The blog.

2
Dec

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for December 2, 2016

martin

Martin is a young male Pointer who is available for adoption from Augusta Animal Services in Augusta, GA.

petro

Petro is a young male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Augusta Animal Services in Augusta, GA.

raeburn

Raeburn is a young male German Shepherd Dog mix who is available for adoption from Augusta Animal Services in Augusta, GA.

2
Dec

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 2, 2016

John Wesley left Savannah on December 2, 1737.

John Wesley’s strict discipline as rector of Christ Church in Savannah irritated his parishioners. More trouble followed when he fell in love with Sophia Hopkey, the niece of Georgia’s chief magistrate. When she married another man, Wesley banned her from Holy Communion, damaging her reputation in the community.

His successful romantic rival sued him; but Wesley refused to recognize the authority of the court, and the man who would eventually found a major Protestant denomination in America left Georgia in disgrace on December 2, 1737

Touro Synagogue, the oldest existing synagogue in the United States, was dedicated on December 2, 1763 in Newport, Rhode Island.

The Skirmish at Rocky Creek Church took place near Waynesboro, Georgia on December 2, 1864.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Karen Handel leads to field of potential Republican candidates in the Sixth Congressional District, according to a poll released by WSB-TV.

cd6poll

From the AJC Political Insider:

Former Secretary of State Karen Handel has carved out an early lead in the wide-open race to replace Rep. Tom Price, according to a Landmark/Rosetta Stone poll commissioned by WSB-TV.

Handel, who has not yet announced but appears likely to run, is one of about a dozen Republicans considering a bid for the seat after Price was tapped as Donald Trump’s health secretary. The only declared Republican so far is state Sen. Judson Hill, who hopes to take the 6th District back to its Cobb County roots.

Congressman Tom Price told The Daily Caller he expects the district to elect a Republican to succeed him.

Price assured that he thinks the chances of Democrats pulling off an upset are unlikely in a special election if his nomination is confirmed.

“I don’t think so, we’ll be fine,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation. Price said he doesn’t have any favorites in terms of successors either as a congressman or chairman of the Budget Committee, but hopes to stay in the role until he assumes his next position.

“We’ll let that play out,” he said. “There are a lot of good folks looking at each.”

Senator David Perdue travels to New York today.

“As a fellow businessman and outsider himself, Sen. Perdue was invited to Trump Tower to discuss working together to advance President-elect Trump’s 100-day plan in the Senate and changing the direction of our country,” said Perdue spokeswoman Caroline Vanvick said in a statement.

Perdue, who chaired Trump’s election campaign in Georgia, was one of the Republican president-elect’s earliest, staunchest and most vocal supporters. Because of that, he is widely viewed to be a valuable conduit between the new administration and the Senate.

In announcing the meeting on Thursday, Jason Miller, communications director for the Trump transition team, told reporters that Perdue “was a big supporter of ours on the campaign trail. He’s a fantastic ally for the president-elect.”

Sonny Perdue spoke to The Macon Telegraph about his meeting in Trump Tower.

Perdue described his meeting with Trump as “a very businesslike-type interview. Really kind of a job interview. It was not political. It was about the essence of the job and trade and agricultural potential and productivity, and I think he was trying to really find some content-expertise people to put in rather than political appointees. So I was encouraged by that.”

Asked Thursday if a cabinet position and a job in Washington is something that interests him at this stage in his life, Perdue, a grandfather of 14 who turns 70 later this month, said, “That had to be contemplated and answered before I would agree to be interviewed. I think it would have been very duplicitous to go up for an interview, get the cameras and then to turn down somebody.”

He added that he and his wife, Mary, are not “looking forward to having our lives disrupted again, but honestly at this stage of America, I think it is truly one of those serve-your-county kind of deals. And if we get drafted, then we’re gonna report for duty.”

Perdue said he was told that a decision on the agriculture post could be made “in a week or two.”

Nick Ayers, an alumnus of Governor Sonny Perdue’s campaigns and administrations, is being spoken of as a candidate for Chairman of the Republican National Committee.

A person close to Mr. Trump said the president-elect’s allies are coalescing around Nick Ayers, a member of the transition team, to be the party’s chairman. Mercedes Schlapp, another Republican operative, is being considered for a role as co-chairwoman.

Politico also writes about Ayers.

Pence, meanwhile, has been supportive of Nick Ayers, a Georgia-based operative who advised Pence during the presidential campaign. Ayers, a former RGA executive director, is currently helping the transition. During internal conversations, the vice president-elect has told aides that Ayers would be a solid pick.

Once Trump makes his choice, that person must get final approval from the 168 members who comprise the national committee. The vote is expected to take place in January, when the RNC meets for its annual winter meeting.

WMAZ-13 in Macon gives some background on Ayers and Sonny Perdue.

James Nicholas Ayers is a Cobb County native and major operative of the Republican Party. In 2010, Time Magazine listed Ayers as one of its 40 most influential Americans under 40.

But Perdue put Ayers on his high-speed trajectory when he tapped Ayers to manage his 2006 re-election campaign. Ayers was 22.

Since then, Ayers has led the national Republican Party and also worked on several GOP campaigns. That includes the senatorial campaign of U.S. Sen. David Perdue, Sonny Perdue’s first cousin. More recently, Ayers was a political advisor to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s re-election campaign.

Pence ended his re-election efforts when Trump chose Pence as his running mate. Because of Ayers and his Sonny Perdue connections, Pence made a campaign stop in Perry during the presidential race. Perdue introduced Pence to the crowd and afterwards stood with Pence backstage while he greeted supporters and fielded questions from reporters.

Now, Ayers sits on Trump’s transition team, a group that’ll recommend a person for Secretary of Agriculture. In their first interview meeting, Perdue questioned Ayers. On Tuesday, Ayers and the other transition team members questioned Perdue.

When making their bets, professional gamblers would rate the Ayers/Pence/Perdue connection as a positive in the Secretary of Agriculture sweepstakes.

Muscogee County voters have been streaming to the polls in early voting for a runoff election in the Sheriff’s race.

The early vote in Tuesday’s runoff for Muscogee County Sheriff may top 3,000.

When the fourth day of early voting ended Thursday, 2,686 had cast ballots in the race between incumbent John Darr and challenger Donna Tompkins, with 712 voting Monday, 627 Tuesday, 577 Wednesday and 770 Thursday.

Friday is the last day to vote early 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the community room on the ground floor of the City Services Center, 3111 Citizens Way, off Macon Road by the Columbus Public Library. Voters must enter through the building’s rear because the front entrance is locked for security reasons.

Christopher Sanders will take the reins as Executive Director for the East Metro DeKalb Community Improvement District.

The House Study Committee on Judicial Qualifications Commission Reform issued recommendations for reforming the Board after the adoption of Constitutional Amendment 3 last month.

Study committee chairman Rep. Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs, said the commission had done good work for most of its four decades but that in the past few years had “strayed off the tracks a little bit.” A report adopted Wednesday by the committee cited concerns about what it called “coercive investigatory practices” and a failure to provide due process to judges who faced complaints.

The study committee report recommends making commissioners subject to discipline for improper conduct; enshrining commissioner term limits in law; making any discussion of the use of commission funds and a commission decision to file a judicial complaint subject to disclosure under the state Open Records Act; not allowing a commissioner to initiate an investigation without presenting it to the other commissioners first, except in emergency cases; and providing for the removal of commissioners for misconduct.

The commission has always acted under a shroud of secrecy, and the report’s recommendations largely preserve that. They allow the commission to go into private executive session to talk about the investigation of a judge or to meet with a judge or a judge’s attorneys.

Willard said he also expects to expand the commission from its current seven members to either nine or 12 members. Those members would be split into separate panels so that the members responsible for investigating complaints against judges are not also responsible for adjudicating the complaints.

Tupac Shakur and Jesus both received write-in votes in Chatham County.

Jesus, in some form or another, was written in for nearly all of the 27 races on the ballot in Chatham County. Across races, he was written in more than 100 times. God was written in about 30 times and Harambe about 45 times. Choices weren’t necessarily animate either: “Rum Ham,” a booze-soaked piece of meat that was featured in an episode of comedy series “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” made an appearance five times. Someone else, meanwhile, voted for “Breaking Bad,” the name of a TV drama.

U.S. House District 1: Recently deceased Savannah celebrity Lady Chablis, Luke Skywalker and 1990s rapper Tupac Shakur.

Chatham County Commission District 2: “Ghost Buster” – no indication which one or whether the voter meant the original films or the 2016 remake.

Chatham County Commission District 4: “a robotic finger” and horror movie monster “Babadook.”

House District 163: “IAMBECOMEDEATHDESTROYEROFWORLDS.”

Of the two mentioned above, I only expect one of them to return from the grave, and “King of Kings” won’t be on the ballot.

Georgia Ports Authority is super-sizing it’s dockside capacity, with four new large cranes arriving.

“We’re excited to welcome these newest cranes to our fleet,” [Georgia Ports Executive Director Griff] Lynch said. “Savannah is already the most efficient gateway port on the U.S. East Coast. This new equipment will ensure the world-class service our customers have come to expect, with unmatched reliability and no congestion.”

Designed by Konecranes of Finland, the cranes in this latest shipment bring the Port of Savannah’s fleet at Garden City Terminal to 26 – the most at any single terminal in the U.S.Chris Rice, GPA’s general manager of ship operations, notified ships’ agents and stevedores that the Teal will start her inbound transit at approximately 10 a.m. Sunday.

Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) contributed language to The 21st Century Cures Act, which is moving in Congress.

The 21st Century Cures Act, passed Wednesday by the House, would help drug and medical device companies win swifter government approval of their products and boost disease research, but it also calls for mental health reform.

The bill includes language from Collins’ Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.

That aspect of the bill calls for “supporting mental health courts and intervention teams and increasing training for law enforcement officers who are often the first to engage individuals with mental health conditions,” Collins said.

“The ongoing mental health crisis affects all of our communities, and we designed this legislation to bring relief to a system in which jails care for more mental health patients than medical facilities do,” he said.

“The common-sense approach to mental health treatment complements criminal justice reform efforts and ultimately serves the law enforcement community, overburdened court systems, mental health sufferers and the taxpayers, whose money goes to public health and safety measures.”

The bipartisan, 996-page bill moves to the Senate, where approval is expected next week.

1
Dec

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for December 1, 2016

tara

Tara (#53217) is a female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

I’m Tara, a crazy, playful, cuddle bug Lab mix. I have some manners and am willing to learn some more if you would be willing to teach me. I promise to love you and bring you lots of joy, if you will just give me a chance. You can come and meet me at the Gwinnett Animal Shelter today!

Tara is in urgent need of a foster or permanent home.

faline

Faline (#52931) is a female Lab and Terrier mix who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

Faline has been at the shelter since October and loves to be around people. She loves to play with toys and will sit for treats. Beautiful Brindle face and loves converstaion. Please help Faline find her forever home for the holidays.

Faline is in urgent need of a foster or permanent home.

bronwen

Bronwen (#53580) is a 10-month old female Beagle who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

53705-doxie

Number 53705 is a young male Dachshund who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

The Gwinnett Shelter has received 25 beagles and beagle mix dogs from a criminal case.

The dogs range from 7 weeks to 3 years old, according to a Gwinnett County Police Department press release.

“Each of them appear to have (a) great temperment and would make a great addition to any family,” the release reads.

Despite the house’s conditions, each of the dogs were declared in good health by the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter. Each can be adopted from the shelter for $30. Potential new owners who bring in five canned goods to help support local food banks can adopt the dogs for $20.

By the way, those discounted dog adoption fees are good all month for any dog adoption from Gwinnett County.

1
Dec

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 1, 2016

General George Washington set up winter headquarters at Morristown, New Jersey on December 1, 1779.

On December 1, 1824, the election for President of the United States, in which no candidate received a majority of electoral votes, went to the United States House of Representatives.

Andrew Jackson of Tennessee won 99 electoral and 153,544 popular votes; John Quincy Adams–the son of John Adams, the second president of the United States–received 84 electoral and 108,740 popular votes; Secretary of State William H. Crawford, who had suffered a stroke before the election, received 41 electoral votes; and Representative Henry Clay of Virginia won 37 electoral votes.

As dictated by the Constitution, the election was then turned over to the House of Representatives. The 12th Amendment states that if no electoral majority is won, only the three candidates who receive the most popular votes will be considered in the House. Representative Henry Clay, who was disqualified from the House vote as a fourth-place candidate, agreed to use his influence to have John Quincy Adams elected.

The City of Sandy Springs began operations at one second after midnight on December 1, 2005. Three years later, Dunwoody became a new city, on December 1, 2008.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Former Governor Sonny Perdue visited President-elect Donald J. Trump yesterday.

Perdue — who, per the pool report, wore a tie with small tractors on it — said his talk with Trump focused on agriculture, trade and productivity.

But when asked if he was up for agriculuture secretary, Perdue said that he and Trump did not discuss a specific position.

“He asked me what my skills sets were and I told him what they were, aside from having been governor, as a business person and primarily in agricultural commodities, trading domestically and internationally, and he lit up,” Perdue said.

State Senator Judson Hill (R-East Cobb) became the first Republican candidate to throw his hat in the ring for the Sixth Congressional District.Continue Reading..

30
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 30, 2016

peaches

Peaches is a male Pug and Dachshund mix who is available for adoption from BarkTown Dog Rescue and Sanctuary in Jasper, GA.

Peaches is approximately a year old. He is medium energy – loves other dogs – well behaved – walks very well on a leash – house trained and crate trained. He is basically ready to join your family!

pippa_jasper

Pippa is a female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from BarkTown Dog Rescue and Sanctuary in Jasper, GA.

Hi, I’m Pippa. My foster mom says my best features are my very sweet eyes. I have learned a lot with my foster mom. I am fully house trained and have learned to snuggle up and rest in my crate overnight and during the day when everyone is at work.

I am extremely playful and love to play with other dogs. I would be just as content as your only dog if you don’t already have dogs, but would also enjoy a home with other dog friends.

Notes from foster mom: She is not in a home with cats or kids, so Pippa has not been tested for cats or kid compatibility. She is extremely playful, full of energy and will need an owner willing to give her the amount of exercise she needs. Once she has been exercised her energy level decreases and she is ready to cuddle. Her favorite game is fetch and she loves long hikes and runs.

george-allen

George Allen is a male Rhodesian Ridgeback and Shar Pei mix who is available for adoption from BarkTown Dog Rescue and Sanctuary in Jasper, GA.

George Allen is a very sweet middle aged gentleman who enjoys exploring out his fenced yard and playing with other dogs. George is a big guy but his calm and laid back mannerisms make him the perfect size for any home/family. George Allen walks nicely on a leash and is happy to go in his crate with a soft blanket. This handsome boy is most deserving of a wonderful home to enjoy his golden years.

30
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 30, 2016

On November 30, 1782, British and American signed a preliminary treaty in Paris to end the American Revolution, which included withdrawal of British troops and recognition of American independence.

On November 30, 1819, the SS Savannah returned to Savannah, GA from its trip as the first steamship to cross the Atlantic.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Yesterday, Congressman Tom Price was announced as President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services.

In choosing Representative Tom Price of Georgia to be his health secretary, President-elect Donald J. Trump has signaled an undiminished determination to repeal President Obama’s signature domestic achievement, the Affordable Care Act, and replace it with a health law that would be far less comprehensive.

And Mr. Trump is handing Republicans and their base voters what they have clamored for since the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010 — a powerful force to reverse course.

Mr. Price, an orthopedic surgeon from Atlanta’s affluent northern suburbs, was one of the first lawmakers to draft a full replacement for the Affordable Care Act. His proposal would take health care in a fundamentally different direction, away from mandated coverage and care and toward a free-market approach, with fewer consumer protections and more freedoms for doctors.

“The president-elect has made it very clear: He wants the Congress, when they convene in early January, to take up the task of repealing and replacing Obamacare first,” Vice President-elect Mike Pence said Tuesday on Fox News. He described Mr. Price as “someone who literally, for the last half a dozen years, has been in the forefront of efforts, not only to repeal Obamacare, but put forward common sense, free-market solutions that will lower the cost of health insurance, without growing the size of government.”

Mr. Trump said Tuesday that he had chosen Seema Verma, a health policy expert in Indiana, to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Working in state government and then as president of a consulting company, she helped Indiana expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, with conservative policies that emphasized “personal responsibility.”

Ms. Verma worked closely with Mr. Pence, the Indiana governor, who honored her this year with a Sagamore of the Wabash award, for Hoosiers who have made outstanding contributions to the state. She has won praise from health care providers and state legislators of both parties in Indiana, and has provided technical assistance to Medicaid officials in other states.

In his campaign manifesto, Mr. Trump said Congress should give each state a lump sum of federal money — a block grant — for Medicaid, the program for lower-income people. Regardless of whether they can achieve that goal, Mr. Price and Ms. Verma would almost surely make it easier for states to obtain Medicaid waivers, the vehicle for a wide range of state innovations and experiments, which could include new eligibility rules and cost-sharing requirements.

Senator Johnny Isakson praised Trump’s choice of Price for HHS.

“Tom Price is a true leader in Congress and an exceptional choice to head up the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. With his background as a practicing physician, Tom will bring real world experience and a single-minded focus on the needs of patients to this vital role. I fully support his nomination and am confident that he will put the department back to work for the American people.”

“Tom doesn’t just talk about replacing Obamacare — he’s put years of thought and hard work into developing a plan that can actually make health care more affordable and accessible. By nominating Tom to fill this post, President-elect Trump is signaling his commitment to repealing Obamacare. With Tom at the helm, we can begin implementing free-market principles that will increase choice and lower the cost of health care for families and businesses.”

“I congratulate my good friend and a great Georgian, Tom Price.”

Senator David Perdue also had kind words for Price’s appointment.

“Tom is a fellow Georgian who understands that we need to stop Washington’s takeover of our health care system. As a doctor, he is seen as a leading voice on health care policy and has a common-sense plan to replace Obamacare that will lower costs and put patients in charge of their health care choices. I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Tom, and there is no doubt in my mind that he will do a fantastic job improving our nation’s health care system and the lives of all Americans.”

Dr. Louis Sullivan was the last Georgian to serve in a presidential cabinet, having served as Secretary of Health and Human Services under President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1993. At least he served more recently than any of the reader submissions. Sullivan was also the last physician appointed to head HHS.

State Rep. Betty Price (R-Roswell), also a physician, had a few words to share about her husband’s appointment.

The Marietta Daily Journal looks at what will happen once Price is confirmed.Continue Reading..

29
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 29, 2016

potomac

Potomac is a young male Redbone Coonhound Mix puppy who is available for adoption from Angels Among Us Pet Rescue in Alpharetta, GA.

tomas

Tomas is a young male Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from Angels Among Us Pet Rescue in Alpharetta, GA.

price

Price is an adult male Labrador Retriever & American Bulldog Mix who is available for adoption from Sweet Onion Animal Protection Society in Vidalia, GA.

29
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 29, 2016

Georgia ratified the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution on November 29, 1794, which reads,

The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state.

On November 29, 1947, the United Nations passed a resolution to partition Palestine and allow the creation of a Jewish state of Israel.

On November 29, 1963, President Lyndon Johnson appointed the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, referred to as the Warren Commission. Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr. of Georgia was appointed to the Commission.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Flags at the Georgia State Capitol will fly at half-staff today under an Executive Order by Gov. Nathan Deal.

Gov. Nathan Deal has issued an executive order that the American flag and Georgia state flag be flown at half-staff on the state capital building and grounds through sunset on Tuesday to honor U.S. Marshal Patrick Carothers.

Deal’s order said it was a mark of respect and honor for the sacrifices Carothers and others in the law enforcement community make to put their lives on the line every day.

Tom flag

Georgia Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) is expected to be named today as Secretary of Health & Human Services under the incoming Trump administration.Continue Reading..

28
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 28, 2016

Canine Pet Rescue in Dacula, Georgia specializes in rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming German Shepherd Dogs.

They’re holding two fantastic fundraisers this week.

This Wednesday night is Cocktails with the Clydesdales, featuring the famed Budweiser Clydesdales.

Join us at an intimate gathering with the world famous Anheuser Busch Clydesdales! Enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres as you watch this majestic hitch at a rare private viewing event. Stable tours, silent auction, photos with hitch and horses, enjoy the beautiful sunset. Limited tickets and sponsorships available. $150per person or $250 couple.

On Sunday, December 4, 2016, you can join them for Christmas with the Clydesdales,

Join us for a fun filled afternoon with the world famous Anheuser Busch Clydesdale horses at beautiful Big Sky Farm. The farm will be all decked out for the holidays and Santa will be on site! Avoid lines at the mall and have your Santa pictures done with us! Admission is $10 per adult, $5 12 and under. For $20 you will receive a 4″ x 6″ image and a link to download your digital image. Drinks and snacks will be available for a nominal charge. All proceeds benefit Canine Pet Rescue in our mission to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome dogs in need.

Canine Pet Rescue

Bennett is a 3-4 year old male German Shepherd Dog who is available for adoption from Canine Pet Rescue in Dacula, GA.

Bennett is around 3 or 4 years old and is the victim of neglect. His prior owner has criminal charges pending, as  Bennett was found starving in a backyard with no food or water.  He is approximately 40 pounds underweight, and is receiving treatment for skin conditions and heartworms. Bennett is a SUPER sweet boy, and a BIG boy too ! He is good with other dogs.   We don’t recommend him for a home with children as he currently takes food very quickly and little fingers could get in the way.  But who can blame a guy in this condition.

shadow

Shadow is a 2-year old male German Shepherd Dog who is available for adoption from Canine Pet Rescue in Dacula, GA.

He is so sweet with people, knows some basic commands, walks great on a leash and is very responsive to training, even from an older child.  Unfortunately, his owner had to give him up, so he’s looking for a new best friend.  Shadow gives us hugs and kisses whenever we go into his kennel to take him for a walk.  What a good boy!  He is about 2 years old, so still has some growing to do. He’s such a beautiful boy, inside and out and will make some lucky family a fabulous forever best friend.  Are you looking for a black German shepherd?  If so, you should definitely come meet Shadow!

Canine Pet Rescue

Parker is a young female German Shepherd Dog who is available for adoption from Canine Pet Rescue in Dacula, GA.

Parker loves to play with other male dogs her size. She is just too rough for the little guys.  Parker will play nicely with another older and very stable large male dog.  She is not good with younger dogs or dogs smaller than her.  She would prefer to be an only dog.  Parker is a jumper and can get over a 6 foot fence. She cannot be adopted to a home where she will be left outside alone for any period of time. But with a girl this sweet, who would do that ?  :)

 

 

28
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 28, 2016

On November 28, 1777, Congress appointed John Adams as commissioner to France, replacing Silas Deane.

The Grand Ole Opry began live radio broadcasts from Nashville, Tennessee on November 28, 1925.

The Tawana Brawley case began on November 28, 1987; the greatest lasting impact would be the rise to celebrity of community activist the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

United States Marshal Service Deputy Commander Patrick Carothers was honored at a funeral service in Gwinnett County this weekend.

Patrick Carothers, 53, was killed in Long County when he tried to serve a warrant for fugitive Dontrell Montese Carter’s arrest. Carother’s team was entering a single-wide trailer where they’d found Carter hiding when Carother was shot twice.

A little over a week later, a funeral procession guided his body from Flanigan’s Funeral Home in Buford to the Norcross school where his wife Terry teaches. It’s the same school three of his five children graduated. Two more are still enrolled.

GAC President David Fincher said Patrick brought his positive attitude and leadership skill into the school family.

“He was remembered as the calm in the middle of every storm,” [United States Deputy Attorney General Sally] Yates said. “He was famous for saying, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.’”

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch was one of those in attendance who never met Patrick, but said she felt she knew him after talking to those who had worked with him. She said he had taken up the challenge “to close the gap between the world as it is and the world as it should be.”

“He pledged his energy, his talent and if necessary, his life to the well-being of the U.S. people,” Lynch said. “It was keeping that pledge until his last breath that made him a hero.”

Patrick Carothers recieved a hero’s send-off Saturday. His family members were presented with folded American flags as a thanks for his service before the fallen deputy’s casket was carried off on a horse-drawn carriage.

Medical cannabis supporters say that passage of measures in eight states to allow in-state growing or production of medical cannabis ratchets up the pressure for similar legislation in Georgia.

“We were obviously encouraged by all the positive votes,” said Shannon Cloud. She and her husband, Blaine Cloud, are two of Georgia’s most vocal medical cannabis activists. Their 11-year-old daughter, Alaina, has taken a liquid made with cannabis to treat the symptoms of a rare seizure disorder.

“The fact that Florida passed medical was a huge win. We’re not that different from Florida. We are hopeful that we could get it on the ballot here in 2018,” Shannon Cloud said.

What Florida passed is the licensed cultivation, manufacture and sale of cannabis products to Florida patients who have a medical marijuana card.

But in Georgia, unlike Florida, the question of medical marijuana cultivation must go through the state Legislature before a public vote. In Florida, supporters bypassed the state Legislature, instead collecting nearly 700,000 signatures to put the question on the ballot.

The Macon restaurateur who sponsored the bill that created Georgia’s medical cannabis registry said nationwide momentum and poll results favor medical cannabis.

“It’s coming. It’s now in 29 states, after Election Day, that have full-blown medical marijuana programs. It’s coming to Georgia at some point,” said state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, counting medical-only cannabis states such as Florida, plus places like Colorado that allow recreational marijuana too.

Representative Allen Peake also appeared in a brief video by McClatchy news discussing the issue.

Atlanta area mom Katie McCoy will be among those pushing for greater availability in Georgia.

McKoy was in the hospital with one of her sons when the legislature shot down a bill that would have given everyone prescribed cannabis oil legal access.

“I got to see the bill fail from the ICU bed,” she said.

Currently, in state cultivation is also illegal. So someone with a medical marijuana license can possess it in Georgia, but they can’t buy it here.

McKoy said the restrictions place a cruel burden on families who are already suffering so much.

“Why is my child more worthy of a medication even though there are other children who are equally in pain and equally suffering,” she said.

State Rep. Alan Peake said they’re working with the governor’s office right now to expand the list of approved illnesses.

He said they’re targeting autism, Tourette syndrome and chronic pain in 2017.

The Georgia CARE Project is pushing for de facto decriminalization on a city-by-city basis.

The campaign is based, in part, on a July decision by the city council in Clarkston, in metropolitan Atlanta’s DeKalb County, that reduced the city fine for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana from as much as $1,000 to $75. The city’s new ordinance also eliminated the possibility of serving jail time for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

The new Clarkston ordinance does not eliminate the possibility that a person in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana could still be charged under state law, which classifies a violation as a misdemeanor. In Georgia, a misdemeanor conviction in punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

Marijuana reform advocates in Athens have repeatedly pushed Athens-Clarke County’s mayor and commission to consider an arrangement like the Clarkston ordinance for Athens. That approach is dubbed a “parallel ordinance” in that the local, less punitive, law would exist in tandem with the state law. That would, proponents argue, give police officers some discretion in determining whether an individual violation merited the potential state misdemeanor punishment or could be handled much more simply, and with less consequence, through the issuance of a local citation.

In announcing the “City by City” campaign recently, James Bell, the director of the Georgia C.A.R.E. (Campaign for Access, Reform and Education) Project contended that “public opinions and attitudes have changed in Georgia and the nation” with regard to marijuana laws.

Bell also tied the “City by City” effort to Georgia C.A.R.E.’s initiative to influence state law on marijuana. That initiative, the “40 Days” campaign, aims to have a representative of Georgia C.A.R.E. lobbying state lawmakers for every one of the 40 days the state legislature is in session next year, beginning on the second Monday in January.

Colorado, whose voters legalized recreational marijuana, is seeing more cases of driving under the influence of marijuana.

[WSB-TV's Justin] Farmer rode along with Cpl. Roger Meyers, a Colorado State Patrol officer who has been trained as a drug recognition expert.

Meyers said when he suspects someone is driving while impaired by marijuana, he starts a conversation with the person.

“How much cannabis have you smoked tonight or how much cannabis have you used tonight?” Meyers said he asks the person.

An estimated 12.4 percent of the deadly crashes in Colorado in 2015 involved a driver who tested positive for cannabis. That’s up 8.1 percent since 2013, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Police in Georgia do not have a roadside breath test for drugs, as they do for alcohol.

The Colorado State Patrol is running a pilot program with marijuana DUI devices that test saliva. But there are concerns about those devices.

The Chatham County Narcotics Team found ten pounds of marijuana believed to have originated in a state with legalized recreational marijuana.

In one of the largest busts tied back to Colorado marijuana, $200,000 worth of marijuana is off the streets of Savannah after a huge bust in Port Wentworth.

Here’s what’s interesting about the drugs seized Thursday—they started off perfectly legal. The growing number of states legalizing recreational marijuana is bumping up the supply in states that haven’t—like Georgia.

CNT agents said they’re targeting those who go to the states where the drug is legal to buy it and then come back here to sell it. They said they have one of the biggest dealers in Chatham County now behind bars.

“There is no doubt that they know what they’re doing is illegal. They’re going to a state where it is legal to buy it in large amounts and then bring it back to Chatham County for the purpose of distributing it,” said Sergeant Gene Harley with the Chatham Narcotics Team.

This makes at least five busts tied back to a legal purchase of marijuana in other states. Now with eight states and D.C. allowing the recreational use of the drug, that number might keep climbing.

“Number 1, it’s simply illegal in the state of Georgia, and number 2, despite what a lot of people may think, violent crime is regularly associated with marijuana,” said Sgt. Harley. “We hope that this is a lesson to anyone who may think about taking their place, that CNT is out and about, and we simply will not tolerate it.”

Firearm manufacturer Daniel Defense will break ground today for a new 250,000 square foot facility in Ellabell, Georgia.

“We’re excited about physically breaking ground on our new facility, as it will play a big role in helping us increase efficiencies in manufacturing and day-to-day operations, which is good for the company and our customers,” said Daniel Defense president/CEO Marty Daniel.

“It also represents the creation of many new jobs and overall growth for the company—which is good for Bryan County and the local economy.”

Daniel Defense has been located in Bryan County since 2009, when the company moved operations from Chatham County.

Hillary Clinton’s loss in the presidential election is causing some women to consider running for office themselves, according to the Washington Post.

Among young, liberal women who expected to see the country elect its first female president Nov. 8,…. many are responding to Hillary Clinton’s defeat with a new sense of obligation to seek political power. After years of never imagining a career in the public eye or only vaguely entertaining the idea of working in politics, these women are determined to run for elected office.

They don’t speak for all women, many of whom voted for Trump – 42 percent of them, according to exit polls conducted by Edison Research. Notably, a majority of white women favored the Republican. But Clinton still benefited from an overall gender gap, and young women supported her by a margin of 32 percentage points.

For many of those rooting for Clinton to break the glass ceiling her campaign repeatedly invoked, her loss, painful as it was, could be an even greater mobilizing force than a victory might have been.

Michele L. Swers, a professor of government at Georgetown University who specializes in gender and policymaking, said this response has historical precedent.

In the early 1990s, televised hearings brought the Senate debate over the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court into living rooms across the country. The all-male Judiciary Committee’s treatment of Anita Hill, who accused Thomas of sexual harassment, helped motivate women to run for office, Swers said. In 1992, four successfully ran for the U.S. Senate, increasing the number of women in that body threefold. They were Patty Murray of Washington, Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois and Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer of California, all Democrats. Their electoral success branded 1992 the “Year of the Woman.”

You had people who decided they didn’t like what they saw,” Swers said. “In general in politics, anger is a very motivating factor.”

Swers said this year’s election may be another pivotal consciousness-raising event for women “deciding the only way to change things is to get into the halls of power.”

House Bill 202 from 2015 may help some property taxpayers in disputes with their local government, according to the AJC.

One provision, for example, provides that taxpayers won’t be charged interest on the unpaid balance of their property taxes while an appeal is pending. As it stands now, taxpayers have to pay interest if the final value shows more taxes are due.

Rep. Brett Harrell, R-Snellville, one of the sponsors, speaks from experience on this provision, having been billed $11.13 in interest on his tax bill. “The taxpayer had no ability to impact the time it would take…to reach the conclusion,” Harrell said. “For me, $11.13 was not a significant amount of money, but it was the principle of the thing. I had no control.”

Early voting begins today in the December 6 runoff election for Muscogee County Sheriff.

Monday is the first day of early voting for the Dec. 6 Muscogee County Sheriff’s runoff between incumbent John Darr and Donna Tompkins.

Voters can cast ballots FROM 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Friday in the community room of the Citizens Service Center, 3111 Citizens Way, off Macon Road by the Columbus Public Library.

The service center’s public access off Rigdon Road at Midtown Drive is more convenient because visitors must enter through the rear of the building by the parking garage, as the front doors remain locked for security.

Each voter must show a government-issued photo ID to prove identity and residence.

Anyone registered to vote by the Oct. 11 deadline for the General Election is eligible to vote in the runoff. They do not have to have voted in the Nov. 8 election.

Residents with online access can check their voter registration status at Georgia’s “My Voter Page.” Others may call the elections office at 706-653-4392.

Berrien County voters will also choose a sheriff in a December 6 runoff.

Interim Sheriff Ray Paulk won a special election to finish the current term, but he’s in a runoff to win a new term as Berrien County’s Sheriff.

“A candidate must have 50 percent plus one of the votes to take the election,” said Melanie Ray, Elections Supervisor.

In the general election vote, Paulk pulled in just under 49 percent of the vote in a four-man race. “Ray Paulk and Frank Swanson took the top two percentages. So they will both be in a runoff,” said Ray.

Paulk and Swanson will face off in December to see who will serve a full term as Berrien County Sheriff. “In the end, I was banking on a runoff and that’s what we were dealt with” said Swanson.

DeKalb County “Super” District 7 voters will choose between two candidates for County Commission in a runoff election.

Voters will decide between Greg Adams, an Emory University police officer, and Randal Mangham, an attorney, in the Dec. 6 runoff for Super District 7. They received the most votes out of nine candidates in the Nov. 8 general election. The winner of the race will represent 350,000 people in the eastern half of the county, from Doraville to Stonecrest.

Dozens of officials and employees have been found guilty of crimes over the past few years, including DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis and former Commissioner Elaine Boyer.

“I really don’t believe we have a (corruption) problem to that end at this point,” Adams said. “We just need to focus on moving forward. I will focus on being transparent and accountable for my actions.”

Mangham, who himself has been criticized over his failure to file financial disclosures on time, also said the county should move on from allegations of official wrongdoing.

“We’ve been through some stormy times in DeKalb County, and it’s time to turn a new leaf,” Mangham said. “It’s time to put some of that in the past.”