Gov. Perdue Wants to Screw Nonprofit Hospitals

First, I feel my feelings about Governor Sonny Perdue
may best be expressed through a picture and WordArt.

Now, I want to share part of a newsletter:

This week, the governor unveiled his latest proposal to address the budget shortfall by announcing a 10.25% Medicaid cut to hospital and physician payments and the repeal of the nonprofit hospitals sales tax exemption. He made this proposal due to a lack of support among lawmakers for the hospital revenue sick tax.

The heat is being turned up under the Gold Dome with the focus of the 2010 legislative session on the budget shortfall.  On Thursday, the governor lowered his revenue estimate for the FY 2010 (current fiscal year) revenue estimate by $343 million and the FY 2011 (fiscal year beginning July 1) revenue estimate by $443 million.

The governor’s proposal to take away the tax exemption on nonprofit hospitals is a tax increase! And, if a 4% state tax on revenues is placed on purchases, it’s likely that counties and municipalities will in turn place a sales tax on purchases and on property.  A 4% sales tax in Georgia could quickly become 8% doubling the impact on certain hospitals in the state.

When lawmakers go back into session on Tuesday, March 16, they will be in day 24 of the legislative session.  That leaves 16 legislative days left in the 40 day session.    Time is not on our side!

Please consider voicing your opinion today to Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, Speaker Ralston and your House and Senate members! Even if you have already contacted them, please do so again!!!! Ask them to oppose a tax increase on nonprofit hospitals by removing the current sales tax exemption. This financial impact could result in job layoffs, a reduction or elimination of capital projects, and reduction or elimination of free community health projects that provided by hospitals.

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s Contact Info:
Click here to use the Lt Gov’s online contact form.
Call: 404-656-5030
Fax: 404-656-6739

House Speaker David Ralson’s Contact Info:
Capitol #:  404-656-5020
Email his staff: Dianne Hardin (dianne.hardin@house.ga.gov), Leishea Johnson (leishea.johnson@house.ga.gov), and Gina McKinney (ginny.mckinney@house.ga.gov)

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Mary Norwood Responds

marynorwood

At 9:46pm, I received a statement from Roman Levit, on behalf of Mary Norwood’s campaign, in regards to the email I sent earlier today.  Please click here to read the email I sent to Mary Norwood (as well as to Lisa Borders and Kasim Reed).

Levit’s statement:
Public safety is a crisis in our city, and we must make sure that our police maintain the support of all our communities have the resources they need to keep us safe, and we as citizens must have confidence that the considerable power we invest in our police is used wisely.  Over the last day, a number of constituents have expressed their concern to me over events at the Atlanta Eagle bar.  While it is not yet clear what transpired there last night, the events of September 10th clearly have a number of Atlantans concerned.    As we learn the details of the events at the Eagle we must ask ourselves three questions:
 
Were there crimes being committed at the bar?
 
In a time when violent criminals are roaming our streets, was this the most efficient use of our scarce police resources?
 
Were the patrons present that night treated fairly and with the dignity and respect they deserve?
 
Only when these issues are resolved will we be able to have a full picture of what happened and whether everyone acted appropriately.

LGBT Inquiry to Borders, Norwood, & Reed

BordersNorwoodReedAfter hearing about the raid on the Eagle and the incident at Black Gay Pride, I started to wonder what the front running candidates in Atlanta’s mayor race think about these two incidents.  I’m sure they must care how the Atlanta LGBT community feels.  I’m sure they have an opinion on these incidents. and I hope they won’t want to keep their opinions to themselves. So, I decided to send an email to the candidates: Lisa Borders, Mary Norwood, and Kasim Reed.  Here is what I sent to each candidate:

Dear ……,
 
Within the past week, there have been two incidents involving the Atlanta Police Department and the Atlanta LGBT community. The first incident was at Black Gay Pride.  The second incident was last night at the Eagle.  These incidents are leaving Atlanta’s LGBT community feeling like a target for the APD.  Since you are running for mayor in the city where these incidents occurred, I’d appreciate your response and thoughts on these incidents. 
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your timely response.
 
warm regards,
Dustin

Hopefully, each candidate will respond.   I’ll definitely keep you updated!

 

Here are some links about the incidents:

The GA Supreme Court Made Me Smile

Sometimes it pays off to have the news as background noise. 11 Alive just gave a report that made smile. In fact, the news makes me want to give each of the Justices of the Georgia Supreme Court a high five; however, I don’t think it would be well received. But you have to admit, it would be a great photo moment to see a happily flaming me high-fiving the seven Justices in their robes. You know you’d pay to see it.

The following is from Sovo:

Ga. Supreme Court rules against ban against allowing kids around father’s gay friends

The Georgia Supreme Court tossed out part of a Fayette County court’s decision that kept a divorced gay father from allowing his children to interact with his gay friends, according to a ruling today from the state Supreme Court.

In the ruling, Justice Robert Benham wrote the high court acknowledges that trial courts have the discretion to “limit a parent’s exposure of the children to certain people, if it can be shown that the children would be adversely affected.”

In this case, the Supreme Court justices rejected Fayette County Superior Court Judge Christopher Edwards’ ban on having the gay father bring his gay friends around his children. Edwards has been nominated to fill the a seat on the state Supreme Court after Chief Justice Leah Sears steps down at the end of June.

“The blanket prohibition against exposure of the children to members of the gay and lesbian community who are acquainted with husband is another matter,” says today’s opinion. “There is no evidence in the record before us that any member of the excluded community has engaged in inappropriate conduct in the presence of the children or that the children would be adversely affected by exposure to any member of that community.”

Hannibal Heredia represented the gay father, Eric Mongerson, in an appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court and said the order created an unreal living situation for his client.

“He literally could go into a mall with his and if he saw one his friends he’d have to go the other way, that’s how openly worded the order was,” he said today.

The opinion by Benham further states: “The prohibition against contact with any gay or lesbian person acquainted with husband assumes, without evidentiary support, that the children will suffer harm from any such contact. Such an arbitrary classification based on sexual orientation flies in the face of our public policy that encourages divorced parents to participate in the raising of their children…and constitutes an abuse of discretion.” As a result, “we vacate the blanket prohibition against exposure of the children to husband’s gay and lesbian acquaintances.”

Click here for the rest of the article.

Obama and The Gays

Yesterday, President Obama released a press statement proclaiming June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. This is fine and dandy, almost like a hard candy Christmas.

I think it is great that President Obama references Stonewall. I think it is great that he calls on Americans to end discrimination; however, I would rather President Obama his promise of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Back in January, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs answered questions from the Public on Youtube. “Thadeus of Lansing, Mich., asks, ‘Is the new administration going to get rid of the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy?'” Gibbs answered,”Thadeus, you don’t hear a politician give a one-word answer much. But it’s, ‘Yes.'” We need to call on President Obama and ask him to cash in that “yes.”

Back in April of 2008, I interviewed two veterans and asked about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Check out that interview here.

Below is the President Obama’s proclamation as it appears on www.whitehouse.gov:

LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2009
– – – – – – –
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born. During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans.

LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society. There are many well-respected LGBT leaders in all professional fields, including the arts and business communities. LGBT Americans also mobilized the Nation to respond to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic and have played a vital role in broadening this country’s response to the HIV pandemic.

Due in no small part to the determination and dedication of the LGBT rights movement, more LGBT Americans are living their lives openly today than ever before. I am proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration. These individuals embody the best qualities we seek in public servants, and across my Administration — in both the White House and the Federal agencies — openly LGBT employees are doing their jobs with distinction and professionalism.

The LGBT rights movement has achieved great progress, but there is more work to be done. LGBT youth should feel safe to learn without the fear of harassment, and LGBT families and seniors should be allowed to live their lives with dignity and respect.

My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security. We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.

These issues affect not only the LGBT community, but also our entire Nation. As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit. During LGBT Pride Month, I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

BARACK OBAMA

Links: Stimulus $ to Gay Cop Ban to Liberty College & More!

recovery.GOV vs recovery.ORG

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Peru has announced that it will ban homosexuals from the police force for damaging the image of the institution.

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A May 28 press release from Housing Works alerted the media that as many as 60 Canadians had been turned away from the U.S. border in spite of “stated U.S. policy that foreigners living with HIV would no longer be barred from entering the country.”

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A survey of dozens of women who fled violence in Darfur found that a third of them reported or showed signs of rape, and revealed a widespread fear of sexual violence in their refugee camp in Chad, a human rights group reported Sunday.

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Taking a semester off to travel and focus on writing isn’t that unusual for a student at Brown University. But instead of studying comparative literature in Europe, Kevin Roose decided to go to Lynchburg, Va., and enroll at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University.

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General Motors’ bondholders finished voting Saturday on the company’s plan to exchange their debt for an ownership stake as high as 25 percent in G.M., the final obstacle to an orderly bankruptcy for the ailing carmaker.

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Tony Awards: Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre. My Dolly is nominated!