David Perdue Reviews His First Year in the Senate

Editor’s Note: The following is from Georgia Senator David Perdue. Sen. Perdue serves on the Senate Budget, Foreign Relations, Agriculture, and Judiciary Committees. Senator Perdue is currently the only Fortune 500 CEO serving in the United States Senate and is committed to using his business experience to grow the economy and tackle our national debt crisis. The pictures on this page are from his first year in office. You can view a complete album here.

January 6, 2015: Taking the Oath of Office with my wife, Bonnie, and my father’s bible to represent the people of Georgia in the United States Senate.
January 6, 2015: Taking the Oath of Office with my wife, Bonnie, and my father’s bible to represent the people of Georgia in the United States Senate.
Almost a year ago, I stood next to my wife Bonnie, put my hand on my Father’s Bible, and swore to uphold the Constitution and represent the people of Georgia in the United States Senate. This is a role I never imagined, but one I take very seriously.

To emphasize the magnitude of this responsibility, I held my first staff meeting at the National Archives—home of the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. We reflected deeply on the role of our federal government and the need to hold it accountable to the people we represent.

I came to the Senate with a sense of urgency to make a difference. In my first weeks, I sponsored three bills that would help put in place a system that is more representative of Georgia’s priorities, including a constitutional amendment to balance the budget, a Fair Tax system, and term limits legislation. But as a businessman with no political experience, it immediately became clear to me that Washington’s budget process is broken. It has only worked four times in the last forty years. In the real world, this would have been fixed long ago. Read more

A Fond Farewell

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

Ten years ago this past October, I began blogging at Peach Pundit. I’ve seen it grow from a small little place for a few people to discuss Georgia politics to a broadly read, well respected political website. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed (mostly) discussions on every topic imaginable. and had the pleasure of meeting many of you in the “real world.” For that and so much more, I am grateful.

However, there is a season for everything and my season at Peach Pundit must come to an end. So you don’t get the wrong idea, this departure is completely my idea. I told Charlie and the other Editors of my decision over a month ago and at Charlie’s request, I took some time to think it over. I’ve thought it over and still feel it’s time for me to stop blogging. At this point in my life, I need to focus my time and energy on other things.

So I leave my Editorial position at Peach Pundit but will remain a part of the larger Peach Pundit community. I want to thank Erick Erickson for inviting me to write for PP all those years ago. Thank you also to Charlie Harper, Mike Hassinger, Stefan Turkheimer, Jon Richards, Jason Pye, Jessica Szilagyi, Nathan Smith, Lawton Sack, Obi’s Sister, Clayton Wager, George Chidi, Chris Farris, Jeff Emanuel, Grayson Daughters, Chris Huttman, and so many others who helped me along the way and helped grow Peach Pundit. Finally, I want to thank all of you, the readers, without whom none of this would have been possible. I will see you all in the comment section.

Poor and Homeless in the Deep South

The Washington Post published a deep look into the plight of the poor and jobless in the southern United States. Much of the story focuses on south Atlanta, and the challenges one woman, a single mother with a young child, has with finding a job. The story opens with the woman trying to get from a homeless shelter in Forest Park to a company in the Fulton Industrial District; a journey of less than half an hour by car, but almost two hours by bus and train.

Aboard the bus, Scott zigzagged through Clayton County, an area that runs south from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and has transformed over 25 years from majority white to majority black, its poverty rate rising during that span from 9 percent to 24 percent. A generation of poor people resettled here after Atlanta shuttered inner-city housing projects, and now title loan and pawn shops were the lone life in sleepy strip malls; traffic backed up for an hour to wait in line at a weekly food pantry; and at a blood plasma center where people could get up to $50 for donations, lines formed many mornings around the building before the 7:30 a.m. opening.

The long commute is illustrative of one of the main themes of the article: a lack of decent mass transit options for the poor makes it very difficult for those without a car to get around to find work, let alone make a daily commute. The other focus is on how, beginning with welfare reform instituted back when Bill Clinton was president and Newt Gingrich was speaker of the house disrupted the safety net systems southern poor relied on, including housing projects and cash welfare.

Over the past 20 years, Atlanta’s wealthiest areas, spread along the north of the city, have changed little. But formerly middle-class suburbs to the south — areas of modest single-family homes — have been deluged by newcomers who lost homes as city officials dismantled dozens of housing projects in the hopes of reducing concentrated poverty. Experts who have studied Atlanta’s economic geography say the change has been partly successful; class no longer changes so clearly between neighborhoods, but meanwhile, the poor — given modest vouchers to help subsidize their housing costs — must head far from the city to find places they can afford.

“This city hasn’t built out its society,” said Deborah Scott, the executive director of an area nonprofit organization, Georgia Stand-Up, that focuses on low-income communities. “We’ve given the suburbs to the poorer people, but the opportunities aren’t here.”

There’s a lot more to the article than what can be excerpted in a blog post. Read the whole thing.

Morning Reads for Tuesday, December 29, 2015

It’s time to plan your New Year’s Day dinner, and that means black-eyed peas – or Hoppin’ John – (for luck) and greens (for money). How you prepare your greens is entirely up to you, as is which kind of green you choose to prepare (we are a cabbage family). Hopefully, you saved the bone from the ham you served with your holiday dinner, because there’s no tastier way to cook your beans than with a leftover ham bone (pro tip: you can buy just a bone at any Honeybaked Ham store).

Less cooking, mor(ning)e reading:

For the comments, what’s your favorite Georgia (mis)pronunciation? I knew I’d lived in Georgia for a long time when I wanted a Martinez and asked the bartender for a “MAR-ti-nez.”

Remembering Linda Womack

A friend of mine posted the following video on Facebook, which is a tribute to longtime Capitol lobbyist Linda Womack. The video features several friends and co-workers as well as her sister talking about the person who Linda was, and in the process, demonstrate what a lobbyist should be. When done correctly the job of being a lobbyist is honorable and noble. Linda epitomized that, and will be missed.

Parental Rights Legislation Prefiled for 2016 Legislative Session

A bill that could be the 2016 legislative session’s most significant pro life effort was prefiled earlier this month by Rep. Brad Raffensperger of Johns Creek. House Bill 713 provides for terminating the parental rights of a father of a child conceived through rape or sex trafficking. The bill also provides for a loss of parental rights for any parent who causes a child to be conceived through rape, child molestation, sexual assault, incest, or sex trafficking.

Rep. Raffensperger says the new law is needed because in many cases, the rapist threatens to exercise his parental rights as leverage to prevent his victim from filing charges or testifying against him. The story of one woman who was a victim of this situation inspired Raffensperger to author the bill:

“I became aware of this injustice this summer when I was first told of the ordeal of Ms. Shauna Prewitt. Ms. Prewitt was raped while in university, and a child was conceived and brought to full term. Ms. Prewitt reluctantly agreed not to testify against her rapist perpetrator as part of a settlement to ensure that he would not be part of her life and the life of her child. This injustice to Ms. Prewitt energized her to study law, and she now fights for legal protections for women and children that are victims of rape.”

The bill will be formally introduced when the legislative session starts on January 11th. Rep. Raffensperger expects the bill will be broadly supported in both the House and Senate.

Out With The Old

This week’s Courier Herald column:

The original opening of this column started by saying that 2015 is mercifully coming to an end. Given that many of those reading this in a newspaper this week are in areas that have flooded or are flooding, it appears instead that 2015 is not going quietly. Thoughts and prayers are extended to those affected by the weather.

As we prepare to turn the page and look toward the new year, we must also prepare to put last year behind us. The past is done. Today is what we have. It is only the future that is in our power to change.

With that in mind I’d like to revisit one of the major Georgia news stories of 2015. After 15 seasons Mark Richt is no longer on the sidelines for the University of Georgia. Gone also are his Offensive and Defensive Coordinators. Even the interim coach tapped for the bowl game, Bryan McClendon, will be headed out of Athens as soon as the team returns from Jacksonville. The changes are sweeping and thorough.

The reaction to the announcement was somewhat predictable. The calls from the fans for heads to roll were replaced by grumbles from an equally loud corner of the fan base that couldn’t understand how one of Georgia’s winningest head coaches was being let go.

Such often the case when a there is a high profile leadership change in any organization. Change is never easy. In the transition period, existing chasms and rifts are exposed and have the opportunity to grow deeper. Division has the opportunity to entrench itself with the opportunity to sew discord well into the future. Read more

MRs: RIP, Braves legend; dramatic changes in Savannah politics; Go home, Carolina Panthers!

Trump: Clinton playing ‘woman card’
Will Webb run as an independent?
The GOP’s New Hampshire nightmare
Dramatic change in Savannah politics
Committee recommends more state benefits for kinship care providers
A Kenny Rogers theme park in Atlanta?
Three stolen Bentleys found at Hartsfield-Jackson
Falcons sink Panthers’ hope for an undefeated season
Legendary Bobby Dews dead at 76

Morning Reads – Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas Eve!


Jimmy Carter

Sweet Tea

Liberty Drum 

A Festivus Greeting

Dear Friends,

Happy Festivus! As is Peach Pundit tradition, thanks to Charlie, I greet you this morning to mark this glorious holiday of complaints and brute strength. This year, however, we have more reason to celebrate since Festivus has arrived at the Gold Dome in a fabulous array of colors.

And so, from my home to yours, and my Twitter account to yours, I wish your aluminum poles rise high, your feats of strength robust, and your grievances aired- but few.

Enjoy the day and relish in the good natured humor that is sure to follow.

Yours in the Human Fund,


Morning Reads with More of Ed’s Music

This really is my favorite time of year. I hope you appreciate it through song.

Reflecting on the passing of Uga IX, we should be focusing on how it is unethical to continue breeding English Bulldogs as we do now and how UGA could be a world leader in canine health in adopting a new mascot rather than endless platitudes to some dog none of us has ever met.

  1. WSB/AJC find 49% of Georgians killed by cops were either shot in the back or unarmed. 
  2. Great job, guys.
  3. “Christmas Tears” by Frankie Vallie & The Four Seasons. 
  4. Georgia Democrats’ inability to recruit a strong challenger against Isakson gets national attention. 
  5. “Aleluya” by Rafael Solano y su Orquestra.
  6. MARTA CEO brags on having one of the country’s “smartest restrooms”, saving the agency from bankruptcy, its future growth etc. 
  7. “It’s Official: The Bush Tax Plan Loses Trillions and Worsens Inequality.”
  8. I don’t write the headlines or the facts, ma’am.
  9. Second Year Second Chance for Atlanta’s Purple Boondoggle Streetcar. And they’re going to make it worse.
  10. OK, maybe I tinkered with that headline a tad.
  11. Hartsfield could have 100 million passengers this year–the first airport to ever do so. 
  12. The 99,999,999th passenger is gonna be so bummed.
  13. How the Johns Creek PD is leading the fight against swatting. 
  14. “Christmas Auld Lang Syne” by Bobby Darin. (Dude was seriously underrated). 

Statesboro Native Killed in Afghan Attack

Several news outlets, including the Statesboro Herald, have confirmed that Statesboro native Chester “CJ” McBride Jr. was one of the six soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Monday.

Statement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in a December 21st press release:

“It is with deep regret that I learned today that six U.S. service members died in Afghanistan Monday. We are still learning all of the details, but two other service members and a U.S. contractor were also injured. They died after a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attack on their patrol outside Bagram Air Base. It serves as a painful reminder of the dangers our troops face every day in Afghanistan.”

Jan Moore, Mayor of Statesboro:

“We are so proud of this young man for his service to our nation and we send our heartfelt prayers and condolences to his family as they mourn the loss of their brave son.”

GA-12 Congressman Rick Allen:

“Six U.S. service members were killed yesterday in an attack in Afghanistan. One of the victims was Chester McBride, a graduate of Statesboro High School and Savannah State University. Please remember to say a special prayer for McBride’s family as well as the other families who lost their loved ones so close to the Christmas and holiday season. Those who have followed the call to fight for and defend our country both here and abroad make many sacrifices and the least we can do is lift them up in prayer and remembrance.”

GSU to Buy Turner Field, Showcase Better Athletics than Current Occupants

On Tuesday, Georgia State University was announced as the new owner of Turner Field. GSU will redevelop the area within five years, adding student housing, new football and baseball facilities

There’s many things to like about the deal:

  • GSU will partner with real estate firm Carter to buy the property
  • Carter has a growing and decent list of student residential developments
  • GSU has an excellent history of developing Atlanta for the better (maybe former President Patton will serve as an adviser for the Turner Field work?)
  • The neighborhood will finally have a grocery store and 70 acres that are used for more than four hours 81 times a year
  • GSU’s baseball team and football teams all had much better win percentages than the Braves (both Panthers teams will relocate to the Turner Field site)

The announcement from AFCRA–the body that currently owns the venue–caps off what has likely been the most seminal year in GSU’s history. GSU’s run in the NCAA tournament brought national fame to the school, going to it’s first football bowl game in program history, the first capital campaign and the merger of GSU/GPC means Georgia State’s future is brighter than it has ever been.