Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 9, 2012

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 9, 2012

Georgia and American History

Today is Leif Erikson Day, celebrating the Norse explorer being the first European to visit North America. From Mental Floss:

While the actual date of Leif Erikson Day doesn’t have anything personally to do with Leif, it was picked for the holiday because it’s the anniversary of the day that the ship Restauration arrived in New York from Stavanger, Norway, back in 1825. The arrival of the Restauration marked the beginning of organized immigration from Scandinavia to the USA. The holiday was first recognized by Wisconsin in 1930, eventually becoming a nationally observed holiday in 1964.

The United States Naval Academy opened at Annapolis, Maryland on October 10, 1845.

The first tuxedo was worn to a dinner at the Tuxedo Club in Tuxedo Park, New York on October 10, 1886.

On October 10, 1920, Bill Wambsganns of the Cleveland Indians made an unassisted triple play in Game 5 of the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Chiang Kai Shek took office as Chairman of the Chinese National Government on October 10, 1928.

On October 10, 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower apologized to Ghana’s Finance Minister after the diplomat was refused service at a restaurant in Delaware.

On October 9, 1963, the Board of Regents approved a new junior college in Cobb County that is today Kennesaw State University. The next year, Cobb County voters approved a bond referendum to fund construction.

Vice President Spiro Agnew pled guilty to federal tax evasion charges and resigned his office on October 10, 1973.

Democrat Jimmy Carter challenged President Gerald Ford to make his income tax returns public on October 9, 1976.

A Time magazine survey released October 10, 1976 showed Democrat Jimmy Carter with a 2-1 lead in electroral college votes over Republican President Gerald Ford.

Fleetwood Mac received a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California on October 10, 1979.

United States Senator Sam Nunn announced on October 9, 1995 that he would not run for reelection. From CNN’s contemporary story:

“I know in my heart it is time to follow a new course,” Nunn told reporters gathered in the Georgia State Capitol. He said his decision followed “a lot of thought and prayer” and he expressed enthusiasm about meaningful days ahead in the private sector.

“Today I look forward to more freedom, to more flexibility,” he said, adding he planned to spend time with his family, to write, and “devote a substantial amount of time” to public policy and public service. He said he has no immediate plans for a presidential bid.

Nunn hailed America as “the greatest country in the world,” but cited problems that need attention, including education concerns, illegitimate children, and widespread violence and drugs. He expressed optimism on such items as the strong military and entitlement reform.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said of Sam Nunn’s retirement,

“For those who listened carefully, it is clear that the Democratic Party is not the vehicle for the values outlined by Sen. Nunn.”

Nolan Waters of Knight-Ridder wrote of the announcement,

Nunn’s departure is a watershed.

“Nunn is the last of the great moderate Southern Democrats. This creates a huge hole for the party,” said Merle Black, a specialist on Southern politics at Emory University in Atlanta.

Nunn, like President Clinton, helped organize a group of moderate Democrats, the Democratic Leadership Council, in an attempt to move the party rightward after the 1984 landslide re-election of President Reagan.

“He has been fighting the liberal wing of his party for over two decades,” Black said. “It’s been a losing battle.”

In place of Nunn, the state’s most prominent politician is becoming House Speaker Newt Gingrich – whose futuristic, activist style of conservatism seems radical along-side Nunn’s traditionalism.

Former President Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 11, 2002, becoming the second native Georgian to win the award, with Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., having won in 1964.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

This doesn’t count as politics, but it’s nice to start Friday morning with this story: the CEO of Duluth-based Kids R Kids Learning Academies has promised to cover the remaining half of the $70,000 required to provide prosthetics for a young Rome boy whose parents’ insurance won’t cover them. Click here to help the family by donating to their GoFundMe page. Their Facebook page says you can also make a donation at any WellsFargo branch to the account named “Trax for Jax.”

Early voting begins Monday for November elections in many cities across Georgia. Click here to check your voter registration and for information on how to vote early in person or by mail.

In Carroll County, ballot items will include a penny sales tax for education and Whitesburg residents may vote on package sales of liquor.

Professional golfer (and Georgia Tech graduate) Stewart Cink tweeted his support for the Gwinnett County E-SPLOST penny sales tax for schools.

Stewart Cink ESPLOST

Michael Reece announced he will run for the Georgia State Senate seat vacated by Sen. Ross Tollison. From Macon.com,

Reece said it is time for new blood and that he wants to be a voice for the people.

“I’m not doing it for the money; there’s no money to be made in it,” Reece said.

He said getting jobs in the district will be a key issue for his campaign.

Reece owns Reece Heating and Air Conditioning, the HeliVation flight training school and a small car lot.

Reece is the second candidate to announce intentions to run for the state Senate District 20 seat that will be decided in an upcoming special election. The district covers most of Houston County, plus all of Bleckley, Laurens and Pulaski counties.

Reece joins Larry Walker, III, who recently ran for State House in the HD 146 Special Election.

Former Eighth Congressional District Georgia Republican Party Chair and Second Congressional District candidate Vivian Childs sent me a Facebook message confirming she will announce for that seat as well.

Governor Nathan Deal announced that Alcon has invested $500 million and created more than 550 jobs since its 2013 expansion in Johns Creek.

The LaGrange Daily News is covering the election for Mayor of West Point extensively, covering disagreements between the candidates over how to bring new jobs to the city, as well as areas of agreement. They followed up with a Fact Check on statements made by the candidates.

Peanut Poll

Check out the website that Secretary of State Brian Kemp created for the Peanut Poll at the Georgia National Fair in Perry.

Peanut Poll logo

I went by the Fairgrounds yesterday to check it out. Governor and Mrs. Deal joined Secretary Kemp for the opening of the inaugural Peanut Poll.

Gov Mrs Deal Kemp Peanut Poll

Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black was on hand to ensure that no bootleg Virginia peanuts were used to stuff the Democratic ballot boxes mason jars.

Gary Black Brian Kemp Peanut Poll

Peanut Poll Voting

Gary Black and Brian Kemp cast the first peanuts, with both coming down firmly Undecided.

Peanut Poll Undecided

Retiring State Senator Ross Tolleson stopped by.

Ross Tolleson

Governor Deal toured the booths of Georgia Agriculture producers with Commissioner Black.

Gov Deal Gary Black

And there were Peanut Poll buttons for everyone.

Peanut Poll Buttons

If you’re headed to the National Fair this week, please pick me up a couple buttons. I’ve had several requests and will reimburse your postage if you send me a few to give away.

Grant Thomas informs us via Twitter that Donald J. Trump won the first day’s balloting at the Peanut Poll.

Grant Thomas Trump

Washington. SMH.

Yesterday, Congressional Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the heir apparent to John Boehner (R-OH) as Speaker of the House, withdrew from the election minutes before it was to take place in the Republican conference. McCarthy announced he would stay as Majority Leader, which upended the candidates who had been running for that slot as well as the Majority Whip position.

Georgia Congressman Tom Price, who had been running for Majority Leader, released a statement,

“The best course would be for us to select a candidate for speaker who will serve in that capacity for the next 15 months. This would allow the House to complete the business in a responsible manner, providing ample time for everyone’s voices to be heard, leading into full leadership elections in November of 2016.”

Georgia Rep. Lynn Westmoreland will be on the ballot for Speaker, though he considers himself a long-shot.

“I don’t think this thing will be won by people out-campaigning and calling people and talking to people,” Westmoreland said, noting that the race will be won when the Republican Study Committee and the Freedom Caucus, among other factions within the party, come together and support one candidate.

“We’ve been getting a lot of good comments and feedback. It’s very encouraging,” he said. “We put our name out there. People know we are interested in it. So we’ll see what happens.”

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