The blog.

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.

20
Aug

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for August 20, 2015

The following dogs were all surrendered by their owners to Athens-Clarke County Animal Control, which makes them the first ones to be euthanized as there’s no statutory waiting period for owner surrenders.

Athens Penny

Penny is a 12-year old female Terrier mix who weighs 25 pounds who came to the because her owner died and the rest of the family either couldn’t or wouldn’t take her in. Penny doesn’t seem to be a whit concerned about it though – in fact whenever we see her out with volunteers she seems to be having the time of her life. She has the energy and attitude of a puppy, and loves to play with anyone, human or canine. It’s hard to believe that Penny’s 12 years old, although little dogs like her often live quite a bit longer than that.

Her owner’s family reported that she was an outside dog, but she seems housebroken here – she never messes in her run. They also said she is good with dogs and cats, something that we can’t confirm, although we can say that she happily plays with other dogs through the chainlink between pens, and seems very relaxed around them. The only thing about Penny that could use improvement is her weight – she’s a little chunky. Given her good energy level and love of walking and play, she will melt those few pounds off quickly. Penny is pure delight!

Athens Queen

Queen is a young girl, a 6-12 month old Labrador/Hound mix girl who weighs 26 pounds and is already spayed.

Queen greets everyone with a smile and a tail wag. She’s a happy, bouncy girl who enjoys being with you and wants to play. Queen is such a joyful pup that she sometimes forgets her manners and jumps up on you. She’s still a young dog, however, and can learn what’s appropriate behavior. She loves treats and already knows how to sit, so treats could be a good motivator for helping her keep her paws on the ground. Queen’s former owner stated that Queen is house trained and good with kids. She’s never lived with other animals, but she was friendly with Jolie in the adjacent interaction pen and wanted to play. If you’re looking for a happy pup who loves people and wants to play, come meet Queen!

Athens Cole

Cole is a 1-year old Black Labrador Retriever mix who weighs 48 pounds and loves toys, his kiddie pool, and people or other dogs.

Athens Cole 2

Athens Louise2

Louise is a 1-year old female Plott Hound mix who weighs 31 pounds.

Louise and sister Thelma were surrendered to the shelter with no regrets from their family :( The only information they left was that they are good with dogs and like riding in the car. In the two days they have been here so far, we found out other things they like too – people, treats, toys, and getting lots of lovin’. They are adorable, happy pups and lots of fun to be around. Louise is a little shorter and stockier than Thelma, and a cuddly, kissy girl. Thelma is a little taller and lankier, and just a tiny bit shy, but she gets over it very quickly. At one year old the sisters are still quite puppy-like and love to run and play. With a little reminding they sit nicely for treats, and seem to be very smart and willing to learn. These girls deserve a home that can appreciate just how wonderful they are.
Athens Louise

Athens Thelma

Thelma is Louise’s sister and is taller and has some white fur.

All of these urgent dogs are in the Athens Pets video, along with some of their friends.

20
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 20, 2015

On August 20, 1781, General George Washington sent Continental troops from New York toward Yorktown, Virginia to engage British troops under Gen. Cornwallis.

On August 20, 1906, Gov. Joseph Terrell signed legislation to build a statue of Georgia founding father James Oglethorpe in Savannah and a bill to build a statue of former Confederate General and Georgia Governor John B. Gordon at the State Capitol.

The Georgia Department of Archives and History was created by legislation signed by Georgia Governor Hugh Dorsey on August 20, 1918.

On August 20, 1920, the American Professional Football Association, which would later be renamed the National Football League, was formed in Akron, Ohio. If you go to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the Professional Football Hall of Fame is about an hour away in Canton, Ohio.

On August 20, 1923, Georgia Governor Clifford Walker signed legislation requiring state schools teach the United States and Georgia Constitutions and students pass an exam on the documents before being allowed to graduate.

On August 20, 1965, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones was released in the UK.

On August 20, 1974, President Gerald Ford nominated Nelson Rockefeller as Vice President of the United States.

Yvonne Craig, who played Bat Girl in the original 1960s Batman series has died.

As with many characters on the show, she had to play two roles. By day, she was librarian Barbara Gordon, daughter of Gotham City police Commissioner James Gordon. But in times of need, she transformed into the caped crusader fighting crime alongside Batman and Robin. She even had a purple motorcycle with white lace trim.

Star Trek fans will remember Craig’s work, too. She played Marta, the green-skinned Orion slave girl who wanted to kill Captain Kirk in Season 3.

Minnie Martin, who was the first African-American woman elected to the Valdosta Board of Education and first woman elected to the Lowndes County Commission died Tuesday evening at the age of 73.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said yesterday that Jeb Bush will make a stop in Athens this fall for the Georgia v. South Carolina game.Continue Reading..

19
Aug

Adoptable Dogs for August 19, 2015

At Gwinnett County Animal Shelter, intake has been very heavy lately and a number of dogs are scheduled to be euthanized if they aren’t adopted or in a foster home.

Gwinnett Urgents 0819

46035

46035 is an adult male Spaniel mix, likely a senior, who is friendly and was found stray.

46059

46059 is a male senior Pug mix – a sweet little old man who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

46314

46314 (above) and 46315 (below) are young female puppies, possibly pug mixes, who are available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

46315

19
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 19, 2015

USS Constitution earned the nickname “Old Ironsides” in battle against the British ship Guerriere off the coast of Nova Scotia on August 19, 1812. Launched in 1797, Constitution is today the oldest commissioned vessel in the United States Navy. Live oak from St. Simons Island were cut and milled for timber used in the constructions of Constitution. From a 1977 New York Times article:

The Constitution won her way into Americans’ hearts in 1812, when she defeated the British Guerriere off Nova Scotia in an exchange of broadsides. The spirit of the Constitution crew was noted by the Guerriere’s commander, James Dacres, who boarded the Constitution to present his sword in surrender.

”I will not take your sword, Sir,” the captain of the Constitution, Isaac Hull, replied. ”But I will trouble you for your hat.”

In the battle, a sailor — whether British or American is disputed by historians — is said to have cried out, ”Huzzah, her sides are made of iron!” as he watched an English cannonball bounce off the side of the Constitution. It was the birth of her nickname.

Part of the ship’s secret lay in the wood used in the design by Joshua Humphreys. He picked live oak, from St. Simons Island, Ga. The wood has proved so strong and resistant to rot that the original hull is intact, said Anne Grimes Rand, curator of the Constitution Museum in Charlestown, Mass.

The Georgia Department of Insurance was created on August 19, 1912 when Governor Joseph Brown signed legislation regulating companies selling policies in the states.

Governor Nathaniel Harris signed the first state law requiring school attendance for children 8-14 years of age on August 19, 1916; on the same day, Harris also signed legislation authorizing women to practice law in Georgia.

“Georgia” was designated the official state song on August 19, 1922 with Gov. Thomas Hardwick’s signature on a joint resolution passed by the General Assembly; in 1979, “Georgia On My Mind,” replaced it.

Adolf Hitler became President of Germany on August 19, 1934.

The United States Central Intelligence Agency supported a coup in Iran that restored the Shah of Iran on August 19, 1953.

On August 19, 1976, President Gerald R. Ford was nominated for President by the Republican National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. Ford received 1,157 (52.6%) delegates to 1,087 for Ronald Reagan (47.4%). Georgia’s 48 delegates voted for Reagan on the first ballot.

Dr. Betty Siegel became the first female President of a state college or university in Georgia when she was named President of Kennesaw College on August 19, 1981; under her leadership, it became Kennesaw State University in 1996. Siegel served until 2006. Kennesaw State was recently named the 4th best college for food in the nation.

Also on August 19, 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated Sandra Day O’Connor as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

On August 19, 1984, President Ronald Reagan was nominated for reelection by the Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Yesterday, Jeb! Bush visited Atlanta and made a stop at the Varsity to visit the commoners get on television.

“We’re going to work hard to earn the support of Georgians in the March 1 primary. It’s the second largest state in the primary, it’s our neighbor to our north, we’re going to be working hard,” Bush said.

According to the Federal Elections Commission website, people from Georgia have donated more than $300,000 to Bush so far. The maximum contribution allowed is $2,700.

But getting money might not be the only reason Bush is making a stop in Atlanta, especially if you believe the old saying, “All publicity is good publicity.” The former Florida governor might be looking for publicity because a look at the latest Real Clear Politics average polls show that he’s behind with 10.7 percent to Republican front runner Donald Trump’s 22 percent.

This is pretty cool – Fox5Atlanta posted the video of the entire scrum Jeb! held on the way out of the Varsity.

Here are the questions he was asked:

1. Is Donald Trump making it increasingly difficult to attract Hispanic voters in this election?

2. Where are you on birthright citizenship?

3. How do you get your message out when Donald Trump is overshadowing all of the candidates?

4. When you hear a Republican candidate talk about deporting some 12 million people, how do you respond to that?

Bush: “I’ve writen a book about it, I have a plan on how you secure the border. We need to create a path to earn legal status, that’s the thoughtful way of dealing with this. What Mr. Trump has proposed will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, will disrupt communities, isn’t feasible, isn’t practical. It appeals to people’s legitimate anger that they feel like Barack Obama hasn’t been fulfilling his duties of enfocing the law. But we need now plans and solutions to fix these things. This immigration issue has been part of the political landscape for years and years. It’s time to fix it and I know how to do it.”

5. [something, something message going] and his numbers keep going up and yours are not.

Bush: “Man, it’s a long haul, brother. We’ve got a long way to go. Y’all come back here next month and you ask me the same question and I think the context will be different.”

6. What do you say to those who say we don’t need another Bush White House?

7.  There’s a lot of Republicans here in Georgia who [loathe?] Common Core. What do you say to those folks?

8. Georgians are going to get to vote next year on whether or not the state should have the power to take over failing schools.

Bush: “I respect Governor Deal’s position on this. I think it’s the right thing. We should have very little tolerance for failure because we know what the result will be. Instead of going to college or instead of being able to get a job with purpose, kids are going to be drifting, they’re not going to be able to get a job. And so we should have no tolerance for the kind of abject failure that occasionally takes place. The soft bigotry of low expectations is one of the great dangers in America today. If we just keep lowering expectations down, and where kids languish with horrific learning results, we see what happens. Just look a Ferguson. Look at Baltimore. Look at the places where there’s such despair and what you’ll find is education outcomes are far, far below where kids live in intact families, and they’re doing fine. And I just don’t believe America’s going to work well unless every child has their God-given ability to rise up through a quality education.”

“The one here in Georgia was for the state to take over and try something different. Have high-performing charter schools be implemented. In Florida – this out to be state-by-state – we created the largest voucher programs in the country to give parents in failing schools choices that otherwise  they would never have. We graded schools A, B, C, D, and F. Everybody knows that an F is not as good as an A, and we rewarded schools that showed improvement, and we had no tolerance for failing schools. That’s what we need is just a sense of urgency about this. The political arguments about education need to be put aside and we need to recognize that if you’re getting a result of a third of your kids truly being college or career ready, that is a disaster for this country. And while that’s not a federal issue, that’s a national crisis. And that’s why I’m passionate about this.”

9. Do you think this email controversy will bring Hillary Clinton down?

10. Do you get a sense that Democrats are getting itchy about whether Hillary Clinton is going to remain as strong as she has been?

So the tally is four questions about Donald Trump or something he said, two questions about Hillary Clinton, one Bush Dynasty, one Common Core, one Opportunity School District question.

And some guy asked, “Are you Batman, Governor Bush?”

Back to the Georgia politics side, in addition to traveling with Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, who previously endorsed Jeb Bush, we also saw Georgia Senate Rules Committee Chairman Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga) and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman John Wilkinson (R-Toccoa). Sen. Wilkinson told me both have signed up to endorse Bush in the Republican primary.

Jeff Mullis John Wilkinson Jeb Bush

Senator Butch Miller (R-Gainesville) asked Gov. Bush for a photo with two of his constituents. Miller told me he has not endorsed Bush “yet.”Continue Reading..

18
Aug

Jeb Bush and friends at The Varsity in Atlanta

Jeff Mullis John Wilkinson Jeb Bush

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush with (above) Georgia Senate Rules Chair Jeff Mullis and Senate Agriculture Committee Chair John Wilkinson. Below, with Senator Butch Miller and two of Sen. Miller’s constituents from Gainesville.

Jeb Bush Butch Miller

18
Aug

What’s on your wrist, Jeb Bush edition

During his visit to the Varsity in Atlanta today, I got this shot of the Apple iWatch and memorial bracelet with a KIA soldier’s name on it that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush wears.

Jeb Bush iWatch

18
Aug

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for August 18, 2015

The following four puppies are urgent at the Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare shelter and will be euthanized if not adopted or fostered by 4:30 PM today.

Wags

Wags is a 4-month old male Pit Bull Terrier mix who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, Georgia.

Omelet

Omelet is a 4-month old female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, Georgia.

Bandit

Bandit is a 5-month old male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, Georgia.

Effie

Effie is a 5-month old female Labrador Retriever and Pit Bull Terrier mix who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, Georgia.

Barrow206

Number 206 is a sweet and friendly 10-month old Lab mix who was featured last week. He’s available for adoption from the Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, Georgia. Unfortunately, he’s on the euthanasia list for tomorrow and will be put down if he’s not adopted or fostered. To save as many dogs as possible, the shelter has waived his adoption fee along with those of any of the other dogs on the euthanasia list.