Benita Dodd's blog

Outlaw policing for profit in Ga.

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Back in 1966, Bobby Fuller sang about, “Robbin’ people with a six-gun, I fought the law and the law won.” And rightfully so: Robbery is a crime. But what happens when it’s the law doing the robbing and the law wins?

Civil asset forfeiture is supposed to be a process in which law enforcement agencies seize property and cash they have reason to believe were involved in a crime. A spate of stories from around the nation, however, reveals that too often, it’s a matter of “policing for profit:” seizing property and money of innocent people because agencies benefit directly from the proceeds. Read More»

Lift the offshore drilling moratorium

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President Obama’s recent move to allow seismic exploration of oil and gas reserves offshore Georgia and the Atlantic Coast has left many hopeful that the offshore drilling moratorium currently in place may soon be lifted. A new study by University of Wyoming energy economist Dr. Tim Considine indicates the degree to which such a move would benefit Georgians and our Mid-Atlantic counterparts. Read More»

EPA power grab unscientific and uncalled for

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[Benita Dodd testified on July 29 at the Atlanta Field Hearing of the Environmental Protection Agency regarding the Clean Power Plan. This is her official testimony, a written copy of which was submitted to the EPA.] Read More»

State needs power to fix traffic problems

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What’s a state to do when the federal surface transportation program heads toward its Sept. 1 expiration date with little promise of a new transportation bill and the Federal Highway Trust Fund s expenditures outpace tax receipts about $1.25 billion a month?

The good news is nobody expects Congress to allow the program to lapse. Washington will slap on some Band-Aid legislation taking states into 2015 (hint: November elections) but the wounds of partisanship will continue to fester. Read More»

Get Georgia moving again on transportation

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[Editor’s note: A version of this commentary was published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution April 27, 2014.]

Georgia’s economy is picking up, and with it the daily traffic congestion as growing numbers of commuters travel to jobs. Inertia followed the failure of the 2012 transportation sales tax (TSPLOST) in nine of 12 regions, but it’s time to move forward on transportation. Read More»

Don’t let the law get away with Georgians’ property

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There’s no doubt that Georgia’s law enforcement officials dislike strings that restrict civil asset forfeiture, which is the power of law enforcement to seize and keep property suspected of being involved in criminal activity. They’ve told legislators that time and again. Read More»

School choice: It’s about more than scores

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The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice recently released an eye-opening analysis of why and how parents choose private schools. The analysis by the national nonprofit organization is worth the read for Georgians especially. It is Georgia-based, undertaken by Georgia Public Policy Foundation senior fellows Jim Kelly and Dr. Benjamin Scafidi, and uses the results of a survey of Georgia parents of K–12 private school scholarship recipients. Read More»

Earth Day: For many, there’s little to celebrate

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“Climate change has many faces,” notes the website for Earth Day 2013, which took place Monday, April 22. “A man in the Maldives worried about relocating his family as sea levels rise, a farmer in Kansas struggling to make ends meet as prolonged drought ravages the crops ... the polar bear in the melting arctic, the tiger in India’s threatened mangrove forests. ...”

It’s a lengthy list. Unfortunately, it’s incomplete.

It’s time to add a few more faces to the pitiful environment painted by Earth Day organizers.

• An entrepreneur and small business shouldering the regulatory burden. Read More»

Choice, charters and children: The real issues

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With less than 40 days to the Nov. 6 elections, passions, tempers and misinformation are on the rise regarding a school choice question on the ballot in Georgia.

Georgia voters will decide whether the state should be able to consider and authorize the creation of a public charter school, at the applicant’s request, if a local public school system rejects the charter application. Read More»

5 ways to move on transportation

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Given the wall-to-wall coverage of the upcoming regional transportation sales tax referendum, Georgians could hardly be blamed for believing that all transportation improvement in the state, and especially metro Atlanta, hinges on voter approval of the 10-year, penny sales tax on July 31.

In fact, there are ways to improve transportation policy and funding that can and should be implemented, whether the tax passes or not. Read More»

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