Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 6, 2022

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May

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 6, 2022

Georgia and American History

On May 6, 1789, the Constitutional Convention in Augusta, Georgia adopted a new Georgia Constitution.

George Washington attended the first inaugural ball on May 7, 1789 on Broadway near Wall Street in New York.

Washington arrived at the ball in the company of other American statesmen and their wives. That evening he danced with many of New York’s society ladies. Vice President John Adams, members of Congress and visiting French and Spanish dignitaries, as well their wives and daughters, joined in the festivities. Eliza Hamilton, wife of Alexander Hamilton, recorded her impressions of the ball in her memoirs, noting that the president liked to dance the minuet, a dance she thought was suited to his dignity and gravity.

Congress passed the second part of the Militia Act on May 8, 1792, requiring all able-bodied white male citizens to be enrolled in the militia.

A Constitutional Convention convened on May 8, 1798 in Louisville, Georgia to rewrite the state Constitution after the Yazoo Land Fraud.

The Southern Baptist Convention was formed in Augusta, Georgia on May 8, 1845.

On May 9, 1862, a Union general, David Hunter, ordered the freedom of all slaves held in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, but President Lincoln issued a counter-order.

The Battle of the Wilderness began on May 5, 1864, between the Army of the Potomac, led by General Ulysses S. Grant, and the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee.

On May 7, 1864, General Ulysses S. Grant disengaged his Army of the Potomac from fighting against General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, ending the Battle of the Wilderness.

Although the Wilderness is usually described as a draw, it could be called a tactical Confederate victory, but a strategic victory for the Union army. Lee inflicted heavy numerical casualties (see estimates below) on Grant, but as a percentage of Grant’s forces they were smaller than the percentage of casualties suffered by Lee’s smaller army. And, unlike Grant, Lee had very little opportunity to replenish his losses. Understanding this disparity, part of Grant’s strategy was to grind down the Confederate army by waging a war of attrition. The only way that Lee could escape from the trap that Grant had set was to destroy the Army of the Potomac while he still had sufficient force to do so, but Grant was too skilled to allow that to happen. Thus, the Overland Campaign, initiated by the crossing of the Rappahannock, and opening with this battle, set in motion the eventual destruction of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Therefore, even though Grant withdrew at the end of the battle (which is usually the action of the defeated side), unlike his predecessors since 1861, Grant continued his campaign instead of retreating to the safety of Washington, D.C. The significance of Grant’s advance was noted by James M. McPherson:

[I]nstead of heading north, they turned south. A mental sunburst brightened their minds. It was not another “Chancellorsville … another skedaddle” after all. “Our spirits rose,” recalled one veteran who remembered this moment as a turning point in the war. Despite the terrors of the past three days and those to come, “we marched free. The men began to sing.” For the first time in a Virginia campaign the Army of the Potomac stayed on the offensive after its initial battle.

May 7, 1864 saw some of the first fighting in the Atlanta campaign, northwest of Dalton, Georgia.

On May 8, 1864, Union forces under Sherman continued to engage Confederates at the Battle of Rocky Face Ridge four miles west of Dalton, Georgia, seizing Blue Mountain.

Elsewhere on the same day, the Army of the Potomac under Grant reached Spotsylvania Court House in Virginia and found that Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia had beaten them there from the Battle of the Wilderness. Grant’s Army of the Potomac remained engaged against Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House through May 21, 1864.

On May 5, 1886, Jefferson Davis attended a public reception at Savannah, Georgia’s City Hall.

Jefferson Davis spoke in Savannah, Georgia on May 6, 1866.

Davis … defend[ed] the South’s cause in the Civil War, stating, “In 1776 the colonies acquired State sovereignty. They revolted from the mother country in a desperate struggle. That was the cause for which they fought. Is it a lost cause now? Never. Has Georgia lost the State sovereignty which … she won in 1776? No, a thousand times no.” Davis’s fiery remarks were captured by reporters for the New York Times and other northern newspapers.

Because of the national attention generated over his visit to Alabama and Georgia, Davis took a more conciliatory tone in a speech that evening, noting, “There are some who take it for granted that when I allude to State sovereignty I want to bring on another war. I am too old to fight again, and God knows I don’t want you to have the necessity of fighting again… . The celebration today is a link in the long chain of affection that binds you and the North together. Long may it be true.”

Boston Red Sox pitcher Cy Young threw a perfect game against the Detroit Tigers on May 5, 1904.

On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister became the first person to break the four-minute barrier for running the mile.

For years, so many athletes had tried and failed to run a mile in less than four minutes that people made it out to be a physical impossibility. The world record for a mile was 4 minutes and 1.3 seconds, set by Gunder Hagg of Sweden in 1945. Despite, or perhaps because of, the psychological mystique surrounding the four-minute barrier, several runners in the early 1950s dedicated themselves to being the first to cross into the three-minute zone.

At 6 p.m., the starting gun was fired. In a carefully planned race, Bannister was aided by Chris Brasher, a former Cambridge runner who acted as a pacemaker. For the first half-mile, Brasher led the field, with Bannister close behind, and then another runner took up the lead and reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 3 minutes 0.4 seconds, with Bannister at 3 minutes 0.7 seconds. Bannister took the lead with about 350 yards to go and passed an unofficial timekeeper at the 1,500-meter mark in 3 minutes 43 seconds, thus equaling the world’s record for that distance. Thereafter, Bannister threw in all his reserves and broke the tape in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. As soon as the first part of his score was announced–”three minutes…”–the crowd erupted in pandemonium.

A “sub-four” is still a notable time, but top international runners now routinely accomplish the feat. Because a mile is not a metric measurement, it is not a regular track event nor featured in the Olympics. It continues, however, to be run by many top runners as a glamour event.

Alan Shepard, Jr. became the first American in space on May 5, 1961, making a 15 minute sub-orbital flight that reached an altitude of 115 miles, during which he experienced about five minutes of ‘weightlessness.’ He was launched in the 2,000-lb. capsule Freedom 7 from Cape Canaveral, Florida… The flight traveled 302 miles at a speed relative to the ground of 4,500 mph. The mission was named Mercury-Redstone 3, or Freedom 7.

Keith Richards recorded the first version of the guitar riff that would become “Satisfaction” early in the morning of May 7, 1965 before passing out.

Jimmy Carter’s Presidential campaign received a boost on May 7, 1976 when he received the personal endorsement of the President of the United Auto Workers.

On May 6, 1984, Spinal Tap played a “comeback show” at CBGB’s in New York.

On May 6, 1996, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Atlanta was the most dangerous city in America.

On May 7, 1996, Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell responded to the FBI Report that ranked Atlanta the most violent city in the nation. Campbell would succeed in replacing headlines about Atlanta’s violent crime by substituting headlines about official corruption.

Parliament-Funkadelic were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio on May 6, 1997.

Happy Birthday on Saturday to Bill Kreutzman, one of the drummers for the Grateful Dead. On Kreutzman’s 31st birthday, the Dead played at Boston Garden. The next night was the legendary Cornell show.

On May 8, 1977, the Grateful Dead played at Cornell.

On May 9, 1977, the Grateful Dead played at Buffalo War Memorial Auditorium.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Gwinnett County Tax Commissioner Tiffany Porter died after repeated bouts with breast cancer, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Porter, 43, was nearly a year-and-a-half into her term as tax commissioner, having been elected to the office in 2020. Porter was surrounded by her family and friends when she died, her office said.

“Ms. Porter overcame many obstacles to achieve the ambitious goals she set for herself,” Chief Deputy Tax Commissioner Denise Mitchell said. “I will always remember her as a strong, resilient, brilliant spirit, and all the joy she brought to us. We will miss her.”

Porter was the first African-American to be elected to the tax commissioner’s office in Gwinnett County, and was one of several Black women who were elected at the forefront of the county’s switch from Republican to Democratic control between the 2018 and 2020 election cycles.

She was the mother of four children — Brandon, 23, Nia, 20, Zoe, 17, and Tori, 15 — and had been the first person in her family to get a college degree as well as a law degree, and to pass the bar exam. She was also the first African-American to serve as Duluth’s Municipal Court judge prior to being elected as tax commissioner.

The tax commissioner’s office will be closed on the day of her funeral. That date has not yet been set.

[Chief Deputy Tax Commissioner Denise] Mitchell will succeed Porter in the office and fill the remainder of Porter’s term in office, which is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2024.

Georgia Supreme Court Justice Verda Colvin was asked about how the leak of a U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion affects other courts, according to WALB.

Colvin was appointed to the Georgia Supreme Court in July. She is up for re-election in November. She is opposed by Veronica Brinson for her Justice position.

Regarding the current Roe vs. Wade leak from the nation’s Supreme Court, Justice Colvin said it is devastating to all judicial systems of the country. She said she is very concerned by politics being forced into all judicial branches of government.

“It’s devastating to who we are as a democracy. It’s devastating to the separation of the three branches of government. Judicial is separate from the executive, is separate from the legislature. And that leak, because of the controversial nature of the issue at hand, bleeds the judicial into everything else.”

Justice Colvin said the leak could make Americans unsure of the work of the court justices. She says draft opinions often change dramatically before they are announced, and that might polarize the judiciary even more.

The Gainesville Times asked some local candidates about the leaked draft.

“I’m grateful that it looks like we’ve got the federal government — Joe Biden — out of the way,” state Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, told The Times. “That’s the indication. … My goal is to protect life. If the court goes the way the leak suggests, we’ll have Joe Biden out of the way and we can do more in Georgia to protect life.”

Miller, who is running for lieutenant governor, said he was in favor of banning abortions, and he voted for the “heartbeat bill” in 2019, which would decrease the window women have to get an abortion from about 20 weeks to around six weeks, which is typically when a doctor can detect a heartbeat in the fetus.

Some Georgia Republicans have suggested holding a special session to outlaw all abortions, but Miller said that would be “putting the cart before the horse,” because the court’s decision has not yet been made.

“I understand people wanting to be preemptive, but let’s be measured and deliberative,” he said. “My goal is to protect life.”

The Commission for Access to Medical Cannabis voted to proceed with licensing appeals under the Office of State Administrative Hearings, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Rome News Tribune.

The agency in charge of Georgia’s medical marijuana program voted unanimously Thursday to turn over responsibility for hearing protests of medical cannabis license awards to the Office of State Administrative Hearings.

Giving that role to the OSAH was a key provision in legislation the General Assembly considered this year aimed at speeding up a licensing process that has kept the program from getting off the ground. The bill died during the last hour of this year’s legislative session when the Georgia Senate tabled it by one vote.

The resolution approved during a special called meeting Thursday will remove the responsibility of holding those hearings from the commission, which is made up of a board consisting of six part-time members and a chairman.

“I think it’s going to expedite the process,” said board Chairman Sid Johnson, who was appointed to the board by Kemp last month. “(The OSAH is) in a good position to look at these protests. They’ve got the resources.”

After the commission issued tentative licenses to six companies last summer, losing bidders filed protests alleging the selection process was unfair and arbitrary. The claims threaten to tie up the program in lengthy litigation that would keep the drug away from patients suffering from seizure disorders, Parkinson’s disease, terminal cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle-cell anemia and other diseases.

Earlier this week, Governor Brian Kemp signed Senate Bill 332, the “INFORM Consumers Act,” according to a press release.

Governor Brian P. Kemp signed SB 332, also known as the Inform Consumers Act, which prevents criminals from selling goods stolen from retail stores on any online marketplace platform. The legislation establishes financial and contact information requirements for high-volume sellers to online marketplaces and requires that such platforms establish an option for consumers to report suspicious activity. It also requires sellers to provide their contact information to consumers when their annual revenue on the marketplace exceeds $20,000. Sellers who do not comply will be prohibited from using the online marketplaces further, and the Attorney General is now empowered to enforce compliance with these disclosure requirements.

“Here in Georgia, we will do everything possible to curb crime and make life difficult for those who break the law,” said Governor Kemp. “With SB 332, we’re dealing another blow to the organized gangs that steal from Georgia shops and stores by making it much harder for them to profit from their heists.”

“I want to thank Senator John Albers as well as Representative Houston Gaines for carrying this legislation and seeing it across the finish line. I also want to thank the members of the General Assembly who voted for this bill to help us keep up the fight against criminals.”

Bonus points to Gov. Kemp for using the word “heist.”

Governor Kemp also signed three pieces of business-related legislation, according to a press release.

During Georgia Small Business Week, Governor Kemp signed SB 331, HB 1058, and HB 1443 into law.

“As a small business owner for more than 35 years, I have always applied a pro-business approach to governing, helping to cut red tape and ensure we have an environment that allows good Georgia companies to thrive and serve their customers,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “To boil it down, my approach is all about ensuring that hardworking Georgians in every corner of the state have opportunities to build great careers and raise their families – like Marty and I had. I think these commonsense measures further our ability to keep Georgia a top state for business and support those who call the Peach State home.”

SB 331 supports businesses in managing local regulations. HB 1058 makes it easier for Georgia affiliated companies to file a consolidated income tax return. HB 1443 ensures mobile food service establishments, like food trucks, that have up-to-date permits can operate in multiple counties without having to acquire additional permitting for each one.

Governor Kemp, in addition to the many members of the House and Senate who voted in favor of these important measures, would like to thank the following bill sponsors of SB 331, Sen. John Albers and Rep. Mandi Ballinger, HB 1058, Rep. Bruce Williamson and Sen. Billy Hickman, and HB 1443, Rep. Houston Gaines and Sen. John Albers.

Former Texas Governor George W. Bush will appear at a Texas fundraiser for Governor Kemp’s campaign, according to Politico.

The fundraiser, at the home of real estate developer Harlan Crow, lists Bush as a “special guest,” according to a copy of the invitation obtained by POLITICO.

On Monday, Kemp’s campaign announced he had raised $2.7 million in the 26 days following the end of Georgia’s legislative session, during which Kemp was barred by state law from raising money. He has $10.7 million in cash on hand.

The fundraiser with Bush this month will put Kemp in front of an influential room of Texas donors just days before the Georgia primary on May 24. Hosts of the May 16 event include Crow; Jim Francis, a major Texas bundler; Republican strategist Karl Rove; and Ross Perot, Jr., son of the former presidential candidate.

Tickets for a V.I.P. reception are listed at $15,200, while the general reception is going for $5,000.

U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker (R-TX) will eventually debate Senator Raphael Warnock (D-Atlanta), according to the Statesboro Herald.

No, Republican U.S. Senate contender Herschel Walker is not debating other Republican candidates in the May 24 primary, for which early voting is now underway. But after he wins that primary, he will debate the Democratic incumbent, Sen. Raphael Warnock, Walker told reporters Wednesday near Statesboro.

Those were two of the things the Statesboro Herald asked Walker when he took questions from journalists at the conclusion of his midday campaign rally in the arena of the Bulloch County Agricultural Complex.

“I won’t participate in debates they’re doing that the guys ain’t doing the work, because one of the things that they told me when they told me to run, they said, ‘Herschel, you’ve got to be able to raise money,’ ‘Herschel, you’ve got to get people to cross over,’ and you’ve been looking at it,” he answered. “My opponents aren’t doing the work, but they want me to help them to get votes. They want me to go out and entertain for them.”

“But this is not time to entertain, this is a new era, when you’ve got crime on the street that has gotten so bad, you’ve got this economy that is going crazy, this border wide open, and we’re talking about debating,” Walker continued in response to the question Wednesday. “Why don’t you get out and meet the people, like I’ve done? I’m getting out and I’m meeting the people, I want the people to know what I’ve done, not the people that I’m debating.”

“Oh, I’m ready to debate Raphael Warnock,” Walker said. “When he’s ready to go, I’m ready to go. Anytime he shows up, I’ll show up right there with him.”

“I’m sick and tired of this, trying to separate our kids, you know, trying to teach that Critical Race Theory,” Walker said. “Wow, are you serious? Why don’t we teach them how to read? … Yeah, we can teach them history, we can teach them all of that stuff, but yet we want to teach them to hate themselves because of the color of their skin? We want to teach them that, hey, this person took advantage of you? Well, you know what? We don’t know who did what, and to be honest with you, some of you don’t know if you’re a slave owner’s kid or a slave yourself.”

Suspended Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill has transitioned from cartoonish to animated, according to the AJC.

The longtime Clayton lawman, who has been on suspension since last year after being indicted by federal authorities, posted on Twitter page his excitement that fans of Grand Theft Auto V put his name on one of the game’s police cars.

“Grand Theft Auto Gamers solidified the legendary Black Hawk Traffic Enforcement Unit by placing their patrol car in the game! Can’t wait for the return of the Sheriff and his elite units!,” Hill posted on his Twitter feed.

Hill, who calls himself “The Crime Fighter,” has boasted of elite units of deputies, such as his COBRA squad and one that addressed stalking.

On Thursday Morning, the statewide system used to verify prospective voters was down intermittently, according to the AJC.

Georgia’s voter check-in system was restored Thursday morning after a statewide outage had caused problems with early voting in the primary election, according to the secretary of state’s office.

Voters were still able to cast ballots during the outage, but poll workers had to use backup procedures to verify their registration information before they were allowed to vote.

The problem was caused by a “glitch” after primary and backup servers automatically restarted Wednesday night, said a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office. Restarting the servers Thursday morning appeared to fix the issue,

The disruption affected Georgia’s voter registration system, called ElectioNet, which is used to check in voters at early voting locations during the primary. The secretary of state’s office announced plans to replace the ElectioNet system earlier this year, but the new computer system wasn’t ready in time for the primary.

Through Wednesday, early voting turnout reached record levels for a primary, with over 92,500 people voting in the first three days. Early voting is available for three weeks ahead of the May 24 election.

Some voters in Cobb, DeKalb, and Fulton Counties were placed in incorrect districts, according to the AJC.

In DeKalb County, approximately 6,800 voters were initially assigned to incorrect County Commission districts. Affected DeKalb voters are in the Avondale High, Northlake, Rehoboth, Glennwood, and Winnona Park precincts.

Those voters were able to cast ballots for their correct races when they showed up at early voting locations Monday, according to county election officials.

Additionally, 99 affected voters have already requested absentee ballots. Those ballots will be canceled and new ballots issued, elections officials said. There is no additional action required on the part of voters except to submit the corrected ballots.

A similar issue arose in Cobb County, where some early voters received incorrect ballots when they arrived at their precinct. A temporary solution is now in place, said Janine Eveler, director of Cobb County Elections & Registration.

Fulton County also reported temporary problems operating voting machinery, Regina Waller, a Fulton County senior public information officer said.

Earlier in the week, early voting numbers hit record levels, according to WJCL.

On Monday, 27,298 Georgians cast their vote in person ahead of the May 24 primary.

Officials say that is three times the number that turned out to vote on the first day of the 2018 primary election and almost double for the June 2020 primary.

On the first day of early voting for Georgia’s 2022 primary election, 27,298 people cast a ballot early, in-person, compared to 14,950 in June 2020 and 9,266 in 2018.

An additional 2,719 absentee ballots have been returned statewide as well.

From the AJC:

“Record turnout on the first day of early voting is a testament to an elections system that ensures top-level security and ease of access,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Tuesday. “Georgia voters statewide experienced short or nonexistent lines and a smooth voting process.”

Voters in Cobb and DeKalb counties initially experienced a problem Monday in which the correct ballots weren’t displayed. Some ballots failed to include a referendum on whether to create a city of Lost Mountain in Cobb, and DeKalb voters in several precincts were assigned to the wrong County Commission district after redistricting.

The Georgia High School Association voted to require student athletes to compete according to the sex recorded on their birth certificates, according to the Associated Press via GPB.

The Georgia High School Athletic Association (GHSA), the main governing body for Georgia high schools sports, voted Wednesday to ban transgender boys and girls from playing on the school sports teams matching their gender identity, saying instead that students must play on teams that match the sex listed on their birth certificates at birth.

The GHSA’s executive committee voted unanimously for the change on Wednesday. It will take effect for the next school year, spokesperson Steve Figueroa said.

Proponents of the ban say transgender girls have an unfair advantage because they were born as typically stronger males and warn that those born as girls could be denied places on the team or on the podium if playing against transgender girls.

Opponents said excluding transgender children would send a harmful message to a group that’s already vulnerable to suicide or harming themselves.

“To these very vulnerable trans kids who do appear to have substantial mental health issues, they will receive this as a message of rejection,” said state Sen. Sally Harrell, an Atlanta Democrat and the mother of a transgender child.

The first sentence of that story is factually incorrect. A student-athlete can play on the sports team that matches their gender identity as long as it also matches their sex as recorded on their birth certificate.

John London will not win the Republican Primary for the Ninth Congressional District, according to AccessWDUN.

John London was notified by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office on April 1 that he had been disqualified, according to a spokesman. This came after the state Republican Party notified the secretary of state that London’s check for the qualifying fee had bounced.

London’s name will remain on the ballot, but no votes cast for him will be counted. Notifications of his disqualification should be posted at early voting locations and included in absentee ballots as they are mailed out.

His disqualification leaves four candidates remaining in the race – incumbent Andrew Clyde, Mike Boggus, J. Gregory Howard and Ben Souther.

London initially qualified for the race during the qualifying period in early March. Shortly after his check was returned for having insufficient funds, the state Republican Party allowed London several opportunities to make the payment, but he failed to do so.

On March 31, the state party sent an email to the Secretary of State notifying them that London was not qualified. The secretary of state spokesman said London was notified the next day. But it was almost a month later – April 29 – when the secretary of state’s office announced London could not be a candidate in the race.

An error on some Chatham County ballots left at least four voters out of voting in their correct State House Distcirt, according to the Savannah Morning News.

A ballot error will deny four Savannahians a vote in the Georgia House District 165 Democratic primary race.

The quartet cast ballots Monday, the first day of early voting. By the time the Chatham Board of Elections caught the error, shortly after the polls opened for early voting on Monday, those voters had already submitted their ballots and left the polling location.

Because Georgia uses ballots that do not carry identifying marks, correcting the error is impossible, according to officials with the Chatham Board of Elections and the Chatham Board of Registrars.

The four voters are assigned to Precinct 8-1 based on their places of residence and their ballots included the wrong Georgia House race, the one for District 162. Because elections officials cannot identify which of the four ballots cast in the District 162 contest are erroneous, those four votes will count in the District 162 tally.

“The races that were voted in person, I don’t think there’s a way to fix that,” BOE Supervisor Billy Wooten said. “And if we were to come down to there being an issue with the results, then we go to the state, and we would figure it out.”

[Jen] Gooby also voiced her satisfaction that critical race theory is not being taught in Lumpkin County schools.

“I would like to preserve that, I don’t want us to go in that direction,” Gooby said. “Critical race theory teaches that because you’re white, then you’re by nature racist.”

Bryan County election officials had to change an early voting precinct because of storm damage, according to WSAV.

The Hendrix Park precinct will have a different look for this month’s primary.

The building sustained heavy damage after last month’s tornado, but Bryan County election officials are making sure those who usually vote there will still have their voices heard on election day.

“For early voting, there are really only two places in the county,” [Bryan County communications manager Matthew] Kent said. “There’s one on the south and one on the north. The north, which used to be Harn center, it was damaged by the tornado, has been moved to Pembroke City Hall. One of them is in here at Hendrix park but instead of inside the gym we will have it inside of a mobile trailer that the secretary of state will set up.”

The secretary of state’s mobile site here at Hendrix Park will only be open on election day, May 24 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

A scuffle broke out in Augusta City Hall, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

The Augusta man charged with simple battery after a confrontation with Mayor Pro Tem Bobby Williams said he’d gone to the Tuesday commission meeting in support of Augusta Port Authority, which oversees riverfront property where he runs a jet-ski rental business.

Dayon Walker, 38, attended with Augusta Port Authority Chairman Clarence Thompkins, who has had questions about how the city is spending funds intended for port authority facilities.

“I was only there to support Augusta Port Authority,” Walker said. “I’ve got every right to be passionate about the business, and the blatant disrespect. It was wrong for him to come and snatch the mayor from us when we talked.”

Williams said something to the effect of “you water people are trying to make us pay y’all,” and that Williams was “from Cedar Street,” Walker said.

It sounded like a reference to being from a tough neighborhood, Walker said.

Mayor Pro Tem Williams later told the deputy he “pushed Walker away” after Walker “got in his face” and that as Williams was walking away with Davis, Walker struck him with a closed fist on the left side of his face, the report said.

From WJBF:

“I never thought I’d be assaulted by a sitting official,” Walker said.

fter the meeting wrapped up, Walker says he was discussing his business with Mayor Hardie Davis.

“Mayor Pro Tem Bobby Williams then came and snatched him up and began to walk him down the hall. I said to him, ‘Hey man, that’s not the gentleman like thing to do when men are talking about business.’ I said, ‘Real men would come and step right here and have a gentleman’s talk.’ Then Mayor Pro Tem came up on me abruptly. He told me he was from Cedar Street, and that I was a punk. And then he pushed me,” Walker said.

Walker says following the altercation, his ID was taken from him while the Marshal reviewed the municipal building’s security footage. Afterwards, he says his ID was returned and he was free to go.

“I wasn’t in the wrong. I didn’t assault him. He assaulted me and it’s on camera. The corporal there for the Marshals office saw it. I want to press charges. I will be pressing charges. That’s for sure,” Walker said.

NewsChannel 6 reached out to Mayor Pro Tem Williams, who said he would be pressing charges against Walker. But when I requested an on-camera interview, Williams declined, and said he had no comment at this time.

Mr. Walker had to go to the jail twice to turn himself in, according to WRDW.

After a scuffle at city hall with an Augusta Commission member, a local businessman showed up to turn himself in at Richmond County jail after an arrest warrant was issued for him.

Dayon Walker faces a misdemeanor charge of simple battery over a confrontation with Augusta Commission member Bobby Williams after Tuesday’s commission meeting.

Thursday afternoon wasn’t his first visit to the jail.

“I came here this morning to find out there was never a warrant for my arrest,” he said

Walker says he initially turned himself in but was told to go home and come back later because there was no warrant processed for his arrest. He came back a second time, and we were able to speak with him before jailers took him away in handcuffs.

Nine candidates for Mayor of Augusta appeared in a forum, according to WRDW.

Election day is May 24, and nine Augusta mayor candidates attended a forum at the Kroc Center.

It all started with opening statements, followed by a series of questions each candidate was allotted the same amount of time to answer.

There is another mayor forum on Saturday. The Richmond County Neighborhood Association Alliance is holding the event from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the Henry Brigham Community Center Gym.

The State Board of Education held a public meeting in the Ninth Congressional District, according to AccessWDUN.

Parents’ main consensus was their desire for more transparency from school officials.

For example, Banks County parent Michele Ramsey wants every Banks County education meeting to be livestreamed.

“I’m asking that the State Board of Education create and enforce a strict policy that all public meetings be livestreamed and uploaded on the local Board of Education Facebook platform or directly to the school website for transparency,” Ramsey said. “Our Banks County commissioners do it, the other local Board of Education is doing it, so I don’t understand why the Banks County school system and the local board of education cannot.”

The Statesboro Herald profiles three candidates for Bulloch County Commission District 2B: Jennifer Mock, Toby Conner, and Travis Chance.

The Tybee Island Storm Risk Management Act for beach replenishment, pass out of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The legislation is part of the larger Water Resources Development Act of 2022 (WRDA), a key measure passed biannually by Congress to “authorize U.S. Army Corps of Engineers activities for flood control, navigation and ecosystem restoration.”

Senate committee approval will allow the Tybee bill to move to the Senate floor for a vote. If eventually passed by Congress, the island can continue to seek federal funding after 2024, which is when its current federal authorization for beach renourishment projects ends.

Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Georgia), who championed the bill, said he will continue to work to get the bill signed into law.

“This bill will help protect the beautiful Tybee island as part of my ongoing effort to support, protect, and invest in coastal Georgia,” Ossoff said in a press release statement.

“This bill will help protect the beautiful Tybee island as part of my ongoing effort to support, protect, and invest in coastal Georgia,” Ossoff said in a press release statement.

Columbia County Commissioners voted to move forward with changes to the alcohol ordinance, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Athens-Clarke County Mayor Kelly Girtz would raise government employees pay in his proposed budget, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

Girtz’s spending plan was introduced April 29, but is not final, as it could change in the coming weeks after a series of public hearings and budget review meetings ahead of its final adoption on June 7.

The recommended budget totals $166 million, an increase of nearly $18 million from last year.

Girtz is proposing trimming the millage rate — a fractional multiplier applied to the value of a given piece of property to arrive at a tax bill — by 0.5 mills to a rate of 13.20 mills.

Employee pay is set to increase again in different areas, including via a 7% pay increase, and an opportunity for an up to 2% pay increase for non-public safety employees based on performance.

Another $2.4 million would go to public safety employees because of a step plan implemented in Fiscal Year 2021. That plan outlined a gradual way for public safety salaries to increase in the following years after it was established.

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