The blog.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 17, 2016


Number 4446 is a female German Shepherd  mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Gordon County Animal Shelter in Calhoun, GA.


Number 4445 is a German Shepherd mix female puppy who is available for adoption from the Gordon County Animal Shelter in Calhoun, GA. I’m going to guess that 4445 and 4446 are siblings.


Number 4442 is an American Bulldog mix male puppy who is available for adoption from the Gordon County Animal Shelter in Calhoun, GA.


Number 4431 is an adult female Chocolate Labrador Retriever who is available for adoption from the Gordon County Animal Shelter in Calhoun, GA.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 16, 2016

Kathryn Smoltz

Kathryn Smoltz is a female Dachshund and Terrier mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Forsyth County in Cumming, GA.


Tinker is a small, adult male Chihuahua and Dachshund mix who is available for adoption from Douglas County Animal Control in Douglasville, GA.


Midnight is a baby black Lab mix puppy who is available for adoption from Douglas County Animal Control in Douglasville, GA.




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

Button Gwinnett and Lachlan McIntosh met outside Savannah on May 16, 1777 and fought a duel; Gwinnett was mortally wounded.

Gwinnett returned to Georgia immediately after signing the [Declaration of Independence] to find city Whig Lachlan McIntosh commanding Georgia’s nascent military efforts. Determined to take control of Georgia politics, Gwinnett became speaker of the legislature, guided the Georgia Constitution of 1777 into existence and took over as governor when Archibald Bulloch died suddenly in office.

Gwinnett then wanted to lead an expedition to secure Georgia’s border with Florida. A dispute between McIntosh and Gwinnett over who would command the effort ultimately led to their duel and Gwinnett’s death.

A Constitutional Convention met on May 16, 1795 in the capital of Louisville to amend the Georgia Constitution of 1789.

On May 15, 1791, George Washington left Augusta for Savannah.

On May 15, 1800, President John Adams ordered all 125 employees of the federal government to begin packing to move the capital from Philadelphia to Washington, DC.

The United States Senate voted to acquit President Andrew Johnson of 11 Articles of Impeachment passed by the House of Representatives on May 16, 1868.

The North Georgia Electric Company was incorporated on May 16, 1901 to build a hydroelectric dam on the Chattahoochee River near Gainesville; in 1916, it would be bought by the company that today is known as Georgia Power.


American artist Jasper Johns was born May 15, 1930 in Augusta, Georgia.

Carl Sanders was born on May 15, 1925 in Augusta, Georgia. He served in the United States Air Force, Georgia House of Representatives and State Senate, where he was President Pro Tem. In 1962, Sanders won the Democratic Primary for Governor, defeating former Governor Marvin Griffin, and in November was the first Governor of Georgia elected by popular vote after the County Unit System was abolished.

Former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz was born on May 15, 1967 in Lansing, Michigan. Smoltz pitched a complete game shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the seventh game of the National League Championship Series in 1991, sending the Braves to their first World Series since moving to Atlanta in 1966. Smoltz was chosen for the All Star team eight times and won the Cy Young award in 1996.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

This isn’t politics, but it’s awesome: Gregg Allman played at Mercer’s graduation this weekend before being awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.

While we’re on the topic of higher education, Donald J. Trump will be the subject of a Savannah State University summer class called “The Trump Factor in American Politics.”

“It’s about sort of balancing those perspectives out and trying to use a lens that I hope illuminates some of these arguments in terms of why Donald Trump, despite some of that support from fringe elements of the political spectrum or controversial statements, and figuring out why are people still attracted to him?” [Professor Robert] Smith said. “And to me, that’s what’s fascinating and I think deserves that serious study in the class.”

State Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, said he questions the merits behind the Savannah State course, and he hoped that the course remained unbiased. He sees Trump as someone who won’t heed lobbyists. Given the endurance of Sanders’ antiestablishment bid on the Democratic side, he said, the idea of a president who isn’t influenced by lobbyists is obviously something that resonates with the electorate at large.

“Washington is bought and paid for — there’s no doubt about that,” Stephens said. “Hopefully he’ll hit on that appeal. Donald Trump has done something that hasn’t been done for a very long time. Even though his mouth needs a censor sometimes, he’s hit on the silent majority — and the middle is what wins elections.”

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter said there’s “no question” that Trump has changed the political landscape.

“People are frustrated,” said Carter, who’s in his second year representing Georgia’s First District in Washington. “I’m frustrated. I was frustrated midafternoon the first day I got here. The system is broken and we need someone to shake it up. I think he’s going to be that guy.”

After the re-opened qualifying for State House District 68, three candidates will run in the Republican Primary next Tuesday.

J.Collins, funeral home owner and until last week, Mayor of Villa Rica

Marc Lattanzio, a law enforcement officer with the City of Temple

Tim Bearden, former State Rep., former Director of the Georgia Public Safety Training Center

The Times-Georgian interviewed Lattanzio about the election,

Temple police officer and University of West Georgia political science major Matt Lattanzio joins former Villa Rica mayor J. Collins and former House 68 representative Tim Bearden in the race. All are Republicans.

The League of Women Voters of Carrollton-Carroll County will hold a forum for the three candidates on Tuesday, May 17, at Bay Springs Middle School in Villa Rica.

“I’ve always been interested in government and trying to make our area a better place to be, so I decided to run because I wanted to represent the people in the 68th District and bring positive growth to the area,” said Lattanzio. “If we all attract good companies to the Carroll County area, and by working with the Chamber of Commerce, I think we could bring jobs here and positive growth and just make a big difference here and be the voice of the people.”

With just more than a week left before the May 24 election, Lattanzio said he is working on a grassroots campaign and relying on social media.

“This is not just a sprint, this is an all-out run,” he said. “I am working at it as much as I can. I’ve been setting up a couple of meet-and-greets and taking time to visit Temple, Villa Rica and Fairfield, Whitesburg and try to get everyone together. I’m not a career politician and I think sometimes people are just tired of the career politicians. I’m an outsider, I’m a hard worker, I work for the people and I will be a true representative to the people of District 68.”

“I feel like some of the citizens are a little disenfranchised,” he said. “Those people that early voted won’t be able to recast their vote so those votes are gone at this point. It would be nice for people to be able to vote again. I don’t think anybody’s vote should be lost. The way this went down, I think it kinda cheated people. I don’t think it’s fair for the people who have to decide who is the best candidate for the job in just 11 days.”

Mark Niesse with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes about the potential return of Vernon Jones to the State House.

In his fourth bid for public office in the past eight years, Vernon Jones is touting himself as an experienced leader who will address real-life problems, like traffic and unemployment, if elected representative of House District 91.

His opponents, however, are working to paint another picture of the former DeKalb CEO. They portray him as a polarizing figure more interested in regaining power than serving the community.

Jones dismisses his challengers, saying they’re amateurs who don’t have what it takes to get things done in the Georgia General Assembly.

“You need a legislator who’s there on Day 1 getting the job done,” Jones said at a recent candidate forum at the Rockdale County Auditorium in Conyers. “Nobody can touch my record. Nobody can touch my experience. Nobody can work as hard as I can.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is out with another poll that’s essentially meaningless.

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are locked in a statistical tie in Georgia, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll that laid bare the deep divide over the presidential race.

Trump’s 4-point lead over Clinton — he’s at 45 percent — is within the poll’s margin of error, meaning neither can confidently claim a state that’s voted for the GOP nominee since 1996. Sprinkled throughout are reminders of the challenges both face in capturing Georgia: dim voter enthusiasm, high unfavorability ratings and deep skepticism from voters.

Both front-runners have sky-high name recognition — and devastatingly high unfavorability ratings. Nearly two out of three voters have a negative view of Clinton, including a crushing majority of Republicans. A slightly lower number of voters have a negative view of Trump, including a crushing majority of Democrats.

That gives Georgia’s independent voters, a reliably conservative bunch that has backed Republicans the past two decades, an even more influential role in November. The poll found independents were split right down the middle over the leading contenders. An additional 13 percent of independents either said they are undecided or support neither candidate.

At this point in 2014, the AJC poll showed Michelle Nunn with a +1 point lead over David Perdue, who ended up winning by eight points and Nathan Deal with a 4-point lead over Democrat Jason Carter.

Politico ran a story on the AJC poll and gave some context:

The last Democrat to carry Georgia was Bill Clinton in 1992, when he beat incumbent George H.W. Bush by less than 15,000 votes; in 1996, Clinton lost the state by about 27,000 votes. Barack Obama never came within 200,000 votes either time.

The poll was conducted May 9-12, and surveyed 822 registered voters in Georgia.

Meanwhile, the AJC also writes that Nathan Deal has lost support among Republican Primary voters and gained among Democrats, after vetoing both religious liberty and campus carry legislation.

State Rep. John Pezold (R-Columbus) took up his pen to address the issue of a line-item veto of funding for a couple Columbus-area projects.

Much has been written recently about the ongoing saga of recent budget cuts made by the politically powerful in order to punish Senator Josh McKoon. Multiple members of the Columbus delegation have admitted as much and apparently have no problem with the fact that bullying tactics are used on a regular basis in politics. This certainly isn’t the first time Columbus State’s funding has been held hostage over a member acting on his conscience.

In 2013, my first year in the Georgia House we were to vote on Senate Bill 24. I won’t bore you with the details other than to say that the politically powerful wanted it passed. When I made it clear that I would be voting against SB 24 because it went against my principles, I was issued an ultimatum: If I voted against the bill, funding would be cut for Columbus State and for an upcoming additional judgeship for the Chattahoochee Circuit.

Don’t the people of Georgia deserve better than the politics of retribution? Aren’t we better than bullying? We are in a day and age when people don’t trust politicians for one simple reason: Once elected, many of us vote much differently from the way we campaigned. We’re not trusted because we allow garbage like this to occur and say, “It’s just the way things are done around here.” Yet there are countless examples of people actually doing the right thing and voting their conscience, and being punished for it.

Bullying isn’t tolerated in our schools. When this kind of behavior is brought to the attention of school leaders, it is addressed clearly and swiftly. We expect our children to behave better than this. Why then are we turning a blind eye when grown men and women leading our state resort to these tactics?

Fannin County is in an uproar over bathrooms for people who are transgender. From Fetch Your News:

Fannin County Board of Education held a three and one-half hour meeting on Thursday night, May 12th. Two and a half hours were public comments about transgender bathrooms in Fannin County Schools.

The overwhelming theme of the forty plus people who gave comments was about privacy and safety of the children.  Many parents asked the Board why the schools couldn’t have a third bathroom option for transgender students.  At least two parents said that if the school allowed transgender children to use the bathroom of their choice, they will sue the school to build a private bathroom stall for their children. Parent after parent said that they would pull their children out of the Fannin County School system if the schools have transgender bathrooms.  Some parents scolded the Board for putting federal funding ahead of their children’s well-being. If the Fannin County School System chooses to not have transgender bathrooms, the school system could lose $3.5 million in federal funding.

Almost every speaker identified him or herself as a Christian.  Most talked about how the Bible teaches two genders, male and female.  Some parents, like Deena Daughtery, said that they had moved to Fannin County because of its morals.  Many speakers said that they couldn’t believe that the fight over transgender bathrooms had come to Fannin County.

Some high school and middle school students spoke.  They indicated that students were not ready to accept transgender bathrooms at school.  Two 8th grade girls had the shortest and most simple comment about transgender bathroom.  It summed up what many parents said without a long explanations. The girls said, “I don’t want to go to the bathroom and see a boy there.”

Fannin County Attorney Lynn Doss spoke for the Board of Education.  She first cleared up some rumors that have been going around.  She said that Fannin County schools do not have unisex bathrooms and that the School Board is not voting on transgender bathrooms.  Also, no one in the Fannin County school system has had their job threatened over this issue. About the $3.5 million the school system could lose if it provides transgender bathrooms, she said that Fannin County can do without the $3.5 million.  The real money problem is that the school system could be fined $1,000 a day for not providing bathroom. The school system could not take that financial loss.  Like Mr. Fletcher, she said that requiring transgender bathrooms in public schools is another example of government overreach.

Ms. Doss went on to tell the audience that if they really don’t want transgender bathrooms in the schools, they should take their fight to people who have the possibility to change this rule.   The Fannin County School System could refuse to provide transgender bathrooms, but the school system’s action has no power to change the law.  Ms. Doss encouraged everyone to write Gov. Deal and their state and national Senators and Representatives.  She thanked Georgia House Speaker David Ralston for taking a proactive stand for Fannin County.

Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds addressed what he calls a heroin epidemic, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.

“Categorically, without any hesitation … we have a heroin epidemic in Cobb County,” said Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds.

In 2015 alone, there were 60 overdose deaths in Cobb, according to Reynolds.

Speaking at a recent meeting of the Marietta Area Council, Reynolds said from 1995 through 2014, about 3.5 pounds of heroin was confiscated by the undercover agents of the Marietta-Cobb-Smyrna Narcotics unit.

In 2015, more than 18 pounds of heroin was confiscated.

“Six times (the amount) in one year what we had in the last 20 years,” Reynolds said, adding that his office has a special unit prosecutes only major narcotics trafficking cases, the majority of which are heroin related. “Hopefully that gives you some idea of what we’re seeing.”


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 13, 2016

Gwinnett Full

Gwinnett County Animal Shelter is completely full and a number of dogs are in danger of being euthanized for space. Any dog saved will save the life of another by opening a space. Click here to see the most urgent dogs.



Prancer is a 5-year old black Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA. He originally came into the shelter as a neglect case, and his first adoptive family had to return him when their own dog didn’t get along with Prancer.

He is such a sweet, loving boy! He is five years old, but still very active and playful. One of our officers named him Prancer because he prances when he’s excited. He is available for adoption or rescue!

Here’s a video of Prancer, so you can see how sweet he is, and why they call him Prancer.


Number 50331 is a young female Whippet or Whippet mix with a gorgeous brindle coat who will be available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter beginning Saturday, May 14th.


Number 50378 is an adult male Pug who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

Any dog that has been at the Gwinnett Shelter for more than 30 days is adoptable for a reduced fee of only $30. There are some great dogs at a discount.

Gwinnett 30 dollar


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 13, 2015

On May 13, 1607, English settlers founded the first permanent English settlement in America, at Jamestown on the James River. This led to the first English-language politics in America:

Dispatched from England by the London Company, the colonists had sailed across the Atlantic aboard the Susan Constant,Godspeed, and Discovery. Upon landing at Jamestown, the first colonial council was held by seven settlers whose names had been chosen and placed in a sealed box by King James I. The council, which included Captain John Smith, an English adventurer, chose Edward Wingfield as its first president.

Lyman Hall arrived in Philadelphia as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress on May 13, 1775.

On May 13, 1798, a Constitutional Convention adopted the Georgia Constitution of 1798.

The Mexican War began on May 13, 1846.

Georgia Whigs, led by Governor George Crawford, Alexander Stephens, and Robert Toombs, criticized the war for raising divisive questions about slavery in the territories. Georgia Democrats, led by Howell Cobb and Herschel Johnson, staunchly supported the war and states’ rights afterward. Because Whigs, nationally, appeared to be antislavery, Georgia Whigs lost the governorship in 1847. The Compromise of 1850 temporarily settled the slavery question in the territories, but the moderating influence of Georgia’s Whigs dissolved in the heated rhetoric of states’ rights in the 1850s. The next war would find Americans fighting Americans.

The first fighting at Resaca, Georgia took place on May 13, 1864 and Union forces marched into Dalton. On May 13, 1864, 257 cadets from the Virginia Military Institute camped at Mt. Crawford near Harrisonburg.The next day they would continue their march to New Market, Virginia.

On May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot at St. Peter’s Square in Rome.

On May 13, 2005, the Pentagon Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) recommended the closing of Fort McPherson in Atlanta, Fort Gillem in Forest Park, the Naval Air Station in Marietta, and the Naval Supply Corps School in Athens.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Tomorrow has the only mandatory Saturday early voting for the May 24 primary elections, meaning that every county elections board will have early voting hours. Click here to sign in to the Secretary of State’s MVP webpage and check your local early voting locations.

Yesterday, former Congressman Jack Kingston endorsed Rep. Austin Scott for reelection in the 8th District.

Jack Kingston endorses Austin Scott

Not only is Austin Scott a great conservative who is fighting to protect the unborn, defend our 2nd Amendment rights and repeal Obamacare, he cares very deeply about supporting our military and our war fighters.

The 8th District needs Austin Scott to keep up the fight, and Georgia needs him at the table as well. I am proud to endorse my friend Austin Scott in his re-election, he has stepped up to the plate and gone to bat for our military and Georgia’s military communities year after year, and I know he will continue to make the people of Middle and South Georgia proud.

Learn more about Austin Scott for Georgia at The 8th District needs Austin Scott to keep up the fight, and Georgia needs him at the table as well. I am proud to endorse my friend Austin Scott in his re-election, he has stepped up to the plate and gone to bat for our military and Georgia’s military communities year after year, and I know he will continue to make the people of Middle and South Georgia proud.

Learn more about Austin Scott for Georgia at

Here are the latest television ads in the Third Congressional District.

The Oglethorpe County Republican Party held a straw poll and reports the following results:

Trump — 37 votes
Never Trump — 4 votes
Only if I have to — 9 votes

On how to balance Republican misgivings with Trump, especially among minority voters:

“Donald Trump doesn’t stop me from minority engagement, from shaping and transforming the structure of the Georgia Republican Party so we’re more financially solvent. He doesn’t stop me from messaging, from strategically creating partnerships with independent expenditure groups. … When we lose sight of that and blame one person, that’s scapegoat-ism. And I’m not going to use him as a scapegoat to absolve my responsibility.

“I’m finding some of my strongest and most stalwart warriors right now are black Americans. We’re underestimating the type of support Donald Trump can get in the race. Donald Trump can easily get 20 percent of black voters.”

On his most immediate goals:

“We have a long-term goal and that’s party stability. Our party in general views that it isn’t efficient to support voter education drives. And as we mature, I think it will be viewed as a must for us. How can we know what makes American exceptional unless we educate people about the facts?”

“I have a meeting soon with 10 investors who want to shore up minority engagement in Georgia for the long term. If we can create a strong best-practices in Georgia, we can create a template for the whole nation. My goal is to keep Georgia red and create a systemic template for minority engagement that’s effective, affordable and aspirational. It will be something that builds team morale for the entire party.”

The Associated Press takes a look at “outsider” candidates in Georgia Congressional races and the hurdles they face.

Incumbents Rep. Doug Collins and Rep. Barry Loudermilk each drew four challengers.

Both incumbents are under fire for supporting John Boehner in his final bid for Speaker of the House over long-shot challengers and for backing a spending bill.

Kerwin Swint, chair of Kennesaw State University’s Department of Political Science, said GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s apparent success positioning himself as an “outsider” hasn’t translated to down-ballot races in other states.

“I think we are seeing this in different parts of the country and we are seeing challengers from outside the political realm,” Swint said. “But challenges from the right in the Republican Party aren’t unusual either.”

“It’s always an uphill battle when you go against an incumbent because they have so much advantage in money and a network that (challengers) have to build,” [Mike] Scupin said. “And they know that, so they go up there and vote any way they want.”

“It’s not an insider-outsider issue, it’s about doing what’s best for constituents,” Collins said. “I think when you look at our record, it’s close to home and not representing the rhetoric of passing time in Washington.”

“The biggest thing this year is that I have a proven record,” Loudermilk said. “Action speaks louder than lies in a mailbox.”

His challengers include engineer project manager and conservative radio host Hayden Collins, businessman Daniel Cowan, developer Billy Davis and accountant William Llop.

“We have to give Donald Trump the prize for people opening their eyes, because now people are saying ‘Hey, we want change,’” said Davis, who decided not to accept campaign contributions.

And earlier in the week, the Wall Street Journal touched on Georgia in a story about outsider candidates.

“This is the man I’ve been looking for,” Georgia GOP congressional candidate Eugene Yu recalls saying when Mr. Trump announced his White House bid nearly 11 months ago. “Everything he says, I’ve been saying all along.”

An immigrant from South Korea, Mr. Yu supports Mr. Trump’s plan to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. He said he came to this country legally as a teenager, and on his campaign website he writes, “If you are here illegally YOU NEED TO LEAVE!”

The retired business owner from Augusta, who ran for the same congressional seat in 2014, also backs Mr. Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., saying it is a matter of common sense.

Todd Rehm, a Republican strategist from Georgia, said down-ballot contenders often try to emulate the messaging and strategy they see at the top of the ticket. But much of what has been effective for the former reality TV star likely wouldn’t translate on a smaller stage, he said. “The theatricality Trump brings really only works in the theater,” he said.

The Third Man in Senate District 19

Because all of the craziness in the Senate District 19 campaign revolves around two candidates, I didn’t mention the third candidate in the Republican Primary, Kevin Parker. Because he brought it to my attention nicely, here’s a little bit about Kevin.

Senate 19 Candidate Kevin Parker

As President of the Georgia Small Business Council, Parker spends time advocating for small business in Atlanta and says his platform has three major planks.

Georgia needs jobs and you create jobs by lowering taxes and transforming our tax system. We need to eliminate the state income tax on personal and corporations and replace it with a simple Fair Sales tax.

“The second is to sunset all the unneeded regulations that we have. Regulations strangle the life out of small business and our educators. Our teachers are the ones who train our children to fill the high paying jobs that Tax Reform will produce..

“The third leg is to transform our education system so that federal and state government block grant the education funds back to the local school districts. Each school district then serves as a laboratory to decide how we best educate our children. Our educators are the most innovative and creative people in the world. Today they are forced to teach kids how to pass numerous tests. We need to free the most creative people on earth to teach and educate our children the right way. Our children need to learn to respect authority and we need to put corporal punishment back in the school system,” Parker said.

“I have a tremendous amount of support throughout the district. I am not just a single county candidate. Small business owners support me almost hundred percent. My message is very well received, because I am truly a Conservative –Christian-Constitutional candidate,” he says.

Parker also says, if elected he will sponsor a stronger version of the Religious Freedom Bill than the one Governor Nathan Deal vetoed. (Picture courtesy of Vidalia Communications).


Jack Kingston endorses Austin Scott for Congress

Jack Kingston endorses Austin Scott

via Facebook:

Not only is Austin Scott a great conservative who is fighting to protect the unborn, defend our 2nd Amendment rights and repeal Obamacare, he cares very deeply about supporting our military and our war fighters.

Continue Reading..


Adoptable Dogs for May 12, 2016


Ichabod is a three-month old male Golden Retriever/Hound mix  who is expected to grow to 50-75 pounds and who is available for adoption from Canine Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.

Ichabod is a feisty little playful fella. He tried to act a little skittish at first but you can see from the videos and pics that he quickly changed. He loves to play and bark. Loves getting into things and having you chase him. It’s like a game to him. He will definitely cuddle with you and sleep on you. Loves all the dogs and wants to play with the cats but they are not too thrilled with that idea.

Henry Huggins CPR2

Henry Huggins is one of ten Boxer mix puppies who were given up by an owner who didn’t spay his dog and found the puppies were too much trouble to deal with. Henry is about 6 weeks old and will grow to 50-75 pounds and is available for adoption from Canine Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA. These puppies are fantastic little guys and gals, who are eager to play and love.


Betts is an 8-week old male Jack Russell Terrier/Boxer mix, expected to grow to 25-50 pounds, who is available for adoption from Canine Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.

Betts and his three (Allman) brothers play hard, they sleep hard, and they even give hugs.

You can donate online to Canine Pet Rescue to help them pay for the care and vetting of all these puppies, and their other cats and dogs.

Carla Dog Sign with Dog

Carla Brown is not only a Gwinnett County State Court Judge, she also founded Canine Pet Rescue, a German Shepherd rescue in Dacula, GA. One of her dogs, Flax, has endorsed her reelection. Flax is not available for adoption, but they have a number of beautiful dogs who are.


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

On May 12, 1740, Georgia forces under James Oglethorpe took Fort Diego in Florida from the Spanish and mocked the defenders jean shorts.

The worst American defeat of the Revolutionary War occurred at Charleston, South Carolina on May 12, 1780. American Major General Benjamin Lincoln, who surrendered that day would later accept the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia.

On May 12, 1789, the Society of St. Tammany was founded in New York and would grow to a dominant home for political bosses. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics (Signet Classics) remains one of the best historical versions of how political machines worked.

George Washington visited Georgia on May 12, 1791. From Purysburg, South Carolina, Georgia officials escorted Washington on a barge twenty-five miles down the Savannah River to Savannah, where he would stay four days.

On May 12, 1864, Confederate General Joseph Johnston pulled his Army of Tennessee and Georgia back to Resaca, Georgia. In Virginia, Major General John B. Gordon saved the life, or prevented the capture of General Robert E. Lee at Spotsylvania. After the war, Gordon would serve as Governor of Georgia and United States Senator.

On May 12, 1865, the Virginia Military Institute Corps of Cadets awoke in Staunton, where they had marched from Lexington 18 miles the previous day; after another 19 miles headed north up the Shenandoah Valley, the would make camp at Mt. Crawford, near Harrisonburg. The cadets ranged in age from fifteen to twenty-five years.

On May 12, 1970, Georgia National Guard troops were mobilized to end race riots that had broken out the night before in Augusta. On that same day, Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs, my father’s favorite player as a youth, hit his 500th home run.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Qualifying for State House District 68 will be held today from 9 AM to 5 PM at the Georgia Republican Party headquarters at 3110 Maple Drive, Suite 150, Atlanta, GA 30305, (404) 257-5559. Candidates must present a picture ID at the time of qualifying. The qualifying fee is $400.00.

Villa Rica Mayor J. Collins became the first announced candidate yesterday, when he resigned his current seat to announce for State House.

Within hours of the Georgia Secretary of State office posting a notice on its website, Collins stood at a podium in Villa Rica City Hall with his wife Kim and their two young daughters to make the announcement.

Collins was first elected in November 2003. The 39-year-old owner of J. Collins Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Villa Rica reflected on the challenges he overcame as one of the youngest mayors in the state, and said his proudest moment in office was bringing order to the Villa Rica Police Department which he described as “in shambles” when he took office.

Collins said he chose to resign as mayor before qualifying for the House seat after speaking with legal counsel. He realized that qualifying first would mean that he would vacate the mayor’s office by default. By resigning, he said, he had the opportunity to give Villa Rica a formal thank you and notice, and that his lasting legacy would not be that he vacated by default.

Collins acknowledged that he does not have any time to waste in campaigning. He said that he would like to get his message out, but he is very proud that he has a 13-year record of success, especially in the area of economic development.

You can watch the entire press conference here.

Yesterday, Newt Gingrich endorsed Donald Trump for President.

Not surprisingly, the gas tax bill that passed in 2015, which some call the biggest tax increase in Georgia history, has become an issue in the reelection campaigns of some legislators who voted for it.

[M]any Republicans lawmakers are getting pounded in their primaries because they voted to raise taxes to pay for the transportation projects.

Some say it could even help topple incumbents in districts where the transportation taxes are a campaign albatross. But those being threatened are getting major financial help from businesses that are benefiting from the road-spending spree.

Proponents of the transportation taxes, including business leaders and highway contractors, have contributed more than $350,000 to Republican and Democratic incumbents as well as political action committees and groups supporting those who voted for the measure in the final hours of the 2015 legislative session.

While the political spending has favored those who voted for the bill, opponents have also opened their wallets. Among them is the Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association, which has given at least $26,000 in the same period and opposed the $5-per-night fee.

“Look, you have to understand if you’re a smaller property and especially if you’re on the state border, if your rate is $50 a night — that’s a 10 percent increase,” said Bill Henderson, the chairman of the hotel association’s board and general manager at the Westin Atlanta Airport hotel. “Somebody, instead of staying in Columbus, Georgia, may keep going and stay in Phenix City, Alabama.”

Marietta City Council approved spending $7.7 million on a public soccer complex.

In January, the city entered a deal with Arthur Blank’s Major League Soccer club, Atlanta United Football Club, to build its headquarters and training complex along the Franklin Gateway corridor. Under the terms of the deal, the soccer club will build six lighted soccer fields and an expected 28,300-square-foot headquarters building with construction completion estimated by early 2017, in time for the club’s first game that is expected to be played at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The deal also requires the city of Marietta to build a complementary public sports complex with three lighted multipurpose soccer fields on a 1.3-acre Franklin Gateway site near the soccer club’s training complex.

Coweta County employees should see a 3 percent pay raise under the FY 2017 budget. A three percent pay raise is also in the cards for Lowndes County schools.

Legislation by State Rep. Mandi Ballinger (R-Cherokee County) goes into effect July 1 and aims to increase reporting of suspected child abuse.

The new law is known as House Bill 905 and was signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal on May 3. In addition to providing increased protection for those who report child abuse, it also has requirements of local law enforcement agencies and public health entities.

“I am thankful that Gov. Deal signed this imperative piece of legislation that will not only protect our most vulnerable citizens from harm, but also protect the brave citizens those who report child abuse,” Ballinger said.

House Bill 905 provides criminal immunity for those who report child abuse if they are in good faith possession of child pornography and immediately notifies law enforcement or mandatory reporters.

Representatives from local law enforcement agencies and other public health entities will be required, by means of the new law, to be included in established local child abuse protocol committees.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jim Barksdale is expected to attend the opening of the Gwinnett County Democratic Party headquarters on Saturday.

Jim Barksdale is expected to visit the new Gwinnett Democratic Party Headquarters at 535 Indian Trail Road, Suite I during its grand opening breakfast from 9-11 a.m. Attendees will be able to enjoy bagels, coffee and “other goodies” during the gathering.

Barksdale will face Cheryl Copeland and John F. Coyne in the May 24 Democratic Primary. The winner of that election will then go on to face the winner of the Republican Primary, where Sen. Johnny Isakson is being challenged by Derrick Grayson and Mary Kay Bacallao, in November.

Middle Georgia rejoice: Uber has launched in Macon. We’re waiting for a companion app that allows you to catch a ride in the back of a pickup truck. It’s called Guber.

Three candidates for Lowndes County Sheriff spoke to the Valdosta Daily Times about issues in their campaign.

Dougherty County’s Assistant County Administrator alleges that District 2 Commissioner John Hayes attacked him verbally and physically.

In the complaint, which outlines events McCoy said took place at a Savannah hotel on April 29, the county official said Hayes, who was in Savannah for an Association County Commissioners of Georgia conference, attacked him both verbally and physically.

“… Commissioner Hayes violated my personal space, cursed me incessantly, called me a (racial epithet), pointed his finger in my face and advised that he would fire me if I worked for him,” McCoy wrote in the complaint. “He also advised that (t)he first thing he was going to do on Monday when he returned to Albany was to meet with my supervisor and get my ‘black a— fired from my position.’

“I moved away and asked why he was angry. He continued to curse me and advised that he had ‘four votes’ and that I didn’t know who I was (expletive) with.”

As The Herald previously reported, McCoy also said Hayes made physical contact with him.

“He made several remarks and I asked him if he was threatening me,” McCoy wrote in the complaint. “He immediately sprinted toward me with his fist balled up and again violated my personal space. He cursed me, put his finger in my face and pressed it against my nose and advised me he would ‘(expletive) me up.’”

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has an opening for an alligator trapper.

Through May 16, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources will be accepting applications for a nuisance alligator agent trapper for the metro area. It is looking for a brave soul with a special appreciation for this once-endangered crocodilian, its place in our ecosystem and the skills to live capture the elusive beasts when even their presence becomes a threat.

“When we get a complaint, unless it is a bona fide emergency where the alligator needs to be removed immediately, people call in to the game management office in the county where they are located,” said DNR’s Greg Waters. “Rather than the DNR personnel spending the time and the energy to catch the alligator and relocate it, we now issue a collection permit to the alligator agent trapper. They spend their own time going out and catching the alligator. We don’t pay them any money but anything they can make for selling the alligator live to a licensed alligator farm or zoo or killing the alligator, skinning it and selling the hide or meat if it is processed in an approved facility, that’s their monetary reward for handling that alligator complaint.”

According to senior wildlife biologist I.B. Parnell, the agent trapper will be under contract with DNR to remove nuisance alligators in response to complaints in Richmond, Columbia, Burke, Glascock, Jefferson, Jenkins, McDuffie, Screven and Warren counties. The applicants should reside in one of these counties.

Waters said an alligator has to be at least 4 feet long to qualify as a nuisance.

Maybe the new trapper could apprentice under the folks who caught the gator in the Chattahoochee near Atlanta.

The state Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday ended a decade-long hunt for the big creature living in the river flowing through Atlanta. They trapped a 6-foot-8 alligator and sent the creature to South Georgia — a better place, say the experts, for Alligator mississippiensis.

They got the alligator at Cochran Shoals in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation area, said DNR biologist John Bowers.

“We didn’t hurt it,” Bowers said. “It was healthy.”

The ‘Hooch gator, he said, was missing about 8 to 10 inches of her tail. If she’d had a full complement of that appendage, the animal would have been well over seven feet long — about 8 years old.

Scientists have speculated about this creature’s origin. The best theory: someone had a pet alligator. That someone realized what a sorry pet alligators make. That someone slid the pet into the Chattahoochee. There it remained, its length — like its reputation — growing.


Official notice: qualifying for HD 68

Reopening of Qualifying for the Republican Primary for Georgia House of Representatives District 68 

Due to the withdrawal of the incumbent in State House District 68, the Georgia Republican Party will reopen qualifying for the May 24, 2016 Republican Primary for State House District 68 on Thursday, May 12, 2016, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m.. Qualifying shall take place at the Georgia Republican Party Headquarters, 3110 Maple Drive, Suite 150, Atlanta, GA 30305, (404) 257-5559. Candidates must present a picture ID at the time of qualifying. The qualifying fee is $400.00.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 11, 2016


Mayflower is a 3-year old, 33-pound Beagle mix, described as a “sweet and gentle girl,” who is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Control in Monroe, GA.


Lila is a 2-year old, 40-pound female Lab/Golden Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Control in Monroe, GA. Lila is a very happy girl and loves everyone. She is medium sized.


Vena is a 4-year old, 55-pound female Labrador Retriver mix who will be available for adoption beginning this Friday from Walton County Animal Control in Monroe, GA. She is an absolutely awesome, sweet family dog!


Nala is a 2-year old, 45-pound female Border Collie mix who will be available for adoption beginning Monday, May 15th from Walton County Animal Control in Monroe, GA. She is described as a very happy girl.