Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections for January 7, 2013

CobbPinto640Pinto is a 3-year old, 69-pound pointer mix male who was surrendered by his owners to the Cobb County Animal Shelter, where he is available for adoption.

CobbDaphneDaphne is a small female mixed breed who is a favorite of the volunteers at Cobb County Animal Shelter because she is very sweet and affectionate. She is available for adoption today.

CobbLucasLucas is a 10-month old, 43 pound male Basset Hound mix. He knows sit and stay and walks well on a leash. He is available today for adoption from the Cobb County Animal Shelter.

CobbLuiLui is another low-rider Basset Hound mix, weighing in at 29 pounds and approximately eight months old. He is available for adoption today from the Cobb County Animal Shelter.

CobbTuckTuck here looks like the biggest Cavalier King Charles Spaniel ever, and probably has some Cocker Spaniel or something similar in his background. He weighs 32 pounds and is estimated to be six years old. He is available for adoption from the Cobb County Animal Shelter beginning today.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections

Tomorrow, voters will head to the polls in Fulton and Cherokee Counties to elect a new State Senator for Senate District 21 and a new State Representative for House District 21. As of the last disclosure, Brandon Beach raised more than $25,000 for his campaign for SD 21, while former State Rep. Sean Jerguson raised more than $20,000.

In House District 21, Scot Turner, who garnered 40 percent in the Republican primary this summer against an incumbent, raised nearly $15,000 in cash and in-kind contributions. [Disclaimer: I made an in-kind contribution to his campaign and performed a survey.]

Democrat Natalie Bergeron, the only campaign the Dems have going right now, raised $3050 and Republican Political Consultant Brian Laurens received $3000 in-kind contributions, $3440 cash, and a $10,000 loan from himself.

In State Senate District 30, Librarian Libertarian James Camp has accepted that he’s unlikely to win against Republican Mike Dugan.

“I have no illusions of winning, but I’m sure going to try,” Camp said Friday as he was traveling down Rome Street in Carrollton, making last-minute visits to business owners and their customers. “There needs to be some diversity in state government. We have to get away from the two-party ‘duopoly.’ People have no voice. It’s the party bosses who run things.”

Camp faces Mike Dugan, a Carrollton building contractor and retired military officer and a political newcomer. Dugan defeated former state Rep. Bill Hembree in the Dec. 4 runoff to win the Republican slot on the ballot.

Dugan was also on the road Friday afternoon, asking that voters turn out one more time to cast ballots.

“It’s not done yet,” Dugan said. “This election is as important as the past two and we need to get back out again.”

In the Senate District 11 Special election, the major issue may be signs in the rights-of-way.

Political signs that have popped up in Moultrie like mushrooms after a rain should begin disappearing as quickly as they appeared, a city official said.

Six candidates are running in the special election Tuesday to fill the seat of state Sen. John Bulloch, who resigned in early December. With a short time for campaigning and getting their names out, some of the candidates aggressively placed signs in Moultrie and on main highways.

“Sometimes you see five or six right in a row” on city rights of way, said David Dennis, the city’s code officer. “We haven’t had time to work signs. They (roadways) are loaded down bad.”

In the 11th District, Decatur County saw 589 early votes cast.

Qualifying for the Special Election for State House District 71 begins today 9 AM and closes Wednesday at noon. The Special Election is required after Robert Stokely won election but later decided to accept a position as a Magistrate Judge.

HD71signsWhen I was in Newnan on Saturday, signs had already started going up for at least two candidates in the Special Election.

smDSC_7677I’ve posted more photos from the Coweta County Courthouse in Newnan at the website.

Tomorrow, the Coweta County Commission will hold its first meeting of the year and elect a Chairman.

The ongoing investigation of the death of former Glynn County Commissioner Tom Sublett has got local residents stumped for what might have happened.

Everything old is new again in Hall County:

Lee Hawkins will return to the Capitol next week as a State Representative after having served in the State Senate from 2006 to 2010.

Dick Mecum takes over as Chairman of the Hall County Commission; he was previously elected Sheriff in 1980, and winning reelection in 1984 and 1988.

Canton City Council is striving to beat out Snellville for nastiest meetings, as the latest featured lies and cursing before a “gentlemens’ agreement” was reached.

[Council member John] Beresford is alleged to have uttered foul language directed at the mayor at his refusal to immediately sign the park budget amendment. An independent viewing of the replay of the council meeting could not produce the so-called slur, but several gallery members claim to have heard Beresford’s insult.

When told what he allegedly said to Hobgood, Beresford seemed taken aback and said, “there’s enough good adjectives I could use on him,” without having to resort to foul language.

“He isn’t hurting me by not signing, he is hurting the city. It’s a shame on the city.”

Hobgood did not hear the alleged word either.

“Two or three people told me after we left that Beresford used an improper word,” he said.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Hobgood anticipates that the conflicts between the council and the mayor will subside slowly but surely.

“I anticipate it will eventually begin to smooth over,” he said. “This is an election year, and I suspect people will be nicer to each other as election day draws closer.”

The next meeting of the Canton City Council will take place on Jan. 17.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is taking public comment on hunting regulations.

Caterpillar’s location near Athens is bearing more fruit as a vendor to the company will also set up a shop nearby to serve the new manufacturing plant.

Last year, Southern Company, parent of Georgia Power, used more natural gas than coal in electrical production for the first year ever.

New technology called fracking is making it possible to tap into huge supplies of natural gas in shale in the U.S. Natural gas prices in America, which have historically been very volatile, are now the lowest in the world, according to Marilyn Brown, energy policy professor at Georgia Tech.

Economists say that’s a game-changer for the nation’s energy costs. Tim Leljedal, a spokesman for Southern Company, says “The amount of coal that we’ve used to generate power for customers has decreased from 70 percent of our generation mix to 35 percent. While natural gas use has increased from 11 percent to 47 percent.”

But Southern Company is building two new nuclear units at Plant Vogtle in Georgia and a new coal plant in Mississippi. Why?

Leljedal says concerns about new technology to harvest natural gas called fracking need to be resolved. And he says there are a number of other factors.

“There’s a need to develop more natural gas infrastructure in terms of new pipelines and increased storage capacity. We need to determine the pace and degree of natural gas exports. ” he says.

Company officials say they have to think 30 years ahead. They say once the U.S. begins exporting natural gas, prices will rise domestically.

The Savannah area has a new large solar installation, as a private water company has installed 100 kilowatts on previously unused land.

Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions has joined other environmental groups seeking to force the federal government to develop a long-term solution to the storage of nuclear waste.

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