GaPundit Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:13:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for June 22, 2017 Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:35:35 +0000 GaPundit:

Spot is a male Border Collie and Boxer mix who is available for adoption from BullyWag, Inc. in Palmetto, GA. Spot is full of love and kisses. He may hit ‘the spot” when it comes to puppy therapy! Right there when you need him for playing or loving. Spot is a 2 and 3/4 year

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections


Spot Bully Wag

Spot is a male Border Collie and Boxer mix who is available for adoption from BullyWag, Inc. in Palmetto, GA.

Spot is full of love and kisses. He may hit ‘the spot” when it comes to puppy therapy! Right there when you need him for playing or loving.

Spot Forgotten Paws

Spot is a 2 and 3/4 year old, 70 pound male Beagle and Shepherd mix who is available for adoption from Forgotten Paws Pet Rescue in Acworth, GA.

Spot listens so well. He goes in his crate when told, goes outside when told, and sits for treats. He still runs and bounces like a pup around the yard whenhe gets the urge and loves to chase toys. Bringing them back is something he has never mastered. He does not jump on his person and sits for love. He learned the “four feet on the ground” rule quickly. Due to his tendency to just hang out in his crate, Spot is a little overweight.


Spot is a male Terrier mix who is available for adoption from the Atlanta Humane Society in Alpharetta, GA.

Spot is enjoying life at his foster home and we are learning more about this great dog! His foster mom reports:

“Spot has adjusted very well to our fenced-in backyard. He met our neighbor’s children but was skittish around them. I do not believe he has ever been around children. He is not cat reactive because he does not see them. I like to call him Happy Jack or Hoppy the Kangaroo because when he meets me now he pops up and down and jumps around and we play tag in the open field. He is a very quiet dog with a great disposition and we are hoping he finds his forever home soon.”

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]> 0
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 22, 2017 Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:28:05 +0000 GaPundit:

On June 22, 1633, Galileo Galilei recanted his published theory that stated the sun was the center of the world and the earth was not. Georgia’s Trustees voted on June 22, 1737 to seek bids for building churches at Savannah and Frederica. Georgia Whigs voted on June 22, 1775 to join a boycott against British

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections


On June 22, 1633, Galileo Galilei recanted his published theory that stated the sun was the center of the world and the earth was not.

Georgia’s Trustees voted on June 22, 1737 to seek bids for building churches at Savannah and Frederica.

Georgia Whigs voted on June 22, 1775 to join a boycott against British goods. That same day, the Continental Congress approved the issuance of $2 million in debt-backed currency.

The donut was invented on June 22, 1847.

The Battle of Kolb’s Farm was fought near Marietta, Georgia on June 22, 1864.

The United States Department of Justice was established on June 22, 1870.

On June 22, 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the G.I. Bill.

On June 22, 1970, President Richard M. Nixon signed a law extending the 26th Amendment Right to Vote at age 18 to all federal, state, and local elections.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal announced that Georgia retained its credit rating from the three major agencies.

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced Georgia again earned a rating of AAA, with a stable outlook, from each of the three main credit rating agencies — Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s. Of the states that issue general obligation bonds, only nine currently meet this standard. This rating resulted in low interest rates during the sale of $1.39 billion in bonds, which includes $349 million of refunding bonds to refund previously issued bonds and achieve total debt service savings of $43.8 million.

“The state of Georgia works diligently to maintain the coveted AAA rating, and we are one of only nine states to earn this distinction,” said Deal. “By consistently earning top marks, we ensure our bonds remain highly sought after and provide the state flexibility to secure low interest rates for capital projects. Ultimately, this AAA bond rating reflects our fiscal responsibility and results in millions of dollars of savings for our taxpayers. Thank you to the General Assembly, Chairman Jack Hill and Chairman Terry England for their diligent work and cooperation to keep Georgia a leading state for taxpayer stewardship and economic growth.”

The credit rating agencies cited the strength of Georgia’s economy with a positive employment trend, growth of the state’s rainy day fund, a balanced approach to the state’s primary revenue sources and consistent funding of obligations as factors contributing AAA rating.

Gov. Deal and the State Road and Tollway Authority awarded $3 million for bridge widening in Gwinnett and Fulton counties and SRTA awarded $23.6 million for three projects in Cobb County.

The Hall County Board of Commissioners will meet tonight to adopt a FY2018 budget and property tax millage rate.

The City of Loganville government will move to a new City Hall in July.

Centerville City Council adopted a $10.2 million FY 2018 budget with the same millage rate as 2017.

The Savannah-Chatham Public School Board adopted a $561 million FY2018 budget, also keeping the same millage rate as before.

Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats will reduce the sentences of six inmates who helped a work detail guard after the officer collapsed.

Columbus City Council awarded more than $700,000 in grants aimed at crime prevention.

Henry County Water Authority projects its long-term capital needs will exceed $900 million.

The Columbusc consolidated city-county government mailed property tax notices four weeks late this year due to a billing system conversion.

Normally, property owners are sent tax notices June 1 and tax bills Aug. 1, with the first installment due Oct. 1 and the final installment due Dec 1. But this year, tax notices will be issued June 30, tax bills will be mailed Oct. 1, and only one installment will be required, due on Dec. 1. Taxpayers may still make an earlier installment, which is encouraged but not mandatory, officials have said.

Northeast Georgia saw an uptick in unemployment, while Gainesville held steady from the previous month.

Savannah also saw a slight unemployment increase, while Southeast Georgia remains unchanged.

Valdosta Regional Airport is hoping to tap a new Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) to fund renovations.

Government leaders in the area recently decided to hold a public vote on a regional T-SPLOST. If approved, the one-penny sales tax would fund transportation projects through 18 counties, including Lowndes.

A roundtable of elected officials is in the process of deciding projects to be funded by the T-SPLOST, which is estimated to rake in $500 million during a 10-year period, [airport executive director Jim] Galloway said.

Congressman Rick Allen (R-Augusta) lauded the House passage of a measure extending the deadline for tax credits that would benefit construction of two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle.

<“The tax credits were originally approved by Congress and were set to expire,” said Rep. Rick Allen, of Augusta. “We wanted to make sure that we included the units both at Vogtle and over in South Carolina and that the plants under construction right now received these credits when they are completed, which takes it out beyond 2020.”

Homer Bryson, new director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, spoke to the Rotary Club of Athens.

District Six Post Mortem

Karen and Steve Handel

Probably the first Post Mortem on the Sixth District that I saw was by Steen Kirby. I don’t agree with everything he writes, but it’s a thoughtful analysis.

$30,000,000 dollars later, people still aren’t sure what Jon Ossoff stood for, and cared about, and the Democratic party leadership and consultant class still don’t know how to win. For the price of a dozen competitive House elections or statewide campaigns–and hundreds of local and state legislative contests–Democrats are left standing in the same place they were after November 2016 in Georgia’s 6th district, and across the country.

Ossoff’s improvement can largely be tied to the fact that spending does move the needle to an extent, but it wasn’t enough. Ossoff’s polling lead was squandered away by a poor final salvo, and most likely GOP voters being motivated by the horrific terror attack against GOP congressman on a baseball field in Virginia.

1: Ossoff Lacked a Clear Message and Had an Irrelevant Platform

If you visit Ossoff’s website, you’ll see a smorgasbord of issue positions, written in a cold, distant, unengaging tone, and without any real priority placed on any specific issue. This matches Ossoff’s advertising, mail, and messaging overall. Months later, I’m not sure anyone has a clear answer what Ossoff stands for, or what his top agenda items would have been if elected to Congress. He was neither “Anti-Trump,” nor “Progressive” or “Centrist,” or frankly anything else.

Molly Ball writes for The Atlantic about the election:

They hoped to send one message to Washington; instead, they may have sent the opposite one—that the mass of American voters are in no hurry to deliver a rebuke to the chaos in Washington, and that Republican representatives still have wide leeway to pursue their policy objectives on issues like health care without losing or disheartening their base.

That is a tough pill to swallow for Democrats who have convinced themselves opposing Trump will bring them back from the brink of powerlessness. So far, they have cut into Republicans’ margins, but they have not yet figured out how to win, and moral victories get no votes in Congress.

Trump was He Who Must Not Be Named as the race wound down. “This race—it’s not about what’s going on around the rest of the country,” Handel told her supporters in the restaurant. “It’s about you and about the people of the Sixth District.” Earlier that day, the president had repeatedly tweeted in support of her.

Ossoff, too, seemed to spend most of his time deflecting questions about Trump, pivoting ceaselessly back to well-worn talking points about “fresh leadership” and “quality of life” and “bipartisanship delivering solutions.” “There are a lot of folks trying to look for national implications,” he told me, sitting in a back room of his campaign office in Chamblee, hands folded in his lap. “But that’s not what voters in the Sixth District are focused on.”

A Daily Kos writer has one very interesting data table:

A lot of attention is paid to early vote vs. election day vote, with mixed predictive success at best. Here’s how it broke down for Fulton Co. GA-6 precincts:

ossoff handel ossoff margin
mail 5,781 3,698 +21%
early in person 35,111 37,140 -2.8%
election day 17,321 24,062 -16%

Ben Shapiro, in the Daily Wire writes:

So, what happened?

1. Ossoff’s Chances Were Inflated From The Outset.

2. Democrats Nationalized The Race With Outside Money. Democrats made the crucial mistake of nationalizing the GA-6 with outside cash. This led Republicans in the district to react negatively — instead of staying home, which Democrats desperately needed them to do, they got offended and voted in large numbers. Ossoff received more money from California than Georgia. Voters took it as an insult, and acted accordingly.

5. Democrats Still Have The Albatross Of Nancy Pelosi. Republicans hammered at the relationship between Ossoff and Nancy Pelosi, who is still the most unpopular politician in America (29% favorable). Democrats may be enamored of a San Francisco nut job running the House for themselves, but voters in Georgia aren’t.

6. Ossoff Didn’t Live In The District. Combined with the outside money, the focus on Pelosi, the Hollywood involvement, and the nationalized focus on Trump, Ossoff not living in the district hurt him. He seemed like a carpetbagger emissary from San Francisco to enough voters to lose him the district.

From Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight, who sees it as a question of “reluctant” Trump Republicans:

And that brings us back to Georgia 6: It’s a reluctant Trump district. If Democrat Jon Ossoff can win in Georgia 6 over Republican Karen Handel, it could be a sign that Democrats can win over reluctant Trump voters nationwide next year.

Nationally, reluctant Trump voters differ from other Trump supporters in three important ways.

Reluctant Trump voters, on average, have more education than other Trump voters; it’s one of their defining features as a group. According to SurveyMonkey, 37 percent of reluctant Trump voters have at least a college degree compared with 25 percent of other Trump voters. That matches with the general movement away from the Republican Party by well-educated voters in 2016.

Trump voters in Georgia 6 are also probably more loyal to the Republican brand than to Trump specifically. In the Atlanta Journal Constitution survey, only 35 percent of people who voted for Trump in 2016 say their vote in the special election is meant to express support for Trump now.

Reluctant Trump voters are more likely to believe that health care is a top concern than Trump’s more enthusiastic supporters.

One takeaway from The Hill may be relevant to Georgia’s 2018 elections:

Democratic infighting ramps up

Squabbling among Democrats and liberals began before the final results were in from Georgia. The debate was conducted in raw terms.

The central issue was whether Ossoff had run too timorous and centrist a campaign to fire up the base.

Amid all the drama of the Trump presidency, the depth of divisions among Democrats — and the continuing rancor between centrists and progressives dating back to the Clinton-Sanders primary fight last year — has often been underreported.

From the PBS NewsHour:

For Democrats especially, redistricting matters

The biggest political battle of the year (so far) didn’t take place in Atlanta’s politically moderate suburbs by accident. Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District belongs to a dying breed of moderate House seats. The reality is, there aren’t many left. In the midterm elections next year, Democrats will undoubtedly target the 23 Republican House seats that Clinton carried in 2016. But even if they won every single one, that still wouldn’t be enough for them to flip the House.

Both parties have a stake in the redistricting debate. But Democrats, as the minority party in Congress, have more to lose in the short-term if the status quo doesn’t change. That’s why their hopes of flipping the House hinge in large part on redistricting reform — and why liberals should thank Obama and his ally and former attorney general Eric Holder for making redistricting their top political priority under Trump.

It won’t be easy. Republicans will fight reform efforts, and redistricting is a convoluted issue that doesn’t pull at voters’ heartstrings. Holder, the chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, acknowledged as much this week, saying that “part of my job is to make redistricting sexy.” The Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday to hear a case on partisan gerrymandering will help. As the Georgia election showed, Democrats have a lot riding on the outcome.

Congresswoman Karen Handel

East Cobb gave Karen Handel her margin of victory on Tuesday, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.

“The east Cobb part of the 6th District gave Handel a huge win,” Swint said. “That was the single biggest margin for her of the three counties. So there’s no question Cobb helped deliver her the win.”

In Cobb, Handel received just over 58 percent of the vote. In Fulton and DeKalb, she got 52.7 percent and 41.5 percent respectively.

Handel lost DeKalb by 9,777 votes. In her home turf of Fulton, she picked up 6,687 votes, leaving her about 3,000 votes shy of a win.

Handel’s margin of victory in Cobb was 12,792 votes, giving her a nice soft cushion on which to comfortably bounce over the 50 percent mark.

East Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott, an early Handel supporter, said he was not surprised Cobb Republicans came out in large numbers for the runoff.

“The folks in Cobb have a big concern over the schools and the community and everything else if they see that’s going to be threatened and changed,” Ott said. “I think they’re going to come out and speak their mind at elections just like they do at my town halls. I have 100, 150 people at my town halls. So it doesn’t surprise me to see such a large turnout from folks in Cobb. They’re very engaged and know what’s going on in the district.”

2018 Elections

Georgia Court of Appeals Judge John Ellington announced he will run for a seat on the Georgia Supreme Court next year.

Ellington told the Daily Report this week that he has organized a campaign for the state’s highest court and plans to announce his candidacy Thursday.

“The quality of life in any community depends on the quality of the judicial system,” Ellington said. “I have spent my entire judicial career of 25 years serving every classification of court in Georgia.”

“The Court of Appeals has been described as the salt mine of Georgia jurisprudence,” Ellington said. “Our Supreme Court provides the leadership for all levels of court. I want to take my experience now to the Supreme Court and share that experience.”

Ellington said he will run for the seat now held by Justice Carol Hunstein. She has said she will not run for reelection in 2018 because she will reach the age of 75 before her next six-year term would end. Georgia requires appellate judges to retire before their 75th birthday or forfeit their pensions.

Suburban women are the key to Democratic victory in Georgia, or so we’ve been told since at least 2014. If that’s the case, Democrat Stacey Evans is making a play for Ossoff supporters ahead of the 2018 Gubernatorial election. From a campaign email:

Last night, Jon Ossoff came SO CLOSE to winning the Georgia Special Election.

It was a long and tough election. Republicans spent MILLIONS to buy the results they wanted, and used every dirty trick in the book.

Now Republicans are counting on us to feel discouraged by the results.

But they are WRONG. We proved that Democrats are fired up and hungry for a win.

And if we came that close to flipping Georgia’s Sixth District, we can definitely WIN the race for Georgia governor.

But because of hardworking Democrats like you, he put a solid-Red district on the defensive.

We can keep up his momentum, [name]. We can still keep the hope alive that his campaign inspired in so many Georgians.

We’ve come so far, [name]. Don’t let Republicans think we’re done fighting.

-Team Evans

If it’s true that suburban women fueled the Ossoff effort, consolidating their support could be a very savvy tactic headed into 2018.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]> 0
Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for June 21, 2017 Wed, 21 Jun 2017 09:36:07 +0000 GaPundit:

JoJo is a 5-year old, 28-pound male Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix who is available for adoption from Forgotten Paws Pet Rescue in Acworth, GA. Jojo is alove bug full of playful energy and lots of personality. He loves to play fetch is the fast dog I have ever seen when running. He loves his

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections



JoJo is a 5-year old, 28-pound male Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix who is available for adoption from Forgotten Paws Pet Rescue in Acworth, GA.

Jojo is alove bug full of playful energy and lots of personality. He loves to play fetch is the fast dog I have ever seen when running. He loves his toys, stuffed animals, bones, balls, whatever. I give him an empty water bottle and he is in heaven! Jojo is also a huge lap dog and will not be able to be trained to stay off the bed or furniture.

He is very smart and listens well. He loves all dogs, chases the cat but just to be obnoxious and loves all people. Jojo needs an active home. He needs a FENCED YARD because he is a little scared on leash and barks at everything. He gets distracted and won’t potty plus he needs room to run and play ball! He lives to fetch!


Slater is a young male Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix who is available for adoption from Athens Canine Rescue in Athens, GA.

Mr. Slater is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix and still a young chap. His narrow little body wiggles and wags when he gets excited, which is basically all the time! At only 10 months old he is still learning his housebreaking skills, though he does go immediately when let out in the yard. Running around and sliding all over the place is his favorite thing to do with other pups.

Old School

Old School is a senior male Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix who is available for adoption from Fulton County Animal Services Atlanta, GA.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]> 0
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 21, 2017 Wed, 21 Jun 2017 09:30:12 +0000 GaPundit:

Georgia’s Royal Colony Seal was approved on June 21, 1754. The Constitution of the United States of America was ratified on June 21, 1788, when New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify. On September 17, 1787, after three months of debate moderated by convention president George Washington, the new U.S. constitution, which created a

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections


Georgia’s Royal Colony Seal was approved on June 21, 1754.

Georgia Colony Seal

The Constitution of the United States of America was ratified on June 21, 1788, when New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify.

On September 17, 1787, after three months of debate moderated by convention president George Washington, the new U.S. constitution, which created a strong federal government with an intricate system of checks and balances, was signed by 38 of the 41 delegates present at the conclusion of the convention. As dictated by Article VII, the document would not become binding until it was ratified by nine of the 13 states.

Beginning on December 7, five states–Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut–ratified it in quick succession. However, other states, especially Massachusetts, opposed the document, as it failed to reserve undelegated powers to the states and lacked constitutional protection of basic political rights, such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press. In February 1788, a compromise was reached under which Massachusetts and other states would agree to ratify the document with the assurance that amendments would be immediately proposed. The Constitution was thus narrowly ratified in Massachusetts, followed by Maryland and South Carolina. On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document, and it was subsequently agreed that government under the U.S. Constitution would begin on March 4, 1789. In June, Virginia ratified the Constitution, followed by New York in July.

A lynch mob including members of the KKK killed three young civil rights activists who were trying to register African-Americans to vote near Meridian, Mississippi on June 21, 1964.

When Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney, a young black man, were coming back from a trip to Philadelphia, Mississippi, deputy sheriff Cecil Price, who was also a Klan member, pulled them over for speeding. He then held them in custody while other KKK members prepared for their murder. Eventually released, the three activists were later chased down in their car and cornered in a secluded spot in the woods where they were shot and then buried in graves that had been prepared in advance.

When news of their disappearance got out, the FBI converged on Mississippi to investigate. With the help of an informant, agents learned about the Klan’s involvement and found the bodies. Since Mississippi refused to prosecute the assailants in state court, the federal government charged 18 men with conspiracy to violate the civil rights of Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney.

John W. Hinckley, Jr. was acquitted of attempted murder of President Ronald Reagan and others in the Presidential party by reason on insanity on June 21, 1982.

Voters in Sandy Springs approved the new city’s incorporation on June 21, 2005.


Georgia Department of Corrections Sergeant Christopher Monica was laid to rest in yesterday.

Authorities said Sgt. Monica and Sgt. Curtis Billue were shot and killed by two inmates during a prison transport last Tuesday. The accused inmates, Donnie Roe and Ricky Dubose, were captured following a three-day massive manhunt.

Monica, 42, started with the Department of Corrections in October 2009 working as a correctional officer at Hancock State Prison. He was moved to Baldwin State Prison in February of 2011 where he quickly rose through the ranks, being promoted to sergeant.

Friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help Monica’s family. It says he had been taking on extra shifts so his wife wouldn’t have to work because she was having health issues.

On Saturday, friends, family and fellow officers gathered to honor and remember Sgt. Curtis Billue, who’d been with the DOC since July 2007 stationed at Frank Scott Correctional Facility.

Flags flew at half-staff yesterday in honor of Sgt. Monica.

United States Navy Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm, Jr. (no relation) is being lauded as a hero after his death in the aftermath of the USS Fitzgerald collision.

When the Fitzgerald collided with the merchant ship, 37-year-old Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., “leapt into action,” according to The Daily Beast.

The Fitzgerald was struck below the waterline, and Rehm Jr.’s family was told by the Navy that he went under and saved at least 20 sailors, according to WBNS-10TV in Columbus, Ohio.

But when he went back down to get the other six sailors, the ship began to take on too much water, and the hatch was closed, WBNS-10TV said.

“That was Gary to a T,” Rehm Jr.’s friend Christopher Garguilo, told NBC4i in Columbus, Ohio. “He never thought about himself.”

“He called [the sailors on the ship] his kids,” his uncle, Stanley Rehm Jr., told The Daily Beast. “He said, ‘If my kids die, I’m going to die.’”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

“Taking Out the Trash Day” refers to Friday in the news cycle, which is traditionally a good day to release unfavorable news items. I wrote that yesterday was the ultimate Take Out the Trash day in Georgia politics because all attention from everyone would be focused on the Sixth District Special Runoff Election between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat John Ossoff.

The Gwinnett County Commission took advantage of that yesterday, when they voted to publicly reprimand Commissioner Tommy Hunter. Whether intentional or not, doing so last night probably downplayed the event. While the vote made the Gwinnett Daily Post, the AJC, and WSB radio, I don’t see much TV news coverage. For instance, WSB-TV covered it, but any other night, I think it would have been more prominently featured.

From the Gwinnett Daily Post:

An emotional public hearing on whether Gwinnett commissioners should reprimand one of their own for making controversial comments on Facebook was capped with Chairwoman Charlotte Nash fighting back tears as she addressed residents.

The commissioners voted unanimously to publicly reprimand Commissioner Tommy Hunter for his comments, which included calling U.S. Rep. John Lewis a “racist pig,” and referring to Democrats as “Demonrats” and “Libtards” on his personal Facebook page.

Hunter was not present at the meeting, but his colleagues, who have remained silent on the matter for months, made their feelings known before the vote was taken.

Commissioner Jace Brooks also criticized Hunter for making the remarks on Facebook, but added he disagreed with the idea that the comments constituted an ethics violation. Nonetheless, Brooks offered the motion to accept the ethics board’s recommendation, saying he supported a public reprimand of his colleague.

Hunter’s spokesman, Seth Weathers, criticized the commission for voting to accept the ethics board’s recommendation of a public reprimand, however.

“We now know that mob rule controls the Gwinnett County Commission Board,” he said after the hearing ended. “Charlotte Nash lead her fellow board members in the public burning of the Constitution this evening. People are used to politicians caving to political correctness but tonight it reached a new level. Spineless politicians do spineless things.

“Where is the public reprimand for Charlotte Nash, John Heard, Jace Brooks, and Lynette Howard for their public disregard for the U.S. Constitution? Speaking of, where do I file the ethics complaint to get the process started?”

I am uneasy with several parts of this whole affair.

First, the idea that an elected official would be subject to an ethics process for being stupid on Facebook while on his or her own time.

Second, the idea that continued disruption of public meetings by citizens can appear to drive decisions by elected officials when legitimate issues of the role of elected officials in policing each other’s conduct are raised.

Third, that the actions of one Commissioner could lead to the continued disruption of a functioning elected board.

Fourth, that anyone would take the opportunity to take a cheap shot at Charlotte Nash, one of the finest public servants I’ve seen.

Fifth, that public discourse in our community has fallen to the point where people are so comfortable being jerks in public.

The other side of “Take Out the Trash Day” is knowing that when a major national political story is happening in your community, it will drive news coverage for days. Democrat Kathleen Allen announced she will run against Congressman Rob Woodall (R-Gwinnett) in the 2018 election.

Norcross resident and homeless advocate Kathleen Allen will kick off her bid to run for the Seventh Congressional District seat at 7 p.m. on Thursday at 45 South Cafe, 45 S. Peachtree St., in Norcross. She is seeking to defeat U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., who has held the seat for more than six years.

Allen made headlines earlier this year when she, along with homeless assistance groups in Gwinnett, took on Norcross’ hotel and extended stay ordinance, which she said would negatively affect homeless families. The city ultimately made changes in the ordinance to minimize the impact on homeless residents.

Allen and her campaign will canvas neighborhoods throughout the district this summer and into the fall to meet with residents and hear their concerns.

“I don’t want to tell my community what they should care about,” Allen said. “I want to know what they do care about so that I truly represent everyone in our district.”

It’s an interesting timing choice, perhaps hoping to capitalize on national attention on what just happened in the Sixth District and become the next liberal darling of the online left. Or maybe it was just amateur hour.

Democrat David Kim previously announced he will challenge Woodall.

Congratulations to Karen Handel

Last night, earlier than I and many others expected, Karen Handel was declared the winner of the Special Runoff Election for the Sixth Congressional District. Congratulations to Karen and Steve Handel, and to my fellow constituents of the Sixth District, who have chosen an experienced, effective leader.

My analysis of this will probably span several day, maybe longer, because there’s a lot to unpack.

But I want to start by recognizing two people for their contributions. These mentions are not intended to downplay anyone else’s contribution.

Jade Morey, who was in my class in Republican Leadership for Georgia, went above and beyond. Her personal energy and relentless enthusiasm were a major boon to the Handel campaign. Yesterday, at 4:25 PM I received a text from her asking me to make phone calls from my cell phone at home for Karen. I’m sure everyone else she’s known since kindergarten got a similar text, but that’s a great illustration of running the race through the tape.

Mark Rountree of Landmark Communications, though he was not engaged in the campaign to my knowledge, added significantly to my understanding of the race dynamics in the last days.

Several days ago, I tweeted that any “I think we can all agree that a poll showing GA-6 within the MOE doesn’t even qualify as news, much less justify “BREAKING.”’ My point being that the arms race for new polling among media outlets leads to a lot of breathless, cheap stories entirely devoid of news or useful content. Seriously, save your money folks. Polling is not a substitute for good reporting from the field.

Anyway, the last Landmark poll of the cycle was the only one worth reading, from any pollster, in my opinion. That one still showed a race within the margin of error, but it showed movement to Karen Handel from the last previous poll, by the same firm, using the same methodology, less than a week prior.

A facebook post on the survey put it best:

Seeing some momentum toward Handel.

One of my other polling mentors, Bruno Gianelli, spoke of campaigns and polling in relation to racing sailboats.

The importance of that last poll can also be compared to sailing, more precisely to navigation. Any single poll is a snapshot in time; it tries to tell you what is happening now, but has little predictive value on its own. It’s like knowing where you are on a map of the open sea, of limited use. To have a better idea where you’re headed, you also need to know the directions of the current and of the wind, which help you plot your speed and direction.

The second poll, by the same firm, using the same methodology, adds that vector information – it can tell you speed and direction. So “seeing some momentum toward Handel,” is the most useful information I had seen in weeks and it helped my decide over the weekend that I thought Karen Handel would win.

Senator David Perdue sent out a statement congratulating Congresswoman-elect Handel:

“Georgians again sent a loud message to Washington that we are committed to changing the direction of our country. Liberal Democrats dumped millions of dollars into this campaign to try and buy another House vote for Nancy Pelosi, and it still didn’t work. Nobody knows Georgia’s 6th District better than Karen Handel. I congratulate Karen on her victory and look forward to working with her on the issues that matter to all Georgians.”

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp also issued a statement:

“Despite the millions of dollars spent, thousands of paid activists shipped in from around the country, and countless lies told by her opponent and his radical supporters, conservative Karen Handel earned victory at the ballot box and sent a clear message to democrats far and wide that Georgia is a red state and it’s not for sale.”

“Karen Handel has a proven record of accomplishments and she is uniquely qualified to serve Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District in Washington. I am confident that she will stand up for our conservative, Georgia values and fight tirelessly to ensure a better, brighter future for all Americans. We have some difficult challenges ahead but I know that Karen can handle it.”

“Congratulations to Karen Handel, her campaign team and supporters, and the Georgia Republican Party on a well-deserved victory!”

Opioid Epidemic

A report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality indicates that the opioid and overdose epidemic is having a major impact on our healthcare system.

The coast-to-coast opioid epidemic is swamping hospitals, with government data published Tuesday showing 1.27 million emergency room visits or inpatient stays for opioid-related issues in a single year.

The 2014 numbers, the latest available for every state and the District of Columbia, reflect a 64 percent increase for inpatient care and a 99 percent jump for emergency room treatment compared to figures from 2005. Their trajectory likely will keep climbing if the epidemic continues unabated.

The AHRQ report does not speculate on why some states have such high rates of hospital admissions. It suggests that people in the most urban places are more likely to be treated in a hospital than those in rural areas — which would indicate that lack of access to medical care is a factor in the uptick in death rates seen in less-urban parts of the country.

The sharpest increase in hospitalization and emergency room treatment for opioids was among people ages 25 to 44, and that women are now as likely as men to be admitted to a hospital for inpatient treatment for opioid-related problems. In 2005, there was a significant gap between men and women, with men more likely to be admitted. That gap closed entirely by 2014.

Georgia has had the greatest increase in opioid-related admissions during that period.

Of the 43 states where data was available, Georgia saw the highest increase in opioid related inpatient stays between 2009 and 2014. Hospital stays increased 100% in Georgia, compared with an average rise of 24% across the country. In Kansas, Maryland, Illinois and Louisiana, inpatient stays fell across the six-year time period.

Today, an op-ed in the Atlanta Business Chronicle by Monty Veazey, President of the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals, gives some context to what that explosive growth in overdoses means for Georgia hospitals, many of which are already endangered.

Increasingly, overdoses come in clusters of multiple incidences within a short time. The impact on an emergency room can be paralyzing, even for a large Metro Atlanta hospital, much less a smaller facility in a rural market. The impact can also be lasting, as stabilized patients often require prolonged medical support, including intensive care and services from a number of different departments.

On top of this growing epidemic, emergency rooms are also experiencing increased visits related to behavioral or mental health, which have have skyrocketed nearly 60% over the same period. This is in addition to the heart attacks, accidents and other life threatening situations that bring patients through their doors and require a hospital’s full capabilities to treat. This week, Becker’s Hospital Review ranked the emergency rooms with the most visits per year, placing two Metro Atlanta facilities in the top ten nationwide.

As hospitals deal with the strain of increasing admissions, the existence of a strong network of neighboring hospitals helps distribute the patient load and ensure timely access to care. But today, as hospitals across Georgia struggle under the pressure of financial challenges caused by factors including changing demographics, growing numbers of underinsured and uninsured patients, and declining populations – that network is at risk.

For example, it is estimated that Georgia hospitals performed $1.7 billion dollars worth of uncompensated care in 2015 alone, which is simply unsustainable. In addition, potential cuts in Medicare and Medicaid are being discussed in Washington, DC, that would force more hospitals to close their doors, as 7 in Georgia and 80 across the nation have been forced to do since 2010.

One of the keys to the stability of Georgia’s network of care is the state’s Certificate of Need (CON) program. This critical tool helps the state manage the availability and financial survival of safety net hospitals while ensuring access to emergency departments, advanced treatment, and routine healthcare needs.

The time could not be worse for weakening protections for our hospital system, which would come at the unquestionable risk of reducing access to health-care and emergency services.

[Disclaimer: I work on communications with the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals.]

A Northwest Georgia hospital accuses an insurance company of underpaying for services.

The only hospital in northwest Georgia’s Walker County has sued Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, claiming the insurer’s refusal to pay its contractually agreed-upon rates for services threatens to put Cornerstone Medical Center out of business.

The hospital, located in Fort Oglethorpe near the Tennessee state line, has already struggled though one bankruptcy, which resulted in its being bought for $4.1 million in late 2015.

Cornerstone’s is the only emergency room in Walker County, the motion said, and more than 60 percent of the patients seen there “have no means to pay nor any perceived interest in doing so.” The hospital also provides radiology, laboratory and pharmaceutical services to the county’s residents.

Nuclear News

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure that should benefit Georgia electric ratepayers.

House lawmakers approved legislation that would add life to federal tax credits that could save hundreds of millions of dollars for the companies and non-profits behind the struggling Plant Vogtle nuclear project and a similar one in South Carolina.

A resolution that removes a 2021 deadline for using the tax credits passed a voice vote Tuesday afternoon on the House floor. The proposed tax change also will have to win the Senate’s approval to become law.

That extension could help preserve $800 million worth of tax credits that Georgia Power has been counting on to help lower its cost of the Vogtle project, which includes construction of two new reactors at the plant near Augusta.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]> 0
Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for June 20, 2017 Tue, 20 Jun 2017 12:55:24 +0000 GaPundit:

Alec Barkwin is a 2-year old mixed breed male who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services. Alec Barkwin will sweep you off your feet! This gentle boy is a charmer and will curl up into your lap the first chance he gets. Alec loves ear scratches, head pets, and just being an

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections


Alec Barkwin

Alec Barkwin is a 2-year old mixed breed male who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

Alec Barkwin will sweep you off your feet! This gentle boy is a charmer and will curl up into your lap the first chance he gets. Alec loves ear scratches, head pets, and just being an all around velcro dog. This two-year-old boy needs some TLC right now, but once this boy starts feeling better and puts on a little more weight, we just know he his coat will be gorgeous.


Peggy is a female Black Mouth Cur who is available for adoption from Fulton County Animal Services.

Sweet Peggy is the perfect companion. She likes dogs,cats, and she adores children. She often hides in the crowded shelter and doesn”t compete for attention. Don”t let this sweetheart get away!


Scruffy is an adult male Cairn Terrier who is available for adoption from Friends of Shelter Animals for Cobb County in Marietta, GA.

We can’t believe Scruffy wasn’t adopted on his first day available! No one must know he’s at the shelter. Some person’s going to get really lucky when they find and adopt him. Here’s why it pays to keep an eye on what animals come into the shelter. We get awesome, cute, highly coveted dogs all the time. Scruffy is very sweet and stays calm and quiet in his cage. He is 2 years old and weighs 19 pounds. He came to the shelter as a lost dog on June 9th and is currently available for adoption. He is up to date with shots and will be neutered, heartworm tested, and micro-chipped upon adoption. Scruffy is in Cage 327 and his ID is 596868.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]> 0
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 20, 2017 Tue, 20 Jun 2017 10:17:48 +0000 GaPundit:

On June 20, 1732, the signing of the Georgia Charter was completed by the British government. On June 20, 1782, Congress adopted the Great Seal of the United States. Charles Thomson, Secretary of the Continental Congress, was responsible for the final design presented to Congress. The design approved by Congress was a written description without

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections


On June 20, 1732, the signing of the Georgia Charter was completed by the British government.

On June 20, 1782, Congress adopted the Great Seal of the United States. Charles Thomson, Secretary of the Continental Congress, was responsible for the final design presented to Congress. The design approved by Congress was a written description without any sketches.

On June 20, 1819, the SS Savannah entered the port at Liverpool, England, marking the first transatlantic crossing by a steam-powered ship, having sailed out of Savannah on May 20th.

General Robert E. Lee moved on Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant at Petersburg, Virginia on June 20, 1864.

Jaws was released on June 20, 1975.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Thanks, Facebook! I almost forgot!

Election Today Thanks Facebook

Today is also the day that voters in Clarkesville, Georgia will choose a new City Council member.

The office of Council Member of the City of Clarkesville, Georgia, being Post 3, will be elected at large for the remainder of a four (4) year term, being approximately two (2) year’s and six (6) months, beginning on or about June 21, 2017 through December 31, 2019, with said seat currently vacant and formerly held by Casey Ramsey.

Election Day voting will be held June 20, 2017 at the Ruby Fulbright Aquatic Center, 120 Paul Franklin Road, Clarkesville, Georgia 30523, from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Gwinnett County Commissioners today will consider a recommendation by the county ethics board that Commissioner Tommy Hunter be censured for impolitic Facebook posting.

The ethics board assembled to investigate the complaint agreed with that assessment earlier this month, recommending the stiffest penalty available to county commissioners — that Hunter be publicly reprimanded.

That reprimand would involve posting a written rebuke on the county’s website, on the wall of its courthouse and in the local newspaper.

Commission Chair Charlotte Nash said she expects her board to vote on the matter during a public hearing scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. One hour has been set aside for public comment in support of the ethics board’s recommendation and one hour for those against.

Optim Medical Center – Jenkins has been spared, as a buyer has been found to keep the local hospital open.

Optim Medical Center-Jenkins, set to close this month, announced Monday that it has been sold to GA Medical Holdings Corp.

The 25-bed “critical access’’ facility in Millen in Jenkins County was due to merge operations with another hospital in the area. It would have been the seventh Georgia rural hospital to shut down since the beginning of 2013. Two of those that closed have been revived as medical facilities, but no longer function as full-fledged hospitals.

If a last-minute buyer had not been found, Optim-Jenkins would have merged with an Optim hospital in Sylvania in neighboring Screven County.

Like other rural hospitals, Optim Medical Center-Jenkins had cited declining reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid; decreased patient census; and needed upgrades to its infrastructure, as forcing the closure.

The Georgia Supreme Court held that the state cannot be sued to prevent enforcement of an abortion statute.

But, in a 71-page opinion, Justice Keith Blackwell left the door open for challenges to state officials individually.

“Simply put, the constitutional doctrine of sovereign immunity forbids our courts to entertain a lawsuit against the State without its consent,” Blackwell said.

“We hold today that the doctrine of sovereign immunity extends generally to suits against the State, its departments and agencies, and its officers in their official capacities for injunctive and declaratory relief from official acts that are alleged to be unconstitutional. In so holding, however, we recognize the availability of other means by which aggrieved citizens may obtain relief from unconstitutional acts, including prospective relief from the threatened enforcement of unconstitutional laws.”

The suit targets a 2012 state law banning nearly all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, known as the “fetal pain statute,” because it is tied to the fetus’ feeling rather than its viability, the latter of which is the standard used in the U.S. Supreme Court’s watershed ruling in Roe v. Wade. The constitutional challenge targets a facet of the law allowing district attorneys access to abortion patients’ medical records. In oral arguments, the attorneys never mentioned abortion; instead, they focused on whether the state’s immunity outweighs its citizens’ right to privacy under the Georgia Constitution.

“This is an astounding proposition that would make Georgia the only state in the union in which the Bill of Rights is subordinate to the Legislature,” Samuel told the high court.

Today is “take out the trash day” in Georgia politics. If you must release unfavorable information and hope it doesn’t get noticed, today is the day to do it. Anything released or announce today by any government agency in Georgia should receive extra scrutiny. Maybe next week.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]> 0
Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for June 19, 2017 Mon, 19 Jun 2017 12:07:01 +0000 GaPundit:

Colby is a male Labrador Retriever and Hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Animal Ark in Columbus, GA. Jellybean, a female is one of eight Labdador Retreiver mix puppies available for adoption from Animal Ark in Columbus, GA. Ray is a male Labrador Retriever and Hound mix puppy who is available for

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections



Colby is a male Labrador Retriever and Hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Animal Ark in Columbus, GA.


Jellybean, a female is one of eight Labdador Retreiver mix puppies available for adoption from Animal Ark in Columbus, GA.

Lucy Pink


Ray is a male Labrador Retriever and Hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Animal Ark in Columbus, GA.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]> 0
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 19, 2017 Mon, 19 Jun 2017 11:58:24 +0000 GaPundit:

The Georgia Whig Party held its first convention on June 19, 1843 in Milledgeville and elected ten delegates to the 1844 National Convention. The first Republican National Convention, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ended on June 19, 1856. The Republicans, who called for the abolition of slavery in all U.S. territories, rapidly gained supporters in the North,

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections


The Georgia Whig Party held its first convention on June 19, 1843 in Milledgeville and elected ten delegates to the 1844 National Convention.

The first Republican National Convention, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ended on June 19, 1856.

The Republicans, who called for the abolition of slavery in all U.S. territories, rapidly gained supporters in the North, and in 1856 their first presidential candidate, John Fremont, won 11 of the 16 Northern states. By 1860, the majority of Southern states were publicly threatening secession if a Republican won the presidency.

The Civil War firmly identified the Republican Party as the official party of the victorious North. After the war, the Republican-dominated Congress forced a radical Reconstruction policy on the South, which saw the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, abolishing slavery and granting voting rights to African American men in the South. By 1876, the Republican Party had lost control of the South, but it continued to dominate the presidency, with a few intermissions, until the ascendance of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933.

On June 19, 1864, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston retreated from Pine Mountain and Lost Mountain toward Marietta. Click here to watch a two-minute video by Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Atlanta History Center about this week in Georgia in 1864.

On the same day, USS Kearsarge sank CSS Alabama off the coast of Cherbourg, France in one of the most-celebrated naval battles of the Civil War.

Under its captain, Raphael Semmes, the Alabama prowled the world for three years, capturing U.S. commercial ships. It sailed around the globe, usually working out of the West Indies, but taking prizes and bungling Union shipping in the Caribbean, off Newfoundland, and around the coast of South America. In January 1863, Semmes sunk a Union warship, the Hatteras, after luring it out of Galveston, Texas.

During its career, the Alabama captured 66 ships and was hunted by more than 20 Federal warships.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

From the AJC Political Insider on Saturday’s GOTV Rally with Secretary of HHS Tom Price and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

“We want lower taxes. We all want a government that respects you. You all want patient-centered healthcare,” said Price. “You all want national security to be an absolute priority for the federal government. If you want any one of those items, then who you want is Karen Handel for the 6th District.”

And Perdue, who hired Handel as a deputy when he was governor, urged conservatives not to be fooled by a Democrat who sports a “few Republican buzz words.” He led voters in a chant of “no turning back.”

“This is a harbinger of national politics. The world is looking, the nation is looking – and all the money has flowed in here,” Perdue said. “Don’t be fooled by someone who doesn’t have a record. Let me tell you something, he’s a puppeteer and the strings are being pulled by Democrats and the Nancy Pelosi.”

The Saturday event was organized by John Watson, the newly-minted Georgia GOP chair, who has made boosting Handel one of his first priorities. A former aide to Perdue, Watson won this month’s vote to lead the cash-strapped party on a pledge to shore up its finances and make it more relevant.

Today, the Karen Handel campaign will rally across the Sixth District to encourage Republicans to vote in the Special Election tomorrow.

DeKalb GOTV STOP with Karen Handel and Congressman Kevin McCarthy
11:30 AM – 12:00 Noon at Old Hickory House
2202 Northlake Parkway
Tucker, GA 30084

Cobb GOTV RALLY with Surprise Guest
12:45 – 2:00 PM at Cherokee Cattle Ranch
2710 Canton Road
Marietta, GA 30066

Click here to register for Cobb GOTV Rally

Fulton and Grand Finale GOTV RALLY with Gov Deal, First Lady Sandra Deal and Banks and Shane
6 – 7:30 PM at Houck’s Grille
10930 Crabapple Road, Suite B1302
Roswell, GA 30075

Click here to register for Fulton GOTV Rally

Here are the latest numbers for early votes cast:

Cobb 25,346 19.39%
DeKalb 30554 23.37%
Fulton 74850 57.25%

The Marietta Daily Journal has a write-up on early voting.

In Cobb alone, 27,257 people cast their ballots early through mail-in ballots or advance in-person voting. Cobb Elections Director Janine Eveler said that represents more than 23 percent of registered voters.

In the April free-for-all primary election that pitted Ossoff and Handel against 16 other candidates, 11,860 Cobb voters voted early.

In addition to east Cobb, District 6 also includes parts of Fulton and DeKalb. All told, over 140,000 early votes have been cast in this race, including from 36,000 people who did not vote in the primary, Politico reports.

If you live in District 6 and have not voted yet, tomorrow, Election Day, is your only chance to do so. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

[Note: the difference between the Cobb figure above from the SOS database and the number in the MDJ article may be due to lag in the system by which the County reports ballots cast to the state.]

Ms. Lillian Mortimer, 100 years old, of Cobb County may be the oldest voter to cast a ballot in the Sixth District.

When 100-year-old Lillian Mortimer ran into trouble getting her Georgia identification card to ensure she could cast a ballot in the House District 6 runoff between Karen Handel and Jon Ossoff, she was undeterred.

Born at home in February 1917, she didn’t have a birth certificate. Her North Carolina driver’s license, which she had before moving in with her daughter Lynn Strickland of east Cobb about three years ago, had expired, and the passport she once had was lost in that move.

It was soon thereafter that the two turned to one of their fellow parishioners at Mt. Bethel United Methodist — Cobb Commission Chairman Mike Boyce.

“Lillian came to me, she grabbed me in the church narthex about a month ago … Lillian and her daughter grabbed me and said Lillian really wanted to get a Georgia ID card so that she could vote,” Boyce said, sharing the story at Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting. “This is a lady that was born in the year that America entered World War I, and yet her primary consideration and concern is that she wanted to vote.”

Since then, Mortimer has mailed in her absentee ballot — a vote for Karen Handel.

“I thought it was important, and I’ve always voted,” she said. “In fact, I used to work at the poll in (my former home) Greensboro (North Carolina), and it is important. I wish people that complain so much about things would get out there and get voting. And there’s much to complain about.”

National Democrats are beginning to manage expectations in case their wunderkind Jon Ossoff falls short tomorrow.

A loss in Georgia’s special election here could leave the party demoralized, with little to show for all the furious organizing, fundraising and spending in a handful of congressional special elections in the early months of the Trump administration. As a result, Democrats are now straining to throw everything they have at Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District to push Jon Ossoff over the top against Republican Karen Handel, aiming to prove they can win the suburban districts that may pave the way to a House majority in 2018.

According to Democrats close to the contest, the high early voting turnout has rendered Tuesday’s result less predictable than expected. And that unpredictability has party leaders — stung by criticism from liberal activists for not spending enough money on earlier special elections this year in Kansas and Montana — urging activists not to be disappointed by a tight race that ends in defeat.

Their concern is that anything less than victory could dampen the party’s torrid energy and cash flow, with the next round of House races still nearly a year-and-a-half away.

“From the start, the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] understood that winning the Georgia 6th special election would be a monumental task. Simply put, virtually every structural advantage benefits Republicans in a special election in this traditionally conservative district,” wrote DCCC Executive Director Dan Sena in an expectation-setting memo circulated to a group that included donors and friendly groups last Tuesday.

He reminded them that the committee “has spent more than $6 million to fundamentally transform a traditionally Republican electorate, turn out low-propensity voters, channel the unprecedented grassroots energy, and communicate with swing voters.”

The Gwinnett County Republican Party Chairman’s Cookout on Saturday, June 24 from 11 AM to 4 PM will draw some of the 2018 Statewide candidates.

Tickets cost $10 for adults, and $5 for kids ages 6 to 16, and can be purchased at Children under 6 will be admitted for free.

Among the candidates expected to be there are Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who is running for governor, and Reps. Buzz Brockway and Brad Raffensperger, who are running for secretary of state.

Information [on the website] about the event says gubernatorial candidates Sen. Hunter Hill and Secretary of State Brian Kemp have also been invited to attend the cookout. U.S. Reps. Rob Woodall and Jody Hice are among the invitees as well.

Cagle, Hill, Kemp and state Sen. Michael Williams, R-Cumming, make up the Republican field for governor so far, but qualifying won’t take place until next spring, so other candidates could still emerge.

Groundbreaking for the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center in Augusta will be today, though preparations have already begun.

The Georgia Department of Labor reports that unemployment has hit the lowest level in nearly a decade.

The Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday that the rate dipped from 5 percent in April to 4.9 percent in May. That gives the state its lowest number since October 2007. The recession, fueled by the housing market meltdown, officially started in December 2007, with economists gauging its end in June 2009.

A year ago, the state’s jobless rate was 5.3 percent.

“Georgia saw its unemployment rate dip below 5 percent for the first time in nearly 10 years as more individuals gained jobs,” Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement. “It’s a testament to the attractiveness of Georgia’s job market when we continue to see more and more individuals enter and re-enter the job market and find employment.”

The department said the total number of Georgians with a job increased by nearly 10,000 from April to May, bringing the total to a record 4,788,627. That total is up by nearly 156,000 from May of last year.

Jack Bernard, a former Jasper County Commission Chair writes that Georgia should not get rid of Certificate of Need laws.

[E]very year or two, some state politician suggests doing away with Georgia’s Certificate of Need (CON) laws, which regulate where and how health care facilities can operate. Sometimes people in the health care field make similar suggestions.

Unfortunately, while many of these proposals invoke the principle of the free market, they are misguided.

Most of my career was spent in the private sector in for-profit health care corporations. For four years, I was with two major for-profit hospital chains, and I had the responsibility of trying to obtain CON permits for new and existing facilities.

I learned that corporate executives have a legal responsibility to put their firms’ interests first, ahead of societal concerns. There’s nothing wrong with that, since people in a free society have a right to see that their particular interests are represented. But government regulation has a broader aim. It is intended to protect the consumer rather than the corporation.

I am a fiscal conservative, and I dislike paperwork as much as the next guy. But I know that government regulations are put in place for a reason, to protect the public. At least in the case of Georgia’s CON laws, the current regulations are working well.


GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]> 0
Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for June 16, 2017 Fri, 16 Jun 2017 11:51:50 +0000 GaPundit:

Newt is a male Labrador Retriever and Plott Hound mix who is available for adoption from the Fayette County Animal Shelter in Peachtree City, GA. Jackie is a 2-year old, 36-pound female Pit Bill Terrier who is available for adoption from Friends To The Forlorn Pitbull Rescue Inc. in Dallas, GA. Jackie is a fun,

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections



Newt is a male Labrador Retriever and Plott Hound mix who is available for adoption from the Fayette County Animal Shelter in Peachtree City, GA.


Jackie is a 2-year old, 36-pound female Pit Bill Terrier who is available for adoption from Friends To The Forlorn Pitbull Rescue Inc. in Dallas, GA.

Jackie is a fun, energetic, spunky little girl. She loves people and has not been reactive the the other dogs in her foster home although she has not been introduced to any other dogs yet.


Emory is a senior female Beagle & Dachshund mix who is available for adoption from Friends of Perry Animal Shelter in Perry, GA.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]> 0
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 16, 2017 Fri, 16 Jun 2017 11:41:46 +0000 GaPundit:

On June 16, 1736, General James Oglethorpe arrived in England with Tomochichi, the Yamacraw Indian chief, Tomochichi’s wife and several other members of the tribe on a trip to meet the Georgia Trustees and King George II. On June 17, 1759, Sir Francis Drake claimed California for England. On June 17, 1775, British forces under

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections


On June 16, 1736, General James Oglethorpe arrived in England with Tomochichi, the Yamacraw Indian chief, Tomochichi’s wife and several other members of the tribe on a trip to meet the Georgia Trustees and King George II.

On June 17, 1759, Sir Francis Drake claimed California for England.

On June 17, 1775, British forces under General William Howe engaged American colonists at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

On June 17, some 2,200 British forces under the command of Major General William Howe (1729-1814) and Brigadier General Robert Pigot (1720-96) landed on the Charlestown Peninsula then marched to Breed’s Hill. As the British advanced in columns against the Americans, Prescott, in an effort to conserve the Americans’ limited supply of ammunition, reportedly told his men, “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!” When the Redcoats were within several dozen yards, the Americans let loose with a lethal barrage of musket fire, throwing the British into retreat.

After re-forming their lines, the British attacked again, with much the same result. Prescott’s men were now low on ammunition, though, and when the Redcoats went up the hill for a third time, they reached the redoubts and engaged the Americans in hand-to-hand combat. The outnumbered Americans were forced to retreat. However, by the end of the engagement, the Patriots’ gunfire had cut down some 1,000 enemy troops, with more than 200 killed and more than 800 wounded. More than 100 Americans perished, while more than 300 others were wounded.

A distant ancestor of mine, John Logue, fought with the Americans at Bunker Hill, though he was not yet an enlisted soldier.

British forces under General Sir Henry Clinton left Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 18, 1778 after occupying the former capital for nine months.

Creek Indians signed the Treaty of Fort Wilkinson on June 16, 1802, ceding two parcels of land in Georgia to the United States.

On June 18, 1807, commissioners from Georgia and North Carolina agreed to recognize the 35th parallel as the boundary between the two states. North Carolina conducted a survey that placed the boundary further South than the 35th parallel, though Georgia never accepted the survey and continues to argue that the 35th is the proper boundary against both North Carolina and Tennessee.

As of today, the dispute with Tennessee continues.

The War of 1812 began on June 18, 1812, as President James Madison signed a declaration of war against Great Britain passed by the House and Senate.

On June 16, 1858, Abraham Lincoln addressed the Illiniois Republican Convention as a candidate for U.S. Senate and warned that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

President Andrew Johnson appointed John Johnson (no relation) provisional Governor of Georgia after the Civil War on June 17, 1865; John Johnson had opposed secession.

The Atlanta Constitution was first published on June 16, 1868.

On June 18, 1873, Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for illegally voting in Rochester, New York. At the conclusion of her trial, the judge read a statement that, “The Fourteenth Amendment gives no right to a woman to vote, and the voting by Miss Anthony was in violation of the law,” and directed the jury to convict her. Anthony responded,

“Yes, your honor, I have many things to say; for in your ordered verdict of guilty, you have trampled underfoot every vital principle of our government,” Anthony said. “My natural rights, my civil rights, my political rights, my judicial rights, are all alike ignored. Robbed of the fundamental privilege of citizenship, I am degraded from the status of a citizen to that of a subject; and not only myself individually, but all of my sex, are, by your honor’s verdict, doomed to political subjection under this, so-called, form of government.”

The Southern Railway Company was organized on June 18, 1894 and through predecessor railroads traces its heritage to the nation’s first regularly-scheduled railroad service, The Best Friend of Charleston. Samuel Spencer, of Columbus, Georgia, was the first President of the Southern. In the 1980s, the Southern merged with Norfolk & Western Railway to form Norfolk Southern.

France announced its intention to surrender to Germany on June 17, 1940.

Bob Dylan recorded “Like a Rolling Stone” on June 16, 1965.

The Monterey Pop Festival opened at the Monterey Fairgrounds on June 16, 1967, often considered one of the opening events of the “Summer of Love.” Among the artists playing the Festival were the Jefferson Airplane, The Who, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Macon-born Otis Redding.

Six Flags Over Georgia opened on June 16, 1967.

Five men were arrested for burglary of the Democratic National Committee offices at the Watergate office and apartment complex in Washington, DC on June 17, 1972.

The affair began with the arrest of five men for breaking and entering into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate complex on June 17, 1972. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) connected cash found on the burglars to a slush fund used by the Committee for the Re-Election of the President, the official organization of Nixon’s campaign.

In July 1973, as evidence mounted against the president’s staff, including testimony provided by former staff members in an investigation conducted by the Senate Watergate Committee, it was revealed that President Nixon had a tape-recording system in his offices and he had recorded many conversations.

After a protracted series of bitter court battles, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the president had to hand over the tapes to government investigators; he ultimately complied.

Recordings from these tapes implicated the president, revealing he had attempted to cover up the questionable goings-on that had taken place after the break-in.

Facing near-certain impeachment in the House of Representatives and equally certain conviction by the Senate, Nixon resigned the presidency on August 9, 1974. His successor, Gerald Ford, then issued a pardon to him on September 8, 1974.

Atlanta Braves player Otis Nixon tied the modern record for steals in one game with six stolen bases agains the Montreal Expos on June 16, 1991.

Newton Leroy Gingrich was born on June 17, 1943 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Gingrich graduated from college at Emory University, where he founded the Emory College Republicans. Gingrich’s congressional papers are collected in the the Georgia’s Political Heritage Program at West Georgia College, where he taught before being elected to Congress. Also at West Georgia are the papers of former Congressmen Bob Barr, Mac Collins, and Pat Swindall, along with a near-perfect replica of Georgia Speaker Tom Murphy’s office.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal thanked law enforcement officers who helped capture two Georgia prison escapees who allegedly murdered two Department of Corrections officers.

“Earlier tonight, with the assistance of our law enforcement partners in Tennessee, dangerous fugitives were captured and taken into custody,” said Deal. “Rest assured, justice will be served. My sincere thanks to our local, state and federal law enforcement officers who assisted in the manhunt. Because of their tireless efforts, the public is safe. The pain endured by the families and loved ones of Sergeant Christopher Monica and Sergeant Curtis Billue endures, however. We will do everything in our power to support their loved ones, and we will not forget their sacrifice and service.”

Deal also ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of the Corrections officers who lost their lives. Flags will fly at half-staff on Saturday, June 17, 2017 in honor of Sergeant Curtis Billue and on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 in honor of Sergeant Christopher Monica.

Today is the last day of early voting in the Sixth Congressional District Special Runoff Election between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff. Click here for early voting locations and hours.

From the Marietta Daily Journal:

The two candidates vying to fill the seat vacated by Health Secretary Tom Price have raised nearly $30 million in the race for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. And political action committees campaigning both for and against the two have raised millions more, campaign disclosures show.

With just four days remaining until Tuesday’s runoff, members of both campaigns are ramping up their efforts to get voters from the three-county district out to the polls.

East Cobb resident Fran Cameron stood next to coolers full of bottled water and snacks as she passed out refreshments to voters waiting to cast their early ballots.

“We want to take care of our neighbors,” she said. “I’m here because this race is so important. I want everybody to vote and I don’t want anybody passing out in line.”

The Republicans and Democrats the MDJ spoke with at the government center seemed to agree on one thing: they were ready for the phone calls and advertisements to stop.

“It’s really aggressive the way that they’ve been contacting people,” said Christine Holt. “I get three or four calls a day and it’s the same people calling back time and time again.”

Early Voting Tally

Runoff Election early voting so far:

Cobb 25346 19.39%
DeKalb 30554 23.37%
Fulton 74850 57.25%

Special Election total early and election day:

Cobb 61229 31.80%
DeKalb 44299 23.00%
Fulton 87041 45.20%

Special Election total early voting:

Cobb 14169 24.93%
DeKalb 11752 20.67%
Fulton 30924 54.40%

My concern is that Cobb County appears to be underperforming proportionately compared to the Special Election, while DeKalb is overperforming. But isolating early voting from the two periods shows that Cobb County early voting is ahead of where it was in the Special Election. And Fulton County is killing it. Put me down as cautiously optimistic

Please mind your manners if you’re voting early today or on Tuesday. Apparently, it’s becoming a problem.

Local poll workers in two of the district’s three suburban counties say they have seen noticeably aggressive behavior among people coming to cast ballots in the runoff election between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff.

Among the transgressions being reported local officials during the runoff’s early-voting period are voters wearing campaign paraphernalia and arguing when told to take it off, not getting off their mobile phones when asked to do so, and otherwise barking at poll workers when they’re approached.

The worst behavior appears to be in Fulton County, where officials decided to post retired marshals this week at five of its six early-voting locations as both a precaution and deterrent. The sixth, the county’s North Annex in Sandy Springs, is a location that regularly has sheriff’s deputies for security.

“It’s slightly disturbing that people are losing their civility over voting,” said Richard Barron, Fulton’s director of registration and elections. “The election is really getting heated. Poll workers are feeling insecure over these incidents. People are being aggressive.”

….Yet another voter, who was registered in Gwinnett County and not qualified to vote in the 6th District runoff, got so upset that he yelled at everyone in the precinct, then went outside and tore the “Vote Here” signs out of the ground and threw them back into the room.

Karen Handel and several of her neighbors received nastygrams that included an unidentified white powder.

Authorities were called to the neighborhood where Karen Handel lives in Roswell after suspicious envelopes were found in mailboxes Thursday afternoon.

At least five homes in the neighborhood received an envelope with a “white powdery substance” in it.

The FBI was called in to take the lead on the investigation.

One woman opened the envelope, found a white powdery substance inside and called police Thursday afternoon. Neighbors said the envelope also contained a threatening letter.

From the AJC:

One of Handel’s neighbors, Melissa De Feis Lentz, provided a copy of a letter that she received. It said “your neighbor Karen Handel is a dirty fascist” expletive, and to take a “whiff of the powder and join her in the hospital.”

The Coweta County Board of Education tentatively adopted a $196 million budget for FY 2018.

Hall County Commissioners heard from residents opposed to an increase in the property tax millage rate.

Flowery Branch adopted a FY 2018 budget that keeps the same millage rate as last year, but results in higher revenue due to increasing property values.

The Georgia Department of Insurance announced it will monitor Blue Cross Blue Shield after the state’s largest health insurance company said it will tighten reimbursement for emergency room visits.

Blue Cross recently told policyholders that starting in July, it will stop covering ER visits it considers to have been unnecessary. The health insurer, Georgia’s largest, said it’s pursuing the move, involving its coverage of individual policies, due to the costs of routine primary care being administered in an ER setting. Physician groups, meanwhile, have been critical of the policy.

Jay Florence, deputy state insurance commissioner, said in a statement that the agency supports insurers’ attempts to reduce “unnecessarily high premiums.”

But Florence added, “You buy health insurance to make sure you are protected when something bad happens. We are tracking our phone calls and have created a specific code for complaints related to Blue Cross Blue Shield’s new policy. . . . We will closely monitor this new policy to make sure that it is not abused to the disadvantage of Georgia policyholders.”

Blue Cross has cited the high cost of care in formulating its policy.

“We’re hoping that patients go to the most appropriate setting’’ for care, said Blue Cross spokeswoman Debbie Diamond. The company “has a 24/7 nurse line and online tools that are always available to help members find the right care option for their neighborhood,’’ she added. Urgent care and retail health clinics are other alternatives for patients, Diamond told GHN.

Former Cobb County Republican Party Chairman Joe Dendy will appear in court again, facing molestation charges.

The attorney for former Cobb County Republican Party chairman Joe Dendy, who faces charges that he molested two children, is set to argue today that most of the charges against his client be dropped. Cobb prosecutors, however, are seeking to introduce evidence that Dendy committed a number of similar acts against six other alleged victims, potentially over the span of nearly seven decades.

Dendy faces charges in Cobb that he allegedly molested two young boys in separate incidents as far back as late 2004.

Partnership Gwinnett Chief Economic Development Officer Nick Masino criticized the current owners of Gwinnett Place Mall.

Partnership Gwinnett Chief Economic Development Officer Nick Masino said Moonbeam Capital Investments has continually offered promises of big plans for the mall since the company bought it in 2013. Masino’s problem with Moonbeam, however, is that he said they have not delivered on any of those plans.

Gwinnett’s top economic development official is fed up and now wants to see someone else running the mall.

“When I talk to developers and investors about coming to Gwinnett, I intentionally try to strike up their interest in buying Gwinnett Place Mall because (Moonbeam) has done nothing with it,” Masino told the Daily Post.

Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District Executive Director Joe Allen agrees with Masino.

“We are also very frustrated that they do seem to say ‘We’re going to be doing something’ and then nothing ever occurs,” Allen said.

Upcoming Political Events

GAGOP Invite2

Former Sixth District Congressman, now Secretary of HHS, Tom Price and former Governor Sonny Perdue, currently serving as Secretary of Agriculture will rally with Karen Handel to Get Out the Vote on Saturday at 9:30 AM at Peachtree DeKalb Airport.

Gwinnett GOP Logo

Next Saturday, June 24, the Gwinnett County Republican Party will hold it’s annual Chairman’s Cookout, beginning at 11 AM at Tribble Mill Park in Lawrenceville.

Cherokee Cagles2

The Cherokee County Republican Party will hold a Candidate forum for the 2018 elections on July 27 at 6:30 PM at Cagle’s Family Farm.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]> 0