Posted: 10:05 am Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

The subtext of Nathan Deal’s upcoming trip to Israel 

By Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

021214 snow main BG9

Gov. Nathan Deal will head to Israel this summer – a trip likely to get attention from Jewish voters in Georgia. Ben Gray, bgray@ajc.com

Gov. Nathan Deal only has one international trip on the schedule so far this election year. And it’s a big one.

The governor is planning on traveling to the Holy Land for a few days in June to tour Israeli businesses and try to drum up more investment for Georgia. The trip is intended to highlight the 40 Israeli companies that have operations in Georgia, but the political subtext is clear.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogDeal’s Democratic opponent, state Sen. Jason Carter, has sought to reassure Jewish constituents in his district that he is very different from his famous grandfather when it comes to Middle East policy.

The ex-president, who brokered the first Israeli-Arab peace treaty while in the White House, has had an often tense relationship with Jewish leaders since he left office. Critics contend the elder Carter unfairly compared Israeli treatment of Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza to the apartheid that once existed in South Africa, and Israeli politicians were furious when he met with leaders from Hamas, considered a terror group by Israel and its western allies.

Jewish voters, who historically have voted Democrat, only make up a tiny fraction of Georgia’s electorate. But the community makes up an important segment of political donors, and wealthy patrons including Home Depot co-founders Arthur Blank and Bernard Marcus have helped fund political causes and campaigns.

Jason Carter distanced himself from his grandfather’s comments on Israel before running for his Senate seat, and quietly helped broker the ex-president’s public apology to the Jewish community in 2010. He has a number of prominent Jewish leaders on his team, among them businessman Michael Coles, a former Senate candidate who is co-chairing his campaign. But with this visit Deal is sending the undeniable message that he, too, is making a play for Georgia’s Jewish vote.

***

When you don’t show up for a party to which you’ve been expressly invited, it’s good to demonstrate that you weren’t washing your hair or working on your golf game.

Shortly before noon today, the National Federation of Independent Business will host a forum for U.S. Senate candidates at Turner Field in Atlanta. Five Republicans will be there – including Jack Kingston of Savannah, who’s expected to answer Paul Broun’s accusation that he’s a John Boehner liberal.

Only two Democrats were invited: Branko Radulovacki, the Vinings psychiatrist; and Michelle Nunn. “Dr. Rad” will be there.

Nunn made clear in an press release issued Monday that she will be at Fort Valley State University, talking agriculture with community leaders.

***
Just ahead of that debate, Republican Karen Handel has released an economic plan that you can expect her to trumpet on the campaign trail.
It’s red meat for the GOP base, with calls to repeal Obamacare, cut spending, implement the Fair Tax and ease regulations.

Handel and the three sitting congressmen running are scrambling to prove they are the most conservative of the bunch. Meanwhile, businessman David Perdue is starting to stake out a more center-right position.

***

State Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-Brookhaven, who chairs the Legislature’s MARTA oversight committee, says Snowjam ’14, the Jan. 28 event that paralyzed metro Atlanta’s interstate system, might have changed some important minds when it comes to rail. From an interview with Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM):

“I think it’s fair to look at transit, particularly the train, as part of how we move people around metro Atlanta, particularly in an emergency situation like the snowstorm we saw…almost three weeks ago.

“The reality is that the trains were running, and running fairly efficiently, and it’s important to recognize that. Particularly when the highway system was snarled at the time. MARTA was moving people around and getting them where they needed to go. I think it’s an important observation, and one that certainly plays into where we go in the future with regards to transit.”

***

tragicapples

Members of the teachers group TRAGIC are at the state Capitol today, to protest changes to the state health insurance plan. They’re distributing apples with a Band-Aid to lawmakers.

***

This afternoon, state House and Senate ethics committees will gather to figure out the implications of the bill they passed last year that capped lobbyist contributions.

William Perry, executive director of Common Cause Georgia, will offer his thoughts. If they read anything like this morning’s press release, things could get a little tense:

“This is governing in the dark at its finest,” said Perry.  “When a bill is passed in the midnight hour of the last night of the session, after being hammered out by a conference committee of only a few legislators behind closed doors in the wee hours of the prior morning and then given no time to be vetted with a hearing or any form of public comment, it can be described as nothing better than purposefully deceptive governing.  They wanted to pass something that appears to be strong ethics legislation when in fact, it is so fraught with ill-conceived loopholes, no one knows what it means.”

The hastily written legislation, which was presented to members of the legislature with barely an hour to review during the time where bills are voted on at a lightening pace, has led to considerable confusion by lobbyist, legislators and members of the public. To make matters worse, the agency in charge of enforcing the law is too understaffed and underfunded to even begin addressing questions about the law which can best be described as a legislative quagmire.

***

These days, Democrats are obsessed with Hillary Clinton and her 2016 ambitions. But we’ve picked up word that Susana Martinez, the Republican governor of New Mexico, has had people in Atlanta over the last few days, scouting out the terrain for a White House bid of her own.

***

This state’s oldest environmental group, the Georgia Conservancy, is looking for a new leader. George Mori, chairman of the Conservancy board, announced to members on Monday that former lieutenant governor Pierre Howard will be stepping down as president on June 30:

“We are thrilled that Pierre will remain active with the Conservancy, though, as a senior advisor and member of our Advisory Board, with particular focus on helping to develop the Conservancy’s 2015-2019 Strategic Plan, continuing to expand its Land Conservation Initiative and easing the transition to a new president.

The Board of Trustees has already taken the first steps necessary to identify our next president and will engage a national search firm to help us in this process.”

Howard took the helm of the organization in 2009.

***

Former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones on Thursday will make it official: He’s got a Decatur press conference scheduled to announce his candidacy for sheriff. Incumbent Thomas Brown is leaving the post to make a run at Hank Johnson’s congressional seat.

***

GOP congressional candidate Rick Allen of Augusta picked up a key endorsement Monday from south Georgia conservative activist Pat Tippett. In an increasingly crowded 12th District primary, she’s an important voice.

The Augusta businessman lost a GOP primary runoff to Lee Anderson in 2012 because of Anderson’s rural strength. This time Allen is facing former congressional staffer John Stone and state Rep. Delvis Dutton, who just announced a late entry into the race. The winner gets to face U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, in the fall.

***

Over at Politico, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was sketching out what a future Republican party might look like:

Sporting a gray suit, red tie and cowboy boots, Paul said ideas that fall into the “libertarian-slash-Republican” camp “are a bit different from what we’ve done in the past” and could expand the GOP tent. Those proposals go beyond his well-known problems with National Security Agency surveillance, which led him to file a class-action lawsuit against the agency last week. Drug policy reforms, Paul said, would particularly resonate in minority communities that have largely shut out Republicans.

And opposing indefinite detention of detainees, he said, would strike a chord with groups that historically have been persecuted.

32 comments
MiltonMan
MiltonMan

Jason Moonbat Carter will need every vote from his crappy DeKalb district just to crack 30%.  Deal will bury this clown preventing Georgia from becoming just like crappy DeKalb.

Derwin0
Derwin0

Deal can still win Georgia without a single Jewish vote.  Not every move he makes should be viewed as through racial lenses.


Maybe, just maybe he's sincere in trying to get companies to move to Georgia, something he's actually been successful at, and will probably get re-elected for.

Bernie31
Bernie31

The Jewish community in Georgia is not as Naive and stupid as the Governor and his staff thinks. They know Dear Leader is a BUBBA and GOOBER from South Georgia a very dangerous place for someone of their Background and religion. They actually laugh and Roll their eyes and say often " are you kidding me? Really?. OK!  send him over, this should be FUN!  

They also know that Dear Leader HATES them without Question and would never invite any for dinner or live next door. Every minority in Georgia can see through that charade except for Kasim. Kasim loves Nathan's dirty DRAWERS and he thinks Nathan is not capable of doing any thing wrong or with malcontent. But WE know Better!

uh...huh

Bernie31
Bernie31

The sub text of the Governor's Trip to other Countries like Isreal is The Goober State of Georgia WANT and NEED yer Money but not necessarily yer Citizens in Large Numbers. Because we do not want You living Next door or in the Neighborhood. We do not want to see you in our stores, movie houses and places where we eat. we don't want yer Kids MIXING with ours because its jest ain't Riiiiittte! You are different from us GOOBERS and we already think we are SMARTER dan YOU!


So jest wriite that check and we will be on our way. Nice Doing business wit ya. And do not worry about those NAZI BOYS and KKK...I already talk to em...they said they will be good. But if not, you know you always have me here to LQQK out fer ya!  Wink! Wink!


I do hope ya'll will change ya mind on Loving Jesus....


Praise Jaysus.

Starik
Starik

I'm reading the recent book (Without Mercy) on E.D. Rivers (1937-41); fascinating.  What's the best book on Gene Talmadge? Suggestions?

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

A former president of the Southern Baptist Convention has publicly reiterated his belief that Jews can't find salvation without Jesus, renewing a controversy that first erupted seven years ago.

"I'm not against the Jewish people," the Rev. Bailey Smith told 2,000 Southern Baptist evangelists last week in St. Louis. "But unless they repent and get born again, they don't have a prayer."

Jewish leaders responded with dismay to Smith's comments, which echoed his 1980 statement that "God doesn't hear the prayers of a Jew." 

If anyone wants to make Jimmy Carter's statements concerning Israel an issue, go right ahead.    Jimmy Carter has rebuked and repudiated the Southern Baptist Convention based on these and other hateful statements directed against Jews and homosexuals. The good southern baptist nathan deal has, through his silence, indicated his concurrence with bailey smith's statements.

It is worth noting that deal also, as a congress critter, voted nay on every piece of hate crime legislation that came up for a vote. If he had been around in circa 1936, no doubt he would have sported a nice brown shirt as he blithely ignored the hatred that was building toward the Jewish people.

honested
honested

Acting Governor deal just firmed up his refusal of billions for EXISTING GEORGIA MEDICAL SERVICE BUSINESSES.....

Yet he is up for a junket to massage 40 hopeful business contacts.


What does that work out to cost per handshake?

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

Ahhh Sen. Paul.  You agree with those wild-eyed Liberals when it comes to the NSA, but Road Kill Possum Republicans are chasing their tails again not realizing what you are saying:


1. They don't remember when President Bush signed a secret order in 2002 authorizing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in the United States, despite previous legal prohibitions against such domestic spying?


2.  They don't remember their snarky responses to all the legal and privacy issues that came with the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act, by saying that they had no problem with any form of domestic spying because "they had nothing to hide?"


3.  They don't remember how they had no problem giving up their civil and constitutional liberities so that neo-conservatives could continue their "War on Terrerrr..."


4.  They don't remember social conservative dope heads in Cobb and Gwinnett counties would 18-months probation for hgetting caught with pure cocaine , but a urban crackhead would get 18-years for having  a timble of crack ?  And they decry that soooo many minorities are in prison and could not understand why minorities had a problem.

Ultraman8
Ultraman8

isn't it amazing how everyone distances themselves from the idiot when THEY are running for a differnet office/ Gore did it with Clinton and now all the libs are distancing themselves from Obozo when they were towing the line prior? Wow- anything to win/stay in office. Do not trust Jason Carter. Once a fundamental Baptist- always one- just like the westboro baptists.

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

Rep. Mike Jacobs talk is cheap because Georgia conservatives got a constitutinal amendment passed that does not allow the State to send one penny toward mass transit.  It is also hypocritical that the State has a say-so in the operations of MARTA, and has forced the agency for decades to conform to some of the dumbest legislative decisions in an attempt to make the organization fail.

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

1.  There are more than 160,000 businesses in Georgia, with 4,000 of them have more than 500 employees, and Deal is traveling to Israel to highlight 40 Jewish businesses?  


2.  To the dismay of many a evangelical social conservative Deal did have the statue of the bigot Tom Watson, who was instrumental in starting the legacy of violence against Jews and the hanging of Leo Frank, just this past year!


3.  He is wasting taxpayer money just so that he can say that he went to the Holy Land.  The cost of which would cover the cost of at least two snow plows, or fund a daycare center for a year.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

When political forecasters like Sabato, Rothenberg, and Cook call Georgia's Governors race a solid GOP hold, a Deal trip to Israel to drum up business is just that - nothing political necessary.  Only the AJC is pretending Carter is a serious contender this year while he is simply building support for 2018.

cc423
cc423

Great. So we are paying for Governor Deal and his entourage to go to Isreal just so he can score some political points. No wonder we are so tired of him.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

I don't think anyone in the Jewish community believes that the Governor of Georgia has anything to do with the Israeli-Palestinian debate.  I do think they understand that their federal taxes are being sent to the states that Expanded Medicaid and that their healthcare, hospital financial security, and general societal financial well-being and safety has been downgraded by the decision to reject federal funding for unreimbursed Georgia emergency care and for health insurance for low income Georgians.  This trip to Israel is one more bamboozle by Deal unwillingly paid for by Georgia taxpayers.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@MiltonMan  

Jason Moonbat Carter will need every vote from his crappy DeKalb district just to crack 30%. 


Bookmarked for later reference.

Just sayin'.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Derwin0 - yep keep bringing in those $8.00 an hour jobs without any Benefits...Slave wages in 2014.

uh..huh


Bernie31
Bernie31

@Derwin0 - This man does not have a SINCERE BONE in his Body! Please!

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Starik - The best book on Eugene  Talmadage is the one that has never been printed. "My TRIP to Hell in a hand basket on a express elevator DOWN." it was a real EYE OPENER and quite HOT TOO!

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Starik - do not fergit to bring the Book...it should keep us warm for a minute or two!

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

I'm not sure why "Jewish leaders responded with dismay to Smith's comments"

That's what southern Baptists believe - that unless you've accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior, you're doomed to hell.  Thus, Jews, Catholics, Mormons, most Christians in mainline denominations - all are doomed.

Cooperate with them on Israeli issues, if you want, but don't kid yourself about what the Baptists think of you.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@honested - Non GOOBERS do not get Manly handshakes from this Governor..They get that weak Mealy Mouth finger grab. With a smile with the other hand with a clinched fist stuffed Deep into his pant pocket, while smiling at you and Hating yer GUTS!  Thinking of the Door behind ya and how soon it will take for him to get past you and out of it and away from the area.

uh..huh

GaBlue
GaBlue

Senator Paul and his ilk (I hate the "ilk" expression, which is why I use it for people like Sen. Paul) are all about liberty and freedom from government. Unless you're a woman. Then shut up and accept the consequences of not keeping your knees together. The government needs to get between you and your doctor. Because, you know, freedom.

honested
honested

@CuriousPrime  

The republiklans cannot remember their mistakes.....

Which is the primary reason they keep committing them over and over again.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@Ultraman8   "and now all the libs are distancing themselves from Obozo when they were towing the line prior?"

To quote a great American who comes here often: "Got any proof of that,sport? Please show your work."

As for 'distancing' themselves, Bill Clinton is welcomed by any Dem candidate running for office, not just welcomed, but enthusiastically importuned to campaign on their behalf. He has addressed every Dem convention since leaving office, to an enthusiastic response.

As for his successor, his name is not even mentioned, much less an invitation extended to any event, except to sell time shares or whatever he is doing now to grovel for a free rubber chicken dinner and pick up a few dollars to "replenish the ol' coffers."

It's easy to see why you pick the moniker of a cartoon character, with a comment like that.

honested
honested

@CuriousPrime  

However, it is nice to see Representative Jacobs recognize reality on occasion.

Starik
Starik

@BuckheadBoy @Starik Thanks! There's nothing quite so interesting as the Georgia History they don't teach in junior high. Amazon has my copy on the way.

Starik
Starik

@Bernie31 @StarikYou know, Bernie, we could have some fun discussions together.  Separate cages might be in order, though.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@AuntieChrist

As for his successor, his name is not even mentioned, much less an invitation extended to any event...

Even their biggest event, the Republican National Convention.

They chose Clint Eastwood to talk to furniture instead.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Kamchak @AuntieChrist- please I hope they invite OLD Clint back...this time Clint promises to wear his DEPENDS for MEN..instead of those for the women like he had on last time....

uh...huh