On December 10, 1836, Governor William Schley signed the act incorporating Emory College, founded by the Methodist Conference and named after Methodist Bishop John Emory of Baltimore, who had presided over the 1834 Georgia Methodist Conference. In 1915, the college would move from Oxford, Georgia to Atlanta as the College of Arts and Sciences of Emory University. The Oxford campus would remain as Oxford College of Emory University.
On December 10, 1934, Cecil Burke Day was born in Brooklet, Georgia. In 1970, Day started Days Inn, which would grow to 301 hotels in 27 states and Canada by his death in 1978. His son Clint Day ran for State Senate and served from 1993 to 1997, running for United States Senate in 1996 and Lt. Governor in 1998. Another son, Burke Day, was elected to the State House in 1994 and retired in 2010.
On December 10, 1967, Dawson, Georgia-born Otis Redding died in a plane crash in Madison, Wisconsin with four members of his band the Bar-Kays. Three days earlier, Redding had recorded (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay, which would become the first posthumous number one record in the nation.
Deal appoints two for Chattahoochee Circuit Superior Court
Governor Nathan Deal appointed Ron Mullins, a partner in the law firm Page, Scrantom, Sprouse, Tucker & Ford, P.C., and State Court Judge Maureen C. Gottfried to the Superior Court for the Chattahoochee Judicial CIrcuit, which comprises Chattahoochee, Harris, Marion, Muscogee, Talbot, and Taylor Counties. Deal also appointed Solicitor General Benjamin S. Richardson to the State Court seat vacated by Gottfried. Here’s an interesting analysis by the Ledger-Enquirer:
The appointment[s] come amid a call from former Judge John Allen, who spent two decades as a Muscogee County Superior Court judge before retiring in October, for Deal to consider gender and racial diversity in his selections. Allen was the lone black Superior Court judge in the circuit that included no women judges.
Gottfried will be the first woman on the Superior Court bench since Roxanne Daniel was defeated by Bobby Peters in 2004. Mullins is a white male. Richardson is black.
Allen, now a senior judge, had praise for all three appointments.
“Judge Gottfried is imminently qualified to be Superior Court judge, and the gender diversity is a much-needed addition,” Allen said. “Ben Richardson is imminently qualified to be Superior Court judge and State Court judge. Ron Mullins is a highly experienced lawyer with impeccable character and excellent temperament.”
Diversity on the bench is important for public perception, but it is more important to be able to do the job, Gottfried said.
Jack Kingston: Defund Obamacare
Congressman Jack Kingston told a crowd in Valdosta that Obamacare should be defunded and dismantled and President Obama required to use it. From WALB.com
“I think we really need to defund Obamacare and start all over again,” said Kingston. “In the absence of being able to defund it, we need to be able to dismantle it.”
Kingston also pointed out that President Obama isn’t actually using Obamacare himself.
“I believe the President should go under Obamacare and it’s hypocrisy that the President isn’t even under it,” Kingston said.
Millions of Americans, younger Americans in particular, who may not necessarily need healthcare are being forced to buy it whether they like it or not, something Kingston is not in favor of.
“All it is, is a tax on them and for [the President] to be conning kids into taking healthcare I think is so disingenuous,” Kingston added.
Georgia Senate Republican Caucus incorporates
The Georgia Republican Senatorial Trust has folded its tent and disbursed all its money, as the Senate GOP Caucus has incorporated the Georgia Republican Senatorial Committee Inc and will now fundraise under that banner. From the Associated Press:
Senate Majority Leader Ronnie Chance says the caucus has been transitioning to a new political action committee and pointed to state law that doesn’t require filing until a PAC reaches $25,000 in combined contributions or expenditures on a candidate in a calendar year.
Chance says the new PAC, called the Georgia Republican Senatorial Committee Inc., was formed in August and has held one fundraiser since then. He says the PAC hasn’t reached the $25,000 threshold and is operating within state law.
Balfour motion to quash indictment chunked and capped
Like a bizarre order of Waffle House hashbrowns, suspended state Senator Don Balfour’s motion to quash his indictment on a separation of powers theory was chunked and capped by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Henry Newkirk.
The judge’s denial of Balfour’s motion did not state a reason. The November demurrer argued that prosecution by the state attorney general’s office violated the state constitutional provisions mandating separation of powers and vesting exclusive authority in the Senate to punish and imprison its own members for violations arising from official duties.
Balfour is set to stand trial on Dec. 16 on charges of theft and filing false statements stemming from his mileage and per diem reimbursement requests from September 2007 to December 2011. Balfour is accused of requesting reimbursement for expenses, including travel to and from the Capitol, on days in which he wasn’t in Georgia.
Balfour has admitted to errors in his claims but has repeatedly denied malfeasance. The Senate Ethics Committee investigated him in August and cleared him of intentional wrongdoing, though the committee did order him to pay a $5,000 fine and $366.96 in restitution.
Campaigns & Elections 2014
State Rep. Doug Holt (R-Covington) announced yesterday he will not run for reelection in 2014.
“I am proud to have helped deliver responsible, common sense government, especially during the difficulties of the recession. Georgia continues to be one of the most fiscally responsible states in the union, as shown by the Tax Foundation ranking us as the lowest among the states in revenue extracted per person, and fourth lowest in debt. This discipline has also allowed us to remain one of less than 10 states that have the highest possible AAA bond rating by all three ratings agencies.”
He added that “I’m doubly proud that this kind of responsible government has laid the foundations for a solid recovery from the Great Recession, most pointedly demonstrated by the growing stream of manufacturing jobs returning to Georgia. I commend Governor Nathan Deal for his leadership in working to make Georgia the number one state for business, and have been very pleased to support him in achieving this goal – an effort recognized recently by Site Selection magazine, when they named us number one in their state business climate ranking.”
Not long after, Aaron Brooks announced he will run in the Republican Primary for the seat being vacated by Holt.
Brooks wants to make Newton and Morgan County a place where enteprenuers can prosper with lower taxes and less regulations.
“If business owners can prosper there will be higher paying jobs and less unemployment.”
Brooks is a regional sales manager for commercial laundry supplies and a 20 year resident of Covington. He is married to Michelle Brooks of 15 years and has two children. He is a Navy veteran, a member of Philadelphia United Methodist Church, and a founding member of Newton Conservative Liberty Alliance, a local taxpayer advocacy group.
Aaron Brooks says, “I am running because my neighbors, friends, and family are concerned about our children’s future and the people of the great state of Georgia. We need representatives under the gold dome that stand for conservative values and lower taxes. Fees and taxes are being raised while government spends too much. We need to eliminate the state income tax and replace with a “Fair Tax”. This is what Georgians want and their interests are my top priority.”
Former State Senator and current Newton County Commissioner John Douglas said he will not run for Holt’s seat.
In House District 54, the race to succeed Rep. Ed Lindsey might have an additional candidate, as former Common Cause Georgia Executive Director Bill Bozarth is planning to campaign as an Independent. Creative Loafing notes that Bozarth will need to collect signatures to earn a slot on the ballot as an Independent.
Pro-tip: if you’re gathering signatures of voters, gather at least twice as many as will be required if you want to have any shot at success. Many signatures will be invalidated.
Karma Department, formerly Department of Reaping what you’ve Sown
The Weather Channel is threatening to leave the Cumberland area of Cobb County unless it receives significant incentives from the Cobb County government.
One of Cobb’s high-profile corporate citizens is threatening to leave if it doesn’t receive “significant” tax breaks in return for an expansion that includes 200 to 300 employees at an average salary of about $75,000.
The Weather Channel, headquartered in Cumberland and owned by NBC, has never asked for subsidies before, but it now needs a reason not to leave Cobb, said Kathy Angell, senior vice president of The Weather Channel’s taxation division, in a Nov. 1 email to Brooks Mathis, executive vice president of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.
Cobb Chairman Tim Lee acknowledged the company faces challenges in staying in Cobb and said talks have been taking place for about six weeks and remain ongoing.
Lee said there is an appropriate limit to the incentives that should be offered to any company, but said that limit has not been determined in the case of The Weather Channel because it’s still too early in the negotiation process.
Meanwhile, a coalition of people who opposed Cobb County financing the new Braves stadium will seek to oust members of the Cobb County Commission who voted for the financing Memorandum of Understanding.
A deal for hundreds of millions of dollars in public money to draw the Atlanta Braves north of their downtown home is pitting conservative tea party activists against the elected and civic leaders in staunchly Republican Cobb County, with opponents saying the use of public money to help a private business is not what American capitalism should be about.
The argument for the deal is simple, says Commission Chairman Tim Lee and other supporters. Almost $400 million in county bonds and immediate infrastructure improvements, with debt payments approaching $600 million over 30 years — will generate enough economic activity and, thus, tax revenue to justify the spending.
“This is a home run for Cobb County,” Lee said at a public hearing on the eve of the commission’s 4-1 vote, “and I’m confident the people of Cobb will come to understand that.”
Nonsense, says Atlanta Tea Party Leader Debbie Dooley, whose group has a Cobb chapter.
It’s all “appalling hypocrisy” and “arrogance,” Dooley explained, particularly from the four Republican commissioners who pitch their conservative credentials and champion the idea of a free market. Dooley and other tea partyers typically associate active, expensive government with Democrats, but it was the commission’s lone Democrat who cast the only dissenting vote.
Department of Corrections Department
State Rep. Lynne Riley is a Republican from Johns Creek, not a Democrat. I’ll be writing that 100 times on a whiteboard as punishment.
The Gwinnett County Young Republicans will forgo their monthly meeting for December and resume their regular meeting schedule the third Thursday of January.
Today from 11 AM to 2 PM, a Joint Study Committee on Mental Health Access (H.R. 502) will meet under the Chairmanship of State Rep. Katie Dempsey and Sen. Jesse Stone at the The Department of Corrections at 300 Patrol Road, Gibson Hall – 3d Floor, Forsyth, Georgia.
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce will host a 2013 Civil Justice Forum in conjunction with the Heritage Foundation, beginning at 8:30 AM on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.
The Civil Justice Forum will include sessions on ommercialization of the Law, The Importance of Judicial Elections, A Roadmap to a Successful Legal Landscape, and Upcoming 2014 Legislative Issues, as well as a keynote address by Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.