The blog.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for March 19, 2021

Roxie Old Dog Home Conyers

Roxie is a female Chihuahua and Shih Tzu mix who is available for adoption from the Old Dog Home in Conyers, GA.

This little sweetheart is Roxie! She came to the rescue with three other little girls as part of a hoarding case, and she was actually the most scared of the group when first brought into rescue – cowering in the back of the kennel and didn’t want to be touched. Now shes the most outgoing little ray of sunshine! Shes still a little head shy and will run away if you try to grab at her, but if you sit quietly on the floor and wait, shell come flying down the hallway, jump into your arms, and melt into a puddle on your lap.

Roxie is not quite a year old yet. She is sweet and funny and loves to give kisses! She does well in a crate and is not especially yappy. She has a natural little bobtail which is just adorable! Roxie is NOT house trained – but she’s working on it with her, but please know that she will have inside accidents until she learns.

Fergie and Joan Jett Old Dog Home Conyers

Joan Jett (front) and Fergie (behind) are bonded female Chihuahua & Shih Tzu mix dogs who are available for adoption from the Old Dog Home in Conyers, GA.

Joan came in with another dog, Fergie, as part of a hoarding case here in Conyers. In the photos attached, Fergie is the dog with more white on her, in the background. Joan is the one in front – she likes to stay in front of Fergie to help her feel more safe.

Ideally, the rescue would like to see these two girls go into a home together, because they depend on each other for comfort, but if not, they at least each need to live with another dog, so they can continue learning how to be normal dogs themselves. They MUST have a securely fenced yard, as they do not understand how to walk on a leash, and they are both extreme flight risks. They’re going to need an incredibly patient family who is willing to take it really slow with them. They are NOT house trained. Both girls are about 3-4 years old.

Klaus Old Dog Home Conyers

Klaus is a senior male Doberman Pinscher who is available for adoption from the Old Dog Home in Conyers, GA.

Klaus is an 8 y/o Doberman who came to rescue from Chatham County Animal Services (Savannah). He was an owner surrender, because he has arthritis in his hips, and he’s begun having a little trouble getting around, and his owners couldn’t (or wouldn’t) deal with it anymore.

Klaus has had a full senior blood panel run, and he is very healthy overall! He is a little overweight, which he’s working on and will help with his hind end stiffness for sure. He takes a daily Rimadyl for pain, and of course our special blend of super senior supplements, but that’s really it! He is sweet and happy, and while he is shy with new people, I’m sure his forever family can get his little nub wagging in no time!


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 19, 2021

Lyman Hall was elected to the Continental Congress on March 21, 1775 from St. John’s Parish; the next year he would sign the Declaration of Independence as a representative from Georgia.

On February 19, 1807, Aaron Burr was arrested in the Mississippi Territory, in what is now Alabama. Burr had served as Vice President during the first term of President Thomas Jefferson, leaving the administration after the 1804 election; later Jefferson issued a warrant accusing Burr of treason. Burr spent part of his time on the lam in Georgia.

March 20, 1854 saw a meeting in Ripon, Wisconsin that is generally considered the founding of the Republican Party.

[F]ormer members of the Whig Party meet to establish a new party to oppose the spread of slavery into the western territories. The Whig Party, which was formed in 1834 to oppose the “tyranny” of President Andrew Jackson, had shown itself incapable of coping with the national crisis over slavery.

The Civil War firmly identified the Republican Party as the party of the victorious North, and after the war the Republican-dominated Congress forced a “Radical Reconstruction” policy on the South, which saw the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution and the granting of equal rights to all Southern citizens. By 1876, the Republican Party had lost control of the South, but it continued to dominate the presidency until the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933.

The Georgia State Capitol was completed on March 20, 1889. Ron Daniels, the Poet Laureate of GaPundit, has written an ode to the Gold Dome:

Well I guess it was back in eighteen eighty nine,
When a couple of boys in Dahlonega went down in a mine,
And found it was slap full of gold.
Then these folks in Atlanta wanted to keep growing,
So they told the legislature the Capitol had to be going,
And so those politicos said “Good Bye Milledgeville! Our attorneys will be in touch.”
Now the Capitol had been moved before,
Savannah, Louisville, and more,
They’d even moved it down to Macon on an overloaded poultry wagon.
Atlanta sure wanted to lend the State a hand,
Giving the legislature plenty of land,
Hammers started swingin’ and, boy howdy, they sure were buildin’.
The architect of this here building was feeling bold,
Covering the building’s dome all in beautiful gold,
Leaving the gold mine empty, and leaving someone with the shaft.
Well, Governor Gordon was slap full of delight,
When his eyes did recognize that impressive sight,
On March 20, 1889, a completed Capitol building.
He grabbed the keys and a few words he spoke,
The words he uttered were no joke,
“Boys when you’re hot, you’re hot! Now thanks a lot.”

On March 19, 1916, the first American military air combat mission began in support of an incursion into Mexico under President Woodrow Wilson.

On March 21, 1941, Governor Eugene Talmadge signed legislation establishing the Eastern Standard Time Zone as the only Time Zone in Georgia. Prior to that, Georgia observed two different time zones.

On March 20, 1943, Governor Ellis Arnall signed legislation authorizing a referendum to amend the Georgia Constitution and make the Public Service Commission a Constitutional agency.

On March 19, 1947, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled in Thompson v. Talmadge on the “Three Governors Affair.” The Court held that the Georgia General Assembly lacked authority to elect Herman Talmadge as Governor, and that because of the death of Eugene Talmadge before he took office, no successor to Gov. Ellis Arnall was in place until the newly-elected Lt. Governor Melvin Johnson was sworn in and became Governor, succeeding Arnall.

On March 20, 1965, President Lyndon Baines Johnson notified Alabama Governor George Wallace that Alabama National Guard troops would be called up to maintain order during a third march from Selma to Montgomery. Within five months, the Voting Rights Act would be passed by Congress.

On March 21, 1965, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. led more than 3000 protesters in a march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery.

On March 20, 1970, Governor Lester Maddox signed legislation designating the Brown Thrasher the official state bird, and the Bobwhite Quail the official state game bird.

On March 21, 1980, President Jimmy Carter announced the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

On March 20, 1982, this song was #1 on the Billboard charts:

Pixies released Surfer Rosa on March 21, 1988.

Former Georgia Governor and United States Senator Herman Talmadge died on March 21, 2002.

On March 19, 2003, President George W. Bush announced the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom in order to depose Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and eliminate the country’s ability to produce weapons of mass destruction.

March 19, 2014 was “Bo Callaway Day” in Georgia and flags flew at half-staff in honor of the late Georgia Congressman and former Secretary of the Army.

“Few individuals throughout our history can match the legacy that Bo Callaway left on Georgia politics,” Deal said. “Bo blazed a trail that led to the dramatic growth of the Georgia GOP, which went from virtually nonexistent when he ran for governor to holding every statewide elected office today. Bo stood up for what he believed in even when the odds and the political system were stacked against him. Georgians are all the better for it. Sandra and I send our deepest sympathies to the Callaway family.”

March 19, 2014 was also the first time I wrote about the lack of an “Official State Dog of Georgia.”

Happy birthday to Georgia-born actress Holly Hunter (March 20, 1958, Conyers) and film director/actor Spike Lee (March 20, 1957, Atlanta).

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will be in Georgia today, according to the AJC.

Rather than headlining a political rally highlighting the sweeping aid measure, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will speak with Asian American advocates to condemn racist violence in the wake of the shooting deaths of eight people, six who were women of Asian descent, at spas in the metro area.

The two will also visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at around 2 p.m. to receive an update from health and medical experts, and discuss state and federal legislation on elections with Stacey Abrams, the founder of the voting rights group Fair Fight.

Biden is set to visit the CDC around 2 p.m., followed by a 3:30 p.m. meeting with community leaders at Emory University and 4:40 p.m. remarks at the school. An evening drive-in rally, initially set to be held at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, has been scrapped.

They will arrive and depart via Dobbins Air Reserve Base and PDK airport. I imagine the trip from Dobbins to PDK will be by helicopter. Sounds like a great time to eat a burger at Downwind today, if it were still open.

House Resolution 264 sets the schedule for the rest of the Session.

Monday, March 22 . . . . . . . . .convene for legislative day 36
Tuesday, March 23 . . . . . . . . .convene for legislative day 37
Wednesday, March 24 . . . . . .committee work day
Thursday, March 25 . . . . . . . .convene for legislative day 38
Friday, March 26 . . . . . . . . . . committee work day

Monday, March 29 . . . . . . . . .convene for legislative day 39
Tuesday, March 30 . . . . . . . . .committee work day
Wednesday, March 31 . . . . . . convene for legislative day 40 (SINE DIE)

Governor Brian Kemp ordered flags on state buildings and properties to fly at half-staff in honor of those who died in the spa shootings.

Governor Kemp yesterday toured Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, according to the Henry Herald.

Gov. Brian Kemp and a select group of race fans got a sneak peek Thursday afternoon as to how Atlanta Motor Speedway will host its spring race while protecting attendees against the coronavirus.

This year everything will be contactless, from tickets to paying for food and souvenirs. Lines have been reconfigured and floor stickers will help keep fans 6 feet apart. Handwashing and sanitizer stations have been placed throughout the concourse. Fans will be required to wear a face mask when entering, exiting and in high-traffic areas. They can be removed once ticket holders are seated.

“We’ve built a race plan we know will help keep fans and their families safe,” said AMS General Manager Brandon Hutchison. “We’re glad to have our race back with fans.”

Kemp, who said he’s a longtime NASCAR fan, said he was appreciative that AMS has been able to make the race safe for fans.

“This is what we have to do to protect lives and livelihoods,” Kemp said. He added fans deserve the vacation and relaxation time.

The Gwinnett County Board of Education voted 3-2 along party lines to fire Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The county’s school board members began the process of replacing Wilbanks on Thursday by exercising a clause in his contract that allows it to terminate his employment with at least 90 days notice. Wilbanks’ contract was set to expire in June 2022, and he had already announced that he will not seek an extension on that contract.

Wilbanks’ last day will be July 31.

“In light of the addition of new members to the Board and my decision not to seek another contract, this vote is not surprising,” Wilbanks said in a statement. “While I was prepared to fulfill my contract through June of 2022, recent discussions with the school board made it clear that would not be the case.”

The vote to fire Wilbanks was a 3-2 vote with the three Democrats on the board supporting Wilbanks’ firing while the two Republicans on the board voted against it. Board Chairman Everton Blair, Vice Chairwoman Karen Watkins and board member Tarece Johnson voted to fire Wilbanks, while board members Steve Knudsen and Mary Kay Murphy voted against it.

“I have been a board member for every year of Mr. Wilbanks’ leadership,” Murphy said as she offered her dissent. “During that time, I have known Mr. Wilbanks to be … honest, honorable, humble, hard-working and a visionary leader respected by senators, governors, representatives, business leaders, educators, grateful families and community members.”

“This is a detrimental change without a thorough and transparent search for Mr. Wilbanks’ replacement and a detailed transition plan. It is counter to the world class way the Gwinnett County Public Schools system has operated over the last 25 years under his leadership.”

From the AJC:

“This decision to make this motion was not taken lightly by any of us,” said Watkins, the board’s vice chair, who made the motion. “We are committed to serving the needs of all our students. … I hope our community can embrace different leadership, new leadership that can build upon our past success created by our current superintendent, Mr. Wilbanks.”

Wilbanks, 78, took the reins of Georgia’s largest and most diverse school system 25 years ago. He is the longest-serving superintendent in the country of a large school district.

Blair, who became board chair two months ago, did not publicly explain his position before voting for the buyout. After the meeting, he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution it was a good time to build on the school district’s successes while investing more in areas that need improvement.

“We’re going to attract some really powerful candidates, so stay tuned,” he said.

This is disgraceful and sacrifices the children of Gwinnett – particularly the ones whose parents can’t afford to move or send them to private schools – for political correctness. This will have an impact for generations of Georgians.

In other “sky is falling” news, the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission warns they may have to raise fees after voters rejected the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax on Tuesday, according to The Brunswick News.

Turnout was small, but the opposition to Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax 2021 got its point across Tuesday by voting down the proposal 53.54 percent to 46.46 percent.

That leaves the four local government agencies that stood to benefit from the one percent sales tax — which was expected to generate $68.5 million over three years — holding the bag. One of those is the JWSC, which was slated to receive $15 million from the penny tax.

Bulloch County Manager Tom Couch is optimistic that county government will not have to raise taxes in coming years, according to the Statesboro Herald.

“Definitely not this year,” he reiterated in an email Thursday. “I don’t foresee it in 2022 or 2023, but you never know what comes up. We could have an unfunded state or federal mandate. There could be demands by county constitutional officers…, demands for service by citizens…, other unexpected events.”

The City of Augusta is moving forward with plans to demolish an old jail, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

House Bill 593, the Tax Relief Act of 2021 by State Rep. Shaw Blackmon (R-Bonaire) passed the Senate and heads to Governor Kemp for his signature or veto, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Augusta Chronicle.

The tax-cut bill, sponsored by Georgia Rep. Shaw Blackmon, R-Bonaire, would let Georgians pay less income tax starting July 1 amid a rebound of the state economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, following up on a previous reduction passed in 2019 that lowered the state’s income-tax rate from 6% to 5.75%.

Republican lawmakers had planned to reduce the income-tax rate further last year to 5.5% but paused that move last March as the pandemic took hold, shuttering Georgia businesses and hammering state revenues for months through the summer.

Blackmon, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, framed his tax-cut proposal as a more “modest and measured” cut than what was pitched last year, allowing Georgians “to keep their hard-earned money.”

Blackmon’s bill passed by a 35-15 vote in the Senate nearly along party lines, with Democratic Sen. Jen Jordan of Atlanta voting in favor. It passed unanimously in the House and now heads to Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk for his signature.

Critics said passing a tax break now could cause the state to lose out on millions of federal dollars set to arrive in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package Congress passed last week, owing to a provision barring states from lowering taxes while using the emergency aid money.

Amid Democratic opposition, top state Republicans including Kemp and House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, have slammed the federal aid package over the penalties for states that seek to cut taxes, as well as the funding formula for Georgia’s share of the relief.

I want to note that Rep. Blackmon won his seat in a 2015 runoff election against Larry Walker, III. Walker would later win a Senate special election, and was the Senate co-sponsor of the Tax Relief Act. Former election rivals working together to cut taxes for all Georgians represents the best of what we see in politics, and I’m thankful for both these gentlemen, and for all who put aside rivalries or disagreements to do good things.

House Bill 114 by State Rep. Bert Reeves is also headed to Gov. Kemp for signature, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Rome News Tribune.

The tax-credit bill, sponsored by Rep. Bert Reeves, R-Marietta, would boost the annual tax credit for new foster parents from $2,000 to $6,000 annually for the first five years after adoption, then drop back to $2,000 per year. The credit would end when the foster child turns 18.

Sen. Bo Hatchett, who carried Reeves’ bill in the Senate and is one of the governor’s floor leaders, said the credit increase aims to encourage more adoptions in Georgia.

“This bill saves the state money, and at the same time this bill offers much-needed support to those families who open their hearts and their homes to children,” Hatchett, R-Cornelia, said from the Senate floor on Thursday.

The number of Georgia children in foster care has declined over the past three years but remains high, according to state Division of Family and Children Services data. The state currently has about 11,200 children in foster care, down from 15,000 in March 2018.

Kemp has made foster care a legislative priority for his administration, along with cracking down on human trafficking and gang activities.

Senate Bill 34 by Senator Clint Dixon (R-Buford) aims to reduce human trafficking and passed the House, headed to the Governor’s office, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Rome News Tribune.

The Georgia House of Representatives unanimously passed Senate Bill 34, which would allow victims of human trafficking to petition to change their name without public disclosure.

The bill, introduced by freshman Sen. Clint Dixon, R-Buford, one of Kemp’s Senate floor leaders, passed unanimously in that chamber last month.

The legislation builds on the work of the GRACE Commission, a task force focusing on human trafficking chaired by Georgia First Lady Marty Kemp, state Rep. Josh Bonner, R-Fayetteville, who carried the bill in the House, told his colleagues Thursday.

Senate Bill 221 is a cynical money grab heroic strike for freedom by Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Extreme Northwest Georgia) and passed the House, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Rome News Tribune.

The state House of Representatives passed the bill 96-69, with lawmakers voting along party lines. Since the Senate approved the measure late last month, it now heads to Gov. Brian Kemp for his signature.

The legislation would create eight so-called “leadership committees” headed by the governor, lieutenant governor and their general election opponents – plus the majority and minority caucus leaders in the Georgia House and Senate. The committees would collect campaign donations ahead of statewide and legislative elections.

“It gives our caucuses the ability to function like the parties do now,” said House Majority Whip Trey Kelley, R-Cedartown, who carried Senate Bill 221 in the House.

House Majority Leader Jon Burns, R-Newington, said the bill would treat Democrats and Republicans the same.

“This bill impacts both parties equally,” he said. “It’s an equal opportunity bill.”

But Democrats said the bill would open the door to political fundraising during General Assembly sessions, a practice that is currently prohibited by state law to discourage lobbyists from seeking to influence votes on pending legislation.

I’d argue the sematics of that article on one little point: the legislation does not create anything, but it allows leadership committees to be created and to raise and spend money.

Former Watkinsville Mayor Bob Smith has spoken out now about why he resigned abruptly, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

Smith left City Hall soon after his unexpected announcement. He presented a letter to the council declaring he has “essentially been shut out of all decisions regarding the day-to-day management of Watkinsville.”

“Government of the people, by the people and for the people does not exist in Watkinsville,” Smith wrote in ​​​​​a statement on Facebook.

[Mayor Pro Tem Brian] Brodrick posted on Facebook that he expects a special election in June or July to chose a mayor to serve until the general election in November.

Smith said in his resignation letter that there is no need for a mayor. He noted that prior to him taking office and after his election in 2019, the city council created a city manager position to take over the responsibilities that once belonged to the mayor.

“The mayor has virtually no authority to meet with people desiring property changes, negotiate transactions or give any input whatsoever on the business of Watkinsville government,” Smith wrote in his letter.

Athens-Clarke County Mayor Kelly Wirtz writes about lessons from the pandemic in the Athens Banner Herald.

Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for March 18, 2021

Rico and Billy Baldwin County Jail Dogs

Billy (left, black fur) and Rico (right, white and tan fur) are a bonded pair of mixed breed dogs who are available for adoption from the Baldwin County Jail Dogs Program in Milledgeville, GA.

Rico and his best friend Billy are a bonded pair who entered the Baldwin County Jail Dog Program as the very first 2 dogs in 2015. They lived, worked and played together, forming a very special friendship. Both boys were adopted by a counselor at the prison and they lived a good life for the next 5 years.

In November 2020, the adoptive parents separated. Mom moved to Minnesota, dad remained in Morgan County GA with the dogs. Sadly, dad died in his sleep and was discovered December 17th by a family member who checked on him. Rico and Billy were taken to the Morgan Co Animal Shelter, as no family stepped up for them.

Both boys have adjusted well. As long as they have each other, they are happy, well-balanced and will be fine. Rico is very outgoing. He LOVES people and gets very excited to meet everyone. Billy is more reserved, but still friendly and loving, especially if Rico likes the person.

Both boys are house trained and are meticulous in their inside manners. They play together, each one complimenting the other. In a fenced yard, they will play, exercise and entertain each other to exhaustion. Then they go inside and take a nice long nap. Rico dislikes getting wet. He tolerates a bath, but would avoid it if possible. If it is raining, he will reluctantly go outside to the yard to do his business, but immediately races back inside.

Casper Baldwin County Jail Dogs

Casper is a young male mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from the Baldwin County Jail Dogs Program in Milledgeville, GA.

Casper is extremely smart, loving and loyal. He enjoys learning and showing off his skills including sit, down, stay, go to your spot, wait, leave it, give, easy, come, off and is house and crate trained.

Casper enjoys go find games and other mental games that we provide for our dogs. He is a quick learner and anxious to please. Casper loves to run and play. He is fast and needs a safe fenced yard to get the exercise he needs every day. Casper is well behaved and plays gently with humans. He is well-mannered inside.

Dixie Baldwin County Jail Dogs

Dixie is a female German Shepherd Dog mix who is available for adoption from the Baldwin County Jail Dogs Program in Milledgeville, GA.

Dixie is a very smart and friendly girl. She respects a person who is confident, fair and trustworthy. Dixie does best when she knows the rules, boundries and limitations. Dixie’s house manners are exemplary. She is quiet, meticulously clean and respects others’ personal property. She loves a snuggle with her person. Dixie takes treats very gently and gives sweet kisses. She plays well inside, moderating her play behavior appropriately.

Outside, Dixie loves to run and chase her ball. She will try to get her person to chase her, but that results in too much excitement that can lead to jumping and nipping.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 18, 2021

On March 18, 1766, the British Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, which required American colonists to purchase a stamp for every legal or printed document they obtained.  Revenue would be used to support the British army in America.

The Stamp Act led Patrick Henry to denounce King George III, the British Monarch at the time of the passage of the Stamp Act and the ensuing Revolutionary War; Henry’s later “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech to the Virginia Assembly at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, listed by Time magazine as one of the top ten speeches of all time. Henry later opposed adoption of the Constitution, arguing it was incomplete without a Bill of Rights; after the Bill of Rights was adopted, Henry was satisfied.

On March 18, 1939, the State of Georgia ratified the Bill of Rights, which were proposed 150 years earlier in 1789. Georgia initially declined to ratify the Bill of Rights arguing that the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution were unnecessary. Governor E.D. Rivers signed the joint resolution six days later, but under federal court decisions the ratification is marked as of the date the second house of the state legislature adopts the legislation (assuming a bi-cameral state legislature).

On March 18, 1942, the United States government, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, created the War Relocation Authority to “Take all people of Japanese descent into custody, surround them with troops, prevent them from buying land, and return them to their former homes at the close of the war.” More than 120,000 Japanese Americans, many of them citizens of the United States were moved from the west coast into concentration camps in the western United States.

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, composed entirely of Japanese Americans, many of whose families were interned at the camps, became the most-decorated unit of World War II, with members being awarded 4,667 medals, awards, and citations, including 1 Medal of Honor, 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, and 560 Silver Stars; eventually 21 members of the 442nd would be awarded the Medal of Honor. The late United States Senator Daniel Inouye, a member of the 442nd from 1941 to 1947, was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Bill Clinton for actions during WWII. First elected to the United States Senate in 1962, Inouye became President Pro Tem in 2010.

On March 18, 1947, Herman Talmadge surrendered the Governor’s office, ending the “Three Governors Affair.” Earlier this year, the General Assembly honored the late Governor Melvin Thompson, who was elected the first Lieutenant Governor of Georgia and became Governor at the conclusion of the Three Governors Affair.

On March 18, 1955, the Georgia Educators Association endorsed “equal but separate” schools for the races.

On March 18, 1961, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Gray v. Sanders, which arose from Georgia. Three politically-important results come from the case.

First, the Court held that state regulation of the Democratic Primary made the primary election a state action, not merely that of a private organization; thus, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies.

Second, the Equal Protection Clause requires that every vote be given equal weight in electing officials, often stated as the “one person, one vote” rule. In Georgia at that time, each County had between two and six “county unit votes”. As a result,

“One unit vote in Echols County represented 938 residents, whereas one unit vote in Fulton County represented 92,721 residents. Thus, one resident in Echols County had an influence in the nomination of candidates equivalent to 99 residents of Fulton County.”

Third, because the County Unit System gave the votes of some Georgians greater weight than that of others, it violated the Equal Protection Clause. The “one person, one vote” rule is one benchmark of redistricting.

On March 18, 1976, Governor George Busbee signed legislation recognizing the following official state symbols:

Staurolite – Official Mineral of Georgia
Shark’s Tooth – Official Fossil of Georgia
Clear Quartz – Official Gem of Georgia
Purple Quartz (Amethyst) – Official Gem of Georgia

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

President Donald Trump is encouraging Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for March 17, 2021

Brooks Dublin Laurens County Humane Society

Brooks is a 1-2 year old, 55-pound male Lab mix who is available for adoption from the Dublin Laurens County Humane Society.

Shania Dublin Laurens County Humane Society

Shania is a 45-pound, 2-year old mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from the Dublin Laurens County Humane Society.

Shania loves people and is such a sweet girl but will need a home with no small dogs or cats.

Shyla Dublin Laurens County Humane Society

Shyla is a 45-pound female mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from the Dublin Laurens County Humane Society.

Shyla can be shy upon first meeting her. She warms up quickly and is the biggest love bug. She does well with other dogs. Shyla quickly became a staff and volunteer favorite.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 17, 2021

On March 17, 1762, the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held in New York City by Irish serving in the British army; the date commemorates the death of St. Patrick in 461. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in Savannah, Georgia was held in 1813.

On March 17, 1866, Governor Charles Jones Jenkins signed legislation granting African-Americans the same rights as whites for contracts, suits, inheritance, property, and punishments for violation of the law.

On March 17, 1933, Governor Eugene Talmadge signed a joint resolution of the state legislature to place a plaque on the wall of the Georgia Capitol commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the founding of Georgia.

On March 17, 1943, Governor Ellis Arnall signed legislation creating a commission to revise the 1877 Constitution of Georgia.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Under the Gold Dome – Legislative Day 35

8:00 AM Senate Ethics – 307 CLOB
10:00 AM Senate Floor Session – Senate Chamber
10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD34) – House Chamber
Noonish Senate Rules Upon Adjournment – 450 CAP
1:00 PM Senate Health and Human Services – 450 CAP
1:00 PM Senate Natural Resources and Environment – 307 CLOB
1:00 PM HOUSE Ways and Means Public Finance and Policy Sub – 403 CAP
1:00 PM CANCELLED – HOUSE Ways and Means Sales Tax Sub – 403 CAP
1:30 PM CANCELLED – HOUSE Ways and Means Tax Revision Special Sub – 403 CAP
1:30 PM HOUSE Energy, Utilities and Telecoms Facility Safety Special Sub – 515 CLOB
1:45 PM CANCELLED – HOUSE Ways and Means Ad Valorem Tax Sub – 403 CAP
2:00 PM CANCELLED – HOUSE Ways and Means Income Tax Sub – 403 CAP
2:15 PM Senate Education and Youth – 307 CLOB
2:15 PM Senate Retirement – 450 CAP
3:30 PM Senate Economic Development and Tourism – 307 CLOB
3:30 PM Senate Finance – 450 CAP
3:30 PM HOUSE Motor Vehicles Driver Safety and Services Sub – 515 CLOB
3:30 PM HOUSE Creative Arts and Entertainment Music and Live Performances Sub – 406 CLOB
4:45 PM Senate Judiciary – 307 CLOB


HB 208 – State holidays; second Wednesday of February of each year as National Swearing-in Day in Georgia; provide (VM&HS-53rd) Cheokas-138th

HB 63 – Alternative ad valorem tax; motor vehicles; revise definition of fair market value (FIN-51st) Blackmon-146th

HB 112 – Torts; provide certain immunities from liability claims regarding COVID-19; extend applicability for one year (JUDY-17th) Kelley-16th

HB 169 – Motor vehicles; commercial driver’s license; provide requirements for issuance (PUB SAF-56th) Corbett-174th

HB 207 – Motor vehicles; electronic submission of certain documentation required of manufacturers, distributors, dealers, secondary metals recyclers, used motor vehicle parts dealers, and scrap metal processors by the Department of Revenue; provide (Substitute)(PUB SAF-56th) Corbett-174th

HB 497 – Code Revision Commission; revise, modernize and correct errors or omissions (JUDY-17th) Efstration-104th

HB 693 – Motor vehicles; operation of farm tractors on interstate highways; prohibit (AG&CA-24th) Meeks-178th


Modified Structured Rule

SB 43 – “Noncovered Eye Care Services Act”; enact (Substitute)(Ins-Gambill-15th) Brass-28th

SB 88 – Education; Georgia Teacher of the Year shall be invited to serve as advisor ex officio to the State Board of Education; provide (Ed-LaRiccia-169th) Goodman-8th

SB 140 – Flag, Seal, and Other Symbols; placement of a monument in honor of the Honorable Zell Bryan Miller upon the capitol grounds of the state capitol building; provide (SProp-Ralston-7th) Mullis-53rd

SB 182 – Counties and Municipal Corporations; “fence detection system”; define the term; counties, consolidated governments, and municipalities regulate or prohibit such system; limit the ability (GAff-Gullett-19th) Robertson-29th

Structured Rule

HB 703 – Bleckley County; probate judge; provide nonpartisan elections (IGC-Mathis-144th)HB 704Bleckley County; Magistrate Court chief judge; provide nonpartisan elections (IGC-Mathis-144th)

The Washington Post made news with a correction to its earlier story about then-President Donald Trump’s phone call to an investigator in the office of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. From WaPo:

On Jan. 9, The Post reported that then-President Donald Trump, in a call with Georgia’s lead elections investigator, Frances Watson, had instructed her to “find the fraud.” He mentioned that she could become a “national hero,” reported the newspaper.

In both cases, the quotes were wrong, as The Post has acknowledged in a correction to the story. “Trump did not tell the investigator to ‘find the fraud’ or say she would be ‘a national hero’ if she did so. Instead, Trump urged the investigator to scrutinize ballots in Fulton County, Ga., asserting she would find ‘dishonesty’ there. He also told her that she had ‘the most important job in the country right now,’” reads the correction, in part.

On the recording, there was no “find the fraud.” But there was this: “If you can get to Fulton, you are going to find things that are going to be unbelievable — the dishonesty,” said Trump.

There was no “national hero.” But there was this: “When the right answer comes out, you’ll be praised. … People will say, ‘Great.’ Because that’s what it’s about — that ability to check and to make it right,” Trump told Watson.

The Post’s account of the call rested on one source — “an individual familiar with the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the conversation.” Though that source wasn’t identified in the Jan. 9 story, The Post did identify her in its follow-up based on the Wall Street Journal scoop: “The Washington Post reported on the substance of Trump’s Dec. 23 call in January, describing him saying that Watson should ‘find the fraud’ and that she would be a ‘national hero,’ based on an account from Jordan Fuchs, the deputy secretary of state, whom Watson briefed on his comments.”

In an interview with the Erik Wemple Blog, Fuchs said, “I believe the story accurately reflected the investigator’s interpretation of the call. The only mistake here was in the direct quotes, and they should have been more of a summary.” Fuchs said that The Post disclosed her role in the story with her permission, and that she’d gotten the debriefing from the investigator — a direct report of hers — “shortly” after the call from Trump concluded.

“I think it’s pretty absurd for anybody to suggest that the president wasn’t urging the investigator to ‘find the fraud,’” Fuchs added, “These are quotes that [Watson] told me at the time.”

From National Review:

There is, of course, a crucial difference between a president instructing an investigator to “find the fraud” so she can become “a national hero” and a president telling an investigator he believes she will find fraud if she looks. To contend that Trump was “misquoted” or that the quotes were “misattributed” is to critically understate the dishonesty in the original story. Indeed, it is fair to say that the quotes were fabricated by someone, not misattributed, and then they were published by every major news outlet in the country as a verified fact. Even the Post’s headline for its follow-up — “Recording reveals details of Trump call to Georgia’s chief elections investigator” — intimates that the tape merely helps in updating the initial reporting rather than completely decimating it.

The single anonymous source used for the story seems to be Jordan Fuchs, the deputy secretary of state, whose office was under pressure from the president at time. Fuchs still claims that the story accurately portrayed the spirit of the conversation that was relayed to him, maybe by Watson. The tape tells a different story.

The only reason we know any of this, incidentally, is because a recording of the conversation was found in Watson’s trash folder on her device while responding to a public-records request. (Does it not seem peculiar that a state official would throw out an audio recording of the president allegedly berating her to overturn an election? It seems like the kind of audio one saves.) How many stories with this kind of flimsy or dishonest sourcing exist but will never be debunked?

From the AJC:

Georgia elections officials said their description of a much-scrutinized phone call between Donald Trump and a top investigator wasn’t meant to be presented as a “word-for-word transcript” after a recording of the call revealed the former president was misquoted.

Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday that the office’s initial report about the conversation between Trump and Frances Watson, the chief investigator, relied on Watson’s recollection.

Here’s the full statement from Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs:

“The Secretary of State’s Office’s first report about its investigator’s phone conversation with President Trump relied on the investigator’s recollection. Information about the content of the call was never presented as a word-for-word transcript. After hearing the tape, it’s clear that her recollection accurately portrayed the president’s assertions that there was fraud to uncover and that she would receive praise for doing so.”

The bigger problem is that this undermines the credibility of everyone in the Secretary of State’s Office at a time when it is most important that they be unimpeachable. Expect this story to dominate for a while.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for March 16, 2021

Nakia Humane Society of Morgan County Madison GA

Nakia is a young female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Morgan County in Madison, GA.

Nakia is a big beautiful girl looking for a home to call her very own. She is a young dog with a lot to learn about the world. Nakia would do well in a home with a stable secure dog to help her develop confidence. Nakia does not like to be confined and will escape an enclosure or crate. A secure fenced in yard is a must for her to get plenty of exercise. She will have to be monitored closely before she can be trusted alone for any length of time.

Nakia is a diamond in the rough, that needs an adopter that is willing to devote the time and training to bring out her shine!!!

Whiskey Humane Society of Morgan County Madison GA

Whiskey is a young male Hound mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Morgan County in Madison, GA.

Whiskey is a handsome young man searching for his forever home!!! Whiskey is a friendly dog that enjoys the company of other dogs, he likes children but has not been tested with a cat. Whiskey is young with a lot of puppy energy left, he will be a good fit for most homes. His ideal home would have a fenced in yard for safe outdoor time or an active owner that will take him along for outdoor activities.

Colby Humane Society of Morgan County Madison GA

Colby is a senior male Dachshund and Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Morgan County in Madison, GA.

Colby a handsome older man looking to see out his senior years with his very own human companion. Colby’s not a demanding dog, he just wants the security of a loving home with someone that can take him on leisurely walks and will let him curl up next to them while watching a movie. Adopting a senior dog has so many rewards, please consider making Colby your new best friend!!!


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 16, 2021

James Madison, drafter of the Constitution and fourth President of the United States, was born on March 16, 1751.

The United States Military Academy was established at West Point, New York on March 16, 1802.

On March 16, 1861, delegates in Savannah unanimously ratified the Confederate Constitution and voted to have a new state constitution drafted.

On March 16, 1976, former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter won the Illinois Democratic Primary. His spiritual successor President Barack Obama, from Illinois, would visit Carter’s home state of Georgia on March 16, 2012.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Murray County voters will decide a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST) today, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen News.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for March 15, 2021

Sophie Humane Society of Harris County

Sophie is a female Terrier mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Harris County in Hamilton, GA.

Hi everyone, my name is Sophie! I am in search of an adopter who will love me forever. I only have one eye, but that hasn’t slowed me down. I am good with children. I absolutely love to cuddle and hang out with people! I am fully vaccinated, microchipped, and spayed. I am optimistic that the right person will take me home any day now! Will that person be you? I would love for you to make an appointment to meet me!

Cheyanne Humane Society of Harris County

Cheyanne is a female Terrier mix dog who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Harris County in Hamilton, GA.

Hi everyone, my name is Cheyanne! I am in search of my forever home. Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am very energetic and playful. I love getting exercise such as going on walks, runs, and hikes. My favorite hobbies include playing with other dogs and people. I walk well on a leash and am excited to learn basic commands. I am fully vaccinated, microchipped, and spayed.

Dolly Humane Society of Harris County

Dolly is a female Shepherd mix dog who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Harris County in Hamilton, GA.

Hi everyone, my name is Dolly! Are you interested in being my forever home? Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am very sweet and love to receive hugs. I am eager to learn basic commands such as sit, down, and stay. I love going on walks and spending time with people.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 15, 2021

On March 15, 44 BC, Julius Caesar was assassinated at a meeting of the Senate.

On March 15, 40 BC, Octavian executed 300 Senators and knights in vengeance for Caesar’s death.

On March 15, 1758, Georgia’s Royal Governor Henry Ellis signed legislation dividing the colony into eight parishes, primarily for religious administration, but with some parishes having secondary government functions.

On March 15, 1933, Governor Eugene Talmadge negotiated bank loans totalling $2 million dollars to keep the state’s public schools open.

On March 15, 1943, Sea Island was officially named as Governor Ellis Arnall signed legislation designating the island that had informally been given several different names.

On March 15, 1980, USS Carl Vinson, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was launched at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. Vinson was the first Navy ship named after a living American.

Howard “Bo’ Callaway, the father of the modern Georgia Republican Party, died on March 15, 2014.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Tomorrow is election day in several parts of Georgia.

City of Baldwin City Council District 4

Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST) for Jackson County, City of Jefferson, City of Commerce

Glynn County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST)

Oconee County Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST)

Augusta-Richmond County Special Purpose Local Option Sales and Use Tax

Heard County Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST)

City of Clarkston City Council

Houston County General Obligation Bond and ESPLOST Election

Warner Robins City Council Post 1

City of White City Council

McDuffie County Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST)

Sylvania City Council Ward 4

Crawford County Commission District 5 and Board of Education District 4

Dawson County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST 21)

Jasper County Commission District 1

City of Kingsland Council District Post 3

Walker County Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST)

Liberty County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST)

Gordon County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST)

Henry County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST)

Butts County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST)

Whitfield County Tax Allocation District Election and County Commission District 3 Special Election

Barwick City Council Post 1 and Post 2

Meriwether County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST)

Lamar County Chief Magistrate and Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST)

Troup County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST)

Richmond Hill City Council Post 3 Special Election

Haralson County Commission District 4 Special Election

City of Folkston At-Large Council Special Election

Grovetown City Council Special Election

Wilkinson County Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax

Troup County Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax

Thomas County Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax

Carroll County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax

City of Talbotton Special Municipal Election

Under the Gold Dome Today  – Legislative Day 32


Noonish Senate Rules Upon Adjournment – 450 CAP
8:00 AM Senate Government Oversight – 450 CAP
10:00 AM Senate Floor Session – Senate Chamber
10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD32) – House Chamber
Noonish Senate Rules Upon Adjournment – 450 CAP
1:00 PM Senate State Institutions and Property – 125 CAP
1:00 PM Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs – Mezz 1
1:00 PM Senate Finance – 450 CAP
2:00 PM HOUSE Regulated Industries Alcohol and Tobacco Subcommittee – 606 CLOB
2:00 PM HOUSE Motor Vehicles Driver Safety and Services Subcommittee – 515 CLOB
2:15 PM Senate State and Local Governmental Operations – 310 CLOB
2:15 PM Senate Judiciary – 307 CLOB
3:30 PM Senate Ethics – 307 CLOB
3:30 PM HOUSE Governmental Affairs State and Local Government Subcommittee – 506 CLOB


HB 111 – Financial institutions; clarify and remove superfluous language; provisions (B&FI-18th) Williamson-115th


Modified Structured Rule
SB 5 – Professions and Businesses; patient protection measures for patients undergoing sedation in certain settings; provide (Substitute)(H&HS-Hawkins-27th) Kirkpatrick-32nd

Governor Brian Kemp on Friday issued Executive Order, with revised guidance on COVID prevention protocols. From a press release:

The changes to the Executive Order are detailed below:

▪ Combines the restaurant and bar requirements to hold both types of establishments to the same standards; and

▪ Streamlines suggestions and requirements for Critical Infrastructure and Non-Critical Infrastructure organizations to remove unnecessary requirements based on existing standard operating procedures for organizations and the ineffectiveness of certain measures; and

▪ Includes 2021 high school graduates, home study graduates, and GED recipients in previously ordered HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship testing requirement modifications.

From the AJC:

As Georgia grapples with rock-bottom vaccination rates, Gov. Brian Kemp is encouraging more health care providers to think “outside the box.”

At a pop-up vaccine clinic at the St. Philip AME Church in east Atlanta, the governor encouraged other providers to follow the lead of Walgreens, which launched three events through the Metro Atlanta Ministerial Alliance across the city. Uber teamed up with the pharmacy chain to provide free rides to the clinics.

“It’s how we get the vaccine out into the community whether at a church, a civil club, a neighborhood, a homeowners association,” said Kemp, adding: “I know we have providers out there that have doses and could do things like this.”

From WSB-TV:

Gov. Brian Kemp says he is confident that vaccines can open up to all adults in Georgia in a matter of weeks.

Nearly 3.5 million additional Georgians will become newly-eligible for the vaccine starting [today]. Those groups include people 55 and older and those who have high-risk health conditions.

There are more than a dozen medical conditions that will qualify for the vaccine starting on Monday. Those issues include diabetes, obesity, heart disease and having a compromised immune system.

“The whole point of vaccines is not to prevent the disease 100%, but really to prevent severe disease that would require people to end in the hospital,” Dr. Gavin Harris with Emory University told Channel 2′s Tom Regan.



State Rep. Jesse Petrea (R-Savannah) writes in the Savannah Morning News about House Bill 168, which he authored.

My bill, HB 168, allows an affected community’s district attorney to review the correctional record of the inmates convicted of violent and sexual crimes before they are released early on parole. The DA currently retains a right to object to an inmate’s early release. The bill simply gives them knowledge of the inmate’s behavior while in jail, and it applies only to those inmates convicted of violent crimes and violent sexual offenses.

Not only did my Democratic colleagues vote against the bill, our own newly elected Chatham County DA Shalena Cook Jones, herself a Democrat, lobbied the Democratic members of our delegation to oppose this measure. Why would a district attorney oppose legislation that simply gives her more information about violent felons prior to their potential early release? This gives the DA’s no more power than they have now but instead provides them more information to use those powers.

Thankfully, our Republican caucus supported the measure and it passed. The bill is particularly good for Savannah which has been ravaged for years by violent felons on parole.

It seems to me a clear pattern is emerging here: it should be obvious to any reasonable person that the Democratic Party is far more concerned with protecting criminals than victims.



Chatham County courts had a pre-existing condition – a backlog of cases — that was exacerbated by the pandemic, according to the Savannah Morning News.

But while courts have managed to press forward, the pandemic highlighted the inefficiencies in the court system and further increased the backlog of cases, including in Chatham County.

“I think it is really important to understand that COVID didn’t create a backlog. There has been a backlog of cases prior to COVID,” Chatham County Chief Assistant District Attorney Michael Edwards told the Savannah Morning News. He is also responsible for policy, programs and personnel.

On Feb. 28, 2020, Chatham County had more than 5,000 pending cases in its system, Edwards said. In the past year, more than 4,600 pending cases were added to the workflow. Though hesitant to call it a “backlog,” Edwards explained pending cases are unresolved cases that have been delayed for several factors.

“It’s more about the efficiency of the system and the ability to keep case matters flowing in a steady pace than it’s about specific backlogs,” Edwards said, adding the office isn’t just bogged down with felony and misdemeanor cases.

“If we have a situation where our system can be so adversely affected by an 11-month period of time, that’s fairly good evidence that we really need to be evaluating and considering a restructuring of our system,” he said.


Valdosta City Council appointed Jeremy Baker as the new Municipal Court Judge, according to the Valdosta Daily News.

Councilman Andy Gibbs nominated Baker while Councilwoman Vivian Miller-Cody nominated Valerie Bryant, a Georgia public defender.

A 5-3 vote landed in favor of Baker as the municipal court judge.

“We’ll begin talking about salary, notices he’s going to give at his current (job),” City Manager Mark Barber said. “There’ll be a swearing-in date once we get all that worked out.”