Archive for the ‘Tea party’ Category

Georgia PSC reignites the debate over ‘free’ cell phones

Last fall, as the presidential contest reached a fever pitch, a video raced across the Internet, featuring an African-American woman in Cleveland who praised President Barack Obama for giving her a free cell phone.

“Everybody in Cleveland — low minorities — got Obama phones,” she said.

Critics decried the clip as racist. Politifact awarded its vaunted “Pants on Fire” rating to Republican claims that the president was attempting to buy votes with cell phones.

Even so, tea party forces built a campaign around the video in an unsuccessful attempt to counter criticism Mitt Romney had endured for declaring — in a video captured by the left — that 47 percent of Americans were too dependent on government handouts to vote Republican.

The phone furor died quickly after Nov. 6. But we in Georgia are about to revive it. With a vengeance.

The state Public Service Commission this morning will hold a public hearing on new rules to require recipients of subsidized cell phone …

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Your daily jolt: Max Cleland on putting two Vietnam vets in charge of U.S. foreign policy

Over the weekend, the liberal website Talking Points Memo caught up with former U.S. senator Max Cleland, who declared himself thrilled with prospect of two Vietnam veterans in charge of formulating and implementing American foreign policy.

Former U.S. senator Max Cleland of Georgia/AJC file

Former U.S. senator Max Cleland of Georgia/AJC file

President Barack Obama is expected to nominate former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense today. He’s already nominated Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry as a replacement for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Said Cleland:

“Look at John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, two wounded combat veterans of the Vietnam War. They’ve got five purple hearts between them. That’s the kind of people we want withdrawing from Afghanistan and ending this insane war and occupation and focusing the country on using the American military to stay out war, but if we get in war to win war and win it quickly,” he said.

Cleland said the pair will bring harmony to the civilian and military sides of …

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Tea party group weighs in on Chambliss-Norquist dispute

A polite word of warning for U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, just arrived from Julianne Thompson and Debbie Dooley of Atlanta Tea Party Patriots:

“We are very disappointed by Senator Chambliss’ statement that he no longer intends to honor the pledge he signed promising not to increase taxes. This is not about Grover Norquist. The pledge was to the citizens of Georgia and we strongly encourage him to continue to honor it and a commitment to a smaller federal government.

“We understand the dire situation we are facing as a nation, but we did not get into this economic crisis by giving tax deductions, or by cutting the tax rate. We are in this situation because of a bloated federal government spending…. And now, instead of concentrating on solving the problems that got us into this situation, many in Washington want to punish the American people with higher tax rates instead of taking responsibility for what got us here in the first place.

“Senator Chambliss has always been …

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Your daily jolt: Republicans absorb Tuesday’s lessons

The message from last night: The dynamics of Georgia politics haven’t changed much in four years. Republican Mitt Romney on Tuesday won this state (53.4 percent) by nearly the same margin as John McCain (52 percent) in 2008.

Here’s the county-by-county map of last night’s returns.

In fact, with the exception of D.C.-infected Virginia, Republicans won every state in the Old Confederacy, and a few border concerns besides. But 206 electoral votes won’t win you a presidency. Elsewhere, the GOP clearly needs to recalculate its audience and its message.

Republicans had bet the demographic changes measured in countless surveys and the 2010 census wouldn’t show up at the polls. They were wrong. The quick and simple from the Associated Press:

In exit polling Tuesday, voters mirrored the voting public’s makeup of four years ago, when Obama shattered minority voting barriers and drove young voters to the polls unlike any candidate in generations.

White voters made up 72 percent of …

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Tea party rift shows up in charter school fight

The tea party rift over Amendment One, the ballot issue on charter schools, has broken into the open.

To counter an appearance last week at an opposition rally by a member of Atlanta Tea Party Patriots, a top leader in FreedomWorks – a financier of the tea party movement – over the weekend endorsed the measure, which would reaffirm the state’s authority to create a charter schools over local opposition.

From Brendan Steinhauser, director of federal and state campaigns for the organization:

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Your daily jolt: In New Jersey, Christie praises Obama’s handling of Hurricane Sandy

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a strong supporter of Republican Mitt Romney, may have offered up the first hint of Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the presidential contest, as he showered President Barack Obama with early praise. From Politico.com:

“It’s been very good working with the president,” Christie said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “He and his administration have been coordinating with us. It’s been wonderful.”

The GOP governor also sent out a thankful tweet: “I want to thank the President personally for all his assistance as [we] recover from the storm.”

Christie said he spoke with Obama three times on Monday, including at midnight, when Obama agreed to speed along an major disaster declaration for New Jersey without all the “normal FEMA mumbo jumbo.” The declaration was issued this morning, according to Christie.

Christie is just as effusive in this clip from CBS’ “This Morning”:

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Saturday voting pushed the number of votes cast in …

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Martha Zoller takes a temp job with Nathan Deal

My colleague James Salzer has gotten word that Gainesville conservative talk radio queen and failed Republican congressional candidate Martha Zoller is now on Gov. Nathan Deal’s political team. At least temporarily.

Former congressional candidate and radio talk show host Martha Zoller. Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com

Former congressional candidate and radio talk show host Martha Zoller. Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com

Zoller has gotten a contract from Gov. Nathan Deal’s political action committee to do “outreach” with tea party activists and county GOP organizations for the governor.

“I’m helping him with grassroots,” Zoller confirmed.

Zoller lost the Republican primary runoff in the 9th District congressional contest to Rep. Doug Collins, who served as Deal’s House floor leader and was the governor’s candidate in the race – although one of the governor’s daughters backed Zoller.

Zoller said she may return to the airwaves early next year. She’s not yet ready to say where.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or …

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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 …

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Tea party souring on GOP: ‘We’re fighting a two-front war’

Tea partyists are already drawing lines in anticipation of a Mitt Romney collapse.

Below is language from a fund-raising email over the name of Jenny Beth Martin, the Cherokee County woman who is a co-founder of Tea Party Patriots.

The letter focuses on Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s recent statement that a victory by President Barack Obama could undercut House Republican opposition to tax increases in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations that a lame-duck Congress must take up before the end of the year.

From the TPP email:

We need to stop Obama’s big government agenda this fall and then make sure the Republican political establishment doesn’t sell us out next January.

Patriot, the challenges facing our movement are even greater than I expected. We are, in effect, fighting a two front war.

One against Barack Obama and his cronies who are turning America into a socialist wasteland.

And another against professional politicians like Eric Cantor and Tom Cole who believe they …

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Your morning jolt: Sam Olens wins speaking role at GOP convention

Attorney General Sam Olens, Mitt Romney’s top elected supporter in the state, was rewarded this morning with a speaking role at this month’s Republican National Convention in Tampa.

His will be the most prominent Georgia face at the four-day launching of the fall presidential campaign. Olens was one of five convention speakers announced by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. Apparently intended to advertise the diversity of the GOP, they include:

Attorney General Sam Olens at the state Capitol in February. Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com.

Attorney General Sam Olens at the state Capitol in February. Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com.

– Pam Bondi, Florida’s first female attorney general;

– Ted Cruz, who was Texas’ first Hispanic solicitor general. Cruz just won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Consider this a nod to tea party enthusiasts;

– Luis Fortuño, the first Republican elected governor of Puerto Rico since 1969;

– And Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the first U.S. governor to beat a recall election.

Olens is identified as the former chairman of the Cobb County …

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