Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 7, 2018

7
Sep

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 7, 2018

The Continental Congress renamed their new nation the United States of America, from the previously used “United Colonies” on September 9, 1776.

On September 7, 1864, General William T. Sherman sent a letter to his Confederate counterpart, General John Bell Hood, offering to transport civilians out of Atlanta for their safety.

The Georgia General Assembly appropriated $1 million for construction of a new State Capitol on September 8, 1883.

The Fulton County Courthouse was dedicated on September 8, 1914.

On September 9, 1933, WSB Radio in Atlanta was upgraded to broadcasting via 50,000 watt transmitter. The first broadcast included Will Rogers and a letter from President Roosevelt.

On September 9, 1939, an audience at the Fox Theater in Riverside, California watched a preview of Gone With the Wind.

The first actual computer bug was identified on September 9, 1947, when Grace Hopper removed a moth from an electrical relay in the Harvard Mark II computer. Hopper received her Ph.D. in Mathematics from Yale in 1934 and attained the rank of Rear Admiral, Lower Half in the United Stated Navy. USS Hopper (DDG-70) was named after her.

On September 9, 1954, Marvin Griffin won the Democratic Primary election over Melvin Thompson.

Elvis Presley first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on September 9, 1956.

The Professional Football Hall of Fame opened on September 7, 1963 in Canton, Ohio.

President Gerald Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon on September 8, 1974 for “all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.”

Future Atlanta resident Curtis Mayfield saw his song, “Superfly” turn gold on September 7, 1972.

Here’s my favorite song by Curtis Mayfield, “People Get Ready.”

On September 7, 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed the Panama Canal Treaty, which promised to turn over control of the canal to Panama by 2000.

On September 8, 1976, the Georgia State Board of Education began reviewing the FY 1977 Department of Education budget, the first to exceed one billion dollars.

On September 8, 1986, Herschel Walker made his professional football debut with the Dallas Cowboys.

Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin on September 7, 1998.

Happy 80th birthday on Saturday to Sam Nunn, who graduated from Emory College (1960) and Emory University School of Law (1963) before being elected to the United States Senate in 1972. If you were born before November 6, 1972, you’ve never seen his name on your ballot.

Happy 76th birthday on Sunday to former Congressman John Linder. Linder served in the State House from 1974-1980 and 1982-90. In 1990 he ran unsuccessfully for Congress against incumbent Democrat Ben Jones; in 1992, after redistricting, Linder was elected to Congress from the 7th District and served until his retirement after the 2010 election.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Georgia Health News spoke to both candidates for Governor about healthcare issues.

1.  Medicaid expansion  has been discussed, but not  adopted, in Georgia ever since the  Affordable Care Act was  passed. What’s your position on  Georgia expanding its Medicaid program?

ABRAMS: “Expanding Medicaid is one of my top priorities. 33 states, led by governors across the political spectrum, have taken the only justifiable approach to health care and expanded Medicaid already. But not Georgia. Our Republican state leaders refuse to act, needlessly turning down federal dollars while Georgia sends money to Washington. Refusing to expand Medicaid is an irresponsible act that denies coverage for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Georgians who need health coverage, damaging our health infrastructure and our rural health system to its core.”

“I led the fight to expand Medicaid in the Legislature and will make it my top focus as governor. Medicaid expansion will draw $3 billion annually ($8 million per day) into our state to pay for doctors, nurses, and hospitals. It will create 56,000 jobs — 60% of which will be outside of metro Atlanta. It will help local economies, reduce uncompensated care that drives up costs for all Georgians, benefit employers with healthier workers, and save rural hospitals from closure. And that only scratches the surface of the benefits of Medicaid expansion. We must act.”

KEMP: “Medicaid costs too much and  fails to deliver for  hardworking Georgians. Taking money away from public safety and education to expand up a failed government program will only make things worse.”

“Stacey Abrams sees Medicaid expansion as a step towards a single-payer health care system that puts bureaucrats — not doctors — in charge of the patient’s medical decisions. Her radical plan will literally bankrupt our state while making it harder for hard-working Georgians to receive the care they need.”

The MARTA Board approved a contract with Gwinnett County, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The contract with Gwinnett County is different from agreements MARTA has with other member counties in that it lets local officials have greater authority over how tax collections are spent.

“I will just say how excited I am at the opportunity to help transform the region, the lives of the million-plus people who will live in Gwinnett county over the next several decades and the opportunity to work together to come one step closer to fulfilling the dream of a truly regional system,” MARTA board Chairman Robbie Ashe said.

Voters still have the final say on whether Gwinnett County joins MARTA with a referendum set to take place in March 2019.

The contract lasts through July 1, 2057 and it calls for MARTA to absorb Gwinnett County Transit after an agreement can be reached with that transit system’s operator, Transdev. MARTA officials previously said they expect that to be accomplished quickly.

Gwinnett County would get three seats on the MARTA Board of Directors.

Georgia Power customers will see a $25 dollar credit on their bills, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

The credit is the third payment in 2018 bills credits for a total of $75, or $188 million overall, that was approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission to continue the construction of Vogtle 3 and 4 in December 2017, according to a Georgia Power news release. Customers received separate $25 credits on their bills in April and July.

The 2018 bill credits were a result of parent guarantee payments for the Vogtle project from Toshiba that were made available due to the strength of the original contact for the project and protections in place for Georgia electric customers, according to the release.

Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis signed a smoke-free ordinance, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Davis signed Augusta’s smokefree law that was passed earlier this year by the Augusta Commission after years of battles by advocates with bar owners and their allies. While Anderson and others helped form the Breatheasy Augusta coalition in 2012 to try and get the commission to consider an ordinance, the effort actually stretches back to at least 2005 when the city was waiting to see what the statewide law would look like, said Sadie Stockton, manager of chronic disease prevention for the East Central Health District.

That statewide law banned smoking in restaurants and other places that admit those under age 18 but permitted it in places like bars that only admit adults. Augusta’s new law, which bans smoking in virtually all enclosed public spaces and takes effect Jan. 1, was modeled on one passed by Savannah in 2010 and is similar to one in Athens passed years ago, Davis said.

“When you can take that message and put Augusta in that conversation, that’s an extremely powerful message that we are able to share across the state of Georgia that we’re meeting the needs of a growing community in a way we’ve never done before,” he said.

Bulloch County Democrats will hold their annual Independence Gala tonight, according to the Statesboro Herald.

This being election season, featured speakers Francys Johnson, John Barrow and Janice Laws are all Democratic candidates in the Nov. 6 election.

Johnson, a Statesboro-based attorney and minister, is challenging incumbent Rep. Rick Allen, the Republican from Augusta, for Georgia’s 12th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Barrow, who held that congressional seat 2005-2015, is now the Democratic Party’s nominee for Georgia secretary of state. Laws is the nominee for state insurance commissioner.

Johnson, Barrow and Laws all won contested Democratic primaries in May. Barrow now faces Republican secretary of state nominee Brad Raffensperger and Libertarian candidate Smythe Duval. Laws is vying with GOP insurance commissioner nominee Jim Beck and Libertarian candidate Donnie Foster.

The Democratic Party’s nominee for governor, Stacey Abrams, is not attending the gala, but her campaign is sending a video message Abrams recorded personally for Bulloch Democrats, said county party chair Jessica Orvis.

A Macon-Bibb County Commissioner says a former sanitation department director sabotaged garbage pickup, according to the Macon Telegraph.

Commissioner Al Tillman made the allegations Thursday based on conservations he said he had with several employees. Tillman said the employees told him Solid Waste Director Kevin Barkley told them in February to stop assisting Advanced Disposal with waste collection. He also placed blame on the mayor for problems with trash pickup.

Both Mayor Robert Reichert and an Advanced Disposal official dispute those claims.

“Some people are confused as to who is at fault. Solid Waste or Advanced?,” Tillman said. “Based on what I know, this was done to hurt their (Advanced Disposal’s) efforts for whatever reason.

“I think ultimately in the end you don’t mess with people’s trash,” Tillman said.

A three-year old loggerhead turtle that was raised on Skidaway Island at the UGA Aquarium was released at Wassaw Island, according to the Savannah Morning News.

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