Posted: 9:27 am Friday, January 24th, 2014

A black lawmaker takes up for federal judicial nominees caught in Democratic crossfire 

By Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

062913 brooks HS11

State Rep. Tyrone Brooks, D-Atlanta. Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

A tight-lipped Mike Boggs made the rounds at the state Capitol on Thursday, trying hard not to say anything that would get him noticed.

Boggs sits on the state Court of Appeals, but is also one of four who have been nominated for federal judgeships in Georgia’s Northern District by the White House. A hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee is imminent.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogBoggs is also one of two nominees who have attracted the attention of House Democrats in Georgia, who are miffed at President Barack Obama for the deal he worked out with U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss. Too few African-Americans were nominated, say U.S. Reps. John Lewis, David Scott and others.

They point out that Boggs, as a Democratic state House member from Waycross, voted against removal of the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag in 2001. Another nominee in the federal judicial package, Atlanta attorney Mark Cohen, led Georgia’s defense of the state’s Republican-backed voter ID law as a hired gun for the state.

Congressman Scott has requested time in front of U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy’s committee to make the case against Boggs and Cohen. He will not get it. The Senate is very jealous when it comes to giving advice and consent to the White House.

But you can see why Boggs has kept his lips zipped.

Shortly after lunch in the cafeteria near his judicial offices, Boggs brushed by state Rep. Tyrone Brooks, D-Atlanta. They shook hands in the cold. And this is where things got interesting.

Brooks, who is African-American, is known for two accomplishments during his 34-year career at the Capitol. His name was on a lawsuit in the late 1980s demanding more African-Americans be appointed to state judicial posts. Brooks was also the lead advocate for pulling down the segregation-era state flag and its St. Andrew’s cross.

After Boggs had left the scene, Brooks told me he’d had a longer conversation with the judicial nominee last week, after a Martin Luther King Day ceremony in the Capitol. Brooks agrees with his friends in Congress, Scott and Lewis, that the federal bench in Georgia needs more black judges. Said Brooks:

“There should be no package recommending appointments to President Obama out of Georgia that’s less than 30 percent African-American. That package ought to reflect the demographic diversity of Georgia.

“But here’s where I disagree with my friends. We need President Obama and Attorney General [Eric] Holder to agree on diversity in the package. But we don’t need to trash the nominees in the package – no matter who they are.”

Brooks then referenced that long talk he had with Boggs:

“I said, Mike, you’re my friend. I said, you might have voted the opposite way on the flag than I did. But your voting record on the flag is identical to DuBose Porter’s record. And he’s the chair of the Democratic party of Georgia….

“The flag was not a defining litmus test for me. I said, ‘Mike, you’re my friend. I’m not going to be critical of you based on your voting record. And I’m not going to be a part of anything to block your confirmation.’

Brooks also took up for Cohen, a litigating partner at the influential firm of Troutman Sanders:

“He took a job for Thurbert Baker to defend the voter ID law. [An African-American and a Democrat,] Thurbert Baker was the attorney general. Not Mark Cohen. But what people fail to realize is, Mark Cohen went to the University of Georgia at the request of president Michael Adams, and defended the University of Georgia’s affirmative action plan. Michael Adams hired him to defend the UGA program on affirmative action, because Thurbert Baker wouldn’t. Thurbert would not.”

***

We don’t think Gov. Nathan Deal was too miffed when word broke Thursday that the campus carry portion of a push to expand gun rights was off the table. The governor was asked whether he thinks the measure was an absolute must to pass this session.

With a wink, he answered: “You should notice it is not part of the governor’s agenda.”

***

The news yesterday that Deal was having second thoughts about the changes to the state insurance plan that his administration orchestrated elicited a strong reaction from Democrats.

State Sen. Horacena Tate rejected Deal’s attempt to tie the higher costs of the insurance premiums with President Obama’s health care overhaul.

“Every time I hear Republicans blame a decision we make at the state level on our President or Obamacare, it infuriates me,” said Tate. “Obamacare has nothing to do with the decisions made on the State Health Benefit Plan.”

***

This legislative session is already dominated by guns and pot. Could booze be next?

The Georgia Craft Brewers Guild is taking aim at a Senate study committee designed to investigate stalled legislation that would allow more breweries to sell beer for consumers to take home.

The guild is dismissing the committee’s findings, which didn’t go as far as the group wanted. From the press release:

“The report does not seem to understand or appreciate this sophistication, and the recommendations seem to indicate that these sophisticated consumers in Georgia should just accept the status quo.”

***

But another alcohol-related measure, H.B. 784, may actually be headed somewhere. The bill is local legislation sponsored by the Savannah-area delegation, and would allow bars to sell booze on a Sunday – the next time St. Patrick’s Day falls on or near the Christian Sabbath. This year, for instance.

From the Savannah Morning News:

Current law only allows establishments to serve beer, wine and mixed drinks on Sunday afternoons in Savannah if the majority of their money comes from the sale of food. So last year, when the Irish holiday fell on Sunday, local restaurants had a business advantage over bars.

“We’re leveling the playing field for the bars and the restaurants,” said Rep. Mickey Stephens, D-Savannah.

The city asked the Savannah legislative delegation for a local bill to give the council authority to vote for an exception on those years when there is a Sunday anywhere between March 16 and 18.

St. Paddy’s Day, March 17, falls on a Monday this year. But crowds are expected to be present and thirsty on Sunday, too.

***

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is one of nine U.S. mayors currently at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. We’re told that he’ll be on CNN around 12:30 p.m. today, but below is an interview Reed gave to the Huffington Post, shortly after his arrival on Tuesday:

From the Huffington Post website:

Reed argued that mayors around the United States don’t have a dismal approval rating like the U.S. Congress.

“That’s because we actually get things done, we’re much more accessible to people and we’re more accountable,” he said.

“Mayors do more things, and we can do them faster,” Reed said. “And we know that there is an end to our service, that gives it a real sense of urgency.”

***

Qualifying is only a few weeks away, and a May 20 primary looms. But another Republican, state Rep. Delvis Dutton, R-Glennville, is thinking of joining Augusta businessman Rick Allen and congressional staffer John Stone in a bid to challenge U.S. Rep. John Barrow, the Deep South’s last white Democrat in Congress. From the Augusta Chronicle:

 “We’re checking into it. We’re getting a lot of calls on it,” he said Wednesday. “But there’s been no desire, no commitment at all.”

Dutton, a Savannah native who lives in Glennville, would bring political experience to the contest after winning a special election in 2011 to the state House of Representatives.

After winning re-election in 2012, he unsuccessfully challenged the chairwoman of the House Republican Caucus, Donna Shelton of Dacula, who had endorsed him in his 2011 special election, but he was decisively trounced in the caucus balloting.

32 comments
MichaelHannigan
MichaelHannigan

In today’s Atlanta Business chronicle:

http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/blog/capitol_vision/2014/01/ga-democrats-float-bold-agendas.html?ana=e_du_pap&s=article_du&ed=2014-01-24

Ga. Democrats float bold agendas

“Addressing income inequality is at the heart of the 2014 General Assembly agendas rolled out by legislative Democrats Thursday.”

Lease forgive me for laughing so hard, but what on God’s Earth is “Income Equality?”I can understand it (I think) from the leftist viewpoint which is, of course, not “Equality” but “REDISTRIBUTION.People are not the same, there are different energies, different social opportunities (not brought about by the public but individuals), different ambitions, different drives to succeed, etc., etc. and the list goes on forever.One person may work his or her self to near death trying to keep his or her head above water and to get ahead while another is content to let the government keep them in bondage by supporting them, making their decisions, etc.Person A may have an education and the job opportunities are expansive while the highschool dropout seeks drugs, robbery, and “hanging’” to obtain a respite for each day’s existence.Are you going to tell me that everyone in America should be on equal income footing?If so, you are not a leftist socialist, you are a communist.This has been tried over and over – here and in Europe for eons and has never succeeded.

And, of course, who is it that determines what the equalities are and who should have what.The Government?No, I didn’t think so.The Democratic Party?Perhaps as they have ideas on everything else.

 Do yourself a favor and see why a majority of Georgians (including Independents AND Democrats) will not vote to increase the minimum wage nor will they accept raising a minimum wage to $10.10 per hour thereby causing thousands to lose their jobs.

 It’s hard enough now to get any young person to work – high wage or not.All this will do is increase the inflow of “Undocumented” who will jump at the chance for a job.Think about it.

Bernie31
Bernie31

"If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it,"  -  Huckabee 

The Republican Party 2014....Still going Backwards.

Uh..huh

Kamchak
Kamchak

- Liberals prefer dogma and opinions over such facts.

Self described El Rushbo ditto heads say, "What?"

MichaelHannigan
MichaelHannigan

@DannyX (again): 

"Parents are not required to keep their young adult kids on their policies and when they do insurance companies love it because young people are low risk money makers for insurance companies."

EDUktr is correct and I believe you need to rethink your post.

Correct you are in stating that parents are not obligated (or, required as you say)  to  "keep their young adult kids (26 is a kid?) on their policies..." BUT, common sense says, What parents WOULD NOT?  The cost to the parents would be the addition of a family member - which in most cases would be far less expensive - vs. the outright purchase of the Obamacare product, which by what we are reading (outside of FOX by the way) is pretty expensive to acquire.  That's not my opinion, but those of the national LameStream Media.

No, you have got to come up with a more plausible answer that your first attempt.

MichaelHannigan
MichaelHannigan

@DannyX: 

 A pity I didn’t keep my information that I spent many hours gathering, but I recall a couple of recent articles that may help educate you on the subject:

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/files/2013/12/1718_Glied_how_states_stand_gain_lose_Medicaid_expansion_ib_v2.pdf

 If you care to explore this, look no further than an article from the Washington Post (a really radical, right-wing publication I must admit…sorta like the AJC):

 Without spending a lot of time on the author’s wanderings and pronouncements, fast forward to P4, “Federal Funds Moving into and Out of States,” going down the left-hand column, near the bottom and start with, “Georgia…”.

 Of course, a thorough reading of the article will expose the general assumptions scattered throughout; and, at present, many of those have already been debunked.

Further, the article attempts to veil its approval for expansion of Medicaid – nationwide – by deflecting criticism of the expansion (Medicaid) by making comparative allocations and largess heaped upon the states by the Feds to bolster highway construction and/or to assist in outlays (by the states) for Defense Contracts, etc.Why this side-by-side comparison of two different programs is put forth vis-à-vis Medicaid expansion is somewhat specious in nature and really serves no purpose in, what I believe, is comparing a syringe to a bullet.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AND, if you’re still interested, read this from the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Aug. 28, 2013. All lies, of course, by the writer.If you have a problem with his conclusions, I suggest you take that up with him through the ABC and not waste time in this blog trying to cast yourself as informed.

http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2013/08/28/obamacare-to-hit-georgia-medicaid.html?page=all

The_SAWB
The_SAWB

I believe a legendary man once had a dream that people should not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Now, call me crazy, but shouldn’t that apply to Judges?

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Famous Presidential Lies

LBJ:

We were attacked (in the Gulf of Tonkin)

Nixon:

I am not a crook

GHW Bush:

Read my lips - No new taxes

Clinton:

I did not have sex with that woman... Miss Lewinski

GW Bush:

Iraq has weapons of mass destruction

Obama:
I will have the most transparent administration in history.
The stimulus will fund shovel-ready jobs.
I am focused like a laser on creating jobs.
The IRS is not targeting anyone.
It was a spontaneous riot about a movie.
If I had a son.
I will put an end to the type of politics that "breeds division, conflict and cynicism".
You didn't build that!
I will restore trust in Government.
The Cambridge cops acted stupidly.
The public will have 5 days to look at every bill that lands on my desk
It's not my red line - it is the world's red line.
Whistle blowers will be protected in my administration.
We got back every dime we used to rescue the banks and auto companies, with interest.
I am not spying on American citizens.
ObamaCare will be good for America
You can keep your family doctor.
Premiums will be lowered by $2500.
If you like it, you can keep your current healthcare plan
It's just like shopping at Amazon
I knew nothing about "Fast and Furious" gunrunning to Mexican drug cartels
I knew nothing about IRS targeting conservative groups
I knew nothing about what happened in Benghazi
I have never met my uncle from Kenya who is in the country illegally and that was arrested and told to leave the country over 20 years ago
And, I have never lived with that uncle. (He finally admitted that he DID know his uncle and that he DID live with him.

Bernie31
Bernie31

Tyrone just maybe serving up a Bit of SOUR GRAPES for the Black Political Abandonment in his Hour of Need.


uh...huh

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

All the kudos by Jimmie boy for Tyrone Brooks without even any mention about the federal indictments of wire, mail & tax fraud????

Tyrone = typical GA lib = crook

Bernie31
Bernie31

Yep Good Ole Judge Boggs is starting to FEEL some Heat from the Ugliness of his Words and Vote. Surely such Feelings and Beliefs have Not Changed. For This Judge Such sensitive topics will NOW only be discussed in "THE QUIET ROOMS".


He now envision a potential Supreme Court Seat....But Not Likely.

EdUktr
EdUktr

This continued INSISTENCE by liberals that Obamacare hasn't raised the cost of insurance policies (including SHBP) makes them look like bigoted fools.

How can you require kids to be carried on their parents' health policies up to age 26 without added costs to insurers? How??

MichaelHannigan
MichaelHannigan

"said (State Senator Horacena) Tate. “Obamacare has nothing to do with the decisions made on the State Health Benefit Plan.”

2 school teachers in our sub-division would vehemently disagree with you, Sen Tate.  I hope you will stand by that statement when all the facts emerge.  Note that I said FACTS, not baseless rhetoric that the AJC would quote for its readers, but the facts.  Also, speaking of facts, if the state (ie., Gov. Deal) should expand Medicaid for the "poor," the Federal Government would pay the freight for the remaining three years  the POTUS is in charge.  What then?  Well, for starters, the State picks up 10% of the cost, and on a sliding scale, an increasing amount of the cost in ensuing years.  That means, of course, that the money to pay for the State's share must come from the RESIDENTS - Democrats as well as the Republicans or Independents.  The cost estimate is unknown, of course, but evaluators have pegged the difference in 2018 at 1 Billion/year+, and even higher as each year passes.  To those who still believe in the Tooth Fairy, it's going to take more that a few quarters under our pillows to pay the freight.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Mr. Galloway - From your report it appears nothing of significance will come of this legislative session.  We will still have the 'Bed Tax' increasing private hospitalization costs and insurance premiums.  The Medicaid Expansion will quietly be tabled despite its benefits for 650,000 Georgians.  Phoebe Putney, Athens Regional, Grady Memorial, and multiple small county hospitals will either close or be in danger of closing and will reduce access to emergency and acute care.  Emory University and Morehouse's physician, nurse practitioner, and physicians' assistance training programs will once again lose accreditation or be threatened with loss of accreditation.  Similar to the past, inappropriate deaths in Georgia, particularly among the uninsured, will be reported, further besmirching the state's reputation for quality of life and potential business destination.  Billions of dollars that could be obtained easily from the federal government will be rejected and sent to other states.  Long discussions of irrelevant policy such as abortion funding, gun waving, and minuscule education reform will occupy committee meetings and lead to sustained lethargy, multiple checks of the smart phone, and loud snoring.  Who votes for these people to represent them?  

sf33
sf33

Glad to see Mayors and our Mayor representing the role of local government leaders on the international stage.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

From above:  “Every time I hear Republicans blame a decision we make at the state level on our President or Obamacare, it infuriates me,” said Tate.

Tough.  Reality is often hard to take. The associated costs of Obamacare are real, and state workers are not exempted.

DannyX
DannyX

@MichaelHannigan, a 22 year old could get a very good health insurance policy through the Obamacare insurance marketplace.  A silver premium from Humana would cost $18 a month, have a $500 a year deductible, with a $750 a year out of pocket cap.


That is hardly expensive and the information is easily obtained from the Obamacare website. 

DannyX
DannyX

@MichaelHannigan said,  "EDUktr is correct and I believe you need to rethink your post."


Correct you are in stating that parents are not obligated (or, required as you say)  to  "keep their young adult kids (26 is a kid?) on their policies..." 

________

LOL! So let me get this straight,  EDUktr is correct and I am wrong because I'm right!  Michael, you haven't posted even one remotely accurate thing today!  Total fail.

DannyX
DannyX

@MichaelHannigan, nothing you posted came remotely close to backing up your claim that Georgia would spend an additional $1 billion dollars a year if it expanded medicaid.  And you didn't have anything to say about the economic impact of the additional federal dollars that would flow into the state creating additional revenue for the state that would help offset the cost.

DannyX
DannyX

@MiltonMan Where exactly did Jim give Brooks kudos?


PI covers Gov Deal all of the time, do they have to mention all of Deal's current and past scandals every time they write about him?



The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@MiltonMan- As you know, this is a Democratic party news outlet.  Bad news about Democrats are omitted.

Charles50
Charles50

@EdUktr You don't REQUIRE it.  They have the option of staying on if you want them to and they don't have coverage otherwise.  


And most insurance policies are for employee; employee and spouse, employee spouse and children.  It doesn't matter how many children you add, you don't pay per child.  So if they were on at age 8 the cost doesn't change because they got older.  The cost changed because the insurance companies have been raising their rates for years.  

Charles50
Charles50

@EdUktr You don't REQUIRE it.  They have the option of staying on if you want them to and they don't have coverage otherwise.  


And most insurance policies are for employee; employee and spouse, employee spouse and children.  It doesn't matter how many children you add, you don't pay per child.  So if they were on at age 8 the cost doesn't change because they got older.  The cost changed because the insurance companies have been raising their rates for years.  

DannyX
DannyX

@EdUktr, you should stick to whining about the "liberal" media.


Parents are not required to keep their young adult kids on their policies and when they do insurance companies love it because young people are low risk money makers for insurance companies.

Charles50
Charles50

@MichaelHannigan Teachers in your subdivision aren't upset about Obamacare.  They are upset because they only have ONE provider this year when they have had 2 or 3 in the past.  That is the fault of the Dept. of Community Health, not Obamacare. 


If you review articles about the decusuib you'll see that the main reason, actually the only reason DCH has given for selecting BC/BS is because it would save THE STATE lots of money.  

DannyX
DannyX

@MichaelHannigan wrote "but evaluators have pegged the difference in 2018 at 1 Billion/year+, and even higher as each year passes."


Which "evaluators"?  You have a link for that nonsense?  If medcaid expansion cost the state $1 billion a year that would mean the total amount spent including the federal share would be $10 billion a year for medicaid expansion which is nonsense.  


You also fail to explain the economic impact the federal funds would have on the state.  High paying jobs would be created which would mean additional state payroll tax revenue, consumer spending would increase which produces additional sales tax revenue, county taxes would go down because spending on indigent care would go down, emergency rooms would not be used as much, and rural hospitals would stay open. 


I'll be waiting for the link that claims the additional cost for medicaid will be $10 billion dollars a year.

Charles50
Charles50

@Ralph-43 They are trying to fast-track this session.  There were no plans for anything of substance to come out of it.  However, it is still worth watching these old con men because they are know to slip things in at the last minute.  

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@The_Centrist Our intrepid cub reporter, always eager to echo the latest from pox news and breitbart.com, is a wealth of information about the evil effects of Obamacare, like when he breathlessly scampered to his keyboard to report the news of how Delta's healthcare costs would rise by over $100 Mil/year because of the ACA. Turns out that wasn't anywhere near true, but like a good rupert murdoch disciple, it never discouraged him from posting that "fact" several times on this site and elsewhere. He is always a wealth of information, like all those posts assuring us that President Romney would get the country back on track, and  that all that talk of a government shut down was just evidence of Jim Galloway and the librul media's bias against the tea party.

He has backtracked and changed direction so many times, he has come to epitomize a rat in a maze. Anyone who has followed these pages for any length of time will remember his attacks on kasim reed and the Atlanta political machine for their shameless support for a new Falcon's stadium, how it was cronyism at it's worst, and how government had no business helping a sports franchise with 'handouts'. But with the Braves' move to Cobb, well that was somehow 'different,' and no amount of taxpayer money was too much.  When Debbie Dooley rightly opposed it on principle, suddenly she was a meddling harpie from Gwinnett who had no business sticking her nose into Cobb Co. affairs, despite all his previous praise for her when she was opposing Obamacare and other Democratic initiatives. 

His 'principles' echo those of the Savannah delegation mentioned in this post. All these years it has been 'sinful' and 'immoral' to allow Sunday sales of alcohol, but when their favorite bacchanalia falls on a Sunday, and lots of money is to be made, well, Jesus will just have to wait, mammon will be worshiped that day.

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

I too woukd like to hear more stories about these boogeymen right-wingers keep dreaming up. The ACA is revenue neutral and my health insurance premiums went down big time. Of course I am living in a blue state now and we have our own state health insurance exchange.

My expectation is that "centrist" will make up crap about employers downsizing, cutting wages, and/or raising prices. It hasn't happened and any change will not likely be significant. Centrist, and most right wingers, dont really understand business. Heck...they probably fall for that line about small business being the backbone of the economy.

Some fun facts I learned after the last shareholder meeting for Walmart: by raising prices on every sku by 1cent (say from $3.99 to $4) they can offer gold level health insurance plans to all employees and nearly double their pay as well. Companies claiming the aca will bankrupt them are acting irrationally. Stick to your business rather than trying to use your employees as pawns in a political game.

DannyX
DannyX

@The_Centrist, why don't you explain to everyone exactly how much Obamacare added to the cost of state insurance vs how much the no bid contract added to the cost. 


Major fail on your part if you can't.

DannyX
DannyX

@The_Centrist "Liberals prefer dogma and opinions over such facts."


Says the coward that runs away and hides and refuses to back up any of his claims.  Speaking of which, maybe you can help out Michael with his missing link, you know since you are all into facts and stuff.

EdUktr
EdUktr

@DannyX: Are you really so stupid?

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  1. […] of Appeals Judge Mike Boggs is receiving support for his nomination to the United States District Court from State Re…, with whom Boggs served in the state house in 2001 when the vote was cast on changing the 1956 […]