Isakson on Sixth Anniversary of Keystone XL Pipeline
Calls Obama administration failure to approve pipeline ‘professional malpractice’
U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., called on Congress and the president to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project ahead of the sixth anniversary of TransCanada’s application to build the Keystone XL pipeline. TransCanada first applied for a Presidential Permit on September 19, 2008.
Isakson joined his Senate colleagues on the floor of the Senate in a colloquy led by Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., to highlight the importance of the project to secure America’s energy future and create tens of thousands of badly needed jobs for Americans.
“I’m here because I have a lot of experience in my lifetime dealing with national security issues and economic issues, and our failure to approve the Keystone Pipeline very simply is professional malpractice,” said Isakson (more…)
Isakson Legislation Allows Private Sector to Take the Lead in Uplifting Developing Nations
Establishes a liaison function between the private sector and U.S. development agencies to boost economic growth
U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., has introduced the Economic Growth and Development Act to make it easier for the private sector to take the lead in boosting economic development, fighting disease and alleviating poverty in developing nations around the globe while working as a true partner with U.S. government agencies.
“The private sector should be encouraged to do what they do best: help grow the economy of these developing nations,” said Isakson. “Navigating complicated government bureaucracy impedes development. This legislation will provide business owners with a seat at the table as the United States considers its development strategy and will allow them to understand the tools available to them as they expand their businesses by investing overseas. I have seen the power of private investment firsthand and believe that sustained economic growth through trade and private investment is the only thing that will permanently lift developing countries out of poverty.”(more…)
Georgia Watch Recognizes Sen. Josh McKoon as a 2014 Consumer Champion
Georgia Watch named Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) as a 2014 Consumer Champion. He is one of four state legislators who received awards based on their work to protect and benefit consumers in Georgia.
Sen. McKoon (R-Columbus) was recognized with the “Champion for Access to Civil Justice” award for coming out strongly against a Senate bill that would have taken away Georgian’s constitutional right to trial by jury for medical malpractice.
“I’m honored to have received this award from Georgia Watch,” said Sen. McKoon. “Access to the legal system and proper representation is essential in a society based on the rule of law.” (more…)
There has been much attention recently about the threat of the Islamic State terrorist group and conflict in Syria and Iraq. This is a very real threat and one we must take seriously. Yet as a response, the President requested that Congress approve a proposal to train and equip “moderate” Syrian rebels. Congress rubber stamped this proposal, and in doing so, gave tacit support for the Administration’s bewildering Middle East policies. I did not support the amendment, as I feel we must carefully reevaluate our approach to the Middle East, and there is a significant risk of mission creep with the latest Administration strategy.
Just last year, Secretary Kerry testified that we should intervene against the Assad regime, despite it clearly not being a threat to America nor of vital national security interest. As it turns out, such strikes may have actually made the threat of ISIL worse than it is now. When he testified before the House Armed Services Committee in September 2013, I asked him whether the President supported the Powell Doctrine as a guide for deciding when to take our nation to war. Secretary Kerry could not provide a clear answer, but promised to deliver to me a list of the principles of war and the foreign policy doctrine of the Administration within twenty four hours. A year later, he has failed to do so, and the Administration’s strategy is so confusing that even the top administration officials cannot identify it.
For example, this past Thursday, Defense Secretary Hagel testified that “we are at war and all options are on the table.” The statement was followed by a release from the White House quoting the President that “as your Commander in Chief, I will not commit you and the rest of our Armed Forces, to fighting another ground war in Iraq”. (more…)
Georgia Democratic Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn wants to be a soldier’s candidate, often appearing at military bases and vowing to fight the Obama administration on proposed defense spending cuts.
With no personal military experience, the ninth-generation Georgian no doubt rides the coattails of her father, former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn – a Democrat who served as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and in the U.S. Coast Guard.
But the elder Nunn admits the military experience that launched his career in politics often weaves its way into the butt of a joke.
Before the award presentation, Coast Guard Vice Adm. Charles D. Michel recounted the most brutal battle of Nunn’s military career: an attack by mosquitoes while on active duty in Cape May, New Jersey.
“As he often says, ‘It was the only blood I shed for the nation,’” Michel said.
“I was a non-heroic, but very proud, enlisted man in the U.S. Coast Guard,” Nunn added sheepishly. “The only downside after six months in New Jersey: My friends all say I have a Yankee accent.”
While he may not be a war hero, Nunn is actively engaged in saving his daughter’s campaign, hoping to use his 24-year Senate tenure to cement her status as heir.
Paper absentee ballots are now available in advance of the Nov. 4 general election.
The voter registration deadline for the election is Oct. 6, and in-person early voting begins Oct. 13.
If you have a valid Georgia driver’s license or state ID card, you can register to vote online at sos.ga.gov. There is also the GA Votes App, a free smart phone app.
You can also get a paper registration form at the Coweta Voter Registration Office, located at 22 East Broad St., Newnan, and at local libraries. You can also fill out your form online if you don’t have a valid Georgia ID.
Coweta Voter Registrar Joan Hamilton said that her office hasn’t received any more questionable registration forms submitted by The New Georgia Project, which is currently being investigated by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office for voter registration fraud. She said she has received a few forms this week from the group, but all were acceptable and were processed.
Hamilton said last week that her office received about 11 forms from the group in late August that were clearly fraudulent. Some had nonexistent cities listed as addressees, and other forms had different names but the same addresses and birth dates. All the other forms from the group were processed.
The New Georgia Project was founded by Georgia House Minority Leader Rep. Stacey Abrams. She is a member of Nunn’s so-called “kitchen cabinet,” advising the candidate. Abrams told Fox News she maintains a clear wall of separation between her work with the Nunn campaign and what she insists is a “nonpartisan” effort to get more minorities out to the polls in November.
Kemp has slapped the New Georgia Project with a subpoena, demanding any and all documents and communications related to the voter registration drive by next Friday. The NGP fired back on Wednesday proclaiming its innocence and says it is strictly following the law. Abrams complains that the subpoena is “overly burdensome and an abuse of power,” and is taking valuable time away from the group’s voter registration drive.
“I was very disappointed in a lot of the reverend’s comments,” Kemp told Fox News. “I think anybody that knows me knows that I’m not a racist and some of the things that they’ve said and accused me of are just flat wrong.”
Kemp insists his job is exactly what he is doing — and that reports of fraud and forgery were brought to his attention by several counties and that it is simply his duty to investigate them. He told Fox News that with what is at stake in November, it’s not a surprise the matter has become so politicized.
“It’s unfortunate that it’s gotten political, but we’re in the silly season, if you will right now, and have some big races in Georgia.”
[T]he Conservation Use Value Assessment program, created more than two decades ago. Property owners pledge to use the land for agricultural or forestry purposes for 10 years. The program is available for parcels from 10 to 2,000 acres, Kelly said.
Some 83,000 acres of Crawford County’s roughly 205,000 acres are in the program, and the county gets no state help to offset the lower tax base. In contrast, a newer program for properties larger than 2,000 acres known as the Forest Land Protection Act offsets the initial costs of the program, and then limits costs to no more than 3 percent of the tax base. The state pays half the costs up to 3 percent, then covers anything over that.
State Rep. Robert Dickey, whose family started Dickey Farms in Crawford County early in the 20th century, said he’s interested in talking with Kelly about possible changes to the Conservation Use Value Assessment program.
But while the conservation agreements limit how much tax money comes in, they also don’t require much government services, Dickey said.
Such conservation agreements block farmland from being turned into cheap housing that would have high demands for services and limited tax payments, he said.
Election officials in Fulton and Muscogee counties — the two Georgia counties with the biggest number of pending voter applications — said Thursday they are working to clear thousands of registration forms turned in by the New Georgia Project ahead of the state’s Oct. 6 deadline.
The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, meanwhile, has begun to spot-check more than 51,000 applications the Democratic-backed group claims have languished in the system. It says dozens of those forms have been properly recorded and added to voter rolls.
Others, however, appear to be caught up in the state’s verification process — which in Georgia is handled by local elections officials in each county. Some of those officials said they are working hard to catch up with a “significant” increase in new voter applications before this year’s midterm elections.
That work will be front and-center in the remaining three weeks Georgians have to register, as a rare investigation launched last week by Secretary of State Brian Kemp continues.
Deal told reporters that the unemployment rate reported Thursday doesn’t square with other measures of the state economy, including the number of jobs counted in Georgia rising to its highest level since June 2008 and a drop in initial unemployment applications. Holding up a spreadsheet, he questioned statistics that he said indicate almost all states led by Republican governors had increased unemployment rates and Democrat-led states had lower rates.
“Now I don’t know how you account for that, maybe there is some influence here that we don’t know about,” Deal said. “But when you say that California is in a better position in terms of unemployment than the state of Georgia, there is something that just doesn’t ring true about those numbers.” (more…)