In 1927, at age 29, Russell was named Speaker of the House – the youngest in Georgia history. In 1930, Russell easily won election as Georgia governor on his platform of reorganizing state government for economy and efficiency. Five months shy of his 34th birthday, Russell took the oath of office from his father, Georgia chief justice Richard B. Russell Sr. He became the youngest governor in Georgia history – a record that still stands. After Georgia U.S. Senator William Harris died in 1932, Gov. Russell named an interim replacement until the next general election, in which Russell himself became a candidate. Georgia voters elected their young governor to fill Harris’ unexpired term. When he arrived in Washington in January 1933, he was the nation’s youngest senator.
Russell had a long and storied career in the United States Senate, during which he served for many years as Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, unofficial leader of the conservative Southern wing of the Democratic party and a chief architect of resistance to civil rights legislation. He also ran for President in 1952, winning the Florida primary.
In the second video from my interview of former Speaker Newt Gingrich, I asked about his characterizations of Donald Trump and Ben Carson.
Next is the third installment of the video from my talk with former Speaker Newt Gingrich earlier this week. We discussed his new book, Duplicity: A Novel, Callista Gingrich’s new book, Christmas in America (Ellis the Elephant), and how they’re using fiction to teach about politics and American History.
Conley took the oath of office on Oct. 30, 1871. Two days later, the new General Assembly convened and elected a new Democratic president of the Senate, but Conley refused to give up the office. The General Assembly then passed a law over Conley’s veto to hold a special election for governor on the third Tuesday in December. In that election, Democratic House speaker James M. Smith defeated Conley and assumed office Jan. 12, 1872.
Amanda H. Mercier currently serves as a superior court judge within the Appalachian Judicial Circuit. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and a law degree from Syracuse University College of Law. She and her husband, Joseph, have one child and reside in Blue Ridge.
Nels S.D. Peterson currently serves as vice chancellor for legal affairs and secretary to the Board of Regents. He previously worked at the Georgia Department of Law and established Georgia’s first Solicitor General Office where he served as solicitor general. He was also the deputy executive counsel and executive counsel for Gov. Sonny Perdue. Peterson earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Kennesaw State University and a law degree from Harvard Law School. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two children and reside in Marietta.
Brian M. Rickman currently serves as district attorney of the Mountain Judicial Circuit, where he was previously an assistant district attorney. He is an adjunct professor and serves on the board of trustees at Piedmont College. Rickman earned a bachelor’s degree from Piedmont College and a law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. He and his wife, Maggie, have two children and reside in Tiger.
So, we’re also likely to see special elections in the coming months for the Superior Court seat on the Appalachian Judicial Circuit that is being vacated by Judge Mercier, and the District Attorney for the Mountain Judicial Circuit position being vacated by Mr. Rickman.
“It is unusual. Usually you might have two or three but this year every race is contested. I think that’s a first in a long time that I can remember…. I think voters are in the mood for change, not just in the Mayor’s race, but in all the district races, and you’re seeing that reflected in the number of candidates. The last time I can remember voters feeling this way was about 25 years ago when the Ricky Jivens crime syndicate was running the streets and the murder rate was off the charts and Johnny Rousakis was the Mayor…. that year he fumbled the crime issue and you had an outsider to Savannah by the name of Susan Weiner and she won, and this year, I kind of see like almost a repeat of that …. I think you’re going to see some changes based on crime.”
Until I read about it in the newspaper recently, I did not even know there was a tax increase on the ballot. It may be meritorious. But the fact that our school system has worked overtime to keep everyone’s mouth shut about it suggests to me that this is not a meritorious tax increase.
Remember the Macon City Council? I was on that City Council. It was a routine clown car show of embarrassment. Every week the council caused more scandalous and silly headlines. It was an embarrassment to Middle Georgia. Consolidation and the abolition of the city was a net positive for Middle Georgia. The Warner Robins City Council got to become the dysfunctional city council for a while and now the Forsyth City Council and the Monroe County Commission are our regional embarrassment and indictment waiting to happen.
But rising above them all is the Bibb County school board. It keeps trying to change its ways, but I keep being reminded of the Persian fable often attributed to Aesop about the scorpion and the frog. The frog hesitates to carry the scorpion on its back across a river. The scorpion assures the frog that both would die if he stung the frog. Reassured, the frog agreed and carries the scorpion. Half way across the river, the scorpion stings the frog. Both would surely die. The frog asked the scorpion “why?” “It is my nature,” said the doomed scorpion.
The Bibb County school board is our collective scorpion. It has repeatedly cut off its nose to spite the entire school system’s face. This Dallemand situation bears serious watching and may cause serious trouble. As The Telegraph noted, the school system’s insurance company has told the school board that it is on its own in this. That means that we are on our own for possibly millions of dollars depending on how the case goes.
Truth be told, perhaps my words would not be so biting except for one thing. There is a tax increase on the ballot and our school system has done absolutely everything possible to make sure you know nothing about it.
“If you think you can get 5 or 6 or 7 percent of the delegates, you can come to the convention with some muscle, and you end up with a brokered convention,” he said, describing that scenario as “chaos” and “wild” but also, “as an observer … very cool.”
Very cool chaos could happen if low-polling candidates stick around and prevail in winner-take-all states. “(Ohio Gov. John) Kasich will probably carry Ohio. (New Jersey Gov. Chris) Christie will probably carry New Jersey,” Gingrich said. “They’re asking themselves, ‘Why would I drop out?’ ”
“Under the current rules, there is a 1 in 3 chance we’ll have a brokered convention,” offered Randy Evans, one of Georgia’s Republican National Committee members. That’s a significantly better chance than in past contests, even if it’s way too soon to push the panic button.
Can you imagine the voter outrage should, for example, Donald Trump win a 40 percent plurality but not end up with the nomination because all the other delegates ganged up on him? Or if Jeb Bush were to slog his way to third place, only to wind up atop the ticket?
Georgia breweries are foaming after the Georgia Department of Revenue quietly released a bulletin last month with its interpretation of the recently passed State Bill 63, also known as the Beer Jobs Bill, which updated the state’s post-prohibition-era beer laws.
The original bill, which went into effect July 1, allowed breweries to charge for tours and classified beer brewed on site as a souvenir, meaning you could get up to 72 ounces, the equivalent of a six pack or two 32-ounce growlers, of your favorite ale to go — as long as you had taken a physical tour of the facility.
But now, new tightened regulations state that the volume of alcohol can’t dictate the price of the tour, so the price of the tour must be the same regardless of whether a patron wants a to-go souvenir.
In July, Carly Wiggins, marketing director and co-founder of Savannah’s Southbound Brewing Co., said the changes were welcome and the brewery was already making plans to spend thousands for new equipment, staff and other modifications to benefit their customers, but now with the tightened regulations Wiggins just hopes to break even.
“The law was interpreted completely different than intended. One of the most concerning things was that we actually had to submit proposed tour and tasting menus to show how we would be operating after the (July) law changed. These were approved and breweries in the state were operating ‘legally’ as the law and DoR regulated,” Wiggins said.
“Then, boom, a notice comes out with a completely new interpretation stripping us of everything we worked so hard to get passed.”
I would be surprised if changes to the “Beer Jobs Bill” are not on the menu in the 2016 Session.
A Georgia Supreme Court ruling that has had surprising effects on DUI prosecutions may also lead to legislative action when the legislature convenes in January 2016. From WSB-TV’s Jodie Fleischer,
A Georgia Supreme Court ruling earlier this year has created a legal trick by which drunk drivers are getting key evidence against them thrown out, by arguing they were too drunk.
Drivers are convincing judges that they were not thinking clearly when they agreed to take the voluntary breath, blood, or urine tests, due to intoxication.
“It certainly is a ruling that’s going to impact every DUI case,” said defense attorney Mike Hawkins, who doesn’t see it as a trick, but a sound constitutional argument.
If it sounds ridiculous for a defense attorney to argue that their client was so intoxicated they were unable to make a sound legal decision about consenting to a DUI test, it’s equally strange to hear a prosecutor argue that the driver wasn’t that drunk.
“You would think that that’s absurd, right?” said Gwinnett County Solicitor Rosanna Szabo, who’s office has been the most impacted, mainly due to [Gwinnett State Court Judge Joseph] Iannazzone’s interpretation of the Williams ruling.
Szabo says she will not dismiss any cases just because her best evidence got suppressed.
In fact, she’s already decided to appeal 6 of Iannazzone’s rulings, which could leave the cases pending for some time.
“Oh it is frustrating,” said Szabo, “I think anybody who values the truth is frustrated to not be able to reveal the truth.”
Former State Representative Paul Jennings died earlier this week from leukemia. Services will be held on Saturday, October 31, 2015 at noon, at Clairmont Presbyterian Church at Clairmont and North Druid Hills. Visitation begins at 10:30 AM before the service.
Rep. Jennings served part of North DeKalb County in the State House from 1998-2002, losing his reelection in 2002 after he was gerrymandered by then-Governor Roy Barnes into a multi-member State House District designed to preserve Democratic incumbents. In 2204, he was elected again from a single-member district and retired after that term. Jennings served in the United States Navy and earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Rep. Rob Woodall sent along the following statement:
“When House conservatives were successful in implementing the Budget Control Act in 2011, the goal was not simply to limit federal spending, but also to repair and restore important programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and veterans services,” said Rep. Woodall. “The emergence of H.R. 1314 is proof that the plan – mandatory reforms in exchange for sequester cap relief – is working. Unfortunately, H.R. 1314 lifts spending caps without introducing timely spending and programmatic reforms.”
“I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in reducing federal discretionary spending over the last four years, but the truth remains we have much more work to do – and until we address our mandatory spending programs, we are ignoring the real problem. I’m eager to continue the work of crafting meaningful, long-term solutions to our fiscal problems, but I believe we can do better than this budget agreement.”
Senator David Perdue issued a press release that called the budget deal a “backroom deal Congressional leaders made with President Obama to abandon the Republican budget plan, suspend the debt ceiling, and use budget gimmicks to spend more taxpayer money.”
“This bad backroom deal puts unsustainable spending on autopilot and lets Washington politicians simply delay tough decisions for two more years. Congress should be working with a sense of urgency to solve our nation’s debt crisis right now. America can’t afford to wait for a more convenient time for elected leaders to do their job.
“Not only does this deal increase the debt from $18 trillion to $20 trillion, but it also violates the responsible budget principles I have been fighting for every day. In typical Washington fashion, the insiders get to spend today in exchange for empty promises of savings tomorrow. Why would we trust a system that has proven to be untrustworthy?
“Earlier this year, Republicans passed a budget that cut President Obama’s proposed spending by $7 trillion over the next decade and finally balanced, but this deal completely abandons that effort. Our long-term plan was traded for short-term gimmicks, trust fund raids, and even more spending. This deal isn’t compromise; it’s surrender.”
Happy, Junior is a 5-year old, 34-pound Labrador Retriever mix – a mini Lab, if you will. He’s super-urgent and is scheduled to be euthanized on Monday if he can’t find an adoptive or foster home. Email me if you think you can save this sweet boy, and I’ll put you in touch with the folks who are helping him find a new home. He is current on his shots.
Elsie is a very busy pup, and always looking for things to get into, although that might change as she grows up. Elsie takes a few minutes to warm up to new people, but once she does she will start to invite cuddling and play. Like most small breed pups her age,she has no discretion when it comes to using his needle sharp teeth and claws. She will use them on anything as a teething object, even human skin and furniture.
Elsie has been highly socialized with all sizes of humans, other dogs and cats from the dawn of her existence. She will still choose to approach humans last if given the choice between other dogs or toys, or a place to race around. Elsie is independent but is NOT good at being alone at ALL!! She loves to play both interactively with other pups in her litter, or alone with toys appropriately sized.
Perla is extremely timid and reserved, and new situations and loud noises scare her. She already has the “chihuahua shakes” and will need a lot of socialization to prevent her from becoming fear aggressive. Perla’s ideal home would not include very small children.
Newt Gingrich on the Speaker’s Race and 2016 GOP Presidential Race
Yesterday, I went to see former Speaker Newt Gingrich speak to the Fulton County Republican Party. The program began with Fulton GOP Chairman Trey Kelly and State Representative Trey Kelley both giving remarks, and then Bob Shaw, who is both a former Fulton GOP Chair and former Georgia Republican Party Chair introduced Newt Gingrich. Shaw talked about the early days of the Republican Party in Georgia, when Gingrich was a college professor from West Georgia with “this big head of hair and a little Volkswagen putt-putt.”Continue Reading..
October 27 was suggested by the Navy League to recognize Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday. Roosevelt had been an Assistant Secretary of the Navy and supported a strong Navy as well as the idea of Navy Day. In addition, October 27 was the anniversary of a 1775 report issued by a special committee of the Continental Congress favoring the purchase of merchant ships as the foundation of an American Navy.
And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man.
This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.
You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down—[up] man’s old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.
We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.
The beach party, which kicks off Friday, has attained a near legendary status in a culture of football tailgating that already revels in excess. But many fed-up island residents complain that the blow-out transforms their usually family friendly beach community into an out-of-control blend of Girls Gone Wild, Daytona Spring Break, a Halloween bash and a college football fanfest. Never mind the tons of trash left behind.
This year, St. Simons officials say they’re cracking down: zero tolerance for underage drinking, roadside sobriety checks and more police armed with breathalyzers. That’s created a giant buzz-kill among UGA students, alumni and other fans who make the annual pilgrimage to the island. They say the tough new tone will eventually kill a decades-old tradition that allowed them to cut loose without causing too much trouble. Already there are early signs that many may be taking a pass this year.
Hotel and condo rentals for the weekend, usually full by now, are down 30 percent, according to the local convention and visitors bureau. That might mean less trouble, but it also means less clanging of cash registers in this tourist haven.
St. Simons residents have decidedly mixed feelings about Frat Beach weekend, which can draw more than 5,000 people to their island of about 13,000.
Police Chief Matt Doering still expects several thousand revelers this weekend. And if anybody thinks he’s bluffing, he said they’ll be sorry.
“I don’t want to get into tactics, but suffice to say I will have more law enforcement looking into underage drinking, littering, public indecency, drugs and people drinking in public where they shouldn’t be,” the chief said.
More than 100 officers will be there, more than double last year. In prior years, the chief said the weekend ended with a dozen or two arrests. This year, expect less leniency.
His advice to young people: “Don’t lie to the police.”
Luckily, the Glynn County Republican Party has you covered for Friday night with their Red and Black Shrimp Boil. Tickets are $25 each, for more information, please check out the event’s Facebook page or contact Kevin Gough at 912-266-5454.
If you live in or around Glynn County, consider yourself a Republican, but have not attended any events with the Glynn County GOP, please email me as I may have two free tickets available.Continue Reading..