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 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…)

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 11, 2014

911 memorial 2

I was in my car that morning, on the way to my job when I heard on the radio of the first plane hitting. The announcers thought at first that it must be a small plane and likely an accident. Seventeen minutes later all doubt vanished as the second hit. Over the next hour, a third plane hit the Pentagon and a fourth went down in a field in Pennsylvania. We watched on television as the towers burned, then collapsed.

Shortly afterwards, the Family Room opened in a nearby tower to provide a place for loved ones to grieve out of the public eye.

The Family Room opened in April 2002 in space donated by Brookfield Office Properties, the owners of 1 Liberty Plaza, across Church Street from the trade center site. By presenting what was known as a medical examiner’s family identification card, victims’ relatives were admitted during regular workdays and at night, on weekends and on holidays.

On the 20th floor, behind a door marked “The Family Room,” relatives could settle into ample leather couches or stand at windows 15 and 20 feet wide. The room was intended for “quiet contemplation,” said a 2002 notice from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which created and maintained the space, just a few doors down from its own headquarters and those of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation.

When the Family Room at 1 Liberty Plaza was replaced this summer by a new private gathering space in the National September 11 Memorial Museum pavilion, the [New York] State Museum and the memorial museum painstakingly documented the older room, and the State Museum acquired what contents family members themselves did not choose to reclaim.

There are materials in the Family Room collection related to about 1,000 victims, Mr. Schaming said, or roughly one-third of all casualties that day. “It is the most singular collection of the faces of people who were killed on 9/11,” he said.

One day after Perry’s victory in the Battle of Lake Erie, American Master Commandant Thomas Macdonough led American forces in the Battle of Plattsburg at Lake Champlain, New York on September 11, 1813.

The Union Army began evacuating civilians from Atlanta via Lovejoy’s Station on September 11, 1864.

Georgia-born Ty Cobb took his last at-bat on September 11, 1928.

After a week-long Presidential campaign swing through ten states, former Governor Jimmy Carter returned to Plains on September 11, 1976. At the time Republicans said he was too liberal; today they say that about his grandson, Democrat Jason Carter.

On September 11, 1985, Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb’s career hit record, notching number 4,192 against the San Diego Padres.

A New Show on GPB

GPB Political Rewind 09102014 600px

Last night, I was honored to appear in the inaugural episode of Georgia Public Broadcasting’s new TV show called Political Rewind with BIll Nigut, Jim Galloway of the AJC and Georgia State House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams.

We’ll post a link to video if they get it online soon, but you can put it on your weekly schedule for 7 PM Wednesday evenings on your local GPB station.

New Poll from 11Alive Deceptive

Yesterday, 11Alive released a new poll in a story that is sloppy at best, deceptive at worst.

ATLANTA — A new exclusive scientific poll shows the race for Georgia’s governor is statistically tied. The poll was commissioned by 11Alive and conducted by Survey USA.

Over the past three weeks, since an identical poll was conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of 11Alive, incumbent Republican Nathan Deal has watched a 9-point lead evaporate.

Forty-five percent of registered likely voters plan to vote for Jason Carter, 44% for Nathan Deal. The margin of error is +/- 4.2%, so they are statistically tied.

The part I want to discuss is where 11Alive says the polls were “identical.” That simply isn’t true. I’ve discussed at length the importance of weighting, and specifically the assumption about what percentage of voters will be African-American. (more…)

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 10, 2014

An American fleet of nine ships under the command of Captain Oliver Hazard Perry routed a British fleet in the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813.

After the battle, Perry sent a famous dispatch to U.S. General William Henry Harrison that read, “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.” The Battle of Lake Erie forced the British to abandon Detroit, ensuring U.S. control over Lake Erie and the territorial northwest.

On September 10, 1991, Senate confirmation hearings began for Georgia-born Clarence Thomas, who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush (41) to the United States Supreme Court.

Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit was released as a single on September 10, 1991.

On September 10, 2002, the Atlanta Braves clinched an eleventh straight division title without playing, as a loss by the Philadelphia Phillies assured the Braves the title.

Hope for America

Cry Out America will hold a prayer event at the Georgia State Capitol on Thursday, September 11, 2014 from 11 AM to 1 PM inside the Capitol near the South Steps.

Voter Fraud Allegations against Democratic organization

At least six county voter registration offices have reported suspected voter registration fraud linked to The New Georgia Project, according to WSB-TV. (more…)

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 25, 2014

On August 25, 325, the Council of Nicea adopted the Nicene Creed.

On August 25, 1864, Union troops stopped artillery bombardment of Atlanta and withdrew from fortifications around the city. On the same day, in Virginia, Confederate forces attacked Federals under Gen. Grant at Ream’s Station.

On August 25, 1877, delegates to the state Constitutional Convention approved a new post-Reconstruction state Constitution, the seventh in state history, to be submitted to the voters on December 5, 1877.

The all-time highest score in a professional baseball game was recorded on August 25, 1922, as the Chicago Cubs beat the Philadelphia Phillies by 26-23.

Paris was liberated from German army control on August 25, 1944.

On August 25, 1950, President Harry S. Truman ordered the seizure of the nation’s private railroads by executive order.


Our photo selections from Gould Hagler show two different shots of the same monument, the state’s second oldest Confederate monument in Griffin, Georgia. Here’s what it looked like before a cleaning and restoration.

Gould Hagler

And after cleaning and restoration:

Gould Hagler Griffin2

Gould’s book, Georgia’s Confederate Monuments: In Honor of a Fallen Nation, is available for ordering online from Mercer University Press. We receive no compensation for running these, and paid for our own copy.

 


 

Happy Birthday to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal

I didn’t get you anything, but you have my support and on November 4, 2014, I’ll vote to re-elect Governor Deal.

Nydia Tisdale arrested at Dawsonville GOP Rally

Nydia Tisdale is a Forsyth County political activist who has made a name of herself by shooting video at public meetings and political events and posting them on YouTube.

She’s not always welcomed. In 2012, Cumming Mayor H. Ford Gravitt had her removed from a meeting of the Cumming City Council.

Attorney General Sam Olens disagreed with the City’s video policy.

Olens filed suit in Forsyth County Superior Court against the city of Cumming and Mayor H. Ford Gravitt for the alleged violation of Georgia open meetings law on June 5, 2012.

On the same day of the alleged [2012] violations, Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law the updated version of Georgia’s Sunshine Law.

The law says that a person is allowed to make visual and audio recordings at a public meeting. The new law, which went into effect the same day, provides for visual and sound recordings of public meetings and authorizes the attorney general to sue violators and seek penalties.

This past Saturday, Tisdale uploaded to YouTube a video she shot of Gov. Nathan Deal, Senate candidate David Perdue and others at the North Fulton Victory 2014 Rally held earlier this month. (more…)

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

We are now 104 days from the General Election on November 4, 2014.

Once again, the Battle of Atlanta provides us with our metaphor for today. On July 23, 1864, Union and Confederate forces in and around Atlanta gathered the dead and worked to save the wounded. Union artillery began bombarding Atlanta.

Former President Ulysses S. Grant died on July 23, 1885.

The Cleveland Metropolitan Park District was established on July 23, 1917 and currently has a set of beautiful parks winding through the city. If you’re going to be in Cleveland for the 2016 Republican National Convention, take some time to tour the city, including the parks. When I visit my mother and grandmother in Cleveland, I regularly see deer in the parks in Shaker Heights, and outside my grandmother’s retirement home. We’re thirty years past the “mistake on the Lake“ era, and you’ll be missing out if you don’t get to learn about the city.

I’m planning on attending the 2016 Convention and may set up an event or two for my fellow Republicans who are there from Georgia. Stay tuned.

John Smoltz started his first game as a major league pitcher on July 23, 1988, as the Braves took a win over the New York Mets.

Hopefully this won’t be another metaphor for the election, but Great White Sharks have been spotted off the coast of Georgia.

he message from shark researchers sums it up: “Female shark hotspot?” tweeted the nonprofit Ocearch Tuesday afternoon. “Lydia, Genie & Mary Lee are off the coast of #Savannah, GA!”

All three great white sharks are fitted with satellite tags that last located them more than 100 miles off Savannah.

Campaigns and Elections

Today, we begin the General Election campaign for United States Senate, Governor, and for the “Shafer Amendment,” which will constitutionally limit the ability of the General Assembly to raise the state income tax rate. Visit CapTheTax.com to learn more and if you’re a leader in a local, district, or the state GOP, consider working to put your organization on the record as supporting Amendment One on the November ballot.

I’m not going to spend too much time on last night’s elections. I want to digest what happened, and there’s plenty of direct information out there on the news sites. We’ll spend a few minutes recapping yesterday’s election results and talking about lessons we learned.

What I learned yesterday

The important thing is not being right every time, but learning something every time you are wrong. That’s a valuable insight whether you’re talking about political prognostication or something else.

Taking the view of “I learned a lesson” when you’re beaten, knocked down, or just wrong on the internet also has the benefit of lifting your mood. One of my favorite websites that isn’t about politics has a short video on this valuable life lesson.

1. The first time I was a guest on GPB’s new radio show “Political Rewind” a couple weeks ago, I learned that when I’m the proper distance from the microphone, my 40-something year old eyes can’t focus on the mic’s windscreen, and there’s something disorienting about being that close to something you can’t focus your eyes on. Of course, vanity won’t let me simply get glasses for this.

There’s a reason we have a lot of metaphors like “can’t see the forest for the trees” or “preaching to the choir.” The problem is that it’s hard to see what’s going on among the majority of Republican Primary voters who are not activists or party types. A message to those folks who are disconnected from politics can connect in a way that moves them without necessary being visible to those who are concentrating on the party structure and activists.

For those of us involved in the General Election as pundits, professionals, or players, we need to learn this lesson and apply it.

2. David Perdue’s challenge will be to take the support he has received in the Primary and Primary Runoff from people who are not involved in the political process and try to make a coherent organization or movement out of people who are resistant to being part of the political process.

Perdue will inherit much of Jack Kingston’s organization the same way Kingston gained from Karen Handel, and he should take the time to figure out how Kingston’s volunteers and staff can best be brought into the tent. But he also has to recognize the limitations of that organization and of his own – if we couldn’t see the breadth of his support, it will be hard to identify those who voted for him and ensure they come back out in November and don’t fall for an outsider message from the other side.

3. We’re behind the eight-ball. Michelle Nunn has a lead in the polls, and $2.3 million in the bank. I still think Republicans are favored in the fall, but we have to get it together and that starts tomorrow. Sleep in and lick your wounds today, but be prepared to take the field tomorrow.

4. The Georgia Republican Party needs to consider whether it’s promoting a message today that connects with the broader electorate or whether they’re “preaching to the choir.”

Democratic Party of Georgia Chairman Dubose Porter released a statement last night that indicates what we’re in for from the DPG and the Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter campaigns: three months and twelve days of all-out class warfare. From Porter’s statement:

“There is a clear contrast in this race between Michelle Nunn, a leader who has spent the last 25 years leading volunteer organizations and lifting communities up, and David Perdue, someone who has spent his career enriching himself while often times tearing companies and communities apart,” said Democratic Party of Georgia Chair DuBose Porter. “Georgians want leaders who will fix the mess in Washington, not someone who puts personal profit ahead of regular people.”

So, we’re going to hear a lot about Pillowtex and a lot about what a greedy bunch the Republican party and their Wall Street cronies are. Major issues will be the gender gap in pay, Citizens United and the role of big money in politics, and the minimum wage.

Expect also to see Michelle Nunn on all the morning shows today and the rest of the week.

Runoff Roundup

As of this morning, David Perdue holds a roughly 8500-vote lead over Jack Kingston, besting the 22-year Congressman by less than a 51-49 margin. From Walter Jones with Morris News:

With all but two Georgia counties reporting their final vote tallies as of 7:30 a.m., Perdue had 50.9 percent to Kingston’s 49.1 percent. The difference was about 8,600 votes out of more than 482,000 ballots cast.

Voters said they were fed up with the situation in Washington and wanted a change. Perdue, a political newcomer convinced them he was better able to bring change than Kingston, a 22-year veteran of Congress.

“David offered voters a clear alternative to the typical politicians,” said his spokesman Derrick Dickey. “As a political outsider and first-time candidate, his message resonated with voters who are fed up with business as usual in Washington.”

Kingston told supporters that when he called Perdue to concede he had a simple message for the victor about the general election.

“Don’t call me. I’m on your team,” Kingston recounted. “This is so much bigger than David Perdue or Jack Kingston. It is about taking over the U.S. Senate and turning America around.”

Wednesday morning will be the first day of the general-election campaign. Perdue must immediately shift his sights from attacking his fellow Republican to blasting Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn. She’ll be fighting back, and both sides will have large financial commitments from political-action committees.

“Tomorrow it becomes more of a national race with a lot of outside groups weighing in, but we plan to keep our nucleus,” Kingston said.

Even closer is the margin between State School Superintendent candidates Richard Woods (199,071 votes) and Mike Buck (198,343 votes). The race will almost certainly have a recount. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

First, a crowded primary. Then, a runoff that doesn’t run either candidate off the ballot.

Now, the race between Mike Buck and Richard L. Woods, the two Republican candidates for Georgia school superintendent, appears to be headed for a recount.

Woods, a longtime educator from Irwin County making his second bid for superintendent, held a paper-thin edge over Buck, the chief academic officer for the Georgia Department of Educator. With nearly all of the state’s counties reporting their results late Tuesday night, that edge was within the 1 percent threshold that would give Buck the right to request a recount. He told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he would request a recount if the margin turns out to be closer than 1 percent.

“We would all like to have some closure, but it looks like sometime tomorrow at the very earliest before we’ll know,” Buck said from his campaign headquarters late Tuesday night. “So, we’ll stick it out and see what happens.”

Democrat Valarie Wilson took her party’s nomination over State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan. From the Athens Banner-Herald and Morris News:

Wilson won with 53.4 percent of the vote over Alisha Thomas Morgan, an Austell legislator, who garnered 46.6 percent, as of 10:50 p.m.

Kerwin Swint, political science professor at Kennesaw State University, said the support from established organizations likely helped Wilson.

“It’s about infrastructure,” he said. “Getting out the vote is something where, if you have the establishment behind you, you have people manning the phones, you have people willing to hand out literature.”

While Wilson has support of large education groups like the Georgia Association of Educators through her connections as former City of Decatur school board member and former Georgia School Board Association president, Morgan had sought the support of Democrats in favor of education reform and school-choice. She also had the backing of some national school-choice organizations, which rankled with some Georgia Democrats.

In Congressional District One, State Senator Buddy Carter beat Dr. Bob Johnson.

Carter won 53 percent of the votes, while his opponent, Bob Johnson, garnered 46 percent.

Johnson, a surgeon from Isle of Hope, ran as a political outsider in support of term limits and firmly against the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare. His success came from the lower half of the district in Glynn and Camden counties and a few small counties.

Johnson claimed he was supported by about 85 percent of local tea party members and virtually all tea partiers nationally, including former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, who lent her support after a last-minute “gentle probe.” The Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and a few other conservative groups backed him also.

But behind Carter were key mainline conservatives, including many area mayors and sheriffs, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He also positioned himself closely to the Republican incumbent, Jack Kingston, a longtime Savannah congressman running in a closely watched U.S. Senate primary runoff.

The Republican nominee is heavily favored against Democratic nominee Brian Reese of Savannah in the Nov. 4 general election.

Carter, the primary’s top vote-getter, ran in favor of tax reform, reining in the national debt, balancing the budget, repealing Obamacare, and protecting gun rights – picking up a National Rifle Association endorsement.

He said he felt most confident of his popularity in his state Senate district, western counties and some areas down south where he was banking on endorsements from such people as a third place primary rival to pay electoral dividends.

Jody Hice, the ideological and stylistic heir to Dr. Paul Broun, took the GOP nomination in the Tenth District, which opened when Broun ran for U.S. Senate.

With 54 percent of 49,632 votes recorded by 10:45 p.m. Tuesday, Hice dominated the 10th District, winning 15 of its 25 counties.

Hice, a conservative radio host from Walton County, took first place in the May 20 primary with 37 percent of the total vote. Mike Collins, a trucking company owner from Jackson, came in second in the primary with 33 percent.

Clarke County voters preferred Collins, though. He earned about 62 percent of about 3,700 votes cast in the race here, while his lead in neighboring Oconee County hovered around 52 percent of the total vote late Tuesday. Hice took Barrow County with 68 percent of 4,446 votes.

More than half of Hice’s margin came from Walton County, his home and the most populous county in the district that sprawls across eastern Georgia. With 8826 votes cast in yesterday’s runoff, Walton County produced more votes than it did in May’s Republican Primary.

Barry Loudermilk handily won the 11th District over Bob Barr.

As of midnight, with all precincts in every county reporting, Loudermilk had received a total of 34,641 votes or 66 percent compared to Barr’s 17,794 votes or 34 percent.
Loudermilk’s lead was smaller in Cobb County, which he won with 59 percent of the vote to Barr’s 41 percent. Loudermilk took home 13,591 votes in Cobb County, while Barr received 9,314. In total, 22,905 of the 52,435 votes that had been tallied at press time were cast in Cobb County.
Loudermilk said he felt “awesome” after his win, though he added the victory was still sinking in.
“My heart goes out to everybody that went to the polls and elected me to this position,” he said. “It’s people responding to a positive message that there is hope for America we get our nation back on track.”
The newly-elected congressman attributed his victory to a positive message and style of campaigning.
“I think (my) message resonated with people more than the negative attacks we’ve seen,” Loudermilk said.

 

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