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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 1, 2015

The Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia on July 1, 1776 to debate a resolution by Richard Henry Lee that the colonies declare their independence of Britain.

The first U.S. Postage stamps were issued on July 1, 1847 in New York City.

The Battle of Gettysburg began on July 1, 1863.

Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders charged San Juan Hill in Cuba during the Spanish-American War on July 1, 1898.

Coca-Cola marketed its current formula for the first time on July 1, 1916.

On July 1, 1956, a new Georgia flag bearing the state seal and a version of the Confederate Battle Flag became effective after being adopted by the Georgia General Assembly in the 1956 Session.

The current Georgia Constitution became effective on July 1, 1983 after its approval in a referendum during the November 1982 General Election.

Georgia native Clarence Thomas was nominated to the United States Supreme Court by President George H.W. Bush on July 1, 1991.

Georgia Politics

We’ll get a bunch of flag stuff out of the way today.

Former Governor Roy Barnes gave an account of the 2001 state flag debate to CNN.

As governor of Georgia, I successfully pushed for the replacement of that flag during our 2001 legislative session.

Everywhere I appeared in public after the flag change, I was greeted with protesters — almost exclusively older white men — waving Georgia’s 1956 flag and the Confederate battle emblem itself. It did not come as a surprise. My predecessor as governor, Zell Miller, had a political near-death experience running for re-election in 1994 after attempting to persuade our Legislature to replace the 1956 flag in 1993.

Many believe my effort to change the flag led to my defeat for re-election in 2002. That year, the Georgia Republican Party’s candidates, including its gubernatorial nominee, promised that if elected, they would hold a referendum that would allow Georgians to vote to bring back the state flag with the Confederate battle emblem. The tactic worked. Republicans won the governor’s office for the first time since Reconstruction.

The Republican Party in the South created its modern dominance on racial division, building a supermajority of white voters to win elections. Ironically, this strategy now gives it the chance to bring change to our region in a way that would be much more difficult for Democrats such as me.

One example here in Georgia is Republican Gov. Nathan Deal’s push to reform draconian sentencing laws that we have enacted over the last several decades. A Democratic governor would no doubt be attacked as “soft on crime” and be hard-pressed to garner significant GOP support for such an effort. A Republican governor, however, can make the case as an ally to his party’s legislators and supporters about the need for such reform.

Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for July 1, 2015


Zeus is an adult male Great Dane who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, Ga.

Once he was in a foster home, Zeus came down with bloat, to which Great Danes are susceptible, and Coastal Pet Rescue is asking for donations to pay for the surgery he required.


Abby is a 4-6 year old adult female Great Dane who was abandoned when her previous owner was evicted. She is being treated for eye and ear infections and is working on putting on some weight.She is housebroken and gets along with other large dogs. She will need to be on eye drops for the remainder of her life due to chronic dry eye. Abby will need to be in a home with no cats, no young children, and no small dogs. Abby is a very sweet and loving girl. Loves walks and water!! She has great manners and gets along well with most dogs and older children.

Abby is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, Ga.

Lady Bug

Lady Bug is an adult female Great Dane who was kept tethered outside. Lady Bug is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, Ga.


Sampson is a 5-year old Great Dane who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, Ga.


Attorney General Sam Olens Files Lawsuit Asking Court to Overturn Burdensome ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule

Attorney General Sam Olens today has filed a lawsuit in federal court for the Southern District of Georgia asking the court to strike down a new rule from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that unlawfully expands the federal government’s regulatory reach over local streams, lands, and farms. He is joined by eight state attorneys general in the lawsuit. 

The rule, known generally as the “Waters of the United States” rule, would extend the EPA and Corps of Engineers’ regulatory reach to an untold number of small bodies of water, including roadside ditches and short-lived streams or any other area where the agencies believe water may flow once every 100 years.


This rule could have dire consequences for homeowners, farmers, and other entities by forcing them to navigate a complex federal bureaucracy and obtain costly permits in order to perform everyday tasks like digging ditches, building fences, or spraying fertilizers. Failure to comply with this new regulatory scheme could result in fines of up to $37,500 a day. 


“Today I am joining with a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general to challenge an unlawful and unprecedented expansion of federal power over private property owners and state and local matters” said Olens. “The scope of the ‘Waters of the United States’ rule is breathtaking and will directly impact the everyday lives of Georgians, from farmers to homeowners. Under this excessive and expensive rule, a farm pond, or even a homeowner’s backyard could be subject to federal regulation. As the federal government continues to issue burdensome and unconstitutional executive directives at an alarming rate, I remain steadfast in my commitment to protect and defend the interests of Georgians.”


“Through the finalization of this rule, a clear punitive overreach of the government’s power has taken place,” said Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black. “I view this as a frontal assault on private property rights; federal overreach on steroids. My sincere hope is that through this joint complaint, we will thwart yet another blatant overreach of the federal government.”


In the complaint, the Attorneys General of West Virginia, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, South Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin argue the final rule put forward by the EPA and Corps of Engineers violates the Clean Water Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the U.S. Constitution and usurps the states’ primary responsibility for the management, protection, and care of intrastate waters and lands.


While the Clean Water Act gave the EPA and Corps authority to regulate “navigable waters” – defined as “waters of the United States” – Congress made sure that states would retain their constitutional, sovereign responsibility over non-navigable, intrastate lands and waters. The U.S. Supreme Court has twice rejected the agencies’ attempts to expand their authority (in Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. Army Corps of Engineers and Rapanos v. United States). However, this latest rule written by the two administrative agencies gives them virtually limitless power over these waters.


The complaint asks a federal judge to declare the rule illegal and issue an injunction to prevent the agencies from enforcing it. It also asks the judge to order the agencies to draft a new rule that complies with the law.


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

On June 30, 1665, England’s King Charles signed a royal charter for Carolina, defining its southern border and also claiming all land in what is now Georgia.

On June 30, 1775, the Continental Congress passed the Articles of War, laying out complaints against Britain’s Parliament.

“The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”

Today could well be called Intermodal Transportation History Day in Georgia. The first four-lane highway in Georgia was announced on June 30, 1937 from Atlanta to Marietta. The first C5 air flight took place from Dobbins in Marietta on June 30, 1968 and MARTA rail service began on June 30, 1979.

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell first went on sale on June 30, 1936; on June 30, 1986, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp commemorating Margaret Mitchell.

Superman made his first appearance in Action Comics #1 on June 30, 1938.

The first Corvette was built on June 30, 1953 in Flint, Michigan.

Ohio became the 39th state to ratify the 26th Amendment on June 30, 1971, lowering the voting age to 18.

Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing was released on June 30, 1989. Lee was born in Atlanta and graduated from Morehouse College.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Former Chair of the Georgia State House Appropriations Committee Ben Harbin (R-Evans) has told Governor Deal and Speaker David Ralston that he is retiring from the lower chamber effective July 7, 2015. Harbin’s political career, beginning after his first House election in 1994, spans the period in which the Georgia Republican Party went from a largely-suburban minority party to the dominant political force statewide. Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for June 30, 2015


April is a lively, happy adult female Labrador Retriever mix who enjoys human company, and loves to go for walks. She is a beautiful dog and would be a wonderful addition to an energetic family!

While she loves people and the attention they give, she’s not so fond of other animals. For this reason, April must be the only pet in the household. April is available for adoption from CSRA Humane Society, Inc. in Augusta, GA.


Sunshine is an young adult male Labrador Retriever mix, a longtime resident of the CSRA Humane Society. Found many years ago as a stray puppy (alongside his brother and his mom), our sunny boy is a bit on the shy side. He’ll greet most strangers with a bark and a retreat, but if you take the time to get to know him first, you will gain his trust and have a friend forever. Once he feels safe, he’s more than happy to sit next to you so you can stroke his head and pull on his ears. Sunshine is a bit selective with regards to doggy companions (he prefers submissive female dogs best).

Sunshine is available for adoption from CSRA Humane Society, Inc. in Augusta, GA.


Lola is a female Border Collie mix, about 1.5 to 2 years old. She was found stray in Burke County, where there is not county shelter and dogs are often dumped. We posted to try to find an owner, but nobody claimed her. Lola is a young adult female Border Collie-mix, house trained, good with dogs, and kids. She is a bit too interested in the kitties, so best in a home without them. She is a herding breed, so does like to herd the young children when they’re running.

Lola is available for adoption from Columbia County Animal Rescue in Evans, GA.


Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens Elected Chair of Southern Attorneys General

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens has been elected Chair of the Southern Region of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) for the second time in three years. The Southern Region includes the following 13 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Olens was elected chair by his fellow Southern attorneys general at the NAAG summer meeting in San Diego earlier this month. As chairman, he will serve on the Executive Committee of NAAG and be responsible for coordinating the agenda of the Southern Region.

“I am honored that my peers have placed their confidence in me to lead the Southern Region for NAAG for the second time” said Olens. “I look forward to working with my counterparts in the other Southern states on strategies and solutions to better our individual states and the entire Southern region.”Continue Reading..


Gov. Deal names sculptor for Capitol’s MLK statue

Gov. Nathan Deal and Rep. Calvin Smyre (Columbus) announced today that the state has selected Henry County-based sculptor Andy Davis to create the statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. that will stand on Georgia Capitol grounds. The sculpture will be placed on the northeast quadrant of the Capitol grounds overlooking Liberty Plaza. Deal tapped Smyre, Dean of the Georgia General Assembly, earlier this year to head up the effort and act as liaison between the state, the King Estate, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Advisory Council and the Georgia Arts Standards Commission.

“Placing a statue of Dr. King at the Capitol of his home state is a long overdue honor, and selecting an artist is an important step forward in this process,” Deal said. “I am confident that Andy Davis’ past works, including a statue of Ray Charles in the singer’s hometown of Albany, have prepared him well for this historic project. I commend Rep. Smyre for his diligent efforts and leadership on this project and I look forward to seeing the final work of art.”Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for June 29, 2015


Ariel is an adult female Plott Hound mix with a beautiful brindle coat. She was found in Liberty County, abandoned after her people had moved. She had an embedded collar and was high heartworm positive, though she’s been treated. Ariel is available for adoption from Carpathia Paws, Inc. in Hinesville, GA.


Gemma is a beautiful young adult lab mix girl, around 10 months old, spayed, heart worm negative, and up to date on all vaccines and preventions. Gemma is a young pup that is full of energy! She’ll need an active family that will keep her on her toes, or paws ;) This girl has a love for tennis balls, and often hoards them in her kennel, she just can never have enough! She is incredibly obedient and intelligent. She learns extremely quickly and even during a simple game of fetch, you will never see her lose focus from the ball. Gemma is extremely selective when it comes to other dogs, and is not very fond of cats. Given her energy level, it is best that no young children live in the household.

Gemma is available for adoption from Carpathia Paws, Inc. in Hinesville, GA.


Blaze is a beautiful and sweet young female Pibble, still a puppy in many ways, who was dumped by her owners. Blaze is an amazing, smart, and very obedient girl.

Blaze must have been loved before because she knows several comments such as “heel,” “sit,” “down,” “shake” and “beg.” She is a complete lover that enjoys going on car rides and like most pups, rolling around in the dirt! She absolutely LOVES to fetch. She will do just about anything to get that tennis ball, especially one that squeaks! Once she sees one in your hand, she’ll automatically sit on her back legs waiting for it to be thrown ?

Blaze is available for adoption from Carpathia Paws, Inc. in Hinesville, GA.


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

On June 29, 1565, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés sailed from Cadiz, Spain to invade Florida.

Johan De Kalb was born on June 29, 1721 in Germany. In 1777, De Kalb joined the Marquis de Lafayette in supporting the Americans against British forces, dying in Camden, South Carolina in 1780. In 1822, the Georgia General Assembly created DeKalb County.

On June 29, 1767, the British Parliament passed the Townshend Acts, levying a tax on glass, paint, oil, lead, paper, and tea in order to raise funds from the colonies.

The United States Supreme Court released its 5-4 opinion in Furman v. Georgia on June 29, 1972, holding that the death penalty violated the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

On June 29, 1993, Governor Zell Miller bought the first ticket in the Georgia Lottery.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Before we get into the politics, a public service message:

Georgia’s Department of Family and Children Services needs foster home for approximately 200 children across the state.

“Adoptive parent recruitment is an important initiative for the Division of Family and Children Services,” said DFCS Director Bobby Cagle. “We have so many deserving children that can spend years waiting for a family. We hope that by building awareness of the need for permanent families that Georgians will open their hearts and homes to these children.”

Click the link for profiles of three sisters who need a home.


Early voting is open in the Special Elections and Special Runoff Elections in House Districts 24, 55, 48, 80, 146, and 155 and DeKalb County Commission District 5. Click here for early voting information for your county.

In DeKalb, Houston, and Fulton Counties, almost certainly others, no early voting will be available on July 3, but Saturday early voting will be open on July 4th. This is kind of cool and kind of goofy. Cool because it may be the only time you’ll be able to cast your vote on July 4th, as a legislative fix is being planned by at least one legislator in an affected area. Goofy because I think we’ll likely be paying time-and-a-half for poll workers to give up their holiday while very few voters will cast ballots.

Forsyth County’s elections officials discussed their predictions for early voting turnout in the July 14 runoff.

“It’s going to be lower than the last one, because we won’t have that city election involved,” said Barbara Luth, the county’s supervisor of voter registrations and elections.

“However, we have had people stopping by [on Friday] to ask when voting is starting, and we do have some mail-out ballots that will be sent on Monday.

“Sometimes you get the same amount in the runoff, [others] it goes down a little bit. So it’s definitely going to be under 10 percent, but how much I don’t know, maybe half.”

The first week of advance voting will be cut short a day due to the July Fourth holiday Friday.

“June 29 through July 2, which is Monday through Thursday, we will be open at the Forsyth Administration Building from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” Luth said.

The second week times will vary depending on the day.

“The second week, from July 6 through July 10, Monday through Thursday, we’ll be open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” Luth said.  “We’ll be at the administration building, and also we’ll be open at Midway Park Community Building [at 5100 Post Road].

“We have no Saturday voting this time. We’re not required to have Saturday voting on a runoff.”


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Confederate groups vow to fight back |

The leader of Georgia’s Sons of Confederate Veterans chapter said Friday he plans to “counter the new attacks against our heritage” with a lobbying campaign, a membership drive and the threat of legal action against the state.

The group outlined its plans as Democrats and other critics vowed to step up their plans to end state holidays honoring Confederate history and phase out license plates and other state symbols with the Confederate battle emblem.

Jack Bridwell, who heads the Confederate group’s Georgia chapter, said in a note to members he has asked Gov. Nathan Deal and other officials for a sit-down to explain the state’s decision this week to stop issuing the group’s specialty plates. Deal pledged to “redesign” the tag days after a suspected white supremacist gunned down nine black worshippers at a Charleston church.

The group’s legal counsel is reviewing the decision, Bridwell said, but “we will certainly not rule out the possibility if the problem is not remedied immediately.”

via Confederate groups vow to fight back |