Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

The Political Vine is the home of political news, satire, rants, and rumors.

How many judicial appointees does it take to screw-up Georgia?

PV, November 13th, 2017

Rumors have it that one of the scumbags involved in the 2014 Pumpkin Gate saga is scheduled to appear this Wednesday in front of the Judicial Nominating Commission (“JNC”) to apply for a Superior Court Judge vacancy.

Since there were several scumbags at that event in August 2014, you might wonder which scumbag it is? Why none other than Clint Bearden (who, coincidentally, works with a scumbag of an entirely different breed named David Ralston).

Bearden is an attorney who also works as a part-time magistrate judge now. But, he believes, apparently, that he has kissed enough royal ass in the political world to gain an easy-peasy appointment to the Superior Court.

PV Provides An Executive Summary Refresher: Back during the 2014 General Election, there was a GOP election rally public event held on Burt’s Pumpkin Farm in Dawson County. The event was promoted to the public via several ways to get them to attend.

Nydia Tisdale, a conservative, freelance videographer (of the Website AboutForsyth.net) saw the public notice on Facebook, and packed-up her camera to attend and film the speeches.

When one of the attendees to the event (another scumbag named Pepper Pettit) saw Tisdale sitting in the front row filming the show, he quickly conferred with Bearden and essentially told him something to the effect of: “We gotta kick her out of here as quickly as we can. She’s the gal who exposed all the corruption with my friends in Forsyth County, and with the Governor here today, she might film something that exposes all of our secrets here in Dawson!”

So, a plan was quickly hatched between Bearden and Pettit, and Johnny Burt, the owner of the farm, was consulted on the plan, and the plan was put into action that eventually ended-up with Tisdale…a 90 lb. waif of a woman…getting physically assaulted by a 165 lb burly “security guard” (who was an off-duty cop named Tony Wooten, who was at the farm on that day, and was not legally authorized to engage in what he engaged in), and who also enjoyed frotting himself while he had Tisdale roughly pinned against a counter.

If you have 18 minutes, 43 seconds, to watch this video, you can witness this event. This was videotaped by Tisdale as she was dragged around (the camera was strapped to her hand and she could not let it go), and at one point at around the 15:25 mark, you see the scumbag Clint Bearden observing the assault as if witnessing the mauling of women was an every day event in his life. (And, hey, with a mentor-lawyer like David Ralston, it likely is an everyday event in his life.)

Now, lots of folks in this video are lying (thus why PV refers to them as ‘scumbags’), and none of them were Tisdale. She was the victim of a callous bunch of political scumbags, one of whom is Clint Bearden, who is now thinking he should be allowed to sit on a Superior Court bench…so he can be put in charge of deciding how and when to violate other people’s rights, just like he helped his breathren do in Dawson County when it comes to sacrificing women for political expediency.

With any luck, there is a majority of people on the JNC who would prefer someone with character and integrity in the real world to recommend to the Governor to sit on the bench.

Sources for this story include:

Snapshot of law resume from Clint Bearden’s Website

Pumpkin Gate & Related Documentation from PoliticalVine.com

Rules & Procedures of the JNC (Paragraph 6 is why PV is providing this information to the JNC)

November 15, 2017 JNC Agenda

List of Members of the JNC (as captured tonight from the JNC Website)

Track Record for Competent Georgia Republican Attorney Generals is 0 to 2

PV, November 1st, 2017

Rumors have it that the Georgia State Attorney General’s Office is too incompetent to act as State Defense Counsel for Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Kennesaw State University in the civil lawsuit that challenged the results of the 6th District Congressional Race earlier in 2017.

Within four days of that lawsuit being filed, the voter records server holding that info was “wiped clean” and the AG’s office claimed information on it was all gone.

This is the headline and lede from a late-breaking story from today’s Fulton County Daily Report: “Georgia Attorney General Quits Defense in Server Wiping Case…Secretary of State Brian Kemp released a statement Wednesday saying the law firm of former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes will represent Kemp and other state election officials.”

PV is Astounded: Wow…our State AG’s office must be the most incompetent public law firm in the country. That, or, it was the AG’s office who advised Kennesaw State University personnel to wipe the server clean after the lawsuit because, hey, why not? After all, all communication between the State AG’s office and the Secretary of State/Kennesaw State University is held in confidence under “attorney-client privilege.”

Yes, “privilege” to lie, cheat, and steal, all under the auspice of being a sovereign entity that spends whatever money it wants to defend criminal behavior (Hey, Georgia State Supreme Court? Thanks so much for making our state the most corrupt in the US by allowing our state agencies to engage in criminal behavior, but declare they are exempt from prosecution due to “sovereign immunity,” you bunch of dumbasses).

PV wonders if it was Chris Carr himself who advised the deletion of the server information…? If so, the Georgia State AG is both incompetent AND corrupt.

Or, Carr and every lawyer in the Department of Law is just garden-variety incompetent because now the State of Georgia has to hire an ex-Governor’s law firm to handle the defense??? Pardon PV, but WHAT-THE-F*CK???

BY THE WAY, IF Democrat Ken Hodges wants to run for AG in 2018, PV will back him because all the “Republican Attorney Generals” (i.e., Sam Olens and Chris Carr) have demonstrated themselves to be COMPLETELY incompetent in the job!!!

PV P.S.: Say, Goobernor Nathan Deal? STELLAR job you did there in appointing someone who had ZERO competence in actually practicing law.

A Fundraising Analysis of the Georgia Governor’s Race

Bill Simon, July 24th, 2017

I have started blogging on the website AllOnGeorgia.com, and here is my debut article analyzing the June 30 campaign disclosures of the 7 candidates vying for the 2018 Primary and General Election slots:


I will still keep blogging and issuing Special Alerts via my PV e-mailed newsletter as that is still needed for the “No Sugar Added” type of political subject matter. So if you are not subscribed to that, you can do that here: http://politicalvine.com/politicalrumors/pv-signup/

John Watson, Resident Scorpion…

Bill Simon, May 21st, 2017

Beware of the Scorpion That Cannot Change Its Natural Instinct

Are you familiar with the fable known as The Frog and The Scorpion? Here is a short version of the story:

“A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”

The frog is satisfied, and they set out. But in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”

Replies the scorpion: “It’s my nature…” “

Now, NOT to include every lobbyist/government relations person out in the world to be a scorpion (because, yes, I have a few friends who are honorable lobbyists), but in the case of the one running to be the next Georgia GOP Chair, the only way to describe John Watson is to refer to him as the Scorpion in our saga…and all of his naive, gullible followers and supporters are the Frogs who are too blind or too ignorant to understand what kind of creepy-crawler they have agreed to support.

AND…here is why in point-by-point reasoning:

1) The real job of people like John Watson involves being, essentially, the lead marketing and sales rep for any number of businesses who provide services and products to government entities. So, John Watson does not merely “lobby” the State Legislature while they are in session; what his primary job as a government relations person is develop friendly, business relationships with city council members, county commissioners, mayors, municipal purchasing managers, city managers, county managers, etc. That is, both decision-makers, as well as people who influence decision-makers for purchasing services and products from Watson’s clients.

2) A LOT of the major county and city municipalities in the Atlanta-metro area are run by Democrats. REAL Democrats. And, a lot of the legislators who are Democrats have a LOT of influence on the various elected people and employees who work in the municipalities. So much so that people like Watson rely on developing relationships with the Democrat legislators, not to be a nice guy to the ‘minority party’, but to get them to a point where they can influence these other Democrats in municipalities who hold the key to allowing Watson’s clients to become a qualified bidder for any kind of suitable RFP (Request For Proposal) the municipality needs to issue.

3) John Watson is married with kids. His paramount job is to provide for his family with their needs via earning a living. Which means, when it comes to politics, Watson will always seek to maintain relationships over playing hardball in politics.

4) Watson’s business partner is Lewis Massey. Lewis Massey is a Democrat. He’s a nice enough guy, but he’s a Democrat. Not to say that all Democrats are bad, but doing business with one while you are playing yourself off as a tough GOP party chair is a tough sell to rely on. Massey is to Watson like Carville is to Matalin (though, Massey and Watson’s relationship has lasted far longer).

5) See, Massey WANTS Watson to win because he knows it’ll be terrific FREE ADVERTISING for the new company of Massey Watson and Hembree, LLC. Every time John Watson’s name will be mentioned in the newspaper, it will say “Ga GOP Chair John Watson…blah, blah, blah…Watson is also a partner in the lobbying firm of Massey Watson Hembree, LLC.”

6) A few years back, Watson and his business partners were embroiled in the DeKalb County corruption probe as per this story here: http://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt–politics/vendors-dekalb-government-probe-earned-millions/ptETu66oENsrKGVViU7mHM/

7) Though they were cleared of any wrongdoing in that DeKalb case, it won’t look good for the GAGOP to see that bullsh*t again when something similar blows-up in the City of Atlanta, or some other Dem-controlled municipality, where Massey Watson Hembree will be named, again, and if Watson is serving as GA GOP chair, that will muddy the GA GOP brand quite a bit, all on its own.

8) But, more to the point, next year, when it comes to having to play hardball with the Democrats in this state, Watson will wuss-out because he MUST maintain relationships with ALL the Democrats in office because, as mentioned before, his livelihood relies 100% on maintaining those relationships on good terms with all Democrats.

9) AND…just to demonstrate exactly what we’re talking about here, here is a list of Democratic entities that John Watson and his former firm of Massey Bowers Watson Hembree contributed money to WHILE the 2016 Presidential race was ongoing between Trump and Clinton:


10) The first three $250 contributions were to keep three very good Democrat influencers in Watson’s pocket so as to help his business clients: Valencia Seay, Horacena Tate, Stacey Evans.

11) The last contribution shown of $250 was to hedge a bet with the Democratic Party of Georgia in case Trump lost. That was the purpose of that contribution.

12) John Watson may vote Republican…but, as the practicing lobbyist that he is, in the world of the government relations business that he is in, he must maintain good relations with people on both sides of the aisle. And maintain those relationships is of paramount importance to him.

So, when it comes time next year to, say, beat-up the Democratic nominee for Governor, whether it be Stacy Abrams or Stacey Evans, on behalf of, say, our Republican nominee Hunter Hill, how hard of a hit is Watson going to be willing to allow the Ga GOP to hit Abrams or Evans with?

Answer: The Scorpion will sting the froggy Republicans over pissing-off his fellow Scorpions in the Dem Party, and he will nullify the GA GOP’s efforts in ways like making sure the direct mail program from the GA GOP resembles a Powder-Puff football game rather than full-impact football.

After all, this Scorpion still has to make a living, regardless of who is elected to a Constitutional office. And, if the Dems regain power, the Scorpion’s business pal, Lewis Massey, will be able to introduce Watson to even MORE people in Democrat positions of power to help build Watson’s bank account.

Hope all you Frogs who support this Scorpion wake-up. Because at least with Alex Johnson, Michael McNeely, or Mike Welsh, NONE of their livelihoods rely on maintaining good relationships with the opposition party. None of them are scorpions.

If any of you frogs continue to support John Watson after reading this Vine and seeing the contributions he made to the Democratic Party of Georgia last Fall to maintain ‘good relations’ with the DPOG, you are morons. Freaking…MORONS.

Will The Real Kay Kirkpatrick Haltom Please Stand Up?

Bill Simon, April 4th, 2017


Did you know that when someone in Georgia refers to the process of “registering to vote,” what you are really doing is applying to the State of Georgia for them to grant you a Voter ID Card? I conclude that by examining the explicit wording of this law, OCGA 21-2-417.1. Voter identification card. Because the majority of what this law instructs is what information is included on the State defined “GEORGIA VOTER IDENTIFICATION CARD.”

The application to register to vote/apply for a voter ID card can be found online here: https://registertovote.sos.ga.gov/GAOLVR/images/reg_form.pdf

AND, the very first requirement in the law to register to vote is to provide your “Full Legal Name.”

The problem with not registering under your actual legal name is covered under OCGA 21-2-561. False registration…where it specifies the following (which have been bolded in parts because you should understand exactly the pitfalls with falsely registering a name as an elector):

Any person who:

(1) Registers as an elector knowing that such elector does not possess the qualifications required by law;

(2) Registers as an elector under any other name than the elector’s own name; or

(3) Knowingly gives false information when registering as an elector

shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years or to pay a fine not to exceed $100,000.00, or both.”

So, let’s turn our attention to the


Read the rest of this entry »

Regarding State Senator Brandon Beach (aka “Casino Beach”)

Bill Simon, March 30th, 2017

On February 27, 2017, a Political Vine (alternatively referred to as “Vine” or “PV”) article was issued regarding the vigorous legislative promotion of casino gambling legislation by Senator Brandon Beach and others. PV compared the “campaign contributions” by out-of-state casino interests to be equivalent to the noun “bribes,” in which that definition was based on a common dictionary meaning rather than any kind of statutory definition of that term.

In response to the 2/27/2017 issuance of the Political Vine, Senator Brandon Beach had his attorney send me a cease and desist letter, and included a copy of the PV edition in question (See this PDF of that letter).

In this letter, Beach’s lawyer, Robert D. Cheeley of the Cheeley Law Group, LLC, asserts that “political contributions are legal in Georgia, and politicians are entitled to accept contributions, so by definition they are not bribes.”

For the record, Georgia’s statutory definition of what constitutes a campaign contribution is found in OCG 21-5-3(7) and while this excerpt I use here is an abridged version of the entire statute, I invite anyone to read the entire definition for themselves: “Contribution” means a gift, subscription, membership, loan, forgiveness of debt, advance or deposit of money or anything of value conveyed or transferred for the purpose of influencing [emphasis added] the nomination for election or election of any person for office…”

But, of course, no politician would ever take generous campaign contributions in direct exchange for political favors, would they?

After all, there is some kind of legal line, however thin it may be at times, between bribery and campaign contributions from interests seeking special interest legislation. Consider the case of Former Alabama Democrat Governor Don Siegelman and the several years in federal prison he has had to contemplate on that distinction: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-high-court-when-is-a-campaign-contribution-a-bribe/2012/08/12/68cdd94e-e2f9-11e1-a25e-15067bb31849_story.html (if that link does not pull-up the Washington Post article, this is a PDF version)

Similarly, New Jersey Democrat Senator Robert Menendez has that opportunity to contemplate the contributions/bribery nexus regarding earmarked contributions to a Democrat “Super PAC” by a medical provider who secured the assistance of Senator Menendez in lobbying then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to rule in his favor in an ongoing dispute over $8 million in Medicare overbillings. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/07/09/dr-salomon-melgen-menendez-supporter-released-on-18-million-bond/. Menendez has a 68-page indictment against him.

There is concern in the Peach State as citizens contemplate the morally corrupting influence of Las Vegas-based casino operators seeking a beachhead in Georgia. While truth is a defense to any defamation suit, perhaps only the U.S. Department of Justice would have the resources and clout to prove in court a quid pro quo regarding campaign contributions in exchange for legislation favorable to the person or entity who contributed the money.

If forced to litigate over the Vine article in question, the Defendant’s legal team would assert Georgia’s “anti-SLAPP” statute, O.C.G.A. § 9-11-11.1. This particular statute declares, “The General Assembly of Georgia finds and declares that it is in the public interest to encourage participation by the citizens of Georgia in matters of public significance and public interest through the exercise of their constitutional rights of petition and freedom of speech. The General Assembly of Georgia further finds and declares that the valid exercise of the constitutional rights of petition and freedom of speech should not be chilled through abuse of the judicial process.”

So, to be clear, if I am sued by Senator Beach, or any other legislators involved in promoting casino legislation after their receipt of campaign contributions from casino interests, the court will be asked to award full attorney fees and expenses of litigation, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 9-11-11.1.

There are a couple of specific elements in Mr. Cheeley’s letter that need to be cleared-up before I address his demands:

(A) Regarding Cheeley’s assertion in his first paragraph that “Specifically, that website is www.securecampaigner.com(sic) doing business as Political Vine dot com, www.politicalvine.com.” that is a completely inaccurate statement/assertion/assumption on Cheeley’s part.

The Website of “www.secure.campaigner.com” is a domain solely under the control of my email management vendor (known as Campaigner.com), for which I pay a monthly fee to be able to manage the email list, as well as compose and email-out the publication whenever I write one.

That email vendor offers services to the entire world on its platform and is, I believe, based in Canada. I have zero ownership of that entity, nor do they have any ownership of my PV website.

So, “Campaigner dot com” is not doing any kind of business as “Political Vine dot com.”

With regards to the website called www.politicalvine.com, yes, that is under my sole control for its content.

(B) Cheeley then appears to make some kind of point that because I did not place an asterisk in the Subject Heading of the 2/27/2017 Vine email that I “notably” omitted the asterisk next to the word “Bribes” in the Subject Line titled “Rumors have it…Casino Bribes-UPDATE!…02-27-2017” as if to mean I intended something nefarious.

I deliberately omitted the use of the asterisk in the “Subject Line” of the email (no, it is not the “caption” as he referred to it in his letter) because IF asterisks and other similar symbols are present in an email’s subject line, the email servers taking-in those emails sometimes interpret those emails as potentially being spam emails, and they get rejected, and therefore not delivered to the intended recipients. Thus the reason why the asterisk was omitted on the word “Bribes” in that one instance, which, when compared to the “twenty times” in which the word appeared in print in that 2/27/2017 PV as “bribes*” this one instance is not significantly meaningful.

For the record, I believe I will/would prevail in court in defense of any lawsuit brought by Beach or anyone else. However, I know that lawsuits such as this type will take an extremely lengthy amount of time to have resolved, and I do not wish to have my mind or my life occupied by it for the next 3-5 years.

Therefore, with regard to the four specific “demands” placed on me by Beach’s lawyer:

Demand #1: Regarding Cheeley’s demand of removing “from any and all of your websites all defamatory and disparaging remarks regarding Senator Beach and ‘bribes’ made by you or any visitors to your site.”

The only thing that was ever placed on the PV website was the 11-Page PDF document that was assembled using campaign contribution disclosure data publicly accessible via the Georgia Government Transparency and Finance Commission’s Website (known as Ethics.Ga.Gov). That 11-page PDF document I compiled has been removed from the PoliticalVine.com website. No remarks of any kind were ever posted to the PV site.

Also, the original email that was composed and sent out via my account on Campaigner.com has been deleted off my account, and the online version (i.e., “server-based” version) can no longer be accessed.

Demand #2: I will cease and desist publication of that specific, and allegedly defamatory, remark about Senator Beach relating to his sponsorship of casino legislation after receipt of campaign contributions from casino interests.

Demand #3: I hereby retract any alleged implication of violation of the Georgia criminal statute on bribery by Senator Beach and the casino interests who have generously contributed to his campaign. However, the reference to the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of “bribe” is what it is. A “bribe,” according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary is: “1) money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust. 2) something that serves to induce or influence.”

Note that the 2nd definition provided by Merriam Webster for the word “bribe” is that it can be “something that serves to induce or influence [emphasis added].” Compare that definition to the statutory definition of what a campaign contribution is (provided near the beginning of this PV edition).

Demand #4: I will tender five dollars ($5) to the Cheeley Law Group, LLC, in full accord and satisfaction of the strenuously disputed demand for payment of attorney fees for Senator Brandon Beach.

Aut pax aut bellum.

Trump 2016 Strikes Emory University…Again!

PV, November 22nd, 2016

Rumors have it that the precious little snowflakes who inhabit the campus of Emory University are no longer feeling the idyllic beatitude they signed-up to experience…nay, apparently, a cloud of pallor has wafted over the campus and invaded their safe spaces.

Here, forthwith, is a copy of the emailed letter sent out on November 21 from the desk of Claire E. Sterk, Emory University President:

“November 21, 2016
Dear Emory Students, Staff and Faculty,

“Following my letter of November 9, many of you did reach out to each other, including me. There is an overwhelming call to comfort each other, to ensure that we are a safe community, and to express hope for the future. In addition, a letter requesting the need for a sanctuary campus and ways to protect all members of the Emory community is being reviewed by the university leadership.

“We do not know what the future holds for our nation or for the world. But we do know that Emory’s future is determined by our shared values, our respect for each other, and our open and courteous engagement. Together, we will face the challenges of our time. We have to listen to each other. We must look each other in the eye and be honest and respectful. We need to value each other. Emory always has been and will continue to be committed to the principles of academic freedom in a community that affirms everyone’s rights to speak, learn, and grow. While doing so, we will not tolerate bullying, intimidation, or discrimination on any level. Instead, we expect empathy, mutual respect, and courteousness.

“As one of the top research and teaching universities, Emory has the people, knowledge, and talent to equip itself to create a better world for all. Let’s respond to the challenges posed, apply all that we have to offer in the service of humanity, and remain steadfast in our commitment to the values, vision, and mission that unite us. Much work already is underway, whether through formal and informal conversations, structured programs, intentional training to address unconscious bias, a curriculum that defines challenges in the nature of evidence, and more—including our external engagement and our willingness to be bold.

“As Thanksgiving is upon us, let’s honor each other, be thankful for the communities to which we belong and the opportunities before us, and help each other exceed our expectations of what we can accomplish together.


Claire E. Sterk

PV Sez: Upon reading this sentence from the first paragraph “In addition, a letter requesting the need for a sanctuary campus and ways to protect all members of the Emory community is being reviewed by the university leadership.” the PV’s keyboard got soaked with hot coffee being spewed out in a violent convulsion of laughter and merriment.

What-Da-Fuq is a “sanctuary campus?” PV’s mind reels with the instantaneous thoughts of wondering what thoughts and worries are racing through the mind of President Sterk to inspire her to be writing this letter?

And, PV’s trying to imagine what kind of new campus rules and polices this bunch of whiny-baby “administrators” will be dreaming-up to protect the snowflakes from any potential speech intimidation, and thereby likely squash free speech and free exchange of ideas if they are the ones they disagree with? (E. G., President Trump and anything remotely conservative).

Maybe Sterk & Co. will seek a bill from the Georgia Legislature that allows them to secede from Georgia, but still keep getting funding help by the Georgia Board of Regents?

We will stay tuned…with our street chalk in hand…

Will The Next Ga Attorney General Be A Chia Pet?

PV, September 27th, 2016

Rumors have it that Governor Nathan Deal is planning on replacing Attorney General Sam Olens with current Georgia Economic Development Department Commissioner Chris Carr whenever Sam Olens quits as AG to take-on the job as the new Kennesaw State University President. Stories in the news have been floating for about a month in various newsy-oriented publications, the most recent one being today’s Atlanta Business Chronicle (See story link here).

PV Sez: Oh, really? Hey, nothing personal against Chris Carr…he is a fine, fine Southern gentleman…he happened to attend the same high school as the PV’s Chief Bottle Washer…and then after Carr graduated 12th grade, well, his life took an unfortunate turn. He stumbled into a really bad gang of folks that have been terrorizing the Georgia landscape for over 200 years…their hideout is located in the sleepy town of Athens, Georgia…where, like The Eagles song Hotel California, you can checkout, but you can never, ever leave…and that insanity remains with you for the rest of your life as you wake-up every day with the urge to shout “Go D**gs!” and then search for the closest bush or fire hydrant to sniff and pee on.

ANYWAY…all that aside….there’s a teeny-tiny problem with Chris Carr becoming the next Attorney General of Georgia. Simply put, he is not qualified in the legal, lawyer sense. Two glaring problems:

1) According to the Georgia Constitution, Article V, Section III, Paragraph II (b): “No person shall be Attorney General unless such person shall have been an active-status member of the State Bar of Georgia for seven years.”

According to the current State Bar Status of Mr. Christopher Michael Carr (See PDF copy dated 9/27/2016 here) Mr. Carr’s status is “Inactive Member in Good Standing.”

On the Ga Bar Website, that status is stated to mean the following: “Member who is in good standing, paid inactive dues, but by member’s election is currently not eligible to practice law in Georgia.”

And…here’s the deal: Mr. Carr was admitted to the bar 11/1/1999. PV is not sure where he worked for the first few years after that admittance date, but, beginning in about mid-2003, Chris Carr started working for Johnny Isakson in his first run for US Senate in the 2004 election as the campaign manager.

After Isakson got elected, Carr went to work for Isakson in some capacity…he was not immediately made Chief of Staff of Isakson during the first few years…Heath Garrett was CoS of Senator Isakson’s office first, but Carr was working, perhaps, in the Georgia office for Isakson. Sometime passed, and several years later, when Garrett left the Isakson CoS position, Chris Carr filled that slot for Isakson’s CoS.

After serving with Isakson straight thru for a number of years, Carr was appointed to the Georgia Economic Development Commission. In none of these positions did Chris Carr EVER serve as a “practicing lawyer.”

2) Maybe Chris Carr spent the four years after being admitted to the bar in November 1999 doing some kind of lawyer-type work. But, even if he did, he stopped practicing law by mid-2003 when Johnny started his run for US Senate, and Carr has never worked in the practice of law since then.

So, the Ga Constitution is pretty clear: Must be active member for seven years.

Maybe the State Bar will let Chris Carr cheat…by him just showing-up at the State Bar Pay Window and forking over money to declare himself a “practicing lawyer” and “Ta-Da! Instant Attorney General! Just add cash and watch it grow!” (kinda like a Chia Pet…maybe we will call Chris Carr the ‘Chia Pet Attorney General‘ if he gets the appointment.)

BUT…he has no trial court experience to speak of…and, he has no true, operating knowledge of the law. Sure, as Isakson’s CoS, he may have edited legislation that “made law”…but he has no idea how to actually ‘practice law.’ Big difference, Folks…BIG. Difference.

Now…if Governor Deal wants to cheat the citizens of Georgia…by wrangling with the State Bar to let them easily change Carr’s bar status, guess no one can stop him from doing that.

But…this we know…by Chris Carr not knowing one thing about the true practice of law…he will be relying on Department of Law lawyers for his ‘guidance’…and some of those guys/gals regularly engage in violations of the Georgia RICO Act, as well as engaging in other notorious acts of legal malpractice.

So, if Mr. Carr would like to risk his future as being the Top Legal Chia Pet (even though he would be unqualified to advise someone on even how to fight a traffic ticket at this juncture), be our guest in getting sucked into a cesspool of malpracticing, crooked-to-their-core Georgia government lawyers. Hey, nothing like a federal indictment landing at your front door to wake you up in the morning, eh, Mr. (future) Chia Attorney General?

How much of a slimebag lawyer is AG Sam Olens?

politicalvine, September 21st, 2016

Sam Olens tries to silence opposition by having him disbarred

“Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens conceded in pleadings filed in federal court that there was never any basis for his request to have a duly licensed attorney barred from practicing in Georgia or pursuing claims against the Attorney General.

“In July of 2016, Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens filed a pleading with US District Court Judge Eleanor Ross requesting an order to have the attorney pursuing state and federal RICO claims against the Attorney General and other state officials barred from practice in the state and federal courts of Georgia.

“Olens based the request for this extreme measure on alleged “abuse of the legal process.” This serious charge was based on the attorney supposedly filing the federal RICO action in defiance of two previous state court orders dismissing actions brought on the same set of facts.

“However, in the July pleading the Attorney General neglected to mention that both of the state court dismissal orders Olens relied on had been reversed and vacated–and therefore had no legal effect whatsoever, and certainly did not bar the action from being moved from state to federal court, much less call for the lawyer to be barred from practice.”

Read the full story over at http://gwmac.com/sam-olens-tries-silence-opposition-disbarred/

Sandy Springs: The Barbarians Inside The Gate-Part 1

Bill Simon, July 5th, 2016


If you are a fan of Chinese food, you might be familiar with the little table game played upon reading the fortune contained in a fortune cookie. The ‘game’ is that whatever the fortune says, you add a statement at the end of it that says either “…in your own mind.” or “…in bed.”

In a parallel fashion to the myriad of crap going on in the City of Sandy Springs (“SS”), whatever problem you observe occurring in SS (e.g., if you’re stuck in traffic in SS, if you’re wondering why you are being saddled with what will likely end-up being $300 million in taxpayer debt once the bonds are all paid-off 30 years from now, or if SS government appears to be run like the Obama Administration), here is a way to mentally deal with it: State the problem, and then finish your sentence with “…Because of Mayor Rusty Paul.”

So, to practice here, let’s ask the question of “Why did SS recently have to go thru a voting process run as though it was the year 1960 in Blount County, Alabama?”

Answer: Because of the direct actions of Mayor Rusty Paul.

Another practice question: “Why did the voting process for District 3 Special Election process resemble a 55 year-old election procedure?”

Because….due to the screw-up of Rusty Paul trying to gain more power to stuff the pockets of himself and his clients with more money, he personally caused three major issues with the voting process:

1) On May 24th, voters had to visit TWO different physical locations in order to cast votes–because there was a regular statewide primary scheduled for May 24th, and a Special Election for District 3 of the Sandy Springs City Council…and due to Rusty Paul’s personal cluster*f*ck of governing, the City was unable to have the Special Election integrated within the normal Fulton County Board of Elections process. Not everyone got the message that they had to visit two different places, separated by more than 1 mile, so not everyone voted who would have normally voted in the Special Election.

2) For both the Special Election, and the Special Election Run-off, rather than have electronic accounting of who voted, the City of Sandy Springs had to employ paper tracking sheets for the list of voters. This consisted of a triplicate Voting List form being filled-out by election personnel…some of whom it is clear never learned how to print names, or forgot that skill along the way in life. This is an example of the forms used (names have been deliberately blurred-out by me, but the PDF documents exist with the City Clerk’s office): Run-Off Example.

BIG question for #2 above is how are these voters going to have their appearance at the voting booth be tracked by the Secretary of State’s office since they were written-down and not ‘checked-off’ whereby their ID would be scanned into a system (as it is done when elections are held by counties)? Thank Rusty Paul for that.

3) Rather than electronic voting machines being used, paper, fill-in-the-bubble ballots were used, and then stuffed into a ballot box. In the case of the May 24th election date, it was observed by several people that the ballot box disappeared behind a closed door with multiple City of Sandy Springs personnel with the box. After about an hour or so, the box was carried out from the room it was in, and then the paper ballots were hand-fed into a tabulation machine. What happened to the box of ballots while it was out of sight of people concerned with the honesty of an election?

Also…in the run-off, while the ballot box was at Hammond Park for early voting…what happened to it a) at night with the poll was closed?, and 2) over the weekend and the Monday before the June 21 Election Day?

NOW…as a side note to you folks in the Fulton County Republican Party who have bitched and whined about the appearance of a lack of competence in how the Fulton County Board of Elections run elections…well, after the Rusty-Paul-cluster-f*ck of this Special Election, you folks now have NO ROOM to complain since Rusty is Mr. Republican, and there is a massive shadow of incompetency and dishonesty hanging over this Special Election in Sandy Springs under his watch.

Wendell Willard: Barbarian Henchman

The City of Sandy Springs has a 19-page section of their City Code devoted to Ethics whereby every term is defined well, and what constitutes “conflicts of interests” and all that related stuff. Here is a link to the most current PDF version from the MuniCode website: http://www.politicalvine.com/sandysprings/CodeofEthics-SandySprings6-11-2016.pdf

What I found to be one of the most notable sections is that at any time any member of the city council, or any employee, or whoever might have a question concerning what is “ethical” or what isn’t, that ALL inquires get routed to the City Attorney for his/her review of the city ethics code…and if the city attorney says something is ‘ethical’, then it’s okay to engage in the activity, corrupt though it may be to anyone outside of SS.

Now, as most people know, the City’s Attorney is Wendell Willard, and he has been in that position since the city’s inception.

What a lot of people in Sandy Springs are not likely aware of is that the approximate total cost of $100,000 for the Special Election to replace former city council member Graham McDonald is all due to…Wendell Willard not having a clue as to how to read and interpret the city’s code on behalf of the City.

You see, Mayor Rusty Paul had a plan in mind when he encouraged McDonald to run against House District 52 Rep. Joe Wilkinson. He was going to use McDonald to defeat Wilkinson in the May 24th AND with initial advice from his henchman, Wendell Willard, after McDonald resigned from the city council, Mayor Paul thought he was going to be able to appoint McDonald’s replacement on the Council. (That planned appointment was Chris Burnett, the ultimate winner of the June 21st run-off.)

Silly rabbit, that Rusty Paul is, to rely on Wendell’s reading of the city code. It’s right smack dab in Sec. 2.03. – Vacancy; filling of vacancies; suspensions:

“….A vacancy in the office of mayor or city councilmember shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by a special election if such vacancy occurs 12 months or more prior to the expiration of the term of that office. If such vacancy occurs within 12 months of the expiration of the term of that office, the city council or those members remaining shall appoint a successor for the remainder of the term. This provision shall also apply to a temporary vacancy created by the suspension from office of the mayor or any city councilmember.”

Now, qualifying for that State House seat was back in early March of 2016…and sometime in the interim between McDonald qualifying for HD 52 and…this March 29th meeting of the City Council, someone else decided to read the City Code…and start counting months and determined “Heyyyy! Where I come from, 20 months is more than 12 months! We gotta have a Special Election to fill this seat!”

And that, Ladies & Gentlemen, is how Sandy Springs came to be spending $100,000+ on a Special Election…because City Attorney Wendell Willard cannot read and do simple math. So, how would Wendell Willard be possibly qualified to read and interpret the city’s Code of Ethics? Answer: Wendell Willard isn’t qualified. At. All. (Neither, apparently, is the assistant City Attorney, Cecil McClendon.)

If Willard was qualified…then he would easily be able to recognize why Mayor Rusty Paul has a MASSIVE conflict of interest between who he works for as a registered lobbyist, and his ‘presumed’ (cough!-cough!) role representing the best (cough!)…interests (cough!-cough!) of the voters and taxpayers of the City of Sandy Springs, rather than his clients. So, let’s introduce…

(Continued in Part 2…)

Sandy Springs: The Barbarians Inside The Gate-Part 2

Bill Simon, July 5th, 2016

Rusty Paul – Barbarian Numero Uno

As I now have to frequent Sandy Springs way more often than usual, I find myself having to be detoured all around the $220+ million money pit that is to become City Center. At the center of this pit is erected a crane. At one time, at the top of the crane, was the name of the crane’s owner/leasee: Holder Construction.

And, hearkening back to my earlier days of being involved in the construction industry in Georgia, combined with what I know about Rusty Paul and his professional representation of the wants and needs of companies like Holder Construction, I must ask a very simple question: DID the City of Sandy Springs actually get the lowest, honestly-bid RFP from Holder (and, whoever else is involved) for this project?

Because, you see, Ladies & Gentlemen, voters, and taxpayers of the City of Sandy Springs, Rusty Paul is the state registered lobbyist of the state association called Associated Builders & Contractors of Georgia (ABC-GA).

Here is Rusty’s lobbyist registration information: http://www.politicalvine.com/sandysprings/RustyPaul-Lobbyist-Info.pdf

The purpose of the entity called Associated Builders & Contractors is to help generate business opportunities for all its members. Nothing illegal or unethical about that.

Except when those “business opportunities” happen to be initiated and guided by…your very own state lobbyist…who is the Mayor of a city like Sandy Springs…well, then it has the potential appearance of resembling…a little something called racketeering. Potential things like…bid-rigging…RFP-rigging…all that comes to mind to wonder how ‘honest’ the government of SS really is when the Mayor of the City is a state lobbyist for the people whose livelihood relies on decisions facing that city?

Now, I know what you’re thinking…is there any official connection between an entity like Holder Construction and Mayor Rusty Paul? Guess it all depends on what you mean by “official” and “connection.” Because…Holder Construction has made multiple, publicly disclosed contributions to the Associated Builders & Contractors entity (here is a link to a PDF of their contributions).

But, for full disclosure, Holder is not the only business involved in the Association that contributed money to its PAC: Here is a live link to many contributors to the PAC.

AGAIN…let me be clear: The ABC-GA entity is legally allowed to participate in the electoral process. Nothing unethical about their PAC having members of its association contribute to it.

The questionable part comes-in with Mayor Rusty Paul pretending he’s just a “Good ‘ole Boy Mayor” shepherding the City of Sandy Springs through its growth phase, when, in fact, he has a direct interest in generating all the business he can generate for the members of the development, banking, and construction industries in his part of the world.

One wonders what Rusty gets paid per month for his work as “lobbyist” for ABC-GA, and how much he gets paid via his various other business entities from companies who are members of ABC-GA, and are beneficiaries of business contracts with the City of Sandy Springs? Seriously, what ELSE would explain Rusty’s welcoming attitude to allow every square inch of Sandy Springs to be developed, rezoned, and redeveloped (and to hell with the traffic people get stuck in)?

Well….by no stretch is Rusty Paul the only Barbarian engaged in Sandy Springs politics and government….there’s another one of recent note. And hereee’s….

(Continued in Part 3)

(Read Part 1)

Sandy Springs: The Barbarians Inside The Gate-Part 3

Bill Simon, July 5th, 2016

Chris Burnett – The Barbarian Banker

Chris Burnett was the top vote-getter in the $100,000 Wendell Willard Special Election held on May 24th, gathering 40% of a field of five contestants to fill the position vacated by Graham McDonald. The 2nd top vote-getter was Joe Houseman. Two of the other candidates quickly endorsed Houseman for the runoff.

Burnett is a community banker who works as the president of the Bank of Sandy Springs. Houseman is a pilot with Delta Air Lines.

So, on Burnett’s Facebook page and Website, he touts all of his “volunteer” work with Sandy Springs over the years. Folks, can we be honest here? The reason why people like Chris Burnett “volunteer” their time is to build their business….their banking business….their community banking business.

It is not for the “good” of their heart to help others. If it had been, he would not have spent 100% of his campaign time touting his “volunteer efforts.” So, any organization to which he’s a member of (e.g., chamber of commerce), that membership is likely paid for out of the bank’s marketing budget, and not his own, personal wallet.

On June 21st, Burnett won the run-off against Joe Houseman. Now, to understand why the latest addition to the city council is a Barbarian Banker, you need to understand who, exactly, Chris Burnett really is…and, who he really works for.

The Bank of Sandy Springs is part of a 3-bank holding company based in Marietta, Georgia.

Taking a line directly from the mother-website of https://www.firstlandmarkonline.com/: “First Landmark Bank is ‘A Family of Community Banks,’ including the Midtown Bank and Bank of Sandy Springs divisions, united to serve the Marietta/Cobb, Midtown Atlanta and Sandy Springs communities and throughout metro Atlanta.”

The holding company that is the umbrella entity above all 3 entities is called Landmarc Bancshares, Inc, based out of Marietta in Cobb County. Here is a link to its Board of Directors.

Note that the Chairman of the Board of LBI is John H. Moore. Moore’s legal specialty is that of real estate and rezoning law.

Now, you folks in Sandy Springs likely are not familiar with this guy. Not yet, anyway. But, chances are, either he or one of his underlings associated with the law firm of Moore Ingram Steele & Johnson, will soon be appearing before the Sandy Springs Planning & Zoning, and City Council, to argue for this or that rezoning.

With a guaranteed vote of one of the members of the SS city council in Chris Burnett for ANY project, Moore has an easy sell to any developer (Yes, John Moore, you are welcome for the free marketing mention of your skills).

And, its for damn certain a knucklehead like Wendell Willard would find no ‘conflict of interest’ for Burnett to sit on the council any time a Moore Ingram et al. rezoning is in front of it, would he?

Additionally, with people like Gabe Sterling and Rusty Paul, there are two additional ‘gimmes’ for any client of MISJ to cram a rezoning down the helpless throats of Sandy Springs’ taxpayers.


In a very odd coincidence, the mentality of Rusty Paul pretty much matches that of Cobb County’s Tim Lee. So, when you read newspaper articles about the two of them ‘negotiating’ on matters like the Braves’ game-day traffic and such…you need to keep this in mind: Neither of them are really looking out for the entities they supposedly represent. They will negotiate for, first, their own personal benefit, and then the public in Sandy Springs or Cobb County will have to be content with whatever scraps are left over.

Well, that’s a wrap of this edition of Sandy Springs: Where The Barbarians Are Already Inside The Gates, but stay tuned for future episodes.

Today's Deep Thought

If you're ever on an airplane that's crashing, see if you can't organize a quick thing of group sex, because come on, you squares.


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