Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections for January 17, 2013


Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections for January 17, 2013

On January 17, 1733, the Georgia Trustees, who had earlier petitioned for a royal charter for a new colony, voted to ban Jews from the new colony. When 43 Jews later arrived in Georgia in July 1733, James Oglethorpe allowed them to land and granted land to some; Oglethorpe later petitioned to revise the ban.

On January 17, 1953, General Motors unveiled the first Corvette.

On January 17, 1994, Paula Jones filed suit in federal court in Little Rock, Arkansas against President Bill Clinton, accusing him of sexually harassing her while he was Governor of Arkansas.

On January 18, 1776, James Wright, Royal Governor of Georgia, was arrested by John Habersham, a member of the Provincial Congress.

On January 18, 1861, former Georgia supreme court justice Eugenius Nisbet introduced a resolution for Georgia to secede from the Union.

On January 18, 1888 Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar, II was appointed Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Lamar was born near Eatonton, Georgia and graduated from Emory College. In 1853, Lamar was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives and in 1857 he went to Congress as a Representative of Mississippi. He served in the Confederate Army and government and after the War returned to Congress and later served in the United States Senate.

On January 18, 1947, the “Three-Governors Affair”, in which M.E. Thompson, Ellis Arnall, and Herman Talmadge all claimed to be Governor, became a two-Governor disupte as Thompson was sworn in as Lt. Governor.

Our newest contributor, Ron Daniels, debuts today with a brief discussion of the “Three Governors Affair.”

Talmadge’s biggest controversy was created by something that comes for every man: his death. Talmadge entered the 1946 gubernatorial primary running—in part—on a platform opposing two recent court rulings that undermined Georgia’s “white primary” system. See King v. Chapman, 62 F. Supp. 639, 640 (M.D. Ga. 1945); Smith v. Allwright, 321 U.S. 649, 664-66(1944).

The incumbent, Ellis Arnall, could not run for re-election due to term limits. Talmadge faced stiff opposition in the Democratic primary from James Carmichael. But in the end, Talmadge’s fiery rhetoric earned him a victory. Interesting, Talmadge lost the popular vote but won a majority of the county-unit votes, which trumped the popular vote. Having won the primary, Talmadge was all but assured to be the next governor.

At the age of 62, Talmadge died in an Atlanta hospital a scant three days after winning the general election. Many supporters noticed Talmadge’s health deteriorating while he campaigned and keenly organized a write-in campaign on behalf of Eugene’s son Herman Talmadge. When Eugene died, the Talmadge supporters began politicking the legislature to tabulate the votes of the election and select the governor from the next highest vote getter. After the Telfair delegation “discovered” a few votes that weren’t originally counted, the legislature elected Herman Talmadge as governor in the early hours of January 15, 1947.

Ellis Arnall refused to recognize Herman’s election. On January 18, Thompson took the oath of office and became the first Lt. Governor of Georgia; he was immediately recognized by Attorney General Eugene Cook as the acting Governor. This prompted Arnall to finally resign. Thompson and Talmadge both asserted they were the rightful governor.

The Georgia Supreme Court would hold that Thompson was the rightful Governor. Thompson never saw political success after his brief stint as Governor. Herman Talmadge, of course, would throughly defeat Thompson in a special election in 1948.


On January 18, 1989, Otis Redding was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Redding was born in Terrell County, Georgia and lived with his family in Macon before joining Little Richard’s band.

On January 19, 1861, Georgia seceded from the Union, as a secession convention in Milledgeville adopted an Ordinance of Secession.

On January 19, 1861, Savannah was the first city to publicly celebrate the birthday of Robert E. Lee. After graduating from West Point in 1829, Lee was assigned to Savannah, supervising construction on Cockspur Island in the Savannah River until 1831; in 1861, Lee visited Savannah to inspect the port city’s defenses and on this trip he purchased Traveller. Lee also visited Savannah in 1870, then serving as President of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia; after his death the institution was renamed Washington & Lee University. In 1889, Georgia made Robert E. Lee’s birthday a state holiday.

Gold Dome Today

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education will meet upon adjournment of today’s Session in the Senate Mezzanine committee room.

According to Jim Galloway, the House is expected to pass the bill, already through the Senate, that would set Georgia’s 2014 Primary elections on May 20th.

Medical Marijuana

I thought that legalization of medical marijuana had two chances of passing the Georgia General Assembly in my lifetime – slim and none. But this year, there is increasing movement to at least have a discussion, likely in the form of committee hearings, on what research leads us to believe about medicinal marijuana. In this year’s shortened session, I don’t expect to see passage.

State Representative Allen Peake, a well-respected legislator and staunch conservative, has indicated that he’s willing to discuss the issue publicly after visiting a patient in the pediatric intensive care unit at Children’s Healthcare at Egleston.

“When you see that little girl, the precious little angel,” Peake said. “It’s touched me deep, deep in my soul, so I’m going to do everything I can to see what we can do for these families.”
Haleigh suffers from a severe seizure disorder. Her parents told Channel 2’s Lori Geary that because they can’t get the medicine they need in Georgia, they are relocating to Colorado, where children treated with cannabis oil are seeing amazing results.
Now Peake has joined the Cox family to fight for Haleigh’s life and for thousands of Georgians who could benefit from medical marijuana.
“This has been a huge shift for me,” Peake said. “I want to be very clear. We don’t want to go down the slippery slope of legalizing marijuana in our state.”

Blaine Cloud told Geary his 8-year-old daughter also suffers from severe seizure disorder. Cloud spent Thursday in the state Capitol explaining that medical marijuana is a necessary treatment and that children won’t be smoking it or getting high.
“It can be grown to a certain strain which is high CBD, which is the medicine, and low THC, which is what gets you high,” Cloud said.
“It comes in an oil format, just like the Tylenol you take today.  It comes out of a dropper,” Blaine said.

That position may have support among a majority of Georgia’s electorate, according to a poll released yesterday by InsiderAdvantage, where I work part-time, and GaPundit.

1. Some legislators plan to consider introducing a bill to allow the use of medical marijuana in very specific instances, such as in a liquid form to reduce seizures from young children. What is your opinion of legislation allowing medical marijuana to be prescribed by doctors in Georgia on a very limited basis?

a) Favor 51%
b) Oppose 27%
c) No opinion/ Undecided 22%

Crosstabs by Party Identification are particularly interesting, showing that restricted use of medical marijuana is supported by majorities of both self-identified Republicans and Democrats, but dips below 50% among self-described Independent voters.

Support for medical marijuana by party identification

Democratic Independent Republican All
Favor 53.45% 47.75% 52.38% 51.12%
Oppose 27.12% 28.89% 26.94% 26.94%
Undecided/No Opinion 19.42% 23.37% 22.72% 21.94%

Walter Jones of Morris News, which co-sponsored the survey, wrote about the poll:

In a poll conducted Tuesday by automated calling, 51 percent of registered voters said they favor doctor-prescribed medical marijuana “in very specific instances, such as in a liquid form to reduce seizures (in) young children.” The numbers were roughly the same for Republicans and Democrats, but just shy of a majority for people who describe themselves as independents.

This comes after both Gov. Nathan Deal and House Speaker David Ralston have been quoted in the media saying they are open to consider legalizing medical uses of marijuana.

“The key here is that any legislation must be on a limited basis. That said, Republicans and Democrats both support this legislation by well over 50 percent, while independent voters are close to a majority as well,” said Matt Towery, president of InsiderAdvantage and a former legislator.

Also included in the survey was a question about “Campus Carry,” or allowing some holders of concealed weapons permits, to carry guns on college campuses in Georgia.

2. The General Assembly is expected to vote on legislation that would allow guns to be carried by students and some other designated individuals on college campuses. What is your opinion of this legislation?

a) Favor 31%
b) Oppose 56%
c) No opinion/ Undecided 13%

Senator Renee Unterman, who chairs the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, discussed the issue with GaPundit yesterday.

I’m scheduled to discuss the poll results with Martha Zoller and Tim Bryant on WGAU 1340 AM this morning. If you’re not in the listening area for one of the stations Martha and Tim are on, you can click here to listen live on the internet.

The truth about education funding

Yesterday, Jim Galloway wrote in the AJC’s Political Insider blog about education funding.

Today’s print column tells of a forum held by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, featuring eight candidates for state school superintendent – a replacement for John Barge.

One of them was former DeKalb County school board member Nancy Jester, who insisted that talk of reduced spending on education was nonsense. “We need to put to rest that our funding has been cut – because it hasn’t,” she said.

One of her allies this morning pointed us to a line from Gov. Nathan Deal’s state-of-the-state speech: “[D]uring my administration, funding for education has increased by over $930M.”

But James Salzer, the AJC’s budget master, says Jester might run into trouble if she uses that line in certain parts of Georgia.

No legislative leader would agree with her statement, Salzer told us. The biggest complaint from school groups are the “austerity cuts” that began during the 2000s.

Essentially, governors and lawmakers couldn’t fully fund the formula used to determine how much schools get for each pupil. It depends who you talk to, but schools estimate they have been shorted somewhere in the neighborhood of $6 billion over the past decade.

For years the “austerity cuts” have been listed in budget documents.

We will be discussing the issue of Washington-style accounting in education funding, but is it really the only issue in education? Nancy Jester, cited above, also argues that Georgia’s neighboring states are graduating a higher percentage of students while spending less per pupil.

Every state that borders Georgia has a higher graduation rate.  And, every state that borders Georgia spends less per pupil than Georgia.  You can go west to Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas and you will find that they too, also have a higher graduation rate and all but Louisiana spend less per pupil than Georgia.

Is the only solution for better education more money, or should Georgia be looking at better and more efficient ways of spending the majority of our state budget that is dedicated to education?

Voting Rights Act Redux?

Five members of Congress rolled-out legislation that would require election law changes in five states, including Georgia, to be pre-cleared by the federal government before taking effect.

The bill, known as the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014, has been sponsored in the House by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., and in the Senate by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Chris Coons, D-Del. Their proposal includes several important provisions:

  • a trigger to bring states under federal pre-approval for election changes if those states have five or more voting rights violations over the past 15 years.
  • a way to allow courts to require federal oversight for states even if the Justice Department or private litigants can’t demonstrate intentional discrimination at the ballot box.
  • a requirement for states to provide broad public notice of voting changes such as redistricting and moving of polling places so the public gets early warning of potential problems.
  • a statement that makes clear states can continue to pass photo ID laws that are “reasonable.”

“I will admit it is not a perfect bill,” Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who spoke at the original March on Washington 50 years ago, said. “But it is a necessary and good beginning.”

Lewis said it was fitting the legislation was being introduced just as the nation prepares to commemorate the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

Politics this weekend

DeKalb County GOP: Breakfast – Spotlight DeKalb Judicial System

January 18, 2014 from 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
The Golden Corral, 2136 Lawrenceville Hwy Decatur, GA 30033+ Google Map

Fulton GOP: BuckSprings Breakfast with Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, Dr. Hal Scherz, & Rick Jackson, Chairman & CEO of Jackson Healthcare

January 18, 2014 from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Sandy Springs UMC – Hitson Activities Center, 85 Mt. Vernon Highway Sandy Springs, GA 30328+ Google Map

Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, Dr. Hal Scherz, founder of Docs4Patient Care, & Rick Jackson, Chairman & CEO of Jackson Healthcare Effects of Obamacare in Georgia

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Paulding GOP: Meeting with Karen Handel & John Barge

January 18, 2014 from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Chicken World, 109 Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway Hiram , GA 30141+ Google Map

  The Paulding County GOP monthly meeting – Karen Handel and John Barge will be speaking.

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Forsyth GOP: Meeting with Gov. Nathan Deal & Eugene Yu

January 18, 2014 from 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM
VFW Post 1045, 1045 Dahlonega Hwy Cumming , GA 30040+ Google Map

Governor Deal as well as Eugene Yu, candidate for US Senate will address the Forsyth County GOP this Saturday at the VFW. A question-and-answer session will follow as time permits. As with all local GOP meetings, the event is open to the public. Breakfast will be served

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Union County Republican Party: Meeting with Sheriff Mack Mason & Niki Broun

January 18, 2014 from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
The Lodge at Copperhead, 171 Copperhead Pkwy Blairsville, GA 30512
+ Google Map

The featured speaker will be Union County Sheriff Mack Mason. Also, Mrs. Niki Broun will speak on behalf of her husband, U.S. Senate Candidate Paul Broun. Come out and join us. You’ll be glad you did.

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Senator John Albers: Mountain Park/Woodstock Town Hall

January 18, 2014 1from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Mountain Park City Hall, 118 Lakeshore Drive Mountain Park, GA 30075
+ Google Map

Hall County GOP: Meeting with Governor Nathan Deal

January 18, 2014 from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Holiday Inn Gainesville – Lanier Centre, 400 EE Butler Parkway Gainesville , GA 30501
+ Google Map

Governor Nathan Deal will be joining us. This is a combined event with the Republican Women of Hall. Please watch for more details to come soon.

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Jack Kingston’s Annual Family BBQ

January 18, 2014 from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Hooterville Farms, 519 Landings Way Ft. Valley , GA 31030
+ Google Map

Food and fun for the whole family feathering cornhole, face-painting, music, and much more.  Join us rain or shine. We are in an airplane hanger, so dress accordingly. RSVP to You are welcome to invite and bring your family and friends from all over Georgia! We can all road trip and meet in the middle of our great state!

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GA GOP: U.S. Senate Debate

January 18, 2014 6:00 PM @ 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cook County High School Performing Arts Center, 9900 Georgia Highway 37 Adel, GA 31620+ Google Map

GEORGIA REPUBLICANS TO HOST 1ST US SENATE DEBATE IN ADEL WHAT: The Georgia Republican Party, in conjunction with local GOP organizations, will host the first U.S. Senate candidate debate in Adel, Georgia. WHO:  Candidates vying to fill the seat of retiring United States Senator Saxby Chambliss will participate in a structured debate moderated by conservative radio talk show host and ZPolitics Editor Martha Zoller. CONTACT:  Adam Pipkin, Executive Director of the Georgia Republican Party, 404.257.5559or BACKGROUND: The Georgia Republican Party will host seven debates throughout Georgia for…

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