One way you can tell it's an election year is not only by the campaign ads and signs that litter the airways and roadways. Another clear indicator is when a public official launches a new policy plan clearly aimed at voters, or a specific group of them.
This may seem like heresy to many (tea partyers, cover your eyes), but there are occasions when government needs more money. Shocking yes, but true.
When The Times launched an effort to find how timely political candidates were in paying their taxes, little did we know the result would be the revelation that you really can't trust those online tax records posted by the Hall County tax commissioner's office.
Amid candidates for Congress, state and local office and a controversial transportation sales tax, you'll find a late addition to the July 31 Republican primary ballot.
Every Memorial Day for the past decade or so, we have taken stock in where our country stands as we fight enemies abroad. For quite awhile now, the day set aside in tribute to the nation's war casualties has continued to see that toll mount in deserts of the Middle East.
With high school and college students out for the summer and vacation season upon us, our already-crowded highways will be clogged with even more travelers in the weeks to come.
In the days to come, high school and college graduates of the Class of 2012 will grip their diplomas with pride and flip their tassels, leaving the life they've known behind for uncertain waters. Then they will hear speeches warning them of the hard road ahead of them.
Though there are faint, flickering hints of light at the end, the nation remains deep inside a very dark tunnel of financial distress.
In a time when local governments continue to operate under tight budgets, with little relief in sight, it's not surprising the issue of consolidation has again made its way to the front burner.
So does anyone still think we don't need to keep close tabs on ethical behavior by government officials? If so, take a look at recent scandals in the nation's capital involving members of the General Service Administration and Secret Service.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
This being an election year, we all knew the 2012 session of the General Assembly would produce its fair share of "hey, look at me" bills designed more to impress voters than to solve their problems.
Judging our yearly progress was easier at one time.
The high cost of war again has been brought into clear focus.
People of a certain age remember a time when children felt safe in their homes, their neighborhoods and their schools.
Wanted: Magic money tree. Must produce massive quantities of legal tender to help pay for state's most pressing needs and fulfill all campaign promises. Please deliver to state Capitol by January 2015.
This may seem a naive and silly question, but bear with us as we ask: When did voting itself become such a partisan issue?
Each Sept. 11 for the past dozen years since the fateful day of 2001, we ask ourselves the same question: Are we safer now than we were then?
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