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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 21, 2016

Georgia and American History Today

According to tradition, on April 21, 753 B.C., Rome was founded. The one in Italy, not the one in Floyd County.

On April 21, 1732, King George II signed the royal charter creating the colony of Georgia. The King’s signature did not make the charter effective as several additional steps were required.

On April 21, 1789, John Adams was sworn in as the first Vice President of the United States.

On April 21, 1904, Ty Cobb made his debut in professional baseball for the Augusta (Georgia) Tourists in the South Atlantic League in center field; Cobb hit an inside-the-field home run and a double.

Manfred von Richthofen, known as “The Red Baron,” was killed in action on April 21, 1918, shot by either an Australian gunner or a Canadian. At the time of his death, Richthofen has shot down 80 aircraft in aerial combat.

Former President Jimmy Carter was appointed Distinguished Professor at Emory University on April 21, 1982. Carter holds an annual Town Hall in which he takes questions from students.

On April 21, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Israel. From the press statement released that day,

The MOA reiterates for the public record our long-standing relationship of strategic cooperation with Israel. Strategic cooperation can only succeed when there are shared interests, including the commitment to building peace and stability in the region. It reflects the enduring U.S. commitment to Israel’s security. That commitment will never flag. The U.S. commitment to peace will also not flag. The President knows that a strong Israel is necessary if peace is to be possible. He also knows that Israel can never be truly secure without peace.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Sorry for the change in programming, but I’m at the Republican National Committee Spring Meeting in Hollywood, Florida today. My flight this morning cut into the time I usually spend on this email. For now, here are a couple photos, and I hope to be back on our usual schedule tomorrow with some juicy tidbits from the RNC meeting.

RNC Spring banner

RNC PRess Reg

RNC badges

RNC Spring Reince Priebus


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for April 20, 2016


Aygul is a 14-week old female Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, GA.


Aygun is a 14-week old female Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, GA.


Stardust is a 14-week old female Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, GA.


Rooney is a 4-month old male Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, GA.

A Sandy Springs police K9 was hit in the face with brass knuckles by an alleged gang member after catching the suspect.

Rock sniffed out the subject, who was hiding in a drainage system ditch that dropped about eight feet down, DeWald said.

When Rock bit into Wimbs’ left arm, Wimbs pulled a set of spiked brass knuckles and punched Rock about six times.

Thought the dog let go after being punched repeatedly, Rock chased Wimbs, biting his leg to bring him down to the ground where DeWald arrested him.

“Our dogs have a high fight drive,” DeWald said. “The dogs meet the physical prowess of their rivals as a first line of defense.”

Rock had three puncture wounds above his eye and needed four stitches, DeWald said. His eye socket was swollen and Rock lost a lot of blood from his nose, but the K9 officer returned to work Tuesday on limited duty, basically hanging out in the truck and resting up, DeWald said.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 20, 2016

Today, the Republican National Committee Spring Meeting gavels to order in Hollywood, Florida, with sessions for State Chairs, the Committee on Arrangements, Debates Committee,  Resolutions Committee, and Budget Committee. Tomorrow will see meetings of the Contests Committee and Standing Committee on Rules. No major surprises are expected from the Rules Committee.

Yesterday, RNC Co-Chair Reince Priebus met with Congressional Republicans to discuss the upcoming RNC meeting and the Rules Committee.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus met with GOP House members Tuesday on Capitol Hill to assuage concerns sparked by presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s accusations the nominating process is “rigged.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who will also serve as the chairman of the Republican convention in Cleveland in July, said that Priebus was “received favorably.”

Ryan said questions about the RNC rules continue to come up, including in his own telephone town hall with his Wisconsin constituents on Monday night.

[Priebus] explained that the rules cannot be changed without the support of a majority of the 2,472 delegates — the same amount needed to win the nomination — and promised the public would know more well before the convention, said Rep. Greg Walden, an Oregon Republican.

Talk of potential changes before the convention has sparked concerns among conservatives, including Cruz supporters.

But Rep. Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican who has endorsed Cruz, said he walked out of the meeting confident there wouldn’t be any changes before Cleveland.

After the delegates are together, rules changes are fair game, he said.

“If 1,237 (delegates) do it under the rules, then no one should complain about that. But I’m talking about any sort of behind-the-scenes, committee rules changes that would dissuade or distort the nomination process,” Franks said.

Georgia Republican National Committeeman Randy Evans at the Seventh District dinner on Friday night posed a brain-teaser that’s been occupying many in Washington and in state capitols across the nation:

I’m going to leave you with one brain teaser that’s really occupying the leadership at the RNC and the Congress and the Senate and the campaigns.

And this is the brain teaser, as you know typically with a presumptive nominee, what do they do about two weeks before the convention?

They vet a VP.

Now I participated in that, I participated when Senator McCain was considering Sarah Palin versus Joe Lieberman, I participated all the way through these things.

Now if you don’t even know if you’re going to win or not, because you don’t have twelve thirty seven, how do you go about vetting a VP?

And so you can see one of the not yet written on in the media, oh well, until tomorrow, challenges that we face, really is how we go about vetting with adequate opportunity a viable vice presidential candidate when we don’t even know who the nominee will be.

And I don’t know the answer, so if any of you have an answer to that question, I’d be happy for you to share it with me. I will give you the appropriate attribution, but you can see that the level of detail that we’re now getting into as we approach the convention where we don’t have a presumptive nominee in place.

It’s worth noting that Mitt Romney became the presumptive nominee on May 29, 2012 but on this date he had been leading every single national poll for more than seven weeks.

McClatchey discusses how the Republican National Convention Rules Committee will be selected and what they’re expected to decide later this year.

What matters first are 112 people who have a big say in whom the party nominates as the next president of the United States.

They’re the convention’s rules committee, two members from each state and six other jurisdictions. A week or so before the convention opens, they’ll meet to determine how things will proceed.

They can block someone from being formally considered at the convention. They can make it easier for delegates to ditch their commitments to their candidates.

At this point, “the Cruz campaign doesn’t want to see any rules changed on any subject in the middle of the race,” said Lionel Rainey III, a Louisiana Cruz strategist who had run Marco Rubio’s state campaign. The U.S. senator from Florida suspended his effort last month.

“Technically the rules committee can change anything it wants,” [Marylander Louis] Pope said.

But he also saw little prospect for uprooting the rules at this point. Remember, he said, “The rules committee will be controlled by Trump and Cruz delegates.”

Congressman Tom Graves (R-14) spoke to the Fourteenth District GAGOP Convention on Saturday.

He emphasized the many accomplishments made by the Republican Party, ignored and unreported by the main stream media.

One of the issues he said had gone unreported was the extinction of “Common Core,” and in his words it is “dead and gone.”

He talked about the need for Congress to use the “power of the purse” to curtail many programs pushed by the Obama Administration, at the same time assuring a strong military, a strong defense, and said, speaking of the Isis threat its time “we kill the bad guys.”

The West Georgia Neighbor spoke to the candidates for Douglas County Sheriff about their qualifications and the issues voters are talking about.

The Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology was ranked the top high school in Georgia by U.S. News and World Report, as well as #27 in the country and #10 among charter schools.

Gwinnett County Commissioners postponed a decision about a $75 million dollar expansion to the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.

Lonzy Edwards suspended his campaign for Mayor of Macon-Bibb County, citing health concerns, according to the Macon Telegraph.

Barring a last-minute surprise, the campaign suspension effectively clears the way for [Mayor Robert] Reichert’s fourth term as mayor. Edwards’ decision comes two weeks before early voting begins and just five weeks from Election Day. Edwards took part in a mayoral forum April 12, but several days later a doctor told Edwards he was too sick to undergo a “necessary” medical procedure, he said.

The Telegraph also takes a look at the reelection effort of Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-2).

Bishop, 69, will face the winner of the May 24 Republican primary, either Leesburg optician, Greg Duke, 55, who lost to Bishop in 2014, or Macon registered nurse, Diane Vann, 63.

Another Republican candidate for Bishop’s seat, Columbus attorney Bobby Scott, 40, died last week of diabetic ketoacidosis.

[Cook Political Report Editor David] Wasserman said it’ll be difficult for Vann or Duke to unseat Bishop, a 12-term fixture in the largely rural district dominated by agricultural interests.

“November’s outcome is pretty much pre-ordained,” Wasserman said of Bishop’s chances. “Sorry to burst the bubble.”

But after narrowly defeating Republican Mike Keown by less than 3 three percentage points and less than 5,000 votes in 2010, Bishop takes nothing for granted.

“The job doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the people,” he said in an interview. “And I believe I have discharged my duties and my responsibilities over the period of my service. I look at it as a public trust.”

State Senator Fran Millar (R-DeKalb) penned a letter suggesting that the current structure of the DeKalb E-SPLOST may be unconstitutional.

Millar said in a letter to the school superintendent that the school system’s plan to seek a five-year renewal of the ESPLOST violated the state constitution.

While no ESPLOST ever has been defeated by Georgia voters, no school system ever has asked for a tax without specifying each proposed capital project and its maximum cost.

Millar sought the advice of legislative council and the former counsel to Gov. Roy Barnes. Each noted that the laws on education taxes for capital construction are anchored in the state constitution.

That document says the resolution calling for the tax and ballot question shall describe “the specific capital outlay projects to be funded” and “the maximum cost of such projects.”

“I’m trying to throw a lifeline to DeKalb,” Millar told The Crier. “It’s in DeKalb’s interest to ask Atlanta and Fulton County to postpone their ESPLOST votes until DeKalb can put together a project list and individual cost estimates.”

In Millar’s opinion, if the vote of the other two jurisdictions stands and DeKalb’s is invalidated, the DeKalb system can’t go before voters for another five years. He said a suit is likely if DeKalb proceeds May 25.

Two candidates for Muscogee County Sheriff will learn soon whether a state judge upholds a decision by the elections board to disqualify them from the May 24 ballot.

The board on March 30 voted three to one to disqualify Democratic Party candidates Pam Brown and Robert Keith Smith because they failed to submit fingerprints for a criminal background check by a March 16 deadline.

Georgia law specifies those fingerprints must be submitted by the close of business three workdays after qualifying ends. Qualifying ended Friday, March 11, so the deadline was 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 16.

“The law is the law,” Judge J. Richard Porter III of Cairo said as Tuesday’s hearing ended, asking attorneys, “Is there any exception to the three-day rule? … The rule, it says ‘shall’ in three days.”

Porter declined to “stay” or delay the board’s decision after attorneys for the board said election workers already mailed ballots overseas with notices the sheriff’s candidates were disqualified but appealing. Were the judge to alter the candidates’ status, election workers would need specific instructions on whether voters were to be sent some additional notice and if so, what it would say.

Candidates for Muscogee County Board of Education discussed the role of the elected Board members.


Randy Evans: a brain teaser for Republicans

Audience Member: Is there any discussion or would you look forward to changing the way the debates are structured so that the media doesn’t have so much control over them? Like more like a pool system or something?

Randy Evans Referee Shirt

Randy Evans: We’re just going to take them over next time. To be honest, I’m just telling you.

This time, all I did, for those of you who are lawyers, is all I did was Marbury versus Madison, which was demonstrate that in fact we have the power to control them and the next time around we’re just going to take them.

And so, the short answer is, yeah that’s what we’ll do.

Well I don’t want to keep you here forever, so I’m going to leave you with one brain teaser that’s really occupying the leadership at the RNC and the congress and the senate and the campaigns.Continue Reading..


Gov. Deal names new judges

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced the appointments of Mary Beth Priest and John Worcester to Superior Court judgeships within the Appalachian Judicial Circuit and Eric Norris to the Superior Court judgeship within the Western Judicial Circuit. He also announced the appointment of Tammi Long Hayward to the Clayton County State Court.

The vacancies within the Appalachian Judicial Circuit were created by the appointment of the Honorable Amanda Mercier to the Georgia Court of Appeals and the resignation of the Honorable Roger Bradley. The vacancy within the Western Judicial Circuit was created by the passage of House Bill 279 during the 2015 session of the Georgia General Assembly. The Clayton County State Court vacancy was created by the resignation of the Honorable Morris Braswell. The appointments will take effect upon swearing in.Continue Reading..


Randy Evans on the upcoming Republican National Convention

Randy Evans delivered the keynote address at the Seventh District Georgia Republican Party dinner last Friday night before taking the gavel on Saturday in the Sixth District. Randy first described the four scenarios delegates might face in Cleveland this year: a presumptive nominee, a brokered convention, a contested convention, and an open convention. Then he discusses the scheduling problems that might face organizers of the convention. Following is a partial transcript.

Randy Evans: Number one there is a brokered convention, there is an open convention, there is a contested convention and there’s a presumptive nominee. Those are the four possibilities that exist, they’re completely different possibilities.

A presumptive nominee will mean that one candidate has twelve hundred and thirty seven legally bound delegates before the convention gavel begins.

So that’s the only way that somebody locks up the nomination before the convention, and that’s the only way we avoid the other three options.

Option number two is that, let’s say at the end of, remember the California primary is June 7th. So, California comes and goes, we have a front runner who is, let’s say, one hundred and thirty seven delegates short, in other words they get to eleven hundred bound delegates, but short of twelve hundred thirty seven.

And that nominee goes over to another candidate, say John Kasich, and he says, “You know John, you’ve got a hundred and seventy two delegates and I’m a hundred and thirty seven delegates short, you’d make a great running mate. In fact, I think you’d be a great running mate.” And they agree that one will pick the other for the VP if the other one provides their delegates for to put them over the top, at twelve thirty seven.Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for April 19, 2016


Because everyone in politics should have a pit bull named Randy on their side. Randy is a 2-3 year old lemon-and-white American Pit Bull Terrier mix who is available for adoption from Georgia Canine Rescue and Rehabilitation in Cochran, GA.

Randy plays well with others. Very gentle boy.You can also support the care of dogs like Randy by donating to Georgia Canine Rescue and Rehabilitiation.

Sam Evans

Sam Evans is a young male German Shepherd Dog & Canaan Dog Mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Forsyth County in Cumming, GA.


Dexter is an adult male Chocolate Lab mix who is available for adoption from the CSRA Humane Society in Augusta, GA.

Dexter loves tennis balls. He needs someone who will play with him in a fenced yard on a daily basis. He is a large dog with a lot of energy.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 19, 2016

On April 20, 1861, Robert E. Lee resigned his commission as a Colonel in the United States Army.

On April 20, 1982, the Atlanta Braves set a major league record, winning the first twelve games of the regular season.

On April 20, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation authorizing a $165 billion dollar bailout for Social Security, saying,

“This bill demonstrates for all time our nation’s ironclad commitment to Social Security. It assures the elderly that America will always keep the promises made in troubled times a half a century ago. It assures those who are still working that they, too, have a pact with the future. From this day forward, they have one pledge that they will get their fair share of benefits when they retire.”

On April 20, 1992, Governor Zell Miller signed legislation naming Pogo ‘Possum the official state possum of Georgia.

On April 20, 1999, two students entered Columbine High School in Colorado and killed twelve student and one teacher, and wounded 23 others before shooting themselves.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Randy Evans Referee Shirt

On Friday night, Georgia’s Republican National Committeeman Randy Evans spoke to the Seventh District Georgia Republican Party dinner, discussing the four scenarios delegates might face in Cleveland this year: a presumptive nominee, a brokered convention, a contested convention, and an open convention. Then he discusses the scheduling problems that might face organizers of the convention.

I’ve published a partial transcript on the website for your reading enjoyment. It’s worth reading so that you understand what is meant by (1) presumptive nominee; (2) brokered convention; (3) contested convention; and (4) open convention. You’ll also understand why the members of the Republican National Committee may be moving things around on the convention schedule when they meet later this week in Hollywood, Florida.Continue Reading..


Jack Kingston Endorses Doug Collins for Congress

Cites Effective Representative and Consistent Conservative Values

Kingston Head HorizontalGainesville, GA., April 18, 2016 - Former US Congressman Jack Kingston today endorsed Doug Collins for Congress in the May 24th GOP Primary. Kingston served along side two of the candidates in this race in the US House of Representatives. He also volunteers his time serving as the Foundation Chairman for the Georgia Republican Party.

“Men like Doug Collins are a rare breed in Washington. What you see is what you get with Doug. He stands up for what he believes in and he represents common sense 9th district conservative values” said Jack Kingston. “Doug Collins has a servant’s heart and he effectively represents those who have entrusted him with this office.”

Jack added “Congress has very low approval ratings with the American people. Public servants like Doug Collins are shining stars of the right way to serve. Other members and those seeking elected office would do well to follow the good example he sets. Doug Collins is the 9th District, he will continue to make all of us proud and I’m standing with him in this election.”

“Jack Kingston served alongside me and my opponent from the 10th District while we were all in Congress. Jack calls it like he sees it and I greatly appreciate his support so that I can continue to serve Georgia’s 9th District. His fundraising for the Georgia Republican Party will help keep GA red and make sure that Hillary Clinton is defeated this November” said Doug Collins.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for April 18, 2016

Teddy Terrier

Teddy is a young male Yorkshire Terrier and Dachshund mix who is available for adoption from Clayton County Humane Society in Jonesboro, GA.

Teddy Chow

Teddy is an adult male Chow Chow who is available for adoption from Heart of Georgia Humane Society in Macon, GA.

Because of his full mane, I’d probably call him “Lion Ted.”


Donny is an adult male Chihuahua who is available for adoption from Athens Area Humane Society in Athens, GA.