Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 13, 2016


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 13, 2016

On July 13, 1787, Congress enacted the Northwest Ordinance, in which states ceded some claims to the west, and a process was set up for admitting new states.

On July 13, 1865, James Johnson as provisional Governor of Georgia, issued a proclamation freeing slaves and calling an election in October of that year to elect delegates to a state Consitutional Convention. Johnson had previously opposed Georgia’s secession and after the war was appointed Governor by President Andrew Johnson.

Savannah, Georgia-born John C. Fremont, who was the first Presidential nominee of the Republican Party in 1856, died in New York City on July 13, 1890.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Republican delegate to the Republican National Convention Scott Johnson is writing about the Platform Committee deliberations for the Marietta Daily Journal. It’s well worth reading, especially if you’re headed to Cleveland or will be glued to the TV set during the convention.

That work began on Monday with 112 delegates, a man and a woman elected by the GOP delegation from each state or territory, that form the Platform Committee. Rayna Casey of Atlanta and I have had the honor of representing Georgia Republicans for two very long days of meetings.

The goal there is to craft a document that reflects who we are as Republicans. Our values. Our principles.

After 12 hours meeting on Monday followed by 10 hours on Tuesday (broadcast for all to see on C-SPAN), we have now completed what I believe is a handbook for making America great again.

When I undertook this task, I promised one thing to my fellow Georgians — we will keep it conservative.

The platform is truly a living dynamic document crafted by debate, consideration of hundreds of amendments and a whole lot of passion. As I write this, just moments after the Platform Committee’s adjournment, I can firmly say we have accomplished my goal: keep it conservative.

Speculation has the choice for Trump’s VP candidate between Newt Gingrich and Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

Judging by Trump’s campaign insiders, the battle for his No. 2 gig is between Pence, the radio host-turned politician known as an unwavering conservative willing to buck his party’s leaders, and Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker who led his own anti-establishment insurgency two decades ago.

The Washington Times reported Trump was almost certain to pick Pence as his running mate, while CNN quoted an adviser saying it was down to Gingrich and the Indianan. Time Magazine has New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie still in the running, though his hometown paper says that’s unlikely.

Gingrich and FoxNews agreed that the former Speaker will step away from his paid gig with the network, also fueling speculation Gingrich is in the mix for VP.

Here’s my two-cent analysis on Trump’s VP pick. Everyone’s still centering their speculation on who would make a solid VP choice under traditional political analysis. That kind of analysis has brought people like me to the point where we’re collectively about 0-for-2000 in predicting what Trump is going to do. Trump is not a traditional politician. He’s a reality TV star, so use that frame for your analysis and think what any good reality TV producer would do. Hype and tease, and raise the drama level before the big reveal. That’s what we’re seeing now. A dance of seven veils that shows peeks at what might happen without giving too much away.

The Club for Growth has released a new ad against Drew Ferguson in the Third Congressional District runoff election.

Campaign spokesman Dan McLagan told the AJC Political Insider,

“It’s hilarious. They are calling a tax-cutting, debt-reducing, pro-gun, pro-life, conservative who wears camo in the woods and Carhartt to church, drives a pickup truck and has a daughter in the Navy a liberal? They can spend as much as they want — ain’t nobody gonna believe it.”

Tamar Hallerman from the AJC analyzes the race thusly,

Thomas Hunter, a political science professor at the University of West Georgia, said runoffs typically attract about one-half to two-thirds of the initial primary turnout. Since fewer than 58,000 GOP ballots were cast in the seven-man 3rd District GOP contest this spring, there could be very little that separates the winner from the loser in this month’s runoff, he said.

“It is the end of July — a lot of people are on vacation. There are really few county races in the counties of the 3rd District that would cause turnout to increase greatly,” Hunter said. “It could be as low as 35,000 or 40,000 people who are voting, which means that as long as you can get 20,000 of your supporters to the polls that you should be able to win.”

University of Georgia political science professor Charles Bullock, who wrote a book about congressional runoffs, said history shows that typically the candidate who leads in the primary wins the runoff about 70 percent of the time. But because the initial matchup between Crane and Ferguson was so close, the race becomes much harder to call ahead of time.

This month’s contest will mainly come down to who can best turn out his base and potentially attract some of the supporters of their other primary opponents who have since dropped out of the race, Bullock said.

“The situation is such that if you can get the same number of people to come out and vote for you in the runoff as voted for you in the primary, you’d almost certainly win because of this drop in participation,” he said.

For the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Chuck Williams also takes a look at the Congressional runoff election.

An interesting contrast is shaping up in the heated race for the Republican nomination in the ultra-conservative Third Congressional District, a 13-county area that stretches from Metro Atlanta into north Columbus.

State Sen. Mike Crane of Newnan is running as a strict Constitutionalist who will fight big government all the way to Washington, and points to his record in the General Assembly as proof.

Former West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson is running on his record of building coalitions and the economic success his community has enjoyed since 2005 when South Korean automobile manufacturer Kia decided to locate there.

Read more here:

And some shenanigans in the House District 80 runoff between Meagan Hanson and Alan Cole.

An expensive, full size campaign flyer was sent to homes in the district attacking Alan Cole, a candidate, City Councilman Bates Mattison and the former mayor, J. Max Davis.

The men were pictured together, each labeled negatively – Mattison for a personal bankruptcy, for instance. Cole was alleged to be a slumlord. The handiwork echoed that of Democrats who poured thousands of dollars into defeating Davis for the House seat last year.

Hanson in return did some detective work and tracked down the bulk mail permit holder. She said she was told by the printing company that a Democratic activist, Allison “Sally” Carter, purchased the mailers, paying cash for them last month.

Carter is the wife of James Earl Carter IV, grandson of the former president and a Democratic Party activist who specializes in undercover videos and dirty tricks.

The AJC heard from James Earl Carter, IV, who took credit for the mailer.

James Carter, the Democratic activist and opposition research impresario, has confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he — and only he — is responsible for an anonymous flier that hit the district’s mailboxes in June. The piece attacks not just Cole, but former Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis and Brookhaven Council Member Bates Mattison.

“I take full responsibility for the mailer,” James Carter said. “All of the allegations contained in it are 100 percent true.”

Carter on Tuesday indicated that the real target of the mailer was Davis, not Cole, the current candidate.

“A few years ago, J. Max Davis called my wife and yelled at her for asking his ex-wife about him, which she had done as a favor to me,” Carter said. “My wife is not a Democratic activist and her only connection to politics is through me. Davis’ extreme overreaction to the circumstances was memorable, as was the way he treated my wife. Since that incident, I have reveled in every opportunity to take a shot at J. Max. He deserves it.”

Henry County Republicans will choose in the runoff between Lisa McGarity and June Wood for County Commission Chair to face Democrat Carlotta Harrell in November.

In Paulding County, Roger Leggett and David Carmichael approach the July 26 Republican Primary runoff for Commission Chair with Leggett leading slightly in contributions during the most recent disclosure period.

Leggett reported receiving $9,010 and Carmichael $7,960 between April 1 and June 30 on their final contributions disclosure reports before the July 26 runoff election for the Republican nomination for the office. The winner will be unopposed in the November general election.

The latest contributions brought Carmichael’s total contributions collected by June 30 to $22,435, compared to Leggett’s $25,615 by the same date.

State tax collections were up slightly in June, according to Gov. Nathan Deal via the Gwinnett Daily Post.

State revenues increased last month by a slight 0.7 percent margin from a year ago, Gov. Nathan Deal’s office announced on Tuesday.

Georgia collected a total net of $1.91 billion in taxes in June, which is $13.4 million higher than the total net collections from June 2015. It continues a trend of continual growth in tax collections that, year-to-date, is up 9.4 percent from last year.

June also marked the completion of the first year under tax reforms stemming from a re-configuring of the state’s gas tax. Officials said transportation revenues collected under the new method totaled $77 million last month.

The two former county commissioners are seeking the commission chairmanship being vacated by David Austin, who is not seeking re-election this year. They qualified for the runoff after finishing first and second out of four candidates in the May 24 Republican primary.

A new DeKalb County school will be named John Lewis Elementary School and another school will be called the Barack H. Obama Elementary Magnet School of Technology.

The City of Lula, Georgia is edging closer to a Sunday Sales vote, but likely only for beer and wine, not liquor.

The Marietta City Council will consider holding a non-binding referendum for voter input on term limits.

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