Archive for the ‘Sam Olens’ Category

Southern Baptist leader: Jesus wouldn’t like health care panels

On C-SPAN this morning, Richard Land, president of that arm of the Southern Baptist Convention that concerns itself with national issue, was asked by a caller to justify his opposition to President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

Said Land:

”I don’t think Jesus would support the rationing panels that are in place for Obamacare. I’m getting letters every day – every day – from people who are already being rationed care since the new head of Medicare came in. They’re being told if they have terminal conditions, they can’t get treatment for other diseases.

“Even Mr. Obama said that perhaps it wasn’t the best allocation of resources to give his grandmother, who was dying of cancer, a hip replacement. So I guess she can hobble around in terrible pain with a bad hip while she was dying of cancer. I don’t think that’s very Christian, ma’am.”

The president’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, died of cancer at age 86 in 2008, two days before her …

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The busy attorney general across the street

Something was different about the night the Legislature shut down, and it wasn’t the hovering protesters or shoving matches among lobbyists outside the chamber.

Nor was it the sneaky, last-minute amendment, or the bottles of oak-aged stimulant tucked inside this cloakroom or that.

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens

No, the most unusual sight on that Thursday evening was Attorney General Sam Olens on the House floor, attempting to push through the last of his four bills.

The measure, intended to stop the spread of “pain pill mills” in the state, didn’t make it. But it was Olens’ only disappointment of the week, which began quite prominently in a pew before nine U.S. Supreme Court justices.

For three days, Olens shuttled between the health care arguments in D.C. and his legislative package in Atlanta. On the far end, simply by witnessing the high-court sessions, Olens established himself as the lead Republican voice – at least, in Georgia, one of the suing states — …

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Your morning jolt: A last-minute slap at criminal justice reform

Gov. Nathan Deal’s criminal justice reform bill, which should win final approval on this last day of the legislative session, has been widely applauded for its attempt to reduce the size of Georgia’s prison population.

So a critical editorial in the Macon Telegraph came as something of a surprise. A few paragraphs:

Now the state returns with another schizophrenic proposal to lower the number of felony offenses its responsible for adjudicating. In other words, they want to lower the number of inmates in state prisons. How can it do that? Change the definition of a felony from a $500 to a $1,000 offense. It’s not that a thief stopped stealing, it just means instead of being a state felony it would be a local misdemeanor, and local taxpayers would have to foot the bill.

The state only pays 40 percent of the actual costs of feeding and housing state prisoners. And it leaves them languishing in our jail and others across the state for days and weeks. The carrot lawmakers have …

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Your morning jolt: ‘Jesus never said a word about homosexuality,’ says Jimmy Carter

Former President Jimmy Carter, 87, is on another book tour, this time to push a collection of his Sunday school lessons at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, combined with biblical text.

Passages are said to include an endorsement of gay marriage, which Carter touched on in this Huffington Post interview:

“Homosexuality was well known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born and Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. In all of his teachings about multiple things -– he never said that gay people should be condemned. I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies.

“I draw the line, maybe arbitrarily, in requiring by law that churches must marry people. I’m a Baptist, and I believe that each congregation is autonomous and can govern its own affairs. So if a local Baptist church wants to accept gay members on an equal basis, which my church does by the way, then that is fine. If a church decides not to, then government laws …

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Your morning jolt: Local votes on video gaming machines?

It worked last year for the Sunday sale of alcohol. Maybe the local-vote option will work for those who want to see lottery-driven gaming machines in Georgia. From the Savannah Morning News:

Hoping to overcome Gov. Nathan Deal’s objections, state Rep. Ron Stephens is tweaking his plan to add video games to Georgia’s lottery.

The Savannah Republican’s goal: A politically acceptable way to bail out the state’s ever-more-financially strapped HOPE scholarship program.

His new wrinkle is to let the state allow lottery video games in communities where the governing bodies seek them.

As an incentive, Stephens says local governments could negotiate a piece of the proceeds.

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On the presidential front, Newt Gingrich ran away to join the circus on Tuesday. Or something close to it. From the Associated Press:

For all the big ideas, Gingrich’s campaign still has something of an improvisational feel. He ventured to the San Diego Zoo on Tuesday without bringing or notifying the …

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Your morning jolt: Mitt Romney to highlight Newt Gingrich defector in Ga.

Updated at 9:07 a.m.: This notice just arrived from Politico.com:

Georgia State Rep. David Casas will announce later this morning that he’s jumping ship and joining with Mitt Romney. At 1:15 p.m., the Romney campaign will convene a conference call for Casas to attack Newt Gingrich. “Over the last few weeks, I have had a serious change of heart,” he explains in a forthcoming statement.

“While I initially supported Speaker Gingrich, his continued attacks upon the free enterprise system that has made our country great are particularly something I will not stand for.” Casas’ parents were political refugees from Cuba, and he was a high school teacher before winning election to the legislature in 2002.

Orginal: One day before Mitt Romney was due in Atlanta for a Buckhead fundraiser, his GOP presidential campaign dropped a first hint that it intends to challenge Newt Gingrich in the former U.S. House speaker’s “home” state.

The Romney issued a press release that listed a …

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Your morning jolt: Mitt Romney’s testy take on ‘the very poor’

Remember the thin-skinned Mitt Romney who objected to his “grilling” from Fox News’ Bret Baier back in November? Florida may have brought him back.

In a morning interview with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, the topic was the economy:

A partial transcript:

Romney: This is a time people are worried. They’re frightened. They want someone who they have confidence in. And I believe I will be able to instill that confidence in the American people. And, by the way, I’m in this race because I care about Americans. I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it.

I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling and I’ll continue to take that message across the nation.

O’Brien: All right. So I know I said last question, but I’ve got to ask you. You just said I’m not concerned about the …

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New rule for Democratic lawmakers: Don’t talk to feds without your GOP lawyer present

We have an interesting kerfuffle underway at the state Capitol. That’s the word first used to describe it to me. Kerfuffle.

It will take some explaining.

The first thing you have to understand is that Anne Lewis, a partner in the law firm of Strickland Brockington Lewis LLP, has been involved with GOP redistricting matters for many years.

It is one of the reasons she was named general counsel to the Georgia Republican party, replacing Randy Evans.

The second thing you have to understand is that Lewis, general counsel to the state GOP, was hired this summer by the General Assembly in toto to oversee the legal aspects of the special August session of the Legislature, which was dedicated to redrawing the political boundaries for the state House districts, the state Senate districts, and 14 congressional districts.

Now, this did not mean she was everyone’s lawyer. When House Democratic Leader Stacy Abrams questioned Lewis about redistricting details, the General Assembly’s …

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Your morning jolt: Sam Olens wonders if metro Atlanta needs a super mayor

Seriously, though. If metro Atlanta had a “super mayor,” would a cape be one of the perks?

Attorney General Sam Olens, former chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Attorney General Sam Olens, former chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Over at the Saporta Report, former Atlanta Regional Chairman Sam Olens, now attorney general, wonders out loud whether the 10-county region needs a “region-wide elected chairperson.”

From his interview with Maria Saporta:

In other words, electing a regional chair of ARC would create a position that could be considered a metro mayor — having someone whose constituency would be the whole 10-county region rather than just a slice of the area.

“Everybody complains that ARC doesn’t do enough, but few people have read the statute to see how little power it has,” Olens said. “Having someone elected from the region — it would be a healthy discussion.”

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More than a dozen tea party and anti-tax groups will gather Saturday for an all-day meeting at the Cherokee …

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Sam Olens, Mike Bowers at odds over change to Open Records Act

Attorney General Sam Olens and one of his predecessors, fellow Republican Michael Bowers, have parted ways on a proposed rewrite of Georgia’s laws giving the public access to government meetings and records.

At issue is House Bill 397, which was drafted by Olens and received its first public hearing at the state Capitol this week.
One provision in the bill would prohibit those who file lawsuits against state or local governments from using the Open Records Act to obtain records for use in court.

“I think it’s a bad move. Period,” Bowers told ATLaw, the legal blog operated by the Fulton County Daily Report.which also

It is not an arcane legal argument. Cash is at stake. Notes the blog:

Bowers, now a partner at Balch & Bingham, had success using the Open Records Act in his reverse discrimination suit on behalf of fired librarians against the Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library in 2002, in which his clients won millions.

“The government has every advantage imaginable …

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