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Atlanta church: don’t pass religious liberty bill
1 year ago

Atlanta church: don’t pass religious liberty bill

An Atlanta church is urging passersby on one of the city’s busiest streets not to support controversial religious liberty legislation, calling the measure an “affront to the Gospel.”

St. Mark United Methodist Church, situated along Peachtree street in midtown Atlanta, devoted its sign Tuesday to join the debate raging in the General Assembly over the First Amendment Defense Act, which was passed last week by the state Senate and now awaits final consideration by the House.

“Legalized discrimination is an affront to the Gospel,” the church’s street-facing sign reads.

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Kasich campaigning in Ga. today
1 year ago

Kasich campaigning in Ga. today

The next Republican contest will be decided Tuesday in Nevada, where caucus-goers will huddle to name the state’s choice for the GOP nod, but Ohio Governor John Kasich will instead spend the day campaigning in Georgia.

Kasich, who played fifth in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary on Saturday, will address the Georgia House of Representatives before holding a pair of townhalls, one at Kennesaw State University and a second in Sandy Springs, later in the day.

The Ohio governor boasts a handful of endorsements from the General Assembly, including Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert, Sens. Fran Millar and Chuck Hufstetler, and Reps. Wendell Willard and Tom Taylor. Read More

Clinton ad: #BlackLivesMatter
1 year ago

Clinton ad: #BlackLivesMatter

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went on the air Monday in Georgia with a new television advertisement with a targeted appeal to the state’s black community.

The 30-spot spot, narrated by actor Morgan Freeman, portrays Clinton as an ally to the Black Lives Matter movement and a steward of President Barack Obama’s legacy.

“She says their names and makes their mothers’ fight for justice her own,” Freeman says as audio of Clinton is overlaced. “She speaks for a city poisoned by indifference and stands with the president against those who would undo his achievements.”

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FADA fallout: Decatur telecom leaving Georgia over religious liberty fight
1 year ago

FADA fallout: Decatur telecom leaving Georgia over religious liberty fight

The owner of a Georgia-based telecommunications startup says he is relocating his firm in protest of the state Senate’s approval last week of the First Amendment Defense Act.

Kelvin Williams said the decision to uproot his company, 373k, was in direct response to the General Assembly’s consideration of the controversial religious liberty proposal.

The bill, which must now be approved by the House of Representatives, would empower individuals and not-for-profits to refuse service if it conflicts with their sincerely held religious beliefs. Critics of the measure say it would give licenses to discriminate against gays and lesbians, and also unmarried couples and single mothers.

“That’s just something that we can’t live with,” Williams told Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB. Watch the interview after the jump. Read More

VIDEO: Newt to Fox: you ‘invented’ Trump!
1 year ago

VIDEO: Newt to Fox: you ‘invented’ Trump!

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich put the blame on Fox News for Donald Trump’s meteoric rise in the Republican presidential contest, telling the network’s morning news and talk crew that it had “invented” the brash billionaire’s candidacy.

“Donald Trump gets up in the morning, tweets to the entire planet at no cost, picks up the hone, calls you, has a great conversation for about eight minutes—which would have cost him a ton in commercial money—and meanwhile, his opponents are all out there trying to raise the money to run an ad,” Gingrich said Monday morning on Fox & Friends.

Host Brian Kilmeade countered that the frequency of Trump’s appearances was a function of the candidate’s willingness to appear, whereas more mainstream Republicans, like former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, have proven more reticent.

Gingrich fired back: “Look, you could say that Trump is the candidate Fox & Friends invented. He was on your show, I think, more than any other show.”

“Every Monday,” cohost Steve Doocy added.

Watch the full exchange after the jump. Read More

House GOP to consider Price budget later this week
1 year ago

House GOP to consider Price budget later this week

Congressional Republicans will huddle later this week to open consideration of next year’s federal budget, upping the pressure on Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price to find increasingly narrow consensus between the Republican conference’s warring fiscal and deficit hawks.

Rep. Price, a Marietta Republican, has sketched out a spending blueprint in line with discretionary spending levels agreed to last year in concert with President Barack Obama, but would include several deficit reduction mechanisms the broader conference and Congress could adopt, a committee aide told reporters Monday.

Fiscal year 2016’s budget touched off a heated debate among Republicans: some wanted dramatic, immediate cuts to spending across the board while defense hawks insisted that expanded resources must be directed to the Pentagon. Read More

Film industry on religious liberty bills: bye, Georgia
1 year ago

Film industry on religious liberty bills: bye, Georgia

One of the flashiest sectors of Georgia’s economy is mobilizing with new urgency after the passage last week of a controversial religious liberty proposal in the state Senate that critics maintain would enable discrimination.

The new front in the continued legal battle over same-sex marriage, the Georgia General Assembly has been weighing some eight proposals this session that would in some way grant safe harbor to opponents of the freedom to marry. In several instances, the legislation would give explicit license to deny service to gays and lesbians and even single mothers, according to legal analysts.

On Friday, the Senate approved legislation combining two proposals, the Pastor Protection Act and First Amendment Defense Act. The combined bill awaits final approval by the House of Representatives.

Now, the entertainment industry, among the state tax code’s most nurtured sectors, is warning that Georgia’s close-up will soon cut.

“This very assembly working on this bill has invested billions of taxpayer dollars growing an industry that would leave this state,” Brian Tolleson, the president of Atlanta-based entertainment firm Bark Bark, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “They will boycott coming to shoot anything here.” Read More

Peake to chair cannabis oil commission
2 years ago

Peake to chair cannabis oil commission

When the General Assembly decriminalized cannabis oil last month for the treatment of a handful of acute medical conditions, lawmakers stopped short of allowing the marijuana derivative to be locally cultivated and produced — which means those qualifying patients wishing to use the substance must risk purchasing the extract elsewhere and trafficking it through states in which it remains illegal.

Because the oil contains low levels of THC, the euphoric chemical responsible for marijuana’s psychological effects, it may be shipped from out of state. However, it remains a federal crime to transport cannabis oil across state lines, so those Georgians whose conditions require higher levels of THC than those permissible to be shipped must risk breaking the law.

But on Tuesday Gov. Nathan Deal appointed state Rep. Allen Peake—who muscled “Haleigh’s Hope Act,” named for a 5-year-old Forsyth girl with a severe form of epilepsy, through the state legislature—to chair a special state commission to explore in-state production models for the oil.

The panel will deliver recommendations to the governor on how best to foster local production while not also fostering the recreational use of marijuana.

The legislation’s champion in the upper chamber, state Sen. Renee Unterman, and Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black were also tapped for the commission. Read More

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