The blog.


Rep. Rick Allen Statement on King v. Burwell Ruling

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S.Congressman Rick Allen (R-Ga.-12) issued the following statement on the Supreme Court ruling in King v. Burwell and renewed his call to repeal and replace ObamaCare with patient-centered reforms:

“While the Supreme Court’s ruling upholds the law’s subsidies, it does not affirm ObamaCare as the right health care solution for the American people. The fact remains that ObamaCare has made health care more expensive and continues to hurt families, individuals and businesses in Georgia and across the country. Over the last five years, millions of patients have seen their premiums increase and have lost the plans and doctors they were promised they could keep. Small businesses have been forced to cut back on hiring, while hardworking employees have seen their hours and paychecks cut.Continue Reading..


Senator David Perdue: Obamacare Still A Disastrous Law That Must Be Repealed

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator David Perdue (R-GA) today released the following statement about the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare:

“Today’s ruling doesn’t change the fact that Obamacare is a disaster and should be entirely repealed. Right now, many Georgians are seeing their premiums skyrocket by double-digits, their hours cut back because of the employer mandate, and less access to the doctors of their choice because of the empty promises made by President Obama. These aren’t theoretical problems discussed in a courtroom. They are real-world economic problems caused by Obamacare. I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a patient-centered alternative.”


Rep. Rob Woodall Statement On SCOTUS Decision to Uphold Obamacare Subsidies

Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Representative Rob Woodall (GA 07) issued the following statement in reaction to the Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell ruling.

Continue Reading..


Rep. Buddy Carter criticizes King v. Burwell decision

Pledges to Redouble Efforts to Repeal Obamacare

Washington, D.C. – In a 6-3 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court today upheld controversial subsidies offered by the Obama Administration’s Internal Revenue Service to individuals purchasing insurance on federally-maintained health care exchanges.

Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (GA-01), the only pharmacist in Congress, criticized the ruling and pledged to redouble his efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“The only thing worse for health care in America than Obamacare has been its implementation which clearly ignores the rule of law,” said Carter. “While this ruling is a deep disappointment to those who, like me, have seen the devastating impact of this train wreck of a law first hand, we cannot lose hope that we will prevail in repealing and replacing it with real reforms.”

To that end, Carter joined the Republican Study Committee’s Health Care Task Force earlier this year in introducing H.R. 2653, the American Health Care Reform Act, to fully repeal Obamacare and create patient-centered reforms while bringing the free market back into our health care system.

Among the reforms in the proposal are provisions that would:

  • provide the same tax benefits to those purchasing health care coverage on the individual market as those with employer-sponsored coverage;
  • expand federal support for high-risk pools and expand portability to increase insurance access for those with pre-existing conditions;
  • allow for the purchase of health insurance across state lines; and
  • give small businesses the ability to pool together to negotiate better rates.

“With these commonsense, market-oriented reforms, we can empower all Americans to have access to quality health care coverage without expanding the role of government in our lives,” Carter said. “In contrast, Obamacare empowers government bureaucrats to drive up cost, take away choice, and eliminate innovation in the system.”


Attorney General Olens: Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell Ruling a Loss for the Rule of Law

Attorney General Sam Olens today released the following statement on the Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling in King v. Burwell:

“I am deeply disappointed by today’s Supreme Court ruling in the King v. Burwell case. By permitting President Obama to ignore and rewrite important provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court has threatened our constitutional structure, which has always been understood to give Congress—and only Congress—the power to enact and amend the laws of our nation. Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a loss for everyone who cares about the Constitution and the rule of law.

“For my part, I’ll continue to fight for our Constitution, the rule of law, and for the Georgians hurt by President Obama’s failed domestic policies.”


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 25, 2015

On June 25, 1788, the Commonwealth of Virginia became the tenth states to vote for ratification of the United States Constitution by a vote of 89 to 79. A committee was appointed to be chaired by George Wythe to draft a proposed Bill of Rights.

On June 25, 1868, the United States Congress provisionally readmitted Georgia to the Union following the Civil War with the requirements that they ratify the Fourteenth Amendment and never deprive any citizens of voting rights.

On June 25, 1876, Indians under the leadership of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse defeated the U.S. Army 7th Cavalry under Lt. Colonel George Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn.

On June 25, 1888, the Republican National Convention nominated Benjamin Harrison for President of the United States; Harrison’s grandfather was WIlliam Henry Harrison, ninth President of the United States.

On June 25, 1990, the United States Supreme Court released its opinion in Georgia v. South Carolina, a boundary dispute. From Wikipedia:

A… 1922 Supreme Court decision, also called Georgia v. South Carolina, 257 U. S. 516, also held that all islands in the river belong to Georgia, but that the border should be in the middle of the river between the two shores, with the border half way between any island and the South Carolina shore.

Since the 1922 case, a number of new islands were created in the river between the city of Savannah and the ocean, due to the deposit of dredging spoilage or the natural deposit of sediments. In some cases, the new islands were on the South Carolina side of the previously drawn boundary, and Georgia claimed that once a new island emerged, the border should be moved to the midpoint between the new island and the South Carolina shore of the river. In some cases, the state of South Carolina had been collecting property tax from the land owners and policing the land in question for a number of years.

When an island causes the border to leave the middle of the river, it raises the question as to how the border line should return to the middle of the river at each end of the island. South Carolina advocated a right angle bend at each tip of the island, while Georgia advocated a “triequidistant” method which kept the border an equal distance between the two shores and the tip of the island (resulting in a smooth curve.

Georgia Politics

Georgia has fallen to fifth place in the CNBC ranking of the top states for business. We fell in the Workforce, Infrastructure, and Economy categories and continue to be weak in Quality of Life.

After a recount, Sheri Gilligan still came up short in the race for House District 24, and a runoff will be held July 14th between her and David Van Sant, who came in second.

Carroll County will put a SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) on the ballot in November.

Leonard Church 628

I received this postcard in my mailbox yesterday despite living nowhere near Kennesaw. It was hand-addressed and stamped, and I suspect it means some larger number of these are being mailed to actual residents in Kennesaw. I hit the Google to see if it’s true, and it appears that Leonard Church was indicted in January for .Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for June 25, 2015


Alejandro is a 16-pound, three-year old adult male Pomeranian & Pekingese Mix who is available for adoption from Hickory Level Hound Rescue in Carrollton, GA.

So far in his foster home, Alejandro has been happy but somewhat timid. He likes to explore and does so with a wagging tail, however he seems to be very alert. He will likely settle in some with time, so we will update once that happens. He is fine with other dogs his size or smaller, but has not spent any time with cats or been tested with human children yet.


Clara is a baby Hound and Terrier mix girl, about fourteen weeks old, who is available for adoption from Hickory Level Hound Rescue in Carrollton, GA.

Clara went straight to a foster home after her vet care was completed and they report that she is an absolute cuddle bug!! She does however, love to play. She has a favorite soft toy that she will fetch over and over. She is intelligent and not overly energetic or destructive at this point. Her attention span is short right now, but that should change as she matures.

She is doing ok with crate training and has just begun leash walking. It is slow going, but that is mostly due to her age.

Both hounds and terrier, especially those of bully descent are extremely intelligent BUT both are also VERY stubborn!! An experienced adopter would be fantastic!!

Her foster group believes that she will be a medium sized dog when fully grown….probably between 30 and 55 pounds. Her ideal home would have a fenced in yard.


Nell is a 4-year old female Redbone Coonhound who is receiving treatment for a mild heartworm case and is available for adoption from Southeast Bloodhound Rescue in Carrollton, GA.


Shadow is an adult male Bloodhound mix who is available for adoption from Southeast Bloodhound Rescue in Carrollton, GA. He is shown here in one of two natural habitats that hound dogs are known to inhabit. The other natural habitat of the hound dog is the couch.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for June 24, 2015

All dogs are urgent at the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter due to overcrowding, high continuing intake, and the usual summer population explosion. If you’ve been considering adopting or fostering, this is a great time to save a life.

Urgent Dogs Gwinnett

Champ and Justin

Gwinnett 45423

ID number 45423 at the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter is a sweet 3-month old Border Collie mix female puppy.

Gwinnett 45446

ID number 45446 at the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter is a 3-year old Terrier mix female.


Gwinnett County Animal Shelter #45434 is a 5-year old male Pomeranian.


Gwinnett County Commissioners amended a new dog-tethering ordinance that prohibits tethering a dog outside unless the owner is also outside and within sight of the tethered dog.

Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash said it was the advocates’ “polite persistence” that won her over to their side.

“We are so grateful you brought the issue back up,” said one resident, Jennifer Summers. “I certainly applaud you.”

Commissioners also tabled a proposal to ease restrictions on chickens in residential areas.

The Board of Commissioners had been expected to make a decision on revising the county’s livestock ordinance this week, after the Planning Commission recommended its approval with conditions. After a half-hour of debate between residents, however, Commissioner Tommy Hunter asked his colleagues to table the matter so it could be vetted more thoroughly.

Hunter said there were “valid concerns” raised on both sides of the debate. He initially sought to have it postponed until July 7, but later changed the date to July 21 because of a scheduling conflict Commissioner Jace Brooks had with the earlier date.

“That gives us (four) weeks to figure out where we want to go from there,” Hunter said.

The livestock ordinance was one of two law changes commissioners dealt with on Tuesday. They also passed changes to the county’s beekeeping law that makes it easier to engage in backyard beekeeping.

Andor, a 13-year old German Shepherd who served with the Lawrenceville Police Department beginning in 2005 was laid to rest.

On Andor’s day, he had dozens of police officers from around Gwinnett and Barrow counties and other officials, including Lawrenceville Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson, turn out to send him off.

And he had a grassy plot among other dogs in a small, gated section of the cemetery off Harbins Road.

And he had a funeral flag, like a soldier.

Two officers, in full dress uniforms, folded it into a triangle. Corso, down on one knee, his head bowed, presented it to the Humphreys, like a soldier’s family.

Funding for a new DeKalb County Animal Shelter is a heated topic. From the Brookhaven Post,

The hot topic of the night was the building of a new DeKalb County Animal Shelter. Back in December, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners (BOC) approved an RFP for Architectural and Engineering Design Consulting Services for a new DeKalb Animal Shelter, for an amount not to exceed $800,000. The BOC chose Jackson & Ryan Architects out of Houston, Texas as the Architectural and Design firm.

The proposed new facility will be approximately 40,000 square feet contained on 5.3 acres of land.

Attendees expressed their concerns to ICEO May that the facility will be obsolete from day one. “The animal shelter will not be large enough and will only add to the numbers of animals that are euthanized each year,” one woman told May. “Why would the County build something that it will only have to expand in the near future?”

Attendees stressed the practices and capacity should be the driver in designing this facility – not the budget. “We are never going to get this chance again. We are not asking for more than was originally allocated. It just needs to be designed to handle the capacity in the best humane fashion.”

DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester (R-Dunwoody) released a statement on funding for the shelter.

I support DeKalb County building a new animal shelter which accommodates the number of dogs for whom we need to provide shelter. For this to occur, it is essential we design a shelter which can safely house approximately 340 – 400 dogs.

I have and will continue to advocate for an appropriately sized facility that is congruent with my goals of fiscal responsibility and humane treatment of animals. We must also have a shelter with adequate capacity to meet our public health responsibilities.

In the County Operations and Public Safety (COPS) Committee, the Commissioners and Interim CEO instructed the design team to prepare a facility which can accommodate 340 – 400 dogs. As the design team continues to draft the animal shelter design, the COPS Committee will receive updates. After the design is finalized, the Board of Commissioners (BOC) will vote on funding the shelter as designed.

I support investment in capital assets rather than increasing the scope and size of county government through increases in employment liabilities. Investing in an appropriate animal shelter yields a better return on investment than allocating your tax dollars to bloated government functions.

I have heard from many taxpayers across our district. Together, we will work for a humane animal shelter which is appropriate in design to serve our needs, care for the animals, and respect our tax dollars.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 24, 2015

On June 24, 1497, John Cabot first sighted North America, claiming it for the British Crown.

On June 24, 1795, the United States Senate voted to ratify Jay’s Treaty between the UK and United States. The terms of the treaty required an appropriation from the U.S. House of Representatives to implement it, and Congressional opponents tried to defeat the appropriation, which was approved by a 51-48 margin on April 30, 1796. Click here for more background on the treaty and controversy.

On June 24, 1853, President Franklin Pierce signed the Gadsden Purchase, acquiring what it now southern Arizona and New Mexico from Mexico.

General Robert E. Lee led the Army of Northern Virginia across the Potomac River toward Pennsylvania on June 24, 1863.

John R. Lynch was the first African-American elected Chairman of the Republican National Convention on June 24, 1884; Lynch was nominated by Theodore Roosevelt.

Woodrow Wilson married Ellen Louise Axson of Rome, Georgia in Savannah on June 24, 1885.

On June 24, 1948, the Soviet Union blockaded West Berlin from all road, rail, and barge traffic.

Following World War II, Germany was divided into occupation zones. The United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and, eventually, France, were given specific zones to occupy in which they were to accept the surrender of Nazi forces and restore order. The Soviet Union occupied most of eastern Germany, while the other Allied nations occupied western Germany. The German capital of Berlin was similarly divided into four zones of occupation.

The United States response came just two days after the Soviets began their blockade. A massive airlift of supplies into West Berlin was undertaken in what was to become one of the greatest logistical efforts in history. For the Soviets, the escapade quickly became a diplomatic embarrassment. Russia looked like an international bully that was trying to starve men, women, and children into submission. And the successful American airlift merely served to accentuate the technological superiority of the United States over the Soviet Union. On May 12, 1949, the Soviets officially ended the blockade.

General Lucius D. Clay of Marietta, Georgia was military Governor of occupied Germany at that time.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show was released in West Germany on June 24, 1977. It’s astounding.

Rickey Henderson made his major league debut with the Oakland A’s on June 24, 1979, stealing his first base.

On June 24, 1982, the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution was defeated, having garnered the ratification of thirty-five states, three shy of the requisite Constitutional Majority.

Hopes for ratification before the deadline next Wednesday were dashed this week when the amendment was rejected by the Illinois House and the Florida Senate, two states in which supporters felt they had a fighting chance.

Had Illinois and Florida ratified the amendment, there was at least some chance that either Oklahoma or North Carolina would have provided the final needed vote.

Prospects were far slimmer in the other nonratifying states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.

Phyllis Schlafly, a leader of a group called Stop-ERA, hailed the defeat of the amendment tonight, saying: ”They realized E.R.A. is dead and I think that that is an admission they have lost the battle. My feeling is that E.R.A. will take its place with the prohibition and the child labor amendments as ones which did not have enough support of the American people to be in the Constitution.”

Wintersville now has it’s own double-barreled cannon, a replica of the original that stands outside the Athens City Hall.

Georgia Politics

Georgia moved to dismiss the federal lawsuit by Florida over water flows to the Apalachicola basin, but court rejected the motion. Last month, the Athens Banner-Herald wrote that water use in Georgia declined between 1980 and 2010.

Congressman Barry Loudermilk (R-11) passed his first legislation since taking office.

Loudermilk, a Republican from Cassville, is the lead sponsor of the DHS Paid Administrative Leave Act, which would aim to keep better track of Department of Homeland Security employees who are put on paid leave while they are investigated for misconduct. It would order DHS to come up with a departmentwide policy on administrative leave and report to Congress all employees on leave longer than six months.

The inspiration for the legislation was a 2014 Government Accountability Office report on paid leave across the federal government, showing that DHS employees took 1.5 million days of paid leave from 2011 to 2013. Loudermilk serves on the Homeland Security Committee.

Early Wednesday evening, the House approved the bill in a unanimous voice vote.

The Suwanee City Council adopted an FY2016 budget 9.2% higher than the previous year, that assumes the same millage rate, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has apparently noticed that residential property taxes are going up in DeKalb County.

In DeKalb, which was hit hard by foreclosures a few years ago, residents are now experiencing some of the steepest increases in home values. The hot real estate market has given the county more information about how much properties are worth, Hicks said. The estimated worth of some houses has more than doubled since last year.

Residential real property assessments are up 17 percent in DeKalb, 11 percent in Clayton, 10 percent in Fulton, 7 percent in Cobb and 6 percent in Gwinnett, according to preliminary figures.

Appraisers estimate individual home values based on nearby sales combined with computer estimates that factor for location, square footage, condition and other considerations.

“Whether your home is losing value or gaining value, our job is to place those assessments in line with whatever the market is doing,” he said.

Some homeowners say the enormous jump in property assessments is unreasonable, and they want the county to approve a significant tax cut to reduce the impact on their personal finances.

“The numbers they’ve come up with aren’t understandable, realistic or fair,” said Nancy McCall, whose rental property near Stone Mountain is valued 56 percent higher than last year, costing her a projected $369 more than she paid last year.

The Lowndes County Commission passed a balanced $100+ million budget that does not include a millage rate increase.

Forsyth County Schools have proposed a property tax increase for the first time since 2011, according to the Forsyth News.

The board tentatively has agreed to a rate of 17.3 mills, which would amount to an increase in property taxes of 11.7 percent, according to the school system’s chief financial officer, Dan Jones.

Three public hearings must be held before the board makes a final vote in July. It would be the first school tax increase since 2011.

The tentative plan would result in an increase of 1.812 mills. Without it, the millage rate would be no higher than 15.488 mills.


In Cherokee County, a $530 million school board budget would be based on keeping the same 19.45 mill property tax rate as last year, while rising property values produce a 6 percent revenue bump over last year, according to the Cherokee Ledger News.

“This must be tempered by the fact that expected property tax collections for 2015-16 will be only slightly higher than they were in 2006, while we are faced with the reality of educating nearly 6,000 additional students who have enrolled since then,” [Superintendent Dr. Frank Petruzielo] explained.

When it comes to state funding for the 2015-16 Fiscal Year, Petruzielo said the local district would receive another $6.5 million that had been withheld in previous years because of budget cuts.

“The positive news reflected in state revenue increases is tempered by the fact that CCSD will still not receive $11.1 million in earned … funding due to unilateral state funding reductions that will continue for the 2015-16 school year,” Petruzielo explained. “This equates to approximately 180 teachers that could have been employed to work in our classrooms next year.”

Likewise, the Cherokee County Commission will keep the same millage rate of 5.728 mills while seeing higher property values.

5 percent raises across the board for next year for county employees, County Manager Jerry Cooper said at the June 16 Board of Commissioner’s work session.

This will increase the property tax levy by 4.98 percent over the rollback million rate, which is 5.457.

The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners, after hearing Cooper’s revised report on the estimated county tax digest and project expenses, determined the millage rates recommended for general operations, the parks bond and the fire fund should stay the same for 2015. By Cooper’s revised calculations, those tax rates will provide a 5 percent cost-of-living adjustments. The BOC directed Cooper to advertise an operations rate of 5.728, a parks bond rate of 7.44 mills and a fire services fund millage rate of 3.356.

County residents can express their viewpoints on the proposed tax rate at two public hearings, which will be held at each of the regularly scheduled commission meetings July 7 and July 21. Commissioners meet the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in Cherokee Hall at the County Administration Building at 1130 Bluffs Parkway in Canton. Commissioners will set the final 2015 millage rate at a special called meeting.

The Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority is requesting $5 million from the proceeds of SPLOST collections toward an new $110 million arena. Meanwhile, the combined City-County government marks the 20th anniversary of the 1995 vote to consolidate local governments.

Floyd County District Attorney Leigh Patterson has some advice for folks appearing in court, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

“If you come in dressed like a hoochie, and you are accused of being a hoochie, you’ve just fulfilled that role,” Patterson said. “You want to have some respect for the court and for yourself.”

Patterson admits that while some crimes are so terrible, it won’t matter what someone wears, it does always help to look presentable.

“You don’t have to dress in something expensive, but be clean and neat and don’t wear something vulgar,” she said.

“I’ve seen a guy come into my office wearing a cropped shirt that said ‘Booty Hunter’ on it,” she said. “He also seemed as if he hadn’t bathed in 10 days. You can’t go to court like that.”

Joe Smith, Rome city clerk, said that bailiffs sometimes have to ask people to put something on or change.

“I’ve heard of a judge telling someone to go home and he reschedules their court date,” Smith said. “More often than not, it is an issue of not wearing enough clothing. Summer is the time it happens the most.”

Macon-Bibb County Commissioners clearly see money intended to fight blight as a pie, to be divided evenly among district, but Mayor Robert Reichert hopes they’ll change that plan, according to the Macon Telegraph.

The commission’s blight committee has approved dividing the money into nine equal $1 million portions to attack blight in each commission district.

That’s a change from a recommendation made by Macon-Bibb’s Blight Task Force, which recommended using $8 million for three specific blight projects that had not been determined, with the remaining $1 million to be split among the nine districts.

“In my opinion, splitting this money may not be the most effective use of it,” Reichert told commissioners.

Reichert said he thinks the money would be more effectively leveraged by partnering with other local agencies and attacking blight in specific parts of town. Under that scenario, he said, the community would see a greater impact because the improved areas could be used for economic development.

“It’s not enough to demolish some structures,” Reichert said. “There has to be adaptive re-use as well.”

But some commissioners, including Bert Bivins and Virgil Watkins, said Tuesday that commissioners could assess the biggest needs within their districts and come up with a plan to remove blighted properties.

The Forsyth County Republican Party cancelled plans for a runoff debate in House District 24 after only one candidate showed interest.

Jason Mock, chairman of the Forsyth County Republican Party, said Tuesday he and other officials called off the event after just one candidate attended a meeting Saturday.

“We looked at it from a couple standpoints,” Mock said. “At the last debate, on June 6, I made an announcement that stated that we’d like to invite the top two candidates to the monthly GOP meeting on June 20 to talk about why they’re running.

“That was last Saturday and we only had one candidate appear at that meeting.”

Mock said that it wasn’t an easy decision to scrap the debate, but that doing so in advance was preferable.

“I didn’t want the candidates, the party or the community to come to a debate with potentially only one candidate or no candidates,” he said.

The Journal of the American Medical Association has published a study showing little evidence exists for the efficacy of medical marijuana.

The strongest evidence is for chronic pain and for muscle stiffness in multiple sclerosis, according to the review, which evaluated 79 studies involving more than 6,000 patients. Evidence was weak for many other conditions, including anxiety, sleep disorders, and Tourette’s syndrome and the authors recommend more research.

The analysis is among several medical marijuana articles published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. They include a small study suggesting that many brand labels for edible marijuana products list inaccurate amounts of active ingredients. More than half of brands tested had much lower amounts than labeled, meaning users might get no effect.

The researchers pooled results from studies that tested marijuana against placebos, usual care or no treatment. That’s the most rigorous kind of research but many studies found no conclusive evidence of any benefit. Side effects were common and included dizziness, dry mouth and sleepiness. A less extensive research review in the journal found similar results.

It’s possible medical marijuana could have widespread benefits, but strong evidence from high-quality studies is lacking, authors of both articles say.

“It’s not a wonder drug but it certainly has some potential,” said Dr. Robert Wolff, a co-author and researcher with Kleijnen Systematic Reviews Ltd., a research company in York, England.

[An] editorial by two Yale University psychiatrists suggests enthusiasm for medical marijuana has outpaced rigorous research and says widespread use should wait for better evidence. Federal and state governments should support and encourage such research, the editorial says.

Surprisingly, increased consumption of Ben & Jerry’s was not listed as a common side effect.

Gay marriage may have more support across the nation, but rural areas appear less likely to support it, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

In Schley County, near Americus, about 91 percent of voters endorsed a ban in the state Constitution that is still in effect today.

David Theiss, who chairs the county’s Republican Party, doubts that many have altered their opinion.

“I haven’t seen God change the Bible yet,” said Theiss, who is also mayor of Ellaville, “and he’s the one who created marriage between Adam and Eve.”

While the general public has warmed to gay marriage — a Pew Research Center survey found 57 percent of Americans favor it, up from 42 percent five years ago — religious Americans remain opposed.

That isn’t likely to change, regardless of how the high court rules this month, said Charles S. Bullock III, a political science professor at the University of Georgia.

“If you believe the Bible tells you it’s a sin, the fact that a court comes along and says it isn’t a sin is not going to change your mind,” Bullock said. “In your hierarchy, the Bible is going to come ahead of everything else.”

That’s certainly the case in Echols County, where about 91 percent of voters approved the ban in 2004.

Rep. John Corbett, R-Lake Park, said scripture alone is what shapes public sentiment there.

“If that vote was taken again today, I think you would get the same results,” he said.

Bullock said that’s likely true in all of the counties where voters passed the ban in convincing fashion — and there were many.

Statewide, 76 percent of voters supported the Constitutional amendment. The measure passed with more than 90 percent approval in two-dozen rural counties.

The most enthusiastic audience came in Pierce County, where the ban passed with nearly 94 percent of the vote.

Nearly half of the counties where the amendment found the most success form a cluster near Pierce County, in the southeast corner of the state.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for June 23, 2015


Bayou is a 7-year old, 90-pound female Labrador Retriever and Bloodhound mix who will be giving birth to a litter of puppies soon.

She presents herself as a sweetly shy, unless food is involved. With food, she becomes animated and super happy! Her sad houndy, droopy face lights up. And boy does she have a nose for food!

Bayou is a beautiful girl. She’ll make a wonderful family dog. Step one of her new life journey is to have and wean healthy babies. Next, it will be Bayou’s turn to find her very own family, where she will be their “baby”. We’ll keep you posted on this family’s progress.

Bayou is available for adoption from Atlanta Dog Squad in Roswell, GA. If you’re not prepared to help a new Mama but would like a dog like this, you could talk to her rescue group about adopting her once the puppies are weaned.


Sarah is an adult female Labrador Retriever and Terrier mix. Sarah is a sweet and active girl. She loves to run and play. As you can also see she is quite beautiful. She can chase a ball but please don’t expect her to bring it back! Sara gets along well with other dogs but prefers a home without cats. Sarah desperately needs a foster or permanent home to avoid an uncertain fate. If you are interested in more information or meeting Sarah, please call David Butler at 404-597-7948. Sarah is available for adoption from Second Chance Animal Rescue & Adoptions in Roswell, GA.


Zachary is an adult male Labrador Retriever and Terrier mix described as the sweetest boy you could ever find. He loves attention and gets along with everyone! His favorite activity is prancing around with a toy in his mouth seeking your attention. After being in flux for several years he has found a loving foster home but desperately needs a permanent home. If you are looking for a sweet, low maintenance loving boy Zach is the dog for you! Please call David Butler @404-597-7948. Zachary is available for adoption from Second Chance Animal Rescue & Adoptions in Roswell, GA.

Turkey Dogs 2 Adopt Golden Atlanta

After bringing in 36 Golden Retrievers who had been abandoned in Turkey, Adopt A Golden Atlanta has sponsored another “Freedom Flight” to bring an additional 15 Golden Retrievers from Turkey to Atlanta. Please consider making an online donation to support Adopt A Golden Atlanta and the Turkey Dogs.

Click here to donate online. Or you can donate via Go Fund Me and see some of the Turkey Dogs.

Click here to meet the Turkey Dogs and the other beautiful Golden Retrievers adoptable via Adopt A Golden Atlanta.