Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 19, 2019

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 19, 2019

Union General Irvin McDowell’s forces engaged Confederates under General Pierre G.T. Beauregard and General Joseph Johnston at the First Battle of Manassas/Bull Run on July 21, 1861.

On July 20, 1864, the Battle of Peachtree Creek took place in Atlanta. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a special online section on the Battle of Atlanta.

General William Tecumseh Sherman gained the upper hand in the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864. Estimated casualties were 12,140 (3,641 Union, 8,499 Confederate).

On July 21, 1868, the Georgia General Assembly ratified the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution as a condition for readmission.

On July 19, 1879, Griffin, Georgia native John Henry “Doc” Holliday killed Mike Gordon after Gordon shot up Holliday’s saloon in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois.

Sir Edmund Hillary was born on July 20, 1919 in Auckland, New Zealand. He and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first to summit Mount Everest on May 29, 1953.

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to set foot on the moon.

When the lunar module lands at 4:18 p.m EDT, only 30 seconds of fuel remain. Armstrong radios “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” Mission control erupts in celebration as the tension breaks, and a controller tells the crew “You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue, we’re breathing again.”

At 10:56 p.m. EDT Armstrong is ready to plant the first human foot on another world. With more than half a billion people watching on television, he climbs down the ladder and proclaims: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Aldrin joins him shortly, and offers a simple but powerful description of the lunar surface: “magnificent desolation.” They explore the surface for two and a half hours, collecting samples and taking photographs.

They leave behind an American flag, a patch honoring the fallen Apollo 1 crew, and a plaque on one of Eagle’s legs. It reads, “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”

On July 22, 1975, the United States House of Representatives voted to restore U.S. Citizenship to General Robert E. Lee posthumously.

Though President Andrew Johnson issued a proclamation of amnesty and pardon to the Southern rebels in 1865, it required Lee to apply separately. On Oct. 2, 1865, the same day that Lee was inaugurated as president of Washington College in Lexington, Va., he signed the required amnesty oath and filed an application through Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

Nonetheless, neither was Lee pardoned, nor was his citizenship restored. After receiving it, Secretary of State William Seward gave Lee’s application to a friend as a souvenir. Meanwhile, State Department officials, apparently with Seward’s approval, pigeonholed the oath.

In 1970, an archivist, examining State Department records at the National Archives, found Lee’s lost oath. That discovery helped set in motion a five-year congressional effort to restore citizenship to the general, who had died stateless in 1870.

President Gerald Ford signed the congressional resolution on July 24, 1975, correcting what he said was a 110-year oversight. The signing ceremony took place at Arlington House in Virginia, the former Lee family home. Several Lee descendants, including Robert E. Lee V, his great-great-grandson, attended.

On July 22, 1977, Elvis Costello released his first album, My Aim is True.

Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton gave the speech nominating Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis for President on July 20, 1988 at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. Dukakis accepted the nomination the next day.

Clinton’s performance was widely panned.

[Clinton] bombed so badly that there was speculation it might spoil his political future.

The prime-time speech would be a perfect opportunity for Clinton to regain some of the ground he’d lost to Gore and to reestablish himself as the one to watch from the party’s moderate/Southern wing.

But he blew it. The speech he delivered was long – 33 minutes, or twice the expected length – and mechanical. It only took a few minutes for convention delegates to tune him out, as the din of their conversations began drowning him out on television. Eventually, the broadcast networks began cutting away from his speech, with commentators noting the crowd’s complete lack of interest. The lowlight came when Clinton uttered the words “In closing,” prompting a spontaneous round of sarcastic cheers from the audience. His home state paper summed it up this way:

ATLANTA Gov. Bill Clinton’s big national moment his prime time speech Wednesday night in nomination of Michael Dukakis was an unmitigated disaster.

On July 21, 1988, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis accepted the Democratic nomination for President at the National Convention in Atlanta.

The 1996 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony was held on July 19, 1996 and competition started the next day.

The Georgia State Quarter was released on July 19, 1999.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Qualifying continues today in the House District 71 Special Election, according to the Newnan Times-Herald.

Thursday was the second day of candidate qualifying, and Republicans Nina Blackwelder and Marcy Sakrison, along with Democrat Jill Prouty, qualified Thursday. Republican Philip Singleton qualified Wednesday. Sam Anders, who had been running for the seat, decided to withdraw and support Sakrison, according to a press release sent Wednesday by Sakrison’s campaign.

Qualifying ends today at 1 p.m.

The seat will be filled in a special election Sept. 3. If a runoff is needed, it will be held Oct. 1. Early voting in the race will likely begin Aug. 12.

The United States Election Assistance Commission ranked Georgia #1 in automated voter registration in its Election Administration and Voting Survey Report for the 2018 elections, according to the Albany Herald.

he United States Election Assistance Commission recently released its Election Administration and Voting Survey Report for the 2018 elections, which named Georgia as the No. 1 state for automated voter registration and showed significantly higher percentages of accepted absentee and provisional ballots compared to previous elections — delivering a blow to claims of voter suppression and inadequate ballot access.

The EAVS report is the comprehensive, biennial national survey required by federal law that collects election data from all 50 states.

“Liberal activists have been desperately trying to advance a false narrative of pervasive voter suppression which, as the EAVS report confirms, has no basis in reality,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said. “While these activists peddle falsehoods — apparently as a springboard for higher office or to dupe donors into supporting their nonprofit — my office will continue to aggressively pursue initiatives like automated voter registration, which make Georgia a top state in the nation for voter registration and voter turnout.”

The EAVS data supports the conclusion of a recent study by the Brennan Center for Justice that showed that Georgia had a 93.7% increase in registrations because of automated voter registration, more than any other state in the nation.

“The liberal activists who are disparaging our elections in Georgia are really attacking county election officials, but the truth is that these hard-working professionals are dedicated and dependable,” Raffensperger said in a news release. “They handled this increased workload from automated voter registration in stride, and I commend them.”

Since Governor Kemp has been derided for years by the Democratic-Liberal Axis of American Politics, note that the 2018 elections and the systems put in place for them were overseen by then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

A Gwinnett County Democratic Party Vice Chair said someone put a Trump sticker on her already-bestickered car without her permission, according to the AJC.

Sharon Wood walked out of the Publix on Sugarloaf Parkway in Lawrenceville on Monday afternoon and found someone had put an “I (heart) Trump” sticker on her car, covering other stickers supporting former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Wood, the first vice-chair of the Gwinnett County Democratic Party, has had her car plastered in political bumper stickers for years and had mostly heard positive comments about them. But after she peeled the Trump stickers off her trunk, she heard something different.

“I heard this person yelling from across the parking lot ‘You (expletive) traitor,’ over and over again …,” Wood said.

The Gwinnett County Solicitor General and the Lawrenceville Police Department are both investigating the incident independently and have identified a suspect based on Wood’s description of the van, which carried a Lawrenceville business name. The suspect will be interviewed by police Monday, and the suspect has hired an attorney, said Lt. Jake Parker, a Lawrenceville Police Department spokesman.

After Keaton posted on Facebook about the incident, Gwinnett County Solicitor General Brian Whiteside saw it and got in touch with both women. Based on Wood’s description of the man’s actions, Whiteside said it could result in criminal charges. The solicitor’s office prosecutes misdemeanors.

Lauren Holcomb will become the new Executive Director of the Georgia’s State Charter Schools Commission, according to the AJC.

Holcomb, who was the agency’s communications chief, was selected in a competitive search process, according to a statement from the SCSC Thursday. She was an adviser to Gov. Sonny Perdue and the founding director of the Innovation Fund in the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.

The SCSC was established in 2013 by a constitutional amendment in 2012. It has approved and monitored dozens of schools, including some that closed. The agency has a $4 million administrative budget but distributes tens of millions of other dollars to the 35 schools, serving 33,000 students, currently in its portfolio. It’s been undergoing changes lately, with two new commissioners appointed. Former senator and gubernatorial candidate Hunter Hill was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp and former state Rep. Buzz Brockway was appointed by House Speaker David Ralston.

Savannah City Council needs more time and information on a prospective SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax), according to the Savannah Morning News.

Savannah aldermen decided at their Thursday morning workshop they need another workshop before making a decision on how to spend a potential $156 million in one cent sales tax funds, known as SPLOST.

The council had been expected to vote at its regular meeting Thursday afternoon on an intergovernmental agreement with Chatham County regarding SPLOST.

The agreement is needed for a six-year SPLOST collection.

The SPLOST issue will be on ballots for voters Nov. 5. If approved, collections would begin on Oct. 1, 2020.

Savannah-Chatham County Board of Education members will take more training to comply with the accreditation agency, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The board received a monitoring report in early July from AdvancED, an accreditation and school improvement agency that has been conducting a review of Savannah-Chatham County Public School System since 2017. AdvancED said the board met its expectations for a standard on policies for effectiveness but still “needs improvement” for a standard related to adhering to a code of ethics and functioning within defined roles and responsibilities.

Board member Shawn Kachmar said board training will focus on leadership building and “the core issues facing the board,” he said.

But the board has “made more progress than they’ve given us credit for in the report,” Kachmar said. “I think they misstated some level of progress,” he said, “but I also understand they’re being cautiously optimistic about our forward movement.”

The AdvancED report provided three improvement priorities for the board to address by January 2020, such as a communication protocol, a comprehensive board professional development plan to enhance board performance and organizational effectiveness, and training to build trust and demonstrate respectful behavior.

“We’re now implementing a comprehensive board professional development plan, aimed at individuals and the group of the board as a whole,” he said.

Savannah Council heard the second reading of a proposed comprehensive zoning rewrite, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Bridget Lidy, head of planning and urban design for the city, has said the current complex ordinance does not address 21st century development patterns, or planning best practices, including expansion areas south and west of the city.

The new ordinance is the result of the city and the Metropolitan Planning Commission working together and with the community over the last several years on updating zoning.

NewZO is also the tool used to implement the Chatham County-Savannah Comprehensive Plan, city officials noted.

The updated ordinance is expected to reduce incompatible zoning, reduce the need for variance requests and provide a framework for improving neglected neighborhoods, city officials said.

The Glynn County Commission approved rezonings to the parcels that compose the St Simons Island Airport, according to The Brunswick News.

Glynn County commissioners voted Thursday to allow additional commercial uses at the McKinnon St. Simons Island Airport.

The county’s Islands Planning Commission voted 4-1 last month to recommend the county commission approve an amendment to the planned development text of all three tracts that comprise the airport property to mirror the general commercial zone, with restrictions.

Uses allowed in general commercial zones include “businesses involving the rendering of a personal service”; retail and wholesale businesses; private or semi-private clubs; places of worship; off-street commercial parking; hotels and motels; commercial trade, vocational or private schools; restaurants; radio or television stations or transmission towers; public utility installations or other essential services; office buildings; some repair garages; newspaper publishing facilities; educational facilities directly related to a hospital or the Glynn County Board of Health; and telecom facilities.

Macon-Bibb County is opening a new recreation center in south Macon, according to the Macon Telegraph.

The center and park will have its share of recreational options: a new weight room, renovated gymnasium, spin cycle classes, sports fields and more, Macon-Bibb County Recreation Director Robert Walker said.

It’ll also be home to a library branch and offer after-school programs on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, or STEAM. A total of $2.8 million from two special purpose

local option sales taxes have been used to get the 1931 Rocky Creek Road facility ready.

The plan is to open next month if some last-minute work is completed by then.

A bridge entering Rome will be closed this weekend, according to the Rome News Tribune.

Drivers coming into Rome from the south on U.S. 411 usually must stay in the left lane to exit onto Turner McCall Boulevard — but a temporary detour will be in place this weekend.

The bridge approaching the Ledbetter Interchange will be closed for construction from Saturday until Monday. Drivers will be directed toward the right, to exit onto Dean Avenue. The road funnels into Turner McCall at East 11th Street.

District GDOT spokesman Mohamed Arafa said the detour will stay in place from 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 20, until 5 a.m. on Monday, July 22.

“This operation is part of a combined project to rehabilitate the bridge in Floyd County and one in Haralson County,” Arafa said.

Hall County Parks & Leisure will open some facilities for free admission this weekend, according to AccessWDUN.

Guests can get in free of charge to use the community centers at North Hall Park, East Hall Park, and Mulberry Creek Park, along with the Splash Pad at Laurel Park and the beach area of River Forks Park.

“We understand what a vital role parks can play in the health and well-being of a community, and we’re excited to show the residents of Hall County what wonderful resources they have at their disposal, right in their own backyards,” said Becky Ruffner, Hall County Parks & Leisure Public Relations Specialist.

Troy University in Brunswick hosted an agritourism workshop yesterday, according to The Brunswick News.

Troy University’s Brunswick site hosted an agritourism workshop on Thursday for socially disadvantaged and minority farmers. The workshop came together in partnership a USDA- funded group called Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education along with the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, Inc., a nonprofit based in Albany.

Patrick Holladay, an associate professor for Troy’s School of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management, facilitated the workshop. Nearly 30 farmers traveled from Albany to participate.

Agritourism is a way for farmers to diversify their revenue by bringing visitors to their farm for a variety of kinds of programs, including on-site farmer’s markets, cafés, bed and breakfast homes and more.

Agritourism, Holladay said, is a growing niche in the state’s tourism market, which is the second largest industry in Georgia, bringing in about $63 billion annually. The large industry is agriculture, which brings in about $73.7 billion annually.

“Marrying your two biggest industries together makes a whole lot of sense,” Holladay said.

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