GaPundit http://gapundit.com Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections Wed, 05 Aug 2015 10:13:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.8 Adoptable Georgia Dogs for August 5, 2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/08/05/adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-august-5-2015/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-august-5-2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/08/05/adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-august-5-2015/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 10:13:28 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=51517 GaPundit:

Max is  2-3 year old adult male Great Dane/Labrador Retriever mix who weighs 56 pounds is available for adoption from Two Tailz Rescue in Roswell, GA. Max enjoys the company of kids, adults, all dogs, and cats! He really couldn’t be a more perfect dog to easily fit into any family. Max needs exercise, like

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

Max Giant2

Max is  2-3 year old adult male Great Dane/Labrador Retriever mix who weighs 56 pounds is available for adoption from Two Tailz Rescue in Roswell, GA. Max enjoys the company of kids, adults, all dogs, and cats! He really couldn’t be a more perfect dog to easily fit into any family. Max needs exercise, like any dog, and the trails and dog park would be perfect for him. He loves to play with toys and walk next to you everywhere you go. He has a gentle spirit and calm demeanor.

Max Mini
(Mini) Max is an adult male Miniature Pinscher, about 6 years old and 16 pounds and is available for adoption from Canine Crusaders of Atlanta in Acworth, GA.
He just wants to be loved and enjoys sitting in your lap and have you all to himself. He’s currently in a foster home with other dogs but his ideal home is one where he could be the only dog or with a laid back dog who won’t fight for attention from people. He just really longs to be in a home of his very own where he gets the attention he craves. Max loves his toys, especially his ball. He’s also great with kids. He does chase cats and is best in a home without them. Max is also neutered and current on shots.

Max Tennis Ball1

Tennis Ball Max is listed as a Pit Bull, but I think he looks more like a Lab. Max is available for adoption from All About Animals Rescue in Macon, GA. From the photos, it looks like he enjoys a good game of fetch followed by belly rubs.

Max Tennis Ball2

Max CPR

The final Max of the day is a young male German Shepherd Dog who is available for adoption from Canine Pet Rescue in Dacula, GA.

Max is an exuberant, young dog who had a lonely start in life, but has since learned to embrace all the great things the world has to offer beyond the confines of a backyard chain. Max has learned that other dogs are potential playmates and now never passes up the chance to romp around once introductions are made. He is still young and can get a little carried away in playing with another dog, so it is important to continue to supervise him around others to remind him of proper play behavior as well as choose canine companions which will be forgiving of young dog enthusiasm.

Even though Max is an energetic dog, he settles down quickly and is content to lay at your feet with a ball or chew toy when you need a break. He listens pretty well and picks up training quickly. Max has a ton of food drive and can be taught almost anything through this route. He may even have potential as an agility dog or participating in some other high activity level event. Max is great in the crate, but should be watched closely indoors otherwise, as he won’t alert you if he needs to go out to potty. He walks well on leash even on a flat collar as long as he is reminded of his manners.

Max is a clownish, goofy type of dog who is always up for an adventure, but without being over the top excitable. He would do well with tolerant, playful dog personalities, or as a single dog living with a more active person.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2015/08/05/adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-august-5-2015/feed/ 0
Nancy Jester: Votes No On DeKalb Soccer Complex,Taxpayers Not Allowed To Speak – Vote Forever Tarnished http://gapundit.com/2015/08/04/nancy-jester-votes-no-on-dekalb-soccer-complextaxpayers-not-allowed-to-speak-vote-forever-tarnished/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nancy-jester-votes-no-on-dekalb-soccer-complextaxpayers-not-allowed-to-speak-vote-forever-tarnished http://gapundit.com/2015/08/04/nancy-jester-votes-no-on-dekalb-soccer-complextaxpayers-not-allowed-to-speak-vote-forever-tarnished/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 16:46:05 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=51514 GaPundit:

From County Commissioner Nancy Jester: I voted against the proposal before the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners to fund a soccer complex in DeKalb County. I did so because this particular proposal was not in the best interest of DeKalb County taxpayers. There is no justification for giving away millions of taxpayer dollars while DeKalb

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

From County Commissioner Nancy Jester:

I voted against the proposal before the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners to fund a soccer complex in DeKalb County.

I did so because this particular proposal was not in the best interest of DeKalb County taxpayers. There is no justification for giving away millions of taxpayer dollars while DeKalb County is failing at delivering basic services such as, road maintenance, water management, and fully funding public safety and our first responders.

At DeKalb County Fire Station Seven, mold is putting the lives of DeKalb County firefighters at risk inside a crumbling building. We ask these heroes to put their lives on the line every day. We have a responsibility to give them a safe, working environment. Let me be clear, DeKalb County is failing our fire and police men and women when we vote to give millions to build a soccer complex while we fail to fund safe, working environments.

DeKalb County has private sector job creators, who actually pay taxes to DeKalb County, selling off hundreds of acres and moving out of DeKalb. Instead of giving away millions of dollars to an entity to come to DeKalb, we should focus our attention on how we retain those longtime proven job creators who pay taxes.

This vote was a disaster for DeKalb County taxpayers. A majority of the Board of Commissioners refused to allow members of the public (the people actually paying for all of this) to have a few minutes of comment time prior to the vote. It is disgraceful the public was denied the right to speak on a project they are paying for through their tax dollars.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2015/08/04/nancy-jester-votes-no-on-dekalb-soccer-complextaxpayers-not-allowed-to-speak-vote-forever-tarnished/feed/ 0
Adoptable Georgia Dogs for August 4, 2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/08/04/adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-august-4-2015/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-august-4-2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/08/04/adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-august-4-2015/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 12:22:17 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=51508 GaPundit:

Korat is an adult female Hound/Terrier mix who weighs about 35 pounds. This little girl has all kinds of personality, walks well on a leash and is good with other friendly dogs. She is curious about cats but not aggressive so she would do fine in a feline home. She is very affectionate and ready

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

Korat

Korat is an adult female Hound/Terrier mix who weighs about 35 pounds. This little girl has all kinds of personality, walks well on a leash and is good with other friendly dogs. She is curious about cats but not aggressive so she would do fine in a feline home. She is very affectionate and ready for her forever home and family. Korat is available for adoption from Dawson County Humane Society in Dawsonville, GA.

Cooper

Cooper is an adult male Basset Hound who is available for adoption from Lake Lanier Humane League (Georgia Collie Rescue) in Gainesville, GA.

Cooper is one great happy boy. He loves to be with people, get in your lap or just hang out. He enjoys whatever you are doing. Working in the yard, riding in the car or watching TV. He does well with other dogs and children. He is also good with cats. He is a super boy.

Cooper is not a big barker nor does he have the typical ear problems that can come with the breed.

Bouie McBeagle

Bouie McBeagle is a male adult Beagle mix who is available for adoption from Lake Lanier Humane League (Georgia Collie Rescue) in Gainesville, GA.

Maybe a former hunting beagle but now just a love bug hunting for his own home. He is covered in freckles as you can see and each freckle is filled with love, just waiting to lavish on his new owner. Bouie McBeagle is a fantastic boy. He has a great beagle attitude and temperament. He is happy, easy going and always up for a game. He is great with kids, dogs and life. what an easy boy. If you are looking for a family pet that you want to just fit in, he could be your boy. He has good house manners, is good in his crate, but would do just as well out of one. This is a nice family dog. Don’t miss out on a great rescue pet. You can rescue and be rewarded at the same time!

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2015/08/04/adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-august-4-2015/feed/ 0
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 4, 2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/08/04/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-4-2015/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-4-2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/08/04/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-4-2015/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 11:51:27 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=51502 GaPundit:

On August 4, 1753, George Washington became a Master Mason at the Masonic Lodge No. 4 in Fredericksburg, Virginia. On August 4, 1944, Anne Frank, her family, and two others were found by Nazis in a sealed area in an Amsterdam warehouse. They were sent first to a concentration camp in Holland, then most were

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

On August 4, 1753, George Washington became a Master Mason at the Masonic Lodge No. 4 in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

On August 4, 1944, Anne Frank, her family, and two others were found by Nazis in a sealed area in an Amsterdam warehouse. They were sent first to a concentration camp in Holland, then most were sent to Auschwitz. Anne and her sister Margot died from Typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March of 1945.

On August 4, 1958, a wagon train left Dahlonega, headed to Atlanta to pay tribute to the mighty General Assembly deliver 43 ounces of gold to be used to coat the dome of the State Capitol.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Comet Davis

Meet Comet, the newest member of the J. Max Davis campaign family, who was adopted after the family was going door-to-door and knocked on the door of someone who is active in dog rescue.

A scheduling conflict will prevent Gov. Nathan Deal from speaking to the Red State Gathering, which convenes this weekend in Atlanta, but if you want to see him tonight, he’ll be at a fundraiser for House District 80 candidate J. Max Davis in Brookhaven.

Gov Deal Reception

In Fayette County, the election to fill the seat of late County Commissioner Pota Coston will be held in a district, instead of at-large as the Commission previously decided.

A federal judge granted an injunction against Fayette County, requiring the county to use district voting to fill a vacant district seat created by the death of the county’s first black commissioner last month.

U.S. District judge Timothy C. Batten Sr. cited in his 36-page decision, the timing of the Sept. 15 special election and that Pota Coston was elected under district voting – a plan he ordered in 2013 – as his reasons for granting the preliminary injunction requested by the NAACP, which has been in three-year legal fight with Fayette over its electoral system.

The NAACP went to court last month to stop Fayette from using at-large or countywide voting in the upcoming special election to fill the district seat left vacant by the death of Pota Coston, Fayette’s first black commissioner. Coston died July 3.

The 56-year-old Tyrone resident was elected last November using district election, the system ordered by Batten in 2013 to replace at-large voting, an electoral system Fayette had used for nearly two centuries.

The special-election dispute emerged when county officials said they had no choice but to use at-large voting for the Sept. 15 special election because local law requires at-large voting to be used for such elections. Batten’s 2013 ruling did not include provisions for which electoral process should be used for special elections. NAACP attorney Leah Arden contends district voting should be used to fill a district seat.

Early voting continues all week long in the House District 155 Special Runoff Election, according to the Tifton Gazette.

Voters in HD 155 will choose either Clay Pirkle of Turner County or Horace Hudgins of Irwin County to fill the unexpired term of Rep. Jay Roberts, who resigned due to his nomination to serve as planning director for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

In addition to Tift, Turner, and Irwin Counties, House District 155 also includes voters in Ben Hill and Coffee Counties.

As a reminder: any voter who is eligible may vote in a runoff election, even if they did not vote in the preceding election.

To check your voter registration status, you may use the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page.

Daniel Malloy of the AJC writes that Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus has written some big checks in support of two GOP candidates for President.

Marcus wrote a $1 million check to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s “Right to Rise USA” Super PAC, among a slew of wealthy Georgians who helped power the PAC’s eye-popping $100 million debut.

But Marcus, of Atlanta, is hedging his bets: He also gave a combined $600,000 to two PACs backing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, “Unintimidated” and “Our American Renewal.”

Marcus does not appear to have changed his mind. His big Right to Rise donation was in January, while the Walker PAC gifts were in March and May, then he donated to Bush’s campaign in June.

Peach State Presidential Politics

The Washington Post places Senator Ted Cruz’s bus tour of Georgia and other Southern states in context, noting that Cruz referred to the South as a “firewall” in the GOP Presidential race.

Ted Cruz made the case Sunday that he can win the Republican nomination because of his strength in the South.

“For any serious candidate to play, you’re going to have to run a national campaign,” he said. “If you are going to run a national campaign, you’ve got to be able to compete nationally.”

Cruz plans to spend a good chunk of the August recess traveling by bus around the South, including South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Several of these states will hold primaries on March 1 in a regional primary that has been dubbed the SEC Primary after the Southeastern Conference in college football. March 1 is the first date that non-early states are allowed to schedule their contests. A candidate who wins then might get momentum going into the winner-take-all contests that begin March 15.

“I view the SEC primary as a firewall,” Cruz confided to the audience.

Politico surveyed State GOP Chairman and profiles the Republican presidential race, noting the prominence of Southern states in the SEC Primary.

Expectations are running highest in the South as candidates eye March 1, the date of the so-called SEC primary, when a host of often overlooked states in that region will vote on the same day.

“The move to an earlier primary has sparked interest by many of the candidates,” said Doyle Webb, the Arkansas GOP chairman. “We’ve had at least 10 of the announced candidates contact us directly for information [on how to file, the filing fee, the process]. We’re excited to see all the candidates, but we’ll wait and see who files in Arkansas.”

Added Tennessee GOP Chairman Ryan Haynes, “We anticipate that Tennessee is going to get a lot of attention…Tennessee is a relatively easy state to get on the ballot, and campaigns are starting the process much earlier than they have in prior presidential elections. They’re reaching out to the state party about what the process is, how to get the delegates lined up. The process seems to be starting much earlier this time than four years ago.”

The Republican Party of Virginia, which also chose to compete on March 1, has already disseminated detailed ballot information to all of the campaigns, said Chairman John C. Whitbeck, Jr., something that “reminded [campaigns] strongly to get started now on their work.”

Jeb Bush will hold a fundraising reception today in Brentwood, Tennessee, while Scott Walker will visit Nashville tomorrow.

The list of committee members accompanying the Bush Brentwood invitation includes some of Tennessee’s GOP fundraising heavy hitters. Kim Kaegi, a finance leader for U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., is organizing the event in some capacity. Committee members include Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

Scott Walker hopes his conservative credentials will bolster his chances in Southern states.

Republicans aren’t criticizing Walker’s stance on social issues. He recently signed a Wisconsin bill that bans abortions after a woman is 20 weeks pregnant, and he’s routinely denounced the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage.

That social conservatism will be popular with Republican voters in Tennessee and throughout the South, but most if not all GOP presidential contenders share Walker’s view on same-sex marriage.

It will be Walker’s work taking on unions in Wisconsin that will especially endear him to southern voters, argued a longtime Tennessee Republican operative.

“Gov. Walker is certainly a top-tier candidate as he has taken on the labor unions and won three times in the past four years in a light blue state,” said the operative, who requested anonymity to speak freely about the race.

“Because of these fights, he has created a national fundraising network and has a compelling narrative of taking on the unions to create a more business friendly climate in Wisconsin that should play well in southern right-to-work states like Tennessee and Georgia.”

MARTA reaches for your wallet

Everytime you buy something in Fulton or DeKalb County, you’re paying for MARTA, and on the basis of one or two years without debilitating financial instability, they’re reaching for our wallets to take out another $200 million. As a DeKalb County resident, I have to say no, thanks to their legislative proposal. MARTA is talking about taking the case to the General Assembly, but if the legislature decides to go along with this boondoggle, MARTA will have to make their case to the voters and pass a referendum before levying an additional half-cent sales tax that will last for the rest of my life. Here are a couple quotes from the AJC story.

MARTA board chairman Robbie Ashe discussed the project and the agency’s strategy:

“[W]e will go to the 2016 General Assembly (and) ask them to permit our member jurisdictions to ask their voters for an additional half-penny sales tax that would last the duration of MARTA’s existing penny (tax). That half-penny would go to finance these expansion projects. They would then roll (into) operations and maintenance once (the projects) are delivered.”

“We believe that the math on that (half-penny) leads us to about $8 billion worth of projects over the next several years. A half-penny in Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton is approximately $200 million a year. If it lasts the duration of our existing penny, we would be able to, conservatively speaking, without remotely taxing our credit card, get to $4 billion.

“Because it would last that 40 years, we get bonding capacity.

“The half-penny, if it lasts for the duration of MARTA’s existing penny (tax), would be a revenue stream and a local match that is virtually without peer anywhere in the United States. It makes us very confident that we could go to Washington and get the highest level of federal match.

Meanwhile, the State Road and Tollway Authority is reaching for their own checkbook, to spread the road-building dollars in the form of grants to local government.

The State Road and Tollway Authority is offering local governments and community improvement districts shares of a $29 million funding pot intended to pay for transportation improvement projects.

The agency announced on Monday that it is accepting applications for transportation improvement grants and loans which will come from the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank program. The program is entering its fourth round of grants with the goal of improving mobility in Georgia’s communities through road and bridge projects.

“Last year was a banner season for the GTIB program in that we received the most applications in the program’s history. This year, we anticipate a similar response all across Georgia as we have ramped up outreach efforts inside and outside of the Atlanta metro area,” SRTA Executive Director Christopher Tomlinson said in a statement.

“The program’s success is directly attributable to the support of Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia General Assembly who continue to approve additional funding in the state budget,” he added.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2015/08/04/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-4-2015/feed/ 0
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 3, 2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/08/03/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-3-2015/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-3-2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/08/03/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-3-2015/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 08:10:58 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=51476 GaPundit:

Georgia delegates Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, and George Walton signed the Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776. On August 3, 1910, Georgia became the ninth state to ratify the 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which allows Congress to levy a tax without apportioning it among the states. On August 3, 1982, Michael

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

Georgia delegates Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, and George Walton signed the Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776.

On August 3, 1910, Georgia became the ninth state to ratify the 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which allows Congress to levy a tax without apportioning it among the states.

On August 3, 1982, Michael Hardwick was arrested, setting in motion the prosecution that would eventually lead to the United States Supreme Court in the case of Bowers v. Hardwick.

Skip Caray died on August 3, 2008 and Pete Van Wieren died Saturday, August 2, 2014.

Georgia Politics

Opponents of Planned Parenthood rallied outside the group’s downtown August location, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

With the U.S. Senate scheduled to vote Monday on a bill to strip Planned Parenthood of taxpayer funding, more than 100 residents gathered Sunday for a prayer rally in front of the organization’s downtown Augusta clinic.

“We’re here to pray in defense of the defenseless,” said Pastor David McKinley of Warren Baptist Church. “And to pray for women who choose to walk through the doors of Planned Parenthood.”

After McKinley’s opening remarks, others spoke in favor of ridding the nation’s largest abortion provider of taxpayer dollars.

Our rally wasn’t about protesting or chanting,” said Laura Shipp, the event’s organizer. “And I’m so thankful none of our supporters did that. We just came here to pray the Senate will defund Planned Parenthood so our tax money will not be used to support them. These latest videos have exposed what Planned Parenthood is all about, where the baby’s body parts are being sold for profit.”

“We want our event in Augusta to be heard in Washington.”

Governor Nathan Deal is expected to set the date for a Special Election in House District 122 for November 3, 2015.

Congressman Tom Price spoke to a Meet-and-Greet on Saturday for J. Max Davis, who is running for State Representative in the Special Runoff Election on August 11, 2015. In the following clip, Rep. Price talks about J Max’s record as Mayor of Brookhaven, the special importance of the election to Republican voters in Fulton and DeKalb Counties, and a little bit about how to win a special election.

Tom Price, Nancy Jester, J Max Davis

DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester introduced Rep. Price.

And on Sunday, this happened.

Taylor Bennett Invite

 

Kasim Reed Taylor Bennett

Liberals for Taylor Bennett2

That is, collectively, the largest gathering of liberals ever in the City of Brookhaven history. If you’re a Fulton County Republican, you should understand that a Democratic Mayor of Atlanta, Atlanta City Council Member, and current and former City of Atlanta State Representatives are supporting the Democratic candidate in HD 80 for one reason: if Democrats can win back this seat, they will control the Fulton County State House Delegation and their first order of business will be to make it easier for the Fulton County Commission’s Democrat majority to raise property taxes. Do you feel that chill? It’s your blood running cold.

Presidential Events

This weekend, the epicenter of the 2016 GOP Presidential campaign comes to town as the Red State Gathering convenes at the InterContinental Hotel in Buckhead. Full weekend tickets have been sold out for some time, but Party Passes are still available. That’s probably the hot ticket anyway, as Donald Trump will be speaking at Saturday night’s Tailgate at the College Football Hall of Fame.

Check out the full Gathering agenda here. Presidential candidates in Atlanta this week include: WI Governor Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, LA Governor Bobby Jindal, former TX Governor Rick Perry, former FL Governor Jeb Bush, Senator Marco Rubio, former AR Governor Mike Huckabee, and Senator Ted Cruz. Atlanta’s own former Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran will speak as well.
Perry President Header

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry will hold a fundraiser on Friday, August 7, 2015 at 1 PM at the City Club of Buckhead, 3343 Peachtree Rd, Ste 1850, Atlanta, GA 30326. Click here for the R.s.v.p.

Rubio Header

United States Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) will hold a reception at the home of Arielle and Ehud Levy on Friday, August 7, 2015 from 6-7:30 PM at 388 Beverly Rd, Atlanta, GA 30309.

For questions or to RSVP, please contact Sarah Robinson at 601-826-7347 or srobinson@marcorubio.com or Caitlyn Cooper at ccooper@comm-360.com

Huckabee2016

On Saturday, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee will speak to the 8th Congressional District GAGOP Fish Fry in Perry, Georgia. See the flyer below for more information.

Fish Fry

And, of course, United States Senator Ted Cruz will be touring the state, beginning in Savannah.

Cruz Savannah Invite

On Saturday, August 8, Cruz will appear at a grassroots rally at the old Sprayberry’s at 229 Jackson Street in Newnan, GA at 4 PM – please be there by 3:30.

Later Saturday, the Cruz tour appears in the Columbus area at Solid Rock, 6959 Warm Springs Rd in Midland, Georgia at 7 PM.

Politico.com covers the Ted Cruz bus tour across not just Georgia, but across the South.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will spend much of August on an eight-state “Cruz Country” bus tour through the South, as his team looks beyond the first four 2016 states to March’s delegate-heavy SEC Primary states, including Georgia and Texas.

Cruz advisers say they’re not only vigorously competing in the early states, but already organizing the so-called SEC states (a nickname from college sports’ Southeastern Conference), with advertising planned through March 15.

An adviser said the objective of the bus trip is “to ensure that by the time other candidates get to the March 1 voting states following early state voting, Ted Cruz will have his support shored up, energized, organized, and ready to compete and expand.”

The tour will stop in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

“The clear message is that as a Texan, Ted Cruz is paying attention to the region and will demonstrate his commitment to gain their support long before anyone else gets there,” the adviser added.

Click here to see the full public Cruz bus tour itinerary.

Republicans who aren’t seeing their favorite candidates in Georgia can always keep an eye on Aiken County, South Carolina, a hotbed for 2016 GOP Presidential candidates.

Tony Coffaro, the president of the Aiken Republican Club, said visits from real estate mogul Donald Trump, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former business executive Carly Fiorina are expected, but their campaigns have not confirmed stops.

Campaign stops by Democratic candidates remain to be seen. Harold Crawford, the chairman of the Aiken County Democratic Party, said that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders expressed some interest in visiting the county but that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and three other candidates have not been heard from regarding a visit.

WHY STOP IN AIKEN COUNTY? Aiken, Charleston, Beaufort and Greenville counties are key to winning the South Carolina primary, Coffaro said. It’s fairly easy for candidates to deliver their campaign priorities in a heavily-red county like Aiken, which has an active Republican club of about 300 members, he said.

Additionally, the racial, age and economic breakdowns of Aiken County are similar to South Carolina’s demographics, Coffaro said. The county has a mixture of ages from baby boomers to millennials as well as incomes ranging from low to high, he said.

“Aiken County is a mirror of the population of the state, which makes it appealing. You cannot win the state without winning Aiken County,” Coffaro said.

WHY IS SOUTH CAROLINA IMPORTANT? The state’s Republican primary – the first in the South – has become an indicator of which candidate will win the party’s nomination.

Candidates will campaign heavily in the state in November, December and January, and then the state will be deluged with campaign messages and visits between the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries, Knotts said.

While several Southern states have aligned for a possible March 1 presidential primary, dubbed the “SEC primary,” South Carolina will likely keep its early date to maintain its influence on national elections, Knotts said.

Transportation, Tax Digest

MARTA continues to pitch a tax hike for Fulton and DeKalb counties as a means of financing an unprecedented expansion, according to Neighbor Newspapers.

Robbie Ashe said he is not completely sure MARTA’s proposed half-penny sales tax will be approved both by the Georgia General Assembly and the state’s voters in 2016, but he has high hopes.

“I think it’s a hard conversation, for us to ask folks to pay both the existing penny tax and the new half-penny,” the Atlanta transit agency’s board chair said. “Am I confident? I certainly am and I know this will be tough, but I’m optimistic.”

MARTA’s plan to use the half-penny tax in Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton counties, the only ones in metro Atlanta where the service exists, was among the many announcements and updates made Thursday morning during a press briefing at its headquarters in Buckhead.

MARTA’s half-penny tax was approved by the House in March but denied by the Senate the following month, when the legislature’s 2015 session ended. If approved next year, it would be used to fund a $8 billion expansion of its rail lines, from the North Springs MARTA station to the Fulton/Forsyth county line and from the Avondale station in DeKalb County northwest through the Clifton corridor to the Lindbergh station in Buckhead.

The half-penny tax would last 42 years, the same amount of time as the current penny sales tax that was reapproved by the legislature this year and funds MARTA’s maintenance. Ashe said the fact 74 percent of voters in Clayton County approved MARTA’s extension there in November is a vote of confidence for the system metro-wide. He also said MARTA leaders are in talks with Atlanta, Clayton, Fulton and DeKalb officials about the half-penny sales tax.

Gwinnett County seeks to involve residents in a conversation about transportation, according to the AJC.

For a week in August, thousands of Gwinnett residents, workers and passersby will be asked to participate in a wide-ranging conversation about transportation in the county: how they want to get around, where they wish they could get to more easily and why it’s important that transportation be improved.

The project, called the Great Exchange, aims to push conversations about transportation in Gwinnett to the forefront. By the end, organizers hope to have gathered a wide range of opinions and forced people to consider what their transportation system needs.

The Great Exchange is not government-funded, but local leaders say the results could help them create a broad, strategic framework that the county needs. Chamber of Commerce president Dan Kaufman he thinks the responses could steer leaders to determine if there’s a need for bike lanes and sidewalks, or alternatives to I-85.

“We certainly are interested and excited about the process,” Gwinnett County chairman Charlotte Nash said.

Georgia’s Congressional Delegation is pushing the Army Corps of Engineers to move the Savannah Harbor dredging up its list of priorities, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Delegation members want the Army Corps of Engineers to make the Savannah Harbor expansion project a top priority in their fiscal year 2017 budget request. The congressmen and senators want President Barack Obama’s administration to make it a top priority in their budget recommendations as well.

The federal government’s share of the $706 million project cost is $440 million. The delegation wrote in its letter that allocations of less than $100 million per year would mean the expansion work won’t be finished by its 2020 completion date.

“The key to the success of this project will be whether the administration’s budget proposal next year includes at least the approximately $100 million that (the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) has identified as the level that would keep the project on the path to timely completion,” the delegation wrote in a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy.

“By every measure, our ability to grow our economy is tied to our ability to have competitive international shipping rates, and those rates are determined by having cost-efficient port infrastructure,” the delegation added. “And no port infrastructure project in the nation can more efficiently and more quickly stimulate job growth in our country than SHEP.”

The Fulton County Commission is rolling back the millage rate, and I can’t believe what Commissioner Marvin Arrington says about it,

Fulton County officials say they will roll back last year’s unpopular 17 percent property tax hike by 2016, and they’ve already taken a first step.

County commissioners have cut this year’s tax rate by nearly 11 percent – a move that could put a little more money in homeowners’ pockets. Some commissioners say they intend to finish the rollback next year and cut spending while they’re at it.

“In my district, people are telling me that their tax bill is too low,” Commissioner Marvin Arrington told his colleagues as they debated the tax cut. “What people want to know is, when are the services going to be provided? What services are going to be provided? Are they going to be provided in a timely fashion?”

At their July 15 meeting, commissioners voted 5-2 to cut this year’s general fund tax rate – which pays for countywide services like libraries, courts and social services – from 11.781 mills to 10.5 mills. That would save the owner of a $275,000 house about $102 this year, assuming the home was worth the same as last year.

But residential property values this year rose nearly 10 percent overall in the county and much more in some areas, tax records show. If that $275,000 house gained 10 percent in value from last year, the owner would pay about $13 more in general fund taxes this year, even with the lower tax rate. And that’s not counting school and city taxes, which also could increase.

DeKalb County continues to claim to be reducing property taxes, but a rollback of the millage rate combined with increasing property tax assessments, will mean higher tax revenues for the county and higher tax bills for most property owners. From Neighbor Newspapers,

DeKalb County residents will pay less in taxes this year thanks to a lower millage rate of 20.81 mills, down 0.4 mills from 21.21 mills in 2014, which represents the first downward adjustment of the tax rate since 2004.

Interim CEO Lee May said in a statement the tax break reflects an economy on the mend.

“We are seeing the results of an economic recovery in this county which allows us to address our critical needs as well as provide some relief to the taxpayers of DeKalb County,” he said.

Republican County Commissioner Nancy Jester notes that the millage rate for the General Fund increases under the administration’s current scheme.

The mid-year budget continues bloating government, does nothing to reduce to size of the bureaucracy, and raises the millage rate for the General Fund even though property assessments have greatly increased. Clearly, DeKalb is going in the wrong direction.

I cannot support a bloated budget, poor basic service delivery, increased millage rates, and last minute un-vetted budget additions. All of these factors have led DeKalb to the poor status it holds today.

The DeKalb County Government has published a “Notice of Property Tax Increase.”

This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 11.683 mills, an increase of 3.338 mills. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 8.345 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $175,000 is approximately $111.36 and the proposed tax increase for non‐homestead property with a fair market value of $250,000 is approximately $273.72.

The Fulton County Board of Education is keeping the millage rate the same as last year.

The 2015-16 school year “millage rate was determined at 18.502 the 2015-16 school year which is the same rate as the previous school years,” said Susan Hale, a district spokeswoman.

The millage rate is the amount per $1,000 that is used to calculate taxes on all properties. “There [is] $35 million extra that will cover the biggest expense, funding higher compensation for employees and teachers,” said [Marvin Dereef, the district’s deputy chief financial officer].

School officials in Floyd County say they’re being shorted tax revenue from the state Department of Revenue, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

The Department of Revenue last week divvied up the monthly take to cities and counties, leaving everyone but Rome City Schools without a penny.

What makes the financial blow more difficult to bear is that, except in the case of city schools, the local governments and school boards don’t know how much they would have received and how much more they’re due to lose.

The early July discovery that the local governments and school boards must refund $4.5 million in overpaid sales tax and interest has led to cries for change. Rome City Commissioner Evie McNiece, recently appointed to the executive committee of the Georgia Municipal Association, intends to create a task force of cities to spread information about her city’s plight.

Leaders of Rome, Floyd County, Cave Spring and both local school districts are on the hook for $4.5 million in overpaid sales tax and interest to an unidentified business. The total is a negotiated amount between the business and state revenue officials, not the exact amount overpaid between 2005 and 2013.

The state, which collects sales tax for cities and counties, distributes that revenue at the end of each month. The county, its two cities and the county school system received nothing. Only Rome City Schools got a payment from the state — $20,564.07. It’s about $450,000 less than it expected.

“It looks like that maybe they took everything through 2012,” said Lou Byars, chief operations officer with city schools.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2015/08/03/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-3-2015/feed/ 1
Adoptable Georgia Dogs for August 3, 2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/08/03/adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-august-3-2015/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-august-3-2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/08/03/adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-august-3-2015/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 08:05:33 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=51480 GaPundit:

Marco is a young male Labrador Retriever mix who is still in the puppy stage, who is available for adoption from the Thomasville-Thomas County Humane Society in Thomasville, GA. Donnie is a young male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Fulton County Animal Services in Atlanta, GA. Ricky is an adult male

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

Marco

Marco is a young male Labrador Retriever mix who is still in the puppy stage, who is available for adoption from the Thomasville-Thomas County Humane Society in Thomasville, GA.

Donnie

Donnie is a young male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Fulton County Animal Services in Atlanta, GA.

RickyDekalb

Ricky is an adult male American Staffordshire Terrier & American Bulldog who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

Ricky is a laid back lovebug who already knows how to sit, shake, lay down, and possibly more! This smart 5 year old guy gets along great with other dogs and probably wouldn’t mind having a dog friend in his new home. His adoption fee includes his neuter, vaccinations, microchip, and more! For more information email adoption@dekalbanimalservices.com

Ricky1

Ricky is a young male Yellow Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Crabapple Knoll Veterinary Clinic in Alpharetta,GA.

Ricky2

4113 LL endsummer15_3

All month long, LifeLine Animal Project, which runs the Fulton and DeKalb County Animal Shelters, is having a $10 adoption event for any dogs over 25 pounds and any cats.

 

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2015/08/03/adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-august-3-2015/feed/ 0
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 31, 2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/07/31/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-july-31-2015/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-july-31-2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/07/31/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-july-31-2015/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 12:55:39 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=51464 GaPundit:

Georgia and American History On July 31, 1777, the Marquis de LaFayette was commissioned a Major General in the Continental Army, serving without pay. The cornerstone for the first United States Mint was laid in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 31, 1792, becoming the first building constructed by the federal government under the Constitution. Former President

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

Georgia and American History

On July 31, 1777, the Marquis de LaFayette was commissioned a Major General in the Continental Army, serving without pay.

The cornerstone for the first United States Mint was laid in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 31, 1792, becoming the first building constructed by the federal government under the Constitution.

Former President Andrew Johnson, who succeeded President Lincoln upon his assassination and oversaw much of the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, died of a stroke in Tennessee on July 31, 1875.

On July 31, 1906, a bill to create place a Constitutional Amendment on the November election for voters to decide whether to create an intermediate-level Georgia Court of Appeals was approved by the Georgia General Assembly.

On July 31, 1962, the one-millionth immigrant was welcomed into Israel.

Nolan Ryan, the greatest pitcher in major league baseball history, won his 300th career game on July 31, 1990. During eight innings, Ryan threw 146 pitches, while today, many pitchers are pulled at around the 100-pitch count.

“In the old days throwing that many pitches was a normal game,” said Nolan Ryan, who tossed a record seven no-hitters and is the all-time leader in strikeouts, fifth in innings pitched.

Ryan, currently the Rangers’ team president, is an outspoken detractor of the recent trend toward monitoring pitch counts. In a recent Sports Illustrated article, Ryan expressed his belief that today’s pitchers are “pampered” and that there is no reason why today’s pitchers cannot pitch as much as he and his colleagues did back in the day. As a result, Ryan is pushing his team’s pitchers to throw deeper into games and extend their arms further, emphasizing conditioning over what some would call coddling.

As Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux told SI: “This generation of players has become a creature of the pitch count. Their ceiling has been lowered. It’s up to us to jack it back up.”

Georgia Politics

A fire destroyed the Monroe County home of Brian and Janea Cox, the parents of Haleigh, who became the poster child for medical cannabis in Georgia.

Six-year-old Haleigh Cox and her parents, Janea and Brian Cox, appear to have lost everything and are awaiting an insurance assessment. The fire occurred just days before Janea Cox and Haleigh were set to return home, after spending the past year in Colorado. There, the girl has been on a therapeutic regimen that includes an extract of cannabis.

Her family has said a liquid form of the drug has helped reduce her seizures.

Janea Cox said by telephone that her family is grateful for all the love and support from friends, family and the community.

“We will get through this storm and hopefully come out stronger,” she said.

Donations for the Coxes are being collected by Northway Church. Pastor Kevin Mills said the church does not yet have a list of the family’s immediate needs. Donations can be made via the church website or by calling 478-476-1971.

From their church’s website:

To Donate Via Check To The Haleigh Cox Family

  • Make checks payable to Northway Church with General Memorial Fund written on the memo line.
  • For donations mailed to Northway Church please include this information:

Northway Church
Attn: Haleigh Cox Family
5915 Zebulon Road
Macon, GA 31210

To Make A Donation Online

  1. Click here
  2. Fill out your information
  3. In the drop down box select General Memorial Fund
  4. IMPORTANT: Email kcaffarelli@northwaychurch.net with your name and gift amount.

Pretty funny campaign ad, and I think it’ll be effective. I don’t know anything about it other than that it popped up in my Facebook feed.

The Georgia Sales Tax Holiday is now in effect, just in time for back-to-school.

The holiday began this morning and extends through midnight on Saturday.

During those days, buyers won’t have to pay sales tax on several back-to-school items. Exempt items are:

• Clothing and footwear with a sales price of $100 or less per item

• Computers, computer components and pre-written computer software purchased for noncommercial home or personal use with a sales price of $1,000 or less per item

• School supplies, including art and computer supplies or instructional materials purchased for non-commercial use with a sales price of $20 or less per item

DeKalb County State Court Judge Dax Lopez has been nominated for a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

The White House has nominated DeKalb County State Court Judge Dax Lopez, a Republican, to fill the final open slot on the federal bench in the Northern District of Georgia.

The White House made the announcement Thursday afternoon. Lopez has been a state court judge since 2010. When Georgia Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue appointed Lopez to the DeKalb bench, he was 34—the youngest judge on the county’s state court bench and only the second Latino judge in the state.

He was born in Puerto Rico and moved with his family to Augusta when he was 6 years old.

Puerto Rico is part of the United States.

The AJC has statements from Georgia’s two United States Senators; federal judicial appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.

Said Perdue:

“I congratulate Judge Dax Lopez of DeKalb County on his nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I look forward to meeting Judge Lopez and exploring his judicial philosophy during the confirmation process.”

Added Isakson:

“I welcome the nomination and look forward to meeting with Judge López during the confirmation process.”

The slot on the Northern District of Georgia bench remains unfilled after last year’s battle over Judge Michael Boggs, who was blocked by Democrats because of his past views on abortion, gay rights and keeping the Confederate battle emblem on the state flag.

Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies are receiving training on the use of body cams, in advance of their rollout.

In addition to learning policy details, deputies in a class Wednesday were able to ask questions on how their activities will play out while wearing the cameras.

“Do not let this camera replace what you do as an officer,” said Cpl. Michelle Thomas, who led the class. She advised officers that even though the camera added a visual element to police work, it should not replace good policing or report writing.

Deputy Billy Jones, who has worn one of the 15 test cameras for the past six months, was able to provide some firsthand feedback.

“I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for a long time,” Jones said. “People generally like to pop off (verbally at officers) … but the camera almost takes the want to be belligerent away.”

I have some concerns about the use of body cams, including how stored footage will be used and the application of the “plain view” standard for searches. But the de-escalation of bad behavior when citizens know they’re being recorded might be an unintended good consequence that prevents routine matters from getting out of hand.

Congressman Tom Graves (R-14) will hold a series of public meetings in his district.

August 12th – Ringgold
11am to 12pm
Location: The Depot
155 Depot St
Ringgold, GA

August 19th – Dallas
11am to 12pm
Location: Watson Government Complex, Lower Level Meeting Space
240 Constitution Blvd.
Dallas, GA

August 19th – Rome
2pm to 3pm
Location: The Forum, Riverwalk Ballroom
301 Tribune Street
Rome, GA

August 20th – Dalton
1:30pm – 2:30pm
Location: Dalton City Hall
300 West Waugh Street
Dalton, GA

Bartow County is seeing a significant rise in local manufacuring and new jobs, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

A Gwinnett County grand jury will hear a presentation of charges against Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill after he accidentally shot a friend.

Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter said Thursday afternoon he had just met with county solicitor Rosanna Szabo, and they agreed that the grand jury should weigh the case. But Porter said he doesn’t necessarily expect a change in the charge against Hill in the May 3 shooting of 43-year-old Gwenevere McCord.

Previously, the case had been presumed to move forward without the grand jury, because the reckless conduct charge against Hill is a misdemeanor. Porter’s office handles felony cases, which typically require the grand jury; Szabo’s officials handles misdemeanors, which often don’t.

The decision to shift gears in protocol is because of Hill’s position in law enforcement and question about whether he was technically on or off duty, Porter said. Given Hill’s position, the law allows him a chance to make a “sworn statement not subject to cross examination” for the grand jury.

A Gwinnett-based charity delivers supplies to people with disabilities in Liberia.

[Florence A. Tolbert and the Disabled Advocates Inc.] has delivered more than $800,000 worth of devices to the country since 2008, with plans to ship at least another $55,000 worth this year.

The nonprofit has received donations from several other agencies, including carts and wheelchairs from PET International, mobility devices from Joni and Friends in California and glasses and white canes for the blind from the Lawrenceville Lions Club. This year, FATDA will ship 26 crates full of supplies to Liberia.

In addition to providing needed devices for the disabled, Dean hopes to expand the nonprofit’s capabilities to provide disability education and retrofit buildings to provide easier access. Most of all, he wants to change people’s misconceptions about disabilities.

“Disability is not due to witchcraft or divine retribution,” Dean said. “It can happen and does happen to everybody.”

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2015/07/31/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-july-31-2015/feed/ 0
Adoptable Georgia Dogs for July 31, 2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/07/31/adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-july-31-2015/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-july-31-2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/07/31/adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-july-31-2015/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 12:00:57 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=51465 GaPundit:

McLovin is a 3 month old Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is looking for his first and forever home! Animal control facilities are no place to call home, but that is the only home he has ever had, so he is happy and thankful to have what he does have. He is very playful with

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

McLovin

McLovin is a 3 month old Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is looking for his first and forever home! Animal control facilities are no place to call home, but that is the only home he has ever had, so he is happy and thankful to have what he does have. He is very playful with other dogs and puppies, is great with kids and is slowly learning how to walk on a leash. He and his 1 brother and 1 sister were brought here by a woman who found them after they had been dumped in front of her house.

McLovin is available for adoption from Meriwether County Animal Shelter in Greenville, GA.

Tamarind

Tamarind is a young female Redbone Coonhound/Labrador Retriever mix who is looking for a new home. She is somewhat timid, but very sweet and would love to be a lap dog. Tamarind is available for adoption from Meriwether County Animal Shelter in Greenville, GA.

Cass

“Cass” is a young female shepherd mix who needs a new home. She is doing great living in a kennel with another dog. They have become good friends. Cass is available for adoption from Meriwether County Animal Shelter in Greenville, GA.

DeKalb Littles

DeKalb County Animal Services wants you to know that they have a number of small dogs that are available for adoption.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2015/07/31/adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-july-31-2015/feed/ 0
Georgia judicial investigations become prosecutions | www.myajc.com http://gapundit.com/2015/07/30/georgia-judicial-investigations-become-prosecutions-www-myajc-com/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=georgia-judicial-investigations-become-prosecutions-www-myajc-com http://gapundit.com/2015/07/30/georgia-judicial-investigations-become-prosecutions-www-myajc-com/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 12:59:35 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=51462 GaPundit:

More than five dozen Georgia judges have stepped down from the bench in disgrace since the state’s judicial watchdog agency began aggressively policing ethical conduct eight years ago. More lately, however, the jurists aren’t just leaving the court in disgrace. Some are leaving in handcuffs. via Georgia judicial investigations become prosecutions | www.myajc.com.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

More than five dozen Georgia judges have stepped down from the bench in disgrace since the state’s judicial watchdog agency began aggressively policing ethical conduct eight years ago.

More lately, however, the jurists aren’t just leaving the court in disgrace. Some are leaving in handcuffs.

via Georgia judicial investigations become prosecutions | www.myajc.com.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2015/07/30/georgia-judicial-investigations-become-prosecutions-www-myajc-com/feed/ 0
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 30, 2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/07/30/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-july-30-2015/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-july-30-2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/07/30/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-july-30-2015/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 11:00:54 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=51443 GaPundit:

July 30th could be celebrated as the birthday of democracy in America, as the Virginia House of Burgesses became the first legislative body in the New World on July 30, 1619.  Its first law, which, like all of its laws, would have to be approved by the London Company, required tobacco to be sold for at least

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

July 30th could be celebrated as the birthday of democracy in America, as the Virginia House of Burgesses became the first legislative body in the New World on July 30, 1619.

 Its first law, which, like all of its laws, would have to be approved by the London Company, required tobacco to be sold for at least three shillings per pound. Other laws passed during its first six-day session included prohibitions against gambling, drunkenness, and idleness, and a measure that made Sabbath observance mandatory.

On July 30, 1931, Georgia Governor Richard B. Russell, Jr. signed legislation merging Milton and Fulton Counties if voters in each county approved a referendum. Fulton had earlier merged with Campbell County, to the south.

Actor Laurence Fishburn was born in Augusta, Georgia on July 30, 1961.

President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed legislation creating Medicare, for seniors, and Medicaid for some low-income people on July 30, 1965.

Georgia Politics

Ammon Williams, the 17-year old son of Republican State Senator Michael Williams (R-Cumming) is hospitalized in an induced coma after a skateboarding accident. We’re praying for the Williams family.

As you’ll no doubt be reminded dozens of times over the next couple days, Georgia’s Sales Tax Holiday runs July 31 through August 1. Click here for a flyer from the Georgia Department of Revenue on which items are not subject to sales tax this weekend.

Yesterday, Gov. Deal announced the formation of the State Steering Committee for the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), including juvenile court judges and individuals from relevant state organizations, who will work to expand this juvenile reform to counties.

“Georgia leads the nation in meaningful justice reforms,” said Deal. “We rely on evidence while embracing innovations, and this latest move continues that pattern.”

A national initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, JDAI works on a county-by-county basis to encourage appropriate community support for low-risk juvenile offenders to enhance public safety, help misguided youth and conserve taxpayer dollars. According to the foundation, communities participating in JDAI have lowered the number of youth in detention by 44 percent.

Clayton County adopted the initiative in 2003, ultimately resulting in an 80 percent decrease in its average daily detention population: less than 1 percent of the county’s youth felony offenders that benefit from detention alternatives are re-arrested for a felony charge. The initial Georgia expansion will take place in multiple counties, which will be determined through a collaboration with the Casey Foundation.

“As Clayton County proves, Georgia communities can use JDAI to keep our youth out of detention and in the running for a better life,” said Deal.

Governor Deal’s press spokesman Brian Robinson will be leaving his office on the first floor of the Georgia State Capitol to seek treasure in the private sector. Greg Bluestein of the AJC has a compendium of quotes, which leads us to wonder what the auditions will be like for a successor.

Hall County legislators spoke to the Gainesville Times about their expectations for the 2016 Session of the Georgia General Assembly.

Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, is part of a group of lawmakers reviewing how cannabis oil might be manufactured, sold and purchased in the state.

While it is legal to possess the oil to treat eight medical conditions, including seizure disorders and cancer, access to medical cannabis remains an obstacle for most patients.

Made up of physicians, attorneys, state legislators and law enforcement representatives, the Commission on Medical Cannabis will help set Georgia’s policies on medical marijuana and will make recommendations regarding access and availability to cannabis oil to the governor and General Assembly later this year.

Miller has also said he expects to see legislation addressing the flag, one way or another.

[State Rep. Emory] Dunahoo also said he also hopes the state will address the Supreme Court’s decision in June to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, ending a ban here in Georgia approved by voters in 2004.

“I still have a problem when the Supreme Court, who does not write law, states that by law we have to have gay marriage,” Dunahoo said. “It’ll be interesting to see where we go with that.”

Valdosta City Council elections in November look to be competitive, as a number of candidates throw their hats in the ring, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

A number of candidates have thrown their hats in the ring early for city council seats, including five running for the at-large district seat.

“It is unusual to have that many candidates looking at it,” [elections official Tiffany] Linkswiler said.

Four candidates in the at-large race have filed Declaration of Intent papers with the Board of Elections. As an incumbent, Norton is not required to file these papers.

In addition, two candidates have filed DOI papers with the Board of Elections for the District 1 seat, currently held by Councilman James Wright.

Wright has not indicated if he will run in the 2015 election.

The qualifying period for the city council election is the first week of September. The city election is Nov. 3.

Former Republican State Senator Seth Harp was among those speaking against the “property tax freeze thaw” proposed by Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.

Former state Sen. Seth Harp and former state Rep. Gary Cason both spoke in opposition to the mayor’s proposal during Wednesday evening’s forum at the Columbus Public Library.

Under the freeze the property taxes of homes under a homestead exemption are based on the value of the home at the time it is purchased. That value is fixed until the property is substantially altered or sold, at which time the value of the home is reassessed and then frozen again at the new value.

Harp, who said he was “instrumental” in the passage of the freeze in 1982, said he “respectfully disagrees” with Tomlinson’s proposal.

“The property tax freeze is fine because it protects homeowners,” Harp said. “I know you and I disagree on that. But if I buy a home today, I know what my property taxes are going to be next year, and 20 years from now.”

Harp said the freeze was a protection from the hyper-inflation occuring in the early ‘80s, which he said could return under current economic circumstances.

If you work as a Probate Clerk and end up assaulting a lawyer in court, while we sympathize, you may be doing your job wrong. But that allegedly happened in Effingham County, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Francys Johnson, who is president of the Georgia NAACP, said he asked for a copy of the tape recording that was made during a five-hour hearing on Monday and that Probate Court Clerk Susan Dobson grabbed his arm and snatched the recorder from his hands.

He said she scratched him but did not leave a mark.

An Effingham sheriff’s deputy working in the courtroom took a report about the alleged assault and told Johnson he could pursue charges in Magistrate Court.

The report quoted Dobson as saying her thumb touched the side of Johnson’s hand when she took the recorder. She said the recorder had other, sensitive proceedings on it and that Johnson could not have a copy of everything on the device.

Johnson said he wanted a copy of what was on the tape recorder because he was concerned that the information on it could be altered. He asked that the recorder be put under lock and key until a transcript could be made of the proceedings and said Court Clerk Elizabeth Hursey granted his request.

Dalton, Georgia will participate in the the national Communities that Work Partnership.

“The Communities that Work Partnership (CTW Partnership) is an effort to strengthen regional economies by equipping American workers with the skills needed for 21st century jobs and accelerating industry-led workforce development and training efforts,” according to a press release from the Commerce Department.

Louis Fordham, corporate vice president for resources and facilities at J+J, says Dalton’s selection is testament to both its manufacturing heritage and its focus on the future.

“The objective is to bring together communities and regions that are working on workforce development and allow them to network and to share and learn from one another,” he said. “The concept is to bring leadership together and people together to talk about these issues  and to benchmark and establish best practices. We will meet in September (with representatives from the other areas) in Baltimore. We will have a second meeting that I don’t have the details on, and the rest of the communication will be Internet-based.”

Decatur County Commissioners voted to hire Alan Thomas as the new County Administrator.

The Decatur County Board of Education rolled back the millage rate and will collect less tax revenues this year.

An injured Kemp’s ridley sea turtle was taken to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center for veterinary care and is resting up.

Congratulations to James Lyles of Ringgold, named 2015 Farmer of the Year, who advances the the SEC Primary Southeastern Farmer of the Year awards.

Political Football

The FC United major league soccer franchise is considering locating offices and practice fields in DeKalb County.

Kim Shreckengost, spokesperson for Atlanta United FC, said team officials are in negotiations with DeKalb County to reach a potential agreement.

“Our discussions with DeKalb leaders to date have been positive and cooperative, and we are encouraged by their interest and excited to potentially become part of the future of ‘Downtown DeKalb’ and the revitalization of Memorial Drive,” she said. “We look forward to continuing these discussions; no definitive agreement is in place at this time.”

The team will play in the Atlanta Falcons’ new stadium when it begins its first season in 2017. Both teams are owned by [billionaire Arthur] Blank.

The cost to DeKalb taxpayers would be significant, according to the AJC.

DeKalb County would spend roughly $12 million and hand over 41 acres of government land as part of a proposed deal for Atlanta United FC to build a $30 million soccer complex near Interstate 285, according to details revealed Wednesday.

The team, owned by Arthur Blank, would build a 3,500-seat stadium, three outdoor practice fields and a two-story corporate headquarters on land behind the DeKalb jail near Memorial Drive, according to a pending memorandum of understanding with the county. Four additional fields and an indoor training facility could be built later. Ownership of the land and facilities would revert to the county after 30 years.

The DeKalb Commission is scheduled to vote on the incentive package Tuesday.

Of the $12 million the county would pay, an estimated $7 million goes to Blank so the county could locate its parks department in new offices in the stadium. Under the proposal, an estimated $5 million would be used for demolition and land preparation, including irrigation, sod installation and environmental remediation.

In addition, Blank won’t have to pay property taxes, and all permitting fees for the soccer complex would be waived. The county would pursue funding for a pedestrian walkway from the complex to the Kensington MARTA station.

DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester (R-Dunwoody) raised questions about the financial impact of the proposal.

Commissioner Nancy Jester said she doesn’t oppose the deal but is not ready to vote for it either. She still has questions about the funding mechanisms and if the soccer bang is worth the taxpayer bucks.

“While I understand it will be a lovely facility, I’m concerned about what are the economic impacts,” said Jester. “What economic benefits will it actually bring to DeKalb County and to that area?”

Perhaps there’s an analogous development done earlier in DeKalb County that could shed some light on how this will help economic development? The Stone Mountain Tennis Center was built for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and has fallen on hard times. According to a new article in the Dalton Daily Citizen,

he Stone Mountain Tennis Center, where U.S. teams won three gold medals in the summer of 1996, has been closed since 2007.

The center was one of the “world-class facilities” poised to “serve the community well into the 21st century,” according to an economic impact study published the year before the Olympics.

Now, the organization responsible for the facility, the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, is waiting until it has the $2.4 million needed to raze it.

While there is a proposal to revitalize the Stone Mountain Tennis Center, it’s an apt cautionary tale.

Presidential Politics

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will join the other Presidential hopefuls at the Red State Gathering in Atlanta next weekend.

Ted Cruz Georgia Tour 07302015

After three events in Georgia, Senator Ted Cruz will continue to tour the SEC Primary states with an excursion to Alabama, according to Yellowhammer News.

The Shelby County Republican Party announced Wednesday they will be hosting a “Southern Social” with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) and moon pies as part of a series of events the presidential candidate has scheduled that day in Alabama.

Cruz will be meeting voters and speaking at the Pelham Civic Complex on Sunday August 9 from 2pm-4pm. The event is casual and open to the public. Yellowhammer’s Cliff Sims will also be in attendance and will be introducing the senator at the event.

Campaign sources say Senator Cruz may also attend a service that morning at Briarwood Presbyterian Church.

Cruz is also planning to visit the Rocket City later that evening for a town hall meeting at the Jackson Center in Cummings Research Park at 7 p.m. The Republican Women of Huntsville are hosting the event and Sen. Cruz will be joined by Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL5), who praised the senator on Yellowhammer Radio saying, “I believe Ted Cruz would be an excellent president. The parallels between Ted Cruz and the way he conducts himself, his belief system, and Ronald Reagan are uncanny.”

Later in August, Cruz will return to Alabama to deliver the keynote address at the Tuscaloosa Republican Party’s annual Lincoln-Reagan dinner.

2016 Presidential candidates are giving the State of Alabama more attention than ever before. In the past few months, Senator Rand Paul and Dr. Ben Carson have already visited, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will speak in Talladega on August 22.

Many believe the increased attention to Alabama has been created by the “SEC Primary.” The Yellowhammer State will join Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia to hold its presidential primary election on March 1st. Electoral heavy hitter Florida will also have its primary in March, waiting until two weeks after its neighbors for March 15th.

For the record, we will give any other Presidential candidates coming to Georgia the same kind of coverage we’re giving Cruz, but he’s the first candidate to make a serious commitment to multiple events across Georgia.

Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball has a brief review of Presidential Primary debates and history’s lessons as we head into the GOP debate season. According to their data, Georgia has hosted five Presidential Primary debates – 3 for Democrats, 2 for Republicans, all of them in Atlanta.

Last year, the Republican National Committee made rule changes designed to limit the number of primary debates in the 2016 Presidential cycle, but the Crystal Ball says that the number of debate participants for the GOP may set a record this year.

Most striking is the fact that no debate for either party has ever had more than 10 participants. Republicans had debates in 1996 and 2008 with 10, and Democrats joined them in 2004. Given the 10-candidate limit imposed by the cable networks for the initial primetime Republican debates this cycle, the record high will not be broken, for the moment. Should any network prove brave enough, the large GOP field could fill a debate stage with more than 10 participants.

 

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2015/07/30/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-july-30-2015/feed/ 0