Georgia’s 20-week Abortion Ban to be Enforced

In a release hot off the press, the Georgia Life Alliance sent this statement about a half hour ago:

ATLANTA – On June 19, 2017, the Georgia Supreme Court upheld the dismissal of a challenge to Georgia’s 20-week fetal pain abortion bill that had kept the 2012 law passed by the Georgia General Assembly from being enforced for the last five years.  The fetal pain bill, so named because an unborn child can feel pain at 20 weeks, made most abortions after 20-weeks illegal.  During the lawsuit that lasted for the last five years, enforcement of this law has been on hold; but with the decision today, the law banning abortions after a fetus can feel pain is now the law of Georgia.

Camila Zolfaghari, executive director of Georgia Life Alliance said, “This is a victory for human life and human dignity. No child should have to feel the pain of being ripped apart, limb by limb in an abortion.”  The 20-week ban makes it a felony for a doctor to abort a fetus after 20 weeks.

The court dismissed the case on grounds of sovereign immunity stating that the Georgia Constitution bans lawsuits against the state except in cases where the state decides to waive that immunity.  In doing so, the Georgia Supreme Court avoided any decisions one way or the other about the constitutionality of the 20-week ban and the Court expressly noted other legal avenues that the plaintiffs could challenge the law’s constitutionality.

“We understand that life has triumphed today, but we still have a long way to go before every life, born and unborn, is fully valued and protected,” said Zolfaghari.  “Still we rejoice that the protection of human life grew just a little stronger today.  Every single life has value.”

Georgia Life Alliance is the Georgia affiliate of National Right to Life.

Morning Reads for June 14, 2017

As most of us shuffle across the house this morning for that first cup of coffee, in Middle Georgia there are Law Enforcement Officers who have continued the search throughout the night for the two men who murdered two Georgia Correctional Officers yesterday morning. There isn’t anything new to report on the massive manhunt that is ongoing, but our hearts and prayers go out to the families of Officer Monica and Officer Billue, as well as the Georgia Department of Corrections.

“Same Liberal Tactics” from Frontiers of Freedom Group

Political Insider reported this morning that Congressman Buddy Carter is taking some heat for having his name on a bill with Elizabeth Warren. Apparently, a group called Frontiers of Freedom based in Virginia is running this ad:

Some facts that might be worth mentioning.

  • Joseph Kennedy sponsored the bill in the House.
  • There are 12 Co-Sponsors, 4 of which are Republicans.
  • The Libertarian Think-Tank, Libertarian Niskanen Center, also supports the bill.
  • Elizabeth Warren did sponsor the Senate bill.
  • Additionally, the Senate bill has only 4 c0-sponsors, 3 of which are Republicans and includes Johnny Isakson.

Continue reading ““Same Liberal Tactics” from Frontiers of Freedom Group”

Lessons from the Convention (and how we failed the test)

After three rounds of votes by over 1500 delegates (though the number lessened to 1420 by the third round), the delegates to the Georgia GOP State Convention elected John Watson as Chairman. The final round came down to Watson and Alex Johnson.

After the final vote, I immediately sought out the candidates or their campaign staff for quotes. Unable to find Mr. Johnson at first, I asked Brandt Frost V to either text Alex and ask for a quote or give me one himself in whatever role he played in the campaign. This was the quote I was given (emphasis mine):

“Alex cut 76 votes, or more than half off his margin of defeat in 2015. The fact that a political outsider with no party office almost upset the party’s favorite son, shows the level of discontent with the party’s internal decision making.” 

Continue reading “Lessons from the Convention (and how we failed the test)”

Georgia GOP Delegates vote John Watson as new leader of the State Party

After three rounds of ballots, lasting more than three hours, the Georgia Republican Party voted John Watson as Chairman with 741 votes to Alex Johnson’s 679.

The first round of ballots knocked Mike Welsh out of the running. The second round eliminating Michael McNeely. 

Jay Walker, a well known political consultant in the state, as well as a close friend of John Watson said, “We can finally begin to rebuild the trust between elected officials and the grassroots again. I am proud of my friend, John, and the work he has done and the hard work he has ahead of him.”
Carmen Foskey, Watson’s campaign manager, said smiling, “We have a heck of a lot of work to do.”

From Speaker Ralston’s office, we received this statement:

“I congratulate John Watson on his well-deserved victory as GAGOP Chairman. An exciting new chapter begins for our state party today. I look forward to working with John to build our grassroots network and strengthen our fundraising to elect conservative candidates in Georgia.”

Alex Johnson’s senior campaign advisor, Brandt Frost V had this to say:

“Alex cut 76 votes, or more than half off his margin of defeat in 2015. The fact that a political outsider with no party office almost upset the party’s favorite son, shows the level of discontent with the party’s internal decision making.” 

At almost exactly 6:30pm, and after three rounds of votes, Carolyn Fisher was elected 1st Vice Chair.

Updated: Gubernatorial Candidate Michael Williams makes claims of bribery at State Convention

In between votes for State Chairman, candidates for governor are being allowed to make their stump speeches to the over 1500 delegates present in Augusta. 

Moments ago, gubernatorial candidate Michael Williams took the stage and his first statement was that he had just been offered Chairman of Appropriations in the State Senate if he would not run for governor. 

In a room filled with political cynicism, the claim was met with gasps. And while it made for a shocking opening statement, the remainder of Williams speech was filled with disgust and criticism for those who hold higher elected office that made the claim a little less credible. 

Williams’ senate colleague and fellow candidate for Governor, Hunter Hill, doubts the validity of the statement.

I don’t think it’s true. I wasn’t offered anything. 

William said last year he would run for Secretary of State, but announced for Governor in the last 24 hours. He was elected to the State Senate (District 27) in 2014 after self-financing his campaign with $300,000, taking the seat from incumbent Jack Murphy in Forsyth County during a run-off. 

State and Local Officials Take Varying Approaches to the “Distracted Driving” Issue

This morning, Speaker Ralston’s office released a statement announcing the members of a House Committee to look at Distracted Driving.

  • Rep. John Carson – Chair (R-Marietta)
  • Rep. Shaw Blackmon (R-Bonaire)
  • Rep. Heath Clark (R-Warner Robins)
  • Rep. Rich Golick (R-Smyrna)
  • Rep. Bill Hitchens (R-Rincon)
  • Rep. Eddie Lumsden (R-Armuchee)
  • Rep. Brian Prince (D-Augusta)
  • Rep. Darlene Taylor (R-Thomasville)
  • Rep. Bob Trammell (D-Luthersville)
  • Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta)

The study committee formed out of House Resolution 282 and will look at changing state laws in order to help eliminate distracted driving.

However, just a short drive the Gold Dome, the Columbus Police Department formed their own “committee.” Yesterday morning, in an effort to eliminate distracted driving, the Columbus Police Department issued 96 citations in a 2 hour period for distracted driving. The fine could cost drivers up to $200. According the Ledger-Enquirer , there have been 14 fatalities in Muscogee County alone since the beginning of the year due to distracted driving.  Continue reading “State and Local Officials Take Varying Approaches to the “Distracted Driving” Issue”

Governor Deal signs bill to Strengthen Sex Trafficking Laws

Sen. Renee Unterman (R – Buford) issued the following statement after Governor Deal signed House Bill 341 into law:

“House Bill 341 becoming law brings us one step closer to properly prosecuting those who engage in sex trafficking or soliciting victims,” said Sen. Unterman. “Fighting for sex trafficking victim’s rights remains a top priority for the Georgia General Assembly and everyone who works outside the capitol year-round to ensure the issue of sex trafficking continues to be addressed. Passing and enacting legislation like HB 341 solidifies our efforts and assures victims and their families that we are doing something to address these horrible acts.”

Under HB 341, changes are made to provisions in Georgia law relating to sex trafficking. Currently, a person commits the offense of sex trafficking when they knowingly subject an individual to, or maintain an individual in sexual servitude. This includes recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining by any means a person for the purpose of sexual servitude. HB 341 adds that a person may also commit the offense of sex trafficking if they solicit an individual to perform anything related to sexual conduct when the person they solicit is being trafficked.

Columbus Mayor sets sights on Perdue Senate Seat

Just over a month ago, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported that the city’s first female mayor, Teresa Tomlinson, was weighing her options for a state-wide run. Today she announced that the race is coming, but not until 2020.

“I am looking at federal position — the Senate position in 2020,” she said.

Tomlinson and her husband, Trip, reside in the 2nd Congressional District. She said of Congressman Sanford Bishop;

“He’s my congressman and he’s of the same party. He’s my guy. And he’s been my guy for a long time. … What’s the purpose there? What’s the net value to the Democratic Party and the state of Georgia? … What’s the point of that, other than self promotion? And, that, I am not into.”

Continue reading “Columbus Mayor sets sights on Perdue Senate Seat”

Website and Social Media Seek to “Draft” Gubernatorial Candidate

At some point in the last 24 hours a website and Facebook page have emerged urging Lynn Westmoreland to run for Governor. The website lists all the wonderful things about our home State before talking about the former Congressman.  Continue reading “Website and Social Media Seek to “Draft” Gubernatorial Candidate”