Gov. Nathan Deal: Jason Carter Changes Position on HOPE

Your Georgia Desk

From Governor Nathan Deal

Carter changes position on HOPE

Democrat could no longer defend plan that would cut off middle class

On Monday, Carter for Governor denounced as a “shameful lie” Republican assertions that his HOPE income cap plan would cut off many middle-class families. Sen. Jason Carter clarified later in the day that it wasn’t true because he’d changed his position without telling anyone.

After claiming for three years that income caps are a moral imperative, Carter now says, three weeks before the election, that income caps are “too blunt an instrument.”

In comments to the AJC,Carter accidentally came close to admitting there’s no painless answer: “I think we do need to consider, at some point, need. Because you cannot pay for everybody. We want to maximize the number of people. I don’t think anyone is talking anymore about a solid cap. It’s probably too blunt an instrument. (more…)

GA Ports Authority: Port of Brunswick Achieves Double-digit Growth

Your Georgia Desk

From The Georgia Ports Authority

Colonel's Island Terminal

Port of Brunswick achieves double-digit growth

GPA moves record Ro/Ro, grows all business sectors

At the Brunswick State of the Port address Tuesday, Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz reported double-digit growth in total tonnage and a record number of auto and machinery units moved over Brunswick docks in fiscal year 2014.

“Our deepwater terminals in Brunswick achieved broad growth in all business sectors, including forest and farm products as well as breakbulk cargo, auto and machinery units,” Foltz said. “Total tonnage was up by 11.6 percent, at more than 3.4 million tons of cargo.”

For the third year in a row, the GPA achieved a record total for auto and machinery units with a 10 percent improvement in FY2014. Moving 700,702 roll-on/roll-off units constituted an increase of 63,760. Most of that business, or 674,327 units, moved over Colonel’s Island terminal in Brunswick. Taken individually, Colonel’s Island Ro/Ro increased by 8.3 percent, or 51,625 units, compared to the previous fiscal year.

“Georgia’s ports provide an important link to overseas markets for U.S. manufacturing and farm production,” said GPA Board Chairman James Walters. “Georgia’s business-friendly tax structure and targeted training programs make our state an attractive home for industries hoping to expand their global reach.” (more…)

On the passing of Mack Burgess

Georgia lost a good man today when Mack Burgess died in an automobile accident on 400.

I first met Mack when he was managing Stan Wise’s 2012 reelection campaign to the Public Service Commission. One of Stan’s colleagues recalled Mack being asked to speak on Stan’s behalf at an event and doing so much more professionally than would be expected his age – at the time, Mack was literally weeks or months past his college graduation.

This year he saw increasing responsibility at the helm of a Congressional campaign and after that as a member of the Georgia Republican Party’s staff supporting Governor Deal.

May God bring peace to our friend, Mack Burgess, and all who called him friend, brother, or family.

David Perdue: Celebrates Georgia’s Farming Community At Sunbelt Ag Expo

Your Washington Desk

From David Perdue U.S. Senate 

Perdue Celebrates Georgia’s Farming Community At Sunbelt Ag Expo

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, David Perdue, today visited the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition to meet with Georgia’s farmers and agricultural community.

The Sunbelt Ag Expo is the nation’s largest farm show featuring agriculture’s newest ideas, technologies, and products. This year’s state spotlight, “Georgia Agriculture, Always in Season,” highlights the state’s diversity in agriculture.

“Georgia’s proud agricultural heritage was on full display at the Sunbelt Ag Expo from testing the latest farming technologies to cooking with Georgia grown products. I want to help Georgia’s farmers continue to produce and sell products that are Georgia grown and ensure that we remain an agricultural leader in the future,” said David Perdue.

Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black added, “While Michelle Nunn ranked rural issues dead last in her list of policy priorities, David is taking every opportunity to listen directly to the issues concerning local farmers. We need David fighting for Georgia’s farmers in the U.S. Senate.” (more…)

Can Rehabilitating Historic Buildings Breathe Life Into Georgia Downtowns? | Georgia Public Broadcasting

Macon, Ga. — On a Friday night in Macon, people dropped by the atrium of the downtown Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, ready to share their ideas on how to revive the city’s urban core.

Macon urban developers asked them to write down their ideas and stick them up on a wall where people could map and vote on them. It was part of public engagement to support the Macon Action Plan. Some of these downtown redevelopment ideas aim directly at using the historic buildings and nature of downtown development in Macon. One came from Rachel Hollar live in the downtown lofts: “I’d like to see new energy in the industrial area,” she said.

No wonder. Hollar lives in what once was the old Happ Brothers factory building, a place where clothing was made for decades before it closed in the 1980s. The building barely escaped the wrecking ball and eventually the aging structure was rehabilitated and became – the Broadway Lofts.

Historic Redevelopments Surge

In fiscal year 2014 Macon had 35 historic rehabilitation projects receiving state tax breaks that were either in progress or completed. That’s more projects than Savannah, even more than Atlanta. But this surge of historic redevelopment is a statewide phenomenon. An August report by the state’s Historic Preservation Division reported that $85 million in project investment in fiscal year 2014 were funded; these projects that were being made possible through tax breaks. That’s up from about $62 million the previous fiscal year. New historic renovation projects grew from 60 in fiscal year 2013 to 92 in fiscal year 2014.

Carole Moore, who coordinates tax incentives and grants for the division, called the increase dramatic. Moore says that Macon has led this resurgence in historic preservation. One reason: Macon simply has a large number of older unused buildings. But, she said, leadership in Macon-Bibb prompted by the Historic Macon Foundation has worked hard to make developers aware of the tax breaks and credits for rehab projects. And much of that activity is aimed at Macon’s urban core.

“History is foundational in the redevelopment of downtown Macon. Not only in the literal sense with our historic buildings but emotionally and psychologically,” said Josh Rogers, the president and CEO of NewTown Macon, a non-profit working to coordinate and support the revitalization of downtown. Rogers previously headed up Historic Macon.

Rogers will also admit that it remains a tough sell to get developers to believe that historic rehabilitation makes business sense.

via Can Rehabilitating Historic Buildings Breathe Life Into Georgia Downtowns? | Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Grandpa Jimmy Carter Casts A Shadow Over Ga. Governor’s Race | Georgia Public Broadcasting

ATLANTA — On Sunday, Jimmy Carter makes an appearance at a church in South Georgia alongside his eldest grandson, Jason. Jason Carter is the politician these days, a state senator, and is now making a bid for the governor’s office.

Democrats haven’t won that office in 16 years. Now, the younger Carter, a Democrat, is neck-and-neck with the Republican incumbent, Nathan Deal.

This March, on the last day of Georgia’s legislative session, state Sen. Carter was allowed to take the podium as president of the Senate — a ceremonial turn for outgoing Senators.

“While presiding does this make you President Carter?” asked Republican Sen. Charlie Bethel. The Senate erupted into a mix of howls and applause.

With that one remark, Carter’s family legacy moved front and center.

And in his campaign for governor, the younger Carter must contend with his grandfather’s legacy. The name Jimmy Carter stirs up complex feelings among Georgia voters.

“Certainly there are people in the electorate who the only measuring stick they need to make a decision about Jason is Jimmy Carter, and whether that’s fair or not, that’s reality,” Bethel says.

Bethel says he also does not doubt that the inverse is true as well, and that there are people who will say, “If he’s Jimmy Carter’s grandson, then he’s got my vote and he doesn’t have to do anything.”

via Grandpa Jimmy Carter Casts A Shadow Over Ga. Governor’s Race | Georgia Public Broadcasting.

CDC: Atlanta Airport Screenings To Begin Thursday | Georgia Public Broadcasting

ATLANTA — Ebola screenings are set to begin Thursday at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta and the head of the Centers for Disease Control said isolating patients who may have traveled to West Africa should be the focus of healthcare workers across the country.

Dr. Thomas Frieden addressed the media Monday from CDC headquarters in Atlanta. He said screenings began at New York City’s JFK airport Sunday and 91 people had undergone evaluation. Of those, none of them had fevers and screeners determined none of them had been exposed to Ebola.

Frieden emphasized again that there would be no benefit to halting travel to and from the impacted region.

via CDC: Atlanta Airport Screenings To Begin Thursday | Georgia Public Broadcasting.

More Bad News for the GOP: Hillary Clinton Could Turn Georgia Into a Swing State in 2016

Not my words below, but something that all Georgians should consider as we approach the 2014 General Election.

If Ms. Hillary Clinton runs for President in 2016, she is not only going to crush the Republican hopefuls nationally, but the Democratic former Secretary of State, Senator and First Lady might turn red state Georgia into a swing state according to a new Public Policy Polling poll that was published Tuesday.

According to the Public Policy Polling poll, there’s a decent chance Georgia will be a swing state if Clinton runs in 2016:

It looks like there’s a pretty decent chance it will be a swing state in the 2016 Presidential election if Hillary Clinton is the Democrat candidate. Clinton leads against 6 out of 7 potential Republican opponents we tested, trailing only Jeb Bush at 45/44. She leads Rand Paul (47/44), Mike Huckabee (48/45), and Herman Cain (48/45) all by 3, Chris Christie (46/41) by 5, and Ted Cruz (47/41) and Newt Gingrich (49/43) both by 6.

Hillary Clinton could turn Georgia into a swing state even running against Georgians Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich. How many ways can Republicans spell fail before they realize that they can’t repackage the rotting meat in pretty enough tin foil to sell to the nation?

via More Bad News for the GOP: Hillary Clinton Could Turn Georgia Into a Swing State in 2016.