Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 27, 2015


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 27, 2015

On October 27, 1775, King George III addressed Parliament, raising concerns about an American rebellion.

The First of the Federalist Papers, an essay by Alexander Hamilton published under the pseudonym Publius, was published on October 27, 1787.

The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of San Lorenzo, also called Pinckney’s Treaty on October 27, 1795, setting the 31st parallel as the border between Georgia and Florida.

The nation’s first Gold Rush started after Benjamin Parks discovered gold in what is now Lumpkin County, Georgia on October 27, 1828.

Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York City on October 27, 1858.

President Woodrow Wilson vetoed the Volstead Act, which implemented the Eighteenth Amendment prohibition on alcohol, on October 27, 1919; the House overrode his veto that same day.

Navy Day was established on October 27, 1922.

October 27 was suggested by the Navy League to recognize Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday. Roosevelt had been an Assistant Secretary of the Navy and supported a strong Navy as well as the idea of Navy Day. In addition, October 27 was the anniversary of a 1775 report issued by a special committee of the Continental Congress favoring the purchase of merchant ships as the foundation of an American Navy.

Ronald Reagan delivered the “A Time for Choosing” speech on October 27, 1964.

And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man.

This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down—[up] man’s old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.

We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.

Jimmy Carter campaigned in New York on October 27, 1976.

Gladys Knight and the Pips reached #1 with “Midnight Train to Georgia” on October 27, 1973.

Andrew Young was elected Mayor of Atlanta on October 27, 1981.

Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy accepted the last Ford Taurus built in Hapeville, Georgia on October 27, 2006.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

“Frat Beach” may be considerably more sober restrained this weekend at St Simons Island.

The beach party, which kicks off Friday, has attained a near legendary status in a culture of football tailgating that already revels in excess. But many fed-up island residents complain that the blow-out transforms their usually family friendly beach community into an out-of-control blend of Girls Gone Wild, Daytona Spring Break, a Halloween bash and a college football fanfest. Never mind the tons of trash left behind.

This year, St. Simons officials say they’re cracking down: zero tolerance for underage drinking, roadside sobriety checks and more police armed with breathalyzers. That’s created a giant buzz-kill among UGA students, alumni and other fans who make the annual pilgrimage to the island. They say the tough new tone will eventually kill a decades-old tradition that allowed them to cut loose without causing too much trouble. Already there are early signs that many may be taking a pass this year.

Hotel and condo rentals for the weekend, usually full by now, are down 30 percent, according to the local convention and visitors bureau. That might mean less trouble, but it also means less clanging of cash registers in this tourist haven.

St. Simons residents have decidedly mixed feelings about Frat Beach weekend, which can draw more than 5,000 people to their island of about 13,000.

Police Chief Matt Doering still expects several thousand revelers this weekend. And if anybody thinks he’s bluffing, he said they’ll be sorry.

“I don’t want to get into tactics, but suffice to say I will have more law enforcement looking into underage drinking, littering, public indecency, drugs and people drinking in public where they shouldn’t be,” the chief said.

More than 100 officers will be there, more than double last year. In prior years, the chief said the weekend ended with a dozen or two arrests. This year, expect less leniency.

His advice to young people: “Don’t lie to the police.”


Luckily, the Glynn County Republican Party has you covered for Friday night with their Red and Black Shrimp Boil. Tickets are $25 each, for more information, please check out the event’s Facebook page or contact Kevin Gough at 912-266-5454.

If you live in or around Glynn County, consider yourself a Republican, but have not attended any events with the Glynn County GOP, please email me as I may have two free tickets available.

Early voting continues through Friday in Glynn County and in municipalities and some counties across Georgia.

If you find yourself in Bradford County, Florida, between Gainesville and Jacksonville, this weekend be careful to stay well within the law at all times, as a local judge has been dishing out creative punishments for some lawbreakers.

It’s a warning to anyone in Bradford County to not drink and drive or shoplift. If you do, you could face public punishment from Judge Richard B. Davis.

Another thing we do, we require in some cases, not in all, that there will be sign duty.  We reduce sign duty from 20 hours to about 2 hours, because we think that’s about reasonable, and it’s taken us awhile to kind of sort that out,” Judge Davis said as he addressed his courtroom.

He has been working on this new sort of punishment for about a year for people arrested for DUI and Petty Theft. They sometimes can get the punishment of standing with a sign along State Road 301, the main drag through Bradford County, with a sign that either reads “I drove drunk” or one that reads  “I stole from a local merchant.”

One of the purposes of doing this public-style punishment is to keep offenders from doing it again. But the courts are finding another benefit, too.  The Sheriff’s Office says it appears to be cutting down on the number of people offending in the first place.

“The Sheriff has told me out of the blue, just not last week, I think it was, that several parents have come up to him and have said, ‘I’ve been driving around and my child saw this person with a sign and they asked me about it and wanted to know what it was about.’  And so, we had a really good talk about obeying the law and about what happens if you don’t obey the law,” Judge Davis told his courtroom.

The Port of Savannah saw significant growth in September compared to the previous year, according to the Journal of Commerce.

The Port of Savannah posted increases of 5.6 percent in full containers, 13.4 percent in full import containers, and 7.3 percent in total 20-foot-equivalent volume during September.

The overall volume of 317,411 TEUs was the highest for any September at Georgia Ports Authority terminals, and represented Savannah’s seventh consecutive month of year-over-year growth. Excluding empties, the port handled 240,455 TEUs, compared with 227,746 TEUs in September 2014.

GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz noted that September’s growth came despite tough year-over-year comparisons with September 2014, when overall container volume rose 12.9 percent. Many industry officials expect only tepid growth in total U.S. import totals for this year’s pre-holiday peak season.

Savannah’s full import containers in September totaled 139,774 TEUs, a 13.4 percent increase. Full imports slipped 0.3 percent, to 100,681 TEUs,

“We are pleasantly surprised to see volumes remaining above last year’s double-digit growth,” Foltz said. “Last month was the busiest September for container traffic in GPA’s history. We anticipate, at some point this year, to begin seeing throughput leveling off to more normal levels.”

In addition to its container volume, GPA terminals posted a 4.6 percent increase in roll-on, roll-off cargo volume in September, when 50,305 ro-ro units were handled.

The Savannah City Council is considering an earlier curfew for minors 16 and under.

As submitted by Alderman Van Johnson, the proposed curfew would be 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. on weekends, although it would not be enforced until an hour later to provide a grace period. Currently, the curfew is 11 p.m. during the week and midnight on Saturday and Sunday.

Researchers at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography and Georgia Department of Natural Resources are working with shrimpers on the issue of black gill, which can kill large numbers of shrimp.

“The shrimpers have been reporting for some time that in August they’re fishing and the shrimp are thick and they’re catching a lot, and then in a day or two, they just disappear,” said Professor Marc Frischer of the Skidaway Institute.

From their own molecular analysis of shrimp tissue, Frischer’s team discovered that the infection actually emerges in May or June, months before the gills turn black. So this year they caught shrimp in June and July and monitored them in the lab, making a startling discovery that backed up the shrimpers’ claims.

“We’ve never seen mortality before associated with black gill,” Frischer said. “But sure enough, two weeks into that experiment they started to die at really tremendous rates, one week 40 percent, the next week 40 percent. And then they stopped dying. The mortality went away. There was a very short but virulent phase of the cycle.”

Frischer cautioned that one experiment is not definitive. But if it proves accurate, that level of mortality is worth noting.

“Put that in dollars, and it’s about $5 million worth of shrimp for Georgia,” he said.

Black gill shrimp are not a danger to people even if the shrimp is consumed. Nor does black gill affect the taste of the shrimp. Usually consumers are unaware of the condition because shrimpers often remove shrimp heads, which contain the gills. With this in mind, the Georgia Sea Grant program has dropped the term “disease” when discussing black gill for fear it will needlessly turn off consumers.

Frischer hopes the project will eventually provide a way to predict how black gill will affect the economically important fall crop of shrimp each year. An overly rosy prediction in 2013 led shrimpers to look for a bumper crop that never materialized.

Incumbent Centerville City Council Post 4 member Jon Nichols is challenged by Edward Armijo in next Tuesday’s election.

The Special Election in House District 122 to succeed former Rep. Ben Harbin has become a street fight, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Joe Mullins, one of four candidates vying for the seat vacated in July by former State Rep. Ben Harbin, has come out swinging against Mack Taylor, the opponent Mullins says is behind media reports and other allegations questioning his qualifications for residency in the state.

After several days of contentious postings and accusations between the two camps on social media, Mullins announced Friday that a supporter of his has filed a formal ethics complaint against Taylor, accusing him of filing a false campaign disclosure with the state Ethics Commission.

The other candidates, Jodi Lott and Pat Goodwin, are being careful to stay out of the fray, which looks to get rougher before the Nov. 3 election day.

The complaint, filed by Otis Williams, of Hickory Drive in Evans, claims Taylor failed to disclose the services provided to his campaign by a private investigator, which he contends should have been listed as an expenditure or an in-kind contribution.

The rhetoric must have been a notch or two lower at the debate between candidates for Mayor of Kennesaw, because the MDJ only compared it to “sparring.”

The Augusta Chronicle also takes a look at who is funding the campaign promoting passage of the SPLOST in next week’s election. Over the past several weeks, the Chronicle has been taking a comprehensive look at the SPLOST, and it’s a great service to the voters of the area.

Some voters opposed to the SPLOST are also speaking out, according to WRDW in Augusta.

In Carroll County, school leaders are asking voters to pass the E-SPLOST to help fund education. Two seats on the Tallapoosa City Council are also contested.

Also voting on an E-SPLOST next Tuesday will be Baldwin County.

The county collects between $30 million and $37 million per five-year sales tax cycle. Even though the county has a good history of passing educational SPLOST referendums, Price said she still did her part to make sure people realize the tax won’t burden Baldwin County residents.

It’s an extension of an existing sales tax, with some of the money coming from people who live somewhere else.

“I’ve been trying to get the word out that everybody that shops in Baldwin County will contribute to the E-SPLOST,” Price said.

District officials also are hopeful that the measure will pass because the funds would benefit “every child in every school,” Clark said.

“I think it’s wonderful because you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket, so to say, and we’re spreading the love,” said Clark, who is in her fourth year as principal at Creekside Elementary. “Everybody will get to see the difference it will make.”

A Hoschton City Council race is seeing competing visions for the community’s future as Post 5 incumbent Scott Butler and challenger Michelle Forthofer discussed the issues.

[Moderator Don] Wildsmith asked the candidates where they thought Hoschton would be in five, 10 or 15 years.

For Butler, the reality of the city’s fiscal posture five years ago found him wondering if the city would still be here today.

“With a new mayor and three new council members,” Butler said the leadership committed to make the tough decisions to attempt to make the city viable. He said the next five years provide a good opportunity for growth with a new school building built, the new hospital just a few miles away prompting a thriving health care-centered development and new homes being built. New water and sewer customers are needed to help that fund become self-sustaining. He said destination restaurants could also be a draw.

Forthofer said the quiet, quaint town of Hoschton attracted her family to their Brook Haven neighborhood and she wants Hoschton over the next several years to be a welcoming place for new families and for those coming to work in the community. She anticipates an influx of workers for the new hospital.

“We need to be able to handle the water and sewer situation,” said Forthofer. “We need more tax revenues in the city.” She said safety services will be needed to ensure a sense of community but she acknowledged, being new, she is not familiar at present about how to generate the needed revenues.

“I don’t know the inner workings of the city but the safety and security of the community doesn’t need to suffer,” said Forthofer. “I want to know from the community and I want to be a voice for the community and not just sit at the table.” She said there are tough decisions ahead which the council needs to make together after hearing from the people who don’t currently feel they are being heard.

In Flowery Branch, Gov. Nathan Deal launched the Georgia WorkSmart program to help attract new jobs by implementing customized training programs through apprenticeships, internships and cooperative education opportunites.

The Gainesville Times covered the Georgia WorkSmart rollout.

Now, 13 industries and 30 businesses across the state seek to bring these two attributes together with the launch of Georgia WorkSmart, a work-based learning initiative.

“This program will help lead the way in establishing effective partnerships between businesses and educators to better prepare jobseekers for employment opportunities throughout the state,” Gov. Nathan Deal said at the program’s launch Monday at the King’s Hawaiian facility in Flowery Branch. “This collaboration between the public and private sectors will continue making our state more attractive for businesses.”

Establishing and nourishing a pipeline between schools and businesses will be critical to the success of Georgia WorkSmart, state officials said.

“Our goal is to supply employers with a workforce trained for today’s business climate,” Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Gretchen Corbin said. “We look forward to working with companies to create detailed, customized curricula that focus on the specific skills that will allow the trainee to succeed in that work environment.”

The launch of the program corresponds with a nearly $3 million grant awarded to the state economic development arm from the U.S. Department of Labor. That funding will help create apprenticeship programs related to advanced manufacturing in the state.

On the subject of manufacturing, Sen. Josh McKoon notes that Indiana appears to be doing well at developing in-state manufacturing. From the IndyStar,

The manufacturing investments have rolled in to Indiana this year: $600 million at Rolls-Royce, $140 million at Subaru and $1.2 billion at General Motors, to name a few.

Almost $2 billion has been invested to overhaul production facilities or expand corporate footprints — a trend that economic experts say puts Indiana at the forefront of states with manufacturing-heavy economies.

“It’s not the norm,” said Barry Bosworth, an economic expert at The Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank. “It sounds like Indiana is doing well.”

Indiana leads the nation in manufacturing employment — almost 17 percent of the state’s workforce is employed by manufacturers. More than 30 percent of the state’s gross product is manufacturing, again placing Indiana ahead of all other states.

Indiana’s long tradition of manufacturing, as well as its business climate, makes it one of the most viable states for production, said Chad Moutray, chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers. Indiana has thrived since the Great Recession, he added.

So much for the backlash against Indiana businesses after the state passed religious freedom legislation earlier this year.

Former Atlanta City Council President Cathy Woolard began her 2017 campaign for Mayor of Atlanta with an email blast, according to the AJC Political Insider.

As DeKalb Turns

One of my fellow Brookhaven residents, noting the Hello, Kitty campaign for City Council, suggested that our city should host a reality TV show. Between Hello, Kitty and a professional competitive eater running for Mayor, it might prove compelling.

In the latest soap opera-like installment of “As DeKalb Turns,” iCEO Lee May, who was appointed to that position by Governor Deal without being elected countywide, prevented County Commissioner Nancy Jester, who earned her seat in last year’s Special Election, from attending an important meeting about Peachtree DeKalb Airport, part of which is in Jester’s district.

In a stunningly unprofessional action, Lee May told Commissioner Nancy Jester the interviews for Director of the Peachtree-DeKalb Airport (PDK) were private meetings. Lee May not only refused to invite Commissioner Nancy Jester, but once she arrived to go to work for the taxpayers of DeKalb County, Lee May, with raised voice and intimidation tactics, forced Commissioner Nancy Jester to depart the meeting against her will.

However, Lee May, the un-elected iCEO, did allow two other DeKalb County Commissioners to participate in the interview process.

Senior staff for Lee May confirmed to Commissioner Nancy Jester that the justification for the invitations to the two invited DeKalb Commissioners was that they represent part of PDK. When senior staff for Lee May acknowledged that Commissioner Jester represents part of PDK and presented this reality to Lee May he still refused to allow her to remain in the room.

A Marco Rubio Campaign Event

This is very cool – Terry Sullivan, Senator Marco Rubio’s Campaign Manager, will be at a Young Professionals Post Debate discussion and reception on November 12 in Atlanta.

It’s usually easier for regular folks like us to meet the candidate briefly than it is to meet a Presidential Campaign Manager.

More details as we get them.

A little background on Mr. Sullivan, from a Washington Post article from April.

A South Carolina native, … Sullivan has been facilitating Rubio’s outreach to Mitt Romney’s former donors and operatives. He’s a former deputy chief of staff in Rubio’s Senate office, who once worked for the campaigns of former Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) and Jesse Helms (R-S.C.) and most recently, was a managing partner at First Tuesday Strategies, a political consulting firm.

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