Category: Georgia Political News

31
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 31, 2014

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg.

On November 1, 1732, the Georgia Trustees met in London and chose the name and location of a new colony to be called Savannah.

Georgia and the Creeks Indians signed a treaty on November 1, 1783 giving Georgia control of all land between the Ogeechee and Oconee Rivers.

The United States Congress admitted Nevada as the 36th state on October 31, 1864. Kind of fitting, in a way.

Richard B. Russell, Jr. was born in Winder, Georgia on November 2, 1897.

In 1927, at age 29, Russell was named Speaker of the House – the youngest in Georgia history. In 1930, Russell easily won election as Georgia governor on his platform of reorganizing state government for economy and efficiency. Five months shy of his 34th birthday, Russell took the oath of office from his father, Georgia chief justice Richard B. Russell Sr. He became the youngest governor in Georgia history – a record that still stands. After Georgia U.S. Senator William Harris died in 1932, Gov. Russell named an interim replacement until the next general election, in which Russell himself became a candidate. Georgia voters elected their young governor to fill Harris’ unexpired term. When he arrived in Washington in January 1933, he was the nation’s youngest senator.

Russell had a long and storied career in the United States Senate, during which he served for many years as Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, unofficial leader of the conservative Southern wing of the Democratic party and a chief architect of resistance to civil rights legislation. He also ran for President in 1952, winning the Florida primary.

The carving on Mount Rushmore was completed on October 31, 1941.

Jimmy Carter was elected President of the United States on November 2, 1976.

The current Georgia Constitution was ratified on November 2, 1982 by the state’s voters.

President Bill Clinton hit the campaign trail to help his wife, Hillary Clinton, in her race for United States Senate from New York on October 31, 2000. Bill will be in Atlanta today, campaigning to elect Hillary Clinton President in 2016 Democrat Michelle Nunn to the United States Senate. The AJC Political Insider crew tells us the details and some of the history:

Want to see former President Bill Clinton campaign for Michelle Nunn, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, in Atlanta on Friday? Then be at Paschal’s Fine Southern Cuisine, 180 Northside Drive S.W., at 12:30 p.m.

This is a ticketed, but public event, the Nunn campaign tells us. To get a ticket, call 404-445-6709.

Paschal’s is famous as the restaurant at which Atlanta’s civil rights leadership, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., plotted their strategy — though it was at a different location at the time. But the new site has some resonance for the Clintons. Seven years ago, Paschal’s was the site of a Hillary Clinton presidential rally, which featured an endorsement by U.S. Rep. John Lewis. The congressman was eventually pressured to switch his support to another candidate — Barack Obama.

Maybe someone at Paschal’s will ask Michelle Nunn if she shares her father’s opinion as he wrote in 1998,

It is now clear that President Clinton is primarily responsible for dragging this nation through seven months of preoccupation with the Monica Lewinsky story. The national interest required that he correct any false statements and apologize to the nation months ago.

Even for those who accept President Clinton’s definition of his behavior as “not appropriate,” rather than deplorable and accept his previous testimony under oath as “legally accurate,” not perjury, it must be clear that for the past seven months he has placed his own personal interests far above the national interest.

In the weeks ahead, the president must lead by putting the country’s interest first. This means a voluntary and complete disclosure of all relevant matters concerning alleged acts of illegality to the independent counsel, to the congressional leadership and to the American people.

This will require personal sacrifice and may even require his resignation, but it would fulfill the president’s most important oath — to preserve and protect our nation.

On November 2, 2010, voters elected Republican Nathan Deal as Governor, and the GOP swept all of the statewide offices on the ballot.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Mark Rountree of Landmark Communications brings us an update on early voting numbers:

Georgia early voting and absentee ballot numbers as of Wednesday morning:

32.2% African-American/black voters
63.3% White voters

2012 Obama year early voting/absentee ballot voting was 33% African American/black voters.

So there are fewer total voters than 2012, but as of Wednesday morning was almost exactly the same percentage.

Note that despite this, Romney still won 53% of the overall vote in 2012.

Continue Reading..

29
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 29, 2014

Sir Walter Raleigh, founder of the first permanent English settlement in America, was beheaded on October 29, 1618 for conspiring against King James I.

Georgia’s first Royal Governor, John Reynolds, arrived at Savannah on October 29, 1754.

John Hancock resigned as President of the Continental Congress on October 29, 1777.

Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia on October 29, 1971.

The New York Stock Exchange crashed on October 29, 1929, beginning the spiral to the Great Depression.

The first ballpoint pen went on sale at Gimbel’s Department Store on October 29, 1945.

On October 29, 1998, at 77 years of age, John Glenn became the oldest human to travel in space, on the shuttle Discovery.

More on Democratic GOTV efforts

Dexter Sharper is a Democratic State Representative from Valdosta, and he offered his thoughts via Facebook on why you should vote.

Dexter Sharper Facebook

Hat tip to GaUnfiltered, who noted that:

According to the federal government, more than 46 million Americans receive food stamps as of June 2014. 43% of those getting food stamps are white, 33% are African-American, 19% are Hispanic, 2% are Asian, and 2% are Native American.

Section 8 is a federal rent assistance program administer by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As of 30 September 2014, 49% of [Section 8 recipients are] white and 46% [are] black….

 

Continue Reading..

27
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 27, 2014

Colonists in Georgia signed a letter allowing the beginning of the slave trade in Georgia on October 26, 1749

Georgia Sons of Liberty protested against the British Stamp Act on October 26, 1765.

On October 25, 1774, the First Continental Congress addressed a petition to King George III raising concerns about the Coercive Acts passed by Parliament and asserting its loyalty to the monarch.

On October 27, 1775, King George III addressed Parliament, raising concerns about an American rebellion.

The First of the Federalist Papers, an essay by Alexander Hamilton published under the pseudonym Publius, was published on October 27, 1787.

The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of San Lorenzo, also called Pinckney’s Treaty on October 27, 1795, setting the 31st parallel as the border between Georgia and Florida.

A state Constitutional Convention at Milledgeville, Georgia repealed the state’s Ordinance of Secession on October 26, 1865.

The nation’s first Gold Rush started after Benjamin Parks discovered gold in what is now Lumpkin County, Georgia on October 27, 1828.

Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York City on October 27, 1858.

The wooden keel of USS Monitor was laid at Continental Iron Works at Greenpoint, New York on October 25, 1861.

President Woodrow Wilson vetoed the Volstead Act, which implemented the Eighteenth Amendment prohibition on alcohol, on October 27, 1919; the House overrode his veto that same day.

Navy Day was established on October 27, 1922.

October 27 was suggested by the Navy League to recognize Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday. Roosevelt had been an Assistant Secretary of the Navy and supported a strong Navy as well as the idea of Navy Day. In addition, October 27 was the anniversary of a 1775 report issued by a special committee of the Continental Congress favoring the purchase of merchant ships as the foundation of an American Navy.

Ronald Reagan delivered the “A Time for Choosing” speech on October 27, 1964.

And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man.

This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down—[up] man’s old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.

We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.

Jimmy Carter campaigned in New York on October 27, 1976.

Gladys Knight and the Pips reached #1 with “Midnight Train to Georgia” on October 27, 1973.

Andrew Young was elected Mayor of Atlanta on October 27, 1981.

President George W. Bush signed the Patriot Act on October 26, 2001.

Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy accepted the last Ford Taurus built in Hapeville, Georgia on October 27, 2006.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Statewide offices are not the only issues on the ballot this fall; Cobb County has yet another SPLOST election. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution argues that transparency issues with Chairman Tim Lee and the Braves stadium deal post a threat to the self-imposed tax’s passage.

Cobb County voters have historically been reluctant to give their sales tax pennies to county government, rejecting special purpose levies four out of nine times since 1981.

And two years ago, Cobb voters dealt the regional transportation sales tax one of its worst defeats in Metro Atlanta, casting 68 percent of the ballots against.

But this year’s proposed six-year, $750 million Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax is challenged by more than just history.

The Nov. 4 referendum follows a Cobb Board of Ethics’ decision to proceed with a trial-like hearing into Commission Chairman Tim Lee’s recruitment of the Braves, and after a year marked of critics complaining time and again about a lack of transparency in the county’s stadium dealings.

During a marathon July meeting of the commission in which the board approved placing the tax on ballots, Commissioner Lisa Cupid told Lee that voters shouldn’t have to “play detective” to understand the projects on the list.

“We are trying right now to overcome some concerns people have about how transparent we are,” Cupid said. “This is another example of us not being as transparent as we could and should be. …I feel like I’ve had to play detective.”

Concerns about transparency could be another reason for already skeptical Cobb voters to reject the tax plan, said David Shock, assistant chairman of Kennesaw State University’s Political Science and International Affairs Department, who has studied SPLOST initiatives statewide. He said Cobb voters are unusual in their distaste for sales tax. While that method of funding is typically embraced throughout Georgia, Cobb residents usually mount well-organized opposition that appeals to the county’s staunchly conservative voting base, he said.

Shock said the controversies surrounding Lee could have an impact, especially given the razor-thin margins of recent SPLOST votes. The two most recent initiatives approved were by an average of just 100 votes out of more than 40,000 ballots cast in each of the 2005 and 2011 elections.

Readers of Cobb County’s hometown newspaper, the Marietta Daily Journal, have been seeing this issue played out on the editorial pages for weeks. The MDJ editors have endorsed the SPLOST passage:

One of the beauties of a SPLOST is that it spreads the cost of government across all classes and everyone who spends money in a community, be they rich, poor, residents, non-residents or even here illegally.

Nobody likes paying taxes, but the benefits of past SPLOSTs can be seen all over the county. And Cobb’s triple-AAA bond rating, a distinction shared with only a few dozen other communities around the country, is further evidence that the county continues to be well run.

Next month’s SPLOST referendum will be a departure from its predecessors in one significant way, however. That is, it will take place in conjunction with a general election, when turnouts are high, rather than as a stand-alone special election, when turnouts are small and easier to manipulate. That has made it more incumbent than usual for the county to assemble a list of projects to be funded that are both needed and justifiable.

We think the county has done that — and that this SPLOST deserves your vote.

Last week, a letter to the editor in the MDJ raised the transparency issue and questioned whether county government can be trusted:

There are good arguments on both sides of the 2016 SPLOST renewal debate, which will be voted on by Cobb residents in a few days.

However, the real issue here is trust. I believe there are many good people in Cobb government who do their jobs with integrity and professionalism. However the Board of Commissioners has shown itself to be lacking in those qualities. We have a chairman who thinks it is OK to ramrod $400 million in borrowing through without bothering to inform his fellow commissioners until the last minute, not to mention allowing the county residents a vote. And we have seen with the 2008 parks bonds that the will of the voters can just be discarded whenever the commission feels like it. Those bonds were voter approved and could have been used to purchase valuable green space, at a time when real estate was cheap. I have to question whether this was done deliberately to allow those in the real estate development community, many of whom have close ties to the commission, more opportunities for profiteering.

If the voters cannot be trusted to weigh in on $400 million of bonds for the Braves stadium, or to have some influence on the future land use of an already overdeveloped east Cobb real estate market, then maybe they should not trust this commission as currently constituted to spend $750 million more of their money.

Oliver Halle also raised the question of whether the Commission can be trusted with SPLOST money:

For the first time I will not be voting for a SPLOST. There have been town hall meetings where both sides have laid out their case for and against it. I am not sure which side is the more meritorious, but my inclination would be to support it. A good part of the factors going into my deliberations is that I trust my elected officials unless I have reason not to. In this instance I no longer trust the chair of the Cobb County Commission, Tim Lee. I have never particularly liked his style of governing, but I am sincere in saying that I would not let that alone interfere with my making important decisions. That said, Lee broke faith with the electorate in the new stadium deal. As I wrote in last week’s Agitator, I can live with broken promises and deal with it at the ballot box. Things can change that caused an official to change his position, and that is up to each voter to decide whether it is a deal-breaker for earning that voter’s support.

Lee was caught telling one story about his relationship with attorney Dan McRae, only to have an email completely and factually contradict him. Adding to that was how the email was intentionally written outside the Cobb County government’s email system to avoid having to comply with any Open Records Act requests that might come along. And this particular email goes to the core of how the stadium deal was negotiated.

Cobb County is going to raise the hotel/motel/car rental tax and a few others to support the bond deal that will help pay for the stadium. The public never got a meaningful chance to voice its opposition to it. There are lots of questions about whether all the promises the Braves made can or will be kept, and whether the property owners will ultimately be on the hook if all the happy talk of revenue doesn’t live up to the expectations. By then Lee and many of his cheerleaders will be long gone.

The MDJ has also profiled the heads of groups for and against the SPLOST. On the pro-side is Justin O’Dell, co-chair of Secure Cobb’s Future.

O’Dell said the benefits of the tax for county residents are numerous.

“First and foremost, it has been the mechanism that has kept this county the home of the lowest property taxes in metro Atlanta for more than a decade,” he said. “Second, it is the fairest mechanism for which to pay for infrastructure and capital projects because it is a tax that all of those that utilize our service systems and infrastructure pay. And lastly, it keeps this county largely debt free.”

O’Dell said one of the biggest benefits of the SPLOST is it collects revenue from everyone who spends money in the county, which spreads out the tax burden. While there are conflicting studies about exactly how much of the $750 million would come from those who live outside the county, O’Dell said it’s more than nothing.

Does it make you suspicious when you see the largest newspaper in the county and the head of the pro-tax contingent apparently quoting the same talking points? Then again, good arguments tend to be repeated and used by others.

Coming out against the SPLOST is Lance Lamberton, a longtime conservative activist:

Lance Lamberton predicts Cobb voters will reject the county’s proposed six-year extension of its special purpose local option sales tax Nov. 4 for several reasons.

“I think this is the most wasteful SPLOST we’ve ever had,” he said.

“It’s for six years. There’s a credibility and trust issue. And it’s held in a general election,” Lamberton added.

“I’m of the view that putting more money in the private sector is a better use of people’s money than putting it in the public sector,” he added.

According to Lamberton, the proposed SPLOST would cost a family of four with a median annual income of $65,000 about $3,080 over its six-year life.

Lamberton said voters should also reject the SPLOST proposal to send a message to the state Legislature the county wants to be able to levy the SPLOST at less than 1 percent. A bill to allow for a fractional SPLOST failed to reach the governor’s desk during this year’s legislative session.

“We were very, very close to getting a fractional SPLOST in the last session of the Legislature,” he said. “I think that this defeat of the SPLOST will put it over the top. Then, we can present a SPLOST, and even the Cobb Taxpayers Association would not be in opposition to a good fractional SPLOST.”

Lamberton also has an issue with the six-year term of the proposal.

“It’s assuring the SPLOST will be in place for eight years,” he said. “That’s pretty unusual. On top of the fact that it’s already existed for 10 years continuously.”

The Marietta Daily Journal has done an excellent job of presenting both sides of the argument for their voters – that’s what I think makes them a great newspaper.

Early voting and voter turnout

Last week, Mark Rountree of Landmark Communications published an analysis of some of the early voting figures:

A COMPARISON OF 2010 VS 2014

EARLY VOTERS BY RACIAL DEMOGRAPHIC

As of Thursday night Oct 23, 2014

307,703 people have voted in 2014:

93,577 or 30% are Black

201,716 or 66% are White

IN PERSON

279,269 have voted in person so far:

89,106 or 32% are African-American in-person voters

178,915 or 64% are White in-person voters

ABSENTEE BALLOTS ALREADY CAST

28,184 have voted by paper mail-in ballot

4,408 or 16% are African-American voters

22,637 or 80% are White voters

ABSENTEE BALLOT STILL OUTSTANDING (“UNCAST”)

42,397 ballots remain outstanding (not sent back in)

28% of outstanding ballots were mailed to African-American Voters

64% of outstanding ballots were mailed are to White voters
COMPARE TO 2010:

In 2010 at this time, 253,999 had voted.

26% were African-American voters and 72% were White voters

We received word yesterday that Sunday early voting in Albany netted 500 voters, of whom 470, or 94%, were African-American. Compare this to roughly 60% of 2010 votes in Dougherty County being cast by African-Americans. The Democratic party appears to have dominated Sunday early voting in Dougherty. The Albany Herald wrote about early voting there:

Four hundred ninety-nine voters cast ballots during the four-hour period, catching many elections officials off-guard with a turnout that Dougherty Elections Board Chairman Commodore Conyers said “proved there was a need for a Sunday vote.”

Dougherty Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson said she was not surprised by the large turnout and that the process was running as smoothly as possible.

“We had a state investigator come in and approve everything, and we’ve had a poll watcher assigned to keep an eye on everything,” Nickerson said. “Everyone’s being very patient.”

Poll watcher Joseph Brannan of Columbus said he’d been appointed by the state to keep an eye on the process in Albany. He said he’d seen no irregularities.

“Dougherty County is the only county in Southwest Georgia to hold Sunday voting, but watchers have been assigned at every place in the state where there’s Sunday voting,” Brannan said. “I’m not really watching for anything in particular.

“What I’ve seen so far is that the Elections staff has done a very good job of conducting the voting. I don’t think they or anyone was really prepared for this big a turnout, but they have worked diligently to keep the process moving.”

Dougherty County Commissioner Clinton Johnson, who asked the Elections Board to reconsider its initial vote not to allow Sunday voting, smiled broadly as he watched the voters stream into the Riverfront Resource Center.

“I think (the Elections Board) took the right side in this matter,” he said. “Today proves that the Democratic process works in Dougherty County. A need was definitely met here today.”

WSB-TV reported on some Sunday early voting in Metro Atlanta:

It’s the first Sunday voters can go to the polls in one metro county and many went straight from church for early voting ahead of the November election.

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter spoke to the Piney Grove Baptist Church on Glenwood Avenue Sunday morning.

After the service, she planned to caravan with parishioners to the early voting site in south DeKalb. The group planned to use a full-size bus and two other smaller vans to get what they called “Souls to the Polls.” Unfortunately, plans changed when the bus carrying Carter and several parishioners broke down. A different bus took some parishioners and Carter left to vote at another time.

We spoke with DeKalb County’s election director about the first chance to vote on a Sunday.

WRDW looked at Sunday voting in Richmond County:

Campaigners holding signs while people drive by, hoping to get voter for their favorite candidate. For the first time in Richmond County people can cast their ballot on Sunday.

“It’s better for me considering I’m a single parent and I’m very busy during the week day. This way I won’t have to interrupt my son’s schedule to come during the week day,” said Martha Gilyard Wilson.

After some prayer, church members hit the polls.

“So we as a congregation committed that we would become faithful voters, and we would exercise our rights by voting early,” said Pastor Mark Pierson.

The Athens Banner-Herald covered their local Sunday early voting:

Taking advantage of Sunday voting, a new trend this year in several Georgia counties, voters lined up outside the ACC Board of Elections Sunday, and by 1:30 p.m., 3,923 combined advance and Sunday voters had done so, and by the end of the day, about 300 would cast Sunday ballots.

Church vans pulled up throughout the afternoon, unloading passengers who otherwise might not have made it to the polls. But the turnout was already as varied as the candidates themselves: A group of men showed up on skateboards, wheeling past ladies still in their Sunday hats to take their place in line.

Election Supervisor Gail Schrader said she and her staff were surprised at the turnout.
“We knew it would be good, but we didn’t know exactly what to expect,” she said.

A man wearing a purple usher’s ribbon from church earlier in the day said his church leader encouraged people to get out and vote.

For Thaddeus, the man in the ribbon, Sunday voting was more about ease of access than anything else, and it was a nice change of pace from the usual election-day hustle and bustle.

“People like to get out and mingle, you know, but some of them might not be able to make it out, if they don’t have a car,” he said.
Another plus to Sunday voting was that parking downtown was free.

From the Gwinnett Daily Post:

As of early Friday, 14,530 residents have taken advantage of early voting in Gwinnett County. More than 10,000 voters have cast ballots in person at the elections office since advance voting began on Oct. 13.

An additional 4,449 voters have cast ballots by mail and 27 have voted via electronic ballots. Advance voting continues this week at the Gwinnett County Elections Office, located at 455 Grayson Highway, Suite 200, in Lawrenceville. Voters may cast ballots at the Elections Office through Oct. 31, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Voting will also take place at the county’s six satellite locations — Bogan Park Community Recreation Center, Lenora Park Activity Room, Centerville Community Center, Dacula Park Activity Building, George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center and Lucky Shoals Park Community Recreation Center. Satellite locations will be open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, Oct. 27-31.

From the Augusta Chronicle:

After passing a resolution to allow Sunday voting last month, the Richmond County Board of Elections decided to operate a single polling location at the Municipal Building’s newly renovated lobby to gauge interest in the idea.

Though numbers didn’t come close to the 1,275 voters who visited four polling locations across the county Saturday, Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey said the 497 who cast ballots Sunday show how popular the concept might be.

Doors were open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and less than three hours into the first Sunday voting period, the polling location was running voters through at a rate of about 100 per hour, she said. The location featured 20 voting machines and 10 poll workers.

“I can’t attest to why they’re choosing to come out today, but it is certainly popular with many citizens,” Bailey said. “Anytime you provide an opportunity it’s always good to see people take advantage of it.”

From the Rome News-Tribune, published before Sunday voting opened there yesterday:

The option to cast an early ballot has drawn more than 2,000 people in its first two weeks. Elections officials say 892 voted early the first week, and 1,256 so far this week.

Floyd County voters will choose between Democrat Deboria “Bo” Arrant and Republican incumbent Larry Maxey for the Post 4 County Commission seat.

Republican Scotty Hancock and Democrat Ouida Sams are running for the Post 5 commission seat.

Incumbent John Mayes isn’t running for re-election.

There’s only one local state House of Representatives seat in contention. Republican incumbent Katie Dempsey will face Democrat Richard Garrett for the District 13 seat covering the city of Rome.

23
Oct

Nunn leads Senate race; Deal and Carter tied | The Augusta Chronicle

The Augusta Chronicle story has changed and now reads:

Pollsters weighted the responses to reflect an anticipated turnout in which 30 percent of the voters are black and 55 percent are female.

Assuming that 37% of voters in November will be African-American is either delusional, or the results were weighted to put the Senate and Governor’s races smack in the middle of what everyone else’s says. This is what FiveThirtyEight refers to as “herding.” Why would they do this?

Herding is the tendency of some polling firms to be influenced by others when issuing poll results. A pollster might want to avoid publishing a poll if it perceives that poll to be an outlier. Or it might have a poor methodology and make ad hoc adjustments so that its poll is more in line with a stronger one.

There’s a reason the polling firm here is among the very lowest-rated by Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.

The closer the election gets, the harder it is to tell who is going to win, according to a poll released today showing the races for governor and the Senate effectively tied.

Democrat Michelle Nunn’s 47 percent gives her a slight lead in the Senate race over Republican David Perdue’s 45 percent, but the survey’s 4 percent margin of error means they’re statistically in a dead heat less than two weeks before Election Day. Libertarian Amanda Swafford’s 4 percent could trigger a January runoff by preventing Nunn from getting a majority. Another 4 percent haven’t made up their minds yet.

In the contest for governor, Republican Nathan Deal and Democrat Jason Carter each command 44 percent while Libertarian Andrew Hunt is taking 5 percent. Eight percent of those surveyed were still mulling over the choices.

The poll of 704 general-election voters was conducted by automated questionnaires via cellphone and landline Tuesday and Wednesday by InsiderAdvantage and Opinion Savvy on behalf of Morris News Service and Fox5. Pollsters weighted the responses to reflect an anticipated turnout where 37 percent of the voters are black and 55 percent are female.

via Nunn leads Senate race; Deal and Carter tied | The Augusta Chronicle.

22
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 22, 2014

James Oglethorpe of Georgia signed a treaty with Florida’s Spanish government on October 22, 1736 that is commemorated each year with a very large cocktail party.

On October 22, 1832, the Cherokee Land Lottery began in which the Georgia state government gave away millions of acres of land in 160-acre and 40-acre parcels.

Governor John B. Gordon signed legislation changing the number of Georgia Supreme Court Justices from three to five on October 22, 1887

President Grover Cleveland arrived in Atlanta aboard the Southern Railway to tour the Cotton States and International Expo on October 22, 1895.

Grover Cleveland Atlanta

Four-hundred thirty-three Atlantans were poisoned by bad moonshine on October 21, 1951.

President John F. Kennedy announced the American naval blockade of Cuba after spy planes photographed Soviet missiles on the island 90 miles off the coast of the United States.

The third and final debate between Jimmy Carter and President Gerald Ford was held on October 22, 1976 at Williamsburg, Virginia.

The Atlanta Braves won the first World Series baseball game played outside the United States on October 22, 1992, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 with pitcher John Smoltz starting for the Braves.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Democratic Race-Baiting

Ferguson Mailer

The Georgia Democratic Party is engaged in vicious race-baiting in a divide and conquer strategy to drive African-American voters to the polls. The above photo originated, I believe, from an AJC scan, but has been traveling across the internet for 24 hours. Continue Reading..

21
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 21, 2014

USS_Constitution_v_HMS_Guerriere

USS Constitution, named by President George Washington, was launched in Boston Harbor on October 21, 1791.

During the War of 1812, the Constitution won its enduring nickname “Old Ironsides” after defeating the British warship Guerriére in a furious engagement off the coast of Nova Scotia. Witnesses claimed that the British shots merely bounced off the Constitution‘s sides, as if the ship were made of iron rather than wood. The success of the Constitution against the supposedly invincible Royal Navy provided a tremendous morale boost for the young American republic.

Today, Constitution serves as a museum ship, and has sailed under her own power as recently as 2012. Southern live oak, harvested and milled on St. Simons Island, Georgia, is a primary construction material for Constitution.

Dizzy Gillespie was born on this day in 1917 in Cheraw, South Carolina.

President Warren G. Harding spoke in Alabama on October 21, 1921, and publicly condemned the practice of lynching.

Harding was a progressive Republican politician who advocated full civil rights for African Americans and suffrage for women. He supported the Dyer Anti-lynching Bill in 1920. As a presidential candidate that year, he gained support for his views on women’s suffrage, but faced intense opposition on civil rights for blacks. The 1920s was a period of intense racism in the American South, characterized by frequent lynchings. In fact, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) reported that, in 1920, lynching claimed, on average, the lives of two African Americans every week.

On October 21, 1976, Billy Carter spoke to an audience in Albany, Georgia, about his brother’s campaign for President.

On his brother Jimmy’s drinking habits, Billy said, “Jimmy used to drink liquor. Now he’s running for president he drinks Scotch, and I’ve never trusted a Scotch drinker.” Billy preferred the alcohol choice of his brother’s running mate, Walter Mondale – “I liked him the best of all the ones who came to Plains. He’s from a small town and he’s a beer drinker.”

Today, Billy Carter’s service station is preserved as a museum in Plains, Georgia.

The Atlanta Braves won the first game of the 1995 World Series on October 21, 1995, as Greg Maddux dominated the Cleveland Indians, allowing only two hits. Native American groups protested the names of both teams.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

I was listening to GPB’s “Political Rewind” on the radio on Friday (3-4 PM on 88.5 FM in Atlanta), when Beth Schapiro said about one or another of the current crop of ads, “if you’re going to do an ad that doesn’t match the actual facts, do it late in the campaign.” I’m paraphrasing, and I don’t think she was condoning it, rather pointing out something that happens regularly in the terminal stage of campaigns.

To illustrate, we have Michelle Nunn once again using the photo of her with former President George H.W. Bush (41), against his wishes.

Bush already endorsed Nunn’s Republican opponent, David Perdue, and his office is not happy about Nunn defying his wishes again.Continue Reading..

15
Oct

Newest Survey USA Poll – a look under the hood.

Here’s the bottom line on my analysis: The major change from the last SUSA and this are that Independents were breaking 3:2 for Deal and Perdue, but this poll shows them 40-37 Deal and 43-37 Perdue.

Here’s the old Survey USA Governor and Senate by ideology

                          Independent

Deal                    45
Carter                 29
Hunt                   16
Undecided          9

Independent
Perdue                49
Nunn                   31
Swafford              8
Undecided         12

Here’s the new Survey USA Governor and Senate by ideology

                       Independent
Deal                    40
Carter                 37
Hunt                   13
Undecided         11

Independent
Perdue               43
Nunn                 37
Swafford            9
Undecided        11

Hispanic and Asian are too high at 7 and 5 respectively. All “other” than black or white is usually around 8-9% total. That undoubtedly includes some “white” and “black” as well.

NB: When looking at subsample, your margin of error rises, sometimes dramatically so.

 

 

15
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 15, 2014

Friday, October 15, 1582 marked the beginning of the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar – the previous day was Thursday, October 4th.

George Washington left New York, the nation’s capitol, on October 15, 1789, embarking upon the first Presidential tour to New England.

The world’s first combat submarine, CSS Hunley, sunk during testing in Charleston Harbor on October 15, 1863.

The 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution too effect October 15, 1933, changing the Presidential term of office to begin and end on January 20th following each quadrennial election and Senate and Congress to January 3d following biennial elections, both from March 4th.

Billy Graham launched his national ministry on October 15, 1949 in Los Angeles, California.

On October 15, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation creating the United States Department of Transportation. May God have mercy upon his soul.

Interstate 285 around Atlanta was completed on October 15, 1969.

The Omni opened in Atlanta on  October 15, 1972, as the Hawks beat the New York Knicks by a score of 109-101.

Former Secretary General of the Communist Party of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize on October 15, 1990

Georgia-born Clarence Thomas was confirmed as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on October 15, 1991.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Political Rewind Tonight

Last week, I spoke to the Georgia Municipal Association’s Legislative Policy Committee at their quarterly meeting with Tharon Johnson, a Democratic strategist, in what we jokingly called the “Political Rewind” road show.

lpc_meeting_2014_10_edna

From GMA’s writeup:

The key to victory for the gubernatorial and senate candidates will be women, said political strategists Tharon Johnson and Todd Rehm. At the GMA’s Legislative Policy Council (LPC) meeting this week, Johnson and Rehm discussed the upcoming elections for governor and Georgia’s next U.S. senator.

“Independents, especially women, are going to be the key for election for both the governor’s race and the senate,” said Rehm, a Republican political consultant and blogger.

Johnson, a Democrat political consultant, said he’d advise Senate candidate Michelle Nunn to run commercials featuring her father, former Senator Sam Nunn. “Knowing that [David] Perdue is going to get more old white guys, put your dad on TV to get the older voters who remember and liked him.”
Continue Reading..

14
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 14, 2014

On October 14, 1735, John and Charles Wesley sailed with James Oglethorpe from Gravesend, England, for Georgia and John Wesley wrote the first entry in his journal that would eventually cover 55 years. On that date, John Wesley wrote,

Our end in leaving our native country, was not to avoid want, (God having given us plenty of temporal blessings,) nor to gain the dung or dross of riches or honour; but singly this, to save our souls; to live wholly to the glory of God.

The First Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Colonial Rights in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 14, 1774.

Then-former President Theodore Roosevelt was shot before a campaign speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on October 14, 1912.

Roosevelt, who suffered only a flesh wound from the attack, went on to deliver his scheduled speech with the bullet still in his body. After a few words, the former “Rough Rider” pulled the torn and bloodstained manuscript from his breast pocket and declared, “You see, it takes more than one bullet to kill a Bull Moose.” He spoke for nearly an hour and then was rushed to the hospital.

A.A. Milne published Winnie-the-Pooh on October 14, 1926. E. H. Shepard illustrated the Pooh books.

Pooh_Shepard1928

The War Department renamed Wellston Air Depot to Warner Robins Air Force Depot to honor Brigadier General Augustine Warner Robins on October 14, 1942.

On October 14, 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr. was announced as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming Georgia’s first native-born winner. Today’s Atlanta Journal Constitution has a story on how King’s Nobel Prize effected Atlanta.

The honor wasn’t just a watershed for King and the civil rights movement but also for Atlanta. It set off a series of events that some say fundamentally changed the city’s business, religious and racial cultures by bringing blacks and whites together for the first time to share a meal in public.

That simple act, holding a multi-racial banquet in the new Nobel laureate’s honor, tested the will and even the nerves of those determined to make Atlanta a more just and inclusive place.

“It was a defining moment in the history of the city, and it should go down in the city’s documented memory,” said Janice R. Blumberg, the widow of Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, who was instrumental in organizing the event.

King’s three surviving children are due in court in December to determine if the 23-karat gold medal — along with a Bible their father once owned — should be sold at auction. Brothers Martin Luther King III and Dexter King, representing the King Estate, plan to sell the items. Sister Bernice King has opposed the sale.

Mayor Allen and J. Paul Austin, chairman of Coca-Cola, gathered the business elite at the Piedmont Driving Club. Allen warned then he would be taking notes on who did not attend the dinner. But Austin delivered the crushing blow.

According to Young’s written account, Austin said: “It is embarrassing for Coca-Cola to be located in a city that refuses to honor its Nobel Prize winner. We are an international business. The Coca-Cola Company does not need Atlanta. You all have to decide whether Atlanta needs the Coca-Cola Company.”

On October 14, 1980, Republican candidate for President Ronald Reagan announced he would name a woman to the Supreme Court if elected.

To achieve those ends, we need the best people possible at the highest levels of Government regardless of sex, race or religion. I am also acutely aware, however, that within the guidelines of excellence, appointments can carry enormous symbolic significance. This permits us to guide by example, to show how deep our commitment is and to give meaning to what we profess.

One way I intend to live up to that commitment is to appoint a woman to the Supreme Court. I am announcing today that one of the first Supreme Court vacancies in my administration will be filled by the most qualified woman I can find, one who meets the high standards I will demand for all my appointments.

It is time for a woman to sit among our highest jurists. I will also seek out women to appoint to other Federal courts in an effort to bring about a better balance on the Federal bench.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Can UGA sue?

Ron Daniels, an actual lawyer, raises the issue of whether the University of Georgia could sue the sports memorabilia dealer who allegedly paid Todd Gurley for autographed merchandise.

Apparently, in 2003, the General Assembly passed a law designed to allow universities to recover damages from situations like this. While this law has been on the books for over a decade, it does not appear to have ever been used. But O.C.G.A. 20-2-317 and O.C.G.A. 20-2-318 are finally getting some press. At first blush, it may seem like 20-2-318 may give UGA a cause of action against Gurley’s accuser.

In the words of one ESPN commentator, “[n]ot so fast my friend.” 2-20-318 is an obvious example of “feel good” legislation. But in the rush to pass such legislation, it appears a possible loop-hole may exist for any potential defendants.

Continue Reading..

30
Sep

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 30, 2014

Wyoming adopted the first state constitution to allow women to vote on September 30, 1889.

In fall of 1863, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, the second woman in the United States to graduate medical school, traveled to the Chattanooga area to treat soldiers wounded in the Battle of Chickamauga.

Despite her degree, at First Manassas she was only allowed to serve as a nurse. Eventually she became an unpaid volunteer field surgeon for the Union army and served on front line battlefields for nearly two years.

In fall of 1863, in response to the dire medical needs, she was transferred to a Union hospital in Chattanooga.  Finally, in September 1863, her relentless perseverance paid off, and she was awarded a commission as a “Contract Acting Assistant Surgeon (civilian)” with the Union Army of the Cumberland. It was technically a civilian, not a military, position, but she did receive compensation. A few months later she was appointed a civilian contract assistant surgeon for the 52nd Ohio Infantry, a Union regiment wintering in Chattanooga.

Though she had been a civilian contractor, Walker was recognized as the first-ever female U.S. Army Surgeon. In November 1865, President Andrew Johnson signed a bill awarding her the highest U.S. Armed Forces decoration for bravery, the Medal of Honor. The citation stated that she had “devoted herself with much patriotic zeal to the sick and wounded soldiers, both in the field and hospitals, to the detriment of her own health.  She had also endured hardships as a prisoner of war for four months in a Southern prison.”

Walker remains today the only woman, and one of only eight civilians, ever awarded the Medal of Honor.

President Woodrow Wilson spoke in favor of Women’s Suffrage in an address to Congress on September 30, 1918. The bill to pass the 19th Amendment would die in the Senate that year after passing the House.

On September 30, 1927, Babe Ruth hit his 60th home run of the season.

On September 30, 1976, Democrat Jimmy Carter led the Harris Poll for President over President Gerald Ford by a 50-41 margin. In November 1976, the popular vote tallied 50.08% for Carter to 48.01% for Ford, with an Independent taking nearly a point.

Voter Registration

Even if you last voted in the July 22d runoff election, it’s worth taking a moment to check your voter registration by logging in to the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page, where you can also preview the November ballot.

Click here for complete information on registering to vote.

Click here for contact information for your County Board of Elections if you have questions.

Click here to register online if you have a valid Georgia driver’s license.

Click here for an absentee ballot application.

All of this information is available on mobile devices on Apple and Android platforms. To find the app, search for “GA Votes” in the Apple app store or the Google Play store.

If you need to register to vote, the deadline is Monday.

New Campaign Ads

The Fix blog at the Washington Post has analyzed TV buying information from FCC political filings to see what kind of patterns emerge.

Republicans advertise on ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ Democrats buy ads on ‘Big Brother.’

If you have seen the “Today” show or your local news or an NFL game in recent weeks and you are unfortunate/fortunate enough to live in (or near) a Senate battleground state, what I am about to write will probably not surprise you: Those broadcasts have been the most likely to host ads from Senate candidates and party campaign committees since Aug. 1.

Among daytime shows, Dr. Phil sells the most time to Republicans, while “The View” sells more ads to Democrats. Sunday ad time is more likely sold to GOP candidates than Dems. Interestingly to me, and somewhat counterintuitive, is that advertising during “Modern Family” advertising is about 2/3 by Republicans. Someone pointed out to me that in “Modern Family,” each family unit featured on the show has a stay-at-home parent.

Among re-runs, Andy Griffith is very popular among Republicans.

The Post also profiles social media use in a fascinating article:

In the aggregate, social media users are younger, more liberal … and less politically engaged than the general populace. Facebook is the closest thing we have to a neutral and all-inclusive public forum — and that’s only because so many people are on it that the overall politics and demographics of the platform are a wash.

Pinterest is one of the most conservative social networking sites — something that was already established by a Harvard Institute of Politics study of young adults from earlier this year. Quantcast also found that Pinterest users were wealthier and older than the users of other major social-media platforms

Twitter, on the other hand, leans the furthest left and features far more active political creatures than Pinterest. Quantcast found that Twitter users were the one exception to the rule that social media users tend to pay attention to politics far less than most Americans. The Harvard Institute of Politics study also found that Twitter users are more likely to be Democrats.

 

State and Local News Across Georgia

The address of The Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House will now read Duane Allman Blvd. after Macon renamed a portion of Vineville Avenue – Macon Telegraph.

GDOT held a public meeting about their plan to add new toll lanes in Gwinnett – Gwinnett Daily Post.

“The managed lanes are a way to meet the need when you need it,” she said. “It is not the best answer, but it’s the only answer we have right now.”

As with the existing toll lanes, the toll to use the new lanes will vary with demand and congestion. The new section, Pope added, will be tolled separately from the existing section and there will be signs indicating where the new toll begins.

“When you need that reliable trip time, you can choose to pay your way in and get it,” Pope explained.

Dacula resident Wayne Rowan is adamantly opposed to the project. Rowan travels approximately 30,000 miles a year, much of it in Gwinnett, but refuses to use the existing toll lanes.

“I refuse to pay for something I’ve already paid for before,” he said. “I don’t have a Peach Pass and I’m not going to get a Peach Pass. I’ll sit in traffic. I don’t care.”

 

U.S. Department of Transportation is giving Macon the chance of another year of subsidized commercial flights under the Essential Air Service Program – Macon Telegraph.

A loggerhead turtle who had been recuperating at the Sea Turtle Center after a fire ant attack was released to the wild – Savannah Morning News.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends IUDs or hormonal implants in addition to condom use for teenage girls who have sex  – Savannah Morning News. [Editor's Note: this will surely set off a firestorm of criticism.]

Voters in Dalton can hear from Miller Jones and Dennis Mock, candidates for Mayor, at a forum tonight at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall – Dalton Daily Citizen.

A reader of the Dalton Daily Citizen opines in a Letter to the Editor that Republican voters have an important job on November 4th:

Republican voters must not sit out the November elections. Such inaction could put two unqualified liberal Democrats into office.

Michelle Nunn, candidate for Senate, would be one more puppet vote for Barack Obama’s far-left liberal policies. She would not vote to repeal Obamacare, nor make any changes to that law. Further, as a senator, she would be just one more toady of the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to bottle up any and all legislation, without bringing it to a vote, which Reid doesn’t like. She would also vote along party lines to ensure Obama crams even far more leftists onto the federal courts and non-elected boards and commissions. Their opinions and decisions are as effective as laws but have not been passed by Congress.

Virtually all of her working life has been spent with nonprofit organizations. In this capacity, she has not had to be concerned with making sales to pay employees, pay the bills and keep the doors open. A Sen. Nunn would only help Obama create even more nonprofits from profit-making businesses, leading them to bankruptcy. This would further  increase unemployment, the last thing Whitfield County needs.

For governor, an inexperienced Atlanta lawyer, with a flip-flopping voting record in a brief state Senate career, speaks like a true Democrat. Jason Carter has all sorts of solutions to problems but offers no way to pay for them. He must not know that Georgia can’t print money.

With the Legislature solidly controlled by Republicans, he would have no chance of passing his Obama-lite legislation. If his family name were different, he probably would not even be a candidate.

“Hap” Harris has been named an intermim District 7 Commissioner by the Augusta City Commission to fill the term of a member who resigned – Augusta Chronicle.  The Augusta Commission is no longer “Hap”-less, at least in name.

The Washington Post notes that five statewide Democratic candidates are African-American women and dubs them “the Georgia Five.”

The five have received endorsements from top Democratic figures in the state as well as important progressive groups, but have largely gone under the national radar.

All the challenges women face in running for office — raising money, getting support from their party and convincing voters they have the chops — are magnified for women of color. Case in point: A recent study showed that black women raise an average $235,000 less than their black male counterparts when running for office.

There isn’t much good down-ballot polling for Georgia’s races, but most polls suggest that they will be close, with an edge given to Republicans (similar to the gubernatorial and Senate races), because of the state’s overall makeup. Democrats want very badly to capitalize on the state’s changing DNA and have said that increasing the voter rolls by 3 percent with Democratic voters would mean victory.

As voters, black women will be key to any get-out-the-vote efforts, as they are crucial to the overall turnout of African Americans, who made up 28 percent of the vote in the 2010 midterm elections in Georgia.

And although black women power the black vote, making up almost 60 percent of the voters in that key demographic — and cast ballots at a higher rate than any other demographic group in 2008 and 2012 — that has hardly translated to political power.

Lobbyists

Capitol Partners Public Affairs Group, Inc. announced that Caroline Womack joined the firm as a principal. Prior to joining Capitol Partners, Womack served as government relations director at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia.

“Caroline’s strong record of effective advocacy and results in addition to her relentless work ethic are tremendous assets to our clients,” said Rusty Sewell, principal and founder of Capitol Partners. “As we look to the future and position ourselves for growth, Caroline will be an integral part of our firm and leadership team. We are proud to welcome her to Capitol Partners.”

While at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Caroline played a key role in expanding the company’s relationship with the State of Georgia. During her tenure, she successfully guided public affairs and external communications initiatives during one of the most turbulent periods for the health care industry.

“In government relations, there is no substitute for experience and strong relationships built on integrity and trust,” said Hunter Towns, principal at Capitol Partners. “Caroline brings in-depth knowledge of the legislative landscape in Georgia as well as her affable, winning personality. She knows how to get things done, which is an invaluable quality for our clients and our firm.”

Capitol Partners Public Affairs group represents top companies and nonprofits including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, the State Bar of Georgia, Blue Bird Corporation, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, The Auto Club Group (AAA) and the Georgia Cable Association, among others.

Events Calendar


Ladies Only! Mrs. Rick W. Allen for Lunch with Special Guests

September 30 @ 11:30 AM1:00 PM
Augusta Country Club Summer House, 655 Milledge Road, Augusta , GA 30904

 

+ Google Map

Please join Mrs. Rick W. Allen for Lunch with Special Guests Mrs. Saxby Chamblis…

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FREE

DeKalb County GOP: Take The Senate Tuesday

September 30 @ 5:00 PM9:00 PM
DeKalb GOP HQ, 1532 Dunwoody Village Parkway, Dunwoody, GA 30338

GATHER AT THE DeKalb GOP HQ to make phone calls for VICTORY. HELP US FIRE HARRY …

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50 / 75

BBQ and Politics – Fundraiser for Rep. Sam Teasley

September 30 @ 5:00 PM7:00 PM
Dave Poe’s BBQ, 660 Whitlock Avenue, Marietta , GA 30064

Please join State Representative Sam Teasley and support his re-election by comi…

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Nancy Jester Night in Brookhaven

September 30 @ 6:00 PM8:00 PM
Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub, 705 Town Blvd, Brookhaven, GA 30319

    As a candidate for the District One seat on the DeKalb Board of Co…

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Suwanee Tea Party Meeting

September 30 @ 7:30 PM8:30 PM
Ippolito’s, 350 Town Center Ave, Suwanee, GA 30024

Jane Robbins, an attorney and a senior fellow with the American Principles Proje…

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October 2014


GA State University CR: Meeting with Rep. Sam Teasley

October 1 @ 4:30 PM5:30 PM
GSU Campus, Capitol Suite, 3Rd Floor, Student Center, Atlanta, GA

 

+ Google Map

Reminder we are having our next meeting Wednesday at 4:30pm. State rep Sam Teasl…

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Dialing with DEAL!

October 1 @ 5:30 PM8:00 PM
GA GOP HQ, 3110 Maple Dr NE, Atlanta , GA 30305
Please join Gov. Nathan Deal live and in-person for a special night of ph…
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Oconee Regional GOP Women & UGA College Republicans: Beyond Common Core: It’s worse than you think

October 2 @ 7:00 PM8:00 PM
UGA – Miller Learning Center, Room 348, Athens, GA

  This Thursday the Oconee Regional Republican Women (ORRW) will host a spe…

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Buckhead YR: Happy Hour

October 2 @ 7:00 PM8:00 PM
Big Sky Buckhead, 3201 Cains Hill Pl NW, Atlanta, GA 30305

Join the Buckhead Young Republicans for our October Happy Hour on Thursday Octob…

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