Category: Voter Registration

31
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections for August 31, 2012

Thelma and Louise are pit-type sisters who were terrified, emaciated, and abandoned across the street from a dog rescue group, where they are now living, waiting for a permanent home.

The girls have quickly learned their routine and are very obedient. Louise enjoys training, learning good manners and tricks while Thelma prefers to receive love. The girls require a special home with people who understand their breed and have no other pets. They will be the most grateful, loyal and loving companions!

Louise is white with brown spots and Thelma is brown with white spots. In the first picture, the girls are demonstrating their polite “sit.” The second picture is of Louise “praying” which is a complex trick one of our camp counselors taught Louise.

Many folks are apprehensive about Pit-type dogs, and an equal number think they’re the best breed around. I don’t know that there is a truth about these dogs other than to suggest you consider each one as an individual, and with any breed, it can be helpful to adopt from an experienced rescue organization that has spent time with your prospective dogs, and is able to advise you about their individual temperment and behavior.

Yesterday I received two emails from readers wondering how many of the dogs we feature get adopted. I don’t know, but here are a couple of things I do know. The yellow lab featured yesterday got rescued. The daughter of a reader was prepared to pick up Monday’s lab mix but the shelter was closed; the dog was rescued but I’m not sure by whom. Riley received ten inquiries to the rescue group from the mailing list and three completed adoption applications.

So I believe that including these dogs makes a difference in some of their lives, and I believe that seeing so many beautiful dogs will encourage some others to rescue rather than buy when they are ready for their next dog. But the scale of the problem is huge, with an estimated 300,000 dogs and cats euthanized each year in Georgia. That’s not acceptable. Next week, we’ll highlight some folks who are working to reduce the number of abandoned dogs and cats by raising money to fund low-cost spay and neuter in Georgia.

 

 

 

As a bonus, here’s Louie, a 17 pound 3-4 month old lab/border collie mix who is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Services. He and his brother Huey were turned in as strays, and Huey’s been adopted, but Louie here is still waiting to find his home.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections

Texas has had a rough week in the federal court system. First, a three-judge panel in Washington rejected their redistricting maps for Congress and the state legislature. Now, the state’s voter ID requirement has been struck down.

A three-judge panel in Washington unanimously ruled that the law imposes “strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor” and noted that racial minorities in Texas are more likely to live in poverty.

Thursday’s ruling almost certainly prevents the Texas law from going into effect for the November election, but state Attorney General Greg Abbott said he will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court “where we are confident we will prevail.”

In the Texas case, the Justice Department called several lawmakers, all of them Democrats, who said they detected a clear racial motive in the push for the voter ID law. Lawyers for Texas argued that the state was simply tightening its laws. Texas called experts who demonstrated that voter ID laws had a minimal effect on turnout. Republican lawmakers testified that the legislation was the result of a popular demand for more election protections.

[Judge David] Tatel, writing for the panel, called the Texas law “the most stringent in the nation.” He said it would impose a heavier burden on voters than a similar law in Indiana, previously upheld by the Supreme Court, and one in Georgia, which the Justice Department allowed to take effect without objection.

The decision comes the same week that South Carolina’s strict photo ID law is on trial in front of another three-judge panel in the same federal courthouse. A court ruling in the South Carolina case is expected before the November election.
The ruling comes two days after a separate federal three-judge panel ruled that Texas’ Republican dominated state Legislature did not draw new congressional and state Senate district maps “without discriminatory purposes.”

Secretary of State Brian Kemp has certified all the primary and primary runoff results for state races, but certification of federal races remains open until August 31st because of federal requirements for overseas absentee voting.

Continue Reading..

13
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 13, 2012

“26447” and “26456” are dogs whose lives are in peril; both are in the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter, their hold times are up, and they suffer from the dreaded “black dog syndrome,” in which black dogs appear to be adopted at a lower rate than others. Both are friendly, and 26447 is more playful, being a younger dog. 26447 is male and is described as a lab mix, while 26456 is female and called a border collie by the shelter, but I think she looks more like a flat-coated retriever.

Call the Shelter for more information 770-339-3200 or visit Gwinnett County Animal Control at 884 Winder Highway in Lawrenceville.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Early and advance voting starts today and runs through Friday for the August 21st runoff elections. Contact your county elections office if you have questions about the runoffs, or consult the SOS website for advance voting details for your county. To check your voter registration or see a sample runoff ballot, visit the SOS website and use the MVP tool.

Pro-tip: if you cast a provisional ballot for any reason, make sure to follow-up within the time limit to ensure your vote counts. In Floyd County, 10 of 52 provisional voters did not return with the required documents to have their votes counted.

Walker County elections officials will be working the August 21 primary election runoff because of a close Republican primary in the race for House District 1.

“We thought we were out of it,” Elections Supervisor Barbara Berry said. But [John] Deffenbaugh’s 2,501 votes weren’t enough to knock off [Alan] Painter, who trailed with 2,398.

Catoosa’s only contest is the Republican race for sheriff between Larry Black, who had 3,808 primary votes, and Gary Sisk, who came in second with 1,956 votes.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press write about runoffs elsewhere in northwest Georgia:

• Chattooga County: Incumbent Democratic Sheriff John Everett, who got 1,300 votes, will face Democratic challenger Mark Schrader, who received 2,039 votes.

• Dade County: Six races will be on runoff ballots: Judge of Probate Court nonpartisan candidates Kerri Carter and David Duvall Jr.; Republican sheriff candidates Patrick Cannon and Ray Cross; Republican Clerk of Superior Court candidates Carolyn Lane and Kathy Page; Republican District 3 Board of Education candidates Ronnie Page and John Warren; Republican District 5 Board of Education candidates Careyee Bell and David Powell; and Georgia House of Representatives District 1 Republicans Alan Painter and John Deffenbaugh.

• Walker County: Ballots will go to Republican and nonpartisan voters in precincts that belong to Georgia House of Representatives District 1, including all or portions of Center Post, Lookut Mountain, Chattanooga Valley, Fairyland, Fairview and Rossville.

• Whitfield County: Republican race for Clerk of Superior Court: Melica Kendrick and Susan Miller; nonpartisan race for Magistrate: Kay Cope vs. Jerry Leonard.

Early voting starts today and runs through Friday in every county except Dade, which hadn’t received its ballots Friday. Dade officials hoped to start early voting on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The Macon Telegraph has coverage of middle Georgia runoff elections.

Bibb County Elections Supervisor Elaine Carr said people who cast a vote July 31 can’t change parties in the Aug. 21 races.

“Whatever party they chose July 31, they can’t alter that in the runoff,” Carr said. People who did not vote July 31 can vote in either party Aug. 21.

Rick Allen and John House both hope to become the Republican challenger to U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop in the 2nd Congressional District, which includes much of Bibb County and all of Crawford, Peach, Macon and Dooly counties.

Republican voters in the 12th Congressional District also need to pick a nominee against U.S. Rep. John Barrow. The contenders are Lee Anderson and another candidate named Rick Allen.

Democratic voters also have to pick a Democratic nominee for state Senate District 26, where David Lucas is challenging incumbent Miriam Paris. The winner will face Republican Bobby Gale in a district that includes all or part of Bibb, Hancock, Jones, Twiggs, Washington and Wilcox counties.

Democrats in House District 139 will also have to pick a de facto winner from Patty Bentley and Thomas Coogle to represent an area that includes the southern part of Peach County as well as Dooly, Macon and Taylor counties.

Carroll County has two runoff elections:

the county commission chairman race, with incumbent Bill Chappell and challenger Marty Smith; and the County Board of Education, District 1, race with incumbent Bernice B. Brooks and Rob Cleveland.

Walter Jones writes that several Georgia families have multiple members appointed to boards by Governor Nathan Deal. The most interesting example, and one that disproves any conspiracy theory is this one:

• Joe Rogers is on the ports authority, while his wife, Frances, is on the lottery board.

And Joe Rogers’s only contribution in the last four years was $3,600 to Deal’s opponent, Karen Handel.

No one interviewed could point to an instance of any appointee making a direct profit financially from their service on a board. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t skepticism.

10
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 10, 2012

Scooter, Lilac, and Ozzie are puppies who are available for adoption from Walton County Animal Services. Scooter is 2-3 months old and weighs 10 pounds. Lilac is about two months old and 15 pounds. Ozzie is about ten months olds and weighs 15 pounds. Take your pick for $40, which includes a voucher for a discounted spay/neuter, up-to-date shots and de-worming.

Brewster is 8-10 months old and weighs 15 pounds; Mama Dog is 2 years and 15 pounds; Jack is a seven-year old black lab mix who is neutered and whose owners have been notified but have not picked him up from the shelter. Old dogs have great value and great hearts, but are not as adoptable as puppies. Please consider adopting one of these old souls or fostering.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Advance voting begins on Monday for the August 21 runoff elections, as far as we know. Check your county’s voting information on Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s website. Current information on advance voting for the runoffs is limited, so if you have any questions, please call your local elections board.

Early voting has already begun in Hall County.

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are both whining about negative ads and blaming the other without taking any responsibility. That tactic might be embraced by other candidates.

The Republican National Convention announced yesterday that Attorney General Sam Olens will co-chair the platform sub-committee on Healthcare, Education and Crime with Idaho State Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna and Oklahoma RNC National Committeewoman Carolyn McLarty.

We will be receiving updates for at least one delegate to the National Convention and will include it in our morning emails. If you’ll be in Tampa as a Delegate or guest and would like to send us reports, photos, or souvenir twenty-dollar bills with Ronald Reagan’s likeness, please email us.

My attention was directed yesterday to the fact that Democratic State Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick faces Republican Tina Hoffer in house district 93′s general election.

After the recount in the 12th Congressional District Republican Primary election, Wright McLeod remains in third place. State Rep. Lee Anderson meets Rick W. Allen in the runoff.

Millard Grimes writes that the Republican Primary between Regina Quick and Doug McKillip was the worst he’s ever seen.

It was poetic justice that only 64 votes separated the totals for Regina Quick and Doug McKillip in the July 31 Republican primary that decided the occupant of the House District 117 seat in the Georgia General Assembly. They both deserved to lose. A virtual tie was next best.

As a political junkie, I’ve been following campaigns for more than 60 years. The Quick-McKillip campaign was the worst I’ve seen, and it was fought over such a minor stake — two years in the Georgia House of Representatives.

There were constant campaign mailouts, hundreds of minutes of radio ads, and even the newspapers got in on the cash flow.

In Muscogee County, Sheriff John Darr won the Democratic primary with a narrow 71-vote margin after a recount. Strangely, each candidate gained 19 votes during the recount. Doesn’t exactly instill a lot of confidence in the voting system, does it?

James Grogan was sworn in as Mayor of Dawsonville to fill the term of the late Mayor Joe Lane Cox.

In the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, which comprises Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade and Walker Counties, a recount was requested in the District Attorney election, where incumbent Herbert “Buzz” Franklin received 42 more votes than his opponent, Doug Woodruff.

Catoosa County Sheriff Phil Summers endorsed Gary Sisk in the runoff election to succeed Summer. Sick will meet Larry Black in the runoff.

Former Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill has been endorsed by two of the six candidates who did not make the runoff against incumbent Kem Kimbrough.

Runoff for Gwinnett County Superior Court

Tracey Mason Blasi was the runner-up in the election for Gwinnett Superior Court and was attacked by one opponent, Chris McClurg in the primary; she hit him back with a negative robocall. Fair enough, though both candidates lost votes from where they stood before the negativity started. McClurg actually went from a tight third-place one week out to fourth on election day according to internal polling.

Yesterday, a letter from Tracey Mason Blasi hit mailboxes, claiming that “[i]t is so important for our judicial system that elections for judge remain above those kinds of tactics using ‘attack robocalls’” and attributing them to her ‘opponent,’ which leaves open the implication that she means her opponent in the Runoff election, Kathy Schrader, who is my client.

Tracey Mason Blasi knows that is a false implication. I will state here that neither I nor Kathy Schrader had anything to do with the negative mail or robocalls that targeted Blasi during the primary. Kathy Schrader told Blasi the same thing.

In fact, I suspect that implication is the result of a poorly-written letter rather than what the writer meant to say, because I have read another letter written by Tracey Mason Blasi, addressed to Mike Bowers as head of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, and Governor Sonny Perdue, in which Blasi wrote:

It has been my experience that Mrs. Schrader is the attorney to whom the most experienced attorneys in Gwinnett County will refer cases. I believe that she has earned her impeccable reputation over the eighteen years that she has practiced law in Gwinnett County by effectively representing her clients, by treating clients and fellow attorneys alike with respect, and by doing it all with integrity.

As an eighth generation Gwinnettian, I am confident that our community will continue to be a place families want to live with the strong leadership, the good works, and the integrity of professionals like Kathryn Schrader. I support her wholeheartedly as the new addition to the Gwinnett County Superior Courts.

That last letter appears on Tracey Mason Blasi’s letterhead with a signature and was faxed from her fax machine.

Kathy Schrader for Judge Banner

Given Tracey Mason Blasi’s earlier assessment of Kathy Schrader’s integrity, it is unlikely that she now questions Schrader, since the only thing that’s changed is that Blasi is now seeking the Superior Court bench herself.

Ethics

The State Ethics Campaign Finance Commission website was malfunctioning yesterday and wouldn’t allow viewing of filed campaign disclosure reports on an intermittent and annoying basis throughout yesterday. As I write this it is down yet again.

Click Here

During the days leading up to the last report due date, there were extensive problems reported by candidates filing online. With the reduced number of filers for the runoff period, some of the pressure on the system may be lessened, but recent reliability problems don’t give us confidence.

Speaking of disclosures during the runoff, Rick Thompson had some tips for candidates.

“There are additional reporting requirements for candidates in a runoff election,” said Thompson, who formerly served as head of the State Ethics Commission and is currently managing partner of R. Thompson & Associates, specializing in compliance reporting and ethics strategy.

“The first report is your typical Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report (CCDR) for August 15; this is referenced as the ‘6-Day Before Primary Runoff’ report,” Thompson said, “Candidates who did not win their primary bids have statutory reporting requirements that continue for the campaign through termination the end of the year.  This is something often overlooked by candidates and it can be a significant issue, especially if the candidate seeks election at a later time.”  Thompson’s firm offers a package for reporting and termination for campaigns that end before the year does.

Dariel Daniel chose to mail his disclosures rather than fight with the online filing system. I bet he wishes he had paid for a return receipts.

the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission said Wednesday that Board of Education candidate Dariel Daniel has paid his fines, but the commission did not have his campaign disclosure report.

“We do not have any report from him that are waiting to be checked in, or are in the ‘have a problem and filer has been contacted’ pile,” said Holly LaBerge, executive director of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, in an email. “This isn’t to say that the report isn’t in the mail, but if he didn’t sent it certified or overnight delivery – which is statutorily required – then there is no way to know where it is or if it will ever get here.”

Daniel, after being told about LeBerge’s response, said he had sent his disclosure through U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail “long ago.”

“When I called to ask why it wasn’t posted, (a representative) said ‘We are swamped with these forms and we will post it when we get to it,’” Daniel said.

LaBerge said there was a backlog of paper-filed reports waiting to be entered into the commission’s system due to a problem with the way they were filed, and the filers had been contacted. It is up to the filer to correct the problem.

Daniel is facing Board of Education incumbent Sheila Rowe in a runoff on Aug. 21. Rowe on Tuesday announced she had filed an ethics complaint with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission over Daniel’s late fees for not filing, which were listed owed for December, March and June for the current election, plus $65 overdue for his 2004 run for the same seat.

Jim Galloway writes for the AJC that House leaders may be considering a total ban on lobbyist spending on legislators.

We’ve gotten reliable information – and not from a single source — that House Republican leaders are considering legislation next January that would ban all lobbyist spending on lawmakers altogether. Nothing. Zip. Nada. And that Ralston is among those who have expressed interest in this path.

The impact on the culture of the state Capitol would be tremendous.

Leaders of the state Senate have signed onto the petition pushed by Common Cause Georgia and tea party groups, endorsing the $100 cap.

[Jim - see how easy it is to include a hot link?]

Events

On August 15th, beginning at 6 PM, Josh Romney will headline a fundraiser aimed at young professionals at the Park Tavern at Piedmont Park in Atlanta. Georgia Finance Chair Eric Tanenblatt will host with Congressmen Tom Graves, Rob Woodall, and Austin Scott expected to attend.

Host / Private Reception / Photo — 6 p.m.
$1,000 per Person (Give or Raise)

Photo Opportunity — 6:30 p.m.
$250 per Person

General Reception — 7:00 p.m.
$100 per Person

Governor Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal will host Governor Mike Huckabee at a reception and dinner supporting the Romney Victory Committee on August 16th at 5:30  (Photo Op) & 6:15 PM (Reception) at the Robson Event Center, located at 310 Broad Street in Gainesville, GA 30501. The full invite is available here.

5:30 PM Photo Op – ($5,000 PER PERSON/ $10,000 PER COUPLE)

6:15 PM General Reception – ($1,000 PER PERSON)

To RSVP for either of these events, please contact Dabney Hollis at (404) 791-7179 or DabneyH@me.com, or Stephanie Jones at (404) 849-7211 or StephanieGJones@me.com.

19
Jul

Want to register to vote online? There’s an app for that!

A new app jointly developed by Microsoft will allow voter fraud Washington state residents to register to vote via Facebook.

Expected to launch as soon as next week, it will “put a screen from the official state website into a user’s Facebook page, and…automatically add some of the information already in a Facebook profile, including name and date of birth,” according to Mashable.

Users will still need to enter personal information, such as a driver’s license or state ID card number, to verify their identities.

Ideally, this partnership would make it easier for residents to register, especially considering Facebook’s popularity, Washington’s co-director of elections Shane Hamlin told the Associated Press.

Hamlin said Facebook won’t collect voters’ personal information, but that users will have to give the site permission to use their full names and birth dates.

So far in 2012, about one-third of Washington’s voters completed their registrations online, not counting those filled out at the state’s motor vehicle department, the National Journal reports, and 62 percent of online registrants are under 34, according to 2010 and 2011 data. If the MyVote app proves successful, Washington – and other states that may follow suit – will most likely bring in even more young voters.

“Young voters… if trends hold, are likely to vote for a Democratic candidate,”VentureBeat’s Ricardo Bilton says. “That’s good news for the state’s Democrats, but not current Washington Governor Christine Gregorie: The two-term governor is not running for reelection this year.”