Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections for November 27, 2013


Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections for November 27, 2013

Happy Hannukah

Tonight begins the eight-day Hannukah festival for our Jewish friends and family. Happy Hannukah. I think I’m going to head over to Bagel Palace today.

Cobb County Commission approves Braves Stadium

The vote was 4-1 with Commissioner Lisa Cupid the only dissenting vote. Chairman Tim Lee joined Commissioners Bob Ott, Helen Goreham, and JoAnn Birrell in favor. To me, the most surprising thing was the ability of people who are otherwise conservative Republicans to suspend everything we know about government in the rush to pass the stadium financing. It will come back to bite at least one of the Commissioners who voted for the financing.

As a conservative, I believe that government is a poor tool to use for just about anything except building roads and defending the nation. My objection to Obamacare is not that I don’t want everyone to have affordable health care, but that the government is a tragically-bad vehicle for providing it. Likewise, the Braves stadium. I suspect that over the coming years, the costs, both in terms of taxation and quality of life for areas surrounding the stadium will be greater than anticipated, and the “extension” of a property tax surcharge will come to be seen as the property tax increase it is.

But as a conservative, I also believe in the right of people to raise their own taxes and spend the money on things with which I disagree. Here are the most interesting quotes I’ve seen. From the Marietta Daily Journal article:

“It gives us progressive things but not only for presently now but for the future,” said Don Wilson of Marietta, District 11 chairman for Democratic Party of Georgia.

atricia Hay, of Mableton, urged commissioners to delay a vote for at least 60 days.
“This deal is happening too fast. It’s been two weeks, and we spent two years discussing whether or not we could have chickens in the back yards,” Hay said, receiving applause referring to heated conversations the county had about whether or not Cobb is an appropriate place for farm animals.

Dr. Bill Hudson, a retired dentist and former board member of the Georgia Tea Party, accused the majority Republican commission of being “country club Republicans.”

All members of the commission are Republicans with the exception of Cupid, southwest Cobb commissioner who opposed Tuesday’s Braves vote.

“Chamber of Commerce Republicans are very different from conservatives,” Hudson said, pointing to the pro-business nonprofit that has lobbied in favor of the deal from the beginning.

And from a separate story in the MDJ:

[Commissioner Lisa] Cupid said it wasn’t that she opposed the Braves moving to Cobb County, but that she was being asked to make a decision much too quickly given the size and complexity of the deal.

“I just have a very difficult time reasoning through the rush when we spend more time speaking about zoning matters that impact a fraction, a minute fraction of the public than what the stadium will impact, and we can delay and delay to make sure we don’t have enough houses in a particular subdivision, or that people don’t have to look at a certain thing in somebody else’s backyard, and we can’t delay this vote?” Cupid said. “It frightens me, to be honest, the number of threats I’ve received. If you want a 5-0 vote, you could have gotten it, it could have been easy, but I will not ever be bullied into sacrificing my commitment to the people that put me into this position.”

Commissioner Bob Ott said he reviewed the information over the last few weeks and was satisfied.

“At this time I do not think that a 60-day delay (is needed); there is no more information that needs to be put out there about what we have to vote on,” Ott said.

Debbie Dooley wrote on Facebook that at least two candidates will challenge Commissioner Helen Goreham when she is next up for election. The candidate she named is Neva Lent, President of Cobb Regional Republican Women.

Phil Kent on Sandy Springs Runoff Election December 3d

Phil Kent sends his thoughts on the runoff election for Sandy Springs City Council District 6.

The lone Dec. 3 runoff for Sandy Springs City Council is heating up in District 6 between candidates Andy Bauman and John Stoj. Bauman, in a recent email, blasts “the partisan politics of my opponent” and piously pledges to run a “positive campaign.”

The problem for Bauman? Several prominent GOP legislators including state Sens. Hunter Hill and Judson Hill have endorsed Stoj (Pronounced “Stoy”) because their man proudly notes that he is philosophically a Republican who believes in fiscal conservatism. Isn’t that helpful information to voters who are studying the candidates?

Yet it is too much for Bauman,  especially since a Stoj mailer revealed that Bauman voted for a Democrat in the Feb. 5 2008 presidential primary– either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama!. So Bauman continues to whine that Stoj is engaging in “partisanship” and that, by contrast, he is running a “positive” campaign.

A thought: District 6 (full disclosure: I live there) is a predominantly Republican area– so, in fact, is Sandy Springs. So why is it somehow “negative” for Stoj to simply point out he is– gasp!– a Republican?. Why doesn’t Bauman just say he is a Republican, too? Well, could it be because he isn’t one?

Let’s hope the District doesn’t elect a crypto-Democrat and thus give them a foothold on the Sandy Springs City Council.

Senator George Hooks joins RTA Strategy Group

Our friends at RTA Strategy Group send along the following news:

RTA Strategy, a political management group founded by the former Executive Secretary of the Georgia Ethics Commission, Rick Thompson, announces a partnership with former Georgia State Senator and Board of Regent, George Hooks.

“Since my arrival in Georgia almost a decade ago, Senator Hooks has been a confident, reliable voice of wisdom to me; from my time as a regulator through private practice. I’m honored to have the Senator as a strategic partner in our firm,” says Rick Thompson, RTA’s founder and President. “Senator Hooks is transitioning from lawmaker and Regent to advocate, and RTA is fortunate to be in a position to collaborate with him on strategic client matters,” Thompson adds.

George Hooks, a lifelong Democrat, served five terms in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1980 to 1990. In 1991 then Representative Hooks was elected to Georgia’s 14th District Senate seat, the seat held by former President Jimmy Carter, where he served until his resignation in January 2013. Governor Nathan Deal appointed Hooks to the Georgia Board of Regents after his retirement from the post as Dean of the Senate. The former Senator announced he was stepping down from the Regent post last month citing his “lifelong passion involving historic preservation.”

Jason Boles, Partner and Chief Operating Officer, stated, “Senator Hooks will serve in an official capacity here as Senior Government Affairs Advisor. We are tremendously excited to have his insight. He will further improve the value to existing clients and will open the door to untapped relationships.” Hooks will be lobbying for his own firm as well. “We recognize Senator Hooks’ priority is lobbying for historic preservation measures and that Americus is his base of operations and home. We appreciate that he will be involved and are excited to see him around our office,” adds Boles.

Organized in 2009, RTA Strategy/ R. Thompson & Associates is a political management group providing an array of strategic enterprise services to candidates, campaigns, lobbyist, PACs and corporations. The cornerstone of its services is disclosure-reporting consultation.

Paul Broun claims Georgia Right to Life endorsement

Congressman Paul Broun sent an email claiming that he is endorsed by Georgia Right to Life in his campaign for United States Senate. I say “claiming” not because I have any reason to doubt it, but I consider such statements to be unverified claims until I see the statement by Georgia Right to Life PAC on their own website.

If you are a Pro-Life voter in Senate District 14, House District 104 or the City of Canton, check out the Georgia Right to Life PAC endorsements in those elections, and for goodness’ sake, in any case, go vote today!

From Monday’s Congressional Hearing in Gainesville

Woodall Collins Kingston Jack Kingston on Committee2

From “Your Honor” to “the inmate”

Former Crawford County Chief Magistrate Andrea Peterman was sentenced to ten years probation and 160-180 days to serve in state custody.

In a plea deal, Peterman agreed to plead guilty to a count of fiduciary theft from Crawford County Probate Court and a count of violating her oath of office as the county’s elected chief magistrate judge.

As part of the plea agreement, Cooke agreed not to prosecute a charge that Peterman stole from Magistrate Court. Cooke told reporters she took money multiple times from each of the courts and typically tried to pay it back on payday. That’s not legal.

“Any time someone involved in public trust violates public trust, they’re going to do time,” Cooke said.

According to the indictment, the Probate Court theft occurred in February 2012.

Other terms of the agreement include paying back $12,717.62 to cover the costs of a forensic audit of Magistrate Court. A Probate Court audit was not performed.

Though now a convicted felon, Peterman also agreed not to seek or hold public office as part of the plea agreement.

She also had agreed not to seek a judicial office in a separate agreement with the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

On the death of Ray Newman

Today at 10 AM, friends and family will gather at Union Baptist Church, 527 Union Church Road in Winder to mark the earthly death of Ray Newman. Ray was a preacher, serving most recently at Macedonia Baptist Church in Oakwood, GA and represented the Georgia Baptist Convention at the state capitol.

Ray Newman was a friend, but above all else I will remember him for living a life that so embodied the Good News that his friends and family rejoice at his passing, assured in the knowledge that Ray joins our Father.

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