Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 26, 2018

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 26, 2018

Christopher Columbus “discovered” Cuba on October 28, 1492.

Colonists in Georgia signed a letter allowing the beginning of the slave trade in Georgia on October 26, 1749.

Georgia Sons of Liberty protested against the British Stamp Act on October 26, 1765.

On October 27, 1775, King George III addressed Parliament, raising concerns about an American rebellion.

The First of the Federalist Papers, an essay by Alexander Hamilton published under the pseudonym Publius, was published on October 27, 1787.

The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of San Lorenzo, also called Pinckney’s Treaty on October 27, 1795, setting the 31st parallel as the border between Georgia and Florida.

The nation’s first Gold Rush started after Benjamin Parks discovered gold in what is now Lumpkin County, Georgia on October 27, 1828.

Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York City on October 27, 1858.

The Battle of Wauhatchie, one of a handful of night battles in the Civil War, began along the Georgia-Tennessee border on October 28, 1863.

A state Constitutional Convention at Milledgeville, Georgia repealed the state’s Ordinance of Secession on October 26, 1865.

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886; the first ticker tape parade followed.

President Woodrow Wilson vetoed the Volstead Act, which implemented the Eighteenth Amendment prohibition on alcohol, on October 27, 1919; the House overrode his veto that same day and the United States Senate overrode the veto on October 28, 1919.

Navy Day was established on October 27, 1922.

October 27 was suggested by the Navy League to recognize Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday. Roosevelt had been an Assistant Secretary of the Navy and supported a strong Navy as well as the idea of Navy Day. In addition, October 27 was the anniversary of a 1775 report issued by a special committee of the Continental Congress favoring the purchase of merchant ships as the foundation of an American Navy.

The Cuban Missile Crisis ended on October 28, 1962 as Kruschev agreed to remove Soviet missiles from Cuba if the United States would respect Cuban sovereignty.

Ronald Reagan delivered the “A Time for Choosing” speech on October 27, 1964.

And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man.

This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down—[up] man’s old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.

We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.

Gladys Knight and the Pips reached #1 with “Midnight Train to Georgia” on October 27, 1973.

Jimmy Carter campaigned in New York on October 27, 1976.

Democratic President Jimmy Carter debated Republican Ronald Reagan in Cleveland, Ohio on October 28, 1980.

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Andrew Young was elected Mayor of Atlanta on October 27, 1981.

The Atlanta Braves beat the Cleveland Indians 1-0 to win the World Series on October 28, 1995.

Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy accepted the last Ford Taurus built in Hapeville, Georgia on October 27, 2006.

President George W. Bush signed the Patriot Act on October 26, 2001.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Vice President Mike Pence will appear with Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp next Thursday in Dalton, Grovetown, and Savannah. Here are links for free tickets.

Dalton Tickets
Grovetown Tickets
Savannah Tickets

U.S. District Court Judge Leigh Martin May issued an injunction preventing local election officials from discarding mail-in ballots with mis-matched signatures, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The injunction is in response to two lawsuits that have been filed against Kemp and Gwinnett County elections officials challenging the rejection of hundreds of absentee ballots for mismatched signatures and other reasons.

“This injunction applies to all absentee ballot applications and absentee ballots rejected solely on the basis of signature mismatches submitted in this current election,” May said in the order. “This injunction does not apply to voters who have already cast an in-person vote.”

The judge’s order stipulates that any absentee ballots that raise questions because of mismatched signatures is to be treated as a provisional ballot and the voters should be given an opportunity to prove their identity in person or through an attorney.

It also lays out a process for appealing the rejection although it won’t change the date when local elections officials must certify the results of the general election.

Gwinnett County, for example, won’t have to recertify its results to account for absentee ballot rejections that are still being appealed — unless the county of those ballots could swing the outcome of a race.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp asked a federal judge for a stay of her order to appeal the Temorary Restraining Order governing treatment of absentee ballots with mismatched signatures, according to the Daily Report.

The motion, filed by Senior Assistant Attorney General Christina Correia with the office of state Attorney General Chris Carr, sought the stay until she can appeal U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May’s orders granting and implementing the TRO.

Correia sought the stay to allow a review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta, contending an appeal “will ensure at least a measure of careful deliberation before upending the state’s election processes in the middle of a general election.”

In announcing an intended appeal, Correia said Martin’s restraining order added “brand new, untested processes ad hoc to long-established election procedures at the eleventh hour.” Correia also contended it “will introduce uncertainty and confusion under extreme time pressure at best” and “risks undermining the integrity of the state’s election process.”

Correia also argued that receiving an absentee ballot and being able to vote by absentee ballot “together amount at most to a privilege and a convenience” rather than a fundamental right to vote.

Glynn County early voting has exceeded all early votes for recent midterm elections, according to The Brunswick News.

Glynn County residents voting early in the 2018 general election have already exceeded the last three midterm elections with 10,276 casting ballots since the early voting polls opened on Oct. 15.

During the 2014 general midterm elections, 7,239 cast their ballots during early voting. Prior midterm elections in 2010 saw 6,661 votes cast, up from around 3,011 in the 2006 midterms.

Last week, the board of elections saw more than 1,000 people a day, 5,728 total, at its early voting locations in Brunswick and on St. Simons Island. On Thursday, 1,020 people cast their ballots.

State House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) raised funds for fellow house members in Glynn County, according to The Brunswick News.

“My No. 1 priority each session is passing a balanced budget that addresses our need in Georgia — and obviously we’re going to deal with part of this during the special session, and that’s some financial relief for the hurricane damage in Southwest Georgia,” Ralston said. “I suspect that will probably carry over, and we’ll be dealing with some issues relating to the hurricane, even next session.

“The other thing I think will be a priority for me will be our rural development initiatives that we’ve had in the House — high-speed broadband, for example. I think that’s a very, very important thing that we need to here in the state, to revitalize rural Georgia. So, we’ll tackle that.”

He said there will certainly be other issues that demand the House’s attention next year, but he typically does not like to go into a session with a heavy agenda for what to address, and looks to support Kemp’s plans in the eventuality the GOP nominee wins in November.

State Rep. Terry England (R-Auburn) would like to see greater transparency in how funds received by hospitals under the Rural Hospital Tax Credit are spent, according to Andy Miller of Georgia Health News.

how hospitals are spending that money this year has not been officially tracked, the state says. And right now, there apparently isn’t publicly available information on how much in donations that each eligible hospital has received so far in 2018.

An influential state lawmaker said Tuesday that the law needs tweaking to increase transparency.

“There are things that need to be cleaned up,’’ said Rep. Terry England, R-Auburn, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

“Hospitals are thrilled to death’’ about the tax credit program, England said.

Legislators “are going to put things in place to see how these dollars are being spent’’ to increase transparency, said England, who’s also co-chair of the House Rural Development Council. “We want to be specific on allowable spending.”

“This is taxpayer money that would otherwise go into the General Fund,’’ England told Georgia Health News. “Every one of these hospitals want to do the right thing. I want to identify how the money is spent.”

Republican Bulloch County District 2B Commissioner Walter Gibson faces Democratic challenger Adrienne Dobbs, according to the Statesboro Herald.

The City of Savannah is considering a 10 PM shutoff time for tours, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Columbus City Council moved forward with getting courtrooms in the government center back in working order, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

“I think everyone from the judges to the staff to the citizens engaged on this issue are relieved that council took the decisive action to move forward in getting the courtrooms back up and running, getting basic, life-saving issues addressed for those that must work in the Government Center and starting the planning process for either a completely rebuilt or a wholly new judicial and government building,” [Mayor Teresa Tomlinson] said.

The measure council approved will not only accept the nearly $1.1 million in insurance settlement funds from Travelers to start the repairs on the damaged floors, but it will also allow the city to borrow $7 million in bonds issued by the Columbus Building Authority. The city will use $2.5 million of that to address safety issues in the government center, many of them surrounding fire safety.

The city will use $1 million of the borrowed money toward toward planning, engineering and assessment for the new building to potentially replace the 47-year-old Government Center, which houses city administration, multiple city departments and the courts.

The city will then use $3 million in borrowed money to upgrade the softball complex at South Commons. This will include work to the stadium and surrounding fields. The Columbus Sports Council made the pitch for these improvements in August, while telling council it had a chance to host an international softball tournament that will be televised by ESPN.

The Georgia Ports Authority wants to double capacity at the Port of Brunswick, according to The Brunswick News.

The Port of Brunswick had a gangbuster fiscal year 2018, handling a total of 630,000 cars, trucks and tractors, state officials said Thursday at the annual State of the Port address on Jekyll Island.

“The Port of Brunswick achieved a solid performance across all cargo categories over the last fiscal year,” said Griff Lynch, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, or GPA. “As GPA adds new terminal space, we will expand our service area in the Southeast and beyond.”

Next year, the port’s Colonel’s Island terminal will add 60 acres of usable dockside space. Most of that land will be used for roll-on, roll-off, or “Ro/Ro,” freight, like cars and heavy machinery. This expansion will increase storage by 8,250 vehicle spaces. Currently, Brunswick’s port has a capacity of 800,000 units, and in the coming years, GPA plans to nearly double that to 1.5 million units and use an additional 400 acres, Lynch said.

To help meet that demand, the port authority will be doubling rail capacity with a new dockside expansion. This will give the port the ability to build trains up to 10,000 feet long, which are capable of traveling longer distance to meet markets west of the Mississippi River. Already, the Port of Brunswick is sending vehicles as far away as California, Lynch noted.

Rome City Council chose a firm to construct a new dog park, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

The Hall County Commission unanimously passed a ban on unsupervised dog tethering, according to the Gainesville Times.

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