Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 10, 2019

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 10, 2019

Georgia and American History

On May 12, 1740, Georgia forces under James Oglethorpe took Fort Diego in Florida from the Spanish and mocked the defenders’ jean shorts.

Savannah received news of the battle at Lexington on May 10, 1775, leading to a raid of British gunpowder for the colonial effort. On the same day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Second Continental Congress met.

The worst American defeat of the Revolutionary War occurred at Charleston, South Carolina on May 12, 1780. American Major General Benjamin Lincoln, who surrendered that day would later accept the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia.

On May 12, 1789, the Society of St. Tammany was founded in New York and would grow to a dominant home for political bosses. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics (Signet Classics) remains one of the best historical versions of how political machines worked.

George Washington visited Georgia on May 12, 1791. From Purysburg, South Carolina, Georgia officials escorted Washington on a barge twenty-five miles down the Savannah River to Savannah, where he would stay four days.

Happy Birthday to Minnesota, which became a state on May 11, 1858. Y’all talk funny.

On May 10, 1863, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died a week after being shot at by his own troops.

He died, as he had wished, on the Sabbath, May 10, 1863, with these last words: “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.”

Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart was mortally wounded on May 11, 1864 at the Battle of Yellow Tavern, near Richmond.

On May 12, 1864, Confederate General Joseph Johnston pulled his Army of Tennessee and Georgia back to Resaca, Georgia. In Virginia, Major General John B. Gordon saved the life, or prevented the capture of General Robert E. Lee at Spotsylvania. After the war, Gordon would serve as Governor of Georgia and United States Senator.

On May 12, 1864, the Virginia Military Institute Corps of Cadets awoke in Staunton, where they had marched from Lexington 18 miles the previous day; after another 19 miles headed north up the Shenandoah Valley, the would make camp at Mt. Crawford, near Harrisonburg. The cadets ranged in age from fifteen to twenty-five years.

On May 10, 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union troops near Irwinville, Georgia.

On May 10, 1869, a ceremonial “Golden Spike” was driven in Promontory, Utah, symbolizing completion of a transcontinental railroad line joining the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad.

The first observance of Mother’s Day was May 10, 1908 at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. On May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first official “Mother’s Day.”

On May 12, 1970, Georgia National Guard troops were mobilized to end race riots that had broken out the night before in Augusta. On that same day, Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs, my father’s favorite player as a youth, hit his 500th home run.

On May 10, 2006, Georgia State School Superintendent Linda Schrenko, a Republican, pled guilty to federal charges of fraud and money laundering, beginning a streak of Republican State School Supers to leave office under a cloud.

On May 11, 2011, Newt Gingrich announced via Twitter that he would run for President. Two days later, I caught up with Newt at Fincher’s Barbecue in Macon for a brief interview the day he was scheduled to speak to the Georgia Republican Party State Convention.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp vetoed legislation changing the boundaries of the City of Harlem, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Gov. Brian Kemp quietly vetoed House Bill 598 on April 25, stopping plans for the city of Harlem to greatly expand its boundaries in Columbia County.

According to prior Augusta Chronicle reports, Harlem officials withdrew their support for the bill on April 12, two weeks after it passed both chambers of the Georgia General Assembly, after a single affected landowner disagreed with the plan.

Harlem Rep. Barry Fleming quietly introduced the bill in March with fellow Republican Reps. Tom McCall, Jodi Lott and Mark Newton as co-sponsors. The bill unanimously passed the House March 18 and the Senate on March 28. The chambers typically don’t question local legislation that has the support of the legislative delegation representing the area.

The Columbia County Commission in early April approved a resolution opposing the bill, citing opposition from the sheriff’s office, fire department and affected landowners.

Gov. Kemp has through Sunday to veto legislation passed during the 2019 Session, according to the AJC.

The 40-day signing period is technically set to end on Sunday, bringing with it a deadline to sign or nullify bills, or let legislation become law by not taking action. But the Republican is set to issue his first round of vetoes a few days early.

“We’re being very methodical to go through each piece of legislation to make sure there’s no constitutional issues or things that happened in the last few hours that we’re not aware of, or that the Legislature isn’t aware of,” Kemp said.

Georgia Governor Democrat Stacey Abrams is still considering running for President, according to the New York Times.

In an interview on “Pod Save America” with Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to former Democratic U.S. President Barack Obama, Abrams was asked whether she is considering joining the huge field of Democratic presidential candidates. She replied: “Yes.”

Abrams, 45, the former Georgia House minority leader, narrowly lost the Georgia governor’s race last year against Republican Brian Kemp. She demonstrated how an African American could compete in a Southern state that has voted reliably Republican at a state level in recent years.

Congressman Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) introduced legislation to extend the period of eligibility for healthcare of infants born to female service members, according to the Gainesville Times.

Currently, the VA is only authorized to provide up to 7 days of care for a female veteran’s newborn. The Newborn Care Improvement Act would extend that time to 14 days.

“Too often, new mothers receiving medical care from the VA face financial challenges and complex insurance decisions while seeking to obtain critical care for their newborns,” Collins said in a statement. “Ensuring the VA expands care for the women who selflessly serve in our armed forces continues to be a priority for me, and I’m proud to join my colleagues in reintroducing the Newborn Care Improvement Act.”

Rep. Collins also spoke to Fox News about the Mueller report.

Ranking Member House Judiciary Committee Congressman Doug Collins-(R-GA) spoke with Brian Kilmeade about the House Judiciary Committee holding Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress for not complying with a subpoena for the unredacted Mueller report.

Collins says democrats are pitching a fit by holding Barr in contempt because they want to smear Barr because the Mueller report didn’t go their way. When asked if Robert Mueller will be testifying in front of the House Judiciary on May 15th, Collins said there has been no indication Mueller will be coming to testify but hopes he does and would like to ask him why he didn’t put into his report how the investigation started in the first place.

On former FBI Director James Comey saying the FBI doesn’t spy, Collins replied, “Hearing comments like that, I don’t need a paper bag, I want to vomit in a paper bag when I hear the former director of the FBI who took a fake, unsolicited, unverified, salacious dossier and made it the basis for FISA warrants.”

The Whitfield County Board of Elections announced plans to suppress votes change the locations of two voting precincts, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

The Atlanta Regional Commission awarded $565,000 in grants to Gwinnett County municipalities, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Some Savannah residents oppose a proposal to develop a public recreation facility at the Coastal Empire Fair grounds, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Senior Superior Court Judge Micheal L. Karpf will hear the case against suspended McIntosh County Clerk Rebecca McFerrin, according to The Brunswick News.

Robert Russell, a long-time McIntosh County resident and chief Superior Court judge of the Atlantic Judicial Circuit, had been assigned to the case, but he and all the other judges stepped away from the matter April 30. Although all the judges had dealings with McFerrin in court, Russell’s conflict of interest was more pronounced. He and State Court Judge C. Jean Bolin had written former Gov. Nathan Deal in October asking for an investigation of McFerrin’s conduct in office. Kemp acted on Russell’s and Bolin’s complaint after taking office in January.

Jeffrey H. Kight, the administrative judge for the 22-county First Judicial District, appointed Karpf to the case on Tuesday.

Karpf has 40 years experience on the bench in three Savannah area courts, first as a Recorders Court Judge in Savannah then as a Chatham County State Court judge and Superior Court judge. He decided to not seek re-election last year and his son, Benjamin, won the election to replace him.

Kemp appointed two other clerks of court and the state attorney general to investigate the complaint against McFerrin. In its investigative report, the panel asserted that McFerrin had failed to file some criminal cases in the court database. As a result, jailed defendants did not have timely bond hearings because there was no record of the charges in the court database, the report said.

The City of Rome is working to keep their transit system running after buses were prevented from being used for school students, according to the Rome News Tribune.

Students have been using the city’s tripper service for 35 years, but a recent audit by the Federal Transit Administration determined it’s not an authorized use of the program.

Rome Transit Director Kathy Shealy said funding is based on ridership and mileage, so ending the school bus service will affect annual grants.

The Lowndes County Juvenile Court has requested a doubling of funding, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Juvenile Court is requesting $10,000 for court costs in its 2020 budget. The 2019 budget included $4,500 for court costs.

“The new laws will force us to basically double?” Lowndes County Commissioner Scott Orenstein asked Thursday during county budget hearings.

Council expects an increase in civil cases in Juvenile Court due to a rise in custody disputes.

“(New laws are) trying to cut costs by giving the kids to effective kin – people who aren’t blood-related but know you,” Council said.

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