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5
Aug

Vote on 2016 Georgia Constitutional Amendments

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31
Aug

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 31, 2016

Georgia Chihuahua

Georgia is a 5-year old, 12-pound female Chihuahua who is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA. She’s housebroken and good with other dogs.

Gigi

Gigi is a 2-year old, 60-pound female Pit Bull Terrier who is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA. Gigi and Fiona’s owner was unable to continue to care for them and says they are sweet loving, good with dogs and children, and they’d love to find a home where they can stay together.

Fiona

Fiona is a 2-year old, 65-pound female Pit Bull Terrier who is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA. Fiona is a little shy and may have been abused earlier in her life. I really hope these two big girls can find a home together.

31
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 31, 2016

On August 31, 1864, Confederates charged Union forces at the Battle of Jonesboro, in which the CSA suffered more than 1400 casualties in one hour.

On August 31, 1965, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation creating the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which this Senate had previously passed.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today at 9 AM, the first meeting of the Joint High-Speed Broadband Communications Access for All Georgians Study Committee convenes in Room 341 of the State Capitol, chaired by Senator Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) and Representative Don Parsons (R-Marietta). Check here for live video from the meeting. I’m not sure if they’ll broadcast, but it appears they will.

An article from February of this year in the Moultrie Observer looks at the issue.

Internet pathways into rural Georgia are so tenuous that a quarter of a million people lack access to even the most sluggish connections.

Sixty miles southeast of Atlanta, for example, portions of Jasper County see Internet speeds rising above 10 megabits per second – or less than half the 25 megabits considered broadband-level by the Federal Communications Commission but fast enough to stream some video.

That is considered a luxury by most in the county of fewer than 14,000 people. Others in Jasper County are more accustomed to 3 megabit connections — fast enough to consult Google. Many don’t even have that.

“Folks move down there, and think they’re going to have Internet service and good cell service, and they’re so disappointed,” said Rep. Susan Holmes, R-Monticello.

Holmes, a former educator, said she is especially concerned about students who may have Internet access at school but don’t have it at home.

“We feel like our students are not getting the opportunities they deserve,” she said. “Our parents are just desperate for better service.”

In Jenkins County, close to Statesboro and home to about 9,000 people, the same concern lingers. Students are issued iPads and Chromebooks but leave them at school because they have no service or limited service at home, said Mandy Underwood, executive director of the county’s development authority.

It’s an interesting issue that poses challenges for advocates of limited government and free markets, as the markets have simply decided it’s uneconomical to serve some parts of Georgia.

At 1 PM today, the Senate Legislative Process Study Committee will meet in Room 450 of the State Capitol with Senator Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga) chairing.

The Georgia House Military Affairs Study Committee met in Columbus chaired by Rep. Dave Belton (R-Buckhead) near Fort Benning yesterday to discuss protecting Georgia’s military installations from future rounds of Base Realignment and Closure.

“It’s critically important that you do everything possible, as you’re doing, in advance of the next BRAC round and before that list comes out, before that list is made public, to protect, preserve and enhance your military installations,” said Anthony “Tony” Principi, head of The Principi Group, a consulting company working with the Matrix Design Group to assist the Greater Columbus of Commerce with its strategy of averting cuts locally.

“Once that list comes out, you can make improvements, but it’s not going to count whether your base stays open or closes,” said Principi, a former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs and chairman of the 2005 BRAC round that brought the U.S. Armor School from Fort Knox, Ky., to Fort Benning to form the Maneuver Center of Excellence alongside the Infantry School.

“The history of the previous four BRAC rounds also reveals to you that if an installation in your state makes the Defense Department’s list of closure or realignment, there’s an 85 percent chance your base is going to be closed or realigned,” he said. “So your key is to stay off the list.”

Fort Benning currently supports about 11,140 permanent-party military personnel, nearly 34,000 family members, just under 11,000 civilian workers and a weekly average of nearly 17,000 military trainees, according to a presentation by Gary Jones, executive vice president of government and military affairs at the chamber. Its fiscal year 2016 training load is expected to finish up at about 68,000, then dip by nearly 2,000 people trained in FY2017.

Fort Benning pays out roughly $110 million a month in salaries or $1.32 billion a year, Jones said. Regional contracts connected to the post total about $250 million a month or $3 billion annually.

“The bottom line is Fort Benning’s big. It’s got about 40,000 folks out there. There’s a lot of money that goes out there. It’s a big, big city,” said Jones, explaining the total economic impact of the installation now is about $4.75 billion when business sales and salaries paid to employees in the surrounding region are included.

Helen Drexler, Regional Vice President of Blue Cross and Blue Shield writes about the Safe Harbor Constitutional Amendment, Amendment number two on the November ballot.

Constitutional Amendment 2, if passed, will create the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund.  More importantly, it will help to improve the lives of some of Georgia’s most vulnerable children – children who are our neighbors, our friends and even our family.

Child sex trafficking is a horrible crime that leaves even greater tragedy in its wake.  Frankly, it is hard to believe that in the same metropolitan region that is home to a booming technology industry, children are being sold for sex.  That as families spend their summer vacations in the mountains or on the coast, children are being subjected to violence and exploitation.  That in a state where the HOPE scholarship has made college more accessible to thousands of families, children lose their innocence at as young as 9 years old and far too often their own hope for a successful future.

Children who are trafficked have often lived a life filled with violence, forced drug abuse and constant threats to their safety.  They experience some of the most extreme physical and psychological abuse imaginable.  Those who escape or are rescued are in dire need of help to cope with depression, deal with drug dependency and address serious mental and behavioral issues.  The help they need is both intensive and costly, and it is what the Safe Harbor Fund will directly support through $1 to $2 million in dedicated annual funding that will be used to help them return to a normal and healthy way of life.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp told WABE that Georgia’s election process is prepared for hacking attacks.

“It’s been in our radar, it will continue to be on our radar,” said Secretary of State Brian Kemp Tuesday. “We’re working hard everyday to make sure that those type of things don’t happen in Georgia. And then if for some reason they were to happen, we have plans to deal with that.”

Kemp declined to give specifics on the measures, citing security reasons. Kemp recently declined an offer by the Department of Homeland Security for cyber security assistance, raising concerns about the federal government’s intrusion.

“I think we’re all having to deal with the systems, we know them the best. This is part of our job,” Kemp said.  “For us to have to even, I think, try to explain this to others would take away from doing the work of keeping the system secure or reacting to something that’s going on right at this moment.”

Secretary of State Kemp also heard arguments yesterday in a border dispute between Monroe County and Bibb County.

The sole witness so far: a key surveyor who explained why he thinks the real border is not the one shown on Macon-Bibb tax maps today, but is one that he said was laid out in the 19th century.

During a presentation lasting more than three hours, Terry Scarborough outlined how he used surveying, archaeological evidence and old documents — including maps — to conclude that Macon-Bibb has encroached on Monroe County over the years.

“In reality, the 1822 Bibb-Monroe boundary has never moved from its original location,” said Scarborough, a surveyor appointed by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue in 2005 to identify the boundary. That line, according to Scarborough, would give Monroe County a wedge of what Macon-Bibb now administers, including part of the Bass Pro Shops property and some nearby homes.

Monroe County, drawing on Scarborough’s research, is asking Kemp to make Macon-Bibb accept the surveyor’s line.

Macon-Bibb County, however, stands by a border that gives it the wedge of land that Monroe disputes. The land is worth about $2.1 million annually in property taxes for Macon-Bibb and its schools.

The state Supreme Court has heard parts of the dispute twice: about Kemp’s power to make a decision and about what evidence Kemp can consider.

Allegations of abuse against Savannah Alderman Tony Thomas are barred from prosecution by the statute of limitations and will not proceed, despite a 182-page report by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

District Attorney Meg Heap, in a memo Friday to Savannah-Chatham Police Chief Joseph Lumpkin, said after hearing evidence and testimony from more than 40 witnesses that grand jurors found “the evidence presented does not support referral for grand jury review.

“According to its findings, the grand jury pointed to one factor that weighed heavily in its decision: the state is barred from prosecution because the statute of limitations has run in all cases,” Heap said.

“Multiple victims’ testimonies corroborated that Mr. Thomas displays a pattern of grooming young males to become sexual partners,” 14 grand jurors agreed as part of a three-page report. “While Mr. Thomas’ actions clearly violated (state law), unfortunately they are only misdemeanors and not felony cases.

“Also, his actions violated (state law); however, they cannot be considered being the statute of limitations has expired.”

Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill pled no contest to a reckless conduct charge related to his shooting a friend in Gwinnett County.

Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill entered the plea under the state’s first-offender statute and was ordered to serve 12 months on probation and pay a $1,000 fine, according to a news release from the Gwinnett County district attorney’s office.

Feral cats in Columbus drew 200 people to a Columbus City Council meeting Tuesday.

About 200 people, most of them apparently cat lovers, packed Columbus Council chambers Tuesday to hear a defense of the city’s Trap, Neuter, Release feral cat colony program, in the wake of recent criticism from members of council.

At a recent council meeting, Councilors Pops Barnes and Glenn Davis criticized the program, which authorizes approved “managers” to take care of colonies of feral cats. The cats are caught, spayed or neutered, examined, vaccinated and released back into the colony. Diseased cats are euthanized.

The program, which was started here in 2013, has come under fire recently because of roaming cat problems in the Sears Woods neighborhood. Neighbors there have complained about roaming cats using their yards as bathrooms and tearing up flower beds, among other nuisances.

At Tuesday’s meeting, several supporters of TNR defended it, saying it is a humane way to control cat population and does not pose a threat to public health.

Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/local/article98854422.html#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/local/article98854422.html#storylink=cpy
30
Aug

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 30, 2016

Celia

Celia is a small, 6-month old female poodle puppy who is available for adoption from Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, GA.

Kayra

Kayra is a 2-3 year old friendly Labrador Retriever mix female who is available for adoption from Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, GA.

Fluffy Scooby

Fluffy (13-pound poodle mix female) and Scooby (41-pound female Lab mix) are best friends who are available for adoption from Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, GA.

In Heard County, a number of dogs and cats may be killed in order to allow maintenance of the shelter, according to Fox5Atlanta.

Crucial maintenance at the Heard County Animal Control could cost dozens of animals their lives if they do not find homes soon. Officials said the floors have to be repaired for the health of the animals and said while the work is being done, they have no place to keep the current pet population.

“I’m just begging, for rescuers to come in and rescue these animals,” said Kaylene Ingram, Heard County Animal Control.

Ingram said for a month, she has been trying to find homes for the 17 dogs and 18 cats in the facility, but time is running out. She said crucial repairs have to be made for the health and safety of the animals who reside at the shelter. The floors are cracked and chipped and she said germs can seep into the cement, spreading disease.

“I want these animals to have a safe place, but we are a kill facility and we only have certain spaces,” said Ingram.

The (Carrollton) Times-Georgian says that local groups are trying to help prevent the massacre.

Teresa Leslie, president of the Carroll County Humane Society, said that the Heard County Humane Society is trying to help by paying half the adoption fee for any animal adopted this week. She said that both organizations would be willing to coordinate the temporary relocation of any un-adopted animals to foster homes or boarding sites for the weekend, if the authorities involved would allow it.

“We are happy to facilitate getting them in foster homes and boarding them out,” said Leslie. “When it comes to foster homes though, we don’t have a lot of places to go right now. In fact, a lot of the homes we do have are full. This would be on an emergency basis anyway because these animals are in trouble. A mass extermination like that is a lot and we are getting the word out and hopefully people will want to help out, if only on a temporary basis.

Click here to see the dogs that are in danger.

30
Aug

Georiga Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 30, 2016

On August 30, 1888, Asa Griggs Candler bought one-third interest in the Coca-Cola company, bringing his total ownership to more than two-thirds of the company.

Georgia native Ty Cobb debuted with the Detroit Tigers on August 30, 1905.

On August 30, 1979, President Jimmy Carter reported being attacked by a rabbit near Plains, Georgia. Here’s an interview in which President Carter was asked about the rabbit incident.

Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell was indicted on August 30, 2004 on racketeering, bribery and wire fraud charges and would later plead guilty to tax evasion.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

 Indiana Governor and VP candidate Mike Pence held a Town Hall in Perry, Georgia yesterday.

Pence took the stage on Monday in an effort to keep Georgia voting republican. A big crowd turned out, hoping to ensure Georgia voters continue to vote for republican in this presidential race.

After a warm welcome by former Governor Sonny Perdue, Pence was greeted by a loud crowd.

His message was Trump’s agenda to make America great again. Pence said that he and Trump will bring the economy back.

“They tell us this economy is the best we can do. They paint a rosy picture about how things in America are really as good as they are going to get but you and I know better,” said Pence.

Pence said we are in the weakest economic recovery since the Great Depression and only he and Trump can pull us out.

“At the end of the day this election is a choice. It’s a choice between two agendas and not so much two candidates and making sure people see that agenda,” said Pence. “And I just promise you in the next 70 some odd days Donald Trump and I are going to campaign relentlessly across this country with a positive agenda.”

Former Governor Sonny Perdue introduced Pence in Perry.

For one high profile backer, Pence was a solid surrogate.  “Mike Pence is a great example of Donald Trump making good decisions,” said former Gov. Sonny Perdue, who hails from nearby Bonaire.  Perdue predicted Trump will have no problem winning Georgia in November.

Senator David Perdue released a statement about Pence’s visit to Georgia:Continue Reading..

29
Aug

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 29, 2016

Apollo

Apollo is a male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Coweta County Animal Control in Newnan, GA.

“When you see me, you’ll find me lying in my kennel, just taking my situation in stride. I’m a pretty chill fella. What choice do I have? I do LOVE getting out for some fresh air & exercise though. Even though I’m well-mannered & cool, my time is running out. Been here since mid-May. I’m am SO READY for a safe, loving home to call my own! Please adopt me today! Watch my video or just come for me. Thanks! My ID # is A032720. Kennel #A-2.” PLEASE SAVE APOLLO!

Clyde

Clyde is a young male Boxer who is available for adoption through the Newnan Coweta Humane Society in Newnan, GA.

Clyde is such a smart boy! He knows commands, leash walks perfectly, is housetrained, & wants to please his human. He’s not had it easy, but it’s getting easier for him!

Mary

Mary is one of a number of Chihuahua mix puppies who are available for adoption through the Newnan Coweta Humane Society in Newnan, GA. She will be available for adoption beginning on September 5th.

29
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 29, 2016

General Robert E. Lee’s Confederates met General John Pope’s federal forces at the Second Battle of Manassas on August 29, 1862.

Union General William T. Sherman’s forces tore up 12 miles of railroad between Red Oak and Fairburn on August 29, 1864.

The United States Air Force Academy moved to its permanent home in Colorado Springs on August 29, 1958

The Beatles played their final concert at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966.

On August 29, 1971, Hank Aaron broke the National League record for most seasons with 100 or more RBI, as he drove in his 100th run to make 11 seasons hitting that mark.

On August 29, 1977, Lou Brock stole his 893d base, to surpass the record set by Georgia-born Ty Cobb.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Trump TrailerThis Trump Trailer is situated on US 280 in Rex, Georgia and was probably not produced by the campaign. It’s an indication of how enthusiastic some Georgians are for the Republican nominee.

Mike Pence Tours Georgia

Indiana Governor and Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Mike Pence begins his tour of Georgia today with a Town Hall in Perry, Georgia at the National Fairgrounds & Agricenter, 401 Larry Walker Parkway, Perry, GA 31069, 2PM (Doors open at 11AM) Click here for your free tickets.Continue Reading..

26
Aug

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 26, 2016

National Dog Day

In celebration of National Dog Day today, LifeLine Animal Project is waiving all adoption fees for dogs over 25 pounds in their DeKalb County and Fulton County shelters. Check out their adoptable dogs here.

Cupcake

Cupcake is a senior female Pit Bull Terrier who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

Cupcake has the cutest face you’ve ever seen! She’s a real sweetheart just looking for a home where she can relax and be loved on. Cupcake gets along well with most other dogs but would prefer a male companion if any. She also loves children and would be a great family dog! Is she the one for you?

Want to foster this cutie? Fill out an online foster application here.

Indie

Indie is a male Retriever (and Basset Hound, I’d guess) mix who is available for adoption from County Animal Services in Decatur, GA.

Larry

Larry is a male German Shepherd mix puppy who is available for adoption from LifeLine at Fulton County Animal Services
860 Marietta Blvd, Atlanta, GA.

26
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 26, 2016

Georgia and American History

General Robert E. Lee’s Confederates met General John Pope’s federal forces at the Second Battle of Manassas on August 29, 1862.

On August 26, 1864, having withdrawn from trenches and fortifications outside Atlanta the previous day, U.S. General Sherman sent most of his forces westward around Atlanta and toward the south of the city. Sherman’s forces tore up 12 miles of railroad between Red Oak and Fairburn on August 29, 1864.

On August 26, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted. Ratification took place on August 18, 1920, as the Tennessee House of Representatives adopted it, but adoption became official on August 26, when United States Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the Amendment. It reads:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

August 28, 1929 saw Governor Lamartine Hardman sign a Constitutional Amendment authorizing the levy of a state income tax.

Advertising in the rights of way of state roads and placing signs on private property without the owner’s approval were prohibited in the first Georgia law regulating outdoor advertising, which was signed by Governor Richard Russell on August 27, 1931. Over the years, both practices would become enshrined in Peach State political strategy.

On August 26, 1939, the first televised major league baseball game aired, as the Brooklyn Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds split a doubleheader in Ebbets Field.

On August 26, 1961, the 718th Engineer Light Equipment Company of Fort Valley and the 210th Signal Base Depot Company of Augusta were called up to take part in the American response to the crisis in Berlin.

On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the “I Have a Dream Speech” on the Mall in Washington, DC.

President Lyndon B. Johnson was nominated for President by the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey on August 26, 1964.

On August 26, 1965, Sonny & Cher were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘I Got You Babe’, the duo’s only UK No.1. Sonny Bono was inspired to write the song to capitalize on the popularity of the term “babe,” as heard in Bob Dylan’s ‘It Ain’t Me Babe’.

On August 29, 1971, Hank Aaron broke the National League record for most seasons with 100 or more RBI, as he drove in his 100th run to make 11 seasons hitting that mark.

Former Georgia Governor Lester Maddox was nominated for President on the American Independent Party ticket on August 27, 1976, making the race probably the only one to ever feature two former Georgia governors. During the campaign, Maddox described Jimmy Carter as “the most dishonest man I ever met.”

An obscure college professor named Newt Gingrich began his political career on August 28, 1976, as he kicked off his first campaign against Congressman Jack Flynt.

Old Newt Pic

On August 27, 1982, Oakland Athletics outfielder Rickey Henderson broke the record for stolen bases in a season, nabbing number 119 against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Georgia Governor Zell Miller addressed the Democratic National Convention on August 27, 1996. In 2004, Miller would address the Republican National Convention, likely becoming the first Georgian to address both major parties’ national conventions. Congressman John Lewis and Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney also addressed the ’96 DNC.

On August 27, 2008, Barack Obama became the Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, the first African-American nominee of a major United States political party.

On August 26, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed a Welfare Reform bill, called the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.

On August 28, 2008, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools revoked the accreditation of the Clayton County Public Schools. Later that day, Governor Sonny Perdue removed four members of the Clayton County Board of Education upon the recommendation of an administrative law judge.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Trump-Pence campaign has released its Georgia campaign leadership list.

· Chairman: Senator David Perdue (R-GA)
· Chairman: Rayna Casey, Business and Civic Leader
· Co-Chair: State Senator Burt Jones (R-District 25)
· Co-Chair: State Senator Michael Williams (R-District 27)
· Co-Chair: State Rep. Steve Tarvin (R–District 2)
· Co-Chair: Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, Jr., Georgia Public Service Commissioner
· Co-Chair: Sue Everhart, former Chairwoman of Georgia GOP
· Co-Chair: Sheriff Butch Conway, Gwinnett County
· Finance Chair: Pete Petit, CEO of MiMedx Group
· Grassroots Steering Committee: Don Cole, Former 2nd District GOP Chairman
· Grassroots Steering Committee: Suzi Voyles, Past-President of Georgia Federation of Republican Women
· Grassroots Steering Committee: Brad Carver, Lt. Col. Army Reserves, 11th District GOP Chairman
· Grassroots Steering Committee: Joseph Brannon, National Committeeman, National Federation of Young Republicans

Republican Pollster White Ayres, formerly an Atlanta resident, writes in the Washington Post about how downballot Republicans can insulate themselves from a Trump loss in November.

To win, Republican candidates need the votes of Trump Republicans and Never Trump Republicans, as well as independents who find Donald Trump either refreshing or abhorrent. Fortunately, they have a model in Southern Democratic candidates who for years ran successful campaigns in presidential years while distancing themselves from the top of the ticket.

Preserving that level of split-ticket voting, with a substantial number of voters supporting Clinton for president and Republicans down-ballot, is the key to maintaining Republican control of the Senate.How can Republicans preserve those margins? Localize, localize, localize. Successful Southern Democrats gave no more than lip service to their party’s liberal presidential nominees, while using the advantages of incumbency to highlight specific ways their service in Washington benefited their constituents.

In 1972, Democratic nominee George McGovern’s support in the 11 states of the former Confederacy ranged from a low of 20 percent in Mississippi to a high of 33 percent in Texas. Yet in the same year five Democratic candidates won election to the Senate with remarkable majorities: 54 percent for Sam Nunn in Georgia, 55 percent for J. Bennett Johnston in Louisiana, 58 percent for James Eastland in Mississippi, 61 percent for John McClellan in Arkansas and 62 percent for John Sparkman in Alabama.

In 1984, Democratic nominee Walter Mondale’s Southern support ranged from a low of 35 percent in Florida to a high of 42 percent in Tennessee. Yet Mondale’s weakness in the South did not prevent David Pryor from winning in Arkansas with 57 percent or Howell Heflin winning 63 percent in Alabama or Nunn winning 80 percent in Georgia or Johnston winning Louisiana with 86 percent.

Nunn took a different tack in 1972 when his Republican opponent covered Georgia with posters linking him to McGovern. Nunn flew to Montgomery, Ala., to receive the endorsement of then-presidential candidate George Wallace, saying “George Wallace represents the real views of Georgians.” Nunn later said, “I frankly admired Wallace, not because of his racial views, but because of his willingness to stand up and shake a fist at Washington occasionally. There’s something therapeutic about that in the South.”

Emory Professor Alan Abramowitz predicts that Republicans will maintain control of the United States House of Representatives and have an even chance of losing the Senate to Democrats.

The results in Table 2 indicate that for almost any conceivable values of the generic ballot variable, Democrats are likely to make gains in both the House and Senate. That is largely due to the fact that, as a result of their successes in the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections, Republicans are defending unusually large numbers of seats in both chambers this year. However, the results indicate that in order for Democrats to gain the minimum of four seats they need to regain control of the Senate (if there is a Democratic vice president to break a 50-50 tie), they probably would need a lead of at least two or three points on the generic ballot and to gain the minimum of 30 seats they need to regain control of the House, they probably would need a lead of at least 13 points on the generic ballot.

According to HuffPost Pollster, results of recent national polls give Democrats an average lead of five points on the generic ballot. If that lead were to hold up until the week after Labor Day, the traditional cutoff date for the generic ballot forecast, Democrats would be expected to gain about 16 seats in the House and about four seats in the Senate — not enough to flip control of the House but enough to flip control of the Senate if Clinton wins the presidential election.

Of course any forecasts based on a statistical model are subject to a margin of error. In this case, the results in Table 1 indicate that if Democrats maintain a five-point lead in the generic ballot, they would be very likely to pick up between six and 26 seats in the House and between two and six seats in the Senate. They would have about a 50% chance of regaining control of the Senate (if there is a Democratic vice president) but less than a 15% chance of regaining control of the House.

Meanwhile, the New York Times Upshot writes that Democrats have a 60% chance of winning a Senate majority.

Included within this 60 percent is a 17 percent chance that the Senate ends up evenly split with a Democratic vice president providing the tiebreaking vote.

By our count, the Democrats need to win five seats among the 11 most competitive races. (The Democrats will need to win six if Donald J. Trump wins the presidential race; we put Mr. Trump’s chances of winning at only 11 percent). Ten of these seats are held by Republicans, and one by a Democrat, Harry Reid of Nevada, who is retiring.

This year, the Democrats are defending only 10 seats while the Republicans have to preserve 24. On fundamentals alone — that is, historical voting patterns, the candidates’ political experience and fund-raising — the Democrats would have about a 50-50 shot to win the Senate. The latest Senate polling improves this figure to 60 percent.

Bloomberg takes a look at the Democrats constant refrain that Georgia can be won by Democrats this year.

Ever since Barack Obama came within 6 percentage points of beating John McCain in Georgia in 2008, the state’s Democrats have pointed to a wave of minority, young, and transplanted voters as proof that their deeply Republican state was on the cusp of turning blue, or at least purple. Although whites now make up 58 percent of active voters in Georgia, down from 72 percent in 2002, the demographic shift remains a slow process, and Democrats have yet to capitalize on it in a statewide race. Obama lost ground in Georgia in 2012, and Michelle Nunn, the daughter of a popular former Democratic senator, got close but ultimately lost her bid to win a U.S. Senate seat in 2014.

But this year, Democrats may have a secret weapon in Trump, whose campaign appears to be accelerating an electoral change in Georgia that many political pros thought was still a few years away. “My view is that Georgia is probably in play, which I have never said before,” says Stuart Rothenberg, founder of the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report. “It’s entirely due to Trump.”

Trump has alienated the kind of middle-class suburban Republicans who turned out in force for Mitt Romney and McCain, more than offsetting his appeal to rural, working-class whites. He may now have to compete for Southern conservative voters who should have been a given. Even if Clinton doesn’t win Georgia, the mere fact that it’s competitive may force Trump to spend money there that he wouldn’t have otherwise, says Brad Coker, managing director at Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.

Georgia still looks solidly red from the outside. Republicans enjoy a strong majority in the state legislature, and they’ve controlled the governor’s mansion since the 2002 election. As white politicians switched parties to improve their chances of staying in power, the Democratic Party in Georgia increasingly became the province of minority groups and the urban young, both of which are outnumbered.

[O]rganizers for Democratic House member Taylor Bennett were already canvassing last weekend and promising four or five visits per voter by November, says organizer Evan Gillon: “They’ll be sick of us by the end.”

A trio of writers that includes Augusta University Political Science Professor Martha Ginn writes in the Washington post about how the media decides which polls to discuss.

Our research suggests yet another reason not to overreact to news stories about the newest poll: Media outlets tend to cover the surveys with the most “newsworthy” results, which can distort the picture of where the race stands.

Why? Consider the incentives of the news business. News outlets cover polls because they fit the very definition of newsworthiness. They’re new, timely, often generate conflict and allow political reporters to appear objective by simply telling readers and viewers what the public thinks. Horse-race stories are also popular.

Given that readers are drawn to drama and uncertainty, polls that offer intrigue or new developments — such as a close race or signs that one candidate is surging — are more likely to be deemed newsworthy. In particular, polls with unusual results may be more likely to make the news.

On the other hand, surveys that reveal stability or a lack of drama — such as one candidate maintaining a modest, steady lead — are less likely to get attention. Such judgments may lead news outlets to distort the true state of the race.

Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle traveled to South Georgia to support Senator Greg Kirk’s reelection bid.

While showing his support for the re-election campaign of state Sen. Greg Kirk, R-Americus, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said economic development will be among the priorities Georgians should expect to see addressed out in the months and years ahead.

Cagle, a Republican and former state senator, said at an event at Chehaw supporting Kirk that the delegation representing Southwest Georgia is one that knows how to collaborate in order to get things done for their communities.

An example specific to rural Georgia is agriculture, the lieutenant governor said. If an agricultural product can be taken and the right marketing strategy developed for it, that product can go a long way.

“It’s about jobs, jobs and more jobs,” Cagle said. “Government doesn’t create jobs, but government does create the circumstances for jobs.”

 

The Georgia Department of Community Health is asking for an additional $300 million to fund healthcare for Georgia residents.

The $300 million projected to be needed for the midyear and fiscal 2018 budgets is only the state’s portion: The federal government would kick in about $600 million more in Medicaid spending for Georgia.

DCH officials are projecting 2 percent growth next year in enrollment for Medicaid and PeachCare insurance for children. About 1.87 million Georgians are enrolled in Medicaid, the health care program for the poor, disabled and elderly, and an additional 127,000 are on PeachCare.

House Appropriations Chairman Terry England, R-Auburn, said he’s worried about the increases as well.

“We are going to have to figure out something,” England told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an interview. “We’re going to have to figure out what’s the next trick in the bag to get control of it.”

Norcross has cancelled its November City Council elections after incumbents Josh Bare, Andrew Hixon and David McLeroy qualified without opposition.

In Twiggs County, a local politician is on the hot seat over multiple homestead exemptions he’s claimed.

Twiggs County Commissioner Tommie Lee Bryant stunned members of his own board earlier this month when he admitted he was not a fully disabled veteran. County tax officials say Bryant has claimed the service-related disability for years to avoid paying taxes on his Jeffersonville house.

“There is more than one way to get 100 percent (disability). In other words, I’m not (a) 100 percent disabled veteran,” Bryant said in a video of the Aug. 16 commission meeting provided to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I ain’t but 60 percent and I can show it to you in black and white.”

The hitch is that the homeowner must be 100 percent disabled as a result of their service, said Walter Ashby, chairman of the Twiggs County Board of Tax Assessors.

An internal investigation by the tax assessor found records were altered by Yolanda Thomas, a relative of Bryant who worked in the tax office. When the tax board met in May to determine whether to fire the employee, Bryant barged in and said he had told his relative to change the records in the computer, according to statements signed by the board members.

25
Aug

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 25, 2016

Husker and Abbie

The father of Husker and Abbie recently moved to an assisted living facility and can no longer care for his sweeties. Husker (left) is an 11 yr old bichon/maltese mix and Abbie (right) is a 3 yr old papilion/spaniel mix. This duo comes together and are mild mannered, well trained, and best friends! Please contact Marcie Draper [email protected] if you have the space for these precious pups to share their love and companionship with you.

Gwinnett Oldster

Chance (#52113) is a senior male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter. Senior dogs are the best – experienced at loving their humans, mellow and low maintenance.

This old guy came into the Gwinnett shelter as a stray… they were hopeful but when we finally got in touch with owner he did not want Chance any more but did tell tell to give him some tennis balls and he would be happy.

This guy loves to play and has been good with all of the dogs we have had him around. Due to his age he might be best in a home without children as he is older and loves to enjoy a good nap.

52242 Pen 188

Number 52242 is a male puppy who is thought to be a Newfoundlander or Newfie mix, who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

pen 220d

Number 52032 is a young male Dachshund mix who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

25
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 25, 2016

On August 25, 325, the Council of Nicea adopted the Nicene Creed.

On August 25, 1864, Union troops stopped artillery bombardment of Atlanta and withdrew from fortifications around the city. On the same day, in Virginia, Confederate forces attacked Federals under Gen. Grant at Ream’s Station.

On August 25, 1877, delegates to the state Constitutional Convention approved a new post-Reconstruction state Constitution, the seventh in state history, to be submitted to the voters on December 5, 1877.

The all-time highest score in a professional baseball game was recorded on August 25, 1922, as the Chicago Cubs beat the Philadelphia Phillies by 26-23.

Paris was liberated from German army control on August 25, 1944.

On August 25, 1950, President Harry S. Truman ordered the seizure of the nation’s private railroads by executive order.

On August 25, 1973, the Allman Brothers of Macon, Georgia released “Ramblin’ Man” as the first single from the album “Brothers and Sisters.” From the Wall Street Journal,

Dickey Betts: In 1969, I was playing guitar in several rock bands that toured central Florida. Whenever I’d have trouble finding a place to stay, my friend Kenny Harwick would let me crash at his garage apartment for a few days in Sarasota. One day he asked me how I was doing with my music and said, “I bet you’re just tryin’ to make a livin’ and doin’ the best you can.”

Then one day in 1972, I was sitting in the kitchen of what we called the Big House in Macon, Ga.—where everyone in the band lived—and decided to finish the lyrics.

My inspiration was Hank Williams’s “Ramblin’ Man,” from 1951. His song and mine are completely different but I liked his mournful, minor-chord feel.

Except for Kenny’s line, the rest of the lyrics were autobiographical.

The WSJ article is worth reading in its entirety if you’re a fan of the Allmans.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Yesterday, the SafeHarborYes ballot committee kicked off its campaign to promote adoption by voters of Constitutional Amendment #2 on the November ballot.

Senator Unterman 4193

From the Gwinnett Daily Post:Continue Reading..