GaPundit http://gapundit.com Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections Thu, 05 Mar 2015 11:48:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.3 Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 5, 2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/03/05/georgia-politics-campaigns-elections-march-5-2015/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=georgia-politics-campaigns-elections-march-5-2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/03/05/georgia-politics-campaigns-elections-march-5-2015/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 11:48:26 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=49075 GaPundit:

On March 5, 1735, James Oglethorpe presented a budget to the trustees of Georgia and proposed seeking an appropriation from Parliament, thus beginning the addiction of the Georgia government to Other People’s Money. On March 5, 1869, the United States Congress refused to seat Georgia’s elected members of the House and Senate. On March 5,

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GaPundit:

On March 5, 1735, James Oglethorpe presented a budget to the trustees of Georgia and proposed seeking an appropriation from Parliament, thus beginning the addiction of the Georgia government to Other People’s Money.

On March 5, 1869, the United States Congress refused to seat Georgia’s elected members of the House and Senate.

On March 5, 1977, President Jimmy Carter held the first “Dial-A-President” radio broadcast in which he fielded questions from radio listeners.

Ron Daniel brings you more on the Presidential Q&A from 1977.

Regardless of Carter’s policy positions and his answers to questions, “Ask President Carter” was a truly historic broadcast. Never before had the President been accessible via telephone on a live radio broadcast. And the questions presented to the President weren’t confined to one or two issues that he had been prepared to handle. One can argue that the American people were also fascinated with the concept of calling and speaking directly to Carter; nine million people called into the broadcast trying to reach him.

The President seemed to enjoy the broadcast as well, remarking: “[t]he questions that come in from people all over the country are the kind that you would never get in a press conference. The news people would never raise them, like the Ottawa Indian question. And I think it’s very good for me to understand directly from the American people what they are concerned about and questions that have never been asked of me and reported through the news media.”

Under the Gold Dome Today

8:00am – 9:00am House Env’tal Quality Sub Nat’l Resources – 606 clob
8:00am – 9:30am House Regulated Industries Committee – 506 clob
9:00am – 10:00am House Rules Committee – 341 cap
12:00pm – 1:00pm Senate Rules Committee Upon Adjournment – 450 cap
12:00pm – 2:00pm House Reapportionment Committee – 506 clob
1:00pm – 1:30pm House State Planning & Community Affairs – 403 cap
1:00pm – 2:00pm Senate Health & Human Services Committee – 450 cap
1:00pm – 2:00pm House Industry & Labor Committee – 606 clob
1:00pm – 2:00pm Senate Interstate Cooperation Committee – 123 cap
1:00pm – 2:00pm Senate Science & Technology Committee – 310 clob
1:30pm – 3:30pm House Intragovernmental Coordination Committee – 403 cap
2:00pm – 3:00pm House State Gov’t Admin Sub of Gov’tal Affairs – 606 clob
2:00pm – 3:00pm Senate Finance Committee – mezz1
2:00pm – 4:00pm House Transportation Committee – 506 clob
2:00pm – 4:00pm House Judiciary Civil Committee – 132 cap
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Natural Resources & Environment – 450 cap
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Veterans, Military, & Homeland Sec – 125 cap
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Higher Education Committee – 310 clob
3:00pm – 5:00pm House Ways & Means Committee – 606 clob
3:30pm – 4:30pm House Fleming Sub of Judiciary Civil – 403 cap
4:00pm – 4:30pm House Jacobs Sub of Judiciary Civil – 132 CAP (or Upon Adjournment of Full Judiciary Civil)
4:00pm – 5:00pm Senate Regulated Industries Committee – 310 clob
4:00pm – 5:00pm Senate Judiciary Committee – 307 clob

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Lawmaker proposes “adoptable dogs” as official state dog | www.wsbradio.com http://gapundit.com/2015/03/04/lawmaker-proposes-adoptable-dogs-as-official-state-dog-www-wsbradio-com/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lawmaker-proposes-adoptable-dogs-as-official-state-dog-www-wsbradio-com http://gapundit.com/2015/03/04/lawmaker-proposes-adoptable-dogs-as-official-state-dog-www-wsbradio-com/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 21:58:40 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=49073 GaPundit:

A state lawmaker has introduced a bill to make the official dog of Georgia the “adoptable dog”. Rep. Joe Wilkinson (R-Sandy Springs) built up suspense this week at the State Capitol as people tried to guess which breed he would propose to represent the state. On Monday, he held a press conference with members of

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GaPundit:

A state lawmaker has introduced a bill to make the official dog of Georgia the “adoptable dog”.

Rep. Joe Wilkinson (R-Sandy Springs) built up suspense this week at the State Capitol as people tried to guess which breed he would propose to represent the state.

On Monday, he held a press conference with members of the Atlanta Human Society and other animal groups to bring attention to the plight of homeless dogs. Several furry friends were also in tow.

“Our goal is to bring attention to the fact that these animals are available for adoption; they should be adopted and if you can’t adopt, you can contribute,” says Wilkinson.

via Lawmaker proposes “adoptable dogs” as official state dog | www.wsbradio.com.

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Georgia lawmaker: Make all homeless dogs state’s official pooch | www.ajc.com http://gapundit.com/2015/03/04/georgia-lawmaker-make-all-homeless-dogs-states-official-pooch-www-ajc-com/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=georgia-lawmaker-make-all-homeless-dogs-states-official-pooch-www-ajc-com http://gapundit.com/2015/03/04/georgia-lawmaker-make-all-homeless-dogs-states-official-pooch-www-ajc-com/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 21:02:08 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=49071 GaPundit:

With so many good ones to choose from, why name just one as Georgia’s official state dog? All “adoptable dogs,” or those held in animal shelters, would get that title if state Rep. Joe Wilkinson of Atlanta has his way. He plans to introduce legislation Thursday to make that so, hoping to encourage more people

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GaPundit:

With so many good ones to choose from, why name just one as Georgia’s official state dog?

All “adoptable dogs,” or those held in animal shelters, would get that title if state Rep. Joe Wilkinson of Atlanta has his way. He plans to introduce legislation Thursday to make that so, hoping to encourage more people to adopt homeless dogs.

Wilkinson said he isn’t predicting “ruff” sledding for his measure, even though fellow University of Georgia alums in the Legislature may prefer making the bulldog the official state pooch. Wilkinson may have insulated himself from such dog fights by bringing English bulldogs Zeus and Meaty to his news conference Wednesday at the state Capitol. Slobbering and grunting, the two flanked Wilkinson as he outlined how every type of homeless dog would have his day in Georgia.

via Georgia lawmaker: Make all homeless dogs state’s official pooch | www.ajc.com.

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Adoptable Georgia Dogs for March 4, 2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/03/04/adoptable-georgia-dogs-march-4-2015/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=adoptable-georgia-dogs-march-4-2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/03/04/adoptable-georgia-dogs-march-4-2015/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 11:09:01 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=49056 GaPundit:

Buddy is an adult male Treeing Walker Coonhound who is available for adoption from Friends of Screven County Animals in Sylvania, GA. Sunshine is a small adult female Labrador Retriever mix who enjoys walking on a leash, is friendly, and is available for adoption from Friends of Screven County Animals in Sylvania, GA. Houdini is

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GaPundit:

Buddy

Buddy is an adult male Treeing Walker Coonhound who is available for adoption from Friends of Screven County Animals in Sylvania, GA.

Sunshine

Sunshine is a small adult female Labrador Retriever mix who enjoys walking on a leash, is friendly, and is available for adoption from Friends of Screven County Animals in Sylvania, GA.
Houdini

Houdini is a young male Vizsla or Lab mix who was found with his brother and sister at a dump and had been living in the woods.  Houdini is available for adoption from Friends of Screven County Animals in Sylvania, GA.

If you’re at the Georgia State Capitol today at 1 PM and like dogs, please come visit us in Room 403.

Jim Galloway of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggests this morning that the Hound dog might be a strong contender for Official State Dog of Georgia. Jim’s as tenacious as a Hound with a Gray Fox (or the neighbor’s cat) treed, and he may be on to something here. Perhaps State Rep. Joe Wilkinson (R-Sandy Springs) will let something slip this morning during Morning Orders on the floor of the State House. Say, maybe at around 10:30 or 10:40 AM.

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 4, 2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/03/04/georgia-politics-campaigns-elections-march-4-2015/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=georgia-politics-campaigns-elections-march-4-2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/03/04/georgia-politics-campaigns-elections-march-4-2015/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 10:53:48 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=49053 GaPundit:

On March 4, 1762, legislation was passed by the Georgia General Assembly requiring church attendance on Sundays. On March 3, 1779, British troops met Continental militia from North Carolina and a combination of Georgia militia and Continentals under Samuel Elbert in Screven County, Georgia at the Battle of Brier Creek. In 2013, key geographic features

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GaPundit:

On March 4, 1762, legislation was passed by the Georgia General Assembly requiring church attendance on Sundays.

On March 3, 1779, British troops met Continental militia from North Carolina and a combination of Georgia militia and Continentals under Samuel Elbert in Screven County, Georgia at the Battle of Brier Creek. In 2013, key geographic features were identified to better determine the exact location of the battle and some period military artifacts were found. Currently, a group of descendants of Brier Creek soldiers is actively trying to persuade the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Board to conserve the area in which the Battle of Brier Creek took place. If you’re interested in Georgia’s revolutionary history, the Descendants of Brier Creek page on Facebook is a treasure trove.

The rout of Americans by the British at Brier Creek was a considerable setback that changed the momentum in the Brits’ favor and gave them control over Georgia, which they would retain for three years.

On March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as President of the United States.

In his inaugural address, Lincoln promised not to interfere with the institution of slavery where it existed, and pledged to suspend the activities of the federal government temporarily in areas of hostility. However, he also took a firm stance against secession and the seizure of federal property. The government, insisted Lincoln, would “hold, occupy, and possess” its property and collect its taxes. He closed his remarks with an eloquent reminder of the nation’s common heritage:

“In your hand, my fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect, and defend it… We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

Also on March 4, 1861, the Confederate Congress adopted a first national flag.

Confederate 1st National Flag 1

This flag is depicted with varying numbers of stars – originally adopted with seven stars, by December 1861, a version with thirteen stars was flying.

Confederate 1st National Flag 2

Below is the current Georgia flag.

Georgia Current State Flag

Under the Gold Dome

7:30am – 8:30am House Appropriations Committee – 341 CAP
8:00am – 9:00am House Insurance Committee – 606 clob
8:00am – 9:00am House Env’tal Quality Sub Nat’l Resources – 415 clob
8:00am – 9:00am House Governmental Affairs Commmittee – 406 clob
8:30am – 9:00am House Economic Development & Tourism – 506 clob
9:00am – 10:00am House Rules Committee – 341 cap
12:00pm – 1:00pm Senate Rules Committee Upon Adjournment – 450 cap
1:00pm – 2:00pm House Tags & Title Sub Motor Vehicles – 406 clob
1:00pm – 2:00pm Senate Insurance & Labor Committee – 125 cap
1:00pm – 2:00pm Senate Education & Youth Committee – 307 clob
1:00pm – 2:00pm Senate Public Safety Committee – 310 clob
1:00pm – 2:00pm House Interstate Cooperation Committee – 415 clob
1:30pm – 3:30pm House Judiciary Non Civil Committee – 132 cap
2:00pm – 3:00pm House Retirement Committee – 515 clob
2:00pm – 3:00pm Senate HHS Healthcare Delivery Sub – 328 clob
2:00pm – 3:00pm Senate Finance Committee – mezz 1
2:00pm – 3:00pm House Academic Innovations Sub of Education – 606 clob
2:00pm – 3:00pm House Budget & Fiscal oversight Committee – 506 clob
2:00pm – 3:00pm House State Properties Committee – 403 cap
2:00pm – 3:00pm House Code Revision Committee – 415 cap
2:30pm – 3:30pm Senate Heath & Hunan Services Pharmacology – 123 cap
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate State Institutions & Property – 125 cap
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Judiciary Non Civil Committee – 307 clob
3:00pm – 4:00pm House Banks & Banking Committee – 341 cap
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Transportation Committee – 450 cap
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Agriculture & Consumer Affairs – 310 clob
3:00pm – 5:00pm House Fleming Sub of Judiciary Civil – 403 cap
3:00pm – 5:00pm House Transportation Committee – 406 clob
3:00pm – 5:00pm House Juvenile Justice Committee – 415 clob
3:00pm – 5:00pm House Education Committee – 606 clob
3:00pm – 5:00pm House Health & Human Services Committee – 506 clob
4:00pm – 5:00pm Senate Regulated Industries & Utilities – 310 clob
4:00pm – 5:00pm House Human Relations & Aging Committee – 515 clob
4:00pm – 5:00pm Senate State & Local Gov’t Operations – mezz 1

 

Senate Rules Calendar for March 4, 2014, Legislative Day 26

SB 131 – Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities; provide for certification; policies and procedures (H&HS-30th)

HB 292 – Revenue and taxation; Internal Revenue Code; define terms; incorporate certain provisions of federal law into Georgia law (Substitute) (FIN-32nd) Knight-130th

SB 112 – Wildlife; general hunting provisions; prohibit the removal, transportation; game animal or game bird carcasses (NR&E-7th)

SB 114 – Advanced Practice Registered Nurses; number of advanced practice registered nurses a delegating physician enter a protocol agreement; provisions (H&HS-52nd)

SB 119 – “Water Professionals Appreciation Day”; designate the first Monday in May of each year in Georgia (NR&E-17th)

SB 135 – Clerks of Superior Courts; provide for protection and disclosure of records held; procedure for disclosure (JUDY-54th)

Legislative Action

The House yesterday passed House Bill 71 by State Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville) to require more disclosure from the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Before the vote, Rep. Kevin Tanner, R-Dawsonville, urged House members to support his bill.

“Send a message that the days of operating behind closed doors and behind a veil of secrecy is over in Georgia,” said Tanner.

Under the bill, the board would have to publish how its members vote and an explanation of any rulings. It also would require the board notify victims and their families prior to restoring any rights to offenders.

The House also passed House Bill 190 by State Rep. Rich Golick (R-Smyrna), which creates explicit insurance requirements for ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

The first of a slew of bills that would regulate popular car hailing services such as Uber has passed the Georgia House, and several more are under discussion.

Officials of the high-tech car service, which requires apps to be used both by drivers and passengers, say they aren’t happy with the measure.

Rep. Rick Golick says his bill that passed Tuesday “provides for reasonable insurance coverage requirements from the time the driver’s ‘app’ is on through the time that the passenger is dropped off.”

Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett says Golick’s bill and others “would create a very difficult landscape for us to operate in Georgia” because of insurance requirements.

The Senate passed Senate Bill 89 by Sen. John Albers (R-Alpharetta), which would encourage local boards of education to purchase digital class materials, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Senate Bill 89 is not a mandate, although its sponsor, state Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, originally wrote it that way. Instead, the bill now says local school boards over the next five years “are strongly encouraged” to purchase digital instructional materials and provide students with laptops, tablets or other wireless devices to read it on. It also encourages the state school board to help pay for that effort, although makes no guarantee of funding.

That led some Democrats to point out the effect of state budget cuts on local systems, as well as the struggle of some parts of the state to emerge from the recession.

I would also note that digital materials may help some students who have issues like visual impairment, not to mention lessening the load of those backpacks.

Former State Senate Majority Leader Charles Walker (D-Federal Prison Augusta) might think he still has a political future, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Walker said, he wants to contribute to the community in a positive way. He does not, however, plan to run for public office “at this time.” But if he ever did it wouldn’t be for a local or state office, he said.

“I don’t know what the future holds politically, but I know one thing for sure, I’m not interested in being on the county commission or being the mayor,” he said. “I’m not interested in going back to Atlanta. So the only thing I would ever look at would be something congressionally, which I could do now if I wanted to. I don’t have to be pardoned.”

In the meantime, he said he thinks he can have an impact working behind the scenes.

“I can be a counselor,” he said. “I can confer with elected officials and community organizations. I can be sort of a point of reference. I can help the younger guys find their way in the political life. I have a little advice for them.”

We believe in repentance and redemption and sincerely wish the best to Mr. Walker, though, with all politicians who spend time behind bars, we think they should show evidence of their change of heart before running for office again.

DeKalb County

Dick Williams writes in The Dunwoody Crier about how Nancy Jester is moving the ball down the field as the lone Republican on the DeKalb County Commission.

DeKalb Commissioner Nancy Jester of Dunwoody got her way and more Monday when the county’s interim chief executive, Lee May, announced he would remove the entire board of the DeKalb Development Authority.

Jester had called Friday for the removal of Vaughn Irons, the board chair, after it was reported that Irons had received $1.5 million in country contracts to re-hab homes. WSB-TV first reported the story and the peculiar ethics commission statement allowing it. The then-chair of the ethics commission suggested his signature had been forged.

Irons is also the developer of a proposed casino-style development in south DeKalb that first received commission approval but since has been rescinded.

After demanding that Irons resign, Jester asked for a further review by the commission of all current and outstanding financial transactions by the development authority.

“Additionally,” she said, “I call on the CEO and the Board of Commissioners to explore all legal options to invalidate any and all contracts related to the reported $1.5 million taxpayer dollars related to any and all possibly forged county documents up to and including suing any company, entity, or individual to recoup these taxpayer dollars.”

She also asked for an FBI investigation.

Dan Whisenhunt at Decaturish.com writes to ask whether all the corruption in DeKalb County strengthens the arguments for new cities.

Decaturish.com asked the cityhood groups whether the latest news strengthens their case as legislators prepare to consider their bills.

[Allen Venet, with LaVista Hills Yes] avoided passing judgment on Irons at this point, but said DeKalb’s dysfunction does make the cityhood argument more compelling.

“Because I believe that Vaughn has denied any wrongdoing, and has not been charged with a crime, it is not appropriate for us to focus on this particular matter,” he said. “But, we absolutely believe that the seemingly unending series of scandals, charges, trials, guilty pleas and convictions involving DeKalb County government officials bolsters the case for cityhood. Cities are not perfect, and no government can be totally free of wrong doing, but city governments are more accountable and more manageable. On the first day of its existence, the City of LaVista Hills will have in place the auditing and ethics provisions which DeKalb County government has spent years debating without implementing – because too many county officials want to protect the status quo.”

DeKalb Strong, a group opposed to the current cityhood process – which Venet himself has described as a “hot mess” – argues that new government doesn’t automatically mean better government. The group says that the creation of Dunwoody in 2008, and Brookhaven in 2012, hasn’t changed DeKalb’s trajectory.

“DeKalb County is in dire need of reform, which is one of DeKalb’s Strong’s major causes,” DeKalb Strong President Marjorie Snook said. “Unfortunately, cityhood in DeKalb has failed to provide any positive change. In the years since cities began forming, corruption has gotten worse, not better. Fixing county problems requires all of us to come together as a community, not to fragment. Creating new cities does little about corruption, it just adds more seats to the trough.”

Decaturish also puts the tally of cityhood movements in DeKalb at four with a possible fifth new city we’d never heard of.

The DeKalb Champion has confirmed that someone has purchased a legal ad this week advertising a bill for a proposed City of Winship. The bill’s sponsor is unknown. No map is available.

The new cities currently under consideration are Tucker, LaVista Hills, Greenhaven and Stonecrest. A city of Winship could be a wildcard that adds further confusion to an already muddled process. In addition to those cities, there are also annexation plans under consideration for Decatur, Avondale Estates and the city of Atlanta.

Bill to allow creation of cities of LaVista Hills, Tucker, and South Fulton were passed out of the yesterday.

Both the Tucker and LaVista Hills bills, House Bill 515 and House Bill 520, were introduced Monday and appear to be moving rapidly toward a full House vote before getting consideration by the Senate.

The South Fulton measure, House Bill 514, also moved forward without any opposition. Similar legislation, Senate Bill 140, will be considered by the Senate State and Local Government Operations Committee on Wednesday.

 

Snellville, SMH

Snellville has yet another distraction, as City Clerk Phyllis Richardson has filed a federal complaint alleging racial discrimination, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Richardson claims in documents obtained by the Daily Post that she has been mistreated by the city manager, members of the city council and other officials, in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The alleged incidents, mostly in verbal interactions and emails, date back to January 2014, when Mayor Kelly Kautz hired Richardson against the council’s wishes.

Richardson’s attorney, Harry Daniels, said the complaint had been received by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The commission reviews such reports and decides whether to take action in court.

The complaint, which is the latest political point of contention in troubled city, points out that the members of the council and City Manager Butch Sanders are white, as is Melisa Arnold, whom Richardson replaced. The mayor, who is also white, is named only as a witness to the alleged mistreatment

Members of the council, the mayor and Sanders said they hadn’t heard of the complaint Tuesday afternoon. They were leery of commenting on the allegations specifically without time to take them in.

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Jester tries to fix DeKalb’s scandals – Dunwoody Crier: News http://gapundit.com/2015/03/03/jester-tries-to-fix-dekalbs-scandals-dunwoody-crier-news/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=jester-tries-to-fix-dekalbs-scandals-dunwoody-crier-news http://gapundit.com/2015/03/03/jester-tries-to-fix-dekalbs-scandals-dunwoody-crier-news/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 23:12:47 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=49051 GaPundit:

DeKalb Commissioner Nancy Jester of Dunwoody got her way and more Monday when the county’s interim chief executive, Lee May, announced he would remove the entire board of the DeKalb Development Authority. Jester had called Friday for the removal of Vaughn Irons, the board chair, after it was reported that Irons had received $1.5 million

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

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GaPundit:

DeKalb Commissioner Nancy Jester of Dunwoody got her way and more Monday when the county’s interim chief executive, Lee May, announced he would remove the entire board of the DeKalb Development Authority.

Jester had called Friday for the removal of Vaughn Irons, the board chair, after it was reported that Irons had received $1.5 million in country contracts to re-hab homes. WSB-TV first reported the story and the peculiar ethics commission statement allowing it. The then-chair of the ethics commission suggested his signature had been forged.

Irons is also the developer of a proposed casino-style development in south DeKalb that first received commission approval but since has been rescinded.

After demanding that Irons resign, Jester asked for a further review by the commission of all current and outstanding financial transactions by the development authority.

“Additionally,” she said, “I call on the CEO and the Board of Commissioners to explore all legal options to invalidate any and all contracts related to the reported $1.5 million taxpayer dollars related to any and all possibly forged county documents up to and including suing any company, entity, or individual to recoup these taxpayer dollars.”

She also asked for an FBI investigation.

For his part, May announced Monday that he would replace every development authority member over the next 30 days and already has begun to interview replacements.

via Jester tries to fix DeKalb’s scandals – Dunwoody Crier: News.

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Adoptable Georgia Dogs for March 3, 2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/03/03/adoptable-georgia-dogs-fo-march-3-2015/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=adoptable-georgia-dogs-fo-march-3-2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/03/03/adoptable-georgia-dogs-fo-march-3-2015/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 12:42:39 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=49033 GaPundit:

Georgia English Bulldog Rescue is a group that you would think should’t exist – they’re a breed-specific rescue for the dogs that are somehow connected to college football in a state that’s crazy about college football. But it turns out that English Bulldogs are high-maintenance and their vets bills can get very high. Which, of

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GaPundit:

Georgia English Bulldog Rescue is a group that you would think should’t exist – they’re a breed-specific rescue for the dogs that are somehow connected to college football in a state that’s crazy about college football. But it turns out that English Bulldogs are high-maintenance and their vets bills can get very high. Which, of course, leads to some dogs not being treated and ending up in shelters and rescue groups with a long list of veterinary needs. Indeed, most of their adoptable dogs are on medical holds at the moment.

To support Georgia English Bulldog Rescue, please visit their website and look for the “Donate” button or buy some of their merchandise.

Or if you’re feeling festive, you can attend their Bully Ball this Saturday, March 7, 2015 at the St. Regis in Buckhead.

Leila

Leila is a six-year old female English Bulldog who was rescued from a puppy mill and then ended up in a home where she was neglected. Despite that and some medical issues, she still loves to give kisses.

Leila Kisses

Riley

Riley is an adult male English Bulldog who was abandoned with his brother when his family moved away. He had some medical issues and remains on medication, but he’s been cleared to look for a new home. If you’re interested in adopting Riley, contact Georgia English Bulldog Rescue.

Tuck

Tuck is a 90-pound adult male English Bulldog with a sweet, laid-back temperament who craves human affection and belly rubs. To adopt Tuck, contact Georgia English Bulldog Rescue.

Tuck Roll Over

If you love English Bulldogs, join us in Room 403 of the Capitol tomorrow, March 4, as State Rep. Joe Wilkinson (R-Sandy Springs) unveils legislation designating the Official State Dog of Georgia. I won’t tell you what kind of dog it will be, but we do plan to have two English Bulldogs in attendance lobbying for the measure.

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 3, 2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/03/03/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-march-3-2015/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-march-3-2015 http://gapundit.com/2015/03/03/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-march-3-2015/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 12:12:09 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=49028 GaPundit:

Happy birthday today to my father and to Herschel Walker. Also turning over the year-o-meter today is Tone Loc. So this is happening: On March 3, 1820, Congress passed the Missouri Compromise. In February 1819, Representative James Tallmadge of New York introduced a bill that would admit Missouri into the Union as a state where

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Happy birthday today to my father and to Herschel Walker. Also turning over the year-o-meter today is Tone Loc. So this is happening:

On March 3, 1820, Congress passed the Missouri Compromise.

In February 1819, Representative James Tallmadge of New York introduced a bill that would admit Missouri into the Union as a state where slavery was prohibited. At the time, there were 11 free states and 10 slave states. Southern congressmen feared that the entrance of Missouri as a free state would upset the balance of power between North and South, as the North far outdistanced the South in population, and thus, U.S. representatives. Opponents to the bill also questioned the congressional precedent of prohibiting the expansion of slavery into a territory where slave status was favored.

Even after Alabama was granted statehood in December 1819 with no prohibition on its practice of slavery, Congress remained deadlocked on the issue of Missouri. Finally, a compromise was reached. On March 3, 1820, Congress passed a bill granting Missouri statehood as a slave state under the condition that slavery was to be forever prohibited in the rest of the Louisiana Purchase north of the 36th parallel, which runs approximately along the southern border of Missouri. In addition, Maine, formerly part of Massachusetts, was admitted as a free state, thus preserving the balance between Northern and Southern senators.

The Missouri Compromise, although criticized by many on both sides of the slavery debate, succeeded in keeping the Union together for more than 30 years.

On March 3, 1845, Congress overrode a Presidential veto for the first time.

On March 3, 1874, Governor Joseph Brown signed legislation permitting persons or companies to lease Georgia prisoners for terms from one to five years, with the Governor setting the rates.

The act required the humane treatment of convicts and limited them to a ten-hour work day, with Sunday off. Equally important, leases had to free the state from all costs associated with prisoner maintenance. Once all state convicts were leased, the law provided that all state penitentiary officers and employees be discharged.

Just think of how much progress Georgia has made with privatizing the justice system — now, instead of leasing convicts, we have private probation companies overseeing released prisoners.

One year ago today, we had both Crossover Day in the Georgia General Assembly and the opening of candidate qualifying.

Under the Gold Dome

9:00am – 10:00am House Rules Committee – 341 cap
12:00pm – 1:00pm Senate Rules Committee Upon Adjournment – 450 cap
1:00pm – 2:00pm House Labor Management Subcommittee of Industry and Labor – 606 clob
1:00pm – 2:00pm Senate Interstate Cooperation Committee – 123 cap
1:00pm – 2:00pm Senate Science & Technology Committee – 310 clob
1:00pm – 2:00pm Senate Health & Human Services Committee – 450 cap
1:30pm – 2:30pm House Pak Subcommittee of Judiciary Non-Civil – 406 clob
1:30pm – 2:30pm House State Planning & Community Affairs Committee – 403 cap
2:00pm – 2:30pm House State Government Sub of Governmental Affairs – 606 clob
2:00pm – 3:00pm Senate Public Safety Law Enforcement, Fire, and Emergency Mgmt Sub
2:00pm – 3:00pm House Regulated Industries Committee – 506 clob
2:00pm – 3:00pm House Academic Support Subcommittee of Education – 415 clob
2:00pm – 3:00pm House Defense & Veterans Affairs Committee – 515 clob
2:00pm – 3:00pm Senate Urban Affairs Committee – 328 clob
2:00pm – 3:00pm Senate Banking & Financial Institutions Committee – 307 clob
2:00pm – 4:00pm House Judiciary Civil Committee – 132 cap
2:30pm – 3:00pm House Local Government Sub of Governmental Affairs – 606 clob
3:00pm – 3:30pm House Science & Technology Committee – 506 clob
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Higher Education Committee – 310 clob
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Appropriations – Transportation – mezz 1
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Natural Resources & Environment Committee – 450 cap
3:00pm – 4:00pm House Game, Fish, & Parks Committee – 403 cap
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Government Oversight Committee – 123 cap
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Veterans, Military, & Homeland Security Committee – 125 cap
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Appropriations – Fiscal Management – 341 cap
3:00pm – 5:00pm House Ways & Means Committee – 606 clob
4:00pm – 5:00pm Senate Judiciary Committee – 307 clob
4:00pm – 5:00pm Senate Economic Development & Tourism Committee – mezz 1
4:00pm – 5:00pm Senate Appropriations – Agriculture – 310 clob
4:00pm – 5:00pm House Jacobs Subcommittee of Judiciary Civil – 132 cap
4:00pm – 5:00pm House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee – 406 clob
4:00pm – 5:00pm House Higher Education Committee – 403 cap
4:30pm – 6:00pm House Setzler Subcommittee of Judiciary Non-Civil – 506 clob

Senate Rules Calendar

SB 104 – State Depository Board; delete references to building and loan associations (As Introduced) (B&FI-30th)

SB 85 – Development Authorities; revise the definition of projects as applicable; modify the tax exemption (As Introduced) (ED&T-21st)

SB 89 – “Digital Classroom Act”; require instructional materials and content to be in digital or electronic format after a certain date (As Introduced) (Substitute) (S&T-56th)

SB 100 – Motor Vehicles and Traffic; provide for applicability with current federal reg. in the safe operations of motor carriers and commercial

House Rules Calendar

Open Rule
HB 82 Oconee River Greenway Authority; certain members to appoint a designee; allow (Substitute)(NR&E-Kidd-145th)

Modified Open Rule
HB 147 Motor vehicles; initial two-year registration period for certain vehicles; provide (Substitute)(MotV-Powell-32nd)

HB 252 J. Calvin Hill, Jr., Act; enact (Substitute)(CR-Caldwell-20th)

HB 315 Technical and adult education; change name of Technical College System of Georgia to Georgia Career College System; provisions (HEd-Nimmer-178th)

Modified Structured Rule
HB 183 Home Care Patient Protection Act; enact (Substitute)(H&HS-Knight-130th)

HB 190 Insurance; provide requirements for transportation network companies and their drivers; provisions (Substitute)(Ins-Golick-40th)

HB 195 Pharmacists and pharmacies; substitutions of interchangeable biological products; provide (Substitute)(H&HS-Cooper-43rd)

We are told that House Bill 244, a version of Senate Bill 8 Rachel’s Law, which already passed the senior chamber and which deals with providing services to minors who have been victims of domestic violence, will be heard in the Pak Subcommittee of House Judiciary Non-Civil today at 1:30 PM.

Committee Notes

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 129 with a “Do Pass” recommendation with no Democrats present, sending the bill to the Rules Committee. After having been tabled in its earlier committee appearance, the bill garnered support from Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert (R-Athens).

House Transportation Committee passed the newest version of HB 170, the Transportation Finance Act.

The committee voted overwhelmingly to approve House Bill 170, a key vote that came after setbacks last week. The latest changes to the bill dealt with local taxes. Gone from the bill are plans to phase out local special option sales taxes and replace them with excise taxes.

Instead, HB 170 will leave SPLOSTS and similar taxes levied by school districts alone. But any municipal option sales tax or local option sales tax used to rollback property taxes will no longer apply to motor fuel while the rate will increase from 1 percent to 1.25 percent.

Right to Try legislation, which would allow Georgia patients with terminal conditions to ask for medications not yet approved for their condition, passed the House Health and Human Services Committee yesterday.

Senate Ethics Committee voted in favor of legislation that provides a path to redemption and recognizes that problems with the State Ethics Commission’s filing system may have led to some unwarranted fines.

Senate Bill 127 gives local officials on the state ethics commission’s late-filer list a “rebuttable presumption” that they tried to file their required reports of campaign donations and personal financial disclosures but were foiled by the commission’s faulty computer system and history of mismanagement.

The Senate Ethics Committee unanimously passed the legislation based largely on a belief that some officials were victimized by computer servers that routinely failed as thousands of politicians tried to meet filing deadlines. But Chairman Dean Burke, R-Bainbridge, said he did not know how many officials the bill would affect.

“I would say between dozens and 100, but that’s a guesstimate,” he said.

The same committee also declined to take action on legislation to lower the age for serving in the Senate.

Bills to create the cities of LaVista Hill and Tucker were introduced yesterday in the State House.

Criminal Background? Check!

You may remember the ongoing saga of Crawford Lewis, the former DeKalb County Superintendent who was indicted on state RICO and theft by taking charges and then pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge and cooperated with the authorities. His alleged co-conspirators, Patricia Reid and Tony Pope were convicted of racketeering in a scheme to steer school construction business to Reid’s ex-husband, Pope.

Patricia Reid, former chief operating officer for the DeKalb County School District, was accused of steering multimillion-dollar projects toward her then-husband, Tony Pope.

Pope and Reid were married at the time when Reid served as the DeKalb County School District’s COO and redirected more than $1.4 million in contracts to Pope’s architecture firm.

“This sentence sends a loud message to those who seek to manipulate and steal from the citizens of DeKalb County. Reid and Pope both devised a scheme to take $1.4 million in tax dollars to line their pockets through improper and illegal means,” said DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James.

The convictions of Reid and Pope were overturned and may be retried. So your takeaway is that two top DeKalb County School Board officials were indicted for racketeering, one pled guilty to a lesser charge, the other was convicted but her conviction overturned. DeKalb County is still looking for a new superintendent.

The members of the DeKalb Board of Education has named a search committee that includes…wait for it… a former DeKalb County Commissioner who was convicted of extortion in office. Here’s a summary from the United States Supreme Court,

As part of an investigation of allegations of public corruption in Georgia, a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent posing as a real estate developer initiated a number of conversations with petitioner [John H.] Evans, [Jr.,] an elected member of the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners.

In those conversations, the agent sought petitioner’s assistance in an effort to rezone a 25-acre tract of land for high-density residential use. On July 25, 1986, the agent handed petitioner cash totaling $7,000 and a check, payable to petitioner’s campaign, for $1,000. Petitioner reported the check, but not the cash, on his state campaign-financing disclosure form; he also did not report the $7,000 on his 1986 federal income tax return. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the Government, as we must in light of the verdict, see Glasser v. United States, 315 U.S. 60, 80, 62 S.Ct. 457, 469-470, 86 L.Ed. 680 (1942), we assume that the jury found that petitioner accepted the cash knowing that it was intended to ensure that he would vote in favor of the rezoning application and that he would try to persuade his fellow commissioners to do likewise. Thus, although petitioner did not initiate the transaction, his acceptance of the bribe constituted an implicit promise to use his official position to serve the interests of the bribe-giver.

I’m pretty sure the John Evans named to the Superintendent Search Committee is the same John Evans who was convicted of accepting a bribe. Mr. Evans is by all accounts living a fine life on the right side of the law. As a political geek’s footnote, it was Bob Barr, as United States Attorney, who oversaw the Evans trial.

But the appearance of having someone who previously was convicted of official corruption helping to choose the successor to a Superintendent who pled guilty to a misdemeanor after being charged with official corruption is questionable at best.

In recent weeks we’ve seen a DeKalb County Commissioner and her husband plead guilty to federal corruption and mail fraud charges respectively, for a scheme to fleece taxpayers out of thousands of dollars. Our elected CEO awaits retrial after a hung jury in his first corruption trial. Two weeks ago, another former DeKalb County official pled guilty to accepting a bribe for actions on the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Then there’s the mysterious ethics memo that miracled its way into existence. And this. Anyone who doesn’t expect more indictments in DeKalb County very soon might be delusional. It’s like we’re living out GoodFellas.

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DeKalb Ethics Chief calls for investigation into ‘phony’ advisory opinion document | The Brookhaven Post | Brookhaven, GA http://gapundit.com/2015/03/02/dekalb-ethics-chief-calls-for-investigation-into-phony-advisory-opinion-document-the-brookhaven-post-brookhaven-ga/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dekalb-ethics-chief-calls-for-investigation-into-phony-advisory-opinion-document-the-brookhaven-post-brookhaven-ga http://gapundit.com/2015/03/02/dekalb-ethics-chief-calls-for-investigation-into-phony-advisory-opinion-document-the-brookhaven-post-brookhaven-ga/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:40:29 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=49017 GaPundit:

DeKalb County, GA, February 28, 2015 – by Trey Benton – Brookhaven Attorney and DeKalb County Ethics Board Chair, John Ernst, has called for an official investigation into an alleged fabricated and/or forged Ethics Board Advisory Opinion – a document that apparently paved the way for DeKalb County Development Authority Chair, Vaughn Irons, to bid

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DeKalb County, GA, February 28, 2015 – by Trey Benton – Brookhaven Attorney and DeKalb County Ethics Board Chair, John Ernst, has called for an official investigation into an alleged fabricated and/or forged Ethics Board Advisory Opinion – a document that apparently paved the way for DeKalb County Development Authority Chair, Vaughn Irons, to bid and win $1.5 million in County contracts.

Addressed to Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn; DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James; State Attorney General Sam Olens; GBI Director Vernon Keenan and FBI Special Agent in Charge J. Britt Johnson, Ernst’s letter says:

“Please be advised that an article appeared online at AJC.com last night and a story ran on WSB-TV as well about a potentially serious criminal violation. The news pieces allege that unknown persons fabricated and/or forged an Ethics Board advisory opinion nearly 5 years ago to sanction a potential conflict-of-interest by sitting DeKalb County Development Authority Chairman Vaughn Irons….”

via DeKalb Ethics Chief calls for investigation into ‘phony’ advisory opinion document | The Brookhaven Post | Brookhaven, GA.

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