If anyone had any doubts about Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s influence among Georgia Democrats, he put them to rest this week.
He urged fellow Democrats to focus on next year’s Senate race rather than a challenge against Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, a friend and sometime political partner who Reed said was likely to be re-elected.
Minutes later, he became the most prominent figure to call for the resignation of embattled party Chairman Mike Berlon, who soon cited Reed in the announcement that he was stepping down.
Now Reed and his allies will play a prominent role in tapping a new leader for Georgia Democrats at a defining moment for the party’s future. Republicans sense that Georgia’s growing minority population could threaten their dominance of state politics, and Democrats see a chance to capitalize.
“He is going to be involved in the direction of the party because he wants to make sure Democrats are in a good position to run a good campaign, whether it’s for Senate or other seats, to move this state forward and get a Democrat elected,” said Tharon Johnson, a Democratic strategist with McKenna Long & Aldridge and Reed protege.
ATLANTA (May 30, 2013) – Senate President Pro Tempore David Shafer (R – Duluth) today announced the appointment of David Cook as Secretary of the Senate. Cook will succeed the retiring Bob Ewing.
“David Cook is a veteran of the Senate and began his career working as an aide in the Secretary of the Senate’s office, in addition to serving as counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee,” said Senator Shafer. “I have every confidence in him, and I know that he will do an outstanding job as Secretary of the Senate.” Continue reading
PROMINENT RESTAURATEUR NAMED BARR CHAIRMAN
Bob Barr announced today that prominent Buckhead businessman and restaurateur Dante Stephensen has agreed to serve as the Fulton County Chairman for his congressional campaign.
“Dante is well-known as a man of character and integrity as well as an innovator and leader in the hospitality industry. He is one of the most successful job creators in Georgia who treats both his employees and customers with true respect. I am honored to have Dante as a leader on my campaign team,” said Barr, who served in the House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003 and is a candidate to return to the Congress from the 11th District which includes portions of Buckhead and Sandy Springs.
“I am excited to be a part of Bob Barr’s campaign. I have supported Bob in the past and know him to be a man who truly understands the needs of businesses in Buckhead and across Georgia. Business leaders need a champion in Congress who not only understands their needs, but has a proven record of meeting those needs; and Bob Barr is that person,” observed Stephensen.
Georgia Public Broadcasting has pushed back to July 1 the scheduled debut of Chip Rogers’ new public radio show, giving the former state legislator time to work with a newly hired executive producer.
Former B98.5 FM “Morning Show” producer Jessica Forkel began this month to work with Rogers on the public broadcasting station’s new “Georgia Works,” a weekly statewide radio program focused on economic development and jobs.
Once one of the state Legislature’s most visible Republican leaders, Rogers resigned in December to take what he called a “dream” job with GPB to establish Georgia Works. He was first elected to the Legislature in 2002.
Georgia college leaders joined a new partnership to explore how they can best use the fast-growing market of free online courses.
The University System of Georgia announced today it is one of 10 public systems and universities taking a collaborative look at how massively open online courses (MOOCs) could increase college access and make a degree more affordable.
MOOCs started almost two years ago to offer quality online college courses from elite schools, including Georgia Tech and Emory University. Millions of people worldwide signed up
Lately the focus has been on turning these free courses into college credit.
Georgia colleges could use the courses to reduce the expense of a degree and offer students more flexible class schedules, said Houston Davis, the system’s chief academic officer.
WALTON COUNTY, Ga. — An indicted state lawmaker says he is certain he faces federal charges because of his continued push to find justice for victims of a 1946 lynching.
State Rep. Tyrone Brooks spoke at length to Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne at the Moores Ford Bridge in Walton County.
A federal grand jury indicted Brooks on 30 counts, including mail, wire and tax fraud charges.
Brooks, 67, is accused of soliciting contributions from individual and corporate donors to combat illiteracy, but then using the money to pay personal expenses for himself and his family.
Brooks told Winne he believes that the federal government filed the charges against him because of his work trying to solve the lynching.
In case you missed it, they opened a whitewater course on the Chattahoochee River last weekend. It was in all the papers — especially this one. Which brings us to …
The YouTube video that was all the rage on FaceBook disappeared, taken down sometime in the last day or so. But as of Wednesday afternoon, the 5-minute, 40-second video was back on YouTube.
It is spectacular. It’s like a NASCAR wreck on steroids.
Sunday evening, someone posted the video of a rafting logjam at Cutbait, the signature rapid on the new Chattahoochee whitewater course.
SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — It may be hard to believe, but some metro Atlanta residents are upset that the tolls on Georgia 400 are going away Nov. 20.
Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston found it’s not just a handful of people, there are quite a few.
Huddleston found commuters that think removing the infamous toll will only create more problems.
“I think it’s going to cause a bottleneck in traffic,” driver Stephanie Evertsz told Huddleston.
Evertsz travels Ga. 400 and worries that removing the toll will create massive backups.
“Opening it up to everyone is going to cause more traffic. I don’t think it’s a benefit,” Evertsz said.
And others agree with Evertsz. The State Road and Tollway Authority said it’s have received several emails from concerned drivers.
“I’m happy to pay the tolls,” one email said.
“How foolish of you to stop the toll!” another email said.
MACON, Ga. — A state lawmaker says elections for Macon-Bibb County’s newly formed consolidated government system will likely be held in November after the Department of Justice essentially halted a nonpartisan election that was scheduled for mid-July.
Republican state Rep. Allen Peake, of Macon, called the federal action a delay tactic Wednesday. Lawmakers have been given 60 days to respond to the federal inquiry and Peake says federal officials have 60 days after that to respond to them.
The delegation’s legislative counsel said nonpartisan elections were conducted during summer primaries and officials were unaware that nonpartisan elections could also be held in the fall, Peake said.
The Voting Rights Act requires states with a history of discrimination, mainly in the Deep South, to get approval before making changes in the way elections are held. The Supreme Court is wrestling with the fate of a section of the landmark civil rights law that has helped millions of Americans exercise their right to vote.
Federal officials are probing whether summer elections would have had a disparate racial impact on voter turnout. Georgia Secretary of State records show black voter turnout was significantly lower during July primaries than during the November 2012 elections.
A slave woman brought Macon worldwide notoriety by disguising herself as a white man in 1848 to escape serving her half-sister.
A freed black man became a successful east Macon businessman before the Civil War, although the law forced him to rely on a white partner to make his legal transactions.
The first black Georgian elected to the U.S. Congress came from Macon.
These are just a few of the stories detailed in a new historical marker, titled “Civil War Era Maconites of African Ancestry,” that was dedicated Wednesday morning at 830 Mulberry St.