Georgia Unfiltered

Search This Site

24 November 2018

Georgia Democrat leaders were for voter purging before they were against it

Georgia Democrats claim the state's so-called "use it or lose it" voter registration law is an affront to democracy. Years ago, though, two critics of the law actually supported it in the state legislature.

State Democratic Party chairman DuBose Porter lashed out at former Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the Republican governor-elect, for actions Porter says kept people from voting.

(Georgia Democrat leaders [from left] Steve Henson, Nan Orrock and DuBose Porter voted for the state's controversial "use it or lose it" voter registration rule in 1997. Images courtesy: Georgia State Senate and Democratic Party of Georgia)
"Republican lawmakers in Georgia have already mounted a concerted effort to restrict access to the ballots," Porter wrote in a 2015 Savannah Morning News editorial. "And it continues with Republicans pushing to hack away at early voting days and a Secretary of State who regularly purges our voter rolls."

Purging removes inactive voters from official voting lists.

Georgia law says a person who has had "no contact" with elections supervisors during the preceding three calendar years are considered inactive voters. If an inactive voter does not make contact after receiving a notice from the Secretary of State, then they are removed from the inactive voter list; forcing them to re-register to vote.

The state statute, described by NPR as the "use it or lose it" law, came under scrutiny after the revelation that more than 100,000 Georgians were removed from the voting lists prior to the November 2018 election.

"In his time as Secretary of State, Brian Kemp’s office has overseen voter purges, data breaches, and policies that disenfranchise minority voters," state Senator Nan Orrock (D - Atlanta) declared in a Democratic Party press release.

Orrock and Porter previously served in the Georgia House of Representatives. They both supported the state's "use it or lose it" law, even voting for the bill on the House floor.

03 July 2018

The Netherlands Hope New Atlanta Consulate will Strengthen Economic Ties to Georgia

Georgia's strong economic ties with the Dutch are expected to get even stronger.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the Netherlands would be opening a new consulate in Atlanta. This marks Holland's return to Georgia's capital city since the European nation closed its prior consulate in 2015.

(Atlanta joins five other U.S. cities in hosting the Dutch consulate. Image credit: US Embassy and Consulate in the Netherlands)
Rutte made the announcement during a July 2 meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C.

The state of Georgia is seen as a key economic partner by officials in the Netherlands.

“The economic ties between the Netherlands and the United States are strong," said Sigrid Kaag, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

Georgia, according to the Dutch embassy, sends the country $1 billion in exports. 29,000 Georgia jobs are also supported by Dutch-U.S. trade and investment.

Atlanta-based companies, like Coca-Cola Enterprises and UPS, have offices in the Netherlands. Dutch companies such as KLM airlines and VanderLande Industries have a significant presence in the Atlanta area too. Earlier this month, Governor Nathan Deal (R - Georgia) welcomed another Holland business to the American South.

VDL Groep, an international industrial and manufacturing company based in the Netherlands, plans to locate in Hall County. The move is expected to create create 110 jobs and invest $17 million north of Atlanta.

"With this manufacturing facility, VDL Groep will join a number of Dutch companies that operate more than 100 facilities in our state and employ more than 7,500 Georgians," Deal said. "We are looking forward to strengthening our relationship with VDL Groep and seeing the company continue to grow here in Georgia.”

"Atlanta is a natural home for a new Dutch representation to further strengthen our partnership with the US," said Dutch Minister Kaag. "Atlanta is in many ways a gateway to the United States, while the Netherlands is a gateway to Europe. And much like Atlanta, the Netherlands is a hub for smart logistics, financial technology, and cybersecurity.”

No official date was given for the opening of the new Netherlands consulate in Atlanta.

The Netherlands also has consulates general in Chicago, New York, Miami, and San Francisco, as well as an embassy in Washington, D.C.

27 June 2018

Tomorrowland Returns to North America for a Special Show in Mexico

Tickets for Tomorrowland are sold out. But the three-day electronic music festival still plans on sharing its magic with the world.

UNITE with Tomorrowland broadcasts the Belgian event to all corners of the globe during a special livestream in select cities. 2018 marks the return of UNITE to North America for the first time since 2016. Mexico City again plays host to a unique stage featuring lights and other special effects synced up with the Tomorrowland mainstage in Belgium.

Tomorrowland Mexico City promises a "massive well-curated line-up of local & international artists," according to the festival's webpage.

Tickets are on sale now for the July 28 event held at Deportivo Lomas Altas.

Check out the video blog from YouTube personality Zidaco, who covered Tomorrowland Mexico City in 2016:

18 June 2018

Imagine Festival Organizers Reflect on Five Years of Challenges & Success

Five years ago, a rebooted Music Midtown gradually found its legs again. Rome, Georgia hosted CounterPoint at Kingston Downs for the first time.  And Tomorrowworld, the three-day event that took over CounterPoint's former home in Chattahoochee Hills, was the hottest ticket in town for electronic music fans.

(Tickets are on sale now for Imagine Music Festival.
Visit for details. Image Credit: Imagine Festival
Against that backdrop, Glenn and Madeleine Goodhand organized the inaugural Imagine Music Festival at Atlanta's Historic Fourth Ward Park. They lost money.

Those initial struggles did not deter the husband-wife duo. They learned from them instead.

"You never can stop learning," Glenn Goodhand said.

Now, as the Goodhands prepare for Imagine's fifth edition, the festival once seen as a mid-card act to larger shows is the big dog in town.

2018 marks the third straight year that Grammy Award-nominated artists booked their ticket to Imagine. Armin van Buuren, Kaskade and Paul Oakenfold --all past contenders for the recording industry's highest honors-- headline a slate that also features several local and regional acts like Midnite Panda and Reliquary.

Still, challenges remain. Glenn Goodhand agrees, especially when it comes to setting Imagine apart from an already crowded festival landscape.

"There are amazing events all across the country, but after a while, the lineups blur together, and it is hard to recall who is doing what," Goodhand said. "I think we distinguish ourselves from other events by not being a carbon copy of everything else that is out there, including previous versions of Imagine."

14 June 2018

The Glitch Mob Adds Its Name to an Already Packed Imagine Music Festival Lineup

The Glitch Mob announced their 2018 North American fall tour, and it features a visit to Imagine Music Festival at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September.

Based in Los Angeles, the trio consisting of Boreta (Justin Boreta), edIT (Edward Ma) and Ooah (Joshua Mayer) is noted for their bass-heavy remix of "Seven Nation Army" by the White Stripes. The 2013 film "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, featured The Glitch Mob remix in its trailer.

Billboard magazine says The Glitch Mob's stage set-up, better known as Blade 2.0, is "like being inside the cockpit of a futuristic spaceship, surrounded by glowing pads and buttons." Musical captains Boreta, edIT and Ooah bring their craft to an already packed Imagine Music Festival line-up.

Imagine celebrates its fifth year with big names like Armin Van Buuren, Bassnectar, Kaskade and Paul Oakenfold. In addition to these internationally-known DJs, the 3-day event also brings 70 local and regional artists to multiple stages across the infield of a premier NASCAR race track.

“Topping the prior year's lineup has undoubtedly become a bigger challenge each year,” says Imagine founders Glenn and Madeleine Goodhand. "Through many special requests, our fans and the Imagine Family have helped to curate another dream lineup. Our fan support has been an integral part in the festival’s growth and we cannot wait to welcome you all back for our best year yet.”

Tickets are available now starting at $219 for a 3-day pass and $285 for a 3-day pass with camping. Passes can be purchased online at Imagine Music Festival is an 18 and over event.