Posted: 10:22 am Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Tom Graves takes airlines’ side in ticket-pricing fight 

By Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

 

The Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal officially opened its doors Monday as passengers from around the globe got their first look at the new facility. Vino Wong, vwong@ajc.com

The Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal officially opened its doors Monday as passengers from around the globe got their first look at the new facility. Vino Wong, vwong@ajc.com

U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, is siding with the airline industry in what could be a nasty fight with the people who buy their tickets.

Graves is the third signature on the Transparent Airfares Act of 2014, which passed a House committee mark-up earlier this month. The bill would force the U.S. Department of Transportation to retreat from a regulation requiring that the prices of tickets include all taxes and added fees.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogGraves’ explanation when the bill was introduced in March:

“The cost of airline tickets will never be transparent as long as the Department of Transportation requires airlines to hide taxes, surcharges, and fees from consumers. In fact, this regulation means airlines may unfairly shoulder the blame for price increases, even if it’s a government tax hike that’s responsible.”

Consumer advocates, who pushed through the bundling requirement several years ago, disagree. From USA Today:

Businesses regulated at the federal level and facing similar taxes to airlines — notably gas — must quote a complete price, including all taxes, they point out. Airlines are exempt from state and local taxes, which means they can’t be compared with most other consumer purchases, say critics of the proposed law. And they note that airlines are free to break down their taxes and fees after quoting an initial, all-inclusive price.

In short, the bill would dupe us into thinking fares are cheaper than they are. “It is all about making airfares less transparent,” says Paul Hudson, president of FlyersRights.org. “The name of the bill is just the start of the false advertising.”

Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the Business Travel Coalition, doesn’t mince words: “It’s a terrible bill on every level.”

***

Supporters of state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, received an unusual email from him on Monday. Call it an anti-campaign message.

“[F]or the first time in eight years, I have a primary opponent,” Peake wrote. “So, normally, I would be sending an email asking for donations for my campaign.”

But Peake said he considers himself in a “strong financial position” for his re-election. By which he meant he had $131,801.83 in the bank as of March 31.

“So, I’m going to make an unusual request – don’t donate to my campaign right now, but if you have the resources, I’m asking to give to the Journey of Hope Fund,” he continued.

This is the non-profit group established to help Georgia families with travel and living expenses to move to Colorado to obtain cannabis oil for their children with seizure disorders. Peake sponsored the medicinal marijuana bill that failed in this year’s session of the Legislature.

***

ProPublica has a deep look at why Congress does not allow the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta to study gun violence. It leads with an apparent turnabout from Jack Kingston:

For nearly 20 years, Congress has pushed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to steer clear of firearms violence research. As chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that traditionally sets CDC funding, Kingston has been in a position to change that. Soon after Sandy Hook, Kingston said he had spoken to the head of the agency. “I think we can find some common ground,” Kingston said.

More than a year later, as Kingston competes in a crowded Republican primary race for a U.S. Senate seat, the congressman is no longer talking about common ground.

In a statement to ProPublica, Kingston said he would oppose a proposal from President Obama for $10 million in CDC gun research funding. “The President’s request to fund propaganda for his gun-grabbing initiatives though the CDC will not be included in the FY2015 appropriations bill,” Kingston said.

***

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun has picked up a Senate race endorsement from Special Operations Speaks PAC, the group that organized a protest against National Park Service barriers at the World War Two memorial during the government shutdown.

Said retired Air Force Col. Dick Brauer, co-founder of the group: “We have no doubt he will go to the Senate and demand answers on Benghazi.”

***
That website attacking U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue? This one, we mean. It appears to have some connection to this Ron Paul website and a Paul Broun supporter, our detectives tell us.

***

Former Dalton Mayor David Pennington’s hijacked “major announcement” last week forced him to take a step he wasn’t quite expecting: A pledge to release five years of past tax returns.

Yet Pennington’s decision, forced in part after questioning by Gov. Nathan Deal’s attorney, also raised questions about whether the governor would do the same.

Deal told us on Monday that he would, indeed, release his tax returns as the campaign heats up. He said he released decades of tax statements ahead of his 2010 election and will “follow the same pattern” this time around.

State schools superintendent John Barge, another GOP contender, also sent word Monday through his chief of staff that he will release three years of his tax statements. (There’s not much to see, we’re promised.)

We still haven’t heard from the campaign of Democrat Jason Carter, but we’ll update when we do.

A similar challenge has already become a mini-drama in the Senate race, with three Republicans releasing their tax returns but businessman David Perdue, a former Fortune 500 chief executive worth millions, so far unwilling to do so.

***

We missed this the other day, but businessman Eugene Yu is the first on the air in the 12th District GOP race to face John Barrow. It’s a bio spot:

***

Republican Karen Handel fired off a new attack today against her most bitter rival that asks “who is the real David Perdue?”

It questions his business record and his role on the board of Alliant Energy. Says campaign manager Corry Bliss: “How can we trust David to keep his promises in office if he can’t keep them now?”

***

Our AJC colleague Jeremy Redmon reports that Landmark Communications and Rosetta Stone Communications on Monday released a self-assigned poll showing Barry Loudermilk and Bob Barr in a statistical tie for the 11th District congressional race – but with Loudermilk in the lead.

Loudermilk, a former state senator from Cassville, registered support from 25 percent of likely Republican primary voters in the district, which stretches from Atlanta to Bartow and Cherokee counties.

Barr, the former congressman, received 23 percent; Tricia Pridemore, an entrepreneur from Marietta, won 11 percent; and state Rep. Ed Lindsey of Buckhead got 8 percent.

The poll surveyed 500 likely GOP primary voters in the district on April 17. The poll’s margin of error is 4.5 percentage points.

Landmark’s Mark Rountree said the two firms conducted the poll on their own volition. “It wasn’t paid for by anybody,” he said.

The poll could tempt both Lindsey and Pridemore to view Barr as the candidate who stands between them and a runoff berth following the May 20 primary. But Barr’s campaign manager/son said the poll is “not something to worry about.”

“The Barr campaign has conducted our own polling, and it shows us with a comfortable lead,” the younger Barr said.

***

oneofusMere geography can make so much difference in how a message is perceived. A reader sent us the following work of campaign art that she saw on a Facebook page for a Forsyth County homeowners association, touting Mike William’s GOP primary challenge against state Sen. Jack Murphy, R-Cumming.

“He is one of us” is merely a statement of solidarity in most places. But in Forsyth County, from which African-Americans were once expelled, it can mean something entirely different.

The ad, in fact, is not the work of the Williams campaign, said spokesman and manager Seth Weathers.

“If I’m going to pay for a campaign ad, it’s going to make sense,” he said. The ad is the unauthorized work of a Williams supporter – who was out to underline Williams’ membership in the homeowners association, Weathers said.

“There’s no ill intent behind it,” Weathers said.

 

 

 

66 comments
LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

BTW, what are you crybabies whining about?  When I'm on the Delta website or Expedia, the total price is what's displayed in big letters.  Do all those other numbers frighten and confuse you?  Grow up.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

Tom Graves is standing up for citizens' rights to see how much their government costs.  Liberal fascists would prefer to bury that information.  Thank you, Representative Graves!

JAWJA
JAWJA

So, did Graves and Chip ever pay off the loan on their Roach Motel?  Of course not.  Laws are not for Republicans.  

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

"Tom Graves takes airlines' side"

Of course he does.  But hey, he hates Obama and the gays and  Those People.

So, as tiny dog says, he will easily win re-election, despite the fact that he stiffed the taxpayers.

And our representative democratic republic continues to slouch towards oligarchy.

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

The vast majority of Graves' constituents have never bought an airline ticket and may never will, and this is another example of what a do nothing Houses has a focus.

petel
petel

Baumer_1,  I know most of the other clowns in the Senate race won't allow funding either.  I'm not sure about Perdue and Nunn.  You can be pro-gun and still support common sense legislation that a vast majority of people want, including NRA members. 

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

I am surprised that Jim hasn't posted anything about the federal lawsuit filed against the Gwinnett and Fulton Country Probate Courts over the GA same-sex marriage ban.


It is a ripe case...and has Supreme Court 2015 session written all over it.  With the striking down of DOMA, it is time for the SCOTUS to give us some insight into whether or not it is constitutional for states to continue discriminating against same-sex couples and/or if states are allowed to discriminate against churches that believe in marriage-equality.

It is hard to say what will happen at this stage in the game.  There is plenty of precedent built up now for the district court to strike down the law as unconstitutional...as it very clearly violates the equal protection clause and the establishment clause (if they can get such a plaintiff since they are seeking class-action status).

 


Baumer_1
Baumer_1

Harp on Kingston all you like about not allowing CDC to research one of the greatest public health risks facing the U.S...none of the other teatards in that race will allow it either.


Heck, given their anti-science platform (especially anti-evolutionary theory) I am surprised they haven't entirely defunded CDC and stripped anti-biotic and vaccine producing pharmaceutical companies of their tax credits (in case this fell deaf on your ears, anti-biotics and vaccines are predicted by evolutionary theory and their invention was the result of confirming the theory's validity).

AvailableName
AvailableName

I think Tom Graves is a bit disingenuous in his professed fear that the proposed law "requires airlines to hide taxes, surcharges, and fees from consumers."  


Want to solve the problem so that everyone but the airlines is happy?


Require that the airlines show the full price, the base price and all fees and taxes. 


Then we'll find out if Rep. Graves is genuinely concerned or is just a water boy for the airlines.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Purdue, by the way of his opposition is the only republican that does not come off as a dud, idiot or total bs artist.

hobbit57
hobbit57

Tom Graves is my congressman.  I would call him a wh*re, but that would be defaming good hardworking prostitutes everywhere.

petel
petel

Well, honested, the voters in Graves' district don't care that he is a crook.  He's a Republican which is all that matters.  The fact that he's crooked, unethical, and favors corporations and big money over individuals matters not.

Kingston is fast losing my vote.  The fact that the CDC is not allowed to study gun violence, one of the most serious public health problems we have, is ludicrous.

Karen Handel is obviously getting desperate.  The woman is not Senator material, and she knows that most people know that.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Graves is considered a thief by Bartow Bank stockholders, who lost their investment when he and Chip Rodgers stole, or defaulted on their 2 million dollar loan.  Why wouldn't a congressman pay his debts ? 

td1234
td1234

Graves will win re-election by more than 30 points in his district (if he even has a general election democrat to run against) so what is the purpose of the article?


Could it be because you did not want to write about Carter coming out on MSNBC yesterday favoring the gun bill and the confederate battle flag on our car tags?  

honested
honested

Remember, poor tom graves still needs a favor from the financial industry so they won't hound him.


Maybe being a supplicant to the airlines helps pay off the favor.

SmartAleck
SmartAleck

Buckhead Ed is having problems appealing to the folks in Bartow County.  

Tricia Pridemore comes across as a purely political opportunist. 

Bob Barr--Is he Libertarian?  Anti-military?  Isolationist?  Too Old?  

Loudermilk--He just exudes honesty and family values. the longer this race continues, the more Loudermilk's appealing character will come out.


I don't have a dog in this fight...but I do know Barry Loudermilk is a fine man with the morals as strong as an oak. 

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Graves helping corporations over constituents is an example of why I have voted against both Isakson and Chambliss.

Broun attacking Perdue only makes me like Perdue more.

The only "mini-drama" about Perdue not releasing his income taxes comes from Handel and the AJC, neither of which is going to change his standing.

The Barr and Loudermilk poll is not meaningful yet with so many undecided.


td1234
td1234

@CherokeeCounty  Yes and Obama stops the Keystone pipeline because a billionaire in SF promises to donate $100 million to Democrats. 

NOlongerRepublican
NOlongerRepublican

@hobbit57  He was mine too until they did the redistricting. Gosh what a waste of a congressman! Not a single good idea yet...just follows along that crazy party line ALL the time. Nothing original, nothing new...just always stupid.

NWGAL
NWGAL

He is my Rep too. What a cross to bear!

honested
honested

@petel  

karen handel appears to have started at 'desperate'.

When this fails, she will have to find a real JOB that involves some sort of MARKETABLE SKILL. What an exercise in futility that will be!

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

@Jefferson1776  

Well, perhaps you should look into the differential treatment the wealthy get.  Apparently it is real.  

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@td1234  

The purpose was to see how quick you would whine and squeal.  


Appears to have worked

honested
honested

@td1234  

30 points.

Does that suggest an unusual acceptance of lacking personal financial responsibility in his district?

Or does it mean the voters don't comprehend he is a crook?

DannyX
DannyX

@td1234 , way to run away from the issue td.  I see you're doing your impression of The_Centrist.

PoliticalOutsider
PoliticalOutsider

Loudermilk is just like Tom Graves. Nice Christian men who have never held a real job in their life. Graves cut grass before getting elected, Loudermilk has a computer business that couldn't pay the rent so now he lectures on the Constitution even though his educational training is from a bible college.

Both are living off their position as public servants. Both are political whackos. Ultra right wing, tin foil hat guys who preach the fears of Agenda 21, red light cameras and flourscent light bulbs. They know to speak only of more guns, more Jesus in schools, and hatred of Obamacare. Neither one has ever had an original thought. They just regurgitate the Tea Party manifesto. Time for both to get off the public dole.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@The_Centrist That executive experience is invaluable to people like dah centrist and td. Now Obama was a magna cum laude  Harvard Law graduate, community organizer, a state and US senator, but that is not the qualifications the teatards want. 

They think that what this state needs is a man of deal's executive skills. After all, it takes a special person to run a junkyard, as deal did. So many executive decisions have to be made, swift actions taken, junkyard dogs have to be fed and looked after. The pressure of the job is excruciatingly intense. 

That's the kind of expertise the cons are looking for, someone to handle the junkyard dogs comprising the repuppy caucus in the legislature, and who will model the state after his business, the junkyard.

DannyX
DannyX

@The_Centrist, how can you support Perdue?  Your excuse for not backing Nunn is she has no experience.  Perdue has less political experience than Nunn.


Perdue has no political experience.

vote jimbo
vote jimbo

@LilBarryBailoutnote


The law would unravel a Department of Transportation regulation called the full-fare advertising rule, which was supported by consumer groups and passengers and upheld by courts. It required airlines to quote a fare that included all taxes and fees. That rule, airlines contend, doesn't protect consumers but allows the government to bury tax spikes inside a ticket price.

So in essence Tom Graves is killing the consumer protections to bury tax spikes inside your next ticket.  What else would you expect from a Congressman that represents big business, but not the people.

BuckheadBoy
BuckheadBoy

@td1234 @CherokeeCounty Except that Tom Steyer hasn't promised to donate $100 million to Democrats. But, if you want to talk about cause and effect where the "cause" is factual, why don't we start with the hundreds of millions that Big Fossil showers on Congress each year and receives billions in federal subsidies.

honested
honested

@td1234 @CherokeeCounty 

Could it be that the President has decided that the will of the hydrocarbon extraction industry just might not correlate with what is BEST for the Nation?

td1234
td1234

@NWGAL  Graves is my Rep and I am very happy with the way he Represents me in Washington and since I contributed to his campaign he has always taken my calls and listened to my concerns. 

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@honested   Maybe the government will want to break up AT&T again. If so, they can make her CEO of the company. Her track record of destroying a viable, thriving organization will make her a great candidate.

handel's first job in politics was being a hand maiden to marilyn quayle, so maybe she can find similar work in that area. I'd say this makes her imminently qualified for changing bed sheets at Motel 6.

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

@AuntieChrist @The_Centrist 

He also worked at BI and served on many boards or directors.  He was also a law professor at U. of Chicago. I don't think there is a soul on Pol Insider smart enough to even get accepted into that school as a student.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@DannyX - I rarely read your posts and reply even less because of your hard left partisanship, but saw this one.  I have often stated that I don't think political experience is necessary to be a Senator or Representative in Congress, and I like the idea of citizen representation.  I expect at least a college degree and work experience.  Executive positions like Governor certainly need more leadership experience.  Jason Carter is still gaining his and will look better to me in 4 more years when there is not an adequate incumbent (in my view - I know not yours).

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

What? 

You mean our resident tea party dude either 1) lied, or 2) blindly repeated tea party lies?

Say it ain't so!!!!

(By the way, Buckhead Boy is correct - google Tom Steyer for yourself - there was no promise for funds only if Obama delayed the pipeline.)

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@honested @td1234 @CherokeeCounty  No.


The hydrocarbons will be extracted regardless.  The only question is...do American workers get paid, or is the oil transported elsewhere?


Your Idiot Messiah's decision is purely political.


Democrats:  Party over country.  Every time.

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

@td1234

Maybe nothing...especially if it happened in her first year.  Studying stuff is important and I know right-wingers are more afraid of knowledge than just about anything else in the universe.  

You see, Democrats (progressives in general) are in favor of studying things rather than just blindly believing an ideology.  

Gun violence is a fact and it costs the U.S. economy a lot of money.  Knowing the extent of this impact is important.

Now, following any recommendations offered by such a study is a completely different animal. 

Kamchak
Kamchak

@td1234

Well since Carter voted for the new gun bill then I would think that was a clear sign. Nunn has said she in a pro gun Democrat.

That doesn't preclude either of them from supporting a CDC study.

Just sayin'.

td1234
td1234

@Baumer_1 @td1234  Well since Carter voted for the new gun bill then I would think that was a clear sign. Nunn has said she in a pro gun Democrat. Let us see what would happen if she was in favor of it? 

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

You have to admit,  his competition are from the island of misfit toys.  I myself will vote for one of the misfits, so Nunn will be the clear choice,  either way it is most likely a south GA person will get this job.

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

@Jefferson1776  

Although I will admit Perdue is probably the least stupid of the bunch.

I seems dirty though. I am not entirely convinced he has the interests of the People in mind with his candidacy. My experience has taught me that greedy business people don't become other-regarding overnight after winning an election.  I fully expect a Sen. Perdue to work hard for his cronies, not the People.

hobbit57
hobbit57

@td1234 No, we lost them under Bush.  Remember Bush? Took us from surplus to fiscal catastrophe.  You remind me of the guy across the road from me, after the election in 2004 he had about twenty Bush stickers on his car.  Of course after Bush and company tanked the economy he lost his job and I bought his house on the courthouse steps for pennies on the dollar. And being as I am an accountant and economist I most certainly do know what is going on in this country.  This state started down the tubes when you folks took over.  Georgia is going back blue and there is not squat you can do about it.  Abject failure isn't rewarded for long.

td1234
td1234

@hobbit57 Paulding county is growing like crazy.


Your Dodge and Chevy dealership closed down because down as part of the Obama bailout so blaming Graves and Republicans just shows how little you know about the events in the country. 

hobbit57
hobbit57

@td1234 So this eminently qualified Republican is

50% of the reason that that bank in Adairsville went under, stuck the people of Gordon County with the demolition bill for his failed Meth Motel, and has done little or nothing besides vote against Obamacare.  Calhoun is DYING.  The only people who are opening up businesses are the Hispanics, we don't have a movie theater anymore, if you have a Dodge or a Chevy you have to drive 25 miles to get it worked on  because we lost both those make's dealerships.  What has that thief done about that?  Nothing, except line his own pocket. Thing of it is I can remember when our little town was busting at the seams, when Clinton was president and the Democrats were running this state.

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@td1234 @DannyX 

Someone is still but hurt over the 2008 and 2012 elections.

Hold on td, you only have 2.5 yrs of Obama then Hillary will be on deck so you can spew your rhetoric at her.

LOLOLOLOLOLOOL

Kamchak
Kamchak

@The_Centrist  

 Executive positions like Governor certainly need more leadership experience. 

Moving the goalposts

Just sayin'.

honested
honested

@td1234 @DannyX 

Community organizer - DRINK

But tiny dog, pray tell how many concerned Georgians could any of the seven dwarfs bring together for any useful purpose?

Charles50
Charles50

@td1234 @DannyX  How many times will you Repugs ignore ALL of the rest of the President's bio?  And if being a Community Organizer was all he had done, he obviously made damn good use of the skill to get elected--twice!

DannyX
DannyX

@The_Centrist, I'm not going anywhere.  You can pretend to ignore me all you want.  I'll be right here calling out your bs.

DannyX
DannyX

@td1234, at least you are not a coward that runs away when confronted!


I'll take a community organizer over a failed businessman governor with major ethics problems any day.


I'll take a community organizer over a a business exec with no political experience that shipped hundreds of jobs out of the country any day.


I'll take a community organizer over a president that had  experience as a governor and experience as a failed businessman who wound up leading us into the greatest economic crisis since the depression any day.

td1234
td1234

@DannyX  How many times do you need to be told that being a community organizer is not real experience at running anything?

DannyX
DannyX

@The_Centrist, you read my posts but usually run away and hide when confronted.  The fact that you openly communicate with far-right partisans around here proves that you are nothing but a far right partisan yourself.


You have stated numerous times that Nunn's lack of experience is the reason you won't support her.  Just an excuse so you can pretend to be a centrist.


You also support Gov Deal, who is about the worst businessman ever to hold the office of governor.  You are all over the place, always zig zagging back to the right wing.