Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 9, 2016


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 9, 2016

George Washington attended the first inaugural ball on May 7, 1789 on Broadway near Wall Street in New York.

Washington arrived at the ball in the company of other American statesmen and their wives. That evening he danced with many of New York’s society ladies. Vice President John Adams, members of Congress and visiting French and Spanish dignitaries, as well their wives and daughters, joined in the festivities. Eliza Hamilton, wife of Alexander Hamilton, recorded her impressions of the ball in her memoirs, noting that the president liked to dance the minuet, a dance she thought was suited to his dignity and gravity.

Congress passed the second part of the Militia Act on May 8, 1792, requiring all able-bodied white male citizens to be enrolled in the militia.

A Constitutional Convention convened on May 8, 1798 in Louisville, Georgia to rewrite the state Constitution after the Yazoo Land Fraud.

The Southern Baptist Convention was formed in Augusta, Georgia on May 8, 1845.

On May 9, 1862, a Union general, David Hunter, ordered the freedom of all slaves held in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, but President Lincoln issued a counter-order.

May 7, 1864 saw some of the first fighting in the Atlanta campaign, northwest of Dalton, Georgia. On May 8, 1864, Union forces under Sherman continued to engage Confederates at the Battle of Rocky Face Ridge four miles west of Dalton, Georgia.

Elsewhere on the same day, the Army of the Potomac under Grant reached Spotsylvania Court House in Virginia and found that Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia had beaten them there from the Battle of the Wilderness.

Grant’s Army of the Potomac remained engaged against Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House through May 21, 1864.

In Georgia on May 9, 1864, Union troops under General Sherman took Snake Creek Gap. In Atlanta, a notice was published,

“ATTENTION MILITIA! All persons between the ages of 16 and 60, not in the service of the Confederate States, in the second ward, are hereby notified to be and appear at the City Hall today, at 2 o’clock P.M., for the purpose of being armed and equipped for local defense. Herein fail not under penalty.”

On May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first official “Mother’s Day.”

On May 9, 1974, the United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary opened hearing on the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.

On May 9, 1977, the Grateful Dead played at Buffalo War Memorial Auditorium.

Governor Sonny Perdue signed legislation designating the current state flag on May 8, 2003.

On May 9, 2005, Governor Sonny Perdue signed legislation recognizing the Green Tree Frog at the official state amphibian.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal announced on Friday that state revenues were up 3.3% over the previous year.

Georgia’s net tax collections for April totaled $2.07 billion, for an increase of $63.6 million, or 3.3 percent, over April 2015. Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections totaled $17.34 billion, for an overall increase of $1.56 billion, or 9.9 percent, compared to April 2015, when net tax revenues totaled $15.78 billion.

Tonight, the League of Women Voters Carroll County-Carrollton will host a forum with at least 7 of 9 candidates for the Third Congressional District.

Monday’s forum which will be held at the Historic Carroll County Courthouse, 323 Newnan St., at 7 p.m. Carroll County Board of Commissioners Chairman Marty Smith said the site was chosen because it could easily accommodate an audience of about 200, the number Lyon believes may attend.

Confirmed to participate are Republicans Mike Crane of Coweta County, Drew Ferguson of West Point, Chip Flanegan of Jonesboro, Richard Mix, a former Carrollton resident now residing in Coweta County, Jim Pace of Peachtree City, Arnal “Rod” Thomas of Coweta County. Democrat Angela Pendley will also attend.

Lyon said that Democrat Tamarkus Cook of Newnan and Republican Sam Anders will not be attending the forum. Anders however, will send a representative who will participate in the introduction segment of the forum, but according to the forum rules, the representative may not participate in answering any questions from the audience.

“This will be the grand finale for our forum season as there aren’t any others planned before the primaries,” said Lyon. “We are pleased that we will have use of the restored Carroll County Courthouse in the old Superior Courtroom. It will certainly give us more seating than if we host it at the old commission chambers. We can’t put nearly as many people in that location. The candidates who are coming were all delighted to participate and will have a minute and a half to answer the same question. Yes, there are a lot of candidates but you will be surprised how much can be said in 90-second time frame.”

Candidates for the Ninth Congressional District will meet tonight at a forum in Gainesville.

The event is sponsored jointly by The Times and AccessWDUN. It runs from 6:30-8 p.m. in the auditorium of the Brenau Downtown Center, 301 Main St., Gainesville.

The event will also be broadcast live on WDUN AM550 and FM102.9, and streamed live on,, and the AccessWDUN smartphone app.

All five GOP candidates on the May 24 primary ballot are scheduled to attend: two-term incumbent Rep. Doug Collins and challengers Paul Broun, Roger Fitzpatrick, Bernie Fontaine and Mike Scupin.


Voters in Villa Rica heard about a Douglas County SPLOST that will affect part of the city.

A SPLOST referendum, while still in the planning stages, could have a potential impact on the 40 percent of Villa Rica residents who reside in Douglas County, as well as the rest of the county.

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners is doing its due diligence to determine not only if voters would support a SPLOST referendum on the November ballot, but also what citizens consider top priorities as to how a potential $160 million raised from a 1-cent sales tax over six years should be spent.

While there are a number of potential SPLOST projects on the table, Villa Rica residents in attendance at Thursday night’s meeting almost hands-down gave their support for funding of a county-wide 800 megahertz digital radio system that would bring Douglas County’s first responders up-to-par with the city of Douglasville and neighboring Carroll, Cobb, Paulding and Fulton Counties.

Villa Rica Mayor J. Collins, who was in attendance, called this “probably the most important thing for public safety for 911 response time and communications with other agencies.”

Based on population, if voters approved a SPLOST, Villa Rica could reap $6.75 million to fund various projects within the Douglas County segment of the city.

Drivers take note: you are now obliged to move over when you see utility workers on the side of the road if it’s safe to do so.

Local utility workers may be feeling a little bit safer following passage of a law that requires motorists to move over when they see linemen at work.

House Bill 767 was signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal after near unanimous support from both houses of the Georgia Legislature. In two votes in the Georgia House of Representatives and one in the Georgia Senate, only a single “nay” vote was recorded.

HB 767 – known as the “Move Over for Linemen” law – “requires any motorist approaching utility linemen at an active work site – indicated by traffic cones or flashing yellow, amber, white or red lights – to change lanes or reduce speed to a reasonable and proper velocity below the posted limit,” Lott said.

A motorist who fails to change lanes or decrease speed may be fined up to $250 per incident. The new bill, effective July 1, applies to all types of utility workers, including electric, natural gas, cable and telecommunications personnel, as well as right-of-way crews and utility contractors.

Henry County Commissioners unveiled a $148 million budget for FY 2017 and are expected to adopt the budget on May 17th.

State Senator John Wilkinson and his opponent in the Republican Primary spoke to the Gainesville Times.

The outsider’s edge has been present in national races in recent years, and Benifield is as much frustrated with politics in Washington as politics in Atlanta.

“I’m for term limits,” Benfield said, adding that six years ought to be enough in elected office. “I think that’s the only way you can possibly get the corruption and special interest groups out of it.”

Benifield said he also is going after good ol’ boy politics, which he believes Wilkinson has become a part of.

Wilkinson said leadership comes with the territory when representing the region. After all, influence often follows growth, he said, and the growth is coming to Hall.

But despite the pull of statewide politics, Wilkinson said his focus remains local. And he’s banking on his experience.

“Really, what I try to do is focus on my strengths,” Wilkinson said. “I can assure you Hall County is an important part of my district for many reasons.”

Here’s my two cents on that race: I’d vote for John Wilkinson because his deep knowledge of agriculture makes him invaluable to Georgia as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee. With Agriculture as Georgia’s largest industry, having leadership in the Senate who understands their needs and challeges is of great importance, probably doubly so if you’re from a district in which agriculture is an important part of the job base, such as his Northeast Georgia district.

University of Georgia professor Charles Bullock has some advice for Donald Trump on the verge of the GOP nomination for President.

“He needs to make nice with other Republicans,” said University of Georgia political science professor Charles Bullock. “He needs to quit calling them names. He needs to apologize for some of the things he’s said in the past.

Bullock expects Trump’s attack dog mentality isn’t going away.

“We’ll continue to see the same kind of behavior, just a different target,” Bullock said.

Relationships with governors, plus U.S. senators and representatives are important in building a successful presidential campaign. Bullock said Trump lacks that built-in advantage that most nominees have.

“Part of his problem is until very recently he wasn’t a Republican,” Bullock said.

Bullock said Trump’s remarks on immigrants may encourage more minorities to get out and vote for the Democratic Party.

“Unless he can make major in-roads with women voters, it will be really hard for him to get elected,” Bullock said.

In Peach County this year, it’s possible to lose at the ballot box and still win the election.

Two Republican candidates’ names are on the May primary ballot for the at-large Peach County Commission seat, but only votes cast for Byron businessman Wade Yoder will count.

That’s because Brian Smisson, the finance director for the city of Fort Valley, withdrew from the race last month, said Marsha Gosier, interim elections supervisor for Peach County.

“He is a withdrawn candidate, and any votes cast for him do not count,” Gosier said.

Smisson submitted a signed affadavit withdrawing from the race April 18, Gosier said.

In the November general election, Yoder, 46, who owns a gym and tanning facility and a building storage business, will square off against Kattie Vinson Kendrick, 67, a retired civilian worker at Robins Air Force Base and the assistant treasurer for the Peach County Democratic Party.

Mark your calendars for the premier Republican Party event of the year, the Walton County Republican Party Barbecue on May 21, 2016.

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