Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 25, 2018

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 25, 2018

On November 25, 1864, Sherman’s 14th and 20th Corps moved toward Sandersville while the 17th Corps fought briefly against a mix of Kentucky Militia, Georgia Military Institute cadets, and Georgia convicts.

On November 25, 1867, Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel filed a patent for dynamite. On November 25, 1895, Nobel wrote his will, leaving the equivalent of roughly $186 million (2008 dollars) to endow the Nobel prizes.

On November 25, 1920, the first play-by-play broadcast of a college football game took place at College Station as Texas A&M (then Mechanical College of Texas) took the field against Texas University.

President John F. Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on November 25, 1963.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience played its first show at the Bag O’Nails Club in London on November 25, 1966.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The national media is making hay of President Trump’s stated preference for Doug Collins to be appointed to the Senate. From New York magazine, a well-known connoisseur of Georgia politics.

According to multiple sources, Trump is cashing in his chits with Kemp by demanding that he fill the Isakson seat with Congressman Doug Collins, his personal pit bull on the House Judiciary Committee. Here’s how the Wall Street Journalreports it:

In recent days, the president has spoken to Mr. Kemp at least twice—once face-to-face in Atlanta and once on the phone—urging him to pick Rep. Doug Collins (R., Ga.), a vocal supporter of the president in Congress, these people said. Mr. Collins, a white conservative from north Georgia, has pushed for months to get the seat that Sen. Johnny Isakson, 74 years old, is leaving at the end of the year because of health problems.

Kemp is focused on the difficult task of defending two Senate seats in a presidential year in which Georgia could become a national battleground state thanks to recent Democratic gains. Two north Atlanta suburban House districts will also be in play. Loeffler, a white woman from Atlanta, is wealthy enough to self-finance a campaign. The governor has exhibited fury at anyone telling him what to do on this appointment, though again, he owes Trump.

There is a wild card in Kemp’s deliberations, though. If there’s anyone he owes even more for his election than Trump, it would be the Perdue cousins: Senator David and former Governor and Trump Secretary of Agriculture Sonny, who helped bring Trump into the 2018 contest on Kemp’s behalf, and who together have been dominant figures in the state party for years.

It’s worth noting that if you’re tallying Gov. Kemp’s relationship with the Perdues, it also includes then-Gov. Sonny Perdue appointing Kemp Secretary of State in 2010.

Joe Biden floated the names of two Georgians as potential running mates, according to The Hill.

At a town hall Friday night, Biden was asked about his pick, and he joked back to the questioner, “You. Are you available?” USA Today reported.

Biden did not provide any specific names, but he said several people are qualified, including “the former assistant attorney general who got fired,” referring to former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates; “the woman who should have been the governor of Georgia,” referring to Stacey Abrams; and “the two senators from the state of New Hampshire,” referring to Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D) and Maggie Hassan (D).

Yates was fired by President Trump in 2017 after refusing to to defend his administration’s travel ban. She was serving as the acting attorney general at the time.

Abrams, a former Georgia state lawmaker, came close to defeating Republican Brian Kemp for the Georgia governor’s seat in 2018. She said in a speech at the University of Iowa earlier this month that she would be “happy” to run as a vice presidential candidate.

The Rev. Al Sharpton was in Atlanta last week, according to the AJC.

In a crowded banquet room at Paschal’s Restaurant, the Rev. Al Sharpton and clergy members from his National Action Network organization held court Thursday with five presidential candidates who took turns at the lectern promising to embrace civil rights as a central cause.

“This election is going to be one of the most important in American history, and certainly in our lifetime,” he said. “I know we say that all the time, but when you look at it, this time it’s clear.”

The candidates speaking to Sharpton’s group were Tom Steyer, Sen. Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and Pete Buttigieg.

The Georgia Public Defender Council is backtracking on furloughs, according to the AJC.

The Georgia Public Defender Council – which represents indigent defendants – had planned to furlough employees 10 days this fiscal year to meet Kemp’s call for 4 percent budget cuts from most agencies. Staffers had one furlough day – the loss of a day’s pay – last month.

However, Kemp’s office confirmed that the governor’s Office of Planning and Budget talked to agency officials and the furloughs won’t be continued.

Kemp this summer ordered agencies to cut 4 percent this fiscal year, which ends June 30, and six percent next year, to both prepare in case of a recession and provide money for his priorities, such as teacher pay raises.

Not everything is being cut equally across state government. Some massive enrollment-driven programs — such as K-12 schools, universities and Medicaid, the health care program for the poor and disabled — are exempt.

The State House Study Committee on Maternal Mortality heard about mental health’s effects on the topic, according to The Brunswick News.

“The research is at the point we can say there’s a clear influence in maternal mental health and the development of the fetus,” [Mercer University professor Dr. Jennifer] Barkin said.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests a full assessment of mood and emotional well-being during the postpartum visit, and the American Academy of Pediatricians suggests screening at the 1-, 2-, 4- and 6-month visits.

The videos of the hearing — which is done in two parts — are available at livestream.com/accounts/25225474/events/8737135.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger wants to publish the results of election audits, according to the Albany Herald.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced last week he is asking the State Elections Board to pass a rule setting procedures to publicize the time and location of post-election audits.

He also noted that the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency announced this week it is investing the auditing tool that Georgia used to audit the Nov. 5 Cartersville municipal election. Georgia made history by being the first state in the Southeast to pilot a risk-limiting audit of an election.

“Audits are an important part of the new, secure paper-ballot voting system because they give the public confidence in how the election was conducted and the integrity of the results,” Raffensperger said. “Just like the public is notified of the time and location of pre-election logic and accuracy testing of voting equipment, audits after elections should be similarly public.”

Congressmen Rob Woodall (R-Gwinnett) and Hank Johnson (D-DeKalb) teamed up to introduce legislation recognizing Gold Star fathers, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

“I believe it is important to extend the same recognition to Gold Star Fathers as it currently exists for Gold Star Mothers and families,” Johnson said in a statement. “On Gold Star Father’s Day, we will honor fathers who have lost children in service to the United States of America and recognize their unimaginable loss. The debt we owe our veterans and their families is immeasurable. The sacrifices of those we have lost, and those of their families on the home front, are the foundation of the freedoms we hold dear.”

Woodall said, “For a Gold Star family, every day is their own personal Memorial Day. Gold Star family members are strong and resilient and want to do nothing more than carry on their loved one’s legacy.”

“We will remember them as mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and remember them as the ones we loved, and most importantly we will remember them as heroes. I am proud to support this bipartisan legislation. Gold Star Father’s Day will ensure that those who made the ultimate sacrifice will be remembered for generations well beyond our years.”

Early voting is open in the runoff elections for city council in College Park, Roswell and Johns Creek, according to the Patch.

Early Voting for the General Municipal Election Runoff will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. The balloting will be for municipal races in the cities of College Park, Roswell and Johns Creek.

Polls will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, and on Nov. 29. For those not voting early or via absentee ballot, the General Municipal Runoff Election is scheduled for Dec. 3.

Chris Herbert with the Valdosta Daily Times receives three points for merit for the opening line of this article:

Early voting will end just before tryptophan overdoses begin.

Hours for the final week of early voting in the runoff election will be 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25, through Wednesday, Nov. 27. It ends before Thanksgiving begins.

All early voting will occur at the Lowndes County Board of Elections, 2808 N. Oak St.

Glynn County Commissioner Bob Coleman was acquitted of all charges by a federal jury, according to The Brunswick News.

A Glynn County grand jury handed down a six-count indictment against Coleman in June, charging him with two counts of insurance fraud and four of violating the Georgia Insurance Code’s reporting and disposition of premium requirement.

Visiting Superior Court Judge David Cavender dropped charges five and six due to a lack of evidence on Friday morning.

After roughly an hour and a half of deliberation, the jury returned its verdict Friday evening, finding Coleman not guilty of the remaining four counts.

“How about a double-capital amen,” Coleman said immediately following the jury’s verdict on Friday.

“It’s like I said from the beginning. I never stole any money in my life, and I’m not going to start now.”

Airports in Perry and Columbus will receive federal grants from the U.S.Department of Transportation. From the Ledger-Enquirer:

In total, five airports in Georgia will receive $12.6 million, according to a release Friday from the DOT U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. The grant money will be used for a variety of projects across the state and here in the Chattahoochee Valley.

Columbus will receive $3.5 million, the highest amount out of the five Georgia airports. The money will be used to fund terminal building modifications, according to the release.

The other Georgia airports receiving grant money include:

Cartersville: $2.7 million to fund safety area improvements for Runway 1/19.
Hazlehurst: $2.4 million to fund Runway 14/32 rehabilitation.
Perry-Houston County: $2 million to fund a new aircraft-parking apron.
Kaolin Field: $2 million to fund Runway 13/31 rehabilitation.

Reggie Forrester will retire as administrator of Hall County courts at the end of November, according to the Gainesville Times.

Hall County public schools are considering how to address mental illness, according to the Gainesville Times.

Lanier College & Career Academy was chosen as the pilot location of Hall’s Mental Health Initiative.

Kevin Bales, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, Jeff Jenkins, LCCA principal, and Tamara Etterling, director of student services, teamed up with Joy Schofield to plan the initiative.

Etterling said last year Hall sent out a Georgia health survey to elementary and middle schools.

The results showed that one in five students have mental health issues.

The piece of data that resonated with her the most, included the fact that 5.68% of students in Georgia said they wanted to hurt themselves.

John Mitchell is resigning his seat on the Clarkesville City Council, triggering a March 2020 Special Election to replace him, according to AccessWDUN.

Rome City Commission may vote today to raise water and sewer rates, according to the Rome News Tribune.

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