People Power vs. Corporate Cash: Georgia’s hottest Senate race

  By Jonathan Grant @Brambleman In 1998, Dunwoody Republican Fran Millar took 40 percent of the vote in a three-way House primary and won the August runoff by 162 votes. There was no Democratic opposition, so it had taken only 2,000 votes to put him in the General Assembly. In 2010, he ran for the District 40 Senate seat being vacated by Dan Weber. Millar laughingly complained about having to “run against a guy named Christ” (Eric Christ, now a Peachtree Corners council member). Despite the name disadvantage, Millar won with nearly two-thirds of the vote. Since that first runoff, Millar hadn’t had a close race. In two decades, he’d never faced an opponent with adequate funding, an appreciable ground game, or…

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Georgia Voter’s Guide: Did your legislator vote to let Georgia Power charge you $100 a year upfront for Plant Vogtle?

Jonathan Grant @Brambleman Go on, scroll down to the list of pro-Vogtle legislators if you want. I don’t blame you. My state senator is on it. That $100 a year fee on your Georgia Power bill is called the Nuclear Construction Cost Recovery Fee. The Georgia Public Service Commission voted recently to lower it by a buck a month, but it wasn’t tightening the leash on Georgia Power, because that’s not how the PSC rolls. The reduction is a result of a lower corporate tax rate and a payback from bankrupt nuclear contractor Toshiba. The money pit Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle: What’s the cost now—$30 billion? The sad truth is that it doesn’t matter, because the cost will go up again. The…

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Fran Millar’s pro-Georgia Power vote still hurting ratepayers

Photo credit above (AP) Jonathan Grant @Brambleman UPDATE: The Vogtle Voter’s Guide is out: Check and see if your legislator voted to raise your Georgia Power bills $100 a year upfront for building a nuclear power plant that may not get finished. I wrote a post earlier today about a pack of Georgia legislators who are getting antsy about Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle and they want cost caps,  so they wrote a letter. SB 31: All politics is local You know who didn’t sign the letter? My state senator, but then again, I’ve never thought of him as pro-consumer. In 2009, then-State Rep. Fran Millar voted in favor of SB31, Georgia Power’s infamous enabling legislation that overrode the Public Service Commission in order…

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Is Dick Williams hurt because Sally Harrell won’t buy ads in The Crier?

Above: Dick Williams on Fox 5 Atlanta’s “Georgia Gang” Jonathan Grant @Brambleman Hoover Republican says what? I met Dick Williams in the 1980s, when he was a columnist for the Atlanta newspaper and I was spokesman for the Georgia Public Service Commission. In the years since, I would sometimes watch his political show, “The Georgia Gang,” but I quit because life is short and the show was spiraling downward into unrelenting horribleness. In preparing to write this post, I pulled up the most recent episode on YouTube and watched long enough to see Williams rail against the New Deal. Williams also publishes The Crier, a weekly newspaper in Dunwoody, and all pretense of honest journalist aside, he’s covering Georgia’s hottest Senate race,…

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DeKalb Board of Elections sets up early voting, goes into sketchy executive session

Jonathan Grant @Brambleman UPDATE: The Board of Elections (presumably the staff) has relocated the Atlanta in DeKalb early voting site to the Bessie Branham Recreation Center, 2051 Delano Drive NE Atlanta, GA 30317. The Board  originally approved Coan Park Recreation Center. No reason given for the change. Big numbers During discussion, Executive Director Erica Hamilton said that the DeKalb Board of Elections has about 40,000 voter registration applications pending and is receiving absentee ballot requests at the rate of “about 500 a day.” Board Chairman Samuel Tillman called that “a good thing” because it would help alleviate lines at the polls on election day. Not sure how staff (there are only 15 or 16 full-timers) feels about that. Hamilton also said the Board…

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Even the owners want out of the Plant Vogtle Boondoggle

Jonathan Grant @Brambleman Here’s the latest on the Plant Vogtle disaster from the AJC: The survival of those two new nuclear reactors under construction at Plant Vogtle just got more complicated. The electrical membership coop run by the city of Jacksonville, Fla., wants out of the deal. Here’s why that matters: Earlier this month, we got the news that the cost of the two reactors had gone up by $2.3 billion – only a few months after the state Public Service Commission approved the lower amount. The full price of the Vogtle upgrade is now $27 billion, double what was originally estimated and five years behind schedule. The increase requires investors in the project to re-affirm their decision to move forward by Sept. 30. Georgia…

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