By Clayton

A Pause In The Action

Howdy all –

No doubt you’re wondering, given what happened last week, what’s to become of Peach Pundit. That’s a great question, and one I’ll be trying to answer over the next little bit.

Friday’s walkout was unexpected but not surprising. I wish Charlie and the contributors all the best with their new venture, and I have no doubt they will continue to carry on the fine work they’ve put in at Peach Pundit over the years.

For the time being, things will be kind of slow around here. I’ve already had several folks reach out and offer suggestions. If you’ve got one for me, please let me know at clayton -at- peachpundit.com.

In the meantime, I beg your indulgence as we figure out just what the next chapter of Peach Pundit looks like.

Thanks for your patience, and we’ll let you know when the fire gets lit again.

Best,

Clayton Wagar

P.S. – In the spirit of days past.. Consider this an open thread!!

Let’s set the record straight on #peachbreach

Last night, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp released a statement regarding the improper dissemination of Personal Information (PI) of 6.1 million current and former Georgia voters. This information included the full Social Security number, driver’s license number, and full date of birth for these individuals. Yesterday, I blogged about how Peach Pundit received the data and was part of the physical data recovery effort on the part of the GASOS office.

As I sit here this morning, there are still some problems with the response of the GASOS. Some of those problems involve Peach Pundit and myself. And given that we are talking about a potential $30.5 BILLION problem, accuracy is pretty important.

Let’s start with the fact that the list of disk recipients that the GASOS gave to the AJC is incorrect.

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The #peachbreach hits keep on coming… SOS likely to fight in 50 states

As a result of my post only an hour ago, a colleague contacted me and asked about the data contained in the breach. This colleague and his wife relocated from Atlanta to the state of Washington a few years ago.

But, the Voter File doesn’t purge voters unless they proactively notify the government of the move. Which, I’m sure all of us do (/sarcasm). [Update: The Voter File doesn’t keep names forever… if there is a loss of contact of a voter you will eventually roll off. But for sure there are lots names on the list that appear “active” who live out of state.]

Almost every state has different data breach notification and penalty laws. Georgia’s are quite stringent. California’s are even more so.

It’s becoming clear to me that there are likely thousands of people in the leaked data who live in other states. And that makes the Georgia SOS responsible under the laws of those states. Making this potentially a 50-state knot to untie.

I’m hearing from several folks that these disks are generated and managed by an outside contractor with strong ties to the SOS office. As the photo below shows, these things are sent by the SOS Elections Office as official Election Material, no matter who does the stamp licking.

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Georgia SOS Office treats data breach like nude selfie; asks boyfriends to delete from phone

Every month, usually the second week of the month, I receive a CD-ROM from the Georgia Secretary of State Election Office. About two years ago, I requested a copy of the Georgia voter file to perform some analysis of Georgia voters. As a press outlet (yes, we really are), I continue to receive this disk every month, delivered like clockwork to my home address. It’s useful on occasion when preparing investigative pieces, or for background for voter trends in Georgia.

I tend to save the data every few months to have a ‘fresh’ version, but don’t keep every copy. There are plenty of political parties and for-profit entities that track this data, and can provide much more meaningful analysis than I can.

Yesterday, Erick forwarded an email he had received via both the Redstate and WSB contact forms from an investigator with the GASOS office. The investigator was looking for me, and didn’t have anything but my name and address. This, despite the fact that the SOS form that I filled out requesting the Voter File contained my mobile number and contact information. The investigator sent the requests to Erick at 3:20PM, he forwarded them to me at 4PM, and I called at 4:10PM. The investigator asked if I still lived at the “Newcastle Drive” address, and if I was at home. I was not, I told him, but I could take a look for the disk later in the evening. “OK, then”, he said, “I’ll turn around”.

Excuse me?

Somebody wanted that disk back pretty badly.

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The New, Unexpected Peach Pundit

Hey folks – sorry for the downtime this morning. The old site was hacked and it was a good opportunity to slim things down. (In my field we call that “technical debt”).

We’re back online, but not without some changes. As you can see, I’ve ditched the ancient look-and-feel of the old site and have temporarily put us in some new digs. Don’t panic, it’ll get a little more fancy over time. But for now, enjoy the zen-like simplicity. As a result, things should be much faster and easier for me to maintain.

Thanks for your patience, and please feel free to use this post to leave comments about the shakeup.

Clayton

COMING MONDAY: Peach Pundit Daily

Monday, January 28 marks the start of “Peach Pundit Daily” a fresh set of insight, information, commentary political predictions that have made Peach Pundit the best-read political blog in Georgia.

Peach Pundit Daily will be delivered exclusively as an email newsletter – so sign up to receive Peach Pundit Daily via email here. You won’t be charged*, spammed or sold. The newsletter will focus on Peach State politics, policy, polling – and predictions. New content, more insight.

As an added bonus, Peach Pundit will release exclusive poll results on Monday showing who’s possibly in the pole position for Saxby’s Senate seat. Peach Pundit Daily subscribers will get the news before anyone else – and before it’s posted to Peach Pundit.

Want to know how Georgia really works (or doesn’t)? Sign Up For Peach Pundit Daily Now

* For now, Peach Pundit Daily is free to join – so take advantage and sign up today!

We don’t often take ads here at PeachPundit, but when we do…

It’s for Karen Handel’s new book Planned Bullyhood. Please do check out the website and learn more!

Update by Buzz: Here’s an inside look at the book. I replaced the AP story with a better one.

Handel says it’s Planned Parenthood that hasn’t let the issue go, calling the group’s actions “bullying at the height of bullyism.” She says the media blitz continued even after she resigned, and she blames Planned Parenthood for that. “It’s outrageous and it’s one of the reasons why I had to write this book. If someone doesn’t stand up to them and turn around and punch them in the nose, they’re gonna keep doing this over and over and over again. Bullies always have another target.”

Roadshow EXTRA: Drinking Made Easy!

It’s my pleasure to introduce a SPECIAL EDITION of the PeachPundit roadshow series – A night of comedy at Center Stage with comedian Zane Lamprey!

Zane is a buddy of mine who is the host of the hilarious series “Three Sheets” – originally on the MojoHD channel, and recently on FLN and The Travel Channel. He travels around the world ‘studying’ local drinking customs, beverages, and hangover cures. Now he’s embarked on a nationwide standup tour and is currently filming a companion series about drinking customs, beverages, and hangover cures right here in the the States. Even better – after his gig here in Atlanta, he’s hanging around and filming for the show. Who knows, perhaps he might even have a chance to work some pundit-related humor in his act….

You will not regret joining Clayton, Icarus, Tyler, Jason, and other PeachPundit celebrities for a raucous night of comedy and fun. And, as a special treat, PeachPundit readers will get their first round on us! But be warned, you’ll have to prove you’re a loyal reader with the correct answers to some PP trivia!

Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster for only $25. You can get more information about Zane from his website at zanelamprey.com.

Episodes of Three Sheets can also be watched for free on Hulu.com. But beware – they are addictive!

It’s official: You should relax

Look, while we appreciate all y’all sending us press pieces on Friday afternoon, and others of you complaining about the comments chaos earlier in the day… It’s time for you to decompress for the weekend.

Here’s a shot, almost live, from Tanalach Media World Headquarters:

From left to right, that’s a Rising Moon, Big Green Egg getting ready for some burgers, the boys jumping on the trampoline, and Radio Paradise on the deck speakers. Oh, and it’s 70° and gorgeous.

I humbly suggest if you’re uptight about Georgia Politics at this point in time, you should start with the beer and improvise the rest.

Have a great weekend.

Closed Comments on Balfour

I just closed the commenting on the Balfour thread from yesterday. We’re getting a large number of complaints, and there is potentially bad information in some of the rumors (shock!)… And everyone who can do some additional fact checking is either mobile or busy.

We’ll give you a forum to discuss the situation in short order. It’s Friday afternoon… go relax instead.

John King, USA Beta

From CNN:

TUNE-IN ALERT: head to CNN.com or CNN.com/LIVE at 12:00 p.m. ET today for a special sneak peek at what we’re calling John King, USA BETA. It will be a true behind-the-scenes experience where internet users can see how a show comes together in the final stages. Guests include Ron Paul, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, Erick Erickson, Jane Hamsher and Aisha Taylor

DADT, Jason Nye, and Fan Mail


It’s a banner day here at the Tanalach Media, LLC World Headquarters, and especially the PeachPundit publishing division.

Today, we received our first letter to the editor via US Snail Mail. Well, actually it was addressed to “Jason Nye” – the pseudonym given to our own Jason Pye by Georgia Public Broadcasting.

The writer graciously sent a copy of their DADT-concerned correspondence recently sent to Senator Chambliss. Permission was not explicitly given to use their name, but I’ve included the correspondence as a counter-balance to Jason’s DADT post from last week.

Over the years I’ve seen literally thousands of letters to the editor at RedState and PeachPundit, but it’s just much more meaningful to receive them the old fashioned way.