Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 23, 2014

Bon Homme Richard

John Paul Jones, at the helm of US ship Bonhomme Richard, won a naval battle off the coast of England on September 23, 1779.

After inflicting considerable damage to the Bonhomme Richard, Richard Pearson, the captain of the Serapis, asked Jones if he had struck his colors, the naval sign indicating surrender. From his disabled ship, Jones replied, “I have not yet begun to fight,” and after three more hours of furious fighting the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough surrendered to him.

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark returned to St. Louis Missouri from their exploratory trip to the Pacific coast on September 23, 1806.

On September 23, 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was speaking at a dinner with the Teamsters union and addressed attacks that had been made by Republicans, including the allegation that after leaving his dog, Fala, behind in the Aleutian Islands, he sent a Navy destroyer to fetch the dog. This would become known as the “Fala speech.”

These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don’t resent attacks, and my family don’t resent attacks, but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I’d left him behind on an Aleutian island and had sent a destroyer back to find him—at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or twenty million dollars—his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since. I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself … But I think I have a right to resent, to object, to libelous statements about my dog.

The idea for the joke was given to FDR by Orson Welles. The political lesson here is that any time you get an audience laughing at your opponent, you are winning.

A statue of former Georgia Governor Eugene Talmadge on the grounds of the Georgia State Capitol was unveiled on September 23, 1949, the 65th anniversary of Talmadge’s birth near Forsyth, Georgia in 1884.

On September 23, 1952, Senator Richard M. Nixon was under fire for allegedly accepting $18,000 and using it for personal expenses. To salvage his place as the Vice Presidential candidate on Eisenhower’s Republican ticket, Nixon took to the airwaves in the first nationally-televised address and delivered what came to be known as the “Checkers Speech. From The Atlantic:

[A] 1999 poll of leading communication scholars ranked the address as the sixth most important American speech of the 20th century — close behind the soaring addresses of Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The “Checkers” speech wins this high rank for one stand-out reason: It marked the beginning of the television age in American politics. It also salvaged Nixon’s career, plucking a last-second success from the jaws of abject humiliation, and profoundly shaped Nixon’s personal and professional outlook, convincing him that television was a way to do an end-run around the press and the political “establishment.”

Click here for the full text of the “Checkers Speech.”

On September 23, 1976, President Gerald Ford and former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter met in their first televised debate.

The last game played in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium took place on September 23, 1996.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Latest Polling

Rasmussen has released polls on the Gubernatorial and Senatorial races. In the Gubernatorial race:

Nathan Deal………………45%
Jason Carter………………44%
Some other candidate…..3%
Undecided…………………..8%

And in the race for United States Senate:

David Perdue………………46%
Michelle Nunn…………….41%
Some other candidate……4%
Undecided……………………9%

It is a fundamental flaw and a sign of laziness in a poll of Georgia elections to not include the name of the third party candidates.

The Washington Post column on politics called The Fix wrote yesterday that Republicans are a slight favorite to gain control of the Senate, and specifically,

For those wondering about Kentucky and Georgia — Democrats’ other two pickup opportunities — both seem to be fading from sight.  All three models show Republicans with a strong chance of holding both seats. In Kentucky, the probabilities range from 85 percent to 99 percent; in Georgia it ranges from a 77 percent chance of a Republican victory to a 95 percent one.

Forget the “War on Women,” it’s a “War for Women’s Votes”

Yesterday saw duelling press events at the Georgia State Capitol. From Greg Bluestein, writing for the AJC:

We’ll start with Perdue’s presser, which focused on two EEOC complaints that Nunn’s camp unintentionally exposed in the infamous series of memos that leaked this summer. State Rep. Lynne Riley and other GOPers wrote a letter demanding that Nunn release the complaints, which haven’t been made public yet.

“The only way for Georgians to know the truth is for you to voluntarily release this information,” said the letter. “Why haven’t you done so already?”

They then marched over to Nunn’s event to deliver that letter to the Democrat’s campaign manager, a stoic Jeff DiSantis, as a few dozen Nunn supporters chanted “go blue” and “equal pay.” As you can see in the above video, they were briefly held up by state troopers.

Once the Republican gaggle was out of earshot, the Democrats proceeded to pummel Perdue over whether he’d back the stalled-out Paycheck Fairness Act. That bill aims to narrow the persistent pay discrepancy between women and men.

“All we want to do is go to work and be treated as equals, leave behind gender-based discrimination,” said Orrock, an Atlanta Democrat.

Here’s why the Democrats are talking about Paycheck Fairness, from polling earlier this year:

Republican voters divide on gender lines, with a majority of Republican women supporting the plan (54%) and more than a third (36%) of Republican men supporting it. Independent women are also strong supporters, 61% favor the plan as well as 49% of Independent men.

A strong majority (60%) of voters are also likely to use a candidate’s support for policies that have a direct impact on working families as a vote-determinant. This includes 84% of Democratic women, 57% of Independent women and 53% of Republican women.

Women Poll Table

Polls of the Georgia Senate race consistently show a gender gap, with Republican David Perdue leading among men and Democrat Michelle Nunn leading among women.

The distinction was sharpened in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll released Sunday. Democrat Jason Carter led Republican Gov. Nathan Deal by 10 points with female voters, and women gave Michelle Nunn a three-point advantage over Republican David Perdue in the Senate contest. Other recent polls have portrayed an even wider gap between male and female voters.

Susan Carroll, a Rutgers University political scientist who has studied the gap, said ultimately many women end up voting on the “kitchen table” issues such as the economy and education.

“Men are much more likely to be in favor of cutting back on government than women are,” Carroll said. “Women, even if they want to cut back, care more about protecting the safety net. Over time, that’s factored pretty seriously into the gender gap.”

Rural Georgia in play?

Rural issues in the Senate election are also getting significant attention. Rural health care has become a Rorschach test for the candidates’ views on Obamacare.

In an updated election guide, produced by Healthcare Georgia Foundation, the two candidates answer a new question about rural health care.

In her response, Nunn, a Democrat, calls for expansion of the Medicaid program in the state as outlined by the Affordable Care Act.

Expansion “would enable over 600,000 low-income Georgians to sign up for Medicaid and allow rural hospitals to receive payments for services to people who were previously uninsured,” Nunn said. “By not expanding Medicaid, Georgia will lose $33.7 billion in federal funding from 2013 to 2022, while our tax dollars are spent in other states.”

Perdue, rather than implement more of the ACA, would go in the opposite direction. The Republican candidate supports a plan by U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., to repeal the ACA and embrace free-market solutions to the problems of health care.

He blasts the ACA, often known as Obamacare, for ending government payments to hospitals that treat a large share of low-income patients, and for “driving insurance companies out of many underserved areas, and causing health care premiums to spike on the remaining plans.”

Democrats see rural voters as a group where they can make headway.

While Kentucky’s electorate is more rural than Georgia on a percentage basis, the Peach State has many more rural voters based on population. Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn is trying to run as a centrist in the mold of her father, Sam, whose long career in the Senate ran from 1972 to 1996.

While Democrats point to the growing numbers of African-American and Latino voters as a sign of the state’s purple-trending demographics, the fact is that a significant infusion of rural voters in central and south Georgia will have to cast a ballot for Nunn if she is to defeat businessman David Perdue for the seat held by outgoing Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

Keith McCants of tiny Oglethorpe, Ga. is perhaps his state’s most knowledgeable expert on rural politics, and he has a lot to say about what Nunn needs to do to be competitive over the final weeks in the rural counties.

McCants, who runs the respected Peanut Politics blog, said Nunn has two tasks in wooing rural voters. First, she must motivate “Obamacrats,” the rural black voters in the 1st, 2nd and 8th Congressional Districts who don’t come out to midterm elections like they do when Obama’s name is on the ballot. Second, McCants says Nunn needs independents and voters 55 and older to break her way. “Everyone assumes if you’re white and rural, you’re a Republican,” he laments.

As for Nunn’s field operation, McCants notes places like Tifton and Waycross have no organizers while “Perdue has a ground game [in the rural counties] and its going strong.”

 

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 22, 2014

On September 22, 1862, Republican President Abraham Lincoln issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which stated,

“. . . on the first day of January [1863] . . . all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”

1024px-Chickamauga

On September 20, 1863, the Confederate Army of the Tennessee under General Braxton Bragg repelled Union forces under General William Rosencrans at the Battle of Chickamauga. After Gettysburg, Chickamauga is generally considered the second-bloodiest battle of the Civil War, with 18,500 Confederate casualties and 16,100 Union dead.

800px-Cannon_Row Chickamauga

On September 21, 1863, the federal Army of the Cumberland retreated to Chattanooga after its defeat at Chickamauga.

President Rutherford B. Hayes visited Atlanta on September 22, 1877.

White vigilantes seeking to assault African-Americans after reports of four white women being assaulted led to the Atlanta Race Riots on September 22-24, 1906, which would claim the lives of at least 25 African-Americans and one white person.

On September 22, 1918, the City of Atlanta gasoline administator prohibited non-emergency Sunday driving to conserve fuel for the war effort.

On September 20, 1976, Playboy magazine released an interview with Jimmy Carter, then a candidate for President.

Bert Lance resigned as Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Jimmy Carter on September 21, 1977. After a jury acquitted him on ten federal charges in 1980, Lance served as Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia from 1982 to 1985.

General Colin Powell was confirmed by the Senate Armed Services Committee as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on September 21. 1989. Powell served as National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan before being appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by President George H.W. Bush; in 2000, Powell was nominated by President George W. Bush as Secretary of State, the first African-American to hold that post.

On September 20, 1992, Atlanta Braves David Justice, Brian Hunter, Ron Gant, and Mark Lemke hit home runs in the 6th inning of a 16-1 victory over the Houston Astros.

Friends debuted on NBC on September 22, 1994.

On September 21, 2011, R.E.M. announced on their website that they were quitting as a band.

Michelle Nunn, Deceptive Democrat Dinged on Truthiness

Michelle Nunn, whose makeover from nonprofit maven to Senate candidate is the most drastic we’ve ever seen, apparently went so far as to alter the story of her life, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Politifact. (more…)

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 18, 2014

The United States government took out its first loan on September 18, 1789, the proceeds of which were used to pay the salaries of the President, and First Congress. On the same day, future President Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to E. Rutledge in which he requested that a shipment of olive trees be sent via Baltimore.

President George Washington laid the cornerstone of the United States Capitol on September 18, 1793.

We know from that newspaper article, and from Masonic ritual, that Washington placed an inscribed silver plate under the cornerstone at the southeast corner of this building. However, we do not know whether that meant the southeast corner of the Senate wing, the first section of the building to be completed, or the southeast corner of the whole building as intended, which would locate it over on the House side. Two centuries later, the Architect of the Capitol is still searching for that cornerstone. Metal detectors have failed to locate the silver plate.

President Millard Fillmore signed the Fugitive Slave Act on September 18, 1850, requiring that slaves be returned to their owners even if they were in a free state.

General Robert E. Lee retreated from Antietam Creek on September 18, 1862, following the bloodiest day of fighting in the Civil War.

On September 18, 1973, Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter filed a report claiming that he saw an Unidentified Flying Object in the sky above Leary, Georgia in 1969.

Carter was preparing to give a speech at a Lions Club meeting. At about 7:15 p.m (EST), one of the guests called his attention to a strange object that was visible about 30 degrees above the horizon to the west of where he was standing. Carter described the object as being bright white and as being about as bright as the moon. It was said to have appeared to have closed in on where he was standing but to have stopped beyond a stand of pine trees some distance from him. The object is then said to have changed color, first to blue, then to red, then back to white, before appearing to recede into the distance. Carter felt that the object was self-luminous, but not a solid in nature. Carter’s report indicates that it was witnessed by about ten or twelve other people, and was in view for ten to twelve minutes before it passed out of sight.

Click here to view a copy of the report, allegedly on file at the Carter Center.

The Georgia General Assembly approved a new state Constitution on September 18, 1981, which was placed on the 1982 ballot and after approval by voters, went into effect in 1983.

On September 18, 1990, Atlanta was announced as the location for the 1996 Summer Olympic games.

Ted Turner announced on September 18, 1997 his intent to donate $1 billion to the United Nations. (more…)

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 17, 2014

Forty-one delegates signed the United States Constitution, including Abraham Baldwin and William Few representing Georgia, at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787 before adjourning sine die.

On September 17, 1796, George Washington began working on the final draft of his farewell address as the first President of the United States of America.

The Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee met the Army of the Potomac under General George McClellan at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862.

The Battle of Antietam actually consisted of three battles. Beginning at dawn on September 17, Union General Joseph Hooker’s men stormed Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s troops around the Dunker Church, the West Woods, and David Miller’s cornfield. The Federals made repeated attacks, but furious Rebel counterattacks kept the Yankees in check. By early afternoon, the fighting moved south to the middle of the battlefield. Union troops under General Edwin Sumner inflicted devastating casualties on the Confederates along a sunken road that became known as “Bloody Lane,” before the Southerners retreated. McClellan refused to apply reserves to exploit the opening in the Confederate center because he believed Lee’s force to be much larger than it actually was. In the late afternoon, Union General Ambrose Burnside attacked General James Longstreet’s troops across a stone bridge that came to bear Burnside’s name. The Yankees crossed the creek, but a Confederate counterattack brought any further advance to a halt.

The fighting ended by early evening, and the two armies remained in place throughout the following day. After dark on September 18, Lee began pulling his troops out of their defenses for a retreat to Virginia. The losses for the one-day battle were staggering. Union casualties included 2,108 dead, 9,540 wounded, and 753 missing, while Confederate casualties numbered 1,546 dead, 7,752 wounded, and 1,108 missing.

On September 17, 1932, the Georgia Division of the Roosevelt Business and Professional League was created to work with the Georgia Democratic Party to support FDR’s Presidential campaign in the Peach State.

Jimmy Carter received the first ever endorsement of a national ticket by the National Education Association in his bid for President on September 17, 1976.

National Politics

The Hill has posted a brief interview with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who won the Georgia Republican Primary for President in 2008 with nearly 34% of the vote.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) is taking the necessary steps to run for president again in 2016, vowing he wouldn’t make the same mistakes he made last time, if he pulls the trigger.

Huckabee says he will make a decision early next year about another presidential run but noted he’s in a “different place than I was eight years ago,” due to a lucrative career as a Fox News and radio show host.

One thing he feels does make him uniquely qualified for the office, he said, is his 11 years as governor of Arkansas, where he said worked with a heavily Democratic legislature to get things done.

“I know how to govern,” he said. “It’s about developing relationships, building camaraderie, building trust,” Huckabee said. “I don’t think you’ll find a Republican who got 49 percent of the African-American vote, as I did, in my reelection as governor. That had high Hispanic support. Those are things I think could be valuable to the party.”

“I would love to talk about what we’re for, to bring a sense of hope and optimism to people, as opposed to just tell ‘em how bad everything is,” he said.

It’s the only way to win, he said.

“I don’t think you can make people fearful enough and mad enough to get elected.”

That last part is the most important in my mind. Republicans must develop ways of speaking about our policies that connect with the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of the voters if we wish to actually win an govern. In Georgia, part of the challenge for David Perdue in his campaign for Senate is to speak to the voters about why his experience in business will benefit them in their lives, and why business doing better is not just good for us, but a necessary precondition for making our hopes, dreams, and aspirations come true. (more…)

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 16, 2014

The Mayflower left Plymouth, England, for the New World on September 16, 1620. Thirty-five of 102 passengers were members of the English Separatist Church seeking religious freedom from the Church of England. Originally aiming to reach Virginia, Mayflower eventually landed at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

A single pistol shot on September 16, 1920 opened former Cherokee land in Oklahoma to white settlers in a “land run” to claim property.

The original stimulus act was announced to bring $70 million in federal money to Georgia to build roads and public buildings on September 16, 1933.

On September 16, 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Selective Service and Training Act requiring males 26-35 years of age to register for the draft.

R.E.M. and Gregg Allman were among the inductees into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on September 16, 2006.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

President Barack Obama is scheduled to arrive in Atlanta at 1:55 PM today. Here’s his schedule: (more…)

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 12, 2014

James Oglethorpe arrived at Augusta on September 12, 1739, 275 years ago today.

The Second Continental Congress opened in Philadelphia on September 13, 1775; Georgia was represented by Archibald Bulloch, Lyman Hall,  John Houstoun, and John Zubly.

French troops arrived near Savannah to prepare for a siege against British forces there on September 12, 1779.

On September 13, 1788, the Confederation Congress voted to implement the Constitution and authorized states to elect Senators and Representatives and called the first Presidential election, with selection of presidential electors in the states to be held on January 7, 1789, and February 4, 1789 as the day electors would cast their ballots.

Francis Scott Key composed the lyrics to “The Star Spangled Banner” on September 14, 1814.

On September 14, 1885, Georgia Governor Henry McDaniel signed legislation granting up to 200 acres in Fulton and DeKalb Counties to the federal government to be used in the constuction of Fort McPherson, which was named after Union Maj. Gen. James McPherson, who was killed in the Battle of Atlanta in 1864.

On September 14, 1901, President William McKinley died of infection of gunshot wounds suffered eight days earlier.

The first two women to enter the Georgia General Assembly, Viola Ross Napier of Bibb County and Atlanta Constitution reporter Bessie Kempton of Fulton County, were elected on September 13, 1922.

 

Republicans Valdosta

A group of Georgia Republicans went to see Dr. Ben Carson speak at Valdosta State.

What’s wrong with Sunday elections?

Fulton County has added two Sunday voting dates with seven locations across the county open the first Sabbath voting day and nineteen locations the second. Lowndes County in South Georgia will add a Sunday voting location in Valdosta. (more…)