Tag Archives: john albers

Keep Tootin’ That TSPLOST Horn…

I feel like the TSPLOST will never die, even though the taxpayers bludgeoned it last summer. This week, a legislator from North Fulton threw down some legislation which would remove the penalty that local municipalities are facing after rejecting the TSPLOST. Senate bill 73 would remove a penalty, which coincides with the current clause that says ‘if a region failed to pass the referendum, every local government in that region must provide a 30 percent match to receive any Local Maintenance and Improvement Grants’ (often used for road and bridge maintenance). This would obviously be deflected onto taxpayers.

So, at first glance,it appears that Senator John Albers of Roswell does have some sense (It almost causes me physical pain to say that, though he is still untrustworthy and lacking a true value in the legislature.) Albers claimed in a press release that the measure was un-American  and unfortunate. We all know Albers likes to champion himself on efficiency and ‘for the people’, but the more I thought about it, this is really a champion of nothing. Legislators voted in favor of this in 2010 and put it to the voters who said ‘hell no’. You can’t vote in favor of something, then oppose it publicly and then spearhead legislation to repeal it. It doesn’t work like that. Sure, Albers wasn’t in office when this was passed, but some of the co-sponsors were, and I can assure you some of the prospective ‘yea’ voters were as well. So here we are: after having a mistake forced on us, we are supposed to applaud the correction? No.

Like I’ve said many-a-times: I am thankful that our legislature is more conservative than liberal, yes, but please– do something conservative and follow through. Stop wasting time on resolutions when the federal government is working daily to trample state’s rights and individual liberties. Stop generating legislation that requires fixing a year or two later. Stop reading resolutions for out of state sports teams. Don’t respond to my letter regarding guns on campus by copy-pasting some statistics from the internet and imply more restrictions ‘may be necessary’ when you’re a Republican. Do something worth applauding. Serve the people. Be accountable. Like for real- get it together.


My November 2012 Ballot

I know many of you have already voted, so for some this may not apply, but here are my voting suggestions for Tuesday. Everyone is very focused on the Presidential race–as they should be– but it’s important to research your local and state candidates as well. Feel free to comment or e-mail theperspicaciousconservative@gmail.com with any other questions. I skipped candidates who had no opposition.

-I am voting to keep Chuck Eaton (R). Chuck Eaton is the only candidate who reached out to me during the primary and the general election. Personal interactions matters, folks.

-I am voting for David Staples. He is the Libertarian candidate and I support him not only because of beliefs but also because Stan Wise had complete disregard for informing voters during both the primary and the general election by refusing to show up for debates or participate in forums. I’d like to see him voted out.

While I no longer live in the 5th district, I am so happy to see a Republican with more conservative leanings running against (too)-long-time-incumbent John Lewis. For that reason, I would suggest voting for Howard Stopeck. {I would like to thank John Lewis for for voting “No” to the NDAA in 2011, though. It’s one of the few things I can say he has done correctly in representing the American people}.

I grew up in the 6th district and have many family and friends who still reside there. I would select Tom Price, even though he voted in favor of the NDAA. Unless you are a proponent of the ‘write-in’ option, your other choice is a Democrat by the name of Jeff Kazanow. I know nothing about him so I can’t recommend him. I can still muster support of Tom Price because of his adamant fight against Obamacare and push for repeal. (And, I like his wife, Betty, who was a supporter of Andrew Wordes)

I was recently added to the 11th district so my choice is Phil Gingrey. I did not support him in the primary, however, it’s important to vote red.

I am voting for Hunter Hill. I could not, would not, should not support Doug Stoner under any circumstance most importantly because of his support of the TSPLOST. I would like to congratulate both candidates on sending the largest number of mail outs in one election cycle. I often times received more than one from the same candidate on the same day. (For future reference, I think that diminishes effectiveness.) But Go Hunter!

If you’re reading this blog, you know what I think. Next.

I am voting for Edward Lindsey. He is my current State Rep and while I disagree with him on the Charter School amendment, he has done a great job representing the people of Buckhead and Sandy Springs. I also had the opportunity to work with him during the 2012 Legislative Session and I can say he is truly a good person.

NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Under no circumstance, in no context, for any reason, do I support the expansion of government. The Charter School Amendment isn’t about the kids. It’s about government and oversight. If this amendment passes, a state board will be allowed to override the decision of a local school district to deny a Charter. In that situation, a local school board will have to deal with the ramifications of a new school that they once denied. What kind of environment do you think THAT will make for the kids? You can read more about why you should oppose the Charter School amendment here and here.

Yes. I like outsourcing and privatizing things when using tax funds.

NO!!!!! If you live in Roswell, you need to open your darn eyes and look at what’s happening to your city. Your government is corrupt beyond measure. Please please please vote no on this bond referendum. The City has already allotted for it in their 2013 FY budget because they are going bankrupt. This is NOT the solution. There are several different pages you can read about the bond and other corrupt activities linked to this bond. Vote NO and the move to Alpharetta.

There is a lot I’d like to say about Cobb, but I will refrain. If you live there, Phil Daniell is running in the 41st House District and needs your support, as does long-time great representative Sam Teasley in the 38th.

There are a couple things I’d like to note. I helped my boyfriend with his Absentee ballot from Florida. I was FLOORED by the steps the state took to protect citizens from Federal initiatives AND how much was put to citizen vote. I’d really like to see more of that in Georgia. (We do a pretty good job– we did defeat the TSPLOST)

But like I always say…Do your duty, shake your booty and get out and vote!

Gold Dome Power Players vs. Local Bloggers

Back in May, I published a post detailing John Albers’ redistricting shenanigans in regards to Brandon Beach and the primary race in Senate District 21. I expressed my support for Brandon Beach in the district based on my personal interactions with him and his plans for Fulton and Cherokee counties. Apparently, this is like armed robbery of a preschool because within hours of my posting, “insiders” were calling people in my circle asking who I was and why I would do such a thing. I’m talking staffers at the Dome, attorneys and other consultants. My personal policy is support the person I think is best for this office. This is not always the incumbent. You would have thought I was the only person on earth to ever go against an incumbent. Imagine Senator Rogers’ surprise when there were a few others who weren’t on his side. Unfortunately, I succumbed to political pressure and took the blog down. This is also against my policy and what this blog stands for and for that, I apologize.

Now, there are a few things to understand. It’s been two years since I worked on the Albers Senate campaign and I sealed the bad memories solely on the fact that I have had no issue succeeding since I left Mr. Albers and figured he would self-destruct on his own. Even though I did not sign a confidentiality agreement, I originally planned to just “let it go”. And since I worked on his campaign, I know some of the mischief he encountered in a last-ditch effort to win his campaign- this is all besides the point but tuck it away for conclusion-drawing later. But since then, John Albers has made numerous attempts to discredit my reputation and defame my character. (You can read why Mr. Albers doesn’t care for me here, here, here, here, here or here.) I also spent a legislative session at the Capitol this Spring where Mr. Albers consistently and maliciously spent numerous hours bad mouthing me to aides, other Senators and staffers and accusing me of stalking him to any one that I networked with. Yes, you read the correctly: stalking. What Mr. Albers didn’t know was that I have plenty of friends down at the Gold Dome who cued me into what he was doing. At first, I was upset, as any young girl trying to start her career would be. How could an old man use his political power to try to sway others’ opinions of me? I also heard other initiatives that Mr. Albers took in an effort to get me to stop blogging, but none of them worked. I know he doesn’t do this with the AJC or the former Beacon Newspaper. Did he just think he could behave like this because I’m young? After some thought, it hit me: John Albers is scared of me and by doing this, he was attempting to disgrace me by making me look untrustworthy and misguided. As I realized what was happening and I heard some of the reactions, I realized that I had more fans at the Capitol than Mr. Albers and I was just a little ‘ol intern. I couldn’t help but giggle when someone said “Get real! You certainly have better taste than that!”. After a few months, however, this warranted action and Mr Albers received a certified letter explaining what slander is (in case he didn’t know) and demanding that he stop, with threat of a lawsuit.
I have not been a saint when it comes to blogging about Albers, it’s true. But because I helped get him elected, I feel obligated to hold him accountable for his decisions at the Dome, not to mention, I grew up in the district and many of my friends and family reside there. After the first blog I posted, John called me and asked me to take it down. I would not, simply because nothing I stated was untrue. I have always stuck to the issues and legislation when it comes to my assertions about ‘ol Johnny (except when I said I thought he was going to shoot someone out of a cannon) and I have encouraged him to correct me when I am wrong. So far, I have not misstated the facts and he has not attempted to correct me. He has resorted to childish measures and his actions are simply unacceptable. Shame on you, Senator. The people of District 56 and the citizens of Georgia deserve better than someone who will resort to slander and throwing their weight around when challenged by a youthful blogger who is simply demanding responsible government and adequate representation.

Woe to that nation whose literature is cut short by the intrusion of force. This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation’s heart, the excision of its memory.”

AUDIO: Chicken Man’s Former Mortgage Holder Cared for Andrew, Not Money

(photo credit G.Stewart, Creative Loafing)

As promised, here is the audio recording with Andrew Wordes’ former mortgage holder Dora Hardeman.

After listening, a few questions remain:
1) Dora cared deeply for Andrew and explicitly stated she ‘would have helped Andrew get out of his financial situation’ any way she could. If she didn’t receive pressure from the City, why would she sell the note to the home FOR FORTY CENTS ON THE DOLLAR?
2) Who was the ‘other person’ who offered to purchase the mortgage from Dora around the same time?
3) Why are certain parties still claiming there was a venomous relationship between Dora and Andrew when in 6 minutes of taping she stated how much she liked him 5+ times and that if she ‘could pick a side, it’d be Anderew’s’?
4) Does anyone else find it coincidental that the current mortgage holder hasn’t paid Mrs. Dora Hardeman a dime?
5) Why did Mr. Wall offer to buy Andrew’s mortgage from Dora if they didn’t know each other, as Dora claimed?
6)Why is Mrs. Hardeman ‘disgusted’ with the City if the harassment of Andrew is untrue and if she was not pressured from Roswell regarding the note?

Food for thought.


Virginia & Arizona Nullify NDAA, Georgia Legislature Nullifies Legitimacy

Last week, the State of Virginia did a tremendous thing: they nullified the NDAA. Arizona followed suit yesterday. The NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) is an unconstitutional act just recently passed by our lovely Congressional representatives. Each year, Congress authorizes the NDAA but this past year is far scarier. The law effectively “empowers the Armed Forces to engage in civilian law enforcement and to selectively suspend due process and habeas corpus, as well asother rights guaranteed by the 5th and 6th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, for terror suspects apprehended on U.S. soil.” You may say, hey! This is a good thing! NO. IT. IS. NOT. It is the first time since 1950 that our country has codified the power of indefinite detention into law. Have you ever thought about how discretionary the word ‘terror suspect’ is? Have you ever thought of what is truly defined as ‘terrorism’ (the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes) and what other kinds of things can be included in that category? And tell me, regardless of WHO IT IS, this is the United States and we have a Constitution for a reason. Offenders on U.S. soil and U.S. citizens should demand those rights. This law can be used by authorities to detain (forever) anyone the government considers a threat to national security and stability – potentially even demonstrators and protesters exercising their First Amendment rights.

Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson both voted in favor of the 2012 NDAA. So did Jack Kingston, Lynn Westmoreland, Tom Price, Rob Woodall, Austin Scott, Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey. The only GA Republican to vote no? Tom Graves. Even 2 Democrats were smart enough to vote ‘No’, but our Republican leadership, this is how they are leading us. –You can read more about why the NDAA is unconstitutional here.–

Virginia and Arizona both established protection for their people, invoking the 10th amendment. But Georgia did not.

But do you know what the Georgia Legislature did do during the 2012 Legislative Session? THEY PASSED 500 BILLS!!! Sure, 300 of them were local and many of them had to do with the redistricting maps, but all of them had to be voted on by EVERYONE and you certainly cannot convince me that every Representative and every Senator knows what is in each and every bill that was passed in those 40 days.

Some of their wonderful accomplishments include:
John Albers’ welfare drug testing bill, which has received harsh criticism for its’ unconstitutionality and lack of good research could actually COST Georgia taxpayers money when it is challenged in court.
HB 247: Requiring fingerprinting and investigation of emergency medical personnel.
HB 253: Allowing to sell or trade surplus vehicles.
HB 398: Fulton County Board of Education -pension and retirement, correct typographical errors (Should we even have to do this in the first place??)
HB 785: Provide Insurance limitations on licensure requirements for certain health care providers (so very important).
SB 183: Education; school health nurse programs; revise provisions
SB 515: City of Americus, provide for a date of expiration of office for terms of councilmembers and the mayor
These may be important to SOME people, but are they more important than our personal freedoms and protections from the NDAA?

Through the Facebook grapevine, I found that a few Georgia Senators who hosted a Town Hall told constituents that there ‘simply wasn’t enough time’ and they didn’t know enough about the NDAA to craft legislation regarding it. Oh, wait. Then why do you represent us? Your lack of knowledge and concern for time could prove quite dangerous. We may not have until the next year. And if the people vote right, you won’t be around for the next Legislative session.

So let’s talk priorities. You (being Senators and Representatives of the State of Georgia) thought it was more important to create more government oversight through drug testing to save a mere $103,000/year, to create licensure requirements for insurance companies, to allow trading of surplus vehicles and to edit school nurse programs but you didn’t think protecting one of our CORE FREEDOMS was important enough? I guess some of you are too busy getting your shoes tied.

I encourage you to call your Senators and Representatives and ask them why they aren’t protecting you and WHAT is more important. If they tell you they didn’t have time, I suggest you get on their opponents campaign team. Contact information can be found at http://www.legis.ga.gov/en-US/default.aspx

“It Aint Gonna Be Pretty!”

The last week has been quite confusing with a plethora of emotions: anger, sadness, understanding, not-so-much understanding. Several nights of laying awake thinking about Andrew, his final moments and days, his unwavering strength and stubbornness has left me reeling. I’ve read every article published from the Patch & Examiner to the Whiskey & Gunpowder site and it’s been interesting to read all of the different perspectives of the events of the last few years.

Yesterday,  Neighbor Newspapers published a scathing article about Andrew titled ‘Sheriff: Wordes incident could have been avoided”.

The most disgusting quote of the article was “We told him, you’re going to have a problem with Mr. Wordes,” Orrick said. “Mr. Wordes was seeking a physical confrontation with police. I said I was respectful of their job and didn’t question their authority, but it was likely to develop into him defending his home against the government and there was a less aggressive approach to doing it.

Chief Orrick, are you serious?? Andrew NEVER wanted a confrontation with the police. He wanted to be left alone, which you and your department never did. Yet, they offered to put surveillance around his home and “wait for Mr. Wordes to leave” as cited in the Neighbor article. Interesting. I have an email correspondence between a concerned citizen and Chief Orrick as well, which details the mistruths that Orrick is spreading about Andrew.

It was also an interesting tactic for Chief Orrick to claim that the Roswell police were not involved in the eviction process, nor did they back up the Fulton County Marshals. This is not true. Roswell cops were on ALL of the surrounding streets that day.

Andrew is dead. He is not here to defend himself. We have to do it for him- otherwise, City officials will tarnish what Andrew was working for. This story is bleeding with lies and half-truths. When I said it wasn’t over, it was because IT. ISN’T. OVER. We are working for Andrew, fighting for Andrew. Everything is about to come out, and as Andrew said, ‘It ain’t gonna be pretty!

***Please subscribe to the blog, or make sure to check the page often, for updates as on Andrew’s case with the City of Roswell unravel.

SB 292: Bad Policy & Bad Politics

Guest Blogger Jenna Howard on SB 292: Jenna holds a B.A. in Political Science from Georgia State University. She works at the Southern Arts Federation, a regional nonprofit, and is working on her Masters in Public Policy at Georgia Tech.

Hi again, folks! I’m pleased that I was asked to guest blog on the Perspicacious Conservative again, BUT, I’m even more pleased that I’m blogging about yet another one of Senator Albers (and others…) poorly researched and thought-out bills. Before I get started with this bill, I want to make one thing straight. I’m a numbers gal for which I will blame Georgia Tech. When I do any sort of policy analysis, I look at the numbers first then, try to understand the arguments around the numbers. This brings me to my next caveat; policy and politics are separate creatures. Most often, good policy doesn’t make good politics and that goes for both sides of the aisle. A politician’s goal is to get reelected and most politicians aren’t equipped to do their own policy analysis. Also, they aren’t bound to do what their policy analysts suggest (if they even have one). Glad we got that out of the way.

Now, onto this bill. The last guest blog I wrote was about a bill Senator Albers advocated to force those on unemployment to complete at least 24 hours of volunteer service for a non-profit organization. You can read more about how that was a bad idea here. This new bill, also introduced by Senator Albers (and others..), comically named, “The Social Responsibility and Accountability Act” would require a drug test for those in Georgia receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. This Act does not include programs such as Food Stamps, Medicaid, Medicare, or to pay our lovely state lawmakers or other state workers. This bill probably sounds familiar because Florida and Michigan both enacted similar legislation. Georgia is requiring those seeking TANF to undergo a swab test in lieu of a urinalysis. It would initially be paid for by the person seeking the assistance and, if tested negative, the state would reimburse them. If the person tests positive, they don’t receive or reimbursement and they are banned from receiving benefits for a certain time period. The average swab test costs $17.

Before discussing the arguments here, I immediately looked at the Florida evaluation that came out a few months ago. The first evaluation was put out by The Department of Children and Families and Florida. They reported that about 1,000-1,500 people take the test monthly. So far, 2% of applicants have failed, 96% have tested positive, and 2% have declined completing the process. Florida’s urinalysis costs $30 and the state has about 1000-1500 applicants per month. In this evaluation, 96% tested negative forcing the state to owe $32,200-$48,200 worth of reimbursements. It is estimated that the state will save $40,800-$98,400 annually on rejected applicants for a program that cost almost $200 million. Obviously, more rules and regulations require more staff and resources, so we can go ahead and that savings to their paychecks. Currently, both Michigan and Florida are fighting this legislation in court on account that it violates unreasonable search and a violation of privacy. So, let’s go ahead and throw a lot more taxpayer dollars into the mix. That’s means we’ve got a deficit on our hands, folks.

Idaho commissioned a cost-benefits analysis for precisely this question. The results? The legislation would cost more than it saved. In their words,

“To fund the costs of the program, the State would need either appropriate additional funding for a drug testing program, or divert funds from current programs for the screening, testing and treatment activities… State leaders should be prepared for any drug testing policy to be challenged in court, which could result in expensive legal fees during the first year following implementation…The costs of legal action alone during the first year could exceed the costs of the drug testing and treatment program.”

So, Idaho did their homework(take note, Georgia lawmakers). Their analysis showed this just wasn’t going to save the state the money they anticipated. But there are certainly other reasons why this isn’t a great piece of legislation. A report from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism shows there is no significant difference in the rate of illegal drug abuse by welfare applicants compared to the rest of the population. In fact, 70% of drug users are full-time workers between the ages of 18 and 49.  This study is dated, but was released when Clinton’s welfare reform was enacted so I find it highly relevant to this debate.

I understand the arguments for proponents of this piece of legislation. It goes straight to the heart of “subsidizing others” and “funding drug abuse.” I understand that proponents feel like their hard earned money shouldn’t be going to others in the first place, much less to their “habits.” I understand that proponents feel like because they have to take a drug test for a job, so should welfare recipients. I find all of these arguments compelling. At first glance, I think this seems like a valid piece of legislation. But the evidence just doesn’t support the cost-benefits or that these people are using drugs to that extent. I’m not claiming that none use drugs, just like I’m not going to claim that the other people receiving taxpayer dollars don’t use drugs. Our money goes to a lot of people and I’m betting most of them aren’t using that money in the best way. If you want to help drug abuse, target the whole drug-using population.

Senator Albers claims that this legislation is “compassionate.” He wants to help those people with drug problems. Senator Albers, I ask you, what happens if these people test positive for drugs? Are you going pay to send them to a rehabilitation center? Are you going to use more taxpayer dollars to actually help those people who may, in fact, have a problem with drugs? I didn’t think so. This legislation is not compassionate, it’s a political step. It’s a perfect example of bad policy being good politics. Why aren’t we using the money we’re going to spend on this program to create jobs? Senator Albers is, in fact, on the Economic Development Committee. Why aren’t we trying to raise wages (since they’ve been stagnant since the 1970s). I would find these initiatives to be far more compassionate for the people seeking these benefits and for those taxpayers who are funding this program.

I’m going to bet this legislation will be a hit with much of the constituency. I’m going to bet our lawmakers will ignore the cost-benefit analysis that shows this legislation will cost more money than it is worth. I’m also going to bet that people are going to overlook the unconstitutionality of this legislation. And I’m going to bet those in the Gold Dome pushing this legislation won’t care about losing money or violating constitutional rights. Why? They’re not pushing this bill for the right reasons – they’re pushing it for all the wrong ones.

Here is the link to SB292 in its’ entirety.

Dignity for the Unemployed?

Today is a big day! It’s our first guest blogger, Jenna Howard. Jenna and I often have conflicting views on policy, legislation, candidates and everything else, however, we both oppose ridiculous governmental requirements.

Jenna holds a B.A. in Political Science from Georgia State University. She works at the Southern Arts Federation, a regional nonprofit, and plans to begin her Masters in Public Policy next fall.

I’m pleased to do a guest blog on “The Perspicacious Conservative,” mostly because our views usually differ a great deal. I sometimes tackle my local town’s alternative newspaper, The GRIP, which covers community news and events in Spalding and other surrounding counties. I’m glad to express my views to a larger constituency! I sent some information about this topic over to The Perspicacious Conservative and was asked to write about Senate Bill 294 – a.k.a “Dignity for the Unemployed.”

If passed, the bill would require state unemployment applicants to complete 24 hours of volunteer work for a non-profit organization in order to receive state benefits. It’s worth mentioning that many states have already attempted this, but none have been successful. If this bill passes the Georgia Legislature, we would be the first state to require citizens to volunteer. It should seem a bit oxymoronic (no pun intended) to require someone to volunteer since the very definition of the word lacks any requirement other than one willingly give him or herself up for a service without penalty.

The bill’s chief sponsor is Roswell’s finest, Senator John Albers. Senator Albers did an interview on CNN where he said he thought this bill would make unemployed citizens feel better about themselves by getting up early, doing something valuable to put on their resumes, and meeting new people. This bill is inherently flawed.

Unfortunately for John Albers, the majority of the problem with unemployment isn’t that there are people out there who are unqualified for jobs. Certainly, there are situations in which that may be the case, but Georgia already has programs in place to tackle these problems (see GEDs, college, Georgia Works, and Georgia Work Ready). But incompetency isn’t the major problem here. Georgia was creating jobs in 2007 and we had a fairly healthy economy. People didn’t all of a sudden become incompetent and lose their valuable employee skills. The major problem with unemployment is that no one is hiring. The job market is simply oversaturated with applicants looking for work.

In March, Georgia’s unemployment rate hit a record high. Georgia has had higher than average unemployment in the nation for the past 4 years. Georgia continues to lose jobs instead of creating them. What good is requiring someone to volunteer when it isn’t going to force employers to create jobs in order to hire them?

Senator John Albers stated in the CNN interview that this bill would work much like the WPA (the Works Progress Administration) that President Roosevelt initiated in the Great Depression. So, why can’t the Dignity for the Unemployed work in the Great Recession like the WPA worked in the Great Depression, Senator Albers? Because the WPA employed people. It gave them jobs, income, and provided communities with much needed infrastructure. The Dignity for the Unemployed bill is nothing like the WPA. It is requiring people to work in return for no income – or they can lose the only income they are currently receiving, their unemployment package.

Now, I graduated from college in May 2011. I started applying for jobs in June (I had a part-time job that would end in August). I applied for literally hundreds of jobs that I was fully qualified, under qualified, and overqualified for. I applied everywhere including for-profit companies and non-profit organizations. Now, I don’t know when the last time Senator John Albers applied for a job, but most applications take about an hour, at least, to complete. You have to write a cover letter and tailor it to every job in which you apply. You have to tweak your resume’ so it highlights the duties of certain positions. In addition to a resume’ and cover letter, some applications require you to manually input every job you’ve had, write about why you’re the best for the position, and pass a qualifications test to weed out applicants. Requiring someone to complete 24 hours of community service when they can be applying for a job is absurd.

Bottom line, I understand some people think unemployment benefits are too lenient. I understand people have bad tastes in their mouths about unemployment entitlements. But, most people are doing the right thing on unemployment. They should not be required to complete certain hours of volunteer work to “make themselves feel better.” Many have families, had great jobs, have incredible resumes… working for free is going to give them a boost in morale. They should be doing one thing while they are receiving unemployment benefits and that’s looking for work. It is not the state’s place to force someone to “do good.” It seems that Senator Albers has his economics a little backwards. If he wants to help the unemployed, he should spend more time helping companies and organizations get back in the business of hiring and less time trying to make the unemployed have a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.


9/11 Disappointment

No matter what your beliefs about 9/11, you can’t deny the emotions that 9/11 evokes–thinking about those that died that day, how you felt, where you were, how our lives have changed since, the list could go on and on. We don’t think about these things on a daily basis, so on the 10th anniversary I was really hoping that people would reflect on everything we’ve lost-from people to freedoms.

But, things don’t always go how they should. To me the day felt like an endless campaign event. I attended the Alpharetta-Milton 9/11 Memorial and was completely disappointed to learn that the agenda for the memorial included a long list of speeches from politicians. Alpharetta Mayor Arthur Letchas and Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood spoke first. This was appropriate. As hosts of the events, they welcomed us and encouraged us to really reflect. But they were followed by a total of SIX political speeches!!

We opened with a heart wrenching recording from the 911 dispatch in New York, the color guard, Star-Spangled Banner, and a prayer. So far, so good. After a long line of speeches from Representatives, Commissioners, and the like, we were graced with Senator Albers dressed up like a firefighter. (Don’t worry, you would still be able to identify him. He had on his Alpharetta Volunteer Firefighter name tag, as well as a Senator name tag–a uniform code violation, mind you. Diplomatic immunity? I suppose.) His speech was solemn, followed by a radio call into the local dispatch and some sirens. Quite a show. I was wondering if he was going to shoot someone out of a cannon.

But the whole thing was entirely set up. It lacked genuineness. Each politician got up there, said what THEY were doing on 9/11, how things have changed for THEM since 9/11, what great Americans they are and then they thanked our public servicemen and women. Some of them read directly from press releases they had sent out earlier in the morning. It was a sham. A complete disappointment.

I thought on 9/11 we would be honoring the firefighters, the police officers, the Port Authority, the victims and the men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq–those we’ve lost and those who continue to serve. Thank those who protect us unconditionally every day.

I thought on 9/11 we would pray for our country and take pride in the foundations: liberty, freedom and vigilance.

I was wrong. All we got was a slew of politicians and a headache—At least it was free.

What Happened to Milton County?

If you were active in last July’s primary election for Senate District 56, you remember a key issue for all of the candidates: Milton County. For those of you who are not aware of the concept of Milton County, it would essentially cut Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, Alpharetta, Roswell and part (maybe all) of Sandy Springs out of Fulton County to create a new Milton County.

Personally, I am not a proponent of Milton County, mostly because it would cut me out, but I do understand the want of those taxpayers in North Fulton to keep their money where they feel it can benefit them.

Over the course of the election season, it appeared that all 3 of the candidates (John Albers, David Belle Isle and Brandon Beach) fully supported the idea of Milton County. After the run-off, those who did not win the seat went on to pursue other important issues, while the Senator-elect was supposedly ‘getting right to work’.

During the election, Albers launched a massive campaign initiative called ‘The Contract for Milton County’ complete with it’s own website, Facebook page and poster-size copy that voters could sign. The Facebook page still exists (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=105925269440670) and it has the link for the website, www.contractformiltoncounty.com, listed, but for some *odd* reason, the website is no longer up. Also available during the election was the VoteAlbers website, but that too is no longer available, you are simply directed to the Senator Albers webpage, which has no mention of Milton County except for a small paragraph stating, ‘Albers supports the recreation of Milton County to include the cities of Roswell, Sandy Springs, Mountain Park, Milton Alpharetta and Johns Creek. The residents of North Fulton have long endured an inequitable relationship with Fulton County government and will make Milton a reality’.

What I found rather interesting during my online search for resources regarding Milton County was a webpage started in April of 2009 called Milton County Rising. (www.miltoncountyrising or http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=69245732854#!/group.php?gid=69245732854&v=wall ). Mr. Albers didn’t create his ‘Contract for Milton County’ until early 2010. Oh the irony.

According to the Facebook page, over 1,500 people signed the contract in 5 days. Clearly this is something that the people of North Fulton wanted their elected official to work towards. I really thought Albers would fight harder for something the people wanted. Thankfully, Albers did propose and pass a bill requiring at least 3 feet of space between bikers and cars. You can see other things Mr. Albers tacked his name onto here: http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/Search.aspx. His bill made it nowhere. And to date, he’s proposed nothing during the special session.

So why hasn’t Mr. Albers delivered? Why isn’t he fighting for Milton County? And what happened to that poster-size copy of the contract? Maybe these are questions we need to ask when November 2012 rolls around.