The Constitutional Convention of 1787 convened at Independence Hall in Philadelphia on May 25, 1787.
With George Washington presiding, the Constitutional Convention formally convenes on this day in 1787. The convention faced a daunting task: the peaceful overthrow of the new American government as it had been defined by the Article of Confederation.
The process began with the proposal of James Madison’s Virginia Plan. Madison had dedicated the winter of 1787 to the study of confederacies throughout history and arrived in Philadelphia with a wealth of knowledge and an idea for a new American government. It featured a bicameral legislature, with representation in both houses apportioned to states based upon population; this was seen immediately as giving more power to large states, like Virginia. The two houses would in turn elect the executive and the judiciary and would possess veto power over the state legislatures.
William Patterson soon countered with a plan more attractive to the new nation’s smaller states. It too bore the imprint of America’s British experience. Under the New Jersey Plan, as it became known, each state would have a single vote in Congress as it had been under the Articles of Confederation, to even out power between large and small states.
Alexander Hamilton then put forward to the delegates a third plan, a perfect copy of the British Constitution including an upper house and legislature that would serve on good behavior.
Confronted by three counter-revolutionary options, the representatives of Connecticut finally came up with a workable compromise: a government with an upper house made up of equal numbers of delegates from each state and a lower house with proportional representation based upon population. This idea formed the basis of the new U.S. Constitution, which became the law of the land in 1789.
The Battle of New Hope Church was fought near Dallas, Georgia May 25-26, 1864 between Confederates under General Joseph E. Johnston and Federal troops under General William T. Sherman.
On May 25, 1907, an equine statue of John B. Gordon was unveiled on the grounds of the Georgia State Capitol.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia held on May 25, 1962 that the Georgia General Assembly was malapportioned and ordered the reapportionment of the State House and Senate.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
My Ride to Vote, a SuperPAC, will sponsor free Uber rides to the polls in the Sixth Congressional District for the Special Runoff Election.
“Our mission is to make sure every citizen has an equal ability and right to participate in the political process,” said Ben Leiner, My Ride to Vote’s executive director.
Here’s how it works: 6th District voters can text “VOTEGA” to 38470 to get a promo code for a free ride to and from the polls. They then access the ride from the Uber app, which they must download if they don’t already have it.
The money to pay for the rides is coming from My Ride to Vote, which is raising money toward the project using the crowdsourcing site Crowdpac. Uber itself is not providing free rides or making any sort of political endorsement.
My Ride to Vote is also working with several voter advocacy groups to get the word out to voters about the service, including Voto Latino, the New Georgia Project and the left-leaning Georgia Engaged, which is a coalition of progressive organizations in the state.
“We offer rides to any voter who needs one, regardless of their political views,” Leiner said. “We’ve partnered with progressive organizations in the district simply because they are in contact with the voters who most need rides.”
Of course this will benefit Democrat Jon Ossoff, because most free riders are Democrats or progressives.
University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley has issued implementation guidelines for campus carry.
“I understand that many of you have strong feelings about this bill,” Wrigley wrote in the statement. “Yet, whether you opposed or supported the legislation, it will soon be state law, and I respectfully ask everyone to exercise patience, understanding and respect as we implement it. We all share the same goal of ensuring a safe campus environment. We should work together to implement the law as written and thoughtfully address any complications that may arise.”
Wrigley noted six points for how House Bill 280 should be implemented.
Wrigley said that while current law already allows license-holders to keep weapons secured in motor vehicles, beginning on July 1, House Bill 280 will allow anyone who is properly licensed in Georgia to carry a concealed handgun on property owned or leased by public colleges and universities, with some exceptions.
“It will not allow any other type of gun to be carried around campus; nor will it allow handguns to be carried openly,” said Wrigley, who noted that the pending law does not apply to institution-sponsored events or excursions away from campus on property not owned or leased by a University System institution.
Congressman Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) wants poultry processing speeds boosted to increase competitiveness with foreign producers.
Poultry producers in South America, Asia, Canada and Europe “are safely operating at line speeds that outpace the maximum speeds allowed in American facilities,” states a press release from the congressman’s office.
And those practices represent “a significant disadvantage to Northeast Georgia’s poultry industry and America’s domestic production.
Mike Giles, president of Gainesville-based Georgia Poultry Federation, said he supports the line change, pointing to the success of the pilot program.
“We have the data,” he said. “We know it can be done … in a way that produces safe food and protects worker safety.”
He also agreed with Collins that “restricting our plants to lower line speeds reduces our competitiveness with other countries.”
The Augusta Chronicle spoke to locals about proposed federal healthcare legislation.
U.S. Rep. Rick Allen, R-Ga., said the [Congressional Budget Office] score was proof his vote in support of it showed he was doing what his constituents wanted him to do.
“Some Georgians in the 12th District have only one choice when it comes to insurance providers – and often not the choice they want,” Allen said. “Enough is enough. I promised my constituents that I would vote to repeal and replace Obamacare and nearly a month ago, my colleagues and I passed the American Health Care Act. Today, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that this legislation will lower premiums and lower the deficit. I am proud to have supported the American Health Care Act and urge my colleagues in the Senate to act swiftly to end this Obamacare train wreck.”
Cindy Zeldin of Georgians for a Healthy Future, who estimated the previous version of the bill would cut coverage for more than a half-million people in the state, said the score showed this version was not an improvement.
“This legislation would crush consumers by destabilizing insurance markets, eliminating critical protections, and forcing too many Georgians into the ranks of the uninsured and underinsured,” she said. “Congress should go back to the drawing board and take time to craft responsible health care legislation that helps, not harms, consumers.”
President Trump‘s proposed federal budget could add $50 million to funding for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.
Boosters had hoped for about $100 million in the fiscal 2018 budget to dredge the Savannah River, but the White House’s spending plan of $50 million, while a high-water mark for the federal government, falls well short.
And the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dashed hopes by Georgia leaders late Wednesday when it announced no discretionary construction funds from fiscal 2017 would be added to this year’s appropriation. That decision could put the project at risk of further delays
“In a budget crafted with many spending reductions, it is extremely reassuring to see that this administration realizes how important this project is not only to our area, but to the entire nation,” said U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, whose 1st Congressional District includes the Savannah port.
“Now, I will work diligently with my colleagues to continue this momentum and fight for (the project) as budget discussions continue,” he added.
On Wednesday, Deal’s office said in a statement that it was “grateful” for the $50 million from Trump’s budget, calling it a “sign of good faith from the federal government.”
“Unfortunately, the Army Corps of Engineers chose not to prioritize this project in its discretionary funds,” the statement said. “It is our hope that the Corps will decide to devote future funding to (the Savannah port project) so that it will continue on its current timeline.
“While the governor is certainly thankful for President Trump’s and the Congress’ contributions to this effort, we look forward to the federal government following Georgia’s lead by fully funding its portion of this vital project,” Deal’s office said.
Chatham County Commission is considering a contribution to beach renourishment on Tybee Island.
Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning held a Q&A with shareholders and talk turned to Plant Vogtle.
“This spring Westinghouse…declared bankruptcy,” Fanning told shareholders. “We were well-prepared when that unfortunate event happened. We have been working on an agreement with Toshiba for the $3.7 billion.”
Fanning expects the project development to transition to Southern and a couple of partner contractors.
“We are 65 percent complete on site,” Fanning said, adding that the company is studying the efficiency, the schedule and the costs. “We believe we will make that evaluation probably in August. We’ll know the cost to complete somewhere in that time frame. The board will make a conclusion (about whether to continue or stop the work on Plant Vogtle).”
During the annual meeting, Fanning outlined what the company has done to move away from coal, increase its renewable energy offerings and invest in natural gas.
“Before I got here, 70 percent of our energy came from coal,” Fanning said. “Now it is below 30 percent.”
At the time, Southern was “zero on renewables,” Fanning added, “and now it’s just less than 10 percent of renewables. Renewables are growing.”
But the problem remains with “what do you do when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine?” Fanning asked. The company is trying to bridge the intermittency of renewables with natural gas, fuel cells and ways to store renewable energy.
State Rep. Stacey Evans (D-Cobb) has announced she is running as a Democrat for Governor in 2018.
The Smyrna attorney’s campaign sets up what will likely be a divisive Democratic primary for the state’s top job in 2018. House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams has also filed paperwork to run for governor and is expected to soon make a formal announcement.
Evans said in an interview she is putting “hope” – the scholarship and the concept – at the heart of her bid to replace a term-limited Nathan Deal. She has been one of the most forceful critics of the 2011 law he signed that slashed funding to the popular program.
“It gutted the program that was responsible for everything that’s good in my life,” Evans said. “The Stacey Evans born today doesn’t have the same opportunity that the Stacey born in 1978 had.”
“The party will be fine. Choices are a good thing,” she said. “My intention is to be positive and spread my message – a message that all Georgians want to hear. I’m not running against Stacey Abrams. I’m running for Georgia.”
“My story starts with the HOPE scholarship. It was the center of my success,” she said. “But it’s also about a much broader theme. It’s about having hope in your government. And it’s about having hope in yourself.”
Former Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (R-Senoia) said yesterday he will not run for Governor in 2018.
“After much prayer and consideration, Joan and I have decided that I will not be a candidate for Governor in 2018. While I am humbled by the kind words and encouragement that we have received from so many over the last few months, I think the best contribution that I can make to our state is outside of elected office. I’ve always thought of public service as a noble cause and it was truly an honor of a lifetime to represent so many hard working Georgians for so many years in both in the legislature and then later in congress. I look forward to doing all I can to support the Republican nominee for Governor and the entire Republican ticket in 2018.”
Ken Hodges, a former Dougherty County District Attorney and 2010 Democratic candidate for Attorney General, launched his campaign for the 2018 election to the Georgia Court of Appeals.