Reed: Braves could extend lease, but must be 5 years – Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says the Braves could stay longer at Turner Field should construction fall behind on the team’s new stadium in Cobb County. The catch is that the team must commit to five years.

The Braves are scheduled to leave Turner Field after the team’s 2016 season. The team has in its contract a five-year option to stay at the site, reports Atlanta Business Chronicle broadcast partner WXIA-TV.

Reed doesn’t seem inclined to cut the team any slack on the time frame.

Several developers have expressed interest in the Turner Field property, Reed said Thursday. “We could sell Turner Field right now,” he added.

“They gotta take it all,” Reed said smiling. “Can’t take a piece. You gotta take all five years.”

via Reed: Braves could extend lease, but must be 5 years – Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Atlanta medical marijuana company poised to distribute ‘Haleigh’s Hope’ cannabis – Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta’s first medical marijuana company has gained exclusive rights to distribute a high cannabidiol (CBD) strain of marijuana developed specifically for medical use.

Halcyon Organics’ has licensed a strain named ‘Haleigh’s Hope’ that has a 22:1 CBD to THC ratio, which means that the strain provides the medicinal benefits of marijuana without the high that causes impairment. Continue reading

Jack Kingston Courts Base in Georgia Senate Race |

GLENNVILLE, Ga. — Rep. Jack Kingston, who’s represented Savannah in Congress for the last two decades, was at home Thursday evening in nearby Tattnall County, where elected officials and candidates streamed in to put their face in front of the loads of sheriffs, police and first responders gathered on the grounds of a rural pond house.

The Republican was one of three candidates vying for the party’s Senate nomination to attend the 27th annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Cookout, held just outside Kingston’s district. More than 1,000 people from around the state were on hand, sipping light beer and munching on pork barbecue, smoked chicken, Cadillac rice and Brunswick stew. Kingston, the only candidate with a campaign booth, could barely turn around without running into someone he knew, inevitably wearing his campaign sticker.

Southeast Georgia is Kingston country. His campaign has been working for months to broaden his brand beyond this area and into vote-rich Atlanta ahead of the competitive May 20 primary. But on this day, the congressman was sewing up his base.

“While it’s good to come down here doing a little politicking — nothing wrong with that — I’m glad to be here because I like Tattnall County, and I’m going to keep coming no matter what happens,” Kingston said on stage in very brief remarks to the crowd.

One of three members of Congress in the Senate primary, Kingston is regularly in the top two in primary polling, along with Perdue. He turned in the strongest first fundraising quarter among Republicans, launched his fourth statewide TV ad Thursday morning, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed Kingston just an hour before the cookout kicked off.

“What we’re doing is combining high tech and high touch, and we’re doing well in both categories,” Kingston said in an interview. “We’re on target, so we feel good about it.”

Still, many in the party believe the unpredictable race for the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss is wide open. With no candidate likely to take a majority of the vote next month, it’s a fight to finish in the top two and advance to the July 22 runoff.

Handel, who has trailed Kingston and Perdue in fundraising and airtime, launched her first statewide TV ad this week featuring Sarah Palin’s recent appearance in Georgia on Handel’s behalf — which the campaign said brought a fundraising surge of $200,000 in two weeks. The Handel campaign has felt a renewed sense of momentum since a video emerged of Perdue denigrating Handel’s lack of a college degree during a January campaign appearance. The free media came at the right time.

In an interview, Perdue said he was “a little overzealous” with that comment and that any Republican nominated will be “more qualified and a better candidate than anybody the Democrats are going to put up.”

via Jack Kingston Courts Base in Georgia Senate Race.

Georgia Democrat Michelle Nunn Waits Out GOP Senate Primary

SHELLMAN, Ga. — Michelle Nunn strolled along train tracks stretching past a depleted downtown lined with empty storefronts and toward a crowd of supporters hoping to meet the state’s next senator.

At a private home in the southwestern corner of the state, the first-time candidate greeted a bipartisan duo of state legislators, chatted up some 50 curious admirers and delivered a rhythmic 10-minute stump speech that was heavy on bipartisanship and light on an unpopular president.

“We have a real viable race here,” Nunn said.

How viable depends in part on which Republicans emerge from the May 20 primary and who is nominated in the July 22 runoff. That crowded race remains up in the air, with five Republicans capable of advancing. As a result, the contest to replace retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss is stuck in idle until mid-summer, giving Nunn another three months to prepare for the general.

President Barack Obama lost Georgia by 7 points two years ago, and his low approval ratings in 2014 could prove particularly detrimental to red-state Democratic candidates. Still, given the midterm election cycle landscape, this is likely Democrats’ best pickup opportunity, and party operatives are optimistic about Nunn, who raised $2.4 million in the first quarter.

via Georgia Democrat Michelle Nunn Waits Out GOP Senate Primary.

Senate Democrats’ best hope may be Ga. GOP primary

WASHINGTON — A lengthy and divisive Republican Senate primary playing out in Georgia is fueling Democratic optimism for a victory that could fend off a GOP takeover of the U.S. Senate.

It’s become a familiar problem for Republicans in recent elections: An unpredictable primary forces candidates to the right, only to make it harder for the winner to appeal to a broader swath of voters come November.

“I think it is Republicans to lose, but as we know from what’s happened in 2010 and 2012, Republicans can do that,” said Charles Bullock, a political scientist at the University of Georgia.

Bullock was referencing Senate races in Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Missouri and Nevada in which Republicans were favored to win but lost due to weak candidates who prevailed in competitive primaries.

In the Peach State, a seven-way primary fight is providing months of GOP infighting, public gaffes and no clear front-runner to take on Democrat Michelle Nunn, who is certain to win her party’s nomination in the May 20 primary. Further complicating the GOP campaign is a Georgia election law that will trigger a July 22 runoff election if no candidate gets at least 50% of the vote —and so far, no candidate has polled above 30%.

As Republicans face the prospect of three more months of intraparty battles, Nunn is traveling the state, setting up a grassroots network, and raising a formidable campaign war chest to use in the general election. She reported Tuesday that she raised $2.4 million in the first three months of the year.

Polling in the GOP primary has been inconsistent and unreliable, but businessman David Perdue and GOP Rep. Jack Kingston appear to have the advantage heading into the May vote.

Perdue has the wealth to fund his own campaign and benefits from name recognition as a cousin to former Republican governor Sonny Perdue. Kingston reported a healthy $1.1 million haul in the first quarter of the year and has honed his retail politics after 22 years in Congress.

GOP Reps. Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun, as well as former secretary of State Karen Handel are also in the hunt for the nomination and have varying degrees of support from conservative activists and Tea Party aligned groups. Handel, for instance, was recently endorsed by Sarah Palin.

Broun and Gingrey are Tea Party favorites, but both have a history of controversial statements that could alienate critical white, suburban women voters, particularly in the heavily populated Atlanta suburbs that will be decisive in determining the general election.

via Senate Democrats’ best hope may be Ga. GOP primary.

Georgia GOP hopeful David Perdue’s outsourcing past | MSNBC

David Perdue, a Republican candidate for Senate in Georgia’s competitive primary, has boasted in ads, interviews and debates that he ran corporations that created thousands of jobs in America. He’s also claimed that he learned the intricacies of international affairs from managing business operations abroad. Both of these claims are true, just not always at the same time.

When Perdue arrived at Haggar Clothing Co. in 1994, the historic menswear company was struggling. Revenues were down, old reliable products like suits were in decline, and competitors like Levi’s were muscling in on their department store sales.

As senior vice president, Perdue was in charge of international operations at Haggar and later domestic operations as well. Under his watch, the company did what so many clothing manufacturers did at the time: closed down factory lines in America and outsourced production overseas where labor was cheap and regulations were less restrictive.

Under his watch, the company did what so many clothing manufacturers did at the time: closed down factory lines in America and outsourced production overseas where labor was cheap and regulations were less restrictive.

That meant cutting hundreds of jobs at South Texas facilities in Weslaco, Edinburg, and Brownsville and producing clothes in countries like Mexico, where the average manufacturing employee earned about $1.50 an hour in wages and benefits.

In SEC filings, Haggar reported employing 4,300 workers in America in 1996. That number dropped to just 2,600 in 1997 while the company maintained 1,700 workers overseas in both years. By 1998, 1,667 laid off Haggar employees had been certified for NAFTA retraining programs for workers who lost their jobs to outsourcing or foreign imports – the most of any company in Texas, according to The Dallas Morning News.

In some Texas facilities, work hours were reduced or their operations were consolidated into other plants. In Robstown, a small, mostly Hispanic town outside of Corpus Christi, the entire 575-worker factory shut down in 1995.

via Georgia GOP hopeful David Perdue’s outsourcing past | MSNBC.

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for April 18, 2014


Blondie is a 1 year old female Peagle (Pekingese/Beagle mix). She is white and cream in color. She was recently turned into the rescue because her family was moving and not able to take her. She is very playful and energetic. Blondie would make a great companion to another dog and a wonderful dog for a child to grow up with. She is very sweet natured and has a sensitive side. She is working hard on potty and crate training and will just need someone to be consistent and patient in her training. Blondie is available for adoption from Canine Adoption Network in Ball Ground, Ga.


Wilbur is quite a cute and good looking little Pekingese male. Not only is he adorable with his new hairdo but in the before pictures, he is equally as adorable. He is approximately 2 years old and weighs 12#. Wilbur is extremely sweet and laid back. His personality is just coming out as he was just recently rescued from Animal Control. This lucky little boy was able to be placed in foster care and his personality keeps on blossoming and he is quite a happy little guy.  A fence is required. Wilbur is available for adoption from Pup & Cat Co. in Winder, Ga.


Pippy is a sweet older female Pekingese/Dachshund mix looking for a retirement home! She has had a rough life at one point. When we got her she had skin infections, ear infections, chipped teeth, and was in pitiful shape. She is on her way to being healthy and ready for a new home. Pippy is heartworm postive but we have started treatment and would continue treating until well for an adopter. Either she has a very long, orange-striped tail, or cats don’t bother her. Not sure.

Pippy is available for adoption from Country Livin Pet Rescue in Monroe, GA.

Georgia Politics, Campaign, and Elections for April 18, 2014

On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere and William Dawes mounted up on horseback to warn of British troops on their way to confiscate American arms and to warn patriots Samuel Adams and John Hancock, who the British sought to capture.

By 1775, tensions between the American colonies and the British government had approached the breaking point, especially in Massachusetts, where Patriot leaders formed a shadow revolutionary government and trained militias to prepare for armed conflict with the British troops occupying Boston. In the spring of 1775, General Thomas Gage, the British governor of Massachusetts, received instructions from Great Britain to seize all stores of weapons and gunpowder accessible to the American insurgents. On April 18, he ordered British troops to march against Concord and Lexington.

The Boston Patriots had been preparing for such a British military action for some time, and, upon learning of the British plan, Revere and Dawes set off across the Massachusetts countryside. They took separate routes in case one of them was captured….

About 5 a.m. on April 19, 700 British troops under Major John Pitcairn arrived at the town to find a 77-man-strong colonial militia under Captain John Parker waiting for them on Lexington’s common green. Pitcairn ordered the outnumbered Patriots to disperse, and after a moment’s hesitation, the Americans began to drift off the green. Suddenly, the “shot heard around the world” was fired from an undetermined gun, and a cloud of musket smoke soon covered the green. When the brief Battle of Lexington ended, eight Americans lay dead and 10 others were wounded; only one British soldier was injured. The American Revolution had begun.

President William H. Taft learned on April 18, 1912 of the death of his military aide, Major Archibald Butts of Augusta, Georgia on RMS Titanic.

The honeybee was recognized as the official state insect of Georgia on April 18, 1975.

On April 18, 2006, Governor Sonny Perdue signed legislation establishing February 6 of each year as “Ronald Reagan Day” in Georgia and celebrating the date of President Reagan’s birth.

Georgia Politics

Yesterday, InsiderAdvantage released a poll for Fox 5 Atlanta and Morris News on the United States Senate race and the Gubernatorial contest. As a disclaimer, I work for InsiderAdvantage, writing for the website, but am not involved in their polling.

The race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate shows political newcomer David Perdue leading 3 congressmen and a former Georgia Secretary of State.

David Perdue: 19%
Jack Kingston: 15%
Karen Handel: 13%
Paul Broun: 11%
Phil Gingrey: 9%
Other: 1%
Undecided: 32%

In the race for the GOP nomination for Governor of Georgia, incumbent Nathan Deal has an overwhelming lead over his two opponents. The results are:

Nathan Deal: 61%
David Pennington: 7%
John Barge: 4%
Undecided: 28%

Matt Towery of InsiderAdvantage was quoted:

“Handel shows the most momentum at the moment,” he said. “Kingston has solidified second place with his more recent ‘Obamacare’ ad featuring images of Barack Obama engaged in leaving a faux voicemail for Kingston. But his first round of ads featuring an old station wagon clearly hurt him with female voters who tend to dominate the metro-Atlanta electorate.”

Handel’s campaign manager, Corry Bliss, stressed that she has spent little on advertising while Perdue and Kingston have each invested more than $1 million on television.

“We feel confident that as we spread Karen’s message of achieving conservative results, we will continue to grow our momentum,” he said.

Within an hour of the poll’s release, the Handel campaign sent an email to supporters stating, “a new poll released this afternoon has Karen Handel surging,” and soliciting contributions to help “keep the momentum going.”

Yesterday afternoon, I spoke to Eric Tanenblatt and Tharon Johnson, both from the McKenna Long law firm here in Atlanta. In 1992, Eric Tanenblatt was Political Director for Paul Coverdell’s Senate campaign, and I interned there. Since then, Eric has become a nationally-recognized Republican political strategist and served as a political advisor and National Finance Co-Chair for Governor Mitt Romney’s 2012 Presidential campaign as well as Georgia’s State Chairman for President George W. Bush’s campaign in 2000. Tharon Johnson managed Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s first winning campaign in 2009 and National Southern Regional Director for the 2012 Obama For America campaign, leading the presidential re-election campaign efforts for 11 southern states, including two key battleground states, Florida and North Carolina.

Here’s the take on yesterday’s poll and what it means for the Republican nomination for United States Senate from two of the top political operatives in the country.

It was an honor to talk to these gentlemen and be allowed to pick their brains on polling and politics nationally and in Georgia. I learned more in an hour there than in anything else I’ve done in recent years.

Hopefully, we’ll be talking more in the future.

As it happens, I had met Tharon the night before on the set of Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “On the Story.” It was a pleasure to be with hosts Bill Nigut and Bobbie Battista, as well as fellow panelists Jim Galloway of the AJC, Jackie Cushman, and of course, Tharon. Here’s a clip.

Handel also announced earlier this week that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is endorsing her campaign for Senate.

Yesterday, Congressman Jack Kingston received the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in his bid for United States Senate. Here is Jim Galloway’s analysis of what it means:

solidifying [Kingston's] position as the choice of the business establishment and representing a blow to businessman David Perdue, who is fighting in the same space of the Republican primary electorate.

The Chamber can back up its endorsement with independent spending, though political director Rob Engstrom would not reveal any plans for a buy. The group has already spent $500,000 each backing Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., in their primaries against tea party insurgents.

Word is Perdue had a testy interview with the Chamber, but Kingston also mostly votes with the Chamber’s wishes: He got 75 percent on the group’s scorecard last year, compared with 67 percent for Rep. Phil Gingrey and 46 percent for Rep. Paul Broun.

I think that it also hurts Kingston in some quarters, Tea Party-type conservative activists who are suspicious of anyone who appears too close to the Chamber of Commerce may distance themselves from his campaign at this point. But to the extent that Kingston wishes to discuss economic development, and fostering both the Port of Savannah and agriculture, Georgia’s largest industry, it enhances his ability to discuss business development and job growth.

Speaking of job growth, yesterday saw the announcement that Georgia’s unemployment rate dipped again, for the ninth consecutive month. This marks the lowest unemployment rate since September 2008, and the lowest since Governor Nathan Deal took office. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Deal campaign is talking to their media strategists about adding that point to the currently-running TV ad.

We’ll wrap up this morning’s news with a look at John McCallum’s newest commercial featuring his wife Heather, who just happened to have been the first deaf person selected as Miss America, winning in 1995. Heather has an impeccable Republican pedigree herself, having spoken at the 1996 and 2000 Republican National Conventions.


Poll shows Perdue, Deal still leading | The Augusta Chronicle

ATLANTA — David Perdue and Nathan Deal continue to lead in their GOP primaries in a voter survey released Thursday, and it shows that Karen Handel is gaining ground.

Handel, Georgia’s former secretary of state, is now in third place in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate behind Perdue, a former CEO of Reebok and Dollar General, and Jack Kingston, a congressman from Savannah. Recent polls had placed Handel at 5 percent or so and back in fifth place.

Her prospects are being buoyed by recent endorsements from Sarah Palin and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer as well as news about a slight from Perdue who had dismissed her candidacy at a forum because she never finished college.

The survey by InsiderAdvantage for Morris News and Fox5 of Atlanta shows Perdue with 19 percent, Kingston, 15 and Handel at 13. It has a 3.4 percent margin of error, meaning Handel and Kingston are essentially tied for second place.

Rounding out the Senate contest are Paul Broun, an Athens congressman, at 11 percent and Marietta Congressman Phil Gingrey at 9 percent. One in three of the 804 voters surveyed who intend to vote in the Republican primary remain undecided about who should get the party’s Senate nomination. The remaining 1 percent were spilt between Art Gardner, an Atlanta attorney, and Derrick Grayson, an engineer with Atlanta’s transit system.

Pollster Matt Towery, a one-time GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, said both Broun and Gingrey are showing little traction.

“Handel shows the most momentum at the moment,” he said. “Kingston has solidified second place with his more recent ‘Obamacare’ ad featuring images of Barack Obama engaged in a leaving a faux voicemail for Kingston. But his first round of ads featuring an old station wagon clearly hurt him with female voters who tend to dominate the metro-Atlanta electorate.”

Handel’s campaign manager Corry Bliss, stressed that she has spent little on advertising while Perdue and Kingston have each invested more than $1 million on television.

“We feel confident that as we spread Karen’s message of achieving conservative results, we will continue to grow our momentum,” he said.

via Poll shows Perdue, Deal still leading | The Augusta Chronicle.

Poll: Ga. GOP Senate Primary Is Tight Race Coming Down to Wire

It’s anyone race in Georgia’s crowded GOP Senate primary, with businessman David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston holding the top two slots and former Georgia secretary of state Karen Handel moving into “a solid third place,” a new poll released Thursday shows.

The Insider Advantage survey conducted for Fox News’ Atlanta affiliate and the Morris News Service shows, with one month to go before the May 20 primary, Perdue polling at 19 percent, Kingston at 15 percent and Handel at 13 percent. Two other congressmen, Reps. Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey, come in at 11 percent and 9 percent respectively, the poll showed.

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

Poll analyst Matt Towery said the poll illustrated “Handel shows the most momentum at the moment.”

“Kingston has solidified second place with his more recent ‘Obamacare’ ad featuring images of Barack Obama engaged in leaving a faux voicemail for Kingston,” he said.

“Perdue leads among women in the poll. Handel, who has always polled less favorably with female voters, is facing the same predicament in this race. More of her support comes from male voters once again.”

The Hill reported Gingrey has a large warchest, and has only recently started running ads, and Handel has little money but is gaining traction in the media with her attacks on Perdue over a leaked video of him criticizing her for not having a college degree — and due to an endorsement and campaign appearance from Sarah Palin.

The Hill said the survey’s “methodology also could lead to some questions,” noting it uses both phone and Internet, “and any minor over- or under-sampling in a field as close and crowded as this could lead to major variation.”

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via Poll: Ga. GOP Senate Primary Is Tight Race Coming Down to Wire.