Political Notes: October 2014
More Trouble in DeKalb: Longtime DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer, the lone Republican on the commission, resigned her seat late last summer, just in time to enter a guilty plea to two federal charges involving schemes to defraud the county’s taxpayers of more than $90,000.
U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates indicated she may seek jail time for Boyer – and that her office is conducting further investigations into DeKalb government.
Honor for Pak: The Republican National Committee (RNC) has named Georgia State Rep. B.J. Pak (R-Lilburn) to its Rising Stars Program. He was one of four individuals selected. The RNC began the Rising Stars Program last year to recognize conservative leaders throughout the country who are making a name for themselves within the Republican Party.
Georgia GOP Chairman John Padgett calls Pak “a bold lawmaker in the Georgia General Assembly, a hardworking attorney and community leader and a dedicated family man and friend.”
Pak was elected to the Georgia house in 2010.
Award for Jepson: Savannah businessman and philanthropist Robert Jepson, former chairman of the Georgia Ports Authority, will receive Leadership Georgia’s 2014 J.W. Fanning Award at a ceremony Nov. 21 in Atlanta.
The award was established in honor of Leadership Georgia founder Fanning and is presented each year to a Georgian whose contributions through leadership and service are considered outstanding.
Dr. Todd W. Groce, president and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society, where Jepson is chairman of the board of curators, says of Jepson: “His contributions to higher education, charitable organizations and his leadership in Georgia’s economic and business community will reap benefits for our state and for industry leaders for generations to come.”
Leadership Georgia was founded in 1971 and is one of the nation’s oldest training programs for young business and civic leaders.
Gathering of the Faithful: A Georgia Federation of Democratic Women (GFDW) luncheon in Atlanta in late August featured the chair of the Democratic National Committee, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida) as guest speaker. Special guest was former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, whose grandson Jason Carter is running for governor.
State Rep. Pam Stephenson (D-Decatur) received the GFDW’s Maxine Goldstein Leadership Award at the luncheon.
Joining several Democratic women candidates for statewide office (among them, Liz Johnson, running for insurance commissioner, and Valarie Wilson, running for state school superintendent) was Savannah businessman Brian Reese. He is the Democratic candidate in the 1st Congressional District race – seeking the seat Jack Kingston held for more than 20 years. Reese is running against Republican Buddy Carter, a former state senator.
Celebrating a Legend: Friends – both Democrats and Republicans, family members, supporters and former constituents – gathered at Atlanta’s Manuel’s Tavern late in the summer to remember Manuel Maloof, the longtime Democratic power player and first DeKalb CEO on the 10th anniversary of his death.
The celebration coincided with the 58th anniversary of the tavern’s founding, which included a “12 wings for $5” special. Several people, remembering that he was an astute businessman as well as a tough politician, imagined that he might not have been so pleased at the bargain price. Said the evening’s emcee, Angelo Fuster, “Manuel probably would have preferred ‘5 wings for $12.’”
The city’s favorite political bar is now owned and operated by Manuel’s son, Brian Maloof.
Georgia Southwestern Retirement: Kendall Blanchard, president of Georgia Southwestern State University, will step down at the end of the year. He has led the school since 2007 – first as interim president, then as president.
University System Chancellor Hank Huckaby praised Blanchard’s leadership and efforts in strengthening of the school.
Vogtle Votes: The Georgia Public Service Commission unanimously approved Georgia Power’s request to verify 2013 expenditures of $389 million for the Plant Vogtle nuclear construction project. Total construction cost verified to date is $2.59 billion.
In 2009, the PSC certified Georgia Power’s share of the project cost as $6.11 billion. The company says Vogtle’s Unit Three will begin operation in late 2017 and Unit Four the next year.