Archive for the ‘Sanford Bishop’ Category

Fiscal cliff deal passes House; Ga. GOP’ers vote no

Crisis averted. Let the countdown to the next crisis begin.

After a day of remarkable swings, House Republican leaders folded and brought to the floor a bill they knew they needed Democrats to pass. The final tally was 257-167, with 172 Democrats joining 85 Republicans in favor. This broke House Speaker John Boehner’s practice (named for ex-Speaker Denny Hastert) that bills must pass with “the majority of the majority.” It will be interesting to see whether conservative members’ ire remains focused on the Senate or whether it will shift to Boehner with the Speaker’s re-election coming up on Thursday.

Georgia Republicans lined up unanimously against the American Taxpayer Relief Act: Reps. Tom Price of Roswell, Lynn Westmoreland of Coweta County, Phil Gingrey of Marietta, Rob Woodall of Lawrenceville, Jack Kingston of Savannah, Paul Broun of Athens, Austin Scott of Tifton and Tom Graves of Ranger all voted no.

That’s a major break from the state’s Republican senators — Johnny …

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Your morning jolt: Apply charter campaign restrictions to governor, Dems say

Suddenly, the hottest debate in Georgia is over who can say what about charter schools and the November ballot issue.

We told you yesterday about the Glenn Delk lawsuit against the state’s 180 school districts, demanding that a Fulton County judge order public school officials into silence – at least during school hours. See the lawsuit here.

The court petition leans a great deal on a letter of guidance issued by Attorney General Sam Olens to state School Superintendent John Barge last week, reminding those same school systems that public resources aren’t to be used on either side of the argument. Barge, for instance, removed notice of his opposition to the charter school amendment.

Democrats have now demanded that Olens apply the same measure to Gov. Nathan Deal, an advocate of the proposed constitutional amendment to give the state another avenue through which to create charter schools – over the objections of local systems.

From a letter sent to Olens by Mike Berlon, …

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Two Sams, an Elliott and a Sanford on polarized politics

This was alumni weekend at Emory University, possibly because they don’t have a football team.

Part of the program on Saturday was a panel of law school graduates discussing the polarized state of American politics: Former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn (’62), U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop (’71) Attorney General Sam Olens (’83); former congressman Elliott Levitas (’52).

Herding the cats as moderator was Yvette Miller (’88) presiding judge of the state Court of the Appeals. Tom Clark, associate professor of political science, also sat in on the discussion.

Here’s the video turned out by Emory:

Below is a rough, incomplete transcript.

For the last few weeks, Nunn has been engaged in an unofficial campaign to rally the nation’s political elders – Republican and Democrat – in support of a bipartisan deal to address the federal deficit and avoidance of the “fiscal cliff” that looms in January. So he loomed largest in the discussion.

The panel closed with a brief skirmish over voter ID between …

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Your morning jolt: Tea party challenges that didn’t happen

In politics, the only thing more dangerous than throwing a spear at the king and missing is declaring that you intend to throw the spear – then failing to do so.

This spring, a new coalition of conservative groups called the Peach Tea Party declared that it would target 16 House Republicans and the chamber’s sole independent for their votes against HB 954, a bill to shorten the period during which a woman can seek an abortion, and another measure to eliminate discrimination in public hiring by sexual orientation or gender identity.

Of those 17 targeted, only four ended up with Republican opposition last week:

– Incumbent Republican Amos Amerson of Dahlonega retired. Three Republicans and one Democrat will try to replace him;

– Tommy Benton, R-Jefferson, no opposition;

– Mickey Channell, R-Greensboro, no opposition;

– Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta, has no opposition;

– Harry Geisinger, R-Roswell, no opposition;

– Mike Jacobs, R-Atlanta, picked up no GOP opposition, but has a …

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Your morning jolt: The 2013 campaign season begins — for GOP chairmanship

The Republican world – at least the Georgia part of it – is headed down to Columbus today for its two-day state convention.

Former state senator Chip Pearson of Dawsonville

Former state senator Chip Pearson of Dawsonville

Delegates will be pointed to November and, in at least one case, beyond. Among the many fliers on their seats will be one from former state Sen. Chip Pearson of Dawsonville, announcing his candidacy for state party chairman in 2013.

He’s already got a website that includes this shout-out to the current term-limited chairman, Sue Everhart:

With your help, we will continue Sue Everhart’s proud tradition of grassroots leadership and build on her great successes. I want to hear your ideas on how we can build on the successes of the Georgia GOP and make our Party even stronger…

Pearson, who has spent the last year raising money for the party, will be emphasizing his loyalty to the grassroots rather than officialdom. “People don’t know that there’s a whole lot more of me in the party than there is in the …

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Barack Obama gambles on gay marriage

Just perhaps, Gamblers Anonymous should make some discreet inquiries at the White House. There may be a membership opportunity.

With his re-election already hanging on the thin thread of an improved economy, Barack Obama on Wednesday recast the presidential contest along starker, social terms with an abrupt declaration of his support for gay marriage.

The man who only a week ago had basked in his decision to send boots into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden appeared slightly less sure of himself when explaining his latest roll of the dice.

“I have hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought that civil unions would be sufficient,” Obama said in the ABC News interview as he laid out the scope of his gamble. “I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people the word ‘marriage’ was something that invokes very powerful traditions, religious beliefs and so forth.”

Obama’s hand was forced by Vice President Joe Biden, who on Sunday had declared, on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” …

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Your morning jolt: If a deal’s at stake, consider bigger tax hikes, says Saxby Chambliss

Signs of pessimism in Washington, over Congress’ inability to reach a deficit reduction agreement in the next seven days, includes this from

Supercommittee co-chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), speaking bluntly to a closed House Republican meeting Tuesday said any deal that the panel produces will either be an “abject [failure] or a ‘kiss your sister agreement.’”

One assumes that [failure] is something unprintable. On the other hand, green sprigs of hope include the decision by U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., to release a 37-page report this week critical of government subsidies for wealthy Americans.

He called it “Subsidies of the Rich and Famous.” From the Associated Press:

The report found that in an average year, those earning $1 million or more each year benefit from tax breaks and federal grant programs totaling $30 billion. His report noted that in tax year 2009, nearly 1,500 millionaires paid no federal income tax.

Among the government subsidies cited in …

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John Lewis, Hank Johnson, David Scott, Sanford Bishop seek clemency for Troy Davis

The Georgia members of Congress have asked the state Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant clemency for Troy Davis, who is scheduled to face execution next week the 1989 killing of off-duty Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail.

Hank Johnson of Decatur, John Lewis and David Scott of Atlanta, and Sanford Bishop of Albany, all Democrats, put their signatures to the letter that can be read here. A total of four dozen members of Congress signed.

Among the letter’s points:

“It is clear now that the doubts plaguing Davis’s case can never be adequately addressed; the lack of hard scientific or relevant physical evidence has made it impossible to resolve with any degree of certainty.

“Over the last four years, the inability of our courts to resolve these uncertainties has shaken public confidence in our judicial system, and an execution under such a cloud of doubt would do nothing but further undermine that confidence. Public faith in the integrity of justice in Georgia is at …

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Your morning jolt: John Lewis joins six Republicans in vote against debt-ceiling bill

Last night’s vote in the U.S. House on a debt-ceiling deal ripped Georgia’s congressional delegation in two, with Democrat John Lewis of Atlanta joining six Republicans in a final condemnation.

In quoting Mohandas Gandhi, Lewis sounded not unlike some tea partyists we’ve run into: “’All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. All compromise on fundamentals is surrender. It is all give and no take.’ The Democrats gave and gave and gave, but we received nothing in return. This is not a fair deal. It is not a good deal. It is not a balanced compromise.”

Voting for the bill were two Republicans – Tom Price of Roswell, Rob Woodall of Lawrenceville – and four Democrats – David Scott of Atlanta, Sanford Bishop of Albany, John Barrow of Savannah, and Hank Johnson of Decatur.

Voting against the bill were congressmen with major military concerns in their districts: Phil Gingrey of Marietta, Austin Scott of Tifton, and Jack Kingston …

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U.S. Rep. John Barrow to be shoved out of Savannah?

A reliable contact has just sent us this draft of new congressional lines now moving among influential Republicans in Georgia – the first detailed look we’ve seen:


Click here for a your own downloadable copy. As David Wasserman of Cook Political Report notes below, the map is the same one he posted in May.

Nonetheless, we’re being assured that these lines are being passed around as a starting point for a special session of the Legislature that begins Aug. 15. At a glance:

– In the 12th District, U.S. Rep. John Barrow, the last white Democrat from the Deep South, would be pushed out of his residence in Savannah. Previously, Republicans targeted him by forcing Barrow to move from his original base in Athens. Under this map, Augusta would become Barrow’s third home. If he survives a 2012 vote.

– The new, Republican-dominated 14th District would stretch from Hall County, home to both Gov. Nathan Deal and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, northeast to Rabun Gap – and eastward into the middle …

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