Thursday, February 25, 2010

M.E. Thompson, Georgia Gubernatorial Campaign Spot, 1954, detailing his stance on school segregation in reaction to the 1954 Brown v. Board

The Three Governors Controversy: Herman Talmadge

The dynamics of the first husband-wife ticket in Georgia politics

More on Carol Porter's entry into the Lt. Governor's race via Jim Galloway of the Atlanta Journal Constitution: The dynamics of the first husband-wife ticket in Georgia politics

2nd Congressional District GOP Candidates Address Thomas Co. Residents

THOMASVILLE — Two Thomas County men seeking the Second Congressional District U.S. House seat held by Sanford Bishop, (D-Albany) agree on what constituents need in congress.

Both Republican candidates are self-described conservatives who think it is time for the district to be represented by someone who will listen to constituents and act accordingly.

“I feel in my heart and soul it is time for me to make my move,” Bobby Brown told a crowd of about 300 at Thomasville Municipal Auditorium Tuesday night.

A Thomas County native, Brown was a Thomas County commissioner when he decided several years ago not to seek re-election to the county governing body and to begin considering a run for congress.

Mike Keown, incumbent District 173 state representative, said the Second Congressional District race is getting national attention. The district is being looked at as one that could be “picked up” by a conservative, said Keown, a Coolidge resident.

Now here's the one that got me laughing my you know what off:

Keown said he is getting the farm vote. “They know it’s time for a change,” he added.

Sanford Bishop losing the farm vote. There's nothing wrong with dreaming. Everyone can dream, but for Keown to think that he will get the farm vote from a incumbent who is the go-to guy when it comes to Georgia Agriculture. Like I said, its alright to dream a dream!

For more on this article click on the link at the top

Is Thurmond "Strongly Leaning" Toward a Lt. Gov Run?

Pete McCommons of the Flagpole writes

I ran into Michael Thurmond and asked him if he’s going to run for lieutenant governor, and he said “yes.” I pushed him a little bit, and he still said “yes,” but “yes” usually means “I’m seriously considering it,” until the official announcement is made and it’s too late to back out.

For more, just click on the link above

Carol Porter is In!

Caro, Porter will seek the nomination for Lt. Governor, she announced this morning. More on this later. Question is what does this do to Michael Thurmond?

Isakson Below 50% in Rasmussen Poll

Republican Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia may be suffering from the same anti-incumbency backlash that many of his Senate colleagues around the country are experiencing in their reelection bids.

The first Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 telephone survey of the Georgia Senate race finds Isakson earning 49% of the vote against an unnamed generic Democratic candidate who picks up the support of 36% of likely voters. Given that match-up, four percent (4%) like some other candidate, and 12% are undecided.

Rasmussen Reports chose to pit Isakson against a generic candidate because there is as yet no major Democratic challenger in the Georgia Senate race. But it is significant to note that any incumbent who polls at less than 50% at this stage of the campaign is considered potentially vulnerable.

For any Democrat, however, Georgia is viewed as tough political terrain these days.

Three-out-of-the-four top GOP candidates are now slightly ahead of the Democrat they are most likely to face in this year’s race for governor in Georgia.

Georgia Survey of 500 Likey Voters
February 17, 2010

Election 2010: Georgia Senate

Johnny Isakson (R)

Democratic Candidate

Some other candidate

Not sure

I'm very skeptical of Rasmussen polling, so I'll just take this as a grain of salt.

DeKalb County’s Thomas E. Brown Endorses Ken Hodges for Attorney General

Thomas E. Brown has announced his endorsement of Democrat Ken Hodges to be Georgia’s next Attorney General.

“If anyone in this race is the best pick to be Georgia’s top prosecutor and chief law enforcer, it’s Ken Hodges,” Brown said. “I’ve worked with Ken firsthand on prosecuting public corruption. He’s a veteran of the courtroom. His record of working with state law enforcement and getting results is impeccable.”

Brown and Hodges first met when Hodges served as co-counsel in the prosecution of Sidney Dorsey, Brown’s predecessor in the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office. Dorsey was convicted in 2002 of ordering the assassination of a political rival.

“I’m honored to have Thomas Brown’s support of my campaign,” Hodges said. “As a prosecutor, I’ve worked with Brown, and his dedication to keeping DeKalb County safe and fighting urban crime is inspiring. I look forward to working with him as Attorney General.”

Brown, an Atlanta native, won election to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office in 2001. He has been named Public Safety Officer of the Year by the South DeKalb Rotary Club, and was awarded the Law Enforcement Award by the Georgia chapter of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice.

Ken Hodges served for 12 years as Dougherty County’s District Attorney. A proven prosecutor, Hodges earned distinctions as the Chairman of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, the President of the District Attorney’s Association of Georgia, and as the state’s District Attorney of the Year in 2002. A winner of the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council’s Eagle Award, Hodges believes in prosecuting public corruption, cracking down on gangs and urban crime, and supporting law enforcement in its efforts to protect all Georgians.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jobs Bill Passes by a 70-28 Vote

Harry Reid's $15 billion jobs bill just passed the Senate on a surprising 70-28 vote, meaning a solid dozen Republicans broke ranks with their leaders on final passage, after the GOP fought the package for the past week.

Republicans who voted yes: Lamar Alexander, Kit Bond, Scott Brown, Richard Burr, Susan Collins, Orrin Hatch, James Inhofe, George Lemieux, Lisa Murkowski, Olympia Snowe, George Voinovich and Roger Wicker. (Democrat Ben Nelson voted no).

You noticed Our two senatore Saxby Chambliss & Johnny Isakson, who is up for re-election voted against the Jobs Bill.

Ronald Reagan - then a liberal Democrat - campaigns on the radio for President Truman in 1948. He also supports Hubert Humphrey for Senator from Minn.

Houston County D.A. to run for Commission Chairman

Kelly Burke, who is Houston County's District Attorney is stepping down to run for Houston County Commission Chairman

For more read:

Savannah businessman John Mamalakis running for Insurance Commissioner

Mamalakis vying to replace governor hopeful Oxendine

Savannah businessman John Mamalakis running for insurance commissioner

State House Representative Stephanie Stuckey-Benfield (D-Atlanta) Endorses Candidate Brian Westlake for State School Superintendent.

Yesterday Brian Westlake received the endorsement of Democratic legislator Stephanie Stuckey-Benfield.

Rep. Stephanie Stuckey- Benfield is quoted as saying,” For over a decade, I have seen Brian down at the Capitol speaking to legislators and advocating on behalf of his students, his colleagues, and his profession. I support his candidacy because I know that he will bring a strong sense of dedication and advocacy to the office of State School Superintendent.”

In response to the endorsement Westlake replied,” I am honored to have the support of such a dedicated public servant as Rep. Stuckey- Benfield. For years, she has worked tirelessly to create a better Georgia and a brighter tomorrow for future generations of Georgians. I look forward to working with her to improve our public schools and protect the investment in our children’s lives.”

Former U.S. Marine and current classroom teacher, Brian Westlake is seeking the Democratic nomination for State School Superintendent.

Brian holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and a Master of Science Degree in Sociology from Florida State University. He also received a Juris Doctor from Georgia State University’s College of Law and a Master of Public Administration from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rare Interview with Ex-Georgia Governor Lester Maddox 1966-1970.

The Department of Defense Pauses Military Spouse Employment Plan

The Defense Department has temporarily halted an employment-assistance program for military spouses while it conducts a “top-to-bottom” review of its services, officials said recently.

The My Spouse Career Advancement Account program, also known as MyCAA, offers military spouses opportunities to pursue portable careers in high-demand, high-growth occupations such as education and health care.

Continue to read: - DoD pauses military spouse employment plan

Congressman John Barrow Visits Emanuel County

U.S. Congressman John Barrow visited Swainsboro on Monday, February 15.

Barrow toured the Kongsberg Automotive plant in Swainsboro. While the company is historically known locally as Capro, they became Kongsberg Automotive in January 2008.

Ware County to furlough workers to make up revenue shortfall

Ware County will furlough its employees one day per month to help offset an expected $125,000 budget shortfall. Public safety employees will be exempt.

At a specially called meeting Monday, county commissioners voted to implement four furlough days for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends June 30. The move will save $95,000.

Continue to read: Ware County to furlough workers to make up revenue shortfall

Roy Barnes Loses Ground to GOP Candidates for Guv. Are There Concerns?

Former Governor Roy Barnes in a new Rasmussen Poll has fallen behind three of the four republican nominees for governor.

2010 Georgia Governor Election

John Oxendine (R)

Roy Barnes (D)

Some other candidate

Not sure

Nathan Deal (R)

Roy Barnes (D)

Some other candidate

Not sure

Karen Handel (R)

Roy Barnes (D)

Some other candidate

Not sure

Eric Johnson (R)

Roy Barnes (D)

Some other candidate

Not sure

With the exception of Johnson, all the Republican candidates carry 50% or more of the male vote against Barnes but break even among female voters. Johnson leads the Democrat by 12 among men but trails by 10 among women.

Voters not affiliated with either major party prefer the Republican in all four contests.

So why the drop for Barnes in the latest poll?

Does it have anything to do with his performance in the debate, or is it that people aren't that warm to another return of Roy Barnes to the Governor'a mansion.

Democrats statewide at this point max out between 38-42% since the republicans took over the state in 2002. These numbers are not encouraging for Barnes as he try to become governor for a second time, the last to do was EuGene Talmadge back in 1941.

Will these new numbers make democrats look at the other democratic candidates for governor. I'm sure it will & another thing, like I've been sayin' democrats cannot put all of their eggs in one basket on the governor's race & forget the others. Democrats need to, have to have a strong ticket if they waht to regain the governor's mansion.

This poll says the GOP carries more than 50% of the male vote against Barnes, they split among women. Why didn't Rasmussen poll David Poythress, DuBose Porter, Thurbert Baker in head to head matchups against the GOP, no one knows

This is the only poll that showed how the others fare against the republican challengers:

Research 2000 poll from May/2009

Thurbert Baker (D): 42
Karen Handel (R): 40

David Poythress (D): 43
John Oxendine (R): 47

David Poythress (D): 43
Karen Handel (R): 39

Thurbert Baker (D): 42
John Oxendine (R): 47

Roy Barnes (D): 45
Karen Handel (R): 39

No one knows how DuBose Porter does against the republican challengers because no one hasn't polled him in a head to head matchup.

What's surprising to me given the troubles of the GOP with its problems with corruption, ethics, & its inability to solve some of the state's biggest problems, but yet they still lead the presumed democratic frontrunner. For democrats to win, it has to start with the grassroots.

You can't build a chimney from the top down, it starts from the bottom up.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ex- Air Force officer wants to challenge U.S. Rep. John Barrow

Mike Horner has become the third Republican to announce a bid to replace Democratic incumbent John Barrow of Savannah.

A self-described "super patriot," Horner said he is running because "the principles on which our country was founded are under attack, and we have to fight to get them back."

Continue to read the rest at: Ex- Air Force officer wants to challenge U.S. Rep. John Barrow | The Augusta Chronicle

Jason Shaw will seek House District 176 Seat when his father State Rep Jay Shaw (D-Lakeland) steps Down

Jason Shaw, the son of State Rep Jay Shaw (D-Lakeland), will seek House District 176 currently held by his father who was elected to the 1st Congressional District GDOT Board last week, in which the elder Shaw says he will not seek re-election to this South Ga seat surrounding Valdosta.

“I’m excited,” he said. “It’s a new challenge, and I hope and pray that it works out. My dad believes I am good and ready. I’m honored to follow in my dad’s footsteps.”

Jason Shaw is owner of Shaw Insurance Services Inc. of Lakeland and a partner in Morris and Shaw Insurance Agency Inc. of Nashville. He said that he approached his father in 2003 and made an offer to purchase the insurance side of The Jay Shaw Company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Georgia. His favorite class was one in Southern politics.

“I guess you can say that I’ve been interested in Georgia politics since college,” he said.

“I’ve watched my dad grow politically for more than 30 years,” he added. “The political landscape has changed so much during that time. I think that — more than ever before — Georgia needs to take a common sense approach to government. We are facing bigger challenges than we have had to deal with in a long time. We need to put aside partisan politics and work together.”

“We have lots of really good people serving in the General Assembly,” he said. “Of course, there are a few bad apples, too. But that’s true of most things. I really look forward to having the chance to serve with our area delegation. It would be an honor to work with each of them and continue doing good things for the people of Georgia.”

Jason Shaw is a graduate of the Leadership Lanier Class of 2003 and the Leadership Georgia Class of 2004. He graduated in 2000 from the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership.

He is a past president of both the Lanier County Lions Club and Lakeland-Lanier County Chamber of Commerce, and he now serves as finance chair and trustee for Lakeland’s Unity United Methodist Church, trustee for the Valdosta Technical College Foundation, director of the Greater Valdosta United Way, and director of the Professional Insurance Agents Association of Georgia, Southern Financial Systems ( a division of FMB Bancshares Inc.), the Georgia Olive Growers Association and South Regional Joint Development Authority.

He enjoys spending time with wife Katy Miller Shaw and daughter Anne Harvey Shaw, 1, as well as playing a little golf and hunting.

No metioned from shaw on whether he will ru as a democrat, independent, or republican. My money is that he will run as a conservative democrat like his dad did.

HD 176 consist of portion of Lowndes, Lanier, Clinch, portion of Berrien counties

Friday, February 19, 2010

Early & Randolph Counties Will Appeal for Charter Schools

At least two school systems, including the Early County School System, have filed appeals asking the State School Board to overturn the Dec. 14 approval of Pataula Charter Academy.

The application for the charter school proposed to serve students from Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Early and Randolph counties was one of seven applications approved by the Georgia Charter Schools Commission.

Pataula Charter Academy would eventually be located in the old Bluffton school building. It plans to begin its initial school year in August 2010 in a former automobile dealership building in Edison.

Commission-chartered schools are fully funded like any other public school. They receive state and federal dollars plus a matching share of local funds carved from the state allocations of the districts students leave behind. Two pending lawsuits, however, are challenging the commission’s authority to authorize and fund charter schools.

Transportation concerns, tax dollars, quality education and violation of the federal court-ordered desegration plan are among the issues raised.

Letters from ECSS can be viewed here and the appeal from Randolph, here. To learn more about the Pataula Charter Academy visit

What's wrong with letting these counties convert to charter schools?

Dooly County Searches for New Head Football Coach

Away from politics for a minute:

The deadline to make application for the Dooly County High head football coaching job that opened when Darryl Silas resigned last month arrives tomorrow.

At mid-week, Dooly school superintendent Dr. Grady Miles said 34 coaches “including some very good ones” had expressed interest in filling the vacancy.

“Right now,” Miles said, “my plans are to screen the applications and reduce them to about 10 candidates. I will interview those 10 myself.

“From there, I plan to select a final three who will be asked to participate in a community forum so that if they truly want to come here they can disclose how they plan to bring about a winning team.

“Members of the community will also be given an opportunity to express what they want in the football program but they will not be given the chance to question the candidates in an organized Q&A (question and answer) session.”

Following that forum, Miles said he will conduct a second round of interviews before recommending the applicant he feels best suited for the position to the school board.

“I really don’t have a timeline for all of this to take place, but I do hope to hire someone before spring practice is held,” Miles said. “If we can’t hire someone by the third week of March when our school board meets, we should at least be able to make a decision soon after that.”

In submitting his resignation as the Bobcats’ head grid coach but not as the school’s athletic director or an American government classroom instructor, Silas cited “personal reasons” for his decision to step down.

During his six-year tenure, he led Dooly to a 5-5 finish a year ago and an overall record of 37-27, including a forfeit win this past season over Macon County

I wonder if there is anyone from the Macon Co. Football Staff is considering this job. It's a great opportunity.

The Monticello News: Jasper County Names New School Superintendent

Dr. Mike Newton was named Jasper County School Superintendent by a unanimous vote of the Jasper County School Board at a called meeting last Thursday afternoon.

Dr. Newton is a native of Jasper County, and worked in the local school system for about 10 years before going to work in Newton County, then moving on to Jones County.
While serving as assistant superintendent and interim superintendent in Jones County, Dr. Newton was active in many community activities in addition to numerous school programs and actvities.

First, I would like to express my gratitude to the Jasper County Board of Education for allowing me the opportunity to serve the students, staff, and community as your next Superintendent of Schools. Part of the vision of Jasper County Schools includes ‘Our Children, Our Community, Our Responsibility.’ I am excited that I can lead this vision for the next three years, and I appreciate the confidence that the Board has in my leadership.

Click on the link at the top for more

Wilkes County unemployment is down slightly in December

Unemployment in Wilkes County went down slightly in December, dropping to 11.5 percent from 11.9 percent, but still higher than the state and national average rates.

The latest numbers released from the Georgia Department of Labor state labor force statistics show that there were 269 initial claims for unemployment in Wilkes County in December, up from November 2009 but down substantially from 426 initial claims in December 2008.

There was a total of 510 Wilkes County workers on unemployment in December, down from 527 in November, indicating that some workers were being hired.

For more click on link at the top

Bishop Says Economy Slowly Recovering

ALBANY — U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, told Dougherty County Rotary Club members Thursday afternoon that there is evidence that economic recovery is slowly moving forward.
“We welcome the beginning of the return for economic growth,” he said. “We are now starting to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.”

Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of the federal economic stimulus law, the $787 billion American Economic Recovery and Investment Act that, Bishop said, is assisting with the nation’s economic recovery.

“The evidence is clear that the recovery act is working to restore economic growth,” he said. “I think, personally, that it has gone a long way to getting our citizens back to work.”

For more click on the link at the top

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Official Statement from the Hodges Campaign regarding the IBEW'S Endorsement of Rob Teilhet

We appreciate the IBEW's opinion, and we wish them the best in their political efforts. They have yet to meet with our campaign and speak with our candidate about his positions. Ken Hodges has a strong record supporting the rights and safety of Georgia's working families."

Jonathan G. Williams, Communications Director for Georgians for Hodges Campaign

Democratic Senatorial Candidate RJ Hadley at another Tea Party Town Hall

Someone sent me these photos of RJ at a Tea Party Town Hall. The location of this town hall is unknown. My hats off to Hadley for attending these meetings. It shows he is reaching out to those voters who are tired of the same ol' partisan gridlock that has controlled Washington.

Gen. David Poythress at the First Debate

Gen. Poythress Strategic Plan


Gen. Poythress Pledge


Gen. David Poythress on Transportation

For those who wanted to know what Gen. Poythress thoughts & plans for Transportation, please watch this video:

New Poll Concerning Casey Cagle

Georgia GOP Primary Voters Opinion of Casey Cagle via The Insider Advantage/RosettaStonePoll

Approve – 20%
Somewhat Approve – 31%%
Somewhat Disapprove – 15%
Disapprove – 6%
No Opinion – 28%

Again why isn't a democrat jumping at the chance to take on Cagle? Hopefully judging by these numbers, a democrat ( Carol Porter, Lisa Borders, Carl Camon, Michael Meyer von Bremen) will jump at the chance of taking on Mr. Cagle.

Click on the title to read more.

South Georgia Democrat Joins the GDOT Board. HD 176 will be up for Grabs in 2010.

Jay Shaw (D-Lakeland) was elected by the general assembly to serve on the GDOT Board of the 1st Congressional District yesterday, succeeding Roy Herrington of Baxley, who was elected to his first term on the Georgia DOT’s State Transportation Board in 2005.

Shaw will step down from his House District 176 seat when he assumes the Georgia DOT position on April 15. He noted that he will finish out the 2009-2010 General Assembly session. However, after he has been officially sworn in to serve on the State Transportation Board, his seat will be up for grabs.

“I do not plan to seek re-election to the House (of Representatives),” he said. “This (the Georgia DOT State Transportation Board) is a five-year term. It’s a big area, a big district. Right now, I serve in the legislature and represent just four counties. When I’m sworn in to (the State Transportation Board), I will serve an area that covers several counties and cities, from Valdosta to Savannah. It’ll be fun, and I’m ready to get started.”

Click on the link at the top to read more on this story.

Douglas County Democratic Party under new leadership

The Douglas County Democratic Party has reorganized and is re-energized, according to Free Polazzo, its newly-elected secretary.

The organization held elections Feb. 1 at St. Julian’s Episcopal Church with state Commissioner of Labor Michael L. Thurmond as guest speaker.

According to the Polazzo, Thurmond talked about how communities, like Douglas, are crucial to candidates in statewide elections, although the county is labeled “Republican.”

Thurmond was given a standing ovation when he finished and election of officers followed.

Twenty-three of the 26 seat post holders heard speeches from candidates for each office.

For more, click on the link at the top.

Proposed 'bed tax' could kill rural hospitals

Georgia's rural hospital industry would collapse under proposed 1.6 percent "bed tax," legislators were told Wednesday.

"As many as 20 rural hospitals could be lost in a very short time," said Jimmy Lewis, CEO of HomeTown Health, an organization of rural and small hospitals. "We've got to be sure we don't decimate an industry."

Originally proposed last session, House Bill 307 proposes a 1.6 percent provider fee for hospitals and health insurance providers. Industry officials call it a "bed tax."

Continue reading: Proposed 'bed tax' could kill rural hospitals

South Georgia Democrat Joins the GDOT Board. HD 176 will be up for Grabs in 2010.

Jay Shaw (D-Lakeland) was elected to the Georgia Department of Transportation Board of the 1st Congressional Distrit by the General Assembly.

Shaw will succeed Roy Herrington of Baxley, who was elected to his first term on the Georgia DOT’s State Transportation.

Shaw will step down from his House District 176 seat when he assumes the Georgia DOT position on April 15. He noted that he will finish out the 2009-2010 General Assembly session. However, after he has been officially sworn in to serve on the State Transportation Board, his seat will be up for grabs.

“I do not plan to seek re-election to the House (of Representatives),” he said. “This (the Georgia DOT State Transportation Board) is a five-year term. It’s a big area, a big district. Right now, I serve in the legislature and represent just four counties. When I’m sworn in to (the State Transportation Board), I will serve an area that covers several counties and cities, from Valdosta to Savannah. It’ll be fun, and I’m ready to get started.”

Read more click on the link at the top.

Press Release: Rob Teilhet Earns Big Endorsement from Labor Community

Today, the IBEW Local Union 613, affiliate of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and nearly 800,000 members strong, endorsed Rob Teilhet’s bid to be Georgia’s next Attorney General.

“Rob Teilhet is among the best of the best of those who stand-up for the working people in Georgia,” said Gene O’Kelley, the Business Manager of the IBEW Local Union 613. “He is the strongest candidate running for Attorney General and he has demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to families in Georgia throughout his career.”

Ben Myers, Political Director for the IBEW Local Union 613 agreed. “Georgia needs to elect an Attorney General who has a great understanding of the challenges faced by Georgia’s working families. Rob Teilhet is the right person for the job. He has the best experience, the greatest know-how, and the right principles. We support him completely.”

Representative Rob Teilhet was honored to receive these endorsements. “I’m thankful for the work that that the IBEW Local 613 has done for working people in this state and I’m honored by this endorsement. The people of Georgia have the right to expect an Attorney General who works for them and who will fight for them.”

Today’s announcement follows a series of recent endorsements for Representative Teilhet that are geographically diverse across Georgia. Teilhet has announced endorsements by Civil Rights Leaders Representative Tyrone Brooks and Senator Vincent Fort, former legislator and candidate for United States Senate, Jim Martin, Georgia's Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Jones, and influential elected officials in Savannah, Augusta and Marietta.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Will Democrats Put Up a Challenge to Georgia GOP Congressmen?

With all of the talk surrounding our statewide races, lets focus on congressional races. There is only one democrat running for congress here so far (Mike Freeman) up in the 9th Congressional District, which is an open seat, but what about the others.

Every two years you see republicans challenge democratic congressmen Jim Marshall, John Barrow & Sanford Bishop, but what about democrats challenging incumbent republican congressmen?

Will Doug Heckman challenge John Linder once again?

What about Bobby Saxon taking on Paul Broun. (Saxon has been rumored as a possible candidate for State Senate seat 47). There is one democrat by the name of Sandy Untermeyer, who is retired educator from Columbia Co, who has said he will challenge Paul Broun.

Lynn Westmoreland? Phil Gingrey? Jack Kingston?

The democrats best bet to maybe pickoff one or more of these congressmen is through redistricting. The way they are set up now makes it difficult for democrats, though not impossible. I hope to see some of these GOP congressmen face challenges this year instead of letting them just walk scotch free without having to face voters.

Stimulating Hypocrisy: 111 Lawmakers Block Recovery While Taking Credit For Its Success. Included in that, a Few of Georgia's Republicans

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) Issued Pres Releases Bragging About Bringing Stimulus Jobs To His District. On July 28th, Kingston’s press office fired off two releases bragging about a $106,901 grant for the Alma Police Department and a $138,286 grant for the Jesup Police Department in Georgia. These grants, distributed by the Department of Justice for the “hiring of new police officers, to combat violence against women, and to fight Internet crimes against children,” were fully-funded by President Obama’s Recovery Act.-

Congressman Kingston Voted Against The Recovery Package Twice [Roll Call Vote #46; Roll Call Vote #70]

John Linder (R-GA) Slammed The Stimulus As A Failure While Requesting Stimulus Money. The Washington Times reported: “Rep. John Linder, Georgia Republican, posted a blog item on his Web site on Oct. 21, stating that recent unemployment figures ‘only reinforce the fact that the $787 billion ’stimulus’ signed into law eight months ago has done nothing for job growth in this country.’ Two weeks earlier, Mr. Linder had sent a letter to Mr. Vilsack backing an application for stimulus money by the Elauwit Community Foundation, records show.”

[Washington Times, 2/9/10]-Rep. Linder Decried The Recovery Package Because He Said It “Levees Our Economic Future On The Backs Of Our Children While Spending Billions On Projects That Will Do Little To Stimulate The Economy.” [Herald Tribune, 2/13/09]

Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) Asked Defense Secretary To Steer $50 Million In Stimulus Money To Georgian Bioenergy Project. Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “… Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to steer $50 million in stimulus money to a constituent’s bioenergy project. Gates didn’t do it, the AP reported.”

[Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 10/18/09]- Senator Chambliss Voted Against The Recovery Package Twice [Record Vote 59; Record Vote 60]

Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) Asked Defense Secretary To Steer $50 Million In Stimulus Money To Georgian Bioenergy Project. Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “And The Associated Press reported in August that the state’s Republican senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to steer $50 million in stimulus money to a constituent’s bioenergy project. Gates didn’t do it, the AP reported.”

[Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 10/18/09]-Senator Isakson Voted Against The Recovery Package Twice [Record Vote 59; Record Vote 60]

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) Hands Out Giant Stimulus Check In Georgia. Gingrey appeared in the city of Cedartown, Georgia, to present a giant check of $625,000 in stimulus funds to the city commission to help fund the the city’s Streetscape project, which will install new sidewalks and infrastructure. [Think Progress, 10/13/09]-

Congressman Gingrey Voted Against The Recovery Package Twice [Roll Call Vote #46; Roll Call Vote #70]

Unbelievable. They can go on television & rail about the stimulus & at the same time have their collective hands out trying to get a chuck of that stimulus money to take back home to their districts. Vote against the stimulus bill to make themselves look good politically in the eyes of their base & fend off possible primary challengers & at the same time benefiting from the stilulus & taking credit for something that they rail against. Unbelievable!

Obama announces Loan Guarantee for Nuclear Plant

Cordele Dispatch

President Barack Obama is highlighting a new investment in energy jobs with an announcement that the government will guarantee more than $8 billion in loans needed to build the first U.S. nuclear power plant in nearly three decades.

Obama was to make remarks Tuesday after touring a job training center at the headquarters of Local 26 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in nearby Lanham, Md. The union represents electrical and telecommunications workers, and it offers training useful for energy jobs, including the construction of nuclear power plants.

Click on title for more.

Carol Dodd-Porter, Lt. Governor?

Yesterday Jim Galloway at the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Carol Dodd-Porter, the wife of gubernatorial candidate DuBose Porter has been approached about the possibility of running for Lt. Governor. Now people are going to say that this is all P.R. & a publicity stunt, but let me tell you after seeing her performance at the Small Business Forum while filling in for her husband, I raised the question why isn't she running for office, (Like State Senator for example). But Lt. Governor?

I think she would be great at it if you ask me. He has a great knowledge of the issues, she shows passion, energy & alot of heart. Besides, I don't see no other democrat willing to run for Lt. Governor, so why not Mrs. Porter?

I keep hearing the same names being brought up over & over again, but given the anti-incumbent mood & bascially one-party rule by the Georgia GOP, a outside candidate is maybe what is needed to get things straight up there in the state capitol.

If not Carol Porter, I would like to see Lisa Borders or a Michael Meyer von Bremen, as well as Carl Camon who open alot of eyes & turned plenty of heads by his debate performance. I say why not?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Education in Rural Georgia: It has its advantages, but majority of the time its a hard struggle

While rural Georgia schools have many of the same needs as other schools, they often face different challenges based on their unique characteristics. Funding deficiencies, lack of programs targeted to students with special needs, difficulties in recruitment and retention of teachers, and inadequate facilities are among the challenges facing rural Georgia schools.

Lack of Funding:

Rural Georgia schools receive much, much less funding than of the total federal, state, and local spending on public education. Rural and small schools tend to be located in areas with low property values and few industries, making it more difficult to raise additional revenues. In addition, because federal grants are awarded based upon student population, rural districts often receive insufficient grant funds to accomplish the stated purpose. Rural school districts also often lack the expertise and capacity their urban and suburban counterparts in formulating grant applications for competitive federal grants.

Like here in Macon County, the state legislature cut between $75-80 million dollars from the Macon County School System according to my State Rep. Lynmore James (D-Montezuma). That will only hurt our school system even more, which already is losing students to schools from surrounding counties like Schley, Houston, Sunter Counties.

Teacher Recruitment and Retention:

Rural Georgia schools face formidable challenges in recruiting and retaining quality teachers. Compared with teachers in city schools and urban fringe schools, rural teachers tend to be less educated, slightly less experienced, younger, and less likely to belong to a minority group. Professional isolation and chronically low salaries and benefits exacerbate the difficulty in attracting quality teachers to rural and small town schools. Rural and small town teachers are also less likely to have access to professional development, special services, and opportunities for peer collaboration. They are more likely to have to teach out of the field in which they are certified. Few accredited teacher education institutions prepare teachers to teach in rural areas.

School Modernization:

Rural Georgia schools have at least one inadequate building feature, such as leaky roofs, faulty wiring, peeling paint, and malfunctioning heating, ventilation, or air conditioning systems. Many rural students in rural areas attend schools with at least one inadequate building feature. In building new schools with better technologies, some states and districts have closed older, smaller schools, forcing rural students to travel two hours or more to school like here in Macon County where we have built a new elementary & middle school.

Rural Georgia schools educate a great number of Georgia's students. Rural schools have often served as a catalyst for promising education reform - developing innovative strategies that can prove useful and effective for all schools. Yet, rural schools often face unique challenges in meeting the needs of their students, including difficulties in raising revenue and in recruiting and retaining quality teachers. The National Education Association (NEA) believes that the federal government must place increased emphasis on the needs of rural schools, including targeting resources to help attract, train, and retain quality teachers.

Here's what the next governor should do to address this:

Helping foster partnerships with teacher associations, businesses, and teacher education institutions to help with teacher recruitment and retention. Also essential are funding for recruitment incentives and early training opportunities for rural teacher candidates, and inclusion in teacher preparation curricula of special courses for teachers in rural schools.

Providing resources for kindergarten programs, preschool programs, and programs targeted to children with special needs in rural areas

Assisting rural districts in modernizing school infrastructure.

Expanding access to information technology in rural areas for programmatic instruction and staff professional development.

Providing for collection and analysis of student achievement data for students in rural areas and small towns.

Recognizing the unique needs of rural areas in designing competitive grant processes for receipt of federal education funds.

Rural Georgia schools tend to be smaller in size than their suburban or urban counterparts, with smaller class sizes and more interaction among faculty, students, and parents. But that's not the case in alot of rural Georgia Schools, as some classes have as many as 30+ students crammed into a single classroom. Rural school districts are often the largest single employer in their area and rural schools serve as the social, recreational, and cultural foundation of their communities.

Hopefully our next governor will finally solve our education crisis in the state of Georgia.

Mega Farm Loophole Remains Open

In a repudiation of the president’s central campaign pledge on rural policy, the Obama administration has refused to close the biggest loophole in the federal farm payment limitation.

Last month the Obama administration joined its predecessors in failing to act by releasing regulations that continue this gaping loophole. As a result, mega farms will continue claiming unlimited payments to drive smaller farmers out of business.

USDA allows investors to count as active farmers as long as they participate in a few conference calls, according to the Government Accountability Office. That enables mega farms to get another set of payments up to the limit for each additional investor in the operation.

The decision to continue this loophole is not just one forgotten campaign promise. This promise was the centerpiece of Obama’s rural policy and his central message to rural America about the kind of change he offered. But the administration has now refused to make the one change it can make without waiting for Congress – tighten USDA administration of farm programs to close loopholes.

Our communities have real opportunities to advance. But one key to our future is a federal government that works with us to capitalize on those opportunities, rather than against us by subsidizing agricultural concentration.

At an October 2007 Linn County, Iowa, campaign event Obama said, “Too many family farmers are being squeezed as big agribusiness takes up larger shares of federal subsidies.” He released a rural platform that day pledging immediate action to close loopholes by limiting payments to active farmers who work the land and their landlords – noting that “every president since Ronald Reagan had the authority to close this loophole but failed to act.”

Well Mr. President what happened?

Rural Georgia Needs More Transportation. The More,The Better

Rural transportation as long as I've known it has traditionally meant cars and pickups, highways and Greyhound buses. However, while the buses are fewer and farther between, that doesn’t change people’s needs to get from place to place.

Most people have cars and trucks, but some elderly or disabled people can no longer drive, and with gas prices up, some unemployed and lower-income people can no longer afford to drive much. In rural Georgia, mobility can be challenging and more transportation alternatives are needed.

First, modern, fast, comfortable and convenient higher-speed intercity rail service will help rural transportation access. Most people think about high-speed rail as linking big cities, but carefully chosen stops along the way can provide important new transportation services for rural Georgians. The fast trains shouldn’t have a lot of stops, which would make them into milk runs.

Imagine a flexible transit service in which rural riders could call or e-mail a dispatcher asking to be picked up in a certain timeframe. Although this may be more challenging and less time-certain in spread out rural areas than in more dense urban areas, modern software scheduling technology can make these shuttle services work better.

Let’s deploy new technologies creatively to improve the efficiency of rural transit services in providing access to jobs, government services and health care. This would especially helpful for elderly and disabled rural Georgians who cannot drive.

It’s time for new ideas for better rural transportation. Let’s seize the opportunity to support new transportation solutions that improve mobility for people in rural areas and support more livable communities.

Evan Bayh to retire. Is the Floodgates about to Open for the Democratic Party

Sen. Evan Bayh, a leading moderate Democrat from Indiana who was once thought to be a rising national political star, won’t run for a third term, a decision which imperils his party’s hold on the seat. All I can say is SHOCKER. This is a Shocker.

Makes me wonder f any of our democratic congressmen wil do the same. Stay Tuned!

Read Politico's Bayh to retire:

Evan Bayh to retire

Former Georgia Association of Educators President Ralph Noble endorses Brian Westlake for State School Superintendent

Ralph Noble, former President of the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) and Vice President of the Whitefield Education Association endorsed candidate Brian Westlake in his campaign to become the State School Superintendent.

In his endorsement Mr. Noble stated, “Brian has the knowledge and the passion to stand up for real education reform in Georgia and to stop the ideology based madness now masquerading as reform in this state. As a classroom teacher and an education activist he has committed to this race for the right reasons – to make education in Georgia better for the 1.75 million children of this state.”

Former U.S. Marine and current classroom teacher Brian Westlake responded to Mr. Noble’s endorsement by saying, “I am humbled and grateful to have the support of such a respected educator. My campaign is about bringing a fundamental change to the way our state treats its teachers and educates our children—something Ralph Noble has also spent a great deal of time and effort working on.”
For nearly ten years, Brian has been teaching high school social studies in Georgia public schools.

Brian holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and a Master of Science Degree in Sociology from Florida State University. He also received a Juris Doctor from Georgia State University’s College of Law and a Master of Public Administration from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

Introducing Richard Woods, Candidate for State School Superintendent

Can a Rural, South Central Georgia Educator become the next State School Superintendent? Yes & that is what Richard Woods is trying to do as he is seeking the republican nomination for the right to face the democratic nominee in November's General Election.

Woods teaches in the Irwin County School System where he is the K-5 cirriculum director at Irwin County Elementary

Richard graduated from Fitzgerald High School in 1980. He holds a Bachelor's degree in secondary education social studies from Kennesaw State University and a Master's degree in educational leadership and supervision from Valdosta State University. Since 1988, Richard has been a part of the Irwin County School System. He taught in the classroom for fourteen years, coached various sports, and was awarded the honor of being the 1992 Irwin County High School Teacher of the Year by his peers. During that time as well, Richard had the opportunity to make presentations around Georgia on social studies content, technology in the classroom, and peer mediation.

Wood's plan for education are:

Developing a curriculum that is obtainable and appropriate for all level of learners

Ensure that the essential content is covered and that it can be taught and learned for mastery during the allotted school yea mastery of the basic reading, writing, and arithmetic during the primary school years. The height of our success will be limited to the strength of our foundation.

Middle school, high school, technical school, the military, and college are not the places for remediation.

A diverse diploma path

Teach critical content across the curriculum to better reinforce essential concepts

Strong personal finance educational component, ETC.

Woods says he is the only candidate running for this position who has had experience as both a teacher and administrator from Pre-K through 12th grade.

He also says: If we keep doing what we have been doing in Georgia education, we will keep getting what we have been getting in Georgia education & that is

Flat-line to mediocre test performance

Subpar national ranking

A revised curriculum that is still too broad with little depth.

Woods is the only candidate from South Georgia to run for statewide office for the GOP. He will be running against Roger Hines & Incumbent Kathy Cox for the nomination.

Just by reading his platform for education, he can easily run as a moderate democrat, but that's just me. He has alot of offer to the office of State School Superintendent, but the question will he be able to peel off some of the republican vote located in North Ga that will go to Kathy Cox & Roger Hines. If he's able to do that, he will be in a runoff.

Woods is married to his wife of 20+ Yrs Lisha, who is employed in the Tift County School System.

For more on Richard Woods click on the link above

Zeph Baker: Next Mayor of Columbus?

Columbus Native Zephaniah "Zeph" Baker (I-Columbus), an independent who challenged longtime democratic incumbent Calvin Smyre for HD 129 in 2008 announced back in January that he will run to succeed Jim Wetherington as Mayor of Columbus. Baker 33 is a graduate of Carver High & is a 1999 graduate of Columbus State with a degree in Biology.

Some of the campaign proposals include:

To bring Columbus well-paying jobs and “to encourage and support small business growth from within our own residents.

To ensure residents’ safety. “Feeling safe cannot be a reality that is determined by ZIP code,” he said.

To promote education and maintain a partnership between the city and the Muscogee County School Board.

To make sure the city is fiscally accountable and its government is transparent.

To “champion green technology” to protect the local environment

Check out this Youtube Video below:

Baker is a proud and devoted father of three children. Led by his passion for children, and respect for education, Zeph founded two education centers, where he currently serves as Director.

Baker announcing his candidacy:

Baker wants to bring Fiscal accountability to the city, along with improving the transportation needs of the city as it braces of a huge influx of new citizens to the Columbus Area due to BRAC, which will bring as many as 30,000 new residents to the columbus area.

Columbus is a city of visionaries says Baker. It’s a city of hopes, dreams, and promises; but most of all, Columbus is a city with a history of greatness. From the discovery of Coca Cola, to the beginning of Fort Benning, to the alluring smells of Tom’s foods, to the duck from AFLAC and the technological innovations of Synovus, Columbus has been a city of distinction, but it would appear to many that over the years we have lost a step, become complacent in some areas, and traded being the best for being among the best. This must stop. We cannot afford to lose our future to our neighbors.

As your Mayor, I will wake everyday with but one mission, to make Columbus the great city that those who came before us intended.

If you want to learn more about Baker just click on the link at the top.

New Episode of Kudzu Vine Blogtalk Radio 2/14/10

Thursday, February 11, 2010

RJ's Senate Logo.

Jim Marshall Has Yet another Republican Challenger for the 8th District.

That makes six as Republican Bill Mauldin of Butts County has thrown hi hat in the ring to take on Conservative Democrat Jim Marshall for the 8th Congressional District.

Mauldn describes himself as a middle-class, tax paying, hardworking family man who's concerned about the path the country is taking right now. He was born & raised in Jones County & attended Macon State. Some of his core issues he's running on are:





and so on.

Here's what Mauldin had to say about Incumbent Jim Marshall:

Marshall's voting record mirrors that of the mainstream democratic party of Obama, Pelosi, & Frank & is fast becoming a liability for this conservative district.

Mauldin joins a already crowded field that includes Valerie Myers, Ken Deloach, Paul Rish, Diane Vann, Angela Hicks.

Whoever becomes the GOP nominee to take on Marshall will have a uphill climb. Marshall is a hawk on defense & other military matters, a staunch supporter of agriculture, that has fended previous republican challengers in the past, most recently defeating Rick Goddard, who was considered a top-tier republican recruit by the NRSCC back in 2008 by a 57% to 42% margin. Unless a major scandal breaks out involving Marshall, expect him to win re-election to the 8th District.

President Obama & Agriculture

Longtime food policy observers are having a difficult time squaring the Department of Agriculture’s entrenched preference for high-tech industrial agriculture that emphasizes biotechnology and genetically engineered crops with its newfound interest in helping those who favor low-tech ag: small farmers, advocates of organic and local food and champions of sustainability.

When former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack was tapped as agriculture secretary by President Barack Obama, the presumption was that he would lean toward an emphasis on biotech. After all, Vilsack was once named governor of the year by the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

But Vilsack threw the agriculture community a curveball by naming as his deputy Kathleen Merrigan, an outspoken advocate for farm policies that favor conservation and sustainable land use. She drafted the 1990 act that produced federal organic standards.

President Obama agriculture picks sow confusion -

Proposed Coast Guard cuts put Camden on the defensive

Camden County leaders are battling a proposed U.S. Coast Guard budget cut that would take a maritime Homeland Security team away from Kings Bay.

Giving up the 85-member Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST) would be painful to the county, already suffering from high unemployment that's persisted since the closing of its major employer, Durango-Georgia Paper Co., and scores of residential and commercial-building foreclosures and business closings. Local leaders estimate the loss of the Coast Guard team at an annual economic impact of $8.5 million.

"We are all shocked by it; we did not see it coming," said Sheila McNeill, who is president of the military and community advocacy group, The Camden Partnership, and a past president of the Navy League of the United States. She has been key in lobbying for new and expanded military missions for Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base.

"I always make a statement when we go to Washington that we never complain about the loss of missions when it is for national security," she said. "But this is budget driven and our overall philosophy is to try to save all of the MSSTs."

For more on this click on the link at the top of page.

Sanford Bishop & Other Lawmakers Fight to Keep Farm Subsidies in Georgia

Georgia lawmakers are pushing back against a proposal in President Barack Obama’s budget that ends compensation to cotton and peanut farmers for storage costs when they hold back on selling crops until they can net better market rates.

“The credits allow producers to store their cotton and peanuts at the government’s cost until prices rise. Therefore, storage credits have a negative impact on the amount of commodities on the market,” said a White House Office of Management and Budget analysis released earlier this month.

“Because storage is covered by the government, producers may store their commodities for longer than necessary,” according to the analysis. “There is no reason the government should be paying for the storage of cotton or peanuts, particularly since it does not provide this assistance for other commodities.”

Read more here:

Lawmakers fight to keep cotton, peanut storage subsidies for Georgia farmers - Business -

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rob Teilhet Got the Endorsements of Two Civil Rights Legends

Today two of Atlanta’s most influential Democrats and strongest leaders in the African-American community endorsed Representative Rob Teilhet in his bid to be Georgia’s next Attorney General. The two legislators said their decision to endorse Teilhet was an easy one.

“I have worked closely with Rob Teilhet over the past eight years,” said Representative Brooks. “He has led on tough issues, from civil rights to preventing crime in our communities. Rob Teilhet is exactly what the people of Georgia need in an Attorney General at this moment in our history.”

Senator Fort agreed. “Rob Teilhet is the only candidate for Attorney General with a record on civil rights and standing up for everyday Georgians that we can have confidence in. And we need an Attorney General who truly understands the importance of civil rights and equal justice for all people.”

Representative Brooks, a leader in the civil rights community who worked under Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is President of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials (GABEO) and was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1980. Senator Fort, a professor and civil rights activist, was first elected to the Senate in 1996 and is among the General Assembly’s strongest voices on issues of civil rights and consumer protection. Today’s announcement follows the recent endorsements of former legislator and United States Senate Candidate Jim Martin and the Chairman of Georgia’s Legislative Black Caucus, Senator Emanuel Jones.

“I am honored to have earned the support of Representative Brooks and Senator Fort. Their work to protect all Georgians has been an inspiration to me,” said Representative Teilhet. “Making sure that Georgia is safer for all people is more than a campaign platform for me—it is the work of my life. I look forward to continuing that work with these strong leaders by my side.”

The race for Attorney General on the democratic side is shaping up to be one of the best races heading into the July 20 primary.

Hodges got the endorsements of Former Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court Leah Ward Sears, Former U.S. Ambassador, Atlanta Mayor, Congressman & Civil Rights Icon Andrew Young & Former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn (D-Perry).

Libertarians Chuck Donovan & John Monds

Two Libertarians, Chuck Donovan, who is running for the U.S. Senate & John Monds, who is running for Governor are trying to do what some people think is impossible:

Win statewide as a Libertarian.

First lets take a look a Donnovan:

Chuck Donovan is a professional pilot with over 33 years of private, military, and commercial aviation experience. Beginning in an immigrant working class neighborhood, he focused his life on aviation and eventually accomplished all of the things he had dreamed about when he was in the third grade. He served as a fighter/attack pilot in the US Marines from 1980 to 1986. He is currently flying in his 23rd year as a major airline pilot. He has commanded aircraft and crews to 6 of the 7 continents, but says the best lessons learned were while he flew around his own country.

Chuck says:

The Democratic and Republican party leadership have refused to make the difficult, unpopular decisions necessary to correct the problems they themselves have brought upon our great country.

I absolutely agree with that assertion that both parties don not want to make the necessary hard decisions to address the growing problems that are facing the country, in which they (democrats & republicans) helped create.

Keep your eye on Mr. Donovan.

Donovan's website is

John Monds is running for the Libertarian nomination for governor.

Monds In his capacity as a member and currently President of the Grady County NAACP, Monds has held financial literacy classes for the Holder Park Summer Program, helped implement the Freedom Day Health Fair and advocated for citizens who believed they had been treated unjustly. He is a twenty year member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and has held various leadership positions on the local and state level including President of the Mu Beta Beta chapter.

In addition,
Monds also serves on the Grady County Planning Commission, Grady County Habitat for Humanity board, the Libertarian Party of Georgia Executive Committee and the Grady County Fine Arts Project & is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Monds platform includes Reforming Georgia's Taxes, Tax Credits for parents, allowing more school options for parents, & balacing Georgia's Budget.

Mond's website is

I admit I haven't been watching these two gentlemen, but I will be keeping tabs on them from here, to all the way to the General Election. Two true small government candidates running for statewide offices should make the esrablishment republicans nervous comes election night. The Libertarian Party is a force to be reckoned with & now with the Equal Ballot Access Bill moving at the State Legislature, they will be a force on the political scene for many years to come.

Give credit to Jeff Sexton at Southwest Georgia Politics (SWGA Politics) for starting this movement to get the Equal Ballot Access passed by the General Assembly. Way to go Jeff! Yoy deserve all the credit on this.

Bishop: Debt must be addressed

ALBANY — U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop said that he's urging the Democratic leadership in both Congress and the White House to focus on reining in the country's growing debt problems in 2010.

A member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats, Bishop said that spending was necessary in 2009 in the context of such historic economic trouble, but that 2010 is the time for "fiscal restraint."

"We cannot continue to go deeper in debt," Bishop said. "We have to work to bring fiscal restraint back to Washington. Last year was a difficult time that required difficult decisions, but now we have to focus on our future in the context of a balanced budget."

Continue to read: Bishop: Debt must be addressed

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Educators Opposed to Governor's Plan

A few weeks ago I wrote about Senate Bill 386, a plan that would pay teachers according to success rates of students. Jeff Hubbard of the Georgia Association of Educators contends that though Gov. Perdue received positive input from some teachers surveyed, that was a few months ago and right before final exams. Now that all the details are out, nothing positive is being said and teachers want to be questioned again regarding their thoughts about the merit based pay system.

Hubbard and Gov. Perdue are encouraging educators to call their legislators and allow their voice to be heard.

If the bill passes, it is said to take effect by 2014.

Georgia farmers to Atlanta: Stop hogging water

This is a 3 yr old article from the Associated Press, but I just had to repost this to show y'all how serious this water issue really is.

Southwest Georgia is one of the most productive agricultural regions in Dixie, but you wouldn't know it from the soil under the corn, peanuts and cotton. It can be sandy, it can be pebbly, and it doesn't hold water very well.

That begins to explain why irrigation is so vital around here — and why the mere suggestion that some of the region's water might be taken away fills folks with fear and resentment.

With a historic drought gripping the Southeast, Georgia farmers are increasingly worried that their needs will be sacrificed to those of Atlanta — a city of runaway growth and seemingly unquenchable thirst — or water-guzzling Florida.

"Atlanta needs to take a hard look at what's happening in the metro area," said Bubba Johnson, a 68-year-old farmer who grows cotton and corn on a 500-acre plot. "There's going to be a heck of a battle if they try to come down here to get the water."

The drought has forced much of the state to enact unprecedented watering restrictions, and legislative leaders want to build more state reservoirs. Some — including Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin — have also floated the idea of transferring water to Atlanta from other places via pipeline.

Franklin has not specifically mentioned pumping water out of southwest Georgia's Flint River or its tributaries, but the mere possibility has stoked the long-standing tension between the big city and the countryside.

"I don't want to throw a brick at Atlanta. But I feel like we're getting squeezed between entities as everyone competes for water," said Glenn Cox, a farmer in Camilla. "We just don't have enough clout. There are more trees in this plot of land than there are people in this county."

Crops or lawns?
In a recent editorial, Valdosta Daily Times lashed out at Atlanta, accusing it of hogging water while farmers watch their crops burn in the fields.

Atlanta politicians, the newspaper said, "can't bring themselves to tell their greedy constituents complaining about the low flows in their toilets this week that perhaps if they didn't have six bathrooms, it might ease the situation a bit. That watering your lawn isn't as important as watering crops. Or that their greedy overbuilding has taxed their supplies of natural resources beyond their capabilities."

Between 1990 and 2000, Atlanta added more than 1 million people and its water use climbed 30 percent to about 420 million gallons a day. Now metropolitan Atlanta boasts roughly 5 million people and projects more than 2 million more by 2030, when water could climb past 700 million gallons a day.
In rural southwest Georgia, the biggest city, Albany, has about 160,000 people in the metro area. The region helps make Georgia the No. 1 peanut state.

Farmers have tilled the fields here for generations, but water use spiked in the 1970s with the rise of new irrigation technologies such as center pivots and underwater pumps. The farmers now rely on thousands and thousands of wells that tap into a huge aquifer fed by the streams that crisscross the region.

Eyes on neighbors, next year
The farmers have more to fear than just Atlanta. They are also watching with dismay as the Army Corps of Engineers sends water downstream to Florida and Alabama to run power plants and sustain federally protected mussels.

Johnson, president of the Mitchell County Farm Bureau, is pushing his neighbors and lawmakers to fight for local control of water.
"Before any water is transferred out, you have to make sure needs here are taken care of," he said.

Cox, who lives on a serene plot of land along the Flint River, grows sweet corn, field corn and peanuts. This year's harvest came out fine — peanuts can be surprisingly resilient — but he is already worried about next year's.

"I'm just hoping we won't get cut off. This is our livelihood. I'm a fifth-generation farmer. If I can't water, I won't be able to pass this land on to my 16-year-old daughter," he said.

Democrats Need to Face the Music: RJ Hadley will be the one & only Candidate for the Democratic Party. Get Used to it!

I just want to remind those out there who think Senator Johnny Isakson doesn't have a challenger for his seat in 2010. Well he does & his name is

R.J. Hadley (D-Conyers).

He is the democrat who will face Johnny Isakson in the general election barring some unforeseen event happening between now & the July 20 Primary.

Now let me talk to the democrats for a minute. I know that alot of you all are still hoping for a big name candidate with money from the democratic establishment. For example:

John Barrow: Not running

Jim Marshall: Not running

Shirley Franklin: Not running

Michael Thurmond: Not running

Jim Butler: Not running

Tim Golden: Not running

David Poythress: Not running, (Committed to Gov's race)

DuBose Porter: Not running (Committed to Gov's race)


This man has criss-crossed the state going to fish fries in Columbia County to Hotdog rallies in Houston County. He's gone & spoken to Tea Party Rallies & to Farmers of Rural Georgia & just this past weekend went to the Faith, Family, & Freedom rally up in Sandy Springs to speak to Christian Conservative voters, which according to some are hostile to democrats. Why is it so hard for democrats, especially the establishment democrats to show their support & get behind the candidacy of RJ Hadley? No he's not a looney liberal, no he's not a cooky conservative, he's just a middle-of-the-road, common sense, mainstream politician who wants to solve growing problems that are facing the country, which the current politicos in D.C. seems to not to have an answer for.

Yes, Johnny Isakson will be tough to beat, yes, Johnny Isakson has millions at his back, yes Johnny Isakson is a republican, running in a republican-leaning state, but that don't mean that he can't be defeated. RJ has demostrated a ability to seek common ground with those who may or maynot agree with his stances on some isues, he has shown a williness to go & address tough crowds who are not in favor of voting for a democrat, he has shown a williness to go & attract voters who are not the typical democratic voter, some maybe social conservatives, some are fiscal conservatives, independent leaning republicans, libertarians, you name it.

You can hope & pray & wish upon a star that a more so-called qualified candidate or well known candidate jumps in the senate race, but just remember that there is already a candidate running for the U.S. Senate & his name is RJ Hadley. Democrats ought to be ashamed of themselves for not wanting to support RJ. Even some of these elected democratic officials are hesitant in supporting RJ. Why? What are they afraid of. What? Even some of the black democrats are resistant in supporting Hadley. But they can support someone like Vernon Jones who got all sorts of heavy baggage from his fights with the Dekalb Co Commisison to allegations of misconduct towards women when he made his run for the senate in 2008, but they still showed their support knowing he would have gotten slaughtered in the general election.

Democrats supported Jim Martin who in my opinion ran a awful campaign. The only he did was rode the coattails for Barack Obama & barely made it to the runoff where all of the Obama supporters stayed home & therefore he got his tail handed to him.

But here you have RJ Hadley, who's doing everything he can to win over the support of the democratic party. He has a handful of democrats that are supporting him as well as some NAACP Chapters across the state, but he needs the entire party to get behind his candidacy. It seems like to many that the governor's race is the only important race that matters & the others, not so much. I support his candidacy & I hope others will do the same. I mean, I don't know what democrats are waiting on because the names I mentioned are no way in hell going to run. If they do, it will because Washington Democrats will promise to finance $1 million dollars to his or her campaign if he or she makes it out of the primary just like they did to Jim Martin in fear of a possible Vernon Jones, Dale Cardwell or Josh Lanier candidacy. I rather have someone who wants to run, someone who has the fire, the passion that someone who really doesn't have the heart to run & only running because of a monetary promise from the Demcoratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Democrats get off your asses & show RJ Hadley that you believe in his candidacy & you will support him all the way in his bid to unseat Johnny Isakson. This is absoulutely ridiculous in what I'm seeing right now.

Prsident Obama Wants to Cut Farm Programs for Agriculture. Why?

Agriculture advocacy groups have reacted with a flurry of unhappy responses to President Obama’s Feb. 1 release of his proposed 2011 budget.

The proposed budget “reflects the serious challenges facing the country,” said Obama the day of its release. “We’re at war. Our economy has lost 7 million jobs over the last two years. And our government is deeply in debt after what can only be described as a decade of profligacy.” Read Obama’s full statement on page 2

Obama’s attempt to control government spending (pegged at over $1.5 trillion for this year) would mean payment cuts not only to large farmers (more than $2 billion over a decade) and agriculture-related insurance (some $8 billion over a decade) — but also, to the consternation of some environmental groups, would reduce the growth of conservation programs.

Crop insurance has been on the Obama administration’s radar for months. The latest budget comes after the December release of a proposal for a new Federal Crop Insurance Program. According to the budget proposal “crop-insurance companies currently benefit from huge windfall profits due to the structure and terms of the government’s contract with the companies, called the Standard Reinsurance Agreement.

Two other proposals sure to draw growers’ ire are:

For more click on the link at the top

Americus-Sumter County NAACP Demands Answers for Violations at GDOL

Down in Sumter County the local NAACP said it has filed complaints with the Georgia Department of Labor ( GA DOL) officials over what it contends have been unfair hearings of dozens of discrimination complaints submitted by the civil-rights organization on behalf of employees.

Matt Wright, president of the Sumter County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), said his organization has issues with the way specific DOL board of review officials violate their own policies when the DOL accepted an employee's appeal that was date stamped with a meter machine for purposes of timeliness.

Wright said the Department also has prevented NAACP officials from representing an employee at the DOL hearings in Cordele, GA and that is a violation of policy. "We do have issues with the merits of some cases and do believe that the Department of Labor's policies are being violated by its own people, time and time again," he said. He wants all of the Americus and Sumter County NAACP cases that have been submitted to these officials to be reviewed for policy violations and for the merits of those cases during the administration of Ms. Alice Mitchell, chief of appeals.

"We want a whole new set of hearings because there is no way of knowing how many employees has been victimized by the current system which didn't allow them to present the merits of their complaints," Wright said. " Wright said his office has submitted about 40 cases to the Department of Labor, from the Americus, Albany and Cordele areas. They typically deal with discrimination complaints or issues with employees not receiving unemployment benefits that they are entitled to.

Wright said the NAACP successfully fought DOL to get Administrative Hearing Officer JoAnne Snell Cook removed from the NAACP submitted cases. However, they also want the officers who report to Ms Cook to be removed from the NAACP submitted cases because Cook's superiors supported her in all of the violations his office reported and she was not removed until the next level of management was contacted. He also wants a third and separate party to hear cases submitted by the NAACP of Americus and Sumter County that do not report to the current administration head by Ms Alice Mitchell, chief of appeals.

"We have raised this issue on behalf of the employees," Wright said. "No one has been able to stand up for them until now concerning DOL issues and complaints. Wright said they have filed complaints with the GA Department of Labor (GDOL) on their concerns with the department. He added that the NAACP may file federal lawsuits if they don't get satisfactory results from them.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Michael Mills, a Rising Star in Democratic Circles looking to become the next Secretary of State

He's young, energetic, passionate & he wants to be the next Secretary of State. Yes I'm talking about Michael Mills. Although he's no stranger to Georgia Politics, he worke as a legislative aide to then Secretary of State Lewis Massey & then as press secretary to Mark Taylor successful campaign for Lt.Governor back in '98.

Now he wants his shot at his old boss's office Secretary of State. He is in a field that includes Gary Horlacher, a former press secretary for Roy Barnes 1998 campaign, Gail Buckner, who ran for SOS back in 2006, as well as Darryl Hicks, a native of Crawford County & Angela Moore.

He brings a mix of political, business & elections experience to the table in his run for Secretary of State, which is badly needed from the hyper, partisan four years Karen Handel. Mills platform includes:

Building a Georgia that allows citizens to have a voice, become prosperous and is a place we can all be proud to call home.

Ensuring the security of Georgia’s election system while limiting unnecessary barriers to voting for all eligible citizens.

Growing jobs and revenue by creating a business resource center for small companies, non-profits and entrepreneurs at the Corporations Division.

Protecting citizens against financial ruin and fraud through the professional Licensing and Securities Divisions

Michael grew up in a hard-working blue collar environment with dedicated parents who instilled a deep sense of values and service to others. His mother was a registered nurse and his father was a school teacher. The lessons of hard work, perseverance and personal responsibility learned at home stick with him today.

Mills made a natural transition to the public policy world, working at PR firms to shape health care, environmental and transportation legislation. Highlights included

Building a statewide coalition to educate elected officials about the Kyoto Protocol and global warming,

Serving as a key strategist for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce’s Clean Water Initiative.

He served as a board member for the League of Women Voters of Georgia

And launched Vote for America-Georgia, a non-profit dedicated to improving educated voter turnout across the metro Atlanta region.

He also supported non-profits by driving corporate philanthropy and service, while empowering small and medium-sized businesses to work with one of the world’s largest brands – enhancing local revenues and creating jobs in the process.

He was selected to Georgia Trend Magazine’s list of “40 Under 40,” is a Leadership Buckhead graduate and was named Georgia State University, Communications Department “alumni of the year,” for his work with Coalition for a Voting America and Vote for America-Georgia.

Mills has accomplished alot during his time & now it maybe his time to take the reigns of Secretary State & put his experience & expertise to work to make the state of Georgia to grow & prosper in helping small businesses & creating & bringing world-class jobs to the Peach state. Mills is a battled tested guy who is the future of Georgia & the democratic party. He's going up against veterans like Gail Buckner, Gary Horlacher, Angela Moore, who herself is a small busniess owner in his bid to become the democratic nominee against either Brian Kemp, a Perdue Lapdog who was appointed to the position or Doug Macginnite, who is running strong at the moment.

DuBose Porter & The Christian Vote

DuBose Porter spoke at the Georgia Christian Alliance Faith, Family & Freedom rally this past weekend, where he spoke to a group that normally is in the backpockey of the Republican Party. But that didn't stop Porter who served on the administrative board of his church, First United Methodist Church in Dublin & his wife who is a sunday school teacher.

One of his quotes at the event on Saturday was music to my ears. Portersaid "I am tired of people saying that you can't be a christian & a democrat, because I am. My faith is important to me, its important to my family & so on.

I'm happy to see Porter court this voting bloc because it's one of the most reliable bloc of voters in the state. According to Jim Galloway of the Atlanta Journal Constitution & others who saw the event, Porter did very well among the christian conservatives in the room. Being from a small town & being heavily involved with his church as well as his entire family, Porter may have a huge advantage when it comes to courting that religious vote.

Democrats must not be timid in going after these voters. Faith plays a huge role in shaping their lives & play a huge factor in their everyday decisions. Democrats may not win 55% of the vote from christian conservatives, but just by competing for their vote at the end will payoff for the party. If they can get between 35-45% of the religious vote, dems will be in good shape & if Porter ends up as the nominee of the party, democrats should feel good about their chances of getting their chunk of the religious vote. I'm not saying the other candidates (democrat) are afraid of courting the religious vote & that they can't appeal to them, it just seems that Porter is a natural fit for this constituency. I hope DuBose continues to court the christian vote.

I have nothing against liberals & they are entitled to their own opinion, but democrats need a candidate that will do the following things to bring values voters back to the party:

Reshape the democratic message on values that have been brushed aside with the excuse of separating church & state

Reopen the Democratic Psrty of Georgia up to religious groups that have been forced out & help give them a voice within the party itself

And repair the perceived lack of values in the Democratic Party of Georgia & begin to move away from liberal stances that have given democrats here in Georgia a bad name & that has brought a negative attitude toward the party.

Right now, DuBose is off to a great start on that front. Keep it up.

Healthcare Reform is Anti-Gun? That's what the Gun Owners of America Say. Here's an email I received from the Organization

Put a Stake Through the Heart of the Anti-gun ObamaCare Bill!

Before the January 19th election of Republican Scott Brown as United States Senator from Massachusetts, we were being told that ObamaCare would be crammed down our throats whether we liked it or not and that any effort to defeat this monstrosity was hopeless.

After Brown's election in socialistic Massachusetts sent shock waves through the liberal Democratic establishment, too many pro-gunners had assumed that we had won -- and that we could just stop fighting and go home.

But a football team doesn't leave the field and go home at half time, even if it has a healthy lead.

And Nancy Pelosi hasn't given up her efforts to socialize America's health care system and bring your private medical matters under strict government control. Fox News is reporting today that congressional leaders are working on a compromise.

Pelosi herself has said that, if the "gate" to ObamaCare is locked, she will climb over the fence -- or pole-vault over the wall -- or parachute to a liberal socialist victory.

Pelosi's only viable strategy is to get a reluctant House to pass the Senate's bribe-laden, Medicare-cutting, gun-banning bill -- but do so in conjunction with a "fix-it" bill which would pass the House at the same time under quickie "reconciliation" procedures.

We still have plenty of parliamentary tricks up our sleeves to try to block this. But the easiest way to bury ObamaCare once and for all is to get just one House member to switch his vote -- from supporting ObamaCare last fall to opposing it now.

The President's spokesman, Robert Gibbs, is boasting that they are one vote away from passing it in the House. So if we can switch one vote, we can take the "undead" ObamaCare bill and drive a stake through its heart, cut its head off at a midnight crossroads, shoot it with a silver bullet, put garlic around its neck, and bury it in a lead casket with a crucifix on the top. And, given the damage which ObamaCare would do to America, this is hardly too much overkill.

ACTION: So, we are asking you to write your congressman again. Tell him you want a commitment to oppose the corrupt bribe-laden Senate ObamaCare bill -- and to oppose any effort to fix it up.

----- Pre-written letter -----

Dear Representative:

Nancy Pelosi hasn't given up her efforts to socialize America's health care system and bring me and private medical matters under strict government control. She has said that, if the gate to ObamaCare is locked, she will climb over the fence -- or pole-vault over the wall -- or parachute to a liberal socialist victory.

Pelosi's only viable strategy is to get the House to pass the Senate's bribe-laden, Medicare-cutting, gun-banning bill -- but do so in conjunction with a "'"fix-it" bill which would pass the House at the same time.

The Senate would then kill the "fix-it" bill under the arcane "Byrd rule" -- but gullible House members would claim that wasn't their fault.

It is time to bury ObamaCare once and for all. This legislation will allow the ATF to troll a health/gun database in order to take away firearms from tens of millions of Americans. Not only that, the federal bill is jam-packed with billions of dollars of bribes paid to buy the votes of unscrupulous senators and will impose a host of new taxes on me and my family.

So please make the following commitments:

* To vote against the bribe-laden, gun banning Senate ObamaCare bill under any circumstances; and,

* To publicly declare that the corrupt monstrosity is too sleazy to be cleaned up by any fix-it bill.

If you believe the American people are angry now, wait until Nancy Pelosi shoves this down our throats.

Please take this abomination off the table now -- once and for all. And, please let me hear from you that you will not vote for ObamaCare.

Now I'm a huge supporter of the second amendment & a gun owner myself. I never knew that Healthcare, (or Health insurance) reform will weakened gun rights of gun owners, or lead to the banning of certain guns for individuals.

One of their main beefs in the legislation is that the mandates in the legislation will most likely dump your gun-related health data into a government database that was created in section 13001 of the stimulus bill. This includes any firearms-related information your doctor has gleaned... or any determination of PTSD, or something similar, that can preclude you from owning firearms. In other words, the passage of a Health reporm bill may lead to a National Gun Registry, which the GOA are strongly opposed to. Keep an eye on this if you will.
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