Political Notes — MLK statue to be unveiled at capitol in August

[private]It has taken a long time to bring the project to fruition, but a statue of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. will soon be erected and unveiled at the state capitol.

Steve Stancil, executive director of the Georgia Building Authority, said Wednesday the statue “has been just about completed” by Atlanta artist Martin Dawe and approved by the King family.

The statue will soon be placed at the northeast corner of the capitol building at the spot now occupied by another piece of sculpture called “Expelled Because Of Color.”

That sculpture, which memorializes 33 black legislators who were ousted from their seats in the Georgia House in 1868 “because of their color,” will be moved to a location near the King statue, Stancil said.

The public unveiling is set for Aug. 28, the anniversary of King’s most famous and enduring speech: the “I Have a Dream” address at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington in 1963.

The process of getting a statue completed and placed on the statehouse grounds has taken more than three years.

Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation in 2014 authorizing the state’s placement, but the original choice of sculptor, Andy Davis, was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2015 before he could start work on the project.  Dawe was picked in 2016 to replace Davis.

Florida governor sued Georgia while investing in same

At the same time that he was preparing to sue Georgia over the allocation of water from Lake Lanier, Florida Gov. Rick Scott was also investing $1.2 million in municipal bonds issued by the City of Atlanta — the government entity most responsible for Florida’s downstream water shortages.

Scott thus was making a significant financial investment at the same he was pushing for legal actions that could have had a direct impact on the value of that investment.

That intriguing conundrum was first reported by Politico:

The $1.2 million investment in “Atlanta Georgia Water” was first made on Jan. 18, 2012, by Scott and his wife, Ann. It is one of a series of bonds issued as part of Atlanta’s 1999 Master Bond Ordinance to fund its water and wastewater system through revenue bonds. The city has issued more than $3 billion in revenue bonds since its creation.

Florida has been in a long-running legal battle against Georgia over water usage. Florida claims that Georgia’s use of water along the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers has limited the flow of freshwater, choking off Apalachicola’s oyster industry, the area’s main economic driver.

Scott owned the Atlanta bond investment for five months, selling it on May 2, 2012, and listing the $6,519 profit.

During that time, in February 2012, Alabama and Florida asked the U. S. Supreme Court to review the case — which was originally filed in 1990 — after an appeals court tossed out a district court ruling that cities were not entitled to water from Lake Lanier, a federal reservoir on the Chattahoochee River.

Scott, a multi-millionaire who spent $75 million of his own when he first ran for governor in 2010, has denied any connection between his investments and state business, saying that his entire investment portfolio has been in a blind trust since he took office in 2011. At the time of the investment, Scott listed the value of his blind trust at $72 million.

State Bar installs new leaders

Atlanta attorney Brian D. “Buck” Rogers of Fried Rogers Goldberg has been installed as the 55th president of the State Bar of Georgia.

Other officers for the upcoming year include:  President-Elect Kenneth B. “Ken” Hodges III of Ken Hodges Law, Atlanta and Albany; Treasurer Darrell L. Sutton of Sutton Law Group in Marietta; Secretary Dawn M. Jones of Atlanta; and Immediate Past President Patrick T. O’Connor of Oliver Maner in Savannah.

GSBA officers

The Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) has also elected a new slate of officers that includes Oconee County school board chair Tom Odom as president, Rockdale County school board member Katrina Young as president elect, Lee County school board chair Frank Griffin as vice president, and Jefferson City school board chair Ron Hopkins as treasurer.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report

Tags: GSBA , Martin Luther King statue , Rick Scott , State Bar of Georgia , Steve Stancil , water wars