Paul Broun heads up effort to oust next House speaker -- before he's elected

Former Republican congressman Paul Broun of Athens has resurfaced in the political game, lending his name to an effort by arch-conservative groups to fire Kevin McCarthy even before California Republican is elected Speaker of the House. Said Broun, in a news release:

“Having worked with Kevin McCarthy in the House, I’ll admit he’s a friendly guy. But we need a dramatic change in House leadership – we can’t afford to replace Speaker Boehner with someone who will continue to carry out his failed legacy, one that has been stifling conservative progress for six years.

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“McCarthy and Boehner are cut from the same establishment cloth, and if the former replaces the latter, I’m pledging to help my fellow Americans mobilize to make sure he’s fired.” asks visitors for their contact info, no doubt to build a fundraising list. We'll direct you now to the comments of U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Tifton, a couple hours after Boehner announced his resignation Friday:

"And you know when we have our next speaker there are going to be groups that, in the name of sending them $10, demonize our next speaker."

Since leaving Congress in January, Broun has reopened a small medical practice and dealt with a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into his potential misuse of taxpayer funds on his campaigns. Last month, Broun's taxpayer-funded debate coach pleaded guilty to lying to congressional investigators.


The House GOP leadership elections are now set for Oct. 8, and U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland is offering a new wrinkle. From Politico:

The Georgia lawmaker said the proposed rules change was not directed at House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), or any other specific member.

But he did cite the race for House majority leader as an example for why the change needs to happen. Scalise is running against Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (Ga.) for the position. Under current House rules, Scalise could remain whip if he loses. Alternately, Price would continue to be head of the budget panel if he loses.

"I just don't think it's fair that everybody just keeps moving up the ladder with no risk of losing anything," Westmoreland said. "They've been on the phone all weekend, taking away from family time calling people. It's just been a constant thing and it will probably go on for eight days. They've been working their butts off."

A Westmoreland spokeswoman later clarified that the losing candidate would not be totally screwed under the proposed rule change: If Price loses his majority leader bid, he still could ask the steering committee to put him back as Budget Chairman. And Scalise could still run for his old whip job, if he loses.


Toward the very end of this piece on Donald Trump and the televangelizing crowd is a small mention that The Donald may be headed to Atlanta on Oct. 10 for a meeting with black pastors. Think of the possibilities of a Donald Trump/Creflo Dollar ticket.


It's Jimmy Carter's 91st birthday today, and the Carter Center is celebrating with a social media campaign. Here's one of the more ... interesting ... responses it received.


One of our number posted a column Wednesday evening on the Brookhaven mayoral race and candidate Dale Boone, a professional eater. In it, we mentioned that Catherine Bernard, a former Republican candidate for state House, had endorsed Democrat John Ernst.

Bernard called this morning to say that she has been in discussions with Ernst, and has pointed him to potential supporters. But she said she's withholding a formal endorsement until she speaks with Boone, a fellow Republican.


We now know what will be on the top of Attorney General Sam Olens' agenda in 2016.

He announced at a press conference this week the start of the Georgia Military Consumer Protection Initiative that aims to help service members avoid predatory practices.

Olens' office is teaming with Georgia Watch, the watchdog group, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to draft a guide with tips for military members about short-term lending, credit cards, debt collection and scams.

Clearly, there are political advantages to be associated with such a campaign. However, we would be remiss if we didn't also mention that -- come the next round of military base closings -- things like this matter.


President Barack Obama doesn't respond to many of the thousands of letters he receives every day. But one from Brian Suits, a standout principal of Dalton Middle School, earned a personalized note from the POTUS. From the Dalton Public Schools system:

"He mentioned kids' names and things I said in the letter," Suits said.  "I'm shocked he even read it."

ExploreYou can read Obama's letter to Suits here.


Two Georgia Democratic legislators, Vincent Fort and Nan Orrock, attended a White House event Thursday where President Obama urged them to step in to enact his economic agenda, in place of the gridlocked Congress. Fort offered social media proof.

Though Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams was not on the list of participants the White House sent out, you can spot her in the back of Fort's photo -- and she tweeted about the event as well.


Carly Fiorina was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, and U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler was on hand -- though not quite ready to offer an endorsement.


Long live the kids' table! CNBC announced its criteria for the Oct. 28 Republican debate, which will still include two stages and (blessedly) limit the main debate to two hours:

To appear in the 8pm debate a candidate must have an average of 3% among these polls. The polls will be averaged and will be rounded up to 3% for any candidate with a standing of 2.5% or higher. Candidates who average below that will be invited to the 6pm debate.

So who's on the main stage bubble? RealClearPolitics' national poll averages for the last two weeks put Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie at 3.0 percent, and Rand Paul missing the cut at 2.3 percent.