Georgia Democrats drop Jefferson, Jackson from annual fundraiser

For decades, the state Democratic party’s largest annual fundraiser has been called the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, in honor of the two U.S. presidents credited with founding the party.

No more.

Rebecca DeHart, executive director of the state Democratic party, confirmed this morning that the names of the two presidents have been discarded from the upcoming event.

“We switched the name. Almost three-quarters of the states have already done it,” DeHart said. The Connecticut Democratic party did so on Wednesday, citing the two presidents’ status as slave-owners and Jackson’s authorship of the Trail of Tears that removed Cherokees and other Native Americans from Georgia and other states.

Ditto for Georgia. “It was probably a little bit of all of that,” DeHart said. “We want something that’s a little more inclusive and a little more Georgia-centric.”

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WABE (90.1FM) tells us that the city of Decatur worries that it’s losing its black population:

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The New York Times has today's presidential campaign bombshell:

Two inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state, senior government officials said Thursday.

The request follows an assessment in a June 29 memo by the inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence agencies that Mrs. Clinton’s private account contained “hundreds of potentially classified emails.” The memo was written to Patrick F. Kennedy, the under secretary of state for management. ...

But since her use of a private email account for official State Department business was revealed in March, she has repeatedly said that she had no classified information on the account.

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Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina is arranging a conference call to speak with Georgia supporters on Tuesday. The widely sent email in state political circles carries the signature of Fiorina's Georgia campaign co-chairs, Loretta Lepore and Kathleen Ruth, but it was not sent by the Fiorina campaign.

In an example of the new frontiers pursued by outside groups this cycle, the invite actually came from CARLY for America, the pro-Fiorina Super PAC. Does this break the flimsy coordination laws between campaigns and Super PACs?

The CARLY for America people say it does not, and there is evidence on their side. Campaigns and Super PACs cannot coordinate how they spend money, but they are allowed to stay in touch. Here's some guidance from D.C. power lawfirm Covington & Burling:

"Federal law prohibits Super PACs from making expenditures in cooperation, consultation, or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate, but that is a far cry from a total ban on communications. In fact, the FEC has specifically blessed candidates appearing at Super PAC fundraising events. Candidates must comply with restrictions on raising non-federal funds and cannot communicate with the Super PAC about its expenditures in a way that violates the coordination rules. So while Super PACs and candidates can talk about some things, like fundraising, they cannot talk about other things, like how the Super PAC is going to spend its money."

So if she can show up to a fundraiser, Fiorina can probably hop onto a Super PAC supporter conference call, too.

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Here's your Donald Trump quote of the day, via AP, at the Mexican border:

"I'll take jobs back from China, I'll take jobs back from Japan," Trump said. "The Hispanics are going to get those jobs, and they're going to love Trump."

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Given that Donald Trump has flooded the Internet zone, much of his old stuff is in re-circulation, including this greeting he recorded for the May gathering of the Georgia GOP in Athens:

Funny thing: If you turn off the sound, the facial features of a warm and supporting Donald Trump look exactly like an angry and combative Donald Trump.

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Somebody knows a growth market when he sees one. From the press release:

The Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University School of Law has received a $1 million anonymous gift to expand training in religious freedom for law students and bring new scholarship and fresh voices to the field.

The gift will fund "Restoring Religious Freedom: Education, Outreach, and Good Citizenship," a project that will run for four years, starting in September.

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The Atlanta Hawks could be the latest area pro sports franchise to get a new stadium -- with a taxpayer assist. Our AJC colleagues Katie Leslie and Tim Tucker have this in the premium edition:

The Atlanta Hawks are exploring three options for upgrading their home court, including renovating Philips Arena or building on the Civic Center site, Mayor Kasim Reed said on Thursday. ...

Reed said Thursday he met once with the team’s new owners and repeated his willingness to consider a deal involving the use of public funds — an option he brought up last year.

“What I’m willing to do is come to the table with a plan that makes sense and is fair to the people of Atlanta,” Reed told reporters. “I’m not closed to participating in a reasonable plan to make sure that the Hawks remain in the city and that’s what I expressed in our meeting.”

At least the Hawks made the playoffs last year.

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Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., is trying to find a way to free up money for the Veterans Administration after the agency claimed it will have to shutter hospitals soon, without being allowed to move $2.5 billion. And Isakson, the Veterans Affairs Committee chairman, is not pleased about it.

The House is leading the charge, according to an Isakson aide, with a bill that has to move before the chamber skips town next week for August recess. It likely will acquiesce to VA's request that the money be moved from the Veterans Choice Act, the law passed last year in the wake of agency wait-time scandals that pays for veterans to receive treatment outside the VA system.

More background from Government Executive:

House and Senate VA committee leaders met last week for nearly four hours with top department officials “over this whole issue of shutting down hospitals and running out of money,” Isakson said.

The Georgia Republican said the group talked about a way to break down the funding silos so that the VA had more flexibility to use already-appropriated money where it is immediately needed. He said there is an effort to fix the problem long-term, not just for this crisis.

Lawmakers have complained that the department knew about the shortfall for months, but did not alert them to the problem until the last minute. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., on Wednesday called VA’s management of the issue “woefully inadequate” and expressed frustration over the department “blaming” Congress for the current fiscal emergency. “If we solve this problem now, quote ‘solve this problem now,’ are we only setting the stage that, months from now, we’ll be in the same position in which there is another shortfall with insufficient funds?”

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The Senate is staging rare Friday and Sunday votes as it works through a highway bill extension that may not even get taken up in the House ahead of a July 31 deadline.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office announced this morning that starting Sunday there will be votes on amendments to fully repeal Obamacare and to add an extension of the expired Export-Import Bank.

The Obamacare amendment will still require 60 votes, so it will fall short. Ex-Im should get interesting.

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