Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections for May 2, 2013


Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections for May 2, 2013

Deal: More Jobs Announcements

Governor Deal also announced that Engineered Floors will build two plants in Whitfield and Dalton Counties, bringing 2400 new jobs to Whitfield and Murray counties in Northwest Georgia, which has been battered by the economy and has one of the highest unemployment rates in the State.

Governor Deal Signs Bills

Yesterday, Governor Nathan Deal signed two bills related to driver’s licenses at Kia Motors in West Point, Ga.

House Bill 475 by State Rep. B.J. Pak and others will start a reciprocal driver’s license program for legal international citizens.

“International companies bring in around 20 percent of all new jobs created in Georgia each year,” said Deal. “The reciprocal benefits outlined in HB 475 will benefit the state’s status as a global player and reinforce Georgia’s reputation as a welcoming state.”

The Department of Drivers’ Services will oversee the reciprocity program, and the Department of Economic Development will verify that countries considered for the agreement will make, or are likely to make, a substantial economic investment in Georgia. Individuals will only qualify for the program if they have a lawful presence in the state and their home country offers similar opportunities for Georgians with a valid driver’s license.

Senate Bill 122 by Senator Hunter Hill and others will allow noncitizens to apply for an extension of their Georgia driver’s licenses within a certain time frame.

SB 122 will permit noncitizens whose Georgia driver’s license is facing expiration, or has already expired, to request a temporary driving permit or identification card valid for an additional 120 days, given they can remain lawfully within the United States.

“Economic development is based on good relationships, and having these arrangements in place acknowledges our understanding of the challenges that often face international businesses when they come to the United States,” said Chris Cummiskey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “These new laws will further encourage international businesses to consider Georgia when looking to expand in this country.”

Deal also went to St. Andrews Montessori School in Macon, where he signed House Bill 350 by State Rep. Allen Peake and others, which requires Georgia’s 6,000 child care facilities to undergo national fingerprint-based background checks for employees. Previously, only state and local background checks were required, thus allowing people with criminal backgrounds in other states to be cleared to work in Georgia child care programs.

“Georgia children are our most precious assets,” said Deal. “This legislation puts criminal checks in the hands of law enforcement agencies rather than private companies, ensuring that those processing the checks actually have the information and tools needed to protect our children.”
An employee hired after January 2014 will undergo a fingerprint-based background check, and all current child care employees must be fingerprinted no later than Jan. 1, 2017.
HB 350 Group-care facility operators; persons otherwise issued licenses as provided by law; provide exceptions May 1, 2013
HB 475 Drivers’ licenses; commissioner to enter into reciprocal agreements on behalf of Georgia for recognition of licenses issued by foreign territories; authorize May 1, 2013
SB 122 Drivers’ Licenses; authorize the issuance of a temporary driving permit; noncitizen applicant whose license has expired; filed extension May 1, 2013
HB 226 Solid waste management; tire transportation, storage, and disposal; revise certain requirements April 30, 2013
HB 447 Laurens County; Board of Commissioners; change description of districts April 30, 2013
HB 457 Hiram, City of; reincorporation, corporate boundaries, municipal powers, and exercise of powers; provide April 30, 2013
HB 466 Cornelia, City of; provide new charter April 30, 2013
HB 467 Danville, Town of; provide new charter April 30, 2013
HB 471 Calhoun, City of; levy an excise tax April 30, 2013
HB 472 Gordon County; levy an excise tax April 30, 2013
HB 473 Counties and municipal corporations; add option of fiscal year contracts April 30, 2013
HB 476 Hinesville, City of; change corporate limits April 30, 2013
HB 479 Forsyth County; Board of Education; change compensation of chairperson and members April 30, 2013
HB 484 Monroe, City of; provide for jurisdiction of municipal court April 30, 2013
HB 485 Soperton, City of; City Court; change salary of judge and solicitor April 30, 2013
HB 496 Rabun County Water and Sewer Authority; create April 30, 2013
HB 505 Madison County; board of elections and registration; create April 30, 2013
HB 508 Charlton County; Board of Education; change provisions relating to compensation of members April 30, 2013
HB 514 Macon, City of; Payne City, City of; Bibb County; change provisions relative to initial budgets April 30, 2013
HB 525 Statesboro, City of; increase excise tax April 30, 2013
HB 526 North Fulton Regional Radio System Authority Act; enact April 30, 2013
HB 529 Cordele, City of; increase excise tax April 30, 2013
HB 534 Tifton, City of; change amount of homestead exemption for residents 65 or older April 30, 2013
HB 535 Rabun County Convention and Visitors Bureau Authority; revise composition of board of directors April 30, 2013
HB 542 Hagan, City of; change description of election districts April 30, 2013
HB 544 Cherokee County; board of commissioners; candidates shall have resided within district for period of 12 months preceding election April 30, 2013
HB 548 Smyrna, City of; change description of wards April 30, 2013
HB 552 Appling County; board of elections; create April 30, 2013
HB 553 Montgomery County; board of commissioners; provide for appointment of county manager April 30, 2013
HB 557 Danielsville, City of; provide for staggered, four-year terms for mayor and council April 30, 2013
HB 558 Colbert, City of; provide for staggered, four-year terms of office for mayor and council April 30, 2013
HB 561 Jesup, City of; change description of election districts April 30, 2013
HB 568 Warwick, City of; change description of council districts April 30, 2013
HB 569 Bibb County State Court; provide additional judge April 30, 2013
HB 600 City of Bainbridge Public Facilities Authority Act; enact April 30, 2013
HB 87 Elections; use of the boundaries of a gated community as the boundaries of a precinct; authorize April 30, 2013
HB 318 Georgia Tourism Development Act; revise certain definitions; provisions April 29, 2013
HB 381 Natural Resources, Department of; department creation and operation of a nonprofit corporation; revise provisions April 29, 2013
HB 522 Henry County Water and Sewerage Authority; change name to Henry County Water Authority April 29, 2013
HB 551 Locust Grove, City of; change corporate limits April 29, 2013
SB 121 License Plates; retired members of the General Assembly April 29, 2013
HB 609 Demorest, City of; corporate limits of city shall include certain property; provide April 26, 2013

Kingston Enters Senate Race

Congressman Jack Kingston (R-Savannah) entered the Senate race to repleace retiring Senator Saxby Chambliss with soft openers in the Atlanta media market. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Greg Bluestein:

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston has a message for his conservative challengers for an open Senate seat: He won’t be outflanked on the right.

In announcing Wednesday that he’s joining the race for retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ seat, the Savannah Republican told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he’s a workhorse who “will yield no ground to any of my opponents as to who is the most conservative.”

Some Republicans worry the primary could become so divisive and costly that a Democrat such as U.S. Rep. John Barrow, who is also considering a bid, has a strong chance against the eventual nominee. Some also fear that Broun’s far-right positions and fiery comments might prove particularly troublesome in a general election.

Kingston had a message for them, too.

“I think a Democrat has a shot under certain circumstances — if we come out of the primary divided and broke and bloody,” he said. “If I’m the nominee, a Democrat will not have that shot.”

Kingston also said that his political base in a Congressional District that is not overwhelmingly Republican taught him to work with the other party without selling out conservative principles. The quest for more government cheese federal funding for the Port of Savannah expansion thus becomes important to his Senate campaign.

Kingston may have to spend a little time shoring up parts of his Coastal Georgia district, if the Glynn County Republican Party’s Facebook page is any indicator.

Where is the outrage from our Congress? What is Jack Kingston’s position on this issue.

Everyone better be asking him these types of questions and demanding straight, honest answers before you give him your vote!

Kingston’s Senate Announcement Tour continues today with a press conference at The Big House, 2321 Vineville Avenue in Macon. Extra points to Kingston for holding an event at the Allman Brothers Museum.

In honor of Kingston’s Tour taking him to Macon:

although by the end of a bruising campaign, it might feel more like this:

Karen Handel Emails “Not Yet”

Karen Handel sent out an email yesterday essentially saying that she’s still considering a race for Senate and linking to a National Review story about her.

Washington has failed us, and the problems facing our country are immense. However, with a fresh vision and true conservative leadership, the return to a prosperous and growing America can be within our reach. What we need is clear: a proven reformer that brings new perspective, someone who isn’t afraid to “shake things up,” and a fighter that stays true to conservative values no matter the political cost.

Steve and I are continuing to think through this important decision and hope you will give us the benefit of your input.  Meanwhile, we thank you for your continued support, friendship and prayers.

We can’t follow up a National Review article entitled, “Hard to Handel” without offering this:

Jim Galloway wrote that the message sent by Handel’s email was “Don’t forget about me,” but people I spoke to yesterday suggested that Handel’s message was really intended to have an effect on Congressman Tom Price, whose dilly-dallying about his political future has put a potential Handel Senate campaign behind the eight ball and $2 million down against a trio of Congressmen.

Debbie Dooley’s Tea Party Patriots Session Wrap-Up

Debbie Dooley, the AJC’s favorite quote machine for Republicans and Tea Party activists, was kind enough to send us an exclusive wrap-up of the Legislative Session from her perspective.

This past session was the culmination of unlikely alliances being formed and historic legislation passing in regard to ethics reform.  Atlanta Tea Party/Georgia Tea Party Patriots has been part of an alliance that was formed several years ago to promote tough ethics reform legislation. Part of this alliance includes Common Cause GeorgiaLeague of Women Voters, Georgia WatchSierra Club,Georgia Conservatives in Action, and the Conservative Capitol Coalition.

These groups have worked together for over two years to get meaningful ethics legislation passed. This was the year that ethics reform passed that put limits on lobbyist gifts. This bill is a historic first step. Georgia Common Cause presented Julianne Thompson, Kay Godwin, Pat TippettSen. Josh McKoon and me their coveted “Democracy Award” at an elaborate awards ceremony.  Another recipient was State Senator Jason Carter who just happens to be former President Jimmy Carter’s grandson and a strong advocate for tough ethics reform.

Support: Upson County Republican Party

Upson County GOP Logo  invites you to LIKE the Upson County Republican Party Facebook Page, and attend their next monthly meeting on May 11, 2013 at the Thomaston – Upson County Civic Center.

Upson County was created on December 15, 1824 and had a population was 27,153 according to the 2010 Census. In 2012, it went for Mitt Romney over President Obama by more than 64%.


Georgia College Republicans Heading to South Carolina

A small group of Georgia College Republicans will head to South Carolina this weekend to campaign for the Republican nominee in a Congressional Special Election. The young (and not-so-young) men on that campaign better read up on Tori Wester’s views about proper deportment in Republican Politics.

Click the following link to make a donation to the Georgia Association of College Republicans for their trip to South Carolina. We hope to bring you some stories from their big road trip next week.

You don’t even have to support that particular candidate in South Carolina to think it’s worth investing in the future of some of Georgia’s upcoming Republican leaders. Drive past Starbucks and get a cup of free office sludge, and you can put that $5 towards a good cause.

In Memoriam: Karen Ross brings us the sad news that Karen Ross passed away earlier this week. Karen was an active member of the Georgia Republican Party and maintained a public calendar of Republican and right-of-center meetings in Coastal Georgia. I considered her a friend. The memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church, 1400 Norwich Street (across from Glynn Academy), Brunswick, GA  31520

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