The blog.


Jeb Bush names additional Georgia campaign supporters

Jeff Mullis John Wilkinson Jeb Bush

“Governor Bush has a proven conservative track record, as Governor he cut taxes, reduced the size and scope of government and created 1.3 million private sector jobs.  Finally, when he left the Governor’s office, he left the state of Florida with an $8 billion dollar rainy day fund surplus. This is the leadership we need in Washington DC,” said State Senator Brandon Beach (R-North Fulton).

“Governor Bush has a proven track record of bringing people together to get results without compromising his conservative principles. Gov. Bush has tremendous experience as a successful Governor of Florida and I am confident he is the leader our country needs,” said State Senator Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga).

Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise
State Senator Brandon Beach (SD-21)
State Senator John Kennedy (SD-18)
State Senator Jeff Mullis (SD-53)
State Senator John Wilkinson (SD-50)
State Representative Matt Dollar (HD-45)
State Representative Joe Wilkinson (HD-52)
Sandy Springs City Councilman Ken Dishman
Ed Lindsey, former State Representative and Majority Whip

Previously Announced:
Lt. Gov Casey Cagle
Attorney General Sam Olens


Neighbor Newspapers – Austin not seeking re election Carmichael running to replace him

Paulding Commission Chairman David Austin will not seek re-election to a third term in the 2016 county elections, he said this week.

Meanwhile, County Commissioner David Carmichael announced Wednesday he plans to run for the chairman’s seat in the May 2016 Republican primary.

Ron Davis, who operates the website which advocates more transparency in county government, announced Wednesday he will seek Carmichael’s Post 1 seat on the commission in 2016.

Austin, who defeated incumbent Jerry Shearin for the job in 2008, won re-election in 2012 over County Commissioner Tony Crowe.

via Neighbor Newspapers – Austin not seeking re election Carmichael running to replace him.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for August 20, 2015

The following dogs were all surrendered by their owners to Athens-Clarke County Animal Control, which makes them the first ones to be euthanized as there’s no statutory waiting period for owner surrenders.

Athens Penny

Penny is a 12-year old female Terrier mix who weighs 25 pounds who came to the because her owner died and the rest of the family either couldn’t or wouldn’t take her in. Penny doesn’t seem to be a whit concerned about it though – in fact whenever we see her out with volunteers she seems to be having the time of her life. She has the energy and attitude of a puppy, and loves to play with anyone, human or canine. It’s hard to believe that Penny’s 12 years old, although little dogs like her often live quite a bit longer than that.

Her owner’s family reported that she was an outside dog, but she seems housebroken here – she never messes in her run. They also said she is good with dogs and cats, something that we can’t confirm, although we can say that she happily plays with other dogs through the chainlink between pens, and seems very relaxed around them. The only thing about Penny that could use improvement is her weight – she’s a little chunky. Given her good energy level and love of walking and play, she will melt those few pounds off quickly. Penny is pure delight!

Athens Queen

Queen is a young girl, a 6-12 month old Labrador/Hound mix girl who weighs 26 pounds and is already spayed.

Queen greets everyone with a smile and a tail wag. She’s a happy, bouncy girl who enjoys being with you and wants to play. Queen is such a joyful pup that she sometimes forgets her manners and jumps up on you. She’s still a young dog, however, and can learn what’s appropriate behavior. She loves treats and already knows how to sit, so treats could be a good motivator for helping her keep her paws on the ground. Queen’s former owner stated that Queen is house trained and good with kids. She’s never lived with other animals, but she was friendly with Jolie in the adjacent interaction pen and wanted to play. If you’re looking for a happy pup who loves people and wants to play, come meet Queen!

Athens Cole

Cole is a 1-year old Black Labrador Retriever mix who weighs 48 pounds and loves toys, his kiddie pool, and people or other dogs.

Athens Cole 2

Athens Louise2

Louise is a 1-year old female Plott Hound mix who weighs 31 pounds.

Louise and sister Thelma were surrendered to the shelter with no regrets from their family :( The only information they left was that they are good with dogs and like riding in the car. In the two days they have been here so far, we found out other things they like too – people, treats, toys, and getting lots of lovin’. They are adorable, happy pups and lots of fun to be around. Louise is a little shorter and stockier than Thelma, and a cuddly, kissy girl. Thelma is a little taller and lankier, and just a tiny bit shy, but she gets over it very quickly. At one year old the sisters are still quite puppy-like and love to run and play. With a little reminding they sit nicely for treats, and seem to be very smart and willing to learn. These girls deserve a home that can appreciate just how wonderful they are.
Athens Louise

Athens Thelma

Thelma is Louise’s sister and is taller and has some white fur.

All of these urgent dogs are in the Athens Pets video, along with some of their friends.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 20, 2015

On August 20, 1781, General George Washington sent Continental troops from New York toward Yorktown, Virginia to engage British troops under Gen. Cornwallis.

On August 20, 1906, Gov. Joseph Terrell signed legislation to build a statue of Georgia founding father James Oglethorpe in Savannah and a bill to build a statue of former Confederate General and Georgia Governor John B. Gordon at the State Capitol.

The Georgia Department of Archives and History was created by legislation signed by Georgia Governor Hugh Dorsey on August 20, 1918.

On August 20, 1920, the American Professional Football Association, which would later be renamed the National Football League, was formed in Akron, Ohio. If you go to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the Professional Football Hall of Fame is about an hour away in Canton, Ohio.

On August 20, 1923, Georgia Governor Clifford Walker signed legislation requiring state schools teach the United States and Georgia Constitutions and students pass an exam on the documents before being allowed to graduate.

On August 20, 1965, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones was released in the UK.

On August 20, 1974, President Gerald Ford nominated Nelson Rockefeller as Vice President of the United States.

Yvonne Craig, who played Bat Girl in the original 1960s Batman series has died.

As with many characters on the show, she had to play two roles. By day, she was librarian Barbara Gordon, daughter of Gotham City police Commissioner James Gordon. But in times of need, she transformed into the caped crusader fighting crime alongside Batman and Robin. She even had a purple motorcycle with white lace trim.

Star Trek fans will remember Craig’s work, too. She played Marta, the green-skinned Orion slave girl who wanted to kill Captain Kirk in Season 3.

Minnie Martin, who was the first African-American woman elected to the Valdosta Board of Education and first woman elected to the Lowndes County Commission died Tuesday evening at the age of 73.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said yesterday that Jeb Bush will make a stop in Athens this fall for the Georgia v. South Carolina game.Continue Reading..


Adoptable Dogs for August 19, 2015

At Gwinnett County Animal Shelter, intake has been very heavy lately and a number of dogs are scheduled to be euthanized if they aren’t adopted or in a foster home.

Gwinnett Urgents 0819


46035 is an adult male Spaniel mix, likely a senior, who is friendly and was found stray.


46059 is a male senior Pug mix – a sweet little old man who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.


46314 (above) and 46315 (below) are young female puppies, possibly pug mixes, who are available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.



Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 19, 2015

USS Constitution earned the nickname “Old Ironsides” in battle against the British ship Guerriere off the coast of Nova Scotia on August 19, 1812. Launched in 1797, Constitution is today the oldest commissioned vessel in the United States Navy. Live oak from St. Simons Island were cut and milled for timber used in the constructions of Constitution. From a 1977 New York Times article:

The Constitution won her way into Americans’ hearts in 1812, when she defeated the British Guerriere off Nova Scotia in an exchange of broadsides. The spirit of the Constitution crew was noted by the Guerriere’s commander, James Dacres, who boarded the Constitution to present his sword in surrender.

”I will not take your sword, Sir,” the captain of the Constitution, Isaac Hull, replied. ”But I will trouble you for your hat.”

In the battle, a sailor — whether British or American is disputed by historians — is said to have cried out, ”Huzzah, her sides are made of iron!” as he watched an English cannonball bounce off the side of the Constitution. It was the birth of her nickname.

Part of the ship’s secret lay in the wood used in the design by Joshua Humphreys. He picked live oak, from St. Simons Island, Ga. The wood has proved so strong and resistant to rot that the original hull is intact, said Anne Grimes Rand, curator of the Constitution Museum in Charlestown, Mass.

The Georgia Department of Insurance was created on August 19, 1912 when Governor Joseph Brown signed legislation regulating companies selling policies in the states.

Governor Nathaniel Harris signed the first state law requiring school attendance for children 8-14 years of age on August 19, 1916; on the same day, Harris also signed legislation authorizing women to practice law in Georgia.

“Georgia” was designated the official state song on August 19, 1922 with Gov. Thomas Hardwick’s signature on a joint resolution passed by the General Assembly; in 1979, “Georgia On My Mind,” replaced it.

Adolf Hitler became President of Germany on August 19, 1934.

The United States Central Intelligence Agency supported a coup in Iran that restored the Shah of Iran on August 19, 1953.

On August 19, 1976, President Gerald R. Ford was nominated for President by the Republican National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. Ford received 1,157 (52.6%) delegates to 1,087 for Ronald Reagan (47.4%). Georgia’s 48 delegates voted for Reagan on the first ballot.

Dr. Betty Siegel became the first female President of a state college or university in Georgia when she was named President of Kennesaw College on August 19, 1981; under her leadership, it became Kennesaw State University in 1996. Siegel served until 2006. Kennesaw State was recently named the 4th best college for food in the nation.

Also on August 19, 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated Sandra Day O’Connor as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

On August 19, 1984, President Ronald Reagan was nominated for reelection by the Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Yesterday, Jeb! Bush visited Atlanta and made a stop at the Varsity to visit the commoners get on television.

“We’re going to work hard to earn the support of Georgians in the March 1 primary. It’s the second largest state in the primary, it’s our neighbor to our north, we’re going to be working hard,” Bush said.

According to the Federal Elections Commission website, people from Georgia have donated more than $300,000 to Bush so far. The maximum contribution allowed is $2,700.

But getting money might not be the only reason Bush is making a stop in Atlanta, especially if you believe the old saying, “All publicity is good publicity.” The former Florida governor might be looking for publicity because a look at the latest Real Clear Politics average polls show that he’s behind with 10.7 percent to Republican front runner Donald Trump’s 22 percent.

This is pretty cool – Fox5Atlanta posted the video of the entire scrum Jeb! held on the way out of the Varsity.

Here are the questions he was asked:

1. Is Donald Trump making it increasingly difficult to attract Hispanic voters in this election?

2. Where are you on birthright citizenship?

3. How do you get your message out when Donald Trump is overshadowing all of the candidates?

4. When you hear a Republican candidate talk about deporting some 12 million people, how do you respond to that?

Bush: “I’ve writen a book about it, I have a plan on how you secure the border. We need to create a path to earn legal status, that’s the thoughtful way of dealing with this. What Mr. Trump has proposed will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, will disrupt communities, isn’t feasible, isn’t practical. It appeals to people’s legitimate anger that they feel like Barack Obama hasn’t been fulfilling his duties of enfocing the law. But we need now plans and solutions to fix these things. This immigration issue has been part of the political landscape for years and years. It’s time to fix it and I know how to do it.”

5. [something, something message going] and his numbers keep going up and yours are not.

Bush: “Man, it’s a long haul, brother. We’ve got a long way to go. Y’all come back here next month and you ask me the same question and I think the context will be different.”

6. What do you say to those who say we don’t need another Bush White House?

7.  There’s a lot of Republicans here in Georgia who [loathe?] Common Core. What do you say to those folks?

8. Georgians are going to get to vote next year on whether or not the state should have the power to take over failing schools.

Bush: “I respect Governor Deal’s position on this. I think it’s the right thing. We should have very little tolerance for failure because we know what the result will be. Instead of going to college or instead of being able to get a job with purpose, kids are going to be drifting, they’re not going to be able to get a job. And so we should have no tolerance for the kind of abject failure that occasionally takes place. The soft bigotry of low expectations is one of the great dangers in America today. If we just keep lowering expectations down, and where kids languish with horrific learning results, we see what happens. Just look a Ferguson. Look at Baltimore. Look at the places where there’s such despair and what you’ll find is education outcomes are far, far below where kids live in intact families, and they’re doing fine. And I just don’t believe America’s going to work well unless every child has their God-given ability to rise up through a quality education.”

“The one here in Georgia was for the state to take over and try something different. Have high-performing charter schools be implemented. In Florida – this out to be state-by-state – we created the largest voucher programs in the country to give parents in failing schools choices that otherwise  they would never have. We graded schools A, B, C, D, and F. Everybody knows that an F is not as good as an A, and we rewarded schools that showed improvement, and we had no tolerance for failing schools. That’s what we need is just a sense of urgency about this. The political arguments about education need to be put aside and we need to recognize that if you’re getting a result of a third of your kids truly being college or career ready, that is a disaster for this country. And while that’s not a federal issue, that’s a national crisis. And that’s why I’m passionate about this.”

9. Do you think this email controversy will bring Hillary Clinton down?

10. Do you get a sense that Democrats are getting itchy about whether Hillary Clinton is going to remain as strong as she has been?

So the tally is four questions about Donald Trump or something he said, two questions about Hillary Clinton, one Bush Dynasty, one Common Core, one Opportunity School District question.

And some guy asked, “Are you Batman, Governor Bush?”

Back to the Georgia politics side, in addition to traveling with Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, who previously endorsed Jeb Bush, we also saw Georgia Senate Rules Committee Chairman Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga) and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman John Wilkinson (R-Toccoa). Sen. Wilkinson told me both have signed up to endorse Bush in the Republican primary.

Jeff Mullis John Wilkinson Jeb Bush

Senator Butch Miller (R-Gainesville) asked Gov. Bush for a photo with two of his constituents. Miller told me he has not endorsed Bush “yet.”Continue Reading..


Jeb Bush and friends at The Varsity in Atlanta

Jeff Mullis John Wilkinson Jeb Bush

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush with (above) Georgia Senate Rules Chair Jeff Mullis and Senate Agriculture Committee Chair John Wilkinson. Below, with Senator Butch Miller and two of Sen. Miller’s constituents from Gainesville.

Jeb Bush Butch Miller


What’s on your wrist, Jeb Bush edition

During his visit to the Varsity in Atlanta today, I got this shot of the Apple iWatch and memorial bracelet with a KIA soldier’s name on it that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush wears.

Jeb Bush iWatch


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for August 18, 2015

The following four puppies are urgent at the Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare shelter and will be euthanized if not adopted or fostered by 4:30 PM today.


Wags is a 4-month old male Pit Bull Terrier mix who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, Georgia.


Omelet is a 4-month old female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, Georgia.


Bandit is a 5-month old male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, Georgia.


Effie is a 5-month old female Labrador Retriever and Pit Bull Terrier mix who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, Georgia.


Number 206 is a sweet and friendly 10-month old Lab mix who was featured last week. He’s available for adoption from the Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, Georgia. Unfortunately, he’s on the euthanasia list for tomorrow and will be put down if he’s not adopted or fostered. To save as many dogs as possible, the shelter has waived his adoption fee along with those of any of the other dogs on the euthanasia list.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 18, 2015

On August 18, 1591,the English settlement at Roanoke Island in the Outer Banks of what is now North Carolina was found deserted.

On August 18, 1795, President George Washington signed a treaty with Great Britain called the Jay Treaty, after Supreme Court Justice John Jay who negotiated it. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison led opposition to the treaty.

On August 18, 1862, Confederate Major General of Cavalry J.E.B. Stuart was nearly captured, losing his distinctive hat and cloak and written copies of Lee’s orders near Verdiersville, Virginia.

The Georgia General Assembly adopted a joint resolution urging the creation of a federal Health Department on August 18, 1908.

On August 18, 1916, the Cherokee Rose was designated the official state flower of Georgia by a joint resolution of the State House and Senate.

The practice of tipping service employees was outlawed by legislation signed on August 18, 1918.

Georgia Governor Hugh Dorsey signed legislation regulating the practice of architecture and licensing practitioners on August 18, 1919.

The Georgia Board of Public Welfare was also created on August 18, 1919 when Gov. Dorsey signed legislation establishing that body and a companion bill that created the Community Service Commission.

On August 18, 1924 Gov. Clifford Walker signed legislation that would allow a referendum on a Constitutional Amendment to allow Atlanta, Savannah, or Macon to consolidate their respective municipal governments with their county governments. Macon-Bibb County merged in 2014 after voters passed a referendum in July 2012.

The Beatles played at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium on August 18, 1965.

On August 18, 1991, hardline Commies in the Soviet Union arrested Prime Minister Mikhail Gorbachev as part of a coup against Gorbachev’s reforms.

Two women have passed the United States Army’s Ranger School and will graduate at Fort Benning, Georgia on Friday.

The Army has yet to identify the two women, who are both graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Ralph Puckett, 90, a member of the Ranger Hall of Fame who says he has “that Ranger tab tattooed on my heart,” told the Ledger-Enquirer in 2014 he’d had numerous conversations with non-commissioned officers in Fort Benning’s 75th Ranger Regiment about the possibility of women joining their ranks.

“Everyone,” Puckett said, “individually answered, ‘Sir, it’s OK with me, if they maintain standards.’”

Col. David G. Fivecoat, commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade based at Fort Benning, has been the officer charged with overseeing the first class to include women. He says he’s insisted throughout the process that the difficult standards not be lowered in any way to make it easier for women to pass the course.

“All the women did the exact same thing as their male counterparts,” Fivecoat said during the Florida swamp phase.

The two women slated for Friday’s Ranger graduation were among 400 soldiers, including 20 women, selected to start Ranger School on April 19. It was the first Ranger class in Army history to include female candidates.

“I see these women have a lot of courage — and these two specifically. It is impressive. You don’t want to be a subjective person. You want to be as objective as possible and be open-minded. My views have changed.”

“The bottom line is the two that are here, they made it here,” Lemma said. “They proved in Darby and proved in the mountains they have the physical tools to make it this far. Their peers have accepted them because they passed peers.

“They earned it. What else can we say?”

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer has a great deal of coverage of the issue, and overall, they probably cover Ranger issues as much as any civilian paper in the country. They spoke to Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Lemma, who was on the team that won the “Best Ranger” competition at Fort Benning this year.

“It is not just other guys — it’s me,” Lemma said Thursday at Camp Rudder in the Florida swamps, as two women work their way through the final phase of Ranger School. “I questioned it, too. I questioned the process as well. How wouldn’t you? Years of Ranger School going back to the 1950s, and we are finally getting females through.

“If you are a male and you are tabbed, you are probably going to question it. A lot of guys, with politics, you have to say the right thing. The bottom line is almost every guy questions it.”

But after Lemma questioned it, he said he turned the question on himself.

“You got to ask yourself why you are saying, ‘I don’t think females should be in Ranger School,’” Lemma said. ” …Is it a pride thing? Do you feel that tab you have earned is less masculine now because females are now equal to you?

“If that is the case, then that is you. You’ve got to look at yourself. Obviously, you are not comfortable with who you are. You feel intimidated. I think you have to question why you feel that way.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Flags are at half-staff over the Atlanta City Hall, in memory of civil rights pioneer Julian Bond.

Presidential candidate Jeb Bush will appear at The Varsity this afternoon at 4 PM, following the steps of Presidents Obama, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and most importantly, Vice President Dan Quayle. Last year, Mitt Romney and Sam Olens held an event there. Continue Reading..