Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 21, 2017

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 21, 2017

According to tradition, on April 21, 753 B.C., Rome was founded. The one in Italy, not the one in Floyd County.

William Shakespeare was born April 23, 1564 and died April 23, 1616.

On April 21, 1732, King George II signed the royal charter creating the colony of Georgia. The King’s signature did not make the charter effective as several additional steps were required.

On April 21, 1789, John Adams was sworn in as the first Vice President of the United States.

On April 22, 1891, Asa Candler bought the recipe for Coca-Cola for $2300 and eventually turned its marketing from a “brain tonic” into a plain old tasty beverage.

Lucius D. Clay was born in Marietta, Georgia on April 23, 1898, the son of Georgia U.S. Senator Alexander Stephens Clay, who served in the Senate from 1896 until his death in 1910. Clay graduated West Point in 1915 and eventually rose to serve as Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Deputy for Military Government. During the Berlin Airlift, Clay helped keep Allied-occupied West Berlin supplied with food for almost a year after Soviet forces blockaded all land routes into the city.

On April 21, 1904, Ty Cobb made his debut in professional baseball for the Augusta (Georgia) Tourists in the South Atlantic League in center field; Cobb hit an inside-the-field home run and a double.

Manfred von Richthofen, known as “The Red Baron,” was killed in action on April 21, 1918, shot by either an Australian gunner or a Canadian. At the time of his death, Richthofen has shot down 80 aircraft in aerial combat.

Adolf Hitler admitted defeat in World War II on April 22, 1945.

Hank Aaron his his first home run in major league baseball on April 23, 1954, playing for the Milwaukee Braves against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Atlanta Braves won their first home game in Atlanta Stadium on April 22, 1966. The Braves beat the New York Mets 8-4. It’s interesting to look back at how the Braves landed in Atlanta.

During his 1961 campaign for mayor of Atlanta, Ivan Allen, Jr. promised to build a sports facility to attract a Major League Baseball team. After winning office, Allen chose a 47-acre plot in the Washington–Rawson neighborhood for the building site, citing its proximity to the Georgia State Capitol, downtown businesses and major highways. Allen, along with Atlanta Journal sports editor Furman Bisher, attempted to persuade Charlie Finley, owner of the Kansas City Athletics, to move his team to Atlanta. Finley was receptive and began discussing stadium design plans with Allen. The deal, however, ended in July 1963 when the American League did not approve the move.

In 1964, Mayor Allen announced that an unidentified team had given him a verbal commitment to move to Atlanta, provided a stadium was in place by 1966. Soon afterward, the prospective team was revealed to be the Milwaukee Braves, who announced in October that they intended to move to Atlanta for the 1965 season. However, court battles kept the Braves in Milwaukee for one last season.

The Blues Brothers made their worldwide debut on Saturday Night Live on April 22, 1978. Two prominent Georgia musicians, Ray Charles (born Albany) and James Brown (died Atlanta) would co-star in The Blues Brothers movie.

New Coke was announced on April 23, 1985.

Former President Richard Nixon died on April 22, 1994.

Former President Jimmy Carter was appointed Distinguished Professor at Emory University on April 21, 1982. Carter holds an annual Town Hall in which he takes questions from students.

On April 21, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Israel. From the press statement released that day,

The MOA reiterates for the public record our long-standing relationship of strategic cooperation with Israel. Strategic cooperation can only succeed when there are shared interests, including the commitment to building peace and stability in the region. It reflects the enduring U.S. commitment to Israel’s security. That commitment will never flag. The U.S. commitment to peace will also not flag. The President knows that a strong Israel is necessary if peace is to be possible. He also knows that Israel can never be truly secure without peace.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal yesterday signed HB 573 – Cook County; Probate Court; judge shall have jurisdiction to try misdemeanor cases where defendant waives jury trial and pleads guilty; provide.

Jeremy Berry will trade in private practice at Dentons to become Atlanta’s City Attorney.

“I am excited to name Jeremy Berry as the new City Attorney,” said Mayor Reed. “Over the last decade, I’ve gotten to know Jeremy as a talented attorney and as an active, dedicated member of his community. I believe he will bring his unique insight and valuable experience to this role, and will serve the people of Atlanta, the Atlanta City Council and my Administration in an exemplary fashion.”

“I am honored that Mayor Reed has offered me the opportunity to serve as City Attorney,” Berry said. “For the past fourteen years, I have focused my career on working with governments and elected officials, and working at the intersection of law, politics, and business. I am thankful to have the opportunity to serve the public, the Atlanta City Council, and of course Mayor Reed. I know I have very big shoes to fill, and look forward to working with each member of the City’s Law Department.”

Berry graduated from Emory University School of Law in 2003. Prior to graduating law school, Berry served as the assistant director of federal affairs for Emory University. In 2014, Emory College honored Berry for his distinguished community and public service with its Young Alumni Service Award.

Berry is alumnus of Leadership DeKalb. He is active in the community, serving on the Board of Directors and Civil Rights Committee of the Anti-Defamation League. Berry is also active with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Jewish Family and Career Services of Greater Atlanta, and Red Clay Democrats.

Speaker David Ralston has appointed members of the House Rural Development Council, created during this year’s legislative session by House Resolution 389 to work with rural communities to find ways to encourage economic growth.

“Georgia is a growing and prosperous state, and we are thankful for that,” said Speaker Ralston.  “But that prosperity isn’t being felt in every community across Georgia. Some of our rural areas are still struggling, and we must do everything we can to help private businesses grow jobs in every corner of our state.”

Speaker Ralston has previously announced that the council will be co-chaired by Appropriations Chairman Terry England (R-Auburn) and Ways & Means Chairman Jay Powell (R-Camilla). Rep. Sam Watson (R-Moultrie), who chairs the House Rural Caucus, will serve as vice chair of the council.

The other members of the House Rural Development Council are:

  • Patty Bentley (D-Butler)
  • John Corbett (R-Lake Park)
  • Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin)
  • Mack Jackson (D-Sandersville)
  • Dominic LaRiccia (R-Douglas)
  • Eddie Lumsden (R-Armuchee)
  • Chad Nimmer (R-Blackshear)
  • Clay Pirkle (R-Ashburn)
  • Terry Rogers (R-Clarkesville)
  • Ed Rynders (R-Albany)
  • Darlene Taylor (R-Thomasville)
  • Bill Werkheiser (R-Glennville)

In addition, Speaker Ralston has named the following committee chairmen to serve as ex-officio members of the House Rural Development Council based on their subject-area expertise:

  • Brooks Coleman – Chairman of Education
  • Sharon Cooper – Chairman of Health & Human Services
  • Robert Dickey – Chairman of K-12 Education (Appropriations)
  • Penny Houston – Chairman of Economic Development (Appropriations)
  • Rick Jasperse – Chairman of Higher Education
  • Tom McCall – Chairman of Agriculture & Consumer Affairs
  • Butch Parrish – Chairman of Healthcare (Appropriations)
  • Don Parsons – Chairman of Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications
  • Jason Shaw – Chairman of Transportation & Infrastructure (Appropriations)
  • Ron Stephens – Chairman of Economic Development
  • Kevin Tanner – Chairman of Transportation

The House Rural Development Council will host its first meeting next month. More details on that meeting will be announced soon.

Green Power EMC brought a 52 megawatt solar installation near Hazlehurst, Georgia online.

The new 52-megawatt solar facility in Hazlehurst is expected to generate more than 134 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy annually for customers of Green Power EMC for the next 30 years, according to a news release.

Green Power EMC was the first green energy provider in the state. It was created by Georgia’s EMCs in 2001 and has been selling green energy since 2003. Green Power EMC obtains green power from renewable energy facilities throughout Georgia, including solar power, low-impact hydroelectric, landfill gas and biomass from wood waste.

Cobb County Commissioners will consider applying for $6.8 million in federal funding for transit on Sundays.

Hospital Corporation of America will buy Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah for a package valued at $710 million dollars.

“This will essentially be a sale of the hospital,” said J. Curtis Lewis III, board chairman of Memorial Health. “I think it’s a very positive thing for the community.”

HCA will now have a 60-day period to conduct due diligence, Lewis said, adding, “Our next step is to keep the place going.”

The deal is valued at $710 million. Included in the $710 million purchase fee is $430 million, which will pay off bonds and other debts as well as $280 million over the next 10 years to fund capital improvements — $100 million for non-routine capital expenditures and $180 million for routine capital expenditures.

All other proceeds of the sale will go to the Chatham County Hospital Authority for creation of an indigent care trust fund.

He said the authority insisted and got guarantees that, as part of the deal, HCA will maintain core services including Level 1 trauma care, the Level 3 neo-natal ICU and Mercer University School of Medicine Savannah Campus at Memorial.

Coweta County held a Town Hall meeting to discuss Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) priorities, but few showed up.

Just four members of the public attended the meeting, which was for the 2nd District, represented by Commissioner Tim Lassetter. It’s the largest of Coweta’s five districts, covering nearly half of the county – almost everything west of Carrollton Highway on the north side, and everything west of U.S. Highway 29 on the south side, as well as Moreland and nearly to Sharpsburg.

The primary focus of the meetings is to discuss SPLOST and to ask Cowetans what important projects they would like to see funded with the 1 percent sales tax. Cowetans will go to the polls in November to decide whether to extend the tax, which expires at the end of 2018, until 2025. The SPLOST vote will coincide with municipal elections.

Senoia City Council members heard from the City Manager about priorities for the city’s SPLOST portion.

A vote on the six-year extension of the 1 percent sales tax is set for November, though the current tax doesn’t expire until the end of 2018. Before the vote, Coweta County and all its municipalities must put together a list of projects to be funded with the tax. That process is getting started.

Senoia City Manager Harold Simmons told the Senoia City Council about his priorities at Monday’s council meeting.

Sixth District Congressional Runoff Election

United States Senator David Perdue has endorsed Karen Handel in the Runoff Election for the Sixth Congressional District.

“Republicans are at our best when we are united. In Georgia’s 6th District, our work is not over. We now have nine weeks for an all-hands on deck effort to reveal the true choice in this race. National liberal groups are spending millions to mislead the people of the 6th District. We all know Jon Ossoff will not be a moderate if he gets to Congress. It’s time for Republicans to come together. I not only endorse Karen Handel, but pledge my full support in the coming weeks to make sure Nancy Pelosi doesn’t get one more vote in the United States House of Representatives.” – Senator David Perdue

House Speaker Paul Ryan is making plans to campaign for Handel.

Patricia Ryan writes in The Hill about how Democrat Jon Ossoff became the focus of nationwide liberal angst over President Trump.

In the days after Donald Trump was inaugurated in January, liberals in America were depressed, despondent, and asking themselves what to do next. David Nir, the political director of the liberal blog Daily Kos, had an answer and that answer was Jon Ossoff.

Nir and the Daily Kos team had been crunching the numbers from Trump’s election since the day after it happened. Which districts did Trump underperform in? Where were the opportunities for Democrats? They quickly noticed that in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, which Mitt Romney won by 23 points in 2012, Trump had won by just a point and a half. Could Rep. Tom Price be vulnerable the next time around?

But within weeks, the Price seat was not just a target for 2018, it became the prize in a 2017 special election, after Trump tapped Price as his secretary of Health and Human Services to oversee the dismantling of Obamacare. In the minds of progressives, the Price seat was not just open, it was ground zero for the Trump resistance.

“No one wants to wait until 2018 — or 2020 — to fight back against Donald Trump,” Nir wrote in a post on Daily Kos at the end of January. “The good news is, we don’t have to.”

Nir then went on to introduce the site’s 3 million readers to Ossoff, a then-29-year-old former congressional staffer who had jumped into the special election in early January.

The most interesting issue to me in the 6th District race is how Ossoff consolidated all the national organizations behind him despite a number of other credible-looking candidates. Patricia Murphy’s story is the best I’ve seen on that and is worth reading in its entirety.

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