James.qxp July August 2018 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
The Republican gubernatorial runoff between Lt. Gov.
Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be
decided on July 24. The slugfest is highlighted by a secret
audio recording of an unsuspecting Cagle made by a defeated GOP rival. Its embarrassing details were obviously not
helpful to Cagle. But no matter who emerges as the GOP
nominee, both camps say they are dedicated to unity in the
effort to defeat Democrat candidate Stacey Abrams. The
Big Question: Will the GOP boat be DRIFTING or RISING
after the dust from the runoff settles?
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal law that
prohibits sports gambling in states other than Nevada, opening the door for the other 49 states to vote on allowing the
practice. The landmark ruling favored New Jersey, which
filed the suit, but other states are preparing to jump on board.
Expect sports betting legislation start to pop up in Georgia as
soon as next year. For sports fans, gambling enthusiasts, and
Georgia students, this ruling has the ship RISING…
The U.S. Department of Justice has denied Georgia’s
request for grant funding to help maintain its sex offender
registry after it was found that the state failed to meet several federal requirements. Those issues included a failure to
display sex offenders’ current place of work on the public
website. By costing the state some $250,000 in expected
funding, the state officials in charge of maintaining
Georgia’s sex offender registry are SINKING…
Former Dentons attorney and longtime Peach State political
heavy hitter Randy Evans is now the Ambassador
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Luxembourg
following a successful (if drawn out) U.S. Senate confirmation vote. Evans, a close confidant of former House Speaker
Newt Gingrich and Gov. Nathan Deal, becomes our nation’s
chief diplomat in the European nation, whose wealth and
political pull make it a player on the international stage
despite its size. For our good friend and longtime James
columnist Evans the ship is RISING…
For the 21st consecutive year Georgia retained its AAA
credit rating from each of the three main credit rating
agencies. Georgia is one of only nine states to meet these
standards. For state officials, maintaining this coveted rating has the ship RISING…
On June 20 Georgia Lottery Corp. President and CEO
Gretchen Corbin kicked off a 25th anniversary event with
special guest Gov. Nathan Deal. The $19.5 billion generated
by lottery games since the first ticket was purchased have
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JAMES
J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 8
provided HOPE scholarships to over 1.8 million college students. The revenue also offered access to lottery-funded prek programs for over 1.4 million four-year-olds. Corbin has the
ship sailing in the right direction this year and there’s a lot
to celebrate as its boat keeps RISING…
Atlanta’s Georgia State University can boast an impressive statistic— it graduates more African American students than any other college in America. Coupled with rapidly increasing graduation rates and a major campus construction overhaul, the school’s ship is RISING…
The United Bid consisting of the U.S., Mexico, and Canada
will be the host of the 2026 World Cup and Atlanta is likely
to play a major role. While host cities won’t be made official
for a couple of years, Mercedes-Benz Stadium is expected to
play host to multiple games, including possibly a semi-final
match. The world’s eyes once again (probably) on Atlanta
has the city’s sports reputation RISING…
When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Ohio’s system of
removing inactive voters from the registration rolls didn’t
violate federal law, it led Common Cause Georgia and the
NAACP to withdraw their lawsuit against Georgia’s similar
voter “purge” policy. While their boat is SINKING,
Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s was RISING. “This ruling
affirms that common-sense measures like Georgia’s voterlist maintenance statutes, which prevent fraud at the ballot
box, are appropriate and necessary to ensure secure, accessible, and fair elections,” he said while doing a happy dance.
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the world’s
busiest, is controlled by the city of Atlanta. However, most
major U.S. cities have airport authorities which help insulate
operations and contracting from mayoral politics and illegal
“pay-to-play” vendor schemes. With an ongoing federal
probe that has expanded into airport contracting, state Sen.
Burt Jones, R-Jackson and others are pushing for a state
airport authority. That boat may be RISING with the establishment of a Senate airport authority study committee. At
the same time, Atlanta’s decades-long record of airport corruption has its boat SINKING…
The Port of Savannah is having a very good year. Coming
off its second busiest month in history in May, and on pace
for its busiest year ever, the port received more good news
in the form of $35 million from the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers’ 2018 work plan to continue its dredging project.
That money, along with the $50 million in this year’s federal
budget, comes as a result of continued effort from U.S. Sens.
David Perdue and Johnny Isakson, as well as U.S. Rep.
Buddy Carter— all three see their boats RISING…

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