Archive for the ‘Roy Barnes’ 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 governor.

But …

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New PPP survey: Saxby Chambliss ‘vulnerable,’ but leads potential GOP opponents

A new survey of Georgia voters by Public Policy Polling says U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss can make it to a 2014 general election, he would be hard to beat – but would be “theoretically very vulnerable” in a Republican primary.

See the poll details here. From the press release:

Only 38% of Republican primary voters say they want Chambliss to be their nominee next year, compared to 43% who would prefer someone more conservative. But Chambliss stomps most of the people who’ve shown the most interest in taking him on.

He leads Congressman Paul Broun by a 57/14 margin in a head to head, has a 52/34 advantage over Congressman Tom Price, and leads former Secretary of State Karen Handel 52/23.

In terms of the general election the Georgia Senate race is somewhat reminiscent of the Indiana contest this cycle- if Chambliss is the nominee the seat is probably safe for the GOP, but if someone far to his right wins the primary the Democrats might have a chance
if everything goes their …

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A case of ‘stalking’ in the 12th District GOP race

Brief sidebar: U.S. Rep. John Barrow has decided that, without a NASCAR event, there’s no reason to go to Charlotte in September. Now back to our original programming:

Things are getting tense in east Georgia.

Last week, Maria Sheffield spoke to the Greater Columbia County Republican Women. She and her staff noticed an extra video camera in the crowd. Her Republican rival in the 12th District congressional race, Wright McLeod, had hired a paid staffer to track Sheffield and keep track of her statements.

Sheffield, the only female candidate in the race to replace Democrat John Barrow, this afternoon accused McLeod of “stalking” her. She also seemed to think that only Democrats engage in the practice. Said Sheffield, via press release:

“I want to apologize, specifically to the wonderful ladies of the Greater Columbia County Republican Women’s Club, and to Republicans across GA 12, for the negative tactics of Wright McLeod. Wright has made the decision to stalk me by using the …

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Glenn Richardson, Roy Barnes tag-team Georgia Power

In Room 5F of the Fulton County Superior Court building this morning, two men who separately dominated the state Capitol for a half-dozen years sat side-by-side before Judge Ural D. Glanville, preparing to run a tag-team assault on Georgia Power.

At the outset, Glenn Richardson, the former, fiery Republican House speaker did the talking. Former Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat, sat at Richardson’s left hand.

“The case is about Georgia Power charging sales tax on your bill for a couple things we don’t think they should be charging it on – the nuclear costs,” Richardson said during an early break. “I had a client asked me to look at it. She said it seemed unfair, and I started looking at it, and said, ‘You know, you’re right.’ I’d never heard of charging sales tax on a nuclear financing cost. It was never discussed when it came to us.”

The gentleman knows of what he speaks, and that is only one of the ironies here. The legislation that has allowed Georgia Power, for the last 15 …

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The ultimate odd couple: Roy Barnes, Glenn Richardson vs. Georgia Power

Former Gov. Roy Barnes, the ultimate Democrat, just confirmed that he has joined former House speaker Glenn Richardson, once the ultimate Republican, in a case against Georgia Power that will have a hearing in Fulton County Superior Court next Monday morning.

The lawsuit involves that surcharge approved in 2009 by the General Assembly, allowing Georgia Power to charge ratepayers in advance for some financing expenses related to the construction of two nuclear power plants.

“[Georgia Power] is charging sales tax on the finance surcharge and charging sales tax on the franchise tax paid to cities. You can’t charge sales tax on finance charges or on another tax. Looks to me there has been a $100 million overcharge,” Barnes wrote in a note this afternoon.

Politically, the two attorneys may be polar opposites. But they share geography. Richardson — who left the Legislature after passage of the Georgia Power surcharge in 2009 — still lives in Hiram. And Barnes, while he has a …

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Your morning jolt: John Barrow as a political condor of interest

Suddenly awarded the status of an endangered species, U.S. Rep. John Barrow of Savannah – the last white Democratic member of Congress from the Deep South – is a man getting a lot of attention.

U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga. at a 2006 forum in Vidalia/AP

U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga. at a 2006 forum in Vidalia/AP

My AJC colleague Daniel Malloy in Washington was on the phone with Barrow on Wednesday afternoon, even as the state Legislature was handing him a newly drawn 12th District they hope will result in his ouster from Congress.

“This isn’t the first time that politicians in the state house have redrawn these districts in an attempt to reverse the outcome of my election, and I don’t suspect this will be the last,” the five-term congressman said.

The new 12th District is much more hostile for Barrow. According to an AJC analysis, Republicans have given themselves a 20-point advantage in the new district, in part by removing Chatham County and Savannah. The African-American voting population has been decreased from 42 percent to 33 …

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Karma and the drawing of Georgia’s political boundaries

Ten years later, what went around, came around.

Last week, our Republican-led Legislature plunged into the ruthless process known as redistricting.

Constitutionally, it is an occasion to pay homage to the concept of one person, one vote. In reality, redistricting is the irresistible opportunity for the ruling forces of the Capitol to redraw the state’s political boundaries — with the object of securing their own power for the next decade.

Congressional lines will be tackled this week. U.S. Rep. John Barrow, the Democrat from Savannah, is advised to reserve a moving van — Republicans are almost sure to force him out of his district, again.

A ghost of 2001: Senate District 51 required an eight-hour trek by car

A ghost of 2001: Senate District 51, occupied by Republican Bill Stephens, required an eight-hour trek by car

But the true blueprint for power in Georgia was largely settled on Thursday, when House and Senate Republicans passed separate district maps — intended to give their party super-majorities in each chamber.

In the House, white …

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Your morning jolt: Macon Mayor Robert Reichert narrowly re-elected

For the moment, middle Georgia’s most racially polarized contests are at an end. From the Macon Telegraph:

Macon Mayor Robert Reichert eked out victory Tuesday night, winning a seesaw fight for a second term against former Mayor C. Jack Ellis.

Unofficial returns gave Reichert 10,307 votes to 9,770 for Ellis, a difference of about 500 votes out of more than 20,000 cast.

And this:

Former Macon City Council President Miriam Paris ended former state Rep. David Lucas’ 37 years of political service with an unofficial 12,950-10,220 vote victory in Tuesday’s runoff in the special election for the District 26 state Senate seat formerly held by Robert Brown.

Paris took 55.9 percent of the vote, well ahead of Lucas’ 44.1 percent.

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Here’s the Channel 2 Action News assessment of Democratic reaction to the GOP effort to seize control of the Fulton County legislative delegation:

Republicans we’ve talked to say that a new Milton County would still be difficult to achieve. What’s more …

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Your morning jolt: Handcuffs and a backseat ride for ex-Cobb EMC chief

Roy Barnes is mightily ticked off.

His client, retired Cobb EMC chief Dwight Brown, was re-indicted on racketeering charges last week. Shortly afterward, on his way to his lawyer’s office, Brown was stopped by a sheriff’s deputy, handcuffed and taken to jail in the back of the cop car.

From this morning’s Marietta Daily Journal:

“He said, ‘I’m not going anywhere, why did they have to do this?’” Barnes said. “Dwight Brown has had a very distinguished business career, starting with Georgia Power. He does not believe, and neither do I, that he has committed a criminal act. He is befuddled and upset at the fact that this has come down and he’s become a punching bag for everybody that’s dissatisfied about everything.”

Barnes said he believes that the district attorney’s office notified the sheriff’s office on Wednesday that an indictment could be forthcoming and that District Attorney Pat Head, or someone in his office, told deputies they wanted Brown arrested.

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The president of …

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In search of a green light on video scratch-off games

Dave Garrett is a man in search of a wink. If he must, he will settle for a discreet nod.

Two weeks ago, the Atlanta real estate developer launched a campaign to persuade the Georgia Lottery Corporation to embrace video lottery terminals across the state and restore the HOPE scholarship program to its former, 3.0 grade-point glory.

Video terminals could boost scratch-off games, former lottery board chairman Dave Garrett argues. AJC file

Video terminals could boost scratch-off games, former lottery board chairman Dave Garrett argues. AJC file

The video terminals would supplement the scratch-off business now done in convenience stores and elsewhere. Strong evidence indicates that electronic delivery results in increased sales.

Critics are sure to condemn Garrett’s idea as an expansion of gambling. The word “casino” is, in fact, his worst enemy. But the developer and his friends point to the other side of the coin — the contraction of the HOPE scholarship and pre-k programs.

Facing flat lottery revenues and increased demand, Gov. Nathan Deal and the General Assembly this year approved …

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