Coming Soon – GaPundit Pro App for iPhone/iPad 2.0 and for Android
The elves in the GaPundit.com workshop are working on developing Version 2.0 of our iPhone/iPad app and the first-ever Android version. It combines a cool directory of your State Senators and Representatives with tools to help get in touch with them, and delivery of the latest political news right to your smartphone.
We’re committed to keeping the free version available for our readers, and we have sponsorship opportunities to help keep it free – email me if you’re interested in sponsoring our App. It’s great for political junkies and professionals alike, as well as associations with active memberships who are involved in the political process.
We’re also interested in hearing what kind of features you’d like to see integrated into the latest version of Georgia’s Power Tool for Politics.
“It has been a long four-year journey of advocacy, education, and sincere determination explaining to Georgia citizens exactly what is happening to vulnerable children in the child sex trafficking trade. House Bill 200, authored by former state Rep. Ed Lindsey, was a historic change to Georgia law that punishes criminals who prey on children by selling them for profit in the sex trade. This bill increased criminal penalties with prison terms and fines, as well as allowed confiscation of assets and affirmative defense,” said Sen. Unterman.Continue Reading..
CANDIDATE FORUM TONIGHT FOR HD50 SPECIAL ELECTION: The Johns Creek Community Association is hosting a Candidate Forum today, Monday, December 8, 2014 for the special election to fill the Georgia House District 50 seat. The election will be held on January 6, 2015 and early voting begins on December 15 at the Johns Creek Environmental Center.
This forum will be your only opportunity to hear all 5 candidates answer your questions. The Forum will be held at the Thornhill Clubhouse.
You can meet the candidates at 6:30 PM and the Q&A will begin at 7:00 PM.
Hundreds of people lined up at Moody’s Base Exchange for hours, just to get the opportunity to shake George W. Bush’s hand and get a signed copy of his new book.
“It’s an opportunitiy of a lifetime to come and get the chance to shake his hand and thank him for his service to the country”, says Marla Haag, a Book Signing Attendee.
“I’m most excited to hopefully shake his hand. That was my ultimate goal”, says Staff Sergeant, Kyle Pantermoller.
41: Portraits Of My Father is the Former President’s second book, and is a biography of his father, George Bush Senior. Though politics aren’t discussed in the book, it gives a unique look in to presidential life… which is one reason why Staff Sergeant Pantermoller says he was excited to read it.
“I feel we ran a good campaign. I feel proud of it. We had a great team – volunteers and staff,” she began. “You spend the first few days being disappointed. Then you spend the next few days feeling a lot of gratitude for the experience. And then you start to get into the analysis of it. I think that will go on for some time.”
When asked if she had another statewide race in her, Nunn’s reply was again studied.
“I will stay involved in service. That’s been the trajectory of my whole career,” she said. But politics?
“I’m certainly invested in continuing to build the kind of Georgia electorate that I think would be most healthy for our state – a two-party dialogue, one that engages more and more people,” Nunn said. “I’ll just leave open the possibility of electoral office.”
Elections Director Nancy Gay said early voting will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Nov. 26 at the Board of Elections office, 500 Faircloth Drive, Building E, in Evans.
Elections Director Nancy Gay said the last day for absentee ballots to be mailed out is Wednesday, November 26; they must be turned in by Dec. 2. There will be no weekend voting, Gay said.
The election will be limited to voters who live in District 3 and were eligible to vote in the Nov. 4 election. District 3 polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 2.
Trip Derryberry, a Martinez businessman, and Mack Taylor, a lawyer and former assistant district attorney, were the top two vote-getters Nov. 4 in the field of four vying to fill the seat vacated by Charles Allen, who resigned in March.
A large crowd filled a downtown Atlanta church Saturday for the memorial service for Carl Sanders, an Augusta native who had served as governor in the height of the Civil Rights Movement.
All living former governors, including ex-President Jimmy Carter, were present. But only Roy Barnes spoke.
Sanders was elected the same day as George Wallace was in Alabama, Barnes noted. And where Wallace was defiant in opposing desegregation, Sanders was accepting. And although Birmingham and Atlanta were similar sizes at the time, they aren’t any long thanks to Sanders’s approach, Barnes said.
“Business does what it always does: it seeks safety and security and stability, and it came here to Atlanta and Georgia,” he said.
“Because of Carl Sanders, this metropolitan area has 3 1/2 million people, and the metropolitan area of Birmingham, Ala., has 700,000.”
Gov. Nathan Deal, who has described Sanders as a mentor, spoke barely a minute.
“Greatness is history’s label of approval, and it is bestowed on very few,” he said. “As we remember the life of Gov. Carl Sanders, we are also laying history’s wreath of greatness at his feet.”
Sanders served as governor 1963-67 as a Democrat. A political moderate, he chose not to fight court-ordered racial desegregation as neighboring governors did. As a result, he often said, Northern businesses considered Georgia a more friendly place to locate their factories and warehouses, helping the state to prosper and outpace surrounding states.
He appointed many blacks to positions within state government, and there were many blacks on hand at the memorial service to say their thanks and chat with the family afterward.
Last week, while taping “Political Rewind,” I got to listen to former Gov. Barnes and former Congressman Buddy Darden talk about Gov. Sanders and his legacy to the state. Click here to listen.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is among those pushing a regional March 1, 2016, contest dubbed the “SEC Primary,” named after the Southeastern Conference and which would include Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi and possibly Alabama and Louisiana.
“As someone who went to the University of Georgia and lives in Athens and understands how powerful the Southeastern Conference is in football today, that is exactly what we want to be when it comes to presidential politics,” Kemp said.
With the South being a strong voting bloc for Republicans, officials say an early primary date would give them an important say in who the GOP nominee should be and would comply with rules put forward by the Republican National Committee that allows states willing to carve up their delegates proportionally to hold their nominating contests March 1. States that prefer winner-take-all must still wait until March 15.
Both Georgia and Tennessee are set on the March 1, 2016, date. Tennessee lawmakers passed legislation in 2011 designating the first Tuesday in March for presidential primaries. Officials in Arkansas and Mississippi say they are working to move their primary.
Part of the draw, says Kemp, is that a cluster of states would make it easier for candidates to visit multiple states at a time and spend money on advertising in TV markets that cross state lines. And because they would be early states, candidates might be lured into hiring local staff who will become key assets if they secure the nomination, Kemp said.
“It gives the South a lot of influence in national political decisions,” Kemp said.
General Assembly 2015
Normally, we wouldn’t spend too much time on legislation that’s unlikely to pass, but two bills that have been dropped by Rep. Tyrone Brooks (D-Atlanta) will be in the spotlight because the further the Democratic party’s national narrative.
Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, every employer, whether a person, firm, or corporation, shall pay to all covered employees a minimum wage which shall be not less than $5.15 $6.20 per hour for each hour worked in the employment of such employer. As of the effective date of this Code section, the minimum wage shall be not less than $15.00 per hour for each hour worked in the employment of such employer. On January 1, 2016, and on January 1 of each successive year thereafter, the minimum wage shall be increased by the increase in the cost of living, if any.
In reading legislation, strikethrough is used to convey irony show deletions and underlining indicates language added to statute. HB 8 also deletes several exemptions from the state minimum wage law.
Deal was inspired to ban the box on the recommendation of the Criminal Justice Reform Council, Dlugolenski said, which the governor established in 2011 with the goal to “protect public safety and hold offenders accountable while controlling state costs.”
One of its members was former state Rep. Jay Neal, a Republican from LaFayette, Ga.
Neal stepped down from the council after the governor appointed him last year as executive director of the state’s new Office of Transition, Support and Re-entry. That agency works to reduce recidivism among criminals, enhance public safety and ensure that the state’s convicted offenders can successfully re-enter society.
Georgia wants to “lead by example,” Neal said, and restrict ban the box to state jobs, instead of making private business comply.
“We did not want to tell private business what they could put on job applications,” Neal said.
The panel has traveled the state, holding eight public hearings, but now it must actually produce a set of recommendations that leaders of the House and Senate have promised will be “significant” and “bold.”
While there were few clues given at Thursday’s final committee meeting, panelists heard a variety of concerns and suggestions, especially about the growing impact that hybrid and electric vehicles have on the state’s bottom line. The more fuel-efficient the car, the less gasoline is purchased. The less gasoline purchased means the less collected in gas taxes for transportation projects.
“All of these new types of vehicles are coming on the market, and we as a state and a country are offering tax incentives for people to buy them on one hand,” Rome City Commissioner Buzz Wachsteter said. “But on the other hand, what are we doing? We’re taking away the revenue that was being produced by conventional vehicles that use motor fuel to provide revenue.”
Lawmakers on the panel seemed sympathetic. State Rep. Mark Hamilton, R-Cumming, said afterward that the committee heard a presentation from leaders in Florida, where electric vehicle owners are charged an annual fee to make up for the loss of gas taxes. While Hamilton mentioned a $250 fee during Thursday’s meeting, he said later that the number was just an example and not a proposal.
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.
Here are two TV ads from the 1970 campaign by Carl Sanders for Governor.
Yesterday, we taped Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Political Rewind early and it began with special guests former Governor Roy Barnes (D) and former Congressman Buddy Darden (D) discussing their experiences in Georgia politics with Carl Sanders. It was fun to hear first-hand stories of a time in Georgia politics that I’d only read about. The show will air today at 3 PM on WRAS 88.5 FM in Atlanta and statewide on the GPB radio network. If you enjoy Georgia history, you’ll enjoy the show.
In the context of a movement to legalize the medicinal use of an oil derived from cannabis in Georgia, this clip of Jimmy Carter from 1977 is interesting.
“I joined this committee because of the unique opportunity to fight for taxpayers and reform the federal government,” said Rep. Graves. “I want the Appropriations Committee to be known as a place where taxpayer dollars are saved, not spent. As the Legislative Branch Subcommittee chairman, I’ll have a prime opportunity to walk the conservative talk. It’s an honor to have Chairman Rogers and the House Majority entrust me with this major responsibility.”
Yesterday’s big news mainly revolved around President Obama’s immigration speech. Here are reactions from some of Georgia’s members of Congress.
Efficient rail transportation demanded a more uniform time-keeping system. Rather than turning to the federal governments of the United States and Canada to create a North American system of time zones, the powerful railroad companies took it upon themselves to create a new time code system. The companies agreed to divide the continent into four time zones; the dividing lines adopted were very close to the ones we still use today.
Most Americans and Canadians quickly embraced their new time zones, since railroads were often their lifeblood and main link with the rest of the world. However, it was not until 1918 that Congress officially adopted the railroad time zones and put them under the supervision of the Interstate Commerce Commission.
“Sandra and I are greatly saddened by the passing of Gov. Carl Sanders,” said Deal. “The bond we shared was more than the mutual possession of a public office; Gov. Sanders was a mentor and friend whose bright example of compassionate leadership was unsurpassed. During his tenure as governor, he transformed Georgia by building thousands of classrooms, improving our transportation system, increasing state income and bringing a competitive spirit to the state through the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Braves. But more than anything else, Gov. Sanders showed true leadership and character by supporting civil rights for all during a time when many were not. It is this legacy that I remember with a heavy heart today, and his lasting positive impact on our state will be felt by many future generations of Georgians. We will continue to pray for the Sanders family during this difficult time.”
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22 at Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, 2715 Peachtree Road, NE. The family has asked that donations in memory of Gov. Sanders be made to either the Metropolitan YMCA or the University of Georgia Law School.
Yesterday, the Republican Caucus nominated Senator David Shafer (R-Duluth) for reelection as President Pro Tem, the highest-ranking member of the State Senate; the position will be formally elected by the entire Senate.
“I am grateful to my fellow Republicans in the Senate for their vote of renewed confidence today. I look forward to working with Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert and our new Caucus leadership team in making Georgia the best place to work, worship and raise children,” said Shafer.
On Armistice Day, in the presence of President Harding and other government, military, and international dignitaries, the unknown soldier was buried with highest honors beside the Memorial Amphitheater. As the soldier was lowered to his final resting place, a two-inch layer of soil brought from France was placed below his coffin so that he might rest forever atop the earth on which he died.
The Tomb of the Unknowns is considered the most hallowed grave at Arlington Cemetery, America’s most sacred military cemetery. The tombstone itself, designed by sculptor Thomas Hudson Jones, was not completed until 1932, when it was unveiled bearing the description “Here Rests in Honored Glory an American Soldier Known but to God.” The World War I unknown was later joined by the unidentified remains of soldiers from America’s other major 20th century wars and the tomb was put under permanent guard by special military sentinels.
If a vacancy occurs within one and one-half years after the date of a regular election for the office of mayor or councilor, then the board of elections shall, within ten days after the occurrence of such vacancy, call a special election to fill the balance of the unexpired term of such office by giving notice in one or more newspapers of general circulation including the newspaper with the largest circulation in Columbus, Georgia. If vacancy occurs more than one and one-half years after the date of a regular election for the office of mayor or councilor, then a person shall be appointed by a majority vote of the total membership of the Council to serve until a successor is elected and qualified at a special election held concurrently with the next regular election for the office of mayor or councilor. The successor elected at such special election shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term of such office.
The city’s charter sets out how McDaniel will be replaced, according to City Attorney Clifton Fay.
If a councilor leaves office within a year-and-a-half of being elected, there is a special election to elect an interim to serve out the term. If the councilor leaves after a year-and-a-half, which is the case with McDaniel, Council will appoint an interim to serve out the rest of the term, Fay said.
However, because the person is serving as an interim, and because Columbus holds municipal elections in the spring or summer, the person elected at the next municipal election would take office immediately instead of waiting until the next January, Fay explained.