The blog.

20
Mar

Ode to a Capitol

Georgia Capitol Aerial 02272014

Well I guess it was back in eighteen eighty nine,

When a couple of boys in Dahlonega went down in a mine,

And found it was slap full of gold.

Then these folks in Atlanta wanted to keep growing,

So they told the legislature the Capitol had to be going,Continue Reading..

19
Mar

Jeb Bush at the Georgia State Senate

Jeb David Casey

Continue Reading..

19
Mar

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for March 19, 2014

The following dogs are all cared for by Adopt a Golden Atlanta, though they needs foster homes. We’ve previously adopted from AGA and they are the gold standard for breed specific dog rescue in my book.

AGAClara
I got lost but lucky for me AGA came and signed me up to be an orphan. It’s a good thing too, because my new doctor says I need medicine to get rid of things called heartworms. You can’t just wish them away – you have to have $500 dollars to buy the medicine. I’m kind of scared and worried because I don’t have any money and I think the shots they give you will hurt! It would take away one of my worries if I could find an AGA angel with $500 in their pocket that they wouldn’t mind giving me. And what a relief it was that an AGA angel swooped down and sent AGA the money! Thank you Agnieszka Wesolowski. I love you. I guess there is nothing to be done about getting shots that hurt but I am just going to squint my eyes and hold my breath and think about something else. After all, to be healthy is worth it isn’t it? I am maybe 7 years old and have already learned good house manners besides liking other dogs and kids. I am a medium size girl -not too big and not too small. And everyone says I am a sweet, easy going golden I would LOVE a new home just as soon as possible so why not give AGA a call and ask about me? Lots of love, Clara.

AGA Charlie Doodle Dolly
We are each 7 years old and we are “brother and sister”. Of course you may have noticed that we don’t actually look much alike but we have always been together (since we were little puppies) so we feel related! We love each other so much and couldn’t get along without the other. Right now we are so sad to leave our home that if we didn’t have each other to lean on things would be even worse. Our family couldn’t take care of us anymore and it was very hard for all of us to have to separate but there was nothing else to be done. We are looking for a home together and AGA promised we would not be separated. We were relieved that there was some good news in all of this. Being with your very best friend makes you strong when everything feels sad. We are a healthy twosome who are very good at snuggling up to you! We have perfect house manners and love everybody and all animals. We know that with one of us on each side of you, then you will know exactly what it’s like to be loved! Your friends, Charlie and Dollie.

AGABarley

Well , you can’t miss me in a crowd! I am a BIG boy and I am only a year and a half old! Already my number on the weighing machine says 107 and my new doctor says that’s just right for me. My other family asked AGA to find me a new home because they said I was WAY too interested in getting all the food before anyone else did!! I’m kind of a “chewer” dog too-like when left with an unlucky collar or leash! I don’t know why I do that but maybe AGA can find a teacher who will help me stop. I like to play and have lots of energy and I like kids and big people and playing with dogs. I don’t like sharing food and it may be better for me to be in a “no other dogs” house and no cats because I like chasing them. I’m a healthy fellow and don’t mind staying in a crate (a big one) when I’m left alone. I also know some commands. So I am a good student when it comes to lessons and now I am going to concentrate on working on this food “thing”. You could call and ask how I am doing even though I’m not quite ready to move into a new family. I hope I can be your newest friend! Barley.

AGA Zac Zelda

We go together like jam and bread or maybe birds of a feather! That’s why we are looking for a home together and, thank goodness, that’s exactly what AGA is going to help us find. How exciting that we will be able to stay with each other! We are a boy and a girl doodle (or so we think) and only around 2 or 3 years old. We even got lost together and ended up in a shelter where the nice people helped AGA to rescue us. We look like twins and we try to be really sweet even though we might seem a little shy at first. My brother Zac is bigger than me (I guess that’s ’cause he’s a boy) and weighs number 45 but I am only number 36 so you can tell we won’t take up a lot of space. We are a healthy, happy pair and have all our toes (and that’s a lot) crossed that soon we will be part of a new family. Just call and ask about the “two peas in a pod” doodles! Love to everyone, Zac and Zelda.

19
Mar

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

On March 19, 1916, the first American military air combat mission began in support of an incursion into Mexico under President Woodrow Wilson.

On March 19, 1947, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled in Thompson v. Talmadge on the “Three Governors Affair.” The Court held that the Georgia General Assembly lacked authority to elect Herman Talmadge as Governor, and that because of the death of Eugene Talmadge before he took office, no successor to Gov. Ellis Arnall was in place until the newly-elected Lt. Governor Melvin Johnson was sworn in and became Governor, succeeding Arnall.

On March 19, 2003, President George W. Bush announced the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom in order to depose Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and eliminate the country’s ability to produce weapons of mass destruction.

In my post and email for March 19, 2014, I noted that Georgia has no Official State Dog and pondered what breed would be best. The last time it was voted on, in 1991, the Georgia Senate rejected the Golden Retriever on a 37-10 vote against. South Carolina’s official State Dog is the Boykin Spaniel, a breed developed for hunting in the Palmetto State and most commonly found there today.

This year, State Rep. Joe Wilkinson introduced HB 561 to name the “Adoptable Dog” as the Official State Dog of Georgia.

Under the Gold Dome Today

7:30am – 8:30am House Natural Resources & Env’t – 606 clob
8:00am – 9:00am Senate Insurance & Labore – 125 cap
9:30am – 10:00am House Rules Committee – 341 cap
12:00pm – 1:00pm Senate Rules Upon Adjournment – 450 cap
1:00pm – 2:00pm House Industry & Labor – 506 clob
1:00pm – 2:00pm Senate Science & Technology – 310 clob
1:00pm – 2:00pm Senate Interstate Cooperation – 123 cap
1:00pm – 2:00pm Senate Health & Human Services – 450 cap
1:30pm – 2:30pm House Game, Fish, & Parks – 406 clob
2:00pm – 3:00pm Senate Finance Committee – Mezz 1
2:00pm – 4:00pm House Transportation – 506 clob
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Higher Education – 310 clob
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Veterans, Military, & Homeland Sec – 125 cap
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Natural Resources & Env’t – 450 cap
3:00pm – 4:00pm House Admin/Licensing Sub of Insurance – 515 clob
3:00pm – 4:00pm House State Properties – 403 clob
3:00pm – 5:00pm House Ways & Means Committee – 606 clob
4:00pm – 5:00pm Senate State & Local Gov’tal Ops – mezz 1
4:00pm – 5:00pm Senate Judiciary – 307 clob

Senate Rules Calendar

HB 184 – Banking and finance; extensively revise Title 7; provisions (As Passed House) (B&FI-18th) Williamson-115th

HB 246 – Accountants; provide for powers and actions granted to other licensing boards; provisions (As Passed House) (RI&U-27th) Knight-130th

House Rules Calendar

HB 16 Education; no high school which receives funding from Quality Basic Education Act shall participate in or sponsor interscholastic sports events unless students enrolled in magnet schools can participate under certain conditions; provide (Postponed)

HB 34 Georgia Right to Try Act; enact

HB 50 State property; statues, monuments, plaques, banners, and other commemorative symbols; provide additional protection

HB 54 Tuition grants; children of officers killed in line of duty who attend University System institutions and meet certain requirements; provide

HB 69 Motor Vehicle Event Data Recorder Act; enact

HB 81 Taxation; property; require confirmation of certain redemptions

HB 93 Motor vehicles; law enforcement retaining license plate data obtained from automated license plate recognition systems for certain periods; prohibit

HB 115 Foreclosure Cure Act; enact

HB 120 Local option sales tax; provide for an additional purpose for tax

HB 126 Motor vehicles; use of global positioning or navigation system mounts on windshields under certain circumstances; allow

HB 169 Motor vehicles; temporary operating permit when vehicle fails to pass federal emissions standards and certain conditions have been satisfied; provide

HB 182 Motor vehicles; acquisition of evidence; clarify provisions

HB 194 Elections; advance voting times and dates; revise

HB 196 Criminal procedure; reversal on appeal when a judge expresses an opinion regarding proof in a criminal case or as to accused’s guilt; change provisions

HB 216 Occupational diseases; define certain terms; provisions

HB 219 Health; swimming pools; exempt certain privately owned pools from inspection and licensing requirements

HB 228 Sheriffs; collect and deposit certain fees; provide

HB 231 Property; state revenue commissioner to deduct certain funds from deposits to the state treasury; authorize

HB 240 Community Health, Department of; provide that at least two members of board shall also be members of state health plan; provisions

HB 243 Education Savings Account Act; enact

HB 264 Juvenile Code; voluntary acknowledgements of legitimation; repeal

HB 267 Property; witnessing requisites of deeds, mortgages, and bills of sale; change and clarify provisions

HB 271 Education; charter-schools-in-the-workplace; provide

HB 280 State Sexual Offender Registry; individual convicted of trafficking a person for sexual servitude; require registration

HB 289 Motor fuel tax; exemption for a limited period of time for certain public mass transit vehicles; extend

HB 295 Corporations, partnerships, and associations; change certain provisions relating to definitions; provisions

HB 358 Legislative Oversight Committee for State Contracts; establish

HB 364 Real estate transfer tax; change certain provisions

HB 367 Superior courts; fourth judge of Western Judicial Circuit; provide

HB 377 Courts; collection of delinquent fees and statutory surcharges; provide

HB 381 Revised Georgia Law on Notarial Acts of 2015; enact

HB 405 Contracts and marriage; change provisions relating to agreements required to be in writing; provisions

HB 411 Highways; provide maximum total gross weight for vehicles hauling unfinished wood products when traveling on noninterstate highways; provisions

HB 414 Education; collection and disclosure of student data; establish and implement policies and requirements

HB 417 Motor vehicles; require drivers to stop at crosswalks with pedestrian activated rectangular rapid flash beacons; provisions

HB 422 Georgia Public Defender Standards Council; change council name to Georgia Public Defender Council

HB 430 Criminal procedure; search and seizure; revise and modernize law; provisions

HB 437 Brunswick-Glynn County Water and Sewer Commission Act; enact

HB 450 Food products; in-person sales of meat from certain requirements; exempt

HB 455 Motor vehicles and traffic; parking vehicle in manner preventing emergency vehicles from accessing private property without an identifiable driveway; prohibit

HB 483 State symbols; shoal bass as official state native riverine sport fish; designate

HB 494 Peace officers; retired officers shall not pay any fees or costs for any permit or card evidencing his or her registration or certification with Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council; provide

HB 500 Employment security; services performed by individual for wages shall be deemed to be employment unless Department of Labor makes a contrary determination based on evidence submitted; provide

HB 534 Incest; relationships between relatives; change provisions

HB 541 Eminent domain; telephone companies; actual recurring local service revenues; specify accounts or portions thereof considered to be included

HB 564 Medical practice; physicians complete continuing education training on prescribing controlled substances and the development of addiction; require

HB 578 Public order; offense of harassing phone calls to offense of harassing communications; change

HOUSE RESOLUTIONS

HR 4 Municipalities; establish by local law an independent school system; authorize – CA

HR 281 Republic of Turkey and the Turkic American Federation of Southeast; recognize contributions; encourage creation of Georgian-Turkish Friendship Task Force

HR 302 Congress of the United States; enact significant reforms to nation’s federally financed graduate medical education programs and to provide states with additional resources to meet the health workforce needs of the future; urge

HR 473 Joint Study Committee on Cyber Security; create

HR 474 House Study Committee on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and Kinship Care; create

SENATE BILLS

SB 2 Education; student who completes certain requirements relating to postsecondary coursework awarded a high school diploma

SB 51 Pharmacists and Pharmacies; provide for substitutions of interchangeable biological products

SB 101 Soil Erosion and Sedimentation; provide for buffer against coastal marshlands within which certain land-disturbing activities are prohibited

SB 139 Selling and Other Trade Practices; provide regulation; auxiliary

Committees

Today, the House Juvenile Justice Committee will hear Senate Bill 8 and Senate Resolution 7 by Senator Renee Unterman from 4-6 PM in Room 505 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building.

Last month, the Senate Judicary Committee passed out Senator Renee Unterman’s Senate Bill 8 and Senate Resolution 7 with a single dissenting vote in each case. From Kristina Torres at the AJC:

Proposals to combat Georgia’s child sex trafficking problem passed out of a Senate committee Monday after a victim testified publicly for the first time about her plight and received support from religious, law enforcement and child advocates.

“I am a survivor,” said Rachel, who has inspired lawmakers to nickname their legislation the “Safe Harbor/Rachel’s Act.” Now in college, she says she was 17 when a sex trafficker befriended her on social media and then deceived her.

“I was afraid to breathe, I was afraid to rest, I was afraid to trust, I was afraid to be seen, I was afraid to dream,” said Rachel, who declined to give her last name and current age. “I hid in my own skin. Today, I see myself in a new light.”

That turnaround, Rachel said, came as a result of extensive counseling and support services — the very kind the legislation aims to provide statewide.

The proposal would establish a new Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund, which would get money through new $2,500 fines on convicted traffickers and an annual $5,000 fee on adult entertainment establishments. The money would then pay for physical and mental health care, housing, education, job training, child care, legal help and other services for victims.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan testified that the GBI supports the two bills, and that “the number one need in fighting sex trafficking is services for victims.” Keenan noted that the GBI first brought up the fact that convicted sex traffickers are not currently required to register as sex offenders, which the bill would change.

At 1 PM, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee will hear House Bill 1 by Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), a more-expansive version of Medical Marijuana legislation. Committee Chair Senator Renee Unterman (R-Buford) has said she will present a Committee Substitute combining elements of HB1 with Senate Bill 185 by Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R-Marietta), which has already passed the Senate.

Both bills passed overwhelmingly to the Senate’s Health and Human Services committee. Chairwoman Renee Unterman, R-Buford, said last week she would like to see a compromise, perhaps adding some additional diagnoses to Tippins’ measure from Peake’s.

“My best case scenario is that we can have a bill voted out of the Senate committee Thursday,” Peake told The Associated Press. “And then it would be voted on by the entire Senate. If my House colleagues are comfortable with changes, I will encourage the House to agree with the revised bill and then we send it to the governor.”

“To Sen. Unterman’s credit on this issue, she has patiently listened and taken time for the families that can be potentially affected,” he said.

The bill by Senator Tippins would provide for clinical trials of CBD-oil for treatment of epilepsy in children. Georgia Regents University is in the beginning stages of testing CBD derivatives in a study.

Dr. Michael Diamond of GRU in Augusta said Wednesday that the study will make a marijuana extract available to some people in Atlanta and several other locations around the state.

The study, scheduled to last at least five years, is just getting started. But Diamond says the study will not examine whether medical marijuana oil could help people with the other eight medical disorders outlined in a state House bill that’s scheduled for discussion Thursday.

One issue I would look to see discussed in the Committee is tightening up the definitions of who is eligible for CBD treatments. The House Bill lists “cancer” as a condition for which treatment would be available, but there are vast differences between the needs of patients with early forms of skin cancer that can be physically excised, and those with terminal lung or pancreatic cancer who are suffering not only the disease but effects of chemotherapy and radiation.

House Bill 110

House Bill 110, which would allow a wider variety of fireworks to be sold in Georgia, has not to my knowledge been scheduled for a Senate Committee hearing yet, but Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), who Chairs the Senate Rules Committee, has made it clear the bill is a priority by posting outside his office the final vote tally in the State House with the names of “Nay” votes highlighted in yellow.

HB110_1

HB110 Closeup

Most notable among the No votes in the State House is Mullis’s counterpart, Rep. John Meadows, (R-Calhoun) who chairs the House Rules Committee. Also opposing HB 110 in the State House were Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia Nursing Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, the Georgia Alliance to Stop Fireworks and Marietta Fire Chief Jackie Gibbs.

DeKalb County

Yesterday, DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May announced the hiring of former Georgia Attorney General Mike Bowers and Richard Hyde

to provide a thorough systematic review of DeKalb County Government policies and procedures. Bowers and Hyde are empowered to identify any conflicts of interest, corruption or malfeasance and make specific recommendations to the administration and appropriate agencies as needed.

“This is the latest in a series of steps we are taking to improve county operations, as well as restore our image and the public’s trust in county government,” said Interim CEO May.  “The special investigators will identify the county’s risk exposure for waste, fraud and abuse, and proactively identify and investigate instances of wrongdoing. This might be a painful exercise, but it is absolutely necessary to restore the public’s trust in DeKalb County Government, and reset the high standard of integrity that public servants should hold.”

Bowers told the AJC of his aspirations for the investigation, saying

“We’re going to try to restore the public’s trust in its government,” Bowers said. “We’re going to root out conflicts of interest, corruption, malfeasance.”

Bowers’ investigation will last at least 120 days, and he and his team will produce a report that will be released to the public without any prior review by May or his administration.

The inquiry will particularly examine the Department of Watershed Management, which was the subject of the special grand jury investigation that led to criminal charges against suspended CEO Burrell Ellis.

Bowers will be paid $400 an hour, and his investigators will be paid $300 an hour from the county’s non-departmental budget.

Bowers won’t focus his investigation at the DeKalb Commission because it’s not under May’s authority. But Bowers and May said they hope commissioners cooperate.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Bowers & Company won’t be the only ones investigating DeKalb County.

Jeb Bush in Atlanta today

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will visit Atlanta today for a fundraiser, and will visit the State Capitol to meet with Gov. Nathan Deal and appear in both chambers.

Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball has a Presidential update out today, which lists Jeb Bush as one of the top tier candidates for President, along with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Particularly apropos for Georgia is Sabato’s listing of Bush’s weaknesses, including:

•Bush fatigue is real
•Support for Common Core and immigration reform
•Personifies establishment, which grassroots loathes

Straw Poll results from Republican County Conventions suggest that Bush does indeed have significant weakness among GOP activists. Overall, Bush came in fourth with 6.92% at the County Conventions, a handful of which held straw polls, behind Scott Walker (41.73%), Rand Paul (13.16%), and Ben Carson (9.05%).

Here are early returns in the GaPundit straw poll for President:

Presidential Straw Poll Early Returns

18
Mar

Voter turnout low for Lowndes Co. special election – WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) – The voters were few and far between at the gymnasium at Northside Baptist Church and many other precincts in Valdosta Tuesday.

Dennis Marks is a member of the Lowndes County Democratic Party and was offering free rides to the polls, as he does for every election. But Tuesday, no one was calling for a ride. “Presidential elections, we get hundreds of riders. Gubernatorial elections, dozens. For this special election, we haven’t had much call at all,” Marks explained.

The Lowndes County Republican Party said they hadn’t had any calls Tuesday either.

“This is a really important election ’cause this will determine whether we continue to get the funding to build a high school for the city, make improvements for the county,” said Marks.

James Wheeler agreed. He said even though E-SPLOST had passed every time before, it shouldn’t be taken for granted. He said in a recent election, some people told him that they weren’t going to vote because they felt that there candidate was going to win and there was no need to vote…but that candidate ended up loosing.

via Voter turnout low for Lowndes Co. special election – WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports.

18
Mar

Interim CEO Lee May Appoints Special Investigators to Help Restore the Public’s Trust

Via email:

DECATUR, Ga. – DeKalb Interim CEO Lee May signed an executive order which provides for the installation of two special investigators to review government operations and make recommendations to appropriate authorities, based upon their findings. 

Interim CEO May appointed Michael J. Bowers and Richard L.Hyde as the special investigators to provide a thorough systematic review of DeKalb County Government policies and procedures.  Bowers and Hyde are empowered to identify any conflicts of interest, corruption or malfeasance and make specific recommendations to the administration and appropriate agencies as needed. 

“This is the latest in a series of steps we are taking to improve county operations, as well as restore our image and the public’s trust in county government,” said Interim CEO May.  “The special investigators will identify the county’s risk exposure for waste, fraud and abuse, and proactively identify and investigate instances of wrongdoing. This might be a painful exercise, but it is absolutely necessary to restore the public’s trust in DeKalb County Government, and reset the high standard of integrity that public servants should hold.”

 The appointment of special investigators is the latest in a series of administrative reforms of DeKalb County government.  Since the appointment of Interim CEO May in July 2013, the following changes have occurred:

  • Recommended 90 percent increase in Ethics Board funding (10/2013)
  • Created Government Operations Task Force (3/2014)
  • Hired an outside consultant to streamline Watershed operations (3/2014)
  • Hired a new purchasing director (4/2014)
  • Overhauled P-card policy and procedure (4/2014)
  • Installed new ethics policy for administration employees (6/2014)
  • Overhauled purchasing and contracting policies (8/2014)
  • Reorganized Purchasing and Contracting Department (10/2014)
  • Hired an outside consultant to perform an efficiency study on county operations (10/2014)
  • Appointed Special Investigators to review all aspects of county Government (3/2015)
18
Mar

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for March 18, 2015

When the Macon-Bibb County Animal Shelter was preparing to move into a new building, they thought it best to try to get all their dogs out and into forever homes rather than to move them, and so the pardons were started. Adoption fees have been lowered and all but these three (and three who are rescue-only) have found new homes.
Snickers

Snicker is a three-year old female with a golden brindle tint on her mainly-black coat. She’s kind of picky about being around other animals, so she’d probably be best as an only dog. Snickers is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare 1010 Eleventh Street Macon, GA 31201 P: (478) 621-6791.

Muggs

Muggs is a young male red pit bill with white feet who prefers to be an only dog. He is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare 1010 Eleventh Street Macon, GA 31201 P: (478) 621-6791.

Goldberg

Goldberg is a very sweet two-year old male red put bull who loves to play. He is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare 1010 Eleventh Street Macon, GA 31201 P: (478) 621-6791.

18
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 18, 2015

On March 18, 1766, the British Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, which required American colonists to purchase a stamp for every legal or printed document they obtained.  Revenue would be used to support the British army in America.

The Stamp Act led Patrick Henry to denounce King George III, the British Monarch at the time of the passage of the Stamp Act and the ensuing Revolutionary War; Henry’s later “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech to the Virginia Assembly at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, listed by Time magazine as one of the top ten speeches of all time. Henry later opposed adoption of the Constitution, arguing it was incomplete without a Bill of Rights; after the Bill of Rights was adopted, Henry was satisfied.

On March 18, 1939, the State of Georgia ratified the Bill of Rights, which were proposed 150 years earlier in 1789. Georgia initially declined to ratify the Bill of Rights arguing that the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution were unnecessary. Governor E.D. Rivers signed the joint resolution six days later, but under federal court decisions the ratification is marked as of the date the second house of the state legislature adopts the legislation (assuming a bi-cameral state legislature).

On March 18, 1942, the United States government, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, created the War Relocation Authority to “Take all people of Japanese descent into custody, surround them with troops, prevent them from buying land, and return them to their former homes at the close of the war.” More than 120,000 Japanese Americans, many of them citizens of the United States were moved from the west coast into concentration camps in the western United States.

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, composed entirely of Japanese Americans, many of whose families were interned at the camps, became the most-decorated unit of World War II, with members being awarded 4,667 medals, awards, and citations, including 1 Medal of Honor, 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, and 560 Silver Stars; eventually 21 members of the 442nd would be awarded the Medal of Honor. The late United States Senator Daniel Inouye, a member of the 442nd from 1941 to 1947, was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Bill Clinton for actions during WWII. First elected to the United States Senate in 1962, Inouye became President Pro Tem in 2010.

On March 18, 1947, Herman Talmadge surrendered the Governor’s office, ending the “Three Governors Affair.” Earlier this year, the General Assembly honored the late Governor Melvin Thompson, who was elected the first Lieutenant Governor of Georgia and became Governor at the conclusion of the Three Governors Affair.

On March 18, 1955, the Georgia Educators Association endorsed “equal but separate” schools for the races.

On March 18, 1961, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Gray v. Sanders, which arose from Georgia. Three politically-important results come from the case.

First, the Court held that state regulation of the Democratic Primary made the primary election a state action, not merely that of a private organization; thus, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies.

Second, the Equal Protection Clause requires that every vote be given equal weight in electing officials, often stated as the “one person, one vote” rule. In Georgia at that time, each County had between two and six “county unit votes”. As a result,

“One unit vote in Echols County represented 938 residents, whereas one unit vote in Fulton County represented 92,721 residents. Thus, one resident in Echols County had an influence in the nomination of candidates equivalent to 99 residents of Fulton County.”

Third, because the County Unit System gave the votes of some Georgians greater weight than that of others, it violated the Equal Protection Clause. The “one person, one vote” rule is one benchmark of redistricting.

On March 18, 1976, Governor George Busbee signed legislation recognizing the following official state symbols:

Staurolite – Official Mineral of Georgia
Shark’s Tooth – Official Fossil of Georgia
Clear Quartz – Official Gem of Georgia
Purple Quartz (Amethyst) – Official Gem of Georgia

I suspect samples of all of these can be found in the display cases on the Fourth Floor of the Georgia State Capitol.

March 18, 2014 was the 39th Day of the Legislative Session. It’s a wonder what the need to get out on the campaign trail will do for a Session.Continue Reading..

17
Mar

Braves, Comcast detail stadium deal | www.myajc.com

The Atlanta Braves and Comcast this morning formally announced a deal under which the cable giant will provide high-tech infrastructure for the new Braves stadium and will become an anchor tenant in the mixed-use development planned for next door to the ballpark.

Braves chairman and CEO Terry McGuirk called the deal, first reported Monday by The Atlanta Journal-Consitution, a “major milestone” for the stadium project.
Among the details announced at the press conference:

• Comcast will occupy 100 percent of a nine-story office building in the mixed-use development adjacent to the stadium. The office tower, which will overlook the ballpark, will become Comcast’s Southeast regional headquarters. Some 1,000 Comcast employees will work there, most of them new hires. The office also will include an “innovation lab” for new technologies.

• Comcast will “lend its expertise to drive the most technologically advanced ballpark and mixed-use development ever built,” McGuirk said. The company will provide video, voice and high-speed Internet connectivity throughout the stadium and surrounding development.

• Comcast will become one of the Braves’ largest sponsors in the ballpark, with its Xfinity brand attached to a tech-oriented lounge space in the upper right field area with views to the plaza and the field .

via Braves, Comcast detail stadium deal | www.myajc.com.

17
Mar

More mental health training sought for DeKalb police | www.ajc.com

DeKalb County Public Safety Director Cedric Alexander plans to require more mental health training for officers and outside investigations of fatal shootings by police.

Alexander is seeking the changes after the recent police-involved shooting deaths of Anthony Hill, who witnesses said was nude and crawling outside his Chamblee apartment complex, and Kevin Davis, who had called 911 to report an assault on his girlfriend.

Alexander told DeKalb commissioners Tuesday wants all current and incoming officers to complete 40 hours of Crisis Intervention Team training, which helps them recognize signs of behavioral problems caused by mental illness or substance abuse. The officer who shot Hill, Robert Olsen, had gone through the training in 2009.

via More mental health training sought for DeKalb police | www.ajc.com.