Watch last Sunday’s Georgia Gang on Youtube

  From the March 26th Georgia Gang: a countdown to Sine Die at the State Capitol, the ongoing disaster that is the Atlanta Streetcar, and two new Georgia cities. Subscribe to the channel to keep up with IAG CEO Phil Kent and the rest of the gang as they break down the latest in Peach State politics every Sunday!...

Time to play ball at Suntrust Park

    After five years of planning, campaigning, and backroom deal-making, SunTrust Park is finally ready for some baseball.  The Braves open the park up this Friday in an exhibition against the New York Yankees before going on the road to start the regular season until their official opening day at home on April 14th. Beyond the hazy gray-area that is building a new baseball stadium with taxpayer money without actually getting any input from said taxpayers, the two biggest concerns are parking and traffic.  Are there enough spots?  How congested will the already-congested Cumberland area get on game day?  How will commuters and residents be effected?  Well, we’re about to find out. New entrance and exit ramps on both I-285 and I-75 should make it easier to get in and out of the area, and signs starting an exit away from the park will hopefully direct fans and prevent backups.  Likewise pedestrian bridges over both highways allow fans to park in lots further away from the stadium and still have access. With some 14,000 official spots to Turner Field’s mere 8,700, Braves officials seem confident that parking won’t be much of an issue once fans get used to the setup.  The big difference there is that at SunTrust Field the lots are spread out all across the area, with only a couple exclusive parking decks available very close by.  The rest of the lots will require up to a mile of walking or for fans to jump on one of the many shuttle buses that will be circling the stadium. Looking at the map above, the Delta, Braves 9,...

Georgia Senate passes education bill

  The Georgia Senate passed the state’s school improvement bill Friday by a 38-17 vote, but not without a little excitement. About 30 minutes before HB 338 — now called the First Priority Act — was scheduled to be called for a vote by the full Senate Friday, Sen. Hunter Hill tried to bring a scaled down version of his previous voucher bill back. It didn’t work out well for Hill. The amendment received only 14 votes in favor, while 38 opposed it. There were two other amendments proposed, but both failed. Democratic Senate Leader Steve Henson posed an amendment that would have shifted the chain of command for the Chief Turnaround Around Officer from the State Board of Education to the elected state superintendent. It failed 20-34. An amendment authorizing the turnaround coaches to take parents to court for failing to support the student failed 13-32. The bill, which was written by State Rep. Kevin Tanner of Dawsonville, now goes back to the House for agreement to the Senate changes. Sen. Lindsey Tippins, R-Marietta, chairman of the Senate Education and Youth Committee, described the bill passed by the Senate as a “more collaborative approach to improving schools than last year’s failed constitutional amendment to create an Opportunity School District.” “This is not the state coming in to make sweeping changes,” he said. “This will be a local effort.” The revised bill gives schools three years to implement a school improvement plan created by the chief turnaround officer, the local school and a turnaround coach. (The House version gave schools two years). Tippins stated that three years gives schools...

Watch Sunday’s Georgia Gang on Youtube!

  Be prepared for a raucous left-right debate on the March 19th edition of The Georgia Gang as the panel gets testy over the final days of the 2017 legislative session. Also on the docket – Underground Atlanta finally gets sold, pay raises in DeKalb County, and upstart Democratic candidate in the 6th Congressional District Jon Ossoff comes under attack....

Some Dems uneasy over Ossoff push

  Back in 2014 when the Democrats nominated Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn to run for Governor and Senate respectively, many of their Democratic rivals in the primaries balked at the idea of the party coronating candidates without a fair and equal primary process.  The same thing happened last year in the race for U.S. Senate, when a relatively, (read: completely) unknown in Jim Barksdale received a green light from the state party en route to a close win in the primary and an embarrassing defeat in the general election against Johnny Isakson.   We’re seeing that tape replayed now in the race for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District as Jon Ossoff, the 30 year old Democrat darling, sucks all the air out of the left-wing room as he tries to pull an upset in a crowded race. On Sunday the Democrats in the race to replace Tom Price gathered for a candidate forum and some among them were none to happy with their party picking favorites.  Ragin Edwards, Richard Quigley, Richard Keatley, Rebecca Quigg, and former state Senator Ron Slotin are the other Dems in the race, none of whom feel they are being given much of  a shot at success. Slotin in particular was critical of the process, saying, “This is not going to be a coronation. You have to earn it.  He stands no chance against a Republican in the runoff. And that’s what I’m letting people know. The party shouldn’t pick favorites.” But pick favorites it has.  Ossoff was in Washington D.C. this week, schmoozing with Democratic big-wigs at a fundraiser that looks like it could...

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