Tag Archives: Scot Turner

Constitutional Values? You will rally for these bills…

I’ll keep this short and to the point. The Georgia legislative session has begun and because of the shortened session, the gas pedal is down for legislation. If I were a betting gal, I’d put money on the bad ones getting rammed through while the ones that restore our liberties face a Christie-like traffic jam.

As Constitutional conservatives, bills worth following include the following:

  • HB100 — concerning the Governor’s executive power over firearms and ammunition in a state of emergency. I wrote a full article on this bill, which you can read here. The bill has a substantial number of legislative signers but currently lacks support from the Governor’s office. We’ll keep waiting, but some folks struggle letting go of their own power. If I had to pick *one* piece of legislation to pass this session, it would be this one.
  • HB195 — regarding regionalism. This one is complicated, so if you missed all the articles, catch up here and here.
  • HB25 — a jury nullification bill. If you don’t understand jury nullification, you can read here and see why it’s necessary in a time where our justice system is quite twisted.
  • HB512 — This is a comprehensive gun bill that died on the last day of the 2013 session and included campus carry. In order for this to be considered a “good” bill, two things need to happen: 1) the term “mentally ill” needs to be narrowly defined because as the bill currently stands, those receiving court-mandated counseling and care would not be able to obtain a carry permit (this includes alcohol and drug counseling for people who are convicted of DUI) and 2) the training mandate for students is removed. Don’t mandate me, bro.
    Some are suddenly touting this as a property rights thing. This is only what we’ve been saying for 223 years.
  • HB699 — pertaining to warrantless surveillance by law enforcement and state agencies which also has a complete article detailing the parameters and evils. What I like most about this bill, which I tell you here, is that it actually monetarily charges the people who violate this law.
  • HB 707 — which deals with the Affordable Care Act and essentially nullifies the law in Georgia. There are several arguments that the bill wouldn’t actually do anything other than make a statement to the federal government and could be turned over in court. These are justifiable concerns, but Georgians are waiting for our elected officials to stick up for us and also to show they have courage. This is an opportunity. In addition, it’s an initiative by the People.
  • HB 718 — for raw milk. This is an easy one!! Full article here, but if this doesn’t pass, I will lose all hope for the Georgia legislature. Restoring a simple consumer right should be a quick and painless vote for all Republicans.

Other notable pieces of legislation include:
HB 181 – prohibiting EBT users from using ATMs to obtain cash
HB560 – a drone bill, though I’d rather just see a resolution encouraging dealing with this with other Constitutional rights. Jokes. Sort of.
HB733 – Georgia Religious Liberties Act of 2014 for students in public schools

It’s worth noting that many of these initiatives are not new and are ones many of us have been following for quite some time. If you want to contact your legislators, you can find their contact information here. I also fully support any bill that repeals an existing law. Next week I’ll be posting the bills I would like to see fail…because everyone loves a good hit piece.

Raw Milk Sans Social Unrest

Georgia has a raw milk bill!
Representative Scot Turner (along with co-sponsor Reps Allison, Brockway, Caldwell, and Spencer) filed HB 718 on Monday.
Currently, raw milk is technically not illegal in Georgia but it can only be purchased for animal consumption (pets, livestock, etc) and you can’t sell it. You see what they did there?

If you’ve ever had raw milk, you understand that the consistency is a bit difficult and it smells like cow, but this issue isn’t about flavor. This also isn’t about the gross process of pasteurization and homogenization to get that “safe” gallon you buy ever week. This is about government overstepping it’s bounds and the legislature finally offering a remedy. Currently, we look to an organization that says alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs are “safe” but the possible dangers of raw milk are so horrific, it must be heavily regulated on the state and federal level. So allow me to articulate a few arguments in favor of raw milk:

  • Raw milk is not dangerous for you because you don’t HAVE to drink it. Certainly there is an assumed risk in consuming any type of food/drink, but we cannot fully be “protected” by any government entity. I am allergic to peanuts. They can make me very sick but peanuts are not illegal.
  • On the premise that raw milk should not and will not be illegal, citizens of Georgia should have the freedom to trade, barter, consume, sell and purchase goods and services.
  • If consumers are willing to accept the risk, they should have the freedom to choose what kind of milk they want to drink. Right now, state law forces people to take raw milk to the black market (yes, people, our government over-regulation has taken us to the black market for milk) where the “all or nothing” mentality actually allows more health and safety concerns.
  • The current law criminalizes a behavior that has been legal since the dawn of time. It’s only been in the recent progressive decades of reliance on government to tell us what is and isn’t okay that the raw milk ban has congealed (Again, see what I did there?) People survived for hundreds of years on raw milk.

This issue is about personal responsibility and making your own decisions. If you rally for lower taxes, limited government, and less regulation, raw milk legalization should be on your radar. Don’t be scared. The best thing about raw milk is that if it terrifies you, you can simply get in your vehicle, drive to Publix and purchase the milk of your choice from the grocery. Choices are good. So, we can infer that choosing to support HB718 is an excellent choice if we want more choice and less government interference. 🙂

Electronic Location Tracking: An Opportunity to Limit Warrantless Searches

spying

That pesky Constitution. It really is stirring up some controversy these days and slipping back into legislation across the states.

I’m sure you’ve seen the headlines. We all have. “Cellphone data spying. It’s not just the NSA” and “DC, Maryland and Virginia cops spying on cell phone data” or more recently “Reports: NSA and GCHQ are spying on virtual worlds, gathering data on gamers“. Private entities are speaking out against the measures, too. They’re everywhere. Literally. Every day it seems we wake to another breaking story about privacy infringements and agency tracking tactics with only stagnant blank stares from legislators on the federal level. Frustration ensues but nothing happens.

So I present to you HB699 authored by State Representative John Pezold (R-Columbus). HB699 essentially details “relating to searches with warrants, so as to narrow the circumstances of when location information for electronic devices may be disclosed without a search warrant; to provide for definitions; to provide for exceptions; to provide for a civil penalty and enforcement; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes”. You can read the full text of the bill here, but HB 699 essentially tightens the reins on the out-of control location spying and tracking by law enforcement without a warrant. My favorite part of the bill is the part where it provides punishment parameters for the government entities that violate the statute and allows for suppression of such evidence in court. (I will agree that there is no ‘price’ for our freedoms being compromised but this bill certainly does more to protect our liberties than current practices by law enforcement agencies.)

There is a slight problem, though. As of pre-filing on November 25th, it was a lonely Mr. Pezold and Rep. Scot Turner (R-21) as official signers on the bill.  I find it interesting that a bill like HB41, dealing with water and sewer fees, has more signers than one that strengthens our Constitutional rights and it’s perplexing to me that 1) there aren’t more bills to protect our 4th amendment rights, and 2) that fellow legislators aren’t calling Representative Pezold to help with the initiative. Personally, I want to know where every elected official stands on this, through the House and Senate and up to the Governor. And you should want to know, too. If they don’t support it…primary. It’s time to stop foregoing liberties because “everyone else” is doing it. The justification for “security” that is most often used in these instances is not applicable. A warrant suffices- and they’re not that hard to get, but at least it’s through a process. HB 699 will cease the circumvention of our 4th amendment rights when it comes to location tracking on electronic devices.

The U.S. Supreme Court has already said the use of such devices does constitute a search.  Montana has similar legislation too HB699 and other states have worked to push electronic privacy initiatives, but we’re a long way from where we should be. It’s time for Georgia to step up. Call your legislators. Tell your friends to call their legislators. It matters. It’s not often that we get good bills anymore and HB699 needs support. This bill is a #McWin.

8 Reasons Not to Vote for Brian Laurens- HD 21

laurens

Let’s keep it short and sweet.

8. He has a history of lying about people in the press. He attempts to discredit journalists, bloggers and the like.

7. He told a Cherokee constituent that ‘sometimes legislators have more information than constituents’ and in those cases, you have to vote against what the majority wants, majority meaning the constituents.

6. He can’t keep his composure. He was escorted out of last year’s mass precinct meeting, showing Georgians he is incapable of conducting himself in an appropriate manner when tensions are high.

5. His mentor is Chip Rogers.

4. As blogger and a constituent of the State of Georgia, I was dismissed by Mr. Lauren’s on Facebook because I did not live in is district. He implied that my stance on issues was irrelevant because I live in Fulton County, not Cherokee. I believe once you’re at the Gold Dome, you represent your constituents, but you’re also working towards a better Georgia, no? That hasn’t seemed to halt his donations from outside the district, though.

3. He forged a mailer that was delivered this past Friday in which he stated he was endorsed by GA Conservatives in Action. This was a lie and the organization has since asked for a retraction. Of course, no comment from the Laurens camp.

2. Brian Laurens attempted to throw his weight around with a police officer during a traffic stop in front of his house. After stating that he missed the stop sign because his baby was crying, he went on to say he’d have the mayor “fix it”. He left and returned to the scene to inform the officer and a superior that he would remove the sign that he in fact failed to observe. He now denies this… However, it’s all on tape here and here.

1. A combination of numbers 2-8. A deceiving, swindling, loose cannon candidate who seems to feel he is above the law, above his prospective constituents, and accountable to no one who learned his tactics from one of Georgia’s biggest deceivers.

That is one of your House District 21 candidates, folks. You can choose him, or you can vote for the other guy. Scot Turner. It seems pretty easy to me.

My 30 Second Elevator Speech on Last Night in 21

voter

My thirty-second blurp on last night:

A HUGE HUGE GIANT congratulations to Brandon Beach in Senate 21. A dedicated grassroots effort pulled it out.  I always find it a tad more glorious when politicians lose out after vacating a seat to seek a “better” or “more powerful” position. Not only did Will the Winner cost taxpayers thousands after we just had a primary in July, Jerguson added to that cost by abandoning his seat after he was also challenged in July. Clearly, the voters wanted him as a Rep, and told him so in July. He got a bit antsy… Now he has nada.

Had it not been for his abandonment, however, true public servant Scot Turner would not have had the opportunity to run again and give the people of Cherokee substantial representation. While it’s unfortunate that Turner was just shy of the 50%+1 vote, I’m confident he can pull out a win against not-so-organized, barely-able-to-overcome-a-Dem-in-Cherokee Brian Laurens in the runoff. Besides, Turner  was the only one who cared enough to challenge an incumbent in July’s primary.

So, it continues…but we know how I really feel.

You’re not ready for that, Bro!

DISCLOSURE: I am not employed for any campaign in the House District 21 Special election, nor am I employed for any company working on any campaign in the race. I do not live in Cherokee county and cannot vote for any of the candidates. The following blog post is based solely on personal interactions and in no way reflects any other campaign.

On Facebook, there is a ‘group’ titled “Cherokee Young Republicans”. Because it is a group, notifications are sent out whenever posts are made. On New Years Eve, I received posts because candidate Brian Laurens had posted in the group. He posted about his being the ‘right man for the job’ to which I questioned why he waited until the incumbent stepped down if he was the right man for the job. You can see the interaction below:

laurens2laurens3So, I missed the screen shot on my entire comment, but, basically I was drawing attention to the fact that if this seat is so important because of the ISSUES affecting Cherokee county, it wouldn’t matter if there was an incumbent or not. It would be solely about the people of Cherokee. We can see by Mr. Laurens comments that he could care less that I’m not a constituent, but only because I’m not donating money. He also attempted to discredit me by associating me with another campaign based upon previous work experience, which is also false.  You can check where Laurens received his out-of-district donations by visiting here, but I think it’s obvious that Mr. Laurens couldn’t care less about citizen input unless there is money involved. Instead of responding, Mr. Laurens deleted the post. (I knew he would…thus the screen shots.)

Mr. Laurens also posted about pledging the Fair Tax. As a campaign consultant and as a Georgia taxpayer, I can’t stand when candidates make empty promises that they cannot single-handedly uphold. You can pledge to refuse lobby donations and you can pledge to host town hall meetings, heck, you can pledge to only wear black suits. You cannot pledge to champion legislation. Sorry. It just doesn’t work that way. He included a picture of his mailer and of course, I called him out. He responded as seen below.
laurendsedit1laurens4
Now- it seems to me that Mr. Laurens has forgotten that while he may be the direct representative of the residents in Cherokee county, he has the ability to affect every citizen in Georgia. To break it down for you on a very basic level, Brian, it means your actions are part of a greater body that works toward all kinds of people from all parts of the state. Therefore, I have every right to an opinion about what you ‘pledge’ to do.

It’s no secret that Mr. Laurens doesn’t care for me as a blogger (as he has made quite clear during interactions with me and an employer) and he didn’t appreciate my lack of brown-nosing to former Senator Chip Rogers. Is that really cause for public dismissal?

MORE CONTRADICTIONS:
Mr. Laurens shows his “outpouring of support” from the community and leaders across Cherokee…

laurensrelease
Yet, just a few days later, Mr. Laurens posted on his Facebook page that he doesn’t care about any endorsements. Just the people.
laurens.postBUT!  This was just days after a series of Georgia Right to Life endorsement pushes and posts, and likely mailers.

So which one is it, Brian? Do you care about the leaders in Cherokee or do you care about the voters? According to your posts, it can’t be both. And please don’t go all John Kerry on us.
I think we are all tired of dismissive and condescending males who think they have a shoe-in to public office because of who they know.  I think it’s clear that Mr. Laurens is not cut out for this office at this time. Maybe after a little growing and a little humility, things will be different.

Also, you can’t put your own kid on the Georgia- Right to Life endorsement. That’s cheating.