Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 6, 2017


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 6, 2017

The first Mennonites arrived in America on October 6, 1683 aboard the Concord.

King George, III issued the Proclamation of 1763 on October 7, 1763.

With respect to Georgia’s official boundaries, the proclamation expanded Georgia’s southern boundary by giving the colony all lands between the Altamaha and St. Marys rivers. Previously, the Altamaha had served as Georgia’s southern boundary.

So, the impact of the Proclamation of 1763 was to set Georgia’s official southern boundary as the St. Marys River from its mouth to the headwaters, then north to the Altamaha River, then north to the headwaters of that river, and then westward to the Mississippi River. Georgia’s northern boundary was the Savannah River from its mouth to its headwaters.


Patriot militia defeated Loyalists at the Battle of King’s Mountain in North Carolina, near the South Carolina border on October 7, 1780.

The Chicago Fire began on October 8, 1871.

On October 8, 1895, the Liberty Bell arrived in Atlanta for the Cotton States Exposition.

The famously–cracked 2,000 pound pealer left Philadelphia on seven trips between 1885 and 1915. Each time it came home with more cracks. It turned out the men hired to guard the Bell were taking liberties, literally: chipping off pieces and selling them as souvenirs.

Cheering crowds greeted the Bell in Atlanta. A two–mile parade took it to Piedmont Park, where 50,000 people lined up to see it.

Liberty Bell in Atlanta

Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Georgia Historical Society have an interesting video on the Liberty Bell’s trip to Atlanta. You can view a photo of the Liberty Bell Parade at the Atlanta History Center.

Cy Young threw his last professional baseball game as a member of the Boston Braves on October 6, 1911.

On October 7, 1916, Georgia Tech beat Cumberland College in the most-one-sided college football game in history, by a score of 222-0.

The Engineers led 63–0 after the first quarter and 126–0 at halftime. Tech added 54 more points in the third quarter and 42 in the final period.

Tech Cumberland Scoreboard

Tech Cumberland Ball

Recently, a Georgia Tech alumnus paid $44,388 for the game ball with the intention of donating it to the trade school.

The Democratic Republic of Germany (East Germany) was created by the Soviets on October 7, 1949.

On October 6, 1953, WTVM-TV began broadcasting in  Columbus, Georgia.

Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Vice President Richard Nixon met in the second televised Presidential debate on October 7, 1960.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience held its first rehearsal on October 6, 1966.

President Richard Nixon proposed a structure for peace and eventual withdrawal of American forces from Vietnam on October 7, 1970.

The second Presidential debate between Republican incumbent Gerald Ford and Democratic challenger Jimmy Carter took place on October 6, 1976. During the debate, Ford said, there was “no Soviet domination in Eastern Europe”. Polling released on October 8, 1976 indicated that Democrat Jimmy Carter won the second debate against President Gerald Ford by a 50-27 margin.

Pope John Paul II became the first Pope to visit the White House on October 6, 1979. Carter’s notes from the meeting are at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta.

On October 8, 1981, former Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter visited with President Ronald Reagan at the White House before heading to Egypt to represent the United States at the funeral of assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

Four Presidents

The last four B-52 bombers stationed at Robins Air Force Base in Warner-Robins left the base for the last time on October 6, 1983.

Long-time Atlanta Braves pitcher Phil Niekro won his 300th game on October 8, 1984, though he wore Yankees pinstripes for that game.

The first C-5A airplane arrived at Robins Air Force Base on October 8, 1997.

C-5 at Robins

On October 8, 1998, the United States House of Representatives voted 258-176 to authorize an impeachment inquiry against President Bill Clinton.

President George W. Bush (43) announced military action in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001.

In a televised address that evening, Bush informed the American public that “carefully targeted actions” were being carried out to crush the military capability of al-Qaida and the Taliban, with help from British, Canadian, Australian, German and French troops. An additional 40 nations around the world provided intelligence, as well as bases from which the operations were conducted.

Bush touted the multinational effort as proof that America, in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, was “supported by the collective will of the world.” He also warned that the war in Afghanistan would likely be only the first front in a long struggle against terrorism. He vowed to continue to take what he called the “war on terror” to those countries that sponsored, harbored or trained terrorists.

President George W. Bush issued an Executive Order establishing the Department of Homeland Security on October 8, 2001.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California on October 7, 2003.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Deal has ordered flags on state buildings and grounds to fly at half-staff through sunset today. Flags were lowered to half-staff on Tuesday in honor of the late Polk County Detective Kristin Hearne, who was killed in the line of duty. After Tuesday, flags have been lowered in respect for the victims and families of the Las Vegas mass murder.

Georgia State Rep. Richard Smith (R-Columbus) visited the classroom to read to young students in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Georgia’s pre-K program.

Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta held a mass casualty drill yesterday.

Muscogee County School District is considering a “zero tolerance” policy against racial slurs.

In Gwinnett County, a middle school project requiring students to draw a mascot for the Nazi party is drawing fire.

The assignment — which Gwinnett County schools officials have called inappropriate — required sixth-grade students to draw a mascot for the Nazi Party. They had to pretend they lived in Nazi Germany in 1935 and were tasked with creating the mascot so the Nazi Party could use it at rallies before World War II.

The pupils had to incorporate information they had learned in their history lessons about Adolf Hitler and the Nazis into their drawings.

Gwinnett County Public Schools officials don’t appear to have been pleased about it either. District spokeswoman Sloan Roach said the assignment wasn’t an approved part of the curriculum for that time period and a personnel investigation is ongoing into the use of the assignment.

Officials at the school are addressing it with the teacher, Roach said.

“As outlined in the Georgia Standards of Excellence curriculum for 6th grade social studies, students study the conflict and change in Europe, including the aftermath of World War I, the rise of communism as a result of the Russian Revolution, the Treaty of Versailles, the rise of Nazism, and worldwide depression,” Roach said.

Leesburg City Manager Bob Alexander received another annual contract extension.

Alexander said Thursday he’s looking forward to another year in which he hopes to see many infrastructure projects, including traffic studies, road improvements and the renovation of the train depot, completed.

“The train depot is our biggest project for the upcoming year,” he said. “It will be finished by January or February. It will house our chamber of commerce headquarters. It will also be our visitor center and will be used for small community gatherings. That will be exciting.”

Leesburg also recently qualified for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant that Alexander said will be used to improve the city’s sewer system.

Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby and six employees have been indicted for their roles in an April drug search at Worth County High School.

According to the indictment: “Jeff Hobby on or about the 14th day of April, 2017, in violation of O.C.G.A. 16-10-1 (violation of oath by public officer), O.C.G.A. 16-6-22.1 (d) (Sexual battery against a child under 16), O.C.G.A. 16-5-42 (false imprisonment under color of law), and O.C.G.A. 16-6-22.1 (b) (sexual battery), did, then and there, being duly-elected sheriff, a public officer with the Worth County Sheriff’s Office, unlawfully, willfully and intentionally violate the terms of his oath as prescribed by law, in that he did swear to ‘support the Constitutions of the United States and of this State’ and then did order deputies under his employ to search students present at Worth County High School without probable cause or any other legal basis and without due process, in violation of the Constitution of the United States and its amendments and the Constitution of the State of Georgia, contrary to the laws of said state, the good order, peace and dignity thereof.”

The Worth county Sheriff’s Office has made no official statement since the indictment, but in an April 18 statement about the incident, Hobby said that his deputies were instructed “to perform a basic and non-intrusive pat-down of each student. This was performed in the presence of the principal.

After the pat-downs were conducted, the sheriff said, “It was discovered that one of the deputies had exceeded the instructions given by the sheriff and conducted a pat-down of some students that was more intrusive than instructed by the sheriff. Upon the discovery of the deputy’s actions, the sheriff has taken corrective action to ensure that this behavior not occur again.”

Twelve students have accused the law enforcement officers of misconduct and sexual battery, including the touching of their genitals. Many of the accusations stem from incidents of “physical contact with the intimate parts of the body” during the search, the indictment said.

An official in the office of Gov. Nathan Deal, who has the power to convene a tribunal to investigate the matter, said his office has not been contacted by the District Attorney’s Office, nor has the governor received a certified copy of the indictment.

Attorney General Chris Carr convened an opioid abuse task force.

Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, who chairs the state Senate Health and Human Services Committee, said a legislative package was in the works, as is a push for more funding for treatment services.

“The system of care is not supporting the issue of the epidemic and we need to ramp that up,” she said.

Rep. Beth Beskin, R-Atlanta, said legislative fixes that should be considered include limiting pain prescriptions written for minors and requiring veterinarians to use the state’s prescription drug monitoring program.

“It’s the elephant in the room,” Rep. Terry Rogers, R-Clarkesville, said of the opioid crisis. “It’s right in front of us. It’s a huge problem but nobody wants to talk about it or nobody wants to admit it.

“It crosses every demographic group there is. It’s not a rural problem, an urban problem. It’s not a Georgia problem. It’s a United States problem,” he added. “The way that you solve it is to get good people together and to talk about it and to get the elephant out of the room.”

The Georgia State Ethics Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission announced new policy in an advisory opinion.

[S]eparate funds — which aren’t allowed by law to directly promote a candidate such as Cagle but can push his or her agenda — have proliferated in recent years, and now Georgia’s ethics commission is starting to look at the role such funds play in state politics.

Candidates such as [Casey] Cagle set up campaign funds to raise — within limits — and spend money for their election or re-election. Increasingly, supporters of politicians are creating separate funds that can raise unlimited amounts of money from donors, often individuals or businesses wanting something from state government.

The ethics commission on Thursday approved an advisory opinion essentially saying the law prohibits candidates or their campaign committees from setting up separate funds or coordinating with them to raise money, push the candidate or attack opponents.

“In such instances of solicitation and coordination, the expenditures on the communications are contributions to the candidate reportable on the candidate’s campaign contribution disclosure report,” the opinion stated.

“This pertains regardless of whether the communications are ‘express advocacy,’ regardless of whether the entity was initially created as an ‘independent committee,’ and regardless of the specific federal tax section under which the entity was formed.”

Stefan Ritter, the executive secretary of the ethics commission, said the opinion wasn’t aimed at any one specific case.

“We have heard of organizations that may have been created that may have been inconsistent with what the opinion states is the law,” Ritter said. “If they are not a campaign committee and they are running a separate organization on their behalf, then I think there is a problem.”

The Georgia Republican Party has settled a workplace discrimination lawsuit brought by a former employee.

Details of the settlement were not released, but state GOP Chairman John Watson confirmed the three-year legal fight was over.

“This matter has been resolved,” Watson said. “The Georgia Republican Party will continue to be singularly focused on our core mission: supporting President Trump and electing Republicans now and in 2018.”

The 2014 lawsuit contributed to the state GOP’s troubles attracting donors amid mounting legal bills. Watson took over a party in June that was deep in debt despite the fact that Republicans dominate state politics and Georgia GOP politicians have no problem raising big money for their own campaigns.

This is an excellent development for the Georgia Republican Party and my personal congratulations to Chairman John Watson for prioritizing this issue and helping us get past it.

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