The blog.


Gov. Deal names sculptor for Capitol’s MLK statue

Gov. Nathan Deal and Rep. Calvin Smyre (Columbus) announced today that the state has selected Henry County-based sculptor Andy Davis to create the statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. that will stand on Georgia Capitol grounds. The sculpture will be placed on the northeast quadrant of the Capitol grounds overlooking Liberty Plaza. Deal tapped Smyre, Dean of the Georgia General Assembly, earlier this year to head up the effort and act as liaison between the state, the King Estate, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Advisory Council and the Georgia Arts Standards Commission.

“Placing a statue of Dr. King at the Capitol of his home state is a long overdue honor, and selecting an artist is an important step forward in this process,” Deal said. “I am confident that Andy Davis’ past works, including a statue of Ray Charles in the singer’s hometown of Albany, have prepared him well for this historic project. I commend Rep. Smyre for his diligent efforts and leadership on this project and I look forward to seeing the final work of art.”Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for June 29, 2015


Ariel is an adult female Plott Hound mix with a beautiful brindle coat. She was found in Liberty County, abandoned after her people had moved. She had an embedded collar and was high heartworm positive, though she’s been treated. Ariel is available for adoption from Carpathia Paws, Inc. in Hinesville, GA.


Gemma is a beautiful young adult lab mix girl, around 10 months old, spayed, heart worm negative, and up to date on all vaccines and preventions. Gemma is a young pup that is full of energy! She’ll need an active family that will keep her on her toes, or paws ;) This girl has a love for tennis balls, and often hoards them in her kennel, she just can never have enough! She is incredibly obedient and intelligent. She learns extremely quickly and even during a simple game of fetch, you will never see her lose focus from the ball. Gemma is extremely selective when it comes to other dogs, and is not very fond of cats. Given her energy level, it is best that no young children live in the household.

Gemma is available for adoption from Carpathia Paws, Inc. in Hinesville, GA.


Blaze is a beautiful and sweet young female Pibble, still a puppy in many ways, who was dumped by her owners. Blaze is an amazing, smart, and very obedient girl.

Blaze must have been loved before because she knows several comments such as “heel,” “sit,” “down,” “shake” and “beg.” She is a complete lover that enjoys going on car rides and like most pups, rolling around in the dirt! She absolutely LOVES to fetch. She will do just about anything to get that tennis ball, especially one that squeaks! Once she sees one in your hand, she’ll automatically sit on her back legs waiting for it to be thrown ?

Blaze is available for adoption from Carpathia Paws, Inc. in Hinesville, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 29, 2015

On June 29, 1565, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés sailed from Cadiz, Spain to invade Florida.

Johan De Kalb was born on June 29, 1721 in Germany. In 1777, De Kalb joined the Marquis de Lafayette in supporting the Americans against British forces, dying in Camden, South Carolina in 1780. In 1822, the Georgia General Assembly created DeKalb County.

On June 29, 1767, the British Parliament passed the Townshend Acts, levying a tax on glass, paint, oil, lead, paper, and tea in order to raise funds from the colonies.

The United States Supreme Court released its 5-4 opinion in Furman v. Georgia on June 29, 1972, holding that the death penalty violated the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

On June 29, 1993, Governor Zell Miller bought the first ticket in the Georgia Lottery.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Before we get into the politics, a public service message:

Georgia’s Department of Family and Children Services needs foster home for approximately 200 children across the state.

“Adoptive parent recruitment is an important initiative for the Division of Family and Children Services,” said DFCS Director Bobby Cagle. “We have so many deserving children that can spend years waiting for a family. We hope that by building awareness of the need for permanent families that Georgians will open their hearts and homes to these children.”

Click the link for profiles of three sisters who need a home.


Early voting is open in the Special Elections and Special Runoff Elections in House Districts 24, 55, 48, 80, 146, and 155 and DeKalb County Commission District 5. Click here for early voting information for your county.

In DeKalb, Houston, and Fulton Counties, almost certainly others, no early voting will be available on July 3, but Saturday early voting will be open on July 4th. This is kind of cool and kind of goofy. Cool because it may be the only time you’ll be able to cast your vote on July 4th, as a legislative fix is being planned by at least one legislator in an affected area. Goofy because I think we’ll likely be paying time-and-a-half for poll workers to give up their holiday while very few voters will cast ballots.

Forsyth County’s elections officials discussed their predictions for early voting turnout in the July 14 runoff.

“It’s going to be lower than the last one, because we won’t have that city election involved,” said Barbara Luth, the county’s supervisor of voter registrations and elections.

“However, we have had people stopping by [on Friday] to ask when voting is starting, and we do have some mail-out ballots that will be sent on Monday.

“Sometimes you get the same amount in the runoff, [others] it goes down a little bit. So it’s definitely going to be under 10 percent, but how much I don’t know, maybe half.”

The first week of advance voting will be cut short a day due to the July Fourth holiday Friday.

“June 29 through July 2, which is Monday through Thursday, we will be open at the Forsyth Administration Building from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” Luth said.

The second week times will vary depending on the day.

“The second week, from July 6 through July 10, Monday through Thursday, we’ll be open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” Luth said.  “We’ll be at the administration building, and also we’ll be open at Midway Park Community Building [at 5100 Post Road].

“We have no Saturday voting this time. We’re not required to have Saturday voting on a runoff.”


Continue Reading..


Jim Kingston: Consider Jeb Bush on his merits, not his name

As we start the Presidential nominating process, more and more people wail, “I will not vote for another Bush!” I am not sure if he is the guy or not, but voters should consider more substance than just surname when picking a candidate. Jeb Bush was born with the name he was born with, just like I was, and just like you were. Governor Bush can not help who is relatives are, and we should not make snap judgments on him or anyone else running for office.

Voting against a candidate based on their name is antithetical to Republican principles. If we don’t want to have political royalty, neither should we discount someone’s record of personal and political achievement just because of their name.

As a Republican, you should be bringing maturity and intelligence to the debate instead of jumping to conclusions about someone based on who their Dad or Mom is.

Voting against Jeb Bush just because of his last name is no different than voting for someone based on their religion or their skin color.

While that may happen all the time, as a democratic society, we shouldn’t encourage that. History is filled with leaders who were elected because of their good looks, likeable personalities, and public speaking talents. If we are to learn from our past mistakes, we should remember that great leadership requires more than a passable first impression or rockstar charisma.

I first noticed voters categorizing the electorate in 2008 when Senator John McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running mate. Someone told me “he is trying to get the women’s vote by picking a female for Vice President.” Assuming that women will just vote for you just because you are a woman is ridiculous. Ask Michelle Nunn how that worked out. There may be some outliers who vote based on gender, but the assumption that most women will blindly vote on this characterization is wrong.

I also have heard people lament that the Republican party needs to stop nominating “old people” because that will not help young people, or millennials, go out and vote.

As a young voter, let me set the record straight. Age is not the main factor when I walk to the ballot box.

Suggesting that a nominee who looks like me is going to influence my vote is offensive. I would rather vote for someone who is 90 years old and shares my values than someone who is 50 years old and does not.

Implying that the candidate’s appearance should reflect the demographic you’re trying to attract is pathetic.

That would be like saying the Atlanta Hawks need to recruit more white players in order to get more white people to buy tickets to games.

Most people are not that shallow, and don’t buy into stereotypes. Hawks fans want to see the most talented players and the most productive team play the game. Young voters want to see an effective, debt-free, government function to its most efficient capacity.

If your criticism of Jeb Bush is his position on taxes, or if you think that he did not nominate the right people to the Florida Supreme Court as Governor, then those are valid reasons why not to vote for him. You vote should be based on research. To draw premature conclusions on politicians based on name, gender, and race might be the norm, but it is not helpful to the process.

I have heard several times that Governor Bush was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

That statement is debatable, but let’s assume that it is true.

Since then, Jeb Bush earned a degree from the University of Texas, served as Florida Secretary of Commerce, managed the campaign of the first Cuban-American to serve in Congress, served as Dade County Republican Party Chairman, volunteered for the Reagan-Bush Presidential election and reelection, ran for Governor and lost, ran again and won, and was reelected for a second term.

The list goes on, but the point is, his name may have opened some doors that would have otherwise been shut, but he also worked hard to walk into the rooms.

When I was in high school, a teacher told me that George W. Bush had his Dad get him into Yale. But as far as I know, however, Yale does not just hand out degrees once you are enrolled.

I am not encouraging people to vote for Jeb Bush. I have not picked a candidate, but I do encourage people to research the candidates on their individual merits, vote in the primary and general elections, and support the candidate who best matches their values. When you are discussing who should lead our country, let their stances on the issues lead the debate. Don’t let labels, generalizations, or surnames affect our judgment.

By cutting your research short, you only hurt the country, the party, and your own image.Continue Reading..


Confederate groups vow to fight back |

The leader of Georgia’s Sons of Confederate Veterans chapter said Friday he plans to “counter the new attacks against our heritage” with a lobbying campaign, a membership drive and the threat of legal action against the state.

The group outlined its plans as Democrats and other critics vowed to step up their plans to end state holidays honoring Confederate history and phase out license plates and other state symbols with the Confederate battle emblem.

Jack Bridwell, who heads the Confederate group’s Georgia chapter, said in a note to members he has asked Gov. Nathan Deal and other officials for a sit-down to explain the state’s decision this week to stop issuing the group’s specialty plates. Deal pledged to “redesign” the tag days after a suspected white supremacist gunned down nine black worshippers at a Charleston church.

The group’s legal counsel is reviewing the decision, Bridwell said, but “we will certainly not rule out the possibility if the problem is not remedied immediately.”

via Confederate groups vow to fight back |


Decatur church installs solar panels, supports pope’s climate change message – Decaturish

St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in greater Decatur celebrated the installation at a Monday gathering to also support Pope Francis’ recent message about climate change.

Earlier this year, Hannah Solar, LLC installed about $200,000 worth of solar panels “zero cost to the parish” through a federal program, according to a story on the Episcopal News Service.

St. Timothy’s Rev. Daniel Dice told the news service that the solar panels make financial and ecological sense. The article said, “By selling the clean energy produced at St. Timothy’s back to the grid, the photovoltaic array atop St. Timothy’s will also help financially support the church’s mission and ministry to its community.”

Dice said, as a result of the solar panel installation, St. Timothy’s was chosen to hold Monday’s gathering to show support for the pope’s encyclical calling on people to stop polluting the planet.

via Decatur church installs solar panels, supports pope’s climate change message – Decaturish.


Candidate forums in Lithonia for District 5 runoff | CrossRoadsNews | Local News. Loyal Readers. We Deliver | Decatur, GA

LITHONIA — Voters in DeKalb Commission District 5 can hear from runoff candidates Mereda Davis Johnson and George Turner at two upcoming forums in Lithonia.

On June 29, a group of seven organizations is hosting a forum at Salem Bible Church, and on July 9, three groups are co-hosting a forum at Fairfield Baptist Church.

Johnson and Turner are vying for the seat in the July 14 special election runoff. Both led the field of 10 candidates in the June 16 special election.

Johnson was the top vote-getter with 1,239, or 27.21 percent. Turner came in second with 726, or 15.94 percent. Because no candidate got 50 percent plus one vote, they must face off on July 14.

Early voting begins June 29 at the DeKalb Elections and Registration office on Memorial Drive in Decatur.

Commission District 5, which has 140,000 residents and 95,000 registered voters, has been without full representation since July 2013 when its former commissioner, Lee May, was appointed DeKalb’s interim CEO.

via Candidate forums in Lithonia for District 5 runoff | CrossRoadsNews | Local News. Loyal Readers. We Deliver | Decatur, GA.


‘Peaches and Politics’ brings out many state officials |

Thursday evening’s event, “Peaches and Politics” held at Dickey’s Farms in Musella, brought out many state officials.

Georgia’s highest ranking elected official was at the gathering showing his support for State Representative Robert Dickey

The Governor told the crowd of over 100 that his administration is consistently creating jobs for Georgians.

Also at the event was State Representative Bubber Epps who backed Deal’s jobs speech up.

“He’s been a formidable leader in his pro-business legislation and the initiative that he has placed upon our state to not only create jobs, but to maintain them also,” said Epps.

via ‘Peaches and Politics’ brings out many state officials.


Rep. Tom Price Responds To SCOTUS Marriage Ruling

WASHINGTON, DC -  Congressman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06) issued the following statement today after the Supreme Court stripped states of the authority to oversee marriage:

“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court serves only as further encouragement to use the court system as a systematic springboard to enact agendas outside the democratic and legislative structures of government. Thirty States have held statewide ballots banning gay marriage since the year 2000, and yet legislating from the bench has superseded both public approval and our elected representatives. This is not only a sad day for marriage, but a further judicial destruction of our entire system of checks and balances.”


Rep. Lynn Westmoreland on Supreme Court Obergefell v. Hodges decision

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision on Obergefell v. Hodges:

“I am disappointed by today’s Supreme Court decision on Obergefell v. Hodges, as they chose to rewrite the ancient and biblical definition of marriage and ignore the will of the states. The Constitution does not define marriage and these unelected judges exercised judicial activism by deciding what the Constitution should mean, rather than what it actually says. It should be decided by the people of the state through a democratic process; for the 10th amendment guarantees the states and people rights that are not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution. I will continue to fight to protect traditional marriage values, and the religious rights of those who join me in believing that marriage is between a man and a woman.”