On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving to be observed on November 26, 1863 and on the fourth Thursday in November every succeeding year.
This announcement harkened back to when George Washington was in his first term as the first president in 1789 and the young American nation had only a few years earlier emerged from the American Revolution. At that time, George Washington called for an official celebratory “day of public thanksgiving and prayer.” While Congress overwhelmingly agreed to Washington’s suggestion, the holiday did not yet become an annual event.
Thomas Jefferson, the third president, felt that public demonstrations of piety to a higher power, like that celebrated at Thanksgiving, were inappropriate in a nation based in part on the separation of church and state. Subsequent presidents agreed with him. In fact, no official Thanksgiving proclamation was issued by any president between 1815 and the day Lincoln took the opportunity to thank the Union Army and God for a shift in the country’s fortunes on this day in 1863.
On October 3, 1922, Rebecca Latimer Felton was appointed to the United States Senate from Georgia following the death of Senator Tom Watson. After initially being rebuffed by the Senate, Felton was sworn-in on late in November, becoming the first woman to serve in the United States Senate.
On October 3, 1995, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
A clown got shot in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I’d probably put the clown suit, red nose, and long, floppy red shoes away.
So far, 108,023 absentee ballot applications have been processed by the Secretary of State’s office and just more than 10 percent of those – 10,853 votes – have been returned.
Jim Galloway writes that the
delusion idea that Democrats will be competitive at the state level in Georgia is fading fast.
In just over a month, barring a sudden shift in the Earth’s polarity or the deletion of his Twitter account, Trump will likely claim the 16 votes that Georgia is entitled to send to the Electoral College. Hillary Clinton’s Brooklyn headquarters is already charting a 30-day path to the White House that will send her through many other states – but not ours.
But if you want to blame somebody, blame Johnny Isakson. Or that fellow who’s running against him in the U.S. Senate race. No, not the Libertarian. That’s Allen Buckley.
I mean the Democrat with the cap. Jim Barksdale.
His campaign is in turmoil. This week, Barksdale replaced campaign manager Dave Hoffman with a Bernie Sanders acolyte, René Spellman. Two other top Democratic aides left as well.
In Georgia, this year’s Republican standard-bearer [Johnny Isakson] has successfully divorced himself from the presidential campaign.
Greg Bluestein of the AJC takes a look at the Peach State ground operations of the presidential campaigns.
The Trump and Clinton campaigns each claim more than a dozen staffers and thousands of volunteers in offices throughout the state. Each campaign hopes to reach tens of thousands of voters ahead of the Oct. 17 start of early voting and the Nov. 8 election. And both believe their work now will pay dividends in 2018, when the governor’s office and other statewide seats are up for grabs.
Democrats in Georgia say they have an advantage this year, since Clinton’s campaign has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to boost the party’s grass-roots program in Georgia while Trump largely is relying on the state GOP to run his program.
“With one operation, we are ensuring that we use resources efficiently to communicate our campaign message in every corner of the state — that benefits everyone,” said Marlon Marshall, Clinton’s director of state campaigns and political engagement. “The organizing we continue to do in Georgia not only will help Democrats in November but for election cycles to come.”
Trump’s Georgia organizers dismiss Democrats’ talk of an advantage in 2016 and proudly note that a Democrat hasn’t won statewide here in any election since 2006. No Democratic presidential candidate has won Georgia since 1992.
“There is a real excitement among our supporters because this isn’t just a campaign, it’s a movement,” Trump spokeswoman Jennifer Hazelton said. “We’re targeting the voters we need to turn out to win and are making sure they get to the polls in November.”
Clinton’s campaign has all but merged with the state party. The two share data, voter lists, volunteers and more.Together, the coordinated campaign has 12 offices and 39 employees working full time. This past weekend, the party and the campaign hosted a women’s summit where more than 260 women signed up for more than 500 volunteer shifts.
A group called Hispanics for Trump is also hitting the streets seeking support for the GOP nominee.
With the election less than six weeks away and emotions running high, the group is focused on five metro Atlanta counties that are home to more than half of the state’s Hispanic population.
Convincing other Hispanics may be tough, but these Trump supporters are optimistic.
Fernando Peguero, a native of the Dominican Republic who lives in Gwinnett County, said he believes about 150,000 Hispanic voters can be won over. Their votes, he said, can affect the outcome in November.
More than 111,000 Hispanics were registered to vote in Georgia as of the beginning of September, representing about 2 percent of the state’s electorate, according to state voter registration data.
“It’s going to be a very contested election, and we do not know whether 1,000 votes, 2,000, 10,000 votes are going to make the difference,” said Peguero, a leader in the pro-Trump Hispanic group. “We cannot wait to find out.”
The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer discusses the mechanics of write-in votes.
Under the law, spelling a write-in candidate’s name correctly is not required. All that matters is whether the voter’s intent is clear. “P. Brown” or “Mike G.” may suffice.
Whether the voter’s intent is clear is determined by an election night panel of party and city representatives. This year that panel will have a Republican, Democrat and Libertarian appointed by each party and someone assigned by the local elections board.
With so many qualified write-in candidates this year, Muscogee County will have two panels of identical makeup to speed the counting.
[Mike] Garner is challenging Democrat Ann Hardman, who defeated incumbent court clerk Linda Pierce in the May 24 primary.
Garner, a local attorney, had wanted to run as an independent, at one point filing suit to challenge the law requiring him to file a petition with names equaling 5 percent of those qualified to vote in the previous election for the office.
Pam Brown, formerly a supervisor in the sheriff’s office who narrowly lost to incumbent John Darr in the 2012 Democratic Party primary, this year competes against Darr, who’s running as an independent, Democrat Donna Tompkins and Republican Mark LaJoye.
Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle will introduce his new book this morning at Johnson High School in Gainesville.
Cagle, a Hall County native who was elected Lt. Governor in 2006, has penned a 160-page book, outlining his vision for transforming the way public schools educate students.
The book is called “Education Unleashed” and, in it, Cagle makes the case for rethinking the way public schools set goals and then measure student achievement.
Cagle will speak to students at his alma mater Johnson High School from 10 to 10:50 a.m. and then he’ll spend about an hour signing copies of the book at the school media center, according to JHS Principal Stan Lewis.
While the book is already available on Amazon and other online sources, the event at Johnson High School is considered the kick-off for book sales, according to Cagle’s office.
A DeKalb County Charter Review Commission is considering whether to recommend changes to a county governance structure that includes a powerful elected Chief Executive Officer.
Broad reforms are on the table, including the county’s leadership structure, balance of power, term limits, elected officials’ pay, district boundaries, ethics, transparency and more. The DeKalb Charter Review Commission must release its findings by Dec. 1, 2017, and then it would be up to the Georgia General Assembly to decide whether to make them law.
Created in 1982, the CEO position has often been blamed for concentrating authority in one person and leading to abuses of power.
Those seeking to eliminate the CEO job prefer that DeKalb more closely mirror its neighbors in Cobb, Fulton and Gwinnett, where professional managers oversee government operations and answer to county commissions. DeKalb is the only county in the state with a CEO independent from the legislative branch, although that structure is more common in cities like Atlanta with a strong mayor over the executive branch.
Supporters of the CEO role say it creates a clear separation of powers, similar to the federal government, with distinct executive and legislative branches. The CEO represents the entire county rather than one district, making the position more accountable to voters.
The Marietta Daily Journal gave a ringing endorsement to Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren.
Sheriff Neil Warren — a no-nonsense, straight-shootin’, west Cobb Republican with a heart of gold — is up for re-election on Nov. 8.
Warren coasted to victory in the last three elections against Democrat Gregory Gilstrap, who, not content in being thrice defeated, is challenging Warren for a fourth time.
One of the primary reasons Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds believes all law enforcement branches — Cobb Police, municipal and university forces and prosecutors — function together so well is the man sitting in the sheriff’s seat. Such cohesion is not seen in every county.
“He’s the highest ranking law enforcement officer in this county that wears a badge, and I think because of that position, other agencies look to the sheriff for direction. They look for guidance. They look for example, and he and his folks do a good job in setting the high standard there,” Reynolds said. “He’s put together a great staff that … my folks work with day in and day out, and I think they are a reflection of who and what Neil is as a sheriff.”
Reynolds said the two work closely on the Marietta-Cobb-Smyrna Narcotics Board, and he spoke highly of Warren’s unit that targets elder abuse and his fight against Cobb’s heroin epidemic.
Cobb Solicitor General Barry Morgan credits Warren as one of the reasons the county has not seen the kind of violent protests that have unfolded elsewhere in the nation.
“At the end of the day, you may go away disagreeing on a point, but having the opportunity to be heard and have your viewpoint listened to and considered, Neil and Vic both have done that extraordinarily well, and I think that’s one of the reasons we don’t get those types of protests here,” Morgan said.
Douglas County Commission Chair Tom Worthan is under fire after being secretly recorded.
Facing competition from a black woman, Worthan said governments run by blacks “bankrupt you,” and that if African-American sheriff candidate Tim Pounds were elected, “he would put a bunch of blacks in leadership positions.”
He later adds: “I’d be afraid he’d put his black brothers in positions that maybe they’re not qualified to be in.”
After the tape surfaced, Worthan, who has been elected five times as county commissioner and the past three as chairman, went on Fox 5 Atlanta and apologized.
“I spoke as a politician, trying to say what I needed to say to get a vote,” he told the TV station. “And that’s unfortunate. And I certainly apologize for doing that.”
State Senator Freddie Powell Sims spoke to WALB in Albany about the Opportunity School District.
The only Democrat in the state senate supporting the opportunity school district amendment defends her support of that measure.
Senator Freddie Powell Sims told WALB she believes this is a good way to improve education for students stuck in struggling schools.
“Those parents I cannot afford to move their children to better schools are trapped and it’s not fair to those six something thousand children that are left in these feelings schools and it’s not fair to their parents. They have no future,” said Sims.
Senator Sims says failing schools are also an economic issue because when companies look to move to an area, they first see how schools are performing.
The Dougherty County NAACP held a voter registration event near Albany State on Saturday.
Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis and Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree held a solidarity walk last week.
The Georgia Association of Educators and the Henry County Association of Educators are holding a public meeting to discuss the Opportunity School District on October 18th at 6 PM at the Henry County Board of Education, 33 N. Zack Hinton Parkway in McDonough, GA.
A group for women educators held a forum on the Opportunity School District in Coweta County.
Members of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce overwhelmingly support the E-SPLOST, according to the Chamber.
Chamber members in overwhelming numbers plan to vote to continue the 1 percent sales tax for schools when they head out to vote this November.
When surveyed by the organization, 96 percent of Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce members said they support the Education Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax, which calls for the continuation of the existing penny sales tax allocated for public education, a release said.
“The business community’s support of continuing the penny for education is evident in their positive response to the Chamber’s recent survey,” said Steve Garrison, this year’s chairman of the Chamber. “Education is a key cornerstone for Cherokee’s continued growth.”
The referendum calling for the Ed-SPLOST renewal is on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. Almost 70 percent of county registered voters are expected to turn out for the election.
The survey informed respondents of the present status of the Ed-SPLOST in Cherokee County, which was renewed in 2011 and 2006, following its initial proposal in 2001.
The next five-year Ed-SPLOST will focus on retiring obligations incurred over the past 15 years and the maintenance of critical investments, the survey informed respondents.
The liberal Georgia Budget and Policy Institute discussed a proposal for a state tax credit for low income workers.
Between 20 and 30 percent of Hall County tax filers receive the federal tax credit, which is worth about $48 million, according to the most recent available data from 2013.
Tharpe said a matching state tax credit, perhaps 5 or 10 percent of the federal total, would likely impact many workers and families in Gainesville, where about 28 percent of residents live below the poverty level compared with a statewide average of just 17.4 percent.
Advocates of a state-level EITC believe it will help families afford basic necessities and begin making investments in homes and other assets that can pave the way to the middle class. The “bottom-up tax cut” could also boost local economies.
A state-level credit would come with a price tag, however. Tharpe estimates that a 10 percent match would cost Georgia about $300 million in lost revenue.
The GBPI is urging lawmakers to consider the tax credit as part of a broader reform package as Republican lawmakers look to lower income tax rates, and note that moving people into higher income brackets can help offset spending in other public assistance programs.
Hampton City Council adopted a $9 million budget for FY2017.
Larry Morey, former Henry County Commission candidate, was acquitted of a charge of child cruelty.