Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 23, 2015


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 23, 2015

Bon Homme Richard

John Paul Jones, at the helm of US ship Bonhomme Richard, won a naval battle off the coast of England on September 23, 1779.

After inflicting considerable damage to the Bonhomme Richard, Richard Pearson, the captain of the Serapis, asked Jones if he had struck his colors, the naval sign indicating surrender. From his disabled ship, Jones replied, “I have not yet begun to fight,” and after three more hours of furious fighting the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough surrendered to him.

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark returned to St. Louis Missouri from their exploratory trip to the Pacific coast on September 23, 1806.

On September 23, 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was speaking at a dinner with the Teamsters union and addressed attacks that had been made by Republicans, including the allegation that after leaving his dog, Fala, behind in the Aleutian Islands, he sent a Navy destroyer to fetch the dog. This would become known as the “Fala speech.”

These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don’t resent attacks, and my family don’t resent attacks, but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I’d left him behind on an Aleutian island and had sent a destroyer back to find him—at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or twenty million dollars—his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since. I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself … But I think I have a right to resent, to object, to libelous statements about my dog.

The idea for the joke was given to FDR by Orson Welles. The political lesson here is that any time you get an audience laughing at your opponent, you are winning.

A statue of former Georgia Governor Eugene Talmadge on the grounds of the Georgia State Capitol was unveiled on September 23, 1949, the 65th anniversary of Talmadge’s birth near Forsyth, Georgia in 1884.

On September 23, 1952, Senator Richard M. Nixon was under fire for allegedly accepting $18,000 and using it for personal expenses. To salvage his place as the Vice Presidential candidate on Eisenhower’s Republican ticket, Nixon took to the airwaves in the first nationally-televised address and delivered what came to be known as the “Checkers Speech. From The Atlantic:

[A] 1999 poll of leading communication scholars ranked the address as the sixth most important American speech of the 20th century — close behind the soaring addresses of Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The “Checkers” speech wins this high rank for one stand-out reason: It marked the beginning of the television age in American politics. It also salvaged Nixon’s career, plucking a last-second success from the jaws of abject humiliation, and profoundly shaped Nixon’s personal and professional outlook, convincing him that television was a way to do an end-run around the press and the political “establishment.”

Click here for the full text of the “Checkers Speech.”

On September 23, 1976, President Gerald Ford and former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter met in their first televised debate.

The last game played in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium took place on September 23, 1996.

Marine archaeologists working to recover the CSS Georgia from the Savannah River surfaced a second Dahlgren rifled cannon from the Civil War wreck.

Georgia Politics

Governor Nathan Deal has issued the Writ of Election officially setting March 1, 2016 as the Presidential Preference Primary for Georgia. Deal has also called a Special Election to fill House District 92, which became vacant when Rep. Tonya Anderson (D-Lithonia) qualified in the Special Election for Senate District 46, formerly held by Sen. Ron Ramsey. The Special Election in District 92 will be held November 3, 2015.

Here’s the entire Marco Rubio speech in Atlanta this Monday. Matt Damon will play Marco Rubio if they make a movie about him.

Yesterday, the Ted Cruz presidential campaign announced it picked up all three former Scott Walker Georgia co-chairs.

The addition of Julianne Thompson and Rachel Little… means that all three of Walker’s former state grassroots co-chairs will now be helping to organize the state for Cruz.

Thompson is one of Georgia’s most active Republican leaders. She is the former co-chairman of the Atlanta Tea Party and co-founder of the Capitol Coalition of Conservative Leaders, Georgia’s largest political coalition, and a former press secretary of the Georgia Republican Party.

Little is the immediate past Chairman of the Gwinnett County Republican Party and recently received the Georgia Republican Party Chairman of the Year Award. She was recognized as the Woman of the Year by the Conservative Republican Women of North Atlanta and served as Mitt Romney and Herman Cain’s Georgia state co-chair in 2012.

“We are encouraged and excited to see the caliber of support flowing to the Cruz campaign,” said Cruz national political director Mark Campbell.

Janet Huckabee, wife of Mike Huckabee has four tour stops in Georgia today and tomorrow.

10:00 AM today at MUST Ministries in Canton, GA

Noon today at The Varsity in Kennesaw, GA

7:30 PM today for dinner at Calvary Baptist in Ball Ground, GA

Thursday, 12:30 PM, Muscogee County GOP Luncheon with Janet Huckabee in Columbus, GA

The Georgia Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments at the Albany Municipal Auditorium on October 29, 2015.

On March 1, 2016, DeKalb County voters will cast ballots on yet another penny sales tax, this one to enhance the current Homestead Option Sales Tax property tax exemption.

DeKalb solicited firms this month to develop a project list and organize a public input process for a special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST). The county asked contractors to submit quotes under $50,000.

Then voters will decide next spring whether to increase their sales taxes to a total of 8 percent under a proposal that would also lower property tax bills under DeKalb’s existing homestead option sales tax (HOST).

The change would allocate HOST distributions entirely for the purpose of reducing residential property tax bills. Currently, 80 percent of HOST funds go toward property tax relief, and the rest is distributed to city and county governments.

Adjusting the HOST formula would result in about $21 million worth of additional discounts on residential property tax bills each year.

An ethics complaint against DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton will move forward, though a hearing date is not set.

Atlanta City Council member Keshia Lance Bottoms is the beneficiary of two publicly-financed mailings inside and outside of her district.

Atlanta Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms recently mailed out thousands of glossy annual reports extolling the successes of District 11. But her decision to send the document to households across the city is raising questions about whether she used district funds to raise her political profile ahead of the 2017 mayor’s race.

Bottoms, a second-term council member closely linked to Mayor Kasim Reed, appears on the cover of the report, as well as 23 of its 30 pages. In the report, she discusses her work on school and health initiatives, property improvements and participation in international trade missions.

That’s not the only piece of mail bearing Bottoms’ face these days. She also appears on a flyer sent to residents near Turner Field last week because of her work as the executive director of the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority.

Still, Bryan Long, executive director of the left-leaning advocacy group Better Georgia, said the pair of mailings raise questions about intent. “Every single person on the city council is a politician at heart, so it’s wise to question their next moves,” he said.

That her photo appears so often in the report gives “at least an appearance that she’s using her office to advance her profile in advance of a city-wide election, at a minimum,” he said.

The Atlanta United soccer team is keeping tabs on a backup site in Cobb County in case the taxpayer giveaway deal in DeKalb County falls apart.

In Gainesville, city council candidates will meet in a debate on Thursday night from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the Gainesville Civic Center, located at 830 Green St. NE.

A committee of the Macon-Bibb County Commission voted to move forward on spending $50,000 to study whether a market exists for minor league baseball in the middle Georgia city.

Cobb County Superior Court Judge Adele Grubbs will not run for reelection, kicking off what is likely to be an expensive open-seat election to her seat on the bench.

Georgia legislators are studying whether and how to regulate AirBNB and other short-term property rental sites.

Representatives for Georgia’s hotels, motels and inns said the status quo isn’t fair statewide. Holly McHaggee, president of the Georgia Innkeepers Association, owns a bed-and-breakfast in Rome, Ga. McHaggee said she bought her home specifically to run a business, complying with required licensing and inspections. New technology, she said, makes it too easy for others to skip those steps.

Airbnb and HomeAway representatives, two popular services for finding rentals, told the committee they’re open to simple regulations but also count on renters to hold owners accountable.

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