Speaker David Ralston on ‘personhood,’ immigration, a new Georgia Dome and hospitals »

Nathan Deal: ‘Cost and control’ behind his refusal to set up Georgia insurance exchange

Gov. Nathan Deal was on Fox News this morning, explaining why Georgia and 16 other states (so far) will not set up the health care insurance exchanges required by the Affordable Care Act:

The federal government will set up the operations in Georgia and those other states. Said Deal:

“Historically, the regulation of insurance has been a state function. That’s why we have state insurance commissioners. We don’t have a federal insurance commissioner. We will have one, of course – maybe not in name, but in practicality.

It is not politics. It is the cost and the question of state control of an issue that’s so important to the citizens of our state.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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Lawmakers speak up for Clayton County’s sheriff-elect — whose name escapes them

An awkward press conference just wrapped up at the state Capitol, called by Clayton County lawmakers in defense of Sheriff-elect Victor Hill. At least that’s who we think they were talking about.

Hill, you’ll recall, faces a couple dozen felony indictments for alleged misbehavior during his first stint as sheriff, which ended when voters booted him in 2008. Hill revived his law enforcement career by beating incumbent Kem Kimbrough in the Democratic primary this summer, and defeated a write-in candidate this month.

Once Hill takes his oath of office in January, Gov. Nathan Deal has the option of suspending Hill until his legal issues are resolved. The Georgia Sheriffs’ Association last week recommended the governor take that route, and even suggested a replacement.

It was that move from the sheriffs’ association that provoked the Clayton County delegation. “I want to see the process work,” said state Sen. Gail Davenport, D-Jonesboro, chairman of the delegation. “We want to make …

Continue reading Lawmakers speak up for Clayton County’s sheriff-elect — whose name escapes them »

Karen Handel vs. Saxby Chambliss? It’s possible

Friends of former secretary of state Karen Handel tell us that Rob Simms, once her chief of staff – now a D.C. media consultant, wasn’t blowing smoke when he said Handel was considering a 2014 challenge to U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

She is.

Simms dropped Handel’s name last week in a Weekly Standard roundup of potential primary rivals to Chambliss – a well-timed piece, given the senator’s decision to renew his fight with Grover Norquist as the Thanksgiving recess began. Other possibilities included U.S. Reps. Tom Price, R-Roswell; Paul Broun, R-Athens; and Tom Graves, R-Ranger. (U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey sent word to Chambliss and state GOP Chairman Sue Everhart weeks ago that he’s not considering it.)

Over at PeachPundit.com, Charlie Harper has a few thoughts on Chambliss’ situation – as does Jason Pye. But let’s do some realistic handicapping here as well.

We haven’t talked to him, but we’re told that Graves is less than interested in mounting a challenge to Chambliss – for …

Continue reading Karen Handel vs. Saxby Chambliss? It’s possible »

Nathan Deal: Falcons need to make case for a new stadium

After a signing ceremony for a Veterans Day proclamation, Gov. Nathan Deal held a first post-election scrum with reporters.

Among the topics: The Atlanta Falcons’ drive to replace the 20-year-old Georgia Dome with a new $1 billion facility with a retractable roof. The governor will have to sign, and the Legislature approve, an increase in the bonding capacity of the Georgia World Congress Authority.

Deal was asked about hints that the Falcons have been dropping, that leaving the city – perhaps for Los Angeles – might be an option. Should people in Atlanta be concerned? the governor was asked. Replied Deal:

”I don’t know how to answer that question, because nobody has suggested that’s an option that’s on the table now. I did meet with the commissioner of the NFL, Mr. [Roger] Goodell, and met with the authorities of the Atlanta Falcons this week. We had a good meeting. We had a good discussion….

That really is an issue that addresses itself to the Legislature, and I’m sure there …

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Your daily jolt: How Obama pushed Georgia’s charter school measure to victory

I need to listen to more V-103.

This is in the way of a small confession. One of the few surprises in Georgia ballot tallies on Tuesday was the startling support given by African-American voters to Amendment One, the measure to permit the state to create a commission that will directly license charter schools.

This despite a very loud continent of black lawmakers, not to mention the state Democratic party and the Rev. Joseph Lowery, who declared the proposed constitutional amendment would result in the resegregation of public schools.

What I didn’t know – and neglected to discover until Wednesday — was that these voices were being drowned out by the biggest name in black politics: President Barack Obama.

Two Democratic strategists – one of them Cabral Franklin, son of the former mayor of Atlanta – created this 60-second radio spot that aired exclusively on radio stations with African-American audiences:

The script:

Obama: “I call on states to reform their charter rules…When I …

Continue reading Your daily jolt: How Obama pushed Georgia’s charter school measure to victory »

Your daily jolt: Republicans absorb Tuesday’s lessons

The message from last night: The dynamics of Georgia politics haven’t changed much in four years. Republican Mitt Romney on Tuesday won this state (53.4 percent) by nearly the same margin as John McCain (52 percent) in 2008.

Here’s the county-by-county map of last night’s returns.

In fact, with the exception of D.C.-infected Virginia, Republicans won every state in the Old Confederacy, and a few border concerns besides. But 206 electoral votes won’t win you a presidency. Elsewhere, the GOP clearly needs to recalculate its audience and its message.

Republicans had bet the demographic changes measured in countless surveys and the 2010 census wouldn’t show up at the polls. They were wrong. The quick and simple from the Associated Press:

In exit polling Tuesday, voters mirrored the voting public’s makeup of four years ago, when Obama shattered minority voting barriers and drove young voters to the polls unlike any candidate in generations.

White voters made up 72 percent of the …

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Tea party rift shows up in charter school fight

The tea party rift over Amendment One, the ballot issue on charter schools, has broken into the open.

To counter an appearance last week at an opposition rally by a member of Atlanta Tea Party Patriots, a top leader in FreedomWorks – a financier of the tea party movement – over the weekend endorsed the measure, which would reaffirm the state’s authority to create a charter schools over local opposition.

From Brendan Steinhauser, director of federal and state campaigns for the organization:

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Your daily jolt: Nathan Deal goes after ‘political arsonists’

Tomorrow will mean the end of the road for either President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. For others, including Gov. Nathan Deal, it’s the starting pistol for the 2014 campaign.

Over weekend, Deal addressed Republicans in Cobb County. One day after an AJC article poked at his decision to give a plum position to the wife of a top aide and six days after a tea party leader dissed his ballot issue on charter schools, the governor had an assessment of his critics. From Jon Gillooly and the Marietta Daily Journal:

Deal said he has a new term for bloggers who have lately been blasting him.

Gov. Nathan Deal, giving a recent speech in Gwinnett County. Bob Andres/bandres@ajc.com

Gov. Nathan Deal, giving a recent speech in Gwinnett County. Bob Andres/bandres@ajc.com

“You know what I call those folks that do that kind of thing? I’ve come up with my own term. They are political arsonists,” Deal said. “They go out and say these things. They start a little fire over here, they go over here and start another little fire over here, and when the fire goes out on its own causes – …

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Uh-oh. New Falcons stadium will ‘very likely’ require state Capitol approval

Atlanta Falcon fans begin to fill the parking lot tailgating on Northside Drive across from the Georgia Dome before the NFC divisional playoff game against the Green Bay Packers last January. Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com.

Atlanta Falcon fans begin to fill the parking lot tailgating on Northside Drive across from the Georgia Dome before the NFC divisional playoff game against the Green Bay Packers last January. Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com.

Note to Matt Ryan: No pressure, and thanks for the 6-0 start. But you and your teammates would be doing your boss a great service if the Falcons were still in the Super Bowl hunt come January.

Arthur Blank will need every advantage he can muster in the state Capitol this winter if he wants that new $1 billion stadium with the retractable roof.

After the quiet 2010 passage of legislation necessary to partially fund the enterprise — by extending Fulton County’s hotel-motel tax until 2050 — the idea was to keep the project away from lawmakers.

The problem? The hotel-motel tax is expected to contribute $300 million to the new stadium. But the bonding capacity for the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which operates the Georgia Dome and would oversee the new …

Continue reading Uh-oh. New Falcons stadium will ‘very likely’ require state Capitol approval »