Speaker Ralston Names Rural Development Council

A couple of weeks ago I previewed the need to get the issues of rural Georgia into the 2018 statewide campaigns. The plight of rural Georgia affects us all, as policy decisions made in Atlanta (and often influenced by the 55% of the state that live in “Atlanta”) make a disproportional impact in that other Georgia. House Speaker David Ralston has named members of a Rural Development Council that will be looking at a variety of issues unique to rural Georgia. This isn’t your average “study committee”. Look at the names and titles of the members below. This is a serious effort to not only identify and isolate well known problems, but foster actual solutions – and translate the need for those solutions to those of us that live up here in “Atlanta”.

Press release follows:

ATLANTA – Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) today announced the members of the House Rural Development Council. This council, which was created during the recent legislative session, will work with rural communities to find ways to encourage economic growth.

“Georgia is a growing and prosperous state, and we are thankful for that,” said Speaker Ralston. “But that prosperity isn’t being felt in every community across Georgia. Some of our rural areas are still struggling, and we must do everything we can to help private businesses grow jobs in every corner of our state.” Continue reading “Speaker Ralston Names Rural Development Council”

That Tuition Increase and Other Riveting University System of Georgia News

In case you were working on an end-of-semester project, sleeping off a hangover, or just disconnected from all things public college in this state, tuition is going to go up 2 percent for the 2017-2018 academic year. That should work out to between $27 and $98 per semester for full-time, in-state undergraduates, depending on the college or university.

Don’t worry, exactly zero dollars and zero cents will be added to my salary (or almost any other professor’s salary) from this increase!

The Chancellor and the Board of Regents have to say things like “we thank the General Assembly that we were graciously allowed to raise costs,” and probably it’s not smart for an untenured, assistant professor (who is a librarian, nonetheless) to point out reality, but as costs to educate increase, our funding has to come from somewhere, and it’s almost assuredly not going to come from state appropriations. Continue reading “That Tuition Increase and Other Riveting University System of Georgia News”

Kirby Smart channels his inner Sean Spicer

University of Georgia football coach Kirby Smart is making news headlines and, once again, it stems from a souring relationship with the media.

Smart announced on Tuesday, per the Macon Telegraph, that the media will no longer be permitted to report injuries, both “non-contact jerseys [sic] and injuries seen in front of media,” until he signs off. Reporters are generally on the practice field for seven to 15 minutes per practice and, before the change, the policy was simply no phone calls and no social media posts from the field.

The new policy begins less than a week after Smart slammed the media…in a press conference. Online Athens reports that a freshman defensive back was injured during a practice in front of reporters. Several reporters wrote about the incident and Coach Smart followed with a vocal indication of his dissatisfaction:

Continue reading “Kirby Smart channels his inner Sean Spicer”

Morning Reads – Thursday, April 20, 2017

On this date in 1972, the manned lunar module from Apollo 16 landed on the moon.


Jimmy Carter

Sweat Tea

Carr announces firearms license reciprocity agreement with Virginia

Another state has been added to the list for firearms license reciprocity in Georgia.

Attorney General Chris Carr announced Wednesday that Virginia firearms licenses will be recognized in Georgia.

Reciprocity stems from a 1996 law which allows Georgia to grant the privilege to citizens from other states that also recognize Georgia’s firearms licenses.

Virginia recently decided to permit Georgia firearms license holders 21 years of age and older to be protected under their carry laws. This means, effective immediately, Georgia now offers reciprocity and honors Virginia firearms licenses.

Continue reading “Carr announces firearms license reciprocity agreement with Virginia”

Pres. Trump to Karen Handel: Oh–You’re Welcome.

President Trump is claiming credit for ensuring no Republican won in last night’s CD-6 race.

I suppose it’s a badge of honor that you can cause a ten-point swing in an election. But usually, only, you know, if your party benefits from said change.

Or maybe a loss is a win if you have the right alternative facts.

Contractors Discuss Immigration with Rep. Mark Sanford

I traveled to Bluffton, South Carolina yesterday to participate in a contractors round table with U.S. Congressman Mark Sanford (SC-1). Rep. Sanford joined approximately 25 contractors immediately after completing his eighth town hall in his district. The group of contractors employs between 2,500-3,000 people, with 62-63% being Hispanic.

Rep. Sanford opened the meeting by sharing seven major areas that will be addressed this year, though immigration dominated the discussion following his opening thoughts:

1. Healthcare (possible new bill within the next month)
2. Tax policy
3. Continuing resolution/budget
4. Debt ceiling (The plan appears to be to set financial limits instead of a just a cutoff date. He used the analogy of giving a credit card to someone and telling them they have a $10,000 limit instead of saying they could use the credit card until October).
5. Transportation – The money will probably be around $1 trillion
6. Border wall construction and work permits
7. Flood insurance reform


Rep. Sanford felt that a rushed timetable led to the demise of the GOP’s first attempt at healthcare reform this year. He stated that AHCA and Medicare Part D were discussed 10 times longer than the recent bill. He said there was just not enough time for people to buy into the bill and to offer up meaningful amendments.

Continue reading “Contractors Discuss Immigration with Rep. Mark Sanford”

Morning Reads — I’m Back

Miss me?

“First I Look at the Purse” by J. Geils Band (RIP).

  1. John Lewis heading to Haaahvuhd to get an award. 
  2. AgWeek editorial: Sonny Perdue needs to be confirmed. 
  3. Atlanta rapper T.I. urges more civic involvement; rules out political bid (“I’m too motivated”).
  4. Mark Texeira now an eco-advocate for Atlanta’s Procter Creek redevelopment. 
  5. Highways falling apart? That’s a good sign to take MARTA, advocates say. 
  6. Dozens of Cases Are Dismissed and Reviewed in Georgia After Officers are Fired

Runoff! Speakers Weigh In

The hour is late (early) and Fulton County is still Fulton Countying, but it appears most parties agree we have a June 20th runoff in CD6.

As such, we have the following statements:

From Georgia House Speaker David Ralston:

“I’m proud to support Karen Handel as our next member of Congress from Georgia. Unlike her opponent, Karen lives in the 6th District and she understands the needs and views of the citizens in that district. She will represent the 6th District in Washington — not Hollywood or Manhattan. I will ask the GOP members of the Georgia House to join with me and engage in an aggressive way to elect Karen Handel to Congress.”

From U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Expect a lot more unity to be published from the GOP side tomorrow.

Special Election Open Thread #GA6 #SD32

EDIT: 12:03 a.m. – Ossoff at 48.61%, Handel at 19.49%. Gray, Abroms endorse Handel in June 20th runoff.

11:40 p.m. – Technical issues in Fulton County. I am sure the Russians will be mentioned. WSB-TV reporting: “Rare data error from one of the cards means Fulton Co. will have to manually go through hundreds of cards to find the culprit.”

9:49 p.m. – Ossoff is just above 50% at 50.96%. Handel is in second at 18.08% and Judson Hill in third at 9.50%. 97/210 precincts reporting.

As of 9:37 p.m., GA-6 is trending towards an Ossoff (53.94%) – Handel (17.62%) runoff. 67/210 precincts reporting. A LONG way to go, though.

After what seems like a million campaign ads, posts, and tweets, it is finally election night in #GA6 (and SD32). GA6 has seen a special election where one penny was given locally for every $10 given nationally. Rachel Wilson has a great overview of the race and its finances over at The Center for Public Integrity.

You can follow the results below or at the Secretary of State’s website. Take note that the election results webpage has been updated and looks very nice and colorful.