Category: Georgia Politics

14
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 14, 2018

General Sherman’s army prepared for the March to the Sea on November 14, 1864.

On November 14, 1944, the Constitutional Convention working on a revised document for Georgia reversed its position on home rule that had been adopted the previous day on the motion of Governor Ellis Arnall.

Three astronauts with connections to Georgia – Eric Boe, Robert Kimbrough, and Sandra Magnus – were aboard the space shuttle Endeavor when it lifted off on November 14, 2008.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

State Representative John Meadows (R-Calhoun), Chair of the House Rules Committee has died after fighting cancer, according to News Channel 9.

“My dear friend John was a great man – brave Marine, loving father and adoring grandfather,” said Speaker Ralston. “He loved his family with total devotion. His public service, both as a Marine and a State Representative, was grounded in trying to ensure his children and grandchildren saw a better tomorrow.”

“John was outwardly fierce and courageous but he was, at the same time, one of the kindest and most generous souls you have ever met. There aren’t words to describe the magnitude of this loss for our House of Representatives or the State of Georgia, and my heart is simply broken under the weight of this sad news.

“My heart goes out to John’s family – particularly his beloved wife Marie, his children B.J. and Missy, and his grandsons Will, Patrick, and Max.”

Rep. Meadows was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in November, 2004 and represented the residents of Murray and Gordon Counties. In addition to chairing the Rules Committee, he also served on the Governmental Affairs, Industry and Labor, Insurance, Retirement, and Game, Fish, & Parks Committees.

Governor Nathan Deal unveiled his proposed legislation for South Georgia relief after Hurricane Michael, according to the AJC.

Gov. Nathan Deal proposed $200 million worth of income tax credits Tuesday for landowners in southwest Georgia as incentive for them to replant trees destroyed last month by Hurricane Michael.

The tax break was part of Deal’s package introduced as state lawmakers convened a special session designed to help fund the cleanup and rebuilding of southwest Georgia after the storm.

The tax break would aid both timber and pecan farmers who saw their trees destroyed by the storm.

The tax credits would be available to landowners in 28 counties hardest hit by the storm. Deal’s chief of staff, Chris Riley, called the $200 million “a drop in the bucket to what was lost.”

Deal also proposed about $270 million in other spending, much of it going to debris cleanup. The state will pay part of local government costs, including overtime for staffers who worked long hours during and after the storm.

From the AJC:

State Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, shared her love of the chairman.

He was “a person who cared very much for those that are disadva`ten champions legislation to protect children and senior citizens. “He also cared about the vulnerable population, whether it was young or old.”

Meadows stuck by his friends and left no doubt what he stood for, House Ways and Means Chairman Jay Powell said.

“He’d tell you exactly what he thought. You might not like it, but he was not going to sugarcoat it,” said Powell, a Republican from Camilla. “You didn’t really like it at the time, but in the long run it was the best thing for you to know where you stood and what he thought.”

Today, the State House will convene for Day Two of the 2018 Special Session, beginning at 10 AM.Continue Reading..

13
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 13, 2018

President George Washington returned to the City of Washington on November 13, 1789, ending the first Presidential tour.

On the same day, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to his friend Jean-Baptiste LeRoy, in which he said,

“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

On November 13, 1865, the United States government issued the first Gold Certificates.

The Georgia General Assembly adopted a resolution against ratifying the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution on November 13, 1866.

In deciding not to ratify the 14th Amendment, the General Assembly adopted a committee report explaining that: “1. If Georgia is not a State composing part of the Federal Government known as the Government of the United States, amendments to the Constitution of the United States are not properly before this body. 2. If Georgia is a State composing part of the Federal Government … , these these amendments are not proposed according to the requirements of the Federal Constitution, and are proposed in such a manner as to forbid the legislature from discussing the merits of the amendments without an implied surrender of the rights of the State.”

Excavation began for a new Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on the site of the former City Hall/Fulton County Courthouse on November 13, 1884.

Walt Disney released “Fantasia” on November 13, 1940.

Georgia Governor and Constitutional Commission Chair Ellis Arnall moved that a home rule provision be included in the new draft of the state Constitution and his motion passed 8-7 on November 13, 1944.

On November 13, 1956, the United States Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that struck down a law requiring segregation on buses in Montgomery, Alabama.

Ronald Reagan announced his campaign for the Republican nomination for President of the United States on November 13, 1979.

“The people have not created this disaster in our economy; the federal government has. It has overspent, overestimated, and over regulated. It has failed to deliver services within the revenues it should be allowed to raise from taxes. In the thirty-four years since the end of World War II, it has spent 448 billion dollars more than it has collection in taxes – 448 billion dollars of printing press money, which has made every dollar you earn worth less and less. At the same time, the federal government has cynically told us that high taxes on business will in some way “solve” the problem and allow the average taxpayer to pay less. Well, business is not a taxpayer it is a tax collector. Business has to pass its tax burden on to the customer as part of the cost of doing business. You and I pay the taxes imposed on business every time we go to the store. Only people pay taxes and it is political demagoguery or economic illiteracy to try and tell us otherwise.”

“The key to restoring the health of the economy lies in cutting taxes. At the same time, we need to get the waste out of federal spending. This does not mean sacrificing essential services, nor do we need to destroy the system of benefits which flow to the poor, the elderly, the sick and the handicapped. We have long since committed ourselves, as a people, to help those among us who cannot take care of themselves. But the federal government has proven to be the costliest and most inefficient provider of such help we could possibly have.”

“I believe this nation hungers for a spiritual revival; hungers to once again see honor placed above political expediency; to see government once again the protector of our liberties, not the distributor of gifts and privilege. Government should uphold and not undermine those institutions which are custodians of the very values upon which civilization is founded—religion, education and, above all, family. Government cannot be clergyman, teacher and parent. It is our servant, beholden to us.”

“We who are privileged to be Americans have had a rendezvous with destiny since the moment in 1630 when John Winthrop, standing on the deck of the tiny Arbella off the coast of Massachusetts, told the little band of pilgrims, “We shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world.”

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on November 13, 1982 in Washington, DC.

On November 13, 2006, groundbreaking began for a memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Three astronauts with connections to Georgia – Eric Boe, Robert Kimbrough, and Sandra Magnus – were aboard the space shuttle Endeavor when it lifted off on November 14, 2008.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The State House of Representatives convenes in Special Session today at 1:30 PM. I believe the Senate will convene earlier, but have not heard formally.

United States District Court Judge Amy Totenberg has ordered a delay in the deadline for counties to certify election results, according to the AJC.

A federal judge on Monday ordered election officials to review thousands of provisional ballots that haven’t been counted in Georgia’s close election for governor.

U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg’s order calls for a hotline for voters to check if their provisional ballots were counted, a review of voter registrations, and updated reports from the state government about why many voters were required to use provisional ballots.

Totenberg said she’s providing “limited, modest” relief to help protect voters. The order preserves Tuesday’s deadline for county election offices to certify results and the Nov. 20 deadline for Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden to certify the election. The ruling enjoins Crittenden from certifying the election before Friday at 5 p.m.

Her ruling applies to provisional ballots, which were issued to as many as 27,000 Georgia voters because their registration or identification couldn’t be verified. Provisional ballots are usually only counted if voters prove their eligibility within three days of the election, a deadline that passed Friday.

The decision doesn’t say whether additional provisional ballots could be counted after election results are certified at the county level Tuesday.

From AccessWDUN:

And, for counties with 100 or more provisional ballots, she ordered the secretary of state’s office to review, or have county election officials review, the eligibility of voters who had to cast a provisional ballot because of registration issues.

Totenberg also ruled that Georgia must not certify the election results before Friday at 5 p.m., which falls before the Nov. 20 deadline set by state law.

Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden earlier provided guidance to local boards of elections in dealing with some provisional ballots, according to the AJC.

Georgia Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden instructed county election officials Monday to count absentee ballots even if they lack a voter’s date of birth, as long as the voter’s identity can be verified.

Crittenden issued the guidance for county election officials as they face a Tuesday deadline to certify the results of the Nov. 6 election.

Crittenden’s instructions could affect vote-counting in Gwinnett County, where election officials rejected 1,587 mailed absentee ballots. Gwinnett has the largest number of potential uncounted absentee ballots for Abrams in the state.

Many absentee ballots were rejected in Gwinnett because voters filled out incorrect direct dates of birth or provided insufficient information on the return envelope.

“What is required is the signature of the voter and any additional information needed for the county election official to verify the identity of the voter,” Crittenden wrote. “Therefore, an election official does not violate [state law] when they accept an absentee ballot despite the omission of a day and month of birth … if the election official can verify the identity of the voter.”

The Macon Telegraph looks at the polarization of Georgia’s electorate between rural, suburban, and urban counties.

Analysis of this year’s gubernatorial election results reveals a growing division between rural and suburban counties and a surprising decrease in Democratic votes outside of metropolitan Atlanta compared to recent presidential elections.

For her part, Abrams received more votes in Georgia than any Democratic candidate at any level and has come closer to winning the governorship than any Democrat since Roy Barnes won in 1996.

The remarkable turnout for both candidates, aided by the state’s population growth, reflects the increasing nationalization of state politics. The days of Blue Dog Democrats, liberal Republicans and widespread ticket splitting are dwindling, if not gone.

The margins between Republican and Democratic candidates have diverged over the past few elections, showing an increasingly divided state. The average margin for Kemp across all rural counties was 38 percent, which improved upon Trump’s rural margin of 36 percent and Romney’s of 29 percent. The margin for Abrams across all suburban counties was 17 percent, which improved up Clinton’s 11 percent suburban margin and Obama’s 5 percent.

That growing divide is well distributed across the suburban and rural counties. Compared with 2016, Kemp increased Republican margins in 116 of the 139 rural counties he carried, while Abrams increased Democratic margins in all of the suburban counties, including the five she did not carry.

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson will join the Hall Booth Smith law firm after she leaves office, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson plans to private law practice again when her second term ends early next year. But she said the move will not impact future political considerations.

Hall Booth Smith, P.C., which has six offices across the South, announced Tuesday morning that Tomlinson, 53, will join its firm as a partner specializing in complex litigation, crisis management and strategic solutions. She will work out of

Though the mayor of Columbus is elected in a non-partisan election, Tomlinson has worked hard for a number of Democratic candidates in the recent election cycle, including gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Tomlinson, 53 and an Atlanta native, has been exploring a possible run for U.S. Senate in 2020 against Republican incumbent David Perdue.

“I chose to join Hall Booth Smith because they have a deep commitment to public service,” Tomlinson said. “The firm is supportive of my pursuing future public service should that opportunity present itself.”

The leadership at Hall Booth understands her interest in another political office and has been supportive during the employment talks, she said. Hall Booth Smith Chairman and co-founder John Hall said the growing firm, which now has more than 200 attorneys, is personality-driven and Tomlinson is a perfect fit.

 Floyd County has certified its election results, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

Floyd County Elections Board Chair Steve Miller said Monday there were 173 provisional ballots cast in the Nov. 6 general election, compared to 16 during the May primaries. Clerks spent the week reviewing the voters’ eligibility and, in the end, 116 of them passed muster.

Miller said a few provisional voters never returned with their required identification, and some weren’t registered by the Oct. 9 deadline to vote in this election. Most of the 57 rejected ballots, however, were from voters registered in another county.

12
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 12, 2018

General William Tecumseh Sherman ordered the destruction of railroad and telegraph lines between Atlanta and Northwest Georgia on November 12, 1864. Sherman also burned the railroad bridge over the Chattahoochee, cutting his own supply line from Chattanooga.

In what looks to me like a surprisingly progressive move for the 19th century, Governor John B. Gordon signed legislation on November 12, 1889 opening the University of Georgia to white women.

On November 12, 1918, Atlanta held a victory parade to celebrate the Armistice with Germany.

On November 12, 1944, the Atlanta Constitution released a poll of Georgia legislators indicating that most wanted more local rule for cities and counties in the new Constitution being drafted.

President Jimmy Carter ordered an end to oil imports from Iran on November 12, 1979.

Tim Berners-Lee published a Proposal for a HyperText Project, laying the foundation for the World Wide Web, on November 12, 1990.

HyperText is a way to link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will. Potentially, HyperText provides a single user-interface to many large classes of stored information such as reports, notes, data-bases, computer documentation and on-line systems help.

A program which provides access to the hypertext world we call a browser. A hypertext page has pieces of text which refer to other texts. Such references are highlighted and can be selected with a mouse. When you select a reference, the browser presents you with the text which is referenced.

The texts are linked together in a way that one can go from one concept to another to find the information one wants. The network of links is called a web.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Ledger-Enquirer writes about runoff elections on the statewide ballot.

▪ Republican Brad Raffensberger and Democrat John Barrow will face off for the Secretary of State office Brian Kemp just vacated.

▪ Incumbent Republican Chuck Eaton and Democrat Lindy Miller will vie for the 3rd District Public Service Commission seat.

Early voting starts Nov. 26 – the Monday after a four-day Thanksgiving weekend, for some people – and it lasts just five days, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Nov. 30 in the City Services Center, 3111 Citizens Way, off Macon Road by the Columbus Public Library.

“That’s if everything goes as planned,” cautioned Nancy Boren, executive director of the Muscogee County Board of Elections and Registrations.

Tuesday’s vote still has to be certified, to document the tallies needed for runoffs. Legal maneuvers in the governor’s race could affect that.

Only people who were eligible to vote in the General Election may vote in the runoff, but they do not have to have voted, they just have to have been registered to.

Governor Deal on Friday issued the call for a Special Session of the Georgia General Assembly.

Gov. Nathan Deal today issued the call to convene a special legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly, to begin on Tuesday, Nov. 13.

“Many of Georgia’s communities were severely impacted by Hurricane Michael as families, businesses and farmers sustained significant financial losses,” said Deal. “In response, I have asked the General Assembly to reconvene and take immediate action to provide relief funding and spur economic recovery for the affected areas. Our state appropriations need to be amended to minimize financial losses following the storm and to ensure Georgia’s continued prosperity in the coming months. I look forward to working with the General Assembly and the leadership of both chambers to provide much-needed support for those affected by Hurricane Michael.”

The special session will be convened for the limited purposes of providing emergency funding to state agencies and local governments following Hurricane Michael and ratifying Deal’s executive order dated July 30, 2018. The special session will also include providing for general law regarding taxation related to recovery and rebuilding from the impact of Hurricane Michael and taxation related to the subjects of that executive order.

The regular session of the 2018 General Assembly adjourned sine die on March 29, 2018. Article V, Section II, Paragraph VII of the Constitution of the State of Georgia grants the governor the power to convene a special session of the General Assembly by proclamation.

The call for the special legislative session is available below or viewable here.

From the Newnan Times-Herald:

Under state law, when the legislature is called into special session, only those issues specially included in the “call” can be taken up.

“South Georgia desperately needs relief from the major hurricane that destroyed houses, businesses and large sections of our agricultural community,” State Rep. David Stover, R-Palmetto, said after the initial announcement. “I expect the session will relieve much of the financial pressure that the people of our state in the affected areas are currently facing.”

“I applaud Governor Deal’s call for a special session to address the devastation in South Georgia,” said State Rep. Josh Bonner, R-Peachtree City. “The impact on the communities hit by Hurricane Michael is not only felt by Georgia, but resonates across our country. As elected officials, we owe it to our citizens to do whatever possible to help recover, rebuild and re-establish normalcy as soon as possible.”

The session is expected to last five days. State Rep. Lynn Smith, R-Newnan, said she has heard that the legislature might meet next Saturday for the final day, instead of taking the weekend off and finishing up the session the Monday before Thanksgiving.

The amendment to the budget will have to go through the same process as any other bill in the legislature. It will be “dropped” and first read, then taken up by the House Appropriations Committee and the House Rules Committee, then go to the House floor. After passage by the House, it will head over to the Senate for the same process.

Democrat Stacey Abrams has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to delay the certification of votes in last Tuesday’s election, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

If successful, the suit would prevent officials from certifying county vote totals until Wednesday and could restore at least 1,095 votes that weren’t counted. The campaign said thousands more ballots could be affected.

Abrams’ campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo, said the state’s numbers can’t be trusted and that 5,000 votes came in Saturday that previously were unknown.

“This race is not over,” she said on a conference call with reporters. “It’s still too close to call.”

Abrams campaign leaders said she needs to get the margin down to about 22,000 votes to force a runoff, and they sent a fundraising email to supporters Sunday saying at least 30,823 votes remain to be counted.

The Kemp campaign contends far fewer votes remain, less than 18,000, and that Abrams mathematically can’t force a runoff.

Each of Georgia’s 159 counties must certify final returns by Tuesday, and many have done so already. The state must certify a statewide result by Nov. 20.

Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux has also filed suit in federal court, seeking to delay certification of vote totals, according to the AJC.

The 7th District candidate effectively joined in on a lawsuit filed by a handful of voting and civil rights groups during the early voting period that preceded Election Day. Those groups sued Gwinnett County and then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp, homing in on Gwinnett’s disproportionately high reporting of signature-related absentee ballot rejections.

Bourdeaux argued that the county’s rejection of those ballots violates federal law since those voters were already previously determined to be eligible to vote. She said the county should accept and count those ballots.

“We are taking this legal action to ensure that every eligible vote is counted in this election. We will not stop fighting until that goal is accomplished,” Bourdeaux spokesman Jake Best said in a statement.

The suit is seeking to block Gwinnett from certifying its election results as initially planned on Tuesday afternoon in order to give the county time to count the absentee ballots.

A hair separates Bourdeaux from incumbent Republican Rob Woodall in the 7th Congressional District, which also includes major swaths of Forsyth County. Woodall leads by roughly 900 votes, putting the race within recount territory, but Bourdeaux’s campaign is mining for as many votes as possible in the meantime.

The Gwinnett County Board of Elections met privately to discuss litigation, according to the AJC.

A handful of voting and civil rights groups sued Gwinnett County and then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp during the early voting period that preceded Election Day, homing in on Gwinnett’s disproportionately high reporting of signature-related absentee ballot rejections. A judge ultimately issued an injunction ordering Gwinnett — and every other county in Georgia — to allow voters rejected on such basis new opportunities to have their ballots counted.

The American Civil Liberties Union issued a new press release Thursday afternoon, taking issue with Gwinnett’s rejection of absentee ballots on the basis of missing birth date information.

Darryl Joachim was one voter rejected due to such an issue. At the elections office Friday, he said he cast an absentee ballot but was rejected because he did not include his date of birth on the ballot envelope.

“There are definitely different political points of view” on the elections board, which is made up of two Democrats, two Republicans and an independent, Day said. “But we do agree that our staff has acted in the way that the law stated they should act.”

County officials have said there are somewhere between 2,400 and 2,500 provisional ballots — which are issued to voters who had registration questions that must later be resolved — in Gwinnett. But aside from the fact that about 1,500 of the provisionals were believed to have been issued in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, they have not released further information.

Curt Yeomans of the Gwinnett Daily Post writes about Democratic gains in the suburban county.

[Gwinnett County Democratic Party Chair Gabe] Okoye and other speakers said Gwinnett County was no longer the Republican stronghold it had once been.

“They may have a Trump in the White House, but we trumped them here in Gwinnett County,” Okoye told the applauding crowd.

Democratic candidates defeated longtime Republican Solicitor General Rosanna Szabo, beat two incumbent Republican county commissioners and took one school board seat, with another school board race still too close to call.

Democratic candidates for statewide offices won the county, as well. Carolyn Bourdeaux is neck and neck with incumbent Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., in a 7th Congressional District race that remains too close to call with provision ballots left to be factored in.

The party also flipped seven seats in the Gwinnett legislative delegation — five in the Georgia House of Representatives and two in the state Senate. That means Democrats will make up the majority in the 25-seat delegation by a margin of 17-8 in January.

“It is simply a hard fact that Gwinnett is blue, period,” said state Rep. Brenda Lopez, D-Norcross.

Leslie Jarchow has been elected to the Flowery Branch City Council, according to the Gainesville Times.

She is set to be sworn in to the Post 3 seat at the council’s meeting on Thursday, Nov. 15, after defeating Christine Worl in the Nov. 6 special election. She fills a seat held by [Fred] Richards, who died June 14.

“My No. 1 priority is to establish open lines of communication. I was really surprised to find that a lot of people felt like they weren’t getting heard. I genuinely want to hear all the different voices, and I’m going to do my due diligence and research on any issue that arises.”

Savannah City Council is considering spending $2.8 million dollars to renovate City Hall, according to the Savannah Morning News.

During the 112 years the gold-domed building fronting the Savannah River at Bull Street has served as the Savannah’s government center there has never been any interior restoration of city hall, and the signs of neglect, deferred maintenance and inappropriate alterations are evident, said Luciana Spracher, Savannah’s Research Library and Municipal Archives director.

“Previously we have considered city hall just a government building, but we really now realize it straddles the world of being a building for our modern city government and being a museum quality building,” Spracher said. “We need to start treating it that way.”

In total, nine quotes from contractors were obtained to address 48 items found to be in need of restoration at an estimated cost of almost $2.8 million.

“When they built this building, city council said they were building a building for a century to come,” Spracher said. “We have passed that point. We kind of need to figure out how to get through the next century.”

9
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 9, 2018

General William Tecumseh Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 120 on November 9, 1864.

Headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, in the Field, Kingston, Georgia, November 9, 1864

5. To corps commanders alone is intrusted the power to destroy mills, houses, cotton-gins, etc.; and for them this general principle is laid down: In districts and neighborhoods where the army is unmolested, no destruction of such property should be permitted; but should guerrillas or bushwhackers molest our march, or should the inhabitants burn bridges, obstruct roads, or otherwise manifest local hostility, then army commanders should order and enforce a devastation more or less relentless, according to the measure of such hostility.

6. As for horses, mules, wagons, etc., belonging to the inhabitants, the cavalry and artillery may appropriate freely and without limit; discriminating, however, between the rich, who are usually hostile, and the poor and industrious, usually neutral or friendly. Foraging-parties may also take mules or horses, to replace the jaded animals of their trains, or to serve as pack-mules for the regiments of brigades. In all foraging, of whatever kind, the parties engaged will refrain abusive or threatening language, and may, where the officer in command thinks proper, given written certificates of the facts, but no receipts; and they will endeavor to leave with each family a reasonable portion for their maintenance.

7. Negroes who are able-bodied and can be of service to the several columns may be taken along; but each army commander will bear in mind that the question of supplies is a very important one, and this his first duty is to see to those who bear arms.

8. The organization, at once, of a good pioneer battalion for each army corps, composed if possible of Negroes, should be attended to. This battalion should follow the advance-guard, repair roads and double them if possible, so that the columns will not be delayed after reaching bad places.

Former Confederate General John B. Gordon was sworn-in as Governor of Georgia on November 9, 1886.

The next day, November 9, 1932, President-elect FDR addressed a national broadcast to the American people and mentioned that he would spend Thanksgiving at his “second home” in Georgia.

On November 9, 1938, Kristallnacht began the organized destruction and looting of Jewish businesses and homes in Munich, Germany.

On November 9, 1989, the former East Germany announced that citizens could cross the border to West Germany. That night, crowds began tearing down sections of the wall that divided the city.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal yesterday ordered flags flown at half-staff on state buildings and ground through sunset on Saturday in honor of those affected by the shooting in Thousand Oaks, California.

Governor-elect Brian Kemp yesterday announced his resignation as Secretary of State in order to transition to service as Governor and named Tim Fleming as his Chief of Staff.

After Kemp’s resignation, Gov. Deal appointed Robyn Crittenden as Secretary of State, and issued a press release.

“Robyn’s experience as an attorney, public servant and agency head make her exceptionally qualified to fill the role of Georgia’s secretary of state,” said Deal. “She is a leader with brilliant intellect, high integrity, and a wide range of experience in public service. Robyn has been one of the most effective leaders within my administration and she is well-qualified to fill one of the most important jobs in state government. I appreciate her willingness to fill this role and I thank Gov.-elect Kemp for his leadership as secretary of state.”

On Monday, Gov. Deal announced that October state revenues were up 17.7% over the same month of 2017, and that Site Selection magazine named Georgia as the number 1 state in which to do business for the sixth year in a row.

Crittenden is the first African-American woman to serve as a statewide constitutional officer in Georgia history. In 2015, Deal appointed Crittenden to be DHS commissioner after she served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Georgia Student Finance Commission. Following Crittenden’s swearing-in ceremony today, Deal nominated Gerlda B. Hines, chief of staff and chief financial officer of DHS, to be the interim DHS commissioner, pending board approval.

Democrat Stacey Abrams will file lawsuits to fundraise for 2020 contest the results in the gubernatorial race, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

A lawsuit, filed in federal court on Election Day, asked a judge to block Kemp from continuing to manage the election. That he presided over his own election “violates a basic notion of fairness,” the lawsuit argued.

“I think in light of where we are now, this will give public confidence to the certification process even though, quite honestly, it’s being done at the county level,” Kemp told reporters Thursday morning.

Deal, who introduced Kemp as the governor-elect, said he thought it was important to begin the transition process as soon as possible. He said his staff would involve Kemp in the budgeting process immediately following next week’s special legislative session.

“We have no idea how long litigation may continue, and I don’t think the administration of this state can wait that long,” Deal said.

Abrams’ legal team announced Thursday that it plans to file a complaint against the Dougherty County board of elections over absentee ballots that officials are accused of mailing late to voters after Hurricane Michael disrupted operations.

When asked how many other lawsuits were being considered, Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, a member of Abrams’ legal team, said “whatever it takes.” She said the campaign has been “flooded with concerns” from voters.

“We are obviously eager to hear from supporters,” Lawrence-Hardy said. “But this is much bigger than any one campaign. This is a country built on democracy. We all get to vote. That is part of the promise, and so we are working really hard to ensure that promise is fulfilled.”

Military and overseas ballots, along with provisional votes, have not yet been tallied. Local officials have until early next week to certify the results. There’s also the action the Abrams’ legal team is pursuing that they argue could yield additional votes.

There are 21,358 provisional ballots across the state, mostly from the metro Atlanta area, according to a report released Thursday from the Secretary of State’s office. Lowndes County, home to Valdosta, had the fifth highest number of provisional ballots with 1,174.

From the Savannah Morning News:

“It is grossly unfair to any fox in America to compare Brian Kemp with a fox guarding the hen house. It is much worse in Georgia,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez said in Washington. “I don’t think that race is over. Every vote must be counted, and the integrity of that election is at stake.”

If a runoff is necessary, it will take place Dec. 4, extending Abrams’ bid to become the first black woman elected governor in American history, while Kemp looks to maintain the GOP’s domination in a state where Democrats haven’t won a governor’s race since 1998.

The lawsuit at issue Thursday morning in an Atlanta federal court came from voters who sued Kemp on Election Day alleging that his presiding over an election in which he is a candidate “violates a basic notion of fairness.” The plaintiffs asked the court to block Kemp from having anything more to do with managing his election. The hearing ended shortly after it began with the announcement of Kemp’s resignation.

From the Statesboro Herald:

According to the last counts from early Wednesday morning – but still not the final, official numbers – 23,556 Bulloch County voters successfully cast ballots in Bulloch County in Tuesday’s general election, an unusually high 58.9 percent turnout for a midterm and gubernatorial election.

On the choice of a governor, 14,785 of those Bulloch County voters, or 62.8 percent, chose Bryan Kemp, the Republican, while 8,555, or 36.3 percent, voted for Stacey Abrams, the Democrat.

The status of 224 local provisional ballots remained to the determined, Bulloch County Election Supervisor Patricia Lanier Jones said Thursday morning.

From the Albany Herald:

“Our ongoing legal efforts are not about Stacey Abrams — they are about protecting our democracy and ensuring every eligible Georgian’s voice is heard,” Abrams Campaign Manager Lauren Groh-Wargo said in a news release late Thursday afternoon. “We will continue to advocate for every ballot to be counted and take the appropriate legal measures to ensure the legitimacy of this election.”

Officials with the campaign said they are filing a complaint in the U.S. District court for the Middle District of Georgia in Albany asking for an injunction to direct the Dougherty County Elections Office to count any absentee ballots received between 7 p.m. on Tuesday and close of business today, which is consistent with the way that counting overseas military and overseas citizens’ ballots are handled.

The campaign also argues that Hurricane Michael’s impact may also play a role.

“Many parts of south Georgia have their mail routed through Tallahassee, which suffered severe damage,” a statement from the campaign said. “How many ballots were delayed because of the storm or other factors remains unknown. We also do have reports from our hotline indicating that ballots never showed up, or showed up late in south Georgia.”

The Georgia Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases yesterday at Albany State University, according to the Albany Herald.

The justices — Chief Justice Harold Melton, Presiding Justice David Nahmias, Robert Benham, Keith Blackwell, Michael Boggs, Nels Peterson, Sarah Hawkins Warren and Charlie Bethel — heard oral arguments in two cases, one involving an alleged stalking business partner and the other a double murder.

The first case involved arguments on an appeal out of Fulton County stemming from a lawsuit between two physicians and former partners in which one alleges the other harassed and stalked him and his employees. The justices spent most of that session hearing arguments from attorneys on the definitions of “redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.”

The second case involves a double murder case from Houston County in which Coleman Crouch, 21, is appealing the convictions and life prison sentence he received for his role in the killings. Thomas Kelly, also determined to be connected to the crime, was sentenced to life plus 10 years in prison.

Each year, the state Supreme Court travels outside Atlanta to hear cases for the purpose of making the court’s business and the judicial process more accessible to the public. The session on Thursday, held at the Billy C. Black Auditorium at ASU, heard oral arguments only and no decisions were reached.

The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation placed the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in Savannah on it’s list of “Places in Peril,” according to the Savannah Morning News.

The Glynn County Board of Education said threats against their schools are increasing, according to The Brunswick News.

So far this school year, 10 communicated threats have been made in schools. Those include verbal threats to “shoot up” schools, overheard discussions of shooting threats and threats made on social media or written on school property.

The increase in threats follows a national trend, said Jim Pulos, assistant superintendent for operations and administrative services for Glynn County Schools.

“After Parkland, the number of incidents that went up was five-fold across the country,” said Pulos, noting that the threateners are copycats and/or attention seekers.

Administrators and school police are taking the threats seriously, Pulos said. Of the eight students who have been identified as making these threats, they’ve been expelled, sometimes for two years or permanently, or given long-term suspensions.

Columbus State University‘s enrollment continues to drop, while the University of Georgia increases, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

The Zac Brown Distillery in Dahlonega will close on November 18, according to the Gainesville Times.

Tracey Mason was sworn in as a new Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

“Let me tell you, this isn’t just about me,” Mason said. “I didn’t get here by myself, and every one of you contributed in ways I can’t even begin to thank you for.”

Rattling off the names of her supporters, colleagues, friends and family members, the ninth-generation Gwinnettian proudly showed off her new robe, which will be put to use beginning Jan. 1 as Mason takes over retiring Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Tom Davis’ seat.

One of three new judges in the county — Gwinnett elected two new Superior Court judges and a new State Court judge this year — Mason continues a family tradition of service to the county and the state, which was begun years ago by her great grandfather, James Palmer Mason, who served as a Gwinnett County sheriff from 1938-42, and continued by her father, Jimmy Mason and uncle, Wayne Mason, as well as many others in the family.

The Floyd County Board of Education has ended its free lunch program, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

Whitfield County has released the list of projects to be undertaken if the $100 million Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax passes in March, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

The Norfolk Southern will add 850 jobs in Atlanta as it relocates its headquarters from Norfolk, Virginia, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

The two-part referendum to create a new City of Eagles Landing in Henry County failed at the ballot box, according to the Henry Herald.

The most high-profile of races in Henry County was decided in Stockbridge’s favor Tuesday evening. As of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, “No” had 4,289 votes, or 57.12 percent of the vote, while “Yes” had 3,220 votes, or 42.88 percent of the vote.

Tuesday’s vote marked the culmination of perhaps the biggest story in Henry County this year and the culmination of 22 months of effort from Eagles Landing supporters, who wanted to break the country club-based community into its own city.

8
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 8, 2018

Abraham Lincoln was elected 16th President of the United States and the first Republican to hold the office on November 6, 1860. By his inauguration in March, seven states had seceded.

On November 8, 1860, Savannah residents protested in favor of secession following the election of Abraham Lincoln.

Georgia Governor Joseph Brown addressed the Georgia legislature calling on them to consider Georgia’s future on November 7, 1860, the day after Abraham Lincoln’s election as President.

On November 6, 1861, one year after Lincoln’s election, Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens of Georgia were elected President and Vice President of the Confederate States of America.

President Abraham Lincoln (R) was reelected on November 8, 1864.

President Teddy Roosevelt left for a 17-day trip to Panama on November 6, 1906 to inspect work on the Panama Canal; he was the first President to take an official tour outside the continental United States.

Jeanette Rankin was elected to Congress, the first female Member, on November 7, 1916 from Montana. After leaving Congress, Rankin moved to Watkinsville, Georgia in 1925. The Jeanette Rankin Scholarship Foundation, based in Athens, Georgia provides college scholarships and support for low-income women 35 and older.

Franklin D. Roosevelt made his 15th trip to Warm Springs, Georgia on November 8, 1928 after winning the election for Governor of New York.

Richard B. Russell, Jr. was elected to the United States Senate on November 8, 1932 and would serve until his death in 1971. Before his election to the Senate, Russell served as State Representative, Speaker of the Georgia House, and the youngest Governor of Georgia; his father served as Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. On the same day, part-time Georgia resident Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the United States.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to a record fourth term on November 7, 1944.

A dam on the campus of Toccoa Falls Bible College burst on November 6, 1977 under pressure from heavy rains, killing 39 students and faculty.

Democrat Sam Nunn was reelected to the United States Senate on November 7, 1978.

On November 7, 1989, David Dinkins was elected the first African-American Mayor of New York and Douglas Wilder was elected the first African-American Governor of Virginia.

On November 8, 1994, Republicans won control of the United States House of Representatives and Senate in what came to be called the “Republican Revolution.”

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-GA) resigned his office and his Congressional seat on November 6, 1998, effective in January 1999, despite having been reelected three days earlier.

On November 7, 2006, Georgia reelected its first Republican Governor since Reconstruction, Sonny Perdue, and elected its first GOP Lieutenant Governor, Casey Cagle.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Georgia Public Service Commissioner Chuck Eaton (R) faces a Democratic opponent in a December 4 runoff election, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, Eaton had 1.9 million votes, or 49.8 percent, to Miller’s 1.8 million, or 47.5 percent. Libertarian Ryan Graham garnered 102,234 votes, or 2.7 percent.

The Public Service Commission regulates the rates charged by telecommunications, gas and electric companies in the state. Eaton had support from both the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the state’s major unions, including the AFL-CIO.

She out-raised Eaton and Graham, drawing $1.27 million from more than 2,900 donors, many from outside of Georgia.

Republican Brad Raffensperger also heads to a December 4 runoff, against Democrat John Barrow, according to the AJC.

Raffensperger, a state representative from Johns Creek, had a slight lead over Barrow, a former U.S. congressman from Athens. The two were separated by less than 1 percent of the vote.

“We are laser focused on the runoff and pursuing a victory for John on Election Day on Dec. 4,” Barrow campaign spokesman Jonathan Arogeti said. “We’re excited about the opportunity to go back to the voters and earn their support.”

Monroe County voters will return to the polls on December 4th in a runoff election for Sheriff, according to the Macon Telegraph.

Lawson Cary Bittick lll and Brad Freeman were the top two vote getters in a 6-way race to replace John Cary Bittick. The former sheriff stepped down after 35 years in office to accept President Donald Trump’s nomination to serve as U.S. marshal for the Middle District of Georgia.

Lawson Bittick, the former sheriff’s son and a lieutenant in the sheriff’s office, was the top vote getter with 3,937 votes, or 31 percent. Freeman, a captain in the sheriff’s office, was second with 2,974 votes, or 24 percent.

With no one getting a majority of the vote, they will face each other in a runoff on Dec. 4. Both said with six candidates in the race they were expecting a runoff and were just happy to get in.

Greg Bluestein of the AJC writes about past statewide runoff elections.

No general election race for governor has ever required a runoff, but Republicans have dominated many of the other races that go into overtime, starting with a 1992 narrow win by Republican challenger Paul Coverdell over Democratic U.S. Sen. Wyche Fowler.

Republicans also thrived in the last general election runoff took place in 2008, when U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss trounced Democrat Jim Martin in a runoff after the Republican narrowly missed an outright win.

Then again, Democrats hope a flood of momentum and attention will keep Abrams’ supporters motivated. Polls already suggest high Democratic enthusiasm, and voters won’t be able to avoid news about the race.

Another wrinkle: The timing of the runoff could force Deal to rethink plans to call a special legislative session next week to provide about $100 million in relief from Hurricane Michael and decide on a controversial tax break for jet fuel.

Democrat Lucy McBath has claimed victory in the 6th Congressional District over incumbent Republican Karen Handel, according to the AJC.

“Given the close results of our race, and the fact that the official results at this time are within the 1 percent threshold where a recount is possible, we believe it is prudent to review and assess all data before making additional actions or statements,” Handel said in a statement.

In Handel’s final comments to supporters Tuesday night/Wednesday morning she expressed optimism.

“I have a knack for the close ones, y’all. There are still precincts coming in from north Fulton,” she told the hardy clutch of supporters who made it to the end of the night and into the morning at her watch party at Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeter. “If it keeps going our way it’ll be a win. Unfortunately I don’t think it’ll be tonight.”

Baldwin County voters rejected a T-SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Transportation), while Monroe County voters approved their SPLOST, according to the Macon Telegraph.

“We estimate that in the five-year period for this T-SPLOST that the county will collect ($22.7 million) and the city of Milledgeville ($12.5 million),” said Baldwin County Manager Carlos Tobar at a presentation in September, according to The Union-Recorder.

However, by 9 p.m. with all precincts reporting, the final count was 7,218 votes voting against the sales and use tax and 6,531 voting in favor of the tax.

On the other hand, with all precincts reporting by 9:30 p.m., the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum in Monroe County showed 7,587 votes, or 61.82 percent, in favor of it versus 4,685 votes, or 38.68 percent, against the tax.

The Monroe County Commissioner decided in July to put $700,000 toward internet expansion from a SPLOST, according to a WGXA-16 report.

Danielle Forte has been elected Clerk of Muscogee County Courts, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Early and unofficial returns Tuesday showed challenger Danielle Forte with a 7,000 vote lead over incumbent clerk Shasta Thomas Glover, who just took office this past March.

Glover, who came out of retirement to work as chief deputy clerk when her friend Ann Hardman took over in 2017, has been the clerk since Hardman’s death this past March 19, having been sworn in that same day.

Forte at press time had won every voting precinct in Columbus. Combining those Election Day totals with the early in-person vote and the mail-in absentees, she had 31,773 votes to Glover’s 24,276, or 56 to 43 percent.

“To God be the glory – I am so pleased,” Forte said Tuesday night.

Democrat Stacey Abrams is suing over the election results, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Multiple lawsuits have been filed in the contentious race, with voting rights groups contending that Kemp has used his office to interfere in the election for his own benefit. He has fiercely denied any impropriety.

At a news conference Wednesday, President Donald Trump said he heard the voting process was “very efficient” in Georgia. But polling places across the state had long lines, and some areas of metro Atlanta that typically lean Democratic experienced problems and delays.

Ontaria Woods arrived at a polling place in Snellville, just northeast of Atlanta, about 7 a.m. Tuesday to vote. More three hours later, she was still waiting, with roughly 75 to 100 people in line.

“That’s the majority of people in this line, African-Americans,” she said. “We’re begging them, ‘Please, stay.’”

The same or similar problem affected voters in four large precincts in Gwinnett County— a populous swing county — and at least one in the Inman Park neighborhood of Atlanta, election security expert Harri Hursti said Wednesday. Voters in those places were not able to vote for hours because the electronic poll books used to check in voters were not writing to the smart cards needed to cast ballots, Hursti said.

Five Georgia voters sued Kemp on Election Day, asking a judge to prevent Kemp from exercising his duties as the state’s top elections official for anything having to do with Tuesday’s election, including certifying results or administering any possible runoff or recount. The lawsuit says that Kemp presiding over an election in which he is a candidate “violates a basic notion of fairness.”

Secretary of state’s office spokeswoman Candice Broce called the lawsuit “twelfth-hour stunt.”

Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux has not conceded defeat against Republican Congressman Rob Woodall, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., holds a razor thin lead of three-tenths of a percentage point over Bourdeaux in unofficial results, leaving the provisional and oversees ballots to be counted. Woodall received 50.16 percent of the votes cast, compared to 49.84 percent for Bourdeaux.

The difference between the two candidates is 890 votes.

“As of this afternoon, our race is still too close to call,” Bourdeaux said in an email to supporters. “Our fight isn’t over yet. My entire team is working overtime to make sure that every voter’s voice is heard and their vote is counted … Together, we will fight until every last vote is counted.”

The results will not be certified until the beginning of next week, giving voters who cast provisional ballots a few days to visit the county’s elections office to verify their eligibility to cast the ballot and have their vote counted.

Gwinnett County had to keep three precincts open after voting machine malfunctions, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Gwinnett County Superior Court Chief Judge Melodie Snell Conner has ordered three voting precincts in Gwinnett to stay open later tonight because of a machine malfunction that affected all three this morning.

The order stipulates that the precinct at Annistown Elementary School will stay open until 9:25 p.m., while the precinct at Harbins Elementary School in Dacula will stay open until 7:14 p.m. and the precinct at Anderson-Livsey Elementary School will stay open until 7:30 p.m.

Gwinnett County spokesman Joe Sorenson said five precincts in the county experienced issues with the Express Poll machines, which create ballots on voting cards that are handed out to voters when they check in to vote.

Democrat Brian Whiteside was elected Gwinnett County Solicitor General, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Republican Solicitor General Rosanna Szabo was defeated by her Democratic opponent, Brian Whiteside, in the general election. Whiteside received 54.37 percent of the vote, compared to 45.63 percent for Szabo, who has been Gwinnett’s solicitor general for 12 years.

“Congratulations to Brian Whiteside on his election to Solicitor General of Gwinnett County,” Szabo said in an announcement on Facebook on Wednesday. “I am grateful to the people of Gwinnett for the twelve years they have entrusted me with the care of the office.

Gwinnett County Democrats also picked up two seats on the Gwinnett County Commission, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Change appears to coming to be coming for two Gwinnett County commission districts after voters opted to replace Republican incumbents Lynette Howard and John Heard with Ben Ku and Marlene Fosque, respectively.

Ku lead Howard in the Commission District 2 race by a margin of 53.6 percent to 46.4 percent with 81 percent of precincts reporting at 11:10 p.m. Meanwhile, Fosque was leading Heard in the Commission District 4 race by a margin of 53.03 percent to 46.97 percent with 85 percent of precincts reporting at the same time.

Lake Park had computer issues in submitting local election results, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

About 65-70 provisional ballots are yet to be counted, as well as absentee ballots, she said.

Internet difficulties kept the local elections office from sending updated Lake Park results to the Georgia Secretary of State’s elections website, she said.

The subject of some Lake Park voters allegedly being given wrong ballots was raised at the Lake Park City Council meeting Tuesday evening.

Councilwoman Deborah Sauls said when she took part in early voting, she was given a ballot with no Lake Park races on it. Sauls said elections staff told her it was because she lived outside the city limits.

“How could I qualify for and get elected to City Council if I didn’t live in the city?” she said.

Sauls said she had to cast a provisional ballot, which “didn’t make me happy at all.” Provisional ballots are used for people whose eligibility to vote is in question, with the vote being counted after officials double-check that eligibility.

Savannah also experienced some voting problems, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Lines at some poll locations were short, with voters in and out in under half an hour Tuesday.

As of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, however, voters at Rothwell Baptist Church in Pooler reported about 60 people were still in line waiting to vote, with others reporting casting ballots took more than four hours. Polls are held open for voters in line at polling locations at the 7 p.m. closing time.

Voters took advantage of early voting in record numbers for a mid-term, with 32,361 voting in person, compared to 17,697 in the 2014 mid-term.

Registrations were also up this year with an increase of with 188,315 registered for this election. That’s an increase of 51,251, over the last mid-term election in 2014, when 137,064 people registered.

Russell Bridges, Chatham County’s supervisor of the board of elections, said Election Day was not without some problems. Complaints alleging voter suppression are unfounded, however, he said.

Glynn County Board of Elections reported record turnout, according to The Brunswick News.

Hall County voters opted to extend alcohol service hours on Sundays, according to the Gainesville Times.

Voters in Hall County, Gainesville, Flowery Branch and Oakwood voted in favor of earlier Sunday sales. Lula and Clermont did not put the item up for a vote, meaning the sales will not be allowed within those city limits.

The bill, signed by Gov. Nathan Deal in May, gives municipalities the option to allow restaurants to start selling alcohol at 11 a.m. on Sundays. Previous state law stated that alcohol sales could only start at 12:30 p.m. on Sundays.

 

5
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 5, 2018

John Willis Menard became the first black man elected to Congress on November 3, 1868 from the Second District of Louisiana. Menard’s election opponent challenged the results and prevented Menard from taking his seat, though in defense of his election Menard became the first black man to address Congress.

Alexander Stephens was sworn-in as Governor of Georgia on November 4, 1882; Stephens had earlier been elected Vice-President of the Confederate States of America.

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.

Democrat Woodrow Wilson, who spent part of his youth in Augusta, Georgia and married Ellen Louise Axson, whom he met in Rome, Georgia, was elected President in a landslide victory on November 5, 1912.

On November 3, 1913, details of the federal income tax were finalized and published after the ratification earlier in the year of the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Bacon, Barrow, Candler, and Evans Counties were created on November 3, 1914 when voters approved Constitutional Amendments – prior to these Amendments, Georgia was limited to 145 counties. On the same day, Carl Vinson was elected to Congress from Georgia, becoming the youngest member of Congress at the time. Vinson would eventually become the first Member of Congress to serve more than fifty years. Vinson’s grandson, Sam Nunn would serve in the United States Senate.

Howard Carter found an entrance to the tomb of King Tutankhamen on November 4, 1922.

On November 4, 1932 Georgia Governor Richard B. Russell, Jr. campaigned on behalf of Democratic candidate for President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to his unprecedented third term as President of the United States on November 5, 1940.

The Chicago Tribune published the infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline on November 3, 1948. Ultimately, Democrat Truman won 303 electoral votes to 189 for Republican Dewey.

Laika, a female Siberian Husky mix who was found stray on the streets of Moscow, was launched into space aboard Sputnik 2 on November 3, 1957.

On November 3, 1964, Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson was elected President over Republican Barry Goldwater.

Richard M. Nixon was elected President of the United States by a plurality vote on November 5, 1968.

On November 3, 1970, Jimmy Carter was elected Governor of Georgia.

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

On November 4, 1980, Republican Ronald Reagan was elected President, winning 489 electoral votes to 49 for incumbent Jimmy Carter.

Note on the electoral map in that clip, states that Reagan won were colored blue, and Georgia was a red state, going for Jimmy Carter.

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

Democrat Cynthia McKinney became the first African-Amercian female elected to Congress from Georgia on November 3, 1992.

On November 3, 1998, Democrat Thurbert Baker was elected Attorney General and Michael Thurmond was elected Commissioner of Labor, becoming the first African-Americans elected to statewide executive office in Georgia.

On November 5, 2002, Sonny Perdue was elected the first Republican Governor of Georgia since Reconstruction, beginning the modern era of Republican dominance of Georgia state politics.

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

One World Trade Center opened on November 3, 2014, more than thirteen years after the 9/11 attacks.

On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama was elected President, becoming the first African-American elected to the position.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Retired Georgia Supreme Court Justice Harris P. Hines was killed in a car accident Sunday, according to 11Alive.

Cobb County Solicitor General Barry Morgan confirmed the news about Justice Harris Hines’s death via Facebook, Sunday.

“I cannot express the immense grief I feel to hear that Justice Harris Hines had died in a car crash,” Morgan said in a statement. “I am blessed I was able to practice law before him, and to call him my mentor and friend. God bless Helen and his family and give them peace.”

A graduate of Emory University’s School of Law, Hines was appointed to the state Supreme Court in 1995 by Governor Zell Miller. Hines was sworn in as Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court Jan. 6, 2017.

Prior to that, he served as a judge of the State Court in Cobb County for eight years and as Superior Court Judge of the Cobb Judicial Circuit for over 12 years.

Christian Coomer was sworn in to the Georgia Court of Appeals, according to the Daily Report.Continue Reading..

1
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 1, 2018

Georgia’s Trustees decided on November 1, 1732 that the first settlement would be named Savannah and located on the Savannah River.

Parliament passed the Stamp Act on March 22, 1765 with an effective date of November 1, 1765, to fund British military operations.

The Stamp Act, however, was a direct tax on the colonists and led to an uproar in America over an issue that was to be a major cause of the Revolution: taxation without representation.

Passed without debate by Parliament in March 1765, the Stamp Act was designed to force colonists to use special stamped paper in the printing of newspapers, pamphlets, almanacs, and playing cards, and to have a stamp embossed on all commercial and legal papers. The stamp itself displayed an image of a Tudor rose framed by the word “America” and the French phrase Honi soit qui mal y pense—”Shame to him who thinks evil of it.”

Outrage was immediate. Massachusetts politician Samuel Adams organized the secret Sons of Liberty organization to plan protests against the measure, and the Virginia legislature and other colonial assemblies passed resolutions opposing the act. In October, nine colonies sent representatives to New York to attend a Stamp Act Congress, where resolutions of “rights and grievances” were framed and sent to Parliament and King George III.

Georgia Commissioners and Creek leaders signed a treaty on November 1, 1783.

Jimmy Carter ended his first Presidential campaign with a rally in Flint, Michigan on November 1, 1976.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Gainesville Times raises the possibility of Libertarian voters throwing the general election into runoffs.

Ted Metz may not get many votes in the governor’s race, but the Libertarian candidate is on the ballot, raising the possibility that no one else will get to declare victory on Election Day.

Metz’s third-party campaign has attracted scant attention, but he could still play a defining role in Tuesday’s outcome. If the vote margin between Kemp and Abrams is close enough, even a small percentage of votes for Metz could force the two major party contenders into a month of overtime culminating in a runoff election Dec. 4.

“The reason why you have to take it seriously is we expect the margin is going to be so close between Kemp and Abrams,” said Andra Gillespie, a political science professor at Emory University in Atlanta. “It’s probably going to be the closest we’ve seen in a long while.”

“This is going to be a runoff, anyway,” Metz said. “If you’re tired of the two-party system and the two-party tyranny of the oligarchs running the planet, then a vote for me is a protest vote to show them that you’re sick and tired of the same old stuff.”

“If I recall correctly, the GA Governor’s race was all but destined by the media for a runoff in 2010 and 2014,” Chris Riley, Deal’s chief of staff, tweeted last week. He noted Deal won both elections with a vote margin of 53 percent.

Vice President Mike Pence is in Georgia today, campaigning with Brian Kemp and the Republican nominees, while Oprah Winfrey will campaign with Stacey Abrams in Atlanta, according to the Associated Press.

From the Gwinnett Daily Post:

Winfrey will participate in two town hall events with Abrams — one in Marietta and one in Decatur — on Thursday to aide her campaign in what has become a highly competitive, closely watched race.

“Oprah Winfrey has inspired so many of us through the years with her unparalleled ability to form real connections and strengthen the bonds of family and community,” Abrams said in a statement Wednesday. “I am honored to have Oprah join me for uplifting and honest conversations with voters about the clear choice before us in this election and the boundless potential of Georgians.”

It’s a rare political endorsement for Winfrey, who backed former President Barack Obama during the primaries in 2008 and lent her support to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election. On Tuesday, she appeared in a video with NBC News’ Maria Shiver to urge people to vote, saying she’s a political independent before adding, “people think I’m a Democrat.”

Kemp and the GAGOP candidates visited Valdosta yesterday, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

The Savannah Morning News says local traffic will be affected by Pence’s visit.

Pence will join Kemp at a rally at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center on Hutchinson Island.

The event is from 5 to 6 p.m.

Drivers can expect rolling traffic delays along routes from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport to Hutchinson Island.

Savannah will be the final stop for Kemp and Pence in a three-city campaign tour, after Dalton and Grovetown.

Pence, Kemp and the GOP nominees will be in Grovetown at 2:30 today, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Area Democrats say they’ll canvass for votes for nominee Stacey Abrams and other Democratic candidates rather than protest the Pence appearance.

Those who want to see Pence should arrive early at the Columbia County Exhibition Center, Kemp spokesman Ben Grayson said.

Doors open at 1 p.m. for the 2:30 p.m. free event, and the earlier the public arrives, the better, Grayson said.

Democrat Stacey Abrams will hold a parade and rally in Savannah on Monday, no word on how it will affect traffic from the Savannah Morning News.

The Kemp campaign tour will visit Statesboro on Friday, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Joining Kemp at the 8 a.m. stop Friday at Anderson’s General Store on Highway 80 East in Statesboro will be Lt. Gov. nominee Geoff Duncan, Attorney General Chris Carr and other statewide candidates.

The group of candidates will be in Statesboro for about one hour, before heading to Sylvania, and several other cities before ending in Savannah at 6:30 p.m.

The final televised debate between the candidates for Governor has been canceled, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

After the Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams campaigns spent Wednesday afternoon taking shots at each other over who was to blame, a planned final debate, staged by WSB-TV, between the candidates appeared to be canceled Wednesday night.

The campaigns had agreed weeks ago to participate in the debate, which would have been held at 5 p.m. on Sunday — less than 48 hours before Election Day voting begins. WSB said an announcement by President Donald Trump’s announcement on Monday that he would hold a rally to support Kemp in Macon at 4 p.m. on Sunday threw plans for the debate into chaos.

The TV station said Kemp pulled out of the scheduled time for the debate so he could be at the rally but participated in conversations about rescheduling it. Ultimately, they committed to a 7:30 p.m. time slot on Monday.

The Abrams campaign said, however, that it had already committed to meeting with voters on the Georgia coast at that time. An agreement could not be reached as of 9:30 p.m. Wednesday on a new time for the debate, according to WSB.

The Macon Telegraph looks at the sources of Stacey Abrams’s campaign cash.

As Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum seek to become the first black governors in Georgia and Florida, a McClatchy analysis of state campaign filings shows that more than 2,000 donors across the country have given to both of their campaigns.

Collectively, these donors have combined to give roughly $1.5 million to Abrams’ campaign and roughly $3 million to Gillum’s campaign and an affiliated political committee that can accept unlimited contributions.

The donors come from 49 states and include both some of the party’s heaviest hitters — including billionaire investors George Soros and Tom Steyer — as well as hundreds of modest givers who have written checks for less than $200 combined to both candidates.

“I think it’s a growing dynamic of empowered donors,” said Colm O’Comartun, the former executive director of the Democratic Governors Association. “It was exemplified during the presidential election by the huge network of people on the Bernie [Sanders] side and the [President Donald] Trump side.”

The Dalton Daily Citizen talked to Congressman Tom Graves (R-Ranger) about his tenure in office.

Tom Graves was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010, and he said last year’s tax reform bill was “the biggest, most exciting accomplishment since I began serving in Congress.”

The Republican from Ranger faces off on the Tuesday ballot against Democratic Party candidate, businessman and former physician Steve Foster in the race for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District seat. This is the first time since 2012 that Graves has faced a challenger in the general election.

In addition to Whitfield and Murray counties, the 14th District includes Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Haralson, Paulding, Polk and Walker counties and the western part of Pickens County.

“It was the first overhaul of our nation’s tax code in more than 30 years, and a huge win for hard-working Georgia families, who were burdened for decades by an outdated, unfair tax code,” he said in an interview conducted by email. “Among its many positive changes, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act nearly doubles the standard deduction from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples, cuts individual tax rates across all brackets and doubles the child tax credit. … Between tax reform and President Trump’s regulatory cuts, the economy is finally booming again.”

The Dalton Daily Citizen also spoke to Graves’s Democratic opponent.

Foster is the Democratic Party candidate for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District seat and faces Republican incumbent Tom Graves of Ranger in Tuesday’s election.

This is Foster’s first run for political office. Foster was sentenced to six months in jail and six months on probation in August following a conviction for DUI. He is currently in the Catoosa County jail, being housed there for Whitfield County.

Foster has criticized his arrest and conviction, citing among other things that he was not allowed to have an independent blood test.

He said in an interview conducted by email that it has been difficult to campaign from inside jail. This is the first time since 2012 that Graves has faced a challenger in the general election.

New toll lanes are opening on I-85 in Gwinnett County this weekend, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The extension is set to open to the public Saturday, according to electronic message signs installed over the interstate. It begins where the Express Lanes, also known as high occupancy toll lanes or HOT lanes, currently end at Old Peachtree Road and goes up to Hamilton Mill Road in north Gwinnett.

In all, there will now be 26 miles of toll lanes on I-85 stretching from just inside Interstate 285 to just outside Braselton.

Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix had flyers posted at the residences of registered sex offenders on Halloween, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Spaulding County Sheriff Darrell Dix told FOX 5′s Marissa Mitchell he decided to move forward with the initiative in an effort to keep families safe. That’s why his deputies hand-delivered the warning flyers to registered sex offenders in the county.

“We are going to put these notifications out so we can protect some kids this Halloween season,” Sheriff Dix said.

According to the sheriff’s office, in Spalding County,  there are 231 registered sex offenders, four of whom are considered sexually dangerous predators. Sheriff Dix also encourages families to travel in groups during the day and with an adult while trick-or-treating.

31
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 31, 2018

King Henry VII of England was crowned on October 30, 1485.

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

King Charles I of England granted a charter for a new colony called Carolana that included much of present-day Georgia, along with the current states of North and South Carolina, on October 30, 1629.

Stephen Douglas of Illinois campaigned in Atlanta for President of the United States on October 30, 1860. Douglas had defeated Abraham Lincoln for United States Senate in 1858, giving rise to the Lincoln-Douglas style of debate.

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

On October 30, 1871, Republican Benjamin Conley became acting Governor of Georgia after Republican Governor Rufus Bullock resigned; Conley served as President of the state Senate before taking office as Governor.

Conley took the oath of office on Oct. 30, 1871. Two days later, the new General Assembly convened and elected a new Democratic president of the Senate, but Conley refused to give up the office. The General Assembly then passed a law over Conley’s veto to hold a special election for governor on the third Tuesday in December. In that election, Democratic House speaker James M. Smith defeated Conley and assumed office Jan. 12, 1872.

On October 30, 1938, a science fiction drama called War of the Worlds was broadcast nationwide in the form of a series of simulated radio broadcasts.

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

Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers on October 30, 1945, becoming the first African-American professional baseball player in the major leagues.

On October 30, 1970, a fastball from Nolan Ryan was timed at 100.9 miles per hour, putting him in the record books. On the same day, Jim Morrison of the Doors was sentenced to six months in prison and a $500 fine for allegedly exposing himself during a Miami concert. Morrision died before the case was heard on appeal.

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. On October 31, 2014, Bill Clinton came to Atlanta to campaign for Michelle Nunn for United States Senate.

The historic Zero Mile Post from Atlanta has been relocated to the Atlanta History Center, according to the AJC.

Zero Mile Post — an 800 pound piece of marble that measures 7 feet 5 inches — was installed in the 1850s to mark the southern terminus of the Western & Atlantic Railroad. For more than 20 years, it has been housed in a locked building under the Central Avenue viaduct. The building is scheduled to be demolished later this year to accommodate the rebuilding of the Central Avenue and Courtland Street bridges, a project approved by voters in 2015.

On Monday, the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead announced that Zero Mile Post, will be open for public viewing on Nov. 17 as part of the new exhibition, “Locomotion: Railroads and the Making of Atlanta.

“We are excited and honored to be able to steward this artifact and have people see it, understand it and have it interpreted. It is a great honor for the Atlanta History Center,” said Atlanta History Center President and CEO, Sheffield Hale.

The artifact remains under the ownership of the Georgia Building Authority, which has agreed to a five-year renewable license with the Atlanta History Center.

“We gave Atlanta History Center a license and a license can be revoked at any time,” said Steve Stancil, State Property Officer serving as executive director. “Georgia Building Authority still owns it. The place it was at is in peril because of the rebuilding of the Central Avenue bridge.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

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29
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 29, 2018

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.

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.

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

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Morning Fix:

Total Early Ballots cast: 1,199,697

 

The Augusta Chronicle writes about early voting in Augusta.

Hundreds of Richmond County voters took time out of their Sunday to make their voice heard ahead of this week’s midterm elections.

“Sunday voting is very well received,” [Richmond County Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn] Bailey said. “The last midterm election we had about 500 people come to vote on Sunday, and the last presidential election we had about 750 Sunday voters.”

The Board of Elections said 767 people cast their ballot Sunday.

Sunday voting was available to Richmond County voters at the municipal building from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., but was not available in Columbia County.

From the Chronicle on Saturday voting:

According to numbers supplied by Bailey, 2,898 people voted in Richmond County, pushing the total since advance voting began on Oct. 15 to 10,583. Nancy L. Gay, the executive director for the Columbia County Board of Elections, said 2,538 voted, increasing its total to 17,260.

President Donald J. Trump is widely expected to visit Georgia on Sunday, November 4th for a Macon-area rally in support of Brian Kemp’s gubernatorial bid. From the Macon Telegraph:

President Donald Trump is expected in Macon Sunday to urge Georgia voters to get Republican Brian Kemp victoriously over the finish line in a tight governor’s race with Democrat Stacey Abrams.

A week after Georgia’s first Sunday voting, Trump will host a rally in Macon, according to multiple sources.

The president reportedly will be traveling to eight states this week in the final push for Republican candidates in this midterm election where the balance of power in the U.S. House could shift to Democrat control.

From Axios.com:

Alexi McCammond got her hands on fresh details — dates and specific locations — of the Trump political team’s schedule ahead of the midterms. The locations and dates we cite here, the big picture details of which were first reported by Bloomberg, are based on internal White House planning and could change:

  • Oct. 31: Fort Myers, Florida
  • Nov. 1: Columbia, Missouri
  • Nov. 2: Huntington, West Virginia and an undisclosed location in Indiana
  • Nov. 3: Bozeman, Montana and an undisclosed location in Florida
  • Nov. 4: Macon, Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Nov. 5: Fort Wayne, Indiana and Cape Girardeau, Missouri
  • Another rally, on a date we haven’t established: an undisclosed location in Ohio

Why this matters: In his final blitz,Trump is going to Trump country within Trump states. Not a single competitive House seat lies within these locations.

  • Trump won many of the counties by at least 20 points. He won all of the congressional districts by at least 20, and in one case (Cape Girardeau, MO) he won by more than 50.
  • The most striking exception is Macon, Georgia, which sits within Bibb County, which Hillary Clinton won by 20 points. But Trump won Macon’s congressional district by almost 30 points.

Vice President Mike Pence will appear with Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp this Thursday in Dalton, Grovetown, and Savannah. Here are links for free tickets.

Dalton Tickets
Grovetown Tickets
Savannah Tickets

The Dalton Daily Citizen writes about Vice President Pence’s visit to Dalton.

Pence and the Republican Party gubernatorial candidate, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, will appear at the convention center Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The two also have rallies scheduled for Savannah and the Augusta area that day.

Pence held a rally in Dalton during the presidential campaign in August 2016, when he was Donald Trump’s running mate.

“I understand Pence’s people thought the Dalton rally (in 2016) did very well, so I’m not surprised he’s coming back,” said 14th Congressional District Republican Party Chairman Ed Painter.

Two years ago, Pence’s rally was held in the ballroom of the convention center. This year, it will be held in a much larger arena, according to Whitfield County Republican Party Chairman Dianne Putnam.

“Two years ago, we had a capacity crowd of about 700, and security told us there were about 1,500 people who wanted to get in who couldn’t,” she said. “We are thinking this time we will have 2,000 to 2,500 people.”

Gavin Thompson, chairman of the Young Republicans of Northwest Georgia, says the rally will give a final boost to the Kemp campaign and other Republican candidates in the final days before the election.

“We’ve got a lot of momentum here locally. I think Republicans have been turning out, but this will give another push,” he said.

Jill Nolin writes about the contest for rural votes in the gubernatorial race.

Brian Kemp, a cowboy-boot-wearing Athens businessman, has traveled the state shaking hands with rural conservatives he is urging to show up in force.

“But we know right here in Hawkinsville, we are in the home of a lot of great farmers and a lot of great ag producers and many other hard-working Georgians,” he said. “And I have great appreciation for that because I’m one of you.

“And for my opponent to say that people shouldn’t have to go into agriculture and hospitality is wrong,” he said.

House Speaker David Ralston, a Republican from rural north Georgia who backs Kemp, said the comment was one of the most jarring he’s heard in what has become a bitterly fought race.

“That comment was so offensive on so many levels and shows a complete disconnect from what Georgians are thinking and what they’re proud of,” Ralston said in an interview Tuesday.

Kemp said he favors expanding a different program that offers a 100 percent tax credit for donors who give money to rural hospitals. He said he would form an economic development strike team whose daily focus would be to work with rural areas thirsty for jobs. To him, strengthening local tax bases is a step toward aiding the state’s fragile rural hospitals.

They have both pledged to renew a push under the Gold Dome to bring high-speed internet to areas that lack it.

Coweta County Democrats rallied for gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, according to the Newnan Times-Herald.

Floyd County Democrats rallied for early voting on Sunday, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

Former President Jimmy Carter says Brian Kemp should resign as Secretary of State, according to AccessWDUN.

The Gainesville Times looks at younger voters in the 2018 midterm elections.

Turnout for early voting in Hall County has been more than double what it was in the 2014 midterms, and young voters in Northeast Georgia are attributing that to increased political awareness, regardless of political party.

“There are always going to be people who are going to vote based on party lines, but I think most of the people I’ve interacted with at least are considering voting for candidates from parties they haven’t voted for in years or ever,” said Kyle Leineweber, president of Brenau University College Democrats.

Arturo Adame, president of Hall County Young Democrats, said he sees Republicans shifting further to the right, and Democrats are departing from tradition, too.

“Moderation isn’t going to win,” Adame said. “It’s going to be a real change that is going to affect things more drastically.”

Brooke Thigpen, chair of Brenau College Republicans, said Brenau students have collaborated to keep political conversations on campus civil. Brenau’s College Republicans worked with College Democrats and the county’s elections office to host an event to educate students about voting.

“On Brenau’s campus specifically, we’ve seen a sharp increase in the amount of students who are interested and engaged in the political process on all levels of government,” Thigpen said in an email. “… Ensuring young voters are informed of the political process is crucial to making sure young people have a voice.”

Curt Yeomans of the Gwinnett Daily Post writes about issues in the Governor’s race.

Abrams told the Daily Post in August that her school security plans include changing rules on education special purpose local option sales taxes so funds that have traditionally been limited to capital costs can also be used for school district operations such as school resource officers and other safety intervention specialists.

She also said there should be more investment in strategies designed to curb bad behavior from students and addressing mental health issues among students.

“I’m a very strong believer in gun safety regulations that improve the welfare of our entire community,” Abrams said. “That means background checks, waiting periods (and) having the opportunity to remove weapons from those who have been convicted of domestic violence.”

On other issues, Kemp told the Daily Post earlier this month that his approach to school safety includes funding $30,000 grants to all schools to cover security improvement costs and also funding one counselor position for every high school in Georgia so they can address mental health or substance issues that might prompt a shooting.

Although Kemp has heavily touted his support of second amendment rights on the campaign trail, he said he would leave the issue of arming teachers to individual districts to decide.

“It’s a local control issue,” he said. “I know we have some systems that are going that route. I certainly support the ability for them to do that, but for school systems that do not want to do that, I support them as well.”

Congressman Buddy Carter (R-Pooler) contributed to legislation on the opioid crisis, according to The Brunswick News.

President Donald Trump signed into law Wednesday comprehensive legislation meant to put controls on the prescription opioid industry, deter opioid abuse and address treatment and recovery. The bill — H.R. 6, the Support for Patients and Communities Act, includes language from three bills introduced by U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-1.

“While working with members on both sides of the aisle to create these solution to combat this crisis, I learned from constituents, colleagues and others that everyone and every community has been impacted by this epidemic in some way,” Carter said in a statement. “For me, as a pharmacist for more than 30 years, I saw addiction end careers and ruin lives and families.

“This is what has driven me to work so hard on this legislation to address prescription drug abuse while ensuring those who truly need the medications maintain access to it. It is great news this package is now law, and I am committed to continuing this strong bipartisan work to end this crisis once and for all.”

Carter’s contributions to H.R. 6 included specifications that the Department of Health and Human Services conduct a study on abuse deterrent formulations (ADFs) for chronic pain patients in Medicare — ADFs make it harder to modify medication for abuse.

The Ledger-Enquirer looks at a special election for Muscogee County Superior Court Clerk.

Since [incumbent Clerk Ann] Hardman’s unexpected death, Shasta Thomas Glover has been the clerk, sworn in after serving as Hardman’s chief deputy.

She faces a challenge from Danielle Forte, a prosecutor with the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit.

The Ledger Enquirer asked each candidate to cite three priorities, should she win this special election that voters must go to the end of their ballots to find, after proposed constitutional amendments and other state referenda.

Clay County will be home to an $89 million dollar solar farm, according to the Albany Herald.

26
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 26, 2018

Christopher Columbus “discovered” Cuba on October 28, 1492.

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 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.

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 Battle of Wauhatchie, one of a handful of night battles in the Civil War, began along the Georgia-Tennessee border on October 28, 1863.

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

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886; the first ticker tape parade followed.

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 and the United States Senate overrode the veto on October 28, 1919.

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.

The Cuban Missile Crisis ended on October 28, 1962 as Kruschev agreed to remove Soviet missiles from Cuba if the United States would respect Cuban sovereignty.

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.

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

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

Democratic President Jimmy Carter debated Republican Ronald Reagan in Cleveland, Ohio on October 28, 1980.

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

The Atlanta Braves beat the Cleveland Indians 1-0 to win the World Series on October 28, 1995.

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

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

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Vice President Mike Pence will appear with Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp next Thursday in Dalton, Grovetown, and Savannah. Here are links for free tickets.

Dalton Tickets
Grovetown Tickets
Savannah Tickets

U.S. District Court Judge Leigh Martin May issued an injunction preventing local election officials from discarding mail-in ballots with mis-matched signatures, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The injunction is in response to two lawsuits that have been filed against Kemp and Gwinnett County elections officials challenging the rejection of hundreds of absentee ballots for mismatched signatures and other reasons.

“This injunction applies to all absentee ballot applications and absentee ballots rejected solely on the basis of signature mismatches submitted in this current election,” May said in the order. “This injunction does not apply to voters who have already cast an in-person vote.”

The judge’s order stipulates that any absentee ballots that raise questions because of mismatched signatures is to be treated as a provisional ballot and the voters should be given an opportunity to prove their identity in person or through an attorney.

It also lays out a process for appealing the rejection although it won’t change the date when local elections officials must certify the results of the general election.

Gwinnett County, for example, won’t have to recertify its results to account for absentee ballot rejections that are still being appealed — unless the county of those ballots could swing the outcome of a race.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp asked a federal judge for a stay of her order to appeal the Temorary Restraining Order governing treatment of absentee ballots with mismatched signatures, according to the Daily Report.

The motion, filed by Senior Assistant Attorney General Christina Correia with the office of state Attorney General Chris Carr, sought the stay until she can appeal U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May’s orders granting and implementing the TRO.

Correia sought the stay to allow a review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta, contending an appeal “will ensure at least a measure of careful deliberation before upending the state’s election processes in the middle of a general election.”

In announcing an intended appeal, Correia said Martin’s restraining order added “brand new, untested processes ad hoc to long-established election procedures at the eleventh hour.” Correia also contended it “will introduce uncertainty and confusion under extreme time pressure at best” and “risks undermining the integrity of the state’s election process.”

Correia also argued that receiving an absentee ballot and being able to vote by absentee ballot “together amount at most to a privilege and a convenience” rather than a fundamental right to vote.

Glynn County early voting has exceeded all early votes for recent midterm elections, according to The Brunswick News.

Glynn County residents voting early in the 2018 general election have already exceeded the last three midterm elections with 10,276 casting ballots since the early voting polls opened on Oct. 15.

During the 2014 general midterm elections, 7,239 cast their ballots during early voting. Prior midterm elections in 2010 saw 6,661 votes cast, up from around 3,011 in the 2006 midterms.

Last week, the board of elections saw more than 1,000 people a day, 5,728 total, at its early voting locations in Brunswick and on St. Simons Island. On Thursday, 1,020 people cast their ballots.

State House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) raised funds for fellow house members in Glynn County, according to The Brunswick News.

“My No. 1 priority each session is passing a balanced budget that addresses our need in Georgia — and obviously we’re going to deal with part of this during the special session, and that’s some financial relief for the hurricane damage in Southwest Georgia,” Ralston said. “I suspect that will probably carry over, and we’ll be dealing with some issues relating to the hurricane, even next session.

“The other thing I think will be a priority for me will be our rural development initiatives that we’ve had in the House — high-speed broadband, for example. I think that’s a very, very important thing that we need to here in the state, to revitalize rural Georgia. So, we’ll tackle that.”

He said there will certainly be other issues that demand the House’s attention next year, but he typically does not like to go into a session with a heavy agenda for what to address, and looks to support Kemp’s plans in the eventuality the GOP nominee wins in November.

State Rep. Terry England (R-Auburn) would like to see greater transparency in how funds received by hospitals under the Rural Hospital Tax Credit are spent, according to Andy Miller of Georgia Health News.

how hospitals are spending that money this year has not been officially tracked, the state says. And right now, there apparently isn’t publicly available information on how much in donations that each eligible hospital has received so far in 2018.

An influential state lawmaker said Tuesday that the law needs tweaking to increase transparency.

“There are things that need to be cleaned up,’’ said Rep. Terry England, R-Auburn, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

“Hospitals are thrilled to death’’ about the tax credit program, England said.

Legislators “are going to put things in place to see how these dollars are being spent’’ to increase transparency, said England, who’s also co-chair of the House Rural Development Council. “We want to be specific on allowable spending.”

“This is taxpayer money that would otherwise go into the General Fund,’’ England told Georgia Health News. “Every one of these hospitals want to do the right thing. I want to identify how the money is spent.”

Republican Bulloch County District 2B Commissioner Walter Gibson faces Democratic challenger Adrienne Dobbs, according to the Statesboro Herald.

The City of Savannah is considering a 10 PM shutoff time for tours, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Columbus City Council moved forward with getting courtrooms in the government center back in working order, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

“I think everyone from the judges to the staff to the citizens engaged on this issue are relieved that council took the decisive action to move forward in getting the courtrooms back up and running, getting basic, life-saving issues addressed for those that must work in the Government Center and starting the planning process for either a completely rebuilt or a wholly new judicial and government building,” [Mayor Teresa Tomlinson] said.

The measure council approved will not only accept the nearly $1.1 million in insurance settlement funds from Travelers to start the repairs on the damaged floors, but it will also allow the city to borrow $7 million in bonds issued by the Columbus Building Authority. The city will use $2.5 million of that to address safety issues in the government center, many of them surrounding fire safety.

The city will use $1 million of the borrowed money toward toward planning, engineering and assessment for the new building to potentially replace the 47-year-old Government Center, which houses city administration, multiple city departments and the courts.

The city will then use $3 million in borrowed money to upgrade the softball complex at South Commons. This will include work to the stadium and surrounding fields. The Columbus Sports Council made the pitch for these improvements in August, while telling council it had a chance to host an international softball tournament that will be televised by ESPN.

The Georgia Ports Authority wants to double capacity at the Port of Brunswick, according to The Brunswick News.

The Port of Brunswick had a gangbuster fiscal year 2018, handling a total of 630,000 cars, trucks and tractors, state officials said Thursday at the annual State of the Port address on Jekyll Island.

“The Port of Brunswick achieved a solid performance across all cargo categories over the last fiscal year,” said Griff Lynch, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, or GPA. “As GPA adds new terminal space, we will expand our service area in the Southeast and beyond.”

Next year, the port’s Colonel’s Island terminal will add 60 acres of usable dockside space. Most of that land will be used for roll-on, roll-off, or “Ro/Ro,” freight, like cars and heavy machinery. This expansion will increase storage by 8,250 vehicle spaces. Currently, Brunswick’s port has a capacity of 800,000 units, and in the coming years, GPA plans to nearly double that to 1.5 million units and use an additional 400 acres, Lynch said.

To help meet that demand, the port authority will be doubling rail capacity with a new dockside expansion. This will give the port the ability to build trains up to 10,000 feet long, which are capable of traveling longer distance to meet markets west of the Mississippi River. Already, the Port of Brunswick is sending vehicles as far away as California, Lynch noted.

Rome City Council chose a firm to construct a new dog park, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

The Hall County Commission unanimously passed a ban on unsupervised dog tethering, according to the Gainesville Times.