Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 10, 2022

10
May

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 10, 2022

Savannah received news of the battle at Lexington on May 10, 1775, leading to a raid of British gunpowder for the colonial effort. On the same day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Second Continental Congress met.

On May 10, 1863, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died a week after being shot at by his own troops.

He died, as he had wished, on the Sabbath, May 10, 1863, with these last words: “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.”

On May 10, 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union troops near Irwinville, Georgia.

On May 10, 1869, a ceremonial “Golden Spike” was driven in Promontory, Utah, symbolizing completion of a transcontinental railroad line joining the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad.

The first observance of Mother’s Day was May 10, 1908 at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. On May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first official “Mother’s Day.”

On May 10, 2006, Georgia State School Superintendent Linda Schrenko, a Republican, pled guilty to federal charges of fraud and money laundering, beginning a streak of Republican State School Supers to leave office under a cloud.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Georgia Democratic State House Caucus held a press conference to denounce abortion bans that may happen if a leaked Supreme Court opinion turns out to be published as the majority opinion. From the Capitol Beat News Service via the Gwinnett Daily Post:

The caucus called the press conference in response to the leak of a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion that indicates the court is likely to overturn the Roe v. Wade precedent that legalized abortions in 1973.

“I was shocked that it actually seems to be happening,” said Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, about the leaked Supreme Court opinion. “This is a significant change in the history of our country.”

“I am deeply afraid for the lives of women,” Oliver said.

But if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, Georgia’s HB 481 could quickly go back into effect, Oliver said. There would be an “open door” for the state to move the courts to reinstate the law.

Oliver said she keeps “hearing rumors” that Kemp may call a legislative special session to enact a ban on abortions before the 2023 session.

Athens-Clarke County mayoral candidate William “Fred” Moorman was arrested in Glynn County for adhering to the “Sun’s out, buns out,” idiom. From the Athens Banner Herald:

Moorman, 64, was charged with public indecency on May 7, just weeks before election day in Athens where he is running for mayor. He was released on a $1,256 bond the same day, according to jail records.

The Glynn County Police Department did not immediately respond to inquiries for an incident report, but Moorman confirmed the charges. He said that he is currently on vacation at St. Simons Beach at a vacation home.

On Saturday, he said he went to sunbathe in a “secluded area of the beach” and decided to “uncover my buttocks” and someone reported him to the police, who then arrested and charged him.

Moorman compared his act to women on the beach in small thong bathing suits, which he said covers very little.

“They’re able to walk around with small coverings …,” said Moorman. “And I think to treat a man as they did treat me, I think, is a bit preposterous and unnecessary.”

Primary Election Day is two weeks from today. From WTOC:

Even though nearly 5,000 people have already cast their ballots in Chatham County – there are still plenty of opportunities.

The County has sent out 2,245 mail in ballots and already received 413 of them back. Remember those have to be returned by mail or in a drop box when the polls close on Election Day – which is exactly two weeks from Tuesday. You also have until Friday to request an absentee ballot by mail.

The County has seen nearly 5,000 voters cast their ballot in person at their five locations during the first week. Take a look at the totals for the first week of in-person voting – so far the first day was the lowest turnout with 874 voters but the highest day was Tuesday with 1,053 votes, but they still averaged more than 900 early voters a day.

If you haven’t voted yet – you can learn more about the candidates Tuesday night during a forum at the Civil Right Museum Annex at 6 p.m. During that session you can hear from candidates for state school superintendent, U.S. Representative District 1, Commissioner of Labor, State Representatives for District 162,163 and 164 and for State Senator in districts 1 and 2.

Wilkinson County voters will decide whether to adopt  a new Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST), according to 13WMAZ.

This year, a ‘YES’ vote would pay-off their elementary and primary school, which was the first school built in the county since 1954.

[T]his year’s E-SPLOST will help pay off the school debt, which started as a $16.5 million loan given to the district by the federal government.

“This E-SPLOST money will help us make sure we pay the bonds off we borrowed for the funding for this new school,” said Superintendent Aaron Geter.

He says the school enhanced student learning through updated classrooms and facilities, but it came with a hefty price tag.

“About $1.2-1.3 million each year is spent to pay on the bonds and we have about six years left,” said Geter.

The E-SPLOST has been in place for the last 25 years, but if it doesn’t get passed, then they will have to implement a property tax increase.

For the last two years, the county tried to add new initiatives in addition to the E-SPLOST, but voters did not pass those.

Governor Brian Kemp yesterday signed legislation creating an income tax credit program supporting law enforcement and modeled on the successful Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program. From the Capitol Beat News Service:

Gov. Brian Kemp signed two tax credit bills Monday along with legislation authorizing “co-responder” teams of law enforcement officers and mental health professionals to answer emergency calls.

The three bills were priorities of Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, who presides over the Georgia Senate. All three passed the General Assembly with bipartisan support.

The “LESS” (Law Enforcement Strategic Support) Crime Act will provide Georgia taxpayers a dollar-for-dollar income tax credit on contributions to public safety initiatives in their communities.

Law enforcement agencies will be able to use the money for police officer salary supplements, to purchase or maintain department equipment and/or to establish or maintain a co-responder program.

“This gives much more resources to local law enforcement,” said Sen. Larry Walker III, R-Perry, the bill’s chief sponsor.

The bill includes a statewide cap on the program of $75 million a year. Individual law enforcement agencies are limited to $3 million annually.

The second tax credit bill Kemp signed Monday will provide up to $20 million a year to nonprofit organizations that help foster children about to age out of the foster care system. More than 700 young men and women age out of the system each year.

The third bill will for the first time set up a statewide co-responder program to let mental health workers respond with police to emergency calls involving people who appear to be in mental distress.

From the AJC:

Senate Bill 361 was pushed by Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, who, while serving in the state House, authored a similar tax credit that has pumped money into struggling rural hospitals.

SB 361 makes $75 million a year available in state income tax credits to Georgians who donate to local law enforcement foundations.

Duncan has said the tax credit proposal is a response to rising crime and the need to better fund police departments and sheriffs’ offices.

The tax credits would be capped at $5,000 per individual ($10,000 per married couple) and 75% of a corporation’s tax liability.

Kemp also signed Senate Bill 403, which aims to increase the number of teams trained in mental healthcare that can respond to emergency calls typically handled only by police officers.

The law tasks community service boards — panels that work with the state to provide mental health, disability and addiction services — with creating guidelines for a “co-responder program” where behavioral health professionals join law enforcement officers when responding to emergency calls involving a mental health crisis.

Community service boards would be required to have someone who can be available on-call to respond with police when needed. Law enforcement agencies that choose to participate in the program would also designate officers who would respond to mental health crises. Law enforcement agencies would not be required to participate in the program.

Kemp also signed House Bill 424, which would allocate up to $20 million a year to provide Georgians with tax credits for donations to organizations that assist those in foster care and who’ve turned 18 and have legally become an adult.

From CBS46:

The new law [HB 424] will enhance follow-up services for aged-out foster youth through a state tax credit. Funds generated through the program will directly support critical areas of assistance, such as education, and housing.

“These foster kids just because their birth certificate says they age out of the system, they age out,” said Lt. Gov. Duncan.

“And to watch folks like Pam Parish with Connections Homes and others that are now going to be empowered with up to $20-million statewide to be able to come in and wrap around these services around these kids and to give them the same chance that I had with parents that were helping me go to college or helping me transition into a career or to just block and tackle the different aspects of life,” he added.

More gun violence in Savannah, according to WTOC.

Violent crime continues to rise in Savannah.

So far this month, we’ve already seen five shootings, ending with four people injured and three dead.

Not only are we seeing that spike in gun violence in Savannah, but these incidents are happening in areas where there are a lot of tourists and where locals are in busy stretches of downtown.

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson will hold his weekly update on Tuesday and we plan to ask him about how he will address the rise in incidents happening in these busy areas of the downtown.

The Georgia Department of Agriculture and UGA Cooperative Extension will use federal funds to address stress in agricultural workers, according to the Albany Herald.

Farm family health and wellness is a priority for many rural Georgia communities. As the backbone of Georgia’s No. 1 industry, agricultural producers face unprecedented pressures, including increasing input costs, a flood of produce imports, labor shortages, pandemic protocols for worker safety and more.

A 2019 study by the University of Georgia School of Social Work, conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic, revealed that rural Georgians’ emotional and behavioral health suffer as a result.

The event, called “Stress on the Farm: Supporting Well-being of Georgia Farm Families,” is scheduled May 19 from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. Register at no cost by Thursday at extension.uga.edu.

“This is a complex, multifaceted problem, and UGA Extension is excited to convene a diverse team of experts to help us address this issue,” Laura Perry Johnson, head of UGA Extension, said. “So far, our efforts and educational resources have been very well-received by farmers, and several have followed up to avail themselves of the offered counseling and other services.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger spoke at the Augusta Rotary, according to WRDW.

Raffensperger said that thousands of people had tried to register and were not legal to vote.

“We want to make sure that only American citizens are registered to vote because if only American citizens are registered to vote, then only American citizens can vote. And that’s really important,” he said.

Raffensperger is one of nine people running for secretary of state. Election Day is May 24.

AccessWDUN hosted a debate for Republican candidates for the Ninth Congressional District.

Republican candidates for Georgia’s 9th congressional district exchanged their views on major issues during a Monday night town hall.

“After over a year in Washington, I can tell you that the radical left in the majority is doing its best to destroy our country,” incumbent Rep. Andrew Clyde told the audience. “They’re emboldened to cancel us to silence dissent and to make us more reliant on the government. That’s not what conservatives want.”

The event, held at the Hosch Theatre at Brenau University, was sponsored by WDUN and moderated by Mitch Clarke and Martha Zoller.

Click here to listen to the debate.

Six Gwinnett County Democratic legislators are backing Rep. Shelly Hutchinson over her fellow incumbent, Rep. Rebecca Mitchell, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Hutchinson announced on Monday that she has been endorsed in the race by state Rep. Sam Park, who was the Gwinnett House Delegation chairman for the 2021 and 2022 legislative sessions, as well as state Rep. Jasmine Clark, who was the delegation’s vice-chairwoman, and state Reps. Gregg Kennard, Dewey McClain, Dar’Shun Kendrick and Karen Bennett.

“I have been working with Shelly since 2017 when she began her journey into politics,” Park said in a statement released by Hutchinson’s campaign. “We need her energy and expertise at the Gold Dome.”

Hutchinson was first elected in 2018 as part of a blue wave of Democrats who were elected in Gwinnett that year, precipitating a second blue wave that happened in Gwinnett during the 2020 election cycle.

Early voting for the May 24 primary election is already underway at 11 advance in-person voting sites in Gwinnett. The early voting period ends May 20.

The Ledger-Enquirer profiles the Republican candidates for the Second Congressional District seat held by Democratic Rep. Sanrord Bishop.

WTVM profiles the candidates for Harris County Commission District 1.

13WMAZ profiles the Republican candidates for Houston County Commission District 2.

WJBF lists local candidates in Augusta area elections.

The Lowndes County Board of Education has a vacancy for District 5 and will hold a Special Election to fill it, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

The District 5 election will be separate from the ongoing early voting in the primary election which culminates with the May 24 election.

White County Commissioners named Michael Renshaw as the sole finalist for their new County Manager, according to AccessWDUN.

The Gwinnett County Tax Commissioner’s offices will be closed on Thursday for the funeral of hte late Commissioner Tiffany Porter, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Porter’s Celebration of Life, or Homegoing, service will be held at noon on Thursday at Saint Philip AME Church, which is located at 240 Candler Road in Atlanta. The homegoing service is open to the public, and the family is asking attendees to wear black clothing for the service.

All Gwinnett County Tax Commissioner’s Office locations will be closed on the day of the service so employees can attend it. The office announced a caravan heading to Atlanta for the funeral will assemble at 10 a.m. at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration and depart for the church at 10:30 a.m.

The wake, which the public is invited to attend, will be held from 4 until 8 p.m. on Wednesday at Gregory B. Levett & Sons Funeral Home, which is located at 914 Scenic Highway in Lawrenceville.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. will also hold an Ivy Beyond the Wall memorial service honoring Porter at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at New Mercies Christian Church, which is located at 4000 Five Forks Trickum Road in Lilburn. Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., which Porter was a member of, are asked to arrive at 5:30 p.m. and where uninterrupted white outfits. The public is invited to attend this ceremony as well.

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