Category: Georgia Politics


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 22, 2016

General James Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia, signed a treaty with the Spanish government of Florida on October 22, 1736.

USS Constitution, named by President George Washington, was launched in Boston Harbor on October 21, 1791.

During the War of 1812, the Constitution won its enduring nickname “Old Ironsides” after defeating the British warship Guerriére in a furious engagement off the coast of Nova Scotia. Witnesses claimed that the British shots merely bounced off the Constitution‘s sides, as if the ship were made of iron rather than wood. The success of the Constitution against the supposedly invincible Royal Navy provided a tremendous morale boost for the young American republic.

Today, Constitution serves as a museum ship, and has sailed under her own power as recently as 2012. Southern live oak, harvested and milled on St. Simons Island, Georgia, is a primary construction material for Constitution.

On October 22, 1832, the Cherokee Land Lottery began in Milledgeville, with more than 200,000 Georgians competing for 53,309 lots of land.

Georgia Governor John B. Gordon signed legislation on October 22, 1887 that increased the number of justices on the Georgia Supreme Court from 3 to 5.

President Grover Cleveland arrived in Atlanta for the Cotton States and International Exposition on October 22, 1895.

Dizzy Gillespie was born on this day in 1917 in Cheraw, South Carolina.

President Warren G. Harding spoke in Alabama on October 21, 1921, and publicly condemned the practice of lynching.

Harding was a progressive Republican politician who advocated full civil rights for African Americans and suffrage for women. He supported the Dyer Anti-lynching Bill in 1920. As a presidential candidate that year, he gained support for his views on women’s suffrage, but faced intense opposition on civil rights for blacks. The 1920s was a period of intense racism in the American South, characterized by frequent lynchings. In fact, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) reported that, in 1920, lynching claimed, on average, the lives of two African Americans every week.

On the Presidential campaign trail, Franklin Delano Roosevelt arrived in Atlanta on October 23, 1932, speaking to 10,000, and continued on to his “second home” at Warm Springs, Georgia.

smFDR Atlanta 1932

FDR campaigning in Atlanta and Georgia in 1932.

FDR Georgia

When he arrived at Warm Springs, FDR gave a short speech:

“Two more weeks to go. . . . First, let me say this: this old hat, a lot of you people have seen it before. It’s the same hat. But I don’t think it is going to last much longer after the 8th of November. I have a superstition about hats in campaigns, and I am going to wear it until midnight of the 8th of November. . . . Well, it’s fine to see, and I’m looking forward to coming down here for the usual Thanksgiving party at Warm Springs, and having a real old-fashioned Thanksgiving with my neighbors again. I thank you!”

On October 23, 1971, the Coca-Cola Company launched the advertising campaign “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke.”

On October 21, 1976, Billy Carter spoke to an audience in Albany, Georgia, about his brother’s campaign for President.

On his brother Jimmy’s drinking habits, Billy said, “Jimmy used to drink liquor. Now he’s running for president he drinks Scotch, and I’ve never trusted a Scotch drinker.” Billy preferred the alcohol choice of his brother’s running mate, Walter Mondale – “I liked him the best of all the ones who came to Plains. He’s from a small town and he’s a beer drinker.”

Today, Billy Carter’s service station is preserved as a museum in Plains, Georgia.

On October 22, 1991, the Braves played Minnesota in the first World Series game in Atlanta.

Georgia-born Clarence Thomas was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on October 23, 1991.

The Atlanta Braves won the first game of the 1995 World Series on October 21, 1995, as Greg Maddux dominated the Cleveland Indians, allowing only two hits. Native American groups protested the names of both teams.

The Atlanta Braves won Game 2 of the 1995 World Series, beating Cleveland 4-3, on October 22, 1995.

Georgia artist Howard Finster died on October 22, 2001.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Finally, a ticket we can wholeheartedly support:


The Drug Enforcement Agency  is sponsoring the 12th Annual National National Prescription Drug Take Back Day tomorrow. Click here to find a location near you that will anonymously accept unused prescription drugs and dispose of them safely.

Libertarian Senate candidate Allen Buckley has proven he isn’t afraid to be the biggest jerk in Georgia, complaining that the Atlanta Press Club debate’s seated format might help Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 20, 2016

The United States Senate ratified a treaty with France on October 20, 1805, closing the deal on the Louisiana Purchase.

On October 20, 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt stopped in Roswell to visit his mother’s girlhood home at Bulloch Hall.

Lewis Grizzard was born on October 20, 1946 at Fort Benning, Georgia.

On October 20, 1977, a small twin-engine plane carrying members of Lynyrd Skynyrd from Greenville, South Carolina to Baton Rouge, Louisiana crashed in a swamp in Gillsburg, Mississippi. Singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, vocalist Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray died in the crash.

Tonight at 7 PM, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO) will speak at the Atlanta History Center for “Preserving Our Republic: A Conversation with Dick Gephardt and Newt Gingrich,” a REAL Talks Atlanta event sponsored by Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Don Wesley Thompson as a Superior Court Judge for the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, which covers Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, and Walker Counties.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 19, 2015

British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia on October 19, 1781,  ending the American Revolution.

On October 19, 1790, Lyman Hall, one of three signers of the Declaration of Independence from Georgia, died in Burke County, GA. Hall was elected Governor of Georgia in 1783, holding the position for one year, and was an early advocate for the chartering of the University of Georgia.

On October 19, 1983, the United States Senate voted 78-22 to create a federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., to be celebrated on the third Monday of January. The House passed the King holiday bill, sponsored by Reps. Katie Hall (D.-IN) and Jack Kemp (R-NY), by a vote of 338-90 in August. President Ronald Reagan signed the legislation on November 3, 1983.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Democratic National Committee showed its contempt for Georgia when a DNC tour bus emptied its sewer tank into a storm water drain in Gwinnett County.

The incident occurred on Grayson Highway early Tuesday, while the vehicle promoting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Democratic Party was between campaign stops, CBS 46 News said.

CBS 46 News reported that a Lawrenceville businessman took several photos of the “Forward Together” tour bus dumping waste into a storm drain. The man’s pictures showed liquid seeping out from underneath the vehicle.

Gwinnett County hazmat units have since cleaned up the mess, and CBS 46 News reported that the Gwinnett County Stormwater Management and the State Environment Protection Department are now involved in the investigation.

The DNC apologized for the incident on Tuesday.

“This was an honest mistake and we apologize to the Lawrenceville community for any harm we may have caused,” a DNC spokesperson told WSB-TV 2 News.


Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile then stepped in it and tracked it all through the living room.

The bus is expected back in Atlanta today for a Democratic debate watch party.

The Georgia Secretary of State absentee/early voter file shows the following as of yesterday:

242,010 absentee and advance votes cast
171,555 In-person ballots cast
168,546 mail-in absentee ballots requested
68,306 mail-in absentee ballots returned
11,621 electronic absentee ballots requested
2,149 electronic absentee ballots returned

Some voters are still encountering long lines for advance voting.

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA — Long lines formed for the second straight day at early voting sites. Tens-of-thousands of people in Georgia have already voted – and there are three more weeks until election day.

Long lines formed outside the Gwinnett County Board of Elections office. For now, it’s the only location in Gwinnett offering early voting. But those locations will multiply and the hours will expand for the week prior to the election.

Yet with all those hours and locations available, folks still opted to stand in in line here.

WSB-TV says the length of the ballot is partly responsible for voting lines.

As of right now, it’s a 2 1/2 hour wait in this parking lot to get inside here to cast a ballot.

Part of the problem, officials said, is the length of the ballot. It’s very long, and it takes voters on average about 15-20 minutes to vote.

Columbus officials also saw high voter turnout this week.

From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, 1,748 Muscogee County residents cast ballots, averaging 145 an hour.

The poll was not as swarmed Tuesday, but still drew a crowd: 1,520 voted, averaging around 127 an hour.

Voters reported waiting up to 45 minutes each day.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against Georgia seeking extension of voter registration after Hurricane Matthew closed voter registration offices in several coastal counties.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued Georgia to compel the state to extend the voter registration deadline by six days past Oct. 11 in five coastal counties because offices were closed during and after Hurricane Matthew.

“The state’s failure to extend the voter registration deadline, despite the massive disruptions caused by Hurricane Matthew, means that thousands of Georgians will be prevented from participating in the November election. This is unethical and illegal,” Kathleen Burch, interim counsel for the ACLU of Georgia, said in a release.

The ACLU and other groups successfully sued Florida to have the voter registration deadline extended. The suit in Georgia names Gov. Nathan Deal and Secretary of State Brian Kemp as defendants.

The ACLU asserts that more than 1 million Georgia residents were under mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders and that government offices were closed and services disrupted by the storm.

The suit notes that U.S. District Judge William Moore on Friday ordered Deal and Kemp to extend the registration deadline in Chatham Camden for six days from Oct. 11 through Oct. 18.

Moore’s order removed the “undue burden” on Chatham County voters, the suit says.

The five other coastal counties in the mandatory evacuation area suffered the same injury as Chatham County, the inability to register to vote: The state’s refusal to extend the deadline in those counties is a violation of equal protection of the law, the suit says.

Georgia officials say a rigged election is unlikely here.

“There is no proof that it’s rigged, but elections officials have to proof that it’s not rigged,” said Merle King, executive director of the Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University.

King and his colleagues are responsible for testing the state’s voting equipment. They prepare the ballots and the electronic poll book of registered voters.

He said Georgia has a rigorous and overlapping security process and rigid procedures elections officials have to follow. It’s a system that has worked ever since the state became the first in the country to implement electronic voting statewide 14 years ago.

“The likelihood of an anomaly or some conspiracy that would alter the outcome of the election in a way that’s undetectable is improbable to the point of impossible,” King said.

The computers that tally the votes are not networked, he said, and therefore can’t be hacked.

Congressman Hank Johnson (D-Atlanta) fears election tomfoolery in Georgia.

“I don’t want to set off any alarms, but it’s clear that our election process is susceptible to corruption of the results through a cyber attack. The specter of election contamination is definitely a possibility, and it has been highlighted by recent successful attempts to hack into state voter registration databases  –  at least two and perhaps as many as 20. These attempts have been attributed to the Russians. But we know that such attacks can come from external or internal forces. It should press upon us the need to protect the security of our election, which is why I introduced the Election Integrity and Infrastructure Act of 2016,” [said Johnson].

State Rep. Mike Cheokas (R-Americus) spoke at a forum with his opponent, Democrat Bill McGowan.

The two had varying opinions on the governor’s proposed Opportunity School District amendment.

“The school board would no longer have any control,” McGowan said. “The local tax payers would no longer have a local school board controlling there monies. These monies would be used by that superintendent in Atlanta.”

“You realize that that the opportunities your child has are limited,” Cheokas said. “That there is a ceiling that other children don’t have. They have the whole gambit of opportunities in front of them. How would you feel?”

Dick Yarbrough writes about Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle’s new book, Education Unleashed.

He has a new book out, entitled “Education Unleashed,” that spells out what our public education system needs to do to ensure that Georgia builds a world-class workforce to attract new industries and ensure current businesses don’t have to import labor from outside the state, as well as helping students find a career path that utilizes their skillsets and interests.

“I wrote the book,” he told me in his office, “to paint a very clear vision of what education can become in Georgia and highlighting the two specific programs that have demonstrated remarkable successes.” Both programs are already up and running and Casey Cagle was the driving force behind their creation.

With evangelistic fervor, Casey Cagle believes charter systems and College and Career Academies are the answer to what ails public education in Georgia. In “Education Unleashed,” Cagle says, “Charter systems and College and Career Academies are proving every day that we can redesign our schools to provide high quality education to all our students.” In doing so, Cagle believes schools under local control with high accountability will create a better community.

There is a governor’s race coming up in 2018. It will be interesting to see if this lieutenant governor intends to carry his vision for improving public education into the governor’s office as did Zell Miller. If so, may he have equal success.

Attorney General Sam Olens spoke to the Atlanta Jewish Times about his future.

AJT: Does this rule out a future run for governor?

Olens: I frankly was not intending to run for governor before this.

AJT: Do you plan to continue any involvement in previous projects, such as campaigning for Amendment 2 (Penalties for Sex Crimes to Fund Services for Sexually Exploited Children)?

Olens: Clearly, I still have scheduled meetings; I have talks. You know, I’ve had three big initiatives as AG: the food bank program, the sex trafficking program and the prescription drug abuse program. When I leave office, I’m not going to leave these areas. I plan on continuing to support any and all efforts to reduce sex trafficking. I think Channel 2 is actually doing a series in about two weeks, and I previously was interviewed for that series. It is astounding to me how many young children are sold throughout our state every night. The biggest thing we can do, even more important than passing new legislation, is getting the point across that the buyers will spend many years in jail. When the middle-aged male finds out that his friend, his colleague at work or whatever, was given 10 years in jail for having sex with a 12-year-old, that sends the message. The old days where you disregarded the acts of the buyer and only went after the seller are long gone.

For instance, we had a training at Emory Law School for judges because the judges really need to understand that we can’t solve the problem without going after demand. That’s got to be an essential part of this scenario. The beauty of constitutional Amendment 2 is it gives the resources to assist the victims. So, for instance, now when I have a DA in South Georgia say, “I have a victim, there’s no place in South Georgia to assist the victim,” that’s unacceptable. If Amendment 2 is passed (Nov. 8), there will be institutions throughout the state to assist these victims. That’s paramount because too many of them are committing suicide or overdosing, and we’ve got to do what we can as a society for the most vulnerable to protect them.

Gwinnett County police rescued a 13-year old girl who was being sold in a motel.

Gwinnett County police believe they’ve cracked what could be a large human trafficking ring.

This week, a 13-year-old girl was rescued from a man she says was trying to get her to work the streets.

A detective told a judge that [Tyler] Summerour housed the girl at a motel and tried to recruit her into sexual servitude by “telling the 13-year-old victim that she should make him some money by engaging in sexual acts.”

“Detectives are still investigating the magnitude of this case,” Cpl. Deon Washington said.

Police say the victim’s own relatives are the ones who were able to track her down to the restaurant. They confronted Summerour, and the argument is what got officers to the location.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted a nationwide anti-trafficking operation that resulted in numerous arrests in Georgia.

Nearly 70 people were arrested in the metro Atlanta area as part of an international sex trafficking and prostitution sting this week, the FBI announced on Tuesday.

The arrests were a part of a nationwide operation called Operation Cross Country X; it is the 10th FBI-led initiative of its type. According to the FBI, 82 minors were rescued and more than 239 alleged traffickers were arrested from Oct. 13 through Oct. 15.

The Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force (MATCH) executed two search warrants, rescued one juvenile and seized seven firearms in their operation.

Five people were arrested in Alpharetta. One person was arrested in DeKalb. Four people were arrested in Dunwoody. Two people were arrested in Gwinnett County. Two people were arrested in Marietta In the Athens area, five people were arrested. One person was arrested in Augusta.

In the Athens, Ga. operation, authorities said that the suspects, ranging in age from 22 to 66, traveled to the city with the intent to meet a child and pay for sex. Two of those arrested arrived with a gun; one had illegal drugs. One suspect had alcohol for the minor. At least one of those arrested in the Athens operation admitted to prior sexual contact with a minor.

Also part of this operation, two suspects who wanted in the death of a 14-year-old girl were arrested in Georgia.

Orlando Police say 20-year-old Karla Michelle Quiros Alsina and 26-year-old Arthur Lee Coleman III were taken into custody in the Atlanta area along with 19-year-old Avorice Jeno Holman, and 22-year-old Jose Ignacia Santiago Sotomayor. They face multiple charges, including first-degree murder, human trafficking of a child, prostitution, racketeering and transmission of child pornography after a 14-year-old overdosed. Read more here.

FBI Special Agent Stephen Emmett said that it appeared that the two were beginning to operate another sex ring in Georgia at the time of their arrest.

The Gwinnett Daily Post writes about the local part of the nationwide operation.

The Gwinnett County Police Department used additional resources available through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s ‘Operation Cross Country X’ to help crack down on human trafficking this month.

The FBI credited partnering Georgia nonprofits and government agencies including Gwinnett police for assisting.

Although Gwinnett police work year round to combat human trafficking, they regularly set up stings with regional agencies. At times, Gwinnett police may receive a call from an out-of-state agency with information about someone with Georgia ties involved in the activity.

For about six years, Gwinnett police has been part of the FBI Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force — MATCH. Gwinnett officers with the special investigations section said pimps tend to be attracted to Atlanta because of its easy access, nightlife and special events that bring in money.

However, Gwinnett and its affluence have been an ideal place for pimps to hide their girls, said Cpl. J. Doherty.

But the federal operation provided Gwinnett police the opportunity to network with even more agencies and reach additional areas, Doherty said.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 18, 2016

The Mason-Dixon line separating Pennsylvania from Maryland was established on October 18, 1767.

In 1760, tired of border violence between the colonies’ settlers, the British crown demanded that the parties involved hold to an agreement reached in 1732. As part of Maryland and Pennsylvania’s adherence to this royal command, Mason and Dixon were asked to determine the exact whereabouts of the boundary between the two colonies. Though both colonies claimed the area between the 39th and 40th parallel, what is now referred to as the Mason-Dixon line finally settled the boundary at a northern latitude of 39 degrees and 43 minutes. The line was marked using stones, with Pennsylvania’s crest on one side and Maryland’s on the other.

Twenty years later, in late 1700s, the states south of the Mason-Dixon line would begin arguing for the perpetuation of slavery in the new United States while those north of line hoped to phase out the ownership of human chattel. This period, which historians consider the era of “The New Republic,” drew to a close with the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which accepted the states south of the line as slave-holding and those north of the line as free. The compromise, along with those that followed it, eventually failed.

On October 18, 1867, the United States took over Alaska from Russia and ran up Old Glory there for the first time.

Separated from the far eastern edge of the Russian empire by only the narrow Bering Strait, the Russians had been the first Europeans to significantly explore and develop Alaska.

Seeing the giant Alaska territory as a chance to cheaply expand the size of the nation, William H. Seward, President Andrew Johnson‘s secretary of state, moved to arrange the purchase of Alaska. Agreeing to pay a mere $7 million for some 591,000 square miles of land-a territory twice the size of Texas and equal to nearly a fifth of the continental United States-Seward secured the purchase of Alaska at the ridiculously low rate of less than 2¢ an acre.

On October 18, 1870, Rockdale and McDuffie Counties were created when Georgia Governor Rufus Bullock signed legislation creating them.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections


In-person early voting started with a bang yesterday, with several jurisdictions seeing hours-long lines.

Data released by the Secretary of State‘s office showed that at least 84,994 voters cast ballots yesterday in the November 8 General Election. Here are the four counties with highest turnout yesterday:

DeKalb – 7585
Fulton – 7224
Cobb – 3675
Forsyth – 3495
Fayette – 2092
Henry – 2007
Columbia – 1879
Muscogee – 1749
Gwinnett – 1581
Hall – 1566
Cherokee – 1300
Chatham – 1043

In Gwinnett County, at least 1000 voters cast ballots yesterday, with waits reportedly up to 4 hours.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 17, 2016

Friday, October 15, 1582 marked the beginning of the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar – the previous day was Thursday, October 4th.

The Pennsylvania Gazette published a criticism against the British Tea Act on October 16, 1773.

The Tea Act of 1773 was a bill designed to save the faltering British East India Company by greatly lowering its tea tax and granting it a virtual monopoly on the American tea trade. The low tax allowed the company to undercut even tea smuggled into America by Dutch traders, and many colonists viewed the act as yet another example of taxation tyranny. In response, the “Philadelphia Resolutions” called the British tax upon America unfair and said that it introduced “arbitrary government and slavery” upon the American citizens. The resolutions urged all Americans to oppose the British tax and stated that anyone who transported, sold or consumed the taxed tea would be considered “an enemy to his country.”

Five thousand British and Hessian troops surrendered to patriot militia on October 17, 1777, ending the Second Battle of Saratoga, and leading to France recognizing American independence and sending military aid.

George Washington left New York, the nation’s capitol, on October 15, 1789, embarking upon the first Presidential tour to New England.

An editorial published pseudononymously by Alexander Hamilton on October 17, 1796, accused Thomas Jefferson, then a Presidential candidate, of having an affair with a slave.

Happy birthday to the Texas Rangers, created on October 17, 1835.

In the midst of their revolt against Mexico, Texan leaders felt they needed a semi-official force of armed men who would defend the isolated frontier settlers of the Lone Star Republic against both Santa Ana’s soldiers and hostile Indians; the Texas Rangers filled this role. But after winning their revolutionary war with Mexico the following year, Texans decided to keep the Rangers, both to defend against Indian and Mexican raiders and to serve as the principal law enforcement authority along the sparsely populated Texan frontier.

On October 16, 1854, Abraham Lincoln, a candidate for Congress, spoke against the Kansas-Nebraska Act and called the practice of slavery “immoral.”

Lincoln, who was practicing law at the time, campaigned on behalf of abolitionist Republicans in Illinois and attacked the Kansas-Nebraska Act. He denounced members of the Democratic Party for backing a law that “assumes there can be moral right in the enslaving of one man by another.” He believed that the law went against the founding American principle that “all men are created equal.”

The world’s first combat submarine, CSS Hunley, sunk during testing in Charleston Harbor on October 15, 1863.

On October 16, 1918, visitors to the Southeastern Fair at the Lakewood Fairgrounds were required by the Georgia State Board of Health to don face masks in order to prevent the spread of the Spanish flu.

Paul Anderson, known as the “World’s Strongest Man,” was born in Toccoa, Georgia on October 17, 1932. From his New York Times obituary:

As the unknown substitute for the injured American champion at the first Soviet-American dual athletic competition, in Moscow in 1955, the 5-foot-9-inch Anderson was scorned by his hosts.

The scorn turned to snickers when Anderson called for a weight of 402.4 pounds, more than 20 pounds above the world record. The snickers stopped when the 340-pound Anderson lifted the weight. By the time he set another record, in the clean and jerk, he was being hailed by Soviet fans.

The stunning achievement at the height of the Cold War made Anderson an instant American hero, and it was largely an anticlimax when he set three more world records at the world championships in Munich, Germany, later that year.

Although virtually conceded the gold medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, Anderson was stricken with a severe inner-ear infection.

Competing at 304 pounds and with a 103-degree fever, he fell so far behind his chief rival that on the final of three required lifts, he needed to clean and jerk 413.5 pounds, an Olympic record, to claim the gold. Twice he tried and failed. On the third attempt he asked God for a little extra help and got it.

“It wasn’t making a bargain,” he said later, “I needed help.”

Paul Anderson Memorial Park in Toccoa is a private park supported by a 501(c)(3) organization.

The 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution took effect October 15, 1933, changing the Presidential term of office to begin and end on January 20th following each quadrennial election and Senate and Congress to January 3d following biennial elections, both from March 4th.

Billy Graham launched his national ministry on October 15, 1949 in Los Angeles, California.

On October 15, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation creating the United States Department of Transportation. May God have mercy upon his soul.

Interstate 285 around Atlanta was completed on October 15, 1969.

The Omni opened in Atlanta on  October 15, 1972, as the Hawks beat the New York Knicks by a score of 109-101.

Maynard Jackson was elected Mayor of Atlanta on October 16, 1973. Jackson was the first African-Amercian Mayor of Atlanta; he served eight years, and was elected for a third, non-consecutive term in 1990.

On October 16, 1976, Jimmy Carter campaigned in Youngstown, Ohio.

Former Secretary General of the Communist Party of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize on October 15, 1990

Georgia-born Clarence Thomas was confirmed as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on October 15, 1991.

On October 15, 2014, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie came to Georgia to support Gov. Nathan Deal’s reelection.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

In-person early voting begins today. You can sign in to the Secretary of State’s MVP page to find early voting locations near you and see a sample ballot.

YouGov has an election model that shows Hillary Clinton winning Georgia’s electoral votes. In news that’s every bit as serious, my wife’s Dachshund mix Finster has an election model that shows him being elected “King of all Dogs.”

A federal district court judge in Savannah has ordered Georgia to extend voter registration in Chatham County through Tuesday, October 18th.

U.S. District Judge William T. Moore Jr. ruled that while Georgia’s governor and secretary of state may not be under any obligation to provide Chatham County residents with an extension, it was “the right thing to do.”

He granted an emergency preliminary injunction in response to a suit filed by attorneys for several civil rights groups who complained that Hurricane Matthew had deprived potential voters of their right to register to vote in the Nov. 8 general election.

“What is clear to the court, however, is that granting the extension would have been the right thing to do,” Moore wrote in a five-page order filed in Savannah. “Extending a small degree of common decency by allowing impacted individuals a few extra days to register to vote seems like a rather small consolidation on behalf of their government.”

He rejected arguments by an attorney for Secretary of State Brian Kemp that extending the Oct. 11 deadline by a week would present significant administrative burdens on the Chatham County Board of Elections because early voting begins on Monday.

“The court does not discount that the extension wold present some administrative difficulty (to the board of elections),” Moore said. “However, those adminstratrive hurdles pale in comparison to the physical, emotional, and financial strain Chatham County residents faced in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.”

Because “common decency” is a valid legal ground for an unelected federal judge to set aside state law.

Gwinnett County voters will have two opportunities to vote on a Saturday during this year’s early voting.

Voting will take place Oct. 17 to Nov. 4, including two Saturday voting opportunities on Oct. 22 and Oct. 29, at the Board of Voter Registrations and Elections Office, 455 Grayson Highway, in Lawrenceville. Voting hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Oct. 17 to Oct. 28 and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 29 and from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4.

There will be no voting on Sundays.

Several satellite locations will also be open on Oct. 29 and Oct. 31 to Nov. 4. Those locations include the Bogan Park Community Recreation Center, Dacula Park Activity Building, George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center, Lenora Park Activity Room, Lucky shoals Park Community Recreation Center, Mountain Park Activity Building and Shorty Howell Park Activity Building.

Most of the newly-registered Paulding County voters signed up at the very end of the registration period, according to the West Georgia Neighbor.

The county’s registered voters increased from more than 93,000 in May to an estimated 99,000 before early voting begins for the Nov. 8 election, county election supervisor Deidre Holden said.

More than 4,500 Paulding residents registered to vote in the final 48 hours before the voter registration deadline Tuesday, county elections officials said.

“The past two days have been absolutely crazy,” [Holden] told the Paulding Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.

Other than the obvious attraction — the presidential election — Paulding’s Nov. 8 election also will include a high-profile state constitutional amendment allowing the state to “intervene in chronically failing public schools,” and two local special elections asking voters to approve a $77 million bond issue for a new county jail and sheriff’s office administration building, and Sunday alcoholic beverage sales in unincorporated Paulding County.

Congressman John Lewis (D-Atlanta) will march today with fellow Democrats to draw attention to the opening of in-person early voting.

Lewis, Fulton County Chairman John Eaves and state Rep. Park Cannon, D-Atlanta, will lead young Democrats on a march from the Nelson Street Bridge, 309 Nelson St. SW, to the Fulton County Government Center, 30 Peachtree St. NW.

“On Monday, I will join dozens of young people who are doing their part by marching to the ballot box and exercising their right to vote,” Lewis said in a statement. “In all my years, I’ve never seen an election like this one. It is more important now than ever before for Georgia’s young people to march to the polls so that generations yet unborn can continue to fulfill the promise of America.”

The campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton asks the public to RSVP for the march here.

Donald Trump, Jr. appeared at a rally in Augusta on Friday.

Congressman Rick Allen (R-Augusta) visited Effingham County as the area recovered from Hurricane Matthew.

Allen visited the Effingham Emergency Management Agency (EMA) headquarters and toured the county with Commissioner Reggie Loper, who lives on Stillwell Clyo Road and still did not have power.

“Chatham, Bryan and Glynn got the brunt of it,” Allen said. “We (in Effingham) are very fortunate.”

Fallen trees killed two people in Bulloch County and one in Chatham County, while no one was injured in Effingham when the storm blew through last Friday and Saturday.

Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long joined Allen in touring Screven County Wednesday. Allen also toured Bulloch County.

He said early estimates are that about one third of the peanut, cotton and pecan crops were damaged by the storm.

He urged farmers and local government officials to keep detailed records for federal disaster applications.

“Local pecan farmers today asked me, ‘How do you harvest with trees down all around the pecan trees?’ People are hurting.” Allen said.

Brian McDuffie, Republican candidate for Richmond County Sheriff filed an ethics complaint against incumbent Democrat Richard Roundtree.

McDuffie called a news conference to announce the action and provided a copy of the complaint dated Thursday. In it, he contends that the sheriff violated state law because on-duty deputies or even off-duty deputies who were later given compensatory time cannot take part in such political advertisements because it is considered to be a person acting on behalf of an agency making a contribution to a candidate.

Such violations fall under the jurisdiction of the state ethics commission, McDuffie said.

The Marietta Daily Journal has endorsed the passage of Amendment #2, which creates the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund.

Hundreds of Georgia children from across the state are exploited and trafficked every year. The average age is 13, and they can be as young as 9.

Georgia Cares, the nonprofit agency connecting services and treatment care for child victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking, reported 387 confirmed cases in 2015 and 1,386 between 2009 and 2015. But the number of children actually enduring this nightmarish life is unknown.

Many of the children have already been sexually abused, often by people they know, and have run away, said Attorney General Sam Olens, president-elect of Kennesaw State University.

And when a child runs away, they have no one to take care of them, making easy prey for traffickers. The pimps pick these children off the streets and give them a place to stay, food to eat and clothes to wear so that by the time they advertise them for sex, many of the victims have become indoctrinated, said Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds.

The amendment would create a dedicated source of funding for the services needed to help child victims of sex trafficking return to a normal life. The fund is estimated to raise $2 million annually for restorative services such as safe housing, trauma counseling and medical treatment. Such treatment is not inexpensive and can cost as much as $80,000 for one year.

We join [Senator Renee] Unterman, Olens, Reynolds and others in supporting this amendment that will help restore the shattered lives of abused children. Vote Yes on Amendment 2.

Richmond County voters will cast ballots on a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST V).

The Richmond County Board of Educa­tion’s Education Local Option Sales Tax 5 includes several of those same schools for capital improvements, including $11.3 million for Josey and $2.8 million for Butler.

The 283-word ballot question clears the school board to collect up to $225 million over five years and issue up to $156 million in general obligation debt. Its largest projects are $27 million for a new pre-K through eighth-grade school and $22 million to replace Wheeless Road Elementary, which is on the failing list.

Crawford County Coroner Allen O’Neal faces a criminal trial this week while running for re-election to the job from which he has been suspended by Gov. Nathan Deal.

Jury selection is set to begin Monday in Hamilton, the county seat for Harris County, located north of Columbus and near the Georgia-Alabama border.

O’Neal was arrested May 6, 2016, and indicted about a month later on two counts alleging he violated his oath of office. He’s accused of not responding to a May 2, 2015, death call and firing a deputy coroner because he did respond.

Gov. Nathan Deal suspended O’Neal from office in August 2015 after appointing a panel made up of two coroners and the attorney general to consider the case. The panel unanimously recommended O’Neal’s suspension.

The suspension will stand while the criminal case is pending or until O’Neal’s term expires Dec. 31, 2016.

O’Neal, who’s been the county’s coroner for more than 24 years, is running for re-election as an independent against Republican challenger Sheldon Mattox and Democrat challenger Arnold Walden.

Gwinnett Medical Center-Duluth will celebrate its ten-year anniversary.

Kennesaw City Council member Jimmy Dickens stood during a council meeting to protest a budget that he voted for.

The City Council last month adopted a $28.3 million budget, which took effect Oct. 1 and included a 3 percent cost-of-living raise for employees. Councilman Jimmy Dickens was among the council members who voted to approve the budget, but he said Friday that the budget, though it raised all employees’ salaries, did not raise many workers’ pay rates to where they needed to be. He aims to see salaries increased for those in the city’s public works and parks and recreation departments, as well as those on the police force.

Dickens stood and remained standing at Wednesday’s council work session to highlight the issue, and he told the MDJ Friday he also intends to do so at the council’s meeting tonight. Prior to Wednesday’s meeting, he had announced in an Oct. 5 post on his Facebook page his intention to stand at meetings.

State Rep. Emory Dunahoo (R-Gillsville)  faces a Democratic opponent for the first time since winning a special election in 2011.

“I run on the pretense of not being scared,” he said. “I’m seeking re-election because I ran five years ago on a promise that I would work on changing the tax system in Georgia.”

Dunahoo said he has filed a bill to implement a “Fair Tax” in Georgia and continues to support reductions to the state income tax.

[Michelle] Jones, meanwhile, highlights the re-emergence of the Hall County Democratic Party in the past two years. Party members prodded her to run for office, given her active involvement in the local community.
Dunahoo said he hopes to continue working on reforming the state’s criminal justice system, which has been a priority of Gov. Nathan Deal, by tightening domestic violence laws and curbing underage drinking.

He also intends to continue supporting changes to the state’s medical marijuana law, including proposals to allow in-state cultivation and distribution.

State Rep. Rich Golick (R-Smyrna) also faces a Democratic challenger next month.

State Rep. Rich Golick, R-Smyrna, and Democratic challenger Erick Allen both realize traffic is a problem in Cobb County and within House District 40, which each hope to represent come January. But the two candidates for the office differ in their strategies for improving the state of transportation in and around the county.

“It’s only going to get worse,” Allen said of Cobb’s traffic woes, which he said is one effect of a net positive: the explosion in development in and around his district.

Golick says that while traffic should improve with the completion of various projects around Cumberland Mall, Windy Hill and Atlanta roads, as well as the managed lanes under construction on I-75, any potential long-term solutions will need to consider some form of mass transit, though any such addition had to “make sense” and be cost-efficient for taxpayers. A rail system, he said, may not be the answer.

“We must not build rail just for the sake of building it, because that would be a potentially colossal waste of the taxpayers’ money,” Golick said. “It may be that some sort of express bus service — both north-south and east-west tracking traffic patterns — would make the most sense from a fiscal management and effectiveness standpoint, but the result must be that fewer cars are on the road, and any such a system certainly cannot make the commute of those who remain in their cars more difficult than it is now.”

“I support the Opportunity School District Amendment because it provides a mechanism to rescue a child from a chronically failing school,” Golick said. “One need only look at the example of the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal to see what happens when schools chronically fail, and then are ignored. We don’t have that problem in Cobb due to good management and fundamentally committed teachers who we appreciate, but the truth is that there are school systems where this is a problem, and we can’t ignore it.”

But Allen said he does not believe the Opportunity School District, listed on the ballot as Amendment One, is the solution struggling schools need.

Incumbent Hall County District 4 Commissioner Jeff Stowe faces off against Democrat Angela Thomas Middleton.

Stowe, in his first re-election bid, is looking to stamp his campaign promises on the electorate.

“I have a track record now,” Stowe said, adding that his opponent is not subject to the same scrutiny he faces.

Stowe said he promised to solidify a firm plan to develop a park in the area when first running for office four years ago and that he’s stayed true to that commitment.

“I can’t do anything I promise without two other votes,” Stowe said. “It’s about working with your fellow commissioners.”

He believes this is one of his greatest strengths and what will help see the park to completion.

“It’s going to take working with my fellow commissioners to make that happen,” Stowe said. “We all have needs in our districts.”

Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell may return nearly $20,000 in excess contributions, according to the Times-Free Press.

The confusion arose from Heiskell’s decision in March to seek re-election as an independent, after running as a Republican since taking office in 2001. She decided this year to run as an independent and avoid the primary, even though records show she had been raising money for that election since the summer of 2014.

Of the $120,000 she has received since then, $80,000 was intended to go toward her primary campaign. When she left the Republican Party to run as an independent, those contributions transferred to her general election fund, said Robert Lane, an attorney for the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.

But even so, some contributors — like Audia — gave more than the $2,600 legal limit for the primary. Others made separate donations for the primary and general elections that totaled more than the limit for one race.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 14, 2016

On October 14, 1735, John and Charles Wesley sailed with James Oglethorpe from Gravesend, England, for Georgia and John Wesley wrote the first entry in his journal that would eventually cover 55 years. On that date, John Wesley wrote,

Our end in leaving our native country, was not to avoid want, (God having given us plenty of temporal blessings,) nor to gain the dung or dross of riches or honour; but singly this, to save our souls; to live wholly to the glory of God.

The First Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Colonial Rights in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 14, 1774.

Then-former President Theodore Roosevelt was shot before a campaign speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on October 14, 1912.

Roosevelt, who suffered only a flesh wound from the attack, went on to deliver his scheduled speech with the bullet still in his body. After a few words, the former “Rough Rider” pulled the torn and bloodstained manuscript from his breast pocket and declared, “You see, it takes more than one bullet to kill a Bull Moose.” He spoke for nearly an hour and then was rushed to the hospital.

A.A. Milne published Winnie-the-Pooh on October 14, 1926. E. H. Shepard illustrated the Pooh books.


The War Department renamed Wellston Air Depot to Warner Robins Air Force Depot to honor Brigadier General Augustine Warner Robins on October 14, 1942.

On October 14, 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr. was announced as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming Georgia’s first native-born winner. Today’s Atlanta Journal Constitution has a story on how King’s Nobel Prize effected Atlanta.

The honor wasn’t just a watershed for King and the civil rights movement but also for Atlanta. It set off a series of events that some say fundamentally changed the city’s business, religious and racial cultures by bringing blacks and whites together for the first time to share a meal in public.

That simple act, holding a multi-racial banquet in the new Nobel laureate’s honor, tested the will and even the nerves of those determined to make Atlanta a more just and inclusive place.

“It was a defining moment in the history of the city, and it should go down in the city’s documented memory,” said Janice R. Blumberg, the widow of Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, who was instrumental in organizing the event.

King’s three surviving children are due in court in December to determine if the 23-karat gold medal — along with a Bible their father once owned — should be sold at auction. Brothers Martin Luther King III and Dexter King, representing the King Estate, plan to sell the items. Sister Bernice King has opposed the sale.

Mayor Allen and J. Paul Austin, chairman of Coca-Cola, gathered the business elite at the Piedmont Driving Club. Allen warned then he would be taking notes on who did not attend the dinner. But Austin delivered the crushing blow.

According to Young’s written account, Austin said: “It is embarrassing for Coca-Cola to be located in a city that refuses to honor its Nobel Prize winner. We are an international business. The Coca-Cola Company does not need Atlanta. You all have to decide whether Atlanta needs the Coca-Cola Company.”

On October 14, 1980, Republican candidate for President Ronald Reagan announced he would name a woman to the Supreme Court if elected.

To achieve those ends, we need the best people possible at the highest levels of Government regardless of sex, race or religion. I am also acutely aware, however, that within the guidelines of excellence, appointments can carry enormous symbolic significance. This permits us to guide by example, to show how deep our commitment is and to give meaning to what we profess.

One way I intend to live up to that commitment is to appoint a woman to the Supreme Court. I am announcing today that one of the first Supreme Court vacancies in my administration will be filled by the most qualified woman I can find, one who meets the high standards I will demand for all my appointments.

It is time for a woman to sit among our highest jurists. I will also seek out women to appoint to other Federal courts in an effort to bring about a better balance on the Federal bench.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Secretary of State Brian Kemp, or at least lawyers representing him, will appear in Federal Court at 10 AM this morning in the first hearing on a lawsuit seeking to extend voter registration after Hurricane Matthew.

The suit requests an extension through next Wednesday for residents of Chatham County, where local government offices were closed for what would have been the last six days of the voter registration period that ended Tuesday. It also suggests that the extension could be made available to residents statewide.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the state’s top elections official, hadurged residents in the path of the storm last week to take advantage of the state’s online and mobile voter registration access points. He traveled Wednesday to coastal Georgia to check on election preparations ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential contest, and his office said he was encouraged by the tour and believes local officials are good to go with early voting set to begin Monday.

“We have been preparing for this election for over a year, and the office’s ramped-up outreach efforts on social and traditional media have delivered incredible results,” Broce said. “For these reasons, we find it difficult to reconcile these groups’ claims against what we have seen and heard in our service to Georgians across the state.

Sabrina German, with the Chatham County Voter Registration Office, said Thursday that the office had remained shuttered for the final two days of Georgia’s registration period because Chatham’s Board of Commissioners “closed the entire county on Monday and Tuesday.”

The county had the option of seeking a local judicial order to extend the registration deadline for its residents, but it did not do so.

Water ligitation with Florida could cost Georgia’s economy up to $18 billion if the jean-shorts state prevails.

Georgia’s economy could take an $18 billion hit if Florida prevails in the upcoming “water wars” trial, according to court documents filed Thursday.

Florida, which is suing Georgia for hogging too much of the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers, appears to be aiming its legal guns at the farmers in southwest Georgia who use copious amounts of surface and groundwater to grow cotton, peanuts and other crops.

Florida, during drought, wants a 40 percent increase in river water flowing from Georgia into the Sunshine State to save endangered species, boost the economy and restore the near-dead oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay. Georgia counters that capping the state’s water consumption would be “so costly to Georgia, and result in so few benefits to Florida, that they are neither ‘justified’ nor ‘equitable’ … (and) will not provide Florida meaningful relief from the harms it alleges.”

Thursday’s filings lay out each state’s legal strategy. Pretrial compromise seems unlikely. The governors of Florida and Georgia met a few times the previous year to try to work out a deal. Those efforts appear fruitless: A trial is set to begin Oct. 31 — Halloween — in Portland, Maine.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal made another round of personnel shuffles after the announcement that Attorney General Sam Olens will leave office to become President of Kennesaw State University and Chris Carr will be appointed his successor.

Following the appointment of Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Commissioner Chris Carr as attorney general, Deal recommended GDEcD Chief Operating Officer Pat Wilson as the new GDEcD Commissioner. Pending board approval, this change will take effect November 1.

Deal appointed State of Georgia Chief Operating Officer (COO) David Werner as COO of GDEcD, where he will manage daily operations of the agency and handle budgetary and personnel issues for all department divisions. He will also become the executive director of Georgia Allies. This appointment will take effect November 1.

Deal also nominated Georgia Integrated Eligibility System Director Shawn Ryan to fill the position of President of Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC). This vacancy was created by Tricia Chastain’s appointment to vice chancellor of administration for the University System of Georgia. Pending board approval, he will transition to GSFC on November 1.

Deal also recommended Department of Administrative Services Deputy Commissioner Sean Casey to become the executive director of the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency. Pending board approval, this change will take effect at the end of the month.

The Marietta Daily Journal reports that Sam Olens emailed Kennesaw State students and faculty.

In his first official act as president-elect of Kennesaw State University, Sam Olens emailed all KSU students, faculty and staff and said he was honored and excited to be the university’s new leader.

“So I am no stranger to Cobb County and the community,” Olens wrote. “However, what you may not know is that we share a common passion for Kennesaw State. My passion is very personal. It is rooted in my belief about the importance education plays in society, the life-changing impact education has on students, and the impact it has made in my own life.”

Olens also praises the “grit and determination” of KSU students and the “inclusive campus community,” saying they are consistent with the values he holds.

“I know that you have many questions about how I plan to lead this university. As president, I strongly believe in mutual respect, open communication and tolerance. The growth that has created many opportunities for our faculty, staff and students, also comes with some challenges. We need to work together to find solutions that will enable Kennesaw State to continue to thrive,” Olens wrote.

Hank Huckaby, chancellor of the University System of Georgia, said after the Regents’ vote on Wednesday that he believes students and faculty will discover that Olens is in no way discriminatory after meeting and learning more about him.

“His record shows that he’s very open, he’s very honest and unbiased. So I think given time, he will develop the kinds of relationships (so) that all come to know that this is a very fine appointment. There’s no question he’s got to do a lot of work. He understands that, and I think he has a good handle on the kinds of things he needs to do,” Huckaby said.

Olens may have faced serious opponents in politics and public service, but I fear for him that one foe may prove more difficult than any he’s faced so far.  Two words that strike fear in the hearts of college faculty and staff everywhere: Helicopter Parents.

The AJC Political Insider began speculating about potential candidates who might run against Chris Carr when he seeks election to a full term in 2018.

Outgoing state Rep. B.J. Pak, a former federal prosecutor and longtime friend of Carr, said he hasn’t ruled out a run for the post. And state Sen. Josh McKoon, the champion of the “religious liberty” legislation loathed by business groups but embraced by grassroots activists, appears likely to run.

A McKoon candidacy would set up a proxy battle between two warring factions in the GOP that we can bet will still be dueling in two years: The establishment forces backing Carr and the anti-establishment crowd that’s made McKoon something of a hero.

Should Carr survive a primary, he’s likely to face a well-funded Democrat in the general. State Rep. Stacey Evans, a trial lawyer considered a rising Democratic star, is the first politician in her party to ruminate on a run. But she’ll have some shoring up to do among her fellow Democrats.

Josh McKoon will have to win re-election to his seat in the State Senate before considering a run for higher office.

“There are a lot of things I want to see through,” McKoon said. “When I first went in, I wanted to do a lot in the area of ethics and conflict-of-interest law. We’ve made progress, but Georgia still lags behind the rest of the country in that area.”

Comprehensive tax reform is another topic McKoon plans to bring up. Georgia’s 6 percent state income tax is too high, he said, and it hurts the state in economic development when prospects see Florida to the south and Tennessee to the north with no state income taxes, and to the east, they see North Carolina cutting its income tax. He said Volkswagen’s decision to locate its plant in Chattanooga was partially made because of Georgia’s income tax, but it also affects small businesses.

“Talking to small business owners, people who employ just a handful of folks, that 6 percent that they have to pay is often the difference between hiring another employee or making a capital investment,” McKoon said. “In terms of a state policy that would immediately create a better economic environment for more jobs, that’s one of the best things that we could do.”

McKoon’s opponent, Ben Anderson, lists construction as his vocation on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website but has no other information. Phone calls to the number listed on his campaign Facebook page were unanswered and voicemail was not available. Anderson, who lives in Grantville, Ga., was unopposed in the Democratic Primary for the District 29 seat.

UVA Political Scientist Larry Sabato‘s Crystal Ball has moved Georgia from “Likely Republican,” to “Leans Republican” in the Presidential race.

It now appears that Georgia, like Arizona, is also moving back into play. There have been several reports of close polls there and the Clinton campaign might try to make a move for this reliably Republican state. We’re moving it back to Leans Republican, from Likely Republican, matching Arizona’s race rating. Needless to say, a Clinton win in Arizona or Georgia would be evidence of a Clinton rout that matches or exceeds Obama’s seven-point 2008 romp.

I think Sabato’s predictionator is either malfunctioning or it might be incorrectly calibrated, as it was at this point in 2014, when they predicted a closer race for U.S. Senate in Georgia. On October 16, 2014, Sabato’s group moved Georgia from “Leans Republican,” to “Toss Up/Leans Runoff.”

Money the DSCC might have spent in Kentucky now appears to be going to Georgia, which is good news for Michelle Nunn (D) in her challenging battle against David Perdue (R). Perdue has led most public polls by about three to four points — though Nunn led by three in a new SurveyUSA poll Wednesday — but Perdue needs to get to 50% to avoid a runoff. Right now, he’s stuck between 46-47% in the poll averages. Perdue also apparently has been hurt by comments from several years ago about outsourcing jobs.

Democrats and Republicans still seem to be holding out hope that they can get their respective candidate over 50% on Election Day (Perdue still has the better shot). But we’re not so sure either will make it. So we’re giving this race the same designation we have in Louisiana: Toss-up/Leans Runoff.

By the way, the runoff would be on Jan. 6, 2015, a month after the possible Louisiana overtime and three days after the technical start of the 114th Congress. Pardon us, but Georgia’s runoff law is just this side of insane.

Landmark Communications, who correctly predicted a Perdue 2014 victory and Deal re-election, released a new Georgia poll.

Landmark Communications, Inc. [Landmark Opinion) conducted a statewide poll of likely Georgia voters on October 11th and 12th, finding that Republican Donald Trump continues to lead Hillary Clinton by a margin of 48-42%. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is earning support from 4% of likely voters.

Landmark’s poll finds that Trump is winning 52% of the so-called “senior vote,” those aged 65 and over, and is also currently winning 68%of white voters. The race has stabilized since the close of the party conventions in August. There ultimately has been little change in polling numbers in Georgia despite significant negative publicity for both candidates.

Trump has secured 85% of the Republican vote while Clinton carries 89% of Democrats.

Landmark also polled the race for U.S. Senate, finding that Sen. Johnny Isakson now leads Democrat Jim Barksdale by a 50-37% margin. Five percent of voters say they plan to vote for Libertarian candidate Allen Buckley.

These US Senate poll numbers are significant because the Barksdale campaign has repeatedly previously stated that Isakson hasn’t reached the polling threshold of 50% of the vote, Landmark finds that Isakson has now crossed that 50% threshold.

Ty Tagami of the AJC writes that the Opportunity School District Amendment #1 will create a new type of charter school if it passes next month.

Currently, there are two kinds of charters in Georgia when it comes to funding: those authorized by local school boards and those authorized by the State Charter Schools Commission. The local charters get state and local tax dollars, and the state charters get no local money.

Amendment 1 on the Nov. 8 ballot would change that, allowing the creation of state charter schools that get a share of local education tax revenue but don’t answer to a local district’s elected school board. That funding would last as long as a school performs well enough to retain its state charter, even after it exits the Opportunity district.

“If state charter schools were able to receive the same amount of funding that the local school districts receive per (child), then you would see a greater increase when it comes down to achievement for those students,” said Rep. Valencia Stovall, D-Ellenwood, one of the handful of Democrats who voted to put the referendum on the ballot.

Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison will retire at the end of the year after 24 years in his county’s highest law enforcement position.

Sheriff-elect Frank Reynolds, who was elected in the primary election in May to succeed Garrison, who opted not to run for re-election, also thanked the sheriff for his service and leadership.

[Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon] Keenan told the crowd that 25 years ago, Garrison was working with the state Department of Natural Resources where he had just been honored as ranger of the year. Garrison called Keenan and told him he had decided Cherokee County needed to modernize the sheriff’s department and he planned to run for sheriff.

“He ran for office and he was elected and look what he has done since he has been in office,” Keenan said. “The Cherokee County Sheriff’s office is one of the most professional agencies in the United States. There are 18,000 sheriff’s offices in the nation and only 3 percent of them are accredited. Roger Garrison took the Cherokee sheriff’s office and had it nationally accredited in 1996.”

“The men and women who work for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s office are professional. They are what they are because of the leadership of Sheriff Roger Garrison, a man of integrity, a law enforcement leader without exception,” Keenan said. “I tell him privately and I will say it publicly, I work with all 159 sheriffs in Georgia, he is the top sheriff to Vernon Keenan.”

DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann is getting pretty creative in registering voters, according to the AJC.

DeKalb Sheriff Jeffrey L. Mann hosted a team of county NAACP volunteers this week to register inmates to vote.

In less than a half day, they found more than 130 eligible inmates at the county jail to register in the NAACP’s “Voices Behind Bars” campaign.

DeKalb Sheriff Jeffrey L. Mann hosted a team of county NAACP volunteers this week to register inmates to vote.

In less than a half day, they found more than 130 eligible inmates at the county jail to register in the NAACP’s “Voices Behind Bars” campaign.

“Some of the current inmates may be released in time to vote in the November General Election, but they must be registered to do so,” Mann explained in a news release. “As well, many inmates have never registered. Every citizen should be able to execute their right to vote, and we are glad to help make that possible.”

Washington-based Council for Citizens Against Government Waste Political Action Committee (CCAGW PAC) endorsed eight Georgia Congressmen for reelection.

Reps. Rick Allen (R-Ga.), Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Tom Graves (R-Ga.), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), Tom Price (R-Ga.), and Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

All eight representatives have maintained impressive lifetime ratings as “Taxpayer Heroes.” Rep. Allen, 94 percent; Rep. Carter, 97 percent; Rep Collins, 94 percent; Rep. Graves, 98 percent; Rep. Hice, 97 percent; Rep. Loudermilk, a “Taxpayer Super Hero” with 100 percent; Rep. Price, 93 percent; and Rep. Woodall, 93 percent.

“During their tenures in the Senate and House, these members of Congress served the citizens of Georgia with great distinction,” said CCAGW PAC Chairman Tom Schatz. “On top of their prestigious voting records, they worked with their colleagues to restrain the growth of federal spending and to help make government more accountable and transparent to taxpayers.”

The Georgia Power smokestack on Lake Sinclair in Putnam County is scheduled to be demolished Saturday morning shortly after 8 AM.

All nearby boat and vehicle traffic near the plant will be shut down for about 15 minutes around the time of the demolition, Sheriff Sills said. Additionally, an “exclusion zone” is being set up around the plant and access to it will be restricted.

Controlled Demolition Incorporated workers are using explosives to topple the brick and steel structure, Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft said. It is expected to fall in a westerly direction back onto Georgia Power’s Plant Branch property.

“The detonation of the explosives will last less than one second, and will sound like a medium to loud thunder clap,” Kraft said in an email to The Messenger. “The sound that nearby residents experience will depend on distance, wind speed and direction during the event.”

After it topples, special sprayers have been set up to shower the debris with water to keep debris dust from blowing from the site. “The company is taking all necessary steps to ensure safety while minimizing inconvenience for neighbors, including employing rigorous dust-suppression measures to limit the spread of dirt and concrete dust,” read a Georgia Power news release. “The company will assess neighbors’ outside docks, walkways and furniture on request, to determine if surface dust removal is warranted. Residents may contact Regina Linch at 706-484-7206 with any questions regarding dust.”

The Savannah Morning News Editorial Board thanks Georgia Power for what they call, “a remarkable recovery” from damage inflicted by Hurricane Matthew.

[A]s Matthew was edging up the Florida coast last Friday, some 5,000 crew members from Georgia Power, Southern Company siblings and allied power companies across the South were headed toward the Georgia coast, too, amassing in staging areas nearby.

“When Matthew popped up on the radar as a tropical storm, we started planning,” says Georgia Power spokesperson Craig Bell in Atlanta. The company put 1,200 contracted crew members in Statesboro, 2,200 more at two sites in Macon, while Georgia Power workers from across the state were heading for the coast. By last Thursday, before the storm hit Georgia early Saturday morning, the storm center at company headquarters in Atlanta was operating around the clock.

The winds from Matthew had barely died down by 7:30 a.m. last Saturday when crews began restoring power up and down the 100-mile coast. The storm had knocked out electrical service to 342,000 homes and businesses, creating a whopping mess. About 1,000 power poles were damaged or toppled. Some 120 miles of wire had to be replaced. About 3,500 fallen trees were damaging electrical equipment.
Without making promises, the company hopes all its customers who Matthew blew off the electrical grid will be back on Friday. That won’t include homes so damaged by the storm that they need repair before they can safely get service (for example, some homes had their power stanchions completely ripped off the structure, which required the attention of independent electricians). And for the first few days of restored power, it could go off and on as bugs in newly repaired lines and transformers show up and get fixed.

With news like the following two clips, Charlotte Nash should win re-election as Chair of the Gwinnett County Commission. These achievements speaks of the outstanding level of competence she brings to the job without creating controversy over political issues. I grew up in Gwinnett County and would vote to re-elect Charlotte Nash if I still lived there.

Gwinnett County’s Department of Water Resources was recognized as a leader in its field.

The department was recently recognized through the Utility of the Future Today program, which is run by the Water Environment Federation, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation and the WateReuse Association.

Gwinnett was recognized in three categories: “Organizational Culture,” “Energy Generation and Recovery,” and “Nutrient and Materials Recovery.”

“In everything that we do, every day, Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources employees work to provide superior water quality at an excellent value to our customers,” department Deputy Director Tyler Richards said in a statement.

“The Utility of the Future recognition is an acknowledgement that the activities we are pursuing are moving us toward our vision of being recognized as a leader in the water industry.”

Fitch Ratings Inc. reviewed Gwinnett County’s creditworthiness and Gwinnett retained the highest rating possible.

“This is great news for our county,” Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said in a statement. “Fitch’s findings underscore our financial stability and sound financial management policies.”

Fitch’s review of Gwinnett’s finances meant cracking open the county’s books and looking at its debts, including general obligation, water and sewer, and development authority bonds. Gwinnett has $12 million in general obligation bond debt, $475.1 million in water and sewer bond debt and $81.4 million in development authority bond debt.

The report that came back from the credit rating agency praised the county’s handling of its finances.

A growing local economy, a recovery in the housing market and an unemployment rate that is below state and national averages were marked in Fitch’s report as positives in Gwinnett’s credit profile, according to a statement from the county. Officials added that Fitch also forecasts a decline in the county’s long-term liabilities because of quick repayment of debts, expectations that no new debt will be taken on and the county’s pension and retiree benefits plan funding ratios.

Cochran Mayor Michael Stoy wrote in his resignation letter that he was leaving office because City Council members held an illegal meeting.

“In my opinion the integrity of the Council with regards to conducting open meetings has been jeopardized by the actions of several council members who have decided to operate outside of the parameters of the Charter, our Ethics Ordinance and State Law to promote their own personal agenda,” Michael Stoy wrote in the letter dated Oct. 11.

Stoy said Thursday he read the letter aloud at the meeting so it would be a part of the official minutes of the meeting. He then presented copies of the letter to the city manager to distribute to council members.

In 2012, Stoy was elected to fill an unexpired term of the previous mayor, and he was re-elected unopposed the following year. His current term will expire in December 2017.

He wrote in the letter that a video of the City Hall security cameras showed the “alleged illegal meeting that conducted city business on July 26, 2016 from 6:40 to 7 p.m. in the lobby of City Hall. This meeting was attended by Councilman Gary Ates, Fleming Gilman, Andrew Lemmon, and Jon Thrower. Witnesses to this gathering included Councilman Charles Cranford and the City Clerk Ms. Lisa Chastain.”

After he submitted the letter at Tuesday’s meeting, council members voted to go into closed session to discuss personnel issues, Stoy said.

Chastain said Thursday that she went into the executive session to take minutes, but she was immediately asked to step outside. She sat on the backdoor steps, she said.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 13, 2016

On October 13, 1870, Governor Rufus Bullock signed legislation creating the Georgia State Board of Education.

On October 13, 1885, Governor Henry McDaniel signed legislation authorizing the creation of a state school of technology as a branch of the University of Georgia; the school would open in Atlanta in October 1888, and in 1948 was renamed the Georgia Institute of Technology.

On October 13, 1918, the ban on public gatherings in Atlanta to prevent spread of the Spanish flu, was extended an additional week.

On December 13, 1976, Democrat Jimmy Carter received a post-debate bump against President Gerald Ford, with polls showing Carter at 50%-40% over the incumbent, up from 47%-45% before the debate.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Attorney General Sam Olens was named yesterday as the next President of Kennesaw State University, beginning November 1, 2016.

“Sam Olens’ two decades of public service and outstanding leadership qualities make him the right person to lead Kennesaw State University at the right time,” [Georgia Board of Regents] Chairman Kessel Stelling said. “While Sam has successfully led a large workforce and managed a substantial operating budget, he also has a passion for KSU and public higher education.”

“I pledge to work in partnership with the Kennesaw State campus community to focus our efforts on advancing our academic mission,” Olens said. “Working with students, faculty and staff, together, we will continue to make KSU a leading university.”

Olens will succeed Dan Papp, who retired at the end of June shortly after an audit alleged he had improperly been paid $577,500 in retirement benefits while still working at the university.

Governor Nathan Deal shortly thereafter announced he will appoint current Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Commissioner Chris Carr as the next Attorney General, to take office November 1st.

“Carr’s experience as an attorney, job creator and public servant make him the ideal candidate to fill the role of Georgia’s attorney general,” said Deal. “He is a leader with common sense, brilliant intellect and a wide range of experiences at the global, federal and state levels. That perspective will allow Chris to support and defend the laws of Georgia and the interests of our people. This role is a hybrid one of attorney, manager and public servant, and Chris is well qualified for it.”

Deal appointed Carr in 2013 to lead GDEcD, the state agency charged with helping to create jobs and generate investment in Georgia. During his tenure, GDEcD helped facilitate 1,055 projects across the state that represent $14.1 billion in investment and created more than 83,000 jobs. In 2015, GDEcD was recognized as the top economic development agency in the country. Carr has also served on the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC), the body charged with reviewing and recommending judicial appointments, since January 2011. To date, the JNC has filled more than 100 judicial vacancies statewide.

“I am truly honored and humbled that Gov. Deal has placed his confidence in me,” said Carr. “As I take on this new responsibility, I believe there is no more solemn duty than to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution and laws of the state of Georgia, and the interests of the people of our great state. The seriousness of this work requires focus on a smooth transition and a readiness to tackle our state’s challenges and opportunities—and that’s what Georgians should expect to see from me.”

Prior to joining GDEcD, Carr was the chief of staff for Sen. Johnny Isakson. Carr began his career with Georgia-Pacific, moving on to practice law with Alston & Bird LLP and then serving as vice president and general counsel for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. Carr graduated from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business and Lumpkin School of Law. Carr and his wife, Joan, have one daughter and one stepdaughter. They live in Dunwoody.

The AJC spoke to Deal about Carr’s appointment,

In an interview with the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Deal said that Carr’s administrative skills and “servant’s heart” helped him make the decision.

“He has a lot of common sense, and that’s what any public servant needs,” Deal said. “He’s intellectually brilliant. He understands the consequences, and he understands the different perspectives.”

[Carr] said he would stand for election as attorney general in 2018.

Carr said his understanding of state and legislative issues and his management of a state agency with more than 200 employees helped him prepare for the job.

“That’s the kind of experience I can bring to bear at the Department of Law to represent the state of Georgia and the interests of the people of our state,” Carr said. “People will judge me on the job that I do, and I’ll get up every day with a solemn responsibility to represent Georgia.”

Among Carr’s supporters is former Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat who is bucking party lines to back the Republican. Barnes said he got to know Carr when he was working for Isakson, a fellow Cobb County native whom the ex-governor also endorsed for re-election.

“I’ve known Chris for a long time. I think it’s a good appointment. I think he’ll do a great job,” said Barnes, who added that he might also back Carr in 2018. “If folks do a good job, whether they be a Democrat or Republican, then I’ll endorse them then. I have nothing but confidence that he’ll do a good job.”

Kathleen Foody from the Associated Press asked if Carr meets the requirement of having been an active-status member of the Georgia State Bar for seven years.

Deal said his staff did consider the state constitution’s requirement that the attorney general is an active-status member of the State Bar of Georgia for seven years, and determined that Carr met it.

The AJC’s Kyle Wingfield wrote about the job moves for Olens and Carr.

The president of a state school in 2016 may have no greater asset than these: prowess at raising money and a good relationship with the General Assembly. Olens should be excellent at both.

The two are related. Finances are at the heart of a simmering (for now) dispute between the Board of Regents and the Legislature. Lawmakers resent that they lack control over the regents’ spending but field numerous constituent complaints about tuition hikes. Colleges fear potential legislation to limit how fast tuition can grow. This could blow up next year.

Meanwhile, colleges have redoubled their fund-raising efforts. They need to top up the amount legislators see fit to appropriate and the amount regents think they can levy via tuition, as well as to fill the gap between what the HOPE scholarship now covers and what low-income students can afford.

Georgia’s AG need not argue cases in court; Olens created the position of solicitor general for that. What he does need to understand is the role a state attorney general plays in the current policy environment, in which the federal government continually tramples state interests through legislation and — with alarming frequency and breadth in the Obama era, sure to continue if Hillary Clinton is elected — executive actions.

And if there’s any question where the Chamber of Commerce support will land in the 2018 election for Attorney General, this note from the AJC article:

Many of those influential big business forces are already lining up behind Carr. Georgia Power Chief Executive Paul Bowers and AGL Resources executive Hank Linginfelter, the chairman of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, both sent statements endorsing Carr as a pro-business force.

And Deal called Carr the “face and the voice of economic development in Georgia” who helped create more than 83,000 jobs on his watch.

The Marietta Daily Journal talked to local leaders about the Olens appointment.

Indeed, a slate of Cobb County leaders have told the MDJ they believe Olens would make an excellent university president, including Cobb Chamber of Commerce President and CEO David Connell, Cobb NAACP President Deane Bonner, Marietta Schools Superintendent Emily Lembeck and KSU alum Tricia Pridemore, a member of the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority.

“Sam Olens is a splendid individual,” Harris Hines of Marietta, presiding justice of the Georgia Supreme Court who will take over as chief justice in January, told the MDJ last week. “He’s a good lawyer. He’s conscientious as the day is long. He’s a hard worker. He values education greatly. He’s a guy who’s also a good manager and attends to detail, so I think he would be a fine president at Kennesaw State University.”

Roger Tutterow, economics professor at KSU and director of its Econometric Center, said Olens will be a successful university president.

“He’s a first-rate intellect. He’s very good at building coalitions. I think he will help raise the visibility of Kennesaw State further throughout the region,” Tutterow said.

Olens’ experience in administration — both in serving as the top elected official in one of the largest counties in Georgia and as the state’s lawyer — will be a boon for him as president, Tutterow said.

“As a state institution, the ability of the upper administration to interact well with the Board (of Regents) and the leadership in the state is important because although state universities do seek private funding, they are still very dependent upon the support of taxpayers,” he said.

Senator Johnny Isakson isn’t worried about GOP nominee Donald Trump suppressing his reelection, according to

“I don’t think either of the nominees for president have coattails,” Isakson told Foreign Policy the day before the Oct. 1 tailgate. “It’s not a party thing. It doesn’t go down ballot.”

“If you’re trying to take me down the track of aligning myself with the presidential nominee … we’re not going to go there,” said Isakson, who chairs two Senate committees: one on veterans issues and the other overseeing lawmakers’ ethics. “My job is not to defend or support the rhetoric.”

He added, “I trust the judgment of the people of Georgia.”

Sensing an opportunity to force the Trump campaign to unexpectedly spend resources in Georgia, the Clinton team and the state Democratic Party have opened 12 offices and hired 39 full-time employees statewide.

Former Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a Georgia Republican who retired last year, stoutly declared Clinton has no chance here. “Unless hell has frozen over and I didn’t know about it, it’s not going to happen,” Chambliss said.

“I would distinguish between Trump and the Republican Party,” Gingrich told FP in an Oct. 2 phone interview.

Trump’s hostile takeover of the GOP, Gingrich said, proves “the establishment’s model isn’t working.”

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed spoke to the Globe and Mail about Clinton’s failure to make a play in Georgia.

“I don’t think Georgia being competitive is a stretch to anyone who’s sophisticated in these matters,” he said, attributing it to “the number of people of all colours who are moving here” – African-Americans joined by Hispanics, Asian Americans and college-educated whites in shifting power away from the Republicans’ white base. As evidence, he pointed to Barack Obama getting 45.5 per cent here in 2012, a better result than for any other Democratic nominee since Georgian Jimmy Carter topped the ticket, despite Mr. Obama not campaigning here.

Mr. Reed’s argument for why Democrats should be less stingy with their southern investment is largely that this is an election in which there is value in running up the score, so a “humiliating defeat” for Mr. Trump ensures “no other leader will believe his behaviour is a path to the nomination of a major party.”

But there is another reason: Building a stronger political infrastructure here that carries over into future campaigns.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp visited the Glynn County elections board to see how they’re handling the storm and its fallout.

“There’s no damage to any precinct, all the equipment is good,” [Glynn County election supervisor Tina] Edwards said. “We’re set and ready to go for early voting.”

The other five counties Kemp visited all said about the same.

“That’s the message we’ve gotten all day,” Kemp said. “And if there’s a county touching the water, we’ve been to it.”

Kemp visited all of the coastal counties that were impacted by the storm Monday, working his way south through Chatham, Bryan, Liberty, McIntosh and Camden counties.

He said he waited to stop by Glynn’s board of elections on the way back to his office in Atlanta. Other members of his office checked in on the inland counties that were impacted by the hurricane.

A federal lawsuit in Savannah seeks to compel the State of Georgia to extend the voter registration deadline that fell earlier this week, to allow extra time for coastal resident.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, the suit noted that Chatham, which includes Savannah, has more than 203,000 citizens of voting age and that more than 40 percent of them are African Americans and Latinos — groups historically underrepresented on the rolls.

The county was one of six under a mandatory evacuation order, and the homes of more than half its residents lost power during the storm. Several communities within the county, such as Tybee Island, suffered widespread property damage and flooding.

The complaint alleges that by failing to extend the deadline, the state violated residents’ constitutional right to vote as well as provisions of the National Voter Registration Act that require states to receive and process voter registration forms 30 days prior to Election Day.

The Georgia NAACP, the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda and the New Georgia Project brought the suit, with help from the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The groups all said in the suit that the storm and related office closures forced them to cancel or curtail planned registration efforts in Chatham County that otherwise could have resulted in people joining the voter rolls.

“We had hoped that Georgia would do the right thing by its citizens and not penalize aspiring voters impacted by Hurricane Matthew,” Kristen Clarke, the Lawyers’ Committee’s president and executive director, said in a statement. “There is no right more important than the right to vote, and this suit seeks to ensure that those who wish to exercise that right are not arbitrarily blocked by the vicissitudes of a hurricane and the hardened stance of elections officials.”

Large numbers of Georgia residents registered to vote online, according to the [Chattanooga] Times-Free Press.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced Wednesday that 74,425 Georgians took advantage of the state’s Online Voter Registration System to register to vote or update voter information to take part in the General Election on Nov. 8.

On the final day of the registration period in 2014, only 12,018 Georgians used the online system.

Advance in-person voting begins Monday. Georgia law also requires the polls to be open on Saturday, Oct. 29, in all 159 counties for Georgians to vote in the November contests.

Currently, there are over 6.5 million registered voters in the Peach State.

Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is monitoring claims in coastal Georgia.

Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner was in [Savannah] Wednesday making sure insurance companies are taking care of their customers.

Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens was in the meeting with CEMA and other local officials. He also stopped by the Allstate command center at the Home Depot on Victory Drive. Officials say this is where folks – who have Allstate insurance — can start making their claims.

Hudgens says depending on what kind of insurance and coverage you have, he expects folks to run into issues when it comes to wind damage.

“There is a wind exclusion a lot of times on policies, but it’s what you purchase. You determine what kind of deductible you’re going to have, you can have a $250, $500, $1,000 deductible – you choose that when you decide on your insurance. But a lot of times there is wind exclusion,” said Hudgens.

Georgia Power expects to complete restoration of services in coastal areas by Friday.

“Tremendous progress was made today with restoration completed in several areas except for isolated services and those that cannot take service,” [Georgia Power Coastal Region Vice President Cathy] Hill said.

Service in Springfield and Hinesville is expected to be fully restored tonight.

There are still 17,220 Savannah accounts without power, and 212 powerless accounts on Sapelo Island.

Georgia ports have reopened, with the Garden City Terminal and two at Ocean Terminal working newly arrived ships.

By the end of [Wednesday], Garden City Terminal was working nine vessels, moving nearly 800 containers per hour, with an anticipated 7,800 container moves for the day.

“Georgia’s ports are now fully operational, which is a testament to the efforts of countless individuals to ensure our port customers experienced minimal impact,” said Griff Lynch, executive director for the Georgia Ports Authority. We would like to thank our many service providers, port stakeholders, first responders, GPA employees and Governor Nathan Deal’s Office for working around the clock to bring the ports of Brunswick and Savannah back online so quickly.”

Of all the ports affected by Hurricane Matthew, the Port of Savannah was hit the hardest, according to U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Amy Beach, commander of Marine Safety Unit Savannah and Captain of the Port.

Gwinnett County will spend more than $2.1 million on retaining law enforcement personnel.

Muscogee County Clerk of Courts candidate Mike Garner says he decided to run as a write-in candidate because Democratic nominee Ann Hardman lacks relevant experience.

Mike Garner is a local criminal defense lawyer who as worked in Columbus for 40 years. He’s challenging Hardman as a write-in candidate. There’s no Republican in the race.

Garner, 70, entered the race after the primary. He had hoped to run as an Independent, but he ran out of time to collect 5,000 signatures. A lawsuit that he filed challenging the constitutionality of the signature requirement was thrown out because the deadline for signatures passed before a hearing could be scheduled, he said Wednesday.

Garner cited Hardman’s lack of court experience as his reason for running. He attributed her victory to backlash against Linda Pierce, who is among four elected officials suing the city over budgets. He said he has extensive experience working with the Superior Court, which makes him the best candidate running for the position.

“The key issue is that my opponent is unqualified to be the clerk,” he said. “… And only a legal person with a lot of legal knowledge and experience can handle that job.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 12, 2016

Former Confederate President Alexander Stephens was released from federal prison on October 12, 1865 and returned to Georgia.

1929 UGA vs Yale Tix

The first game in Sanford Stadium was played on October 12, 1929, with the University of Georgia Bulldogs beating the Yale Bulldogs. Here is ten minutes of the game.


On October 12, 1958, The Temple was bombed after a phone call to WSB warned that Black churches and Jewish temples would be blown up.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Advocates for the Opportunity School District Amendment #1 unveiled a new ad featuring Governor Nathan Deal.

Some Democrats think that an imploding Trump campaign may open the door for their nominee to compete in Georgia, according to the New York Times.

Mrs. Clinton’s campaign has concluded that at least two traditionally Republican states, Georgia and Arizona, are realistic targets for her campaign to win over. And Republican polling has found that Mr. Trump is at dire risk of losing Georgia, according to people briefed on the polls, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Today, the Georgia Board of Regents is set to vote today on whether to hire Attorney General Sam Olens as President of Kennesaw State University.

Chancellor Hank Huckaby has said he thought about doing a national search. But he believes Olens is too good of a candidate to pass up.

“I’ve always been very excited about the attorney general’s potential interest in this job. And I leave this meeting even more excited about it,” said Huckaby, after interviewing Olens last week.

The AJC looks at some issues Olens will face if hired at Kennesaw.

“It’s a different breed of politics. It’s not as mean and nasty and you don’t have people paid to trash you,” said former Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox, now president of Young Harris College. “Politics is how you work with people to get things done … A president has to work with faculty and students or it’s going to be a lopsided and ineffective organization.”

Like Olens, she had no expertise managing a college or university.

[Olens] noted in a three-page letter to University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby the size of Cobb County’s workforce when he was chairman, and the budget, which was larger than KSU’s.

“In my view,” he wrote, “the next president should focus on ensuring KSU’s affordability, comprehensively evaluating the budget to allocate resources more effectively and improving graduation rates so that more KSU can use their skills and education to better our communities.”

The AJC also looks at how a potential opportunity to appoint a new Attorney General may extend Gov. Deal’s lasting influence on Georgia state government.

The crown jewel in Deal’s array of appointments is set to open Wednesday, when Sam Olens is poised to vacate the attorney general’s seat to become president of Kennesaw State University. That would allow Deal to select one of the most powerful posts in Georgia, with the authority to enforce state laws and investigate public corruption.

Not since 1997, when Gov. Zell Miller appointed Thurbert Baker to the post, has a governor had an opportunity to tap an attorney general. And not since 2010, when Gov. Sonny Perdue picked Brian Kemp for an open secretary of state’s seat, has a governor had the chance to appoint a constitutional officer.

Deal appears likely to tap Chris Carr, the commissioner of the state Department of Economic Development and a Deal protege, to the post.

“Unless you were creating government for the first time, you could not have as much impact as he has had on the judiciary,” said Randy Evans, Deal’s attorney and co-chairman of the Judicial Nominating Commission. “Just the Georgia Supreme Court appointments alone would cement his legacy for 20 years.”

Deal has tapped more than 100 attorneys to open judgeships across the state.

The governor unveiled a plan last year to expand the Georgia Court of Appeals by three judges, giving him a trio of vaunted posts. He followed that up this year with an expansion of the Georgia Supreme Court from seven justices to nine. Both passed with little opposition, even from stalwart Democratic critics.

One part of the AG job Olens is unlikely to miss is the continuing litigation over water against the State of Florida.

Settlement talks appear to be crumbling between Georgia and Florida before an Oct. 31 “water wars” trial between the states.

“It currently appears unlikely that the parties will be able to amicably resolve this decades long dispute prior to the commencement of trial,” Florida states in a Friday court filing with the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a suit filed with the court, Florida is basically accusing Georgia of overconsumption of water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, which includes Lake Lanier, leading to economic troubles for Florida’s oyster industry in the Gulf of Mexico.

Georgia has denied the allegations.

On November 3d, Georgia DOT will hold a groundbreaking for an $800 million dollar improvement program for the intersection of GA-400 and I-285.

Columbia County elections officials are preparing for heavy voter turnout on November 8th for the General Election.

Advanced, in-person voting will now be held in building G3 of the old Rhodes-Murphy building next to Zaxby’s on Ronald Reagan Drive in Evans. The address is 610 Ronald Reagan Drive, where the Georgia Department of Revenue is also housed.

Early and advanced voting was held at the elections office in previous years. The new location will serve for Saturday voting Oct. 29.

Advance voting begins Monday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash faces Democrat Jim Shealey in November.

Nash, who argues that a re-election would provide stability for the county, pointed to preparation of the county’s water and sewage for future growth and addressing transportation as key issues that need to be addressed.

“In 2011, when I came into office, it was all about dealing with the fires that were burning at that moment in time,” Nash said. “I see the next term transitioning into really being able to take a long-term look at the county and set the stage for some of those decisions that affect the long-term.”

Shealey, meanwhile, is known in the county for his leadership in the local Democratic Party. He is also a retired teacher from the Akron (Ohio) Public School System who coached several sports in Ohio. He served on the Akron City Council for about a decade before he moved to Gwinnett in 2010.

A key priority for him is addressing transportation and transit options. He added that he thinks more needs to be done to get road infrastructure caught up to development to address gridlock in the county.

Nash said the proposed 2017 SPLOST is expected to help the county address issues in the road network system, but she added that she wants to bring residents together next year to hear what exactly they want in a multimodal transportation system. While outside groups have done transportation studies in recent years, she wants to hear directly from residents.

“We’re talking about things that will affect the county 25 to 30 years into the future and that deserves some real robust conversation,” Nash said.

Cobb County and City of Marietta school board members are moving forward with a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST) to go into effect after the current penny sales expires.

The special purpose local option sales tax for education — which, as the fifth iteration of the tax, is dubbed E-SPLOST V — would levy a 1 percent sales tax countywide. If approved by voters, E-SPLOST V funds would begin to be collected on Jan. 1, 2019, after collections for its predecessor end on Dec. 31, 2018.

A ballot question asking voters to approve continuing the tax is scheduled to be put before voters in a special election scheduled for March 21, 2017. The only other issue confirmed to be on the ballot that day is a special election for a seat on the Marietta school board, a seat left vacant due to board member Tom Cheater’s resignation, according to Janine Eveler, director of the Cobb elections.

The Cobb school board is expected to discuss a resolution putting the question on the ballot today, but no formal action will be taken until the board’s Oct. 27 meeting.

Muscogee County voters will vote in a rare three-way race with a Democrat, a Republican, and an Independent incumbent on the ballot for Sheriff.

In Georgia, candidates in the same party as the governor get first place on the ballot in each race, so Republican Mark LaJoye will be listed first in the sheriff’s race, then Democrat Donna Tompkins, then incumbent Sheriff John Darr, an independent. Also qualified is Pam Brown, who’s running as a write-in candidate.

Whitfield County Commissioners voted 3-1 for a new ordinance that will likely curtail street solicitors.

The Board of Commissioners on Monday voted 3-1 to approve a new street solicitation law that, among other things, will require those seeking solicitation permits to have at least $2 million in insurance. The current law only requires those seeking a permit to have insurance and did not specify the amount. The law will take effect Jan. 1.

Chairman Mike Babb typically votes only in the event of a tie, and Commissioner Harold Brooker voted against the measure.

“I wanted it to begin immediately,” Brooker said. “The rest wanted to wait until Jan. 1. I can live with that.”

Under the new law, those who wish to solicit money must buy a $1,000 license annually. Currently, they must pay a $20 fee for a 30-day permit, and the other commissioners said they did not wish for anyone to have to pay $1,000 just to raise money in the final two months of 2016.

Richmond County school board member Frank Dolan wants students to demonstrate their patriotism or else!

“If members of the band are wearing uniforms we provide, they need to stand during the national anthem,” Dolan said. “If they don’t, I’m making a motion that they be suspended from the team.”

The punishment soon expanded to include all athletes and cheerleaders.

“If they’re wearing a uniform we provide,” Dolan said, “I believe those students should be held to a certain standard. I guarantee you that every football team has a behavior policy, and if they don’t live up to that expectation, they face punishment. … That behavior policy should include showing respect for the national anthem.”

Before a vote could be made on Dolan’s motion, Superintendent Angela Pringle requested time to research howother school systems are handling the controversial topic.

Congressman Tom Graves (R-Ranger) received from the National Association of Manufacturers an Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence.

Gwinnett Technical College and Mercedes-Benz will partner in a program for automotive technology education.

A man from Cochran, Georgia was indicted in an appalling case of human trafficking.



Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 11, 2016

Casimir Pulaski, a Polish aristocrat who fought with the colonists in the American Revolution, died in Savannah on October 11, 1779.

Former Georgia Governor and President of the United States Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 11, 2002.

Bobby Cox managed his last game in Game Four of the NLDS on October 11, 2010.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Tybee Island appears to have weathered Hurrican Matthew well, according to the Savannah Morning News.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 10, 2016

The United States Naval Academy opened in Annapolis, Maryland on October 10, 1845.

Vice Presidnt Spiro Agnew resigned on October 10, 1973 and pled guilty to federal income tax evasion charges.

On October 10 1976, a poll by Time magazine showed Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter with a 2-1 electoral vote margin.

Carter led in 21 states and the District of Columbia, with 273 electoral votes (three more than necessary to win), while President Ford led in 17 states with 113 electoral votes.

The online Georgia archives at UGA has a collection of campaign materials, including a 1976 Carter for President brochure.

On October 10, 1980, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site was established in Atlanta.

On October 10, 2015, Donald Trump made his first campaign stop in Georgia.

Trump Atlanta 1

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Tomorrow is the voter registration deadline for the Novembr 8th General Election. Check your voter registration status by signing in to the Secretary of State’s MVP webpage. As of the weekend, 33,150 mail-in ballots had been returned by voters.

First Lady Sandra Deal visited evacuees from Coastal Georgia where they were being housed in Augusta.

“Thank you so much for checking on us,” [Mary] Thomas told Deal. “It means so much to know you care.”

Deal spent around an hour in Augusta on Sunday morning, checking on evacuees from Hurricane Matthew.

While at Trinity on the Hill, she toured the site, comforted families and even took part in a Sunday school class with children.

“I’m so glad y’all are here,” Deal told a table of young adults in Wesley Hall. “Please don’t rush home – please stay as long as you need. The most important thing right now is your safety.”

“Remember that God’s in control,” Deal said. “Sometimes, unfortunate or difficult things happen, but always remember that God’s in control.”

Georgia Ports Authority is bringing its coastal ports back on line after Hurricane Matthew.Continue Reading..