Category: Georgia Politics

2
Sep

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 2, 2015

Atlanta Mayor James Calhoun surrendered the city to federal forces on September 2, 1864.

Calhoun’s two-sentence letter, directed to Brig.-Gen. William Ward stated: “Sir: The fortune of war has placed Atlanta in your hands. As mayor of the city I ask protection of non-combatants and private property.”

The cornerstone of the Georgia State Capitol was laid on September 2, 1885.

Author John Ronald Reuel Tolkien died on September 2, 1973.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Vice President Joe Biden will speak at Ahavath Achim Synagogue in Buckhead for the Eizenstat Memorial Lecture: “Challenges Facing the U.S. and the World in the 21st Century” from 7:30 to 10 PM Thursday night. Expect horrible traffic that day. This is what happened when Biden came to town in 2013.

Search warrants were served yesterday seeking emails between DeKalb County iCEO Lee May and two former county employees.

[Kelvin] Walton is DeKalb’s former director and chief procurement officer. [Morris] Williams is the former DeKalb County government chief of staff.

The emails for May, Walton and Williams were ordered to be turned over for the period of Dec. 13, 2010 to Dec. 31, 2011 and concern conspiracy to defraud and making false statements.

May issued a statement promising his cooperation. “Today, DeKalb County received search warrants issued by DeKalb Superior Court for emails for myself and two former DeKalb County employees,” May said in the statement.

“I have said from the very beginning that I expect full cooperation from all county employees as it pertains to the ongoing investigations into DeKalb County government.  I include myself in that directive, and I have ordered staff to comply completely and as rapidly as possible.”

“I share the sentiments of everyone who wants to get to the bottom of corruption and wrongdoing, and these search warrants are a step in this process.  Personally, I have nothing to hide; and there will be nothing in my email to suggest I have done anything wrong.”

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1
Sep

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 1, 2015

On September 1, 1864, Confederate General John B. Hood withdrew his troops from Atlanta, leaving the transportation hub to fall into Union hands.

The last hanging in Atlanta took place on September 1, 1922 outside the Fulton County jail.

On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland, beginning World War II.

On September 1, 2004, United States Senator Zell Miller, a Democrat, spoke at the Republican National Convention.

Later that evening, Senator Miller had a televised run-in with Chris Matthews.

Georgia Politics

Yesterday, incumbent Brookhaven Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams qualified for election to a full term in her own right after being appointed earlier this year to serve out the remainder of the term of Brookhaven’s first Mayor, J. Max Davis. Also qualifying were former DeKalb County Board of Ethics Chair John Ernst and competitive eating champion Dale Boone. Incumbent City Council Members Linley Jones, a former President of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, and Bates Mattison also qualified for reelection. Mattison also serves as Chair of the Board of Brookhaven Innovation Academy, which was recently granted a state charter.

Also qualifying yesterday was Smyrna Mayor Max “Baconator” Bacon, who will face City Council member Wade Lnenicka. In addition to the matchup for Mayor, Smyrna will see contested elections between Derek Norton, a lobbyist for the Atlanta Apartment Association and Georgia Apartment Association and incumbent Melleny Pritchett for Ward 1 and between former Democratic State Senator Doug Stoner and Tara Simon, who was a finalist on Season Two of The X Factor.

If Dale Boone is elected Mayor of Brookhaven and Max Bacon is reelected in Smyrna, I hope the Georgia Municipal Association will pit them against each other in an eating contest.

Johns Creek voters will have a diverse set of candidates from which to choose, as Jai Lin, originally from Taiwan, qualified for City Council Post 2 and Dr. Nazeera Dawood qualified for City Council Post 5.

I’m willing to be that the craziest election will be in Snellville, where incumbent Mayor Kelly Kautz qualified for a second term.

She will face a familiar foe in Mayor Pro Tem Tom Witts, who has been among her most vocal critics in the city government.

“After an outpouring of support from citizens and much discussion and prayer with my family, my husband and parents have given me their full support and blessing to run for reelection,” Kautz said in a statement after signing her qualifying paperwork with her infant son in her lap. “I strive to be a role model for my new son, and I feel that I would not be setting a good example now if I gave in to negative bullying not to run for reelection.”

Kautz was initially “hesitant” to reveal her decision to run. Her campaign announcement said: “Mayor Kautz has never wavered in her desire to serve the citizens of Snellville, but she did not want to subject her family and friends to the false, negative attacks that are often associated with Snellville politics.”

“Because of the antics that occurred over the last two weeks this does not come as a surprise,” he said Monday. “Why else would she buy every Website available with Tom Witts in it and then connect them to a donation page on her Website.”

Witts was referring to Kautz’s purchase of the Website votetomwitts.com and others, which she said would be used for potential marketing.

Votetomwitts.com has no content. But Witts and others accused Kautz of using the site recently to direct traffic to her own campaign site with a well-placed “donate” button.

Asked about the button, Kautz said it was added during a transition of the site from a mayoral page to a candidate page. She said it wasn’t her intention for anyone to see the button unless they were “actively looking.”

Witts called it “dirty politics plain and simple.”

In South Georgia, incumbent Valdosta Mayor John Gayle faces at least two opponents.

Warner Robins Post 4 Council Member Tim Thomas has drawn opposition from Betsy Loiacono.

The City of Forsyth is holding both General Elections and a Special Election in November.

In Forsyth, voters will decide on the mayor and three of six council positions. Those are Post 1, currently held by Jimmy Jones; Post 3, currently held by Melvin Lawrence, and Post 4, currently held by Greg Goolsby. In addition to those seats, there will be a special election in November for Post 2.

City Clerk Janice Hall said Councilman Eric Wilson, who represented Post 2 and was not up for re-election, resigned from his post to run for mayor.

“We’re actually having our regular election and a special election in one election in November,” Hall said. “(Wilson) has qualified to run for the mayor position, so we will have a special election for Post 2 (also). … (Wilson) did not have to resign to run for mayor, he could have remained on council and ran for mayor. If he were successful in running for mayor, then after the first of the year, we would have had to have had a special election to fill his seat.”

In Columbia County, at least five contestants candidates will be on the ballot in a special election for County Commission District Three.

The five – Jim Bartley, Greg Grzybowski, Gary Richardson, Frank Spears and Russell Wilder – had previously announced their intentions to run in the Nov. 3 special election to fill the seat vacated by Mack Taylor in July.

No others have publicly declared an interest in the race, but the door to enter remains open until noon Wednesday, when qualifying closes.

All five qualified to run as Republicans and have said getting a handle on the county’s growth is the election’s key issue.

The District 3 seat, which was vacant for nine months after Com­mis­sio­ner Charles Allen was forced to resign in March 2014, was filled in a special election runoff in December when Taylor defeated Trip Derryberry.
Taylor announced his departure in July, after only seven months in office, to pursue the state House District 122 seat vacated by longtime Rep. Ben Harbin.

Carrollton Mayor Wayne Garner is seeking reelection to a fourth term.

Cave Spring, Georgia will have a contested election for Mayor.

Cave Spring City Clerk Judy Dickinson said Dennis Shoaf and Angela Kerce qualified Monday for the mayor’s seat being vacated by Rob Ware.

Political newcomer Kerce lists her occupation as merchandiser. Shoaf, a line manager at Kellogg’s, is a sitting councilman who had to resign his Post 4 seat to run for mayor.

The Post 1 and Post 2 council seats also will be filled in the Nov. 3 election.

Post 2 incumbent Nellie McCain qualified to seek another term. Local auctioneer Tom Lindsey signed up to run for the Post 1 seat held by Kenneth Agan, who also is expected to run.

Non-Election Related

So, apparently, there are now three classes of immigrants – documented, undocumented, and those whose documents are questioned, and the third group is suing Georgia over driver’s licenses.

A group of immigrants whose legal residency is disputed sued Georgia’s state government Monday for refusing to issue them driver’s licenses.

The immigrants had been ordered deported, but they are either seeking to have their removals suspended or come from countries that will not allow their return. Federal officials have issued them work permits and Social Security numbers. While the Department of Driver Services had previously issued driver’s licenses to such immigrants, the state started rejecting those applications this summer.

“There is no rational basis for the policy, or even any benefit to the state of Georgia as a result of the policy,” the lawsuit said. “Indeed, if anything, the refusal to issue driver’s licenses to this group of immigrants costs the state of Georgia millions of dollars in lost administrative fees from potential registered drivers.”

State officials declined to comment.

On Wednesday, Congressman Sanford Bishop will co-host a Military Family Unit Summit at the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center in Columbus, Georgia.

Bishop, who co-chairs the Congressional Military Family Caucus, is hosting the 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. summit to discuss pressing issues impacting America’s service members and their families.

Loggerhead turtles set a new record for nesting sites on the Georgia coast this year, according to the Savannah Morning News.

A loggerhead sea turtle that laid her eggs on Little Cumberland Island on Thursday put Georgia over its previous nesting record set just two years ago. The latest nest was No. 2,290.

“Loggerheads have done it again,” wrote Georgia Sea Turtle Coordinator Mark Dodd, in an early morning email to the volunteers, interns and staffers who patrol beaches to monitor and protect sea turtles. “I am very happy to report that loggerhead nesting hit a new all-time high for the period since comprehensive surveys were established in Georgia in 1989.”

Loggerheads, which grow up to 4 feet long and weigh 200 to 400 pounds, are the main sea turtle visitors to Georgia beaches. The species, federally listed as threatened, nest every two or more years laying up to 150 eggs at a time in multiple nests over the season.

Ossabaw struggled this year with feral hogs eating turtle eggs until new equipment — a thermal rifle scope — helped reduce their raids. Further south, on Cumberland, what’s thought to be three or four family groups of coyotes feasted on turtle eggs before nine animals were removed. It’s more common to see coyote tracks on many of Georgia’s beaches now than in past years, Dodd said.

“With so many (predatory) species, once they learn turtle eggs are easy food, they can wipe you out pretty fast,” Dodd said.

But predators are a struggle to be expected every year on remote barrier islands. Despite them, about 65 percent of nests have hatched to date, releasing more than 100,000 hatchlings. Hatching is expected to continue through mid-October.

31
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 31, 2015

On August 31, 1864, Confederates charged Union forces at the Battle of Jonesboro, in which the CSA suffered more than 1400 casualties in one hour.

On August 31, 1965, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation creating the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which this Senate had previously passed.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

This is qualifying week for most municipal elections that will be held November 3, 2015. Expect a flurry of announcements in coming days.

Brookhaven Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams will run for election for the city’s top spot after being appointed Mayor to fill the remainder of the term vacated by former Mayor J. Max Davis. Our condolences to the Mayor’s family on the loss of her mother. Mayor Williams will meet former DeKalb County Board of Ethics Chair John Ernst in November.

The most mouth-watering municipal election this year is for Mayor of Smyrna, where incumbent Max Bacon is running on the tasty breakfast anytime treat named after him.

Heart Bacon Sticker628

Next week, Mayor Bacon will hold a campaign kickoff.

Max Bacon Kickoff

But wait, it gets better. His campaign Twitter handle is @VoteBaconator.

John Heneghan, who runs the excellent Dunwoody North blog, will run for reelection to the Dunwoody City Council.

Also in Dunwoody, City Council Member Denny Shortal resigned earlier this month to run for Mayor.

In Gainesville, three City Council seats are up for election, as are three seats on the city’s Board of Education.

Local officials in Carrollton credit the Port of Savannah, more than 300 miles away, with a recent business deal that will bring new jobs to the West Georgia city.

Coweta County will be seeing campaign signs everywhere as election season kicks off for municipal seats in Newnan, Senoia, Moreland, Turin, Sharpsburg and Haralson.

Gwinnett County may have more municipal elections than anywhere else, with qualifying this week for Auburn, Braselton , Buford, Dacula, Duluth, Grayson, Lawrenceville, Lilburn, Loganville, Norcross, Peachtree Corners, Snellville, Sugar Hill, and Suwanee.

In Savannah, Tom Barton writes that conditions might be ripe for a reprise of Susan Weiner’s 1991 upset election as Mayor of the coastal city.

[I]f I’m Mayor Edna Jackson or any of the seven incumbent members of Council running for a second term, I’m not just sweating bullets as qualifying for this year’ non-partisan election begin Monday. I’m also perspiring hand grenades. That’s because the Savannah electorate seems to be in the mood to clean house.

That’s how it was back in 1991 and in 1995. Weiner rode a tidal wave of voter disgust with the incumbent mayor over the city’s failure to address violent crime and the belief that the city’s leadership was complacent, arrogant and out-of-touch. A grassroots coalition called Renaissance Savannah released a critical report called “Is Savannah Growing Senile.” It helped propel Weiner into the mayor’s office and Rousakis into the history book. Then, only four years later, Weiner the Reformer was a victim of some of the same dynamics. She lost to Floyd the Everyman, ushering in a rare era of good feeling in city politics.

Incumbent Savannah mayors are tough to beat. Especially if that mayor is African-American. Adams ran unopposed for his second term. Otis Johnson won 70 percent of the vote, besting a five-candidate field in his bid for a second term in 2007. The conventional wisdom, since then, has been that a white person, especially one with Republican leanings, couldn’t be elected mayor. While there’s some truth to that CW — Savannah is a majority black city and city voters have tended to prefer Democrats, I don’t think it applies in this year’s elections. I think the right white candidate can win a citywide election. And timing is key.

That was a big lesson from the 2014 race for Chatham County District Attorney. Meg Heap, who is white, took 56 percent of the countywide vote to beat Larry Chisholm, who is black. But she enjoyed significant crossover support in the city from black Democrats, in large part because of Chisholm’s four years of incompetence. This reveals a growing maturity of Savannah’s black electorate. While it is rightfully proud of black political trailblazers who become the “first black” official elected or named to a public office, I think an increasing number of black voters appear to be putting more stock into a candidate’s competency than in skin color. By the same token, I think some black voters are getting sick and tired of being taken for granted by black candidates.

I think such dynamics will play huge roles in November. Especially in the aldermanic contests in the 2nd, 3rd and 5th districts, where incumbents Mary Osborne, John Hall and Estella Shabazz are trying to cling to power.

Bonds Everywhere

Governor Nathan Deal has thrown a caution flag to legislators debating repealing the state income tax, according to Walter Jones of Morris News.

“I have asked them to be very cautious,” he said Friday after addressing a science-education group.

Leaders in the legislature have, for years, been calling for replacing the [income] tax with a higher sales tax.

Higher interest costs the state money it could otherwise use to fund education, health care or other public services, so officials like Deal try to keep investors happy, especially the rating agencies that grade bond risks.

“From what I have seen and read of their comments, even the introduction of legislation to [cut taxes] sometimes gets noted in their assessments of why they gave us a certain rating,” the governor said.

Georgia is one of just a handful of states with the highest rating by all of the rating agencies, helping the state pay about the lowest interest rates on its bonds, a status Deal is keen to maintain.

“[Investors] obviously don’t look at it through those lenses,” he said. “They are very focused on not having anything that jeopardizes the revenue flow for a state.”

That’s why his goal is to build the state’s reserves to $2 billion as the rating agencies recommend.

At the same time, the governor cares about stability.

“We need to ensure that we’re on solid footing in order to sustain the budgets that we have continued to pass and will pass,” he said.

David Pendered writes in the Saporta Reporta that Southern Company may see its debt ratings downgraded if the acquisition of AGL Resources closes.

Moody’s Investors Service has reduced the credit outlook of Southern Co. from stable to negative as a result of Southern’s decision to purchase AGL Resources. Moody’s affirmed Southern’s current ratings, but expects to reduce ratings if the AGL deal goes through as announced.

According to a ratings statement Moodys issued Aug. 24: “The Southern Company’s rating is likely to be lowered by one notch at or before the closing date of the AGL acquisition if the transaction is financed as currently envisioned.”

The purchase of AGL will push Southern’s total debt from less than $2 billion to the range of $10 billion to $11 billion as it works to manage the mounting costs of expanding its facilities, according to Moodys.

[T]he purchase of AGL comes at a time Southern’s rating faces rising financial pressure from expansions in Georgia and Mississippi, and expansion into renewable energy, according to the rating action.

Speaking of the expansion in Georgia, the construction of two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle is proceeding apace after a schedule revision earlier this year, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Georgia Power Co. reported Fri­day that Plant Vogtle’s expansion is progressing as planned after the Waynesboro, Ga., facility’s budget and schedule were revised earlier this year to reflect an 18-month delay and a $246 million increase in capital construction costs.

Total construction and capital costs remain at $5.045 billion, and in-service target dates for the plant’s two new nuclear reactors – Units 3 and 4 – are still tentatively set for June 2019 and 2020, the power company disclosed in its latest construction monitoring report.

In Georgia Power’s last report, which the state approved earlier this month, it said Plant Vogtle’s capital construction costs had increased from $4.8 billion and that the expected completion dates had been delayed from an original schedule of April 2016 and 2017.

“We are not changing any forecasted costs and schedules in this report,” Buzz Miller, Georgia Pow­er’s executive vice president of nuclear development, said in an interview. “Now, it’s about getting it online and getting the plant going.”

A retired power plant on the Savannah River in downtown Savannah will be the location for a new $235 million luxury hotel built with the assistance of up to $10 million in historic preservation tax credits.

That’s because with less than two hours left in the 2015 legislative session, the Georgia Senate gave final approval to upping the potential state tax credits on historic preservation projects from $300,000 to $10 million, an amount helpful to major redevelopments like [Richard] Kessler’s. That’s on top of federal tax credits.

The bill was sponsored by the Legislature’s unofficial business tax credit king, House Economic Development and Tourism Chairman Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, and pushed along by the city’s leading lobbyist and preservationists.

“This will be a game-changer not only for Savannah, but all over the state,” predicted Stephens.

Others see it as part of a disturbing trend of lawmakers picking “winners and losers” by giving tax breaks to select private businesses.

Rep. David Stover, R-Newnan, called it a “horrible bill.”

“I can’t stand to see the state invest tax dollars in private entities,” said Stover. “This is something we are seeing happen over and over again because, quite frankly, we don’t have the backbone to say no.”

“We could never get some members (of the General Assembly) to understand, or they wouldn’t understand, the fact that there is a return on investment to historic tax credits,” said Mark Kessler [son of developer Richard Kessler]. “Where the state may see this as a giveaway, there is an immediate return on investment.”

Lawyers for Nydia Tisdale sent a love letter nastygram to a number of elected and appointed officials as well as private property owners over her forced removal from a public event last year, according to the Dawson Advertiser.

Attorneys for a woman arrested last year at Burt’s Pumpkin farm for videotaping a public GOP rally have filed notice of their intent to sue for $550,000 the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office, Capt. Tony Wooten, Burt’s Pumpkin Farm, Attorney Clint Bearden, organizers of the event and two additional sheriff’s deputies.

Nydia Tisdale, 52, was arrested Aug. 23, 2014, and charged with criminal trespass and felony obstruction of an officer after she refused requests to turn off her video camera.

“What precipitated this was the arrest of Nydia Tisdale for filming an event where others were also filming,” [Attorney Gerry] Weber said. “She was both arrested and brutalized by the officer (Capt. Tony Wooten). And, ultimately, we think this matter is important because free press is important. In our view, government officials should defend a citizen’s right to free speech and open government.”

The notice also alleges Tisdale’s video recording, which was held as evidence by the sheriff’s office, was “digitally altered – and critical portions that captured Capt. Wooten’s use of excessive force and Ms. Tisdale’s screams for help had been deleted.”

Former Sheriff’s Deputy Major Nicholas Neal will go to prison after being convicted of public corruption in a scheme to sell auto parts to the department he worked for, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Convicted in a public corruption trial, the former local sheriff’s office major was sentenced Friday to two years in prison, followed by eight on probation. He was found guilty Thursday of illegally selling automotive parts to the county government, even after Sheriff Butch Conway told him that it wasn’t allowed.

Chief Judge Melodie Snell Conner expressed regret handing down the sentence, saying that Neal had done “a lot of good” in his many years around Gwinnett. His ties to the community and 25 years in law enforcement factored into the judge’s decision to allow him to surrender on Monday.

“I’m sad to be here and disappointed to be here because I do know Mr. Neal professionally,” said the judge who, like Neal, is a Gwinnett native. “It’s just painful to be a part of this.”

30
Aug

The Marietta Daily Journal – Ott to Trot Commissioner said to be eying chairmanship again

COBB Chairman Tim Lee already has one announced opponent in his race next year for another term. But might he be on the verge of having another challenger — and losing the first one?

Cobb Republican sources tell Around Town that Southeast Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott is giving serious consideration to jumping into the chairman’s race instead of running for a third term as a district commissioner.

Ott, who flies for Delta Airlines, has said in the past he’d like to be chairman but could not afford the pay cut. Ott and Lee have clashed repeatedly during their tenure together on the board.

via The Marietta Daily Journal – Ott to Trot Commissioner said to be eying chairmanship again.

30
Aug

The Marietta Daily Journal – Cobb cities begin qualifying for elections

Mayoral seats in Smyrna, Powder Springs, Kennesaw and Austell are all up for election this year, and three of the four sitting mayors said they plan to run again.

Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon, Austell Mayor Joe Jerkins and Powder Springs Mayor Pat Vaughn say they plan to run for another term as mayor of their cities, but Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews said he will not.

All four cities will hold qualifications between Monday and Wednesday. In all, at least 14 council seats across the four cities will be up for election this year.

via The Marietta Daily Journal – Cobb cities begin qualifying for elections.

30
Aug

Lee’s legal defense cost taxpayers $24,000 | www.myajc.com

Cobb County taxpayers spent $24,000 on Commission Chairman Tim Lee’s legal defense against an ethics complaint, plus another $9,600 to cover the bills of two lawyers advising the Board of Ethics on the case.

Lee’s defense team submitted a 13-page invoice detailing about six weeks of work performed on behalf of the chairman last fall.

Although the case ended Nov. 21, Lee’s two attorneys — Ben Mathis and David Cole, both of whom are partners at Freeman Mathis & Gary — submitted their bill for $18,871 to the Cobb County Attorney’s Office Aug. 18.

via Lee’s legal defense cost taxpayers $24,000 | www.myajc.com.

29
Aug

Dulek announces run for Savannah’s 3rd District | savannahnow.com

Gordonston resident Kim Dulek announced Thursday her intention to run against incumbent Savannah Alderman John Hall for the District 3 seat.

After three bullets entered her home’s window during a nearby shooting March 15, Dulek said it became clear that crime has gotten out of hand and that she did not think Hall was taking it seriously enough.

“I just felt stronger and stronger that there has to be some change,” she said.

In addition to working to improve public safety by supporting the Savannah-Chatham police, Dulek said as an alderman she would focus on economic development, tourism, increasing community involvement and developing more mentors for young people.

via Dulek announces run for Savannah’s 3rd District | savannahnow.com.

28
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 28, 2015

General Robert E. Lee’s Confederates met General John Pope’s federal forces at the Second Battle of Manassas on August 29, 1862.

Union General William T. Sherman’s forces tore up 12 miles of railroad between Red Oak and Fairburn on August 29, 1864.

August 28, 1929 saw Governor Lamartine Hardman sign a Constitutional Amendment authorizing the levy of a state income tax.

On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the “I Have a Dream Speech” on the Mall in Washington, DC.

If you’re interested in the structure of speeches, Nancy Duarte has done an excellent analysis of the speech, which you can watch here:

On August 29, 1971, Hank Aaron broke the National League record for most seasons with 100 or more RBI, as he drove in his 100th run to make 11 seasons hitting that mark.

An obscure college professor named Newt Gingrich began his political career on August 28, 1976, as he kicked off his first campaign against Congressman Jack Flynt.

Old Newt Pic

On August 28, 2008, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools revoked the accreditation of the Clayton County Public Schools. Later that day, Governor Sonny Perdue removed four members of the Clayton County Board of Education upon the recommendation of an administrative law judge.

Georgia Politics

Senator Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) opened a new front in the culture war that is Religious Freedom.

If there’s any question of Donald Trump’s appeal in the South, take a look at this quick video of the line to get into his speech yesterday in Greenville, SC.

And this happened:

The November 2015 election cycle kicks off properly as qualifying for many city council and mayoral seats opens Monday.

Qualifying opens Monday for three Milton City Council seats, and Mayor of Alpharetta and three Alpharetta City Council seats.

In Roswell, qualifying opens for three City Council seats, including the one formerly held by State Rep. Betty Price, as well as for Municipal Court Judge.

Austell will elect a Mayor and three members of City Council.

The State Charter School Commission yesterday approved a charter for Brookhaven Innovation Academy.

BIA Chair Bates Mattison said the board will meet on September 3rd to continue to working on finding a location for the school and hiring administrative Staff.

BIA says they will offer students an innovative curriculum combining Blended Learning & STEM focused Project Based Learning with computer coding integrated as a component of the core program.

New Georgia Republican Party Foundation Chair Jack Kingston appears to be getting off to a good start with two major events on the calendar.

Cocktail Reception in Support of the Georgia Republican Party with Special Guest Rep. Lynn Westmoreland
Tuesday, September 1st at 6:30 PM
The Peachtree Club 999 Peachtree St. NE #2800, Atlanta, GA 30309
Sponsorship Levels: Gold: $20,000 Silver: $10,000 Bronze: $5,000

Fall Banquet in Support of the Georgia Republican Party with Special Guest Frank Luntz
Monday, October 5th at 6:00 PM
The Hyatt Atlanta/Buckhead 3242 Peachtree St. NE Atlanta, GA 30305
Details: Sponsorship Levels: Gold: $20,000 Silver: $10,000 Bronze: $5,000

Click here for more information on these events.

Attorney Kevin Gooch will replace the controversial Vaughn Irons as Chairman of the DeKalb Development Authority. Other new Board members include Don Bolia of Brookhaven, and Baoky Vu, who also serves on the board of the Technical College System of Georgia.

Jeremy Collins has left the office of Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer and joins Holland & Knight’s lobbying practice. Collins previously served as political director for Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s 2010 campaign and as Deal’s liaison to the state Senate. Taking his place in the Pro Tem’s office will be Jay Florence, who moves over from serving as Assistant Commissioner of Insurance under Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, whose 2014 campaign he ran.

27
Aug

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for August 27, 2015

Martha

Martha is an adult female Beagle and Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Castaways Pet Rescue in Darien, GA.

Martha is personality plus. She talks to you and wants to cuddle. She is a meduim sized dog at 35 pounds. What a cuddler she is!! She will make a wonderful addition to any home as she loves other pups and playing with her foster siblings. Call 912-270-0119 for more information about Martha.

Ding

Ding is an adult male Basenji mix who is available for adoption from Castaways Pet Rescue in Darien, GA.

Dingo was a feral, scared little puppy who has grown into an intelligent, loving, beautiful adolescent. He is a nice size at 38 pounds. Dingo is still a little timid around strangers but warms up quickly. Please call 912-270-0119 for more information about adopting this sweet boy.

Mary Ellen

Mary Ellen is an adult female Black Mouth Cur and Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Castaways Pet Rescue in Darien, GA.

Mary Ellen had six sweet puppies who have found their forever homes, and now Mary Ellen is looking for a home for herself where she’ll be the canine baby.

27
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 27, 2015

Advertising in the rights of way of state roads and placing signs on private property without the owner’s approval were prohibited in the first Georgia law regulating outdoor advertising, which was signed by Governor Richard Russell on August 27, 1931. Over the years, both practices would become enshrined in Peach State political strategy.

Former Georgia Governor Lester Maddox was nominated for President on the American Independent Party ticket on August 27, 1976, making the race probably the only one to ever feature two former Georgia governors. During the campaign, Maddox described Jimmy Carter as “the most dishonest man I ever met.”

On August 27, 1982, Oakland Athletics outfielder Rickey Henderson broke the record for stolen bases in a season, nabbing number 119 against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Georgia Governor Zell Miller addressed the Democratic National Convention on August 27, 1996. In 2004, Miller would address the Republican National Convention, likely becoming the first Georgian to address both major parties’ national conventions. Congressman John Lewis and Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney also addressed the ’96 DNC.

I can’t find video of Miller’s 1996 speech anywhere. So here’s his 2004 speech to the RNC.

On August 27, 2008, Barack Obama became the Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, the first African-American nominee of a major United States political party.

Anita Perry in Atlanta

Former Texas First Lady Anita Perry will appear at a Meet and Greet at Ginger Howard Selections, located at 3164 Peachtree Rd, Atlanta, GA 30305 at 5:30 PM tonight.

As it happens, Ginger Howard’s shop is just a couple of doors down from the White House Restaurant. Perhaps a good sign?

Georgia Politics

Gov Deal MMJCommission628

After being sworn in by Gov. Nathan Deal yesterday, the Georgia Medical Cannabis Commission met and discussed Peach State cultivation of marijuana and processing and distribution of oil to medical patients. From Maggie Lee at the Macon Telegraph,

“There is a good, effective business model for what Georgia allows now,” said state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, just after a Wednesday hearing of the Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis.

[W]hat Peake and other committee members want to do is figure out if and how Georgia can germinate an in-state industry that will grow specially bred cannabis and process it into a no-buzz medicine for a limited customer base.

Such liquid already is legal to possess under state law for the nearly 200 Georgians who have a medical marijuana card for any one of eight diagnoses. But growing cannabis, much less making anything out of it, is still illegal under state and federal law. Patients either pick up their medicine in a state like Colorado where it is legal to manufacture, or they rely on an out-of-state company to send it. That kind of interstate transport of a cannabis compound is a legal gray area at best.

[T]here is still a national cannabis prohibition, with only the tiniest exceptions for some hemp products. That fact is important to GBI Director Vernon Keenan, who sits on the panel. The Obama administration has decided to close its eyes to state-legal, tightly regulated medical marijuana programs. But a future president might be of a different mind, he said.

“I think this has to be resolved at the federal level,” Keenan said.

The state ought to approach medical cannabis guardedly, he said.

“This is getting outside of the scope of the (Food and Drug Administration) and the medical community,” he said. “To me that is very problematic.”

In Effingham County, a controversy over the local high school mascot and accompanying accessories continues.

The Effingham NAACP remains committed to removing the vestiges of the Confederacy from Effingham County High School, the group’s president said.

“This is far from over and we are not going quietly in the night!” Leroy Lloyd said in a news release. “Parents are outraged and may pull their children from band and the playing fields.”

Lloyd was responding to a statement released Tuesday by Superintendent Randy Shearouse, which said the school will continue to use the nickname “Rebels.”

Johnson said the fight is “about the failure of the school system to engage parents, listen to the community and to put the common good over allegiance to a heritage of hate.”

Lloyd said an “anti-diversity climate” is “pervasive.”

“Superintendent Shearouse is desperately trying to nip this in the bud because what he describes as a system where every student is successful is as untruthful as his attempt to reconcile the Confederate swastika and the racist tune ‘Dixie’ with a heritage of pride,” Lloyd said.

The Political Consultant Apprentice

The AJC Political Insider reports that Donald Trump is shopping for Georgia-based political consultants to help his Presidential campaign.Continue Reading..