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Posts Tagged ‘Georgia’

Rainy Day Funds tough to use in some states


While budget deficits threaten to cripple government services across the country, a handful of states with billions of dollars socked away in “rainy day” funds for troubled financial times are discovering they can’t use that money to offset their cuts.

Amid the worst financial crisis facing states in decades, stringent rules governing the use of reserve funds have tied the hands of lawmakers in nearly a dozen states even as they consider raising taxes, slashing health and social services and shuttering education programs.

About three-fourths of states have used rainy day funds in the past three years to alleviate budget cuts, but some have had difficulty accessing the money or have shied away from doing so. They would have to repay it quickly or were worried it would hurt their bond ratings.

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New GA AG Off to Fast Start


The Georgia Attorney General’s Office now has a Facebook page and is on Twitter and, in just the past month, has issued more press releases than it did all of last year.

Sam Olens, the former Cobb County Commission chairman, has presented himself repeatedly on the public stage as the state’s new top lawyer. His style is especially noticeable when comparing the Republican to his Democratic predecessor, Thurbert Baker — not for party but for personality.

Baker, who resigned to run an unsuccessful campaign for governor, rarely took questions from the media and infrequently drew attention to the AG office’s accomplishments.

For example, Baker sent out 11 press releases last year, six fewer than in 2009, according to the office’s website. Since Olens took the oath of office Jan. 10, he has posted 13.

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GA: Lawmaker leaves Democrat Party, Joins the GOP

From the Augusta Chronicle:

One of the last of the breed, state Rep. Alan Powell of Hartwell, switched parties Monday, joining the House Republican Caucus.

Powell, first elected in 1990, was one of the few rural Democrats who survived the GOP takeover of state government in 2002 and 2004. He did not respond to requests for comment, but said in August that he would consider becoming a Republican if Nathan Deal became governor because Democrats would lose all hope of regaining power.

“If Roy Barnes doesn’t win it in November, you can probably stick a fork in the Democratic movement, because we will not be able to come back for a generation or more,” he told the Banner-Herald.

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GA: Tight Race for Attorney General


For seven decades, Georgia governors have appointed a series of AGs who stood as incumbents and won re-election. This time, however, current Attorney General Thurbert Baker will step down at the end of the year because he chose not to seek re-election, instead running for governor and losing in the Democratic primary.

There are two well-financed campaigns vying to succeed Baker. Democrat Ken Hodges, who spent 12 years as a South Georgia district attorney, is facing Republican Sam Olens, the former Cobb County Commission chairman. Savannah lawyer Don Smart, the Libertarian candidate, hopes to be a spoiler and force a runoff.

The AG’s race may be one of the best chances for a Democrat to win a statewide race this year, said Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University.

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GA: Lt. Governor Candidates Roll out TV Ads

From VDT:

The two major party candidates for Georgia lieutenant governor are rolling out their first statewide television ads of the campaign season.

In an ad set to hit the airwaves Monday, incumbent Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle stresses the importance of education for the state’s future.

Democratic challenger Carol Porter on Sunday launched her first television spot. It introduces Porter as a Georgia native, a mother of four Eagle Scouts, a Sunday school teacher and general manager of nine Georgia newspapers.

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GA: Romney Stumps for Republican AG Candidate

From the Augusta Chronicle:

Romney was in Atlanta on Thursday stumping for statewide GOP candidates including Sen. Johnny Isakson and Sam Olens, candidate for attorney general. Romney is scheduled to headline a fundraiser for Isakson during his visit.

“I made a commitment to help in key races,” Romney said when asked why he had come to Georgia to help the junior senator get elected to his second term, saying that Isakson is “doing better and better.”

“I’m surprised at just how well he’s done,” Romney said.

When asked about his predictions for the November midterm elections, Romney stopped short of handicapping the races.

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Early Voting Begins in Georgia

From the WashingtonExaminer:

Think you might not be able to make it to the polls on election day? Get your vote in early.

Early voting for the Nov. 2 general election began Friday in some Georgia counties and will be open all over the state Monday.

There are early voting locations all over the state. Voters can check the secretary of state’s office website for early voting locations and hours.

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Georgia: Republican Lt. Governor holds Big Lead


When it comes to the lieutenant governor’s race, it’s no surprise incumbent Republican Casey Cagle rises to the top.

In a poll commissioned by the Georgia Newspaper Partnership, Cagle took 47 percent, almost 20 percentage points ahead of Democrat Carol Porter, who pulled in 28 percent. Libertarian Dan Barber carved out 5 percent. But a striking 20 percent of voters polled are still undecided.

The poll was conducted this week by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research and surveyed 625 Georgians likely to vote in
November’s general election.

Political experts pointed to a lack of campaigning in the

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Poll in Georgia shows Republicans Leading in top 5 races

From 13WMAZ:

A statewide poll conducted for 13WMAZ shows Republican Nathan Deal leading in the race for governor.

In the SurveyUSA poll, Deal had the support of 49 percent of likely voters, Democrat Roy Barnes had 38 percent and Libertarian candidate John Monds had 9 percent.

Four percent of voters in the poll said they were undecided.

The poll’s margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points. The poll was taken Friday through Sunday and the results cover 599 registered voters who said they were likely to vote in the fall election for governor.

In the Governor’s race, 54 percent of independents supported Deal, while 34 percent favored Barnes. John Monds picked up support of 18 percent of independents.

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GA: Sam Olens Wins GOP Runoff for Attorney General


Former Cobb County Commission Chairman Sam Olens on Tuesday won a hard-fought runoff for the Republican nomination for state attorney general.

Olens defeated state Sen. Preston Smith of Rome by a wide margin thanks to landslide support in his home county and in Cherokee, DeKalb and Fulton counties. Smith called and conceded the race at about 9 p.m., Olens said.

“He was very gracious and said he wanted to help me defeat Ken Hodges,” Olens said. “I greatly appreciate his support and kind words.”

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