The blog.

5
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 5, 2015

Peter Early was sworn in as Governor of Georgia on November 5, 1813 after being elected by the Georgia General Assembly.

John Clark was sworn in to the first of two two-year terms on November 5, 1819, again after election by the legislature.

Howell Cobb, who previously served as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, was sworn in as Governor of Georgia on November 5, 1852, having been elected by popular vote.

Democrat Woodrow Wilson, who spent part of his youth in Augusta, Georgia and married Ellen Louise Axson, whom he met in Rome, Georgia, was elected President in a landslide victory on November 5, 1912.

Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to his unprecedented third term as President of the United States on November 5, 1940.

Richard M. Nixon was elected President of the United States by a plurality vote on November 5, 1968.

On November 5, 2002, Sonny Perdue was elected the first Republican Governor of Georgia since Reconstruction, beginning the modern era of Republican dominance of Georgia state politics.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

State Senator Judson Hill (R-Cobb) announced an initiative to put a face with a name for every Georgian who gave their life in the Vietnam War.

Sen. Judson Hill (R – Marietta) announced the need for pictures of Georgia’s fallen Vietnam War veterans for a multimedia display at the new Education Center at Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall (‘The Wall’). The display wall honors veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War, including 1,584 Georgia soldiers. This effort is part of a national program by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) to put a face with each of the 58,300 fallen veterans from across the nation whose names appear on The Wall.

“We currently know the faces of 831 Georgia soldiers whose names are listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall,” said Sen. Hill. “However, this leaves 753 Georgia Vietnam veterans who remain faceless. By sending in photos of these heroes, we can better honor those who made such a costly sacrifice for our country.”

Standing with Sen. Ed Harbison (D – Columbus) and Adjutant General Joe Jarrard, Sen. Hill launched the statewide initiative to find pictures of the remaining 753 Georgia Vietnam War veterans. Legislative colleagues, members of the media, as well as fellow citizens in Marietta and Sandy Springs, are asked to search for photos that prominently feature these faceless fallen heroes. To encourage engagement in the Senate, the list of faceless veterans has been sorted by Senate District and will be sent to each senator as part of a larger packet. It is Sen. Hill’s hope that each Georgia Vietnam veteran’s name will have a face and background story associated with it by the end of the project.

Photos of fallen veterans can be submitted online at www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces. Photos may also be mailed to: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Attn: Call for Photos, 2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 104, Washington, DC 20037. Please send a COPY of the original photo, as the VVMF will not be responsible for returning any photos.

To see if someone you know is among those without a picture, or to view submitted pictures, visit The Wall of Faces website at www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces. For more information on Georgia’s statewide initiative, contact Sen. Hill’s legislative assistant Macy McFall at 404.656.0150.

I forgot to mention this yesterday. I heard from multiple sources that strippers had been deployed to wave signs for one of the candidates for Mayor of Brookhaven on election day. I was also emailed a photo that I won’t publish, but the skirts and shoes were Ally McBeal length. Not exactly “going to church” clothes, but neither does it prove the allegation. I guess when the biggest contribution to that candidate came from a company tied to a strip club in the city, it’s believable to some folks.

Six Republicans qualified for the Special Election in State Senate District 20 on December 1, 2015.Continue Reading..

4
Nov

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for November 4, 2015

Moses

Moses is a senior male Retriever mix (and I suspect some Hound in his heritage) who is available for adoption from Retired Retrievers in Savannah, GA.

Moses is a wonderful dog! He gets along with everyone and loves to spend his time snuggling his humans on the couch. He is in great shape for a senior and can still do stairs and go for long walks. But he’s also mellow enough that he’s happy relaxing around the house. If you’ve been thinking about adding a four-legged family member to your home, don’t let this one get away.

Anna

Anna is a senior female Yellow Labrador Retriever who is available for adoption from Retired Retrievers in Savannah, GA.

Anna is a sweetheart! She is good with dogs, cats, and kids. This wonderful girl ended up in a shelter after her owner asked an animal control officer to shoot her because she had a large mass growing on her side. The animal control officer obviously refused to shoot her, but took her to the shelter which is when Retired Retrievers were called. They had the mass removed and Anna is doing great. She would be a wonderful addition to any home!

DJ

DJ is a 13-year old senior male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Retired Retrievers in Savannah, GA.

This handsome 13-year old ended up in a shelter because his 92-year old mom has Alzheimer’s and was no longer able to care for him. When none of her relatives were willing or able to care for him either, he found himself homeless. DJ gets along with other dogs and cats. He could stand to lose a few pounds and needs a home without a lot of steps. He is a very sweet old man!

Retired Retrievers is a Savannah-based rescue group that concentrates on finding new homes for senior dogs.

Click here to donate online to Retired Retriever.

4
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 4, 2015

Alexander Stephens was sworn-in as Governor of Georgia on November 4, 1882; Stephens had earlier been elected Vice-President of the Confederate States of America.

Howard Carter found an entrance to the tomb of King Tutankhamen on November 4, 1922.

Georgia Governor Richard B. Russell, Jr. campaigned on behalf of Democratic candidate for President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

On November 4, 1980, Republican Ronald Reagan was elected President, winning 489 electoral votes to 49 for incumbent Jimmy Carter.

Note on the electoral map in that clip, states that Reagan won were colored blue, and Georgia was a red state, going for Jimmy Carter.

On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama was elected President, becoming the first African-American elected to the position.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

We’ll start in my home town of Brookhaven, where the third mayor in three years will take office after John Ernst won with more than 85% of the vote and Linley Jone, who was appointed earlier this year to District 1 City Council won her own term with more than 80%.

Doraville Mayor Donna Pittman was reelected.

In Dunwoody, Mayor Mike Davis was defeated by former City Council Member Denis Shortal.

The DeKalb County Ethics Reform ballot question was passed with more than 90% of votes in favor.

Tucker incorporation passed with 73.92% in favor, while LaVista Hills incorporation failed, losing by 136 votes out of 13,714 cast, less than 1%.

Gwinnett County voters passed the E-SPLOST by nearly 3:1 margin.

In Augusta, the SPLOST passed with 61.5% voting in favor.

Columbia County Commission District 3 will see a runoff on December 1 between Gary Richardson with 38% and Greg Grzybowski, who carried 22%.

House District 122, vacated by the retirement of former Rep. Ben Harbin also will see a December 1 runoff, between Jodi Lott (41%) and Mack Taylor (30%).

Republican JaNice Van Ness took 37% of votes cast and Democrat Tonya Anderson carried 26% to earn slots in the December 1 runoff for State Senate District 43.

The House District 92 election will not produce a runoff, but should merit a recount, as vote returns show Democrat Sherri Washington with 706 votes and Democrat Doreen Carter with 703.

More than 64% of Bartow County voters approved of the E-SPLOST extension for five years beginning after the current E-SPLOST expires in 2017.

Seventy-five percent of Bibb County voters cast their ballots in favor of the E-SPLOST.

Perhaps the biggest news of the night came from Savannah, where incumbent Mayor Edna Jackson was limited to 44% and faces former County Commissioner Eddie DeLoach (42%) in a runoff on December 1, 2015.

DeLoach said that he was feeling good about his chances in the runoff, citing the total vote accumulated by him and the other two challengers.

“I think 60 percent of the people said they were looking for change,” he said. “I think with everybody else we can give them some change.”

Jackson could not be reached for comment in time for publication.

DeLoach hit Jackson hard with criticism for the increase in violent crime that he claimed she and the council took too long to acknowledge and try to address. He also said the city lacked a plan for the future.

Heidi Cruz to Tour Georgia

Heidi Cruz, wife of Senator Ted Cruz appears to be embarking on her own tour of Georgia.

Cobb GOP Headquarters
799 Roswell St, Marietta GA 30060
550 Trackside
550 N Clayton St, Lawrenceville GA 30046
We’ve also seen Facebook mentions of events with Heidi Cruz in Middle and South Georgia and will bring you all the details as we gather them.
3
Nov

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for November 3, 2015

Toast

Toast is a young female Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Okefenokee Humane Society, Inc. in Waycross, GA.

Pop Tart

Pop Tart is a young male Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Okefenokee Humane Society, Inc. in Waycross, GA.

Chex

Chex is a young male Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Okefenokee Humane Society, Inc. in Waycross, GA.

Bacon

Bacon (or Becon) is a young male Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Okefenokee Humane Society, Inc. in Waycross, GA.

3
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 3, 2015

John Willis Menard became the first black man elected to Congress on November 3, 1868 from the Second District of Louisiana. Menard’s election opponent challenged the results and prevented Menard from taking his seat, though in defense of his election Menard became the first black man to address Congress.

On November 3, 1913, details of the federal income tax were finalized and published after the ratification earlier in the year of the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Bacon, Barrow, Candler, and Evans Counties were created on November 3, 1914 when voters approved Constitutional Amendments – prior to these Amendments, Georgia was limited to 145 counties. On the same day, Carl Vinson was elected to Congress from Georgia, becoming the youngest member of Congress at the time. Vinson would eventually become the first Member of Congress to serve more than fifty years. Vinson’s grandson, Sam Nunn would serve in the United States Senate.

The Chicago Tribune published the infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline on November 3, 1948. Ultimately, Democrat Truman won 303 electoral votes to 189 for Republican Dewey.

Laika, a female Siberian Husky mix who was found stray on the streets of Moscow, was launched into space aboard Sputnik 2 on November 3, 1957.

On November 3, 1968, Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson was elected President over Republican Barry Goldwater.

On November 3, 1970, Jimmy Carter was elected Governor of Georgia.

Democrat Cynthia McKinney became the first African-Amercian female elected to Congress from Georgia on November 3, 1992.

On November 3, 1998, Democrat Thurbert Baker was elected Attorney General and Michael Thurmond was elected Commissioner of Labor, becoming the first African-Americans elected to statewide executive office in Georgia.

One World Trade Center opened on November 3, 2014, more than thirteen years after the 9/11 attacks.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today is the day that American citizens earn our right to complain about what happens in local government or to cheer those we elect to the offices that have the most day-to-day influence in our lives by voting for Mayor and City Council in many municipalities across Georgia. Other citizens will vote in special elections for two legislative seats, or will cast ballot in favor or opposition to either a new or continuing SPLOST sales tax.

In some municipalities, odd-year elections take place in different locations than we vote for Governor or President. The City of Cumming in Forsyth County is an example of a city that has only one polling place for municipal elections.

Election Day kicks off at 7 a.m. and runs until 7 p.m. at Cumming City Hall. Only registered voters who live within Cumming city limits are allowed to participate in Tuesday’s election.

In Cumming’s Post 4, outgoing councilman Ralph Perry will be replaced by either Chris Light, Dana Sexton, Jack Shoemake, Avery Stone, or Guy McBrayer.

In Post 5, John D. Pugh will be succeeded by either Linda Ledbetter or Julie Tressler, who ran against each other in June to succeed Sexton following his resignation. Charles F. Welch, Jr. won the election and replaced Sexton on the council.

Lewis Ledbetter is facing no opposition in Post 3 and will return to an office he has held since 1971.

Check out Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s MVP Page for up-to-date information on whether you have an election today, and where you will vote. Once you sign in, on the right-hand column, under “Polling Place for State, County, and Municipal Elections” you can click the link for “Click here for municipal polling place” to see if you go somewhere else to vote for Mayor, City Council, and the like.

In Gwinnett County, it is vitally important that you vote on the E-SPLOST penny sales tax for schools. There are good reasons to be for it, good reasons to be against it, but no defensible reason for not registering your approval or disapproval at the ballot box. Politicians count on fewer voters showing up in odd-numbered years, making it easier to pass taxes that will be paid by everyone. If I don’t know enough to vote for a tax or bond referendum, my default is to vote no.

Voters in Macon will also cast ballots on an E-SPLOST today. The Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce is for it and Erick Erickson is against is.

Elections Have Consequences

Qualifying has opened in the Special Election for State Senate District 20 in Middle Georgia, which will be held December 1, 2015.

Those interested in running in the Dec. 1 Special Election, must qualify before noon on Wednesday at the Secretary of State’s Office at 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SE, West Tower, Suite 802, Atlanta, Ga. 30334.

The district covers Bleckley, Laurens and Pulaski counties and a portion of Houston.

To cast a ballot, you must be registered to vote before the close of business Nov. 6.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Dec. 1, and the same hours on Dec. 29, if a runoff is necessary.

A candidate forum has been set for 6 p.m. Nov. 17 in Middle Georgia State University’s Oak Hall Atrium, 100 University Parkway, Macon. The event is hosted by Middle Georgia State University, the Robins Regional Chamber and The Telegraph. Charles Richardson, editorial page editor at The Telegraph, will serve as moderator.

The Augusta Chronicle has really set the gold standard for news coverage of a SPLOST election, devoting an entire section to it, and writing new stories dailys. If you live there, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the issue and please go vote today – for or against, I don’t care. I just want to see the peach sticker on your Facebook and Twitter today. A poll suggests a majority favor the SPLOST in Augusta, but polls are often wrong – some pollsters more frequently than others – and it’s only people who show up whose preferences will count.Continue Reading..

2
Nov

Brandon Phillips named Georgia State Director for Donald J. Trump campaign

Trump Atlanta 2

Today Donald J. Trump is announcing the expansion of his campaign team to include state directors in Georgia, Ohio and Oklahoma. Brandon Phillips will serve as Trump campaign state director in Georgia, Rob Scott will serve as Trump campaign state director in Ohio, and Stephanie Milligan will serve as Trump campaign state director in Oklahoma.

Mr. Trump stated, “While other candidates are being forced to scale back on their staffs or consider dropping out of the race, we are assembling an extensive campaign team to harness the tremendous enthusiasm we are receiving from proud Americans across the country. I will secure our border, take care of our veterans, and bring jobs back from overseas. We will continue to grow our incredible team and share my vision to Make America Great Again!”Continue Reading..

2
Nov

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for November 2, 2015

Low-Rider
Number 2015-10-179 is a friendly 1-year old, 37-pound Retriever/Basset Hound mix male who is available for adoption from Barrow County Animal Control in Winder, GA.
Brown Hound
Number 2010-10-159 is a chocolate-colored 2-year old, 32-pound Hound mix who is available for adoption from Barrow County Animal Control in Winder, GA.
Jerry
Jerry is a playful 1-2 year old Hound mix who is available for adoption from Barrow County Animal Control in Winder, GA.
Raven

Raven is a 1-2 year old female Lab mix who weighs 48 pounds and is available for adoption from Barrow County Animal Control in Winder, GA.

2
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 2, 2015

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg.

On November 1, 1732, the Georgia Trustees met in London and chose the name and location of a new colony to be called Savannah.

Georgia and the Creeks Indians signed a treaty on November 1, 1783 giving Georgia control of all land between the Ogeechee and Oconee Rivers.

The United States Congress admitted Nevada as the 36th state on October 31, 1864. Kind of fitting, in a way.

Richard B. Russell, Jr. was born in Winder, Georgia on November 2, 1897.

In 1927, at age 29, Russell was named Speaker of the House – the youngest in Georgia history. In 1930, Russell easily won election as Georgia governor on his platform of reorganizing state government for economy and efficiency. Five months shy of his 34th birthday, Russell took the oath of office from his father, Georgia chief justice Richard B. Russell Sr. He became the youngest governor in Georgia history – a record that still stands. After Georgia U.S. Senator William Harris died in 1932, Gov. Russell named an interim replacement until the next general election, in which Russell himself became a candidate. Georgia voters elected their young governor to fill Harris’ unexpired term. When he arrived in Washington in January 1933, he was the nation’s youngest senator.

Russell had a long and storied career in the United States Senate, during which he served for many years as Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, unofficial leader of the conservative Southern wing of the Democratic party and a chief architect of resistance to civil rights legislation. He also ran for President in 1952, winning the Florida primary.

The carving on Mount Rushmore was completed on October 31, 1941.

Jimmy Carter was elected President of the United States on November 2, 1976.

The current Georgia Constitution was ratified on November 2, 1982 by the state’s voters.

President Bill Clinton hit the campaign trail to help his wife, Hillary Clinton, in her race for United States Senate from New York on October 31, 2000. On October 31, 2014, Bill Clinton came to Atlanta to campaign for Michelle Nunn for United States Senate.

On November 2, 2010, voters elected Republican Nathan Deal as Governor, and the GOP swept all of the statewide offices on the ballot.

Former United States Senator Fred Thompson has died at the age of 73. In January 2012, Thompson visited the Georgia State Capitol to endorse Newt Gingrich for President.

Fred Thompson Endorses Newt Gingrich Georgia

https://youtu.be/91MZxexIydU

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The election to fill the State Senate District 20 seat vacated by former Sen. Ross Tolleson will be held December 1, 2015.Continue Reading..

30
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 30, 2015

In the second video from my interview of former Speaker Newt Gingrich, I asked about his characterizations of Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

Next is the third installment of the video from my talk with former Speaker Newt Gingrich earlier this week. We discussed his new book, Duplicity: A Novel, Callista Gingrich’s new book, Christmas in America (Ellis the Elephant), and how they’re using fiction to teach about politics and American History.

political_rewind_logo header

Today at 3 PM, I’ll join host Bill Nigut on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “Political Rewind” with my fellow guests Jim Galloway, Eric Tannenblatt and Cathy Woolard, who is running for Mayor of Atlanta in 2017.

Please tune in on 88.5 FM in Atlanta or on GPB’s statewide radio network.

Georgia and American History

King Henry VII of England was crowned on October 30, 1485.

King Charles I of England granted a charter for a new colony called Carolana that included much of present-day Georgia, along with the current states of North and South Carolina, on October 30, 1629.

Stephen Douglas of Illinois campaigned in Atlanta for President of the United States on October 30, 1860. Douglas had defeated Abraham Lincoln for United States Senate in 1858, giving rise to the Lincoln-Douglas style of debate.

On October 30, 1871, Republican Benjamin Conley became acting Governor of Georgia after Republican Governor Rufus Bullock resigned; Conley served as President of the state Senate before taking office as Governor.

Conley took the oath of office on Oct. 30, 1871. Two days later, the new General Assembly convened and elected a new Democratic president of the Senate, but Conley refused to give up the office. The General Assembly then passed a law over Conley’s veto to hold a special election for governor on the third Tuesday in December. In that election, Democratic House speaker James M. Smith defeated Conley and assumed office Jan. 12, 1872.

On October 30, 1938, a science fiction drama called War of the Worlds was broadcast nationwide in the form of a series of simulated radio broadcasts.

Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers on October 30, 1945, becoming the first African-American professional baseball player in the major leagues.

On October 30, 1970, a fastball from Nolan Ryan was timed at 100.9 miles per hour, putting him in the record books. On the same day, Jim Morrison of the Doors was sentenced to six months in prison and a $500 fine for allegedly exposing himself during a Miami concert. Morrision died before the case was heard on appeal.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Yesterday, Governor Nathan Deal announced three appointments to new seats on the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Amanda H. Mercier currently serves as a superior court judge within the Appalachian Judicial Circuit. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and a law degree from Syracuse University College of Law. She and her husband, Joseph, have one child and reside in Blue Ridge.
Nels S.D. Peterson currently serves as vice chancellor for legal affairs and secretary to the Board of Regents. He previously worked at the Georgia Department of Law and established Georgia’s first Solicitor General Office where he served as solicitor general. He was also the deputy executive counsel and executive counsel for Gov. Sonny Perdue. Peterson earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Kennesaw State University and a law degree from Harvard Law School. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two children and reside in Marietta.
Brian M. Rickman currently serves as district attorney of the Mountain Judicial Circuit, where he was previously an assistant district attorney. He is an adjunct professor and serves on the board of trustees at Piedmont College. Rickman earned a bachelor’s degree from Piedmont College and a law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. He and his wife, Maggie, have two children and reside in Tiger.
So, we’re also likely to see special elections in the coming months for the Superior Court seat on the Appalachian Judicial Circuit that is being vacated by Judge Mercier, and the District Attorney for the Mountain Judicial Circuit position being vacated by Mr. Rickman.
“It is unusual. Usually you might have two or three but this year every race is contested. I think that’s a first in a long time that I can remember…. I think voters are in the mood for change, not just in the Mayor’s race, but in all the district races, and you’re seeing that reflected in the number of candidates. The last time I can remember voters feeling this way was about 25 years ago when the Ricky Jivens crime syndicate was running the streets and the murder rate was off the charts and Johnny Rousakis was the Mayor…. that year he fumbled the crime issue and you had an outsider to Savannah by the name of Susan Weiner and she won, and this year, I kind of see like almost a repeat of that …. I think you’re going to see some changes based on crime.”

Erick Erickson opines in the Macon Telegraph on the upcoming E-SPLOST vote.

Until I read about it in the newspaper recently, I did not even know there was a tax increase on the ballot. It may be meritorious. But the fact that our school system has worked overtime to keep everyone’s mouth shut about it suggests to me that this is not a meritorious tax increase.

Remember the Macon City Council? I was on that City Council. It was a routine clown car show of embarrassment. Every week the council caused more scandalous and silly headlines. It was an embarrassment to Middle Georgia. Consolidation and the abolition of the city was a net positive for Middle Georgia. The Warner Robins City Council got to become the dysfunctional city council for a while and now the Forsyth City Council and the Monroe County Commission are our regional embarrassment and indictment waiting to happen.

But rising above them all is the Bibb County school board. It keeps trying to change its ways, but I keep being reminded of the Persian fable often attributed to Aesop about the scorpion and the frog. The frog hesitates to carry the scorpion on its back across a river. The scorpion assures the frog that both would die if he stung the frog. Reassured, the frog agreed and carries the scorpion. Half way across the river, the scorpion stings the frog. Both would surely die. The frog asked the scorpion “why?” “It is my nature,” said the doomed scorpion.

The Bibb County school board is our collective scorpion. It has repeatedly cut off its nose to spite the entire school system’s face. This Dallemand situation bears serious watching and may cause serious trouble. As The Telegraph noted, the school system’s insurance company has told the school board that it is on its own in this. That means that we are on our own for possibly millions of dollars depending on how the case goes.

Truth be told, perhaps my words would not be so biting except for one thing. There is a tax increase on the ballot and our school system has done absolutely everything possible to make sure you know nothing about it.

Kyle Wingfield of the AJC follows-up on a notion I first heard earlier this week from Newt Gingrich – that the GOP might end up with a brokered convention and Presidential nominee in 2016.

“If you think you can get 5 or 6 or 7 percent of the delegates, you can come to the convention with some muscle, and you end up with a brokered convention,” he said, describing that scenario as “chaos” and “wild” but also, “as an observer … very cool.”

Very cool chaos could happen if low-polling candidates stick around and prevail in winner-take-all states. “(Ohio Gov. John) Kasich will probably carry Ohio. (New Jersey Gov. Chris) Christie will probably carry New Jersey,” Gingrich said. “They’re asking themselves, ‘Why would I drop out?’ ”

“Under the current rules, there is a 1 in 3 chance we’ll have a brokered convention,” offered Randy Evans, one of Georgia’s Republican National Committee members. That’s a significantly better chance than in past contests, even if it’s way too soon to push the panic button.

Can you imagine the voter outrage should, for example, Donald Trump win a 40 percent plurality but not end up with the nomination because all the other delegates ganged up on him? Or if Jeb Bush were to slog his way to third place, only to wind up atop the ticket?

2016 Georgia General Assembly

The issue of breweries selling beer as part of tours continues to bubble up. Perhaps foam is the better word.

Georgia breweries are foaming after the Georgia Department of Revenue quietly released a bulletin last month with its interpretation of the recently passed State Bill 63, also known as the Beer Jobs Bill, which updated the state’s post-prohibition-era beer laws.

The original bill, which went into effect July 1, allowed breweries to charge for tours and classified beer brewed on site as a souvenir, meaning you could get up to 72 ounces, the equivalent of a six pack or two 32-ounce growlers, of your favorite ale to go — as long as you had taken a physical tour of the facility.

But now, new tightened regulations state that the volume of alcohol can’t dictate the price of the tour, so the price of the tour must be the same regardless of whether a patron wants a to-go souvenir.

In July, Carly Wiggins, marketing director and co-founder of Savannah’s Southbound Brewing Co., said the changes were welcome and the brewery was already making plans to spend thousands for new equipment, staff and other modifications to benefit their customers, but now with the tightened regulations Wiggins just hopes to break even.

“The law was interpreted completely different than intended. One of the most concerning things was that we actually had to submit proposed tour and tasting menus to show how we would be operating after the (July) law changed. These were approved and breweries in the state were operating ‘legally’ as the law and DoR regulated,” Wiggins said.

“Then, boom, a notice comes out with a completely new interpretation stripping us of everything we worked so hard to get passed.”

I would be surprised if changes to the “Beer Jobs Bill” are not on the menu in the 2016 Session.

A Georgia Supreme Court ruling that has had surprising effects on DUI prosecutions may also lead to legislative action when the legislature convenes in January 2016. From WSB-TV’s Jodie Fleischer,

A Georgia Supreme Court ruling earlier this year has created a legal trick by which drunk drivers are getting key evidence against them thrown out, by arguing they were too drunk.

Drivers are convincing judges that they were not thinking clearly when they agreed to take the voluntary breath, blood, or urine tests, due to intoxication.

“It certainly is a ruling that’s going to impact every DUI case,” said defense attorney Mike Hawkins, who doesn’t see it as a trick, but a sound constitutional argument.

If it sounds ridiculous for a defense attorney to argue that their client was so intoxicated they were unable to make a sound legal decision about consenting to a DUI test, it’s equally strange to hear a prosecutor argue that the driver wasn’t that drunk.

“You would think that that’s absurd, right?” said Gwinnett County Solicitor Rosanna Szabo, who’s office has been the most impacted, mainly due to [Gwinnett State Court Judge Joseph] Iannazzone’s interpretation of the Williams ruling.

Szabo says she will not dismiss any cases just because her best evidence got suppressed.

In fact, she’s already decided to appeal 6 of Iannazzone’s rulings, which could leave the cases pending for some time.

“Oh it is frustrating,” said Szabo, “I think anybody who values the truth is frustrated to not be able to reveal the truth.”

30
Oct

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for October 30, 2015

47266 Chihuahua

Number 47266 is a very friendly and playful 4-year old male Chihuahua who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA. The shelter volunteers have posted a video that shows how friendly he is.

47636 Doxie

Number 47636 is a 1-year old male Dachshund who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.

47770 Pom

Number 47770 is an 8-year old female Pomeranian who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.