Tag: Georgia

Newnan, Georgia Residents Prepare for a Possible Neo-Nazi Rally

By  James Sweet III | Georgia

In the metropolitan area of Atlanta, Georgia lies the city of Newnan. The city has no major influence in politics and social issues, but it was used as a site for the hit TV show, The Walking Dead. On April 21st, however, things may change for the worst, as white nationalists and national socialists prepare to hold a rally in the city.

The National Socialist Movement, a political party that aligns itself with Neo-Nazism and is self-proclaimed as the largest one of its kind, is the organization responsible for the planning of this rally, and their chairman, Jeff Schoep, made an agreement with the City of Newnan for a $50 pavilion to be rented on April 21st.

The far-right organization plans on meeting from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M., although it is possible that could change if something breaks out. Other events will be occurring in the city on that day, like the “Champion For Children” Superhero 5K.

A local resident, who wished to stay anonymous, commented on the situation.

Our town is a beautiful place and I’ve never noticed any type of racial or political issues at all. There’s no reason for this march to be held here. The local newspaper, “The Newnan Times Herald” is covering this as well as one in Atlanta, so far… 11 Alive (NBC). I’m simply shocked and saddened this would happen here.

Local business owners in the area are planning on shutting down their operations for the day. The local police department contacted many business owners to assure them that proper security would be provided.

According to The Newnan Times-Herald, Chief of Police D.L. “Buster” Meadows and his fellow officers are “preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best.” Around two dozen different agencies are coordinating with the Newnan Police Department in preparation for this event.

Local groups of ANTIFA are planning on counter-protesting the event. Chief Meadows and his department seem to be prepared for this, with water barricades being provided. They hope to control the events on that day and keep them confined to the Greenville Street Park region of the city, in an attempt to stop the rally and counter-protests from devouring the city.

The costs of the rally on the city are unknown. Some may wonder if this would a repetition of the Charlottesville events, but Chairman Schoep plans on around 50-100 people attending the rally, which is smaller than the number of people that attended the Charlottesville rally. 

A petition has been made by local residents to prevent the rally, which can be found here.


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Gavi Shapiro: A Republican Liberty-Lover We All Need

By Jason Thompson | United States

Liberty – and the people of the 52nd district of the Georgia State House of Representatives – may soon have a new champion to fight for them in Atlanta.

And his name is Gavi Shapiro.

The 52nd district, which encompasses Sandy Spring and is a part of the Atlanta metropolitan area, is currently represented by Deborah Silcox (R). She has held the seat since 2016. GA State House terms last for two years.

She may very well be unseated in an upcoming GOP primary race.

Gavi Shapiro is a successful entrepreneur in the tech industry and a lover of free markets, small government, and liberty.

He hopes to bring these ideas and detailed campaign promises to the State Capitol to give the people of his district a fresh voice.

He offers an outsider’s perspective and wants to take on the establishment by offering innovative, free-market solutions.

71 Republic contributor Jay Thompson reached out to Mr. Shapiro to discuss his campaign.

Thompson: Considering your success as an entrepreneur, why would you leave the private sector to go fight the behemoth in the Georgia State House as a public servant?

Shapiro: Everyone is getting more involved in politics today, and although I have been very into politics for a while, I have been getting progressively more involved on a state level. I went to check out how my state representative was representing me, and I found her voting record. I was shocked and appalled. I checked to see if I could run against her and what it would take. I think I can win so I jumped in the race.

Thompson: In what ways do you believe that Mrs. Silcox has failed to live up to her campaign promises and has let down her constituents?

Shapiro: Well, her website doesn’t even contain an issues section.

Americans for Prosperity actually gave her only a 44 percent rating. That’s bad.

She has voted give tax breaks to yacht owners.

She’s voted against the second amendment.

Silcox has also said that she would vote against a religious liberties bills which protect religious officials, such as priests and rabbis, from being compelled to participate in weddings and services which they object to on moral grounds.

And she’s certainly not a fiscal conservative.

She has spent 100 dollars per voter during her campaign. When she’s that fiscally reckless with her own money, can you imagine how careless she is with other people’s (taxpayers) money?

When you come from that type of background (in big government), you believe that more government is the solution, when historically it is the problem. Free markets and individuals are the solutions.

Thompson: I don’t object to that last point, whatsoever.

Do you believe your success in the private sector has equipped you with the tools to develop innovative solutions for your prospective constituents?

Shapiro: Yes! I was an innovator in the technology sector and I want to bring those same creative problem-solving skills to our State House.

Thompson: You talk about running your campaign on detailed promises – specifically regarding school choice, eliminating state income tax, and transportation infrastructure. Do you care to elaborate on your proposed solutions for each of these three issues?

Shapiro: I support the ESA bill, which has been written by ALEC and EdChoice. (This bill) creates a Statewide school choice program.

To eliminate our State Income tax, I will propose cutting wasteful government programs and bringing our Sandy Springs-style government to the State level.

On traffic, we have five proposals:

Replace HOV and Peach Pass lanes with higher speed express lanes.

Create more roundabouts instead of 4 way stops to keep cars moving.

Create more loading lanes for our highways.

Bring sensor traffic light systems to Georgia to optimize traffic flow.

Allow private companies to operate public transportation throughout the State.

Thompson: Can you tell me a little more about the ESA bill?

Shapiro: The ESA bill creates education savings accounts for any parent who does not wish to send their child to public schools and….contracts the administrative aspects out to private companies… to allocate the money that’s dedicated to that child so they can attend any school they wish, be it home-schooling, or a charter, private, religious, art, or vocational school, etc.

Thompson: I think that is an interesting proposal. Too often, we see problems in education and floundering school systems, and vote for people who want to throw more money at a broken system. I could see your proposed solution really giving people more economic freedom and more flexible options to help give their children the best education and opportunities which they deserve.

Considering that you are running a primary race against an incumbent Republican, what are some of the biggest hurdles which you foresee your campaign having to overcome in order to be elected?

Shapiro: It’s never easy to primary out an incumbent. I am running it grassroots style which is always a challenge. In my favor, it is a small race so I can meet most voters personally.

Thompson: You state on your website that the 52nd district in the Georgia State House was promised change in the last election and that the current incumbent, Deborah Silcox, has offered only stagnation and more big government. Do you find yourself worrying that you could find your principles compromised by the swamp infesting your state house?

Shapiro: Honestly, no. My background has been in the private sector. Her background is a Big Government Bureaucrat. Before I ran, I promised myself that I would not compromise on my principles.

So far I have I have been asked to compromise on many of them, and I have not yet caved. Since I was young, I have always stuck to my principles, and nothing has changed.

Thompson: Principles are certainly to be admired. Let’s hope that your resolve does not weaken, should you be elected.

What are your thoughts on the Republican Liberty Caucus? And is there a similar group in Georgia?

Shapiro: I am familiar with the RLC and I have even submitted an application for their endorsement. The group I’d say is similar in Georgia is the Georgia Republican Assembly.

Thompson: As a libertarian, I often find myself on the same side as the RLC on most issues. On a personal note, what does freedom and personal responsibility mean to you, as an individual?

Shapiro: Freedom and personal responsibility to me means that I am never coerced into anything, and (am) never compelled to do anything I do not consent to.

I own myself and my labor and I am able to contract it out to whomever I wish at a mutually agreeable price, for the duration that I desire.

Freedom and personal responsibility mean to you, as an indivFreedom also means that government will not take money from me and dole it out to corporations or special interest groups which they like.

Thompson: That seems pretty reasonable, Mr. Shapiro. Especially that last point you brought up. Doling out money acquired through taxation to special interest groups is the essence of cronyism. It certainly isn’t a free market, by any means.

Are there any leaders and innovators in the public or private sector whom you consider major influences on your career and personal beliefs?

Shapiro: I am a big fan of Elon Musk in the private sector. He is an innovator and a leader and I admire his work; however, I think that he likes his clean energy subsidies a bit too much and would be better off without them.

In the public sector, I am a fan of Dave Brat. He took on the establishment and won, in a huge way. He is principled and doesn’t cave into pressure or sell out for money.

Thompson: If you win, how do you believe that the 52nd can be a model for success not only in Georgia but across the country?

Shapiro: The 52nd district is unique in that our first mayor was Eva Galambos. She was an innovator and set us up here for success in Sandy Springs.

Her model of government is one that currently has 8 city-wide employees and contracts the rest out to the lowest bidder – who can complete the work up to standards.

This model is how we can cut out the cronyism, eliminate our state income tax, and really begin to shrink government down to size.

Thompson: That is a very interesting model. You would certainly have much less state and federal employees collecting publicly funded salaries and pensions nationwide if that system was universally adopted.

What are your thoughts on the state of political culture in your state, and the nation as a whole?

Shapiro: The political culture in my State is fairly reflective of how it is nationally. We have moved away from the discussion of ideas and instead determine if we like or don’t like Trump. This is mindless and gets us nowhere as a country.

Thompson: I agree wholeheartedly. Nothing gets done when we discuss personalities and make everything a referendum on Trump, rather than discuss issues facing average Americans across the country.

If anyone wanted to help donate or to contribute to your campaign in any way, how would you recommend they do so?

Shapiro: People can contribute to our campaign here. Every dollar helps, we need to print signs, print flyers, expand grassroots operations. Everything helps in this effort.

If anyone has any skills such as advertising, Photoshop, graphic designs, has worked on campaigns before and would like to help, my number is listed on the contact us page of my website. You can feel free to text or call.

Thompson: And does Georgia election law allow campaign contributions to come from out of state?

Shapiro: Yes, it does.

Thompson: That’s great! Hopefully, this little piece helps get your campaign some attention and helps bring in campaign contributions. There’s a lot of liberty-minded folks across the country who would love to see good people elected to office.

It’s been great speaking with you Mr. Shapiro, do you have any closing statements to summarize your campaign?

Shapiro: Cut government, not freedom!

Thompson: Hahaha, indeed. I wish you the best in your campaign and hope to see you elected so you can better serve the people of the 52nd Georgia. Have a good one, sir.

For more detailed information on Gavi Shapiro and his proposed solutions for the people of GA State House district 52 – or to donate to his campaign

https://www.gavishapiro.com/

Or you can follow him on Twitter at:

Gavi Shapiro (@GaviShapiro) | …
Twitter › gavishapiro


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The Battle for Free-Markets: Interview with Ryan Graham

By John Keller | UNITED STATES

Ryan Graham is a libertarian living in Atlanta, Georgia. He is currently seeking office in the Georgia Public Service Commission. He enjoys a career in software development and is passionate about economics. He believes it is time for a change.

Keller: You are running as a Libertarian. In your own words, what is Libertarianism all about?

Graham: The easiest way to describe libertarianism is, “Don’t hit people, and don’t take their stuff.” Everything else can be derived from that. Personal freedom for all people is all important. 

Keller: What inspired you to seek office with the Georgia Public Service Commission?

Graham: We have an issue here in Georgia surrounding the construction of two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle. Electric companies in Georgia are granted monopolies in their area or are all municipal owned, still in monopolistic fashion. Georgia Power is being granted the right to profit off of the construction of the nuclear reactors and consumers don’t have a choice. It’s blatant cronyism and I see that as a major problem.

In a libertarian world, there’d be no Public Service Commission granting favors to the companies they are meant to regulate. There’d be no monopoly because decisions like this one would generate competition as people became fed up with these types of decisions. That’s the world I’d like to see. I want to see the people empowered to make these decisions for themselves.

Keller: The duopoly has dominated the political scene for over one hundred years. Why should voters choose a Libertarian this election cycle?

Graham: I think most of America can look at the current “political scene” and see a lot that isn’t working. Americans were presented with a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016. Many of them held their noses and pulled the lever for one or the other. Many more stayed home. Americans need to take a chance on another party. As I mentioned before, I’d like to see a world with real competition. That goes for the market of ideas as well.

Keller: The Public Service Commission, in many ways, is an institution of economic protectionism. As a Libertarian, how will you reform this institution to provide more freedom to consumers?

Graham: The easiest way to do that is to use the post as a bully pulpit to speak about deregulation of electricity and an expansion of the deregulation on gas. Deregulation stops the cronyism inherent in a system that has five officials overseeing regulated monopolies. They currently rubber stamp anything from Georgia Power that comes across the desk. It should be obvious to anyone watching that this system doesn’t work.

While taking that fight to our state legislators, as a commissioner, I can make decisions that at least attempt to mirror the free market. While not nearly as good, it’s the system we’re in and it’s the system we have to work with.

For example, in the Plant Vogtle case mentioned above, I would support a plan that didn’t include charging ratepayers. Georgia Power is investor owned and those investors should be the ones taking on the risks involved in a capital project. Customers shouldn’t be forced to bear that burden. Taking on risk in the hope of reward is literally the job of an investor.

Keller: What priorities do you have for this office? In essence, what three things are most important to you that you want to see completed while part of the Georgia Public Service Commission?

Graham: My top three priorities in office are deregulation of electricity, consumer advocacy, and increased transparency in the office.

I’ve talked a lot about deregulation above. The benefits of opening up the market would directly empower Georgians to make decisions on their utility use. Is renewable energy important to you? You should be able to go to a company that serves 100% renewable energy. Is price more important to you? Then you should be able to shop around for the lowest price. You’d have everything in between and Georgians would be able to make decisions that are right for them and their families.

While we have a system that is weighted towards monopolistic power the Public Service Commission MUST be the voice of the people. We have a broken system that basically allows companies to get away with much more than if they were held accountable to their customers. The Public Service Commission has to work to ensure that accountability.

One of the most striking things I’ve noticed as I’ve been campaigning is how many Georgians have no idea the Public Service Commission even exists, let alone what they do. Decisions they make impact each Georgian every single month when they pay their electric and gas bills. That has to change, and I think the commissioners themselves can do a lot to change it. A video stream of proceedings, more advanced notice of hearings, a larger social media presence, these are all things that commissioners could provide that would help connect them with the people they represent. Stan Wise quipped during the Plant Vogtle hearings, “These meetings are made available as a courtesy to the public.” That’s a terrible attitude. You are serving at the behest of the public. 

Keller: The Georgia Public Service Commission’s mission statement is as follows: “The mission of the Georgia Public Service Commission is to exercise its authority and influence to ensure that consumers receive safe, reliable and reasonably priced telecommunications, electric and natural gas services from financially viable and technically competent companies.” Libertarians tend to believe in less government intervention in the markets. How can you provide free markets to the citizens of Georgia without undoing the mission statement and the very essence of the institution?

Graham: That’s an easy one, free markets are the best at ensuring safe, reliable, and reasonably priced products. They also ensure the services come from financially viable and technically competent companies. If a company produces an unsafe product the people will purchase it from another provider. If a company has unreliable service the people will switch services to someone more reliable. If a company charges too much money the people will switch to another who finds a way to charge less. Free markets, while in no way are perfect, are the most efficient way to ensure the public is getting all of the items listed in the mission statement.

Keller: If someone was interested, how can they get involved in your campaign?

Graham: The easiest way is to head on over to Graham4GA.com. There is a place there to sign up as a volunteer and to let me know how you can best help out. If time is an issue and you’d just like to help out financially you can always go to Graham4GA.com/donate. You can also get me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all under the username Graham4GA.

Keller: Do you have any final remarks to the readers and the people of Georgia?

Graham: We’ve been doing things the same way for years, electing “free market” Republicans to fill these positions, and all we have to answer for it is cronyism. The current commissioners graciously accept dinners, convention travel, even Christmas hams(I didn’t realize how expensive those were until I looked it up), as trade for rubber stamping their proposals as they enter the commission. I want to take office and abdicate the power back to the people. Individuals are the best at making the decisions that are best for them, and they should be empowered to do so.

I would like to thank Ryan Graham for conducting this interview with 71Republic. Be sure to get involved with his campaign by visiting his website Graham4GA.com and follow him on social media:

Facebook: /Graham4GA

Twitter: @Graham4GA

Instagram: @Graham4GA


Image from Utah Citizen network.