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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 30, 2015

July 30th could be celebrated as the birthday of democracy in America, as the Virginia House of Burgesses became the first legislative body in the New World on July 30, 1619.

 Its first law, which, like all of its laws, would have to be approved by the London Company, required tobacco to be sold for at least three shillings per pound. Other laws passed during its first six-day session included prohibitions against gambling, drunkenness, and idleness, and a measure that made Sabbath observance mandatory.

On July 30, 1931, Georgia Governor Richard B. Russell, Jr. signed legislation merging Milton and Fulton Counties if voters in each county approved a referendum. Fulton had earlier merged with Campbell County, to the south.

Actor Laurence Fishburn was born in Augusta, Georgia on July 30, 1961.

President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed legislation creating Medicare, for seniors, and Medicaid for some low-income people on July 30, 1965.

Georgia Politics

Ammon Williams, the 17-year old son of Republican State Senator Michael Williams (R-Cumming) is hospitalized in an induced coma after a skateboarding accident. We’re praying for the Williams family.

As you’ll no doubt be reminded dozens of times over the next couple days, Georgia’s Sales Tax Holiday runs July 31 through August 1. Click here for a flyer from the Georgia Department of Revenue on which items are not subject to sales tax this weekend.

Yesterday, Gov. Deal announced the formation of the State Steering Committee for the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), including juvenile court judges and individuals from relevant state organizations, who will work to expand this juvenile reform to counties.

“Georgia leads the nation in meaningful justice reforms,” said Deal. “We rely on evidence while embracing innovations, and this latest move continues that pattern.”

A national initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, JDAI works on a county-by-county basis to encourage appropriate community support for low-risk juvenile offenders to enhance public safety, help misguided youth and conserve taxpayer dollars. According to the foundation, communities participating in JDAI have lowered the number of youth in detention by 44 percent.

Clayton County adopted the initiative in 2003, ultimately resulting in an 80 percent decrease in its average daily detention population: less than 1 percent of the county’s youth felony offenders that benefit from detention alternatives are re-arrested for a felony charge. The initial Georgia expansion will take place in multiple counties, which will be determined through a collaboration with the Casey Foundation.

“As Clayton County proves, Georgia communities can use JDAI to keep our youth out of detention and in the running for a better life,” said Deal.

Governor Deal’s press spokesman Brian Robinson will be leaving his office on the first floor of the Georgia State Capitol to seek treasure in the private sector. Greg Bluestein of the AJC has a compendium of quotes, which leads us to wonder what the auditions will be like for a successor.

Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for July 30, 2015

Gwinnett Brothers

These two young brothers are in urgent need of adoptive or foster homes at the Gwinnett County Shelter.

Gwinnett 45849

Brother #45849 is in Pen #186 while brother #45850 is in Pen #209 across the aisle.

Pen 45850

Gwinnett 46057

This gorgeous Setter or Retriever (what I’d call simply a bird dog) is male, four years old and will be available for adoption beginning tomorrow, July 31, 2015 at the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter. If you’ve got your heart set on a bird dog, go ahead and get your paperwork in as soon as you can.

Gwinnett Rabbits

Gwinnett County Animal Shelter has had a large number of rabbits come into Animal Control from a hoarding or commercial situation and they’re desperately seeking homes for the bunnies. If you’re interested in helping, perhaps you could touch base with a local rabbit rescue group and ask to be part of their foster program.


Deal launches juvenile justice committee | Governor Nathan Deal Office of the Governor

Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia Criminal Justice Reform Council today announced the formation of the State Steering Committee for the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI). The committee, which will consist of juvenile court judges and individuals from relevant state organizations, will work to expand this reform effort to counties throughout Georgia.

“Georgia leads the nation in meaningful justice reforms,” said Deal. “We rely on evidence while embracing innovations, and this latest move continues that pattern.”Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 29, 2015

President Franklin D. Roosevelt made his eighth visit to Warm Springs, Georgia on July 29, 1927.

Congress passed legislation establishing the National Aeronautic and Space Admininistration (NASA) on July 29, 1958.

The Doors’ “Light My Fire” became their first #1 hit on July 29, 1967.

Carl Lewis won his fourth consecutive gold medal in the long jump at the Atlanta Olympics on July 29, 1996.

Yesterday, the last active M35 “Deuce and a Half” truck in service at Robins Air Force Base was moved to the Museum of Aviation and into the history books.

Georgia Politics

Republican J. Max Davis and Democrat Taylor Bennett will meet August 6th for a candidate forum at Oglethorpe University.

The Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce announced July 27 that it would host the forum on Aug. 6 at Lupton Hall on the Oglethorpe University campus. The forum is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Democrat Taylor Bennett, a lawyer and former Georgia Tech football player, and J.Max Davis, a lawyer and the former mayor of Brookhaven, collected the most votes in the four-candidate field seeking the post in the July 14 runoff. Under Georgia law, when no candidate collects more than half the votes cast in an election, the top two finishers face one another in a runoff.

Davis and Bennett meet in the runoff election Aug. 11. During the forum, the candidates will answer only questions submitted in advance and presented through a moderator. To submit a question, go here.

In the runoff election for House District 155, Clay Pirkle has taken to Facebook to remind voters that early voting has begun.

Clay Pirkle Early Voting

Meanwhile, his opponent, Horace Hudgins is holding meet-and-greets for voters.

Horace Hudgins

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Adoptable Georgia Dogs for July 29, 2015

Aliya Pug

Aliya is a young pug a was born with a defect that left her blind in one eye. Then her other eye was injured – no one knows how – and had to be removed. A rescue group is prepared to take her in, but she needs donations to pay for her surgery, vetting, and transportation. You can make a pledge on Facebook in the thread about her surgery or contact [email protected] if you’re interested in adopting her.


Erik is a sweet middle-age to senior teddy bear dog who loves to hold hands with his people. He has some scars on his ears that are healing, but he’s a friendly and gentle giant who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Control in Decatur, GA. Please email if you’re interested in Erik.


Huckleberry is a goofy 5-year old Bull Terrier mix who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services in Decatur, GA.

Huckleberry’s motto is two toys is always better than one! This goofy 5 year old American Staffordshire Terrier LOVES toys and will pick up as many as he can carry and trot around happily. He is a super friendly boy who can’t wait to have a home (and toys) of his very own! His adoption fee includes his neuter, vaccinations, microchip, and more! To adopt: [email protected] To foster: [email protected] To rescue: [email protected]

Remember: all dogs over 25 pounds at DeKalb County Animal Services are adoptable for $17.76 during the month of July.


State lawmakers expecting contentious 2016 session |

It’s still the dog days of summer, but state lawmakers are already anticipating a heated session of the Georgia General Assembly beginning in January 2016.

A few national debates have stirred the pot of controversy in recent weeks — for example, the Confederate battle flag’s place in the public arena — and representatives from Hall County said they expect these issues to flare up next year.

With major transportation funding in the bag, and medical cannabis now legal for eligible patients, it’s time to start thinking about what comes next.

Rep. Lee Hawkins, R-Gainesville, said he has been keeping busy speaking to professional dental, psychologist and medical groups lately.

Health care has long been a passion for Hawkins.

And it’s an issue Carl Rogers, R-Gainesville, is taking up as a current member of a House study committee on life insurance consumer disclosures.

Meanwhile, Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, is part of a group of lawmakers reviewing how cannabis oil might be manufactured, sold and purchased in the state.

While it is legal to possess the oil to treat eight medical conditions, including seizure disorders and cancer, access to medical cannabis remains an obstacle for most patients.

Made up of physicians, attorneys, state legislators and law enforcement representatives, the Commission on Medical Cannabis will help set Georgia’s policies on medical marijuana and will make recommendations regarding access and availability to cannabis oil to the governor and General Assembly later this year.

Previous commission meetings have addressed how Georgia’s policies and enforcement measures regarding cannabis oil compare with other states that have legalized some form of medical marijuana.

The commission will meet next in late August or early September, according to Miller.

via State lawmakers expecting contentious 2016 session.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 28, 2015

On July 28, 1868, United States Secretary of State William Seward proclaimed that the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution had been ratified and was now part of the Constitution. The first section of the 14th Amendment often forms the basis for litigation and reads:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Georgia at first rejected the 14th Amendment in 1866, later ratifying it on July 21, 1868 as a condition for readmission.

On July 28, 1978, Animal House was released, instantly becoming one of the greatest films of all time. In case you’ve never seen the film, there is some adult language in the following clip. +1 for Otter’s plaid pants.

On July 28, 1994, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp commemorating “The General” locomotive, which was stolen in 1862 during the Great Locomotive Chase. Today, The General may be viewed at The Southern Museum in Kennesaw.

Georgia Politics

Longtime Republican activist Betty Voyles died on Friday at the age of 84. From the obituary,

Betty was deeply committed and involved with the Republican Party, locally and nationally. She was proud to promote conservative causes long before Georgia became a Red State.

Betty was a Goldwater Girl. She volunteered countless hours over the years for prominent politicians including managing Senator Johnny Isakson’s very first state office campaign and staying on his campaign for every election thereafter. One of her most favorite memories was flying up with Johnny Isakson for his federal Congressional Inauguration. She had a double thrill when she was able to witness his Senatorial Inauguration in 2005.

Other friends for whom she worked hard were Newt Gingrich, Congressman Tom Price, and a slew of others who are indebted to her victorious efforts.

Her smiling face could always be seen at County and State Conventions, usually registering countless numbers of delegates and alternates. She was also a willing volunteer at fundraising dinners for the GAGOP and serving on the State Committee since 2000.

She earned the GAGOP State Volunteer Award in 1998. Her energy was only surpassed by her humility. Betty was totally surprised to be awarded the 2005 Connie Russell Midura Volunteer Legacy Award from the Fulton County Republican Party. She was a longtime member of the Fulton County GOP Circle R Club and was an active member and volunteer with the North Fulton Republican Women’s Club.

Governor Nathan Deal said that concern over the carving on Stone Mountain is misplaced,

I would ask those who think this is such a big issue, if they would exert the same amount of influence and time and effort to try to make sure that the children in our school systems in this state who are in failing schools get a good education, it will erase any of the things that they think the memorials symbolize. I would hope they see that in the same light in which I do.

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Adoptable Georgia Dogs for July 28, 2015

Summer Chow

Summer is a small young female Chow,  just under 30 lbs and about 2 years old. She needs to gain a few pounds. She’s good with other dogs, very sweet, outgoing. Summer is available for adoption from Chap’s Chow Rescue in Atlanta, GA.

Summer Boxer

Beautiful Miss Summer is an adult female Boxer mix and is so, so sweet. She loves people, kids, and other dogs. She doesn’t seem to be able to make up her mid about cats. Summer weighs approximately 50 pounds, and enjoys being loved on and pamper and doesn’t even really mind if you dress her up. What kid wouldn’t like live baby doll like Summer. She even knows commands, sit, stay, down. Summer is available for adoption from Pup & Cat Co. in Winder, GA.

Summer Catahoula

Summer is a young female Catahoula Leopard Dog who is available for adoption from White County Animal Control in Cleveland, GA.


How the 2016 race is playing out en espanol |

[M]any of [Hillary] Clinton’s potential Republican competitors have at least a grasp of the language 13 percent of the country speaks at home.

Marco Rubio regularly gives interviews in Spanish, although his campaign website and social media don’t feature his language skills prominently. He learned Spanish from his parents, who immigrated from Cuba.

And Jeb Bush speaks Spanish almost exclusively at home with his Mexican-born wife and their children. He’s fluent enough to do interviews like this one on Univision.

“En 2016 Jeb Bush va a estar trabajando por la reelección de Mitt Romney,” said Jeb Bush in 2012.

Bush’s campaign website is in Spanish and English, and he regularly features videos of himself speaking Spanish on social media.

Plus, another two Republican contenders speak what they describe as Spanglish.

“Como crecí in Houston es un poco espanglish,” said Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

“I’m going to stick to English, senor,” said Ted Cruz.

via How the 2016 race is playing out en espanol |


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for July 27, 2015


Snowflake is a one-year old, female German Shepherd mix with a stunning white coat. Snowflake is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue, Inc. in Savannah, Ga.


Lucy 3 is a female boxer mix, about 1-2 years old rescued from Bryan County Animal Control. She is very sweet and ready to learn. Lucy would do best in a home without small children, small dogs or cats. Lucy is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue, Inc. in Savannah, Ga.


Baby Girl is sweet, happy, 7-year old German Shepherd mix girl looking for someone who can give her attention and love. Her Daddy passed and unfortunately, no other family member could take her.

Baby Girl is sweet and loving, and likes to lay on your lap and give lots of kisses. She’s a smart girl, and knows when you are sad, and will try to comfort you.  She’s not high energy but she does like to chase tennis balls.

She’s a great dog that is crate trained and house broken. Baby Girl is being fostered with Ashley, and they have grown very close. It would be awesome if they could be adopted as siblings.

Baby Girl is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue, Inc. in Savannah, Ga.


Ashley is sweet, happy girl, an 8-year old Shepherd mix, who is looking for someone who can give her attention and love. Her Daddy passed away a few weeks ago and unfortunately, no other family member could take her. She is housetrained, and would do best in a home with another canine to also keep her company. Ashley and Baby Girl are great buddies and would love to be adopted together. Ashley is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, Ga.