Adoptable Georgia Dogs for July 18, 2014

JailMileyComp

Miley behind bars is a young female Boxer mix who is part of the Canine Cellmates program at Fulton County Jail. She’s so dog gone happy she doesn’t know what to do!! The shelter staff named her “Miley” because she was so happy and wiggling her little butt so much they said she was like Miley Cyrus “twerking”. HAHA!! This is a sweet, happy girl who loves nothing more than snuggling up next to your feet. Give Miley girl a chance and submit your application today!!

Miley Albany

Miley from Albany is a female Retriever/Hound mix puppy, kind of the quintessential Georgia dog. She is available for adoption from the Albany Humane Society in Albany, GA.

Miley Shih Tzu

Little Miley is a female adult Shih Tzu. Miley is about 3 years old and is an adorable shih tzu. She is very very sweet and came to us from a ‘hoarding’ situation in a rural county. She is crate trained and probably housetrained but we have not had her ‘loose’ in the house yet to know. She will make a great family pet. She has been spayed, microchipped, is heartworm negative and up to date on her vaccines.

Miley is available for adoption from Remember Me? Pet Rescue in Winder, Ga.

After a raid uncovered 357 puppies in horrible conditions, the Cherokee County Animal Shelter is overcrowded and needs donation.

Susan Garcia, director of the Cherokee Animal Shelter, said the community response has been wonderful so far and thanked everyone who had already donated, adding the shelter still needs specific donations to help with the influx of animals.

“I want stuff specific to this incident,” Garcia explained. “We need stuff we can use, not stuff we have to put up … If we get stuff that’s not going to help us, it takes time for us to put it away and find space to store it.”

The shelter had to close Wednesday as staff helped care for the hundreds of dogs seized from Heavenly Kennel off Cumming Highway on Tuesday, after authorities say owner Joy Wise failed to provide proper care for the animals, despite warnings from the Cherokee County Marshal’s Office in May.

 

For now, Garcia said the best way for residents to help while the animal shelter houses an excess of animals is to donate money and needed supplies.

“We need newspapers,” she said, adding slick glossy advertisement pages do not work. “But we need them unfolded. We have to stop and unfold it … If we get unfolded newspaper, it goes right in.”

Specific items can be ordered and shipped to the shelter through an online wish list created on Amazon, which can be found online here.

Click here to donate online.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 18, 2014

Adolf Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf was published on July 18, 1925.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated for a third term at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago on July 18, 1940.

President Harry S. Truman signed the second Presidential Succession Act on July 18, 1947

The original succession act designated the Senate president pro tempore as the first in line to succeed the president should he and the vice president die unexpectedly while in office. If he for some reason could not take over the duties, the speaker of the house was placed next in the line of succession. In 1886, during Grover Cleveland‘s administration, Congress removed both the Senate president and the speaker of the house from the line of succession. From that time until 1947, two cabinet officials, (their order in line depended on the order in which the agencies were created) became the next in line to succeed a president should the vice president also become incapacitated or die. The decision was controversial. Many members of Congress felt that those in a position to succeed the president should be elected officials and not, as cabinet members were, political appointees, thereby giving both Republican and Democratic parties a chance at controlling the White House.

In 1945, then-Vice President Truman assumed the presidency after Franklin Roosevelt died of a stroke during his fourth term. As president, Truman advanced the view that the speaker of the house, as an elected official, should be next in line to be president after the vice president. On July 18, 1947, he signed an act that resurrected the original 1792 law, but placed the speaker ahead of the Senate president pro tempore in the hierarchy.

On July 18, 1988, the Democratic National Convention opened at the Omni in Atlanta. That night, actor Rob Lowe would shoot a videotape in a hotel with two hairdressers, one 22 and one 16. Several weeks later, the era of the celebrity sex tape began.

On July 18, 2000, United States Senator Paul Coverdell died of a cerebral hemorrhage. I remember where I was when I heard the news.

The greatest political journalist to ever put pen to paper, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, was born on July 18, 1929. That makes today “Gonzo Day.” You have been warned.

Also born today, on July 18, 1921, was John Glenn, former Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, first human to orbit the earth and Republican United States Senator from Ohio.

What Leadership Looks Like

Compare and contrast:

To be fair, President Obama’s remarks were the first ones after news of the plane’s downing, rather than a prepared speech from the Oval Office.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today at 3 PM, I’ll be joining Bill Nigut and the usual suspects on Georgia Public Broadcasting (88.5 FM in Atlanta, click here for your local station outside Atlanta) to discuss politics. Listening to the promos, it sounds like both Jack Kingston and David Perdue will be on this afternoon as well, though I don’t know if they’ll be in studio or recorded.

Among the topics, I’m going to guess we’ll be talking about the new poll released by WSB-TV that shows Jason Carter leading Governor Nathan Deal in the General Election matchup.

The poll conducted by Landmark Communications on July 15 found Democratic challenger Jason Carter with a seven-point lead over Republican incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal.
Carter received 48.7 percent in the poll and Deal received 41.3 percent. Libertarian Andew Hunt received 4 percent of the vote in the poll. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

The poll comes just after new developments in the ethics investigation into Deal, and it could have cost him support according to Channel 2 political analyst Bill Crane.
“This is definite cause for pause and concern for a governor who probably a year ago didn’t have any serious Democrats who were running and now obviously are in a position to knock him out of his seat,” Crane told Channel 2’s Lori Geary.
Deal has a nine-point lead in men but women support Carter by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.
“If you’ve got the largest voting block, which is women, (about) 55 percent, depending on who shows up, breaking off 15 to 20 percent, that puts everything in play. It certainly should be giving a lot of pachyderms a lot of sleepless nights,” Crane said.

This is kind of neat: an animated .gif graphic used in the WSB story to illustrate the results.

govrace071714_1

I’ve been saying for months that women, and more specifically, white women, will decide the November elections. African-American women tend to vote at the same 80+% margin as African-American voters overall for Democratic candidates, but unaffiliated white women are the largest combination of gender and race, and their votes are up for grabs in November.

Why I’m voting for Jack Kingston

Earlier this week, InsiderAdvantage, for whom I work part-time, released a new poll on the Senate race:

Kingston: 46%
Perdue: 41%
Undecided: 13%

InsiderAdvantage CEO/Fox 5 Political Analyst Matt Towery: “This survey indicates that Kingston has managed to retake momentum in the race with under a week to go. This is partly due to the fact that  the Perdue camp and the outside groups supporting him have not pursued the one issue that was damaging the Kingston effort, that being issues related to a campaign fundraiser for Kingston involving a foreign national with a criminal background and some of his employees. Perdue’s campaign and his supporters have instead emphasized their candidate’s “political outsider” position as a candidate running against the “insider” Kingston. While that theme has worked well with older voters, it has lost its magic having run long enough to pull in all of the votes in can.”

Towery continues “Kingston leads among all age groups except those age 65 and over, where Perdue has a two point edge. Among those who identify themselves as Republicans Kingston leads by a 53-36% margin. Those who say they are “independent” voters give Perdue the edge by seven percentage points.”

Matt Towery concludes “The next round of ads could change the race but generally speaking attack ads launched going into the weekend before an election rarely change the outcome of a contest. As we have stated numerous times, this could be a close election and polling such a contest with such low voter interest is a challenge. But as of now Kingston appears to be clinging to a lead with momentum having moved his in his direction.”

Kathy Scott writes about how meeting Jack Kingston’s son, Jim Kingston, affected her decision to vote for Jack in the Republican Primary Runoff.

You can tell a lot about a person by their children. There’s always exceptions to the rule of course, but for the most part, if you want to know the measure of a man or woman, watch how their children interact with them.

Last weekend, I was at the Atlanta Press Club debates and met David Perdue and Jack Kingston. Both men were very  approachable and their staff was nice, but Kingston had this one young man who, in my brief conversation with him, gave me some insight into Kingston. It was his son, Jim Kingston, and he talked about his dad the way young men used to discuss their parents – with respect and warmth.

What I like most about Jim is that he was brought up in the shadow of politics, and yet my one vote was clearly something to be earned, not taken for granted and it mattered to him that I knew what I would be getting in return for it.

I’ve written before that it speaks volumes about Jack Kingston’s character that he goes out of his way to take his mother with him to so many events, and he always helps her to and from her seat.

I’ve spoken with Jim Kingston a number of times, and he’s unfailingly polite, but also possesses a keen political intellect. He’s said some things about politics that professionals twice his age don’t understand.

And above all else, I know that every member of the Kingston family understands that a vote for Jack Kingston is a sacred trust from the voter to the candidate himself and everyone he surrounds himself with.

That’s why Jack Kingston has earned my support and my vote on Tuesday, July 22d for United State Senate.

Jack Kingston Miley Cyrus

Yesterday, we learned from the Washington Times that Jack Kingston earned the princely sum of $8 per hour as an extra in a Miley Cyrus movie.

Back in 2010 — yep, it’s Throwback Thursday! — Kingston filmed a role as an extra in the Nicholas Sparks-penned “The Last Song,” in which the then-squeaky-clean Cyrus (this was long before her twerking started) starred as an angsty teen sent to live with her father at an idyllic beach-side town.

The movie, which first paired Cyrus with her future fiancee Liam Hemsworth, also starred Greg Kinnear and Kelly Preston, and was filmed on Tybee Island in Georgia — which happens to be part of the congressman’s district.

Here, Kingston takes questions at a campaign stop in Columbus.

Other candidates I support

Bob Finnegan for Augusta Commission District 6 – I personally know Bob to be a good man, a hard worker, and the type of person for whom I would be pleased to vote for and pleased to have represent me if I lived in his district. I hope voters in Augusta will look at his record, his character, and his issue positions and cast their ballot for Bob Finnegan. Click here to learn more about Bob Finnegan.

I join the Marietta Daily Journal in supporting the reelection of Tim Stultz for Cobb County Board of Education. Here’s what the MDJ wrote in endorsing Tim:

Georgia Tech graduate Stultz, an engineer by profession, is an unabashed conservative who has fought to steer the system away from the excesses of Common Core.

Stultz has already proven his strengths and abilities as a board member. He was a strong supporter of hiring Chris Ragsdale as interim superintendent over the strong objections from those on the board who complained that he comes from the operations side rather than the classroom.

And Stultz promises to keep pushing for conservative approaches on both fiscal management and other measures, and is a strong supporter of charter schools as well. At this point, the board’s future direction would seem to be riding on the outcome of the Post 2 runoff and election. Will it continue down the path toward a stronger board with more accountability demanded not just of board members but of the superintendent and others in the system as well? Or does it revert back to the era in which the superintendent ran the show and the board jumped through his hoops?
A vote for Stultz is an important step to assure the board keeps going in the right direction.

Muscogee and Chatham County runoff elections

On Tuesday, some Chatham County voters will cast a ballot in the runoff election for Chatham County School Board President. GPB has interviews with both candidates:

Savannah-Chatham School Board Runoff: Chester Ellis

 

Savannah-Chatham School Board Runoff: Jolene Byrne

 

Earlier this week, the candidates participated in an online debate. Here are the Q&A from the Savannah Morning News

In Muscogee County, District 2 on the Board of Education will be up for a rematch on Tuesday.

District 2 incumbent John Wells, a businessman and the board’s senior member, faces challenger John F. Thomas, an Internal Revenue Service agent.

On May 20, Thomas received 35.27 of the vote. Wells finished just ahead of Kar-Tunes Car Stereo owner John “Bart” Steed with 27.58 percent of the vote to 26.59.

Victor Morales, training and development coordinator for Pratt & Whitney, was far behind at 10.44 percent.

 

The end of a long runoff campaign is in sight | Columbia County News-Times

For those who have endured Georgia’s longest runoff election ever, the July 22 finish line is finally coming into view.

Voters and candidates are learning there is a big difference between four weeks, which was how long these campaigns used to last, and nine weeks, the runoff duration ordered by federal Judge Steve Jones to give overseas voters more time to mail in their ballots.

The biggest race on the election ballot is the Senate Republican runoff between Rep. Jack Kingston and business executive David Perdue.

In the first weeks after the May 20 primary, Kingston appeared to have the momentum going his way. He secured endorsements from primary also-rans Karen Handel and Phil Gingrey, and the polls suggested he had a double-digit advantage over Perdue.

If this were the old days where runoff campaigns lasted three or four weeks, Kingston probably would have won easily over Perdue.

A nine-week campaign, however, provides time for the story line to change. The Atlanta newspapers dug up a story about Kingston receiving more than $80,000 in contributions from a Palestinian businessman with a criminal record who the federal government has been trying for several years to deport.

Kingston’s advisers returned the questionable donations, but recent polls show the campaign’s momentum may have shifted.

via The end of a long runoff campaign is in sight | Columbia County News-Times.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 17, 2014

On July 17, 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman set up headquarters in Fulton County on Powers Ferry Road near the Chattahoochee River. Late that night, Confederate General Joseph Johnston was replaced by newly-commissioned Gen. John Bell Hood.

For nearly three months, Johnston and Sherman had maneuvered around the rugged corridor from Chattanooga to Atlanta. Although there was constant skirmishing, there were few major battles; Sherman kept trying to outflank Johnston, but his advances were blocked. Though this kept losses to a minimum, there was also a limit to how long Johnston could maintain this strategy as each move brought the armies closer to Atlanta. By July 17, 1864, Johnston was backed into the outskirts of Atlanta. Johnston felt his strategy was the only way to preserve the Army of Tennessee, but Davis felt that he had given up too much territory.

Georgia-born Ty Cobb died on July 17, 1961.

The Beatles premiered The Yellow Submarine on July 17, 1968 in London.

On July 17, 1975, American spacecraft Apollo 18 and Soviet Soyuz 19 docked in space – the first such meeting in history.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

If you live in DeKalb County, one of the most important elections on your ballot on Tuesday (or in early voting today and tomorrow) is for Sheriff. All DeKalb politics since December 15, 2000 has been shaped by the assassination of Sheriff-elect Derwin Brown by his predecessor Sidney Dorsey and by continuing allegations of corruption at seemingly all levels of county government.

After Brown’s death, Sheriff Tom Brown was elected in a special election and this year, he vacated his office to run for Congress, leading to another special election. This special election is special because it is non-partisan and will appear on all ballots. Most years, DeKalb Republicans are shut out choosing county officials, as those offices are dominated by Democrats who usually face no opposition.

In 2012, countywide, Democratic candidates for District Attorney, Clerk of Courts, Tax Commissioner, Chief Magistrate, Solicitor General, CEO, and two District Commissioners were unopposed in the General Election.

Republicans who wish to have a meaningful voice in those elections must draw a Democratic ballot in the Primary; if they ever run for office as a Republican, they’ll be criticized for it.

This year’s Special Election Runoff is between Jeff Mann, who became Sheriff when Tom Brown qualified for Congress, and Vernon Jones, who previously served two terms as Chief Executive Officer for DeKalb County.

Mark Niesse of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes about the DeKalb Sheriff’s race:

Both candidates for DeKalb County sheriff have the same warning for voters: Make the wrong choice in Tuesday’s runoff election, and it could mean a return to the bad old days.

Jones, the extroverted former DeKalb CEO, says his integrity has been proven again and again because multiple investigations haven’t resulted in charges against him. At the same time, Jones has questioned Mann’s character, saying he has used employees for campaign work and failed to protect inmates from jailhouse violence.

Mann, a soft-spoken lawyer, denied those accusations, saying the claims have been drummed up by Jones to gain a political advantage.

The winner of the election will oversee a department responsible for running the county jail, protecting the courthouse, serving warrants and managing a $76 million annual budget.

To hear Jones tell it, only he can root out graft inside the sheriff’s office and crime in the streets.

“I’ve been investigated more than anyone in DeKalb County ever, and I’ve been cleared,” Jones said. “I’m the most vetted man out there. Jeff Mann is not the man for the job. He’s over his head.”

“(Voters) don’t want a throwback from the old days who continues to have impropriety issues, who is currently recommended to be under investigation by the grand jury,” Mann said during a debate hosted by the Atlanta Press Club and televised on Public Broadcasting Atlanta. “It’s important for the citizens of DeKalb County to have someone with integrity, to have someone they trust.”

Mann, who served in the U.S. Air Force for four years, said voters should support him because he would increase staff training, improve public safety and work to reduce employee turnover. He said he obtained a 5 percent raise for detention officers on top of a 3 percent cost of living adjustment in this year’s county budget.

Jones, who became DeKalb’s first black chief executive when he was elected in 2000, said he would reassign administrative officers to crime-fighting duties, put nonviolent criminals on clean-up details and reduce overtime expenses.

Mike Buck and Richard Woods will meet in the Republican Primary Runoff for State School Superintendent, baffling me as much as it does anyone else, as voters advanced two career educators despite that not working out very well for Republicans.

In my memory, Republicans have elected former educators to less-than-stellar results. Educator-turned State Superintendent Linda Schrenko would go on to serve time in federal prison for official corruption after she lost a bid for Governor. She was succeeded by former educator and state legislator Kathy Cox who left office before her term was finished and while she was in personal bankruptcy. Brad Bryant was appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue to succeed Cox, but became merely a footnote when he was unable to get on the ballot to run for election to that post. Career educator John Barge was elected Superintendent in 2010 and all but left office early to run for Governor as a Republican this year and netted 11.15%.

Which brings us to this year’s election for State School Superintendent. Neither Mike Buck nor Richard Woods voted for the Charter School Amendment that is a hallmark of Georgia Republicans’ efforts to improve public schools.

While Richard Woods has a long and consistent record of voting in Republican Primary elections, it appears that Mike Buck never voted in a GOP Primary before 2010, when he was helping John Barge campaign for Superintendent and Buck became Barge’s chief of staff at DOE.

As John Barge’s number one staff member, Mike Buck offers more of the same, and perhaps his best selling point is that he offers stability, having been acting Superintendent during Barge’s quixotic quest.

The primary differences between the candidates come down to these two points:

1. Mike Buck has worked at the top level of the Georgia Department of Education for three years under current Superintendent-in-name-only John Barge.

2. Mike Buck favors the current curriculum and testing scheme aligned with Common Core, while Woods opposes Common Core.

From Claire Simms at Georgia Public Broadcasting:

Two political hopefuls are battling for the Republican nomination for State School Superintendent, and the biggest dividing line between the two candidates is over educational standards.

Woods says his campaign is about moving Georgia in a new direction. He opposes the state’s implementation of the Common Core, a set of educational standards adopted by many states across the country.

“Looking at the standards themselves, they continue to be too broad,” said Woods. “ Some of the early testing that we see, especially in the third grade CRCT, we’re not seeing any growth.”

Buck thinks the state should stick with Common Core. He says teachers support it too.

“They don’t want the fourth set of standards in roughly a decade. They don’t want to start over and it’s blatantly unfair to both our students and our teachers to keep changing. We need a little stability.”

One additional problem with Common Core is that electing a superintendent who is opposed to it does not guarantee any changes in the curriculum.

The state superintendent cannot do away with Common Core alone. That requires action from Georgia’s governor-appointed Board of Education. But, the superintendent traditionally has held powerful sway over that board.

AJC education writer Maureen Downey invited Buck and Woods to write an op-ed to run in the paper. Here are the links:

GOP candidate for state school chief Richard Woods: Need standards that are Georgia grown and owned

GOP candidate for state school chief Mike Buck: Time, talent, and resources will improve achievement

If the opinions of the existing education establishment are important to you in one way or another, here’s what Maureen Downey had to say about that.

The crowd favorite at [Georgia Association of Educational Leaders]  was Mike Buck, as evidenced by applause for several comments he made during his 10-minute presentation. The GAEL attendees were polite and attentive to the other three candidates, but only clapped at the conclusion of their remarks.

Several school leaders told me, “Mike has been there for us.” Along with his current job as chief academic officer for the state Department of Education, Buck has been a school leader in Oglethorpe and Columbia counties and Rome City Schools.

School leaders expressed skepticism of Buck’s opponent even though Richard Woods is also an educator. The former Irwin County administrator has alienated a lot of school officials with his objections to Common Core State Standards. Districts have been training their teachers on the new standards and are not eager to see their efforts and investment in materials and training upended.

Buck addressed that concern, telling the crowd, “You want stability. You want to stay the course with something to see if it works. You want to know it is not going to change from one year to the next.”

As a result of Common Core, the GOP runoff election next week offers voters a clear choice. Buck will continue Georgia’s alignment with Common Core and the development of new tests reflective of those standards.

Woods told GAEL he wants to review not only Common Core, but the tests being developed around the standards – a costly proposition since Georgia has signed a five-year, $108 million contract for its new Georgia Milestones tests that roll out in December.

Great Political Ads

From Emory University Political Scientist Alan Abramowitz, via Jim Galloway’s Political Insider blog, comes this satire of traditional political TV ads.

Here’s the famous political ad spoof for Clint Webb, which I think is better than the Gil Fulbright ad.

Whether you support Jack Kingston for U.S. Senate, or his Runoff opponent David Perdue, this is the best ad of the year so far.

Rex Elsass and his Strategy Group for Media took a lot of jabs for Kingston’s early ads centered on Jack’s Buick Roadmaster station wagon, but this is the kind of work that has made them one of the top, if not the number one, political media company on the Republican side.

Ethics

I haven’t yet addressed the new issues raised regarding the Georgia State Ethics Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, which is a rolling-multi-car pileup.

I’ll be working on something over the weekend – it’s a complicated issue and I’m not sure we’re served by holding our breath until the next shoe drops. I want to give it the thought and reflection it deserves.

For the time being, I will recommend two articles worth reading for their insight into the question of how to regulate “ethics.”

First is by Jim Galloway and is more of an opinion piece than news, but I share some of the concerns that Jim articulates:

To you and me, ethics is a matter of right or wrong, good behavior or misbehavior. The topic is food for teachers and preachers, and is best served giraffe-high.

But in the goat-level language of the state Capitol, ethics is merely politics conducted by other means.

Got a beef with your opposition in the primary? File a complaint with what we once called the state ethics commission. Accuse him of fudging on donations he’s accepted or spent. It’ll earn you a headline, won’t cost a penny and will take years to resolve.

It is a highly cynical view — sometimes correct, sometimes not — that can produce a highly cynical defense.

Shortly after Deal was sworn in as governor in 2010, a number of complaints were filed – some by gadflies, some not – with the, er, transparency commission, alleging that the new governor hadn’t followed all the rules when collecting or spending his campaign cash.

Things usually move slowly at the transparency commission – not surprising, given agency funding cuts.

Like I said — at the Capitol, ethics and politics are entwined to the point that one topic is indistinguishable from the other.

The next piece comes from David Mason, a former member of the Federal Ethics Commission:

Connie Mack lost his U.S. Senate race in Florida in 2012, but the FEC wasn’t finished until about a month ago.

The campaign’s offense was a pair of charges at Brooks Brothers totaling $468 in April and May 2012. The charges were duly reported on the campaign’s July 2012 Quarterly report, generating snarky news stories and an FEC complaint by a Florida voter. Since the “personal use” of campaign funds is prohibited, the campaign promptly had the errant staffer make a reimbursement.

But it was too late to save the Mack organization from campaign finance purgatory. The FEC General Counsel’s office took 18 months to issue a thorough five-page report recommending dismissal which was duly considered by the Commission nearly two months later. Meanwhile, in accounting reminiscent of Dickens’ Bleak House, the campaign fisc dwindled from over $150,000 at the beginning of 2013 to $1,362 at the end of March, due significantly to legal fees.

There are two failures here, one in the management of a campaign and the other in the management of an enforcement agency.

Any discussion of the Georgia State Ethics Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission’s manifest failings must include two concerns:

1. Seemingly interminable delays at the Commission level are part of the problem whereby ethics charges are more valuable as political weapons because it is widely known that no decision, even on the most frivolous charges, will be made in time to provide voters with full information beyond the “Ethics Charges Filed….” headlines.

2. All enforcement at the Commission is predicated on the ability of candidates to file their disclosures online. Without a working disclosure systems, there can be no meaningful enforcement, so long as “your computer ate my homework” remains a viable excuse.

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for July 17, 2014

Rhino2

Rhino is a five-month old Black Lab mix puppy who weighs 30 pounds, is sweet and playful, and gets along with cats. Rhino is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, Ga.

Rhino

Taz

Taz is a 4-5 month old, male Dachshund mix puppy who weighs about 12 pounds and is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, Ga.

Nate

Nate is a young, male Yellow Lab mix, about 2 years old and 60 pounds; he is friendly, does well on a leash and appears to be house-trained. Nate is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, Ga.

Billie

Billie is a two-month old female puppy, about two months old and weighing 8 pounds. She is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, Ga.

Volunteers at the Walton County Animal Shelter wrote on Facebook last night,

Several times a day somebody will demand to know, “where are all the rescues???”. They are here – ready and waiting – but THEY NEED FOSTERS.

Rescues don’t have gigantic facilities with infinite space. They usually don’t even have an office or physical location. They need FOSTERS – which means, you would volunteer to keep a dog(s) or cat(s) at your home, care for it, feed it, love it, protect it like it was your own – sometimes short-term, and sometimes until it is adopted.

The rescue provides everything – food, a crate, vetting, advertising, etc. This costs you NOTHING, but you will gain so much – and just think of what the pet will gain – LIFE.

 

Yes, you will save a life by fostering. Many of the animals at this shelter will die because nobody will volunteer this simple yet important and rewarding task. Don’t sit there and cry about nobody helping to save an animal from being euthanized when YOU can be the one to help. Please contact a rescue today and volunteer to foster. SAVE A LIFE…and enrich your own. You won’t be sorry!

 

Some wonderful rescues to contact:

Maine Lab Rescue
Walton Animal Guild
Alcovy Pet Rescue,Inc.
Angels Among Us Pet Rescue
Road Trip Home Animal Rescue
Pound Puppies ‘N Kittens
Eleventh Hour Rescue
Disaster Response Animal Rescue
Country Livin’ Pet Rescue
Athens Canine Rescue
Circle of Friends Animal Society

We were contacted yesterday by a gentleman who is looking for a dog to adopt and he needs one that is hypo-allergenic because his grandchildren are somewhat allergic to dogs. Part of my recommendation to him will be to find a rescue group to work with as a foster. Fostering usually gives the foster home first dibs on permanent adoption, and it gives you a trial period where if the dog doesn’t meet specific needs, you have a safe place for it to go, rather than to have to return it to a shelter where it may end up euthanized.

If you would like to foster or own a dog but travel frequently or have other obligations, some rescue groups need fosters for short periods, like when a primary foster goes out of town for a weekend, or a short-term foster while transportation is arranged. This can provide all the fun and love of being a foster while meeting your scheduling needs and lending a hand to save dogs and/or cats.

Georgia Small Business Council Endorses Jack Kingston for US Senate

Georgia Small Business Council Endorses Kingston

Kingston wins endorsement from Georgia Small Business Council

As business owners most of you have experienced losing “Key Employees”.  The employee if you are so fortunate gives his/her two weeks notice and they are off on a new adventure.  Meanwhile you are left with how do I replace this strategic loss. Do I  hire an outsider an unproven talent with a flashy resume’, or do I draw from a pool of proven employees and promote someone to fill the vacant position.  What is a CEO/owner of a small business to do?  In most cases experience has proven that more times than not you are better off promoting someone from within the organization who shares your values.  Someone who has a consistent record of actions to judge them by.  There are times when you have to go outside the organization to hire because there is no one available to promote that meets the needed qualifications.

When it comes to electing the next U.S. Senator from Georgia we can’t afford to risk the position to an “Outsider” or a “Stranger”.  GSBC members agree with me and that is why 83.3% or by a 5:1 ratio GSBC members have chosen to endorse Jack Kingston as the next Georgia member to the U.S. Senate.  Wow!  How could the vote have been so lopsided you might ask?  Well business owners in general and particularly the members of GSBC are very Conservative.  In fact GSBC members are the most “Conservative Business Owners”  in the state of Georgia.  I assumed that Jack Kingston would receive the endorsement of GSBC members, but had no clue it would be by such a wide margin.  There is no doubt Jack Kingston is the most conservative candidate in the race.

Congratulations Jack Kingston on receiving  the endorsement of GSBC members.  You have earned both our Trust and  the Promotion.

Fulton tax hike, rising values a double whammy for homeowners | www.myajc.com

Thousands of Fulton County property owners face a double whammy of rising property values and a steep tax rate hike. The result could be sticker shock when they get their tax bills later this summer.

According to the Fulton tax assessor’s office, the total value of taxable real estate countywide rose just 1.3 percent percent this year. But individual values vary widely, with some rising much more and others still declining. For those whose property values rose, the proposed tax increase would mean substantial tax hikes.

And county officials are feeling the heat from taxpayers. They’re scrambling to find spending cuts that could offset at least some of the proposed tax increase before they make a final decision on the tax rate July 16.

“I’m going to work hard to bring that [tax rate] number down,” said commission Chairman John Eaves. “I certainly want to be sensitive to all the concerns I’ve heard.”

via Fulton tax hike, rising values a double whammy for homeowners | www.myajc.com.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 16, 2014

On July 16, 1790, Congress declared Washington, DC the new capital city.

Georgia Congressman Carl Vinson set a new record for longevity in office on July 16, 1963, having served 48 years, 8 months, and 12 days since his election in 1914. Vinson’s record held until 1992 and his tenure is now sixth-longest.

On July 16, 1914, Asa Griggs Candler, retired President of Coca-Cola, wrote his brother Warren, who was a Bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, a letter offering one million dollars and 72 acres of land in Atlanta for the church to establish a new university in the East.

The United States performed the first test of an atomic bomb on July 16, 1945 at the Trinity site in New Mexico.

Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, director of the project, watched the mushroom cloud rise into the New Mexico sky. “Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds,” he uttered, reciting a passage from an ancient Hindu text.

Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Early voting is still open at your local Board of Elections through this Friday.

Click here for links to your home county and information on where and when you can cast your ballot in advance of the July 22d Primary Runoff election.

Click here to sign-in to the Secretary of State’s My Vote Page and see a sample ballot of which elections are on the ballot next week.

If you live in DeKalb County, be sure to vote on Tuesday, as we are choosing a new Sheriff in a special election – it will appear on all ballots, whether you take the Republican, Democratic, or Nonpartisan ballot.

Loyalty to the Republican Party and Michelle Nunn have become a campaign issue… in Carroll County Commission District 4.

[Incumbent Commissioner John] Wilson sent out an email newsletter to District 4 voters over the weekend, showing a photo of Morgan, equating her by separate photos, with Georgia Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn and President Barack Obama. The email alleged that Morgan was seen at a Nunn fundraising campaign in March in Carrollton and that she donated to Democrat Roy Barnes in his gubernatorial bid against Gov. Nathan Deal. The email also included a copy of a donation receipt to Nunn’s campaign made to “James P. Morgan.”

The latest poll in the Senate race shows Jack Kingston with a six-point lead over David Perdue entering the home stretch.

PPP found Kingston, who represents Georgia’s first congressional district, with 47 percent, Perdue, businessman and former CEO of Reebok and Dollar General, with 41 percent, but still 13 percent of the voters not sure. The survey, conducted July 9-12, included 516 voters who said they would definitely vote in the July 22nd runoff. The poll has a +/- 4 percent margin of error. Read full result of the poll here.

Forsyth County has several hot local elections that will determine, among other things, part of the County’s representation under the Gold Dome.

Depending on what part of the county a voter lives, the Republican ballot could include as many as three local posts: County solicitor general, District 27 state Senate and District 22 state House of Representatives.

District 22 covers parts of Cherokee, northern Fulton and southwestern Forsyth counties. In Forsyth, that amounts to voters living in the Brandywine, Polo and Midway precincts, or about 10,000 people. The race features Cherokee County residents Meagan Biello and Wes Cantrell.

For the state Senate seat, incumbent Jack Murphy faces challenger Michael Williams, while the solicitor general’s contest pits Donna Gopaul and William “Bill” Finch. Gopaul was appointed to the post in March 2013 by Gov. Nathan Deal.

There also are runoff contests for the Republican U.S. Senate and Republican and Democrat state school superintendent nominations.

 

Taxes

The Gwinnett County Commission has seen fit to retain last year’s millage rate, which will result in higher property tax bill for many homeowners, as assessments have risen.

Gwinnett Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash believes leaving the millage rate unchanged is the right decision.

“As an individual who has spent as much time as I have dealing with the finances of this county, I believe that this is the prudent thing for us to do,” she said.

On Tuesday, commissioners voted 4-1 to leave the total county millage rate for properties in unincorporated Gwinnett at 13.75 mills, the same rate as last year.

Saying county officials have worked through the economic downturn “as well as we possibly could,” Nash emphasized the need for additional funding.

“There are some things that we’ve got to address and we can’t keep putting them off,” she said.

District 3 Commissioner Tommy Hunter, who had previously expressed reservations about the millage rate proposal, chose not to elaborate after casting the lone dissenting vote.

“I’m going to let my vote speak for itself,” he said.

Fulton County property taxpayers are being hit with not just rising assessments, but the possibility of a higher millage rate as well.

Thousands of Fulton County property owners face a double whammy of rising property values and a steep tax rate hike. The result could be sticker shock when they get their tax bills later this summer.

According to the Fulton tax assessor’s office, the total value of taxable real estate countywide rose just 1.3 percent percent this year. But individual values vary widely, with some rising much more and others still declining. For those whose property values rose, the proposed tax increase would mean substantial tax hikes.

And county officials are feeling the heat from taxpayers. They’re scrambling to find spending cuts that could offset at least some of the proposed tax increase before they make a final decision on the tax rate July 16.

“I’m going to work hard to bring that [tax rate] number down,” said commission Chairman John Eaves. “I certainly want to be sensitive to all the concerns I’ve heard.”

Roswell will hold a hearing on property taxes tonight at 6:30 PM.

The city is proposing to leave its millage rate of 5.455 mills in place. If approved, a homeowner whose home is valued around $258,000 would pay about $562.96 in property taxes.

Cobb County taxpayers results may vary based on where they live. Powder Springs has seen higher assessments and plans to keep the current millage rate, forcing higher tax bills for those with rising assessments. Meanwhile, the Marietta School Board lowered the property tax rate for city schools.

The Marietta school board voted Tuesday night to lower property taxes for Marietta residents.
The decrease means someone who owns a $200,000 home will pay $54 less than what they paid in 2013, according to a presentation to the school board.
The Marietta school board dropped the millage rate from 18.682 mills to 17.97 mills with a 4-0 vote, with Jeriene Bonner-Grimes and Jill Mutimer absent from Tuesday’s meeting.
This is the second time in the last two years the school board has lowered the millage rate.

The Columbia County Board of Education is keeping its millage rate steady.

In Bartow County, the Cartersville Board of Education rolled back the millage rate.

During its regular July meeting, the Cartersville City School Board voted to set its millage of 17.93, a rollback from the current rate of 18.23 mills.

The city school system chose to rollback local school millage rates for city residents, which represents only the second rollback in the last 10 years (the previous one in 2007). The school system will continue to offer a full 180-day school year for all students and 190-day work calendar for teachers.

In Senate District 16, which includes parts of Fayette, Spalding, and Monroe Counties, and all of Lamar and Pike, David Studdard and Marty Harbin face off in the Republican Primary Runoff.

I was talking to a reporter about the State School Superintendent’s race the other day, and while we were discussing the Republican Primary, I looked up some data on the Democratic race between Alisha Thomas Morgan and Valarie Wilson.

Here are some statistics that might be helpful in looking at the Democratic side:

On May 20th, Valarie Wilson took 19,600 votes to ATM’s 13,485 in DeKalb, outperforming her by 50%+ and 6000 votes.

In Cobb, Alisha Thomas Morgan took 7364 to 3780, nearly doubling Wilson’s share, but still netting roughly fewer 2400 votes in those two counties combined.

So far, in advance voting, there were 2949 votes in DeKalb’s Democratic Primary Runoff v. 606 in Cobb’s Dem Runoff, so it looks like Wilson might extend her lead in those two counties.

As of the most recent Early Voting File, 89,743 ballots have been cast statewide in the Runoff Election.

In State House District 22, Meagan Biello and Wes Cantrell meet in a Republican primary runoff after having shut State Rep. Sam Moore out of the runoff.

The Cherokee Tribune profiles both candidates. We’ll start in alphabetical order with Meagan Biello.

Biello is set to face off with opponent Wes Cantrell in the July 22 general primary runoff election, and said the biggest issues facing the county are transportation, economic growth and education.

“I would fight to end the regional transportation system, enabling counties and other municipalities to work together to solve their transportation issues based on the needs of their local businesses and residents,” Biello said. “I support legislation that decreases the bureaucracy for small businesses, encouraging homegrown entrepreneurship and enabling small businesses to grow rather than regulating them out of business.”

Biello said she would address education concerns by advocating for more school choices, “especially for high school graduates, so we can ensure they are workforce ready if they choose not to attend college.”
As part of the advocacy, Biello said the first bill she would author if elected to the state House of Representatives would deal with improvement of high school diploma requirements.
“Not every student needs to attend college, and we must equip our high school students with the skills necessary to enter the workforce and become productive and contributing members of society upon graduation,” Biello explained. “When graduates are qualified for higher paying jobs right out of high school, they tend to rely less on government assistance in the long run.”

And Wes Cantrell:

Cantrell said the most pressing issue facing the district right now is job creation, and “the government cannot create jobs, but it can remove a lot of the barriers to job growth that it has created.”
“One key way to do this is by eliminating the state income tax,” Cantrell said Friday. “Texas, Tennessee and Florida have all demonstrated that this can work … I will sponsor legislation to eliminate the state income tax.”
Cantrell said another priority would be to impose term limits on many elected positions.
“I believe in term limits for all state legislators. The state House and Senate were designed to be citizen-led organizations. They were not designed to be led by career politicians. This is why I am the only candidate in this race to term limit himself,” Cantrell said. “I will introduce or support existing legislation which limits all state legislators to four consecutive terms, (totaling) eight years.”
Cantrell added “the source of many of our current problems on the state level is career politicians.”

Nash: Leaving tax rate unchanged ‘prudent’ | Gwinnett Daily Post

Gwinnett Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash believes leaving the millage rate unchanged is the right decision.

“As an individual who has spent as much time as I have dealing with the finances of this county, I believe that this is the prudent thing for us to do,” she said.

On Tuesday, commissioners voted 4-1 to leave the total county millage rate for properties in unincorporated Gwinnett at 13.75 mills, the same rate as last year.

Saying county officials have worked through the economic downturn “as well as we possibly could,” Nash emphasized the need for additional funding.

“There are some things that we’ve got to address and we can’t keep putting them off,” she said.

District 3 Commissioner Tommy Hunter, who had previously expressed reservations about the millage rate proposal, chose not to elaborate after casting the lone dissenting vote.

“I’m going to let my vote speak for itself,” he said.

via Nash: Leaving tax rate unchanged ‘prudent’ | Gwinnett Daily Post.

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for July 16, 2014

Ellie

Ellie is a precious dalmatian mix who was picked up as a stray by animal control and not reclaimed. Her time was up so she was brought to Tender Heart & Great Pyr Rescue, in Newnan, GA to find a new home. Ellie was very thin and sick when she was brought in-after some much needed veterinary care and nutrition, she is now healthy and ready to be adopted.

Ellie is very grateful to have been saved and is very affectionate and sweet. Her tail never stops wagging and she loves attention and to be hugged and loved. She would be a fantastic dog for a home with kids. She is fine with other dogs (untested with cats).

Billie Jean

Billie Jean is a 1-year-old reverse brindle female mastiff who was rescued from a high-kill shelter after she recently had puppies. She is crate-trained and gets along well with other dogs. Her adoption fee includes her vaccines, spay, and microchip.

Billie Jean is available for adoption from TenderHeart & Great Pyr Rescue in Newnan, GA.

Lobo

Lobo is a young male Malamute, who was born September 20, 2013 and weighs currently 60 lbs

Lobo has a very sweet disposition.  He was neutered via laser, current on vaccinations and preventions. HW negative and microchipped! Lobo is available for adoption from STARS Save The Animals Rescue Society of Georgia in Statesboro, GA.

Sheriff

Sheriff is a Pit Bull who has a rescue group interested in saving him, but needs more money in his vetting fund. Click here to donate online to save his life. Online fundraising for specific dogs helped volunteers at Clayton County Animal Shelter dramatically reduce the number of dogs euthanized at the shelter by ensuring that rescue groups will be able to afford their initial vetting.

JailDogEvent

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