Georiga Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 11, 2016


Georiga Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 11, 2016

On August 11, 1862, Confederate General Braxton Bragg declared martial law in Atlanta.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the summer commencement address at the University of Georgia on August 11, 1938. Later that day, Roosevelt endorsed Lawrence Camp over incumbent Governor Walter F. George, saying George had not been sufficiently supportive of the New Deal.

The Atlanta Braves signed legendary Negro League pitcher Satchel Paige on August 11, 1968.

On August 11, 1984, Ronald Reagan jokingly announced that he had “signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever…we begin bombing in five minutes,” without knowing he was speaking into a live microphone.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections has a look a the demographics behind Democrats’ dream of turning Georgia purple.

The changes that have taken place in Georgia mirror the kinds of changes that have put into play other formerly solid Republican states in the South, like Virginia and North Carolina. As with these states, Georgia’ population has been growing and diversifying. In 2000, roughly 63 percent of Georgians were white. Today, an estimated 54 percent are, the result of a Latino population that has grown from roughly 5 percent to more than 9 percent, a black population that has grown from 29 percent to 31 percent, and an Asian population that has grown from roughly 2 percent to 4 percent. These numbers are driven, as is also the case in the new swing states, by a changing economy. Urban centers like Atlanta and the industries based in them like tech and health care are growing, which is driving migration to Georgia not just from abroad, but also from elsewhere in the country. According to the Census Bureau, Georgia was one of the top 10 destinations for Americans moving to another state between 2010 and 2015.

The trajectory of voter registrations since 2000 suggested as much—almost a million new nonwhite voters registered between 2000 and 2014 compared with just over 111,000 new white voters—and in 2014, Stacey Abrams, Georgia’s house minority leader, launched the New Georgia Project, an ambitious effort to register minorities.

As Nate Cohn wrote in 2014, it is often forgotten that there are actually far more unregistered but eligible white voters than there are unregistered but eligible nonwhites. But the latest polling from Georgia suggests that Clinton is already doing better with white Georgians than Obama did in either 2008 or 2012 and better than John Kerry did back in 2004.

A State House Study Committee held a meeting in Warner Robins to discuss protecting Georgia’s military bases from future cuts at the federal level.

The House Study Committee on Military Affairs held a hearing at the Museum of Aviation following a lunch with local leaders. Prior to that, they met on Robins Air Force Base with unit commanders and heard information about operations.

The hearing is the first of six to be held throughout the state. The committee is chaired by State Rep. Dave Belton, R-Buckhead, who has served at Robins Air Force Base in the Air Force Reserves.

Belton said the committee doesn’t have the budget to visit all nine bases. Wednesday’s hearing included information about Robins and Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta.

The consensus is that a new Base Realignment and Closure Commission is coming in the next three to four years. A Department of Defense study estimates the Air Force has 32 percent more infrastructure than it needs.

[Former United States Senator Saxby] Chambliss began by recalling the two rounds of BRAC he experienced when he was in Congress in 1995 and 2005. He said he did not recall state legislators getting involved.

“You being here today sends a great message,” he said. “You are interested and you do care about the entire state and the section of the state that you represent.”

Richard Manous resigned his seat on the Paulding County Board of Education, where he represented District 4.

Paulding County School District spokesperson Suzanne Wooley said board members likely will discuss the next step for replacing Manous at their Aug. 23 meeting.

State law appears to allow the board to appoint a successor until a special election can be held on the day of the next general election on Nov. 8. The winner of the special election would serve until Jan. 1, when attorney Glen Albright will begin a four-year term as the District 4 member.

The general election for four board seats will take place on Election Day Nov. 8. However, Manous did not run for re-election to his seat in the May Republican primary. Albright won the primary election and will be unopposed in the Nov. 8 general election.

It was the second time Manous has been forced to resign from the seat following his election in 2012. He resigned in 2014 to seek election to the Paulding County Board of Commissioners and, after losing the election, the school board appointed Manous to his former seat in 2015.

DeKalb County is seeking a court’s go-ahead to demolish a condo complex, according to  CBS-46.

[Vicki] Barnes lives in a partially burned building at the Brannon Hill condos near Clarkston and has called the place home for a decade.

DeKalb County officials filed a lawsuit asking a judge for permission to demolish her building and three others, and then remove the debris.

Commissioner Nancy Jester met with Barnes and others living at Brannon Hill and agreed the county must relocate families to a safer environment.

“This is a failure of government on so many levels because government allowed this to get like this and let people exist in these unsafe situations and that should never have happened,” Jester said. “I can assure them that I am going to do everything within my power as a commissioner to bring to bear all the resources that are out there that should be servicing this community, that should be relocating families to safe environments.

DeKalb County officials also asked a judge for permission to clean up the common areas at the complex. Initially, the court gave the condo association 90 days to clean it up themselves. The judge has agreed to give the complex an additional 90 days to improve the property.

The media was all atwitter yesterday at a privately-commissioned report that suggests the HOPE Scholarship is running out of money.

Georgia’s lottery-funded HOPE scholarship program has struggled to keep up with demand in recent years. Now, a new report says HOPE could run out of money by the time today’s pre-kindergarten students are in college. The study was issued by a group  of private businesses, called The Committee to Preserve HOPE Scholarships. It says the program could run a deficit by the year 2028.

The report’s author, Nancy Badertscher, says families shouldn’t panic that HOPE will disappear.

“We decided, ‘What if you ran an analysis of the current trends in it? The growth in the different programs, the growth in the Lottery, the growth in tuition and stuff? What if you could give folks a heads up on the future?’” she says.

Some state lawmakers have proposed legalizing casinos as a new revenue source for HOPE. The committee, which includes at least one casino organization, does not recommend solutions for keeping the program afloat.

“We want this to just be a baseline for discussion, and we acknowledge that the Legislature has – and could – make any changes to put the program into better position,” Badertscher says.

And from the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer’s coverage:

Chip Lake, president of the Committee to Preserve HOPE Scholarships, said the analysis confirms that Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship is in serious jeopardy.

“Despite a tidal wave of cash from the Georgia Lottery, demand for tuition assistance among Georgia families is overtaking the ability to fund the scholarships as intended,” he said.

Since the HOPE Scholarship was created in 1993, more than 1.7 million students have received substantial tuition assistance worth more than $8 billion. Only the best and brightest students will qualify for free college tuition if current trends continue.

University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby will retire from his post after five years, and Steve Wrigley will take over initially as Interim Chancellor.

Wrigley has worked for the system since 2011 after holding a variety of positions in higher education and Georgia state government since 1988.

“Public higher education touches all aspects of our society. It is the fabric that holds us together and is an investment that pays dividends for life,” Huckaby said in the statement.

“The university system is one of the great strengths of Georgia, and I am grateful to have been able to serve with the faculty and staff who bring it to life every day to serve our students.”

When he became chancellor, Huckaby immediately began work to consolidate various campuses, lowering the number of system schools from 35 in 2011 to 29 this year.

“That was his vision,” said Philip Wilheit Sr., a Gainesville businessman who has served on the university system Board of Regents since 2011.

A Statewide Problem

Some folks think of the commercial exploitation of children for sex as “something that happens in big cities,” and in Georgia, that means Atlanta.

Unfortunately, the illegal industry spans the state and often crosses state lines.

Thirty nine men have been arrested in Chatham and Effingham Counties in a law enforcement operation seeking to curtail the trade in minors being sold for sex. From the Savannah Morning News:

The one thing the 39 individuals have in common — they were all arrested this summer for trying to have sex with children, according to officials with the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies from the Effingham and Chatham County Sheriff’s Offices lured the men to the area over the past 10 weeks in “Operation Summer Heat” by pretending to be underage children. The suspects were arrested on felony charges of child molestation or computer pornography. The mugshots of 37 of the men were released to the public Tuesday, and two photos were not released because the men were age 17.

“This operation was designed to send a clear message from Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie and Chatham County Sheriff Johnny Wilcher that individuals who target our children for their own purposes will not be tolerated in Effingham and Chatham counties,” said Effingham Sheriff’s Investigator Joe Heath. The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office is an affiliate member of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crimes against Children Task Force.

Earlier this week, six men were charged in New York in a sex trafficking operation that reached as far as Athens, Georgia.

Nashean Folds, David Hightower, Gregory Luck, Tremain Moore, Corey Roper, and Antwone Washington have all been charged with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors, sex trafficking of minors, and conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce and use facilities in interstate commerce to promote sex trafficking

From a Press Release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which is prosecuting the case.

In or about March 2016, prior to being charged in the Complaint, MOORE and HIGHTOWER were arrested on state charges after they brought three minor victims to Athens, Georgia, to promote their sex trafficking enterprise.

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