Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 17, 2019

17
Sep

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 17, 2019

Forty-one delegates signed the United States Constitution, including Abraham Baldwin and William Few representing Georgia, at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787 before adjourning sine die.

On September 17, 1796, George Washington began working on the final draft of his farewell address as the first President of the United States of America.

The Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee met the Army of the Potomac under General George McClellan at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862.

The Battle of Antietam actually consisted of three battles. Beginning at dawn on September 17, Union General Joseph Hooker’s men stormed Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s troops around the Dunker Church, the West Woods, and David Miller’s cornfield. The Federals made repeated attacks, but furious Rebel counterattacks kept the Yankees in check. By early afternoon, the fighting moved south to the middle of the battlefield. Union troops under General Edwin Sumner inflicted devastating casualties on the Confederates along a sunken road that became known as “Bloody Lane,” before the Southerners retreated. McClellan refused to apply reserves to exploit the opening in the Confederate center because he believed Lee’s force to be much larger than it actually was. In the late afternoon, Union General Ambrose Burnside attacked General James Longstreet’s troops across a stone bridge that came to bear Burnside’s name. The Yankees crossed the creek, but a Confederate counterattack brought any further advance to a halt.

The fighting ended by early evening, and the two armies remained in place throughout the following day. After dark on September 18, Lee began pulling his troops out of their defenses for a retreat to Virginia. The losses for the one-day battle were staggering. Union casualties included 2,108 dead, 9,540 wounded, and 753 missing, while Confederate casualties numbered 1,546 dead, 7,752 wounded, and 1,108 missing.

On September 17, 1932, the Georgia Division of the Roosevelt Business and Professional League was created to work with the Georgia Democratic Party to support FDR’s Presidential campaign in the Peach State.

Jimmy Carter received the first ever endorsement of a national ticket by the National Education Association in his bid for President on September 17, 1976.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

WSB-TV reports that Governor Brian Kemp will announce a replacement for retiring U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson in the coming weeks.

Gov. Brian Kemp expects to make his pick for U.S. senator to replace the retiring Johnny Isakson within the next few weeks but offered no hints as to who he may select.

“I want someone who’s going to go to Washington, D.C., and be a fighter for Georgia,” Kemp said Monday. “We want someone who’s going to be fighting every day up there for our citizens.”

Kemp’s choice will have to run for re-election in 2020 to fill out the remainder of Isakson’s term, and then will have to run again in 2022. Kemp did say he would not require a commitment to run for re-election from his potential choice.

“I wouldn’t want to lay that line in the sand just yet,” Kemp said. “I’m still very open to a lot of different options.”

Containment of oil from the M/V Golden Ray is a high priority in recovery operations, according to The Brunswick News.

The Unified Command recently said they won’t know the total amount of contaminant spilled until after the vessel’s recovery, which is months away. The priority at the moment is making sure liquids on the vessel are properly secured. It’s believed there’s around 300,000 gallons of fuel on board, which is significantly more than initially reported.

According to the Command’s fifth update, released around 4:30 p.m. Monday, response teams are continuing to canvass “multiple shorelines to identify environmental impacts and ensure boom is optimally deployed,” while the command continues to work on creating a comprehensive plan to remove pollutants from the craft.

Thursday, Mark Dodd, head of the state Department of Natural Resources’ sea turtle program, posted on Facebook that there were no document oiled birds, sea turtles or marine mammals, up to that point. However, some debris associated with oil containment did wash up on St. Simons Island last week.

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson joined a bipartisan group sponsoring legislation to protect Right Whales, according to The Brunswick News.

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. — with Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Tom Carper, D-Del. — submitted last week the Scientific Assistance for Very Endangered Right Whales Act, which would create a grant program to enhance collaboration with the different entities involved in right whale conservation, ultimately seeking to reduce the harm caused by people to the whales and helping the population recover.

“The North Atlantic right whale was named the official Georgia state marine mammal when I served as minority leader in the Georgia State House, and I am proud that my state’s coast is still home to one of the few known calving grounds for this magnificent animal,” Isakson said in a statement. “I’m glad to introduce the Scientific Assistance for Very Endangered Right Whales Act to help learn about how we can better protect this important animal whose numbers continue to dwindle.”

The Senate bill, S. 2453, awaits action in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. The House version, H.R. 1568, has 48 cosponsors, though the 4th District’s Hank Johnson is the only Georgian. The House Natural Resources Committee ordered the bill to be reported as amended May 1.

The Valdosta Daily Times covers the Superliberal Supermajority bus tour.

Stacey Abrams helped new advocacy group Supermajority kick off its nationwide bus tour to engage and mobilize 2 million women voters ahead of the 2020 election.

What is set to be the largest woman-to-woman voter program in history made Atlanta “ground zero” Sunday, facing the state’s controversial women’s rights policies head on.

“That’s important as we head into the 2020 election, it’s not only making sure that every woman is registered to vote, has the right to vote, and that her vote is counted,” Cecile Richards, co-founder, told The Valdosta Daily Times, “but that we also lift up the issues that women care about, because unfortunately, I do think that a lot of the issues in the lives of women have been left out of the debate.”

“As women, we are taught there are certain rules we have to follow,” [Abrams] said. “We are taught that it’s our responsibility to meekly accept the outcome and to trust the rules as they were written down. I don’t.”

Supermajority’s leadership is made up of a diverse group of women activists including Ai-Jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Alicia Garza, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, Cecile Richards, former president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and action fund, and Jess Morales Rocketto, executive director for Care in Action.

“Election Day is coming and we have to meet it where it is,” Abrams said. “The majority rules when we show up, the majority rules when we stop letting silence terrify us. When we realize that this is our nation, we are a nation that is not divided by our politics, we are divided by our fear.”

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced the state will participate in a $10 billion dollar settlement with Purdue Pharma, according to the AJC.

Georgia will agree to join a nationwide settlement deal with the maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, state Attorney General Chris Carr said Monday evening in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Twenty-four states are reported to support the settlement deal, as well as the leaders of a group of some 2,000 local governments that have sued in federal court. If approved, the deal could be worth up to $10 billion or $12 billion nationwide over time, though opponents of the deal question those figures.

Most states have sued Purdue, as well as other companies involved in the opioid epidemic, saying they knew or should have known precisely what they were fueling and should help pay the costs to the governments in cleaning up the mess. Separately, well over 80 Georgia cities, counties and hospitals have joined about 2,000 tribes and local governments from across the nation in suits that have been consolidated under one judge in Ohio. All metro Atlanta counties have filed suit.

Carr noted in his statement that Purdue was expected to file for bankruptcy either way. He said agreeing to the settlement gains a measure of certainty for the state.

“Along with a majority of state attorneys general and localities pursuing litigation against Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family, we have agreed to a proposed framework that we believe holds them accountable while securing for Georgians the best possible chance to get the help they deserve,” Carr wrote.

Chatham County may end up paying some costs associated with the evacuation for Hurricane Dorian, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Chatham County Commissioners decried the possibility of getting stuck with the bill for expenses incurred because of the area’s state-ordered mandatory evacuation for Hurricane Dorian — estimated at approximately $1 million — while deliberating on several storm-related matters at Friday’s board meeting.

During an omnibus spending discussion in their regular meeting on Friday, members of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners expressed dismay over a verbal conversation with Georgia officials about Hurricane Dorian evacuation costs. Although Chatham County received a Federal Emergency Declaration from FEMA on Aug. 29 that pledged “to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures,” Georgia authorities have subsequently asserted that the state threshold required for federal reimbursement was not met.

If the federal government refuses to pay Georgia for Dorian-related expenses, and the state then declines to reimburse the state’s coastal counties for the mandatory evacuation, Chatham taxpayers could end up holding the bag for significant costs brought about by hurricane preparations.

Two young citizens addressed Pooler City Council to discuss saving trees, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Alexis Jordan, 7, and her sister, Alyssa Jordan, 5, delivered a hand-written letter to Pooler Mayor Mike Lamb following the meeting.

“Dear City Council,” their letter read, “Please stop cutting down trees!!! We need to breathe. Trees are beautiful and animals need them too.”

“Trees are important and we need them,” Alexis said after the meeting. “We need to have fresh air.”

After their presentation to council, they handed their letter to Lamb, which included a drawing of trees, blue skies and a couple of woodland critters.

Candidates for Mayor of Valdosta met in a public forum, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Three candidates for the mayor’s office were grilled on topics ranging from crime to city transit Sunday in a public debate.

Kevin J. Bussey, J.D. Rice and David Sumner faced questions from moderator Daren Neal, pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church, in front of a large audience at Serenity Christian Church on Lee Street. Candidates Scott James Matheson and Brooks D. Bivins did not attend.

The candidates seek the office that’s been held by John Gayle for two terms. Gayle is not seeking reelection to a third term in the November elections.

Oakwood, in Hall County, is considering adopting the same property tax millage rate as the previous year, which will raise the amount of taxes assessed on some properties, according to the Gainesville Times.

Gwinnett County Planning Commission Chairman Chuck Warbington will leave the commission after serving 15 years as a member and 6 years as Chair, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

State justice administration agencies could face significant budget cuts, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Five of the agencies within the justice system in Georgia may lose staff and programs, according to budget amendment documents.

The Department of Corrections would cut $112 million from its operations in total for 2020 and 2021. The agency plans to spend less on state prisons, transitions services and training programs. Several positions would be frozen.

The Department of Juvenile Justice would operate on $35 million less over the next two years.

The Department of Supervision, which oversees 180,000 parolees in the state, including those on house arrest and probation, would save a total of $19 million in 2020 and 2021.

The Public Defender’s Council would trim its budget to $6 million, reducing cellphone and hot spot use and training programs as well as 10-day furloughs.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation would mostly see a reduction in staff. It plans to eliminate positions in background check services, dismiss three forensic scientists, two lab technicians, 12 officers and four other investigators.

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