Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 10, 2016

10
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 10, 2016

On March 10, 1734, a group of German immigrants reached the mouth of the Savannah River, from where they would proceed on to Savannah. Today, the Georgia Salzburgers Society works to preserve the Salzburger heritage and traditions in Georgia.

On March 10, 1866, Governor Charles Jones Jenkins signed legislation allowing women to have bank accounts separate from their husbands as long as the balance was less than $2000; an earlier act set the limit at $1000.

On March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell transmitted the first speech over his new invention, the telephone.

Thomas B. Murphy was born on March 10, 1924 in Bremen, Georgia and would first be elected to office in the 1950s, winning a seat on the Bremen Board of Education. In 1960, Murphy ran for the State House facing no opposition and was sworn in in 1961. In 1973, he became Speaker Murphy and would hold the post until Bill Heath, a Republican, beat him in the November 2002 General Election.

Murphy held the top House seat for longer than anyone in any American state legislature. He died on December 17, 2007.

Under the Gold Dome Today

SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

12:30 PM RULES UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP

1:00 PM FINANCE Subcommittee B MEZZ 1

1:00 PM INSURANCE & LABOR 450 CAP

2:00 PM FINANCE Subcommittee A 125 CAP

2:00 PM ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM 310 CLOB

2:00 PM JUDICIARY 307 CLOB

3:00 PM JUDICIARY NON-CIVIL 307 CLOB

3:00 PM TRANSPORTATION 450 CAP

4:00 PM REAPPORTIONMENT AND REDISTRICTING 307 CLOB

4:00 PM STATE INSTITUTIONS AND PROPERTY MEZZ 1

HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8:00 AM NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT 606 CLOB

9:00 AM RULES 341 CAP

12:00 PM BANKS & BANKING (Upon Adjournment) 341 CAP

1:00 PM Regulations Sub 406 CLOB

1:30 PM HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 606 CLOB

2:00 PM JUDICIARY CIVIL 132 CAP

2:00 PM Highway Regulations Sub 506 CLOB

2:00 PM REGULATED INDUSTRIES 406 CLOB

3:00 PM State Highways Sub 506 CLOB

4:00 PM Interstate Highway & Beautifucation Sub 506 CLOB

4:00 PM Caldwell Sub Judiciary Civil 132 CAP

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

HB 751 – General appropriations; state FY July 1, 2016June 30, 2017 (APPROP – Jack Hill) (Ralston)

HB 844 – Georgia Firefighters Pension Fund; insurance premiums subject to taxation; update certain provisions (RET – Sims) (Maxwell)

Legislation

Senate Bill 278 by Renee Unterman (R-Buford), which would increase penalties for pimping and pandering was given a do pass recommendation by a House Committee yesterday. The bill passed the Senate 53-0.  From 11Alive,

For many years, Georgia’s prostitution laws made criminals of the women who plied their trade on darkened streets and over cyberspace.  But as studies showed that many of those “women” were really children – the state began to change its approach.  Now lawmakers want to target customers – and the pimps who broker the trade.

Pimps “got a slap on the wrist, they made their bond, they were back on the street doing their usual business,” said Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford).

Unterman has been behind much of the reform of Georgia’s prostitution laws.  State law currently makes pimping a misdemeanor.  Unterman’s new bill would make pimping a felony.  It would also go after customers – making solicitation a felony upon a second conviction.

It would also put convicted twice-convicted customers on the state’s sex offender registry.

 

Senator William Ligon (R-Brunswick) has proposed special prosecutors to handle shootings by law enforcement officers.

Candidate Qualifying

The Second Congressional District (lower-left hand corner) is having a party, with three Republican candidates qualifying to take on Democratic incumbent Sanford Bishop.

Republicans Qualified for Second Congressional District
Bobby Scott from Columbus
Diane Vann from Macon
Greg Duke from Leesburg

Bobby Scott’s campaign sent along a blurb:

“Bobby Scott, an attorney in Columbus, qualified on Monday and will be challenging incumbent Congressman Sanford Bishop in the 2nd Congressional District.”

and from his website:

I’m not going to be an establishment kind of candidate. Nor am I one of those career politicians. I’m a guy that has worked hard my entire life and had to earn everything I got to get where I am today. I will go to Washington and let them know we have had enough. Southwest Georgia deserves better. It is our time now!

He’s apparently one of those mythical “outsider” candidates that Greg Bluestein wrote about the other day.

Also attempting to don the “outsider” mantle is David Crocker, running in House District 105 against incumbent Republican Joyce Chandler. From Crocker’s Press Release:

Air Force Veteran turned businessman, Republican David Crocker qualified to run against the incumbent in State House district 105. Crocker is a “real Conservative” – not someone who simply campaigns as one. He believes we need to clean house of most politicians.

This will be Crocker’s first run for public office. Some may say he is an “outsider” to politics. He believes this is positive considering the state of insider politicians currently running (ruining) our nation. It’s time to clean house.

Crocker stated, “Politicians have no idea what those of us at home are concerned about. I’m going to roll up my sleeves and get to work cleaning up this mess.” He continued, “I first became interested in politics in 1984 when I voted for Ronald Reagan. He was willing to challenge the status quo. He wasn’t afraid to say and do what needed to be done. We need to bring back that kind of leadership.”

Senate Republicans and their Challengers

District Incumbent Challenger
21 Brandon Beach Aaron Barlow
23 Jesse Stone Stephen Hammond
40 Fran Millar Paul Maner
50 John Wilkinson Roy Benifield
51 Steve Gooch John Williamson
53 Jeff Mullis Lanny Thomas
54 Charlie Bethel Conda Lowery-Goodson

So far, it looks like incumbent Senators across a swath of North Georgia are being challenged at a higher rate than is usual. If I had to guess, I’d opine that it may be to greater Tea Party influence, and a harder-edged style of conservatism in North Georgia. As far as the two Metro Atlanta incumbents who have challengers, one of them, Fran Millar, probably has more MARTA stations in his district than any other GOP Senators, while Brandon Beach wants more MARTA stations in his area.

DeKalb County

The General Assembly may very well see the return of Vernon Jones, former State House member and former CEO of DeKalb County, who qualified for the House District 91 seat being vacated by Dee Dawkins-Haigler, who is running for Senate against Republican JaNice VanNess. From Mark Niesse at the AJC,

Former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones is running for a Georgia House of Representatives seat covering parts of DeKalb and Rockdale counties.

Jones, a Democrat, filed papers to campaign for House District 91 on Wednesday. No other candidates have entered the race, and qualifying for office lasts until Friday.

I’m just going to throw this out there: I’ve heard a rumor that DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson (D) is eyeing a run for Tax Commissioner, which just happens to pay in the $300k/year range.

And then, there’s this:

Dax Lopez Obama ad

I don’t have any idea whether that was run in Democratic areas to help re-elect Judge Lopez, or in Republican areas to hurt him.

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