Tag: Ken Hodges

Attorney General Candidates In The On Deck Circle

Not much ink has been spilled here on the general election matchup between Republican Sam Olens and Democrat Ken Hodges.  Yet it is one of the more compelling matchups, pits candidates with real differences against each other, and one that Democrats think they have a real chance of winning despite the Republican wave that appears to be cresting on Tuesday.  

Voters should be taking more interest in this race for another reason:  The winner of this contest has a leg up on being his party’s nominee for Governor in the near future.   For the Democrats, this fact is evident.  They are facing probable removal from all offices at the State level.  Further, the remaining Democrats in Congress – Lewis, Scott, Johnson, and Barrow – are generally viewed as left of center and have only regional appeal.   If elected, Ken Hodges would almost certainly become the face of the Georgia Democratic Party.

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Teilhet And Hodges Spar Over Need For Voting Rights Act

This primary, on the Democratic side, intrigues me. Mainly because Hodges seems to be running as a Republican at times – and not just because of his seemingly insurmountable ethics issues.

The following is a press release from Rob Teilhet. I’m sure a Hodges sock puppet or two can come along and tell his side of the story:

Greensboro, GA—Sharp differences emerged yesterday afternoon between the two Democratic Attorney General Candidates, State Representative Rob Teilhet and Ken Hodges, over the need to protect voting rights in Georgia. Teilhet supports the continued enforcement of the Voting Rights Act to protect minority voters, while Hodges surprised many observers by publicly questioning the ongoing need for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

At a question and answer forum hosted by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Hodges stated, as recorded by Andy Peters with the Fulton County Daily Report, “Certainly there was a need for [the law] originally. If there is evidence of discrimination [it should still be enforced], but I have not looked at that [law] to give an opinion on that now.”

Rob Teilhet, Democratic candidate for Attorney General, provided a much different answer. In his closing remarks, Teilhet stated there was no “if” about it—discrimination still occurs every day in Georgia. The people of Georgia deserve an Attorney General who stands up against discrimination and who is willing to protect voting rights.
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Ken Hodges Wants To Talk About Attorney General’s Race; NAACP Wants To Talk About Kenneth Walker’s Death

I don’t claim to be an expert on Democratic primaries. But when you decide to hold your campaign kickoff, and the NAACP shows up in force to remind voters of a past incident unfavorable to your campaign, I’m guessing that’s not a good thing.

Hodges was the special prosecutor in a case where unarmed Kenneth Walker was shot and killed by a Muscogee County Deputy, and a grand jury in the case failed to indict. The incident and following legal (in)action inflamed racial tensions in the area, and many in the african american community blamed Hodges for failing to secure an indictment.

The Columbus Ledger Inquirer picks up the story:

Hodges held his news conference in plaza of the Government Center, the same building he presented his case to the grand jury. As Hodges talked, about 20 supporters listened. In the back of the room were Georgia NAACP President Edward DuBose and other local civil rights leaders, who took the podium before Hodges reached the elevator.

DuBose said Hodges had “returned to the scene of the crime.”

The NAACP plans to be present “every single time,” Hodges holds a public event in Columbus.

“That’s fine,” Hodges said. “This is a democracy.” Read more

Ken Hodges back in the crosshairs?

Several weeks ago, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals held that Democrat Ken Hodges, candidate for Attorney General (Website | Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter) could not be held liable for allegedly outrageous and mystifying actions he took in his official capacity as the then-District Attorney of Dougherty County in a matter of whistle blowers who were indicted three times by Hodges’ office for sending anonymous facsimile transmissions concerning the billing practices of Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany.

This afternoon, a Petition for Rehearing En Banc was filed by whistle blower Charles Rehberg and others asking for a rehearing concerning the original 11th Circuit ruling. You can download the filing HERE.

Joining Rehberg in this Petition now is the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in part because of a finding by the 11th Circuit, in keeping Ken Hodges’ actions protected from scrutiny, that e-mail content is not protected under the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment right to privacy in personal communications. EFF is the premier advocacy group that fights for consumer rights in modern electronic media.

The stunning result of the original ruling holding Hodges could not be sued for his actions against Rehberg means, in no small measure, that conceivably any government official could obtain any citizens private e-mail (both sent and received), without first obtaining a warrant…just like it is alleged Ken Hodges did with a private citizen.

Indeed, an analysis from the American Bar Association, as well as from myriad other attorneys, supports the interpretation that the 11th Circuit, in their original ruling, permits prosecutors like Ken Hodges to legally obtain any e-mail sent from any private citizen the moment the ‘send’ button is hit. In short, this is a serious issue for privacy advocates and raises questions as to just how far Georgia’s District Attorney’s can go in obtaining information about private citizens without a legal and proper warrant.

If Rehberg’s Petition is accepted for rehearing, the recent opinion is automatically vacated. If it is not accepted, it appears more likely than not there will be an application for Certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ultimately, regardless the outcome, the question remains if Ken Hodges has the legal temperament to be the top law enforcement officer for Georgia.

(Note: Be sure to read Part I and Part II of a series of posts which give greater depth and understanding of the situation caused by Ken Hodges.)

[UPDATE] A press release from the Electronic Frontier Foundation can be found after the jump.

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The curious case of Ken Hodges, Part III: Is Georgia Public Broadcasting hiding the ball on this matter?

(Note: Be sure to read Part I and Part II of this series.)

This week we’ve explored the curious case of Democrat Ken Hodges, candidate for Attorney General (Website | Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter) and the mystifying actions he allegedly took in his official capacity as the then-District Attorney of Dougherty County in a matter of whistle blowers and Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany. We’ve also examined the actions of Republican candidate for Governor, State Rep. Austin Scott (Website | Facebook |Twitter) who has been trying for years to uncover the allegedly systemic abuse of some non-profit hospitals like Phoebe Putney with regard to their charitable obligations as tax-exempt entities.

Now, a documentary has been completed on this most interesting matter. Titled Do No Harm, the documentary is produced by The Kindling Group, a “nonprofit organization dedicated to creating documentary films that explore critical social issues and channeling them into powerful tools for community engagement and change.”

Guess who won’t let this documentary air in Georgia?

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The curious case of Ken Hodges, Part II: guess which candidate for Governor has been trying to find the truth, as well as who else allegedly has been involved in this matter

Yesterday we discussed the curious case of Democrat Ken Hodges, candidate for Attorney General (Website | Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter), and the mystifying actions he allegedly took in his official capacity as the then-District Attorney of Dougherty County in a matter of whistle blowers and Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany.

As the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals considers Hodges’ arguments that he is immune from liability in this matter, that he did not abuse his power by issuing subpoenas for a non existent Grand Jury and indict whistle blower Charles Rehberg for a matter where there was absolutely no evidence, and after the latter took issue with the billing practices of the employer of Hodges’ wife (Phoebe Putney), it now appears that someone else at that point was also trying to examine Rehberg and Bagnato’s underlying point concerning the billing practices of non profit hospitals in Georgia.

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The curious case of Ken Hodges: your Democratic candidate for Attorney General

As has been noted of late in the AJC, Democrat Ken Hodges, candidate for Attorney General (Website | Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter) continues to be haunted by his actions last decade in a curious case of allegedly outrageous and improper actions undertaken by him in his capacity as then-District Attorney of Dougherty County.

The allegations, if true, call into serious and profound question the professionalism, honesty and capability of Ken Hodges to become the top law enforcement officer for Georgia.

But to understand the seriousness of the situation Hodges allegedly created for himself, let’s go back to the beginning.

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