Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 29, 2019

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May

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 29, 2019

On May 29, 1836, the United States Senate ratified the Treaty of New Echota, which required the movement of all Cherokee out of Georgia and led to the “Trail of Tears.”

On May 29, 1942, Adolf Hitler ordered all Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris to wear a yellow Star of David on their coats.

On May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepalese Sherpa, became the first to summit Mount Everest.

On May 28, Tenzing and Hillary set out, setting up high camp at 27,900 feet. After a freezing, sleepless night, the pair plodded on, reaching the South Summit by 9 a.m. and a steep rocky step, some 40 feet high, about an hour later. Wedging himself in a crack in the face, Hillary inched himself up what was thereafter known as the Hillary Step. Hillary threw down a rope, and Norgay followed. At about 11:30 a.m., the climbers arrived at the top of the world.

News of the success was rushed by runner from the expedition’s base camp to the radio post at Namche Bazar, and then sent by coded message to London, where Queen Elizabeth II learned of the achievement on June 1, the eve of her coronation. The next day, the news broke around the world. Later that year, Hillary and Hunt were knighted by the queen. Norgay, because he was not a citizen of a Commonwealth nation, received the lesser British Empire Medal.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

United States Senator David Perdue is not amused with a Congressional Republican’s tactic to delay farm aid in the wake of Hurricane Michael, according to the AJC.

As a second Republican House member delayed final approval of a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill on Tuesday, a top Congressional ally of President Donald Trump publicly denounced those GOP objections, accusing fellow Republicans of grandstanding against a relief plan which is backed by the White House.

“It’s time to stop the political games,” said Sen. David Perdue of Georgia, who helped seal the disaster aid deal with the President last Thursday. “It’s time to get disaster relief across the finish line.”

“Unfortunately, more clowns showed up today to once again delay disaster relief for the states and farmers devastated by the storms of 2018,” said Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), who has also criticized the White House for a lack of urgency in getting storm relief through the Congress.

Legislation to improve school safety gives local districts much control over how it is implemented, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

Kemp has pointed to the state funding in the budget this year – which was on top of the $16 million approved last year – as a better approach, at least for now.

“That’s the quickest way instead of us implementing some new state program or mandate or requiring the schools to do something,” Kemp told reporters gathered at the Douglasville school. “You can see they’re already doing it here. We just got out of session a couple of weeks ago and this is being implemented already right here in Douglas County.”

“I don’t want this state to try to micromanage schools,” House Speaker David Ralston said. “That’s why we have school boards and local superintendents.

“But I think there are minimum expectations that we could have, certainly as it relates to keeping kids safe once they walk in that building in the morning, keeping the teachers safe and the staff safe. I don’t think that’s asking too much, frankly.”

Netflix may rethink filming in Georgia if the heartbeat bill goes into effect, according to the Savannah Morning News.

“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a written statement to Variety. “It’s why we will work with the ACLU and others to fight it in court. Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we’ll continue to film there, while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to. Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia.”

Among the Netflix properties that have filmed in Georgia over the past few years include “Stranger Things,” “Queer Eye,” “The Haunting of Hill House,” “Insatiable” and “Ozark” whose star, Jason Bateman, already said he would leave the state should the law go into effect. “Insatiable” star Alyssa Milano has also been vocal about not continuing in the state should the law go into effect, including delivering a letter to Kemp signed by celebrities such as Alec Baldwin and Mia Farrow joining her in opposition to the legislation.

Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams’ HBO series “Lovecraft Country” is currently filming in the state, but both Peele and Abrams have said they would donate 100 percent of their “episodic fees” to organizations such as the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia to challenge the bill.

Michael Williams, former State Senator and losing candidate for Governor, pled guilty to allegations of insurance fraud, according to the Gainesville Times.

Williams took a plea deal under the First Offender Act last week for five years of probation in the insurance fraud case, Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh said.

Williams was given five years of probation each on insurance fraud and false statements charges and 12 months of probation on a false report of a crime charge. Those sentences will run concurrently, meaning Williams serves five years probation.

Williams was sentenced under the First Offender Act by Superior Court Judge Clint Bearden, who also imposed a $5,000 fine and 120 hours of community service, Darragh said.

Yet another candidate announced for the Sixth Congressional District, according to the AJC.

Nicole Rodden launched her campaign for Congress with a three-minute video that emphasized her faith, multicultural background and experience in the Merchant Marines and Navy Reserves.

She called the GOP’s recent suburban wipeout a “wake-up call” and said the party needs “a new face and a fresh perspective in Washington.”

“For too long, liberals have tried to sell the lie that if you are a minority, a female, or a young person, then you must be a Democrat. I am here to show voters that is simply not true,” she said.

“Georgia’s 6th district must have someone who can break the mold in order to defeat Congressman Lucy McBath, and I’m ready to serve,” she added.

The Associated Press writes that Georgia’s strict interpretation of legislation regarding felon voting rights has disenfranchised thousands.

Georgia strips voting rights from people convicted of all felonies, from murder to drug possession, even though a straightforward reading of the law suggests not all felons deserve such punishment.

Felons seeking to restore their voting rights must not only finish their prison sentences, but also any parole or probation, as well as pay any outstanding court fines. That has a big effect in Georgia, which has more people on probation than any other state.

Georgia law prohibits voting by anyone convicted of a “felony involving moral turpitude,” a legal phrase rooted in the state’s Reconstruction-era constitution of 1877. The phrase has endured several revisions, including the latest version from 1983.

State lawmakers have never defined which felonies involve “moral turpitude.” Georgia election officials have long interpreted the state constitution to mean all felonies trigger the loss of voting rights.

Hall County is considering “micro-transit,” according to the Gainesville Times.

A request for proposals concerning microtransit services in Gainesville and Hall County is being prepared, said Phillippa Lewis Moss, director of Gainesville-Hall County Community Services.

Officials hope to put out the request before July, “allow it to circulate for a couple of months and select a vendor by fall,” Moss said last week.

“Depending on the vendor and terms of the contract, we may introduce microtransit services by spring 2020.”

Parents pushed back against a Muscogee County School District proposal to add 30 minutes to the school day, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

The Muscogee County superintendent’s proposal to add 30 minutes to the daily schedule for elementary schools brought a chorus of opposition at the last school board meeting.

Six parents voiced objections during the Muscogee County School Board’s May 20 meeting — and no parent spoke in favor of it.

That came a week after Superintendent David Lewis agreed to postpone a vote on his proposal, after several board members expressed concerns.

Lewis said the administration will take a survey of parents and teachers on the proposal. He told the Ledger-Enquirer there’s not yet a time or method for when the survey would be taken.

Whitfield County will move many county offices into leased space in a Wells Fargo building in Dalton, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

A wildfire in the Okefenokee Swamp has been contained, according to The Brunswick News.

A burn ban on campfires and charcoal grills remains in effect in the refuge and Stephen C. Foster State Park, but all entrances and concessions are open for business.

The Glynn County Commission Finance Committee took no action on a proposal to create a new joint Brunswick/Glynn County narcotics unit, according to The Brunswick News.

The Rome Alcohol Commission voted to adopt new policies, according to the Rome News Tribune.

“Policy is that we only consider offenses that go back three years,” City Clerk Joe Smith said. “More than once I have had an ACC member suggest that might be a little bit short and maybe something along the lines of five years might be more appropriate.”

Smith explained during the meeting if a business violates any laws regarding the sale of alcohol — like selling it to a minor — anything additional that may have happened more than three years prior can not be looked at. Another concern Smith brought up is that infractions histories are also re-set if the name of the violating owner changes, so if for instance a business is caught selling to minors the owner can put the business license in a family member’s name and their violation history reset.

Gator (and other game) hunters can apply online for quote hunts starting Saturday, according to the Albany Herald.

“Because quota hunts allow a predetermined number of hunters in a particular area, they most certainly provide exceptional hunting opportunities,” John Bowers, chief of the Game Management Section with the Wildlife Resources Division, said in a news release. “So, if you are hoping to get to hunt the area of your choice, don’t let the deadlines get past you without applying.”

A quota hunt is a scheduled event at a Wildlife Management Area or other state-managed property where a limited number of hunters are allowed. Quota levels are based upon the sound principles of wildlife management and public desires for a quality hunt. These hunts provide a challenging and rewarding experience to hunters of all levels. Selected hunters must be properly licensed to participate in a quota hunt.

Visit www.gooutdoorsgeorgia.com and select “Quota Hunts” and follow the steps to complete your application. Make sure that your email is current and correct in order to receive quota updates, confirmations or any notices about quota hunts.

Former Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver has published a new book, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is increasing patrols after nine shootings since May 15, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

A shooting Monday involving an altercation with a deputy is the ninth since May 15, with three of them fatal. The most recent deadly shooting involved Kwadere Barno, 31, who was arrested and charged in the death of Tony Sanford on Meadowbrook Drive.

Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton said they have no indications the shootings are gang related, but the high number over a short period of time is of concern.

“Gun violence that has been our number one thing that we are focusing on and that has been the number one thing we continue to struggle with,” Clayton said. “This is a gun violence culture.”

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