Irony Department: EPA Holds First Of Two Hearings In Atlanta On Proposed Carbon Rule | WABE 90.1 FM

That time you held a public hearing about carbon rules to slow global warming in Atlanta in the summer and this happened:

Atlanta Weather Irony Department

Hundreds of advocates from across the Southeast descended on Atlanta Tuesday. They came for the first of two hearings on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to dramatically cut carbon emissions from existing power plants.

Multiple rallies and marches were held near the Omni Hotel in downtown Atlanta where the hearing took place. The day took on a convention-like feel, with stakeholders from all sides of the debate ready to make their case.

A food truck rented by the Climate Reality Project, a group founded by Al Gore, set up outside the hotel along Centennial Olympic Park and served free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream while advertising the proposal’s benefits.

“We’re seeing hotter summers and more extreme weather so we thought with the hot summer we wanted to offer people a cool treat to cool down,” said Tammy Hui.

via EPA Holds First Of Two Hearings In Atlanta On Proposed Carbon Rule | WABE 90.1 FM.

Irony Department: Michelle Nunn team launches pushback on ‘old news’ memo | Political Insider blog

That time the strategic memo laid out exactly how you would respond to the leaking of that strategic memo.

From the report in question, page 12:

“All surrogates will be provided with appropriate talking points, background materials and information concerning the event.”

Page 38:

“Of special concern is clergy….”

Page 57:

“We will identify key leaders in the community – validators — outside the campaign who can be deployed in the event we come under criticism. Ideally, these individuals would be quoted by name in the press and be willing to contact members of the press in concert with our message.”

From the AJC Political Insider:

A flurry of calls from Michelle Nunn’s supporters came a day after the 144-page series of memos outlining her campaign strategy was exposed, and they used phrases like “routine” and “old news” and “a lot about nothing.”

Some spoke on record and other spoke on background. But all calls were arranged by the Democrat’s campaign as an effort to push back on further stories about the leak.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC’s Political Insider BlogOne caller was the Rev. Raphael Warnock, the leader of Ebenezer Baptist Church and one of Nunn’s most prominent black supporters. He said he wasn’t surprised that “people are trying to make hay out of it.”

“But the notion that somebody who is trying to run for the Senate actually has a plan to run for the Senate is not interesting or news to me. It’s not news – and it’s old news at best.”

Of course, this isn’t just any memo. It lays out Nunn’s campaign strategy, as of December at least, in clinical terms – certainly not the type of details you’d expect to see in the heat of a campaign.

via Michelle Nunn team launches pushback on ‘old news’ memo | Political Insider blog.

Cherokee Tribune – Ethics committee again dismisses Cummins complaint

CANTON — The Canton Ethics Committee met again Wednesday to review a citizen’s complaint against present city manager and former Council member Glen Cummins. Mayor Gene Hobgood asked the committee to meet again after the initial meeting was not properly advertised.

The committee, which is made up of City Attorney Bobby Dyer and Council members Sandy McGrew and Jack Goodwin, dismissed the complaint unanimously, saying it was “moot” at the July 15 meeting made known to the public and media about an hour before it began.

On Wednesday, McGrew changed her decision and asked the complaint to be moved forward to the Ethics Board, which would have needed to be formed. Dyer said once again that since Cummins resigned from the council, the ethics board would no longer have jurisdiction over him and “the complaint should be dismissed as moot.”

“It would be the same as receiving an ethics complaint against anyone who is not on the council,” Dyer said. “And asking the ethics committee for an advisory opinion, which it has no authority to give.”

via Cherokee Tribune – Ethics committee again dismisses Cummins complaint.

Cherokee Tribune – BoE adopts $530 million budget, swears in interim member

The Cherokee County Board of Education unanimously approved the district’s $530 million budget Wednesday for the 2014-15 fiscal year, after swearing in an interim District 1 school board member.

Kyla Cromer was sworn in as an interim school board member by Cherokee County Probate Court Judge Keith Wood, before the Board of Education meeting began Wednesday. Cromer replaced former member Kelly Trim, who resigned following a felony conviction in April.

One of Cromer’s first actions as a school board member was to vote with other board members in favor of the district’s new budget, which passed with a unanimous vote.

Although the school district’s millage rate fell slightly from 19.84 to 19.45 mills, the lowest rate since 2009, the rise in property values in the county would mean an increase in tax revenue for the district.

The school board’s adopted budget calls for a 6.89 percent increase in taxes. For a home with a fair market value of $150,000, the increase would mean an extra $70 in taxes, documents show.

via Cherokee Tribune – BoE adopts.

Why the best data in the world won’t win you an election | Campaigns & Elections

Nowadays we talk about data as a solution to the problem of winning elections. It isn’t. Data is an object, not a technology, and objects by themselves do not solve complex problems. Technology does.

What do you think would happen if Tiger Woods gave me his personal set of custom golf clubs to try to qualify for the U.S. Open? I wouldn’t even come close.

What if I tried to qualify for the tournament with a 30-year-old set of clubs that was just run over in the parking lot? It would be the same exact result. No matter the caliber, golf clubs are still just objects. The golfer, though, isn’t.

The best data in the world won’t win you any elections just sitting on a hard drive, the same way that Tiger Woods’ golf clubs won’t help me win the U.S. Open. Thinking data is a perfect tool is a common misconception in the campaign world. Moreover, big data can in fact put a smaller campaign on a fast track to diminishing returns.

At a certain level, data can just become noise. From what we’ve seen, the available volume of cheap data impacts smaller campaigns in a few different ways. When these campaigns get their hands on it, they believe they have an advantage because they feel their opponent may not have the same data. Based on this perceived advantage, they’ll spend lots of time building strategy around it, often too much time.

Learning that there are seven non-primary voters in Omaha’s 7th Congressional District who read Field and Stream is not going to help a candidate get elected. If you have the resources to execute a programmatic microtargeting strategy at this level,  then reaching out to those voters might just make sense. If you’re the other 99.9 percent of campaigns out there, it doesn’t.

via Why the best data in the world won’t win you an election | Campaigns & Elections.

Who’s Watching Your Statehouse? No One. – The Daily Beast

For generations of journalists, covering the statehouse has been a prestigious beat. It typically came with a desk in the building, and ample access to lawmakers. It was not an assignment for a novice. You worked your way up to it, and you had to be good. Bringing down a governor, exposing corruption—all in a day’s work. The statehouse is where reputations were made and politicians ran scared, knowing multiple news organizations could be on their case.

But that era is ending, a casualty of newspaper economics and a changing society. On a good day, state news is under-covered, especially compared to its importance. While multitudes of reporters in Washington chronicle the gridlocked Congress, the number of full-time reporters covering 50 statehouses has fallen to roughly 300, down from 500 in 2003, according to the Pew Research Center.

When Walter Jones started at the Georgia Capitol in 1998, if one outlet broke an investigative story, all the others chased it, each taking turns advancing the story. And in the end someone would resign, get fired, or indicted. Now, there are no reporters to advance a story so that only one outlet is doing all the work, allowing the subject of those stories to merely dismiss them with, “Oh, that paper has never liked me,” says Jones.

He used to work with multiple reporters, now he’s in a one-man bureau for the Morris News Service. His editors are more likely to tell him to stand down on a big story a competitor breaks, telling him to give them something they can’t pick up from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Without a critical mass of media, the politicians can get away with claiming the Atlanta paper has a vendetta against them. They win reelection with paid television ads. “If people would just read their newspapers instead of getting information from television ads,” the politicians would have to work harder to fool the people, he says. “We’d all do better if we ate our spinach and vegetables too.”

via Who’s Watching Your Statehouse? No One. – The Daily Beast.

Independent voters key to success in Georgia elections |

Georgia’s rising minority populations improve Democrats’ chances to break the Republican grip on statewide offices this year, but independent-minded white voters remain the key target for the next 100 days until the November election.

The campaigns of Jason Carter for governor and Michelle Nunn for the Senate aim to push black voters to 30 percent of the electorate, while winning close to 30 percent of white voters — well more than Democrats have managed statewide of late. Republicans are putting more money into organizing while contending that Georgia still is fundamentally a red state.

Last week the general election field was set for a pair of nationally watched races atop Georgia’s ticket. Republican Gov. Nathan Deal faces a spirited challenge from Carter, the grandson of President Jimmy Carter. And Republican businessman David Perdue, the cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdue, triumphed Tuesday in a runoff to face Nunn, the daughter of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, for Georgia’s open Senate seat.

Democrats’ attempts to capture swing voters are on display in Nunn’s cautious approach on the new health care law and Carter’s “yes” vote on a contentious gun rights expansion.

At the same time, they are spending big on sophisticated tactics to target and turn out base voters in the hopes of imitating President Barack Obama’s vaunted campaign machine — since Obama never bothered to spend money in Georgia in his re-election bid.

via Independent voters key to success in Georgia elections |

The Marietta Daily Journal – Bill gives $6.4 million for Cobb Veterans Affairs facility

AUSTELL — A $17 billion bill addressing issues with the Department of Veteran Affairs expected to move out of Congress this week includes $6.4 million to be spent on a new VA facility in Cobb County.

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) said the money appropriated by the bill will be used in two ways: $10 billion will be used on a “choice provision,” which will allow veterans to choose to go to a local, Medicare-approved doctor if they live more than 40 miles away from a VA facility or if their appointment date is more than 30 days away from the time they call; and $7 billion will be spent on 27 new VA facilities to be built around the country.

The VA has come under fire during the last few months over a scandal involving long wait times for veterans to receive care from VA facilities and employees allegedly doctoring records to “make it look like they were doing the job when they really weren’t doing the job,” Isakson said.

via The Marietta Daily Journal – Bill gives.

The Marietta Daily Journal – Marietta City Council to consider adding land to city

MARIETTA — The City Council will consider adding 16 acres of property to its limits at tonight’s committee meetings.

The council’s Judicial/Legislative Committee will discuss adding 42 properties to the city along Lower Roswell Road, Rosewood Circle, Lott Avenue and Harris Drive.

The properties are part of an island of unincorporated Cobb within the city limits.

“There’s been discussion on and off in the past about filling in one of the holes that are within the city,” said Councilman Philip Goldstein, who chairs the committee. “I brought it up to see if there was any desire to fill in some of those holes.”

via The Marietta Daily Journal – Marietta City Council to consider adding land to city.

Porsche Remains On Top In 2014 J.D. Power APEAL Study

Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout—APEAL—is how influential data cruncher J.D. Power measures the ‘gratification’ a car owner experiences with each new model on the market. Researchers survey thousands of new car buyers across the country, asking them to grade their vehicles on 77 different attributes like fuel economy and styling, resulting in an average score that falls between 0 and 1,000.

For J.D. Power’s 2014 APEAL study, it seems that while new cars are coming with more technology and features than ever, the rise in owner satisfaction is not commensurate. The study shows that there isn’t much difference in satisfaction between owners of all-new models with the latest features and owners of models that have been on the market for several years, when it comes to things like the usefulness of the controls and functions in navigation, voice recognition, and other technology applications. These was a significant difference between satisfaction, however, when it came to more conventional attributes such as fuel economy and vehicle styling.

The brand with the highest score this year, 882 points, was Porsche. The German sports car brand has been at or near the top in the study for the past several years. Second was Jaguar with a score of 862 and third was Audi with a score of 858. Last on the list this year was Mitsubishi with a score of only 748. The industry average was 794, just one point below last year’s average.

via Porsche Remains On Top In 2014 J.D. Power APEAL Study.

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