The blog.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 1, 2015

Benjamin Franklin became Georgia’s agent in England on June 1, 1768, making him also Georgia’s first lobbyist.

On June 1, 1775, Georgia patriots sent a care package to their brethren in Massachusetts comprising 63 barrels of rice and £122 after the battles at Lexington and Concord.

The court martial of Benedict Arnold convened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 1, 1779.

Arnold negotiated his defection to the British and the subversion of West Point over several months. The British already held control of New York City and believed that by taking West Point they could effectively cut off the American’s New England forces from the rest of the fledgling nation.

In August 1780, Sir Henry Clinton offered Arnold £20,000 for delivering West Point and 3,000 troops. Arnold told General Washington that West Point was adequately prepared for an attack even though he was busy making sure that that it really wasn’t. He even tried to set up General Washington’s capture as a bonus. His plan might have been successful but his message was delivered too late and Washington escaped. The West Point surrender was also foiled when an American colonel ignored Arnold’s order not to fire on an approaching British ship.

Arnold’s defection was revealed to the Americans when British officer John André, acting as a messenger, was robbed by AWOL Americans working as pirates in the woods north of New York City. The notes revealing Arnold’s traitorous agreement were stashed in his boots.

Big Ben began telling the time on May 31, 1859 in London, England. When Parliament is in session, a light above Big Ben is illuminated.

On June 1, 1942, a Polish newspaper first published information about the gassing of Jews at Nazi concentration camps in Poland.

The Beatles released Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on June 1, 1967. The album is listed as #1 on the Rolling Stone top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the most important rock & roll album ever made, an unsurpassed adventure in concept, sound, songwriting, cover art and studio technology by the greatest rock & roll group of all time. From the title song’s regal blasts of brass and fuzz guitar to the orchestral seizure and long, dying piano chord at the end of “A Day in the Life,” the 13 tracks on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band are the pinnacle of the Beatles’ eight years as recording artists. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were never more fearless and unified in their pursuit of magic and transcendence.

Issued in Britain on June 1st, 1967, and a day later in America, Sgt. Pepper is also rock’s ultimate declaration of change. For the Beatles, it was a decisive goodbye to matching suits, world tours and assembly-line record-making. “We were fed up with being Beatles,” McCartney said decades later, in Many Years From Now, Barry Miles’ McCartney biography. “We were not boys, we were men… artists rather than performers.

“It was a peak,” Lennon told Rolling Stone in 1970, describing both the album and his collaborative relationship with McCartney. “Paul and I were definitely working together,” Lennon said….
Rolling Stone should stick to writing about music.

A summit between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev ended on May 31, 1988. Four years later, in 1992, Gorbachev was dancing for dollars in the United States, including the keynote address at Emory University’s graduation.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Yesterday, the Cobb County Republican Party sent an email stating that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will be having an event in Buckhead this afternoon. The AJC Political Insider also is reporting the Governor’s trip.

According to the Republican’s campaign-in-waiting, Walker will “will meet with local elected officials, party leaders and activists,” today before heading to Florida for Tuesday’s candidate cattle call in Orlando. This likely will include fundraising discussions.

This appears to be Walker’s second Georgia trip of the election cycle. He also stopped by Sea Island in March for the ultra-private American Enterprise Institute World Forum. Walker will be back in August for the RedState Gathering in Atlanta.

In early May, Walker said he would not make an announcement of whether he’s running for President until after signing his state budget, which is due in late June or early July.

Also early last month, Walker visited South Carolina, where he previewed some themes that might emerge in a Presidential campaign.

In his address to the Freedom Summit here sponsored by Citizens United, Mr. Walker ran through an extended list of his accomplishments as governor of Wisconsin. “We did some pretty big things,” he said.

He recalled how he survived a recall election, lowered his state’s unemployment rate, and passed gun-friendly legislation and voter identification laws. And he spoke often of his wife and children.

“The reason I tell you that all here is not to brag — well not much,” he joked, before making the case that his actions in Wisconsin could translate to national stage.

But he seemed to really capture the crowd when he spoke about national security, or, as Mr. Walker described it, “safety.”

“National security is something you hear about,” Mr. Walker said. “Safety is something you feel.”

He framed the debate in personal terms, describing a fear that “it is not a matter of if” but when another “attempt is made on American soil.” And then he launched into the line that got him his biggest standing ovation of the day: “I want a leader who is willing to take the fight to them before they take the fight to us.”

If you had the opportunity to ask Scott Walker a question today, what would you ask?Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 29, 2015


Waldo (above) and Emerson (bel0w) are 6-week old male mixed breed puppies, weighing about 8 pounds each, who are available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA.



Their sister, Liberty, is also available for adoption.


Buzz is a 3-year old Golden Retriever mix who will be available for adoption Monday from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA.


Jase is a two-year old Black Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption at Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA.
Found Dachshund

This female Dachshund was found running loose along Haynes Bridge Road in Alpharetta, Georgia yesterday by a Good Samaritan. He was checked for a microchip and doesn’t have one. The person who found her said she was terrified and because of that, she took her home overnight rather than taking her to a shelter. If you recognize this dog, please help her get home. Because of the jean jacket, I wonder if someone should ask Sen. David Perdue if he’s missing a dog.

Suwanee Animal Hospital

This black lab (white spot on chest) was found at Peachtree Park in Suwanee and is staying with a local vet until it’s home can be found. If you recognize the dog, please call Rosa at 770-316-6286.



Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 29, 2015

The Treaty of Augusta was signed on May 31, 1783, between the Creek Indians and Georgia Commissioners. A second, identical document would be signed on November 1 of that year.

The first graduation ceremony for the University of Georgia was held on May 31, 1804.

On May 29, 1836, the United States Senate ratified the Treaty of New Echota, which required the movement of all Cherokee out of Georgia and led to the “Trail of Tears.”

Savannah-born John C. Fremont was nominated for President of the United States by the Radical Republicans on May 31, 1864. Fremont had previously been nominated for President by the Republican Party as their first presidential candidate in 1856. A couple weeks ago, Bill Nigut at GPB interviewed Cokie Roberts on her book, Capital Dames, and there’s an interesting segment on John C. Fremont and his wife, Jesse Benton Fremont, starting at about 10:30 into the audio track.

The Capital City Club in Atlanta was chartered on May 31, 1889.

On May 30, 1922, Chief Justice of the United States William H. Taft dedicated the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Inside the memorial is a seated statue of Lincoln by Daniel Chester French carved from 175 tons of Georgia white marble.

French also created the statue of Jame Oglethorpe that stands in Chippewa Square in Savannah and a seated statue of Samuel Spencer considered to be a prototype of the Lincoln carving. Samuel Spencer was the first President of Southern Railway and was originally located at the rail station in downtown Atlanta before moving to the Southern Railway passenger station in Buckhead in the 1970s and is currently at 1200 Peachtree Street in front of Norfolk Southern.

On May 29, 1942, Adolf Hitler ordered all Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris to wear a yellow Star of David on their coats.

On May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepalese Sherpa, became the first to summit Mount Everest.

On May 28, Tenzing and Hillary set out, setting up high camp at 27,900 feet. After a freezing, sleepless night, the pair plodded on, reaching the South Summit by 9 a.m. and a steep rocky step, some 40 feet high, about an hour later. Wedging himself in a crack in the face, Hillary inched himself up what was thereafter known as the Hillary Step. Hillary threw down a rope, and Norgay followed. At about 11:30 a.m., the climbers arrived at the top of the world.

News of the success was rushed by runner from the expedition’s base camp to the radio post at Namche Bazar, and then sent by coded message to London, where Queen Elizabeth II learned of the achievement on June 1, the eve of her coronation. The next day, the news broke around the world. Later that year, Hillary and Hunt were knighted by the queen. Norgay, because he was not a citizen of a Commonwealth nation, received the lesser British Empire Medal.

The lone surviving member of the Hillary-Norgay expedition tells his story of the assault on Everest.

In 1953, Kanchha Sherpa was just a young boy and had little idea that he would be part of history.

“I didn´t know much,” says Kanchha, now the lone survivor of the first successful expedition to the Mount Everest. “What I knew was I was on a very risky journey.”

Until then, no human being had ever set foot on the Everest. Edmund Hillary was on a risky mission to achieve that unprecedented feat. He was backed by a group of 16 Sherpas from Darjeeling, India. And Tenzing Norge was the leader of the Sherpas.

“Tenzing was a friend of my father,” says Kanchha, now 83. “So, he took me on his expedition. He treated me like his son. So did Hillary.”

The second Brown v. Board of Education decision was handed down by the Supreme Court on May 31, 1955, ordering the Topeka, Kansas schools be desegregated ““with all deliberate speed.”

Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter appeared on the cover of Time magazine on May 31, 1971.

Time Magazine May 31 1971

Georgia Politics

Two Georgians are running for head of their parties’ respective farm teams. Meagan Hanson is running for Chair of the Young Republican National Federation at their contention in Chicago July 29 through August 2, 2015.

At the same time, Louis Elrod is running for President of the Young Democrats of America and currently serves as Vice President of the organization. His endorsements include Jason Carter, who lost the 2014 election for Governor, and Georgia Democratic Party Chair Dubose Porter.

Two serious questions. First, does it help or hurt your chances of winning one of these offices if the other party’s counterpart looks likely to elect a national leader from the same state? Second, was Georgia really so competitive in 2014 that both parties can claim to have had a good year, run good campaigns, and outperformed expectations?

Speaking of the Democratic Party of Georgia, keep an eye on their performance in House District 80 in the July Special Election. This seat features Republican J. Max Davis, currently serving as Mayor of Brookhaven, alleged Republican Catherine Bernard, and Democrat Taylor Bennett. With six special election, five of them featuring Republicans and four of them looking like Primaries, GOP volunteers, professionals, and resources will be stretched thin. Democrats are currently contesting only two of those races – HD 55, which has a clown car of Democratic candidates and was previously held by Democrat Tyrone Brooks, Sr. and HD 80. The latter race is the more interesting one.

In 2004, Mike Jacobs won the general election in HD 80 against J. Max Davis largely on the strength of ground game. While tweaking of district lines has stretched the district into Sandy Springs and out of Toco Hills, it remains one of a handful of numerically-competitive districts. With at least two Republicans and a sole Democrat who has the potential to tap into real money, this is the summer race to watch.

In Cherokee County, they’re going like gangbusters, having and active race for Sheriff in 2016. Earlier this year, I posted a brief rundown of the announced and semi-announced candidates when Sheriff Roger Garrison will not be running for reelection.

Now, Jeff Donley has gone from the likely candidate column to the group of announced candidates, holding an open house last week.

Jeff Donley, a detective sergeant in the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office, on Tuesday, May 26 held a meet-and-greet event with residents in Towne Lake.

Donley, who has a 31-year career in law enforcement under his belt, said serving the people of Cherokee County for the last three decades “uniquely qualifies him, as he understands the expectations of our citizens when it relates to law enforcement within Cherokee County.”

“The Cherokee Sheriff’s Office is a respected agency with great leadership and the deputies and staff under the command of Sheriff [Roger] Garrison are committed to making our sheriff’s office the best in the state,” he said. “This commitment has taken many years and our achievements speak for themselves. As we move forward into 2017, I feel we can always do better.”

I guess I’ll start working on the 2016 elections page for the GaPundit website. In case you missed it, here’s an ongoing roll of the 2015 campaigns.

Georgia Politics Online

Echols Snarky Republican

It’s rare to see an elected official performing constituent service on social media, even more rare for them to get a shout-out for doing so on Twitter, but Republican Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols received kudos for helping an anonymous Georgian via the social medium usually reserved for passive-agressive snark and mocking other. I award three points, one each for the tweets that made the exchange memorable.

For what it’s worth, I enjoy reading the tweets from @SnarkyCon. Witty and not usually mocking or insulting – that’s a rare combination on Twitter. I have no idea who runs that account, but it sounds to me like they might be from Athens.

As a disclaimer, I am helping Tim Echols on his reelection campaign.

Freshman State Senator Michael Williams has written a post on his campaign website about his decision to support the transportation tax bill, and it’s worth reading. He articulates very well what he believed to be the need for additional funding, what he likes and dislike about the bill as it finally passed, and his reasons for casting a “Yea” vote when the politically-convenient path would have been voting “Nay.” Agree or disagree, it’s good to see him take the time to lay this all out in a logical fashion for his constituents. I award two points – one for the post, and one for the title.

Here’s an excerpt from Michael Williams,

One of the hardest votes I made this past legislative session was on HB 170, the Transportation Funding Act of 2015. Going into my first session, I knew transportation was going to be a hot topic. During the summer and fall of 2014, a joint study committee traveled throughout the state to hear what concerns people had and to determine ways the state of Georgia could improve its transportation infrastructure.  In addition, the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House identified transportation as a priority for the 2015 legislative session.

Naturally, no one wanted the citizens to be faced with a rise in taxes.  Everyone I spoke with had their own ideas about how to solve the problem, most of which did not included a tax increase.  The more conversations I had, the more I realized that what people wanted was for everyone to “pay their fair share” and for the money already collected to be used conservatively and optimized to the fullest extent.  If these two things were being done and there still wasn’t enough money, then and only then, would the people support the need for an increase in taxes.

Without fail, conversations would eventually start to question how effectively the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is utilizing the funds they currently receive.  This bill requires GDOT to submit an annual budget and 10 year strategic plan to the Senate and House Transportation Committees for approval.  So for the first time in GDOT history, there is direct oversight by elected officials of the legislative body. This is an enormous victory, legislators will now have a direct say in the way money is spent on transportation.

This bill is a start to solving our transportation funding dilemma. However, I will be the first to admit that HB 170 is not perfect.  I disagree with the $5 per night hotel/motel tax and would prefer a lower excise tax, but we cannot wait any longer to solve this traffic problem that has been more than 30 years in the making.  We already have bridges that are unsafe for school buses to use and our commutes are getting longer and longer every day.

State Rep. Michael Caldwell wrote an article titled “Anatomy of a Bill,” published in TowneLaker. You can see a copy of the article via Twitter and an almost-legible photo here. I award 1 point – half-a-point for doing the print version which I can’t find in full on the web, and half-a-point for tweeting it out. He’s eligible for another full point if he posts it on his campaign website or elsewhere in a more-easily readable format.

SEC/Waffle House Primary Update

Arkansas legislators voted to move the 2016 Presidential Primary to May 1, joining Georgia and others in the SEC Primary, also called the Waffle House Primary. Under a compromise measure, after 2016, the razorback primary will revert to a later date in May.

The legislation moves Arkansas’ primary election from May 20th to March 1st and changes the start of the fiscal session from second Monday in February to the second Wednesday in April.

[Senate Minority Leader Keith Ingram, D-West Memphis] says it will force campaigning to start earlier.

“We’re headed down a path, I fear, where we’re going to have full time legislators, and that’s all they do,” he said.

Bell warns longer general elections allow political parties to raise more money and exert greater control over candidates.

He also decried an amendment sunsetting the change after just one year.

“Making a temporary move that we then potentially move back only serves to greater increase voter confusion,” [State Rep. Nate] Bell said.

But supporters say a May 20th primary means Arkansans have little influence on selecting presidential candidates.

“Typically candidates have already dropped out the primaries more or less already decided,” said bill sponsor Andy Davis, R-Little Rock.

There’s been speculation the move is an attempt by the Republican legislature to provide an early primary win and bolster the candidacy of Republican former governor Mike Huckabee.

But supporters say that’s not the case.

“I can understand why someone would have that perception,” Davis said.  “All I can tell you as the bills sponsor, the guy running the bill, that’s not my purpose. This is not for Mike Huckabee.”

The governor is expected to sign the changes into law Friday.

Meanwhile, Ohio has moved its 2016 Presidential Primary to May 15, which means that the Buckeye State is eligible under RNC rules to award delegates to the 2016 National Convention on a winner-take-all basis.

An Ohio legislative panel has approved a plan to push back the swing state’s 2016 presidential primary election by a week.

The bill passed Tuesday by the Senate’s State and Local Government Committee would move that primary to March 15. The election is currently set for March 8, the first Tuesday after the first Monday of the month.

The bill’s GOP supporters have said the date change follows Republican National Committee rules designed to discourage states from holding primaries too early to boost their influence in the party’s nominating process.

Ohio’s full Senate passed the bill and sent it to Gov. John Kasich’s desk for signature.

Ohio lawmakers set the table for Gov. John Kasich to potentially take all of the Buckeye State’s GOP presidential delegates in one swoop next year.

By moving the state’s 2016 primary election back a week — from March 8 to March 15 — Ohio’s Republican vote will be a winner-take-all contest.

The Senate gave the legislature’s final approval on Wednesday, 23-10. The measure becomes law with Kasich’s signature.

Ohio likely will join Florida, Missouri and possibly Illinois with primaries on March 15 next year — the first date allowed under national GOP rules in which states can hold winner-take-all primaries and not suffer any potential loss of convention delegates.

Although Kasich has not formally declared his White House candidacy, he is widely expected to join the crowded field this summer. He must be a declared candidate (and rank high enough in national polls) to qualify for the Aug. 6 GOP presidential debate in Cleveland.

If House Bill 153 is not enacted, Ohio would have to conduct a primary that awards delegates proportionally, based on each congressional district. That happened in 2012, when former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum picked off a few Ohio delegates, even though former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the state.

Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Copley, said the Ohio GOP wants to go united into the Republican National Convention next summer in Cleveland.

“It enhances the prestige of the delegation to be able to speak with that one voice,” he said.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 28, 2015

Lt. Colonel George Washington fought French and Indian scouts on May 28, 1754, beginning the Seven Years War.

On May 28, 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, requiring all Native Americans to relocate west of the Mississippi River.

The Battle of Dallas, Georgia began on May 28, 1864. Click here to watch Week 7 of the Georgia Public Broadcasting/Atlanta History Center series on the Civil War in Georgia.

Happy Birthday to Gladys Knight, born in Atlanta on May 28, 1944. Try some chicken and waffles and traditional Georgia side dishes if you’re downtown today.

Fostering is not just for dogs

May is National Foster Care Month, and it’s been brought to our attention that they mean foster children not foster dogs. I’ve been asked over the years why we feature adoptable dogs but never children. For better or for worse, it’s because you can’t advertise adoptable children. It is against the rules.

Mrs. GaPundit and I were involved for a number of years supporting a group home for medically-fragile infants and children in the custody of DFCS. There simply aren’t enough homes for the healthy children, and public resources were strained to meet the needs of children who need constant medical care. It’s an issue very near and dear to our hearts. But during our years of supporting the organization, feeding and playing with these beautiful children, and cooking Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for the staff and kids, we were never able to take a photo. A number of laws protect the privacy of these children.

We have a number of close friends whose lives are forever enriched through their adoptive or foster children, and if you feel like you are led to welcome a child into your home, we hope and pray you will make the best decision and have a life filled with joy.

In an interview with WABE, Georgia State Rep. Erica Thomas (D-Austell) speaks of her childhood in Tennessee’s foster care system.

Thomas has a personal stake in making the system work to the advantage of the children in need and the families who care for them.

She was in foster care herself as a child in Tennessee and experienced some of the problems first hand.

“Starting off in my first home I was about 14 years old and within about a year of that, turning 14 to 15, I went through about six different homes,” Thomas said during an interview on “A Closer Look.”

“I definitely saw what a lot of the foster care children see every single day moving from home to home to home.”

Click here to hear the entire 15-minute segment with Rep. Thomas.

From the Georgia Department of Human Services, we learned the following:

•  Georgia’s foster care rolls have consistently grown in the last two years. Approximately 9,700 children in Georgia are currently in the state’s custody.

• Gov. Deal has proposed $9.8 million in additional state funds for FY 15 to help DFCS cover the costs of providing room board and watchful oversight to these children.

• There is a dire need for foster homes in every community. When foster homes aren’t available locally, children who have been removed from their homes may have the added trauma of losing connections in their schools and their communities.• To help increase the number of foster parents in Georgia and provide the necessary support to those who step up to serve our most vulnerable, Gov. Deal has recommended adding $5.8 million in state funds for the recruitment and training of foster parents in FY 16.

Foster Month Flyer 628px

To put that number into perspective, the Fox Theatre in Atlanta seats 4,678 and you could fill it twice with the children who are in state custody today and still have a number of school buses filled with the overflow.

How Can You Help?

Foster Care Support Foundation serves children in foster care, grandparents raising their grandchildren and parents caring for the children of a relative. You can volunteer at their facilities in Roswell, learn more about becoming foster parents, mentor a teen in foster care, and donate money, toys, clothes and childcare equipment.

The Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Children Services has online resources to help you find an agency or partner in your community.

Learn more about the different types of care provided to children in need and pray about how you can best serve the least among us.

Talk to your church leadership or community service organization about partnering with a local agency. From a special offering or fundraiser, an educational forum, or longer-term projects, everyone has something to offer.

Become a legislative advocate for foster care. If you know your state Senator or Representative, contact them and find out how you can help. If you don’t know where to start, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I might be able to help you.

Voices for Georgia’s Children is a nonprofit policy and advocacy organization working for the welfare of our state’s children, including those in foster care.

Georgia Politics

Georgia’s larger role in Presidential politics continues today with a visit to Atlanta by Hillary Clinton. It won’t include public events, just private events to raise money for her campaign. She will arrive by private airplane, according to CBS.

Walter Jones of Morris News wrote about John Kasich’s visit to Walton County, here via the Athens Banner-Herald.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich didn’t flinch or dodge Tuesday night when asked about issues where he knew he was out of sync with Georgia Republicans, and in the end, the 300 or so people attending the Walton County barbecue gave him a standing ovation.

His selling point?

“I have experience and results,” he said.

He was the only chairman of the House Budget Committee to enact a balanced budget in a generation. He spent 18 years in Congress as a budget hawk and member of the House Armed Services Committee, and he’s been an executive where he turned around Ohio’s economy by slashing spending and cutting taxes before winning re-election – in a purple state.

Republicans hungry to regain control of the White House recognize the practicality of a candidate who can win in states like Ohio, where he took sizable portions of the union and minority vote. They’re also frustrated that the last GOP tenant in the Oval Office erased the surplus Kasich’s last budget created.

The hard-core conservatives also didn’t like his rejection of the FAIR Tax proposal, a variation of a national sales tax in place of the income tax that originated with Georgia  former Congressman John Linder. Kasich said he instead favors flattening the income-tax rates.

Still, at the end of his 40-minute talk, everyone stood and applauded, and many stuck around for photos and autographs.

Here’s another thing that I find striking about the reactions I’ve heard from people who heard Kasich speak at one of the events. People talk about his willingness to take questions and answer them without dodging or apologizing for his position or his actions.

Here’s some more from the AJC Political Insider,

The GOP field for president will be large and unwieldy. Standing out will require a distinct message, and Kasich appears to be ready to market himself as the truth-teller in the pack – the fellow who is unafraid to let the base know that an “us vs. the moochers” approach might play in a primary, but it won’t get you the White House. Here was Kasich’s final pitch:

“I’m not interested in a book contract, a television show or anything else. That’s not my interest. People want me to criticize the people running – I won’t do it…

“What you see here tonight, this is what you get. There’s no secret talk in the back room, there’s no secret talk in a car. This is what you get. You get direct. You get knowledgeable. When you look at the field, nobody has the experience on national security, the accomplishments in Washington, and has been an executive in a big state – like the state of Ohio.

“And remember: Ohio is a microcosm. When I talk to you all about unity, bringing people together, ending the polarization – if we do not do that, we will not win Ohio.”

And no Republican presidential candidate has won without his state.

The Monroe Local News has a photo gallery from the Walton GOP Barbecue.

Here are a couple of other facts about Ohio under Kasich.

U.S. News & World Reports ranks Ohio 7th among the states for high schools and Education Week ranks the Buckeye State 10th.

The Tax Foundation ranks Ohio’s income tax rate as 23d lowest among states that have an income tax and ranks the state’s business tax climate as 44th.

Site Selection in 2015 ranked Ohio #9 among the top competitive states for business, ahead of Georgia, which fell from #1 in 2014 to #10 this year.

The Ohio State University football team is the reigning national champion.


Earlier this week, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a US District Court injunction against the Obama Administration’s executive action on immigration, which would protect some  from deportation and allow some immigrants to work in the United States.

Two of three judges on a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, left in place an injunction by a Federal District Court judge in Brownsville, Tex. The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by Texas and 25 other states against actions President Obama took in November. Many of the initiatives were scheduled to take effect this month.

The appeals court found that the states had sufficient legal grounds to bring the lawsuit and that the administration had not shown that it would be harmed if the injunction remained in place and the programs were further delayed.

Also denied was a request by the administration to limit the injunction to the states bringing the lawsuit. The ruling is a second setback for programs the president hoped would be a major piece of his legacy, raising new uncertainty about whether they will take effect before the end of his term and casting doubts on the confidence of administration lawyers that their case was very strong.

The Justice Department could appeal the ruling on the emergency stay to the full appeals court, but legal experts said it was more likely that the administration would skip that conservative court and ask the Supreme Court to allow the programs to proceed.

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens applauded the court’s decision, saying

“I am pleased with the 5th Circuit’s decision to keep the President’s illegal executive action on hold. We are a nation built on laws, and the President simply does not have the power to bypass Congress and single-handedly change the law to achieve his policy goals. There is no question that immigration reform is needed, but it must be accomplished in accordance with the Constitution.”

“Just as troubling as the President’s disregard of the Constitution are the Administration’s misrepresentations to the court throughout the course of the litigation. First, we learned that, contrary to what the federal government’s lawyers told the court, the Obama Administration had already begun granting expanded employment authorizations to people who came to this country illegally. Then came the revelation that the Obama Administration had approved three-year deferred action grants for undocumented immigrants after the injunction was issued. This conduct by our federal government is nothing short of appalling.”

Senator David Perdue lauded the court decision and called on President Obama to reverse the actions in question,

“This is a victory for Georgians who want a federal government that respects the rule of law. Once again, a federal court has reaffirmed that President Obama’s executive amnesty was unlawful and unacceptable overreach. We must stop the President’s abuse of power before his imperial presidency does any more damage to our country. I call on President Obama to reverse his unilateral executive amnesty, which exceeded the executive’s authority and disrupted the Constitutional balance of powers.”

Congressman Buddy Carter also backed the Court of Appeals’s decision,

“This is a big win in our fight to stop the president’s blatant overreach on amnesty,” Carter said. “The Fifth Circuit has provided yet another warning to the president that he will not get away with unilaterally rewriting our nation’s immigration laws. Every branch of government – including President Obama himself – has made clear that this approach to backdoor amnesty is unconstitutional. I will not rest in my fight to stand for the rule of law and restore the balance of power laid out in the Constitution.”

Congressman Jody Hice released a statement on the decision,

“I am very pleased that the Court’s decision rightly upholds the injunction against President Obama’s Executive Amnesty plan. It’s astounding that a President who specialized in Constitutional law has routinely flouted our Constitution; in this matter by attempting to grant amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants without the consent of Congress. We need immigration reform not Executive Amnesty. I am proud that Georgia is one of many states leading the charge in an effort to defend our Constitution by holding the Administration accountable through the Courts. ”


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 28, 2015


Look at that big smile!

Ruca is a lovely boxer cross – She likes to play and will be in your lap before you know it. She loves other doggie company – it is all play . She is house trained and ready to find her perfect forever home. – You couldn’t ask for a more affectionate dog. Please call 706-632-4357 for a meet.

Ruca is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Blue Ridge in Blue Ridge, GA.


Valentino is a young, male Mountain Cur & Labrador Retriever Mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Blue Ridge in Blue Ridge, GA.


Juliette is a young, female Mountain Cur & Labrador Retriever Mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Blue Ridge in Blue Ridge, GA.

Two things to mention here. First, Mountain Cur is indeed a recognized breed of dog. Second, I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that Valentino and Juliette are probably littermates.


Inside Baseball: John E. Sununu to lead NH effort for John Kasich

We heard that last night, Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) mentioned that John E. Sununu will lead the New Hampshire campaign if Kasich makes the decision to run for President. It’s been previously reported that the younger Sununu, who served in the United States Senate during part of Kasich’s time in Congress joined the board of Kasich’s campaign-in-waiting New Day for America.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 27, 2015

On May 27, 1813, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to John Adams to let Adams know of the death of a mutual friend.

On May 27, 1863, Chief Justice Roger Taney, sitting as a federal district court judge, issued a decision in Ex parte Merryman, which challenged President Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of the right of habeas corpus. Lincoln ignored the ruling.

Today is the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Pickett’s Mill in Paulding County, Georgia, where Sherman’s forces attacked Johnston’s Confederates on May 27, 1864. Among the combatants on the Union side was Ambrose Bierce, who would later write The Crime at Pickett’s Mill. On Saturday, May 31, 2014, the battle will be reenacted at Pickett’s Mill Historic Battlefield Site.

On May 27, 1864, the Federal Army, having been stopped in its advance on Atlanta two days earlier by the Battle of New Hope Church, attempted to outflank the Confederate position. Some 14,000 Federal troops were selected for the task, and General Howard was given command. After a five-hour march, Howard’s force reached the vicinity of Pickett’s Mill and prepared to attack. Waiting were 10,000 Confederate troops under the command of General Cleburne.

The Federal assault began at 5 p.m. and continued into the night. Daybreak found the Confederates still in possession of the field. The Federals had lost 1,600 men compared to the Confederate loss of 500. The Confederate victory resulted in a one-week delay of the Federal advance on Atlanta.

Here are some photos of the battlefield and links to additional material.

On May 27, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said the United States was in an unlimited national emergency and laid out conditions under which Germany’s expansionism would constitute an attack on the United States.

On May 27, 1976, former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter blasted the “Stop Carter” movement in a speech in Cincinnati.

Actor Christopher Reeves was thrown from his horse in an equestrian competition in Culpepper, Virginia on May 27, 1995, becoming quadraplegic.

One year ago, a poll by Rasmussen showed Democrat Michelle Nunn beating both Jack Kingston and David Perdue in a General Election matchup and Democrat Jason Carter beating Gov. Deal.

Georgia Politics

John Kasich at Fulton GOP

Ohio Governor John Kasich spoke yesterday to the Fulton County Republican Party. I attended and had planned to attend the Walton GOP Barbecue last night, but my 15-year old dog was injured and had to be taken to the animal hospital. She’s recovering well, but with her age, I thought she should be taken care of immediately.

I’ve been a follower of Gov. Kasich for a number of years, having (mis)spent part of my youth in the Buckeye State. Generally speaking, when it comes to the Presidential race, I think a Governor brings a lot of experience that makes them better candidates and ultimately, better Presidents.

Here are my three takeaways from Kasich’s speech.

First, he’s not yet in fulltime Presidential campaign mode. His speech wasn’t scripted to the extent that we saw from the GOP candidates at the Convention. It was good, but it didn’t bear the hallmarks of a much-rehearsed stump speech. As a Governor and long-time Congressman, he’s good on the stump, but this wasn’t the processed product of a slew of political consultants.

Second, he’s genuinely funny. Not just prepared laugh lines, but impromptu riffs on things like his daughter’s first campaign trail trip outside Ohio. It was like he had an 80s sitcom laugh track.

Third, if you ask him a tough question, he doesn’t flinch. Sixth District Chair Michael Fitzgerald asked about Kasich’s expansion of Medicaid, and whether it’s a sustainable model. Obviously, expanding Medicaid goes counter to the policy preferences of Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and most conservatives here. Kasich’s response, in part:

Here’s how it works, we are bringing back $14 billion the first two, three, four years. The federal government just sends our money back, it’s our money, and then the next year the [state] match is like 10%. On my normal Medicaid program, the [state] match is like, don’t hold me to the numbers, 40%, so it’s absolutely affordable.

And what we’re doing with it, we are reducing some of our prison population. Think about this, if I don’t treat the mentally ill, they come out and guess where they end up? Back in. If I don’t treat the drug-addicted, guess where they end up. Back in. At $22,500 a year. Now, if I don’t provide some kind of healthcare for the working poor, where do we see them? The emergency room. Are they healthier or sicker? We are now seeing emergency room visits decline.

And I understand that there are people that are concerned about this, but look, I was the Chairman of the Budget Committee when we balanced the federal budget. I took Ohio from an $8 billion hole to a $2 billion surplus. If the federal government fools around and changes the formula, I told the people of the state we’ll get out of it, because I’m not going to hamstring us…. I’m not going to let my budget get put into the hole, or even on the precipice of going into the hole.

Yesterday, Kasich made a lot of ground with the hundred or so people at the Fulton GOP lunch, and probably did so at the Walton GOP. People I talked to ranged from, “I liked what I heard and I’m going to look at his record,” to gushing fanboys.

I’ve posted audio from the speech online here, for your listening enjoyment.

Leading up to the 2000 Presidential Election, Kasich formed an exploratory committee but had dropped out by this point, exiting the race due to lagging fundraising and before the Iowa straw poll. I don’t know why he failed to catch on then. As a Governor and as a former Congressman, he has a stronger resume than any of the other candidates. What I thought might be a failure of charisma was proven wrong yesterday.

Should John Kasich make the decision to run for President, his first three challenges are fundraising, fundraising, and fundraising. His next challenge is to break the top ten among announced or likely candidates in order to be included in the August 6th GOP Presidential Debate in Cleveland.

One presence at the luncheon that I haven’t seen elsewhere is Libby Kingston, whose husband Jack served with Kasich in Congress. Now that I think of it, Kasich sounds a good bit like Jack Kingston.

If Kasich can make a real run of it, he’s a formidable candidate, but the biggest political impact is that he potentially puts Ohio in play. No Republican has ever won the presidency without carrying Ohio.

Bruce Thompson might be Batman

Senator Bruce Thompson’s initials are BAT, which should have clued me in that he might actually be Batman. But this past weekend, he was seen in action, apparently helping his local police stop a bad guy.

Even before this, he was on my list of top ten Georgia politicians to not get into a physical confrontation with. His background as a scholarship wrestler in college and an Army tank commander make him one of the legislators least likely to be a pushover.

Bibb County Board of Education getting nasty?

Last week, two members of the Bibb County Board of Education got confrontational in a meeting, according to the Macon Telegraph.

Tom Hudson and Lester Miller had a heated discussion over what Hudson called “very low minority participation” when it comes to awarding service contracts to businesses.

Miller is chairman of a review committee created to look at reworking board policy to include more minority businesses.

“We do have inadequate representation, but we’ve done everything we can do,” Miller said, adding that he has reached out to local minority business owners but they haven’t shown up to meetings or responded.

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink,” he said.

“I’m sick and tired of awarding contracts not representative of the school district’s population,” Hudson said, adding that just 1 percent of service contracts are awarded to minority businesses.

Responding to Miller’s complaints, Hudson told The Telegraph it was “a bunch of bull.” He said he doesn’t like to conduct school board business over email and that Miller was making excuses.

That “you can lead a horse to water” remark sparked outrage among some in the community.

Controversy is brewing over what some call a small number of minority vendors getting contracts with the Bibb County School District.

This time, that controversy comes with a twist: a flier asking minority business owners to demand an apology from one of the board members, among other things.

The flier from the Concerned Clergy of Middle Georgia asks minority business owners to demand a retraction and apology from Bibb County School Board Member Lester Miller for what they call insulting statements he made at Thursday night’s school board meeting and to the Macon Telegraph.

It says that “minority business owners are not horses.”

The flier also calls for Miller to be replaced as chair of the review committee designed to increase minority participation.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 27, 2015

The following dogs are available for adoption from Girard Life Saver in Burke County, Georgia, a county the size of Rhode Island. This small, rural shelter has had a large influx from a hoarding case and is facing a shortage of dog food. Please consider making an online donation via their website.

I’ve created an Amazon wish list with the brand of dog food if you’d like to have a sack of dog food delivered directly to Girard Lifesaver, with the bonus of Amazon’s secure transaction processing.

Click here to send a bag of dog food.

We don’t get anything if you use that Amazon link above, we just thought it would be convenient.


Pilgrim is a Clumber Spaniel mix, a beautiful big boy with long wavy hair. He was found in deplorable condition and was so malnourished that his front paw turned under when he walked. He wore a brace and was nourished back to health. He had major hair loss and was afraid of everyone and everything. He has come a long way and is looking for his new forever home and family. Pilgrim would do best in a country setting with plenty of room to run and play.; He loves to fetch and will make a great lifelong companion to the right home. If interested in meeting Pilgrim please contact Samantha at (706) 871-8273. or e-mail for a pre-adoption application. [email protected]

Pilgrim is available for adoption from Girard LifeSaver in Girard, GA.

Lightning is a a one and a half year old Whippet/Labrador Retriever mix who has already been neutered. He is an awesome boy who loves attention and he’s looking and anxiously waiting for his very own home and family. Lightning would make the perfect companion and running partner for a runner or active person who loves the outdoors. He is scared of thunder and lightning and quickly retreats to his “safe place” when he hears the first rumble. (But so do I) He is a beautiful brindle with red, brown and white in his coloring. He’s short haired and sheds very little. If you would like to meet our Lightning please contact his foster for a pre-adopt application at [email protected] Our boy has waited long enough and says: “I’m a good boy and I would love to be your best friend!’

Lightning is available for adoption from Girard LifeSaver in Girard, GA.

Trail is a little Papillon/Chihuahua mix who was found at a church in the middle of nowhere with lots of trails through the woods. There were owls and coyotes in the woods that night. He weighs only four lbs. and was so frightened. Trail has now become a well adjusted little guy and gets along with all the dogs and cats here but he DOES have “Little Man Syndrome”. He thinks he is as big as a Rottweiler or pit bull and does not hesitate to show it to the larger dogs! For this reason, we are searching for the perfect environment and home for little Trail Blazer. We would like for him to have a home knowledgeable of small breeds and how easily they can get hurt by larger dogs especially when he decides to show his little attitude toward them. Preferably a home with another small female would be ideal or as an only dog.

Trail is available for adoption from Girard LifeSaver in Girard, GA.


Ohio Governor John Kasich at the Fulton County Republican Party

John Kasich at Fulton GOP


Southern GOP ‘Super Tuesday’ could be a 2016 game-changer | MSNBC

If Southern Republican leaders get their way, the GOP electoral landscape could be radically altered in 2016 by moving up the primary dates for several southern states, creating a regional super primary to rival early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire. The Southern “Super Tuesday” – nicknamed the “SEC Primary” after the Southeastern Conference in college athletics – would significantly increase the political clout of southern voters, creating a lifeline for the party’s more conservative candidates and a major roadblock for the Republican establishment.

Five of the largest Southern states – Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia – have already committed to participate, following a Republican National Committee rule change that allowed states to vote in caucuses or primaries as early as March 1, 2016. North Carolina’s date is up in the air and Louisiana will hold its primary on March 5.

[T]hese rules in combination with an SEC Primary could make it harder to ignore those “less well-known” conservative candidates, who would get to hang on longer and cobble together delegates for the nomination.

As a result, we could actually see four different winners emerge from each of those early contests, giving conservative candidates an advantage on Super Tuesday and Southern voters a strong say in who walks into Cleveland with an edge, if not the nomination itself.

Suddenly, the impact of an SEC Primary is real, and what it means for the large mix of GOP presidential contenders not insignificant.

With a six- or seven-state SEC Primary, several conservative candidates could find themselves well positioned to make a more-than-credible run for the nomination. Social conservative and evangelical voters could hand former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee more than a couple of notable wins (he performed well in 2008 caucus contests and won the Georgia primary). Social conservatives could also opt for longshot Dr. Ben Carson, who surprisingly tied for first place with Huckabee in a recent [] poll of Georgia GOP voters.

via Southern GOP ‘Super Tuesday’ could be a 2016 game-changer | MSNBC.