Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 21, 2014


Sport is a 7-year old male Jack Russell Terrier who lost his previous home when he started digging holes in the family’s horse pasture – the risk to the horses of breaking a leg in a hole was too great. He’s great with people and other dogs, not so much with cats. Sport is available for adoption from Retired Retrievers in Savannah, Ga.

Maverick (above and below) is a low-rider Labrador/Basset Hound mix who lost his first home when his dad died; he also lost his second home when that Dad got sick. Maverick is a loving, mellow, happy dog who deserves a new forever family. Maverick is available for adoption from Retired Retrievers in Savannah, Ga.


Faith is a senior female Lab mix, one of the happiest dogs ever (as you can see in her happy dance video). Joy is good with dogs, cats and kids. She is also housebroken and heartworm negative. Joy is available for adoption from Retired Retrievers in Savannah, Ga.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 22, 2014

On May 22, 1856, Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina beat Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner with his cane. Brooks used the cane as the result of injury sustained in a previous duel, and found Sumner at his desk in the Senate Chamber. In the course of a two-day Senate speech on the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which would have nullified the Missouri Compromise on the expansion of slavery, Sumner had criticized three legislators, including a cousin of Rep. Brooks, Senator Andrew Butler of South Carolina.

On May 22, 1819, the steamship Savannah left the port of Savannah for Liverpool, England. After 29 days, it became the first steamship to cross the Atlantic. On May 22, 1944, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp commemorating the voyage of the Savannah.

Senate Runoff

Kyle Kondik writes this morning in Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball that the Georgia Senate race remains in the “Leans Republican” category, and

Ultimately, this [runoff election] process is probably going to produce a candidate, Kingston or Perdue, who will start as a clear favorite against the well-funded Democratic candidate, Michelle Nunn. Despite close horse-race polls, we see no reason to change our Leans Republican rating in this race for now. That said, the race is also far from over, and it’s not a given that Kingston or Perdue will escape unscathed from a long and perhaps brutal runoff.

Georgia and Kentucky are, as of now, the only two Republican seats the Democrats can plausibly target on this year’s Senate map, and while both are competitive, the GOP retains a clear edge in both.

Also writing at Sabato’s Crystal Ball is Emory political scientist Alan Abramowitz,

Democrats have some hope of offsetting expected losses by taking back two seats currently held by Republicans — the Kentucky seat held by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Georgia seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Based on recent polls, the Senate contests in both of these states appear to be highly competitive. In the Bluegrass State, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) has been running even with or slightly ahead of McConnell, and in Georgia, non-profit executive Michelle Nunn (D) has been running even with or slightly ahead of businessman David Perdue (R) and Rep. Jack Kingston (R), the two finalists facing off for the Peach State’s GOP nomination.

Picking up one or both of these seats would obviously make it much easier for Democrats to maintain control of the Senate. Republicans would then need to flip seven or eight seats currently held by Democrats instead of just six in order to get to 51 seats. But what are the chances of Democrats winning either one of these contests?

Despite the results of recent polls, there are several reasons to be skeptical about Democrats’ chances of winning either the Kentucky or the Georgia seat in November. Kentucky hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1992, and Barack Obama lost the state by 16 points in 2008 and 23 points in 2012. Georgia hasn’t been quite as unfriendly to Democratic candidates in recent years. Still, no Democrat has won a Senate contest in the state since Zell Miller in 2000, and the last Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state was Bill Clinton in 1992. Obama lost Georgia by five points in 2008 and eight points in 2012.

Beyond these recent election results, Democrats would have to overcome another obstacle in order to take back the Kentucky or Georgia Senate seats in 2014 — the increasing nationalization of U.S. Senate elections.

[S]ince the 1970s, voting decisions in these contests have become increasingly influenced by opinions of the incumbent president’s performance. This relationship set a new record in 2012. Ninety percent of voters who approved of President Obama’s job performance voted for a Democratic Senate candidate while 82% of voters who disapproved of the president’s performance voted for a Republican Senate candidate.

This trend portends problems for Democratic candidates in Red states like Georgia and Kentucky. Recent polls put Obama’s approval rating at 44% in Georgia and 34% in Kentucky. Moreover, in midterm elections like 2014, voters who disapprove of the president’s performance tend to turn out at a higher rate than those who approve of his performance.

Politico sums up the next eight-and-a-half weeks of the Republican Senate Runoff as “Nasty, brutish, and long.”

Republicans in Washington got the result they wanted in Georgia: Two candidates viewed as the strongest contenders to keep a Senate seat central to the fight for the majority.

But the runoff between Rep. Jack Kingston and businessman David Perdue will be nasty, brutish – and long. As in the lengthiest in the state’s political history — a nine-week intra-party slugfest at a critical moment in the battle for control of the Senate.

The “good part” of a longer contest is that it allows campaigns to restock their respective war chests for the runoff, said Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Republican who lost a three-week runoff in 1996 for the Senate GOP nomination.

“The bad thing is it’s nine weeks, and it’s really a third race,” Isakson said Tuesday. “Now you got a runoff that is the length of some general elections — endurance-wise, organizationally and cost-wise, it’s really going to put a burden on whoever is in it.”

The two men have engaged in a bare-knuckle fight over the past several weeks — with Kingston questioning Perdue’s Republicanism and business acumen and Perdue comparing Kingston to a crying baby causing the mess in Washington.

The runoff is bound to intensify those differences.

For the first time, a Georgia Senate runoff will be nine weeks long — rather than three weeks as it has historically been. That’s due to an Obama Justice Department lawsuit in 2012 arguing that the three-week runoff disenfranchised overseas and military voters.

The nine-week race ahead of July 22 is certain to not only be a bruising affair — but also entirely unpredictable. It will force the two candidates to run full-fledged campaigns. They’ll launch hard-hitting ads against one another and barnstorm to Republican strongholds mainly in Northern Georgia, courting the small set of activist voters who traditionally dominate runoff elections.

Nate Cohn, of the New York Times Upshot, assesses the November General Election:

The Georgia Republican primary is over, and so are Democratic wishes for their dream outcome.

Democrats had hoped they might face Paul Broun or Phil Gingrey, two Tea Party-backed conservatives with a record of outlandish statements. The possibility that one of those two might win the Republican nomination was a big part of why some thought Michelle Nunn, now officially the Democratic nominee, would have a good chance of winning this November.

But on Tuesday, Mr. Broun and Mr. Gingrey failed to advance to the runoff. Instead, Ms. Nunn will face David Perdue or Jack Kingston, who will battle to win the Republican nomination in July’s runoff primary. Mr. Perdue and Mr. Kingston are not especially strong candidates, but they haven’t yet said that evolution and the Big Bang theory are “lies straight from the pit of hell,” as Mr. Broun did. As a result, Ms. Nunn’s chance for victory is now weaker, even if the mediocre competition and her family name — she’s the daughter of the former senator Sam Nunn — make an upset possible.

In the racially polarized South, where white voters have been trending Republican for more than a generation, the Democratic route to 50 percent is mainly a matter of racial demographics. Democrats must wait for more nonwhite voters to overcome their disadvantage with white voters.

That wait might end soon in Georgia, but not in this November’s election. In the midterm balloting, the share of whites will be around 64 percent of registered voters, down from 72 percent in 2002, when the Democratic senator Max Cleland lost re-election by 7 points. Ms. Nunn will need nearly 30 percent of white voters to prevail. If Mr. Cleland were running today, his 30 or 31 percent of white voters would probably be enough to squeak out a win.

Atlanta-based Cameron McWhirter, writes for the Wall Street Journal about the field before the eventual November candidates.

ATLANTA—Michelle Nunn handily won the Democratic nomination Tuesday for a key U.S. Senate seat. Now she faces the task of convincing voters that her message of bipartisan cooperation is enough to overcome the Republican Party’s domination of Georgia for more than a decade.

Ms. Nunn, the 47-year-old daughter of former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn, will face off in the fall against either businessman David Perdue, who won about 31% of Republican primary votes, or U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, who won 26%, according to results from the Georgia secretary of state. A runoff between the Republicans will take place in July.

A fall win by Ms. Nunn, who has never held elected office, would signal at least a partial revival of the state’s Democratic Party, which has been in decline here for more than a decade. The outcome could help decide which party controls the U.S. Senate.

Ms. Nunn’s supporters believe demographics and GOP infighting all work in her favor. The percentage of minorities, who generally favor Democrats, has risen in the state in recent years.

The Nunn team hopes to attract independents and some Republican voters disillusioned by GOP infighting between tea-party activists and mainstream elements.

Her strategists also plan to try to win over female voters in battleground areas like Atlanta’s suburbs by stressing that Ms. Nunn is the only woman in the race. If she were to win, she would be the first woman elected to the Senate from Georgia.

But she will face an uphill battle against her Republican opponent. Midterm elections tend to have lower turnout in the state and a higher percentage of Republican voters. Democrats have launched voter registration drives, but so have Republicans.

Eric Tanenblatt, an Atlanta-based Republican strategist and fundraiser who is one of those leading the effort, worked with Ms. Nunn when he served on the board of Hands On Atlanta, a volunteer service organization where she was executive director, and called her “a smart, capable person.” But she will lose, he said, because she will have to align with President Barack Obama to excite the state Democratic base, a move that will alienate Georgia Republican and independent voters.

“I just don’t think she matches up with where Georgia voters are,” he said.

Class after an election

Two people whom I am happy to call friends have shown an example of how to wind up on the losing end of a hard-fought election without being losers, and I wish to lift up their examples.

Jessica Szilzgyi tells me her last name is pronounced “like Salami with a ‘G,’” but that would be “Galami,” and that doesn’t sound right. Anyway, she managed the Delvis Dutton for Congress campaign and after Rick W. Allen’s victory without a runoff, she took up the pen again on her blog, the Perspicacious Conservative. I highly recommend reading the piece in its entirety, but here’s an excerpt.

The majority of news outlets today will say that it “didn’t go our way”, but I just can’t see it that way. Since the inception of this campaign, it was never leaning “our way”. It was always “not enough time”, “too big of a district”, “too small a staff” (thanks, y’all) and “not enough money”. Too tall a hill, if you will. But the fight was never about that. The fight was about the unique non-political message of our candidate and the ever-turning wheels of the vehicle in which this grand movement is traveling.

The messenger of this movement will say otherwise but there is no better example, no better mentor, no better delivery than what we’ve seen through this culture shift. If you followed the campaign even a little, or the legislature for the last 4 years, you know exactly what I’m talking about. A lot of you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, though, because it’s a quiet, yet effective push to make a difference and do what is right. It’s grace.

I moved to South Georgia on a whim and a prayer just 77 days ago to work in a capacity I didn’t understand, in a town I didn’t know for a cause that is still much larger than myself or anything I will ever be. I put fear, doubt, and everything known to me aside and trusted in the Lord’s plan for my life. It’s the most freeing feeling I’ve ever felt.

I’ve never been prouder of a campaign, of a candidate or my own work.
I have nothing negative to say about the entire process, or “The Other Guys”, and I know that that isn’t always a gift we are granted the morning after an election. Only Grace.

The majority of news outlets today will say that it “didn’t go our way”. I cant find one filter to look through that presents the situation in that light. Only Grace.

I can put my campaign shirt back on WITH A SMILE to go pick up 2,250 yard signs across 19 counties.

State Rep. Ed Lindsey also provides a great example of grace.

Dear Fellow Georgians:

Obviously, I wish I had done a little better last night. Nevertheless, I am proud of my family, excellent staff, wonderful volunteers, and sharp consultants who  worked tirelessly on behalf of my Congressional campaign. I will always be grateful for their efforts.

I congratulate Bob and Barry who are in the July 22nd runoff. They both ran an excellent race. Like the rest of the residents in the 11th Congressional District, I will be watching the runoff closely to see who can best serve the needs of our state to take on the problems facing our nation. Good luck to both of them in the weeks ahead – and to their families who stand with them.

I close and say good-bye with a simple prayer that may God bless our beloved state and nation and may the Peace of the Lord be always with you.

To Jessica and Ed, I ask the question so often on the lips of fictional President Josiah Bartlet, “What’s next?”

School superintendent races headed for runoffs | Georgia News – Home

The crowded Republican and Democratic primaries for state schools superintendent are headed for runoffs.

Valarie Wilson, a nonprofit director from Decatur, finished first in the six-person Democratic race Tuesday, and Alicia Morgan, a state representative from Austell, finished second, according to unofficial returns. Michael Buck, an educator and acting chief of staff for current Superintendent John Barge, took first, and Richard Woods, an educator from Tifton, took second in nine-person Republican contest, unofficial returns showed.

via School superintendent races headed for runoffs | Georgia News – Home.

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 21, 2014


Charity is a 8 week old Bull Terrier with a little Plott hound and a touch of American Bulldog in the mix. Mom is a bull terrier with the most perfect personality. We suspect from mom’s size that these pups will get to be about 30 – 35 pounds. They are absolutely adorable! They are extremely well socialized and great with other dogs and children. They are full of energy and frolic around with each other and anyone that entertains them. They are truly the most charming little pups ever!

Charity is available for adoption from BARC Brantley Animal Rescue Coalition in Nahunta, Ga. If you are interested in adopting Charity, please go to and fill out an adoption application and the foster parent will get back with you in a timely manner.

HopeHope is a small Boxer mix, only about 35 pounds, who will need to go through heartworm treatment, but is healthy. Hope is an energetic little girl who loves to play. She will play and play, but will also try to curl up in your lap and sleep. She thinks she is a tiny little lap dog; Hope is good with other dogs, and LOVES kids. She does not like cats and needs to be placed in a home with no cats. Hope is available for adoption from Country Livin Pet Rescue in Monroe, Ga.


Faith is a senior female Boxer who came into foster care skinny and weak, but is strong and happy now. Her foster mom says she is well mannered and the easiest boxer she’s ever taken care of! She knows several commands, is housebroken and ok with a crate, just give me a toy and I will take my daily nap. She would do better as an only dogs, and is fine with children. Faith is available for adoption from Atlanta Boxer Rescue in Mableton, Ga.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 21, 2014

Georgia Colonists signed the Treaty of Savannah with the Lower Creeks on May 21, 1733.

George Washington left Georgia on May 21, 1791, crossing a bridge over the Savannah River at Augusta.

American Charles Lindbergh landed at Paris on May 21, 1927 in The Spirit of St. Louis, completing both the first nonstop transatlantic flight and the first nonstop flight from New York to Paris.

On May 21, 1942, German authorities removed 4300 Polish Jews from Chelm to an extermination camp at Sobibor and killed them by poison gas. The Sobibor camp’s five gas chambers would kill 250,000 Jews during 1942 and 1943.

On May 21, 2011, Herman Cain announced his candidacy for President of the United States at Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park, and I photographed it.

Happy Birthday to longtime Atlanta Braves Coach Bobby Cox. Cox will receive his birthday present a little late this year, when he is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 27, 2014.


Yesterday’s top of the ticket race for United State Senate saw nearly 594,000 ballots cast. Here’s how that stacks up, looking at the numbers of ballots cast in the top vote-getting race each of the last three major General Primary elections.


Note that the 2012 figure is from the General Primary on July 31, not the Presidential Preference Primary in March 2012.

This year’s turnout, measured this way, is 13% less than 2010 and nearly 30% off the 2012 figure.

The most interesting play-by-play to me was Nate Cohn, a statistical analyst for the New York Times. Cohn laid the groundwork for what would follow in his May 19, 2014 column:

The real fight is between Karen Handel and Jack Kingston to join Mr. Perdue in the runoff. The polls show an extremely tight race, with the last four nonpartisan polls showing Mr. Kingston with the edge. Another thing that Mr. Kingston has going for him is geography. Most of the candidates hail from populous northern Georgia, and Ms. Handel doesn’t have a well-established base, but Mr. Kingston represents a congressional district in southeastern Georgia, where he might well run up the score. That could make a difference if Mr. Kingston can hold up well elsewhere in the state.

At 8:06, we were seeing Kingston rack up large margins in South Georgia:

But Metro Atlanta turnout lagged behind:

And the role of those South Georgia margins and turnout versus Metro Atlanta became clear:

Low turnout in Metro Atlanta and high turnout and margins in South Georgia eventually wrote the story and doomed Karen Handel to third place:

By 8:34, Cohn noted a distinct difference in turnout between Metro Atlanta and South Georgia:

This turnout map, from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office illustrates what happened: very low turnout in DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other Metro Counties, where Handel led handily, by double-digit margins, plus high turnout in Middle and South Georgia where Kingston absolutely killed it, helps us understand the role turnout played.

Georgia 2014 Turnout Map

Other Races

We’ll cover the aftermath of Tuesday night for the rest of the week, and I’m taking Friday off for recreation, and so that we can take care of some changes on the backend of the website. Here’s a quick recap.


Incumbent Republican Nathan Deal carried 72% of GOP Primary voters and every county except Whitfield County, which former Dalton Mayor David Pennington carried.

State School Superintendent

We will have a runoff between Mike Buck with 19.2% and Richard Woods, who earned 16.9%.

Congressional Runoff Elections

District 1 appears to pit State Senator Buddy Carter, 36.2% against Dr. Bob Johnson with 22.7%. John McCallum came in a strong third place at 20.5% and his endorsement will be sought by the runoff candidates.

District 4 Democratic Congressman Hank Johnson retained his seat against former DeKalb County Sheriff Tom Brown with a 55-45 victory.

District 10 will host a GOP runoff between first-place finisher Dr. Jody Hice (33.5%) and second-place Mike Collins (33%).

District 11 will see a very spirited contest between Barry Loudermilk, with 36.6% and former Congressman Bob Barr, who held 25.8%.

District 12 goes straight to the General Election, as Rick W. Allen carried 54% to win without a runoff.

State Senate

Senator Don Balfour was retired last night, with former Gwinnett County Commissioner Mike Beaudreau breaking the tape with 38% and former Lawrenceville City Council Member P.K. Martin in second with 33%. Pray for the Balfour family as their son Trey, deployed overseas, has a health issue that has put him in the hospital.

In Senate District 13, an open seat, Greg Kirk narrowly defeated Bryce Johnson for the Republican nomination.

Senate District 16, also an open seat, hosts a runoff between Marty Harbin (25%) and David Studdard (21.6%).

John F. Kennedy is the Republican nominee for Senate District 18, carrying 57% against Spencer Price.

Senate District 27 incumbent Jack Murphy took 37.5% and lands in a runoff against Michael Williams with 34.5%.

Senator Mike Dugan held his Senate District 30 nomination against longtime State Rep. Bill Hembre by a 55-45 margin and will beat the Democratic nominee in November.

Senate District 33 provided a shocker, as Senator Steve Thompson, the incumbent Democrat appears to have been defeated by Michael Rhett.

State House Seats

Speaker David Ralston cleaned up his House District Seven with 2/3 of the vote.

Incumbent Sam Moore was shut out of the runoff, which pits Wes Cantrell (38%) against Meagan Bielle (31.79%).

Incumbent RINO Republican Charles Gregory (R-Liberty) lost to Bert Reeves in House District 34.


The Marietta Daily Journal – Several Cobb legislators face challenges

MARIETTA — Six of the 21 seats in Cobb’s legislative delegation are up for election in today’s primary.

The success of the candidates all depends on voter turnout in a primary being held earlier than usual. Previously, Georgia conducted its primary in July.

Sue Everhart of east Cobb, a former chairwoman of the Georgia Republican Party, believes the date change will bring disappointment this season.

“I think it will be the lowest voter turnout we’ve had in modern times,” Everhart said.

Because there has been a lack of advertising, Everhart said, no one should depend on high wait times at the voting booths.

Everhart predicted the combination of the vote being held two months early and overall frustration with politicians will bring a low voter turnout today.

“People are just nonchalant in these races,” Everhart said. “I’ve never seen anything like this. America is just mad with politicians, and they’re really showing it in this election.”

via The Marietta Daily Journal – Several Cobb legislators face challenges.

The Marietta Daily Journal – Cobb votes today and parties tonight

FORMER U.S. Rep. Bob Barr of Smyrna and former state Sen. Barry Loudermilk of Cartersville appeared to be headed toward a July 22 runoff to succeed Phil Gingrey as 11th District Congressman as Primary Day dawned, at least according to a poll of 400 likely Republican voters released on Monday by Landmark Communications.

That poll had an error margin of 4.9 percent and showed Loudermilk in the lead at 28.2 percent, followed by Barr with 25.0 percent, Ed Lindsey with 16.2 percent, Tricia Pridemore with 11.8 percent, Allen Levene at 1.7 percent and retired Army Col. Larry Mrozinski at 1.4 percent.

THE OTHER closely watched local race widely expected to go to a runoff is that for the District 1 Northwest Cobb seat on the Cobb Commission. Many observers expect the crowded field to boil down to Bill Byrne and Bob Weatherford in the runoff, but don’t be surprised to see fellow candidates Angela Barner, Glenn Melson or Scott Tucker show surprising strength in today’s balloting.

Turnout is expected to be much lower today than in the most recent non-presidential year statewide GOP primary. And as we have seen over and over when it comes to SPLOST and school bond referendums — which are typically ignored by most voters — a small, highly motivated cadre of supporters for an issue or candidate can be the key to success.

via The Marietta Daily Journal – Cobb votes today and parties tonight.

Primary election is today |

Nearly 6,200 voters in Forsyth County cast a ballot ahead of today’s primary election.

Elections Supervisor Barbara Luth said with the number of early and advance voting ballots, she’s expecting as high as a 30 percent turnout for the election.

But with precinct changes that took effect earlier in the year, Luth said residents should make sure before voting that they are going to the right place. Precinct changes dropped the total number of voting locations from 25 to 16. The elections office sent information to those with new precincts, but Luth said if voters “are unsure, they should check before they go to vote.”

If someone shows up at the wrong precinct, Luth said they should try to make it to their actual voting location.

“They’ll have the option of voting a provisional ballot. We don’t turn anyone away,” she said. “But there’s a possibility if they’re voting in the wrong precinct, they won’t have all of their district candidates to vote for, so it would be best for them to be at their own precinct.”

The county will have about 165 voting machines and 150 poll workers at the precincts so Luth said even the larger locations shouldn’t have much of a wait.

via Primary election is today.

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 20, 2014


Homer is an adult male Jack Russell Terrier, full of energy and looking for an active family to call his own. Homer is available for adoption from the Atlanta Humane Society in Alpharetta, Ga.

Marge is a young, female Yellow Lab/Terrier mix who is available for adoption from Furever After Rescue in Macon, Ga.


Bart is a young male Lab/Terrier mix, probably Marge’s brother, who is available for adoption from Furever After Rescue in Macon, Ga.


Lisa is a young female Lab/Terrier mix who is available for adoption from Furever After Rescue in Macon, Ga.


Maggie is a baby female Lab mix puppy who is available for adoption from Furever After Rescue in Macon, Ga.