Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 26, 2015


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 26, 2015

On June 28, 1742, Spanish forces based in Florida invaded Georgia.

On June 28, 1776, Thomas Jefferson’s second draft of the Declaration of Independence was presented to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Click here for a comparison of the first, second, and final drafts of the Declaration.

On June 27, 1864, Sherman’s Union forces attacked General Johnston’s Confederates at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain.

One year later, the Military Department of Georgia was created to oversee Reconstruction in the state.

On June 28, 1887, John Pemberton patented Coca-Cola Syrup and Extract.

Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia on June 28, 1914, sparking the First World War.

On June 26, 1918, the Georgia General Assembly ratified the Eighteenth Amendment, which outlawed the production, sale, and transportation of alcohol. Governor Hugh Dorsey did not sign it for nearly a week, but the United States Secretary of State considers an Amendment ratified when the state legislature has voted on final passage.

The Gone with the Wind scene that includes the line, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” was filmed on June 27, 1939, along with an alternate that used the line, “Frankly, my dear, I just don’t care.”

On June 26, 1945, the United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco.

The Berlin Airlift began on June 26, 1948 after the Soviet Union had blockaded West Berlin, which was occupied by the United States, Great Britain, and France.

On this date in 1982, “Don’t You Want Me,” by the Human League was number two on the top forty. If you want to know how much of a geek I am, I spent that summer (I turned 11) at computer camp at Ohio State University, monkeying around with IBM PCs.

Gone with the Wind was re-released on June 26, 1998.

Georgia Politics

The United States Supreme Court released its opinion in King v. Burwell yesterday. Predictably, Georgia Republicans reacted.

Attorney General Sam Olens

“I am deeply disappointed by today’s Supreme Court ruling in the King v. Burwell case. By permitting President Obama to ignore and rewrite important provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court has threatened our constitutional structure, which has always been understood to give Congress—and only Congress—the power to enact and amend the laws of our nation. Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a loss for everyone who cares about the Constitution and the rule of law.

“For my part, I’ll continue to fight for our Constitution, the rule of law, and for the Georgians hurt by President Obama’s failed domestic policies.”

United States Senator David Perdue

“Today’s ruling doesn’t change the fact that Obamacare is a disaster and should be entirely repealed. Right now, many Georgians are seeing their premiums skyrocket by double-digits, their hours cut back because of the employer mandate, and less access to the doctors of their choice because of the empty promises made by President Obama. These aren’t theoretical problems discussed in a courtroom. They are real-world economic problems caused by Obamacare. I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a patient-centered alternative.”

United States Senator Johnny Isakson

“Today the Supreme Court failed to recognize how terribly flawed President Obama’s health care law is for millions of Georgians suffering under the law’s health insurance premium spikes and intrusive mandates. Despite this action by the Supreme Court I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

Congressman Buddy Carter (R-1)

“The only thing worse for health care in America than Obamacare has been its implementation which clearly ignores the rule of law,” said Carter. “While this ruling is a deep disappointment to those who, like me, have seen the devastating impact of this train wreck of a law first hand, we cannot lose hope that we will prevail in repealing and replacing it with real reforms.”

Congressman Rick Allen (R-12)

“While the Supreme Court’s ruling upholds the law’s subsidies, it does not affirm ObamaCare as the right health care solution for the American people. The fact remains that ObamaCare has made health care more expensive and continues to hurt families, individuals and businesses in Georgia and across the country. Over the last five years, millions of patients have seen their premiums increase and have lost the plans and doctors they were promised they could keep. Small businesses have been forced to cut back on hiring, while hardworking employees have seen their hours and paychecks cut.

“Health care solutions should empower patients and families – not Washington – and give them the freedom to choose a plan that meets their needs. I’ve cosponsored legislation the House has passed to repeal ObamaCare, as well as several bills to protect Americans from many of its harmful provisions. I’ve also signed onto plans offering free-market alternatives that put patients and doctors back in charge of health care decisions with more flexibility and choices. I will continue to fight at every opportunity for better health care solutions by repealing and replacing ObamaCare with patient-centered reforms.”

Congressman Rob Woodall (R-7)

“The Court’s ruling today maintains the status quo – a health care system where government bureaucrats are pulling the strings behind the scenes, where Americans are forced to accept government assistance, and where millions of Americans are still left uninsured even as we send hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars out the door,” said Rep. Woodall. “This decision doesn’t fulfill the broken promises made by the President as he sought to win America’s support for his Washington takeover of the entire health care industry, and sadly those promises continue to be broken one by one every day: millions of citizens have been forced off the health care plans they liked and forced onto Obamacare plans they do not, all the while losing access to the doctor that they trust – despite the President’s repeated claims to the contrary.”

“Americans still need health care they can afford; and Americans still want the freedom to choose the policy that works best for their family.  Irrespective of the Court’s decision today, America still needs real health care reform that delivers on these commitments. Delaying or masking the effects of Obamacare does not solve the underlying problems of high costs and limited choice, and I remain committed to finding those long-term solutions.”

Congressman Doug Collins (R-9)

“It is disappointing that this poorly crafted and poorly executed law will stand, all because the Supreme Court has decided they are better qualified than Congress to make laws. Clearly the Supreme Court’s decision is flawed, and continues to further the President’s liberal agenda.Now that the backbone of Obamacare has been upheld by the Supreme Court, the best option left to Congress, despite voting to repeal or defund the law 66 times, is to try to replace it. Since being elected to Congress, I have personally voted to dismantle this economic nightmare of a law 28 times.”

“Republicans are prepared with a strong alternative to alleviate the burden of Obamacare. That is why I have introduced the Health Care Compact, a bill that hands control back to the states, and gives them the primary responsibility of designing a healthcare system that works for their citizens.”

“Since the court has chosen to uphold Obamacare, the Health Care Compact will provide much needed relief to states where the law is simply making things worse. Republicans owe it to this country to find a workable solution for every state, and bring health care regulations back to being patient-centered, accessible, and affordable.”

Congressman Jody Hice (R-10)

“I am extremely disappointed with the Court’s ruling today. By finding in favor of the Administration, this Court has defied all reasonable logic. My thoughts align with those expressed by Justice Scalia in his dissent that under all normal circumstances the Government should have lost this case. By essentially rewriting the law with its ruling, this Court is setting the actual language in the law because it feels Obamacare must be saved no matter what. The American people deserved better than this disastrous law and they deserved better than this flawed ruling. Regardless of today’s unfortunate decision, Obamacare is a raw deal for the American people and I remain committed to repealing it in its entirety.”

Congressman Austin Scott (R-8)

“Even though I disagree with the Supreme Court’s ruling today, the fact remains that millions of Americans are suffering from higher premiums and limited access to care due to the President’s health care law,” said Congressman Austin Scott.

“Despite the ruling, I will continue to fight for a patient-centered, free-market alternative to Obamacare that lowers the cost of health insurance for all Americans.”

Political Events

State Senator Bruce Thompson (R-White) holds a Town Hall Meeting in Cherokee County tonight, beginning at 7 PM at Cherokee County Fire Station #22, 9550 Bells Ferry Road, Canton, Georgia 30114. After Sen. Thompson gave the keynote address at the Republican Leadership for Georgia Class of 2015 graduation, one of the graduating members of the class wrote, “He gave one of the best political speeches I have ever heard.” Keep an eye on this guy.

Herman Cain will headline a fundraiser for State House District 48 candidate Dave McCleary from 3-5 PM Sunday at the Olde Blind Dog Pub, 12650 Crabapple Rd, Milton, GA 30004. Rsvp to Pam McCleary, 678-250-4346 or

DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester is hosting a Town Hall on How To Appeal Your DeKalb County Property Value Assessment on Wednesday July 1, 2015 from 7-8:30 PM at Dunwoody City Hall 41 Perimeter Center East, Dunwoody, GA 30346.

State and Local

The jury in the Burrell Ellis corruption trial will continue deliberating today after not reaching a verdict in 11 hours yesterday.

Former Macon Mayor C. Jack Ellis (D) wants to go a step further in wiping out Georgia’s history by removing Confederate monuments and renaming streets that currently honor Confederate soldiers.

Ellis wants Confederate memorial statues to be moved off public property and placed instead in a museum or cemetery.

Two notable markers to the Confederacy in Macon are the statue at the intersection of Second Street and Cotton Avenue honoring soldiers who fought for the South and a statue on Poplar Street honoring the wives, mothers and daughters of those soldiers.

In addition to moving those statues, Ellis said he’d like streets such as Jefferson Davis Street to be renamed.

“I view Jefferson Davis the same way Jews view Hitler,” Ellis said.

Ellis said he would like to see new markers placed across the city noting its role in slavery. For example, he’d like a marker on Poplar Street that lets people know there was a slave market there before the Civil War.

Also, when Ellis was mayor and refurbishing Terminal Station, he left in place various markers noting the presence of “colored” signs that once segregated blacks and whites.

Ellis said he supports keeping those markers to remember the victims of slavery and racial intolerance, but he said he doesn’t understand why there are so many markers commemorating the Confederacy since it lost the Civil War.

Property tax relief is on the way for some Dunwoody homeowners after a tax exemption was not applied, according to the AJC.

The refunds will be paid as a result of reporting by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and questions raised by Sen. Fran Millar, R-Atlanta, and DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester.

The error occurred because Dunwoody officials didn’t notify the county, which handles the city’s tax billing, after voters approved a tax exemption during a November 2010 election, said Dunwoody Finance Director Christopher Pike. The measure passed with 81 percent of the vote.

The tax break provides residents with a discount on the city portion of their tax bills to negate tax increases caused by rising home values.

“It’s great news that the oversight was uncovered and remedied, but it’s still disturbing that this could be something that’s voted on and then all of a sudden it’s one big nevermind,” said Al Tiede, who has lived in Dunwoody for 24 years and believes he’ll receive a refund.

It’s unknown how many people are owed refunds and how much money they’ll receive. DeKalb Tax Commissioner Claudia Lawson said her office is reviewing tax bills from 2012 to 2014, and she plans to have more information next week.

Once the county recalculates taxes, the city will be billed and then refund checks will be mailed to residents, Lawson said.

The Jasper Ocean Terminal, a joint venture by South Carolina and Georgia, is moving forward in FY 2016.

The 2016 budget includes money for further studies of the site design, sediment, access corridor and channel improvements necessary for the largest container ships, as well as efforts to recruit a third party required for completion of an environmental impact study.

The Georgia Ports Authority and the South Carolina Ports Authority will each contribute $1.25 million to the new budget.

“This was a watershed meeting for our board,” JOT chairman David Posek said in a statement.

“A significant amount of work has been completed this fiscal year, and as we look forward to a new year ahead, we’re well on our way to beginning the permitting process for the terminal.”

The work plan for fiscal 2016 includes geological studies and conceptual work on terminal design by Moffat & Nichol, a national engineering firm specializing in maritime infrastructure. The year is expected to culminate with a permit application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the new Jasper Ocean Terminal as well as channel deepening and widening.

It would be owned and operated jointly by Georgia and South Carolina, helping the two states create a southeastern gateway for the country’s fastest growing region.

Studies have indicated a new deep-water container port will be needed when the ports of Savannah and Charleston reach capacity in as little as 10 years.

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