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Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Jason Carter as an ‘NRA Democrat’

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032114 leg pot

State Sens. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, and Jason Carter, D-Atlanta, confer during the last day of the session. Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com

Last week, when the state Senate had its final vote on H.B. 60, dubbed the “guns everywhere” bill by critics, Republican Fran Millar and Democrat Jason Carter essentially swapped votes.

Millar voted against the measure, which expanded the right to carry concealed weaponry in Georgia – later observing that the Legislature seemed to prefer firearms to children. Carter, the Democratic candidate for governor, voted yes.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogThe bill is now before Gov. Nathan Deal. We’ll let Jeanne Bonner with Georgia Public Broadcasting pick up the thread:

Deal has said pointedly that the legislation is not “part of his agenda” but he’s expected to sign it. Carter, whose family has South Georgia roots, brushed off questions about the bill by saying he’s an “NRA Democrat.”

GPB reached out to several long-term Democrats who said they’re not familiar with that phrase. One political expert mused that Carter may be taking his cue from an ad Democratic Congressman John Barrow ran a few years back showing him handling guns and crowing about his NRA endorsement.

“That ad was very successful,” said Charles Bullock, a professor at the University of Georgia. “It neutralized some of the Republicans’ claims that Democrats were against guns or opposed the NRA.”

***

It appears we’ve got a genuine, copper-bottomed trend. From Walter Jones and Morris News Service:

Political newcomer David Perdue is topping a poll of likely voters in the Republican Senate primary.

When surveyed Sunday and Monday, 17 percent said they were supporting Perdue, the former chief executive of Reebok and Dollar General and the cousin of Georgia’s last governor in a poll released Thursday by InsiderAdvantage that was conducted for Morris News and FOX5 in Atlanta.

Savannah Congressman Jack Kingston is in second with 15 percent, although effectively tied with Perdue by coming within the poll’s 3.26 percent margin of error. Next are Athens Congressman Paul Broun, 10 percent; Marietta Congressman Phil Gingrey, 8 percent; former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, 5 percent; and “other” with 1 percent. The poll did not ask about candidates Derrick Grayson or Art Gardner….

This latest poll is in line with two recently released surveys. All have the same order for the candidates, although the percentages differ.

The GOP candidates gather Saturday night for a debate in Savannah. Perdue should expect, for the first time in these tussles, some incoming fire.

**
John Boehner did not annex the Senate cloakroom, but Paul Broun on Thursday likened the House Speaker to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Yes, you read that right.

Boehner angered conservatives by pushing through a one-year “doc fix” on a voice vote, avoiding a difficult roll call that might not get the required two-thirds support.

Bipartisan efforts to reform the way physicians are paid by Medicare failed, so Congress has to act swiftly to put off scheduled 24 percent cuts to physician payments. On Thursday, the House did so by bringing it up for a voice vote – typically reserved for uncontroversial matters. None of the handful of House members on the floor at the time objected, but the move surprised many members who were getting ready for a vote.

The Daily Caller reports grumbling from conservatives about the tactic, including this from Broun:

“I consider it a step backwards for democracy,” he said in a statement to TheDC. “This Putin-esque behavior is an example of why I voted against Boehner as Speaker of the House.”

***

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston is taking pains to show that his “no free lunch” approach to free lunches in school is in line with mainstream Republican thinking in Georgia — by applauding legislation passed by the General Assembly this session that would require recipients of food stamps and welfare to undergo drug tests, and pay for them.

In a letter to state Senate and House leaders, the U.S. Senate candidate plugged similar legislation he sponsored in Congress.

“I support Georgia’s efforts to ensure beneficiaries are ready to enter the work force and will continue to work to advance legislation at the federal level that supports that goal,” he said.

***

Valarie Wilson, the executive director for the Atlanta Beltline Partnership and now a Democratic candidate for state school superintendent, has posted this YouTube video detailing how she came to be involved in education. She blames her mother-in-law:

Said Wilson:

“I’d heard all of these rumors about middle school – our middle school in particular. And I was really concerned about my son, because I did not want to lose my young black male. My mother-in-law, Elizabeth Wilson, integrated the city schools of Decatur. When I announced over the dinner table that we were going to take our little boy, her precious grandson, to private school, she almost flipped out….

Wilson was in Athens last night, speaking to a group of Democrats. From the Banner-Herald:

Wilson called school budgets that don’t contain enough money for a full 180-day school year “almost criminal.”
Other threats to public education are school vouchers and the move toward charter schools run by private, for-profit corporations, she said.

“Maybe it won’t be segregation on a race basis, but it will be segregation on an economic basis,” she said.

A human resources professional, Wilson knows the issues. She was the chairwoman of the Decatur City Board of Education for seven years and served for a year as the president of the Georgia School Boards Association.

***

Ted Turner is not a fan of the Atlanta Braves move to up I-75.

Maria Saporta caught up to the former Braves owner at an event at Cobb Galleria. He told her that he never would have moved the team to the burbs, not that they asked him his opinion. Said Turner:

“The one in Cobb is not going to be name after me. That’s probably why they want to do this. They can make a lot of money selling the naming rights.”

***

An Alabama U.S. House candidate is causing a stir by shooting holes in Obamacare – literally – with an escalating series of guns:

Peach Pundit wonders whether any Georgia politicians will follow suit, but that would be imitating an imitation. West Virginia’s Joe Manchin invented the “bill-shooting” genre with cap and trade.

 

 

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