Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 13, 2015

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 13, 2015

President George Washington returned to the City of Washington on November 13, 1789, ending the first Presidential tour.

On the same day, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to his friend Jean-Baptiste LeRoy, in which he said,

“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

General Sherman’s army prepared for the March to the Sea on November 14, 1864. The March to the Sea began on November 15, 1964.

The planned route for the 17th Corps was to march from White Hall to Stockbridge, McDonough, Jackson, Monticello, and Gordon and encountered Confederate regiments from Kentucky at the Battle of Stockbridge. To the west, one or two Kentucky regiments engaged the 15th Corps in another skirmish.  [E]arlier that morning, Maj. Gen. Henry Slocum had led the 20th Corps eastward out of Atlanta with instructions to follow the Georgia Railroad eastward to Decatur, Lithonia, Covington, and Madison, tearing up the railroad along the way.

With three of his four columns on the road, Gen. Sherman remained in Atlanta with the 14th corps to oversee the destruction of anything with possible military value to the Confederacy. The next day, they would then proceed east on the road to Lithonia, then in a southeastern direction to Milledgeville, where the 20th and 14th corps would reunite in seven days.

On November 13, 1865, the United States government issued the first Gold Certificates.

The Georgia General Assembly adopted a resolution against ratifying the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution on November 13, 1866.

In deciding not to ratify the 14th Amendment, the General Assembly adopted a committee report explaining that: “1. If Georgia is not a State composing part of the Federal Government known as the Government of the United States, amendments to the Constitution of the United States are not properly before this body. 2. If Georgia is a State composing part of the Federal Government … , these these amendments are not proposed according to the requirements of the Federal Constitution, and are proposed in such a manner as to forbid the legislature from discussing the merits of the amendments without an implied surrender of the rights of the State.”

Excavation began for a new Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on the site of the former City Hall/Fulton County Courthouse on November 13, 1884.

Walt Disney released “Fantasia” on November 13, 1940.

Georgia Governor and Constitutional Commission Chair Ellis Arnall moved that a home rule provision be included in the new draft of the state Constitution and his motion passed 8-7 on November 13, 1944.

On November 14, 1944, the Constitutional Convention working on a revised document for Georgia reversed its position on home rule that had been adopted the previous day on the motion of Governor Ellis Arnall

On November 13, 1956, the United States Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that struck down a law requiring segregation on buses in Montgomery, Alabama.

Ronald Reagan announced his campaign for the Republican nomination for President of the United States on November 13, 1979.

“The people have not created this disaster in our economy; the federal government has. It has overspent, overestimated, and over regulated. It has failed to deliver services within the revenues it should be allowed to raise from taxes. In the thirty-four years since the end of World War II, it has spent 448 billion dollars more than it has collection in taxes – 448 billion dollars of printing press money, which has made every dollar you earn worth less and less. At the same time, the federal government has cynically told us that high taxes on business will in some way “solve” the problem and allow the average taxpayer to pay less. Well, business is not a taxpayer it is a tax collector. Business has to pass its tax burden on to the customer as part of the cost of doing business. You and I pay the taxes imposed on business every time we go to the store. Only people pay taxes and it is political demagoguery or economic illiteracy to try and tell us otherwise.”

“The key to restoring the health of the economy lies in cutting taxes. At the same time, we need to get the waste out of federal spending. This does not mean sacrificing essential services, nor do we need to destroy the system of benefits which flow to the poor, the elderly, the sick and the handicapped. We have long since committed ourselves, as a people, to help those among us who cannot take care of themselves. But the federal government has proven to be the costliest and most inefficient provider of such help we could possibly have.”

“I believe this nation hungers for a spiritual revival; hungers to once again see honor placed above political expediency; to see government once again the protector of our liberties, not the distributor of gifts and privilege. Government should uphold and not undermine those institutions which are custodians of the very values upon which civilization is founded—religion, education and, above all, family. Government cannot be clergyman, teacher and parent. It is our servant, beholden to us.”

“We who are privileged to be Americans have had a rendezvous with destiny since the moment in 1630 when John Winthrop, standing on the deck of the tiny Arbella off the coast of Massachusetts, told the little band of pilgrims, “We shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world.”

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on November 13, 1982 in Washington, DC.

On November 13, 2006, groundbreaking began for a memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Three astronauts with connections to Georgia – Eric Boe, Robert Kimbrough, and Sandra Magnus – were aboard the space shuttle Endeavor when it lifted off on November 14, 2008.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Our prayers and condolences go out to Sen. Josh McKoon and his family on the passing of his mother, Sharon McKoon. The service will be held Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 1 PM at Trinity Methodist Church in Phenix City, Alabama.

In lieu of flowers, Mrs. McKoon asked that donations be made to PAWS Humane in Columbus, GA.

A Gwinnett County grand jury has indicted Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill for reckless conduct after he shot a friend earlier this year, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Hill took the opportunity to testify prior to the indictment being handed down in the May 3 incident, which he has said happened while he practiced “police tactics” at a model home where Gwenevere McCord worked. He read a statement and, with a prop gun, reenacted the shooting, according to District Attorney Danny Porter.

“I don’t think it addressed the issue of whether or not he was reckless in the basic idea of running police drills in a model home on a Sunday afternoon,” Porter said. “I think that’s probably what the grand jury found, that, Yes, it may have been an accidental shooting, but it was still under circumstances that rose to the level of reckless conduct.”

The charge is a misdemeanor, specifically accusing Hill of “gross deviation from the standard of care a reasonable person would exercise in the situation.”

Had it been a felony, the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, which certifies officers, would’ve suspended his license automatically. Instead, the indictment doesn’t make much of a difference for POST, which has been investigating Hill since his May arrest, because the charge hasn’t changed, according to Mitch Jones, director of POST’s certification and training division.

The agency won’t make a decision until the judicial process in Gwinnett concludes, Jones said.

The fight over Certificates of Need has been passed from the Georgia Department of Community Health back to the General Assembly, where it will be one of the most-important and most-lobbied fights in 2016, though likely to stay under the radar for many.

Department of Community Health Commissioner Clyde Reese on Thursday tabled a rule change that would have allowed Cancer Treatment Centers of America to shed its in-state patient cap.

The agency’s board had tentatively approved the rule change in September. In doing so, it reignited a decade-long war between Georgia’s powerful hospitals and the national cancer treatment company, two opponents with huge stables of well-connected lobbyists and a track record of generous giving to elected officials.

Reese told board members that since the initial vote the agency received “overwhelming” opposition to the change — much of it from the state hospital lobby and key lawmakers miffed that the company went around the General Assembly to get rid of the cap.

“I think it became clear the issue and the argument and the discussion needs to occur in the General Assembly,” Reese said. “I decided not to ask the board to vote on something that was obviously overwhelmingly seen in the (health care) community in a negative light.”

Senate Health and Human Services Chairwoman Renee Unterman, R-Buford, said she doesn’t expect CTCA to have any more luck with the General Assembly when it convenes in January.

“I think we dealt with it this year,” Unterman said. “I don’t expect things will change.”

In Georgia, state law requires hospitals to go through a stringent “Certificate of Need” process if they want to build or expand a hospital. That requirement is intended to control health care costs by preventing an oversupply of health-care facilities.

In 2008, the General Assembly approved a law that allowed Cancer Treatment Centers to open the Newnan facility without going through the same process. As a “destination cancer hospital,” however, CTCA is limited by law to 50 beds and it must attract at least 65 percent of its patients from out of state.

More on the fight from Andy Miller at Georgia Health News.

“We’re encouraged by the decision today,’’ said Earl Rogers, president of the Georgia Hospital Association. “I think the board saw the overwhelming opposition to the proposal.”

But Rogers suggested that CTCA might take its bid for fewer restrictions back to the Georgia Legislature.

Reese, speaking to reporters after the meeting, indicated the same expectation. “I think it became clear that the issue and argument need to occur back at the General Assembly,” he said.

A CTCA executive told GHN that he was “definitely disappointed’’ by the agency’s decision.

“It’s too bad to see politics get in the way of patients’ choice,’’ said David Kent, chief operating officer for the Newnan cancer facility.

Kent said the hospital industry “used the political system to restrict consumer choice [and] block competition.”

Prime Healthcare is working toward a takeover of Hutcheson Medical Center in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, which is slated to close December 4th.

Hutcheson, in the small community of Fort Oglethorpe, has a heavy debt load and big financial losses, and the bankruptcy court judge issued an order for closure Dec. 4. If that happens, it would make Hutcheson the fifth rural Georgia hospital to shut its doors since 2013.

Prime Healthcare Services and the nonprofit Prime Healthcare Foundation own and operate 38 acute-care hospitals in 11 states. They are known for acquiring financially distressed hospitals and turning them around.

The foundation’s purchase of Southern Regional Medical Center is set for review by the Georgia attorney general, after a bankruptcy court issued its final approval order on the deal for the Clayton County hospital in late October. The AG is considered likely to agree to the sale, based on past cases.

Southern Regional, in Riverdale south of Atlanta, would be California-based Prime’s first hospital in Georgia.

I’d be interested to see the AJC fact-check this, but I’m not holding my breath. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said that homelessness among veterans has been solved in Atlanta, according to 11Alive.

Mayor Kasim Reed says the problem of homeless veterans in Atlanta will be all-but eliminated by the end of 2015.

Reed credits a federal initiative to house homeless veterans.

Reed said the city identified nearly 700 homeless veterans in the city early in 2015. The count, he said, will be at “functional zero” by the end of 2015.

Homeless advocates said that the program has been very visible and helpful over much of the last year – genuinely finding housing for homeless veterans.

But they said it’s not likely to ever really get fixed.

City officials said as improbable as it sounds, ending homelessness among veterans is possible. Mayor Kasim Reed said the “finish line” is within sight. “I certainly believe we’re going to end homelessness for veterans. We’re so close to achieving that right now.”

Emory University is more well-endowed than ever, with a value of $6.7 billion dollars.

The Atlanta university said the endowment also earned a 3.6 percent return on investment over the trailing 12 months. Returns are lower than the previous 12-month period, when the university’s endowment earned 19.1 percent on investments.

Emory’s three- and five-year returns for the period ending June 30, 2015, exceeded 10 percent annualized — above the long-term investment return targeted by the Investment Committee of the Emory University Board of Trustees.

After nixing the DeKalb County deal to build a practice facility, the Atlanta United soccer team will build in Marietta with considerably less public money on the line, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Congratulations and condolences to our friend, Ivan Figueroa, who has been elected Chairman of the Glynn County Republican Party.

Figueroa is a former party treasurer and a graduate of the Coverdell Leadership Institute. He is a member of board of the Republican Leadership for Georgia.

In 2011, Gov. Nathan Deal appointed him to the board of the Workforce Division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

He was one of the original members of the Johns Creek City Council in 2006 and one of only a handful of Georgia Latinos serving in elective office at the time.

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