Political News for Friday, February 17, 2012


Political News for Friday, February 17, 2012


Today’s adoptable dog is “Rose” at the Walton County Animal Shelter. She came into the shelter with “Ruby” and it appears they are sisters; both are 4-5 month old retriever mix puppies who weighs about 20#, and are dewormed and current on their vaccinations. Walton County’s adoption fee is $40. Peach Pundit commenters have offered to pony up either the adoption fee or a donation in that amount the the charity of choice of anyone who adopts either or both of these dogs. A rescue group has indicated a willingness to foster them, but will needs a volunteer to transport them from Walton County to Cobb County. Rose and Ruby are available for adoption beginning today.

Georgia has released a State Logistics Plan detailing its priorities for developing our state freight network. At the top of the list is the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. Improving interstate highway exchanges at Atlanta, Macon and Savannah, and interstate bypasses at Chattanooga and between Macon and LaGrange are also listed. Upgrades to I-75 between Atlanta and Macon and relieving rail bottlenecks will also improve our freight movement and help bring jobs to Georgia.

Marilyn Watts, a member of the Fayette County Elections Board is being criticized by County Commissioner Steve Brown, who alleges that Watts is participating in the Newt Gingrich campaign more heavily than is appropriate for a board member; Watts denies that her activities cross the line. Georgia law prohibits election board members from

“engaging in any political activity,” [a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office] said. But the ban appears to be limited to the time when the person is conducting the duties of his or her office.

Fayette has a more rigid set of guidelines that explicitly prevent elections board members from participating in political activities.

AJC’s PolitiFact Georgia rates the Romney-supporting SuperPAC ad that accuses Gingrich of supporting China’s one-child policy a “pants on fire.”

Georgia Tax Freedom Day is April 3 this year, ranking 37th in the nation.

The Technology Association of Georgia held “High Tech Day” at the Capitol yesterday as its member executives visited the legislature to advocate for legislation it says will enhance Georgia’s ability to attract jobs in that sector.

House Bill 636 by State Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Brookhaven Ashford Brookhaven) and Rep. Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody), the City of Brookhaven bill, moves the the House floor for a vote on passage today. At Jacobs’s Town Hall Meeting last night, Taylor pleaded with Jacobs, “Don’t tase me, bro!” This marks the first time Jacobs has ever been called “bro” by anyone.

Sen. Lester Jackson (D-Savannah) has introduced legislation to raise the age at which kids can drop out of school to 17 from the current age of 16.

Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) has introduced SB 332, which would increase government reporting on the use of SPLOST funds, including projected maintenance costs, excess money and funds allocated but not yet spent.

House Bill 397, sponsored by Rep. Jay Powell (R-Camilla) and supported by Attorney General Sam Olens, will strengthen and clarify state Open Meetings and Open Records laws and increase maximum fines for violations.

Sen. Fran Millar (R- Pronounced “Miller”) has introduced a resolution for a state constitutional amendment on charter schools, which is identical to the House measure that narrowly failed to attract a two-thirds majority in its first vote.

State Rep. Doug McKillip (DR-Ostensibly) was grilled by the Democratic women on the House Judiciary Committee about his fetal pain bill. Rep. Nikki Randall (D-Macon) said “You don’t have the plumbing to even feel this, I think it’s just terribly unfair to force this on someone.”

For those of you who can’t get enough of the slow-motion car wreck that is DeKalb’s school board redistricting, Martha Dalton has more at WABE.

The Judicial Qualification Commission is currently investigating six to eight state judges, according to its executive director.

Maggie Lee presents the complex issues related to moving Georgia toward greater reliance on sales taxes as increasingly, sales move to online vendors who may or may not collect and remit the tax.

The Saporta Report has two pieces on nuclear energy in Georgia. Tom Baxter opines that traditional reliance on coal for electrical generation and last week’s approval of Vogtle 3 & 4 by the NRC make Georgia “Ground Zero for energy and environmental issues.” Let’s hope that headline was an unfortunate choice and not a prediction of nuclear disaster. David Pendered sees the rise of renewable energy if Senate Bill 401 passes to allow greater flexibility in financing alternative power.

Lori Brady is the first candidate to announce for the Chatham County Commission District 6 seat being vacated by incumbent David Gellatly.

Porsche‘s next vehicle will be a compact SUV named the Macan.

Today’s Morning Reads hat tips to Bridget Cantrell and Maggie Lee.

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