Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 15, 2017


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 15, 2017

The Magna Carta was sealed by King John on June 15, 1215.

The charter consisted of a preamble and 63 clauses and dealt mainly with feudal concerns that had little impact outside 13th century England. However, the document was remarkable in that it implied there were laws the king was bound to observe, thus precluding any future claim to absolutism by the English monarch. Of greatest interest to later generations was clause 39, which stated that “no free man shall be arrested or imprisoned or disseised [dispossessed] or outlawed or exiled or in any way victimised…except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.” This clause has been celebrated as an early guarantee of trial by jury and of habeas corpus and inspired England’s Petition of Right (1628) and the Habeas Corpus Act (1679).

On June 15, 1740, Spanish troops attacked the English who were led by James Oglethorpe, at Fort Mose, two miles north of St. Augustine, Florida. With 68 English killed and 34 wounded, it was the heaviest losses sustained by Oglethorpe during his campaign against St. Augustine.

George Washington accepted the assignment of leading the Continental Army on June 15, 1775.

The Oregon Treaty was signed on June 15, 1815 between England and the United States, establishing the border between the U.S. and Canada.

On June 15, 1864, a funeral was held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta for Confederate General Leonidas Polk, who was killed the day before at Pine Mountain near Marietta.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

An enraged former Bernie Sanders supporter opened fire yesterday at a Congressional Republican baseball team practice, severely wounding Republican Whip Steve Scalise (LA) and several others.

Rep. Steve Scalise, a congressional staffer, a lobbyist and a member of the Capitol police force were shot Wednesday in Alexandria, Virginia, during a Republicans’ early-morning practice ahead of a charity baseball game.

Federal law enforcement officials identified the alleged shooter as James Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois, who died following a shootout with authorities.

At least six people including Scalise, the third ranking member of House Republican leadership as the majority whip, were hospitalized.

Trump made a surprise visit to MedStar Washington Hospital Center around sunset Wednesday.

He sat next to Scalise’s bed and spoke with the congressman’s family, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer. He also spoke with [Capitol Police officer] Griner and her wife, as well as hospital doctors.

Georgia Congressman Barry Loudermilk (R) was at the practice with his Chief of Staff Rob Adkerson, both were uninjured.

“I was on the field, but I’m okay,” said Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, via a statement released by his office at mid-morning Wednesday. “This was a senseless act of evil. Please pray for those who were shot and their families. There were a lot of heroes here today.”

Shortly after the shooting, Loudermilk discussed security issues for members of Congress.

“If this had happened in Georgia, he wouldn’t have gotten too far,” Loudermilk told reporters Wednesday at the Capitol. “I had a staff member who was in his car maybe 20 yards behind the shooter, who was pinned in his car, who back in Georgia carries a 9-millimeter in his car. . . . He had a clear shot at him. But here, we’re not allowed to carry any weapons here.”

While firearms are strictly regulated on the Capitol grounds and in the rest of the District of Columbia, gun laws in Virginia — where the shooting took place — are significantly less strict.

“Most of us are here in D.C., so how do you have the gun here and just transport it to Virginia?” Loudermilk said when Virginia’s laws were pointed out. “I think we need to look at some kind of reciprocity for members here.”

Loudermilk said perhaps a larger group of lawmakers ought to receive security protection, rather than just the top leaders who have a round-the-clock Capitol Police detail.

“We’re not any more special than anybody else, but we are targets,” he said. “This is exactly why there is a lot of fear of even doing town halls at this point. Some of the things this guy is posting on Facebook — we get the same things, and even worse.”

The apparent shooter had recently criticized Karen Handel on Twitter.

ATLANTA – Accused congressional baseball practice gunman James Hodgkinson penned a rant on social media that excoriated 6th Congressional District Republican candidate Karen Handel last week.

In the post, Hodgkinson reposted a Yahoo article about comments made by Handel during a debate with her Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff last week, along with a one-line comment referring to Handel with a profane term.

Republican S*** Wants People to Work for Slave Wages, when a Livable Wage is the Only Way to Go! Vote Blue, It’s Right for You!”

Handel released this statement Wednesday afternoon:

My thoughts are with the victims of this morning’s despicable, unprovoked attack on the Republican congressional softball team. Representative Scalise is a friend, and my heart goes out to him and his family. Steve and I wish him and the others wounded a speedy recovery. They remain in our thoughts and prayers.

I also want to commend the heroic actions of the Capitol Police officers who clearly prevented today’s attack from being a much bigger tragedy.

I am aware that the suspect recently made vile comments about me on social media. It also appears that the suspect targeted members of congress specifically because he disagreed with their views.

We should not allow our political differences to escalate to violent attacks. We must all refuse to allow the politics of our country to be defined in this way. Now more than ever, we must unite as a one nation under God. It is incumbent upon all of us to work together in a civil and productive way, even when we disagree.

HHS Secretary Tom Price and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will join Karen Handel for a Get Out The Vote (GOTV) Rally on Saturday.

The event, set for Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at the Peachtree-DeKalb Airport, is the latest and perhaps last in a string of high-profile visits that have brought Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence to town to back Handel in the Tuesday runoff against Democrat Jon Ossoff.

The Saturday event was organized by John Watson, the newly-minted Georgia GOP chair, who has made boosting Handel one of his first priorities. A former aide to Perdue, Watson won this month’s vote to lead the cash-strapped party on a pledge to shore up its finances and make it more relevant.

Cabinet officials are permitted by the Hatch Act, a 1939 law, to engage in electoral politics as long as they’re not acting in an official capacity. The campaign invite mentions nothing of the word “secretary,” instead calling the two Cabinet officials “special guests.”

Governor Deal announced the opening of the STABLE tax-free savings program to benefit Georgians with disabilities.

Georgia STABLE is an important part of our ongoing efforts to provide effective tools and better opportunities for Georgians with disabilities,” said Deal. “This savings program will be a beneficial asset for people with disabilities across the state as they live more independent lives, seek gainful employment and plan for the future. Georgia STABLE is another step toward ensuring our citizens with disabilities have the means and support necessary to live and work as independently as possible.”

State Rep. Lee Hawkins (R-Gainesville) worked to pass the STABLE legislation.

The program offers 401(k)-style accounts that are exempt from state and federal taxes if used for education, health care, housing and transportation, according to a Wednesday announcement from Gov. Nathan Deal’s office.

STABLE is modeled on federal legislation and will be managed by the Georgia Achieving a Better Life Experience Program Corp., a state-chartered organization created in 2016 through legislation sponsored by state Rep. Lee Hawkins, R-Gainesville.

“While many people with a disability lead a productive life, the passage of the ABLE legislation will allow many more to pursue their dreams of living independently and pursuing a career,” Hawkins said in the Wednesday statement.

Eligible Georgians can use the accounts to save and invest their cash without losing eligibility for other benefits programs, including Medicaid, Supplemental Social Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance, based on their income.

State Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville) will chair the State House Commission on Transit Governance and Funding.

The group will be chaired by Rep. Kevin Tanner of Dawsonville. Two of the six House members chosen, [Rep. Tom] Taylor and Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, are from DeKalb County.

The transit agency group includes Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausman and Gwinnett County Chairman Charlotte Nash.

State resident members include men and women from Cobb County and Columbus.

The transit leaders are Russell McMurry, commissioner of the state department of transportation, Keith Parker, MARTA’s chief, and Chris Tomlinson, executive director of the Georgia Regional Transit Agency, known most for its regional bus system.

University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley spoke to members of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.

Wrigley said knowledge creation, transfer and innovation are things that drive the economy and have driven the economy since human beings organized into a society.

“That’s really something as a university system we’re fundamentally about,” he said.

Wrigley didn’t address the recently passed campus carry law in his speech, but he told the Daily Post after the lunch that he’s tried to emphasize to campus leaders that it is the law and it must be implemented. The legislation, which becomes law on July 1, was opposed by virtually every president and campus leader across the state. Wrigley’s office has sent two pieces of guidance on the law that allows guns on some areas of college campuses since it was passed this past spring.

“We’ve really focused on making sure whatever questions we get, we address, and make sure people understand what the law says,” he said. “Once something becomes law, it is our obligation to implement it, and implement it as fairly and accurately as we can. I feel good about their attitude and willingness to do that.”

Georgia Chamber of Commerce President Chris Clark spoke to the Hall County Chamber of Commerce.

Despite economic positives, such as job growth, Hall County has a serious poverty issue that it needs to deal with, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s president told a Gainesville audience Wednesday morning.

“As prosperous as you are, as well as you’ve done, over 25 percent of your kids live in poverty,” Chris Clark told a group meeting for a Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce breakfast, citing census data. “Does that surprise anyone in the room?”

“Successful communities are going to have a strategy of how to deal with this poverty rate issue. It is a concern for us.”

“It used to be that government would solve (some issues) and businesses would solve (other) issues, and maybe nonprofits would be over here doing their work,” he said. “No. We’ve got to do this together.”

“A lot of the issue we’re dealing with — the faith-based community is probably better to deal with them,” Clark said. “They’re on the front line. We need to work with them to make sure they’ve got the resources.”

Yancey Brothers CEO James E. Stephenson will serve as Vice Chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“We are pleased to welcome Jim, an innovative leader in the transportation and construction field, to this leadership position with the U.S. Chamber,” Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber, said. “Jim has successfully led Yancey Bros. for more than two decades, expanding the scope of operations while staying true to the company’s long-standing legacy of service to its customers. Jim has also been a tireless advocate for pro-business policies at the state and federal level, particularly when it comes to improving our nation’s infrastructure. We look forward to the perspective his experience will bring to our board.”

Stephenson has served as chairman and CEO of Yancey Bros., which bills itself as the nation’s oldest Caterpillar dealer, since 1994. Yancey Bros. Co. employs approximately 1,200 people at 24 locations in Georgia.

“I have spent my business career striving to strengthen and grow a great family business representing some great American manufacturers,” said Stephenson. “The opportunity to serve on the leadership of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a high honor. I look forward to helping the U.S. Chamber become an even more effective advocate for all of America’s businesses.”

Joyce Mink has been appointed to fill a vacant seat on the Cave Spring city council.

The Marietta Board of Lights and Water wants to provide natural gas services to customers, but existing gas marketers oppose the move.

Documents show the city registered Marietta Natural Gas LLC on Oct. 28. Mayor Steve Tumlin said the goal was to make the city-owned utility a one-stop shop for residents’ energy needs.

“We just looked at the advantages of being a full-service utility provider,” he said. “We already did water, sewage and electric. We decided to pursue being a natural gas provider, just to kind of complete the cycle.”

Every year, the City Council transfers at least $10 million from the Board of Lights and Water to its general fund. This year, the city is expected to transfer $12 million.

On Feb. 23, a group of energy companies — Infinite Energy, Inc., SCANA Energy Marketing Inc., Southstar Energy Services LLC, Georgia Natural Gas and Gas South — filed a joint motion with the Georgia Public Service Commission to dismiss the city’s application to sell natural gas.

Cobb County Commissioners approved issuance of  bonds to fund a new emergency department at WellStar Kennestone Hospital.

The $160 million price tag includes construction and equipment for the expansion that will quadruple the size of Kennestone’s existing 37,000-square-foot emergency department, and nearly double the number of emergency room beds, bringing it from 84 to 166. The expansion will be located across the street from Kennestone in “the triangle” between Church, Cherokee and Cherry streets, the MDJ previously reported.

The two-story expansion will also include two helicopter landing pads on top, with patients parking in an underground lot beneath the facility.

The Cobb County Kennestone Hospital Authority in April adopted a resolution to issue $275 million in bonds, or revenue anticipation certificates, with a significant portion of the funding to go toward Kennestone’s expansion. But the resolution required approval by the Cobb Board of Commissioners as the authority is located within the county’s jurisdiction. Commissioners approved the resolution without discussion by a 5-0 vote as part of the meeting’s consent agenda.

Of the $275 million, $120 million will go toward the emergency department project, which is expected to break ground this fall, WellStar spokesman Tyler Pearson said. The remaining $40 million cost of the project will be paid through cash reserves, he added.

Savannah-Chatham Police Chief Joseph Lumpkin is at odds with Chatham County Commissioners over an operations study by outside consultants.

Savannah-Chatham Board of Education held public meetings and is poised to adopt a $561 million budget for FY2018.

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