The blog.


Neighbor Newspapers – Betty Price to run for District 48 state House seat

Post 3 Roswell City Councilwoman Betty Price Monday announced she is running for the District 48 Georgia House of Representatives seat that opened with the May 1 death of Harry Geisinger, R-Roswell. The district includes part of Sandy Springs. Price’s term on the council ends Dec. 31.

“For over 10 years Rep. Geisinger ably served our area,” said Price, a Republican whose husband Tom is the District 6 U.S. representative. “The 48th District consists of individuals and families concerned about the future of our great state. Having served more than five years on the Roswell City Council, I’ve worked energetically to further responsible growth, serving constituents and advocating for their needs. I’m passionate about trying to affect transparent, common-sense decisions in the Legislature.”

via Neighbor Newspapers – Betty Price to run for District 48 state House seat.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 19, 2015

All dogs are urgent at Gwinnett County Animal Shelter because a shortage of space may force them to start euthanizing otherwise healthy adoptable dogs.


Patches is a friendly young adult Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.


Olivia is a young, friendly female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption beginning tomorrow, May 20, 2015, from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.


Jackson is a sweet 4-year old Pointer mix who is available for adoption beginning tomorrow, May 20, 2015, from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 19, 2015

Button Gwinnett died on May 19, 1777 of a gunshot wound received in a duel with Lachlan McIntosh.

Georgia ratified the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which governs voting for President and Vice President on May 19, 1804.

The Battle of Spotsylvania ended on May 19, 1864. In Georgia, the Affair at Cassville occurred on May 19, 1864.

The Rubik’s Cube is 41 years old today.

When, in the spring of 1974, Ernő Rubik, a Hungarian professor of design, invented his eponymous cube, he had no idea that it would become one of the world’s best-selling toys. Nor did he envision that it would impact fields as diverse as science, art, and design – the subject of “Beyond Rubik’s Cube”, an exhibit at the Liberty Science Center, in Jersey City, New Jersey, that opened 26 April to celebrate the puzzle’s 40th anniversary. And he certainly couldn’t have imagined that, one day, his puzzle would be at the center of a competitive sport in which the top performers can re-solve it in less time than it takes to read this sentence aloud.

The first Rubik’s Cube competitions began in the early 1980s and were largely a promotional affair that vanished with the collapse of the initial fad for the puzzle. But in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Internet allowed hobbyists around the world to find each other and run competitions of their own. More than 1,700 competitions have taken place in 66 countries since the 2004 founding of the World Cube Association, a governing body modeled after FIFA, the arbiter of international soccer. (Unlike, soccer, however, there is no qualification for any of these tourneys, including the World Championship: anyone can sign up.)

On May 19, 1977, “Smokey and the Bandit” was released.

President Barack Obama delivered the commencement address at Morehouse College on May 19, 2013.

A recent article in the Covington News about two brothers who served in the Nacy during WWII led to the children of two veterans who served on the same ship getting in touch.

Georgia Politics

Last week, Governor Deal appointed members to the Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis, created under House Bill 1. Members include State Senators Renee Unterman, and Butch Miller, State Reps. Allen Peake, and Katie Dempsey. Also named to the Commission were Paulding County Sheriff Gary Gulledge and Covington Police Chief Stacey Cotton.

The Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis was created by a law passed this session allowing people with certain medical conditions to legally possess cannabis oil in-state with their doctors’ approval.

“I am honored that Governor Deal appointed me to the Medical Cannabis Commission,” Cotton said. I know that the task before this commission is a very important one for the State of Georgia and I gladly accept this challenge. I will work hard to represent the City of Covington, the Covington Police Department and my colleagues in Law Enforcement who are looking for clear direction in the administration of this newly enacted legislation.”

The commission must submit a report by the end of the year.

Rep. Allen Peake, chief sponsor of the bill, will Chair the Commission.

Peake said the panel he’s leading is different than a traditional study committee, since it has a specific mandate: What’s the best infrastructure or delivery system model for medical cannabis in Georgia?

The law that authorized the legal possession of cannabis oil in Georgia “was a very good first step, but we still have an access problem,” Peake said Friday afternoon.

Given the “wide field of talent” on the commission, he said, “I’m looking forward to lots of valuable input.”

For now, 34 states have some kind of provision for medical cannabis, and “there’s a wide variety of infrastructure” out there, the lawmaker said.

The Georgia commission will look at “what’s been done and what’s been successful” in other states.

It’s crucial, he said, that Georgia have a “safe product … that’s very well regulated.”

He added, “I think we can learn from other states’ successes and failures.”

At least two Muscogee County Board of Education members are advocating that the school system roll back the millage rate, and the people said “Amen!.”

Mark Cantrell [] urged his fellow board members at last week’s work session to set the millage rate at the rollback level instead of keeping it at 23.37, where it has been for 18 straight years.

Cantrell said only two of the more than 300 folks who contacted him are against his proposal. And another school board member expressed support, noting county voters in March passed the referendum to renew the 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, which will return July 1 and last for five years or until $192,185,000 is collected.

“I want to go on record that I’m in favor,” said District 2 representative John Thomas. “We just had a $192 million SPLOST tax increase approved by the electorate. It’s time we show the taxpayers we do appreciate their support. … It would show the taxpayers of Muscogee County that the school board doesn’t stand here with their hand out 365 days a year.”

As he did last week, District 8 representative Frank Myers also said he supports a rollback.

The ports of Savannah and Brunswick continue on track for another record year while setting another monthly record.

The Georgia Ports Authority handled 2.84 million tons of total cargo in April, a month that saw a whopping 335,900 cargo containers move through the Port of Savannah — an increase of nearly 26 percent from April 2014. That’s the most tonnage and container volume Georgia ports have ever seen in a single month, and March was almost as busy.

Curtis Foltz, the port authority’s executive director, said he’s “pretty comfortable” that the fiscal year ending June 30 will exceed milestones reached last year when annual tonnage hit a record 29 million tons and Savannah handled 3.1 million containers of imports and exports.

“A new record year for us, on top of an unbelievable year last year, it’s pretty spectacular,” Foltz said following the authority’s monthly board meeting Monday.

Savannah has the fourth-busiest container port in the U.S. and is second only to the combined Port of New York and New Jersey on the East Coast.

Bulk goods such as iron and steel imports at Savannah were strong in April along with exports through the Port of Brunswick of wood pellets used to fuel overseas power plants. Brunswick also set a new monthly record for automobile shipments, handling 77,574 units in April.

Gwinnett and Hall County saw 75 newly-naturalized citizens take the oath of allegiance this weekend.

Former United State Senator Saxby Chambliss spoke to a joint meeting of Kiwanis and Rotary clubs in Cobb County.

“I don’t think there’s anything we can do that ultimately will keep Iran from going nuclear,” he said. “Their leaders were the ones making the IEDs that were sent into Iraq that were killing our kids and blowing off their arms and legs. And (now) we’re saying we’re going to forget about that even though it just happened, and it’s still happening in Afghanistan? And we’re going to try to strike an agreement and trust them to do what they say they’re going to do? I don’t understand the attitude of the White House on this. There are things we can do to slow their production, but to think we can enter an agreement with them that will be meaningful long-term? We’re kidding ourselves.”

Obama is “desperate” to sign such a deal as part of his legacy, Chambliss said, “but ultimately Iran will break it.”

“This situation bodes well for helping Iran get that weapon — and I can tell you the Israelis are not going to let it happen.”

The Hall County Board of Education approved a school redistricting plan, according to the Gainesville Times, while the Gainesville City Council is set to approve its 2016 budget and set millage rates tonight.

City of Newnan Utilities will spend $2 million on relocating water lines.

The City of Mount Zion has a new charter after Gov. Deal signed House Bill 468 last week.

Improving revenue led Decatur County School Superintendent Dr. Fred Rayfield to praise “the best set of numbers I have seen in 10 years.”

The proposed budget would leave the system with a $5.47 million ending fund balance and includes, the second consecutive year, no furlough days for faculty and staff. For the first time in several years, this budget includes revenues that exceed expenses and will not cause the system to make up any shortfalls from fund balance reserves.

Dalton City Council Members voted to issue $10 million in new bonds for high school repairs and upgrades.

A class action lawsuit filed in federal court alleges that Cherokee County, along with Sheriff Roger Garrison, systematically denied bond to individuals arrested on bench warrants. Epic lawyerese in the motion.

Attorney Carver DeBord, who was representing Davis in the 2013 criminal case, filed a motion in State Court this past February to recall the bench warrant. In the motion, DeBord stated that his client “possessed spirit and determined to test her mettle by living in a tent on Yellow Creek, suffered losses from a calamitous flood that washed away her wash tub and most of her clothing.” It also states that the flood washed away her vehicle.

The motion goes on to say that Davis “would have appeared if the Good Lord had been willing and the creek had not risen.

Even More Special Elections and Indictments

Roswell City Council member Betty Price will run in the July 14, 2015 Special Election for the House District 48 seat vacated by the death of Rep. Harry Geisinger, according to Neighbor Newspapers.

The district includes part of Sandy Springs. Price’s term on the council ends Dec. 31.

“For over 10 years Rep. Geisinger ably served our area,” said Price, a Republican whose husband Tom is the District 6 U.S. representative. “The 48th District consists of individuals and families concerned about the future of our great state. Having served more than five years on the Roswell City Council, I’ve worked energetically to further responsible growth, serving constituents and advocating for their needs. I’m passionate about trying to affect transparent, common-sense decisions in the Legislature.”

In Savannah, Chatham County Probate Court Chief Clerk/Court Administrator Kim Birge was indicted for allegedly stealing more than $700,000 from the court.

Barrow County will hold a Special Election September 15, 2015 to fill a County Commission vacancy created after Commissioner Steve Worley was indicted by the Feds for alleged bribery while Worley headed the Monroe Public Works Department.

The City of Auburn has three candidates in a June 16, 2015 Special Election for City Council.

Four Decatur County Sheriff’s Deputies face trial next week after federal indictments for allegedly beating a citizen.

Welcome Home: from Real War to Nerf War

Nearly 150 Air Force reservists are returning to Georgia after deployment in Afghanistan.

After nearly five months deployed in the Middle East, where they primarily supported troops stationed in Afghanistan, about 65 reservists flew home to Dobbins at about noon Monday.

About 150 reservists stationed at Dobbins flew out on four C-130s on Jan. 8, and half of them returned Monday. The other half will return today, said Lt. Col. James Wilson, spokesman for Dobbins.

Master Sgt. Matthew Prater, of Powder Springs, said he didn’t have any plans for his first night at home in five months with his wife, Lizette, and two sons Luke, 8, and Wes, 6.

However, Wes said he had plans his father didn’t know about yet.

“We’re going to have a Nerf war,” Wes said.

Parade of Potential Presidents Persists

Kasich Photo

Ohio Governor John Kasich will appear at the  Walton County Republican Party Barbecue on Tuesday May 26th from 5 to 8 PM at 54 Nunnally Farm Road, Monroe Ga. 30655, by far the best GOP event of the year. Tickets for this event can be purchased from the county party web site, simply click on the PayPal button and pay (remember to print your receipt and bring it with you). Individual tickets are $15.00 and a table of 9 $180.00, this is for VIP seating, up front and personal.

Earlier that day, you can join Maggie’s List and the Fulton County Republican Party as they host Kasich for lunch from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM in the Heritage Room, Heritage Sandy Springs, 6110 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30328.

Earlier this week, reports were widespread that Kasich is almost certain to announce a campaign for President.

John Kasich is “virtually certain” to jump into the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, sources close to the Ohio governor tell ABC News.

Kasich has said his wife and daughters have given him a green light to run and in recent days Kasich has told his political advisors to begin preparing for a likely campaign. Kasich travels to New Hampshire in early June and recently did a fundraising trip to California. If he makes the final decision to run, he will make the announcement in late June or July.

This would not be Kasich’s first presidential campaign. He ran for the 2000 republican presidential nomination but his campaign quickly fizzled out. At the time he was a republican Congressman from Ohio and chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Maybe he’ll announce while he’s in Georgia, or in South Carolina the next day.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 18, 2015

Georgia’s trustees asked Britain to repeal the law against importing slaves to the colonies on May 17, 1749.

George Washington introduced resolutions in the Virginia House of Burgesses, drafted by George Mason, criticizing Britain’s “taxation without representation” policies toward the colonies.

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.

George Washington continued his tour of Georgia on May 17, 1791, staying overnight in Waynesboro; on May 18 he arrived in Augusta.

General Winfield Scott issued an order on the removal of Cherokee people from Georgia on May 17, 1838.

Abraham Lincoln was nominated for President by the Republican National Convention on May 18, 1860.

On May 17, 1864, Sherman and Johnston engaged in the Battle of Adairsville, Georgia.

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 United States Supreme Court handed down its decision in Plessy v. Ferguson on May 18, 1896.

The U.S. Supreme Court rule[d] seven to one that a Louisiana law providing for “equal but separate accommodations for the white and colored races” on its railroad cars is constitutional. The high court held that as long as equal accommodations were provided, segregation was not discrimination and thus did not deprive African Americans of equal protection under the law as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

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.

The United States Supreme Court released its unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education on May 17, 1954, overturning Plessy v. Ferguson.

The historic decision, which brought an end to federal tolerance of racial segregation, specifically dealt with Linda Brown, a young African American girl who had been denied admission to her local elementary school in Topeka, Kansas, because of the color of her skin.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

We solider on into yet another campaign season, this one comprising Special Elections in six State House Seats:

June 16, 2015

House District 55, formerly Tyrone Brooks (D)

House District 24, formerly Rep. Mark Hamilton (R)

July 14, 2015

House District 48, formerly Rep. Harry Geisinger (R)

House District 80, formerly Rep. Mike Jacobs (R)

House District 146, formerly Rep. Larry O’Neal (R)

House District 155, formerly Rep. Jay Roberts (R)

Georgia GOP Convention

This weekend, the Georgia Republican Party reelected Chairman John Padgett with more than 800 votes to 612 for challenger Alex Johnson. Some folks made much of Padgett’s vote percentage, at 57% being three points lower than 2013. The rest of the offices went like this:

First Vice Chair – Michael McNeely
Second Vice Chair – Debbie McCord
Secretary – Kirk Shook
Assistant Secretary – Layla Shipman
Treasurer – Mansell McCord
Chairman, Counties under 80k – Ron Johnson

I’m not sure who won the election for Counties with more than 80k population.

Kirk Shook wins two awards – the first for product placement as he spent the entire convention on the stage with his laptop adorned with a sign promoting his candidacy to move up from Assistant Secretary to Secretary.

Kirk Shook Onstage

Shook also won the best endorsement award for his wife Miriam’s introduction and endorsement of him when it was his chance to speak to the convention. It also appeared to me from the standing votes that Kirk probably won the highest vote count of the convention.

Brian Kemp SEC Sticker

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp also gets an advertising award for the SEC Primary lapel stickers seen on the vast majority of delegates and alternates this weekend. He also receives the first annual GaPundit Heisman Award for Most Valuable Politician. By any measure, the SEC Primary is doing what Kemp intended and bringing top tier Presidential candidates to Georgia to do more than hoover dollars out of private fundraisers.

SEC Primary Sticker

Chris Christie Closeup

The first of the potential 2016 Presidential (or Vice Presidential) contenders was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who spoke at breakfast on Friday.

Jim Thompson of the Athens Banner-Herald wrote about Christie’s speech to delegates,

Touting his record as governor — thousands of private-sector jobs created in his two terms, and an electoral message that attracted an increasing number of minority voters — Christie talked himself up as someone who can work across political lines.

“In a state like mine, I don’t have the luxury of having a Republican legislature,” he said. “You don’t have the option to stand in the corner … You’ve got to make the world turn.”

Christie also ventured into the foreign policy arena, criticizing President Obama for being openly contemptuous of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

On the domestic policy front, Christie cited entitlement reform as crucial to the ongoing fiscal health of America. Telling the crowd he thinks elected officials underestimate the American people, Christie said, “I think all of you are not only ready for the truth, you’re hungry for the truth.”

Christie also owned up to his characteristic bluntness, telling the crowd, “People say lots of things about me, good and bad. But no one will ever say, ‘I wonder what Chris Christie is thinking.’ ”

The overwhelming reaction of delegates I spoke to was that they though Christie gave a great speech, that he’s a better candidate than they thought he was and that they’re still not supporting him for President. For the guy who probably had the lowest level of support and lowest unfavorables among Georgia Republicans going in, he did what he needed to – he opened their eyes and made them willing to give him a look, if and when he starts campaigning.

Marco Rubio GAGOP Convention

The Associated Press wrote about Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s speech to the GAGOP Convention.

Presidential candidate Marco Rubio didn’t mention Jeb Bush or Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Georgia Republican Convention on Friday, but he said America has too many “outdated” leaders.

The Florida senator said “the 20th century is over, and it’s never coming back,” and he promised “transformational” leadership from a new generation.

The comments were part of Rubio’s sweeping campaign pitch that paints a dire picture of America today, yet promises a better future.

But the theme also helps the 43-year-old senator remind voters that Bush and Clinton have spent decades in public life.

Ted Cruz at GA Republican Convention

Texas Senator Ted Cruz spoke at two events this weekend – a minority engagement reception (pictured above) and the keynote address at Friday night’s dinner. From Jim Thompson at the Athens Banner-Herald,

Cruz, a first-term U.S. senator from Texas who announced his run for the GOP presidential nomination in late March, touted himself as a true conservative, someone outside the Republican mainstream who can raise money and draw crowds, and who is part of “a new generation that is stepping forward” in the Republican Party.

Alternately serious and playing for laughs — which he received in abundance — Cruz told the hundreds of people who attended Friday’s GOP dinner that “the stakes have never been higher. If we spend another four or eight years on the same path, I believe we will do irreparable damage to our country.”

Espousing tax reform and regulatory reform as keys to boosting growth and opportunity in the United States, Cruz called for “a simple flat tax” on income that would “let every American fill out their taxes on a postcard, and when we do that, we need to abolish the IRS.”

Then, jokingly suggesting that the 90,000 IRS workers who would be out of a job should be put to work guarding America’s southern border, Cruz added, “Just imagine that the first thing you see [if you’re crossing the border from Mexico into the United States] is 90,000 IRS agents. You’d turn around and run home, too.”

I learned two interesting things about Ted Cruz this weekend. First, he has a “body man” who wears a backpack that has a GoPro video camera on one of the straps that’s always recording. I’m not sure why, but it’s kind of ironic given Cruz’s opposition to government surveillance that he has Robocop on his staff. Second is that Cruz travels with his own wireless microphone and has someone on his staff to mike him up before he goes onstage. That’s why he’s able to roam the stage at will, while the other speakers remain tethered to the podium.

Finally, I’d like to mention the award for Use of Technology at the GAGOP Convention, which we hand over to Senator David Shafer, President Pro Tem of the Georgia Senate. At the Convention, if you signed on to the Classic Center’s free wireless internet, you were greeted with a redirect to Shafer’s website.

Shafer Welcome


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 18, 2015

Floyd 15D-0781

Cody (#15D-0781) is a sweet little Chihuahua mix who weighs less than 25 pounds and was surrendered by his owners to the Floyd County Animal Shelter, where he is available for adoption.

Floyd 15D-730

#15D-0730 is an eight-month old male Shepherd mix with light-colored eyes and very expressive ears. He came in with bite wounds but has received veterinary care and is available for adoption from Floyd County Animal Shelter in Rome, GA.


Guinness is a 10-month old black Labrador Retriever mix who was surrendered by his owner and is available for adoption from Floyd County Animal Shelter in Rome, GA.


Marco Rubio at the GAGOP Convention

Marco Rubio GAGOP Convention


Protesters at GAGOP Convention

Protester GAGOP Convention


Ted Cruz at the Georgia Republican State Convention

Ted Cruz at GA Republican Convention


Special Guest Greg Williams of Greg’s List Live

In the bold tradition of Greg’s List, we choose not to endorse candidates for state office, we prefer the fine art of speculation, or predictions for Saturday’s Main Event…

Thousands of Republican activists, politicians, and candidates will descend on Athens, GA this weekend, with the goal of electing State officers and adopting resolutions for the next election cycle.Continue Reading..


Chris Christie at the GAGOP Convention Breakfast

Brian Kemp SEC Sticker

Chris Christie Brian Kemp

Chris Christie Closeup