Author: Theresa

SB 231-Probation; provide additional offenses for which first offender status shall not be granted

Sometimes I speed. Shhh. Don’t tell my Law Enforcement Manpanion. Granted, there are a couple of times that he has been painfully aware my not-so-secret sin because I was pulled over. I hate that feeling. The one where your legs get all tingly and your heart starts beating 25 million times faster. I usually go ahead and get all my identification and proof of insurance ready (yes…I know the routine at this point). I role the window down and start apologizing profusely. And, depending on how the Officer is responding to me, I may or may not cry (I do not suggest this…it rarely works) and then…I may or may not drop my Manpanion’s name. I know. It’s shameful. Now, with all my shameful tactics in mind, I do respect what these men and women do and I know they deal with a large number of people who are rude and disrespectful. It’s not the officer’s fault that he pulled you over. It’s your fault. So, at the end of my encounter, good outcome or less favorable outcome, I do my best to smile and thank the officer for what they do. Believe me, I have to swallow my pride (and my tears) to be able to say “Thank you” for a costly speeding ticket.

In my circle of friends, I get to hear “old war stories” from Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) who have dealt with the part of our society who have fallen into an unforgiving cycle of bad behavior, drugs, theft, and prostitution. (Ahem…please note that my speeding stories do not fall into any of these categories). Some stories are funny, some have made me shudder, and some have caused a tear or two. LEOs deal with people who have turned on each other and then turn on the Officer too. Simple assault and simple battery against officers are an everyday reality. Aggravated assault, terroristic threats, and “solicitations of sodomy” are pretty common as well. And then these people who assault and threaten these LEOs are arrested and have a court date and, sometimes, allowed to plead to something less than what they actually committed. Not only do these criminals disrupt the peace, break the law, and often, cause physical harm to others, they also regularly assault the men and women who are there to protect our safety. Read more

Columbus Puts Sunday Alcohol Sales on the November Ballot

After much discussion, a proposal, a postponement, and an amendment, Columbus City Council voted unanimously to place the Sunday Alcohol Sales issue on the November ballot. Councilor Judy Thomas first proposed putting the issue on the July ballot, but reconsidered her proposal after Councilor Gary Allen noted that more voters would flock to the polls in the General Election.

Expect big campaigns on both sides of the issue in Columbus.

Some Georgians Demand Gov. Deal Veto Georgia’s Arizona CopyCat Bill

In a press release sent by the Southern Center for Human Rights the announcement was made that after the vote on HB 87 on Thursday, folks will gather to celebrate the defeat or protest the passage of the bill:

In anticipation of the House of Representative’s floor vote tomorrow on HB 87, Georgia’s ‘Arizona Copycat’ bill, hundreds will gather to either celebrate its defeat or denounce its passage.  Opposition to the bill comes from a broad cross section of Georgia’s residents who state that the bill will harm Georgia’s economy, kill jobs, and return Georgia to a ‘show me your papers’ state, reminiscent of slavery times.

WHO:  Labor, faith-based groups, immigrants, the civil rights community, business leaders, and elected officials, including House Minority Leader, Stacey Abrams.

WHAT:  A rally and press conference to celebrate HB 87’s defeat or denounce its passage. Georgians demand Governor Deal commit to veto the bill, should it pass.

WHERE: Capitol Steps facing Washington Street, Atlanta, GA

WHEN: Thursday, March 3rd, 2:30pm – or shortly thereafter, upon completion of the vote.

Spanish and Chinese interviews available. Read more

Is this OX-A-Moron?

I think a great percentage of Georgians joined me in a great sigh of relief on July 20th of last year when John Oxendine lost the Republican nomination for Governor and then joined me in groaning through his long and laborious concession speech. Georgia was rid of The Ox after 12 years of interesting choices in the Insurance Commissioner’s Office. But now it seems, we are only learning the half of his interesting choices.

The AJC reported on Sunday that on his last full day in office, former Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine issued himself several different licenses that would allow him sell insurance and adjust claims.

“If 16 years doesn’t give you a little bit of insurance experience, I don’t know what does,” Oxendine told the AJC. “I think that’s [worth] a little bit more than taking a test and taking a class.

“The [waiver] law is there. It is at my discretion. Not much to it.”

But is that authentic intelligence or artificial intelligence?

Read more

Former State Senator Seth Harp to run for Muscogee County GOP

In a small room, deep in Muscogee County near the Harris County line, former State Senator Seth Harp announced to close friends and family that he is running for GOP Chair of Muscogee County. Rumors of other potential front runners were squashed by the presence of two, Donna Wiezorick-current chair of the Muscogee-Harris County GOP Women- and Jerry Luquire-chair of the Georgia Christian Coalition-who were also announced as a part of the slate as 1st Vice Chair and 2nd Vice Chair respectively.

Rick Allen is the only other candidate who has announced his candidacy. Allen ran against Mike Keown for the 2nd Congressional seat in the Republican primary last July.

Columbus, Georgia: Home of the Corrupt.

Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-GA) is at it again. Although, it’s not so much “again” as it is just “at it.”  Apparently, his (less than) 1% win over Mike Keown in Georgia’s 2nd Congressional district wasn’t enough of a message as to how tired the people of his district are when it comes to corrupt government.

The gist is the Pigford-gate-style scandal is this; a claim of racial bias cost the tax payers $1.15 billion. According to U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), Americans should be outraged because the bill sends the message “if you’re a minority, you deserve a check from the government.”  The money is supposed to go to farmers who were ignored “because of skin color” when it came to obtaining a loan and working a farm. However, King says that the majority of folks receiving the monies have never farmed. The man in video, Eddie Slaughter, is a farmer in the 2nd Congressional District in Georgia and has allegedly told Congressman Bishop several times of the fraud that is happening because of Pigford Settlement and the reply from the Congressman was to keep quiet about the fraud because “they’ll shut this thing down” if they find out.

Uhh…I think that’s the point.

“…and I’m wearing the Sheriff’s pants…”

Michael Joseph McGowan, Cherokee County’s school spokesperson, was pulled over a few weeks ago after a 911 call was made alerting the police of an erratic driver on Reinhardt College Parkway. When McGowan was stopped, not only was he found to be intoxicated, but he claimed that he had just come from the Sheriff’s house and…wait for it…he was wearing the Sheriff’s pants.

Sheriff Roger Garrison confirmed that the two are friends and that McGowan had stayed the night, but that it had been two nights prior because of the snow storm. McGowan had borrowed the pants because he needed fresh clothing. However, Sheriff Garrison denies that McGowan left his home right before being pulled over.

“That is an absolute lie,” Garrison said. “He is a friend, but I am disappointed he would do that — throw my name in to try and get out of a pickle.” Read more

HB 23 is Crazy.

Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-83) sponsored HB 23 that would allow children as young as 14 to refuse medication their foster parents and doctors say they need.

49-2-33 Part 1, Section A states:
(B) A process for obtaining written informed consent from the child’s legal
guardian and the child, if he or she is age 14 years or older, in advance of the
child starting psychotropic medication;

(E) Requiring documentation of the child’s assent or objection to psychotropic medications if the child is under 14 years of age;

Written consent from the CHILD.

Rep. Oliver, according to her bio, has no real experience in the behavioral physiatric needs of juveniles. Sure, she has been on some committees, sponsored some bills related to children, and is a lawyer who teaches Child Law and Policy, but she went to school to be a lawyer, not a doctor or a physiatrist. Yet, she sponsored this bill alone according to the filing records.
Read more

Columbus Stocking Strangler Case-Carlton Gary linked to Murder

For District Attorney Julia Slater it’s relief that she describes as the feeling of choice when she talks about the results of the DNA testing done on three different rape and murder victims from Columbus. Martha Thurmond, Jean Dimenstien, and Kathleen Woodruff were all sexually abused before they were strangled to death in the fall and winter of 1977. Today, D.A. Slater was joined by Attorneys Alonza Whitaker and Dave Helmick in a small conference room on the 3rd floor of the Government Center. Slater announced that of the three samples that were tested, only one contained Gary’s DNA, while another discounted him as being a part of the murder-although Slater did confirm that because of the age of the samples, nothing could be certain.

Read more

Seth Harp Appreciation Event

From a press release:

State Leaders Honor Senator Seth Harp at Reception Today

Columbus, GA – December 7, 2010 — Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, Attorney General-Elect Sam Olens and Commissioner of Labor-Elect Mark Butler will be special guests for a reception honoring Senator Seth Harp, Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Doubletree Hotel, 5351 Sidney Simons Boulevard, Columbus, GA.  The event is hosted by Tracy Sayers. Read more

Bishop may be unethical, but at least he isn’t a hypocrite…

Yes, it’s true. The Congressman from SouthWest Georgia who was ok with giving scholarships to his family members and voting for a bill that the majority of his constituents begged him to vote against, voted against censuring Charles B. Rangel; the man who was found guilty

of 11 violations of House rules, including failure to declare rental income from a Dominican Republic villa, improper solicitation of donations on congressional letterhead and misuse of a rent-controlled Harlem apartment as a campaign office.

Oh yay. I am so glad that my congressman is ok with being unethical. I mean, I knew it was ok for him, but I am glad to know he isn’t holding a double standard. Whew. I was worried. My congressman may be unethical, but at least he isn’t a hypocrite.

Columbus Makes History

In a landslide victory with a 2-1 margin, Teresa Pike Tomlinson became Columbus’ first female mayor in yesterday’s run-off election. What started as a 4 person race, Tomlinson entered the run-off with fellow candidate, Zeph Baker who, if elected, would have been Columbus’ first elected African-American mayor. Regardless of last night’s outcome, Columbus’ Mayor’s race was history-book bound. With a little over 68% of the vote, Mrs. Tomlinson graciously made her remarks to the media and spoke kindly of her opponents.

Tomlinson ran a tight ship in a heated race for the mayor’s seat. Her commercials were well thought out, her grassroots efforts organized and effective, and her attorney background didn’t hurt either. Each move she made was measured and methodical and each answer poised and thoughtful. “Machine” is an understatement when describing Mrs. Tomlinson’s run for office.  Read more

Paging Dr. Butler…we’re having Labor pains.

With a new Labor Commissioner set to enter office in a little over a month, the story you are about to read seemed extremely timely.

With unemployment on the rise and no signs of slowing down, I’m sure that we all know someone who has been affected by the loss of a job, if not we ourselves. I have a friend who recently lost their job and decided over the weekend to file for unemployment. I asked if I could accompany them to the Labor Office to watch the process, possibly for an article. They agreed.

The parking lot was full, but finding a spot wasn’t difficult. Upon walking in we were greeted by an older woman who warmly directed us to our first destination where would obtain the first in a series of paperwork. We were informed that the 11AM “session” would begin in 5-10 minutes. Not knowing what the “session” would entail, my friend began to fill out the necessary paperwork providing name, social security number, phone number, and a checking account number for direct deposit. We were then directed to sit in a roped off area with a group of folks with about 90% being a minority, so I blended in well in that regard. We definitely won “best dressed” although later we saw several older men who were clean-shaven and wearing suits. We sat next to a friendly little guy who told us he was a sheet rocker. He was also a student, so the market was slim, he said. “I just don’t want to work at Burger King, ya know?” My friend nodded in agreement. Read more

An Annual Example of Columbus’ Finest…

This past weekend was one that Columbus, Georgia takes in stride each November. As thousands of protesters from all over the country head our way every year to show their displeasure for the School of the Americas-which, by the way, goes by the name Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC)– Columbus business owners look for the little boost to local economy and our local law enforcement officers prepare for a few more folks to spend the night in the county jail. While many view this as a bunch of long-haired, hippie type, pinko Commies, we here in the Chattahoochee Valley also see dollar signs, not just in court fees, but in motel (not HOTEL) rooms, restaurants, gas, and their favorite spot-and mine- Ruth Ann’s.

Columbus Police Officer, Kenny Herring.

This year, 21 people were arrested with fines varying from $200 to over $1000, and 2 people were sentenced to six months in prison, the maximum the Judge could give.  The two protesters sentenced to prison time, Father Louis John Vitale, 78, and Michael Omondi, 24, scaled the fence onto Post. After Omondi’s attorney told Judge Hyles that his client decided to climb to fence at the last minute, Omondi said:

“With all due respect to my attorney, I came from Los Angeles with the specific intention of climbing that fence.” Read more