Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 25, 2019

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 25, 2019

Colonists in Georgia signed a letter allowing the beginning of the slave trade in Georgia on October 26, 1749.

Georgia Sons of Liberty protested against the British Stamp Act on October 26, 1765.

On October 25, 1774, the First Continental Congress addressed a petition to King George III raising concerns about the Coercive Acts passed by Parliament and asserting its loyalty to the monarch.

On October 27, 1775, King George III addressed Parliament, raising concerns about an American rebellion.

The First of the Federalist Papers, an essay by Alexander Hamilton published under the pseudonym Publius, was published on October 27, 1787.

The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of San Lorenzo, also called Pinckney’s Treaty on October 27, 1795, setting the 31st parallel as the border between Georgia and Florida.

The nation’s first Gold Rush started after Benjamin Parks discovered gold in what is now Lumpkin County, Georgia on October 27, 1828.

Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York City on October 27, 1858.

The wooden keel of USS Monitor was laid at Continental Iron Works at Greenpoint, New York on October 25, 1861.

A state Constitutional Convention at Milledgeville, Georgia repealed the state’s Ordinance of Secession on October 26, 1865.

President Woodrow Wilson vetoed the Volstead Act, which implemented the Eighteenth Amendment prohibition on alcohol, on October 27, 1919; the House overrode his veto that same day and the United States Senate overrode the veto on October 28, 1919.

Navy Day was established on October 27, 1922.

October 27 was suggested by the Navy League to recognize Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday. Roosevelt had been an Assistant Secretary of the Navy and supported a strong Navy as well as the idea of Navy Day. In addition, October 27 was the anniversary of a 1775 report issued by a special committee of the Continental Congress favoring the purchase of merchant ships as the foundation of an American Navy.

Ronald Reagan delivered the “A Time for Choosing” speech on October 27, 1964.

And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man.

This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down—[up] man’s old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.

We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.

Gladys Knight and the Pips reached #1 with “Midnight Train to Georgia” on October 27, 1973.

Jimmy Carter campaigned in New York on October 27, 1976.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Donald Trump, Jr visited Hall County to support Congressman Doug Collins (R-Gainesville), according to the Gainesville Times.

Donald Trump Jr. campaigned Thursday in Lula with U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville.

About 100 people, mostly from Georgia’s Ninth District, attended the event at Jim Walters’ Northeast Hall farm. The Collins supporters shot skeet, ate lunch and heard from Trump Jr. about the political scene in Washington, D.C.

“We don’t get many visitors from Washington, especially from the Trump family, so it was nice to have them down. (Trump Jr.) is a nice, down-to-earth, good gentleman, and I think he identified really well with North Georgians, and hopefully most Georgians,” Walters, a local businessman and investor, said.

If Gov. Brian Kemp appoints Collins to the Senate position, campaign dollars raised before the appointment could be transferred to a Senate campaign.

Former President Jimmy Carter has been released from the hospital after a fall and pelvis fracture, according to CNN.

Carter, 95, was admitted Monday night to Phoebe Sumter Medical Center for observation and treatment of a minor pelvic fracture sustained during a fall at his home in Plains, Georgia.

In a statement, Deanna Congileo, director of communications for the Carter Center, said the former president “is looking forward to continuing to recuperate at his home in Plains, Georgia, and thanks everyone for their kind well wishes.”

The 39th president also fell and hit his head in his home two weeks ago when he was getting ready for church, requiring 14 stitches above his brow. The former president has also previously survived brain and liver cancer, announcing his cancer was gone in 2015.

Former State Senator Leroy Johnson has died, according to the AJC.

Johnson, an attorney and former teacher, was elected as a Democrat in 1962 and served until 1975.

His inclusion in the 1963 class of freshman lawmakers marked him as a part of a group of rising politicians, including a future president, Jimmy Carter.

State Rep. Calvin Smyre, a Columbus Democrat to joined the Legislature the year that Johnson left, called the former senator a “remarkable man” who had an amicable smile and friendly demeanor.

“Leroy Johnson is probably one of the most renowned public servants Georgia has ever seen,” Smyre said.

On Johnson’s first day in office, the restrooms, drinking fountains and chamber galleries were labeled “white” and “colored,” he said. And all the pages who delivered messages to lawmakers were white.

“I carried my pages into restrooms that said ‘white’ instead of ‘colored.’ And when we got to the water fountain, I had them drink from the water fountain that had the sign that said ‘white’ instead of ‘colored,’ ” Johnson said in 2008. “None of this was done with a news camera pointed to capture the fact.”

Shortly after, then-Gov. Carl Sanders removed the signs from Capitol.

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan said Johnson’s election played a vital role in the civil rights movement.

“Senator Leroy Johnson was a true public servant who devoted his life to the betterment of our state, both as an attorney, educator and elected official,” Duncan said.

Governor Brian and First Lady Marty Kemp announced winners of the Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities, according to the Albany Herald.

“Georgia is home to a strong arts and humanities culture that fuels creativity and innovation,” Kemp said. “Growing and sustaining our arts and humanities sectors can create a catalyst for community revitalization and local economic development across the state. I congratulate the recipients of the 2019 Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities and thank these individuals and organizations for their tireless work toward the advancement of our state.”

Ten members of Georgia’s arts and humanities communities were awarded with this honor following a competitive selection process from nominations submitted from around the state. The recipients represent a diverse group of individuals and organizations who have contributed to and supported the growth of Georgia’s thriving creative industries through community involvement, pioneering programs and long-term financial commitment.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler will host an employer summit in Cordele, according to the Albany Herald.

The summit will be held from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at South Georgia Technical College, located at 402 N. Midway Road in Cordele.

The meeting is one in a series of 12 being held throughout the state called “Employers in the Know.” The meetings offer the commissioner a chance to meet with employers around the state to share the department’s work and hear back from employers on how they can better be served.

“These summits are always a learning experience for the department and me,” Butler said. “We are able to inform businesses directly about programs and regulations that may impact their companies.

“But more importantly, I get to hear directly about what we can do to help make the state even more attractive as a place to locate and grow a business.”

“The Georgians First Commission looks forward to partnering with Commissioner Butler in this event,” Scott Hilton, GFC executive director, said. “Together we will make Georgia the number one state for small business, and an even better place to live, work and operate a business.”

Early voting numbers are higher in Lowndes County, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Early voting totals from the first week of the mayoral race, which also includes other municipal races, a “brunch bill” vote and a special purpose local option sales tax referendum, increased from 699 votes in 2015 to 1,178 votes in 2019 during the same period of early voting, according to the Lowndes County Board of Elections.

That is a 68% increase from 2015 to 2019.

Although a large increase on its nose, Trey Hood, professor of political science at the University of Georgia, warns the sample size could be misleading.

“Based on the percentage, it seems massive, but with the numbers being so small, it certainly is an increase but not huge,” Hood said.

Dougherty Coounty District Attorney Greg Edwards referred a case involving political sign theft, according to the Albany Herald.

Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards has announced that his office has been forwarded the political sign theft case involving Albany Ward IV Roger Marietta, and that his office in turn has contacted the office of Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr on the matter.

Edwards said he has called on Carr’s office to investigate, and if necessary, prosecute the theft reports in which Marietta is accused of taking down signs for his opponent, Chad Warbington, in the Nov. 5 election.

“Election campaigns often bring out the best in our community because they allow citizens to have a voice in government and elect their chosen representatives,” Edwards said, “but they can also bring out a certain overzealousness that walks a fine line between campaigning against a particular candidate and violating the law.

“In this case, we have allegations involving the theft of campaign signs of a local politician against his political opponent, and because this is both a political matter and a potential crime matter, I have made the decision to seek a special prosecutor from outside Dougherty County to avoid any appearance of impropriety and to ensure a fair and impartial evaluation of the matter.

Marietta said he will continue to campaign on issues including the commission’s approving a balanced budget without tax increases, utility rates below inflation, infrastructure improvements, a lower crime rate in Ward IV and citywide quality-of-life improvements.

The next state legislative session will likely include continued skirmishes on gun rights and gun control, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Democratic legislators proposed a flurry of gun control bills last session that didn’t reach the floor of the General Assembly although lawmakers have hopes measures still in play for this session will move forward.

Anne Westbrook, representative of the Georgia chapter of the national gun control advocacy group Moms Demand Action, said the group is going to “keep the pressure on” for gun control legislation — no matter what pro or anti-gun bills surface.

Last session, SB150 — which keeps firearms out of the hands of individuals convicted of family violence crimes — made it further than other pieces of gun control legislation. State Sen. Jennifer Jordan, D-Atlanta, who introduced the bill, is hoping the piece of legislation will get through the floor and to the Senate rules committee.

The State House Rural Development Council meets in Kingsland, Georgia next week, according to The Brunswick News.

According to a Georgia House of Representatives resolution, economic struggles in rural areas have led to a “loss of population, a deficiency in access to health care, poor infrastructure, diminished quality of educational opportunity, scarcity of employment opportunities, and overall lack of economic growth.”

In response, a committee of 15 House of Representatives members who were appointed by the speaker of the house have been tasked with identifying policies and ideas to enhance economic opportunity across the state, particularly in rural areas.

The committee is scheduled to meet in Camden County next week for two days at the College of Coastal Georgia in Kingsland.

The public meetings will be held at noon to 4:15 p.m. on Oct. 29, and from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 30.

Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree will work to address an increase in gun crimes, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Roundtree also took issue with news reports claiming the fatal Monday shooting of Michael Holt on 10th Avenue was Augusta’s 33rd homicide of the year.

“It does not reflect that four of those homicides are non-prosecutable cases that were the result of self-defense or accidental or involuntary manslaughter,” the sheriff said at a Thursday news conference. “The accurate number to date is 29.”

The number of homicides dropped to 19 in 2013, Roundtree’s first year in office, then hovered in the low 20s until 2017, when it rose to 30. Last year there were 32 homicides, according to previous Augusta Chronicle reports.

Roundtree said the overall increase in gun violence – including a 57 percent uptick this year in aggravated assaults involving guns – merits greater attention.

Dalton Utilities is considering raising water rates, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

The Medical Association of Georgia recently discussed medical cannabis, according to the Albany Herald.

“MAG’s focus, here, is to ensure that patients have the peace of mind knowing they have access to low-THC/CBD products that come from a safe and reputable source — through the product’s entire life cycle,” MAG President Dr. Andrew Reisman said. “And keep in mind that MAG opposes the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.”

MAG recently hosted a “Physicians’ Medical Cannabis Summit” sponsored by companies that are interested in securing one of six cultivation and manufacturing licenses that will be issued in Georgia including Curaleaf, Georgia Atlas, Surterra Wellness and Trulieve.

The event addressed Georgia’s medical cannabis use and cultivation laws, what physicians need to do to “certify” that a patient has one of the conditions that are covered by Georgia’s low-THC oil laws and what low-THC oil producers are doing to ensure patient safety. It also featured a talk by chemist Jeremy Applen, who performs quality tests for U.S. cannabis producers.

Reisman said MAG will form a member task force to study the issue as a first step.

Savannah is considering new regulations on the variety of wheeled vehicles , according to the Savannah Morning News.

Tipsy bridesmaids pedaling on quadricycles will remain a familiar sight for now in Savannah, although where they can ride will be limited.

Aldermen and the mayor approved new boundaries for the mobile attraction at Thursday’s regular council meeting. They also tabled proposed action on prohibiting alcohol on the bikes.

The changes are part of a new tour service for hire ordinance designed to regulate tour services under one code section. The ordinance also governs horse drawn carriages, tour services for hire and pedicabs used for guided sightseeing tours. The new quadricyle boundaries only apply to quads. Pedicabs will now be allowed beyond the Historic District to Victory Drive.

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