America has dealt admirably with two major demons. But that comes to an end tonight. First, inter-collegiate gridiron varsity football at the FBS level resumes action. Your savior? Georgia State University.

For 683 days the nation has mourned. But that ends when your beloved Panthers secures their first win of the season and first since October 13, 2012 Yes, that’s right, GSU will crush Abilene Christian University, restoring all decency to the universe!

Don’t forget to sign up for the college football pick ‘em. 

“Be True to Your School” by The Beach Boys. 

  1. Georgia 16th-most stable state with gubernatorial elections. 
  2. 55% of Georgians were born here; we get one of the highest numbers of New York transplants. 
  3. Atlanta police rarely convicted when using force. 
  4. Buttplugs. Marxist takeovers. All that and more (much more) is in Common Core standards.
  5. That’s not just true, it’s a fact. 
  6. SC, NC offer Georgia a lesson in fixing erroneous borders. 
  7. Dennis Lockhart, Atlanta Fed Prez, sez mid-2015 is when interest rates will go up. 
  8. WXIA reporter has a reporter’s notebook from Ferguson. 
  9. History being destroyed in Atlanta and other parts of Georgia.
  10. If there’s one thing we do really well here, it’s get rid of neat buildings.
  11. I pity the judge overseeing the APS trial. 
  12. Now that Frank Blake is retiring, what happens to his Bobblehead?
  13. #TheToughQuestions
  14. Delta says things are flying high for the Atlanta-based airline. 
  15. UPS, pilots’ union, “took actions prejudicial” to crash investigation. Both barred from probe.
  16. First Ponce City Market restaurant to open between Nov. 15 and Jan. 15. 
  17. So there’s a, uh, slight height difference between Manny Pacquiao and Chris Algieri. 

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Panthers Add Vols to Schedule

August 26, 2014 20:10 pm

by Ed · 2 comments

That sound you heard was a gasp of fear in Knoxville, Tenn.

On Tuesday, the Georgia State University Athletic Department announced that Panthers will play a game of football against the University of Tennessee in 2019.

It will be the second trip to Knoxville for the Panthers. In 2012, the Vols won a nail-biter of a duel.

I say all that to say this: SIGN UP FOR THE PEACH PUNDIT COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK ‘EM TOURNAMENT! 

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This is a file obtained through an Open Records request from DeKalb County today. It contains a list of all invoices paid from Elaine Boyer’s account from 2009 to 2011 — the amount, the recipient and the purpose.

The federal filing today describes an unnamed “advisor” taking more than $78,000 from the county for consulting services that were never rendered, kicking back three-quarters of the cash to Boyer. Several consultants are listed in this document.  It’s conceivable that a single party billed under multiple names to add up to $78,000. But only one appears to have taken more than $78,000 individually over the time period described: M Rooks Boynton.

I’m not sure who Boynton is yet, and I can’t be sure Boynton is actually the person at issue. The address listed in procurement filings is a post office box which is also associated with Rooks Boynton Ministries of Clarkston. Marion Rooks Boynton is listed as an officer of Rooks Boynton Ministries, Inc. of Clarkston. A Rooks Boynton is listed in a fraternity newsletter as an athlete at UGA in 1962.

I’ve called phone numbers associated with his name and address, and run into disconnections. I will update this as data becomes available.

Download (XLS, 126KB)

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In the second round of balloting, David Clark, brother of current House District 98 Rep. Josh Clark, was selected by the Georgia Republican Party Executive Committee to be on the November ballot. Clark was chosen over David Hancock by a vote of 20-6.

Clark and Hancock survived the first round of balloting by the Executive Committee. Vote totals were:

David Clark – 9
David Hancock – 8
James Sanford – 4
Clint Dixon – 3
Tommy Hughes – 3

Three of the finalists were selected by a subcommittee headed by Seventh District Chairman Jason Thompson. The subcommittee narrowed the original nine applicants to three: David Hancock, Tommy Hughes and Clint Dixon, with Hancock being the first choice of the committee, supported by all five members.

In addition to the three candidates nominated by the subcommittee, James Sanford was nominated by Georgia GOP Second Vice-Chair Ron Johnson and David Clark was nominated by GOP National Committeewoman Linda Herren.

In part, the subcommittee screened the applicants for basic political and civic knowledge, for example asking who the district’s state senator and school board representative were, or the applicant’s position on the second amendment.

The committee also examined each candidate’s voting history. One of the candidates faced scrutiny because he had crossed over to the Democratic ticket in 2008 to vote for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama, following the advice of Rush Limbaugh and Operation Chaos.

Each of the five was given two minutes to address the full Executive Committee.

Clark replaces Michael Brown, who won the Republican primary against Hancock in May. Brown passed away August 19th of natural causes. Because Gwinnett’s ballots were already being printed, the replacement candidate had to be chosen quickly.

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Olens and Tisdale, courtesy of the AJC

Two days after Attorney General Olens made news for defending videographer/activist Nydia Tisdale, Judge Robert Adamson ruled in his favor on her behalf. In the heady days of 2012, Mayor Henry Ford Gravitt ordered Ms. Tisdale to stop filming a meeting of the Cumming City Council. As is fast becoming her trademark, she refused, a right protected by Georgia’s Open Meeting Act. From the AG’s Office: [click to continue…]

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Unemployment and Job Growth

August 26, 2014 12:15 pm

by Jon Richards · 9 comments

The Huffington Post picked up on remarks made at Saturday’s GOP rally at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm by Senate candidate David Perdue and Labor Secretary Mark Butler with respect to Georgia’s unemployment rate and the number of jobs that have been added in the Peach State.

“We’re working. I agree with whoever said…don’t worry about that unemployment number,” said Perdue. “Worry about the number of jobs created. The raw number. That’s what’s important.”

Perdue was agreeing with a comment by Georgia Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler, who had spoken prior to him at the event. Butler said the truly important metric of how the economy was doing was the number of private sector jobs created.

“The reason why we’ve had it [higher unemployment] is there’s been 45,000 less government jobs in the last three months,” said Butler. “The private sector has put up 42,000 jobs in the last three months. Which one do you think is more important? The private sector or government? The private sector.”

Last week, the Labor Department announced the unemployment rate in Georgia rose to 8.0% in July, up six tenths of a point from June.

Butler made a similar claim when he spoke to attendees at a rally in Rome earlier in the day. When he was asked later about where the government job losses came from, he said that they were largely due seasonal cutbacks in education, including things like school bus drivers and cafeteria workers. Now that school has started and classes have begun on college campuses, most all of those workers will be returning to their jobs.

In a hotly contested governor’s race, the incumbent will naturally talk about the number of new jobs created during his watch. The challenger will focus on the unemployment rate, which is the second highest in the country. If Labor Secretary Butler is correct, the unemployment rate will decline as we get closer to the November election.

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The Georgia Medical Cannabis Study Committee will be having its inaugural meeting at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta tomorrow (August 27th). This committee, officially titled, “Study Committee on Prescription Medical Cannabis for Serious Medical Conditions” is a joint committee comprising of four House and Senate members respectively, namely;

Co-Chairs: Sen. Renee Unterman, 45th & Rep. Alan Peake, 141st
Sen. Dean Burke, 11th
Sen. Butch Miller, 49th
Sen. Curt Thompson, 5th
Rep. Micah Gravley, 67th
Rep. Rich Golick, 40th
Rep. Margaret Kaiser, 59th

The committee meeting will run from 1 pm – 3 pm, and will be held in Room 341 of the Georgia State Capitol, 206 Washington St SW Atlanta, GA 30334. The Agenda of this meeting is titled, “Overview of Medical Marijuana laws”.

James Bell, Georgia C.A.R.E (Campaign for Access Reform and Education) Director is expected to testify before this committee.

Other meeting dates scheduled are as follows:
Wednesday, September 10: 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Mercer University
Wednesday, October 1: 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Georgia Gwinnett College
Wednesday, October 22: 1:00p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Georgia Regents University
Wednesday, November 12: 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Georgia State Capitol

P.S: I never imagined that my first topical post on Peach Pundit would be on marijuana but I am told it is for a good cause.

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Former Dalton Mayor David Pennington penned his thoughts on what is ailing Georgia: his fellow Republicans.

The 2014 Republican gubernatorial candidate, who came in second with 17% behind incumbent Governor Nathan Deal who garnered 72% of the Republican vote this past May, outlined the ills of Georgia pointing that Republicans don’t “practice what we preach” when it comes to limited government. Are we there after 12 years of holding the governor’s mansion? No, but I believe we are moving in that direction. Recently, we’ve seen pro-2nd amendment legislation given the green light by the Republican legislature and governor as well as zero-based budgeting and other things that have led to the growth of the Georgia economy.

It’s still sluggish, but with Georgia being ranked number one by a leading business news outlet, I believe it means that Georgia has a good long-term outlook as being a pro-business state. Of course, that also means that we need to work on how our public schools educate children, and Governor Deal has been working on that as well. In fact, the Technology Association of Georgia has joined with the governor in an effort to allow students to study programming languages as an alternative to some core curriculum courses. Chet has an article about that.

The former mayor closed with this:

In the last twelve years, Georgia’s Republican leadership has presided over what is arguably the largest economic decline, relative to the rest of the country, since the Civil War. This decline can be reversed if true limited government Republicans have the courage to enact bold policy changes. But the clock is ticking.

If he’s referring to all of Georgia’s Republican leadership, then I’m curious if he is lumping himself into that category since he served as Dalton’s mayor from 2007 until March of this year. Georgia is not an island (although, I’m sure that there are a few that wish it were). In the past 12 years, we have seen the recovery after 9/11 that was sluggish, and we saw the economic collapse due to the housing market in 2007. Georgia’s economy was impacted by the last downturn, and Mayor Pennington saw it first hand…and did help ease some of the woes caused by floor covering manufacturers closing plants in Dalton.

There are plenty of good Republican men and women governing our state, and put a lot of time, effort, and talent to make Georgia an even better state. I thought David was a good mayor and did a lot to help Dalton, and to an extent Whitfield County, ease the blow of the economic collapse. However, I’m willing to bet that governing a state with a population close to 10 million is a bit different than governing a city of about 33,500. I’m not sure if the former mayor is still licking his wounds from a long primary and flinging a few stones at #TheEstablishment Goliath, or if he’s trying to capitalize on the “anti-establishment” tone that has been fluttering about for the past few months and use it as momentum towards a 2018 campaign. The 2014 primaries are in the books, and no amount of rhetoric will change that and may work against his fellow Republicans.

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Turner Broadcasting Cutting Payrolls

August 26, 2014 10:48 am

by Ed · 0 comments

Hundreds of Turner employees could be without a job.

In a letter sent out to employees on Tuesday, the Atlanta-based broadcaster said it was “shifting capital allocations to high-growth areas where investment will drive growth and profitability.” In other words: job cuts.

First off will be voluntary buyouts for U.S.-based employees 55 and older who have 10 years of service and are not on-air talent. After that “Turner will also undertake additional reductions in staffing.”

A source no less reputable than CNN says about 600 employees are eligible for the buyout. Employees who accept the buyout will receive nine weeks of salary plus an additional four weeks per year of employment.

The CNN report says the company has never had large-scale buyouts before but I seem to recall there were some after the merger in the 90s but maybe my memory is hazy.

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Governor Deal’s administration has been characterized by loud rhetorical duels and quiet policy tweaks. In that admirable tradition, the Technology Association of Georgia has joined the governor in backing curriculum reform (no, not that) that will allow students to substitute programming courses for other core requirements like math, science or foreign language. From TAG:

The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), the state’s leading association dedicated to the promotion and economic advancement of Georgia’s technology industry, today joined Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and other leaders in recommending that the State Board of Education amend state policy to allow computer programming courses to satisfy core requirements — math, science or foreign language — for receiving a high school diploma. Deal is asking the Board of Regents of the University System to follow suit by accepting these courses for admission into institutions of higher education.

“Students need to acquire the 21st century skills necessary to thrive in the modern workforce,” Deal said. “Computing is currently one of the fastest growing occupations in the country with average salaries nearly twice the national rate. In fact, more than half of the projected job growth in the STEM fields will be in computing occupations. We must begin training our young people in these areas prior to their post-secondary education so they are prepared to fill these high-wages, in-demand positions.” [click to continue…]

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Updated:  The AJC is reporting that at today’s hearing, Commissioner Boyer announced she intends to plead guilty.  Also, this case goes beyond misuse of her P-Card to finance personal expenditures.

Boyer authorized more than $78,000 in county payments to an adviser who submitted false invoices for consulting work but did nothing, according to a criminal information filed Tuesday morning.

The adviser then funneled about 75 percent of the money, more than $58,000, back into Boyer’s personal bank account, the document alleges. She faced a charge of mail fraud conspiracy for that scheme.

The court documents didn’t name the adviser and no charges apparently have been filed against that person, even though he apparently pocketed about $20,000 in taxpayer money. The documents say Boyer used her share for personal expenses, including purchases at hotels and high-end department stores.

Original story remains below. [click to continue…]

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I have learned to start every introduction with, “Hi, my name is Will Kremer. I’m that guy from Facebook.” At nearly every political event I attend I am inevitably approached by a complete stranger who firmly grips my hand and shakes it uncontrollably while asking, “Are you Will Kremer? Aren’t we friends on Facebook?” If you do not know me from social media, then you might recognize me from the Peach Pundit Immigration Forum.

My name is Will Kremer; I am 21 years old and hail from the paradise known as Cumming, Georgia. I study American Politics at the University of North Georgia. My titles outside of Peach Pundit include: Chairman of the Georgia Association of College Republicans and professional Whataburger customer. At any given time, you may find me driving a Ford Focus, ordering food from Waffle House or talking about Texas.

I enjoy writing and speaking about Millennials. We are a generation that has yet to define ourselves as anything other than lazy, foolish and confused. Polling data indicates my generation believes that lowering taxes and shrinking the size of the federal government is imperative, but also believe tax increases are necessary to protect government services. Simply put, we lack direction. I seek to learn how to engage Millennials in meaningful political conversation. After all, it is possible.

I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to engage with and learn from the Peach Pundit Overlords editors and readers. Let’s get this show on the road and hope for the best.

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An Introduction

August 26, 2014 9:15 am

by Joash Thomas · 19 comments

Good day to you all! Being one of the newer members on this team, I was asked to do an introductory post about myself. If you know me, you know that should not be a problem at all seeing how much I love to talk about myself. So here we go.

My name is Joash Thomas and I am all but 21 years old. I am currently wrapping up my Senior year at Georgia State University where I have the privilege of serving as a Student Government Senator (hey WRAS Turner Field) and the Chairman of the ever-growing College Republican chapter there (full disclosure). I study Political Science with a Concentration in International Affairs in addition to a Minor in Public Policy. So yes, I get the best of both worlds.

My story? I was born and raised in Mumbai, India for the first 18 years of my life after which my family decided to move to Atlanta, GA in search of better opportunities. I started working my way through College, first at the Coca-Cola Company (again, full disclosure) and then later at school. In the meantime, I also had the privilege of Interning for State Representatives Scot Turner and Michael Caldwell, which eventually turned into a job as Representative Caldwell’s Aide during session this Spring. I currently work for State Representative Timothy Barr as his Communications Director (I should give up on “full disclosures” at this point) and am honored to now Intern for the amazing team here at Peach Pundit.

My role here will be centered around contributing to the Peach Pundit Daily (Mike Hassinger asked me to tell you to Sign up here) and will occasionally even involve contributing posts. I am grateful for this opportunity and I look forward to doing my bit to engage y’all with the Political happenings in the Peach State. Oh and yeah, Go State!

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Georgia:

  • Most qualified person ever seeks Cordele public defender job (ajc)
  • Kasim Reed has some thoughts on the death of Michael Brown (clatl)
  • Commissioner Boyer has resigned in the first casualty in the P-Card/Me-Card kerfuffle (ajc)
  • Sam Olens appears to be getting the hair dryer treatment in sanctions hearing (ajc)
  • Top to bottom review of regent schools athletic programs likely to find redundancies at tailback (onlineathens)
  • Arthur Blank’s challenge is to improve transit and education (clatl)
  • Convicted child molesters getting guns (ajc)
  • Ocmulgee Judge who died too soon remembered (Dailyreport)
  • All your (Statesboro area radio) base are belong to Cecil Staton no longer,
  • Meet your new radio overlord, Neal Ardman. (statesboroherald)
  • Why would you have breakfast with the Beer Wholesalers? (clatl)
  • Parties plan to reach out to non-whites (SavannahNow)

National:

  • Convicting Darren Wilson Will Be Basically Impossible (New Republic)
  • Myth #1: ISIS is crazy and irrational (Vox)
  • These are the 25 most popular mobile apps in America (Quartz)
  • Jeff Bridges has his own ways of navigating Hollywood and making art (WSJ)
  • The amazing tale of the North Woods Hermit (GQ)
  • The Making of Vladimir Putin (Politico)
  • Profits Without Prosperity: Corporate profits and markets have recovered. The rest of America has not (Harvard Business Review)
  • The Soft-Kill Solution: New frontiers in crowd compliance (Harper’s)
  • Sources of American Political Dysfunction: Institutions in Decay (Foreign Affairs)
  • Saving Horatio Alger: Equality, Opportunity, and the American Dream (Brookings)
  • The Hedge Fund and the Despot: Mugabe and Och-Ziff Capital Management (Businessweek)
  • Evaporated in Syria, the World’s Most Dangerous Place for Journalists (Vanity Fair)
  • Wrecking an Economy Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry (New Republic)
  • A History of This^, #This, and This (Medium)
  • Lorne Again (Grantlandsee also ‘SNL’ Political Secrets Revealed: Hillary’s “Entitlement,” the Sketch Obama Killed and the Show’s “Karl Rove” (Hollywood Reporter)

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Saying she “no longer wants to be a distraction”, DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer has resigned.  WSB has the story:

Today, Boyer, who has spent 22 years in office, sat down exclusively with Channel 2′s Jodie Fleischer.

“It’s a very hard decision and I’m heartbroken and saddened, but I need to resign,” said Boyer.

Boyer had already paid back about half of those charges before the investigation and has since paid back the rest of the money.

She told Fleischer, “I’ve betrayed the people and I’ve abused my position of power, and so I feel like I need to do this and publicly acknowledge that I’m ending my position today as of 5 p.m.”

I’ve always had a good relationship with Commissioner Boyer and will say this is a sad end to her decades of service.  We’ll update as additional information becomes available.

 

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