Barry Loudermilk on his rift with Georgia Right to Life

On the premium site, one of us has a look at how freshman U.S. House members Jody Hice, R-Monroe, and Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, are dealing with having so little to show for two months on the job. The piece includes these paragraphs on Loudermilk's dispute with Georgia Right to Life:

Left on the cutting room floor were Loudermilk's extended thoughts on GRTL. In an interview, he described a recent meeting with GRTL president Dan Becker.

"I've been very close to those guys for a long time, and they’re not very happy with me right now simply because I’m like, 'Hey, from a pro-life perspective, do you have to have everything, which you’re not going to get right now? Or do you save those children that you can save?'

"And when they were sitting in my office, I said let's put it into perspective. Mike wasn’t there, but Dan Becker was in there. And I said, 'Look, we can both talk the Bible here openly. I said the scriptures tell us to go to the four corners of the earth and preach that gospel so all men can be saved. Let me ask you a question: Are all men going to be saved?' He said no. I said, 'Then we shouldn’t preach at all. That's what you’re saying.'

"Here at the state level you can be a little bit more aggressive because you have a certain time frame. You have this much time to get something done so you went in there and just put everything you got in there. But just like I said on the [state] Senate floor: We don’t sine die. And instead of 180 attitudes like you have in the [state] House, you’ve got 435 egos you have to deal with. And so things are slower. They do take longer. But there, if you just go running in headfirst and you don’t establish the relationships, establish the credibility with folks, the trust with others, you’re not going to get anywhere. And that’s what we’ve been focused on."

Griffin's response in a phone chat was essentially, it's fine to disagree with GRTL, but the group endorsed and gave its stamp of approval to Loudermilk based on his signing of a pledge that is clear about not allowing rape and incest exemptions:

"He can vote present or vote no, but he cannot vote for it and maintain his endorsement status. ...

"There’s a whole argument out there about what it means to be pro-life and if exceptions are part of it. When a Georgia Right to Life candidate signs that statement, though, you’re saying not only do you agree with that personally, but you’re saying that’s going to be your policy position on your legislation. And then that’s communicated to people for voting, for giving money."

Hice has previously said he will vote present. The bill was supposed to come up in January, but was scrapped after leaders could not cobble together enough votes for it.

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In the march toward the state GOP convention in May, four new county chairs were elected in metro Atlanta on Saturday. Thus sayeth GOP kouren Ryan Mahoney:

-- Rose Wing, Cobb County;

-- Brian Anderson, DeKalb County;

-- Trey Kelly, Fulton County;

-- and Rich Carithers, Gwinnett County.

Along the same lines, the Gwinnett County GOP conducted a presidential straw poll over the weekend, Peach Pundit reports, with the huge edge going to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. The top five with their vote totals:

77 – Scott Walker

20 – Ben Carson

12 – Rand Paul

7 – Ted Cruz

6 – Jeb Bush

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Gov. Nathan Deal’s pitch to give more cachet to the Technical College System of Georgia by renaming it has run into flak from 20 former presidents of the state’s technical colleges, and more besides.

H.B. 315, introduced by state Rep. Chad Nimmer, R-Blackshear, one of the governor’s floor leaders, would change the name of the TCSG to the “Georgia Career College System” – to emphasize its role in training welders, computer programmers, auto assembly line technicians and other much-needed occupations.

According to Lee Shearer of the Athens Banner-Herald, those 20 retired presidents were joined by Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the accrediting agency of technical colleges, in a letter that included this:

“Throughout the United States, there is a hierarchy of institutions that are recognized by the general public ranging from the elite Ivy League institutions to state colleges and universities to technical and community colleges,” Wheelan wrote. “Career colleges are generally not recognized in that hierarchy and if the name of the TCSG were changed, I believe it would not only cause confusion, but would significantly change the perception of the quality of the educational offerings that the system’s institutions have worked years to earn.”

H.B. 315 is now in a Senate committee.

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By now, you know by now which pieces of legislation made the Crossover Day cut.

Walter Jones of Morris News Service compiled a list of some of the key pieces that didn’t make it. Among them were two constitutional amendments that sought to lower the minimum age for election to the Senate from 25 to 21 and for election to the House of Representatives from 21 to 18.

Others would have limited the use of no-knock warrants, restricted the use of drone aircraft and limited where governments could move memorials. You can find Jones' whole list here.

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Drumroll, please: The No. 1 state in the nation to do business in is …California?

Gov. Nathan Deal trumpeted rankings from business magazines that put Georgia among the most business-friendly states in the run-up to his November election.

Now, we have the latest ranking: An award by Bloomberg, bestowed by its former editor-in-chief, naming California as the surprising “best state for business.” Read on here.

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The campaign behind Tuesday’s vote on an $250 million bond referendum in the city of Atlanta has been beyond low-key. Subwoofers have been involved. But here’s the final argument in today’s AJC by Mayor Kasim Reed, which includes this:

Currently, the city faces an infrastructure backlog of more than $900 million. If we do not take this on, it will grow to be $1.5 billion and then $2 billion, and soon, we will face a crisis we cannot solve. Over the next 30 years, studies show, U.S. metros will grow in population by 32 percent or nearly 84 million people. Atlanta’s population is projected to grow by 68 percent by 2042.

And the counter-argument from William Perry, executive director of Common Cause, which includes this:

Before you vote, consider the lack of a finalized project list. Your vote will authorize the funds being raised, but it does not guarantee that certain projects — even the ones discussed at informational meetings held on the issue — will be selected or fully funded. The message from the city has been, “Trust us; we’ll make the right call.”

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More proof that hanging around Congress can be harmful to your political health, from the Washington Post:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned supporters at a rally here Sunday that he and his Likud party may not win Tuesday’s election, a potentially dramatic fall for a consummate political survivor whose nine years in office transformed him into the public face of contemporary Israel.

A loss by Netanyahu — or a razor-thin win and the prospect that he would be forced to enter into an unwieldy “government of national unity” with his rivals — would mark a sobering reversal for Israel’s security hawks, in a country where the electorate has been moving steadily rightward for the past 15 years.

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You know that Rudy Giuliani doesn't think President Barack Obama loves America. Now actor Jon Voight, in an ad broadcast in that country's electoral campaign, declares that Obama doesn't love Israel, either. From RealClearPolitics:

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Since that 2012 Chick-fil-A fracas over gay marriage, sparked by remarks from CEO Dan Cathy, Republicans in Washington have adopted the franchise. From the National Journal:

Since Cathy made his controversial comments, House Republicans have spent nearly $13,000 in taxpayer money ordering Chick-fil-A, according to expenditure reports filed through July 2014 (the latest available). That's the equivalent of 3,900 original chicken sandwiches, and it represents a 37-fold increase over the paltry $345 the House GOP had spent on Chick-fil-A the previous three years.

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