Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 9, 2018

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 9, 2018

General William Tecumseh Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 120 on November 9, 1864.

Headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, in the Field, Kingston, Georgia, November 9, 1864

5. To corps commanders alone is intrusted the power to destroy mills, houses, cotton-gins, etc.; and for them this general principle is laid down: In districts and neighborhoods where the army is unmolested, no destruction of such property should be permitted; but should guerrillas or bushwhackers molest our march, or should the inhabitants burn bridges, obstruct roads, or otherwise manifest local hostility, then army commanders should order and enforce a devastation more or less relentless, according to the measure of such hostility.

6. As for horses, mules, wagons, etc., belonging to the inhabitants, the cavalry and artillery may appropriate freely and without limit; discriminating, however, between the rich, who are usually hostile, and the poor and industrious, usually neutral or friendly. Foraging-parties may also take mules or horses, to replace the jaded animals of their trains, or to serve as pack-mules for the regiments of brigades. In all foraging, of whatever kind, the parties engaged will refrain abusive or threatening language, and may, where the officer in command thinks proper, given written certificates of the facts, but no receipts; and they will endeavor to leave with each family a reasonable portion for their maintenance.

7. Negroes who are able-bodied and can be of service to the several columns may be taken along; but each army commander will bear in mind that the question of supplies is a very important one, and this his first duty is to see to those who bear arms.

8. The organization, at once, of a good pioneer battalion for each army corps, composed if possible of Negroes, should be attended to. This battalion should follow the advance-guard, repair roads and double them if possible, so that the columns will not be delayed after reaching bad places.

Former Confederate General John B. Gordon was sworn-in as Governor of Georgia on November 9, 1886.

The next day, November 9, 1932, President-elect FDR addressed a national broadcast to the American people and mentioned that he would spend Thanksgiving at his “second home” in Georgia.

On November 9, 1938, Kristallnacht began the organized destruction and looting of Jewish businesses and homes in Munich, Germany.

On November 9, 1989, the former East Germany announced that citizens could cross the border to West Germany. That night, crowds began tearing down sections of the wall that divided the city.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal yesterday ordered flags flown at half-staff on state buildings and ground through sunset on Saturday in honor of those affected by the shooting in Thousand Oaks, California.

Governor-elect Brian Kemp yesterday announced his resignation as Secretary of State in order to transition to service as Governor and named Tim Fleming as his Chief of Staff.

After Kemp’s resignation, Gov. Deal appointed Robyn Crittenden as Secretary of State, and issued a press release.

“Robyn’s experience as an attorney, public servant and agency head make her exceptionally qualified to fill the role of Georgia’s secretary of state,” said Deal. “She is a leader with brilliant intellect, high integrity, and a wide range of experience in public service. Robyn has been one of the most effective leaders within my administration and she is well-qualified to fill one of the most important jobs in state government. I appreciate her willingness to fill this role and I thank Gov.-elect Kemp for his leadership as secretary of state.”

On Monday, Gov. Deal announced that October state revenues were up 17.7% over the same month of 2017, and that Site Selection magazine named Georgia as the number 1 state in which to do business for the sixth year in a row.

Crittenden is the first African-American woman to serve as a statewide constitutional officer in Georgia history. In 2015, Deal appointed Crittenden to be DHS commissioner after she served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Georgia Student Finance Commission. Following Crittenden’s swearing-in ceremony today, Deal nominated Gerlda B. Hines, chief of staff and chief financial officer of DHS, to be the interim DHS commissioner, pending board approval.

Democrat Stacey Abrams will file lawsuits to fundraise for 2020 contest the results in the gubernatorial race, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

A lawsuit, filed in federal court on Election Day, asked a judge to block Kemp from continuing to manage the election. That he presided over his own election “violates a basic notion of fairness,” the lawsuit argued.

“I think in light of where we are now, this will give public confidence to the certification process even though, quite honestly, it’s being done at the county level,” Kemp told reporters Thursday morning.

Deal, who introduced Kemp as the governor-elect, said he thought it was important to begin the transition process as soon as possible. He said his staff would involve Kemp in the budgeting process immediately following next week’s special legislative session.

“We have no idea how long litigation may continue, and I don’t think the administration of this state can wait that long,” Deal said.

Abrams’ legal team announced Thursday that it plans to file a complaint against the Dougherty County board of elections over absentee ballots that officials are accused of mailing late to voters after Hurricane Michael disrupted operations.

When asked how many other lawsuits were being considered, Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, a member of Abrams’ legal team, said “whatever it takes.” She said the campaign has been “flooded with concerns” from voters.

“We are obviously eager to hear from supporters,” Lawrence-Hardy said. “But this is much bigger than any one campaign. This is a country built on democracy. We all get to vote. That is part of the promise, and so we are working really hard to ensure that promise is fulfilled.”

Military and overseas ballots, along with provisional votes, have not yet been tallied. Local officials have until early next week to certify the results. There’s also the action the Abrams’ legal team is pursuing that they argue could yield additional votes.

There are 21,358 provisional ballots across the state, mostly from the metro Atlanta area, according to a report released Thursday from the Secretary of State’s office. Lowndes County, home to Valdosta, had the fifth highest number of provisional ballots with 1,174.

From the Savannah Morning News:

“It is grossly unfair to any fox in America to compare Brian Kemp with a fox guarding the hen house. It is much worse in Georgia,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez said in Washington. “I don’t think that race is over. Every vote must be counted, and the integrity of that election is at stake.”

If a runoff is necessary, it will take place Dec. 4, extending Abrams’ bid to become the first black woman elected governor in American history, while Kemp looks to maintain the GOP’s domination in a state where Democrats haven’t won a governor’s race since 1998.

The lawsuit at issue Thursday morning in an Atlanta federal court came from voters who sued Kemp on Election Day alleging that his presiding over an election in which he is a candidate “violates a basic notion of fairness.” The plaintiffs asked the court to block Kemp from having anything more to do with managing his election. The hearing ended shortly after it began with the announcement of Kemp’s resignation.

From the Statesboro Herald:

According to the last counts from early Wednesday morning – but still not the final, official numbers – 23,556 Bulloch County voters successfully cast ballots in Bulloch County in Tuesday’s general election, an unusually high 58.9 percent turnout for a midterm and gubernatorial election.

On the choice of a governor, 14,785 of those Bulloch County voters, or 62.8 percent, chose Bryan Kemp, the Republican, while 8,555, or 36.3 percent, voted for Stacey Abrams, the Democrat.

The status of 224 local provisional ballots remained to the determined, Bulloch County Election Supervisor Patricia Lanier Jones said Thursday morning.

From the Albany Herald:

“Our ongoing legal efforts are not about Stacey Abrams — they are about protecting our democracy and ensuring every eligible Georgian’s voice is heard,” Abrams Campaign Manager Lauren Groh-Wargo said in a news release late Thursday afternoon. “We will continue to advocate for every ballot to be counted and take the appropriate legal measures to ensure the legitimacy of this election.”

Officials with the campaign said they are filing a complaint in the U.S. District court for the Middle District of Georgia in Albany asking for an injunction to direct the Dougherty County Elections Office to count any absentee ballots received between 7 p.m. on Tuesday and close of business today, which is consistent with the way that counting overseas military and overseas citizens’ ballots are handled.

The campaign also argues that Hurricane Michael’s impact may also play a role.

“Many parts of south Georgia have their mail routed through Tallahassee, which suffered severe damage,” a statement from the campaign said. “How many ballots were delayed because of the storm or other factors remains unknown. We also do have reports from our hotline indicating that ballots never showed up, or showed up late in south Georgia.”

The Georgia Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases yesterday at Albany State University, according to the Albany Herald.

The justices — Chief Justice Harold Melton, Presiding Justice David Nahmias, Robert Benham, Keith Blackwell, Michael Boggs, Nels Peterson, Sarah Hawkins Warren and Charlie Bethel — heard oral arguments in two cases, one involving an alleged stalking business partner and the other a double murder.

The first case involved arguments on an appeal out of Fulton County stemming from a lawsuit between two physicians and former partners in which one alleges the other harassed and stalked him and his employees. The justices spent most of that session hearing arguments from attorneys on the definitions of “redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.”

The second case involves a double murder case from Houston County in which Coleman Crouch, 21, is appealing the convictions and life prison sentence he received for his role in the killings. Thomas Kelly, also determined to be connected to the crime, was sentenced to life plus 10 years in prison.

Each year, the state Supreme Court travels outside Atlanta to hear cases for the purpose of making the court’s business and the judicial process more accessible to the public. The session on Thursday, held at the Billy C. Black Auditorium at ASU, heard oral arguments only and no decisions were reached.

The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation placed the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in Savannah on it’s list of “Places in Peril,” according to the Savannah Morning News.

The Glynn County Board of Education said threats against their schools are increasing, according to The Brunswick News.

So far this school year, 10 communicated threats have been made in schools. Those include verbal threats to “shoot up” schools, overheard discussions of shooting threats and threats made on social media or written on school property.

The increase in threats follows a national trend, said Jim Pulos, assistant superintendent for operations and administrative services for Glynn County Schools.

“After Parkland, the number of incidents that went up was five-fold across the country,” said Pulos, noting that the threateners are copycats and/or attention seekers.

Administrators and school police are taking the threats seriously, Pulos said. Of the eight students who have been identified as making these threats, they’ve been expelled, sometimes for two years or permanently, or given long-term suspensions.

Columbus State University‘s enrollment continues to drop, while the University of Georgia increases, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

The Zac Brown Distillery in Dahlonega will close on November 18, according to the Gainesville Times.

Tracey Mason was sworn in as a new Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

“Let me tell you, this isn’t just about me,” Mason said. “I didn’t get here by myself, and every one of you contributed in ways I can’t even begin to thank you for.”

Rattling off the names of her supporters, colleagues, friends and family members, the ninth-generation Gwinnettian proudly showed off her new robe, which will be put to use beginning Jan. 1 as Mason takes over retiring Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Tom Davis’ seat.

One of three new judges in the county — Gwinnett elected two new Superior Court judges and a new State Court judge this year — Mason continues a family tradition of service to the county and the state, which was begun years ago by her great grandfather, James Palmer Mason, who served as a Gwinnett County sheriff from 1938-42, and continued by her father, Jimmy Mason and uncle, Wayne Mason, as well as many others in the family.

The Floyd County Board of Education has ended its free lunch program, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

Whitfield County has released the list of projects to be undertaken if the $100 million Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax passes in March, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

The Norfolk Southern will add 850 jobs in Atlanta as it relocates its headquarters from Norfolk, Virginia, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

The two-part referendum to create a new City of Eagles Landing in Henry County failed at the ballot box, according to the Henry Herald.

The most high-profile of races in Henry County was decided in Stockbridge’s favor Tuesday evening. As of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, “No” had 4,289 votes, or 57.12 percent of the vote, while “Yes” had 3,220 votes, or 42.88 percent of the vote.

Tuesday’s vote marked the culmination of perhaps the biggest story in Henry County this year and the culmination of 22 months of effort from Eagles Landing supporters, who wanted to break the country club-based community into its own city.

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