Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 5, 2019

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 5, 2019

On July 5, 1737, James Oglethorpe sailed from England to Georgia with a warship and troop transports carrying a regiment to be stationed at St. Simons Island.

On July 5, 1742, Spanish forces based in Florida sailed past Fort St. Simon, bypassing English forces there. That night, Oglethorpe’s troops left Fort St Simon and fell back to Fort Frederica.

Fort Frederica National National Monument on St. Simons Island

Fort Frederica National National Monument on St. Simons Island

On July 7, 1742, General James Oglethorpe was victorious over the Spanish at the Battle of Bloody Marsh and the Battle of Gully Hole Creek; a week later Gov. Montiano would call off the invasion of Georgia from Florida, leaving Georgia to develop as a British colony.

On July 6, 1775, Congress issued the “Declaration on the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms” addressed to King George III, stating that they preferred to “to die free men rather than live as slaves.” The document was written by John Dickinson after a draft by Thomas Jefferson.

The Republican Party was formally organized on July 6, 1854.

The party was born of hostility to slavery.

In February [1854] a gathering in Ripon, Wisconsin, resolved to form a new party and a local lawyer named Alvan E. Bovay suggested the name Republican for its echoes of Thomas Jefferson. In Michigan there were meetings in Kalamazoo, Jackson and Detroit, and after the Act had passed in May, the new party was formally founded in Jackson in July. A leading figure was Austin Blair, a Free Soiler lawyer who was prosecuting attorney of Jackson County. He helped to draft the new party’s platform, was elected to the state senate in Republican colours that year and would become governor of Michigan in 1860.

Union cavalry under Gen. Kenner Garrard reached Roswell, Georgia on July 5, 1864, setting the town alight.

On July 6, 1885, Louis Pasteur successfully tested a rabies vaccine on a human subject.

Sliced bread was invented on July 7, 1928 at the Chillicothe Baking Company in Chillicothe, Missouri.

Happy Birthday to former President George W. Bush who was born July 6, 1946.

On July 7, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Act.

The first female cadets enrolled at West Point on July 7, 1976.

Sandra Day O’Connor was nominated to the United States Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan on July 7, 1981.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp appointed former Congressman Bob Barr to the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

The Federal Aviation Administration accepted an application for a spaceport in Camden County, Georgia, according to The Brunswick News.

The Federal Aviation Administration has completed its initial review and has initially accepted the county’s spaceport operator license application.

Now, the 180-day review process begins with a license determination made by Dec. 16, according to a news release.

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan also expressed his support for the decision.

“My focus as lieutenant governor is to create the best educational opportunities for Georgia students and to make our state a national technology hub. Spaceport Camden checks both of these boxes,” he said.

From the Savannah Morning News:

Kenneth Wong, manager of the FAA Licensing and Evaluation Division, informed the Camden County Commission chairman in a letter dated June 28 that the stalled review had been restarted.

“On Feb. 12, 2019, we determined the application to be ‘not complete enough’ to begin the 180-day review due to four outstanding issues,” Wong wrote. “In our letter, we requested more information concerning the environmental review, mitigation of potential risk of fire, analysis of individual risk, and the ability to account for and manage the population that might be exposed to risk from overflight of a launch vehicle. We received the additional information on June 19, 2019.”

Camden County is planning to build and operate a commercial spaceport where operators would launch liquid-fueled, small to medium-large vehicles. The operation would include up to 12 vertical launches and 12 landings per year. Spaceport Camden would be located on a 12,000-acre brownfield site once occupied by Union Carbide, less than 10 miles from Cumberland Island National Seashore and about five miles from Little Cumberland Island.

“I have proudly supported Spaceport Camden from the first time I heard about this amazing project and all it can do for Georgia,” said Gov., Brian Kemp in the same press release. “Camden County is showing what is possible when local leaders come together, think outside of the traditional box, and find a way to maximize their community’s greatest assets. The state of Georgia is firmly behind Camden County and we encourage the FAA to swiftly approve its launch site operator’s license application.”

Valdosta State University Associate Professor Bernard Tamas won a grant to study election bias, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Election Data and Science Lab awarded nearly $8,000 to Valdosta State University associate professor Bernard Tamas. His was among 11 projects to receive money from the MIT lab.

Valdosta State says in a news release that Tamas will spend the next year compiling data on district-level election results in U.S. House races from 1870 to 2018.

Tamas will use the information to look for historical signs of bias that skewed election results to favor a particular political party.

The Ledger-Enquirer interviewed Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson six months after he took office.

Q: One of the first things you had to accomplish was presenting the 2020 budget. What was that process like?

A: We started in January, and even though I had some experience as a budget chair, it was really a completely different exercise. But we’re actually starting this year’s budget process in August. I think starting in the late third and early fourth quarter is essential to being able to strategize on where you want to go with the budget.

I had about three priorities in that first budget and I was able to meet them. First, I was able to deliver to council a budget balanced without using fund balance. Second, I wanted to do something for the people who take care of the people of Columbus, the employees. And we did, we were able to give a net 2% pay increase.

And the third thing we wanted to do was come up with some way to make a large impact on this community. So we put $1 million in the demolition budget. That was important to me, to do something that will have an impact on crime, poverty, all those things.

Q: What’s one area where you see opportunity for growth in Columbus?

A: One of the things I think we have a tremendous opportunity with is bringing in and engaging with younger people, millennials. We’re building their Columbus, not my Columbus. It seems like over the last several years I’ve seen the young arts scene just completely explode and we’re getting these young, very bright individuals that are engaging now and taking an active role. One of the things we’ve always talked about in Columbus, it’s kind of our secret sauce, is the public-private partnership deal. Right now we should be looking and identifying who’s next man, next woman up, who’s going to replace these individuals who’ve been leaders in this community for so long. Something else I think the younger individuals can do is help guide us on how they want to be communicated to. We do a pretty good job, but we’ve got to get better at telling our story. When people come to Columbus they’re amazed at what they see, because they had no idea.

Savannah hosted a public reading of the Declaration of Independence yesterday, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Gainesville hosted a public reading of the Declaration of Independence, according to the Gainesville Times.

Augusta hosted a ceremony at the Signers Monument, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

The 50-foot tall obelisk is located in the center of Greene Street in front of the Municipal Building. Two of the signers from Georgia are buried there. George Walton, whose Meadow Garden home is located in Augusta, and Lyman Hall are interred at the monument, which was dedicated in 1848. The third Georgia signer, Button Gwinnett, was killed in a duel in 1777 in Savannah. Gwinnett is thought to have been buried in Savannah’s Colonial Park Cemetery although the exact location is unknown.

Keith Howard announced he will run as a Republican for Bulloch County Sheriff next year, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Howard, a Republican, admits it might seem a bit early to start campaigning, but he is serious about the county’s future. “Elections may seem far away but it seems like it was New Year’s Eve only yesterday,” he said. “Time flies.”

Official qualifying dates are March 2-6, 2020, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. Howard ran for office before in the 2016 race, which was won by current sheriff Noel Brown.

Lerah Lee announced she will run for the Republican nomination in the 7th Congressional District, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The 7th congressional District seat will be open in 2020 due to U.S. Rob Woodall’s, R-Ga., decision to not seek another term in office. Several Republicans and Democrats have been jumping into race since Woodall announced his plans.

A wildfire continues to burn on Cumberland Island, according to The Brunswick News.

Temperatures in the upper 90s with little chance of rain mean conditions are good for the fire to continue to burn. The biggest concern currently is ensuring the firefighters staged near the wilderness area remain properly hydrated, he said.

The fire, named the Whitney Fire, was first reported by an island resident Saturday night. The fire is believed to have started from a lightning strike in a heavily wooded area that has not burned since 2008m when the last wildfire burned at the north end of the island.

Day visitors and overnight campers are still allowed on the island, but the Land & Legacies tours are only allowed to travel as far north as Plum Orchard mansion instead of taking visitors to the north end to the island.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources stepped up enforcement of boating under the influence laws for the long Independence Day weekend, according to the Rome News Tribune.

Dubbed Operation Dry Water, the enforcement effort will be focused on violators of the boating under the influence laws. The campaign will extend all the way through Sunday. Recreational boaters, paddlers and floaters will see stepped up activity in warden patrols on the waterways.

Cunningham said the rivers that flow through Rome always see more of fishing, tubing and kayaking than motorized recreational boating, though the lower Coosa River does typically get some activity from boaters who come upstream from Weiss Lake, or put in at Brushy Branch.

The warden said he expected to have just as many people out on the water through the weekend as were on duty on Independence Day itself.

In Georgia, it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 or higher — the same as it is to operate a vehicle on the roads.

The Georgia DNR will not relocate black bears in Gwinnett County, according to AccessWDUN.

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