The blog.

17
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 17, 2016

On February 17, 1739, Thomas Jones wrote to the Georgia Trustees in London of the appalling conditions in Savannah.

“The profanation of the Lord’s Day. When at church in the time of divine service, can hear continual firing of guns by people that are shooting at some game, others carrying burdens on wheelbarrows by the church door.

“The uncommon lewdness practiced by many and gloried in.

“The negligence of officers in permitting several in this town to retail rum and strong liquors, unlicensed, who have no other visible way of livelihood, where servants resort and are encouraged to rob their masters… .

“I need not mention profane swearing and drunkenness, which are not so common here as in some other places, and few are notorious therein, besides Mr. Baliff Parker, who I have seen wallow in the mire….

Kind of reminds me of the itinerary the first time I ever visited Savannah.

The Georgia legislature, on February 17, 1783, passed legislation granting land to veterans of Georgia militia who served during the Revolutionary War.

On February 17, 1784, the Georgia legislature passed a bill to increase an earlier formula for settling the state, allotting 200 acres to each head of a family, plus 50 acres for each family member (including up to 10 slaves) up to a maximum of 1000 acres.

Thomas Jefferson was elected Third President of the United States on February 17, 1801. The election was deadlocked for three months between Jefferson and his running-mate Aaron Burr.

On November 4 [1800], the national election was held. When the electoral votes were counted, the Democratic-Federalists emerged with a decisive victory, with Jefferson and Burr each earning 73 votes to Adams’ 65 votes and Pinckney’s 64 votes. John Jay, the governor of New York, received 1 vote.

Because Jefferson and Burr had tied, the election went to the House of Representatives, which began voting on the issue on February 11, 1801. What at first seemed but an electoral technicality–handing Jefferson victory over his running mate–developed into a major constitutional crisis when Federalists in the lame-duck Congress threw their support behind Burr. Jefferson needed a majority of nine states to win, but in the first ballot had only eight states, with Burr winning six states and Maryland and Virginia. Finally, on February 17, a small group of Federalists reasoned that the peaceful transfer of power required that the majority party have its choice as president and voted in Jefferson’s favor. The 35th ballot gave Jefferson victory with 10 votes. Burr received four votes and two states voted blank.

On February 17, 1820, the United States Senate passed the Missouri Compromise to govern the admission of new states as either slave-holding or not.

On February 17, 1854, Georgia Governor Herschel Johnson signed legislation by the Georgia General Assembly placing on the ballot for the next generation the question of whether to move the state capital from Milledgeville to Atlanta.

The first portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to hang in the state capitol was unveiled on March 17, 1974 and was replaced in 2006 by the current portrait.

Under the Gold Dome

SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

12:00 PM RULES – UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP

1:00 PM REGULATED IND & UTILITIES 310 CLOB

1:00 PM PUBLIC SAFETY 125 CAP

1:00 PM EDUCATION AND YOUTH 307 CLOB

2:00 PM HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 450 CAP

2:00 PM SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 310 CLOB

3:00 PM STATE INST AND PROP MEZZ

3:00 PM HIGHER EDUCATION 307 CLOB

4:00 PM FINANCE MEZZ

4:00 PM ECON. DEV.AND TOURISM 310 CLOB

HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

7:15 AM Appropriations Subcommittee Meetings 341 CAP

8:00 AM INSURANCE 606 CLOB

8:00 AM W&M Local Sales Tax Refund and Interest Rate Issues Sub 133 CAP

8:00 AM AGRICULTURE & CONSUMER AFFAIRS 403 CAP

9:00 AM RULES 341 CAP

1:00 PM Admin/Licensing Sub 415 CLOB

1:00 PM Academic Innovations Sub 515 CLOB

1:00 PM INTERSTATE COOPERATION 403 CAP

2:00 PM BUDGET & FISCAL AFFAIRS OVERSIGHT 506 CLOB

2:00 PM GOVERNMETAL AFFAIRS 406 CLOB

2:00 PM Academic Achievement and Curriculum Sub 515 CLOB

2:00 PM Judiciary Civil Fleming Sub 403 CAP

2:00 PM Juvenile Justice Ballinger Sub 415 CLOB

2:00 PM STATE PROPERTIES 606 CLOB

3:00 PM EDUCATION606 CLOB

3:00 PM WAYS & MEANS 406 CLOB

3:00 PM STATE PLANNING & COMMUNITY AFFAIRS 403 CAP

3:00 PM INDUSTRY & LABOR 506 CLOBContinue Reading..

16
Feb

Adoptable Dogs for February 16, 2016

King Mastiff

King is a 5-year old male Mastiff who is available for adoption from The Bullpen Way Station and Sanctuary in Norwood, GA.

King is just big ol’ sweetheart of love looking for the right family. He is everything a mastiff is supposed to be… gentle, fun-loving and family oriented. His only desire is to hang out by your side. Disregard the premature grey in his muzzle, this boy is in his prime. 5 yrs old and runs around like a pup one minute but will be back at your side with the snap of your fingers. It just kills me that my boy doesn’t have a family because of something that may never happen.

A boy with special needs, King has a heart condition that the vet said could end his stay here on earth at any time… or he could live to see a ripe old age. Whatever King’s future, we don’t want to see this big hunk of love not get to live a full life surrounded by a family of his own.

King loves other dogs and hanging with his best doggy buddies.

Are you the special person that can give King the life he deserves?

Please fill out an Adoption Application at www.bullpenrescue.org.

King Pibble

King is an adult male Pit Bull Terrier (pronounced “Pibble”) who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Statesboro & Bulloch County in Statesboro, GA.

King is certainly a beautiful boy. He is enjoying a second chance with the Humane Society of Statesboro and Bulloch County. He is vet examined, fully vaccinated, neutered and microchipped. Give King a look and you will be glad you did!

Tut

Tut is an adult male German Shepherd Dog & Husky Mix who is available for adoption through a private home in Metro Atlanta. He was posted by
German Shepherd Dog Rescue Group of Georgia Inc. as a courtesy to help him find a home, though the rescue doesn’t have custody of him, nor have they assessed him.

Tut is a sweet and calm dog who enjoys human companionship, according to his owner. He is a brown and white male GSD mixed with husky, about 7 years old. His owner adopted Tut when he was younger, but the adopter had a lifestyle change, and had to return him. His owner can not afford to keep him permanently, but can keep him until a new home is found.

Tut gets along with kids ,dogs and cats. He is up to date on shots and vet care and is neutered. He has tested slightly positive for Heartworms, but the vet says that he can be treated by giving the regular preventive monthly, he does not require the usual treatment.

Tut will need a moderately active home where he can get a few leash walks a day or play in a yard. He’s over the puppy phase, and would like to relax with people. He is housebroken, and knows basic commands.

Click through to Tut’s Petfinder listing for more information on how to meet and adopt this sweet boy.

Almost Official (State Dog)

Today, the Georgia House of Representatives will debate the passage of House Bill 561 by State Rep. Joe Wilkinson (R-Sandy Springs), which will designate the Official State Dog of Georgia as being “any adoptable dog.” From a story last year on the bill’s introduction,

State Representative Joe Wilkinson (R-Atlanta), along with officials from the Atlanta Humane Society, FixGeorgiaPets.org, GaPundit.com, and Georgia English Bulldog Rescue, held a press conference on Wednesday, March 4, to discuss legislation that would designate the official state dog of Georgia. Rep. Wilkinson’s legislation, House Bill 561, was officially in the House on Thursday and names “the adoptable dog” as the official state dog of Georgia.

“Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe and became a place where people could go for a second chance at life,” said Rep. Wilkinson. “So, it is fitting that we recognize the importance of giving homeless dogs a second chance at life in this state.”

“Having something like this come before the state of Georgia will heighten awareness for shelters and for adoption being an option, “said Tara High, Vice President of Operations for the Atlanta Humane Society.

Rubye Reid with FixGeorgiaPets.org highlighted the importance of spaying and neutering pets to prevent pet overpopulation in Georgia shelters.

“Dogs live longer happier lives when they’re spayed, and ensuring that adopted dogs are spayed or neutered helps reduce the number of pets in shelters,” said Reid.

Ruthann Phillips, Director of Georgia English Bulldog Rescue, noted that the organization currently has nearly 40 foster bulldogs in private homes in Atlanta.

“Every dog and cat deserves a home, and every home needs a dog or cat,” said Phillips.

We look forward to the bill’s passage, and to seeing it come up for a hearing in the Senate. We have a team of adoptable English Bulldogs from Georgia English Bulldog Rescue on call for a committee meeting.

Meaty and Zeus

16
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 16, 2016

Georgia and American History

On February 16, 1923, Howard Carter and his archaeology party entered the burial chamber of King Tutankhamen.

The steps led to an ancient sealed doorway bearing the name Tutankhamen. When Carter and Lord Carnarvon entered the tomb’s interior chambers on November 26, they were thrilled to find it virtually intact, with its treasures untouched after more than 3,000 years. The men began exploring the four rooms of the tomb, and on February 16, 1923, under the watchful eyes of a number of important officials, Carter opened the door to the last chamber.

Inside lay a sarcophagus with three coffins nested inside one another. The last coffin, made of solid gold, contained the mummified body of King Tut. Among the riches found in the tomb–golden shrines, jewelry, statues, a chariot, weapons, clothing–the perfectly preserved mummy was the most valuable, as it was the first one ever to be discovered. Despite rumors that a curse would befall anyone who disturbed the tomb, its treasures were carefully catalogued, removed and included in a famous traveling exhibition called the “Treasures of Tutankhamen.”

On February 16, 1948, the United States Air Force renamed Robins Air Field to Robins Air Force Base. Robins AFB and the City of Warner Robins are named for Air Force General Augustine Warner Robins.

On February 14, 1958, Governor Marvin Griffin signed a resolution by the Georgia legislature censuring President Dwight D. Eisenhower for ordering in the 101st Airborne Division and federalizing National Guard troops in Little Rock, Arkansas after Gov. Orval Faubus used the Guard to resist integration.

Fidel Castro was sworn-in as Prime Minister of Cuba on February 16, 1959.

On February 16, 1968, Speaker of the Alabama House of Representative Rankin Fite placed the first 911 call from Haleyville City Hall to Congressman Tom Bevill at the Haleyville police station.

Under the Gold Dome

SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

12:00 PM RULES – UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP

1:00 PM ETHICS 307 CLOB

1:00 PM FINANCE – Tax Reform Sub 123 CAP

1:00 PM GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT 125 CAP

2:00 PM JUDICIARY 307 CLOB

2:00 PM STATE AND LOCAL GOV’TAL OPS 125 CAP

2:00 PM RETIREMENT 310 CLOB

3:00 PM NATURAL RES & ENV’T – CANCELED 450 CAP

3:00 PM BANKING & FINANCE – CANCELED 310 CLOB

4:00 PM TRANSPORTATION 450 CAP

4:00 PM JUDICIARY NON-CIVIL 307 CLOB

HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8:30 AM W&M Sales Tax Sub 133 CAP

9:00 AM RULES 341 CAP

1:00 PM Tags & Titles Sub 506 CLOB

1:00 PM TRANSPORTATION 406 CLOB

1:00 PM W&M Ad Valorem Sub 133 CAP

1:00 PM Academic Achievement Sub 515 CLOB

1:30 PM W&M Tax Reform Sub 133 CAP

2:00 PM BANKS & BANKING 341 CAP

2:00 PM HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 606 CLOB

2:00 PM W&M Public Finance and Policy Sub 133 CAP

2:00 PM ENERGY, UTIL & TEL – CANCELED 403 CAP

2:00 PM Academic Support 515 CLOB

3:00 PM Industry & Labor Pruett Sub 415 CLOB

3:00 PM PUBLIC SAFETY & HOMELAND 406 CLOB

3:00 PM W&M Income Tax Sub 133 CAP

3:00 PM State Government Admin Sub 515 CLOB

3:00 PM Judiciary Non-Civil Setzler Sub 514 CLOB

4:00 PM Judy Civil Caldwell Sub 132 CAP

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

SB 308 – Health; Positive Alternatives for Pregnancy and Parenting Grant Program; establish; definitions; administration and duties (As Introduced) (Substitute) (H&HS-45th)

SB 115 – Physician Assistants; authorize a physician to delegate to physician assistant the authority to prescribe Schedule II controlled substances
(As Introduced) (Substitute) (H&HS-52nd)

SB 158 – “Consumer and Provider Protection Act”; provide certain consumer and provider protections regarding health insurance (As Introduced) (Substitute) (I&L-11th)

SB 271 – Mental Health; provide reasonable standards for providing patients notice; admission to an emergency receiving facility (As Introduced) (Substitute) (H&HS-11th)

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Open Rule

HB 561 Adoptable dog; official state dog; designate (GAff-Wilkinson-52nd)

HB 592 Professional engineers and land surveyors; provide profession of professional structural engineer; provisions (RegI-Harrell-106th)

HB 738 Local government; county law libraries; revise uses of excess funds (Substitute)(GAff-Caldwell-131st)

HB 882 Insurance; foreign and alien insurer deposit requirement of securities eligible for investment of capital funds in certain amounts; eliminate (Substitute)(Ins-Taylor-173rd)

HB 883 Insurance; insurers rehabilitation and liquidation; change certain provisions (Substitute)(Ins-Taylor-173rd)

HB 884 Insurance; company action level event to include a health organization withcertain total adjusted capital levels; revise definition (Ins-Taylor-173rd)

HB 885 Health; certain counties to create a county board of health and wellness; repeal statute (GAff-Jones-47th)

Modified Structured Rule

HB 34 Georgia Right to Try Act; enact (Substitute)(H&HS-Dudgeon-25th)

HB 588 Controlled substances; possession of substances containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine and restrictions of sale of products containing pseudoephedrine; change provisions (Substitute)(H&HS-Clark-101st)

HB 764 Motor vehicles; drivers to stop at crosswalks with pedestrian-activated rectangular rapid flash beacons; require (Substitute)(PS&HS-Powell-32nd)

HB 798 HOPE; home study students who receive certain scores on standardized college admission tests; provide eligibility (Substitute) (HEd-Chandler-105th)(AM 33 1588)

HB 853 “Coverdell-Murphy Act”; update current system of levels of certified stroke centers to reflect advances in stroke treatments and therapy; provisions (Substitute)(H&HS-Hawkins-27th)

HB 871 “Georgia Lemon Law”; consumer fees forwarded to the Department of Law for deposit in the new motor vehicle arbitration account; require (Judy-Dickey-140th)

Legislation & Local Issues

A press conference will be held today at 2:30 in the State Capitol by supporters of Allen Peake’s legislation to allow in-state cultivation of marijuana for processing into CBD oil.Continue Reading..

15
Feb

Jack Kingston sizes up the GOP Presidential Field

Kingston Headshot Square[Revised 2:13 PM]

Like many others I have had a tough time making a decision on who to support for President. It goes without saying that I will enthusiastically be with whoever the Republican nominee is. If we let the media divide us we have ourselves to blame. During tough family discussions like these, it is important to always remind folks that we will be wearing the same conservative jersey soon. That being said, here are my thoughts on the remaining candidates.

The State of the GOP Nomination

By Jack Kingston

As March 1st approaches we should rejoice that Ga’s presidential preference primary is relevant and that the outcomes of the first-to-vote, small but key states haven’t eliminated all of our choices. Now we all must chose and get out to vote. In fact early voting started February XXXth!

It doesn’t need to be said again, but all of these candidates are indescribably better options than progressives Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.. If we allow a perfectionist standard to pervade, that keeps  our people at home in November, it could be over for America.

As I finalize my support in the coming days, here is my brief analysis of the field in no particular order:Continue Reading..

15
Feb

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for February 15, 2016

Dachshund Baby1

Dachshund baby #1 (above, female) and Dachshund baby #2 (below, male) are available for adoption from Tri-County Animal Rescue Center in Mauk, GA.

Dachshund Baby2

Dachshund Baby Boy

Chihuahua/Dachshund Baby is a male who is available for adoption from Tri-County Animal Rescue Center in Mauk, GA.

Sandy

Sandy is a female Jack Russell Terrier and Dachshund mix puppy who is available for adoption from Coco’s Cupboard in Concord, GA.

Hi, I’m Sandy! I’m a teeny tiny little puppy here at Coco’s Cupboard the metro Atlanta area. My mama is only 8 lbs – she’s a JRT/dachsund mix. We have no idea what my daddy was! I’m a surprise mix! I’m very small, though, so my rescue friends say I will be a small little girl when I’m full grown. Are you interested in adopting a puppy? I’m looking to be spoiled rotten, kept inside, and loved on at all times. You can apply to adopt me at cocoscupboardinc.org. I’ll be ready to leave my mama after I’m 8 weeks old. I’ll be neutered too.

Elliott

Elliott is a young male Jack Russell Terrier and Dachshund mix puppy, one of three brothers of Sandy who all have brindle coats and are available for adoption from Coco’s Cupboard in Concord, GA.

15
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 15, 2016

On February 15, 1796, Georgia Governor Jared Irwin and legislators gathered with a crowd for the burning of the “Yazoo Act.”

On February 15, 1898, the battleship U.S.S. Maine exploded in Havana harbor, Cuba.

On February 15, 1952 Gov. Herman Talmadge signed a joint resolution directing the purchase of Stone Mountain for development as a Confederate Memorial.

On February 15, 2011, Georgia Congressman John Lewis was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work in the civil rights movement.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The General Assembly is not in session today, and will resume tomorrow.

Two Cobb County judges took to the aisles of a local grocery store to lend a hand to MUST Ministries.

Cobb County Superior Court judges Reuben Green and Rob Leonard were serving the community in a different way: They got out from behind the bench and filled shopping carts at Wal-Mart.

When they were finished, they had four carts full of heavy twin blankets, socks, paper towels, laundry detergent, fresh fruit and breakfast foods — items they then loaded up into Leonard’s truck and took to MUST Ministries. The items are among the ministry’s needs, especially as it operates a winter weather shelter for women and children on nights when temperatures dip below freezing.

Green and Leonard were joined by several of their Superior Court colleagues as they dropped off the items Friday. A number of the judges are splitting the cost of the almost $925 in items the two bought on the shopping trip, the genesis of which was days earlier when Green saw an online post about the ministry’s current needs.

“I reposted it on Facebook, and Judge Leonard saw my post and said, ‘Hey, we need to do something,’ so we reached out to all the Superior Court judges in Cobb County. Everyone pretty much said ‘yes’ and put some money together,” Green said. “We went and did our shopping, and brought it over here.”

Leonard said he and his fellow judges saw that additional need and came together to help the nonprofit.

“We’re just really blessed to be in the position we’re in as public servants. We feel like you lead by example,” he said.

State Rep. Stacey Evans (D-Cobb) continues working to expand the HOPE Grant programs for technical school students, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.

More than 1,300 Cobb residents attending classes at Chattahoochee Technical College would be among the students across the state who could benefit from a local legislator’s proposal to increase the award amount of the HOPE Grant.

State Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, is the primary sponsor of House Bill 22, which, if enacted, would increase the amount of the HOPE Grant to the full amount of tuition at technical colleges in Georgia. Currently, the grant only covers a percentage of tuition at technical colleges depending on revenues brought in by the Georgia Lottery, which funds the state’s HOPE Program.

Evans said under her bill, no taxpayer dollars would be needed to fund the increase to the HOPE Grant award amounts. Its estimated $21 million impact could be covered by the Lottery’s unrestricted reserve fund, which has grown at an average of $63.6 million a year since 2011, according to a memo supporting the bill.

“It’s not nothing,” Evans said of the $21 million cost. “But in the grand scheme of what the lottery produces and what we spend in the HOPE Program, it’s a relatively small amount, especially when you consider the good that the bill does. The bill is going to help drive students into technical college, which means it will put folks into jobs that are open and need to be filled by properly trained workers.”

Presidential Politics

The Twitter tells me that Billy Kirkland, who helped manage David Perdue’s 2014 Senate campaign will lead the John Kasich campaign in Georgia. Meanwhile, Jared Thomas will lead the Georgia effort of New Day for America, the SuperPAC supporting Kasich.

Donald Trump will likely be in Atlanta on February 21st, assuming they are able to determine a suitable venue.

Former Georgia Congressman Jack Kingston takes stock of the Presidential field as the GOP nomination turns right South from New Hampshire and heads to South Carolina before March 1st SEC Primary Day, including Georgia.

In the next few days, I expect to make an announcement of who I will be supporting, voting for, and endorsing in the 2016 Presidential Primary. Georgia’s March 1st primary is going to be key for any candidate’s campaign and I hope everyone reading gets out to vote.

Between the time I originally drafted this and its release, our nation has learned of the tragic death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The possibility of an appointment by a lame duck President makes the choice of our Republican nominee that much more important.

With the EPA’s economic wrecking ball, the “Clean Power Plan” stayed by the Court on a 5-4 decision, the economic consequences of an Obama appointment would hit especially hard in Georgia, where we’re transitioning away from a greater reliance on coal and building two new nuclear reactors at great cost to Georgia ratepayers.

Likewise, property rights, any restrictions on abortion-on-demand, including the ban on partial birth abortion, and the Second Amendment protections Georgians rely on, all hang by a thread in the Supreme Court.

Justice Scalia’s passing places two great tests before the nominees – first, do they have the wisdom to choose a conservative, Constitutionalist of the caliber of Justice Scalia, and second, for the Senators in the race, are they willing to stand by the Senate’s Constitutional mandate to “advise and consent” on Supreme Court nominations, and advise the President that a lame duck appointment is inappropriate.

 

12
Feb

You’re going to love Donald Trump’s hugest list ever of incredible supporters

Yesterday, the Trump campaign sent out a list of endorsements:

(New York, NY) February 11th, 2016 – Today Donald J. Trump for President Inc. announced the endorsements of dozens of Georgia officials including that of his first statewide elected official, Public Service Commission Chairman Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, Jr.

Mr. Trump stated, “It is my great honor to receive these coveted and influential endorsements from tremendous people in the state of Georgia. I have visited many times and had great crowds and poll numbers. I look forward to being in Georgia again soon and working with each of these local leaders to Make America Great Again.”

McDonald served 20 years as a State Representative in the Georgia Legislature and also served as a commissioner in Jackson County, served on the Board of Managers of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, and volunteered as a Firefighter for the city of Commerce for 35 years. He joins the campaign as a Statewide Co-Chair.

McDonald said, “Mr. Trump is a proven leader with unparalleled success. He has the capabilities to make our country stronger and better than ever before. I am proud to endorse his candidacy for President of the United States along with many other community leaders here in Georgia.”

Former State Representative Mitchell Kaye will lead the local elected officials coalition. Mitchell Kaye served east Cobb county for five terms in the Georgia House of Representatives, rising to deputy GOP Whip and ranking member of the tax-writing and cutting House Ways and Means committee. Kaye was awarded “Legislator of the Year” by the Georgia Association of Taxpayers for his tax cutting successes and by Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum for his educational efforts.

The Georgia officials endorsing Donald J. Trump for President join State Senators Burt Jones and Michael Williams. Mr. Trump continues to lead in all national and state polls after winning the New Hampshire Primary by a landslide. He will campaign in South Carolina and other SEC states prior to the first in the south primary on February 20th.

We’ve done some digging, and I think this is a complete list of Trump supporters who are doing incredible jobs Making Georgia Great Again.

Lauren “Bubba” McDonald – Public Service Commissioner
Doug Everett – Public Service Commissioner
Mac Collins – Former Congressman
Steve Tarvin – State Representative
John Yates – State Representative
Bill Hembree – Former State Representative
Barbara Bunn – Former State Representative
Charlice Byrd – Former State Representative
Gene Callaway – Former State Representative
Alan Hammontree – Former State Representative
Mitchell Kaye – Former State Representative
John Lunsford – Former State Representative
Gene Maddox – Former State Representative
Bob Young – Former Mayor of Augusta
Mark Wisenbaker – Lowndes County Commissioner
Mike Davis – Mayor of Dunwoody
Tony Thomas – Savannah City Council Chairman
Dean Kicklighter – Chatham County Commissioner
Billy Hair – Former Chatham County Commission Chairman
Bob Blackburn – Coweta County Commissioner
David Banks – Cobb County School Board
Wallace Mathis – Crisp County Commissioner
Troy Alford – Effingham County School Board, Vice Chair
Terry Raber – Carl Police Chief
Cori Davenport – Johns Creek City Council
Jeff Riley – Mayor of Mansfield
Bessie Kicklighter – Garden City Council
Joe Allen – Former Bibb County Commission, Vice Chair
Cole Thomason – Former Macon City Council
Don Hawbaker – Spalding County Commissioner
Rick Austin – Mayor of Demorest, Former State Rep.
Anthoney Chesser – Homeland City Council
Vera Jones – Effingham County Commissioner
Frank Eaves – Former Elbert County Commissioner, School Board Member
Nancy Thrash – Lamar County Commissioner
Johnny Murphy – Richmond Hill City Council
David Austin – Paulding County Commission Chairman
David Brown – Bleckley County Tax Commissioner
Gary Fricks – Floyd County Commission, Vice Chair
Bertram “Lee” Boone – Heard County Commission Chairman
Charlton Gillis – Atkinson County Commissioner
Ralph Richardson – Jackson County Commissioner
William Howell – Dodge County Commissioner
Joe Lee Williams – Stewart County Commissioner
Danny Turner – Ware County Commissioner
Jennifer Hulsey – Polk County Commissioner

12
Feb

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for February 12, 2016

Lollipop

Lollipop is a female Jack Russell Terrier and Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from CARES Cedartown Animal Rescue, Education & Sterilization in Cedartown, GA.

Reggie Lab

Reggie is a young male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Animal Rescue Foundation Inc in Milledgeville, GA.

Roxy Doxy

Roxy is a small brindle female Dachshund mix who is available for adoption from Georgia Homeless Pets in Atlanta, GA.

Roxy is a sweet little puppy that’s working on her crate training, potty training and doggie manners. She can sit and lay down and is great with other dogs but wants to play with cats. She’s just a wonderful puppy looking for her forever home.

Jasper

Jasper is an adult male Shepherd mix who is available for adoption from Oconee Regional Humane Society in Greensboro, GA.

Jasper is a perfect dog. He was adopted from us as a puppy and he was raised in a loving home with a good family. Due to a change in circumstances, Jasper now spends 10-12 hours alone every day. His family knows it isn’t fair to him so they’ve asked ORHS to try and find another family to take their boy and give him the time and attention he deserves. Wait until you meet this guy – he’ll steal your heart instantly.

Henry Beagle0212

Henry is a young male Beagle mix who is available for adoption from the National Detector Dog Training Center in Newnan, GA.

Henry is a calmer type dog but can be playful too. He likes people but would probably try to be the boss over smaller children. He gets along with other dogs. He can also be stubborn at times and a person with some dog savvy would probably be best for him.

Dolly Min Pin

Dolly is a young female Miniature Pinscher (Min Pin) mix who is available for adoption from Animal Rescue Foundation Inc in Milledgeville, GA.

I’m Dolly and I am a minpin mix. I am sweet but I am a high energy dog so get ready to have some fun!! Please come and get me.

12
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 12, 2016

Today is Georgia Day, celebrating the founding of the Thirteenth Colony on February 12, 1733.

After years of planning and two months crossing the Atlantic, James Oglethorpe and 114 colonists climbed 40 feet up the bluff from the Savannah River on this day in 1733 and founded the colony of Georgia.

George II granted the Georgia trustees a charter for the colony a year earlier. The trustees’ motto was Non Sibi Sed Allis—not for self but for others. Georgia would be a philanthropic and military enterprise that would provide the “worthy” poor a new start and serve as a buffer between Spanish Florida and the English colonies.

The trustees prohibited slavery and large landholdings….

Congress enacted the first fugitive slave law, on February 12, 1793 requiring states to return runaway slaves to their owners, even if the state in which the slave was captured did not permit slavery.

Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in Hodgenville, Kentucky.

On February 12, 1867, the editor of the Milledgeville Federal Union expressed dismay at the rapidity with which Atlanta was growing and basically everything about Atlanta.

“Atlanta is certainly a fast place in every sense of the word, and our friends in Atlanta are a fast people. They live fast and they die fast. They make money fast and they spend it fast. They build houses fast, and they burn them down fast… . They have the largest public buildings, and the most of them, and they pass the most resolutions of any people, ancient or modern. To a stranger the whole city seems to be running on wheels, and all of the inhabitants continually blowing off steam.”

On February 13, 1941, Gov. Eugene Talmadge signed legislation that proposed a Constitutional Amendment changing the 2-year terms for Governor and other statewide Constitutional Officers to 4-year.

On February 13, 1956, Gov. Marvin Griffin signed legislation adopting a new state flag incorporating the Confederate battle flag.

On February 12, 1999, the United States Senate voted 55-45 against convicting impeached President Bill Clinton on a charge of perjury. Senator Paul Coverdell voted guilty and Senator Max Cleland voted not guilty. On the second charge of obstructing justice, Coverdell and 49 other Republicans voted guilty and Cleland joined 49 other senators in voting not guilty. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required to convict a President, so Clinton was acquitted on both counts.

On February 13, 2007, United States Congressman Charlie Norwood (R-Augusta) died at home.

On February 14, 2012, we published the first edition of the GaPundit daily political news, featuring dogs. We originally thought that the dogs would be temporary until enough people complained about them that we felt the need to go to once a week. We were surprised that the adoptable dogs have become the signature of GaPundit’s otherwise-political offerings and our greatest success. With you help, we estimate we’ve saved about 70 dogs during the past two years, based on reports from readers. Thank you!

Two years ago, on February 12, 2014, most of Georgia state government was closed by Executive Order because of an ice storm.

On February 10, 2015, on the anniversary of the United States House of Representatives passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation proclaiming February as Black History Month.

Under the Gold Dome

Today, the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee meets from 9:30 AM to noon in Room 406 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building. They are scheduled to hear testimony, but not vote on, House Bill 772 by Rep. Allen Peake (Medical Cannabis) and House Bill 941 by Chairman Rich Golick (Review of incidents involving law enforcement use of deadly force).

The State House passed the Pastor Protection Act unanimously.

Georgia lawmakers on Thursday approved a bill explicitly stating that religious officials can refuse to perform gay marriages, their first significant action on a variety of proposals creating legal exemptions for same-sex marriage opponents.

Supporters of the “Pastor Protection Act” acknowledge that religious leaders already have that protection under the U.S. Constitution, but argue it will reassure them following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last year legalizing gay marriage.

The court’s decision has prompted at least eight bills that would create exemptions for opponents of the marriages in Georgia, one of more than 20 states where lawmakers have introduced such proposals.

The Georgia bill shielding religious officials moved quickly through the House with backing from the chamber’s top Republican, House Speaker David Ralston, and little resistance from gay-rights advocates and business leaders who have opposed broader bills.

“I hope that the passage … will ease the concerns that some have expressed that last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision would threaten the independence of places of worship and the actions of clergy,” said Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, the leading LGBT rights advocacy group in the state. “I can relate to the fears of discrimination because the LGBT community is not currently protected by any nondiscrimination laws on a state or federal level.”

An old story has a veteran House member counseling a younger colleague that members of the other party aren’t the enemy, but the opposition. “The Senate is the enemy,” is both the punchline and a truism of legislative politics. Yesterday, the Georgia General Assembly illustrated this dynamic.

You can watch the story on WSB-TV.

Senate Bill 308 by Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) and others was passed by the Senate yesterday on a party-line vote and heads to the State House. From the AJC report:

The Georgia Senate approved an effort Thursday to make state grants available to dozens of pregnancy resource centers across Georgia, something the legislation’s sponsor said was a “positive alternative” to restricting women’s access to abortions.

Senate Bill 308 would create a grant program through the state Department of Public Health that promoted pregnancy and parenting efforts at these centers. The bill would require the department to ensure none of the money was used to counsel women to get an abortion unless necessary to prevent her death. The money also could not be used to pay for an abortion or for referrals to clinics that provide abortions.

During an emotional hour-and-a-half-long debate in the chamber, the bill’s sponsor, Senate Health and Human Services Chairwoman Renee Unterman, R-Buford, said there are about 70 pregnancy resource centers statewide and that their objective is to encourage a live birth. “They do a fabulous job because they offer alternative services other than abortion,” said Unterman, who estimates that there are about 27,000 abortions each year in Georgia. The bill would require the state to track how many women seek an abortion after receiving services from the centers.

Unterman identifies as an anti-abortion advocate and has actively pushed a number of abortion bills in her 17 years at the Capitol, including helping to write a 2007 law requiring an ultrasound or sonogram be offered before an abortion is performed in Georgia.

Democrats opposed Unterman’s new proposal, saying it allowed the state to fund what state Sen. Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta, called “biased organizations” that may not employ doctors or anyone with medical experience that some women need to see for health reasons. State Sen. Elena Parent, D-Atlanta, said she worried the centers may provide “false advertising” or “misleading information” about their services.

Senator Unterman also recently introduced Senate Bill 352 to regulate online fantasy sports contests that include an entry fee and cash prize, commonly referred to as “fantasy sports websites.” Again from Kristina Torres at the AJC.

Unterman called the legislation a “consumer protection” effort, saying an estimated 1.5 million people play daily fantasy sports in Georgia.

Notably, she wrote the bill to differentiate daily fantasy sports from gambling — something Georgia bans other than in lottery games and slot-like machines known as coin-operated amusement machines.

“This is a game of skill, that you are actually following and researching the players and teams, versus just going in and plopping down $3 for a lottery ticket and the computer generates the numbers,” Unterman said.

Peach State Presidential Endorsements

Former Georgia Republican Party Chairman Alec Poitevint has endorsed Marco Rubio for President. I questioned on Twitter last night how much an AJC headline reading “Marco Rubio picks up another establishment Georgia Republican endorsement” helps in the era of Outsider David Perdue, whose 2014 campaign Poitevint chaired, and Donald Trump.

Is Alec Poitevint “the ultimate insider in Georgia’s Republican Party,” as the AJC called him, or is he “the original ‘outsider’ in Georgia politics,” as Perdue 2014 Campaign Manager Billy Kirkland said? I’d argue that he’s both.

When I worked at the Georgia Republican Party in 1991 or 92, Alec Poitevint was chair, and he since chaired the GAGOP during much of the 2000s and managed the 2012 Republican National Convention. That last credential arguably makes him an “insider” at the national level, at least. During the 1990s, the Georgia Republican Party was an insurgent minority party made up of definitive outsiders.

Since the early 2000s, when Alec led the party to takeover state government in Georgia, roles have switched. David Shafer, who served as Executive Director of the GAGOP in those early years now sits in the office closest to the floor of the State Senate, where he serves as the chambers elected President Pro Tem.

At some level we’re arguing about the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin.

Speaking of outsiders and insiders, Donald Trump’s campaign has released a list of endorsers:

Today Donald J. Trump for President Inc. announced the endorsements of dozens of Georgia officials including that of his first statewide elected official, Public Service Commission Chairman Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, Jr.

Mr. Trump stated, “It is my great honor to receive these coveted and influential endorsements from tremendous people in the state of Georgia. I have visited many times and had great crowds and poll numbers. I look forward to being in Georgia again soon and working with each of these local leaders to Make America Great Again.”

McDonald served 20 years as a State Representative in the Georgia Legislature and also served as a commissioner in Jackson County, served on the Board of Managers of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, and volunteered as a Firefighter for the city of Commerce for 35 years. He joins the campaign as a Statewide Co-Chair.

McDonald said, “Mr. Trump is a proven leader with unparalleled success. He has the capabilities to make our country stronger and better than ever before. I am proud to endorse his candidacy for President of the United States along with many other community leaders here in Georgia.”

Former State Representative Mitchell Kaye will lead the local elected officials coalition.

We’ve also got a huge list of incredible winners endorsing Trump, the biggest list of endorsers ever. You’re going to love it.

 

11
Feb

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for February 11, 2016

Bandit Vienna

Bandit is an adult male Great Pyrenees & German Shorthaired Pointer Mix who is available for adoption from Flint Humane Society in Vienna, GA.

Hi, I’m Bandit. I am a very good looking dog and I am intelligent, too. I am ready for you to teach me what you want me to know. I am gentle and kind. I love people and other dogs. I have not been around cats. My breed is usually not a cat loving type, but I could be the exception. I am a confident dog and I respond well to positive reinforcement. My shelter staff loves me, but I have not been loved like I need. I am a very affectionate dog. I don’t get to give my love and loyalty back to a family. It is my time. Please take me home with you.

Bandit Winder

Bandit is an adult male Border Collie & Labrador Retriever Mix who is available for adoption from Pup & Cat Co. in Winder,GA.

Bandit is a cute little guy, only guessing his breed of Border Collie/Lab mix and about 30#. He is timid and shy but in no way aggressive because of it and is somewhat bewildered at being relinquished, along with his buddy Bella. He met with an unfortunate turn in his life, his person dying and wife unable to care of him. He has such great potential because of his sweetness and take patience and time will come around quickly to most any situation.

Reynolds

Reynolds is a young male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Orphan Annie Rescue in Atlanta, GA.