Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Will Smilin' Dan Matthews (D) Pull out a Win in Georgia House 113?

I sure hope so.

And if he does I'll make a spurious claim that my early endorsement was critical to his victory over those rascally republicans. If he loses, then he can use the "Geez, what did you think would happen if you get endorsed by a Libertarian?" gambit and walk off the field with his head held high.

It looks like my prediction for a light turnout was correct and the results should be up in an hour or so. Remember, I picked up 2,186 votes in that area last November and called on my legions of followers there to strike a blow for liberty and vote for Smilin' Dan Matthews.

Let's see if they did.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'll Take That Job Down to the Georgia State Ethics Commission!

Check it out Kids, the Great State of Georgia's Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission is currently leaderless or soon to be.

So 80K a year ain't enough to sit on your hands in air conditioned comfort at the Sloppy Floyd Building? And lets not forget that sweet benefits package and your very own reserved parking spot, granted the cafeteria is just so-so, but it's edible. I just don't get the resignation of Director Stacy Kalberman over a 40K salary cut when they left her with 80K on the plate, It's not like the place has been pinning the ears back on corrupt politicians for years or anything. I've have to google their track record to find out if they've ever done anything and something tells me it's not worth the effort.

But, as always, I have a Libertarian solution for this seemingly intractable problem. Our great state has the cash to expand the Governor's Staff by 30% but not one dime to provide ethical oversight to our burgeoning political class. It seems to me that this calls for some volunteer work.

Who out there is likely to be motivated enough to work for free at a job with no authority, no pay and lots of folks who really want this ethics thingy to just go away? Any rock ribbed republicans? Any Blue/Red/Yellow Dog Democrats? Perhaps one of the three members of Georgia's Green Party? Or maybe a Rogue Libertarian.

I honestly think the gig could be a blast and if the FBI is willing to send Forensic Accountants down free of charge you might be able to get ahold of some interesting bits of paper as well as telling audit trails. I love trails. The only thing more fun than following blood is following money and our current crop of elected grandees sure as hell spent a bundle on the last election cycle. Lots of potential there.

Since our state is too broke to pay for this vital service, I'll be happy to take it on as a part time commisson gig. I only get paid if I nab some political type or his supporters for egregious violations of our state's ethics laws and I'm not talking about those $25 late filing fees.

Naturally I'm completely unqualified for this gig so don't expect me to fill out any applications or to provide any form of resume or curriculum vitae. Ain't gonna happen.

My offer stands, I'm willing to take on the job on a commission basis and find out how powerless the Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission really is.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

More Gold Nuggets

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Athens Area LP Update

That's the looking best LP affiliate Logo in the entire US of A! It's got the tree that owned itself, the counties served by the affiliate and the dominate All Caps LIBERTARIANS. No guess work required!

Looks like June is going to be a busy month for the guys and gals up Athens way as their county commission does not favor having a vote on Sunday sales at the same time as having a vote on ELOST (Edumacation Local Option Sales Tax). The commissioners, knowing the education and political leanings of thier constituents are worried that having to make two choices in a special election would cause said constituents to have conniption fits. They are also worried that having Sunday sales on the same ballot might drive up participation thus dooming the ELOST.

And that's not all, AthFest is 25 JUN 11 and IT ROCKS! The man who should be our US Senator, Libertarian Chuck Donovan and I were in attendance last year and the only event that rivaled AthFest was Atlanta's Gay Pride Parade. Mark that down on your calendar and attend, it's worth the effort.

Here's the press release from the Athens LP, if you'd like your own, contact them and they'll slap you on the mailing list.

Athens Libertarian Party Calls For Sunday Sales Referendum Vote!

For the moment the "Sunday Sales" Referendum vote won't be on the November Special Election Ballot. As reported by the Athens Banner Herald, on May 29, 2011,  "Athens-Clarke commissioners say they are delaying a referendum on Sunday package sales until next year's presidential primaries." And the reason for this delay appears to be due to the special election in November, itself.  There is currently a special election scheduled for Novemeber to vote on a continuation of the Education Local Option Sales Tax, or ELOST and at least one commissioner has gone on record saying: "We don't want to clutter up the ELOST vote," Commissioner Alice Kinman said. "I don't think it's good to have those two hitched together." Commissioners say they are concerned that Sunday sales could draw opponents to the polls who also would vote against the Education Local Option Sales Tax,which will fund school construction.
It appears that the Athens Clarke County Commission wants to manipulate the outcome of an election by denying the citizens of Athens Clarke County more than one item on the ballot.
 There is also mention in the story that the County doesn't have the money to hold a special election, and that the special election is currently being held by the Clarke County School District.  According to Doug Lowery, ACC Commissioner District 1, it would cost Athens Clarke County $54,000 to vote on Sunday Sales, money the School District budgeted, but not the County.  This seems a little ridiculous, since the County Board of Elections is responsible for all elections, not the School District, there will already be a special election in November and to add another issue to an electronic ballot will cost exactly zero dollars. Sounds like more double talk to confuse the issue of the ACC Commission's attempt to manipulate the ballot.
The next Athens Clarke County Commission meeting will be held June 7, at 7:00pm.  Their agenda can be foundhere. As you can see from the agenda, there is no scheduled disscussion about the Sunday Sales Referendum, so if you would like to speak to the Commission about the issue, you will have to wait for all other business to be completed and Citizen Input is called for under "Item J".  It will be a long night indeed, but you are encouraged to go to the meeting and be heard.

AthFest is Coming!!!!!

The Athens Area Libertarian Party will be operating an outreach booth again this year at AthFest, onSaturday June 25th. Last year's outreach has been reported by the Georgia State Libertarian Party as being one of the most successful of the year!  We hope to expand on the momentum generated by last months involvement in the Athens Human Rights Festival and have an even better booth this year.  Last year we administered the "Worlds Smallest Political Quiz" to over 170 people, many of whom were very surprised to find out that they were Libertarians and didn't even know it!  We will be finalizing our plans for the booth at our upcoming June 21st monthly meeting.   There will be sign up sheets at the meeting.


100% of The Bill Of Rights
100% of the People
100% of the Time.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

DeKalb County Hates Smokers (and those darn Fat People Too!)

Hot off the Presses Kids!

DeKalb County's very own Libertarian stalwart, David Montane, has penned  the following missive about the county's latest attempt to further restrict  it's citizens and denizens from having a bit of fun. Looks like our county overlords have been seized by a fit of knowing whats best for all and will soon enact legislation banning smoking in every nook and cranny of good ol' DeKalb County.

I know that most folks have a universally low opinion of smokers, hence the cheerfulness with which the body politic hammers smokers and makes their miserable lives just a bit more miserable. The only other group of Americans that are subject to this level of abuse are fat people and since so many Americans are fat, politicians aren't going to enact any eating bans. Yet.

I can categorically state that I'm not curtailing my tobacco related activities one iota based on a regulation passed by our County Commission. I might even check out these E-Cigs David's talking about but I'm still gonna carry a lighter every day of my life along with the Leatherman. 

Fire is our friend.

And now, Libertarian David Montane!

On June 14 the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners will be voting on legislation banning use of tobacco products in all public buildings in the county, including restaurants and bars.  Chances are HIGH that this legislation will pass.  This is similar to legislation that the City of Decatur passed a couple years ago.  However, DeKalb County's legislation includes ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES in the ban, which have no secondhand smoke because they are SMOKE-FREE!  Only about 15% of municipalities that legislate similar bans include e-cigarettes.
Please call and e-mail your two county commissioners - your district commissioner and your at-large commissioner - to tell them that you are one of their constituents and to request that references to electronic cigarettes be eliminated from the ban, or better yet, that they be specifically exempted from the restrictions.  Keep calling until you can actually speak with them.  E-mail them supportive, authoritative, short links or articles.  Also, we are looking for at least one person to actually go to the meeting at 9 AM on Tuesday the 14th, preferably "smoking" an e-cig, to show them and tell them that there is no harm to others and much less harm to yourself than smoking regular cigarettes.
To find your county commissioners' contact information, go tohttp://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/boc/pdf/districtMap.pdf  and find your district and super district on the map, then find their phone number and e-address at http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/boc/contact.html .
For more information about the safety of electronic cigarettes, read up on The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association's website at http://casaa.org.  Our contact there recommends we do not even try to argue with their ban on cigarettes, cigars and pipes, just try to get them to take e-cigarettes off their banned list.

If you smoke, I understand that by switching to e-cigarettes, you can not only increase your health and decrease your risks, but also can reduce your monthly cigarette bills by about 2/3.