The Marietta Daily Journal – Residents object to Chair Lee s BRT plan at SPLOST meeting

MARIETTA — County Chairman Tim Lee’s bus rapid transit proposal was on the minds of a number of residents who turned out for a meeting hosted by Commissioner JoAnn Birrell on Wednesday.

The meeting was intended to inform voters about projects that may be funded by a potential 1 percent special purpose local option sales tax.

About 100 people attended the event at the East Cobb Senior Center off Sandy Plains Road.

Birrell was quizzed by Ron Sifen of Vinings, president of the Cobb County Civic Coalition, and Tricia Clements, the group’s secretary.

Sifen mentioned Lee’s announcement he had moved a $100 million earmark for bus rapid transit from the “Tier 1” SPLOST list to “Tier 2,” meaning the project would only be funded if tax collections exceed projections.

The initial draft list included a $100 million line item for Lee’s proposed half billion BRT project. The amount was revised to $78 million before Lee moved the BRT down to “Tier 2,” where the earmark for the transit line now stands at $72.5 million, according to county spokesman Robert Quigley.

Sifen said he predicted Lee would make this decision because the existing SPLOST, which expires in December 2015, is exceeding projections.

“This SPLOST is going to collect close to $100 million more than the $750 million that they’re claiming it’s going to raise,” Sifen said.

He suggested Lee knows it, too, which is why Lee moved his BRT proposal into the Tier 2 list.

“All of a sudden, the $100 million magically appears for Tier 2,” Sifen said.

via The Marietta Daily Journal – Residents object to Chair Lee s BRT plan at SPLOST meeting.

The Marietta Daily Journal – Cobb Superior Court candidate Stedman court needs experienced judge

MARIETTA — Juanita Stedman says experience on both sides of the bench has given her the knowledge to preside over Cobb’s Superior Court with more skill than her runoff opponent.

“I’m the only one of the two of us who has judicial experience,” Stedman said. “I’m the only one of the two of us who has done any civil work.”

Stedman has spent the past seven weeks squaring off against Ann Harris, a senior assistant district attorney, in the final leg of the race to fill retiring Judge Jim Bodiford’s seat on the Superior Court. Bodiford has spent five terms on Cobb’s bench since winning election in 1994.

Stedman touted her nearly 14 years as a judge as one of the biggest reasons she feels she would make the best addition to the court’s ten-person bench.

via The Marietta Daily Journal – Cobb Superior Court candidate Stedman court needs experienced judge.

The Marietta Daily Journal – Cobb Superior Court candidate Harris Public safety is top priority of the court

MARIETTA — Ann Harris says she has spent the entirety of her nearly two-decade law career in Cobb Superior Court.

As senior assistant district attorney, Harris said she’s prosecuted the county’s “murderers and rapists and armed robbers” in superior courtrooms since the DA’s office hired her straight out of law school.

She hopes to soon earn a seat on the other side of the bench she’s come to know so well.

To do that, Harris will have to best Juanita Stedman, a judge in Cobb’s Juvenile Court, in the July 22 runoff for retiring Judge Jim Bodiford’s seat. Bodiford has served on the Superior Court since his election in 1994.

Harris touted her “soup to nuts” time in the county’s highest court as one of her biggest strengths as a candidate.

“Every case that I handle, every case that I touch, it’s done in Superior Court,” the Smyrna resident said, adding her work passed through that court “whether it’s a plea, a trial or a dismissal.”

via The Marietta Daily Journal – Cobb Superior Court candidate Harris Public safety is top priority of the court.

The GOP is looking for votes in unusual places | www.myajc.com

GEORGETOWN — This is a strange place for the Republican Party to stake its future. Quitman County is one of Georgia’s least populous spots. It’s also one of the poorest and, dubiously for the GOP, solidly Democratic.

It’s here, in this county of hardly 2,000 people about 150 miles southwest of Atlanta, where the state GOP is trying to revive a long dormant Republican organization.

“It’s not something that’s going to change overnight,” said Joseph Brannan, a Columbus radio executive and regional Republican leader who is an architect of this strategy. “And I don’t think it will for this election cycle. In 2014, the Republicans will be OK. But looking forward, there’s reason to be worried. And this is one thing we can do to prepare for the future.”

The message from Democrats is simple: Keep dreaming. They noted the strong leftward lean in Quitman and other counties where Republicans have recently reorganized, including Albany’s Dougherty County, which Obama took by a more than 2-to-1 margin.

“It sounds like most of the areas they’re ‘rebooting’ are areas where President Obama won with 70 percent,” said Michael Smith, a spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “It’s gonna take more than unloading a few chairs and a box full of apologies into a vacant storefront to expand their electorate. They have a lot of explaining to do.”

Alan Abramowitz, an Emory University political scientist, said the strategy seems dubious to him as well. Even if the GOP can win left-leaning counties as small as Quitman, why bother?

“Those types of counties account for a small and declining share of the electorate in Georgia,” he said. “How many votes are there to mine in such places? And my hunch is that the nonvoters in those areas are disproportionately African-Americans or Hispanics” more likely to lean to the left.

Brannan, the chairman of the GOP’s 2nd District, which stretches across southwest Georgia, said the party wants to make sure Quitman Republicans have a say in its direction. But he also acknowledges that as the demographics change, votes in metro Atlanta will be harder to find and the GOP will need to offset the losses elsewhere.

“From a broader GOP strategy, every vote outside of Atlanta counts. For a while, it was easy to organize in Atlanta and we’d get votes there,” he said. “But as Atlanta shifts more blue, each vote outside the city becomes more valuable.”

via The GOP is looking for votes in unusual places | www.myajc.com.

In Georgia Senate, Jack Kingston, David Perdue spend combined $11M | Online Athens

ATLANTA | The two Republicans vying for Georgia’s open Senate seat have spent a combined $11 million so far on the race, with just over a week to go before the July 22 runoff.

Rep. Jack Kingston has dominated in fundraising throughout the campaign, although former Dollar General CEO David Perdue has been closing the gap helped in large part by his personal funds. On Thursday, Kingston reported receiving $1.6 million in contributions over the past two months, compared to $974,000 in contributions for Perdue.

Among the Republicans, Kingston began his campaign with a large cash advantage. He had about $2.3 million in his congressional campaign account that was transferred over for the Senate race. Perdue, who made millions overseeing companies including Dollar General and Reebok, has pumped $3.1 million of his own money into the race through a combination of loans and personal contributions.

 

The latest was a $500,000 loan made sometime over the past two months, according to his campaign report. Those funds have helped Perdue keep pace with Kingston, who has earned the backing of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and two former rivals in the Republican Senate race.

 

With just over a week to go before the runoff election, Kingston holds an edge in terms of cash on hand, with about $1.2 million. Perdue had about $783,000 in the bank to start July. Overall, Kingston has raised nearly $5.3 million in contributions to Perdue’s $4.6 million, which also includes $1.9 million of his own money.

 

Nunn has yet to release her latest fundraising report, which isn’t due until next week.

Beyond the candidates, the race has drawn more than $7.8 million in spending by outside groups. According to Federal Election Commission data, that total puts the Georgia race behind Senate contests in just three other states: Mississippi, North Carolina and Massachusetts.

via In Georgia Senate, Jack Kingston, David Perdue spend combined $11M | Online Athens.

Poll: David Perdue gaining on Jack Kingston in GOP Senate runoff | savannahnow.com

NEWNAN – David Perdue has effectively erased the lead Jack Kingston had enjoyed in the Republican Senate runoff, according to a survey released Thursday.

Perdue told about three-dozen supporters during a campaign stop in this Atlanta suburb that he’s feeling the momentum. The day before, Kingston greeted diners at the Varsity drive-in and also expressed confidence.

The poll for Morris News and Fox5 of Atlanta shows Kingston with 43 percent and Perdue with 41, essentially tied since the difference falls within the 2.7 percent margin of error. Another 17 percent remain undecided.

InsiderAdvantage conducted the survey by phone and online Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday among 1,278 likely voters or those who have already voted early.

via Poll: David Perdue gaining on Jack Kingston in GOP Senate runoff | savannahnow.com.

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for July 11, 2014

Alexander

Alexander is listed as an American Staffordshire mix, but I suspect one of his parents was at least part yellow lab. Shelter volunteers describe him as “a a good natured, happy goober”. Alexander is available for adoption from Washington Wilkes Humane Animal Shelter in Washington, GA.

Hamilton

Hamilton is a Chocolate Labrador Retriever mix, about 2.5 years old and 43 pounds. He’s said to enjoy hunting and fishing. He has heartworms and is undergoing treatment. Hamilton is available for adoption from Homeless Pets Foundation in Marietta, GA.

Ryan 0711Ryan is one of a litter of nine mixed breed puppies available for adoption from Moultrie-Colquitt County Humane Society in Moultrie, GA.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 11, 2014

On July 11, 1782, British colonists including British Royal Governor Sir James Wright, fled Georgia.

Wright had been the only colonial governor and Georgia the only colony to successfully implement the Stamp Act in 1765. As revolutionary fervor grew elsewhere in the colonies, Georgia remained the most loyal colony, declining to send delegates to the Continental Congress in 1774.

Congress ordered the creation of the United States Marine Corps on July 11, 1798, after the Corps was inactive for a period following the Revolutionary War. From 1799 to 1921, Marine Corps Day was observed on July 11, but is now celebrated on November 10, the date of it’s Revolutionary War establishment.

On July 11, 1804, Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel in Weehawken, New Jersey. Burr was the sitting Vice President of the United States and Hamilton a former Secretary of the Treasury.

On July 11, 1877, a Constitutional Convention convened in the Kimball Opera House in Atlanta to replace the 1868 Reconstruction Constitution.

On July 11, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Aid Road Act, establishing a federal program of paying for highway development.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt accepted the Democratic nomination for a fourth term on July 11, 1944.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower was nominated for President by the Republican National Convention on July 11, 1952.

July 11, 1969 was an epic day in rock and roll history, with David Bowie releasing “Space Oddity” and the Rolling Stones releasing “Honky Tonk Women.”

On July 11, 1985, Astros pitcher Nolan Ryan became the first major league player to strike out 4000 batters.

Washington & Lee University will take down replicas of Confederate flags that hang in Lee Chapel, where the recumbent statute of General Robert E. Lee stands.

Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, has agreed to remove Confederate flags from its Lee Chapel, responding to pressure from a group of black law school students. The chapel and the university bear the name of Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee, who became the university’s president after the Civil War.

The decision to remove the flags and to confront the University’s historic involvement with slavery was announced by Washington and Lee president, Kenneth Ruscio, who joins me now from Lexington. Welcome to the program.

MELISSA BLOCK: Now in terms of the demand for an official apology for the university’s role with slavery, in your statement, you say this was a regrettable chapter of our history that has to be confronted, but you also said that you wouldn’t apologize for the crucial role that Robert E. Lee played in shaping this institution. So not an official apology for the university’s connection with slavery itself, although you say it is regrettable.

W&L PRESIDENT KENNETH RUSCIO: Yeah, and, you know, I’m in a position where I represent the university and I am stating what I believe to be something the university ought to acknowledge and ought to acknowledge with regret. It is a part of our history that we wish were different, but it wasn’t.

You know, the question of Robert E. Lee is that he devoted five years of his life to the institution as president and made some very, very significant contributions during his time here. And as I had said in other contexts, Robert E. Lee was absolutely an imperfect individual living in imperfect times. And to understand the complexity, understanding the totality of a record of an individual, is clearly the first step that we have to take as a community. And I think that’s where I would head first.

It is ironic that it was President Robert E. Lee, after whose tenure at the University all subsequent presidents are numbered, who brought the School of Law into the University.

The Law School was not integrated into Washington and Lee University (then known as Washington College) until after the Civil War when Robert E. Lee was president of the university. In 1866, General Lee annexed the school, known at the time as the School of Law and Equity, to the college and appointed Judge Brockenbrough as the first Dean. In 1870, after Lee’s death, the School of Law and Equity was renamed as the Washington and Lee University School of Law, in line with the college’s name change in honor of General Lee.

For many years, historic and authentic Confederate battle flags were displayed in the Chapel.

The flags had been either captured by or surrendered to the Union Army during the Civil War and held until 1906, when the secretary of the U.S. Army ordered their return to the Confederate Memorial Literacy Society (CMLS), in Richmond, Va., which ran the Confederate Museum (later called the Museum of the Confederacy and now part of the American Civil War Museum), also in Richmond. The CMLS, in turn, agreed to loan eight of the flags to the UDC for display in Lee Chapel. Four additional flags came to the chapel from private donors for display and interpretation in the Lee Chapel Museum.

In 1963, A. Prescott Rowe, then the museum curator, observed that the flags were deteriorating. He wrote that “the natural inclination of most visitors to touch and feel the time-worn material necessitate their relocation to bronze wall holders for the sake of preservation.”

In 1993, the Museum of the Confederacy asked that the University return the flags because of their deteriorating condition, and the original flags were replaced by reproductions in 1995.

harper fry

If you’re female and live in or near the Marietta Square, a Girls’ Night Out fundraiser is being held on July 24th by three shops on the Square. That little girl you see there has a rare, terminal genetic disease, and part of the proceeds will benefit her and her family as they seek the best treatment and highest quality of life for Harper, as well as giving Harper’s mother a night on the town with friends. If I were eligible to attend a Girls’ Night Out, I would totally be there.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

JC Watts Barr Banner

InsiderAdvantage released a poll yesterday for Fox 5 Atlanta and Morris News on the United States Senate race.

Jack Kingston: 42%
David Perdue: 41%
Undecided: 17%

“The Kingston campaign has played what might be called in football terms the old ‘prevent defense.’ An overly cautious approach, in other words,” said InsiderAdvantage CEO Matt Towery.

“It’s not working. Because both campaigns and the groups that support them have TV attack ads that look so much alike – grainy or unflattering still pictures of the opponent, with nasty allegations or questions as the narrative – the public is tuning them out,” said Towery.

“Kingston has dropped nearly 11 points since our last survey, and clearly Perdue has momentum on his side. To reverse this situation, the Kingston camp must do two things. First, they must revamp their ads in order to have more impact. Second and just as important, they must utilize the very same turnout system used by Karen Handel in the primary,” said Towery.

“Handel has endorsed Kingston, but the Kingston camp can’t assume that an endorsement announcement made weeks ago can translate into votes today. To date, one poorly produced Handel robocall has reportedly been made to potential voters. Handel’s get-out-the-vote effort was targeted and very effective for a campaign lacking funds to fight it out on TV. Kingston must target those same voters using Handel’s endorsement, and do so in the same in areas where his many other endorsements might make a difference,” he said.

The survey of 1,278 likely voters and voters who have voted early was conducted by phone and online July 7-9. It is weighted for age, race and gender. The “SuperPoll” has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7% and a confidence level of 95%.

I’ve made suggestions to the Kingston campaign for their robocalls and how to leverage the great endorsements they have received, but have not even received a response.

Walter Jones of Morris News, writes about the poll and the Senate race:

David Perdue has effectively erased the lead Jack Kingston had enjoyed in the Republican Senate runoff, according to a survey released Thursday.

Perdue told about three-dozen supporters during a campaign stop in this Atlanta suburb that he’s feeling the momentum. The day before, Kingston greeted diners at the Varsity drive-in and also expressed confidence.

Perdue, a retired corporate executive and political newcomer, came in first in the May primary with Kingston second out of a seven-candidate field. But the candidates who finished third and fourth, Karen Handel and Phil Gingrey, have since endorsed Kingston as have a handful of his congressional colleagues and newspapers around the state.

Independent polls reported Kingston with a double-digit lead in the weeks following the primary, apparently benefiting from a fleeting “bump” from news of the endorsements while Perdue had no TV ads on the air. Perdue spent that time replenishing his campaign war chest and will report raising about $1 million and adding more of his own cash in figures to be reported late Thursday.

Kingston said Perdue is out of touch with voters, especially Republicans.

“Someone who is running for the U.S. Senate and has never voted in the Republican primary until his name is on the ballot, that takes chutzpah, if nothing else,” Kingston said.

So far, the price tag for the Senate campaign totals $11 million by Kingston and Perdue alone.From the Associated Press and Christina Cassidy.

Among the Republicans, Kingston began his campaign with a large cash advantage. He had about $2.3 million in his congressional campaign account that was transferred over for the Senate race. Perdue, who made millions overseeing companies including Dollar General and Reebok, has pumped $3.1 million of his own money into the race through a combination of loans and personal contributions.

The latest was a $500,000 loan made sometime over the past two months, according to his campaign report. Those funds have helped Perdue keep pace with Kingston, who has earned the backing of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and two former rivals in the Republican Senate race.

With just over a week to go before the runoff election, Kingston holds an edge in terms of cash on hand, with about $1.2 million. Perdue had about $783,000 in the bank to start July. Overall, Kingston has raised nearly $5.3 million in contributions to Perdue’s $4.6 million, which also includes $1.9 million of his own money.

Beyond the candidates, the race has drawn more than $7.8 million in spending by outside groups. According to Federal Election Commission data, that total puts the Georgia race behind Senate contests in just three other states: Mississippi, North Carolina and Massachusetts

Fully ten percent of that outside spending came in the form of a single $780,000 expenditure by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce designed to bolster Kingston’s chances.

The Chamber paid Revolution Agency of Alexandria, Virginia, $779,116 for TV and digital advertisement to run from July 8th through July 22nd.

This brings the Chamber’s independent expenditures supporting Rep. Kingston to $1,415,451 for calendar year 2014.

Don Young Barr Banner

Congressional Campaign Fundraising

Daniel Malloy of the AJC wrapped-up Congressional campaign fundraising:

11th Congressional District

Barry Loudermilk considerably outraised Bob Barr, but Barr had more cash on hand for the final three weeks of the runoff — with an assist from his own bank account.

Loudermilk… raised $285,528, spent $239,946 and had $135,463 on hand. Barr, a former Congressman from Smyrna, raised $154,394, put in $40,283 of his own money, spent $122,156 and had $168,669 on hand.

10th Congressional District

Jody Hice outraised Mike Collins but they have about the same amount of cash available for the final sprint.

Hice…. raised $191,512, donated $1,844 to himself, spent $158,005 and had $74,428 on hand.

Collins…. raised $134,001, loaned himself $25,000, spent $192,553 and had $77,260 on hand.

First Congressional District

Buddy Carter… raised $319,168, loaned himself $50,000, spent $380,214 and had $230,698 on hand. Savannah surgeon Bob Johnson raised $279,040, loaned himself $4,000 and spent $442,641, leaving him with $49,656 on hand.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on 2014 Campaign Strategy

Mayor Reed spoke to Georgia Public Broadcasting about what Democratic candidates Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter must do to be competitive in November’s general election.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says in order for Democrats Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn to win in November, they will have to spend campaign funds reaching out to the 600,000 to 900,000 minority voters in Georgia.
“And if they haven’t invested, I would say somewhere between three to five million in their registration efforts and in their voter contact efforts, I don’t believe they are going to prevail,” Reed told GPB’s Bill Nigut.
Reed says the typical Democratic strategy of waiting until September to reach out to black voters won’t work.
“If someone calls on me at that point, I’m not going to be too responsive to that because I think that’s offensive and I think it’s the old way,” he said. “What needs to happen is you have to communicate with all your constituencies at the exact same time through election day.”

Today, I’ll be on the radio with GPB’s new Political Roundtable, with host Bill Nigut, and fellow guests AJC columnist Jim Galloway, nationally-syndicated writer and political analyst Jackie Cushman, and former Democratic Congressman Buddy Darden. The show airs at 3 PM, and in Atlanta, you can tune in at WRAS 88.5 FM.

Friday Fun

Mercedes 250 SE Front Q far

If you enjoy classic, exotic, or just plain interesting cars, check out my new website, featuring cars photographed in Atlanta and across Georgia, including this Mercedes-Benz 250 SE from 1965-68.

The Marietta Daily Journal – In Georgia Sen Kingston leads Perdue in money race

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Senate candidate Jack Kingston continues to dominate fellow Republican David Perdue in fundraising, reporting $1.6 million in contributions over the last two months.

Perdue, the former CEO of Dollar General, received $974,000 in contributions for the same period. Kingston, a congressman from Savannah, also has more cash on hand, about $1.15 million heading into the July 22 runoff.

Perdue reports about $783,000 cash on hand. He also loaned his campaign an additional $500,000, bringing his total personal investment in the race to $3.15 million.

via The Marietta Daily Journal – In Georgia Sen Kingston leads Perdue in money race.

The Barry Loudermilk and Dan McLagan communications strategy

After the revelation of documents that implicate former State Senator Barry Loudermilk in the events leading to a secret $80k settlement of a discrimination lawsuit brought by his former assistant against the state, Loudermilk spokesman Dan McLagan told Jim Galloway of the AJC Political Insider:

It’s clear Barry had nothing to do with this — didn’t even know about the suit until after it was well over — and personnel actions in the Senate are done by the Secretary of the Senate.

A couple weeks earlier, the Loudermilk campaign spokesman Dan McLagan told WABE, when questions were raised about whether Loudermilk embellished his military record:

The response from Loudermilk’s campaign came from Dan McLagan: “He has endorsed Bob Barr. And this is clearly coming from the Barr campaign, because Bob can’t make this accusation. Bob’s never served in uniform.”

Loudermilk’s spokesman says his candidate will not be meeting Mrozinski Thursday, the Colonel requested, to turn over his DD-214, but he made another offer.

“I don’t know what a DD-214 is,” said, McLagan, “but if we’ve got one laying around, we’ll send it to you.”

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