GAGOP District Convention 2017 Wrap Up

Once the final gavel fell on the 14th District Republican Convention, I said to a few friends “Thank God and Greyhound” (quoting the Roy Clark song).  I didn’t run for re-election for district chairman.  I have my reasons, the most important one being my wife Samantha and I welcoming our first child, Lucas Todd Smith, into the world this August.  You can read my chairman’s report to my district Convention at the end of this post.  I still have final paperwork to do to wrap up my term as chairman, including sending a copy of the resolution our district passed honoring the life of Jon Richards to his family, but it’s nice to have a weight lifted and focus on other important things….like building baby registries which we did yesterday.

There were a few district chairmen who decided not to run for another term, so there will be a lot of new faces on the GAGOP Executive Committee.  I believe they earn an appreciation for the process.  You tend to see things in a different light, so if you’re a new chairman or officer in the Georgia Republican Party structure, just remember to listen more than you speak.

Here are the district chairmen for the 2017-2019 term (thanks to Joseph Brannan for the list):

Continue reading “GAGOP District Convention 2017 Wrap Up”

Republicans Begin To Circle Support Around Karen Handel

Georgia Republicans are beginning to rally around #GA6 Republican candidate Karen Handel. Governor Nathan Deal’s camp didn’t waste time circling support around Handel with Deal’s Chief of Staff Chris Riley taking to Twitter yesterday.

Senator Johnny Isakson also threw his support behind the Republican candidate yesterday:

Continue reading “Republicans Begin To Circle Support Around Karen Handel”

Senator Johnny Isakson Signs Bipartisan Letter To Fight For Rural Broadband

US Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) signed on to a bipartisan letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging them to modernize the Universal Service Fund (USF).  Currently, USF is tied to customers subscribing to landlines, a service that slowly going extinct as more people “cut the cord”.  The letter sent to Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Mignon Clyburn argues that current rules force rural customers to sign up for services that they either may not want or may not need.

Rural broadband has been brought up closer to the limelight with a study committee created by the Georgia General Assembly tour the state and study the issue.  No legislation was passed this year on the state level addressing the matter, but Senator Isakson presses the issue on the federal level with this letter to the FCC:

“Rural Georgians have been waiting too long for the FCC to address this issue,” said Isakson. “Standalone Internet services should be available to all Americans at this point, and dependable rural access to broadband services are a necessity in this day and age, not a luxury.”

Commissioner O’Rielly, you may remember, is hesitant on expanding the federal funding of broadband expansion in the United States, and I understand his reasoning.  We’ve written about Windstream being caught in the crosshairs of Congressman Doug Collins.  Windstream currently receives federal funding to provide broadband to rural areas, but the promised speeds are lacking and the service is poor.

The letter, signed by 56 senators, follows a similar letter that was sent back in May 2015 signed on by 61 senators and 115 US representatives.  You can read the full letter to the FCC in full below the fold.

Continue reading “Senator Johnny Isakson Signs Bipartisan Letter To Fight For Rural Broadband”

Congressman Tom Graves To Hold Cybersecurity Discussion

Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA-14), in conjunction with Georgia Tech, will be hosting a discussion on cybersecurity and what public policy would be beneficial in fighting cyber criminals on May 1st from 10a ’til 12p at the Technology Square Research Building (TSRB) Auditorium at Georgia Tech.  From a presser:

Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) in cooperation with the Georgia Institute of Technology will hold a cybersecurity event in Atlanta on May 1, which will feature a bipartisan, multisector panel discussion about whether public policy can help individuals and businesses go on offense to defeat and unmask cyberattackers.

Last month, Rep. Graves proposed the Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act (ACDC) as a discussion draft. The draft bill makes changes to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to allow the use of limited defensive measures that exceed the boundaries of one’s network in an attempt to identify and stop attackers. Once a cybercriminal is identified, the victim can share that information with law enforcement or try to disrupt an ongoing attack. Click HERE to read more about ACDC.

The title of the discussion is “Is it time to go on offense? A conversation about active defense in cyberspace.”

Ossoff’s Campaign Caught Stretching The Truth Again

The campaign of Jon Ossoff, a Democratic congressional candidate in #GA06, appears to have sent an email to supporters saying that Nate Silver, founder and editor of FiveThirtyEight, made the statement that the road to winning back the House starts with #GA06.  A photo of the email’s headline was posted to Twitter with at tag back to Nate Silver:

Nate Silver took exception to that statement…because he didn’t say it. Although, he put it a little more colorfully (Warning: somewhat strong language below the fold):

Continue reading “Ossoff’s Campaign Caught Stretching The Truth Again”

Senators Johnny Isakson And David Perdue React To Neil Gorsuch’s Confirmation

The US Senate voted 54 to 45 today to confirm Neil Gorsuch as the 113th Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Both of Georgia’s US Senators issued statements praising Gorsuch and the Senate for his confirmation.

From Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA):

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today applauded Senate confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve as the next justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Isakson, who is in Georgia today recovering from two back surgeries, was not present for today’s vote. He was in Washington on Thursday and spoke in favor of Judge Gorsuch during debate on the Senate floor.

 “Judge Gorsuch’s judicial temperament and his ironclad commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law make him an excellent addition to our nation’s highest court,” said Isakson. “I’m so proud to have someone like Judge Gorsuch who will serve on the Supreme Court with wisdom and distinction, continuing the fine legacy of the man whom he will replace, the late Justice Antonin Scalia.”

From Senator David Perdue (R-GA):

U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) released the following statement after the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch as the next Associate Justice to the United States Supreme Court:

“Judge Gorsuch is an unwavering supporter of the United States Constitution, and the best person to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia,” said Senator Perdue. “I was honored and proud to vote to confirm Judge Gorsuch, and I am certain he will continue to show remarkable leadership, integrity, and evenhandedness as our next Associate Justice to the Supreme Court.”

Sonny Perdue Will Soon Get A Floor Vote For His Confirmation

I posted an AJC article earlier today about former Governor Sonny Perdue’s confirmation vote getting delayed. Word has it that a floor vote has been scheduled in the Senate for April 24th. I’m sure the former Governor is probably saying “Finally!”

It will also be interesting to see how many Democrats will vote “no” on every nominee just because they can.

PSA: Be Weather Aware And Be Prepared For Severe Weather

Most of Georgia is currently rated at a moderate chance of severe thunderstorms today.  The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK raised the forecast from Moderate to High for southeast Georgia including Macon and Augusta.  That High bubble could expand to include the metro area and possibly parts of southwest and north Georgia

It’s good to be prepared ahead of severe weather so that you’re not caught up in a panic on what you need to do.  At a minimum, you should make sure you have your phone charged and a weather app downloaded on your phone with the ability to access your location and know where you can seek shelter in the event of a warning.

Most weather apps (like The Weather Channel, Accuweather, and ones provided by local news channels) are able to send notifications to your phone alerting when you are under a weather watch or warning.  If you have a weather radio with an alarm that goes off when a watch or warning has been issued for your area, make sure that it’s plugged in and has fresh batteries for a backup in case you lose power.

Speaking of watches and warnings, let’s go over the difference between the two: Continue reading “PSA: Be Weather Aware And Be Prepared For Severe Weather”

For Ag Secretary Nominee Sonny Perdue, It’s “Hurry Up And Wait”

It’s been 11 weeks since President Donald Trump nominated former Governor Sonny Perdue to lead the federal Agriculture Department.  As the AJC points out in today’s article, the former Governor was the last nominee appointed to fill Trump’s cabinet.  Delays, including a paperwork mishap, have pushed back the confirmation vote by the US Senate, and the temptation of Senate Republicans pressing the nuclear button to push Neil Gorsuch’s nomination through could delay Perdue’s confirmation even further.

Perdue has received praise from both sides of the aisle, so his confirmation shouldn’t be all that controversial (a seemingly rare occurrence in the Trump administration), but supporters of Perdue are gettting a bit anxious with delay after delay.  From an excerpt of a letter penned by the top Republican and Democrat on the House Agricultural Committee to the Senate as posted on the AJC: Continue reading “For Ag Secretary Nominee Sonny Perdue, It’s “Hurry Up And Wait””

Morning Reads For Wednesday, April 5th

Apologies for today’s delay.  As with official GeorgiaPol editorial policy, we regret the error and blame others.  For your continued patience, here’s a picture that symbolizes Wednesday.

PSA: Be careful out there.  Today is going to be a wild weather day.  Be prepared, know where to shelter for safety, and make a plan for communicating if your family is separated in the event of severe weather.

Here:

The attorney for the man accused for starting the fire that lead to the collapse of the I-85 bridge in Atlanta says her client is being used as a scapegoat.

GDOT hopes to have I-85 reopened by June 15th.  We’re hoping for sooner.

Caterpillar’s closing of a plant in Illinois isn’t expected to affect the plant in Athens.

Paula Deen is opening a new vehicle for butter restaurant in Savannah.

There:

Will Senate Republicans hit the nuclear button for Neil Gorsuch?

Getting accepted to an Ivy League school is an accomplishment, but what about being accepted to all eight?

Kim Jong Un sabre-rattles as Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the United States

Nigel Farage compares the EU’s treatment of the UK as they go through Brexit to “behaving like the mafia.”

Yonder:

The Bravos were holding their own against the Mets on Opening Day Monday…until the bullpen took over.  Let’s hope it was just a fluke as they take the field tonight at 7:10p.

The Cassini probe that has been orbiting Saturn since 2004 will make a grand finale tour over the next few months including a final flyby of Titan on April 22 before it takes a dive into Saturn in September.

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, wins the 2016 A.M. Turing Award.

Meet Harry, the driverless, autonomous shuttle that’s being tested in London.

That’s all for this morning.  Be weather aware and stay safe.