Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 24, 2019


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 24, 2019

John Hancock was elected President of the Second Continental Congress on May 24, 1775.

The Constitutional Convention of 1787 convened at Independence Hall in Philadelphia on May 25, 1787.

With George Washington presiding, the Constitutional Convention formally convenes on this day in 1787. The convention faced a daunting task: the peaceful overthrow of the new American government as it had been defined by the Article of Confederation.

The process began with the proposal of James Madison’s Virginia Plan. Madison had dedicated the winter of 1787 to the study of confederacies throughout history and arrived in Philadelphia with a wealth of knowledge and an idea for a new American government. It featured a bicameral legislature, with representation in both houses apportioned to states based upon population; this was seen immediately as giving more power to large states, like Virginia. The two houses would in turn elect the executive and the judiciary and would possess veto power over the state legislatures.

William Patterson soon countered with a plan more attractive to the new nation’s smaller states. It too bore the imprint of America’s British experience. Under the New Jersey Plan, as it became known, each state would have a single vote in Congress as it had been under the Articles of Confederation, to even out power between large and small states.

Alexander Hamilton then put forward to the delegates a third plan, a perfect copy of the British Constitution including an upper house and legislature that would serve on good behavior.

Confronted by three counter-revolutionary options, the representatives of Connecticut finally came up with a workable compromise: a government with an upper house made up of equal numbers of delegates from each state and a lower house with proportional representation based upon population. This idea formed the basis of the new U.S. Constitution, which became the law of the land in 1789.

On May 27, 1813, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to John Adams to let Adams know of the death of a mutual friend.

Georgia Militia under General John Floyd began rounding up Cherokee Indians on May 26, 1838.

General Robert E. Lee wrote a letter dated May 26, 1861 to Georgia Governor Joseph E. Brown asking the state to send any weapons available for Georgia volunteers who arrived in Virginia unarmed.

On May 27, 1863, Chief Justice Roger Taney, sitting as a federal district court judge, issued a decision in Ex parte Merryman, which challenged President Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of the right of habeas corpus. Lincoln ignored the ruling.

The Battle of New Hope Church was fought near Dallas, Georgia May 25-26, 1864 between Confederates under General Joseph E. Johnston and Federal troops under General William T. Sherman.

Monday is the 155th Anniversary of the Battle of Pickett’s Mill in Paulding County, Georgia, where Sherman’s forces attacked Johnston’s Confederates on May 27, 1864. Among the combatants on the Union side was Ambrose Bierce, who would later write The Crime at Pickett’s Mill.

On May 27, 1864, the Federal Army, having been stopped in its advance on Atlanta two days earlier by the Battle of New Hope Church, attempted to outflank the Confederate position. Some 14,000 Federal troops were selected for the task, and General Howard was given command. After a five-hour march, Howard’s force reached the vicinity of Pickett’s Mill and prepared to attack. Waiting were 10,000 Confederate troops under the command of General Cleburne.

The Federal assault began at 5 p.m. and continued into the night. Daybreak found the Confederates still in possession of the field. The Federals had lost 1,600 men compared to the Confederate loss of 500. The Confederate victory resulted in a one-week delay of the Federal advance on Atlanta.

Here are some photos of the battlefield and links to additional material.

On May 25, 1907, an equine statue of John B. Gordon was unveiled on the grounds of the Georgia State Capitol.

President Calvin Coolidge signed the “Comprehensive Immigration Act” on May 26, 1924.

Many Americans saw the enormous influx of largely unskilled, uneducated immigrants during the early 1900s as causing unfair competition for jobs and land. Under the new law, immigration remained open to those with a college education and/or special skills, but entry was denied to Mexicans, and disproportionately to Eastern and Southern Europeans and Japanese. At the same time, the legislation allowed for more immigration from Northern European nations such as Britain, Ireland and Scandinavian countries. A quota was set that limited immigration to two percent of any given nation’s residents already in the U.S. as of 1890, a provision designed to maintain America’s largely Northern European racial composition. In 1927, the “two percent rule” was eliminated and a cap of 150,000 total immigrants annually was established.

The law particularly angered Japan, which in 1907 had forged with U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt a “Gentlemen’s Agreement,” which included more liberal immigration quotas for Japan. By 1924, strong U.S. agricultural and labor interests–particularly from California, which had already passed its own exclusionary laws against Japanese immigrants–favored the more restrictive legislation signed by Coolidge. The Japanese government viewed the American law as an insult, and protested by declaring May 26 a national day of humiliation in Japan.

Fort Frederica National Monument was established on St Simons Island, Georgia on May 26, 1936.

On May 27, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said the United States was in an unlimited national emergency and laid out conditions under which Germany’s expansionism would constitute an attack on the United States. There are those who believe that Roosevelt suspended the right of habeas corpus with Executive Order 9066, which led to the internment of Japanese-Americans in concentration camps.

May 26, 1949 was named Clay Day in Marietta, Georgia in honor of General Lucius Clay, who spoke at the courthouse square.

Then-Lt. Governor Marvin Griffin announced his candidacy for Governor on May 24, 1954.

May 26, 1949 was named Clay Day in Marietta, Georgia in honor of General Lucius Clay, who spoke at the courthouse square.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia held on May 25, 1962 that the Georgia General Assembly was malapportioned and ordered the reapportionment of the State House and Senate.

On May 27, 1976, former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter blasted the “Stop Carter” movement in a speech in Cincinnati.

Star Wars opened on May 25, 1977.

John Smoltz tied the record for most strikeouts by a Braves pitcher, throwing 15 Ks against Montreal Expos on May 24, 1992.

Actor Christopher Reeves was thrown from his horse in an equestrian competition in Culpepper, Virginia on May 27, 1995, becoming quadraplegic.

Happy Birthday to Bob Dylan, who was born on this day in 1941.

Three years ago today, the 2016 General Primary and Nonpartisan General Election was held in Georgia.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston met with the Dalton Daily Citizen.

The powerful Blue Ridge lawmaker said he also plans to continue to use legislative leave for fundraisers, which is a practice that has drawn criticism from some as Ralston faces scrutiny for his use of a century-old law.

“That’s part of my job,” Ralston said at a meeting this week with members of the Dalton Daily Citizen-News. “My members expect me to do that, and I don’t think that that’s an inappropriate activity. It’s part of being the speaker. They view me as someone who can help them raise money.”

Ending the practice, he said, would “unilaterally disarm our party in the House of Representatives” to the benefit of the state Democratic Party.

A civil rights activist was removed from a meeting of Valdosta City Council, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Civil rights activist Floyd Rose was escorted out of a city council meeting at Valdosta City Hall Thursday evening.

Rose came to the meeting to once again ask the city to change the name of Forrest Street to Barack Obama Boulevard.

After a contentious back and forth with Mayor John Gayle during the council meeting, Rose exceeded the three minutes of time given to each person to speak during the public commenting portion of city meetings.

The mayor asked Rose to yield the floor, but when he ignored the request, police escorted the 80-year-old man out of the council chambers. He left peacefully and will not face any charges, Valdosta Police Chief Leslie Manahan said.

Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman will not run for reelection, but will run for Chair of the Chatham County Commission, according to the Savannah Daily News.

“After careful consideration and the full support of my family, I have decided that I will be running for the position of Chatham County Commission chairman in 2020,” he said. “I will continue to work hard to serve Tybee until my term expires at the end of 2019. I want to thank all the voters for giving me the opportunity to serve this community. It has truly been an honor and privilege to serve as the city’s mayor. This is the greatest little town in America, and I will miss this job.”

“I think it’s important — especially if you live in an area that can be hit by hurricanes — to make sure that you as a chief executive of part of the government communicates with the citizens. And we’ve done that on Tybee, and I’d like to be able to expand that to the rest of the county. And I think it’s important for governments not to work in silos and isolation but to collaborate with one another. I think that the county could do a better job of working with all stakeholders — school systems, city of Savannah, other municipalities, universities.”

Buelterman was first elected mayor of Tybee Island in 2006.

In addition to the mayoral seat, three Tybee Island City Council seats are up for election.

Perry City Council tentatively set a September 17, 2019 date for a special election for a new Mayor, according to the Macon Telegraph.

The City Council decided the date, Sept. 17, will be the date for the mayoral election, they decided at Monday’s work session, said Palmer Communications Manager Ellen Palmer.

Council can’t formally approve the date until after Mayor Jimmy Faircloth’s service officially ends May 31, Palmer said. The date for the election is set to be approved at the June 4 meeting.

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