James.qxp Jan Feb 2019 web - Page 4

Addressing Policy Requires “Staying in the Game”
If you thought you’d take a break from “politics”
after the November elections, think again. You can’t
escape it. Georgia has a new governor and for the next
three months the General Assembly session will
address policy issues affecting everyone’s wallet.
A wide range of topics are on the legislative agenda,
with many covered in this James and by our
InsiderAdvantage company which operates a daily
internet news service with an auxiliary office just across
from the state Capitol. (Log onto insideradvantage.com
and get a subscription, if you haven’t already!) Three
pressing issues are particularly analyzed— healthcare,
election reform and judicial reform— in a column by
Atlanta attorney Josh Belinfante.
Staff writer Cindy Morley’s exclusive interview with
new Gov. Brian Kemp provides insights into what he
expects to accomplish. In fact, the bitter controversy
over Kemp’s narrow election victory, shrill attacks in
the media and the inevitable criticism over some of his
priorities remind me of a picture of the great baseball
pitcher Nolan Ryan. It was taken after Bo Jackson had
hit a pitch right to Ryan’s face. The pitcher’s mouth
was bleeding and blood covered his neck and shirt. But
Ryan kept on pitching. It is a reminder to all, especially
to those in politics, that you can’t be successful unless
you stay in the game.
In this context of the political “game,” columnist
Tharon Johnson looks back at Democratic gains in the
2018 elections and what it means for the future while
our own Matt Towery analyzes why Kemp won and
why some suburban Republican state legislators lost.
Education is an important topic in every James, so
do your homework on Dr. Dana Rickman’s “Top 10
Education Issues to Watch.” We regularly solicit
columns and conduct interviews highlighting what is
transpiring at various Peach State colleges and
universities, so check out the interview with Middle
Georgia State’s President Christopher Blake as well as
a report from Georgia Southern University’s Doy Cave.
Business topics are a huge part of this magazine,
and we often highlight how business and politics
intersect. So the column by Michael Whatley of the
Consumers Energy Alliance is a “must-read” on why
the state’s business and political leaders need to
ensure that there’s a rational, diversified energy
portfolio for future progress and a better quality of life.
And in this vein, read staff writer Tal Wright’s “CEO
Spotlight” on Gas South and its CEO Kevin Greiner.
We also strive to feature stories on Georgians
“who make a difference.” That’s why staff writer
Baker Owens sat down with Atlanta’s Rodney Cook Jr.
for a wide-ranging feature covering everything from
his parents’ civic contributions to his amazing
National Monuments Foundation and his visionary
plans for a new Atlanta park.
A final personal note. Rick McKee is a gifted
political cartoonist for The Augusta Chronicle who is
well-known for entertaining political commentary. In
late 1997 when I was the newspaper’s editorial page
editor, I recommended to the publisher that the
then-graphic artist be hired— and he was. Rick has
been drawing award-winning editorial page cartoons
from the News Building on Augusta’s Broad Street
ever since, and we’re pleased to feature his
illustration for our new year’s cover to welcome the
2019 General Assembly.
Happy new year to all our readers!
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