The blog.

24
Aug

Deal: Southern Company and AGL Resources deal a victory for Georgians

Gov. Nathan Deal today praised the deal struck between Georgia energy firms Southern Company and AGL Resources. Southern Company will acquire AGL Resources and remain in Georgia. 

“In Georgia, we’ve laid the foundations for a strong, successful business climate,” said Deal. “Across the state, our commitment to job creation and economic development is evident in the number of companies who’ve expanded or relocated here. The decision by Southern Company and AGL Resources to remain in Georgia is further proof that our pro-jobs, pro-growth policies have put our state on the right track. Not only does this venture keep two Georgia-based energy companies here, it creates one of the most robust energy companies in the United States. Together, Southern Company and AGL Resources employ nearly 10,000 Georgians and have a major economic impact each year on our state. I look forward to the continued growth of these two companies and am confident that together, we’ll keep our state one of the top places in the country for business.”

24
Aug

Southern Company buying AGL Resources

Shares of AGL Resources Inc. surged almost 9% in premarket trade Monday, after Southern Co.  said it has agreed to buy AGL in a deal with an enterprise value of about $12 billion.

Southern Co. said it expects the deal to boost earnings per share in the first full year after the close, and to drive long-term EPS growth to 4% to 5%.

AGL will become a wholly owned unit of Southern Co., creating the second-biggest utility in the U.S. by customer base. AGL shareholders will receive $66 in cash for each share, a premium of 36.3% over the volume-weighted average stock price over the last 20 trading days through Aug. 21.

“We believe the addition of AGL Resources to our business will better position Southern Company to play offense in supporting America’s energy future through additional natural gas infrastructure,” Chief Executive Thomas Fanning said in a statement.

via http://www.marketwatch.com/story/southern-co-agrees-to-buy-agl-resources-in-12-billion-deal-2015-08-24?siteid=bullytweet.

24
Aug

Ballot-booth selfies: A threat to secret voting? | The Telegraph

In the age of the omnipresent cellphone and the proliferation of social media, it might seem a fool’s errand for government to try to ban the selfie.

In New Hampshire, a federal judge recently said it is also unconstitutional.

The selfie in question is something called the ballot selfie. The Granite State in 2014 amended state law to prohibit voters from taking photos of their marked ballots “and distributing or sharing the image via social media or by any other means.”

The state said it was protecting the sanctity of the secret ballot and guarding against vote-buying or voter coercion. The latter two could be aided by a person producing evidence of how he or she voted.

But opponents said the prohibition was a violation of free-speech rights.

via Ballot-booth selfies: A threat to secret voting? | The Telegraph.

24
Aug

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for August 24, 2015

Pretzel Spalding

Pretzel is a Black Labrador Retriever who will be euthanized today at the Spalding County Animal Shelter unless he finds an adoptive or foster home.

Pammie Spalding

Pammie is a female adult Boxer mix who is available for adoption from the Spalding County Animal Shelter in Griffin, GA.

Lala

Lala is a 10-week old female, Brindle and white Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Shelter.

Manley

Manley is a year-old red-and-white male Pit Bull mix who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Shelter.

A friend of mine had these two sweet dogs show up at her home this weekend. They are unable to keep them, as they already have dogs, but are trying to find them a home. Email me if you’re interested in fostering or adopting these two and I’ll put you in touch.

She wrote about them,

“They could not be sweeter! They just need lots of love!  The white one is male, we’re calling him Roscoe. Trixie is the female and she is a gorgeous shade of brown that is almost red – very unusual, very pretty color! They are both sweet hearts, but we’ve reached our quota!”

Tdogs

 

24
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 24, 2015

General Charles Lee of the Continental Army told Congress that Georgia’s value to the young nation required more forces to defend against the British on August 24, 1776.

The Kimball Opera House, serving as the Georgia State Capitol, was sold to the state on August 23, 1870.

The sale of Coca-Cola Company from the Candlers was announced in the Atlanta Constitution on August 22, 1919.

On August 24, 1931, the Georgia General Assembly adopted a joint resolution appointing a committee to work with the Governor in planning a bicentennial celebration to be held in 1933.

On August 24, 1945, the United States Postal Service held a first day of issue ceremony in Warm Springs, Georgia for the release of a stamp bearing the images of Franklin D. Roosevelt and The Little White House.

N/S Savannah, the first nuclear-powered merchant ship, visited the Port of Savannah on August 22, 1962. Savannah was named after S.S. Savannah, the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. N/S Savannah is moored at the Port of Baltimore and designated a national historic landmark.

More than 3000 demonstrators disrupted the Democratic National Convention on August 22, 1968.

Nolan Ryan recorded his 5000th career strikeout against Rickey Henderson of the Oakland A’s on August 22, 1989.

Navy diver continue to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to raise the remains of CSS Georgia from the Savannah River.

Since the beginning of June, one of the U.S. Navy’s premier diving teams has been working with the Corps of Engineers and archeologists to help salvage Confederate warship CSS Georgia from the depths of the Savannah River.

Built in 1862, the ironclad was originally intended to be a gunboat but was too heavy to maneuver offensively against the Savannah River’s strong currents, so the Georgia was subsequently anchored in the river to help protect Fort Jackson and Savannah.

Before it ever fired a shot, the 1,200-ton ironclad was scuttled by its own crew to prevent its capture by Gen. William T. Sherman when his Union army took Savannah in December 1864.

The warship was found during a dredging operation in 1968. Today, it is considered a captured enemy vessel and is the property of the U.S. Navy. The recovery is expected to cost about $14 million.

The divers working in Savannah are pulling up parts of the ship’s armor systems, steam engine components and small structure pieces.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Last week, I spoke with Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp about the origin of the SEC Presidential Primary and the effects it is having on the campaigns and on Georgia. Here are the first two parts of our discussion.

Continue Reading..

21
Aug

Brian Kemp on the SEC Primary

Continue Reading..

21
Aug

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for August 21, 2015

Sawyer

Sawyer is a 7-month old black and white Lab mix puppy who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare.

MaconLola

Lola is an 8-month old Black Labrador Retriever puppy who is available for adoption from the Macon-Bibb Animal Shelter.

Topanga

Topanga is a sweet little 2-year red Pit Bull Terrier (pronounced “Pibble“) who has a litter of puppies. Mom and pups are available for adoption from the Macon-Bibb Animal Shelter.

Topanga Pups

Macon Lavender

Lavender (above) is a 3-year old female American Bulldog mix who has a beautiful litter of puppies and is hoping to raise them in a safe home. This little family is available for adoption or foster from the Macon-Bibb Animal Shelter.

Lavender Pups

21
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 21, 2015

Georgia and American History

James Oglethorpe and the Creek Indians signed the Treaty of Coweta Town, delineating geographic areas open to British settlement, on August 21, 1739.

On August 21, 1831, Nat Turner led the largest slave rebellion in American history; Turner was later hanged in Jerusalem, VA.

The first of the Lincoln-Douglass series of seven debates was held in Ottawa, Illinois, on August 21, 1858, pitting Democrat Stephen Douglass against Republican Abraham for the United States Senate seat held by Douglass. Expansion of slavery in the United States was the topic for the debates.

On August 21, 1907, Georgia Governor Hoke Smith signed legislation to place a Constitutional Amendment designed to disenfranchise African-Americans by requiring passage of a literacy test to vote. A number of exceptions allowed local officials to exempt white voters whom they wished to allow to vote; one exemption was for anyone descended from a U.S. or Confederate wartime veteran – the so-called “grandfather clause.”

On the same day, Gov. Smith also signed legislation prohibiting fishing on Sunday, subject to misdemeanor prosecution.

On August 21, 1935, Benny Goodman and his orchestra began a seven-night stand at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles, beginning the Swing Era.

Happy 55th birthday to Hawaii, which became the 50th State on August 21, 1959; they’ve undoubtedly been receiving AARP literature in the mail for ten years.

The 1968 Democratic National Convention began in Chicago on August 21, 1968.

The name of Julian Bond of Georgia, then-27 and too young to serve, was placed in nomination for Vice President during the 1968 DNC.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

political_rewind_logo header

Today at 3 PM, I’ll be joining Bill Nigut, Jim Galloway of the AJC, Howard Franklin, and Captain Brian Robinson on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “Political Rewind.”

You can tune in at 88.5 FM in Metro Atlanta, or on your local GPB affiliate. You can also stream the show online and a recording is usually posted a day or two after broadcast.

Jeff Mullis John Wilkinson Jeb Bush

“Governor Bush has a proven conservative track record, as Governor he cut taxes, reduced the size and scope of government and created 1.3 million private sector jobs. Finally, when he left the Governor’s office, he left the state of Florida with an $8 billion dollar rainy day fund surplus. This is the leadership we need in Washington DC,” said State Senator Brandon Beach (R-North Fulton).

“Governor Bush has a proven track record of bringing people together to get results without compromising his conservative principles. Gov. Bush has tremendous experience as a successful Governor of Florida and I am confident he is the leader our country needs,” said State Senator Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga).

Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise
State Senator Brandon Beach (SD-21)
State Senator John Kennedy (SD-18)
State Senator Jeff Mullis (SD-53)
State Senator John Wilkinson (SD-50)
State Representative Matt Dollar (HD-45)
State Representative Joe Wilkinson (HD-52)
Sandy Springs City Councilman Ken Dishman
Ed Lindsey, former State Representative and Majority Whip

Previously Announced:
Lt. Gov Casey Cagle
Attorney General Sam Olens

Paulding County Commission Chairman David Austin announced he will not run for reelection.

Meanwhile, County Commissioner David Carmichael announced Wednesday he plans to run for the chairman’s seat in the May 2016 Republican primary.

Ron Davis, who operates the website openpaulding.org which advocates more transparency in county government, announced Wednesday he will seek Carmichael’s Post 1 seat on the commission in 2016.

Austin, who defeated incumbent Jerry Shearin for the job in 2008, won re-election in 2012 over County Commissioner Tony Crowe.

Dr. Betty Price (R-Roswell) was sworn into office as State Representative for House District 48.

She was sworn in by Judge Tom Campbell who previously served in this seat in the Georgia legislature from 1989 to 2004.

Price was elected in a special summer election called by Gov. Nathan Deal upon the passing of State Representative Harry Geisinger of Roswell who died after a short illness on May 1. Geisinger served in the seat from 1969 to 1974, and again from 2004 until this year.

On hand for the low-key swearing in were her husband Congressman Dr. Tom Price and their son Robert, who both witnessed the first day of officially assuming the office on July 20.

Having met with Speaker David Ralston and Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, and talking with a number of other legislators, the committees I initially serve on will soon be determined,” she said. “In the summer and fall between the two year legislative term, there are study committees and other assignments and requests I am grateful to help with, and I will try to move ahead on issues important to our community and provide needed constituent services on state matters.”

Price’s office is in the LOB room 507-F. She can be reached at (404) 506-0202 and [email protected]

Shaw Blackmon (R-Houston County) was sworn in as State Representative from House District 146.

Just before Shaw Blackmon was sworn in as the District 146 representative to the state House of Representatives, his predecessor advised him to enjoy his last moments as a private citizen.

“It’s probably the last day in your political life that most everybody will like you,” Larry O’Neal quipped, drawing laughter from the crowd of more than 100 people. “You haven’t voted yet and told anyone what they can’t do. Those days will come.”

O’Neal stepped aside in midterm to take a judgeship after serving in the General Assembly for 15 years. Blackmon won the seat Aug. 11 after defeating Larry Walker III in a runoff.

He was sworn in Thursday by Houston County Superior Court Judge George Nunn.

“I promise, as I have before, that you will get the absolute very best I’ve got,” Blackmon told the audience, which included many state and local elected officials.

Senator David Perdue spoke to the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce yesterday, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Perdue (R-Ga.) evoked the “outsider” status that he used during last year’s election campaign as he spoke to hundreds of Gwinnett’s business and political leaders during the chamber’s monthly General Membership meeting at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth. Legislative term limits, a balanced budget, the Iran nuclear agreement, government regulators and even the popularity of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign were all on the table during the remarks by Georgia’s junior senator.

The Iran deal, in particular, hung over the occassion as the deadline approaches for both legislative houses to pass a resolution oppossing the White House’s proposed agreement to allow Iran to have limited Iran’s nuclear enrichment abilities for the next 10 years. Perdue’s comments on the issue came a day after his colleague, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), announced he would vote against the deal.

“We’re about to be on the verge of having a nuclear Iran,” Perdue said.

The senator talked to reporters after his speech about his opposition to the deal, which is lining up to be a major hurdle for Congress and President Barack Obama in September. Perdue favors tougher sanctions against Iran to prevent it from developing a nuclear weapon.

The Georgia State Charter School Commission staff recommended approval of Brookhaven Innovation Academy in DeKalb County.

SCSC Deputy Director Gregg Stevens told the BIA the final decision to approve or deny petitions for a state charter school will be made by the SCSC. If the SCSC votes to approve Brookhaven Innovation Academy and the State Board of Education does not overrule the approval within 60 days, Brookhaven Innovation Academy will be authorized to open for students as a state charter school in the 2016-2017 school year.

“Congratulations on reaching this stage of the authorization process,” said Stevens. “The SCSC staff is excited to work with you in developing Brookhaven Innovation Academy as a high-quality state charter school.”

Councilman Bates Mattison and Chairman of the BIA said, “The BIA Board is extremely excited that the SCSC staff has recommended approval of Brookhaven Innovation Academy. We are excited to help improve education options in our community with our innovative 21st Century learning curriculum.” Mattison said the BIA Board would like to thank the SCSC staff for their confidence in the BIA petition and the many BIA volunteers who have worked diligently over the past two years to get to this point. “We look forward to the SCSC board meeting on Aug. 26th!”

 

20
Aug

Jeb Bush names additional Georgia campaign supporters

Jeff Mullis John Wilkinson Jeb Bush

“Governor Bush has a proven conservative track record, as Governor he cut taxes, reduced the size and scope of government and created 1.3 million private sector jobs.  Finally, when he left the Governor’s office, he left the state of Florida with an $8 billion dollar rainy day fund surplus. This is the leadership we need in Washington DC,” said State Senator Brandon Beach (R-North Fulton).

“Governor Bush has a proven track record of bringing people together to get results without compromising his conservative principles. Gov. Bush has tremendous experience as a successful Governor of Florida and I am confident he is the leader our country needs,” said State Senator Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga).

Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise
State Senator Brandon Beach (SD-21)
State Senator John Kennedy (SD-18)
State Senator Jeff Mullis (SD-53)
State Senator John Wilkinson (SD-50)
State Representative Matt Dollar (HD-45)
State Representative Joe Wilkinson (HD-52)
Sandy Springs City Councilman Ken Dishman
Ed Lindsey, former State Representative and Majority Whip

Previously Announced:
Lt. Gov Casey Cagle
Attorney General Sam Olens

20
Aug

Neighbor Newspapers – Austin not seeking re election Carmichael running to replace him

Paulding Commission Chairman David Austin will not seek re-election to a third term in the 2016 county elections, he said this week.

Meanwhile, County Commissioner David Carmichael announced Wednesday he plans to run for the chairman’s seat in the May 2016 Republican primary.

Ron Davis, who operates the website openpaulding.org which advocates more transparency in county government, announced Wednesday he will seek Carmichael’s Post 1 seat on the commission in 2016.

Austin, who defeated incumbent Jerry Shearin for the job in 2008, won re-election in 2012 over County Commissioner Tony Crowe.

via Neighbor Newspapers – Austin not seeking re election Carmichael running to replace him.