Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 19, 2017


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 19, 2017

The Georgia Whig Party held its first convention on June 19, 1843 in Milledgeville and elected ten delegates to the 1844 National Convention.

The first Republican National Convention, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ended on June 19, 1856.

The Republicans, who called for the abolition of slavery in all U.S. territories, rapidly gained supporters in the North, and in 1856 their first presidential candidate, John Fremont, won 11 of the 16 Northern states. By 1860, the majority of Southern states were publicly threatening secession if a Republican won the presidency.

The Civil War firmly identified the Republican Party as the official party of the victorious North. After the war, the Republican-dominated Congress forced a radical Reconstruction policy on the South, which saw the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, abolishing slavery and granting voting rights to African American men in the South. By 1876, the Republican Party had lost control of the South, but it continued to dominate the presidency, with a few intermissions, until the ascendance of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933.

On June 19, 1864, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston retreated from Pine Mountain and Lost Mountain toward Marietta. Click here to watch a two-minute video by Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Atlanta History Center about this week in Georgia in 1864.

On the same day, USS Kearsarge sank CSS Alabama off the coast of Cherbourg, France in one of the most-celebrated naval battles of the Civil War.

Under its captain, Raphael Semmes, the Alabama prowled the world for three years, capturing U.S. commercial ships. It sailed around the globe, usually working out of the West Indies, but taking prizes and bungling Union shipping in the Caribbean, off Newfoundland, and around the coast of South America. In January 1863, Semmes sunk a Union warship, the Hatteras, after luring it out of Galveston, Texas.

During its career, the Alabama captured 66 ships and was hunted by more than 20 Federal warships.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

From the AJC Political Insider on Saturday’s GOTV Rally with Secretary of HHS Tom Price and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

“We want lower taxes. We all want a government that respects you. You all want patient-centered healthcare,” said Price. “You all want national security to be an absolute priority for the federal government. If you want any one of those items, then who you want is Karen Handel for the 6th District.”

And Perdue, who hired Handel as a deputy when he was governor, urged conservatives not to be fooled by a Democrat who sports a “few Republican buzz words.” He led voters in a chant of “no turning back.”

“This is a harbinger of national politics. The world is looking, the nation is looking – and all the money has flowed in here,” Perdue said. “Don’t be fooled by someone who doesn’t have a record. Let me tell you something, he’s a puppeteer and the strings are being pulled by Democrats and the Nancy Pelosi.”

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.

Today, the Karen Handel campaign will rally across the Sixth District to encourage Republicans to vote in the Special Election tomorrow.

DeKalb GOTV STOP with Karen Handel and Congressman Kevin McCarthy
11:30 AM – 12:00 Noon at Old Hickory House
2202 Northlake Parkway
Tucker, GA 30084

Cobb GOTV RALLY with Surprise Guest
12:45 – 2:00 PM at Cherokee Cattle Ranch
2710 Canton Road
Marietta, GA 30066

Click here to register for Cobb GOTV Rally

Fulton and Grand Finale GOTV RALLY with Gov Deal, First Lady Sandra Deal and Banks and Shane
6 – 7:30 PM at Houck’s Grille
10930 Crabapple Road, Suite B1302
Roswell, GA 30075

Click here to register for Fulton GOTV Rally

Here are the latest numbers for early votes cast:

Cobb 25,346 19.39%
DeKalb 30554 23.37%
Fulton 74850 57.25%

The Marietta Daily Journal has a write-up on early voting.

In Cobb alone, 27,257 people cast their ballots early through mail-in ballots or advance in-person voting. Cobb Elections Director Janine Eveler said that represents more than 23 percent of registered voters.

In the April free-for-all primary election that pitted Ossoff and Handel against 16 other candidates, 11,860 Cobb voters voted early.

In addition to east Cobb, District 6 also includes parts of Fulton and DeKalb. All told, over 140,000 early votes have been cast in this race, including from 36,000 people who did not vote in the primary, Politico reports.

If you live in District 6 and have not voted yet, tomorrow, Election Day, is your only chance to do so. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

[Note: the difference between the Cobb figure above from the SOS database and the number in the MDJ article may be due to lag in the system by which the County reports ballots cast to the state.]

Ms. Lillian Mortimer, 100 years old, of Cobb County may be the oldest voter to cast a ballot in the Sixth District.

When 100-year-old Lillian Mortimer ran into trouble getting her Georgia identification card to ensure she could cast a ballot in the House District 6 runoff between Karen Handel and Jon Ossoff, she was undeterred.

Born at home in February 1917, she didn’t have a birth certificate. Her North Carolina driver’s license, which she had before moving in with her daughter Lynn Strickland of east Cobb about three years ago, had expired, and the passport she once had was lost in that move.

It was soon thereafter that the two turned to one of their fellow parishioners at Mt. Bethel United Methodist — Cobb Commission Chairman Mike Boyce.

“Lillian came to me, she grabbed me in the church narthex about a month ago … Lillian and her daughter grabbed me and said Lillian really wanted to get a Georgia ID card so that she could vote,” Boyce said, sharing the story at Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting. “This is a lady that was born in the year that America entered World War I, and yet her primary consideration and concern is that she wanted to vote.”

Since then, Mortimer has mailed in her absentee ballot — a vote for Karen Handel.

“I thought it was important, and I’ve always voted,” she said. “In fact, I used to work at the poll in (my former home) Greensboro (North Carolina), and it is important. I wish people that complain so much about things would get out there and get voting. And there’s much to complain about.”

National Democrats are beginning to manage expectations in case their wunderkind Jon Ossoff falls short tomorrow.

A loss in Georgia’s special election here could leave the party demoralized, with little to show for all the furious organizing, fundraising and spending in a handful of congressional special elections in the early months of the Trump administration. As a result, Democrats are now straining to throw everything they have at Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District to push Jon Ossoff over the top against Republican Karen Handel, aiming to prove they can win the suburban districts that may pave the way to a House majority in 2018.

According to Democrats close to the contest, the high early voting turnout has rendered Tuesday’s result less predictable than expected. And that unpredictability has party leaders — stung by criticism from liberal activists for not spending enough money on earlier special elections this year in Kansas and Montana — urging activists not to be disappointed by a tight race that ends in defeat.

Their concern is that anything less than victory could dampen the party’s torrid energy and cash flow, with the next round of House races still nearly a year-and-a-half away.

“From the start, the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] understood that winning the Georgia 6th special election would be a monumental task. Simply put, virtually every structural advantage benefits Republicans in a special election in this traditionally conservative district,” wrote DCCC Executive Director Dan Sena in an expectation-setting memo circulated to a group that included donors and friendly groups last Tuesday.

He reminded them that the committee “has spent more than $6 million to fundamentally transform a traditionally Republican electorate, turn out low-propensity voters, channel the unprecedented grassroots energy, and communicate with swing voters.”

The Gwinnett County Republican Party Chairman’s Cookout on Saturday, June 24 from 11 AM to 4 PM will draw some of the 2018 Statewide candidates.

Tickets cost $10 for adults, and $5 for kids ages 6 to 16, and can be purchased at Children under 6 will be admitted for free.

Among the candidates expected to be there are Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who is running for governor, and Reps. Buzz Brockway and Brad Raffensperger, who are running for secretary of state.

Information [on the website] about the event says gubernatorial candidates Sen. Hunter Hill and Secretary of State Brian Kemp have also been invited to attend the cookout. U.S. Reps. Rob Woodall and Jody Hice are among the invitees as well.

Cagle, Hill, Kemp and state Sen. Michael Williams, R-Cumming, make up the Republican field for governor so far, but qualifying won’t take place until next spring, so other candidates could still emerge.

Groundbreaking for the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center in Augusta will be today, though preparations have already begun.

The Georgia Department of Labor reports that unemployment has hit the lowest level in nearly a decade.

The Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday that the rate dipped from 5 percent in April to 4.9 percent in May. That gives the state its lowest number since October 2007. The recession, fueled by the housing market meltdown, officially started in December 2007, with economists gauging its end in June 2009.

A year ago, the state’s jobless rate was 5.3 percent.

“Georgia saw its unemployment rate dip below 5 percent for the first time in nearly 10 years as more individuals gained jobs,” Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement. “It’s a testament to the attractiveness of Georgia’s job market when we continue to see more and more individuals enter and re-enter the job market and find employment.”

The department said the total number of Georgians with a job increased by nearly 10,000 from April to May, bringing the total to a record 4,788,627. That total is up by nearly 156,000 from May of last year.

Jack Bernard, a former Jasper County Commission Chair writes that Georgia should not get rid of Certificate of Need laws.

[E]very year or two, some state politician suggests doing away with Georgia’s Certificate of Need (CON) laws, which regulate where and how health care facilities can operate. Sometimes people in the health care field make similar suggestions.

Unfortunately, while many of these proposals invoke the principle of the free market, they are misguided.

Most of my career was spent in the private sector in for-profit health care corporations. For four years, I was with two major for-profit hospital chains, and I had the responsibility of trying to obtain CON permits for new and existing facilities.

I learned that corporate executives have a legal responsibility to put their firms’ interests first, ahead of societal concerns. There’s nothing wrong with that, since people in a free society have a right to see that their particular interests are represented. But government regulation has a broader aim. It is intended to protect the consumer rather than the corporation.

I am a fiscal conservative, and I dislike paperwork as much as the next guy. But I know that government regulations are put in place for a reason, to protect the public. At least in the case of Georgia’s CON laws, the current regulations are working well.


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