Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 20, 2017

20
Apr

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 20, 2017

Yesterday, I mistakenly included the history items from today, so now I’m making up yesterday’s history lesson.

On April 19, 1775, British troops entered Lexington, Massachusetts, encountering 77 armed Minute Men.

British Major John Pitcairn ordered the outnumbered Patriots to disperse, and after a moment’s hesitation the Americans began to drift off the green. Suddenly, the “shot heard around the world” was fired from an undetermined gun, and a cloud of musket smoke soon covered the green. When the brief Battle of Lexington ended, eight Americans lay dead or dying and 10 others were wounded. Only one British soldier was injured, but the American Revolution had begun.

Two hours later, another confrontation between the British and American patriots took place in Concord, Massachusetts.

On April 19, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln ordered the blockade of ports in “Rebellious States.”

Whereas an insurrection against the Government of the United States has broken out in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, and the laws of the United States for the collection of the revenue can not be effectually executed therein conformably to that provision of the Constitution which requires duties to be uniform throughout the United States; and

….

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, with a view to the same purposes before mentioned and to the protection of the public peace and the lives and property of quiet and orderly citizens pursuing their lawful occupations until Congress shall have assembled and deliberated on the said unlawful proceedings or until the same shall have ceased, have further deemed it advisable to set on foot a blockade of the ports within the States aforesaid, in pursuance of the laws of the United States and of the law of nations in such case provided. For this purpose a competent force will be posted so as to prevent entrance and exit of vessels from the ports aforesaid.

Union forces skirmished against The Worrill Grays, a Georgia Reserve Militia, at the Battle of Culloden, 30 miles west of Macon on a date generally believed to have been April 19, 1865, though it may have occurred later.

On April 19, 1995, Governor Zell Miller signed legislation declaring the peanut the Official State Crop.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Deal signed three bills on Tuesday:

HB 264 Georgia World Congress Center Authority; revenue bond capacity; increase April 18, 2017

SB 121 “Jeffrey Dallas Gay, Jr., Act” April 18, 2017

SB 18 Georgia Public Safety Training Center; any member of security police force; retain his/her weapon and badge under certain conditions April 18, 2017

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich writes for FoxNews about the Sixth Congressional District.

Tuesday, after spending more than $8 million, the Democrats failed to win the special election in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District.

I had a personal interest in this vote since I represented the Sixth District in Congress for 20 years – however my daughter, Jackie Cushman, likes to note for historical accuracy that the district was originally south and west of Atlanta and was gerrymandered by the Georgia Democrats into the northern suburbs for the 1992 election. That effort backfired spectacularly and cost the Democrats four congressional seats as every part of my old district elected a Republican.

The race was close enough that President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary Price (who had won the district by 23 points last year) all made robocalls. Voters were bombarded with vote messages.

Republicans staved off defeat – but by a surprisingly narrow margin.

Now Democrats must decide if they want to pour another $8 million into the runoff in June.

The Democrats have now spent a lot of money to almost win two special elections.

“Almost” doesn’t win elections.

The New York Times looks at what a runoff election means for the Sixth District.

“I think we could be facing all-out war here for the next two months,” Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., said Wednesday.

Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist at Emory University in Atlanta, believes that Mr. Ossoff’s supporters will remain motivated enough to return to the polls, and considers the race a “true tossup.” He noted that the conservative Tea Party movement, which bubbled up in early 2009, was still going strong enough to have a significant impact on the midterm elections in late 2010.

“The anti-Trump sentiment, we’ve seen that persist now since the election,” he said. “All the indications are that it is still present, and I don’t think it’s going to fade that quickly.”

CBS46 has an idea what a runoff will be like on the ground.

Just hours after the District 6 congressional race was forced into a runoff, the Republican campaign committee had already begun running attack ads against Democrat Jon Ossoff. Voters say they’re already getting tired.

We have fatigue of all the robocalls, it’s just horrible,” said voter Anna Hunter.

While voters may be tired, the Handel and Ossoff campaigns say they’re ready and refreshed for round two. Ossoff’s campaign manager Keenan Pontoni, says their ads are still running and so are staffers.

“We are talking to voters.  We have over 100 field staffers still doing field work,” said Pontoni.

Dr. Andra Gillespie, an associate political science professor at Emory University, says the ground game will be the key.

“This all comes down to infrastructure and turnout and organization. So both sides have to be mindful of this,” said Gillespie.

Tamar Hallerman writes in the AJC Political Insider about DC plans for the 6th District.

 Corry Bliss, the Leadership Fund’s executive director, said there are plans in the works to scale up their field work – they’d like to knock on 200,000 doors between now and election day on June 20 – and place plenty more media spots attacking Ossoff’s credentials. They unveiled their latest Wednesday.

“We’ll continue to be aggressive in exposing and defining the real Jon Ossoff to the people of Georgia,” Bliss said in an interview Wednesday. “We’ve just begun on that education, and there’s a lot more research that we’ve saved and will be using soon.”

Not to be outdone, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, House Democrats’ political arm, moved Wednesday to reserve $450,000 worth of ad time on Atlanta television stations. They’re aiming to run those in conjunction with Ossoff’s campaign, which made a similar $300,000 buy, the Washington Examiner reported.

Corry Bliss, the Leadership Fund’s executive director, said there are plans in the works to scale up their field work – they’d like to knock on 200,000 doors between now and election day on June 20 – and place plenty more media spots attacking Ossoff’s credentials. They unveiled their latest Wednesday.

“We’ll continue to be aggressive in exposing and defining the real Jon Ossoff to the people of Georgia,” Bliss said in an interview Wednesday. “We’ve just begun on that education, and there’s a lot more research that we’ve saved and will be using soon.”

Not to be outdone, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, House Democrats’ political arm, moved Wednesday to reserve $450,000 worth of ad time on Atlanta television stations. They’re aiming to run those in conjunction with Ossoff’s campaign, which made a similar $300,000 buy, the Washington Examiner reported.

The DCCC’s GOP counterpart, the National Republican Campaign Committee, laid down nearly $2 million in the first round of the race. It’s also gearing up for a new round of fights. Along with other GOP-aligned organizations such as the opposition group America Rising, they’re planning to double down on arguments they think stuck in the media the final days of the campaign: that Ossoff is inexperienced and doesn’t live in the 6th District.

From Elena Schneider at Politico:

“It’s probably going to be the most expensive House seat in U.S. history by the time it’s over,” said Rob Simms, a senior adviser to Handel and former National Republican Congressional Committee executive director, predicting that it will also be even more competitive and hard-fought than the primary.

This is a hard district — period. [But] Ossoff’s got a huge fundraising list, a huge volunteer list and a strong infrastructure already in place. He’s in a strong position to put up this fight,” said Martha McKenna, a Democratic consultant.

“Handel wants to have everyone’s help, and that certainly includes President Trump,” Simms said. “It’s clear that in the response over the past 12 hours that the party is aligning with her, galvanizing and uniting around her. That’s going to be important in June because of the resources that we are going to face on the Democratic side behind Ossoff.”

“Ossoff’s team will continue to do what they’ve done — maximize Democratic turnout in every way they can,” said David Mermin, a Democratic pollster who worked with the Ossoff campaign before the primary and is now helping independent-expenditure efforts in the district. “They’ve identified voters who don’t normally turn out for specials, but they will for Ossoff and for this race.”

State Rep. Chuck Efstration (D-Dacula) and Sen. David Shafer (R-Duluth) spoke to the Gwinnett Chamber about this year’s legislative session.

The pair split the topics, so Shafer talked about statewide issues, such as renewing the hospital bed tax, while Efstration talked about what Gwinnett got in the state budget.

And Gwinnett got a good bit in the budget, ranging from a juvenile justice transition center to an expanded GRTA Xpress Park and ride facility at Sugarloaf Mills that were in the budget.

A lot of the news about what Gwinnett got in the state budget may be familiar to people who follow state politics, but a big item awarded to the county in the budget was the juvenile transition center. The county’s legislators have been kicking around the idea of getting a new regional youth detention center in Gwinnett since the old one closed a few years ago.

“The juvenile transition center is a first of its kind facility in this state to allow more efficient utilization of state resources, Efstration said. “What it will allow for is a detention facility that gives law enforcement officers a drop off point for those juvenile offender so that the officer is not spending an extended period of time taking them to a neighboring county.”

Sandy Springs City Council Member Gabriel Sterling wants to fix the Fulton County elections office that kept political junkies up late Tuesday night, as their reporting of election results was predictably slow.

“We wake up to a newspaper headline that we’ve all gotten accustomed to seeing… ‘6th District Vote: Fulton extends polling hours; DeKalb and Cobb smooth’” noted Fulton Commission Chairman candidate Gabriel Sterling. “I get this question every year, from Democrats and Republicans alike, ‘What the heck is wrong with Fulton elections?’”

In yesterday’s election, a judge had to intervene to extend hours at some Fulton precincts. Also, the final numbers for Fulton were reported several hours after DeKalb and Cobb had reported their final returns due to “technical difficulties”.

“After years of failure, it will take a revolutionary way of thinking to fix the very real, and systemic, problems. I will work with anyone and everyone, Democrat or Republican, willing to admit there are serious issues here,” continued Sandy Springs Councilman Sterling. “Yes, we are a large county. That shouldn’t stop us from doing a great job in conducting our elections. If we fail in that core area, it undermines our credibility across the board.”

“It’s ridiculous and unfair that Ossoff and Handel supporters, as well as every other campaign, had to wait for hours with no updates. It’s not acceptable anymore,” Sterling concluded. “As Chairman, I’ll fix our elections office. We should never have to have judges come in to correct issues that should never exist in the first place. It’s now time to truly fix it.”

2018 Elections

Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball rates the Georgia 2018 Gubernatorial race as “Likely Republican.”

Trump carried the Peach State by five points, and it’s pretty clear that the GOP bench is much deeper than the Democratic one in the race to replace outgoing Gov. Nathan Deal (R). Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) is already in, and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R) is almost certain to run. Campaign guru Nick Ayers (R), a protégé of former Gov. Sonny Perdue (R), might also run, as could former Reps. Jack Kingston (R) and Lynn Westmoreland (R). The Democrats may wind up nominating state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D), state Rep. Stacey Evans (D), or perhaps 2014 nominee and ex-state Sen. Jason Carter (D). Former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates (D) also gets mentioned, but no one really knows if she would run. Likely Republican

Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer (R-Duluth) is reportedly being urged by his legislative colleagues to run for Lieutenant Governor in 2018.

Rep. Chuck Efstration told the Gwinnett Chamber during its legislative recap luncheon at the Sonesta Hotel on Wednesday that Duluth-based Senate President Pro Tempore David Shafer is being sought out as a candidate for lieutenant governor for next year. The seat looks to be open with current Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle making moves to run for governor.

“I’m very excited right now that as discussions about statewide races for constitutional officers takes place, I know Sen. Shafer is being encouraged by many people, including myself, to consider running for lieutenant governor,” Efstration said. “I don’t think we’ve ever had the kinds of opportunities that we do right now for additional influence in Atlanta.”

For his part, Shafer — who also addressed the chamber during the luncheon — was somewhat tight lipped about whether he would run for lieutenant governor next year. He would only offer a tease that something could happen in the next couple of weeks.

Although that is not quite a confirmation that he will announce plans to run for lieutenant governor, it’s not a denial that he’s considering it either.

Comments ( 0 )