Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 18, 2018

18
May

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 18, 2018

Button Gwinnett died on May 19, 1777 of a gunshot wound received in a duel with Lachlan McIntosh.

George Washington departed Waynesboro, Georgia on May 18, 1791, headed to Augusta. On May 19-20, 1791, George Washington spent his second and third days in Augusta, where he visited Richmond Academy. Washington left Georgia on May 21, 1791 to go to Columbia, South Carolina.

Georgia ratified the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which governs voting for President and Vice President on May 19, 1804.

Abraham Lincoln was nominated for President by the Republican National Convention on May 18, 1860.

The Battle of Spotsylvania ended on May 19, 1864. In Georgia, the Affair at Cassville occurred on May 19, 1864.

Blue jeans with copper rivets were patented by Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis on May 20, 1873.

The United States Supreme Court handed down its decision in Plessy v. Ferguson on May 18, 1896.

The U.S. Supreme Court rule[d] seven to one that a Louisiana law providing for “equal but separate accommodations for the white and colored races” on its railroad cars is constitutional. The high court held that as long as equal accommodations were provided, segregation was not discrimination and thus did not deprive African Americans of equal protection under the law as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

On May 20, 1916, more than 20,000 visited Stone Mountain for the dedication ceremony to mark the beginning of a Confederate memorial on the north face.

On May 19, 1933, the Atlanta City Council voted to allow beer sales in the city.

On May 19, 1977, “Smokey and the Bandit” was released.

On May 20, 1995, the section of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House was closed to automotive traffic.

The 400th episode of The Simpsons aired on May 20, 2007.

President Barack Obama delivered the commencement address at Morehouse College on May 19, 2013.

Three years ago on Saturday, Georgia voters went to the polls in the earliest Primary elections in modern history. In the Republican Primary, 605,355 ballots were cast in the Senate contest, while the Democratic Primary for Senate saw 328,710 ballots.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Statesboro Herald notes that today is the last day of early voting for Tuesday’s primary elections.

A few more than 1,600 Bulloch County residents have voted early for Tuesday’s election, and today, Friday May 18, is the last day for early voting, with two locations available.

Voting is possible Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. in the County Annex at 113 North Main St. and also in the Honey Bowen Building at the Fair Road Park. Both of these locations have been open all this week.

As of 3:30 p.m. Thursday, 1,633 Bulloch residents had voted early in the county and state Democratic and Republican primaries and nonpartisan general election, reported county Elections Supervisor Patricia Lanier Jones. Of those, just 75 voters cast ballots last Saturday.

Meanwhile, in all 15 early voting days so far, 75 residents of Statesboro District 5 had participated in the city’s special election for a new council member in that district, and only two of those city voters came in Saturday, Jones said.

Traditional voting precincts across the county will be open for Election Day voting Tuesday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Suwanee will host “goat yoga” at Town Center Park on Sunday, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

“Goats are perfect for the yoga practice because it’s not only combining nature and animals, it’s combining yoga, and they all go together so well,” said Lainey Morse, an Oregon farmer and yoga instructor who is attributed as the founder of the craze, which has swept the nation.

The event, a follow-up from an April 29 session, is offering three classes: two family goat yoga sessions and one 21-and-over goat yoga class.

Class times are 3, 4:30 and 6 p.m., respectively.

The class costs $35 and tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite by searching “Suwanee Goat Yoga.”

 The breakdown of Michael Williams campaign stunt deportation bus has proven a headline-writer’s dream.

Georgia GOP Candidate’s ‘Deportation Bus,’ Like His Campaign, Breaks Down – NYMag.com

Candidate for Georgia governor’s ‘deportation bus’ tour hits bumps in road – AJC and WSB

Georgia GOP candidate Michael Williams’ ‘deportation bus’ breaks down – USA Today

Cracker Barrel to Racist Republican: Get Your ‘Deportation Bus’ Off My Lawn – Daily Beast

Deportation bus tour cancels Athens stop, campaign blames DeKalb protests – 11Alive

Even better than the headline is this lede graph in the Gainesville Times.

In a political era chock full o’ nuts, this year’s governor’s race is going off the rails on a crazy train.

The lunacy rolled into town Wednesday, May 16, in what the Michael Williams gubernatorial campaign circus called “the Deportation Bus.”

With published polls showing Williams trailing the field in single digits, his bus ploy was little more than a hail-Mary pass to stir up interest days before the primary.

Two hot takes on what the GOP gubernatorial debate was all about:

Georgia GOP candidates battle over who’s strongest gun rights defender – Augusta Chronicle

Immigration Dominates Atlanta Press Club GOP Gubernatorial Debate – GPB News

Two more gubernatorial debates will air Sunday afternoon.

Offshore drilling opponents will protest on Tybee Island on Saturday, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Democrat Stacey Abrams campaigned for Governor in Dalton this week, according to the Dalton Daily News.

Abrams made her second visit to Miller Brothers Rib Shack on East Morris Street after a visit last year when she kicked off her campaign. Abrams, a former state representative and minority leader from Atlanta, is running against former state representative and Ringgold native Stacey Evans in the Democratic primary on Tuesday. They are seeking to be the first female governor in the history of the state, and Abrams would be the nation’s first female African-American governor if she is elected.

A recent 11Alive News (Atlanta) poll, conducted by Survey USA, had Abrams leading with 43 percent to Evans’ 24 percent, with 33 percent undecided.

“We are up in the polls and working hard, but we are not taking anything for granted,” Abrams said. “Why I love coming to places like Miller Brothers is because talking to real people is why I do this job. There are real problems that people have and they want a leader who has the experience and the knowledge to solve those problems.”

The Atlanta Jewish Times highlights Jewish candidates on Tuesday’s ballot.

The AJT this week published a voters’ guide collecting our in-depth looks at the two Democrats and five of the Republicans in the marquee race of 2018, the election of a new governor after Nathan Deal’s two terms, as well as three primary elections featuring Jewish candidates: the Democratic primary for the 6th Congressional District (Kevin Abel); the Democratic primary for the Public Service Commission (Lindy Miller); and the Republican primary for the 52nd Georgia House District (Gavi Shapiro).

While Miller is trying to make history as the first Jewish woman to win a partisan election for statewide office, she is not the only one this year. Fellow Democrat Cindy Zeldin, recognized as one of Georgia Trend magazine’s 40 Under 40 in 2010, is in a similar position while running for insurance commissioner.

In a nonpartisan election for an open seat on the Fulton County Superior Court, Bobby Wolf, a member of The Temple, is running against two fellow prosecutors, Fani Willis and Kevin Farmer.

Two-time congressional candidate Allan Levene is in a heads-up battle for an open seat in state House District 15. The resident of Cartersville and native of England is running against lifelong Cartersville resident Matthew Gambill, a nephew of former Gov. Joe Frank Harris’. No Democrat is running, so the winner of the Republican primary will be elected.

The two Jewish members of the legislature, Sen. Renee Unterman of Buford and Rep. Michele Henson of Stone Mountain, are both seeking re-election.

The Georgia House Rural Development Council continues working on economic development for rural parts of Georgia, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Fresh off a legislative session that yielded some wins for rural Georgia, state lawmakers are back dialing up a controversial broadband internet issue that stalled earlier this year.

The discussion centers on whether the state should impose limits on how all cities and counties manage access to the public right-of-way, where wireless providers are anxious to deploy an emerging small-cell technology in the state’s more populated areas.

Rep. Jay Powell, R-Camilla, who co-chairs the House Rural Development Council, said the group is charged with resolving the complicated matter in a resolution sponsored by Rep. John Meadows, who heads the powerful House Rules Committee.

The resolution surfaced late in the legislative session when it was clear a consensus had not been reached on how much control local officials should keep over the public right-of-way and how much wireless providers should have to pay to access it.

Powell said lawmakers took on the issue because of reports of “price gouging” in some parts of the state.

Two Macon-Bibb County Commissioners want to know why the county is broke, according to the Macon Telegraph.

Two Macon-Bibb County commissioners want an in-depth look into the county finances.

And that push for a forensic audit led to Mayor Robert Reichert and one of the commissioners trading verbal jabs at each other.

Commissioners Elaine Lucas and Joe Allen said Thursday they want an outside firm to do a forensic audit of the county’s finances, a lengthy and likely costly process that can determine how money is spent and if there is any fraud that’s led to the deficit.

Allen and Lucas said the county’s budget woes have lasted too long for there not to be a forensic audit. Not just for Macon-Bibb government but other local government entities such as well.

Three candidates for an open seat on the Macon-Bibb County Commission discussed saving taxpayer dollars, according to the Macon Telegraph.

The Augusta Chronicle interviewed Mayor Hardie Davis ahead of Tuesday’s election.

Besides choosing between Davis and challenger Gould Hagler as the city’s next mayor, voters Tuesday will get to weigh in on whether Regency or the existing James Brown Arena site is the best future location for a yet-unfunded arena in a non-binding referendum question. The topic has splintered the Augusta Commission and the community, which is seeing pro-downtown forces lobby against an unnamed ballot committee promoting the mall site.

Should voters reject Regency in the Tuesday straw poll, however, Davis said he will abandon the effort. “Mayor Davis is going to hold that flag up,” he said. “They’ve spoken loudly and we have to respect that.”

Davis touched on other topics in the interview, including what he’s done to unite the community and plans to further remove blighted structures from the city.

The Brunswick Times spoke to candidates for the Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission.

The Ledger-Enquirer writes about donors to campaigns for Muscogee County Board of Education.

Four candidates reported contributions of five digits: At-large candidate and incumbent Kia Chambers ($18,489.11), District 8 candidate Philip Schley ($16,900), District 6 candidate and incumbent Mark Cantrell ($16,000), and District 2 candidate Bart Steed ($11,150).

White County Commissioners approved a revised split in funds from a SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) on the November ballot, according to AccessWDUN.

White County Government will take a 14-percent cut in funds if a proposed continuation of the current 1-cent sales tax is approved by voters in November.

During a called meeting Thursday, the White County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 to approve a new SPLOST distribution rate that allots 60 percent of proceeds for the county and 20 percent each for the cities of Cleveland and Helen.

Commissioners Craig Bryant, Lyn Holcomb and Terry Goodger voted in favor of the new revenue split. Commissioner Edwin Nix and Chairman Travis Turner voted no.

Turner said the reduced funds for the county will affect the timing and the ability to fund upcoming projects. Both cities had been lobbying for an increase in their share of SPLOST money, from the current 13 percent.

In Floyd County, accountability court participants graduated from the program, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

[Floyd County Superior Court Judge Jack] Niedrach started the mental health court three years ago with the idea of diverting eligible offenders to treatment and rehabilitation instead of jail. They must be county residents, age 18 or older, he said, and diagnosed with a serious persistent mental illness. They also must be facing a sentence of at least 24 months, since the intensive program runs 18 to 24 months, and they must want to work at recovery.

During the ceremony in Niedrach’s courtroom filled with supporters, each of the six said they’re glad they tried.

Niedrach said the program is a joint effort by the judiciary, prosecution, defense, community service and law enforcement.

“And let me recognize the family members here today,” he added. “Your presence is so important.”

The guest speaker was Rep. Katie Dempsey, R-Rome, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee’s human resources committee. Niedrach called her “a strong advocate for the mentally ill,” and Dempsey’s congratulations to the graduates acknowledged their struggles and achievement.

Putnam County and Baldwin County are arguing over water usage under an intergovernment agreement, according to The Eaton Messenger.

A recent statement issued by the Putnam County Board of Commissioners suggests Baldwin County has for several years been using more than its allotted share of water without reimbursing Putnam County citizens.

In an effort to avoid a court battle over a possible breach in contract by Baldwin County officials, Putnam County commissioners issued a statement Feb. 20 asserting that its citizens had been disserviced by an intergovernmental agreement between the counties and Sinclair Water Authority and was offering a proposal for an amendment that would remove some of the controversial elements.

However, this would not be the first attempt by Putnam County representatives to resolve the issues PC Commission Chairman Dr. Steve Hersey told EPWSA board members, noting that for almost two years he and Putnam County’s attorney have tried to negotiate with Baldwin County for amendments to the IGA.

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