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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 8, 2018

On February 8, 1751, the first session of the Georgia Provincial Parliament adjourned, having convened on January 15, 1751.

On February 8, 1955, Gov. Marvin Griffin signed a resolution by the General Assembly calling on Congress to require racial segregation in the military.

On February 8, 1956, the Georgia State House adopted a resolution purporting to hold the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education null and void.

On February 8, 1981, R.E.M. held their first recording session at Bombay Studios in Smyrna, recording “Gardening At Night,” “Radio Free Europe” and “(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville,” as well as others.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Under the Gold Dome

Today, the Senate and House convene at 10 AM for Legislative Day 18.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for February 7, 2018


Jackie is a senior female Jack Russell Terrier mix who is available for adoption beginning Friday from Walton County Animal Control in Monroe, GA.


Whitney is a female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption beginning Friday from Walton County Animal Control in Monroe, GA.


Jax is a male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption beginning Friday from Walton County Animal Control in Monroe, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 7, 2018

On February 7, 1733, the first Georgia colonists had been here a week and they finished building a hand-operated crane to move heavy supplies and livestock from their boats to the top of the forty-foot high bluff where they were building a settlement.

On February 7, 1980, Pink Floyd opened “The Wall” tour in Los Angeles.

On February 7, 1990, the Communist Party Central Committee of the Soviet Union agreed to a proposal by Prime Minister Mikhail Gorbachev that is should give up its political monopoly.

The response from the United States was surprise and cautious optimism. One State Department official commented that, “The whole Soviet world is going down the drainpipe with astonishing speed. It’s mind-boggling.” Former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger indicated that he was “personally gratified and astonished that anyone would have the chance to say such things in Moscow without being shot.” President George Bush was more circumspect, merely congratulating President Gorbachev for his “restraint and finesse.”

Ironically, the fact that the Communist Party was willing to accept political challenges to its authority indicated how desperately it was trying to maintain its weakening power over the country. The measures were little help, however–President Gorbachev resigned on December 25, 1991 and the Soviet Union officially ceased to exist on December 31, 1991.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal outlined changes to the Georgia tax code he will ask the legislature to make after the federal tax reform act.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for February 6, 2018

Reagan Lab

Reagan is a two-year old male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption fromRescue Me Ga Inc in Dunwoody, GA.

Reagan loves other animals and people. He rarely barks and is great on a leash. This love bug would love a fenced in yard to play in and his own people to love. He is absolutely an awesome dog. Reagan is just a gentle giant at about 80lbs. Take a good look and fall in love. Please complete an adoption application at

Cheech Puppy

Cheech is a young male Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Georgia Homeless Pets in Atlanta, GA.

Chong Puppy

Chong is a young male Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Georgia Homeless Pets in Atlanta, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 6, 2018

The House of Assembly, Georgia’s legislative body, held its second meeting after statehood on February 6, 1788 in Savannah.

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois. In 1980, Reagan would be elected President of the United States, beating incumbent Jimmy Carter. When he was born, his father said, “he looks like a fat little Dutchman.  But who knows, he might grow up to be president some day.”

On February 6, 1952, Governor Herman Talmadge signed resolutions of the General Assembly that included:

A resolution calling on Congress to call a convention to propose a constitutional amendment to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment and instead allow a maximum rate of 25 percent on any federal income, transfer, gift, or inheritance tax.

A resolution urging U.S. Senator Richard B. Russell to run for the presidency.

On February 6, 1956, Governor Marvin Griffin addressed a joint session of  the Georgia General Assembly, asking their support for House Resolution 1185, which introduced the idea of “interposition,” in which the State of Georgia would declare the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 and 1955 Brown v. Board of Education decisions “null and void” in Georgia. That day Griffin also signed a raft of legislation for his “massive resistance” agenda against integration of state schools.

On February 6, 1985, Reagan gave the State of the Union. During the speech he announced what would be known as the “Reagan Doctrine.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Under the Gold Dome



8:00 AM SEN APPROP – Human Dev and Public Health subc 341 CAP


8:30 AM SEN APPROP – Higher Ed sub 307 CLOB


1:00 PM SEN APPROP – Education sub 341 CAP




1:30 PM HOUSE Resource Mgmt Sub of Natl Res & Envt 406 CLOB

1:45 PM HOUSE Ways & Means Ad Valorem Sub 133 CAP



2:00 PM HOUSE Ways & Means Sales Tax Sub 133 CAP






3:00 PM SEN APPROPS – Ag and Natl Res sub 341 CAP





4:00 PM SENATE APPROP – Community Health sub 341 CAP

Girl Scouts from across Georgia will be at the Capitol today, lobbying to rename the Savannah bridge. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Hundreds of Girl Scouts from across Georgia are expected to gather inside the state Capitol on Tuesday with milk and cookies seeking to convince lawmakers to get their founder’s name affixed to a Savannah bridge that is currently named after a white segregationist.

Coinciding with the scouts’ visit Tuesday, Rep. Ron Stephens, a Republican from Savannah, plans to introduce a bill to remove former Gov. Eugene Talmadge’s name from the bridge and rename it after Juliette Gordon Low. Low founded the Girl Scouts in the coastal city more than a century ago.

The organization’s campaign comes after Savannah’s city council in September unanimously asked state lawmakers to strip Talmadge’s name from the bridge. Their formal declaration came about a month after deadly violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacists rallying in support of Confederate statues clashed with counter-protesters.

Governor Nathan Deal lauded the passage of House Bill 159.

“I applaud the House and Senate for working together to overwhelmingly pass these comprehensive revisions to the adoption code,” said Deal. “This compromise modernizes and streamlines Georgia’s adoption system to meet the needs and challenges of the 21st century. These reforms will bring us in line with other states nationally while uniting children and parents in loving, permanent homes. I commend the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Bert Reeves, for his tireless work on behalf of Georgia’s children, and I applaud the efforts of legislators and other stakeholders in ensuring passage of HB 159. I look forward to signing this legislation into law, thereby updating our decades-old adoption code.”

From Jill Nolin for the Valdosta Daily Times:

Lawmakers crafted a compromise last week, which includes the power-of-attorney provision but adds more safeguards.

They remain at odds, however, over whether adoptive parents should be able to pay some living expenses for birth mothers when going through a private attorney.

Rather than continue to hold up the measure, state Sen. Jesse Stone, R-Waynesboro, said he will propose a legislative study committee delve into the issue and the possible impact that allowing payment for living expenses would have on the cost of adoptions.

Stone said the measure was “too important a bill to delay.”

The measure, which passed in the Senate with 53-to-2-vote, is the first update of the state’s adoption laws in nearly 30 years. It’s also the first major bill to clear the General Assembly so far this year.

From the Gainesville Times:

State Rep. Emory Dunahoo, R-Gillsville, said he would like to see the religious exemption added back at some point, but was willing to compromise for now.

“These children have nothing to say when they’re born … there is also an opportunity to bring something back later,” he added.

State Rep. Lee Hawkins, R-Gainesville, told The Times last week that the bill needed to pass this year.

“I voted for the original bill, which provided the children of Georgia a better life through an opportunity for adoption,” he added.

“Remove the politics, this is about children and welfare and giving working-class families access to adoption processes that aren’t cost-prohibitive,” state Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, told The Times about why he supports the legislation.

“No, it’s not perfect,” he added, “but a big step forward.”

A pair of Health care bills, Senate Bill 357 by Sen. Dean Burke (R-Bainbridge) and Senate Bill 352 by Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) are headed for floor votes on Wednesday. From the Rome News-Tribune:

Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, said he expects them to clear the chamber this week.

Senate Bill 357, sponsored by Sen. Dean Burke, R-Bainbridge, would create a Health Coordination and Innovation Council. The 18-member panel of agency heads, medical academics and private health care representatives would be tasked with coming up with new ways to stabilize costs while improving access to care.

SB 352, sponsored by Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, would set up a director and a commission to address substance abuse, addiction and related disorders.

Unterman’s bill would allow the state to seek Medicaid waivers, for the first time, to set up programs specifically targeting the opiod crisis.

“We’re also trying to get more resources and money in the budget to address it, and mental health, because the two are connected,” Hufstetler said. “A lot of people in our state don’t even have access to treatment.”

 The General Assembly will again take up the issue of our border with Tennessee, according to 11Alive.

Some Georgia lawmakers want to change the state’s border with Tennessee. A new House resolution calls for a conference committee with Tennessee to discuss what Georgians say is a misplaced northern border.

Georgia officials contend the border placement was the sloppy work of a surveyor some 200 years ago – who mistakenly put it a mile south of where it should be.

“The constitutions are very clear on what the line is in each state. And it says the 35th parallel,” said state Rep. Marc Morris (R-Cumming). “And it’s time for us all to get honest about what the line really is.”

The current border, just south of the 35th parallel, is achingly close to the Tennessee River. Georgia officials would like to move that border north – putting it in the middle of the Tennessee River’s Nickajack Lake.


Lawrenceville Mayor Judy Johnson Jordan delivered her State of the City address.

Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap won the Victimology Impact Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. From the Savannah Morning News:

Tammy Garland, professor of criminal justice at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, said Heap is being recognized “due to her efforts with fighting for the rights of victims with the DA’s office.”

“It’s so important to fight for the rights of victims,” said Garland, who is chair of the academy and its Victimology Section.

Chad Posick, assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology at Georgia Southern University, said in his letter nominating Heap that, “began her career as a victim advocate and her passion for serving victims is never lost.

“Her approach to prosecution and crime intervention always has the victim on her mind.”

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office has opened an investigation into whether Tybee Island Councilman Jackson Butler met the qualification to be elected. From the Savannah Morning News:

At issue is Butler’s participation in the 2016 general election, according to information provided to Savannah Morning News in response to a request under the Georgia Open Records Act. Documents provided to the state as part of its investigation show that Butler voted by absentee ballot in Savannah in 2016.

However, it is the position of Tybee Island City Clerk Jan LeViner that despite this absentee vote, Butler met all of the requirements for a candidate seeking public office in the city when he qualified to run for council last August.

“Based on information provided to this office, Jackson Butler was qualified to run for City Council by being a resident of the city for 12 months prior to the date of the election and registered and qualified to vote in municipal elections of the city per Sec 2.11, Council Terms and Qualifications, Tybee Island Charter,” LeViner wrote in an emailed statement last month. “He also continues to reside in the city.”

The Dougherty County Republican Party named Russell Gray to the county Elections Board.

The Georgia Ports Authority intends to more-than-double throughput by 2028.

GPA executive director Griff Lynch made the announcement on the opening day the 50th annual Georgia Foreign Trade Conference on Sea Island.

“Georgia is home to both the single largest container and roll-on/roll-off facilities in North America,” Lynch told an international audience of trade professionals.

“Our goal in the next 10 years is to maximize capacity, create jobs and reduce impact on our local communities.”

With an average 6-percent growth over the past 10 years, including 8.5-percent growth last year, it’s a goal Lynch feels is attainable.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for February 5, 2018

Yoga Releash

Yoda is a 40-pound, 6-month old male Boxer puppy who is available for adoption from Releash Atlanta in Atlanta, GA.

Fiesta Releash

Fiesta is a 15-pound, 18-month old female Manchester Terrier who is available for adoption from Releash Atlanta in Atlanta, GA. Fiesta is the mother of a litter of puppies who will be available for adoption once they’re old enough.


Sparkles is a 6-week old female Manchester Terrier mix puppy who is available for adoption from Releash Atlanta in Atlanta, GA. Her siblings, Bubbles, Twinkles, and Fizzles will also be adoptable.

Fiesta Puppies


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 5, 2018

John and Charles Wesley arrived at Tybee Roads, at the mouth of the Savannah River on February 5, 1736, along with James Oglethorpe and 254 other colonists.

On February 5, 1777, Georgia’s first Constitution was adopted in Savannah, creating the first eight counties. Happy birthday to Wilkes, Richmond, Burke, Effingham, Chatham, Liberty, Glynn, and Camden counties.

The 1777 Constitution was progressive for the time, outlawing primogeniture and entail, English common law doctrines that controlled inheritance of land.

Primogeniture ensured that the eldest son in a family inherited the largest portion of his father’s property upon the father’s death. The practice of entail, guaranteeing that a landed estate remain in the hands of only one male heir, was frequently practiced in conjunction with primogeniture. (Virginia abolished entail in 1776, but permitted primogeniture to persist until 1785.)

Georgians restructured inheritance laws in Article LI of the state’s constitution by abolishing entail in all forms and proclaiming that any person who died without a will would have his or her estate divided equally among their children; the widow shall have a child’s share, or her dower at her option.

The Southern Pacific Railroad completed its “Sunset Route” from New Orleans to California on February 5, 1883, giving the SP a dominant position in transcontinental railroading.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt announced his “court packing” plan on February 5, 1937. After the United States Supreme Court found some of his “New Deal” legislation unconstitutional, Roosevelt’s proposal would have encouraged the retirement of justices older than 70 and for those who did not retire, appoint an assistant Justice with full voting rights on decisions by the Court.

On February 5, 1945, Governor Ellis Arnall signed legislation abolishing the poll tax, making Georgia the first Southern state to do so.

Georgia’s 1877 constitution authorized the tax, which limited voter participation among both poor blacks and whites. But most whites got around the provision through exemptions for those whose ancestors fought in the Civil War or who could vote before the war.

In 1937, the U.S. Supreme court upheld Georgia’s poll tax as constitutional. But in 1942, Georgia voters chose Ellis Arnall for governor and the progressive Arnall ushered in a wave of reforms, including abolishing Georgia’s poll tax.

Nigel Tufnel, of the band Spinal Tap, was born on February 5, 1948.

On February 5, 1974, “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe,” by Barry White reached #1 on the charts.

Def Leppard’s “Pyromania” began a 92-week run on the best-seller charts on February 5, 1983. Rock on.

Bill Kirby, writing in the Augusta Chronicle, looks back to 1964, when Carl Sanders was Governor.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

GEORGIA FLU DEATHS have hit 51, according to Georgia Health News, via the Savannah Morning News on February 3d.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 2, 2018

On February 4, 1789, George Washington was unanimously elected by the Electoral College as the first President of the United States; Washington’s runner-up John Adams served as Vice President. Washington would repeat the feat four years later on February 4, 1793.

On February 4, 1801, John Marshall took office as Chief Justice of the United States. Marshall continued to hold the post of Secretary of State until March 4th. In one of American history’s rich ironies, Marshall, who served at the same time in the judicial and legislative branches of the federal government, would write the Court’s opinion in Marbury v. Madison, establishing the supremacy of the Supreme Court in matters of applying the Constitution through judicial review and establishing the doctrine of separation of powers. Marshall would serve during the terms of six Presidents.

The first recorded reference to Groundhog Day was in 1841; the first Punxsutawney observance was in 1870.

The first recorded reference to Groundhog Day was in 1841; the first Punxsutawney observance was in 1870.

Atlanta City Council met for the first time on February 2, 1848.

On February 4, 1861, the Provisional Confederate Congress convened in Montgomery, Alabama, where it would draft a Constitution for the Confederate States of America, beginning with a near-verbatim copy of the United States Constitution.

On February 2, 1870, the Georgia General Assembly ratified the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states, “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

On February 3, 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, prohibiting racial discrimination in voting.

On February 3, 1887, Congress adopted the Electoral Count Act to clarify how Congress was to count electoral votes.

Electoral vote counting is the oldest activity of the national government and among the oldest questions of constitutional law. It was Congress’s first task when a quorum appeared in the nation’s new legislature on April 6, 1789. It has happened every four years since then. Yet, electoral vote counting remains one of the least understood aspects of our constitutional order.

The Electoral Count Act of 1887 (ECA) lies at the heart of this confusion. In enacting the ECA, Congress drew on lessons learned from its twenty-five previous electoral counts; it sorted through innumerable proposals floated before and after the disastrous presidential election of 1876; and it thrashed out the ECA’s specific provisions over fourteen years of sustained debate. Still, the law invites misinterpretation. The ECA is turgid and repetitious. Its central provisions seem contradictory. Many of its substantive rules are set out in a single sentence that is 275 words long. Proponents of the law admitted it was “not perfect.” Contemporary commentators were less charitable. John Burgess, a leading political scientist in the late nineteenth century, pronounced the law unwise, incomplete, premised on contradictory principles, and expressed in language that was “very confused, almost unintelligible.” At least he thought the law was constitutional; others did not.

Over the nearly 120 years since the ECA’s adoption, the criticisms faded, only to be renewed whenever there was a close presidential election. Our ability to misunderstand the ECA has grown over time. During the 2000 presidential election dispute, politicians, lawyers, commentators, and Supreme Court justices seemed prone to misstate or misinterpret the provisions of the law, even those provisions which were clear to the generation that wrote them. The Supreme Court, for example, mistakenly believed that the Supreme Court of Florida’s erroneous construction of its election code would deny Florida’s electors the ECA’s “safe harbor” protection; Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s hasty submission of his state’s Certificate of Ascertainment was untimely under the Act; and Democratic members of Congress framed their objections to accepting Florida’s electoral vote on the wrong grounds. Even Al Gore, the presidential candidate contesting the election’s outcome, misread the federal deadline for seating Florida’s electors.

Only the United States Congress could so obfuscate a matter as seemingly simple as counting that its Act remained undecipherable for more than one hundred years.

The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified by Delaware on February 3, 1913, giving the Amendment the requisite Constitutional supermajority of three-fourths of the states. The text of the Amendment reads, in its entirety,

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

President Woodrow Wilson died on February 3, 1924 in Washington, DC. Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia (pronounced Stan-ton) and spent most of his youth to age 14 in Augusta, Georgia. Wilson started practicing law in Atlanta, Georgia in 1882, leaving the next year to pursue a Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University. His wife, Ellen Louise Axson, was from Savannah, and they married in Rome, Ga in 1885.

On February 2, 1932, Al Capone was sent to federal prison in Atlanta.

On February 3, 1959, a chartered Beechcraft Bonanza carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson crashed near Mason City, Iowa, killing all aboard.

Jimi Hendrix recorded Purple Haze on February 3, 1967.

On January 4, 1976, the Georgia Senate approved a resolution previously passed by the State House proposing a Constitutional Amendment to allow Governors of Georgia to serve two consecutive terms and voters approved in November 1976. Then-Governor George Busbee won reelection in November 1978, and since then Democrat Roy Barnes is the only Georgia Governor to not win reelection.

On February 2, 1988, the Georgia Senate ratified the 22d Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides that pay raises for Members of Congress shall not go into effect until the next term.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

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Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for February 1, 2018

Roxi Jasper

Roxi is a female mixed breed puppy who is available for adoption from Pickens Animal Rescue Inc in Jasper, GA. She’s sweet and playful.

Gus Jasper

Gus is a male Dachshund mix who is available for adoption from Pickens Animal Rescue Inc in Jasper, GA. Gus is blind and will need a special home, but he’s playful and loving.

Murphy Jasper

Murphy is a young male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Pickens Animal Rescue Inc in Jasper, GA. Murphy is loving, playful, and active.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 1, 2018

Georgia’s first colonists landed at Yamacraw Bluff on February 1, 1733.

The United States Supreme Court held its first session in New York City, Chief Justice John Jay presiding, on February 1, 1790.

On February 1, 1861, Texas seceded from the Union.

On February 1, 1871, Jefferson Franklin Long of Macon, Georgia became the first black Member of Congress to speak on the floor of the United States House of Representatives. Long was born into slavery and taught himself to read and write. Long was a prominent member of the Republican Party, speaking on its behalf in Georgia and other Southern states. He helped elect 37 African-American members to the 1867 Georgia Constitutional Convention and 32 members of the state legislature; Long continued after his term in Congress as a delegate to Republican National Conventions through 1880. In 1880, Long’s support of Governor Alfred Colquitt showed that African-Americans could be an electoral force in Georgia politics.

On February 1, 1965, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. arrived in Selma, Alabama, where he was arrested.

Richard M. Nixon announced his candidacy for President of the United States on Feburary 1, 1968.

On February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded while re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Flu deaths in Georgia number 37, including the first pediatric death.

The deaths, up from the 25 total reported Friday, include a child who was between ages 12 and 18, Public Health officials said Wednesday. That case is the first confirmed pediatric flu death this season in Georgia.

The overall flu death toll may approach the 58 that the state recorded in 2009, said Cherie Drenzek, state epidemiologist. “It looks like we’re approaching our peak’’ in terms of flu activity, she said, but added that it’s likely that there are several more weeks of flu ahead.

“We’re seeing an increase in hospitalizations in metro Atlanta,’’ she said.

Emergency departments across Georgia have reported an unusually high number of patients, many of whom have the flu. Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital has added a temporary mobile ER to handle its patient overflow.

The flu is a serious problem, “but is not a disease that people should panic about,’’ said Dr. Patrick O’Neal, the state’s Public Health commissioner.  He said the number of pediatric cases has not been as high as in previous years.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was the designated survivor in last night’s State of the Union by President Trump.Continue Reading..