Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 8, 2020


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 8, 2020

The Georgia General Assembly appropriated $1 million for construction of a new State Capitol on September 8, 1883.

The Fulton County Courthouse was dedicated on September 8, 1914.

On September 8, 1966, viewers of the Star Trek debut first heard the monologue opening, “Space, the final frontier…”

On Sept. 8, one of the most enduring franchises in TV and movie history celebrates its 50th birthday. Star Trek debuted on NBC in 1966, developed by Roddenberry, a former Los Angeles cop who wanted to make a TV series which could sneak past the rampant escapism of most programs back then.

At a time when scripted TV rarely dealt directly with the turbulence of the times, Star Trek set its social messages against a space opera backdrop. Swashbuckling Captain Kirk ran the Enterprise, backed by cerebral first officer Mr. Spock and emotional Southern medical officer Dr. Leonard McCoy.

On the surface, the show’s plots dealt with exotic alien worlds in a future where space travel was commonplace. But Roddenberry and his writers slipped in subtle messages.

One classic story pointed out the absurdity of racism by depicting a war among members of an alien race, where one faction was colored black on the left side of their face and body and white on the right. The other faction had the colors reversed.

And as the end of state-sanctioned segregation rattled America, Roddenberry featured TV’s first interracial kiss: Aliens forced Captain Kirk to smooch his African American communications officer Lt. Uhura.

President Gerald Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon on September 8, 1974 for“all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

I’ll go ahead an apologize for something that’s not my fault. Every YouTube clip I try to watch begins with a Stacey Abrams fundraising pitch. I’m sorry if you have to watch those in order to see any of today’s clips.

If you want to see more of Vice President Governor Stacey Abrams, you can head to Bulloch County for a showing of a documentary about her. From the Statesboro Herald:

A pop-up drive-in premiere of “All In: The Fight for Democracy,” the Amazon Original movie featuring 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and others campaigning against voter suppression, is scheduled for Tuesday night at the Bulloch County Agricultural Complex.

Gates to the viewing area at the complex, 44 Arena Boulevard off Langston Chapel Road and U.S. Highway 301, will open at 7 p.m. for the screening set to begin at 8:30 p.m. Organizers ask that everyone wishing to attend go to to register for a free ticket, or “car pass.” Registration is required in case attendance reaches the maximum number of viewing spaces.

The documentary, written by Jack Youngelson and directed by Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortes, will simultaneously premiere at two other locations, the Starlight Drive-In Theatre in Atlanta and the Jesup Drive-In in Jesup. Bulloch’s Ag Complex is the only pop-up location. The Southern Poverty Law Center is billed as a partner for the premiere events.

The description provided with the premiere announcement states: “With the perspective and expertise of Stacey Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, the documentary offers an insider’s look into laws and barriers to voting that most people don’t even know are threats to their basic rights as citizens of the United States.”

From NBC News:

Organizers were in for a surprise when 4,000 boats arrived from the originally anticipated 700 in support of reelecting President Donald J. Trump.

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the boating event went smoothly.

From Fox5Atlanta:

Hundreds of people participated in a massive boat parade Sunday morning to show their support for President Trump.

The “Great American Boat Parade,” started in Lake Lanier around 10:30 a.m. and lasted through the afternoon. It was one of several boat parades that took place across the country.

From Newsweek:

Yet another boat parade attended by President Donald Trump supporters can lay claim to being the biggest ever seen after thousands turned up on a lake in Georgia.

Organizers of Sunday’s “Great American Boat Parade” on Lake Lanier had expected that several hundreds of people would turn up to the event promoted as a show of appreciation for first responders and the “leadership of this great nation.”

However, officials at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said that between 3,000 to 4,000 vessels were at the parade, according to Mark McKinnon at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Access WDUN reports.

According to the Guinness World Records, the current largest boat parade saw 1,080 vessels, which was set in Terengganu, Malaysia, on 13 September 2014.

“It went really smooth, we haven’t received any reports of boats sinking or swamping or getting turned over,” Georgia Department of Natural Resources Game Warden Kevin Goss told 11 Alive.

Priscilla Smith, aka “Donna Trump,” is running against Republican State Rep. Bert Reeves (R-highest point in Marietta), according to 11Alive.

When Georgia state Sen. Nikema Williams was arrested during a protest in 2018, Priscilla Smith was arrested then, too.

“It’s been very heartening to see people get in the streets, because they care,” Smith said. “I hope they get in the voting booth because they care,” Smith said.

In 2019, Smith says she spent every legislative day at the capitol as an activist. She stood out because she assumed a character she called “Donna J. Trump.”

“I don’t know that many people who know her. I’ve never met her. But to answer your question, I’m taking this very very seriously,” Reeves told 11Alive News.

United States Senator David Perdue (R-Glynn County) announced his campaign’s endorsement from former Republican Senators, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Supporting Perdue are former Sens. Johnny Isakson, who retired from Congress at the end of last year; Saxby Chambliss, who left Washington in 2014 to be succeeded by Perdue; and Mack Mattingly, elected in 1980 as Georgia’s first Republican U.S. senator since Reconstruction.

“For the better part of five years, I had the honor of working directly with David to represent Georgia in the United States Senate,” Isakson said. “I’ve seen firsthand how dedicated he is to improving our health care system, taking care of our veterans and expanding opportunities for our young people. We need David Perdue to keep fighting for us in the Senate.”

Perdue also landed an endorsement Friday from Nancy Coverdell, the widow of former Republican U.S. Sen. Paul Coverdell, who served from 1993 until his death in 2000.

Governor Brian Kemp made a campaign trail appearance in Gwinnett County supporting Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-Atlanta), according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Gov. Brian Kemp has been joining Loeffler on the campaign trail around the state at times in recent days to support her campaign for this year’s special election to fill the remainder of her seat. Kemp appointed Loeffler to the seat late last year to replace retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson until a special election could be held in November to fill the remainder of Isakson’s unexpired term.

“When you think about it,” Kemp said after the Peachtree Corners event on Wednesday. “She’s a lot like our president, she’s a lot like our senior Sen. David Perdue. They didn’t grow up in politics. They didn’t make their way in politics. they were business people. They were proven. They were successful. They were outsiders. I personally think right now people want outsiders in D.C. to go up there and fight for Georgians no matter what (and) not be held to influence by any party leaders or other bureaucrats, lobbyists anything else.”

“She didn’t owe anything to anybody up there and that appealed to me.”

“The governor and I are united in working for Georgians and making sure that Georgians have everything they need to get back to their normal lives to go to work, church and school,” Loeffler said after Wednesday’s campaign event.

Wait times for voting will be available online for the November elections, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Georgians voting Nov. 3 will be able to see poll wait times in real time.

The elections assistant program will provide real-time updates (every 30 minutes or so) on wait times at polling locations across each county.

Once the three weeks of early voting begin prior to Election Day, residents can go to the URL and view a map of the state that can magnify their county and find out how long the wait to vote will be. The URL is not accessible to the public before early voting starts.

“Well, for voters, they can look at either early voting which is up here or their polling place and see what the wait time is and decide when to go,” said Deb Cox, Lowndes County supervisor of election. “I mean you can’t beat that. Can’t get any better than that.”

“It gives you an increased level of accountability for all counties which is a good thing. Everything is totally transparent in public. That’s a positive.”

Valdosta City Council returns to 1998 to consider a saggy pants ordinance. From the Valdosta Daily Times:

Valdosta City Councilman Eric Howard has turned his focus on an old passion project: saggy pants.

Howard said the next item he would like to see added to a council agenda is an ordinance against people with sagging pants below their waists.

“I’d like to see people pull their pants up and show respect for others,” he said. “It doesn’t set a good example for our youth.”

The local community saw an effort to combat saggy pants by Valdosta City Schools in 2007 when the school system announced a stricter dress code due in part to students potentially carrying weapons underneath their clothing, according to then-VCS Superintendent Sam Allen.

“A lot of students are able to smuggle in a large number of weapons because of sagging pants,” Allen said back then in a Valdosta Daily Times article.

Valdosta City Council discussed measures against saggy pants during council retreats in 2012 and 2014.

The Walker County Messenger has a Q&A with the candidates for Walker County Commission District 1.

On Nov. 3, voters in Walker County’s District 1 will choose between 31-year-old Republican candidate Robert Blakemore and 71-year-old Democrat candidate Bobby McDonald to represent them on the new multi-person commission. The district includes Rossville and the northeast corner of the county.

The other district commissioner races on the Nov. 3 ballot are District 2 and District 3. The chairman and District 4 commissioner races were decided in the primary and runoff elections, respectively.

Chatham County Commissioners are considering requiring residents of unincorporated parts of the county to have private trash and fire service, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Richmond County public schools start today with in-person and online attendance, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Clarke County schools start today with online only, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

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