The Bibb County Board of Education has launched a counterattack against former Superintendent Romain Dallemand. See the documents here for the first time in a WeArePolitics exclusive!
By Allen Peake
Since last Friday, I have read headlines and social media posts that House Bill 1, the bill attempting to legalize medical cannabis in Georgia, had been gutted or was dead. Let me assure you, that is the furthest thing from the truth.
There were two main objectives to HB 1. First, to provide immediate immunity from prosecution for possession of cannabis oil, so that the 17 families who have moved to another state to obtain medical cannabis oil for their children could come home, and not fear arrest or having DFCS showing up at their door to take their child away. Second, to implement a comprehensive regulatory structure so medical cannabis can be cultivated, processed, and distributed in a safe, timely and effective manner in Georgia.
After intense discussions with Gov. Nathan Deal, the decision was made to delay the in-state growth model for a year for more study to make sure we get it right. So, the agreement was to set up a commission charged with making a recommendation by December to the governor and Legislature on the best model for dispensing medical cannabis in Georgia.
This commission will be made up of medical professionals, pharmacists, law enforcement officials, Department of Agriculture personnel, lab experts and members of the governor’s leadership team. I hope to be intimately involved in this commission as well. Obviously, there is no guarantee the General Assembly will move on the commission’s recommendations in 2016, but I am confident action will be taken to implement an in-state growth model very early in the 2016 legislative session.
The governor also agreed to support the passage of HB 1, which will include complete immunity for those possessing cannabis oil with less than 5 percent THC (the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant) and who have been diagnosed by a physician with certain medical conditions — including cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, ALS, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, mitochondrial disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, sickle cell anemia, Tourette’s syndrome, muscle spasticity disorders, fibromyalgia and terminal illnesses.
All of these medical conditions have seen positive results from cannabis oil. This is the compassionate and right move for our state, to allow citizens in pain to make the personal decision with their physician to access cannabis oil that can ease their suffering.
There are clearly challenges to gaining access to cannabis oil, even with immunity in Georgia, because transporting cannabis across state lines is a violation of federal law. Many families and citizens fear being arrested. So we came up with four options for access to cannabis oil:
• We have had discussions with a cannabis oil manufacturer in a legal state that is prepared to ship cannabis oil so low in THC it is considered hemp. This strain has been used with amazing results by many families whose children suffer from seizures; they have seen reduced seizures, improved cognitive ability, and reduced use of FDA-approved drugs. I have been assured that if our immunity language passes, this manufacturer will begin shipping to Georgia immediately, allowing most of our medical refugees to come home and giving access to hundreds of Georgia children who suffer from seizures. This is a very real and viable option.
• Several neighboring states are very close to producing a strain of cannabis oil similar to the product being used in Colorado, which again will be considered hemp. Therefore, many families and citizens could legally obtain the oil from these states, drive back to Georgia, and have immunity once they are back inside our borders.
• We will ask Governor Deal to seek an exemption from the Drug Enforcement Administration and Justice Department to ship cannabis oil from another state to a state agency in Georgia to be distributed on a compassionate-need basis. This is similar to what officials in other states have requested, most recently Gov. Andrew Cuomo in New York.
• Finally, it may be time for some civil disobedience — not by parents who need to be with their sick child, but by citizens like me. I am fully prepared to risk going to jail to get medicine for these children with seizure disorders. Maybe it will take someone like me getting arrested to show the lunacy of a federal law that allows me to be in possession of cannabis oil legally in Colorado and in Georgia, but be arrested because I am traveling with the oil through Kansas. Maybe that’s what it will take, and I’m willing to pursue this option, if the first three options fail to deliver for our citizens.
The fight for medical cannabis is Georgia is far from over, but we are moving in a very positive direction.
For more information: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-medical-pot-20141216-story.html
State Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, is the sponsor of House Bill 1, Georgia’s medical marijuana bill.
It has come to my attention that recently a 'group' of disgruntled individuals has put their sights on trying to defame the character of interim-Superintendent of the Bibb County School District Dr. Steve Smith. The rant below was recently sent to the Board of Education.
There has been MANY, MANY stories done on WeArePolitics about several of the employees mentioned in this letter including Terrance Smith and his brother Terrell Smith as well as Kimberlyn Carter and Ed Judie, pointing out years ago that most of these people were making way too much money for the jobs that they were doing. Here are two examples:
From what I am hearing, the rant is very much like the same nonsense that comes out of board member Tom Hudson's mouth at every turn, so apparently this 'group' of concerned citizens are probably the same ones that have been dragging down the progress of Macon-Bibb for decades and now, under the guise of the familiar charge of racism, are doing whatever they can to halt the efforts being made to right the ship that the former Superintendent Romain Dallemand has scuttled. Dallemand at every turn hired political cronies and people who were never suited in the positions they were put in. Further, many of these employees were overpaid and underworked as they were given cushy, posh jobs with important titles at the now defunct Welcome Center. Anyone who dared to speak out and call Dallemand's hand was run out or called a racist themselves.
As I pointed out many times back then, Dallemand himself always seemed to be at the center of hiring these people and almost always picked the least competent person for the job. Whether it was because he could control situations because of the person's incompetence as was the case with Tom Tourand who was the former IT director or because the person's hiring was beneficial to Dallemand. By the way, Tourand was dismissed very early on because he was clueless in the position, but strangely the writer "Mr. Jones" forgets this fact mainly because Mr. Tourand is white. Forget the fact that a kid who was good with a GameBoy had as much technical know-how. (Tourand is also the guy who "synced up" Macon's traffic lights. You know the ones that take you 30 minutes to get through on Eisenhower Parkway? That should tell you something.)
Where was the public outcry from these guardians of society when Dallemand was robbing them blind of over $52 million? Why haven't they been asking for the head of the former counsel who obviously was either complicit or incompetent in the Ballard Hudson bond issue? Why haven't they been asking about the contract that Dallemand entered into with Pinnacle Construction Group and why he entered into a long term agreement with them to support software purchased for the school system that was unneeded.
From 'Daryl Jones' to the Bibb County School District's Facebook page (I have broken it into paragraphs for easier reading):
"To all citizens, It appears lately since we have gotten a new superintendent, that many African American administrators any supervisors have been unjustly let go, demoted, or forced out. This is outrageous. Since Dr. Steve Smith has been in office, I have seen many changes and the majority due to perception and not valid data.
We demoted Dr. Efrem Yarber, which led to him leaving the District, we demoted Dr. Eric Caryl, which led him to leave the District, we did not renew Alicia Allen Carter, we riffed Dr. Terrence Smith and Kimberly Carter and then offered them mediocre jobs as an insult but a way to get rid of them. We got rid of Cheryl Aaron. We moved Dr. Michele Flowers. We fired Dr. Benjy Morgan and I cam quite sure there are others that I just haven't heard about yet.
I am asking for an open records request on all African American administrators who have been removed, demoted, or changed since Dr. Steve Smith has been the Superintendent. On the other hand, it has been brought to the community’s attention, that many Caucasian administrators have been elevated, promoted, and given pay increases. We have even created jobs. We hired a caucasian man to take Dr. Caryl place who just happened to be a former friend of the Superintendent. We replaced Mrs. Aaron with a caucasian without just cause in my opinion. We replaced Dr. Flowers with Lori Smith, caucasian and very close with Erin Weaver who just happens to be Dr. Smith very good friend. We hired Erin Weaver and Bruce Giroux, retired employees to come back and make thousands of dollars when we had qualified persons who could have easily been a Deputy Superintendent.
For example: Dr. Tanzy Kilcrease, and awesome administrator, native of Macon, who came back to Bibb to be an Associate Superintendent. She left a superintendent position to know be back as a principal. She is young and understands what out young black children need. Who do we have in the Superintendent cabinet that can relate to our young black children? Oh yeah, we got Sylvia Hooker who is African American, but is not young, not from here, and oh yeah a friend of Dr. Smith. Then, we have Ed Judie, who is African American too, but still is not young; at least I heard he moved here. Who sits at the decision making table and can have a voice for the majority of the students in this district who are black and many at-risk?
Lastly, we have Kellie Gaucatun, who appears to be a sweet lady but we need someone who is going to take a stand for our kids and not sit back quietly. We have created a job for Dr. Steven Corkery and God knows whom else. I am asking for an open records request on what new positions have been created since Dr. Smith has arrived and how many have been filled by African Americans and Caucasians? I want to know who has received pay raises when we riffed people and told others we didn't have any money. I want to know the salaries from the previous 2 years in comparison to the 2014-15 school year.
Now, lets get to how we are dealing with our children. I am requesting an open records request on how many children have been suspended since Dr. Smith has arrived in comparison to Dr. Dallemand. How many children have been expelled? How many children have been locked up or how many campus police cases? How many evidentiary hearings? How many manifestation determination meeting? How many students have been sent to Alternative Education? I want this broken down by gender and race. What is the direction of this district with regards to discipline? What is the district discipline plan? We are consistently getting rid of kids, suspending and arresting. This is outrageous and I am appalled! I feel like we are back in civil rights days- no justice! If you have a plan, please submit. I am requesting a list of interventions or resources that the District has to help at-risk students who have behavioral problems. I am requesting open records request on any emails or written documentation sent to principals regarding discipline from the superintendent and deputies. We are being told that the upper administration has told principals to suspend kids if they don’t behave! Where as Dr. Dallemand instructed them to find solutions and not suspend unless there was no other recourse.
Every time I look around I hear teachers talking about what new academic software or program they got for children but what about helping the children who need help emotionally. We got rid of the interventionist, who happen to all be African American! We don't have any behavior therapists or specialists. We don't have enough counselors or social workers. What have we invested to help our children in this area? I heard that the District put Dr. Flowers back downtown and she is doing something with behavior. Anyway, do we really think one person can make a dent in this big mess! All this extra money we have on creating new jobs, and pay raises should have went to help the children! We got rid of the behavior people in elementary. Many of them don’t even have ISS. So what do they do, keep them out! I am requesting an open records request on how many discipline referrals have been made just since August 1st.
Finally, the special education needs to be looked at. How come we have schools saying they only provide limited services or they don’t have self-contained? This is against the law! So we place kids who need self contained in general ed classroom to only fail or get in trouble. Then when the teachers write them up cause they can't handle them- the principals suspend or send to alternative school. Or we stick them in Alternative Ed with no support and kick them out of that too! I am requesting a list of the professional trainings that have been conducted for administrators on how to deal with students who have problem behaviors and special needs. I would like to know dates, who attended, and who trained- evidence of this would be an agenda or contract or class offering by professional learning department. I am also requesting a list of professional trainings conducted for staff members on how to deal with students who have problem behaviors and special needs. This should be a requirement for all staff. It is evident form data that we have a problem and the only thing they know how to do is get rid of us! A group of us in this community have been getting together and talking about these issues.
We are tired of our children and leaders being treated unfairly or differently from their caucasian friends and coworkers. You will continue to get these types of emails from many others and me until we see that something is done! Board members wake up! You will not get reelected. We voted for you to help the children of this district and make ethical and just decisions. This district is made up of predominantly African American children; they need to see positive role models and leaders that look like them. There is no balance. How many African American directors, coordinators, superintendents, principals are there in the district as compared to Caucasian? How many leadership roles are there in the district that makes 100,000 or more dollars? How many are African American and how many are Caucasian? Everything I have asked for should be public knowledge. You cannot hide the truth any longer!
There you have it Middle Georgia. Apparently this person or 'group' want people to be judged solely by the color of their skin and not the substance of their work. Tom Hudson should be very 'proud' of what his legacy will be as a member of the Board of Education as well as either the writer or ring leader of this tripe. Another thing that you should remember in reading all of this is that Kimberlyn Carter, mentioned above as a 'victim' of Dr. Smith's was former Mayor C. Jack Ellis' campaign manager as well as the campaign manager for now Clerk of Superior Court Erica Woodford, was caught running copies for his campaign at the Welcome Center on your nickle. One more thing to remember about Ms. Carter is that she was promoted to the Director of Strategic Partnership at the Welcome Center making $95,000 per year which was given to her for her vast experience of six years as a Special Education instructor.
The bottom line is that Dr. Smith has not only done his best to clean out the barnyard but has also done his best to put people that have qualifications to match their job and are paid what is fair based on their abilities not the color of their skin.
By Charles Jackson
Four years ago, the United States was engaged in a raucous national debate about immigration focused on Arizona's attempts to stem the tide of Mexicans entering the state illegally. Today, that debate is more fierce than ever as the country faces a deluge of illegals coming from Central America. Four years ago, I wrote an article about the Arizona crisis with illegals. I've posted almost the entire article below as it remains as relevant then as its timely now. At the end of the article, are some additional thoughts on the current immigration crisis facing the country.
May 27, 2010
What Part of the Word 'Illegal' Don't You Understand? From Immigrants to Aliens
by Charles Jackson
“Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses, Yearning to be Free,” wrote the poet Emma Lazarus in 1883.
And so they came: Charles Atlas, Irving Berlin, Frank Capra, Xavier Cugar, Albert Einstein, Felix Frankfurter, Greta Garbo, Marcus Garvey, Bob Hope, Al Jolson and Knute Rockne.
Others followed: Madeline Albright, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Patrick Ewing, Henry Kissinger, Zubin Meta, Akeen Olajawon, I.M. Pei, Sidney Poitier, Oscar de La Renta, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sammy Sosa and Elie Wiesel.
Millions more, perhaps less notable but no less worthy, came to our shores. We're all the richer for it.
From 1892 to 1954, over twelve million immigrants entered the United States through the portal of Ellis Island.
More recently, many more Africans, Asians and Cubans have also joined our nation of immigrants. E Pluribus Unum: “Out of many, one.”
These immigrants had two common bonds: they learned English - as a first language – and assimilated into American culture. Whether processed at historic Ellis Island or other points of entry, the vast majority of them entered the United States legally.
Sadly, though, millions and millions of other “immigrants” have come to America not like those who've come before. They're illegal aliens who've violated our nation's sovereignty.
These “undocumented workers” (the PC term; don't want to offend, do we?) coming from Mexico, are hardly that country’s best and brightest. They live at the margins of Mexican society and, for the most part, are poorly educated, unskilled workers.
The Mexican government loses nothing when their citizens slip across the border but rather gains a substantial economic impact when the worker sends money back home. Estimates show that about $1 billion is wired out of Georgia, for example, each year to Mexico. Multiply this by other states and you get the picture.
The vast majority of these illegal Mexican aliens in the U.S. work in low-skill, low-wage jobs. More than half work in construction, manufacturing or leisure and hospitality.
More ominously, an increasing number are engaged in drug - and human - trafficking associated with the notorious Mexican drug cartels. And with it, rampant crime and violence. 80% of cocaine and 50% of heroin in the U.S. is smuggled across the border by Mexican nationals...
Everyone knows that any Immigration “reform” (i.e. amnesty) legislation is DOA. It's only a sop to get Hispanic and those Whole Foods-shopping liberal votes for Democrats in November. If the Obama administration thought the health care debate was fractious, they ain't seen nothing yet.
Illegal aliens have no intention of assimilating into our culture like earlier immigrants. Most of them live in isolated barrios out of the mainstream of English-speaking American life. These lawbreakers have no desire to become one with America. E Pluribus Unum? Not illegal aliens...
According to the Center for Immigration Studies, there are thought to be about 11.5 million illegal aliens - not “immigrants” - in the United States. Georgia's illegal population stands at some 440,000: the fastest growing in all but six states and the 6th largest in the nation.
We now have “50,000 unaccompanied youths and children who have illegally crossed the Texas border during the last few months and officials have caught an additional 240,000 Central American migrants since April. The 290,000 illegals - so far - are exploiting legal loopholes that allow them to get temporary permits to stay in the United States.” (The Daily Caller July 5).
It's clear that immigration reform is dead meaning that the estimated 11.5 million illegal aliens who sneaked into the country will remain, with defacto amnesty.
The Daily Caller article concludes, “Experts say that President Barack Obama’s administration has failed to close the loopholes and is unlikely to deport more than a small percentage of the illegals, despite the high unemployment rates among American Latino, African-American and white youths, and the strapped budgets of many cities and towns. The president’s policy has caused protests by frightened citizens in towns such as Murrieta. But Obama’s allies - such as La Raza, an ethnic lobby for Latinos — are eager to escalate the conflict and to paint the protestors as racists. Those protests may escalate before the November elections.”
Nothing could anger the American people more – who’re already royally pissed off about this home invasion by intruders - than protests staged by La Raza. Bring it on! Only one in five Americans want to see additional immigration, while two in five Americans want less immigration, says a new Gallup poll of June 27.Even among Democratic respondents, only 27 percent want increased immigration, said the Gallup survey of 1,027 respondents. Overall, 65 percent of Americans disapprove of Obama's handling of immigration.
Meanwhile, as thousands of children continue streaming across the nation's southwest border, President Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion to deal with the crisis. The American ATM taxpayer will, of course, foot the bill. The majority of those taxpayers are fed-up with a federal government unable to maintain the nation's sovereignty.
We must defend our Border. We must protect our Language. And we must preserve our Culture - a Culture enriched by generations of legal immigrants and new, legal arrivals but now being coarsened and corrupted by millions of illegal aliens.
Our first priority must be to enforce our laws and secure our border.
The word Citizen comes from the Latin “Civitas.”
“Cit-i-zen Noun 1. A native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection (as distinguished from alien).” A simple yet noble word of particular meaning to a free people - Citizen of the Republic. Legal immigrants who have become citizens are an integral part of the diverse fabric of the country -“as distinguished from alien(s)” - who have violated the country's sacred soil.
Last week, you may remember seeing that 11th District Congressional hopeful, former State Senator Barry Loudermilk was involved in a racial discrimination suit in which a former assistant was fired in his office while he was State Senator.
In a WeArePolitics exclusive, Loudermilk's opponent former Congressman Bob Barr stated to us that:
"Even in the face of factual evidence that his former Senate secretary was told that Senators Loudermilk and Ligon did not want her working in their office because she didn't present the "face" they wanted, Barry Loudermilk persists in denying knowing anything what-so-ever about the matter.
This obfuscation goes beyond even the efforts of Bill Clinton to lie about the Monica Lewinsky scandal. These actions would earn Barry Loudermilk an A+ in the Saul Alinsky Rules for Radicals class."
You may also remember that Barr certainly can make that comparison as he was one of the driving forces in the impeachment of President Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice in 1998 because of Clinton's part in the Lewinsky scandal.
Barr has also reached out to me regarding the current immigration fiasco in Texas saying,
"I agree with Texas Gov. Rick Perry - what is happening on the border is an immediate national security issue. I have visited the border on several official visits as both President Reagan's U.S. Attorney and your Member of Congress. When we win on , I will make a visit to the border in Texas within the month."
I have complete trust that Barr will be true to his words and will do a fantastic job as Congressman once again. I was one of the earliest supporters for Barr and did one of his first interviews after he announced his candidacy early last year. You can read that interview here.
BREAKING NEWS: Former Secretary to State Senator Barry Loudermilk Named In Racial Discrimination Suit for $80K in 2011
Earlier today, documents were released showing that while working for former State Senator and current congressional candidate Barry Loudermilk, General Assembly Secretary Ethel Blackmon was terminated because she was "not the
According to Loudermilk's opponent in the congressional race former Congressman Bob Barr states that as late as Tuesday, Loudermilk denied even knowing about the cause of the suit. In a statement from Barr,
“The documents on which this story is based establish provides clear and convincing evidence that my opponent directed that a secretary assigned to work for him, while serving as a State Senator, be fired for racial reasons. The evidence also shows clearly why former State Senator Loudermilk is neither qualified nor ready to serve as a member of the House of Representatives and should seriously consider withdrawing from this race.
“To make matters worse, former State Senator Loudermilk claimed as recently as Tuesday evening at a public forum that he “knows nothing” about the basis for the lawsuit or the $80,000 settlement. Such a statement is patently unbelievable and false.
“Rather than respond like a man to this story, Loudermilk once again hides behind childish statements by his political operatives, simply blaming our campaign rather than answering any of the serious questions about his competency, honesty or his honor. This is a tactic typically employed by politicians like former President Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and other liberal Washington insiders.”
In an exclusive statement to WeArePolitics, former State Senator and current Newt County Commissioner John Douglas, who was Blackmon's boss for five years, stated:
"Ethel Blackmon worked for me for 5 years. I never regretted hiring her, she handled much of my constituent work and I received many compliments from voters in my district on her assistance. She was on time and in the office every day, even when we were out of session. She was a first class professional in every way and represented both the Senate and me in the highest manner. I deeply regretted the difficulties she encountered after I left the Senate and hope she has put it behind her and moved on."
Here's an interesting question: I wonder if this is why Loudermilk wanted the state of Georgia to apologize for slavery during the 2013 General Assembly? Just wondering....
Well I am certain this will anger a lot of my Republican friends, but I am completely in support of former Mount de Sales Music Director Flint Dollar. Flint has been a replacement organist for my church, The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, for a good while, and while I do not know Flint as a friend I do know that based on MANY people's opinions who do know him better than I do, his reputation is above reproach as a good person and a fine educator. I also know from first hand experience that he is an extremely talented and gifted musician.
I feel that Mount de Sales has done a grave disservice to Flint and to his students by what they have done by firing him. While I do not agree with his lifestyle, he very well may not agree with mine either. So who am I to judge him? Or he me for that matter? Further, Mount de Sales knew that Flint was a homosexual from before he was hired and knew he was thinking about marrying his partner before they offered him a new contract at the beginning of May. To fire him now, is certainly grounds for a legal challenge, in my opinion.
Many of you out there will fall back on the excuse that Georgia is an "at will" state, meaning that a person can be fired because their employer may not like something about them or can fire them for any reason. While that is partially true, it is not completely true because an employer still has to follow federal guidelines when it comes to discrimination. Is it Mount de Sales prerogative to fire him? Absolutely, if they have some type of reason beyond firing him because he will be married to another man. To fire him because of that goes back to the days of segregation when a black could not marry a white.
Upon researching this, I found that Flint certainly is not the first person to be fired by a Catholic school for marrying a same-sex partner. That being said, I reached out to Mr. Brian Panetta of Sandusky, Ohio who was terminated earlier this year for the same reason Flint was. Below is the interview that I had with him via email.
WeArePolitics: Do you feel that Mr. Dollar has any legal grounds to file a suit, based on what you have seen?
Brian: While similar in many aspects, I believe Mr. Dollar’s situation differs from the one I faced earlier this year in one very significant way – our contracts. Mount De Sales Academy operates under a “Nondiscriminatory Policy” which it even has posted on its website. Included in the policy is sexual orientation as well as “any other characteristic or status that is protected by federal, state or local law”, which I interpret to cover marital status. My contract did not include an Equal Employment Opportunity clause, rather I signed a “morality clause” that was written in such a way that provided the school with the power to terminate almost any faculty member at any time. Considering this, I do believe Mr. Dollar has legal grounds for wrongful termination of contract.
WeArePolitics: Do you feel that his school, Mt. de Sales, can terminate his employment justifiably because same-sex marriage is against Catholic doctrine?
Brian: It is hard to say without knowing additional details about his contract with the school. Even if he signed a morality clause similar to most Parochial schools, his termination would seem to be in direct conflict with the school’s mission, philosophy, beliefs and core values. Mount De Sales claims its mission is “committed to educating young men and women of all cultural, economic and religious backgrounds” and attempts to “meet the challenges of the 21st century”. Mr. Dollar’s termination sends a very strong message that the challenges and social barriers of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) individuals will not be attended to at Mount De Sales Academy. Furthermore, the school’s philosophy and core beliefs claim that they will teach through “Christ-like action”, with mercy, compassion and inclusion of all people.
WeArePolitics: Do you feel that his situation and yours are the same or different for any reason?
Brian: I believe that our circumstances are similar in that both our ministries were terminated too soon. Neither of us flaunted our sexual orientation, instead we displayed sincere dedication to the Catholic Church and its educational system. We both made positive influences in our communities, which gained us overwhelming support from students, parents and parishioners. Our situations are similar in that we are both victims of a social injustice that is “protected” by Catholic teachings.
WeArePolitics: What advice would you give Flint?
Brian: I would encourage Flint to really think about how he wants to use this as a teachable moment. For me, I wanted conversations to happen, I wanted more people to be aware of the injustice and I wanted my students to have a true understanding of what was happening. Because I loved my students and the school community, I wanted them to address the situation with honesty and maturity, and so I decided to compose myself with understanding and sensibility. This was just my teachable moment. If Mr. Dollar wants to teach his students about the importance of taking a stance in order to make a difference, then I encourage him and believe that he has legal standing.
I couldn't agree more.
As a Republican, and a Conservative Republican at that, how do I reconcile this with basic belief that marriage is defined as a man and a woman uniting in holy matrimony? As I said, I do not agree with their choices, however same-sex marriage is legal in many states and if Flint and his partner go to Massachusetts or any other state where it is legal to get married they will be in fact a legally married couple, although Georgia law will not allow them to share any health benefits nor any other rights normally afforded married couples, they will be married nonetheless. I don't make the laws. It's a hard concept to grasp, but as Republicans we are supposed to be the party of inclusion. The GOP was founded in 1854 as a response to the expansion of slavery due to the abolition of the Missouri Compromise, which spread slavery into Kansas. When Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican president, he did in fact abolish slavery and it was the Republican party that oversaw that rights were given to ALL men during the Reconstruction of the South after the Civil War. We were the party gave the country Everett Dirksen of Illinois who helped write and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and fought with Democrats Richard Russell of Georgia and Strom Thurmand of South Carolina to end a 57 day filibuster by them to get the bill passed. While speaking to end the filibuster, Dirksen said
"Victor Hugo wrote in his diary substantially this sentiment, 'Stronger than all the armies is an idea whose time has come.' The time has come for equality of opportunity in sharing of government, in education, and in employment. It must not be stayed or denied."
That is why it is easy for me to reconcile as a Republican.
As a Lutheran and Christian we are taught to hate the sin but love the sinner. Lest we all forget that we are all sinners in the eyes of God.
Over the past several months posts on WeArePolitics have been few and far between, especially when it comes to statewide races, with some exceptions by Charles Jackson and by Dave Emanuel. Business in my paying job has been good..VERY good as a matter of fact, so between my business and my family, something has had to give.
What hasn't diminished, however, is my passion for politics and in particular a few races locally as well as statewide that I am now writing to you about.
In no special order, I am very excited about the State Senate race between John F. Kennedy and Spencer Price. It is no secret that I have been a very strong supporter of outgoing State Senator Cecil Staton. He and his wife Catherine have been friends of mine for several years and I appreciate them and what they have done for this community. With that being said, I cannot in good conscience support Spencer Price and what his campaign did to Senator Staton in the last election. I know politics is a dirty business, but I also know there is a line which the Price campaign either knowingly or negligently crossed. That being said, I support John Kennedy not only due to that, but because John Kennedy is the man we need in Atlanta to protect our interests. The current campaign paints Kennedy as an Atlanta liberal who'll take away your guns and is not pro-life. That's the farthest thing from the truth. John is from Adrian, a little town outside of Dublin and is not only pro 2nd Amendment and pro life, but is in favor of helping Georgia's children with health issues such as seizures and would support legalization of medicinal cannabis. Spencer Price is not. That's why Janea' Cox, mother of Haleigh, and the main subject of Allen Peake's HB885 Bill for legalization of medicinal cannabis, is supporting John. And a reason I am too.
Next is the race for US Senate. Early on I endorsed Karen Handel and although my time has been limited my support for Karen has not. She is without a doubt the best candidate for the office and will keep your best interests in mind when she goes to Washington. Karen is Conservative, Pro-Life and will not only keep your 2nd Amendment rights safe but she will do it with then endorsements of former Presidential candidate Rick Santorum as well as Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Jack Kingston gets my second place vote because there will be a runoff on this one. Either of these candidates can beat Sam Nunn's daughter. I know her name is Michelle, but even she is running as Sam Nunn's daughter.
Governor Deal has his nomination pretty well sewed up, but I can promise him that he will have a huge battle this fall running against Jason Carter, who is not running as Jimmy's grandson.
Vivian Childs should be the person to run against Sanford Bishop in House District 2. She is a smart and good campaigner who has done everything a person can do for the local party. I'm proud to call her my friend and hope she can beat the ethically challenged Bishop come November.
Locally, Nikki Randall should beat Gerald Harvey handily, but don't take that for granted! She and her father need every vote they can as his race may be a bit closer against newcomer Emory Christian.
One race I haven't commented on at all is the rematch of the rematch of the match between former Macon City Council President and former State Senator Miriam Paris and arch nemesis State Senator David Lucas. I've said it once and I'll say it again....Any vote for a Lucas is a vote to go backwards in our community and a huge slap in the face to all of the good things we have done together.
Allen Peake should have no problems beating newcomer Brad Moriarty. Peake has shown that he will indeed work for what's in the best interest of every single constituent, not just ones of his party. He's Conservative, caring and a good man. I have nothing against Moriarty, but this is the wrong person to run against. Vote Peake.
Tomorrow is another day that we can come together locally and as a state to do the right thing with the right people. We can also lose ground by electing people like James Bumpus or Emory Christian and reelecting David Lucas and Wanda West. It's your tax dollars and your community. I hope you'll do the right thing.
It was announced yesterday that the Bibb County Board of Education has temporarily suspended the search for a new superintendent....but I think a few things might be assumed that probably are not true.
I am being told by sources outside of the district that although there were 24 applications that were being reviewed by the board only a handful of them, less than 10, met the basic qualifications to lead our school district. Those two basic qualifications are that the new superintendent has to have a doctorate and must have had previous experience as a superintendent.
I am also being told by the same sources that many of the candidates were extremely exceptional, however, any of the candidates who actually did meet the qualifications either did not get renewed by their previous board, had problems coexisting with their respective boards, or had controversial tenures as a superintendent.
There is no question that the board is doing the right thing by "casting a wider net" as current board member Lynn Farmer was quoted as saying on WMAZ and in The Telegraph. The last thing we need to do is hire someone not qualified or bend the rules like the former board did with Dallemand.
Another plus in this situation is that we get Interim Superintendent Steve Smith's experience and leadership for just that much longer.
Two of Romain Dallemand's greatest defenders Bibb County Board Members Wanda West and Tom Hudson went to New Orleans for the 2014 National School Boards Association's Annual Conference costing Bibb County taxpayers over $5000 for a trip that lasted from April 4 through April 7. What the hell gang? Romain's gone so somebody has to spend our money foolishly. It might as well be these two.
In documents received from the Bibb County School District, shown below, each board member attended the conference at a cost of $895.00 a piece, 4 separate workshops at $195 a piece and $65 a piece for a luncheon with the Black Caucus. West was reimbursed $866.32 for mileage, meals and parking while Hudson flew Delta for $631 and was reimbursed an additional $309 for meals as well as other transportation. Both stayed at the Marriott at a cost of $635.64 a piece.
Keep some things in mind here folks:
Wanda West is running for reelection against Darren Latch.
Ask yourself if you think Latch would spend your money like this? West has already proven she will as well as vote for $51 million in squandered tax payer funds.
Hudson is supporting James Bumpus in his bid against Daryl Morton.
Ask yourself if you think Morton would spend your money like this? Then ask yourself if you think Bumpus would be responsible or if he would spend much like his supporter Tom Hudson.
The choices are clear when it comes to who to pick not only for the best interest of your children but also your tax money. I urge you to vote for Daryl Morton and Darren Latch.
In recent weeks Tom Hudson has stated that we will have no choice but to RAISE your taxes to pay for education. Wanda West has turned a blind eye to the problem of a $51 million dollar waste saying how can a board drop a ball if they don't know a ball is in the air. Seriously? How can we continue to vote for these spenders??
Now ask yourself how many school supplies $5000 would buy? How many months of a teacher's salary would that pay for? What benefit will our kids get from Hudson and West going to New Orleans? Are they bringing things back to the rest of the board and sharing the ideas? Are there workshops for educators with Hudson and West giving lectures? How many times do we have to get screwed before we say ENOUGH?