Category: Georgia Politics

9
Apr

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Politics for April 9, 2021

Button Gwinnett, one of Georgia’s signers of the Declaration of Independence, was born on April 10, 1735 in Gloucester, England, though some authorities say it was his baptism that was recorded that day. Gwinnett also served in the Georgia legislature, where he wrote the first draft of the state Constitution and served as Speaker.

On April 11, 1768, Benjamin Franklin was named Georgia’s agent “to represent, solicit, and transact the affairs of this province in Great Britain.” Arguably, this makes Benjamin Franklin the first American lobbyist. This is what his lobbyist badge looked like:

Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, was exiled to Elba Island in the Mediterranean, on April 11, 1814.

On April 11, 1853, John Archibald Campbell was appointed Justice of the United States Supreme Court by President Franklin Pierce. After graduating from the University of Georgia at 14, he attended West Point, where his fellow cadets included Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. After the beginning of the Civil War, Campbell resigned from the Court and was appointed Assistant Secretary of War for the Confederacy by Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Confederate troops surrendered Fort Pulaski, on Cockspur Island off Savannah, on April 11, 1862. Part of the construction of Fort Pulaski was overseen by a young Second Lieutenant in the United States Army named Robert E. Lee.

After two days of exchanging letters with his Union counterpart, Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee agreed to meet and make arrangements for the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. At 2 PM on April 9, 1865, Lee and Grant met in a private home owned by Wilmer McLean at Appomattox Court House, Virginia and Lee agreed to the surrender of his army.

Lee was resplendent in his dress uniform and a fine sword at his side. Grant arrived wearing a simple soldier’s coat that was muddy from his long ride. The great generals spoke of their service in the Mexican War, and then set about the business at hand. Grant offered generous terms. Officers could keep their side arms, and all men would be immediately released to return home. Any officers and enlisted men who owned horses could take them home, Grant said, to help put crops in the field and carry their families through the next winter. These terms, said Lee, would have “the best possible effect upon the men,” and “will do much toward conciliating our people.” The papers were signed and Lee prepared to return to his men.

From the account by Gen. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain:

“At such a time and under such conditions I thought it eminently fitting to show some token of our feeling, and I therefore instructed my subordinate officers to come to the position of ‘salute’ in the manual of arms as each body of the Confederates passed before us.”

“When General Gordon came opposite me I had the bugle blown and the entire line came to ‘attention,’ preparatory to executing this movement of the manual successively and by regiments as Gordon’s columns should pass before our front, each in turn.”

“The General was riding in advance of his troops, his chin drooped to his breast, downhearted and dejected in appearance almost beyond description. At the sound of that machine like snap of arms, however, General Gordon started, caught in a moment its significance, and instantly assumed the finest attitude of a soldier. He wheeled his horse facing me, touching him gently with the spur, so that the animal slightly reared, and as he wheeled, horse and rider made one motion, the horse’s head swung down with a graceful bow, and General Gordon dropped his swordpoint to his toe in salutation.”

“By word of mouth General Gordon sent back orders to the rear that his own troops take the same position of the manual in the march past as did our line. That was done, and a truly imposing sight was the mutual salutation and farewell.”

General Robert E. Lee gave his last address to the Army of Northern Virginia on April 10, 1865.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was founded on April 10, 1866.

The American Third Army liberated Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany on April 11, 1945. Among the survivors of Buchenwald was Elie Wiesel; in 1986, Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize.

On April 10, 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American professional major league baseball player when the Brooklyn Dodgers bought his contract.

On April 9, 1968, Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta held the funeral for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. More than 100,000 mourners reportedly showed up for the funeral, which could accomodate only 800; 200,000 mourners followed the mule-drawn hearse to Morehouse College.

Apollo 13 was launched on April 11, 1970.

The craft was launched on April 11, 1970, at 13:13 CST from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, but the lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded two days later, crippling the Service Module (SM) upon which the Command Module (CM) depended. Despite great hardship caused by limited power, loss of cabin heat, shortage of potable water, and the critical need to jury-rig the carbon dioxide removal system, the crew returned safely to Earth on April 17.

https://youtu.be/7C3NAj4jCb0

On April 11, 1977, President Jimmy Carter hosted the Easter Egg Roll on the lawn of the White House. In the finest tradition of Georgia Democrats, Carter added a circus to the event.

Winners of the Masters Tournament on April 10 include Sam Snead (1949), Gary Player (1961), Tom Watson (1977) and Tiger Woods (4th – 2005). Congratulations to the following winners of the Masters Tournament who donned the green jacket on April 11: Seve Ballesteros (2d – 1983), Jack Nicklaus (2d in 1965; 3d in 1966), Ray Floyd (1976), Nick Faldo (1996), Jose Maria Olazabal (2d – 1999), Phil Mickelson (1st -2004; 3d – 2010), and Claude Harmon (1948), the first Georgian to win the Masters.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp called on President Joe Biden to overturn a ruling that threatens a Georgia manufacturing plant, according to AccessWDUN.Continue Reading..

8
Apr

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 8, 2021

On April 8, 1917, U.S. President William Howard Taft (R-Ohio) spoke in Augusta, Georgia, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Former President William Howard Taft spoke on the precarious world situation for more than an hour to an Easter Sunday crowd at Augusta’s Tabernacle Baptist Church.

Taft, who had lost the White House four years earlier to Woodrow Wilson, defended the actions of his former rival.

“Our national conscience is entirely void of offense in this war. We have been forced to vindicate our rights,” Taft told an enthusiastic audience.

Hank Aaron hit home run number 715 on April 8, 1974 to become the all-time home run champion, a title he arguably holds to this day.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig wrote about what Aaron meant to baseball and America.

As the last major league player who was a part of the Negro leagues, he was one of the game’s most prominent bridges to integration. For 23 years on the field, this humble native of Mobile, Ala., represented the game with unfailing grace, overcoming obstacles that most of us could not even imagine. In the years since then, Hank has remained one of the most distinguished and revered figures in American public life.

Aaron himself spoke to the Associated Press about the 40th anniversary of his record-breaking home run.

Aaron’s record-breaking homer will be celebrated tonight before the Atlanta Braves’ home opener against the New York Mets.

Hate mail and threats made it impossible for him to savor the chase of Ruth’s revered record, but on Monday he said he’ll enjoy the anniversary because such old friends as former teammate Dusty Baker will return for the pregame ceremony.

Aaron, 80, said he has a greater appreciation for fans who still celebrate his career.

“It does. It means an awful lot to me,” Aaron said.

“I’m not one to go around bragging about certain things. I played the game because I loved the game. … I am quite thrilled that people say that he, whatever he did, should be appreciated. That makes me feel good.”

The Braves will wear an Aaron 40th anniversary patch on their uniform sleeves this season. An outfield sign at Turner Field also will mark the anniversary.

Before hitting the homer into the Braves’ bullpen beyond the left-field wall, Aaron told [Dusty] Baker what was about to happen.

“That I can remember like it was yesterday,” Baker said. “It was a cold, cold night in April. Hank told me, ‘I’m going to get this over with now.’ He knew every pitch that was coming. He had total recall of pitch sequences. He was as smart as they came.”

Aaron confirmed Baker’s tale on Monday: “I think that was right. I think I made that remark and made it to Dusty maybe three or four times. I just felt within myself that eventually before the night was over I was going to hit a home run.”

Kurt Cobain was found dead by his own hand on April 8, 1994.

Governor Zell Miller signed legislation proclaiming Gainesville, Georgia the Poultry Capital of the World on April 8, 1995.

The Square Dance became the official state folk dance on April 8, 1996, when Gov. Zell Miller signed legislation recognizing it.

On April 8, 2005, Eric Rudolph agreed to plead guilty to the fatal 1996 bombing at Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park.

The Masters Tournament was won on this date by Gene Sarazen (1935), Jack Burke, Jr. (1956), Nick Faldo (2nd win – 1990), Tiger Woods (2nd win – 2001), and former University of Georgia player Bubba Watson in 2012.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Augusta National Golf Club just put on a master class on how to deal with politics as a private organization. From the Associated Press via the Valdosta Daily Times:Continue Reading..

7
Apr

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 7, 2021

On April 7, 1776, the United States warship Lexington captured a British warship, HMS Edward, for the first time.

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On April 7, 1798, President John Adams signed legislation authorizing negotiations between three representatives of Georgia and three Presidential appointees over Georgia’s claim to land west of what is now the Georgia-Alabama state lines. Georgia would continue to claim most of what is currently Alabama and Mississippi until 1802.

Map by Carl Vinson Institute of Government at UGA

Map by Carl Vinson Institute of Government at UGA.

Georgia Map 1795

Above: a 1795 map showing Georgia extending west to Louisiana. “These Parts are little known.”

On April 7, 1995, Governor Zell Miller signed legislation recognizing the peach as the official state fruit of Georgia.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has declared herself above the law and will enforce only those state laws she agrees with and will impede those with which she disagrees. From CNN via the Gwinnett Daily Post:Continue Reading..

6
Apr

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 6, 2021

On April 6, 1776, the Continental Congress announced that all ports in America would be open to trade with other countries not ruled by the British. The action was taken several months after Britain passed the American Prohibitory Act which forbade trade with the colonies and was intended to punish colonists for the growing rebellion.

John Tyler was sworn in as the tenth President of the United States on April 6, 1841.

Tyler was elected as William Harrison’s vice president earlier in 1841 and was suddenly thrust into the role of president when Harrison died one month into office. He was the first vice president to immediately assume the role of president after a sitting president’s untimely exit and set the precedent for succession thereafter.

The first modern Olympic Games opened in Athens, Greece on April 6, 1896.

The United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917, when the US House of Representatives voted 373-50 on a declaration of war that passed the Senate two days earlier.

2001: A Space Odyssey was released on April 6, 1968.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp announced that more than four million COVID vaccine doses have been administered in Georgia, according to a press release.

As of Saturday, April 3, the Georgia Department of Public Health’s (DPH) vaccine dashboard reported that Georgia has administered over 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Georgia crossed over the 3 million mark on Friday, March 19, meaning over 1 million doses of vaccine were administered in just 15 days in the Peach State. Currently, Georgia has administered 89% of total doses shipped to the state.

“We continue to make steady progress in our vaccine administration here in Georgia,” said Governor Kemp. “The life-saving COVID-19 vaccine is our key back to normal, and with all Georgians ages 16 and over now eligible to receive the shot we are well on our way as we head into spring and summer. I continue to ask all Georgians to follow best practices, public health guidance, and most importantly, schedule their vaccine appointment with a local provider or at one of our state-operated sites using MyVaccineGeorgia.com.”

Vaccine eligibility in Georgia is now open to everyone ages 16 and over. Note: Pfizer is the only COVID vaccine currently approved for children aged 16 and older.

Georgia’s vaccine dashboard and more information about the COVID-19 vaccine is available on the DPH website. Georgians can schedule an appointment at a state-operated mass vaccination site by visiting MyVaccineGeorgia.com.

Governor Kemp had some choice words for Demcrat Stacey Abrams, according to FoxNews.

Kemp told “The Story” that Abrams is appearing to have buyer’s remorse after watching Major League Baseball decide to pull the lucrative All-Star Game out of Georgia — and a flood of boycott promises from liberal voters and activists.

“Obviously [MLB] didn’t care what was said because they folded to the pressure. President Biden’s handlers couldn’t even get him a note card that told him what this bill did. Somebody is lying to you. It’s not me. You can read the bill and prove that out.” In that regard, host Martha MacCallum pointed to comments from Abrams, a high-profile Democrat in the state:

“Black, Latino, AAPI and Native American voters that are the most suppressed over [the new law] are the most likely to be hurt by potential boycotts of Georgia. To our friends, please do not boycott us. To my fellow Georgians, stay and fight, stay and vote,” Abrams said.

Kemp accused Abrams of “profiting millions off of this” politicking.

“People need to follow the money and see why they’re doing this and so effective and, quite honestly why they’re working so hard at this. It has nothing to do with the merits of the bill. It’s political pressure from a minority group of people, the cancel culture. They’re shaking people down for a long time,” he said.

“I think just the contrary [of Abrams’ remarks],” said Kemp. “I think people are ready to double down and get the truth out there.”

“You know, that is the biggest flip-flop since John Kerry I have ever seen. For someone that has been pressuring these corporations, pressuring Major League Baseball to now come out after the fact and say don’t boycott? People are getting screwed in this, Martha.”

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board has some choice words for the CEOs of some of Georgia’s largest companies.

The public debate on Georgia’s new voting law has become a stew of falsehood, propaganda and panic. Part of the blame lies with the partisan distortion of Democrats, part with their media echoes, and now part with CEOs of major companies who are uninformed at best or cowardly at worst.

Start with President Biden, the great unifier, who on Wednesday to ESPN called the law “ Jim Crow on steroids,” while saying he’d “strongly support” moving the Major League Baseball all-star game out of Atlanta. He’s picking up the smear about Georgia from Stacey Abrams, who still hasn’t accepted that she lost the race for Peach State Governor in 2018.

“You’re going to close a polling place at 5 o’clock, when working people just get off?” he said to ESPN. “This is all about keeping working folks, and ordinary folks that I grew up with, from being able to vote.” Mr. Biden either doesn’t know what’s in the Georgia bill or he is lying about it. We’d like to believe it’s the former, but that gets harder to credit as his falsehoods multiply.

On Election Day in Georgia, anyone in line by 7 p.m. gets a ballot. The new law requires an extra Saturday of voting, while specifying early voting hours: The minimum is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but counties may run 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In metro areas, “you might not notice a change,” explains Georgia Public Broadcasting. Elsewhere, “you will have an extra weekend day, and your weekday early voting hours will likely be longer.”

Then there are the big companies racing out PR statements of condemnation, though what’s often most conspicuous is their vagueness. The voting law “is unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values,” said the airline’s CEO, Ed Bastian. He groveled that he’d had “time to now fully understand all that is in the bill.”

What a clumsy emergency landing. Last week Mr. Bastian said that “concerns remain” about the law, while he explained—accurately—that it “expands weekend voting, codifies Sunday voting and protects a voter’s ability to cast an absentee ballot without providing a reason.” He added: “For the first time, drop boxes have also been authorized for all counties statewide.”

Or take Coca-Cola’s watery statement. “We are disappointed in the outcome of the Georgia voting legislation,” said CEO James Quincey. “Our focus is now on supporting federal legislation that protects voting access and addresses voter suppression across the country.” He cited no specifics about either bill. Apparently Coke’s secret ingredient is pandering.

When woke progressives target a company with tactics like a “die-in,” as Coke received last month, CEOs seem to view a mealy-mouthed statement as cheap insurance. But surely we should expect more from senior business executives, who are supposed to have some backbone and concern for the facts. They’d react with high dudgeon if similar falsehoods were spread about their companies.

CEOs may think there’s no downside to hopping on a bandwagon that insinuates that Georgia’s GOP leaders are inveterate racists. But far from dodging our partisan political warfare, they’re taking a side and promoting more division. They and their companies may pay the price when the woke mob decides to turn on them and they need GOP protection.

United States Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) takes aim at one of the greatest perks of being a corporate titan – membership at the Augusta National Golf Club, according to The Hill.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Monday sent a letter to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred asking if Manfred would give up his membership at the exclusive Augusta National Golf Club in the wake of the league’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s controversial new voting law.

Rubio took a personal shot at the head of MLB after Manfred said the decision to pull the All-Star Game and the MLB Draft from Georgia was “the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport.”

“I write to ask you whether you intend to maintain your membership at Augusta National Golf Club. As you are well aware, the exclusive members-only club is located in the State of Georgia,” Rubio wrote to Manfred.

Augusta National, the annual host of the Masters Tournament, one of the most prestigious tournaments in golf, didn’t invite a Black player to compete at the Masters until 1975, and the club itself didn’t admit its first Black member until 1990.

Rubio said the decision to move the All-Star Game “will have a bigger impact on countless small and minority owned businesses in and around Atlanta, than the new election law ever will.”

And he said it “reeks of hypocrisy.”

Rubio also said he has “no illusion” that Manfred will end his membership at August National because “to do so would require a personal sacrifice, as opposed to the woke corporate virtue signaling of moving the All Star Game from Atlanta.”

“Will Major League Baseball now end its engagement with nations that do not hold elections at all like China and Cuba? Will you end your lucrative financial relationship with Tencent, a company with deep ties to the Communist Party and actively helps the Chinese Government hunt down and silence political dissidents?” Rubio wrote.

“Taking the All-Star game out of Georgia is an easy way to signal virtues without significant financial fallout. But speaking out against the Chinese Communist Party would involve a significant loss of revenue and being closed out of a lucrative market,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, the Apex Predator of American Politics, United States Senator Mitch McConnell, had some advice for the newly-woke according to The Hill.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) weighed in more generally on Monday by warning corporate America not to get involved in high-profile political fights.

“I found it completely discouraging to find a bunch of corporate CEOs getting in the middle of politics,” he said. “My advice to the corporate CEOs of America is to stay out of politics. Don’t pick sides in these big fights.”

From another article in The Hill:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell threatened “serious consequences” for corporations that retaliate against Republican-led efforts to pass new state election laws, as Republicans in Washington and elsewhere intensified criticism over big corporations’ political stances.

“It’s jaw-dropping to see powerful American institutions not just permit themselves to be bullied, but join in the bullying themselves,” Mr. McConnell (R., Ky.) said in a statement Monday, warning against what he described as private-sector advocacy for progressive policy goals, from environmental regulation to gun control.

Mr. McConnell accused companies of “dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government,” and said that they “will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order.”

Delta’s CEO has publicly clashed with Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp over the state’s voting law, and Coca-Cola’s chief executive publicly criticized the law, saying the company had always opposed the legislation. But civil-rights groups also accused both companies and other Georgia-based corporations of not doing enough to push back against the law.

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott issued a news release on Monday announcing that he would decline to throw a ceremonial first pitch at a Texas Rangers baseball game over MLB’s decision to move its All-Star Game out of Georgia.

“It is shameful that America’s pastime is not only being influenced by partisan political politics, but also perpetuating false political narratives,” Mr. Abbott wrote in an open letter to Neil Leibman, president of business operations for the Texas Rangers.

Meanwhile, Gwinnett County’s Democratic Solicitor General announced that he will substitute his own judgment for that of the Georgia General Assembly. From 11Alive:

In a statement released on Monday, the office took issue with a portion of Georgia Senate Bill 202, signed into law late last month, which makes it a misdemeanor to give away water within 150 feet of the outer edge of the polling place or within 25 feet of any voter in line.

“The Gwinnett County Solicitor’s Office will not prosecute individuals arrested for distributing nonpartisan beverages and/or food to voters waiting in line for long hours on Election Day in Gwinnett County as there is no rational, legal basis for this law.”

The response comes in direct response to the section of the law that reads: “No person shall solicit votes in any manner or by any means or method…or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector.”

From the AJC:

[Gwinnett County Solicitor General Brian] Whiteside, a Democrat, said in and interview that he was “not going to be part of” punishing people for sharing food or water in long voting lines.

“It’s unjust to criminalize giving someone some water,” he said. “The state law is not constitutional, what they did.”

In a press release, Whiteside said the provision that makes it a misdemeanor to give away food or water within 150 feet of the outer edge of a polling place or within 25 feet of any voter in line has “no rational, legal basis.”

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler (R-Carrollton) may face opposition in 2022, according to the AJC.

State Rep. William Boddie, an East Point Democrat, said Monday he’s running for the statewide post with promises to dramatically speed up how quickly unemployment claims are processed and to improve workforce retraining programs.

“It’s time for a change at the Georgia Department of Labor,” said Boddie. “We need a labor commissioner who puts Georgia workers first and will make sure the jobs lost during the pandemic can be recovered.”

He’s one of several Democrats angling to challenge Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, the incumbent Republican who was first elected to the position in 2010. State Sen. Lester Jackson is expected to soon announce a run. And Republican state Sen. Bruce Thompson has filed paperwork to campaign for the seat.

From the Savannah Morning News:

[State Senator Lester Jackson, (D-Savannah)], said he decided to run largely because of two issues: the expansion of Medicaid and the public-facing side of the labor department. Jackson cited constituent issues with delayed unemployment checks and communication woes from the labor department.

“It is time for someone to step up to address the needs of the citizens of this great state,” Jackson said. “So I’m sticking my head in so that Georgians can have a labor office that is technologically savvy, and people can get their concerns addressed in a timely fashion.”

He just entered his 13th year as a senator, and will complete his 14th before the 2022 election. Before that, he was a Georgia House representative for 10 years. He served as Chairman of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus and is currently the chairman for the Senate Committee on Urban Affairs.

Gwinnett County Public Schools confirmed that teachers will receive a $1000 bonus from the state in their paychecks, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Gwinnett County Public Schools officials confirmed that $1,000 bonuses for educators that Gov. Brian Kemp and State School Superintendent Richard Woods announced earlier this year will indeed show up in paychecks set to go out at the end of this month.

The bonuses are designed to thank school employees for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will be available to active benefits-eligible employees such as teachers, paraprofessionals, school counselors, school psychologists, school nurses, custodians, bus drivers, school nutrition staff, media specialists, clerical staff, school principals, assistant principals and instructional coaches.

GCPS officials said employees who fit the criteria and were employed as of last Thursday will get the bonus.

Jeremy Baker was sworn in as a new Valdosta Municipal Court Judge, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Cumberland Island National Seashore has opened all its docks, according to The Brunswick Times.

Public docking is now allowed at Plum Orchard, Dungeness and Sea Camp at the north dock extensions. Any docking that interferes with the ferry or National Park Service boats is prohibited.

The docks were damaged by hurricanes Matthew and Irma in 2016 and 2017, limiting the number of vessels that could be safely docked there. The work forced the closure of the docks while the repairs were done.

The main passenger ferry dock in downtown St. Marys has also been rebuilt after it too sustained heavy damage from the hurricanes. Passengers to the island, accessible by boat, had to walk two blocks to the St. Marys Gateway property to board the ferry until the new dock was completed in March.

5
Apr

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 5, 2021

President George Washington exercised the veto power for the first time on April 5, 1792.

The bill introduced a new plan for dividing seats in the House of Representatives that would have increased the amount of seats for northern states. After consulting with his politically divided and contentious cabinet, Washington, who came from the southern state of Virginia, ultimately decided that the plan was unconstitutional because, in providing for additional representatives for some states, it would have introduced a number of representatives higher than that proscribed by the Constitution.

The Brown Thrasher was first recognized as the official state bird of Georgia on April 5, 1935 through an Executive Order signed by Governor Eugene Talmadge. Later the designation of official state symbols through executive fiat was challenged and the General Assembly would recognize the Brown Thrasher again as official state bird in 1970.

On April 5, 1962, Governor Ernest Vandiver called a Special Session of the Georgia General Assembly to revise the state’s election code following a decision by the United States Supreme Court in the case of Baker v. Carr.

On April 5, 1968, amid racial tension following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., musician James Brown helped keep the peace in Boston.

On April 5, 1977, Wyche Fowler won a runoff election over John Lewis for the Fifth Congressional District, following the appointment of Andrew Young as Ambassador to the United Nations. Fowler would win election to the United States Senate in 1986, and ironically, lose his seat in a 1992 runoff election to the late Paul Coverdell.

On April 5, 1980, the band that would come to be known as R.E.M. played their first show as Twisted Kites in Athens, Georgia.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Major League Baseball announced they the All Start Game and Draft will not take place in Georgia due to Senate Bill 202’s passage, according to the Associated Press via the Statesboro Herald.Continue Reading..

2
Apr

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 2, 2021

On April 2, 1513, Spanish Explorer Juan Ponce de Leon discovered Florida, claiming it for the Spanish crown. Today he is best-known in Georgia for giving his name to be mispronounced daily on a sketchy street in Atlanta. It is not known if he was wearing jean shorts, or if those were developed later. Georgians began mispronouncing his name immediately.

Georgia began its love affair with the regulation of what can and cannot be sold on April 3, 1735, when James Oglethorpe, founder of the colony, helped gain passage of “An Act to prevent the Importation and Use of Rum and Brandies in the Province of Georgia.” The act provided that after June 24, 1735, “no Rum, Brandies, Spirits or Strong Waters” shall be imported into Georgia.” Permission was also required to sell beer, wine, and ale.

On April 3, 1776, the Continental Congress authorized “privateers” holding a letter of marque and reprisal to attack British ships. This essentially legalizes what would otherwise be considered piracy. Issuing letters of marque and reprisal is among the enumerated powers of Congress under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, though they have seldom been used.

On April 4, 1776, General George Washington began marching his troops from Cambridge, Massachusetts to New York, in anticipation of an invasion by the British.

President William Henry Harrison died in office on April 4, 1841, a month after his inauguration.

At the inauguration of America’s first Whig president, on March 4, 1841, a bitterly cold day, Harrison declined to wear a jacket or hat, made a two-hour speech, and attended three inauguration balls. Soon afterward, he developed pneumonia. On April 4, President Harrison died in Washington, and Vice President John Tyler ascended to the presidency, becoming the first individual in U.S. history to reach the office through the death of a president.

On April 3, 1865, Richmond fell. On April 4, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln toured Richmond, Virginia the day after the Confederate Capitol fell to Union forces.

On April 3, 1898, President William McKinley called on Georgians to contribute 3000 volunteers for the Spanish-American War.

On April 2, 1917, Jeanette Rankin took office as the first woman elected to Congress, representing Montana.

Born on a ranch near Missoula, Montana Territory, in 1880, Rankin was a social worker in the states of Montana and Washington before joining the women’s suffrage movement in 1910. Working with various suffrage groups, she campaigned for the women’s vote on a national level and in 1914 was instrumental in the passage of suffrage legislation in Montana. Two years later, she successfully ran for Congress in Montana on a progressive Republican platform calling for total women’s suffrage, legislation protecting children, and U.S. neutrality in the European war. Following her election as a representative, Rankin’s entrance into Congress was delayed for a month as congressmen discussed whether a woman should be admitted into the House of Representatives.

Finally, on April 2, 1917, she was introduced in Congress as its first female member. The same day, President Woodrow Wilson addressed a joint session of Congress and urged a declaration of war against Germany.

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., accompanied by Georgians Hosea Williams and Ralph D. Abernathy, was in Memphis, Tennessee, supporting a strike by sanitation workers on April 3, 1968. He delivered what is known as the “Mountaintop Speech.”

“[L]ike anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. So I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

On April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot in Memphis. James Earl Ray would later be arrested and plead guilty to the assassination.

On April 4, 1974, Hank Aaron hit home run 714, tying Babe Ruth’s record.

On April 2, 1985, Governor Joe Frank Harris signed legislation recognizing the Right Whale as the official state marine mammal.

On April 4, 1988, the Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly was recognized as the official state butterfly of Georgia.

The Atlanta Braves played their first game in Turner Field on April 4, 1997, defeating the Chicago Cubs 5-4. Denny Neagle started on the mound for the Braves and Mark Wohlers earned a save. Atlanta’s Michael Tucker hit the first homerun in the new stadium.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp issued more than 60 Executive Orders yesterday, with the vast majority being appointments to boards, commissions, and the like. Executive Order #04.01.21.57, adopts a new Code of Ethics for the Executive Branch, and E.O. 04.01.21.60 extends the rioting and hooliganism State of Emergency Executive Order through May 8, 2021.Continue Reading..

1
Apr

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 1, 2021

In perhaps the most fitting historical tidbit ever, the United States House of Representatives first met on April 1, 1789 in New York City. Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania was elected the first Speaker of the House. Georgia’s first Members of Congress were James Jackson, Abraham Baldwin, and George Mathews.

On April 1, 1870, Robert E. Lee, President of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, arrived in Savannah, Georgia. Lee’s career in the United States Army began with his first assignment at Cockspur Island near Savannah. While in Savannah for the 1870 trip, Lee was photographed with former General Joseph E. Johnston, who was in the insurance business there.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp issued Executive Order #03.31.21.01, renewing the Public Health State of Emergency through April 30, 2021, and Executive Order #03.31.21.03 providing guidance on public safety protocols during the pandemic. Executive Order #03.31.21.02 allows state employees to take up to 8 hours Emergency Office Closure Leave for the purpose of getting a COVID vaccination and up to 16 hours leave for recovery from negative side effects if the side effects would prevent them from working.Continue Reading..

31
Mar

Sine Die – Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 31, 2021

On March 31, 1776, Abigail Adams wrote to her husband, John Adams, asking that he and his colleagues “remember the ladies” in the fight for Independence.

The future First Lady wrote in part, “I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”

On March 31, 1870, Thomas Mundy Peterson became the first African-American to vote after the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The iconic vote was cast in a local election in Perth Amboy, New Jersey for the town’s charter.  Gary Sullivan of the News Tribune stated, “Exercising his right to vote in a local election on March 31, 1870.  Peterson became the first black man in the United States to cast a ballot.  The amendment had been ratified on February 3, 1870, and within just two months the Fifteenth Amendment was put to use.

An interview with Peterson showed who encouraged him to vote, “I was working for Mr. T. L. Kearny on the morning of the day of election, and did not think of voting until he came out to the stable where I was attending to the horses and advised me to go to the polls and exercise a citizen’s privilege.”  Peterson also revealed his vote in this election, “As I advanced to the polls one man offered me a ticket bearing the words “revised charter” and another one marked, “no charter.” I thought I would not vote to give up our charter after holding it so long: so I chose a revised charter ballot.”

On March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower opened in Paris.

The Eiffel Tower remained the world’s tallest man-made structure until the completion of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930. Incredibly, the Eiffel Tower was almost demolished when the International Exposition’s 20-year lease on the land expired in 1909, but its value as an antenna for radio transmission saved it. It remains largely unchanged today and is one of the world’s premier tourist attractions.

On March 31, 1999, The Matrix opened in theaters.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

10:00 AM Senate Floor Session (LD 40) – Senate Chamber

10:00 AM HOUSE Floor Session (LD40) – House Chamber

LEGISLATION TABLED IN THE SENATE ON THE THIRTY-NINTH LEGISLATIVE DAYContinue Reading..

30
Mar

State Rep. Tom Kirby on Senate Bill 202 Election Reforms

State Representative Tom Kirby (R-Loganville) wrote a compelling piece about Senate Bill 202 on Facebook. It is reprinted here with his permission.

HERE IS A LINK TO THE ACTUAL LEGISLATION. DO NOT WORRY, READING THE BILL WILL NOT SUPPRESS YOUR VOTE.

I understand that some of you have some concerns about the election bill we passed in Georgia. I realize many of you are limited as to the news coverage you see about the bill. Let me walk you through the actual bill so you can make an informed decision.

To start with, the Democrats in Georgia lie. They don’t even try to be honest. We started in June 2020, 5 months BEFORE the election working on restoring the people’s confidence in our elections. Why you ask? Democrat Stacey Abrams has spent 2 years running all over the country telling everyone who would listen that the election was stolen from her. Despite the facts, the data, showing otherwise, the media loved to give her air time to push her false narrative. This did however plant the seeds of distrust in our elections. We have seen for years now, Democrats use feeling and emotions, while Republicans use facts and data.

This is also true with SB 202. You have heard “Jim Crow 2.0”, “voter suppression”, “Disenfranchise” and of course the democrats favorite, “Racist”. The bill is none of that, and it is easy to see. Let’s begin.

The first change in the bill (lines 171 – 178) requires the Attorney General to “establish and maintain” a telephone hotline so anyone can file a complaint of voter intimidation or illegal activities. It even recognizes these complaints if made anonymously. That appears to be contradictory to the “voter suppression” statements.Continue Reading..

30
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 30, 2021

On March 30, 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was formally adopted after sufficient number of the states ratified it.

With the adoption of the 15th Amendment in 1870, a politically mobilized African-American community joined with white allies in the Southern states to elect the Republican Party to power, which brought about radical changes across the South. By late 1870, all the former Confederate states had been readmitted to the Union, and most were controlled by the Republican Party, thanks to the support of African-American voters.

In the same year, Hiram Rhoades Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Mississippi, became the first African American ever to sit in Congress. Although African-American Republicans never obtained political office in proportion to their overwhelming electoral majority, Revels and a dozen other African-American men served in Congress during Reconstruction, more than 600 served in state legislatures, and many more held local offices. However, in the late 1870s, the Southern Republican Party vanished with the end of Reconstruction, and Southern state governments effectively nullified the 14th and 15th Amendments, stripping Southern African Americans of the right to vote. It would be nearly a century before the nation would again attempt to establish equal rights for African Americans in the South.

Robert E. Lee arrived in Augusta on March 30, 1870.

On March 30, 1937, Georgia Governor E.D. Rivers signed legislation authorizing non-profit Electric Membership Corporations to electrify rural Georgia.

On March 30, 1945, President F.D. Roosevelt arrived for his final visit to Warm Spring, Georgia.

The Savannah Morning News looks back to the 1918 Pandemic.

October was the cruelest month. During those 31 days, the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic stormed through Savannah, killing 114 people and leaving a swath of despair and a sense of desperation in its wake.

“Sick patients were being taken to the various hospitals by the wagon load,” the Savannah Morning News reported on Oct. 27. That came after 102 new cases were registered just the day before.

The vulnerability to infectious diseases. Not knowing what to do. The fear. Being a little bit out of control. It was “very similar to today,” said Sara Plaspohl, one of the authors of “The Effect of the 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic on Mortality Rates in Savannah, Georgia,” a 2016 article in the Georgia Historical Quarterly.

The GHQ article concentrated on the 6,520 recorded deaths in Savannah-Chatham County during a three-year period, Jan. 1, 1917, to Dec. 31, 1919. The numbers are scary. Of the 2,433 deaths in 1918, 223 – 9% of the aggregate total – perished during the pandemic.

And the total, said Plaspohl, was likely higher. The handwriting on the certificates was often not legible, and, when it was, they still only counted certificates that specifically stated Spanish flu or influenza as the cause of death.

Warnings were also plentiful. The Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Thacker pointed out, published out a circular during the 1918 pandemic that presaged the cautionary admonitions of 2020:

‒ If you are really sick, stay at home and remain there until the fever is over. A day in bed may save you from serious consequences …

‒ Don’t spray others with the secretions from your nose and throat in coughing, sneezing, laughing or talking.

‒ Boil your handkerchiefs and other contaminated articles.

‒ Wash your hands frequently.

‒ Keep away from others as much as possible while you have a cough.

“After the pandemic subsided, it left a significant scar on the surviving population,” the GHQ article stated. “Many children lost one or both of their parents, and widowed spouses suddenly became the only source of income and support for their families.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

11:00 AM Senate State and Local Governmental Operations – 307 CLOB
11:00 AM HOUSE RULES – 341 CAP
2:00 PM HOUSE JUDICIARY – 132 CAP

Governor Brian Kemp is forced to cancel events in Valdosta today because he was exposed to Covid and is quarantining, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.Continue Reading..