Judging by what I saw on social media today, it looks like Georgia’s college students are heading back to class this week. The new professors that the University of Georgia hired to teach them toured the state recently, and found out that in addition to teaching, they are now helping with the Peach State’s economic development efforts.

Walter Jones has the story in the Augusta Chronicle:

The faculty is touring the state as a way to familiarize those new to Georgia and to help all of them understand the ties between academia and business.

“In the state of Georgia, you are now, if you haven’t been before, in the economic-development business,” said Gretchen Corbin, the commissioner of community affairs.

She explained that often in talking with industrial prospects the companies will need specialized information, requiring recruiters to seek advice from microbiologists, chemistry researchers and other professors whose specialty might seem more basic science than business.

The state’s economic development and workforce development divisions, which combined in April, are already working with the state’s technical colleges to provide skilled employees in career fields including aerospace, healthcare and even film and movies. In many of these areas, there is a shortage of people qualified to do the jobs.

Extending the economic development effort to the state’s four year colleges makes sense. Many college professors see their mission as helping students gain knowledge as opposed to preparing them for a career. And frequently, this has led to a newly minted college graduate with a degree in a field which doesn’t offer many job prospects, while being burdened with student loans that will need to be repaid.

While the Board of Regents understands the relationship between education and economic development, by working more closely with professors and teaching assistants, students will better be able to judge which fields of study offer the best career opportunities.

Students pursuing post-doctoral degrees are a great illustration of how the workforce development effort can help both students and businesses. Many of those working in these programs expect to become professors themselves once they graduate, or to do academic research in their chosen fields. that’s where they and their professors are the most comfortable. The problem is that academia can only provide jobs for about 10% of those graduates.

The private sector, especially in areas such as biotechnology and computer science that invest in research and development, can provide jobs for those graduates, and may even decide to relocate to or expand their operations in Georgia because of the skilled workforce the state can provide.

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This week’s Courier Herald column:

Republicans running for office always feel they are in a safe zone when quoting Reagan.  The Reagan presidency remains the modern high water mark for the conservative movement.  A quarter century after Ronald Reagan left office, many Republicans seem to be channeling another Reagan with their contemporary execution of conservatism.  Too many in the party position themselves with respect to governing with a slogan from former First Lady Nancy Reagan, and have internalized her anti-drug message of “just say no”.

It is for this reason that a guest opinion piece from Georgia’s GOP nominee from the 11th Congressional District to the Atlanta Journal Constitution seems a bit noteworthy.  Barry Loudermilk ran his primary and runoff campaign around the idea of “Constitutional Conservatism”.  Many equate this form of sloganeering to mean that he would be a Congressman in the realm of departing 10th district Representative Paul Broun, a “Just Say No” Republican.

Loudermilk wrote the piece as a response to the AJC’s Jim Galloway, who had previously written that Loudermilk was seeking to join the House Transportation Committee but would likely seek to dismantle the highway trust fund and return most transportation responsibilities back to the states.   All of this comes on the heels of a recent visit from former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who told the study committee on transportation funding that Georgia lacks clout on the transportation issue in Washington as no one in our delegation sits on a transportation committee in Congress.  Flordia, by contrast, has six members – and the influence that goes with that level of representation. [click to continue…]

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10 days until football season.

Georgia

Now that the primary runoff is over, the Georgia Senate Race is now at the bottom of the list.
That’s a lot of self funded money for GA-12.
I doubt that Richland County is really going to need a vehicle that can traverse land mines.
Well that’s an interesting wrinkle in the Braves deal. (MyAJC link)
Why the Atlanta testing scandal matters.

SEC

Eight SEC teams in the AP 25.
Need to know how the weekend scrimmages went?
Meanwhile every UGA fan is thrilled Muschamp is still there.

National/International

The potentially unconstitutional things happening in Missouri.
Rand Paul, not really a Tea Party guy.
Rick Perry responds to his indictment.
With Malaki out, will Abadi be able to pull things together?
Your weekly Ebola update.

Everything Else

Paul Ryan doesn’t like House of Cards (spoilers).
Offered without comment.

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Though not #gapol, it’s creepy enough and rare enough for it to be newsworthy for some of us local tax dollar watch dogs.

The small Colorado town of Montezuma is suing all 61 of its registered voters after charging that the results of a spring election were ‘full of errors’. The lawsuit compels each voter to appear in front of a judge in an effort to sort out the mayor and town board races. While 12 people ran for mayor, the small margin of 3 votes is the point of contention after claims that non-resident second-home owners voted. The residents are collectively seeking legal counsel though there is no word as to whether or not there will be a venue change for court hearings.

It’s not too often that a city or county sues one of its citizens, though it has happened here in Georgia. The Roswell Chicken Man, Andrew Wordes, was represented by former governor Roy Barnes after the City of Roswell filed a first-ever seventy-something page suit against Mr. Wordes. 

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A recent poll conducted on behalf of the R Street Institute and the National Taxpayers Union found that nearly three-quarters of likely Georgia voters oppose the Marketplace Fairness Act, a measure that would allow states to impose and collect sales taxes on Internet purchases from online retailers across state lines:

In the survey of likely 2014 general election voters in Georgia, strong majorities across many ideological and partisan persuasions also indicated their belief that the Internet should remain as free from regulation and taxation as possible (by an overwhelming 51-point margin). One of the most lopsided results concerned federal legislation in Congress called the “Marketplace Fairness Act” – when told (factually) the plan “would allow tax enforcement agents from one state to collect taxes from online retailers based in a different state,” 71 percent of respondents were opposed with just 23 percent in favor.

“It’s clear that Georgians believe that the Internet exists to improve their lives and those of their neighbors, not so that Georgia e-retailers can be used to plug the budget gaps of other states,” said Christian Cámara, State Affairs Director of the R Street Institute. “While Georgia conservatives are strongly against such a law, it’s striking that opposition crosses political divides as independents and Democrats join them in forcefully rejecting new state tax enforcement powers over the Internet. These opinions should be carefully studied by candidates up and down the ballot here in Georgia.”
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Adjacent property owners to land where the new Braves Stadium is to be built have filed suit against the Cobb Board of Commissioners, asking for the zoning change to be invalidated.  Ricky Leroux of the Marietta Daily Journal reports:

The suit alleges the rezoning application for the property was “purely speculative” and “had none of the normal specificity required by the Zoning Ordinance,” and as a result, the general public was denied its due process rights because it did not have complete information.

Doug Haynie, attorney for the city of Marietta, Daniel White, Haynie’s partner at Marietta-based Haynie, Litchfield, Crane & White, and George Butler II, a real estate lawyer based in Dahlonega, brought the suit on behalf of Fairly Breezy LLC.

The company owns a 1.9-acre property at 2550 Heritage Court containing a multi-story, 25,000-square-foot building, a property which is adjacent to the 74.77-acre parcel the Braves plan to use for a new $672 million stadium and a $400 million mixed-use development.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff wants the zoning decision allowing the stadium and development to be invalidated; it also wants all court costs to be paid by the defendants.

I’ve written off most of the lawsuits attempting to stop the stadium construction as less than strategic wishful thinking, but in this case, the MDJ adds this kicker:

“The first thing that absolutely leaps off of the page is that the plaintiff is represented by Doug Haynie and Dan White,” Cauthorn said. “Doug Haynie has been the city attorney for the city of Marietta for 30 years, and … Daniel White, Judge White’s son, is his partner. And Dan White and Doug are serious-minded people.

“I’ve never known either one of them to undertake anything, as far as filing any kind of legal proceeding, where they didn’t believe that there was a meritorious claim or a meritorious defense,” he added.

Might need to watch this one, but it looks like some of the neighboring property owners are potentially in a position for….consideration.

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The conflict in Gaza and the positions of the candidates regarding Israel has become one of the subtexts in the Peach State’s Senate and Governor’s races. A story in Wednesday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution outlined the claims and counterclaims of the different campaigns, from Jason Carter disavowing his grandfather Jimmy’s op-ed supporting the legitimacy of Hamas, to Nathan Deal’s pro-Israel op-ed in the Washington Post.

The David Perdue campaign has made much of Michelle Nunn’s “TBD” stance on Israel as outlined in her leaked December campaign memo, while the Nunn campaign offered statements of support from prominent members of Georgia’s Jewish community.

While statements from the candidates and their campaigns provide some insight, it’s also useful to get the thoughts of someone on the outside. And for that, there’s Matthew Foldi, a young Jewish Republican activist who lives outside Washington, DC. Foldi blogs regularly, and in a recent post, he reacted to the support, or lack thereof, for Israel by Georgia’s Gubernatorial and Senate candidates.

First, this on the Senate race:

I’m just going to focus on [Nunn's] message regarding Israel (it’s also worth pointing out that her opponent, David Perdue has one of the strongest positions on Israel I’ve seen this election cycle). Actually, it would be more accurate to point out the complete lack of message regarding Israel, (or “TBD,” as the memo puts it). Why, especially given the Hamas-initiated conflict, would she not have a position on Israel? It’s quite simple actually. Jews are a “tremendous financial opportunity,” and their “level of support will be contingent on her position [on Israel].”

Hold on a second. As a Jew, I find this statement to be completely and utterly false. Do I care about Israel? Absolutely and unequivocally. Does my support for a candidate revolve solely around the issue of Israel? Absolutely not.

For the Governor’s race, Foldi is equally opinionated:

Turning to Jason, his grandfather’s Middle Eastern delusions are in the news once again, and for a state party that should already be reeling after the Nunn Memo was leaked, this can hardly come across as good news.

Ironically, if one were to use Nunn’s logic, Carter’s campaign can count on no support from the Jewish community given these statements by his grandfather (although Jason is trying to steer clear of Jimmy’s wreckage, but interestingly he doesn’t go so far condemn his grandfather’s comments on how the US should recognize Hamas). To be clear, I’m not saying that Jason and Jimmy are the same person, but for someone relying pretty heavily on his status as a legacy candidate, this news is worse than it would be for other candidates out there.

Read the whole thing. Foldi is pretty blunt in his opinions about the Georgia races and what he thinks the outcome should be. In my mind, he deserves the right to be heard. Two weeks ago, he was a counter-demonstrator at a pro-Hamas rally in front of the White House. He describes that experience, where an Israeli flag he wore as a cape was torn off his back and burned by protesters, in this op-ed in the Jerusalem Post.

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Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA-09) has been tapped to give this week’s Republican address. His topic covers how Senate Democrats have not been taking up business that the House has passed. The audio is available here and the full text is available below the fold:

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No question that Zell Miller is one of Georgia’s legendary political figures, right next to 20th-century titans like Herman Talmadge, Tom Murphy, Sam Nunn, Richard Russell and Carl Vinson.

I remember some colorful stories and tall tales from a former Miller campaign supporter, Francis Holland, who briefly ran John Russell’s U.S. Senate bid way back in ’86, a campaign on which I worked.

Georgia’s longest-serving lieutenant governor rode a single issue – the Lottery – into the governor’s mansion, and from there, he went to the U.S. Senate. Who can forget his electrifying keynoter at the ’92 Democratic National Convention?

Twelve years later, Miller thrilled members on the other side of the aisle, keynoting the 2004 GOP convention and endorsing George W. Bush for re-election over Democrat John Kerry. To top it all off, the next day he challenged MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to a duel (!)

Miller was also a huge fan of the old Atlanta Crackers baseball team, a subject with which I’m somewhat familiar. I had the privilege of speaking at the Governor’s Mansion to a group he’d assembled to launch a scholarship honoring the team’s all-time most popular player, Ralph Brown, also known as “Country.”

Now, the man known to some as “that damn Zell” is back in the news, endorsing Michelle Nunn last week in her U.S. Senate campaign.

Miller’s endorsement likely won’t mean much to Democrats; they’re going to vote for Nunn regardless. But Nunn is riding Miller’s endorsement for all its worth because she needs disaffected Republicans to abandon David Perdue and come over to her side.

Will it work? Since the GOP Senate runoff, Perdue’s campaign has been relatively quiet. Sure, Georgia GOP honchos held a media confab to show unity the day after Perdue’s win over Jack Kingston defied virtually every poll that was out there. Outside of that, he’s run a low-key campaign everywhere but on TV where, right now, he believes it matters most.

Nunn, meanwhile, has had her share of headlines, good and bad. But right now, she’s dominating the news cycle, the only drawback being is that she might be peaking too soon. It’s still a long way to November.

The big question is how much pull Miller still has among modern Georgia Republicans who may not recall his contrarian streak. And for those who need a little refresher, here’s a small one –

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The Cook Political Report (subscription required) keeps the Georgia Senate race in the “toss up” category for now.  But it seems like the words say they’re seeing a slight advantage for Republican David Perdue.  Here’s the summary assessment:

“…Nunn has proven to be the strongest Democratic Senate challenger of the cycle to date, and largely stayed above the fray while Republicans were battling for their nomination.  However, she is now coming under increased scrutiny on a number of fronts, including Points of Light grant recipients, the contents of her campaign plan and questions about real estate deals. Perdue has led in four of the five polls released since the run-off, erasing Nunn’s early advantage in the general election.  This race remains in the Toss Up column.”

Reminder to everyone:  It’s early.  Show us some solid voice polls in mid to late September and then we can spend the time arguing over where the race really “is”, and quit surmising over how each candidate is positioned.  That said, go ahead and do just that in the comments section below.

 

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Earlier this week, we told you that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will be visiting Cobb County next Tuesday.

We’ve learned that RNC Co-Chair Sharon Day will be in Georgia to support the 14 in ’14 women’s GOTV initiative at the end of the first week of September. She will also make an appearance at the Gwinnett Republican Party breakfast on September 6th, along with Senator Johnny Isakson and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle.

Having the top two leaders of the Republican Party visiting Georgia within a few weeks of each other says that the national GOP is taking the Peach State’s Governor and Senate races seriously.

The interest by the RNC contrasts sharply with yesterday’s news from the College Republican National Committee. The CRNC, parent organization of the Georgia Association of College Republicans, announced a $2 million effort to get out the youth vote in 16 competitive states this fall. Georgia is not one of those states.

We were told that’s because the CRNC decided Georgia was sufficiently Republican to not merit extra attention. States that the CRNC is targeting include Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

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*To save a few bucks, PeachPundit has outsourced captioning to GDOT.*

Here:
- Remember the new, secret JournoList? Now they (Gamechanger Salon) want the South to secede because down ‘heh’ we’re not liberal enough. Or something.
- Nunn goes negative; too soon? Maybe it’s a distraction.
- Grandson’s campaign gets another face-palm moment: now Gramps wants a carbon tax.
- VDH talks about “That Man.”
- Mayor Reed criticized. Again.

There:
- So yesterday was supposed to be a National Day of Rage. Everybody seemed pretty calm to me.
- Fun with alliteration: shills at Simon & Schuster.
- North Korea celebrated the Pope’s visit to their southern neighbors by slinging more missiles into the sea. Huzzah.
- So…what’s in those trucks there, buddy?
- Hillary’s one of many “special relationships.” Eww.

Random Everythere:
- Dating advice from your Gender Studies Professor.
- Baseball gets a new commish.

OPEN THREAD:

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The Real GSU Gets New A.D.

August 15, 2014 5:31 am

by Tim Darnell · 9 comments

And it will be Charlie Cobb, according to this morning’s AJC.

Cobb replaces Cheryl Levick, who oversaw the additional of football to the school; hired Trent Miles to replace Bill Curry as head coach, then Ron Hunter to coach men’s basketball.

Levick now becomes a personal assistant to GSU President Mark Becker.

Cobb steps into a huge role. Not only is GSU trying to raise $2.5 million to build a strength and conditioning facility for football; $5.5 million for a sports performance center; and $3.875 million for an academic performance center; but it also wants $300 million to transform Turner Field into an athletic complex for the school.

The most immediate task at hand, though? October 25, when Georgia Southern comes to town …

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Michelle Nunn may be a special kind of Democrat. It has been a long while since Zell Miller weighed in on a major race in favor of a Democrat. He endorsed the last 3 GOP nominees and co-chaired Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign. There are very few politicians for whom voters have retained such fondness. And apparently he thinks fondly of Michelle Nunn. The Nunn campaign rolled out an ad contained Zell Miller’s endorsement of Michelle Nunn.

The statement from Michelle reads: “I am so honored to have Governor Miller’s support, counsel, and endorsement. As I have travelled the state, I have met so many who praise the governor for the HOPE Scholarship and his independent spirit. It means so much to me, personally, that this Georgia icon recognizes my commitment to be a bridge-builder and a problem-solver in Washington.”

Somewhere a man wearing nothing but denim is screaming at a staffer, “but this wasn’t anywhere in the memo!”

 

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Over at the AJC Political Insider, Greg Bluestein reports that if elected governor, Jason Carter will fund additional spending for education by cutting waste elsewhere.

“You see it throughout the government. Everyone knows that it’s there,” said Carter, an Atlanta state senator, after a tour of a DeKalb high school. “We have not done a true top-to-bottom review in years and years and years. And the current administration is not looking for answers into how to make the government more efficient.”

The story doesn’t mention any specifics or amounts. The major drivers of state spending include education (obviously, can’t touch that), Medicaid and other health care services (would be ironic if he proposed reducing spending on something he wants to get additional federal dollars for), and criminal justice / prisons (something Governor Deal has been making a lot of progress on already).

Sure, that’s not everything. Wait, there’s agriculture. But Gary Black has already gone to zero based budgeting for his department. Others have done the same.

Is there enough waste, fraud and abuse in other departments to raise the funds Carter would like to spend on education, or would that be like the wishful thinking that says cutting foreign aid at the federal level would be enough to eliminate the budget deficit?

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