Georgia Farm Bureau celebrates 80 years.

Consider the impact of agriculture in our state:

– contributes about $74.9 billion annually to Georgia’s economy, according to the UGA Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development.

– one in seven Georgians works in agriculture, forestry or related fields.

– there were 42,257 farms in Georgia encompassing 9,620,836 acres of land. The average farm size was 228 acres.

For more than 80 years the Georgia Farm Bureau, with its membership of more than 300,000 families, has actively participated in local, district and state activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. Founded in Cartersville in 1937, GFB recently commemorated their 80th anniversary with a monument installed on the grounds of the Bartow County Courthouse.

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, who fresh out of college worked for the GFB, spoke about the way forward,

“We can have good memories, but we have to pay that forward and we have to remind ourselves what the future holds. We’ve got to pledge to ourselves today and remind each other that our work is not done.”

 

SCOGA to Hear Hospital “Certificate of Need” Appeal Monday

The Georgia Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments on “certificate of need” laws that have long been considered by many to be “anti-competition.”

The case stems from an October 2014 attempt by two OB/GYN doctors, who own an outpatient surgery center in Bartow County, to expand their center. Initially, the doctors wanted to allow other qualified doctors to also operate at the center, but the Georgia Department of Community Health denied the doctor’s “certificate of need” application.

Under Georgia law, state regulators allowed to veto the operations of new hospitals, the expansion of operations, and sometimes even the offering of additional services. The Georgia DCH reports on its website that CON laws are in place “to measure and define need,  to control costs, and to guarantee access to healthcare services.” The process can be costly for the applicant as they try to prove that the region actually “needs” the new or expanded hospital.

Continue reading “SCOGA to Hear Hospital “Certificate of Need” Appeal Monday”

Judge Ellington announces bid for Georgia Supreme Court

A fairly rare event -an open seat on the Supreme Court of Georgia- will likely be contested next spring. Here’s a press release from John Ellington:

Georgia Court of Appeals Presiding Judge John Ellington today announced his candidacy to succeed retiring Justice Carol Hunstein on the state Supreme Court. The nonpartisan election will appear on all ballots for the 2018 primary.

“I am running for the Georgia Supreme Court because I believe a top-notch Judiciary is essential to a high quality of life for Georgians,” Ellington said. “I have spent my entire career serving the people of Georgia in every type of court we have in this state. I want to take that experience to our state’s highest court. I will spend the next year talking with Georgia voters about my qualifications, listening to their thoughts on the Judiciary and asking for their support.” Continue reading “Judge Ellington announces bid for Georgia Supreme Court”

GA06 2017: The Twitter Rant

Guest post by Will Collier- originally posted at WillCollier.com

So it’s time for some post-runoff Gaming Theory, from an actual resident of GA06.

If you lived in the 6th, you were bombarded by fliers, signs, ads, door-knockers, and most of all, phone calls. At least once a day (and usually more than once), the phone would ring from an out-of-state area code.

First it was robocalls, then the last couple of weeks, call centers. They weren’t targeted. They were calling everybody, every day. And they wouldn’t take “Go to Hell” for an answer—trust me on this one.

Now, imagine for a moment that the roles in the ’16 election were reversed, and Hillary had nominated a Bay Area Democrat for her cabinet. California would have called a special election.

Imagine millions of dollars and tons of vicious social media rhetoric flowing out of Georgia to the Republican candidate for that race. How do you think Californians would have reacted to that?

Self-awareness not being a notable Leftie trait at the best of times, the Left coast is already declaring GA06 a mass Klan meeting.

That’ll go over just as well here in 18 months, dudes. You should definitely keep that up. Continue reading “GA06 2017: The Twitter Rant”

Yes, Georgia Elections Can Absolutely be Hacked

Earlier this week, the folks in GA-6 elected a new representative to serve them in Washington. Congratulations to Congresswoman-elect Karen Handel.

That said, you may have seen the headlines from Politico and others regarding the security of Georgia elections in the run up to the runoff, and I’ll admit, they were outright terrifying, so the editors achieved their purpose. In case you were wondering, no, it’s not fake news. Yes, Georgia elections can be hacked. We know this because it’s happened. Now, we had few-to-no issues contributing to the results on Tuesday night regarding election fraud, certainly not enough to alter the result, so regardless of what else you read, Karen Handel was the winner on Tuesday because more people in GA-6 intentionally voted for her. Please make no mistake, though: We’ve been lucky. Exceptionally lucky, given our system. We need to make changes before our luck runs out. Next time, it may not be a “friendly” who hacks us.

I had — until I moved to North Carolina in 2014 — never voted in person in any other method other than on an electronic machine. My experience voting in Durham County, North Carolina was quite the shock when I was handed paper and pen, but it’s a story for another time. (Also, the paper and pen may not have been as backward as I thought at the time. More on that later.) 2000 was the first election in which I was able to vote, and Columbia County was a test site for electronic machine voting. Then-Secretary of State Cathy Cox moved to adopt machine voting statewide for the 2002 election. We’re using the same kind of machines in 2017 that I used in 2000. Even if we knew nothing else about our voting system, it should concern us, given what we know about obsolescence, that our state has not upgraded or changed models of machines for nearly 20 years. Dude, are you still plunking away on that Dell Slacker Steve convinced you to buy in 2002? No? Didn’t think so.

To give you a little insight into the system we use, our machines are AccuVote-TS, originally produced by Global Election Management Systems, which was acquired by Diebold Election Systems between the time the state purchased them and the time they were put into circulation in 2002. Counties use servers with GEMS software purchased as part of the original contract. This software runs on the Microsoft Windows 2000 Operating System with Service Pack 4 installed. Microsoft stopped supporting this operating system in 2010. The machine software runs on a modified Windows/CE Operating System. Of note: The last certification for our voting system occurred in 2005. Continue reading “Yes, Georgia Elections Can Absolutely be Hacked”

Cagle Announces Endorsements in Northwest Georgia

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has scored 64 early endorsements from elected officials in Northwest Georgia in his campaign to be Georgia’s next governor. The current state legislators who endorsed Cagle include state Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), state Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome), state Rep. John Deffenbaugh (R-Lookout Mountain) and state Rep. Dewayne Hill (R-Ringgold). The full list of sheriffs, county commissioners, mayors, and city councilmen who endorsed Cagle is below the fold.

Cagle’s chief rival in the Republican primary, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, rolled out a similar list in early May, announcing endorsements from 50 officials from rural counties in eastern and southern Georgia. Kemp’s campaign is trying to depict him as a champion of rural Georgia. This announcement from Cagle pushes back against that narrative.

Cagle had this to say about the endorsements:

Each of these elected officials have served Northwest Georgia and our state faithfully, and I am honored to have the support and trust of such an esteemed group of community leaders. I look forward to continuing to work with each one of them to promote the health, safety and welfare of the communities they represent, and I want to personally thank them for their diligent efforts to build a better Georgia.

Continue reading “Cagle Announces Endorsements in Northwest Georgia”

Morning Reads – Thursday, June 22, 2017

On this date in 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court voted that Henry Miller’s book, “Tropic of Cancer”, could not be banned.

Peaches

Just a few classic headlines from the GA-6 aftermath

Jimmy Carter

Sweet Tea

Rep. Hice Introduces Bill to Allow Congress to Carry Everywhere but U.S. Capitol

Rep. Jody Hice has introduced legislation entitled the Congressional Personal Safety Act (H.R. 2945) that would permit “Members of Congress to carry a firearm anywhere in the United States, except for the U.S. Capitol Building.”

Rep. Hice:

“Personal protection and being able to defend oneself against an assailant is part of the fabric of our Constitution, which is why I am an ardent believer in the Second Amendment. While Members of Congress are all average Americans, it is clear that we also have a bull’s eye on our backs. In light of recent events, it’s incredibly important that Congressmen and women maintain the ability to provide for their own safety, regardless of the city or state.

The Congressional Personal Safety Act will grant elected officials the authority to carry a firearm anywhere in America, except for the Capitol. Simply put, the right to bear arms is a right to self-defense, and I’m proud to spearhead this measure.”

To The Volunteer

It was 2012 and my candidate had lost. I’m not talking about Mitt Romney; I’m talking about my candidate for Cobb County District Attorney. I sat glaring at my phone screen with nothing but shock and confusion. How could my candidate have lost? Months of my life was spent canvassing, phone banking, attending events, taking donations, signing up supporters, and passing out stylish campaign swag. All of it was for nothing.

I spent that evening crying along with a small group of fellow volunteers and interns. We believed in our candidate and her future. It all shattered in the brief moment between clicking the refresh button and my quick scan of the updated Secretary of State website. I left the gut wrenching evening behind and drove home.

A volunteer is a precious commodity. They’re the true believers—the ones who are willing to spend hours doing the mundane for no pay. Titles are of no concern to them. Volunteers are a splash of humanity in an otherwise twisted arena.

Their pure, hopeful energy is destroyed when their candidate loses. It’s tough.

To the countless volunteers who truly believed and were let down: Don’t give up. Don’t lose your passion. Don’t pass up the next opportunity to create the world you want.

Georgia’s Dr. A. Wayne Johnson Appointed COO of Federal Student Aid

Dr. A. Wayne Johnson, a native of Macon, has been appointed as the Chief Operating Officer at the Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA). According to a joint press release from Sen. Johnny Isakson (R, GA) and Reps. Rick Allen (R, GA-12) and Drew Ferguson (R, GA-3), Dr. Johnson had “previously served as a senior executive for companies in the financial services and payments industry including Columbus based TSYS and Atlanta based First Data.”

Rep. Ferguson:

“Dr. Johnson will bring much needed payments industry expertise to the Office of Federal Student Aid. With over $1.4 trillion in student loan debt, students and families need an experienced executive to manage the FSA. I am proud to have a Georgian at the head of FSA, and I look forward to working with Dr. Johnson to reform our student loan system.”

Sen. Isakson:

“Wayne Johnson will bring years of executive and entrepreneurial experience in the education and financial services industries to the Office of Federal Student Aid. He is a great servant to his country, and I know he will do well at the Department of Education.”

Rep. Allen:

“Today I join my colleagues in congratulating my fellow Georgian, Dr. A. Wayne Johnson on his appointment as the Chief Operating Officer of Federal Student Aid. The Federal Student Aid Office is in desperate need of reform and greater accountability and I stand ready to assist Dr. Johnson in this important task.”