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Remaking Romain Dallemand: Villain or Victim?

dallemand360

 

By Dave Oedel

One of the most riveting Middle Georgia news stories of 2015 has been former Bibb Schools Superintendent Romain Dallemand’s attempt to recast his role in the Bibb schools financial scandal. After Dallemand’s severance from employment with Bibb County’s Board of Education in 2013, Dallemand apparently disappeared to Haiti as if he were on the lam, avoiding legal service and requests for comment about his conduct when he worked for Bibb County’s Board of Education. Now in 2015, though, Dallemand has surprised some by … Continue Reading

Why RFRA Fizzled in Georgia

Georgia's capitol building -- the gold dome  that you can see clearly from the I-75/I85 connector in downtown Atlanta.

By Dave Oedel

The most controversial bill that got killed in the last days of Georgia’s General Assembly ending April 2, 2015 was Georgia’s proposed version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, S.B. 129, that had been passed by Georgia’s Senate but was languishing in the House. After Indiana enacted a similar bill in March and immediately suffered withering scorn from the likes of Apple’s gay CEO Tim Cook, Georgia’s RFRA died.

Though its sponsors vow that it will return in 2016, it seems unlikely to gain any more traction then, as it had little practical reason for passage to begin with, and its core constituency seems more riveted on matters like same-sex marriage.  The vigor with which Georgia’s RFRA was opposed by gay rights advocates, while comparatively strong as a media matter, was also more symbolic than substantive, in keeping with the largely symbolic character of the proposed law.

With the whole controversy appearing to be more of a media storm without much practical significance, yet with real possible state reputational damage looming, Governor Nathan Deal with his leadership team guided the bill to a quiet death. … Continue Reading

Opinion: One Middle Georgian’s Gun-Gripping, God-Loving, Bee-Keeping Perspective on Iranian Nukes

Going out to check on the bees.

By Dave Oedel

President Barack Obama undoubtedly won’t be listening to god-loving, gun-gripping, border-conscious, bee-keeping Middle Georgians for advice on what to do about Iranian nukes.  After all, the president hasn’t bothered to visit us clingers in Middle Georgia, whether as a candidate or as president. Too bad for him, and our nation.

You may recall seven years ago this month when candidate Obama said that people in job-hungry small towns in middle America “get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Although President Obama was condescending in his comments, he wasn’t too far off the mark in some ways. Unfortunately, the president after seven years still doesn’t seem to understand the perspectives that he sensed are out here beyond the Beltway.

Let’s start with God. When Americans “cling” to God in the political context, it means … Continue Reading

Opinion: Why Georgia’s Cautious Approach to Marijuana Legalization Makes Sense

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By Dave Oedel

Georgia’s legislators have gotten some heat from advocates for marijuana legalization for not having gone farther than the nine categories of ailments for which an oil distillate of marijuana will now become legal in Georgia. Allen Peake, a Macon-Bibb delegate to Georgia’s General Assembly, led the effort to pass Haleigh’s Hope Act, H.B. 1, this session. Some commenters, though, have taken the legislators to task for not having done more.

The bizarre postures that some states find themselves in after rushing into relatively wholesale legalization of marijuana, however, suggest that Georgia was wise to take a relatively cautious approach.

Consider the case of … Continue Reading

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