GPB: Political Rewind Returns: What’s the State of Play in Georgia 02/28/20

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Nydia Tisdale
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GPB: Political Rewind Returns: What’s the State of Play in Georgia 02/28/20

Post by Nydia Tisdale » March 9th, 2020, 2:00 pm

POLITICAL REWIND RETURNS: WHAT’S THE STATE OF PLAY IN GEORGIA

Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “Political Rewind” team of award winning political pundits and prognosticators return to broadcast live from the conference and try to answer what is happening and why.

Host:
• Bill Nigut, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Atlanta

Panel:
• Jim Galloway, Lead Political Writer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta
• Eric Tanenblatt, Dentons, Atlanta; Republican Strategist
• Samuel S. Olens, Dentons, Atlanta; Former State Attorney General
• Michael Thurmond, CEO, DeKalb County
• Dr. Amy Steigerwalt, Political Science Professor, Georgia State University, Atlanta

29th Annual Georgia Bar, Media & Judiciary Conference
Friday, February 28, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.
State Bar Headquarters / Atlanta, Georgia

Georgia Judges, Journalists and Lawyers And the First Amendment
A Primer on Recurring and Emerging Issues and the Law

Conference AGENDA and panelists’ BIOGRAPHIES.



Political Rewind Special Edition: Live From The State Bar Of Georgia

Friday, Feb. 28th on Political Rewind, our panel was live from the annual Georgia Bar, Media & Judiciary Conference at the State Bar of Georgia in downtown Atlanta. The conference brings together Georgia lawyers, judges and journalists for discussions centered on law and the courts.

Our panel discussed the intesifying political feud between Congressman Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Rep. Doug Collins over Johnny Isakson’s former Senate seat. And DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond, a member of today's panel, explained why he recently decided not to run for the position.

Also, we discussed President Trump’s continued interference in the judiciary branch in recent weeks in the Roger Stone court proceedings.


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Nydia Tisdale
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Bill Nigut, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Atlanta — biography

Post by Nydia Tisdale » March 9th, 2020, 2:02 pm

BILL NIGUT has been a program host and producer at Georgia Public Broadcasting since November 2013. He is host and executive producer of “Political Rewind,” a political roundtable show featuring some of Georgia’s best-informed insiders weighing in on the big state and national political stories.

Political Rewind airs each Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 2 p.m. on GPB Radio. The program also streams live on GPBNews.org and on the GPB News Facebook page. In addition, you can find it on GPB TV on Fridays at 7 p.m. and on Sundays at 9 a.m.

Bill spent 20 years as the national and state political correspondent for WSB-TV in Atlanta. In that role, he covered five presidential campaigns, traveling to Iowa, New Hampshire and other key primary states in each presidential election cycle.

Bill also covered the White House and Capitol Hill for WSB, commuting from his home in Atlanta when major news stories were breaking in Washington, D.C.

He grew up in Chicago, where he developed his love of rough and tumble politics and the Chicago Bears and Da Bulls.

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Jim Galloway, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta — biography

Post by Nydia Tisdale » March 9th, 2020, 2:04 pm

JIM GALLOWAY has been a writer and editor with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for more than three decades and is now the newspaper’s political columnist and lead writer and founder of the Political Insider blog, the best-read and most influential political blog in the state.

He is an unrepentant child of the suburbs who played Little League ball (badly) on what is now the fourth runway at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Galloway has witnessed every kind of political contest, from city council races to presidential contests to a failed revolution in China.

In 1976, while Jimmy Carter accepted the Democratic nomination for president of the United States on TV, it was young Galloway’s weighty task to blindly call Georgia residents to see how many were watching the John Wayne movie scheduled opposite. Quite a few, it turned out.

Responsibilities have increased since then, somewhat, to include mayors, governors and the occasional head of state. But the meanest, nastiest, most low-down campaign he’s ever seen remains a race for the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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Eric Tanenblatt, Dentons, Atlanta — biography

Post by Nydia Tisdale » March 9th, 2020, 2:06 pm

ERIC TANENBLATT is the Global Chair of Public Policy and Regulation of Dentons, the world's largest law firm. He also leads the firm's US Public Policy Practice, leveraging his three decades of experience at the very highest levels of the federal and state governments. Mr. Tanenblatt, a renowned lecturer and political counselor who's widely regarded as one of the nation's preeminent public policy thought leaders, has served in the administrations of three US presidents and as a senior advisor to a US senator and governor, and held a US Senate-confirmable post governing a federal agency. He has a passion for shepherding disruptive companies and industries through the complicated web of law and regulation, and often writes and speaks about the innovation economy. He leads Dentons' global autonomous vehicles team and authors a popular weekly digest tracking the most consequential regulatory, political, and technical developments in the world of automotive autonomy.

Mr. Tanenblatt's political and fundraising activities and experience are extensive. He served as chief of staff to Governor Sonny Perdue, Georgia's first Republican governor in 130 years, and later helped coordinate the 2004 G-8 Economic Summit, hosted by President George W. Bush at Sea Island, Georgia. He served in 2012 as a political advisor and National Finance Co-chairman for the presidential campaign of Governor Mitt Romney, with whom his relationship dates back to 2004, when he served as Finance Co-chair for the Romney-led Republican Governors Association (RGA). Earlier, in 2000, he served as the state chairman for President Bush's successful Georgia campaign and held senior positions in the 1996 Bob Dole and Phil Gramm presidential campaigns. He also served as a longtime advisor to the late US Senator Paul Coverdell (R-GA), including as vice chairman of the senator's reelection bid in 1998. Later, he served in the administration of President George H. W. Bush at the Department of Health and Human Services as a special assistant to the secretary, and as director of intergovernmental affairs at the Peace Corps.

Mr. Tanenblatt is a prominent advocate for civic engagement, often writing and speaking on the subject. He was nominated by President Bush and confirmed by the US Senate to serve on the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, serving from 2008 until 2013. He was also the founder and chairman of Hands on Georgia, a statewide organization to promote volunteerism, and served as co-chair of the Host Committee for the National Conference for Service and Volunteerism in 2008 and 2018.

Routinely named one of Georgia's 100 most influential persons by the magazine Georgia Trend, which years earlier named him one of the state's "Forty under 40" rising stars, Mr. Tanenblatt is often quoted or cited by some of the most prestigious news and opinion services in the world, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, US News and World Report, National Journal, Politico, The Hill, Roll Call, the Associated Press, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Samuel S. Olens, Dentons, Atlanta — biography

Post by Nydia Tisdale » March 9th, 2020, 2:08 pm

SAMUEL S. OLENS is of counsel in Dentons' Public Policy practice and is a member of the firm's State Attorneys General group, based in the Atlanta office. His practice focuses on state attorneys general and local government affairs matters.

Sam was twice elected Attorney General of Georgia, in 2010 and 2014. In that role he worked to strengthen the penalties for and protect the victims of sex trafficking, guided a comprehensive revision of Georgia's sunshine laws and led the effort to stem the epidemic of prescription drug abuse. Olens also served as vice president of the National Association of Attorneys General in 2016, having previously served as chair of the 13-state Southern Region both in 2013 and 2015.

Prior to being elected attorney general, Olens was chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, serving from August 2002 through March 2010. He previously served as a county commissioner from 1999 through June 2002.

Sam is a registered mediator/arbitrator with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution. He has been admitted to practice law in Georgia and the District of Columbia.

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Michael L. Thurmond, CEO, DeKalb County — biography

Post by Nydia Tisdale » March 9th, 2020, 2:13 pm

MICHAEL L. THURMOND won a 2016 landslide victory to become chief executive officer of DeKalb County, one of the most diverse counties in the Southeast. Since his Jan. 1, 2017 swearing-in, Thurmond’s primary mission is restoring trust in county government. His other priorities include adopting a balanced budget, ensuring accurate water bills, removing blight, offering summer youth employment, improving employee compensation, and fulfilling the federal/state sewer consent agreement.

Thurmond, a former member of the Georgia General Assembly and the first African-American elected to a statewide office without prior appointment, is widely regarded as a “turnaround expert” after fundamentally transforming the culture and enhancing operations of complex organizations such as the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, the Georgia Department of Labor and the DeKalb County School District. As superintendent of DeKalb schools, Thurmond is credited with stabilizing the system during a governance crisis, upgrading its threatened accreditation, eliminating a multimillion-dollar deficit and improving student academic performance and graduation rates.

Thurmond was raised as a sharecropper's son in Clarke County, Georgia. He graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and religion from Paine College and later earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina’s School of Law. He also completed the Political Executives program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 1986, he became the first African-American elected to the Georgia General Assembly from Clarke County since Reconstruction. During his legislative tenure, Thurmond authored major legislation that provided more than $250 million in tax relief to Georgia's senior citizens and working families.

Thurmond received a gubernatorial appointment to lead the state Division of Family and Children Services and direct Georgia's historic transition from welfare to work. He created the innovative Work First program, which helped more than 90,000 welfare-dependent Georgia families move from dependence into the workforce. In 1997, Thurmond became a distinguished lecturer at the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government. The following year, he was elected Georgia labor commissioner. During his three terms as labor commissioner, Thurmond’s most significant achievement was the construction of a $20 million school for children with disabilities at the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute.

Thurmond’s latest book, Freedom: Georgia’s Antislavery Heritage, 1733-1865, was awarded the Georgia Historical Society’s Lilla Hawes Ward. In 2004, The Georgia Center for the Book listed Freedom as one of The 25 Books All Georgian’s Should Read. He serves on the University of Georgia Libraries Board of Visitors. He is married to Zola Fletcher Thurmond, and they have one daughter, Mikaya.

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Dr. Amy Steigerwalt, Georgia State University, Atlanta — biography

Post by Nydia Tisdale » March 9th, 2020, 2:15 pm

AMY STEIGERWALT is a Professor of Political Science at Georgia State University. Her research focuses on the federal judicial selection process, as well as the role of courts as institutions and the differing influences on judicial and legislative operations and decision-making.

She has published four books to date, including Battle over the Bench: Senators, Interest Groups, and Lower Court Confirmations, (UVA Press, 2010) as well as articles in journals such as Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, and Justice System Journal.

A chapter from her book The Puzzle of Unanimity: Consensus on the United States Supreme Court, coauthored with Pamela Corley and Artemus Ward (Stanford Press, 2013) was awarded the 2013 Hughes-Gossett Award for the best article published that year in the Journal of Supreme Court History.

Her most recent book is Gendered Vulnerability: How Women Work Harder to Stay in Office (Univ. Michigan Press, 2018, coauthored with Jeffrey Lazarus). Dr. Steigerwalt is also the current Editor-in-Chief of Justice System Journal.

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