Archive for the ‘Sonia Sotomayor’ Category

Your morning jolt: Trouble brewing on Sonny Perdue’s turf

Trouble is brewing in Sonny Perdue’s home territory. And the governor has already tried to put a lid on it.

Last year, longtime Mayor Donald Walker of Warner Robins died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Chuck Shaheen took his place, but has faced serious fractures within his own city council. Add the salt of racial tension to that wound, and you’ve got a national story hailing from Houston County.

The cultural question: What does it mean when a white councilman tells a black councilman that he belongs in a cotton field? From WMAZ-TV in Macon last week:

The narrative, from WMAZ:

Warner Robins City Council member Daron Lee says remarks made by other council members turned racial for the second meeting in a row.

Lee [, [who is African-American] says Tom Simms Jr. referred to him as “boy” during a closed meeting two weeks ago.

Monday night [Oct. 11], council member John Williams said Lee should be working in a cotton field.

The exchange happened during a motion by Daron …

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Sonny Perdue goes to bat for health care protesters

Gov. Sonny Perdue was among three GOP governors who this afternoon defended protesters showing up at town hall meetings on health care hosted by members of Congress.

According to Politico.com, Perdue joined a conference call with Govs. Haley Barbour of Mississippi and Linda Lingle of Hawaii, sponsored by the Republican Governors Association.

Said the governor of Georgia:

Perdue suggested that media coverage of some of the town halls has been overblown, saying what he has seen at the town halls is “democracy in action.”

“For some Democratic legislators to call it anti-democratic is just ludicrous,” said Perdue, seeming to allude to a column by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) published Monday in USA Today that called the protesters “un-American.”

“These are citizens who are very concerned,” said Perdue. “They just want answers to their questions.”

“To be excoriated for asking those questions is just beyond …

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Your morning jolt: Michael Thurmond offered U.S. Labor post

The state’s unemployment rate jumped to more than 10 percent in June, the highest ever recorded in Georgia — though we’re fairly certain no one was counting during the Great Depression.

That’s nearly half a million people looking for work in this state, up 65 percent over June 2008.

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond will testify at a U.S. Senate hearing (Johnny Isakson a ranking member) on Thursday. The topic will be re-training an army of American workers.

And this is where Georgia politics kicks in. We understand that Thurmond, who had been gearing up to enter the Democratic race for lieutenant governor, was recently offered a post within the U.S. Labor Department.

Thurmond is perhaps the most valued African-American stump speaker in the Georgia Democratic party, and plans have been afoot for him to run on an informal, biracial ticket with former Gov. Roy Barnes.

Thurmond has discussed the offer with Democratic lawmakers and other officials. Acceptance would …

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A sit-down between Saxby Chambliss and Sonia Sotomayor

Just got off the phone with U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who had a one-hour sit-down today with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

The Republican expressed some specific qualms about the nominee, but was surprisingly positive in his assessment — though “cordial” is probably the better word.

Sotomayor meets with U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson tomorrow.

Chambliss also expressed some concern about President Barack Obama’s subdued response to the post-election protests in Iran. All is below in a quick Q&A:

Insider: So what did you think of her?

Chambliss: In preparation for sitting down with her, I sat down and read a lot of her opinions, and read some of her speeches, and talked to some lawyers that had dealt with her.

There are some issues out there. We talked about some concerns I had regarding the Second Amendment, regarding some concerns I had on where she might come down on social issues — not abortion.

But frankly, what I had heard from people, from what I had …

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Laura Bush: Sonia Sotomayor ‘a very interesting and good nominee’ for U.S. Supreme Court

This according to the Associated Press:

Former first lady Laura Bush says she’s pleased that President Barack Obama nominated a woman for the Supreme Court.

“I think she sounds like a very interesting and good nominee,” Bush said of Sonia Sotomayor, the federal appeals judge Obama picked.

Mrs. Bush said in an interview broadcast Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that “as a woman, I’m proud that there might be another woman on the court. I wish her well.”

She was interviewed in Dallas, where the Bushes moved after their White House tenure.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

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Gingrich says he shouldn’t have called Sotomayor a racist

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich this morning backed away from calling U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a “racist,” saying his own language was perhaps “too strong and too direct.”

Gingrich helped set off a stir of Republican protest with a series of Twitter messages from Europe last week, including this one: “White man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw.”

The former Georgia congressman was reacting to this quote from Sotomayor, made during a 2001 speech: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

Gingrich posted the following today on the web site for Human Events, a conservative publication:

My initial reaction was strong and direct — perhaps too strong and too direct. The sentiment struck me as racist and I said so. Since then, some who want to have an open and …

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Your morning jolt: GBI says nothing illegal in hiring of congressman’s stepdaughter

A GBI inquiry into the employment of U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop’s stepdaughter in the Muscogee County marshal’s office has found no illegal activity, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports this morning.

Says the newspaper:

The employment of Aayesha Owens Reese, the stepdaughter of U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, and daughter of Columbus Municipal Court Clerk Vivian Creighton Bishop, was questioned after a city payroll audit in February.

Reese and her husband, Stephen Reese, worked in the Junior Marshal Program, a middle school mentoring program funded in part by a federal grant that the congressman helped obtain.

The Reeses lived in Lithonia, Ga., at the time of their employment, and both held full-time jobs in the metro Atlanta area.

“I am pleased that the report from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation revealed no evidence of criminal intent or conduct relating to the employment of Aayesha and Stephen Reese or funds related to their employment with the Muscogee County …

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Your morning jolt: Shirley Franklin goes to D.A., and the feds, over baseball bat remark

Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin has filed complaints with both federal and state authorities against an Atlanta police union leader who said the city’s treatment of disabled cops made him want to take a baseball bat to her head.

Sgt. Scott Kreher has apologized and has been suspended, but apparently that hasn’t satisfied the mayor, according to Jon Lewis and WSB Radio — via tape from WSB-TV.

Franklin has filed complaints with both Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Atlanta. Writes Lewis:

“My family was upset. They still are upset,” Mayor Franklin tells Channel 2. “It’s bothered me more than I thought it would….”

“When you take a bat and hit someone in the head, that’s an effort to kill you,” she says.

Franklin has similar unforgiving comments posted on the city’s web site:

“His threat cannot be tolerated or explained away. I believe his threat to be serious and an attempt to intimidate me and other city officials and my …

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Newt Gingrich on Twitter: ‘Latina woman racist should…withdraw’

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich just twittered the following to his closest 344,357 friends about five minutes ago, never mentioning U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor by name:

White man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw.

Sonia Sotomayor, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals/Bloomberg

Sonia Sotomayor, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals/Bloomberg

That message was preceded by this one:

Imagine a judicial nominee said “my experience as a white man makes me better than a latina woman” new racism is no better than old racism

We called a spokesman for Gingrich, who said the former Georgia congressman is currently in Europe.

The aide said the “tweets” are genuine, which makes Gingrich the most prominent Republican yet to take a hard line against Obama’s nominee for the high court. And that could presage more resolute GOP opposition in Congress.

Conservative talk show giant Rush Limbaugh said something similar on Tuesday, after the Sotomayor nomination:

“Here you have a …

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Your morning jolt: Stephens joins race for Congress, Barrow catches heat for cap-and-trade vote

Former state Senate majority leader Bill Stephens shook off a three-year hiatus from politics this morning to announce himself as a candidate to replace U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal.

The Fannin County native becomes the third Republican to announce for the 9th District seat. Mike Evans, the former state transportation chairman, and Tom Graves, the state lawmaker, are already in the race.

Stephens once served as Gov. Zell Miller’s press secretary, and is tapping that same base for his finance committee. Businessman Virgil Williams will head it up. Miller and his wife Shirley are also part of Stephens’ core support.

“North Georgia deserves a member of Congress who knows them, will represent their interests and knows how to take on the power structure–and win”, said Stephens, a banker, in his press release.

Stephens was elected to the state Senate in 1998, but lost the GOP primary for secretary of state to Karen Handel, who is now running for governor.

According to May 2009 …

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