Georgia Log Cabin Republicans, a group representing LGBT conservatives, on Wednesday made its endorsements for mayor of Atlanta. As in more than one.
That Mary Norwood got a nod is no surprise. Her campaign treasurer, Jamie Ensley, is also president of the GLCR.
The second nod went to Ceasar Mitchell, who is currently the Atlanta City Council president. That’s a deliberate snub of Cathy Woolard, one of two openly gay candidates in the race. Woolard has been endorsed by Georgia Equality, the most active LGBT rights group in the state.
Norwood describes herself as an independent. Mitchell is an unabashed Democrat. Other endorsements by the group:
Atlanta City Council President: Felicia Moore and Alex Wan
Atlanta City Council, District 2: Amir Farokhi
Atlanta City Council, District 5: David Orland Brown
Atlanta City Council, District 6: Kirk Rich
Atlanta City Council, At-large Post 2: Cory Ruth
In “Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission,” a case now under review by the U.S. Supreme Court, Jack Phillips, co-owner of a bakery, refused service to a same-sex couple seeking a wedding cake.
Eric Segall, a professor at the Georgia State University College of Law, has filed an analysis of the matter on the SCOTUS blog. He makes an intriguing point:
The reason or motivation for his refusal – that providing the cake violated his faith – is irrelevant to the constitutional merits of his free-speech claims.
If Phillips has a federal constitutional right to refuse to sell his wares under these facts, so would anyone else who objects to same-sex marriage, for any reason, faith-based or not.
If Phillips doesn’t have that right, adding faith to the equation does not supply it. Perhaps that is why the Trump administration, as well as the Cato Institute, both of which filed amicus briefs in support of Phillips, did not endorse his free-exercise claims. In short, as a legal matter, religion has nothing to do with this case. The Supreme Court should resolve it solely on the basis of freedom of speech.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump met with Democratic leaders in Congress and agreed to work together on legislation to protect the illegal immigrants who were children when they entered the United States. But Reuters would add these two paragraphs:
Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar… told reporters the president said he would not insist on wall funding as part of a Dreamers bill, but would pursue it on other, future legislation.
Cuellar said Trump urged lawmakers to link a Republican bill to cut legal immigration to the United States with protections for Dreamers. But many Democrats oppose lowering the cap on annual legal immigration.
The bill of which Cuellar spoke is that of U.S. Sens. David Perdue, R-Ga., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark.
On the other hand, this was the reaction from Breitbart.com, whose top dog, Steve Bannon, has made himself curator of the Trump revolution:
And this was this morning’s reaction to the reaction:
So you know that White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday called for the sacking of ESPN host Jemele Hill, after Hill — via Twitter, naturally — referred to President Donald Trump as a white supremacist. Over at the conservative National Review, David French says Sanders was wrong to do so:
Sanders can and should rebut Hill’s argument, but she should immediately retract her declaration that Hill’s tweets were a fireable offense. Snowflake Republicans are no better than snowflake progressives. Respect free speech. It’s not that hard.
Over at Georgia Health News, Andy Miller notes that Georgia’s uninsured rate fell to 12.9 percent in 2016 from 13.9 percent in 2015. That’s the fourth highest rate in the nation, and it’s likely to go up – not down, Miller notes.
James magazine, a publication of InsiderAdvantage, is out with its list of the state Capitol’s most influential lobbyists.
Qualifying began Wednesday for about a half-dozen open state legislative seats, and a whole mess of candidates have jumped into the races. The elections are set for Nov. 7 — the same day as the Atlanta mayoral race and other local votes around the state. A full list of all the candidates can be found here.
Five candidates jumped in the race for former state Sen. Hunter Hill’s swingy Buckhead-based district: Democrats Jaha Howard and Jen Jordan; and Republicans Kathy Eichenblatt, Leah Aldridge and Matt Bentley. At least two more Republicans — Leo Smith and Charlie Fiveash — are also expected to join the contest.
Four Democrats are in the running to succeed ex-state Sen. Vincent Fort in his deep-blue Atlanta seat: Elijah Tutt, Linda Pritchett, Marckeith DeJesus and Nikema Williams.
So far, only one candidate is in the hunt to replace ex-state Rep. Stacey Evans: Smyrna Mayor pro tem Teri Anulewicz, a Democrat. But expect at least one additional Democratic candidate to enter the race for the Smyrna-based seat on Thursday.
And only one candidate qualified so far to succeed ex-state Rep. Regina Quick in a conservative-leaning Athens district: Democrat Deborah Gonzalez.
The contest to fill former state Rep. Stacey Abrams’ Atlanta-based district drew three challengers. Democrats Sachin Varghese, Bee Nguyen and David Abbott all threw their hats in the ring for the left-leaning seat.
And the race to replace former state Rep. Chuck Williams of Watkinsville, who represents a conservative-leaning Watkinsville-based district, attracted three candidates: Democrat Jonathan Wallace and Republicans Lawton Lord and Steven Strickland.
Republican members of the state’s congressional delegation are urging IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to extend the deadlines for federal tax returns and payments for Georgia victims of Hurricane Irma.
“While the full impact of the storm has not been fully realized, the magnitude of flood and wind damage as well as continued power and sewer outages merits immediate relief for the victims of this storm,” the group wrote in a letter to Koskinen yesterday.
U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, one of Georgia’s two freshman, rubbed elbows with President Donald Trump on Wednesday during a bipartisan meeting on tax reform. The West Point Republican, who was elected to succeed Lynn Westmoreland in Georgia’s Third District last year, said he offered “the conservative voice” on tax reform.