A second effort to corrall Uber in Georgia

State Rep. Alan Powell, R-Hartwell, chairman of the House public safety committee, has filed legislation that force some serious changes on the way that Uber -- the Internet-based, car-for-hire network  – now operates. The key lines from H.B. 224:

The bill was dropped last week. Similar legislation was introduced last year, but failed. Instead, a study committee was empaneled to look into the issue. Presumably, this bill is the result.

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Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush's whirlwind tour of Georgia late last month included an important meeting: A lunch with Gov. Nathan Deal.

We told you earlier that GOP operative Eric Tanenblatt, who was Mitt Romney's go-to-guy in Georgia, squired the former Florida governor around in late January for two days of quiet meetings. A second operative, a mutual friend of Deal and Bush, set up the hourlong lunch on Jan. 28 between the two.

Said Deal spokesman Brian Robinson:

"Gov. Bush was one of the first people to call to congratulate Gov. Deal on his recent re-election. They've developed a relationship based on a shared interest in education reform and have talked on the topic from time to time."

Bush likely faces an uphill battle in Georgia, which is likely to play a more influential role in next year's primary, and his level of support among the GOP establishment here could be pivotal.

And Deal, who endorsed Georgia's own Newt Gingrich in 2012, is a free agent this time around.

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State Rep. Tyrone Brooks, who has represented an Atlanta district for 35 years, won't be living in Atlanta too much longer.

The Democrat says he's decided to move to Monroe to continue investigating the unsolved lynchings of two black couples in 1946. He's not sure the timetable and hasn't decided yet whether he'll stand for re-election next year. But he said he's not looking to set any longevity records in the statehouse.

Brooks said the reason for his decision is the declining health of Bobby Howard, the long-time activist who's trying to piece together clues about the killings. Howard now suffers from Alzheimer's disease, and Brooks said his "daily" presence will soon be needed to ferret out more clues about members of the lynch mob who may still be alive. (You can read a story one of your Insiders wrote about Howard here.)

The murders have long been a passion of Brooks, who prodded Gov. Roy Barnes to reopen the state investigation in 2001. State and federal agents in 2008 collected new evidence from a local farmhouse, and records show that the FBI investigated suspicions that then-Gov. Eugene Talmadge may have sanctioned the killings. But no new charges have been brought.

Brooks, meanwhile, faces a trial this year on federal fraud charges accusing him of bilking funds while working for nonprofits. He has pleaded not guilty and said he had poor bookkeeping skills but that he broke no laws.

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As reported by CNN, a Democratic National Committee ramp-up for 2016 includes this move:

The DNC is also bringing on Michael Tyler, who previously served as Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn's press secretary, as its new director of African American media and regional press secretary for the South.

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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