The blog.

12
May

Jack Kingston endorses Austin Scott for Congress

Jack Kingston endorses Austin Scott

via Facebook:

Not only is Austin Scott a great conservative who is fighting to protect the unborn, defend our 2nd Amendment rights and repeal Obamacare, he cares very deeply about supporting our military and our war fighters.

Continue Reading..

12
May

Adoptable Dogs for May 12, 2016

Ichabod2

Ichabod is a three-month old male Golden Retriever/Hound mix  who is expected to grow to 50-75 pounds and who is available for adoption from Canine Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.

Ichabod is a feisty little playful fella. He tried to act a little skittish at first but you can see from the videos and pics that he quickly changed. He loves to play and bark. Loves getting into things and having you chase him. It’s like a game to him. He will definitely cuddle with you and sleep on you. Loves all the dogs and wants to play with the cats but they are not too thrilled with that idea.

Henry Huggins CPR2

Henry Huggins is one of ten Boxer mix puppies who were given up by an owner who didn’t spay his dog and found the puppies were too much trouble to deal with. Henry is about 6 weeks old and will grow to 50-75 pounds and is available for adoption from Canine Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA. These puppies are fantastic little guys and gals, who are eager to play and love.

BettsCPR2

Betts is an 8-week old male Jack Russell Terrier/Boxer mix, expected to grow to 25-50 pounds, who is available for adoption from Canine Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.

Betts and his three (Allman) brothers play hard, they sleep hard, and they even give hugs.

You can donate online to Canine Pet Rescue to help them pay for the care and vetting of all these puppies, and their other cats and dogs.

Carla Dog Sign with Dog

Carla Brown is not only a Gwinnett County State Court Judge, she also founded Canine Pet Rescue, a German Shepherd rescue in Dacula, GA. One of her dogs, Flax, has endorsed her reelection. Flax is not available for adoption, but they have a number of beautiful dogs who are.

12
May

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 12, 2016

On May 12, 1740, Georgia forces under James Oglethorpe took Fort Diego in Florida from the Spanish and mocked the defenders jean shorts.

The worst American defeat of the Revolutionary War occurred at Charleston, South Carolina on May 12, 1780. American Major General Benjamin Lincoln, who surrendered that day would later accept the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia.

On May 12, 1789, the Society of St. Tammany was founded in New York and would grow to a dominant home for political bosses. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics (Signet Classics) remains one of the best historical versions of how political machines worked.

George Washington visited Georgia on May 12, 1791. From Purysburg, South Carolina, Georgia officials escorted Washington on a barge twenty-five miles down the Savannah River to Savannah, where he would stay four days.

On May 12, 1864, Confederate General Joseph Johnston pulled his Army of Tennessee and Georgia back to Resaca, Georgia. In Virginia, Major General John B. Gordon saved the life, or prevented the capture of General Robert E. Lee at Spotsylvania. After the war, Gordon would serve as Governor of Georgia and United States Senator.

On May 12, 1865, the Virginia Military Institute Corps of Cadets awoke in Staunton, where they had marched from Lexington 18 miles the previous day; after another 19 miles headed north up the Shenandoah Valley, the would make camp at Mt. Crawford, near Harrisonburg. The cadets ranged in age from fifteen to twenty-five years.

On May 12, 1970, Georgia National Guard troops were mobilized to end race riots that had broken out the night before in Augusta. On that same day, Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs, my father’s favorite player as a youth, hit his 500th home run.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Qualifying for State House District 68 will be held today from 9 AM to 5 PM at the Georgia Republican Party headquarters at 3110 Maple Drive, Suite 150, Atlanta, GA 30305, (404) 257-5559. Candidates must present a picture ID at the time of qualifying. The qualifying fee is $400.00.

Villa Rica Mayor J. Collins became the first announced candidate yesterday, when he resigned his current seat to announce for State House.

Within hours of the Georgia Secretary of State office posting a notice on its website, Collins stood at a podium in Villa Rica City Hall with his wife Kim and their two young daughters to make the announcement.

Collins was first elected in November 2003. The 39-year-old owner of J. Collins Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Villa Rica reflected on the challenges he overcame as one of the youngest mayors in the state, and said his proudest moment in office was bringing order to the Villa Rica Police Department which he described as “in shambles” when he took office.

Collins said he chose to resign as mayor before qualifying for the House seat after speaking with legal counsel. He realized that qualifying first would mean that he would vacate the mayor’s office by default. By resigning, he said, he had the opportunity to give Villa Rica a formal thank you and notice, and that his lasting legacy would not be that he vacated by default.

Collins acknowledged that he does not have any time to waste in campaigning. He said that he would like to get his message out, but he is very proud that he has a 13-year record of success, especially in the area of economic development.

You can watch the entire press conference here.

Yesterday, Newt Gingrich endorsed Donald Trump for President.

Not surprisingly, the gas tax bill that passed in 2015, which some call the biggest tax increase in Georgia history, has become an issue in the reelection campaigns of some legislators who voted for it.

[M]any Republicans lawmakers are getting pounded in their primaries because they voted to raise taxes to pay for the transportation projects.

Some say it could even help topple incumbents in districts where the transportation taxes are a campaign albatross. But those being threatened are getting major financial help from businesses that are benefiting from the road-spending spree.

Proponents of the transportation taxes, including business leaders and highway contractors, have contributed more than $350,000 to Republican and Democratic incumbents as well as political action committees and groups supporting those who voted for the measure in the final hours of the 2015 legislative session.

While the political spending has favored those who voted for the bill, opponents have also opened their wallets. Among them is the Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association, which has given at least $26,000 in the same period and opposed the $5-per-night fee.

“Look, you have to understand if you’re a smaller property and especially if you’re on the state border, if your rate is $50 a night — that’s a 10 percent increase,” said Bill Henderson, the chairman of the hotel association’s board and general manager at the Westin Atlanta Airport hotel. “Somebody, instead of staying in Columbus, Georgia, may keep going and stay in Phenix City, Alabama.”

Marietta City Council approved spending $7.7 million on a public soccer complex.

In January, the city entered a deal with Arthur Blank’s Major League Soccer club, Atlanta United Football Club, to build its headquarters and training complex along the Franklin Gateway corridor. Under the terms of the deal, the soccer club will build six lighted soccer fields and an expected 28,300-square-foot headquarters building with construction completion estimated by early 2017, in time for the club’s first game that is expected to be played at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The deal also requires the city of Marietta to build a complementary public sports complex with three lighted multipurpose soccer fields on a 1.3-acre Franklin Gateway site near the soccer club’s training complex.

Coweta County employees should see a 3 percent pay raise under the FY 2017 budget. A three percent pay raise is also in the cards for Lowndes County schools.

Legislation by State Rep. Mandi Ballinger (R-Cherokee County) goes into effect July 1 and aims to increase reporting of suspected child abuse.

The new law is known as House Bill 905 and was signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal on May 3. In addition to providing increased protection for those who report child abuse, it also has requirements of local law enforcement agencies and public health entities.

“I am thankful that Gov. Deal signed this imperative piece of legislation that will not only protect our most vulnerable citizens from harm, but also protect the brave citizens those who report child abuse,” Ballinger said.

House Bill 905 provides criminal immunity for those who report child abuse if they are in good faith possession of child pornography and immediately notifies law enforcement or mandatory reporters.

Representatives from local law enforcement agencies and other public health entities will be required, by means of the new law, to be included in established local child abuse protocol committees.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jim Barksdale is expected to attend the opening of the Gwinnett County Democratic Party headquarters on Saturday.

Jim Barksdale is expected to visit the new Gwinnett Democratic Party Headquarters at 535 Indian Trail Road, Suite I during its grand opening breakfast from 9-11 a.m. Attendees will be able to enjoy bagels, coffee and “other goodies” during the gathering.

Barksdale will face Cheryl Copeland and John F. Coyne in the May 24 Democratic Primary. The winner of that election will then go on to face the winner of the Republican Primary, where Sen. Johnny Isakson is being challenged by Derrick Grayson and Mary Kay Bacallao, in November.

Middle Georgia rejoice: Uber has launched in Macon. We’re waiting for a companion app that allows you to catch a ride in the back of a pickup truck. It’s called Guber.

Three candidates for Lowndes County Sheriff spoke to the Valdosta Daily Times about issues in their campaign.

Dougherty County’s Assistant County Administrator alleges that District 2 Commissioner John Hayes attacked him verbally and physically.

In the complaint, which outlines events McCoy said took place at a Savannah hotel on April 29, the county official said Hayes, who was in Savannah for an Association County Commissioners of Georgia conference, attacked him both verbally and physically.

“… Commissioner Hayes violated my personal space, cursed me incessantly, called me a (racial epithet), pointed his finger in my face and advised that he would fire me if I worked for him,” McCoy wrote in the complaint. “He also advised that (t)he first thing he was going to do on Monday when he returned to Albany was to meet with my supervisor and get my ‘black a— fired from my position.’

“I moved away and asked why he was angry. He continued to curse me and advised that he had ‘four votes’ and that I didn’t know who I was (expletive) with.”

As The Herald previously reported, McCoy also said Hayes made physical contact with him.

“He made several remarks and I asked him if he was threatening me,” McCoy wrote in the complaint. “He immediately sprinted toward me with his fist balled up and again violated my personal space. He cursed me, put his finger in my face and pressed it against my nose and advised me he would ‘(expletive) me up.’”

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has an opening for an alligator trapper.

Through May 16, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources will be accepting applications for a nuisance alligator agent trapper for the metro area. It is looking for a brave soul with a special appreciation for this once-endangered crocodilian, its place in our ecosystem and the skills to live capture the elusive beasts when even their presence becomes a threat.

“When we get a complaint, unless it is a bona fide emergency where the alligator needs to be removed immediately, people call in to the game management office in the county where they are located,” said DNR’s Greg Waters. “Rather than the DNR personnel spending the time and the energy to catch the alligator and relocate it, we now issue a collection permit to the alligator agent trapper. They spend their own time going out and catching the alligator. We don’t pay them any money but anything they can make for selling the alligator live to a licensed alligator farm or zoo or killing the alligator, skinning it and selling the hide or meat if it is processed in an approved facility, that’s their monetary reward for handling that alligator complaint.”

According to senior wildlife biologist I.B. Parnell, the agent trapper will be under contract with DNR to remove nuisance alligators in response to complaints in Richmond, Columbia, Burke, Glascock, Jefferson, Jenkins, McDuffie, Screven and Warren counties. The applicants should reside in one of these counties.

Waters said an alligator has to be at least 4 feet long to qualify as a nuisance.

Maybe the new trapper could apprentice under the folks who caught the gator in the Chattahoochee near Atlanta.

The state Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday ended a decade-long hunt for the big creature living in the river flowing through Atlanta. They trapped a 6-foot-8 alligator and sent the creature to South Georgia — a better place, say the experts, for Alligator mississippiensis.

They got the alligator at Cochran Shoals in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation area, said DNR biologist John Bowers.

“We didn’t hurt it,” Bowers said. “It was healthy.”

The ‘Hooch gator, he said, was missing about 8 to 10 inches of her tail. If she’d had a full complement of that appendage, the animal would have been well over seven feet long — about 8 years old.

Scientists have speculated about this creature’s origin. The best theory: someone had a pet alligator. That someone realized what a sorry pet alligators make. That someone slid the pet into the Chattahoochee. There it remained, its length — like its reputation — growing.

11
May

Official notice: qualifying for HD 68

Reopening of Qualifying for the Republican Primary for Georgia House of Representatives District 68 

Due to the withdrawal of the incumbent in State House District 68, the Georgia Republican Party will reopen qualifying for the May 24, 2016 Republican Primary for State House District 68 on Thursday, May 12, 2016, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m.. Qualifying shall take place at the Georgia Republican Party Headquarters, 3110 Maple Drive, Suite 150, Atlanta, GA 30305, (404) 257-5559. Candidates must present a picture ID at the time of qualifying. The qualifying fee is $400.00.

11
May

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 11, 2016

20160733Mayflower5web

Mayflower is a 3-year old, 33-pound Beagle mix, described as a “sweet and gentle girl,” who is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Control in Monroe, GA.

20160691Lila1web

Lila is a 2-year old, 40-pound female Lab/Golden Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Control in Monroe, GA. Lila is a very happy girl and loves everyone. She is medium sized.

20160708Vena1web

Vena is a 4-year old, 55-pound female Labrador Retriver mix who will be available for adoption beginning this Friday from Walton County Animal Control in Monroe, GA. She is an absolutely awesome, sweet family dog!

Nala

Nala is a 2-year old, 45-pound female Border Collie mix who will be available for adoption beginning Monday, May 15th from Walton County Animal Control in Monroe, GA. She is described as a very happy girl.

11
May

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 11, 2016

Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart was mortally wounded on May 11, 1864 at the Battle of Yellow Tavern, near Richmond.

On May 11, 2011, Newt Gingrich announced via Twitter that he would run for President. Two days later, I caught up with Newt at Fincher’s Barbecue in Macon for a brief interview the day he was scheduled to speak to the Georgia Republican Party State Convention.

Happy Birthday to Minnesota, which became a state on May 11, 1858. Y’all talk funny.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Well, I told you yesterday that campaigns are likely to get crazier before the May 24th Primary Elections, and yesterday brought it home.

Last night, after State Rep. Dustin Hightower (R-68) withdrew from the Primary in order to accept a seat on the Superior Court for the Coweta Circuit, the Georgia Republican Party State Committee voted to reopen qualifying in the GOP Primary election for House District 68. State Rep. Dustin Hightower withdrew from the election in order to accept an appointment to Superior Court for the Coweta Circuit, leaving no candidates qualified.

Qualifying will be Thursday. I don’t yet know the location, but suspect it will be at GAGOP headquarters, at 3110 Maple Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30305.

Candidates qualifying tomorrow will be on the ballot on election day only, May 24, 2016, and any early or absentee votes will not count.

That’s right, a twelve-day election.

Former State Rep. Tim Bearden had previously expressed an interest in the seat and is considered a favorite to win an election that will be decided almost entirely on existing name recognition. From Facebook, it appears that Villa Rica Mayor Jay Collins is likely to jump in the race as well.

If I were a candidate in that race, looking foward to an election night victory party on the Twelfth Night of my campaign, I might take inspiration from Shakespeare’s words, “some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrown upon them,” but as a voter I might seek guidance from the Bard’s other quote from the same play, “better a witty fool than a foolish wit.”

Dick Williams, writing in The Dunwoody Crier, notes that Tom Owens, a candidate for State House District 79 is deemed by the State Capitol Police to require an escort whenever he is allowed into the building.

Heading into the May 24 primary elections, one candidate for state House, Tom Owens, is so extreme that the state capitol police have given him the label of “Escorted Entry Only.”

Capitol police say that while no criminal warrants exist “at this time,” “please use caution.”

A similar tag hangs on Joe Newton, a political gadfly who accompanies Owens to many political events and has been seen placing signs accusing state Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody), of being responsible for bringing in thousands of refugees, including terrorists, into the state (Refugee resettlement is in the state budget as a pass-through of federal funds without state control).

Newton’s state capitol police alert orders “No unescorted entry.” The warning notes his several arrests and a conviction inn 1986 for 2nd degree Assault against Women in North Carolina, simple assault charges in South Carolina and a temporary protection order against him in DeKalb County. Newton’s capitol police citation allows only escorted access to the capitol and the legislative office buildings.

Owens, a Doraville resident who says he served in three wars, ran unsuccessfully for DeKalb County Commission. His brushes with the law are voluminous and include a stalking complaint in Forsyth County in 2006 for which he was arrested and sentenced to community service. He agreed to enter the Forsyth County state court diversion program, promised no contact with his victim and signed a statement admitting to “mental health issues involved.” He agreed to “cognitive skills counseling.”

The Doraville police have several reports of threatening behavior, harassment and the like from a citizen and a city councilman. Owens’ home backs up to a mosque and he has had near constant friction with the Muslims who worship there, once going to police to accuse the mosque of sacrificing animals.

Owens has sued the mosque over noise. Lawyers for the mosque say Owens threatened to kill its imam.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted an ethics complaint filed against Catherine Bernard, a candidate in House District 80 for the third time.

The Reporter Newspaper spoke to Catherine Bernard about the complaint,

A supporter of Meagan Hanson has filed an ethics complaint against Catherine Bernard alleging Bernard broke state campaign laws. The two are candidates in the May 24 Republican primary for House District 80.

“The whole thing is made up,” she said, accusing Kremer of “shenanigans.”

“This is a huge, annoying distraction,” she said.

She also accused Kremer of being one of the “smirking, useless frat boys in the Georgia Republican Party” who are damaging the country.

Here’s the thing: it’s fine to question the bona fides of someone filing an ethics complaint against your campaign. Heck, it’s almost mandatory. But to call fraternity members “useless” might be counter-productive. I’ve lived the last ten years in this district she seeks to represent, and I’d say the area has more greeks than Athens (Georgia). Besides, Will Kremer, though a friend of mine, is distinctly NF.

Finally, we come to hand-picked Democratic candidate for United States Senate Jim Barksdale.

The political newcomer embraces Bernie Sanders-like rhetoric about the hair-raising scourge of Wall Street. And he capped his message with a flourish of a fedora that, in his words, validates his outsider status.

I’m Jim Barksdale. I’m not a politician and I can prove it. I wear this hat.

I approve this message because most of all, I’ll stand against the crowd to ensure equal opportunities for all Americans.

And I’ll keep this hat, too.

That’s not a fedora, that’s a cap. A fedora has a brim that goes all the way around. Think Indiana Jones.

11
May

GAGOP Reopens Qualifying for House District 68

Last night, the Georgia Republican Party State Committee voted to reopen qualifying in the GOP Primary election for House District 68. State Rep. Dustin Hightower withdrew from the election in order to accept an appointment to Superior Court for the Coweta Circuit, leaving no candidates qualified.

Qualifying will be Thursday. I don’t yet know the location, but suspect it will be at GAGOP headquarters, at 3110 Maple Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30305.

Candidates qualifying tomorrow will be on the ballot on election day only, May 24, 2016, and any early or absentee votes will not count.

That’s right, a twelve-day election.

10
May

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 10, 2016

Duke

Duke is an adult male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from the City of Lyons Animal Shelter in Lyons, GA.

Duke is a shelter favorite–he is gentle, calm , friendly–beautiful—–well mannered — leash trained–and knows basic commands –a great dog!

Daisy

Daisy is an adult female Dachshund and Corgi mix who is available for adoption from the City of Lyons Animal Shelter in Lyons, GA.

Daisy girl is not only precious but super sweet — gentle — and gives great kisses, according to the shelter.

Cole

Cole is an adult male Beagle mix who is available for adoption from the City of Lyons Animal Shelter in Lyons, GA.

Cute, sweet, friendly, affectionate — and ready to play— a happy boy.

Teddy

Teddy is a young male Hound mix who is available for adoption from the City of Lyons Animal Shelter in Lyons, GA.

Teddy is a sweet boy — affectionate and smart.

10
May

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 10, 2016

Savannah received news of the battle at Lexington on May 10, 1775, leading to a raid of British gunpowder for the colonial effort.

On May 10, 1863, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died a week after being shot at by his own troops.

He died, as he had wished, on the Sabbath, May 10, 1863, with these last words: “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.”

The first observance of Mother’s Day was May 10, 1908 at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. On May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first official “Mother’s Day.”

On May 10, 2006, Georgia State School Superintendent Linda Schrenko, a Republican, pled guilty to federal charges of fraud and money laundering, beginning a streak of Republican State School Supers to leave office under a cloud.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today, we are two weeks from the Primary Elections, so we’ll look at some of the crazier elections out there. The top prize has to go to the Senate District 19 Republican Primary between Blake Tillery and former State Rep. Delvis Dutton.

The craziness got started in earnest with an April 15 column taking Tillery to task.

Earlier this week, in an even more tragic series of events, Toombs County Commission Chairman and State Senate candidate Blake Tillery was traveling in a vehicle when he fatally struck a bicyclist who was enroute to work in Vidalia Monday morning. The 44-year-old man left behind two children and a wife.

According to Georgia State Patrol, charges are pending against Tillery, ones that could be as serious as vehicular homicide to manslaughter. Even more horrifying: a wrongful death suit was filed against Tillery on Thursday and rumors have it that the family couldn’t even afford a proper burial, but Tillery was at Wayne Dasher’s Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner Thursday evening…campaigning. His campaign has shown no signs of slowing down or dropping out – even though a man is dead.

This isn’t about guilt, no, this is about how much a seat means to these people seeking public office – what people are willing to make others endure in order to serve.

Disclosure: AllOnGeorgia.com is owned, in part, by Delvis Dutton who is also a candidate for State Senate. The article does not necessarily reflect his views and the author is an independent contractor of AllOnGeorgia. She has previously expressed support for Delvis Dutton’s Senate race.

A couple notable things about that column. First is that Delvis Dutton is part owner of the website, according to filings with the Georgia State Ethics Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission. Second is that the writer was formerly employed by Dutton’s Congressional Campaign.

Another website, SoutheastGeorgiaToday.com published a response to the AllOnGeorgia advertisement piece, titled Tillery Pilloried by Campaign Worker.

Szilagyi claimed the Georgia State Patrol confirmed charges are pending against Tillery, however, Middle Judicial Circuit District Attorney Hayward Altman says no charges are pending.  A state patrol “Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team” is still investigating what happened, according to the District Attorney.

Dutton says he won’t disavow or approve what his campaign worker wrote,  but adds that he personally agrees with her position.

“I’m not going to disavow or approve anyone’s personal opinion, only I can speak for this campaign.  As for my (website) company, we do hire independent contractors and we do not censor them.  If you’re asking my personal opinion, I do believe there should have been more time between the untimely tragic accident and returning to the campaign trail,” Dutton said.

More recently, a new website appeared specifically to delve into the connection between Dutton’s website business and his campaign. The site has since been taken down, but Blake Tillery posted about it on Facebook:

About 30 minutes ago, my wife received an anonymous text directing her to a website that had negative things to say about one of my opponents in this Senate race. As someone who has been the victim of these same types of attacks, I DO NOT support them. I am not posting the site because I do not wish to drive any additional traffic to it. If this was one of my supporters, please stop.

There are 15 more days until Election Day and I’m very content to allow our friends to make a decision based on the issues and legitimate campaigning already done. There will be a time for comparing and contrasting the candidates and we will spend money on mail and radio doing so, but this isn’t how you do it.

Classy move. Since then, someone has gone truly bat guano crazy, dropping direct mail attacking incumbent Sen. Tommie Williams, whose retirement opened up this seat.

Two negative campaign flyers sent out on behalf of 19th Senatorial District candidate Delvis Dutton are untrue, according to State Senator Tommie Williams of Lyons whom Dutton is trying to succeed.

Williams has endorsed Dutton’s opponent, Toombs County Commission Chairman Blake Tillery.

One flyer claims Senator Williams declared bankruptcy before he ran for office more than 18 years ago.

“I have never been bankrupt in my life. I’ve paid everybody that I’ve ever owed any money to and I’ve been in business for 40 years and have never even contemplated bankruptcy. I’ve paid my taxes and paid my bills and I frankly don’t appreciate it. In an effort to build himself up, he thinks he’s got to put somebody else down. I’m not in the race, I’m retiring and this is really unusual,” Senator Williams said.

Another flyer regards the ongoing Georgia State Patrol investigation of a fatal accident involving Tillery last month. An entity calling itself “Citizens for a Better Georgia” sent the flyer out from 148 Williams Avenue in Lyons which is Senator Williams’ business address.

“This is a fictitious group and nobody knows who they are. The odd thing is that Delvis Dutton’s team used my return address as where this came from. I’ve got questions whether that’s mail fraud. I know nothing about this and it certainly didn’t come from me, I’m a supporter of Blake.

“This was an accident and the investigation has yet to be completed. To use this kind of thing goes to the point of what will you do to win,” the Senator said.

Senator Tommie Williams responded to the mailer on Facebook:

Today, I received a negative mail piece from Delvis Dutton to the 19th senate district.

He falsely claims that I declared bankruptcy and failed to pay back small business owners. I am not sure why he is attacking me since I am retiring, but just to clear up any confusion, I have never declared bankruptcy in the almost forty years I have been in business. I pay all my bills and taxes on time because, as a small business owner, I understand the importance of this.

Reputations are hard to earn and can take a life time to secure, and certainly no one wants to be discredited. But Jesus perfection shows me that we all have a reputation in some form. As a man I have many faults, but owing money is not one of them.

There is only one logical conclusion in this case about who is desperate enough to return to the General Assembly to engage in this kind of campaigning. I hope the people of South Georgia’s 19th Senate District will elect Blake Tillery to represent them. I know Blake Tillery to be a man of character, and I would be proud to vote for him if I was in his district.

The other crazy Senate race is taking place in Metro Atlanta, in the 21st Senate District, which includes parts of North Fulton and Cherokee Counties. Brandon Beach is probably the Senate incumbent most in danger of being defeated in a primary election this year. Beach has been an outspoken advocate of transit and the expansion of MARTA, which is an iffy proposition for North Fulton, but his district is dominated by the more ideologically-conservative Cherokee County, for whom MARTA expansion is anathema. Barlow is an outspoken opponent of legislation offered by Beach that would expand MARTA.

In this race, the craziness started after Beach sent a mailer claiming endorsements from several legislators whose districts either overlap or adjoin his. Several of the legislators depicted on the mailpiece publicly disavowed the claimed endorsements.

State Senator Brandon Beach sent out the mailer to constituents, naming 10 Cherokee County leaders that he said stand with him in his bid for re-election.

When asked if he heard his name was on the mailer, Georgia Senator Bruce Thompson said, “Not until after I had several people that called me and said, ‘Do you know that you endorsed Brandon Beach?’”

Our investigation found that not only did Thompson not endorse him, but neither did Georgia Representative Michael Caldwell.

“Senator Beach is a good friend of mine, but I didn’t endorse either candidate because I don’t intend to get involved in the race and I still don’t,” Caldwell said.

“I did not give permission for my name to be on any candidate’s piece,” Thompson added.

CBS46 called all 10 leaders mentioned in the mailer. Some did not respond. The mayor of Ball Ground and Canton said they didn’t know their name was on the mailer, but didn’t seem concerned. Only one said he endorsed Beach and that was Chairman of the Cherokee Commission Buzz Ahrens.

Beach responded to the accusations by saying Thompson said he “had his full support” and added that every person on the list made a commitment they were on board.

Since then, Beach has been airing a TV ad touting his record, and an endorsement by former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz. He’s called into question Aaron Barlow’s voting record, writing,

Unlike my opponent, I haven’t missed an election since I was 18. I simply believe protecting our values and the future of our community – and country – is too important to stay home on Election Day. While Aaron Barlow continues to spread lies about my record, one look at his voting history over the last decade tells you all you need to know about his priorities.

Beach also questioned Barlow’s residency commitment to the district in a forum earlier this season.

Beach accused Barlow of only moving to the state eight months ago and said the challenger’s ties to the community weren’t nearly as strong.

However, Barlow, who lists his residence as Milton, said he had lived in Georgia for 12 years and raised his family in the state.

Beach also notes that Barlow sent a negative mailer blaming Beach for T-SPLOST, which passed the legislature before Beach took office.

I got a good laugh out of the latest negative mailer from our friend from Chicago attacking me over TSPLOST. For starters, I wasn’t in office when TSPLOST passed. But the best part is that my opponent didn’t even vote in the TSPLOST election – just like he didn’t vote to defend Georgia’s Senate seat against Obama and liberal Michelle Nunn in 2014. I think we can all agree that we’re tired of politicians claiming they’ll fight for us, but never showing up when it matters most.

Barlow’s campaign also received a brushback pitch over a claim it made regarding legislation sponsored by Beach.

In a letter, Randy Evans, the attorney for Jackson Healthcare of Alpharetta warned Barlow that he was dallying with a slander suit for alleging that Jackson Healthcare and its CEO, Richard Jackson, were the sole entity behind Senate Bill 86, a measure sponsored by Beach and other Republicans that would have greatly curtailed malpractice lawsuits.

When his turn came to speak, Barlow said this:

“This particular legislation is a form of crony politics. The only serious supporter of this particular bill is an organization called Jackson Healthcare. It’s funded $100,000 in political contributions to my opponent and several other politicians….

“This bill benefits nobody except them….”

Jackson Healthcare’s attorney took exception:

“These statements are false and deceptive with actual knowledge. In addition, since neither Jackson nor Jackson Healthcare are public figures, the standard for imposition of liability is much lower than for public figures.”

Evans, as you know, is a member of the Republican National Committee and one of the most politically connected attorneys in Atlanta….

The Barlow camp pointed to the Beach campaign for the legal warning. “There is nothing to this besides bully tactics by the Beach campaign to try and shut Aaron up regarding his extensive campaign contributions from big business, particularly Jackson Healthcare,” said Barlow spokesman Andrew O’Shea.

We’ve only begun documenting the campaign craziness that is the 2016 Primary Elections. Over the course of the rest of the week, we’ll look at accusations flying in a judicial race, and a lawsuit by a political consultant against his own client. And in the meantime, as pressure in the election ratchets up, we’ll certainly see a higher level of crazy emerge.

9
May

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 9, 2016

Navoo

Navoo is an adult male Rat Terrier and Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from Rotts ‘n Pups Rescue in Douglasville, GA.

Navoo was found wondering aimlessly in the middle of the night at a gas station on a highway in rural Alabama where the attendant said he had been dumped about a week earlier.. He jumped into the car of a kind woman who had stopped for gas on her way back to Atlanta. He is very loving and craves attention. He is good with other dogs and children. If you are interested in giving this boy a forever home, please contact Diane at [email protected] or call 404-425-2044.

Jessie

Jessie is a young female Rottweiler who is available for adoption from Rotts ‘n Pups Rescue in Douglasville, GA.

Jessie came from a high kill shelter in South Georgia where she was picked up as a stray. Jessie is about 15-18 months old and as sweet as can be. She’s totally house broken and will definitely sit for treats. She has wonderful manners and is a great girl all around. Rides well in the car, does well on a leash and loves to cuddle up on the couch. Jessie is on the smaller side, about 70 pounds. Lovely girl all around.

Kai

Kai is a 2-year old white female German Shepherd dog who is available for adoption through private placement in Douglasville, GA.

Kai is a registered dog. Kai is looking for a home because she has hip dysplasia (mild). She is good with children and other dogs. Dogs can live normal and healthy lives with hip dysplasia but need to be on a quality diet and most likely supplements as she ages. Please contact [email protected] for additional information or if you are interested in adopting. Kai is current on heartworm prevention, vaccines, and flea prevention.

Piper

Piper is a 2-year old female yellow Labrador Retriever who is available for adoption from Rotts ‘n Pups Rescue in Douglasville, GA.

My name is Piper. I’m a 22-month old purebred yellow lab with lots of energy! I am housebroken. I’m spayed, chipped and current on all vaccines. My favorite things are playing fetch, playing with other dogs and cuddling with my foster mom on the couch. My foster mom is also helping me with my manners. In my old home, I was confined to a crate for almost 15 hours every day. I would love to be part of an active family with another 4-legged friend to play with and have direct access to a fenced yard so I can run and play!