Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 9, 2014


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 9, 2014

Georgia and American History

Savannah received news of the battle at Lexington on May 10, 1775, leading to a raid of British gunpowder for the colonial effort.

On May 9, 1862, a Union general, David Hunter, ordered the freedom of all slaves held in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, but President Lincoln issued a counter-order.

Grant’s Army of the Potomac remained engaged against Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House through May 21, 1864.

In Georgia on May 9, 1864, Union troops under General Sherman took Snake Creek Gap. In Atlanta, a notice was published,

“ATTENTION MILITIA! All persons between the ages of 16 and 60, not in the service of the Confederate States, in the second ward, are hereby notified to be and appear at the City Hall today, at 2 o’clock P.M., for the purpose of being armed and equipped for local defense. Herein fail not under penalty.”

On May 10, 1863, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died a week after being shot at by his own troops.

He died, as he had wished, on the Sabbath, May 10, 1863, with these last words: “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.”

Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart was mortally wounded on May 11, 1864 at the Battle of Yellow Tavern, near Richmond.

On May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first official “Mother’s Day.”

On May 9, 1974, the United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary opened hearing on the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.

On May 10, 2006, Georgia State School Superintendent Linda Schrenko, a Republican, pled guilty to federal charges of fraud and money laundering, beginning a streak of Republican State School Supers to leave office under a cloud.

On May 9, 2005, Governor Sonny Perdue signed legislation recognizing the Green Tree Frog at the official state amphibian.

On May 11, 2011, Newt Gingrich announced via Twitter that he would run for President. Two days later, I caught up with Newt at Fincher’s Barbecue in Macon for a brief interview the day he was scheduled to speak to the Georgia Republican Party State Convention.

Happy Birthday to Minnesota, which became a state on May 11, 1858. Y’all talk funny.

Campaigns and Elections

Yesterday, Fox 5 Atlanta and Morris News ran a story about a poll by InsiderAdvantage on the Georgia Senate race.

The results:

David Perdue 26%

Karen Handel 18%

Jack Kingston: 17%

Paul Broun: 12%

Phil Gingrey: 11%

Other: 3%

Undecided: 13%

InsiderAdvantage CEO/Fox5 Political Analyst Matt Towery:

“The battle between Kingston and Handel for the critical second place position has tightened. Handel may be reaching a ceiling, which she might not be able to rise above without a major presence of ads on broadcast television.

“Perdue is dominating the age group of 65 and over. Kingston or Handel need to steal some of Perdue’s senior voters because these voters are the most likely to vote, and the most likely to watch ads on television,” said Towery.

“One thing that might lower Perdue’s actual Election Day performance is his lack of a major voter turnout machine. Both Handel and Kingston have natural political bases of support, and they can and will come out to vote.”

Walter Jones wrote separately about the poll:

The question no one can answer is about how many voters will turn out to cast a ballot and who they are. Pollsters adjust their figures to try to reflect anticipated turnout, but they can be proven wrong by a campaign that is especially effective at getting supporters to the voting booth.

Handel, having run twice statewide, and Kingston, a congressman from Savannah, have experience getting out the vote. Perdue has never run for office, so his turnout machinery is untested, but he may be successful drawing from his cousin who was the state’s last governor.

Perdue’s campaign feels confident with the new boost in his polling numbers.

“David’s message as the political outsider in this race is clearly resonating with voters,” said spokesman Derrick Dickey. “His support is growing every day as more and more people realize they have a real alternative to the four career politicians in this race.”

Sign of the Times

There is absolutely no upside to monkeying around with a political opponent’s signs, but the downside can be dramatic, as an aide to Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson learned the hard way.

Judy Tucker, executive assistant to Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, has been suspended briefly from her position because of an incident she says started out as a practical joke involving a campaign sign for mayoral candidate Colin Martin.

According to Tomlinson, Tucker, who has worked for the mayor for her entire term, had taken some time to run a personal errand Wednesday during which she “got a wild hair” and asked for one of Martin’s campaign signs.

“She was going to put it in my closet or credenza in my office so I would find it,” Tomlinson said. “It was supposed to be a practical joke.”

The situation came to light when Martin posted a comment on his campaign Facebook page Wednesday saying someone had called to report that Tucker was seen picking up one of his signs.

“Either we’ve had a high-level conversion or a dirty trick is afoot,” Martin wrote. “I ask my supporters to be vigilant and report any unflattering pictures or sign placements to me.”

Not long afterward, Tucker posted an apology on Martin’s comment. She explained that it was intended to be a practical joke on her boss and that she would return the sign immediately.

“I guess it wasn’t the best decision and I really should have thought that through,” Tucker wrote. “I apologize for that.” Martin responded, “Judith, thanks for clearing that up.”

Asked Thursday about the incident, Martin said he was aware of the incident, but not the suspension.

“Judy came on my Facebook page and said it was a prank against the mayor and nothing more,” Martin said. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s ‘No harm, no foul.’”

It’s a problem that bedevils every campaign – missing signs, whether due to weather and traffic, local cleanup crews, or too often, the opposition. Here’s one solution: a game camera mounted near a prime sign location that has seen disappearances.

Mike Jacobs Sign TheftThat’s how one State Representative got these photos of a serial sign thief roadside beautifier.

From WSB-TV:

A security camera hidden between the leaves of his neighbors’ Magnolia tree caught the sign snatcher in action one day this week. The culprit swiped several signs just before 5 a.m.

“It’s petty up to a point. Each one of the yard signs actually costs $3 a piece, so once you’ve stolen a significant number of them you’ve got theft,” said Jacobs, who represents District 80.

In Snellville, they do things differently: State Rep. Brett Harrell marked his territory signs with urine. From a fox.

How does fox urine help a political candidate in his fight to win office? You might be surprised.
Brett Harrell, the Republican State House candidate for District 106, showed CBS Atlanta Wednesday how he uses Georgia Red Fox urine, combined with a gel, to prevent thieves from taking his political signs off of private property.
“With the Red Fox urine, we just spray it with the spray bottle, right around the edges of the sign.”
He added, “It would make it disgustingly unattractive for anyone to touch that sign.”

Personally, I think I’d go with the game camera.

Savannah Harbor Expansion closer to moving forward

The AJC Political Insider reports that a conference committee report in Congress on the Water Resources Bill that includes authorization for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project could be coming nest week.

After nearly seven months of wrangling, the House-Senate negotiators announced Thursday night that they had agreed on a conference committee report which will be filed next week, and should clear both chambers easily. The House is gone next week, though, so the earliest it can head to President Barack Obama’s desk is the week of the 19th.

A Congressional authorization is the last step, according to the Obama administration, before the Army Corps of Engineers can sign off on a final project partnership agreement with the Georgia Ports Authority. It’s been a long road, especially for veterans like Georgia Republican U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who had this to say:

“While the approval of SHEP is long overdue, this agreement will clear the last hurdle for the historic expansion of the Savannah Harbor. Since I first arrived in Congress 20 years ago, this has been my top economic priority for Georgia, and I will not rest until the White House delivers on their promises and allows construction to begin with full federal backing.”

Meanwhile, the feds seized 346 pound of cocaine valued at $9 million from a shipping container at the Port of Savannah.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Thursday that routine container inspections at the Georgia port turned up 133 packages containing a white powder that tested positive for cocaine.

Authorities say the cocaine weighed more than 346 pounds. It was seized on April 14.

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