For Sam Olens, it was a speaking appearance very close to home. For old friends and supporters who helped him launch his public career, Wednesday's visit to the East Cobb Civic Association by Georgia's attorney general was a chance to catch up.
Olens, a former ECCA president, updated members at the East Cobb Library of the status of major Georgia legislation, including immigration and health care reform, as well as water rights and other issues.
"It's great coming home," said Olens, who left his post as Cobb commission chairman last summer to run for statewide office.
He said he couldn't talk much about the upcoming , but neither could he resist discussing issues near and dear to the consensus-style politics he crafted in Cobb and as the past head of the Atlanta Regional Commission.
Intead of a regional TSPLOST, he said he favors a statewide approach that would help outlying areas of Georgia with revenue they couldn't raise locally and also would relieve traffic congestion in the Atlanta area.
Olens strongly defended Georgia's controversial immigration law , saying that law enforcement must have probable cause before checking anyone's immigration status, including motorists.
Georgia's challenge to the insurance mandates prompted by last year's federal health care legislation has contributed to a likely hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court. But Olens, who publicly announced his support for Republican presidential candidate earlier this summer, doesn't believe a ruling will come before next year's elections.
"The Supreme Court doesn't want to be seen as overly political," Olens said. "But this isn't a sprint. I want the right decision."