Tag: georgia

Because They Are Delicious, and Proof That God Loves Us

“Why do so many people crave fried chicken and hot buttered biscuits for breakfast?”

That’s the question posed by the British in the most recent issue of The Economist (remember, it’s a newspaper).

They Wish They Were in Dixie” runs the gamut from chicken biscuits, low (or no) property taxes, the Georgia Recovery School District plan, the influence of air conditioning, and God, to Georgia’s tax incentives for a certain European auto manufacturer.

It’s a good read, and – like so many conversations about the New South – finishes with Atlanta:

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Teaching Earnest Smith About the First Amendment

State Rep. Earnest Smith wants to pass a law that prohibits people from photoshopping elected officials to make fun of them.

According to Rep. Smith, ““No one has a right to make fun of anyone. You have a right to speak, but no one has a right to disparage another person. It’s not a First Amendment right.”

Some enterprising listener of my radio show has taken up my idea to show Earnest Smith how wrong he is. Whoever it is has created BrayingJackass.com where you can submit your photoshop efforts.

Martha Zoller: Let’s Get Her To Congress

Georgia’s 9th Congressional District runoff presents the two faces of the Republican Party and asks voters to choose.

On one hand is Doug Collins. Collins would fit right in with the Congressional Republicans who raised the debt ceiling on the promise of spending cuts and then weaseled out of the cuts. He’d fit right in with a GOP that gives lip to repealing Obamacare, but is actually too scared of picking a fight on defunding it.

Doug Collins was an inconsequential legislator in the Georgia General Assembly whose only question when asked by Republican Leaders to jump was “how high?” He supported the largest tax increase in Georgia history, the T-SPLOST, but, like Lee Anderson running in Georgia’s 12th Congressional District, lacked the testicular fortitude to actually vote for the tax increase himself. Instead, he sent it off to voters telling them the legislature would punish them if they didn’t vote to raise their own taxes.

This is the second time Collins did this. The first time was with trauma funding. Doug Collins is not afraid to be a big spender or a big taxer, but is too chicken to man up and take responsibility himself for the consequences of his policy choices.

Then there is Martha Zoller. Martha is supported by Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, various tea party groups, and me. She’s been a talk radio host in North Georgia who, like me, has been just as willing to take on Republicans as she has Democrats.

Doug Collins is beating the stew out of Martha, taking her words out of context, and distorting her record as a way to distract from his. I want you to support Martha Zoller because, unlike Doug Collins, we won’t ever have to worry about lobbying Martha to be with us once she gets to Congress.

The runoff election in Georgia is August 21st and Martha is seriously going to need our help. Make a donation as soon as you can.

14 Georgia Republicans Join The Democrats In A Coup

Fourteen Georgia Republican state senators have stabbed their caucus in the back in the quest for more power.

Last year, after numerous screw ups, abuses, and incompetencies, Georgia Republican State Senators had enough and neutered Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. They stripped him of power other than to leave him as figurehead of the State Senate — his constitutional power.

Things have not worked out well for the State Senate in the new power arrangement, but there is wide agreement that it is better to have the present set up than to have Casey Cagle in charge.

Casey Cagle has now allied himself with the Democrats in the Georgia State Senate. Fourteen Republicans in the State Senate joined the Democrats in a coup against the present leadership.

Nine of the Republican turncoats are Jim Butterworth, Bill Hamerick, Frank Ginn, Steve Gooch, Butch Miller, Jeff Mullis, Jack Murphy, David Shafer, and Renne Untermann.

Georgia Right To Life Supports Candidate Who Voted For Major Abortion Funding

Hypocrisy, thy name is Georgia Right to Life.

Today, Georgia Right to Life attacked Georgia gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel for funding Planned Parenthood when Handel chaired the Fulton County Commission in Georgia.

The funding had actually been approved before Handel got there and the money was designated for cancer screenings with Planned Parenthood doing the cancer screenings instead of the county.

You can read more here and will note that Georgia Right to Life threw in some gratuitous and unneeded nonsense on Sarah Palin and her son with Down Syndrome.

Contrast this Nathan Deal, who Georgia Right to Life is supporting. The money that was spent by Fulton County while Karen Handel chaired the commission went to do cancer screenings. In Congress, Nathan Deal voted for Henry Waxman sponsored legislation to give $500 million to Planned Parenthood to pay for actual abortions.

In Georgia Right to Life’s world, Nathan Deal voting to fund actual
abortions is better than Karen Handel presiding over a commission that
had voted to use Planned Parenthood as a cervical and breast cancer
screening provider for indigent women.

New Poll Has Handel in the Lead

Magellan Strategies has come on strong this year with a number of polls across the country. They’ve made their way to Georgia to deliver good news to Karen Handel.

A Magellan Strategies survey of 1,227 likely Republican primary voters finds Secretary of State Karen Handel has a 14 point lead over her nearest opponent. Handel is getting 32% of the vote, while former Congressman Nathan Deal and Commissioner of Insurance John Oxendine are statistically tied for second with 18%. Senator Eric Johnson has 12%, Jeff Chapman and Ray McBerry both garner 3%, while 14% remain undecided.

The survey was conducted last Thursday night from 6pm to 8pm with a margin of error of ± 2.8%. (Sure seems incredible that they got through 1,227 interviews in 2 hours, but nationally they’ve held close to other pollsters)

In other words, this does not factor in the Palin endorsement.

I’m curious to find out what the AJC poll is going to show later this week.

John Oxendine’s Binder


It was actually a birthday present of sorts. I received the information from out of state from a third party group interested in Georgia’s elections, particularly those candidates who will be good or bad for business in the state. It’s a binder containing a professionally compiled opposition research briefing on John Oxendine, Republican gubernatorial candidate in Georgia. If the information is not used in the primary, it will definitely be used in the general election.

I’ve said for some time that Oxendine is corrupt. I’ve had people in his own office tell me there are rumors of him ordering personnel to shred documents, but those employees instead smuggled the documents out of the office to be used against him.

This binder confirms that. Oxendine has serious, serious problems and the binder is a compilation of publicly available documents, interviews with individuals, pictures, etc. that source the allegations.

As you can see from the picture, the binder is in three sections of more than 250 total pages. The first is the proven and easily provable. If you want a taste, I’ve scanned the first five pages as a PDF.

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When Breaking Out the Guillotine, it is Best to Chop Off All Heads at Once. The Costs of Cleanup are Cheaper.

“No one is looking for a Saint Speaker, but one without a propensity for philandering with lobbyists would be nice.”

In 2002, Republicans took over the Georgia State Senate and Governor’s Mansion for the first time since the Civil War.

In 2004, the GOP took over the State House of Representatives.

In 2006, the GOP completed its take over of the State of Georgia, capturing the Lt. Governor’s seat, the Secretary of State’s Office, and solidifying its hold on the legislature.

In 2008, when the GOP was crumbling everywhere, it was a banner Republican year in Georgia.

In 2010, the Republicans might be annihilated from the State of Georgia. They would deserve it.

A Lt. Governor caught with his pants down, a Speaker of the House who tried to commit suicide, and a host of potential leaders waiting in the wings all with adultery problems — the GOP deserves destruction in Georgia if it does not clean its own house immediately.

Put simply, while breaking out the guillotine to chop off Speaker Glenn Richardson’s head, the Georgia Republican Party needs to line up Mark Burkhalter, Ben Harbin, Casey Cagle, and a few others behind him. Do it all at one time.

Cleaning up all the blood at once will be far cheaper in the long run.

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The Mob Marches In: American Democracy in All Its Glory


Above is a picture taken by my friend Will Davis of the Monroe County Reporter in Forsyth, GA.

Forsyth only has 4,000 people. 700 of them turned out to speak to Congressman Jim Marshall (D-GA 08) about healthcare.

The line was long. The day was hot. More and more people came. Congressman Marshall, a Democrat running in a decidedly Republican congressional district (he’s also my former law school professor), was patient.

Marshall, like the majority of the people in his district, opposes the healthcare proposals winding their way through Congress. Marshall went so far as to say he’d vote against all five of the present proposals.

This is American democracy in all its glory. For or against the pending issue, we should be awed by citizens en masse exercising their right to freely assemble and petition their government.

Roy Barnes suggests “large portion” of state elected officials don’t know small Georgia towns exist. Then he makes his own geography error.

Thanks to an alert on the tip line, Roy Barnes recently made a visit to Americus, as reported by the Americus Times-Recorder.

As intrepid reporter Becky Holland drooled over Barnes’ “laid-back demeanor” and “well thought answers and genuine smile,” she made sure to transcribe all his thoughts concerning his “new perspective about the state of the State and how things should operate.”

For starters, Barnes thinks that a “large portion” of state elected officials are clueless about Georgia geography and population centers:

“We seem to think nothing below, really, Griffin, needs to be concentrated on as far as marketing and economic development. I think every member of the legislature should take a tour of the state of Georgia. I believe there are some members who are not aware that there is more to the state then the metro areas.”

“Georgia is the largest state geographically east of the Mississippi. We have challenges to make sure that we spread growth throughout the state, instead of concentrating it in one part of the state,” Barnes said.


“You have to remember that 57% of the population in the state is concentrated in and around Atlanta. I believe a large portion of the elected officials, state elected officials, probably have never heard of Americus, Dawson, Blakely or Ellaville.”

Vapid and ignorant rhetoric like this shows that the arrogance of King Roy hasn’t left…it has just been repackaged. And for someone who professes such superior knowledge about Georgia and its place as the “largest state geographically east of the Mississippi,” it is amusing he seems unaware that Michigan actually is the largest state geographically (including water within its borders) east of the Mississippi with 97,990 square miles. Georgia is only 59,425 square miles in size, water included.

Poor Roy.

The Atlanta Tea Party Just Got Bigger

April 15th was going to see a big tea party in front of Georgia’ Gold Dome, but it just got bigger.

Tonight on Fox News, Sean Hannity intends to announce that he’ll be live from Atlanta that evening covering the Atlanta Tea Party in front of Georgia’s State Capitol Building.

He’s asked me to be there with him. I’m looking forward to it.

If you’re interested, be at the steps of the Capitol in Atlanta by 6pm on April 15, 2009. We will make sure the nation hears that we’re sick and tired of out of control government, both from the Democrats and the Republicans.


Georgia’s unemployment rate jumped to 9.3% in February according to the Department of Labor.  With unemployment at its highest level since record keeping was standardized in 1976 (h/t AJC for that detail), the Peach State remains in worse shape unemployment-wise than the national average of 8.1% but still well ahead labor loss leader Michigan’s last-reported 11.6% (new numbers from the state that looks like a mitten, which are expected to be even worse than that, should be out later this morning).

According to the AJC, “445,498 unemployed Georgians are now seeking work, up 69 percent from a year ago.” This can tell us two things: first, there are obviously fewer jobs to go around at the present time. Second, the folks who are rounding out the unemployment rolls now are actual workers, who are making an effort to get back into the workforce wherever they can.

Unsurprisingly at a time when the federal government is printing and borrowing money hand over fist and shoveling it to the states in the form of earmarks and bailouts, the small number of jobs gained were working for federal, state, or local governments. In that vein, Georgia Labor commissioner Michael Thurmond’s suggestion to those looking for work was, quite simply, to go back to school or work for the government.

Almost all jobs lost in February were in the private sector.

Over $1 billion in contracts issued to privatize Georgia government’s tech ops

IBM and AT&T are the apparent winners of two lucrative contracts to privatize the Georgia government’s technology operations.

The Georgia Technology Authority filed a notice of intent last Friday to award a contract worth $873 million to IBM to handle the consolidation and outsourcing of infrastructure services, including data centers, mainframes, servers, PCs and laptops, according to the state’s online procurement site.

The GTA filed a second notice of intent to award a $346 million contract to overhaul the state’s wide area network to AT&T.

The outsourcing effort is “aimed at giving taxpayers greater value while making the state’s technology operations more efficient and less prone to breakdowns.”

State tax revenues hold steady


Income tax collections were down, and sales tax collections were up in October. The two are major indicators of the state of the economy and provide most of the state government’s revenue.

Collections were up in September, so budget-writers facing a $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion shortfall are at least seeing some stabilization of collections after several months of declines.

Overall collections were down a miniscule 0.1 percent in October, or a little more than $1.1 million.

For the first four months of the fiscal year, collections are still down 2 percent, or almost $111 million. The state’s fiscal year began July 1.