Ted Cruz claims the South as his 'firewall' in 2016 GOP contest

At the Koch brothers’ donor summit in California on Sunday, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz laid claim to the South, a theme likely to be repeated by many others in the run-up to this weekend's RedState Gathering. From the Washington Post:

Politico has more on his “Cruz Country” bus tour. Todd Rehm of Georgia Pundit has cobbled together a list of ancillary appearances by GOP candidates who are coming to Atlanta on Friday and Saturday for the annual RedState Gathering.

-- Cruz has the heaviest Georgia calendar: A 5:30 p.m. Friday meet-and-greet in Savannah, a 4 p.m. Saturday rally in Newnan, and 7 p.m. appearance at the Solid Rock Church in Midland, Ga., near Columbus.

-- Rick Perry: 1 p.m. Friday fundraiser at the City Club of Buckhead;

-- Marco Rubio: a 6:30 to 7 p.m. Friday reception at the Atlanta home of Ariel and Ehud Levy.

-- Mike Huckabee: Will be the draw at a Saturday fish fry put on by the 8th Congressional District GOP.

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Jimmy Carter told the Thom Hartmann Program last week that he believes the Supreme Court's Citizens United decisions, which gave unions and corporations the go-ahead to spend as much as they wished on political ads and super PAC funding, amounts to "political bribery." The video:

From the Huffington Post:

"It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president," Carter said.

Carter said the power of money isn't limited to just the presidency, claiming "the same thing" applies to lawmakers on the state level and in Congress.

"The incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves," Carter said. "Somebody’s who’s already in Congress has a lot more to sell to an avid contributor than somebody who’s just a challenger."

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As the weekend broke, word was going around that state Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, who doesn’t look that rich, has donated $500,000 to create a University of Georgia School of Law scholarship aimed at first-generation college graduates.

Evans is originally from Ringgold, the daughter of millworkers. From the press release:

Evans said her education at UGA has had a profound impact on her life, and her recent involvement with the representation of whistleblowers in a lawsuit against DaVita Healthcare Partners, a dialysis chain, aided her ability to make a contribution to her alma mater.

"I cannot -- and do not want to -- imagine my life without my degrees, and I know how close I was to being without them," Evans said. "The financial resources simply weren't there. I felt like I was constantly living on the edge of my financial ability to stay in school. With this gift, I hope to take some of the financial stress off of the shoulders of bright and accomplished students who are shooting beyond expectations and working to obtain their law degrees.”

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Justice Department announced that DaVita Healthcare Partners had agreed to pay $450 million to resolve the allegations that the dialysis company had defrauded the federal government.

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A key part of the 2013 law that allows cities and counties to regulate coin-operated amusement machines is facing a test in the  Georgia Supreme Court. Writes Creative Loafing's Maggie Lee:

Whatever the decision, an industry worth hundreds of millions will definitely take notice. So will the lawmakers and lottery administrators who want to maximize the HOPE and Pre-K money collected on their watch.

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Now airing in north DeKalb households, the ad below features former Brookhaven mayor J. Max Davis' wife and three children in his runoff bid for an open House seat against Democrat and former Georgia Tech quarterback Taylor Bennett:

Normally, such a TV spot would be dismissed as a your standard, feel-good candidate introduction, but Davis also anticipating some Democratic attacks on that Lysol situation -- so the family angle is more important than usual. The Davis campaign is also pushing this endorsement from Rep. Tom Price. 

Meanwhile, Bennett, the lead vote-getter in last month's special election for House District 80, held a weekend fundraiser that featured top Democrats, including Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed:

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In light of the blanket coverage for Cecil the Lion, Roll Call looked back at former Athens Rep. Paul Broun, who himself killed and ate a lion in Zimbabwe. It resided in his Washington office, which was a taxidermist's dream. There's this photo, from 2008:

And this:

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