Roy Barnes’ one experience with mixed-gender bathrooms

June 24, 2015, Atlanta: Former Governor Roy Barnes during a press conference talking politics and the Confederate flag on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at the Georgia Public Broadcasting studios in Atlanta, Ga. . Tami Chappell / Special to the AJC

Former Gov. Roy Barnes.Tami Chappell/Special to the AJC

Former Gov. Roy Barnes returned a call on Monday, not long after he had finished addressing graduates at the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs.logo-all

According to the Athens Banner-Herald, the governor urged the newly diploma-ed to focus on the important and skip the stuff that isn’t. Barnes put the current furor over gender and bathrooms squarely in the latter category. But we’ll let the governor provide his own re-cap:

“I said, you know, the only time I can ever recall a member of the opposite sex being in the bathroom is when I was at a Georgia football game and five girls came in there and said: ‘Move over, boys. The lines are too long.’

“Then one of them remarked, ‘Now, listen, y’all ain’t got nothing we ain’t already seen.’”

So no emotional scars there.

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Jim Barksdale, the only one of three Democratic candidates with access to ready cash, isn’t just doubling down on that touring cap he’s made the signature of his campaign. He’s tripling down. Last night, he put up this second, headgear-heavy TV ad:

More than that, Barksdale wants those caps (union-made) to become human yard signs, at $100 per:

barksdalehatad

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Last week, in an Atlanta Press Club debate, Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee said a bridge across I-285 into the new SunTrust Park would have “no SPLOST dollars in it whatsoever.” But the AJC’s Dan Klepal has come across evidence of plans to use $6 million or so in sales tax cash as a “bridge loan” for the bridge. In the article, Lee declined to comment.

But given that his GOP primary is next Tuesday, the Cobb chairman this morning decided to explain things on his own terms. From his campaign email blast:

The AJC is at it again – attacking Cobb County.  Rather than reporting the facts regarding the I-285 multi-use bridge, they have weaved together bits and pieces of information so it sounds like something that it’s simply not. 

The truth is they will never get over the fact that the Atlanta Braves are relocating to Cobb County. The AJC is doing nothing other than trying to distort the truth and push forward their narrative to discredit Cobb County and all of our many successes….

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In one of the more unusual under-the-radar legal fights, the state public defender network voted to pay its lawyer the same amount that prosecutors with similar experience make.

The pay gap was brought to light partly by former Brunswick public defender Kevin Gough, who is five days into a hunger strike he began after he was fired. In legal circles, he’s become known as the “Hungry Lawyer.” The Daily Report has more:

Gough said Friday he was continuing a hunger strike to draw attention to demands from the Brunswick NAACP that prosecutors and Superior Court judges adhere to pre-existing law around ex-parte communications, discovery requests and scheduling matters in criminal cases, among other things. Gough intends to continue his fast until “the demands of the Brunswick NAACP are met to their satisfaction and mine.”

According to the Brunswick News, Gough has been refusing food since May 8 but is taking water, along with a small amount of a salt, baking soda, lemon juice and unrefined sugar mixture.

Gough explained that his hunger strike is partly a statement of his sincerity in addressing the complaints voiced by the NAACP: “When your integrity and your motives have been challenged on an issue, a hunger strike is one way to address that. It is, in some respects, a testament of truth.”

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Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has  launched a new program Georgia voters will likely soon hear much more about.

The Georgia Consortium of Advanced Technical Training at Coweta County’s College and Career Academy gives high school students the option of taking an intense program modeled after a German apprenticeship program.

The first-in-the-nation system allows students beginning in the 10th grade the chance to complete their coursework with a high school diploma, German apprenticeship certificate and associate degree in industrial mechanics through West Georgia Technical College.

Cagle celebrated the program Monday by signing a certificate of understanding with tech school officials and the German American Chamber of Commerce.

“This is going to spread across this entire state. In Germany, 1.5 million people are involved in this program. And we’re starting with 11. But you’ve got to till the soil. And today, we’re planting the seed,” Cagle said. “We’re doing something no one thought we could do. And we’re doing it together.”

Let’s just say this apprenticeship program could well become the centerpiece of a certain lieutenant governor’s platform if he decides to bid for the governor’s office.

More: Read all about the program here.

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Georgia’s marathon water war with its southern and western neighbors continues to simmer on Capitol Hill. The latest development came Monday, when the four senators from Alabama and Florida wrote to Senate leaders, asserting their prerogative to insert language in major spending and policy bills that Georgia lawmakers have long asserted could harm the state’s water interests.

“We believe that these provisions are not ‘hostile,’ but seek to curtail decades of legal wrangling by creating conditions to compel the states to act,” the group wrote. 

Alabama Republican Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions and Florida Sens. Marco Rubio, R, and Bill Nelson, D, slammed House leaders’ eleventh-hour decision to pull such water language from a government spending bill last year at the Georgia delegation’s request.

They said the language adheres to a directive from a 2014 water law that strongly encourages the governors of the three states to work out a compact on water usage in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint and Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa river basins. The directive says that without such action, Congress should act to address the matter.

“Unfortunately, a resolution to this decades-long dispute does not seem any closer than when it began,” the group wrote. “Therefore, we believe that Congress has clearly spoken on this matter and should follow through with its prior commitment to facilitate a solution by the states.”

Georgia lawmakers balked when a spending bill written by Shelby included similar language related to water use last month. Read the letter here.

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is returning to the board of one of the nation’s largest health care staffing firms.

Georgia-based Jackson Healthcare said Tuesday that the failed Republican presidential contender is back on the board after he suspended his campaign for the White House. Company Chairman Richard Jackson called him an “innovative thinker who offers far-reaching strategic guidance to our enterprise.”

Bush is now the head of Jeb Bush & Associates, a consulting firm based in Florida. He said he was proud to work with a company “that puts the doctor-patient relationship first.”


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