Category: Political Consultants


AJC survey: Nathan Deal has lead; no front-runner in Senate race | Political Insider blog

I have an issue with this poll: the partisan self-identification of the sample appears to be skewed Democratic. We’ll talk more about what this means on Monday morning in the email newsletter.

Deal has 47 percent support in a head-to-head matchup against 38 percent for Carter, his likely Democratic opponent. Deal’s support hit 50 percent when voters were asked whether they leaned toward either candidate.

The survey, conducted by SRBI Inc., polled 802 registered voters between Jan. 6 and Jan. 9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Some 44 percent of the respondents identified themselves as a Democrat or Democrat-leaning, while 43 percent identified as Republican or Republican-leaning.

via AJC survey: Nathan Deal has lead; no front-runner in Senate race | Political Insider blog.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections for January 10, 2011

Top Stories

1. An important day in Georgia history
2. Poll: Deal leads Carter by 2-1 margin
3. Campaign announcements
4. Two events with Allen West

Announcing GaPunditPro

In the coming days, we’ll be releasing GaPunditPro, a tool for professionals and citizen-lobbyists at the Capitol that will include an electronic version of the White Book, as well as constantly updated information from both chambers and headlines from

As a preview, here’s the new State House of Representatives Committee Assignments and Chairmanships.


On January 10, 2011, Nathan Deal was sworn in as Governor of Georgia for his first term. The celebratory inauguration was cancelled because of snow and ice, but Deal took the oath of office before a joint session of the Georgia General Assembly. Deal became the second Republican Governor of Georgia during the modern era, taking over from Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Deal 2011 Inaugural Invite

Other Gubernatorial inaugurations

January 10, 1788 John Housetoun
January 10, 1933 Eugene TalmadgeContinue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections for January 9, 2014

“The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its government.”

Thomas Paine

The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms, like law, discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside. And while a single nation refuses to lay them down, it is proper that all should keep them up. Horrid mischief would ensue were one-half the world deprived of the use of them; for while avarice and ambition have a place in the heart of man, the weak will become a prey to the strong. The history of every age and nation establishes these truths, and facts need but little arguments when they prove themselves.

Thomas Paine, “Thoughts on Defensive War.”

On January 9, 1776, Thomas Paine published a pamphlet titled “Common Sense” and laid out his arguments for American Independence. I would argue that blogs are today’s versions of the printed pamphlets that played a critical role in the movement for American Independence.

On January 9, 1784, John Houstoun (pronounced House-ton) was inaugurated for his second term as Governor of Georgia and was the first Governor who was born in Georgia.

On January 9, 1786, Edward Telfair became Governor, having served in the state’s Common House of Assembly, the Continental Congress, and a signer of the Articles of Confederation.

On January 9, 1787, George Matthews was inaugurated as Governor and would go on to infamy as the signer of the Yazoo Land Act. After a story about the Yazoo Fraud earlier this week, I received an email from a descendant of Matthews who said that her family is in possession of the vest he wore in his inauguration. A blurry photo accompanied the email, and I may have a chance to photograph the vest sometime in the near future. It’s a fascinating piece of Georgia History that remains in private hands.

On January 9, 1904, Confederate General John B. Gordon died; his statue commands a corner of the lawn at the Georgia Capitol today. Gordon was elected Governor of Georgia in 1886.

On January 9, 1951, Herman Talmadge was inaugurated to his second term as Governor of Georgia. In 1956, Talmadge was elected to the United States Senate, where he would serve four terms.

Today in 1959, a United States District Court Judge declared regulations segregating Atlanta buses to be unconstitutional. On the same day two years later, Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter arrived in Athens to register for UGA under a federal court order desegregating the University. Today in 1967, the Georgia House of Representatives seated Julian Bond, having earlier denied him his seat in the body due to statements he made against the war in Vietnam.

Modern Georgia Politics

One story told by the election results in House District 22 is that one vote counts. The election is headed to a recount, as the margin between second-place finisher Meagan Biello and third-place Jeff Duncan is two votes.

Who will face top vote-getter Sam Moore in the Feb. 4 runoff for Georgia House District 22 may not be decided until next week, as Cherokee and Forsyth counties wait on Fulton County to certify election results, so that all counties’ results can be made official by the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

Moore was the top vote-getter among four Republicans vying for the seat of the late state Rep. Calvin Hill in a Jan. 7 special election.  However, the second- and third-place vote getters are neck-and-neck. According to unofficial results, Meagan Biello beat Jeff Duncan by two votes.

Duncan said Jan. 8 he plans to ask for a recount.

Cherokee County Elections Superintendent Janet Munda said provisional votes must first be accounted for and vote totals certified before a recount can be held, and Fulton County is not expected to have its totals from the three North Fulton precincts certified until the weekend, Munda said. The election will go to a runoff on Feb. 4 because no candidate had a majority of 50 percent plus one of votes cast.

“Fulton County had three provisional votes,” she noted. She said she currently is seeking guidance from Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office on how to proceed if there turns out to be a tie for second place.

The election also illustrates the pitched battle between “Liberty” Republicans, whose approach to traditional social conservatism varies from disdain to preferring to downplay the importance of issues like abortion, and Georgia’s socially-conservative Republican political establishment.

Sam Moore, who came in first in the House District 22 election represents the growing “Liberty” movement within the GOP, garnering contributions and support from like-minded Republicans and libertarians across the state. He also was able to split the social conservative vote, as three candidates appealed to that base.

Candidates Nate Cochran and Jeff Duncan (fourth and third place respectively) were both endorsed by Georgia Right to Life PAC, a cornerstone of social conservatism in the state. Meagan Biello, second-place finisher, has not received that endorsement, but states on her website that she is pro-life. From the issues page:

The Right To Life
I believe that life begins at conception. I believe that it is the duty of the government to protect all life, no matter how young. I would support efforts to increase awareness about alternatives to abortion for those in need.

House District 2 will also host a runoff election on February 4, 2014, between Neal Florence, a pharmacist who is receiving support from his colleagues across the state, and former Chickamauga City Council member Steve Tarvin. From the Dalton Daily Citizen:

“We had a lot of people working hard for us,” said Tarvin, a businessman and former Chickamauga City Council member and school board member. “We are excited by the results and looking forward to campaigning in the runoff. We were running against two very good candidates, and we are very pleased we ended up on top.”
Florence, a pharmacist and former mayor of LaFayette, also thanked his supporters.
“I appreciate the support I have gotten. I have a bunch of friends who have done a lot of work as far as putting up signs, making phone calls and talking to their friends. I really appreciate that, and I’m looking forward to the runoff campaign,” he said.
The Secretary of State’s website reported 9.11 percent of eligible registered voters turned out for the election, but both Tarvin and Florence said that was actually higher than they expected given the weather and the fact that two major holidays fell during the campaign.

While normally turnout drops for a runoff, Florence said he hopes that it won’t fall too much this time.
“These people have shown they care about the race, and I think they’ll come out for the runoff,” he said.

Now that’s a warchest

Governor Nathan Deal raised more than $4 million in the last six months, ending the year with $4.1 million cash on hand.

The governor’s raised 94 percent of that sum from Georgia residents in at least 122 of the state’s 159 counties. Nearly 3,000 donors contributed to the campaign. He’s hit the fundraising circuit hard as Carter and the two Republicans – Dalton Mayor David Pennington and state School Superintendent John Barge – launched challenges.

Deal, like Carter, will be barred from raising funds during the legislative session that starts Monday. Both are trying to add to their accounts in the frenzied days before the session’s start.

Tom Willis, Deal’s campaign manager, said the report “reflects Georgians’ trust in Deal’s leadership and his conservative vision. They are confident he is leading our state in the right direction and will stay the course.”

Congressman Jack Kingston raised more than $880k for his Senate campaign in the most recent quarter and ended 2013 with $3.4 million in the bank.

Young Republicans on the move

The Georgia Federation of Young Republicans has added four new clubs to its rolls. Henry County, Gwinnett County, Rockdale County and the South Georgia YRs chartered with the Georgia Young Republicans bringing the total number of clubs to fourteen with over 550 members. If you’re interested in starting a club, contact Meagan Hanson, state chair, via email at

Pro notes

Tony Fabrizio has a new polling firm with David Lee as his business partner, called Fabrizio, Lee & Associates. As Fabrizio McLaughlin, the firm polled for many high-dollar Georgia Republicans. John and Jim McLaughlin, former partners with Fabrizio, have their own firm, McLaughlin & Associates, which has polled for Governor Nathan Deal and currently polls for Jack Kingston.

Joint Town Hall Saturday in Cherokee

Senator Bruce Thompson and State Rep. Scot Turner will hold a joint Town Hall Meeting on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at the Bridgemill Fire Station in Canton, located at 9550 Bells Ferry Road, Canton, GA 30114, to discuss the upcoming 2014 legislative session.

Governor Deal this weekend

Governor Deal will be a special guest speaker at the Jackson County Republican Party meeting in Jefferson, Georgia on Saturday. The meeting is at the Jefferson Civic Center from 8 to 9:30 AM. State Representatives Regina Quick and Tommy Benton will also be addressing the meeting.

Afterwards, Gov. Deal will appear at a meet and greet at the Community House in Cornelia, Georgia.

Fulton County Legislative Breakfast Saturday

One of the best events of the year will also be Saturday in North Fulton County on Saturday, as the Fulton GOP holds their annual Breakfast with the Fulton Republican Delegation. We’ve attended the last few years, and it’s a great way to hear about what legislators expect from the coming session.

Fulton County GOP: N. Fulton Breakfast with Fulton GOP Delegation

January 11, 2014, 8:30 AM – 10:15 AM
Country Club of Roswell, 2500 Club Springs Drive Roswell , GA 30076

Join your entire Fulton County Legislative Delegation to set the stage for the 2014 Georgia General Assembly session preview. Last year, this breakfast sold out. Make your reservations today! North Fulton Breakfast (404) 585 3138

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Rabun County GOP: Meeting with Senator John Wilkinson

January 11, 2014, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Kingwood Resort, 401 Country Club Drive Clayton, 30525

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Guest Speaker: Sen. John Wilkinson

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Hall County GOP: Conservative Forum

January 11, 2014, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Denny’s Restaurant, 1701 Browns Bridge Road Gainesville , GA 30501

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Our first Conservative Forum for 2014 will be held this Saturday. County Commission Chairman Dick Mecum will deliver our annual State of the County address.

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Camden County GOP: Breakfast with Rep. Jeff Chapman

January 11, 2014, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Grits-N-Bits, 101 Industrial Drive St. Mary’s , GA 31558 United States

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Speaker: State Representative & Congressional Candidate Jeff Chapman. Contact Jeremy Spencer for details @ or 912.409.0286

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections for January 7, 2014

On January 7, 1789, Georgia voters cast their first ballots for President of the United States of America. Georgia’s electors met the next month in Augusta and cast Georgia’s electoral votes for George Washington.

On January 7, 1795, Governor George Matthews signed legislation passed by the Georgia General Assembly, that described itself thusly,

An Act supplementary to an Act entitled ‘An Act for appropriating a part of the unlocated territory of this state for the payment of the late state troops, and for other purposes therein mentioned, declaring the right of this State to the unappropriated territory thereof, for the protection and support of the frontiers of this State, and for other purposes.’

This was one of the first major economic development undertakings by the state government and would come to be known as the Great Yazoo Land Fraud. The bill, passed under the pressure of intense lobbying, was such an abomination that the next year’s General Assembly revoked the Act and ordered all copies of the legislation burned, igniting a tradition that continues to this day.

Wedgwood Yazoo

In 1933, the Transylvania Club of Sandersville, Georgia commissioned a set of commemorative plates by Wedgwood; Mr. C.D. Shelnutt, Mr. C.F. Irwin, and Mr. B.J. Tarbutton paid the required deposit to begin production of the plates. In 1974, then-Governor Jimmy Carter signed a resolution of the General Assembly naming the plates the official historical plates of Georgia, and they continue to be offered for sale in pink or blue.

People who had purchased land under the Act sued to prevent the state’s overturning its own conveyances, and the United States Supreme Court for the first time invalidated a state law as unconstitutional, in a case styled Fletcher v. Peck (1810).

On January 7, 1961, Hamilton E. Holmes drove from Atlanta to Athens to enroll in the University of Georgia, beginning the desegregatation of the institution.

On January 7, 1972, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., having previously turned down appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States, was sworn in as an Associate Justice, along with William Rehnquist, who would be elevated to Chief Justice by President Ronald Reagan. Powell earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Washington & Lee University and its School of Law.

On January 7, 1997, Georgia’s Newt Gingrich was reelected Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the first Republican reelected in 68 years; he would resign his Congressional seat less than a year later.

On January 7, 1998, former White House intern Monica Lewinsky signed an affidavit denying she’d had an affair with President Bill Clinton.

On January 7, 1999, the Senate impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton began. Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist presided and Georgia Congressman Bob Barr was one of thirteen house “managers,” responsible for prosecuting the case in the Senate.

Voting today

The polls will be open today from 7 AM to 7 PM for Special Elections in Georgia State House District 2 (Catoosa, Walker and Whitfield) and District 22 (Cherokee, Forsyth and Fulton Counties.

If you live in one of those counties and have questions about whether you’re eligible to vote tomorrow and where, please login to the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page. You may also check with your county Board of Elections.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections for January 6, 2014

Polls open for the 2014 Georgia Republican Primary Election in 134 days. Polls open tomorrow at 7 AM for Special Elections in Georgia State House District 2 (Catoosa, Walker and Whitfield) and District 22 (Cherokee, Forsyth and Fulton Counties.

If you live in one of those counties and have questions about whether you’re eligible to vote tomorrow and where, please login to the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page. You may also check with your county Board of Elections.

State House District 2 candidates

Neal Florence (R)  Facebook | raised $58k, spent $27k

Steve Tarvin (R)  Facebook | no reports filed

Doug Woodruff (R)  Facebook | raised $22k, spent $12k

State House District 22 candidates

Meagan Biello (R)  Facebook | raised $5k, spent $3k

Nate Cochran (R)  Facebook | no report filed

Jeff Duncan (R)  Facebook | raised $16k, spent $12k

Sam Moore (R)  Facebook | raised $18k, spent $11k

Note: all totals above are from the 15-days before report, though some have since filed a December 31 report. Reports were checked on Monday, January 6, 2014 between 9 and 9:30 AM.


On January 5, 2001, Congress certified George W. Bush as winner of the 2000 Presidential election.

On January 6, 1785, Samuel Elbert was elected Governor of Georgia by the General Assembly and later served as Sheriff of Chatham County.

On January 6, 1961, United States District Court Judge William Bootle ordered the University of Georgia to enroll Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter, ending the segregation of UGA.


 Glynn GOP: US Senate Candidate Forum with Rep. Jack Kingston

January 6, 2014 from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Christian Renewal Church, 4265 Norwich St Ext (aka Hwy 341) Brunswick , GA 31520

Jack Kingston, US House Representative for Dist 1 and US Senate Candidate for GA, is appearing in the fourth of our US Senate candidate forums We are expecting a large crowd so come early to get your seat and to spend time talking with Rep Kingston before the program begins. Short candidate speech followed by questions posed by our panel Please bring a friend, neighbor, spouse – or even a stranger – who is interested in learning more about candidates…

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January 7, 2014 from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Red Lobster, 700 Shorter Ave SW Rome, GA 30165+ Google Map

The Floyd County Republican Women meeting  – guest speaker will be Sam Olens, GA Attorney General. Please come and bring a friend.

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January 7, 2014 from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub,

705 Town Boulevard, Brookhaven , GA 30319 United States

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Please join Speaker David Ralston, Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, Majority Leader Larry O’Neal, Brookhaven Mayor J Max Davis, Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson and Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis at a campaign fundraiser for State Rep. Mike Jacobs. With Ron Paul inspired primary opposition set to formally announce after the start of the legislative session, we need your help now. Olde Blind Dog is located in Town Brookhaven, off of Peachtree Road just south of Oglethorpe University.

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January 7, 2014 from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
The Georgian Club, 100 Galleria Parkway Atlanta , GA 30339

You are Invited to a Reception For Senator Judson Hill, Vice Chairman of the Republican Senate Caucus, Chairman Senate Finance Committee. Suggested Contribution $250    Contributions may be made payable to Friends of Judson Hill, 3102 Raines Court, Marietta, GA 30062. In lieu of your appearance, please consider making an online contribution at

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January 7, 2014 from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Pinetree Country Club , 3400 McCollum Parkway, Kennesaw, GA 30144
January 7, 2014 from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Gilmer county Court House, 1 Broad S Ellijay, GA 30540

The Gilmer County Republican Party with David Pennington, candidate for Georgia Governor. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend this very important meeting.

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January 7, 2014 from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Henry County Public Safety Complex Community Room, 116 Zack Hinton Pkwy McDonough, GA 30253

The monthly meeting of the Henry County GOP with  DAVID PERDUE Candidate for U.S. Senate and NANCY JESTER  Candidate for Georgia State School Superintendent

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January 7, 2014 from 10:00 PM – 11:00 PM


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January 8, 2014 from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Johnny Harris Banquet Hall,

1651 E. Victory Drive Savannah, GA 31404 United States

+ Google Map

PROGRAM: Forum of Candidates for 1st District Congressional Seat Candidates: Buddy Carter, Darwin Carter, Jeff Chapman, Bob Johnson, John McCallum and Earl Martin. PERMANENT RESERVATION LIST: If you are on permanent list and you fail to show or notify otherwise, you are responsible for paying for lunch. You will be removed from the permanent list after two infractions. You must cancel by Monday before the luncheon. Please RSVP: Reservations to: Rebecca Rhinehart (398-0111) Reservation’s by Noon, Monday, January 6,…

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January 9, 2014 from 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Green Ginger Restaurant, 200 Market Place Connector Peachtree City , GA 30269

The Greater Fayette Republican Women’s Club will hold their installation of officers for 2014-2015 on Thursday, January 9th. The officers to be installed are President Alberta Lucas,  Vice President Mary Kay Rudd,  Secretary Becky Steely, and  Treasurer Debby Dickinson.  For more information, please contact Debby Dickinson, 404-376-4132

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January 9, 2014 from 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Columbus Convention and Trade Center, 801 Front Avenue Columbus , GA 31901

For 168 years the Chamber has been working for you in the Greater Columbus region. Join us for our Annual Meeting as we celebrate the successes of 2013.  A review of 2013 and a preview of 2014 will be presented. There is no cost to attend this event. Reservations on-line only by January 6, 2014.

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January 9, 2014 from 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
The Capital Grille, 255 E. Paces Ferry Road Atlanta , GA 30305+ Google Map

You are invited to support Senate President Pro Tempore David Shafer at this fundraising reception for his re-election campaign. Authorized by the David Shafer Senate Committee. Kindly RSVP to Denise Deal at 678.617.1625.

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January 9, 2014 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
VFW, 725 Hwy 27 Cataula, GA 31804
Meet and Greet at 6:00 pm and Meeting at 6:30 pm.  Meals, Snacks, and Beverages available.
January 9, 2014 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Be My Guest: Catering and Events,

4216 Washington Rd Evans, GA 30809 United States

+ Google Map

Our speaker, Dr. Linda Tucciarone, is the Executive Director of Heritage Academy in Augusta, Georgia. She will discuss Georgia’s GOAL Scholarship program, school choice as well as the mission and success of Heritage Academy in providing quality education for students who would normally be in poorly performing schools. Social/Dinner is 6-7 pm. Meeeting is 7-8pm. $12 buffet style dinner per person.

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January 9, 2014 from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Six Feet Under – Grant Park, 437 Memorial Drive S.E. Atlanta , GA 30312
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Happy New Year!  We enjoyed our break after the Holiday Party and look forward to catching up with everyone at our January Happy Hour. With the venue just down the street from the Georgia Capitol, we hope that interns and staffers (and any interested legislators) can drop by as well.

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January 9, 2014 from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Charlton County Public Library,

1291 Indian Trail Folkston , GA 31537 United States

+ Google Map

Charlton County GOP We will hold our first meeting of 2014 this Thursday, January 9th at 7pm in the Meeting Room of the Charlton County Public Library.

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January 9, 2014 from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Mt. Pleasant UMC,

55 Hwy 229 Social Circle , GA 30035 United States

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Our January meeting. Featured speakers will include U.S. Senate candidate Karen Handel and Mike Collins for Congress, candidate for the 10th Congressional District.

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January 11, 2014 from 8:15 AM – 9:15 AM
Cobb GOP HQ, 799 Roswell St Marietta, GA 30060
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Cobb GOP January Pancake Breakfast with U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson

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January 11, 2014 9:00 AM @ 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
VFW, 1011 Corder Road. Warner Robins, GA 30188
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Houston County Republican Party welcomes to its January meeting Phil Gingrey, Republican candidate for Senate and Congressman representing Georgia’s 11th District

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January 11, 2014 from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Golden Corral, 605 Bullsboro Drive Newnan , GA 30265
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Please join us for the monthly Coweta GOP breakfast meeting. This month’s speakers will be U.S. Senate candidates Karen Handel and David Perdue. This will be your opportunity to meet the candidates in person and ask them questions about their vision for Georgia and America. We encourage everyone to come early and have breakfast. We look forward to seeing you Saturday!

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Cherokee County GOP: Meeting with Rep. Phil Gingrey & Allan Levine

January 11, 2014 from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Winchester’s Woodfire Grill,

110 Mountain Vista Blvd Canton, 30115

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Congressman Phil Gingrey and Allan Levine will be joining us to talk about their respective campaigns for US Senate and US Congress. We look forward to a productive and exciting 2014 with you!

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January 11, 2014 from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Kingwood Resort,

401 Country Club Drive Clayton, 30525

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Guest Speaker: Sen. John Wilkinson

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January 11, 2014 from 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
DeKalb GOP HQ,

1532 Dunwoody Village Court Dunwoody , GA 30338 United States

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Join us as we invite the candidates for the State School Superintendent to present their insights and vision for education in Georgia. Contact : Linda Kelley Smith, Chairman, Dekalb GOP 404-422-5462

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January 11, 2014 from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Fayette GOP HQ,

174 GLYNN ST N Fayetteville, GA 30214 United States

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Fayette County Teens Republicans have planned out their winter season projects and are ready to roll.  Chairman Tylan Jones, VC Matt Stordy, Secretary Arik Li and Treasurer Jack Fredrikson are the newly elected Executive Board and ask you to attend the first meeting. Teens are very welcomed from the ages of 14-18 years of age and have the desire to learn of the political process especially with an upcoming active 2014 campaign year.  Becoming a leader and learning lifelong skills…

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January 12, 2014

Happy Birthday – Lt. Governor Casey Cagle

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January 12, 2014 from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Georgia Railroad Depot,

65 Martin Luther King, Jr., Drive, S.E. Atlanta , GA 30334 United States

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The “Wild Hog Supper,” a Georgia tradition dating to 1962, marks the opening of the legislative session each year. In recent years, the Atlanta Community Food Bank has collected non-perishable food items donated by attendees. Please join our Honorary Host Committee Governor Nathan Deal, Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, Chairman John Wilkinson, Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee, Chairman Tom McCall, House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee, and the Executive Directors of Georgia’s 7 Regional Food Banks as we celebrate the…

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January 12, 2014 from 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Atlanta Dayanut Institute, 5065 High Point Rd Atlanta , GA 30342

“Israel Alone?” A Lecture with Michael Medved How Israel can continue to flourish in an increasingly hostile world

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January 13, 2014 12:00 AM
Georgia State Capitol, 206 Washington St SW Atlanta, 30334

First Day of Session – 2013 Georgia General Assembly

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January 13, 2014 from 7:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Georgia State Capitol,

206 Washington St SW Atlanta, GA 30334 United States

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On Monday, Jan. 13, SGA, in partnership with the Office of Government and Community Relations, will host its annual Georgia Tech Day at the Capitol and is inviting all students to join. At this event, students will learn more about what happens under the gold dome and can thank state leaders for their commitment to higher education. Students who attend will have the opportunity to: – Interact with representatives – Take a tour of the Capitol, receiving a special…

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January 13, 2014 6:45 PM @ 6:45 PM – 8:45 PM
Gainesville Civic Center,

830 Green Street, NE Gainesville, GA 30501 United States

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Register for Free Event Today! Invite A Friend! Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Georgia in partnership with American Principles Project is excited to announce the upcoming Confronting the Common Core education event in Gainesville, Georgia. Come hear a panel discussion that exposes the threat of the Common Core to Georgia’s educational sovereignty. Be ready to be educated, equipped and empowered to stop the Common Core! Walk away with the tools you will need to help Georgia reverse course and return…

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January 13, 2014 7:00 PM @ 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Mimi’s Restaurant,

4880 Mall of Georgia Blvd Buford, GA 30549 United States

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The January meeting of the GGRW will be on Monday, the 13th at Mimi’s Restaurant in Buford near Mall of GA. The featured speaker will be Mark Rountree, noted political consultant and campaign advisor for some of the most prominent Georgians.  Since this is an election year. and Georgia will be electing a new Senator and several Congressmen, Mark will discuss “winning in 2014” a strategy for Republicans. All are invited to attend what will surely be a topical and interesting meeting.…

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January 13, 2014 from 7:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Congressman Rob Woodall Telephone Town Hall Please join me for a Telephone Town Hall Meeting on January 13th. Dial-in: 877-229-8493 Password: 17849

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CQ Roll Call Candidate Spotlight: Dr. Bob Johnson


Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections for January 3, 2014

Racetrack cover

In 137 days, the Primary Elections for federal offices will be held in Georgia, with the General Assembly likely to move state Primary Elections to the same date. It is also likely that the first ballots will be cast in a little over three months from today, as early voting will likely begin in April this year. Welcome to the starting line.

On January 3, 1766, the British crown sent its first taxation representative to Georgia to administer the Stamp Act, which required each piece of paper, including business and legal documents, to bear an embossed stamp to show that tax had been paid. Georgia’s royal Governor had to have the agent protected with armed troops and he left two weeks later. Georgia merchants agreed to pay the tax in order to allow ships to be unloaded (which required a written bill of lading, hence the tax requirement). Georgia was the only colony in which taxes were actually collected under the Stamp Act, earning the enmity of other states. Thus, our current disdain for taxation has an historical precendent.

On January 3, 1861, Georgia Governor Joseph E. Brown ordered volunteer militia to seize Fort Pulaski, then controlled by the federal government, though Georgia then remained part of the United States. In spring 1862, the feds, with new rifled cannon, seized Pulaski back and cut off traffic on the Savannah River to the Port of Savannah.

On January 3, 1947 Helen Douglas Mankin ended her only term in Congress from Georgia. She is often cited as the first female member of Congress from Georgia, though Florence Gibbs actually holds that distinction. Mankin was elected in a 1945 Special Election and defeated for reelection in 1946.

On January 3, 1956, Iris Faircloth Blitch was sworn in to Congress from Georgia’s Eighth District, becoming the first woman elected in a regular election who would serve a full term in Congress from Georgia.

On January 3, 1973, Andrew Young became the first Black Member of Congress from Georgia since reconstruction, serving the Fifth District until his appointment in 1977 by fellow Georgian Jimmy Carter as Ambassador to the United Nations.

Saturday is the 53d birthday of Michale Stipe, born at Fort McPherson, Georgia in 1960.

On January 4, 1995, Georgia Congressman Newt Gingrich was elected Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, becoming the third Georgian to hold that office after Congressmen Charles Crisp (1892-1896) and Howell Cobb (1850-1851).

On January 4, 1999, Alvin T. “Al” Wong was sworn in as Judge of the DeKalb State Court, and took the bench as the first Asian-American judge in the Southeastern United States.

On January 5, 1868, General George Meade took command of the Third Military District, beginning the Reconstruction in Georgia.

On January 5, 1926, Hosea Williams was born in Attapulgus, Georgia.

In these three days, we see illustrated the sweep of Georgia’s history as a state. From the Colonial period, through the Civil War and Reconstruction, the movement of women into political leadership, followed by African-Americans, the ascendance of the Republican Party in Georgia and as the dominant Southern party, to the first steps of Asian-Americans and other minorities into roles of political leadership.

Speaking of Asian-Americans

First of all, I am one. My grandfather was Japanese. Also, two Asian-Americans were elected in Georgia in 2013, including Morrow City Councilwoman Hang Tran.

Five candidates may not sound like many, but previous election cycles typically saw just one or two, said Helen Ho, executive director of the Asian-American Legal Advocacy Center of Georgia.

“I kind of feel the snowball is finally getting bigger,” said Ho, whose organization is working to get Asian-Americans to vote. “There seems to be some momentum.”

Tran, who works as a chemist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the absence of Asian-Americans in local government motivated her to run. “I just thought there wasn’t enough representation,” she said.

This year, the name of Eugene Chin Yu, an Augusta businessman of Korean ancestry, will appear on the statewide ballot among candidates for Georgia’s open U.S. Senate seat.

Still, conversations with a half dozen Asian-Americans reveals a wide spectrum of political engagement — well short of a definitive groundswell. And even community leaders acknowledge the challenges of mobilizing a group that includes many disparate cultures and languages, as well as, among some immigrants, a fear of government instilled by repressive regimes in their countries of origin.

Daewon Hwang said his Korean church congregation in Cumming is a blank slate when it comes to political interest.

The reason? “The language problem,” the pastor said as he shopped in a Korean supermarket in Duluth, where 22 percent of residents are Asian-American.

Down the road in a Chinese supermarket, Yanfeng Li said he sees stirrings of engagement: websites that express political views, even some calls for candidates.

Edward Chu, an interpreter who lives in Lilburn, votes, but does not take an active interest in local politics. He’d like to see someone from the Chinese community elected to local office, but he would not support a candidate simply because of his or her heritage.

“I’d have to agree with them,” he said.

Behind the scenes, there’s a push under way to nudge Asian-Americans toward the voting booth.

Asian-American groups have canvassed door-to-door to register voters, made robo-calls before elections and brought in candidates for forums and dinners. For this year’s elections, they are targeting high-concentration areas such as Norcross, Clarkston, Duluth, Lawrenceville and John’s Creek.

Ho’s group has created a statewide database of Asian-Americans and other immigrants to track who is registered and who has voted. According to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, the number of Asian-Americans who are active voters grew by about 10,000 from 2008 to 2012 to stand at more than 72,000.

“We cannot just have other community members making important decisions,” said Travis Kim, who served as president for the past two years of the Korean American Association of Greater Atlanta. “We have to be involved.”

State Rep. B.J. Pak (R-Gwinnett) is the only Asian-American member of the Georgia General Assembly, and he wrote an op-ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution urging our fellow Asian-Americans to vote.

While Georgia’s AAPI voter rolls increased approximately 230 percent from 2004 to 2012, the actual turnout percentage has decreased. In Georgia, only 54.7 percent of Asian-Americans registered to vote voted in the 2012 presidential election.

In Gwinnett, where AAPIs comprise roughly 12 percent of the population — the highest percentage in the state — the turnout was even lower, at 51 percent. Despite having the highest percentage of those with college degrees among all groups, Asian-Americans had the lowest turnout percentage of all racial/ethnic groups.

AAPI statewide turnout percentage actually declined significantly during the last three presidential election cycles – from 65.7 percent in 2004 to 58 percent in 2008 and 54.7 percent in 2012. These percentages would shrink even more, if we were to include in the denominator the number of Asian-Americans who were eligible but not registered..

So, what might be causing lower turnout and perceived apathy? Based on my observations, some general themes emerge.

First, many first-generation AAPIs indicated they were unable to make it the polls on Election Day because they own and operate small businesses. Although several alternatives to in-person voting on Election Day exist, many of these voters simply were not familiar with the availability of early and absentee voting.

Second, the structure of government in the U.S. is complex. Many find it difficult to fully comprehend the functions of each political office for which they are voting. Many also find it intimidating to vote because they are not fluent in English. Ballots and instructions are in English.

Third, the AAPI population is diverse. Attitudes regarding civic involvement vary in light of their past experiences with their birth country. Some simply believe they cannot have a relationship with their elected officials, that their votes would not matter, or that they cannot make a difference in government.

Lastly, when AAPI parents do not vote, their children are less likely to be involved civically.

How do we reverse the trend? At the very least, it requires combined efforts by government officials, candidates for office, and community leaders.

Perhaps some folks would like to help Rep. Pak get his op-ed translated and published in some of the Asian-language newspapers and newsletters that appear in our communities. Sounds like a great way for the Georgia Republican Party to start outreach to groups of voters some of whom are likely to be sympathetic to conservative ideology if we reach out to them.

Helen Kim Ho, who is mentioned in the first article above, makes such a point in another Op-ed in the AJC.

Any political party interested in expanding its base in Georgia must engage immigrant voters or those who have come to this country recently and become naturalized citizens.

Take Gwinnett County, with 4.5 percent Asian, 4.8 percent Latino and 25 percent African-American active voters. While voter turnout as a whole went down between the last two presidential elections at both state and county levels, voter turnout in Gwinnett increased among immigrants.

In the 2012 Duluth House district race, state Rep. Pedro Marin — the Democratic incumbent who was redistricted to a majority Republican district running through New Koreatown — won in large part due to Asian-American voters. He also won by a larger margin there than in his former majority-Democratic district.

What can be deduced from Marin’s race is that while many Asian-Americans identify as Republican — slightly more than 50 percent, based on an exit poll we conducted in 2010 — they vote ultimately on issues. A voter survey we conducted this year of hundreds of voters in Gwinnett found 20 percent saying they voted based on party loyalty.

The percentage of white voters in Georgia is on the decline. Georgia is growing more urban and less rural. Counting on the vote of avowed Democrats in the state won’t win or influence larger elections. And token, last-minute pleas to immigrant voters with top-down messaging don’t work.

That’s where knowledge of what issues catalyze immigrant civic participation can help win votes. Our 2013 Voter Survey, which included a majority of Asian respondents, asked respondents to select their top priorities from a list of 11 issues. The top three issues were public education, economic equity/small business and access to health care. Immigration was also important, but as a secondary issue alongside transportation and public safety.

Georgia Republicans now have a challenge squarely in front of us. Who’s willing to work on this project? I very rarely say nice things about the AJC, though their reporting on APS cheating scandals was world-class, but I want to thank them for paying attention to this issue.

Allen West calls out Georgia Democrats for opposing a Georgia Democrat

Allen West has called out some Georgia Democrats who are opposing the nomination of DeKalb County State Court Judge Eleanor Ross to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Civil rights leaders are showing their “true colors” again in my home state of Georgia over judicial appointments.

According to Politico,

President Barack Obama has upset Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and other civil rights leaders by ignoring their input in picking four nominees to fill vacancies on the federal bench in Georgia’s Northern District.

Lewis and fellow Presidential Medal of Freedom winners Joseph Lowery and C.T. Vivian are expected to ask Obama to withdraw his nominees — a demand that is unlikely to be met — amid concerns about the judges’ records and convictions on matters of importance to African-Americans.

The three appointments in question are:

Mark Cohen — the lead defense attorney in challenges to Georgia’s voter ID law.
Michael Boggs – a state judge who, as a member of the state Legislature, once voted to keep in place the Confederate-themed Georgia state flag
Eleanor Ross – a female state judge who is black and (gasp) a REPUBLICAN

The fourth nominee (not being specifically contested by Lewis) is Leigh Martin May – a female trial lawyer who is white — but a Democrat.

Why is Ross such a troublesome choice for Lewis? According to Joe Saunders, writing for BizPac Review,

U.S. Rep. John L. Lewis (D-Ga) is accusing the president of selling out his political base by naming Eleanor Ross as a federal judge. She is, literally, not politically correct enough. Since most black women are Democrats, Lewis reasons, any black woman Obama appoints should be Democrat, too.

This case also clearly demonstrates who is raging the real “war on women.” The Democrats want to keep black women in their place, on the political plantation.

The irony in this all is that I’m not aware, as a DeKalb Republican, of any evidence that Eleanor Ross is a Republican, other than Democrats simply stating it. Here’s Judge Ross’s voting history, from

Eleanor Ross Voting Record3

Her voting record above shows Democratic Primary elections and General Elections. She served as an Assistant District Attorney in Fulton County and Assistant Solicitor in DeKalb under elected Democrats. A search of the Ethics Commission website shows no Republican donations. The only Republican tie of which I am aware is that Governor Nathan Deal appointed Ross to the DeKalb State Court.

I reject the contention that Eleanor Ross is a Republican as being based solely on the facts that Governor Deal appointed her to a nonpartisan position in DeKalb County and that her nomination to the federal bench is apparently supported by Georgia’s Republican United States Senators, without which any nomination is doomed.

And speaking of Allen West, he will be the featured speaker at the Bridging the Gap Lincoln Day Dinner on February 27, 2014 in Leesburg, Georgia. From an email I received:

Bridging The Gap of Georgia is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization created to assist veterans with their transition home.  Many of the veterans we serve suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Combat Stress and are homeless. We utilize a mentorship program to enable veterans to function as productive members of our society by addressing their housing, job placement, and health needs.

For the 1st Annual Lincoln Day Dinner, our featured speaker is LTC. Allen West who will share with the audience his extensive knowledge and experience, as well as provide insight on the support systems needed to enhance services to veterans. Attendees will get valuable information about Bridging The Gap of Georgia and initiatives that can address the needs and issues of veterans in their local community.

Please find detailed information about the event below.

1st Annual Lincoln Day Dinner
February 27, 2014  Time to be announced
Featured Speaker: LTC. Allen West
The Bindery at Oakland Library & Event Center
445 Oakland Parkway, West
Leesburg, GA 31763
$50.00 per person (includes dinner)
Proceeds to benefit Bridging The Gap of Georgia
Sponsored by the Lee County Republican Party

LTC. Allen West is a Georgia native, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Fox News contributor and served in both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield.  His book, “Guardian of the Republic” is due to be released in April 2014.  Throughout his years leading troops, raising a loving family, serving as Congressman in Florida’s 22nd district, and emerging as one of the most authentic voices in conservative politics, LTC. West has never compromised the core values on which he was raised: family, faith, tradition, service, honor, fiscal responsibility, courage, and freedom.

You can reserve your seat for the Lincoln Day Dinner by visiting Bridging the Gap on their website.

Nancy Jester visits Spalding County GOP

Last night, Nancy Jester, Republican candidate for State School Superintendent, visited the Spalding County Republican Party.

Jester Noble

Saturday, Jester will speak to the Gwinnett County Republican Party monthly meeting at 550 Trackside in Lawrenceville. Karen Handel will also be addressing the meeting.

County party organizations or other conservative groups who would like to hear Nancy Jester’s conservative message about how to get better educational results for our children through conservative fiscal management and “more classroom, less bureaucracy,” please email her at

Greg Williams handicaps the Senate race

Our friend Greg Williams has his take on the starting positions in the Senate race. My own analogy is that we’re at the point where the candidates have been training and are now settling into the blocks. Like the picture at the top, they all start from the same starting line, but some will have an inside track. We’re in the middle distance phase of the race now, where you need both stamina, and endurance. Greg, of course, prefers a football metaphor.

Greg’s List is proud to provide our version of Georgia’s Best Conservative Senator rankings beginning Week One 2014. Our rankings will be comprised of scientific polling data, objective interviews, subjective analysis, and generalities drawn from an amalgamation of traditional media, social media and new media reactions to the individual candidates…In other words, we will provide the proverbial “Educated Guess”…or, “Enlightened Prediction” as we grassroot melo-dramatists prefer..
So, without further adieu, we present our “inaugural” rankings of 2014: 1. Jack Kingston–There’s no such thing as bad press and Kingston recovered nicely from his verbal fumble regarding childhood cafeteria sweeping aka Work Ethic in public schools. Kingston is the Senior member of Congress out of the three announced House of Representative candidates and has significant support from Coastal and Southern Georgia. Appearances on Bill Maher’s show and other national networks has enhanced his name ID in Metro Atlanta and he leads the pack in fundraising…
2. Karen Handel–With her grassroots apparatus from previous state wide races intact, Handel is a formidable competitor in the Senate race…On a purely subjective basis, Handel has the luxury of combining passionate and articulate volunteers that show up en masse for every state-side grassroot event.
3. David Perdue–Money, money, money…And lack of a voting record…Both are Boons to a prospective Senate candidate, and his last name won’t alienate him to voters, despite the wistful predictions from the anti-Sonny crowd…
4. Phil Gingrey–Clumsy defense of Todd Akin’s insanity regarding “legitimate rape” questions his ability to articulate Conservative principles…Has money though, and a large network due to his previous Congressional Geographic coverage…

5. Paul Broun–Fundraising and lamentable Social Conservative strict Biblical interpretations hold this candidacy back…The passion of his supporters could elevate him to run-off status but many things would have to fall into place and its too early to predict their manifestation..

Bill Byrne announces for Cobb Commission District 1

Byrne served as Chairman of the Cobb County Commission from 1992 to 2002 and is running for the district seat being vacated by Helen Goreham, who is not seeking reelection. From his pre-announcement:

As of December 30, 2013, I am announcing that I am a Republican candidate for Commission District 1, of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners.

My campaign will focus on the following issues facing Cobb County:

Decisions by Government, at all levels, must be fundamentally based on the principles of the Constitution and be limited, focused and based on the WILL OF THE PEOPLE being served.

The primary responsibility of Government, at all levels, must always be Public Safety.

I am committed to work with the cities of Acworth, Kennesaw and Marietta to bring new companies and business opportunities to those urban centers of Cobb County.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections for January 2, 2014

Welcome to 2014. We are now 4 months and 18 days (138 days) from the 2014 Primary Elections and 10 months, 2 days (306 days) from the 2014 General Elections.

No day of the year better illustrates the duality of Georgia’s place in American history than January Second. On January 2, 1788, delegates to a convention in Augusta voted unanimously and Georgia became the fourth state to ratify the Constitution of the United States of America. On January 2, 1861, Georgia voters went to the polls to elect delegates to the Secession Convention to be held January 16th in Milledgeville, then Georgia’s Capital.

On January 2, 1916, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Joseph R. Lamar died in Washington, DC. Lamar was born in Ruckersville, Georgia and grew up next door to best friend Woodrow Wilson, who served  Lamar attended the University of Georgia, received his BA from Bethany College and his law degree from Washington & Lee University School of Law. Lamar served in the Georgia House of Representatives and on the Georgia Supreme Court before being nominated to the United State Supreme Court by  President William Taft (R-Ohio).

Old Georgia Capitol1

Polls are open in HD 2 and 22 Special Elections

Check the Secretary of State’s website for information on where and when you can vote in the Special Elections for House District 2 (Catoosa, Walker, and Whitfield Counties) and House District 22 (Cobb, Forsyth, and Fulton Counties).

Speaking of Secretary of State Brian Kemp, his official website has a new design, one that’s responsive to screen size and should work well on tablets and smartphones.

New Kemp Website

One thing I would note is that it looks like his photo was taken by the same guy who shot David Perdue’s early headshots, as well as some for Donna Sheldon and Barry Loudermilk. I’d bet the shots were taken with a Nikon D4, D800, D800E, or D600. It’s easy to correct in the camera, and if you’ve already taken shots with a green cast, you can correct it in Photoshop.

Campaign Disclosure system like

With the New Year came new reporting and registration requirements for lobbyists, and it appears that the Georgia State Ethics Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission online system may not be up to the task. Last night, we saw numerous reports of lobbyists registering for this year but not receiving a promised email to confirm their registration.

We also heard over the weekend that the campaign disclosure system was having a problem where it won’t allow the download of .pdfs of working files. So if you want to double-check your work, you may be out of luck.

According to the State Ethics Commission website, here are the upcoming deadlines for state campaigns.

2013 Year End Report Grace Period ends January 8, 2014.

2014 First Report covering the period through January 31, 2014, Grace Period ends February 7, 2014.

So, for the first time under the new law, candidates with elections this year have an extra disclosure due at the end of January.

Here’s my advice for anyone with reports due in the coming days. First, file early, even if it means that you might need to amend later, because you get fined for filing late, not for amending a timely-filed report. Second, if you do find the disclosure system bogging down and throwing errors, document it, document it, document it. Screenshots are your friend here, as are emails to the Commission’s help center.

Other new laws now effective in effect

Last year’s Lobbying Reform push, which brought us the new January 31 disclosure designed to capture last-minute fundraising in advance of the legislative session, we also have new limits on lobbyist gifts to legislators.

While the ethics laws set the first state limits on how much a lobbyist can spend, there remain considerable loopholes and questions about how the laws will be enforced. The state ethics commission, which has been dealing with various investigations and federal subpoenas, is tasked with interpreting the new laws and creating rules for compliance. That process could take weeks or months.

Under the new laws, lobbyists will not be able to spend more than $75 at a time. Previously, lobbyists could spend as much as they wanted as long as it was noted on disclosure reports filed with the state.

Potential loopholes exist. For instance, lobbyists can still spend more to host group events where all members of the General Assembly or all members of a smaller group, such as a caucus, are invited. In addition, the $75 cap is on lobbyists, not lawmakers, so it’s conceivable that more than one lobbyist might join forces and split the cost so each doesn’t exceed the limit.

Also notable about the Lobbying legislation is a new definition of “Lobbyist” that broadens who must register with the State Ethics Commission, and zeroes out the registration fee for lobbyists to allow unpaid or modestly paid citizen-lobbyists to register without a financial burden.

All new employees in childcare facilities must be cleared through a national fingerprint background check.

Juvenile Justice Reform, passed with the support of Gov. Nathan Deal as the sequel to justice reform for adult offenders and enhances the flexibility of judges to sentence juveniles to programs other than traditional youth detention centers.

“Currently, if we take a child and put them into a called ‘secure detention,’ that child is going to cost the state over $90,000 a year. You could put children through the finest college in this country for less cost than that,” said Rep. Wendell Willard, (R) Sandy Springs, the bill’s primary sponsor.

That high price tag is attributed to the cost of educating a child while he or she is incarcerated. Instead, the community-based programs will keep youth offenders at home with their families and at their regular schools, greatly reducing the cost to the state.

Legislation to address concussions in youth sports, called the “Return to Play Act,” also goes into effect today.

Georgia’s Return to Play Act of 2013 requires coaches to pull kids displaying signs of concussions off the fields for medical evaluation.

The law will keep children who’ve suffered head injuries from playing until they’re cleared by a doctor.  Some say it sounds good, but others worry it won’t work.  The players dashing down the field each game now have extra protection.

“It’s always in the back of your mind when any of your children play sports that, you know, there’s always a chance that it could happen,” said Larry Smith, Parent.

A new state law requires coaches to pull players who may have suffered a concussion out of the game.

“Basically, what it does it makes people aware of what they are and what dangers it could lead to,” said Dr. Mike Busman, Family Medicine and Sports Medicine Physician.

Busman said recognizing concussions can be tricky.  He said removing injured players from games is essential before they get hit again.

“It could cause loss of consciousness, bleeds on the brain, swelling on the brain, and could lead to death,” he said.

Doctors said concussions are fairly common among younger athletes, especially in high contact sports like football and soccer.  They said younger athletes are also more prone to second impact syndrome, leading to more serious complications.

There’s a burning Mercedes in your yard

State Senator Brandon Beach had an unexpected visitor in the form of a flaming Mercedes that his a brick wall feet from his house.

“We heard a loud noise, ‘boom,'” said Sen. Brandon Beach, whose home sits just on the other side of the wall. “I thought a transformer blew or something.”

Beach told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik his son looked out the window and saw Cobb’s Mercedes in flames.

“It would have (hit) my car if that hadn’t stopped him,” he said of the wall that curtailed the car’s momentum.

Neighbor Theresa Lynch said she also heard the impact and ran outside to investigate.

“I saw fireball, ran back, got the phone, called 911,” she said. “That fire licked up about 4 feet in a short time.”

Bob Bar drops the “I Bomb”

That’s several letters more serious than the “F Bomb.” From Barr’s column that ran in Town Hall:

December 19th marked the fifteenth anniversary of the impeachment of then- President Bill Clinton by the House of Representatives. As the first member of Congress to file an official impeachment document and one of the 13 House members who prosecuted Clinton’s subsequent trial in the Senate, I was intimately involved with — and in — that process. Not only was the 1998 impeachment a powerful and necessary response to the gauntlet throw at the feet of Congress by the Clinton Administration, it was an important exercise employing a mechanism purposefully incorporated in our Constitution by our Founding Fathers.

Today, talk of impeachment is once again growing, but the lessons from previous impeachment proceedings must not be ignored. As was the case with President Richard Nixon in 1974 and Clinton in 1998, there is growing evidence President Barack Obama has engaged in “serious offenses” that “subvert” our government and “undermine the integrity of office.” It is interesting to note (as I did in an April 25, 1997 opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal) that such terminology was used in a February 1974 report written by the staff of the Nixon impeachment inquiry, outlining the “constitutional grounds for presidential impeachment” – a report a young lawyer named Hillary Clinton helped draft.

Even a passive observer of the machinations of the Obama Administration would be hard pressed to deny that such damning language is applicable today as it was to Bill Clinton and before him to Richard Nixon. Like his predecessors, Obama ascribes to the philosophy blatantly articulated by Richard Nixon a generation ago, that “[w]hen the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” It is for this very reason why the impeachment process exists, and why Republicans should never consider impeachment “off the table” in addressing the misconduct of President Obama who is, as Hamilton declares for us, a “public man” abusing the “public trust.”

Such an inquiry is needed today. Republicans should only fear impeachment if they abuse the process by letting politics guide their inquiry, rather than the pursuit of objective truth. And, Democrats should only fear impeachment if they care more for the health of their party than the health of the nation.

As in 1998, the integrity of the office of the presidency hangs in the balance; and our Founding Fathers watch us still.

Matt Towery:

In his national column, this week titled “US Chamber Vow to Take on Tea Party a Stupid, Divisive Move,” InsiderAdvantage CEO Matt Towery writes:

The most likely nominee for the GOP Senate nomination is longtime Republican Congressman Jack Kingston.

Make of it what you will.

Event Calendar

9th District GOP: A Visit with Governor Nathan Deal

January 2, 2014 from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Achasta Club House Grille, 639 Birch River Drive, Dahlonega, GA 30533

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9th District GOP of Georgia Save the date for a visit with Governor Nathan Deal on Thursday, January 2, 2014, at 7 PM, at the Achasta Club House Grille in Dahlonega, 639 Birch River Drive. This intimate gathering around the fire with refreshments is being co hosted by the Dawson County Republican Party, Lumpkin County Republican Party and Foothills Republican Women.

Find out more »

Buckhead YR: Happy Hour

January 2, 2014 from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Twin Peaks Buckhead, 3365 Piedmont Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305

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Twin Peaks? Really, Bro? Is that before or after the gender sensitivity training session?

Find out more »

Spalding GOP: Meeting with David Pennington

January 2, 2014 from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

J. Henry’s, 110 W. College St., Griffin, GA 30224

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Come join us for our regularly scheduled monthly meeting and start off the New Year right! The meeting will be Thursday, January 2nd at J. Henry’s. Those wishing to socialize and purchase dinner should arrive at 6 PM, with meeting starting at 7 PM. Our guest speaker will be David Pennington. David is running for Governor of Georgia. He is a small business owner and Mayor of Dalton. Please make every effort to attend this meeting and be an informed…

Find out more »

Gwinnett GOP: Breakfast with David Pennington, Karen Handel, Nancy Jester, & Dahlys Hamilton

January 4, 2014 from 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM

550 Trackside, 550 North Clayton Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30046

+ Google Map

Join us for our first breakfast of 2014, when our speakers will be candidate for Governor David Pennington, Senate candidate Karen Handel, State School Superintendent candidate Nancy Jester and House 97 candidate Dahlys Hamilton. Doors open at 7:45 AM for breakfast, and the meeting starts at 8:30. You can order a full buffet breakfast for $10, juice and coffee for $5, or pay a $3 door charge. Make your reservations for breakfast before January 3rd.

Find out more »

Fayette County GOP: Meeting with John Barge, David Perdue, & Richard Woods

January 4, 2014 from 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

Fayette GOP HQ, 174 Glynn St. N (GA Hwy 85), Fayetteville, GA 30214

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Three Republican Speakers: John Barge – GA Gubernatorial Candidate Richard Woods -Candidate for State School Supertintendent  David Perdue –  Candidate for US Senate

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Jack Kingston: Grand Opening New Campaign HQ

January 5, 2014 from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Jack Kingston Senate HQ, 3360 Satellite Blvd Duluth, GA 30096

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Jack Kingston is having a Grand Opening kickoff party for the new headquarters of his US Senate campaign. The party is open to all– volunteers, supporters and anyone else who can make it out to meet Jack, and your invitation is attached. Please come, bring any guests you would like, and welcome the Kingston for Senate campaign to the neighborhood!

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Downton Abbey – Season 4 Premier

January 5, 2014 from 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Glynn GOP: US Senate Candidate Forum with Rep. Jack Kingston

January 6, 2014 from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Christian Renewal Church, 4265 Norwich St Ext (aka Hwy 341), Brunswick, GA 31520

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Jack Kingston, US House Representative for Dist 1 and US Senate Candidate for GA, is appearing in the fourth of our US Senate candidate forums We are expecting a large crowd so come early to get your seat and to spend time talking with Rep Kingston before the program begins. Short candidate speech followed by questions posed by our panel Please bring a friend, neighbor, spouse – or even a stranger – who is interested in learning more about candidates…

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Campaign Fundraiser for State Rep. Mike Jacobs

January 7, 2014 from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub, 705 Town Boulevard, Brookhaven, GA 30319

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Please join Speaker David Ralston, Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, Majority Leader Larry O’Neal, Brookhaven Mayor J Max Davis, Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson and Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis at a campaign fundraiser for State Rep. Mike Jacobs. With Ron Paul inspired primary opposition set to formally announce after the start of the legislative session, we need your help now. Olde Blind Dog is located in Town Brookhaven, off of Peachtree Road just south of Oglethorpe University.

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Fundraiser for Senator Judson Hill

January 7, 2014 from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

The Georgian Club, 100 Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339

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You are Invited to a Reception for Senator Judson Hill, Vice Chairman of the Republican Senate Caucus, Chairman Senate Finance Committee. Suggested Contribution $250    Contributions may be made payable to Friends of Judson Hill, 3102 Raines Court, Marietta, GA 30062. In lieu of your appearance, please consider making an online contribution at

Find out more »


This should get Matt Laughridge’s attention


Perhaps apropos of that, I was forwarded in the last couple of days an email that purportedly was from Matt Laughridge’s consultant in his failed bid for Senate District 14. Here it is with the alleged sender’s name redacted. I have no way of knowing of this is genuine or a hoax, so make of it what you will:

Dear Suppliers,

I want to let each of you know how much I have appreciated your patience with me these last few weeks. I have never been in such a difficult situation with a client in all of my twenty three years of political consulting. I have provided the Matt Laughridge Campaign with everything they have requested in an effort to secure payment. I have made numerous attempts to meet with them, and/or simply just talk over the phone, but there has been no direct communication with Matt except for some text messaging since the campaign. Matt has refused to talk to me and directed me to his attorney. I therefore have had to get an attorney involved as well. My attorney has been encouraging and believes there will eventually be a positive outcome.

The decision of the Laughridge Campaign to withhold payment has been devastating to me both personally and professionally. It is hard to understand how anyone would do this to people especially during the holidays. I have always taken care of my vendors in a very timely manner. As the sole breadwinner for me and my family, you can imagine that this has been a true nightmare. It is a week before Christmas. The one charge card I use is tied up with unpaid campaign debt. Last year was the first Christmas without my husband, my children’s father. This season is difficult enough for us. This added unnecessary stress on me is making this year virtually intolerable.

I want you all to know that I am doing all that I can to honor my obligations in a timely manner. There are no words to express how sorry I am for this delay and how much I appreciate your patience. I will update you as soon as I have any information.

[name redacted]


Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections for December 2, 2013

Top Stories

1. Accusations fly in Senate District 14 Runoff Election
2. North Georgia key in Senate election
3. Jason Carter throws Nathan Deal into briar patch

Economic Disaster Day observed

December 2d shall henceforth be known as National Economic Disaster Day. On December 2, 1939, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was born in Searchlight, Nevada. On this date in 1970, the federal Environmental Protection Agency began operating. Five years ago today, then-newly elected President Barack Obama said he would act swiftly on an economic plan “to solve this crisis and to ease the burden on our states.” Americans still wait for action on that item. Also on this date in 2008, Senator Saxby Chambliss was re-elected in a runoff victory over Democrat Jim Martin.

The Georgia Pundit Telethon

We here at Georgia Pundit believe that December is a great time of year to renew our commitment to serving God and His people. It’s also convenient that it falls in the time of year that typically has very little political activity. So this is our month of service, and for me, that means it’s a month of personally begging you to open your hearts and your wallets.

My House is a home for children whom the system and their families have failed. They provide a loving home, 24-hour medical care, and the highest quality of rehabilitiation for broken and discarded children. The children at My House are in DFCS custody, having been abandoned by, or taken from, their birth families. Generally speaking, the cause for most kids there currently is gross physical abuse.

The children who have the greatest medical needs are not well-served by a state system that can barely keep up with the healthy ones, let alone those who need hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of specialized care and 24-hour nursing assistance.

In my fourteen year association with My House, I have seen battered and neglected children given a second chance at the lives they deserve to live. And they need your help. It costs roughly $30,000 per month above and beyond the per diem they receive for each child they care for. Earlier this year, My House weathered a financial crisis and is steadier but still rebuilding their fundraising and volunteer base.

So the greatest gift you could give me this Christmas is to open your wallet, get out your credit or debit card, and make an online donation right now. If you’ve been blessed and can afford it, please consider signing up for a monthly recurring donation. Any amount will help, as a donor has generously agreed to pay all the credit card processing fees from online donations. That helps your five-dollar donation go further.

Peachtree Road Christmas

We are blessed to worship at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, which has for years been a strong supporter of My House. It’s a beautiful church, especially when decorated for Christmas, but the beauty of our sanctuary is secondary to our year-round mission.

While the public spaces are beautiful, far more impressive are the ground floor rooms that are filled with brand new winter coats and Christmas toys in preparation for Christmas Kindness, open from December 7th through the 11th.

Christmas Kindness is when we open a store for underprivileged members of our community to shop for gifts. Each client we serve is given a personal shopper who helps them choose gifts for each member of their family along with Christmas treats and the respect that every individual deserves. There is no better Christmas gift you can give yourself than helping someone else make a blessed Christmas for their children.

If you’re in Atlanta and have some free time and would like to help, email me and I’ll put you in touch.

Runoff Elections tomorrow

Tuesday, December 3d holds runoff elections in a couple of state legislative districts, and local races.

In the runoff for Senate District 14, Bruce Thompson is the adult in the race and we encourage everyone who is eligible to go vote for him tomorrow.

State Rep. Scot Turner (R-Cherokee) has endorsed and gone door-to-door with Bruce Thompson, supporting him in the runoff election.

Bruce Thompson Chuck Hufstetler

Bruce has also received support from State Senator Chuck Hufstetler, who joined him on the campaign trail, knocking on doors yesterday.Continue Reading..