It’s Official!

That’s right boys and girls, we have officially moved. We will still be monitoring this site for a little while, but we’re focusing on our new site now. And just where is that?

http://swgapolitics.com/index

If you’ve got us on your blog roll, we’re going to ask you to update the link.  We’ve moved all of our links to the new site, so don’t worry ;)

Constitutionally Speaking

The book club in Albany is currently reading the 5000 Year Leap. The book is a simple read about the founders of this country and the principles that they considered when writing our founding documents.

After reading the book, it is clear that this country has abandoned many of those principles. Currently we are on a fast track, not to return to the original intention of the founders, but to distance ourselves even farther from that intention.

How can we get back to the garden? A new effort is being entertained by the states. Resolutions are being passed to return the power to the respective states and limit the size of the federal government, States’ Rights.

Georgia Senate Resolution 632 passed, “affirming states’ rights based on Jeffersonian principles; and for other purposes.” Nine states have passed similar resolutions and twenty-five others have resolutions calling for states’ rights pending.

A few states have taken the measure a step further. Montana has passed a bill (HB 246) that would allow guns and ammunition that are produced in the state and remain in the state to be regulated by the state, not the federal government. The bill will become law on October 10, 2009 and is suspected to be challenged by the Supreme Court shortly after. Texas is considering similar legislation.

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution states that the federal government has the power, “…to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;” Because the federal government gets its power from the states according to the Tenth Amendment, the government has no power to regulate intrastate commerce. This should prove to be a fascinating court case when the law is challenged.

There is talk about calling for a Constitutional Convention to repeal or alter Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 which gives the federal government the power to collect taxes. It is believed that such a Constitutional Convention, or even the threat of one, will help to curtail the spending spree that the federal government is currently enjoying.

All of this talk of States’ Rights is fascinating, but I have to wonder if these resolutions are just words on paper. Since the War Between the States, the states have surrendered more and more of their power to the central government until state boundaries have become little more than historical lines on a map. Are these resolutions too little too late or are they the beginning of something big? Time will tell.

We’re Moving

This is just a friendly head’s up. SWGA Politics has grown a great deal just since I’ve come on board, and it was growing well when Jeff was flying solo on this. We’re thrilled with how well things have gone here. So thrilled, in fact, that we are going off the reservation a bit…well, off of the free wordpress site and onto the new horizons of self hosted.

As for what the future holds, one never knows. However, we figure that you all read this blog because of what we write, so we might as well keep going with that if nothing else. In other words, if you like what we’re doing, don’t worry. We plan on continuing down that path.

The big move will happen Saturday morning by 10:00 AM. All posts and comments will be on the new site, and the last post on this particular site will be our new URL. The only reason I’m not sharing it now is because the site still has a little ways to go. I’ve gotta have my secrets, right?

On behalf of Jeff and myself, we hope everyone will come on over to the new site and check us out Saturday. We’re excited by the new possibilities and hope you are as well!

Time to Reach Out

We have reached a point in this country where Libertarians have a real shot. Granted, we’ve always had a shot, but now more and more people are ready to hear what we have to say. Here’s a quote from a Rasmussen poll article someone passed along to me earlier today. Continue reading

Winfred Dukes, Albany State, and Transportation

By now, you’ve probably heard that State Rep Winfred Dukes has been accused of costing Albany State University the funding for the Ray Charles Fine Arts Center.

You may have even heard that he got into a very verbal and visual altercation with his accuser around lunchtime today.

I can verify that the accusations are indeed accurate, and to steal a phrase from the late great Paul Harvey, here’s the REST of the story…

It all began, according to several sources, on January 30. On that day, the House of Representatives debated the Homeowner’s Tax Relief Grants. At about one hour and 36 minutes into the debate, Rep Dukes makes the comments shown in this video – which was taken directly from the video in the GPB archives. Now, the comments Rep Dukes makes about Delta and Gulfstream could be taken as attacks on Reps Burkhalter and Keen, respectively. Rep Burkhalter’s district is in the North Fulton/Alpharetta area, where Delta is a major player due to the proximity of its home base at Hartsfield Airport. Rep Keen’s district in Brunswick is the site of a major Gulfstream office. Burkhalter and Keen are also 2nd and 3rd in charge of House leadership, right behind Speaker Glenn Richardson.

So the comments in the video, and the fact that this early in the session he was already balking on major initiatives of House Leadership, didn’t earn Rep Dukes too many favors. And ultimately, as we all know, the way politics unfortunately works is who owes who favors. I personally can’t STAND this, but until we elect people with spines that will stand for right no matter what, it is the way the game is played.

So Rep Dukes already was shooting himself in the foot, when ANOTHER major pet project of House Leadership came up. Indeed, this particular project was SB 200, the Department of Transportation reorganization that was signed by Governor Perdue today, and has been a pet project of his throughout the session. House Leadership knew this particular bill was going to be extremely close, and the voting was kept open for quite a long time – roughly 5 minutes, about 5x as long as any other vote. While it was speculated then by myself, Jason Pye, and many others, that much deal making was going on during this time, I can now confirm this – and Reps Dukes and Fullerton were at the heart of it.

You see, according to what I am hearing, a deal was made whereby if Reps Dukes and Fullerton voted for SB 200, BOTH the Ray Charles project at Albany State AND the project at Darton would be funded in this year’s budget. Rep. Fullerton upheld her end of the deal and voted for SB 200, and Rep Dukes simply walked away from the chamber and did not vote. Because he did not vote, the Speaker himself was forced to take the EXTREMELY unusual move of casting a vote himself, and the Speaker’s vote – that should have been Rep Dukes’ vote – was the deciding factor in the passage of the bill.

Because of Rep Dukes reneging on his end of the deal, and because he had made no secret that the Albany State project was a pet project of his, Leadership then decided to strip the Albany State project from the budget during the final conference committee.

So you see, Rep Dukes DID, in fact, cause Albany State to lose the funding for the Ray Charles project, no matter how much he protests it.

SB 200 House Vote Record

Project VoteSafe

I have just been informed that Governor Perdue has signed HB 227 into law as of last Friday.

This is a VERY good law that allows people who are victims or potential victims of family violence to not risk their lives by registering to vote. Basically, it says that if you have a protective or restraining order or are a verified resident of a family violence shelter, you can request that your voter registration data not be made public.

In case you didn’t know, by and large, voter registration data is publicly available, at least for political organizations and the military, and maybe other individuals/organizations. Meaning that prior to HB 227 and Project VoteSafe – the Secretary of State’s name for her implementation of the bill – if a guy wanted to know where his ex-wife was living now and knew she had registered to vote in Georgia, he could get the voter registration data and track her down. This WAS perfectly legal, and now – thankfully – it is not, once the proper procedure has been done.

So consider this a public service announcement: To those with protective/restraining orders and/or who are living in a family violence shelter: You no longer have to fear for your life or your kids’ lives if you want to vote. PLEASE go register, and PLEASE vote in every election affecting your district!

For everyone: If we here at SWGA Politics can be of any use in helping you locate any information about who your politicians are and/or where they stand, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Republicans Jumping Ship?

How I came across this piece, from The Lantern (student paper for Ohio State University), but I did just the same.  In it, the author argues that more Republicans will be jumping ship for the smoother sailing of the Democratic party, namely Olympia Snowe of Maine.  Well, that’s all fine and good.  The author, Mr. Jack Millman who is a junior majoring in political science, argues that Republicans need a massive disaster to the economy to retake their place of dominance in the American Legislative and Executive branches. Continue reading

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