That emerging Democratic majority in Georgia due to massive demographic shifts we’ve been talking about for more than a decade now still isn’t close.

At least, that’s what Real Clear Politics’ senior elections analyst predicts.

Yesterday, Sean Trende crunched some numbers using Nate Silver’s “Demographic Calculator” for GA, AZ and TX . (The reason for those three states and his conservative assumptions are explained in the post).

The numbers say 2048 is when Georgia will become a Democratic state again. If immigration doubles, the flip will take place in 2028.

I have to agree with him. As he points out, the PVI for Georgia changed very minimally from 2000 to 2012. Republicans have continued to win and add to their number of elected officials. Sometimes the races are closer than in the past but close only counts in horseshoes. There isn’t any real reason to replace the Republicans. By and large, things are going well here in Georgia, there haven’t been any truly major scandals (let’s see what happens with the Deal allegations) and most of the controversial legislation  seems to be “controversial” only to people who would never vote Republican anyway.


Morning Reads You Love and Want

July 30, 2014 3:57 am

by Ed · 26 comments

The only things greater than these Morning Reads: LeBron James, “The Fast and the Furious” franchise and KISS.

“Ain’t Quite Right” from Paul Stanley’s solo album. 

Ace Frehely has re-ignited tensions  KISS Army thought were long buried.

  1. New York Times video on Jason Carter. 
  2. Because, you know, if you’re reading a Georgia political blog, you have no idea who Jason Carter is.
  3. A rift in the Reed/Deal relationship? The Mayor says Atlanta will take in unaccompanied minors. 
  4. Atlanta will become even more efficient. 
  5. Moral Monday’s “Jailed for Justice” tour kicked off on Monday. 
  6. Perdue and Wakka Flocka: a budding friendship. 
  7. Goodbye to Friendship–a moving front-page (Sports Monday) story from The NYT
  8. More Dekalb County police shenanigans. 
  9. Even the British media picked up on how bad they are! 
  10. Good news for Delta passengers.
  11. The unfortunate and seemingly inexorable decline of college radio. Guess which station gets mentioned!
  12. Last Enola Gay crew member, Georgian, died on Tuesday. 


Judge-elect Meng H. Lim won a noteworthy entry into the annals of Georgia legal history on July 22, becoming the first Cambodian-American elected to a judgeship in Georgia. (I would imagine he might be the first Cambodian-American elected to office in Georgia, too).

Even more interesting, he was elected as Superior Court Judge for the Tallapoosa Circuit, a small and rural circuit.

“Tallapoosa Circuit is rural with a small Asian American population; his win shows we don’t have to sacrifice our roots or principles to be seen as leaders in Georgia,” said Helen Kim Ho Executive Director for the Asian American Legal Advocacy Center of Georgia.

His life story is pretty cool and worth a read.

Congratulations to the Honorable Meng Lim!

{ 1 comment }

Adjutant General Jim Butterworth is accused of unethical conduct by a former employee. 

In the lawsuit, he is accused of using his office for his own personal gain and an improper use of government resources among other issues. The whistleblower, Mary Therese Grabowski, says she was fired inquiring into the alleged ethical lapses.

Fox 5′s Dale Russell tweeted he has the backstory and will broadcast his report on the 6:00 PM news.

Here it is… 

Apparently, Grabowski was hired to handle initial complaints against Gen. Butterworth. Through his staff, Butterworth denied that Grabowski was fired for anything whitsleblower-related.


“Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell, no!” Or something.

Anyway, Mike Buck, who lost the Republican runoff for state school superintendent to Richard Woods by a razor-thin margin, has requested a recount, according to the Secretary of State’s office:

Michael L. “Mike” Buck, a Republican candidate for State School Superintendent, has requested a recount of all votes in the Republican Primary Runoff held on July 22, 2014.

Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 21-2-495(c), the Secretary of State has notified all county election superintendents of Mr. Buck’s request and further directed that such superintendents conduct a recount of all votes cast in the Republican Primary Runoff for State School Superintendent.

Such recount is to be held and completed no later than 12:00 noon on Thursday, July 31, 2014.

The recount shall be conducted by each superintendent in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 21-2- 495(c) and the Rules of the State Election Board.

Not saying it’s not going to happen, after all, Buck lost by just 713 votes. But one has to wonder what the chances of Tuesday’s runoff being reversed actually are.


A new report by researchers at NC State says population growth up I-75 and I-85 will continue and by 2060, there will be essentially one giant city from Atlanta, through Chattanooga, TN. and up to Charlotte and Raleigh, NC.

The researchers used not only population projections, but also calculations for “urban extent,” i.e. new development. Don’t conflate this use of “urban” with the notion of walkable urbanism; most of this will, in the words of the researchers, be “business as usual,” auto-centric, low-density building and infrastructure. What will this mean for us? “A new, completely connected megalopolis … extending from Raleigh, to Atlanta.” Economists and demographers have talked about a regional pairing of “Char-lanta” for a while. Evidently, we will literally be connected one day.

The report struck fear in the hearts of the folks at Atlanta Magazine:

Of course, we all can guess that as sprawling metropolises converge with each other, it will turn our terrible traffic into something apocalyptic. It’s also likely to create an environmental mess. Note the researchers: “Not only will habitats and corridors for wildlife be eliminated, but the continuous urban corridor will have a warmer climate than surrounding rural areas.”

So what of this? Are the projections correct? And will this bring about the doom feared by Atlanta Magazine?


While I agree with Charlie’s post from yesterday about the relevance of the Republican Party in light of Jack Kingston’s loss to David Perdue in the Senate runoff, I want to expand a bit on some of the points he made.

Charlie points out that Kingston earned the endorsements of “the leaders of Georgia’s most prominent Tea Party organization and Editor & WSB radio Host Erick Erickson.” Yet, despite that, I think it was the Tea Party rank and file that contributed the most to David Perdue’s margin of victory. The Perdue campaign targeted this group, whose members have spent a great deal of time going after Republicans in Washington they perceive as too closely tied to the establishment.

The takeaway here might be that the Tea Party is not a single organization operating within–and sometimes outside of–the GOP establishment. Debbie Dooley has consistently made this point, and when she endorsed Jack Kingston, she noted that the was doing it as a “personal endorsement” rather than on behalf of the Tea Party. It should also be a reminder that when you hear, “The Tea Party supports…,” or someone claims to he “the Tea Party candidate,” you might want to take it with a grain of salt.

There is another factor that contributed to David Perdue’s victory. Charlie hits the nail on the head here: “Money from an outsider can trump all of that, ignoring all GOP related activities as white noise.”
[click to continue…]


Received via email:

As an Asian American, I am disappointed to learn that US Senate candidate Michelle Nunn’s strategy for engaging the Asian American community boils down to turning us into merely “validators” and a “fundraising base.” To make matters worse, her campaign states that Asian Americans “work” to become citizens quickly,” which stereotypes us as non-citizens – a perception Asian Americans have been fighting to overcome for many years. Georgia’s Asian American communities are not monolithic, and face a diverse array of issues. Contrary to the “model minority myth,” 31,000 Asian Pacific Americans in our state are in poverty — a full 11% of Georgia’s APA population – and they won’t be able to serve as her “fundraising base.” Her campaign messages of “just give us your money,” and “call me when you become a citizen” show how out of touch she is. Instead of addressing the struggles of Asian American working families, it appears Michelle Nunn sees our community only as a means to leverage money and influence. Georgia deserves better — and I am sure that once the members of the Asian American community “become citizens quickly,” they will “validate” my views at the ballot box.

– Georgia State Representative B.J. Pak



Randy Travis from Fox 5 out of Atlanta reported a story of a mom, Malena Gooch, who confronted two-time Republican gubernatorial candidate Ray McBerry over a modeling shoot of her 18 year-old daughter, Kayla Gooch:

“I took it she would be doing some local commercials in Henry County.” Malena Gooch told Fox 5 I-Team reporter Randy Travis

[The scheduler, Tara O'Neill,] messaged her big client was Ray McBerry, the owner of KBN television in McDonough. Kayla [Gooch] went by herself to meet at his office. She says McBerry suggested a modeling shoot at High Falls Park.

“I was kind of excited, you know, because mostly I’ve never modeled before, said Kayla. “So I was like, oh, this is going to be fun. This is going to be so cool. But it got kind of weird when he told me I couldn’t take anybody with me.”

You can view and read the story over at Fox 5′s website. Interestingly enough, a Professional Photographers of America spokesman told Fox 5 that it’s a good idea for a third person to be at a photo shoot if the model is a teenager, so caveat emptor and use good sense. The news channel also said that there is another 18 year-old with a similar story and will be reporting that later in the week.


It appears that MARTA bus drivers and train operators may be planning a strike sick out, according to WABE.

A few operators say the  “massive sick out” is the only way to send the message they are frustrated  it’s taken over a year to negotiate a new contract and there’s still no deal.

Those who spoke with WABE wanted to remain anonymous.

And said it was due to fear of retaliation.

A MARTA bus operator told WABE, Amalgamated Transit Union local president Curtis Howard is not aggressively pursuing a deal that would include a raise.

But the fact is, no one has received a raised since 2005 according to a MARTA spokesperson.

Someone fact check me please as I’m going only on foggy (and early morning memory), but Cobb County Transit was set up to specifically avoid entanglements with MARTA’s union contracts.   And while not having a raise since 2005 is disconcerting, a lot of others that aren’t protected by government union contracts spent a good part of 2007-now without jobs at all, which is a little more disconcerting than the frustration of negotiating a raise over a period of a year.

MARTA is hoping to push into the suburbs with a rail line up GA-400 (among other plans).  There’s also the talk about consolidation of transit agencies always brewing in the background.  A non-strike strike is the perfect way to get suburbanites from cooling their hostilities toward the agency, and instead remind them that one of the things they like to say away from by moving to the burbs is union influence on the government services they support.

Harsh?  Sure.  But with MARTA, their problems are as much about perception as anything else.  New GM Kieth Parker has done amazing things to restore confidence in the agency’s operational performance.  It’s a shame to see some of the employees kill the good will and positive reputation the agency has been gaining by such a short sighted gesture.

H/T to Creative Loafing, and thanks to their News Editor Thomas Wheatley for letting me borrow his trademarked catch phrase for this headline.


A guest post from Rep. Lynne Riley (R-John’s Creek) regarding the proposed new EPA regulations on carbon emissions. As she points out, Georgia still relies on coal powered plants for a third of our power generation. The proposed regulations would have a dramatic impact on our state’s ability to meet it’s power consumption needs. Discuss the pros and cons of the proposed regulation and Rep. Riley’s comments.

July 28, 2014

To: [email protected] RE: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602

As a member of the Georgia General Assembly, I support policy initiatives that provide opportunity and economic growth for the Peach State. One item that provides both of these is affordable and reliable electricity. In Georgia, we proudly endorse a diverse energy portfolio by embracing all available sources. Although we are continuously developing our renewable and alternative energy sources, our state still relies on coal for 33% of our electricity production. It is through coal that we are able to keep our electricity grids reliable and our rates affordable. EPA’s recently proposed carbon regulations, and the effective ban they place on coal-based power, are cause for great concern for the vibrant economic future of both Georgia and the United States of America.

Domestically, this rule will have several negative consequences. The effective ban on coal-based power will cause the loss of thousands of jobs, directly and indirectly. Indirect job loss is especially concerning because industries far beyond coal will be affected by the rule. Attempting to replace coal with more expensive and less abundant forms of energy will cause unavoidable increases in power costs for every business. In order to absorb higher electricity costs, businesses will be forced to reduce their workforce and increase the prices of their products, leading to an overall rise in the cost of living. The potential combination of price increases and job losses constitutes an unacceptable hardship for Georgia families. Furthermore, the availability of electricity for all consumers will also be in question, since relying on less fuel sources is a grave threat to our grid security. As energy demand continues to increase, it is reckless to reduce reliance on coal, our most abundant and affordable fuel source. Our nation needs to develop all available energy options to fuel continued economic growth.

In addition to narrowing our energy options, effectively eliminating coal from our energy portfolio will impede global competitiveness. As businesses find it more difficult to afford to operate in the United States, they will surely relocate to other countries. While domestic businesses struggle to comply with EPA requirements, businesses in other nations will offer similar products at a lower cost. American products will suffer in the global market, causing us to lose our competitive edge. With the increasingly global economy, it is imperative that all U.S. policies foster competitive business opportunity.

Overall, it is crucial that EPA considers these costs when writing the final rule. The financial hardships that our citizens would face, and diminished global competitiveness for our nations’ businesses, are both unacceptable outcomes. I entreat EPA to revise their proposed carbon standards, and develop a new approach that embraces all available forms of energy. By doing this, states will have the flexibility they need to protect the environment without sacrificing the economy. Fossil fuels, such as coal, and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive – Georgia’s energy portfolio is evidence of this fact. It is important that this approach is taken nationwide to ensure households and businesses have the electricity they need at prices they can afford.

Lynne Riley


Jay Bookman didn’t see what all the fuss was about yesterday. He saw no damaging stuff in the Michelle Nunn strategy memo that found it’s way to National Review Online yesterday. He might be correct. This may blow over and be forgotten tomorrow. However, not everyone agrees with Bookman, including as you might expect, the author of the article where the Nunn memo first appeared.

I’ve always wanted an excuse to post this video. Sorry Jay.


President Eisenhower signed the bill that brought NASA into existence on this day in 1958. Aren’t y’all surprised we don’t have Belle Boyd Balls*? Anyway, the Cleopatra of the Succession was captured on this day in 1862. Morning Reads, after the jump,



  • Google Wants Guinea Pigs for a New Medical Study.  Here’s why I’d volunteer. (Re/Code)
  • When Yahoo Reigned Supreme (Priceonomics)
  • 10 Things Americans Have Suddenly Stopped Buying (Time)
  • Billion-Dollar Billy Beane (FiveThirtyEight)
  • If you can’t choose wisely, pick at random (Aeon)
  • The Fascinating…Frustrating…Fascinating History of Autocorrect (Wired)
  • Britney Spears is a pop queen. And pop queens don’t need to sing. (Vox)
  • If the World Began Again, Would Life as We Know It Exist? (Nautilus)
  • Just Undo It: The LeBron James Profile That Nike Killed (Deadspin)
  • The People Everyone is Talking About, A Must See Jounrey…What Now? (CNN)



  • The transcript from the ethics trial indicates the memo was relevant (BrookhavenPost)
  • So it falls to someone from Bainbridge to explain why marijuana is so bad (wctv)
  • Politico’s analysis of the Nunn memo (politico)
  • Jimmy Carter has limited role in grandson’s campaign (ajc)
  • Politifact gives Deal’s Axelrod statement a “False” (ajc)
  • A neighborhood post-Braves (clatl)
  • Brooke Hatfield is a literary philanthropist (bittersoutherner)

*Not saying we should,  you understand.




I’m a Democrat, and a partisan. I want Michelle Nunn to beat David Purdue like a Pillowtex pillow. But I’m reading the memo. And I am … grumpy.

I’ve spoken to Jeff DiSantis, Nunn’s campaign manager, who both vouched for the memo’s authenticity and dismissed it as an early planning document crafted by a consultant.

At least half of Nunn’s vote — and probably much more than that — will come from African Americans in November. Where are they in her campaign? A few names leap out: Richard McDaniel, her political director and advisors like Stacey Abrams, house minority leader in Georgia and Andrea Young, an attorney and daughter of Andrew Young. But as I went through the list of proposed policy experts the planning document said might be tapped for advice, I kept coming up with white names and white faces. Young white women. Older white men.

“We have a diverse group of folks who are helping us, and we get their opinions,” DiSantis said. The policy experts listed are simply an early spitballing attempt to find help. Young and Abrams are around, as are others, he said. And he invited me to visit the campaign headquarters to see the diversity for myself. I’m sure there are plenty of black people around. That’s not my point.

Georgia is awash in African American attorneys and highly-educated executives with policy experience who would leap at an opportunity to advise a senator. But even on the proposed voter protection team – the group of campaign attorneys who will guard against voter intimidation and polling place shenanigans faced by Black and Latino voters — every one of the eleven people listed is white.  [click to continue…]


Whoops.  It looks like Nunn’s campaign strategy got leaked to National Review.  The entire campaign plan is below the fold.  Enjoy! [click to continue…]