Something to remember next time a victim’s name is attached to a piece of legislation. From Dorrie Turner and the Associated Press:
More than $30 million in traffic fees collected for driver’s education courses across Georgia in the last few years hasn’t been spent on helping teens learn how to drive, according to a state audit released Wednesday.
Since 2009, state lawmakers haven’t appropriated any money to the Georgia Driver’s Education Commission even though a special fee for the programs tacked on to traffic tickets has brought in about $10 million per year, the audit found. Of the $57 million collected since Joshua’s Law took effect in 2005, just $8 million has gone to driver’s education, which led to at least three high schools shutting down their programs, the audit found.
The money, instead, is being spent to plug state budget deficits.
Gov. Nathan Deal will hold a news conference this morning to announce a “comprehensive plan for improving college completion rates.” You have to wonder if he’s moving in the same direction as Texas Gov. Rick Perry. From today’s Washington Post:
Perry has proposed that the state’s top colleges come up with a four-year degree that costs no more than $10,000 — a goal that skeptics say cannot be achieved without sacrificing academic quality and prestige.
11Alive reports that a racist flyer is being distributed in Alpharetta, accusing a Fulton County charter school of being a “terrorist training camp.” From the WXIA web site:
“Every paragraph is racist and hate-filled,” said Fiona Bagley who received the flyer in her mailbox Wednesday morning.
The flyer was circulated by a group calling itself the “Milton County Tea Party Patriots Citizens Council.”
Georgia has many, many groups that have incorporated “tea party” into their names. One of the largest, Georgia Tea Party Patriots, disavowed the flyer. Julianne Thompson, one of the state coordinators said she’d never heard of the group. More:
The flyer uses several racial slurs and refers to Muslims as “camel jockeys” and “ragheads.”
The flyer ostensibly tries to mobilize opposition to Amana Academy — a Fulton County charter school that opened in 2005. Amana offers students in kindergarten through eighth grade language classes in Arabic.
The GOP presidential campaign of Newt Gingrich on Wednesday hit back at suggestions that many of Gingrich’s 1.3 million Twitter followers might be artificial. The statement issued by Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond to many media outlets:
At no time has the campaign or Gingrich Communications employed an outside group to inflate the number of followers of @newtgingrich. Any accusation of the kind is a lie, a smear and unsubstantiated.
Twitter’s addition of @newtgingrich to the suggested user list is responsible for a large, but indeterminable amount of followers. Twitter users follow Newt the same way they elect to follow Ashton Kutcher, Shaquille O’Neal or John McCain. Twitter alone is the authority on counting followers and policing their legitimacy.
One new analytic company, PeekYou, reported that only a small percentage of Gingrich’s Twitter followers actually seemed to be real people. But Ben Smith at Politico.com reports that PeekYou founder Michael Hussey, backed off allegations that Gingrich operatives had intentionally puffed up their standings, “saying that Gingrich’s place on Twitter’s now-defunct suggested user list was also a good explanation for the data he found.”
The post on GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman’s Aug. 23 and 24 visit to Atlanta had been up only 10 minutes before a Mitt Romney operative in Georgia provided proof that the former U.S. ambassador to China had been bracketed.
Josh Romney, one of the many Romney sons, will be in Atlanta Aug. 17 for a fund-raiser. The candidate’s wife, Ann Romney will have a fund-raising luncheon in Atlanta on Aug. 31.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider