Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 14, 2016


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 14, 2016

President George Washington returned to the City of Washington on November 13, 1789, ending the first Presidential tour.

On the same day, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to his friend Jean-Baptiste LeRoy, in which he said,

“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

General Sherman’s army prepared for the March to the Sea on November 14, 1864. The March to the Sea began on November 15, 1964.

The planned route for the 17th Corps was to march from White Hall to Stockbridge, McDonough, Jackson, Monticello, and Gordon and encountered Confederate regiments from Kentucky at the Battle of Stockbridge. To the west, one or two Kentucky regiments engaged the 15th Corps in another skirmish.  [E]arlier that morning, Maj. Gen. Henry Slocum had led the 20th Corps eastward out of Atlanta with instructions to follow the Georgia Railroad eastward to Decatur, Lithonia, Covington, and Madison, tearing up the railroad along the way.

With three of his four columns on the road, Gen. Sherman remained in Atlanta with the 14th corps to oversee the destruction of anything with possible military value to the Confederacy. The next day, they would then proceed east on the road to Lithonia, then in a southeastern direction to Milledgeville, where the 20th and 14th corps would reunite in seven days.

On November 13, 1865, the United States government issued the first Gold Certificates.

The Georgia General Assembly adopted a resolution against ratifying the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution on November 13, 1866.

In deciding not to ratify the 14th Amendment, the General Assembly adopted a committee report explaining that: “1. If Georgia is not a State composing part of the Federal Government known as the Government of the United States, amendments to the Constitution of the United States are not properly before this body. 2. If Georgia is a State composing part of the Federal Government … , these these amendments are not proposed according to the requirements of the Federal Constitution, and are proposed in such a manner as to forbid the legislature from discussing the merits of the amendments without an implied surrender of the rights of the State.”

Excavation began for a new Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on the site of the former City Hall/Fulton County Courthouse on November 13, 1884.

Walt Disney released “Fantasia” on November 13, 1940.

Georgia Governor and Constitutional Commission Chair Ellis Arnall moved that a home rule provision be included in the new draft of the state Constitution and his motion passed 8-7 on November 13, 1944.

On November 14, 1944, the Constitutional Convention working on a revised document for Georgia reversed its position on home rule that had been adopted the previous day on the motion of Governor Ellis Arnall

On November 13, 1956, the United States Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that struck down a law requiring segregation on buses in Montgomery, Alabama.

Ronald Reagan announced his campaign for the Republican nomination for President of the United States on November 13, 1979.

“The people have not created this disaster in our economy; the federal government has. It has overspent, overestimated, and over regulated. It has failed to deliver services within the revenues it should be allowed to raise from taxes. In the thirty-four years since the end of World War II, it has spent 448 billion dollars more than it has collection in taxes – 448 billion dollars of printing press money, which has made every dollar you earn worth less and less. At the same time, the federal government has cynically told us that high taxes on business will in some way “solve” the problem and allow the average taxpayer to pay less. Well, business is not a taxpayer it is a tax collector. Business has to pass its tax burden on to the customer as part of the cost of doing business. You and I pay the taxes imposed on business every time we go to the store. Only people pay taxes and it is political demagoguery or economic illiteracy to try and tell us otherwise.”

“The key to restoring the health of the economy lies in cutting taxes. At the same time, we need to get the waste out of federal spending. This does not mean sacrificing essential services, nor do we need to destroy the system of benefits which flow to the poor, the elderly, the sick and the handicapped. We have long since committed ourselves, as a people, to help those among us who cannot take care of themselves. But the federal government has proven to be the costliest and most inefficient provider of such help we could possibly have.”

“I believe this nation hungers for a spiritual revival; hungers to once again see honor placed above political expediency; to see government once again the protector of our liberties, not the distributor of gifts and privilege. Government should uphold and not undermine those institutions which are custodians of the very values upon which civilization is founded—religion, education and, above all, family. Government cannot be clergyman, teacher and parent. It is our servant, beholden to us.”

“We who are privileged to be Americans have had a rendezvous with destiny since the moment in 1630 when John Winthrop, standing on the deck of the tiny Arbella off the coast of Massachusetts, told the little band of pilgrims, “We shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world.”

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on November 13, 1982 in Washington, DC.

On November 13, 2006, groundbreaking began for a memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Three astronauts with connections to Georgia – Eric Boe, Robert Kimbrough, and Sandra Magnus – were aboard the space shuttle Endeavor when it lifted off on November 14, 2008.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

President-elect Donald Trump has selected RNC Chairman Reince Preibus as his Chief of Staff.

President-elect Donald Trump named Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus as his chief of staff, a selection that suggests the Republican is interested in a more conventional approach to governing after his insurgent campaign.

Mr. Trump on Sunday also named Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist and senior counsel. Mr. Bannon, who was chief executive of the Trump campaign, was in consideration with Mr. Priebus for the White House’s top personnel position.

“Steve and Reince are highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign and led us to a historic victory,” Mr. Trump said in a statement. “Now I will have them both with me in the White House as we work to make America great again.”

The selection of Mr. Priebus will, by definition, help organize the transition. This decision allows Mr. Trump and his team to focus on identifying 15 cabinet positions and more than 1,000 top posts that must be confirmed by the Senate.

While Mr. Priebus’s elevation is a nod to the Washington establishment, Mr. Bannon brings a more disruptive political force into the White House.

Some Georgians cheered the announcement of Priebus as Chief of Staff, with Republican National Committeeman Randy Evans writing on Facebook,

“Reince is a great choice for President-elect Trump as Chief of Staff.” and “Good for Georgia; good for America.”

Meanwhile, Debbie Dooley took to Twitter, writing

Clear D.C Insider @Reince is thumbing his nose at the message voters sent 11-8. We want an outsider. @realDonaldTrump#NoPriebus


Talk to a few folks about Priebus. Bannon has the real power, not Priebus. The people won that… @realDonaldTrump made a good decision

Some folks in Cobb County are looking to cast blame for Hillary Clinton carrying what has traditionally been a GOP bastion.

Gwinnett County also went for Hillary Clinton, with 51% of ballots cast for her.

“It’s a county I’ve been keeping my eye on, along with others, in terms of the increasing diverse registration figures coming out of the county, but I thought Republicans would hold onto it this year and probably 2020 would be when it flipped,” [UGA Political Science Professor Charles] Bullock said. “It’s four years earlier than I thought anyway.”

Tuesday’s results are a sign of a major shift taking place in Gwinnett politics where Republicans hold a lot of power, but are gradually losing ground to Democrats at the ballot box.

Gwinnett Democrats biggest victory was Hillary Clinton winning the county in the presidential race with nearly 51 percent of the vote. Not even her husband, who narrowly won Georgia in 1992, ever won Gwinnett.

There were other victories for Democrats this year, though. They flipped one seat in the Gwinnett County Legislative Delegation when Sam Park beat incumbent state Rep. Valerie Clark.

Meanwhile, the House District 101 race between Republican incumbent Joyce Chandler and Democrat Donna McLeod is so close that it still isn’t clear who won. The candidates are waiting on the counting of provisional ballots, and an expected recount, before they know who won.

“Given the diversity in the county’s population, the fact that the Democrats are doing better there isn’t surprising,” Bullock said. “That suggests this may very well continue into 2018 when we vote on all of the (state) constitutional officers.”

“Although the county went Democrat for president and added one more Democrat in the legislature, there are still an awful lot of Republican voters there,” Bullock said. “The county is one that both parties are going to want to contest very seriously and try mobilize their followers within the county.

“Gwinnett’s one of the most populous counties in the state and some project it will become the most populous county in the state. Even though it’s tipped from more red to now more blue, neither party is going to just write it off.”

There were other signs of lower support for Republican candidates on Tuesday. U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson got nearly 49.8 percent of the vote this time. When he first ran for the seat in 2004, he got 64.8 percent of Gwinnett’s vote, and he later got 62 percent of the county’s vote when he ran for re-election in 2010.

Hall County voter turnout set a new record with 78.5% of registered voters casting ballots.

But turnout among Latino and African-American minorities did not materialize as strongly as Democrats had hoped.

It’s a result seen in Hall, across the state and nationwide that was as significant to Republican Donald Trump’s victory as was his support among white working-class voters.

Hall Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee said results would be formally certified Monday after counting a few dozen provisional ballots. But there are even less of these cast than there were in 2012.

Trump won Hall County overall with 72.73 percent of the vote while Clinton received 22.73 percent and Johnson managed 3.24 percent.

Johnson performed better with voters on Election Day than he did in early voting, while Clinton and Trump fared stronger in early voting totals.

Columbus provided a rare bright spot for Opportunity School District Amendment 1 proponents.

But while the referendum failed by a wide margin statewide (60-40 percent), a slim majority of Muscogee County’s voters favored the proposal (51-49 percent). The difference is significant, insists John Thomas, the District 2 representative on the Muscogee County School Board.

“This result indicates the majority of local citizens are so frustrated with our failed local public system that they are willing to relinquish control of schools to the state,” Thomas told the Ledger-Enquirer in an email. “This result validates the position (District 8 representative) Frank Myers and I have been taking, and I continue to be proud to stand with Frank on the short end of many, many 7-2 votes that continue to rubber-stamp our schools into failure. We will continue our fight, and now it is clear, with the support of the majority of the people.

“Perhaps this local result will finally provide the wake-up call the administration needs to join us in these efforts.”

Board chairman Rob Varner of District 5 replied in an email to the Ledger-Enquirer, “I categorically reject the suggestion that the local vote to support the amendment was, in any way, a negative reflection on our district.”

But Hillary Clinton carried Columbus votes by a wide margin.

Overall, Trump got 26,901 votes to Clinton’s 39,602 in Columbus, or 39 percent to 57 percent, with Libertarian Gary Johnson drawing 2.6 percent and write-ins 1.2 percent.

Columbus’ results were not alone in reflecting a racial divide. The pattern held statewide and across the nation, said Jacob Holt, a political science professor at Columbus State University.

“Really Clinton did well in areas where you had a larger African-American population,” he said.

Extremely well, in Columbus, but not always as well as Barack Obama in 2012.

Cobb County Commission Chair-elect Mike Boyce will speak to the Cobb County Republican Assembly tonight at 8 PM at Rib Ranch, located at 2063 Canton Road in Marietta.

Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach would like the general assembly to take another crack at eminent domain, revisiting some of the limitations added in recent years.

Mayor Eddie DeLoach recently expressed an interest in continuing the effort [to address blight], despite the potential challenges posed by lawmakers’ concerned about property rights. And the city may have a better chance at getting something passed as next year’s legislative session approaches.

Rather than going it alone, the city will have the Georgia Municipal Association on its side. And at least one state representative, the dean of the Chatham County legislative delegation, has indicated he supports the push for changes.

DeLoach called for the council to pursue the matter after the issue was raised on Oct. 27, when staffers presented the Savannah City Council with the 2017 housing and community development plan.

The Office of Chatham County Surveyor will cease being an elected office in 2017.

Earlier this year, [incumbent Surveyor Bert] Barrett asked Georgia Rep. Jesse Petrea, R-Savannah, to introduce legislation that would do away with the elected surveyor post in Chatham County. After getting the full support of the Savannah delegation, the bill was passed by the Georgia General Assembly and subsequently signed by Gov. Nathan Deal.

The bill abolishes the post of the elected Chatham County surveyor and declares that the person serving in the post on Jan. 1 of this year — Barrett — serve until the expiration of the current term, which is the end of this year.

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