Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 6, 2018


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 6, 2018

The Mayflower left Plymouth, England for a voyage to America on September 6, 1620.

President William McKinley was shot on September 6, 1901. He is buried in Canton, Ohio, not far from the Professional Football Hall of Fame.

Alonzo Herndon founded the Atlanta Life Insurance Company on September 6, 1905, one of Georgia’s great success stories.

The first supermarket, a Piggly Wiggly, opened on September 6, 1916 in Memphis, Tennessee.

On September 6, 1941, Margaret Mitchell christened the cruiser USS Atlanta – Atlanta would later sink after being hit by 50 shells and a torpedo during the Battle of Guadalcanal.

The Summerhill Race Riot broke out in Atlanta on September 6, 1966.

Former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter returned to the Little White House in Warm Springs, Georgia, on September 6, 1976 to kick off the final phase of his presidential campaign.

On September 6, 2014, USS John Warner (SSN-785), a mighty Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine, was christened at Newport News Shipbuilding. Big John calls Naval Station Norfolk its homeport. USS John Warner was commissioned on August 1, 2015 at Norfolk Naval Station.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

A California billionaire has spent more than $8.3 million to pass a Constitutional Amendment in Georgia, according to the AJC.

Henry Nicholas, a California billionaire who founded the semiconductor company Broadcom Corp., and his victim’s rights foundation have already put $8.3 million into the campaign to pass Georgia’s proposed Marsy’s Law constitutional amendment, according to reports filed last week.

The measure, similar to those passed in other states, would require notification of victims before court hearings for those accused of harming them. Victims would also gain the right to be heard in court before a defendant is released, enters a plea or is sentenced.

Much of it is going into media buys and development, and consulting.

The campaign for the Marsy’s Law amendment may set a record for spending on a Georgia ballot question, if it hasn’t already.

The AJC looks at the Constitutional Amendments on this year’s ballot.

Georgians will decide whether changes should be made to allow the state to set aside a portion of the tax money collected from sporting goods stores to protect land and whether the state should require courts to notify victims before the hearings for those accused of harming them.

Voters also will decide whether they believe the state should establish a statewide business court and allow the Department of Revenue to keep up to 5 percent of state grants given to counties to preserve forestland to use for administrative costs.

A fifth proposed amendment would remove the requirement that a county and city school district must agree before calling for a referendum to raise sales taxes for education. That’s in cases where there is an independent school district within a county, such as the city of Atlanta’s school system within Fulton County, which has its own district.

If the amendment passes, the district with the most students would be able to call for a referendum on its own.

A PAC associated with Georgia’s National Federation of Independent Business endorsed Republican Brian Kemp for Governor, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

The political action committee of NFIB Georgia — aka the National Federation of Independent Business — announced its choice Wednesday in Atlanta, with state director Nathan Humphrey calling the Republican candidate for the Peach State’s gubernatorial office “the clear choice for Georgia’s small businesses.”

Humphrey, in a statement from NFIB Georgia, touted Kemp’s opposition to raising taxes and his desire for reducing “burdensome rules and regulations” that impact the state’s small businesses.

“As a small business owner and a member of NFIB, Brian Kemp understands the challenges facing Georgia’s job creators,” the state director said. “As governor, he would focus on cutting taxes, imposing a cap on government spending and encouraging more economic development in rural communities.”

Democrat Stacey Abrams spoke about her campaign for Governor with The Brunswick News.

“No matter what county you’re in, Georgians want jobs,” said Abrams on this week in a phone interview with The News. “They want good paying jobs. It’s not enough to say there is a new job there. They want to be able to take care of themselves and their families with their jobs.”

The focal point of Abrams’ plan is to increase the number of apprenticeships in Georgia. She wants to up the total number of apprenticeships in the state to 22,000 by the year 2022.

“We know that apprenticeships pay an average of $60,000 a year once you’ve completed your learning, and skilled labor is going to be in demand in Georgia for the next generation.”

Other parts of Abrams’ plan to bring more jobs to Georgia include creating a $10 million small business financing program to help small businesses get needed financing, investing in renewable energy that she says could bring between 25,000 and 45,000 new jobs to the state and improving infrastructure that will help create additional jobs.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced the creation of a statewide network to combat gangs, according to the Albany Herald.

“The Office of the Attorney General remains committed to working with and further supporting our law enforcement officials — federal, state and local — on multijurisdictional issues, such as gang activity,” Carr said. “At the end of the day, the law-abiding people of our state deserve freedom from fear, and to do so, we must rededicate ourselves to disrupting all gang networks that are infiltrating our communities with violent crime and will stop at nothing to turn a profit.”

In America, nearly half of all violent crimes are gang-related, Carr’s release said. Georgia communities are not immune to this type of organized crime, and member recruitment is on the rise — with 71,000 validated gang affiliates and more than 1,500 suspected gang networks. In a survey conducted recently by the Georgia Gang Investigators Association, 157 counties reported a rise in gang activity and 155 school districts reported suspected gang activity.

In July, Carr invited the leadership from several organizations to discuss their current efforts, including all three United States attorneys, the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, Georgia Sheriffs’ Association, Georgia Gang Investigators Association, Georgia Department of Corrections, Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, Georgia Department of Community Supervision and other agencies.

As a result of the first meeting, the group has decided to continue its work as the Georgia Anti-Gang Network.

The Senate Study Committee considering school opening dates is addressing concerns about employees for tourist attractions, according to the Gainesville Times.

“Our goal is to determine if a later start date is feasible and if it would provide additional opportunities for families to take a vacation together while increasing the availability of summer workers for our booming travel and hospitality industries,” Sen. Steve Gooch, R–Dahlonega, said in a press release this week.

Gooch will chair a Senate study committee tasked with evaluating how a shift to a later start date would impact students and families, regional economies that depend on the tourism and hospitality industries, and the interests of local school districts.

Columbus Mayor-elect Skip Henderson will hire Richard Bishop as his Chief of Staff, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Richard Bishop, who has more than four decades of working in key Columbus leadership positions, will be working with Henderson in the mayor’s office, the mayor-elect confirmed Wednesday morning during an interview with the Ledger-Enquirer.

“Richard is coming back to Columbus and Richard loves this community,” Henderson said. “His focus has been through the years on job creation and economic development, putting the right resources with the right needs. One of the things we are going to keep our eye on at all times is going to be job creation. I couldn’t be more excited about Richard taking that job.”

In addition to spending nearly 15 years at the helm of Uptown Columbus and expanding his role to president of Uptown Whitewater LLC, which managed the Chattahoochee whitewater course when the river project was completed six years ago, Bishop worked with the city of Columbus for more than 30 years over two stints. The last time, he started as a deputy Parks and Recreation director, became director of Parks and Rec and then became deputy city manager.

The People’s Tribunal turned in a petition to rename Forrest Street in Valdosta to Barack Obama Blvd., but came up short, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Chatham County Police received a donation of five automated external defibrillators (AEDs), according to the Savannah Morning News.

Brunswick City Commission discussed changing their alcohol ordinance, but did not take action, according to The Brunswick News.

The new ordinance aims in part to keep up with state law changes regarding alcohol sales and to streamline the alcohol permitting process.

“The idea would be that as the state allows flexibility, the city ordinance morphs with it,” said Brian Corry, the city attorney.

The ordinance change would create new classes and licensing fees for manufacturers who sell and serve their products. The fee structures were discussed at the meeting Wednesday and compared to the county’s current fees.

Brunswick Mayor Cornell Harvey asked that the ordinance not be made too restrictive that it deter businesses from coming to Brunswick.

“We keep talking about being business friendly,” he said.

The Savannah-Chatham County Board of Education is considering restrictions on recording video at schools, according to the Savannah Morning News.

While the public is now free to speak on agenda items at board meetings, the board is considering restricting photography, videography and audio recordings in classrooms without permission from the principal or site supervisor. The board discussed proposed changes to two separate policies pertaining to SCCPSS employees and to parents and other school visitors. At the same time, it would leave in place most of the existing policy on video surveillance. The school district has been investing in new surveillance technology as part of an enhanced safety and security program in the wake of mass school shootings throughout the nation.

Proposed changes to a “Visitors to School” policy would ban parents from photographing or recording children other than their own at school. And it would prohibit parents and visitors use of audio and video recordings of private conversations in schools unless they obtain written permission of the site supervisor, which in most cases would be the principal. The bans wouldn’t apply to public events, such as extracurricular activities or performances, but they would apply when parents volunteer in their children’s classrooms and want to videotape the classroom.

Under the proposed changes to the policy, parents and visitors who do obtain the principal’s permission to record at a school must ensure the recording device is visible when in use. “Secret recordings shall be prohibited,” the policy states. Recordings that “amount to a reasonable accommodation” to obtain school information would be permitted, the policy states.

The board also considered a separate policy aimed at Savannah-Chatham County employees that bans secret recordings and requires the site supervisor’s permission for recordings of students. Meetings related to personnel or an employee grievance would be exempt.

The Statesboro NSDAR will host Presiding Judge John Ellington of the Georgia Court of Appeals at a luncheon today, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Banks County Sheriff Carlton Speed announced the largest ever methamphetamine seizure in county history, according to AccessWDUN.

The University of Georgia‘s Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant Shellfish Lab grew a record number of oysters this year, according to GPB News.

Villa Rica City Council member Verland Best resigned his office after apologizing for a racial comment, according to the AJC.


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