Political Notes — Bobby Cagle is California dreamin’

[private]Bobby Cagle, the man who’s been widely lauded for his management of Georgia’s chief child welfare agency, appears to be headed for the far shores of California to take a similar job.

The  Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (that state’s equivalent of a county commission) has selected Cagle as the director of the Department of Children and Family Services.

Said the Times:

Cagle will take the helm of an agency with a $2.4-billion budget that is responsible for 34,000 youth across Los Angeles County, more than half of whom are in “out-of-home” care.

He assumes the role at a time when there is a shortage of foster families in the county and as the state is moving away from the use of group care to house foster youth.

He also will take responsibility for the department’s approximately 4,800 social workers, who have been plagued by high caseloads and, in some cases, have been the subject of intense scrutiny, as in the 2013 death of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez, whom the department had been tracking but failed to remove from his home.

Georgia’s Division  of Family and Children Services (DFCS) was equally troubled in 2014 when Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Cagle, a former foster youth and case worker, to take command of the ailing agency.

Cagle’s appointment was a response to the deaths of two children in the agency’s custody. Deal also called on the legislature to appropriate more money for the hiring of more caseworkers at DFCS.

Cagle is credited with turning around DFCS’ performance in the ensuing three years.

Accenture expands

The consulting firm Accenture, which already employs more than 2,800 people in Atlanta, announced Wednesday it will expand its footprint in the city by opening an “Innovation Hub” in 2018 that could add up to 800 positions.

“Our clients look to us to help them grow, compete and transform in the digital economy,” said Accenture’s Jimmy Etheredge. “We are bringing innovation to their doorsteps with a new destination in Atlanta where we can co-create solutions to their biggest challenges and deliver ground-breaking, tangible results faster than ever.”

Investigation of New Georgia Project closed out

Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s three-year campaign to have Stacey Abrams charged with some sort of voter fraud in connection with her New Georgia Project appears to have played itself out this week.

The State Election Board voted Wednesday to send over 53 voter application forms that were allegedly forged or improperly filled out to the state Attorney General’s office for any further action.

During the board’s meeting, the lead investigator for the secretary of state’s office said he had found no wrongdoing by the organization, which was founded to register minority voters. The questionable documents were turned in by independent contractors working for the New Georgia Project.

Abrams, who recently stepped down from the Georgia House to run fulltime in the Democratic primary for governor, has been tangling with Kemp since 2014 over the New Georgia Project’s activities. Kemp, a Republican candidate for governor, accused Abrams’ organization of voter fraud in its attempts to register black voters, a charge that Abrams denied.

“Unfortunately, efforts by the Secretary of State to criminalize voter registration seek to close the door to voting to far too many Georgians,” said the Rev. Raphael Warnock of the Ebenezer Baptist Church.

“The New Georgia Project has been cleared of any wrongdoing and will continue its mission of registering Georgians to vote so that everyone can have a voice in our democracy,” Warnock said.

Maybe 2024?

Kennesaw State University political science professor Kerwin Swint has come up with his own projection for when Georgia might become a “purple” state.

Writing in the most recent issue of Georgia Trend, Swint said:

I have the Year of Turning Purple pegged at 2024. It will be a presidential election year, so turnout will be high. The presidency will either be open or it will be a Democrat running for re-election. And Georgia will have several more cycles of new voters added to the mix, most of whom will likely be reliably Democrat.

So will Democrats finally break through in 2024 and deliver Georgia to a Democratic presidential candidate and begin winning other statewide elections? Hard to say. Will Georgia be a competitive two-party state by 2024? Very likely.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report


Tags: Accenture , Bobby Cagle , demographic trends , Stacey Abrams , voter fraud