Buckhead Freedom Coalition March Meeting

Mark your calendar and RSVP to attend a most salient meeting of the Buckhead Freedom Coalition on March 10th regarding The Threat of ISIS & Shar’ia Law to U.S. Sovereignty from 7pm-9pm at the Lindbergh Taco Mac.

Come educate yourself and get the facts to share with others in your sphere of influence.  Remember, the courtesy of a reply and updating your status are most appreciated and help with proper planning.  RSVP via email at BuckheadFreedomCoalition@gmail.com, or text/call 404-422-0675.

-James Edwards

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Transportation Funding: We Can’t Afford to Wait

Georgia Chamber - A Century of Leadership

Chris Clark Georgia Chamber president

By Chris Clark, President and CEO, Georgia Chamber

There are few things more important to any community than transportation, and the same goes for any business.  No matter what size or location our communities need safe, efficient connectivity for both residents and businesses. This is why improving Georgia’s transportation infrastructure has long been a focus of the Georgia Chamber and why it is our highest priority for the 2015 legislative session.

The problem is simple.  While Georgia has continued to grow, our investments in transportation have not kept pace.  A recent study concluded that the current level of funding is at least $1 billion less than the state actually needs to maintain roads, repair bridges and improve infrastructure.  New roads or intersections, transit, rail or airport improvements will cost several billion more.

Georgia needs more funding, and the longer we wait the more we will need. House Transportation Chairman Jay Roberts has proposed legislation that will help to close our funding gap, strengthen our communities, and ensure that our state remains economically competitive.

The Transportation Funding Act will first and foremost create close to $1 billion in new funding that will benefit every region by shortening maintenance schedules and moving needed projects forward.  The legislation maximizes existing revenue, and it protects those communities that passed the regional transportation sales tax two years ago.  The main provision of the bill is a shift from a state sales tax to an excise tax on motor fuels that will ensure all money collected through transportation will be spent for transportation.   It will also provide more predictability to the transportation budgeting process as excise taxes do not fluctuate with the price of oil or changes in the economy.

Second, it will reduce our reliance on the federal government.  Today, Georgia depends on federal funding for over 50% of our transportation budget compared to 27% in Florida and 25% in North Carolina.  Why is this important?  Because politics and bureaucrats in Washington, DC, can and do hold up the reimbursement process, which is only becoming more unreliable.  Adding $1 billion in new state funds would reduce our reliance by at least 15% – meaning that fewer projects would be impacted when federal funding is delayed.

Finally, it will allow us to remain economically competitive.   While Georgia has an incredible network of transportation assets that have allowed us to effectively compete for jobs and investment, share our products with the world, and connect our communities – that network is in jeopardy if it is not maintained or expanded to accommodate growth.  What happens if we do not make additional investments?  It will take Georgians even longer to get to work or school, traffic will increase on our roads and highways, and our safety will be at risk as needed repairs are delayed.

Since the bill’s introduction there has been much debate and a number of issues raised by county and city governments along with school boards have been addressed.  Changes like these are part of the process for any legislation of this scope and there could be more to come, which is why as it moves through the process it is important to stay focused on what it will actually accomplish.

Transportation funding is not just an investment in roads, rails and ports, it is an investment in our future.  Our needs will only grow larger and more expensive the longer we wait to address them.  We are hopeful that the General Assembly will reach consensus on this critical issue before they adjourn and encourage all Georgians to express their support to our elected leaders as they make decisions that will impact us for decades to come.

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Jobs and Immigration: Most Georgians Pro-Enforcement

(We’re about ten days late on getting this one up but considering the DHS funding debate and its ties to President Obama’s immigration executive action, it remains very relevant)

New opinion poll: The statewide outlook from Georgia voters

The Dustin Inman Society (DIS)
www.TheDustinInmanSociety.org
Twitter- @DAKDIS

The Dustin Inman Society today released the results a survey of Georgia general election voters on the subject of jobs and immigration. The survey, conducted on February 10-11, 2015 for the Dustin Inman Society by Rosetta Stone Communications, sampled 743 Georgia registered voters and has been weighted for age, gender & race.

“We asked clear, straightforward questions on the topic of jobs, immigration and enforcement that reflect the real world and offered genuine, commonsense choices. While likely not surprising to most working Americans, the margins in the responses should be regarded as guidance to elected officials that most of the people can’t be fooled most of the time. The majority of Georgians comprehend the connection of employment and wages to the importation of large numbers of foreign workers and incrementally deferring to legally dubious executive amnesty decrees from Barack Obama” said D.A. King, president of the DIS. Continue reading “Jobs and Immigration: Most Georgians Pro-Enforcement” »

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Georgia Rep. Carter Condemns Obama’s Veto of Keystone Bill

Georgia Congressman Buddy CarterWASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (GA-01) released the following statement after President Obama’s decision to veto legislation to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act, passed both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support.

“It is an outrage that President Obama has decided to let his political pettiness stand in the way of thousands of jobs and lower energy prices for the American people.

The President even had the audacity to say that the legislation ‘cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest – including our security, safety, and environment.’ The project has been under consideration for more than six years! There is no question that it is vital to our national security and it’s time for the President to admit it.

This isn’t the end of this fight and we won’t stop here. This project has strong bipartisan support and the President must join us for the safety and prosperity of the American people and our nation.”

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Rep. Rick Allen Statement on President’s Veto of Keystone XL Legislation

Georgia Congressman Rick AllenWASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Rick Allen (R-Ga.-12) released the following statement after President Obama’s veto of bipartisan legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline:

“It’s extremely disappointing that the President turned his back on the opportunity to approve a shovel-ready infrastructure project that will grow jobs, help lower energy prices for families and businesses and strengthen America’s energy security. Congress approved this legislation with bipartisan support. Reports by the President’s own State Department have found that building the Keystone XL pipeline will create tens of thousands of jobs.  Yet, the President chose to ignore these facts and instead look out for his own political interests by vetoing this commonsense jobs bill. Despite the President’s actions, this fight will continue, and hopefully we can work to move this project forward for the American people.”

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Department of Natural Resources Guide to Georgia State Mammals

The following is the matrix used by the Department of Natural Resources to convince first-graders to change their original vote for the gray fox as the state mammal, to the apparently more DNR appropriate for some reason, white-tailed deer.

I still don’t get why we went with the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, vanilla, milquetoast, (or insert other blandest food you can imagine) of the animal world versus something a little more exotic or interesting, i.e. a fox or a bear. But that’s just me. I have a feeling the kids would agree with me but I don’t have an easy audience with the first-graders at Reese Road Leadership Academy. Nothing against the deer, I like it just fine, I wouldn’t go as far as the Agriculture Chairman Tom McCall who called it an ”aggravating nuisance of an animal,” but if I had my druthers I’d go opossum, fox or bear.

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Legislative Update Week 4 – via Rep. Buzz Brockway

(The following is an email update directly from Buzz Brockway)

Another week came and went at the Capitol. The Legislative process, as they say, is akin to making sausage, and the sausage machine takes time to get going.  Committees have been meeting to get organized and adopt Rules.  This coming week, many Committees will begin meeting to work on Legislation.  The House Committee meeting schedule can be found here.  All House Committee meetings are streamed over the internet so you can watch them at home or work.

Tomorrow the full House or Representatives will vote on the first bill of the session.  House Bill 57 would allow people to finance the purchase of solar panels for their homes or businesses.  Rep. Mike Dudgeon has worked hard to bring the traditional power companies and the solar power advocates into agreement on this bill.  I’m happy to be one of the co-sponsors of this legislation and will vote in favor of it tomorrow.

As most of you are aware, every bill introduced must go through the House Committee on Rules before being voted on by the full House of Representatives.  This committee gives each bill a final hearing.  The list of bills that have passed the various House Committees and are available for consideration by the Committee on Rules can be found on the General Calendar.  Bills approved by the Committee on Rules and sent to the full House for a vote can be found on the Rules Calendar.  Both of these Calendars are updated daily and can be found here. Continue reading “Legislative Update Week 4 – via Rep. Buzz Brockway” »

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Will the death penalty become obsolete?

The Death Penalty Information Center’s (DPIC) year-end report provided hard data that pointed to a conclusion that many of us already suspected – that capital punishment is being used with much less frequency. DPIC found that executions are at a 20-year low and death sentences are at a 40-year low. This comes at a time when Gallup found that support for capital punishment is near a 40-year low, and Republican support for the death penalty dropped by 5 points in a single year.

It’s no wonder that capital punishment is becoming obsolete. Just last month, George Stinney, the youngest person to ever be executed in the United States, had his murder conviction vacated. He was executed at the age of 14 in 1944 by the electric chair, and his conviction was overturned 70 years later. He had inadequate counsel, and there was no real evidence linking him to the crime other than what was ruled to be a coerced confession by a circuit court judge.

Following the news of Stinney’s vacated conviction, Washington State joined the myriad of other states with studies concluding that the death penalty is vastly more costly than life-without-parole. The study found that death cases cost at least $1 million more than similar non-capital cases.

Conservatives Concerned in the media

Again, numerous media outlets covered CCATDP’s work as we continue to shatter the myth that all conservatives support the death penalty.

We were highlighted in TimeUnited LibertyMSNBC, and even Al-Jazeera America.

CCATDP’s Heather Beaudoin was a guest on the Crossroad Bible Institute’s video broadcast and the Joe Convert Radio Show with Sean Herriott.

I was a guest on the Lip TV’s Media Mayhem with Allison Hope Weiner, and I returned as a guest to StandUp! With Pete Dominick on Sirius XM Radio.

The Watchdog also published an op-ed penned by conservative Nebraska State Senator Colby Coash this month. He explained why the death penalty is a failed policy.

Upcoming

Ben Jones of CCATDP will be headed to Upper Marlboro, Maryland to exhibit at the Students for Life East Coast National Conference on January 23.

Following the Students for Life conference, we will return to where it all started a few years ago – CPAC. Once again, we will be exhibiting at the largest gathering of conservatives in the United States from February 26-28.

If you are in town, we hope you drop by and say hello at CPAC and/or the Students for Life conference. We’d love to see you there!

Regards,
Marc

Marc Hyden, Coordinator
www.conservativesconcerned.org
info@conservativesconcerned.org

Twitter: @CCATDP
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CCATDP

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Buddy Carter Statement on the State of the Union Address

Georgia Representative Buddy CarterWashington, D.C. – Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (GA-01) released the following statement in response to the President’s State of the Union Address tonight.

“While I watched my first State of the Union Address on the House floor tonight as a United States Representative I was disappointed, but not surprised, to hear the same false promises and reckless policies from the President in his sixth address. I hoped for a call to unity and a desire to work with the new Congress for a better America. Instead, I heard a vision for our nation that promotes class warfare and burdens Americans with increased regulation and more bureaucracy. Of even greater concern is my fear that the President will act on his agenda with or without Congress while blatantly ignoring the United States Constitution. I will do everything in my power to ensure he cannot act alone.

“If we want to truly put an end to our nation’s out of control fiscal situation we must enact true spending and tax reforms and advance solutions that increase opportunities for all Americans — not implement irresponsible policies that allow the government to choose winners and losers like we heard tonight. It’s time to empower the middle class by creating a fairer, simpler tax code. It’s time to increase our energy security and approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. It’s time for Washington to get out of education and provide the states the ability to promote an equal opportunity to a great education for all. It’s time to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a system that provides more choices, lower costs and better services. Most importantly, it’s time to cut up the credit cards and make sure the President realizes we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. The President’s agenda tonight focused on failed policies of the past and I strongly encourage him to join Congress in our fight to empower America for the future.”

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Mayor Reed continues protestor permissiveness

Phil Kent media consultant & panelist on WAGA-TV Fox5's "The Georgia Gang"Mayor Reed continues protestor permissiveness

By Phil Kent

“I can’t believe we’re continuing to allow these anti-police protestors to block major thoroughfares for hours,” an Atlanta Police Department source tells this writer. “These lawbreakers are becoming emboldened and future demonstrations and lie-ins could really get out of hand.”

He is referring to last Saturday afternoon’s militant anti-police protest which featured a street “lie-in” in the Buckhead section of Atlanta between the busy shopping centers of Phipps Plaza and Lenox Square. TV footage showed approximately 70 protestors lying in the street and hurling ugly epithets at police, irritated Christmas shoppers and motorists. Some even chained themselves together to make it harder for them to be removed. (Firefighters had to be called in with tools to break the locks.)

As this is written, 12 arrests were reported—a surprisingly low number according to onlookers.

It was just Nov. 25 when demonstrators, led by the same few black and white radicals (some of whom police say are leaders in the left-wing “Occupy” movement), smashed windows on Peachtree Street as well as damaged police vehicles and other property before police moved in. Furthermore, that night, a mob was allowed by the Atlanta Police Department and the Georgia State Patrol to block the Interstate downtown connector and stop traffic. That was the second time such a blockage occurred (by the exit to Grady hospital) with no immediate police crackdown. Mayor Kasim Reed, at a Nov. 26 news conference, said police displayed “a firm but soft hand.” The “firm hand” has become “a limp wrist” according to my police source.

Lou Arcangeli, a retired deputy Atlanta police chief, says that the city can crack down harder “when there is political will to solve it.” In the future he hopes “the police will have clarity” from the mayor and police chief so they can react more quickly and decisively to protests. So far, Reed and Chief George Turner continue to be too permissive.

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