Well, it’s not just limited to a phone app (search for “GA Votes” in the Apple App Store on on Google Play). There’s also an online application, motor voter registration, and plain ol’ paper registration application that you can remit to your local election office. Secretary of State Brian Kemp is giving folks a friendly reminder that if you’re wanting to cast your ballot as a resident of the great state Georgia on November 4th, your deadline to do so is October 6th. Of course, you need to have a valid Georgia driver’s license or official state ID to register and vote.

If you, your family, your friends, or your neighbors haven’t registered to vote yet, there’s still time! Go register and go vote.

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Georgia 10th District Congressional candidate Jody Hice seems to be making national news yet again. Only this time, it’s the New York Times. In an article about a potential rightward shift for the GOP in the US House of Representatives, the author paints Jody Hice as possibly “even more conservative” than outgoing Congressman Paul Broun. The following is an excerpt from the article:

Then there is Mr. Hice. Having once called evolution a lie from “the pit of hell,” Mr. Broun, the departing representative from Georgia, would be hard to beat on the inflammatory front. But Mr. Hice has a record. He once said of women in politics, “If the woman’s within the authority of her husband, I don’t see a problem. ”

He compared the recent appearance of red “blood moons” to prophecies that preceded the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, Israeli statehood and the Arab-Israeli War of 1967. In a satirical book, he claimed he had found a homosexual agenda to “sodomize your sons” by seducing them “in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms.”

The article also makes mention of Hice’s former comments regarding Muslims not deserving 1st Amendment Constitutional protections, something that Eric has previously reported here.

Just to set the record straight, there needs to be a distinction in national media between “Conservatives” and outright “Xenophobes”. The sad truth is that GOP candidates and elected officials such as Jody Hice only do the conservative cause more harm than good by playing right into the liberal media’s allegations that Republicans hate everything and everyone who is not an old, rich, white, Christian male.

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The Georgia Ethics Commission may have a huge backlog of unresolved complaints, but they managed to find time to dismiss a complaint pending against Gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter. Over at the Political Insider, Greg Bluestein has the story.

The complaint, which was filed by former State Senator John Douglas, relates to a March 23rd fundraiser held in New York for the Georgia Democratic Party featuring Jimmy and Jason Carter, along with REM frontman Michael Stipe. It alleges the fundraiser was illegal because the invitations were listed as being paid for by Jason Carter’s campaign committee, Carter for Governor Inc., and were sent while the legislature was in session. State law prevents legislators and state constitutional officers from fundraising while the session is underway.

The Commission’s response (PDF) said,

While you are correct that a member of the Georgia General Assembly is prohibited from soliciting contributions for their campaign while the Assembly is in session, there is no such prohibition that prevents a member of the General Assembly from soliciting campaign funds for political parties or non-candidate campaign committees during a legislative session.”

Since the proceeds from the fundraiser went to the Georgia Democratic Party’s Georgia Victory 2014 Fund, the Commission ruled that no violation of campaign law had occurred.

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GA-12 Debate Audio Released

September 29, 2014 14:00 pm

by Lawton Sack · 4 comments

The audio from Saturday’s GA-12 Congressional debate in Augusta between Rep. John Barrow and Rick Allen has been released by Rahul Bali, a reporter for WGAC Radio.  The sponsor of the debate was the Islamic Society of Augusta and the moderator was Steve Crawford, publisher of The Columbia County News-Times.

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This week’s Courier Herald column:

Governor Deal spent Friday morning at a public appearance, which isn’t unusual given that he’s campaigning for what appears to be a very close election that will be held in roughly five weeks.  What could be considered unusual is that his location was in Clayton County – not exactly a bastion of Republican votes.  Even more unusual is that the Governor’s partner for the photo op was rap star Ludacris.

Ludacris encouraged the students to do well, noting that “A lot of people will tell you you’re at a disadvantage, but I feel like you’re at an advantage. You have street smarts. But when you add book smarts to that, you’re unstoppable.”

The purpose of the appearance was to highlight the opening of Utopian Academy charter school in Riverdale, just south of the runways of Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson airport.  It is an example of a school opening because of the recently passed constitutional amendment allowing for state sponsored charter schools, as Utopian had been denied a charter for three straight years by the Clayton County Board of Education.

It is also evidence that the Governor is keenly aware he is running in a general election in which the voter base is not merely an extension of a Republican primary.  The urban areas in and near Atlanta that have had accreditation issues with their local school boards gave the 2012 state charter school amendment some of its strongest support.  Clayton County voters returned 71% of their votes in favor of the amendment, well above the state’s 59%. [click to continue…]

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With polling showing a close race for control of the U.S. Senate, national Democratic and Republican organizations are making plans for possible runoffs in Georgia and Louisiana. According to a story published in Politico over the weekend, those plans include hoarding funds and reserving television time and hotel rooms in the two states.

“It’s a very intense period of time,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican who battled in his own runoff race in 1996 when he competed for voters’ attention during the Olympic Games in Atlanta. “You’ve got to recapitalize almost immediately, and it’s a matter of who gets their voters out to the polls.”

That means for Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue, it’s anyone’s guess who would show up to the polls Jan. 6, just after New Year’s Day, when many voters will be tired of constant election-year politics.

Isakson added: “With the runoff the 6th of January, they are having to peak about three or four times within eight months; that’s a big challenge.”

Louisiana’s jungle primary almost certainly guarantees a runoff between incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu and a Republican challenger, most likely Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy. The Louisiana runoff would be held on Saturday, December 6th. In Georgia, a narrow lead held by Republican David Perdue is narrowing in recent polling, increasing the chances for a runoff.

If Perdue can pull off a win on November 4th, it could complicate a potential runoff in the Governor’s race between Nathan Deal and Jason Carter. Assuming a Senate runoff in January, both Democrats and Republicans would be campaigning hard in November and December for the Senate candidates. Without a runoff, and attention by national Republican and Democratic groups turning to Louisiana, Nathan Deal and Jason Carter would be forced to rely on their own campaign teams to get out the vote.

The gubernatorial runoff is scheduled for December 2nd. The Senate runoff is scheduled for January 6th.

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More shake up in the SEC East. Who knows how this will turn up in the end. Georgia barely beat Tennessee, Mizzou barely beat South Carolina, and in the west somehow both Mississippi SEC teams are in the top 15. Here’s what else happened over the weekend.

Georgia

Turns out Georgia is a pretty awesome place for women owned business as well.
The arguments against the tuition tax-credit scholarship don’t work.
Sometimes I think this stuff is done just to elicit a reaction.
Looking for the Soul of Georgia.
Nunn is having none of Purdue’s terrorism ad.

SEC

UT vs. UGA, 32-35
Vanderbilt vs. UK, 7-17
Arkansas vs. Texas A&M, 28-35
LA Tech vs. Auburn, 12-45
Mizzou vs. S Carolina, 21-20
Memphis vs. Ole Miss, 3-24
NM State vs. LSU, 7-63

National International

I hope Chicago was not part of your plans this weekend or in the near future.
Where is the line between security and public space?
The other side of an oil boom.
Hong Kong is not looking to pretty at the moment.
Ground troops to defeat ISIS? Boehner thinks maybe.

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Complying with a subpoena issued by Secretary of State Brian Kemp two and a half weeks ago, the New Georgia Project turned over some of the data relating to the voter registration drive the organization has conducted this year. According the the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, additional data may be released next week.

Still, it was not clear whether the Democratic-backed group would turn over all the documents Kemp requested. The New Georgia Project announced an agreement to limit the scope of Kemp’s subpoena, and in a statement the group said it “has agreed to provide a defined set of materials in the continued spirit of transparency and cooperation.”

A spokesman for Kemp, however, said no agreement had been reached. It may take several days to sort through the electronic files to understand what’s there. Among documents requested were copies kept by the group of voter registration applications, as well as canvassing sheets.

“In the communications we had with them, they said they would give us documents starting today,” Kemp spokesman Jared Thomas said. “The scope has not been limited. This is just the beginning.”

Kemp is concerned because his office has discovered what was originally reported as 25 fraudulent registration applications, now up to 33. While around 85,000 applications have been submitted by the New Georgia project, many are still being processed by county elections offices, including around 3,500 in Muscogee County, and almost 8,000 in Fulton County.

The Secretary of State’s investigation into the legitimacy of the voter registration applications has stirred up controversy leading up to the November 4th elections, where minority voter participation is expected to be a major factor in the outcome. Whether the effort is voter intimidation or a legitimate attempt to protect against fraud appears to lie in the eye of the beholder.

In an effort to defend the actions of his office, Secretary of State Kemp issued the following op-ed, which was published in Friday’s AJC. It appeared opposite a guest column by former NAACP chairman Julian Bond.

The most important right of any American is the right to vote. As Georgia’s Secretary of State, I have a Constitutional duty to ensure that our elections are secure and accessible to every citizen of our great state. It is a responsibility I take very seriously.

Since being elected, I have led efforts to make voting easier and more secure. Our Office pioneered a program that allows our military and overseas citizens to receive ballots electronically. This cuts the time in half it takes to complete the voting process for these citizens. Among many new online voter tools, I also recently launched an Online Voter Registration program to allow anyone with a Georgia Driver’s License to register to vote or change their voter registration online.
[click to continue…]

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You’re not alone (sorry, Charlie)

Thankfully, we can still hear what Charlie and Mike Hassinger had to say this afternoon on Rich Sullivan’s show! Tune into WGST tomorrow (Saturday) at 9am to 10am for the King Of The Hill-esque radio show. Today’s show touched on education and workforce development. The replay is before the UGA game, so you honestly have no excuse.

Listen live from 9am to 10am on 640AM or online. Again, you have no excuse to miss it.

For the Peach Pundit Radio virgins, this is what you have to expect:

inarticulate yelling

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The Chatham County Commission voted as expected today and called for the end of the department merger that created the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department.

From Eric Curl at SavannahNow/Savannah Morning News:

UPDATE: City Manager Stephanie Cutter today issued the following statement on the Chatham County Commission’s vote regarding the Savannah-Chatham police department:

“I understand the Chatham County Board of Commissioners voted today to begin the process of terminating the SCMPD intergovernmental agreement. While I respect the will of our elected representatives, I believe strongly that dissolving the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department will hurt public safety in our community.”

The disagreements about costs, about police service, and about the power granted to city officials have been simmering ever since the Chatham County and Savannah police departments merged about a decade ago, but problems have now reached a boiling point.

I know people who consider themselves “in the know” who are assuming that the merger will be saved — that today’s vote is just part of an increasingly high-stakes negotiation. But there are many county residents who seem to want the merger to end and many residents of the city who are so frustrated that they don’t even see all that much at stake.

As a resident of a high-crime area of Savannah with a great deal of street-level drug dealing, I had hoped the merger would bring us a more coherent approach to fighting crime — a fresh strategy that would address the obviousness of some of the criminal activity that happens pretty much round-the-clock just a few blocks from the police precinct next to which I live. But, no.

The potential collapse of the police merger looks especially grim given the weight of other issues — including the search for a new chief, the federal corruption charges against the former chief, and the ongoing investigation of a high-profile fatal shooting of a suspect (who was allegedly still armed) in police custody just last week.

The City of Savannah has a strong-city-manager/weak-mayor-and-council form of government. Stephanie Cutter has only held the permanent post as City Manager since spring 2013. At this point, one has to wonder how deep the support is for her among the elected leadership.

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Butch’s, a mainstay of the Jonesboro culinary scene since 1951, is closing October 4. Next Saturday is your last chance for biscuits.

Many of the morning regulars, including my own mother, are forever locals and classmates from Jonesboro High.

I had my first cheeseburger there, long before McDonald’s arrived in the Land of Tara.

Like those of us who mourned the closing of Carver’s, this is one of those “chapters in the book of life” that is hard to take.

butchs

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It’s one of the many trite phrases that infiltrates the phrases of sports conversations, which are usually about as meaninful as the trite conversations most of us observers have about politics.  “Winning is everything”.

Thus, the moral imperitive is shifted.  Winning must be done at all costs.  Rules become fungible.  Personal conduct standards can be overlooked.  Bragging rights for middle aged pot bellied alumni (hey! that’s me!) become more important that fundamentals.  Than honor.  Than character.

To be frank, many have often accused UGA head coach Mark Richt of “losing control of his program”.  There have been a lot of disciplinary issues.  Our nemesis, Coach Steve Spurrier, often jokes about getting to play UGA early in the season because he can always count on us having a player or five on suspension.  There have also been expulsions.

We’ll sidestep the debate for now (though I’m more than willing to have it) over whether that means UGA has a player problem, or quite the opposite:  Perhaps we have higher standards for student conduct.  If you wish to debate this, please be prepared to refute exhibit A, exhibit B, and exhibit C.

Instead, I’d like to highlight two players from UGA that are doing it right.  They are leading on and off the field.  And they make me proud as a son of a man that got to go to college at UGA because of a football scholarship of the term “student athlete”.

The first is Senior wide receiver Chris Conley.  Lawton wrote a bit about him here earlier in the week for being named to the “Good Works Team”.  He’s seems to be the face of the Bulldogs this year in most media events.  He’s more polished than most folks that get paid seven figures by ESPN, and clearly has more going on upstairs than the lot of them.  He’s also a semi-finalist for the William Campbell Trophy, which recognizes the best scholar athlete in the nation.  Good luck to Chris, as he’s clearly already a winner.

Now I’d like you to take a moment (even you Auburn fans) and watch the following about Malcom Mitchell.  I hope it changes your day:

[click to continue…]

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Rich Sullivan of WGST 640 AM will again host Mike Hassinger and myself from noon to 1pm today to talk a little politics and whatever else comes to mind this afternoon.  Today’s we’ll likely talk about life not being fair, a bit about education, workforce development, and maybe even preview tomorrow’s game between the hedges (as Rich somehow has never, EVER, been to an SEC campus on game day – also, sorry again about the noon kickoff.  We were screwed.)

Listen live from noon to one at 640 on your AM dial (dial?  Anyone still have a radio with a dial?)  Forget it.  Just listen by following the link here.

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Georgia’s Seventh District Congressman Rob Woodall told members of the South Gwinnett Rotary Club that the threat posed by the Islamic extremest group ISIS is a serious threat that must be dealt with. According to a story in the Gwinnett Daily Post, Woodall said the current plan outlined by President Obama and funded by Congress in the continuing resolution won’t be enough to stop the terrorist group.

“I can’t find anybody at the Pentagon who believes that plan is going to work,” Woodall said. “What they believe is that it is the best of all the worse plans we have.”

Two years ago, Woodall said, the U.S. might have been able to do some “good things” to handle the threat ISIS presents. A year ago, he added, the actions might have been “passable.”

“They were once a small band of guys on the highway,” he said. “We could have ended that with a cruise missile.”

That, however, is no longer the case.

Citing ISIS’s access to funding and organization, Woodall called the group “frightening.”

Woodall believes that expanding the U.S. effort in the Middle East will require buy-in by the American people if it is to be successful.

What will it take to achieve that buy-in? Much like President Bosh spent time building support for with war in Iraq, President Obama will need to show some leadership to press the case to the American people that ISIS must be dealt with. That can be a difficult discussion to have, especially 40 days before a midterm election where the president needs every Democratic vote he can get in order to prevent his party from losing ground.

Of course, the other way to achieve buy-in would be an attack on American soil. Let’s hope it doesn’t get to that point.

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Here:
– Something about Karma and income inequality
– The Fed’s never-ending power-grabs
– Marvy…more toll lanes for Gwinnett.
– Someone PLEASE tell Jason Carter how stupid this would be.
– Does Waleska have a harbor we can dump tea into?

There:
Your government at work. Where’s the tar and feathers?
– Wow. More Karma, or something.
FBI has identified Jihadi John.
– Dear Heavens, pray Limbaugh is wrong this time.
– Prayers needed. 1st Infantry Division HQ headed to Iraq.

Random Everywhere:
Another cover-up you won’t hear much about.
Shades of World War Z.
– You know, there’s a football game tomorrow.
[click to continue…]

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