The blog.

10
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 10, 2017

Baloo

Baloo is a young male Coonhound who is available for adoption from The Humane Society of South Coastal Georgia in Brunswick, GA.

CALLING ALL HOUND LOVERS – Baloo the 9-month-old Coonhound is looking for a home where he can sing the night away. If you are interested in adopting this southern gentleman, be prepared for that famous Coonhound bark and incredible sense of smell. I have a Coonhound mix at home and they’re wonderful dogs, perfect for a family or individual.

NoahGlynn

Noah is a young male Basset Hound & American Bulldog mix puppy who is available for adoption from Glynn County Animal Services in Brunswick, GA.

Mork

Mork (above, male) and his sister Mindy (below, female) are mixed-breed low rider dogs who are available for adoption from HART of McIntosh County (Humane Animal Resource Team) in Darien, GA.

Mork and Mindy are “joined at the hip.” These two little orphans have traveled many miles and overcome incredible obstacles together. Their mother, Tabitha, gave birth to them and eight more babies in an old station wagon almost two years ago. The car was “home” to the pups and their homeless human Dad!

Mindy

9
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaign, and Elections for November 9, 2017

General William Tecumseh Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 120 on November 9, 1864.

Headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, in the Field, Kingston, Georgia, November 9, 1864

5. To corps commanders alone is intrusted the power to destroy mills, houses, cotton-gins, etc.; and for them this general principle is laid down: In districts and neighborhoods where the army is unmolested, no destruction of such property should be permitted; but should guerrillas or bushwhackers molest our march, or should the inhabitants burn bridges, obstruct roads, or otherwise manifest local hostility, then army commanders should order and enforce a devastation more or less relentless, according to the measure of such hostility.

6. As for horses, mules, wagons, etc., belonging to the inhabitants, the cavalry and artillery may appropriate freely and without limit; discriminating, however, between the rich, who are usually hostile, and the poor and industrious, usually neutral or friendly. Foraging-parties may also take mules or horses, to replace the jaded animals of their trains, or to serve as pack-mules for the regiments of brigades. In all foraging, of whatever kind, the parties engaged will refrain abusive or threatening language, and may, where the officer in command thinks proper, given written certificates of the facts, but no receipts; and they will endeavor to leave with each family a reasonable portion for their maintenance.

7. Negroes who are able-bodied and can be of service to the several columns may be taken along; but each army commander will bear in mind that the question of supplies is a very important one, and this his first duty is to see to those who bear arms.

8. The organization, at once, of a good pioneer battalion for each army corps, composed if possible of Negroes, should be attended to. This battalion should follow the advance-guard, repair roads and double them if possible, so that the columns will not be delayed after reaching bad places.

Former Confederate General John B. Gordon was sworn-in as Governor of Georgia on November 9, 1886.

The next day, November 9, 1932, President-elect FDR addressed a national broadcast to the American people and mentioned that he would spend Thanksgiving at his “second home” in Georgia.

On November 9, 1938, Kristallnacht began the organized destruction and looting of Jewish businesses and homes in Munich, Germany.

On November 9, 1989, the former East Germany announced that citizens could cross the border to West Germany. That night, crowds began tearing down sections of the wall that divided the city.

Georgia Politics, Campaign, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal issued an Executive Order creating and appointing members to the Governor’s Complete County Council in preparation for the next decennial Census.

The Georgia Judicial Nominating Commission has opened nominations for a vacancy on the Superior Court of the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit, which was created by the resignation of the Honorable Frank J. Jordan, Jr. The Chattahoochee Judical Circuit comprises Chattahoochee, Harris, Marion, Muscogee, Talbot, and Taylor Counties. From the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer:

The vacant job will draw interest from a number of prominent local attorneys. At least six contacted by the Ledger-Enquirer this week said they had some interest in the Superior Court position, one of seven such jobs in the circuit.

[State Court Judge Benjamin S.] Richardson, District Attorney Julia Slater, Assistant Chief District Attorney Alonza Whitaker, Juvenile Court Judge Joey Loudermilk, former assistant district attorney LaRae Moore and criminal defense attorney Stacey Jackson said they were interested in the opening.

“If the opportunity presented itself, I would certainly explore it,” Richardson said Wednesday. “I think it’s a awesome opportunity and I can see why so many people would be interested.”

Slater, a Democrat, was on the short list submitted by the Judicial Nominating Commission to Deal, a Republican, in 2013.

“I would certainly like to be a Superior Court judge at some point,” Slater said on Tuesday. “I know the posting has just gone up, but I would be interested if I were nominated.”

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp‘s office has opened an investigation against Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Sources told only Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Aaron Diamant that the investigation started after a complaint about a video posted on Reed’s Instagram and Facebook accounts.

The video, which appears to be filmed outside Fickett Elementary School on Rux Road, showed Reed, his wife and his daughter.

n the video, the Reed family urges people to vote and announces that they voted for Keisha Lance Bottoms.

“I’m Mayor Kasim Reed, here in Southwest Atlanta at Fickett Elementary School. And my wife, Sarah-Elisabeth, and my daughter, Maria Kristan, and I, we just voted for the next mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms,” Reed says in the video.

According to Georgia law: “No person shall solicit votes in any manner or by any means or method on any day in which ballots are being cast within 150 feet of the outer edge of any building within which a polling place is established.”

The video on Reed’s accounts seems to show Reed and his family within that 150-foot limit.

In a written statement, a Secretary of State spokesperson told Channel 2 Action News: “We received a complaint yesterday regarding statements that Mayor Reed allegedly made at his polling place. We review every complaint that we receive, and we have opened a State Election Board investigation into the matter. We cannot say anything further about this pending investigation at this time.”

A violation of the 150-foot rule would be a misdemeanor.

There’s a lot I dislike about the way Mayor Reed has conducted his administration, but this is pretty small potatoes.

Georgia cities have elected at least four new African-American Mayors. From TheRoot.com

African Americans were elected mayor for 1st time:
Statesboro GA, Jonathan McCollar
Milledgeville GA, Mary Parham Copelan
Cairo GA, Booker Gainor

Mary Parham-Copelan was also the first woman elected Mayor of Milledgeville.

Norcross elected Craig Gordon as Mayor.

The city of Norcross made longtime councilman Craig Newton Gwinnett’s first-ever black mayor during Tuesday’s election. Newton was not challenged.

And in Loganville — which is in both Gwinnett and Walton counties — former councilman Rey Martinez roughly doubled the unofficial vote total of opponent Donna B. Jones. It’s believed he will become Gwinnett’s first-ever Latino mayor.

Martinez, a U.S. Navy veteran and restaurateur, made a name for himself last fall by helping lead several Georgia rallies for then-candidates Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

Gwinnett is a majority-minority county, meaning it has more non-white residents than white ones. But it has never seen a non-white candidate elected to the county commission or school board.

The AJC writes that Republican state legislators may consider changing district lines for the three legislative districts that went from GOP control to Democratic control this week.

Majority parties — in Georgia that’s the Republicans — don’t like losing seats, and they could file legislation during the session to redraw the district boundaries of at least some of the new Democratic lawmakers.

They could, for instance, add white, conservative neighborhoods to the districts, subtracting Democratic and minority voters, in hopes of making them more Republican by election time 2018.

Democrats did similar voter switcheroos to Republicans when they were in charge, and barely a post-election session goes by without the General Assembly at least rumbling about redrawing lines — most typically to protect incumbents.

Our House Republican Caucus and Georgia GOP are already working to reclaim those seats lost last night in next year’s elections, when a greater percentage of Georgians will go to the polls,” said House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge. Ralston didn’t mention any changes in districts, but he said the newly won Democratic seats will be the top targets of House Republicans.

Georgia Democrats think those seat flips augur great things for the 2018 elections, but they don’t agree on why or how.

The Georgia results were part of a national wave that defeated Republican gubernatorial candidates in Virginia and New Jersey. And with a wide-open race for governor next year, Democrats Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans trumpeted the results as validation of their strategies.

Supporters of Abrams said Ralph Northam’s victory in Virginia confirms their approach to the election, which hinges on energizing the party’s base. Her campaign said it was “proof that the momentum is on our side going into 2018.”

Evans’ backers said Northam’s success in districts carried by Trump, coupled with the Democratic wins in Georgia GOP strongholds, shows there’s an opening for Democrats like her who aim for disaffected Republican voters.

“While every race is important, only 1 percent of seats in the House changed hands between parties,” Ralston said in a statement. “I would caution against reading too much into such a minor shift.”

Some Republicans didn’t spin defeats late Tuesday in House districts covering parts of Athens and Watkinsville. Trump had carried both districts in November, and Republicans mounted solid and well-financed contenders for the seats.

“It’s a testament to the importance of a party contesting every seat possible,” Republican operative Todd Rehm said. “Kudos to Georgia Democrats for their recruitment efforts.”

He added that he’s not sure what precedent the votes set, since special elections are imperfect predictors of midterm votes. But he warned that the results will likely spur a new Democratic mission to contest all possible elections, even in deeply conservative areas.

Troy Brumbalow defeated 47-year incumbent Cumming Mayor Ford Gravitt.

Local business owner and Forsyth County native Troy Brumbalow defeated incumbent Mayor H. Ford Gravitt in Tuesday’s voting. Gravitt, 75, was first elected mayor in 1970 and has served in the post ever since.

Brumbalow, 46, received 563 votes, compared to 388 for Gravitt, according to county election results.

Brumbalow campaigned on returning a “small town feel” to Cumming, advocating for revitalizing downtown and the possibility of creating a city-center type development.

Gravitt underwent cancer surgery in the spring and was rumored to be retiring from his long-held post. But saying he’d received a clean bill of health, he announced he would seek another term. Prior to becoming mayor, he served from 1967-1970 as a member of Cumming City Council.

Fifty years of service to the City of Cumming is pretty impressive.

Summerville voters passed referenda to allow Sunday sales.

Summerville voters passed alcohol referendums, approving Sunday package and mixed-drink sales in the city beginning Dec. 17.

Polk, Gordon and Walker counties all approved sales tax packages and Euharlee will be adding four homestead exemptions.

Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini was easily returned to office, taking more than 90 percent of the vote over challenger Barbara Jackson. Cary Roth edged out Joey Pogue for the sole contested city council seat, 361 to 339.

Just under 8 percent of Gordon County’s voters showed up to overwhelmingly pass the proposed special purpose, local option sales tax package. Among the many projects are a fire station in Sugar Valley, an agricultural center, trails, recreation, a dog park and a morgue.

Resaca also will have a runoff for a town council seat. Frontrunner Michael Austin barely missed an outright win, with 49 percent of the vote. He’ll face Randy Barron, who got 30.6 percent. Mitch Reed is out, with just 20.4 percent.

Walker County will start collecting a 1-cent transportation sales tax on April 1, 2018. The TSPLOST levy for road projects will run for five years. It won approval from 70 percent of the voters, 2,622 to 1,122.

Colquitt County voters approved a penny Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST).

A little more than 9 percent of registered voters turned out, with 1,220, or 65.84 percent, voting yes, and 633 no votes cast.

The Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax was the only countywide question on the ballot.

The transportation sales tax, which will run for five years, was the second 1 percent sales tax approved this year by county voters. In March they voted to extend for six years an existing Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax that funds projects in the county and its municipalities.

The transportation tax, likewise, will fund projects in the cities and on county-maintained roadways.

County officials expect the estimated $15 million share it will receive to allow for resurfacing some 170 miles of roads.

Thomas County voters approved an extension of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).

SPLOST was approved by a 3,014-1,045 margin, capturing 74.3 percent of the votes.

The penny tax is expected to generate $42 million in revenue, The seven municipalities and the county would split the tax’s proceeds, based on population.

“I’m relieved to get this behind us,” said Thomas County Commission Chairman Ken Hickey. “That’s one thing we have to worry about for our future plans. It is very much needed for the maintenance of our road system and other projects.”

In other elections on the ballots Tuesday night, voters in Boston approved sales of alcohol by the drink and by the package on Sunday.

Tift County voters also passed a SPLOST.

[Tift County's] SPLOST passed by roughly 86 percent with 820 votes in favor and 131 opposed.

Dalton voters approved a $50 million dollar bond package for school construction.

Decatur County voters passed a T-SPLOST.

T-SPLOST, a 1 cent sales tax that will generate revenue for road projects in Decatur County, was passed on Tuesday 764-455.

T-SPLOST (Transportation Special Local Options Sales Tax) will go into effect April 1, 2018, and runs on a five-year cycle, finishing March 31, 2023. During that time, all sales except for gasoline in Decatur County will see a tax increase from 7 percent to 8 percent on the dollar.

The revenue generated from this, projected to be around $24 million over the five-year cycle, will go toward improving roadways in Decatur County and its municipalities.

“The county’s road maintenance and resurfacing needs greatly surpass the financial resources,” said Decatur County administrator Alan Thomas. “This will bridge that gap and allow us to respond to those needs in a more rapid manor than we would be able to otherwise.”

Decatur County is actively working toward lowering its millage rate for taxpayers, and passing T-SPLOST is a step in the right direction toward that goal. By having a special revenue stream from sales tax that can go toward road projects, Decatur’s County general budget can have more breathing room.

At the very least, T-SPLOST will help stabilize the budget and greatly reduce the likelihood of a millage rate increase.

Troup County voters approved by a 71-29 margin the fifth SPLOST.

The vote unofficially passed 71 to 29 percent Tuesday. There were 4,753 yes votes compared to 1,916 no votes on SPLOST.

SPLOST, or Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, is a proposed 1 percent tax on sales and uses within Troup County.The SPLOST will be used for infrastructure and capital outlay projects, as well as debt services within the county.

SPLOST is estimated to raise $70 million over the next six years and would help fund projects in LaGrange, Hogansville, West Point and Troup County.

LaGrange voters had the good sense to re-elect Mayor Jim Thornton.

The results are in, and incumbent LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton was successful in his bid for re-election, receiving 62 percent of the vote.

Thornton defeated challenger Jimmy McCamey 2,611 votes to 1,583. On Tuesday night, Thornton celebrated his re-election in his downtown law office surrounded by family and supporters.

“I’m very excited,” Thornton said. “I’m very grateful to LaGrange for placing confidence in me to serve a second term.”

“In my second term, I want to continue to emphasize economic development,” Thornton said. “I want to continue to focus on improving public safety and amenities for our residents. I realize that with the growth that is happening all around us, there will be challenges to our infrastructure — challenges relating to transportation, housing and other needs in the community. I will continue to work for creative solutions to address those needs.”

A large portion of Thornton’s final margin of victory was a result of his massive win in the Hollis Hand district. Thornton won 1,338 votes to 45 there.

Dade County rejected the sales tax referendum on their ballot.

Walker County residents voted 2,622-1,122 Tuesday to implement a 1 percent increase in sales tax, while Dade County residents voted 576-435 against it.

After voters shot down the tax increase, Dade County Executive Ted Rumley said the issue would be “back on the ballot in the real election. We’ll have a lot more people [turning out] to vote.”

9
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 9, 2017

T-Storm

T-Storm is a young male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from the Dolly Goodpuppy Society Inc in Barnesville, GA.

T-Storm is a young yellow lab who just keeps growing….and growing…this boy has legs for days and feet to match. When he fills in he will quite a formidable Labrador. A typical lab he is intelligent, friendly, agile, and kind. He enjoys running and playing in the yard. T-Storm has been working on the leash and some basic commands, with consistant training he will be a perfect companion for an active family.

Shortbread

Shortbread is a young female Rat Terrier and Chihuahua mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Dolly Goodpuppy Society Inc in Barnesville, GA.

Shortbread has coloring like a shepherd and a her terrier/chi personality is big enough to FILL a shepherd! Playful and happy this girl is ready to leave the pack and move into her forever home.

Shortbread’s sister, Gingersnap, is also available for adoption.

GhostDGS

Ghost is a young female American Bulldog mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Dolly Goodpuppy Society Inc in Barnesville, GA.

8
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 8, 2016

FernACR

Fern is a young female Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Athens Canine Rescue in Athens, GA.

Fern is a beautiful Black Lab/Golden Retriever mix and weighs a whopping 80lbs. Yep, she’s a big one! But that’s all the more dog to love! Don’t worry, she’s about where she should be seeing as how she is almost 2 years old.

Playing with other dogs is Fern’s idea of a fabulous time. Regular dog park trips are a great way to let out her energy and she doesn’t require structured introductions.

Fern is a good, even-keeled pup who isn’t bossy with other 4-legged friends, but also not a completely submissive roll-over-on-the-floor or lick-your-face-all-the-time dog. She’s definitely confident at the dog park, but if a dog puts up a stink, she’d rather take no part in that. So she’d basically do fine in any home, pup or not, old or young, though, for your sanity, younger and more playful is a better match :) Rain doesn’t stop Fern from having a fabulous time – she’ll dance around in it like nobody’s business and she does her business in it without complaint. The only thing that seems to scare her so far is the vacuum. But no one in her household is a fan of that!

Jeb

Jeb is a young male Coonhound mix who is available for adoption from Athenspets in Athens, GA.

As soon as Jeb entered the interaction pen, he ran for the first toy he spied and began tossing it in the air. He’s a happy, playful boy! He’s also quite handsome though he’s a little thin right now, and I could feel his backbone and ribs when I petted him. I imagine he’ll add a few pounds quickly; he certainly enjoys treats. Jeb has the sweetest face that goes right along with his personality.

DixieACR

Dixie is a female Treeing Walker Coonhound who is available for adoption from Athens Canine Rescue in Athens, GA.

Meet Dixie! This beautiful Treeing Walker Coonhound is about 50lbs and is right where she should be. At only a year old, she still has some learning to do but is just crazy friendly to her doggy roommates!

Dixie has several 4-legged roomies and LOVES playing! She tends to leave her much smaller housemates alone and gives all of the other dogs their space if they don’t want to play, so she’s proving to be able to pick up on cues and be respectful. Soft introductions to other dogs aren’t necessary and Dixie does very well at the dog park. When other pups aren’t joining into the fun and she really, really wants them to, that’s when you hear that bay howl!!

8
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 8, 2017

On November 8, 1860, Savannah residents protested in favor of secession following the election of Abraham Lincoln.

President Abraham Lincoln (R) was reelected on November 8, 1864.

Franklin D. Roosevelt made his 15th trip to Warm Springs, Georgia on November 8, 1928 after winning the election for Governor of New York.

Richard B. Russell, Jr. was elected to the United States Senate on November 8, 1932 and would serve until his death in 1971. Before his election to the Senate, Russell served as State Representative, Speaker of the Georgia House, and the youngest Governor of Georgia; his father served as Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. On the same day, part-time Georgia resident Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the United States.

On November 8, 1994, Republicans won control of the United States House of Representatives and Senate in what came to be called the “Republican Revolution.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today at 2 PM, I’ll be on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “Political Rewind” with Bill Nigut, Greg Bluestein, and Patricia Murphy to discuss, among other things, last night’s election results. Here’s a preview of my thinking. In Atlanta, you can tune in to 88.5 FM to listen, and across Georgia, you can hear us on your local GPB radio station.

Last night, the GOP lost three seats previously held by Georgia Republicans.  In Senate District 6, Democrats Jen Jordan and Jaha Howard will face off in the Special Runoff Election on December 5, 2017. The top three Republicans in SD 6 split 46.45 percent of the vote, and the top vote-getter, Leah Aldridge came in 4.05 points behind the second-place finisher. Democrat Deborah Gonzales took the win in House District 117, previously held by GOP State Rep. (now Judge) Regina Quick, and Democrat Jonathan Wallace took an outright majority in a race against three Republicans.

Senate District 6 has been the most evenly divided Senate district for a number of years. Hunter Hill won it in 2012 with about 53% against an incumbent Dem and in 2016, he narrowly defended it with less than 52% against Democrat Jaha Howard. Add in whatever “Trump Slump” exists, and it’s not a surprising result, though it is a disappointment. There is a real chance that the legislature might consider tweaking those lines in the next session, and in any case, I’d anticipate a serious GOP run at it in the General Election next year. In fact, with the kind of accelerated political schedule we’re seeing these days, if I were one of the Republicans who came in double-digits, I’d immediately be looking toward the May Primary.

House District 117 (Regina Quick) and HD 119 (Chuck Williams) are a little harder to gauge based solely on past elections since neither of the previous seat holders ever faced a Democrat in a General Election. Quick was first elected after she beat incumbent Doug McKillip in a Republican Primary after he switched to the GOP, while Chuck Williams has been unopposed in General Elections since beating a Democrat in the 2011 Special Election Primary. So we don’t have much historical data on how a state house race in those districts should perform. But it’s a testament to the importance of a party contesting every seat possible. Kudos to Georgia Democrats for their recruitment efforts.

Going forward, I’m not sure how much precedential value this has, as Special Elections are a breed to themselves, but contesting all possible elections should be the philosophy of the DPG next year.

Special elections like this present a challenge to state parties, especially the GAGOP in HD 119. Without a partisan primary, there is no official way to winnow the number of GOP contestants, and if they split the vote enough, Dems can take a seat, as SD6 shows.

From the Athens Banner-Herald:

The results mean all three of the House members representing Clarke County will be Democats for the first time in years. Two of them — Wallace and Gonzalez — will also be Oconee’s voices in the state House, since the two districts cut across county lines.

In House District 119, Wallace had 57 percent of the vote. Three Republican candidates trailed, with fewer votes combined than Wallace’s total.

In the race for the House 117 seat, Houston Gaines led by a 2-1 vote margin in heavily conservative Oconee, Barrow and Jackson counties, but Gonzalez, a lawyer, was just as strong in Clarke. Clarke has about half the voters in the district, and turnout may have been stronger there than expected.

Wallace also had a strong showing in Oconee, with about 39 percent of the vote.

The choice for voters between the Democratic and Republican sides was clear, with candidates pretty much predictably diverging on issues such as guns on campus, Donald Trump, allowing local governments to decide about moving monuments and expanding Medicaid to cover more people. The three Republicans running in District 119 said in candidate forums they’d vote for Trump again, but Gaines in District 117 didn’t answer.

The Republican candidates also said they favored guns on college campuses, unlike the Democrats and unlike Quick and Williams, who had voted against the new state law that allows guns on the University of Georgia and other college campuses.

Republican Kasey Carpenter won the Special Election for House District 4.

Carpenter, owner of Oakwood Cafe and Cherokee Brewing and Pizza Co., finished first in a four-way race with 1,927 votes (53.87 percent) over Eddie Caldwell with 704 votes (19.68 percent), Peter Pociask with 516 votes (14.43 percent) and Beau Patton with 426 votes (11.91 percent). Carpenter, Caldwell and Patton are Republicans while Pociask is a Democrat.

The seat became open when Republican Bruce Broadrick stepped down in September for health reasons. Carpenter will serve the remainder of Broadrick’s term, which ends Dec. 31, 2018. District 4 includes the city of Dalton and some surrounding Whitfield County precincts.

“I think to go into a four-way race like this and to avoid a runoff shows the support we had across the district, and I really thank the voters for coming out and voting for me,” Carpenter said.

In Fulton County, Democrat Robb Pitts (38.27%) faces Democrat Keisha Waites (33.93%) in a runoff for County Commission Chair. Republican Gabriel Sterling performed admirably, and this was likely our best chance to take a countywide seat for the GOP in Fulton.

I have to wonder if some kind of a “Trump Slump” is in play here. Cobb and Fulton were counties where Hillary Clinton outperformed in 2016 and that may be part of the issue, or maybe some Republicans are complacent with out holding the House, Senate, and White House in Washington.

In Atlanta, Mary Norwood (21% per AJC) and Keisha Lance Bottoms (26% per AJC) head to a runoff election for Mayor. Alex Wan and Felicia Moore go to extra innings for City Council President.

Roswell voters will get a second chance at the apple, as City Council member Lori Henry goes to a runoff leading Lee Jenkins.

[Prior candidate Marie] Willsey returned to the election arena for another run at Post 4 and this time around, she received the majority vote against Andrew Leonardi and Meg McClanahan.

She will serve the full term as Post 4 City Council member.

Matthew C. Tyser received the majority vote against opponent Keith Goeke in the Post 5 race.

The Post 6 seat was close, but just missed the majority mark, with Matthew Judy receiving 49.38 percent.  He will face Karen Parrish in the run-off.

The Special Election for Post 3 seat, previously held by Donald J. Horton, did not result in a majority vote and will also see a run-off.  Of the six candidates in the running for the seat, Mike Nyden and Sean Groer will face each other in a run-off.

 Athens-Clarke County voters chose to impose a one-cent Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST).

More than 9,400 voters cast a ballot on the referendum with 6,887 signing up to go on the TSPLOST ride and 2,540 telling the referendum to hit the road, according to results provided by Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections.

“It’s a terrific result and something great for the community,” said Mark Ralston, president of the nonprofit Firefly Trail Inc., which advocated for the trail’s inclusion on the TSPLOST referendum. “I’m thrilled. It’s a great project along with many other great projects I’m happy the citizens of Athens chose to support.”

The transportation special purpose, local option sales tax will add 1 percent to the sales tax surcharge on goods sold in Clarke County. It will inflate the county’s overall sales tax rate to 8 percent.

Athens-Clarke County officials expect the penny tax to raise $109.5 million over five years to fund 19 projects.

Coweta County voters extended the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for another six year term.

Coweta voters originally said yes to SPLOST in 1986, and have approved it everytime it came back up for a vote.

The newly-approved SPLOST will begin after the current one ends on Dec. 31, 2018.

The final vote count Tuesday night was 3,381 votes, or 65 percent, in favor to 1,818, or 35 percent, against.

Turnout was light – 6.04 percent of Coweta’s registered voters cast ballots for the special election, which included the county-wide SPLOST vote as well as several city elections.

The 1-percent sales tax is expected to raise $140 million over six years.

Floyd County voters approved the Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST) by more than 66% and the County Government Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) by more than 60%. Rome passed a city schools E-SPLOST by more than 75% of votes cast.

Bryan, Long, Tattnall and Wayne Counties all approved SPLOST measures.

Bryan County’s SPLOST was the fifth time it passed on the ballot.

In Bryan County less than 5 percent of the 22,346 eligible voters cast ballots Tuesday, but they were enough to renew the special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) for the fifth time.

Revenue from the SPLOST is expected to raise about $33 million which will be divided among Bryan County and the cities of Pembroke and Richmond Hill based on population. Bryan County will receive approximately $18.8 million, Richmond Hill $11 million and Pembroke $3.2 million.

The 1 percent sales tax has been in place in Bryan County since 1987.

Polk County also passed an E-SPLOST.

[V]oters overwhelmingly decided more than 2-to-1 to allow a penny to be drawn off of purchases in Polk County through 2026.

The project list includes a second round of construction at Cedartown and Rockmart High School, repairs at all of the schools of heating and air conditioning, updates to athletic facilities and more.

The tallies ended with 2,032 people voting to decide on the sales tax’s extension, with 1,421 voters (69.93 percent) giving their approval and 611 voters (30.07 percent) saying no.

Twiggs County passed an E-SPLOST by 484 -151 and Putnam County passed a T-SPLOST by 498-332.

DeKalb County passed three ballot measures related to sales and property taxes.

DeKalb County voters overwhelmingly approved a sales tax increase and property tax reduction, according to final ballot counts.

The sales tax hike, from 7 percent to 8 percent, will bring in more than $100 million annually for road repaving, fire station repairs, police vehicles and other infrastructure through a special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST).

Voters also passed referendums to use existing sales taxes to reduce homeowners’ property taxes, and to make permanent a tax break that offsets the cost of rising home assessments.

Clermont voters rejected beer and wine sales in the city limits.

By a margin of almost two to one, Clermont residents resoundly said no to beer and wine sales in town.

Two questions on the non-binding poll asked voters whether the town should license the sale of beer and wine by the drink, and also license package sales of beer and wine. Almost 63 percent of the 127 residents who voted said no.

Mark Kirves launched a petition drive on Facebook urging support for alcohol sales in Clermont. Kirves, who owns Iron Accents on Cleveland Highway, said he’s gotten offers for his property from buyers interested in putting a restaurant on the location.

“Once they learn that they couldn’t sell alcohol there they walk away,” Kirves said. “Clermont and Gillsville are the only two towns in Hall County that won’t allow alcohols sales.”

Despite the setback with the straw poll, Kirves said he would continue his petition drive.

7
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 7, 2017

Zeus

Zeus is a sweet two-year old male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from the Byron, Georgia Animal Shelter. Due to overcrowding, Zeus is extremely urgent. If you want to help this boy, email me directly.

Zeus2

Zeus (too) is a sweet year-old male Labrador Retriever who is available for adoption from Byron Animal Shelter. He is also extremely urgent.

Boomer Houston

Boomer is a senior male Dachshund who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Houston County, Inc Warner Robins, GA.

7
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 7, 2017

Georgia Governor Joseph Brown addressed the Georgia legislature calling on them to consider Georgia’s future on November 7, 1860, the day after Abraham Lincoln’s election as President.

Jeanette Rankin was elected to Congress, the first female Member, on November 7, 1916 from Montana. After leaving Congress, Rankin moved to Watkinsville, Georgia in 1925. The Jeanette Rankin Scholarship Foundation, based in Athens, Georgia provides college scholarships and support for low-income women 35 and older.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to a record fourth term on November 7, 1944.

Democrat Sam Nunn was reelected to the United States Senate on November 7, 1978.

On November 7, 1989, David Dinkins was elected the first African-American Mayor of New York and Douglas Wilder was elected the first African-American Governor of Virginia.

On November 7, 2006, Georgia reelected its first Republican Governor since Reconstruction, Sonny Perdue, and elected its first GOP Lieutenant Governor, Casey Cagle.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today is election day in many parts of Georgia. Polling places are open until 7 PM in most areas.

Governor Nathan Deal yesterday ordered flags on state buildings and grounds to be flown at half staff in honor of the victims of the Sutherland Springs, Texas mass murder. They will remain at half staff until sundown Thursday.

Gov. Deal spoke to the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, discussing healthcare.

The intended goal of the healthcare summit was expanding healthcare options for residents and bettering the economy.

Governor Deal spoke on his intended initiatives to positively impact the two.

He expressed that higher education and improved access to it would lead to an enrollment drop in Medicaid and PeachCare.

By providing enrollees better opportunity, the intention is to create a better economy and improve earnings, so the everyday expenses of life, including healthcare are more attainable and manageable.

According to deal, “what Medicaid and PeachCare are spending per Georgia household now, amounts to $1,227 per year. The addition of federal contribution and related cost, results in a jump to $4,476 per year.”

State elected officials’ decision to not expand our Medicaid roles, according to Deal, would have resulted in a needed $288 million in additional funds to cover that.

Deal noted that in order to achieve that deficit, “significant cuts to other elements of state government,” would have to occur.

State currently contributes $900 million in coverage to state employees every year. In addition to $1.2 million currently budgeted.

Deal also attributed the issue to “healthcare providers are not available,” noted a shortage even in the thriving areas. His suggestion is “more homegrown healthcare providers.”

In the next six fiscal years, Deal aims to proposing $3.7 million be allocated to add more residency slots for physicians, what he describes as one “critical element.”

Deal states that physicians are “likely to stay where they complete their residency” and intends for Georgia to achieve that.

He also encouraged a greater number of nursing students.

The Dalton Daily Citizen spoke to candidates in today’s Special Election for State House District 4.

Beau Patton (R)

Eddie Caldwell (R)

Kasey Carpenter (R)

Peter Pociask (D)

Port of Savannah traffic is up 32% for October.

Container trade at the Port of Savannah grew by 32 percent in October, with Garden City Terminal moving 410,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units, an increase of nearly 100,000 TEUs.

It was the first time in the port’s history that it topped 400,000 TEUs in a single month. For the fiscal year to date (July 1-Oct. 31), the Port of Savannah has moved 1.42 million TEUs, up by 155,050 or 12.3 percent.

“Since the opening of the expanded Panama Canal, Garden City Terminal has experienced meteoric growth,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “We’re now handling more ships, bigger vessels and larger cargo exchanges. By working more weekly vessel calls than any other East Coast port, and serving more neopanamax ships than any other port in the U.S. Southeast, Savannah has strengthened its position as a vital gateway to the global marketplace.”

Lynch said the Port of Savannah, with the nation’s single largest container terminal in North America, is playing a significant and growing role in supporting the nation’s economy, emphasizing the need for the timely completion of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.

“With deeper water, today’s 14,000-TEU ships will be able to transit the Savannah River with greater scheduling flexibility, and take on heavier export loads,” he said. “Because these larger vessels provide lower cost per container slot, they help make American farms and factories more competitive.”

The Georgia Ports Authority will be seeking more support from Washington for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.

Georgia Ports Authority officials plan to hit Capitol Hill this week to press for more federal funding to deepen the Savannah River, and they’ll bring with them new figures to support their case that show record-breaking cargo traffic.

“As great as the numbers are, and they are phenomenal, they aren’t telling the full story,” Lynch said. Because the river channel isn’t deep enough for the newest generation of freighters to ply the river with full loads, Lynch said, Savannah isn’t seeing as much cargo as the shippers would like to bring to the port.

“We are cutting the ships short because of the lack of water,” he said.

he Savannah River dredging is arguably Georgia’s biggest economic development project. But in April, the project’s price tag grew by 38 percent to $973 million.

Georgia’s ports system accounts for some $40 billion in estimated economic impact across the state, and directly or indirectly touches about 400,000 jobs. The Savannah port is the nation’s No. 4 container port by volume.

Lynch said the ports delegation plans to meet with Georgia’s House and Senate delegation and with officials from the Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the deepening project, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Suwanee City Council candidate Joe Briggs has withdrawn from the election after being accused of making anti-semitic comments on social media.

Voters in Lula and Clermont will cast their ballots on paper.

Augusta area voters will decide several municipal elections.

In the small municipality of Hephzibah, population about 4,000, incumbent Frank Godbee faces a challenge for his at-large commission seat from political newcomer Julius Lee Harris, Jr. Harris, 51, said he’s a retired Army veteran who became a full-time resident of Hephzibah 10 years ago. Godbee, 74, listed his occupation as “retired” and reported living in Hephzibah for 34 years on his qualifying affidavit.

In Grovetown, two council seats are up for vote with five candidates on the ballot. Incumbents Sylvia Martin and Vickie Cook are seeking re-election against challengers Allen Transou, Deborah Fisher and David Payne.

In Harlem, two council seats are up for election, sought by incumbents Danny Bellavance and John Thigpen, along with challenger Al Reeves. Mayoral candidate Roxanne Whitaker is running unopposed.

Floyd County voters will decide two tax referenda as well as municipal elections.

All Floyd County voters will decide whether or not to extend the SPLOST and ELOST collections for five more years.

The 1-cent education local option sales tax would go toward funding up to $80 million in capital projects for the Rome and Floyd County school systems. The 1-cent special purpose, local option sales tax would fund a proposed $63.8 million package of projects.

For residents of Rome and Cave Spring, city elections will be on their ballots. Rome voters will pick three city commissioners and all seven board of education members. Cave Spring voters will fill three city council seats.

Cobb County voters may see a legislative race or municipal elections on their ballot today.

DeKalb County voters have three ballot questions in addition to any municipal races.

The Nov. 7 ballot for DeKalb voters will include a special local option sales tax referendum to raise the tax a penny, from 7 percent to 8 percent.

But that’s not the only choice voters will be making – voters will also be voting on two other measures: an EHOST, or equalization homestead option sales tax, and to freeze home property values for city and county taxes permanently while the EHOST and SPLOST are in place. The EHOST and SPLOST both have to pass for them to be enacted.

Rome City Commissioners met this morning with local state legislators.

Commissioner Milton Slack said Sunday that Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, is expected to attend along with Republican Reps. Katie Dempsey of Rome and Eddie Lumsden of Armuchee. Also invited are Rep. Christian Coomer, R-Cartersville, and representatives of the Georgia Municipal Association.

There’s no set agenda, but a number of city initiatives are dependent on state actions.

“We’ll probably talk about illegal gaming machines, and Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital — which is always on the table,” Slack said.

Rome lost its option to buy the 132-acre former state mental hospital complex off North Division Street but local leaders are still hoping it can be redeveloped to boost the economy. The biggest sticking point is the nearly $6 million in state bonds that a new owner would have to pay off.

Nuclear Options

Senator David Perdue wrote an Op-Ed advocating for the completion of Vogtle units 3 and 4.

Our domestic plants are aging rapidly. Five have closed in recent years. At the start of this year, four new reactors were under construction at two plants: two in South Carolina and two in Georgia. The South Carolina project has since come to a halt because of mounting delays and regulatory hurdles.

Two years ago, Reuters reported that Rosatom – a state-owned Russian nuclear energy export agency – had 29 reactors under construction around the globe. Russia collected billions in nuclear export revenues in 2015, and last year it exported $133 billion worth of nuclear goods and services.

China’s rise is equally, if not more, concerning.

This year alone, China has announced nuclear deals with multiple African nations. Chinese firms are building reactors in Pakistan and Great Britain. China is currently building 20 reactors at an average of one new reactor every five months. That’s why U.S. Energy Information Administration has predicted China will surpass America as the world’s largest nuclear energy producer in just 15 years.

Experts and leaders on both sides of the aisle agree we cannot allow that to happen.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge recently wrote, “When other nations buy Russian and Chinese nuclear exports – as they increasingly do – Moscow and Beijing, not Washington, set the standards.”

The Center for Strategic and International Studies has said, “Without a strong commercial presence in new nuclear markets, America’s ability to influence nonproliferation policies and nuclear safety behaviors worldwide is bound to diminish.”

Finally, President Donald J. Trump said in June that, “we will begin to revive and expand our nuclear energy sector.” President Trump also ordered a full review of our domestic nuclear energy policies, and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry recently announced a conditional loan guarantee of up to $3.7 billion for the completion of Plant Vogtle in Georgia.

The Georgia Public Service Commission yesterday opened hearings on Plant Vogtle.

Georgia Power and partner companies overseeing the construction of nuclear plant, Vogtle, presented a united appeal Monday to PSC commissioners, as hearings began on the fate of the embattled nuclear power plant.

The CEO’s led by Georgia Power’s Paul Bowers argued the project would present “the best economic choice” and “long-term benefits to customers.”

“We believe nuclear is the dominant solution. We are confident you will make the right long-term solution for the people in Georgia,” Bowers told the commissioners.

The commissioners now face the task of evaluating the cost and schedule estimates presented by Georgia power, to determine the fate of the project.

“There was always some chance this commission would rule that some of the costs were unreasonable.” Commissioner Chuck Eaton said.

Georgia Power and its co-owners however want to know whether these estimates are reasonable before going on.

“We need to know before we spend additional dollars,” said Bowers.

From WSAV in Savannah:

”We’re concerned this Vogtle project is off the rails and we will hear about the costs that have doubled from the original estimate,” said Sara Barczak from the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. She reminds everyone the project started in 2010. “I think it’s clear Plant Vogtle is already a disaster because it was supposed to e operating by now,”

Barczak says it’s still seems likely the reactors will double in price to up to $25 Billion and says Georgia Power customers have already paid about $2 Billion over the past few years for financing costs. “You won’t get that money back if these (reactors) are not built I can guarantee you,” she said.

But Georgia Power’s CEO Paul Bowers told the PSC Monday that rate payers are actually saving tens and tens of millions of dollars by paying now instead of paying financing after the project is completed. He assured the Commission that the project is still possible and that is is vital to the U.S in terms of overall carbon free energy being produced. Bowers indicated that the project promises reliable and low cost energy for the next 60 years.

Kristi Swartz of Energy Wire drills down into the issues regarding Vogtle.

[I]t was who was going to shoulder the risk of the Plant Vogtle reactor project that concerned consumer advocates and some Georgia commissioners at a meeting of the Public Service Commission here yesterday.

“The risk difference is astronomical,” PSC Vice Chairman Tim Echols said, questioning two Georgia Power officials about the newly signed agreements with contractors. A previous fixed-price contract protected the utility and its consumers from significant rate hikes, but that is no longer there.

“So we’re in a real dilemma. Either we abandon the project and leave it sitting there, or we move forward at great risk,” Echols said.

Georgia Power officials said they are doing all they can to manage the known and unknown risks. At the same time, they — as well as the public power companies that are also building Vogtle — are pressuring commissioners to ensure that they will be able to recoup the project’s costs from customers.

Georgia Power enjoys a strong alliance with the governor and holds significant political sway at the Capitol. Being known as the utility that shepherds the nation’s first nuclear reactors in 30 years through a series of obstacles can only add to that status.

6
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 6, 2017

Chester

Chester is a 3-year old 61-pound male Rhodesian Ridgeback mix who is available for adoption from Cobb County Animal Shelter in Marietta, GA.

Chester is a handsome boy with deep, soulful eyes. He stays quiet in his run and loves napping on his kuranda bed. He’s hoping to upgrade to a soft bed in a loving home soon. Chester is a really nice boy who sits and stays. Chester is in Run 27 and his ID is 599495.

Chrissy Cobb

Chrissy is a 1-year old, 39-pound female Hound mix who is available for adoption from Cobb County Animal Shelter in Marietta, GA.

Chrissy is cute as a button and sweet as can be. She stays quiet in her run, sits when told, and walks easy on the leash. What’s not to love? Chrissy is in Run 826 and her ID is 600542.

DaisyFOSACobb

Daisy is a 7-year old female Labrador Retriever who is available for adoption from Cobb County Animal Shelter in Marietta, GA.

aisy was dropped off at the shelter on 10/31 because her owners did not have a proper fence to keep her contained. Just look at her smile, maybe she knows her luck is about to change and she will find a home that will let her live inside with the rest of the family and not stuck outside alone all the time. Daisy knows to sit when told and is gentle on a leash. The former family said she is good with kids.

6
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 6, 2017

Abraham Lincoln was elected 16th President of the United States and the first Republican to hold the office on November 6, 1860. By his inauguration in March, seven states had seceded.

On November 6, 1861, one year after Lincoln’s election, Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens of Georgia were elected President and Vice President of the Confederate States of America.

President Teddy Roosevelt left for a 17-day trip to Panama on November 6, 1906 to inspect work on the Panama Canal; he was the first President to take an official tour outside the continental United States.

A dam on the campus of Toccoa Falls Bible College burst on November 6, 1977 under pressure from heavy rains, killing 39 students and faculty.

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-GA) resigned his office and his Congressional seat on November 6, 1998, effective in January 1999, despite having been reelected three days earlier.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue spoke Friday at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

 In Hall County, one family accounts for more of the candidates in this year’s municipal elections than I’ve ever seen before.

Now the Reeves are known in [Clermont] for more than the cute papillons. They are singled out as the husband and wife running for office in Tuesday’s election.

To boot, their son, Albert Reeves, himself a former Clermont councilman who now lives in Gainesville, is challenging for a Gainesville City Council seat against longtime incumbent George Wangemann and first-time office seeker Maria Del Rosario Palacios.

What’s the driving force behind the Reeves’ family decision to seek office at the same time?  Dad, mom and son sat down with the papillons on their laps to talk about their simultaneous excursion into the local political fray.

Donna Reeves credits her son for getting everyone in the family involved.

“He’s into it for sure,” she said of her politically savvy son.

Albert Reeves ran for a seat on Clermont Town Council in 2007 when he was living with his parents. He won the seat at age 24. After serving one four-year term, Albert Reeves and his wife moved to Gainesville.

Donna Reeves said she ran for the seat her son occupied in 2011.

“He wanted me to carry on with some of the projects he’s been pushing on council,” she said. “I  wanted to continue with the ideas my son had to make Clermont a better place. Unfortunately, I lost by two votes.”

Congressman Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) writes about the Republican House tax reform proposal in The Gainesville Times.

Last Thursday introduced Northeast Georgians to what the House, Senate and president have been collaborating on since January: A conservative tax reform bill that makes the first meaningful improvements to the tax code since 1986, when I was a student at what was then North Georgia College and an intern on Capitol Hill.

Since then, time has passed and tax policy has changed, but not for the better. As pundits tackle the details of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, I want my neighbors to be confident knowing what conservatives are doing through tax reform and, perhaps more importantly, why we’re taking these steps.

The legislation the House has introduced focuses on replacing America’s labyrinth of a tax code with a plan driven by fairness, simplicity and opportunity. The IRS has reached its tentacles deep into the pockets of American workers and families to feed a bloated federal government.

I’d like to cut off those tentacles and allow everyday Americans to keep more of the money they earned by the sweat of their brows. I believe that comprehensive tax reform, specifically the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is the answer to our country’s economic malaise. Our friends across the aisle disagree.

If the Republican tax plan actually does deliver tax relief to middle class filers — and it does — ­­­and if it does level the global playing field to allow businesses to close up their shops across the ocean and drop deep roots into American soil, then why would anyone oppose it? Because their objection isn’t practical. It’s ideological.

The Gwinnett Daily Post continues its reporting on local municipal races.

Sugar Hill City Council

Grayson City Council

Loganville Mayor and Council

 Tuesday will see nine special elections for the Georgia General Assembly.

Five Republicans and three Democrats are running for the 6th District seat of GOP Sen. Hunter Hill, who’s running for governor. GOP contenders Charlie Fiveash, Kathy Eichenblatt, Leah Aldridge, Leo Smith and Matt Bentley are on the ballot in the district, which includes parts of Fulton and Cobb counties. So are Democrats Jaha Howard, Jen Jordan and Taos Wynn.

In the nearby 39th District, four Democrats and one Republican hope to succeed Democratic Sen. Vincent Fort, who is running for mayor of Atlanta. The Senate race in Fulton County features Democrats Elijah Tutt, Linda Pritchett, Marckeith DeJesus, and Nikema Williams. Nick Carlson is the GOP candidate.

Whitfield County voters in northwest Georgia must replace Republican Rep. Bruce Broadrick of Dalton, who stepped down citing failing health. GOP candidates Beau Patton, Eddie Caldwell and Kasey Carpenter are vying for the 4th District seat. So is Democrat Peter Pociask.

The 26th District in Forsyth County north of Atlanta became open when GOP Rep. Geoff Duncan of Cumming resigned to run for lieutenant governor. Republicans Marc Morris and Tina Trent are running to replace him along with Democrat Steve Smith.

Only Democrats signed up for metro Atlanta races to replace two lawmakers running for governor — Democratic Reps. Stacey Abrams of Atlanta and Stacey Evans of Smyrna. In DeKalb County, Bee Nguyen, David Abbott, Monique Keane and Sachin Varghese are competing in Abrams’ 89th District. Just one candidate, Teri Anulewicz, is seeking Evans’ 42nd District seat in Cobb County.

Republicans also passed on competing in the 60th District after Democratic Rep. Keisha Waites of Atlanta stepped down to run for Fulton County chairman. Democrats De’Andre Pickett, Kim Schofield and Sparkle Adams are running in Fulton and Clayton counties.

Voters in northeast Georgia’s 117th District got a straight-up Republican vs. Democrat contest after GOP Rep. Regina Quick of Athens was appointed to a judgeship. Democratic attorney Deborah Gonzalez faces GOP consultant Houston Gaines in Clarke, Oconee, Barrow and Jackson counties.

In the 119th District in Clarke and Oconee Counties, GOP Rep. Chuck Williams of Watkinsville left office to become head of the Georgia Forestry Commission. Democrat Jonathan Wallace is running for the seat, as are Republicans Lawton Lord, Marcus Wiedower and Steven Strickland.

Greg Bluestein of the AJC has an interesting take on President Trump’s support among Georgia Republicans.

In short, establishment Republicans in Georgia have come to terms with — or at the very least begrudgingly accepted — Trump’s hard-edged blend of nationalism and populism.

U.S. Sen. David Perdue, Trump’s most high-profile ally in Georgia, has a simple explanation: The vast majority of Peach State Republicans are enthralled by the president’s agenda and ask the senator at every turn why his chamber isn’t as supportive as he is.

“You could always talk about what he said in this tweet or that tweet,” Perdue said, “but when you back up and look at what’s happening in the country, that’s what people back home are really paying attention to.”

Most of Trump’s Washington accomplishments to date have centered on unraveling Obama-era regulations and confirming administration appointees, including a Supreme Court justice and two Georgians in the Cabinet.

Georgia’s “business community tends to be moderate, but our base isn’t. So I think what has happened is (Trump has) forced politicians to kind of choose a side, and most of them are coming home to their base as a result,” said Jack Kingston, a former Savannah Republican congressman who has become a prominent Trump surrogate.

The pro-Trump undercurrents in Georgia are so strong that GOP operative Brian Robinson tells his clients that if they’re planning on running as a “Never Trump” candidate, they’re wasting their time because they’ll get crushed in a primary.

“If you can’t say, ‘I voted for President Trump and think his agenda will make America great again,’ then don’t run as a Republican,” he said.

“They might not always agree with his style or the manner in which he goes about his business,” GOP strategist Chip Lake said, “but they believe that he represents what they want out of a president, anger and resentment toward business as usual in Washington.”

Rep. Jody Hice (R-Bethlehem) received the American Conservative Union’s Award for Conservative Excellence.

The ACU’s award is given annually to members of Congress based on their commitment “to advance conservative principles of liberty, personal responsibility, traditional values and a strong national defense.”

“I came to Congress to stand up for the advancement of conservative principles, and I’m proud that my voting record reflects that commitment,” said Rep. Hice in the press release.

“Rep. Jody Hice earns an A-plus grade for his consistently conservative voting record during a time when our country is facing so many critical issues,” said Schlapp in the press release. “It is refreshing to have a member of Congress who puts the Constitution first, especially when it comes to our First Amendment religious freedoms.”

“I’m honored to be recognized by the American Conservative Union Foundation and will continue to champion pro-growth, limited government policies that help ensure we leave this country and Georgia’s 10th District better than we found it for our kids and grandkids,” said Rep. Hice in the press release.

Floyd County voters will cast their ballots on a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) tomorrow, as well as some municipal offices.

Floyd County Sheriff Tim Burkhalter is urging residents to vote yes on the SPLOST.

Troup County voters will also vote on a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax and local offices.

Incumbent state legislators are the main funders of Kasey Carpenter’s campaigns for State House District 4.

As of Oct. 27, Carpenter has raised $17,800, more than double what the other three candidates have received combined. Of his funding, 87 percent comes from the campaign accounts of other state lawmakers.

Carpenter, the owner of Oakwood Cafe and Cherokee Pizza and Brewing, did not return multiple calls seeking comment last week. He will face Republican Eddie Caldwell, Republican Beau Patton and Democrat Peter Pociask on Tuesday. All four are vying for a one-year term to replace retiring state Rep. Bruce Broadrick in District 4.

 

 

3
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 3, 2017

SkylarFOSAC

Skylar is a young 1.5 year old, 40-pound female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Friends of Shelter Animals for Cobb County Marietta, GA.

Skittles

Skittles is a young female Terrier mix puppy who is available for adoption from Friends of Shelter Animals for Cobb County Marietta, GA.

Skittles loves toys and already knows her sit command. She is about 6 months old and weighs 27 pounds.

AlexFOSAC

Alex is a young female Shepherd and Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Friends of Shelter Animals for Cobb County Marietta, GA.

Say hello to one of the sweetest gals around. Just look at that smile! Alex does know to sit and stay when told and LOVES to play ball and with toys.