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4
Jan

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 4, 2016

Georgia and American History

On January 1, 1751, the law prohibiting slavery in Georgia was repealed after an act passed by the Georgia Trustees the previous year.

On January 2, 1766, some Sons of Liberty marched on the Royal Governor’s Mansion in Savannah to “discuss” the Stamp Act, which required the use of stamped paper for all printing as a means of taxing the colonies. They were met by a pistol-toting Governor Wright. The next day, January 3, 1766, the Royal Stamp Master arrived at Tybee Island and was taken to the Governor’s Mansion. On that day, Georgia became the first and only colony in which the stamp tax was actually collected.

Georgia became the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution on January 2, 1788.

Timothy Pickering of Massachusetts became the first United States Senator to be censured by the body on January 2, 1811.

Delaware, technically at the time a slave state, rejected a proposal to secede from the United States on January 3, 1861.

The Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln went into effect in eleven Southern states on January 1, 1863, though parts of Virginia and Louisiana were exempt.

On January 3, 1973, Andrew Young was sworn in as the first African-American Congressman from Georgia since 1871.

Utah was admitted as the 45th state on January 4, 1896. Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, 1959.

Georgia Congressman Newt Gingrich was elected Speaker of the House on January 4, 1995, the third Georgian to wield the gavel. This marked the first time in more than forty years that Republicans controlled the House of Representatives.

On January 4, 1999, in DeKalb County, State Court Judge Al Wong became the first Asian-American judge in Georgia and the Southeast.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

We’re now less than sixty days from the 2016 Presidential Preference Primary here in Georgia, and two candidates have dropped out of the Republican race since Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced the lists of qualified candidates.Continue Reading..

4
Jan

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for January 4, 2016

Nala

Nala is a pit/dalmatian? mix, about 4-5 months old, albino white with a few brown spots. She is completely deaf but very playful, going through crate and leash training and housebroken( almost),  just needs lots of attention.  Nala is a great pup, getting better on a leash, and is adapting well to crate training.Current on all shots and is negative for heart-worm. She’s in a foster home but needs a new foster home or forever home as soon as possible. If you’re interested in helping her, email me directly and I’ll put you in touch with her foster.

Newnan Coweta Humane

Newnan-Coweta Humane Society is hosting an adoption day and fundraiser for shelter pets on Saturday, January 9, 2016 from 9 AM to Noon at Coweta Animal Control, 91 Selt Rd, Newnan, GA.

Barney

Barney is a 40-pound Australian Shepherd/Pointer mix male who is available for adoption from Coweta County Animal Control in Newnan, GA.

“Barney” is such a fun-loving, sweet, playful, and loving young fella! He never, ever meets a stranger and always loves to have a good time! “Barney” would love nothing more than to be with a forever family where he will be a cherished companion pet. Please don’t let “Barney” sit for one more day at the shelter….his time is rapidly running out! Can you open your heart and home and offer him a second chance at life and love. PLEASE HURRY! This pet has been at the shelter since 08/17/15!!

Oscar

Oscar is a 7-month old Great Dane mix male who already weighs 33 pounds and is available for adoption from Coweta County Animal Control in Newnan, GA.

“Oscar” is the SWEETEST young man despite someone cutting his ears. It looks like someone tried to cut his ears to make them stand up like a Great Dane ……. how can anyone be so horrible to such a precious, loving soul. Just look at his picture and you can see…..just horrible. Please……can you open your heart and home to this precious loving, sweet, playful and charming guy? “Oscar” desperately needs someone to open their heart and home and offer him a second chance at life and love. Sadly, he is rapidly running out of time due to shelter overcrowding. PLEASE HURRY!

Stella

Stella is a 5-year old female American Bulldog who is available for adoption from Coweta County Animal Control in Newnan, GA.

Precious….absolutely PRECIOUS!!!! If “Stella” doesn’t melt your heart….you may need to see a doctor. This precious girl was brought in as a stray along with her sibling, “Stevie” (A031614). Just like “Stevie” a very cruel individual cut off her ears. In fact, they cut down to the ear canal. How can anyone be so cruel??? “Stella” is so incredibly sweet, loving, humble and only desires to be loved and safe. We have never seen any aggression and she loved the two little girls that are with her in the video. “Stella” is a little nervous – and rightly so – but she warms up once she knows that you mean her no harm.

Her brother, “Stevie”, is a little more confident but he is a little head shy……hands have not been good to him. “Stella” is not as head shy but when she first meets you, she will need a little time to know that you are kind. It is truly HEARTBREAKING. However, despite people (or person) not being kind to her in the past, she holds no grudges and loves everyone she meets. “Stella” desperately needs a safe and loving home and quickly…her time is rapidly running out. Can you open your heart and home and offer her a second chance at life and love. Please….please don’t overlook this precious, loving, sweet, kind and humble soul. PLEASE HURRY!

1
Jan

2015 Georgia Politics in Review

Presidential Candidates 2016 Calendar GaPundit

30
Dec

Senator David Perdue: Reflecting On My First Year In The Senate

David Perdue Flags

By U.S. Senator David Perdue

Dear friends,

Almost a year ago, I stood next to my wife Bonnie, put my hand on my Father’s Bible, and swore to uphold the Constitution and represent the people of Georgia in the United States Senate. This is a role I never imagined, but one I take very seriously.

To emphasize the magnitude of this responsibility, I held my first staff meeting at the National Archives—home of the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. We reflected deeply on the role of our federal government and the need to hold it accountable to the people we represent.

I came to the Senate with a sense of urgency to make a difference. In my first weeks, I sponsored three bills that would help put in place a system that is more representative of Georgia’s priorities, including a constitutional amendment to balance the budget, a Fair Tax system, and term limits legislation. But as a businessman with no political experience, it immediately became clear to me that Washington’s budget process is broken. It has only worked four times in the last forty years. In the real world, this would have been fixed long ago. Continue Reading..

30
Dec

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 30, 2015

Barrow County is trying to clear out its Animal Shelter to begin the New Year right. Today and tomorrow, adoptions are only $15.

Pittie Mama

This beautiful mama is an adult female Pibble who was bred (intentionally or negligently) several times before her owners took her too the shelter because they can’t afford to feed her. She is available for adoption at Barrow County Animal Shelter for $15, fully vetted.

Serena

Serena is a 1-year old female Yellow Lab mix who weighs 49 pounds and is available for adoption at Barrow County Animal Shelter for $15, fully vetted.

Kudzu

Kudzu is a 1-year old, 60-pound Black Lab mix male who is available for adoption at Barrow County Animal Shelter for $15, fully vetted.

ShebaBarrow

Sheba is a friendly 2-year old Terrier mix female who is available for adoption at Barrow County Animal Shelter for $15, fully vetted.

Cherokee County Animal Shelter received a certificate from the United States Department of Agriculture after three shelter dogs were accepted into the  Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s National Detector Dog Training Center.

Dogs allocated to the program, which is based in Newnan, are put through rigorous testing and assessments to qualify as training candidates. The dogs admitted must possess the following characteristics: self-confidence, soundness, high food drive, sociability and adaptability.

The USDA accepts shelter dogs who fit the specific behavior profile to create a large group of detector dog candidates. The dogs accepted into the program are trained to detect pests and diseases on agricultural products.

Former Cherokee animal shelter dogs Bo and Kirby, both beagles, and Dutton, a chocolate lab, are all waiting for handlers/trainers to be assigned to them to carry out their official duties

30
Dec

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

Georgia and American History

Georgia Governor George Towns signed a constitutional amendment that removed the requirement that governors own at least 500 acres real estate and other property valued at least $4000 on December 30, 1847. At the time, an amendment to the state constitution had to be passed twice by the General Assembly in subsequent sessions, but did not require voter approval.

The Gadsden Purchase, establishing the southern border of the United States with Mexico, was signed on December 30, 1853.

The USS Monitor, the first federal ironclad steamship, sank on December 30, 1862 off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

The American Political Science Association was formed on December 30, 1903, and has been misunderstood ever since.

The first live recording of Led Zeppelin was made at Gonzaga University on December 30, 1968.

Lockheed received the contract to produce 50 C-5B cargo aircraft for the federal government on December 30, 1982.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Batten down the hatches, as more rain is expected beginning today. In Gordon County, a local state of emergency has been issued and a 64-year old man was found drowned in his car, presumably after he bypassed a barricade to drive on a flooded road.

Residents in many areas are being warned against drinking water from flooded wells or springs.

“We don’t advise cooking with the water, showering or bathing,” said Raymond King, Director of Environmental Health at the North Georgia Health District in Dalton.

Unlike public water systems, wells are easily contaminated.

“Bacteria, viruses, chemicals, even manure from farms. When (wells) are covered with flood waters, most of them get contaminated, one way or another,” King explained.

While homeowners with contaminated flooded wells can still flush their toilets, King advises them to buy their drinking water. Any food touched by flood waters should also be tossed in the trash.

Homeowners with flooded wells should use bleach to disinfect it, and wait at least 8 hours before flushing the system. Water samples should then be dropped off at a public health lab for testing to determine if the well is safe to drink.

“We’re not saying everybody who drinks a contaminated well is going to get sick, but we’re especially concerned about small children and people with compromised immune systems,” King said.

In Catoosa County, the public water system was overwhelmed by flood waters and residents are asked to conserve water.

All of the recent rain is responsible for the low water supply and shutting off the water pumps.

Now, [the county] is asking all customers to conserve water — so the county doesn’t run out.

“The pumps were first turned off on Wednesday of this week and we got them up and running yesterday, Sunday,” said Randall Crawford, Vice-Chairman of the Catoosa Utility District Authority.

That water comes from a local spring, which is now flooded, forcing the utility company to shut down its pumps to avoid contaminated water.

“When that run-off can not flow then we have to stop pumping so we don’t take the chance of getting bad water into the system,” Crawford said.

The potential failure of an Oconee County dam led county officials to ask residents below the dam to evacuate, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

Oconee County officials were asking people along Briar Lakes Court to evacuate their homes Tuesday evening due to the possibility of a dam failing on one of three lakes in the subdivision located off Mars Hill Road near Georgia Highway 316.

If the dam fails, it will cut off access to homes along the dead-end street, according to Oconee County Fire Rescue and the county’s public works department. There are approximately nine homes along the street.

“Residents on Briar Lakes Court are encouraged to leave now or risk being trapped in their homes,” the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office posted on its Facebook page. Other homes in the subdivision are not in any danger, according to the post.

Yesterday, Gov. Nathan Deal swore in three new judges to the Georgia Court of Appeals.Continue Reading..

29
Dec

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 29, 2015

The good folks at Country Livin’ Pet Rescue have found themselves in a bit of a financial pickle, with veterinary bills piling up. A dog who has come down with Parvo is expensive, whether it be for a rescue group or a family. There are three ways you can help this fine organization:

1. Donate online via this link;

2. If you’d prefer to send a check, please email the rescue group; or

3. Phone the vet, Happy Tails, at 678-963-5004 and make a credit card payment to donate toward the bills of Country Livin’.

Folks are sometimes surprised at what seems like high fees to adopt a mutt through a rescue group. But you’re not just paying for “a dog,” you’re paying to support the rescue that gave their blood, sweat, tears, and money to save the dog who suddenly broke with parvo or the dog who came into a public shelter with a broken leg and had no one else to save their lives. This is especially true with smaller rescue groups.

Veterinarians often offer credit and reduced rates to rescue groups, but the bills can pile up fast, and a single canine illness can threaten a group’s ability to continue its mission. It’s not too late to be a Christmas miracle for someone.

CocoCLPR

Coco is a sweet little (6lb) Chihuahua who found herself being taken to a kill shelter after becoming pregnant. It wasn’t Coco’s fault her family didn’t have her spayed, yet she almost paid the ultimate price. Coco is housebroken, crate trained and gets along with other dogs. Cats – not so much :-) Like many Chihuahua’s, Coco has a slight heart murmur but that doesn’t keep her down. Her favorites things to do are to sit in your lap, go for rides in the car and go for long walks. Coco is estimated at 2 – 3 years old and she is available for adoption from Country Livin’ Pet Rescue in Metro Atlanta.

Gunnar

Gunnar is a beautiful 1-year old blue merle male aussie. He is young and playful, but can be shy meeting new people. Gunnar is great with other dogs, good with kids and good with cats. He is a very cool dude that is looking for his own family. Gunnar doesn’t understand why he doesn’t have his own family and is hoping someone will adopt him soon so he can bond with them and have someone to go on walks with, play ball with, etc. Could you be that person? Gunnar is available for adoption from Country Livin’ Pet Rescue in Metro Atlanta.

LolaCLPR

Lola is a super fun-loving 10-12 month old German Shepherd Dog mix girl. She is crate trained, housebroke, and tons of fun! She knows sit, down, shake and is working on other commands. She loves to play with other dogs or people, likes toys, and gives kisses. She has a scar on one side of her face that we aren’t quite sure how she got, but it is all healed up now. She is a sweet young girl that needs a chance! Lola is available for adoption from Country Livin’ Pet Rescue in Metro Atlanta.

29
Dec

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

Georgia and United States History Today

Savannah, Georgia was captured by British troops on December 29, 1778.

Texas was admitted as a state on December 29, 1845. Statehood for Texas was a major issue in the 1844 United States Presidential campaign.

The City of Atlanta was re-incorporated on December 29, 1847, changing from a “town” to a “city,” a meaningless distinction, though the date is often cited as the creation of Atlanta.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

State Representative Brad Raffensperger (R-Johns Creek) on the need for House Bill 713, which would prevent rapists who impregnate their victims from claiming parental rights to prevent prosecution.

Lobbyists are often denigrated by candidates seeking office and by citizens who think they wield too much influence. The best lobbyists wield whatever influence they have by providing timely, accurate information about the businesses, industries, or nonprofit groups they represent. Especially in highly-technical areas, or those involving the interaction of federal laws and programs with state law, they can help solve problems and challenges faced by state and local governments.Continue Reading..

28
Dec

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 28, 2015

Nala

Nala is a pit/dalmatian? mix, about 4-5 months old, albino white with a few brown spots. She is completely deaf but very playful, going through crate and leash training and housebroken( almost),  just needs lots of attention.  Nala is a great pup, getting better on a leash, and is adapting well to crate training.Current on all shots and is negative for heart-worm. She’s in a foster home but needs a new foster home or forever home as soon as possible. If you’re interested in helping her, email me directly and I’ll put you in touch with her foster.

Everly

Everly is a 16-pound, year-old female Manchester Terrier & Dachshund Mix who is available for adoption from Ruffus Rescue in Atlanta, GA.

I was picked up as a stray and taken to a noisy animal shelter. I huddled in a corner until one of the shelter workers took me into her office and gave me some TLC. That was just what I needed! Then the lady from Ruffus Rescue came to get me and I’m very grateful for that. She says I’m very sweet and she really loves me. You will, too!

Bernie

Barney is a 50-pound, year-old St. Bernard and Collie mix male who is available for adoption from Ruffus Rescue in Atlanta, GA.

I got out of my yard and ended up at the shelter in a rural area. They tried to get me back to my humans, but no one ever came for me and then they moved. I’m a friendly doggie, so Ruffus Rescue took me in, even though I’m bigger than most of the others in their group. That’s fine with me ’cause I get along with everyone. I like to take walks with my foster Mom and I don’t even pull on the leash. All in all, I’m a very good boy and I think I’d be a great family dog!

Mrs. GaPundit and I met this guy over the Christmas weekend, and he’s an absolutely great dog who will make a fine best friend and lifelong companion for a lucky individual or family.

April

April is a 1-1/2 year old, 35-pound Beagle mix female who is available for adoption from Ruffus Rescue in Atlanta, GA.

I was found wandering in a rural area, so animal control took me to their shelter. I was afraid I wouldn’t get out, but I was happy when Ruffus Rescue took me into their group. I have lots of energy for walks and play (like chasing squirrels), and it would be great to have a fenced yard, but I can also be calm, quiet and cuddly in the house once I feel at home. I love people and I like other doggies once I get to know them. Please give me a chance to show you!

She’s a sweet dog on the small side of medium. She’s a little reserved at first but is a real sweetheart.

28
Dec

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

Georgia History

Legislation creating the city of Columbus, GA was signed on December 24, 1827.

Thomas Woodrow Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia on December 28, 1856 and moved to Augusta, Georgia with his family a few years later. Wilson would later practice law in Atlanta, marry Ellen Axson of Rome, Georgia, and serve as President of the United States from 1913 to 1921. Recently, Princeton University debated removing Wilson’s name from campus.

The Kimball Opera House in Atlanta, a former location of the State Capitol, caught fire on December 27, 1894 and was destroyed.

On December 29, 1896, Georgia Governor William Y. Atkinson signed legislation creating the state Schoolbook Commission.

On December 26, 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt watched a private viewing of Gone With the Wind at the White House.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

February 1, 2016 is the voter registration deadline to be eligible for voting in the 2016 Presidential Primary on March 1, called the “SEC Primary.”

Franklin Graham will hold a Prayer Rally at the Georgia State Capitol in Liberty Plaza on February 10, 2016 at Noon. As it happens, that’s nineteen days before Georgians go to the polls in the 2016 Presidential Preference Primary.

NPR has a piece on the organizational efforts put into Southern states like Georgia that will vote on March 1st.

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is making a big bet on building a strong organization outside the four early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. The idea is to pick up a strong lead in delegates needed to secure the nomination when 14 states, mostly in the South, vote on March 1 in the so-called SEC primary.

One of the places Cruz is trying that strategy out in is Tennessee, where he’ll stop on Tuesday, part of a multiday tour of states voting on March 1.

“So as those other candidates fall off, where do the Carson people go? A lot of them are evangelical and they’re going to go to Cruz. The Huckabee, the Santorum, lot of those folks, I think, are going to gravitate to Cruz as you move ahead,” said Gill.

While Politico writes about the competition between Cruz and Trump for Southern votes.

The battle for the South has settled into a race between two candidates, and neither is Marco Rubio.

In interviews with more than two dozen party officials, political operatives and activists, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump were repeatedly named as front-runners and likely winners in one of the most conservative regions of the country. Both contenders draw huge crowds and appeal to large swaths of middle- and lower-income white Republican Southerners, who are deeply angry with Washington.

Cruz has Trump, and the rest of the field, beat on organization, but Trump still lures the bigger audiences. And there is an increasing acknowledgment, even among the Republican elite, that the billionaire real estate developer has a committed base here, some of whom are likely voters and not the political celebrity gawkers many mainstream GOP operatives have guessed.

But the feeling on the ground is that Cruz has the momentum with conservative activists and that there’s some true support behind Trump’s high poll numbers, much as many party stalwarts wish otherwise. And while Rubio is generating considerable interest among more centrist Republican voters, he’s being squeezed not just on the right by Cruz but in the moderate lane by Jeb Bush and Chris Christie.

“Rubio’s got a lot of names, prominent elected officials; he’s the establishment darling right now,” said Chris Brown, a Birmingham, Alabama, consultant who is backing Bush. “But that is not contributing to rank-and-file voters. They are more Cruz-oriented.”

Large parts of Georgia are flooded by El Nino rains. On Christmas Eve, Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in Fannin, Gilmer, and Pickens Counties in North Georgia.

The other flood worth watching out for is prefiled legislation for the 2016 Session of the Georgia General Assembly, which convenes on January 11th.

[S]tate Rep. Brad Raffensperger filed one proposal that would, if it should become law, set being registered to vote in Georgia as a requirement for anyone elected or appointed to any local or state public office. The same measure would require anyone elected or appointed to a public body in the state be a legal resident of Georgia.

Raffensperger, R-Johns Creek, is an engineer elected in special balloting earlier this year after Gov. Nathan Deal appointed House District 50 incumbent Lynne Riley as the state’s revenue commissioner.

In another measure he prefiled for possible consideration in the upcoming legislative session, the metro Atlanta legislator proposes requiring anyone “appointed to serve on an authority, school district, commission, council, or board for a local governing body … [be] …. a citizen of the United States and a legal resident of the jurisdiction being served for one year immediately preceding such appointment.” That same bill would mandate that no one who is not a U.S. citizen, and who has not lived in the state for at least four years, could be appointed to serve on any state “authority, board, council or commission.”

Raffensperger’s prefiled proposals came just days after state Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, prefiled a proposal calling for a statewide referendum on amending the state constitution to make English the official language of the state of Georgia.

Among other legislation prefiled in recent days is a proposal from Sen. Michael “Doc” Rhett, a Marietta Democrat, that would make it a misdemeanor for anyone involved in divorce proceedings to attempt to purchase a firearm, unless the person has written permission from the judge presiding over the case. In Georgia, misdemeanors are punishable with a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail.

Also on the 2016 Agenda will be fighting over the public schools funding formula.

The Education Reform Commission, which has more than 30 members, recently completed its work and passed its report to Gov. Nathan Deal. One of the key parts of the commission’s report was a new funding formula to replace the three-decade old Quality Basic Education formula.

“At its outset, I charged the commission with providing recommendations to improve education, increase access to early learning programs, recruit and retain high-quality instructors and expand school options for students and families,” Deal said in a statement earlier this month. “I look forward to reviewing their recommendations as to how we might achieve these goals.”

Former University of Georgia President Charles Knapp, who chaired the commission, said the report responds to the governor’s charge and provides bold recommendations that will better prepare students for life and the workforce.

The formula includes a quarter of a billion dollars of additional “new money” allocated for K-12, a 3 percent jump from this year’s budget, which was more than $8 billion. Under the current formula, the state salary schedule is based on years of experience and education degrees. The new proposal would require each school system to have its own schedule, while the state would offer a template including minimum requirements. Pay for performance being on the table has drawn some criticism from teachers’ advocacy groups as Deal has favored at least a portion of salaries be based on performance.

Greg Bluestein of the AJC takes a look at this year’s Savannah elections for Mayor and City Council.

Edna Jackson, the city’s first black female leader, became the first incumbent mayor defeated here in 20 years, beaten by a conservative business owner. Two other black female contenders for the City Council were rejected by voters. They, too, fell to a pair of graying, white candidates.

That’s a seismic electoral shift in a city with a population that’s 55 percent black — minority voters who typically overwhelmingly support Democrats in Georgia — and hadn’t elected a Republican-leaning mayor since 1991. Sea change, indeed.

If national elections are typically about the economy, Savannah contests have long revolved around public safety. And the incoming mayor, Eddie DeLoach, capitalized on concerns about crime to build a new coalition he hopes will endure.

Crime rates that had leveled off during Jackson’s first three years in office soared in 2015. The number of homicides nearly doubled over the past year, making it Savannah’s bloodiest since 1991, and violent crime grew by more than 20 percent.

DeLoach pounced on those concerns. At the first debate, when asked to name the city’s top three challenges, he answered succinctly: crime, crime and crime. He vowed to fill the number of vacancies in the Police Department — at one point, the number had swelled to 100 openings — and pledged to hire 15 additional officers to a new violent crime unit.

Michelle Hall will run for a Hall County State Court seat being vacated by Chief Judge Charles S. Wynne, who is retiring at the end of his term.