Wednesday, August 11, 2010

11 AUG 10: Deal With It

There was a campaign party in Columbus Tuesday evening - even before polls closed in the Georgia Primary Runoff. Columbus Council candidate Judy Thomas opened her headquarters on Veterans Parkway. How nice of Thomas to give local Democrats something to do....

Georgia Republicans were focused on the runoff for Governor Tuesday night. After a tense evening of vote-counting, Nathan Deal led Karen Handel by about 2,600 votes. So it appears a potential dream match-up in November will NOT happen - between "King Rat" and "Mama Grizzly."

Nathan Deal refused to claim victory, during a late-night appearance in Gainesville. And Karen Handel refused to concede the runoff race at her party in Atlanta. Some would say the extra-long wait serves both of them right - since neither one finished their scheduled terms of political office this year.

(A Republican runoff recount is likely in the Georgia Governor's race - the same way it occurred for Alabama Republicans in the primary. Hey, that means I can recycle! Just change the state names on those audio clips we posted in June....)

Karen Handel told WTVM during the afternoon she was "cautiously optimistic" about the Republican runoff. Of course, a lot of people are cautiously optimistic at this time of year - but Columbus received NO rain from pop-up thunderstorms Tuesday.

Former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin made a last-minute appeal in Atlanta for Karen Handel. So much for Palin being the Republican trendsetter around here. Now she'll have to head home to Alaska, to help her potential son-in-law get elected mayor.

By comparison, Nathan Deal made a last-minute runoff campaign trip to the Columbus Airport. He was joined by Rep. Lynn Westmoreland - who had to be careful not to say "No" to Deal, the way he has to most of President Obama's proposals.

Muscogee and Harris County Republicans preferred Karen Handel in the Republican runoff for Governor. But believe it or not, only 31 people voted for either candidate in Stewart County. That probably includes the Lumpkin and Richland police departments - but who are the other ten?

The Ledger-Enquirer website reported someone showed up at the St. John A.M.E. Church polling place wearing a gun. That's not allowed under Georgia law - but it sent poll workers scrambling to see which Republican was endorsed by the National Rifle Association.

If Nathan Deal and Karen Handel have aired any campaign commercials on Columbus television, I've missed them. But Roy Barnes ads appeared during Tuesday evening newscasts, warning Georgia is "falling behind." If Barnes wins in November, it will prove Georgia is two years behind the national trend of electing Democrats.

There were a few other runoff races on Tuesday's ballot. Sam Olens overwhelmed Preston Smith, to become the Republican nominee for Georgia Attorney General. Of course, that means two things. Olens will face Ken Hodges in November - and Olens can expect a congratulatory call from Edward DuBose of the Georgia NAACP sometime today.

Even Georgia Democrats had a runoff contest - as Georganna Sinkfield sank Gail Buckner's plans to become Secretary of State. Incumbent Republican Brian Kemp could have played political games. But his website with updated vote totals did NOT include any "smileys" with tongues sticking out.

Meanwhile, voters in Opelika approved the establishment of a city-operated cable television system. The wording of the referendum asked if Opelika should "acquire, establish, purchase, construct, maintain, lease and operate" cable TV. I think they left out a couple of key verbs - such as "railroad" and "flim-flam."

-> Our other blog starts with poker, then goes in directions you might not expect. Visitors from around the world read "On the Flop!" <-

E-MAIL UPDATE: The messages keep coming about home burglaries -- and now the first person to write us wants to make a connection with the second....

The report of burglaries in Bleeker have the 2 main points in common with my burglaries..1. The burglars returned after 9 days..2. They were planning on taking my check book,because they dropped it... Say,your criminals were not driving an older 4 door dark colored car maybe an Infinity with a loud muffler were they?.. Now I engrave the last 3 digits of my SS number and a symbol on the back of everything I own and take pictures.

The burglars must not have taken much from the first crime scene. Otherwise they would have had the money to visit Midas Muffler, and fix the car.

We're still waiting for your stories of home burglaries which occurred while you were on a trip, especially a trip by air. Don't worry - we will NOT share your story with that upset Jet Blue flight attendant in New York....

Let's see what else kept people busy Tuesday:

+ Columbus Council discussed changing the afternoon hours for school zones. There's an obvious question here - why did it take all summer to realize this was necessary? Did Councilors think all the angry parents would make Superintendent Susan Andrews change her mind about school hours? It's not like she has to drive down an overcrowded Veterans Parkway to get to work anymore.

+ Columbus Police reported a mother was arrested on the first day of school, for shouting and cursing at the Edgewood Elementary principal. Some people obviously take "adequate yearly progress" numbers more seriously than others....

+ WTVM reported a Russell County sanitation supervisor was fired, because of Monday's wildcat walkout. It also found a broken-down garbage truck with NO working air conditioning, despite a manager's claim that all the trucks are fine. Hmmmm - whatever happened to those reports of trash trucks breaking down in Hurtsboro?

+ Jeremy Hobbs announced his Chattahoochee Valley Better Way Foundation is moving from Buena Vista Road to the Columbus State University Cunningham Center. Hobbs says the move will save his nonprofit agency at least $350 per month -- so you're encouraged to move some of your donations to his 2012 Columbus Council campaign fund.

+ Columbus State University announced its Internet address will change next week. "" will be in. "" will be out - which I'm sure has everyone at Colorado State University breathing a big sigh of relief.

+ Georgia Transportation Commissioner Vance Smith told WDAK's "Viewpoint" state motor fuel taxes have dropped about 17 percent over the last couple of years. So if state highways seem to have more potholes than usual, blame the people you're passing that are riding bicycles.

+ Viper Motorcycle announced its corporate headquarters will move from Minnesota to Auburn. Alabama Governor Bob Riley straddled a giant bike in a business suit - perhaps dreaming of riding it soon through an empty gaming hall at Victoryland.

+ Instant Message to regular viewers of WeatherNow: The computer still appears to be broken. But today the seven-day forecast should be safe to watch - because today actually is Wednesday.

SCHEDULED THURSDAY: The winner of another race.... and this local contest is much closer than it used to be....

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