Button Gwinnett and Lachlan McIntosh met outside Savannah on May 16, 1777 and fought a duel; Gwinnett was mortally wounded.
Gwinnett returned to Georgia immediately after signing the [Declaration of Independence] to find city Whig Lachlan McIntosh commanding Georgia’s nascent military efforts. Determined to take control of Georgia politics, Gwinnett became speaker of the legislature, guided the Georgia Constitution of 1777 into existence and took over as governor when Archibald Bulloch died suddenly in office.
Gwinnett then wanted to lead an expedition to secure Georgia’s border with Florida. A dispute between McIntosh and Gwinnett over who would command the effort ultimately led to their duel and Gwinnett’s death.
A Constitutional Convention met on May 16, 1795 in the capital of Louisville to amend the Georgia Constitution of 1789.
On May 15, 1791, George Washington left Augusta for Savannah.
On May 15, 1800, President John Adams ordered all 125 employees of the federal government to begin packing to move the capital from Philadelphia to Washington, DC.
The United States Senate voted to acquit President Andrew Johnson of 11 Articles of Impeachment passed by the House of Representatives on May 16, 1868.
The North Georgia Electric Company was incorporated on May 16, 1901 to build a hydroelectric dam on the Chattahoochee River near Gainesville; in 1916, it would be bought by the company that today is known as Georgia Power.
American artist Jasper Johns was born May 15, 1930 in Augusta, Georgia.
Carl Sanders was born on May 15, 1925 in Augusta, Georgia. He served in the United States Air Force, Georgia House of Representatives and State Senate, where he was President Pro Tem. In 1962, Sanders won the Democratic Primary for Governor, defeating former Governor Marvin Griffin, and in November was the first Governor of Georgia elected by popular vote after the County Unit System was abolished.
Former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz was born on May 15, 1967 in Lansing, Michigan. Smoltz pitched a complete game shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the seventh game of the National League Championship Series in 1991, sending the Braves to their first World Series since moving to Atlanta in 1966. Smoltz was chosen for the All Star team eight times and won the Cy Young award in 1996.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
This isn’t politics, but it’s awesome: Gregg Allman played at Mercer’s graduation this weekend before being awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.
While we’re on the topic of higher education, Donald J. Trump will be the subject of a Savannah State University summer class called “The Trump Factor in American Politics.”
“It’s about sort of balancing those perspectives out and trying to use a lens that I hope illuminates some of these arguments in terms of why Donald Trump, despite some of that support from fringe elements of the political spectrum or controversial statements, and figuring out why are people still attracted to him?” [Professor Robert] Smith said. “And to me, that’s what’s fascinating and I think deserves that serious study in the class.”
State Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, said he questions the merits behind the Savannah State course, and he hoped that the course remained unbiased. He sees Trump as someone who won’t heed lobbyists. Given the endurance of Sanders’ antiestablishment bid on the Democratic side, he said, the idea of a president who isn’t influenced by lobbyists is obviously something that resonates with the electorate at large.
“Washington is bought and paid for — there’s no doubt about that,” Stephens said. “Hopefully he’ll hit on that appeal. Donald Trump has done something that hasn’t been done for a very long time. Even though his mouth needs a censor sometimes, he’s hit on the silent majority — and the middle is what wins elections.”
U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter said there’s “no question” that Trump has changed the political landscape.
“People are frustrated,” said Carter, who’s in his second year representing Georgia’s First District in Washington. “I’m frustrated. I was frustrated midafternoon the first day I got here. The system is broken and we need someone to shake it up. I think he’s going to be that guy.”
After the re-opened qualifying for State House District 68, three candidates will run in the Republican Primary next Tuesday.
J.Collins, funeral home owner and until last week, Mayor of Villa Rica
Marc Lattanzio, a law enforcement officer with the City of Temple
Tim Bearden, former State Rep., former Director of the Georgia Public Safety Training Center
The Times-Georgian interviewed Lattanzio about the election,
Temple police officer and University of West Georgia political science major Matt Lattanzio joins former Villa Rica mayor J. Collins and former House 68 representative Tim Bearden in the race. All are Republicans.
The League of Women Voters of Carrollton-Carroll County will hold a forum for the three candidates on Tuesday, May 17, at Bay Springs Middle School in Villa Rica.
“I’ve always been interested in government and trying to make our area a better place to be, so I decided to run because I wanted to represent the people in the 68th District and bring positive growth to the area,” said Lattanzio. “If we all attract good companies to the Carroll County area, and by working with the Chamber of Commerce, I think we could bring jobs here and positive growth and just make a big difference here and be the voice of the people.”
With just more than a week left before the May 24 election, Lattanzio said he is working on a grassroots campaign and relying on social media.
“This is not just a sprint, this is an all-out run,” he said. “I am working at it as much as I can. I’ve been setting up a couple of meet-and-greets and taking time to visit Temple, Villa Rica and Fairfield, Whitesburg and try to get everyone together. I’m not a career politician and I think sometimes people are just tired of the career politicians. I’m an outsider, I’m a hard worker, I work for the people and I will be a true representative to the people of District 68.”
“I feel like some of the citizens are a little disenfranchised,” he said. “Those people that early voted won’t be able to recast their vote so those votes are gone at this point. It would be nice for people to be able to vote again. I don’t think anybody’s vote should be lost. The way this went down, I think it kinda cheated people. I don’t think it’s fair for the people who have to decide who is the best candidate for the job in just 11 days.”
Mark Niesse with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes about the potential return of Vernon Jones to the State House.
In his fourth bid for public office in the past eight years, Vernon Jones is touting himself as an experienced leader who will address real-life problems, like traffic and unemployment, if elected representative of House District 91.
His opponents, however, are working to paint another picture of the former DeKalb CEO. They portray him as a polarizing figure more interested in regaining power than serving the community.
Jones dismisses his challengers, saying they’re amateurs who don’t have what it takes to get things done in the Georgia General Assembly.
“You need a legislator who’s there on Day 1 getting the job done,” Jones said at a recent candidate forum at the Rockdale County Auditorium in Conyers. “Nobody can touch my record. Nobody can touch my experience. Nobody can work as hard as I can.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is out with another poll that’s essentially meaningless.
Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are locked in a statistical tie in Georgia, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll that laid bare the deep divide over the presidential race.
Trump’s 4-point lead over Clinton — he’s at 45 percent — is within the poll’s margin of error, meaning neither can confidently claim a state that’s voted for the GOP nominee since 1996. Sprinkled throughout are reminders of the challenges both face in capturing Georgia: dim voter enthusiasm, high unfavorability ratings and deep skepticism from voters.
Both front-runners have sky-high name recognition — and devastatingly high unfavorability ratings. Nearly two out of three voters have a negative view of Clinton, including a crushing majority of Republicans. A slightly lower number of voters have a negative view of Trump, including a crushing majority of Democrats.
That gives Georgia’s independent voters, a reliably conservative bunch that has backed Republicans the past two decades, an even more influential role in November. The poll found independents were split right down the middle over the leading contenders. An additional 13 percent of independents either said they are undecided or support neither candidate.
At this point in 2014, the AJC poll showed Michelle Nunn with a +1 point lead over David Perdue, who ended up winning by eight points and Nathan Deal with a 4-point lead over Democrat Jason Carter.
Politico ran a story on the AJC poll and gave some context:
The last Democrat to carry Georgia was Bill Clinton in 1992, when he beat incumbent George H.W. Bush by less than 15,000 votes; in 1996, Clinton lost the state by about 27,000 votes. Barack Obama never came within 200,000 votes either time.
The poll was conducted May 9-12, and surveyed 822 registered voters in Georgia.
Meanwhile, the AJC also writes that Nathan Deal has lost support among Republican Primary voters and gained among Democrats, after vetoing both religious liberty and campus carry legislation.
State Rep. John Pezold (R-Columbus) took up his pen to address the issue of a line-item veto of funding for a couple Columbus-area projects.
Much has been written recently about the ongoing saga of recent budget cuts made by the politically powerful in order to punish Senator Josh McKoon. Multiple members of the Columbus delegation have admitted as much and apparently have no problem with the fact that bullying tactics are used on a regular basis in politics. This certainly isn’t the first time Columbus State’s funding has been held hostage over a member acting on his conscience.
In 2013, my first year in the Georgia House we were to vote on Senate Bill 24. I won’t bore you with the details other than to say that the politically powerful wanted it passed. When I made it clear that I would be voting against SB 24 because it went against my principles, I was issued an ultimatum: If I voted against the bill, funding would be cut for Columbus State and for an upcoming additional judgeship for the Chattahoochee Circuit.
Don’t the people of Georgia deserve better than the politics of retribution? Aren’t we better than bullying? We are in a day and age when people don’t trust politicians for one simple reason: Once elected, many of us vote much differently from the way we campaigned. We’re not trusted because we allow garbage like this to occur and say, “It’s just the way things are done around here.” Yet there are countless examples of people actually doing the right thing and voting their conscience, and being punished for it.
Bullying isn’t tolerated in our schools. When this kind of behavior is brought to the attention of school leaders, it is addressed clearly and swiftly. We expect our children to behave better than this. Why then are we turning a blind eye when grown men and women leading our state resort to these tactics?
Fannin County is in an uproar over bathrooms for people who are transgender. From Fetch Your News:
Fannin County Board of Education held a three and one-half hour meeting on Thursday night, May 12th. Two and a half hours were public comments about transgender bathrooms in Fannin County Schools.
The overwhelming theme of the forty plus people who gave comments was about privacy and safety of the children. Many parents asked the Board why the schools couldn’t have a third bathroom option for transgender students. At least two parents said that if the school allowed transgender children to use the bathroom of their choice, they will sue the school to build a private bathroom stall for their children. Parent after parent said that they would pull their children out of the Fannin County School system if the schools have transgender bathrooms. Some parents scolded the Board for putting federal funding ahead of their children’s well-being. If the Fannin County School System chooses to not have transgender bathrooms, the school system could lose $3.5 million in federal funding.
Almost every speaker identified him or herself as a Christian. Most talked about how the Bible teaches two genders, male and female. Some parents, like Deena Daughtery, said that they had moved to Fannin County because of its morals. Many speakers said that they couldn’t believe that the fight over transgender bathrooms had come to Fannin County.
Some high school and middle school students spoke. They indicated that students were not ready to accept transgender bathrooms at school. Two 8th grade girls had the shortest and most simple comment about transgender bathroom. It summed up what many parents said without a long explanations. The girls said, “I don’t want to go to the bathroom and see a boy there.”
Fannin County Attorney Lynn Doss spoke for the Board of Education. She first cleared up some rumors that have been going around. She said that Fannin County schools do not have unisex bathrooms and that the School Board is not voting on transgender bathrooms. Also, no one in the Fannin County school system has had their job threatened over this issue. About the $3.5 million the school system could lose if it provides transgender bathrooms, she said that Fannin County can do without the $3.5 million. The real money problem is that the school system could be fined $1,000 a day for not providing bathroom. The school system could not take that financial loss. Like Mr. Fletcher, she said that requiring transgender bathrooms in public schools is another example of government overreach.
Ms. Doss went on to tell the audience that if they really don’t want transgender bathrooms in the schools, they should take their fight to people who have the possibility to change this rule. The Fannin County School System could refuse to provide transgender bathrooms, but the school system’s action has no power to change the law. Ms. Doss encouraged everyone to write Gov. Deal and their state and national Senators and Representatives. She thanked Georgia House Speaker David Ralston for taking a proactive stand for Fannin County.
Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds addressed what he calls a heroin epidemic, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.
“Categorically, without any hesitation … we have a heroin epidemic in Cobb County,” said Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds.
In 2015 alone, there were 60 overdose deaths in Cobb, according to Reynolds.
Speaking at a recent meeting of the Marietta Area Council, Reynolds said from 1995 through 2014, about 3.5 pounds of heroin was confiscated by the undercover agents of the Marietta-Cobb-Smyrna Narcotics unit.
In 2015, more than 18 pounds of heroin was confiscated.
“Six times (the amount) in one year what we had in the last 20 years,” Reynolds said, adding that his office has a special unit prosecutes only major narcotics trafficking cases, the majority of which are heroin related. “Hopefully that gives you some idea of what we’re seeing.”