In Georgia, Mike Pence to face questions over Donald Trump’s immigration policy

A sign welcoming Mike Pence to Georgia in downtown Atlanta. Special.

A sign welcoming Mike Pence to Georgia in downtown Atlanta. Special.

As Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence begins a two-day unity tour in Georgia, he’ll face new questions about Donald Trump’s immigration stance.

The GOP nominee is set to deliver what he tweeted was a “major speech on ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION” on Wednesday in Arizona. But Pence has struggled in the interim to explain the New York businessman’s changing rhetoric. And he could face another test on Monday at the site of his first rally in at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry.

The middle Georgia town is an agricultural hub, and Trump’s promise of a new immigration crackdown could alienate some farmers who fear a labor shortage if they can’t rely on undocumented workers.

Pence, meanwhile, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that Trump’s immigration platform hadn’t changed since the primaries, even though Trump suggested last week he may not follow through with his plan to remove the 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

“Nothing has changed about Donald Trump’s position on dealing with immigration,” the Indiana governor said.

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That breeze you felt over the weekend might have been a collective sigh of relief from Georgia policymakers that Alabama’s plans for a lottery were once again scuttled.

A chunk of the Georgia Lottery’s revenue comes from residents across the state line in Alabama, and state officials were closely watching Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s latest effort to launch a lottery to boost the state’s flailing budget. When a vote to allow a referendum on the lottery next door failed, there were muffled cheers from Georgians.

Here’s more from AL.com:

The lottery proposal, if approved by voters, would have sent almost 90 percent of net lottery revenue to the state General Fund, with the first $100 million of that going to Medicaid.

Ten percent of the net revenue would have gone to education. One percent was earmarked for volunteer fire departments.

“I just can’t believe that the Legislature would not allow the people of the state of Alabama to vote on this issue. I just believe that the Legislature needs to trust the people more,” Bentley said.

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Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp turned down an offer from the federal government to help prevent hackers from manipulating the November election.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp. AJC file/Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

Secretary of State Brian Kemp. AJC file/Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

The Republican told Politico why in an interview that accused President Barack Obama’s administration of playing up warnings over cyberthreats.

From Politico:

“It seems like now it’s just the D.C. media and the bureaucrats, because of the DNC getting hacked — they now think our whole system is on the verge of disaster because some Russian’s going to tap into the voting system,” Kemp, a Republican, told POLITICO in an interview. “And that’s just not — I mean, anything is possible, but it is not probable at all, the way our systems are set up.”

Still, Kemp accused the news media and the federal bureaucracy of raising unwarranted fears of election cyberattacks at the worst possible time.

“It would have been nice for us to have been brought into this situation beforehand to get the perspective,” he said, “because quite honestly, all this did was help blow a lot of things out of proportion, and now every election official across the country’s having to deal with these issues in the middle of a presidential election.”

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A group of 15 Georgia military veterans released an open letter to Georgia voters Monday that casts Donald Trump as “dangerously clueless” and a threat to the U.S. Constitution.

Here’s a snippet of the letter, distributed by VoteVets.org, a national veterans organization that opposes Trump:

Donald Trump is a domestic threat to our Constitutional Republic.

Not all of us see eye-to-eye with Hillary Clinton.  But for all of our serious issues with her over policy, we do not believe she will be hostile to the heart of our way of life – the Constitution of the United States.   Donald Trump will be hostile.  What’s worse, he has not even tried to hide it.

In four years, with a Republican candidate who is not a threat to our Constitution, this country can have a referendum on the Presidency of Hillary Clinton.  But, this year, in this election, all of us stand ready to continue our oath, and do all we legally can to ensure that a threat like Donald Trump never seizes power.

Read the rest here.

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There’s no mention of a potential run for governor in 2018, but Roll Call’s exit interview with Coweta County GOP congressman Lynn Westmoreland does include this amusing nugget about his most memorable moment on Capitol Hill:

“I’d been here about two months [in 2005] and had a meeting at the Capitol. I wasn’t that familiar with the Capitol and the staff member I had wasn’t that familiar with the Capitol. Somehow, we got into the speaker’s office and I noticed a lot of people had on their Secret Service buttons and just a ton of security there. And I thought, “What’s going on?” I walked into the room and there was President [George W.] Bush and Jackie Robinson’s widow standing there. They were fixing to give him the Congressional Gold Medal. It was those two in the room and me and I said, “I think I’m in the wrong meeting.” President Bush said, “Probably.” I walked back outside and the Secret Service already escorted my staff member back out in the hall. Just kind of showed you that these little buttons can get you in a lot of places that you might not be supposed to be at.”


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