Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 17, 2015

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 17, 2015

On July 17, 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman set up headquarters in Fulton County on Powers Ferry Road near the Chattahoochee River. Late that night, Confederate General Joseph Johnston was replaced by newly-commissioned Gen. John Bell Hood.

For nearly three months, Johnston and Sherman had maneuvered around the rugged corridor from Chattanooga to Atlanta. Although there was constant skirmishing, there were few major battles; Sherman kept trying to outflank Johnston, but his advances were blocked. Though this kept losses to a minimum, there was also a limit to how long Johnston could maintain this strategy as each move brought the armies closer to Atlanta. By July 17, 1864, Johnston was backed into the outskirts of Atlanta. Johnston felt his strategy was the only way to preserve the Army of Tennessee, but Davis felt that he had given up too much territory.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated for a third term at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago on July 18, 1940.

President Harry S. Truman signed the second Presidential Succession Act on July 18, 1947

The original succession act designated the Senate president pro tempore as the first in line to succeed the president should he and the vice president die unexpectedly while in office. If he for some reason could not take over the duties, the speaker of the house was placed next in the line of succession. In 1886, during Grover Cleveland‘s administration, Congress removed both the Senate president and the speaker of the house from the line of succession. From that time until 1947, two cabinet officials, (their order in line depended on the order in which the agencies were created) became the next in line to succeed a president should the vice president also become incapacitated or die. The decision was controversial. Many members of Congress felt that those in a position to succeed the president should be elected officials and not, as cabinet members were, political appointees, thereby giving both Republican and Democratic parties a chance at controlling the White House.

In 1945, then-Vice President Truman assumed the presidency after Franklin Roosevelt died of a stroke during his fourth term. As president, Truman advanced the view that the speaker of the house, as an elected official, should be next in line to be president after the vice president. On July 18, 1947, he signed an act that resurrected the original 1792 law, but placed the speaker ahead of the Senate president pro tempore in the hierarchy.

Georgia-born Ty Cobb died on July 17, 1961.

The Beatles premiered The Yellow Submarine on July 17, 1968 in London.

On July 18, 1988, the Democratic National Convention opened at the Omni in Atlanta. That night, actor Rob Lowe would shoot a videotape in a hotel with two hairdressers, one 22 and one 16. Several weeks later, the era of the celebrity sex tape began.

On July 18, 2000, United States Senator Paul Coverdell died of a cerebral hemorrhage. I remember where I was when I heard the news.

The greatest political journalist to ever put pen to paper, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, was born on July 18, 1929. That makes tomorrow “Gonzo Day.” You have been warned.

Earlier this week, a Confederate cannon was salvaged from the wreck of the CSS Georgia in the Savannah River.

The Army Corps of Engineers says a CSS Georgia cannon was removed from the Savannah river Wednesday after spending 150 years at the bottom of the river.

Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Billy Birdwell says the cannon weighed roughly 1,000 pounds and is the first of two that is being pulled from the water as part of the Savannah port expansion project.

Birdwell says more than 100 cannonballs are also in the river and will be removed. Birdwell says two other cannons were removed from the river in 1986.

Officials say Confederate soldiers intentionally sank the CSS Georgia as Union troops approached Savannah in December 1864.

Georgia Politics

Former Republican Congressman Jack Kingston is endorsing Republican J. Max Davis in the Special Runoff Election for State House District 80 and will attend a meet-and-greet on Saturday, July 18, 2015 from 11 AM to noon at Lucky’s Burger & Brew in Town Brookhaven.

“I’ve known the Davis family for over 25 years, dating back to when I served in the Georgia House of Representatives with Max Davis.““Last year, I got to know J. Max Davis better in his role as Mayor of Brookhaven, and as friend and supporter for our family. Just like when I served with his father, J. Max Davis embodies the Republican principles of limited, local and efficient government and lower taxes for all citizens.”

“I am proud to endorse my friend J. Max Davis and to ask the voters of House District 80 to vote to send him to the State House,” said Kingston. “In the Special Runoff Election, every single vote counts, and I’m asking Republicans to turn out in force on August 11th to vote for J. Max Davis.”

“J. Max Davis is the only candidate in the Special Election with a proven record of lowering property taxes,” said Kingston. “There is no better friend to the homeowners of House District 80 than J. Max Davis.”

“I hope voters will join me on Saturday at Lucky’s Burger in Town Brookhaven to meet J. Max Davis and learn about his positive campaign for State House,” said Kingston.

On the other side, liberal Better Georgia is endorsing Democrat Taylor Bennett and raising money to promote his candidacy.

Better Georgia Taylor Bennett1 IMG_6213

New York Times agrees South is important to GOP

This morning, I read in the New York Times the exact same pull-quote I used in yesterday’s morning news email.

Walker 07152015 Further

Here’s the NYT’s take on Walker’s comments.

Speaking at a campaign fund-raiser before about 100 people at the Buckhead Club, Mr. Walker — who spent the day on a three-city swing through South Carolina — said the March 1 primaries through much of the South would be key to his chances of winning the nomination.

“We didn’t just come here by accident,” Mr. Walker said. “With March 1 being not long after those first four states, we think that the March 1 primaries — the S.E.C. primaries, if you will — are going to be incredibly important, and we feel we can do well.”

“Georgia’s going to make a difference,” he added, “so get used to seeing us.”

Advisers say that the March 1 states of Alabama, Minnesota, Tennessee and Virginia are also shaping up well for Mr. Walker, based on endorsements and grass-roots voter support that they are seeing so
far. Mr. Walker is focused on winning the first state to hold a nominating contest, Iowa on Feb. 1, and hopes to leave there with momentum to help him in the next states: New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

Holy 2016, GaPundit! Isn’t it still the Year of Special Elections any more?

Jay Trevari is the first candidate we’ve noticed for Georgia State House District 99, which is currently held by State Rep. Hugh Floyd (D-Norcross). Floyd has announced he will not be running for reelection. She’s got a Twitter account and Facebook page set up.

In House District 122, where State Rep. Ben Harbin has submitted his resignation, we have a growing field of candidates.

Two Columbia County businesswomen – Pat Goodwin and Jodi Lott – announced their intentions to run for the state District 122 seat.

Harbin’s surprise mid-term resignation, which took effect Tuesday, created one of the first open House seats in almost two decades. Harbin, who served for 20 years, many as Appropriations Committee chairman, announced last week he had decided to take a job with a Columbia-based lobbying firm.

Joe Mullins joined the field later in the week.

Joe Mullins, a developer and entertainment promoter, officially tossed his hat into the ring to compete for the state House District 122 seat recently vacated by Ben Harbin.

Mullins touted himself as a conservative businessman who would work to bring jobs to the community and introduce legislation to replace the state income tax with a so-called “Fair Tax,” consumption tax on all sales. He also said he wanted to provide relief to property owners by increasing the homestead exemption in Columbia County.

Columbia County Commissioner Mack Taylor resigned his seat to run for Harbin’s former state house seat.

Taylor, who was elected in December to fill the seat vacated by Charles Allen in March 2014, is resigning to pursue the State House District 122 seat left open by the recent resignation of Ben Harbin.

“Now more than ever, we need experienced, pragmatic leadership in the state House to grow our economy, enhance educational opportunities for students, and preserve our unmatched quality of life,” Taylor said in his letter to Gov. Nathan Deal.

His resignation takes effect at 9 p.m., July 21, so his last actions as a commissioner with be at the regular meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday.

And predictably, Taylor’s resignation has set off yet another Special Election.

Frank Spears announced Sunday that he is entering the race for the District 3 seat on the Columbia County Commission.

Spears served as a Colum­bia County commissioner from 1999 to 2003.

Friday Wrap Up

Governor Nathan Deal has ordered a review of Planned Parenthood clinics in Georgia, according to a press release.

Gov. Nathan Deal is committed to protecting life at all stages, particularly the most vulnerable and defenseless among us. In light of recent revelations regarding alleged illegal Planned Parenthood activity and to ensure this horrific practice is not occurring here, the governor is directing the Department of Community Health and the Department of Public Health to conduct a joint review of the clinics run by Planned Parenthood Southeast in Georgia.

Attorney General Sam Olens also issued a press release, applauding Deal’s action.

“I applaud Governor Deal’s swift call for a review of Planned Parenthood in Georgia following alarming allegations of horrendous practices occurring at its clinics. Every life is sacred and should be respected, especially the most vulnerable among us.

“My office stands ready to assist the Department of Community Health and the Department of Public Health with their joint review of Planned Parenthood if needed.”

The State Bar of Georgia doesn’t want to settle a complaint against Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, according to the AJC, but in my mind the highlight of this article is the mention of one of Ralston’s lawyers, James Balli.

In his Petition for Voluntary Discipline, filed in June, Ralston attorney James Balli of Marietta suggests that the speaker face no more than “formal admonition” or public reprimand.

Balli, who is Ralston’s co-counsel, along with former Gov. Roy Barnes, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he believes “the pleadings filed by Speaker Ralston are comprehensive, compelling and consistent with the narrative that has been communicated from the beginning by Speaker Ralston’s counsel.”

Balli writes in Ralston’s petition that the “State Bar would not meet its burden of proof on many counts of the formal complaint” and that several of the charges are factually incorrect.

James is a friend of mine and a very able lawyer, and I know the Speaker is well-represented by the team of Balli and co-counsel, former Governor Roy Barnes.

Once again buying the lede, the AJC writes that United States Senator Johnny Isakson’s last fundraising quarter, in which the Senior Senator raised $1.39 million, was down from the previous quarter. That still leaves Johnny with $4.8 million in the bank and greater popularity among rank-and-file Georgians than any politician I can remember.

File this one under “unintended consquences”: after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, employee benefits for domestic partners may be cut, according to the AJC.

Delta Air Lines said it is ending its domestic partner program and giving couples until 2018 to marry or be cut off. The city of Decatur is doing the same for city employees, requiring those covered to tie the knot in a year or lose coverage.

Home Depot, Emory University, and others, have said they are evaluating whether to make potential changes to domestic partner benefits.

Some worry that the withdrawal of domestic partner benefits could push some couples into marriages they are not ready for or even break up relationships.

“Your employer should not be in the business of setting your wedding date,” said Michael Bishop, who is in a domestic partnership with Shane Thomas.

The two, who have been together almost 10 years, have two adopted children, Thomas, 6, and Mariella, 4. Bishop works for AT&T, which offers domestic partner benefits to both same- and opposite-sex couples. The company said it plans to continue its domestic partner program.

In Fayette County, the Special Election to replace the late County Commissioner Posta Coston will use at-large voting instead of a district to elect her successor, according to The Citizen.

The Fayette County Board of Elections voted the evening of July 14 to set Tuesday, Sept. 15, as the date that voters in all five voting districts will go to the polls and select the person to fill the Board of Commissioners seat left vacant by the July 3 death of District 5 representative Pota Coston.

The manner in which Coston’s successor will be chosen is also set — for now.

The election is to be decided by at-large voting and using the 2012 district map, and those two details were not included in the board’s motion, which passed 2-1 with Darryl Hicks voting against.

More than 90 minutes of public comment took place before the vote, the majority of it by people who urged the board to maintain the district voting process and 2014 map used in Coston’s election last November.

But County Attorney Dennis Davenport advised the Board of Elections that those two issues were essentially out of their hands, as the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in January made the gerrymandered map and district voting process obsolete for now as a matter of law.

Notable Events

Tomorrow, the Gwinnett County Republican Party is holding a cookout at McDaniel Farm Park in Duluth.

Gwinnett Cookout

Next Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 1 PM in the Georgia State Capitol, a ceremony will be held to commemorate the life of longtime Atlanta radio voice and Great Georgian Captain Herb Emory, and naming the new flyover ramp on I-85 at Georgia 400 the “Captain Herb Emory Flyover Ramp.”

Republican Presidential Candidate Jeb Bush will hold a Town Hall meeting in Aiken, South Carolina on July 22 from 12:30 to 1:30 PM at Newberry Hall, 117 Newberry St. in Aiken. RSVP via email to gopAiken@yahoo.com.

On July 28th, Republican Rick Santorum will also visit Aiken, SC, to address the Aiken Republican Club lunch.

The event is open to members of the public.

Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. Santorum, who also ran in the 2012 presidential race but did not win the nomination, is expected to arrive between 10:45 and 11 a.m.

On Saturday, August 8th, the Eighth District Georgia Republican Party will host their 2015 Fish Fry, featuring Republican Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee.

Fish Fry

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