There may be a lesson for Georgia Republicans in the success or failure of Ken Cuccinelli to win the Virginia Governor’s Mansion.
On his campaign’s Web site, Cuccinelli touts his opposition to human trafficking, his sensitivity to sexual-assault victims and his quest to improve Virginia’s mental-health system.
As he campaigns against Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a central question looming over the race to succeed Gov. Robert McDonnell (R) is whether Cuccinelli can appeal to voters with a moderate message while not alienating his core conservative base.
His success — or failure — could have far-reaching ramifications, occurring as the Republican National Committee has called on the party to change its tone and be more inclusive.
For generations a Republican stronghold in presidential elections, Virginia went Democratic for the first time in 44 years when voters supported Obama in 2008 and 2012, a projection of the demographic changes that seemed to have made the state more moderate.
via Cuccinelli’s puzzle: Winning centrists without losing conservatives – The Washington Post.
“Bullying” has become a hot topic – from federal studies highlighting its dangers, to TV shows and “special” news reports, we constantly are admonished not to bully one another, and to stop bullying in our schools. Yet, there is a growing form of bullying that has escaped the attention of bureaucrats and media do-gooders: government bullying of food truck vendors.
Anyone who works near or drives by a large office or industrial complex, particularly in major cities, has at least seen, if not patronized, these “mobile restaurants.” These eateries-on-wheels offer the same quality of food found at brick-and-mortar establishments without the need to drive to one. For workers looking to make the most of a short lunch break, food trucks are a huge convenience; and the diversity of foodstuffs offered truly is amazing.
By S. HEATHER DUNCAN
Gov. Nathan Deal is scheduled to come to Macon Wednesday to sign a bill into law that will require federal fingerprint background checks for day care workers for the first time.
via Deal to sign background checks bill in Macon | Local & State | Macon.com.
The judges of Richmond County State Court contend a temporary restraining order aimed at alleged unfair and illegal acts by Sentinel Offender Services has thrown their court into chaos.
In an amicus brief filed in one of the civil cases pending against the private probation company, the State Court judges contend the order signed by Superior Court Judge Daniel J. Craig on April 9 “has completely disrupted the operations of the State Court and the judges’ ability to enforce the terms of a probated sentence and to collect fines duly ordered in lieu of incarceration.”
According to the brief, “The State Court is now in a quandary and cannot continue its normal operations.”
Attorney John Long has filed a dozen lawsuits against Sentinel, contending it is unconstitutional to allow a for-profit entity to provide a judicial service, and to jail someone just because he is poor.
via Judges say probation restraining order crippling their court | The Augusta Chronicle.
A new storage facility for spent nuclear fuel that has been accumulating at Plant Vogtle for decades will go into operation a few months later than planned, according to Southern Nuclear officials.
The initial placement of spent fuel in the first of two new storage areas at Vogtle was scheduled to occur in July but has been delayed by issues, including late delivery of equipment.
In an April 23 letter to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, company officials said the initial operation of the site is now scheduled for Oct. 14, which will still allow the dry cask site to begin operations well before existing pools reach capacity.
Aside from equipment delivery issues and preparing for final NRC demonstrations, the project has moved along smoothly, said Southern Nuclear spokeswoman Michelle Tims.
via Plant Vogtle’s spent fuel storage site delayed till October | The Augusta Chronicle.
Speaking before the Atlanta Press Club in downtown Atlanta, Governor Nathan Deal discussed some of the major accomplishments of the past legislative session, including a bill aimed at reducing the influence of special interests at the Capitol.
“Even though that [the ethics bill] does not do everything that everybody wants, I think it is a significant step in the right direction.”
Gov. Deal said he wouldn’t be surprised if lawmakers revisited the issue next legislative session.
“I do believe that there will be at least a good debate about whether or not some of the provisions should be tweaked, but I will not attempt to dictate to the legislative body because the rules will apply to them – [they] won’t apply to me.”
via Gov. Deal Highlights Ethics, Juvenile Justice in Legislative Overview | WABE 90.1 FM.
Before voting for it, House Speaker David Ralston acknowledged the bill has some issues.
“Although not perfect this measure does for the first time put some limitations on spending by registered lobbyists on public officials.”
[Common Cause Georgia Executive Director William] Perry says despite the loopholes, the bill improves the status quo. More important, he says there’s been a culture shift at the Capitol.
“We got a little change to the law but we didn’t get the big step that we want. But we changed behavior so we at least take a step in the right direction. It has become frowned upon to accept lobbyist gifts.”
via Ethics Advocate Says Reform Bill is Flawed but Step Forward | WABE 90.1 FM.
A group of Democratic and Republican county officials from across metro Atlanta has asked Gov. Nathan Deal to veto a proposal that would prevent Fulton County from raising property taxes, saying the bill is “bad for the county and bad for the state.”
On Tuesday, Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves gave the governor a letter signed by nine elected officials opposed to House Bill 604, which would prohibit a Fulton tax increase for the next two years and require a supermajority of commissioners to raise taxes thereafter. They said in the letter that the legislation could open the door to more state-level interference in local government.
Democrats have decried the move as unnecessary and punitive. And Fitch Ratings recently cited HB 604 in downgrading Fulton County’s credit rating. Now local Republicans as well as Democrats have added their voices to the opposition.
It was signed by Eaves and fellow Democrats such as DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, but also by Republicans such as Cobb County Chairman Tim Lee and Fayette County Chairman Steve Brown. Chairmen from Cherokee, Clayton, Douglas, Forsyth and Rockdale counties also signed. Gwinnett County Chairwoman Charlotte Nash, a Republican, is expected to express her concerns to Deal separately.
“[W]e believe HB 604 violates the letter and spirit of home rule,” the officials wrote to Deal. “Passage of this bill sets a dangerous precedent for legislative interference in other counties and the impact on Fulton County services will have a ripple effect throughout the region.”
via Local commissioners: Veto Fulton tax bill | www.myajc.com.
Meanwhile, a veteran Republican state legislator is getting ready to launch his campaign for Kingston’s House seat. Dave Simons, a political consultant for state Sen. Buddy Carter of neighboring Pooler, said Tuesday that Carter plans to announce his congressional bid for the 1st District on Monday.
via Jack Kingston plans statewide events amid Senate talk | Online Athens.
Last night at Turner Field, Governor Deal signed legislation that creates a special license plate honoring your Atlanta Braves! Proceeds from this newly created tag will benefit The Atlanta Braves Foundation. Since its inception in 1992, the Atlanta Braves Foundation has provided support to thousands of metro Atlanta-based organizations and has annually contributed more than $1 million in financial and in-kind assistance to the community.
In celebration of the new car tags, pitcher Tim Hudson won his 200th career game to join Phil Niekro, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, and Tom Glavine as the only Braves pitchers to hit this mark. Over seven innings, Hudson gave up three hits and hit his third career home run. From Braves.com
“It was just one of those nights where things were lined up,” Hudson said. “The stars were aligned, and I guess it was meant to be.”
Hudson’s fifth-inning, opposite-field home run off Zach Duke simply added to the splendor of becoming the 110th pitcher in Major League history to notch 200 career wins. The only other active pitchers who have reached the mark are Andy Pettitte and Roy Halladay.
“He was about as good as I’ve seen him pitch,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I don’t think he labored the whole game. It was fun to watch. I know Chipper [Jones] had some milestones last year. But this, for me, might have been one of the most fun ones I could sit back and enjoy.”
After proving unsuccessful in his first two attempts to notch the milestone on the road, Hudson savored the opportunity to record his 200th win in front of the hometown crowd, which included his wife, his oldest daughter, his father and his brothers.
Kingston Takes a Warmup Lap
After we wrote yesterday about a Friday fundraiser for Congressman Jack Kingston in Savannah that’s being billed as a “Kickoff” and the letter that makes clear it’s likely for a Senate campaign, the Associated Press and Roll Call followed up with news that Kingston will be making a statewide announcement tour tomorrow, though Kingston’s staff remained coy about the announcement content.
The 11-term Republican congressman will make an announcement during double events in his coastal 1st District in Savannah and Brunswick. Kingston’s team would not describe the substance of his planned remarks.
“You’ll have to listen in to find out,” Kingston spokesman Chris Crawford told CQ Roll Call. Continue reading