Archive for the ‘Tim Echols’ Category

A Carolina jolt: Stephen Colbert hijacks the Herman Cain name

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — ‘Twas another Godfather executive who said that, just when he thought he was out, “they pull me back in.”

Former GOP presidential candidate and pizza mogul Herman Cain can say the same now.

While Republicans here were still chewing over a rather tasty debate among the five remaining candidates for the GOP presidential nomination, Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert was attempting to hijack Cain’s name on Saturday’s primary ballot. It’s far too late for Colbert, who is mock-mulling a run for the presidency, to have his name placed before voters – and write-in votes aren’t permitted.

Colbert’s solution: “If this Saturday, Herman Cain were to get a significant number of votes, that would be a sign that voters are hungry, hungry for a Stephen Colbert campaign.”
Here’s the pitch on his Super PAC web site:

In real life, Herman Cain will wade into the 9th District congressional race in Georgia later this month. The GOP campaign of …

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Tim Echols on his Masters request: ‘It was a mistake’

The following article by my AJC colleague Kristi Swartz is raising eyebrows around the Capitol:

Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols began criticizing his fellow commissioners for being too cozy with lobbyists even before he took office.

I am uncomfortable taking admission, taking tickets to sporting events from those that I regulate,” he said.

Yet, using official Public Service Commission letterhead, Echols went straight to the Augusta National Golf Club to request two complimentary practice round tickets to this year’s Masters, long after tickets had been distributed to one of the world’s most prestigious golf tournaments through a lottery system.

Echols, rather than defending himself, is acknowledging the breach. He just sent the following in an unsolicited e-mail:

”The March 2 letter requesting my name be put into the practice round lottery should have been done on my personal letterhead. Period. It was a mistake.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For …

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Your morning jolt: Delta gives upgrades to Casey Cagle, state lawmakers

And you were wondering why — unlike you — certain Georgia lawmakers have a smile on their faces when headed to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Delta Air Lines has given upgrades to some of the more powerful people in the state Capitol. From Richard Belcher and Channel 2 Action News:

Delta valued the gold medallions at just under $1,600 and gave them to Rep. Jay Roberts, chairman of the House Transportation Committee; Sen. Ronnie Chance, chairman of the Economic Development Committee; and House Majority Leader Larry O’Neal.

Receiving platinum medallions valued at just under $2,400 were Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle; House Speaker pro tem Jan Jones; Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams; and former House majority leader Jerry Keen, who got his medallion after deciding not to run last year.

It was a campaign contribution to someone without a campaign.

Last month, state lawmakers extended a fuel tax break for Delta that will save the company $30 million over two years. The …

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Tim Echols: ‘Let’s privatize handling of nuclear waste’

China is subjecting Japanese tourists to radiation tests, and Germany has sworn off nuclear power. But Tim Echols, a member of the state Public Service Commission, has a more interesting response to the nuclear debacle in Japan: Increased privatization.

From his op-ed piece in today’s Athens Banner-Herald:

The nuclear plant crisis in Japan threatens to chill any nuclear renaissance in the United States. One reason is that it appears the Japanese have procrastinated with regard to the disposal of nuclear waste, just as we have in this country.

I believe it’s time to demand that our government turn nuclear waste management over to the private sector. As Heritage Foundation nuclear expert Jack Spencer recently testified, America’s disposal strategy has failed…..

This country has more than 60,000 tons of high-level nuclear waste stored at more than 100 sites in 39 states. The country’s 104 commercial reactors produce approximately 2,000 additional tons of used fuel annually. …

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House defeats PSC chairmanship measure

Just before noon, I ran into an elated Tim Echols, the rookie member of the state Public Service Commission – who had just learned that he’ll be the PSC’s next chairman.

Tim Echols, a Republican elected to the Public Service Commission last November. Bita Honarvar,

Tim Echols, a Republican elected to the Public Service Commission last November. Bita Honarvar,

The House had surprised everyone – including Echols – and defeated HB 216, a measure that would have set the five-member PSC free to name its own chairman by majority vote. Republicans split on the measure, sinking it with a 60-103 vote.

The measure had been pushed by PSC members Doug Everett and Lauren “Bubba” McDonald – both former House members, whose connections many thought would carry the day. McDonald or Stan Wise of Cobb County were likely to have been named the permanent chairman.

Instead, the PSC will continue its policy of rotating leadership on the panel. “I will be the next chairman,” said Echols, who has been an advocate of encouraging the use of compressed natural …

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Your morning jolt: Balking at the ‘bait-and-switch’ of fee increases

As well you know, Republicans in Georgia do not support tax increases. But fee increases are an entirely different matter.

This year’s $18 billion state budget includes $96 million in fee increases – many levied by the courts. Not to mention the unfortunately named $200 million hospital bed tax.

That same hat trick may not be so easy when the General Assembly convenes again this week. From Walter Jones of the Morris News Service:

Officials with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia said Monday that they intend to take a public stance against future fees until the state stops its practice of redirecting the revenue collected from existing fees.

Examples include fees on drunk-driving arrests for crime labs and on phone bills listed for 911 service even though none of the money winds up going to local emergency-dispatch services.

“The big issue here is when does a fee become a tax? Does it erode the public’s trust in our state government to deliver the services … …

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