Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 31, 2014


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 31, 2014

On March 31, 1776, future First Lady Abigail Adams wrote her husband, John Adams, suggesting that a greater role for women be considered in the fight for Independence and establishment of the United States.

“I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”

On March 30, 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was formally adopted after sufficient number of the states ratified it.

With the adoption of the 15th Amendment in 1870, a politically mobilized African-American community joined with white allies in the Southern states to elect the Republican Party to power, which brought about radical changes across the South. By late 1870, all the former Confederate states had been readmitted to the Union, and most were controlled by the Republican Party, thanks to the support of African-American voters.

In the same year, Hiram Rhoades Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Mississippi, became the first African American ever to sit in Congress. Although African-American Republicans never obtained political office in proportion to their overwhelming electoral majority, Revels and a dozen other African-American men served in Congress during Reconstruction, more than 600 served in state legislatures, and many more held local offices. However, in the late 1870s, the Southern Republican Party vanished with the end of Reconstruction, and Southern state governments effectively nullified the 14th and 15th Amendments, stripping Southern African Americans of the right to vote. It would be nearly a century before the nation would again attempt to establish equal rights for African Americans in the South.

On March 31, 1889, Gustave Eiffel led a group of government officials and press to the top of the Eiffel Tower by foot. It would open to the public nine days later.

On March 31, 1976, the Georgia General Assembly adopted a joint resolution proposing a new Constitution of Georgia, which would be placed on the ballot for voter referendum on November 2, 1976.

Campaigns and Elections

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The Apple Store at Lenox sought an injunction to prevent a former employee from contacting employees.

In 2012, Apple Inc. sought an injunction against Catherine E. Danforth after she was fired from the Apple Store at Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta for outbursts at work in which she cried, yelled at employees and supervisors and visibly shook with anger.


I don’t know about y’all, but every visit to the Apple Store leaves me in about that kind of mood. It’s as though they were designed to be aggravating. I write this from an Apple MacBook Pro and love their products, I just hate their stores.

But in the United States of America, we generally think it’s a company’s right to sell their products in the manner in which they prefer. Part of Apple becoming the largest US-based company in the world was its strategy of rolling out their own retail stores. Apparently they thought that a unique, technologocally-advanced product could best be sold by folks with skin in the game and the incentive to invest in training consumers to use their products.

In much the same way, Tesla Motors believes that their vehicles are not currently suited for sale through traditional franchised retail dealers. After all, a franchise dealer with geographic limitations would not have an incentive to build-out a network of “Superchargers” that allows vehicle owners to drive across the state.

The [Atlantic Station] project will also plug Atlanta into Tesla Motors’ planned coast-to-coast network of high-speed chargers. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based automaker will put six to eight “Superchargers,” which deliver 150 miles of range in 20 minutes. Superchargers work exclusively with Tesla’s Model S electric sedan, and are free to use.

The Atlantic Station site connects a major population center to East Coast Superchargers and is the first of a broader Southeast rollout.

Tesla expects to put chargers in Macon this summer, followed by Commerce, Tifton and Chattanooga, Tenn. In January, Tesla put six chargers at the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.

Meanwhile, the State of Ohio reached a compromise to allow the company to sell its electric vehicles at three retail locations in the Buckeye State.

The terms are outlined in an Ohio Senate bill that has been approved by a committee before heading to the floor for a formal vote, according to a Bloomberg report.

If the bill is signed into law, the state will still be prohibited from approving a dealer’s license to any automaker aside from Tesla. The California startup is also barred from selling anything other than its all-electric vehicles, and would lose its licenses if it is acquired by another company.

“One could always hope for more, but I think that this gives us a sufficient base from which to grow and to advance electric vehicles in Ohio,” said Tesla VP of business development, Diarmuid O’Connell.

Several Republican politicians, including Texas Governor Rick Perry and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, have voiced support for Tesla’s direct-sales model in separate TV interviews this week. After a regulatory setback in New Jersey, the Garden State legislature is also drafting legislation that would legalize the company’s sales operations.

Ohio Governor John Kasich is frequently mentioned as a possible 2016 GOP Presidential candidate. Tesla also reached an agreement with New York to allow sales by the company.

Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. TSLA +2.44% struck a deal Friday with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state’s car dealers that will allow it to keep five existing company-owned stores, as long as it doesn’t open more direct sale outlets in the state.

According to the agreement between Tesla, Mr. Cuomo, legislative leaders and auto dealers, additional Tesla retail locations would need to be established under a “strengthened dealer franchise law.” In return, elected officials agreed to drop language in a bill in the state legislature that would have forced Tesla to close its existing direct-sale operations.

Tesla’s agreement with New York, meanwhile, is similar to one Tesla reached earlier this week in Ohio, where the company will be allowed to keep operating two company-owned retail stores in the state, and open just one more. The Ohio deal requires approval from that state’s legislature, as does New York’s. But New York’s agreement has the support of legislative leaders and the governor, meaning its approval by the legislature is all but ensured.


Senate Debate in Savannah

Unfortunately, the live video feed from the Savannah Debate failed and we were unable to watch online. Kudos to Derrick Grayson’s campaign for trying to bring you the debate. He may be the best and most-entertaining speaker on the platform in the Senate race, and though he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in the election, his campaign is wise to try to highlight his speaking skills. Speaking of live feed, we believe that the Columbus debate is expected to have some sort of broadcast feature, but we’d appreciate your suggestions on how to do this with minimal cost for future events.

For a minute-by-minute account from the audience, check out Martin Sullivan on Twitter, who did yeoman’s work from the event. Martin also happens to be running for State House of Representatives, so take a moment to visit his website if you live in Chatham or Bryant counties. Also, understand his tweets from the debate, especially when characterizing a candidate’s statement reflect what the candidates said, and not necessarily Martin’s personal opinion.

The Savannah Morning News covered the debate and summarizes some of the questions and candidates’ answers.

Q: What specific steps do you think we need to take in order to make the port dredging go forward and be complete?

All candidates agreed with Gov. Deal’s decision to allocate more than $200 billion dollars for the dredging of the Savannah River.

Kingston said: “We will get this done despite the White House and not because of the White House. Nobody has lived and breathed this project more than I have. I’ve worked with two members of Congress on this stage, but I haven’t heard from anybody else on this stage,” he said. “Where were they when we met with the White House over and over again or when we met with the four agencies that have to sign off on the project, where were they when we were fighting the lawsuit with South Carolina or did they even know about the South Carolina lawsuit?” he asked. “We are going to get this done because 352,000 jobs are related to this and 62 percent of what we do in the port of Savannah is export, it’s a gateway to the world so that we can sell Georgia’s goods and we will make it happen.”

Handel said: “There is no question that the Obama administration owns this latest set back, but lets be honest: We have been trying to expand the port for 17 years. This is about the fundamental lack of leadership and inability to be effective in getting the job done. Where was the sense of urgency 17 years ago when we started out on this, where was the sense of urgency when Republicans had the majority in the House, the Senate and the White House, where was that sense of priority?” she said. “For Governor Deal, I hope he proceeds aggressively in doing whatever he can in the state of Georgia to move forward with this project and we can just tell the federal government to get the heck out of our way because we are the state of Georgia and we’re going to get this done if you’re going to continue to be a stumbling block for us.”

Daniel Malloy, writing for the AJC, characterized the debate theme as, “Kingston Comes Out Swinging.”

Prowling his home turf, U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston came out swinging Saturday night against his Republican primary foes for Georgia’s open U.S. Senate seat.

It often amounted to a defense of Kingston’s two-decade record in Congress, which has provided plenty of fodder for his foes. But it started with a subtle dig at the newly crowned front-runner in the race, businessman David Perdue.

The seven GOP candidates met at the Savannah Arts Academy after a trio of polls showed Perdue, the cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdue, leading the field.

David Perdue has been blanketing the Atlanta area with television advertisements paid for in part by his personal wealth, depicting his foes as crying babies. Kingston also has been airing biographical ads in Atlanta, and has been coming in second in recent polls.

Kingston, of Savannah, opened by reminding his constituents of his career and added “no gate separates your house from my house.” Perdue lives in a gated community on Sea Island.

The questions mostly addressed concerns for coastal Georgia, including pending military cuts, flood insurance reform and the deepening of the Savannah harbor.

Congress recently passed a bill to cap federal flood insurance premium increases, partially reversing a 2012 reform bill that led to a big strain on some homeowners.

Kingston voted for the bill. Gingrey and U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, an Athens Republican, voted against it. Perdue and former Secretary of State Karen Handel criticized the program without saying which way they would have voted on the House bill.

Broun was the most forceful.

“The problem with flood insurance is the same problem with health insurance, agricultural crop insurance, student loans and everything else,” he said. “It’s the federal government getting involved in things it shouldn’t.”

Kingston counterpunched.

“To my friends who say the federal government should be out of it,” he said, “they’re in it because the private sector won’t handle coastal property. And if you pull the federal government out of there, do you think there’s going to be any development in coastal Georgia? Absolutely not. We would be in economic turmoil.”

This is the second time we’ve seen Kingston differ from the pack of other candidates on an issue driven by his district’s geographic location. In the Gainesville debate, Kingston was the only candidate who stated his support for the Farm Bill. While these two issues may find Kingston some detractors among ideologically-driven Conservatives, they may also be racking up support in South and Coastal Georgia, as well as among the Agriculture and Agribusiness community.

Russ Bynum from the Associated Press offered this:

Each vowed support for the $652 million deepening of the shipping channel to the busy Port of Savannah, and accused the Obama administration of throwing up a roadblock in recent weeks that could delay construction from starting this year. Timing is critical because an expansion of the Panama Canal is expected to send supersized cargo ships to the East Coast as soon as 2015.

But the two candidates running as Washington outsiders said they were stunned that the harbor deepening still hasn’t begun despite planning that started in the late 1990s.

“It’s just another example of a lack of a sense of urgency” by Congress, said David Perdue, the former Reebok and Dollar General CEO whose TV ads have portrayed the three congressmen in the race as whiny babies who can’t get anything done.

Karen Handel, Georgia’s former secretary of state, added: “No one would get 17 years to deliver this project to their boss in the private sector.”

Their barbs got a bristling response from Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah, whose district includes the port. He promised the harbor expansion will get done and dismissed his opponents as latecomers to an issue Gov. Nathan Deal has called Georgia’s top economic priority.

“Have you ever written a letter in support of it?” Kingston asked. “I’ve worked with two members on Congress on this stage but I haven’t heard from anybody else. …Where were they when we met with the White House, over and over again? Or when we met with the four federal agencies that have to sign off on the project? Can they even name the four agencies?”

The Savannah congressman also found himself at odds with his fellow House members — Reps. Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey — when candidates were asked about the future of federal subsidies for flood insurance. Congress voted two years ago to draw down the subsidies over time after Hurricane Katrina and other disasters left the insurance program with a $24 billion deficit.

That triggered giant leaps in premiums — up to 25 percent for current homeowners and even more for new buyers of coastal properties — and the outcry prompted Congress this month to roll back or delay some of the harsher impacts.

And speaking of the Port of Savannah, this weekend’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution included an Op-Ed by Governor Nathan Deal titled, “Georgia’s Waited Long Enough, about the port.

The deepening of the Savannah Harbor ranks as the No. 1 economic development project in the state of Georgia, and we’ve already waited far too long for action from our federal partners.

We faced another setback this month when the president unveiled his proposed budget without any construction funding for the port. Georgia already has allocated $266 million for the project – the totality of the state share – and I’ve ordered state agencies to use that money to do everything we can under current federal law to get the project under way. As we continue to wait for final congressional authorization and funding, I want to get as much done as possible in the meantime so we don’t fall even further behind schedule.

We’ve spent $45 million on studies, we’ve received every environmental permit needed and our congressional delegation succeeded in passing legislation intended to let us get started. Unfortunately, the Obama administration, which promised last year to get the harbor deepened “come hell or high water,” disagrees with that legal interpretation. The administration insists there’s one more hurdle: passage of the Water Resources Development Act.

With nearly 10 percent of U.S. containerized imports and exports moving through the Port of Savannah, the need to deepen the harbor is now. Many shipping lines are already using much larger ships that will soon fit through the Panama Canal.

With more than 350,000 jobs in Georgia connected to our ports and $18.5 billion of income for Georgians generated through port-related business every year, we are in a race to modernize this port. I can’t force the federal government to act, but Georgia will do everything in its power to get this done – quickly.

Georgia Right to Life goes it alone

This weekend in Washington, the National Right to Life Committee chose to discard years of experience passing Pro-Life legislation in the State of Georgia and change its state affiliate from Georgia Right to Life to a new group called the Georgia Life Alliance. While I think there is room on the right for a variety of opinions on Right to Life issues, and wish the best for the new group, Georgia Right to Life will continue to be the gold standard here and across the nation.

GRTL Vice President Mike Griffin noted that, “GRTL has been highly effective in carrying out NRLC’s mission by electing rock solid pro-life candidates and directing NRLC’s flagship legislative initiatives in Georgia: the Woman’s Right to Know Act and most recently, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”

Other national groups recognize Georgia’s premier pro-life status. Americans United for Life listed Georgia second in its 2013 “All Star” ranking, and has included the state in the top 15 “most protective” states since 2007—reaching as high as 8th.

In 2000, GRTL changed its candidate endorsement criteria and legislation policy to ensure that all pre-born children are protected, except in cases where the life of the mother is threatened.

As a result, Georgia is the only state where all its statewide constitutional officers do not support rape or incest exceptions. Georgia is one of only two states that have kept exceptions out of their legal codes.

“Since 2005, by the grace of God, GRTL, along with our supporters and courageous elected officials, has enacted nine major life-affirming laws,” Griffin said. “The most recent was this year’s ban on taxpayer funding of abortions.”

Here’s a serious policy question: will the new group accept only those who would include some limitations on protection for unborn children, or will “no exceptions” candidates and activists also be welcomed.

Twelfth Congressional District Debate tonight

Tonight, the Twelfth Congressional District Georgia Republican Party will hold a debate for the candidates to take on Democratic incumbent John Barrow in the November General Election. Find out more and get your tickets by visiting the 12th District GAGOP on Facebook. Here is a direct link for tickets, which are free, but will be used to seat audience members.

[A]ll five — Rick Allen, Delvis Dutton, John Stone, Diane Vann and Eugene Yu — have confirmed they will participate in the forum, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Joseph E. Kennedy Building at Ogeechee Technical College. The debate will be preceded by a meet-and-greet, at 5:30 p.m. in the lobby, said Mike Welsh, the chairman of the 12th District Republican Party.

Statesboro City Councilman Phil Boyum will serve as the moderator. Each candidate will have two minutes for opening and closing remarks. Questions will be “locally sourced,” according to the party, preapproved by the debate host committee and not shared in advance with the candidates.

Candidates will be given 90 seconds each to respond to questions. A yellow card will be raised at 70 seconds, and a red card at 90 seconds.

Candidates will not be allowed to directly question each other. If a candidate is mentioned by another candidate, the moderator will decide whether to allow that candidate to respond. If so, there will be no counter-response.


After Monday’s debate, there will be other forums throughout the 12th Congressional District. They are set for April 8 at Dublin High School, April 24 at a location to be determined in Augusta and May 1 at a location to be determined in Coffee County.

If you tweet from the Debate, you’ll have a chance to have your comments or photos included in GaPundit if you include either @toddmr or @gapundit in the text of the tweet. Don’t miss this opportunity to highlight your campaign, candidate, or organization in Georgia’s most-read Republican news source.

Event Calendar

Buddy Carter Congress: Grand Opening Campaign HQ – Savannah

March 31, 2014, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Buddy Carter Congress Campaign HQ, 6602 Abercorn Street, Savannah, GA 31405

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Please Join Buddy Carter for Congress Republican Candidate for the First Congressional District of Georgia For the Grand Opening of his U.S. Congressional Campaign Headquarters in Savannah. (Ribbon Cutting at 12:00pm) *Lunch will be provided RSVP not required but appreciated to Sarah Jayne Vardian 912-344-5510 or

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$ 25

Bob Barr Congress: Event with Grover Norquist

March 31, 2014, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Cherokee Golf Center, 635 Molly Lane, Woodstock , GA 30189

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Grover Norquist, Founder & President for Americans for Tax Reform will be joining Bob Barr Congress for a campaign fundraiser centered around “Protecting American Taxpayers in 2014 & Beyond.” Individual Tickets – $25 – RSVP to

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GA GOP 12th District: GOP Primary Debate – U.S. Congress

March 31, 2014, 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Ogeechee Technical College, 1 Joe Kennedy Blvd, Statesboro, GA 30453

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This is the first of four debates for candidates vying for the Republican Party nomination for the 12th Congressional District.  Rick Allen, Delvis Dutton, John Stone, Diane Vann and Eugene Yu will square off in an hour long debate to show primary voters who is the strongest candidate to defeat incumbent Democrat John Barrow.

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GA GOP 10th District: Congressional Debate in Sandersville

March 31, 2014, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Oconee Fall Line Technical College, 1189 Deepstep Road, Sandersville, GA 31082

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April 2014

Gilmer County GOP: Local Candidates

April 1, 2014, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Bobcat Den, 829 Industrial Blvd, Ellijay, GA 30540

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The program agenda is a reception and remarks from local candidates running for State House, Senate, and the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners. Enjoy food and informal environment and opportunity to talk to candidates.

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Tattnall County GOP: Meeting with Dianne Vann

April 1, 2014 6:00 PM @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Los Compadre’s, 1205 U.S. 301, Glennville, GA 30427

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Tattnall County Republican Party Hey folks! Just a quick reminder of our next meeting Our guest speaker for the evening will be Dianne Vann, one of our Ga-12 Congressional candidates. Hope to see everyone there!

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Henry County GOP: Meeting Willis, Doss, Fort, McDonald, & Prince

April 1, 2014, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Public Safety Complex Community Room, 116 Zack Hinton Parkway, McDonough, GA 30253

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GUEST SPEAKERS Kira Willis…………………Candidate for State School Superintendent Cheryl Doss………………Candidate for State School Superintendent Allen Fort…………………..Candidate for State School Superintendent Bubba McDonald………..Candidate for Public Service Commissioner Blake Prince………………Candidate for 4 District Commissioner

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Happy Birthday – Congressman Lynn Westmoreland

April 2, 2014 12:00 AM

Happy Birthday – Congressman Lynn Westmoreland

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Council for Quality Growth: City of Atlanta Advisory Committee

April 2, 2014, 8:15 AM - 9:15 AM

Selig Enterprises, 1100 Spring St NW, Atlanta, GA 30309

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Coffee County GOP: Monthly Meeting

April 3, 2014, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
The Catfish House, 1902 N Madison Ave, Douglas, GA 31533

Oconee Regional GOP Women: Meeting with Nancy Jester and Richard Woods

April 3, 2014, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

3651 Mars Hill Road, Building 1400, Watkinsville , GA 30677+ Google Map

This month we are pleased to have two Candidates, Nancy Jester and Richard Woods, both vying for the position to replace outgoing GA State School Superintendent, John Barge. We hope you will come and invite friends to meet and hear both Candidates.   Tweet

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Cobb County GOP: Breakfast with Rep. Paul Broun, Bob Barr, & Tricia Pridemore

April 5, 2014, 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Cobb GOP HQ, 799 Roswell St, Marietta, GA 30060+ Google Map

Cobb County “MEET THE CANDIDATES DAY” Cobb GOP First Saturday Breakfast with Senatorial Candidate Paul Broun and 11th Congressional District Candidates Bob Barr and Tricia Pridemore   Tweet

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$ 10

DeKalb County GOP: Judicial Series Breakfast with Probate Judge

April 5, 2014, 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Golden Corral, 2136 Lawrenceville Hwy, Decatur, GA 30033+ Google Map

Don’t miss this important in the sixth of a series of Judges and their reflections on the court system. This month We will meeting a DeKalb County Probate Judge. This Probate Judge was elected in 2004 and has served as Judge of the Probate Court of DeKalb County since January of 2005. Probate Judges are responsible for appointing and supervising personal representatives of estates who administer the assets of deceased residents of DeKalb County. Additionally, Judge’s duties include the appointment…

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Americans For Prosperity – GA: State School Superintendent Debate

April 5, 2014, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Roswell Street Baptist Church, 774 Roswell St SE, Marietta , GA 30060+ Google Map

Georgia’s K-12 students are the key to our long-term success and we owe it to them to prepare them well for life ahead. The state’s most influential education official, our state school superintendent, drives the direction of education in Georgia. In so many ways, he or she influences the quality of our state’s future workforce and, more importantly, the lives of our children and grandchildren. It is one of the most important roles of any public official in Georgia. Join…

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GA GOP 11th District: Debate GOP Congress Primary

April 5, 2014, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Cobb Galleria Centre, 2 Galleria Pkwy SE, Marietta, GA 30339+ Google Map

The Young Republican clubs of Georgia’s 11th Congressional District and the 11th District Republican Committee have collaborated to organize the premier debate, between the Republican candidates for Georgia’s 11th Congressional District. The debate will be moderated by Georgia GOP’s National Committeeman Randy Evans and Kennesaw State University’s Dr. Kerwin Swint. Please come out to hear what these candidates have to say about their vision for America’s future, and how they plan to use the office, if they should win. You…

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GA GOP: Spring Gala with Gov. Nathan Deal & T. W. Shannon

April 7, 2014, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Atlanta Mariott Marquis, 265 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30403+ Google Map

  Georgia Republican Party and Governor Nathan Deal cordially invite you to the Spring Gala  featuring special guest the Honorable T. W. Shannon   for more information call (404) 260.5932 or email

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This weekend’s car shows

Porsche 911 Turbo S at the Georgia Tech Car Show, brought by Porsche Cars North America.

Porsche 911 Turbo S at Georgia Tech

Ferrari 328 GTS by private owner. One of the best-looking cars of the 1980s.

Ferrari 328 at Georgia Tech

1948 Allard L-Type, one of 191 cars made, at the Great British Car Fayre in Alpharetta.

Allard in Alpharetta2

Allard in Alpharetta

McLaren MP4-12c at the Great British Car Fayre in Alpharetta.


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