GaPundit http://gapundit.com Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections Fri, 26 Aug 2016 11:11:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.13 Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 26, 2016 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/26/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-august-26-2016/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-august-26-2016 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/26/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-august-26-2016/#comments Fri, 26 Aug 2016 10:03:25 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=56085 GaPundit:

In celebration of National Dog Day today, LifeLine Animal Project is waiving all adoption fees for dogs over 25 pounds in their DeKalb County and Fulton County shelters. Check out their adoptable dogs here. Cupcake is a senior female Pit Bull Terrier who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services. Cupcake has the

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

National Dog Day

In celebration of National Dog Day today, LifeLine Animal Project is waiving all adoption fees for dogs over 25 pounds in their DeKalb County and Fulton County shelters. Check out their adoptable dogs here.

Cupcake

Cupcake is a senior female Pit Bull Terrier who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

Cupcake has the cutest face you’ve ever seen! She’s a real sweetheart just looking for a home where she can relax and be loved on. Cupcake gets along well with most other dogs but would prefer a male companion if any. She also loves children and would be a great family dog! Is she the one for you?

Want to foster this cutie? Fill out an online foster application here.

Indie

Indie is a male Retriever (and Basset Hound, I’d guess) mix who is available for adoption from County Animal Services in Decatur, GA.

Larry

Larry is a male German Shepherd mix puppy who is available for adoption from LifeLine at Fulton County Animal Services
860 Marietta Blvd, Atlanta, GA.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2016/08/26/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-august-26-2016/feed/ 0
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 26, 2016 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/26/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-26-2016/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-26-2016 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/26/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-26-2016/#comments Fri, 26 Aug 2016 09:45:25 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=56086 GaPundit:

Georgia and American History General Robert E. Lee’s Confederates met General John Pope’s federal forces at the Second Battle of Manassas on August 29, 1862. On August 26, 1864, having withdrawn from trenches and fortifications outside Atlanta the previous day, U.S. General Sherman sent most of his forces westward around Atlanta and toward the south

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

Georgia and American History

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

On August 26, 1864, having withdrawn from trenches and fortifications outside Atlanta the previous day, U.S. General Sherman sent most of his forces westward around Atlanta and toward the south of the city. Sherman’s forces tore up 12 miles of railroad between Red Oak and Fairburn on August 29, 1864.

On August 26, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted. Ratification took place on August 18, 1920, as the Tennessee House of Representatives adopted it, but adoption became official on August 26, when United States Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the Amendment. It reads:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

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

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

On August 26, 1939, the first televised major league baseball game aired, as the Brooklyn Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds split a doubleheader in Ebbets Field.

On August 26, 1961, the 718th Engineer Light Equipment Company of Fort Valley and the 210th Signal Base Depot Company of Augusta were called up to take part in the American response to the crisis in Berlin.

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

President Lyndon B. Johnson was nominated for President by the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey on August 26, 1964.

On August 26, 1965, Sonny & Cher were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘I Got You Babe’, the duo’s only UK No.1. Sonny Bono was inspired to write the song to capitalize on the popularity of the term “babe,” as heard in Bob Dylan’s ‘It Ain’t Me Babe’.

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

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

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

Old Newt Pic

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

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

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

On August 26, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed a Welfare Reform bill, called the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.

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

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Trump-Pence campaign has released its Georgia campaign leadership list.

· Chairman: Senator David Perdue (R-GA)
· Chairman: Rayna Casey, Business and Civic Leader
· Co-Chair: State Senator Burt Jones (R-District 25)
· Co-Chair: State Senator Michael Williams (R-District 27)
· Co-Chair: State Rep. Steve Tarvin (R–District 2)
· Co-Chair: Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, Jr., Georgia Public Service Commissioner
· Co-Chair: Sue Everhart, former Chairwoman of Georgia GOP
· Co-Chair: Sheriff Butch Conway, Gwinnett County
· Finance Chair: Pete Petit, CEO of MiMedx Group
· Grassroots Steering Committee: Don Cole, Former 2nd District GOP Chairman
· Grassroots Steering Committee: Suzi Voyles, Past-President of Georgia Federation of Republican Women
· Grassroots Steering Committee: Brad Carver, Lt. Col. Army Reserves, 11th District GOP Chairman
· Grassroots Steering Committee: Joseph Brannon, National Committeeman, National Federation of Young Republicans

Republican Pollster White Ayres, formerly an Atlanta resident, writes in the Washington Post about how downballot Republicans can insulate themselves from a Trump loss in November.

To win, Republican candidates need the votes of Trump Republicans and Never Trump Republicans, as well as independents who find Donald Trump either refreshing or abhorrent. Fortunately, they have a model in Southern Democratic candidates who for years ran successful campaigns in presidential years while distancing themselves from the top of the ticket.

Preserving that level of split-ticket voting, with a substantial number of voters supporting Clinton for president and Republicans down-ballot, is the key to maintaining Republican control of the Senate.How can Republicans preserve those margins? Localize, localize, localize. Successful Southern Democrats gave no more than lip service to their party’s liberal presidential nominees, while using the advantages of incumbency to highlight specific ways their service in Washington benefited their constituents.

In 1972, Democratic nominee George McGovern’s support in the 11 states of the former Confederacy ranged from a low of 20 percent in Mississippi to a high of 33 percent in Texas. Yet in the same year five Democratic candidates won election to the Senate with remarkable majorities: 54 percent for Sam Nunn in Georgia, 55 percent for J. Bennett Johnston in Louisiana, 58 percent for James Eastland in Mississippi, 61 percent for John McClellan in Arkansas and 62 percent for John Sparkman in Alabama.

In 1984, Democratic nominee Walter Mondale’s Southern support ranged from a low of 35 percent in Florida to a high of 42 percent in Tennessee. Yet Mondale’s weakness in the South did not prevent David Pryor from winning in Arkansas with 57 percent or Howell Heflin winning 63 percent in Alabama or Nunn winning 80 percent in Georgia or Johnston winning Louisiana with 86 percent.

Nunn took a different tack in 1972 when his Republican opponent covered Georgia with posters linking him to McGovern. Nunn flew to Montgomery, Ala., to receive the endorsement of then-presidential candidate George Wallace, saying “George Wallace represents the real views of Georgians.” Nunn later said, “I frankly admired Wallace, not because of his racial views, but because of his willingness to stand up and shake a fist at Washington occasionally. There’s something therapeutic about that in the South.”

Emory Professor Alan Abramowitz predicts that Republicans will maintain control of the United States House of Representatives and have an even chance of losing the Senate to Democrats.

The results in Table 2 indicate that for almost any conceivable values of the generic ballot variable, Democrats are likely to make gains in both the House and Senate. That is largely due to the fact that, as a result of their successes in the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections, Republicans are defending unusually large numbers of seats in both chambers this year. However, the results indicate that in order for Democrats to gain the minimum of four seats they need to regain control of the Senate (if there is a Democratic vice president to break a 50-50 tie), they probably would need a lead of at least two or three points on the generic ballot and to gain the minimum of 30 seats they need to regain control of the House, they probably would need a lead of at least 13 points on the generic ballot.

According to HuffPost Pollster, results of recent national polls give Democrats an average lead of five points on the generic ballot. If that lead were to hold up until the week after Labor Day, the traditional cutoff date for the generic ballot forecast, Democrats would be expected to gain about 16 seats in the House and about four seats in the Senate — not enough to flip control of the House but enough to flip control of the Senate if Clinton wins the presidential election.

Of course any forecasts based on a statistical model are subject to a margin of error. In this case, the results in Table 1 indicate that if Democrats maintain a five-point lead in the generic ballot, they would be very likely to pick up between six and 26 seats in the House and between two and six seats in the Senate. They would have about a 50% chance of regaining control of the Senate (if there is a Democratic vice president) but less than a 15% chance of regaining control of the House.

Meanwhile, the New York Times Upshot writes that Democrats have a 60% chance of winning a Senate majority.

Included within this 60 percent is a 17 percent chance that the Senate ends up evenly split with a Democratic vice president providing the tiebreaking vote.

By our count, the Democrats need to win five seats among the 11 most competitive races. (The Democrats will need to win six if Donald J. Trump wins the presidential race; we put Mr. Trump’s chances of winning at only 11 percent). Ten of these seats are held by Republicans, and one by a Democrat, Harry Reid of Nevada, who is retiring.

This year, the Democrats are defending only 10 seats while the Republicans have to preserve 24. On fundamentals alone — that is, historical voting patterns, the candidates’ political experience and fund-raising — the Democrats would have about a 50-50 shot to win the Senate. The latest Senate polling improves this figure to 60 percent.

Bloomberg takes a look at the Democrats constant refrain that Georgia can be won by Democrats this year.

Ever since Barack Obama came within 6 percentage points of beating John McCain in Georgia in 2008, the state’s Democrats have pointed to a wave of minority, young, and transplanted voters as proof that their deeply Republican state was on the cusp of turning blue, or at least purple. Although whites now make up 58 percent of active voters in Georgia, down from 72 percent in 2002, the demographic shift remains a slow process, and Democrats have yet to capitalize on it in a statewide race. Obama lost ground in Georgia in 2012, and Michelle Nunn, the daughter of a popular former Democratic senator, got close but ultimately lost her bid to win a U.S. Senate seat in 2014.

But this year, Democrats may have a secret weapon in Trump, whose campaign appears to be accelerating an electoral change in Georgia that many political pros thought was still a few years away. “My view is that Georgia is probably in play, which I have never said before,” says Stuart Rothenberg, founder of the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report. “It’s entirely due to Trump.”

Trump has alienated the kind of middle-class suburban Republicans who turned out in force for Mitt Romney and McCain, more than offsetting his appeal to rural, working-class whites. He may now have to compete for Southern conservative voters who should have been a given. Even if Clinton doesn’t win Georgia, the mere fact that it’s competitive may force Trump to spend money there that he wouldn’t have otherwise, says Brad Coker, managing director at Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.

Georgia still looks solidly red from the outside. Republicans enjoy a strong majority in the state legislature, and they’ve controlled the governor’s mansion since the 2002 election. As white politicians switched parties to improve their chances of staying in power, the Democratic Party in Georgia increasingly became the province of minority groups and the urban young, both of which are outnumbered.

[O]rganizers for Democratic House member Taylor Bennett were already canvassing last weekend and promising four or five visits per voter by November, says organizer Evan Gillon: “They’ll be sick of us by the end.”

A trio of writers that includes Augusta University Political Science Professor Martha Ginn writes in the Washington post about how the media decides which polls to discuss.

Our research suggests yet another reason not to overreact to news stories about the newest poll: Media outlets tend to cover the surveys with the most “newsworthy” results, which can distort the picture of where the race stands.

Why? Consider the incentives of the news business. News outlets cover polls because they fit the very definition of newsworthiness. They’re new, timely, often generate conflict and allow political reporters to appear objective by simply telling readers and viewers what the public thinks. Horse-race stories are also popular.

Given that readers are drawn to drama and uncertainty, polls that offer intrigue or new developments — such as a close race or signs that one candidate is surging — are more likely to be deemed newsworthy. In particular, polls with unusual results may be more likely to make the news.

On the other hand, surveys that reveal stability or a lack of drama — such as one candidate maintaining a modest, steady lead — are less likely to get attention. Such judgments may lead news outlets to distort the true state of the race.

Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle traveled to South Georgia to support Senator Greg Kirk’s reelection bid.

While showing his support for the re-election campaign of state Sen. Greg Kirk, R-Americus, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said economic development will be among the priorities Georgians should expect to see addressed out in the months and years ahead.

Cagle, a Republican and former state senator, said at an event at Chehaw supporting Kirk that the delegation representing Southwest Georgia is one that knows how to collaborate in order to get things done for their communities.

An example specific to rural Georgia is agriculture, the lieutenant governor said. If an agricultural product can be taken and the right marketing strategy developed for it, that product can go a long way.

“It’s about jobs, jobs and more jobs,” Cagle said. “Government doesn’t create jobs, but government does create the circumstances for jobs.”

 

The Georgia Department of Community Health is asking for an additional $300 million to fund healthcare for Georgia residents.

The $300 million projected to be needed for the midyear and fiscal 2018 budgets is only the state’s portion: The federal government would kick in about $600 million more in Medicaid spending for Georgia.

DCH officials are projecting 2 percent growth next year in enrollment for Medicaid and PeachCare insurance for children. About 1.87 million Georgians are enrolled in Medicaid, the health care program for the poor, disabled and elderly, and an additional 127,000 are on PeachCare.

House Appropriations Chairman Terry England, R-Auburn, said he’s worried about the increases as well.

“We are going to have to figure out something,” England told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an interview. “We’re going to have to figure out what’s the next trick in the bag to get control of it.”

Norcross has cancelled its November City Council elections after incumbents Josh Bare, Andrew Hixon and David McLeroy qualified without opposition.

In Twiggs County, a local politician is on the hot seat over multiple homestead exemptions he’s claimed.

Twiggs County Commissioner Tommie Lee Bryant stunned members of his own board earlier this month when he admitted he was not a fully disabled veteran. County tax officials say Bryant has claimed the service-related disability for years to avoid paying taxes on his Jeffersonville house.

“There is more than one way to get 100 percent (disability). In other words, I’m not (a) 100 percent disabled veteran,” Bryant said in a video of the Aug. 16 commission meeting provided to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I ain’t but 60 percent and I can show it to you in black and white.”

The hitch is that the homeowner must be 100 percent disabled as a result of their service, said Walter Ashby, chairman of the Twiggs County Board of Tax Assessors.

An internal investigation by the tax assessor found records were altered by Yolanda Thomas, a relative of Bryant who worked in the tax office. When the tax board met in May to determine whether to fire the employee, Bryant barged in and said he had told his relative to change the records in the computer, according to statements signed by the board members.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2016/08/26/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-26-2016/feed/ 0
Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 25, 2016 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/25/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-august-25-2016/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-august-25-2016 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/25/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-august-25-2016/#comments Thu, 25 Aug 2016 09:55:55 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=56061 GaPundit:

The father of Husker and Abbie recently moved to an assisted living facility and can no longer care for his sweeties. Husker (left) is an 11 yr old bichon/maltese mix and Abbie (right) is a 3 yr old papilion/spaniel mix. This duo comes together and are mild mannered, well trained, and best friends! Please contact

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

Husker and Abbie

The father of Husker and Abbie recently moved to an assisted living facility and can no longer care for his sweeties. Husker (left) is an 11 yr old bichon/maltese mix and Abbie (right) is a 3 yr old papilion/spaniel mix. This duo comes together and are mild mannered, well trained, and best friends! Please contact Marcie Draper marcie.draper@gmail.com if you have the space for these precious pups to share their love and companionship with you.

Gwinnett Oldster

Chance (#52113) is a senior male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter. Senior dogs are the best – experienced at loving their humans, mellow and low maintenance.

This old guy came into the Gwinnett shelter as a stray… they were hopeful but when we finally got in touch with owner he did not want Chance any more but did tell tell to give him some tennis balls and he would be happy.

This guy loves to play and has been good with all of the dogs we have had him around. Due to his age he might be best in a home without children as he is older and loves to enjoy a good nap.

52242 Pen 188

Number 52242 is a male puppy who is thought to be a Newfoundlander or Newfie mix, who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

pen 220d

Number 52032 is a young male Dachshund mix who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2016/08/25/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-august-25-2016/feed/ 0
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 25, 2016 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/25/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-25-2016/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-25-2016 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/25/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-25-2016/#comments Thu, 25 Aug 2016 09:40:50 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=56056 GaPundit:

On August 25, 325, the Council of Nicea adopted the Nicene Creed. On August 25, 1864, Union troops stopped artillery bombardment of Atlanta and withdrew from fortifications around the city. On the same day, in Virginia, Confederate forces attacked Federals under Gen. Grant at Ream’s Station. On August 25, 1877, delegates to the state Constitutional

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

On August 25, 325, the Council of Nicea adopted the Nicene Creed.

On August 25, 1864, Union troops stopped artillery bombardment of Atlanta and withdrew from fortifications around the city. On the same day, in Virginia, Confederate forces attacked Federals under Gen. Grant at Ream’s Station.

On August 25, 1877, delegates to the state Constitutional Convention approved a new post-Reconstruction state Constitution, the seventh in state history, to be submitted to the voters on December 5, 1877.

The all-time highest score in a professional baseball game was recorded on August 25, 1922, as the Chicago Cubs beat the Philadelphia Phillies by 26-23.

Paris was liberated from German army control on August 25, 1944.

On August 25, 1950, President Harry S. Truman ordered the seizure of the nation’s private railroads by executive order.

On August 25, 1973, the Allman Brothers of Macon, Georgia released “Ramblin’ Man” as the first single from the album “Brothers and Sisters.” From the Wall Street Journal,

Dickey Betts: In 1969, I was playing guitar in several rock bands that toured central Florida. Whenever I’d have trouble finding a place to stay, my friend Kenny Harwick would let me crash at his garage apartment for a few days in Sarasota. One day he asked me how I was doing with my music and said, “I bet you’re just tryin’ to make a livin’ and doin’ the best you can.”

Then one day in 1972, I was sitting in the kitchen of what we called the Big House in Macon, Ga.—where everyone in the band lived—and decided to finish the lyrics.

My inspiration was Hank Williams’s “Ramblin’ Man,” from 1951. His song and mine are completely different but I liked his mournful, minor-chord feel.

Except for Kenny’s line, the rest of the lyrics were autobiographical.

The WSJ article is worth reading in its entirety if you’re a fan of the Allmans.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Yesterday, the SafeHarborYes ballot committee kicked off its campaign to promote adoption by voters of Constitutional Amendment #2 on the November ballot.

Senator Unterman 4193

From the Gwinnett Daily Post:

State officials and advocates came together at the [Center for Human and Civil Rights] Wednesday to help countless children with stories like Jones’. They launched a campaign to get voters to approve a state constitutional amendment that will create a Safe Harbor Fund to pay for resources, such as trauma counseling, housing and medical care, for young victims of sexual exploitation.

The item will appear as “Amendment 2” on the November general election ballot.

“What this does is set up an indelible fund in perpetuity,” State Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, said. “No elected official, no matter what stripe you are, can go and rob this fund. The reason why this fund is so important is for restorative services for children that are at-risk and have been abused and that are taken off the streets.

“What could be more important in your individual legacy that you’re leaving on humanity. … You are leaving a legacy that is indelible and in perpetuity for the rest of creation of the state of Georgia that (says) we will take care of these children that have not been taken care of.”

Unterman and Jones were joined by state Attorney General Sam Olens, former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, Street Grace CEO Bob Rogers, state Rep. Andy Welch, R-McDonough and “Vote Yes” campaign Co-chairwoman Robin Roberts to launch the effort to get the amendment approved.

Sam Olens SHY

“The most important thing about Nov. 8, and every elected official will tell you, is to go to the end of the ballot. A lot of people go to the polling booth, they’re on a computer and they vote for president or their favorite senator, but they don’t go to the end of the ballot. You have to go there.”

Unterman said part of the message proponents need to drive home to voters is that they need to go through every item on the ballot until they get to the end, where the constitutional amendments can be found.

She explained that voters may cast votes in the elections at the top of the ticket, such as president or state legislators, they often don’t make it down to the section on amendments.

“Everybody keeps saying, ‘Renee it’s going to pass, it’s going to pass,’ but you never know,” Unterman said. “What if they don’t go to the end of the ballot and what if they don’t vote. This is our one-time opportunity. A constitutional amendment is a two-thirds vote in the house and the senate and the governor has to sign it.

“It’s one of the most difficult things any legislator ever does.”

Shirley Franklin Safe Harbor Yes

In the Ledger-Enquirer, Dusty Nix writes that voters should reject the proposed Constitutional Amendment to reconfigure the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

A Trojan Horse of a bill will appear on Georgia ballots in the November general election. It’s a proposed amendment that would remove the Judicial Qualifications Commission from the state constitution and replaced with a different authority — one that answers to elected lawmakers in the Georgia General Assembly.

“You’re stripping an independent, constitutionally mandated watchdog agency out of the constitution,” former JQC member and chair Lester Tate told the TV station, ”and putting it to the complete whim of the politicians.”

Calling the proposed amendment a “political dumpster fire,” Tate said Georgia voters need to “realize what’s going on, go to the ballot box, and vote no.”

This is what an active Presidential campaign looks like: yesterday, Senator David Perdue called for a special investigator to look into allegations of “Pay to Play” by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“Actions speak louder than words, and this is just another example of Hillary Clinton’s questionable ethics and integrity. Whether you are the Secretary of State, or want to be the Commander-in-Chief, pay-to-play politics is wrong. If then-Secretary Clinton potentially prioritized her time based on dollar signs instead of foreign policy goals that should be thoroughly examined. Any responsible leader would have avoided this situation all together instead of charging their friends for special treatment and access to the State Department. People are struggling to make it from payday to payday and our country is in a national debt crisis. These are the real issues facing our country, and the American people deserve better than career politicians who put their personal profits ahead of our national interests.”

Former Congressman Bob Barr also called for an independent investigation into ties between the Clinton State Department and Clinton Foundation donors.

“Donald Trump is right. Evidence of a pay-to-play relationship between Hillary Clinton’s State Department and the Clinton Foundation has become so clear, that the only way to get to the bottom of the mess is to have an investigation by a Special Prosecutor. The Obama Justice Department has proven unwilling and incapable of conducting a credible investigation despite requests from some of its field offices and the FBI, and Hillary Clinton has lied to the American people for months. Only an independent counsel can investigate the Clinton Foundation fairly and impartially.” — Rep. Bob Barr, Fmr. Georgia Congressman & Fmr. Federal Prosecutor

KellyAnne Conway talked to Circa.com about Donald Trump’s appeal to women voters.

“I would ask female voters to judge Donald Trump by his actions and not always his words,” she added. “How does he treat women in the workplace? Who did he promote the first female presidential campaign manager to this position? What is his record with women in the workplace. How many women have been compensated and received benefits and promotions from this man because he believes in their abilities and their competence.”

One way Trump will differentiate himself from Clinton in the final 70 days of the race is by debating Obamacare’s impact on women, Conway said.

“We know many women in this country have great reluctance and hesitation in voting for Hillary Clinton for president,” she said.

“I think we’re going to earn those women votes through substance. We are going to say look, Obamacare has been a really raw deal for many people in this country but most predominately for females. Why? Because females are the chief health care officers of their households, we control two out of every three dollars that are spent in this country.”

“We’re also the vast majority of health care providers, we are 90 percent of nurses, plurality of the pharmacist and plurality of the medical students and 95 percent of the home health aides, a very big growing business. So, we’re the consumers and the providers disproportionately. We are affected many different ways.”

Bill Clinton’s trip to Atlanta yesterday included a stop at the newly-reopened Manuel’s Tavern.

Johnny Isakson will meet Democrat challenger Jim Barksdale and Libertarian Allen Buckley in the Atlanta Press Club debate at Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Isakson’s campaign put out this statement:

“I feel confident that, in addition to my longstanding record of public service and the 214 times I’ve answered questions from reporters in this year alone, this debate will demonstrate to Georgians my commitment to upholding a commonsense, pro-growth conservative agenda. If my Democrat opponent would like to offer any substantive policy positions that he stands for, I encourage him to follow suit and openly and transparently answer questions from Georgia media as I have always done and will continue to do.”

Barksdale’s Campaign Manger Dave Hoffman said it is “clear” Isakson “is not working for the people of Georgia and he doesn’t want to talk about it.” Hoffman invoked the same rhetoric the Barksdale campaign has used in recent weeks to criticize Isakson’s record on Capitol Hill:

“It’s no surprise that he has voted for bad foreign trade deals that send our jobs away or why he has skipped 71 percent of his Senate Commerce Committee hearings. Where’s Johnny?”

The debate will air on Georgia Public Broadcasting on Oct. 23. Early voting begins six days prior.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler (R) was elected President of the National Association of Government Labor Officials.

Butler, the state’s labor chief since 2011, was elected at the recent NAGLO annual conference in Portland, Maine.

The NAGLO is a bi-partisan association of the commissioners, directors and secretaries of labor for each state and territory of the United States. Formed in 1914, it provides services and information to its members on issues including employment security, unemployment insurance and workforce development. It also represents the states by working with the U.S. Department of Labor on labor policy issues that would impact state labor regulations or laws.

“I am pleased that Commissioner Mark Butler is coming in as NAGLO’s new president,” said outgoing HAGLO President Ken Peterson, Minnesota’s labor commissioner. “Mark has impressed his fellow labor officials around the nation with the innovative initiatives that he and the Georgia Department of Labor are using to improve Georgia’s economy by assisting both employees and businesses.”

Local campaigns must not be too exciting if the Macon Telegraph is writing about leftover campaign signs from May.

Months after James Timley lost a race for the Bibb County school board, one of his campaign signs remained along Pio Nono Avenue on Wednesday afternoon.

Staked on two two-by-fours across the street from the Midtown Kroger, the large sign soliciting votes in the District 5 race reads, “EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE MATTER,” above the May 24 election date.

Asked about the sign Wednesday, Timley told The Telegraph in the living room of his west Macon home that he didn’t know it was still there.

“I’ll just have to go and get it,” said the retired educator and former Macon City Council member. “It’s no problem to take it down. … We picked up most of them.”

The sign was gone by Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, State Senator Greg Kirk (R-Americus) is staging 1000 yard signs across his South Georgia district that spans all or part of nine counties to kick off his fall re-election campaign.

A program that allows tax deductions for donations to rural Georgia hospitals is moving forward, according to GeorgiaHealthNews.com.

The list of eligible hospitals, along with financial forms, were issued by the state Department of Community Health this week. The tax credit program, passed by the Legislature this year, has generated high interest within the hospital industry.

At the same time, new attention has been focused on the creation of consulting services that aim to help rural hospitals market themselves and apply for the funds.

Senate Bill 258, spearheaded by Rep. Geoff Duncan, a Cumming Republican, allows $50 million in tax credits for donor contributions in the first year, 2017. The amount for the second year will be $60 million, and for the third year, $70 million.

“It’s really exciting to see it go from concept to reality in less than a year,’’ Duncan told GHN on Tuesday.

Jimmy Lewis of HomeTown Health, an association of rural hospitals, says these facilities suffer from problems that include reduced government funding; CEO turnover; aging buildings; technology costs; and a high number of uninsured patients who frequently visit emergency rooms. (ERs cannot turn away patients unable to pay, but using expensive emergency care for patients with routine problems can be a financial drain.)

The lack of Medicaid expansion in Georgia has also hurt rural hospitals, experts say. Expansion would give health coverage to many currently uninsured patients, allowing hospitals to be reimbursed for treating them. Legislative leaders and the governor have said expanding Medicaid would be bad budgetary policy.

One of the most contentious issues in Columbus Georgia is controlling the population of feral cats.

The city’s two-year-old Trap, Neuter, Release feral cat colony program is in Columbus Councilor Pops Barnes’ sights.

The District 1 councilor raised the issue at a council meeting last month when he railed against the program, which establishes colonies of spayed or neutered and vaccinated cats under the care of an approved colony manager who feeds and waters the animals.

Supporters, including Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, say it is a humane way to control feral cat populations by reducing the number of offspring. Opponents, such as Barnes, say they are a breeding ground for dangerous diseases such as rabies and so present a health hazard to the community.

Barnes and Tomlinson came to a head at a council meeting last month when two residents of Sears Woods appeared on the public agenda to complain of a feral cat problem in their neighborhood. After one of the residents spoke and before the second appeared, Barnes launched an assault on the TNR program, citing the Centers for Disease Control and various veterinary associations. He also harshly criticized Tomlinson, who championed the program in its infancy in 2014.

“I’m really disappointed in you for allowing this program to continue after the information I’ve given you,” Barnes said to Tomlinson. “I’m giving (his packet of information) to my fellow councilors so that we can vote on this. I want to make sure that you all realize the extent of this. This is serious, health-wise.”

Former State Rep. Carl Rogers has joined Lanier Technical College as vice president of economic development.

Rogers resigned from his position in the state legislature this summer and has slowly exited his insurance practice after 39 years in the profession.

“We are excited to have Mr. Rogers join us as vice president for economic development,” Lanier Tech president Dr. Ray Perren said in a statement to The Times. “As a lifelong resident of Northeast Georgia, a longtime businessman and a retired public servant, Carl brings a unique perspective toward economic development, as well as a vast network of contacts for the college.”

Kennesaw City Council will consider a 2017 budget that includes 3 percent pay raises for municipal employees.

The Georgia State Charter School Commission issued one approval and one denial for proposed charter schools in the Augusta area.

Waynesboro Mayor Pauline Jenkins has died, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

The Burke County Coroner’s Office confirmed her death Wednesday afternoon. Jenkins, who was elected in 2011, had been very ill for a number of weeks, Burke County Sheriff Greg Coursey said.

“It’s a very sad day for Burke Coun­ty and the city of Waynesboro,” Cour­sey said. “Our mayor was a great person and there’s no question she’ll be greatly missed. Greatly, greatly missed.”

Jenkins won the 2011 election in a runoff, beating incumbent George De­Loach by seven votes, according to recount tallies.

Waynesboro’s vice mayor, Herman Brown, will serve as interim mayor, City Manager Jerry Coalson said. Jenk­­ins was about eight months into her second term, which was to end in 2019. Because there are more than
14 months left in her term, Waynes­boro will hold a special election in early 2017 to replace her, Coalson said.

The Japanese Consul General visited Rome, Georgia this week, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

Japan’s consul general to the Southeast, Takashi Shinozuka, paid a courtesy call to Rome on Tuesday to say thanks in advance for participating in the upcoming Japan-America Grassroots Summit in October.

Shinozuka huddled with Mayor Jamie Doss and Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman Curtis Gardner at City Hall on Tuesday afternoon.

Shinozuka was accompanied by Consul Tomoko Ohyama.

The Japan-American Grassroots Summit will be based in Atlanta from Oct. 4-11. Rome and close to 20 other cities will be hosting visitors Oct. 6-8 to allow the Japanese visitors to get a taste of day-to-day life in the U.S.

Floyd County is home to eight Japanese-owned firms, representing an economic investment of more than $625 million and approximately 1,100 jobs.

The consul general said 639 Japanese companies were located in Georgia at the end of 2015, representing an investment of more than $12.1 billion and 36,500 jobs.

Suwanee City Council voted to continue the same property tax millage rate it has levied since 2012. Likewise, Banks County kept its millage rate steady.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2016/08/25/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-25-2016/feed/ 0
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 24, 2016 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/24/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-24-2016/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-24-2016 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/24/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-24-2016/#comments Wed, 24 Aug 2016 11:03:14 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=56039 GaPundit:

Georgia History General Charles Lee of the Continental Army told Congress that Georgia’s value to the young nation required more forces to defend against the British on August 24, 1776. On August 24, 1931, the Georgia General Assembly adopted a joint resolution appointing a committee to work with the Governor in planning a bicentennial celebration

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

Georgia History

General Charles Lee of the Continental Army told Congress that Georgia’s value to the young nation required more forces to defend against the British on August 24, 1776.

On August 24, 1931, the Georgia General Assembly adopted a joint resolution appointing a committee to work with the Governor in planning a bicentennial celebration to be held in 1933.

On August 24, 1945, the United States Postal Service held a first day of issue ceremony in Warm Springs, Georgia for the release of a stamp bearing the images of Franklin D. Roosevelt and The Little White House.

FDR Warm Springs

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Yesterday, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce held its annual Congressional Luncheon in Macon. The Keynote was delivered by political analysts Charlie Cook and Stuart Rothenberg.

“It goes without saying, this is the strangest presidential election ever,” said political analyst Charlie Cook, editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report.

Cook and fellow political analyst Stu Rothenberg, founder of the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report, were pretty much in agreement about the upcoming presidential election and the race to the White House by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

“We’ve got two of the most widely disliked nominees in American political history,” Cook said. “Just think about how many people are going to be voting for someone they dislike. … Each one has such high negatives. … So I don’t think either one of them are capable of winning by a big margin. There are just too many people who hate them. So we are left in a weird place.”

“I think we will see Clinton win … by close to 3.8 or 3.9 percentage points,” he said.

If the Republicans had nominated “someone fairly innocuous” like John Kasich, Cook said, Clinton could be beat.

Rothenberg said that Republicans are likely to retain control of the House, but the Senate may be up for grabs.

From the AJC Political Insider:

[Senator David] Perdue, who won that election two years ago running as an anti-D.C. “outsider,” referred to Isakson as “our Howard Baker” – a reference to the late Republican senator from Tennessee who brokered deal after deal in Washington in the 1970s and 1980s.

“Since when did compromise become a dirty word?” Georgia’s junior senator asked. “Weren’t any of y’all ever married?”

Cook said that Clinton’s dismal favorability rating, in other circumstances, would have augured well for the GOP – except that Trump’s poll numbers are worse:

“In short, if Republicans nominated a potted plant, they’d probably win. Even with the structural advantages against the Republican party that we have right now.

“If Republicans had just nominated someone who was fairly innocuous, I mean like, say [Ohio Gov.] John Kasich. Kasich would have beaten Hillary Clinton like a rented mule.

The AJC’s Greg Bluestein notes that Bill Clinton will be in Atlanta today, hoovering up campaign cash for Hillary.

Bluestein Tweet Clinton 08242016

Meanwhile, Republican nominee for Vice President, Indiana Governor Mike Pence will be in Atlanta next Monday, collecting campaign checks, and has fielded and all-star host team:

Pence Invite

State House District 80 candidate Meagan Hanson will host former GOP Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina for a Georgia fundraiser on September 22d.

MMH_Carly

This afternoon, a bi-partisan group will kick off its campaign to pass Constitutional Amendment 2, the Safe Harbor Amendment to fund restorative services for children who have been victimized in sex trafficking.

A bipartisan group of current and former elected officials will lead an effort to urge voters to approve a constitutional amendment in November that would fund services for children who are victims of human trafficking.

Republican Attorney General Sam Olens, Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, and former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, a Democrat, will hold a news conference at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Center for Civil and Human Rights to formally kick off the campaign.

Show Me the Signs!

The New York Post noted something that I’ve also seen in my own area: metro areas seem to have no Trump signs, while they may proliferate in rural areas.

If you drive anywhere in Pennsylvania, from the turnpike to the old US routes to the dirt roads connecting small towns like Hooversville with “bigger” small towns like Somerset, you might conclude that Donald Trump is ahead in this state by double digits.

Large signs, small signs, homemade signs, signs that wrap around barns, signs that go from one end of a fence to another dot the landscape with such frequency that, if you were playing the old-fashioned road-trip game of counting cows, you would hit 100 in just one small town like this one.

It’s as if people here have not turned on the television to hear pundits drone on and on about how badly Trump is losing in Pennsylvania.

It’s not just visual: In interview after interview in all corners of the state, I’ve found that Trump’s support across the ideological spectrum remains strong. Democrats, Republicans, independents, people who have not voted in presidential elections for years — they have not wavered in their support.

Two components of these voters’ answers and profiles remain consistent: They are middle-class and they do not live in a big city. They are suburban to rural and are not poor — an element I found fascinating, until a Gallup survey last week confirmed that what I’ve gathered in interviews is more than just freakishly anecdotal.

In my area, I can’t find any Trump signs. But I’d like to see yours. Post your Trump signs to the GaPundit Facebook page, or Tweet them with the hashtag #GATrump and we’ll feature what we find. Or just email me.

If you’re interested in picking up your own Trump sign, or ordering a number for your County, contact my friend, Mark Williams.

Trump Yard Sign

Trump Large Sign

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2016/08/24/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-24-2016/feed/ 0
Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 24, 2016 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/24/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-august-24-2016/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-august-24-2016 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/24/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-august-24-2016/#comments Wed, 24 Aug 2016 10:05:05 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=56032 GaPundit:

Fritz is a young male mixed-breed dog who is available for adoption from Fulton Animal Services. Fritz has a smile that will light up the room. He is a curious boy that enjoys leash walks and sniffing around. He is a little underweight, but will be stunning once taken proper care of. He is ready

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

Fritz Fulton

Fritz is a young male mixed-breed dog who is available for adoption from Fulton Animal Services.

Fritz has a smile that will light up the room. He is a curious boy that enjoys leash walks and sniffing around. He is a little underweight, but will be stunning once taken proper care of. He is ready to be your new best friend.

Roxy Fulton

Roxy is an adult female Basset Hound (and Coonhound?) mix who is available for adoption from Fulton Animal Services.

It doesn’t get much cuter than little Roxy. She is a long and lean loving machine. Little Roxy is ready for her forever home and can’t wait to meet you.

Goober Dekalb

Goober is a 2.5-year old male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from DeKalb Animal Services.

Goober can’t wait to be your newest addition! This big, lanky boy is eager to please – especially if treats are involved! He has a goofy smile and a love for all humans. He gives the best hugs and can even rest his paws on some people’s shoulders. Goober gets along great with other dogs and may enjoy having a canine companion in his forever home. His adoption includes his neuter, microchip, vaccinations, and more!

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2016/08/24/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-august-24-2016/feed/ 0
Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 23, 2016 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/23/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-august-23-2016/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-august-23-2016 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/23/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-august-23-2016/#comments Tue, 23 Aug 2016 11:04:56 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=56012 GaPundit:

Johnny Cash is a young male Black and Tan Coonhound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Southern Crescent Canine Rescue in Milner, GA. Mabel is a young female Redbone Coonhound mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Morgan County in Madison, GA. Mabel and her sister Marin were

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash is a young male Black and Tan Coonhound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Southern Crescent Canine Rescue in Milner, GA.

Mabel

Mabel is a young female Redbone Coonhound mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Morgan County in Madison, GA.

Mabel and her sister Marin were found as strays wondering the streets. They are now with us and awaiting their individual homes. Mabel loves other dogs but can be a little dominant at times. She would do best in a family ready to guide and train her to be a well behaved adult dog. We are not sure what she is mixed with but chances are she will be a larger dog. She just might be that smart girl you are ready to take hunting, camping and fishing. She may also be the best family dog you could ever imagine. Apply to adopt her today or come on by the shelter to meet her yourself.

Marin

Marin is a young female Redbone Coonhound mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Morgan County in Madison, GA.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2016/08/23/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-august-23-2016/feed/ 0
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 23, 2016 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/23/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-23-2016/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-23-2016 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/23/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-23-2016/#comments Tue, 23 Aug 2016 10:55:32 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=56013 GaPundit:

On August 23, 1784, four counties is western North Carolina declared themselves the State of Franklin, setting up its own Constitution and treaties with local Indian tribes. In 1788, they rejoined North Carolina but would eventually become part of a new state, Tennessee. The Kimball Opera House, serving as the Georgia State Capitol, was sold

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

On August 23, 1784, four counties is western North Carolina declared themselves the State of Franklin, setting up its own Constitution and treaties with local Indian tribes. In 1788, they rejoined North Carolina but would eventually become part of a new state, Tennessee.

The Kimball Opera House, serving as the Georgia State Capitol, was sold to the state on August 23, 1870.

On August 23, 1961, four African-American citizens attempted to play tennis at Bitsy Grant Tennis Center in Atlanta, which was informally “whites only.” The Tennis Center was hastily closed rather than allow them to play, but it was the first volley leading to the eventual desegregation of Atlanta’s public recreation facilities.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Here’s your morning awesome if you haven’t already seen the young man with Down Syndrome opening his acceptance letter from UGA.

A federal judge in Texas ruled against the Obama administration’s directive that schools must provide students with a choice of restroom that matches the student’s gender identity.

U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor of Texas ordered a temporary injunction on Sunday of the federal government’s guidelines announced in May. The guidelines included a warning that states could lose federal funding if they did not adhere to the policy. Georgia and 12 other states, including Texas, filed a lawsuit in late May against the federal guidelines, arguing the threat to withhold federal funds for states that didn’t comply was unconstitutional.

“We are pleased that the federal court agrees that the guidance letter is yet another example of the President’s unconstitutional overreach,” [Georgia Attorney General Sam] Olens said in a statement. “The Constitution gives only Congress the power to write and rewrite laws. Threatening to withhold taxpayer dollars from schools if they don’t comply with this mandate is unconstitutional. I will continue to defend the Constitution on behalf of Georgians.”

Another day in Georgia, another drive-by media hit suggesting that Hillary Clinton can win in Georgia this November.

Here’s how the Democratic argument for the state works: Georgia, like its neighbors North Carolina and Virginia, is becoming younger and more diverse. In 2000, for example, African American voters made up 23 percent of the electorate; in 2012, that figure was up to 30 percent. The state also has a growing Hispanic population.

Democrats say their floor in the state hovers these days around 44 or 45 percent. If Clinton can reach Obama-level turnout among minority voters, that could get her another percentage point or two on Election Day—and coupled with the potential for modest gains among white, educated, moderate Republicans who are turned off by Trump, a narrow victory is not out of the question.

“There’s not really any growth potential for [Trump] with the white working class voters because they’ve already been aligned with Republicans,” said Jeff DeSantis, a veteran Democratic operative in the state who ran Michelle Nunn’s 2014 Senate campaign.

The problem for Democrats is that the state’s white voters, more so than in states with similar demographics, like North Carolina or Virginia, vote heavily for Republicans. In other words, Clinton couldn’t depend just on turning out the growing numbers of African American and Hispanic voters; she would also have to win a significantly higher percentage of the white vote there than Mr. Obama did in either of his campaigns.

In a normal presidential cycle, these suburban moderate Republicans would be rank-and-file Republican voters; Democrats’ success depends on a rejection of Trump that’s so overwhelming that it drives substantial numbers of these moderates toward the other options. Otherwise, a statewide victory for Clinton will be difficult.

“Anything is in the realm of possibility—I mean, in 1992 Bill Clinton won Georgia because of [independent candidate] Ross Perot,” said Eric Tannenblatt, a veteran Republican consultant who worked with Mitt Romney’s campaign in 2012. “But that being said, every other presidential election going back the last 30 years, with the exception of that one in 1992, the Republican has won—even in 1996 when Bill Clinton was running for re-election.”

Emory University historian Joseph Crespino weighs-in with his perspective on how Georgia might be in play this year.

[T]his story has less to do with the future than the past, and both parties run a risk in misreading it. Mr. Trump’s racially charged hard-right campaign reveals a fault line in Republican politics that dates from the very beginning of G.O.P. ascendancy in the South.

The Republican’s Southern Strategy is one of the most familiar stories in modern American history: Beginning in the 1960s, the party courted white racist voters who fled the Democratic Party because of its support for civil rights.

But things were never quite so simple. Yes, racial reaction fed G.O.P. gains in the 1960s and ’70s. And yes, Barry Goldwater called it “hunting where the ducks are.”

What did that mean? Goldwater’s detractors understood it to mean that he was going after Dixiecrats, the Southern Democrats who had abandoned the party in 1948 over civil rights. Goldwater, however, maintained that he was going after college-educated white collar professionals who were building the modern Southern economy.

That was the vision he described in his speech at the Georgia Republican Convention in May 1964. G.O.P. success in the South, he argued, stemmed from “the growth in business, the increase in per capita income and the rising confidence of the South in its own ability to expand industrially and commercially.” Southern Republicanism, he said, was based on “truly progressive elements.”

Goldwater had a point. It was Southern businessmen who grew the party in the 1950s. Democrats, they said, were the party of corruption and cronyism. These Republicans even worked together with black Republicans, who since the 19th century had been the Southern G.O.P.’s most loyal constituency.

That was the vision he described in his speech at the Georgia Republican Convention in May 1964. G.O.P. success in the South, he argued, stemmed from “the growth in business, the increase in per capita income and the rising confidence of the South in its own ability to expand industrially and commercially.” Southern Republicanism, he said, was based on “truly progressive elements.”

Yet this year that mixture may not work. Mr. Trump’s extreme language and divisive policies are alienating moderate Republicans in places like the Atlanta exurbs — where Mrs. Clinton is running nearly even with Mr. Trump. And across the state, polls show a significantly low number of Republicans saying they’ll support their party’s candidate.

It’s an excellent piece that I highly recommend reading in its entirety.

State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) spoke to the AJC about misgivings he has over Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

“Every time he says something that makes me cringe, or something that appears to be indecent, it makes me wonder how in the world can I vote for this guy,” said state Rep. Allen Peake, a Macon Republican. “I keep having to come back to the Supreme Court nominations. But, boy, it scares the bejeebies out of me — the thought that he could actually be the president.”

Trump’s decision to hire Stephen K. Bannon, the anti-establishment chief of Breitbart News, didn’t reassure supporters hoping for a pivot away from his firebrand ways. Nor did his rare expression of regret for his rhetoric, or the resignation of campaign chairman Paul Manafort, whose previous job consulting for the pro-Russian former president of Ukraine had become a distraction.

“It makes me worry more because it appears they are doubling down on letting Trump be Trump,” Peake said.

An yesterday, Peake doubled-down, sending out his manifesto.

The reality is that Donald Trump as our nominee makes me incredibly fearful for the future of our party. We have alienated Hispanics and African-Americans, both groups who would support us if we stuck to an agenda focused on jobs and the economy. We have made ourselves enemies of the gay community. And from discussions with my gay brother, many would support us, because many are moderate on social issues but fiscally conservative.

And millennials have written us off because of our stances on issues like medical marijuana and gay marriage. So, as a party, we are basically working ourselves toward extinction. And if we don’t do some soul searching and make efforts to reach out to these groups, that’s where we end up.

Senator David Perdue told the Gwinnett Daily Post that Trump will bring a new perspective to Washington.

The first-term senator has become an ardent supporter of the New York businessman since Trump clinched the GOP’s nomination.

For Republicans who have been eager to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the prospect of having someone from their own party in the White House is a glimmer of hope that they may finally achieve their goal.

“I believe that if we keep the majority in the Senate, we’ll repeal Obamacare early next year like we did this year,” Perdue said. “The difference will be that President Trump wouldn’t veto it, so Obamacare is gone. That will happen.”

Although there have several reports in recent weeks about polls that peg Trump as trailing Hillary Clinton in several places, including Georgia, Perdue is confident the Republican nominee will prove the pollsters wrong come November.

He pointed to his own experience running against Michelle Nunn to replace Saxby Chambliss in the Senate as an example. Nearly every poll in the weeks leading up to the General Election that year had Perdue and Nunn neck and neck with margins of two to four points, according to records kept by RealClearPolitics.com.

Perdue won by about eight points.

“I don’t accept the premise that he’s lagging to the degree that the national polls say,” Perdue said of Trump. “What’s going on around the country is exactly what went on in Georgia in my race … There was a significant error in our race and it was because the polls were inaccurate.”

Whether you agree or disagree with Sen. Perdue on Donald Trump’s candidacy, it’s worth reading the entire interview, which covers a broad range of national issues.

WABE looks at how rural healtcare is faring after the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

Georgia health officials painted a dire pictures of the state’s rural hospital network for state lawmakers Monday, with more cuts predicted as the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, continues to roll out.

About 40 percent of the state’s hospitals lost money in 2014, according to the Georgia Hospital Association’s most recent figures.

James told lawmakers that a host of coming cuts at the federal level could reduce payments to Georgia’s hospitals by $1.5 billion annually by 2025.

The head of the Senate committee, Republican state Sen. Renee Unterman, reiterated her stance that expanding Medicaid coverage is something lawmakers should consider next session.

“I believe it is a tool in the tool box, and we are facing the perfect tsunami, just like every other state in the nation, with a crisis in health care. And I think it’s our fiduciary responsibility to leave that tool box open,” Unterman said. “When you’re in a tsunami, when you’re in a crisis … you don’t say no to anything.”

Georgia Senate Rules Committee Chair Jeff Mullis (R-Upper Left-Hand Corner) will take on additional responsibilities chairing study committees.

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle selected Sen. Jeff Mullis (R- Chickamauga) to serve as Co-Chair of three Joint Study Committees and as Chair of two Senate Study Committees. Sen. Mullis will act as Co-Chair of the State Commission on Narcotic Treatment Programs, the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure and Vehicle Joint Study Committee and the Music Economic Development Joint Study Committee. In addition, Sen. Mullis will serve as Chair of the Senate Legislative Process Study Committee and the Senate Sexual Offender Registry Study Committee.

“I look forward to addressing and thoroughly reviewing each of these important issues with my colleagues,” said Sen. Mullis. “Our number one priority is the wellbeing, success and growth of all of our citizens. We will work hard the next few months to bring the best legislative recommendations to the table for each of these issues and ensure that the best interest of our citizens are represented. It is an honor to be appointed to these study committees.”

“Sen. Jeff Mullis has a proven track record in addressing the needs of our citizens and will be an invaluable resource as Co-Chair of three Joint Study Committees and as Chair of two Senate Study Committees,” said Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. “I’m confident he will examine the issues at hand and provide new legislative recommendations to the General Assembly as we prepare for the 2017 Legislative Session.”

The Albany Herald reports that independent (Democratic) House District 151 candidate Kenneth Zachary Jr. has a disorderly conduct charge from 2004.

Zachary, 46, the pastor of three small Southwest Georgia churches and a former Arlington City Council member, announced his independent candidacy for the state House seat after Democrat James Williams, a former Albany police officer, was disqualified from running for the seat held for 33 years by Cuthbert Republican Gerald Greene.

“Southwest Georgia’s enthusiasm for my campaign is both humbling and inspiring,” Zachary said after his candidacy was confirmed. “I know the people of this community are ready for a leader who will fight to bring health care and jobs to thousands of our residents by working to expand Medicaid.

“Voters deserve a choice at the ballot box, and I plan on winning their support with a platform of strong Democratic values.”

But court documents obtained by The Herald show that Zachary, at age 34, pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct in 2004. He was indicted by a Dougherty County Grand Jury in May 2004 on a charge of terroristic threats in connection to an incident in which he was accused of throwing eggs at a car, acting “in disregard of the risk of causing such terror and inconvenience” in the incident that involved a woman and two small children, ages 4 and 6. The charge was reduced to disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.

Amber Patterson will take the bench as a Judge in Cobb County Juvenile Court.

For the past five years, Patterson has represented children as a guardian ad litem attorney — for custody cases — in the Cobb Juvenile Court. She also has experience in the Cobb County Family Dependency Court.

Cobb Superior Court Chief Judge Stephen Schuster said Patterson’s experience in those courts gives her the necessary practical experience and knowledge for the position.

“Her background, combined with her passion for children, will make her an exemplary juvenile court judge,” Schuster said.

File this under Obamacare: Blue Cross Blue Shield may raise rates on Georgia consumers.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia says it is reassessing the premium increases it has previously proposed for the state health insurance exchange, with an eye to revising them upward.

This comes in the wake of Aetna’s pullout from the exchange here.

Blue Cross, the state’s largest health insurer, reiterated its stance that it will remain in Georgia’s exchange next year. But it won’t have much time to readjust its rate proposal.

Blue Cross’ proposed increases currently average from 9.1 percent to 14.8 percent.

Blue Cross is the only statewide insurer in the exchange, and figures to pick up many of the estimated 70,000 to 90,000 Georgia Aetna members who will have to choose new plans during the fall open enrollment. Aetna had exchange health plans across almost all of the state.

The Aetna pullout from Georgia and 10 other exchanges, announced this week, has rattled supporters of the Affordable Care Act. That comes after UnitedHealthcare’s exit here and elsewhere.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2016/08/23/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-23-2016/feed/ 0
Adoptable Georgia Dogs for August 22, 2016 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/22/adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-august-22-2016-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-august-22-2016-2 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/22/adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-august-22-2016-2/#comments Mon, 22 Aug 2016 09:49:08 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=55996 GaPundit:

All month long, you can adopt any dog over 25 pounds or any cat from Lifeline Animal Project’s DeKalb County or Fulton County shelters. Savannah Puprie is a 4-year old female Terrier mix who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services. She is practicing her happy wiggle for when she meets her new

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

All month long, you can adopt any dog over 25 pounds or any cat from Lifeline Animal Project’s DeKalb County or Fulton County shelters.

Tail End Summer

Savannah Puprie

Savannah Puprie is a 4-year old female Terrier mix who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services. She is practicing her happy wiggle for when she meets her new family. This cutie is short, squatty, and full of love and affection for everyone she meets. Her adoption includes her spay, microchip, vaccinations, and more! Come meet her at LifeLine’s DeKalb Animal Services or email adoption@dekalbanimalservices.com for more information.

Copa

Copa is a two-year old male Terrier mix who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

The second Copa meets you he turns into a wiggly ball of mush. This sensitive guy came to us after being seized from a cruelty situation, but it is all up from here. He can’t wait to find his forever home. He loves all people and greets everyone he meets with a whole body wag and kisses. His adoption fee has been waived. His adoption includes his neuter, vaccinations, microchip, and more! Meet Copa at LifeLine’s DeKalb Animal Services!
Scooby
Scooby is a 4-year old, 60-pound male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Fulton County Animal Services. Scooby is one smart boy. He appears to be housebroken and knows some basic commands. His favorite activity is receiving belly rubs. He loves attention and wants to be right beside you.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2016/08/22/adoptable-georgia-dogs-for-august-22-2016-2/feed/ 0
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 22, 2016 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/22/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-22-2016/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-22-2016 http://gapundit.com/2016/08/22/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-22-2016/#comments Mon, 22 Aug 2016 09:34:34 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=55997 GaPundit:

The sale of Coca-Cola Company from the Candlers was announced in the Atlanta Constitution on August 22, 1919. N/S Savannah, the first nuclear-powered merchant ship, visited the Port of Savannah on August 22, 1962. Savannah was named after S.S. Savannah, the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. N/S Savannah is moored at the Port

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
GaPundit:

The sale of Coca-Cola Company from the Candlers was announced in the Atlanta Constitution on August 22, 1919.

N/S Savannah, the first nuclear-powered merchant ship, visited the Port of Savannah on August 22, 1962. Savannah was named after S.S. Savannah, the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. N/S Savannah is moored at the Port of Baltimore and designated a national historic landmark.

More than 3000 demonstrators disrupted the Democratic National Convention on August 22, 1968.

In 1972, it was the Republicans’ turn, as demonstrators struck outside the Republican National Convention.

Nolan Ryan recorded his 5000th career strikeout against Rickey Henderson of the Oakland A’s on August 22, 1989.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Over the weekend, the Associated Press wrote that the Presidential race may have an impact on Senator Johnny Isakson’s reelection.

Recent polls show Trump and Hillary Clinton locked in a tight race as the Democrat opens a campaign office in the state and invests in a field organization. Isakson holds a single-digit lead over first-time candidate Jim Barksdale, a wealthy investment manager whose opposition to trade deals and calls for a higher minimum wage has attracted backers of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate.

The race could go into overtime with Isakson, Barksdale and libertarian Allen Buckley. Georgia law requires the top vote-getter to win more than 50 percent of the vote in November. If no one reaches that threshold, Barksdale and Isakson likely will wind up in a nine-week runoff.

Here’s my favorite line from the AP story:

“[Barksdale's] pretty much the main reason I’m going to vote this November,” said Scott Brown, a 31-year-old Sanders delegate from Duluth. “At this point, I’m trying not to pay attention at all to the presidential election. I’m hoping to work for a new Congress and get ‘Bernie-crats’ like Jim Barksdale elected.”

Indeed, Barksdale was sounding like a dime-store Bernie Sanders when he spoke to the Floyd County GOP.

The Democrat said he has a good shot at defeating GOP incumbent Johnny Isakson in November elections, stating in an interview at a Floyd County Democratic Party meet-and-greet at the Kelsey-Aycock-Burrell Center Saturday that he hopes to close the wealth gap.

“I’ve been very saddened by the policies of the country,” Barksdale said. “Somebody had to do something.”

People are making less money, he said, which hinders economic growth because they can’t spend or borrow money.

A recent poll shows about one-third of prospective voters are considering pulling the lever (or clicking the box) for a third party candidate presidential candidate, but few are actually deciding on a third party.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 35 percent of respondents are considering voting for a third-party candidate.

The Libertarian Party nominee, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, is polling at 8 percent, and the Green Party’s nominee, Dr. Jill Stein, is sitting at 4 percent. So they aren’t exactly threatening the mainstream nominees.

On Sunday, Tony Goldwyn, a star of the TV show “Scandal” helped open Hillary Clinton’s Georgia headquarters.

More than 300 people braved heat and intermittent sprinkles on Sunday to help christen Hillary Clinton’s new Georgia headquarters in Atlanta’s Castleberry Hill neighborhood.

This being a campaign office opening, Goldwyn was sure to urge those on the lawn of the office/house to volunteer their time.

“It’s the only way we can turn Georgia blue,” he said.

Because Hillary Clinton needs more headlines containing the word “Scandal.”

An unnamed write for the AJC offered more on the US Senate race.

On Nov. 9, the Libertarian could be responsible for pushing Georgia’s race for U.S. Senate into the state’s first nine-week, general election runoff, forcing two candidates to campaign through Thanksgiving, the SEC football championship, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Day, and the 2017 Golden Globe Awards.

The prospect cuts to the very root of Georgia’s love-hate relationship with the insurrections promised by third-party candidates.

“The strength of Jim Barksdale’s outsider message is resonating with Georgians and we will be well positioned to win on Nov. 8 or Jan. 10 in the event of a runoff,” insisted Barksdale campaign manager Dave Hoffman.

From Isakson himself: “We just keep moving the ball down the field every day, and elections have a way of rewarding the best team with the most votes.”

Jill Nolin writes in the Moultrie Observer about the effect that uncommitted voters could have in November.

“It’s like you’re danged if you do and you’re danged if you don’t,” said Sutton, of Chatsworth, who voted for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the state’s Republican primary in March.

The most recent poll shows about 3 percent of Georgia voters were still undecided as of Wednesday. A poll released earlier this month put that number at 10 percent.

Of those who said they were not voting for Trump, 17 percent said they might give the real estate developer a hearing, according to a recent CBS News poll. Fewer people, about 12 percent, said the same of Clinton.

These uncommitted voters could lead to a competitive race in a state that is typically red.

“They’re different this year, and not just in Georgia,” said Charles S. Bullock III, a political science professor at the University of Georgia.

Bullock said many are “just are not willing at this time to admit that they would vote for Trump.”

U.S. Senators Isakson and Perdue criticized the Obama Administration’s decision to pay $400 million in cash to Iran in exchange for prisoners.

The State Department revealed this past week that it held up a $400 million payment to Iran until after the prisoners were released. However, Secretary of State John Kerry explained the delay during a press briefing on Thursday as an effort to “retain maximum leverage,” according to a transcript of the briefing.

“Today’s admission by the State Department confirms what I’ve said all along: The Obama administration will stop at nothing to defend its failed foreign policy agenda, going so far as to hide from the American people its dangerous dealings with Iran,” Isakson said in a statement on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Perdue said it went against longstanding national policy to not pay ransoms.

“Paying $400 million in hard cash only incentivizes Iran to take more hostages,” he said in a statement. “I am outraged that we cannot rely on our own President to tell us the truth. This is another example in a long line of efforts by the Obama Administration to mislead the American people. What else are they hiding?”

Georgia Republican Party Chairman John Padgett spoke to the Troup County Republican Party, according to the LaGrange News.

During the county party’s regularly scheduled meeting at Hollis Hand Elementary School, state GOP chairman John Padgett was optimistic about Trump’s chances to take Georgia’s 14 Electoral College votes in the Nov. 8 general election.

Padgett was unfazed. He said he was “not concerned” about the current polls, and confident Trump would win Georgia. As for Republicans who have defected from the party and declined to endorse Trump, he was similarly not bothered.

“I’m not concerned,” he said of those Republicans who have not endorsed the party’s candidate. “They’re either going to get on board or they’re not. I’ll tell you this, I wouldn’t want to be one of those national Republicans who didn’t get on board, and then he wins.”

Padgett also said the Trump campaign will likely lean heavily on Georgia’s local Republican parties for support and get-out-the-vote efforts. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party of Georgia is opening seven field offices across the state, and the Clinton campaign has said it will pour a six-figure amount of money into the state, according to Michael Smith, a spokesman for the state Democratic party. Padgett was dismissive of Democrats’ efforts.

“Last time, we had about 21 offices scattered around the state,” Padgett said. “This year, we’re going to use your offices. We’re going to come in, and in some parts of the state share with you, and it’s going to be Trump-Troup County GOP. We’re in the process of working all that out and talking to chairmen around the state. We are going to be Trump’s ground folks.”

“Am I concerned about Georgia being a purple state? No, no I’m not,” he said. “You have to understand about what the Democrats are saying. They’re saying the Clinton campaign is going to put six figures in Georgia. Is that $100,000 or $900,000? My guess is it’s closer to $100,000, and that’s nothing.”

The Atlantic Judicial Circuit, comprising Bryan, Evans, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, and Tattnall Counties, has launched a new Veterans Treatment Court to help veterans charged with crimes.

The new Veterans Treatment Court is a collaborative effort between a judge, court administrators, public defenders, prosecutors, law enforcement, rehabilitation specialists and veteran advocates. It’s an “accountability court” in the vein of drug or DUI court, meaning that people who find themselves in the program are offered a chance for rehabilitation without a prison sentence.

Robert Russell, the chief judge of Superior Court in the circuit, says he’s seen veterans in his courtrooms for years. Chatham County has had a veterans court since 2011, and Russell said he felt like it was about time the Atlantic Judicial Circuit got on board. Liberty County, especially, is home to active-duty soldiers at Fort Stewart – many of whom may transition out of the service in this area.

“All of us have been in the legal field for many years and we’ve seen the sacrifices the soldiers have made as they come through our court system, both in the criminal area and the domestic relations area,” Russell said. “Some of these soldiers have been deployed up to five times, in Iraq, Afghanistan and now (Islamic State) conflicts. It seemed a good thing to do to try to offer our veterans an alternative in light of the unique experiences they’ve gone through being deployed.”

The ball got formally rolling with $94,000 in grant funding from the state and the Council of Accountability Court Judges.

Currently, four people are going through Veterans Treatment Court since it held its first session in July. They must adhere to a strict treatment program for two years in order to stay out of prison. It requires sobriety. Primarily, the court is aiming for veterans charged with misdemeanors and felonies that may have been committed as a result of combat-related disorders or injuries and substance abuse.

“By coming into the program a lot of them are incarcerated, so if they are accepted, they are released from jail, which saves taxpayers money, they come into the program and start receiving intense treatment,” Horne said. “… They are held accountable for everything.”

Meanwhile, the Cobb County Veterans Treatment Court graduated seven members of their most recent class.

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, the ceremony’s keynote speaker, said the program was designed to address the veterans’ roadblocks to success, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse.

“Programs like this are essential to our state,” Olens said. “We wouldn’t have these courts if they weren’t effective.”

Cobb Superior Court Judge Reuben Green, who runs the Veterans Treatment Court said, described the necessity of the program.

“There are 774,464 veterans in the state of Georgia and nearly 50,000 veterans residing in Cobb County. According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, 22 veterans a day commit suicide nationwide,” Green said.

“Veterans choose to be in this program,” Green said. “In order to become a candidate, a veteran must be charged with a non-deadly crime and must have a condition requiring treatment such as post-traumatic stress disorder or alcoholism.”

The goal of the program, Green said, “is to increase public safety by reducing recidivism. We want to return our veterans as taxpayers with jobs and as productive citizens.”

District Attorney Meg Heap and an assistant will present evidence to a Chatham County Grand Jury regarding allegations against Savannah Aldeman Tony Thomas.

“The grand jury called for a civil investigation,” Heap said Friday. “We complied with the request and are now presenting the results of the investigation to the grand jury.”

Heap has selected the civil inquiry she has used in at least two previous cases to ensure transparency.

After hearing the prosecutors’ presentations, the grand jury will be able to either instruct Heap to proceed before another grand jury on criminal charges or determine that there is insufficient evidence to merit her pursing the case.

The GBI launched an investigation of the alderman on Feb. 29 after individuals claimed in a series of online videos that they were sexually abused by Thomas when they were in their teens.

Thomas has denied the allegations.

Curtis Foltz leaves the Georgia Ports Authority with a generous compensation package, according to the AJC.

Curtis Foltz recently retired as executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority and walked away with $2 million in salary, bonuses, pension and other fees, according to documents obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Foltz will receive an additional $1.1 million this year in consultant fees and pension payments from the authority that runs the state-owned ports. And the 56-year-old shipping and logistics expert will benefit from $630,000 in pension payments each year for the rest of his life.

“When you talk about (Foltz’s compensation) numbers, you say, ‘Gosh, that is a big number.’ There’s no doubt about that,” said Jimmy Allgood, the chairman of the GPA board. But he called it “fair compensation.”

“Honestly,” Allgood said, “I don’t know that there’s a better terminal operator in the world.”

[GPA Board Members Bob] Jepson and Allgood say Foltz’s compensation package is in line with the salary, pension and bonuses given other port directors. The port directors in South Carolina and Virginia earned $420,000 and $450,000, respectively, in 2014, for example. The GPA routinely hires an employee benefits firm to compare salaries and benefits offered by ports across the country. Its findings persuaded the GPA board to boost Foltz’s overall compensation package, Jepson said.

The Judicial Nominating Commission has submitted a short list to fill a vacancy on Superior Court for the Rome Circuit.

Martha P. Jacobs – Chief Assistant District Attorney, Rome Judicial Circuit
William F. “Billy” Sparks – sole practitioner, William F. Sparks, Attorney At Law
Mark M. J. Webb – partner, Brinson, Askew, Berry, Seigler, Richardson & Davis LLP

Rare bog turtles have been located at Georgia DNR’s Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa near Young Harris.

“This is a wonderful discovery and not surprising given that Brasstown was designed by Georgia’s DNR as the environmental model of how to design a facility that protects, preserves and co-exists with the environment,” Brasstown Valley General Manager Charles Burton said in a statement.

State officials said staff have documented nine bog turtles at the resort, which is privately run by Coral Hospitality on the state’s behalf. The location of the turtles is not being released because state environmental officials want to protect them.

“The more populations we know of, the better we can conserve the species and manage sites,” said Thomas Floyd, a wildlife biologist with DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section who began documenting the turtles presence two summers ago, in a statement.

The state is working to tag bog turtles in an effort to monitor the species population and gain a better understanding of how the turtles live and where they go.

What is known is that the turtles live in deep mud, but Georgia wildlife officials said Brasstown Valley isn’t an area that fits the known bill for a typical bog turtle habitat. In fact, it’s the only property run by DNR where the small turtle species is known to exist.

Online Education Policy

Maureen Downey of the AJC writes that online education may not serve all students well.

As a recent The Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation found and studies suggest, students in computer-based virtual schools don’t perform as well as peers in traditional classrooms. Georgia Cyber Academy — the largest online program enrolling 14,200 of the 20,000 full-time students in statewide virtual schools — earned a D on the state’s report card.

After evaluating Georgia Cyber Academy for the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, Georgia State University researcher Tim Sass said, “They seem to be performing poorly relative to kids who look like their students. The school is educating a lot of kids in Georgia. A lot of resources have gone into a program that, at least on the surface, doesn’t seem to be performing very well.”

The online industry rightfully counters that research thus far hasn’t been able to fairly compare the outcomes/grades of virtual students with those who applied to virtual schools but were turned down. (With unlimited capacity, online schools don’t turn down many kids.) Those comparative results would tell us whether the poor performance owes to deficits in the students or the schools.

Jay Greene, the head of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, sees online schools as serving a niche group, saying, “I am skeptical of the claim that virtual education will transform education because I think most people benefit from in-person interactions and social connections to motivate us to learn more. I am perfectly willing to believe that some students benefit from virtual education even if the average student does not.”

But it’s too early, said Greene, to declare that online learning in Georgia is good or bad. His sensible advice: “Be careful about it. Commission a rigorous study by setting an enrollment cap. If the evidence is encouraging, lift the cap.”

Monica Henson, superintendent and CEO of Graduation Achievement Charter High School, picks up her red pen to write a different perspective on online education.

Recent studies have publicized the issue of lack of student investment in online education and resulting lack of engagement, particularly in virtual charter schools. The simple fact is many students who start an online school don’t persevere and don’t log into classes regularly, leading some to conclude that “online education doesn’t work.” That’s a short-sighted way to view the situation, and it’s not true for all students.

No single instructional method works for all students, and online learning is no different. Virtual education brings substantial challenges not faced in the brick-and-mortar environment, both for students and those who would educate them. In the world of high school, which is the world I inhabit, it also attracts a substantial percentage, sometimes a majority, of the most challenging students. Graduation Achievement Charter High School is a blended-learning institution, and about 80 percent of our student population exhibit factors putting them at high risk of failure and dropping out of school, with about a third of them coming to us already having dropped out at least once.

In any given year, there are as many as 60,000 Georgians ages 16-24 not enrolled in school or working. What do we do with these students who are the hardest to educate, may have made poor personal choices, may, through no fault of their own, be forced to become caregivers to family members and have to go to work to support their families, and face other difficult situations?

A second critical policy question is whether families who have selected online public schooling for their children ought to be denied that choice. More than 15,000 children have been enrolled in Georgia online public charter schools following a statewide referendum indicating that a clear majority of voters favor this option. If virtual education is removed from the state’s charter authorization portfolio, these families will have lost an option in which they’ve invested years of their children’s lives.

The simple truth is this: Families select schools for their children for reasons that in many, many cases have nothing to do with the school’s performance rating. They want a particular school for a specific reason, and it all centers around their own child’s needs and experiences. This is called “choice for the sake of choice.” Its time has come in Georgia.

The Dalton Board of Education will hold its property tax millage rate at the same level as last year, causing higher property taxes for some owners.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

]]>
http://gapundit.com/2016/08/22/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-august-22-2016/feed/ 0