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

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

Bridget Bishop was the first person hanged after being convicted of practicing witchcraft in the Salem witch trials on June 10, 1692.

Georgia’s colonial charter, signed by King George II was witnessed on June 9, 1732.

Click here for the full text of Georgia’s Royal Charter from 1732.

Click here to see the oldest copy of Georgia’s Royal Charter, which was presented to Georgia by South Carolina.

The first Georgia-Florida war game weekend began on June 12, 1740, as Georgia founder James Oglethorpe led 400 soldiers landing opposite the Spanish fort at St. Augustine.

The Battle of Bloody Marsh was fought between Spanish forces and colonists under James Oglethorpe on St Simons Island, Georgia in 1742 on a date that is variously cited as June 9 or June 7, 1742. Thus began the rivalry between Georgia and Florida.

On June 9, 1772, the first naval attack of the Revolutionary War took place near Providence, Rhode Island, as HMS Gaspee, a British tax enforcement ship was baited into running aground and attacked by a boarding party the next day.

On June 11, 1776, the Continental Congress appointed Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Roger Sherman of Connecticut and Robert R. Livingston of New York to draft a declaration of independence from Britain. Language in the original draft that condemned the introduction of the slave trade in the colonies did not make the final draft.

The Virginia Convention adopted George Mason’s “Declaration of Rights” on June 12, 1776. From Wikipedia:

The Declaration was adopted unanimously by the Fifth Virginia Convention at Williamsburg, Virginia on June 12, 1776 as a separate document from the Constitution of Virginia which was later adopted on June 29, 1776. In 1830, the Declaration of Rights was incorporated within the Virginia State Constitution as Article I, but even before that Virginia’s Declaration of Rights stated that it was ‘”the basis and foundation of government” in Virginia. A slightly updated version may still be seen in Virginia’s Constitution, making it legally in effect to this day.

It was initially drafted by George Mason circa May 20, 1776; James Madison assisted him with the section on religious freedom.

The Virginia Declaration of Rights heavily influenced later documents. Thomas Jefferson is thought to have drawn on it when he drafted the United States Declaration of Independence in the same month (June 1776). James Madison was also influenced by the Declaration while drafting the Bill of Rights (introduced September 1789, ratified 1791), as was the Marquis de Lafayette in voting the French Revolution‘s Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789).

The importance of the Virginia Declaration of Rights is that it was the first constitutional protection of individual rights, rather than protecting only members of Parliament or consisting of simple laws that can be changed as easily as passed.

Abraham Baldwin, founder of the University of Georgia, arrived in Philadelphia on June 11, 1787 to attend the Constitutional Convention. Baldwin was joined by three other delegates, William Few Jr., William Houston, and William Pierce; Baldwin and Few would sign the Constitution on behalf of Georgia.

On June 10, 1793, Washington, DC officially replaced Philadelphia as the Capital of the United States. To honor Washington, today we will adopt a smugly superior attitude, name-drop constantly, and speak condescendingly to those who currently live in the states we used to live in.

Rebecca Latimer Felton was born on June 10, 1835 in Decatur, Georgia and later became the first woman to serve in the United States Senate after being appointed by Governor Thomas Hardwick to fill a vacancy in 1922.

The United States Naval Academy graduated its first class on June 10, 1854.

On June 9, 1864, Gen. W.T. Sherman moved his troops to Big Shanty, Georgia, now called Kennesaw, and beginning a four-week period sometimes called the Battle of Marietta.

The Girl Scouts of America were incorporated in Washington, DC on June 10, 1915.

The Republican National Convention in Cleveland became the first political convention broadcast on the radio on June 10, 1924.

Alcoholics Anonymous was founded on June 10, 1935.

President John F. Kennedy signed the 1963 Equal Pay Act on June 10, 1963.

I am delighted today to approve the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits arbitrary discrimination against women in the payment of wages. This act represents many years of effort by labor, management, and several private organizations unassociated with labor or management, to call attention to the unconscionable practice of paying female employees less wages than male employees for the same job. This measure adds to our laws another structure basic to democracy. It will add protection at the working place to the women, the same rights at the working place in a sense that they have enjoyed at the polling place.

While much remains to be done to achieve full equality of economic opportunity–for the average woman worker earns only 60 percent of the average wage for men–this legislation is a significant step forward.

On June 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy issued proclamation 3542 ordering Governor George Wallace of Alabama to allow two African-American students to register at the University of Alabama, as ordered by a federal court.

On the morning of June 11, the day the students were expected to register, Wallace stood in front of the University of Alabama campus auditorium flanked by Alabama state troopers while cameras flashed and recorders from the press corps whirred. Kennedy, at the White House, and Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, in Tuscaloosa, kept in touch by phone.

When Wallace refused to let the students enter for registration, Katzenbach phoned Kennedy. Kennedy upped the pressure on Wallace, immediately issuing Presidential Proclamation 3542, which ordered the governor to comply, and authorizing the secretary of defense to call up the Alabama National Guard with Executive Order 11111.

That afternoon, Katzenbach returned with the students and asked Wallace to step aside. Wallace, knowing he was beaten, relented, having saved face with his hard-line, anti-segregation constituency.

Cream was formed on June 9, 1966 by Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Jack Bruce.

On June 9, 1973, Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown, the first to win all three of the Triple Crown races since 1948. Secretariat was bred by Christopher Chenery, a graduate of Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, whose jockeys wore blue-and-white silks in honor of Chenery’s alma mater.

Apple Computer shipped the first Apple II computers on June 10, 1977.

Coca-Cola introduced Classic Coke on June 10, 1985.

On June 11, 1986, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was released.

[T]he most memorable performer may have been an automobile: the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California, a custom-built car revered by auto collectors.

According to Motor Trend, the first Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California—colloquially known as the “Cal Spyder”—was produced in 1957 and the last was built in early 1963. In addition to the long-wheelbase (LWB) Spyder, Ferrari also produced a sportier, short-wheelbase (SWB) model. Though estimates vary as to exactly how many were made—Cameron says “less than a hundred” in the film—approximately 46 LWB and between 50 and 57 SWB Spyders were produced in all. For “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” the filmmakers used a modified MGB roadster with a fiberglass body as a stand-in for the Ferrari. The filmmakers reportedly received angry letters from car enthusiasts who believed that a real Ferrari had been damaged.

One 1961 250 GT SWB Spyder California, with chassis number GT 2377GT, belonged to the actor James Coburn (“The Magnificent Seven”), who died in 2002. On May 18, 2008, at the second annual Ferrari Leggenda e Passione event at Maranello, Italy, the British deejay Chris Evans bought that car at auction for 6.4 million Euros, or $10,894,400 (including fees), the highest price ever paid for an automobile at auction.

On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan spoke in then-divided Berlin and challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”

Ray Charles, who was born in Albany, Georgia died on June 10, 2004.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp’s office announced that May 2022 revenues were up 1.6 percent over the same period the previous year, according to a press release.

The State of Georgia’s net tax collections for May totaled almost $2.70 billion, for an increase of $41.8 million, or 1.6 percent, compared to May 2021, when net tax collections approached $2.66 billion. Year-to-date, net tax collections totaled nearly $30.24 billion, for an increase of $5.84 billion, or 23.9 percent, compared to fiscal year 2021, when net tax revenues totaled almost $24.40 billion as of the end of May.

Year-over-year comparisons of net tax collections for April and May are made difficult by the deferral of the previous year’s state tax filing deadlines for both quarterly and annual income taxes to May 17 rather than the traditional mid-April filing deadline set for most years. While annual revenue totals are comparable as of May 31, net revenue totals in the current month’s year-over-year comparison are not aligned as a result of the FY 2021 filing deadline shift into May.

The changes within the following tax categories help further explain May’s overall net tax revenue increase:

Individual Income Tax: Individual Income Tax collections increased by $90.5 million, or 5.8 percent, to a total of roughly $1.66 billion compared to last year, when Income Tax collections approached $1.57 billion. The following notable components within Individual Income Tax combine for the net increase:

• Individual Income Tax refunds issued (net of voided checks) were down $264.8 million, or 66.5 percent
• Individual Withholding payments increased by $175 million, or 17.4 percent, over fiscal year 2021
• Individual Income Tax Return payments were down $370.3 million, or 42.5 percent, from May 2021
• All other Individual categories, including Non-Resident Return payments, were up a combined $21 million

Sales and Use Tax: Gross Sales and Use Tax collections during the month totaled $1.44 billion, for an increase of $153.8 million, or 11.9 percent, over the previous year. Net Sales and Use Tax increased by $69.4 million, or 10.5 percent, from May 2021, when net sales tax totaled $657.7 million. The adjusted Sales Tax distribution to local governments totaled $711.7 million, for an increase of $85.8 million, or 13.7 percent, compared to last year. Lastly, Sales Tax refunds decreased by $1.4 million, or 31.7 percent, compared to May 2021.

Corporate Income Tax: Corporate Income Tax collections increased by $27.5 million, or 53.8 percent, compared to FY 2021, when Corporate Tax collections totaled $51.2 million for the month.
The following notable components within Corporate Income Tax make up the net increase:

• Corporate Income Tax refunds issued (net of voided checks) were down $10.3 million, or 42.8 percent
• Corporate Income Tax Return payments increased by $17.6 million, or 138.9 percent, over FY ‘21
• All other Corporate Tax categories, including Corporate Estimated payments, were down $0.4 million

Motor Fuel Taxes: Motor Fuel Tax collections for May decreased by $168.9 million, or 99.3 percent, from FY 2021, as a result of the Executive Order issued by Governor Kemp to suspend the Motor Fuel Excise Tax through mid-July.

Motor Vehicle – Tag & Title Fees: Motor Vehicle Tag & Title Fees increased by nearly $2.7 million, or 8.7 percent, while Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT) collections declined by $4.6 million, or 6.2 percent, compared to last year, when TAVT totaled $73.8 million in FY 2021.

From the Associated Press:

Georgia is still in the money, with tax collections on track to deliver another big surplus in its state budget.

The state has already collected roughly $2 billion more in general tax revenue than it’s on track to spend in the budget year that ends June 30, according to figures released Wednesday.

Plus, Georgia will bank another month of tax collections before it closes the books on the 2022 budget year, which could add another $2.5 billion to the surplus.

Georgia ran a $3.7 billion surplus in the 2021 budget year, filling its rainy day fund to the legal limit and leaving $2.3 billion in additional undesignated surplus Kemp has used to give income tax refunds worth $1.1 billion, in addition to paying for the gas tax holiday.

But lawmakers could be cautious because they have set a big income tax cut to begin on Jan. 1, 2024. Changing Georgia’s income tax from a system with a top rate of 5.75% with lower brackets below there to a flat tax of 5.49% could forgo $450 million in tax revenue. After that, the measure calls for the tax rate to fall one-tenth of 1% each year, reaching 4.99% by as early as 2029, unless overall revenue stalls.

Democrat Michelle Munroe will not endorse either of the runoff candidates vying to lose to Republican U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter in the general election. From the Savannah Morning News:

Since May 24, both camps have courted Munroe’s endorsement, but she says she’s not giving one. She said she supports both Joyce Griggs and Wade Herring and will stand behind the winner when they face longtime Rep. Buddy Carter in November.

Munroe’s neutrality may come as news to some Coastal Georgia Democrats, though, at least to those who saw an online poll that suggested Munroe had endorsed Herring. The item was put out by the Herring campaign following the primary as a data-gathering tool for research to determine the value of Munroe’s endorsement for the runoff, according to a spokesman from the campaign.

Munroe quickly moved to “set the record straight” through an appearance on a Facebook Live talk show hosted by Savannah Alderwoman Alicia Miller Blakely. “Support” does not equal an endorsement, Munroe said on the June 1 edition of “By Us, For Us.”

Glynn County election officials prefer voting locations be kept out of public schools, according to The Brunswick News.

Christina Redden, assistant supervisor for the Glynn County Board of Elections and Registration, said the reason polling places are at the schools is because there are few public buildings in the areas where they are located.

Elections officials recently approached Glynn County School Board members to see if they would be willing to close public schools on Election Day, but Redden said they were told it would be too difficult to schedule another day off for students in an already busy schedule.

“It is absolutely a priority to get out of Glynn County schools,” she said. “We are seeking organizations that have handicap access.”

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced that Fulton County Deputy District Attorney Cara Convery will head his office’s new anti-gang unit, according to the Associated Press via the Statesboro Herald.

Under the new law signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, the attorney general’s office will have concurrent authority with local prosecutors to bring gang cases. The state plans to spend $1.6 million on the unit in the budget beginning July 1.

Carr said the law will help his office work with law enforcement, district attorneys and federal agencies.

Supporters of the law say local prosecutors sometimes have trouble pursuing gangs that commit crimes across multiple of Georgia’s 50 judicial circuits. The attorney general’s office will also target gang activity in prisons.

“Cara Convery has established herself as a force in the field of criminal gang prosecution and is a proven leader in Georgia’s legal community,” Carr said in a statement.

The Statesboro Herald looks at local primary runoff elections for June 21st.

The only race on the Republican ballot is the one between Travis Chance and Toby Conner for the GOP nomination for County Commission Seat 2-B, while the Democratic ballot features runoffs for that party’s nomination for four statewide offices: lieutenant governor, secretary of state, insurance commissioner and labor commissioner.

In-person early voting will be available 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. for five days only, Monday-Friday, June 13-17, at the Bulloch County Annex, 113 North Main St., Suite 201, Statesboro. There will be no Saturday voting and no second early voting location. The deadline to request a mailed, paper absentee ballot is this Friday, June 10.

Republicans Bob Duncan and Rick Townsend meet in a June 21 Runoff Election for State House District 179, according to The Brunswick News.

Both candidates, Bob Duncan and Rick Townsend agreed on most issues.

Townsend said he’d be reluctant to eliminate the state income tax without a plan to replace the revenue.

“Give me a plan first,” he said. “What are we going to cut?”

Duncan said there is a plan to continue to lower the state income tax.

Gwinnett County Commissioners will ask voters to adopt a new Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax to replace the one that is expiring, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Gwinnett County and its 16 cities will ask voters in November to extend the county’s special purpose local option sales tax for another six years and collect an estimated $1.35 billion.

“Gwinnett County has benefited from SPLOST programs for decades, starting with the first program in 1985, and since then voters have approved eight additional SPLOST programs,” Gwinnett County Commission Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson said. “It always amazes me what one cent, one penny, can do and has been able to provide for our county.”

The Jekyll Island Authority proposed an increase in the cost of an annual pass from $55 to $75, according to The Brunswick News.

The changes are included in the proposed $35.4 million budget for Jekyll Island’s upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1. The JIA board is set to vote on the final budget at its June 21 meeting.

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