McConnell and Kaine unveil bill to raise tobacco age to 21

McConnell and Kaine unveil bill to raise tobacco age to 21

By Sarah Owermohle (Politico) – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Monday introduced legislation to raise the age for buying tobacco to 21 — now a bipartisan effort that addresses some of the criticism public health groups had of an earlier proposal they saw as too industry-friendly. McConnell‘s bill is now joined by Virginia Democrat Tim Kaine, who has backedlegislation to ban indoor smoking and some flavored products in the past. The version released would raise the age to 21 for everyone, backtracking on McConnell’s April promise to exempt “men and women who served in uniform.” Nor does his Tobacco-Free Youth Act block states from taking more stringent steps on tobacco, including moves to address the growing teen vaping epidemic. Read...
Trump on Beto: ‘What the hell happened?’

Trump on Beto: ‘What the hell happened?’

By Katie Galioto (Politico) – President Donald Trump on Tuesday weighed in on Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign with a question: “What the hell happened?” “Beto’s falling fast,” the president told a crowd at a liquified natural gas export facility in Louisiana, spending a few minutes of his speech on taking shots at the pool of Democrats hoping to challenge his claim on the White House in 2020. “I think we’re gonna win it big,” Trump said of the coming general election. “I’m looking at the competition. You sort of dream about competition like that. Read...
Georgia Insurance Commissioner indicted on felony fraud charges

Georgia Insurance Commissioner indicted on felony fraud charges

In the wake of Tuesday’s indictment by a federal grand jury on charges that he stole money from his former employer, State Insurance Commissioner Jim Beck says he will fight to clear “his good name.” Beck faces 38 charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering. The indictment alleges Beck conducted a wide-ranging scheme through several companies and the Georgia Christian Coalition, including fraudulent billing and the sale of false sponsorships to the GA Christian Coalition. According to the indictment, the money — said to be in excess of $2 million — was used to pay for personal credit card bills, income tax bills, retirement funds and to fund Beck’s statewide election campaign for Insurance Commissioner. Beck largely self-funded his primary campaign. Beck, who is from Carrollton, was elected insurance commissioner in 2018 and began serving his first term in January of this year. He issued his statement through his attorneys William (“Bill”) Thomas of W.H. Thomas Firm, LLC and Douglas Chalmers, Jr., in a prepared press release. Under Georgia law, Beck now has an option — he can remain in office, voluntarily resign or ask to be suspended while under indictment. If he remains in office, after a 14-day period, which may be extended by the governor, the governor must appoint a review commission, which then has 14 days to determine if “the indictment relates to and adversely affects the administration of the office of the indicted public official and that the rights and interests of the public are adversely affected thereby,” according to the Official Code of Georgia. At that point, the commission can recommend that...
Further investigation into Matt Gaetz is needed for tweet at Michael Cohen, Florida Bar determines

Further investigation into Matt Gaetz is needed for tweet at Michael Cohen, Florida Bar determines

By Steve Contorno (Tampa Bay Times) – An investigation into U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz will proceed, the Florida Bar said Wednesday, meaning the Panhandle Republican could face discipline for allegedly intimidating President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen. A grand jury-like panel called the Grievance Committee will next decide whether there is probable cause that Gaetz’s tweet violated Florida rules for lawyers. Gaetz, one of Trump’s top allies in Congress, is licensed to practice law in Florida. Read...
Perdue Meets With Georgia Farm Bureau About Disaster Relief

Perdue Meets With Georgia Farm Bureau About Disaster Relief

In his continuing efforts to fight for disaster funding for Georgians impacted by Hurricane Michael, U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) joined Georgia Farm Bureau representatives to discuss ongoing efforts to advance a bipartisan disaster relief package. “It’s been nearly seven months since Hurricane Michael hit Southwest Georgia, and Congress still has not fulfilled its responsibility to provide relief for farmers who lost everything,” said Senator Perdue, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Previous disaster relief packages were not held up in partisan battles like this. Georgia Farm Bureau has been resolute in their efforts to support our farmers and encourage bipartisan consensus among Members of Congress. To our farmers in Georgia – rest assured we will continue fighting until we get disaster relief flowing to Georgia and all states that are hurting.” Georgia Farm Bureau members travelled to Washington, DC last week to urge leaders to come together to help those impacted by last year’s extreme weather events. “It has been more than six months since Hurricane Michael swept across Georgia and destroyed nearly $2.5 billion in agricultural commodities and Georgia farmers, along with countless other farmers across the nation, are still waiting for help,” said Gerald Long, President of Georgia Farm Bureau. “Without federal assistance, many in our industry may never recover. We are grateful for the leadership that Georgia Senators David Perdue and Johnny Isakson, along with our entire congressional delegation, have shown throughout this process. It is time for Congress to act, and we stand ready to work with members of Congress and the Trump Administration to find a path forward on a disaster assistance...
Buttigieg, husband attend Jimmy Carter’s Sunday school class

Buttigieg, husband attend Jimmy Carter’s Sunday school class

By The Associated Press (Politico) – PLAINS, Ga. — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, joined the large crowd at former President Jimmy Carter’s Sunday school class in rural South Georgia. At Carter’s invitation Buttigieg stood and read from the Bible as part of the lesson at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains. “You know him?” Carter had said earlier in reference to Buttigieg, drawing a laugh from the crowd. Read...