Georgia Senate: Approves Bill Repealing State Estate Tax

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Georgia Senate Approves Bill Repealing State Estate Tax

The Georgia Senate approved House Bill 658, a measure that would repeal the Georgia estate tax, by a vote of 42 to 8 today. Sen. Charlie Bethel (R – Dalton) carried the bill, which was sponsored in the House by Rep. B.J. Pak (R – Lilburn).

“The ‘death tax’ is one of the most disruptive and despised taxes. Georgia has spent years phasing out this tax, and HB 658 marks the final removal of this tax from our laws. Continue reading

Libertarian Party of Georgia: Nominates 2014 Candidates

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Libertarian Party of Georgia Nominates 2014 Candidates

On March 8, The Libertarian Party of Georgia held their annual state convention in Marietta, nominating their slate of 2014 candidates. Gathering at the former location of Theatre in the Square, Libertarians from across the state came together for the annual meeting to decide who will represent them on the ballot and in the boardroom.

The 2014 candidate slate is led by founder and former CEO of the nanotechnology company, nGimat, Dr. Andrew Hunt, running for Governor. Continue reading

In Georgia, Some Republicans Look Beyond Senate Primary – WSJ.com

GAINESVILLE, Ga.—In Georgia’s Republican Senate primary, five leading candidates are each battling to prove to voters that they are the most conservative in the field. That competition has some in the party anxious.

At a recent debate in this city about 50 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta, four of the five called for elimination of the Internal Revenue Service. Some called for elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency. U.S. Rep. Paul Broun said the U.S. should pull out of the United Nations and kick it out of the country. He also called for elimination of the Department of Education. “I directly challenge the constitutional legitimacy of today’s federal government,” he said.

Many of these positions drew applause at the debate, held in one of the most conservative areas of this red state. But even here, Republicans worry that swinging too far right in the primary may hurt the GOP’s chances in a general-election contest likely to feature a formidable Democratic challenger.

Dean Rowan, a 62-year-old handyman in the audience, said he liked Mr. Broun, who said in 2012 that evolution and the Big Bang Theory were “lies straight from the pit of hell.” But Mr. Rowan said he wasn’t sure whom he would vote for. While he supports Mr. Broun’s views, “that’s not the way to get elected,” he said.

In the race to fill the seat of Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a two-term Republican who isn’t seeking re-election, many Georgia Republican voters are looking for the most conservative candidate who they think can win a general election. The leading primary candidates are Mr. Broun, U.S. Reps. Jack Kingston and Phil Gingrey, former Dollar General Corp. Chief Executive David Perdue and former Secretary of State Karen Handel. The primary will be held May 20, likely followed by a July runoff between the two top vote-getters.

The winner probably will face Democratic front-runner Michelle Nunn, 47, who has never held elected office but is the daughter of former Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn. She has focused her campaign on introducing herself to voters and raising money—$3.3 million by the latest reporting period, surpassing each of the GOP candidates besides Mr. Kingston, who has raised $4.2 million.

via In Georgia, Some Republicans Look Beyond Senate Primary – WSJ.com.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 11, 2014

On March 11, 1861, the Confederate Congress, assembled in Montgomery, Alabama, adopted the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. Today the original signed manuscript of the Confederate Constitution is in the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries.

On March 11, 2005, Brian Nichols shot and killed Fulton County Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes and court reporter Julie Brandau in the Fulton County Courthouse, leading to a lockdown of the state capitol and a number of nearby buildings. Nichols killed two more before taking a young woman hostage in Duluth; that woman, Ashley Smith, would talk Nichols into surrendering the next day. Nichols was eventually convicted for four murders and is serving consecutive life sentences.

Happy Birthday to former Governor Roy Barnes, who served from 1999-2003, and lost to Republican Sonny Perdue in 2002, and to current Governor Nathan Deal in 2010.

Under the Gold Dome Today

SENATE MEETING CALENDAR

TBD RULES UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP
8:00 AM FINANCE – Subcommittee 125 CAP
12:30 PM FINANCE Subcommittee 125 CAP
1:00 PM BANKING & FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS – CANCELLED 310 CLOB
1:00 PM JUDICIARY NON-CIVIL 307 CLOB
1:00 PM NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT 450 CAP
2:00 PM INSURANCE & LABOR – Subcommittee MEZZ 1
2:00 PM EDUCATION & YOUTH 310 CLOB
2:00 PM PUBLIC SAFETY 125 CAP
4:00 PM ETHICS 125 CAP
4:00 PM GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT 307 CLOB
4:00 PM RETIREMENT 310 CLOB
4:00 PM INSURANCE & LABOR MEZZ

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

HB 153: Local option sales tax; taxes to be imposed at a rate of less that 1 percent; allow (Substitute) (FIN-32nd) Carson-46th

HB 459: Speed restrictions; impeding traffic flow and minimum speed in left-hand lanes; modify provisions (PUB SAF-53rd) Hitchens-161st

HB 513: Education; Georgia Medical Center Authority; abolish (Substitute) (H&HS-13th) Houston-170th

HB 658: Revenue and taxation; repeal Chapter 12 relating to estate tax (Substitute) (FIN-54th) Pak-108th

HB 766: Work Based Learning Act; enact (Substitute) (ED&Y-50th) Lumsden-12th

HB 777: Watercraft; suspension of privileges to operate a vessel for violations of vessel laws of this state and other states; provisions (NR&E-24th) Powell-32nd

HB 790: Civil practice; four-year statute of limitations for actions involving removal of timber from the property of another; provisions (Substitute) (JUDY-46th) Williams-119th

HB 791: Taxation; redrawing census tracts shall not disqualify a designated military zone as a less developed area; provide (FIN-1st) Stephens-164th

SCHEDULING NOTE FOR MEDIA: Senator Renee Unterman has placed House Bill 885 (“Medical Cannabis”) on the agenda for Wednesday’s Health & Human Service Committee meeting, at 2 PM in Room 450-CAP.

HOUSE MEETING CALENDAR

10 AM FLOOR SESSION (LD 36) HOUSE
9:00 AM RULES 341 CAP
9:00 AM Academic Innovations Subcommittee of Education 415 CLOB
9:00 AM Conference Committee- HB 744 403 CAP
1:00 PM Income Tax Subcommittee of Ways & Means 133 CAP
2:00 PM INSURANCE 606 CLOB
2:00 PM TRANSPORTATION 506 CLOB
2:00 PM JUDICIARY CIVIL 132 CAP
2:00 PM Atwood, Welch Subcommittees of Juvenile Justice 406 CLOB
2:00 PM Academic Achievement Subcommittee of Education 515 CLOB
2:30 PM Game, Fish & Parks Subcommittee 403 CAP
3:00 PM MOTOR VEHICLES 606 CLOB
3:00 PM HIGHER EDUCATION 406 CLOB
3:00 PM GAME, FISH & PARKS 403 CAP

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Open Rule
HR 1332 House Study Committee on Compensating Wrongfully Convicted Persons; create (JudyNC-Hugley-136th)

SB 305 Fire Protection and Safety; written notification prior to the denial of a permit; buildings/structures required to meet the state minimum fire safety standards (PS&HS-Powell-32nd) Tippins-37th

SB 320 Veterans Court Divisions; create (D&VA-Willard-51st) Harbison-15th

SB 325 Fire and Protection Safety; regulation of fire protection sprinkler contractors, fire extinguisher and suppression systems; provisions (Judy-Harrell-106th) Albers-56th

SB 333 Natural Resources Dept.; establish that persons are not aggrieved by listings on the hazardous site inventory (NR&E-McCall-33rd) Tolleson-20th

SR 847 Heritage Preserve; dedicated real property located in Rockdale and Henry Counties; authorize the change of use (SProp-Rutledge-109th) Jeffares-17th

SR 896 Georgia Legacy Program; create Joint Study Committee (NR&E-Smith-70th) Tolleson-20th

Modified Structured Rule
SB 240 Alcoholic Beverages; provide for the licensing of the production of distilled spirits; educational purposes by non-profit museums (Substitute) (RegI-Golick-40th) Hill-6th

SB 286 Alcoholic Beverages; change the maximum percent by volume of wine; change definitions; authorize wineries to buy and use certain products (RegI-Harrell-106th) Murphy-27th

SB 288 Education; provide no high school which receives funding under the “Quality Basic Education Act”; shall participate in/or sponsor interscholastic sport events conducted by any athletic association (Substitute)(B&FAO-Martin-49th) Bethel-54th

SB 296 State Park Authority; revise the powers and responsibilities (NR&EHamilton-24th) Tolleson-20th

Georgia Senate Race

Atlanta-based Cameron McWhirter wrote for the Wall Street Journal about the recent Gainesville Senate Debate held by the Georgia Republican Party, and the lay of the land for the Peach State this year.

At a recent debate in this city about 50 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta, four of the five called for elimination of the Internal Revenue Service. Some called for elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency. U.S. Rep. Paul Broun said the U.S. should pull out of the United Nations and kick it out of the country. He also called for elimination of the Department of Education. “I directly challenge the constitutional legitimacy of today’s federal government,” he said.

Many of these positions drew applause at the debate, held in one of the most conservative areas of this red state. But even here, Republicans worry that swinging too far right in the primary may hurt the GOP’s chances in a general-election contest likely to feature a formidable Democratic challenger.

Dean Rowan, a 62-year-old handyman in the audience, said he liked Mr. Broun, who said in 2012 that evolution and the Big Bang Theory were “lies straight from the pit of hell.” But Mr. Rowan said he wasn’t sure whom he would vote for. While he supports Mr. Broun’s views, “that’s not the way to get elected,” he said.

In the race to fill the seat of Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a two-term Republican who isn’t seeking re-election, many Georgia Republican voters are looking for the most conservative candidate who they think can win a general election. The leading primary candidates are Mr. Broun, U.S. Reps. Jack Kingston and Phil Gingrey, former Dollar General Corp. Chief Executive David Perdue and former Secretary of State Karen Handel. The primary will be held May 20, likely followed by a July runoff between the two top vote-getters.

Greg Bluestein, of the AJC, wrote in the Political Insider about a recent poll commissioned by Democratic third party Better Georgia from Public Policy Polling.

A poll released Monday conducted by left-leaning Public Policy Polling is showing some separation in the wide-open GOP contest to replace U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

The poll, commissioned by the lefty guerrilla group Better Georgia, has Rep. Paul Broun of Athens at 27 percent in the GOP contest. Rep. Phil Gingrey of Marietta is at 14 percent, Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah is at 13 percent and businessman David Perdue is at 12 percent. Former Secretary of State Karen Handel notches 9 percent in the question, which involved only those who identified themselves as GOP primary voters. About a quarter were undecided.

It gets more interesting in head-to-head matchups with Democratic front-runner Michelle Nunn. Respondents had Nunn and Broun at a 38 percent deadlock, and Nunn with slight leads over Kingston, Handel and Gingrey. (A matchup between Nunn and Perdue was apparently not one of the questions.)

The poll involved 580 voters surveyed between March 5-6. Roughly half of the respondents said they generally vote in GOP primaries and 41 percent vote in Democratic contests. Some 49 percent favored Mitt Romney in 2012, compared to 43 percent who backed Barack Obama.

The polling results memo embedded in the AJC story is formatted in a way that makes it difficult to read – so, here is a link to the poll results in a different format.

Two salient points emerge from this article, to the extent that we take the polling results at face value. Before we get to that, one note about methodology. The stated universe is 580 voters, which gives about a +/-4.1 margin of error, but the sample size for questions about the Republican Primary is 324 voters, yielding a margin of error of +/-5.44 points.

First, Paul Broun has an early lead, with nearly twice the vote total (27%) of the next competitive candidates, Phil Gingrey (14%) and Jack Kingston (13%). But, with a +/-5.44 margin of error, everyone except Broun is essentially even.

Second, Paul Broun is the only Republican candidate in the survey who is even with presumed Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn, splitting the vote 38-38. All other Republican candidates trail Nunn, though we aren’t shown a head-to-head between David Perdue and Nunn.

Last night, I was listening to “Tell Me More” on NPR and heard an interesting segment about CPAC, but one point stood out as being. Paul Orzulak, a Democratic speech writer, said this about Rand Paul’s winning the CPAC straw poll, “the candidates that can throw the most red meat, who can say the most outrageous things, usually vault ahead.” I think that’s the dynamic you’re seeing right now with Paul Broun.

I believe that Paul Broun has a hard core of support from the most-Conservative elements of the base electorate whose support for him has such an intensity that they will show up to vote for Broun no matter what, but as the other candidates start spending their warchests in earnest, at least one will pass Broun.

Today, if I were a betting man, I’d put down $250 on Paul Broun to show, meaning to come in first or second, and head into a runoff. Among the other major candidates – Kingston, Gingrey, Handel, and Perdue, it’s still a jump ball, with each candidate’s height determined by the stacks of cash on which they stand. In a jump ball situation, stature conveys an advantage, but you still have to get your hands on the ball.

 

Events Calendar


Troup County GOP Women: Lunch With Brad Hughes of GA GOP

March 11, 2014, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Highland Country Club, 1001 Country Club Dr , LaGrange, GA 30240+ Google Map

Troup County Republican Women Guest speaker will be Brad Hughes from the Georgia GOP Office. Call Judy Heine for lunch reservation. 706 884-3039

Find out more »


The Buckhead Republican Women: Meeting with Joel Aaron of AFP

March 11, 2014, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cross Creek Country Club, 221 Cross Creek Parkway, Atlanta , GA 30327
+ Google Map

Joel Aaron, Grassroots Coordinator at AFP, will discuss current legislative issues, including the impact on GA of Obamacare.

Find out more »


Irwin County GOP Meeting

March 11, 2014, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Irwin County Library, 310 South Beech Street, Ocilla, GA 31774+ Google Map

The Irwin County Republican Party Meeting  - our bi-monthly meeting.

Find out more »


Cherokee YR: Happy Hour

March 11, 2014, @ 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Sixes Tavern, 3568 Sixes Road, Canton, GA 30114+ Google Map

We were snowed in before, but not again! Let’s meet up and discuss changes and updates in the YR group, where we want to take this group, and what we want to see change in the upcoming year!

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Gov. Nathan Deal: DeKalb County Community Meeting

March 11, 2014, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Briarlake Baptist Church, 3715 Lavista Rd, Decatur, GA 30033+ Google Map

Briarlake Church will host a Dekalb Community meeting featuring Governor Nathan Deal on Tuesday evening March 11 at 7:00pm in the sanctuary. The Governor will share his priorities for Georgia and Dekalb County as well as how his faith affects his personal life and leadership decisions. The hour long meeting will include a time where attendees can submit questions to the Governor in writing, many of which will be answered during the meeting.

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Eugene Yu: Augusta Rally

March 12, 2014, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Legends Club, 2701 Washington Road , Augusta , GA 30909
+ Google Map

Eugene Yu For Congress Rally

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FREE

Cherokee County GOP: GA Superintendent of Schools Candidate Forum

March 12, 2014, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Holly Springs Train Depot, 164 Hickory Rd, Holly Springs, GA 30115
+ Google Map

Please join the Cherokee County Republican Party and all 8 announced candidates for an informational forum in Cherokee County. They will discuss their ideas and strategies for education in Georgia and take both pre-submitted and live questions. Order tickets via Eventbrite: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/ccrp-superintendent-forum-tickets-10569183713?aff=efbevent

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$ 13

Greater Columbia County Republican Women: Meeting with Mike Collins & Billie Gingrey

March 13, 2014, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Be My Guest: Catering and Events, 4216 Washington Rd, Evans, GA 30809
+ Google Map

This month’s speakers are: Billie Gingrey – Wife of U.S. Senatorial candidate Phil Gingrey; Mike Collins – 10th Congressional candidate Join us for an evening of fellowship with local conservatives. Meeting is open to public. Please bring a friend. Buffet style dinner is $13 per person

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Atlanta YR: Happy Hour

March 13, 2014, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Meehan’s at Atlantic Station, 232 19th St NW, Atlanta , GA 30363
+ Google Map

March brings both St. Patrick’s Day and AYR’s regular second Thursday Happy Hour.

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Happy Birthday – Mr. Speaker Ralston

March 14, 2014 12:00 AM

Happy Birthday – Mr. Speaker David Ralston

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Adoptable Georgia Dogs for March 11, 2014

Reuben2

This is Reuben, and he’s on death row. Unless someone can spare a warm place for him to sleep until he finds a forever home, he will be euthanized on Wednesday morning at the Barrow County Animals Shelter.

Reuben

He’s about 2-3 years old, and you can see that he smiles. He’s probably got some Lab in his background, and he’s very sweet and playful.

If you can help provide a foster (or forever) home, please contact me directly and we’ll see what we can do to save this poor guy’s life.

Mojito

Mojito is a shy, sweet and playful girl who is on the euthanasia list for Wednesday unless she gets a foster or adoptive home by the close of business today, around 4:00 PM. She is waiting for her savior at the Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, Ga.

Dandelion Thistle

Dandelion and Thistle are a hot mess – a little dirty and matted, but once cleaned up, there are adorable little 4-5 month old Shepherd/Chow mix puppies under there.

Dandelion

They can be a little shy at first, because they came in feral, but with a little work, and a lot of love, they’ll become your new best friend. These puppies are both on the euthanasia list for tomorrow morning at Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, Ga.

Sen. Buddy Carter: 40 Days at the Capitol – Installment 8

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Senator Buddy Carter: 40 Days at the Capitol - Installment 8

Day 30 (Monday, March 3, 2014):  While serving on the Appropriations committee is a great honor, it is also a big responsibility. While most legislators went home last Thursday andFriday, myself and other members of the Appropriations committee remained in Atlanta working on the FY15 budget.  This is a big week for all of those running for office this year as this is qualifying week.  I am one of the first candidates to qualify as a candidate for the First Congressional District House of Representatives that is being vacated by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Savannah) who is running for the United States Senate.   Continue reading

Sen. Steve Gooch: Rally Time at the Georgia State Capitol

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Rally Time at the Georgia State Capitol

By: Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega)

Some of you might remember a popular song from the 80’s called “The Final Countdown.” Two decades later, this song is still played in sports venues and used to get the crowd pumped up during the last moments of a game. If the legislative session was a sporting event, this would be the time to play those familiar synthesized notes, because we are truly in the final countdown of the 2014 legislative session. Just a few days remain between today and Sine Die, the date when the Georgia General Assembly will adjourn for the last time in 2014.

Since we won’t come together as a legislative body until next year, the pressure is on to review as many bills as possible Continue reading

Sen. Mike Dugan: Update from the Capitol

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Sen. Mike Dugan: Update from the Capitol

The Senate cleared a big hurdle last week as we surpassed Crossover Day on Monday, March 3.  As expected on day 30, the Senate worked until we had all 27 bills passed before the midnight deadline.  The Crossover deadline means legislation must pass its chamber of origin in order to still be considered a ‘live’ bill for the remainder of the session.  Because this is the end of a two-term legislative session, all bills that did not pass the Senate on Crossover Day must be re-introduced into the legislative process during the 2015 session.

Two weeks ago, the Senate granted final approval to the FY 2014 Amended Budget, Continue reading

Sen. Frank Ginn: Patience and Caffeine: Essentials for the Final Days

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Patience and Caffeine: Essentials for the Final Days

By: Sen. Frank Ginn (R – Danielsville)

The 30th day of the legislative session—Crossover Day—is always one that requires a lot of patience and even more caffeine. This is a significant deadline for the Georgia General Assembly because it’s the last day for legislation to pass the chamber in which it was introduced. This means that any bill that does not pass its original chamber will not move on in the legislative process and must be re-introduced in 2015. While many legislators and advocates are happy to see their bills receive a passing vote on Crossover Day, there are just as many who are left disappointed. Continue reading

Rep. Phil Gingrey: On Sebelius Atlanta Obamacare Visit: Disingenuous and Unfair To Ga. Moms, Families

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Gingrey on Sebelius Atlanta Obamacare visit: Disingenuous and unfair to Ga. moms, families 
 
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today took part in an Atlanta press conference, aimed at boosting Obamacare enrollment among Georgia mothers and women. After the event, Rep. Phil Gingrey, M.D., criticized Sebelius for misrepresenting Obamacare’s plans to Georgia families as cost-effective and mom-friendly.
“It is extremely disingenuous an unfair for Secretary Sebelius to carry on telling Georgia mothers that their families will be better off under Obamacare, Continue reading