The blog.


Southern politics: Ahead of the game | The Economist

BRIAN KEMP, Georgia’s secretary of state (pictured), has a scheme to bring his state into the political spotlight. He wants Georgia to hold a presidential primary on March 1st 2016. Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia are scheming to join in. Even Florida may add its considerable weight to this group.

By holding primaries so early in the nomination process, these states hope to play a bigger role in shaping the race. A “Southern Super Tuesday” would force prospective presidential candidates from both parties to woo the region’s voters, say its backers. A bit more backslapping and handshaking in the area could deliver some welcome business to the odd barbecue restaurant, too.

But theory and practice rarely go hand-in-hand, warns Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia’s Centre for Politics. It is entirely unclear just how a big Southern primary will alter political events, he says. Besides, “the candidates won’t start worrying about March 1st until they’re done worrying about February 2016. If you lose both Iowa and New Hampshire you’re in trouble already.” Other states may decide to hold early contests too, he adds, which would diminish the significance of Southern results.

The idea of a Southern Super Tuesday is not new. Democrats pushed for one in 1988, partially to ensure that the nominee would be appealing to Southern voters. The result? An unhelpful split between Michael Dukakis, Jesse Jackson and Al Gore.

Any Republican who struggles in the South has little hope of capturing the White House, argues Charles Bullock of the University of Georgia. Yet a clear, conservative winner of a Southern Super Tuesday may end up alienating national voters in November 2016.

via Southern politics: Ahead of the game | The Economist.


Sen Josh McKoon: Unlike Mexico, Georgia is issuing drivers licenses to illegal immigrants

McKoonThe state of Georgia is issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens.

After years of explaining this fact to astonished Georgians all over the state, I have still not grown accustomed to the shock and outrage they so vocally express. “But Georgia is governed by Republicans! – what is this, California?” is the most common reply that is printable here. They seem to become even angrier when someone correctly points out that illegal aliens cannot obtain a driver’s license in Mexico.

For those readers who are wondering – no, this bewildering assault on our driver’s license integrity is not a result of an act of Congress – or the Georgia General Assembly.

Despite the efforts of very powerful forces in the state Capitol Georgia driver’s licenses had been off limits to illegal aliens. That all changed when President Obama issued his 2012 re-election campaign decree granting an official assurance of “deferred action” amnesty on deportations to illegals who said they came here as children. Obama dictated that his deferred action amnesty “for the children” – known as “DACA” also came with a work permit and a (genuine) Social Security number. Since then Obama has modified his decree. Now, “children” has no age cap – illegals in their 40’s and older are now eligible for DACA amnesty.

Under current – but pre-Obama – state law those last two documents make an illegal alien as eligible for a driver’s license in Georgia as a foreign businessman on a visa, a Legal Permanent Resident immigrant or a Georgia-born youth on his sixteenth birthday.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 9, 2015

On February 8, 1751, the first session of the Georgia Provincial Parliament adjourned, having convened on January 15, 1751.

On February 9, 1825, the United States House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams as President of the United States, despite his having received fewer popular votes than Andrew Jackson. Congress voted for the President after no candidate received a majority of electoral votes in the 1824 election.

The 12th Amendment states that if no electoral majority is won, only the three candidates who receive the most popular votes will be considered in the House.

Representative Henry Clay, who was disqualified from the House vote as a fourth-place candidate, agreed to use his influence to have John Quincy Adams elected. Clay and Adams were both members of a loose coalition in Congress that by 1828 became known as the National Republicans, while Jackson’s supporters were later organized into the Democratic Party.

Alexander Stephens was elected Vice President of the Confederate States of America on February 9, 1861.

On February 9, 1926, the Atlanta Board of Education voted to prohibit teaching evolution in the Atlanta Public Schools.

On February 8, 1955, Gov. Marvin Griffin signed a resolution by the General Assembly calling on Congress to require racial segregation in the military.

On February 8, 1956, the Georgia State House adopted a resolution purporting to hold the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education null and void.

On February 9, 1964, the Beatles debuted in America on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Under the Gold Dome Today

8:00am – 9:00am House Approp Gen’l Gov’t – 606 CLOB
10:00am – 11:00am SENATE – Appropriations Committee – 341 CAP
1:00pm – 2:00pm House Education Acad Achieve. – 415 CLOB
1:00pm – 2:00pm Senate Rules Upon Adjournment – 450 CAP
1:00pm – 2:00pm Senate Education & Youth – 307 CLOB
1:30pm – 2:30pm House Pak Sub of Judy Non-Civil – 132 CAP
2:00pm – 3:00pm House Highway Rules Sub Trans – 406 CLOB
2:00pm – 3:00pm House Juvenile Justice – 506 CLOB
2:00pm – 3:00pm Senate Govt Oversight – 123 CAP
3:00pm – 4:00pm House HHS – 606 CLOB
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Special Judiciary – 122 CAP
3:00pm – 4:00pm House Insurance Admin/Licensing – 403 CAP
3:00pm – 4:00pm House Govt Affairs Elections Sub – 415 CLOB
3:00pm – 4:00pm House Gov’t Affairs Elections – 415 CLOB
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Reappt and Redistrict – 307 CLOB
4:00pm – 5:00pm House Public Safety Sub A – 515 CLOB
4:00pm – 5:00pm House Judy Jacobs Sub – 132 CAP
4:00pm – 5:00pm House Govt Affairs State Govt Admin – 415 CLOB
4:00pm – 5:00pm Senate Judiciary Non-Civil – 307 CLOB

The Senate may take up SB 53 relating to mental health and licensed professional counselors after tabling it last week.

House Floor Calendar

HB 57 – Electricity; financing of solar technology by retail customers for generation of electric energy to be used on and by property owned or occupied by such customers or to be fed back to the electric service provider; provide

Senator Renee Unterman’s Anti-Sex Trafficking bills, SR7 and SB8 will be heard in Senate Judiciary Non-Civil today at 4 PM.

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Adoptable Georgia Dogs for February 8, 2015

John Waycross

John is a young, male Lab mix, friendly and fun-loving, who is available for adoption from Okefenokee Humane Society Inc. in Waycross, GA.

Quinn Ginny Millner

Quinn is a Lab and Shar-Pei mix adult male, who is described as “a big ol” teddy bear, rescued out of high kill shelter where black dogs never get noticed!” Quinn is available for adoption from Ginny Millner Dog Rescue in Atlanta, GA.

Adam Danas Dog House

Adam is a baby boy Border Collie & Flat-coated Retriever mix, very friendly and sweet, and available for adoption from Dana’s Dog House in Smyrna, Ga.


Georgia DOT chief’s post becomes a hot seat |

As Russell McMurry of Hall County was getting sworn in Jan. 20 as Georgia Department of Transportation’s new planning director, the revolving door that is that department’s top job swung again.

That same day, the State Transportation Board voted to promote him to a new and much more challenging job: DOT commissioner.

It marked another unusual chapter for a job that has changed hands six times in 15 years, with a sprinkling of interim commissioners in-between. In the years prior, such turnover was rare; Wayne Shackleford and Tom Moreland served in the post for 21 years between them.

Many factors play into the musical chairs, officials say. They include politics, the allure of higher pay in the private sector and just the pressures of managing a $2 billion department with more than 4,100 employees.

via Georgia DOT chief’s post becomes a hot seat.


Tom Crawford: Georgia legislators go for a ‘tax grab’ with transportation plan

The stage has been set for the issue that will draw most of the attention in this legislative session: revising Georgia’s transportation taxes.

The House leadership finally introduced a bill last week, HB 170, that will be the starting point for a debate certain to last all the way to adjournment on the 40th day.

Supporters of the bill, who include Gov. Nathan Deal and Speaker David Ralston, call it a “bold” plan to raise $1 billion a year to maintain the state’s transportation facilities.

“This is a bill which we believe will lead our state into the 21st century,” Ralston declared.

Those who would lose the most under the proposed legislation — local governments — complain the legislature wants to take away more than $500 million in tax money that rightfully belongs to them. Those are essentially the battle lines that the two sides have established.

There’s no question that HB 170 would dramatically revise the motor fuel tax charged on the retail sale of gasoline. Currently, that levy includes an excise tax of 7.5 cents per gallon, a state sales tax of 4 percent and, in most places, a local sales tax of 3 or 4 percent.

Under the proposed bill, that would all be converted to a flat excise tax of 29.2 cents per gallon. The excise tax would be indexed so that it increases as the rate of inflation and the fuel efficiency of vehicles increases.

via Tom Crawford: Georgia legislators go for a ‘tax grab’ with transportation plan.


State polls show lack of support for gas tax hikes | TheHill

In Georgia, where drivers pay an additional 7.5 cents per gallon on top of the federal gas tax, according to the America Petroleum Institute (API), 60 percent of voters said they are opposed to paying more at the pump to pay for new transportation projects in a poll conducted by Landmark Communications, according to a report from Atlanta’s WSB.

via State polls show lack of support for gas tax hikes | TheHill.


AUDIO – LG Casey Cagle: Leadership & Jobs

Your Georgia Desk

Interview - LG Casey Cagle 

Your Ga Pundit correspondent spoke with LG Casey Cagle at the DeKalb County Lincoln Day Dinner following his keynote address about forward planning leadership and jobs and the workforce:


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Former Savannah-Chatham police chief Willie Lovett sentenced to 7.5 years in prison |

Former Savannah-Chatham police chief Willie Lovett on Friday was sentenced to 7.5 years in federal prison and fined $50,000 for his November convictions on charges of commercial gambling and conspiring with an admitted gambler and others to obstruct enforcement of criminal laws over a 13-year period.

U.S. District Judge William T. Moore Jr. also ordered Lovett, 65, to serve three years of supervised release after he’s released from custody. There is no parole on a federal sentence.

via Former Savannah-Chatham police chief Willie Lovett sentenced to 7.5 years in prison |


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 6, 2015

Five Reasons is better than the state websites:


1. Search for members by name

2. Facebook and Twitter links where available

3. Mobile-friendly – try our site on your cell phone, then try the official site

4. Call or email directly from the app when viewing on mobile

5. We already have listings for new State Reps elected this week

Georgia and American History

The House of Assembly, Georgia’s legislative body, held its second meeting after statehood on February 6, 1788 in Savannah.

On February 6, 1952, Governor Herman Talmadge signed resolutions of the General Assembly that included:

A resolution calling on Congress to call a convention to propose a constitutional amendment to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment and instead allow a maximum rate of 25 percent on any federal income, transfer, gift, or inheritance tax.

A resolution urging U.S. Senator Richard B. Russell to run for the presidency.

On February 6, 1956, Governor Marvin Griffin addressed a joint session of  the Georgia General Assembly, asking their support for House Resolution 1185, which introduced the idea of “interposition,” in which the State of Georgia would declare the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 and 1955 Brown v. Board of Education decisions “null and void” in Georgia. That day Griffin also signed a raft of legislation for his “massive resistance” agenda against integration of state schools.

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois. In 1980, Reagan would be elected President of the United States, beating incumbent Jimmy Carter. When he was born, his father said, “he looks like a fat little Dutchman.  But who knows, he might grow up to be president some day.”

On February 6, 1985, Reagan gave the State of the Union. During the speech he announced what would be known as the “Reagan Doctrine.”

Reagan began his foreign policy comments with the dramatic pronouncement that, “Freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few; it is the universal right of all God’s children.” America’s “mission” was to “nourish and defend freedom and democracy.” More specifically, Reagan declared that, “We must stand by our democratic allies. And we must not break faith with those who are risking their lives—on every continent, from Afghanistan to Nicaragua—to defy Soviet-supported aggression and secure rights which have been ours from birth.” He concluded, “Support for freedom fighters is self-defense.”

With these words, the Reagan administration laid the foundation for its program of military assistance to “freedom fighters.”

Under the Gold Dome

8:00am – 9:00am
House Highway Regulations Sub of Transportation – 506 CLOB
10:00am – 11:00am
House Industry & Labor – 506 CLOB

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