The blog.

23
Dec

The Five Political Stories to Watch in 2015 – NBC News.com

2. What does the ’16 presidential primary calendar look like?

Besides the presidential field, keep an eye on the 2016 primary calendar, which will come into clearer focus next year.

As of now, the nominating contests are expected to begin in Iowa (Feb. 1, 2016), New Hampshire (Feb. 9), Nevada (Feb. 20) and South Carolina (Feb. 27).

And Politico reports that several southern states – Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee – are thinking about holding their primaries at the beginning of March. Call it the “SEC Primary.”

But as we’ve seen in past presidential cycles, all it takes is for one state to move up its primary to have all of these contests start much earlier.

via The Five Political Stories to Watch in 2015 – NBC News.com.

23
Dec

The Brief: Gearing Up for a SEC Primary in 2016 | The Texas Tribune

A clutch of Southern states are in talks to hold 2016 presidential primaries on the same day, according to a story by James Hohmann of Politico. The goal of the group, which could end up including Texas, would be to preserve the region’s influence on who emerges as the GOP nominee.

For now, five states — Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas — are pushing the regional primary concept. Florida and Texas might join, but others believe those two large states might wait a couple of weeks instead.

Among the states pushing the regional primary, there is some fear that Texas and Florida would end up overwhelming them.

via The Brief: Gearing Up for a SEC Primary in 2016 | The Texas Tribune.

23
Dec

Louisiana not inclined to join ‘SEC’ presidential primary day in 2016 | NOLA.com

Neither the Louisiana Republicans nor the Democrats are interested in participating in the so-called “SEC primary” for the 2016 presidential nominations that most other states in the Deep South have decided to join.

Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama are likely to hold their presidential primary contests on the same day — March 1, 2016. Florida and Texas are also considering scheduling their primary contests on that date. But Louisiana seems poised to stick with it’s original plan — a March 5 primary contest.

“We are better off being on a date by ourselves. … If you throw us in with Georgia and Texas, we are not going to get a whole lot of attention,” said Jason Dore, executive director of the Republican Party of Louisiana.

The Southern states participating in the “SEC primary” believe they have a better chance of influencing the candidates — particularly those on the Republican side — if they are seen as a larger voting block. The candidates might be forced to appeal to more conservative voters, for example, with a block of Deep South states holding their primaries on the same day early in the election season.

via Louisiana not inclined to join ‘SEC’ presidential primary day in 2016 | NOLA.com.

23
Dec

Georgia Senate May Discuss Medicaid Expansion; But Some Say Unlikely To Pass | WABE 90.1 FM

Georgia’s governor and many state Republican leaders have been opposed to expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. But one GOP lawmaker says the Georgia Senate could soon take another look. However, he says if the state does move forward it would be on its own terms.

State Senator Chuck Hufstetler (R- Rome) says this legislative session he thinks Senators will discuss and hold hearings on whether Georgia should create its own proposal.

 

“I think there’s a significant interest in exploring these plans on the Senate side.”

 

But he says any plan Georgia would adopt would include ideas that would be more palatable to conservatives.

 

“There’s going to be work requirements, possibly copayments, wellness care requirements that we would look at to make sure that we can craft a plan that would provide these people access to healthcare, but encourage it to be of a short-term nature while they move into better positions in their own economic growth.”

 

But some Republicans say even if the state comes up with its own plan, they’re still opposed to Medicaid expansion. That’s the case with Senator Judson Hill (R- Marietta).

He believes the state can’t afford to put more people on its Medicaid rolls.

“I don’t think we should move into a program that by every account is flawed and potentially twice as expensive as initially projected and brings worse health care options to the people we’re trying to help.”

via Georgia Senate May Discuss Medicaid Expansion; But Some Say Unlikely To Pass | WABE 90.1 FM.

23
Dec

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 23, 2014

On December 23, 1783, George Washington resigned as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army and retired to his home at Mount Vernon, Virginia.

Georgia Female College was chartered when Gov. William Schley signed legislation incorporating the school on December 23, 1836, later changing its name to Wesleyan College.

Governor George Gilmer signed legislation appropriating $20,000 to build the Georgia State Insane Asylum in Milledgeville on December 23, 1837

The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site was created in Plains, Georgia on December 23, 1987.

Southern Super Tuesday

After my article on the Southern Super Tuesday Presidential Primary in 2016, James Hohmann published an article at Politico arguing that the Southern Super Tuesday might result in a GOP nominee who is “too conservative” to win a general election.

The joint primary, which appears increasingly likely to happen, would present a crucial early test for Republican White House hopefuls among the party’s most conservative voters. It could, in theory, boost a conservative alternative to a Republican who has emerged as the establishment favorite from the four states that kick off the nominating process. But one risk is that the deep-red complexion of the Southern states’ primary electorates would empower a candidate who can’t win in general election battlegrounds like Ohio and Colorado.

Republicans from the South say their states make up the heart of the GOP and that it’s only fitting the region should have commensurate say over whom the party puts forward to compete for the White House. Proponents are already dubbing March 1 the “SEC primary,” after the NCAA’s powerhouse Southeastern Conference.

“We think it’s important that the next president of the United States — he or she, Democrat or Republican — come through our states and speak with our citizens about our issues,” said Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. “My gut feeling is this will happen, and you’ll see candidates start to spend a lot more time in the South in the next six months.”

“It gives them a real power punch right after the early states get out of the way,” said former Tennessee Republican chairman Chip Saltsman, who managed Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign. “Someone who can come out of February having won two of the four early states and then run the table in the South would be set up with huge momentum.”

“If it’s limited to six or eight states, I think it would bring candidates to the Southern part of the United States,” said [Alabama Secretary of State Jim] Bennett. “The problem with the old Super Tuesday is … that it really didn’t accomplish the goal of bringing candidates before our voters. It was too spread out.”

President Obama did indeed nominate Sally Q. Yates for Deputy Attorney General, the number two job at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Yates, 54, would replace Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, who steps down in January. Her appointment must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

John Horn, Yates’ chief assistant, will become acting U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia until Obama appoints a successor.

Yates’ nomination drew praise from Republican Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss. Isakson and Chambliss called her “an exceptionally skilled attorney with a strong record of public service and a well-qualified nominee to be deputy attorney general.”

Sen.-elect David Perdue said he has “heard very positive things about Ms. Yates” but stopped short of a full-throated endorsement.

Georgia Supreme Court Justice David Nahmias, a former U.S. attorney, worked with Yates on a several high-profile cases.

“I think Sally is as good a federal prosecutor as there is in the country,” Nahmias said. “She’s smart and a very talented advocate. More importantly, she has great judgment and a real sense of fairness.”

David Perdue dropped another $200k into his campaign in the final days of the election, bringing his total personal spend to $3 million. Total candidate spending in that election was just under $47 million. OpenSecrets.org tallied the outside spending on the Georgia Senate race at just under $29 million, for a total of nearly $76 million spent on a single Senate seat in a state that wasn’t really even competitive.

23
Dec

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 23, 2014

IlyaLab

Ilya (pronounced “Eye-la”) is a young female Lab mix, less than a year old, who weighs 62 pounds and loves to play. She is available for adoption from the Barrow County Animal Shelter.

MinPinMale

This little guy is a Miniature Pinscher mix, less than a year old and weighing 14 pounds. He is available for adoption from the Barrow County Animal Shelter.

MinPin Male 2

And another little Min Pin mix male, also less than a year old and weighing 15 pounds.

Dalmatian

A beautiful female Dalmatian, still pretty young at 1-3 years old, and weighing in at 49 pounds; available for adoption from Barrow County Animal Shelter.

22
Dec

Rep. Austin Scott: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Your Washington – GA 8 – Desk

From Congressman Austin Scott

Austin Scott

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

As the year winds down with the Holiday season upon us, it has been an honor to represent you in Congress for the past two years.  We have made some important progress for the Eighth District, and I look forward to continuing to do so in the 114thCongress.

This year in our district offices, our casework team helped 2,339 constituents with issues relating to federal agencies and benefits. Our offices answered over 14,000 constituent letters and emails. Your comments and concerns have continued to be invaluable, and I always welcome your input.  The Washington, D.C. office gave 212 Capitol tours to Eighth District families and flew 92 flags over the Capitol for constituents. Additionally, we traveled nearly 5,000 miles over the past year, visiting all twenty-four counties in the Eighth district.

If you have not done so already, please click HERE to sign up for my weekly e-newsletter which will keep you updated on important legislation in Washington, D.C. and events I will hold in the district.Continue Reading..

22
Dec

Rep. – Elect Buddy Carter: Love, Marriage and Hope

Your Washington – GA 1 – Desk

From Congressman-Elect Buddy Carter 

Buddy Congress

Love, Marriage and Hope

My wife and I welcomed a new member to our family on December 13th as our middle son married his college sweetheart whom he has dated for the past nine years. She is from New Orleans and the wedding took place in the French Quarter of New Orleans. With its quaint shops, great music, art galleries, 18th century architecture and street performers at every corner, New Orleans is unsurpassed when it comes to culture and ambiance. And, of course, the food is among some of the greatest in the world. Although our son was raised in a traditional Methodist Church in Savannah and our new daughter-in-law was raised Catholic in the garden district of New Orleans, they chose not to have the wedding ceremony performed in a church or cathedral.  Instead they had the ceremony at a beautiful building called Latrobe’s.

 Built in 1822 by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, known as the “Father of American Architecture,” Latrobe’s is one of New Orleans most architecturally significant buildings and originally served as the Louisiana State Bank. Our son and daughter-in-law chose a local Hospice Chaplin to perform the wedding ceremony and after witnessing the event we understood why.  He did an outstanding job, performing a Christian ceremony stressing the importance of love and sharing his feelings of how the newlywed’s love for each other had inspired him and given him hope for the future. The couple chose Romans 12:9-18 as their scripture reading.  In this letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul describes how love changes one’s life and a new life begins.  A life that hates what is evil and clings to what is good.  A life that honors one another and a life that gives hope.Continue Reading..

22
Dec

Rep. Rob Woodall: District Connection – Celebrating a New Generation of Leaders in Gwinnett County

Your Washington – GA 7 – Desk

From Congressman Rob Woodall

Rob

 

District Connection: Celebrating a New Generation of Leaders in Gwinnett County

Welcoming a New Generation of Leaders

Last Thursday I had the honor of speaking to the almost 300 new graduates of Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC). This graduating class is a testament to the immense growth that our region is experiencing and how important it is for Americans to strive for life-long learning. In fact, GGC’s 2,000th graduate was a life-long learner; an adult student who is also a full-time working husband and father.  The great news for us is that this commitment to education permeates our community from preschool to college, and we are all stronger for it.

Too often, when we talk about education from the federal perspective, we’re talking about mandates and funding formulas, not enhancing the learning experience or connecting what we do in the classroom to what businesses need in the workroom.  The good news is that GGC is an example of how a community can come together to build a beacon of learning that is focused on the community’s needs.

Working Together to Forge a Stronger Economic Partnership

On Wednesday I had the opportunity to address the members of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce at their yearly legislative luncheon.  The Chamber of Commerce represents a wide cross section of our local business community, from small, independent businesses with just a few employees to large multinational companies, but what they all have in common is a desire to make Gwinnett County an economic powerhouse and premier destination for jobs and investment.  Continue Reading..

22
Dec

Rep. Tom Price: Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah

Your Washington – GA 6 – Desk

From Congressman Tom Price

Price

Merry Christmas 

My family and I wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. At this time of celebration and fellowship, we are reminded of how blessed we are to live in a nation that respects, protects and celebrates individual freedom and human dignity. We are also mindful that too many of our fellow citizens are still struggling today to make ends meet and to provide for their families and pursue their dreams. May the new year bring new opportunity as we strive to work toward positive solutions to the myriad of challenges facing our great nation.

Continue Reading..