and all the BS fit to read!

Reward & Disappointment

Reward & Disappointment

Jul 19, 2012

Last Monday evening (July 9th) one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had as a member of the Snellville City Council unfolded as we presented a check for $19,000 to Andy and Paige Copeland. The actual funds, which were largely raised during the “Aimee Copeland Weekend” benefit concert, will be used to help Aimee’s recovery from surgeries she underwent after contracting a flesh-eating bacterial disease. As Andy and Paige accepted the check, many of the volunteers who worked so hard to organize the weekend’s events and make them a reality, came forward to be recognized, and to share an emotional moment with the Copelands. Whenever I hear the word “community”, I’ll always think of Aimee’s Weekend and the way so many people, from Snellville and beyond, came together to selflessly work for the benefit of Aimee and her family. Some of us had never met before, or knew each other only casually, but we all bonded together in an effort to help. But this being a Snellville City Council meeting, there was no way the glow of satisfaction that comes from working for the benefit of someone else would last very long. I was expecting some spirited discussion over the 2013 budget to put a bit of a damper on things, and as I looked across the audience, I also expected to hear some lively comments in opposition to the firearms ordinance the mayor had brought up for discussion previously. What I didn’t expect was a diatribe by the mayor in which she stated that she doesn’t believe in this Council. Such a statement is insulting, and disappointing on a number of levels. The mayor is part of the Council, so saying she doesn’t believe in this Council says she doesn’t believe in herself, or in her ability to provide leadership. The mayor obviously disagrees with the majority of Council members on a number of issues. Unfortunately, rather than discussing those issues in an earnest effort to find a resolution, she seems to think that using them as a platform for politicizing is the best approach. I can assure you it is not. All it does is breed negativity. I believe our record demonstrates that four...

T-SPLOST for Untie Altanta, Poll by Rosetta Stone Communications

T-SPLOST for Untie Altanta, Poll by Rosetta Stone Communications

Jun 30, 2012

ATLANTA REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION EXCLUSIVE POLL FOR WSB-TV IN ATLANTA T-SPLOST LOSES GROUND IN ATLANTA REGIONAL DISTRICT YES – 38%     NO-49%          UNDECIDED– 13% Atlanta,GA – A new poll conducted by Rosetta StoneCommunications reveals support slipping for the T-Splost in the Metro Atlanta 10 County District. Republican primary voters are presenting a solid wall ofopposition by opposing the measure by a margin of 68%-20%. “The T-Splost has lost ground in both Fulton and DeKalbCounties, a well as the remaining 8 Counties in the region,” said John Garst, President of Rosetta Stone Communications. Support still remains strong among voters in Fulton and DeKalb Counties, however support for the T-Splost has fallen below the critical 50% mark. “If the supporters of the T-Splost wish to turn this around, they will work to turn out voters in Clayton County, South DeKalb County and the City of Atlanta,” said John Garst. The survey, which was conducted on Wednesday night, sampled 875 pre-screened primary voters of both parties and included the controversial new“preamble” language that references job creation and citizen oversight. “Due to the nature of this issue and the confusion surrounding the polling for this referendum, I invite anyone from the public, the T-Splost campaign, nervous donors or the opposition to call me and I will explainand clarify all numbers,” said John Garst. Rosetta Stone Communications politicalecalling.com 1801 Peachtree Street Suite 110 Atlanta, GA 30309 Rosetta Stone Communications was founded in 1997 by Steve Schultz and John Garst and specializes in regional campaigns and media polling. Media Contact – John Garst...

Much Ado About Nothing- Snellville’s “Proposed” Gun Ban

Much Ado About Nothing- Snellville’s “Proposed” Gun Ban

Jun 19, 2012

 The subject of gun control always incites lively discussions and Ed Stone’s Examiner article, “Snellville Considers Gun Ban” (http://www.examiner.com/article/snellville-considers-gun-ban) is no exception. However, aside from philosophical differences, there’s no real basis for that discussion. “Snellville”, (which I assume to mean the City Council) is NOT considering a gun ban in any shape or form. Aside from the fact that enacting such a ban would be a violation of state law, it would never receive the votes necessary for passage; a sufficient number of Council members believe in the sanctity of the U.S. Constitution. As a member of that Council, I was not aware of any discussion about guns until I received the agenda for the June 11th meeting. Under the work session portion of that agenda, item “e” was listed as “Firearms in city Parks [Kautz]”. Considering the recent incident in Sugar Hill, and the obvious widespread confusion about firearms laws, my expectation was that we would be discussing the city’s responsibility to honor Constitutional rights and the need to ensure that both citizens and city staff understand state firearms laws. I was more than surprised when the mayor, herself an attorney, referred the matter to our City Attorney for review prior to pursuing the issue. Such a referral serves no useful purpose as state law is quite clear- it is illegal for municipalities to enact firearms ordinances that preempt state law. There was in fact, no consideration of a gun ban of any type, only a unilateral request by the mayor to pursue the issue. I can’t speak for other Council members regarding this issue, but there is absolutely no question that Bobby Howard and Diane Krause, and Mayor Pro Tem Tom Witts are as determined as I am to protect and defend our Constitutional rights, and to ensure that all proposed city ordinances do not violate state law. The article above also appears on examiner.com)...

Damon Ladd-Thomas Deserves Your Vote for New District 105 in Georgia’s House of Representatives

Damon Ladd-Thomas Deserves Your Vote for New District 105 in Georgia’s House of Representatives

Jun 13, 2012

Loganville-Grayson Patch posed questions to each candidate running for New District 105 in Georgia’s House of Representatives. Here are Damon’s answers. 1. What are your professional qualifications for the office you seek? I am a Business Owner, Financial Advisor, Small Business Consultant and Advocate in this district. My degree is in Economics and I live here, work here, coach here, and founded the local Georgia Commerce Club to help support local businesses. 2. What is the biggest problem facing your potential constituents in this area and how do you think you can best address it if elected? We have a residential and commercial real estate problem in this district that is hampering economic growth, the look of our communities, and revenue for our county and state. This is negatively affecting local job creation, economic growth, and the budgets for our schools. Our solution is to initially reduce inhibiting legislation and bureaucratic red tape for any ideas that can positively impact our communities. 3. Each of you have one primary opponent, what makes you better qualified than him or her to move on to the general election in November. We have been on the ground from Loganville, through Grayson, to Lawrenceville and beyond helping businesses and residents looking for support and solutions. I have a youthful, can-do positive attitude and I am ready to be the voice of this district for many years to come. I have a ten year plan on legislation that will positively impact the new House District 105. 4. What made you decide to seek this office? I was called upon by my peers, neighbors, family, local business owners and My Party to impart our common sense solutions-based approach to issues and continue our efforts in moving this area forward not only through our non-profit but through participation as a Representative in our State Government. 5. A brief wrap up on why you think the voters should elect you for the job? We need uniquely new ideas for our ever changing area that can compete and work congruently with, the future legislation in the State House. Government should always support and never hinder or create obstacles for its residents, investors, and...

Defending the Indefensible

Defending the Indefensible

Jun 4, 2012

In the aftermath of Shirley Lasseter’s pleading guilty to bribery charges, one of her supporters has set up a legal defense trust fund and is soliciting donations. A defense fund for someone who has plead guilty to bribery charges? Apparently, the bribe money is to be replaced with donations, which will also serve as testimony to the concept that if you have enough friends who are both sympathetic and myopic, crime just might pay. As might be expected, articles referencing establishment of the defense fund have drawn strong reactions from citizens of Gwinnett County. Their comments present a wide range of opinions about Lasseter, her decision to take a bribe and the way she should be dealt with in the future. Although Lasseter is largely condemned for her actions, some of the comments suggest that while her crime isn’t justified in the strictest sense of the word, it’s understandable because she needed the money. History has shown that irrespective of the crime, the perpetrator always has supporters, especially if that perpetrator is, or has been, a public figure. The Lasseter case certainly fits that mold. Supporters justify her crime by citing her financial distress, which is said to include a house lost to foreclosure and the lack of funds to repair a vehicle with a gas gauge that doesn’t work. What’s left unsaid is that county commissioners are paid approximately $30,000 a year; that’s not a particularly high annual income, but it’s not bad money for a part time job. Surely Lasseter has enough capabilities to secure the type of employment that would boost her total earnings to at least $60,000 a year. Apparently, she either didn’t find that an option worth considering, or refused to reduce her living expenses to a level she could afford. Rather than make the necessary lifestyle adjustments, Lasseter chose to sell out for the relatively paltry sum of $35,000. As a defense, one of her supporters commented that Lasseter isn’t a snake in the grass, she’s just a victim of hard times. To gain additional perspective on Lasseter’s guilt, the supporter suggests we consider, “there are two sides to every story.” That may be true, but the existence...

The Real Unemployed – Antonio F. Branco

The Real Unemployed – Antonio F. Branco

Jan 19, 2012

Antonio is the featured cartoonist here:   and now very active on TWITTER Working together with so more liberal cartoonists on a new project...