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A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have! - Thomas Jefferson

Friday, May 30, 2008

Bob Barr Comments on California Home Schooling Case

The right of parents to home school their children is under attack in California, warns Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president. A state appellate court is preparing to hear oral arguments in a case in which the trial judge ruled that parents had no constitutional right to home school their children.

Education is a state and local issue, notes Barr, but “even more so it is a parental responsibility.” For good reason, he explains,“more than 80 years ago the Supreme Court upheld the right of parents to determine their children’s schooling, calling it an essential liberty under the 14th Amendment.”

He urged the California courts to look to that case, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, in which the Court stated that “the child is not the mere creature of the state.” If the courts fail in their duty to protect the parents’ constitutional right to educate their children, he adds, then the California legislature and governor have a responsibility to act.

Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, where he served as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, as Vice-Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, and as a member of the Committee on Financial Services. Prior to his congressional career, Barr was appointed by President Reagan to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and also served as an official with the CIA.

Since leaving Congress, Barr has been practicing law and actively advocating American citizens’ right to privacy and other civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Along with this, Bob is committed to helping elect leaders who will strive for smaller government, lower taxes and abundant individual freedom.

Senator Kerry Acknowledges That Senator Obama Should Visit Iraq

"That statement by John Kerry, almost an implicit acknowledgement of the truth of what the McCain campaign has been saying -- that it has been a bad thing for Obama to have been absent from the theatre, lo these two-and-a-half years." -- Fox News

Fox News' "Happening Now"
May 30, 2008

FOX NEWS' JAMES ROSEN: "Lastly, however, John Kerry did acknowledge in his conference call with reporters that it would be a good thing if Barack Obama went to Iraq -- not, he says, for the purposes of a photo-op or a political stunt, but to meet with commanders and get an idea of what's going on there. That statement by John Kerry, almost an implicit acknowledgement of the truth of what the McCain campaign has been saying -- that it has been a bad thing for Obama to have been absent from the theatre, lo these two-and-a-half years."

Watch The Fox News Report

Bob Barr Comments on Huckabee’s Version of Reagan’s Vision

In a widely quoted online interview posted yesterday on the Huffington Post, former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR), a former Republican presidential primary contender, blamed the recent Republican losses in special elections on what he termed a “new brand of libertarianism, which is social liberalism and economic conservatism, but it's a heartless, callous, soulless type of economic conservatism.”

“Perhaps Governor Huckabee is forgetting that it is compassionate conservatism that led to our record budget deficits and explosion in the size of government. His vision of more of the same will lead his party deeper into the quagmire,” warned Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president, “I am reminded of then-Governor Ronald Reagan saying ‘I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism’ and that ‘The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.’ The problem we face isn’t too much libertarianism, but not enough of it.”

“I am saddened to hear Governor Huckabee proclaim that only government, big government, massive-spending government, can solve our problems as a nation and help the Republican party gain power again. Government is not the answer to every problem. Massive government spending and taxing, intrusive regulations, and expanding entitlements make it harder for people to provide for themselves and their families. Big government doesn't mean just more bureaucrats in Washington, it means corporate welfare, centralized education, violations of civil liberties, and families made more dependent on government by government crowding out private alternatives. Even where government is providing benefits to individuals, they are expensive, inefficient, impersonal and bureaucratic.

Barr continued, “Indeed, this is why I am running for President: to provide an alternative to the big spending, big government advocates representing the Republican and Democratic parties. My goal is to roll back the size of government and allow Americans as individuals, families, associations, and communities to step forward as they have throughout U.S. history.”

Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, where he served as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, as Vice-Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, and as a member of the Committee on Financial Services. Prior to his congressional career, Barr was appointed by President Reagan to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and also served as an official with the CIA.

Since leaving Congress, Barr has been practicing law and has teamed up with groups ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union to the American Conservative Union to actively advocate every American citizens’ right to privacy and other civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Along with this, Bob is committed to helping elect leaders who will strive for smaller government, lower taxes and abundant individual freedom.

Argus Leader: Clinton Is Top Candidate For Dems

Editorial Board
Argus Leader

Click here to read the full article.

Excepts follow below:

For the first time in memory, every state will play a role in choosing a nominee for the nation's highest office.

Some of those parts are small, but not ours: as one of the last two primary elections, South Dakota Democrats suddenly and improbably find themselves in a starring role.

That's an unlikely turn of events, as our state has improbably become a battleground in the long, hard race between two Senators seeking a spot at the top of the Democratic ticket: Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York.
But Clinton is the strongest Democratic candidate for South Dakota.
Her mastery of complex policy detail is broad and deep, and her experience as a senator and former first lady matches that.

Measured against her opponent, Clinton is philosophically more moderate. That is likely a good thing for South Dakota.

Clinton's energy policy is forward thinking and wise. She advocates a broad federal research initiative to help solve our looming oil crisis. It's a plan that would join university researchers, private industry and individual inventors behind a common goal.
Clinton has demonstrated a real commitment to Native American issues and will have visited several South Dakota reservations before the race is over. Clinton is precisely correct when she says that people outside the region have a poor understanding of the troubling trends on our reservations. Federal attention could help. That includes but is not limited to higher-ranking posts in the federal bureaucracy.

Her truly universal health care plan would be welcomed by thousands of South Dakotans. Even on reservations, where health care is nominally universal already, such a plan would be welcome. The federal government would never be allowed to subject everyday Americans to the kind of care Native Americans living on reservations routinely receive.
Her resilience and determination never should be questioned. She has met or overcome every challenge or roadblock in her way, and there have been many. Her determination to carry the nomination process through to its real conclusion has perhaps earned her a grudging respect from those who would never support her.

Clinton might not win this race. In fact, it's a long shot. But whatever some might say, the race is not over, and her name is on the ballot. Win or lose, she's also the best Democratic candidate for South Dakota.

Obama Statement on Army Suicide Report

“Today’s news is a tragic reminder of the staggering and ongoing costs of the Iraq war, particularly on our troops and their families. We are more than five years into this war, and the Pentagon and VA are still unprepared to treat the unseen wounds of battle. We know that incidence of psychological injury increase with each additional tour of duty in Iraq, and that our troops are not getting the support they need. Too many are falling through the cracks because they need help but feel they can’t get it. When I am President, we’ll hire more mental health professionals, increase training to recognize the signs and to reject the stigma of seeking care, and enhance mental health screening and treatment from enlistment, to deployment, to reentry into civilian life. It’s time to serve our troops as well as they have served us.”

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mayor Giuliani On Senator Obama's Foreign Policy

"I think the significant thing is what [Senator Obama's] trying to work his way out of right now -- the statement that he made that he would negotiate with Ahmadinejad and Castro without preconditions." -- Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Fox News' "Fox & Friends"
May 29, 2008

MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI: "I think the significant thing is what [Senator Obama's] trying to work his way out of right now -- the statement that he made that he would negotiate with Ahmadinejad and Castro without preconditions. This is a statement that, in the words of Hillary Clinton, was immature I think and naive and irresponsible. I think it was naive and irresponsible. This is the one thing Hillary Clinton and I agree on. It was nave, it was irresponsible, and it suggests that he doesn't have the right instincts to really handle tough diplomacy against really difficult people. That's a time honored rule of diplomacy, going back at least to my recollection of the summit meetings with Khrushchev and Kennedy and Eisenhower. You have to have preconditions when you deal with these people."

FOX NEWS' GRETCHEN CARLSON: "Democrat or Republican."

MAYOR GIULIANI: "I think it would be best for Barack Obama -- not to take my advice -- if he'd just admit this is an error and I don't have much experience and I made a mistake and I'm going to learn about it."


Watch Mayor Giuliani On Fox News' "Fox & Friends"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bob Barr Cites Need for Budget Reform

The United States faces a fiscal tsunami, warns Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president. He notes that the problem is bipartisan: “President George W. Bush and a Congress controlled by both Republicans and Democrats have turned a budget surplus of $236 billion into a deficit exceeding $400 billion—a more than $600 billion turn-around.”

The red ink will only grow as the baby-boom generation retires and becomes eligible for both Social Security and Medicare. “We are facing long-term unfunded liabilities of more than $100 trillion,” he explains. “We must act now to avert a fiscal crisis that threatens to overwhelm our children and grandchildren.”

Reforming these programs while keeping faith with the elderly will not be easy, Barr warns. But new legislation introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)”offers a good starting point to put America’s fiscal house in order,” he says. Ryan’s four-part package would simplify the tax code, allow workers to open personal retirement accounts, shift control of health insurance to individuals and families, and give states more flexibility in managing Medicaid.

“For years Washington politicians have been living well while passing the bill on to future generations,” says Barr. “It is time for government, like America’s families, to live within its means.”

Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, where he served as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, as Vice-Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, and as a member of the Committee on Financial Services. Prior to his congressional career, Barr was appointed by President Reagan to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and also served as an official with the CIA for nearly eight years.

Since leaving Congress, Barr has been practicing law and actively advocating American citizens’ right to privacy and other civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Along with this, Bob is committed to helping elect leaders who will strive for smaller government, lower taxes and abundant individual freedom.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Libertarian Party Selects Bob Barr as 2008 Presidential Nominee

The Libertarian Party has nominated former Congressman Bob Barr as its candidate for president for the 2008 election.

"I'm sure will we emerge here with the strongest ticket in the history of the Libertarian Party," Barr stated in his victory speech shortly after being selected as the Party's nominee. "I want everybody to remember that we only have 163 days to win this election. We cannot waste one single day."

More than 650 Libertarian delegates met in Denver from May 22 till the 26 for the 2008 Libertarian National Convention. After six rounds of voting Sunday afternoon, Barr was selected as the Party's presidential nominee.

"We're proud to present to the American voters Bob Barr as our presidential nominee," says Libertarian Party spokesperson Andrew Davis. "While Republicans and Democrats will fight for their own power, Libertarians will fight for Americans. Bob Barr is one of the strongest candidates in the Party's 37-year history, and we look for him to have an enormous impact in the 2008 race. Republicans and Democrats have good reason to fear a candidate like Barr, who refuses to accept the 'business-as-usual' attitude of the current political establishment. Americans want and need another choice, and that choice is Bob Barr."

The Libertarian Party is America's third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting www.LP.org. The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Georgia Automatic Delegate Backs Hillary

The Clinton Campaign announced the support of Georgia automatic delegate Verna Cleveland today following her election as one of two unpledged add-on delegates at a meeting of the Democratic Party of Georgia.

"More than 17 million Americans have voted for Hillary Clinton in this primary election season and I am proud to continue to support Hillary with my delegate vote at the national convention in August in Denver," Cleveland said.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hillary Clinton Statement on Contracting Abuses in Iraq

After years of mismanagement and a fundamental lack of accountability in Iraq, we have almost come to expect reports like the one released by the Pentagon this week on faulty Iraq war contracting practices. Yet the report has new shocking details of billions of dollars of American taxpayer money unaccounted for and likely wasted, which should be a wake up call to Congress and the Bush administration that the status quo is unacceptable.

This new report indicates that the Pentagon doled out $8.2 billion in our taxpayers’ money without following basic rules to ensure it was being well-spent - or in some cases being spent for public purposes at all. It included more than $100 million in payments to our allies with no explanation for why. A cash payment of more than $300 million authorized with the equivalent of a signature on the back of a napkin. $10 million exchanged for a contractor’s voucher without any record of what was delivered. Meanwhile, another nearly $2 billion in seized or frozen Iraqi assets, much of it in stacks of cash, disappeared without any real accounting. The Pentagon itself is conceding this gross mismanagement.

As President, I would ensure our government is accountable for the taxpayer dollars it spends. I will make certain that the Pentagon is handling taxpayers’ money with care - and spending it in ways that demonstrably protect our troops and advance our security. These are the most basic functions of a government that operates with accountability and care. Restoring them requires leadership from the White House, as well as a set of new rules and checks to ensure the contracting payment system is working all the way down to the ground level. Among other things, I will:

Bring new transparency and competition to the federal contracting process including the public posting of a detailed description of the type and purpose of the work to be performed for every contract, with limited security exceptions.
Require senior government personnel, including political appointees, involved in the awarding of contracts to sign a sworn affidavit that they complied with open and competitive contracting rules, as well as addressing any financial conflicts of interest.
Restore a Clinton administration rule to require contractors to have a satisfactory record of compliance with the law.
Bar the practice of giving bonuses or awarding fees to contractors unless the contractor meets the stipulations related to cost, schedule, and performance outlined in the contract.
Appoint a special counsel to investigate where Iraq's oil profits are going and how reconstruction funds are being spent - or not spent.
Direct the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction to conduct regular reports on corruption in the oil industry, with the option of withholding aid if the Iraqi government does not show results in its anti-corruption efforts.
End the practice of awarding contracts to companies that use offshore tax havens in order to avoid paying taxes.
End the federal government’s overreliance on private contractors to carry out the federal government’s mission.

I will soon introduce legislation - and push aggressively for its passage - aimed at making our government contracting process work again.

Statement from Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton issued the following statement today in Brandon, SD:

"Earlier today I was discussing the Democratic primary history and in the course of that discussion mentioned the campaigns that both my husband and Senator Kennedy waged in California in June 1992 and 1968 and I was referencing those to make the point that we have had nomination primary contests that go into June. That’s a historic fact. The Kennedys have been much on my mind the last days because of Senator Kennedy and I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation, and particularly for the Kennedy family was in any way offensive. I certainly had no intention of that, whatsoever. My view is that we have to look to the past and to our leaders who have inspired us and give us a lot to live up to, and I’m honored to hold Senator Kennedy’s seat in the United States Senate from the state of New York and have the highest regard for the entire Kennedy family."

Transcript from the Argus-Leader's editorial board meeting:

HRC: People have been trying to push me out of this ever since Iowa.

Q: Why?

HRC: I don't know. I don't know. I find it curious. Because it is unprecedented in history. I don’t understand it. Between my opponent and his camp and some in the media there has been this urgency to end this. And historically, that makes no sense. So I find it a bit of a mystery.
Q: So you don't buy the party unity argument?

HRC: I don’t because again I've been around long enough.

My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right?

We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don’t understand it. There's lots of speculation about why it is.

Q: What is your speculation?

I don't know. I find it curious. And I don't want to attribute motives or strategies to people because I don't really know, but it's a historical curiosity to me.

Clinton: Statement from the Argus Leader

5/23/08 The Argus Leader’s Executive Editor Randell Beck issued the following statement today:

"The context of the question and answer with Sen. Clinton was whether her continued candidacy jeopardized party unity this close to the Democratic convention. Her reference to Mr. Kennedy's assassination appeared to focus on the timeline of his primary candidacy and not the assassination itself."

Clinton: HUBdate: The Popular Vote Leader

The Popular Vote Leader: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports about Tuesday night’s contests: “Hillary Clinton netted approximately 150,000 votes and is now poised to finish the primary season as the popular-vote leader. In some quaint circles, presumably, these things still matter…If you believe that the most important precept in democratic politics is to ‘count every vote,’ then…Clinton leads Obama by 71,301 votes.” Read more.

Hillary Strongest in Swing States: A Quinnipiac University poll out yesterday shows Hillary’s continued strength in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania…She leads Sen. McCain by 7 in both Florida and Ohio and by 13 in Pennsylvania. Read more.

Overriding Bush’s Farm Bill Veto: In a statement yesterday, Hillary said: “I was proud to stand with my Senate colleagues in overriding President Bush's veto of the Farm Bill by a vote of 82 to 13. This bill is now law, and will move us further down the path to energy independence, provide a safety net for family farmers, enhance nutrition programs, require Country-of-Origin labeling, and improve access to broadband in rural communities…Senator McCain has made it clear that he agrees with President Bush on farm policy. Americans will have a real choice this fall - between a candidate who supports rural America and family farms and John McCain, who offers a continuation of President Bush's failed policies.” Read more.

Why I’m Supporting Hillary: One New York farmer says, “My passion is ensuring that we have family farms for future generations and that American agriculture is strong. I know Hillary understands and supports that!...Like South Dakota, New York is home to family farms (about 34,000), and I KNOW she will make the best president for producers and rural South Dakotans alike.” Read more.

In Case You Missed It: A member of the Kansas City Star editorial board writes this to Hillary in a memo: “I have only two words to share with you about your valiant quest to become the 44th president of the United States and the first woman to hold the highest office in the land: Don’t quit.” Read more.

Previewing Today: Hillary attends a “Solutions for Securing South Dakota’s Future” conversation in Brandon, SD and a “Solutions for Securing South Dakota’s Future” town hall in Brookings, SD.

On Tap: Tomorrow, Hillary travels to Puerto Rico for island campaign events.

Nader Calls Pennsylvania Turnpike Deal a Giveaway to Foreign Corporations, Big Banks

5/20/08 Presidential candidate Ralph Nader said today that the proposed corporatization of the Pennsylvania Turnpike is an unconscionable "long-term giveaway to big banks and foreign corporations."

Yesterday, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell announced that a group led by Spanish infrastructure operator Abertis Infraestructuras SA and Citigroup Inc. had won bidding for the 75-year lease of the Pennsylvania Turnpike with a cash offer of $12.8 billion.

Nader supporters will campaign throughout Pennsylvania to defeat the 75-year surrender of this public asset paid for by millions of Pennsylvanians.

"The public paid for the turnpike," Nader said. "The public should maintain operational control. The turnpike is a commonwealth asset for motorists and workers."

"Governor Rendell's proposed deal is a license to print money for the big banks and foreign investors," Nader said. "It undercuts President Eisenhower's dream for a national transportation infrastructure - publicly built and publicly controlled for public accountability and national defense. We cannot maintain a national highway network if key segments are leased to the highest bidder. Pennsylvania is taking a minuscule up-front payment in return for a large downstream private profit over three-quarters of a century (until 2083) to a foreign company which is being handed a captive customer base."

"This is the kind of deal that European imperialists used to impose on countries of the third world in past centuries. These days, $12.8 billion produces very little compared to the value of this commonwealth asset over 75 years. Just one bridge upgrade project in Washington, DC has just cost $2.5 billion. The Governor is proposing selling off a key public asset for short term gain. It's a bad deal and the legislature should defeat it. There are far more details to be disclosed."
Nader has been a persistent critic of the corporatization of the nation's highways.

In February 2007, Nader wrote a letter to Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels criticizing his proposal to lease the 175-mile Indiana toll road to foreign corporations.

Nader Asks McCain - Are You Still Good on Your Promises from 2000?

Ralph Nader wants to know.

If John McCain becomes President, will he hold weekly press conferences and British style "question time"?

In 2000, McCain told Newsweek's Jonathan Alter that if he were to be elected president, he would hold one press conference a week.

McCain also said he enjoyed watching "Question Time" on C-Span - that's where the British prime minister each week faces a grilling from members of Parliament.

McCain told Newsweek's Alter that if elected President, he would ask the Capitol Hill leadership in both parties to select ten members of Congress each for a weekly televised question session.
"That kind of exchange would be good for America, with the full knowledge that the president would be embarrassed," McCain told Alter.

Nader said he wants to know whether McCain still adheres to the promises he made in 2000.
"People say that John McCain is a changed man," Nader said. "That he has changed from a reformer to being a player. Well, I'd like to know, Senator McCain - a weekly press conference when you become President? Question Time? Give me a call."

Nader challenged all the Presidential candidates to adopt McCain's idea.

"If President Bush had adopted McCain's idea in 2001, we might not be in the mess we are in now," Nader said.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Senator Clinton Heralds Fix To Student Crisis

It's a good day for American students and their families, who will no longer have to worry that they won't be able to finance their college education. I'm pleased that the House and Senate passed legislation similar to a proposal I made on the campaign trail, to address the student loan crisis, and that the Bush Administration implemented the measure in a timely fashion. This measure improves access to student loans by allowing the Department of Education to purchase loans from lenders. This legislation will help ensure that America's economic crisis does not stand in the way of students seeking a college education.

Since early last year, I have been calling for action to address the subprime mortgage crisis. Instead of listening, President Bush stood by as the subprime crisis spiraled into a larger housing and credit crisis that is driving our economy downward. This year, the economic crisis threatened to claim another victim: student loans. I'm very pleased that instead of ignoring the problem and hoping it would go away, this time, the President listened, and is now implementing a commonsense solution, passed by Congress.

I'm also pleased that the Direct Student Loan program has doubled in size since last year, and that the Department of Education is taking action to ensure that it has the capacity to administer those loans effectively. I called for the Department of Education to enact a temporary, fast-track alternative to expedite new applications to the Direct Loan program. The Direct Loan program is a cost effective, simple alternative to private loans that has proven to be a real lifesaver during this time of turmoil in the financial markets.

As thousands of students prepare to start their college education for the next school year, Wednesday's announcement by the Department of Education sends a strong message that the students loans they need will be there when they need them. Congress sent that message with the passage of the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008, and I am pleased that the President signed the bill into law and that the Administration acted on the authority it was given.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Clinton Campaign Raises $22 Million in April

The Clinton campaign tonight(may 20, 2008) announced that it raised approximately $22 million in the month of April.

"Senator Clinton’s game-changing victories last month turned the tide for this campaign and resulted in an outpouring of grassroots support," said Campaign Chairman Terry McAuliffe. "Just like Hillary, our supporters continue to fight. The support for Hillary continues to grow with each month and we are so thankful to the army of supporters who have assured that we’ll have the resources needed to win the upcoming contests."

Included in the $22 million total, representing the campaign’s second best fundraising month to date, is $10 million raised by the campaign in the 24 hours after Hillary’s significant Pennsylvania victory. This total is in addition to a loan to the campaign of $5 million.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Secretary of State Karen Handel Certifies State House District 93 Special Election

Secretary of State Karen Handel today certified the election results for the May 13, 2008 special election to fill State House District 93. No candidate received the required majority of the vote.

A run-off election will be held on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 between the two candidates who received the most votes, Democrat Dee Dawkins-Haigler and Democrat Malik Douglas. State House District 93 comprises portions of DeKalb and Rockdale counties. Any registered voter who was eligible to vote in the May 13 election can vote in the run-off election.

Secretary Handel is transmitting today the certified election results for State House District 93 to Governor Perdue.

Georgia House District 93 (100% of precincts reporting)

Dee Dawkins-Haigler
29.82 %
Malik Douglas
18.00 %
Traci Waites
17.45 %
Colet Odenbigo
16.73 %
Jim Sendelbach
13.09 %
KaTesha Sagers
4.91 %

The county-by-county results can be found at the Secretary of State’s website: http://sos.georgia.gov/elections/.

Voters will be required to show one of the following six forms of photo identification when voting in-person during advance voting week or on Election Day:

A Georgia driver’s license, even if expired;
Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free Voter ID Card issued by your county registrar or Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS);
Valid U.S. passport;
Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority, or other entity of this state;
Valid U.S. military photo ID; or
Valid tribal photo ID.
If a voter does not have one of these forms of photo identification, they can obtain a free Voter ID card at their county registrar’s office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services.

Anyone with additional questions about Georgia’s photo identification requirements can visit www.GAPhotoID.com or call toll free (877) 725-9797.

Advance voting for the State House District 93 run-off election will begin Monday, June 2 and end Friday, June 6. To find advance voting locations in your county, please contact the DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections at (404) 298-4020 or Rockdale County Voter Registration and Board of Elections at (770) 785-5947.

Voters can request an absentee ballot through Friday, June 6. All absentee ballots must be received by the county registrar on Election Day, Tuesday, June 10. Photo identification is not required when voting by mail. To download an absentee ballot request form, please visit www.sos.ga.gov/elections.

Karen Handel was sworn in as Secretary of State in January 2007. The Secretary of State's office offers important services to our citizens and our business community. Among the office’s wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting efficient and secure elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities and professional license holders. The office also oversees the Georgia Archives and the Capitol Museum.

Libertarian National Convention begins this week

The Libertarian Party will hold its biennial National Convention this week in Denver, where it will select its presidential nominee for the 2008 election. The convention will be held May 22 through 26.

"This is going to be a watershed year for the Libertarian Party," says Libertarian Party National Media Coordinator Andrew Davis. "Voter dissatisfaction with the major two parties is at an all time high, and people are looking to the Libertarian Party to provide a third choice on the ballot in 2008. Voters are tired of the 'business-as-usual' politics that they are hearing from John McCain and Barack Obama. Voters want another choice, and that choice will be the Libertarian Party."

In July of last year, the Washington Times featured a story on the Libertarian Party's growth of 18 percent from January of 2007 until then. By December, the Libertarian Party's numbers had soared by 25 percent over the course of a year.

This year, the Libertarian Party is boasting two former members of Congress who are now running for the Party's presidential nomination. Former GOP Congressman Bob Barr, who joined the Libertarian Party in 2006 and has since served on the Libertarian National Committee, and former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel, who joined the party in March, are two of 14 contenders for the nomination.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bob Barr, Commnet on Huckabee's Recent Remark at NRA Convention re: Obama

Bob Barr, former Member of Congress from Georgia and current candidate for President for the Libertarian Party, today issued the following statement in reaction to Gov. Mike Huckabee’s recent remarks at the National Rifle Association’s National Convention:

“Mike Huckabee showed incredibly poor taste when he joked about a gun pointed at Senator Barack Obama. His words were reckless, callous and harmful to the sports men and women of America and to those of us who fully support the Second Amendment.

“Every candidate for public office inflames the passions of people who fervently disagree with them. To suggest, as Governor Huckabee did, the misuse of a fire arm toward a political candidate is reckless. His attitude toward proper, legal and safe use of fire arms was demeaning to all of us who advocate the right to bear arms. His reprehensible use of a threatening and violent scenario involving a firearm at the NRA's National Convention was vile beyond belief.

“I call on all supporters of the Second Amendment and all supporters of civil discourse in our political races to demand a public apology from Governor Huckabee.”

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Obama Statement on the National Peace Officer Memorial Day

Senator Barack Obama today released the following statement to commemorate the National Peace Officers Memorial Day.

“On this National Peace Officers Memorial Day, we honor the men and women who lost their lives making our streets safer and our families more secure, including the 181 courageous Americans who fell in the line of duty last year – and our thoughts and prayers go out to their loved ones. Whether it’s on our city streets or country roads, patrolling our neighborhoods or putting criminals behind bars, our law enforcement officers go to work every morning not for a big salary or a lot of recognition, but to protect our communities. And so today, as we mourn the loss of our fallen heroes, let’s also express our abiding gratitude to all the men and women in law enforcement who serve and sacrifice each day on our behalf.”

Obama Statement on Passage of the Senate Farm Bill

Senator Barack Obama today released the following statement in response to the passage of the Senate Farm Bill.

“I applaud the Senate’s passage today of the Farm Bill, which will provide America’s hard-working farmers and ranchers with more support and more predictability.”

“The bill places greater resources into renewable energy and conservation. And, during this time of rising food prices, the Farm Bill provides an additional $10 billion for critical nutrition programs. I am also pleased that the bill includes my proposal to help thousands of African-American farmers get their discrimination claims reviewed under the Pigford settlement.”

“This bill is far from perfect. I believe in tighter payment limits and a ban on packer ownership of livestock. As president, I will continue to fight for the interests of America’s family farmers and ranchers and ensure that assistance is geared towards those producers who truly need them, instead of large agribusinesses. But with so much at stake, we cannot make the perfect the enemy of the good.”

“By opposing the bill, President Bush and John McCain are saying no to America’s farmers and ranchers, no to energy independence, no to the environment, and no to millions of hungry people.”

Bob Barr, Libertarian Presidential Candidate, on California Same Sex Marriage Ruling

Bob Barr, former Member of Congress from Georgia and current candidate for President for the Libertarian Party, today issued the following statement in reaction to today's decision by the California Supreme Court allowing for the recognition of same sex marriage in that state:

"Regardless of whether one supports or opposes same sex marriage, the decision to recognize such unions or not ought to be a power each state exercises on its own, rather than imposition of a one-size-fits-all mandate by the federal government (as would be required by a Federal Marriage Amendment which has been previously proposed and considered by the Congress). The decision today by the Supreme Court of California properly reflects this fundamental principle of federalism on which our nation was founded.

"Indeed, the primary reason for which I authored the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 was to ensure that each state remained free to determine for its citizens the basis on which marriage would be recognized within its borders, and not be forced to adopt a definition of marriage contrary to its views by another state. The decision in California is an illustration of how this principle of states' powers should work."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Today, the College Democrats of America (CDA) President and Vice President endorsed Barack Obama, citing his ability to inspire young voters to become a part of the political process, and the record numbers of young voters who have come out to the polls during this election season.

You can view their YouTube video here: LINK

CDA President Lauren Wolfe said, "We reached out to college students nationwide through Facebook, MySpace and YouTube and the responses were overwhelming. College students want change - and Senator Obama offers an opportunity for all of us to move forward in this country to talk about the issues that matter. We've struggled under the burden of college loans that pile up day by day; while the average casualty age for an American soldier in Iraq is 21. Young people are the ones paying the price for George Bush's failed leadership. Senator Obama offers us a new beginning and wants to make our voices heard in our government."

"We are ready to roll up our sleeves for Senator Obama by working with Students for Barack Obama and the millions of students ready for change."

CDA Vice President Awais Khaleel said, "As college students, we've come of age under the failed leadership of George W. Bush and we are excited that we finally have a candidate who speaks to our issues. Senator Obama is talking about the issues we care about as college students – whether that's college affordability or ending the Iraq War.

"We've heard from thousands of youth voices through Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and email. Without a doubt, college students are ready for change and a new kind of leadership. Senator Obama empowers our voices and makes us feel like an important part of the process. That is why we support him to be the next president of the United States."

Senator Barack Obama said, "At this defining moment in our nation's history -- a moment when we can finally come together and bring about the change that is so desperately needed in this country -- I am proud to accept the support of the College Democrats of America's President and Vice President - Lauren Wolfe and Awais Khaleel. The College Democrats represent the future and their work is critical to a Democratic victory in November. They have worked hard to organize at the grassroots, energize their college campuses, and mobilize students for change. During this primary, young people have proven to be an incredibly powerful force at the polls and I am grateful for their support. I look forward to working with the College Democrats to continue building our grassroots movement for change in colleges and universities across the country."

Monday, May 12, 2008

In Charleston, Obama Vows to Keep Faith with Our Veterans

Delivering a speech in Charleston today, Senator Barack Obama urged America to do better in keeping faith with our returning veterans and outlined his plans to improve care from enlistment through retirement and beyond. Obama is a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and has consistently fought for better treatment and screening for our troops and their families, and has made zero tolerance for veterans homelessness a hallmark of his agenda.

“We must never forget that honoring this service and upholding these ideals requires more than saluting our veterans as they march by on Veterans Day or Memorial Day,” Senator Obama said today. “It requires marching with them for the care and benefits they have earned. It requires standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our veterans and their families after the guns fall silent and the cameras are turned off. At a time when we’re facing the largest homecoming since the Second World War, the true test of our patriotism is whether we will serve our returning heroes as well as they’ve served us.”

Obama was introduced at today’s event by Senator Jay Rockefeller, and was joined by former Secretary Richard Danzig, retired Admiral John Natham of the U.S. Navy and retired General Jim Smith of the U.S. Air Force.

You can read more about Senator Obama’s proposals for veterans’ care HERE. His remarks follow as prepared for delivery.

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama
Veterans Remarks
Monday, May 12th, 2008

I want to thank Senator Rockefeller, not only for that generous introduction, but for his friendship and support in this campaign. I want to thank Secretary Richard Danzig, Admiral John Natham, and General Jim Smith for being here with us today and for their distinguished record of service to our country.

And I want to thank the people of West Virginia – particularly those who have worn the uniform of our country. More of you are veterans here than in almost any other state in the nation. So many Guard members from this very armory have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan on tour after tour, year after year. And that means there are more West Virginians who’ve had to say goodbye to these heroes; who’ve borne the burdens of their absence in ways that are often immeasurable – an empty chair at the dinner table or another Mother’s Day where mom is some place far away. Your sacrifice and the sacrifice of your loved ones is immense, and it must never be forgotten.

There is an election here tomorrow. I’m honored that some of you will support me, and I understand that many more here in West Virginia will probably support Senator Clinton. But when it’s over, what will unify as Democrats – what must unify us as Americans – is an unyielding commitment to the men and women who’ve served this nation and an unshakable fidelity to the ideals for which they’ve risked their lives.

Without that commitment, many of us wouldn’t be here today. I am one of those people. My grandfather – Stanley Dunham – enlisted after Pearl Harbor and went on to march in Patton’s Army. My grandmother worked on a bomber assembly line while he was gone, and my mother was born at Fort Leavenworth. When he returned, it was to a country that gave him the chance to college on the GI Bill; to buy his first home with a loan from the FHA; to move his family west, all the way to Hawaii, where he and my grandmother helped raise me. Today, my grandfather is buried in the Punchbowl, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, where 776 victims of Pearl Harbor are laid to rest.

I knew him when he was older. But whenever I meet young men and women along the campaign trail who are serving in the military today, I think about what my grandfather was like when he enlisted – a fresh-faced man of twenty-three, with a heart laugh and an easy smile.

These sons and daughters of America are the best and the bravest among us. They are a part of an unbroken line of heroes who overthrew a King for the sake of an ideal; who freed the slaves and faced down fascism; who fought for freedom in Korea and Vietnam, from Kuwait to the Balkans – who still wake up every day to face down the gravest dangers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and all over the world.

When our troops go into battle, they serve no faction or party; they represent no race or region. They are simply Americans. They serve and fight and bleed together out of loyalty not just to a place on a map or a certain kind of people, but to a set of ideals that we have been striving for since the first shots rang out at Lexington and Concord – the idea that America could be governed not by men, but by laws; that we could be equal in the eyes of those laws; that we could be free to say what we want and write what want and worship as we please; that we could have the right to pursue our individual dreams but the obligation to help our fellow citizens pursue theirs.

Allegiance to these ideals has always been at the core of American patriotism – it’s what unites a country of so many different opinions and beliefs. It’s why some of us may disagree on our decision to start this war in Iraq, but all of us stand united in our support for the brave men and women who wage it. That’s how it should be. But it’s not how it’s always been.

One of the saddest episodes in our history was the degree to which returning vets from Vietnam were shunned, demonized and neglected by some because they served in an unpopular war. Too many of those who opposed the war in Vietnam chose to blame not only the leaders who ordered the mission, but the young men who simply answered their country’s call. Four decades later, the sting of that injustice is a wound that has never fully healed, and one that should never be repeated.

The young men and women who choose to serve are defending the very rights and freedoms that allow Americans to speak out against government actions we oppose. They deserve our admiration, respect and enduring gratitude.

At the same time, we must never forget that honoring this service and upholding these ideals requires more than saluting our veterans as they march by on Veterans Day or Memorial Day. It requires marching with them for the care and benefits they have earned It requires standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our veterans and their families after the guns fall silent and the cameras are turned off. At a time when we’re facing the largest homecoming since the Second World War, the true test of our patriotism is whether we will serve our returning heroes as well as they’ve served us.

We know that over the last eight years, we’ve already fallen short of meeting this test. We all learned about the deplorable conditions that were discovered at places like Fort Bragg and Walter Reed. We’ve all walked by a veteran whose home is now a cardboard box on a street corner in the richest nation on Earth. We’ve all heard about what it’s like to navigate the broken bureaucracy of the VA – the impossibly long lines, or the repeated calls for help that get you nothing more than an answering machine. Just a few weeks ago, an 89-year-old World War II veteran from South Carolina told his family, “No matter what I apply for at the VA, they turn me down.” The next day, he walked outside of an Outpatient Clinic in Greenville and took his own life.

How can we let this happen? How is that acceptable in the United States of America? The answer is, it’s not. It’s an outrage. And it’s a betrayal – a betrayal – of the ideals that we ask our troops to risk their lives for.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Not in this country. Not if we decide that this time will be different. There are many aspects of this war that have gone inalterably wrong, but caring for our veterans is one thing we can still get right. When I arrived in the Senate, I sought out a seat on the Veterans Affairs Committee so I could fight to give our veterans the care they need and the benefits they deserve. We fought to make sure that the claims of disabled veterans in Illinois and other states were being heard fairly, and we forced the VA to conduct an unprecedented outreach campaign to disabled veterans who receive lower-than-average benefits. I passed laws to get homeless veterans off the streets and prevent at-risk veterans from getting there in the first place. I led a bipartisan effort to improve outpatient facilities at places like Walter Reed, and slash red tape, and reform the disability process – because recovering troops should go to the front of the line, and they shouldn’t have to fight to get there. I passed laws to give family members health care while they care for injured troops, and to provide family members with a year of job protection, so they never have to face a choice between caring for a loved one and keeping a job.

But there is so much more work that we need to do in this country.

It starts with being honest about the sacrifices that our brave men and women are making. For years, this Administration has refused to count all of our casualties in uniform. In Iraq alone, tens of thousands of troops who were injured or fell ill have not been counted in our casualty numbers, going against the military’s own standards from past wars. It’s time to stop hiding the full cost of this war. It’s time to honor the full measure of sacrifice of our troops, and to prepare for the cost of their care.

That’s why I’ve pledged to build a 21st century VA as President. It means no more red tape – it’s time to give every service-member electronic copies of medical and service records upon discharge. It means no more shortfalls – we’ll fully fund VA health care, and add more Vet Centers, particularly in rural areas. It means no more delays – we’ll pass on-time budgets. It means no more means-testing – it’s time to allow every veteran into the VA system. And it means we’ll have a simple principle for veterans sleeping on our streets: zero tolerance. As President, I’ll build on the work I started in the Senate and expand housing vouchers, and launch a new supportive services housing program to prevent at-risk veterans and their families from sliding into homelessness.

I’ll also build on the work I did in the Senate to confront one of the signature injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – PTSD. We have to understand that for far too many troops and their families, the war doesn’t end when they come home. Just the other day our own government’s top psychiatric researcher said that because of inadequate mental health care, the number of suicides among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan may actually exceed the number of combat deaths. Think about that. Think about how only half of the returning soldiers with PTSD receive the treatment they need. Think of how many we turn away – of how many we let fall through the cracks. We have to do better than this.

In the Senate, I’ve helped lead a bipartisan effort to stop the unfair practice of kicking out troops who suffer from them. And when I’m President, we’ll enhance mental health screening and treatment at all levels: from enlistment, to deployment, to reentry into civilian life. We also need more mental health professionals, more training to recognize signs and to reject the stigma of seeking care. And we need to dramatically improve screening and treatment for the other signature injury of the war, Traumatic Brain Injury. That’s why I passed measures in the Senate to increase screening for these injuries, and that’s why I’ll establish clearer standards of care as President.

We have called on our troops and their families for so much during these last years, but we haven’t always issued that call responsibly. Yes, we need to restore twelve month Army deployments, but we also need to restore adequate training and time at home between those deployments. My wife, Michelle, met with Army spouses the other day in North Carolina who told her about the toll it takes to watch your loved one serve tour after tour of duty with little to no time off in between. And they told her something we all need to remember: “We don’t just deploy our troops overseas, we deploy families.” That’s why we also need to provide more counseling and resources to help families cope with multiple tours.

And when our loved ones do come home, it is time for the United States of America to offer this generation of returning heroes the same thanks we offered that earlier, Greatest Generation – by giving every veteran the same opportunity that my grandfather had under the GI Bill.

There is no reason we shouldn’t pass the 21st Century GI Bill that is being debated in Congress right now. It was introduced by my friend Senator Jim Webb, a Marine who served as Navy Secretary under President Ronald Reagan.. His plan has widespread support from Republicans and Democrats. It would provide every returning veteran with a real chance to afford a college education, and it would not harm retention.

I have great respect for John McCain’s service to this country and I know he loves it dearly and honors those who serve. But he is one of the few Senators of either party who oppose this bill because he thinks it’s too generous. I couldn’t disagree more. At a time when the skyrocketing cost of tuition is pricing thousands of Americans out of a college education, we should be doing everything we can to give the men and women who have risked their lives for this country the chance to pursue the American Dream.

The brave Americans who fight today believe deeply in this country. And no matter how many you meet, or how many stories of heroism you hear, every encounter reminds that they are truly special. That through their service, they are living out the ideals that stir so many of us as Americas – pride, duty, and sacrifice.

Some of the most inspiring are those you meet at places like Walter Reed Army Medical Center. They are young men and women who may have lost a limb or even their ability to take care of themselves, but they will never lose the pride they feel for their country. They’re not interested in self-pity, but yearn to move forward with their lives. And it’s this classically American optimism that makes you realize the quality of person we have serving in the United States Armed Forces.

This, after all, is what led them to wear the uniform in the first place – their unwavering belief in the idea of America. The idea that no matter where you come from, or what you look like, or who your parents are, this is a place where anything is possible; where anyone can make it; where we look out for each other, and take care of each other; where we rise and fall as one nation – as one people. It’s an idea that’s worth fighting for – an idea for which so many Americans have given that last full measure of devotion.

I can still remember the day that we laid my grandfather to rest. In a cemetery lined with the graves of Americans who have sacrificed for our country, we heard the solemn notes of Taps and the crack of guns fired in salute; we watched as a folded flag was handed to my grandmother and my grandfather was laid to rest. It was a nation’s final act of service and gratitude to Stanley Dunham – an America that stood by my grandfather when he took off the uniform, and never left his side.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. But I also like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.”

There is no doubt that we are a nation that is deeply proud of where we live. But it is now our generation’s task to live in a way that Stanley Dunham lived; to live the way that those heroes at Walter Reed have lived; the way that all those men and women who put on this nation’s uniform live each and every day. It is now our task to live so that America will be proud of us. That is true test of patriotism – the test that all of us must meet in the days and years to come. I have no doubt that this nation is up to the challenge. Thank you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

It’s the Law: Removal of Signs on Right of Way

The Georgia Department of Transportation is cautioning state political candidates and campaigns to make certain roadside signs are not placed in rights of way. Those that are will be removed by Georgia DOT maintenance crews.

“Georgia law stipulates that the Department is required to maintain a safe roadway for the traveling public, which includes the immediate removal of any obstruction or hazard that may pose a threat to the traveling public,” said Georgia DOT District Engineer Thomas Howell. “Any sign along Georgia’s state routes and interstates must meet safety standards and be permitted by Georgia DOT to be in our right of way. Typically we find signs that advertise yard sales, real estate for sale and/or political candidates on Department land adjacent to our roads. None of those types of signs are allowed and will be removed by our personnel.”

Georgia Code 32-6-51 states that "it shall be unlawful for any person to erect, place or maintain within the right of way of any public road any sign, signal or other device except as authorized by subsection (d) of this Code section." Any person who violates the advertising restrictions of Georgia Code 32 "shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in Code Section 32-6-91."

“In the midst of this political season, Georgia DOT would like to clarify the laws that deal with signs along State Routes and Interstates,” explained Howell. “As part of our routine maintenance work; the Department will remove ANY and ALL signs from our right of way. Right of way is defined as the strip of land over which facilities such as highways, railroads or power lines are built and maintained.”

Signs that are removed from right of way by Department personnel will be destroyed immediately. To prevent the loss of signs, do not place them on right of way.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is committed to providing a safe, seamless and sustainable transportation system that supports Georgia’s economy and is sensitive to both its citizens and its environment. For general information on the Georgia DOT, please visit our Web site (www.dot.ga.gov).
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Sunday, May 4, 2008

African-American Support Could Hurt Obama, Duke Expert Says

The enthusiastic turnout of African-American voters on Barack Obama’s behalf in the primaries and caucuses could backfire, leading to defections from some white supporters, according to a Duke University political scientist who studies race, politics and gender.

Obama has a rally planned today in Chapel Hill, N.C., in advance of the May 6 North Carolina primary.

“I think these patterns are legitimate issues to raise in the campaign, as the Clinton camp has subtly and not-so-subtly done,” says Kerry L. Haynie, an associate professor of political science. “They speak to the issues of his viability and electability.”

Haynie is co-director of Duke’s Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Social Sciences. He is also co-editor of the forthcoming book, “New Race Politics in America, Understanding Minority and Immigrant Politics.”

According to Haynie, two historical patterns illustrate how and why race matters in the 2008 presidential election. He says the more African-American support Democratic candidates such as Obama receive, the greater the risk of them losing white supporters. He cites research showing that whites, especially low-income whites, are often less likely to vote for a Democratic candidate if he or she is identified with black voters. He says poll numbers indicate the Mississippi and Ohio primaries are examples of this pattern.

“I am certain that these issues and these patterns are on the minds of many of the Democratic superdelegates,” he says.

Secondly, researchers have found that in black-white electoral contests, pre-election polls tend to overestimate white voter support for black candidates. This pattern could suggest that current polling data inflates the true support that Obama has among whites.

“For a number of reasons, some white voters indicate support for black candidates in polls and surveys, but don’t follow through at the ballot box,” Haynie says. He points to the campaign of former Virginia governor Douglas Wilder. “The polls estimated Wilder's lead to be between 4 and 11 percentage points. When the actual votes were counted, however, Wilder won by just six-tenths of a percentage point.”

Ron Paul #1 on Amazon

BUSINESS WIRE -- Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul is no stranger to success on the internet. Today, he set another milestone as his new book “The Revolution: A Manifesto” hit number one on the online retailer's “Hot New Releases in Books” list. The book’s official release is today, April 30th.

Dr. Paul held a book signing with over 1,000 attendees in New York City on Monday, April 28th at the Borders on Wall Street. Store employees commented that it was one of the biggest events they ever held at their flagship location.