Friday, July 31, 2009

Learn the latest BRAC news at montly meeting on Aug. 4

The monthly BRAC Community Update will begin at 3 p.m. Aug. 4 in the National Infantry Museum.

You can learn more about the recent developments in transforming Fort Benning into the Maneuver Center of Excellence and how it will affect the Chattahoochee Valley. The update will include information about new construction, a timeline on the arrival of 30,000 permanent party soldiers and civilians, civilian hiring and job creation.

After the brief update by BRAC program manager Jay Brown, Al Gelineau, director of Morale, Welfare and Recreation, will talk about a several quality-of-life initiatives, including the construction of a 800-room hotel on Main Post.

The update will include a question-and-answer period.

Columbus minority chamber to host business networking event

The Greater Columbus Minority Chamber of Commerce will host a business-to-business mixer Aug. 12 at Legacy Chevrolet Cadillac Saab of Columbus owned by State Senator Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur).

The event will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at 3615 Manchester Expressway.

It’s free.

For more information, visit or call 706-442-4421.

Marshall votes against ending production of F-22

Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Ga., voted Thursday against an amendment to the House defense spending bill that effectively ended production of the F-22 while, at his request, secured $67.5 million for the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command.

The so-called manager’s amendment was approved on the House floor, despite Marshall’s nay vote. The amendment was written by Senate Defense Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Jack Murtha, D.-Pa. A manager’s amendment rolls a series of projects together for one yay or nay vote.

Marshall, in an interview from his Washington office, said he objected to the inclusion of the new Marine One helicopter in the defense spending bill, a provision that President Obama has threatened to veto if it was included in the bill.

“I think the helicopter program has been troubled almost since day one,” Marshall said of the VH-71 program, referring to the program’s repeated reports of cost overruns. “If the president doesn’t want it, it’s his helicopter.”

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Profile: Patty James-Bentley (D) Taylor County Commission Chairwoman

Patty James Bentley (D-Reynolds) was elected to the Taylor County Commission in 2004 & re-elected back in 2004 & re-elected in 2008. She is preparing to run for State Representative in 2010 for HD 135.
She is married to Darryl Bentley and have five children. Rodney 22, Natalyn 21, Darrius 17, Breanna 14, D.J. 11. They are the owners of Bentley-Montford Mortuary and they work together on the Taylor County Chamber of Commerce.

She has completed all training to become a Certified County Commissioner and received her Advanced Certification within the first year and half of being in office. She completed the Georgia Academy for Economic Development in 2005, leadership Taylor Class of 2006, Leadership Georgia Class of 2007.
She is currently serving as Chairman for the Economic Development/Transportation Committee for ACCG & is a member of the Young Elected Officials Network (YEO) and co-founder of the Taylor County Chamber of Commerce. She also serve as President for the Georgia Association of County Commissioners Black Caucus & have been a Red Cross Volunteer for 15 years, & served as Political Advisor to the Taylor County Young Democrats.

School controversy in Randolph County draws attention of NAACP.

Cuthbert, Ga

The school buses will roll next week in Randolph County, but school board members are still in the middle of a ridiculous fight. Wednesday, state NAACP leaders are weighing in on a political battle which could have delayed the start of the school year.

For weeks, parents in Randolph County were left wondering when their kids would go back to school. Monday night they were relieved when the school board finally approved its budget for the 2009- 2010 school year.

Yesterday, state NAACP leaders came to Cuthbert to show their support for the chairman of the school board and the superintendent in their ongoing feud with other school board members.

Says Edward DuBose of the Georgia NAACP: "We believe this county, especially the school kids are in a position where they are waiting for the leadership to get it together and we see that there is undermining going on so we are here to send a message that we are here to say we are not going to take these students being treated any other way by those that have hidden agenda.

The NAACP president says if things don't shape up between school board members in the near future, he plans to hold town hall meetings about necessary actions if things cannot be resolved.

Members of the school board will appear in court tomorrow. Members of the NAACP say they plan to stand behind the Chairman and monitor courtroom proceedings.

I hope things get worked out down there before school starts next week. There are alot of anxious parents that are very concerned right now in Randolph. More on this story next week.

Lee Ferrell to challenge Sanford Bishop again.

Lee Ferrell, who ran against Sanford Bishop in 2008 will run against him again he tells the Thomasville Times. Ferrell got only 31% of the vote last time he ran against Bishop. Ferrell is a veteran of the USAF.
Others considering the race are Don Cole, second district republican chairman from Cordele & Mike Keown , State Representative from Coolidge. I said that Bishop may get a strong challenger if keeps voting for bills that are bery unpopular like the healthcare bill that includes the public-option. Ferrell doesn't have a chance. Keown because he is a State Rep. may get some backing from the State GOP in terms in money, & Cole may get a little attention as well. But neither have a chance against Bishop who is very well liked in the district & is a go-to guy when it comes to agriculture, which the majority of the counties in the district rely on in terms of economic impact.
If Bishop got challenge by another democrat, then he would be vulnerable to a defeat, but no dem will dare run for jis seat unless he get appointed to the Obama Administration or he just simply retires.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

News from North Georgia: Two announce for Graves’12th District House seat

From the Pickens County Progress

After chowing-down on all-you-can-eat tomato sandwiches at Lee Newton Park Saturday afternoon, Republican candidates for three Georgia offices each spent a few minutes telling Pickens County what makes them top choice for elected office.

Mike Evans, one of five attending candidates competing for the 9th Congressional seat being vacated by Nathan Deal, took the opportunity to sling some tomatoes at contender Tom Graves who will vacate his 12th District House seat in hopes of winning the congressional office. Truett Moss II and Jasper Post Master Rick Ballew also announced their candidacy for Graves’ vacated house seat at Saturday’s event.

Gubernatorial candidates Karen Handel and Nathan Deal addressed the crowd as well, as did Doug MacGinnitie for Secretary of State and Mike Cowan, Bill Stephens and Jeremy Jones for congress.

Deal and Handel were the first to take to the mic, with Deal touting his conservative voting record, family values and, in a later interview, briefly speaking about highlights of his platform.
Deal cited education, transportation and water as the paramount issues Georgia’s next governor will face, and the congressman said he understands the challenges faced by school boards, including Pickens’, who are experiencing drastic budget cuts during the recession.
While some progress has been made, he said, there is more work to be done.

Deal also said he would work to simplify the process for reservoir funding and construction, an issue that is especially relevant for Pickens County.

Handel, who is vacating her seat as Georgia’s Secretary of State to run for governor, said the state faces many challenges and the office needs someone with leadership skills and the tenacity to “get the job done.” Handel cited challenges she has faced in her personal and public life as important qualifying factors.

Handel spoke about her successes as Chair of the Fulton County Commission, which, according to her, she left with the highest cash reserve in its history. She also stressed her championing of proof of citizenship in the voter process to maintain the “integrity of the system.”
Education, transportation and water were also key issues Handel addressed as challenges for Georgia’s next governor, and she stressed the importance of moving away from “managing by crisis,” and creating a long-term vision for the state’s future.

“As governor I will look each challenge in the eye and say, ‘Bring it on!’” she said.
Handel said she is the only candidate to run a chamber, a county and a state agency.
9th Congressional candidate Mike Evans, who has served in the Senate, has been Chair of the Board of the Georgia Department of Transportation and currently serves as the 9th District representative on the board of the Department of Community Affairs, singled out contender Tom Graves as a “John Kerry shuffler,” pointing to Graves’ voting record as being a reflection of the fourth-term General Assembly member’s non-conservative tendencies.

Evans said Graves has had 28 opportunities to vote against wasteful pork barrel spending during his tenure, but that he only voted against them on six occasions.

Evans then accused Graves of voting in favor of the same excessive spending he initially voted against.

“If you want someone that does the old John Kerry Shuffle it ain’t me,” Evans said, who stressed his flawlessly conservative voting record.

Evans also pointed to the Tate Depot restoration project’s grant, totaling $400,000, and the GaDOT hurricane relief he helped bring to Pickens County.

“If you like what you’ve been getting out of DC and Atlanta these last years, then my opponents are your kind of Republicans. But if you want a reformer with a proven record of demanding real budget reform, Mike Evans is your choice,” he said.

Graves didn’t directly respond to the criticism, but rather focused on high points of his own qualifications as a four-term 12th District House Representative.
Graves said he is tired of the frivolous spending in Washington and the erosions of freedom, with government intervention becoming more commonplace in our everyday lives. He said he would fight to defend the taxpayers’ rights.

Graves said he is looking to create jobs and “restore the freedoms that have made the public great…we need the freedom to dream, achieve, succeed and the right to fail without government bailouts,” he said. “Do we want a country full of free citizens or a country full of subjects?”
Truett Moss II and Rick Ballew, both running for Graves’ vacated house seat, kept their speeches simple. Moss said he was a dedicated member of the GOP and is looking to serve his party. Ballew, Jasper’s Post Master, said, “I am here to serve. I am going to throw my name in the hat and I am hopeful I can get your support.”

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cole & Keown considering challenge to Bishop in 2010

Thomasville Times

Two prominent southwest Georgia Republicans told the Times-Enterprise on Friday that they are considering taking on U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop in the 2010 election.

Georgia House District 173 Rep. Mike Keown of Coolidge and Second District Georgia Republican Party Chairman Don Cole of Cordele are currently weighing the pros and cons of trying to unseat the Democratic incumbent. Bishop has held the Second District’s U.S. House of Representives seat since 1993.

Keown confirmed his interest in the race via an afternoon e-mail to the Times-Enterprise.

“I should be making a formal statement one way or another within the next two weeks,” he wrote.

Cole revealed his potential candicacy during Friday’s “Freedom LIne” event outside Bishop’s Thomasville office. Keown was unable to attend because he was in Atlanta.

“I’m thinking about it, and I know others are, too,” he said. “We are going to come out with a unified ticket, though.”

Cole believes Bishop doesn’t share the values of the voters in his district. He added he is vehemently against the health care reform President Obama and other Democrats are seeking.

“I wish Sanford would read (the House) bill. I’m making the time to read it, and I’ve got a job,” he said.

I have a problem when candidates decide to run for office based on one issue & that is what Don Cole & State Rep. Mike Keown (R-Coolidge) would be doing. As for Cole's comments that Bishop does not share the values of voters in the district, that is just flat out false. I said a while back that Bishop is starting to stray away from the Bluedog democratic coalition, but slowly.
The Cap&Trade bill, well he may get by on that one, but if he votes in favor if the current Healthcare Bill in its current form, he will get his first real republican challenger since Dylan Glenn back in 1996 & possibly a democratic challenger. Sanford better take notice. The district has a 48% black voting population so for in order for a republican to win, there would have to be a enormous drop off of black votes in 2010. If there is a black democrat in the general election for either U.S. Senate, Governor, Lt. Governor or Secretary of State, that number will not go down, but it may just go up.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Camon visits Chamber of Commerce in Rome

Carl Camon, a Democrat running for governor in 2010, emphasized the need to improve Georgia’s education system when he met with about a dozen members of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.

“A lot of the problems we’re dealing with in our state today can be linked to a lack of education,” he said.

Camon, the mayor of Ray City in South Georgia, said he is running a grassroots campaign “to bring government back home to the people, where it belongs.”

He said his 10 years of military service, 14 years in education and 15 years in local government give him real-life experience that is lacking in some better-known candidates who have made careers in state politics.

“These are the people who supposedly have experience, and look at the shape we’re in,” he said. “They’ve had 20 years to do something. Another four years isn’t going to help.”

Camon’s stop in Rome was part of an 11-city tour in two days.

“I’m going to get to every county, and meet people face to face,” he said. “I know I’m not a traditional candidate, we’re stretching our dollars and being fiscally responsible. And that’s how we would run state government.”

Other Democrats who have registered gubernatorial campaigns include Lt. Gen. David Poythress, retired commander of the Georgia National Guard; state Rep. DuBose Porter of Dublin; former governor Roy Barnes; and Attorney General Thurbert Baker.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Farmers need better weather to avoid losing more crops

From the Sylvania Telephone

Screven County farmers who already have lost half to three-quarters of their corn crop are hoping cooler weather and showers will spare beans and cotton.

“It has been getting very crispy for farmers,” said extension agent Ray Hicks. “

All of Southeast Georgia has been hit by a string of days with unusually high temperatures – highs in the 90s and heat indexes over 100. But Screven County has fared worse than surrounding areas as far as rainfall, said Jonathan Lamb, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston.

Screven County farmer Stuart Boykin estimated he’s lost 70 percent of the yield on the 550 acres he has planted in corn. The majority of his corn is planted on dry land, meaning without irrigation. Even the acres that have irrigation have been a disappointment because he’s had to irrigate 12 to 18 times, and raising a crop entirely watered by irrigation isn’t cost-effective, he said.

Farmers all over Georgia have had a hard time due to the weather, esecially Watermelon Farmers. I know some crops are not great this year due to record heat, with corn farmers being hit the hardest due to the heat that ruined most of the corn crop.

Carl Camon stops by Clinch County last Thursday

Carl Camon made a stop in Homerville at the Clinch County Courthouse on Thursday to talk about his run for govenor of Georgia. Camon says he wants to bring prosperity to all of Georgia, he told a crowd gather at the press conference. He also made stops thursday at:

Lanier County Courthouse in Lanier Co. (Lakeland)

Adel City Hall, Cook Co. (Adel)

Hahira City Hall Lowndes Co ( Hahira)

Lowndes County Courthouse lawn (south side of courthouse), Valdosta.

Jones helps put an end to Harris County Boycott of GM by Commissioner

Over in Hamilton, State Senator Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur) went to the Harris County courthouse Tuesday to oppose a proclamation calling on Harris County commissioners to boycott the purchase of GM and Chrysler products to protest their receipt of federal bailout money.

The owner of Legacy Chevrolet, Cadillac and Saab dealerships in Columbus brought more than 25 employees to stand with him at an afternoon news conference to oppose a proclamation. It was introduced at the last commission meeting by Commissioner Charles Wyatt.

Jones had stated that if the board wants to continue with the destruction of the American economy, “then by all means ... take away more jobs from people who are already struggling to make ends meet.”

“We don’t need grandstanding. We need jobs,” said the Georgia state senator who bought a house in Harris County two months ago. “In a state with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country (10.1 percent), this proclamation is dangerous and irresponsible. No one in government should be spending their time plotting the continued demise of our economy. They should be putting all their resources together to develop a plan to shrink our soaring unemployment rate and finding ways to put Georgians back to work.”

When it came up for consideration Tuesday, the proclamation was quickly put to rest. “It’s really stirred up some controversy,” Wyatt said. “I had about 200 calls; one call from a constituent concerned a child might not have a job. I’m pulling it from the table.”

“We’d like to say thank you,” said Legacy employee Frankie Schurg, who, at the news conference said many employees had just dealt with their jobs being taken away when Bill Heard Chevrolet closed last year. “Why again? My wife and I have four boys at home. I’m just appalled by this. Think about future generations. All we’re trying to do is support GM.”

What a silly Idea by the Harris Co. Commissioner Charles Hyatt. Seems he's gotten caught up in the furor over the bailout of GM & other car companies. Kudos to State Senator Emmanuel Jones for standing up for the employees of his car dealerships & others as well.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Protestors at Bishop's office in Albany

From the Cordele Dispatch

Approximately 150 people showed up recently to protest in front of Congressman Sanford Bishop’s (D-2) office in Albany.

The crowd of people had gathered to show their opposition to the government healthcare and the Cap and Trade bill that Bishop voted for.

2nd District Republican Chairman, Donald Cole from Cordele, made an appearance speaking of the dangers of Cap & Trade.

Participating in the demonstration were people all the counties surrounding Dougherty and a group from as far away as Donalsonville.

Protestors signed and hand delivered to Bishop’s office letters requesting that the congressman not vote for a public health pan. The media following the crowd was denied entry to the office.

Bishop’s staff was observed watching the crowd though the office windows, but declined to comment.

I was disappointed that Bishop voted for the Cap & Trade bill. But he stated he lobbied & got changes to the bill that would not harm the farmers, & others that would be affected by the legislation. He's taking heat from hard-core republican supporters in the district, but in the end he will weather the storm. But if he votes in favor for any bill like the current healthcare bill in its current form, he will be looking at a strong challenge from a conservative democrat in 2010 in my opinion.

Marshall shows concerns against cuts in Weapons Programs

Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Ga., reiterated his support Monday for increased funding for missile defense and conventional weapons programs. Marshall’s comments come as the Senate is poised to approve a defense spending bill that would focus the Pentagon’s energy toward fighting irregular ground wars such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Defense spending proposals recently before the House and the Senate threaten several programs Marshall has championed.

Marshall spent much of Monday discussing the Quadrennial Defense Review, a report on military strategy commissioned by the Department of Defense, in front of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

“I worry more about rogue missiles than I do about a country intentionally launching missiles at the United States,” Marshall said. “One missile launched from a boat in the ocean intended simply to detonate high in the altitude in the United States … the consequences of that would simply be dreadful.”

Marshall does support Gates’ cuts in the Army’s Future Combat System, a complex network of armored vehicles.

“Future Combat System has been troubled for the entire time I’ve been in Congress,” Marshall said. “It’s probably going to be retooled, and I think that’s absolutely appropriate.”

Jim in my view has been more visable & outspoken in this legislative session on critical issues facing this country. It's good to see him out there addressing these issues.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Replay of 1994 on the horizon?

With opposition growing over Healthcare Reform, record spending, rising debt, rising deficits, increased job losses, it's starting to look alot like 1994 all over again. President Obama has to say enoigh is enough & put his foot down to resolve these issues or else democrats will pay the price in 2010. Pres. Obama needs to start getting involved in these critical issues instead of letting the ultra-liberal leadership in the house lead by Nancy Pelosi & Steny Hoyer lead the way
A sur-tax increase by Charlie Rangel of New York with a possible tax on health benefits & tax increase on working families will be POLITICAL suicide for democrats who votes in favor for such outrageous proposals. With opposition growing day after day on the liberal dems healthcare plan, it will become harder & harder for Obama to get healthcare reform passed this year & 2010, an election year.
Right now, the republicans are sitting pretty because if this thing passes along party lines, I predict between 25-40 democrats will lose their seat in 2010. Remember 1994 when Clinton tried to reform healthcare, led by his wife Hillary Clinton. The result: dems lost control of Congress. The republicans have some good ideas that should be included in a reform of our healthcare system. But Pelosi & Company are not willing to accept some republicans ideas for such a plan.
Conservative Democrat Jim Marshall of the 8th District opposes the current legislation saying it does not address concerns of his & Bluedog Dems.

Marshall and other members of the Blue Dog Coalition, including John Barrow & Sanford Bishop, sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer outlining their concerns with the legislation, which they said lacks several essential elements. The issues they said must be addressed include deficit neutrality, reform of the health-care delivery system, protections for small business, rural health equity and a bipartisan approach.

Sanford better take notice. He voted for the Cap & Trade legislation, which is a bad bill in my opinion. If he goes along with the current healthcare bill, he will get a serious challenge from a democrat. Yes a democrat. If he gets defeated, it will be by another democrat. Sorry republicans, but the district is unwinnable for you. Just look at the demographics & you'll see why. But the question will a dem challenge him if he strays away from the Bluedogs? It's very possible.

Also with no answer from the Administration on how to curb the deficit & reduce the national debt, everything right now is shaping up to be a republican comeback in 2010. But the republicans are still not seen favorably right now with the American People. Let's not forget, it was under the republican led congress & a republican president that all of these problems started, first with the rising deficit caused by reckless spending, record debt, & job losses that started under a republican administration.
The same people you see on television everyday blasting away at the spending & deficits like John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, John Kyl, & other republicans are the same ones that went right along with President Bush when he was doing the exact same thing, so the republicans need to look in the mirror before going after the democrats. Both Parties are running this country in the ground. The agent of change is the agent of the same. I see nothing different under President Obama than I saw in George W. Bush. There needs to be a influx of new blood to congress, whether it's democrats or republicans. No one up there don't know what the hell they are doing. Liberlas preach more spending, conservatives preach tax cuts. Is there anything else different out there besides those two issues. The only person up there who speaks with some sense is Ron Paul, but he is not taken seriously, even within his own party.
I love this country & want it to prosper, but it seems no one in D.C. cares about this country, only to score political points. Pres. Obama has 3 yrs left to get things right & right now he's off to a very bad start. His economic team is ineffective & all need to be replaced by some folks who knows what they are doing. Paul Volcker is a smart guy, but he is being shut out by the more liberal advisors on Obama's economic team.
He needs to go back to the Bill Clinton & Ronald Reagan economic models to get this country of ours out of the deep ditch it is in. If not, President Obama will be a one term president.
I have a candidate for the dems in 2012 if things are not right by then: Harold Ford of Tennessee.

Clifford Holmes to run for Warner Robins Mayor

Warner Robins City Councilman Clifford Holmes Jr. quietly threw his hat in the ring late Friday afternoon to try and unseat longtime Warner Robins Mayor Donald Walker.

Holmes, 65, currently in his fourth year holding the Warner Robins City Council Post 5 seat, is the second person in recent weeks to announce an intention to challenge Walker in the Nov. 3 election. Chuck Shaheen, 48, a pharmaceutical sales representative from a family with deep roots in the area, also has announced his plans to run for mayor. Walker, 60, has said he will seek re-election. The last day to qualify is Sept. 4.

“I feel the time is now,” Holmes said about his candidacy. “Mr. Walker has done an outstanding job, but he’s not currently living up to the expectations of the citizens of Warner Robins in terms of accountability and accessibility.

“To me, I’m not running against Donald Walker. I’m running for the citizens.”

Holmes, a retired educator, said he plans to work more toward providing an atmosphere of full disclosure in the city’s government. He said while he was interim mayor last year as Walker sought treatment for an injured foot, he held meetings with department heads and tried to work together with other city leaders in the best interests of Warner Robins.

Donald Walker has done a great job with the city of Warner Robins. The growth of that city has been remarkable. Walker should stay in office as long as he wants (he's only 60 yrs old). The way I look at it, the majority of the people who feel like he has been in there are too long are the transplants who only been there for a short while. Chuck Shaheen, who has deep ties to the community over there in my opinion is not ready to run a city like Warner Robins with no experience at all. Warner Robins is powered by RAFB. But there are no other major industries ( like Weyerhaeuser, Allen's Inc. for example ) there that people can go to work to. It mostly consist of strip malls, restaurants, car dealerships. If Holmes can run on a platform of bringing more industries to the city & address the traffic congestion & slow the growth of the city , he might have a chance. But for now it's Donald Walker's race to lose.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Miller says Obama should sit in some Gorrilla Glue& stay put

I agree with the former governor & senator. President Obama is always on the go to really sit down & look at the issues that is facing the U.S. right now. We have runaway deficits, record debt, a growing healthcare crisis, record job losses. You can't be going place to place & still think you can get anything accomplished.
Like Healthcare, as long as the BlueDog Democrats are in opposition to it, it will not see the light of day. The problem with healthcare is the rising cost. I'm not too crazy about a public option either, but Obama has to consider ideas from moderate & conservative democrats as well as some republicans. Letting Nancy Pelosi, Charlie Rangel, & the other liberal folks craft this critical legislation will hurt Obama in the polls.
President Obama needs to get on a fiscal conservative course during the next 2 years. He needs to preserve the little money the country has left. He says the U.S. is out of money, but wants to reform healthcare that will cost somewhere around $1 trillion dollars. People are not going to go for it. Cutting taxes on businesses especially the small businesses would go a long way of restoring the economy back to prominence, as well as eliminating the Payroll Tax on businesses would be also helpful.
President Obama still has time to change course. He has to address these issues or he will be a one-term president. And he needs to stay in D.C. to work on these problems or he is going to suffer from a BURNOUT mentally & emotionally. As for the Stimilus Like David Gergen who is CNN Senior Political Analysis said he needs a Jack Welsh figure to oversee the stimulus money.
Having VP Biden to oversee the stimulus, I mean come on, you need someone who has the business experience to look over that amount of money. I don't know, but Zell Miller is right that Obama needs to sit on some "glue". Someone needs to lock him inside the White House for the next month to solve these huge problems.

Robert Williams of the Blackshear Times article on Carol Hunstein

As summer swelter sets in and we’ve marked one of our most precious holidays celebrating our freedoms, one little-noticed news item is deserving of our attention.

Carol Hunstein was sworn in last week as Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. This is a noteworthy achievement, not just for this jurist, but also for what it says about our state.

Justice Hunstein holding office at all right now demonstrates Georgians will pay attention when stakes are high enough and, ultimately, reject political opportunism and demagoguery, no matter how such tactics may be cloaked.

Justice Hunstein doesn’t represent a particular “first.” She’s not the first woman to reach the prestigious pinnacle of Georgia’s legal system. Her predecessor, Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, an African-American woman, filled that role with distinction before stepping down to pursue teaching the law.

Carol Hunstein had more than her share of adversities to overcome, however, to reach this lofty position: polio as a child and, later, cancer that caused a leg to be amputated. She went through college and law school as a young single mother and eventually won election as a Superior Court judge in Dekalb County. Governor Zell Miller appointed her to Georgia’s highest court in 1992.

Supreme Court Justices stand for election statewide but it’s rare when an open seat is to be filled and rarer still when a sitting justice has a contested race. That’s why it was such big news in 2006 when Hunstein became the only one of four justices seeking re-election to draw an opponent.

There was nothing inherently wrong with that, of course, except it soon became clear the challenger, Mike Wiggins, planned a campaign that would reach new lows for “judicial” conduct. Wiggins, a former lawyer in the Bush administration, had the backing of Governor Sonny Perdue, many in the state’s GOP hierarchy, plus hundreds of thousands of dollars - big Political Action Committee money - from sources never publicly identified. The campaign reached shameful levels, due primarily to Wiggins’ disregard for facts, starting with irrelevant and unsubstantiated charges that Hunstein was the most “liberal” member of a “liberal court.”

That conservative buzzword has long lost specific meaning but Wiggins used it as a broad brush to inaccurately tar Hunstein with absurd charges.

Georgians have a long history, however, of supporting an independent judiciary. Voters in 1938 turned their back even on popular President Franklin Roosevelt after his calls to dump veteran Sen. Walter George who had opposed FDR’s attempts to pack the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hundreds of our state’s lawyers put partisan politics aside, as it should be in a judicial election, and branded Hunstein’s opponent for what he was: an unethical opportunist. Hunstein went on to win every one of Georgia’s 159 counties, thoroughly trouncing Wiggins.

Unfortunately, that shameless campaign won’t likely be the last time big money interests try to buy their own version of justice in our state.

Justice Hunstein’s unanimous election to lead our Supreme Court should be a reminder to us and to future political shysters: Georgia voters, are certainly a mostly conservative lot but we’re not easily duped just because unscrupulous politicians cry “liberal” like the little boy who cried wolf.

• Robert Williams is Editor & Publisher of The Times. Email:

Scoping meeting held for proposed biomass facility

A public scoping meeting for a proposed Oglethorpe Power Company biomass electric generating facility was held at the Appling County Courthouse Annex on Wednesday, July 8.
The meeting was an open-house format and allowed adjacent homeowners, landowners and the public an opportunity to ask questions about the proposed facility that would be located just off U.S. Highway 341 East on Hundreds Road.
A large crowd attended the meeting and reviewed information on the facility and asked representatives of Oglethorpe questions. The potential facility would provide up to 40 new full-time jobs and also impact the local timber industry as the company estimates purchasing $30 million in woody biomass fuel annually. The company is planning to build two and possibly three of the 100-megawatt generating facilities in the state. Each site, one in Appling County and another in Warren Countyy, must undergo an independent environmental review and evaluation.

Golden Isles Parkway now completed.

The 160 miles long highway stretching from Culloden through northern Perry through Hazelhurst to the Golden Isles of Brunswick.
I heard about this a whils back, but really didn't pay any attention to it.
Updated at 1:36 P.M.
Governor Sonny Perdue will attend a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for the Highway 341/Golden Isles Parkway Widening Project Completion will be held on July 22 at 10:30 a.m. at Parker’s Convenience Store in Surrency.

The event is being held inconjunction with the Highway 341 Alliance and the Golden Isles Parkway Association. Governor Sonny Purdue and other state, regional and local dignitaries will be on hand for this momentous occasion.

Completed in early July, the widening of U.S. Highway 341 - also known as the Golden Isles Parkway - now provides travelers with a direct four-lane route from I-75 to I-95. Beginning above Perry at Culloden and stretching to the port of Brunswick on the Georgia coast, the parkway runs through the heart of many small towns that are vital to the economies of middle and southeast Georgia. As such, the expansion of the Parkway is expected to have tremendous positive implications for future tourism development and industry recruitment efforts in this part of Georgia.

For more information about the June 22 ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony, the 341 Alliance or the Golden Isles Parkway Association, please contact your local Department Authority, Chamber of Commerce or Tourism office.

News from Jefferson County. Probate Clerk elected Judge

Asholyn Lampp of Bartow, the current Chief Deputy Clerk of the Probate Court, has won the seat for probate judge in a runoff Tuesday, July 14, against Marnique Oliver of Louisville, a lawyer and partner in private practice.

The race, which was close in at least two precincts and split down the middle in one, resulted in 1,514 votes or 56.43 percent for Lampp and 1,169 votes or 43.57 percent for Oliver.
Of the 581 absentee, early and advance votes, 427 were for Lampp and 154 were for Oliver. In Avera, 86 votes went to Lampp and nine went to Oliver. Bartow’s voters split down the middle. Of the 142 people who voted, 71 or half went to each candidate.

In Louisville, 602 people voted with Lampp receiving 304 votes and Oliver receiving 298.

In Matthews, 76 of the 98 votes went to Lampp while Oliver received 22.

In Stapleton, Lampp received 83 votes. Oliver received 35.

In Stapleton Crossroads, Lampp received 41 votes. Oliver received 54.

In Wadley, Lampp received 183 votes. Oliver received 286.

In Wrens, Lampp received 243. Oliver received 240.

According to Chandrel Evans, the county’s registrar, 10,555 citizens were eligible to vote in the runoff. Only 2,683 or about 25.42 percent, voted.

The term of office for probate judge is four years but because the previous judge, Q.L. Bryant, died in office in March, Lampp will fulfill the remainder of his term, which will end Dec. 31, 2012.

Glennville renames Hwy. 301

Hwy. 301 in Glennville is no longer known as Downing Musgrove Hwy. The four-laned road through town was officially renamed Veterans Boulevard during a ceremony held Tuesday, June 30.

The Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery is located on the northern side of town and is the foundation for the new name.

“We are proud of having the cemetery in Glennville and think it’s appropriate to rename Hwy. 301 as Veterans Boulevard,” said Glennville Mayor Jean Bridges. “Visitors to our city will be able to associate the name with the state cemetery.”

A brief ceremony was held at the entrance to the facility and Georgia Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Pete Wheeler was the guest speaker. After the official dedication of the signs, they were picked up and posted throughout town Tuesday.

“Downing Musgrove was on the State Hwy. board and was responsible for four-laning 301 to Claxton,” said Brent Walker. “It was appropriate at that time to name the highway in his honor but even more so to rename it today in honor of the cemetery.”

Elections board in Bacon County considers polling site consolidation

Down in Alma, Ga, (Bacon County), Consolidation of polling sites in Bacon County is a real possibility according to the Board of Elections, but first, they want the public’s opinion.

The board decided the change was possible because so many people now take advantage of early voting which is done by absentee or in person at the Douglas Voting District, the location which is slated to become the centralized voting site.

With more than 5753 registered voters in the county, some may worry how the action would affect lines and access to the polls, but the board doesn’t anticipate any problems.“We don’t feel this would put anyone at a disadvantage,” says Elections Board Chairman Larry Carver. “This has the potential to make it easier for many citizens to vote and to save money.”

“We had over 52 percent of our voters participate in early voting last year,” adds Carver, “so over half voted here anyway.”

Last year’s election saw residents of Bacon County … and voters around the country … using this method in great numbers.

The county received the green light from the Justice Department last week to begin the consolidation, but the Board of Elections believes the permission from the Justice Department is only as good as the permission of those the measure would affect.
The Alma Times has this story.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's about Damn Time

President Obama announced the launch of his Administration’s Rural Tour. This summer, over the course of the next few weeks and months, top Administration officials, including Cabinet Secretaries, will fan out across the nation to hold a series of discussions on how communities, states, and the federal government can work together to help strengthen rural America.

Vice President Joe Biden and Secretaries Gary Locke and Tom Vilsack will kick-off the Rural Tour on July 1st by visiting Wattsburg, Pennsylvania, to discuss the issue of rural broadband.

"A healthy American economy depends on a prosperous rural America," President Obama said. "Rural America is vast and diverse, and different communities face different challenges and opportunities. That’s why we’re going out to hear directly from the people of rural America about their needs and concerns and what my Administration can do to support them."

Administration officials participating in the Rural Tour will hear about the diverse set of challenges and opportunities facing the small towns and rural communities that are so integral to the fabric of American life. They will share some of the Administration’s ideas about how to nurture strong, robust, and vibrant rural communities. And, when they have heard from the people, they will report back to the President about the state of rural America, and what the Administration can do to strengthen it.

These events, involving multiple Cabinet secretaries, will serve as listening sessions to focus on such issues as broad-based rural health, economic development, infrastructure, education, energy, natural resources, and agriculture. Events will be held in Alaska, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. And, Secretary Vilsack will hold listening sessions in additional states with local and state elected officials.

The entire tour will provide an opportunity for the Obama Administration to listen to diverse voices throughout rural America, and to highlight its broader vision for growth and prosperity in these regions of the country.

Rural Tour events planned so far include:


Vice President Joe Biden and Secretaries Gary Locke and Tom Vilsack will travel to Wattsburg, PA, to discuss rural broadband.


Secretaries Ray LaHood and Tom Vilsack will travel to La Crosse, WI, to discuss rural economic development.


Secretaries Steven Chu and Tom Vilsack will travel to Ringgold, VA, to discuss green jobs and a new energy economy, with a focus on weatherization and carbon sequestration.


Secretaries Kathleen Sebelius, Eric Shinseki, Hilda Solis and Tom Vilsack will travel to St. John’s Parish, LA, to discuss rural healthcare.


Secretaries Steven Chu, Shaun Donovan, Arne Duncan, Ken Salazar and Tom Vilsack will travel to Bethel, AK, to discuss rural infrastructure, green jobs and a new energy economy, as well as climate change.


Secretaries Ken Salazar and Tom Vilsack will travel to Zanesville, OH, to discuss green jobs and a new energy economy, with a focus on renewable energies.


Secretaries Arne Duncan and Tom Vilsack will travel to Hamlet, NC, to discuss rural education.


Secretaries Ken Salazar and Tom Vilsack will travel to Scottsbluff, NE, to discuss production agriculture.


Secretaries Shaun Donovan and Tom Vilsack will travel to Las Cruces, NM, to discuss rural infrastructure.

I am glad to see the administration go to Rural America to talk about issues concerning to rural folks. I hope to see President Obama in a rural town soon. Getting kinda tired of seeing him only in Cities & Surburbs.

Sarah Palin stumping for Democrats? Barrow: She has enough to worry about; Marshall: Interesting thought.

Well that's a new one according to John Barrow (D-GA) a conservative democrat. Jim Marshall (D-GA) another conservative democrat says it's an interesting thought.

From the folks over at Politico:

Rep. John Barrow, who represents a number of rural counties around Augusta and Savannah, Ga., was already walking quickly out of a Democratic Caucus meeting when asked about a Palin visit.

“That’s a new one on me,” Barrow said. “I don’t think she wants to campaign for me.”

Happily getting into an elevator and away from the question, he added: “It’s really not for me to make suggestions to Ms. Palin; she’s got enough to worry about.”

Rep. Jim Marshall, a Democrat who represents a heavily conservative middle and south Georgia seat, sent Palin the warmest signal, if only after a brief filibuster and a bit of prompting.

“That’s an interesting thought,” Marshall said, taking a moment to chat while he took a group of college students around the Capitol. “I’d be happy to talk with her. You know, I think she’s going to have a very interesting career. It’s not surprising to me that she’s decided that she should move from being governor to whatever the next stage of her career is. Wouldn’t surprise me if we didn’t see her with a talk show. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a book, one or two.”

Could she be helpful in Georgia?

“I’m sure that there are many ways that she could be helpful,” Marshall said.

For him?

“Well, I suspect so — I just don’t know what ways those are,” he said with a nervous laugh.

How popular is Palin around Marshall’s Macon-area district?

“Oh, I don’t know,” Marshall responded, seeming to tire of the topic.

Asked if Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) carried his district last year, the congressman made clear just why, besides Southern hospitality, he might have been so warm toward Palin.

“McCain got 57 percent,” Marshall said before catching himself.

“McCain-Palin got 57 percent in my district,” he said, emphasizing the governor’s name and offering a final knowing laugh.

Democrats better have a backup plan of Thurmond declines the Lt. Governor's race!

Michael Meyer von Bremen (D-Albany)

Born August 19, 1957, Sen. Meyer von Bremen attended public schools in Albany and graduated from Mercer University in Macon in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He earned his law degree from Mercer in 1983.

Sen. Meyer von Bremen is a partner in the law firm of Hall, Booth, Smith and Slover, PC, and he manages their Albany office. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia. He is a member and past president of the Dougherty Circuit Bar Association and the Albany Sertoma Club. He is a past president of the Alumni Association for Mercer University. He is also an arbitrator and mediator on the panel of South Georgia ADR. He has served for years on the Agriculture, Environment and Energy Committee of the National Council of State Legislators.

An Eagle Scout, Sen. Meyer von Bremen is active in community and civic affairs.

He is married to the former Peggy Hicks, and they have two children, Meg and Welsley. They are members of the Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church in Albany, where Sen. Meyer von Bremen has served on the Administrative Board and chaired the Board of Trustees. He is also a member of the Chancel Choir.

Floyd Griffin, Jr. (D-Milledgeville)

Floyd Griffin, retired U.S. Army colonel, former Georgia state senator and current mayor of Milledgeville, Georgia, was born May 24, 1944, in Milledgeville. Griffin holds an A.S. in funeral service from Grupton Jones College, a B.S. in building construction from Tuskegee Institute and a master's degree in contract procurement and management from the Florida Institute of Technology. He is also a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the National War College.

Griffin's twenty-three-year career in the military began in 1967 when he served as a helicopter pilot and flight instructor in Vietnam. He also served a tour of duty in Germany, where he was a logistics officer, battalion chief, and director of engineering and housing. From 1984 to 1986, Griffin commanded an engineering battalion at Fort Stewart, Georgia, and from 1986 to 1990 he was assigned to the Pentagon. Retiring from the military as a colonel in 1990, Griffin taught military science at Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem State University, where he also was the offensive backfield coach for a football team that enjoyed two undefeated seasons and won back-to-back championships.

In 1994, running as a Democrat, Griffin was elected state senator from the 25th District of Georgia and was reelected in 1996. He sacrificed his Senate seat in 1998 to run for lieutenant governor but lost. Griffin tried again for his old Senate seat in 2000, and was narrowly defeated by the incumbent in the primary election. Not discouraged, Griffin ran for mayor of Milledgeville, his hometown, and won in 2001. An accomplished businessman, Griffin is vice president of Slater Funeral Home in Milledgeville, a Griffin family-owned business.

Bobby Saxon (D-Nicholson)

Bobby was born and raised in the greater Athens area of Northeast Georgia. He honed his leadership skills early on as a member of FFA and President of both the 4-H club and Oconee County High School’s class of 1981.

After graduation Bobby attended North Georgia College and State University, where he was the freshman representative of the student government and was selected as a Freshman of the Month in the ROTC program. He then transferred to Georgia Southern University where he worked full-time and graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate with a BBA in Management in 1987.

While in college, Bobby enlisted in the Georgia Army National Guard as a Private First Class and attended the Army’s Airborne School. Bobby was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army while attending Georgia Southern.

Tim Golden (D-Valdosta)

Senator Tim Golden, a South Georgia Democrat from Valdosta, is serving his sixth

term in the State Senate representing the 8th District, including Brooks and Lowndes

counties and portions of Cook and Thomas counties.

Known as a strong advocate for Georgia business, Golden was honored with a 2008 Legislative

Achievement Award by the Georgia Retail Association. He was recognized by the Georgia State

Chamber of Commerce as “Legislator of the Year” for 2007, and the group called it a “Lifetime

Achievement” award for his long time advocacy of business interests in the General Assembly. That

same year, the Georgia Industry Association made Golden their “Champion of Industry” for his efforts

to promote manufacturing issues in Georgia.

During the 2008 session, Golden introduced and passed legislation creating the “Made in Georgia”

initiative, a campaign to promote the sale of products manufactured in this state. Working with his

Senate colleagues, he helped secure approximately $18 million in the state budget for fiscal year 2009

in direct appropriations for the communities of the 8th District.

In previous sessions, Senator Golden introduced and passed legislation that authorizes employers to

conduct preemployment,


oral testing for substance abuse strengthening

Georgia's "Drugs

Don't Work" drugfree

workplace program. Golden has been a champion of the Drugs Don't Work

Program having passed legislation through the years to expand and strengthen this program. It allows

companies to save 7.5% on their workers compensation policy by maintaining a drug free work

environment for their employees.

Anyone have any suggestions on who should go for Lt. Gov if Thurmond doesn't?

What is the democrats backup plan of Thurmond do not run for Lt. Governor?

With the offer of a position with the U.S. Dept. of Labor on the table, Michael Thurmond has a choice to make. Will he accept the position? Will he instead run for Lt. Governor? Will he just stay at Labor until 2014? Lots of decisions for Thurmond.

Now in the beginning I thought he would most definitely run for Lt. Govenror, but now I have doubts about it. With a sagging economy ( unemployment now at 10% ) he may just stay on at Labor Commissioner to help fix the troubling here here in Georgia. He would no doubt be a strong candidate against Casey Cagle, but why run for the post while you can run for a much bigger prize: U.S. Senator.

If he is willing to accept a position with the Obama Administration, then he should run for the U.S. Senate in 2010 instead. We have no candidate right now. A senate run by Thurmond, an african-american from the deep south would generate tons of interest nationwide.

Democrats better have a backup plan if thurmond declines a Lt. Gov run. Who are other possibilities? Some I have already Mentioned.

Michael Thurmond to D.C.?

Says Jim Galloway of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Acccording to Galloway, Thurmond has been offered a position within the U.S. Dept. of Labor. He talked to Democratic officials & lawmakers about the offer. Thurmond will testify on thursday at a senate hearing about re-training American Workers.
Now if Thurmond were to accept the position, then I suspect Perdue to appoint Melvin Emerson (R) to the position if thurmond were to take the offer. He has been mentioned as a possible candidate for Lt. Governor. I don't think he will run for the spot ( I'll get to that later). I doubt he runs for the senate. If he does, it will be 2014 when Chambliss is up for re-election. Deep doen inside thurmomd wants to run for governor, but once Thurbert Baker entered, it killed any chance of him running for that spot.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jim Marshall wants Nuclear Power for Bases

Congressman Jim Marshall (D-Macon), a conservative democrat proposes Nuclear Power for all military bases.

Buried deep inside the 650-page House Defense Authorization bill for 2010 is a line item that could bring a host of national security and energy issues to the forefront. The proposal would commission a study, due from the Pentagon by June of next year, to look at “the feasibility of developing nuclear power plants on military installations.”

The bill recently cleared the U.S. House of Representatives. The Senate debates its own authorization bill this week.

While Marshall cautioned that “we’re simply studying the possibility of using military bases,” his proposal is a response to the military’s desire to make its installations energy independent from local power grids.

“It’s important to the military that they have clean, efficient, secure energy,” Marshall said. “And then the nice thing about military installations is that they can help address one of the concerns about nuclear energy, and that is security.”

“I know there’s controversy associated with nuclear power,” Marshall said. “I’m prepared to tackle the controversy if need be.”

I like this proposal by Marshall. With the need for the country to find alternative energy resources, this is a good idea by Marshall. Like Erick Erickson over at Peach Pundit said Jim is one hell of a politician. I most certainly agree with that notion

Monday, July 13, 2009

DuBose Porter interview with the Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Restoring the state’s priorities would be the top priority if state House Minority Leader DuBose Porter left(along with Ray City Mayor Carl Camon, Gen. David Poythress & State Senator Gail Buckner ) is elected Georgia’s governor.

Porter served on the House’s education committee for more than 20 years, and as its chairman for several years.

Witnessing the debilitating effects of the systematic cutting of education during the tenure of Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue’s two terms, Porter said, prompted him to seek the Democratic nomination for governor.

He hopes to restore Georgia’s educational system, from elementary schools through high schools and the university system, to its former glory.

“The state needs to re-establish its priorities,” Porter said. “People are worried about their families and jobs.”

The General Assembly “fights for two days over social issues when the people are worried if their kids will go to college or can they get the right kind of health care.”

Porter announced his bid for the Democratic nomination for governor in April. He visited The Valdosta Daily Times offices Monday while in town for the evening’s Lowndes County Democratic Party Annual Barbecue. Porter also visited the Bleu Cafe Monday afternoon.

In addition to seeing education as a Georgia priority, Porter also lists transportation, water conservation, public safety, and utilizing Georgia’s alternative-energy potential in wood chips rather than importing coal.

These issues have become points of political battles between the state’s Republicans and Democrats, as well as within the controlling majorities of Georgia’s GOP, he said. Instead of serving as fodder for political gains, Georgia leaders should be seeking solutions to the issues.

“The emphasis has to return to the needs of the people,” Porter said.

Glennie Cox-Bench, sister of former Secretary of State Cathy Cox will run for City Council

Down in Bainbridge, Glennie Cox Bench, who is the sister of former Secretary of State Cathy Cox, who is Vice-President of Finance and Administration for Southwest Georgia Oil Co., Inc., announced today she will run for the Post 1, At-Large City Council seat after Councilman Edward Reynolds declared his candidacy for mayor rather than seeking re-election to the council post.

A graduate of Valdosta State University with a BBA in Accounting, Bench is also a certified public accountant. She has been active in a wide variety of community organizations, including serving on the board of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce, Memorial Hospital Authority, Memorial Hospital Foundation Board, Leadership Georgia participant, Samaritan Counseling Center, and past President of the YMCA and Bainbridge Rotary Club. She also served for five years as a member of the Georgia Ports Authority, having been appointed by Governor Roy Barnes. Glennie and her husband Steve have one teenage son, Steven, and are members of the First United Methodist Church.

As a Council member, Bench hopes to help guide Bainbridge toward an even stronger future for all its residents. Having lived most of her life in Bainbridge, Glennie said, “Since childhood, my sisters and I have been taught the value and importance of community involvement and public service by our parents, so I hope I can contribute to the community I love by serving on the City Council. Strong, informed leadership will continue to be vital as Bainbridge moves into the next decade and I think my business and financial background will be an asset that I can use to the benefit of the city. I also recognize the special role that an At-Large representative serves and I am prepared to work with and represent the interests of all our citizens in all parts of the city.”

Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond in Americus on Friday

Georgia Commissioner of Labor Michael Thurmond was a guest of the Americus Kiwanis Club Friday, and he brought hope and inspiration for the future.

Thurmond, who has held his post for 20 years, was introduced by program chair Lewis Webb.

Thurmond said the 9.7 percent (Georgia) unemployment rate is the highest “ever” and the 11.3 percent unemployment rate in Sumter County is “one of the highest.” He said more than 460,000 Georgians are jobless and some 7 million Americans have lost jobs since the recession started.

But ... using humor and stories of his own modest beginning, Thurmond shared some good news with the Kiwanis Club. He said America has faced much more difficult problems than it is facing now. “And because of this,” he said, “ I have no doubt that America will emerge from this economic downturn better and stronger.”

The key to recovery, Thurmond said, is to “rally ourselves and define ourselves by what we share in common.” He said people tend to associate with people like themselves, whether it be race, political affiliation, religion, age or income level.

He reminded the club that American forces serving in Iraq and Afghanistan identify themselves as “Americans,” even though they are men and women, black and white. “If our brave men and women can fight as one, why can’t those of us here at home stand together as one?” Thurmond asked.

The commissioner said the recession is forcing Americans to remember what made America great: family and caring about neighbors. He cautioned that this country can come out of the recession as a stronger, more productive nation, but only “if we continue to invest in the education and training of our children.”

Thurmond used his own life as an example: the son of a sharecropper who in only one generation went from the farm to student to lawyer to legislator and then to a Constitutional officer in state government.

Thurmond also encourages people to expand their “comfort zone,” and again using himself as an example, said he ran for and lost election to a seat on the state Legislature twice before he realized he was only asking blacks for their vote in a 66 percent white district (Athens). On his third attempt, he campaigned in white neighborhoods, too, and won the seat.

“My new vision for Georgia is that in my lifetime we will live in a state called Georgia, not separated by North Georgia and South Georgia, not separated by black and white, rich and poor, that we will be smart enough not to separate ourselves between Democrats and Republicans ... We can and will build one great Georgia.”

The best politician in the state right now. He has a mix of charisma, inspiration & substance that will make him a force in the state in the future. A possible Lt. Governor candidiate I would be surprised if h left the Dept. of Labor to run for Lt. Gov. My bet is that he stays at Labor. If he does decide to move up it will be the U.S. Senate in my opinion

Glanton to seek Buckner's State Senate seat. Buckner for Lt. Governor?.

Clayton Co. Democrat Mike Glanton (D-Ellenwood) will seek State Senate seat 44 formerly held by Gail Buckner (D-Morrow) in 2010. Buckner will run Statewide again, but she didn't say what race would that be. She will either go for Secretary of State again (she ran for the post in 2006) or for Lt. Governor.
Something Buckner said that caught my attention: "there will be a big turnover of incumbents in the 2010 elections because there will be a significant number of senators leaving. And she thinks democrats will take back the majority in the State Senate in 2010.
Now I do believe that some incumbents will retire in 2010 due to the upcoming redistricting which will pit incumbents against each other & some regions of the state will lose seats in both chambers, especially donw here in south georgia.

State Senator Ed Tarver (D-Augusta) is on the short list of candidates for U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Georgia.

Here are pieces of the article from the Augusta Chronicle.

It's become an open secret that state Sen. Ed Tarver is on the short list to be appointed U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia by President Obama.

If he gets the job, he'd be the first black to serve in the post and would go from representing the core of Richmond County on the state level to being the top federal prosecutor for a district covering 43 counties, stretching from Thurmond Lake to the Florida border with offices in Augusta, Savannah, Statesboro, Brunswick, Dublin and Waycross.

The job pays about $150,000 a year, with oversight of 26 assistant U.S. attorneys -- 19 of them handling criminal cases and seven for civil matters.

But for a top prosecutor, Mr. Tarver would come into the job with little prosecution experience. According to his biographies on his law firm's and the Georgia Senate's Web sites, he's been a trial attorney since 1992 and primarily deals with civil cases, with an emphasis on employment discrimination and public finance law.

After graduating from Augusta State University in 1981, Mr. Tarver spent seven years as an Army field artillery officer. After earning his law degree from UGA in 1991, he clerked for Dudley Bowen Jr., a former chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. He now serves on the U.S. District Court's Attorney Advisory Committee.

Mr. Tarver has handled at least one high-profile criminal case: the defense of Augusta garbage contractor Kester Uzochukwu, who pleaded no contest to theft by dodging landfill tipping fees and was sentenced to eight years' probation in 2003.

Mr. Tarver was someone who I thought would be a fine candidate for Lt. Governor early in the year but I hope he does egt picked by Pres. Obama for the position.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Attorney General fundraising numbers.

Former Dougherty County D.A. Ken Hodges (D-Albany) reported raising $128,200
Cobb County Commissioner Sam Olens (R-Marietta) reported raising $185,954
State Rep. Rob Teilhet (D-Smyrna) reported raising $203,564.
The majority of Olens cash came from metro Atlanta, while Hodges & Teilhet got contributions from across the state. I feel good about the democrats holding on to this seat in 2010. Both Hodges & Teilhet are both great candidates for the position, but in my opinion Hodges is more qualified for the position bases on his track record & qualifications. But Teilhet holds the advanatge now because he is from the metro area where the primary will most likely be determined & the ability to raise cash.
Hodges will focus his campaign on the rural areas of the state. He is a south ga native (Albany) where he expects to run strongest against Teilhet.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Jim Marshall

I forgot I had this story in my email box. It's from May 2009 by Bloomberg News.

U.S. Representative Jim Marshall is a Georgia Democrat and a member of his party’s Blue Dog Coalition, a group of lawmakers bound by a desire to restrain federal spending. The Blue Dogs have something else in common: a fondness for funding pet projects.

Marshall alone requested more than $12 billion worth of the so-called earmarks in the 2010 federal budget. His proposals range from $388,850 to aid 14 local farmers’ markets to $4.2 billion to purchase C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft.

Overall, Blue Dogs submitted more than 2,500 individual earmarks totaling some $20 billion. That underscores the conflict between their eagerness to bring federal money home and the coalition’s criticism of the budget as laden with pork.

Formed after Democrats lost their majority in the House of Representatives in 1994 for the first time in 50 years, the Blue Dog Coalition organized around the idea that the party had moved too far to the left. The moniker reflects the feeling of some that their views had been “choked blue” by the Democrats’ liberal wing. The group today makes up almost 20 percent of the House Democratic membership.

Like many of the other 50 Blue Dogs in Congress, Marshall, 61, says that while he would support a ban on earmarks, he won’t swear them off until a prohibition is imposed.

“As long as they are going to have earmarks, I’m going to submit projects to get money,” Marshall, whose rural central Georgia district includes Robins Air Force Base, said in a telephone interview. “I’m not going to cause the folks in my district to miss out just to make a point.”

Amen brother Amen. All earmarks are not bad. Some of those earmarks are for a good cause like helping farmers & Robins, which is the economic engine not just for middle georgia, but for Houston County because without it, Houston Co would be nothing.

Fundraising numbers for candidates

  • Candidates for Governor
    Thurbert Baker (D): $704,331.00
  • DuBose Porter (D): $231,250
  • David Poythress (D): $150,000
  • John Oxendine (R): $420,000
  • Nathan Deal (R): $980,000
  • Karen Handel (R): $430,000
  • Eric Johnson (R): $962,773.40
  • Austin Scott (R): $180,620.00
  • Ray McBerry (R): $18,596.44
  • Casey Cagle (R) (i): $560,578.98
  • Brian Kemp (R): $267,170.00
  • Douglas MacGinnitie (R): $257,127.76
  • Ralph Hudgens (R): $80,700.00
  • Seth Harp (R): $23,900
  • Stephen Northington (R): $30,744.75
  • John Fuchko (R): $0
  • Kathy Cox (R) (i): $21,970.00
  • Richard Woods (R): $3,979.31
  • Tommy Irvin (D) (i):$10,029.85
  • John Wilkinson (R): $28,657.17

  • My early analysis is that Thurbert Baker who I have been critical of has posted impressive numbers for the quarter. You don't hear much about him on the trail like you do David Poythress & DuBose Porter. But with those numbers tell me that Roy Barnes will have a hell of a time winning the democratic primary. Poythress raised $460,000 from all 159 counties ( $150,000 ) the actual number says he is in this race to the end. Porter $231,250 is a good amount for a guy who folks say should go back to the house instead of running for governor.

    Early reports on David Poythress fundraising numbers.

    From early reports David Poythress raised over $460,000 during last quarter. If that is true, that makes him a viable candidate for the democratic nomination.

    Porter announces Fundraising numbers

    For Immediate Release
    Pretty good numbers for a guy that some say don't have a chance.

    House Democratic Leader DuBose Porter, D-Dublin, and 2010 candidate for Governor, believes an open government is the best government and has never made a secret of how much money he has on hand. His figures were openly reported 9 days ago.*

    Since then Porter has added to his numbers to reach a total of $231,250. Only spending $6,181.41 leaves Porter with $225,068.59 on hand.

    “We’re excited to have raised this much money in this short of time. This shows we have the ability and support to run an aggressive campaign in the Democratic Primary in the governor’s race in 2010. We have been traveling around the state and are gaining in support with every visit. We have a number of fundraisers planned for the fall and many of our supporters have pledged commitments before the next filing period. This will enable us to get our message out on our priorities for Georgia. I want to thank everyone for this great start so we can join together and move Georgia forward.”

    “We set a certain goal, and we’re going to make that goal, and a matter of fact, be beyond that goal,” said House Minority Leader DuBose Porter (D-Dublin), who wants his party’s nomination for governor next year. “It’s gone really well for us.”

    Porter, the only candidate willing to say how much he has raised, said he has met his goal of $200,000. While some candidates have said it will take $10 million to $15 million to win, Porter’s sum is still a nice haul, considering he didn’t start until after the legislative
    session ended in April. (Candidates are barred from raising money while lawmakers are meeting in Atlanta.)”

    Tuesday, July 7, 2009

    What has DuBose Porter been up to?

    I almost forgot State Rep. DuBose Porter. He has been keeping a low profile as he travels the state garnering support for his gubernatorial bid for governor. On Independence Day he attended a 4th of July parade in Wrightsville (Johnson Co.), & attended the Lowndes County Democratic function last night also.
    He attended a fundraiser last month up in Buckhead with Buck Rodgers hosting the event. He spoke to the Henry Co. Democratic Party & the Farm Bureau on June 16 in McDonough. And attended the GPA Convention at Jekyll Island where former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn (D-GA) also spoke. Porter was an intern for Nunn during Nunn years as Senator.
    And he spoke to the Valdosta Daily Times yesterday afternoon before the start of the Lowndes Co. event.

    David Poythress Treks across Rural Middle & South Georgia.

    David Poythress along with his lovely wife was in Valdosta last night at the annual Lowndes Co. Democratic BBQ. More than 100+ people showed up to listen to Gen. Poythress ideas for a better Georgia.
    Also Gen. Poythress made stops in Quitman Co, Bainbridge, Grady Co. , Buena Vista, visited with volunteer firefighters in Alamo (Wheeler Co) , spoke at Providence Baptist Church in Thomasville , made stop in Fitzgerald (Ben Hill Co), made a stop in Iron City (Telfair Co.) & Cusetta ( Chattahoochee Co.) Webster Co. & other towns in South Georgia.
    They may not seem like much to someone living in a bigger city, but these trips are vital for any democrat to win the governorship in 2010 & Gen. Poythress knows that. Democrats just cannot focus their eforts just toi the cities & surburbs. They must win back small town Georgia because if they don't, it will be a long road for them to even remain viable in this state. Gen. Poythress knows that & that's why he is going the extra mile & going to these places often ignored by politicians running for office.

    Monday, July 6, 2009

    Does Thurbert Baker have a issue that will seperate him from all contenders democrat & republican?

    That issue is CRIME:
    Crime has gone up all over the state in the past year. With record layoffs, high unemployment rates, & recent Gang Activity on the rise, crime just maybe the issue that resonates with the voters more than education or the economy.
    There has been an uptick in Gang Related crimes in Albany, Macon, Columbus, Savannah & most of the major cities in Georgia. But it's also has spread to small towns like Blakely, Americus, Tifton, Nashville, & other towns as well.
    Some counties & cities have cut services due to lagging revenues that will hamper the efforts of Law Enforcement to combat the rise in crime. When Baker first announced his run for governor one of the things he was going to run on was crime. People scoffed at that saying that the economy & transportation was the major issues facing the state & crime was no where near the radar. Now with it on the rise, crime will be a key issue come the primary in 2010 & the general election as well. Baker has a issue that will separate him for the field in my opinion. But the question is will democratic voters be too blinded by the presence of Roy Barnes in the race & not go for someone who maybe stronger in the general election against the GOP.
    The way I look at it, Baker along with Poythress & Porter would make great candidates for the dems in the general election, but Barnes will be the favorite in the primary due to the liberal establishment in the metro Atlanta area & old supporters from 2002. That alone will not be enough to defeat the GOP in 2010. The Black Vote will not be an automatic vote for Baker, but he will get the lion's share of the vote along with Poythress who is racking up endorsements from key black leaders across the state. Baker will be heard before all said is done. Poythress is running more of a General Election campaign that a primary campaign & expect Baker & Porter to do the same if one or the other decides to remain in the race for governor.
    This is a Rural Blog that provides views & insights from a Conservative Georgia Democrat

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