Archive for the ‘Rob Teilhet’ Category

Andrew Young on the SCLC: ‘I’m not interested in organizations. None of them. Except the NAACP.’

Former Atlanta mayor/congressman/U.N. ambassador Andrew Young hung around the apron of the state Capitol on Tuesday after endorsing former Gov. Roy Barnes.

The man who once served as top lieutenant to Dr. Martin Luther King was asked about the nasty legal fight for control of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

A court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Truth be told, Young sounded more than a little bit like the AJC’s Cynthia Tucker, who has argued that it’s past time to shut the organization down.

Said Young:

“I have said that the SCLC that I worked with was a movement. And that movement ended somewhere — a little after the early ’70s. Dr. King always resisted forming an organization and selling memberships.

“They are fighting over an organization. I didn’t have any interest in an organization when I was working for SCLC. I have an interest in a movement.

“If anybody is doing anything that is a movement, or the possibility of a movement, I would be glad to …

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Your morning jolt: Democrat Carol Porter goes unendorsed by abortion-rights group

Georgia’s WIN List, a political action committee aimed at supporting Democratic women, published its list of endorsed candidates for 2010.

A state version of Emily’s List, one of the Georgia PAC’s criteria is support for “reproductive freedom.” In other words, abortion rights.

We’ll list the recipients below, but most important is who the WIN List did not endorse: Carol Porter of Dublin, who as a candidate for lieutenant governor will be be the highest-ranking woman on the Democratic ballot in the July 20 primary.

Porter, wife of the Democratic candidate for governor, did not apply for consideration by the group, said Amy Morton of Macon, chairman of the group. (Morton says she is personally supporting Porter.

Morton says she is personally supporting Porter, who is attempting to chart an unusual middle ground on the abortion issue, refusing to describe herself as either “pro-life” or “pro-choice.” Her husband, House Democratic Leader DuBose Porter, describes himself as …

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Your morning jolt: A tea party test moves to June 8 runoff

The race to replace U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal in Congress now moves to a June 8 runoff between front-runner Tom Graves, a former state House member with tea party backing, and former state senator Lee Hawkins of Gainesville.

The winner will finish out the final six months of Deal’s term. The big question now is how many of the other four Republican candidates will declare themselves out of the July 20 Republican primary for the full term that begins in January. And how quickly.

In the Tuesday special election vote, Hawkins won 49 percent of his home Hall County, population anchor for the district, but Graves built his lead by winning strong pluralities in three of the next four most populous caches of votes: 48 percent in Forsyth County; 39 percent in Whitfield County; and 52 percent in Pickens County.

The contest was formally nonpartisan, but both Graves and Hawkins are Republicans. Graves was backed by the Washington-based group Club for Growth, and FreedomWorks — a major …

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Georgia Democrats and the health care dilemma

Clearly, the substance of the argument is different. But for anyone who grew up in the South during the ’50s and ’60s, the rhythm of the debate over health care has become eerily familiar.

We have John Lewis on the receiving end of invective from an angry crowd. A tortured Congress squeezes out a bill after decades of hesitation. A jubilant president signs it.

Back home, the Legislature immediately attempts a declaration of state sovereignty. The governor calls Congress’ action “a travesty,” and presses for a lawsuit to block what he declares to be an unconstitutional expansion of federal power.

And Democrats, just like in the old days, suddenly find themselves worrying about being tied too closely to a president and a ruling Washington regime.

Gov. Sonny Perdue has been eager to help. “It is imperative that current candidates for elected office publicly state their plans to either support the Obama-Pelosi legislation or fight for the people of Georgia,” the …

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Your morning jolt: DNC chair says ‘Bring back pre-existing conditions’ will make a ‘helluva bumper-sticker’

Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, at the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner in Atlanta. (Associated Press)

Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, at the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner in Atlanta. (Associated Press)

Less than 24 hours after the U.S. House passed a history-making overhaul of the American health care system, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee was in a grungy backroom of the Georgia World Congress Center – watching his salad wilt as one more reporter quizzed him about the implications of health care.

Former Virginia governor Tim Kaine was the keynote of Monday night’s annual state Democratic fund-raiser, which gathered 1,600 or so people into the Tom Murphy Ballroom.

Some excerpts from the backroom interview:

Q: Sunday morning, you were on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Did you know then you had the votes?

Kaine: I was highly confident, but I did not know the outcome. There were still some moving pieces – largely the discussion[s] with Bart Stupak and those who had been with the first round. Those were still ongoing. I was quite optimistic …

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Hijinks at the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner

About to head over to the Georgia Democrats’ annual fund-raiser, to listen to national chairman Tim Kaine talk about the implications of Sunday’s health care victory.

But hardcore politicking will be happening there, too. Already we’ve picked up two examples.

On Friday, in an interview with WGAU (1340 AM) in Athens, state Democratic party chairman Jane Kidd was asked whether it was time to winnow the field of gubernatorial candidates. She replied:

“Well, yes. As a matter of fact, I do think – anytime before qualifying, you have to hope that your candidates are looking at everything that’s going on in their races, and for the good of the party, let’s keep the competition down to as few candidates as possible.”

Apparently, former National Guard commander David Poythress thought Kidd was talking about him. He sent out this bit of sarcasm this afternoon:

I hope Kidd can convince Barnes to not destroy the Party for the second time in less than a decade. With so many critical …

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11th Circuit rules that Ken Hodges can’t be sued over Phoebe Putney case

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this afternoon that former Dougherty County prosecutor Ken Hodges can’t be sued by an Albany accountant who said he was wrongly prosecuted for his criticism of a local hospital system.

However, the court ruled that a federal lawsuit against Hodges’ chief investigator, James Paulk, could proceed. Paulk allegedly gave false grand jury evidence that led to the arrest of Charles Rehberg on charges of aggravated assault, burglary, and six counts of “harassing phone calls.”

The 11th Circuit ruling has political significance: Hodges is now a Democratic candidate for attorney general, to replace incumbent Thurbert Baker.

“I’m gratified by the court’s decision, and I look forward to continuing my public service to the people of Georgia,” Hodges said.

Rehberg and surgeon Dr. John Bagnato were indicted by a local grand jury on three occasions. All charges that stemmed from their sending of anonymous faxes that were critical of the …

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Your morning jolt: Did illegal immigrants help build Cobb courthouse?

Today’s morning eye-opener comes from my AJC colleague Mary Lou Pickel, who reports that illegal immigrants may have been laying bricks at the new Cobb County courthouse in Marietta:

A boss who employed bricklayers at the new Cobb County Courthouse in Marietta did not verify that they were legally allowed to work in the United States.

That boss was removed from the job on Friday and the 10 brick masons who worked for him were let go, said Chip Kessler, president of Zebra Construction, the main masonry subcontractor on the courthouse project.

Allegations that illegal immigrants were working on the $63 million courthouse project came to light last week when a bricklayers union organizer questioned the county.

Another bricklayers representative said he talked with employees at the courthouse in November and asked if papers were needed to get a job there.

The employees said no papers were needed and that they were paid in cash, said Jose Alvarez, business marketing representative …

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Getting rough in the Democratic race for attorney general

The Democratic side of the race for attorney general has formally entered the let’s-you-and-him-fight stage.

This morning, state Rep. Rob Teilhet (D-Smyrna) was getting some decent ink – and more importantly, attention from four TV stations – for a bill that would require police to take DNA samples from anyone arrested on felony charges.

Teilhet’s rival is former Dougherty County district attorney Ken Hodges. His spokesman, Jonathan Williams, couldn’t resist throwing some sand in the works:

“Ken’s a prosecutor, and he’s long supported strong DNA databases. But it’s ironic that, during an election year and in the midst of budget cuts, our opponent would propose an unfunded mandate for law enforcement, when he opposed giving it the money it needed only nine months ago.”

Williams helpfully pointed out that Teilhet voted against last year’s budget bill, which included $24.2 million for Georgia Bureau Investigation crime labs. (Which many local law enforcement …

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