Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 8, 2019

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 8, 2019

On Sunday, we celebrate the birth of the United States Marine Corps, which traces its lineage to the Continental Marines, formed by a resolution adopted by the Second Continental Congress on November 10, 1775. Here, former Georgia Governor and United States Senator Zell Miller tells of his decision to join the Marine Corps and the change it made in his life.

On November 8, 1860, Savannah residents protested in favor of secession following the election of Abraham Lincoln.

President Abraham Lincoln (R) was reelected on November 8, 1864.

General William Tecumseh Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 120 on November 9, 1864.

Headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, in the Field, Kingston, Georgia, November 9, 1864

5. To corps commanders alone is intrusted the power to destroy mills, houses, cotton-gins, etc.; and for them this general principle is laid down: In districts and neighborhoods where the army is unmolested, no destruction of such property should be permitted; but should guerrillas or bushwhackers molest our march, or should the inhabitants burn bridges, obstruct roads, or otherwise manifest local hostility, then army commanders should order and enforce a devastation more or less relentless, according to the measure of such hostility.

6. As for horses, mules, wagons, etc., belonging to the inhabitants, the cavalry and artillery may appropriate freely and without limit; discriminating, however, between the rich, who are usually hostile, and the poor and industrious, usually neutral or friendly. Foraging-parties may also take mules or horses, to replace the jaded animals of their trains, or to serve as pack-mules for the regiments of brigades. In all foraging, of whatever kind, the parties engaged will refrain abusive or threatening language, and may, where the officer in command thinks proper, given written certificates of the facts, but no receipts; and they will endeavor to leave with each family a reasonable portion for their maintenance.

7. Negroes who are able-bodied and can be of service to the several columns may be taken along; but each army commander will bear in mind that the question of supplies is a very important one, and this his first duty is to see to those who bear arms.

8. The organization, at once, of a good pioneer battalion for each army corps, composed if possible of Negroes, should be attended to. This battalion should follow the advance-guard, repair roads and double them if possible, so that the columns will not be delayed after reaching bad places.

Former Confederate General John B. Gordon was sworn-in as Governor of Georgia on November 9, 1886.

Franklin D. Roosevelt made his 15th trip to Warm Springs, Georgia on November 8, 1928 after winning the election for Governor of New York.

A monument to Nancy Hart was dedicated in Hartwell, in Hart County, Georgia, on November 10, 1931. Hart was an active Patriot in the American Revolution.

Richard B. Russell, Jr. was elected to the United States Senate on November 8, 1932 and would serve until his death in 1971. Before his election to the Senate, Russell served as State Representative, Speaker of the Georgia House, and the youngest Governor of Georgia; his father served as Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. On the same day, part-time Georgia resident Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the United States.

The next day, November 9, 1932, President-elect FDR addressed a national broadcast to the American people and mentioned that he would spend Thanksgiving at his “second home” in Georgia.

On November 10, 1934, two years after his election as President, FDR made his 28th trip to Georgia.

On November 9, 1938, Kristallnacht began the organized destruction and looting of Jewish businesses and homes in Munich, Germany.

Former United States Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Moultrie) was born on November 10, 1943. Chambliss was elected to Congress in 1994 as part of the “Republican Revolution” led by Newt Gingrich.

The iron ore freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sunk in a winter storm on Lake Superior on November 10, 1975.

On November 9, 1989, the former East Germany announced that citizens could cross the border to West Germany. That night, crowds began tearing down sections of the wall that divided the city.

On November 8, 1994, Republicans won control of the United States House of Representatives and Senate in what came to be called the “Republican Revolution.”

Former State School Superintendent Linda Schrenko was indicted by federal prosecutors on November 10, 2004 on eighteen counts.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp appointed J. Matthew Williamson as Solicitor General for the State Court of Walker County.

Gov. Kemp also attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new Georgia Pacific plant in Warrenton, according to WFXG.

Governor Kemp said the project sends a clear message to the rest of rural Georgia.

“We’re serious about economic development. We want to continue to work with local leaders. I know this project had a lot of collaboration with the development authority, the local officials, state involvement and that makes for a good cocktail if you will, when you’re pitching economic development projects and we are committed to that,” said Governor Brian Kemp.

The company said the 340-thousand-square-foot Warrenton project cost $135 million dollars to build.

President Trump will be arriving in Atlanta this morning, according to the AJC.

Trump is set to touch down at Dobbins Air Reserve Base around 11 a.m., head to the roundtable and fundraiser in Buckhead for lunch and then go downtown to the Georgia World Congress Center for his midafternoon speech before returning to Dobbins. Expect major traffic snarls throughout the city.

The headline-grabbing event of the day will be the unveiling of the “Black Voices for Trump” coalition in downtown Atlanta. The president is set to speak after 2 p.m. at the invite-only event, along with Vice President Mike Pence and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

Trump is preparing to host a high-dollar fundraiser in Atlanta to help defend Perdue, one of the staunchest critics of the Democratic-led impeachment effort.

The president recently set up a joint fundraising committee with the Republican in time for Friday’s fundraiser at an undisclosed Atlanta locale that will run attendees $2,800 to get in the door and a six-figure check to attend a roundtable.

Attendees will have to dig deep into their wallets: A place at the roundtable will cost supporters a $100,000 check. It follows with a luncheon that will run attendees $2,800 for a seat at the table — and at least $35,000 for a photo with the president.

Congressman Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) will be flying to Atlanta today with President Trump, according to the AJC.

Word that President Donald Trump will arrive in Atlanta on Air Force One on Friday with U.S. Rep. Doug Collins in tow has sparked a frenzy of rumors in Georgia political circles that the Gainesville Republican will be Gov. Brian Kemp’s pick for U.S. Senate.

Collins remains one of the best-known contenders for the office, but unless there’s a drastic change of plans, we don’t expect Kemp to announce his appointment in time for Trump’s visit.

Last month, the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., headlined a fundraiser that raised about $300,000 for Collins and called him “the kind of fighter we need in the Senate.”

The Savannah Morning News editors weigh in on the task of rolling out thousands of new voting machines before next year’s elections.

Six counties tested the new system in their local elections this week. Some 9,000 voters cast ballots in those locales, and the system performed as one would hope and expect: far from flawlessly, but overall satisfactorily.

The experience did underscore the major challenge ahead: The human element. With 30,000 voting machines to roll out and easily that many poll workers to train, all in a span of four months, the transition promises to be rocky.

Furthermore, the state doesn’t have the option to employ the old machines as a stopgap. A federal judge has mandated they be mothballed come Dec. 4. If the new system is not ready come March 24, the vote will be done using paper ballots.

Among the issues encountered Tuesday in Bartow, Carroll, Catoosa, Decatur, Lowndes and Paulding counties were ballot printers not connected to power supplies, incorrect equipment setup and trouble checking voters into their polling place using a tablet device.

Training should negate these shortcomings, as should voter education. The Paulding County elections director noted the learning curve ballotcasters face with the new system. For 17 years, voting was completed at the touch of a screen.

Yet Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger acknowledged this week the full rollout of 30,000 machines to 159 county election boards won’t be completed until mid-January.

Military Times designated Gwinnett Technical College as the second best in the nation for veterans, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The ranking listed Gwinnett Tech second among career and technical colleges for academic support and mental health programs it offers to veterans:

“At least twice each year, this school holds training sessions on the GI Bill, academic support for student veterans, PTSD and related issues,” the author wrote. “The training is required for all administrators and staff, as well as some faculty. The general student population can also optionally participate. In addition, the school provides a lot of flexibility for students whose GI Bill benefits are delayed due to Veterans Affairs Department backlogs, ensuring that students don’t get dropped from their classes or saddled with late fees.”

This is the fourth consecutive year Gwinnett Tech has moved up in the rankings and its third consecutive year in the Top 5. In the Best for Vets 2019 ranking, Gwinnett Tech was ranked No. 3.

Valdosta City Council member Eric Howard criticized election day performance, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

“It’s 2019, and we still can’t get this voting thing right,” Howard said.

Picked as one of six pilot counties to test new voting technology before the 2020 presidential election, Lowndes County experienced several issues on election day.

Problems with poll pads caused voting machines to not work at some polling locations Tuesday morning. Although poll workers were able to bypass this for voters, the delay caused the county to extend voting hours from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. to compensate for the loss of time.

Additionally, issues with memory cards caused poll workers to tally paper ballots as a failsafe instead of the planned method. Unofficial results came in about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Howard said he received calls from residents during the early morning on election day saying new voting machines were not properly working. He said he received calls about long lines at the Park Avenue polling place and disorganization at the Valdosta State University location.

Savannah City Council‘s first meeting after the election went off the rails, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The first Savannah City Council meeting that followed Tuesday’s elections briefly devolved into chaos over suggestions to delay a vote regarding Savannah arena management until newly elected aldermen take power in January of 2020.

The Nov. 7 meeting began peacefully, with the council appearing united during uplifting proclamation ceremonies designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month and Nov. 16-24 as National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Later the vast majority of agenda items were approved without dissent.

However, while considering a motion to authorize the City Manager to execute an agreement with OVG Facilities Inc. for operations and management for the large-scale Savannah arena project, which is expected to be completed in February 2022, Alderman Van Johnson expressed reservations about the contract.

Johnson, who is now in a runoff election to become Savannah mayor along with incumbent Eddie DeLoach, expressed dissatisfaction with how the OVG contract was brokered.

The City of Dalton filed suit against Whitfield County and its other municipalities over service delivery, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen News.

The City of Dalton has filed a lawsuit against Whitfield County and the cities of Cohutta, Tunnel Hill and Varnell in Whitfield County Superior Court to resolve an on-going dispute over the service delivery agreement among their various governments.

The petition filed Tuesday seeks mandatory mediation of the agreement but also says that if the groups fail to reach an agreement during the mediation, “Dalton will petition the court to resolve all remaining items in dispute.”

Board of Commissioners Chairman Lynn Laughter said she wasn’t surprised the city filed the lawsuit after council members told her last week they would.

“We had a meeting last Monday, another commissioner and I and (Dalton Mayor Dennis Mock) and another City Council member, and asked them to at least sign an extension of the service delivery agreement while we negotiated,” she said. “Then we had another meeting Friday (the day after the agreement expired) and asked why they didn’t sign an extension, and they said their lawyer told them not to.”

Andy Welch, the McDonough-based lawyer who is the city’s special counsel in the service delivery talks, filed the motion. He did not immediately return a telephone message left at his office Thursday afternoon.

Citing state law, the city of Dalton’s petition says the judge must appoint a mediator within 30 days of the city filing its petition and the mediation must be completed within 60 days of a mediator being appointed.

It also says the majority of the members of the Board of Commissioners and each City Council must attend the first mediation session. It also says that if the different parties cannot agree on how mediation should proceed, a majority of each elected body must come to each mediation session until they can agree on a process.

Shameka Reynolds was elected Mayor of Lithonia, according to On Common Ground News.

Reynolds, who served on the City Council for eight years, won the election with 245 votes (60.95 percent), while Cindy Thomas garnered 157 votes (39.05 percent) in the two-way race, according to early results.

“I feel great. I thank God for the victory. The Devil tried it, but he didn’t win. I want to thank the city of Lithonia for supporting me. We are about to make the city of Lithonia great,” Reynolds said excitedly as supporters cheered during her victory party at the Stone Manor event center.

Smyrna voters will return to the polls for a December 3 runoff for Mayor, according to Patch.com.

There will be a runoff election on Dec. 3 between Smyrna mayoral candidates Derek Norton and Ryan Campbell, reported the Marietta Daily Journal.

Of the five candidates, Norton had the most votes Tuesday night with 3,724 votes of 7,907. Campbell followed behind with 1,957. According to MDJ, since none of the candidates received the 50 percent plus one vote needed to win, the runoff is required.

Norton won 47 percent of the vote and Campbell, 24.8 percent of the vote.

Lowndes County and Valdosta governments will be open for business on Monday, despite the federal holiday, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

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