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.
Dentons partner Jeremy Berry is the mayor’s pick for Atlanta city attorney. Mayor Kasim Reed announced today that he’s naming Berry as the new city attorney. Cathy Hampton, the current city attorney, announced April 18 that she will be stepping down on May 19. Reed said at the time that he’d name her successor by next week.
Other than that he’s an Emory grad, there’s not much wrong with this pick. While well established in Democratic political circles, Berry is also very active in the community, and I’ll state for the record he works quite well across party lines. The Mayor made a good pick.
As was mentioned on social media yesterday, we have had multiple requests asking if Jon’s celebration of life service will be livestreamed. While that is a bit unusual, Jon was a pioneer in the making social media sociable. As such, it will. At 7PM we will post the feed here. The broadcast will begin about 7:20, with the actual program beginning at 7:30pm.
For those that wish to attend in person, the service will be at the 1818 Club, 6500 Sugarloaf Pky Duluth, with the family receiving guests beginning at 7:00pm and the program beginning at 7:30pm.
I didn’t get to spend much time with Jon in person outside of politics, but we built a friendship through what we do starting out at the old homestead and now over here at GeorgiaPol. Living in the northwest corner of the state makes it a little difficult to make all of the events in and around Atlanta in person although I am there in spirit.
Although we didn’t see each other face-to-face frequently, I still enjoyed interacting with him on here and on social media as our sergeant-at-arms on the weird Facebook thread, affectionately called the #ThreadofDestiny, that was started back in 2013 sometime after the Georgia Republican Party convention.
I’m sure most of you lurk, as Jon would say, the #ToD reading comments. Jon would function as our official comment tallier and historian. I still smile when I think of how eloquently he fulfilled my request to enter into the official #ToD record that Samantha agreed to marry me back in March of 2014.
Charlie has been gracious to allow a bunch of politicos to chat among ourselves about nothing (it’s almost like Seinfeld except not as famous). The only rule is that we don’t talk about politics. Well, that and you can’t use certain words lest you upset Mom Pundit (although, we’ve slipped “a few” times). Not talking politics sounds like an odd rule, but it’s quite refreshing to have a place where you can talk about things other than politics.
I didn’t know Jon Richards as well as others here. But I do know people who cared deeply for him. And I care deeply for them.
Death is weird. It is a show-stopping, non-discrimitory, perspective changing, stop-you-in-your-tracks, and the absolute one thing in life you can count on happening to everybody. It can bring out the worst in us. And it can bring out the best.
I am convinced that the passing of Jon Richards has brought out the best in our little corner of the world. From Jon’s last day at the Capitol and the love and respect showered on him from the Governor’s office and beyond, to the respects paid by those near and far, on social media and by major news outlets. But especially by the incredible example of loyalty and genuine friendship shown to Jon by our own Charlie Harper.
There is nothing so intimate, so loving, so personal, as helping someone pass from this life into the next. And Charlie was a part of that for Jon. He selflessly gave of his time, lovingly walked with Jon’s family, and advocated for Jon when Jon was unable to do so for himself. Charlie left not one stone unturned, made every necessary phone call, reached out to anyone he could think of, in an effort to make these last few months as easy on Jon and his family as they could be.
That is friendship. That is loyalty. That is selflessness. That is humanity.
It’s nice to think that what we do here at GaPol matters. It feels good to feel like you are sharing some tidbit of knowledge or information that will help something or someone. But let me share something that really matters.
People matter. Relationships matter. Spending time with the people you love matters.
Most peoples lives will continue as normal today. But some will feel a void for the foreseeable future. Be kind. Reach out. Check in. Because that is what really matters.
A resolution was placed in the Senate hopper on Friday in recognition of Jon Richards.
Senate Resolution 539
By: Senators Unterman of the 45th, Martin of the 9th, Shafer of the 48th, Butler of the 55th, Henson of the 41st and others
Recognizing Jon Richards; and for other purposes.
WHEREAS, Jon Richards became a Georgian by moving to Lawrenceville, Georgia, after graduating from Allegheny College and having been born in Cleveland, Ohio; and
WHEREAS, Jon Richards has been a great family man as son to his mother, Caroline, and his late father, Glenn; his sisters Amy and Anne; his brother-in-law Andrew; and his nephews, Cal, Matthew, and Stuart, for whom he is an experienced pumpkin carver and the official distributor of presents found under the tree on Christmas morning; and
This is a post I would rather not write, had guessed I would probably have to write, but had also hoped it would be much longer down the road than today. But today is that day.
After a meeting with Jon’s family and Jon’s doctors, the decision has been made to move Jon into hospice care. No one ever wants to make this decision. The reality is that these kinds of decisions are well above our pay grade.
The goal at this time is to keep Jon comfortable and manage the pain that is forever enjoined with stage IV cancer. He’s mostly soothed at this time. It is our prayer that he will remain this way during the days he has left.
Please continue to keep Jon’s Mom Caroline and sisters Anne and Amy in your prayers. Say one for comfort and peace for Jon, as we prepare to say our goodbyes, and “til we meet again”.
Senator Johnny Isakson has issued the following statement, saying that he has undergone a second back surgery and is continuing on a program of physical therapy rehabilitation. Having more than reached my limit with our current healthcare “system”, I would like to extend my sincere wishes that his recovery goes smooth, steady, and quickly, and I offer an additional prayer for those in his family that get to deal with the paperwork and bureaucracy.
From a press release:
MARIETTA, Ga. – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., is recovering at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta, Ga., after undergoing surgery earlier today to address a sacral hairline stress fracture that developed in the last few days.
My political online writing experience began 10 years ago last month. It began with me making a late night comment on a political blog that I had been reading for months. Way back when, there was no Facebook for most of us. If you wanted to talk with people of common interests, you had to go where they were on the internet.
One of the contributors at the time was this strange kid named Jason Pye. He was a libertarian. At times, he was also a Libertarian. He was rigid and inflexible. He refused to ride MARTA because it was federally subsidized. He was emphatic that Government shouldn’t pick winners and losers, and opposed any policy or change in policy that he believed it did. He was difficult. He was unyielding. But he was also, and more importantly, consistent.
All of us have grown a lot since those wild west days of internet politics. Some had defined ideas of where they wanted to go and how they planned to get there. Others enjoyed the ride for a while as it lasted. Some of us became a dog that caught a car we didn’t even know we were chasing (i.e, me). And then there’s Pye. Continue reading “Jason Pye: Local Boy Does Good”