Senator Isakson Pays Tribute To A Friend

If you’re like me and wonder how our political climate reached such a toxic level, perhaps an answer lies in our nation having fewer and fewer statesmen like Johnny Isakson and Joe Biden.

No matter your politics, I hope you’ll take the time to watch this short clip of Georgia’s senior senator as he honors a friend.

Who Voted in 2016?

We now have the breakdown from the Secretary of State’s office on who voted during the 2016 general election. I took the information I compiled on who voted in 2014, and updated it to reflect this year’s results. In short, voting by blacks and whites is down, while voting by Asians and Hispanics is up. Within each group, a larger percentage of voters went to the polls for all groups except for blacks, which declined slightly. Two years ago, I examined how different ethnic groups voted compared to 2010. I’ll do roughly the same this year, except comparing the results to 2012, the previous presidential election.

First, a comparison of the percentage the vote of each racial group contributed to the total, over the last four elections:

Year Asians Blacks Hispanics Other Unknown White
2016 1.6% 27.6% 2.1% 1.1% 6.6% 61.0%
2014 0.8% 28.7% 1.0% 0.7% 5.2% 63.5%
2012 1.0% 29.9% 1.3% 0.9% 5.5% 61.4%
2010 0.6% 28.3% 0.7% 0.7% 3.4% 66.3%

The biggest gain from 2012 was in the Hispanic vote, which increased by 0.8%, followed by the Asian vote, which grew by 0.6%. The share of the black vote decreased by 2.3%, and the share of the white vote was down 0.4%. One reason for a lower black vote would be that Barack Obama was not on the ticket. For whites, the decrease is partially due to over 77,000 fewer registered white voters, and because minorities generally raised their share of the vote. Continue reading “Who Voted in 2016?”

Rob Simms Leaves NRCC To Open Consulting Shop

Longtime Georgia political operative Rob Simms is leaving the RNCC after two terms (the first as Political Director, the most recent as Executive Director) to set up a political consulting practice with Mark Shields. Politico Playbook has the details:

Mike Shields and Rob Simms, two of D.C.’s top GOP operatives, are starting Convergence Media, a “political strategy, public affairs, creative, online, television digital agency,” Shields said. Shields most recently ran American Action Network and the Congressional Leadership Fund, organizations that support House Republicans. Before that, Shields was chief of staff of the Republican National Committee under Reince Priebus, who is now the incoming White House chief of staff.

Simms has spent the last four years in top positions at the NRCC — he was the executive director this cycle, and the political director the cycle before. The pair are not going to lobby but plan to have corporate and political clients. FUN FACT: Shields and Simms were fraternity brothers at George Mason and first talked about starting their own firm in 1994.

WHY THIS MAKES SENSE: They both have both run massive political organizations and have worked in government. Shields is close to Priebus, and will be able to translate what the White House is up to. The firm’s website:

This makes for what could be an interesting confluence of events. Simms has spent plenty of time in the Peach State working as a political operative. One of his past clients is Karen Handel, who is now trying to decide if she wants to make a run for the 6th district seat being vacated by Tom Price. It could be that Simms’s decision makes it easier for Handel to formally decide to run.

Morning Reads – Thursday, December 8, 2016

On this date in 1952, on the show “I Love Lucy,” a pregnancy was acknowledged in a TV show for the first time.

Peaches

Jimmy Carter

Sweet Tea

Liberty Drum

$35K Reward Offered For Suspect In SW Georgia Police Shootings

Photo courtesy of tweet from Chris Hopper, 11Alive
As posted earlier, two police officers were shot in Americus this morning adjacent to Georgia Southwestern State University. Officer Nicholas Smarr of the Americus Police Department was killed. Georgia Southwestern Officer Jody Smith, who also served part time as an officer in Plains Georgia, was flown to Macon Georgia where he is believed to still be in critical condition.

The two were attempting to serve a felony warrant on Minguell Limberick. He remains at large. Several Law Enforcement Agencies have contributed to a reward fund for information leading to his capture and arrest, as is noted in the following press release from Randy Roberts of the Fraternal Order of Police.

The Georgia Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has joined the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Peach County GA Sheriff’s Office, Byron Police Department and Fort Valley Police Department by adding $5000.00 to the reward for information leading to the apprehension of Minguell Lembrick for his role in the shooting of two West Georgia law enforcement officers on December 7, 2016.

The Georgia FOP contribution brings the reward up to $35,000.00. Continue reading “$35K Reward Offered For Suspect In SW Georgia Police Shootings”

Two Police Officers Shot at Georgia Southwestern In Americus

UPDATED: The following is a statement from 2nd District Congressman Sanford Bishop

AMERICUS, GA – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released the following statement regarding the shooting in Americus, GA:

“This morning in Americus, two law enforcement officers were shot by a gunman near Georgia Southwestern University, which was put on lockdown. One of these officers did not survive his wounds, while the other remains in critical condition. The gunman has been identified and multiple law enforcement agencies are coordinating in an effort to find him and bring him into custody.

“We must never forget the sacrifices of our first responders and their families. My condolences go out to the families of the officers, and I pray for the full recovery of the injured. I also pray for a swift resolution to this manhunt, and I have full confidence in the law enforcement agencies searching for the shooter.”

Original post: Continue reading “Two Police Officers Shot at Georgia Southwestern In Americus”

Isakson Urges Senate To Pass Veterans Reform Package

From a press release:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, is urging his colleagues to pass urgent legislation that will help improve veterans’ access to health care, disability benefits, education and homelessness assistance, among other important benefits. Continue reading “Isakson Urges Senate To Pass Veterans Reform Package”

Jan Jones Won’t Run to Replace Tom Price

The allure of possibly being Speaker of the House is more appealing than being the junior-most member of Georgia’s congressional delegation. At least that’s how I interpreted the news that Jan Jones won’t run for the Sixth Congressional District seat.

Incumbent Tom Price was tapped by President-Elect Trump to serve as Health & Human Services Secretary.

Per the AJC:

The Milton Republican said in a note to Republican colleagues that while the chance to represent the 6th District was appealing, she has decided to stay as the No. 2 Republican in the Georgia House.

“I am more invigorated than ever to answer the urgent call to make things better and create even brighter possibilities for my fellow Georgians,” she said in the letter.

Christmas Time is Here–Morning Reads

My Christmas wishlist begins and ends with me trolling the POTUS-elect and him responding. The worst part about that is that I’d have to Tweet, second is that we’re getting a POTUS who wants to revenge-Tweet everything out of thin-skinned pettiness. Sweet.

“Let’s Unite the Whole World at Christmas” by James Brown

  1. Did Newt get rejected for a Cabinet pick? 
  2. Yes.
  3. Trump Won’t Rip Up NAFTA. 
  4. At this point, it’s safe to say he conned Americans with his campaign–none of his major pledges will be honored. Remotely.
  5. Mayor Reed’s driver charged with a misdemeanor for causing a wreck–while driving Hizonner. 
  6. Multiple arrestee, Hall County home owner, Katt Williams banned from Hall County. 
  7. Who is going to pretend like they knew about Miguel Almiron? 
  8. Financial Times picks the best books of 2016. 

Defining the Terms of the Religious Liberty Debate

After Governor Deal vetoed the Free Exercise Protection Act last spring, There has been lots of speculation over whether “religious liberty” legislation would be a factor in the upcoming 2017 legislative session. That speculation grew more heated after House Speaker David Ralston wondered in an interview with Bill Nigut and Jim Galloway if the issue is one that the federal government should deal with, especially now that there is a Republican administration on Capitol Hill.

Rather than ask if religious freedom legislation will make another appearance in 2017, a better question to ask would be, “which flavors of religious liberty legislation could be introduced in 2017?” In fact, there are four distinct measures that could be up for debate next year.

The first, and perhaps the most widely known is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This legislation was passed at the federal level in the 1990s, but was ruled as not applying to the states by the Supreme Court. The law directs courts to use a standard called strict scrutiny when considering cases involving the free exercise of religion. RFRA bills were introduced in 2014 by Sen. Josh McKoon and Rep. Sam Teasley, and again in 2015 by McKoon as Senate Bill 129. Controversy over similar, but not identical, legislation in Arizona and Indiana stalled progress on Georgia’s RFRA. Senator McKoon has indicated that the bill will likely be re-introduced in 2017. Continue reading “Defining the Terms of the Religious Liberty Debate”