Are you sitting down, dear reader? House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, has announced that he will propose a full ban on gifts from lizard-loafered lobbyists in the next session.
Before you fall over in a dead faint, let me remind you that politicians are crafty sorts. They excel at saying one thing and doing another - "another" being whatever is in their self-interest. That is why we need to wait and see if the speaker really means it and if the General Assembly really does it.
Now that the dust has settled from our recent Dawson County election, I would like to offer some reflections on the various candidates' campaigns - reflections on the good, the bad and the ugly campaign tactics and strategies.
The good: We were most impressed by three candidates who cared enough to walk in the sweltering heat and knock on our door and share their thoughts and vision with us.
What in the world was State School Superintendent John Barge thinking when he endorsed the reelection campaign of State Sen. Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock? Chip Rogers, in case you are not aware, is not exactly public education's best friend.
Rogers talks about education "being in his blood" and then proceeds to bleed public schools by promoting a variety of schemes, including school vouchers, virtual schools and pushing the state to take control of the process for creating charter schools (and the campaign contributions of for-profit charter school management companies that comes with that) away from local school systems.
I wanted to let everyone know that chivalry is still alive and well in Dawson County.
I went to the post office last week and as I got in my car to leave, my car would not start.
Hard to believe, but it has been 16 years since the Olympic Games were held in our state.
As I watch the festivities in London, I remembered the phone calls I had received over the past year from media members in Great Britain, asking me if I had any thoughts on what was going to happen when the Games began in London.
In one of my favorite Merle Haggard songs, "Okie From Muskogee," Haggard writes about the local college saying "Football's still the roughest thing on campus and the kids there still respect the college dean."
Herbert Robinson was the first dean of what was then Gainesville Junior College. They didn't have football, but I am quite confident the kids truly respected the college dean.
And others I won't.
As the community recently paid respects and said final farewell to beloved members Charles Finley and Dr. Herbert Robinson, many were aware of what they personally would miss with these two gone.
I knew the adults were upset again. I had first seen it when I was very young living in Cuba.
The Castro revolution had advanced to the Navy base perimeter and the adults were tense. Military families left Cuba shortly thereafter.
I have just returned from a memorable trip to Valdosta. I went there to speak to the Rotary Club. The members laughed in all the right places, which not only was memorable, but downright remarkable.
What made the trip even more special were two visits I made while there. I dropped by to see my beloved college professor, Dr. Raymond Cook on his 93rd birthday. My detractors will find little comfort in this but I would not be where I am today had I not been assigned Dr. Cook's English Literature course in the spring term of my freshman ...
One of the most contentious issues facing Dawson County has been the conversion of Elliott Field to a regional airport.
All studies have concluded this is not a suitable location for such a facility and the vast majority of the areas residents are opposed to such a drastic transformation.
The courthouse is beautiful, right? Most agree that it is. Just like a large diamond ring, it is beautiful to see. But in these strained economic times neither is practical.
In 2007 (economic boom times) the voters approved SPLOST V by a large percentage of those few who voted.
Would you allow an unlicensed electrician to install a bug zapper in your living room?
Would you let an unlicensed plumber unclog the throne in your reading room?
I saw a candidate sign that seemed to me to say that our new county courthouse was wasteful government spending and that the county could have gotten along just fine with what we had.
People that used our old building or tried to keep it going know that the now gone courthouse was too small and at the end of its useful life and that it had no architectural value that warranted preservation.
Last week Rep. Amos Amerson (Republican, 9th District) wrote about the Supreme Court Decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare as the Republicans like to call it.
He called it a tax that would fall primarily on young people and the poor people who can't afford it.
Of course, everyone talks about the weather, although we can't control it.
Records substantiate our complaints about the heat: It really hadn't been that hot on any other Independence Day - all over the country.
Fire ants can be a nasty problem in the home landscape. They love to make unsightly mounds in the middle of our lawn turf and ...
I regret I won't have time this week to get into the details about how Barack Obama managed to wiretap Donald Trump's shoelaces ...
On March 6, Ken Akins, Marissa Pyle, and Bette Holland met with Rep. Doug Collins (R) at his Gainesville office to talk about the Affordable ...
House Bill 217 has passed the House and is now in the Senate for consideration. It seems to me that the legislators are again trying ...
As the General Assembly marches closer to Sine Die, our constitutional duty of passing a balanced budget for Georgia's government has become our biggest ...
After almost two decades of doing this, you think I would have figured out by now what pushes your hot button.
We returned to the Gold Dome on March 6 for legislative day 29, which began the ninth week of the 2017 session.
Crossover Day was a wild ride for everyone involved, but like every year, we made it through-even if it was late into the night.
Don't look now, but the initiative to deal with low-performing schools in Georgia has taken a big step toward becoming law.
Last week Rep. Kevin Tanner's bill on how to help our challenged schools in Georgia passed through the State House and will now be ...
With the completion of Legislative Day 28 last week, the State Senate continues to work hard as we approach Day 40, when the 2017 Legislative ...
Friday marked the end of a very busy week at the Capitol. The Senate picked up the pace with committee meetings running late into the ...
Sometimes I wonder if good customer service has gone the way of the dodo bird and 8-track tapes.
On Feb. 21, the House reconvened for another lively week under the Gold Dome where we were hard at work drafting, discussing and passing legislation ...
I have been a homeowner in Dawson County since 2008.