Drones are coming to Georgia. And they’ve got lawyers.

If you want to know where the future is headed, watch where the legal community goes.

The legal/governmental affairs firm of McKenna, Long & Aldridge, perhaps the most politically active entity of its kind in Atlanta – working both sides of the aisle, has a new Washington unit: An unmanned Aircraft Systems division.

The firm is now advertising a Sept. 23 seminar in Georgia that will include a look at what might be popping up legislatively during the 2015 session of the General Assembly.

Among the speakers: state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black (think crop dusting) ; Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, chairman of the state Senate Science and Technology Committee; Ed Setzler, R-Acworth, chairman of the state House Science and Technology Committee; and Steve Justice, director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Aerospace.


While we were on hold, waiting to go on WGAU (1340AM) in Athens this morning, we heard host Martha Zoller say she would be dropping out of radio and going to work for the U.S. Senate campaign of Republican David Perdue. She promises more details as the week wears on.


A month out from his Senate primary runoff loss, Jack Kingston is still winding down his campaign and figuring out which tchotchkes accumulated over a 20-year congressional career need to be chucked and which need to be saved.

The work -- which includes sending Kingston's archives to the University of Georgia -- has kept Kingston from dwelling too much about what he is going to do when he is out of a job in January, but the 59-year-old has no intention of going out to pasture.

When we caught up with him on Friday to talk about a new mission for Valdosta's Moody Air Force Base, Kingston revealed that he had been approached by two unnamed people from "non-governmental business-type opportunities" but he is not close to making up his mind.

Kingston said he'd "like to stay involved in public policy, political kind of stuff." And there are plenty of lucrative opportunities to do so for former members of Congress who ranked high on the Appropriations Committee.

Kingston's next move could reveal a lot about whether he might run for office again: Becoming a lobbyist would make that road a lot tougher.


That Landmark Communications poll for Channel 2 Action News showing Democrats Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn leading their respective races has bucked recent polling in the races and sparked plenty of discussion.

The Georgia GOP offers the counter-narrative that the poll is "an outlier that can't be trusted," given that other recent polls have shown Gov. Nathan Deal and David Perdue in front and that Landmark had Perdue trailing by 7 points just days before he won the GOP runoff.

True, but no public polling predicted his mild upset win. The Georgia GOP cites InsiderAdvantage (Kingston +5) and SurveyUSA (Kingston +11, though it was six weeks out from the runoff) as arbiters of the fall races now, despite their runoff misses.

An interesting side note: Landmark has Nunn (+7) performing better than Carter (+4), also a reverse of other recent polls.


Aside from stoking talk of Georgia as a future swing state, what exactly was the Democratic National Committee doing in Atlanta over the weekend? Setting the 2016 presidential primary schedule.

AP reports that the Dems set Feb. 1, 2016 as the date for the Iowa caucuses -- meaning politicos and reporters are less likely to ring in the New Year in Des Moines, like 2012. The schedule, which is in line with the Republicans', then looks like this:

The DNC decision does not set in stone the 2016 primary schedule but discourages states from trying to jump ahead in the calendar. In the past two presidential election cycles, Democrats and Republicans have scheduled the early contests for February but then allowed them to take place in January after states such as Florida and Michigan violated the party's rules and moved up their voting.

Also, the DNC voted to drop the number of delegates to the 2016 convention from 3,500 to 3,200, to give them more flexibility when selecting a site for the event. The GOP has already settled on Cleveland. Democrats have whittled the selection process down to New York, Philadelphia and Birmingham.


Democrat Jason Carter's allies are trying to draw a line between Gov. Nathan Deal's sale of his salvage yard to the struggles of everyday Georgians.

"Deal made millions selling his business to a corporation that owed Georgia $74 million in taxes," intones this ad from Democrat-leaning Better Georgia, the biggest outside group boosting Carter:

It's a reference to Deal's sale last year of the salvage yard to a Texas-based auto firm. The deal netted the governor and a business partner $3.2 million each, and days after the sale was made public, it was revealed the company was battling the state over as much as $74 million in disputed back taxes.

Expect to see plenty of the ad. Long wouldn't say how much money he's putting behind the spot, but he said his goal is to put the ad in front of 3 million voting-age women in Georgia in the next three weeks.


If they simply changed the name to University of Alabama, this wouldn't be a problem. From the National Review:

"UM's longstanding nickname is beloved by the vast majority of its students and alumni," says a statement from Ole Miss. "But a few, especially some university faculty, are uncomfortable with it. Some don't want it used at all and some simply don't want it used within the academic context."