The blog.

11
Dec

Ethics Committee finds Phil Gingrey improperly aided Ellijay bank | Political Insider blog

WASHINGTON — As U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey heads for the exits, the House Ethics Committee issued a “letter of reproval” today for Gingrey’s actions on behalf of an Ellijay bank.

The committee publicly revealed its findings that the Marietta Republican gave “special favors or privileges” to the since-failed Bank of Ellijay by allowing it to meet with top Treasury Department officials and key members of Congress about its pending application for TARP funds. Gingrey helped start the bank and his investment in it was worth as much as $500,000, according to a 2011 Reuters report that first raised ethics questions.

The key problem for Gingrey, in the Ethics Committee’s determination, was that he went out of his way to help the bank even though it was not in his district. Members are directed not to help non-constituents in such ways.

via Ethics Committee finds Phil Gingrey improperly aided Ellijay bank | Political Insider blog.

11
Dec

Three more states aim to join Georgia bid for SEC primary in ’16 | Political Insider blog

Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s efforts to forge an “SEC” presidential primary for Southern states is gaining steam.

His counterparts in Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama have sent over letters indicating their support for setting March 1 as a new regional primary in 2016. He’s also working with election officials in Louisiana and South Carolina to coordinate the timing.

Kemp writes that the bloc voting would mean “voters of the Southeast will have a major impact in the selection of presidential nominees of both parties.” That means more big-name candidates could visit the South to curry favor with voters.

In Alabama, where the primary date is now set at March 8, Secretary of State Jim Bennett wrote Kemp that he would work with his successor and lawmakers to “see that the goal of changing that date to March 1 is accomplished.”

Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin said “conversations to help bring this to fruition have already begun,” and that lawmakers are “very interested in the possibility of making this happen.”

And Mississippi’s Delbert Hosemann scrawled a note affirming: “We will pass March 1st. Everyone on board in the Legislature.”

via Three more states aim to join Georgia bid for SEC primary in ’16 | Political Insider blog.

11
Dec

Sen. Renee Unterman to Pre-File “Safe Harbor” Legislation

Candlelight Vigil

ATLANTA (December 10, 2014) | Sen. Renee Unterman (R – Buford) will officially pre-file legislation in the Georgia Senate to further the protection of child victims on the morning of Thursday, December 11. The “safe harbor” legislation will address inconsistencies in the prosecution of human trafficking cases at the state level, impose harsher punishments on those convicted of this terrible crime, and create a funding mechanism to provide for the care and rehabilitation of child sex trafficking victims.

“It has been a long four-year journey of advocacy, education, and sincere determination explaining to Georgia citizens exactly what is happening to vulnerable children in the child sex trafficking trade. House Bill 200, authored by former state Rep. Ed Lindsey, was a historic change to Georgia law that punishes criminals who prey on children by selling them for profit in the sex trade. This bill increased criminal penalties with prison terms and fines, as well as allowed confiscation of assets and affirmative defense,” said Sen. Unterman.
Continue Reading..

11
Dec

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

Coming Soon – GaPundit Pro App for iPhone/iPad 2.0 and for Android

The elves in the GaPundit.com workshop are working on developing Version 2.0 of our iPhone/iPad app and the first-ever Android version. It combines a cool directory of your State Senators and Representatives with tools to help get in touch with them, and delivery of the latest political news right to your smartphone.

We’re committed to keeping the free version available for our readers, and we have sponsorship opportunities to help keep it free – email me if you’re interested in sponsoring our App. It’s great for political junkies and professionals alike, as well as associations with active memberships who are involved in the political process.

We’re also interested in hearing what kind of features you’d like to see integrated into the latest version of Georgia’s Power Tool for Politics.

Georgia and American History

On December 11, 1777, during their movement to Valley Forge for the winter, Washington’s colonial forces engaged British troops under General Cornwallis as the Americans were crossing the Schuylkill River.

Indiana became the 19th State on December 11, 1816.

Governor Charles McDonald signed legislation on December 11, 1841 to prevent a person from having his or her testimony excluded in court because of the individual’s religious beliefs.

The first use of nitrous oxide as a dental anesthetic took place on December 11, 1844.

On December 11, 1872, Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback took office in Louisiana as the first black Governor in the United States.

A memorial service for Jefferson Davis, former President of the Confederate States of America, was held in the Georgia State Capitol on December 11, 1889 while his funeral was that day in New Orleans.

On December 11, 1941, Germany declared war on the United States.

On December 11, 1960, a civil rights demonstration including 8000 African-American citizens was held in Atlanta as part of the movement to boycott stores that remained segregated.

The Libertarian Party was founded on December 11, 1971 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Tonight at 7 PM at North Avenue Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Senator Renee Unterman (R-Buford) will lead a candlelight vigil in support of “Safe Harbor” legislation for victims of sex trafficking. in conjunction with Street Grace, Wellspring Living, youthSpark and Georgia Cares.

Candlelight Vigil

This morning, Sen. Unterman will pre-file legislation in the Georgia Senate to further the protection of child victims. The “safe harbor” legislation will address inconsistencies in the prosecution of human trafficking cases at the state level, impose harsher punishments on those convicted of this terrible crime, and create a funding mechanism to provide for the care and rehabilitation of child sex trafficking victims.

“It has been a long four-year journey of advocacy, education, and sincere determination explaining to Georgia citizens exactly what is happening to vulnerable children in the child sex trafficking trade. House Bill 200, authored by former state Rep. Ed Lindsey, was a historic change to Georgia law that punishes criminals who prey on children by selling them for profit in the sex trade. This bill increased criminal penalties with prison terms and fines, as well as allowed confiscation of assets and affirmative defense,” said Sen. Unterman.Continue Reading..

11
Dec

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 11, 2014

The following dogs are available for adoption for a very low $25 fee through the month of December. There’s nothing wrong with them, they have just been with Angels Among Us Rescue for a year without finding their forever home. When you adopt from a rescue group, you’ll help save that dog and the next one that comes into the foster home.

Angels Among Us also has cats available for adoption at the same low fees. For a fully-vetted dog or cat, that’s a substantial saving on the cost of shots, spay/neuter and checkup. Of course, you shouldn’t adopt a dog or cat just because it’s inexpensive upfront – you’re taking on the responsibilty of a lifetime of care. A new pet for Christmas is great when you’ve made the decision that it’s the right time for you and your family, but a very bad idea as a last-minute gift idea.

If you’re thinking of getting a dog or cat for a friend or family member, make them part of the process, ensure they’re prepared and want it in their home, and help them pick out their new best friend rather than surprising them. It’ll be every bit as fun to help them find the right pet for them.

Marcheska

Marcheska – Miniature Pinscher and Chihuahua mix female

Hi, I am so glad you found me because my Foster Mom wants me to tell you what she says about me. I was found in a field where I was lost, scared, skinny, hungry and one of my back knees hurt a lot. I was taken to a shelter where I was still scared, but that turned out to be a good thing because that is where a nice lady from Angels found me. My Foster Mom picked me up and took me home where I met my new sisters and brothers. Then to the vet. She said I needed surgery on my knee (floating knee cap), some good food and a lot of TLC. Now all that has happened. I am well, loved and having a good time with my siblings. My Foster Mom calls me her little “Eternal, Effervescent, Optimistic, Loving, Mini Monster” because I have so much fun playing, but I also love to snuggle & cuddle. Though I am happy and loved I still need to find my forever home and family. Is that with you?

Mary Jean

Mary Jean – Adult Female Collie Mix

Mary Jean is also known as the Easter Mom! :) Sadly she had 8 pups while in a high kill rural shelter. Angels Among Us Pet Rescue was awesome enough to save her entire family and now that her puppies have all been adopted, she has been spayed and is ready for her furever home!

She is very good with kitties (and other dogs, too). She is very quick to learn new things. She loves to give kisses. She would be a fantastic addition to any family, but maybe better in a home with older children.

Travis

Travis – Catahoula/Aussie mix

My name is Travis!! I am is a 3 year old Catahoula / Australian Cattledog mix. I am very energetic and need a person that is active and would like to take me hiking or jogging a lot! I don’t just like exercise, I NEED it to be happy and balanced. I am eager to obey commands and be a good boy. I want more than anything to please you. I am only 48 lbs so I won’t take up much space and I am not a heavy shedder either. I love car rides and enjoy bird watching from the windows.

I was never socialized with other dogs so I don’t know how to act with them, which means, I need to just be me and my humans… however, I will probably do okay with cats, if introduced properly. I’ve been told that I am quite funny and will keep you laughing when I play with my toys. Please come meet me today! I’ve been in boarding for a year, that is way too long. My only “thing” is that I want to be the only four legged one in the house. Surely there is somebody out there that just wants one dog. Just one perfect buddy to do everything with. I am begging for you to give me the chance to become your new best friend. – Hope to meet you soon, really soon!!

Taz

Taz – 4 year old Jack Russell Terrier with Special Needs

Every kid needs a Jack Russell Terrier at least once in their life! So meet our sweetheart, Taz.

He is house trained, neutered, and current on all of his vaccinations. He gets along with other animals and children. Taz is a sweet boy who has diabetes and is partially blind, but has so much love to give. He is about 4 years old and his diabetes is easily treated with daily injections (not as hard as it sounds I promise!). Don’t let this scare you away from giving this guy a chance for a forever home.

10
Dec

Sen. Johnny Isakson: Urges South African President to Drop Ban on U.S. Poultry

Your Washington Desk

From Senator Johnny Isakson 

Isakson 2016

Senators Isakson, Coons Urge South African President to Drop Ban on U.S. Poultry or Risk Losing Favored Trade Status

Senators warn South Africa could lose benefits under AGOA over continued flaunting of WTO regulations

U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Chris Coons, D-Del., cautioned South African President Jacob Zuma that continued refusal to eliminate unfair duties on U.S. poultry could jeopardize South Africa’s continued eligibility for trade benefits available under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, also referred to as AGOA.

The Senators delivered their message via a letter sent Tuesday night. Congress will consider reauthorization of AGOA in 2015.

“The antidumping duties South Africa has levied on U.S. poultry have been in place for fourteen years, effectively blocking our companies from accessing your market,” the senators wrote. “We understand that our trade officials recently discussed the ongoing negotiations regarding poultry, as well as other market access issues for other U.S. exports to South Africa. We strongly encourage you to pursue solutions expeditiously that guarantee market access for U.S. poultry.”

The United States has worked directly with the government of South Africa for years in an attempt to remove the duties levied on U.S. poultry. In 2013, the World Trade Organization ruled against an almost identical system of duties imposed on American chicken by China, deeming it a violation of global trade rules.

“As you know, Congress is in the process of considering reauthorization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA),” the senators wrote. “We urge you to ensure that conversations continue to make progress towards eliminating the antidumping duties on U.S. poultry and that this issue is resolved before Congress takes up AGOA reauthorization, which could be early next year. We will need to reconsider the extension of duty preferences under AGOA for South Africa if this situation is not resolved.”Continue Reading..

10
Dec

Rep. Austin Scott: Named Chairman of Agriculture Subcommittee

Your Washington – GA 8 – Desk

From Congressman Austin Scott

Austin Scott

Congressman Austin Scott named Chairman of Agriculture Subcommittee

U.S. Congressman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11), Chairman-elect of the House Committee on Agriculture for the 114th Congress, today appointed U.S. Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) as Chairman of the Subcommittee for Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit.

“Congressman Scott has done a solid job as a member of the Committee on Agriculture and has earned the chairmanship of the Subcommittee for Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit,” said Chairman-elect K. Michael Conaway.  “He and the other Subcommittee chairmen and women will aggressively oversee the federal agencies under their jurisdiction.”

“It is an honor to serve as Chairman of this respected subcommittee, and I look forward to working with Chairman-elect Conaway in this capacity to further the Committee’s agriculture initiatives,” said Congressman Austin Scott.  “I am humbled by the opportunity to oversee many important issues impacting U.S. producers, from commodity exchanges to future agriculture energy needs.  Almost every farm operation depends on institutions like the Commodity Future Trading Commission and the agricultural credit and lending services of the Farm Service Agency.  I thank Chairman-elect Conaway for his trust in me, and I look forward to representing agriculture producers back home in Georgia as well as across our nation in the 114th Congress.”Continue Reading..

10
Dec

VIDEO – Sen. Johnny Isakson: To Sen. Saxby to Chambliss: ‘The Country Will Miss You But My Grandchildren Are Safer, My State Is Better…’

Your Washington Desk

From Senator Johnny Isakson

Isakson to Chambliss: ‘The Country Will Miss You But My Grandchildren Are Safer, My State Is Better…’

Bids farewell to the retiring Chambliss during remarks on the floor of the Senate

Continue Reading..

10
Dec

VIDEO – Sen. Saxby Chambliss Delivers Farewell Speech on US Senate Floor

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Saxby Chambliss

Senator Chambliss Delivers Farewell Speech on US Senate Floor

10
Dec

Retrial set for DeKalb CEO Ellis | www.myajc.com

Suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis will face a retrial on June 1, according to an order by Superior Court Judge Courtney Johnson.

Ellis’ first case ended in a mistrial in October when a jury couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on any of the 13 counts against him.

Prosecutors have accused Ellis of shaking down county contractors for campaign contributions. Ellis has denied the charges and pleaded not guilty.

via Retrial set for DeKalb CEO Ellis | www.myajc.com.