I don’t know many details, but I was just informed that Senator Hooks’ wife has passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. Senator Hooks, from Americus, is the dean of the Georgia State Senate.
Americans for Prosperity has posted an online petition to be signed by citizens of Georgia who believe the surplus in the state budget should be returned to the taxpayers of Georgia. AFP is a conservative watchdog group focused on issues of economic and fiscal conservatism, committed to educating citizens about economic policy and mobilizing those citizens as advocates in the public policy process.
Last time I posted about Fred Thompson, I got jumped on for saying he might be the next Reagan. Before I start on my bully pulpit talking about our next President, I’m going to clarify – I don’t think Fred Thompson is the next Reagan. Simply put, there will never be another Reagan. However, Reagan defined post – modern American statesmanship in only the way Ronald Reagan could. He created a a mold that, to date, has not been filled.
What I am arguing, however, is that former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson could very well be the man to fit that mold. Thompson was running a Congressional campaign in Tennessee in 1968. He recalls, “I was 26 years old when I met him in Jackson, Tennessee. Governor Reagan came to help my guy and some others, and I had the prvilege to sit back stage with him one – on – one. He was the nicest man I’ve ever met in politics. He asked me a few questions about the audience, and went out and gave a stirring speech. He had me for life.” (H/T ImwithFred.org)
This morning, Larry Munson told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that because of health challenges, he will most likely only be calling the play – by – play for the Bulldogs’ home games at Sanford Stadium. Scott Howard will call the road games.
H/T AJC, Chip Towers
According to a Mason – Dixon poll conducted over the weekend, Fred Thompson has decisively won South Carolina’s conservative primary vote. Though he hasn’t formally announced his candidacy, former United States Senator Fred Thompson drew 25%, and America’s mayor polled in second at 21%. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney followed Guliani with 11%, and United States Senator John McCain plummeted to 7%.
In the meantime, Thompson addressed the National Right to Life conference in Kansas City: “…In 1994, I made my first run for the U.S. Senate. I was proud to receive the National Right to Life endorsement. I’ve been with you ever since. You’ve been with me ever since. On abortion related votes I’ve been 100 percent. We’ve had a lot of different kind of issues come up in the Senate from federal funding to stem cell research, Roe versus Wade and the partial birth abortion debate or as former Senator Pat Moynihan of New York used to say it’s more like infanticide than partial birth abortion.You know one of the proudest moments I’ve had as a private citizen was when the President asked me to help Judge John Roberts through the senate confirmation process to become a member of the Supreme Court. Well, now he is Chief Justice John Roberts, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but I think he’s going to go down as the best Chief Justice that this country has ever had...On stem cell research, I’m for adult stem cell research not stem cell research where embryos of unborn children are destroyed. It looks to me like there is a lot of promising developments as far as adult stem cell research is concerned anyway and we don’t need to go down that other road.”
Perhaps that is why Darla St. Martin, said of Thompson, “I eyeballed him and listened” and came away satisfied he was anti-abortion, St. Martin said. “The key is how he voted.”
Tony Perkins, president of the influential Family Research Council, said he is confident of Thompson’s anti-abortion credentials. “Record trumps rhetoric,” Perkins said.
Thompson’s opponents may try to attack his rhetoric, but it’s obvious that the voters trust his record.
In all of the buzz surrounding the convention this weekend, we neglected to mention that Senator Tommie Williams is the proud father of his first son, Jack Thompson Williams. Senator Williams’ wife, Stephanie, had a very easy delivery and is doing great.
Yesterday, a student raged through the halls of a Virginia Tech campus dorm, killing 32 and eventually taking his own life. There were many other injured, all of whom were taken to one of the three trauma centers located within 27 miles of the campus. Had this tragedy occured in Georgia, we’d have prayed to be so fortunate. There are no trauma centers located close to the University of Georgia campus in Athens. There are none located close to Valdosta State University in Valdosta. There are no trauma hospitals close to Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.
In fact, only 15 of Georgia’s 152 acute care facilities (actually 14 because two weeks ago, DeKalb Medical Center withdrew from the system, citing an inability to bear the rising uncompensated costs of providing trauma care) are designated as trauma centers, leaving gaping holes in Georgia’s demography uncovered by trauma care. These 14 trauma centers incur approximately $250 million per year in uncompensated trauma costs. These costs are incurred from treating patients with violent, life threatening injuries incurred in devastating accidents on our roadways and in our communities. These injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Of the 600 facilities nationwide that treat these types of injuries, it is expected that 10-20% will close in the next three years.
Insider Advantage is reporting that the Majority Whip of the Georgia House of Representatives Rep. Barry Fleming, after having lined up an all star campaign including Jay Walker and Speaker Glenn Richardson has deferred to Augusta State Senator and former University of Georgia football standout Jim Whitehead. I had predicted that a Flemming/Whitehead/Hudgens race would give Hudgens a slight tactical advantage in that Fleming and
Whitehead would split the same base in the south end of the district. It would seem that the tactical advantage might have shifted.
Congressman Norwood has returned home after declining further medical treatment.
Our prayers are with he and his family.
Some time ago, I wrote a short piece recognizing the work of Senate Majority Leader Tommie Williams in spearheading the Georgia Speaks effort. As of today, GeorgiaSpeaks has birthed two bills based on ideas from the site.
Senator Williams has sponsored both bills; one idea submitted to the site by a prison warden the other from an IT specialist in Atlanta.
S.B. 34 came from an idea submitted by Warden Ralph
Reed Kemp [Updated by Erick] of Wheeler Correction Facility. This bill makes it a misdemeanor for a prison inmate to possess photographs of any victims of sexually based crimes in which the inmate was involved. It’s typical for one who has been indicted to have access to crime scene photographs for legal purposes, but subsequent to conviction that need no longer exists. The bill does, however, make provision for the legal possession of crime scene photos when such photos are needed for legal proceedings or other purposes.
SB71 clarifies and streamlines the process used in Georgia for special elections. Typically in Georgia SPLOST and other special purpose local elections have been scattered about the year on all sorts of random dates, costing the taxpayers to put on an election when normally less than 4% of the registered voters show up. Senate Bill 71 cleans up the elections process yet a little more by requiring special elections presenting the voters with a question in odd years to all be conducted on the first Tuesday in November, and on even years, in conjunction with the presidential preference primary of that year or the general primary. It further requires a special elections to fill vacancies to be held on uniform dates earlier in the year. This should save the taxpayers of Georgia a little money by eliminating administratively burdenson special elections.
Congratulations to Senator Williams and his staff – apparently Georgia Speaks works!
Yesterday a sea of red shirts converged at the Capitol as a group of Georgia’s most right wing conservatives gathered in support of Representative Bobby Franklin’s controversial House Bill 1. Among various findings of fact, HB 1 establishes that any abortion performed in the State of Georgia shall be punishable as felony murder by no less that death or life in prison under the felony murder rule in OCGA 16-5-1. I believe every child’s life begins at conception, and as such, that child has the rights prescribed to every other living and breathing human being in our state I’m probably about as pragmatically pro – life as they come. However, I’m quite sure this isn’t the most expedient way to go about it. Conservatives didn’t lose this battle in a day, and they sure won’t win it back in one. It’s not going to sit well with most modern conservatives, most of whom hold a personal philosophy that has exceptions for the life of the mother, rape, incest, or some combination of the above.
Not only has the House stated it’s intention to go into session each Tuesday at 3:00 PM, the rumor’s now being circulated that the General Assembly will convene now for 16 work days in a row, breaking only for Saturday and Sunday Jan. 27/28, and Super Bowl weekend. If that’s true, by my count, that will bring us to Saturday, February 10, and Legislative Day 20, leaving just 10 business days until cross – over day. Several members commented to me just yesterday about their expectation for things this session to move unusually fast, and it would seem that at least some of the Assembly leadership have the same idea.
On another hot topic, House Majority Leader Jerry Keen said the House probably won’t act on the local control…er, Sunday beer sales issue until the Senate acts first or the House has time to talk it over with Governor Perdue. Almost as if in response, Senate Regulated Industries chairman David Shafer has authored a resolution creating a study committee to study the issue.
Stay tuned for trauma networks, elections law, and insuring all of Georgia…
Apparently, they didn’t manufacture the poison strongly enough…Insider Advantage reports that the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee has dismissed the complaint against Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives Glenn Richardson (R-Hiram). The Committee based the dismissal on lack of probable cause.
UPDATE by Erick: The State Ethics Commission also dismissed Bobby Kahn’s complaint. So, basically, what it boiled down to, was that the Democrats wanted everyone to know that the Speaker had had an affair and that was all. They were only concerned about the personal smear.
Please take this opportunity to visit the new site of the Georgia Senate Republican Caucus, GeorgiaSpeaks. For all of you bloggers and cyber-experts, this is a prime opportunity to share your ideas and visions for Georgia that could potentially turn into actual legislation.
Today, the Governor’s office that Chief of Staff John Watson, who has been faithfully serving Governor Perdue’s office since 2003, will be moving on and will be replaced by Ed Holcombe, recently retired as Georgia Power’s Vice President of Governmental Relations.
I suppose this lends a small bit of credence to the recent rumor that Mr. Watson would be pursuing becoming the next chairman of the Georgia GOP.
Rumors are that one other high level staffer under the Gold Dome will be announcing soon their intention to vacate their post.
This week, in the race for Senator Johnny Grant’s Senate District 25, a mailer was sent, from the Democratic Party of Georgia, on behalf of Democratic Candidate Bruce Gilbert.
The mailer makes this claim: “Johnny Grant voted to eliminate breast cancer and autism screenings from basic health insurance coverage in Georgia. That’s just plain wrong.” The mailer then gives the following citation as “proof” of it’s claim: “Check the facts: SB 174 3/11/2005.”
Fact check: What passed out of the Senate Committee on Insurance and Labor and was subsequently voted upon on the floor of the Senate was a Committee Sub which may be seen .
This version contained coverage of newborns, complications of pregnancy, ovarian cancer screenings, colorectal cancer screenings, treatment of dependent children with cancer, diabetes self management training, child wellness exams, and mammograms, pap smears, and prostate cancer screenings under Georgia Code Section 33 – 30 – 4.2. This LC 21 8314S is the version that passed the Senate which you can see here.
The long and short of it is that if you go look at the public record, Senator Johnny Grant didn’t vote against mammograms, he actually voted to preserve them in the new law in Senate Vote #212 on March 11, 4:07 PM.