Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 5, 2017


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 5, 2017

Georgia and American History

On May 6, 1789, the Constitutional Convention in Augusta, Georgia adopted a new Georgia Constitution.

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.

The Battle of the Wilderness began on May 5, 1864, between the Army of the Potomac, led by General Ulysses S. Grant, and the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee.

May 7, 1864 saw some of the first fighting in the Atlanta campaign, northwest of Dalton, Georgia.

Jefferson Davis spoke in Savannah, Georgia on May 6, 1866.

Davis … defend[ed] the South’s cause in the Civil War, stating, “In 1776 the colonies acquired State sovereignty. They revolted from the mother country in a desperate struggle. That was the cause for which they fought. Is it a lost cause now? Never. Has Georgia lost the State sovereignty which … she won in 1776? No, a thousand times no.” Davis’s fiery remarks were captured by reporters for the New York Times and other northern newspapers.

Because of the national attention generated over his visit to Alabama and Georgia, Davis took a more conciliatory tone in a speech that evening, noting, “There are some who take it for granted that when I allude to State sovereignty I want to bring on another war. I am too old to fight again, and God knows I don’t want you to have the necessity of fighting again… . The celebration today is a link in the long chain of affection that binds you and the North together. Long may it be true.”

On May 5, 1886, Jefferson Davis attended a public reception at Savannah, Georgia’s City Hall.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Cy Young threw a perfect game against the Detroit Tigers on May 5, 1904.

On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister became the first person to break the four-minute barrier for running the mile.

For years, so many athletes had tried and failed to run a mile in less than four minutes that people made it out to be a physical impossibility. The world record for a mile was 4 minutes and 1.3 seconds, set by Gunder Hagg of Sweden in 1945. Despite, or perhaps because of, the psychological mystique surrounding the four-minute barrier, several runners in the early 1950s dedicated themselves to being the first to cross into the three-minute zone.

At 6 p.m., the starting gun was fired. In a carefully planned race, Bannister was aided by Chris Brasher, a former Cambridge runner who acted as a pacemaker. For the first half-mile, Brasher led the field, with Bannister close behind, and then another runner took up the lead and reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 3 minutes 0.4 seconds, with Bannister at 3 minutes 0.7 seconds. Bannister took the lead with about 350 yards to go and passed an unofficial timekeeper at the 1,500-meter mark in 3 minutes 43 seconds, thus equaling the world’s record for that distance. Thereafter, Bannister threw in all his reserves and broke the tape in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. As soon as the first part of his score was announced–”three minutes…”–the crowd erupted in pandemonium.

A “sub-four” is still a notable time, but top international runners now routinely accomplish the feat. Because a mile is not a metric measurement, it is not a regular track event nor featured in the Olympics. It continues, however, to be run by many top runners as a glamour event.

Alan Shepard, Jr. became the first American in space on May 5, 1961, making a 15 minute sub-orbital flight that reached an altitude of 115 miles, during which he experienced about five minutes of ‘weightlessness.’ He was launched in the 2,000-lb. capsule Freedom 7 from Cape Canaveral, Florida… The flight traveled 302 miles at a speed relative to the ground of 4,500 mph. The mission was named Mercury-Redstone 3, or Freedom 7.

On May 4, 1965, the Rolling Stones played a show at Georgia Southern.

The British band played in Hanner Fieldhouse to an overflow crowd of more than 3,500 people, according to a retrospective by Jim Hilliard in the Statesboro Herald. The gym’s capacity was about 1,500.

Hilliard said organizers figured they could sell 1,800 tickets at $2.50 each, which would be enough to pay the band and have some money left over for expenses.

The Stones had played on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Sunday, May 2, and advance ticket sales were brisk the Monday and during lunch Tuesday, the day of the concert.

Hilliard said he signed the contract booking the Stones on behalf of Sigma Epsilon Chi fraternity. The contract called for the new fraternity to pay the band $3,000 for the appearance. Hilliard said he got a $1,500 loan from First Bulloch Bank to make the deal happen.

The Stones were expected to take the stage at 8:30 p.m. and play for at least an hour, but Hilliard had lined up three front bands, and “it proved to be a fatal flaw in plans for the concert,” he said in his retrospective.

The noise was deafening as the original Stones lineup — Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts — hit the stage nearly an hour late.

Jagger and the other band members were “openly hostile” at having to wait so long to play.

Keith Richards recorded the first version of the guitar riff that would become “Satisfaction” early in the morning of May 7, 1965 before passing out.

Jimmy Carter’s Presidential campaign received a boost on May 7, 1976 when he received the personal endorsement of the President of the United Auto Workers.

On May 6, 1984, Spinal Tap played a “comeback show” at CBGB’s in New York.

On May 6, 1996, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Atlanta was the most dangerous city in America.

On May 7, 1996, Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell responded to the FBI Report that ranked Atlanta the most violent city in the nation. Campbell would succed in replacing headlines about Atlanta’s violent crime by substituting headlines about official corruption.

Parliament-Funkadelic were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio on May 6, 1997.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has issued a public safety alert:

In the first four months of this year, 17 people died in Georgia after taking two types of manufactured drugs now banned. That was the same number of deaths in all of 2016.

The Georgia General Assembly recently outlawed U-47700 and furanyl fentanyl and Gov. Nathan Deal signed the law and enacted the restrictions April 17.

“Because furanyl fentanyl and U-47700 are lethal at very low doses, law enforcement and the public should use caution when handling these drugs,” the news release stated.

After a narcotics seizure in Metro Atlanta, 8 kilograms of a mixture of the two drugs was found to be so dangerous and complex that the GBI issued a statewide officer safety alert.

Governor Nathan Deal signed 28 bills into law yesterday.

Gov. Deal signed House Bill 280 by Rep. Mandi Ballinger (R-Canton), the so-called “Campus Carry” bill. From the Press Release:

Gov. Nathan Deal today signed HB 280, which permits weapons carry license holders to carry firearms in specific and limited areas on college campuses.

This legislation addressed major concerns voiced by the governor last year regarding HB 859, which permitted a weapons carry license holder to carry a concealed weapon into certain areas of a college campus that had previously been prohibited. HB 859 failed, however, to address Deal’s concerns regarding the prohibition of firearms in “sensitive places,” including campus preschools, disciplinary hearings, or faculty and administrative offices. As a result, the legislation was vetoed.This year, the General Assembly overwhelmingly passed HB 280, which maintains the same restrictions present in HB 859. It also addresses the areas of campus over which Deal previously raised concerns, along with additional areas of college campuses where weapons would not be permitted.

“It is altogether appropriate that weapons not be allowed in sensitive areas on college campuses, and I appreciate the thoughtful consideration given by the General Assembly in expanding these excluded areas within a college campus in this year’s bill,” said Deal. “While HB 280 addresses the rights and restrictions relating to weapons carry license holders on a college campus, it in effect may have greater significance for students who are going to or coming from a campus. Unfortunately, in parts of the state, the path to higher education travels through dangerous territory.

“At the present time, assailants can, and do, target these students knowing full well that their victims are not permitted to carry protection, even those who are weapons carry license holders, because they are either going to or coming from a campus where no weapons are allowed. In recent years, we’ve witnessed college students fall victim to violent attacks in or while traveling to libraries and academic buildings, and while traveling to and from their homes to class.

“As this legislation is more narrowly tailored as to exclude areas on a college campus, I’ve signed HB 280.”

The signing statement is available under “Related Files” below.

HB 280 prohibits the carrying of a concealed weapon by anyone, including weapons carry license holders, on the following areas of a college campus:

  • Buildings or property used for athletic sporting events;
  • Student housing, including but not limited to dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses;
  • Any preschool or childcare space;
  • Any room or space being used for classes related to a college and career academy or other specialized school;
  • Any room or space used for classes in which high school students are enrolled through a dual enrollment program, including, but not limited to, classes related to the “Move on When Ready Act”;
  • Any faculty, staff, or administrative offices; and,
  • Rooms where disciplinary proceedings are conducted.

Gov. Deal signed House Bill 146, by Rep. Micah Gravley (R-Paulding) which requires fire departments to provide insurance covering firefighters diagnosed with certain types of cancer.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal visited Fire House 1 in Gilmer County Thursday to officially sign House Bill 146 known as the “Firefigher’s Cancer Insurance Bill.”

Joined by several officials including Georgia House Speaker David Ralston and Senator Steve Gooch, author of the bill Micah Gravley, District 67 Representative, opened the ceremony by speaking about the two year effort to bring the bill to this point. Gravley related his interactions with two firefighters, Frank Martinez and Brian Scutter, who he said were the honor of the Bill as they fought for and spoke with legislators to get the bill passed, as well as the appropriateness to have the signing in Scutter’s home station in Gilmer County. Scutter was also mentioned by Speaker Ralston who said he had made a promise to Brian that he would give all that was in him to bring this day about. Turning to face Scutter, Ralston said, “I kept my promise.”

Gov. Deal also spoke at the groundbreaking of a new headquarters for Jackson Healthcare in Alpharetta.

Gov. Nathan Deal and a host of civic and business leaders broke ground this morning on a $100 million expansion of the headquarters of Jackson Healthcare, a healthcare staffing company that intends to add 1,400 employees over the next five years.

This project is portrayed as the largest expansion of corporate headquarters planned in north Fulton County. As such, Jackson Healthcare is part of a corporate footprint that makes the Perimeter submarket one of the major corporate destinations in the region.

“Jackson Healthcare is a powerhouse job creator for our region,” state Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta), president and CEO of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. “This project is going to continue to make North Fulton a destination to live and work.”

Deal’s office also released tax revenue numbers for April showing a 9.1 percent increase over April 2016.

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Georgia’s net tax collections for April totaled $2.26 billion, for an increase of $187.9 million, or 9.1 percent, compared to April 2016. Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections totaled $18.06 billion, for an increase of nearly $718.8 million, or 4.1 percent, over last year when net tax revenues totaled $17.34 billion.

House Bill 742, which incorporated various provisions of federal law to change the deadline for Corporate Income Tax filing, increased April tax revenue collections across multiple Corporate Tax categories. As a result, Corporate Income Tax payments had a significant impact on the overall April net tax collection increase.

United States District Court Judge Timothy Batten has ordered the re-opening of voter registration for the June 20th Special Runoff Election in the Sixth Congressional District.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten made the ruling as part of a broader lawsuit by a Washington-based advocacy group, which last month accused Georgia of violating federal law by reducing the amount of time residents have to register to vote.

Voter registration shut down March 20 ahead of the deciding runoff June 20 for the 6th District election, which is being held in the northern suburbs of metro Atlanta.

Batten, however, ordered registration immediately reopened until May 21.

A spokeswoman for Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said the office will seek to comply with the order.

Kemp’s office, which oversees elections in Georgia, has called the suit a political effort by liberal groups to attack him as a Republican officeholder.

The office has also noted that the law has been in place since Democrat Cathy Cox was secretary of state more than a decade ago.

A Columbus commission considering replacing the government center is exploring financing it through a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).

Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools selected Ann Levett at the next Superintendent.

The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office dropped charges against former Brunswick Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Amanda Williams.

Williams was indicted by a Fulton County grand jury nearly two years ago on charges of making false statements during an investigation by the state Judicial Qualifications Commission. The charges were related to comments the Fulton district attorney’s office claimed were made during a conversation about a drug court sentence she handed out in 2011.

Williams resigned from the bench in 2012 after she was accused of failing to remove herself from cases in which her lawyer family members were involved, showing favoritism from the bench, acting with “tyrannical partiality” and giving drug court participants unlawful indefinite sentences.

Glynn County Commissioners sent a tree ordinance that would apply only to St Simons Island back to committee.

Carol Burrell, CEO of Northeast Georgia Health System was named “Most Respected Business Leader” by Georgia Trend.

“Carol has the immense responsibility of overseeing the entirety of our growing health system, which now includes more than 8,000 employees working in three hospitals and dozens of outpatient locations across a region made up of more than one million people,” [NGHS Board of Trustees Chairman RK] Whitehead said. “And she does it with an amazing mix of intelligence, trust and grace.”

Under Burrell’s leadership, NGHS opened Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton, the first net-new hospital in 20 years, according to a press release. NGHS was also named one of Metro Atlanta’s Top Workplaces by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and one of Atlanta’s Top 25 Employers by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

2018 Elections

Senator David Shafer (R-Duluth) has filed paperwork to begin raising funds for the 2018 Lieutenant Governor campaign.

Shafer Committee

Sachin Varghese, an Atlanta attorney, has raised more than $65,000 in the race to succeed State Rep. Stacey Abrams (D-Atlanta), who is exploring a gubernatorial campaign.

“I am humbled by the outpouring of support from friends, neighbors and local leaders,” Varghese said. “I believe my service to our community as a civil rights attorney, as well as my commitment to running a strong grassroots effort, have energized our supporters.”

Varghese represented the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, and others, working with Congressman John Lewis, Rep. Abrams, and State Senator Elena Parent to challenge Republican gerrymandering in 2011.

“I was Chairman of the Black Caucus when Sachin represented us, and I witnessed firsthand his commitment to fighting injustice,” said Sen. Emanuel Jones. “He will be a passionate and able advocate for DeKalb residents at the Capitol, and that is why I wholeheartedly support him should Leader Abrams offer herself for higher office.”

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