Georgia Woman Used COVID-19 Relief Money on Pricey Miami Getaway, Feds Say

Federal officials have sentenced a Jefferson County, Georgia woman to prison after she admitted she lied to obtain $150,000 in COVID-19 relief funding to spend on a vacation to Miami. That woman, Whitney Adwan Mack, 34, of Louisville, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and will serve 48 months in prison.

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Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan’s Latest Move Endangers Buckhead City Bill

Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan (R-Cumming) this week assigned the legislation that could help Buckhead incorporate into its own city to a senate committee seated entirely by Democrats. Duncan did not return The Georgia Star News’ repeated requests for comment this week.

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Georgia Legislator Wants to Prohibit 1619 Project, Critical Race Theory in Public Schools

State Representative Brad Thomas (R-Holly Springs) on Thursday filed a bill that he said would, if enacted into law, prohibit Georgia public school officials from teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT) and the 1619 Project. Thomas did not return The Georgia Star News’ request for an interview Thursday. He said in an emailed press release that his bill, HB 888, “would prohibit curriculum that could be considered discriminatory on the basis of race from being taught in public schools.” HB 888 also includes a transparency requirement that would allow all parents to view the educational materials given to Georgia students.

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Georgia Governor Brian Kemp Says He’ll Fight Critical Race Theory and Push for a Parental Bill of Rights

Governor Brian Kemp delivered his year State of the State address Thursday, where he announced his policy priorities for the 2022 session of the Georgia General Assembly, and they include reducing crime and reforming public education “From the classroom to the ball field, there are those who want to divide our kids along political lines, push partisan agendas, and indoctrinate students from all walks of life. This is wrong, it’s dangerous, and as long as I’m governor, it will not take root in Georgia,” Kemp said.

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Attorney General Chris Carr Won’t Comment on Vernon Jones’ Request for Feds to Investigate Ballot Harvesting

Staff members for Georgia’s attorney general and secretary of state this week declined to respond to Vernon Jones call for the feds – and not state officials – to investigate new claims of ballot harvesting in 2020. Staff for Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger declined The Georgia Star News’ requests for comment.

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Despite University System of Georgia Opposition, Rep. Josh Bonner Says He Expects Legislators to Pass Bill Granting Free Speech Rights to College Students

Georgia State Representative Josh Bonner (R-Fayetteville) said this week that University System of Georgia officials oppose a bill he’s submitted that would, if enacted into law, bestow students with greater First Amendment rights. “The [University System of Georgia] officials are very opposed to it,” Bonner told The Georgia Star News.

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger Wants Nationwide Ban on Ballot Harvesting

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Tuesday called for a nationwide ban on ballot harvesting. Ballot harvesting permits private individuals to collect other voters’ ballots and then submit those ballots to various polling stations.

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David Perdue Lists Georgia Parents’ Bill of Rights He Plans to Deliver as Governor

Former Republican senator and current Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue on Monday published a Georgia Parents’ Bill of Rights that he said protects children from overzealous school administrators. Perdue’s proposal borrows from federal legislation that U.S. Senator Josh Hawley(R-MO) proposed last year.

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Georgia House Republican Caucus Elects Chamber of Commerce Ally Bonnie Rich House Majority Caucus Chair

Members of the Georgia House Republican Caucus have elected State Representative Bonnie Rich (R-Suwanee) as their new House Majority Caucus Chair for the remainder of the 2021-2022 legislative term. Georgia House Republican Caucus members announced the news this week.

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David Perdue Files Suit Against Law He Says Gives Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s Campaign Unfair Advantage

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue said a new state law gives Governor Brian Kemp a significant financial advantage as he seeks reelection, and this week Perdue filed suit to challenge that law’s constitutionality. In his lawsuit, Perdue, a former Republican U.S. senator, cited Senate Bill 221. The bill became law in July of last year, according to the Georgia General Assembly’s website.

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Vernon Jones Says Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr Too Compromised to Properly Investigate New Claims of Ballot Harvesting

ATLANTA, Georgia – Republican and declared Georgia gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jones on Wednesday called on the federal government – and not State Attorney General Chris Carr – to investigate new claims of ballot harvesting during the 2020 election. This, even though Jones and others allege that certain, unnamed individuals in Georgia broke state laws – and not federal ones.

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New Salon Article Attacking David Perdue Proves the Left Worries Georgia Will Elect Him Governor, Campaign Says

Salon this week identified former Republican senator and current Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue as one of the nation’s 10 “scariest Republican candidates of 2022.” The Georgia Star News asked Perdue spokeswoman Jenni Sweat on Tuesday whether that article signals that the left takes Perdue’s candidacy seriously and outright fears he’ll defeat incumbent Republican Governor Brian Kemp later this year.

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Georgia Opens Investigation into Possible Illegal Ballot Harvesting in 2020 Election

Georgia authorities have launched an investigation into an allegation of systematic ballot harvesting during the state’s 2020 general election and subsequent U.S. Senate runoff and may soon issue subpoenas to secure evidence, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger confirmed to Just the News.

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Gubernatorial Candidate David Perdue Wants Georgians to Have a Parents’ Bill of Rights

A spokeswoman for former Republican senator and Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue said Monday that the candidate wants a Parents’ Bill of Rights. This, after Atlanta Public School (APS) officials announced Saturday that they will operate virtually this week for all students and all staff. APS officials said the district’s most recent COVID-19 data prompted the decision.

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Analysis: Georgia Among the Top Governor’s Races to Watch This Year

Democrats four years ago rode a blue wave to governors’ mansions across the country, flipping Republican-held seats in the Midwest, Northeast and West alike.

Now, however, many of those governors face Republican challengers amid a political environment that looks potentially promising for the GOP, meaning that contentious races may lie ahead in some of the nation’s most pivotal battleground states. Republicans have already had two strong showings in states that lean Democratic, flipping the governor’s seat in Virginia and coming surprisingly close in New Jersey, a state that voted for President Joe Biden by 16 points in 2020.

Governors in less competitive states are also facing primary challengers from the left and right, making for multiple bitter, closely-followed primaries between candidates from different wings of the same party.

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Campus Reform Calls Out Georgia State University for Bias Reporting Tools

The Virginia-based Campus Reform late last week called out the Atlanta-based Georgia State University (GSU) for using bias reporting tools that enable students, faculty, and staff to report on one another for alleged acts of discrimination. Campus Reform, according to its website, is conservative and monitors the nation’s higher education system.

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Trump Confidant Kerik Surrenders Memos to January 6 Panel, Vows to ‘Eviscerate’ Democrat Narrative

Then-President Donald Trump’s team assembled a 10-day pressure campaign in December 2020 hoping to shame governors and state legislators into officially investigating allegations of Election 2020 irregularities, according to memos newly turned over to Congress by former New York Police Commissioner and Trump confidant Bernard Kerik.

The strategy called for “protests” at governors’ mansions and the homes of politicians ranging from secretaries of states to “weak” congressional members in key battleground states, the memos show.

The documents, turned over Friday night under subpoena to the House’s Jan. 6 commission, are remarkable in part because they show the primary focus of the Trump team leading up to the Jan. 6 certification of the 2020 vote – an event that turned violent when pro-Trump protesters stormed the Capitol – was to get “support for hearings” to probe allegations of voting irregularities Trump’s team had received but not vetted.

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Georgia Receives Oral Antiviral COVID-19 Treatments, But Still No Comirnaty

Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) officials this week announced they are allocating Merck and Pfizer oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19 to select retail pharmacies throughout the state. “Initial supply of Molnupiravir and PaxlovidTM from the federal government is very limited. DPH anticipates additional allocations in the coming weeks as production increases,” according to a DPH press release.

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Gov. Brian Kemp Attracts Criticism After He Tells Georgians He Did What He Promised to Do

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, up for reelection next year, released a campaign ad on Wednesday and told voters he has done everything he said he would do during his first term. Two Republicans running against Kemp said Wednesday that the incumbent governor has fallen short.

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Part-Time Athens-Clarke County Commissioners Want to More Than Double Their Salaries

Six of the 10 Athens-Clarke County (ACC), Georgia commissioners have proposed an ordinance that, if enacted into law, would more than double their salaries from $15,000 per year to $31,000. County Mayor Kelly Girtz, under this proposal, would enjoy a pay increase as well, but only a small one, from $57,399 to $62,000.

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Eight New Lawyers, Some with Strong Ties to Democrats, Join U.S. Attorney’s Office for George’s Northern District

Federal officials have announced eight new assistant U.S. attorneys for the Northern District of Georgia. One of them, Mary Jane Stewart, as referred to in a press release is “a career public servant.”

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Biden Administration Labels Georgia’s Medicaid Work Requirements ‘Harmful,’ Abolishes Them

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) officials this week described Georgia’s Medicaid work requirements as “harmful” and announced that Peach State officials may no longer impose them as a condition of Medicaid eligibility. CMS officials also announced that Georgia officials no longer have the authority to charge premiums beyond those allowed under the Medicaid statute in its Georgia “Pathways to Coverage” demonstration.

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DeKalb County GOP Chair Blasts Brad Raffensperger for Claiming Credit for Georgia’s High Ranking Election Security Scorecard

The Washington, D.C.-based Heritage Foundation this month ranked Georgia first on its election integrity scorecard, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger took credit. DeKalb County Republican Party Chair Marci McCarthy said this week, however, that Raffensperger was out of line to make such a statement. McCarthy wrote on the DeKalb County GOP’s website that Raffensperger “unilaterally weakened Voter ID protections and controls” and “did not strengthen them.”

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Feds Say Gambling-Addicted Georgia Public School Teacher Stole $240,000

Federal officials say that a Columbus, Georgia public school teacher who was addicted to gambling stole $240,000 from various nonprofits as well as from one of her former employers. Trenna Denise Trice, 59, pleaded guilty to wire fraud Monday. This according to a press release that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia published this week.

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Georgia’s COVID Relief Spending Transparency Among the Country’s Best: Report

Georgia was one of six states classified as having exemplary disclosure of its Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) spending, according to a new report on transparency in CRF spending.

The CRF was established from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The act was signed into law by former President Donald Trump in March 2020 and gave states a total of $111.8 billion to cover COVID-19-related costs.

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Georgia Rep. Barry Loudermilk Urges More Production of Military Aircraft Manufactured in Marietta

Representative Barry Loudermilk (R-GA-11) announced late last week that he has asked the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to increase the number of new C-130J aircraft, which are manufactured at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Marietta, Georgia. That Lockheed Martin factory, Loudermilk went on to say, employs 3,000 Georgia residents.

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Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde, a Victim of Civil Asset Forfeiture, Calls for New Reforms

Representative Andrew Clyde (R-GA-09) this month shared how Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents violated him and his rights several years ago and listed new ways for the agency to reform itself. Clyde made his remarks at a House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties hearing.

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Georgia’s Unemployment Rate Drops Yet Again, Better Than Pre-COVID-19 Numbers

Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) Commissioner Mark Butler announced Thursday that the state now employs the highest number of Georgians ever, surpassing the number of employed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic by more than 3,000. Butler announced the news in a Thursday press release.

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Georgia One of Only Six States to Adequately Disclose How COVID-19 Relief Money Gets Spent, New Report Reveals

A Washington, D.C.-based group said in a new report that Georgia is one of only six states that do a good job disclosing how they spend COVID-19 relief money. Members of this organization, Good Jobs First, in a report they released Monday, ranked how states spend federal CARES Act money.

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New David Perdue Lawsuit Cites Election Fraud in Fulton County, Asks to Inspect Absentee Ballots and Envelopes

Former Republican senator and declared gubernatorial candidate David Perdue and another Georgia resident this week cited fraud in last year’s elections in Fulton County and filed a suit seeking greater election transparency. In their lawsuit, Perdue and Elizabeth Grace Lennon requested access to Fulton County’s absentee ballots and absentee envelopes from last year. They filed the suit in the Superior Court of Fulton County. Lennon said county officials denied her the right to vote.

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Far-Left Southern Poverty Law Center Announces New $100 Million Initiative in Georgia, Other Deep South States

Officials with the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) this week announced they will start spending nearly three times as much money than usual — nearly $100 million — on voter outreach throughout the Deep South, including Georgia. SPLC officials said in a press release that they will partner with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta (CFGA) and spend that money in other southern states as well. Those states include Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi, SPLC officials said.

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Georgia Rep. Buddy Carter Said He Did Not Vote for a Federal COVID-19 Database That Intrudes on People’s Privacy

U.S. Representative Buddy Carter (R-GA-01) on Monday denied that he voted for a federal database that documents who got vaccinated against COVID-19. According to the U.S. House of Representatives’ website, Carter was the sole Republican House member from Georgia to vote yes on H.R. 550. That bill is otherwise known as the Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2021.

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Developing: Trump Goads David Perdue to Take on Gov. Kemp in GOP Primary

The former Republican Georgia senator who lost the January runoff election to Sen. T. Jonathan Ossoff is expected to announce his challenge to Gov. Brian P. Kemp Monday in the May 25 primary, after months of prodding from President Donald J. Trump, setting up a clash of two former allies and another test of Trump’s sway over the GOP.

“Bonnie and I have been praying about our state and I am concerned about the state of our state,” said David A. Perdue Jr., speaking with the host of WDUN’s “The Martha Zoller Show” and teasing his run with an appearance that broadcast a week before Thanksgiving.

The leading Democrat in the race in the party’s 2018 nominee Stacy Abrams, who Wednesday announced her 2022 campaign.

Trump has been angry at Kemp after the governor refused to back efforts to review the 2020 election before it was certified.

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Former Georgia State Rep. Beth Beskin Launches New Talk Radio Program to Discuss Atlanta and Georgia Politics

Former Georgia State Representative Beth Beskin is scheduled to launch a new weekly talk radio show on Saturday, December 4, where she promises to give listeners a front row seat to Peach State politics. The Beth Beskin Show will broadcast live each Saturday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on WMLB AM 1690 in Atlanta. Listeners who live outside of the Metro Atlanta area may listen by downloading the Freedom WMLB AM 1690 App.

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Georgia Congressional Candidate Rich McCormick Says Lack of ‘Political Speak’ Prompted Him to List Endorsements He Did Not, in Fact, Receive

Republican Rich McCormick, running for Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, previously said four GOP members of Congress had endorsed his candidacy but on Thursday he said they did not actually endorse him. McCormick said he made a mistake.

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Republican Rich McCormick Announces He Will Switch Districts and Run in Georgia’s Sixth District

Republican Rich McCormick, who in 2020 lost Georgia’s Seventh Congressional District race to Representative Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-GA-07), announced Tuesday he’s running again — but this time for the state’s Sixth Congressional District.

McCormick told The Georgia Star News that the newly redrawn Seventh District is now a 65 percent Democrat stronghold. He said any Republican would have a difficult time competing there.

“There is nobody that has a claim to the Sixth [District] any more than I do,” McCormick said.

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Georgia GOP ‘Opened the Door’ to 2020 Voter Fraud, Says Republican Running for 10th Congressional District

Patrick Witt, a Republican running for Georgia’s 10th Congressional District, this week said certain members of the GOP should blame themselves for what occurred in the state on November 3, 2020. Witt, according to his Twitter profile, was a member of former President Donald Trump’s post-election legal team. He also served as a senior official in the Trump administration.

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Georgia Senator Jason Anavitarte Wants to Modify State Law on Cyber Bullying

Georgia state legislators will soon consider a bill that, if enacted into law, would designate certain people not as cyberbullies but, instead, as stalkers.

Local boards of education would have to notify students and parents of the change, according to an emailed press release.

Senator Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas) authored the bill. Legislators are scheduled to consider the bill during the upcoming 2022 session.

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Georgia-Based Media Outlet Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Facebook and Google

The owners of a company that publishes newspapers in Georgia are suing Google and Facebook on the grounds that the two tech giants violated federal antitrust and monopoly laws. The Times-Journal Inc. announced the lawsuit in their newspapers this week, including The Northwest Georgia News. Company officials said in their lawsuit that Google and Facebook agreed to monopolize the market and subsequently damaged the newspaper industry.

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Georgia Secretary of State Candidate Jody Hice Releases New TV Ad Featuring Donald Trump

U.S. Representative Jody Hice (R-GA-10) has released a new television ad — featuring former President Donald Trump — in his campaign to replace Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. In the ad, Trump endorsed Hice. Trump said Hice will “fight for free, fair, and secure elections in Georgia.” The former president also called Raffensperger one of the worst secretaries of state in America.

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Despite New Congressional Map, Georgia U.S. Representative Andrew Clyde Will Run Again for Ninth District

Representative Andrew Clyde (R-GA-09) announced this week that he plans to run for re-election in Georgia’s Ninth Congressional District. This, despite members of the Georgia General Assembly recently drawing him out of his current seat and into the newly vacant 10th District.

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Human Smuggling, Forced Labor Among Allegations in South Georgia Federal Indictment

Federal officials in Georgia have indicted two dozen defendants on federal conspiracy charges after they said they uncovered a transnational, multi-year investigation into a human smuggling and labor trafficking operation. This operation illegally imported Mexican and Central American workers into brutal conditions on South Georgia farms, according to a press release this week from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia.

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Georgia Congressional Candidate Says He Knows How to Repair America’s Trucking Industry Troubles

A Republican who wants to replace U.S. Representative Jody Hice (R-GA-10) and owns a Jackson-based trucking company said it wouldn’t take much for the government to increase productivity within that industry, especially with current driver shortages. But government officials would have to have enough willpower to make those changes.

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Georgia House Votes for New Congressional Redistricting Map That Will Dramatically Change State Political Landscape

Members of the Georgia House on Monday voted for a Congressional Redistricting Map that removes U.S. Representative Lucy McBath (D-GA-06) from her current district and paves the way for a Republican to win that seat. The proposal now goes to Governor Brian Kemp to approve.

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