Political Notes – Carter, Woodall say no to Iran deal

[private]The Obama administration sent the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran to Congress on Sunday, with Republicans in Georgia’s House delegation already pushing back on it.

Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Gwinnett County) is co-sponsoring a House resolution that opposes the deal the U.S., France, Russia, United Kingdom and Germany signed off on with Iran.

“The consequences of a bad deal with Iran are far greater for Israel, the United States and our allies throughout the region than no deal at all – and this is unfortunately a bad deal,” Woodall said.

“Rather than strike a deal granting billions of dollars in sanctions relief that will help pave the way for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon in the future, the president should be focused on convincing the other P5+1 nations that the original goal of the sanctions was right, and we must stay the course until Iran shows that it can be a trusted global participant,” Woodall said.

Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Pooler) said that 88.4 percent of the responses he has received from constituents in the 1st Congressional District are also in opposition to the proposed deal.

“The agreement doesn’t even meet the standards of President Obama’s former advisors,” Carter said. “Former Obama Administration officials released a letter just weeks ago expressing their concerns that the agreement will not prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapons capability. When President Obama’s own advisors speak out against the deal, you know there is a problem.”

Congress has 60 days to review the nuclear agreement, but Obama has already said he will veto a Congressional rejection of the deal. That would then require a two-thirds vote in both houses for the veto to be overridden.

Special election endorsements

In the special election runoff for Georgia’s House District 80, Republican J. Max Davis has picked up endorsements from former GOP congressman Jack Kingston, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and numerous Republican lawmakers.

His Democratic opponent, Taylor Bennett, has been endorsed by one of the state’s leading LGBT organizations, Georgia Equality, in part because of Bennett’s opposition to a “religious freedom” bill that many Republicans will be supporting in the next legislative session.

“A large part of why I decided to seek this office has been the Republican Party’s insistence on pursuing legislation that would allow for individuals to discriminate against the LGBT community on religious grounds,” Bennett said.

“As the son of a gay mother and a brother to a gay sister, I cannot and will not stand idly by while our state legislature attempts to legalize discrimination in any form against any group of Georgians,” Bennett said, adding that he will “oppose any attempts to curtail the rights of the LGBT community or permit discrimination in any form.”

JQC picks new director

The Judicial Qualifications Commission, which investigates complaints of misconduct by Georgia judges, has selected a new director who is scheduled to start work Sept. 1 – Mark Dehler, a Hiawassee attorney who formerly practiced in Decatur.

Dehler currently is serving as the special master appointed by the Georgia Supreme Court to oversee the complaint filed last year by the State Bar of Georgia alleging unprofessional conduct by House Speaker David Ralston.

As the JQC director, Dehler will replace Ronnie Joe Lane, who resigned last April after the Daily Report, a legal newspaper, published an article detailing Lane’s arrangement in which he was paid the equivalent of a fulltime salary while drawing a state pension as a retired judge.

Dehler, a graduate of Emory University law school, is married to former secretary of state Cathy Cox, the president of Young Harris College in Towns County.

Guilty pleas in food stamp fraud

Two store operators have pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit food stamp fraud through their Atlanta-area food stores, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

According to federal prosecutors, Rodney Byrd and Reginald Byrd unlawfully purchased more than $5.7 million in vouchers of the Georgia Women, Infants and Children (“WIC”) program and debit cards of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”).

Rodney Byrd owned and operated stores named “Tweet Baby Tweet,” “Chicos and Chicas Variety Store,” and “Tweets, Treats, and Nic Nacs.” Reginald Byrd managed at least one of these stores, prosecutors said.

“The scheme induced customers to forego infant formula and other necessary products in exchange for cash at less than face value of the vouchers,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn. “They put their own financial profit above the physical needs of low-income mothers and children.”

Rodney Byrd, 39, of Lawrenceville and Reginald Byrd, 38, of College Park will be scheduled Oct. 13 before U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May.

© 2015 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Buddy Carter , food stamp fraud , Iran nuclear deal , JQC , Mark Dehler , Max Davis , Rob Woodall , same-sex marriages , Special Election , Taylor Bennett