The first week of early voting for the July 22 general primary runoff election wrapped up Thursday, as the Cherokee Elections office was closed Friday for the Fourth of July holiday.
Early voting began June 30, and interim Elections Supervisor Kim Stancil said turnout has been decent, but she expects early voting to pick up as Election Day nears.
“The turnout has been light to average,” Stancil said Thursday. “This is the first week and people are getting ready for the holiday.”
The last day for early voting is July 18, four days before the general primary runoff election to decide two local races and several state and federal elections.
Another piece of revisionist history from Barry Loudermilk. Thomas Jefferson was not the youngest member of the Second Continental Congress. Loudermilk told the Marietta Daily Journal:
“Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, the document that changed the entire world. He was the youngest, newest freshman in the Second Continental Congress, and so I think it’s a good idea to bring somebody new.”
Key participants of a controversial fundraiser for Republican Senate candidate Jack Kingston have spoken with a federal investigators looking into alleged illegal contributions at the event, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.
“We have met with the U.S. attorney to provide background information,” Chris Crawford, spokesman for U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, said in a prepared statement. “The U.S. attorney has stated that the campaign is not under investigation.”
Last month, the AJC reported that the fundraiser in question raised more than $80,000 from employees linked to two companies with ties to a Palestinian national under a U.S. deportation order because of a prior felony conviction for music piracy.
Cobb residents who cast ballots in favor of a special purpose sales tax renewal this fall may get more than they voted for — a half billion dollar bus system that would primarily serve the Cobb Parkway area.
That’s because Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee, who has been advocating for the controversial transit line, has asked commissioners to add 10 projects to the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum that would help the county qualify for a $250 million federal grant needed to fund the so-called bus rapid transit.
MARIETTA — Eleventh Congressional District voters may choose to send a seasoned congressman back to Washington or take a shot in the dark by electing a neophyte, said former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr of Smyrna.
“The important thing in this congressional race,” Barr said, “is whether or not the people of Cobb County and the people of the 11th District are going to have somebody represent them in the Congress who actually has the knowledge, the skill set, the experience working on those issues in that arena which is the Congress — not the Gold Dome, the Gold Dome doesn’t teach you anything about how to get things done in the Congress — or whether they want a neophyte up there who basically is just going to go up and by all accounts, by all analyses, vote no on everything.”
Barr, who served in the U.S. House from 1995 to 2003, claims Loudermilk has already alienated the Republican leadership, an action he called strange.
“Do we want somebody in the Congress representing the 11th District, and this applies especially to Cobb County, which if I’m not back in the Congress will be the first time in decades, at least three decades, that Cobb County has not had somebody from Cobb representing them in the House of Representatives,” Barr said. “Do the people want somebody that actually has a track record and the experience on the issues that matter to the district and to Cobb County to once again move those issues forward, or do they want to take a shot in the dark and send somebody up there with no experience in that arena, and who’s already basically told people I’m just going to be on my own up there. In other words, somebody that won’t get anything done.”
Fighting a possible base closure
The stakes are high with Dobbins Air Reserve Base and Lockheed Martin at risk from a potential base closure in the near future, Barr said.
To avoid a base closure, Lockheed needs to keep as many jobs filled at the plant as possible.
That is achieved by having a strong Georgia delegation in Congress, Barr said. But U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Savannah) left his seat to run for Senate, as did U.S. Reps. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) and Paul Broun (R-Athens).
“So we’re going to have a very young delegation with no senior members on key committees up there,” Barr said. “That’s why it’s so important in my view that I be back up there. But the danger to Lockheed and to Dobbins is not just the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, which could crop up next year or the year after,” he said.
The threat is also from the administration’s “constant nibbling away” at the defense budget.
“The danger to the F-35 program that’s always there, or to the continuation of the C-130 program and the next model of C-130 and some of the renovation work that Lockheed is involved in. There are constant threats to that, and we need to make sure that we always remain ahead of the power curve rather than behind it there,” he said.
Sue Everhart of east Cobb, former chairwoman of the Georgia Republican Party, said one of the reasons she’s endorsed Barr is because he understands the importance of Lockheed to Cobb’s economy.
“If Lockheed goes and we were to lose the contracts and they pulled up and moved to California, it would take, I believe, Cobb County 30 years to recover, even with the business we have, because the vast majority of blue collar workers work at Lockheed in Cobb County and they make good money,” Everhart said.
The Marietta Daily Journal – Councilman Church a no show City Council silent on former Kennesaw mayor s child molestation charges
KENNESAW — Council members quietly skipped over an agenda item listed for Councilman Leonard Church Wednesday evening, in what was the council’s first meeting since Church was charged with child molestation last week.
The four remaining council members and Mayor Mark Mathews were mum on their fellow councilman’s absence during the meeting, where they addressed such topics as city motorcycle surplusing.
“This is an ongoing police investigation, so I would refer your questions to Cobb police,” said Councilman Tim Killingsworth when asked about Church’s future.
Councilman Jim Sebastian took a similar tone, referring questions instead to the city’s attorney.
Church, a former Kennesaw mayor, was arrested at 2:50 a.m. Friday and released from the county jail on bond Saturday morning.
Senate District 9 endorsements and debates
Mike Beaudreau and P.K. Martin have dueling endorsements in recent days, in their race for the State Senate District 9 GOP primary runoff.
Beaudreau announced an endorsement by Georgia Carry, an influential organization in the 2nd Amendment rights.
“I am deeply honored to be endorsed by Georgia Carry,” the former county commissioner said. “As the new state senator from District 9, I will preserve all of our Second Amendment rights and I will proudly fight for the freedoms given to us by the Constitution of this great country.”
Martin, a former Lawrenceville councilman, got the backing of state Sen. Renee Unterman, who was one of the biggest allies of Don Balfour, the incumbent the two beat out in May’s primary.
“I am endorsing P.K. Martin because we need him in the State Senate, Unterman said. “He is a proven conservative we can trust to join us in passing conservative reforms. More importantly, we need someone in the Senate who has the ability to work with others to get things done. P.K. Martin is the proven choice. I encourage the people of District 9 to support him in the runoff.”
Mike Collins now has two former presidential candidates backing him in his race for U.S. House District 10.
Just weeks after Newt Gingrich leant his support, Collins got the backing of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum in his bid for the GOP nomination, which will be decided in a July 22 runoff.
“Mike Collins is a rock-solid conservative who will be guided by the U.S. Constitution in Congress,” said Santorum. “Most importantly, Mike has laid out a bold plan of conservative policies that will push back overbearing federal regulations, revitalize the entrepreneurial spirit and provide more opportunities for blue collar Americans. We need more conservative businessmen like Mike Collins in Congress.”
A Veterans Affairs whistleblower from Atlanta has been invited to testify before Congress in a hearing next Tuesday that will examine the growing number of whistleblower complaints across the Veterans Health Administration and a pattern of retaliation against those who speak out.
Scott Davis, a program specialist at the VA’s national Health Eligibility Center (HEC) in DeKalb County, confirmed for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Congressman Jeff Miller, R-Florida, invited him to testify next Tuesday at the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, which Miller chairs.
Davis drew the attention of the committee following Sunday’s article in the AJC that detailed his effort as a whistleblower at the HEC, where he says mismanagement and a focus on bonuses for top leaders hurt veterans programs. Davis said he was retaliated against when he started speaking out about the problems in January, which included his allegation that a $5 million federal contract was mismanaged by HEC.
He said he plans to tell the committee about these problems and the retaliation faced by those who speak out.
“It seems surreal because you shout for so long with no one listening and now to be able to go be able go before Congress I think is an amazing victory for the fight for quality veteran healthcare,” said Davis. Davis, whose story is gaining national attention, is also scheduled to be interviewed on Fox News at 4 p.m. today with Neil Cavuto.
Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews said the bulk of the $30.6 million his city would receive under a renewed sales tax program would go toward improving conditions along busy or dangerous streets.
Chief among the mayor’s concerns is the Sardis Street overpass, a juncture at which two roads and a railroad converge.
“For the city, No. 1 (priority) is probably going to be our Sardis Street overpass, which is over the railroad, and which will help the very dangerous intersection at Cherokee and Main,” Mathews said.
The proposed project would “create a new overpass and new access to Main Street, without being bogged down by the train and the very unsafe crossing.”
While the city has set aside $6 million in proposed SPLOST funds to complete the proposal, Mathews said CSX, the railroad company operating on the tracks, would coordinate with the city on the construction of the bridge.
CSX would pick up some of the project’s tab because such an effort would give the company “a pretty substantial stretch of uninterrupted track,” Mathews said.
The mayor said his next priority would be to tackle the county’s storm water problems. Kennesaw would pay $3 million to upgrade its citywide storm water infrastructure, which includes addressing drainage problems.