Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 23, 2014


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 23, 2014

GAPundit_Ad Fulton

On June 23, 903 AD, the Icelandic Parliament, the Althing or Althingi, was established and is the world’s oldest.

In honor of the Icelandic Parliament, here’s the greatest Icelandic band ever, the Sugarcubes, playing at Auburn in 1988.

Off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, British Commodore Sir Peter Parker spent June 23, 1776 preparing to land the next day, charged with supporting loyalists to the British crown.

On June 23, 1819, Texas declared its independence from Spain.

On June 23, 1862, General Robert E. Lee met with his commanders in preparation for what would be known as the Seven Days’ Battles.

On June 23, 1865, Georgia-born Cherokee Stand Watie became the last Confederate general to surrender.

On June 23, 1888, Frederick Douglass became the first African-American nominated for President, receiving one vote from Kentucky at the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.

Former Atlanta mayor Maynard H. Jackson, Jr. died on June 23, 2003.

This past weekend in Marietta, reenactors commemorated the Civil War.

The women wore hoopskirts, the men carried muskets and the children played hoop and stick around the cemetery as they played out the personalities of people who are buried there.
In the first hour of the event, about 85 people had visited the cemetery to go on a tour of the graveyard, stopping at 15 gravesites to hear a re-enactor tell the story of the person buried there, said Joan Ellars, the director of Keep Marietta Beautiful, which cares for the cemetery and puts on the event.
Residents also went on tours to learn about the history of the city and celebrate the 150th anniversary of the battles around Marietta, including those at Pine Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain and Kolb’s Farm.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections 20140621_122208tmr

Pickens County GOP and the 9th and 14th Districts held their Tomato Sandwich Fiesta this weekend and had a great turnout. Senate candidate Jack Kingston is pictured below with Ron Johnson, Second Vice Chair of the Georgia Republican Party and Chair of the GAGOP Veterans Committee.


Under Ron’s leadership, the GAGOP Veterans Committee has presented custom sports wheelchairs to two disabled veterans to help give them back something they sacrificed for our country.

Ron notes on Facebook that if 50 Republican (or nonpartisan) elected officials who have money in their campaign accounts, but no opponent for reelection, gave $100 each, they’ll be able to buy another wounded veteran a sports wheelchair. Email Ron, chairman(at) to learn how to donate.

Answers to your questions about State School Super candidates

The Cobb County Republican Party hosted both of the candidates in the Primary runoff for State School Superintendent and has helpfully posted a number of their responses to questions. Thanks also to BartowPolitics for posting the videos. Here’s their responses on Common Core, but if you plan to vote in the runoff on July 22, please take a few minutes to learn more about the candidates.

Foreign Policy an issue in CD-11?

Jim Galloway has a great piece in his AJC Political Insider blog about how foreign policy, usually no more than a sentence or two on a website, may be an issue in the 11th Congressional District runoff.

n Georgia, the split has become most obvious in the GOP runoff for the 11th District congressional district, where former state senator Barry Loudermilk of Cassville and former congressman Bob Barr of Smyrna are locked in a hot contest to replace U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey of Marietta. There is no Democrat in the race.

At a recent debate, the pair was asked to weigh in on the new international crisis. Barr said he would support immediate air strikes – manned and unmanned. “The targets are clear. There is very little danger, with these folks marching down the highway, of collateral damage,” he said.

Loudermilk, the frontrunner following the May 20 primary, wondered what “clear and present danger that Iraq poses,” noting that his own son – now in the Georgia National Guard – could be deployed. Without good reason, “we should not be engaged,” he said. Further, Loudermilk told the crowd that he didn’t have enough information to answer his own concerns.

There’s some real policy there, and the column is worth reading in its entirety. Meanwhile, Governor Nathan Deal arrived in Israel on Saturday.

The kidnapping of three Israeli teens and the sweeping response by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has prompted fears of escalating cycles of violence. The news media here are openly worrying that a third Palestinian uprising, or intifadah, could wrack the Holy Land. The last two uprisings yielded suicide bombings from Palestinians and military crackdowns by Israelis.

At WABE, Denis O’Hayer spoke to Senator Saxby Chambliss about current concerns in Iraq. As usual, Denis posted both a shorter, broadcast version of the story, and a longer, 14-minute “Director’s Cut.”

Statistics about 2014 Republican Primary Voters


Uber fight profiled in National Review

The fight between established financial interests and a new technology-based upstart roiling the industry is profiled in a National Review story on the fight between Uber and existing taxi/limo licensees.

Basically, the taxi industry is heavily regulated almost everywhere. The deal is that cab owners put up with a lot of picayune regulations in exchange for price floors and/or a limit on the number of cabs that are licensed to operate. A Washington Post investigation of the cab industry in Chicago and other cities found that it “is dominated by large investors who rely on brokers to sell medallions, specialty banks to finance them, and middle men to manage and lease them to drivers who own nothing at all. Together, they’re fighting to protect an asset that was worth about $2.4 billion in Chicago last year.”

It’s no wonder that in so many cities the taxicab owners, the owners of black livery vehicles, and the drivers of both have joined together to try to regulate Uber out of existence. This month, the Department of Motor Vehicles in Virginia issued cease-and-desist orders to Uber and Lyft. Drivers will be fined if they are caught accepting Uber clients.

Uber and Lyft are straight out of the “creative destruction” model that economist Joseph Schumpeter said was the essence of free markets. Competition can serve as a powerful force to improve the operation of economies. Uber has built a better, tech-savvy mousetrap for transportation services. Uber drivers’ cars are often newer and cleaner than traditional cabs, and customers can easily request upgrades. Drivers are screened, and a passenger can see a picture of the driver and his or her customer-service rating before getting into the car. Low-ranked drivers can be and are removed from the system, an accountability system that’s missing from most cab companies.

Meanwhile, Tesla, who is also locked in a fight with established franchise auto dealers over the company’s desire to sell directly to consumers, was the largest gainer on the Nasdaq 100 last week.

Tesla Motors Inc. shares have gained 10% this week, the largest gain among stocks in the Nasdaq 100, the index that tracks the 100 largest non-financial companies on the Nasdaq exchange.

This week, the boost came from a report on the Financial Times that Tesla was in conversations with Nissan Motor Co. and BMW AG to cooperate in building a ‘supercharger’ network.

An analyst at Morgan Stanley writes that Tesla is “the most important automaker in the world.”

“Not even two years after the delivery of the first Model S, Tesla Motors has transformed from fledgling start-up to arguably the most important car company in the world. We are not joking,” Jonas wrote. “Tesla is also emerging as an emblematic force in America’s effort to foster high tech manufacturing job growth.”

Rival automakers derided now-failed start-ups such as Fisker and Coda, but they see Tesla as a true competitor.
General Motors has a “Team Tesla” devoted to the development of long-range electric vehicles like Tesla’s Model S sedan, Jonas said.
“A BMW engineer recently explained to us how Tesla’s presence has helped reinvigorate the spirit of automobile innovation that was beginning to run stale, further testifying that BMW will be a stronger company longer term because Tesla is around,” he said.

Including the battery factory and expanded auto production at its factory in Fremont, Calif., Jonas sees Tesla’s U.S. employment rising from about 6,000 workers today to as many as 20,000 within seven years.
That would indirectly support more than an additional 100,000 U.S. jobs.

Massive recalls by General Motors have provide both an upside and a downside to the traditional franchise auto dealers. Some dealers are having problems dealing with parts availability for the volume of warranty work required under the recalls.

When it comes to replacing the faulty ignition switches that have cost 13 lives, the February and March recalls that started the avalanche, GM dealers have gotten new parts and performed the repairs on 177,000. That’s a fraction of the nearly 2.2 million vehicles in the U.S. under the switch recall. GM has pledged the repairs will be substantially done by October.
Given the burden, no wonder General Motors CEO Mary Barra singled out for praise GM’s hundreds of dealers on the front line of carrying out recall repairs.

GM says it is doing the best it can to get parts to dealers, including opening long-shut assembly lines for the ignition systems of older cars. Barra said last week that GM has produced 113,000 ignition-switch replacement kits so far and remains on target to have enough to repair all the cars this year.
“The numbers go up weekly,” says spokesman Alan Adler about the availability of ignition switch parts. “We’ll have enough parts in dealers by October to fix them all.”

At the same time, recall and warranty work can be profitable for dealers.

Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst at, explains that dealerships can actually make money when carmakers discover defects. The reason? Customers have to take their cars into a dealership to get the problems fixed.
“It’s another touch point with customers, so they get to have them come back in. They’re reimbursed by the automaker, so there’s no money going out,” Krebs says of those dealers. “And with customers, they may be able to suggest they do an oil change, suggest some other maintenance things, that may actually make them more money.”
Selling maintenance to customers is a really big thing for dealers because their profit really comes from selling parts and services more than selling new cars.

And the State of Georgia is putting together incentives for employers to install electric car charging stations for employees.

Georgia already is the state with the second-largest number of electric cars, notes Don Francis, executive director of Clean Cities Georgia. Each month, 1,000 more hit Peach State roads.

But 80 percent of those cars are in five metro Atlanta counties, according to Ben Echols, program manager for electric transportation at Georgia Power.

Gov. Nathan Deal’s administration is formulating incentives to encourage construction of charging stations, which run about $15,000 each installed. But Georgia employers like Coca-Cola, Georgia Power, Cisco Systems and TOTO USA have already done it, either because their workers requested it or because of a corporate environmental goal. Coke has the most stations with 85, all in Atlanta.

Congress created a program in 1992 to reduce consumption of petroleum and dependence on shaky foreign governments, a program that offers technical assistance and grants to employers. Some of the federal financial incentives expired in January though.

The state has its own reasons for encouraging the cars. They have no exhaust, easing air-quality problems in places like Augusta and Atlanta that limit which manufactures can locate there. Plus, an estimated $14 billion yearly flows out of the state to buy gasoline that could otherwise boost the state economy since electric vehicles cost about one-tenth as much per mile, Francis said.

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