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

Casimir Pulaski, a Polish aristocrat who fought with the colonists in the American Revolution, died in Savannah on October 11, 1779.

Former Georgia Governor and President of the United States Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 11, 2002.

Bobby Cox managed his last game in Game Four of the NLDS on October 11, 2010.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Tybee Island appears to have weathered Hurrican Matthew well, according to the Savannah Morning News.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 10, 2016


Lil Jimmy is a young male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Newnan Coweta Humane Society in Newnan, GA.


Carter is a female Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from BarkTown Rescue and Sanctuary in Jasper, GA. She is playful and adorable.


Jimmy is an adult male Rottweiler and Labrador Retriver mix who is available for adoption from the City of Lyons Animal Shelter in Lyons, GA.

Jimmy is a handsome happy boy–he came to the shelter with his friend, Johnson, but the dog brothers couldn’t stay together since both are food aggressive–Jimmy is a friendly big boy –meet him at the City of Lyons Animal Shelter 606 N.Hall St in Lyons.


Carter is a young male Terrier mix who is available for adoption from the City of Macon Animal Control in Macon, GA.


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

The United States Naval Academy opened in Annapolis, Maryland on October 10, 1845.

Vice Presidnt Spiro Agnew resigned on October 10, 1973 and pled guilty to federal income tax evasion charges.

On October 10 1976, a poll by Time magazine showed Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter with a 2-1 electoral vote margin.

Carter led in 21 states and the District of Columbia, with 273 electoral votes (three more than necessary to win), while President Ford led in 17 states with 113 electoral votes.

The online Georgia archives at UGA has a collection of campaign materials, including a 1976 Carter for President brochure.

On October 10, 1980, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site was established in Atlanta.

On October 10, 2015, Donald Trump made his first campaign stop in Georgia.

Trump Atlanta 1

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Tomorrow is the voter registration deadline for the Novembr 8th General Election. Check your voter registration status by signing in to the Secretary of State’s MVP webpage. As of the weekend, 33,150 mail-in ballots had been returned by voters.

First Lady Sandra Deal visited evacuees from Coastal Georgia where they were being housed in Augusta.

“Thank you so much for checking on us,” [Mary] Thomas told Deal. “It means so much to know you care.”

Deal spent around an hour in Augusta on Sunday morning, checking on evacuees from Hurricane Matthew.

While at Trinity on the Hill, she toured the site, comforted families and even took part in a Sunday school class with children.

“I’m so glad y’all are here,” Deal told a table of young adults in Wesley Hall. “Please don’t rush home – please stay as long as you need. The most important thing right now is your safety.”

“Remember that God’s in control,” Deal said. “Sometimes, unfortunate or difficult things happen, but always remember that God’s in control.”

Georgia Ports Authority is bringing its coastal ports back on line after Hurricane Matthew.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 7, 2016


Joan is a young female Hound dog puppy who is available for adoption from Animal Ark Rescue in Columbus, GA.


Blossum is an adult female Low Rider mixed breed who is available for adoption from Animal Ark Rescue in Columbus, GA.

Blossum is often misunderstood because she hates being in her kennel. If given the chance outside of her kennel, she will shower you with love. She seems to be housebroken if taken outside on a regular basis. She needs a home with no small children or other dogs… so she can soak up ALL of your love for herself. Blossum would be the perfect dog for apartment living. Just give her a couch and love and she will be the perfect companion for you.

Blossum does know how to climb a 4ft chainlink fence. She doesn’t like kids or other dogs.


Miranda is a female Hound mix with a beautiful Merle coat who is available for adoption from Animal Ark Rescue in Columbus, GA.


Sawyer is a young male Hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Animal Ark Rescue in Columbus, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 7, 2016

Georgia and American History

King George, III issued the Proclamation of 1763 on October 7, 1763.

With respect to Georgia’s official boundaries, the proclamation expanded Georgia’s southern boundary by giving the colony all lands between the Altamaha and St. Marys rivers. Previously, the Altamaha had served as Georgia’s southern boundary.

So, the impact of the Proclamation of 1763 was to set Georgia’s official southern boundary as the St. Marys River from its mouth to the headwaters, then north to the Altamaha River, then north to the headwaters of that river, and then westward to the Mississippi River. Georgia’s northern boundary was the Savannah River from its mouth to its headwaters.


Patriot militia defeated Loyalists at the Battle of King’s Mountain in North Carolina, near the South Carolina border on October 7, 1780.

On October 8, 1895, the Liberty Bell arrived in Atlanta for the Cotton States Exposition.

The famously–cracked 2,000 pound pealer left Philadelphia on seven trips between 1885 and 1915. Each time it came home with more cracks. It turned out the men hired to guard the Bell were taking liberties, literally: chipping off pieces and selling them as souvenirs.

Cheering crowds greeted the Bell in Atlanta. A two–mile parade took it to Piedmont Park, where 50,000 people lined up to see it.

Liberty Bell in Atlanta

On October 7, 1916, Georgia Tech beat Cumberland College in the most-one-sided college football game in history, by a score of 222-0.

The Engineers led 63–0 after the first quarter and 126–0 at halftime. Tech added 54 more points in the third quarter and 42 in the final period.

Tech Cumberland Scoreboard Tech Cumberland Ball

Recently, a Georgia Tech alumnus paid $44,388 for the game ball with the intention of donating it to the trade school.

The Democratic Republic of Germany (East Germany) was created by the Soviets on October 7, 1949.

On October 12, 1958, The Temple was bombed after a phone call to WSB warned that Black churches and Jewish temples would be blown up.

Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Vice President Richard Nixon met in the second televised Presidential debate on October 7, 1960.

President Richard Nixon proposed a structure for peace and eventual withdrawal of American forces from Vietnam on October 7, 1970.

Polling released on October 8, 1976 indicated that Democrat Jimmy Carter won the second debate against President Gerald Ford by a 50-27 margin.

The first C-5A airplane arrived at Robins Air Force Base on October 8, 1997.

C-5 at Robins

On October 8, 1998, the United States House of Representatives voted 258-176 to authorize an impeachment inquiry against President Bill Clinton.

President George W. Bush (43) announced military action in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001.

In a televised address that evening, Bush informed the American public that “carefully targeted actions” were being carried out to crush the military capability of al-Qaida and the Taliban, with help from British, Canadian, Australian, German and French troops. An additional 40 nations around the world provided intelligence, as well as bases from which the operations were conducted.

Bush touted the multinational effort as proof that America, in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, was “supported by the collective will of the world.” He also warned that the war in Afghanistan would likely be only the first front in a long struggle against terrorism. He vowed to continue to take what he called the “war on terror” to those countries that sponsored, harbored or trained terrorists.

President George W. Bush issued an Executive Order establishing the Department of Homeland Security on October 8, 2001.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California on October 7, 2003.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

President Obama declared a state of emergency in Georgia ahead of Hurricane Matthew’s landfall.

The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Clinch, Coffee, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glynn, Jeff Davis, Jenkins, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Pierce, Screven, Tattnall, Toombs, Treutlen, Ware, and Wayne.

Governor Deal has brought a more low-key style to announcements regarding the inbound storm.

“We are being cautious but we don’t want anyone to panic,” said Deal. “We are prepared as we can be for this crisis.”

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has pleaded on camera several times this week for coastal residents to evacuate. And Florida Gov. Rick Scott bluntly warned Floridians on Thursday: “This storm will kill you.”

But public pleading and colorful sound bites are not Deal’s style. Although he has ordered one of the largest evacuations in state history, the governor has stayed largely behind the scenes as state officials ramp up their preparations for the storms. He was on camera only once before hosting two press conferences on Thursday.

“We aren’t going to go dragging anyone out of their houses against their will,” Deal said. “But the mandatory evacuation is significant. It’s the highest warning we can give to people on the urgency of evacuating.”

Augusta officials are urging residents to show Southern hospitality to folks displaced from the coast.

The 630 aboard the buses are the first of 5,000 Augusta has agreed to shelter under an evacuation contract with Chatham County, Fire Chief Chris James said at a Thursday news conference.

They’ll join the thousands of self-evacuees already in the city, where almost all of approximately 7,000 hotel and motel rooms are occupied, and 55 patients so far have been evacuated to AU Medical Center from coastal area hospitals.

City Administrator Janice Allen Jackson encouraged residents to be patient and kind to the visitors.

“As far as we can tell, they’re all trying to make the best of it,” she said. “We want to demonstrate good southern hospitality for those who come in – we realize they’re here under adverse circumstances.”

Lawyers for the states of Georgia and Florida will meet in an October 31 court hearing on the lawsuit over waterflows through the Appalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint basin.

In the suit, filed in 2013, Florida claims that Georgia is using an unfair share of the water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint basin, including water from Lake Lanier. The suit also alleges overuse of the Chattahoochee in metro Atlanta, and water from the Flint that is used by South Georgia farmers.

Though the “tri-state water wars” between Georgia, Florida and Alabama have been going on for decades, the suit was the first time one state directly sued another, according to The Wall Street Journal.

For Florida, the issue is the amount of fresh water from the Apalachicola – which is formed when the Chattahoochee and Flint come together in Lake Seminole – that goes into Apalachicola Bay. Adequate freshwater is needed for the health of the oysters in the bay.

The Endangered Species Act is also involved because water flows can affect the health of the endangered Gulf Sturgeon, as well as three endangered mussels: the fat threeridge, purple bankclimber, and Chipola slabshell.

A new Fazoli’s restaurant in Warner Robins set an opening week record for the chain, according to the Macon Telegraph.

[I]n August 2015, C&P Restaurant Co., a franchise group owned by Allen Peake and Mike Chumbley, had signed a six-unit development agreement for Fazoli’s in Georgia.

Billy Sparks of Rome was sworn-in as a Floyd County Superior Court Judge to fill the remainder of the term of Judge Walter Matthews.

Jan Horne is running for Senate District 28 as a write-in candidate, according to The Times-Herald.

Horne is challenging Matt Brass, who handily won the Republican nomination for the seat in May, beating Hayden Marlowe with over 80 percent of the vote.

Under Georgia law, write-in votes are only counted if a candidate has officially qualified with the state as a write-in candidate.

Horne said she is “not a member of the establishment. I am just a concerned citizen who wants to continue the hard work Sen. Mike Crane has done during his time as our senator.”

“As your Republican representative in the Senate, I will fight every day to serve your needs and protect your freedom and constitutional rights,” Horne said in a press release. “For years I have been involved in the community, particularly as a volunteer with various Republican events and clubs throughout the state.  I have never worked in a political office nor held a political position.”

You can learn more about Horne at or

“God has laid it on my heart to run. Maybe He will lay it on your heart to help and spread the word,” Horne said.

Options to vote for a write-in candidate are included on both the electronic voting machines and paper absentee ballots.

The Whitfield County Republican Party will host a debate watching party Sunday night.

Georgia Department of Human Services will begin an energy assistance program November 1 with senior and homebound applications being accepted.

Moody Air Force Base is relocating aircraft outside of the expected storm zone.

Georgia State University reports that rural areas in Georgia are lagging in economic growth and job creation.

“Rural parts of the country are facing many hardships,” said Peter Bluestone, author and senior research associate at the Center for State and Local Finance. “The recovery isn’t as fast as some would like in the urban areas, but we can see it coming. It’s not as clear for rural communities.”

Georgia added 193,582 jobs from 2012 to 2014, an increase of about 5 percent over 2012, providing some evidence of sustained economic recovery. However, most of that growth — 64 percent — occurred in the Atlanta area. Rural Georgia saw just 11.5 percent of the growth. It also had the lowest job growth relative to population growth. From 2007-14, jobs declined by 6.9 percent, while population grew by nearly twice as much.

Rural Georgia lagged behind in job quality, as well. The region’s low-wage jobs outnumbered premium-wage jobs during the study period. It represented 24 percent of the state’s premium-wage job loss. Rural Georgia also lost many mid-wage jobs associated with manufacturing during the recession, and it has not benefited from an increase in mid-wage jobs associated with health care services that has occurred more recently.

Anthem, Inc. will create 1000 jobs in Midtown Atlanta.

Georgia National Fair attendees can vote in the latest “Peanut Poll,” sponsored by Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

Kemp is asking fair-goers to stop by his booth in the Georgia Grown Building and vote for President and Georgia’s U.S. Senator.

“Georgians’ high level of participation in the Peanut Poll last year shows that they are invested in the future of our nation,” said Kemp in a press statement. “I expect the excitement to continue this year.”

In its inaugural year, the “Peanut Poll” became the largest straw poll in America after surpassing the 2015 Iowa Straw Poll by nearly 20,000 votes. This year, voting is open to all Georgia National Fair visitors until the booth closes at 10 each night. Voters will receive one peanut to place in the jar of the candidate of their choice.

Water billing issues are at a boiling point in DeKalb County.

A crowd of DeKalb County residents who say they’re being ripped off for water service packed a town hall meeting Thursday, demanding explanations for bills reaching into the thousands of dollars.

They made sure county government officials heard their frustration, shouting out amounts of their bills: $600, $1,000, $1,800 and more. The standing-room-only crowd exceeded 200 people who filled DeKalb’s government auditorium.

They confronted government officials to try to get the bottom of the problem — and to try to avoid having to pay bills they believe are ridiculous.

“For years, representatives have given us every excuse for why it’s our fault that water bills are so high,” said Star McKenzie, who started a Facebook group called Unbelievable DeKalb Water Bills. “No other company could stay in business with this ‘customer is always wrong’ attitude. Unfortunately for residents, you’re selling something that we can’t live without.”

Amendment Two

Georgia Health News takes an in-depth look at Amendment 2 on the November ballot, and especially at the types of services that funds will be used for.

Bailey Johnson* was sold into sex trafficking as a prostitute in eight states before she found help in Georgia.

At age 17, she was rescued by a police officer who noticed signs of sexual exploitation during a routine traffic stop. She was directed by a juvenile court to enroll in a sex trafficking recovery program to help the emotional, physical, mental and social trauma she experienced.

“But something was different” about this environment, she recalls today, and it turned her life around. She entered the program with a ninth-grade education level and completed her diploma within a year.

As a Wellspring Living resident, Johnson not only earned her high school diploma, but now plans to enroll in college. She wants to study counseling and build a career around helping girls who have been involved in sex trafficking as she was.

Programs such as those offered at Wellspring Living have appeared in the last decade to help sex trafficking victims in the state, but advocates say many are underfunded or offer only a handful of slots when many more people would like to participate.

Voters will be asked to approve a proposed constitutional amendment that would fund the newly created Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund. It would be funded through taxes on adult entertainment businesses and new fines imposed on people involved in prostitution, trafficking and exploitation of children.

The funds would pay for rehabilitative and social services at Georgia programs that help victims of sexual exploitation.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 6, 2016


Marnie is a female Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from Animal Ark in Columbus, GA.


Braxton is a young male Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Animal Ark in Columbus, GA.


Billie Jean is a young female Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Animal Ark in Columbus, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 6, 2016

Georgia History

The first Mennonites arrived in America on October 6, 1683 aboard the Concord.

Cy Young threw his last professional baseball game as a member of the Boston Braves on October 6, 1911.

On October 6, 1953, WTVM-TV began broadcasting in  Columbus, Georgia.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience held its first rehearsal on October 6, 1966.

The second Presidential debate between Republican incumbent Gerald Ford and Democratic challenger Jimmy Carter took place on October 6, 1976. During the debate, Ford said, there was “no Soviet domination in Eastern Europe”.

Pope John Paul II became the first Pope to visit the White House on October 6, 1979. Carter’s notes from the meeting are at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta.

The last four B-52 bombers stationed at Robins Air Force Base in Warner-Robins left the base for the last time on October 6, 1983.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal expanded the state of emergency in Coastal Georgia to seventeen additional counties yesterday.

This brings the total to 30 counties under the emergency declaration, which also warns against price gouging. Deal issued an additional executive order waiving rules and regulations for commercial motor vehicles transporting emergency supplies.

“The National Hurricane Center predicts Hurricane Matthew will include excessive rainfall, strong winds and potential flooding. Because of this, I’m encouraging a voluntary evacuation for residents in Chatham, Bryan, Liberty, McIntosh, Glynn and Camden Counties. Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMHSA) Director Jim Butterworth is coordinating with appropriate state and local officials to ensure the safety of residents in these six counties as well as those in the other affected areas. I urge Georgians in the affected areas to remain calm, be prepared and make informed, responsible decisions as we continue to monitor Hurricane Matthew’s path.”

The additional 17 counties included in the state of emergency are:

Screven, Jenkins, Emanuel, Treutlen, Candler, Toombs, Tattnall, Jeff Davis, Appling, Coffee, Bacon, Pierce, Ware, Atkinson, Clinch, Burke and Echols.

Voluntary evacuation is encouraged for the following six counties:

Bryan, Chatham, Liberty, McIntosh, Glynn and Camden.

Effingham County has also called for an evacuation and schools are closed today and tomorrow.

A Gulfstream G-IV named Gonzo is flying missions to gather data about Hurricane Matthew.

Chatham County officials are asking for voluntary evacuation of the Islands off the coast, and the City of Tybee Island issued a mandatory evacuation.

Glynn County has declared a state of emergency and called for voluntary evacuation of St Simons, Jekyll and the other barrier islands, and has evacuated the animal shelter to a location in Waycross.

Camden County has declared a state of emergency and is asking for a voluntary evacuation of low-lying areas and mobile homes.

Augusta is gearing up to host some of the temporary refugees from the coast, and the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center will care for some veterans being evacuated from the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, SC.

Johnny Isakson should coast to victory, according to two political scientists.

Isakson looks “unbeatable,” said Georgia State University political science professor Daniel Franklin.

“Isakson is someone who would be difficult to unseat even if the state is competitive in the presidential election,” said Alan Abramowitz, a political science professor at Emory University.

Isakson has carved out a reputation as not being an ideologue, though he has a conservative voting record. “He’s seen as someone who is thoughtful and more reasonable,” said Abramowitz.

Fulton County voters will see different tax questions on their ballot on November 8th, depending on whether they live in the City of Atlanta.

MARTA – Atlanta residents will be asked to approve a half-penny increase in the city’s sales tax to support an expansion of MARTA. The proposal includes heavy and light rail, additional subway cars and more buses to reduce wait times during peak hours. MARTA estimates approval would raise $2.5 billion over 40 years.

Atlanta TSPLOST – Atlanta residents will decide whether to approve a four-tenths of a penny sales tax increase for projects such as Beltline expansion, synchronizing streetlights, sidewalk construction and road improvements. The tax will be collected for five years and is expected to raise $280 million to $320 million.

Fulton TSPLOST – Fulton County residents – except those in the city of Atlanta – will consider a sales tax increase of three-quarters of a penny to pay for road and bridge improvements, traffic mitigation and traffic signal optimization. The measure would raise up to $655 million over five years.

Some in South Fulton might have to vote two different ballots.

Some South Fulton residents may be asked to fill out their ballots twice on Nov. 8.

That’s because with a pending lawsuit about Atlanta’s annexation of their neighborhood, Loch Lomond, whether or not they live in the city is unclear. And depending on where they live, they would cast their ballots for different issues.

The best solution, according to a draft proposal, may be to let residents vote twice — then only count one ballot, depending on where they end up.

The order is not yet final, but it has already sent Fulton County scrambling to figure out what to do. The county’s Board of Registration and Election called an emergency meeting to figure out “an appropriate response to the emergency of a pending court order” dealing with the election, according to a notice.

The Southern Center for Human Rights has filed a federal lawsuit charging that the Columbus Recorder’s Court has fined women alleging domestic violence who are unwilling to testify against their alleged abusers.

“The city’s policy toward women experiencing domestic violence sounds like something out of the 19th century,” said attorney Sarah Geraghty with the Southern Center. “It’s a holdover from an era in which women were blamed for male violence.”

The suit said women who ask that charges be dropped or who refuse to testify against spouses or boyfriends are ordered to pay a “victim assessment” of at least $50 — and often several times that much — “without any consideration of the circumstances of their cases or their reasons for desiring not to prosecute.”

State School Superintendent Richard Woods says that the Georgia Department of Education is not focused on whether the Opportunity School District Amendment #1 passes in November.

“It doesn’t change the mentality,” Woods said. “It is my job to make sure that every child has a great education.”

Woods said he can only control the state education department and not Georgia voters.

“We got to be ready either way to meet the needs of our schools,” Woods said. “We don’t want any school that is classified as failing. Our focus is on making sure all schools succeed.”

Woods said Senate Bill 364, sponsored by state Sen. Lindsey Tippins, R-west Cobb, was a step in the right direction by decreasing the amount of state-mandated testing, but there is still more to be done.

Andy Miller of Georgia Health News writes about a Senate Study Committee looking at Medicaid expansion.

A legislative panel heard testimony Wednesday on ideas for reducing the high number of uninsured people in Georgia through alternatives to a standard Medicaid expansion.

The Senate study committee focused on a variation of expansion that Arkansas and other states have launched.

Under this “premium assistance,’’ a state would use Medicaid funds to purchase coverage in the health insurance exchange for newly eligible adults.

Georgia’s uninsured rate of 13.9 percent is the third-highest in the nation, behind Texas and Alaska.

Not expanding Medicaid leaves many low-income Georgia adults in a “coverage gap’’: They earn too much to qualify for Medicaid under the current system, but don’t make enough to qualify for tax credits in the health insurance exchange.

State Sen. Charles Bethel (R-Dalton), though, noted that the gap was not created by state policy. The ACA originally included provisions that essentially would have required states to expand Medicaid, but the U.S. Supreme Court struck down those requirements.

Congress passed an “unconstitutional’’ health law, Bethel said. “The federal government illegally passed a law — that’s what causes this gap,’’ he said. “States are being asked to fix a problem they didn’t create.”

State Rep. Bert Reeves (R-Marietta) plans to introduce legislation prohibiting the use of GPS to track people without their consent.

Rep. Bert Reeves, R-Marietta, discussed his plans for the bill on Friday, one day after Cobb Superior Court Judge Robert Leonard gave the go-ahead for a jury trial for a woman who sued a local private investigator for attaching a GPS to her car without her permission.

The suit was filed by Marietta attorney Charles Bachman Jr. on behalf of Melissa Atkins, a mother of three from Loganville, who said her rights were violated by the Marietta private investigation firm TFP Company Inc.

Reeves said his bill will seek to allow people to receive damages for invasion of privacy in cases such as Atkins’.

“This is stating the obvious,” Reeves said. “This is a classic example of when a law is not on par with technology. I have talked with several colleagues in the House and there’s interest in the Legislature. We’re committed to spearheading this” in the next General Assembly session.

Reeves is up for re-election this year, but is nearly assured to get a second term after winning the Republican primary for his seat in May due to a lack of a Democratic challenger for his seat.

“From a public policy perspective, the problem with (TFP’s) legal position is that, if correct, anybody can put a GPS tracking device on anyone else’s vehicle,” Leonard wrote. “This case represents a classic situation where our jurisprudence and legislation have not kept up with rapidly changing technology that is widely available and cheaply obtained.”

He asked the Legislature to take up the issue of GPS tracking and “provide Georgians with proper protection of their right to privacy.”

The Polk County Board of Education passed a resolution opposing the Opportunity School District Amendment #1.

Whitfield County will ask voters to approve an extension of the existing E-SPLOST  Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education after it expires in December.

Charlotte Sosebee will leave her position as Hall County Elections Director after the November election.

Sosebee’s last day with the county will be Nov. 16.

Sosebee began her career with the Hall County elections office as a deputy clerk in 1989. In December 2006, she was sworn in as interim elections director and was then named elections director in November 2011. Since then, she has served on the Georgia’s Elections Advisory Council, the advisory committee for implementing the new Georgia Voter Registration System and as an officer of the Voter Registrars Association of Georgia.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve the residents of Hall County for more than 25 years,” Sosebee said in a press release. “I’m proud of the advances the elections department has made during my tenure, and I want to assure voters that there will be no lapse in leadership or service during the upcoming election season.”

Sosebee will be taking over as the new director of elections and voter registration for the Athens-Clarke County unified government.

Sosebee will not take the Athens-Clarke post until Dec. 5, after the upcoming Nov. 8 general election, to avoid disruption of the election planning already under way in both counties, Williams said.

Cora Wright, who has been serving as interim director of Athens-Clarke County’s elections office, will continue in that role until Sosebee assumes her duties.

Williams said in the news release that Wright “has done an excellent job of managing this active election year, so I have full confidence in our current Board of Elections office staff’s ability to provide a successful election process over the next two months.”

A Macon Telegraph reporter writes that wrangling over a new senior center illustrates the best and worst of political process.

The quick background of the story is that funding for a new senior citizens center was included in the 2012 special purpose local option sales tax. Starting in 2014, the Macon-Bibb County commissioners began suggesting multiple sites with none of them drawing a consensus among seniors except for Central City Park.

On Tuesday, commissioners agreed to accept bids for a design despite the objection of some seniors, but also said they would see if a better compromise could be worked out.

The senior center is an example of what can sometimes happen in politics when an issue gets to a point where strong opinions are formed and sometimes the messages from officials get lost in the anger.

It’s the part of politics that neither side would like to be going through. And reporting on issues such as the senior citizens center is what makes being a journalist interesting: a vocal group of people taking part in a process that many others take for granted; and a commission that’s fighting against what they say is an unfair perception of them neglecting seniors.

Gwinnett Republicans will rally in support of re-electing County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash on October 19 from 5-7 PM at the Historic Courthouse in downtown Lawrenceville. This Thursday night beginning at 7 PM, the Gwinnett GOP will train volunteers to use the Advantage app for door-to-door canvassing at the Gwinnett Place Mall headquarters.

Mary Norwood, who narrowly lost a 2009 runoff for Mayor of Atlanta to Kasim Reed after earning more votes in the general election, will take another run for Mayor in 2017. Yesterday, her campaign sent out a statement,

“Today I’m taking the first step in becoming your next Mayor.  I’m following the law and filing to accept contributions. Over the next several weeks, I will continue to be in communities throughout our city with Atlantans from every part of our great city.”

“I am running for Mayor of Atlanta to give all Atlantans a responsible, transparent and accountable government that will ensure that we have a safe city, a sustainable city and a prosperous city for ALL of our citizens. With over 25 years of citywide service, I have a unique understanding of our city’s communities–their issues, needs, and aspirations.  As this city’s next Mayor, I will make certain that every community in this great city has the quality of life they deserve.  Your issues will be my issues and they will be addressed so that our city will be safe and you will have the accountability that you desire and expect from your city government.”


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 5, 2016


Lifeline Animal Services is offering half-price adoptions for all dogs over 25 pounds and all cats in their DeKalb and Fulton County shelters.


Earl is a small-to-medium sized Terrier mix who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services shelter. He has some skin issues, but those usually clear up when a dog gets out of the shelter environment.

Earl is a calm and lovable pocket sized dude who can’t wait to be your right hand man. He enjoys treats, looking cute, and relaxing. His adoption includes his neuter, microchip, vaccinations, and more! Come meet him at Lifeline’s DeKalb Animal Services or email [email protected] for more information.


Nick is a 1-year old Terrier mix who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services shelter.

Nick is the happiest wiggler we know. This guy is 100% lovebug. Don’t let his muscular build fool you, he is a total softie. Nick would love to join your family.


Rain is a 40-pound female Terrier mix who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

Rain’s smile says it all – she is as happy as can be! This super sweet three year old girl is ready to be your best friend. She weighs about 40 pounds, which to her is perfectly lap-sized! She is currently kenneled with other dogs and is doing well with them. She may enjoy sharing her forever home with a canine companion.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 5, 2016

On October 5, 1864, the Battle of Allatoona Pass was fought in Bartow County, Georgia.

The first televised Presidential address from the White House was broadcast on October 5, 1947.

The Georgia Supreme Court outlawed use of the electric chair as “cruel and unusual punishment” on October 5, 2001.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Yesterday, Governor Nathan Deal declared an emergency in thirteen coastal Georgia counties in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew.

“Hurricane Matthew is forecast to potentially impact the Georgia coast within 72 hours,” said Deal. “While the exact effects are unknown at this time, I’ve issued an emergency declaration for coastal counties effective October 5 and extending for seven days. I’ve ordered the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMHSA) to work with appropriate state and local agencies to ensure all precautions are taken to protect residents and minimize risks to property and roads. The safety of Georgians is our first priority, and we urge residents in these areas to remain calm but vigilant as they prepare for potential impact.”

The state of emergency includes the following 13 counties: Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Effingham, Evans, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh and Wayne counties.

The impending storm also knocked-out a fundraising trip by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R).

The fundraiser was organized by some of Georgia’s top conservatives, including Faith and Freedom Coalition founder Ralph Reed, ex-Gov. Sonny Perdue and state Sen. David Shafer, R-Duluth.

Coastal Georgia residents are watching and preparing for the possibility of the storm hitting the coast.

The storm — now 830 miles south, moving north at around 10 mph with winds at 140 mph as of 11 p.m. Tuesday — is expected to still be a large hurricane by the time it gets close to us, with the potential for major, destructive impacts from wind, storm surge and floods.

No hurricane watches or warning were issued for Chatham County on Tuesday. A state of emergency only means laws can be suspended and money can be freed up to help areas prepare and recover from disasters.

On Tybee Island, meanwhile, Mayor Jason Buelterman said his focus Tuesday was awareness. While Tybee was projected in the error cone around the hurricane’s path Tuesday, the mayor said the island could still feel the effects of the storm.

Buelterman said island residents should hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

“The worst case scenario would be a Category 3, direct hit,” Buelterman said. “That’s a distinct possibility at this point. The forecast right now is for like tropical storm force effects. … But that could change based on the speed of it. All it takes is a slight, slight change to the west for us to be severely impacted.”

Attorney General Sam Olens took a step closer to the presidency of Kennesaw State University yesterday, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens has been officially recommended for the position of president of Kennesaw State University, [by the Board of Regents’ Executive and Compensation Committee,] with a vote by the Georgia Board of Regents the final step before getting the job.

The Board of Regents is set to vote on Olens’ hiring at their meeting Oct. 12.

“I am honored to be considered for the presidency of Kennesaw State University,” Olens said in a release by the University of System of Georgia. “Cobb County is my home, and I care deeply for Kennesaw State. If I’m fortunate enough to be selected by the Board of Regents, I will do everything I can to earn the trust and support of KSU’s faculty, staff and students.”

Wynn Resorts of Las Vegas is joining the push to bring casino gambling to Georgia next year, according to the AJC.

Wynn Resorts Development of Las Vegas has hired the Dentons law firm as its lobbying team head of the 2017 legislative session. The company is owned by Steve Wynn and has casinos in Vegas and the Macau region of China and is building a casino resort outside Boston.

Wynn and Dentons declined to comment but Dentons lobbyists Jeff Hamling, Ed Lindsey, Amy Odom and Ben Vinson have all registered to represent Wynn at the state and local level.

Latinos in Georgia are being urged by radio ads to register to vote in this year’s General Election.

[P]rogressive advocacy organization People For the American Way (PFAW) launched a bilingual voter registration ad campaign as part of the group’s Latinos Vote! program, urging Latinos to register in order to vote against Donald Trump and his campaign of bigotry on Election Day.

The campaign includes Spanish-language radio ads in North Carolina, Ohio, Arizona, Georgia, and Virginia sending the message that Trump—who has called immigrants “rapists” and “killers” and supports a mass deportation agenda—could be the next president if listeners don’t register to vote in time and to vote against him. You can listen to the ad here.

These ads will run on Facebook and Twitter in Nevada, Florida, Colorado, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia, Virginia.

Pedro Marin, Georgia State Representative: “The number of Georgia Latinos registered to vote has more than doubled over the last ten years. If more of us register to vote—and go vote—Hillary Clinton could defeat Trump in our state. With increased voter registrations and a candidate as hateful as Donald Trump at the top of the ticket, I’m confident that we can use our voting power to ensure Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and mass deportation policies never reaches the White House.”

Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate William Weld will appear tonight at an event in Atlanta.

DeKalb County homeowners will have the chance to extend a property tax assessment freeze in the General Election.

The measure extends for five more years an existing assessment freeze that has been in place since 2007.

By preventing the assessed value of homes from going up except when they’re sold or renovated, residents’ property taxes will stay the same each year unless elected officials raise rates.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp‘s office says some online voter registration attempts were rejected because of a third-party provider.

A technology provider for the Department of Driver Services attempted unsuccessfully to update a security certificate on Friday causing some users of the Georgia Online Voter Registration System to receive error messages when submitting electronic applications over the weekend. However, the system backup for paper applications was successful in generating those applications, and our office observed a spike in those users over the weekend.

The failed update at roughly 6:30 p.m. on Friday, September 30, affected instant DDS verification of electronic voter registration applications.

On the morning of Monday, October 3, the Secretary of State’s Elections Division discovered the error. They immediately alerted DDS to describe the severity of the issue and worked with officials to correct the mistake. DDS was able to work with GTA and the technology provider to back out of the updated network certificate and fully restore OLVR connectivity at approximately 12:30 p.m.

Although we are not able to identify the number of affected users, any Georgian who attempted to register to vote using OLVR since September 30 should check their voter registration status using the “My Voter Page” (MVP) website and, if needed, update their voter registration before the October 11 voter registration deadline.

MVP can be accessed at

OLVR can be accessed at

Kemp’s office is also releasing videos in foreign language to explain the voter registration system.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp unveiled the first of four new video tutorials in English, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, and Vietnamese on voter registration, absentee voting by mail, advance in-person voting, and Election Day voting. Kemp encourages Georgians to take advantage of these tutorials with only seven days left until the voter registration deadline and absentee voting by mail already underway for the November General Election.

“I want every eligible Georgian to have the information they need to take part in the electoral process,” stated Secretary Kemp. “These new resources will help voters who are non-English speakers know how to register to vote and prepare to cast their ballot.”

Secretary Kemp initiated this project to ensure every Georgian is informed on Election Day. Individuals can view the voter registration tutorials by visiting Secretary Kemp’s YouTube channel or the Elections Division’s website. All four tutorials will be available to Georgians by week’s end. Kemp will also work with minority advocacy groups to promote the videos in various communities across the state.

“In the Secretary of State’s office, we are dedicated to ensuring every Georgian has the opportunity to register to vote and allow their voice to be heard at the polls,” said Kemp.

Gwinnett County Commissioners voted unanimously to take over the old Olympic Tennis Center near Stone Mountain and tear down the existing building.

“It’s got to come down, it’s got to be demolished,” County Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said. “It’s not in any kind of condition (to remain) … Demolishing it is cheaper than trying to fix it up. I’m sure that’s the case.”

Gainesville City Council members rejected a sober living home for men after neighboring homeowners raised safety issues.

The Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority will negotiate with a Denver architecture firm to design a replacement for the aging James Brown Arena.

Its proposed price tag is $110 million, and no funding source has been determined, although the authority received special purpose local option sales tax 7 funds with which it is starting the process.

The Effingham County Board of Education will pay $1.2 million to buy a farm for use as an agriculture center.

Shearouse said about 500 students are enrolled in high school ag classes out of about 3,400 students. The system also has three middle school programs that funnel children into the high school classes.

The number of students taking ag classes has been fairly steady in recent years.

“Agricultural education provides students with skills they can use for a lifetime, regardless of whether they work in an agricultural occupation or not,” Shearouse said.

The Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News has endorsed the E-SPLOST on the November ballot.

Macon-Bibb County will seek bids to build a new senior center.



Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 4, 2016


Kurt Russell is a 3-4 month old long-haired Chihuahua mix male who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.

I’m Kurt Russell and I came in with my sister Goldie Hawn, I know I was named after a really cool actor. They are working on finding us each our own family, so let me tell you a little about myself. I’m a typical puppy with lots of energy and love to give. I do get along with dogs and cats and I like kids too. If you think you’re the family for me let’s get together and talk.


Talbert is a 3-4 year old male Yellow Lab mix who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.

Talbert is your typical yellow lab: up for adventure or a good belly rub. He loves his twice daily walks and would do great in a home that will give him regular exercise to keep him physically and mentally fit.


Boomer is a 2-3 year old, 90-pound male American Bulldog who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.

Hi! I’m Boomer. I love being with somebody at all times and I get along well with other dogs as well. I really enjoy playing with ropes and other toys! I’m a pretty big 90lb man who has just as much love to give. If you’d like to meet me, fill out an application today.