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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 3, 2016

In Today’s Politics, Campaigns, and Elections Update:

1. Under the Gold Dome

2. Public Servants Gone Wild

3. Georgia Elections

4. Peach State Presidential Politics – What’s next for Trump, Cruz, and Rubio

5. Nuke News

On February 3, 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, prohibiting racial discrimination in voting.

On February 3, 1887, Congress adopted the Electoral Count Act to clarify how Congress was to count electoral votes.

Electoral vote counting is the oldest activity of the national government and among the oldest questions of constitutional law. It was Congress’s first task when a quorum appeared in the nation’s new legislature on April 6, 1789. It has happened every four years since then. Yet, electoral vote counting remains one of the least understood aspects of our constitutional order.

The Electoral Count Act of 1887 (ECA) lies at the heart of this confusion. In enacting the ECA, Congress drew on lessons learned from its twenty-five previous electoral counts; it sorted through innumerable proposals floated before and after the disastrous presidential election of 1876; and it thrashed out the ECA’s specific provisions over fourteen years of sustained debate. Still, the law invites misinterpretation. The ECA is turgid and repetitious. Its central provisions seem contradictory. Many of its substantive rules are set out in a single sentence that is 275 words long. Proponents of the law admitted it was “not perfect.” Contemporary commentators were less charitable. John Burgess, a leading political scientist in the late nineteenth century, pronounced the law unwise, incomplete, premised on contradictory principles, and expressed in language that was “very confused, almost unintelligible.” At least he thought the law was constitutional; others did not.

Over the nearly 120 years since the ECA’s adoption, the criticisms faded, only to be renewed whenever there was a close presidential election. Our ability to misunderstand the ECA has grown over time. During the 2000 presidential election dispute, politicians, lawyers, commentators, and Supreme Court justices seemed prone to misstate or misinterpret the provisions of the law, even those provisions which were clear to the generation that wrote them. The Supreme Court, for example, mistakenly believed that the Supreme Court of Florida’s erroneous construction of its election code would deny Florida’s electors the ECA’s “safe harbor” protection; Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s hasty submission of his state’s Certificate of Ascertainment was untimely under the Act; and Democratic members of Congress framed their objections to accepting Florida’s electoral vote on the wrong grounds. Even Al Gore, the presidential candidate contesting the election’s outcome, misread the federal deadline for seating Florida’s electors.

Only the United States Congress could so obfuscate a matter as seemingly simple as counting that its Act remained undecipherable for more than one hundred years.

The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified by Delaware on February 3, 1913, giving the Amendment the requisite Constitutional supermajority of three-fourths of the states. The text of the Amendment reads, in its entirety,

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

President Woodrow Wilson died on February 3, 1924 in Washington, DC. Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia (pronounced Stan-ton) and spent most of his youth to age 14 in Augusta, Georgia. Wilson started practicing law in Atlanta, Georgia in 1882, leaving the next year to pursue a Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University. His wife, Ellen Louise Axson, was from Savannah, and they married in Rome, Ga in 1885.

On February 3, 1959, a chartered Beechcraft Bonanza carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson crashed near Mason City, Iowa, killing all aboard.

Jimi Hendrix recorded Purple Haze on this date in 1967.

Under the Gold Dome

Senate Committees





2:00 PM Joint HEALTH & HMN SVCS and HIGHER ED. 307 CAP


2:00 PM DOT Delegations- CD 4 Senate Chamber

2:00 PM APPROPRIATIONS – Public Safety Sub 341 CAP


3:00 PM DOT Delegations-CD 11 Senate Chamber

3:30 PM Approp Gen’l Gov’t Sub 341 CAP



House CommitteesContinue Reading..


Iowa proves Cruz ground game heading toward SEC Primary

The headline to a column by Charles Hurt in the Washington Times today, “Ted Cruz wins Iowa, but he won’t be the GOP nominee for president,” plays on the Hawkeye State’s less-than-stellar track record of picking GOP nominees, but a closer look at the Southern states due to choose in rapid succession after New Hampshire suggests the Texas Senator has done much of the groundwork to bring his precision-guided ground game to the southern states of the “SEC Primary,” which I prefer to call the “Waffle House Primary.”

Those of us in the Peach State, where Secretary of State Brian Kemp coined the concept of a Southern Super Tuesday he dubbed “SEC Primary,” have seen much of Ted Cruz since his bus tour that began in Savannah before the RedState Gathering in Atlanta and continued afterwards to head south toward Newnan and Columbus ,Georgia before heading West through Alabama and much of the rest of the SEC states.

Ted Cruz Newnan from behind side

He was also back in Georgia in December with wife Heidi and their two girls as part of a fly-around. In the meantime, he’s piled up significant endorsements and built the best grassroots presidential campaign I’ve seen in twenty years of Republican politics here.

What Iowa offered Cruz, more valuable than the one-delegate lead he now enjoys over Donald J. Trump and Marco Rubio, was much needed proof. Proof that Trump can be beaten despite a stranglehold on the mainstream media’s attention, and that the rules of politics still apply to the same extent that the law of gravity does.

Iowa provided the proof of concept that a well-executed ground game, buttressed by sufficient media buys and all the latest and greatest in targeting can still win elections, even against what Newt Gingrich calls “the Kardashian model of social media” in Presidential politics.

Many of the Cruz campaign’s trips across the South began in South Carolina, where voters go to the polls in 18 days, and where the electorate is likely to be closer to that of Iowa than of New Hampshire. Trump too has spent time in the Palmetto State, typically in-and-out, drawing huge crowds. Since at least August of last year, it’s been clear the Cruz campaign sees the bloc of Southern states that vote on March 1 as a firewall and has invested in boots on the ground in those states.

The lesson Cruz can draw from Iowa is to continue building-out and refining the ground game that landed him the top slot in Iowa, while Trump may be trying to figure out how to effectively build a get out the vote machine starting months later than his rival.

Some analysts see David Perdue’s “outsider” victory in the 2014 Georgia Senate race as the beginning of a trend that will be fully manifested in Trump’s campaign. Perdue himself sees the link. But having seen the 2014 Senate race up close in Georgia, I draw a different conclusion. For all the airtime afforded Perdue by his campaign warchest, and the outsider dynamics of his campaign, it remained a nearly-flawless integration of television advertising and new media with a relentless and well-organized ground component that was required for Perdue to eke out a runoff margin of less than two percentage points.

Whether Iowa has any predictive value for the identity of the eventual nominee remains to be seen, but the road to the GOP nomination goes through the SEC.



Former State Rep. Delvis Dutton seeks return to House

Received via email:

Delvis Eagle 600px


(Glennville, GA) – Today, Delvis Dutton announced his intent to run for State House in District 157, serving Tattnall, Evans, and a portion of Wayne counties. The Tattnall County businessman pledged to run a campaign focused on fiscal responsibility, ethical transparency in government, and a return to the founding principles of our state and nation.

“I want to return to Atlanta to not only finish what I started with the Appeal to Heaven movement, but to continue to push for a state government that is transparent and accountable to Georgians.”Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for February 2, 2015

CPR Puppies

In recent weeks, Coastal Pet Rescue has adopted four mother dogs with a total of 19 puppies and is holding a “Puppy Shower” to raise funds for their care. You may donate via their online fundraiser, or donate online via their website.

You can also donate goods and food via their Amazon wishlist and have it delivered directly to Coastal Pet Rescue or send a check to:

Coastal Pet Rescue
PO Box 30462
Savannah, GA 31410


Miracle is a six-week old Female Boston Terrier/American Bulldog mix puppy who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.


Joy is a six-week old Female Boston Terrier/American Bulldog mix puppy who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.


Noel is a six-week old Male Boston Terrier/American Bulldog mix puppy who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.


Claus is a six-week old Male Boston Terrier/American Bulldog mix puppy who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.

A Garden City canine police officer (meaning the dog, not his handler) received a bulletproof vest from a nonprofit that donates the vests called Vested Interest in K9s.

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office received two vests for their police dogs, donated by local citizens.

“The final two vests are being ordered thanks to a very generous Forsyth County resident,” the Sheriff’s Department said.

K-9s Edd and Lycan will receive bullet and stab protective vests thanks to a charitable donation from nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

The vests are sponsored by Joe Radack, of Cumming, and will be embroidered with the sentiment.

Since its start, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 1,700 protective vests, in 49 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over $1.6 million.

The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age.

The suggested donation to provide one protective vest for law enforcement K9 is $1,050.

Each vest has a value between $1,795 – $2,234 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 pounds.

A couple thousand dollars ($1050 if through the charity) to protect a police dog that can cost upwards of $50,000 seems like a prudent move.


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

The first recorded reference to Groundhog Day was in 1841; the first Punxsutawney observance was in 1870.

The first recorded reference to Groundhog Day was in 1841; the first Punxsutawney observance was in 1870.

Atlanta City Council met for the first time on February 2, 1848.

On February 2, 1870, the Georgia General Assembly ratified the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states, “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

On February 2, 1932, Al Capone was sent to federal prison in Atlanta.

On February 2, 1988, the Georgia Senate ratified the 22d Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides that pay raises for Members of Congress shall not go into effect until the next term.

Get Ready to Vote

In-person early voting for the “SEC Primary” will begin on Monday, February 8, 2016 in many locations.

Advanced, in-person voting in Cobb begins Feb. 8 but anyone can request a mail-in ballot at any time.

Georgia is one of seven Southern states — the others being Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia — holding its presidential primaries on March 1, leading many to refer to the contest as the “SEC Primary,” named after the collegiate athletics’ Southeastern Conference.

According to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office, the SEC primary will be the largest group of Southern states in a presidential primary since Super Tuesday in 1992.

“Because of the SEC Primary, candidates are drawn here much earlier to learn about issues important to our state and Georgia citizens, such as our agricultural industry, ports, military installations, and thriving technology and manufacturing industries,” Kemp said in a news release. “It’s important we make sure every Georgian knows about the SEC Primary on March 1, 2016. The larger the voter turnout, the greater the impact Georgia will have in future presidential primaries.”

Advanced voting for Georgia’s presidential primary begins Monday, Feb. 8, at three locations around the county. From Feb. 8 through Feb. 26, voters can cast ballots at three locations around Marietta:♦ The Cobb Board of Elections’ main office at 736 Whitlock Ave., open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday;

♦ The Switzer Central Library at 266 Roswell St., open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; and

♦ The Cobb Senior Wellness Center at 1150 Powder Springs St., open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

On Saturday, Feb. 20, each of these three locations will be open to voters from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

During the final week of advanced voting, Feb. 22-26, additional advanced voting locations will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at four locations around the county:

♦ The East Cobb Government Service Center at 4400 Lower Roswell Road in east Cobb;

♦ The South Cobb Community Center at 620 Lions Club Drive in Mableton;

♦ The Boots Ward Recreation Center at 4845 Dallas Highway in Powder Springs; and

♦ NorthStar Church at 3413 Blue Springs Road in Kennesaw.

Sign into the Secretary of State’s MVP system to check your local early voting options or check with your county voter registration and elections office.

If you live in Tucker, you can begin voting for the first-ever Mayor and City Council beginning March 8, 2016. Locations include:Continue Reading..


Talking Iowa Caucus with Steve King and Jack Kingston

Former Georgia Congressman Jack Kingston talked with Iowa Congressman Steve King this weekend about Monday night’s Iowa caucuses, Ted Cruz—whose campaign Rep. King chairs, and more about 2016.

Kingston Head Horizontal

JACK KINGSTON: You’ve probably been one of the most active non-presidential candidates campaigning across Iowa this year, supporting of course Ted Cruz, who is being knocked pretty hard here for his ethanol stances. In deciding your support for president, how do you balance what’s best for your home state and constituents, and what’s best for the country as a whole, if those aren’t always the same thing?

STEVE KING: I haven’t found very many conflicts over the years when I thought that I had to make a decision between the interests of the state and the interests of the nation. Most of the time they’re one in the same.

I do know that Ted has been hit pretty hard for his position and opposition to the Renewable Fuel Standard, which is a mandate that now says about 14.5 billion gallons of ethanol be blended into the marketplace. He and I begin working with that issue around mid-summer and put together a policy along with Dave Vander Griend, who has built more than half of the ethanol plants in the state of Iowa. That would be at least 20-some, maybe 30-some ethanol plants in the state of Iowa, so he knows more about the industry than anyone else. And so with Dave’s counsel and with leadership and the ability that Ted Cruz has demonstrated, and with some of my input—I’m going to be modest about that part—we put together an ethanol policy that’s good for the state and it’s good for the country.Continue Reading..


State Rep. Buzz Brockway announces for reelection

via Press Release:

(Lawrenceville) Representative Buzz Brockway announced today he would seek reelection to the State House of Representatives. For the past six years Brockway has represented district 102 covering parts of Lawrenceville and Suwanee. “It’s been an honor to represent the people of Lawrenceville and Suwanee in the State House. I’d like to continue to fight for our shared values at the State Capitol for the next two years,” Brockway said.

Buzz Brockway has been named a “Defender of Liberty” by the American Conservative Union, holding a lifetime ACU rating of 97%. Brockway has earned 100% on Legislative scorecards by Americans For Prosperity and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Buzz holds a A average from the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and an A+ average from the Georgia Parents Alliance.

During my time at the State Capitol, I’ve been able to pass bills protecting K-12 student data privacy, make it easier to register to vote, and fight the evil of human trafficking. We’ve accomplished much as a State, but my goal is to see Georgia become the best place in America to live, work, and raise a family,” Brockway said.
Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for February 1, 2016


Ace is an adult male Labrador Retriever who is available for adoption from the Coweta County Animal Control in Newnan, GA.

Tonka NCHS

Tonka is a young male Terrier mix who is available for adoption from the Coweta County Animal Control in Newnan, GA.


31967 is an adult male Coonhound who is available for adoption from the Coweta County Animal Control in Newnan, GA.

Bogart NCHS

Bogart is an adult male American Foxhound mix who is available for adoption from the Coweta County Animal Control in Newnan, GA.

Savannah NCHS

Savannah is an adult female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from the Coweta County Animal Control in Newnan, GA.


Onyx is an adult female Terrier mix who is available for adoption from the Coweta County Animal Control in Newnan, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 1, 2016

Today’s historical moments below combine to show some of the major influences on Georgia politics and governance since her founding, and how the same conflicts have played out across the world, from Northern Ireland to India, to stages of rock and roll shows.

On January 31, 1733, six boats carried Georgia’s first colonists to Trench’s Island, now called Hilton Head Island, where they spent the night before continuing on to land in Georgia at Yamacraw Bluff on February 1, 1733.

On January 30, 1788, the Georgia legislature passed a resolution calling for a state Constitutional Convention in Augusta to adopt a state Constitution that conformed to the new Constitution of the United States.

The United States Supreme Court held its first session in New York City, Chief Justice John Jay presiding, on February 1, 1790.

On February 1, 1861, Texas seceded from the Union.

On January 30, 1862, the United States launced its first ironclad warship, USS Monitor.

On January 31, 1865, Robert E. Lee began service as Commander-in-Chief of the Confederate armies.

On January 31, 1865, Congress passed the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, outlawing slavery.

On February 1, 1871, Jefferson Franklin Long of Macon, Georgia became the first black Member of Congress to speak on the floor of the United States House of Representatives. Long was born into slavery and taught himself to read and write. Long was a prominent member of the Republican Party, speaking on its behalf in Georgia and other Southern states. He helped elect 37 African-American members to the 1867 Georgia Constitutional Convention and 32 members of the state legislature; Long continued after his term in Congress as a delegate to Republican National Conventions through 1880. In 1880, Long’s support of Governor Alfred Colquitt showed that African-Americans could be an electoral force in Georgia politics.

General William Tecumseh Sherman visited Kimball Opera House in Atlanta on January 31, 1879, which was then serving as State Capitol, fifteen years after burning the city.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882 in Hyde Park, New York. In 1942, Roosevelt ordered Japanese-Americans on the west coast of the United States into concentration camps, leaving German and Italian Americans free.

On January 31, 1893, the trademark for “Coca-Cola” was filed.

On January 30, 1935, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. protested segregated elevators at the Fulton County Courthouse.

On January 30, 1948, Mohandas K. Gandhi was assassinated.

1920 Georgia Flag

On January 30, 1956, six members of the Georgia State House of Representatives introduced House Bill 98 to replace the red and white stripes on Georgia’s flag (above) with a Confederate battle flag (below). That same day, a bomb was thrown at the Birmingham, AL home of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On February 1, 1956, the new state flag bill was passed by the Georgia Senate.

1956 Georgia Flag

On February 1, 1965, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. arrived in Selma, Alabama, where he was arrested.

Richard M. Nixon announced his candidacy for President of the United States on Feburary 1, 1968.

January 30, 1972 is remembered as Bloody Sunday in commemoration of the shooting of 26 civilians by British troops in Northern Ireland.

On February 2, 1988, Georgia ratified the Twenty-Seventh Amendment, which prohibits Congressional raises (or hypothetical lowering of pay) from taking effect until the next term of office begins.

Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker was suspended on January 31, 2000 for remarks made to ESPN.

On January 30, 2001, the Georgia State Senate passed a house bill changing the state flag from the 1956 version to one that aggregated the State Seal and five former state flags, pictured below.


On February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded while re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

Today is the deadline to be registered to vote in the March 1 Presidential Primary.

Under the Gold Dome

Senate Committee Meetings





1:00 PM APPROPRIATIONS – Agric & Nat’l Res. Sub. MEZZ 1

1:00 PM APPROPRIATIONS – Judicial Sub. 341 CAP




2:30 PM APPROPRIATIONS – Economic Development Sub. MEZZ






4:00 PM APPROPRIATIONS – HDBHDD Public Health Sub. 341 CAP

4:00 PM APPROPRIATIONS – Fiscal Mgmt Sub. MEZZ 1

Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for January 29, 2016


Sadie (above) and Sally (below) are senior female Australian Cattle Dog Mixes who are available for adoption separately or as a pair from Angel Dog Rescue, Inc. in Georgetown, GA.

Sally Nike

Nike is an adult male Border Collie mix who is available for adoption from Angel Dog Rescue, Inc. in Georgetown, GA.


Lola is a young female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Angel Dog Rescue, Inc. in Georgetown, GA.


Tag is a young male German Shepherd and Greyhound mix who is available for adoption from Angel Dog Rescue, Inc. in Georgetown, GA.


Snickers is a young female Feist mix who is available for adoption from Angel Dog Rescue, Inc. in Georgetown, GA.