On June 30, 1665, England’s King Charles signed a royal charter for Carolina, defining its southern border and also claiming all land in what is now Georgia.
“The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”
The Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia on July 1, 1776 to debate a resolution by Richard Henry Lee that the colonies declare their independence of Britain.
On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted a resolution by Richard Henry Lee (father of Robert E. Lee) calling for independence from Britain. The delegations of twelve colonies voted in favor, while New York’s abstained, not knowing how their constituents would wish them to vote.
On July 2, 1826, representatives from Georgia and Alabama met to begin surveying the border between the two.
The first U.S. Postage stamps were issued on July 1, 1847 in New York City.
On July 2, 1861, Georgia voters approved a new state Constitution, which had been adopted by the state’s Secession Convention.
Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders charged San Juan Hill in Cuba during the Spanish-American War on July 1, 1898.
On July 2, 1898, the first pot of delicious Brunswick Stew was made in Brunswick, Georgia. I think I’ll celebrate with a bowl for lunch today.
Today could well be called Intermodal Transportation History Day in Georgia. The first four-lane highway in Georgia was announced on June 30, 1937 from Atlanta to Marietta. The first C5 air flight took place from Dobbins in Marietta on June 30, 1968 and MARTA rail service began on June 30, 1979.
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell first went on sale on June 30, 1936; on June 30, 1986, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp commemorating Margaret Mitchell.
Superman made his first appearance in Action Comics #1 on June 30, 1938.
On July 1, 1956, a new Georgia flag bearing the state seal and a version of the Confederate Battle Flag became effective after being adopted by the Georgia General Assembly in the 1956 Session.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on July 2, 1964. Major provisions included outlawing discriminatory application of voting laws, prohibiting racial discrimination in public accomodations, allowing the Attorney General to join lawsuits against states operating segregated public schools, and prohibiting discrimination by state and local governments or agencies receiving federal funds.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a witness to Johnson’s signature, standing behind the President in the Oval Office. Johnson presented King with one of the 72 pens used in signing the legislation.
Ohio became the 39th state to ratify the 26th Amendment on June 30, 1971, lowering the voting age to 18.
The current Georgia Constitution became effective on July 1, 1983 after its approval in a referendum during the November 1982 General Election.
Georgia native Clarence Thomas was nominated to the United States Supreme Court by President George H.W. Bush on July 1, 1991.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
A Bibb County homeless man stole a flag from over the old Sears building in downtown Macon.
The cops watched footage from a security camera.
Here’s what they saw: A bearded figure, an older fellow in a black cap and dark tanktop, lighting a cigarette near the flagpole.
It was going on 12:30 a.m. when a shadow — the flag itself — slid into view. Someone was lowering it to the sidewalk.
Deputy Sprague, according to a sheriff’s write-up of the episode, recognized the suspect as a homeless man named “Ghost.”
The cops say Schrader admitted stealing the American flag. He told them he was going to hang it under the bridge.
“I was drunk,” he reportedly told them, “and I like flags.”
I would have tried to come up with something more patriotic, like “the Spirit of Freedom came over me and I liberated the flag to carry the message to my people under the bridge.”
Nick Ayers started his day yesterday quashing rumors that he might run for Governor of Georgia in 2018. A little later in the day, we learned why:
Nick Ayers, who served as the Executive Director of the Republican Governors Association from 2007-2011, was today named the new Chief of Staff for Vice President Mike Pence.
Vice President Mike Pence announced Thursday that he will bring on a former aide to serve as his new chief of staff.
The vice president’s current chief of staff, Josh Pitcock, will leave in August and will be replaced by Nick Ayers, a Republican operative from Georgia who served as Pence’s chief political strategist when he was running for vice president.
Pence said, “I am pleased to welcome Nick Ayers to the Office of the Vice President. During my years as Governor, then as a candidate and serving as Vice President, I have come to appreciate Nick’s friendship, keen intellect and integrity and I couldn’t be more excited to have him come to the White House as my Chief of Staff.”
Most recently, Ayers was a leader of America First Policies, a pro-Trump political group that ran ads criticizing a Republican senator who didn’t support the Senate Obamacare repeal bill.
Governor Nathan Deal attended a graduation ceremony for 102 female offenders in the Georgia Department of Corrections who earned their GEDs.
Democrat Jon Ossoff (R-Druid Hills) spoke to the Washington Post about his loss to Karen Handel.
“Democratic turnout was extremely strong,” Ossoff said in his first interview since the race ended in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. “In an off-year special election, we got general election-level Democratic turnout, and I think that’s been lost in the coverage.”
What the critics miss, Ossoff said, was that the Democratic base did come out after hearing his message. “I missed an outright win in April by less than 4,000 votes, then we added 32,000 votes,” he said. “Democratic turnout and excitement were high, and we won the majority of independents — that’s a testament to our economic message. I was talking about bringing more jobs and opportunity to Georgia.”
Despite the attacks on his area of residence — slightly outside the district, to make life easier for a fiance finishing medical training — Ossoff argued that most Republican attacks fell flat. His campaign’s polling found his favorability rating staying high, above 50 percent, through the runoff.
“That speaks to how weak and soggy their attacks were,” said Ossoff. “Democrats were united, and we built a coalition that included most independents in the districts.”
“This campaign demonstrated the potency of a grass-roots political model that will allow people power to counter special-interest power,” said Ossoff. “The national right-wing apparatus just had to spend nearly $20 million defending a seat that was supposed to be safe. I don’t think they should take much comfort in that. Trump and [White House adviser Steve Bannon] were sweating over this race, and they should be sweating into 2018.”
Karen Handel won politics last week, so this week it was her husband, Steve Handel, who won the internet, Georgia politics division.
Georgia House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) urged members of the House Commission on Transit Governance and Funding to consider the role of mass transit on future economic development.
The commission began its first meeting with a cheerleading speech from the speaker, who said mass transit will be critical to economic development in the future.
“Over the last few years we have created a great deal of momentum that has propelled us to this moment,” Ralston told the commission.
[T]he speaker charged the group with thinking big, and signaled he’s open to state funding for regular state funding of mass transit – a holy grail of transit advocates.
“I am not of the opinion that the state must wholly control or take over a transit system to provide funding,” Ralston said.
The commission – a group of local and state elected officials and representatives of various transportation agencies – will spend the next year and a half discussing how to integrate mass transit into Georgia’s statewide transportation system.
The University of North Georgia held a Town Hall on Campus Carry, which becomes legal in the coming days.
UNG Police Chief Justin Gaines held the forum on House Bill 280, commonly referred to as the campus carry law, which was passed this spring by the state legislature. Approximately 30 people attended the session in the Continuing Education Auditorium, which was the seventh held so far on the five UNG campuses.
The bill makes it legal for those with a Georgia weapons carry license to have a concealed handgun in some campus areas previously prohibited. But the law continues to make it illegal to carry a concealed weapon in many areas, including: sites of athletic events; student housing; any preschool or child care space; any space used for classes related to a college and career academy or other specialized school; any space used for classes where high school students are enrolled; faculty, staff or administration offices and any rooms where disciplinary proceedings are conducted.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources will increase enforcement on the state’s waterways this weekend, hoping to promote safety and lower the incidence of boating under the influence.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is engaged in two lawsuits alleging a company in which he invested failed to pay back loans totalling $700k.
The separate lawsuits were filed this month by two firms that loaned money to Hart AgStrong, a Danielsville-based agriculture business. They both contend that Kemp, one of four Republicans in the 2018 race for Georgia governor, was among several investors who signed documents agreeing to personally pay back the loans.
Kemp said in a statement that he is one of “many” investors in Hart AgStrong and that he continues to “offer strategic advice to leadership as they work to resolve these financial matters.”
The two separate lawsuits, filed within days of each other, make similar claims.
Chatham County Superior Court Judge Louisa Abbot was appointed to the Judicial Qualifications Commission.
“I look forward to serving on the new (commission) with other members from throughout the state,” Abbot said Thursday.
“The new (commission) promises to create an attentive and responsive forum hallmarked by new procedures to guarantee prompt and appropriate action for those who have questions or complaints about individual judges,” she said. “At the same time, the new (commission) will take measures to fulfill its other goal of protecting Georgia judges from unfounded accusations and destructive campaigns when they have acted in accordance with the law and the canons of judicial ethics.
“I look forward to being a part of developing a well-regarded commission which maintains its mission with a clear set of rules, clarity of function and due process for all.”
Other new appointees announced by Chief Justice P. Harris Hines this week were:
• DeKalb County State Court Judge Stacey K. Hydrick
• Atlanta Circuit Superior Court Judge Robert C.I. McBurney
• Jamala S. McFadden, an employment attorney in Atlanta
Governor Nathan Deal focused his comments about the GOP Health Care plan on the notion that Georgia should not be punished for declining to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.
Deal said in an interview he was concerned about changes to the Medicaid program that could leave the states to pick up the tab. But he said he wanted to reserve final judgment until Senate GOP leaders hobbled by a wave of defections reveal a new draft of the measure.
“From a state standpoint, our main concern is our Medicaid program. As I have said before, we want to make sure we are not punished because we did not expand our Medicaid population,” he said, adding: “We want to be treated fairly.”
The governor said the Senate bill appears to treat non-expansion states like Georgia more favorably than the House plan, but stressed that it’s still early. And he applauded provisions in the Senate measure that preserve funding to hospitals that treat indigent patients that benefits Grady Memorial Hospital and other health systems.
“We’re a long way from knowing what the final product is going to look like,” said Deal. “But those are the areas that I’m looking at most intently.”
“There is a sense of urgency to do something about it. And some states are in a more desperate state than we are,” he said. “It’s not a crisis that’s being created by the current administration or the current Congress. It’s an outgrowth of what happened when Obamacare was originally passed.”
The liberal Georgia Budget & Policy Institute looks at the effect of the GOP plan on Georgia.
The AHCA would cut $4 billion in Medicaid funding to Georgia during 10 years, according to a policy paper by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, an Atlanta-based nonprofit group. Georgia’s southeast region, including Lowndes County, would lose $125 million, the paper claims.
“South Georgia would be hit hard because of a higher reliance on Medicaid,” said Laura Harker, a GBPI policy analyst.
Medicaid represents a significant portion of hospitals’ revenues. A GBPI list of Georgia hospitals considered most “at risk” from proposed deep Medicaid cuts includes Cook Medical Center in Adel. About 14 percent of Cook Medical’s patients rely on Medicaid, said Christopher Dorman, president and chief operating officer of Tift Regional Health System, which operates Cook Medical.
About 25.3 percent of Cook Medical’s revenues come from Medicaid, coming in eighth on a list of Georgia hospitals with the highest share of Medicaid revenue, the policy paper said.
Cook Medical, already losing $2.6 million a year since 2012, closed the county’s only emergency room in February. The ER was the single largest source of losses for the hospital, Dorman said.
“This cost-shifts the burden of uninsured patients to hospitals, who see patients regardless of their ability to pay,” he said. “When it comes to crafting this bill, it appears that hospitals and physicians don’t really have a seat at the table.”
Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-LaGrange) has endorsed state Senator Rick Jeffares (R-McDonough) in his bid for Lieutenant Governor in 2018. From the campaign’s press release:
Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-03) today endorsed Rick Jeffares’ campaign for Lt. Governor of Georgia and made the maximum allowable financial contribution ($5,000) to his effort.
“Rick is by far the best choice to be Georgia’s Lt. Governor,” Ferguson said. “He’s smart, works hard and has a vision for making government smaller and more relevant to our communities. He’s as frustrated with state government as I am with Washington and he has great ideas for making it better.”
Ferguson was elected to Congress from Georgia’s 3rd Congressional district, which includes much of Jeffares’ State Senate district.
“Drew was a great Mayor of West Point and is fighting hard for all of us in Washington,” Rick said. “He gets how oppressive government has become to our citizens and small businesses, how it has grown into a monster bureaucracy stifling American freedoms and entrepreneurialism. I am proud to have him in my corner.”
The Newnan Times-Herald writes that the Handel victory in CD-6 shows the GOP hasn’t lost support among Georgia voters.
In the end, Karen Handel not only won what was effectively the Republican “primary” in April but also the runoff against Ossoff this week when she consolidated her party’s support. The Republican vote Tuesday was about the same percentage as what Donald Trump garnered from the district in November’s presidential election.
That means Georgia Republicans did not change their support for the party, despite the wishful thinking of liberals across the country and Democratic donors. All that money and high-powered campaign consulting only netted Ossoff 125,000 votes Tuesday, the same number of votes taken in November in the same district by a non-name Democratic candidate who spent absolutely no money whatsoever in challenging Republican Rep. Tom Price, whose appointment to the Trump cabinet created the vacancy the special election was filling.
Beyond adding an energetic, capable woman to the Georgia congressional delegation who may one day reach even higher office, the election demonstrated that Trump has as much support as ever. Surveys of job approval ratings may have registered slippage, but those are conducted in a vacuum of sorts. Elections, though, come down to choices, and when the choice was between a conservative Republican and a liberal Democrat as it was in November and is likely to be in four years, the voters again picked the former over the latter.