Posted: 9:55 am Friday, January 10th, 2014

A look at Jack Kingston’s free lunches 

By Jim Galloway

If you’re a member of Congress and suggest that kids ought to be taught that there are no free lunches, your problem isn’t the idea itself. The problem is a lack of moral high ground.

Last night, WSAV-TV in Savannah – hometown of U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston – picked a little more at the Republican Senate candidate’s recent suggestion that free lunches in public schools ought to come with a broom or a mop.jolttemplate

As you can see in the video above, WSAV morning anchor Dave Kartunen added up the tens of thousands of dollars in meals that Kingston and his staff charge to taxpayers, campaign contributors and host countries on overseas visits.

The report concludes by catching up with Kingston at a noon campaign event. “Isn’t this a free lunch?” the congressman is asked.

Here’s how Kingston, who recently allowed himself to be photographed behind a vacuum cleaner, chose to reply:

“This is what we need in America: We need workfare over welfare. I learned a lot when I was 14 and 15 years old, doing work inside and outside the household. And as a result, I grew up with a good work ethic. It’s hard in today’s society to have a discussion where you want to challenge the status quo because of the ‘I got you’ politics.”

***

A list of new committee assignments for the state House, now circulating in preparation for Monday’s start of the 2014 legislative session, shows one major change: State Rep. Chuck Sims, R-Ambrose, has lost his committee chairmanship.  

Jan Tankersly, R-Brooklet, is the new chairman of the House Intragovernmental Coordination Committee. Sims was arrested last July for his second DUI in four months.

***
State Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snellville, couldn’t even top the $6,000 fundraising mark the last six months. The powerful interests that flooded him with campaign donations turned off the spigot while he was facing charges he stole public funds by filing false expense reports.

Yet post-acquittal, as he gears up for an awkward legislative session and a tough re-election campaign, his disclosure report shows he’s still sitting on a pile of more than $675,000 in his campaign piggy bank.

He hasn’t used a cent of that to pay for legal defense that he’s said runs into the six figures, another hint that he could ask the state to pay the tab.

In the meantime, Balfour has continued to put himself out there – perhaps to tamp down the attention he’s likely to generate when he walks back into the Capitol on Monday. Here’s an interview with Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action News:

And in this extended interview with Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM), Balfour says he’ll now be paying more attention to issues that affect the judiciary. The lack of funding for public defenders in Georgia, for instance.

***

In the Republican race for governor, a few of state School Superintendent John Barge’s disclosures have raised some eyebrows. The first is  his $10,000 payment to a political consultant named James Lafferty, who has come under fire from Muslim groups for his role heading the Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force.

To many campaigns, a $10k payout is a drop in the bucket, but for Barge it represents almost 10 percent of his total haul. His campaign manager, Joel Thornton, called us to make clear that Lafferty was to serve as a “general political consultant” and that shariah legislation won’t suddenly become a part of Barge’s platform.

The superintendent also took in $20,000 — his biggest single contribution — from ITTI Global, a Duluth-based foundation with ties to South Korea’s education ministry and the Georgia Department of Education. Said Thornton of the donation: “The owner of ITTI is someone we consider a good friend. He believes in John’s bid to become Georgia’s next governor and therefore made a contribution.”

***

Meanwhile, the Dalton Daily Citizen offers up the numbers generated by Gov. Nathan Deal’s other GOP primary challenger, Mayor David Pennington of Dalton:

Pennington had raised $374,676.99 and had $241,330.35 on hand, according to information his campaign filed with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission. While Deal’s contributions came from across Georgia as well as other states, most of Pennington’s money came from the north Georgia area….

“We knew from Day One he (Deal) was going to outspend us,” Pennington said. “We thought he was actually going to raise more, $5 million-plus (in the second half of the year. There was nothing alarming to us about this report. There is nothing discouraging about this. We now have enough money to pay our overhead. We don’t have the overhead he does, and we are raising money for television and direct mail.”

***

We told you yesterday how Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle was sitting pretty on a mountain of campaign cash — some $1.4 million. His Democratic opponent, former state Sen. Connie Stokes, isn’t so fortunate.  She’s raised about $11,000 since abandoning her gubernatorial run — when fellow Democrat Jason Carter jumped in back in November. The brunt of the donations come from accounts controlled by elected officials, including Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, and Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson, D-Tucker.

***

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer is reporting that U.S. Sanford Bishop has declared himself cancer-free:

Bishop, 66, who is in his 11th term of representing Georgia’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, noticed a small lump in his neck during the summer and was diagnosed with cancer in his neck and throat in September 2013. He began receiving chemotherapy on Sept. 26.

According to an official statement released by Bishop’s office, that chemotherapy ended Nov.4. It was designed to dissolve and kill cancer cells so that the surgery to follow would require the removal of significantly less tissue from his neck and throat.

Doctors at George Washington University had found no cancer in other parts of Bishop’s body.

42 comments
RPM421
RPM421

Does Jack Kingston actually believe that using the Palin "I Gotcha Politics" excuse is going to exonerate his stupid mouth from saying ignorant things? Where did he say that he learned his work ethic? That's right at home. So why (as a Republican) would he try to shove government intrusion down our children's throats? This idiot just keeps digging a deeper hole every time he tries to defend a stupid statement. I really wish I could vote against this guy!

 

notagain
notagain

Better duct tape than CRAZY GLUE.

Brosephus
Brosephus

My view on Gates? He's a career DC insider. Nothing in Bush's or Obama's administration should have been a surprise to him. I won't spend a dime on the book because nothing he says will change DC or the culture.

As long as we continue to elect the same people and expecting different results, the only people looking like fools are the voters.

I only hope his book doesn't jeopardize the safety or security of anyone overseas or here at home. retired soldier

leefrommeeks
leefrommeeks

you can't fix democrats or stupid even with duck tape 

leefrommeeks
leefrommeeks

You just can't fix democrats  or stupid even with duck tape

NWGAL
NWGAL

Kingston seems to be of the school which insists "Do as I say, not as I do." Otherwise school kids would be having caviar for lunch.

Brosephus
Brosephus

Jim

Just wanted to pop in and try out the new format.  I like it and think it's much better than the previous one.  Now, to the above...

Re Kingston:

You get what you vote for.  You have a body (Congress) where some members put down and beat up on the poor all the while they're part of a group who's average net worth is seven figures.  Go figure...

Re Balfour:

I hope his time behind bars and his statement about addressing the judiciary isn't just some horse and pony show.  Only time will tell.

 

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

Kingston: "It’s hard in today’s society to have a discussion where you want to challenge the status quo because of the ‘I got you’ politics.” 

Translation: How dare you expose my hypocrisy!

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

AJC has now joined the attack Jack campaign - he must have opened up his lead in unpublished polls.

BuzzG
BuzzG

Bernie31 is typical Democratic Party operative in Georgia today.  His spelling, grammar and logic should tell everyone who keeps the Democrats alive in Georgia today.  I suggest that when Jim Galloway goes on vacation, Bernie31 should be employed to write this column.  He would fit in very well with the current workforce at the AJC.

Bernie31
Bernie31

Its becoming Clearer and Clearer everyday that John Barge is out of his Depth and out of his League at this Level of politics in his Quest for the OFFICE of GOVERNOR.


The paying of political consultant James Lafferty verifies and confirms for a wide majority,  John Barge seriously Lacks the political Judgement as well as the Wisdom and Understanding to Be Governor of The State of Georgia.


A WHACKOBIRD we already have......

Bernie31
Bernie31

Every Day is a Free Lunch for Congressman Jack Kingston the moment Jack's Feet touch the Floor.

You will hear Jack' s Favorite Line to start his day, " Whats for Lunch Today? For surely someone else is Paying."

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Kingston: "“This is what we need in America: We need workfare over welfare. I learned a lot when I was 14 and 15 years old, doing work inside and outside the household. And as a result, I grew up with a good work ethic. . . ."

==================================================


I grew up with a good work ethic, too, and I worked 42 years of my life to prove it, 35 of which were in public education.


Kingston, in my opinion, is simply pandering for votes with this clichéd statement of what people are about.  Unfortunately, too many are still thinking in stereotypes about the deeper motivations of their fellow human beings. Sometimes, people need a "hand up" to improve their lots, not simply a "hand out" - and they need to know that others care about them enough to give them a "hand up." It is amazing what knowing others care about you can do to transform individuals and our society.


It seems that more Democrats understand this simple truth than Republicans, in today's political demarcations.


I'm going to be attending the Moral Monday rally at the Capitol on the 13th of this month, from 4 to 6 p.m., to support  extending Medicaid as a part of the ACA in Georgia. I hope that many more caring Georgians will attend this rally in behalf of their fellow Georgians in need.  Thank you in advance for your support to try to make Georgia a more humane, insightful, and progressive state.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@leefrommeeks Do you have broken ducks that need fixin'? Then jus' call ol' lee from meeks, he'll fix 'em 'ere ducks right up with his duck tape. He orders it exclusively from duck dynasty, and certifies it is free of contamination from godless heathens, terrorists and homer sexuals. But you'll have to be patient with ol' lee from meeks, sometimes he fergits which side of the duck tape faces out, the sticky side or the one that aint sticky. 

I guess ol lee is so proud of his ignorance, he likes to tell us twice, and the 'centrist' recognizing a kindred spirit when he sees one, gave ol' lee a "Like." But 'centrist' only 'liked' it on the second posting, I guess he didn't like it the first time, but jus' fell in love with it the second time lee posted it.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@Brosephus"

Re Balfour:

I hope his time behind bars and his statement about addressing the judiciary isn't just some horse and pony show.  Only time will tell.

***************

Balfour's remark reminds me of a statement Tom Wolfe makes in Bonfire of the Vanities:  A conservative is just a liberal who has never been arrested, meaning that all the 'hang em high' types aren't so enthusiastic about 'law n order,' once they experience our criminal justice system first hand; a system that-though trite to say it-really is more criminal than justice.

ignatzz
ignatzz

@The_Centrist  [AJC has now joined the attack Jack campaign - he must have opened up his lead in unpublished polls.]

Really.  Couldn't POSSIBLY have anything to do with the fact that he's a filthy hypocrite, and that sort of stuff has always gotten decent people sick.

JAWJA
JAWJA

@The_Centrist Or maybe just got swept out of the race. Lotta people hurting in Georgia, and, a Congressman raking in $174K per year salary, plus all he can eat, should have a little compassion for the less fortunate. 

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@The_Centrist Here's an idea. Why don't you write a strongly worded letter. They will certainly take notice, you being a leading intellect on the right and all, with considerable influence on what the AJC publishes.

Charles50
Charles50

@BuzzG And yet you probably read it everyday.  Why bother?  I don't watch Faux Network.

JAWJA
JAWJA

@MaryElizabethSings Can't make the rally Monday, but, my heart is with you. Three hospitals already closed in Georgia, and, about twenty more in jeopardy. Extension of Medicaid would help to save our healthcare system. 

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@MaryElizabethSings How about a Moral Monday rally about our troops dying in Afghanistan, a place where our President said is the good war but isn't trying to win it because he doesn't believe in his own strategy, yet he leaves troops there to die for no reason. That is a rally I could attend. 

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Retired-SoldierBob Gates is NO Fool...Bob's Publisher said " Make it JUICY and FILTHY."

Bob then smiled and said "YES, I Can"

For "Juicy Filthy Lies" sell the most Books during FoxNews interviews.

Millions Sold DAILY......

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@Eustis Is typical of Bookman. He gives himself away at the end when he states the book shouldn't be written now. He is correct, he should have been written when mission creep (Bush) and lack of conviction (Obama) was evident.


If the President was smart, he would have us out in 90 days. Let the great Afghan president stew in his mess. 90 days after we pull out Karzai's head will be on a stake, unless he runs like a coward. 

Charles50
Charles50

@Retired-Soldier Am I not correct that we are going to start drawing down troops this year?  Isn't it also true that most Repubs balked at the idea of giving a pulling out specific date saying it would only embolden the enemy?  Not to mention that something that has been going on for so long can't just abruptly stop overnight.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@Retired-Soldier Twice in 2 days you have commented on Political Insider's lack of coverage of Gates' book, a book that does not go on sale until next Tuesday. Have you read the book? If so, do tell us--and Political Insider--how you managed to obtain a copy almost a week ahead of its publication. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that you have not read the book, but instead are content to parrot the criticisms of the right wing media, who do not report in its full context, but are happy to pick and choose only those snippets of criticism that make the POTUS look bad, without reporting any of the praise for Obama that Gates offers.

....Afghanistan, a place where our President said is the good war but isn't trying to win it. Since you offer this criticism, maybe you can offer an answer that no one in the bush administration could ever answer: please define "win it." Exactly what is a 'win' in Afghanistan? And, how is Obama not trying to 'win?'

JAWJA
JAWJA

@Retired-Soldier @Charles50 @BuzzG Sense of humor! So that's how GOP selected candidates for the 2012 election? "Send In The Clowns" is how we saw 'em over here from the left. Still laughing.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Retired-Soldier


I do not find humor in those who have not had my advantages in life. I look for the inner spirits of others, rather than their outward mannerisms, because I  believe that we are all spiritual equals. With that frame of reference, love - more than humor - is my priority.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@MaryElizabethSings

F-R-E-E-D-O-M..........

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Bernie31 You are welcome, Bernie. We are all human beings - no more and no less. May God grant us the humility, and the kindness, to understand that we are all created equal.


Bernie31
Bernie31

@MaryElizabethSings@Retired-Soldier@Charles50@BuzzG  - Thank you my dear...what he does not know such a practice is intentional and on purpose.

But DIS one is Sooo Smarter dan ME! :)


uh,,,huh

Brosephus
Brosephus

My view on Gates? He's a career DC insider. Nothing in Bush's or Obama's administration should have been a surprise to him. I won't spend a dime on the book because nothing he says will change DC or the culture.

As long as we continue to elect the same people and expecting different results, the only people looking like fools are the voters.

I only hope his book doesn't jeopardize the safety or security of anyone overseas or here at home.

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@Brosephus@Retired-Soldier@Eustis


Bo-


Good that someone wrote about the book. My criticism was the great minds that produce this blog hadn't written. But thanks for your insightful comment. Your thoughts about Gates? 

Brosephus
Brosephus

@Retired-Soldier@Eustis So, after someone writes an article about the very thing you've been harping on, you dismiss it because it doesn't jibe with what your opinion is.


Such is typical for the AJC comments section.

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@Charles50@Retired-Soldier


Charles-


Look it is very simple, you never tell your enemy, especially won that doesn't have the capability to win your time table for quitting. Why? First they will lay back and wait for you to leave. Second, how hard are you going to fight if your combat tour isn't about success, but about filling in the time until the President says "pack up". Remember this bug out date was given at the time he also announced the surge. It did not make sense.


I said withdraw in 90 days, I assure you that could be done. We won't be taking a lot of stuff back when we leave next year. We buried millions of dollars of "stuff" in the desert when we left Saudi Arabia after the first Gulf War.


Why are we beginning to withdraw now? Have we won? Will we win in the next year as we are drawing down? If the answer is no then why wait, why have more dead Americans.


Don't you if you were in the military Charles, but in the Army we trained and fought to a standard, not to an allotted amount of time. The standard is mission accomplishment (victory). What we are doing is fighting to a time standard which is very very wrong.





Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@AuntieChrist Many excerpts of the books as been released that has created quite a buzz before. Many books are heavily commented about just before release. Nothing new there.


I agree that Bush nor Obama could truly answer that question. It is not my place to answer the fundamental question that the Commander in Chief must answer. When was the last time Obama discussed the war in public? It's been six months since he spoke to the Afghan (crook) president. Obama announced the withdrawal date at the same time he announced the surge.

Have you ever heard the word victory said by Obama about Afghanistan?


Don't forget 2/3rds of the deaths have occurred on Obama's watch. This has become his war. Get the boys out now,

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  1. […] A look at Jack Kingston's free lunches I'm going to be attending the Moral Monday rally at the Capitol on the 13th of this month, from 4 to 6 p.m., to support extending Medicaid as a part of the ACA in Georgia. I hope that many more caring Georgians will attend this rally in behalf of their … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) […]