Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 14, 2019

14
May

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 14, 2019

Delegates to the Constitutional Convention began assembling in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 14, 1787, the designated starting day. Because a large number of delegates had not arrived the opening of the Convention was moved to May 25.

On May 14, 1791, George Washington addressed the Grand Lodge of Georgia Masons in Savannah.

On May 14, 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark left St. Louis, Missouri to explore the Northwest United States from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.

One hundred fifty years ago today, on May 14, 2014, the VMI Corps of Cadets marched 15 miles and camped overnight at Mt. Tabor, near New Market, Virginia. The next day they would march into history.

On the same day, the Battle of Resaca was fully engaged in Northwest Georgia.

On Saturday, May 14, the fighting at Resaca escalated into a full-scale battle. Beginning at dawn, Union forces engaged the Confederates along the entire four-mile front. In the early afternoon Schofield’s Army of the Ohio attacked the sharply angled center of the Confederate line. The assault was badly managed and disorganized, in part because one of Schofield’s division commanders was drunk. As the Union attack unraveled and became a fiasco, Johnston launched a counterattack on Sherman’s left flank. The counterattack collapsed, however, in the face of a determined stand by a Union artillery battery. In the evening Union forces pushed forward and seized the high ground west of Resaca, which placed the bridges leading south from the town within artillery range and threatened Johnston’s line of retreat.The following day Sherman renewed his assault on the Confederate center.

Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Atlanta History Center’s original production “37 Weeks that Changed Georgia” chronicles the Battle of Resaca in this week’s episode.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Former President Jimmy Carter fell and broke his hip, according to the New York Times.

Former President Jimmy Carter underwent surgery for a broken hip on Monday after falling at his home in Plains, Ga., his office said.

Mr. Carter, 94, the longest-living president in American history, was recovering from the operation at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center in Americus, Ga., with his wife, Rosalynn, at his side, the office said in a statement.

From the Macon Telegraph:

President Jimmy Carter fell at his Plains, Georgia home Monday morning while preparing for a turkey hunt, according to a release from The Carter Center.

The release said Carter’s main concern is he hasn’t reached his limit on turkeys with the season coming to a close May 15.

He is hopeful the state will allow him to roll over the unused limit to next season.

Augusta Democrats will welcome Independent Democrat Socialist Bernie Sanders this weekend, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Sanders will hold the town hall at 5 p.m. Saturday at the 400-seat Kroc Center Theater, 1833 Broad St., as part of a five-stop weekend Southern tour.

The campaign said the tour will highlight how his policies “meet the urgent needs of communities across the South,” such as restoration of voting rights, reforming K-12 education, environmental racism and eradicating poverty. The stops will include rallies in Asheville and Charlotte in North Carolina, and Birmingham, Ala., and an environmental justice town hall in Denmark, S.C., where officials used an unapproved pool cleaner to purify drinking water for 10 years.

Jordan Johnson, the chairman of the Richmond County Democratic Party, said Sanders’ choice of Augusta for the town hall was “smart” because it is a Democratic stronghold.

Governor Brian Kemp vetoed House Resolution 51, addressing a dispute over the border between Tennessee and Georgia, according to the Times Free Press.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp vetoed a resolution to create a boundary line committee Friday, one of 15 legislative measures he axed this year prior to Sunday’s deadline. Kemp argued the committee’s success was unlikely. Case in point? Lawmakers on the other side of the dispute aren’t at the negotiating table.

“Purportedly, the Commission would confer with counterpart commissions in North Carolina and in Tennessee on boundary line disputes,” Kemp said in a statement. “At this time, however, North Carolina and Tennessee have not created boundary line dispute commissions.”

State Rep. Marc Morris, R-Cumming, argued Georgia should have access to the Tennessee River because in 1818 a surveyor drew the boundary between the states a mile farther south than Congress dictated. The mistake cut off Georgia’s access.

Morris’ resolution called for an eight-person committee from Georgia to negotiate with lawmakers in Tennessee and North Carolina. If those states didn’t come to the table, the resolution asked the committee to create a list of recommendations.

From the AJC:

Many surveyors and historians agree the line is technically flawed – as are other state boundaries around the nation. But such issues are usually left alone because borders have been in place so long that “correcting” them would be disruptive, to say the least.

Georgia supporters of the legislation insist they don’t want to annex the 51-mile stretch of misplaced land (and the 30,000 residents who live there). Instead, they’re aiming for a slice of the Nickajack Lake, opening the door to a costly new pipeline that could help quench Atlanta’s thirst.

United States Senator David Perdue is not worried about a Hollywood boycott of Georgia, according to the Albany Herald.

Perdue said that he’s not concerned about the prospect of production companies leaving the state. He said that Georgia’s business outlook was strong and cited a recent study that said “Georgia is rated for the sixth year in the row as the best state in the country in which to do business.” The trade publication Site Selection gave Georgia that designation again in November.

A big reason for the state’s economic success was due to the fact that “Georgia does more traditional movie production than any other state including California,” Perdue added.

Perdue is unmoved by the threat. “It’s ironic that several of these companies that are threatening to boycott have yet to do business in Georgia,” he said. “It just shows that rhetoric is more important than reality.”

“Life is precious and we’re called to protect it at any stage, as long as it’s there.” he said during the Fox interview. “This is not a radical right or a liberal left issue here in Georgia. It’s a moral issue and I think the people of Georgia have spoken.”

Congressman Buddy Carter met with the Golden Isles Republican Women, according to The Brunswick News.

“Climate change is real. The climate has been changing since day one,” Carter said. “We’ve seen it through history, we know the climate is changing. There was a time back in the 70s when it was getting colder, and we were afraid we were going to have more freezing of areas. Now we’ve got just the opposite.”

Recently appointed to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Climate Change, Carter said he takes the issue seriously.

“I represent the entire coast of Georgia, 100 miles of pristine coastline. I’ve lived here all my life, it’s where I intend to live the rest of my life,” Carter said. “I love this coast, and I’m never going to do anything to harm this coast. I believe that we need to make sure we’ve got a representative on this committee for our coast, that’s why I volunteered for it.”

While he said he believed the government needs to take some action in response to climate change, he distanced himself from the Green New Deal, a Democratic proposal aimed at addressing the issue along with a number of others.

“It is the craziest thing I have ever seen. I read that 14 pages and laughed the whole way through,” Carter said. “I take climate change seriously. I don’t mean to be making light of it, I do take it seriously. I think we need to adapt, we need to mitigate and we need innovation.”

Perry Mayor Jimmy Faircloth resigned suddenly last week, according to 13WMAZ.

The mayor of Perry is stepping down at the end of this month.

Jimmy Faircloth sent a letter to the city Friday morning saying he’s leaving City Hall at the end of May.

His letter does not give a reason, and when 13WMAZ reached Faircloth by phone, he cited work and personal obligations saying, “It’s time.”

Faircloth has been mayor for 9.5 years and Mayor Pro-Tem Randall Walker will step in until the city elects a replacement.

The Grovetown City Council removed an agenda item from consideration that would make the Mayor full time, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

The item was pulled from Monday night’s regular city council meeting agenda because Mayor Gary Jones said he felt he did not have enough support from city council members.

“The community as a whole was supportive even though there were some who were against it,” Jones said. “The council questioned if we were moving into it a little too fast. We need to slow down and take a better look.”

If approved, the mayor’s salary would have been $65,000 as Jan 1. The mayor currently is part-time and makes $10,200 per year.

Former Chatham County Clerk of Courts Kim Birge is accused of stealing more than $1 million dollars, according to the Savannah Morning News.

An attorney for 11 victims of former Chatham County Probate Court Clerk Kim Birge on Monday told jurors that his clients lost more than $409,000 to her theft while she traveled and gambled with the proceeds and she drove Corvettes.

Those sums were among the $1 million Birge stole from the court over an eight-year period from children who had lost their parents, the elderly or physically injured or mentally handicapped, attorney Brent Savage told a Chatham County State Court jury empaneled to hear the civil case.

But attorney Walter Ballew, who represents Birge, told the jurors that people who knew Birge were “shocked by her conduct” which he blamed on opioid and gambling addictions that spun out of control.

Birge, 64, was not in court. She remains incarcerated in a federal prison in West Virginia where she is serving a six-year term after pleading guilty in federal court on July 31, 2015, to stealing $232,000 from the Probate Court as part of a scheme in which the government said she stole more than $750,000 over a three-year period.

The Clarke County Board of Education will elect a new Board President from their members and also choose a new member, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

The board has set a Thursday meeting to elect a new president to replace Jared Bybee, who is resigning his seat as his wife, University of Georgia law professor Mehrsa Baradaran, takes a new job at the University of California-Irvine.

Once that’s done, they’ll begin the longer process of replacing Bybee on the board, which requires that the board advertise for candidates from Bybee’s District 4, then pick one from among them.

It’s rare for the board to replace a member, but picking Bybee’s replacement will be the second occurrence for the board this year. The board picked Frances Berry in February to replace ailing District 2 board member Vernon Payne.

Chatham County is compiling a wish list of projects for funding in a potential renewal of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), according to the Savannah Morning News.

Chatham County staff members are currently updating the proposed list of county projects to include as part of the 1 percent sales tax referendum on ballots for voters Nov. 5.

The county draft proposal includes $216 million in projects for drainage, transportation, parks and recreation, and infrastructure. Projects were selected from staff input and the recreational master plan.

The county’s municipalities presented their requests for the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax projects at the May 6 commission meeting. If approved by voters, it will be SPLOST VII.

Chatham officials predict the sales tax will raise $400 million over a six-year period, starting in October 2020.

Whitfield County Commissioners approved a list of improvements for the county jail, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

Floyd County Commissioners will consider changes to the employee retirement plan, according to the Rome News Tribune.

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