2014
05.22

Monday’s primary election held few surprises, although several races and contested issues were slightly closer than projected.

Pick Your Candidates Carefully

The most closely watched local campaign was for GA House District 2. Incumbent Steve Tarvin (first elected in January) faced challengers EBeth Edwards and Rebecca Ann Brown. Tarvin soundly defeated both challengers with 65.88% of the 4,039 votes cast. With no Democrat candidate to face in November, Rep. Tarvin will go back to Atlanta for an additional two years.

Tarvin took a majority of votes in all three counties involved and also won every single voting precinct except Edwards’ home precinct of Armuchee/Villanow. And even there as many people voted for her opponents (10 and 97 respectively) as voted for her (107). Half the people who know Edwards apparently know better than to vote for her; Hopefully this means her political aspirations are done.

PRECINCT BY PRECINCT RESULTS / HOUSE DISTRICT 2:

PRECINCT BROWN EDWARDS TARVIN (I) TOTAL
ARMUCHEE 10 107 97 214
BLACKSTOCK (Catoosa) 13 28 92 133
CENTER POST 13 42 78 133
CHAMBERS (Catoosa) 25 62 188 275
CHICKAMAUGA 51 109 539 699
LAFAYETTE 70 232 385 687
ROCK SPRING 81 163 512 756
TRICHUM (Whitfield) 20 48 114 182
TUNNEL HILL (Whitfield) 43 64 249 356
WESTSIDE (Whitfield) 51 47 241 339
WOODSTATION (Catoosa) 29 70 166 265
TOTAL VOTES 406 (10.05%) 972 (24.07%) 2,661 (65.88%) 4,039

Incumbent John Deffenbaugh (R-Addams Family) didn’t fare as well in State House District 1. He won the race but received less than half the total votes cast for his opponents, Robert Goff of Dade and Alan Painter of Walker. Deffenbaugh, who lives in Dade, won all but one Walker County precinct, while Goff (who also lives in Dade) won every Dade precinct. Alan Painter claimed victory in just one of the fifteen contested areas, but was only 26 votes shy of tying Goff’s total.

A runoff vote for this race, Deffenbaugh vs. Goff, will be held in July; the winner of that election will still have to face Democrat candidate Tom McMahan in November.

PRECINCT BY PRECINCT RESULTS / HOUSE DISTRICT 1:

PRECINCT DEFFENBAUGH (I) GOFF PAINTER TOTAL
CENTER POST 38 8 20 66
CHATT VALLEY 278 53 232 563
CHICKAMAUGA 114 28 86 228
DAVIS (Dade) 74 134 56 264
FAIRVIEW 111 28 46 185
FAIRYLAND 127 9 14 150
KENSINGTON 56 12 67 135
MOUNTAIN 54 16 39 109
NEW HOME (Dade) 28 63 19 110
N SALEM (Dade) 52 70 56 178
NO DADE (Dade) 69 105 50 224
ROSSVILLE 272 52 119 443
SO DADE (Dade) 36 83 20 139
TRENTON (Dade) 93 244 60 397
WS BROW (Dade) 117 36 31 184
TOTAL VOTES 1,519 (45.01%) 941 (27.88%) 915 (27.11%) 3,375

Ten-year-incumbent State Senator Jeff Mullis of Chickamauga (R-Georgia Power) easily beat his opponent, Tom Dooley of LaFayette. Mullis claimed victory in every precinct of Walker, Dade, Catoosa, and Chattooga so for the sake of time and space there will be no precinct-by-precinct breakdown of that vote here.

Mullis’ 68.51% margin over Dooley looks like a crushing defeat for the political newcomer, but considering Mullis’ half-million-dollar campaign fund and Dooley’s few hundred dollars, Dooley’s 31% should be considered a victory. Final reports on campaign spending haven’t been released, but it’s very likely Mullis spent several hundred times the money Tom did to get only twice as many votes.

Mullis has no Democrat opponent and will retain his position at the Atlanta feeding trough for another two winters.

COUNTY BY COUNTY RESULTS / SENATE DISTRICT 53:

COUNTY DOOLEY MULLIS TOTAL
CATOOSA 970 2,204 3,174
CHATTOOGA 366 876 1,242
DADE 476 967 1,443
WALKER 1,407 2,957 4,364
TOTAL VOTES 3,219 (31.49%) 7,004 (68.51%) 10,223

State-wide, Governor Nathan Deal defeated HIS two primary opponents, John Barge and David Pennington, with a large margin, over 70%. Georgia voters, like most in Walker County, are apparently willing to ignore ethical problems and corruption to go with a familiar name. Deal will face Democrat Jason Carter in November.

STATE-WIDE RESULTS / GA GOVERNOR:

BARGE DEAL PENNINGTON TOTAL
65,312 (11.17%) 421,672 (72.11%) 97,813 (16.73%) 584,797

Here in Walker only two local issues were being decided: A .25 mil property tax to support libraries, and a measure ceding control of alcohol regulations in the county to Commissioner Heiskell.

Alcohol control (promoted as allowing liquor sales in the county, but that’s not guaranteed) was approved by 56% of voters, winning all but one of the eleven precincts. The library tax was rejected, with 53% of voters saying no. Two of the four precincts that supported a tax for the library (Chickamauga and Rossville) actually have libraries; LaFayette was the only area with a standing library to reject the idea of supporting it.

As the Walker County Messenger appropriately summarized, “Walker County voters say yes to booze, no to books.” (There’s your new county slogan.)

PRECINCT BY PRECINCT RESULTS / ALCOHOL & LIBRARY:

PRECINCT ALCOHOL YES ALC TOTAL   LIBRARY YES LIB TOTAL
ARMUCHEE 134 (56.78%) 236 84 (35.44%) 237
CENTER POST 119 (50.85%) 234   95 (40.08%) 237
CHATT VALLEY 384 (53.78%) 714   334 (46.98%) 711
CHICKAMAUGA 625 (59.64%) 1,048   528 (51.01%) 1,035
FAIRVIEW 113 (46.50%) 243   122 (50.83%) 240
FAIRYLAND 147 (83.05%) 177   93 (52.25%) 178
KENSINGTON 95 (51.63%) 184   92 (49.73%) 185
LAFAYETTE 451 (55.20%) 817   375 (45.73%) 820
MOUNTAIN 77 (56.20%) 137   55 (39.86%) 138
ROCK SPRING 470 (54.71%) 859   347 (40.35%) 860
ROSSVILLE 316 (56.13%) 563   294 (52.50%) 560
TOTAL VOTES 2,931 (56.24%) 5,212   2,419 (46.51%) 5,201

Precincts approving the library tax might have less to do with having their own library and more to do with which voters trust the Commissioner to actually do what she said with the tax money. The same areas that backed the tax – Chickamauga, Fairview, Fairyland, Rossville – have also been the most supportive of Commissioner Heiskell during the last few elections and provided the greatest support to renewing SPLOST last year.

Walker County Seal / Yes To Booze No To BooksThat theory of trust also makes sense after talking to several people who said they support libraries and would have voted for the tax except they don’t trust Heiskell to do what she said with the funds OR don’t want to expand taxes in light of how other tax money in the county has been used.

The same county that trusted Heiskell with the SPLOST tax (which costs each family several hundred dollars annually) last year now reject a library tax that would add $10 to their property tax bills.

Next Daily Update will take a closer look at voter turnout, or the lack thereof.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Speed limit on Hwy. 27 south of town will soon be raised to 65 MPH, or about fifteen miles under what people actually do through there.

    WQCH Radio, 05/20/14: “THE STATE D.O.T. HAS APPROVED NEW SPEED LIMITS FOR BOTH STATE AND COUNTY ROADS IN WALKER COUNTY, AND COMMISSIONER BEBE HEISKELL SIGNED-OFF ON THE PLAN AT LAST WEEK’S MEETING.
    “THE STATE WILL PUT UP SPEED LIMIT SIGNS ON THEIR HIGHWAYS, BUT THE LOCAL ROAD DEPARTMENT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BUYING AND PUTTING UP THE SPEED SIGNS ON COUNTY ROADS.
    “COMMISSIONER HEISKELL SAID THE COUNTY HAS NO INPUT ON THE SPEED LIMITS, THEY’RE ALL SET BY THE STATE D.O.T. THERE ARE NUMEROUS SPEED LIMIT CHANGES: IT’S AN 8-PAGE LIST. BUT NONE WILL BE IN EFFECT UNTIL THE SIGNS GO UP.
    “THE NEW 65 MILE PER HOUR STRETCH OF U.S. 27 SPANS 4 1/3 MILES FROM SHATTUCK INDUSTRIAL BOULEVARD TO THE HIGHWAY 151 INTERSECTION, SOUTH OF LAFAYETTE.”

A full list of the speed limit changes has not yet been made public, but it’s likely some of the changes may not be increases. GDOT has had discussions with Chickamauga Battlefield about LOWERING some speed limits on roads that go near the park, both to improve safety and encourage people to use the bypass. The final list may end up lowering speeds on small county roads, especially in the Battlefield Park area.   Tiny Facebook

Hutcheson Lobby / WDEF TV 12

Hutcheson’s board has agreed to sell its interest in Battlefield Imaging, take the latest loan from Walker County, and set up a management deal with GB Health Management of Chattanooga.

(That means three years from now Hutcheson will be suing GB Health Management for something.)   Tiny Facebook

Community health screenings today 10-4:30 at Lowell Greene Rec. Center. A variety of services other than just health screening (including free food and educational opportunities for kids) will also be offered.   Tiny Facebook

Donnie Allen HulettLawyer for Donnie Allen Hulett, sentenced to death for 2002 Villanow murder, says justice has been denied her client because Judge Wood and DA Franklin delayed action on his appeal for almost ten years.

Will Hulett now get off the hook due to more inaction from local judge and prosecutor?   Tiny Facebook

A ballot question about legalizing marijuana in Whitfield County has gotten a lot of attention. Thing is, it’s just a meaningless party question meant to get people out to vote.

64% of Whitfield residents who bothered voting and also chose a Democrat ballot said they would support legal pot. They also supported raising the state minimum wage, demanded Whitfield Co adopt an anti-discrimination policy for homosexuals, asked the state to stop identifying illegal immigrants, and several other things – none of which will actually occur.

997 people in Whitfield County aren’t changing state and federal law. There’s no legal marijuana store opening up in Dalton today or any time in the near future.   Tiny Facebook

Last year GA legislators change ethics laws, restricting how much money lobbyists could give them directly. The change was hailed as ethical progress (even briefly by LU), but it turns out to have all been a show.

Legislative leaders have redirected lobbyist cash to a political action committee they control, essentially laundering money so it’s less clear who’s buying and selling Georgia’s politicians.

Luckovich PAC Cartoon

At the same time, a new “coalition” of large businesses in the state (along with the corrupt state Chamber of Commerce) has been fighting against candidates who propose legislation or have ideas that rock the boat or risk changing the status quo.

They say their efforts are for job creation, but some of the legislation they’ve fought would have benefitted small local businesses. Their positions are also frequently against the interests of families.

Jeff Mullis dances to their tune, and so does Nathan Deal, among many others. If you ever wondered who really runs Georgia…   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

This week parents can sign kids up for the LaFayette Library summer reading program. It’s not JUST for kids though, several levels available from infant to adult.

(A free service likely go to away in the future without additional library funding.)   Tiny Facebook

Randy Owen at Jeffersons in Summerville

Saturday night while LaFayette waited on Marty Stuart to take the stage, Jefferson’s customers in Summerville were eating dinner with Randy Owen of “Alabama”.   Tiny Facebook

Georgia is paying $107.8 million to develop the new standardized test being rolled out to every public school student in the state. Developer of the test is CTB/McGraw-Hill, same company that created the old CRCT.

If you think this will be any better than what we had before..   Tiny Facebook

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