The blog.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for August 12, 2015


Gwen is a female Great Pyrenees mix (I think she looks more like a Hound) who weighs 65 pounds and is four years old. She was surrendered by her owners who said she’s good with children, dogs, and cats. Gwen is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Control in Monroe, GA.


Rowan is a 3-year old Retriever/Newfoundland mix who weighs 65-76 pounds and is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Control in Monroe, GA. Rowan is very calm and quiet and submissive when handled.


Ella is a beautiful 3-year old German Shepherd who weighs 45-50 pounds, has already been spayed, and is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Control in Monroe, GA. She is friendly and social.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for August 11, 2015

Max Shepherd

Max is an adult male German Shepherd Dog & Rottweiler Mix who is available for adoption from Best Friends Humane Society in Worth County, Sylvester, GA.

Max Doxie

Max is an adult male Dachshund with a corkscrew tail and a sweet, loving personality and high energy level. Max is available for adoption from Albany Pet Partners in Albany, GA.

Max Lab

Max is a sweet, 14-year old Black Labrador Retriever senior male who weighs 50 pounds.

Max is in generally good health but he does take Thyroid medicine twice a day and does have a heart murmur. He enjoys walks and loves to go riding in the car. He currently lives with other foster dogs both young and old, Max gets along with all of them. He does live with cats and he gets a little too friendly with the cats at times. This sweet ole guy just needs someone to love him the rest of his days. If you think you are able to give him the love and attention he needs, please contact his friends, [email protected]

Max is available for adoption from Emily’s Friends in Chickamauga, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 11, 2015

On August 11, 1862, Confederate General Braxton Bragg declared martial law in Atlanta.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the summer commencement address at the University of Georgia on August 11, 1938. Later that day, Roosevelt endorsed Lawrence Camp over incumbent Governor Walter F. George, saying George had not been sufficiently supportive of the New Deal.

The Atlanta Braves signed legendary Negro League pitcher Satchel Paige on August 11, 1968.

On August 11, 1984, Ronald Reagan jokingly announced that he had “signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever…we begin bombing in five minutes,” without knowing he was speaking into a live microphone.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

J Max Davis State House 08112015

Today, voters go to the polls in three state House Special Runoff Elections.

House District 155 – the runoff pits Clay Pirkle (R) of Ocilla against Horace Hudgins (R) from Sycamore in the race to replace former State Rep. Jay Roberts. The district includes all of Ben Hill, Irwin, and Turner counties and parts of Coffee and Tift Counties.

House District 146 – today, Republicans Shaw Blackmon and Larry Walker, III face off in a Special Runoff Election in House District 146, which includes parts of Houston County and was formerly represented by Larry O’Neal. From the Macon Telegraph,

About 2,201 voters already have cast their ballots in the runoff election, said Houston County’s registration and elections assistant Beverly Nable. Of that number, 1,000 voted on Central Georgia Technical College’s Warner Robins campus, and 1,201 voted at the board of elections, she said. Early voting ended Friday.

Walker, a 50-year-old insurance agency owner, said Monday afternoon he thought the race would be close.

“We’re campaigning hard as we can go today,” Walker said. “I feel good about the effort we’ve put into this. My family and friends have worked tirelessly on it for four months. I’m humbled by the support I’ve gotten out of the community, and I’m proud of the campaign we’ve run. But I think it’s going to be a real, real close result.”

“It’s not over until it’s over and we’re going to push to the end. We’ve got a lot of ground to make up,” Walker said. “I feel like David and Goliath. Bring it on. Me being David, not Goliath.”

Walker said he would join family, friends and supporters Tuesday evening at The Coffee Cup on Carroll Street in downtown Perry across from the board of elections.

Blackmon, president and CEO of National Bank Products, said Monday afternoon his campaign is going strong.

“I feel good,” said Blackmon, 42. “We’ve got a good, hard-working bunch that’s run a good, clean, positive campaign. We’ve knocked on doors, we’ve made phone calls, we’ve shaken hands, we’ve gone person-to-person and, you know, our message has been clear and consistent and (that’s) what’s important to the citizens of Houston County.”

Channel 13 WMAZ spoke to both candidates.

House District 80

Today, Republican and former Mayor of Brookhaven J. Max Davis meets Democrat Taylor Bennett in a Special Election runoff to represent parts of Brookhaven in DeKalb County and Sandy Springs in Fulton. It will also determine the partisan balance of the Fulton County legislative delegation.

Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul has joined Governor Nathan Deal and other Republicans endorsing Davis, telling,

“I am proud of, and humbled by, the level of support we have built here in District 80,” said Davis. “The strength of our support is reflected by the quality endorsements our campaign has received.”

Davis added Gov. Nathan deal on Monday tweeted to his followers, “urging people to vote for me tomorrow.”

“Let’s keep our majority strong and vote @JMaxDavis for our GOP state rep. in HD 80 tomorrow,” Deal said Monday on Twitter.

“J. Max was a great mayor of Brookhaven,” Paul said Aug. 5. “We have to elect him Tuesday to continue the work of fixing Fulton.”

Another Sandy Springs elected official — Councilman Gabriel Sterling — has also endorsed the candidate.

Other endorsements include: Secretary of State Brian Kemp, Congressman Tom Price, State Senator Fran Millar, State Representative Tom Taylor, State Representative Wendell Willard, State Representative Joe Wilkinson, Brookhaven Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams, Brookhaven Council members Linley Jones, Bates Mattison and Joe Gebbia.

Eighth District Fish Fry

Despite the competition from the RedState Gathering in Atlanta, the Eighth District GAGOP Fish Fry looks like it’s making a strong comeback, drawing most statewide elected Republicans.

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee spoke at the 2015 Fish Fry for Georgia Republicans in Perry Saturday afternoon

The event brought around 150 people throughout the state together to discuss the state of the Republican party.

“I think it’s our role as a citizen in this country to support your party, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican but to support our country, show support for your candidate and your country,” says attendee Carl Davis.

At the Fish Fry, former Republican Governor Sonny Perdue endorsed Huckabee.

In a brief news conference following his speech, Huckabee was introduced by a local friend, Sonny Perdue, the former Georgia governor and resident of Bonaire. Perdue also introduced Huckabee to the audience at the fish fry, and announced his support for Huckabee in the race for the GOP nomination.

“It’s clear to me that Mike Huckabee is far and above any of the others,” Perdue said at the news conference.

Huckabee was asked, if he wins the nomination, whether Perdue would be at the top of his list of vice presidential candidates.

“He may very well be,” Huckabee said. “I think he’s having too much fun to think about it, but let me tell you, America would be well served to have somebody with his integrity, competence and leadership skills.”

The event included numerous GOP speakers, including U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson and 8th District Rep. Austin Scott. Both alluded to the division in the GOP in the last two presidential elections, and urged voters to get behind whomever wins the nomination.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for August 10, 2015

The following dogs are in urgent need of adoptive or foster homes at Floyd County Animal Control in Rome, Ga. They are likely to be put down if they’re not out of the shelter by 4 PM Tuesday.

If you’re interested in one of the dogs, contact the following people: [email protected] (706) 506-3611, [email protected], and Ronda at [email protected] or (704) 288-7272 – you can text her at the number too. If you’re emailing them, please include “RESCUE OFFER” in the subject line of the email.
Adult Black Lab Floyd

ID # 15d-1268 is an adult female mixed breed that I’d call a lab mix. She is available for adoption from Floyd County Animal Control in Rome, GA.

Floyd Brindle Puppies

These mixed breed puppies, some brindle, some black, are available for adoption from Floyd County Animal Control in Rome, GA.

Floyd Black Lab Puppies

These sweet black Labrador Retriever puppies are available for adoption from Floyd County Animal Control in Rome, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campagns, and Elections for August 10, 2015

On August 10, 1774, a group calling itself the “Sons of Liberty” met at Tondee’s Tavern in Savannah, the first move in Georgia toward what would become the Revolutionary War. The Sons of Liberty adopted eight resolutions, among those one that reads,

Resolved, nemine contradicente, That we apprehend the Parliament of Great Britain hath not, nor ever had, any right to tax his Majesty’s American subjects; for it is evident beyond contradiction, the constitution admits of no taxation without representation; that they are coeval and inseparable; and every demand for the support of government should be by requisition made to the several houses of representatives.

Resolved, nemine contradicente, That we concur with our sister colonies in every constitutional measure to obtain redress of American grievances, and will by every lawful means in our power, maintain those inestimable blessings for which we are indebted to God and the Constitution of our country–a Constitution founded upon reason and justice, and the indelible rights of mankind.

The first copy in Georgia of the Declaration of Independence was read publicly in Savannah on August 10, 1776.

On August 10, 1787, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completed “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.”

Missouri was admitted as the 24th State, and the first entirely west of the Mississippi River, on August 10, 1821.

On August 10, 1864, the bombardment of Atlanta by Union force continued, with Sherman writing, ““Let us destroy Atlanta and make it a desolation.”

Sherman-and-Cannon Atlanta

The first Georgia state Motor Fuel Tax was enacted on August 10, 1921, when Governor Thomas Hardwick signed legislation imposing a one-cent per gallon tax.

Japan accepted unconditional surrender on August 10, 1945, one day after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.

Red Dawn, the first movie rated PG-13 was released on August 10, 1984.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was the first Presidential candidate to speak at the Red State Gathering on Friday.

Chris Christie Red State

Lauren McDonald of Morris News wrote about Christie’s appearance,

Chris Christie, the first Republican presidential hopeful to speak at the RedState Gathering Friday, told the mostly conservative crowd that he plans to bring the same brand of unapologetic, strong leadership he’s shown in New Jersey to the White House in 2016.

The second-term governor said his two terms as governor in the historically blue state has left him “battle-tested” for Washington, D.C.

“It matters because if you’re looking for someone who’s running for the president of the U.S., you’re looking for someone who can really do what they say they can do,” Christie said.

He’s also the first pro-life supporter elected to the New Jersey governor’s office since Roe v. Wade. He said conservatives should not apologize for being pro-life.

“In my first budget, in June 2010, we defunded Planned Parenthood, and I have vetoed it seven times since then,” he said.

PJ Media noted that he followed that up with a laugh-line,

“Our party needs to define pro-life even larger,” Christie said. “It’s not just for the time in the womb. That’s the easiest time to be pro-life because they’ve done nothing to disappoint us yet.”

Christie took questions from the audience, first praising Associate Justice Sam Alito as a model for the kind of Supreme Court justice he would nominate. Look at their writings, not their public statements, Christie said, because that’s what they had to put their name to.

Asked how to fund the government and pay down $18 trillion at the same time, he said spending cuts alone can’t do it.

“You have to cut spending, but you also have to grow this economy,” Christie said. We need to simplify the tax code, which is “designed for the rich.” Eliminate all deductions except for mortgage interest and charitable donations, he said.

“Imagine how many people I could fire from the IRS if you could do your taxes in 15 minutes,” he said, eliciting laughter from the RedState crowd.

On the undue influence of the Chamber of Commerce on Republican policy, Christie said his tax plan is a big part of addressing that. He also says the Chamber hinders reforming immigration.

“If every employer in this country were required to use e-verify and the fines were big enough” it would take power out of the hands of the Chamber, while improving the economy and fixing the immigration issue.”

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry was next on the Red State stage.

Rick Perry at RedState Gathering

Again from Lauren McDonald of Morris News,

“We do not have to accept the policies that leave behind the middle class, leaving millions of Americans without a job,” Perry told the group of conservative activists and donors.

“I’m running for president because I believe that our best days as a nation are in front of us.”

At the RedState Gathering, Perry said he plans to create American jobs, just as he said he did in Texas, if he’s elected president in 2016. Perry served as governor for 14 years – the longest governor term in the state’s history.

Perry also accused President Obama of dividing the country, rather than trying to work with Republicans in Congress.

“He has become our nation’s chief cynic…seeking political advantage rather than political consensus,” Perry said.

The AJC Political Insider noted that Perry arrived in a baseball cap and track jacket, apparently without an entourage.

Aaron Gould Sheinin of the AJC also wrote about Perry’s appearance.

“I don’t believe the answer to this Democratic divider is to have a Republican divider,” Perry said. “It’s time for leadership that narrows the breach.

“We do not have to settle for a world in chaos or an America that shrinks from its responsibilities. We don’t have to apologize for American exceptionalism or Western values.”

On immigration, Perry recounted how he confronted Obama in Texas.

“I met the president on the ramp in Dallas and I looked him in the eye and I said, ‘Mr. President, if you won’t secure the border, Texas will.’ And we did,” he said.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal spoke to Red State Friday and I missed his appearance. The Washington Times did catch his speech and wrote,

Since announcing his candidacy in June, the 44-year-old has suggested that the nation could save some money by shuttering the court.

“Hillary Clinton didn’t like that answer,” Mr. Jindal said Friday at the RedState Gathering in Atlanta, sparking applause from attendees. “She thought that was extreme, so I have a compromise: instead of getting rid of the entire Supreme Court what if we got rid of about two-thirds of the Supreme Court.

“I mean there are three justices that got it right,” he said. “I wouldn’t mind keeping [Samuel] Alito, [Clarence] Thomas and [Antonio] Scalia. It is the other six I wouldn’t mind getting rid of.”

Also covering Bobby Jindal was The Daily Signal, where Kate Scanlon wrote about five policies Jindal would pursue if elected President.

Speaking at the RedState Gathering in Atlanta among other Republican candidates, Jindal said he would “repeal and replace all of Obamacare” and implement a consumer-oriented alternative.

He called for efforts to secure the border and “crack down on sanctuary cities,” and hold local officials in those cities accountable for flouting federal and state law.

He said that shrinking the size of the federal government will help grow the economy.

Jindal said that America needs to reinvest in the military and “stand with Israel.”

Jindal added that Planned Parenthood should be defunded.

“There is no reason one dime of our tax dollars needs to go to that organization,” Jindal said.

He said that he has asked the FBI to investigate Planned Parenthood in Louisiana.

“We canceled their Medicaid contract,” Jindal said.

Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, fresh off what many called an undercard debate win, drew the most-interested crowd on Friday. I missed her speech because I was on GPB’s “Political Rewind,” live from a hallway at the Intercontinental Hotel.

Carly Fiorina at Red State Gathering

At about 43 minutes into the audio of the show, I talked about what I did notice when Fiorina took the stage. Click here to listen online.

The photo above is from the press availability with Fiorina after her speech. The press room was packed and I asked two AJC reporters if any of the earlier press avails had been as full. None of us had been to any of the other candidates avails, so that suggests to me that Fiorina had the highest level of press interest at the event that day.

National Review called the Red State speech Fiorina’s “victory lap” after the previous night’s undercard debate.

Carly Fiorina arrived at the RedState Gathering here the conquering hero, following her commanding performance at yesterday’s happy-hour debate.

“I think we kind of rumbled last night, what do you think?” Fiorina told the crowd as she took the stage to a standing ovation.

“Let’s face it, a lot of people probably underestimated me. . . . I hope that what people are starting to say is, ‘You know what? She could win this job, and she could do this job,’” she said.

It was clear from Fiorina’s reception at RedState, a gathering of conservative activists organized by radio host Erick Erickson, that people are starting to think exactly that.

“When I heard that Carly Fiorina was running for president, I thought, ‘Is she running for president, or is she running for vice president?’” Erickson said as he introduced her to the crowd. “But holy cow!”

He joined the consensus, calling her the winner of the early debate last night. She came on stage to a standing ovation, and earned several more over the course of her speech and the question-and-answer period that followed, especially when she attacked Hillary Clinton.

You can watch Fiorina’s full speech here.

I didn’t attend Fiorina’s event at the Capital City Club after her speech, but all the reports I’ve seen said that she had an enthusiastic group of hundreds of supporters and new potential supporters.

Marco Rubio Red State Gathering

Florida Senator Marco Rubio batted cleanup for the major Presidential candidates on Friday.

Scott Ott at PJ Media wrote of Marco Rubio and the American Dream.

Marco Rubio in person is like his book, America Dreams – inspiring, passionate, engaging, personal and a public policy proposal firehose. He brought all of that to RedState Gathering in Atlanta Friday, and the crowd of conservatives responded enthusiastically.

Early in his remarks, he grabbed the third-rail and talked about reforms to Social Security that would not only preserve it for future generations (including his own) without affecting current retirees (like his Mom), but would also lead to an economic revival by relieving the crushing weight of debt from our economy.

One of his proposals would enable private investors to fund college education for individuals based on their performance and job prospects. Of course, this would have an effect on what students choose to study.

Or as Sen. Rubio said dryly, to much laughter, “The market for Greek philosophers has tightened over the past 2000 years.”

Tying domestic policy to national defense, Rubio said that we cannot pursue that better future if we are not safe, and that’s why “America must remain the strongest military power on the planet.”

“Radical jihadists have spread across multiple continents and dozens of countries, including the United States,” he said, “and we need to find them before they find us. They will not stop. They will not go out of business. They must be defeated.”

Daniel Malloy of the AJC wrote about Rubio’s discussion of Planned Parenthood.

Presidential hopeful and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., indicated that a government shutdown battle over Planned Parenthood is likely next month — but he did not commit a full crusade on it.

Democrats on Monday filibustered a Republican bill to remove all government funding from Planned Parenthood, after a series of undercover videos accused the organization of illegally selling fetal tissue.

The next step for Republicans could come in demanding the funding be stripped in the next spending bill before the Sept. 30 deadline to fund the government. When asked about a possible shutdown in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News, Rubio flipped it back on the Democrats:

“It’s not us who’s going to shut down the government. It’s the Democrats. In essence, the choice is theirs to make. Are they saying that they’re willing to shut down the government over funding Planned Parenthood?

“If this was the NRA, would the press be saying the Democrats are willing to shut down the government to defund the NRA? No, they would be saying Republicans are trying to defund, shut down the government. This is the Democrats threatening to shut down the government unless we use taxpayer money for a specific organization. That’s outrageous.”

Here’s the full speech by Marco Rubio at Red State.

Governor Mike Huckabee and Senator Ted Cruz spoke on Saturday, but I skipped it, knowing that I’d have at least one more chance to see Cruz speak later that day in Newnan, and I’ve seen Huckabee several times this year.

Instead, I went to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s meet-and-greet at Lovie’s Barbecue around the corner, near the Disco Kroger.

Reva Jennings Scott Walker

Reva Jennings Doug Collins

Scott Walker Judson Hill

Tim Stultz Famil Scott Walker

This sign won the “Best Homemade Sign Award” for the weekend.

Scott Walker Jan Vanevenhoven

After the Walker meet-and-greet, which drew what I’d estimate at more than one hundred enthusiastic supporters, I returned to Red State to see Jeb Bush speak.

Jeb Red State 3

I honestly thought that the red meat crowd at Red State might boo Jeb, but he was received well. Host Erick Erickson warmed up the crowd for Bush, saying, “I love this guy,” and saying that in office, Bush was, “the most conservative governor.”

The New York Times wrote that Bush was received well by the Red State audience.

While he may not have converted every skeptic at the RedState Gathering, a conclave of anti-establishment Republicans, he persuaded more than a few to give him a second look.

“He impressed me more than I had anticipated,” said Timothy Cowles of Alabama, a retiree with libertarian leanings who favors Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. “He did a much better job of explaining what he did in Florida than what I’ve previously heard.”

“I very much admire him for defending the things that are not so understood or popular with far-right conservatives,” said Leanne Owens, of Cartersville, Ga. “Though the grass-roots people here didn’t give him the crazy welcome as some of the others, I think they were very receptive to what he had to say.”

Pressed by a questioner on immigration, Mr. Bush laid out plans for policing the border and reforming the immigration system.

Then he ventured into territory few other Republican candidates dare to enter — what to do about 11 million undocumented people in the country — other than to denounce “amnesty.”

“Might as well bring that up,” Mr. Bush said. He laid out his proposal for granting legal status — though not citizenship — to people who paid fines and taxes, and had learned English.

Deporting these 11 million people, as suggested by Donald J. Trump, whose anti-immigration stance fueled his rise, would cost $400 billion to $600 billion over 20 years, Mr. Bush said, citing a conservative think tank as his source.

“I for one think the plan I just laid out is a better plan than a $400-to-$600-billion cost plan,” he added.

You can watch the entire speech by Bush here.

After Bush’s speech, I missed Scott Walker’s, but I got the chance to interview him earlier this year, and I was more interested in seeing his meet-and-greet and the Ted Cruz event in Newnan.

The minute I drove up to Sprayberry’s in Newnan, I knew the Cruz event was going to be big, because they had people parking in an empty field next door, and that was before the candidate even showed up.

Ted Cruz Bus Arrival

Cruz Country Girls

This is the crowd that Cruz found waiting for him, estimated in the eight-hundred to “nearly a thousand” range.

Cruz Crowd Shot

Senators Supporting Cruz

On the bus with Cruz were some of the elected officials supporting his campaign, including (pictured above, L to R) Sen. Josh McKoon, Sen. William Ligon, and Sen. Marty Harbin, as well as Georgia Campaign Chair Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens and Sen. Mike Crane.

Ted Cruz daughter Brant Frost V

Cruz Behind Pickup Ted Cruz Newnan from behind side

Ted Cruz Courageous Conservative Ted Cruz 2016

Cruz spoke from the bed of a pickup truck before wading into the crowd to shake hands, kiss babies, and sign books and campaign signs.

Tomorrow, we’ll continue with some coverage of the Ted Cruz appearance in Columbus, and the 8th District Fish Fry, including an introduction by former Gov. Sonny Perdue of Mike Huckabee that most folks took for a full endorsement.



Ted Cruz Grassroots Rally at Newnan, GA

Ted Cruz Bus Arrival

Cruz Crowd Shot

Cruz Country Girls

Ted Cruz daughter Brant Frost V

Ted Cruz Newnan from behind side

Cruz Behind Pickup

Ted Cruz Courageous Conservative

Ted Cruz 2016


Scott Walker at Lovie’s Barbecue in Atlanta

Scott Walker Lovies Crowd Outside

Scott Walker Jan Vanevenhoven

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Jeb Bush at the RedState Gathering in Atlanta

Jeb Red State 3


Carly Fiorina at Red State Gathering 2015 #RSG2015

Carly Fiorina at Red State Gathering


Marco Rubio at Red State Gathering 2015

Marco Rubio Red State Gathering