Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 18, 2014

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

Flags Half Staff Barrow County 11172014

Flags will fly at half-staff on Georgia state buildings and facilities in honor of Governor Carl Sanders, who has died at age 89.

“Sandra and I are greatly saddened by the passing of Gov. Carl Sanders,” said Deal. “The bond we shared was more than the mutual possession of a public office; Gov. Sanders was a mentor and friend whose bright example of compassionate leadership was unsurpassed. During his tenure as governor, he transformed Georgia by building thousands of classrooms, improving our transportation system, increasing state income and bringing a competitive spirit to the state through the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Braves. But more than anything else, Gov. Sanders showed true leadership and character by supporting civil rights for all during a time when many were not. It is this legacy that I remember with a heavy heart today, and his lasting positive impact on our state will be felt by many future generations of Georgians. We will continue to pray for the Sanders family during this difficult time.”

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22 at Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, 2715 Peachtree Road, NE. The family has asked that donations in memory of Gov. Sanders be made to either the Metropolitan YMCA or the University of Georgia Law School.

Yesterday, the Republican Caucus nominated Senator David Shafer (R-Duluth) for reelection as President Pro Tem, the highest-ranking member of the State Senate; the position will be formally elected by the entire Senate.

“I am grateful to my fellow Republicans in the Senate for their vote of renewed confidence today. I look forward to working with Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert and our new Caucus leadership team in making Georgia the best place to work, worship and raise children,” said Shafer.

(more…)

GOP Has (Almost) Caught Up With Democrats In Voter Outreach, Targeting, and Mobilization – Matt Vespa

The 2014 midterms brought an end to the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, but also ended the tech monopoly liberals had in elections.

After being pummeled by Democrats in this field in 2008 and 2012, Republicans decided it was time to stop letting the Democrats kick the stuffing out of them in voter outreach, targeting, and mobilization.

While still behind in some areas, Republicans are virtually caught up–and it showed.

Back in October, CNN reported on how Republicans were going to night school to learn the basics–and importance–of digital technology in modern elections, amongst other things:

Night after night, Republicans are going back to school in an effort to build a new army of communications operatives for the Twitter age.
The courses at “Comms College” — the GOP’s secret training ground for social media-savvy communications staffers — are taught in a sterile conference room on Capitol Hill. Students are instructed that the modern news cycle, fueled by the disruptive power of the web and constantly-filing reporters, has no patience for old political playbooks.

There’s a session on opposition research and tracking, Facebook algorithms and Google metrics. There are also tips on dressing for television (no pocket squares, seersucker or dangly jewelry), and lessons on social media and partisan news sites that give campaigns the power to peddle their messages without the filter of “mainstream” reporters. Lockwood even has reading recommendations, including “Collision 2012,” “The Victory Lab” and “Double Down.”

Rob Lockwood, a veteran of the North Carolina Republican Party, spearheads the digital revamp of the RNC’s operations; folks call him “the dean.”

It was present in Georgia, where the Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe documentedthe RNC outreach operations in the Peach State that proved successful; Democrat Michelle Nunn lost the senate race:

Republicans here and across the country are now emulating the tech-driven, national-style ground game long dominated by Democrats. Party officials want to use the new methods to draw out voters to support congressional and gubernatorial candidates this year and then prepare to help the party’s presidential nominee during the 2016 election.

In Georgia and other key states, the RNC partnered with state party operations to deploy paid staffers and millions of dollars in new databases, apps, Web sites and phone systems.

While they cannot coordinate with the GOP, the Post also noted that conservative organization, like Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, was also engaging in revamping their micro-targeting and voter turnout operations of their own. So far, Faith and Freedom has a database of 33 million social conservatives from 21 million households.

via GOP Has (Almost) Caught Up With Democrats In Voter Outreach, Targeting, and Mobilization – Matt Vespa.

Sen. Renee Unterman: Visits Augusta Medical Facilities

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Renee Unterman

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Sen. Renee Unterman Visits Augusta Medical Facilities

Sen. Renee Unterman (R – Buford) toured state-of-the-art medical facilities with Sen. Dean Burke (R – Bainbridge) and Rep. Micah Gravley (R – Douglasville) prior to a meeting of the Joint Study Committee on Prescription of Medical Cannabis for Serious Medical Conditions on November 12 in Augusta. The three legislators, who are also members of the joint study committee, were given an up-close-and-personal look at the operations of the Joseph M. Still Burn Center and the Children’s Hospital of Georgia.

“I greatly appreciate the staff members and medical professionals who took the time to show us how our work on this committee directly affects its patients and their families. It is my hope that the work performed by this committee will benefit and enhance the services these two superb medical facilities provide,” said Sen. Unterman, co-chair of the Joint Study Committee on Prescription of Medical Cannabis for Serious Medical Conditions.

Sen. Unterman, Sen. Burke and Rep. Gravley started the morning at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center, a 70-bed facility with partner facilities in Charleston, SC; Valdosta, GA; Austell, GA; Miami, FL; and Jackson, MS. The Augusta center is one of only 125 burn centers in the United States, as well as one of the largest. The tour featured the center’s outpatient clinic, intensive care unit, emergency burn center receiving room and an operating suite. Information about the center’s burn education initiatives was also shared during the tour. (more…)

Sen. Josh McKoon: Pre-Files Bill to Secure Driver’s Licenses

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Josh McKoon 

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Sen. Josh McKoon Pre-Files Bill to Secure Driver’s Licenses

Today, Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) pre-filed a bill for consideration in the upcoming 2015 session of the Georgia General Assembly. The goal of Senate Bill 6 is to protect the integrity of our driver’s license and the safety of Georgia’s roadways.

Senator McKoon said, “Georgia should not become another California because of the refusal of the Obama administration to faithfully execute its constitutional obligation to enforce our laws.  I am certain that the majority of Georgia voters would take a dim view of the General Assembly deferring to the president’s judgment on illegal executive amnesty and rewarding illegal aliens with a Georgia driver’s license and other public benefits.”

“Previously, Georgia law restricted illegal aliens from getting a driver’s license,” said Sen.McKoon. “When the President created the ‘deferred action status’ class, he deliberately created a loophole to make millions of illegal aliens eligible for Georgia driver’s licenses and other public benefits. Senate Bill 6 will eliminate that loophole in Georgia.” (more…)

Gov. Nathan Deal: Flags To Fly At Half-staff To Honor Former Gov. Carl Sanders

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From Governor Nathan Deal

Carl Sanders

Deal: Flags to fly at half-staff to honor former Gov. Carl Sanders

Gov. Nathan Deal signed an executive order today ordering that flags on all state buildings and grounds be lowered to half-staff to honor the memory of former Georgia Gov. Carl Sanders. Gov. Sanders, 89, passed away on Sunday evening. He served as Georgia’s 74th governor from 1963-1967.

“Sandra and I are greatly saddened by the passing of Gov. Carl Sanders,” said Deal. “The bond we shared was more than the mutual possession of a public office; Gov. Sanders was a mentor and friend whose bright example of compassionate leadership was unsurpassed. During his tenure as governor, he transformed Georgia by building thousands of classrooms, improving our transportation system, increasing state income and bringing a competitive spirit to the state through the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Braves. But more than anything else, Gov. Sanders showed true leadership and character by supporting civil rights for all during a time when many were not. It is this legacy that I remember with a heavy heart today, and his lasting positive impact on our state will be felt by many future generations of Georgians. We will continue to pray for the Sanders family during this difficult time.” (more…)

Sen. Steve Gooch: Elected to Serve as Senate Majority Whip

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Steve Gooch

Steve Gooch

Sen. Steve Gooch Elected to Serve as Senate Majority Whip

Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega) was elected to serve as Majority Whip of the Senate Republican Caucus for the upcoming biennial legislative term of the Georgia General Assembly. In this role, Sen. Gooch’s primary responsibility will be to research legislation, educate and inform caucus members, and ensure a full caucus presence during important legislative votes. The Majority Whip is the third ranking leadership position within the Republican caucus.

“I’m honored to be elected as the next Majority Whip of the Senate Republican Caucus. I remain committed to defending core constitutional principles such as limited government and fiscal responsibility, and will remember these ideals when advising the caucus on legislation that will create a more prosperous Georgia,” said Sen. Gooch.

“Sen. Gooch is a committed, hard-working public servant who will serve with great distinction as majority whip. I appreciate his dedication to his district as well as to the Senate. I look forward to working with him and the rest of our leadership team to advance our agenda in the General Assembly,” said Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. (more…)

Sen. Butch Miller: Releases Statement on Senate Leadership Elections

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Butch Miller 

Butch Miller

 

Sen. Butch Miller Releases Statement on Senate Leadership Elections

 Sen. Butch Miller (R – Gainesville) has released the following statement regarding the leadership elections held today by the Senate Majority Caucus:

“I am truly humbled by the support I received while pursuing the President Pro Tempore nomination from my Republican colleagues. Although my efforts may have fallen short, I have great confidence in the newly-elected leadership team and know they will continue to work hard for Georgia citizens.

Success is not measured on a single event. With the experience of this race, as well as serving as Senate Majority Caucus chair, I am a better man and a better servant of the 49th District and the State of Georgia. I will work tirelessly—every single day—to make life better for Georgia families. (more…)

Senate Majority Caucus Supports a Second Term for President Pro Tempore David Shafer

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From Senator David Shafer 

Shafer Gavel

Senate Majority Caucus Supports a Second Term for President Pro Tempore David Shafer

 Sen. David Shafer (R – Duluth) has released the following statement on the vote today by the Senate Majority Caucus nominating him for a second term as President Pro Tempore:

“I am grateful to my fellow Republicans in the Senate for their vote of renewed confidence today. I look forward to working with Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert and our new Caucus leadership team in making Georgia the best place to work, worship and raise children.”

Rep. Allen Peake: Pre-Files Medical Cannabis Bill – HB 1

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From State Representative Allen Peake

allen peake

Rep. Allen Peake Pre-Files Medical Cannabis Bill

State Representatives Allen Peake (R-Macon) today pre-filed legislation that would allow for the use and production of medical cannabis in Georgia. Rep. Peake’s legislation will be assigned as House Bill 1 for the 2015 legislative session.

“I would first like to thank Speaker David Ralston for his leadership and compassion throughout this process and for his support in designating the medical cannabis as HB 1, the first bill filed for the upcoming legislative session. This is a clear message to the General Assembly and the public that the passage of the medical cannabis Bill is a priority for him and the Georgia House,” said Rep. Peake.

“Secondly, Governor Nathan Deal has publicly stated that he will work with the legislature on medical cannabis legislation that is safe, legal, and supervised by doctors. Rest assured that these three guidelines are at the heart and core of this bill. We have studied similar types of legislation for months and heard from all those who hold a stake in the matter; therefore, I am confident that we will craft the best possible version of this bill.

Finally, we cannot ignore the personal side of this story. Since March 20, when last year’s bill failed, at least 15 Georgia families uprooted their lives and moved to another state to have access to medical cannabis. We need to bring them home. And tragically, three children, all of whom visited this Capitol earlier this year with their parents to fight for the passage of this bill, have died during the last six months. We cannot move fast enough. In honor and in memory of Abe, Trinity, and Mary Elizabeth, it is imperative that we, as elected officials of this state, come up with a safe, effective and timely delivery system of medical cannabis oil in Georgia, for these children and for our citizens.” (more…)