Archive for the ‘Sonny Perdue’ Category

The homecoming for a wounded Newt Gingrich

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, holds one of his presents as wife Callista, left, granddaughter Maggie Cushman, 11, right, and Clara Hunter look on during his 68th birthday party in Atlanta. AP/John Amis

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, holds one of his presents as wife Callista, left, granddaughter Maggie Cushman, 11, right, and Clara Hunter look on during his 68th birthday party in Atlanta. AP/John Amis

Home is the place where, when you knock on the door, they have to take you in.

If your world has fallen apart, they do not pester you to name the cause. At least not right away. If you tell them it was somebody else’s fault, they will maintain eye contact and nod their heads. And wish you better luck in the months ahead.

A wounded Newt Gingrich came home on Wednesday. Officially, it was a birthday party to mark the “68” that rolled up on the former U.S. House speaker’s odometer last week.

This was Gingrich’s first visit to a Buckhead office that, under another game plan, was to be the national headquarters for his presidential run. “He asked and asked, but [his old staff] never would put it on his schedule,” said R.C. Hammond, Gingrich’s new …

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Newt Gingrich says he’s ‘mystified’ by Sonny Perdue’s shift to Tim Pawlenty

Just got back from Newt Gingrich’s birthday party at his Buckhead campaign office – his first visit to the place. Three candles on the cake.

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at the Atlanta Press Club in Atlanta this morning. AP/John Amis

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at the Atlanta Press Club in Atlanta this morning. AP/John Amis

More later, but in a brief sit-down with reporters afterwards, Gingrich said he intends to bludgeon his way back into the presidential campaign with the strength of his ideas.

“The natural instinct of the system is to avoid thought. Thinking’s hard,” he said.

The former U.S. House speaker from Georgia wouldn’t say much about the collapse of his campaign, but did admit that the immediate defection of former Gov. Sonny Perdue – a co-chair of his national campaign – stung. A lot.

“Of course it did,” he said.

What do you think his leaving said?

“I think it told you about Sonny Perdue,” Gingrich said. “I was mystified. No phone call? Go ask Sonny Perdue. I thought it was very …

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Your morning jolt: Half of Georgia’s city officials think transportation tax doomed

Georgia officialdom is getting very nervous about next year’s votes for regional tax districts to pay for better transportation in the state.

Half of the state’s mayors and other city officials think the ballot issues are doomed, according to an annual survey conducted by the Georgia Municipal Association.

In 2010, one-third of mayors polled thought the measure – just adopted by the Legislature – had a chance. That’s now down to 19 percent. Says the GMA:

There was no region in the state where more city officials thought the regional transportation tax would pass than not pass, compared to three regions in 2010. Only two regions had a higher percentage of city officials responding “Don’t Know” than “No.”

The region with the highest percentage of city officials that thought the regional transportation tax would pass is the Atlanta Regional Commission at just over 30%. Not one city official from the Three Rivers region thought the tax would pass.


See the entire report …

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Sonny Perdue and fear that Georgia ‘not a state to be seen in if you’re of a different color’

Doug Richards of 11Alive has been doing a fine job of covering the impact of Georgia’s new illegal immigration bill. In this clip, he has a former Gov. Sonny Perdue making some careful statements that might be viewed as criticism of the Legislature’s action this spring:

Not all of Perdue’s remarks are shown on video. From the 11Alive website:

“I wanted Georgia to be known as a state that was friendly and welcoming to people,” Perdue said. “And while I absolutely believe in the rule of law and that people should be here legally, I think we should be hospitable and kind and compassionate.”

Perdue said the shortage of agricultural workers is understandable, given that field work has been traditionally the domain of Hispanic migrant workers.

“There’s a real legitimate worker shortage where there is a real fear and perception that Georgia is probably not a state to be seen in if you’re of a different color,” Perdue said. “And I don’t think that’s what Georgia wants to be …

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Newt Gingrich lacked the cash for Iowa straw poll

More details have arrived to clarify the collapse of Newt Gingrich’s Republican campaign for president. From the Associated Press:

Speaking outside his house in suburban Virginia a day after several key aides quit, Gingrich said he’s determined to stay in the race and that he won’t be deterred by the instability in his campaign operation.

Gingrich said the differences involved campaign strategy. He told reporters, in his words, “There is a fundamental strategic difference between the traditional consulting community and the kind of campaign I want to run.” He also said that “we’ll find out over the next year who’s right.”

Here’s the AP video:

We understand that Gingrich’s fund-raising tanked after his appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Dan Balz of the Washington Post has this hard fact about the money woes behind Gingrich’s candidacy:

So tight was the money that Gingrich’s team couldn’t execute some of the basic plans they had agreed on earlier in the year. …

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Sonny Perdue abandons Gingrich ship for Tim Pawlenty

One wonders if a lifeboat might have been packed and waiting before the iceberg struck. This from the aggressive Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, whose campaign is being run by Nick Ayers, a former aide to a certain former governor:

MINNEAPOLIS - Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign announced today that former Governor Sonny Perdue will join its national efforts. Until today, Gov. Perdue was Newt Gingrich’s national campaign co-chair.

“Tim Pawlenty is a great man, he was a phenomenal governor, and he is the person I now believe stands the greatest chance of defeating President Obama. He is the only candidate who has laid out a real plan to grow the American economy, and his track record in Minnesota is proof he’s the right man for the job,” Perdue said.

“I am thrilled Governor Perdue is joining my campaign. He is revered among governors as a thoughtful, sincere man whose faith, character and passion for good policy is second to none. …

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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 …

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If a politician goes broke, who gets the campaign cash?

If your favorite politician goes bankrupt, can your campaign contribution — that $100 the U.S. Supreme Court has declared to be a form of free speech — be seized to satisfy his or her debt?

It is a question that has suddenly made elected officials in Georgia very nervous. Especially politicians behind on their bills.

State Rep. Jill Chambers in 2009. AJC file

State Rep. Jill Chambers in 2009. AJC file

Last September, at the height of campaign season, the roof fell in on state Rep. Jill Chambers, a Republican from Atlanta.

The art supplies business she owned with her husband in Buckhead had collapsed. The couple owed money. Lots of it.

Like far too many couples under economic pressure, they split. Still, their bills didn’t go away. As creditors often do, they quickly began scouting for pots of cash with Chambers’ name attached.

Such hunts are often a guessing game. And in a Wachovia bank, her business’ landlord chanced upon $60,000 — given by friends and the well-connected for Chambers’ re-election …

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Your morning jolt: Hearing to examine rider safety on MARTA

State Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-Atlanta, chairman of the Legislature’s MARTA oversight committee, will hold a hearing next week on rider safety within the transit system.

State Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-Atlanta, chairman of MARTOC. AJC file

State Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-Atlanta, chairman of MARTOC. AJC file

The MARTOC chairman announced the hearings only days after a late-night gang attack of two Delta flight attendants in a train car on their way to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Jacobs told Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1 FM):

”Anecdotally, it wasn’t too, too long ago that you could ride a MARTA train and you were almost certain to see an officer walking back and forth, from the front of the train to the back, and then back again. These days, you’re much less likely to see officers on trains – although to be sure they can be found around the MARTA system.”

Mark your calendars for 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 3, in Room 406 of the CLOB.

Jacobs tantalized O’Hayer — and later, the Insider — with a possible deal that might be struck. The …

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Your morning jolt: Tim Pawlenty picks Nick Ayers to run ‘12 presidential effort

Tim Pawlenty has signed Nick Ayers, former protégé to former Gov. Sonny Perdue, to run his ’12 Republican campaign for president – if the former Minnesota governor decides to jump in.

Which now seems more likely. From the press release, quoting Pawlenty adviser Phil Musser:

House Speaker David Ralston (left) and Tim Pawlenty after a meeting last year

House Speaker David Ralston (left) and Tim Pawlenty after a meeting last year

“Nick has proven his incredible talent in the political arena many times over. He has also long been our top choice for this job, and we are thrilled he has agreed to lead this campaign. He’s a man of character, faith and integrity who will take this organization to the next level, and hopefully to the nomination of the Republican Party.”

The hiring of Ayers further illustrates the splintering of Georgia’s Republican establishment among several potential presidential candidates. Perdue – who brought Ayers into Georgia politics — and Gov. Nathan Deal have lined up behind Newt Gingrich, the former U.S. speaker.

Much of the …

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