Georgia Campaigns, Politics, and Elections for February 20, 2014

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Georgia Campaigns, Politics, and Elections for February 20, 2014

On February 20, 1792, President George Washington signed the Postal Service Act, creating the United States Postal Service.

The act allowed for newspapers to be included in mail deliveries and made it illegal for postal officials to open anyone’s mail.

On February 20, 1970, Georgia ratified the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote.The Amendment states:

Section 1. The right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

 

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Seriously. 1970. Luckily ratification occurred when Tennessee approved adoption of the Amendment on April 18, 1920.

Interestingly, the only case in which the United States Supreme Court has addressed the Nineteenth Amendment arose in Georgia. Breedlove v. Suttles was a suit brought in Fulton County Superior Court concerning the poll tax. Here’s an excerpt:

The tax being upon persons, women may be exempted on the basis of special considerations to which they are naturally entitled. In view of burdens necessarily borne by them for the preservation of the race, the state reasonably may exempt them from poll taxes.

The laws of Georgia declare the husband to be the head of the family and the wife to be subject to him. To subject her to the levy would be to add to his burden. Moreover, Georgia poll taxes are laid to raise money for educational purposes, and it is the father’s duty to provide for education of the children. Discrimination in favor of all women being permissible, appellant may not complain because the tax is laid only upon some or object to registration of women without payment of taxes for previous years.

Privilege of voting is not derived from the United States, but is conferred by the state and, save as restrained by the Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendments and other provisions of the Federal Constitution, the state may condition suffrage as it deems appropriate.

It is fanciful to suggest that the Georgia law is a mere disguise under which to deny or abridge the right of men to vote on account of their sex. The challenged enactment is not repugnant to the Nineteenth Amendment.

Bless their hearts.

Under the Gold Dome Today

SENATE MEETING CALENDAR

TBD RULES – UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP
8:00 AM APPROPRIATIONS – Agriculture Subcommittee 341 CAP
1:00 PM EDUCATION & YOUTH 307 CLOB
1:00 PM PUBLIC SAFETY 125 CAP
1:00 PM APPROPRIATIONS – Transportation Subcommittee 341 CAP
1:00 PM HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES – Professional Issues 123 CAP
2:00 PM BANKING & FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS 310 CLOB
2:00 PM NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT-CANCELLED
2:00 PM INSURANCE & LABOR MEZZ
2:00 PM APPROPRIATIONS – Higher Education Subcommittee 341 CAP
3:00 PM HIGHER EDUCATION -CANCELLED
3:00 PM VETERANS & MILITARY AFFAIRS – CANCELLED
3:00 PM APPROPRIATIONS – Criminal Justice Subcommittee 310 CLOB
3:00 PM APPROPRIATIONS – Fiscal Management 450 CAP
4:00 PM FINANCE – CANCELLED
4:00 PM JUDICIARY 307 CLOB
4:00 PM APPROPRIATIONS – Economic Development Subcommittee 450 CAP

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

SB 325 – Fire and Protection Safety; regulation of fire protection sprinkler contractors, fire extinguisher and suppression systems; provisions (As Introduced) (I&L-56th)

SB 340 – Official Code of Georgia Annotated; revise, modernize, correct errors; reenact statutory portion of said Code (As Introduced) (JUDY-23rd)

SB 341 – Probate Courts; clerk’s authority to act on uncontested matters; repeal a population provision (As Introduced) (JUDY-23rd)

 

HOUSE MEETING CALENDAR

TBD FLOOR SESSION (LD 25) HOUSE
8:00 AM NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT 606 CLOB
8:00 AM General Government Subcommittee of Governmental Affairs 415 CLOB
9:00 AM INTRAGOVERNMENTAL COORDINATION 606 CLOB
9:00 AM RULES 341 CAP
12:30 PM ETHICS 403 CAP
1:00 PM Atwood Subcommittee of Juvenile Justice 515 CLOB
2:00 PM ENERGY, UTILITIES & TELECOMMUNICATIONS 406 CLOB
2:00 PM PUBLIC SAFETY & HOMELAND SECURITY 415 CLOB
2:00 PM TRANSPORTATION 506 CLOB
2:00 PM JUDICIARY CIVIL 132 CAP
3:00 PM Appropriations Higher Education 403 CAP
3:00 PM SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT 515 CLOB
3:00 PM HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 406 CLOB
3:00 PM WAYS & MEANS 606 CLOB
4:00 PM Fleming Subcommitte of Judiciary Civil 132 CAP (Upon Adjournment of Full Judiciary)

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Open Rule
HB 704 South Fulton, City of; incorporate; provide charter (GAff-Bruce-61st)

HB 749 Crimes and offenses; crime of cargo theft; provide (Substitute) (JudyNC-Duncan-26th)

HB 770 Crimes and offenses; crime of home invasion; create (Substitute) (JudyNC-Efstration-104th)

HB 838 Invasions of privacy; transmission of photography or video depicting nudity or sexually explicit conduct of an adult under certain circumstances; prohibit (Substitute (JudyNC-Tanner-9th)

HB 911 Crimes and offenses; strangulation as aggravated assault; add provisions (JudyNC-Ballinger-23rd)

Modified Structured Rule
HB 790 Civil practice; four-year statute of limitations for actions involving removal of timber from the property of another; provisions (Substitute) (Judy-Williams-119th)

HB 890 Courts; sheriff to collect and deposit certain fees; provide (Judy-Atwood-179th)

HB 979 Education; provide for membership of certain boards in the event local legislation is not passed during 2014 regular session of General Assembly conforming size of boards to requirements of law; provisions (Substitute)(GAff-Jacobs-80th)

HR 1215 Congress; convention of states under Article V of United States Constitution; apply (Judy-Brockway-102nd)

SB 206 Interstate Cooperation; provide for delegation from the State of Georgia to certain conventions (IntC-Welch-110th) Cowsert-46th

Structured Rule
HB 794 Compact for a Balanced Budget; adopt (Judy-Braddock-19th)

SR 371 U.S. Congress; making renewed application to call for a convention for purpose of proposing an amendment

Campaigns and Elections

Secretary of State Brian Kemp has set the 2016 Presidential Preference Primary elections on March 1st, the earliest date allowed by the Republican National Committee for any of the states other than the four traditional early states to hold a primary without reduction of the state’s voting strength at the national convention.

Further, he proposed a regional “Southeastern Super Tuesday“ primary on that day. As Chairman of the Republican Secretaries of State Committee, his proposal will at least be seriously considered by his southeastern counterparts. From the AJC:

“I believe that will give us an opportunity to have a say in the Presidential race,” said Kemp, who volunteered that he has already spoken with his election colleagues in other southern states about joining forces in 2016.

“I’ve had great conversations with folks in Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana,” Kemp said in a live interview on WSB Radio in Atlanta.

As of now, both Tennessee and Georgia are aiming at primaries on March 1, 2016 – the other southern states are still TBD – but Kemp, a graduate of the University of Georgia, knows what he wants to see in 2016 from the south.

“We’re also proposing calling this an ‘SEC Primary’ if you will,” Kemp said, referring to the college football conference that has been at the top of that sport in recent years.

Georgia Senate Majority Leader Ronnie Chance (R) announced from the well of the Senate yesterday that he will not run for reelection.

Chance spoke the TheCitizen.com about his decision:

Chance explained that his decision was based on his family, his company and an acknowledgment he made when he entered office a decade ago.

“I said when I first ran 10 years ago that I would know when the time has come. And it came,” said Chance. “I said I would term-limit myself.”

Asked about his future plans, Chance said there are “no (political) appointments out there and no hidden agenda.”

Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer (R) released this statement:

“Ronnie Chance has been a friend for over 20 years, and it has been my honor to serve with him in the State Senate. He will be greatly missed as Senate Majority Leader and as a member of this body. I wish him and his beautiful family all the best.”

From the AJC on Chance’s announcement:

[Governor Nathan] Deal said in a statement that “Ronnie has served the people of his district with distinction for 10 years.”

“As a majority leader and as a committee chairman, Ronnie has led and shaped laws that benefit the entire state of Georgia,” Deal said. “As a floor leader for my administration, he worked with me to pass legislation that saved the HOPE Scholarship for the next generation of our best and brightest students. I’ve known Ronnie since he was an aide to former Congressman Mac Collins, so he’s not just a colleague but also a friend. I thank him for his years of service, and I wish him and his family all the best.”

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, meanwhile, praised Chance “as an effective and trusted leader in the General Assembly’s upper chamber (who) played a critical role in countless policy issues we have confronted as a state.”

“While we in the Senate will miss his principled leadership, wise counsel and relentless commitment to moving our state forward,” Cagle said, “I wish him the very best as he returns to private life and know that he looks forward to spending more time with his lovely wife, Cressida, and their three precious daughters.”

Chance’s retirement means that the position of Majority Leader will be open for election after the 2014 General Election. Also vacant will be the Majority Whip slot as Sen. Cecil Staton is not running for reelection, and Chief Deputy Majority Whip, as the current holder, Sen. Buddy Carter, is running for Congress. Senate Majority Caucus Chair Butch Miller and Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer are running for reelection as far as we know.

Senator Jack Murphy has drawn another challenger for Senate District 27. Jack Schiff has started a Senate campaign Facebook page for that seat. Previously announced challenger to Murphy is Michael Williams.

University of Virginia Political Science Professor Larry Sabato downgraded the Governor’s race from “Safe Republican” to “Likely Republican.”

In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal (R) avoided another weather-related catastrophe last week, although he — along with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (D) — struggled mightily during a paralyzing snowstorm in January. Responses to natural disasters or statewide crises can have a markedly positive or negative effect on governors, although Deal might’ve gotten a do-over of sorts with a smooth state handling of the second storm. Perhaps more seriously, Deal has been dogged by ethical questions in office, and there’s a possibility that they could be a liability in the fall. Assuming he defeats a pair of primary opponents, Deal is slated to face state Sen. Jason Carter (D), grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, in the fall.

Democrats are banking on demographic changes in the Peach State to make these races competitive, and Georgia is slowly moving in the Democrats’ direction: As one shrewd local observer told us, Atlanta’s suburbs, politically, are similar to Northern Virginia 15 years ago, and we know how Democratic that region has become. But for this year’s elections, the more important factor for Democratic statewide campaigns here is the quality of the Republican candidates. Carter needs Deal to be in trouble to win, and Michelle Nunn (D), a promising Senate candidate, is banking on a bad Republican nominee to emerge in the open U.S. Senate race.

We’re moving the Georgia gubernatorial contest from Safe Republican to Likely Republican.

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