Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 27, 2017

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 27, 2017

Christopher Columbus “discovered” Cuba on October 28, 1492.

Sir Walter Raleigh, founder of the first permanent English settlement in America, was beheaded on October 29, 1618 for conspiring against King James I.

Georgia’s first Royal Governor, John Reynolds, arrived at Savannah on October 29, 1754.

On October 27, 1775, King George III addressed Parliament, raising concerns about an American rebellion.

John Hancock resigned as President of the Continental Congress on October 29, 1777.

The First of the Federalist Papers, an essay by Alexander Hamilton published under the pseudonym Publius, was published on October 27, 1787.

The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of San Lorenzo, also called Pinckney’s Treaty on October 27, 1795, setting the 31st parallel as the border between Georgia and Florida.

The nation’s first Gold Rush started after Benjamin Parks discovered gold in what is now Lumpkin County, Georgia on October 27, 1828.

Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York City on October 27, 1858.

The Battle of Wauhatchie, one of a handful of night battles in the Civil War, began along the Georgia-Tennessee border on October 28, 1863.

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886; the first ticker tape parade followed.

President Woodrow Wilson vetoed the Volstead Act, which implemented the Eighteenth Amendment prohibition on alcohol, on October 27, 1919; the House overrode his veto that same day and the United States Senate overrode the veto on October 28, 1919.

Navy Day was established on October 27, 1922.

October 27 was suggested by the Navy League to recognize Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday. Roosevelt had been an Assistant Secretary of the Navy and supported a strong Navy as well as the idea of Navy Day. In addition, October 27 was the anniversary of a 1775 report issued by a special committee of the Continental Congress favoring the purchase of merchant ships as the foundation of an American Navy.

The New York Stock Exchange crashed on October 29, 1929, beginning the spiral to the Great Depression.

The first ballpoint pen went on sale at Gimbel’s Department Store on October 29, 1945.

The Cuban Missile Crisis ended on October 28, 1962 as Kruschev agreed to remove Soviet missiles from Cuba if the United States would respect Cuban sovereignty.

Ronald Reagan delivered the “A Time for Choosing” speech on October 27, 1964.

And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man.

This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down—[up] man’s old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.

We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.

Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia on October 29, 1971.

Jimmy Carter campaigned in New York on October 27, 1976.

Gladys Knight and the Pips reached #1 with “Midnight Train to Georgia” on October 27, 1973.

Democratic President Jimmy Carter debated Republican Ronald Reagan in Cleveland, Ohio on October 28, 1980.

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Andrew Young was elected Mayor of Atlanta on October 27, 1981.

The Atlanta Braves beat the Cleveland Indians 1-0 to win the World Series on October 28, 1995.

On October 29, 1998, at 77 years of age, John Glenn became the oldest human to travel in space, on the shuttle Discovery.

Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy accepted the last Ford Taurus built in Hapeville, Georgia on October 27, 2006.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Technicians at the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University wiped a server connected to an elections lawsuit.

The server’s data was destroyed July 7 by technicians at the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University, which runs the state’s election system. The data wipe was revealed in an email sent last week from an assistant state attorney general to plaintiffs in the case that was later obtained by the AP. More emails obtained in a public records request confirmed the wipe.

It’s not clear who ordered the server’s data irretrievably erased.

The Kennesaw election center answers to Georgia’s secretary of state, Brian Kemp, a Republican running for governor in 2018 and the suit’s main defendant. His spokeswoman issued a statement Thursday saying his office had neither involvement nor advanced warning of the decision. It blamed “the undeniable ineptitude” at the Kennesaw State elections center.

It could still be possible to recover relevant information from the server.

The FBI is known to have made an exact data image of the server in March when it investigated the security hole. The Oct. 18 email disclosing the server wipe said the state attorney general’s office was “reaching out to the FBI to determine whether they still have the image” and also disclosed that two backup servers were wiped clean Aug. 9, just as the lawsuit moved to federal court.

On Wednesday, the attorney general’s office notified the court of its intent to subpoena the FBI seeking the image.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp has launched an investigation of the data destruction.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said Thursday that his office is launching an investigation after data was quietly destroyed on a computer server shortly after a lawsuit was filed seeking to force the state to overhaul its election technology.

The KSU center’s system will be used in the upcoming elections.

KSU represenattives late Thursday issued a statement explaining that the server, which had been examined by the FBI, was wiped so it could be repurposed. School spokeswoman Tammy DeMel said in the statement the FBI made a copy of all of the data on the server before informing KSU it had not been compromised and returning the technology.

“The data and information that was on the server in question has been and is still in the possession of the FBI and will remain available to the parties in the event it is determined to be relevant in the pending litigation,” DeMel said.

In a lengthy statement, Kemp said his office had no involvement in the decision to wipe the server, nor was it notified in advance.

“We will not stand for this kind of inexcusable conduct or gross incompetence,” said Kemp, whose office oversees Georgia’s elections. “Those responsible at KSU should be held accountable for their actions. The Secretary of State’s Office is also coordinating with FBI officials to get our own copy of the data that was erased at KSU.”

Kemp, who is running for governor, said his office stands by the results of previous elections. “Despite the undeniable ineptitude at KSU’s Center for Elections Systems,” he added, “Georgia’s elections are safe and our systems remain secure.”

Republican State House candidate Houston Gaines has come under fire from Democrats.

The sole Republican running for a conservative-leaning Athens-based House district is facing criticism from Democrats for comments he made to a reporter who pressed him on his perspective in the race.

“It’s obvious by just looking at us that we have a different perspective,” Houston Gaines told the Flagpole reporter.

Gaines, a white former University of Georgia student body president, faces Democratic attorney Deborah Gonzalez, who is Hispanic, in the Nov. 7 race.

Michael Smith of the Democratic Party of Georgia called his remarks “disgraceful and disqualifying” and compared it to “racist filth.” He added: “Character counts, and Houston Gaines is found wanting.”

Gaines spokesman Brian Robinson said the candidate was referring to himself as “the voice of a new generation of leaders” He called it “just one more ridiculous and inane example of Democrats resorting to identity politics.”

Two Bibb County deputies resigned after being caught using the website Backpage.

The sheriff’s office began investigating in May after the FBI reported finding that one of the deputy’s personal cellphone numbers was among contacts in a sex trafficking victim’s phone, according to an investigative file The Telegraph obtained Thursday.

According to a nearly 50-page internal investigation file, the victim told the FBI that Cranford had contacted her “in reference to her Backpage ad stating he was ‘a man in uniform,’ and that ‘if she let him come on a date, he would not tell anyone and would protect her going forward.’ ”

The site’s adult section has been a clearinghouse for prostitutes and customers seeking their services.

Columbus Council approved a resolution asking the General Assembly to support legislation to allow casino gambling.

The resolution came after a request by Columbus businessman, civic leader and philanthropist Bob Wright, who last year raised the possibility of a casino as a possible economic, entertainment and tourism draw for Columbus, south Columbus in particular.

Mike Baker, who also cast a “nay” vote (as did Councilor Glenn Davis), said he doesn’t have a problem with citizens voting on it, but “I’d like to know what we’re calling for … I really don’t have that much information as far as an actual draft.”

Mayor Pro Tem Evelyn Turner-Pugh said council is simply asking that “if, indeed, there is a constitutional amendment, that citizens be allowed to vote for it or against it, and that we be included.” That proposed amendment, she said, may be different from the previous ones, and “may include Columbus and some other cities.”

The Valdosta Board of Education is considering leasing land for a solar installation.

Radiance Solar has discussed utilizing unused property owned by Valdosta City Schools to host solar arrays. Radiance Solar would pay to lease the land from VCS and would sell the energy its solar arrays generate to Georgia Power as part of the Renewable Energy Development Initiative program.

Previously, Radiance Solar proposed $50,000 a year to lease the land at the VCS Transportation Center for a 2.4-megawatt solar array.

However, upon inspection of the property’s power bills provided by VCS and abiding by the program’s cap for electricity, the size of the solar array was limited to a smaller 1.5-megawatt array for $30,000 a year during a 25-year lease.

The Snellville Police Department will host a National Drug Take Back Day event on Saturday.

The United States Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination by President Trump of Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Tillman “Tripp” Self to a United States District Court judgeship, sending it to the floor of the Senate.

Self’s nomination was approved in a block vote along with four other judicial nominees from Texas and South Carolina.

Last week, the Judiciary Committee forwarded the names of two nominees for the Northern District of Georgia to the Senate floor, where they await a final vote. Alston & Bird partner Michael Brown was approved in a voice vote, but the panel split along party lines in a roll call vote on Georgia Court of Appeals Judge William Ray.

Self, who also served a decade as a Macon Judicial Circuit Superior Court judge, marks the third generation of judges in his family. Both his grandfather, for whom he is named, and his uncle served as county probate judges. Gov. Nathan Deal named Self to the state appellate court last year.

Self appeared before the committee Oct. 4 where he was introduced by Georgia’s two senators, including David Perdue. In his introduction, Sen. Johnny Isakson said Tripp was “not just a man who can call balls and strikes or officiate in a courtroom, he’s also a Southern Conference [football] official and did the national championship game in 2017.”

Albany has seen low turnout in early voting for a city commission seat.

Currently, there is a highly competitive race going on for a city commission seat in Albany, but so far, only 30 people have cast a ballot in nine days of early voting.

By late Thursday afternoon, only two voters had cast a ballot that day.

There are five people running for the Ward 2 seat, the only race on the ballot.

There are 6,000 registered voters.

Metro Atlanta governments are increasingly putting transit issues on their ballots, according to the AJC.

Fulton and Gwinnett County officials are finishing transit studies with an eye toward seeking voter approval of expansion plans next November. Cobb County also has begun a study that could lead to a future transit vote. MARTA is researching its options for an expansion along I-20 in DeKalb County.

Already, Atlanta and Clayton County have approved new sales taxes to pay for transit expansions. If voters in other counties follow suit, metro Atlanta could soon see the biggest transit building boom since construction on the MARTA system began more than 40 years ago.

“I think voters in this region are ready to embrace transit in a very big way,” said Dave Williams, a vice president at the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “So many signs point toward some good things happening.”

Georgia Ports Authority posted record numbers for FY 2017 and the first quarter of FY2018.

In July, Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch reported a record Fiscal 2017 to his board – 3.8 million containers and $373 million in revenues for the period ending June 30.

Lynch [reported] last week that the Port of Savannah moved more than 1 million TEUs across Garden City Terminal in the first quarter of FY2018, which ended Sept. 30.

“Sustained organic growth coupled with increased market share are driving these volume increases,” Lynch said. “We’ve also achieved major gains through the addition of Neo-Panamax vessels to the fleet serving Garden City Terminal.”

Not only is Garden City Terminal the fastest growing major port in the Western Hemisphere, as of the end of June, it’s the third fastest-growing container terminal in the world behind only the ports of Ningbo and Guangzhou in China.

Today, Garden City Terminal hosts 36 weekly vessel calls, more than any other container terminal on the East Coast.

“Smart investments that will double our rail lift capacity at Garden City, build inland terminals around the state, and put 36 cranes on one dock – coupled with the deepening of the harbor – will position Savannah to take on a new era of business expansion,” Allgood said.

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