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Who Says We Don't Want To Watch Sausage Being Made?

by Leslie Edwards

People have to pay attention to the actions of our elected officials and the way laws are passed.  This is a good example of the sausage making that goes on in local governments, States and the Federal Government.  It is time for Americans to take back their government.  When good people get elected, they get corrupted by the system that says if you don't play, you don't stay.  The system is broken. If nobody does anything, nothing will ever change. Get involved.

Preston Smith out as judiciary chair, Seabaugh gives up Whip over hospital vote
12:01 pm April 12, 2010, by Ernie Suggs
When the Georgia Senate passed the so-called “sick tax” earlier this month who knew that the Republican Party would be left battered and bruised?
On Monday Sen. Preston Smith of Rome took the Senate well and confirmed what everyone else has been whispering for days – that he has been ousted from his powerful position as chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
Smith, the youngest member of the Senate, made no secret why he lost his position.
It was punishment, he said, for voting against the controversial HB 307, which would impose a hospital tax to help fill a $600 million gap in Medicaid funding.
Despite the fact the Republicans are spinning the bill as a tax cut, Smith said it is obviously a tax increase. He took the well to speak on another bill, but delivered a calm, yet blistering, attack on his party and its leaders.
“In retribution for my refusal to go along with the lieutenant governor and the rest of the Senate Republicans and vote for a tax increase, my role as chairman was stripped away from me by the lieutenant governor, majority leader, president pro tem and senate republican leadership,” Smith said to a hushed Senate. “I take the well today with a heavy heart – not because of a loss of any position –  but rather because of what is happening in state government and its larger implication for the legacy of our Republican party and the posterity of our state.”
The conservative Smith said he promised his constituents that he would never raise taxes.
“I wanted to be a different kind of senator – one who spoke his mind and meant what he said. I made that commitment. But the commitment was to my constituents, not to some outside group,” Smith said. “I gave my word – my bond – that I would not come down to Atlanta and raise taxes…perhaps you should take your chairmanship and give it to a puppet who will feel indebted to you and surrender his constituents’ voice. I don’t need your position to have respect. And I don’t need your title to have honor.”
Smith and two other Republicans, Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg) and Jeff Chapman (R-Brunswick), voted against the bill that could raise $170 million based on a 1.45 percent tax on patient revenue.
Two other Republicans, Jack Hill (R- Reidsville) and Judson Hill (R-Marietta) were excused from the vote. The bill passed 31-15, but on the day it passed Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle twice stopped proceedings to gather votes.
But Smith said it was more than that.
“He ordered the majority leader and president pro tem to go get the votes and to tell the members that their chairmanships were at stake,” Smith said. “[Senate President Pro Tem Tommie Williams] used to tell me that he would never ask me to vote against my conscience or my district. But at the meeting, Williams spontaneously called for a motion for a ‘caucus position’ on the bill.”
At that point, Cagle struck his gavel and ordered Smith to, “speak the truth.”
Smith went on to explain that if two-thirds of the caucus voted to support it, all the members of the caucus had to vote for it.
“There was no discussion. There was not opportunity for dissent. He did not even ask for the members who were voting no,” Smith said. “Like a scene from ‘Lord of the Flies,’ we marched back in to the Senate to follow the order.”
Although the Republicans carried the bill, the bloodshed over it was swift and brutal. Seabaugh resigned majority whip. Hill would not comment on whether he had been stripped of his chairmanship of the Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee.
So Smith was left to do most of the talking, and he attacked the leadership block of Cagle, Williams and Chip Rogers, whom he said “used to be a champion of taxpayers.”
“He used to brag that he had never voted for a tax increase. But you cannot claim to be a champion of taxpayers when you vote to raise taxes and then punish those in your caucus who are convicted not to raise taxes,” Smith said.” For the rest of his political career, the Majority Leader will have to face voters who know that he not only sold out to vote for a tax increase but he fired some of his most conservative members because they refused to go along with a tax increase.”
Rogers said he was stunned by Smith’s comments.
“I started my day as a friend of the Senator from the [52nd] and I hope to end the day as a friend of the Senator from the [52nd],” said Rogers, adding that he would not comment on committee assignments.
But Williams said the party needed 29 votes to pass the bill and Republicans who voted no jeopardized the GOP’s position and threatened the bill.
Passage of the bill was actually helped by three Democrats – Ed Harbison (D-Columbus), Ron Ramsey (D-Lithonia) and Freddie Sims (D-Dawson) – who switched over and supported it.
“Twenty-eight Republicans thought it was a tax cut, and at the end of the day, we thought we had most everybody on board. We assumed Sen. Smith was good with the bill,” Williams said. “If we are going to get the job done, we need a team. This is not a business for the weak at heart. There are tough decisions we are going to have to make if we are going to govern.”
Smith said that at 8 a.m. Monday, he was called into Cagle’s office for a meeting, before the GOP caucus meeting.
“He asked me to resign and issue a state of apology,” Smith said. “An apology for voting against a caucus position.”
Jaillene Hunter, a spokesperson for Cagle, said he would not comment on private meetings. She added that the committee on assignments met last week andvoted unanimously to “allow the vice chairman of judiciary [Seth Harp (R-Midland)] to serve as chairman.”
Smith is the youngest member of the Senate and is widely considered one of the more popular, visible and outspoken members of the GOP. A rising star.
After his speech on the Senate Floor, Smith walked back to his seat in the back of the Chamber in silence. No one clapped. Occasionally, a senator would come by and touch his shoulder. He then watched three senators, including Rogers, step up to the well to re-argue the merits of the bill. Not one of them commented on the validity of his claims.
The Democrats, were unusually silent on the most drama-filled day in the Senate thus far.
“There is an old African proverb: When Elephants fight, the ants run,” said Sen. Minority Leader Robert Brown (D-Macon), noting the irony of the what the GOP mascot is. “But this is a tax increase, conceived and delivered by Republican leadership. Sen. Smith just confirmed that and we feel vindicated in our position.”
By 6:30 p.m. Monday night Smith had 39 fans on a hastily constructed “Draft Preston Smith for Lt. Gov” Facebook page

10 Ways to Honor Earth Day

by Leslie Edwards

Check out these simple ideas you can choose from to help you and your family get up and get involved!


Re-usable Bags
Utilize reusable bags for all of your shopping


Plant a tree, shrub or other plants 
This is certainly a popular way to celebrate Earth Day and one that beautifies your surroundings


Water Bottles
Use refillable bottles and a water filter for your water


Recycle, Re-use and Repurpose
Try to do one of these three actions with everything you touch and you'll reduce waste considerably




Turn off lights 
Use power strips for phone and other chargers, computers and other energy depleting appliances - the strip can be turned off and on easily



Use natural cleaners when possible from baking soda to vinegar and lemons
There are lots of great web sites with recipes on how to mix them correctly


Pay bills online
It saves time and money - no stamps, no checks, no hassle


Save water
Turn water off when brushing your teeth or during other grooming activities


Save gas
Plan your trips and errands efficiently


Storing food
When saving food items, place them in reusable glass containers and avoid plastic

These 10 suggestions can easily be incorporated into everyday living so start today to form new habits.  Children often emulate their parents so let them get involved too. 

leslie edwards CDPE,CRS,ABR,EPro,GRI                                            770.460.9448 where your calls are answered 24-7-365 by a live person moving families since 1978                                                                    




Who is theTea Party?

by Leslie Edwards

The main stream press and the administration are trying hard to maginalize the Tea Party Movement, spinning stories about Tea Party Members spitting, threatening and yelling racial slurs at members of congress.  To date, although a $100,000 reward has been offered, no one can produce any proof that any of that ever happened.  In this day of cell phones that talke still pictures and movies, there is always someone to record the incident, if there really was one.

The message of the Tea Party Movement is simple:

Limited Government, Fiscal Responsibility and Free Markets

These are ideas that resonate with most people in America. 

The Tea Party is not is a fringe group of radicals trying to bring down the government.  They do not condone any type of violence or personal attacks.  Attack the person's policies not the person.  They do not support either party.

The Tea Party members on average, are better educated and more successful. Most Tea Party Members have never been politically active.  When citizens understand what is going on with their government, they feel they have to stand up for the three main principles, less government, balanced budgets and capitalism.  The government should not be trying to control the private sector.  More government, less freedom.

Pay attention to what is really going on.  Instead of listening to sound bites, really listen and learn.  I guarantee that if you will listen to Glenn Beck on Fox, daily at 5pm (hurray for DVR) for a week, you will want to get involved too.

leslie edwards, real estate agent and political activist



The Perils of Plastic, Time Magazine Article

by Leslie Edwards

The April 12th issue of Time Magazine has an informative article about the Perils of Plastic.  I am on a mission to spread the word about how plastics are causing illnesses and death.,28804,1976909_1976908,00.html

Slow Death By Rubber Duck

by Leslie Edwards

Leslie Edwards For years, I have been preaching the dangers of chemicals, artificial hormones, aluminum, plastic, teflon, metals & dyes because I believe they are making people sick and killing them. There are more cancers, alzheimers and other diseases including all the newer immune deficiency diseases.I believe that the dramatic in...crease in childhood cancers, autism and other diseases is the result of changes in baby products. Glass and rubber nippled baby bottles have morphed into cheap plastic bottles that some mothers heat up in the mocrowave, plastic sippy cups, flame retardent, sythetic clothes that are full of chemicals, plastic diapers, plastic parts on cribs, processed foods, plastic toys from China,lead based paint, aluminum cans and cookware and the list goes on and on. It is frustrating that parents are not paying attention. The Book "Death By Rubber Duck" is a great resource. Read this review and sign the petition to get Congress more involved in the issue. one can do it all. If everyone does a little, we can change the world.

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