Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 4, 2016


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 4, 2016

Tom Murphy Office

Former Speaker Tom Murphy’s Office, recreated at University of West Georgia.

On August 4, 1753, George Washington became a Master Mason at the Masonic Lodge No. 4 in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

On August 4, 1944, Anne Frank, her family, and two others were found by Nazis in a sealed area in an Amsterdam warehouse. They were sent first to a concentration camp in Holland, then most were sent to Auschwitz. Anne and her sister Margot died from Typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March of 1945.

On August 4, 1958, a wagon train left Dahlonega, headed to Atlanta to pay tribute to the mighty General Assembly deliver 43 ounces of gold to be used to coat the dome of the State Capitol.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a ban by the City of Sandy Springs on sales of adult toys does not violate the Constitution and can stay in place.

Yesterday, Governor Nathan Deal announced that the inland port of Cordele Intermodal Services will handle up to 30,000 TEUs of freight to supply the Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia plant at West Point, GA.

“Kia has been a remarkably successful economic driver for West Point and Georgia’s inland terminals provide a new efficient way for companies to transport goods throughout the state,” said Deal. “This partnership and use of the inland port will reduce congestion on our highways and lower transportation costs, using new infrastructure to benefit both companies and the West Point area. The inland rail yards enable Georgia companies to grow to meet the demands of the Southeastern states, while bolstering economic development across the state.”

With this new partnership, KMMG will move auto parts via rail from the Port of Savannah to the inland terminal in Cordele and then to West Point via motor carrier.

On July 22, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) Board of Directors, in conjunction with the state of Georgia, approved $19.7 million to fund the state’s second inland terminal – the Appalachian Regional Port in Murray County.

“Cargo can be loaded onto trains, moving hundreds of containers in a single trip, staged at an intermodal yard, then trucked for much shorter distances,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “This model drives out waste and redundancy in the supply chain, delivering greater efficiency for customers and environmental benefits through reduced diesel consumption.”

Previously, the automaker would have trucked containers from Savannah to West Point. This agreement allows trucks carrying Kia parts to make much shorter hauls between Cordele and West Point.

Plans to address traffic issues at the new Braves stadium in Cobb County include pushing back start time for all weekday games from 7 PM to 7:30 PM.

Mike Plant, president of development for the Braves, said pushing back the start time by 30 minutes is just one of several initiatives the organization is using to help alleviate traffic. He also noted the ballclub will be the only team in the Eastern time zone starting weekday games at 7:30 p.m.

“We’re not naive (enough) to say that bringing 10,000, 12,000 cars here is not going to have an impact, but we’re trying to minimize that by doing smart things like saying let’s move our games back a half hour based on the data that we see as far as loads on the roads, capacity in the parking lots in the lease deals that we’re using,” Plant said.

The Braves typically start games at 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Home games on Fridays and Saturdays start at 7:30 p.m. and are not expected to be pushed back.

[Braves President for Business Derek] Schiller also said there will be a dedicated pickup and drop-off location near SunTrust Park for fans using ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

After winning the Primary Runoff for Senate District 24, Republican Lee Anderson spoke to the Augusta Chronicle about the election and the upcoming General Election in November.

Q: What are your thoughts on the tight race in Columbia County?

A: I want to say this, that Greg ran a great campaign, my hat is off to him. He worked. That’s another reason that campaigns are close is that when both opponents work for it, it’s going to be close, especially a runoff. At the same time, I want him and his supporters to know that I am there for them. And I want to reach out to them any way that I can because we need to come together and be a team in November. I want to know what their concerns are. I want them to call me, and I will be reaching out to them asking what their concerns are.

Q: How do you think your experience in the House will translate if you win the Senate seat?

A: I feel like I have a very good advantage of already having very good relationships in Atlanta with people all over the state, and they know that when I come up there that I’m a true believer in helping the state of Georgia, not Lee Anderson. You can keep the title. I am the type that you give me an issue, I’m going to work on it and try to get the best situation out of that issue and move on to another one. You can’t do it by yourself. If you think you’re going to go up there and change a lot of things, you might as well stay home. You do have to go see what the options are. I learned this from my daddy that you can learn a lot more by just listening than talking. So I go to meetings and I do very little talking at meetings. I go get the facts, and then I go to work on how I can help the situation and do the right thing for whatever the situation is.

Q: What kind of new experiences or differences are you expecting in the Senate?

A: In the House, you have 180 members. In the Senate you have 56 senators. So you have less people so the workload is more because you have a larger area, but it’s going to be different there for me because when I was a House member I represented three counties and in this I will represent eight counties. The workload will be more and the challenge will be more, but I feel like over my years of experience I have the wisdom and knowledge to tackle it and move forward.

Yesterday, Baoky Vu sent an email out saying that as a Georgia Republican Elector (member of the Electoral College if the Republican candidates for President and Vice President win the General Election), he would not vote for Donald Trump. Here it is in its entirety.

I’ve been active in the Republican Party for many years precisely because it has championed the aspirational ideals of Lincoln, Reagan and Kemp. Our recent standard bearers have proudly and honorably defended those ideas on the political battlefield. From Bush 41 to Romney to Jeb and many of the other 2016 primary contestants, there was never a wavering doubt on their character, integrity and temperament.

Until now.

This is the Republican Party of Lincoln and Reagan and Romney and Ryan, not the Party of Donald Trump. As a 2016 Presidential Elector, I am forever grateful to our state Party and our Chairman for bestowing this once-in-a-lifetime honor on me. I take my role seriously and in the face of the difficult choice before us, I will always put America First over party and labels.

Thus, I will not be voting for Donald Trump in the general election. My conscience is clear but my soul is being tested. Born in Saigon, my family knows what it is like to lose a country and my family is forever indebted to America and our allies. I have never doubted the soul, character and goodness of the Nation by whom we have chosen as our leader throughout history.

Until now.

Rather than earning the American people’s respect and trust through the duration of the past year, Donald Trump’s antics and asinine behaviour has cemented my belief that he lacks the judgment, temperament and gravitas to lead this Nation. Throughout the process, he has hurled insults at our heroes and their families, denigrated the disabled and praised dictators.

In this time of global challenges, we will succeed only if we come together. We’ve done it before, from the courthouse steps of Appomattox to the days after Pearl Harbor. And to my Republican brothers and sisters in arms, politics should be a honorable sport. Rather than die fighting to defend the indefensible, we can live to fight another day.

By the end of the day, a joint statement was sent out by the Georgia Republican Party and Vu stating that he would step down from his role as a Presidential elector.

“First, thank you for placing your trust in me to serve as an Presidential Elector in the 2016 Presidential Election,” said Baoky Vu.  “As you know, the Republican Party and its ideals have been close and dear to my heart.  It has been an honor fighting alongside thousands of Georgians over the past decades to ensure a safer, more prosperous future for our children and grandchildren.

“My public expressions of misgivings about our Party’s nominee has led to events that would be detrimental to the promotion of our Party’s platform of limited government, free enterprise, and liberty.  Thus, I am tendering my resignation as a Presidential Elector.

“I have not lost faith in who we stand for as a Party and will continue to fight for those who uphold our Constitution and our shared values.  It is the least that I can do as a grateful citizen of this great Nation.”

“Earlier today, I accepted Baoky Vu’s resignation as a Presidential Elector,” said Georgia Republican Party Chairman John Padgett.  “He will be replaced accordingly as instructed by our legal counsel.”

“As November nears, we are confident that Peach State conservatives will stand united with the Georgia Republican Party as we fight to stop crooked Hillary Clinton and elect Donald J. Trump as President of the United States!”

Congratulations to State Rep. Christian Coomer (R-Cartersville), who has been promoted to the State Senate rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve.

“It has been one of the most enduring honors of my lifetime to serve my community, my state, and my nation in both my civilian and military roles,” said Coomer. “I’m looking forward to many more years of service.”

Retiring Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (R-Senoia) announced he will donate his papers to the University of West Georgia’s Political Heritage Program, joining those of former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Congressmen Bob Barr, Mac Collins, and Pat Swindall.

The Macon Telegraph takes a look at the SPLOST that will be on the November ballot for Macon-Bibb County voters.

If you haven’t been paying attention recently, there’s still some time to research the $280 million special purpose local option sales tax referendum that will be on the Nov. 8 ballot. The measure would continue the 1-cent sales tax from the 2012 SPLOST that would bring in a maximum of $190 million over a six year period.

The measure designates money into 10 categories, but more important is the list of projects that would receive some funding. One thing to note is while officials have estimated how much each project will cost, specific dollar amounts are not specified in the referendum. That deviation from the 2012 SPLOST will provide more flexibility if costs change, officials have said.

One category is $29 million for economic development. But what does that mean exactly? Well, the referendum says it’s for possible land acquisition and infrastructure improvements that could “create jobs and promote private investment.”

There’s an additional $12 million for blight, a problem that continues to plague Macon, and an additional $40 million for court-mandated courthouse improvements. Also, more than a dozen parks and recreation centers would receive another facelift.

Because the SPLOST is on the same ballot as the hotly contested U.S. presidential election, a large voter turnout is expected.

Mayor Robert Reichert said that a key to receiving full support from the commission on the SPLOST is having them feel no area is left out.

Middle Georgia Regional Airport and Contour Airlines are seeking to provide air service to Washington, DC.

The Middle Georgia Regional Airport is seeking a $4.6 million annual subsidy to allow Smyrna, Tennessee-based Contour Airlines to operate flights from Macon to the nation’s capital. If the regional airport receives the subsidy, then flights could begin before then end of the year, Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert said.

Washington D.C., was selected because it’s the No. 2 destination for people in Middle Georgia for flights, according to the airport’s funding proposal.

“I think people would say ‘halleluiah’ and ‘amen’ by not having to drive to Atlanta and stand in line two hours to get through (Transportation Security Administration), and instead be able to get on a direct flight to (Washington D.C.),” Reichert said.

Previous attempts at subsidizing airline carriers at Middle Georgia Regional Airport have failed, including two recent companies that flamed out.

Political junkies will have to wait a little longer for their general election fix, after a Special Election for Clermont City Council ended before the campaign began.

Robin Brown was the sole qualifier this week for a vacant seat on the Clermont Town Council.

She will replace former Ward 1 Councilman Eric Thomas, who resigned earlier this year.

The Gwinnett County Republican Party will open its new party Headquarters on Saturday.

The local political party has invited Republicans in the county and across the region and state to attend the grand opening of its new headquarters at the mall at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The party began moving into the new headquarters in early July, but they had to cancel their July breakfast because of “a few hiccups” at the location.

“This is the place where we’ll head up our efforts to keep Gwinnett in Republican control and be an integral part of taking back the White House,” party officials wrote in the event invitation.

“We’re in Gwinnett Place Mall. Our new location is downstairs by the fountain. There’s been a lot of hard work put in to make this our own. Come out and see where the future of the Gwinnett GOP will be based.”

The grand opening will take the place of the party’s August breakfast, with a program featuring a slate of speakers set to begin at 10:30 a.m. U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., as well as county commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash and Commissioner Jace Brooks are expected to be among the guest speakers at the event.

For the record, I’ve never fallen or been pushed into the fountains in Gwinnett Place Mall. Never. Happened.

The Mighty Eighth Congressional District Republican Party will hold a Fish Fry on Saturday, August 11, 2016 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, Georgia.

Fish Fry 8th GOP Flyer



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