Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

Rob Woodall praises ‘bicameral’ passage of tax rewrite by Congress


The Seventh District represented by Republican Rob Woodall in Congress covers portions of Gwinnett and Forsyth counties.

The district has become a poster child for demographic change in Georgia, and thus Democrats have targeted Woodall for elimination in 2018. Re-election could require him to put a more cooperative foot forward. My-way-or-the-highway Republicanism won’t work.

Apparently, Woodall very much wanted to portray the tax rewrite, which received final passage by the U.S. House yesterday, as a bipartisan work of art. But nary a Democrat voted for it.

And so this headline appeared over the notice issued by his office – emphasis ours: “House Passes Historic Bicameral Tax Reform Agreement, Sends to President.”

“Bicameral” sure does sound nice. But since most every action by Congress requires agreement by two chambers, the House and Senate, the word is useless as a bar of achievement.

Yet Woodall’s press release did call to mind that savage 1950 senatorial primary between U.S. Rep. Claude Pepper and former senator George Smathers in Florida.

Smathers is alleged to have won by spreading the scandalous word that Pepper’s sister had moved to New York City and had become a “known thespian.” What’s more, before he settled down and married, Pepper himself had been an active celibate.

Shameful, shameful.

Alas, authorities now tell us that this well-known narrative is apostrophal. You just can’t believe anything you read on the Internet these days.

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Speaking of the importance of words: The Washington Post goes into greater detail today on the Trump administration’s linguistic battle with official Washington. Over the weekend, the Post had reported that “style guidelines” had reached the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Words such as “fetus” and “science-based” were to be avoided.

Today’s report focuses on the advocates for the shift in vocabulary:

Allies of the administration, while maintaining that no words have been banned outright under Trump, said word choices have also affected policies important to conservatives. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the antiabortion political action committee Susan B. Anthony List, argued that getting rid of the term “fetus,” for example, would be a welcome change.

“The language we use to describe unborn human beings doesn’t just follow cultural attitudes, it actually has shaped them and made unthinkable atrocities sound palatable,” Dannenfelser said. “We are glad to see the administration working to humanize widely used terms that will shape the next generation’s attitudes toward life.”

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Late last night, Mary Norwood conceded defeat in her second bid to become mayor of Atlanta, officially ending the 2017 contest won by Keisha Lance Bottoms. You can catch the video here:

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The state Public Service Commission today will decide whether Georgia Power should continue construction on two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle, a project that is over budget and well behind schedule.

Earlier this week, we told you of the deal that PSC member Tim Echols was hatching, which included a $1.7 billion “haircut” from Georgia Power’s anticipated earned revenue. On GPB’s “Political Rewind” on Wednesday, Echols elaborated.

“My motion is actually going to refund some money on some bills – to customers. It’s going to have a refund mechanism in it and I’m also asking for some additional solar power,” Echols said. “I do believe this compromise is the best I’m going to get.”

Echols has been an advocate of solar power. But so has his PSC colleague Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, who in the past has gone toe-to-toe with Georgia Power over its resistance to alternative energy sources. More solar could be McDonald’s price for his vote.

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We’ve told you of the task force appointed by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, which on Wednesday urged lawmakers to set aside at least $7 million in state funding for salary hikes to local law enforcement – addressing a growing debate over how much to pay police officers and sheriff’s deputies across the state.

State Sen. Michael Williams, R-Cumming, one of Cagle’s GOP rivals in the race for governor, lambasted Cagle. Williams had pitched his own solution for increasing pay for law enforcement last year, only to see it stall.

More important was the Twitter reaction from Chris Riley, chief of staff for Gov. Nathan Deal. First this one:

">And then this:

What’s more, that first Tweet was echoed by Kaleb McMichen, the spokesman for House Speaker David Ralston. Which means that Cagle’s initiative is already in a spot of trouble, even before lawmakers assemble next month.

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The AJC’s Scott Trubey has already taken note of an interview that Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM) had with B.J. Pak, a former state lawmaker who is now the U.S. attorney for the Northern District.

Pak said that with the election over, we might expect more shoes to drop in the federal corruption investigation at Atlanta City Hall. But we’d like to highlight this portion of the interview, in which Pak said he was casting his eyes well beyond Atlanta:

“[People] violating the public trust is a high priority for this administration and particularly my office. We have focused on not just Atlanta. My plan is to look for these types of cases outside the metro Atlanta area to the entire 46 counties that the Northern District of Georgia comprises. So, I think you’ll see us in my office more present in the rural counties as well going forward.”


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About the Author

Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.