The blog.


Florida’s fundraising explosion – Anna Palmer and Marc Caputo – POLITICO

In his announcement at Miami’s Freedom Tower on April 13, Marco Rubio is expected not only to officially join the race for the presidency but the race for donor dollars in his native Florida.

It’s a race that many expect his fellow Floridian Jeb Bush to win hands down. But while Bush has signed up mega donors to cut checks for his super PAC from the area, there are tens of millions more Florida dollars for the taking that Rubio and the rest of the GOP field are fighting over.

Indeed, the Sunshine State is steadily growing as a fundraising mecca. It was the second-largest source of money for Republicans among all states in the 2012 presidential cycle, dumping in $31 million. And it’s expected to give far more in 2016. And unlike New York, California, and Massachusetts, where dollars flow in predictable channels to candidates with certain attributes, Florida’s money follows as twisty a path as an Everglades river, creating fund-raising opportunities for candidates of all stripes.

Rubio has an April 7 fundraiser for his leadership PAC and campaign committee in Tallahassee with lobbyists and pro-Israel backers associated with Las Vegas gambling magnate Sheldon Adelson. A source close to Adelson and the lobbyist associated with him who arranged the event, Nick Iarossi, say the fundraiser is no reflection on Adelson’s interest in the race.

But Rubio is hardly alone in tapping Florida’s wide open checkbooks. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is making regular forays in hopes of locking up key donors like Stanley and Gay Gaines and billionaire donors Frayda and George Lindemann. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie recently picked up Meredith O’Rourke, finance director for Florida Gov. Rick Scott, and held a meet-and-greet in Jupiter, Florida, put together by Home Depot founder Ken Langone. Another Scott ally, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, made a recent stop to raise funds for a Jacksonville mayoral candidate, and many expect he’ll soon be back to collect checks for himself.

This may be a surprise to some people in and out of the campaigns who expected that Bush’s only competition for Florida dollars would be his home-state rival, Rubio. But in just the last few years, the state has seen a sharp influx of wealthy entrepreneurs of varying stripes, from liberals to libertarians to Wall Street-oriented conservatives.

via Florida’s fundraising explosion – Anna Palmer and Marc Caputo – POLITICO.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for April 6, 2015

Mercedes HPR

Mercedes is a 2 year old, 40 pound, Australian Shepherd/Spaniel mix. She was surrendered by her owners because they can no longer care for her. She is extremely sweet and social with all. Total snuggle bunny too! She sits and gives high five and is a beautiful white cream color. Mercedes is available for adoption from Husky Pack Rescue in Powder Springs, GA.


Hi, my name is BERT! I am a 3 year old German Shepherd Dog Mix & Belgian Shepherd Malinois boy who is quiet and easygoing. I am shy at first and take some time to warm up to strangers, but once I get to know you, I am the best dog! I am happy just sitting around my foster parents and am pretty laid back. I do enjoy going on walks, but I am not very athletic. I am house-trained! Bert is available for adoption from Orphan Annie Rescue in Atlanta, GA.


Bert the Beagle…. 4 years old and just simply amazing. he was abandoned at a boarding facility. He is a wonderful little guy and so great with other dogs and people. Housebroken and ready for a family to call his own. Bert is available for adoption from Animal Companion Rescue Foundation in Norcross, GA.



Statement from Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp

On the morning of April 3, 2015, a change in leadership was made in the Elections Division of the Office of the Secretary of State.   I asked for and received the resignation of Elections Director Linda Ford.

Effective immediately, Ann Hicks will begin service as Interim Elections Director.  Ann has extensive experience in the Elections Division.  She has worked with seven Secretaries of State and served as Elections Director from 2010-2011.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 6, 2015

On April 6, 1776, the United States Congress opened American ports to all countries not under British rule.

President George Washington exercised the veto power for the first time on April 5, 1792.

The bill introduced a new plan for dividing seats in the House of Representatives that would have increased the amount of seats for northern states. After consulting with his politically divided and contentious cabinet, Washington, who came from the southern state of Virginia, ultimately decided that the plan was unconstitutional because, in providing for additional representatives for some states, it would have introduced a number of representatives higher than that proscribed by the Constitution.

John Tyler was sworn in as the tenth President of the United States on April 6, 1841.

Tyler was elected as William Harrison’s vice president earlier in 1841 and was suddenly thrust into the role of president when Harrison died one month into office. He was the first vice president to immediately assume the role of president after a sitting president’s untimely exit and set the precedent for succession thereafter.

The Brown Thrasher was first recognized as the official state bird of Georgia on April 5, 1935 through an Executive Order signed by Governor Eugene Talmadge. Later the designation of official state symbols through executive fiat was challenged and the General Assembly would recognize the Brown Thrasher again as official state bird in 1970.

On April 5, 1962, Governor Ernest Vandiver called a Special Session of the Georgia General Assembly to revise the state’s election code following a decision by the United States Supreme Court in the case of Baker v. Carr.

On April 5, 1977, Wyche Fowler won a runoff election over John Lewis for the Fifth Congressional District, following the appointment of Andrew Young as Ambassador to the United Nations. Fowler would win election to the United States Senate in 1986, and ironically, lose his seat in a 1992 runoff election to the late Paul Coverdell.

On April 5, 1980, the band that would come to be known as R.E.M. played their first show as Twisted Kites in Athens, Georgia.

When ABC News used my photo without crediting me

Abc used my photo

They’ve since revised the video to use another photo, but only after I called them on it.

Tick tock

Earlier in the Session, the Senate changed its rules to require that conference committee reports be placed on the desks of Senators at least two hours before being eligible for a vote. From Tom Crawford’s Georgia Report,

The rule will apply to conference committee reports that are drafted by House-Senate committees that negotiate the final version of a bill.

From the 36th day to the 40th and final day of the session, those reports will have to be placed on senators’ desks at least two hours before the Senate votes on them. That will give senators twice as much time – the old rule required a one-hour wait – to read the final version of a bill before they make a decision on whether to pass it or not.

The new rule addresses a complaint raised by legislators like Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) and Sen. Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta) that bills were being rammed through the Senate during the chaos of a session’s closing days without lawmakers having enough time to read and study them.

Continue Reading..


That time ABC News opened a segment with my photo

and they forgot to license it from me. Oops.

World News Videos | US News Videos

Abc used my photo



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

Georgia began its love affair with the regulation of what can and cannot be sold on this date in 1735, when James Oglethorpe, founder of the colony, helped gain passage of “An Act to prevent the Importation and Use of Rum and Brandies in the Province of Georgia.” The act provided that after June 24, 1735, “no Rum, Brandies, Spirits or Strong Waters” shall be imported into Georgia.” Permission was also required to sell beer, wine, and ale.

On April 3, 1776, the Continental Congress authorized “privateers” holding a letter of marque and reprisal to attack British ships. This essentially legalizes what would otherwise be considered piracy. Issuing letters of marque and reprisal is among the enumerated powers of Congress under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, though they have seldom been used. Thus, I hope to someday see the Jolly Roger flying at Tea Party rallies alongside the Gadsden flag.

On April 3, 1865, Richmond fell.

On April 3, 1898, President William McKinley called on Georgians to contribute 3000 volunteers for the Spanish-American War.

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., accompanied by Georgians Hosea Williams and Ralph D. Abernathy, was in Memphis, Tennessee, supporting a strike by sanitation workers on April 3, 1968. He delivered what is known as the “Mountaintop Speech.”

“[L]ike anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. So I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

Sine Die

David Clark Captain America

State Rep. David Clark (R-Gwinnett) won the annual Sine Die Men’s Fashion Show, with former Sen. George Hooks (D-Americus) coming in a strong second in green-and-white seersucker.

Sine Die Senator George Hooks

Governor Deal Signs Bills

So far this year, Gov. Deal has signed 15 bills, including House Bill 575, which abolished Payne City, Georgia.

To follow bill signings, you can click here for the official list.

Dead or Alive

After a little drama, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act died, but Gov. Deal spoke about how the effort might eventually move forward, from Greg Bluestein at the AJC.

Deal said hewing to the federal language would ensure none of the unintended consequences that critics say could arise, such as a legal loophole that could lead to discrimination against gays and lesbians. Supporters, meanwhile, describe it as a much-needed safeguard to protect people from government intrusion.

“As close as a state can stay to the original federal language, the safer you are,” said Deal, who voted for the federal legislation while a member of Congress in the 1990s. “It has been interpreted in the courts, so by having that model you narrow some of the arguments about what it does or does not do.”

He called the anti-discrimination clause “the most important” addition.

“And that is a delicate thing to do,” he said. “There’s been so much hyperbole. It’s hard to identify what can you say without saying too much, what can you say without saying too little, and what will people read into either version.”

Another benefit from the bill’s failure, Deal said, is a year’s distance from the uproar over similar bills in Arkansas and Indiana, which led to threats of boycotts, travel bans and international criticism.

“We all understand that this is a difficult issue,” said Deal, “and I hope that if and when it comes to my desk in the future it will not have the same kind of divisiveness associated in those two states.”

Kathleen Foody of the Associated Press has more on the future of RFRA.

State Sen. Josh McKoon, the measure’s sponsor, said he plans to focus on summer conventions for the statewide Republican party and in Georgia’s congressional districts.

That could further expose a rift in Georgia’s GOP over the issue.

Eric Tanenblatt, the state chair of George W. Bush’s presidential campaign in 2000 and a major Republican fundraiser, said both sides should negotiate when passions subside following the session.

“We need to be cognizant of the fact that there’s a changing demographic in this state,” he said. “That means there are going to be people in the party that perhaps have different views than others. If the Republican Party wants to be a big tent, they’re going to have to find a place for people with differing views.”

McKoon also appeared on CNN discussing the religious liberty bill.


Senate Bill 127 passed without speech restrictions



Adoptable Georgia Dogs for April 4, 2015

These three sisters are urgent at Monroe County Animal Shelter and will be euthanized on Tuesday, April 7th unless saved. I can’t think of a sweeter Easter miracle that any person could perform than to spend the holiday with their new best friend whom they saved.


Millie (above and below) is a 9 month old (born July 2014) female boxer mix. Her Mama is a full blooded papered fawn boxer, father unknown. Millie is more outgoing than her sisters and being on a leash quickly stopped challenging her. Millie loves attention and belly rubs, likes to play with other dogs, and seemed to get along with our shelter cat. She does like to play hide and seek while chewing on chew toys and bones. Millie is available at Monroe County Animal Control 157 L Cary Bittick Dr. Forsyth, GA 31029 478-994-7976.

Millie has a fundrazr set up to help pay for her vet expenses if a rescue group saves her. Donate here to help Millie.



Ellie is a 9 month old (born in July 2014) female boxer mix. Her Mama is a full blooded papered fawn boxer, daddy unknown. Ellie is quiet shy and was scared of the large camera Susan was holding. We could only get this one photo of her. Ellie is very sweet and needs a family to pet her, love her, comfort her, and teach her how to be a part of a family. Ellie is available at Monroe County Animal Control 157 L Cary Bittick Dr Forsyth, GA 31029 478-994-7976.

Ellie has a fundrazr set up to help pay for her vet expenses if a rescue group saves her. Donate here to help Ellie.


Lily is a 9 month old (born July 2014) female boxer mix. Her mama is a full blooded papered fawn boxer daddy unknown. Lily quickly learned how to handle being on a leash, is still a little on the shy side of life but friendly, and is in desperate need of a loving family to teach her to be part of a family. Lily is sweet and likes to be petted, gets along with other dogs, and didn’t seem to notice that our shelter cat walked right by her. Lily is available at Monroe County Animal Control 157 L Cary Bittick Dr Forsyth, GA 31029 478-994-7976.

Lily has a fundrazr set up to help pay for her vet expenses if a rescue group saves her. Donate here to help Lily.


Suit of the Day Hallway Edition, Senator George Hooks, retired

Sine Die Senator George Hooks


Suit of the Day: State Rep. David Clark

David Clark Captain America


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for April 2, 2015

Lady Bird

Lady Bird is young female Boxer/American Bulldog with a beautiful tiger-striped brindle coat – a real must see and still puppy-like. She is a beautiful, strong, energetic pup that will probably do well in a household with older children and adults. Great companion for active adults and / or older children. Lady Bird interacts well with some dogs but not cats. She is in need of basic obedience training; due to her size and strength would not recommend home with young children. Very loving dog and one that will develop strong loyalties to her forever family.

Lady Bird is available for adoption from Homeward Bound Pet Rescue Inc. in Ellijay, GA.


Noops is a young male Redtick Coonhound who was found wandering alone and malnourished on a mountain.

He was skittish at first but could not stand to pass up a meal of which he had been obviously deprived for a long time. He went along easily to the car and slept soundly safely as he probably had not out in the woods for so long having to be constantly vigilant of his surroundings. No collar and an old embedded collar wound to his neck which was healed, this poor skinny guy had HW.

He is so loving and gentle. At the vets office, he gladly gave his paw so a new vet tech could practice getting blood. He is so easy going. He has now been neutered and has under gone months of HW treatment and is completely heartworm free and healthy. OK, so what are his bad points? He’s a pet and does not hunt and he’s a digger. He behaves in the house and wants a family to call his own. He is only 2-3 years old and a really gem of a fellow. Please inquire about him. Photo #3 is the bad shape we found him in. He loves people and is so personable.When he gets out to run, he stays close on the property and comes back to his kennel. But if you’re outside, he’ll be sure to run up for an ear rub. He is such a love and a wonderful family pet.

Noops is available for adoption from Homeward Bound Pet Rescue Inc. in Ellijay, GA.


Tripp is an adult male Black Labrador Retriever mix. If you are looking for a loyal, attentive, protective, companion, Tripp is your man.

Tripp starts off shy but warms up quickly to adults, dogs, cats, and kids. He is already house trained so he’s move in ready for a single person or a big family. You supply the home and Tripp will supply the love and laughter.

Tripp is available for adoption from Homeward Bound Pet Rescue Inc. in Ellijay, GA.