Tag: SCOTUSblog

25
Jun

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 25, 2012


Today, we have four lab mix puppies from two different litters who are available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter. 25271 and 25352 (top row, l to r) are baby girls, while 25066 (lower left) is a girl and 25066 (lower right) is boy; I think that’s just kibble crumbs on 25066′s face. The Gwinnett Animal Shelter is closed on Mondays, but open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 AM to 4 PM and Sunday from noon to 4 PM and is located at 884 Winder Highway in Lawrenceville.

Today might be the day for Obamacare decision from US Supreme Court
At yesterday’s Fulton County Republican Party Barbecue, Attorney General Sam Olens discussed the impending Obamacare decision by the United States Supreme Court that may be handed down today. Here’s a video shot while Sam was in Atlanta between court days during the appeal before the Supreme Court in which he discusses the lawsuit.

Olens makes three main points about the lawsuits. First, in terms of the structure of our government, “The case is about whether the court is going to view the Constitution the way the founders viewed it, which is that the federal government has limited, enumerated powers or whether Congress can pass whatever Congress wants.”

Second, there is not only the individual mandate at stake, but also the expansion of Medicaid. “We already know that (fewer) doctors will accept Medicaid. What happens when we have a 35 percent increase in the number of Georgians that are then on Medicaid?  It is an additional $2.5 billion cost (to Georgia) over the decade.”

Finally, the results will be more complex than a simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down. Either the individual mandate or the Medicaid expansion could be held unconstitutional, but the issue of severability will determine whether the rest of the Obamacare act is thrown out or retained.

I’ll be hanging out watching the live blog at Scotusblog by Scotusblog.com which many consider to be the definitive source for news of Supreme Court decisions.

The Supreme Court is also considered likely to hand down a decision on Arizona’s immigration reform law, which might have consequences for Georgia’s immigration reform statute, HB 87.

I’m not sure what I think about Sam’s new NASCAR sponsorship look, but below is a banner from one of our sponsors, R. Thompson & Associates, LLC, who specialize in filing solutions for candidates and elected officials. Please tell them I sent you.

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

NPR ran a story this morning on Georgia’s cross-state lines insurance sales law, noting that no providers have applied to sell out-of-state insurance in Georgia. Sponsor State Rep. Matt Ramsey thinks that insurers are waiting until an Obamacare decision before making plans.

Friday evening, the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta held a nonpartisan “Stand Up” rally against Obamacare’s health care mandates as applied to religious institutions.

Also at the Fulton County GOP Barbecue yesterday, a straw poll was held on T-SPLOST. The results were 53 “No” votes, 7 “Yes” vote, 2 “Undecided” and 2 “Hell No!” That’s nearly an 8-to-1 advantage for opponents of the tax increase.

Last week, the United States Department of Justice sent a letter to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, taking issue with Georgia’s runoff laws and threatening a lawsuit.

It claims violations of a federal law that requires absentee ballots to be sent to military and overseas residents at least 45 days before federal elections, including runoffs.

The letter threatens a lawsuit if the matter isn’t resolved quickly.

Georgia’s state primary runoff is scheduled for three weeks after the state primary election, and Georgia’s general election runoff is scheduled for four weeks following the general election.

Secretary Kemp fired back in a statement sent out late Friday:

If the DOJ was earnest, they would have previously contacted us about their concerns rather than sending a notice of a lawsuit a month before the Primary Election.  Georgia is literally in the middle of the 2012 Primary. Currently, ballots have been printed and absentee voters (military and overseas included) are voting, while the DOJ is attempting to twist the State’s arm into agreeing to a consent decree, the terms of which would place unnecessary stresses on the elections administration process, before even filing the lawsuit.

The DOJ has not previously expressed concerns about Georgia’s compliance with the MOVE Act, or Georgia’s ability to transmit absentee ballots to UOCAVA voters.  In fact, the DOJ approved Georgia’s timing for run-off elections in 2005 after the General Assembly altered prior election laws.

Representative Mike Jacobs, (R-Brookhaven) notes that the deadline to appeal your property tax assessment in Fulton County is June 28 and DeKalb County is July 13. While deadline may be different in other Counties, the write-up Jacobs has on how to appeal your property tax assessment is excellent and should be applicable everywhere.

Hall County is one of the last counties that still elect a County Surveyor; this year the only candidate for the unpaid job is Republican Jason Lourie.

Cherokee Sheriff wore KKK robe, mask to party 25 years ago

WSB-TV reports that they have been given a photo of Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison wearing what appears to be a KKK robe and hood to a costume party in about 1987, and that Garrison says he never had any connection to the Ku Klux Klan.

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/sheriff-says-kkk-costume-stupid-mistake/nPcqp/Photo from WSB-TV purported to be Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison circa 1987

“I don’t deny it wasn’t stupid, looking back now, but there again I say what 21- or 22-year-old in this world hasn’t made some stupid mistakes?” Garrison told Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer, who obtained the photos from a source who wished to remain anonymous.

Garrison is up for re-election this year, and is facing primary opposition next month.

“It’s purely political,” he said, “This is just the lowest of the low to infer whatever they’re attempting to infer there.”

Garrison said he and a friend were dressed as characters from a scene in the movie “Blazing Saddles” and that he has never espoused any of the KKK’s beliefs.

“I don’t think anyone who knows me is going to think anything of this, but it’s just sickening and it hurts my family,” said Garrison.

“Everybody knows everything about my life. I would just ask that they look at my honor and my integrity and the things we’ve done for this sheriff’s office,” said Garrison.

WSB notes that Garrison’s opponent in the Republican primary says he was made aware of the photo but chose not to make an issue of it, and his opponent was not the person who brought it to their attention.

Garrison’s opponent, David Waters, said someone showed him the photos a year ago, but he chose to ignore them and focus on his own campaign.

“It is a bad judgment call, and (that) type of clothing represents hate, and I certainly don’t want any part of that,” said Waters.

Waters was not the source who provided the photos to Channel 2 Action News.

I’m not sure what I think about this yet, but I’ll offer a few points.

First, as far as Garrison’s opponent, I think it was a good call on his part to not make an issue of something that Garrison did 25 years ago before he was Sheriff. In 1987, I was 16 years old and a normal, stupid, 16-year old male. Probably did some things I wouldn’t do now, and I think most people are like that as they mature.

Second, here’s my rule of thumb with respect to negative information about political opponents: if it happened in college or earlier, I probably wouldn’t use it if they’re, say, 40 years or older, unless it was rape, murder, or something of that level.

Third, as a voter, I give less weight to past actions that were simply in bad taste or bad personal choices, the further in the past they are. Garrison’s point about judging a stupid thing he did 25 years ago against his long career in public service is apt.

On the other hand, if it was twenty years ago, and Garrison has been Sheriff 20 years with a law enforcement career before that, it’s likely that the event occurred while he was a law enforcement officer professionally. That makes it a little bit more appalling, but doesn’t diminish the above points.

Finally, I note that in 1987, in the counties north of Metro Atlanta, and at that time, I don’t think Cherokee would have been considered part of Metro Atlanta, the KKK had recently been in the news in Forsyth County.

In January and February, violence erupted in Forsyth County when KKK members confronted a march led by Hosea Williams, and later staged a counterdemonstration to Williams’s follow-up march.

Given the political climate at the time, it would have been hard for any law enforcement officer wearing a Klan robe and hood for any reason to not be making an overt political statement.

[I also want to note that it appeared at the time, and still does, that most of the people actively causing trouble in Forsyth County in 1987 were not from there. According to the U.S. Census, Forsyth County is estimated in 2011 to have had 175,511 residents, of whom approximately 4563, or 2.6% were black, and there racial tension doesn't appear to be worse than anywhere else.]

Events

Join the Gwinnett Republican Party on Monday, June 25th from 7-9:30 PM at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center auditorium for a free Judicial Forum. Candidates in each race will answer questions posed to them by former WGCL TV reporter Mike Moore. One suggestion if you’re attending: ask the candidate how long they wrote on their qualifying papers they have lived continuously in Gwinnett County. You’ll be shocked at one of the answers.

Fundraiser for Senator David Shafer, with Governor Nathan Deal, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, on Tuesday, June 26th from 5 to 7 PM at St Ives Country Club in Johns Creek.

On Wednesday from 5 to 7 PM, State Rep. Mike Jacobs will hold a fundraiser at Uncle Julio’s Mexican Restaurant at Perimeter, 1140 Hammond Drive (at Peachtree Dunwoody) in Sandy Springs.

Ends & Pieces

Chandler Massey, the son of former Georgia Secretary of State Lewis Massey and grandson of longtime poultry industry lobbyist Abit Massey, won a daytime Emmy award for his role on “Days of Our Lives.”

This weekend marked the 40th Anniversary of the release of the film “Deliverance,” which introduced North Georgia’s rivers to audiences nationwide. When rafting, remember to keep an ear out for banjos, and if you hear them, paddle faster.

Transformers losers lovers gathered in Savannah this weekend for a convention.