Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections for June 4, 2013


Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections for June 4, 2013

Rick Allen announces campaign against John Barrow

Rick W Allen LogoThis morning, Rick Allen, who came in second in the 2012 Republican Primary, announced he will mount a campaign for the Republican nomination for the Twelfth Congressional District against Democrat John Barrow.

“Our citizens and our communities know how to solve problems – in fact they solve them almost as fast as Washington, D.C. creates them,” Allen said.  “We need the federal government to stay out of our way and let people help people and businesses create jobs.  Sadly John Barrow believes in the centralized, bureaucratic model of big national government.  That is out of touch with what works and out of touch with Georgia.”

Allen lost the primary runoff in the 12th CD last year by 159 votes to nominee Lee Anderson and joins John Stone, who challenged Barrow in 2008, in the primary election. Barrow is one of the top Congressional seats targeted by the NRCC.

The Allen campaign also launched its website at and will be tweeting via @RickWAllenGA12.

Vote on 2013 GAGOP Convention Resolutions

We wrote yesterday that we heard the State Committee will meet this month and, among other business, vote on the Resolutions passed by the State Convention Resolutions Committee. We’ve heard back from several State Committee Members that they haven’t been given a date, and that the meeting may be held in Milledgeville, Ga.

You can express your opinion on the 2013 Resolutions by reading them on and then voting on each resolution.

Experience Drain continues in General Assembly as Robbie Rivers Retires

Georgia House of Representatives Clerk Robbie River announced that he will retire in August. The House Clerk is the Chief Administrative Officer of the House, responsible for carrying out most of the work that allows the House to functions, from publishing schedules, scheduling hearing rooms, and printing copies of the massive state budget quickly enough to allow the House to vote on it, to maintaining the House Chamber and official records of the lower chamber.

Rivers has served Georgia for more than 20 years and joins Secretary of the Senate Bob Ewing and his Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Foley in retiring before the 2014 Session of the General Assembly. Among them, the three top administrators have more than 84 years experience running the two houses of the General Assembly.

One possible result of new leadership in both houses could be swifter modernization and a quicker move to paperless, or at least paper-less, workflows.

Georgia Supreme Court Rules, Hears Arguments

The Georgia Supreme Court handed down rulings yesterday in cases involving the Atlanta BeltLine and a runoff for Sheriff in Baker County, Georgia.

In a case arising from a close runoff election for Sheriff in Baker County, the court found insufficient evidence of wrongdoing to support the trial court’s ordering of a new election.

Challenger Tommy Williamson had argued before a trial court in Baker County that there were voting irregularities that could cast the results of the 2012 Baker County Sheriff’s runoff race into question, invalidating Meade’s 39-vote margin of victory. Williamson had beat Meade with a 10 percent margin of victory in the Democratic primary, but neither candidate managed to get the 50 percent-plus-one-vote needed to avoid a runoff.

While a trial court sided with Williamson and ordered a new runoff election, Meade appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court. Monday, the Supreme Court disagreed with the lower court’s ruling invalidating the runoff election results.

“In the case now before us, evidence of systemic misconduct for vote buying and alleged wrongful distribution of absentee ballots is largely speculative and is insufficient to support the trial court’s conclusion that irregularities in the election process were shown to cast doubt upon the results,” the opinion says.

“Because Williamson failed to carry the burden of demonstrating the election results should be invalidated either by establishing a sufficient number of specific irregular or invalid votes to change or place in doubt the results, or by establishing sufficient irregularities in the election process to cast doubt upon the result, we reverse the trial court’s order invalidating the election results.”

The Supreme Court also released an opinion that will allow school tax revenues to be used for the Atlanta BeltLine, a non-school project.

In 2008, the state’s highest court ruled in favor of a group trying to stop school tax dollars from being used in Atlanta for the City’s “tax allocation” districts including the BeltLine.

Later the same year, the Georgia legislature passed a constitutional amendment saying, as long as school districts approved, it municipalities could use school revenue for non-school redevelopment projects. And the voters ratified that amendment.

The latest suit, filed by John Sherman of the Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation, contended the amendment is irrelevant. But the court said the Georgia Constitution is the “supreme state law” and that it is also permissible for the constitution to, in essence, overrule the court itself.

The Court also heard arguments about Governor Nathan Deal’s suspension of several members of the DeKalb County Board of Education. Thomas Cox, attorney for suspended board member Eugene Walker, said.

“It puts the individual elected constitutional officer, that being an elected school board member, in the incredible position of being permanently removed from office without ever having being charged with individually wrong doing much less ever having been proven to  have committed individual wrong doing.”

Stefan Ritter representing the Governor and the state board of education cited the district’s potential for loss of accreditation is a justified qualification for removal.

“So the answer to that question is, if there is some sort of conduct, even if it’s merely negligent conduct that would lead to the potential loss of accreditation that is sufficient to lead to that. It doesn’t have to be proof of wrongful conduct on the part of the school board member.”

Cheshire Bridge to remain Nasty

The Atlanta City Council rejected by at 9-6 vote a controversial rezoning of the Cheshire Bridge corridor aimed at removing adult businesses.

The measure sought to rezone the area and give strips clubs and others adult businesses five years to relocate. Councilman Alex Wan, the bill’s sponsor, championed the legislation for months, and local neighborhood groups and the city’s law department were in strong support.

Ultimately though, Wan, who himself referred to the proposal as “radical,” failed to address concerns that it was a violation of private property rights.

Before voting against the measure, Councilman CT Martin said it didn’t seem fair to property owners and businesses.

“I don’t know if this is a piece of legislation that solves a problem in one neighborhood but makes it potentially a problem for others.”

Lindsey to Chambliss and Isakson, “Vote no on Immigration Bill”

State Rep. Ed Lindsey, who is running for Congress in the 11th District, emailed out an open letter to US Senators Chambliss and Isakson, urging them to vote no on the proposed immigration reform bill and suggesting four criteria for any immigration reform that wishes to be considered conservative.

Ga Tea Party Patriots Email Header

To ratchet up the pressure on Senator Isakson, local Tea Party activists plan to protest at Isakson’s Georgia office tomorrow.

Porsche News

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that Porsche Cars North America released May 2013 sales figures, showing a 38% increase over 2012 and the second-best sales month in company history.

Jubiläumsmodell 50 Jahre 911
Porsche also announced a limited edition 50th Anniversary 911. The Anniversary model sports new 50th Anniversary badges and a number of retro touches like wheels that pay tribute to the legendary Fuchs wheels, chrome trim that harkens back to earlier models, and use of the widebody shell, normally reserved for 4-wheel drive Carrera 4 models. The model will be limited to 1963 in honor of the year the 911 debuted. It has not been announced whether the 50th Anniversary Edition will be available in the United States.

Jubiläumsmodell 50 Jahre 911Later this month, I’ll be driving the current edition 911 Carrera S at Atlanta Motorsports Park in Dawsonville. I’ll tell you how it goes.

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