AUDIO – LG Casey Cagle: On Sen. Johnny Isakson’s 2016 campaign Kickoff & Issues Before the state Senate in 2015

Your Georgia Desk

A very cool interview as we were in the middle of a mob of people dodging TV cameras and other assorted incoming objects – LG Cagle is a pro!

Your Ga Pundit correspondent had the opportunity to interview LG Casey Cagle at the  Johnny Isakson 2016 Kickoff announcement.  We discussed Senator Isakson and issues the state Senate will address in the upcoming Session.

How the GOP used Twitter to stretch election laws – CNN.com

Washington (CNN) — Republicans and outside groups used anonymous Twitter accounts to share internal polling data ahead of the midterm elections, CNN has learned, a practice that raises questions about whether they violated campaign finance laws that prohibit coordination.

The Twitter accounts were hidden in plain sight. The profiles were publicly available but meaningless without knowledge of how to find them and decode the information, according to a source with knowledge of the activities.

The practice is the latest effort in the quest by political operatives to exploit the murky world of campaign finance laws at a time when limits on spending in politics are eroding and regulators are being defanged.

Posting the information on Twitter, which is technically public, could provide a convenient loophole to the law — or could run afoul of it.

Beyond coordination, the social media operation could also raise questions about whether the polling data contained in the tweets constituted a donation to the NRCC that should have been reported. The groups could have violated election rules by not reporting the information in the tweets as a donation.

The tweets captured by screenshots stretched back to July, but the groups have communicated in this manner for four years, the source said. Staffers for each group deleted individual tweets every few months, so only the past few months of data were available when CNN first viewed the Twitter accounts.

Despite the questionable nature of the Twitter communications, experts doubt the FEC will do much to act. Members of the commission have been deadlocked along party lines for years and attorneys for these groups often develop legal arguments before engaging in such practices to avoid acting outside the bounds of the law, Ryan said.
“In many instances, we have very sophisticated political players with really good lawyers who know where the legal lines are and know where to push them to their client’s advantage,” he said.

via How the GOP used Twitter to stretch election laws – CNN.com.

The (increasingly) complicated relationship between Facebook and politics – The Washington Post

There is at least one study that suggests that Facebook advertising may have helped influence an election. Journalist Simon Owens pointed to a 2011 Facebook post that outlined an evaluation of ads in a Florida ballot measure in 2010. The group Vote NO on 8 bought Facebook ads in Dade and Broward Counties to argue against the proposition, which then failed. Not only was there a big difference in the vote in the two counties where ads ran (19 percent more opposition), but people who were exposed to more online advertising voted 17 points against the proposition than those who saw fewer spots. Owens notes the results from a poll taken after the fact: “heavy web users who were on Facebook were 10 points more likely to vote no on 8 than Democrats (who may or may not have seen the ads) were.”

We already knew that Facebook could drive people to the polls. In 2010, its experiment with an “I Voted!” button increased turnout by 340,000 during that year’s midterms. In 2012, a different experiment ensured a select group of users saw more hard news as Election Day approached. The group that saw more hard news apparently turned out 3 percentage points more heavily.

via The (increasingly) complicated relationship between Facebook and politics – The Washington Post.

Senate Majority Caucus Supports a Second Term for President Pro Tempore David Shafer

ATLANTA (November 17, 2014) | Sen. David Shafer (R – Duluth) has released the following statement on the vote today by the Senate Majority Caucus nominating him for a second term as President Pro Tempore:

“I am grateful to my fellow Republicans in the Senate for their vote of renewed confidence today. I look forward to working with Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert and our new Caucus leadership team in making Georgia the best place to work, worship and raise children.”

Ga. lawmakers press forward on medical cannabis | savannahnow.com

[State Rep. Allen] Peake said recently he expects to have a draft bill soon and it will allow for a limited number of businesses to obtain a state license to grow and process marijuana for the sole purpose of providing the cannabis oil under a system in which people of all ages with certain medical conditions would be able to obtain it under the supervision of a doctor. The amount of the psychoactive compound known as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, would be limited and facilities would be subject to regulations, lab testing and security measures.

“I feel very confident that my colleagues want to move forward with a public policy that provides a very tightly restricted, very regulated delivery system for cannabis oil in Georgia,” Peake said, adding he’s aware of 15 families who have left Georgia for Colorado and other states for access to the cannabis oil and three children have died while lawmakers have been debating the issue. “We can’t move fast enough.”

Law enforcement’s top concerns include security at the facilities and specific civil and criminal penalties for violators. The Georgia Sheriffs’ Association also indicated they would oppose a bill if law enforcement agencies weren’t granted warrantless access to the facilities for monitoring. Association President, Decatur County Sheriff Wiley Griffin, said members worry the bill could send mixed messages to the public.

“We want to be there to help,” Griffin said at an Oct. 1 hearing. “That is our job to help people, but we are also very, very concerned about the perception that this bill would lead to people thinking you could smoke marijuana for medical purposes.”

Peake said he feels confident the bill will address those concerns. Much more difficult might be confronting concerns of some in the medical community who first want to see the results of various clinical trials underway nationally and soon in Georgia. Dr. Cynthia Wetmore, director for clinical and translational research at Children’s Health Care of Atlanta, advised lawmakers to be cautious.

“To give something as powerful as cannabidiol oil really needs to be done initially within the confines of a clinical trial so there are medical professionals able to help these children monitor liver function, monitor their psychiatric outlook so we are able to do it safely,” Wetmore said at a Nov. 12 hearing. “I would only do it within the realm of a clinical study until it’s proven safe.”

via Ga. lawmakers press forward on medical cannabis | savannahnow.com.