Today’s historical moments below combine to show some of the major influences on Georgia politics and governance since her founding, and how the same conflicts have played out across the world, from Northern Ireland to India, to stages of rock and roll shows.
That is the best graphic depiction of what happened in Atlanta on Tuesday. If I knew who originally posted the graphic, I would credit them.
Two points I’d like to make from this. First, this shows how a graphic can convey information better than words in some cases; if Facebook and other social media are part of your business, political campaign, or activism, understand the power of graphics and do more of them and fewer words. Second, this indicates to me that the problem was not that we didn’t have enough equipment, salt, sand, etc., but that the fast-pace dumping of hundreds of thousands of commuters onto the Atlanta roads.
From the whole mess and the blamestorming that are following, here are two truths about Atlanta that I have been reminded of.
1. Our weakness is our reliance on government. This is true across the United States, but demonstrated nowhere more memorably than Atlanta’s road beginning Tuesday afternoon.
2. Our strength is our community and the willingness of our friends, family, neighbors, churches, business owners, and ourselves to lend a hand to someone in need without having to be told, asked or paid to do so.
Going forward in Georgia government, let us pray that these lessons don’t get forgotten yet again.
1. Please stay off the roads. We are still in a State of Emergency and we need to keep the roads as clear as possible. This is for your safety and the safety of others.
2. School children across the Metro-Atlanta area are safe and in good hands. Georgia State Patrol Troopers have been assigned to assist schools where children needed to spend the night. I’d like to thank teachers, parents, school faculty, and all those involved for their hard work and dedication to our children’s safety.
3. Yesterday, I instructed the National Guard to send military Humvees to our interstates to assist school buses and get food and water to stranded residents. All school buses and children have been responded to and are safe. Stranded citizens have access to emergency services throughout the Metro-Atlanta area. We are still in the process of clearing roads and assisting those in need. Again, please stay off the roads so we can continue this process.
“We have been monitoring the situation for the past two weeks,” said Mike Giles, the president of the Georgia Poultry Federation. So far, members have been able to find the propane they need, but they have felt the pinch of the shortage, he said.
Facing a shortage of fuel across much of the country, the National Propane Gas Association successfully lobbied the U.S. Department of Transportation to allow more free transport of fuel for the Southern, Midwestern and Eastern regions. The rare order applies to eight Southern states including Georgia, 10 Midwest states and 14 Eastern states. A total of 30 states so far have individually issued Hours of Service relief.
The National Propane Gas Association also is working with officials within the pipeline, rail, and truck transport industries and asking for propane shipments to be prioritized within their industry.
Farming groups and state governments have done what they can to support the propane industry in its efforts to get fuel to the producers who need it.
“The National Chicken Council (NCC) which represents companies that produce, process, and market over 95 percent of the chicken in the United States is working with the appropriate federal agencies, organizations, and stakeholders to help alleviate the spot shortages being experienced with the very tight supply of propane in at least 31 states, many of which have important production of chicken,” said Mike Brown, the president of the National Chicken Council.
With inclement weather headed toward Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal today in coordination with Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black signed an executive order prohibiting price gouging for propane. Georgia’s continued period of cold weather has increased the demand for propane, causing a substantial prices increase in recent days.
“Our families, farmers and small business are worried about getting the heat they need during times of frigid weather,” Deal said. “They shouldn’t have to worry about price gouging, and we aim to prevent that.”
“Due to the much colder than normal weather this winter, we have seen a higher demand for propane gas resulting in shortages and escalating prices in Georgia and across the nation,” said Black. “Livestock and poultry farmers, along with food processors, depend on propane to continue business. We are doing everything possible to work with the propane suppliers and agribusinesses to meet the challenges we are currently facing.”
Already many gasoline outlets are dry after a rush on fuel Tuesday afternoon, and gridlocked roads are preventing tanker trucks from replenishing them.
Worse, the demand is likely to pick up in a big way over the next two or three days, as motorists reclaim their cars on the sides of roads and try again to drive them home.
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The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill authorizing nearly $1 trillion in spending on farm subsidies and nutrition programs, setting the stage for final passage of a new five-year farm bill that has been stalled for more than two years.
Negotiators from the House and Senate spent several weeks working out their differences on issues in the legislation, including cuts to food stamps, income caps on farm subsidies and a price support program for dairy farmers. The bill is expected to save about $16.6 billion over the next 10 years.
The bill passed the House by a vote of 251 to 166. The Senate is expected to take up the bill later this week.
Compared with earlier, more contentious votes on the farm bill, Wednesday’s vote was largely bipartisan. Many Democrats who had opposed it because of cuts to the food stamp program supported it on Wednesday. A number of Republicans, including many who wanted deeper cuts to the food stamps, also voted for passage.
The House speaker, John A. Boehner of Ohio, and the majority leader, Eric Cantor, Republican of Virginia, had endorsed the bill and urged Republicans to support it, even though they said they would have liked to see more changes.
Public Policy Polling continues to release curious polling results. The biggest issue I have with their polling is in how they weight the responses to arrive at a sample that reflects what they think Georgia’s electorate will look like in 2014.
The biggest red flag to me is that they consistently show party identification as being evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. Except when they don’t. Now they’ve released two polls within the past week that directly contradict each other on the partisan makeup of Georgia’s electorate.
WASHINGTON — Democrat Michelle Nunn is neck-and-neck with four top-tier Republican U.S. Senate candidates in hypothetical matchups by Public Policy Polling.
The full results of the poll commissioned by liberal group Americans United for Change are here and put Nunn in the lead, but around the 3.9 percent margin for error. She leads Rep. Paul Broun, 42-41, Rep. Phil Gingrey, 45-41, former Secretary of State Karen Handel, 44-40, and Rep. Jack Kingston, 44-42.
The results are a small bump for Nunn from what PPP found in August, when Nunn was either tied or slightly ahead of the GOP field. The automated poll of 640 Georgians recorded an even split of Republicans and Democrats at 38 percent each, with 24 percent classifying themselves as Independent or other. Notably, the sample was 53 percent female.
Others note that the predictive ability of polling six months or more out from a general election is suspect at best. So why bother? I would say that these early polls are by-and-large designed to demonstrate that the Democratic candidates have a shot at winning in November and are commissioned solely to produce polling results that can be used in fundraising for those Democratic candidates and allied organizations.
The family of Congressman Charlie Norwood today endorsed Rick Allen to follow in the late Congressman’s footsteps in the race for Georgia’s 12th-District seat. The endorsement includes Rep. Norwood’s widow, Gloria, and his sons, Charles III and Carlton.
“One of a Congressman’s most-important responsibilities is to help folks in his district to navigate the confounding maze of government agencies. In many important cases, our Congressman is the last source of help for citizens in crisis. As government regulation continues to grow, it is critical that we elect a Congressman who will fight for his constituents in the daily affairs of the district. (Military benefits, Social Security matters, relations with the Department of Agriculture, etc.)”
“Rick will fight for what is right when his constituent is meeting difficulty with our government. His decades of business success prove that he has the heart and determination to do what ‘needs doin’. If the Norwood family were at odds with a governmental agency, we’d want Rick beside us in the foxhole. And, we know he would be.”
Jones became Augusta’s first black solicitor general when he was elected in November 2004 with more than 59 percent of the votes. He ran unopposed in 2008, but resigned the next year to compete with Davis for the Senate seat, left open at the resignation of Ed Tarver, now a U.S. attorney.
Two other attempts – an unsuccessful House run in 2002 and a 2012 loss to Marion Williams to represent Super District 9 on the Augusta Commission – left the Augusta lawyer undaunted.
Besides Johnson, Augusta real estate agent Elmyria Chivers is running for the Senate seat.
With no announced Republican candidates, the election likely will be decided in the general primary May 20, when Augusta also will pick a mayor and vote on the latest sales tax referendum.
“While the President attempts to shift from the core issues that cripple our economy and threaten our security, we must bring attention to the solutions for these problems passed by the House but awaiting action in the Senate,” said Kingston. “With millions of Americans working only part time or out of the work force entirely, we cannot afford to wait. There are a number of projects we can begin now that will create jobs and strengthen our economy, namely the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project and the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.”
“We need the kind of growth that comes from stopping overregulation and supporting opportunities in the private sector. Instead of increasing the cost of health care, we need to encourage companies to hire full time employees instead of more part-time workers,”
It might not seem like it but Groundhog Day is actually next week. This week, President Barack Obama delivered his fifth State of the Union address to Congress. Unfortunately, it was just a lot more of the same old, same old.
At a time when more than 60 percent of Americans think the nation is headed in the wrong direction and 70 percent are dissatisfied with the economy, President Obama took this opportunity to continue to promote his same “no jobs” economy: more federal spending, more federal bureaucracy, and higher taxes. As it’s been for the first five years of his presidency, this is nothing more than a recipe for economic disaster.
This president has shown time and again that he has little respect for the American people and no respect for the US Constitution. Tonight’s speech was just one more example of his disdain.
President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address resembled a man speaking to himself more than anyone else in the room, a desperate effort to convince himself of his own relevance at a time when his approval ratings are in the toilet. 51% disapprove of the job Obama is doing as president while 43% approve. 63% of Americans have some/no confidence in Obama to make the right decisions for the country’s future and 49% say Obama is not honest or trustworthy. Despite President Obama’s soaring rhetoric, this is his fifth State of the Union Address; Americans have heard these promises before. It is time for the President to take ownership of his record and be held accountable for the results.
The President said he is leading by example on raising the minimum wage for all future federal contractors through executive privilege and called on private sector businesses to do the same. This ignores the reality that businesses forced to artificially raise their minimum wage must factor in the rising business costs and often must lay off low level workers. These are the very workers that, in theory, would benefit from the living wage increase.
Medicinal use of marijuana is finding some supporters I would at one time (last week) have considered highly unlikely. From WSB-TV,
Channel 2 Action News has learned state lawmakers supporting medical marijuana could have a bill ready to go as early as this week that would make medical marijuana legal in Georgia.
Channel 2′s Lori Geary began reporting the issue weeks ago and talked to an unlikely co-sponsor of the bill, state Rep. Micah Gravley, a Republican from Paulding County.
He says when he was first asked about the issue he flat out refused, telling supporters of the issue he’s a conservative, Christian Republican.
Then he says the parents of 10-year-old Caden Clark reached out to him, “I have had a 180-degree change because I’ve seen how it can impact these kids and how it can impact these families who are now separated because one’s here in Georgia, the other one’s in Colorado.”
Tuesday, Gov. Nathan Deal said he’s not taking a stance on the issue but said, “I think there’s a strong case being presented by some of the families in some serious situations involving their children.”
till, the Christian Coalition remains firmly against any state law on medical marijuana.
The president of the group, Jerry [Luquire], told Geary that marijuana, in any form, is considered a Class 1 substance by the federal government, one of the most dangerous drugs. He says federal law trumps state law. He accuses the lawmakers supporting the bill of a conspiracy to break federal law.
Sen. Mike Dugan, R-Carrollton, said Monday that he’s not in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational use, as in Colorado, and he also is against a sweeping medical marijuana law. However, he did indicate he is open to looking at derivatives that might be medically useful.
“From what I understand, with the oil, the intoxicants have been removed,” Dugan said. “I’m willing to listen to that. I want some medical professionals to come forward and tell me what benefits it would have, and I’ll make a determination from that.”
He said states that have passed medical marijuana bills have suffered widespread abuse, and he feels Georgia doesn’t need that.
Sen. Mike Crane, R-Newnan, said so far, he’s seen only anecdotal evidence from personal stories, and he’s looking forward to hearing medical presentations.
“If the stories prove true, and we see remarkable results with certain candidates, this sounds like one more tool in the doctor’s cache of things that could relieve untold suffering for many,” Crane said. “There’s more discussions to be had, and I think we’re going to see that. It’s something I’m very concerned about, but very cautious. As we move forward, I’m going to take extreme caution on this issue.”
Rep. Randy Nix, R-LaGrange, said he wonders if there’s any other drugs that can do the same thing as the medical marijuana.
“If the answer is ‘no,’ then I’m willing to listen to the debate,” Nix said. “I would want it to be something in a pill or oil form, and legislation that would have a narrow scope of what was allowed. I won’t support legislation if it looks like people want to use it to get their foot in the door to support recreational marijuana. That’s my concern.”
Nix said if the drug works for children with seizures, maybe that’s the only thing for which it should be prescribed.
“I’m not heartless,” he said. “If that’s the only thing that will help these children, let’s figure out a way to do it, but let’s not use it as that door opener to fully legalize marijuana.”
A new statewide poll shows that 62% of Georgia voters endorse eliminating criminal penalties for possession by adults of less than one ounce of pot, and replace it with a $100 civil fine, without the possibility of jail time. Further, more than half of all Georgia voters now support regulating the legal consumption and retail sale of marijuana for those age 21 and over.
In 2010, some 32,500 Georgians were arrested for violating marijuana laws, according to the FBI. That is the sixth highest total of any state in America.
Fifty -seven percent of voters supported legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. State
lawmakers have indicated interest in studying this legal option.
Here’s a question that will specifically interest some politicians.
Q5 If a candidate supported marijuana law reform, would that make you more or less likely to vote for that candidate in the next election, or would it not make a difference?
Wouldn’t make a difference……………29%
A couple of things to note. First, if that question on reelecting a candidate who supports changing marijuana laws is accurate, it doesn’t tell the story most incumbents are likely interested in – the effect of a vote on their party’s primary voters. There are likely differences between Republicans and Democrats, and geographic differences between, say, a Metro Atlanta suburban or in-town district, and a strongly conservative rural district.
The second point I’d like to make, and one that has implications for polling beyond the issue of marijuana is that in this poll, Public Policy Polling found the partisan self-identification as follows:
Q8 If you are a Democrat, press 1. If a Republican, press 2. If you are an independent or identify with another party, press 3.
Part of what a pollster does, and what a discerning consumer of polling should do is to not place all your faith in any given poll, but to add the results of each poll into the mix as part of the context. And then compare that with your experiences in Georgia politics.
So I feel safe in the following prediction: in 2014, the Republican electoral advantage in closely-contested statewide election will be in the range of Republican +6 to Republican +10. That’s after campaigning, but for now, any poll I see that doesn’t show a lead in GOP self-identification in the +3 to +6 range warrants a look at the crosstabs to see what’s going on.
Senate State & Local Governmental Operations Committee
Wed, January 22, 1pm – 2pm, 310 CLOB
Wed, January 22, 1pm – 2pm or upon adjournment, 341 CAP
House Rules Committee
Wed, January 22, 2pm-3pm, 341 CAP
Senate Health & Human Services Committee
Wed, January 22, 2pm – 3pm, 450 CAP
Senate Transportation Committee
Wed, January 22, 2pm – 3pm, MEZZ
Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee
Wed, January 22, 3pm – 4pm, 307 CLOB
Since we mentioned the Limited Edition “Cotton Boll” logo t-shirt we saw from one of Jack Kingston’s past Congressional campaigns, we have been sent photos of some other Limited Edition Kingston swag. Here is the “Children of the Corn” logo.
“The threat of the loss of accreditation is no longer imminent,” said Mark Elgart, whose agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, precipitated a crisis in December 2012 that led to the governor’s intervention. SACS placed DeKalb on probation and threatened to strip accreditation altogether if the school board and superintendent failed to address management concerns.
Gov. Nathan Deal replaced six of the nine school board members, just after the old board replaced the superintendent. DeKalb’s new leadership has made remarkable progress addressing the issues, Elgart said, but he said the work is far from done and that the elections May 20 for the nonpartisan school board are a major concern.
“The election is critical,” said Elgart, who is the president and chief executive officer of SACS’ parent company AdvancED. The agency’s opinions about accreditation influence a school district’s reputation, and by extension its graduates’ chances for college admissions and scholarships. That, in turn, affects the local economy, since public education is a key factor businesses consider when choosing where to locate.
“This community needs to pay close attention to whom they elect,” Elgart said. “Politics is one of the reasons the system got itself to this point.”
The school board fiasco has already become a launching pad for one deposed member, Nancy Jester, who is now seeking the state superintendent’s job. And the upcoming school board elections, which could feature comeback bids by one or more of the ousted board members, may inject another dose of politics.
I am pleased to hear the DeKalb school system’s accreditation status has been upgraded from “probation” to “warned”.
I worked diligently to shine light on the poor fiscal management of DeKalb. Some of my work was even cited in the SACS report from 2012.
Clearly DeKalb still has a long way to go.
Academic achievement and growth in many schools is unacceptable. DeKalb’s graduation rate, at 58.9%, is far too low.
Of the 25 high schools in DeKalb, 8 have graduation rates below 50%, while only 4 have rates above 75%. All four of these schools are specialty or magnet schools.
I appreciate that SACS finally recognized that DeKalb needed some sort of intervention.
The entire episode exposes the structural weaknesses in our state’s accountability model. While SACS can provide a useful and supplemental service via their third party accreditation products, Georgia must not continue to abdicate it’s role in holding districts accountable for their results and financial management.
Jester also released in the last several days a map that shows per-pupil spending and graduation rates in Georgia and neighboring states. It’s worth taking a moment to look at.
City Club of Buckhead, 3343 Peachtree Rd NE Atlanta , 30326+ Google Map
Following the World Affairs Council’s seminar on Transatlantic Innovation & Sustainability, the World Trade Center of Atlanta will host a “Taste of the UK” featuring beers from the UK and heavy hors d’oeuvres inspired by UK cuisine. The British Consul General, Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford will be our honored guest. Here, you will also learn more of our upcoming EU Series and our kick-off event on business opportunities from the impending Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Join us for this very unique…
Metro Atlanta Chamber, 235 Andrew Young International Blvd NW Atlanta , GA 30303 + Google Map
TRANSATLANTIC INNOVATION & SUSTAINABILITY - The Power of Collaboration In today’s business environment, innovation through collaboration - both between university research institutions and business, and between businesses globally – is seen as a major source of competitive advantage. This forward-looking seminar will contribute to new thinking about government and private sector strategies to foster and strengthen EU-US collaboration and help drive future economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic. KEYNOTE SPEAKER JOHN F. BROCK Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Coca-Cola Enterprises
Join the Buckhead Young Republicans as we welcome Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens. Hudgens has been instrumental in fighting the draconian Obamacare regulations as Georgia residents have seen more than 400,000 insurance policies cancelled, a number that grows every day. We will also have US Senate candidate Art Gardner for U.S. Senate 2014
Georgia State Capitol, 206 Washington St SW Atlanta, GA 30334 United States+ Google Map
Georgia Right to Life is proud to announce that our annual Together For Life memorial walk is being refocused and relaunched in 2014 as the Georgia March For Life! Mark your calendars for January 22, 2014 and join us at the State Capitol steps in Atlanta from 11:30am-2:00pm with keynote speaker Pam Stenzel and special guest speaker Dr. Robert White! At the Georgia March For Life, we will have music and prayer (starting at 11:30am), hear from the leading pro-life voices in Georgia…
Five Seasons Brewing – Westside, 1000 Marietta Street Atlanta , GA 30318 United States+ Google Map
As we enter a new year, both Congress and Georgia’s General Assembly are kicking off new sessions. We are fortunate to have Congressman Jack Kingston, who is running for U.S. Senate, and Ga. Rep. Lynne Riley, who is Gov. Deal’s floor leader.
Northside Hospital – Cherokee Conference Center, 1130 Bluffs Parkway Canton , GA 30114 + Google Map
Join us as we celebrate our 2013 accomplishments, welcome our 2014 Board of Directors, present our Volunteer of the Year & First Citizen! No refunds. Priority seating given to reserved tables as secured.
City Club of Buckhead, 3343 Peachtree Rd. NE Atlanta, GA 30326 + Google Map
Join the Consul General Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford of the United Kingdom for a discussion on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Learn how you can prepare to take advantage of the business opportunities presented by TTIP upon its implementation. Consul General Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford will lead the discussion and will be joined by business executives who are currently conducting business in the UK and the US. They will share details on the business landscape in the UK, how it might change…
Hilton – Atlanta, 255 Courtland St NE Atlanta , GA 30303+ Google Map
Mayors’ Day Features U.S. Senate Candidates Forum Register online. Download paper registration and training/conference schedule (PDF, 1.46MB). City officials will have the opportunity to hear directly from candidates seeking to replace Saxby Chambliss in the U.S. Senate during GMA’s 2014 Mayors’ Day. Since Chambliss has decided not to seek reelection a number of individuals have already announced their intention to run for the seat. On Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, GMA will hold a U.S. Senate Candidates Forum. Candidates from both the Republican and…
The Garlic Clove Italian Eatery, 4523 Washington Road Evans , GA 30809 United States+ Google Map
Join the Columbia County Republican Party for our monthly breakfast meeting. We will have two speakers this month: State Representative Barry Fleming and Nancy Gay from the Columbia County Board of Elections. Breakfast is $8 Doors open at 8:45 Meeting begins at 9:00 No RSVP necessary
Cobb Galleria Centre, Two Galleria Parkway Atlanta, 30339+ Google Map
Cobb Chamber of Commerce: Annual Dinner Event Description: This black-tie dinner affair celebrates the many accomplishments of 2013 and sets the standard for a successful 2014! Attended by nearly 1,000 of Cobb County’s finest, this gala serves as an opportunity to honor those that have made significant contributions to enhance our quality of life, make Cobb a better place to live, improve our education, medical and public service communities. Tickets: $165 per individual ticket; $1,500 per Table of 10. For…
Crowne Plaza Ravinia, 4355 Ashford Dunwoody Rd Dunwoody , GA 30346+ Google Map
11th Annual Taste of Dunwoody Be a part of our annual Taste of Dunwoody and enjoy an evening of food and fun benefiting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Featuring delicious fare from more than 25 Atlanta restaurants, a silent auction, a cash bar and live music performed by Yacht Rock Revue, the Taste of Dunwoody is always a sell-out event! With “spot on renditions” Yacht Rock Revue is possibly the best tribute to 70s light rock and always promise a good time. We…
The RJC Atlanta Chapter invites you to A Job Interview with the Candidates for Georgia U.S. Senate with invited guests: Congressman Jack Kingston, Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, Congressman Phil Gingrey, Former CEO of Dollar General and Reebok, David Perdue, and Congressman Paul Broun. During this job interview, the Republican Candidates campaigning to be next U.S. Senator from Georgia will one at a time make their case for why they are uniquely qualified for the job. Following each…
1. An important day in Georgia history
2. Poll: Deal leads Carter by 2-1 margin
3. Campaign announcements
4. Two events with Allen West
In the coming days, we’ll be releasing GaPunditPro, a tool for professionals and citizen-lobbyists at the Capitol that will include an electronic version of the White Book, as well as constantly updated information from both chambers and headlines from GaPundit.com.
On January 10, 2011, Nathan Deal was sworn in as Governor of Georgia for his first term. The celebratory inauguration was cancelled because of snow and ice, but Deal took the oath of office before a joint session of the Georgia General Assembly. Deal became the second Republican Governor of Georgia during the modern era, taking over from Gov. Sonny Perdue.
U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, championed ongoing support for the Savannah River port expansion during a visit with constituents Friday.
Barrow spoke to a few dozen members of the Martinez-Evans Rotary Club luncheon at First Baptist Church of Augusta.
When asked about the port of Savannah, Barrow said, “I’m optimistic that we’re going to complete that thing if only because the state of Georgia has a huge investment in this already.”
Barrow, who represented Savannah before district lines were redrawn, said the state spent $44 million in 15 years settling lawsuits related to the port project, a contentious environmental issue.
The state has pledged its cost share of the expansion but federal funding is slowing progress and completion, he said.
“When I arrived on the scene, this was essentially a Savannah versus the rest of the state kind of thing,” he said. “Members of Congress from that area did not see the connection between business in Atlanta and trade in Savannah. But they see it now.”
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has said the state could shoulder more of the costs if Washington does not come up with its portion.