James.qxp Jan Feb 2019 web - Page 6



F LOAT I N G
B OAT S
W H O ’S R I S I N G A N D S I N K I N G I N G E O R G I A B U S I N E S S A N D P O L I T I C S
Democrats taking control of the U.S. House of
Representatives in January after November’s elections
spells good news for the party’s Georgia delegation. It
gains influence as the party becomes the majority. Rep.
John Lewis remains as senior chief deputy whip, while
Rep. Sanford Bishop looks to gain a chairmanship for an
Appropriations subcommittee. Rep. Hank Johnson will
do the same in Transportation, while Rep. David Scott
moves up in the Judiciary Committee. To the victors go
the spoils, and these victorious Democrats are Rising…
The Amazon HQ2-to-Atlanta saga ended with a whimper when the tech giant announced it would construct
new headquarters in two locations— New York and
Northern Virginia. Difficult news for Georgia’s top-rate
economic development team, which spent months wooing the company. In the end it looks like Amazon didn’t
give Atlanta (or other Southern candidates) much of a
fair shake, but were seeing what tax breaks they could
shake free before moving on with plan A. For stringing
Georgians along all this time Amazon’s ship, here in the
Peach State at least, has Sunk…
Following Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey
Abrams’ not-really-a-concession speech after her election loss to now-Governor Brian Kemp, some in
Hollywood wanted to boycott Georgia due to what they
claimed was “voter suppression.” Even Abrams encouraged the actors, including such big names as Ron
Perlman and Alyssa Milano, not to boycott because
it would only harm workers in the Georgia film industry.
Throwing a fit over their side losing has this vocal group
from Hollywood Sinking…
The GOP lost its majority in the U.S. House of
Representatives, but two Georgia Republicans are
winning. Rep. Doug Collins was elected as the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee,
where he takes center stage as one of President
Donald Trump’s top proponents. Rep. Drew
Ferguson, in just his second term, now serves as
chief deputy whip— the right hand man for Minority
Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. Big promotions for these
two Georgians have their ships Rising…
Atlanta United FC, Arthur Blank’s breakthrough soccer team that shares Mercedes-Benz Stadium with the
Falcons, broke Atlanta’s 23 year title drought. In
December the team defeated the Portland Timbers, win6
JAMES
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019
ning the MLS Cup before a record-breaking 73,000 fans.
Many doubted soccer could work in Atlanta, but under
Blank’s capable stewardship the team, more than any
other local franchise, is Rising…
Federal authorities indicted two Iranian men thought to
be responsible for the cyber attack on the City of
Atlanta government that shut down many city services
a year ago. The hackers caused millions of dollars in
damages, and are thought to have performed similar
attacks on a string of other American cities. The bad
news? The men are still in Iran, and it may be impossible to ever actually prosecute them. While the city and
state continue to beef up their cybersecurity, Atlanta’s
inability to put a stop to these hackers from targeting
the city has its ship Drifting …
Norfolk Southern Corporation, one of the nation’s
largest transportation companies, is moving its corporate
HQ to Midtown Atlanta. The $575 million campus will
bring some 850 jobs as yet another Fortune 500 company
chooses to call Georgia capital city home. For the
Georgia Department of Economic Development
and its allies who wooed the transportation giant, including the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Invest Atlanta,
securing one final feather in the cap of former Gov.
Nathan Deal has their ships Rising…
A computer failure at the Hemphill Water
Treatment Plant and Pumping Station in December
resulted in much of Atlanta losing water and a boil advisory even once it was restored. The Georgia Capitol and
more than 20 schools were among those affected, and
while residents in Cobb and Gwinnett Counties received
messages about the advisory, they were not actually
impacted. For a mishap that shut off water, the hazardous advisory that followed, and the clumsy warning
system, the City of Atlanta’s Department of
Watershed Management is Sinking…
One of Augusta’s largest and oldest manufacturers is getting a major influx of cash. Formerly the International
Paper Plant, it was acquired by Atlanta-based Graphic
Packaging Holding Co. last year. Now the company is
beefing up its operations at the plant, sinking a whopping
$350 million into the 60-year old facility for renovations
and upgrades. The Augusta Economic Development
Authority helped finance the modernization project,
which will be one of the largest in the state over the next
six years. Not only keeping, but improving manufacturing
jobs in Georgia has Graphic Packaging and all of
Augusta’s ship Rising…

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