A #GAGOP Resolution That May Actually Be Productive

Next weekend, Georgia Republicans will flock to Augusta to elect new officers, hobnob with candidates for statewide office, and pass resolutions (as well as other things).  Some resolutions are to honor those who are no longer with us, but a lot of times they are a statement of principle or to “send a message” to elected officials.

Sometimes they make good fodder and get picked up by the press, especially those that chastise an elected official, but most of the time they get forgotten a couple of weeks after the final gavel of the convention falls.

On occasion, we see resolutions that look to change the operation of the Party.  A resolution submitted to the GAGOP Resolutions Committee by the Georgia Young Republicans looks to do just that.

Continue reading “A #GAGOP Resolution That May Actually Be Productive”

Big Name Endorsements In The #GAGOP Chairman’s Race

This year’s GAGOP has been fairly interesting thus far. You have an “anonymous” group or individual pushing for delegates to #DrainTheGASWAMP.  Obviously, these folks are trying to tap into the energy driving the #TrumpTrain to derail the candidacies of those they deem as unfit for leadership.  So far, specifically naming John Watson, Michael McNeely, and Mike Welsh as “unfit”….leaving Alex Johnson as seemingly untouched by the group.  It’s not exactly an endorsement, but you can draw your own conclusions.

You also have Michael McNeely picking up up an endorsement from former presidential candidate and current radio show host Herman Cain last week.  Cain stated that he was impressed by his messaging.

Today, the chair of the Donald Trump campaign in Georgia, Rayna Casey, endorsed John Watson for GAGOP Chairman.  From the AJC:

“Why take a chance with a likeable amateur when we have a professional willing to volunteer his strategic political expertise, including raising millions, to win our elections?” she wrote in a dispatch sent to GOP activists across the state.

The “likeable amateur” swipe is probably vague enough to encompass McNeely, Welsh, and Johnson.  This is no doubt a play to get Trump supporters to back Watson showing that he has earned a positive recommendation from the Trump campaign and solidifying Trump supporters behind him…especially when Trump supporters seem to be divided on the state chairman race.

As of now, I believe it’s anybody’s race for state chairman.  It seems, just browsing Facebook and looking across my district convention back in April, that Alex Johnson has picked up a decent amount of support to be competitive and has the possibility of making it to a second ballot.  He’s playing the political outsider as well as courting Trump supporters, but how will Johnson fair against Watson now that the top Georgia Trump campaign official has weighed in?  How will McNeely and Welsh factor into and fair in the balloting?  Feel free to opine on what your tea leaves tell you in the comments.

Getting To Know The #GAGOP Chairman Candidates – Part 4: Mike Welsh

This is the last part (but not least!) in a series of responses from each of the candidates for GAGOP Chairman. Today’s response is from Mike Welsh. You can see my previous posts with responses from Alex Johnson, Michael McNeely, and John Watson.

Nathan Smith (GeorgiaPol.com): Tell me a little about yourself. (e.g., where you live, what you do outside of politics (professionally and hobbies, if you will), etc.)

Mike Welsh: I’m a resident of Evans, GA and very active at my church, Kiokee Baptist. I spend a lot of time with my kids in their athletic pursuits
Continue reading “Getting To Know The #GAGOP Chairman Candidates – Part 4: Mike Welsh”

Getting To Know The #GAGOP Chairman Candidates – Part 3: John Watson

This is part 3 in a series. You can read the responses of Alex Johnson and Michael McNeely from last week.

Nathan Smith (GeorgiaPol.com): Tell me a little about yourself. (e.g., where you live, what you do outside of politics (professionally and hobbies, if you will), etc.)

John Watson: Born in Virginia, I began accruing my Georgia credentials after marrying my wife Kimberly, a Cobb county native. We have two daughters, ages 16 and 14, and a girl dog named Georgia. Needless to say, the only “guy time” I get is when I go hunting on the weekends. I’ve spent my life career fundraising, managing political campaigns, and helping elect Republican candidates – and I’d be honored to continue doing so as Chairman of the Georgia GOP.
Continue reading “Getting To Know The #GAGOP Chairman Candidates – Part 3: John Watson”

Setting The House On Fire Doesn’t Help Drain The Bathtub

Social media has been active with questioning the motives and the person behind the anonymous emails and website “Drain the Georgia S.W.A.M.P.”  S.W.A.M.P. being an acronym for “Spenders Without Any Moral Principles”.  The website and emails (there have been five so far) have targeted those of us who have served on the Georgia Republican Party executive committee condemning us for not doing anything to address the financial situation of the GAGOP.  Of course, they forget that a number of us did call for a special executive committee meeting to discuss our financial situation back in February 2016.

Yes, the GAGOP should have more money in the coffers for a state our size.  The GAGOP also competes along with PACs including one who wants you to “donate” money to fax letters to Members of Congress to revive a bill to prohibit Members to solicit donations over the phone while in session.  Yes, the GAGOP didn’t do a bang up job of fundraising to replenish the coffers over the past few years and exhausted the bubble of cash from the beginning of the current decade.

The next Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party has a tough road ahead.  A single person won’t fix the problems we have in the Party, but they’ll lay out a vision to guide the party for the next two years.  A lot the the work to “fix” the problems will require cooperation from the factions currently at war with each other.  That means growing up, putting on the big boy pants, and not hiding behind “anonymous” websites lobbing grenades at leaders.

Continue reading “Setting The House On Fire Doesn’t Help Drain The Bathtub”

Getting To Know The #GAGOP Chairman Candidates – Part 2: Michael McNeely

This is part 2 in a series.  You can view part 1 here.  Today’s response is from Michael McNeely.

Nathan Smith (GeorgiaPol.com): Tell me a little about yourself. (e.g., where you live, what you do outside of politics (professionally and hobbies, if you will), etc.)

Michael McNeely: I’m a Georgia native and grew up in the rural town of Wrens, GA. My father and mother adopted me when I was nine months old and raised me with a focus on serving God and Country. I’m a proud Eagle Scout. I graduated from Georgia Southern University and was a police officer in Fulton County. I served in the Georgia Army National Guard and I’m now an executive with Georgia Juvenile Justice.

Outside of politics, I am a deacon at my church and serve on the Board of Directors of the West Georgia Technical College. My most important relationships are with my wife, Jennifer, and our daughter, Iyanna. I also enjoy reading and working out at the gym.

Continue reading “Getting To Know The #GAGOP Chairman Candidates – Part 2: Michael McNeely”

Handel Gaining Momentum Against Ossoff In Latest Poll

Last night, WSB-TV aired the results of a poll conducted by them and Landmark Communications on the #GA6 race between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat John Ossoff.  Handel leads the race with 49.1% to Ossoff’s 46.5%.

It’s a close race.  4.4% are undecided and there’s a 4% margin of error, but this shows that the GOP wagons are circling around Karen Handel and is gaining momentum, but we’re still more than a month away from election day.  As we’ve said before, special elections can be odd ducks…especially this one since it has become nationalized.  You can expect the attacks against Handel to increase the closer we get to June 20th.  In fact, Ossoff has begun to go negative when he said that he wouldn’t.

Getting To Know The #GAGOP Chairman Candidates – Part 1: Alex Johnson

Programming Note: Over this weekend and next, I plan on presenting a series of questionnaires I sent to each of the candidates for Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party.  Today’s response is from Alex Johnson with tomorrow’s from Michael McNeely.  These posts are for the benefit of informing delegates to the Georgia Republican Party state convention in June and do not represent an endorsement by GeorgiaPol.com.

Nathan Smith (GeorgiaPol.com): Tell me a little about yourself. (e.g., where you live, what you do outside of politics (professionally and hobbies, if you will), etc.)

Alex Johnson: My wife and I live in Dunwoody, GA.  Most of my time outside of work and politics is spent with her. Both of us regularly attend All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody together.  Otherwise, I run my own legal practice handling Civil Rights and Personal Injury cases, and I represent small businesses with formation, contract drafting, or litigation.  I’m a member of the North Atlanta Rotary Club, and people joke that wearing a suit and tie has become my hobby, and I suppose I can’t argue with that.

Continue reading “Getting To Know The #GAGOP Chairman Candidates – Part 1: Alex Johnson”

Drug Treatment Tourism Isn’t The Type Of Tourism We Had In Mind

Drug treatment centers, colloquially known as methadone clinics, have popped up across northwest Georgia.  The clinics have a purpose: to treat those with a drug dependency of heroin and other opioids by treating with methadone.  Methadone replaces the drug the person is dependent on and is seen as an effective treatment.  It’s also a controversial treatment.  I’m not a doctor, so I won’t speak to the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the treatment.  If there are any doctors in the house, feel free to opine in the comments.

That’s not really the issue.  The issue is the number of, as an AP article that discusses this matter, “tourists” that these clinics bring to north Georgia.  According to the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, one in five people treated at a Georgia methadone clinic last year was out of state.  In the same time frame, every two out of three people who visited these clinics in northwest Georgia were from out of state.

Continue reading “Drug Treatment Tourism Isn’t The Type Of Tourism We Had In Mind”

Charlie Harper Receives GACR Jon Richards Public Service Award

Courtesy of Julianne Thompson who posted this picture on Facebook

Charlie Harper has a large sphere of influence in Georgia politics. When he speaks, people tend to listen. I believe he understands his influence but still takes time to guide people who are just starting out. I remember when he first chatted with me when I was a college kid. The first time I  met Charlie in person was at the first Roadshow in Savannah before the ’09 GAGOP convention. I tagged along with him and a couple of others to the hospitality suites across the river. I just graduated college and was still learning.

Soon after, I became Walker GOP Chairman. He even came up for a Victory Dinner on a rainy Tuesday night in northwest Georgia (and later met IHOP Donna). About a year later, he asked if I wanted to start writing for the blog.

Fast forward to now, Charlie continues to carry a lot, if not more, influence in Georgia politics (and now knows two Donnas in the Chattanooga metro area). He’s got a bigger sphere of influence, but he’s still down to earth. I’m glad to have him as a mentor and friend (plus, Samantha really likes him, so I know that’s a big deal).

He, and our late Editor-in-Chief Jon Richards, have worked to grow our unique platform in the political world from a sounding board/clearinghouse of Georgia politics to an influential voice of discussing what’s going on in the Georgia political scene.

That’s why I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the Georgia Association of College Republicans’ Jon Richards Public Service award than our own publisher. Charlie was presented with the award by the Georgia Association of College Republicans at their banquet tonight. I believe it’s a testament to the impact that both he and Jon have had on those who are up-and-coming in the political world.

Congratulations, Charlie. We are proud of you.