Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 12, 2021

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 12, 2021

President George Washington returned to the City of Washington on November 13, 1789, ending the first Presidential tour.

On the same day, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to his friend Jean-Baptiste LeRoy, in which he said,

“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

General William Tecumseh Sherman ordered the destruction of railroad and telegraph lines between Atlanta and Northwest Georgia on November 12, 1864. Sherman also burned the railroad bridge over the Chattahoochee, cutting his own supply line from Chattanooga. General Sherman’s army prepared for the March to the Sea on November 14, 1864.

On November 13, 1865, the United States government issued the first Gold Certificates.

The Georgia General Assembly adopted a resolution against ratifying the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution on November 13, 1866.

In deciding not to ratify the 14th Amendment, the General Assembly adopted a committee report explaining that: “1. If Georgia is not a State composing part of the Federal Government known as the Government of the United States, amendments to the Constitution of the United States are not properly before this body. 2. If Georgia is a State composing part of the Federal Government … , these these amendments are not proposed according to the requirements of the Federal Constitution, and are proposed in such a manner as to forbid the legislature from discussing the merits of the amendments without an implied surrender of the rights of the State.”

Excavation began for a new Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on the site of the former City Hall/Fulton County Courthouse on November 13, 1884.

In what looks to me like a surprisingly progressive move for the 19th century, Governor John B. Gordon signed legislation on November 12, 1889 opening the University of Georgia to white women.

On November 12, 1918, Atlanta held a victory parade to celebrate the Armistice with Germany.

Walt Disney released “Fantasia” on November 13, 1940.

On November 12, 1944, the Atlanta Constitution released a poll of Georgia legislators indicating that most wanted more local rule for cities and counties in the new Constitution being drafted. Georgia Governor and Constitutional Commission Chair Ellis Arnall moved that a home rule provision be included in the new draft of the state Constitution and his motion passed 8-7 on November 13, 1944.

On November 14, 1944, the Constitutional Convention working on a revised document for Georgia reversed its position on home rule that had been adopted the previous day on the motion of Governor Ellis Arnall.

On November 13, 1956, the United States Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that struck down a law requiring segregation on buses in Montgomery, Alabama.

President Jimmy Carter ordered an end to oil imports from Iran on November 12, 1979.

Ronald Reagan announced his campaign for the Republican nomination for President of the United States on November 13, 1979.

“The people have not created this disaster in our economy; the federal government has. It has overspent, overestimated, and over regulated. It has failed to deliver services within the revenues it should be allowed to raise from taxes. In the thirty-four years since the end of World War II, it has spent 448 billion dollars more than it has collection in taxes – 448 billion dollars of printing press money, which has made every dollar you earn worth less and less. At the same time, the federal government has cynically told us that high taxes on business will in some way “solve” the problem and allow the average taxpayer to pay less. Well, business is not a taxpayer it is a tax collector. Business has to pass its tax burden on to the customer as part of the cost of doing business. You and I pay the taxes imposed on business every time we go to the store. Only people pay taxes and it is political demagoguery or economic illiteracy to try and tell us otherwise.”

“The key to restoring the health of the economy lies in cutting taxes. At the same time, we need to get the waste out of federal spending. This does not mean sacrificing essential services, nor do we need to destroy the system of benefits which flow to the poor, the elderly, the sick and the handicapped. We have long since committed ourselves, as a people, to help those among us who cannot take care of themselves. But the federal government has proven to be the costliest and most inefficient provider of such help we could possibly have.”

“I believe this nation hungers for a spiritual revival; hungers to once again see honor placed above political expediency; to see government once again the protector of our liberties, not the distributor of gifts and privilege. Government should uphold and not undermine those institutions which are custodians of the very values upon which civilization is founded—religion, education and, above all, family. Government cannot be clergyman, teacher and parent. It is our servant, beholden to us.”

“We who are privileged to be Americans have had a rendezvous with destiny since the moment in 1630 when John Winthrop, standing on the deck of the tiny Arbella off the coast of Massachusetts, told the little band of pilgrims, “We shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world.”

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on November 13, 1982 in Washington, DC.

Tim Berners-Lee published a Proposal for a HyperText Project, laying the foundation for the World Wide Web, on November 12, 1990.

HyperText is a way to link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will. Potentially, HyperText provides a single user-interface to many large classes of stored information such as reports, notes, data-bases, computer documentation and on-line systems help.

A program which provides access to the hypertext world we call a browser. A hypertext page has pieces of text which refer to other texts. Such references are highlighted and can be selected with a mouse. When you select a reference, the browser presents you with the text which is referenced.

The texts are linked together in a way that one can go from one concept to another to find the information one wants. The network of links is called a web.

On November 12, 2000, George W. Bush took the lead for the first time in the New Mexico vote count, paving the way for his eventual election as President. From the New York Times:

Gov. George W. Bush of Texas late Friday night took the lead from Vice President Al Gore in the race to claim New Mexico’s five electoral votes with what now stands as the slimmest statewide margin in the country and one of the narrowest in American history.

After 257 missing ballots were found on Friday, and Bernalillo County officials here decided to count 379 ballots by hand that had been rejected by electronic voting machines on Tuesday, Mr. Bush led Mr. Gore by just four votes — among nearly 600,000 cast. The count was 285,644 for Mr. Bush, and 285,640 for Mr. Gore, according to totals from the state and the county.

Mr. Gore, who now has 255 electoral votes, seemed the apparent winner in New Mexico on Tuesday night by about 5,000 votes. But by late Wednesday, county officials had discovered that 67,000 absentee and early ballots had not been counted.

By midnight on Thursday, nearly all the ballots had been tallied and added to the county totals, but county officials then found that 252 votes — a number that reached 257 by Friday — were missing. They also grappled with the problem of what to do with an ever changing number of ballots that voting machines had rejected.

Then, on Friday afternoon, Lou Melvin, a precinct judge, found a locked black ballot box in an outer storage room in the county warehouse building where all the tabulations were being conducted.

It would be a month before the Supreme Court rendered a decision in Bush v. Gore, ending the election.

From the New York Post, dated November 12, 2000:

Republican George W. Bush yesterday took an infinitesimal lead – just 17 votes – in New Mexico, flipping a state that was put in rival Al Gore’s column for days, then moved to undecided Friday as Gore’s lead shriveled.

It’s another black eye for the TV networks who rushed to judgment and wrongly called New Mexico for Gore on Election Night, just as they miscalled Florida – first for Gore and then for Bush before going back to undecided.

The TV network fumbles are coupled with coast-to-coast ballot bumbles that have undermined America’s faith in the whole voting system as four states could join Florida in recount-land: New Mexico, Wisconsin, Oregon and Iowa.

On November 13, 2006, groundbreaking began for a memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Three astronauts with connections to Georgia – Eric Boe, Robert Kimbrough, and Sandra Magnus – were aboard the space shuttle Endeavor when it lifted off on November 14, 2008.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Former Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson (D) was sworn in to the State House of Representatives, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Jackson was sworn in Wednesday morning, officially kicking off her term, which stretches through January 2023. Jackson was elected to fill out the remainder of longtime Rep. Mickey Stephens’ term, which runs until the end of 2022. Stephens died earlier this year.

“I’m excited,” Jackson said. “I’m excited because I know now that I can be of service to the residents of Savannah and Chatham County.”

Upon her swearing in, Jackson joined her House colleagues in participating in the once-per-decade redistricting session, which began Nov. 3. Jackson campaigned on being her district’s voice in that process.

The day after her election, she walked back a previous statement about running again in 2022. She’d previously vowed only to fill out the remainder of Stephens’ term. But after hearing feedback from her supporters, she’s now taking a “wait-and-see” approach.

But for the coming year, she’ll be serving on three House committees: higher education, economic development and tourism as well as human relations and aging.

Jackson won soundly on election night, taking home 53% of the vote in the five-candidate race. Former Board of Elections Member Antwan Lang finished second with 18.68%. A total of 5,145 voters cast their ballot in the District 165 race.

Warner Robins auditors had raised concerns about timely financial reporting years before a tax lien was revealed, according to 13WMAZ.

For the past three years, auditors Nichols, Cauley & Associates warned that the city had problems in providing accurate and timely financial records.

“For [Mayor Randy Toms] to say he had no clue this was going on, my God, he was misleading the people, because we knew about it. The auditors came to us and said, ‘You guys have a filing issue.’ They were very blunt about it and we were like, ‘Why didn’t you come to us about it before now?’” Thomas said.

Thomas served on the council from 2014 to 2019 and says during his term, Toms didn’t like being challenged.

Former Mayor Chuck Shaheen also served on city council under Toms and says as mayor, he was aware of the finances.

“I was in our CFO’s office twice a week, so it shouldn’t have been a shock — you ought to be able to work with your staff and council people to know where your finances are in every aspect of your city government,” Shaheen said.

Jurors are deliberating the case against elected Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Mark Jones, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

The State Senate State and Local Operations Committee recommended passage of legislation to increase the mumber of Gwinnett County Commissioners, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

A bill to add five district seats to the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners was approved by a Georgia Senate committee on Thursday over objections from local officials and some committee members over the racial make up of proposed districts and the financial cost to Gwinnett taxpayers.

The Senate State and Local Government Operations Committee voted 4-3 along party lines to approve a Republican-backed plan to expand the county commission from four districts to five districts.

Opponents raised concerns about whether the proposed map would create about five majority-white commission districts in a majority-minority county. There were also concerns raised about the financial cost to the county since each county commissioner is not only paid a salary but has a staff, which incurs additional salary and benefits costs, to handle constituent issues.

The bill, officially labeled Senate Bill 6 EX, is expected to go to the Senate floor for consideration on Friday. If passed, it would then go to the House of Representatives next week.

State Sen. Clint Dixon, R-Buford, filed the bill and state Rep. Chuck Efstration, R-Dacula, said he plans to carry the bill in the House.

Norfolk Southern opened their new Midtown Atlanta headquarters yesterday, according to GlobalAtlanta.com.

Rail giant Norfolk Southern opened a gleaming new headquarters in Midtown Wednesday, a consolidation of more than 3,000 jobs that state and city leaders said would reverberate throughout Georgia.

Attending the ribbon-cutting at the glass tower on West Peachtree Street, Gov. Brian Kemp said the move is yet more proof of Georgia’s attractive business climate and a logistics network that has made the state globally competitive.

“Goods traversing Norfolk Southern’s rails supply both business and consumer needs across the globe, while also providing the sustainable and efficient rail transpiration Georgia’s booming economy depends on,” Mr. Kemp wrote in prepared remarks, noting that the company employs more than 3,900 people across the state.

U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., pointed out that the groundbreaking comes just after the passage of a more than $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill in Congress that will lead to substantial investments in the state’s railways, ports and highways.

In his remarks, CEO Jim Squires said rail is the most efficient way to move goods over land, and keeping trucks off the road reduces carbon emissions while relieving stress on taxpayer-funded highways.

Stonecrest Mayor Jason Lary waived indictment on charges of public corruption, according to the Associated Press.

Stonecrest Mayor Jason Lary appeared in court Wednesday, pleading not guilty to charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and federal program theft.

But defense lawyer Dwight Thomas said the 59-year-old Lary won’t fight the charges.

”He accepts full responsibility,” Thomas told reporters, “and there won’t be a jury trial.”

Because of how much money Lary is alleged to have stolen, federal sentencing guidelines are likely to call to a multiyear prison term.

The charges allege Lary created three companies — Visit Us, Battleground Media and Real Estate Management Consultants — and asked businesses and churches that got parts of Stonecrest’s $6.2 million in coronavirus relief money to give portions of their payments to the entities for what he represented were tourism promotion, advertising and rent assistance.

However, prosecutors say Lary pocketed $650,000. They say he used some of the money to pay off the $108,000 mortgage on his lake house, and other funds to pay back taxes. Prosecutors allege Lary paid Boone $7,600 to cover her child’s college tuition, room and board.

It’s unclear if or when Lary will resign as mayor of Stonecrest, which he has led since the southeast DeKalb city was incorporated in 2017.

“My attorney and I are in the process of negotiating with the city of Stonecrest,” Lary told WSB-TV. He said he’s seeking a settlement with the city.

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