Power As A Test of Character: Georgia’s Campus Sexual Assault Bill

 In every political system we have abuses of power, some more than others.  They are not uncommon, and as long as the abuses are not egregious they can often times be overlooked.  That does not make it right, yet one must pick their battles.  It should also be said that the very legislators who commit these may do so because they sincerely have good intents.  Sadly though, the general public is not always aware that some bills begin under these circumstances, and a bill’s origins often offer a more comprehensive view of the legislation.  I would like to shed some light on one such case.

In 2016, the AJC reported on Representative Earl Ehrhart (R-36, Powder Springs) intervening in an investigation at Georgia Tech where he threatened and then followed through on reduced funding for the research institution the next legislative session after the outcome of the school’s investigation.  You see, despite thirty-eight years in the Georgia General Assembly and being a past Rules Chairman under Speaker Richardson, Ehrhart is only a sub-committee Chairman.  That subcommittee happens to be the House Appropriations sub-committee on Higher Education.

That’s right- Rep. Ehrhart holds the purse strings for all the colleges and universities across the state.  Those same universities that are churning out the talent in our state to put it on Forbes’ List of the next tech meccas.

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Hey y’all!

My name is Lora Scarlet Hawk, and while I reside in Atlanta, I am grateful to have been born in the Classic City and reared in Social Circle, GA.  More (read: boring) of my bio may be found here; follow me on twitter here.  I have assembled this group of writers to offer a different perspective on politics, business, and culture in the South.  I have written for other previous sites and publications, but wished to provide a platform for other writers whose voices may provide clarity on issues, diversity of opinion, and to dispel the notion of the meek and mild Southern woman.

Why? I love my state.

There is a strength that comes from this red clay that does not come from anywhere else.  The blue skies here are just a little clearer, the accents a little slower, and while it is not a place of quick change, everyone knows that even the kudzu will cover you if you’re standing still.  So I invite you to join us as each of the writers speak about the South we love, the places in which we reside, and all of  the challenges in between.

Some points of clarification about me are:

I am not a journalist. 

Politics is my profession (lobbyist, campaign consultant, and fundraiser), and my insights/opinions are based upon the relationships and experiences I have gathered in the last ten years of my work.

I am an Independent.

You are welcome to consider me what you will.  I question and work with candidates from both parties, a few nonprofits and small businesses, and I only work with the people and organizations in which I truly believe.

I am an all-inclusive and accepting kind of Baptist (join me in the pew at Northside Drive Baptist Church), a member of the Black Ring Mafia (ASC c/o ’04), the Cashmere Mafia, the Junior League of Atlanta, Inc., and when I’m not working, I’m volunteering. Everyone who knows me knows I’ve got a bias for girls trying to make in it business/politics for which I make no apologies.

What I hope this may become.

I hope this may become a place where these writers may be taken seriously…to inform, discuss, debate and analyze issues in a bi-partisan manner, with a diversity of writers that has not been seen in Georgia before now.  It is my hope that good policy may be considered, bad politics exposed, and all done with the air of respect that is deserved.  I hope you find the posts we offer worthy of your time and consideration.

“It was this feminine conspiracy which made Southern society so pleasant. Women knew that a land where men were contented, uncontradicted and safe in possession of unpunctured vanity was likely to be a very pleasant place for women to live. So, from the cradle to the grave, women strove to make men pleased with themselves, and the satisfied men repaid lavishly with gallantry and adoration. In fact, men willingly gave ladies