Posted: 9:32 am Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

A bid to shape the 2016 GOP presidential calendar 

By Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

leg standalone

Former major league pitcher and Hall of Famer Phil Niekro, left, who was honored by the House on Tuesday, autographs a scrap of paper for state Rep. Mickey Stephens D- Savannah. Niekro spent most of his career with the Braves organization, starting with the Milwaukee Braves in 1964. Niekro left the Braves in 1983 for stints with the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians and the Toronto Blue Jays. In 1987 the Braves brought Niekro back, allowing him to retire as an Atlanta Brave. Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com

One year ago, top GOP honcho Reince Priebus was touring the country, with a stop in Atlanta included, to talk about the changes the national Republican party needed to make in order to get back in the presidential game.

One leg of reform was minority recruitment that moved beyond tokenism. Another was altering a presidential primary process that had become a meat-grinder.\

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blog

The Republican National Committee today opens its winter session in a wintry Washington D.C. In advance of the meeting, longtime GOP presence Randy Evans of Georgia has sent fellow RNC members this outline of changes he and others are recommending for the 2016 presidential calendar. The gist:

 Why Change The Rules?

This question is almost like asking Mrs. Lincoln “how was the play?”  We have lost and there is a strong consensus that some part of the problem is our nomination process.

By delaying our convention, Democrats can beat our nominee’s brains out from late June until August.

By stringing the process out, our candidates inflict irreparable injury on each other, making it extremely difficult, if not almost impossible, to win in November.  The media has created a term – “presumptive nominee” – which really means the media knows who has won but they can attack our candidate and divide the party until the nomination is official. And, by delaying the final nomination until August, we deny for weeks our nominee much needed resources to compete because of the way the federal election laws work.

There are no good reasons to continue to do stupid things.  And so, as we move to make our rules better and enforce smart changes to help us win, we need strict, harsh penalties to assure compliance.

Basically, the changes recommended by the group of our Members who studied these problems are very narrowly crafted to do four things: (1) move the Convention up from August until late June/mid July; (2) move the start date for states other than the four carve out states back to February 1, 2016; (3) move the end date up from the end of June until the middle of May, 2016; and (4) maintain a slow-down period in the middle so that there are no runaway nominations with candidates that have not been thoroughly vetted….

The changes do not impact Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada (known as the carve-out states).

The calendar changes would have to be approved by the RNC rules committee, then obtain the three-quarters approval of the RNC as a whole.

***

Heritage Action for America, the conservative pressure group that helped fuel the “defund Obamacare” movement and has earned condemnations from such folks as Speaker John Boehner and Georgia GOP Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, is throwing a policy summit in D.C. next month on the heels of House Republicans’ yearly retreat.

 The Wall Street Journal reports the Heritage event is designed “to put forward an alternative to the muted, election-year agenda the group anticipates will emerge from the House GOP huddle.” From the WSJ;

“You’ve seen elections recently where Republicans have been afraid to be as bold as they could be on the ideas front,” Heritage Action’s chief operating officer, Tim Chapman, said in an interview Tuesday. “We feel very strongly we have nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to our ideas and the policies we want to push.”

We’re told one of those ideas will be the transportation plan of U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, which would transfer all authority over highway projects from the feds to the states while drastically reducing the federal gas tax. The Transportation Empowerment Act also has a handy acronym designed for a certain “movement” constituency.

***

The Georgia Municipal Association reports  that U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey has agreed to attend its Monday debate of Republican candidates for U.S. Senate – meaning that six will be on the stage, before 800 mayors and other city officials from across the state. The other invivted: Paul Broun, Karen Handel, Jack Kingston, David Perdue and Eugene Yu.

On the other party front, Michelle Nunn is apparently sticking to her decision to skip the event, which leaves Branko “Dr. Rad” Radulovacki, the Vinings psychiatrist, as the sole participant in the Democratic forum.

***

The University of Georgia on Tuesday formally took possession of 1,055 acres of former federal land in Watkinsville that will be used for agricultural research.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is giving up 10 such parcels of land around the country, as directed by Congress, to land-grant universities that commit to performing research on the space for the next 25 years. On hand for the ribbon-cutting: Rep. Jack Kingston, the Senate hopeful who used to run the House appropriations subcommittee controlling USDA funding.

***

In the long run, it was just a photo op, but the memory still gnaws at Gov. Nathan Deal. In February 2013, when he announced his decision to suspend six of nine DeKalb school board members, the governor was flanked by a handful of DeKalb lawmakers from both parties. State Sen. Jason Carter, the DeKalb Democrat who would later decide to challenge him, was not among them.

022613 dekalb board01

From last February’s formal announcement by Gov. Nathan Deal that he would remove six DeKalb school board members. Jason Carter isn’t in the frame. AJC file/Jason Getz

Deal is still touchy about it. We know this because when we asked him about Carter’s role in the decision — the two met privately as Deal was weighing an intervention — he had this to say:

“I wish he had stood with me when we took the picture, when the announcement was made,” he said. “But yes we had almost universal support from the delegation and that was important to me.”

Carter may not have been at Deal’s side for the photo shoot, but he endorsed the governor’s six picks for the board. From the press release he sent at the time:

“Whatever you think about the process that put these members in place, we all need to come together to support them to ensure that the school system maintains accreditation for our students.”

***

We know some lawmakers are warming up to the idea of at least opening a legislative discussion on legalizing medical marijuana. But it sounds as if Gov. Nathan Deal is increasingly willing to hear the issue out.

“I am not going to take a firm position on it. I think there’s a strong case being presented by some of the families with very serious situations involving their children. The possibility of the General Assembly holding hearings is gaining momentum,” he said Tuesday.

Deal then quickly added: “But it’s very premature for me to take a position.”

***

We’ve been slightly late in picking up on this item from the Marietta Daily Journal, but it’s worth noting:

 Former Gov. Roy Barnes of Marietta has come out in favor of doing away with the sales tax exemption for groceries, if the additional revenue brought in goes toward education. There are more than 100 sales tax exemptions, the biggest being those for food and prescription drugs.

 “We should repeal the exemptions as necessary to properly fund our public schools,” he told the Marietta Rotary Club on Thursday. “Given the choice of saving our public schools and saving a few cents on my groceries, I will choose education and future prosperity.”

24 comments
Charles50
Charles50

Jason Carter, smart then.  Smart now.  Hopefully we'll have enough smart voters to elect him.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

Yep, it's that ol' librul medias fault the repubs keep losin.'   It's the ol' librul media that made those good Amerkins boo an Army Officer serving in Afghanistan.and made those good Amerkins shout "let 'em die" when talking about uninsured Americans, It's the ol librul media's fault that those good repubs cheered when it was mentioned that gubner perry had executed over 200 people. (You know how those repubs claim the gummint can't be trusted to do anything right, but when it comes to executions, the gummint can do no wrong, although every credible study indicates that about 1 in 8 people on death row are innocent.) It's the librul media's fault that the face of the party is the intellectual giants like palin, bachmann, gohmert, king, the santorum, and rush limbaugh, with their pandering to the basest human emotions: fear, bigotry, and a siege mentality.

Kamchak
Kamchak

One leg of reform was minority recruitment that moved beyond tokenism. Another was altering a presidential primary process that had become a meat-grinder.

I'd say that a good idea would be to abolish anything that comes across as a litmus test defining what it is to be a true conservative.

A purity pledge is the die plate in that meat grinder.

The-Centrist
The-Centrist

NoLonger Republican is correct.

The problem isn't the schedule, it's the whacko Republican candidates.  Christie seems to be toast now,.  Someone like Jeb Bush might win a few non crazy voters - but after that the Republicans don't have much to offer.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

Phil Niekro is a treasure for this state and a wonderful role model for our youth.  But, Phil seriously, it is time to acknowledge that the dead squirrel on top of your head needs to go. 


Roy Barnes, your time is up, you had your chance to help the schools, but the results were somewhat lacking.


If the GOP is trying to "get it right", maybe they would move more of the early primaries south, so that these moderates do not get a running start on the nomination, before the real GOP supporters get to weigh in.  We allow these northern states that will always vote Dem in the General election, to pick the candidates for the GOP.   Lets for once let the red states pick the candidates, because that will be who votes GOP in the general election.  It might result in more enthusiasm and support, if someone is the nominee, that people actually voted for in the primary.


TrueBlueDem
TrueBlueDem

Milton Man....You like to disparage Roy Barnes. Look at what has replaced him....Sonny Perdue and Nathan Deal....

Bernie31
Bernie31

Good ole Rep. Jack Kingston has no Problem with all of the MILLIONS of FEDERAL DOLLARS and LAND going to UGA and their research projects. especially when such funds serve his area of the State and the good ole BOYs who Farm. Especially those WHO HIRE ILLEAGALS....shhhhhhh!  

That is not WELFARE!  Its called Federal aid...


Jack just wants to make Sure that NONE of the Children of Georgia and America does NOT Get any FOODSTAMPS or AFFORDABLE healthcare of any Kind.


Such a Funding is a WASTE.....Right jack?


uh...huh

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

"Unfortunately for the Republicans they rely too heavily on religious wackos to nominate their candidates and those candidates won't win a national election."

I thought the child molesting Catholic wackos were firmly in the libs hands.  Please explain.

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

Oh, how cute.  Jimmie boy is still longing for Roy Barnes.  The same Roy Barnes that was rejected not once but twice by my fellow Georgians. 

NOlongerRepublican
NOlongerRepublican

The calendar may have a little to do with the Republican losing...but if they had candidates with a brain it would help. They need to realize the entire country is not caught up on abortion and gay marriage. Unlike alot of southerners people in other parts of the country are more concerned with jobs, taking care of their own families and lives, and not really concerned about what other people do int heir own private lives. Unfortunately for the Republicans they rely too heavily on religious wackos to nominate their candidates and those candidates won't win a national election.  I thought Christie would give Hillary a good run for her money in 2016 but he may be too damaged now.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Smart of Nunn to skip the debate to avoid exposing her coronation to shots from Dr. Rad.  No complaints though from the AJC like when Dr. Gingrey skipped the debate last week.

I thought Democrats wanted the sales tax exemption on groceries so lower income folks would get a big tax percentage break on their income which so much goes toward food.  Is it now O.K. with them since one term Democratic Governor and twice defeated Barnes wants it applied?

Bernie31
Bernie31

The Honorable Madam President Hillary Rodham Clinton.....


You GOOD ole BOYS had better start practicing the saying of the above Name.

Karma is coming and PAYBACK is going to be a.......You know what I mean.

You ALL are going to miss the goold ole days with Barry.....You will Long for them, Dearly!

Trust me on that!   LOL! rofl! LMBAO!

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@The-Centrist The fake centrist has to love you despite his constant carping about you taking "His" screen name. You have made his life worth living again by giving him one more thing to whine about every day. 

BTW did anyone know that screen names could be copyrighted. Apparently they can according to the fake centrist, at least in his bizzarro universe where facts are librul media lies, and sean hannity is the voice of god.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Sockpuppet liberal hypocrit stealing my screen name.  Says a LOT about him (and other liberals who endorse such).

The-Centrist
The-Centrist

Let's hope they listen to you Rafe.  That will ensure Hillary's election, in a landslide....

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@MiltonMan What else have you learned from your association with child molesters? It appears that your child molesting friends have given you the wrong information.


White Catholics who attend Mass weekly  split party identification evenly in 2008, with 45 percent siding with each party. In 2011, 52 percent now identify as Republican or leaning Republican. Less frequent Mass goers were aligned with the Democratic Party at a rate of 54 percent in 2008, but now only 45 percent did so in the Pew Forum’s most recent survey. Forty-seven percent now side with Republicans. http://ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/US.php?id=4955

Bernie31
Bernie31

@NOlongerRepublican  - Yep Ole Fat BOY is now a COOKED GOOSE! So is Governor Ultrasound of Virginia. LQQKS like BIG BUBBA will be spending more time with him than his Wife for years to come......

I get Chills just thinking about it...

Bubba will say this to Governor Ultrasound,....  Just Close Your EYES and LQQK AWAY!

Charles50
Charles50

@The_Centrist Actually this is something I strongly disagree with Barnes about.  How will we know that the extra revenue will go towards education? Plus, GA doesn't seem to have a grasp on how to pull its schools out of the toilet with the money they have now and even before all of the cuts.  I'm wondering if both parties aren't interested in keeping GA-educated voters "uneducated".  

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@The_CentristNot so Centrist.


You still using that number and letter combo as your sock puppet


bwhahahahaaaa

Charles50
Charles50

@Bernie31 At least it doesn't appear that Mr. Obama participates in retribution politics, but let Hillary become POTUS.  Some of these ole boys might actually start going home to their wives in gratitude that they aren't like her.  

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@The-Centrist Does the names Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney ring a bell, losers all.  


People that like them always like the Dems just a little better, so they love them until they get the nomination, then they turn.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Nobody_Knows @The_Centrist Now that is the definition of irony!  One sock puppet criticizing another.  Come on TBS!

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@RafeHollister@The-Centrist"Lets for once let the red states pick the candidates, because that will be who votes GOP in the general election."

Rafe must have already given Newt his earnest money for that development on the moon. Is Newt still working on that? 

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@RafeHollisterWhat are you talking about?  You post that clap trap but it never seems to be backed up with anything.


Although you love to lie it would be best if you stopped doing it.  


LOL

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