Thursday, October 29, 2009

Herring: "King and Spaulding coup advances"

I think Neill Herring is a man who likes some strong metaphors, too.

To be sure, we are looking at a lot of King and Spalding work, influence, and I dare say billing, on water and the environment toward the end of Gov. Perdue's term.

The Daily Report reports "a King & Spalding partner will be the lead attorney on the state of Georgia's appeal of a federal judge's ruling that threatens to cut off Atlanta's access to Lake Lanier as its water source."

A recent King & Spalding partner is also the new head of the EDP.

Headline source: E-mail subject line, Neill Herring. Subscribe to The Daily Report for less than a dollar a day.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The "hill to die on" language was too strong, but now I'll totally redeem myself.

I was trending toward the inaccurate. Apologies.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
doesn't have the same microscope-to-the-condition political accuracy as, say, The Simpsons, but it is awesome.

This episode, "The Gang Runs for Office," is available for a short time on hulu. With some cursing, and advertising.

"It's cheap politics. It's not going to get us that bribe."

Strippers, predators, *a hill to die on* in the 141st

*Too strong and not a good metaphor. Apologies.*

These are mailers the House Democratic Caucus is sending out against Rusty Kidd in the four-way race to replace Bobby Parham in state House District 141, which is centered on Milledgeville:

Three things here:
  1. When, exactly, did the state Democratic Party decide that Rusty Kidd, son of long-time Democratic legislator Culver Kidd, was one of the world's most dangerous predators?
  2. Was it around the time Kidd filed to run as an independent and started dodging questions about his party affiliation?
  3. Does the state Democratic Party see District 141 as a *hill to die on?*
Update: I just spoke to Angela Gheesling McCommon, who's running as a Republican in this race. She said she was recruited to run by House Majority Leader Jerry Keen and House Majority Whip Jan Jones. The Dems don't want him, the R's don't want him. If elected, will Rusty Kidd be a man without a party?
The fliers above focus on Kidd's business, Quick Loans, and obviously cast him as a payday lender. Kidd says he charges 5 percent interest on a 30 day loan, not 600 percent like some of the payday lenders "that we ran out of Georgia."

It's actually the other fliers that are more fun, though. They focus on Kidd's role in a classic Georgia political scandal: The Daufuskie 5.

In 1995 five state legislators and a handful of lobbyists headed to the South Carolina island for a golf junket, and someone paid four strippers to tag along.

While it seems terribly reasonable to me to take political leaders to an exclusive island out of state and bring along some girls from The Cheetah, this apparently rubbed some folks the wrong way.

James Salzer at The AJC did a "what ever happened to" piece on these folks back in 2007 and quoted Kidd:
"A lot of events that take place have hostesses who come by just to carry on conversation," lobbyist Rusty Kidd, who invited the dancers along, said at the time. "It was an innocent thought and nothing but innocence took place. But the perception is not good."
Honestly, who among us hasn't innocently invited strippers to a resort?

Wade Ellis, who lobbied for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce back then, took the main fall for the Daufuskie trip when he lost his job, The AJC reported. But just who invited the ladies is a little unclear.

These days, Kidd says he only discovered that the dancers were invited after they'd left Atlanta. Cell phones weren't so common back then and it was too late to turn the girls around, he has said.

It's worth noting, though, that AJC articles from 1995 say the ladies stayed at the resort for 3 days. That coverage is a hoot to read, by the way, though you'll have to access it through Lexis Nexis or The AJC's archives, both of which cost a little money.

I should have noted that the Democratic caucus is supporting Darrell Black in this race. Another Republican, Casey Tucker is also in the race.

Kidd's campaign site is here. Gheesling-McCommon's Facebook page is here.

It's also worth noting that Mr. Black is the only candidate who hasn't filed his campaign fundraising disclosure yet. But I spoke to him yesterday and he said they're working on it and it will be filed this week.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Perdue makes pick to head EPD

Update: The governor's choice was confirmd.
From the governor's office:
ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that he is recommending F. Allen Barnes to be the new Director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. If approved on Wednesday by the Board of Natural Resources, Barnes will replace Carol Couch, who served as EPD Director for more than six years and recently accepted a faculty position at the University of Georgia’s College of Environment and Design. ...

Allen Barnes served as Chief of Staff for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region Four from 2002 to 2005, enabling him to work on the most significant issues in the eight state southeastern region. As Chief of Staff he worked with state environmental directors and with EPA’s senior staff on regulatory, enforcement, permitting, and policy issues.

Prior to serving at EPA, Barnes taught natural resource policy and law as an Associate Professor at Mississippi State from 1996 to 2002. Barnes has also served as a prosecutor in the Florida State Attorney’s Office and as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney handling criminal, tort and environmental litigation. He is currently a partner in King & Spalding’s environmental practice. Barnes graduated from the University of West Florida and received his J.D. from the University of Mississippi.
Update: Long-time enviro lobbyist Neill Herring offers this appraisal:
This is the second King and Spalding lawyer at DNR in two weeks. Another one got put on the DNR Board from the 4th District.

Replacing a water scientist with another lawyer, right when we need to be figuring out how to share out water resources with our neighbors doesn't seem to be the best choice of appointees.

King and Spalding is also apparently taking over the lead role in "Water Wars" negotiations.

I see two problems here: One is obvious, lawyers have failed to settle the water disputes for 20 years, why do we think that will change in 13 months? The second is the undue influence of a single law firm, King and Spalding, over the natural resources of the state, given the firm's representation of so many polluters and other similar firms with deep interests in those resources, interests not shared by the public.

John Oxendine is right

Insert joke here about that being noteworthy. I'm back in town and back on the payroll. I hope you had a pleasant week.

From the Insurance Commissioner's office:
ATLANTA – Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John W. Oxendine is urging Georgians to change the batteries in their smoke alarms at the same time they change their clocks back to standard time Nov. 1.

In conjunction with the "Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery" fire safety program sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the American Burn Association, Oxendine says the annual change from daylight saving time to standard time is a good reminder to make sure your smoke alarm is working as it should.

"Last year in Georgia there were 23 fire fatalities in homes that didn’t have smoke alarms, or where the alarms didn’t function," Oxendine said. "If you have a smoke alarm, make sure it’s in working order. Changing the battery at least once every year and cleaning dust from the device are easy ways to ensure continued protection of your family and your property. Having a working smoke alarm doubles the chances you will survive a fire in your home.”

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bush/Obama: Serve Your Community

So with Travis laid up, I am forcibly taking the reins from him and adding a bit of feel-good to get everyone through his absence.

As a student at the Bush School I was able to attend an event organized around the simple idea that it is a good idea to help people out and serve your community/country.

That is, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of president George Bush’s “1,000 Points of Light Speech," Texas A&M hosted a presidential forum on public service that included both the 41st president and president Barrack Obama. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn also attended the event.

(Photo courtesy of Kathryn Grandstaff)

Since leaving office, Bush 41 has created and supported the 1,000 Points of Light Institute, which comprises millions of people in thousands of local community service groups. Michelle Nunn, the daughter of the former Georgia senator, is the organization’s CEO.

Nunn on Nation-Building

Former senator Sam Nunn spoke about the necessity and importance of military service and lamented the shortages that currently plague US efforts abroad.

“We’ve got some serious problems, in terms of manpower and womanpower,” he said.

In addition to more soldiers, America needs volunteers to go to “war torn” areas and rebuild those nations’s infrastructure. Carpenters, electricians, engineers can make as much a difference with a wrench or a pencil as a soldier with a gun.

Bush on Obama
Bush said he first met Obama when then-senator Obama visited Katrina-ravaged New Orleans. The former president said he was impressed with Obama, because the senator did not come just to “get his picture on the tube,” he was there to get something done.

“I could quickly see he was someone who genuinely cared about helping others,” Bush said.

The former went on to praise the current president for his efforts to promote community and public service since taking office: “I salute the president for his leadership on this issue.”

Obama on Bush/Service
The 44th president said his predecessor’s life of service “serves as an inspiration” to Americans.

Bush, he said, could easily have chosen a life of comfort and privilege. Instead, at every opportunity, from his enlistment at 18 years of age in the Navy, to his 30-plus years of service in elected office, the former president chose to serve his country and improve his community.

Recalling the former president’s speech 20 years ago, Obama said Bush did not call for “one blinding light from Washington,” but for thousands of lights from all across America.

“There’s a lot the government cannot and should not do, and that’s where active and engaged citizens come in,” he said. “Service is how we meet the challenges of our time. … It is something we do to become more fully American.”

Saturday, October 17, 2009

AC PUP for cutest dog

Update: AC came in a distant second. Thanks to all who voted.
I'm heading out for a mandatory furlough Monday, so no posts from me for a week.

In the mean time, this is AC the Pup. He's the Macon Animal Shelter's Mascot, and if he gets enough votes this week in a Cutest Dog contest, the shelter could win $1 million.

$1 million for me. Or is your heart filled with evil?

Go here for AC's page. You have to register in the top right corner, giving your email address. You should then be able to vote for AC. If not simply search for "AC PUP" in the Gallery.

You can vote once a day, per email address, and the contest continues until next Sunday. Tell your friends.

As for the rest of this week, Keich saw President Obama, Pres. H.W. Bush, Robert Gates and Sam Nunn speak at Texas A&M Friday. He plans to write something up, so look for that.

I think this might be a busy week in Georgia politics, but who knows. When does this guy get back from India?

I left several new posts below. And, of course, there is no end to the number of times The John Oxendine Rat Video can be viewed.

Have a pleasant week.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bart Graham keeps it real

I have just received a check from the state for interest earned on their delinquent return of my overpaid taxes. I plan on giving the money back to them. Tough times, you know.

From Commissioner Graham's letter:
The Department conducted a comprehensive review of the various alternatives in notifying the taxpayer of the interest on their income tax refund. ... No matter the amount of your payment, the most effective notification method is to mail your interest check.
Possibly the best letter I have ever received from a government. They also apologized and thanked me for my patience.

The 2010 General Assembly: Job tax credits, transport tax, property tax reform all coming back

Just a few nuggets from state legislators with three months to go. I wrote this for our political notebook feature, which runs Saturdays:
Rest easy, everybody: The Georgia General Assembly will be back in session in less than three months.

Right now, things seem quiet. But rest assured policy is taking shape behind the scenes.

“This is sort of our talking-to-the-caucus phase,” said state Rep. Ed Lindsey, an Atlanta Republican and co-chairman of the Republican caucus’ off-session policy development committee.

Lindsey said “there is a commitment to move forward with a united transportation bill.”

Last month the details of what that might look like emerged, with the two sides talking about splitting the difference between a House plan for a statewide vote to approve a new penny tax and the Senate plan allowing counties to partner and pass their own regional penny taxes.

Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson and other House leaders insisted last session on having a coordinated statewide plan. But several more months of a bad economy may have changed their tune.

“I don’t think there’s an appetite for a statewide sales tax right now, because things have gotten so bad. ...” said State Rep. Allen Peake, a Macon Republican. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see (a transportation bill) come out early and get done.”

“Let’s let the metro area address (its transportation problems),” Peake said. “And if the Middle Georgia (counties) want to join together ... hey, let’s do a T-SPLOST so we can raise some money.”

Jobs creation is likely to be another big legislative issue this year, with the Republican majorities in both houses looking to pass tax credits and regulatory changes to boost economic development. Gov. Sonny Perdue vetoed several of those measures earlier this year, and Lindsey and Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, both said similar measures will be priorities again.

Rogers said legislators will work with the governor “because we don’t want another bill vetoed.” He said some measures from the last session will likely be part of the new effort, but “we’re not wedded to those.”

Finally, Lindsey said there is still talk of “how to make the property tax system fairer," and giving school systems more flexibility to raise and spend sales tax money, Lindsey said.

Lindsey said he expects House Resolution 1, last session’s constitutional effort to cap property tax assessment increases, to come back up this year as well.

A separate effort to do away with annual ad valorem taxes on automobiles will also come back up. The House passed its version last session, and the Senate will be “looking very seriously at that” and may pass a version with some changes, Rogers said.

Meanwhile, the heavy lifting on the state budget is about to get under way with department heads making their prop proposals to the governor later this month, Perdue communications director Bert Brantley said.
I find Peake's comments on the transportation tax very interesting.

I wish I had video of the House leadership telling me and anyone else who would listen how wrong we were to suggest that a $25 billion tax increase might not pass muster with Georgia voters this year.

State: do as we say, not as we do on 911 funds

This will be in The Telegraph this weekend:
In 2007 the state legislature passed a law to make sure pre-paid cell phone users were paying a monthly $1.50 fee for 911 services, much like land-line users and cell phone users with long-term contracts do.

The money was meant to be funneled back down to local governments, which would use it to upgrade their 911 centers through an “Emergency 911 Assistance Fund.” But the state never used the money for that, funneling some $15.6 million in collections into the state’s general fund instead, according to figures from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

That helped — if only a little — to balance the state budget as other revenue streams spiraled down due to the recession. But it also kept Georgia from tapping a federal grant program that could have helped local 911 centers with another infusion of cash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced $40 million in stimulus grants split between 28 states, Puerto Rico and American Samoa.

Georgia didn’t apply for a grant because of a requirement that no 911 monies be used for any reason but paying for 911 services, said Elaine Sexton, the 911 program manager for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

The $1.50 fee was put in place by House Bill 394 with the intention of creating the emergency assistance fund. But the operative part of the bill included the phrase “subject to the appropriation process,” meaning the General Assembly could route the money pretty much anywhere it wanted to.

“When you're in there with education and public safety and health care and all those things, the competition for all those dollars is very stiff. ...” said Bert Brantley, communications director for Gov. Sonny Perdue. “Particularly in the last two years where the budget’s been so down.”

The state's use of 911 funds is similar to what the city of Macon was doing several years ago, until the state told the city to stop. Under Mayor Jack Ellis, the city was using some proceeds from the land line and cell phone charges it collects to prop up the city's general fund and cover day-to-day expenses instead of just funding the 911 center.

The state said that was illegal. The difference between what the city was doing then,and what the state is doing now, Sexton said, is that the city was violating 911 statutes. Because of the way House Bill 394 was written, the state is not.
You may remember that stuff like this was why trauma funding advocates wanted Super Speeder and any other trauma funds locked in for hospitals and ambulance services, instead of being subject to the appropriations process.

Gov. Perdue, though, has said he doesn't care for dedicated funds, preferring more flexibility.

Oxendine: Who let our beloved state collapse?

I'll let you visit with Mr. Wheatley to see Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine's newest commercial.

For those seeking confirmation that this is, in fact, from Team Oxendine, it is mentioned on his Twitter page, on his campaign Web site and I got a campaign email about it.

Number of times the narrator says "The Rat" during a 3:52 video: Fourteen. And he may call Eric Johnson or Nathan Deal a Mongoose, and Karen Handel a puppy dog.

There isn't anything that isn't awesome about the last minute. By the way, The Secret of NIMH (full movie on Hulu), Gov. Perdue and Karen Handel called. They said imitation is, yada, yada.

"The Ox says: That may work in France, but not in Georgia."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

From strange to stranger in Warner Robins

On the heel's of Mayor Donald Walker's shocking suicide, now we have news that the Warner Robins city clerk and an IT employee are on leave and accused of trying to break into the mayor's office through the ceiling.

There is speculation that the two men were looking for money, which Mayor Walker was rumored to hide in his office. An investigation is underway, and Houston County District Attorney Kelly Burke has taken possession of the mayor's office computer to "protect its integrity."

A couple of things strike me about this beyond my initial reactions of "What?" "Really?" and "Come on, people:"
  1. There was no love lost between Burke and Walker. Walker recruited an opponent for Burke back in the early 2000s and it was an ugly campaign. Mayor Walker would not be happy about Burke having that computer.
  2. If it wasn't already, Donald Walker's office is now a crime scene of sorts, which has implications for access to public records until any investigation is closed.
Mayor Walker's suicide remains an absolute mystery, and this will only add to the conspiracy theories. Perhaps it is time for everyone involved to be just as forthcoming as they can.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Friday: Nobel Peace Prize. Saturday: Military doctrine

Bed Bath and Beyond if there's time.

I was at an Allman Brothers concert on a Saturday night when I heard that President Barack Obama was ending Don't Ask Don't Tell. BOOM!

The man stays busy.
The letter below was in an e-mail blast sharing the president's thoughts on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize:
This morning, Michelle and I awoke to some surprising and humbling news. At 6 a.m., we received word that I'd been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009.

To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who've been honored by this prize -- men and women who've inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

But I also know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it's also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes.

That is why I've said that I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations and all peoples to confront the common challenges of the 21st century. These challenges won't all be met during my presidency, or even my lifetime. But I know these challenges can be met so long as it's recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone.

This award -- and the call to action that comes with it -- does not belong simply to me or my administration; it belongs to all people around the world who have fought for justice and for peace. And most of all, it belongs to you, the men and women of America, who have dared to hope and have worked so hard to make our world a little better.

So today we humbly recommit to the important work that we've begun together. I'm grateful that you've stood with me thus far, and I'm honored to continue our vital work in the years to come.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wait, President Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize?

That seems kind of fast. CNN via Fresh Loaf.

Update: Former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn has released a statement. Says the gentleman from Perry:
I congratulate President Obama and his entire team on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. He has changed the tone of U.S. foreign policy by making it clear to the world that we are in a race between cooperation and catastrophe, and he has reshaped the global focus and debate.

This prestigious recognition and honor will enlarge the President's platform to lead the world toward actions that ultimately make his vision possible, including his vision of a world free of nuclear weapons.
Update: The Libertarian Party is unimpressed and has the same response I think a lot of people had. Really? From a party press release:
WASHINGTON - The Libertarian Party today suggested that, in the future, the announcement date every year for Nobel Prizes be moved to April 1.

"Unlike the gullible people who listened to The War of the Worlds radio broadcast in 1938 and thought Martians really were attacking the United States, when I heard this morning that Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, I changed the channel in disbelief. But, the same thing was being said in multiple places," Libertarian National Committee Chairman William Redpath said.

"The gravity of the Nobel awards has not been augmented by some of their recent selections, including today's announcement, last year's award of the Economics prize to Paul Krugman, or the 2007 Peace Prize to Al Gore, whose global warming theories he will not defend in open debate. Maybe an early Springtime announcement date would be more appropriate."

Redpath continued, "I didn't know that it was the role of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to be handicapping the future performance of individuals and organizations. Nonetheless, we congratulate President Obama on his award and hope that three-and-a-quarter or seven-and-a-quarter years from now the Nobel Peace Prize Committee will be seen as prescient.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

September revenue figures out

From the governor's office:
ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that net revenue collections for the month of September 2009 (FY10) totaled $1,371,956,000 compared to $1,632,334,000 for September 2008 (FY09), a decrease of $260,378,000 or 16.0 percent.

The percentage decrease year-to-date for FY10 compared to FY09 is 14.2 percent.

Another "ordinary person" to challenge Marshall

I mean, you'd think the the U.S. House of Representatives was meant to be a place where ordinary people served their country for a few years before returning home to their regular lives, instead of a place for career politicians.

Ken DeLoach (campaign site) is an area pastor and dean of students at Central Fellowship Christian Academy in South Bibb County. Coverage on the main site.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More stimulus $$ headed to Georgia

According to the White House, we've received $82 million for green energy projects, flowing through the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority:
The state will use a large portion of the Recovery Act funding to implement the State Utilities Retrofit Program, administered by the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority. In this new program, the state of Georgia proposes to allocate $65 million to retrofit state government facilities. This fund will be used to conduct energy audits and assessments and capital projects to pay for the incremental cost between standard and high-efficiency technologies. Proposals for funding will be selected based on the project’s ability to comply with state and federal energy goals and priorities, including energy independence, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and the creation of green jobs.
If you want to get some of that sweet green cheddar, visit this Web site for application rules. Then build a time machine, because the proposals were due Sept. 8.

Entire state to serve on Perdue water task force

From the governor's office, here are the 80+ folks named to the Water Contingency Task Force.
  • Brock, John, Coca-Cola Enterprises (co-chair)
  • Lowe, Tim, Lowe Engineers (co-chair)
  • Amos, Paul, AFLAC
  • Anderson, Richard, Delta Air Lines
  • Armstrong, Kerry, Duke Realty
  • Bannister, Charles, Chair, Gwinnett County Commission
  • Barella, Jose, Merial
  • Bennett, John, Chair, Coosa-North Georgia Regional Water Council
  • Black, Gary, Georgia Agribusiness Council
  • Blake, Frank, The Home Depot
  • Blanchard, Billy, Columbus Bank and Trust
  • Boner, Rex, The Conservation Fund
  • Cagle, Casey, Lt. Governor
  • Carruth, Bill, Chair, Georgia Board of Natural Resources
  • Chase, Donald G., Chair, Upper Flint Regional Water Council
  • Clark, Chris, Commissioner, GA Department of Natural Resources
  • Collier, Darin, Worthing SE
  • Cornelius, Ken, Siemens
  • Cross, Ron C., Chair, Savannah-Upper Ogeechee Regional Water Council
  • Currey, Brad, Rock-Tenn Company
  • Davis, Scott, UPS
  • Dempsey, Lynn, Dempsey Auction Company
  • Deriso, Sonny, Atlantic Capital Bank
  • Dillard, Doug, Dillard & Galloway, LLC
  • Dunlap, Kit, Chair, Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District
  • Eason, Darvin, Chair, Suwanee-Satilla Regional Water Council
  • Eaves, John, Chair, Fulton County Commission
  • Ellis, Burrell, CEO, DeKalb County
  • Fischer, Christian, Georgia-Pacific
  • Floyd, Bill, Mayor, City of Decatur
  • Fox, John, Emory Healthcare
  • Franklin, Shirley, Mayor, City of Atlanta
  • Garrard, Gardiner, The Jordan Company
  • Garrett, Mike, Georgia Power Company
  • Gellerstedt, Larry, Cousins Properties
  • Glover, Taylor, Turner Enterprises, Inc.
  • Green, Steve, Stephen Green Properties, Inc.
  • Harbin, Ben, Chair, House Appropriations
  • Harris, Duane, Sea Georgia Adventures
  • Hatcher, Bob, MidCountry Financial Corp.
  • Hays, Richard, Alston & Bird
  • Hill, Stephen, Solvay Pharmaceuticals
  • Hodge, Al, Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce
  • Howard, Pierre, Georgia Conservancy
  • Hughes, Dale, Cox Enterprises
  • Hyland, Greg, Mueller Water Products
  • Jackson, Bruce, Arnall Golden Gregory
  • Johnston, Bob, MEAG Power
  • Ketchum, Mark, Newell Rubbermaid
  • Lakly, Shelly, The Nature Conservancy
  • Lanier, L. Brinson, Chair, Altamaha Regional Water Council
  • Lesser, Craig, The Pendleton Consulting Group
  • Maltese, Joe, City of LaGrange
  • Markwalter, Jack, Invesco
  • McSpadden, Richard, Chair, Upper Oconee Regional Water Council
  • Nash, Al, The Columns Group, Inc.
  • Nuti, Bill, NCR Corporation
  • Olens, Sam, Chair, Cobb County Commission
  • Pate, William, Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Poitevint, Alec, Southeastern Materials, Inc.
  • Price, Mike, Oglethorpe Power Corporation
  • Rice, John, GE
  • Richardson, Elmo A., Chair, Middle Ocmulgee Regional Water Council
  • Royal, A. Richard, Chair, Lower Flint Regional Water Council
  • Scheible, Dave, Graphic Packaging
  • Sheldon, Donna, House Majority Caucus Vice-Chair
  • Sitherwood, Suzanne, Atlanta Gas Light
  • Smith, Gary, Strategic Value Properties
  • Smith, Jack, Chair, Fayette County Commission
  • Smith, Lynn, Chair, House Natural Resources & Environment
  • Smith, Rick, Equifax Inc.
  • Stack, Tim, Piedmont Healthcare
  • Tankersley, Jan, Bulloch County Commissioner
  • Tapp, Helen, Trust for Public Land
  • Tarbutton, Charles, Sandersville Railroad Company
  • Thomas, Mike, Clayton County Water Authority
  • Thompson, Benjamin, Chair, Coastal Georgia Regional Water Council
  • Tolleson, Ross, Chair, Senate Natural Resources & Environment
  • Tuggle, Clyde, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Weber, Dan Chair, Senate Education
  • Wells, John, Interface Americas
  • Wilheit, Philip, Wilheit Packaging
  • Williams, Virgil, Williams Group International, Inc.
  • Willis, Betty, Emory University
  • Windom, Matt, Chair, Middle Chattahoochee Regional Water Council
  • Wood, Jenner, SunTrust Bank
  • Wood, Paul, Georgia EMC

Glenn Beck: Voice of reason on American debt?

Generally speaking, I ignore people who complain about THE MEDIA ignoring a story during their national television show.

This is probably even more true when the person's name is Glenn Beck. But I did catch this piece last night, and thought it was interesting.

This is the British newspaper article Beck based his report on:
In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar.

Secret meetings have already been held by finance ministers and central bank governors in Russia, China, Japan and Brazil to work on the scheme, which will mean that oil will no longer be priced in dollars.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Screen savers are the debil

You can borrow those devices that tell you how much energy an appliance uses from state libraries now.

I didn't finish the test soon enough to include in the story I wrote about that, but an eMac computer with a basic screen saver will cost you about a penny an hour in sleep mode.

With the screen saver off, it costs 2 cents a day to sleep. Over a year, assuming it's asleep the whole year. That's a difference of $80.

That's all based on the device's readings, and the typical kilowatt hour charge for Georgia Power under 1,000 kwh's.

Unfiltered looks at deferred pay for college presidents

Given the foundations involved in combination with the state, it's complicated and difficult information for the public to access. From Atlanta Unfiltered:
All told, presidents of seven Georgia universities and the current and former chancellors have collected or accrued more than $7 million since 2004 in deferred compensation, Atlanta Unfiltered has found in a review of payroll records, tax forms and financial statements.
Macon State President David Bell is scheduled to get about $600,000 upon retirement.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Paul Rish, local GOP chair, challenging Marshall

Paul Rish, until recently the head of the Bibb County Republican Party, will run for Congress here in the 8th District, he said this morning.

Coverage on the main site.

UPDATE: Angela Hicks, a local business woman, is planning to run too, unless one of several local GOP politicians with more experience and name recognition pull an about face and get into the race.

I hear a local pastor may run, too, which would mean three GOP candidates taking their first shots at elected life in this race.

It looks like the local grassroots is standing up and saying "If one of you guys won't challenge Marshall, we will."

From the comments: "Should be more like, 'if you guys don't want a beat down, I'll take one.'"

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Milledgeville soldier killed in Afghanistan

Staff Sgt. Alex French, a member of the Georgia National Guard 48th Brigade, was a Bibb County Sheriff's deputy and the father of three.

We have a longer story up now.

Image courtesy of Georgia National Guard.

UPDATE: From the formal announcement from the DOD and National Guard:
The Department of the Defense today announced the death of Staff Sergeant Alex French IV, a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry who died on Sept. 30, 2009 in Afghanistan.

According to the Department of the Defense, Staff Sgt. Alex French IV, 31, of Milledgeville, Ga., died Sept. 30 in Kwhost, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit using an improvised-explosive device. ...

"Word of the recent death of Staff Sgt. Alex French IV deeply saddens our Guard family," said Maj. Gen. Terry Nesbitt, Georgia's Adjutant General. "This was Staff Sgt. French's second deployment in support of the War on Terror, having deployed with the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team to Iraq during 2005-06."