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

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

The expulsion of the Cherokee from Georgia began on June 6, 1838 as 800 members left by riverboat.

On June 6, 1944, seventy-eight years ago, Allied forces under the command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower began the invasion of France, called D-Day.

On the morning of June 5, 1944, U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe gave the go-ahead for Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious military operation in history. On his orders, 6,000 landing craft, ships and other vessels carrying 176,000 troops began to leave England for the trip to France. That night, 822 aircraft filled with parachutists headed for drop zones in Normandy. An additional 13,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover and support for the invasion.

By dawn on June 6, 18,000 parachutists were already on the ground; the land invasions began at 6:30 a.m. The British and Canadians overcame light opposition to capture Gold, Juno and Sword beaches; so did the Americans at Utah. The task was much tougher at Omaha beach, however, where 2,000 troops were lost and it was only through the tenacity and quick-wittedness of troops on the ground that the objective was achieved. By day’s end, 155,000 Allied troops–Americans, British and Canadians–had successfully stormed Normandy’s beaches.

On June 6, 1949, George Orwell published 1984.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp appointed William Duffey as Chair of the State Elections Board, according to a press release.

“Judge Duffey has been involved in complex litigation for decades, both as a lawyer and a judge,” said Governor Kemp. “Through his vast experience, he has established himself as a man of integrity who will uphold the highest ethical standards in his application of the laws of our state and nation. I am confident Judge Duffey will be a great asset to our state and help ensure our elections are secure, accessible, and fair.”

“I have dedicated my career to serving others to seek fair and just results in legal matters,” said Judge Duffey. “Our democracy is founded on citizens participating in the process to elect those who govern them. I am committed to working with my colleagues on the State Elections Board to perform our duty to protect the integrity of the election process because every Georgia voter is entitled to know their vote is secure and that it counts.”

William S. Duffey, Jr. retired in 2018 from active service as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia. From 2001 to 2004, before assuming the federal bench, Judge Duffey served as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. As United States Attorney, he was responsible for prosecution of federal crimes, for civil actions filed by and against the United States government, and he led the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Taskforce.

Before his appointment as United States Attorney, Judge Duffey was a partner at King & Spalding in Atlanta. He was elected as a partner in 1987. From 1994 to 1995, Judge Duffey left private practice to serve as Deputy Independent Counsel in charge of the Arkansas phase of the Whitewater investigation. He rejoined King & Spalding as a partner following government service. At King & Spalding, Judge Duffey’s practice included complex civil and criminal litigation, focusing on trade secret, corporate espionage, and fraud matters. He also had a substantial internal corporate investigations practice, including the investigation of EF Hutton’s plea of guilty to mail and wire fraud arising from its banking practices, responsibility for the grounding of the Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound, Alaska, and the Florida Attorney General’s investigation into Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph’s retail sales practices.

An honors graduate of Drake University in 1973, Judge Duffey received his J.D., cum laude in 1977 from the University of South Carolina Law School.

Judge Duffey served in the United States Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps from 1978-1981 as a Circuit Trial Counsel, and as an Assistant Staff Judge Advocate to the United States Logistics Group in Ankara, Turkey.

Judge Duffey has served in a variety of assignments that focused on ethics and integrity. In 2019, he served as a member of the City of Atlanta Task Force on the Promotion of Public Trust. In 2016, Judge Duffey represented the United Department of State at a conference on Human Trafficking and Organized Crime convened by Pope Francis at the Vatican. From 2008 to 2015, Judge Duffey represented the United States judiciary on nine trips to Ukraine to make presentations to Ukrainian judges and government officials on the requirement of ethical conduct as the foundation of an independent judiciary in a democracy. At King & Spalding, Judge Duffey’s practice included ethics counseling, including state and local elected officials’ compliance with state ethics requirements. While on the court, Judge Duffey served as President of the Eleven Circuit Judges Association, served on the Eleventh Circuit Pattern Jury Instructions Committee, and was a member of the Georgia Supreme Court’s Commission on Civil Justice.

A frequent presenter at legal conferences and seminars on professionalism, in 2022, Judge Duffey’s book “The Significant Lawyer: The Pursuit of Purpose and Professionalism” was published.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers announced it will not permit a mining proposal near the Okefenokee Swamp, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The decision came after a request from Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff to restore federal protections of the wetlands in the country’s largest blackwater swamp due to its cultural and historical importance to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

Alabama-based Twin Pines Minerals, as previously reported by Savannah Morning News, submitted applications in late 2020 for multiple permits from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to mine titanium oxide, often used in whitening products, as well as other heavy metals on more than 500 acres of ancient beach dunes called Trail Ridge in Charlton County. The dunes, which border the swamp and help contain it, are within 3 miles of the Okefenokee National Refuge, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service property.

“My whole team and I are exhilarated and thrilled to announce this restoration of protection for the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge and surrounding wetlands,” Ossoff said in an interview with Savannah Morning News.

The corps concluded it did not properly consult with the Muscogee Creek Nation when initially granting mining rights.

Since then, the fate of the Okefenokee has been awaiting the issuance of permits from the Georgia EPD. In the meantime, environmentalists have shared their concerns over the environmental and hydrological impacts of the mining facility.

With Connor’s June 3 memorandum, the previous decision that the Okefenokee’s wetlands are not protected is null and void for Twin Pines Minerals. However, the memorandum does say that Twin Pines Minerals can go back to the drawing board and reapply, should they choose to do so, taking into consideration wetland protections and consultation with the Muscogee Creek Nation.

“I just want to thank everyone that joined in this effort,” Ossoff said, including people of all political persuasions, environmentalists and conservationists. “This is a wonder of the world, and we’ve averted disaster by restoring these protections.”

Three Savannah Republicans are questioning voting machines used in the May 24 Primary Elections, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Chatham Board of Elections candidates Robin Greco and Jennifer Salandi have joined fellow Savannahian Jeanne Seaver, who ran for lieutenant governor, in her call for a recount. The push follows a recount in Dekalb County prompted by voting equipment issues.

Seaver, who finished last in the lieutenant governor primary with 7.5% of the vote, has formally petitioned Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for a statewide recount. Contacted Friday, Seaver said that if there were discrepancies in Dekalb, the Secretary of State’s office has an obligation to investigate whether there were similar issues with the Dominion voting system machines statewide.

“It’s all about the right thing to do. They did it in one county because someone requested it. What about the 158 other counties?” Seaver said.

Meanwhile, the Chatham Elections Board candidates, Greco and Salandi, have “demanded” a recount in an email to Wooten and the board member who beat them both, Marianne Heimes.

Democrat Stacey Abrams spoke about her efforts to politicize the insulin supply, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams told the Ledger-Enquirer that she will create a program to provide an emergency, one-month supply of insulin to qualifying Georgians as part of her plan to address access and rising insulin costs if she’s elected governor.

The emergency insulin program would be open to low and moderate-income residents who have gaps in health insurance coverage or who may be unable to pay for their monthly insulin supply due to the loss of a job, a recent move or other circumstances. Uninsured Georgians will also be eligible. The state would initially allocate $23 million toward the program.

“Georgians with diabetes should not have to make tough choices about whether to ration or go without their insulin or provide for their families,” Abrams said.

In addition to the emergency program, Abrams is calling for Medicaid expansion and federal action to address insulin prices. Medicaid expansion would provide uninsured residents with diabetes who can’t afford the cost of treatment with access to affordable medications, she said. As of April 2022, Georgia is one of 12 states that have not expanded Medicaid.

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