The blog.

7
Dec

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for December 7, 2022

Nugget is an 8-month old male Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from Augusta Animal Services in Augusta, GA.

FUN AND HAPPY 8 month old Nugget has found himself at the shelter when his family moved and couldn’t take him with them. Not only is Nugget a fan of other dogs but he is used to cats too. But, he is rough with cats. He plays hard. He is housebroken and lets you know when it is time to go outside. Nugget will stay in a crate at night if needed. He is a cuddle bug. He seems to still be teething and will need a sturdy chew toy. Nugget understands: sit, stay, no, come and leave it. He does well on the leash but still pulls a little. He knows how to fetch. Nugget is 46 pounds. He loves to play outside with toys but also needs room to move and run. He will sit for treats and takes them gently. He does occassionally jump and seems to know the off command. Although we do think he will be good with children he is a rather big fella (and still growing) and could accidently knock a small/young child down. Therefore, we recommend a home with older, steady on their feet kids. NO CATS. Up to date on his vaccinations, neutered, microchipped and heartworm negative.

Kiki is a young female mixed breed puppy who is available for adoption from Augusta Animal Services in Augusta, GA.

Rain is a 2-year old female Labrador Retriever and Husky mix who is available for adoption from Augusta Animal Services in Augusta, GA.

Rain (formerly called Eris) was surrendered to the shelter due to unforeseen health issues with her parent. She is an energetic 2 year old. She is use to people, other dogs and cats. She loves Kongs with treats in them. She is a love bug. Rain is housebroken and notifies you when it is time to go out. She likes to go on walks but will pull on the leash sometimes. She understands sit, down, no, treat/cookie, leave it and quiet. She is crate trained and will stay in the crate when necessary. Make sure she is inside during storms and fireworks as she is afraid of the loud noises.

7
Dec

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 7, 2022

On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the United States Constitution.

On December 7, 1801, Georgia’s United States Senator Abraham Baldwin was elected President Pro Tem of the Senate.

On December 7, 1864, federal troops under W.T. Sherman engaged Confederate forces at Jenks’ Bridge on the Ogeechee, and Buck Creek and Cypress Swamp, near Sister’s Ferry, Georgia Confederates burned the bridge over the Ogeechee.

Today is the 81st anniversary of the Japanese bombing attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

GeorgiaInfo has the reactions of Georgia leaders to the Pearl Harbor attack,

U.S. Sen. Walter F. George stated: “Japan’s deed is an act of desperation by a war-mad people. The attack on Hawaii is a deliberate act of the Japanese government. I am utterly amazed. It is unthinkable… . An open declaration of war will give us greater freedom of action.” Noting the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, George optimistically predicted that “it may take two or three years to fight this war to the end.”

U.S. Sen. Richard B. Russell responded to the attack by stating: “Japan has committed national hari-kari. I cannot conceive of any member of Congress voting against a declaration of war in view of the unpardonable, unprovoked attack on us. I am utterly astounded.”

U.S. Rep. Carl Vinson, chairman of the House Naval Affairs Committee, added: “Of course we will have to declare war. There is nothing else for Congress to do. This is a concerted action by the Axis Powers, but I am confident our Navy is ready and will render a glorious account of itself. It probably means we will be drawn into the world conflict on both oceans.”

On December 7, 1946, the Winecoff Hotel in downtown Atlanta, previously considered fireproof, burned in the worst hotel fire to date.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today at 1 PM, Governor Brian Kemp and his family will light the Capitol Christmas Tree, according to WJBF in Augusta.

Governor Brian Kemp, First Lady Marty Kemp, Jarrett Porter, Lucy Porter, and Amy Porter will host the ceremony alongside special guests Clark Howard, the Atlanta Boys Choir, and others.

The ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. and will be livestreamed online at GPB.org.

Governor Kemp announced he will appoint William “Bill” Ray Oliver to a new judgeship on the Superior Court for the Mountain Judicial Circuit, according to AccessWDUN.

Oliver will fill the vacancy created with the passage of Senate Bill 395 that added a third judge in the circuit that covers Habersham, Rabun and Stephens counties.

Gov. Kemp spoke to legislators at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government’s Bienial Institute in Athens, GA, and discussed his priorities for the coming session, according to the AJC.

Kemp touted Georgia’s achievements during the last two years in economic development, education, and public safety.

On the economic front, the past year has marked the creation of 51,132 private-sector jobs and more than $21.2 billion in investment, Kemp said during a luncheon speech at the University of Georgia closing out the Biennial Institute, a three-day orientation session for newly elected legislators.

Kemp reiterated a pledge he made on the campaign trail to seek another $1 billion state income tax cut on top of the $1 billion reduction the General Assembly approved this year.

Kemp also said he would push during the 2023 legislative session beginning next month to increase benefits through the lottery-funded HOPE Scholarships program to 90% of tuition coverage. HOPE provided full tuition coverage until 2011, when growing demand for scholarships combined with the rising costs of tuition forced the General Assembly to reduce benefits.

In the public safety arena, Kemp said he plans to continue a crackdown on human trafficking and on criminal gangs recruiting children.

Last year, the governor formed a multi-agency Crime Suppression Unit that has made hundreds of arrests, while Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr more recently created a Gang Prosecution Unit that has produced 11 indictments of 46 suspected gang members.
“We cannot rest on our laurels,” Kemp said. “This is an ongoing fight against criminals.”

Democratic United States Senator Raphael Warnock won the runoff election over Republican Herschel Walker. From the Associated Press via the Valdosta Daily Times:

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a Georgia runoff election Tuesday, ensuring Democrats an outright majority in the Senate for the rest of President Joe Biden’s current term and capping an underwhelming midterm cycle for the GOP in the last major vote of the year.

With Warnock’s second runoff victory in as many years, Democrats will have a 51-49 Senate majority, gaining a seat from the current 50-50 split with John Fetterman’s victory in Pennsylvania. There will be divided government, however, with Republicans having narrowly flipped House control.

“After a hard-fought campaign — or, should I say, campaigns — it is my honor to utter the four most powerful words ever spoken in a democracy: The people have spoken,” Warnock, 53, told jubilant supporters who packed a downtown Atlanta hotel ballroom.

In last month’s election, Warnock led Walker by 37,000 votes out of almost 4 million cast, but fell short of the 50% threshold needed to avoid a runoff. The senator appeared to be headed for a wider final margin in Tuesday’s runoff, with Walker, a football legend at the University of Georgia and in the NFL, unable to overcome a bevy of damaging allegations, including claims that he paid for two former girlfriends’ abortions despite supporting a national ban on the procedure.

“The numbers look like they’re not going to add up,” Walker, an ally and friend of former President Donald Trump, told supporters late Tuesday at the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta. “There’s no excuses in life, and I’m not going to make any excuses now because we put up one heck of a fight.”

Two Lowndes County poll workers were involved in a car wreck while delivering memory cards to the voting office, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Deb Cox, supervisor of elections, said in an interview with The Valdosta Daily Times that two poll workers were en route Tuesday evening to the Board of Elections from South Lowndes to deliver memory cards with the election results when they were involved in a vehicle accident near Gornto Road and Woodrow Wilson Drive.

The workers reported suffering no injuries and declined to go to the hospital.

An election board member went to the accident site to retrieve the memory cards and check on the workers.

“They seem to be OK to the best of my knowledge right now but we did get the results back. A board member went and picked up the results, brought them back up here for us to upload and then went back to take care of the poll workers,” she said.

Also involved in a car wreck: the entire Republican Party.

From WTOC in Savannah:

According to Billy Wooten, the Chatham County Board of Elections supervisor, three polling locations had scanners that went down. He says that under state law, the protocol in that situation is to place the ballots in an emergency bin – which is on the ballot box – to be counted later.

Voters do have the right to stick around and make sure their ballot is cast once the machine is fixed.

Some folks at a location on Wilmington Island, however, say that they were told otherwise.

“When I questioned whether or not that was the law or if that was true, the polling manager, again, said yes, we didn’t have a choice but to place the ballot in the emergency bin and to keep the line moving and move along,” Andrew Cannon said.

Cannon said he filed a complaint with the Election Authority, and Wooten says the issue was corrected and all votes were counted.

“We’re sorry somehow that information got out or someone said something they weren’t going to say, but that’s a very reliable poll, that Wilmington Island poll,” Wooten said.

The assistant manager at that polling location said around 1:00 p.m. that the machine was back-up and all the ballots from the emergency bin had been cast.

From WSAV in Savannah:

One Precinct manager said turnout was good seeing about 150 people per hour.

From the Macon Telegraph:

Almost 50,000 of the county’s 105,707 registered voters cast a ballot in today’s election. Of that total, 30,744 voted for Warnock and 18,318 for Walker.

Desmond Brown won runoff for Macon Water Authority District 2 over Lindsay Holliday. Brown reclaims a seat he gave up during a failed MWA chairman bid earlier this year.

The final vote tallies for Muscogee County are in. Almost 55,000 of the county’s 120,970 votes cast ballots in today’s election. Of those, 35,462 vote for Raphael Warnock and 19,432 voted for Herschel Walker.

From the Capitol Beat News Service via The Brunswick News:

Warnock was leading Walker 51.1% to 48.8% as of 11:50 p.m. Tuesday night, with 98% of precincts reporting. The Warnock victory in the final contest of the 2022 election cycle gave Democrats 51 seats in the Senate to 49 for Republicans.

The lengthy campaign that finally concluded Tuesday night was the most expensive race of the 2022 cycle, with outside groups and the candidates’ campaigns spending more than $401 million in the race, according to campaign-finance tracking group OpenSecrets.

“It is my honor to utter the four most powerful words ever spoken in a democracy: The people have spoken,” Warnock said to a jubilant crowd celebrating the victory at a downtown Atlanta hotel.

“The people once again rose up in a multi-racial, multi-religious coalition of conscience,” Warnock said.

“I’m not gonna make any excuses now because we put up one heck of a fight,” Walker told his supporters. “I want you to believe in America and continue to believe in the Constitution and believe in our elected officials.”

“The best thing I’ve ever done in my whole entire life is run for this Senate seat right here and the reason I’m gonna say that is I had a chance to meet all you and hear what you guys feel about this country,” Walker added.

Georgians turned out in droves to cast their ballots during the early voting period ahead of Tuesday’s runoff, with more than 1.7 million voting early during the newly shortened period. Total turnout as of Tuesday night was 3.5 million, a record for a midterm runoff in Georgia.

From the Statesboro Herald:

In Bulloch County, Walker received 13, 548 votes to Warnock’s 7,760 with a 47.2% of registered voters casting votes, approaching but not exceeding the Bulloch County turnout at the Nov. 8 general election, which was 52.6% of registered voters.

Many Bulloch precincts had higher Election Day turnout today than on Nov. 8.

Democrats’ Georgia victory solidifies the state’s place as a Deep South battleground two years after Warnock and fellow Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff won 2021 runoffs that gave the party Senate control just months after Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate in 30 years to win Georgia. Voters returned Warnock to the Senate in the same cycle they reelected Republican Gov. Brian Kemp by a comfortable margin and chose an all-GOP slate of statewide constitutional officers.

Walker’s defeat bookends the GOP’s struggles this year to win with flawed candidates cast from Trump’s mold, a blow to the former president as he builds his third White House bid.

Early and mail voting did not reach the same levels as years past, and it was likely the total number of votes cast would be less than the 2021 Senate runoff election. Voting rights groups point to changes made by state lawmakers after the 2020 election that shortened the period for runoffs, from nine weeks to four, as a major reason for the decline in early and mail voting.

Walker joins failed Senate nominees Dr. Mehmet Oz of Pennsylvania, Blake Masters of Arizona, Adam Laxalt of Nevada and Don Bolduc of New Hampshire as Trump loyalists who ultimately lost races that Republicans once thought they would — or at least could — win.

From the Savannah Morning News:

It is still early to know for sure what allowed Warnock to win a full term in the Senate. But there are a few factors that undoubtedly played a role.

1. Not much changed from election night

Georgia voters who overwhelmingly embraced other Republican candidates on election night balked at electing Walker, and nothing much changed in the runoff.

Walker was a historically weak candidate, with a string of scandals — from allegedly paying for multiple abortions to allegations of domestic violence. Gov. Brian Kemp soared to an easy re-election, but thousands of Kemp voters cast ballots for Warnock over Walker.

Warnock focused on these voters during the runoff, featuring them in advertisements. Kemp endorsed and campaigned with Walker, but it was not enough.

2. Turnout remained strong

Total turnout was about 3.4 million voters as of election night, lower than the 3.9 million in the general – and just under half of all registered Georgia voters.

This represented a turnout drop off of about 15%. The 2021 runoff that originally sent Warnock to D.C. alongside Sen. Jon Ossoff had a drop off of 10%. While demographic information will not be available for some time, according to an analysis by Emory University Professor Bernard Fraga, Black voters saw the lowest dropoff in early voting from the general to the runoff.

From CNN via the Albany Herald:

The recriminations arrived swiftly for the GOP late Tuesday night.

“The only way to explain this is candidate quality,” Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan said on CNN, noting the delta between Gov. Brian Kemp’s November victory and where it appears that Walker will end up when all the votes are counted.

He said he hoped Warnock’s victory would serve as a wake-up call for the GOP. “If we don’t take our medicine here, it’s our fault. … Every Republican in this country ought to hold Donald Trump accountable for this.”

Many Republicans attributed the closeness of the race on Tuesday night to the fact that Kemp came to Walker’s rescue in the runoff after keeping his distance during last month’s general election. He not only campaigned for him but put the muscle of his own turnout operation into efforts to help the GOP Senate nominee.

Morale among Walker’s campaign staff hit an all-time low in its final days as it became clear to them their candidate would likely lose his race to Warnock, according to multiple people familiar with his campaign.

Several of Walker’s staff members became frustrated as the runoff election progressed over the last month, sensing their advice for the embattled candidate wasn’t being heeded as outside voices with little political experience were empowered.

From WALB:

Poll workers at Lowndes County precincts told WALB News 10 that voters came in at a pretty steady pace. Some voters and poll workers said they feel early voter turnout was exceptional so election day hasn’t been as hectic as they thought.

“Right around 30 percent is (what we saw Tuesday morning.) We haven’t seen many voters today. It looks like it’s going to mirror the turnout from the election where two-thirds voted advanced and one-third on election day,” Deb Cox, Lowndes County elections supervisor, said. “It’s a good day to get out and make your voice heard. There’s no reason not to.”

Early voting started Monday, Nov. 28 and ended Dec. 2. Some Georgia counties opted for Saturday early voting.

Early voting records were broken as 1.8 million early votes were cast.

“Georgia has struck the perfect balance between accessibility and security,” said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “These historic turnout levels emphasize that any lawful voter who wants to cast a ballot can do so easily. Turnout and voter participation is excellent. Our elections division will continue working with county election directors to expand early voting opportunities in the future.”

From WJBF in Augusta:

“We were matching the numbers that we did over a longer period of time in a very short period of time,” said Travis Doss, the executive director of the Richmond County Board of Elections.

They won’t know the exact turn-out for Tuesday until later, but they’re optimistic.

“The numbers have been steady,” said Nancy Gay, the executive director of the Columbia County Board of Elections. “I mean they had 350 at some of the precincts by 11 o’clock this morning. I was going into this election looking for at least a 20 percent turnout on election day, and I’m hopeful that we’ll get at least that.”

“I think we probably will finish out the day somewhere between 40 to 50 percent, probably around the 45 percent mark,” said Doss.

From the Rome News Tribune:

Floyd County’s election results are in and, as expected, Republican Herschel Walker trounced U.S. Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock with 70.5% of the vote.

Just under half of Floyd County’s 60,369 registered voters — 46.9% — cast ballots in the runoff. Walker netted 19,950 to Warnock’s 8,340, according to unofficial results from the secretary of state’s office.

Warnock was the favorite in East Rome, 914 to 892, and in South Rome, 442 to 113. Walker handily won the county’s other 23 precincts.

Three Fulton county municipalities elected city council members, according to the AJC.

Josette Bailey appeared to handily defeat challenger Barbara Neville by a nearly 3-to-1 margin for the East Point city council…. Bailey and Neville emerged from a field of five candidates in November general election to fill the council seat vacated by former Councilman Thomas Calloway.

The closest local race of the night was in Roswell, where Sarah Beeson was expected to defeat Allen Sells.

Beeson was leading Sells by 53% to 47%, and would take the council Post 1 seat formerly held by Marcelo Zapata.

Linda Becquer Pritchett seems to be the new council member in the city of South Fulton. Pritchett appeared to defeat Mario Clark by a nearly 2-to-1 margin and will take over the District 7 seat held by Mark Baker.

Richmond County Board of Education District 2 incumbent Charlie Hannah was reelected, according to WRDW in Augusta.

Hannah faced off against Rev. Larry Fryer on Tuesday. Hannah had 2,967, 54%, vs. 2,543, 46%, for Fryer.

Incumbent Venus Cain has represented the District 9 super-district for the past 15 years and now will represent it for another four.

She fought off a challenge by Christopher Mulliens.

With 99% of votes counted, Cain had 18,452 votes, 70%, vs. 7,887, 30%, for Mulliens.

Also keeping his post was District 7 incumbent Charlie Walker, who ran for a second term against newcomer Brittiany Broadwater.

With 99% of votes counted, he had 4,577 votes, 53%, compared to 4,122, 47%, for Broadwater.

From the Augusta Chronicle, explaining why in the world there were runoffs:

The initial [District 2] race that ended on Nov. 8 also included Yiet Knight, owner of Universal Child Care and Learning Center, who did not have enough votes to proceed into the runoff.

Richmond County Board of Elections Director Travis Doss reported that Tuesday’s runoff went “very well.” He reported a turnout of almost 48%, which he said was very impressive for a runoff.

Thank goodness you can now get a lap dance in Augusta, as the City Commission loosened t̶h̶e̶i̶r̶ ̶c̶l̶o̶t̶h̶e̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶i̶r̶ ̶m̶o̶r̶a̶l̶s̶ rules governing strip clubs, according to WJBF.

“It’s a tough situation it’s a tough topic and were understanding that at the end of the day we have to make decisions for the city of Augusta,” said Commissioner Jordan Johnson.

Commissioners are making city codes regulating adult nightclubs less restrictive, as a way to help these businesses do better.

“We’ll let the customers that go to them be the judge of whether they want to continue to go to them or not,” says Commissioner John Clarke.

The changes allow dancers the freedom to touch themselves when performing as well as touching customers in public. So, the new rules legalize lap dances in Augusta.

“People want to see that, well, certain people want to see that, and I don’t see any problem in letting people enjoy themselves,” says Commissioner Dennis Williams.

“That’s not the only provision that’s in this ordinance, and I believe you know that as well, at the end of the day we just want to make sure we are a business-friendly city,” said Commissioner Johnson.

Some Gwinnett County residents told Commissioners their thoughts on the proposed 2023 county budget, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Gwinnett County leaders mostly heard positive feedback on the county’s proposed 2023 budget during a public hearing on Monday night, but they also heard calls for additional mental health services and more polling precincts.

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners will continue to accept written feedback from residents about the proposed budget until Dec. 31. The board will then vote on the final proposed version of the budget on Jan. 3.

“In focusing on our five priority sets, the foundation for critical decisions (in the budget) provides guide points for success,” Gwinnett County Commission Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson told attendees at the public hearing.

Gwinnett County Commissioners approved a one-time cost of living payment to help county employees, according to AccessWDUN.

This approval means that on December 16, eligible full-time employees will receive a $1,500 payment and regular part-time employees will receive a $750 payment.

The county said in a press release that this payment will be used to help support the retention of employees within the county and mitigate the effects of inflation on the county workforce.

Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson said the payments are necessary as the county struggles with retaining first responders, utility workers and hard-to-fill positions across the organization.

“Gwinnett residents deserve sustainable, high-quality county government services and those are made possible by a strong, reliable workforce,” Hendrickson said. “We intend to keep Gwinnett a preferred community where everyone can thrive by being the public sector employer of choice.

Statesboro City Council is considering whether to renew a rent-free lease of office space to their Congressional representative, according to the Statesboro Herald.

“City has traditionally provided office space in City Hall to our Congressional representative,” City Attorney Cain Smith summarized in his memo for the mayor and council.  “This lease would continue placement of the office in City Hall through Rep. Allen’s current two-year term in the U.S. House of Representatives.”

“I have a question. So, why is it free?” asked District 2 Councilwoman Paulette Chavers.

At first there was some laughter among the city officials.

“Well, no, that’s a reasonable question,” said District 1 Councilman Phil Boyum. “Is he getting free resources across the district?”

“But it’s not for Rick Allen. It’s for the seat,” said District 4 Councilman John Riggs.

“John Barrow actually started that,” noted Mayor Jonathan McCollar.

The Georgia Ports Authority Board approved a plan to renovate the Port of Savannah for greater capacity, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Albany Herald.

“For nearly 40 years, Ocean Terminal has been handling a mix of container ships and breakbulk vessels,” authority Executive Director Griff Lynch said. “The realignment is part of a broader effort to transform the terminal into an all-container operation, shifting most breakbulk cargo to the Port of Brunswick.”

The GPA plans to move breakbulk cargo, which doesn’t easily fit into shipping containers, to Colonel’s Island Terminal in Brunswick. Construction has started on 360,000 square feet of dockside warehousing that will serve auto processing there, as well as three additional buildings and 85 acres of auto storage space on the south side of the island.

The 200-acre Ocean Terminal facility will be modified in two phases.

The work will begin with rebuilding the docks to provide 2,800 linear feet of berth space capable of serving two big ships simultaneously. The docks will be served by new ship-to-shore cranes.

“As the dock construction progresses, GPA will continue to operate container ships at Ocean Terminal,” Ed McCarthy, the ports authority’s chief operating officer, said. “The work … will be conducted alongside container and breakbulk operations.”

Apart from new cranes and berth enhancements, the project will bring expanded gate facilities and paving to allow for 1.5 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) of annual cargo capacity. Wharf renovations are scheduled to start in January, with completion of the entire terminal redevelopment expected in 2026.

6
Dec

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for December 6, 2022

Maggie Mae is a ten-week old Beagle mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.

Cobalt is a nine-pound, five-year old Male Beagle mix who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.

Roxie is a four-month old Belgian Malinois mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.

 

6
Dec

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 6, 2022

On December 6, 1847, Dr. William White spoke to a group of Atlanta residents about a proposal to move the state capital to Atlanta and was met with cheers.

The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified on December 6, 1865, when Georgia ratified the Amendment outlawing slavery.

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

The Washington Monument was completed on December 6, 1884.

On December 6, 1932, the legislation repealing Prohibition was introduced by Senator John Blaine of Wisconsin. It was ratified on December 5, 1933. Georgia never took action on the Amendment.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today is Runoff Election Day. Call it Game Day. Check with the SOS MVP system for your voting location if you have any questions about your voting precinct location. From the Secretary of State’s Office:

ClaytonForsythRichmondGwinnettFultonDekalb, and Cobb are among the counties publishing wait times, and we encourage voters to check before going to the polls.

I’d take my photo ID, a water bottle, snack, comfortable shoes, rain coat or umbrella, and maybe a folding chair. Good luck out there, my friends.

From the Brunswick News:

More than 1.85 million voters turned out to the polls last week to early vote in the runoff featuring incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker.

Patrick Duncan, chair of the Glynn County Republican committee, said he is uncertain how busy the polling places will be today, but the busier they are, they more it favors his party and Walker’s chances for election.

Julie Jordan, chair of the Glynn County Democratic Party, said she expects the prediction of a close race will motivate many Democrats to go to the polls.

“This is trickier than usual,” she said. “I expect a big turnout. We haven’t haven’t had enough early voting days.”

Duncan predicted a close election that will be determined by the candidate’s supporters most motivated to show up at the polls.

“It’s a horse race,” he said. “It’s about the turnout.”

Duncan said a Walker win won’t give Republicans a majority in the senate, but it would lead to a 50-50 split, which would make a difference, even with the vice president as the tie breaker.

“We can get better representation on committees,” he said. “It would say a lot about the state of Georgia if we could win back a senate seat.”

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for today’s runoff election.

From the Dalton Daily Citizen News:

Those in line at 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote. Voters should bring a photo ID.

Georgia voters continued “strong turnout during each day of early voting” last week, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

As of Saturday morning, 1,712,651 voters cast ballots during early voting. Friday’s total of 352,953 broke the previous one-day record for early voting in the 2016 presidential election, where 252,715 voters cast their ballots. Monday and Tuesday both showed totals above 300,000 ballots cast, with the lowest total of 286,000 voters going to the polls on Wednesday. Thursday’s total of 298,000 nearly broke the 300,000 mark.

In-person turnout throughout the week reached 1,712,651 with total turnout reaching 1,852,593 including absentee and military voters. Turnout for the 2022 runoff has now reached 26.4% of active Georgia voters.

From the Valdosta Daily Times:

Nearly 18,000 Lowndes County voters have cast ballots during early voting for the high-profile Senate runoff race between incumbent Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker.

Some Valdosta voters in Lowndes County are also casting votes in a local runoff race between two candidates for the Valdosta City Council District 3 seat, Thomas McIntyre and Dr. Mattie Blake.

As of this past weekend, according to the Lowndes County Board of Elections 17,787 Lowndes County voters cast ballots during the week of Nov. 27 to Dec. 2.

Tuesday registered voters may vote in an assigned precinct from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. To find an assigned precinct, go to: https://mvp.sos.ga.gov.

Herschel Walker campaigned in Valdosta over the weekend, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Herschel Walker returned to Valdosta this past weekend to drum up support for Election Day.

Walker was joined by Republican supporters, voters and fans in a field across from Academy Sports in Valdosta, where he talked about military support, national security and what he called “strong, conservative family values”.

Rick Scott, U.S. senator from Florida, accompanied Walker.

“The grace of God had a place for me to go. The grace of God had a mission for me to do. And I thought that mission had something to do with athletics…But my mission is to be senator,” he said.

Walker also campaigned in Gainesville, according to the Gainesville Times.

Republican Herschel Walker was back in Hall County Monday – this time at Curt’s Restaurant in Oakwood.

It was Walker’s fourth campaign visit to Hall this election. He came just one day after Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock spoke to supporters at St. John Baptist Church in Gainesville – and a day before the Dec. 6 runoff election decides which candidate will occupy a seat in Georgia’s Senate for the next six years.

Retired Hall County resident Keith Hix, 61, said he believes Walker is the best person to fill Georgia’s contested Senate seat – which, even if Walker wins tomorrow’s runoff, still wouldn’t be enough to give Republicans control of the Senate after Democrats picked up a GOP-held seat in Pennsylvania and won races in Arizona and Nevada.

“I just don’t agree with anything the Biden administration has done,” Hix said. “I think there’s just too many rubber stamps out there that just go along with everything (Democrats) say, and I think Herschel will stand up and do things a little different.”

Hall County had more than 34,000 voters cast a ballot in-person in last week’s early voting period.

Polling precincts will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6 – which will be the last day to vote in the runoff election. Voters must go to their designated precincts to cast their ballot in-person. Absentee by mail ballots should be delivered to the ballot box located in the Elections Office on the lower level of the Hall County Government Center by 7 p.m. Tuesday.

From CNN via the Gwinnett Daily Post:

Former UN Ambassador Andrew Young rode his scooter alongside Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, Martin Luther King III and a fervent crowd of marchers on a recent Sunday through a southwest Atlanta neighborhood. The group stopped at an early polling location to vote, forming a line with some waiting as long as one hour to cast their ballots.

Community leaders and political observers say the Black vote has consistently played a pivotal role in high-stakes races for Democrats, including in 2021, when Warnock defeated then-Sen. Kelly Loeffler in a runoff. Black voters likely to cast a ballot are near unanimous in their support for the Democrat (96% Warnock to 3% Walker), according to a CNN poll released last week that showed Warnock with a narrow lead.

A second runoff victory for Warnock could once again hinge on Black voter turnout in a consequential race. If Warnock wins, it would give Democrats a clean Senate majority — one that doesn’t rely on Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote and allows Majority Leader Chuck Schumer more control of key committees and some slack in potentially divisive judicial and administrative confirmation fights.

Billy Honor, director of organizing for the New Georgia Project Action Fund, said the Black turnout so far looks promising for Democrats.
“When we get Black voter turnout in any election statewide that’s between 31 and 33%, that’s usually good for Democrats,” Honor said. “If it’s between 27 and 30%, that’s usually good for Republicans.”

Honor added: “This has an impact on elections because we know that if you’re a Democratic candidate, the coalition you have to put together is a certain amount of college-educated White folks, a certain amount of women overall, as many young people as you can get to turn out — and Black voters. That’s the coalition. (Former president) Barack Obama was able to smash that coalition in 2008 in ways we hadn’t seen.”

Young said he believes that Black voters are more likely to show up for runoff elections, which historically have lower turnout than general elections, when the candidate is likeable and relatable.

Senator Warnock campaigned in Gainesville, according to the Gainesville Times.

Warnock first won the seat in a special election two years ago, which also went to a runoff, giving Democrats a razor-thin majority in the Senate. He is now seeking a full six-year term.

Warnock emphasized the importance of his race and urged everyone to get out and vote.

“It’s an emergency. We can’t just have anybody represent 11 million people for six years. It’s an emergency,” Warnock repeated several times, rallying the crowd to a crescendo of whoops and applause before exiting the podium.

When asked about the stakes of the election, [Sue Perkins from White County] said a Warnock win will provide some buffer against more conservative Democrats like Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who have at times blocked President Joe Biden’s agenda.

“It’s just going to be a lot easier for us to do the work that we need to do in Washington,” she said. “That’s the bottom line. It means less red tape, more Democrats on committees.”

Making it easier in Washington is not an appeal that works for me.

From Greg Bluestein, writing for the AJC:

The runoff between Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker gives voters another chance to decide the coveted seat, and the outcome will shape whether Georgia has decisively swung back to GOP territory or retains its purplish hue.

A Warnock victory in the final election of 2022 would give Democrats the clear majority in the chamber, while Republicans are eager to narrow the Democratic advantage in the Senate to limit President Joe Biden’s agenda.

Unlike the November midterm, Walker won’t have Gov. Brian Kemp and other Republicans on the ballot to help as he appeals to swing voters. And Warnock, who has been on five ballots since November 2020, must persuade supporters to rally for him one more time.

Thanks to a turnout surge, Democrats are confident they’ve built a solid cushion during early voting that will pose a difficult, but not insurmountable, obstacle for Walker. An analysis by the left-leaning TargetSmart firm projects Warnock with at least 52% of the early vote.

Nearly one-third of the early-voting electorate is Black, the most reliable base of support for Democrats, and African Americans turned out in higher numbers than other demographics, Emory University political scientist Bernard Fraga said.

But Walker still retains a path to victory. The few polls of the runoff indicate he has the edge with older voters, who participated in early voting at high rates. And Walker is relying on heavy election day turnout, which has long favored Republicans.

The question is whether the GOP base will turn out in big numbers for Walker, whose history of erratic and violent behavior — as well as blunders on the campaign trail — have alienated many in the party.

“Your average Georgia Republican voter has already moved on,” said Jason Shepherd, a former Cobb County GOP chair. “Most Republicans knew Walker needed to win in November as he had too many missteps and too many negatives. He needed the rest of the ticket to pull him over the goal.”

5
Dec

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for December 5, 2022

Cindy Lou Who is a young female mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from Athenspets in Athens, GA.

Seeing Cindy Lou Who’s face was startling. It looks swollen, and I would think it’d bother her, but she didn’t act like it did and was always the sweetest girl. She loves treats and pets, though I kept her pets and scratches behind her ears or along her back. She was so happy to be with a friend that she’d sometimes jump up, but quick reminders kept her paws on the ground, and she’s very good about sitting for treats. She just wanted to give me hugs.

I know Cindy Lou Who will be visiting the vet soon to find out what’s going on with her face, but she’s a wonderful dog, and it’s easy to look beyond the puffiness to she what a beauty she really is.

This dog is currently at Athens-Clarke County Animal Services, located at 125 Buddy Christian Way, Athens, GA. For the most timely information on hours, location, availability and how to adopt, call the shelter any day from 10am-4pm at 706-613-3540 or go to https://www.accgov.com/133/Animal-Services.

Dax is an adult male Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from Athenspets in Athens, GA.

Cooper is an adult male mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from Athenspets in Athens, GA.

From Cooper’s foster family: Cooper is a good boy and sits on a dime for treats. He’s active and needs regular exercise and play time, so if you’re looking for a happy, playful buddy to share your life, Cooper would love to meet you! As soon as Cooper entered the interaction pen, he sprinted for the table where I’d placed a football. He was happy entertaining himself but enjoyed having me throw it for him, too. He loved that football so much, I pulled out a Bulldog jersey. He’s a handsome dog and looks great in red. We continued to play and had a blast. Cooper was in a foster home for a while, and we’ve learned he’s house trained. When attending off site adoption events, he’s done well with other dogs. Before coming to the shelter, he’d lived with another dog. Cooper is a good boy and sits on a dime for treats. He’s active and needs regular exercise and play time, so if you’re looking for a happy, playful buddy to share your life, Cooper would love to meet you!

5
Dec

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 5, 2022

On December 5, 1887, Georgia voters approved a new State Constitution and voted to keep the state capital in Atlanta instead of moving it back to Milledgeville.

On December 5, 1933, Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment, repealing the 18th Amendment and ending prohibition. Earlier that day, Pennsylvania and Ohio had ratified the Amendment.

On December 5, 2000, the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou was released.

On December 5, 2006, Republican Chuck Eaton won the General Election Runoff for Public Service Commission District 3, beating incumbent Democrat David Burgess. Total votes cast: 215,092.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Qualifying for the State House District 7 seat vacated by the death of Speaker David Ralston opens today and runs through 1 PM on Wednesday, according to a Press Release.

Notice is hereby given that a Special Election shall be held on January 3, 2023, in Fannin, Gilmer and a portion of Dawson Counties for Georgia House District 7 to fill a vacancy due to the passing of Representative David Ralston. A run-off, if needed, shall be held on January 31, 2023. Qualifying for the special election shall be held at the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office at 2 MLK Jr. Drive, Suite 802, Floyd West Tower, Atlanta, Georgia 30334.

The dates and hours of qualifying will be Monday, December 5, 2022, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, December 6, 2022, beginning at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m., and Wednesday, December 7, 2022, beginning at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 1:00 p.m. The qualifying fee shall be $400.00. Monday, December 5, 2022, is the last day to register to vote for all persons who are not registered to vote and who desire to vote in the Special Election. Advance in-person absentee voting will begin on December 12, 2022.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie described the Georgia Senate runoff with a football metaphor. From The Hill:

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Sunday said that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s (R) support for Republican Senate nominee and former NFL star Herschel Walker would contribute to a boost for Walker but difficulties remain when it comes to an outright win.

“He would be the first human being who ever dragged Herschel Walker over the goal line,” Christie, an ABC contributor, said on the network’s “This Week.”

“Brian Kemp, people wondered whether he would go all-in or not. He has. With his staff he has been out there personally campaigning for Walker,” Christie said.

“I think it’s going to be very close. These Georgia elections have been very close. I think it will be close,” Christie said.

“Warnock appears to have momentum. And let’s face it, he came into this with a lead from election night, right? So Walker has got ground to make up. … What hurts the Republicans the most is you can’t argue now that this is for control. If it was for control, some people who have some misgivings about Herschel Walker would probably be willing to abandon those in order to prevent Democrats from getting control. But now that control is not up, I think that may hurt Republican turnout a little bit,” Christie said.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: as long as Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are United States Senators, 50 Democrats in that chamber does not constitute “control.”

From the New York Times:

Whatever happens with Mr. Walker, keep an eye on Mr. Kemp. The 59-year-old Georgia governor is positioning himself to be a major Republican player — one that, unlike so many in his party, is not a complete Trump chump.

If Mr. Kemp’s electoral victory over Stacey Abrams was decisive, besting her by more than seven percentage points, his psychological victory over Donald Trump was devastating, in ways you cannot measure in votes. Mr. Trump had targeted Mr. Kemp for defeat this year, after the governor refused to help him subvert the presidential election results in 2020. The former president put a lot of political capital on the line in his crusade against Mr. Kemp, only to get spanked once again in Georgia. The governor’s refusal to bow to Mr. Trump wound up burnishing his reputation across party lines, which served him well in the purplish state. In the general election last month, Mr. Kemp won 200,000 more votes than Mr. Walker did in his race.

It’s all upside for Mr. Kemp. No one will seriously blame him if he can’t rescue a candidate as lousy as Mr. Walker, and he wins friends and influence within the party simply by trying. He also gets to wallow in his status as a separate, non-Trumpian power center.

And if Mr. Kemp somehow manages to drag Mr. Walker to victory, clawing back one of the two Georgia Senate seats Mr. Trump helped cost the party last year, it will be an ostrich-size feather in his already heavily plumed cap — not to mention a fat thumb in Mr. Trump’s eye.

Herschel Walker has talked about his Georgia roots a lot, but nothing could be more peak-Georgia than campaigning in the parking lot of a Piggly Wiggly. From WTVM:

Hershel Walker greeted supporters at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store on 13th Avenue in Columbus. The purpose of the rally is to continue to promote support for Walker and encourage voters to head to the polls.

“What they want to do is make these other leaders that America is weak, I’m telling y’all we’re not weak – we are good people. I don’t know how many people have already voted, but get out and vote,” says Senate Candidate Herschel Walker.

His supporters say it’s how he stands on the issues that’s most important to them.

“The abortion, because I am a speaker for the voiceless, which is babies, and babies cannot speak for themselves,” says one Walker supporter. “We need a good candidate in the government representing us, and Herschel is the one,” says another Walker supporter. “He’s got integrity, he’s got character, he’s definitely got Georgia on his mind, and he is for the people,” says one supporter.

“Tell your friends to get out to vote, and if you don’t have no friends, make some friends and get them to get out and vote, we have to get this right, right now,” says Herschel Walker.

Senator Raphael Warnock rallied voters in Gainesville on Sunday, according to the Gainesville Times.

At a Walker campaign stop in Gainesville last month, South Carolina Sen. Linsdey Graham took the podium and spoke about the stakes of the race, saying a Walker win would alter the course of the country and shape the future of the Republican Party “forever.”

Walker announced late Friday that he will make a third stop in Gainesville on Monday.

From AccessWDUN:

Crowds gathered inside St. John Baptist Church on E. E. Butler Parkway and cheered as Democratic incumbent Reverend Raphael Warnock delivered his speech. He touched on many of the major issues his platform aims to address in the event he is reelected to the United States Senate. Herschel Walker is currently running against Warnock in the December 6 runoff election. Several other members of the Warnock campaign and a local pastor opened with emphatic remarks.

When asked how he plans to encourage voters to head to the polls again on Tuesday, Warnock said he enjoys speaking directly to citizens and hopes such interactions prove his worth.

“I’m heartened by the extraordinary early vote turnout that we saw during that period, but we can’t rest—not even for one moment,” Warnock said. “We cannot take our foot off the gas, which is why you see me moving all across the state, talking directly to voters, something I enjoy doing anyway. But we need everybody to make a plan to vote—go to iwillvote.com. And make sure that you know your voting precinct because during the early period, you can vote anywhere in your county. But on election day, you have to vote in your actual precinct.”

“I think we are seeing in a state, that’s not known to be a split ticket state, that people have voted for me on both sides of the aisle,” Warnock. “And I think there’s a reason for that. On the issue of competence and character, the differences are obvious. And they’re stark. And in addition to that people have seen the amazing amount of bipartisan work I’ve done—enough to have me listed as the 18th most bipartisan senator in the Senate, even though I’m the most junior senator in the Senate.”

A group of female motorcyclists is running a voter turnout drive, according to WTOC.

“We let our bikes do the talking for us,” said Latonya Maxwell, President of Ladies First Motorcycle Club.

They’re part of dozens of other bikers traversing the Peach State with voting groups this weekend urging others to head to the ballot box during Tuesday’s runoff election.

So far the group has traveled from Columbus, to Albany, and here to Savannah for the “On The Runoff Tour,” not telling people who to vote for, but making sure they have the info voters need for each candidate.

“If you see yourself represented in their platforms and the things that they are talking about and how they’re communicating and conveying their message to people, then you should vote for them,” said Britney Whaley, Southeast Regional Director for Working Families.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia hosted gatherings at each stop on the tour, hoping every voice will be heard by bringing in different groups.

I was cool with that right up until the part about the ACLU.

Geography will tell you a lot as you watch the election returns tomorrow night. From WSAV:

Warnock outperformed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams in predominately Democratic counties like DeKalb, Fulton and Clayton. Meanwhile, Walker underperformed Gov. Brian Kemp (R) in predominately GOP counties like Forsyth, Cherokee and Hall. Experts say the key test will be how well both campaigns turn out those reliably blue and red counties.

“If there is anything to look at, I would be paying attention to if we see anemic turnout in traditionally Republican areas versus anemic turnout in traditionally Democratic areas, because whichever group has the most anemic turnout is probably going to be the side that loses,” said Andra Gillespie, a political science professor at Emory University.

Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, said that Democrats’ focus on the large metro counties will be especially important.

“For a Democrat, that’s absolutely essential. Can’t make up the votes anyplace else,” he said.

“I think the question for Democrats or Republicans is how do you get back those people who voted for Brian Kemp but could not or would not vote for Herschel Walker? And I think the challenge for Republicans is you can’t make the argument that control of the Senate is up for grabs,” said Gillespie.

Indeed, it’s no accident that former President Obama was stumping for Warnock on Thursday in Atlanta in an effort to energize the Democratic base.

Among some of the key counties in which Republicans will need to rely on high voter turnout are Cherokee and Forsyth exurban counties, which sit next to each other and lie north of Atlanta.

Cherokee went for Walker by 38 points in November and Kemp by 49 points. Trump performed similarly to Walker in 2020, winning the county by 39 points while Loeffler won it by 40 points. And like Cherokee, Forsyth was another GOP county where Walker underperformed Kemp with margins of 33 points and 46 points respectively. Trump and Loeffler took the county by 33 and 35 points respectively during the November 2020 election and January 2021 runoff.

Hall County, which includes Gainesville and is represented by Rep. Andrew Clyde (R), will also prove critical for Republicans. The county, also majority white, has just more than 200,000 people, located northwest of Athens. Kemp boasted a margin of 55 points while Walker took the county by 45 points. Trump won the county 43 points in 2020, while Loeffler won it by 44 during the 2021 runoff.

From David Catanese via the Ledger-Enquirer:

Warnock, who largely matched his 2021 performance in the Atlanta metro area this November, saw his numbers lag in outstate counties compared to his last race. The Democratic incumbent finished 37,675 votes ahead of Herschel Walker last month, falling just seven-tenths of a point short of the 50% + 1 necessary to avoid the runoff.

Cyrus Garrett, a Democratic operative who is working with outside groups in the state and directed the South for Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign, said the dropoff was likely the result of two factors: Fewer candidate visits to downstate areas and an impression held by some Black voters that Walker couldn’t possibly win.

“There was a lack of presence of showing up and there was also a feeling that this is kind of metro Atlanta Warnock and metro Atlanta [Stacey] Abrams and our issues aren’t as front and center to some of those folks,” said Garrett. “The funny thing is that Herschel Walker is such a historically bad candidate that a lot of those people didn’t show up the first time around, because … there was some disbelief that he could win.”

In Muscogee County, Warnock performed just under 1 percentage point worse than in his 2021 runoff against Kelly Loeffler. But in rural Stewart County, he was 3.5 points off his 2021 finish, in Terrell County, he ended up 2.5 points behind that marker and in Talbot County, Warnock was 2 points off his pace.

In Bibb County, Warnock fell 1.6 points short of his victory percentage against Loeffler. And across the state to the eastern side, in Liberty County, Warnock’s finish this year was more than 2 points worse than last year.

Yet in Fulton County, Warnock actually exceeded his 2021 percentage by a point. And in DeKalb County, another Democratic Party bastion in the most populous region, the senator met his 2021 vote benchmark even while competing against a third party candidate.

“Warnock ran the numbers up in metro Atlanta,” noted Danny Glover, a Macon-based political organizer. “However in order to win this runoff he has to do the same in the places he’s ignored since the last runoff: Columbus, Macon, Augusta and Albany. Remember when I talked about those areas being fickle?”

Walker’s path to victory is to boost his margins in exurban counties north of Atlanta as well slightly lifting his support in the vast majority of Georgia’s rural red counties, where he marginally improved on former President Donald Trump’s 2020 totals.

“You may say, ‘that doesn’t matter, they’re rural.’ The problem is Georgia has 159 counties, so when you add up all of those margins, that makes a difference,” said Stephen Lawson, a Republican strategist working on behalf of Walker’s super PAC. “That’s the opportunity, I think, that’s in front of Herschel, is to really run up the score in those places.”

Georgia voters set another early voting record Friday, according to 13WMAZ.

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office says the state broke another early voting record Friday, and at Bibb County polls, it certainly looked that way.

At one point, the line wrapped all the way around the elections building, and almost onto Pio Nono Avenue. Even after the polls closed at 5:30, plenty of people were still in line trying to make their voices heard.

Bibb Elections Supervisor Tom Gillon …. [said] the lines should be shorter Tuesday with all 31 precincts open. To that, the Hatfields say: “Get out and vote! If not today, then Tuesday!”

Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, so there’s still time to cast your vote. Gillon says you can turn in absentee ballots up until 7 p.m. on election day. He says you must hand your absentee ballot to a staff member. That applies to any county.

Chatham County Commissioners approved a split of Local Option Sales Tax proceeds with its municipalities, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Chatham will accept a 31% county-69% cities split of the funds as suggested by city leaders earlier this week. In a letter dated Nov. 29, municipal officials listed the 69% rate as the lowest they would consider in negotiations. Chatham Chairman Chester Ellis clarified after that the share would not escalate as the commission previously proposed and remain at a 31%-69% split for the next 10 years.

The latest proposal comes just three days after the mayors sent a letter declining a county plan that established Chatham’s share at 31% but included an annual 2% escalation. Under that scenario, the county’s portion would climb to 49% over the 10-year length of the agreement.

 

 

2
Dec

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for December 2, 2022

Amazing Grace is a young female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Save A Life Rescue in Savannah GA.

My name is Grace “Amazing Grace” but also short for graceful and I am about a year old. I have an adorable, playful personality and do a pretty good job of entertaining myself for reasonable periods of time. I am high energy, turn-on-a-dime agility, AND the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound (o.k. slight exaggeration).

My foster mom says that I do zoomies one minute, and am a gentle spirit the next. I let her take my food and treats away without a fuss. I’m very careful not to hurt her with my mouth even in zoom mode in the back yard, That’s the GRACE and “gentle spirit” in me, she says.

I love long brisk walks, a good game of fetch, down-time snuggles, ice cubes in my water bowl, rides in the car, stealing toys, Big Box stores, my giant pineapple by day and fuzzy play bunny rabbit by night. Most of all, I love chasing the water that comes out of the backyard hose. My FM is teaching me good behavior with a clicker and I’m a quick study. I would love a human family to adopt me who will be patient helping me continue learning to be part of a proper family pack.

I’m pretty obedient except for cats, All my toys and tools for good behavior come with me. I am still a bit too big, excited by life, and goofy for small kids.. I’m good about sleeping in my GIANT Size Kennel at night and taking rest breaks there.

Mom says I’m an amazing work of art in the making and if you are patient and love me, I will be the best and most adoring pack member you could hope for. I wouldn’t mind having another doggie mate to play with during the hours when you aren’t available.

Heidi is a 13-month old, 24-pound female mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from Save A Life Rescue in Savannah GA.

Heidi is sweet and loving, with the energy of a young Jack Russell. Some say she has an underbite, we say she has a permanent half grin. She enjoys leash walks and meeting her canine neighbors. Heidi is a creative girl, and will make a game out of any object she discovers. Twigs and rocks will entertain her for hours. Heidi would love nothing more than to snuggle with a human on the couch in the evenings.
Heidi requires a fully fenced in yard attached to the home. 

Samuel is a 2-year old, 13-pound male French Bulldog and Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from Save A Life Rescue in Savannah GA.

Samuel was rescued from Animal Services . He is now neutered, vaccinated and on his monthly Heart worm and flea prevention. He is bright, personable, and full of fun. He does well with other dogs, and enjoys all kinds of games. He is housebroken, trained to sleep in a crate, and sits on command. Samuel is a little charmer. He is looking for an inside home with a fenced yard and a family to love him for life.

2
Dec

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 2, 2022

John Wesley left Savannah on December 2, 1737.

John Wesley’s strict discipline as rector of Christ Church in Savannah irritated his parishioners. More trouble followed when he fell in love with Sophia Hopkey, the niece of Georgia’s chief magistrate. When she married another man, Wesley banned her from Holy Communion, damaging her reputation in the community.

His successful romantic rival sued him; but Wesley refused to recognize the authority of the court, and the man who would eventually found a major Protestant denomination in America left Georgia in disgrace on December 2, 1737.

Touro Synagogue, the oldest existing synagogue in the United States, was dedicated on December 2, 1763 in Newport, Rhode Island.

628px-Grand_Union_Flag.svg

On December 3, 1775, the Grand Union Flag, comprising the Union Jack with thirteen red-and-white stripes was raised for the first time by Lieutenant John Paul Jones over the USS Alfred, a colonial warship. The flag would be used by Continental forces thorugh 1776 and early 1777.

USS Alfred

On December 3, 1776, General George Washington wrote Congress that he had moved most of his army across the Delaware River from Trenton, New Jersey to Pennsylvania.

On December 4, 1783, General George Washington told his officers he would resign his commission and return to his life at Mount Vernon.

The Skirmish at Rocky Creek Church took place near Waynesboro, Georgia on December 2, 1864.

On December 3, 1864, Union forces under the command of Gen. William T. Sherman skirmished against Wheeler’s Confederate cavalry at Thomas’ Station in Burke County, Georgia.

The Battle of Waynesboro, Georgia was fought between Wheeler’s Confederate cavalry and Kilpatrick’s federal troops on December 4, 1864.

Governor William Northen signed legislation placing on the statewide ballot a constitutional amendment to increase the number of Georgia Supreme Court Justices from 3 to 5 on December 4, 1893.

On December 4, 1932, a 12-foot tall statue of Tom Watson, former state legislator, Congressman, and United States Senator from Georgia, was placed on the State Capitol Grounds.

On December 4, 1945, the United States Senate voted to approve full U.S. participation in the United Nations. Georgia’s Senators voted in favor.

On December 4, 2018, Brad Raffensperger won the General Election Runoff for Georgia Secretary of State.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp and the Technical College System of Georgia announced grants for two new career academies, according to a Press Release.Continue Reading..

30
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 30, 2022

General George Washington set up winter headquarters at Morristown, New Jersey on December 1, 1779.

On November 30, 1782, British and American signed a preliminary treaty in Paris to end the American Revolution, which included withdrawal of British troops and recognition of American independence.

On November 30, 1819, the SS Savannah returned to Savannah, GA from its trip as the first steamship to cross the Atlantic.

On December 1, 1824, the election for President of the United States, in which no candidate received a majority of electoral votes, went to the United States House of Representatives.

Andrew Jackson of Tennessee won 99 electoral and 153,544 popular votes; John Quincy Adams–the son of John Adams, the second president of the United States–received 84 electoral and 108,740 popular votes; Secretary of State William H. Crawford, who had suffered a stroke before the election, received 41 electoral votes; and Representative Henry Clay of Virginia won 37 electoral votes.

As dictated by the Constitution, the election was then turned over to the House of Representatives. The 12th Amendment states that if no electoral majority is won, only the three candidates who receive the most popular votes will be considered in the House. Representative Henry Clay, who was disqualified from the House vote as a fourth-place candidate, agreed to use his influence to have John Quincy Adams elected.

The City of Sandy Springs began operations at one second after midnight on December 1, 2005. Three years later, Dunwoody became a new city, on December 1, 2008.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

More than half-a-million Georgia voters have cast their ballots in the Runoff Election for United States Senate, according to Atlanta News First via WTVM.

As of Tuesday morning, 503,792 Georgians have cast ballots, either through absentee voting or early voting, which began in some counties over the weekend and launched statewide on Monday. The data comes from the Georgia Secretary of State’s data hub for the Dec. 6 runoff.

Early Tuesday afternoon, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said, “Voters broke the all-time daily turnout record for in-person early voting on Monday, November 28. As of Tuesday morning, 468,000 Georgians have cast their in-person ballot for the December 6 runoff, with an astounding 301,545 casting their vote on Monday.

“Monday’s total is well above previous records of 233,252 voters processed on the final day of early voting in the 2018 general election, and 252,715 voting on the highest day of early voting in 2016,” Raffensperger added.

In terms of early voting, the metro Atlanta counties of Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett and Cobb are leading all other Georgia counties.

Raffensperger acknowledged long voting lines have been reported in some metro areas.

“However, many metro area polling locations experienced little to no wait times,” Raffensperger said. “Richmond, Gwinnett, Fulton, and Cobb are among the counties publishing wait times, and we encourage voters to check before going to the polls.

The last day for early voting is Friday, December 2.

From the Savannah Morning News:

Earlier this month, Emory University Associate Professor Bernard L. Fraga tweeted out topline turnout numbers for those who cast ballots in the general. Just over half of Georgians who were eligible to vote turned out for the midterm, he calculated, down about 1% from last midterm in 2018.

“It’s a bit easier to vote in 2022, relative to 2018, there’s been an expansion of early voting options and the like but overall turnout was relatively lower in 2022 to 2018,” said Zachary Peskowitz, associate professor of political science at Emory. “I suspect what is going on is, this was not a referendum on Trump, and was not an opportunity to voice your support of Trump or your displeasure of Trump, in the same way that the 2018 midterms were.”

Black and Hispanic turnout declined by a few percentage points, Asian turnout increased, and white turnout increased by just 0.4%, according to Fraga’s data. This was despite much higher early voting numbers this year than in 2018.

“I don’t know why we had this drop off, because I think it was unexpected. You know, we’ve set a record with midterm elections four years ago and for a presidential election two years ago and for a runoff election in January of 2021,” said Charles Bullock, a University of Georgia political science professor widely considered the foremost authority on state politics. “Looked like we had a very energized electorate that would show up in large numbers.”

“It looks like maybe young people were not as energized, and maybe the minority community not as energized,” Bullock said. “Why might that be? Well, again, just to speculate, maybe it was because they didn’t feel like the Biden administration had come through for them.”

Black voters also supported Abrams, with 90% of those polled voting for her, about 55% of Hispanic or Latino and Asian voters backed her as well. Three-quarters of white voters backed Kemp.

“I’m very interested in what Black turnout in the runoff is relative to the general election,” Peskowitz said. “I think that’s probably the critical variable and determining who wins the runoff.”

From 13WMAZ:

Herschel Walker stopped in Greensboro in Northeast Georgia Tuesday while Senator Raphael Warnock spoke in Fort Valley.

“Get out and vote. Tell 10 of your friends to get out to vote. If you don’t have friends, make friends and tell them to get out and vote,” Walker said at a rally in Greene County Tuesday.

“If you stand with me for the next seven days, I’ll stand up for you for the next 6 years. I think that’s a pretty good deal. Are you ready to get this thing done?” Warnock said to a room of students.

Raphael Warnock made his third college visit of the week Tuesday, speaking to a small group of students at Fort Valley State University.

Meanwhile, Herschel Walker has concentrated on campaigning in north Georgia for much of the runoff, including Tuesday, when he spoke to a crowd in Greene County.

He talked about energy independence, critical race theory, supporting police, and opposing abortion, but his most consistent theme has been making the incumbent the issue.

“He’s lying to you and telling you this is the new normal. He’s lying to you and telling you everything is OK. No, it’s not. Crime is the way it is because of him,” Walker said.

In the Atlanta area, Charles Bullock, University of Georgia political science professor, says Republicans try to run up vote totals in Hall, Cherokee and Forsyth counties. Those counties are population dense and Republican.

We’ve also seen Warnock campaigning a lot on college campuses. Bullock says the younger the voter, the more likely they’ll vote Democrat. However, those younger voters are also less likely to turn out. Bullock says that’s why Warnock is working to mobilize them.

From the Capitol Beat News Service via the Rome News Tribune:

More than 300,000 Georgians cast ballots Monday, the first day of statewide early voting in the runoff contest between Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker. That easily broke the daily record for early voting turnout in Georgia of 233,000.

And that latest record didn’t last long. As of late Tuesday, another 309,083 Georgians had voted.

Floyd County once again was a big contributor to the state record. On Tuesday, 1,885 people cast ballots at the election office off East 12th Street or the Anthony Recreation Center. In three days of advance voting, Floyd has recorded 4,559 ballots as well as accepted 599 absentee votes.

From the Macon Telegraph:

Statewide early voting in the Senate runoff began Monday, and a record number of Georgians cast their ballots early, including more than 4,000 in Bibb County.

In Bibb County, 4,115 votes have already been cast most of those at the election board’s main office on Pio Nono.

From the AJC Political Insider:

While Democrats are giddy about the record-breaking voter participation so far in the runoff — particularly the soaring turnout from Black voters in Georgia — Republicans also have reason to be optimistic.

Herschel Walker campaign manager Scott Paradise noted that on Monday, the first day of early voting in all of Georgia’s 159 counties, nine of the top 10 with highest turnout were counties Walker carried in the midterm — most of them by an overwhelming margin.

And turnout was particularly robust in Forsyth and Hall counties — two of the most important GOP strongholds.

Although they trail Democratic strongholds like Fulton and DeKalb in population, the turnout spike in red counties indicates the kind of enthusiasm GOP strategists are looking for.

“All this being said, only 2% of the General’s Election Day voters have cast a ballot so far in the runoff,” Paradise tweeted.

“Herschel Walker won Election Day voters in the General Election by 15 points, a nearly 220,000 vote margin. So, we’re just getting started!”

Early voting yesterday was even higher, with 309,083 ballots cast. Altogether, more than 833,000 Georgians have already voted in this year’s runoff.

United States Senate candidate Herschel Walker (R) called Texas “home” according to CNN via the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, facing renewed and growing questions about his residency in the final week of the runoff campaign, described himself during a campaign speech in January as living in Texas and said he decided to run for Georgia’s Senate seat while at his Texas “home,” according to a CNN KFile review of his campaign speeches.

Georgia Democrats have called for an investigation by state officials into Walker’s residency after CNN’s KFile reported last week that Walker was getting a tax break in Texas intended for a primary residence, possibly running afoul of Texas tax law and some rules for establishing Georgia residency for voting and running for office.

“I live in Texas,” Walker said in January of this year, when speaking to University of Georgia College Republicans. Walker was criticizing Democrats for not visiting the border when he made the comments. “I went down to the border off and on sometimes,” he said.

“Everyone asks me, why did I decide to run for a Senate seat? Because to be honest with you, this is never something I ever, ever, ever thought in my life I’d ever do,” said Walker. “And that’s the honest truth. As I was sitting in my home in Texas, I was sitting in my home in Texas, and I was seeing what was going on in this country. I was seeing what was going on in this country with how they were trying to divide people.”

A CNN KFile review of some of Walker’s media appearances and events from 2021 and 2022 finds Walker appeared on Fox News and other conservative media from his Texas home at least four times after announcing his candidacy for Georgia’s Senate seat.
The interviews at his Texas home took place twice in September 2021 and in February and March of 2022.`

If I moved to Texas tomorrow and spent the rest of my life there, I would still describe things that happened pre-move at my current home Atlanta as “at home.” I don’t think this story makes a bit of difference to any voter.

The Athens-Clarke County Democratic Party headquarters was burglarized, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

The intruder flipped over tables and stole a laptop, police Lt. Shaun Barnett said on Tuesday.

The office had been locked the Saturday evening and a person who showed up for a meeting Sunday morning discovered the burglary, Barnett said.

30
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 30, 2022

Jack is a 7-month old male Catahould Leopard Dog mix puppy who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.

Jack found his way to animal control at the young age of 6 months. He is a playful, goofy boy who loves attention and head scratches. In his short time in rescue, he is already walking well on the leash (once he focuses) and is also working on other tricks like sitting for treats. Jack will be a large dog with a lot of energy. A fenced yard is highly recommended.

Narwhal is an 11-month old male Bulldog and Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.

Narwhal originally came to rescue last December as a newborn puppy. His first adoption did not work out for him and he is now looking agin for his forever home. He is a very good boy, kennel trained, and does great on leash. Narwhal has a lot of anxiety about getting in a car and is sometimes very timid and defensive about meeting new people. While with a foster on a sleepover, he didn’t bark at all.

Hobbs is a year-old male Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.

At just three weeks old, Hobbs and his family (Mom and siblings) found their way to rescue after being abandoned at a local county shelter. Hobbs was adopted as a young puppy, but has returned to rescue – and boy has he grown! A happy and active puppy, he is still very hyper and full of puppy energy. He is paper trained, working on potty training and knows “no” and “sit.” Hobbs likes to play ball, crunchy sounding toys, and has a squeaky doggie he loves.

This loveable guy is good with dogs, cats and kids, and would be a great addition to a family looking for a (big) puppy to grow with them. As long as they like cuddles and kisses.