Seventeen years ago, the Georgia public, fed up with car insurance rates that almost doubled from the 1982 to 1988, voted an insurance commissioner out of office and replaced him with one who promised to fight automobile rate increases. And following the 1990 campaigns, the Georgia General Assembly changed the law, giving the state insurance commissioner approval power over rate increases. Because of that, Georgia now has the fourth lowest rates in the Southeast and is among the top 20 lowest in the country, according to Allison Wall, executive director of Georgia Watch, a consumer watchdog group.
Earlier this summer, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle presented a plan to give consumers more healthcare choices. He wants Georgians to be able to purchase affordable, portable health insurance through a simplified free market system. I couldn't agree more.
If Sen. Larry Craig wiggled out of his guilty plea for trolling for male sex partners in a public toilet and somehow wound up on the GOP presidential ticket, what would happen?
Eyesore of the week: The strange thing about pointing out all these eyesores, is that nothing is being done about any of them. My nomination for this week is the abandoned, overgrown lot on First Street in Lake George with a junk trailer with windows broken out, sitting in the back of the lot and probably harboring rats and snakes. According to neighbors, it was abandoned eight years ago. So does that mean that the county tax office now owns it? If so, please, please clean it up.
Autumn is a busy travel time for my husband, Lindsay, and me. We both went to the University of Georgia and we "bleed red and black." Translation: we are pretty avid fans. When September comes, we head up to Athens for as many home games as we can. So this is a good time to highlight some tips for making road trips as environmentally-friendly as possible.
The annual release of SAT scores always demands a bit of creative writing by a state leadership that rose to power on the promise of improved performance. Georgia's scores remain far too low, and the progress far too slow, so the governor and state school superintendent thumb through their thesauruses for new ways to disguise the fact that little has changed.
Newark, N.J., is not easily rattled. But it has been grieving since August, when four kids heading off to college and a promising future - a rarity in this town of hard streets and bad public schools - were forced to kneel against a wall in a schoolyard and were shot in the back of the head.
Karl Rove loomed so large in our politics that no one could see him clearly. He was both underestimated and overestimated, and he leaves the White House with both significant political achievements and frustrated ambitions.
All over the country, political candidates, consultants, reporters, campaign volunteers and politically active citizens are pondering a single question: What do voters want in a candidate? Will voters be motivated in next year's elections by issues, personalities or some intangible mix of qualities in the candidates they're considering?
This summer we have watched Gov. Sonny Perdue and other Georgia political leaders fight about health care and the state tax code, as well as engage in personality conflicts that come from stuffing too many oversized egos in one building, even if the building is as big as the state Capitol. One thing we have not heard anyone address in any meaningful way, however, is our growing transportation problem.
I think I may have hit a truth nerve.
By Nathan Tabor
The bruising battle over immigration reform didn't result in immigration reform. But the tons of ink spilled to cover it - yours truly's included - ended up reinforcing the image of the newly arrived immigrant who cuts the lawn for a handful of dollars.
This is an important week for Liberty County's municipalities.
In September 1898, an outnumbered British-led army battled the forces of a Muslim fanatic in Omdurman, Sudan.
In politics, you must take advantage of windows of opportunity. Sometimes good ideas are sidetracked by unfortunate events, a bad economy or even personality conflicts among political leaders. Given the risk of delaying decisions, Georgia needs to address its transportation shortfall quickly and practically.
My fellow Georgians: In order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is required that I submit to you at the first of every year my State of the Column message. (Yay! Clap! Clap! Clap!) I do that gladly today. For one thing, this will be a lot shorter and less boring than the State of the Union address (Boooo!) and, also, we don't have to endure a bunch of fawning politicians trying to be seen on national television. (Yay! Ha! Ha! Ha!)
Ready to start this new year right?
Editor, Since Georgia's own Sen. Johnny Isakson voted for discriminating against pre-9/11 veterans and later against ending this discrimination, I've penned and sent the following to then-Senate Veterans' Affairs Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-VT, who introduced the Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act of 2013:
It happened the other day. It's funny how things so simple can remind us of things so meaningful, of those sweets that are tucked inside our hearts and unknowingly treasured.
Two weeks ago, my husband, daughter and I struggled to come up with a fun way to pass a Sunday afternoon. My mother-in-law had just been staying with us, and she left that morning to head back to Florida. Since I'd given our house a good, thorough "pre-mother-in-law-visit" cleaning before she arrived, I was completely caught up on chores and housework.
Editor, In an attempt to somewhat clarify and somewhat respond to the recent letters to the editor, the online opinion poll question in the Coastal Courier and subsequent results of said poll, I want to say that the protests (locally and nationally) are not anti-police, as some have and continue to misinterpret them to be.
Editor, In recent weeks, more than 20 police officers have been killed or wounded by fanatics and/or terrorists on this planet. This would be a great time for Rep. Al Williams, Mayor Pro Tem Charles Frasier, Commissioner Gary Gilliard, Councilwoman Luciria Luckey Lovette, et al., to make a statement of recognition and support for police officers - wherever they serve. This exercise of their rights would go a long way to heal the wound of what was interpreted by many to be anti-police sentiment last month.
With major policy decisions on transportation, education, health care and tax reform on the legislative agenda, Georgia should think beyond the traditional approach of spending more money as the solution for every problem. Focusing on ways to enhance economic opportunity and empower individuals beats doubling down on the status quo.
Editor, I read Mr. Bruce McCartney's letter to the editor regarding the Wounded Warrior Project. He is totally correct. The project is top-heavy with a greedy group of executives. The top 10 officers have a compensation package from $150,000 to $333,000 a year. The remaining funds are disbursed to over 40 distribution organizations with similar management configurations.
Editor, On behalf of the St. James Community Church family, we would like to give thanks to everyone for coming out to our church-appreciation banquet that was held Saturday, Dec. 6.
Allen Peake is a man on a mission. The five-term Republican state representative from Macon is the driving force behind proposed legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Georgia. He may succeed this year after suffering a setback in 2014 when the House and Senate got into a bit of political brinksmanship at the last minute and failed to pass his bill, which had sailed through the House with only four negative votes.
I know, most resolutions are already ditched by Jan. 8, but if recycling more or being more environmentally minded was one of your resolutions (and it should have been), then I have an opportunity for you.
My parents, according to the world's definition of "cool," were not. Neither drank, nor did either ever possess a credit card. Groceries and clothing were paid for in cash, utilities paid by check, and the only monthly payments they ever allowed themselves were a mortgage for a house, a short-term loan for another farm, and a couple of cars bought, over time, and paid for quickly.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded in 1909. It is the nation's oldest and largest civil-rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the pre-eminent advocates for civil and human rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal-opportunity enforcement in the public and private sectors.