Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 23, 2012

Angels Among Us Rescue is raising money and seeking foster homes for these boxer puppies who are currently in a pound, where there future is not very bright. This is the time of year when puppies and kittens flood local shelters and many of them won’t make it out alive.

To donate for these puppies or apply to foster, visit Angels Rescue online.

This six-week old kitten was rescued from the side of 400 by someone who is unable to foster her but doesn’t want her to go to a shelter, most of which are overcrowded currently. If you are able to foster or are interested in adopting, email me at tips [at] gapundit [dot] com and I’ll put you in touch.

Georgia’s 2012 Republican Presidential Electors

Per PeachPundit: Theresa Chappell, Randy Evans, Sue Everhart, Darryl Galloway, Linda Herren, Kathy Hildebrand, Jimmy Ho, Anne Lewis, Kelly Loeffler, Bob Mayzes, Toria Morgan, Chip Pearson, Sonny Perdue, Frank Strickland, Eric Tanenblatt, and Julianne Thompson.

Any minute now, I’ll receive an email from Bill Greene blasting me and arguing that Ron Paul’s electors will be the ones to vote in December. Make of it what you will.

Candidate Qualifying Opens Today

Qualifying for the July 31, 2012 elections begins at 9 AM today and ends at 12:00 Noon on Friday, May 25th.

The State Elections Division will conduct qualifying of candidates for nonpartisan state offices at its main location in Atlanta and at its South Georgia office in Tifton.

Individuals who wish to qualify with a party for state offices may do so with the political parties during the qualifying period at the State Capitol.

Qualifying for nonpartisan local offices will be held by the elections superintendent or, in the case of partisan local offices, by either the elections superintendent or the respective political party.

Qualifying information may be found on the Secretary of State’s website and FAQs for qualifying may be found here

Here’s the live candidate qualifying information from Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

Aaron Gould Sheinin writes that qualifying this week will be a test for whether the Tea Party can mount serious challenges to incumbent politicians they oppose. Pro-tip: there are 236 state legislators, not 234.

There could be some surprises, said Debbie Dooley, co-organizer of the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots, one of the most active critics of many incumbent Republicans.

“You’re going to see a lot of challengers statewide,” Dooley said, although she added that “it’s hard to put a number on it.”

Dooley said a tea party candidate has already announced a challenge to state Sen. Jack Murphy, a Republican from Cumming and chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. The movement is also hopeful, she said, to have a serious challenger for state Sen. Don Balfour, a Republican from Snellville and chairman of the Senate Rules Committee.

The most-rumored prospective opponent for Balfour is Clay Cox, who is being encouraged to run.

I’ll be at the Capitol until about 3 PM with a camera. If you’re qualifying and want photos, email me at [email protected] and let me know when you’re qualifying.

Ethics

(Left to Right, literally and figuratively) Atlanta Unfiltered’s Jim Walls, Senator Josh McKoon, and Julianne Thompson of Tea Party Patriots, spoke at an Ethics panel hosted by Common Cause Georgia, and Executive Director William Perry. I’ll write more about this later.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Former First Lady Laura Bush will headline a fundraiser for Georgia Christian School in Valdosta on October 25th.

Governor and Mrs. Deal and Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health will unveil an online portal that is part of a program aimed at reducing childhood obesity today at 1:30 PM at the Georgia State Capitol.

The Newt Gingrich 2012 campaign owes a quarter-million dollars to Georgia vendors, with the largest chunk of that being owed to lawyers. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

If you haven’t already noticed, the Georgia Democratic Party is on life support, with periodic transfusions from the DNC required to keep it alive.

Speaking of the fall of Georgia Democrats, the Gainesville Times suggests that no Democrats may qualify for races in Hall County.

it’s still uncertain whether any Democrats will show up.

Except for one who made a brief foray in the race to be Hall County’s next sheriff, not one Democratic candidate has tossed his or her name in any ring.

It’s not a total surprise. Democrats don’t do particularly well in these parts anymore. All elected partisan posts in county government and all seats in Hall’s state legislature delegation are held by Republicans.

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce released its 2012 Legislative Scorecard on Monday, which you can download here. Senator Renee Unterman (R-Buford) received an A+ rating, a perfect score.

“I would like to thank the Georgia Chamber of Commerce for acknowledging my commitment to support Georgia’s business community,” said Sen. Unterman.

“As a member of the Georgia General Assembly, I have fought hard to adopt public policy that provides positive solutions for Georgia’s long-term economic growth and development. During the 2012 legislative session, my colleagues and I successfully eliminated overly restrictive government regulations and enacted legislation that reduces the tax burden on Georgia businesses and families.”

Dale Provenzano will run as a Republican for Glynn County Commission District 2.

State Rep. Nikki Randall (D-Macon) wants the Bibb County Board of Education to stop blaming the legislative delegation for the events that led to late submission of redistricting maps for DOJ preclearance.

Former Macon Mayor C. Jack Ellis will not run for Chair of the Bibb County Commission.

T-SPLOST advocates produced their own poll that says what they want to believe that supporters of the penny sales tax outnumber opponents.

Maybe the T-SPLOST advocates need to re-check their numbers, as Cobb County seems to have strong opposition to the measure.

“The [tax opponents in Cobb] are very vocal and they are engaged,” said [Kennesaw State Professor Kermit] Swint. “They are aggressive at getting their message out.”

And that’s by design.

“There is a lot of activity in Cobb because we’re concerned about the [transportation plan] because we don’t think we will get the value out of this like other counties will,” said Field Searcy, a Cobb resident and organizer with the Transportation Leadership Coalition opposition group.

The group’s website, traffictruth.net, has become a focal point of the opposition movement. Site subscribers are sent emails in advance of county meetings, with a list of challenge questions to ask officials supporting the referendum in any county.

Opponents of privatizing Briscoe Field in Gwinnett County filled the County Commission meeting last night to overflowing and urged Commissioners to vote against the plan. Ironically, Mike Royal, former Chairman of the Gwinnett GOP and a supporter of airport expansion, criticized citizens for using robocalls and “using other political tactics” to encourage turnout.

Events

We are becoming swamped with event announcement, especially campaign fundraisers. On Monday, we will roll out an event calendar, and the only events covered in our emails will be events that have been entered on our calendar. Candidates and officeholders, political professionals, fundraisers, and representatives of political or civic organizations can email [email protected] for information on how to sign up to post your own events to the website.

House Majority Leader Larry O’Neal, Senator Appropriations Chairman Jack Hill and Representative Ron Stephens, Economic Development  and Tourism Chairman, will host a fundraiser for Clint Smith’s campaign for House District 9 on May 23d from 5 to 7 PM at Pub 71, located in Brookhaven.

State Rep. Mike Jacobs, Rep. Lynne Riley, and Rep. Tom Taylor are holding a fundraiser at Cafe Intermezzo, located at 4505 Ashford-Dunwoody Road in Dunwoody from 3:30 to 5:30 today. Email pattipeach [at] mindspring [dot] com for more information or to R.s.v.p.

The full slate of House Republican leadership will co-host a fundraiser tonight for State Reps. Kevin Cooke, Christian Coomer, Delvis Dutton, Dusty Hightower, Jason Shaw, and Bruce Williamson at the Capital Grille in Buckhead at 255 E. Paces Ferry Road from 4 PM to 6 PM today. Email anncasas [at] comcast [dot] net or call 678-469-1583 for more information or to R.s.v.p and if you attend, please make your checks payable to each candidate’s individual campaign.

At 7 PM tonight, Phil Kent will be the special guest at the meeting of the Atlanta Young Republicans at 5 Seasons Restaurant & Brewery, 1000 Marietta Street in Atlanta. If I make it there, you can buy me a non-alcoholic beverage for my birthday.

 Ends & Pieces

Neighbors of former CNN Headline News President Bob Furnad will be nicer to him when he’s walking his dog, or else they might find a nasty surprise in their mailbox.

Dunwoody City Manager Brian Anderson and City Council member Adrian Bonser have been named as the sources for leaks regarding information from a closed meeting to discuss a land transaction. Mayor Mike Davis called for Anderson’s resignation and is asking City Council to fire him.

The most popular names in Georgia in 2011 for babies, according to the Social Security Administration:

Boys
1) William
2) Christopher
3) Mason
4) Joshua
5) Jayden

Girls
1) Emma
2) Isabella
3) Madison
4) Olivia
5) Ava

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