The blog.

8
Dec

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 8, 2015

The video is from an earlier contingent of Turkey Dogs, but the newest group of rescued Golden Retrievers from Turkey has arrived in Atlanta.

Over 100 golden retrievers have been rescued from Turkey and brought to Georgia by the group Adopt a Golden Atlanta.

Turkish rescuer Yasemin Baban said golden retrievers were fashionable gifts in the country, but when puppies grew into big, barking dogs, thousands of families set them loose.

“They would be abandoned with broken legs. This is terrible because they don’t want to pay the vet, or they feel like the toy is broken,” she said.

Baban helped round up the dogs from the streets and forests in Istanbul, and packed their crates for the long plane trip to Atlanta.

Adopt a Golden welcomed 29 new dogs at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Sunday night. They all have holiday names like Sugar Cookie, Elf and Frosty.

Because most of the dogs arrive with few medical conditions, Adopt a Golden said it costs about the same or less than it does to rescue local strays.

Because most of the dogs arrive with few medical conditions, Adopt a Golden said it costs about the same or less than it does to rescue local strays.

Thoroughly vetted and not a terrorist terrier among them. You can make an online donation to Adopt A Golden Atlanta and Operation Turkey Dog.

While the newest Turkey Dogs are not yet ready for adoption, here are some beautiful Golden Retrievers who are looking for a new home for the holidays.

AGA Jake

Jake is a 2-year old English Cream-colored Golden Retriever originally from Maryland who is available for adoption from Adopt A Golden Atlanta. If you can believe it, Jake was put in a cardboard box and dropped off at a shelter.

I like strong toys because I can chew up the soft ones in no time. My favorite is one you can put treats in like peanut butter or some pudding called yogurt. I also love an occasional banana. Yum!

Rosie TD
Rosie is a 7-year old female Golden Retriever, originally from Turkey, who is available for adoption from Adopt A Golden Atlanta.

>Rosie is friendly and loves attention once she gets to know you. Her favorite thing in the world is swimming and she will go morning, noon and night if permitted.

Rosie can be toy and food possessive which makes sense since she lived most of her life having nothing and having to guard what she did get. She will get along and learn to share with an easy going older dog.

She loves going for walks, is great on a leash, and very well-behaved for car rides. Rosie is a sweet and very affectionate blonde girl, but has a very Golden glow in her heart.

Matlin in foster

Matlin is a 9 or 10-year old female Golden Retriever who weighs 60 pounds and is available for adoption from Adopt A Golden Atlanta.

My new friend said I am a sweet girl with good house manners and that I am the best kind of dog- one that can give you lots of love. Now my friends at AGA say that I am beautiful too and that if anyone ever wanted a the perfect family member then I am the dog to choose!

If you like walks around the neighborhood or a nap in the afternoon or a friend to keep you company then why not think about me because I am very good at all those things. I’ll even show you how to look at the clouds and see pictures in them and , if you’re up to it, I can even give you a lesson in rolling in the grass? Thank you for reading about me- you friend to be, xxx Matlin.

8
Dec

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 8, 2015

Georgia and American History

President Abraham Lincoln issued his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction on December 8, 1863.

First, it allowed for a full pardon for and restoration of property to all engaged in the rebellion with the exception of the highest Confederate officials and military leaders.

Second, it allowed for a new state government to be formed when 10 percent of the eligible voters had taken an oath of allegiance to the United States.

Third, the Southern states admitted in this fashion were encouraged to enact plans to deal with the freed slaves so long as their freedom was not compromised.

On December 8, 1899, Georgia Governor Allen Candler signed legislation to levy a tax on all dogs older than four months.

The United States declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941. Montana Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin, the first female elected to the United States House of Representatives, cast the sole dissenting vote.

John Lennon was shot and killed outside his apartment building in New York City on December 8, 1980.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections

Spotted at Road Atlanta: a Nissan GT-R with “We the People” Constitution graphics and a Ted Cruz sticker.

Kennesaw city council member and former Mayor Leonard Church plead guilty to child molestation charges, losing his council seat and now faces 18 years in prison.

[Cobb County District Attorney Vic] Reynolds said there was a good chance, given his age, that Church would die in prison, but if he were to be released at some point in the future, he would be under strict supervision as a sex offender. The DA acknowledged the case generated a great deal of public interest, especially in Kennesaw, due to Church’s standing there as a former mayor and sitting councilman.

“It’s easier to admit a murder than it is molesting a child and possessing the volume of child pornography that he possessed,” Reynolds said. “I hope and pray that he was remorseful for what he’s done … whether … (his tears were) sincere or not, I can tell you he’s going to have a long time to think about it.”

Church was transported directly to the county jail in preparation for transfer to Jackson State Prison. A special election for this council seat is set for May.

As far as the election to replace Church, it is likely to be held May 24, 2016 in conjunction with state and local primary elections and nonpartisan judicial races.

WSB-TV reports that what appear to be secret bank accounts for the benefit of DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson and former Commissioner Elaine Boyer were maintained by the DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce.

Statesboro Mayor Jan Moore vetoed an ordinance that would have raised the retirement pay for Mayor and Council members.

“The approval of this increase in retirement pay for elected officials is demonstrative of elected officials placing their personal financial interests above the public interest and the interests of the employees of the City of Statesboro,” Moore gave as the last of three reasons in her written explanation.

She attached the two-page explanation to a copy of the 35-page revised ordinance, with “VETO” written in the space for the mayor’s signature, and delivered it Friday morning to City Clerk Sue Starling.

The retirement raise was adopted, as part of Ordinance 2015-13, by a three-vote majority of the council Tuesday. Councilman Will Britt made the motion, Councilman Gary Lewis seconded it, and Councilman Travis Chance also voted for it. Councilman Phil Boyum abstained, and Councilman John Riggs voted “no.”

That Britt and Lewis did not seek re-election, and that their terms end Dec. 31, figure in the second reason Moore cited for the veto.

But first, she asserted that there was no real justification for the retirement increase.

A ceremony previously scheduled for today to swear in three new members of the Georgia Court of Appeals was cancelled last week, likely due to a lawsuit challenging the governor’s ability to appoint members to newly-created seats.

Fayetteville solo Wayne Kendall, who represents a half-dozen petitioners demanding that the judgeships be filled by elections, said that he in fact speaks for more than 6 million Georgia voters “who have had the right to vote taken away from them.”

Gov. Nathan Deal has already named Amanda Mercier, Nels Peterson and Brian Rickman to the judgeships, which were created by the General Assembly earlier this year. They are slated to assume office on Jan. 1, but a planned swearing-in ceremony slated for Tuesday has been postponed.

In documents and before Superior Court Judge John Goger, Kendall argued that the Georgia Constitution has, since 1906, required that newly created seats on the Court of Appeals must be filled by elections—unlike vacancies, which the governor may fill with his own selections. Although the Constitution has been re-drafted several times, most recently in 1983, Kendall said that the election requirement remains the law of the land.

Since the 1983 constitution, the General Assembly has created three new judgeships on the Court of Appeals, and all three were filled by gubernatorial appointment: one by Gov. Zell Miller in 1996, and two by Gov. Roy Barnes in 1999.

Those appointments were also made in violation of the constitution, Kendall told a reporter after the hearing. The relevant language of the 1983 Constitution states, “All Justices of the Supreme Court and the Judges of the Court of Appeals shall be elected on a nonpartisan basis for a term of six years.”

Some Gwinnett County residents asked Commissioners last night to add more money for early voting to the 2016 budget, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The county has proposed six days of early voting at eight locations. Members of the elections board and community groups want commissioners to double that voting window to 12 days, which would require an increase in spending on the election.

“People of Gwinnett County may not be able to vote (during a shorter voting window) because … of work (or) they may not be able to come because of other obligations that usurp their coming out to vote,” Tucker resident Penny Poole told commissioners. “That sounds so very despicable to me that our vote has been reduced to a dollar amount.”

The proposed $1.5 billion budget includes $7.5 million to pay for elections next year because of expected interest in the presidential election, which coincides with elections for several key county-level posts.

“It’s going to be very expensive next year to do the elections,” commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said.

County officials also have to plan for the extra voting window created for the presidential primary on March 1, which will be followed a couple of months later by a primary for local and state offices.

The eight early voting locations set to be used for the election is up from five for the 2012 presidential election and seven for the 2014 county and state elections, according to figures provided by county officials.

State Senator-elect JaNice Van Ness was cleared to take office after a recount of DeKalb County ballots showed a final tally of 3865 for VanNess to 3781 for Democrat Tanya Anderson. Van Ness will be sworn in at the State Capitol on December 18 at 10 AM.

7
Dec

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 7, 2015

Toffee, Tootsie, and Heath are Pointer/Labrador Retrieve mix dogs who were born in the same litter in February 2012. Each dog is available for adoption from the Berrien County Humane Society, Inc. in Nashville, GA.

Toffee

Toffee is a very sweet spayed female. She loves walks, attention and treats and is just longing for that person to be all hers. She would be a very loyal companion and given attention and time would become very bonded to her person.

Tootsie

Tootsie is a sweet spayed female. She will roll over for belly rubs if you linger in her area. She is not very fond of the leash and will run and hide when you bring it out so needs work on that. She lives in outside kennel so if she’ll be an inside dog, she will need some housetraining.

Heath

Heath is a neutered male that was born at the shelter February 24, 2012 along with his sisters Toffee and Tootsie. His mother, Godiva, and other sister, Snickers, have been adopted; but Heath, Toffee and Tootsie are still looking for their forever home.

Heath is a sweet dog, loves to go for walks, does well on a leash and behaved wonderfully at adoption events. He is currently kept in an outdoor kennel so may need some work on housetraining if indoors. He gets along with most other dogs but may not do well with strong aggressive males.

Could you be Heath’s forever home?

7
Dec

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 7, 2015

Georgia and American History

On December 7, 1801, Georgia’s United States Senator Abraham Baldwin was elected President Pro Tem of the Senate.

Japanese bombers attacked Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941. Today, Lt. Cmdr. Joe Langdell, who had been the oldest survivor of the USS Arizona in the Pearl Harbor attack, will be laid to rest in the ship’s hull.

The USS Arizona battleship was bombed and sunk during Japan’s surprise morning attack on Pearl Harbor that pulled the United States into World War II.

The remains of many of the 1,177 U.S. military personnel who died aboard the Arizona are still inside the submerged wreck. It was the greatest loss of life ever in an attack on a U.S. warship, the National Park Service says.

The memorial was dedicated in 1962.

As of two years ago some 2,000 to 2,500 Pearl Harbor survivors were believed to be still alive, according to Eileen Martinez, chief of interpretation for the USS Arizona Memorial.

Here are seven interesting facts about Pearl Harbor.

GeorgiaInfo has the reactions of Georgia leaders to the Pearl Harbor attack,

U.S. Sen. Walter F. George stated: “Japan’s deed is an act of desperation by a war-mad people. The attack on Hawaii is a deliberate act of the Japanese government. I am utterly amazed. It is unthinkable… . An open declaration of war will give us greater freedom of action.” Noting the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, George optimistically predicted that “it may take two or three years to fight this war to the end.”

U.S. Sen. Richard B. Russell responded to the attack by stating: “Japan has committed national hari-kari. I cannot conceive of any member of Congress voting against a declaration of war in view of the unpardonable, unprovoked attack on us. I am utterly astounded.”

U.S. Rep. Carl Vinson, chairman of the House Naval Affairs Committee, added: “Of course we will have to declare war. There is nothing else for Congress to do. This is a concerted action by the Axis Powers, but I am confident our Navy is ready and will render a glorious account of itself. It probably means we will be drawn into the world conflict on both oceans.”

On December 7, 1946, the Winecoff Hotel in downtown Atlanta, previously considered fireproof, burned in the worst hotel fire to date.

On Sunday, the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force in Pooler, Georgia hosted a ceremony to remember Pearl Harbor.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

In Plains, Georgia yesterday, former President Jimmy Carter told his Sunday School class that his cancer appears to be gone.

Jennifer Rosenbaum, who had previously announced she would run for Henry County Commission District 1, has been charged with murder, along with her husband, in the death of a 5-year old foster child.

According to records from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Jennifer Rosenbaum is facing numerous charges connected to Laila Marie Daniel’s death. Police charged Rosenbaum Friday night with murder, aggravated assault, two counts of cruelty to children in the first degree (causing excessive physical or mental pain) and second degree cruelty to children. Rosenbaum’s husband, Joseph is charged with two counts of cruelty to children causing excessive physical or mental pain in first degree.

In Senate District 43 (DeKalb, Newton, and Rockdale Counties), ballots from the December 1 Special Runoff Election will be recounted today after election night reporting apparently reported Panold Road precinct ballots as being cast in precinct, which is in the same location.

The recount will be conducted Monday afternoon. Depending on the results of the recount, Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office could certify the election as soon as Tuesday, said David Dove, an attorney for the Secretary of State’s Office.

“When petitioned for a recount, it’s in the secretary of state’s discretion to grant that recount, and the secretary of state decided to grant that in this case,” Dove said.

State Representative-elect Jodi Lott will have to get a quick start on session preparation, as her first Republican Caucus meeting will be this Friday.

Eddie DeLoach’s winning campaign for Mayor of Savannah was managed by 19-year old Carmen Foskey, who will next take some time off from the campaign trail to start college at UGA.

Savannah mayor-elect Eddie DeLoach won the runoff race last Tuesday. He thanked his supporters, friends, family and the hard work of his campaign manager.

Carmen Foskey hasn’t even been to college, but she spent the last three months running Eddie DeLoach’s campaign.

“If she had a cape on I would call her Supergirl,” said DeLoach.

As his campaign manager, she spent hours in the office preparing for the election. DeLoach says he couldn’t have done it without her.

“We slipped into a ditch a couple of times out there,” explains DeLoach, “we sat down and talked about what we need to do.”

Foskey is helping DeLoach transition into his role as mayor. Then she’s going to the University of Georgia to get a degree in January.

When he takes office, DeLoach will concentrate on spending issues, public safety, and job creation, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Tonight at 7 PM at the Gwinnett County Justice and Admininstration Center, the Gwinnett County Commission will hear from residents on the proposed $1.5 billion dollar budget for 2016.

“We invite oral and written comments about the meeting and hope to see you there,” commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said during this past week’s televised business meeting.

The proposed budget includes a four percent pay for performance increase for employees, longevity pay for county workers, body cameras for law enforcement, and funding for additional police, animal shelter, corrections, parks maintenance, firefighter/paramedic, Juvenile Court and sheriff’s deputy positions.

It would also pay for an additional magistrate judge, three new Gwinnett Transit routes, a new special victims unit in the District Attorney’s Office, senior center renovations, a courthouse expansion and a new state patrol building.

Residents can view the proposed budget on the county’s website, www.gwinnettcounty.com, or at the Finance Department’s office in the administration center. Residents who cannot attend the public hearing can also submit their feedback via an online comment form that is available on the county’s website.

Harris County T-Shirt

The politically incorrect sign posted by Harris County, Georgia Sheriff Mike Jolley is now a best-selling t-shirt.

The Boutique’s owners say the t-shirt started as a joke and coast to coast people have laughed, picked p the phone and placed their order.

“They are supporting Sheriff Jolley and they know that this is about free speech,” co-owner Jessica Beck said.

Sheriff Jolley sign has made national headlines and a few enemies as well. He told FOX 5 News:

“The vast majority of people in Atlanta think this way.  But no one will have the intestinal fortitude to just do it.”

Click here to order your very own.

Over the weekend, the Snellville Police Department Facebook account wrote the following,

Police officers – please carry your firearm off-duty…we are so fortunate to receive the training to protect others and ourselves. Do not let that training go to waste by leaving your lifesaving tools at home while you are out.

All other law abiding, legal gun carry folks – please learn to carry safely, so you can protect yourself and your fellow citizens in the event that a lethal emergency unfolds in front of you. For those that do not carry, or want info on the topic some great sites are http://www.georgiacarry.org/ and http://www.georgiapacking.org/law.php.

Congressman Buddy Carter fired off a statement last night after President Obama’s address.

“Words must be backed by decisive action and an unyielding resolve to rid the earth of this scourge. I remain unconvinced that this Administration has either. The President is wasting time when trying to reason with the irrational or fighting for moral high ground with people who lack morals.

“We can either fight ISIS and groups over there or we can fight them here. I know where I want the fight to take place and I call on the President to allow our military leaders to create a strategy to accomplish the task. Congress stands ready to provide them with the resources they need.

“The attack in San Bernardino makes clear that terrorist networks will exploit our immigration system to plant extremists. I will continue fighting to shut off refugee resettlement for those from the conflict areas and tighten immigration screening until the Administration puts in place better screening measures to ensure we are not risking the safety and security of the American people.

“Those trying to exploit this tragedy to advance their anti-gun agenda under the guise of protecting the American people are misguided. France has some of the most stringent gun laws in the world yet Paris happened. California has some of the most stringent gun laws in our country yet San Bernardino happened. Disarming law abiding American citizens will have the same benefit to our homeland security as the Paris climate talks.”

4
Dec

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 4, 2015

Ellie Mae

Ellie Mae is a 2-4 month old, 13-pound female baby Basset Hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Athenspets in Athens, GA.

What a little honeypie this girl is! Don’t buy the little sad face in these pictures – Ellie Mae is a happy-go-lucky pup who loves everybody and when we had her in the interaction pen she had a blast playing with any dog in an adjoining pen who would have her. Even big dogs and hard players didn’t bother her a bit – they were all play pals in her eyes. Ellie Mae is a low-rider with short legs and big paws – she’s like a little tank.

She’s still a very young puppy so she doesn’t have much in the way of manners yet – she likes to chew on her leash while she walks and nips when she plays, but she’s a smart girl and will learn fast. In just a few minutes she learned to take treats gently and not like an alligator Ellie is irresistible!
Clyde

Clyde is a 2-year old, 40# hound mix boy who is available for adoption from Athenspets in Athens, GA.

Clem

Clem is a year-old, 45-pound hound mix boy who is available for adoption from Athenspets in Athens, GA.

44113_Clem_7

Clem and Clyde are so much fun!  Clem loves running with a stuffed toy, and Clyde loves to chase him.  Eventually, they’re ready to take a break for pets and treats but throw another toy, and their game continues. These boys are sweet, fun, and adorable!

44113_Clem_9

These two boys are so similar in shape and size that they must be related – whether it’s father/son, brothers from another litter, uncle/nephew, who knows.

4
Dec

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 4, 2015

political_rewind_logo

Today from 3-4 PM, I’ll be on GPB’s Political Rewind. I hope you’ll listen in, on 88.5 FM in Atlanta, or on GPB’s statewide radio network.

Georgia and American History

On December 5, 1765, the British ship Speedwell arrived in Savannah with supplies for implementing the Stamp Act.

On December 4, 1783, General George Washington told his officers he would resign his commission and return to his life at Mount Vernon.

The Battle of Waynesboro, Georgia was fought between Wheeler’s Confederate cavalry and Kilpatrick’s federal troops on December 4, 1864.

Georgia voters approved a new state Constitution, the seventh in state history, on December 5, 1877; also approved on the statewide ballot was to keep the state capital in Atlanta instead of returning it to Milledgeville. Notably, Section II, Paragraph V of the 1877 Constitution read:

“Lobbying is declared to be a crime, and the General Assembly shall enforce this provision by suitable penalties.”

Governor William Northen signed legislation placing on the statewide ballot a constitutional amendment to increase the number of Georgia Supreme Court Justices from 3 to 5 on December 4, 1893.

On December 4, 1932, a 12-foot tall statue of Tom Watson, former state legislator, Congressman, and United States Senator from Georgia, was placed on the State Capitol Grounds.

On December 5, 1933, the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Utah ratified the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, repealing Prohibition under the 18th Amendment. FDR ran for President in 1932 supporting repeal.

On December 5, 1941, ten state institutions of higher learning, including the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech, lost their accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools due to political meddling by Gov. Eugene Talmadge.

On December 4, 1945, the United States Senate voted to approve full U.S. participation in the United Nations. Georgia’s Senators voted in favor.

On December 5, 2006, Republican Chuck Eaton was elected to the Public Service Commission in a runoff election against incumbent Democrat David Burgess.

On December 2, 2014, Republican Nancy Jester was elected to the DeKalb County Commission in a runoff election against independent Holmes Pyle by a 3-to-1 margin.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Brian Roslund, who ran as a Democrat for State Senate last year, shot himself while facing trial on felony charges.

Among the one count of racketeering and 27 counts of theft by taking, Roslund was accused of taking more than $11,000 from the Friends of Roosevelt’s Little White House in Warm Springs.

He was in court Monday in Meriwether County when the judge called the case for trial. All parties were instructed to return Tuesday to pick a jury.

Roslund qualified to run for the office in March 2014 while he was president of the Friends of Roosevelt’s Little White House in Warm Springs. He is accused of withdrawing cash 27 times from the charity’s bank account through the use of “counter checks.” The amount totaled more than $11,000 from the charity. Money was alleged to have paid for campaign-related expenses and a rental home in Senate District 29.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp has announced free credit monitoring services for consumers in the wake of a data release that resulted in 12 CDs containing voters’ personal information that included Social Security and Driver’s License numbers.Continue Reading..

3
Dec

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 3, 2015

Jingle

Jingle is a 2-3 year old female Beagle who weighs 18 pound and is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA.

Holly

Holly is a 5-6 year old female Beagle who is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA.

Gabe

Gabe is a 55-pound, 1-year old Labrador Retriever and Shar Pei mix male who is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA. He’s described as kind of goofy-playful boy with an excellent personality.

Sport

Sport is a 1-year old male Beagle (and Lab?) mix who weighs 35 pounds and is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA.

3
Dec

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 3, 2015

628px-Grand_Union_Flag.svg

On December 3, 1775, the Grand Union Flag, comprising the Union Jack with thirteen red-and-white stripes was raised for the first time by Lieutenant John Paul Jones over the USS Alfred, a colonial warship. The flag would be used by Continental forces thorugh 1776 and early 1777.

USS Alfred

On December 3, 1776, General George Washington wrote Congress that he had moved most of his army across the Delaware River from Trenton, New Jersey to Pennsylvania.

On December 3, 1864, Union forces under the command of Gen. William T. Sherman skirmished against Wheeler’s Confederate cavalry at Thomas’ Station in Burke County, Georgia.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Here’s a political challenge I can get behind: Georgia State Senator P.K. Martin challenged Senator John Albers to collect non-perishable food items for local food pantries. Whoever collects the most before the big semifinals playoff game between Grayson High School and Roswell High School wins! To add a little excitement, the state senator whose high school team loses will have to deliver all of the canned goods and give a $250 donation to a local food pantry wearing the rival’s jersey.

Governor Nathan Deal has indicated his opposition to the idea of growing and processing medical marijuana in Georgia, according to the Macon Telegraph.

“I still don’t think we have sufficient information or ability to control something of that nature if we start production and processing here in our state,” Deal said Wednesday morning.

That puts a roadblock in front of a plan by state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, to try and legalize in-state growing as early as next year of specially-bred cannabis used to make medicine.

Georgians who have certain severe illnesses and who have a doctor’s recommendation can possess a liquid cannabis medicine under a state law that Peake pushed through the Legislature earlier this year.

But Peake says Georgia’s medical cannabis patients need marijuana grown in the state so they can get their medicine easily. Right now, they have to risk federal drug-smuggling laws if they bring in cannabis from states where it is legal.

Without Deal’s support, any in-state grow proposal would need a veto-proof super-majority vote in the state Legislature to become law.

Congratulations and condolences to Nick Millwood, who won the runoff election for Mayor of Ringgold.

Rome, Georgia is considering tweaking the residency requirement to run for City Commission.

Currently, the charter states that a candidate must live inside the ward by the time of the election, not qualification, according to City Clerk Joe Smith.

Sundai Stevenson, the top vote-getter in the Ward 1 race, wasn’t living in the ward prior to qualifying, although she moved into it before the Nov. 3 election.

The top three vote-getters from the Ward 1 race take office in January. Stevenson finished with 1,653 votes, followed by incumbents Milton Slack with 1,360 votes and Bill Irmscher with 1,146 votes.

“There is a consensus with the City Commission that candidates should reside in their wards at qualification,” Mayor Jamie Doss said.

Stevenson said she moved to North Rome’s Atteiram Heights in the first week of October, a week before early voting began Oct. 12.

Some of the incumbents are unhappy about the current residency requirements, because someone could just move into a ward after qualification and run for election, Doss said.

Smith said a candidate has to qualify with the city clerk’s office approximately 70 days before the election.

WJCL took a closer look at election returns in Savannah and found that Eddie DeLoach built a substantial lead in two precincts that helped him carry the election against incumbent Edna Jackson.

Precinct 1-1 is the First Presbyterian Church on Washington Avenue right by Savannah Arts Academy, and a few blocks from Daffin Park. There, Eddie DeLoach had his biggest win of the night. He gained 1,206 more votes there than Mayor Edna Jackson.
It was a similar story at Precinct 1-6, the Central Church of Christ on Stephenson Avenue near Waters Avenue, just west of Bacon Park Golf Course.
There, DeLoach outpaced Jackson by 729 votes.
Within just two polling places, DeLoach built a lead of more than 1,900 votes, something Mayor Jackson just could not overcome.
Gary Richardson will take office as the next Columbia County Commissioner for District 3 after his runoff victory.
Walt Hollingsworth was elected the next Mayor of Carrollton.
Linda Johnson was elected to Fairmount City Council Post 4 by a 57-52 margin.
Vivian Miller-Cody won the runoff for Valdosta City Council District 1.
In November, Willie Morgan and Charlie Fish, Jr. tied with 77 votes each in the Flovilla City Council race, with Morgan winning the runoff.
Proposed legislation supported by the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council would reduce the advantages that law enforcement officers hold when their actions are questioned by a grand jury.

Georgia is the only state that allows officers facing possible indictment to sit in on the entire grand jury process, hear all the witnesses and evidence against them, and then make a closing statement that cannot be questioned or challenged by prosecutors or grand jurors.”Certainly that environment creates the ability to make statements that you know you don’t have to answer for,” said [Prosecuting Attorney's Council Executive Director Chuck] Spahos.

Several prosecutors and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation director said overwhelmingly, most officer shootings are justified, but in the small percentage of questionable cases, Georgia’s unique grand jury law could be impeding justice.”The process itself inside that room has got to be above question,” said Rep. Rich Golick, R-Smyrna.

Golick chairs the House Judiciary Committee that would change the law and now plans to champion that effort.

“This is the first time that I’ve sensed a push coming and then when you combine that with real-world examples of how the process has been undermined, that’s a situation that demands us to take a hard look at it,” said Golick.

Under the new proposal, officers would be treated like any other grand jury witness.

Could Johns Creek be a hotbed of Libertarian electoral strength? The Libertarian Party of Georgia member Chris Coughlin won a runoff for about a month on the City Council, but lost for the full term that begins after that. Previously, Karen Richardson served on Johns Creek City Council and aligned with the Libertarian Party.
2
Dec

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 2, 2015

Cole Pepper

Cole (male, right above) and Pepper (female, left above) are brother and sister from the same litter.

They belonged to a young man who went off to college and couldn’t take us with him. Long story short, no one else really wanted to or could take care of them, so they ended up in a crate in a driveway, waiting for someone to pick them up and take them to rescue.

Cole

Cole is a young male Rat Terrier and Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from GA Jack Russell Rescue in Conyers, GA.

I am very sweet and want nothing but to love and be loved. I love to play and have fun, but I will stick my tongue out for kisses and ear rubs any time of any day.

Pepper

Pepper is a young female Rat Terrier and Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from GA Jack Russell Rescue in Conyers, GA.

I am sweet and submissive beyond words. I want nothing but to love and be loved. I don’t have an aggressive bone in my body and a life with a family would be absolutely fantastic!

Emory

Emory is an adult male Jack Russell Terrier who is available for adoption from GA Jack Russell Rescue in  Conyers, GA.

I’m an irresitable little man (about 12, maybe 13 lbs). I’m only about 6-7 years old, but my sight is a little compromised and my nose and mouth sometimes overcompensate when it comes to treats. I can follow you just fine, but I’ll need someone who knows how to deal with a dog who doesn’t see 100%. I certainly do not intend to bite.

We’re working on putting some meat on my little bones, but I really love treats and would love to be with someone who understands my challenges and wants to spoil me. They are trying to teach me.

Sweet Bella

Sweet Bella is a 7-year old Labrador Retriever and Boxer mix female who is available for adoption from Fantana Farms Rescue in Covington, GA.

I’ve been spayed, am current on all of my shots, and just had my teeth cleaned! I’m smart! I know sit, down, roll over, and shake! I love to run and play. I’m house trained. I grew up with children and I love other dogs.

My family had me since I was a puppy. Sadly, due to a new baby on the way and due to a neighbor complaining because I was running the neighborhood (no fenced in yard) my family needed to re-home me. I’m now staying at Fantana but I really want a family to love me again. You should come meet me!

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 2, 2015

Georgia and American History

John Wesley left Savannah on December 2, 1737.

John Wesley’s strict discipline as rector of Christ Church in Savannah irritated his parishioners. More trouble followed when he fell in love with Sophia Hopkey, the niece of Georgia’s chief magistrate. When she married another man, Wesley banned her from Holy Communion, damaging her reputation in the community.

His successful romantic rival sued him; but Wesley refused to recognize the authority of the court, and the man who would eventually found a major Protestant denomination in America left Georgia in disgrace on December 2, 1737

Touro Synagogue, the oldest existing synagogue in the United States, was dedicated on December 2, 1763 in Newport, Rhode Island.

The Skirmish at Rocky Creek Church took place near Waynesboro, Georgia on December 2, 1864.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Chatham County will host a Special Election for Sheriff on March 1, 2016 after the death of Sheriff Al St. Lawrence.

Roy Harris, the chief deputy in the Chatham County Sheriff’s office under St Lawrence, will continue as sheriff until March 1. Harris was recently sworn in as sheriff by Chief Superior Court Judge Michael Karpf.

St Lawrence, who had been sheriff since 1992, most recently won reelection in 2012 over Democratic challenger McArthur Holmes.

Overnight, Savannah politics has changed, with incumbent Mayor Edna Jackson ousted by businessman Eddie DeLoach.

Savannah will have a new mayor and three new city aldermen next year.

Eddie DeLoach defeated Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson in Tuesday’s municipal runoff after running a campaign centered largely on the rise in crime in the city during her administration.

DeLoach received 53 percent of the vote to unseat Jackson and earn his place as the head of the Savannah City Council, with all precincts reporting.

In addition, Bill Durrence defeated Savannah Alderwoman Mary Osborne to secure the District 2 seat with 63 percent of the vote. Brian Foster will also join the council after receiving 53 percent of the vote in his run against Alicia Blakely for the alderman at-large, post 2 seat.

About 38 percent of registered voters turned out for the runoff, which was about the same amount as the general election.

Following the general election and runoff, there will be four new members of the nine-member City Council next year.

Bill Dawers adds the following to our understanding of what happened in the election.

In the general election last month, there were 22,275 voters in the mayoral race. In the 2011 runoff, there were 19,702.

Tonight, there were 23,306 votes cast for mayor — an increase of over 1,000 from the general election (yes, voters can cast a ballot in the runoff even if they skipped the general).

Congratulations and condolences to Jodi Lott, who won the Special Runoff Election in House District 122 last night by better than 3-to-1 over Mack Taylor.

“It was very much a grassroots efforts, me knowing people that knew other people,” Lott said. “It kept spreading and spreading.”

Lott won 76 percent of the votes, 2,812 votes more than Taylor. Turnout for the runoff election was low – just 5,642 of the district’s 35,460 registered voters cast ballots, a 15.9 percent turnout.

Taylor, 42, an attorney and a former Columbia County commissioner, said the campaign was fraught with distractions.

In his call to Lott, Taylor said he asked her to pass a religious freedom bill when she gets to Atlanta.

A squib in the AJC Political Insider suggested that Lott’s election had something to do with the Religious Liberty bill, writing that Jodi Lott’s victory

could matter in the January fight over S.B. 129, the “religious liberty” bill. Lott had the backing of local business groups.

Senator Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) dismissed that notion, posting on Facebook,

Lott said that although she sought support from the Georgia chamber, among other organizations, it wasn’t until she made it into the runoff that the chamber showed any interest. She also supports the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, so she doesn’t think that is the reason for the ads attacking Taylor.

“I’ve never been against RFRA,” Lott said Monday. “In February of last year I was promoting RFRA.”

Sarah Harper Scott, who lives in the area, chimed in with this:

This race wasn’t about RFRA… it was about candidates and media. Taylor never recovered from the dirty fight in the general. Most constituents wanted someone who could work for them and wouldn’t quit if another opportunity came up.

Most local races are first and foremost about the candidates and about the voters in the district. But that’s hard to understand without being in the district day-in and day-out and makes writing about local races from Atlanta a difficult task.

In the Special Election for Senate District 20, I was frankly surprised to see it end without a runoff. But Larry Walker, III took 52 percent of the votes cast, winning without extra innings.

Walker got 52 percent of the votes across Senate District 20, which covers most of Houston plus all of Bleckley, Laurens and Pulaski counties.

He dispatched Vivian Childs, Brooks Keisler, Jon Martin, James Pettis and Mike Reece. None took more than 19 percent of the vote.

“I think people in the district recognized that I have the ability to be an effective leader in the Senate and liked my message of using some Middle Georgia common sense,” said Walker, as the last votes were being counted Tuesday night.

Walker campaigned on promises to cut red tape, trim taxes and protect Robins Air Force Base. He said the win was due to hard work from family, friends and supporters.

He dispatched Vivian Childs, Brooks Keisler, Jon Martin, James Pettis and Mike Reece. None took more than 19 percent of the vote.

“I think people in the district recognized that I have the ability to be an effective leader in the Senate and liked my message of using some Middle Georgia common sense,” said Walker, as the last votes were being counted Tuesday night.

Walker campaigned on promises to cut red tape, trim taxes and protect Robins Air Force Base. He said the win was due to hard work from family, friends and supporters.

This election wins the GaPundit award for ironic outcomes when combined with the District 146 race earlier this year, where Walker came in second. Most politicos would consider a Senate seat a higher attainment than a State House seat, but it could be that Walker, whose father served in the House for 32 years, would have preferred to serve in the lower chamber.

Senator McKoon also noted that Senator-elect Larry Walker has previously supported the Religious Liberty legislation, making both the Columbus Senator and his legislation winners on Tuesday night.

In Senate District 43, JaNice Van Ness won with what appears to be an 87-vote margin of victory over Democrat Tonya Anderson. The seat was previously held by a Democrat and generally votes at about 70% Democratic or higher. This is an epic bloody nose for Georgia Democrats, many of whom vented their frustration on Facebook last night.

A couple of things about that race are worth noting.

1. Republican Van Ness increased her vote total from 2995 in November to 3864 last night, a rise of nearly 30%. She also increased the number of votes she received in Rockdale, her home county, from 2180 to 2748.

2. Van Ness received 1617 early votes in the runoff, nearly 45% more than the 1119 early vote she received in November, despite an early voting period that was shortened two days by the Thanksgiving holiday.

3. Jack Kingston made a robocall last week promoting early voting and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle recorded a call that went out the day before the election. Both calls specifically targeted likely Republican voters in Rockdale and Newton counties.

4. Kingston also penned an email sent by the Georgia Republican Party about the importance of early voting and specifically noted the runoffs in both Savannah and SD 43. Kingston deserves a place on the list of last night’s winners for supporting candidates who legitimately were considered longshots going into the runoff.

Now, I don’t drink alcohol, but I’ve been told that Democrat tears mixed with bourbon makes a fine cocktail.

Johns Creek City Council will have three new members.

Unofficial results show candidate Chris Coughlin has won the special election for the Johns Creek City Council Post 2 seat. Coughlin is leading fellow challenger Todd Burkhalter with 59.05 percent, or 1,661 votes. Burkhalter trails with 40.95 percent, or 1,152 votes.

Coughlin will serve out the unexpired term for the Post 2 seat that ends Dec. 31. The seat was vacated by Brad Raffensperger, who ran for state Senate.

Unofficials results show Lin was elected to serve a full, four-year term that will start in January for the Post 2 seat. Lin leads the race with 52.54 percent, or 1,676 votes.

For the Post 5 seat, unofficial results show Stephanie Endres defeated fellow challenger Dr. Nazeera Dawood. Endres is currently polling at 57.82 percent, or 1,741 votes to Dawood’s 42.18 percent, or 1,270 votes. The Post 5 seat was vacated last year by Kelly Stewart, who also resigned to run for the state Senate.

Also on the list of last night’s winners is Georgia Right to Life PAC, who endorsed the winning candidates in all three runoff elections for Johns Creek City Council.

Chris Hewitt won a runoff election to the Forsyth City Council last night.

Royce Fowler won the Soperton Mayoral runoff, in which the earlier vote resulted in a tie.