Friday, September 30, 2022

Kemp’s Georgia bill-signing tour aims to scuttle Perdue’s hopes

Cumming, Ga. ( Associated Press) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is gathering strength and support from fellow Republicans on a bill-signing tour ahead of his primary matchup against former U.S. Sen. David Perdue. And others, trying to play down Perdue’s chances in the May 24 primary.

The latest example came on Thursday when he signed a package of conservative education bills in Cumming, a major Republican suburb north of Atlanta. They would regulate the teaching of race in the classroom and allow the state athletic union to ban transgender girls from playing high school sports, Others would codify parental rights, force school systems to respond to challenges to books that parents deem unsuitable and increase tax credits for private school scholarships.

“Standing up for the God-given potential of every child in our schools, and protecting the freedom, independence, opportunity, and teaching of the American dream in the classroom should not be controversial,” Kemp said of the bills that were highly disputed by Democrats. and teacher groups. “Ensuring that parents have the final say in their child’s education should not be controversial.”

But the stoppage in Forsyth County was only the latest favorable backdrop for Kemp. On Tuesday, he entered “Purdue Country” south of Macon, signing an income tax deduction. and the announcement of an 800-job factory,

On Monday, Kemp signed a bill expanding the power of Georgia’s attorney general to prosecute mass crimes. Backed by a Wall of State Troops in the Rich Buckhead NeighborhoodWhere Purdue is trying to fan the flames of isolation from the city of Atlanta.

A week ago, Kemp signed a bill allowing Georgians to carry a concealed carry handgun without a permit Proud of gun, he bought his daughter.

Incumbents almost always use the power of their office to bolster their re-election bids. And it’s not like Perdue supporters didn’t see it coming.

“He’s doing a really impressive job of preserving and harnessing the session and budget surplus,” Randy Evans, Donald Trump’s former ambassador to Luxembourg, said during Georgia’s state legislative session in March.

Perdue was personally prompted by Trump to enter the race because Kemp had done no more to reverse Trump’s 2020 loss in Georgia., Federal and state election officials and Trump’s own attorney general have said there is no credible evidence that the election was tainted.

Some of the school bills only came on Kemp’s radar this year with widespread conservative ferment on education, and may be aimed at protecting Kemp’s right flank from Perdue’s attacks. For example, Kemp in his State of the Union speech this year ignored calls for transgender children to be banned from sports. After exasperating lawmakers on the last night of the session, he gave her a lesser provision that allows, but does not require, the Georgia High School Association to ban transgender girls.

“We put students and parents first by keeping students and parents out of the classroom and off the ball field,” Kemp said, adding that he was building on an education track record that includes wage increases for teachers.

Democrats see school bills as Republican campaign fodder but hope to use the culture war embrace to hurt GOP candidates in November. In addition to the transgender bill, he weighed Thursday against a measure that would make it easier for parents to push the school system to remove books. And another measure that would ban the teaching of “divisive concepts” on race.

Angie Darnell, a Forsythe County parent and member of a group opposing conservative efforts, told a Democratic news conference that Kemp’s claim that teachers would try to motivate students was a “coercive and false political ploy”. .

“It’s outrageous that Brian Kemp is putting a partisan agenda in the classroom just to try and win elections,” said Cummings resident Darnell. “Because to him that seems like what it is all about. Not parents, not students. Just an election campaign.”

Republicans Say Banning Critical Race Theory Is Absolutely NecessaryThe term has spread from its original meaning as an examination of how social structures perpetuate white dominance to diversity initiatives and the widespread indictment of teaching about race.

Republican-dominated Forsyth County was razed last year by conservative activists who claimed the district was teaching harmful material on race, a controversy that has sometimes centered on the school district’s efforts, which once almost Was a completely white county. The school system is also investigating plans to teach about county history, including how white mobs drove out the county’s entire black population in 1912.

In February, the district banned eight books from libraries citing sexually explicit material, including “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison. But for some parents this was not enough. The district is now considering allowing parents to restrict what books their children read or inform parents about everything their child checks.

Forsyth County parents and another member of the group opposing the change, Becky Voomer, protested outside the signing of the bill. She said a noisy minority of conservative activists is restricting the liberties of others.

“The freedom to read is what our students need to preserve, and the freedom to teach that our teachers need to be protected,” Vroom said.

But they may not be of concern to Republican primary voters. For now, Kemp’s strategy seems to be working. Atlanta Journal-Constitution Survey Released Tuesday Kemp found Perdue leading 53% to 27% among potential voters. That margin means Kemp could avoid a runoff against Perdue, a scenario that could undermine the winner in November’s faceoff with Democrat Stacey Abrams.

Kemp, usually buttoned-up and almost monotonous in public appearances, has let loose during the tour, laughing, flashing big-toothed grins and joking with supporters. Other Republicans are ready to support him. On Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan called him “the most conservative governor of Georgia in our history”.

Duncan saluted Kemp for his “courageous conservative leadership,” saying “nothing screams a conservative louder than an old-fashioned tax cut,” swiping a phrase that Purdue often uses to describe itself. uses for.


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