Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections for July 2, 2015

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections for July 2, 2015

On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted a resolution by Richard Henry Lee (father of Robert E. Lee) calling for independence from Britain. The delegations of twelve colonies voted in favor, while New York’s abstained, not knowing how their constituents would wish them to vote.

On July 2, 1826, representatives from Georgia and Alabama met to begin surveying the border between the two.

On July 2, 1861, Georgia voters approved a new state Constitution, which had been adopted by the state’s Secession Convention.

July 2, 1863 saw day 2 of the Battle of Gettysburg, with Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia attacking Meade’s Army of the Potomac.

On July 2, 1898, the first pot of delicious Brunswick Stew was made in Brunswick, Georgia. I think I’ll celebrate with a bowl for lunch today.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on July 2, 1864. Major provisions included outlawing discriminatory application of voting laws, prohibiting racial discrimination in public accomodations, allowing the Attorney General to join lawsuits against states operating segregated public schools, and prohibiting discrimination by state and local governments or agencies receiving federal funds.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a witness to Johnson’s signature, standing behind the President in the Oval Office. Johnson presented King with one of the 72 pens used in signing the legislation.

Occasionally, pens from the Civil Rights Act signing come onto the collectors’ market. A collection of 50 pens used to sign legislation by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson went across the block in November 2013. This pen went unsold.

As a student of Dr. Merle Black in the political science department at Emory, we began our study of Southern politics from the premise that race relations and the legacy of racial discrimination shaped Southern politics. One book we read every year was The Longest Debate: A Legislative History of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which belongs on the bookshelf of any serious student of American politics, political history, and legislative process.

Georgia Politics

Paul Maner announced that he will run against incumbent State Senator Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) in the 2016 Republican Primary election for State Senate District 40. From the Press Release:

Long-time Atlanta resident Paul Maner has announced he will be seeking the Republican nomination in the upcoming 2016 state election cycle. Running as a conservative Republican, Paul Maner promises to bring honesty, leadership, & accountability to Georgia State Senate District 40 because It’s Our Time Now!

About Paul

Paul Maner, an experienced Financial Advisor at National Financial Services Group (ATL), has spent 22+ years helping others become debt-free, financially independent, & personally protected. He is the author of “Bible Centered Principles for Personal Finance” and a dedicated volunteer at the Atlanta Bible Camp. Most recently, Paul was awarded the “5 Star Wealth Management Award” by a group of industry peers. Paul and his wife Paula,  married since 1983, have a son and daughter-in-law (married by Paul) – both  currently serving in the U.S. Army as Combat Medics. Paul describes his  priorities are “God, family, work, & Falcons”.

About Paul’s Campaign  

Why is he running? Well, simple – Paul believes that It’s Our Time Now. It is time to take  control of our state’s future with solid financial planning and conservative Republican leadership  and secure Georgia’s place as a national leader in education, jobs, & economic growth. We’d like to invite you to learn more about Paul and his campaign by visiting www.paulmaner.com.

In Augusta, Wright McLeod, who ran for Congress in the 12th District in 2012, send out a press release announcing his campaign for State House District 123 in 2016 when incumbent Barbara Sims will not run for reelection.

Augusta native Wright McLeod officially announces his run for Georgia House of Representatives District 123.

District 123 is currently held by Barbara Sims. She has announced that she will not seek re-election after completing her fifth term.  “Barbara has selflessly served this District with grace and effectiveness. Thank you Barbara for a job well done.”

McLeod, a Republican and decorated Navy Commander and Naval Flight Officer, flew the F-14 Tomcat fighter jet for 20 years, including 38 combat missions in Operation DESERT STORM. McLeod earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the U.S. Naval Academy, a masters in National Security Studies from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Georgia School of Law.

After his retirement from the Navy, McLeod brought his family back to Augusta and started a successful real estate law firm. He and his wife, Sheri, have been married for 28 years and are the proud parents to three daughters, Collier (23), Maggie (21) and Grace (15). The McLeod’s attend the Church of the Good Shepherd in Augusta where McLeod serves on the Vestry.  McLeod also serves on the Board of Directors of the Augusta Warrior Project and the Hephzibah Charter School Commission.

Former Augusta Mayor Bob Young will join McLeod in the race for HD 123.

Bob Young is back.  The former Augusta Mayor announced Monday that he was entering the race for House District 123, a seat currently held by Barbara Sims.  Sims announced on Monday, via email, that she would not be seeking re-election.  On his Facebook page, Young announced he would run in the Republican primary for the Georgia State House seat.

In his Facebook post, Young wrote “I look forward to carrying my message as the conservative choice to the voters in Richmond and Columbia Counties in the coming months.”

Lawrenceville City Council Member Marie Bieser will not run for reelection this year.

Bieser said she decided that, at 75, she was too old to pursue another four-year term on the council after her current one expires at the end of the year. She has decided to retire instead and endorse Lawrenceville Downtown Development Authority Chairman David Still to replace her. Bieser was first elected to the council in 2008.

“If it were a two-year term, I might have considered running again, but four years is just too much,” Bieser told the Daily Post on Wednesday. “I think it’s time for the younger people to step up to the plate and get involved in the running of the city.”

Bieser’s seat is one of three spots that are up for election in the city this year. Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson and Council member Tony Powell are also up for re-election this year.

DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis Convicted

DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis was found guilty on 4 of 9 charges related to political corruption in the second trial.

Ellis was acquitted of four counts of criminal attempt to commit theft by extortion and one count of bribery. He will be sentenced Wednesday, July 8 at 9 a.m.

Ellis was on trial for the second time after a first jury failed to reach a verdict.

The criminal attempt to commit theft by extortion charge carries a possible sentence of one to five years in prison. A charge of perjury has a sentence of one to 10 years. It is expected that the three perjury charges will be rolled into one charge during sentencing.

The perjury counts related to testimony Ellis gave to a special grand jury in 2013. The jury also found that Ellis ordered the county to stop doing business with Power and Energy Services after they refused to donate to Ellis’ campaign.

DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May released a statement hours after Ellis’ conviction:

I encourage everyone to join me in keeping the Ellis family in our thoughts and prayers. I wish them strength in the days and months ahead.

Mr. Ellis remains under suspension during any appeal until the final disposition of his case or the expiration of his term of office, whichever comes first. While the suspension is in effect, I remain as Interim Chief Executive Officer. As Interim CEO, I will continue to stay focused on moving the county forward.

DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester (R-Dunwoody) also released a statement.

Today the taxpayers, businesses, and residents of DeKalb County received a portion of justice long due to them. I congratulate District Attorney Robert James on his success in Court today. I thank Judge Courtney Johnson and the jury of DeKalb County citizens that heard this case, thoughtfully deliberated on the facts, and delivered their verdict.

Today’s verdict, while important and necessary, does not close the book on corruption in DeKalb. To the contrary, these verdicts, along with guilty pleas of a former Commissioner, are but a fraction of the justice that must be tendered to the citizens of this county.

The fact remains that the trust and goodwill between the citizens in DeKalb and county government has been completely eroded. This one case, albeit a significant one, represents one facet of the problems that plague DeKalb. Corruption, waste, incompetence, bias, and an abusive bureaucracy have all found homes in various crevices of DeKalb County. I remain optimistic that investigators, law enforcement officials, and prosecutors will continue to mete out more justice for the people. Perhaps the harder task before us is to eradicate the quieter, but equally as harmful, scourge of incompetence, waste, bias, and abusive bureaucracy. Only when we completely address all of these negative attributes of DeKalb County government, will we be able to regain public trust and goodwill.

The Savannah Morning News gave the Savannah City Council an earful over the issue of tardiness to public meetings.

Despite the consistent appearance of both sessions on the city calendar, council members — with one exception — rarely bother to show up on time.

Regardless of who’s waiting.

The result?

People who take the starting times seriously end up cooling their heels until council members decide to make an appearance.

This behavior on the part of council members is unacceptable. It’s rude and arrogant.

Excuses such as “I was busy” or “I was delayed” don’t work because the dates and start times for these meetings are set well in advance. It requires only a minor effort for the aldermen to ensure they’ve made appropriate arrangements to meet that schedule.

It’s a matter of eight elected officials, in effect, telling those who sit and wait “my time is more important than yours.”

Alderman Hall is the exception, the one member who consistently is on time.

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