Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 4, 2018

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May

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 4, 2018

Happy Star Wars Day! May the Fourth Be With You!

Georgia delegates convened in Augusta on May 4, 1789 to approve a new state Constitution and consider amendments. On May 6, 1789, the Constitutional Convention in Augusta, Georgia adopted a new Georgia Constitution.

One year and one day after General Sherman began the Atlanta campaign, on May 4, 1865, Atlanta surrendered. On the same day, the Army of the Potomac crossed the Rapidan River in Virginia and into the Wilderness. The Battle of the Wilderness began on May 5, 1864, between the Army of the Potomac, led by General Ulysses S. Grant, and the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee.

One year after that, on May 4, 1865, the last meeting of the Confederate cabinet convened in the old Georgia State Bank Building, which was located at the site of the present-day Wilkes County Courthouse in Washington, Georgia.

Jefferson Davis spoke in Savannah, Georgia on May 6, 1866.

Davis … defend[ed] the South’s cause in the Civil War, stating, “In 1776 the colonies acquired State sovereignty. They revolted from the mother country in a desperate struggle. That was the cause for which they fought. Is it a lost cause now? Never. Has Georgia lost the State sovereignty which … she won in 1776? No, a thousand times no.” Davis’s fiery remarks were captured by reporters for the New York Times and other northern newspapers.

Because of the national attention generated over his visit to Alabama and Georgia, Davis took a more conciliatory tone in a speech that evening, noting, “There are some who take it for granted that when I allude to State sovereignty I want to bring on another war. I am too old to fight again, and God knows I don’t want you to have the necessity of fighting again… . The celebration today is a link in the long chain of affection that binds you and the North together. Long may it be true.”

On May 5, 1886, Jefferson Davis attended a public reception at Savannah, Georgia’s City Hall.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Cy Young threw a perfect game against the Detroit Tigers on May 5, 1904.

On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister became the first person to break the four-minute barrier for running the mile.

For years, so many athletes had tried and failed to run a mile in less than four minutes that people made it out to be a physical impossibility. The world record for a mile was 4 minutes and 1.3 seconds, set by Gunder Hagg of Sweden in 1945. Despite, or perhaps because of, the psychological mystique surrounding the four-minute barrier, several runners in the early 1950s dedicated themselves to being the first to cross into the three-minute zone.

At 6 p.m., the starting gun was fired. In a carefully planned race, Bannister was aided by Chris Brasher, a former Cambridge runner who acted as a pacemaker. For the first half-mile, Brasher led the field, with Bannister close behind, and then another runner took up the lead and reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 3 minutes 0.4 seconds, with Bannister at 3 minutes 0.7 seconds. Bannister took the lead with about 350 yards to go and passed an unofficial timekeeper at the 1,500-meter mark in 3 minutes 43 seconds, thus equaling the world’s record for that distance. Thereafter, Bannister threw in all his reserves and broke the tape in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. As soon as the first part of his score was announced–”three minutes…”–the crowd erupted in pandemonium.

A “sub-four” is still a notable time, but top international runners now routinely accomplish the feat. Because a mile is not a metric measurement, it is not a regular track event nor featured in the Olympics. It continues, however, to be run by many top runners as a glamour event.

Alan Shepard, Jr. became the first American in space on May 5, 1961, making a 15 minute sub-orbital flight that reached an altitude of 115 miles, during which he experienced about five minutes of ‘weightlessness.’ He was launched in the 2,000-lb. capsule Freedom 7 from Cape Canaveral, Florida… The flight traveled 302 miles at a speed relative to the ground of 4,500 mph. The mission was named Mercury-Redstone 3, or Freedom 7.

On May 4, 1965, the Rolling Stones played a show at Georgia Southern.

The British band played in Hanner Fieldhouse to an overflow crowd of more than 3,500 people, according to a retrospective by Jim Hilliard in the Statesboro Herald. The gym’s capacity was about 1,500.

Hilliard said organizers figured they could sell 1,800 tickets at $2.50 each, which would be enough to pay the band and have some money left over for expenses.

The Stones had played on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Sunday, May 2, and advance ticket sales were brisk the Monday and during lunch Tuesday, the day of the concert.

Hilliard said he signed the contract booking the Stones on behalf of Sigma Epsilon Chi fraternity. The contract called for the new fraternity to pay the band $3,000 for the appearance. Hilliard said he got a $1,500 loan from First Bulloch Bank to make the deal happen.

The Stones were expected to take the stage at 8:30 p.m. and play for at least an hour, but Hilliard had lined up three front bands, and “it proved to be a fatal flaw in plans for the concert,” he said in his retrospective.

The noise was deafening as the original Stones lineup — Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts — hit the stage nearly an hour late.

Jagger and the other band members were “openly hostile” at having to wait so long to play.

On May 4, 1970, National Guard members shot into a crowd of protesting students, killing four and wounding nine others on the campus of Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

On May 6, 1984, Spinal Tap played a “comeback show” at CBGB’s in New York.

On May 6, 1996, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Atlanta was the most dangerous city in America.

Parliament-Funkadelic were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio on May 6, 1997.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal signed House Bill 930, the Metro Atlanta transit bill.

Gov. Nathan Deal [] signed HB 930, legislation that creates the state-level Atlanta-region Transit Link Authority (the ATL), which provides a new structure for coordinated transit planning and funding for the 13-county metro Atlanta region. The ATL will be responsible for developing a Regional Transit Plan, as well as identifying and prioritizing the projects and initiatives required to develop region-wide transit. Deal also allotted $100 million in 10-year General Obligation bonds in the FY 2019 budget to fund public transit.

“Georgia is a destination for all types of industries and people from all walks of life to come and enjoy the economic and natural prosperity of our state,” said Deal. “It is projected that the metro Atlanta area will add another 2.5 million residents by 2040, and HB 930 recognizes this growth and provides a coordinated, streamlined and unified approach to prepare for the future of metro Atlanta and the surrounding communities. With the establishment of the ATL, we are taking another significant step to ensure that our modes of transit and mobility are worthy of the No. 1 state for business and the best place for opportunity.

“The initiatives set forth in this legislation will supplement our efforts to build an effective transportation network for the 13 counties covered by the ATL and provide new options to get Georgians to their places of employment, community activities and homes to spend time with family more quickly and efficiently. I appreciate the General Assembly’s leadership, especially the hard work by Speaker Ralston and Lt. Gov. Cagle, for making this bipartisan legislation possible. I also appreciate the commitment and dedication shown by Rep. Tanner and Sen. Beach, the authors of this legislation, in working to improve transportation options for millions of Georgians.”

HB 930 also outlines funding for public transit for approval by the ATL through optional local taxes (TSPLOST) of up to 1 percent for up to 30 years, which counties may apply if they so choose. The 13-county region under the ATL includes Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale counties.

“In the years ahead, Georgia will continue to add millions of new residents to our population – building on our unparalleled reputation as the number one state for business and the capital of the south,” said Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. “Governor Deal and Speaker Ralston should be commended for their commitment to building a stronger infrastructure for all of Georgia. I’m proud to join these exceptional leaders in advancing this truly historic legislation that will allow Metro-Atlanta counties to strategically expand our public transportation network with local decision-making, reduce traffic congestion, and make the necessary investments to ensure our economic momentum will only continue to accelerate.”

The ATL will be attached to the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) for shared administrative resources and will be governed by a 16-member board. 10 of these members will represent 10 new, specially created Transit Districts and will be chosen by a combination of county commission chairs and a caucus of local legislative delegations. One mayor, to be selected by a caucus of mayors from the municipalities located within each district, will also sit on the board. The board’s chair will be appointed by the governor and the vice-chair will be selected annually by a vote of the board members. Two board members will be appointed by the speaker of the House and two board members will be appointed by the lieutenant governor. The commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Transportation will sit on the board as an ex-officio, non-voting member. GRTA and State Road and Tollway Authority Executive Director Christopher Tomlinson will serve as the ATL’s interim director.

“This legislation helps us look at transit as part of our overall transportation infrastructure in the Metropolitan Atlanta area,” said House Speaker David Ralston. “It will enable us to work together to mitigate congestion, improve freight logistics and stimulate economic growth. I appreciate all the stakeholders who worked with us in good faith to arrive at this moment, and I especially thank Chairman Tanner and all the members of the House Transit Commission for their leadership in this important effort.”

“House Bill 930 creates a seamless, unified transit governance and funding structure across metro Atlanta, and I’m proud that after years of work on this measure by countless individuals, it will now be signed into law,” said Rep. Kevin Tanner. “I’d like to especially thank Governor Deal and Speaker Ralston for their leadership on this issue and for their willingness to think boldly, as we work together to solve our region’s transportation challenges.”

“This legislation provides the framework for the region to come together to provide our citizens the opportunity to cross jurisdictional lines in seamless, efficient, clean and most of all safe method when riding transit,“ said Sen. Brandon Beach. “I want to thank Governor Deal for his leadership on infrastructure investment that has been vitally important for Georgia being the number one state to do business for five consecutive years.”

From the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The new law creates the Atlanta-region Transit Link Authority — also known as The ATL — that will plan and coordinate transit planning and expansion in a 13-county area.

The ATL won’t go into effect until Jan. 1, which means plans for a Gwinnett County-specific transit expansion referendum are on hold until the authority charts out a plan for transit expansion in the region.

Each county in the ATL footprint will have the option to hold 30-year T-SPLOST referendums to create special sales taxes of up to 1 percent to fund transit projects in their county that were identified in the regional transit plan.

The Judicial Nominating Commission has submitted a short list to Governor Deal for three seats on the Georgia Court of Appeals.

One vacancy was created by the pending retirement of the Honorable Gary B. Andrews. Two additional vacancies were created by the appointment and confirmation of the Honorable Elizabeth Branch to the 11th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, and the appointment and confirmation of the Honorable Tilman E. “Tripp” Self, III to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. Governor Deal will fill the vacancies from the recommendations provided. The Governor’s Office will contact candidates to schedule interviews.

The following names were submitted to Governor Deal:

W. Wright Banks – Deputy Attorney General, Georgia Department of Law
J.P. Boulee – Judge, Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit
E. Trenton Brown, III – Judge, Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit
Ural Glanville – Judge, Atlanta Judicial Circuit
Elizabeth Gobeil – Judge, State Board of Workers’ Compensation
Stephen S. Goss – Judge, Dougherty Judicial Circuit
Shawn Ellen LaGrua – Judge, Atlanta Judicial Circuit
Joyce Gist Lewis – Partner/Managing Member, Shingler Lewis LLC
Todd Markle – Judge, Atlanta Judicial Circuit
Emily K. Richardson – Assistant District Attorney, Douglas Judicial Circuit
James C. Thornton – Member, Thornton & Graham, P.C.
Gail S. Tusan – Judge, Atlanta Judicial Circuit
Christopher P. Twyman – Partner, Cox, Byington, Twyman & Johnson, LLP

Former State Senator Hunter Hill campaigned in Dalton, according to the Dalton Daily News.

“I wanted to get involved after that (last) tour of duty to get us back to our founding principles of less government, less taxes and more freedom,” Hill said at a campaign stop in Dalton on Tuesday at the Oakwood Cafe. “There are a lot of Republicans who campaign like they are Ronald Reagan and then govern like Barack Obama. I am running for governor because I truly believe there is so much more that we could be doing to move the conservative agenda forward in our state. It is not going to happen unless we elect a true conservative leader to be our next governor.”

“We are excited about where we are in this race. Every poll we have internally, we are in a strong second place,” Hill said. “That is right where we want to be. We don’t have 24 years of name ID and millions of dollars from special interests to be in the lead right now, and we don’t need to be in the lead right now.”

“In a one-on-one scenario, when you contrast our conservative values, our belief in the Constitution and really our track record of defending and fighting for these principles, we will beat Casey Cagle in a runoff,” Hill said.

Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue spoke about his role as Secretary of Agriculture in the Trump Administration.

“I’m sort of the bilateral interpreter between the White House and the agricultural community,” said Perdue, himself a former farmer and veterinarian.

That conduit role is precisely why Perdue likes to spend so much time on the road.

The secretary has had one of the heaviest travel schedules of any agriculture secretary in recent memory, visiting 36 states since he was confirmed in April 2017, including three RV tours. His social media accounts are filled with folksy images of him examining crops, praying with farmers and showing off ties with farm animals on them.

Longtime allies such as Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black comment about how they haven’t seen Perdue this happy on the job in years, and even his ideological opposites admit he’s well-suited for the role.

“The most important quality in politics I’ve learned in all my years is likeability and accessibility, and I think he’s handled those two things nicely,” said Democrat Dan Glickman, a former agriculture secretary who worked with Perdue at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Perdue has undoubtedly had the most tangible impact on deregulation. He has systematically halted, killed or begun to unwind many of the rulemakings pursued by the Obama administration, moves cheered by many ag interests who saw such directives as unnecessary and overly meddlesome. The actions have also raised the ire of environmental, consumer and some small farmer groups, who say Perdue’s moves are most beneficial to big business.

Hall County Public Libraries will receive $2 million in state funding, according to the Gainesville Times.

A $4 million renovation is coming to the Gainesville branch of the Hall County Library System after Gov. Nathan Deal signed off on $2 million in state funding on Wednesday.

Tucked into the 2019 state budget is an annual library grant from the University System of Georgia that runs up to a maximum of $2 million — and this year, it’s coming to Hall County. The Gainesville branch was passed over by the regents in 2017, but earned the top spot in a list of library projects from around the state.

And that means the long-planned, $4 million upgrade to the system’s busiest branch is going forward this year beginning in the fall.

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