The blog.

4
Oct

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 4, 2016

kurt-russell

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.

talbert1

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

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.

4
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 4, 2016

On October 4, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson sent a telegram to the Georgia Democratic Party Convention delegates in appreciation for their support of his admininstration.

The Savannah River Bridge opened on October 4, 1925.

Beverly Hills, 90210 debuted on October 4, 1990.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Brandon Philips went fishing after being thrown overboard by the Trump campaign. Some might say he became a fisher of men. From the Tallahassee Democrat.

Brodley put in his 28-foot power boat at Carrabelle in the morning. Accompanying him on the boat were his friend Brandon Phillips, Phillips’ girlfriend and another friend.

“We met down at Carrabelle early, loaded up with ice and everything. We were out and about, hitting several dive spots,” said Phillips, who began spearfishing about a year ago. “We were coming back in and were going to hit one more dive spot when I saw something I didn’t recognize.”

Brodley said Phillips pointed to an object off the boat’s starboard.

“He spotted what looked like a buoy, just floating. And on a whim, we headed in that direction just to see what it was,” Brodley said. “About halfway to them, we could see them splashing.”

As they approached, the men couldn’t believe the sight of four men, exhausted, hanging on to a floating Igloo cooler. They were 23 miles offshore.

According to the men’s account, their boat sank just after they had set out at 8 that morning. Phillips spotted them at 4 p.m., after they were floating for eight hours. They were only about three and a half hours from sunset when the situation could have turned deadly.

Attorney General Sam Olens will interview today for the presidency at Kennesaw State University.

“There has been speculation about this for some time, and up until now, I have remained silent on the matter. Initially, I was planning to conduct a national search to find the next president of Kennesaw State,” University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby said in a statement to KSU students and faculty Monday. “Yet, through sincere and earnest conversations with Mr. Olens, I now believe he should be considered at this time.”

The Judicial Nominating Commission has released its list of recommended candidates for three seats on the Georgia Supreme Court. Governor Nathan Deal will likely appoint from the list, but is not limited to doing so.Continue Reading..

3
Oct

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 3, 2016

tip

Tip is a 2-year old, 34-pound male Pointer and Hound mix who is available for adoption from Friends of Shelter Animals for Cobb County and the Cobb County Animal Shelter in Marietta, GA.

Tip is a handsome, playful guy with unique markings who is ready to entertain you everyday. He was turned into the shelter on 9/28/16 by his previous owner who reported he is GOOD WITH KIDS and HOUSEBROKEN. Tip has a loving personality and is very sweet. He will sit and stay when asked. He is current on his vaccines and upon adoption will be neutered, heartworm tested and micro chipped. Tip’s ID # is 589275 and he can be found in cage 804.

dinah

Dinah is a 7-month old, 29-pound female Labrador Retrieve mix puppy who is available for adoption from Friends of Shelter Animals for Cobb County and the Cobb County Animal Shelter in Marietta, GA.

She is as sweet as she is cute and is eager to please so she will be a very fast learner. She already knows to sit when told and walks nicely on a leash so she had a loving home at some point. She came to the shelter as a stray on 09/22 and the family did not find her so she is hoping you can pick her to be your new family member. She is current on vaccines, spayed, tested negative for heart worms and will be micro-chipped when adopted. You will find Dinah waiting in cage 331 in the small dog room and her ID# is 589117.

starr

Starr is a 2-year old, 55-pound female Hound and Lab mix who is available for adoption from Friends of Shelter Animals for Cobb County and the Cobb County Animal Shelter in Marietta, GA.

Starr is a pretty little lady who will make you fall in love in with her! She was found as a lost doggie on 9/25. She has already become a volunteer favorite and as soon as you meet her you’ll understand why. She’s a fabulous dog who is sweet, calm, quiet with great manners. She will sit and stay when asked and is easy going it’s fabulous. She is current on her vaccines and when adopted will be spayed, heartworm tested and micro chipped. Starr’s ID # is 589179 and can be found in cage 17. Don’t wait another moment, come meet her today and get your name on the list to adopt her!

3
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 3, 2016

On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving to be observed on November 26, 1863 and on the fourth Thursday in November every succeeding year.

This announcement harkened back to when George Washington was in his first term as the first president in 1789 and the young American nation had only a few years earlier emerged from the American Revolution. At that time, George Washington called for an official celebratory “day of public thanksgiving and prayer.” While Congress overwhelmingly agreed to Washington’s suggestion, the holiday did not yet become an annual event.

Thomas Jefferson, the third president, felt that public demonstrations of piety to a higher power, like that celebrated at Thanksgiving, were inappropriate in a nation based in part on the separation of church and state. Subsequent presidents agreed with him. In fact, no official Thanksgiving proclamation was issued by any president between 1815 and the day Lincoln took the opportunity to thank the Union Army and God for a shift in the country’s fortunes on this day in 1863.

On October 3, 1922, Rebecca Latimer Felton was appointed to the United States Senate from Georgia following the death of Senator Tom Watson. After initially being rebuffed by the Senate, Felton was sworn-in on late in November, becoming the first woman to serve in the United States Senate.

On October 3, 1995, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

A clown got shot in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I’d probably put the clown suit, red nose, and long, floppy red shoes away.

So far, 108,023 absentee ballot applications have been processed by the Secretary of State’s office and just more than 10 percent of those – 10,853 votes – have been returned.

Jim Galloway writes that the delusion idea that Democrats will be competitive at the state level in Georgia is fading fast.

In just over a month, barring a sudden shift in the Earth’s polarity or the deletion of his Twitter account, Trump will likely claim the 16 votes that Georgia is entitled to send to the Electoral College. Hillary Clinton’s Brooklyn headquarters is already charting a 30-day path to the White House that will send her through many other states – but not ours.

But if you want to blame somebody, blame Johnny Isakson. Or that fellow who’s running against him in the U.S. Senate race. No, not the Libertarian. That’s Allen Buckley.

I mean the Democrat with the cap. Jim Barksdale.

His campaign is in turmoil. This week, Barksdale replaced campaign manager Dave Hoffman with a Bernie Sanders acolyte, René Spellman. Two other top Democratic aides left as well.

In Georgia, this year’s Republican standard-bearer [Johnny Isakson] has successfully divorced himself from the presidential campaign.

Greg Bluestein of the AJC takes a look at the Peach State ground operations of the presidential campaigns.

The Trump and Clinton campaigns each claim more than a dozen staffers and thousands of volunteers in offices throughout the state. Each campaign hopes to reach tens of thousands of voters ahead of the Oct. 17 start of early voting and the Nov. 8 election. And both believe their work now will pay dividends in 2018, when the governor’s office and other statewide seats are up for grabs.

Democrats in Georgia say they have an advantage this year, since Clinton’s campaign has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to boost the party’s grass-roots program in Georgia while Trump largely is relying on the state GOP to run his program.

“With one operation, we are ensuring that we use resources efficiently to communicate our campaign message in every corner of the state — that benefits everyone,” said Marlon Marshall, Clinton’s director of state campaigns and political engagement. “The organizing we continue to do in Georgia not only will help Democrats in November but for election cycles to come.”

Trump’s Georgia organizers dismiss Democrats’ talk of an advantage in 2016 and proudly note that a Democrat hasn’t won statewide here in any election since 2006. No Democratic presidential candidate has won Georgia since 1992.

“There is a real excitement among our supporters because this isn’t just a campaign, it’s a movement,” Trump spokeswoman Jennifer Hazelton said. “We’re targeting the voters we need to turn out to win and are making sure they get to the polls in November.”

Clinton’s campaign has all but merged with the state party. The two share data, voter lists, volunteers and more.Together, the coordinated campaign has 12 offices and 39 employees working full time. This past weekend, the party and the campaign hosted a women’s summit where more than 260 women signed up for more than 500 volunteer shifts.

A group called Hispanics for Trump is also hitting the streets seeking support for the GOP nominee.

With the election less than six weeks away and emotions running high, the group is focused on five metro Atlanta counties that are home to more than half of the state’s Hispanic population.

Convincing other Hispanics may be tough, but these Trump supporters are optimistic.

Fernando Peguero, a native of the Dominican Republic who lives in Gwinnett County, said he believes about 150,000 Hispanic voters can be won over. Their votes, he said, can affect the outcome in November.

More than 111,000 Hispanics were registered to vote in Georgia as of the beginning of September, representing about 2 percent of the state’s electorate, according to state voter registration data.

“It’s going to be a very contested election, and we do not know whether 1,000 votes, 2,000, 10,000 votes are going to make the difference,” said Peguero, a leader in the pro-Trump Hispanic group. “We cannot wait to find out.”

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer discusses the mechanics of write-in votes.

Under the law, spelling a write-in candidate’s name correctly is not required. All that matters is whether the voter’s intent is clear. “P. Brown” or “Mike G.” may suffice.

Whether the voter’s intent is clear is determined by an election night panel of party and city representatives. This year that panel will have a Republican, Democrat and Libertarian appointed by each party and someone assigned by the local elections board.

With so many qualified write-in candidates this year, Muscogee County will have two panels of identical makeup to speed the counting.

[Mike] Garner is challenging Democrat Ann Hardman, who defeated incumbent court clerk Linda Pierce in the May 24 primary.

Garner, a local attorney, had wanted to run as an independent, at one point filing suit to challenge the law requiring him to file a petition with names equaling 5 percent of those qualified to vote in the previous election for the office.

Pam Brown, formerly a supervisor in the sheriff’s office who narrowly lost to incumbent John Darr in the 2012 Democratic Party primary, this year competes against Darr, who’s running as an independent, Democrat Donna Tompkins and Republican Mark LaJoye.

Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle will introduce his new book this morning at Johnson High School in Gainesville.

Cagle, a Hall County native who was elected Lt. Governor in 2006, has penned a 160-page book, outlining his vision for transforming the way public schools educate students.
The book is called “Education Unleashed” and, in it, Cagle makes the case for rethinking the way public schools set goals and then measure student achievement.
Cagle will speak to students at his alma mater Johnson High School from 10 to 10:50 a.m. and then he’ll spend about an hour signing copies of the book at the school media center, according to JHS Principal Stan Lewis.
While the book is already available on Amazon and other online sources, the event at Johnson High School is considered  the kick-off for book sales, according to Cagle’s office.

A DeKalb County Charter Review Commission is considering whether to recommend changes to a county governance structure that includes a powerful elected Chief Executive Officer.

Broad reforms are on the table, including the county’s leadership structure, balance of power, term limits, elected officials’ pay, district boundaries, ethics, transparency and more. The DeKalb Charter Review Commission must release its findings by Dec. 1, 2017, and then it would be up to the Georgia General Assembly to decide whether to make them law.

Created in 1982, the CEO position has often been blamed for concentrating authority in one person and leading to abuses of power.

Those seeking to eliminate the CEO job prefer that DeKalb more closely mirror its neighbors in Cobb, Fulton and Gwinnett, where professional managers oversee government operations and answer to county commissions. DeKalb is the only county in the state with a CEO independent from the legislative branch, although that structure is more common in cities like Atlanta with a strong mayor over the executive branch.

Supporters of the CEO role say it creates a clear separation of powers, similar to the federal government, with distinct executive and legislative branches. The CEO represents the entire county rather than one district, making the position more accountable to voters.

The Marietta Daily Journal gave a ringing endorsement to Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren.

Sheriff Neil Warren — a no-nonsense, straight-shootin’, west Cobb Republican with a heart of gold — is up for re-election on Nov. 8.

Warren coasted to victory in the last three elections against Democrat Gregory Gilstrap, who, not content in being thrice defeated, is challenging Warren for a fourth time.

One of the primary reasons Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds believes all law enforcement branches — Cobb Police, municipal and university forces and prosecutors — function together so well is the man sitting in the sheriff’s seat. Such cohesion is not seen in every county.

“He’s the highest ranking law enforcement officer in this county that wears a badge, and I think because of that position, other agencies look to the sheriff for direction. They look for guidance. They look for example, and he and his folks do a good job in setting the high standard there,” Reynolds said. “He’s put together a great staff that … my folks work with day in and day out, and I think they are a reflection of who and what Neil is as a sheriff.”

Reynolds said the two work closely on the Marietta-Cobb-Smyrna Narcotics Board, and he spoke highly of Warren’s unit that targets elder abuse and his fight against Cobb’s heroin epidemic.

Cobb Solicitor General Barry Morgan credits Warren as one of the reasons the county has not seen the kind of violent protests that have unfolded elsewhere in the nation.

“At the end of the day, you may go away disagreeing on a point, but having the opportunity to be heard and have your viewpoint listened to and considered, Neil and Vic both have done that extraordinarily well, and I think that’s one of the reasons we don’t get those types of protests here,” Morgan said.

Douglas County Commission Chair Tom Worthan is under fire after being secretly recorded.

Facing competition from a black woman, Worthan said governments run by blacks “bankrupt you,” and that if African-American sheriff candidate Tim Pounds were elected, “he would put a bunch of blacks in leadership positions.”

He later adds: “I’d be afraid he’d put his black brothers in positions that maybe they’re not qualified to be in.”

After the tape surfaced, Worthan, who has been elected five times as county commissioner and the past three as chairman, went on Fox 5 Atlanta and apologized.

“I spoke as a politician, trying to say what I needed to say to get a vote,” he told the TV station. “And that’s unfortunate. And I certainly apologize for doing that.”

State Senator Freddie Powell Sims spoke to WALB in Albany about the Opportunity School District.

The only Democrat in the state senate supporting the opportunity school district amendment defends her support of that measure.

Senator Freddie Powell Sims told WALB she believes this is a good way to improve education for students stuck in struggling schools.

“Those parents I cannot afford to move their children to better schools are trapped and it’s not fair to those six something thousand children that are left in these feelings schools and it’s not fair to their parents. They have no future,” said Sims.

Senator Sims says failing schools are also an economic issue because when companies look to move to an area, they first see how schools are performing.

The Dougherty County NAACP held a voter registration event near Albany State on Saturday.

Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis and Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree held a solidarity walk last week.

The Georgia Association of Educators and the Henry County Association of Educators are holding a public meeting to discuss the Opportunity School District on October 18th at 6 PM at the Henry County Board of Education, 33 N. Zack Hinton Parkway in McDonough, GA.

A group for women educators held a forum on the Opportunity School District in Coweta County.

Members of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce overwhelmingly support the E-SPLOST, according to the Chamber.

Chamber members in overwhelming numbers plan to vote to continue the 1 percent sales tax for schools when they head out to vote this November.

When surveyed by the organization, 96 percent of Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce members said they support the Education Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax, which calls for the continuation of the existing penny sales tax allocated for public education, a release said.

“The business community’s support of continuing the penny for education is evident in their positive response to the Chamber’s recent survey,” said Steve Garrison, this year’s chairman of the Chamber. “Education is a key cornerstone for Cherokee’s continued growth.”

The referendum calling for the Ed-SPLOST renewal is on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. Almost 70 percent of county registered voters are expected to turn out for the election.

The survey informed respondents of the present status of the Ed-SPLOST in Cherokee County, which was renewed in 2011 and 2006, following its initial proposal in 2001.

The next five-year Ed-SPLOST will focus on retiring obligations incurred over the past 15 years and the maintenance of critical investments, the survey informed respondents.

The liberal Georgia Budget and Policy Institute discussed a proposal for a state tax credit for low income workers.

Between 20 and 30 percent of Hall County tax filers receive the federal tax credit, which is worth about $48 million, according to the most recent available data from 2013.

Tharpe said a matching state tax credit, perhaps 5 or 10 percent of the federal total, would likely impact many workers and families in Gainesville, where about 28 percent of residents live below the poverty level compared with a statewide average of just 17.4 percent.

Advocates of a state-level EITC believe it will help families afford basic necessities and begin making investments in homes and other assets that can pave the way to the middle class. The “bottom-up tax cut” could also boost local economies.

A state-level credit would come with a price tag, however. Tharpe estimates that a 10 percent match would cost Georgia about $300 million in lost revenue.

The GBPI is urging lawmakers to consider the tax credit as part of a broader reform package as Republican lawmakers look to lower income tax rates, and note that moving people into higher income brackets can help offset spending in other public assistance programs.

Hampton City Council adopted a $9 million budget for FY2017.

Larry Morey, former Henry County Commission candidate, was acquitted of a charge of child cruelty.

30
Sep

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for September 30, 2016

wally-chow

Wally is an adult male Chow who is available for adoption in Dallas, Georgia via Chow Chow Rescue Of Central New York, Inc.

wally-gainesville

Wally is a young male Terrier mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia in Gainesville, GA.

pen-225-52741

Number 52741 in Pen 225 is a small, friendly male Chihuahua with a handsome brindle coat who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

30
Sep

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 30, 2016

On October 2, 1789, President George Washington signed a resolution transmitting the (then-twelve) amendments constituting the Bill of Rights to the states that had ratified the Constitution. Click here for the letter from Washington to Governor Charles Pinckney of South Caroling that accompanied the amendments.

Original Communist (O.C.) Karl Marx published Das Kapital on October 1, 1867.

On October 2, 1879, Wallace Stevens was born. Stevens would become a renowned poet and insurance industry lawyer. My favorite poem of his is “Connoisseur of Chaos.”

The pensive man . . . He sees the eagle float
For which the intricate Alps are a single nest.

Wyoming adopted the first state constitution to allow women to vote on September 30, 1889; voters in the state of Washington adopted the state constitution on October 1, 1889.

The first World Series of baseball opened on October 1, 1903.

On October 1, 1908, Ford introduced the Model T.

President Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke at the White House on October 2, 1909.

President Woodrow Wilson spoke in favor of Women’s Suffrage in an address to Congress on September 30, 1918. The bill to pass the 19th Amendment would die in the Senate that year after passing the House.

Former President Jimmy Carter was born on October 1, 1924 at Wise Sanitarium in Plains, Georgia, the first American President to be born in a hospital.

On September 30, 1927, Babe Ruth hit his 60th home run of the season.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Warm Springs, Georgia for the 21st time beginning on October 1, 1931.

In a Special Election October 1, 1940, Florence Gibbs became the first woman elected to Congress from Georgia, completing her late husband’s term and serving through January 3, 1941, but not standing for a full term of her own.

Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong proclaimed the Communist People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949.

Thurgood Marshall was sworn-in as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on October 2, 1967.

On September 30, 1976, Democrat Jimmy Carter led the Harris Poll for President over President Gerald Ford by a 50-41 margin. In November 1976, the popular vote tallied 50.08% for Carter to 48.01% for Ford, with an Independent taking nearly a point.

Betty Talmadge, then wife of Senator Herman Talmadge, hosted a fundraiser with Rosalynn Carter and Joan Mondale on October 2, 1976.

Ground was broken for The Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta on October 2, 1984 and the Carter Center was dedicated on October 1, 1986.

Mikhail Gorbachev named himself Chairman of the USSR’s Supreme Soviet on October 1, 1988.

President George H.W. Bush condemned Iraq’s takeover of Kuwait in a speech to the United Nations on October 1, 1990.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

GOP Absentee ballot requests outnumbered requests by Democratic voters.

According to data released by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, 91,905 absentee ballots have been requested. Of those, 46,431, or more than 50%, of the requests come from people who voted in a Republican Primary (including Presidential Preference Primary, General Primary, or General Primary Runoff). Past Democratic Primary voters in the same period number 27,420.

Absentee ballot requests by race/ethnicity

White               68,413
Black                18,397
Hispanic               859
Asian                   1,513
Other                      317
Unknown          2,406

Several folks have asked me about issues in the 2017 Georgia General Assembly, so I’ll go ahead and speculate wildly. In no particular order:

Retroactive property tax refunds for disabled veterans whose disability finding was delayed by the VA.
Casino/parimutuel gambling
Medicaid Expansion
National Anthem
Religious Liberty
Medical Marijuana
Airbnb/Uber/Other disruptive technology
Moving nurses licensing out of the Secretary of State’s office
Make pimping a felony
Bathroom use by transgender people
Opioid abuse

Craft beer brewers and aficionados are determined to make direct beer sales to consumers a legislative issue next year.Continue Reading..

29
Sep

GOP absentee ballot requests outnumber DEM

So far, according to data released by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, 91,905 absentee ballots have been requested. Of those, 46,431, or more than 50%, of the requests come from people who voted in a Republican Primary (including Presidential Preference Primary, General Primary, or General Primary Runoff). Past Democratic Primary voters in the same period number 27,420.

Absentee ballot requests by race/ethnicity

White               68,413
Black                18,397
Hispanic               859
Asian                   1,513
Other                      317
Unknown          2,406

Make of it what you will.

29
Sep

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for September 29, 2016

jill

Jill is a 3-year old female Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from the Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, GA.

kayra

Kayra is a 2-3 year old, 50-pound female Lab mix who is available for adoption from the Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, GA.

pearly

Pearly is a 4-month old, 20-pound female Lab mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, GA.

29
Sep

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 29, 2016

On September 29, 1526, 600 Spanish colonists led by Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon landed on the Georgia Coast, the first European colonists in Georgia.

Ayllon established San Miguel de Gualdape on Sapelo Sound in present–day McIntosh County. He sailed north from Hispaniola during the summer and first landed in present–day South Carolina. Meeting no natives, he traveled south along the coast before settling in Georgia.

To help establish the colony, Ayllon brought with him the very first group of slaves.  But hunger, disease, and conflict with the natives all took their toll, and the settlement survived for only three months.

Other sources say that the September 29, 1526 landing was in South Carolina and Vasquez de Ayllon established San Miguel de Gualdape on October 8, 1526.

WSB-TV took to the airwaves for the first time on September 29, 1948.

Personal Issues

Annette Bowling, long-time Albany doyenne, advocate and policy expert on disability issues has died.

“With great sadness, we announce the passing of Annette Bowling,” [Albany Advocacy Resource Center] Executive Director Sonny Slate said Wednesday. “The State of Georgia has lost a tremendous advocate and leader who dedicated most of her life to serving people with disabilities. We are fortunate to inherit Annette’s legacy and are challenged to carry on her good work in her honor. We will announce memorial details as they become available.”

Bowling, who retired from ARC after 40 years of service in 2014, was an ardent supporter of the needs of disabled citizens. Throughout her career, she worked as a transformative figure, turning a fledgling resource center that had an operational budget of $56,000 into an organization spanning 34 counties with more than 450 employees (more than 150 of them with disabilities) and an operating budget of $11 million.

“When Ms. Bowling took over as executive director in 1973, there were only a handful of parents taking care of their kids,” said ARC Director of Marketing and Public Relations Eddie McCarty. “As far as Albany and Southwest Georgia, there were no programs. There were no services and there was no support, but she was a visionary all of her life and she envisioned what ARC could be. Then she set about doing it.”

n 1978, with the help of then-Gov. George Busbee and legislators Charles Hatcher, Al Holloway and others, Bowling was awarded the first-ever line item for a nonprofit in the State of Georgia, for Project ARC.Bowling was also an influential figure in getting House Bill 100 passed, a bill that changed the course of mental health services in Georgia by making regional Community Service Boards the responsible agents and removing state bureaucracy from the process. With the passage of HB 100, individuals and their families were able to have a direct voice and opinion in the services and support that people with disabilities would receive.

Annette Bowling also was a friend, confidant, and mentor to many women working in government and advocating for people with disabilities, including Mrs. GaPundit. She will be sorely missed.

I also want to weigh-in with my two cents on the departure of Brandon Philips from the Trump Campaign.

Brandon did more to move the Georgia Trump Campaign forward than anyone else I’m aware of, showing creativity, discipline, and a strong work ethic. His work for Mike Collins in 2014 was of the highest caliber. I’ve worked with him over the years and always found him to be professional and mature.

I don’t think he would have had trouble over something that happened 8 years ago and was resolved if he were working in the private sector. But the cardinal sin for political professionals is to take the spotlight off the candidate for even a moment. This was clearly inside baseball. I hope Brandon will continue to work in Georgia politics, and I look forward to the chance to work with him again.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

By the numbers: as of last night, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office had mailed out 90,197 absentee ballots.

For comparison, in the 2014 U.S. Senate General Election, 104,023 mail-in absentee ballots were cast and the Gubernatorial election garnered 106,807 early voters.

In 2012, mail-in ballots accounted for 212,695 votes for President, with nearly 58% of those cast for John McCain, about 4.5% stronger than the GOP nominee did overall.

The Georgia Hispanics for Trump Coalition will hold a press conference today at 6 PM at the Gwinnett County Republican Party headquarters in Gwinnett Place Mall.Continue Reading..

28
Sep

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 28, 2016

William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, invaded England on September 28, 1066.

Washington Yorktown

General George Washington led continental troops into the siege of British forces under General Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia on September 28, 1781.

On September 28, 1863, two Union generals lost their commands after the Confederates routed federal forces at the Battle of Chickamauga.

On September 28, 1889, Georgia Governor John B. Gordon signed legislation designating January 19th a state holiday in honor of Robert E. Lee’s birthday. Lee’s birthday is still a state holiday, though it has become “a moveable feast.”

On September 26, 1928, future President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke in Atlanta on behalf of Democrat Alfred Smith’s campaign for President.

Atlanta-born Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones won his first Grand Slam on September 27, 1930.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle spoke yesterday at a legislative meeting to kick ff the Rural Healthcare 180 task force.

Andy Miller of Georgia Health News wrote about the kickoff.

The chief executive of two financially stressed hospitals in southwest Georgia looks forward to the promise of donations under a new state tax credit program.

“The tax credit legislation is a lifeline for us, helping us keep essential services in our rural communities,’’ said Kim Gilman, who runs Phoebe Worth Hospital in Sylvester and Southwest Georgia Regional Medical Center in Cuthbert.

Since the beginning of 2013, five rural hospitals in the state have closed, and many others are struggling financially, such as Phoebe Worth and Southwest Georgia Regional.

Gilman’s remarks illustrated how small hospitals often feel caught between forces they can’t control. Each of her hospitals, she said, has had to sink more than $1 million into an electronic medical records system to comply with federal regulations. Meanwhile, “we are unable to improve our facility infrastructure.”

The tax credit program can help sustain the state’s rural health care network, said Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who is honorary co-chairman of the new task force. “We have way too many of our rural hospitals closing.”

The big news yesterday was supposed confirmation that Attorney General Sam Olens will be appointed President of Kennesaw State University, leaving a vacancy to which Georgia Economic Development Commissioner Chris Carr is expected to be appointed.

No source is named nor timing. Make of it what you will.

I texted the AG at about 10 PM last night asking for comment, to which he replied, “no comment.” So, I’d say the party balloons are premature at this time. If this were to happen, I would expect no announcement until at the earliest November 1, 2016.Continue Reading..