Category: Georgia Politics


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 30, 2015

On November 30, 1782, British and American signed a preliminary treaty in Paris to end the American Revolution, which included withdrawal of British troops and recognition of American independence.

Georgia ratified the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution on November 29, 1794, which reads,

The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state.

On November 29, 1947, the United Nations passed a resolution to partition Palestine and allow the creation of a Jewish state of Israel.

The Tawana Brawley case began on November 28, 1987; the greatest lasting impact would be the rise to celebrity of community activist the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

For those who are involved in elections in the coming year, I’ve created a Google Calendar with the important election and ethics filing dates for the 2016 Elections. Click here for the online version. If you know what you’re doing, you can add this to your personal calendar on your iPhone or whatever other device you use. When you open that page, you won’t initially see any events, as they’re far enough in the future to not show up in Agenda view, but just click “Look for More” until it shows you the time range you’re interested in.

Today, the Donald Trump show rolls into Macon for a rally at 7:30 PM at the Macon Centreplex.

The campaign is distributing free tickets online for the event. Brandon Phillips, the Georgia director of Trump’s campaign, deferred questions about the number of tickets distributed as of Friday to Hope Hicks, Trump’s national media spokeswoman. Hicks did not respond to an email, however.

David Higdon, the coliseum’s event manager, said he didn’t know how many tickets had been distributed, but he’s expecting a big crowd. Based on the numbers Trump has drawn at similar events — and the buzz he’s been hearing about the Macon rally — Higdon said he looking for a capacity crowd of 8,000.

“I’m anticipating a full house,” he said. “I think a lot of people are going to come.”

[Bibb County Sheriff David] Davis said deputies will help escort Trump to and from the event and with directing traffic. He did not expect there would be reimbursement for the cost, but Davis said that is standard practice for such events.

Suzanne Wood, a former chairwoman of the Bibb County Republican Party, said the local group’s involvement with the event has primarily been to round up volunteers to help with the crowd and seating. She said she expects people to come from a wide area of the state, and she has even had people from Florida contact her about coming.

Wood said she has heard many people say they are coming — even though they don’t necessarily support Trump.

One of those is Mary Huffstetler, who is going with her husband and their two children. She called herself a conservative and said she is undecided on which candidate she will vote for in the primary.

“I am very excited to hear what he has to say,” she said. “I think he is unconventional and people are always looking for something that is not predictable.”

I’ll be checking in from Macon on Twitter using the hashtag #TrumpMacon.

Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy of the AJC puts Trump’s visit in the context of the mounting competition for votes in the SEC Primary.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 25, 2015

The first Day of Thanksgiving in what is now the United States was celebrated on December 4, 1619 at Berkeley Plantation on the banks of the James River in Virginia.

On December 4, 1619, a group of 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundred, about 8,000 acres on the north bank of the James River near Herring Creek in an area then known as Charles Cittie (sic). It was named for one of the original founders, Richard Berkeley,a member of the Berkeley family of Gloucestershire, England. It was about 20 miles upstream from Jamestown, where the first permanent settlement of the Colony of Virginia was established on May 14, 1607.

The group’s charter required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a “day of thanksgiving” to God. On that first day, Captain John Woodleaf held the service of thanksgiving. The Charter of Berkeley Plantation specified the thanksgiving service: “Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”.

President George Washington declared November 26, 1789 the first “public day of thanksgiving and prayer.”

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
Go. Washington

On November 25, 1864, Sherman’s 14th and 20th Corps moved toward Sandersville while the 17th Corps fought briefly against a mix of Kentucky Militia, Georgia Military Institute cadets, and Georgia convicts.

On November 25, 1867, Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel filed a patent for dynamite. On November 25, 1895, Nobel wrote his will, leaving the equivalent of roughly $186 million (2008 dollars) to endow the Nobel prizes.

On November 25, 1920, the first play-by-play broadcast of a college football game took place at College Station as Texas A&M (then Mechanical College of Texas) took the field against Texas University.

On November 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Fourth Thursday in November as the modern Thanksgiving celebration.

[I]t was not until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to fall on the last Thursday of November, that the modern holiday was celebrated nationally.

With a few deviations, Lincoln’s precedent was followed annually by every subsequent president–until 1939. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt departed from tradition by declaring November 23, the next to last Thursday that year, as Thanksgiving Day. Considerable controversy surrounded this deviation, and some Americans refused to honor Roosevelt’s declaration. For the next two years, Roosevelt repeated the unpopular proclamation, but on November 26, 1941, he admitted his mistake and signed a bill into law officially making the fourth Thursday in November the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day.

On the same day, a Japanese navy fleet left port headed toward Pearl Harbor.

President John F. Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on November 25, 1963.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience played its first show at the Bag O’Nails Club in London on November 25, 1966.

Chatham County Sheriff Al St. Lawrence has died following a battle with cancer.

St Lawrence, 81, had been battling cancer since at least July when he disclosed his condition to the department’s command staff.

St Lawrence was elected sheriff in 1992. He had said this would be his last term.

The sheriff’s office released a statement around 8:30 a.m. today expressing its “profound sadness that the family and this Office announce the passing of our beloved Sheriff, Al St Lawrence to cancer on November 24, 2015.”

St Lawrence, a five-year veteran of the United States Air Force, was stationed at Hunter Army Airfield and decided to make Savannah his home. He began a career in law enforcement in 1959 with the Chatham County Police Department. In 1971, he was appoint chief, a position he held for 21 years unit his retirement in April 1992 to pursue the office of sheriff, according to the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office.


Reagan said it well indeed, in his 1985 Thanksgiving Address to the nation.

Good morning, everyone. You know, the Statue of Liberty and this wonderful holiday called Thanksgiving go together naturally because although as Americans we have many things for which to be thankful, none is more important than our liberty. Liberty: that quality of government, that brightness of mind and spirit for which the Pilgrim Fathers braved the seas and Americans for two centuries have laid down their lives.

“Today, while religion is suppressed in perhaps one third of the world, we Americans are free to worship the Almighty as we choose. While entire nations must endure the yoke of tyranny, we are free to speak our minds, to enjoy an unfettered and vigorous press, and to make government abide by the limits we deem just. While millions live behind walls, we remain free to travel throughout the land to share this precious day with those we love most deeply – the members of our families.

“My fellow Americans, let us keep this Thanksgiving Day sacred. Let us thank God for the bounty and goodness of our nation. And as a measure of our gratitude, let us rededicate ourselves to the preservation of this: the land of the free and the home of the brave.

“From the Reagan family to your family: happy Thanksgiving and God bless you all.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Trump Atlanta 1

Yesterday, we wrote about a rumor that Donald J. Trump would return to Georgia with an event in Macon on November 30th. And later in the day, it was confirmed by the Macon Telegraph.

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is coming to Macon on Monday night.

Trump is set to speak at the Macon Coliseum during a campaign rally that begins at 7:30 p.m., said Brandon Phillips, the Georgia director for the Trump campaign. Doors will open at 5 p.m.

The event will be free to attend — it will cost $5 to park — but those who want to go must have a ticket, Phillips said.

The event will last about an hour, until 8:30 p.m. or so, Phillips said, “but I’ve seen him speak in Iowa for 90 minutes.”

For those who follow politics, Macon would seem to be a contrary destination for a Republican presidential hopeful.

Nearly 60 percent of Bibb County’s registered voters cast ballots for Barack Obama in the 2012 election. Mitt Romney drew just under 40 percent. Statewide, voters gave Romney more than 53 percent of the vote, to about 45 percent for Obama.

In Houston County, meanwhile, Romney drew nearly 60 percent of the ballots, and GOP tallies were even better in Monroe County, with about 68 percent for Romney, and in Jones County, where about 64 percent of men and women voted for Romney.

Click here for your free tickets.

Whether Macon is a “contrary” location for a presidential event or not, it’s great to see Presidential candidates all across Georgia.

Speaking of Georgia, the Peach State also figures prominently in the electoral strategy of Ted Cruz. And there is a strategy, no question about it.

But suddenly it seems that Cruz is running what even Dan Pfeiffer, a former top aide to President Obama, concedes is “the best campaign on the other side.” He has raised more money than any Republican other than Jeb Bush and more non-PAC money than any other Republican, period; he also has more cash on hand than any of his GOP rivals. He was the first candidate to recruit chairmen in all 171 counties in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

He is only candidate who for months has been consistently calling and sending surrogates to all five U.S. territories — Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Virgin Islands — in order to secure extra delegates who could prove decisive down the road. (More on that later.)

He is doing more than any other Republican to prepare for the so-called “SEC primary,” a new Southern voting blitz set to take place on March 1; he has already enlisted more than 100 countywide campaign directors and 1,500 volunteers in Georgia alone.

Noting that the RNC has sped up the 2016 primary schedule — almost two-thirds of Republican delegates will be allocated by March 22 — Cruz spent August traveling across the South and strengthening his a regional turnout operation rather than camping out in Iowa or New Hampshire like everyone else. Having since secured key endorsements in the Hawkeye State, where he is rising in the polls, Cruz is now poised to head into the March 1 “SEC primary,” and the rest of the race, with stronger support among conservatives than most pundits predicted.

“In past election years, a candidate could essentially move to Iowa or move to New Hampshire, live there for a year, and hope to catch lightning in a bottle and surprise everyone,” Cruz recently explained. “I don’t think that’s possible this cycle.”

Likewise, Team Cruz noticed early on that the RNC’s obscure rule No. 40 (b), which was rewritten in 2012, currently stipulates that a candidate cannot receive the nomination without first winning a majority of the delegates in eight separate states or territories. The territory part is crucial.

It’s conceivable, even likely, that none of the Republican candidates will get more than 50 percent of the vote in the crowded Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada contests, which means that none of those states will count toward fulfilling the requirements of rule No. 40 (b).

But competition for delegates is much less heated in Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands than it is on the mainland — even though, for the purposes of winning the nomination, each territory still counts just as much as a state. And so Cruz has been calling the governor of Guam, dispatching an emissary to American Samoa, sending his father, Rafael, to the Virgin Islands and so on. The more delegates he can pick up overseas, the thinking goes, the better his chances of reaching the RNC’s magic number of majorities — regardless of what happens in the early states.

That story is a lengthy but fascinating read about Cruz’s career and his 2016 electoral strategy. Worth reading in its entirety for political professionals and hobbyists alike.

Finally, we’ll wrap up with a piece from the Washington Post on presidential strategies and the SEC Primary.

While the February states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — are expected to set the tone and winnow the field, Super Tuesday will arrive like a thunderclap, probably determining which candidates will survive for what could be a protracted battle for the nomination.

“It’s a huge delegate haul, and it’s either going to change the momentum coming out of the early states or reaffirm it,” said John Weaver, chief strategist for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is building an Alabama coalition led by the state’s governor.

For centrist Republicans such as Kasich, the aim may not be so much sweeping Super Tuesday as surviving it. After March 1, the calendar turns more to their liking, with a number of winner-take-all states in less-conservative regions where suburban, business-friendly Republicans may matter more than evangelicals and tea party activists.

For Trump and Carson, the political outsiders who have dominated the race for months, Super Tuesday has long been seen by party operatives as the turning point when one of them could surge.

For Cruz, who has sought to appeal to many of the same voters as Trump and Carson, the Southern states are essential. He sees them as his best chance to leap ahead of his rivals after what could be a muddled field by late February. In Georgia, for instance, he has enlisted more than 100 county organizers and has volunteer chairmen in all 14 congressional districts. His wife, Heidi, visited the Atlanta suburbs last week to talk up her husband’s candidacy to Republican women.

Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe said: “Our approach is to have neighbors call neighbors, pro-lifer to pro-lifer, gun owner to gun owner. That philosophy is painted on our wall — to personalize each contact so that it’s not somebody calling from a remote-access phone bank in another state with a neutral dialect.”

Securing the nomination is a matter of accumulating delegates, and exponentially more are up for grabs on March 1 — 595 total — than in the four early-voting states, which together have 133 delegates, according to figures provided by the Republican National Committee.

Super Tuesday delegates will be awarded proportionally, many of them by congressional district. This gives lower-tier candidates opportunities to pick up delegates without winning the states outright, so long as their vote totals meet the minimum thresholds, which vary by state from 5 percent to 20 percent.

“Everyone feels like they can come in and leave with a few delegates, so we see an uptick in campaigning and organizing over the past few cycles,” said Brent Leatherwood, executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party.

Consider former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who is struggling nationally but hopes to win delegates by overperforming in the March 1 Southern states, many of which he carried in 2008.

“We’re focused on where we can get the most delegates, the biggest bang for the buck,” strategist Chip Saltsman said. “For example, in Texas, there are some rural congressional districts where if you go do a visit, you might pick up more voters than if you were up on Dallas TV for a week.”

Carson’s playbook in Texas is similar to that in other Southern states — targeting majority-African-American congressional districts to win delegates.

“Dr. Carson is already a legend in these communities,” said Barry Bennett, Carson’s campaign manager. “So we’re going to churches, to community centers where, frankly, most of the others don’t go.”

Jeb Bush’s allied super PAC, Right to Rise, has booked $14.5 million in television advertising in March 1 states and plans to spend at least $2 million more. The ad reservations offer clues about the former Florida governor’s strategy.

Right to Rise is spending heavily in Texas, home to former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, as well as Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia, where there are suburban districts with relatively moderate Republican electorates. But it has not reserved any time in Alabama or Arkansas, which are ruby-red conservative bastions.

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston will headline a fundraiser for the Georgia Republican Party on Thursday, December 3d.

Ralston GAGOP Found Invite


Trump campaign stopping in Macon on Monday night | The Telegraph

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is coming to Macon on Monday night.

Trump will speak at the Macon Coliseum during a campaign rally that begins at 7 p.m. Monday, said Brandon Phillips, the Georgia director for the Trump campaign.

The event will be free to attend, but those who want to do so must have a ticket, Phillips said. Tickets will be available online, on the Trump website, perhaps later Tuesday.

The event will last about an hour, Phillips said, “but I’ve seen him speak in Iowa for 90 minutes.”

via Trump campaign stopping in Macon on Monday night | The Telegraph.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 24, 2015

The only major battle on Sherman’s March to the Sea occurred at Griswoldsville on November 22, 1864; on the same day, federal troops marched into Milledgeville.


On November 23, 1864, Sherman himself entered Milledgeville, where he used the Governor’s Mansion as his headquarters. Sherman’s forces left the capitol city on November 24th.

President John F. Kennedy became the fourth President of the United States to be assassinated in office on November 22, 1963. The next day, Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald, who had been arrested for shooting Kennedy.

Construction on the Georgia Dome began on November 24, 1989.

On November 24, 1992, Republican Paul D. Coverdell defeated Democratic incumbent Wyche Fowler in the runoff election for United States Senate. We are thankful that Georgia has runoff elections, not something silly like drawing straws or instant runoff voting.



A reader shared with us yesterday his gratitude for the chance to spend some time with some of our veterans. With his permission, here’s what he wrote:

I sing barbershop harmony, and this past Saturday, I rallied three other guys and we sang for the good folks at the Trinka Davis VA facility in Carrollton.  All I can say is “Wow!”  Very honoring and humbling to be able to sing for these folks – residents and staff alike.  The Patriot Guard Riders host an ice cream social each month, and we plugged in through my contact with PGR (another story for another time).

Grateful!  But the most amazing thing is how awesome that Trinka Davis veterans village is.  One of the eldest and more recent residents, has a book coming out telling the story of this VA facility.  As a servant to these veterans this past weekend, I am grateful on two levels: 1) for these fine folks who gave every measure; and 2) for the VA (and particularly the late Trinka Davis) in providing such a powerful example of a model VA facility.  Very cool, and mostly very honoring.  Check it out if you get the chance.  And search out George Woodruff’s book: “Just Before TAPS” due out in December.

A tip of the hat to Dennis Brannon for sending us that tidbit, and our deepest thanks to all our veterans and for those who kept the home fires burning so they could serve us.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Donald J. Trump campaign sent out a message that Trump will be returning to Georgia soon. Not included in the message was the rumored Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 23, 2015

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 Teach the World to Sing.”

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


I’m grateful to all of you who take a few minutes out of your day to look at the dogs read about Georgia politics. My sincerest personal thanks. Here are the two best things I read this weekend. From Arthur C. Brooks at the American Enterprise Institute, via the Wall Street Journal.

For many people, gratitude is difficult, because life is difficult. Even beyond deprivation and depression, there are many ordinary circumstances in which gratitude doesn’t come easily. This point will elicit a knowing, mirthless chuckle from readers whose Thanksgiving dinners are usually ruined by a drunk uncle who always needs to share his political views. Thanks for nothing.

Beyond rotten circumstances, some people are just naturally more grateful than others. A 2014 article in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience identified a variation in a gene (CD38) associated with gratitude. Some people simply have a heightened genetic tendency to experience, in the researchers’ words, “global relationship satisfaction, perceived partner responsiveness and positive emotions (particularly love).” That is, those relentlessly positive people you know who seem grateful all the time may simply be mutants.

But we are more than slaves to our feelings, circumstances and genes. Evidence suggests that we can actively choose to practice gratitude — and that doing so raises our happiness.

This is not just self-improvement hokum. For example, researchers in one 2003 study randomly assigned one group of study participants to keep a short weekly list of the things they were grateful for, while other groups listed hassles or neutral events. Ten weeks later, the first group enjoyed significantly greater life satisfaction than the others. Other studies have shown the same pattern and lead to the same conclusion. If you want a truly happy holiday, choose to keep the “thanks” in Thanksgiving, whether you feel like it or not.

One explanation is that acting happy, regardless of feelings, coaxes one’s brain into processing positive emotions. In one famous 1993 experiment, researchers asked human subjects to smile forcibly for 20 seconds while tensing facial muscles, notably the muscles around the eyes called the orbicularis oculi (which create “crow’s feet”). They found that this action stimulated brain activity associated with positive emotions.

According to research published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, gratitude stimulates the hypothalamus (a key part of the brain that regulates stress) and the ventral tegmental area (part of our “reward circuitry” that produces the sensation of pleasure). It’s science, but also common sense: Choosing to focus on good things makes you feel better than focusing on bad things.

In my lifelong struggle with depression, one of the best tools I’ve found is the practice of acting as though I’m happy. Others call this, “fake it till you make it.” Even when I don’t fell like getting off the couch and doing something, if I just go take the dog for a walk, I know that helps. Repeat that every day, and before I know it, I’m feeling better.

Rick Jackson, CEO of Jackson Healthcare, has made quite a splash in Georgia Republican politics, but I, and likely many others, didn’t know much about him. Jennifer Brett of the AJC has written a great profile about the man behind the money that is shaping Georgia politics.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 20, 2015

New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights on November 20, 1789.

Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Warm Springs, Georgia for the 22d time on November 20, 1931.

Duane Allman was born in Nashville, Tennessee on November 20, 1946.

President John F. Kennedy lifted the naval blockade of Cuba on November 20, 1962, ending the Cuban Missile Crisis.

On November 20, 1975, Ronald Reagan announced he would run for President of the United States against incumbent Republican Gerald Ford. On May 4, 1976, Reagan won Georgia’s Presidential Primary with 68% over Ford.

Newt Gingrich was reelected Speaker of the House on November 20, 1996.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The calls have begun for Secretary of State Brian Kemp to resign after news broke of a massive data disclosure from the Elections Division, but I’m not really that worried about my identity being stolen. Here’s why:Continue Reading..


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

Georgia and American History

President Abraham Lincoln delivered an 87-word speech at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on November 19, 1863.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

On November 19, 1864, as Sherman marched toward Savannah, the Georgia delegation to the Confederate Congress in Richmond, Virginia, sent a message to the state,

“Let every man fly to arms! Remove your negroes, horses, cattle, and provisions from Sherman’s army, and burn what you cannot carry. Burn all bridges and block up the roads in his route. Assail the invader in front, flank, and rear, by night and by day. Let him have no rest.”

The first issue of National Review magazine was published on November 19, 1955.

Reagan Gorbachev 11191985

President Ronald Reagan met for the first time with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev on November 19, 1985.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections

Yesterday, the AJC ran a story about a lawsuit filed over an inadvertent release by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office of personal identifying information for 6.1 million registered voters. The information included Social Security Numbers and Drivers License numbers as well as the usual voter registration data.

Two Georgia women have filed a class action lawsuit alleging a massive data breach by Secretary of State Brian Kemp involving the Social Security numbers and other private information of more than six million voters statewide.

The suit, filed Tuesday in Fulton County Superior Court, alleges Kemp’s office released the information including personal identifying information to the media, political parties and other paying subscribers who legally buy voter information from the state.

In response, Kemp’s office blamed a “clerical error” and said Wednesday afternoon that they did not consider it to be a breach of its system. It said 12 organizations, including statewide political parties, news media organizations and Georgia GunOwner Magazine, received the file.

Continue Reading..


Secretary of State Brian Kemp on voter data release

Statement from SOS Kempclick here for .pdf


Georgia’s voter registration system was not breached. The system has been and remains secure. This was a clerical error that has been remedied.

“Our office shares voter registration data every month with news media and political parties that have requested it as required by Georgia law. Due to a clerical error where information was put in the wrong file, 12 recipients received a disc that contained personal identifying information that should not have been included. This violated the policies that I put in place to protect voters personal information. My office undertook immediate corrective action, including contacting each recipient to retrieve the disc, and I have taken additional administrative action within the agency to deal with the error,” said Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

Pursuant to O.C.G.A § 50-18-72(a)(20)(A), personal identifying information cannot be withheld from news media when they verify they are using the information for news purposes. Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 21-2-225(c), no person that receives this data may use it for any commercial purposes.

Letter from SOS Kemp to County Voter Registrarsclick here for .pdf:

Dear Georgia Voters:

On Friday, November 13, my office learned that voters’ personal information was inadvertently included on a statewide voter file that was sent to twelve groups on October 13.

As a standard practice, these twelve groups, comprised of Georgia’s news media and political parties, receive a computer disc with an updated list of all of Georgia’s registered voters every month. This information is available to them per existing Georgia law.

However, in October, a clerical error in the IT Division led to these discs containing personal identifying information that should not have been included. The IT employee has been terminated for breaking internal rules governing the release of this information.

Upon learning of this mistake, my office took immediate action to retrieve the discs and to confirm that the recipients had not copied or otherwise disseminated the data.

All twelve discs have been accounted for. Each recipient, including the Georgia Republican Party and the Georgia Democratic Party, has confirmed that the data was not retained or diseminated to any outside parties.

To reiterate, the Georgia Voter Registration System was not breached. The system has been and remains secure, and I am confident no voter’s personal information has been compromised.

I want to assure Georgia’s citizens that it is my top priority to protect their personal information. I have put in place additional safeguards to ensure this situation does not happen again.



Brian P. Kemp


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 18, 2015

Abraham Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on November 18, 1863.

Carl Vinson was born on November 18, 1883 in Baldwin County, Georgia. At noon on that day, U.S. and Canadian railroads implemented four time zones for the first time.

Efficient rail transportation demanded a more uniform time-keeping system. Rather than turning to the federal governments of the United States and Canada to create a North American system of time zones, the powerful railroad companies took it upon themselves to create a new time code system. The companies agreed to divide the continent into four time zones; the dividing lines adopted were very close to the ones we still use today.

Most Americans and Canadians quickly embraced their new time zones, since railroads were often their lifeblood and main link with the rest of the world. However, it was not until 1918 that Congress officially adopted the railroad time zones and put them under the supervision of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Mickey Mouse debuted in a black-and-white film called “Steamboat Willie” on November 18, 1928.

On November 18, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt traveled from Washington, DC to Savannah, Georgia by train for Georgia’s Bicentennial and delivered a speech at Municipal Stadium.

Carl Vinson was honored on his 81st birthday in Milledgeville, Georgia on November 18, 1964; Vinson did not run for reelection in 1964 and retired after 50 years in office.

President Richard M. Nixon flew into Robins Air Force Base for Carl Vinson’s 90th birthday on November 18, 1973; on the trip he announced the next American nuclear supercarrier would be named USS Carl Vinson.

On November 18, 1989, Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey signed the Abortion Control Act, the first abortion restrictions enacted after Roe v. Wade.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal quit his presidential campaign. I’d forgotten he was still running.

The Weekly Standard dives into the weeds of Alabama’s presidential primary process and sees an enthusiasm gap for Jeb Bush.

With less than four months to go before the state’s primary, the Bush campaign has declared, committed delegates for just 29 of 47 available spots—a sign the former Florida governor may be lagging in organization and enthusiasm in the Yellowhammer State.

Even with an incomplete slate, Bush can still fully compete for all of Alabama’s delegates to the Republican National Convention. According to the Alabama GOP’s rules, candidates running in the March 1 primary competing for 47 declared delegates, 3 for each of the state’s 7 congressional districts and an additional 26 “at-large” delegates. The registration deadline for prospective delegates was November 6, but even if Bush performs well enough in the primary to earn more than 29 delegates he currently has spots for, the state party will find enough delegates to make up the difference.

That won’t be an issue for the four presidential candidates who have at least one pledged delegate for each of the 47 spots: Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump. In fact, all 4 of those candidates have more committed delegates than the 47 spots available. One other candidate, Rand Paul has 45 out of 47 committed delegates. Bush, however, has 32 delegates running for just 29 spots, with several of the at-large spots and a few congressional district spots unfilled as of the Friday deadline.

If the state party can make up the difference, why do declared delegates matter, and why did the Carson, Rubio, Cruz, and Trump campaigns even bother filling their slots? For one, more declared delegates means more on-the-ground activists touting your candidacy. For another, it can be a good indicator—to donors, to rival candidates, and to the media—of the organizational strength of a campaign. When Bush secured a full slate of Tennessee’s delegates in October, for example, the campaign touted this on their own website.

Early voting in Columbia County for the December 1 runoff elections for House District 122 and County Commission District 3 will be open beginning November 25th.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 17, 2015

On November 17, 1732, the first English headed to colonize Georgia set off from Gravesend, England, down the Thames. Their supplies included ten tons of beer.

On November 17, 1777, Congress submitted the Articles of Confederation to the states for ratification.

Abraham Lincoln began the first draft of the Gettysburg Address on November 17, 1863.

Herman Talmadge was sworn in as Governor of Georgia on November 17, 1948, ending the “Three Governors” controversy. Click here for a review of the “Three Governors” episode by Ron Daniels.

Richard Nixon declared before a television audience, “I’m not a crook,” on November 17, 1973.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Deal issued an Executive Order after terrorist attacks in Paris.

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that he will not accept Syrian refugees in Georgia and called upon President Obama to suspend the resettlement program in the United States. Since 2012, Deal has demanded that the federal government limit the number of refugees sent to Georgia.

“In light of the terror attacks in Paris, I’ve issued an executive order directing state agency heads to prevent the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Georgia,” said Deal. “Further, I call upon the Obama administration to work with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security to confirm the backgrounds of the 59 Syrian refugees recently resettled to ensure they do not pose a security threat to our citizens. Until the federal government and Congress conducts a thorough review of current screening procedures and background checks, we will take every measure available to us at the state level to ensure the safety of Georgians.”

Read the executive order here.

Heidi Cruz spoke to Cobb County Republicans yesterday, and the Marietta Daily Journal covered the story.Continue Reading..