InsiderAdvantage: Georgia 2014 Senate race is really about 2016

This is a piece I wrote for InsiderAdvantage.com and published there originally on April 23, 2014.

It took someone else saying it, but I immediately smacked my forehead with the realization that Georgia’s 2014 Senate race is not just about Georgia’s United States Senator. And it’s not just about partisan control of the United States Senate. It’s also about Hilary Clinton in 2016. The following maps of the 2012 and 2008 Presidential elections show that Georgia, as well as the other Deep South states of South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana have remained red in Presidential elections. But a 2014 Nunn victory could change the 2016 dynamics in both the Democratic Presidential Primary and the November election for President.

ElectoralCollege2012

The Deep South states of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana were solid red in 2008 and 2012, but Democratic progress in Georgia could remake the electoral college map in 2016.

ElectoralCollege2008

A Michelle Nunn victory this November means that even in less-promising circumstances than 2016, demographic changes will have moved Georgia into the purple category. And it would give the eventual Democratic nominee a much-needed Peach State ally.

Beyond that, however, it changes the dynamic in the Democratic Presidential nomination race by allowing Hilary Clinton to argue that a woman can put in play states otherwise considered at least likely Republican.

800px-Democratic_presidential_primary2008

Within the national Democratic contest for President, it also gives Mrs. Clinton a renewed sense that a woman can win those same Deep South states in a Democratic Primary, where she was swept in 2008 by Barack Obama.

In February 2013, Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-aligned firm, found Clinton leading several hypothetical Republican nominees in Georgia.

Clinton, with high name recognition and coming off four years in an unelected post, leads Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, 49 percent to 46 percent, in the Peach State, according to a poll released Wednesday. She leads Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan 50 percent to 45 percent. And Newt Gingrich trails the wife of the president he once harangued, 51 percent to 44 percent.

Forty-nine percent of Georgians have a favorable opinion of Clinton, and 44 percent have an unfavorable view.

I may be among the last to understand the true import of November’s Senate race in Georgia, but looking at the map, we now know why there is so much national Democratic attention on Georgia this year.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 24, 2014

The Library of Congress was founded on April 24, 18000 and is the largest library in the world today.

Jack Kingston was born on April 24, 1955. He was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1984 and served four terms and in 1992 was elected to the United States Congress.

“Georgia On My Mind” became the official state song on April 24, 1979, when Governor George Busbee signed legislation designating it.

IBM introduced the Personal Computer Model 5150 on April 24, 1981, though some authorities date the introduction to April 12. It sported an Intel 8088 processor at 4.77 Mhz, a whopping 16k of RAM, which was expandable to 256k, and a clicky keyboard. The initial price tag was $1565, equivalent to more than $4000 today.

Gov. Deal signs legislation

Governor Nathan Deal continues to sign legislation for the next several days. Click here for a comprehensive list of bills he has signed so far this year.

Yesterday, Gov. Deal signed House Bill 60, often referred to simply as “the gun bill.”

“We as Georgians believe in the right of people to defend themselves, therefore we believe in the Second Amendment….  Thomas Jefferson told the world, in the Declaration of Independence, that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. He believed in the right to bear arms. He said, and I quote, ‘”The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.’”

That Jefferson quote appears to be spurious, though the sentiment is accurate.

The bill has received coverage nationally. CNN wrote,

House Bill 60, or the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014 — which opponents have nicknamed the “guns everywhere bill” — specifies where Georgia residents can carry weapons. Included are provisions that allow residents who have concealed carry permits to take guns into some bars, churches, school zones, government buildings and certain parts of airports.

GeorgiaCarry, which lobbied for the bill, calls it “meaningful pro-gun legislation,” despite it being watered down from the group’s perspective. Still, the group has lauded the legislation, which will go into effect July 1. Americans for Responsible Solutions opposed the bill, calling it “extremism in action.”

Calling it “a great day to reaffirm our liberties,” Deal said the law allows residents to protect their families and expands the list of places where they can legally carry firearms, while allowing certain property owners, namely churches and bars, to make judgments on whether they want worshippers and patrons carrying guns.

“The Second Amendment should never be an afterthought. It should be at the forefront of our minds,” Deal said while touting his NRA endorsement for governor and “A” rating during his 17 years in Congress.

The governor said the law “will protect the constitutional rights of Georgians who have gone through a background check to legally obtain a Georgia Weapons Carry License.

Americans for Responsible Solutions opposed the original bill that GeorgiaCarry pushed for, and while the group is pleased that the version Deal signed Wednesday doesn’t allow guns on college campuses or in churches, except in certain cases, it feels the legislation “takes Georgia out of the mainstream.”

“Among its many extreme provisions, it allows guns in TSA lines at the country’s busiest airport, forces community school boards into bitter, divisive debates about whether they should allow guns in their children’s classrooms, and broadens the conceal carry eligibility to people who have previously committed crimes with guns,” said Pia Carusone, the group’s senior adviser.

Time magazine called it “radical.”

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law Wednesday radical new gun legislation that will allow licensed owners to carry firearms into more public places than at any time in the past century, including government buildings, bars, and a wide variety of public places.

The law, called the “Safe Carry Protection Act,” allows churches to “opt-in” to permit weapons, school districts to appoint staff carrying firearms, and requires bars to opt out if they wish to ban firearms, NBC reports. Gun owners caught at airport security checkpoints can pick up their weapons and leave with no criminal penalty.

Critics have called the new legislation the “Guns Everywhere Bill,” and gun control groups including Americans for Responsible Solutions and Mayors Against Illegal Guns have strongly criticized the bill, as has the executive director of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, Frank Rotondo. “Police officers do not want more people carrying guns on the street,” said Rotondo, “particularly police officers in inner city areas.”

Predictably, FoxNews took a different tone.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal on Wednesday signed legislation significantly expanding gun rights in the state.

The bill, described by the National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm as “the most comprehensive pro-gun reform legislation introduced in recent state history,” expands the scope of public places where licensed owners are allowed to carry firearms.

Associated Press had the money quote:

House Speaker David Ralston offered a thinly veiled critique of those who might oppose the bill while describing the people of his district.

“This is the apple capital of Georgia. And, yes, it’s a community where we cling to our religion and our guns,” Ralston said, drawing big applause in referencing a past comment made by President Barack Obama.

Via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, here’s a link to the Senate Research Office report on the bill.

The Washington Post has a good rundown on what HB 60 actually does.

One aspect of the bill is that it now allows the use of suppressors for hunting, a change lauded by the American Silencer Association and a local manufacturer.

Bibb County Sheriff David Davis says the bill will present some challenges for local law enforcement.

Nunn 2014 a roadmap for Hilary 2016?

Yesterday, I wrote at InsiderAdvantage.com that a Michelle Nunn victory in Georgia changes the electoral map dramatically for 2016 in two important ways. That is behind the paywall, but I have republished it on GaPundit.com for free. Following is an excerpt.

ElectoralCollege2012

The Deep South states of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana were solid red in 2008 and 2012, but Democratic progress in Georgia could remake the electoral college map in 2016. Forty-eight electoral votes are in play in those states, but Georgia’s 16 makes it the biggest target, especially if Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp gets his wish of an “SEC Presidential Primary.”

ElectoralCollege2008

A Michelle Nunn victory this November means that even in less-promising circumstances than 2016, demographic changes will have moved Georgia into the purple category. And it would give the eventual Democratic nominee a much-needed Peach State ally.

Beyond that, however, it changes the dynamic in the Democratic Presidential nomination race by allowing Hilary Clinton to argue that a woman can put in play states otherwise considered at least likely Republican.

Georgia governor signs ‘unprecedented’ bill expanding gun rights | Fox News

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal on Wednesday signed legislation significantly expanding gun rights in the state.

The bill, described by the National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm as “the most comprehensive pro-gun reform legislation introduced in recent state history,” expands the scope of public places where licensed owners are allowed to carry firearms.

The bill makes several changes to state law. It allows those with a license to carry to bring a gun into a bar without restriction and into some government buildings that don’t have certain security measures. It also allows religious leaders to decide whether it’s OK for a person with a carry license to bring a gun into their place of worship.

Democrats resisted the proposal, although they conceded it would pass in the GOP-dominated House of Representatives. They argued that allowing guns in more places will not make society safer and may lead to more deaths.

Under the bill, school districts would now be able, if they wanted, to allow some employees to carry a firearm under certain conditions. The bill also eliminates the fingerprinting requirement for renewing weapons carry licenses.

via Georgia governor signs ‘unprecedented’ bill expanding gun rights | Fox News.

Georgia Passes Sweeping Expansion of Gun Carry Laws | TIME.com

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law Wednesday radical new gun legislation that will allow licensed owners to carry firearms into more public places than at any time in the past century, including government buildings, bars, and a wide variety of public places.

The law, called the “Safe Carry Protection Act,” allows churches to “opt-in” to permit weapons, school districts to appoint staff carrying firearms, and requires bars to opt out if they wish to ban firearms, NBC reports. Gun owners caught at airport security checkpoints can pick up their weapons and leave with no criminal penalty.

Critics have called the new legislation the “Guns Everywhere Bill,” and gun control groups including Americans for Responsible Solutions and Mayors Against Illegal Guns have strongly criticized the bill, as has the executive director of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, Frank Rotondo. “Police officers do not want more people carrying guns on the street,” said Rotondo, “particularly police officers in inner city areas.”

via Georgia Passes Sweeping Expansion of Gun Carry Laws | TIME.com.

Georgia law allows guns in some schools, bars, churches – CNN.com

House Bill 60, or the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014 — which opponents have nicknamed the “guns everywhere bill” — specifies where Georgia residents can carry weapons. Included are provisions that allow residents who have concealed carry permits to take guns into some bars, churches, school zones, government buildings and certain parts of airports.

GeorgiaCarry, which lobbied for the bill, calls it “meaningful pro-gun legislation,” despite it being watered down from the group’s perspective. Still, the group has lauded the legislation, which will go into effect July 1. Americans for Responsible Solutions opposed the bill, calling it “extremism in action.”

Calling it “a great day to reaffirm our liberties,” Deal said the law allows residents to protect their families and expands the list of places where they can legally carry firearms, while allowing certain property owners, namely churches and bars, to make judgments on whether they want worshippers and patrons carrying guns.

“The Second Amendment should never be an afterthought. It should be at the forefront of our minds,” Deal said while touting his NRA endorsement for governor and “A” rating during his 17 years in Congress.

Americans for Responsible Solutions opposed the original bill that GeorgiaCarry pushed for, and while the group is pleased that the version Deal signed Wednesday doesn’t allow guns on college campuses or in churches, except in certain cases, it feels the legislation “takes Georgia out of the mainstream.”

“Among its many extreme provisions, it allows guns in TSA lines at the country’s busiest airport, forces community school boards into bitter, divisive debates about whether they should allow guns in their children’s classrooms, and broadens the conceal carry eligibility to people who have previously committed crimes with guns,” said Pia Carusone, the group’s senior adviser.

via Georgia law allows guns in some schools, bars, churches – CNN.com.

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for April 24, 2014

Manny

Manny is a sweet young Hound mix male who loves people and kind of dances when he gets to meet someone. Click here to see a video of Manny tap-dancing. He is running out of time and needs an adoptive or foster home as soon as possible. He is available from the Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder.

Reeces

Reeces is a sweet little female Lab mix puppy, 3-5 months old. She is available for adoption from the Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, Ga. She is also pictured below with her sister Skittles, who is also available for adoption.

Skittles

Below are Sugar, Skittles, and Reeces (left to right).

SSR

Buddy Poochy

Buddy and Poochy need a ride from the Winder area to just outside Chattanooga. It seems like a fun way to spend a couple hours and you’ll save them from the shelter. If you’re interested in helping these two, email [email protected].

Yesterday, 31 readers joined me in donating toward the care of Jasper, a young pup who was adopted from a shelter and whose family learned he had heartworms but couldn’t afford the treatment. Here’s what Jasper looks like with two of the three kids in his family.

Jasper with his kids

I connected with his dad yesterday on Facebook and the family is truly humbled and thankful for your assistance.

Jasper bed

By the middle of the afternoon yesterday, I called the veterinarian in Jefferson, Georgia and paid $500 toward Jasper’s care and was told that, plus other donations was enough to pay for his heartworm treatment. It was awesome and I personally thank everyone who gave.

Donations totaled $933 so far. Here’s what I’m inclined to do, and if you were among the donors, I’d like your input. First, anyone who donated is entitled to a refund, just let me know, no questions asked. Second, I’d like to pay for 12 months worth of hearworm preventive for Jasper to take after his treatment. I’m going to guess that will cost about $200, but I’ll check with the vet today. Then, I would like to donate the remainder to a dog rescue called Dixie Dog Rescue in Valdosta, Georgia. They’re a small, shoestring operation operated by one person and her support network and they serve an area underserved by dog rescues. I know them personally and think they do great work.

But it’s not my money, so if you’re a donor, please let me know if you agree with that course of action, if you’d like a refund (first come-first served, limited to donations over the actual expenditure to the vet), or if you think there’s somewhere better to donate the remainder.

In the interest of full disclosure, you can see (1) the receipt for $500 to the vet in Jefferson; (2) page one of donors with individuals’ names obscured; and (3) page two of the donors with names protected.

GAGOP: Chairman Padgett Applaudes Signing Of Gun Bill By Governor Nathan Deal

Your Georgia Desk:

From the Georgia Republican Party:

GAGOP CHAIRMAN PADGETT APPLAUDS SIGNING OF GUN BILL 

BY GOVERNOR DEAL

Today, Republican Governor Nathan Deal joined with local lawmakers and 2nd Amendment advocates to sign into law House Bill 60, The Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014, which expands gun rights for firearm owners in Georgia.  In response to this landmark legislation becoming law, Georgia Republican Party Chairman John Padgett issued the following statement:

“I applaud Governor Deal, Republican Leadership in the House and Senate, and defenders of the 2nd Amendment in the Georgia General Assembly for passing legislation to protect and defend our right to bear arms,” said Chairman Padgett. Continue reading