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Greg BluesteinJim Galloway

Powerful state lawmaker calls for Georgia Tech president’s ouster

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Georgia Tech president Bud Peterson testifies at a committee meeting called by State Rep. Earl Ehrhart. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Georgia Tech president Bud Peterson testifies at a committee meeting called by State Rep. Earl Ehrhart. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

The war between state Rep. Earl Ehrhart and Georgia Tech over how the way the school handles accusations of sexual assault just got kicked up a notch or two.

The Powder Springs Republican, who chairs the House committee in charge of funding Georgia universities, said Tech president Bud Peterson should resign over his school’s sexual complaint process, which he said fails to give accused students due process. Ehrhart also said he tried to send Peterson a message by slashing the school’s request for a $47 million building.

Elle Dieal holds a sign at Liberty Plaza near the Georgia State Capitol building during a rally to support the new Clean Power Plan (CPP), Wednesday, August 5, 2015, in Atlanta. Finalized by the Obama Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, these protections will help clean up the air, reduce pollution-related respiratory illnesses, and curb the worst effects of climate disruption. BRANDEN CAMP/SPECIALFrom the Marietta Daily Journal:

“It’s such a great school. But the president and the administration are just clueless when it comes to due process on that campus and protecting all those kids. If I have to talk to another brokenhearted mother about their fine son where any allegation is a conviction and they toss these kids out of school after three and a half years, sometimes just before graduation, it’s just tragic.”

Updated: We caught up with Ehrhart this morning to ask if he believed his faith in Peterson could be restored.

“What I want him to do is go in there and do the right thing. I think he can still survive. I don’t have a personal grievance with Bud Peterson, but I do have a problem with what’s happening on Tech’s campus,” he said. “There’s a total lack of due process.”

The legislator said Peterson needs to “clean house and recognize that people are innocent until proven guilty.”

“We grant that to criminals, why not to students?” he asked.

He added:

“My responsibility is to the taxpayers. I can’t throw good money after bad. And I’m not going to fund these individuals who make these decisions. Taking away a $47 million Taj Mahal (the school had proposed a library expansion) is not going to harm the students.”

It’s the latest escalation in a feud between Ehrhart and Tech. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation earlier this year found that Tech had recently been ordered to re-instate a student who had been unfairly accused of sexual assault.

The school, meanwhile, declined to comment.

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Consider this insurance in case the Republican National Convention veers into delegate fight territory.

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland is seeking to buy 2,000 sets of riot gear, including riot-control suits and collapsible batons, as part of the city’s latest move to spend a $50 million federal security grant for July’s Republican National Convention.

The city this week posted to its contracting website a notice seeking bidders to provide the gear. City documents refer to the “Elite Defender” riot-control suit manufactured by HWI Gear and a 26-inch baton manufactured by Monadnock, plus 2,000 bags to carry them.

The city also wants to buy 310 sets of riot-control gear — long-sleeve jackets, gloves and shin guards —  that would be suitable for use by police riding bicycles. (Scroll to the bottom of this post to read the complete specifications for the riot gear.)

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This Twitter fight between state Sen. John Albers, the Roswell Republican who opposed a MARTA expansion bill, and developer Mark Toro, the mastermind behind the Avalon mini-city in Alpharetta, got heated. Quickly.

See for yourself:

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The Democratic field seeking to challenge Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson remains as unsettled as ever. As we reported yesterday, the drought of potential candidates has suddenly turned into a deluge with qualifying set to begin.

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson/AJC file

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson/AJC file

But the Libertarian Party of Georgia has settled on their man: Allen Buckley.

From his Facebook post:

I am very much looking forward to the upcoming general election. I shall offer the voters a candidate who offers financially sound solutions to our nation’s tremendous problems, including elimination of excess regulation, reasonable reduction to entitlements and a greatly simplified tax system that will produce balanced budgets using basic algebra.

More: Democrats come out of the woodwork in Georgia Senate race

More: Read more about Isakson’s reelection strategy. 

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Donald Trump’s state campaign director in Georgia got a new assignment after the billionaire’s sweeping Peach State win.

Brandon Phillips is already in Florida to head the campaign’s north Florida operation ahead of what’s shaping up to be a make-or-break contest for Sen. Marco Rubio in his home state.

More: Inside Donald Trump’s sweeping Georgia primary victory

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is headlining a March 17 fundraiser for Kathy Szeliga, a Maryland Republican running for the U.S. Senate. Her campaign has also signed on former Georgia GOP operative Leslie Shedd, who most recently worked for a Super PAC supporting Carly Fiorina.

 

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