Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 17, 2017

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 17, 2017

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.

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

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

John R. Dominey, Jr., a WWII veteran, was buried in Laurens County, Georgia last week.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

An awesome video of a fully-laden containership transiting the Savannah River channel to the Port of Savannah.

The AJC Political Insider reports that Georgia’s Republican National Committeeman, Randy Evans, is in line for an ambassadorship.

President Donald Trump is said to be likely to tap veteran Georgia attorney Randy Evans as U.S. ambassador to the European nation of Luxembourg, according to two people with direct knowledge of the discussions.

The Luxembourg posting would seem to be a cushy gig. The wealthy nation, sandwiched between France, Belgium and Germany, is known for its medieval castles and wineries.

A lifelong confidant of Gingrich, the two could soon be a short hop away from each other in Europe: Trump has nominated Gingrich’s wife, Callista, to serve as ambassador to the Vatican.

A vacancy in Georgia’s Republican National Committee representation would presumably have to be filled. It appears that RNC Rule Four would govern the choice of a replacement.

(d) In the event of the death, resignation, disqualification, removal, or disability of any member of the Republican National Committee, the vacancy shall be filled according to adopted state Republican Party rules. If no rule exists, vacancies shall be filled by majority vote of the Republican state committee.

The Georgia Republican Party’s Rule 7.7 states in part, “In the event of a vacancy in the position of National Committeeman or Committeewoman, the State Committee will elect a replacement.”

Defense spending legislation passed the U.S. House with the support of all ten Georgia Republicans.

Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Hall County saw more than twice as many overdoses in 2016 as in 2015.

In Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s Gainesville emergency room, the doctors saw roughly 400 more drug overdoses between 2015 and 2016.

For Angela Gary, executive director of emergency services, there’s no rhyme or reason to explain the jump in the number of patients.

“In all three of the emergency departments that I’m in contact with, it’s kind of all over the place on who it is, the age of them and what they’re overdosing from,” she said.

The Gainesville emergency room handled 275 overdoses in 2015 and almost 700 in 2016.

Civic leaders around Gainesville and Hall County have recently formed the Partnership for a Drug Free Hall to combat the opioid drug epidemic.

“The demographic trends parallel those in the U.S., with historically more cases in men than women, but the number of overdoses in women being on the rise,” said Deborah Bailey, executive director of governmental affairs at Northeast Georgia Health System. “When it comes to other demographics, opioid overdoses cross all geographic and economic lines.”

Gov. Nathan Deal signed the Jeffrey Dallas Gay Jr. Act in May, which removed naloxone from the dangerous drug list and made the antidote accessible over the counter. Hall County is home to the family of the law’s namesake who overdosed in 2012: Dallas Gay, the victim’s grandfather, who has been a vocal advocate and head of the Partnership for a Drug Free Hall.

“Hall County needs that. They really need a lot more awareness than what we’ve had, a lot more prevention,” said Scott Hinchman, program director at The Agora House for Men residential drug treatment.

“[W]e do know the costs are significant, and one example can be seen in newborn babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome because their mothers are addicted to drugs,” Bailey said.

The average hospital stay for a newborn is two days, Bailey said.

“The average length of stay for a newborn baby who is born addicted to drugs is 23 to 24 days at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” she said.

The Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials says that Gwinnett County has more registered Latino/a voters than any other county.

The data shows various aspects of how Latinos in Gwinnett and Georgia are registered, and how they turn out at the ballot box. The most staggering fact, however, may be that 18 percent of all registered Latino voters in Georgia live in Gwinnett County. That’s more Latino voters in one county than anywhere else in Georgia, according to the data.

In Gwinnett, Latinos voters make up 10.32 percent of the county’s total electorate, according to GALEO Executive Director Jerry Gonzalez said.

“I think it shows the Latino electorate is growing and engaging in Gwinnett County, and I think it shows that elected officials and candidates need to be reaching out,” Gonzalez said

“The Latino electorate continues to grow and engage in the State of Georgia despite the hostile environment of many years of anti-immigrant policies and politics,” the study states. “At 244,190 strong in 2016 and with 25 percent growth rate since the 2012 election, the Latino electorate is poised to continue its growth and influence in future elections in Georgia.”

In Gwinnett, the Latino voter population showed higher turnout rates than the statewide and national Latino electorate. Fifty-seven percent of Gwinnett’s Hispanic electorate came out to vote. Statewide, the Latino voter turnout number was 53.3 percent, and nationwide, it was 47 percent.

Gonzalez said the number of Latino voters in Gwinnett has grown significantly over the last 14 years. In 2003, there were only 800 registered Hispanic voters in the county, he said. Five years later, during the 2008 presidential election cycle, that number was up to 2,500 Latino voters in the county.

In 2012, it was up to 32,600 voters and it went up again, to about 44,600 voters, for last year’s presidential election.

Blount, Georgia, in Monroe County, hosts an impressive collection of railroadiana housed in a replica depot.

New Chatham County Probate Judge Tom Bordeaux and Clerk of Superior Court Tammie Mosley are working to implement process improvements suggested by internal auditors.

Georgia education leaders visited Valdosta State University.

Officials from the Georgia House of Representatives Higher Education Committee, Technical College System of Georgia, Office of the Governor and University System of Georgia recently spent the day discovering the many ways Valdosta State University inspires excellence on campus, in the community, and around the world.

They toured various facilities, including the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) Center for Applied Creativity and Innovation, Student Recreation Center, Education Center, Student Union, West Hall and Health Sciences and Business Administration Building, according to a university press release.

Plant Vogtle’s Unit Two nuclear reactor will receive a new form of fuel pellets.

The chromia-doped fuel pellets are part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Enhanced Accident Tolerant Fuel (EATF) Program. Areva NP will begin manufacturing the pellets at its Richland, Wash., facility later this year. Four lead test assemblies featuring chromia additions to the fuel pellets and a chromium coasting to the fuel rod cladding will be loaded into Vogtle Unit 2 in the spring of 2019, according to World Nuclear News, an industry newsletter.

The fuel technology aims to offer reactor operators more time to respond in emergency situations. Chromia-doped fuel pellets have a higher density and help to reduce fission gas release should a reactor lose cooling. The addition of a chromium coating to the fuel’s existing zirconium alloy cladding offers advantages including improved resistance to oxidation at high temperatures, the reduction of hydrogen generation, and resistance to wear, the newsletter stated.

John Williams, nuclear fuel director for Southern Nuclear Operating Company, which operates Vogtle on behalf of Georgia Power and the plant’s other co-owners, told World Nuclear News that advanced technology fuel assemblies would make plants “even safer” and result in more flexible operations. “This game-changing technology is not a small step, but a leap for our industry,” he said.

Whitfield County Republicans heard from City of Refuge about the charity’s local programs.

Slow your roll on Georgia’s highways, as the Peach State joins Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee in “Operation Summer Shield.”

Suwanee City Council is expected to adopt the same property tax millage rate as last year.

Summer School for Politicos

The Republican National Committee is accepting applications for its Campaign Management College in Washington, DC.

Campaign Management College (CMC) is the premier training ground for campaign managers on the right assigned to targeted congressional- and state-level campaigns and senior state party directors. This course is designed to provide comprehensive knowledge of campaign strategies and to simulate the tactical decisions the manager will face in the field. Considered an essential training ground for generations of political talent, the CMC has been modernized to give future managers the tools to be victorious in this hyper-competitive political environment.

Ideal attendees for CMCs are current campaign managers (statewide, congressional or legislative), State Party Executive Directors and Political Directors and individuals with extensive prior campaign experience who are interested in taking the role of a manager.

Topics presented during CMC include, but are not limited to: Voter Data, Media Buying, Fundraising, Digital and Social Media, Message Development, and many more.

Attendees will be responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses. The CMC is located at RNC Headquarters in Washington, DC. Each student is encouraged to bring their own wi-fi-enabled laptop computer.
The cost of the course is $350. Meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) will be provided during the course.

Nanc Bocskor and her eponymous company will hold a Fundraising Workshop in conjunction with New Power PAC on Saturday, July 22, 2017 from 9 AM to 1 PM.

2018 Elections

The Forsyth County Republican Party drew most of the 2018 statewide candidates to their second annual Chill and Grill.

“We absolutely got the entire field here to mobilize and energize the Republican grassroots. It was a fantastic event,” said Justin Hawkins, chairman of the party. “We had over 200 people here, and it’s July 3rd, which is obviously a huge holiday.”

“It shows the energy that is growing with the Forsyth County Republican Party,” he said. “We are becoming a regional powerhouse across the state for two reasons: No. 1, Forsyth County is the most conservative; No. 2, we are one of the most populated counties now in the state.”

“I’ll tell you, with President Trump in the White House, I’ve never been more optimistic about Forsyth County values,” [Congressman Rob] Woodall said. “There is not one bill we can’t pass that the president won’t sign; the only question is can we pass it.”

District 45 state Sen. David Shafer, who serves as the senate’s president pro temp, is seeking the lieutenant governor office and said he would continue fighting for conservative ideals.

“For the last 15 years, I have been the workhorse for conservative ideals in the state Senate,” Shafer said. “I pushed the constitutional amendment to cap the state income tax to make sure Georgia’s income taxes will never be any higher … I served on the conference committee that did away with the state tax on gasoline.”

Lobbyists fueled much of the campaign fundraising disclosed on this month’s campaign disclosure reports, according to the AJC.

The top firms and the special interests they represent have almost exclusively written big checks in recent weeks to Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution review of campaign disclosures filed last week.

Cagle, whom some pundits call the favorite to win the Republican nomination, has taken in more than 10 times as much money from lobbyists and statehouse political action committees as the other GOP candidates combined.

If Cagle has any competition for the lobby money, records show, it is from Georgia Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer, R-Duluth, who is running to replace him as lieutenant governor.

Lobbyists who contributed to the candidates say they’re going with the candidates they know, especially in the case of Cagle, who was first elected as lieutenant governor in 2006 and served 12 years in the Georgia Senate before that.

The two biggest fundraisers were Cagle, at $2.7 million collected in a few months, and Kemp, at about $1.7 million.

Cagle’s campaign finance report showed overwhelming support from the statehouse crowd. Hill and Kemp reported contributions from 11 lobbyists or firms between them, totaling about $15,000. Cagle got checks from at least 37, totaling about $109,000, according to the AJC review.

Events

From the Gwinnett Daily Post:

• The Barrow County Republican Party will hold its monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Monday at the Winder Woman’s Club, 15 W. Midland Ave., in Winder.

• Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle will host a “Coffee With Casey” meet and greet from 8 to 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Gwinnett County Republican Party headquarters at Gwinnett Place Mall. The event is part of Cagle’s campaign for governor. Attendees can talk with Cagle about his plans for leading the state if elected next year.

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