Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 13, 2018

13
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 13, 2018

On March 13, 1736, the Spanish Governor of Florida complained to Georgia’s James Oglethorpe about English settlements and forts in areas claimed by Spain.

On March 13, 1868, the first impeachment trial of a United States President began in the Senate. President Andrew Johnson was impeached by the House for allegations based on his Reconstruction policies that allegedly violated federal law.

Sworn in as president after Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865, President Johnson enacted a lenient Reconstruction policy for the defeated South, including almost total amnesty to ex-Confederates, a program of rapid restoration of U.S.-state status for the seceded states, and the approval of new, local Southern governments, which were able to legislate “black codes” that preserved the system of slavery in all but name. The Republican-dominated Congress greatly opposed Johnson’s Reconstruction program and passed the “Radical Reconstruction” by repeatedly overriding the president’s vetoes. Under the Radical Reconstruction, local Southern governments gave way to federal military rule, and African-American men in the South were granted the constitutional right to vote.

In March 1867, in order further to weaken Johnson’s authority, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act over his veto. The act prohibited the president from removing federal office holders, including Cabinet members, who had been confirmed by the Senate, without the consent of the Senate.

On March 13, 1957, Governor Marvin Griffin signed a joint resolution by the Georgia General Assembly purporting to impeach United State Chief Justice Earl Warren and associate justices Hugo Black, William O. Douglas, Thomas Clark, Felix Frankfurter, and Stanley Reed, and calling on Congress to impeach the Justices.

On this date in 1992, 25 years ago, “My Cousin Vinny” was released.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Vice President Mike Pence will attend Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade this Saturday, March 17th, according to WSAV. Pence will also be the featured guest at the Georgia Republican Party’s Presidents’ Day Dinner on March 23.

Today is a Committee Work Day for the General Assembly.

8:30 AM House Governmental Affairs Special Sub Voting Technology 406 CLOB

9:00 AM HOUSE SPECIAL RULES 506 CLOB

10:00 AM HOUSE MOTOR VEHICLES 515 CLOB

10:30 AM House Ways & Means Sub Public Finance and Policy 133 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE STATE INSTITUTIONS AND PROPERTY MEZZ 1

1:00 PM SENATE ECONOMIC DEVELPMENT AND TOURISM 125 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE HEALTH AND HUMAN SVCS 450 CAP

1:30 PM House Judy (Non-Civil) Sub 415 CLOB

2:00 PM SENATE RETIREMENT MEZZ

2:00 PM SENATE NATL RES & ENVT 310 CLOB

2:00 PM House Game, Fish and Parks Subcommittee 403 CAP

2:00 PM House Kelley Subcommittee of Judiciary (Civil) 132 CAP

2:30 PM HOUSE GAME, FISH AND PARKS 403 CAP

3:00 PM SENATE HIGHER ED 307 CLOB

3:00 PM SENATE REGULATED INDUSTRIES 450 CAP

3:00 PM HOUSE ENERGY, UTILITIES AND TELECOM 403 CAP

4:00 PM SENATE BANKING AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS MEZZ

Senate Bill 17, the “Brunch Bill,” passed the State House yesterday by a vote of 97-64 and heads to Governor Deal for his signature or veto. From CBS46:

If the governor signs the Mimosa or Brunch bill, which he’s expected to, it will be put to the voters in the form of a referendum.  Essentially, it allows them to decide in every municipality whether they want to extend hours of restaurant liquor sales on Sundays.

Supporters of bill point to the four thousand or so Georgia restaurants expected to benefit. This would include about 25 thousand dollars in extra revenue per year if they’re allowed to serve alcohol at 11 a.m. instead of 12:30 p.m. on Sundays.

From the AJC:

State Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, who sponsored the bill, said the legislation was needed because some state-owned establishments, including the Georgia World Congress Center, are allowed to sell alcohol earlier than 12:30 p.m. on Sundays.

“We’re delighted after two years that the ‘mimosa mandate’ passed the General Assembly,” Unterman said. “It was a compromise and it’s not quite what we wanted, but it’s better than what we had.”

From WABE:

Karen Bremer, CEO of the Georgia Restaurant Association, said the 90-minute change goes a long way in increasing business for restaurants.

“We’ve had many restaurateurs that have changed their hours to starting serving at 12:30 p.m. because if they open at 11 a.m. for lunch, which is a traditional time for people to open for lunch, patrons get upset that they can’t order a mimosa at 11’o’clock in the morning,” Bremer said.

State Rep. Meagan Hanson, R-Brookhaven, sponsored the bill and said there is also a great economic benefit.

“This simple change is expected to increase sales by approximately $100 million,” Hanson said.

From the Associated Press, via the Gainesville Times:

Gov. Nathan Deal’s spokeswoman declined to say whether the governor intends to sign the measure.

Senate Bill 315 by Sen. Bruce Thompson (R-White) is being criticized for the effect it might have on computer security research. From the AJC.

The legislation is meant to prevent computer snooping, but it could also stop legitimate internet security efforts.

The bill was introduced, in part, as a result of the state’s failure to protect voter records — including voter lists with full Social Security numbers and birth dates — at Kennesaw State University’s Center for Election Systems.

Instead of learning from the data breach, state lawmakers are trying to criminalize those who report internet security weaknesses, said Andy Green, a KSU information security lecturer who reported the problem after he was contacted by the internet security researcher.

But state Attorney General Chris Carr says Georgia needs stronger laws to protect residents and businesses from intruders. Georgia is one of only three states that doesn’t ban people from accessing a computer or network without permission, even if no information is stolen. State law already prohibits data theft and tampering.

“Do we want people that do not have authorization to our computers or our computer networks coming in and being able to look around?” Carr asked. “We want to continue to allow legitimate activity to remain legal. We want illegitimate activity to be illegal. The question is, where do you draw that line?”

Frankly the argument sounds like sending thieves to break into your home with the promise that they aren’t going to steal anything, they’re just testing your locks and alarm system.

Wild hogs have invaded a Columbus neighborhood, and authorities are scrambling to find someone to remove them, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

“This is getting to be a very scary problem,” said Anna Mims who is disabled and has healthcare providers entering her home daily in the 400 block of Bowen Boulevard. “They are scared to come into my house and take care of me.”

More than four years after dispatching a professional trapper to control a pack of wild hogs encroaching on property along Chattsworth Road, the Consolidated Government is looking for one to go after hogs in the Columbia Heights area, said Pat Biegler, director of Public Works which includes Animal Control.

Mims, who uses a wheelchair, stays inside on most days, but her healthcare providers have spotted them rooting around the front door looking for food. “They are digging up my yard,” Mims said. “What am I going to do?”

About 7 a.m., one health worker saw as many as seven in the yard preventing her from entering the house. “She got a block and threw it after one,” Mims said. “She called and said she was out there but the hogs were in the yard.”

Augusta voters will decide on where to build a new James Brown Arena on the May 22d ballot, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

The stage is set for voters to weigh in May 22 on where they prefer to build a new James Brown Arena – the current site or at Regency Mall – in addition to two other items added to the ballot by the local Republican and Democratic parties.

The executive committees of the two parties met a Friday deadline to submit questions about the location for the proposed arena, and the yes-or-no questions are nearly identical except the name the parties use for the local government.

Republican candidates for Secretary of State met in a forum at the Gwinnett County Republican Party, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The four Republicans seeking the office — Reps. Buzz Brockway, R-Lawrenceville, and Brad Raffensperger, R-Johns Creek, Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, and former Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle — participated in a GOP candidates forum hosted by the Gwinnett Republican Women at the county’s Republican headquarters in Gwinnett Place Mall Monday.

At times, the candidates addressed what they felt the stakes were in the race while targeting John Barrow, one of three Democrats running for the office.

“This is going to be the marque election in November,” McKoon said. “It’s not the governor’s race, it’s not the lieutenant governor’s race. There will be millions and millions of dollars pouring into this state because the Democrats know if they can seize control of the machinery of the elections, then they’ll start going after the governor’s mansion and everything else.”

Republican gubernatorial candidate Hunter Hill spoke to the Golden Isles Republican Women’s Club on St Simons Island yesterday, according to the Brunswick News.

Hill discussed that it was important to ensure economic progress while limiting regulation to what is absolutely necessary.

“Certainly here in Glynn County, what a jewel we have in terms of the marsh and the coast,” Hill said. “We need to protect it. So, I’m absolutely in agreement with you with the need to do that. The specifics, I’m admitting to you I don’t have a comprehensive plan to deal with that at this moment. I think a lot of times politicians respond to their constituency base. And, the bottom line is, (for) most Republican primary voters, this is not as passionate an issue as it is particularly for you.”

Hill pointed to education, public safety and transportation as core functions of government that need to be taken care of properly, but have not.

“Our career politicians have underfunded transportation for the last 40 years,” Hill said. “So, we’re behind on investing in infrastructure. And career politicians, again, when they’ve neglected the investment, what do they say? They say, ‘I guess we need a tax increase.’ No, we need to manage the money we’ve already had better, and prioritize spending on transportation. That’s why I want to double our investment in transportation in my first term without raising taxes.”

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is working to curb the coyote population with prizes for confirmed kills.

Lilburn City Council voted to allow some retail establishments to provide free beer to customers, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Following a council vote Monday night, customers in licensed art shops and personal service establishments, such as retail hair salons, will be able to consume complimentary beer and wine.

In addition, a customer may be able to “brown bag” his or her own alcohol in the same places.

“This seems to be the latest and greatest millennial thing,” Mayor Johnny Crist said. “We do not want to be left behind on this.”

While at such a business, no customer is allowed to drink more than two 6-ounce servings of wine or two 12-ounce servings of beer during a three-hour period, or four 6-ounce servings of wine or four 12-ounce servings of beer in a single day.

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