Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections for September 18, 2017


Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections for September 18, 2017

The Mayflower left Plymouth, England, for the New World on September 16, 1620. Thirty-five of 102 passengers were members of the English Separatist Church seeking religious freedom from the Church of England. Originally aiming to reach Virginia, Mayflower eventually landed at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Forty-one delegates signed the United States Constitution, including Abraham Baldwin and William Few representing Georgia, at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787 before adjourning sine die. Constitution Day was celebrated yesterday and the National Archives has some great background materials.

The United States government took out its first loan on September 18, 1789, the proceeds of which were used to pay the salaries of the President, and First Congress. On the same day, future President Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to E. Rutledge in which he requested that a shipment of olive trees be sent via Baltimore.

President George Washington laid the cornerstone of the United States Capitol on September 18, 1793.

We know from that newspaper article, and from Masonic ritual, that Washington placed an inscribed silver plate under the cornerstone at the southeast corner of this building. However, we do not know whether that meant the southeast corner of the Senate wing, the first section of the building to be completed, or the southeast corner of the whole building as intended, which would locate it over on the House side. Two centuries later, the Architect of the Capitol is still searching for that cornerstone. Metal detectors have failed to locate the silver plate.

On September 17, 1796, George Washington began working on the final draft of his farewell address as the first President of the United States of America.

President Millard Fillmore signed the Fugitive Slave Act on September 18, 1850, requiring that slaves be returned to their owners even if they were in a free state.

The Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee met the Army of the Potomac under General George McClellan at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862.

The Battle of Antietam actually consisted of three battles. Beginning at dawn on September 17, Union General Joseph Hooker’s men stormed Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s troops around the Dunker Church, the West Woods, and David Miller’s cornfield. The Federals made repeated attacks, but furious Rebel counterattacks kept the Yankees in check. By early afternoon, the fighting moved south to the middle of the battlefield. Union troops under General Edwin Sumner inflicted devastating casualties on the Confederates along a sunken road that became known as “Bloody Lane,” before the Southerners retreated. McClellan refused to apply reserves to exploit the opening in the Confederate center because he believed Lee’s force to be much larger than it actually was. In the late afternoon, Union General Ambrose Burnside attacked General James Longstreet’s troops across a stone bridge that came to bear Burnside’s name. The Yankees crossed the creek, but a Confederate counterattack brought any further advance to a halt.

The fighting ended by early evening, and the two armies remained in place throughout the following day. After dark on September 18, Lee began pulling his troops out of their defenses for a retreat to Virginia. The losses for the one-day battle were staggering. Union casualties included 2,108 dead, 9,540 wounded, and 753 missing, while Confederate casualties numbered 1,546 dead, 7,752 wounded, and 1,108 missing.

General Robert E. Lee retreated from Antietam Creek on September 18, 1862, following the bloodiest day of fighting in the Civil War.

A single pistol shot on September 16, 1920 opened former Cherokee land in Oklahoma to white settlers in a “land run” to claim property.

On September 17, 1932, the Georgia Division of the Roosevelt Business and Professional League was created to work with the Georgia Democratic Party to support FDR’s Presidential campaign in the Peach State.

The original stimulus act was announced to bring $70 million in federal money to Georgia to build roads and public buildings on September 16, 1933.

On September 16, 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Selective Service and Training Act requiring males 26-35 years of age to register for the draft. On the same day, Sam Rayburn of Texas was elected Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and would go on to hold the post for 17 years total, the longest tenure of any Speaker.

On September 18, 1973, Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter filed a report claiming that he saw an Unidentified Flying Object in the sky above Leary, Georgia in 1969.

Carter was preparing to give a speech at a Lions Club meeting. At about 7:15 p.m (EST), one of the guests called his attention to a strange object that was visible about 30 degrees above the horizon to the west of where he was standing. Carter described the object as being bright white and as being about as bright as the moon. It was said to have appeared to have closed in on where he was standing but to have stopped beyond a stand of pine trees some distance from him. The object is then said to have changed color, first to blue, then to red, then back to white, before appearing to recede into the distance. Carter felt that the object was self-luminous, but not a solid in nature. Carter’s report indicates that it was witnessed by about ten or twelve other people, and was in view for ten to twelve minutes before it passed out of sight.

Click here to view a copy of the report, allegedly on file at the Carter Center.

Jimmy Carter received the first ever endorsement of a national ticket by the National Education Association in his bid for President on September 17, 1976.

The Georgia General Assembly approved a new state Constitution on September 18, 1981, which was placed on the 1982 ballot and after approval by voters, went into effect in 1983.

On September 18, 1990, Atlanta was announced as the location for the 1996 Summer Olympic games.

Ted Turner announced on September 18, 1997 his intent to donate $1 billion to the United Nations.

R.E.M. and Gregg Allman were among the inductees into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on September 16, 2006.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

The Georgia Department of Revenue is extending some deadlines for victims of Hurricane Irma.

This announcement coincides with the relief announcement issued by the Internal Revenue Service. The Department is postponing until January 31, 2018, certain deadlines for individuals who reside, and businesses whose principal place of business is located, in the disaster area but the person or business must have been affected by the disaster. The postponement applies to return filing, tax payment, and other time-sensitive acts as specified by the Internal Revenue Service.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue toured Georgia last week to assess crop damage from Hurricane Irma.

Perdue [was] slated to tour damaged farms with U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Albany). The tour was slated to include a visit to Mason Pecans, a pecan farm in Fort Valley, according to an advisory on Bishop’s congressional website.

The impact is shocking and will be felt for many months,” Perdue said in a statement released Wednesday. “In addition to efforts being made on the ground to assist producers, we have taken a hard look at our regular reporting requirements and adjusted them so producers can take care of pressing needs first and mostly deal with documentation and claims later. President Trump’s directive is to help people first and deal with paperwork second. And that’s what USDA is doing.”

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black also discussed crop losses.

Fifty percent of Georgia’s pecan crop might be lost, according to state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black.

“If we lose half this pecan crop, fruitcakes will be more expensive at Christmastime, one would think,” Black said.

“It’s gonna affect livelihoods and income, and then what those people do in the local economy, too,” he said.

Cotton is nearing harvest, which made it susceptible to high winds, and crop consultants are estimating between 25 percent and 50 percent of the cotton yield is gone.

Black said Irma may mean at least one positive result for farmers.

All the storm’s rain could boost Georgia’s peanut crop toward a record-breaking harvest.

Qualifying closed last week for the “Six-Pack” of legislative seats up for Special Elections in November.

State Senate District 6 (formerly Hunter Hill)
Charlie Fiveash (R)
Jaha Howard (D)
Jen Jordan (D)
Kathy Eichenblatt (R)
Leah Aldridge (R)
Leo Smith (R)
Matt Bentley (R)
Taos Wynn (D)

State Senate District 39 (formerly Vincent Fort)
Elijah Tutt (D)
Linda Pritchett (D)
Marckeith DeJesus (D)
Nick Carlson (R)
Nikema Williams (D)

State House District 42 (formerly Stacey Evans)
Teri Anulewicz (D)

State House District 89 (formerly Stacey Abrams)
Bee Nguyen (D)
David Abbott (D)
Monique Keane (D)
Sachin Varghese (D)

State House District 117 (formerly Regina Quick)
Deborah Gonzalez (D)
Houston Gaines (R)

State House District 119 (formerly Chuck Williams)
Jonathan Wallace (D)
Lawton Lord (R)
Marcus Wiedower (R)
Steven Strickland (R)

The Athens Banner-Herald looks at the races in House Districts 117 and 119.

Seat 119 covers portions of Clarke and Oconee counties.

Though he previously announced his intent to seek Quick’s former seat, former state lawmaker Doug McKillip failed to qualify for the election, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.

Seat 117 covers portions of Clarke, Oconee, Barrow and Jackson counties.

The special election is set for Nov. 7.

If a runoff is needed in either race, that will be held Dec. 5. Unlike the usual legislative elections, there won’t be party primaries, so all the candidates who qualify will be on the same ballot.

Oct. 10 is the last day for voters to register to vote in the special election, and advance voting is scheduled to begin Oct. 16.

The Marietta Daily Journal looks at their local races in November.

Former Smyrna Councilwoman Teri Anulewicz was the only person to qualify for the race to replace former state Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, who resigned earlier this year to run for governor.

While Anulewicz is the only candidate to qualify for the seat, she hasn’t won the seat yet. A candidate could jump in the race as a write-in candidate during a seven-day period that ends on Friday, according to a spokesperson for the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.

Anulewicz is running as a Democrat to represent the district, which includes about half of Smyrna and parts of Marietta and Cumberland.

The 41-year-old mother of two lives in Smyrna with her husband Chris and works as a political affairs consultant. She served on Smyrna’s City Council nearly 10 years.

Qualifying for candidates looking to replace Anulewicz on Smyrna’s City Council begins Monday, and runs through noon Wednesday.

State Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta) resigned her State House seat effective today, which will lead to another Special Election.

State Rep. Bruce Broadrick (R-Dalton) resigned his State House seat due to health concerns.

Bruce Broadrick says he very much wanted to finish his term in the state House of Representatives, which runs through the end of 2018.

But after talking to his doctor and his family, Broadrick, of Dalton, realized that wouldn’t be possible.

“Representing the people of the Fourth District is the greatest honor that has ever been bestowed on me. I’m very thankful for their trust. I believe that if I can’t be at the top of my game, I can’t effectively represent the voters,” he said. “And I don’t think that I am at the top of my game.”

Broadrick, who has represented District 4 in the state House for the past five years, has resigned that post effective immediately.

Broadrick says he is proud of all the work he did in the state House, but he said he was particularly proud of having worked with other local lawmakers to secure funding for a new building for Georgia Northwestern Technical College on the campus of the Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy. The groundbreaking for that project took place in July.

“That project is very important for the future of this community,” he said.

Broadrick says he is also proud that he and other lawmakers secured funding for the renovation of Sequoya Hall, Dalton State College’s original classroom building.

“We do have time to get it on the Nov. 7 ballot,” [Whitfield County Registrar Mary] Hammontree said.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to take up the nomination of Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Billy Ray to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Ray is one of five nominees who are scheduled to be reviewed by the committee when it meets at 10 a.m. on Sept. 20 in Washington D.C. He is currently [a] presiding judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals, but previously spent 10 years as a Gwinnett County Superior Court judge.

The nomination of Atlanta attorney Michael Brown for another judge’s spot in the Northern District of Georgia is also expected to be reviewed at that time.

Judge Ray also previously served in the Georgia State Senate.

Former State Rep. Steve Davis has started a new job as Effingham County Administrator.

Chattooga County Commissioner Jason Winters and Probate Court Judge Jon Payne are arguing over which of them should make more money.

[Winters] told Payne the county’s auditor recently noticed something odd: Payne had cut checks to himself, worth $35,813 in 2015 and $40,410 in 2016.

Payne said the money came from the fees people paid for copies of birth and death certificates. He told the commissioner he was entitled to keep it. The commissioner told him he wasn’t.

“He said, ‘Why do you think you are supposed to make more money than I do?’” Payne recalled this week. “I said, ‘I don’t think I’m supposed to. But I’m a heck of a lot better looking than you are. I work a heck of a lot harder than you do. And I take a heck of a lot better care of the people than you do.’”

Georgia law states that the local custodian can keep some money from the fees collected on vital records. But Kevin Holder, the state’s executive director of probate court judges, said a commissioner can pass an ordinance or resolution putting a cap on Payne’s revenue: $7,500 a year. (About one-fifth of what Payne took home in 2015 and 2016.)

Payne said Winters has never gone down that route in the past. What happens when there is no established ordinance or resolution? Holder said Thursday that he wasn’t sure. But Nancy Nydam, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Public Health, said some judges in the state keep all the fees paid for vital records; it really depends on their agreement with the county.

Like in Walker County, Chattooga County operates with a sole commissioner form of government, meaning Winters calls all the shots. On Aug. 21, he wrote Payne a letter, telling him he couldn’t keep the money anymore. He needed to give the revenue to the county clerk on the 10th day of every month.

Forsyth County Republicans heard from candidates in the 2017 and 2018 elections.

[T]he Forsyth County Republican Party welcomed District 45 state Sen. David Shafer, who is running for lieutenant governor, District 29 state Sen. Josh McKoon, who is running for secretary of state and county resident Marc Morris, who is running for the District 26 state Representative seat.

Shafer, who previously spoke to the party at events in July and August, has been in office since 2002 and serves as President Pro Tempore of the state senate. He said he had been the workhorse for the conservative agenda in his time in office and had been recognized for his work.

“I am the only candidate for lieutenant governor who is rated A+ by the National Rifle Association, the only candidate to be named a pro-life hero by Georgia Right to Life,” he said.  “In the 15 years I’ve been down there, I’ve done more than just vote the right way I was supposed to, I have led on these issues.”

McKoon said handling elections is one of the key areas for secretary of state and criticized District 6 Democratic Candidate Jon Osoff’s campaign using a judge to extend registration dates for the election.

“The next secretary of state will be secretary of state when President [Donald] Trump is up for re-election. If the left was willing to spend $30 million to try to steal a congressional race, imagine what they’re going to do when President Trump is up for re-election,” McKoon said. “You’re going to need someone who is willing to stand up to the criticism from the media, criticism from the far-left, someone who is a fighter.”

Trey Holladay dropped out of the election for Johns Creek City Council Post 3.

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