Georgia and American History
James Oglethorpe arrived at Augusta on September 12, 1739.
The Second Continental Congress opened in Philadelphia on September 13, 1775; Georgia was represented by Archibald Bulloch, Lyman Hall, John Houstoun, and John Zubly.
French troops arrived near Savannah to prepare for a siege against British forces there on September 12, 1779.
On September 13, 1788, the Confederation Congress voted to implement the Constitution and authorized states to elect Senators and Representatives and called the first Presidential election, with selection of presidential electors in the states to be held on January 7, 1789, and February 4, 1789 as the day electors would cast their ballots.
Francis Scott Key composed the lyrics to “The Star Spangled Banner” on September 14, 1814.
On September 15, 1831, Dr. Samuel Worcester and Dr. Elizur Butler – missionaries – were tried in a Lawrenceville courtroom for living as white people among the Cherokee and refusing to take an oath of loyalty to Georgia, convicted and sentenced to hard labor. Some historians refer to this case, which went as high as the United States Supreme Court on appeal, as the beginning of the events that led to the forced removal of the Cherokee people from Georgia on the “Trail of Tears.”
HMS Beagle, carrying Charles Darwin, arrived at the Gallapagos Islands on September 15, 1835.
On September 14, 1885, Georgia Governor Henry McDaniel signed legislation granting up to 200 acres in Fulton and DeKalb Counties to the federal government to be used in the constuction of Fort McPherson, which was named after Union Maj. Gen. James McPherson, who was killed in the Battle of Atlanta in 1864.
On September 14, 1901, President William McKinley died of an infection from gunshot wounds suffered eight days earlier.
On September 15, 1904, Wilbur Wright made the first in-flight turn in an airplane.
The first two women to enter the Georgia General Assembly, Viola Ross Napier of Bibb County and Atlanta Constitution reporter Bessie Kempton of Fulton County, were elected on September 13, 1922.
Early on the morning of September 15, 1963, a bomb exploded in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young girls.
On September 15, 1996, the Texas Rangers retired #34 in honor of the most dominant pitcher in professional baseball history, Nolan Ryan.
Today, voters in Fayette County Commission District Five will vote in a special election to fill a vacancy.
Candidates in the race include two Republicans, Angela Bean and Peyton Riley, along with one Democrat, Charles Rousseau.
If a runoff is needed, it will take place Oct. 13.
Earlier this election season, a lawsuit was filed in federal court over whether the election would be open to all voters countywide, but a federal judge ordered that only voters within district five may vote.
Qualifying is open in the Special Election for House District 122, formerly held by State Rep. Ben Harbin.
[Secretary of State Brian] Kemp set candidate qualifying for Monday, September 14th through Wednesday, September 16th. Qualifying on Monday will run from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.; on Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.; and on Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon.
Candidates will qualify in the Elections Division of the Office of Secretary of State, located at 802 West Tower, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, in Atlanta. The qualifying fee is $400.
The election for Georgia Senate District 43 will occur in portions of DeKalb County, Rockdale County, and Newton County to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Ronald Ramsey. The election for Georgia House of Representatives District 122 will occur in Columbia County to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Ben Harbin.
The elections are non-partisan special elections with no party primaries. However, each candidate’s party affiliation, if any, will be listed on the ballot. Run-off elections, if needed, will be held Tuesday, December 1, 2015.
House District 122 will host at least four candidates, assuming the announced candidates make it to qualifying.
Four candidates have already announced their intentions to seek the post: Pat Goodwin, a former chairwoman of the Columbia County Republican Party and the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau; Jodi Lott, a registered nurse and co-owner of Evans Rehabilitation Services; Joe Mullins, a developer and entertainment promoter; and Mack Taylor, a lawyer in private practice who resigned his seat on the Columbia County Commission in July to pursue the office.
Taylor’s resignation triggered the need for a special election to fill the commission District 3 seat, which is also set for Nov. 3. Five candidates have qualified to run in that race.
Among the candidates in the Special Election for Senate District 43 will be Stan Williams of Conyers.
A graduate of Knoxville College in Tennessee, Williams’ career includes 25 years of service with IBM in various management positions. In 1994 he joined the Clinton Administration, serving until September 2000 as the Southeastern Region representative for Education Secretary Richard Riley. More recently, he served as political advisor and legislative aide for Sen. Ramsey.
Joining Williams in the race will be Diane Daniels-Adoma, running as a Republican.
In 2014 Daniels-Adoma challenged Rep. Dorothea “Dee” Dawkins-Haigler, a Democrat from Lithonia, in the Democratic primary for the state House District 91 seat, which includes portions of Rockdale and DeKalb counties. Dawkins-Haigler won that race in the May primary with Daniels-Adoma collecting approximately one-third of the votes cast. Dawkins-Haigler won last fall’s General Election with no opposition.
Since then, Daniels-Adoma declared that she is switching parties and is running for the Senate office as a Republican, though the special election is nonpartisan. District 43 is heavily Democratic and encompasses most of Rockdale County, nearly one-third of Newton County and a portion of DeKalb.
“In the race against Dee I was painted as a Republican in Democrat clothing,” Daniels-Adoma said. “Upon examining my political stances, I realized that my detractors were correct on that one point. Half of my friends and family have been Republicans for many years.”
Daniels-Adoma said she made the decision to switch parties last spring.
“I realized that I really do align with the convervative party. It was an ‘aha’ moment. I believe in the right to bear arms. Republicans think when government gets too big, it’s a threat to our freedom. We believe in a hand-up rather than a handout. … My philosophy is not anti-government — it’s all about managing government and holding people accountable.”
Former Republican Rockdale County Commissioner JaNice Van Ness will also run as will Angela Moore, aka “Miss Angela,” who ran for Secretary of State in 2009.
Candidates for Mayor and City Council in Brookhaven have answered a series of questions on their campaigns from the Brookhaven Post. As a voter in District Three, where incumbent City Council member Bates Mattison is unopposed, he took the time to answer the same questions, and I both respect and appreciate that.
Dr. Ben Carson spoke to Republicans in Aiken, South Carolina on Saturday.
As the Feb. 20 South Carolina primary approaches, Carson, who said he visited the Aiken area many times before his presidential aspirations, sees the state as a future bastion of support.
“There are a lot of people here with common sense,” he said. “The more I come and speak to people and expose them to my ideals the more it will resonate, and God will take care of the rest.”
He said that while many see his lack of political experience as a disadvantage, it’s actually liberating.
“To run as a non-politician is less stressful because politicians have to run around with their finger up in the air seeing which way the wind is blowing and what is politically expedient,” Carson said. “I don’t have to do that. All I have to do is tell the truth.”
Ohio Governor John Kasich announced Georgia leadership for his Presidential campaign.
Georgia Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert, State Senator Fran Millar, former State Party Chair Rusty Paul, and John Watson – who served as chief of staff to former Gov. Sonny Perdue — endorsed Ohio Governor John Kasich for President. Cowsert and Watson will now serve as State Co-Chairs, while Sen. Millar and Mayor Paul will join Kasich for America’s Georgia Statewide Leadership Team along with three additional Georgian Mayors who also endorsed Kasich today.
Also [Monday], three Georgian Mayors and additional Republican activists endorsed Gov. Kasich, and will all join Georgia’s Kasich for America’s steering committee:
City of Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis
City of LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton
City of Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman
“In state after state, region after region, I continue to be humbled by the support we are seeing and the momentum we are gaining,” said Kasich. “Georgia is an incredibly important state, and I am grateful to have such respected, experienced Georgia Republicans stand up and express their support for my vision for this country. The team of Cowsert, Millar, Paul and Watson represent exactly what you want as you build an operation in a state – strength, experience and proven political success.”
Governor Nathan Deal announced that state revenues for August were up 13.6% over the same period last year.
Georgia’s new consolidated gas tax and hotel and motel fee helped drive a 13.6 percent year-to-year increase in state revenue last month, Gov. Nathan Deal’s office announced on Monday.
The governor’s office said tax reforms created earlier this year by House Bill 170 produced $59.5 million in transportation revenues in August. Those reforms included the state gas tax, a new annual highway impact fee for vehicles which weigh more than 15,500 pounds and a new fee for hotel stays.
Proceeds collected from the gas tax and the hotel and motel fee made up the lion’s share of that funding.
Motor fuel tax revenues alone increased by 43.6 million, or 43.5 percent, from 100.3 million in August 2014 to $144 million last month, according to figures released by the governor’s office. Drivers pay 26 cents for every gallon of unleaded gasoline and 29 cents per gallon for diesel fuel. The new single fuel tax replaced a system of excise and prepaid local and state taxes.
Meanwhile, the new hotel and motel fee generated $14.9 million in revenues last month. The $5 nightly fee applies to hotel stays which last 30 days or less.
A new highway impact fee also generated about $844,000 in revenue. Drivers of vehicles which weigh between 15,500 and 26,000 pounds pay a $50 fee while owners of vehicles which weigh more than that must pay a $100 fee.
Local opposition to President Obama’s appointment of DeKalb County State Court Judge Dax Lopez has spread, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.
Northeast Cobb Commissioner JoAnn Birrell has written to U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue (both R-Ga.) strongly urging them to oppose President Obama’s attempt to appoint DeKalb State Court Judge Dax Lopez — and 11-year board member of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials — to a federal judgeship. Cobb Sheriff Neil Warren sent the senators a similar letter last month.
Cobb County Commission Chair Tim Lee continues to trade barbs with County Commissioner Bob Ott.
Warner Robins officials will consider whether to create a Tax Allocation District (TAD) to attract a hotel and conference center near City Hall.
United States Senator David Perdue visited David A. Perdue Primary School, named after his father, in Warner Robins.
He spoke to second-graders in the gym at David A. Perdue Primary School in Warner Robins, fielding questions about politics and his own personal story.
“I read everything I can get my hands on, and that’s how you learn,” Perdue, R-Ga., told the students.
The senator added that reading and learning would make the students more informed when the time comes for them to vote and help make other decisions.
The worst part of being a senator, he said, was missing time with his family, but the job has its benefits.
“I think the best part of my job is the realization that one senator can make life better for people like you,” he told them.
Perdue said the knowledge and focus he saw from the students made him “optimistic about the future” when they get older.
“The second-graders were phenomenal,” he said. “I’m just so amazed at how well-behaved those second-graders were.”
My first thought when I saw the Macon Telegraph photos of Sen. Perdue talking to the second graders was, “he’s already filming a spot for his re-election.”
Speaking of local control of schools, DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester takes on the issue in an Op-Ed for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Our state constitution mandates that, “the provision of an adequate public education for the citizens shall be a primary obligation of the State of Georgia.” Additionally, the constitution limits the number of school districts to 180 (159 county districts plus 21 grandfathered city districts).
Georgia’s leaders and policy makers should be asking if the very school district structure that is hard coded into our state constitution is serving us well. They should be seeking to maximize student achievement and be concerned with the return on investment for each dollar of public spending. Are academic results maximized and expenses kept in check with properly sized school districts?
Now, no matter what circumstances change, we are locked into the same 180 delivery vehicles – school districts – for education. There is clear and compelling evidence that educational outcomes for students and the cost to deliver education are affected by the size of the school district in which they attend.
So, what does the evidence tell us? Based on studies from multiple states (Washington, Ohio, California, Michigan, and Nevada) we know that larger school districts have a negative effect on student achievement and produce higher costs per pupil than smaller districts. The effects on achievement are even more profound for students in poverty.
In the next legislative session, there will be an effort to allow Georgia to form smaller districts by allowing cities to create new school districts. I view this as one important step in the right direction when dealing with school district size.