Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s big lobbying effort couldn’t convince the Legislature this year to let it see more Georgia patients.
But on Thursday, a state board approved a plan that could help the politically-connected facility in Newnan shed its in-state patient cap. In doing so, it reignited a decade-long war between Georgia’s hospitals and the national cancer treatment chain, which has a huge stable of well-connected lobbyists and a track record of generous giving to elected officials.
Other hospitals counter that if the company wants to see more Georgia patients, it should go through the same process they face if they want to expand. They also contend the company cherry-picks patients with the highest-paying insurance coverage while leaving them to shoulder the burden of care of Medicaid and other indigent cancer patients.
A long-simmering dispute between Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard and Superior Court Judge Wendy Shoob has become so bitter, it’s ensnared others in its wake.
The dust-up has erupted into a bar complaint and a contempt finding against a sex-crimes prosecutor, and an ethics investigation of Shoob.
Both the DA and the judge have retained high-profile lawyers. And both those lawyers agree that Shoob’s disdain for mandatory-minimum prison sentences is at the heart of the controversy.
“The friction is caused by the minimum mandatories,” said former Gov. Roy Barnes, who is representing Shoob. “And that friction, plus the fact there’s a disagreement between the district attorney and the judge over the actions of an assistant DA, has led to dueling complaints.”
After the battle, Perry sent a famous dispatch to U.S. General William Henry Harrison that read, “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.” The Battle of Lake Erie forced the British to abandon Detroit, ensuring U.S. control over Lake Erie and the territorial northwest.
The public is invited to bring their bicycles and join in the leisurely-paced historical rides, which takes approximately two hours. National Park Service rangers will talk about the history of the battlefield while Outdoor Chattanooga staff and volunteers provide ride leadership and support.
Loaner bicycles from the Outdoor Chattanooga mobile bicycle fleet will be available for riders five feet tall and over at no charge, thanks to sponsorship from the Friends of the Park and the Chattanooga Bicycle Club. Reservations for these bicycles are required, contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at 706-866-9241.
The monthly tours begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center. Ride length is approximately three to four miles on flat to moderately-hilly terrain.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
Hopefully, Senator David Perdue was able to get it across that he will vote against the Iran Deal, as he spoke against the deal three times yesterday. First, a video released by his office:
“Congress has a Constitutional role to advise and consent on treaties, yet this opportunity was not even afforded by President Obama, who purposely sought to go around Congress, and instead make his deal with Iran a non-binding political agreement.”
“That’s why I supported the bipartisan Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which overwhelmingly passed both the Senate and the House of Representatives to guarantee Congress and the American people had a say in this Iran deal.”
“This fight is not over, and as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I completely reject this dangerous deal, and I will definitely vote to stop it.”
Then at a rally against the Iran Deal in front of the Capitol and hosted by Tea Party Patriots.
Calhoun, Georgia is a mixed bag as Mayor Jimmy Palmer faces challenger Mary Mays and Council Post 1 member George Crowley faces challenger Jackie Palazzolo and three other city council incumbents are reelected without opposition, according to NorthwestGeorgiaNews.com.
Citizens in the City of Brookhaven will not see a question on the November ballot as to whether the City should allow the Development Authority to issue up to $2.9 million in bonds to purchase Skyland Center from the State of Georgia.
The City says the issuance of bonds by the Development Authority in this case is appropriate without requiring a referendum because the bonds do not constitute a debt of the City, although the bonds will be guaranteed by the City.
If the City wanted to have a referendum and let the people decide, they certainly could do that and there is even enough time to get it on the November ballot. Consultants told the City Tuesday however, the measure would likely not pass if it did go to a vote.
On Saturday at 8:30 AM, the Fulton County Republican Party will host Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker as their featured breakfast speaker. The event is at St. Ives Country Club in Johns Creek. R.s.v.p. via Facebook or on the Fulton GOP website. Cost is $15 by pre-registration or $16 at the door.
“As I’ve traveled across Georgia, I have heard your concerns about President Obama’s dangerous Iran deal. I share those concerns and I will vote against it this week in the United States Senate.
From the beginning, I have always believed that any international agreement of this magnitude should of course be a treaty.
This belief was reinforced when I personally met with Prime Minister Netanyahu in Israel. He shares our concerns. The most dangerous threat to mankind’s future is a nuclear Iran.
Still, President Obama and Secretary Kerry made it clear they didn’t want to subject their nuclear agreement to such scrutiny and seriousness.
Congress has a Constitutional role to advise and consent on treaties, yet this opportunity was not even afforded by President Obama, who purposely sought to go around Congress, and instead make his deal with Iran a non-binding political agreement.
That’s why I supported the bipartisan Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which overwhelmingly passed both the Senate and the House of Representatives to guarantee Congress and the American people had a say in this Iran deal.
This was the only tool to ensure that Congress even got a vote. Without this legislation, President Obama could have waived sanctions on Iran the same day he brokered his bad deal.
There would have been no review period for Congress and no way to reimpose sanctions potentially should Iran cheat.
Every single Senate Republican has come out against this agreement. Democrats who support this dangerous deal have put partisan politics and special interests ahead of national security.
Sadly, President Obama and Secretary Kerry will stop at nothing to force this agreement through against the will of Georgians and the majority of the American people.
This fight is not over, and as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I completely reject this dangerous deal, and I will definitely vote to stop it.”
Happy 72d birthday to former Congressman John Linder. Linder served in the State House from 1974-1980 and 1982-90. In 1990 he ran unsuccessfully for Congress against incumbent Democrat Ben Jones; in 1992, after redistricting, Linder was elected to Congress from the 7th District and served until his retirement after the 2010 election.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
Candidates for the November 3, 2015 Special Election to fill the House District 122 seat vacated by former State Rep. Ben Harbin and the Special Election to fill the Senate seat formerly held by now-Judge Ronald Ramsey will qualify next week.Continue Reading..
President Gerald Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon on September 8, 1974 for“all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.”
Happy 77th birthday to Sam Nunn, who graduated from Emory College (1960) and Emory University School of Law (1963) before being elected to the United States Senate in 1972. If you were born before November 6, 1972, you’ve never seen his name on your ballot.
Mrs. Clinton’s advisers, struck by the strength of Senator Bernie Sanders in those [Iowa and New Hampshire], have been assuring worried supporters that victories and superdelegate support in Southern states will help make her the inevitable nominee faster than many Democrats expect. They point to her popularity with black and Hispanic voters, as well as her policy stances and the relationships that she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have cultivated. Mrs. Clinton was similarly confident at this point eight years ago, before Barack Obama and his superior organizers began piling up delegates, including in many Southern states.
In interviews, advisers said the campaign was increasingly devoting staff members and money to win the South Carolina primary on Feb. 27 while laying the groundwork to sweep Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia on March 1.
Mrs. Clinton’s Southern strategy shows in sharp relief the imprint of the data-driven, organization-focused nature of the Obama 2008 campaign on the Clinton operation.
“There’s so much focus on Iowa and New Hampshire, but Secretary Clinton and her team know that the South will deliver a huge number of delegates that will essentially seal the nomination for her,” said DuBose Porter, the Georgia Democratic Party chairman and a Clinton supporter.
Southern states will play a far bigger role than usual in this nominating cycle, with most voting by March 15, and black and Hispanic votes will be crucial in many of those Democratic primaries.
This week will see a visit to Atlanta by Vermont Socialist Bernie Sanders, who is running against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. From the AJC Political Insider:
Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator and insurgent Democratic presidential candidate, makes his first Georgia visit of the campaign on Friday [September 11, 2015] for an Atlanta fundraiser.
This weekend on the way to Dragon Con, I saw this button, the first Bernie Sanders piece I’ve seen in person. Is it any wonder there’s a strong overlap between people who live in a fantasy world and those who attend Dragon Con?
I award the Bernie Sanders supporters 2 points for having a sense of humor about their candidate.
Lewis and Aydin touched on everything from the Freedom Rides to Lewis’ relationship with Malcolm X and what Lewis thinks of the Black Lives Matter movement:
On making young people aware of the Civil Rights movement:Lewis said we have to find a way to make the movement “plain and clear,” which he thinks the “March” books are trying to do. He related a story about Martin Luther King Jr.’s father saying “Son, you have to make it plain” when he was writing his sermons.
On the 1961 Freedom Rides:Lewis, who was one of the 13 original Freedom Riders, recalled the white and black activists eating a meal of Chinese food before they left from Washington, DC. “Eat well,” someone said. “This might be our last supper.” He said an interracial group being able to sit down and eat together in the U.S. capitol created a “circle of trust” amongst the activists, “a band of brothers and sisters.”
MARTA is considering adding wifi and cell service in part of the tunnel under downtown Atlanta. From the AJC:
If all goes as planned, a six-month pilot project would start in January with three stations — Five Points, Peachtree Center and Georgia Dome/Georgia World Congress Center and inside a tunnel that connects them. All 38 stations would feature cellular connectivity and Wi-Fi access by July 2018. The $25 million system would be designed, installed and maintained at no cost to MARTA.
In fact, the transit agency would profit from the deal.
MARTA would get $1 million up front by signing the contract prior to construction. After the vendor signs up cellular carriers, it would provide MARTA with a 55 percent profit share for the first 10 years and 60 percent for the next decade.
The profit-sharing agreement could bring in as much as $10 million in revenue to MARTA in the first decade and almost double that amount in years 11 through 20, according to the vendor’s estimates. However, MARTA officials acknowledge those projections may be rosy and said they aren’t counting on getting that large of a return.
During the legislative session, I frequently take MARTA and one sore spot from the ride is the cell phone and internet blackout that starts once you get into the tunnels.
The talk about Snellville’s mayoral race has focused largely on Mayor Kelly Kautz and former Councilman Tom Witts, but the final list of candidates released on Friday shows they are not the only people seeking the city’s top elected post.
Garry Lapides, a former representative of the city on the Evermore Community Improvement District board, also qualified to run for the mayor’s seat as the race, which was already expected to be hotly contested, becomes a three-way battle.
Meanwhile, each of the council seats up for election this year in the city will be contested. Post 1 Councilman Dave Emmanuel will be challenged by Barbara Moston, while Dexter Harrison and Roger Marmol are running for the Post 2 seat currently held by Councilman Diane Krause, who opted to not seek re-election.
Mike Sabbagh and Cristy Lenski will face off for the Post 3 council seat that Witts vacated to run for mayor.
Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson will be challenged by Gordon Tomlinson. Meanwhile, Councilman Craig Newton faces a challenge from Vincent Maiello and fellow Councilman Charlie Riehm is opposed by Pierre Levy.
Currently, officers in the three-man Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic unit are the only ones with the technology, but the sheriff’s office hopes to expand it.
Electronic citations work with the aid of small, handheld machines that resemble a BlackBerry. Officers can enter licenses, vehicle identification numbers and license plates into the system and print out a citation from the patrol car.
All told, the latest expenses total $389,980 for the two city officials. The city’s tab for expenses in defending the case is almost $500,000.
Council’s approval of the fees and expenses is sought after Superior Court Judge Hilton Fuller of Stone Mountain, Ga., ruled April 23 that the city must pay legal expenses for both elected officials from the city’s general fund and not from their budgets. Fuller was appointed to hear the cases because local judges recused themselves.
Four ordinances must be approved to pay all the expenses. It takes six votes from council to approve each request.
Earlier this week, May’s office released search warrants that they had received pertaining to some of his emails. CBS46 has now learned that information was sealed in Superior Court to protect the investigation and should not have been made public.
“I was told that the information was open and available to the public anyway,” DeKalb County spokesman Burke Brennan said.
Brennan was asked if he was informed that the warrant should have been sealed.
“No, there was no discussion of that at all. As a matter of fact, on the documents it says, ‘filed in open court’ and courts are open to the public,” Brennan said.
The FBI is investigating whether a company won a county contract in return for a contribution. In 2011, Water Removal Services of Alpharetta allegedly wrote a $4,000 check to May after doing some work on a sewer in front of May’s home. The company later won a county contract for $300,000.
Brennan said May did nothing wrong and that someone forged the CEO’s signature on the check.