GaPundit Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:44:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 22, 2016 Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:48:13 +0000 GaPundit:

Howard is a male American Bulldog and Husky mix puppy who is available for adoption from Rotts ‘n Pups Rescue Douglasville, GA. Howard also has several brothers and sisters who are adoptable. Howard is an 4-year old, 51 pound adult male Pit Bull Terrier who is available for adoption from Forgotten Paws Pet Rescue in

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections



Howard is a male American Bulldog and Husky mix puppy who is available for adoption from Rotts ‘n Pups Rescue Douglasville, GA. Howard also has several brothers and sisters who are adoptable.


Howard is an 4-year old, 51 pound adult male Pit Bull Terrier who is available for adoption from Forgotten Paws Pet Rescue in Acworth, GA.

Howard spent the first year or more of his life on a chain. He had very little human interaction. When we found him, we were trying to catch some puppies that had been dumped behind his house. The puppy was curled up with Howard sleeping.

Howard has matured a lot since we got him several years ago. Howard used to love to play but now it is in short spurts. He has a male pit friend who hangs out with him all day in his pen. We have finally graduated to being able to let Howard run free to the house each night to get into his crate. Each morning we do the same. he runs free to the water bowl then outside to his pen. He bounces through about 6 dogs trying ot get him to play but he just wants to get to his place and go potty. :)

He spends all day hanging out with his buddy, watching squirrels and the other dogs. At night he gets to come inside after we have put all the dogs away and spend some one on one human time. He loves to be petted and give kisses. He loves to go for walks. He is so smart and easy I just can’t believe no one has given him a chance. It is b/c we just don’t know what dog he will like and which one he won’t.


Howie is a 5-6 year old male Basset Hound who is available for adoption from Basset Hound Rescue of Georgia in Marietta, GA.

Howie is working on his “fear” issues with grown men. He does well with “almost-grown” men, as he has a college-aged foster brother (human) who spends lots of time walking him and spoiling him. Howie, known as “Roger” in his foster home, has made significant improvement since coming to his foster home but will need some patience acclimating to men – preferring women and older kids. Roger is a GREAT leash walker and enjoys his fine Designer collar and dog beds (which are his for keeps).

He’s also VERY snuggly, loves to be rubbed on his shoulders and we find him so sweet. He only seems to have an “accident” if he is startled by something or confused or fearful.

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 22, 2016 Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:30:33 +0000 GaPundit:

General James Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia, signed a treaty with the Spanish government of Florida on October 22, 1736. USS Constitution, named by President George Washington, was launched in Boston Harbor on October 21, 1791. During the War of 1812, the Constitution won its enduring nickname “Old Ironsides” after defeating the British warship Guerriére in

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections


General James Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia, signed a treaty with the Spanish government of Florida on October 22, 1736.

USS Constitution, named by President George Washington, was launched in Boston Harbor on October 21, 1791.

During the War of 1812, the Constitution won its enduring nickname “Old Ironsides” after defeating the British warship Guerriére in a furious engagement off the coast of Nova Scotia. Witnesses claimed that the British shots merely bounced off the Constitution‘s sides, as if the ship were made of iron rather than wood. The success of the Constitution against the supposedly invincible Royal Navy provided a tremendous morale boost for the young American republic.

Today, Constitution serves as a museum ship, and has sailed under her own power as recently as 2012. Southern live oak, harvested and milled on St. Simons Island, Georgia, is a primary construction material for Constitution.

On October 22, 1832, the Cherokee Land Lottery began in Milledgeville, with more than 200,000 Georgians competing for 53,309 lots of land.

Georgia Governor John B. Gordon signed legislation on October 22, 1887 that increased the number of justices on the Georgia Supreme Court from 3 to 5.

President Grover Cleveland arrived in Atlanta for the Cotton States and International Exposition on October 22, 1895.

Dizzy Gillespie was born on this day in 1917 in Cheraw, South Carolina.

President Warren G. Harding spoke in Alabama on October 21, 1921, and publicly condemned the practice of lynching.

Harding was a progressive Republican politician who advocated full civil rights for African Americans and suffrage for women. He supported the Dyer Anti-lynching Bill in 1920. As a presidential candidate that year, he gained support for his views on women’s suffrage, but faced intense opposition on civil rights for blacks. The 1920s was a period of intense racism in the American South, characterized by frequent lynchings. In fact, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) reported that, in 1920, lynching claimed, on average, the lives of two African Americans every week.

On the Presidential campaign trail, Franklin Delano Roosevelt arrived in Atlanta on October 23, 1932, speaking to 10,000, and continued on to his “second home” at Warm Springs, Georgia.

smFDR Atlanta 1932

FDR campaigning in Atlanta and Georgia in 1932.

FDR Georgia

When he arrived at Warm Springs, FDR gave a short speech:

“Two more weeks to go. . . . First, let me say this: this old hat, a lot of you people have seen it before. It’s the same hat. But I don’t think it is going to last much longer after the 8th of November. I have a superstition about hats in campaigns, and I am going to wear it until midnight of the 8th of November. . . . Well, it’s fine to see, and I’m looking forward to coming down here for the usual Thanksgiving party at Warm Springs, and having a real old-fashioned Thanksgiving with my neighbors again. I thank you!”

On October 23, 1971, the Coca-Cola Company launched the advertising campaign “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke.”

On October 21, 1976, Billy Carter spoke to an audience in Albany, Georgia, about his brother’s campaign for President.

On his brother Jimmy’s drinking habits, Billy said, “Jimmy used to drink liquor. Now he’s running for president he drinks Scotch, and I’ve never trusted a Scotch drinker.” Billy preferred the alcohol choice of his brother’s running mate, Walter Mondale – “I liked him the best of all the ones who came to Plains. He’s from a small town and he’s a beer drinker.”

Today, Billy Carter’s service station is preserved as a museum in Plains, Georgia.

On October 22, 1991, the Braves played Minnesota in the first World Series game in Atlanta.

Georgia-born Clarence Thomas was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on October 23, 1991.

The Atlanta Braves won the first game of the 1995 World Series on October 21, 1995, as Greg Maddux dominated the Cleveland Indians, allowing only two hits. Native American groups protested the names of both teams.

The Atlanta Braves won Game 2 of the 1995 World Series, beating Cleveland 4-3, on October 22, 1995.

Georgia artist Howard Finster died on October 22, 2001.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Finally, a ticket we can wholeheartedly support:


The Drug Enforcement Agency  is sponsoring the 12th Annual National National Prescription Drug Take Back Day tomorrow. Click here to find a location near you that will anonymously accept unused prescription drugs and dispose of them safely.

Libertarian Senate candidate Allen Buckley has proven he isn’t afraid to be the biggest jerk in Georgia, complaining that the Atlanta Press Club debate’s seated format might help Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson.

After a Wednesday walk-through, the campaigns of Democrat Jim Barksdale and Libertarian Allen Buckley were unhappy with the Atlanta Press Club’s initial decision to have a seated debate, which they said would lend itself to a less energetic discussion. Buckley went a step further, suggesting that the format would aid Isakson, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease.

Barksdale and Buckley’s campaigns complained to Atlanta Press Club President Lauri Strauss, and after talking with the three camps Wednesday afternoon, Strauss said all corners had signed off on a traditional podium-style debate. Strauss said the podiums would “make sure the candidates focus on the issues during the debate without the other distractions.”

Isakson’s campaign spokeswoman Amanda Maddox had this to say about the din: “Unlike our opponents, Johnny Isakson can debate standing up or sitting down.”

Senator David Perdue spoke to WDUN after the final Presidential debate.

Perdue, a Republican, said Democrat Hillary Clinton doubled down on the direction the country is currently headed.

“…more taxes, more regulations. She talked about it last (Wednesday) night, and she even said this last night, an activist, liberal, progressive supreme court.”

Perdue said Trump, by contrast, has been in the, “real world for 40 years,” creating jobs during his entire career.

“He (Trump) called her out last night as being a product of the political inside mechanism.”

Atlanta Magazine asked what effect a Clinton win in Georgia would have.

“The wild card is turnout,” said Chris Carpenter, a Democratic strategist. “Are Republican voters so turned off by Trump that they’ll stay home on Election Day? Usually, a pollster’s models are based on what’s happened in the past, but this is such a unique year that all bets are offs.”

Sandy Springs mayor and veteran GOP operative Rusty Paul believes that Georgia still leans Republican, but conceded that Georgia could go either way. Democratic operative Tharon Johnson, however, said, “Demographically, Georgia is already a blue state.” Even so, he said, for Clinton to win here would probably require support from a good number of whites who’ve voted Republican in recent years.

“If Clinton wins Georgia, it will mean Democrats have made tremendous strides in turning the state blue again,” [Tharon Johnson] said. For one, it would validate predictions that continuing demographic changes may finally have tipped the electoral scales in the Democrats’ favor—as well as indicate that voter registration efforts, such as those by House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams’ New Georgia Project, had paid off. Also, a top-of-the-ticket victory would be a strong argument for national Democrats to stop treating the Peach State like a lost cause and invest more resources behind Georgia candidates, as Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has suggested. Democrats have put more resources in Georgia for the 2016 general election than they did the past two cycles, Johnson pointed out, but nowhere near as much as has been spent in “target” states like Ohio or even Arizona, a longtime red state where the Clinton campaign announced Monday that it would plow another $2 million into advertising. Several polls now show Clinton leading Trump in Arizona by a slim margin.

[Chip] Lake sees a potential silver lining of a different sort if Georgia goes for Clinton. “Donald Trump losing in Georgia may be the best thing that could happen for Republican candidates in 2018,” he said, by serving as a wake-up call for complacent pols.

Gwinnett County will open additional in-person advance voting locations to reduce wait times for voters.

Gwinnett County officials plan to open two of the county’s seven satellite voting locations a week early to help address the long early voting lines seen at the county’s elections office this week.

Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash and County Administrator Glenn Stephens explained the effort to address wait times in a meeting with the Daily Post on Thursday. The satellite polling locations at George Pierce Park and Lenora Park will open at 8 a.m. on Monday, but that’s not the only effort officials are taking to reduce wait times.

About 15 extra voting machines will also be added at the elections headquarters starting on Saturday. Additional staff will be provided as well to help move people through more quickly.

“We want to go ahead and do this, which will both help in Lawrenceville and, by having the two satellite locations open five more days, may take some of the load off of the other satellite facilities during the week before the election and on election day,” Stephens said.

Georgia Association of Educators President Sid Chapman is barnstorming Georgia in opposition to the Opportunity School District Amendment #1.

With less than three weeks to go before the Nov. 8 general election, and with early voting already under way across the state, the president of the Georgia Association of Educators is on the road with the organization’s campaign against a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow the state to take over “chronically failing” public schools.

In Athens earlier this week, GAE President Sid Chapman sounded a familiar refrain among opponents of Amendment 1, saying the language on the ballot does not truly reflect what the proposed change to the state constitution would do.

“When you read that, who would be against it?,” Chapman asked rhetorically in a Wednesday interview with the Athens Banner-Herald/ He went on to paint the measure as a means by which the state could wrest schools from local control — a move that would, routinely, be anathema to the conservative state lawmakers who got the measure on the November ballot, he noted.

Proponents of the measure, like Gov. Nathan Deal — who is term-limited and will be out of office at the end of 2018, Chapman observed Wednesday — argue the Opportunity School District will provide a mechanism for getting students out of failing schools and away from problematic school district administration.

The Macon Telegraph endorsed the passage of two Constitutional Amendments – Amendment 2 creating the Safe Harbor Commission and Amendment 4 dedicating fireworks tax money for trauma care and firefighting.

The last items on the Nov. 8 ballot are the amendments to the Georgia Constitution and the the Macon-Bibb County extension of the 1 penny special purpose local option sales tax.

Amendment 2, if passed, will funnel some fees, assessments and penalties paid by adult entertainment establishments to pay for child victim services through the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund. It would also allow courts to impose additional penalties for those found guilty of sex crimes from prostitution to pandering.

Amendment 4 would take existing fees and taxes on fireworks sold in the state and disburse them in the following manner according to Senate Bill 350:

  • 55 percent to the Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission.
  • 40 percent to the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council for equipment and training.
  • 5 percent would go to local governments for public safety.

Both Amendments 2 and 4 are to protect the funds from the sticky hands of the General Assembly that has a habit of saying one thing and doing another with money raised for certain purposes. Once embedded in the state’s constitution, the money raised cannot be used for any other purposes. Vote yes on Amendments 2 and 4.

Macon Superior Court Judge Tripp Self has been named to the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission.

Self, 47, replaces Chief Judge Brenda Weaver, of the Appalachian Circuit, who resigned from the commission in August, according to a news release issued Wednesday.

Augusta might be interested in casino gambling if legislation passes the 2017 Session of the Georgia General Assembly.

The gaming industry has stepped up lobbying efforts at the state Capitol and the Georgia Municipal Association is looking for more ways to ensure revenue from casinos reaches local governments, said Michael McPherson, a governmental relations associate with the organization.

“There’s been many, many, many more lobbyists hired,” McPherson said. “They’re serious about bringing the message to the state.”

The state’s lobbyist database shows 67 people are now registered to lobby for gaming organizations.

Augusta Commission members and state legislators who met Thursday were receptive to the news that Augusta could be the site of a regional casino.

“I’m looking to generate money to come into the city,” Commissioner Marion Williams said. “You can’t legislate morality – that’s a decision you have to make yourself.”

Commissioner-elect Andrew Jefferson, who takes office in January, said that with neighboring states offering some form of casino gambling, he wasn’t opposed.

“Done in moderation, it would be a great source of revenue,” Jefferson said, “a win-win all around.”

Mayor Hardie Davis said he also hopes to discuss privately with the delegation changing Amendment 74 and Amendment 65, decades-old local legislation that gives a five-year tax break to businesses that make capital improvements of $1 million and $100,000, respectively.

Greg Beasley won a runoff election for a seat on the Catoosa County Water Board on Tuesday.

Local business owner Greg Beasley won a special run-off election over Marion Foster on Tuesday, Oct. 18, to become a new commissioner on the Catoosa County Utility District Authority water board.

Following the initial Oct. 4 election, which also featured Sandra Powell and Ashley Bible as candidates, Beasley and Foster sweated out another election day, which ultimately saw Beasley win by a 470 to 291 tally.

“I want to thank each and every person that got involved in the process and came out to vote at Catoosa Utility,” Beasley said. “I know you put your faith in me and I don’t want to let you down. Thank you for enduring all of my Facebook posts and messages, texts, phone calls, emails. Thank you everyone for sharing my posts and telling your friends and family about me. My heart was warmed by your support. This election was all you.”

Beasley will succeed long-time commissioner Jacob Bowman, who had exhausted all of his terms and wasn’t eligible to seek re-election.

Athens hotels saw record stays in the last fiscal year, according to the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The State Commission on Petroleum Pipelines held a public hearing in Savannah to discuss whether new regulations are needed.

Composed of Georgia legislators, state department heads and citizens, the commission’s purpose is to determine the most efficient way to distribute petroleum products while considering safety and property rights, said co-Chairman and state Rep. Bill Hitchens.

“This is quite the complicated process, and that’s why I wanted to bring these people up here,” Hitchens said.

The commission heard from representatives from the Georgia Department of Transportation, Georgia Department of Environmental Services, Petroleum Council of Georgia, Savannah Riverkeeper, Ogeechee Riverkeeper, Coastal Sierra Club and the Center for a Sustainable Coast.

Noting the amount of trucks it would take to ship the same amount of product, Hunter Hopkins, executive director of the Petroleum Council, said pipelines are the only feasible method of transporting the petroleum the country requires. In addition, the pipeline is a safer method than trucking and shipping, when the volume being transported is considered, Hopkins said.

Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap will hire a new prosecutor to work on cases involving repeat offenders with guns, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Bidding for a $35 million dollar E-SPLOST project in Macon was compromised when information was leaked in advance of the bidding process.

Bibb County Board of Education member Tom Hudson said, “the process itself was compromised by leaking information to someone who is totally inappropriate and unprofessional. … I think there should be consequences.”

The bidding process for the project, paid for using money from the education special project local option sales tax, will “start from scratch,” Hudson said. Bidding will start after the board adopts a new policy to “provide clarity to the selection process and the need to maintain confidentiality at every level throughout the process,” for both bidders and district employees, according to Thursday night’s meeting agenda.

Board Chairman Lester Miller said Superintendent Curtis Jones’ recommendation about who should win the contract for the project was “a rumor out on the street” before it even got to the board for a vote.

“I don’t think anybody’s done anything wrong, it’s just the way we’ve always done things,” Miller said. “Once you have a determination that certain people are no longer in the bid process, you inform them so they don’t hold out everything as you start moving toward the other ones. That’s something we’ve never had a problem with in the past, but this time, people talk.”

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Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 20, 2016 Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:09:23 +0000 GaPundit:

Copper is an adult female Golden Retriever who is available for adoption from Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta Roswell, GA. Zachary is an adult male Labrador Retriever & Terrier Mix who is available for adoption for Second Chance Animal Rescue & Adoptions in Roswell, GA. Yolanda is an adult female Bloodhound & Rottweiler Mix who

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections



Copper is an adult female Golden Retriever who is available for adoption from Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta Roswell, GA.


Zachary is an adult male Labrador Retriever & Terrier Mix who is available for adoption for Second Chance Animal Rescue & Adoptions in Roswell, GA.


Yolanda is an adult female Bloodhound & Rottweiler Mix who is available for adoption from Second Chance Animal Rescue & Adoptions in Roswell, GA.

Yolanda’s best friend at the shelter was adopted and now she is alone. A very sweet dog she could get along with another dog but it would depend on the dog. She was attached to the dog she was turned into the shelter with who got adopted. A cute lovable girl who just wants to be loved. A gentle girl.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 20, 2016 Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:43:03 +0000 GaPundit:

The United States Senate ratified a treaty with France on October 20, 1805, closing the deal on the Louisiana Purchase. On October 20, 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt stopped in Roswell to visit his mother’s girlhood home at Bulloch Hall. Lewis Grizzard was born on October 20, 1946 at Fort Benning, Georgia. On October 20, 1977,

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections


The United States Senate ratified a treaty with France on October 20, 1805, closing the deal on the Louisiana Purchase.

On October 20, 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt stopped in Roswell to visit his mother’s girlhood home at Bulloch Hall.

Lewis Grizzard was born on October 20, 1946 at Fort Benning, Georgia.

On October 20, 1977, a small twin-engine plane carrying members of Lynyrd Skynyrd from Greenville, South Carolina to Baton Rouge, Louisiana crashed in a swamp in Gillsburg, Mississippi. Singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, vocalist Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray died in the crash.

Tonight at 7 PM, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO) will speak at the Atlanta History Center for “Preserving Our Republic: A Conversation with Dick Gephardt and Newt Gingrich,” a REAL Talks Atlanta event sponsored by Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Don Wesley Thompson as a Superior Court Judge for the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, which covers Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, and Walker Counties.

Deal also visited the 2016 Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie.

“I love having a governor who wants to come two hours early so he can go buy something,” said Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black. “It is really nice to have a governor that would buy something because he needs it and has a practical application for agriculture on his farm back at home.”

As Deal took the podium at the Expo, he congratulated Black on the “Georgia Grown” program, a marketing and economic development program with the goal of bringing together producers, processors, suppliers, distributors, retailers, agritourism and consumers in one powerful statewide community.

“The huge success of the Georgia Grown program, I think, will impact our state not only in the short-term, but in the lives of our children and families for many years to come,” Deal said.

“There is a $70 billion economic impact of agriculture and agribusiness to our state,” Deal said. “It is the No. 1 leading component that has helped make our state, which we are expecting for the fourth consecutive year — something that no other state has ever received the distinction for four consecutive years — to be the No. 1 state in the nation in which to do business.”

Senator David Perdue praised Donald Trump’s suggestion that members of Congress be term-limited.

“When I ran for the United States Senate in 2014, I promised Georgians I’d fight for term limits,” Perdue said in a statement on Wednesday. “When I took office last year, I immediately co-sponsored a Constitutional amendment doing just that. Today, I’m proud of Donald Trump for coming out in support of term limits for members of Congress.”

Perdue, a first-term senator, said 60 out of 100 senators have been in elected office for at least 20 years, including a group of 36 who have been in office for at least 30 years.

“That must change if we are going to change the direction of our country,” he said. “Career politicians created the moment of crisis America faces today. They aren’t the ones who are going to solve it. Term limits will help break this vicious cycle of gridlock that is crippling Congress from getting things done.”

A federal judge rejected a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union seeking to force Georgia to extend voter registration in an additional five coastal counties affected by Hurricane Matthew.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge William T. Moore rejected an attempt by the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia to extend registration in Bryan, Liberty, Camden, McIntosh and Glynn counties.

“What happened in this case is that a natural disaster coincided with Georgia’s constitutionally valid voter registration deadline,” Moore ruled in an 11-page order. “This natural event made it difficult, but not impossible, for certain residents of the five counties to properly register to vote prior to the Oct. 11 deadline.”

He said those counties were in a different situation from Chatham County, where last week he ordered the state to extend the deadline for six days until Tuesday.

He said the burdens faced by voters in those five counties were “slight compared to the state of Georgia’s interest in conducting a smooth statewide election.”

State attorneys argued that to extend the Oct. 11 deadline would have placed an undue burden on county election boards.

“The court is satisfied that extending the deadline for six days from the date of this order places severe burdens on both state and local election officials that outweigh those placed on individuals by failing to extend the registration deadline.”

The Marietta Daily Journal notes that Cobb County voting in the first two days of in-person early voting was at more than twice the level of 2012.

Through two days of a three-week early voting period, more than 7,000 Cobb voters have cast their ballots — it took five days to reach the same mark in 2012.

On Monday, 3,685 people voted in person at the two polling places open for early voting in Cobb, according to the Cobb Board of Elections. Tuesday saw another 3,392 people cast a ballot, putting the total number of votes cast early in person at 7,077.

For comparison, 2,797 people voted through two days of early voting ahead of the 2012 general election, and after five days of early voting, the total number of votes totaled just 7,007.
Cobb’s early turnout numbers surpass the totals seen in many nearby counties over the first two days of early voting, including Gwinnett (2,985), Paulding (3,149) and Cherokee (2,564).

However, Fulton County, which has about 150,000 more registered voters than Cobb and had 24 polling places open compared to Cobb’s two, saw a total of 28,147 people cast ballots on Monday and Tuesday, nearly four times Cobb’s tally.

Statewide, more than 85,000 people voted early in person on Monday alone, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.

The Georgia NAACP will be deploying poll watchers across the state.

“They will be looking for … people who may be displaying the Confederate battle emblem, for example. Or people who will be displaying firearms within 150 feet of a polling place,” [NAACP GA President Francys] Johnson said.

The Georgia NAACP is working with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the ACLU and the Legal Defense Fund.

Early voting continues apace in Columbus and Harris County, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

“I think it’s busy everywhere in Georgia,” said Sherrail Jarret, the elections supervisor in Harris County, where 1,173 residents had voted as of 3 p.m. Wednesday. Of that total, 426 voted Monday and 393 on Tuesday, she said.

For Harris County, that’s “a very big number,” she said.

In Columbus, early voters have been casting an average of around 140 ballots per hour this week, with 1,748 voting Monday, 1,520 on Tuesday and 1,591 on Wednesday, said Nancy Boren, executive director of the Muscogee County Board of Elections and Registrations.

Georgia’s deadline to register to vote was Oct. 11, and some residents rushed to make it on time. Muscogee County on Oct. 1 had 96,045 registered and “active” voters, meaning they voted this year, changed their registration or had some other contact with the election process. That was an increase from 85,717 during the March 1 presidential primary and 89,952 during the May 24 state party primaries and local elections.

Coastal Georgia insurance claims are piling up in the aftermath of the hurricane.

Individual assistance from FEMA became available on Tuesday for area residents, and by the end of the first day there had been more than 9,000 registrations from the eligible areas, which are Bryan, Bulloch, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, McIntosh and Wayne counties, according to a FEMA representative.

On Wednesday, a team of 14 FEMA Disaster Assistance Specialists opened up an assistance tent at Catastrophe Claims Village in the Home Depot parking lot on the southside to assist residents.

FEMA can’t duplicate insurance payments, but under-insured applicants may receive help after insurance claims are settled.

“Whether you do or don’t have insurance FEMA can still help you,” he said. “We just want you to go through your insurance first so we don’t duplicate benefits.”

Typically people have 60 to 90 days to register after FEMA declares a disaster. The declaration for Georgia went into effect Oct. 8, but no closing date has been set yet, according to Daniels.

Chatham County Commissioners will vote on an ordinance designed to prevent flood damage.

Nearly three months after it began the process, the Chatham County Commission is set to finalize a redraft of the ordinance that regulates flood damage prevention in unincorporated Chatham.

The commission is slated to hold a second reading Friday to repeal its existing flood damage prevention ordinance and “adopt a new version to be approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).” The second reading had initially been scheduled for the commission’s Oct. 7 meeting, but that meeting was canceled because of Hurricane Matthew.

Houston County District 5 Commissioner Tom McMichael faces Democrat Gordon Hicks to retain the seat McMichael has held for twenty years.

Incumbent Republican Hall County Commissioner Jeff Stowe and Democrat Angela Thomas Middleton met in a forum to discuss issues in their campaign.

Georgia Power will close 100 offices across Georgia in an efficiency measure as in-person payments become fewer. The 27 busiest local offices will remain open.

“These changes will help us better align our business with the changing needs of our customers and ensure we continue to provide world-class service at the lowest possible rates,” a company spokesman wrote in an e-mail highlighting the changes.

Also in keeping with the way customers typically pay bills, Georgia Power will expand its payment locations from more than 2,700 to more than 5,000. Many of the new locations will be inside grocery and retail stores, including Kroger and Wal-Mart.

The Georgia Public Service Commission voted to extend the time allowed for Georgia Power and the PSC staff to reach a settlement on issues regarding costs at the new reactors at Plant Vogtle.

The Georgia Public Service Commission voted Tuesday to require the PSC staff to make a recommendation no later than Oct. 28 on whether to let the Atlanta-based utility charge customers more than $1 billion for overruns brought on by delays in building two additional reactors at the nuclear plant south of Augusta, Ga. The staff was to have delivered a report by Wednesday, but Georgia Power asked for more time.

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Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 19, 2016 Wed, 19 Oct 2016 12:24:38 +0000 GaPundit:

Corky is an adult male Black and Tan Coonhound who is available for adoption from Angel Dog Rescue, Inc. in Georgetown, GA. Meet your new best friend! Corky is loyal, lovable, and laid back. He is gentle and loves everyone he meets. What a gem! His demeanor just makes you want to hug him! Corky

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections



Corky is an adult male Black and Tan Coonhound who is available for adoption from Angel Dog Rescue, Inc. in Georgetown, GA.

Meet your new best friend! Corky is loyal, lovable, and laid back. He is gentle and loves everyone he meets. What a gem! His demeanor just makes you want to hug him! Corky will be your perfect indoor companion. No yard living for this guy…he wants to be with his people as part of the family. He loves to play and gets along well with other dogs. In fact, we think he’d appreciate living in a pack rather than as a single dog, so if you have one or two dogs now, Corky would be interested in meeting you! DOB 4/1/09

He is not good with chickens or cats so if you have those at your home, you should pass this guy by. He does make that beautiful hound sound for all of you hound lovers out there!


Leroy is a young male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Angel Dog Rescue, Inc. in Georgetown, GA.


Snickers is a young female Feist mix who is available for adoption from Angel Dog Rescue, Inc. in Georgetown, GA.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 19, 2015 Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:45:44 +0000 GaPundit:

British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia on October 19, 1781,  ending the American Revolution. On October 19, 1790, Lyman Hall, one of three signers of the Declaration of Independence from Georgia, died in Burke County, GA. Hall was elected Governor of Georgia in 1783, holding the position for one

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections


British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia on October 19, 1781,  ending the American Revolution.

On October 19, 1790, Lyman Hall, one of three signers of the Declaration of Independence from Georgia, died in Burke County, GA. Hall was elected Governor of Georgia in 1783, holding the position for one year, and was an early advocate for the chartering of the University of Georgia.

On October 19, 1983, the United States Senate voted 78-22 to create a federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., to be celebrated on the third Monday of January. The House passed the King holiday bill, sponsored by Reps. Katie Hall (D.-IN) and Jack Kemp (R-NY), by a vote of 338-90 in August. President Ronald Reagan signed the legislation on November 3, 1983.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Democratic National Committee showed its contempt for Georgia when a DNC tour bus emptied its sewer tank into a storm water drain in Gwinnett County.

The incident occurred on Grayson Highway early Tuesday, while the vehicle promoting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Democratic Party was between campaign stops, CBS 46 News said.

CBS 46 News reported that a Lawrenceville businessman took several photos of the “Forward Together” tour bus dumping waste into a storm drain. The man’s pictures showed liquid seeping out from underneath the vehicle.

Gwinnett County hazmat units have since cleaned up the mess, and CBS 46 News reported that the Gwinnett County Stormwater Management and the State Environment Protection Department are now involved in the investigation.

The DNC apologized for the incident on Tuesday.

“This was an honest mistake and we apologize to the Lawrenceville community for any harm we may have caused,” a DNC spokesperson told WSB-TV 2 News.


Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile then stepped in it and tracked it all through the living room.

The bus is expected back in Atlanta today for a Democratic debate watch party.

The Georgia Secretary of State absentee/early voter file shows the following as of yesterday:

242,010 absentee and advance votes cast
171,555 In-person ballots cast
168,546 mail-in absentee ballots requested
68,306 mail-in absentee ballots returned
11,621 electronic absentee ballots requested
2,149 electronic absentee ballots returned

Some voters are still encountering long lines for advance voting.

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA — Long lines formed for the second straight day at early voting sites. Tens-of-thousands of people in Georgia have already voted – and there are three more weeks until election day.

Long lines formed outside the Gwinnett County Board of Elections office. For now, it’s the only location in Gwinnett offering early voting. But those locations will multiply and the hours will expand for the week prior to the election.

Yet with all those hours and locations available, folks still opted to stand in in line here.

WSB-TV says the length of the ballot is partly responsible for voting lines.

As of right now, it’s a 2 1/2 hour wait in this parking lot to get inside here to cast a ballot.

Part of the problem, officials said, is the length of the ballot. It’s very long, and it takes voters on average about 15-20 minutes to vote.

Columbus officials also saw high voter turnout this week.

From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, 1,748 Muscogee County residents cast ballots, averaging 145 an hour.

The poll was not as swarmed Tuesday, but still drew a crowd: 1,520 voted, averaging around 127 an hour.

Voters reported waiting up to 45 minutes each day.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against Georgia seeking extension of voter registration after Hurricane Matthew closed voter registration offices in several coastal counties.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued Georgia to compel the state to extend the voter registration deadline by six days past Oct. 11 in five coastal counties because offices were closed during and after Hurricane Matthew.

“The state’s failure to extend the voter registration deadline, despite the massive disruptions caused by Hurricane Matthew, means that thousands of Georgians will be prevented from participating in the November election. This is unethical and illegal,” Kathleen Burch, interim counsel for the ACLU of Georgia, said in a release.

The ACLU and other groups successfully sued Florida to have the voter registration deadline extended. The suit in Georgia names Gov. Nathan Deal and Secretary of State Brian Kemp as defendants.

The ACLU asserts that more than 1 million Georgia residents were under mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders and that government offices were closed and services disrupted by the storm.

The suit notes that U.S. District Judge William Moore on Friday ordered Deal and Kemp to extend the registration deadline in Chatham Camden for six days from Oct. 11 through Oct. 18.

Moore’s order removed the “undue burden” on Chatham County voters, the suit says.

The five other coastal counties in the mandatory evacuation area suffered the same injury as Chatham County, the inability to register to vote: The state’s refusal to extend the deadline in those counties is a violation of equal protection of the law, the suit says.

Georgia officials say a rigged election is unlikely here.

“There is no proof that it’s rigged, but elections officials have to proof that it’s not rigged,” said Merle King, executive director of the Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University.

King and his colleagues are responsible for testing the state’s voting equipment. They prepare the ballots and the electronic poll book of registered voters.

He said Georgia has a rigorous and overlapping security process and rigid procedures elections officials have to follow. It’s a system that has worked ever since the state became the first in the country to implement electronic voting statewide 14 years ago.

“The likelihood of an anomaly or some conspiracy that would alter the outcome of the election in a way that’s undetectable is improbable to the point of impossible,” King said.

The computers that tally the votes are not networked, he said, and therefore can’t be hacked.

Congressman Hank Johnson (D-Atlanta) fears election tomfoolery in Georgia.

“I don’t want to set off any alarms, but it’s clear that our election process is susceptible to corruption of the results through a cyber attack. The specter of election contamination is definitely a possibility, and it has been highlighted by recent successful attempts to hack into state voter registration databases  –  at least two and perhaps as many as 20. These attempts have been attributed to the Russians. But we know that such attacks can come from external or internal forces. It should press upon us the need to protect the security of our election, which is why I introduced the Election Integrity and Infrastructure Act of 2016,” [said Johnson].

State Rep. Mike Cheokas (R-Americus) spoke at a forum with his opponent, Democrat Bill McGowan.

The two had varying opinions on the governor’s proposed Opportunity School District amendment.

“The school board would no longer have any control,” McGowan said. “The local tax payers would no longer have a local school board controlling there monies. These monies would be used by that superintendent in Atlanta.”

“You realize that that the opportunities your child has are limited,” Cheokas said. “That there is a ceiling that other children don’t have. They have the whole gambit of opportunities in front of them. How would you feel?”

Dick Yarbrough writes about Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle’s new book, Education Unleashed.

He has a new book out, entitled “Education Unleashed,” that spells out what our public education system needs to do to ensure that Georgia builds a world-class workforce to attract new industries and ensure current businesses don’t have to import labor from outside the state, as well as helping students find a career path that utilizes their skillsets and interests.

“I wrote the book,” he told me in his office, “to paint a very clear vision of what education can become in Georgia and highlighting the two specific programs that have demonstrated remarkable successes.” Both programs are already up and running and Casey Cagle was the driving force behind their creation.

With evangelistic fervor, Casey Cagle believes charter systems and College and Career Academies are the answer to what ails public education in Georgia. In “Education Unleashed,” Cagle says, “Charter systems and College and Career Academies are proving every day that we can redesign our schools to provide high quality education to all our students.” In doing so, Cagle believes schools under local control with high accountability will create a better community.

There is a governor’s race coming up in 2018. It will be interesting to see if this lieutenant governor intends to carry his vision for improving public education into the governor’s office as did Zell Miller. If so, may he have equal success.

Attorney General Sam Olens spoke to the Atlanta Jewish Times about his future.

AJT: Does this rule out a future run for governor?

Olens: I frankly was not intending to run for governor before this.

AJT: Do you plan to continue any involvement in previous projects, such as campaigning for Amendment 2 (Penalties for Sex Crimes to Fund Services for Sexually Exploited Children)?

Olens: Clearly, I still have scheduled meetings; I have talks. You know, I’ve had three big initiatives as AG: the food bank program, the sex trafficking program and the prescription drug abuse program. When I leave office, I’m not going to leave these areas. I plan on continuing to support any and all efforts to reduce sex trafficking. I think Channel 2 is actually doing a series in about two weeks, and I previously was interviewed for that series. It is astounding to me how many young children are sold throughout our state every night. The biggest thing we can do, even more important than passing new legislation, is getting the point across that the buyers will spend many years in jail. When the middle-aged male finds out that his friend, his colleague at work or whatever, was given 10 years in jail for having sex with a 12-year-old, that sends the message. The old days where you disregarded the acts of the buyer and only went after the seller are long gone.

For instance, we had a training at Emory Law School for judges because the judges really need to understand that we can’t solve the problem without going after demand. That’s got to be an essential part of this scenario. The beauty of constitutional Amendment 2 is it gives the resources to assist the victims. So, for instance, now when I have a DA in South Georgia say, “I have a victim, there’s no place in South Georgia to assist the victim,” that’s unacceptable. If Amendment 2 is passed (Nov. 8), there will be institutions throughout the state to assist these victims. That’s paramount because too many of them are committing suicide or overdosing, and we’ve got to do what we can as a society for the most vulnerable to protect them.

Gwinnett County police rescued a 13-year old girl who was being sold in a motel.

Gwinnett County police believe they’ve cracked what could be a large human trafficking ring.

This week, a 13-year-old girl was rescued from a man she says was trying to get her to work the streets.

A detective told a judge that [Tyler] Summerour housed the girl at a motel and tried to recruit her into sexual servitude by “telling the 13-year-old victim that she should make him some money by engaging in sexual acts.”

“Detectives are still investigating the magnitude of this case,” Cpl. Deon Washington said.

Police say the victim’s own relatives are the ones who were able to track her down to the restaurant. They confronted Summerour, and the argument is what got officers to the location.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted a nationwide anti-trafficking operation that resulted in numerous arrests in Georgia.

Nearly 70 people were arrested in the metro Atlanta area as part of an international sex trafficking and prostitution sting this week, the FBI announced on Tuesday.

The arrests were a part of a nationwide operation called Operation Cross Country X; it is the 10th FBI-led initiative of its type. According to the FBI, 82 minors were rescued and more than 239 alleged traffickers were arrested from Oct. 13 through Oct. 15.

The Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force (MATCH) executed two search warrants, rescued one juvenile and seized seven firearms in their operation.

Five people were arrested in Alpharetta. One person was arrested in DeKalb. Four people were arrested in Dunwoody. Two people were arrested in Gwinnett County. Two people were arrested in Marietta In the Athens area, five people were arrested. One person was arrested in Augusta.

In the Athens, Ga. operation, authorities said that the suspects, ranging in age from 22 to 66, traveled to the city with the intent to meet a child and pay for sex. Two of those arrested arrived with a gun; one had illegal drugs. One suspect had alcohol for the minor. At least one of those arrested in the Athens operation admitted to prior sexual contact with a minor.

Also part of this operation, two suspects who wanted in the death of a 14-year-old girl were arrested in Georgia.

Orlando Police say 20-year-old Karla Michelle Quiros Alsina and 26-year-old Arthur Lee Coleman III were taken into custody in the Atlanta area along with 19-year-old Avorice Jeno Holman, and 22-year-old Jose Ignacia Santiago Sotomayor. They face multiple charges, including first-degree murder, human trafficking of a child, prostitution, racketeering and transmission of child pornography after a 14-year-old overdosed. Read more here.

FBI Special Agent Stephen Emmett said that it appeared that the two were beginning to operate another sex ring in Georgia at the time of their arrest.

The Gwinnett Daily Post writes about the local part of the nationwide operation.

The Gwinnett County Police Department used additional resources available through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s ‘Operation Cross Country X’ to help crack down on human trafficking this month.

The FBI credited partnering Georgia nonprofits and government agencies including Gwinnett police for assisting.

Although Gwinnett police work year round to combat human trafficking, they regularly set up stings with regional agencies. At times, Gwinnett police may receive a call from an out-of-state agency with information about someone with Georgia ties involved in the activity.

For about six years, Gwinnett police has been part of the FBI Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force — MATCH. Gwinnett officers with the special investigations section said pimps tend to be attracted to Atlanta because of its easy access, nightlife and special events that bring in money.

However, Gwinnett and its affluence have been an ideal place for pimps to hide their girls, said Cpl. J. Doherty.

But the federal operation provided Gwinnett police the opportunity to network with even more agencies and reach additional areas, Doherty said.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

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Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 18, 2016 Tue, 18 Oct 2016 10:59:21 +0000 GaPundit:

Hunter is a three-year old male Maltese and Poodle mix who weighs ten pounds and is available for adoption from Best Friends–Atlanta in Atlanta, GA. Foxy is a five-month old, 3.5 pound female Yorkshire Terrier Yorkie & Chihuahua Mix who is available for adoption from DanasDogHouse in Smyrna, GA. Wabbit is a five-month old, 3.5

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections



Hunter is a three-year old male Maltese and Poodle mix who weighs ten pounds and is available for adoption from Best Friends–Atlanta in Atlanta, GA.


Foxy is a five-month old, 3.5 pound female Yorkshire Terrier Yorkie & Chihuahua Mix who is available for adoption from DanasDogHouse in Smyrna, GA.


Wabbit is a five-month old, 3.5 pound male Yorkshire Terrier Yorkie & Chihuahua Mix who is available for adoption from DanasDogHouse in Smyrna, GA.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 18, 2016 Tue, 18 Oct 2016 09:35:00 +0000 GaPundit:

The Mason-Dixon line separating Pennsylvania from Maryland was established on October 18, 1767. In 1760, tired of border violence between the colonies’ settlers, the British crown demanded that the parties involved hold to an agreement reached in 1732. As part of Maryland and Pennsylvania’s adherence to this royal command, Mason and Dixon were asked to

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections


The Mason-Dixon line separating Pennsylvania from Maryland was established on October 18, 1767.

In 1760, tired of border violence between the colonies’ settlers, the British crown demanded that the parties involved hold to an agreement reached in 1732. As part of Maryland and Pennsylvania’s adherence to this royal command, Mason and Dixon were asked to determine the exact whereabouts of the boundary between the two colonies. Though both colonies claimed the area between the 39th and 40th parallel, what is now referred to as the Mason-Dixon line finally settled the boundary at a northern latitude of 39 degrees and 43 minutes. The line was marked using stones, with Pennsylvania’s crest on one side and Maryland’s on the other.

Twenty years later, in late 1700s, the states south of the Mason-Dixon line would begin arguing for the perpetuation of slavery in the new United States while those north of line hoped to phase out the ownership of human chattel. This period, which historians consider the era of “The New Republic,” drew to a close with the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which accepted the states south of the line as slave-holding and those north of the line as free. The compromise, along with those that followed it, eventually failed.

On October 18, 1867, the United States took over Alaska from Russia and ran up Old Glory there for the first time.

Separated from the far eastern edge of the Russian empire by only the narrow Bering Strait, the Russians had been the first Europeans to significantly explore and develop Alaska.

Seeing the giant Alaska territory as a chance to cheaply expand the size of the nation, William H. Seward, President Andrew Johnson‘s secretary of state, moved to arrange the purchase of Alaska. Agreeing to pay a mere $7 million for some 591,000 square miles of land-a territory twice the size of Texas and equal to nearly a fifth of the continental United States-Seward secured the purchase of Alaska at the ridiculously low rate of less than 2¢ an acre.

On October 18, 1870, Rockdale and McDuffie Counties were created when Georgia Governor Rufus Bullock signed legislation creating them.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections


In-person early voting started with a bang yesterday, with several jurisdictions seeing hours-long lines.

Data released by the Secretary of State‘s office showed that at least 84,994 voters cast ballots yesterday in the November 8 General Election. Here are the four counties with highest turnout yesterday:

DeKalb – 7585
Fulton – 7224
Cobb – 3675
Forsyth – 3495
Fayette – 2092
Henry – 2007
Columbia – 1879
Muscogee – 1749
Gwinnett – 1581
Hall – 1566
Cherokee – 1300
Chatham – 1043

In Gwinnett County, at least 1000 voters cast ballots yesterday, with waits reportedly up to 4 hours.

By 3 p.m., 977 ballots had been given out at the Gwinnett County Voter Registrations and Elections Office, located at 455 Grayson Highway, Suite 200. Voter registration and elections director Lynn Ledford said she hasn’t seen these type of numbers for early voting since the 2008 presidential election between Democratic Party nominee Barack Obama and Republican Party nominee John McCain.

Once voters finished the process, they walked away smiling or looking frustrated, but everyone seemed relieved.

“This has been extraordinary,” said Ledford, who has served in her position for the last 29 years. “There have been many more people than I anticipated. I thought this would happen in the second week (of early voting) — not the first.”

By 6:30 a.m., voters had formed a line outside the building, Ledford said.

But voting didn’t start until 8 a.m. and continued until 5 p.m.

Macon voters saw a wait of up to an hour for advance voting yesterday.

As the lunch-hour crowd stretched out the door at the Bibb County Board of Elections, more than 500 people had already cast ballots.

According to the election board, 1,431 people in Bibb voted Monday — 1,165 at the Pio Nono office and 266 at Terminal Station, the county’s other early voting site.

A woman waiting had on a red T-shirt with “Deplorable” on it in white letters. The word has become a rallying cry for Donald Trump supporters after his opponent, Hillary Clinton, referred to some of his backers as “deplorables.”

“Miss Hillary called us ‘deplorable,’ ” the woman in the red T-shirt said. “So I got my ‘deplorable’ on.”

The Henry County Elections Office had a line out the door yesterday for the opening of advance voting.

Athens-Clarke County voters were lined up outside when workers arrived to open the polls there.

“I knew it was going to be busy,” said Cora Wright, the county’s interim elections supervisor. The elections office has been fielding calls for the past month from people wanting to know when early voting started, Wright said, but even so, the volume of first-day early voting clearly was a surprise to her and the rest of the elections office staff.

Elections personnel began arriving at the elections office at 155 E. Washington St. at 7 a.m., an hour before they opened to accept the first voters, and already there was a line at the door, Wright said. Soon after the office opened, the line stretched several dozen yards up Washington Street, nearly to the College Avenue intersection, and elections personnel were handing out sample ballots to waiting voters, in hopes of speeding up the voting process.

Sunshine and relatively mild temperatures helped make the wait tolerable, and Wright was pleased that the crowd remained even-tempered as elections personnel had to limit the elections office to five voters at a time, keeping the dozens of other voters waiting on the wide sidewalk along Washington Street.

Richmond County voters will decide whether to extend the one-cent E-SPLOST sales tax for schools.

On the Nov. 8 ballot, residents will have the option to vote yes or no to re-impose the education local option sales tax, which is currently levied in the county and has been responsible for enabling construction, expansion and renovation projects at 40 Richmond County schools since 2012.

“This tax is extremely important for our students,” Richmond County Superintendent Angela Pringle said. “We need to continue to upgrade buildings and technology in order to help our kids succeed.”

In all, the preliminary construction budget for the renewed tax is $144.6 million, and an additional $25.5 million would go toward technology, vehicles, textbooks and furniture.

“People want to make sure this tax is truly going to the kids – and it is,” [Richmond County school board attorney Pete] Fletcher said. “None of the money goes toward salaries, operations or maintenance. All proceeds go toward construction, infrastructure or tangible items that have a defined capital life span.”

Dougherty County also saw significant turnout in yesterday’s early voting.

By mid-morning, voters had filled the government center’s second floor, lining up 30-deep to make their voices heard in what is expected to be a busy election year thanks to a hotly contested presidential election.

“We’ve had a great day in the elections office,” Dougherty County Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson said. “I wish all of our elections started out like this. By 3:30 we already had over 1,000 people (vote).

“We average about 1,000 a day when it’s a presidential election, so we had a great day.”

Bob Rogers of Street Grace spoke to the Forsyth County News about Amendment #2, the Safe Harbor Amendment.

“It is anticipated it will generate up to $2 million a year for funding for restorative care for survivors,” said Bob Rogers, CEO of Street Grace, a faith-based organization whose aim is to end the demand for domestic minor sex trafficking in Georgia.

He said no taxes would be imposed on regular citizens or businesses and that the nature of an amendment to the state Constitution means “those monies are set aside outside of the budget and will never be used for any other purpose or manipulated for political gain … it is a forever fund.”

The fund would allow for restorative care, awareness campaigns, advocacy, rescue services, housing series, education, medical care, counseling, mental health care, life skills and job skills training and transitional support.

Rogers said people are just starting to talk about human sex trafficking, especially child sex trafficking, but that the issue is at a critical mass in “awareness of both the legislature and the general.”

Georgia would be one of the first states to pass a measure like Safe Harbor Yes, which has garnered the support of figures like former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, state Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) and Attorney General Sam Olens.

The statistics [are] downright disastrous, not just for Georgia but for a large portion of our country,” Olens said at a press conference on the amendment at the end of August.

Rogers said child sex trafficking is second only to drug trafficking for the fastest-growing underground criminal activity in the world, “and it will surpass it in the next five years. This is not a problem that happens in other states. This is not a problem that happens in other communities. It is statistically occurring in our neighborhood and in your community. Just the magnitude of the statistics and the research that says one in four girls will be sexually exploited before the age of 18 and one in six boys will be.”

Congressman John Lewis (D-Atlanta) will appear at an event about the “March” graphics novels he co-authored.

The event will take place at the Norcross Cultural Arts & Community Center at 10 College St. at 3 p.m.

The No. 1 New York Times bestseller “March: Book Three” is the final installment in the series and a National Book Award finalist. The novel tells the story of how Lewis and young activists used nonviolence to fight for civil rights for black people in the Jim Crow south in the early 1960s.

Whether to “thaw” the property tax freeze in Columbus is getting deep into the weeds.

Were the referendum to thaw the freeze pass, then be challenged and overturned in court, what would happen? The pro-thaw side maintains that were the thaw ordinance-to-be overturned in court, the city would revert to the tax assessment freeze. Opponents say a successful challenge would throw out both systems because the freeze would have been repealed. That would leave all homeowners under the fair market value system.

[Former State Senator Seth] Harp and [Mayor Teresa] Tomlinson, who have debated the issue publicly, disagree on this and several other objections to the referendum.

State Senator Hunter Hill (R-Smyrna) faces a Democratic opponent in the General Election.

“People are hungry for a more moderate voice, and they’re excited about having somebody who can be reasonable and be passionate and really be able to relate to a lot of different people in this area,” said [Jaha] Howard, who is running as a Democrat.

But Hill touts his record of actively sponsoring legislation on issues consistent with what he says his district cares about — education, transportation and budget reform — and said he will continue to do so if re-elected.

“I’m not a legislator that just sits in the chair and votes,” Hill said.

Hill voted for the Opportunity School District’s enabling legislation and said no schools in District 6 are in danger of becoming part of the district.

“It provides an opportunity for schools that have been failing for three consecutive years to have different leadership, to change the trajectory of those schools that have proven to continue to fail,” Hill said. “If you fail three (years) in a row (to meet a state education benchmark), then somebody else needs to have a chance to change the story for these kids,” Hill said.

He said a lot of noise and angst surrounds the referendum and he said the majority of the opposition stems from communities with successful schools that would not be affected by the legislation.

During the 2015-16 session, Hill sponsored legislation that supported expanding MARTA — although not specifically to Cobb — and he pushed for increased funding of transportation projects through tapping into the state’s motor fuel tax. He said the state government’s solution to alleviating traffic is through providing more resources to transportation projects which will help ease traffic when those construction projects are completed, without raising taxes.

The Marietta School Board is expected to vote tonight to put an E-SPLOST on the ballot in 2017.

Gainesville Board of Education members approved a resolution opposing the Opportunity School District Amendment #1, with board member Sammie Smith abstaining.

Kennesaw City Council member Jimmy Dickens will end his standing protest designed to bring attention to what he says is a need for more raises for city employees.

Warner Robins City Council approved a Vietnam veterans park on Monday.

Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell has drawn an ethics complaint over accepting contributions in excess of the permissible amounts.

Georgia Republicans on Monday filed a complaint against Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell for accepting too much money from campaign donors.

Dean Kelley, the immediate past chairman of the Walker County GOP, and Rossville Precinct Chairman Mike Cameron told the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission that Heiskell needed to be investigated. A Times Free Press analysis of Heiskell’s contribution reports since the beginning of 2013 show that 14 donors each gave more than the $2,600 limit for one election.

These donors gave a total of $56,250 — $19,850 more than allowed.

“Bebe continues to show us her disrespect for Georgia State law!” Shannon Whitfield, the Republican candidate for commissioner, wrote on his Facebook page Sunday. “This is just the latest chapter of Bebe snubbing her nose at the State of Georgia. Who in Atlanta is protecting Bebe?”

For her part, Heiskell has not admitted to taking excess donations.

“I am looking into the accusation and will address it once I have determined the full extent of the problem, if any,” Heiskell wrote on her Facebook page Sunday.

Easter Seals Southern Georgia broke ground for Megan’s House, which will provide respite care for families of children with disabilities.

“We are very excited about this Megan’s House,” said Easter Seals Southern Georgia Executive Director Beth English.

English said the new respite facility is expected to serve three to four families at one time. A fundraising campaign has been ongoing since 2014 to raise funds to build the new facility that will meet what officials say is a growing need.

The Easter Seals director said children stay at the center, on average, somewhere between two days and two weeks at a time. An expanded center, like the one planned on Forrester Parkway, would allow Megan’s House to put three families on the schedule while having an additional space for emergencies.

“It will enhance our ability to care for more children,” English said.

Click here to learn more about Megan’s House.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

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Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 17, 2016 Mon, 17 Oct 2016 10:11:31 +0000 GaPundit:

Albert is a young male Terrier mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Toccoa-Stephens County Humane Shelter in Toccoa, GA. Logan is a young male Shepherd mix who is available for adoption from the Toccoa-Stephens County Humane Shelter in Toccoa, GA. Cinnamon is a young female Hound mix who is available for adoption

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections



Albert is a young male Terrier mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Toccoa-Stephens County Humane Shelter in Toccoa, GA.


Logan is a young male Shepherd mix who is available for adoption from the Toccoa-Stephens County Humane Shelter in Toccoa, GA.


Cinnamon is a young female Hound mix who is available for adoption from the Toccoa-Stephens County Humane Shelter in Toccoa, GA. She was brought in after being hit by a car but has received veterinary care for her injuries.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 17, 2016 Mon, 17 Oct 2016 09:43:59 +0000 GaPundit:

Friday, October 15, 1582 marked the beginning of the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar – the previous day was Thursday, October 4th. The Pennsylvania Gazette published a criticism against the British Tea Act on October 16, 1773. The Tea Act of 1773 was a bill designed to save the faltering British East India Company by

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections


Friday, October 15, 1582 marked the beginning of the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar – the previous day was Thursday, October 4th.

The Pennsylvania Gazette published a criticism against the British Tea Act on October 16, 1773.

The Tea Act of 1773 was a bill designed to save the faltering British East India Company by greatly lowering its tea tax and granting it a virtual monopoly on the American tea trade. The low tax allowed the company to undercut even tea smuggled into America by Dutch traders, and many colonists viewed the act as yet another example of taxation tyranny. In response, the “Philadelphia Resolutions” called the British tax upon America unfair and said that it introduced “arbitrary government and slavery” upon the American citizens. The resolutions urged all Americans to oppose the British tax and stated that anyone who transported, sold or consumed the taxed tea would be considered “an enemy to his country.”

Five thousand British and Hessian troops surrendered to patriot militia on October 17, 1777, ending the Second Battle of Saratoga, and leading to France recognizing American independence and sending military aid.

George Washington left New York, the nation’s capitol, on October 15, 1789, embarking upon the first Presidential tour to New England.

An editorial published pseudononymously by Alexander Hamilton on October 17, 1796, accused Thomas Jefferson, then a Presidential candidate, of having an affair with a slave.

Happy birthday to the Texas Rangers, created on October 17, 1835.

In the midst of their revolt against Mexico, Texan leaders felt they needed a semi-official force of armed men who would defend the isolated frontier settlers of the Lone Star Republic against both Santa Ana’s soldiers and hostile Indians; the Texas Rangers filled this role. But after winning their revolutionary war with Mexico the following year, Texans decided to keep the Rangers, both to defend against Indian and Mexican raiders and to serve as the principal law enforcement authority along the sparsely populated Texan frontier.

On October 16, 1854, Abraham Lincoln, a candidate for Congress, spoke against the Kansas-Nebraska Act and called the practice of slavery “immoral.”

Lincoln, who was practicing law at the time, campaigned on behalf of abolitionist Republicans in Illinois and attacked the Kansas-Nebraska Act. He denounced members of the Democratic Party for backing a law that “assumes there can be moral right in the enslaving of one man by another.” He believed that the law went against the founding American principle that “all men are created equal.”

The world’s first combat submarine, CSS Hunley, sunk during testing in Charleston Harbor on October 15, 1863.

On October 16, 1918, visitors to the Southeastern Fair at the Lakewood Fairgrounds were required by the Georgia State Board of Health to don face masks in order to prevent the spread of the Spanish flu.

Paul Anderson, known as the “World’s Strongest Man,” was born in Toccoa, Georgia on October 17, 1932. From his New York Times obituary:

As the unknown substitute for the injured American champion at the first Soviet-American dual athletic competition, in Moscow in 1955, the 5-foot-9-inch Anderson was scorned by his hosts.

The scorn turned to snickers when Anderson called for a weight of 402.4 pounds, more than 20 pounds above the world record. The snickers stopped when the 340-pound Anderson lifted the weight. By the time he set another record, in the clean and jerk, he was being hailed by Soviet fans.

The stunning achievement at the height of the Cold War made Anderson an instant American hero, and it was largely an anticlimax when he set three more world records at the world championships in Munich, Germany, later that year.

Although virtually conceded the gold medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, Anderson was stricken with a severe inner-ear infection.

Competing at 304 pounds and with a 103-degree fever, he fell so far behind his chief rival that on the final of three required lifts, he needed to clean and jerk 413.5 pounds, an Olympic record, to claim the gold. Twice he tried and failed. On the third attempt he asked God for a little extra help and got it.

“It wasn’t making a bargain,” he said later, “I needed help.”

Paul Anderson Memorial Park in Toccoa is a private park supported by a 501(c)(3) organization.

The 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution took effect October 15, 1933, changing the Presidential term of office to begin and end on January 20th following each quadrennial election and Senate and Congress to January 3d following biennial elections, both from March 4th.

Billy Graham launched his national ministry on October 15, 1949 in Los Angeles, California.

On October 15, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation creating the United States Department of Transportation. May God have mercy upon his soul.

Interstate 285 around Atlanta was completed on October 15, 1969.

The Omni opened in Atlanta on  October 15, 1972, as the Hawks beat the New York Knicks by a score of 109-101.

Maynard Jackson was elected Mayor of Atlanta on October 16, 1973. Jackson was the first African-Amercian Mayor of Atlanta; he served eight years, and was elected for a third, non-consecutive term in 1990.

On October 16, 1976, Jimmy Carter campaigned in Youngstown, Ohio.

Former Secretary General of the Communist Party of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize on October 15, 1990

Georgia-born Clarence Thomas was confirmed as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on October 15, 1991.

On October 15, 2014, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie came to Georgia to support Gov. Nathan Deal’s reelection.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

In-person early voting begins today. You can sign in to the Secretary of State’s MVP page to find early voting locations near you and see a sample ballot.

YouGov has an election model that shows Hillary Clinton winning Georgia’s electoral votes. In news that’s every bit as serious, my wife’s Dachshund mix Finster has an election model that shows him being elected “King of all Dogs.”

A federal district court judge in Savannah has ordered Georgia to extend voter registration in Chatham County through Tuesday, October 18th.

U.S. District Judge William T. Moore Jr. ruled that while Georgia’s governor and secretary of state may not be under any obligation to provide Chatham County residents with an extension, it was “the right thing to do.”

He granted an emergency preliminary injunction in response to a suit filed by attorneys for several civil rights groups who complained that Hurricane Matthew had deprived potential voters of their right to register to vote in the Nov. 8 general election.

“What is clear to the court, however, is that granting the extension would have been the right thing to do,” Moore wrote in a five-page order filed in Savannah. “Extending a small degree of common decency by allowing impacted individuals a few extra days to register to vote seems like a rather small consolidation on behalf of their government.”

He rejected arguments by an attorney for Secretary of State Brian Kemp that extending the Oct. 11 deadline by a week would present significant administrative burdens on the Chatham County Board of Elections because early voting begins on Monday.

“The court does not discount that the extension wold present some administrative difficulty (to the board of elections),” Moore said. “However, those adminstratrive hurdles pale in comparison to the physical, emotional, and financial strain Chatham County residents faced in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.”

Because “common decency” is a valid legal ground for an unelected federal judge to set aside state law.

Gwinnett County voters will have two opportunities to vote on a Saturday during this year’s early voting.

Voting will take place Oct. 17 to Nov. 4, including two Saturday voting opportunities on Oct. 22 and Oct. 29, at the Board of Voter Registrations and Elections Office, 455 Grayson Highway, in Lawrenceville. Voting hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Oct. 17 to Oct. 28 and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 29 and from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4.

There will be no voting on Sundays.

Several satellite locations will also be open on Oct. 29 and Oct. 31 to Nov. 4. Those locations include the Bogan Park Community Recreation Center, Dacula Park Activity Building, George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center, Lenora Park Activity Room, Lucky shoals Park Community Recreation Center, Mountain Park Activity Building and Shorty Howell Park Activity Building.

Most of the newly-registered Paulding County voters signed up at the very end of the registration period, according to the West Georgia Neighbor.

The county’s registered voters increased from more than 93,000 in May to an estimated 99,000 before early voting begins for the Nov. 8 election, county election supervisor Deidre Holden said.

More than 4,500 Paulding residents registered to vote in the final 48 hours before the voter registration deadline Tuesday, county elections officials said.

“The past two days have been absolutely crazy,” [Holden] told the Paulding Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.

Other than the obvious attraction — the presidential election — Paulding’s Nov. 8 election also will include a high-profile state constitutional amendment allowing the state to “intervene in chronically failing public schools,” and two local special elections asking voters to approve a $77 million bond issue for a new county jail and sheriff’s office administration building, and Sunday alcoholic beverage sales in unincorporated Paulding County.

Congressman John Lewis (D-Atlanta) will march today with fellow Democrats to draw attention to the opening of in-person early voting.

Lewis, Fulton County Chairman John Eaves and state Rep. Park Cannon, D-Atlanta, will lead young Democrats on a march from the Nelson Street Bridge, 309 Nelson St. SW, to the Fulton County Government Center, 30 Peachtree St. NW.

“On Monday, I will join dozens of young people who are doing their part by marching to the ballot box and exercising their right to vote,” Lewis said in a statement. “In all my years, I’ve never seen an election like this one. It is more important now than ever before for Georgia’s young people to march to the polls so that generations yet unborn can continue to fulfill the promise of America.”

The campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton asks the public to RSVP for the march here.

Donald Trump, Jr. appeared at a rally in Augusta on Friday.

Congressman Rick Allen (R-Augusta) visited Effingham County as the area recovered from Hurricane Matthew.

Allen visited the Effingham Emergency Management Agency (EMA) headquarters and toured the county with Commissioner Reggie Loper, who lives on Stillwell Clyo Road and still did not have power.

“Chatham, Bryan and Glynn got the brunt of it,” Allen said. “We (in Effingham) are very fortunate.”

Fallen trees killed two people in Bulloch County and one in Chatham County, while no one was injured in Effingham when the storm blew through last Friday and Saturday.

Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long joined Allen in touring Screven County Wednesday. Allen also toured Bulloch County.

He said early estimates are that about one third of the peanut, cotton and pecan crops were damaged by the storm.

He urged farmers and local government officials to keep detailed records for federal disaster applications.

“Local pecan farmers today asked me, ‘How do you harvest with trees down all around the pecan trees?’ People are hurting.” Allen said.

Brian McDuffie, Republican candidate for Richmond County Sheriff filed an ethics complaint against incumbent Democrat Richard Roundtree.

McDuffie called a news conference to announce the action and provided a copy of the complaint dated Thursday. In it, he contends that the sheriff violated state law because on-duty deputies or even off-duty deputies who were later given compensatory time cannot take part in such political advertisements because it is considered to be a person acting on behalf of an agency making a contribution to a candidate.

Such violations fall under the jurisdiction of the state ethics commission, McDuffie said.

The Marietta Daily Journal has endorsed the passage of Amendment #2, which creates the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund.

Hundreds of Georgia children from across the state are exploited and trafficked every year. The average age is 13, and they can be as young as 9.

Georgia Cares, the nonprofit agency connecting services and treatment care for child victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking, reported 387 confirmed cases in 2015 and 1,386 between 2009 and 2015. But the number of children actually enduring this nightmarish life is unknown.

Many of the children have already been sexually abused, often by people they know, and have run away, said Attorney General Sam Olens, president-elect of Kennesaw State University.

And when a child runs away, they have no one to take care of them, making easy prey for traffickers. The pimps pick these children off the streets and give them a place to stay, food to eat and clothes to wear so that by the time they advertise them for sex, many of the victims have become indoctrinated, said Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds.

The amendment would create a dedicated source of funding for the services needed to help child victims of sex trafficking return to a normal life. The fund is estimated to raise $2 million annually for restorative services such as safe housing, trauma counseling and medical treatment. Such treatment is not inexpensive and can cost as much as $80,000 for one year.

We join [Senator Renee] Unterman, Olens, Reynolds and others in supporting this amendment that will help restore the shattered lives of abused children. Vote Yes on Amendment 2.

Richmond County voters will cast ballots on a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST V).

The Richmond County Board of Educa­tion’s Education Local Option Sales Tax 5 includes several of those same schools for capital improvements, including $11.3 million for Josey and $2.8 million for Butler.

The 283-word ballot question clears the school board to collect up to $225 million over five years and issue up to $156 million in general obligation debt. Its largest projects are $27 million for a new pre-K through eighth-grade school and $22 million to replace Wheeless Road Elementary, which is on the failing list.

Crawford County Coroner Allen O’Neal faces a criminal trial this week while running for re-election to the job from which he has been suspended by Gov. Nathan Deal.

Jury selection is set to begin Monday in Hamilton, the county seat for Harris County, located north of Columbus and near the Georgia-Alabama border.

O’Neal was arrested May 6, 2016, and indicted about a month later on two counts alleging he violated his oath of office. He’s accused of not responding to a May 2, 2015, death call and firing a deputy coroner because he did respond.

Gov. Nathan Deal suspended O’Neal from office in August 2015 after appointing a panel made up of two coroners and the attorney general to consider the case. The panel unanimously recommended O’Neal’s suspension.

The suspension will stand while the criminal case is pending or until O’Neal’s term expires Dec. 31, 2016.

O’Neal, who’s been the county’s coroner for more than 24 years, is running for re-election as an independent against Republican challenger Sheldon Mattox and Democrat challenger Arnold Walden.

Gwinnett Medical Center-Duluth will celebrate its ten-year anniversary.

Kennesaw City Council member Jimmy Dickens stood during a council meeting to protest a budget that he voted for.

The City Council last month adopted a $28.3 million budget, which took effect Oct. 1 and included a 3 percent cost-of-living raise for employees. Councilman Jimmy Dickens was among the council members who voted to approve the budget, but he said Friday that the budget, though it raised all employees’ salaries, did not raise many workers’ pay rates to where they needed to be. He aims to see salaries increased for those in the city’s public works and parks and recreation departments, as well as those on the police force.

Dickens stood and remained standing at Wednesday’s council work session to highlight the issue, and he told the MDJ Friday he also intends to do so at the council’s meeting tonight. Prior to Wednesday’s meeting, he had announced in an Oct. 5 post on his Facebook page his intention to stand at meetings.

State Rep. Emory Dunahoo (R-Gillsville)  faces a Democratic opponent for the first time since winning a special election in 2011.

“I run on the pretense of not being scared,” he said. “I’m seeking re-election because I ran five years ago on a promise that I would work on changing the tax system in Georgia.”

Dunahoo said he has filed a bill to implement a “Fair Tax” in Georgia and continues to support reductions to the state income tax.

[Michelle] Jones, meanwhile, highlights the re-emergence of the Hall County Democratic Party in the past two years. Party members prodded her to run for office, given her active involvement in the local community.
Dunahoo said he hopes to continue working on reforming the state’s criminal justice system, which has been a priority of Gov. Nathan Deal, by tightening domestic violence laws and curbing underage drinking.

He also intends to continue supporting changes to the state’s medical marijuana law, including proposals to allow in-state cultivation and distribution.

State Rep. Rich Golick (R-Smyrna) also faces a Democratic challenger next month.

State Rep. Rich Golick, R-Smyrna, and Democratic challenger Erick Allen both realize traffic is a problem in Cobb County and within House District 40, which each hope to represent come January. But the two candidates for the office differ in their strategies for improving the state of transportation in and around the county.

“It’s only going to get worse,” Allen said of Cobb’s traffic woes, which he said is one effect of a net positive: the explosion in development in and around his district.

Golick says that while traffic should improve with the completion of various projects around Cumberland Mall, Windy Hill and Atlanta roads, as well as the managed lanes under construction on I-75, any potential long-term solutions will need to consider some form of mass transit, though any such addition had to “make sense” and be cost-efficient for taxpayers. A rail system, he said, may not be the answer.

“We must not build rail just for the sake of building it, because that would be a potentially colossal waste of the taxpayers’ money,” Golick said. “It may be that some sort of express bus service — both north-south and east-west tracking traffic patterns — would make the most sense from a fiscal management and effectiveness standpoint, but the result must be that fewer cars are on the road, and any such a system certainly cannot make the commute of those who remain in their cars more difficult than it is now.”

“I support the Opportunity School District Amendment because it provides a mechanism to rescue a child from a chronically failing school,” Golick said. “One need only look at the example of the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal to see what happens when schools chronically fail, and then are ignored. We don’t have that problem in Cobb due to good management and fundamentally committed teachers who we appreciate, but the truth is that there are school systems where this is a problem, and we can’t ignore it.”

But Allen said he does not believe the Opportunity School District, listed on the ballot as Amendment One, is the solution struggling schools need.

Incumbent Hall County District 4 Commissioner Jeff Stowe faces off against Democrat Angela Thomas Middleton.

Stowe, in his first re-election bid, is looking to stamp his campaign promises on the electorate.

“I have a track record now,” Stowe said, adding that his opponent is not subject to the same scrutiny he faces.

Stowe said he promised to solidify a firm plan to develop a park in the area when first running for office four years ago and that he’s stayed true to that commitment.

“I can’t do anything I promise without two other votes,” Stowe said. “It’s about working with your fellow commissioners.”

He believes this is one of his greatest strengths and what will help see the park to completion.

“It’s going to take working with my fellow commissioners to make that happen,” Stowe said. “We all have needs in our districts.”

Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell may return nearly $20,000 in excess contributions, according to the Times-Free Press.

The confusion arose from Heiskell’s decision in March to seek re-election as an independent, after running as a Republican since taking office in 2001. She decided this year to run as an independent and avoid the primary, even though records show she had been raising money for that election since the summer of 2014.

Of the $120,000 she has received since then, $80,000 was intended to go toward her primary campaign. When she left the Republican Party to run as an independent, those contributions transferred to her general election fund, said Robert Lane, an attorney for the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.

But even so, some contributors — like Audia — gave more than the $2,600 legal limit for the primary. Others made separate donations for the primary and general elections that totaled more than the limit for one race.

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

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