Archive for the ‘Zell Miller’ Category

Nathan Deal orders flags lowered for Hamilton McWhorter Jr.

Gov. Nathan Deal has ordered that flags on the grounds of the state Capitol be lowered to half-staff on Saturday, in honor of Hamilton McWhorter Jr., the longtime secretary of the Senate, who died Tuesday at age 98.

See the order here.

McWhorter was a notable figure in state politics for five decades – though he served but a single term in the state Senate as an elected official. From 1967, he was the Senate secretary in charge of tracking the flow of that chambers legislation – and refereeing more than a few disputes.

He served under five governors and worked closely with two of them when they were lieutenant governor — Lester Maddox and Zell Miller. He was very close to Miller, who presided over the Senate for 16 years.

The funeral is Saturday in Lexington, Ga., in Oglethorpe County. Click here for a link to the detailed obituary by my AJC colleague Chris Seward.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

Continue reading Nathan Deal orders flags lowered for Hamilton McWhorter Jr. »

Mormonism is more like Islam, says Southern Baptist president

Texas Gov. Rick Perry this morning called the controversy over GOP presidential rival Mitt Romney’s faith a campaign distraction, ]saying out of work Americans aren’t interested in “side issues and sideshows.”

Appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Perry again said he didn’t agree with a statement from one of his key Texas supporters, a Southern Baptist pastor who asserted that Romney is not a Christian, and that Mormonism is a cult.

“We clearly said we didn’t agree with that statement,” Perry said.

However, others do. Among them the Rev. Bryant Wright, pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta and president of the 16 million-member Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM) has posted this interview with Wright. Some excerpts:

”It is a cult, in the sense that it does not adhere to what would be traditional or orthodox biblical teaching. It’s really been kind of comical at the outrage of some folks …

Continue reading Mormonism is more like Islam, says Southern Baptist president »

David Ralston hosts a pair of fundraisers for Doug Collins

Gov. Nathan Deal is putting air between himself and state Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, one of two announced candidates in the 9th District congressional race.

But House Speaker David Ralston isn’t.

Ralston, who hails from Blue Ridge, is headlining two fundraisers for Collins in two weeks. The first, which features much – but not all — of the House Republican leadership, is Wednesday at the Commerce Club in Atlanta. A minimum contribution of $250 is required.

The invitation we copped was attached to an endorsement from former state lawmaker Kevin Levitas, who was “D-Atlanta” when he left the Capitol. Writes Levitas:

“Doug is the right person at the right time to provide ethical, fiscally responsible leadership in Washington, D.C. at a time when it is so sorely needed.

“A chaplain, an Iraq War veteran, an attorney and a true Conservative, Doug possesses the intelligence, humility and generosity of spirit that have enabled him to succeed both as a Representative from Hall …

Continue reading David Ralston hosts a pair of fundraisers for Doug Collins »

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 approved …

Continue reading In search of a green light on video scratch-off games »

Hank Huckaby to be next university chancellor

The state Board of Regents on Friday will tap state Rep. Hank Huckaby, a Zell Miller protégé and the state’s former chief budget writer, as the next chancellor of the University System, we’re told.

State Rep. Hank Huckaby, R-Watkinsville

State Rep. Hank Huckaby, R-Watkinsville

Tim Bryant over at WGAU (1340AM) in Athens has the same info, and more:

The Oconee County Republican and former Vice-President for Finance and Administration at the University of Georgia is the state Board of Regents choice to replace departing Chancellor Erroll Davis, who is retiring after five years as head of the University System of Georgia. Sources say the Regents vote came last night. A Regents spokesman declined to confirm the Huckaby appointment, but did say that no Chancellor can, under state law, be officially named until two weeks after finalists are named. However, WGAU News has learned that Huckaby will be named as the lone finalist for the job. That announcement is expected Friday.

In case you still have any doubt, the following …

Continue reading Hank Huckaby to be next university chancellor »

Nathan Deal, Sonny Perdue, Zell Miller headline a Newt Gingrich fundraiser

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich will hold his first major fund-raiser in Georgia next Wednesday, in the name of his 2012 presidential exploratory committee.

Headlining the event will be Gov. Nathan Deal, former Gov. Sonny Perdue, and former governor and U.S. Sen. Zell Miller – making a rare personal appearance. Howard “Bo” Callaway, the first modern Republican to win a plurality in a Georgia race for governor, leads the “B” side of the invitation — which you can see here.

A stiff drink and a photo with Gingrich will cost you $2,500. For $1,000, you still get the drink – at the Intercontinental Hotel in Buckhead.

Leigh Ann Gillis, who raised money for both Perdue and 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain, is standing by to take your check.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

Continue reading Nathan Deal, Sonny Perdue, Zell Miller headline a Newt Gingrich fundraiser »

Zell Miller to play a role in a Newt Gingrich campaign?

This from CNN’s PoliticalTicker:

In a conference call Wednesday with former staffers and supporters former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said “we are leaning toward a yes” on a presidential run, CNN has learned.

That’s not new. But this is:

Several times Gingrich pointed out that “for legal reasons” he can’t say too much – “we are still in the exploratory phase,” but he has lined up the beginning of a campaign rollout. He expects former Georgia Democratic Senator and Governor Zell Miller to be a co-chair “once we put the campaign together.” He says his campaign would be headquartered in Atlanta.

One senses Gov. Nathan Deal’s hand in the Zell Miller mention.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me

Continue reading Zell Miller to play a role in a Newt Gingrich campaign? »

Your morning jolt: Barbara Bush endorses gay marriage

A Legislature that once cowered in the face of angry church-goers out to protect their Sabbath is now entirely comfortable with a bill to permit the Sunday sale of six-packs and more.

The same state lawmakers who joined Zell Miller in his effort to deposit miscreants in state prisons for decades are giving second thoughts to the state’s two-strike policy.

Gov. Nathan Deal’s drug court idea, as a way to deal with addiction, is taking hold. Says the liberal state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, in today’s Savannah Morning News:

“It’s a sort of convergence of liberal and conservative ideas,” he said. “This idea is fiscally sound as well as socially responsible.

“We need to distinguish between the people we are afraid of and those we’re just mad at. We can’t afford to lock up everyone.”

Republicans often talk of the scare that November gave to President Barack Obama. Only rarely do they acknowledge that the same vote signaled the rise of a more libertarian brand of conservatism …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: Barbara Bush endorses gay marriage »

The unfinished fight over a warm bucket of spit

“Cactus Jack” Garner is the only man in American history to have served both as speaker of the U.S. House and — in his capacity as one of Franklin Roosevelt’s vice presidents — presiding officer of the Senate.

The Texan was in a unique position to compare the two positions. And Garner declared that in his judgment the job of vice president wasn’t worth a warm bucket of spit. Except he didn’t say spit.

No one enters politics to become a warm bucket of anything. Politicians become politicians because they want the clout to bend the world to their way of thinking.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, left, and Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams, R-Lyons. Chris Quinn, cquinn@ajc.com

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, left, and Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams, R-Lyons. Chris Quinn, cquinn@ajc.com

The problem is that power is often a zero-sum game. For one person to gain, another must lose.

This is the situation in our state Capitol. Last November, a mere three days after he was re-elected, the Senate Republican caucus stripped Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle — a fellow member of the GOP — of most of his authority …

Continue reading The unfinished fight over a warm bucket of spit »

Atlanta’s next police chief and a freewheeling political experiment

Andy Young (in black and yellow helmet) continued pedaling into his 1990 campaign for governor. George Turner, his bodyguard and future Atlanta police chief, is fourth from the left. Special

Andy Young (in black and yellow helmet) continued pedaling into his 1990 campaign for governor. George Turner, his bodyguard and future Atlanta police chief, is fourth from the left. Special

Earlier this month, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed settled on George Turner, a man of rank-and-file origins, as the city’s police chief.

Turner must yet face a grilling from the City Council before his appointment becomes official. But there’s a piece of this cop’s background that council members probably don’t know — the mayor certainly didn’t when he picked him.

Twenty-two years ago, Turner became a key participant in one of the most unusual political experiments in Georgia history.

Before there was Barack Obama, there was Andrew Young. Young was first known as the civil rights activist able to reason with white segregationists. Then he was a congressman, followed by a stint at the United Nations.

Closing in on the end of his second term as mayor of Atlanta in 1988, Young was looking for still …

Continue reading Atlanta’s next police chief and a freewheeling political experiment »