Political Notes – Barr says his poll shows him with the edge

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Bob Barr is evidently trying to psyche out the opposition in the 11th Congressional District’s Republican primary.

Barr’s campaign released an internal poll this week that it said shows the former congressman with higher name ID and approval numbers than his GOP opponents: House Majority Whip Edward Lindsey, state Sen. Barry Loudermilk and Tricia Pridemore.

The poll conducted by Kellyanne Conway of the Polling Company claims a 93 percent name ID for Barr, 56 percent favorables among self-identified tea party voters and 55 percent favorables among self-identified conservatives.

“Competitors will need to spend considerable time and money to introduce themselves and their policy positions to primary voters across the district,” said Jeff Breedlove in a polling memo.

The usual caveats about internal polls released by candidates apply.

Support for background checks

In other polling news, Public Policy Polling (PPP) says a survey of Georgia, Arkansas and Tennessee voters indicates strong support in those southern states for background checks on prospective gun buyers.

“In Georgia there’s 71/22 support for them, in Tennessee it’s 67/26, and in Arkansas it’s 60/31,” said PPP, a Democratic polling firm.

“Female voters that the Republican Party really needs to reach out to if it’s going to be successful moving forward are even more supportive of background checks,” PPP said. “They favor them 81/12 in Georgia, 73/21 in Tennessee, and 67/25 in Arkansas.”

Breaking down the Georgia results a little more, PPP said:  “In Georgia Democrats favor them 82/10, independents do 67/27, and Republicans do 63/30.”

Is he really going?

It’s been reported by numerous media outlets that Mike Berlon is leaving his post as state chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, but there seems to be skepticism among some people that he’s really going to depart.

Over on the Democratic website Blog for Democracy, one of the posters comments: “Chairman Berlon HAS NOT resigned. He has announced his PLANS to resign. This may seem to be a minor detail, but it’s worth consideration.”

Jim Galloway at the AJC quotes Liz Flowers to the effect that Berlon plans to attend a Democratic National Committee meeting on June 8 in the role of state party chairman – even though the executive committee of the state party is supposed to meet on June 6 to discuss his status as chairman.

Then there’s this email sent out by one of the higher-ups in the party organization:

One thing needs to be perfectly clear: Mike Berlon has not resigned.

In fact, we have substantial reason to believe that he has no intention to do so in any expedient matter, and may well consign himself to “riding this out.” First, I have been told that he is not planning to resign before a State Committee Meeting, which will occur in July, and even that is tenuous. Additionally, I have been told that Mike Berlon will be attending a DNC Meeting on June 8 in his current capacity as Chairman.

There are still a ton of unanswered questions, and there will be a motion next Thursday in an effort to force an immediate resignation. This whole “prepare to resign” thing is malarkey, because he does not have any plans to resign right now.

Quick response

Rep. Regina Quick (R-Athens) was one of a handful of Republican legislators who got comparatively low grades from the Georgia Chamber of Commerce in its annual scorecard ranking of lawmakers.

While most Republicans in the Legislature received grades at the A-plus level because of their votes on scorecard issues supported by the chamber, Quick was only given a grade of C-plus.

She’s pushing back on that assessment in this statement to supporters (thanks to Nick Coltrain of the Athens Banner-Herald for initially reporting it) –

Many of you have asked for my thoughts about the recent media coverage surrounding the Georgia Chamber of Commerce scorecard.

Special interest groups contribute tens of thousands of dollars directly to politicians as campaign contributions and spend even more on lobbying to advance an agenda. The citizens of the 117th sent me to Atlanta to stand up and speak out for principles of good government and fiscal responsibility. Missives which hit my desk on the House floor from the Georgia Chamber of Commerce the day of a vote which include “THIS WILL BE A SCORECARD ISSUE” do not influence my analysis of legislation and, frankly, don’t impress me much.

HB 318 (which extends state tax credits for so-called “angel investors” and created the Invest Georgia Fund, a public-private venture capital account) creates a framework for unelected bureaucrats and political appointees to choose business ventures upon which to bestow millions of taxpayer funds and tax credits in difficult budget times. Decisions are made with no meaningful guidelines and zero accountability for failure. Tax dollars should not be the subject of high stakes gambling (see Solyndra) and should not be used to create government control and undue influence in the private sector. Nor should government be in the business of picking winners and losers as a venture capital investment fund.

SB 24 (the so-called Hospital Bed Tax, which allows the Department of Community Health to levy a fee on care providers to fill a hole in the state Medicaid budget) is an appropriations and revenue bill which did not originate in the House — a violation of the Georgia Constitution. These provider taxes are part of an elaborate shell game between the state and federal government to maximize tax dollars used for Medicaid. These health care related taxes (and the payments are in fact specifically defined as taxes by the Code of Federal Regulations) are not monopoly money. But instead of tackling the train wreck which is the Georgia Medicaid system, SB 24 “kicks the can down the road” and delegates more discretion to the Department of Community Health while operating deficits continue unabated under the direction of this government agency.

As a small government conservative, these pieces of legislation seem destined to immediately result in more government control, higher taxes and interference with a free market economy. Such an outcome would violate what I believe are core principles of the Republican Party and I voted accordingly.

Pulte’s coming

The homebuilding company PulteGroup Inc. said it will relocate its corporate headquarters from Michigan to Atlanta, resulting in an estimated expenditure of $10 million and the shift of 310 jobs.

The company’s new corporate headquarters will fill up about 100,000 square feet of Class A office space in the Buckhead area, with the relocation scheduled to occur in 2014.

PulteGroup Inc., operates the brands Pulte Homes, Centex Homes and Del Webb. It is one of the nation’s leading homebuilding companies and No. 501 on the Fortune 1,000 list.

Nautical honors

There’s a long tradition in Georgia of naming roads, bridges and highway interchanges in honor of state legislators, but the folks at the College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick took a different tack in recognizing the contributions of Rep. Joe Wilkinson (R-Sandy Springs).

The college recently dedicated a yardarm flagpole – a flagpole with a horizontal spar used to display nautical flags — in the center of Alaimo Plaza and named it in honor of Wilkinson, a retired captain in the U.S. Naval Reserves.

“There’s nobody who’s been a bigger cheerleader for the college and expansion,” said Valerie Hepburn, the outgoing president of Coastal Georgia.

© 2013 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: 11th Congressional District , Barry Loudermilk , Bob Barr , Ed Lindsey , Georgia Chamber of Commerce , Pulte homebuilders , Regina Quick , Tricia Pridemore