Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 29, 2016

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Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 29, 2016

Charles Wesley, hymnist, and brother of Methodist founder John Wesley, died on March 29, 1788 in London, England. Charles Wesley served as Secretary to James Oglethorpe and as a Chaplain at Fort Frederica on St Simons Island. This past Sunday, his hymns were played in churches across the globe, including Christ the Lord Is Risen Today and Rejoice, the Lord Is King.

On March 29, 1865, Federal troops under General Ulysses S. Grant began the Appomattox campaign.

On March 29, 1937, Georgia Governor Eugene Talmadge signed legislation imposing the first state tax on distilled spirits in Georgia.

If made in another state and imported into Georgia, distilled spirits were taxed at 80 cents per gallon and alcohol at $1.60 per gallon – or at fractional amounts for smaller containers. If made in Georgia, distilled spirits were taxed at 40 cents per gallon and alcohol at 80 cents per gallon.

On March 29, 1973, the last American troops left Vietnam, ending United States engagement in the war.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

My friend and occasional GaPundit contributor Ron Daniels is running for Treasurer of the Georgia State Bar Young Lawyers Division. If you’re eligible, voting is easy and takes only a minute. Visit the State Bar website and login with your username and password. Once logged in you can click on a graphic that says “vote here” in the middle of the page. That launches the election portal, where you cast your vote.

Yesterday, at a 10 AM Press Conference, Governor Nathan Deal announced he would veto House Bill 757, commonly referred to as the religious liberty bill.

“HB 757 appeared in several forms during the 2016 legislative session,” said Deal. “I had no objection to the ‘Pastor Protection Act’ that was passed by the House of Representatives. The other versions of the bill, however, contained language that could give rise to state-sanctioned discrimination. I did have problems with that and made my concerns known as did many other individuals and organizations, including some within the faith-based community.”

“I appreciate the efforts of the General Assembly to address these concerns and my actions today in no way disparage the motivations of those who support this bill. Their efforts to purge this bill of any possibility that it will allow or encourage discrimination illustrates how difficult it is to legislate on something that is best left to the broad protections of the First Amendment of the United State Constitution. If indeed our religious liberty is conferred by God and not by man-made government, we should heed the ‘hands-off’ admonition of the First Amendment to our Constitution. When legislative bodies attempt to do otherwise, the inclusions and omissions in their statues can lead to discrimination, even though it may be unintentional. That is too great a risk to take.”

“Some of those in the religious community who support this bill have resorted to insults that question my moral convictions and my character. Some within the business community who oppose this bill have resorted to threats of withdrawing jobs from our state. I do not respond well to insults or threats. The people of Georgia deserve a leader who will made sound judgements based on solid reasons that are not inflamed by emotion. That is what I intend to do.”

“As I’ve said before, I do not think we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia, of which my family and I have been a part of for all of our lives. My decision regarding HB 757 is not just about protecting the faith-based community or providing a business friendly climate for job growth in Georgia. This is about the character of our state and the character of its people. Georgia is a welcoming state filled with warm, friendly and loving people. Our cities and countryside are populated with people who worship God in a myriad of ways and in very diverse settings. Our people work side-by-side without regard to the color of our skin, or the religion to which we adhere. We are working to make life better for our families and our communities. That is the character of Georgia. I intend to do my part to keep it that way.”

Today at 10:30 AM, a group including American Principles Project, Citizen Impact, Concerned Women for American, Faith and Freedom Coalition, Fellowship of International Churches, Georgia Baptist Mission Board, Georgia Conservatives in Action, Georgia Right to Life, Ten Commandments Georgia will hold a press conference to respond to Gov. Deal’s veto.

Evangelist Franklin Graham wrote on Facebook,

Republican Governor Nathan Deal has sold out the state of Georgia. By vetoing the Free Exercise Protection Act this morning, he warmly welcomed the LGBT community and in effect told people of faith that they take second place. House Bill 757 would have protected pastors from having to perform same-sex marriages and would have protected churches from being forced to use their facilities for ceremonies against their religious beliefs.

This conservative governor has caved in to pressure from the NFL and major corporations and is now a part of backing the LGBT agenda. This is a dark hour in Nathan Deal’s long political career.

Texas Senator and Presidential candidate Ted Cruz addressed Gov. Deal’s veto.

“I thought that was very disappointing to see Governor Deal in Georgia side with leftist activists.”

The Associated Press quotes Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Speaker David Ralston on the legislation,

Georgia’s Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is standing by a bill protecting people acting on their religion, including opponents of same-sex marriage.

Cagle, a Republican, says in a statement that the bill struck the “right balance.” He says the state should take an active role in protecting religious belief and said that has been lost in “hyperbole and criticism.”

Cagle’s spokesman Adam Sweat says he’s not aware of any discussion about a special session.

Ralston, a Republican from Blue Ridge, said in a statement that he shares the same concerns mentioned by Deal.

However, Ralston also said it is regrettable that the merits of the bill have been ignored by critics who had not taken the time to read the bill or understand the legal issues involved.

Elections Today

In addition to the elections we mentioned yesterday in Chatham County, House District 162, and the City of Tucker, today will also see a runoff election for Ward 2 on the Carrollton City Council between Wes Phillips and Rory Wojcik.

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