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Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

‘Dr. Rad,’ psychiatrist and candidate, slams guns-on-campus bill

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Branko “Dr. Rad” Radulovacki, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, slipped into his occupational role as a psychiatrist late Thursday and lambasted the state Legislature for its consideration of a bill to permit the carrying of concealed weapons on the campuses of public universities.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blog

From the press release:

“[L]et’s separate fact from fiction. Supporters of concealed weapons on college campuses claim armed adolescents will be better able to defend themselves against crime. Statistics suggest a more sobering outcome. Odds are, the vast majority of guns fired on campuses will be suicides. And when the shooting stops, our state legislators’ claim to good intentions won’t matter….

Rad mug

Branko “Dr. Rad” Radulovacki

“Before a substitute bill is hurried through a rushed legislative session, I’ll do the homework for them. We live in a society that often portrays those with mental illness as violent – and the epidemic of gun violence as the inevitable result. That’s inaccurate. Only 5 percent of violent incidents are caused by those with mental disorders. That means those with mental illness are much more likely to be victims than perpetrators.

 “In 2010 (the most recent year for which such data is available), six out of 10 gun deaths were suicides. The same year, 1,100 suicides occurred on college campuses and approximately half involved a gun. Those statistics should be on our minds when we consider tossing guns into the college campus mix with adolescents, drugs and alcohol, loneliness, depression, very little structure, and limited supervision.

“Georgia’s legislators need to listen: When we can foresee that more lives are likely to be lost than saved by the increased presence of guns, it’s time to lay down the weapons and put safety first.”

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An InsiderAdvantage poll conducted for WAGA-TV and Morris News Service indicates that a majority of Georgians favors legalizing medical marijuana and – backing up a previous, larger survey by the AJC – opposes guns on college campuses.

From Walter Jones of MNS:

In a poll conducted Tuesday by automated calling, 51 percent of registered voters said they favor doctor-prescribed medical marijuana “in very specific instances, such as in a liquid form to reduce seizures (in) young children.” The numbers were roughly the same for Republicans and Democrats, but just shy of a majority for people who describe themselves as independents….

When asked for an opinion of allowing guns carried by students and others on college campuses, just 31 percent were in favor and 56 percent opposed.

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Suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis was hit Thursday with a new public-corruption indictment. From the myajc.com article by our colleagues April Hunt and Bill Rankin:

Ellis faces several new charges that drive home earlier charges that he shook down county vendors for campaign contributions and punished those who did not give.

Among the new charges: three counts of perjury linked to denying the strong-arming; a bribery charge accusing him of offering to ease one company’s contract negotiations in exchange for money and cutting off a county contract after learning the vendor, Brenda Cornelius, had criticized him professionally.

But below is the YouTube video that Ellis launched at nearly the same time the new charges were leveled:

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Bobby Cox, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine get Cooperstown. But Saxby Chambliss, headed for retirement, has been inducted into a more exclusive club down in Tifton. From the press release:

“Today, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., was inducted into the Peanut Hall of Fame by the Georgia Peanut Commission. Chambliss was unanimously selected for this award by the Georgia Peanut Commission for his lifelong contributions to Georgia’s peanut industry and agriculture. Induction in the Peanut Hall of Fame is the highest recognition one can receive from the growers in the state of Georgia.

Chambliss is only the fifth person to be inducted into the prestigious Peanut Hall of Fame Hall. The other members include U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Georgia House Agriculture Committee Chairman Henry Reeves, U.S. Sen. Herman Talmadge and Professor J. Frank McGill.”

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011714 Leg sportsman standalone

Pete Griffin with the Department of Natural Resources holds a bald eagle during Sportsman and Coastal Day at the Capitol on Thursday. The eagle was rescued 15 years ago after it was shot in Florida. Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com

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We didn’t see a bat signal, but Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed put on their best BFF act at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for new Buckhead digs for a company, appropriately enough, named Carter’s.

Deal spoke first, mentioning again the endorsement of Site Selection magazine (though not the publication’s follow-up ratings) and praising the mayor’s leadership. Then came Reed, who declared that he and the Republican were “in lockstep” when it comes to luring new jobs and economic development.

“I can’t say enough about the leadership of Governor Deal,” Reed said.

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It’s possible that message consistency is overrated. We bumped into former congressman Bob Barr, who is making a comeback bid, Thursday morning at a breakfast event sponsored by the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Barr and his campaign manager/son Derek Barr, headed for the elevators at about 9 a.m.

At precisely 10:05 a.m., Barr’s campaign announced a fundraiser next month with Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona – who is not exactly a favorite among Hispanics. From today’s piece by our AJC colleague Jeremy Redmond:

In 2012, the U.S. Justice Department filed suit against Arpaio, alleging his Maricopa County office had discriminated against Latinos with its enforcement efforts. A year later, a federal judge ruled in a separate suit that Arpaio’s office had singled out Hispanics. The Obama administration has also stripped Arpaio’s office of authority to help enforce federal immigration laws through the 287(g) program.

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