Political Notes — DeVos squeaks through with help of Isakson, Perdue

[private]Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Donald Trump’s education secretary Tuesday on the closest of all possible votes:  51-50, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie, the first time that’s ever happened with a cabinet appointee.

At a moment when every vote counted, Georgia Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue voted for DeVos. The only Republicans to break ranks and vote against the nomination were Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

The controversial DeVos nomination raised hackles among teachers’ and education groups because of her support of charter schools and her disdain for public schools.

“Students, educators, parents, civil rights workers, and special education advocates — here in Georgia and across America — will continue to speak loud and clear that we are here to stay and that we will protect public education,” said Sid Chapman of the Georgia Association of Educators.

Isakson, on the other hand, had nothing but praise for DeVos:  “I appreciate her commitment to parents’ roles in education and school choice, as well as her statement of strong support for ensuring that kids with special needs get a personalized education plan.”

Deal appoints Fulton judge

Gov. Nathan Deal has appointed prosecutor Paige Reese Whitaker as a Fulton County Superior Court Judge, replacing the recently retired Jerry Baxter.

Whitaker is a deputy district attorney with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. She has a bachelor’s degree from the College of Charleston and a law degree from Duke University.

Dispute resolution council

Chief Justice P. Harris Hines of the state Supreme Court has named Justices Keith R. Blackwell and Britt C. Grant as members of the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution.

“The commission is honored that two such accomplished and highly regarded judicial leaders will help guide the commission’s continued work of providing the citizens of Georgia with high-quality, cost-effective alternatives to traditional litigation,” said State Court Judge Charles E. Auslander III of Athens-Clarke County, the commission chairman.

GOP fundraising headliners

Fox TV legal analyst Jeanine Pirro and newly elected RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel will speak at the Georgia Republican Party’s President’s Day Dinner on March 13 at the Georgia Aquarium.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report

Tags: Betsy DeVos , David Perdue , Dispute Resolution Commission , Harris Hines , Johnny Isakson , Nathan Deal