Georgia Political News for April 24, 2012

“Maximus” is a 5-month old, 25-pound puppy who is available for adoption today from Walton County Animal Services.

T-SPLOST Survey Results

Interesting results. I’ll leave the survey open for the time being to see if it changes over time, and will probably run the same survey several times between now and the election. It’s not “scientific,” it doesn’t screen voters and demographic data is minimal. I’m not even releasing the crosstabs today. But major organizations on both sides were aware of it, I can tell you that from the email and IP addresses of votes, and both sides the opportunity to have as many of their supporters vote as possible.

Campaigns, Elections, and Politics

Governor Nathan Deal begins his two-day bill signing tour today with stops in Augusta, Statesboro and the Port of Savannah.

Georgia Supreme Court Justice Harris Hines will seek reelection in 2014.

State Rep. Ann Purcell (R-Rincon) is retiring after 17 years in the House. Purcell was first elected as a Democrat, before switching to the GOP in March of 2004 and was defeated in the 2004 Republican Primary election by now-Senator Buddy Carter (R-Pooler). Purcell returned to the State House after winning a special election in November 2009, when Buddy Carter was elected to the Senate following Eric Johnson’s resignation to run for Governor in the 2010 Republican Primary.

Congressman Paul Broun (R) will hold a Grants and Small Business Expo on May 2 from 10 AM-2 PMat Savannah Rapids Pavilion, 3300 Evans-to-Locks Road in Martinez.

Chuck Clay, who has served as Cobb County Commissioner, state Senator, and Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, is rumored to be looking at running in the Republican Primary for Cobb County Commission Chair.

Cobb County Commissioner Helen Goreham has ruled out a campaign for Chair.

The Chair of the Cobb Democratic Party says that reelecting Senator Doug Stoner (D-Smyrna) is their top priority this year.

“Whoever does become the Republican nominee is going to have to run in Buckhead as somebody who’s got to strike a balance as somebody who is pro-Buckhead and whether or not they’re going to be pro- or anti-Milton County,” she said.

Republican leadership would like to carve out north Fulton to create a new county, Milton County, a proposal Stoner opposes. Creating that new county would leave Buckhead paying for more Fulton County expenses, Pike said.

“So it’s going to be very difficult to be pro-Milton County while the people in Buckhead do not want to be the major funding base for Fulton County,” she said.

Congressman David Scott also said that Stoner’s reelection is a priority.

Bruce Broadrick will seek the Republican nomination for House District 4, currently represented by Rep. Roger Williams (R), who is retiring. Dennis Mock and David Renz have previously announced their campaigns for the GOP nomination.

State Rep. David Wilkerson (D-Austell) filed an ethics complaint against Cobb School Board member David Morgan alleging that Morgan failed to report spending on an ad in the Marietta Daily Journal attacking Wilkerson.

“Mr. Morgan has not properly reported this expenditure for the full page advertisement,” Wilkerson writes in the complaint, signed on Monday. “His lobbyist report covering this period was filed late, excluded the $2,500 plus cost of the ad, and has resulted in another late filing penalty for Mr. Morgan.”

Wilkerson goes on to report that Morgan already has ethics fines of more than $2,000 outstanding. Moreover, his employer, American Federation for Children, has not filed a disclosure report for the period ending March 31, he said.

“Mr. Morgan is in violation of reporting lobbying expenditures intended to both influence pending legislation as well as the election of a candidate,” Wilkerson writes.

Morgan, who is married to Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan (D-Austell) did report spending thousands on advertising and “grassroots outreach” to influence several Democratic legislators.

The MDJ also has a review of lobbyist gifts to local legislators.

Former Warner Robins city council member John Williams may have been unethical, but there’s nothing illegal about that, according to his lawyer in a federal extortion trial.

Jerry Leonard will run for Whitfield County Magistrate Judge.

Some Augusta residents have filed a federal lawsuit asking a district court to redraw Augusta City Commission and Richmond School Board district lines after the legislature failed to pass remap bills.

Crawford County commissioners are seeking an injunction against their redistricting bill because a typo would put seats 1 and 5 up for reelection this year instead of seats 2, 3, and 4. Secretary of State Brian Kemp and the state’s political parties are said to support the injunction.

DeKalb County Young Republicans will meet at Marlow’s Tavern tonight at 7 PM to hear from Fourth District Republican Lost Cause Congressional Candidate Chris Vaughn. On Saturday, the DeKalb GOP Breakfast will host Phil Kent.

Also on Saturday, Georgia Conservatives in Action, headed by Pat Tippett and Kay Godwin, will host a South Georgia Economic Development Summit with keynote speaker Governor Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Public Service Commissioner Chuck Eaton, and other state leaders, in Waycross.

Cherokee County Young Republicans are calling the T-SPLOST “another funding source for [politicians of both parties'] Soviet-style centralized planning schemes.”

Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials Executive Director Jerry Gonzalez said that Dalton’s at-large city council districts might be illegal, despite having been precleared by USDOJ multiple times.

Herman Cain believes he could have won the Republican nomination for President.

“If I had not dropped out of the campaign, in all modesty, I would have sewn up the nomination,” Cain, a Republican, told The Daily Citizen on Monday after a fundraising luncheon for U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, at the trade center. “I really believe that. I was the lead candidate for four weeks and every week, my lead was getting bigger and we hadn’t even had a primary yet. Because people were connecting with my message and I was moving away from all of them, that’s why someone dug up the dirty, gutter politics.”

Speaking of delusional, Newt Gingrich is hoping for a win in Delaware, chosen because his campaign can still afford bus fare home to Northern Virginia after the primary.

“We are very optimistic,” Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond said. “Voters in Delaware, like many of the delegates being selected at county and state conventions, want a conservative nominee.”

If when that fails, Gingrich might reassess his chance to capture the Republican nomination for President.

Transportation

Sen. Saxby Chambliss noted that reforms to earmarking in Congress make it more difficult to direct federal funds to the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.

“We are now in a post-earmark world, so that means we can’t go in and request it,” he said.

Instead, the president or the Corps must request it. President Barack Obama has requested $2.8 million.

“That’s kind of kept the door open for us,” Chambliss said.

Chambliss also indicated that he supports the T-SPLOST.

The solution, Chabliss says, is in terms of tax reform, but with much more revenue. He thinks the transportation sales tax referendum– which will be on Georgia ballots in July– is one way to do that:

“Georgians are not going to be the only ones to pay to build for those roads, it’s going to be paid for everyone who drives on those roads.”

Economist Walter Williams, who sometimes substitutes for Rush Limbaugh, spoke in Augusta, criticized both federal aid to deepen river access to the Port of Savannah and the T-SPLOST.

“You might we tapping into the public will more through a referendum than through legislation. I don’t know that tapping into public will is a good thing,” he said. “… Our founders had utter contempt for democracy. You don’t find the term democracy anywhere in our founding documents because majority rule is just another form of tyranny.”

Leave a Reply