Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 26, 2015

Georgia History

The Supreme Court of Georgia held its first meeting on January 26, 1846 at Talbotton, Georgia.

John Sammons Bell was born on January 26, 1914 in Macon, Georgia. He would go on to serve as Chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, as a Judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals, and as chief judge of the appellate court. He is today best known as the designer of the state flag featuring the Confederate battle flag, which was adopted by the General Assembly in 1956.

On January 26, 2001 a new state flag, first designed by Atlanta architect Cecil Alexander, passed out of committee in the General Assembly by a 4-3 vote and would be voted on later that week. Click here to view the floor debate from 2001.

Georgia Politics

The list of aspirants for two DeKalb County judicial seats – one in State Court, one in Superior court — has been whittled from 72 to 25, and interviews by the Judicial Nominations Committee are expected to begin this week. Notable among the 25:

State Representative Mike Jacobs (R-Brookhaven)

Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis

State Senator Ronald Ramsey, Sr. (D-Lithonia)

Former DeKalb County State Court Judge Tony DelCampo

Bob Dallas, who served as Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety under Gov. Sonny Perdue

The Fulton County Daily Report ran an interview with DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Asha Jackson, who discusses her views on accountability courts, the learning curve for a new judge, and diversity on the bench.

The Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit is often the example pointed to by groups who say there should be more diversity among judicial appointees—and those who defend the Deal administration’s recent picks. That’s because the State and Superior courts are among the most diverse in Georgia.

DeKalb County Superior Court has four black female judges, two white female judges, two white male judges, and two black male judges. The circuit also included the state’s first Latino (Tony DelCampo) and Asian-American (Alvin Wong) state court judges. (Delcampo left the State Court bench in 2011 but has applied for reappointment.)

Jackson said she believes diversity on the bench is important. When the makeup of judges reflects the population, there is inherently more trust in the judicial system, she said.

“But that can mean any number of things,” she said. Race. Gender. Socioeconomic status. Even life experience.

Jackson bristles at the suggestion that diversity is a second-tier consideration and not a primary qualification for being a judge.

“I hear people say, ‘I don’t know if we should sacrifice the quality of a candidate to make sure the bench is diverse.’ The very nature of being a diverse candidate is in and of itself a qualification,” she said. “There is a unique experience that comes along with being a woman or an Asian-American or an African-American or a white American.”

As a DeKalb County resident, I would argue that diversity on the bench might be improved with a Jewish member of the bench. After all, Atlanta is home to one of the nation’s largest Jewish communities and DeKalb hosts a number of congregations and a large number of the state’s Jewish citizens. As a constituent and former consultant to State Rep. Jacobs, if anyone asked my opinion, I’d say he would be a great fit for the bench, though I haven’t spoken to him about the current vacancies and haven’t been his consultant for more than a year.

As a bonus, it would open at least one special election, potentially creating a Christmas (or Hanukkah, if you will) in March or June for folks like me. (more…)

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for January 26, 2015

Buddy Hound

Buddy is a young male Hound/Shepherd mix who is exactly what his name implies – a great buddy! He LOVES people. Buddy has been in a wonderful foster home, and has been introduced to several other dogs and did beautifully with all of them. He chases squirrels and cats outdoors, but interestingly he virtually ignored the cat in a home where he spent a recent weekend.

He’s been working on his leash walking skills, and is making good progress. He does get excited when he sees another animal! Buddy has a lot of energy and needs regular exercise – at least two walks/runs a day.

Buddy’s people skills are excellent – he goes to work with his foster mom nearly everyday and has become the official greeter at her office! It’s been a wonderful socialization opportunity for him.

Buddy will be a wonderful companion. We feel a home without small children is best simply due to his size and exuberance, but an experienced owner with children would be considered. Buddy is available for adoption from Two Tailz K9 ResQ in Roswell, GA.

Doug

Doug is a typically playful lab pup who loves nothing more than his ball. He has high energy who would be best placed with an active family. He gets along with most dogs but can be protective of his ball. Otherwise he plays well with four legged friends when no ball is involved. Doug does great with adults and kids! He also has plenty of character and goofiness as most labs are! he is a bundle of fun and provides plenty of laughter. Doug is available for adoption from Two Tailz K9 ResQ Roswell,GA.

Zachary

Zachary is an adult male Labrador/Terrier mix, the sweetest boy you could ever find. He loves attention and gets along with everyone! His favorite activity is prancing around with a toy in his mouth seeking your attention. After being in flux for several years he has found a loving foster home but desperately needs a permanent home. If you are looking for a sweet, low maintenance loving boy Zach is the dog for you! Please call David Butler @404-597-7948. Zachary is available for adoption from Second Chance Animal Rescue & Adoptions in Roswell,GA.

Brookhaven lawmakers make initial cut for two open seats on DeKalb County Bench | The Brookhaven Post | Brookhaven, GA

I will note that in addition to State Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Brookhaven) and Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis, State Senator Ronald S. Ramsey (D-Lithonia) and former DeKalb State Court Judge Tony DelCampo made the cut on this round.

DeKalb County, GA, January, 23, 2015 – by Trey Benton – Attorney and State Representative Mike Jacobs (R-80) and Brookhaven Mayor J Max Davis, also an attorney, are among 25 nominees who made the initial cut from a list of 72 to fill two vacant spots on the DeKalb County Bench.

via Brookhaven lawmakers make initial cut for two open seats on DeKalb County Bench | The Brookhaven Post | Brookhaven, GA.

‘Downtown DeKalb’ area to be proposed by county CEO | www.myajc.com

Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May on Thursday plans to propose moving central county offices from Decatur to Memorial Drive, creating the foundation for a “Downtown DeKalb” district of government, commercial and residential development.

The idea will be a centerpiece of May’s State of the County address that he’s delivering to the business community and the public.

May envisions the relocation as a way to help revitalize the Memorial Drive corridor, which stretches through the heart of the county from Stone Mountain to Atlanta.

The relocation would put DeKalb’s government closer to the middle of the 700,000-person county, making it more accessible to those who live in the mostly residential southern half of the county.

via ‘Downtown DeKalb’ area to be proposed by county CEO | www.myajc.com.

AT&T Georgia sues Atlanta, MARTA over Streetcar costs | www.myajc.com

AT&T Georgia is suing Atlanta and MARTA for millions of dollars it says it’s owed for relocating utilities to make way for the city’s new Streetcar.

In a lawsuit filed in Fulton County Superior Court last month, the telecommunications company said it spent $5.8 million when it was ordered to relocate its equipment, such as cables, wires and conduits, ahead of streetcar construction. AT&T also said in the filing it’s concerned about future costs because of the potential for streetcar expansion.

The city and MARTA have so far refused to pay, according to the filing, because they believe that Atlanta has “the inherent authority” to force AT&T to move its equipment.

via AT&T Georgia sues Atlanta, MARTA over Streetcar costs | www.myajc.com.