Category: Georgia Politics


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 2, 2020

On October 2, 1789, President George Washington signed a resolution transmitting the (then-twelve) amendments constituting the Bill of Rights to the states that had ratified the Constitution. Click here for the letter from Washington to Governor Charles Pinckney of South Carolina that accompanied the amendments.

On October 2, 1835, Texans and Mexicans met in the first military battle of the Texas Revolution, the Battle of Gonzales.

In 1831, Mexican authorities gave the settlers of Gonzales a small cannon to help protect them from frequent Comanche raids. Over the next four years, the political situation in Mexico deteriorated, and in 1835 several states revolted. As the unrest spread, Colonel Domingo de Ugartechea, the commander of all Mexican troops in Texas, felt it unwise to leave the residents of Gonzales a weapon and requested the return of the cannon.

When the initial request was refused, Ugartechea sent 100 dragoons to retrieve the cannon. The soldiers neared Gonzales on September 29, but the colonists used a variety of excuses to keep them from the town, while secretly sending messengers to request assistance from nearby communities. Within two days, up to 140 Texians gathered in Gonzales, all determined not to give up the cannon. On October 1, settlers voted to initiate a fight. Mexican soldiers opened fire as Texians approached their camp in the early hours of October 2. After several hours of desultory firing, the Mexican soldiers withdrew.

Texas Cannon Flag 600

On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving to be observed on November 26, 1863 and on the fourth Thursday in November every succeeding year.

This announcement harkened back to when George Washington was in his first term as the first president in 1789 and the young American nation had only a few years earlier emerged from the American Revolution. At that time, George Washington called for an official celebratory “day of public thanksgiving and prayer.” While Congress overwhelmingly agreed to Washington’s suggestion, the holiday did not yet become an annual event.

Thomas Jefferson, the third president, felt that public demonstrations of piety to a higher power, like that celebrated at Thanksgiving, were inappropriate in a nation based in part on the separation of church and state. Subsequent presidents agreed with him. In fact, no official Thanksgiving proclamation was issued by any president between 1815 and the day Lincoln took the opportunity to thank the Union Army and God for a shift in the country’s fortunes on this day in 1863.

On October 2, 1879, Wallace Stevens was born. Stevens would become a renowned poet and insurance industry lawyer. My favorite poem of his is “Connoisseur of Chaos.”

A. A violent order is disorder; and
B. A great disorder is an order. These
Two things are one.

President Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke at the White House on October 2, 1909.

On October 4, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson sent a telegram to the Georgia Democratic Party Convention delegates in appreciation for their support of his admininstration.

On October 3, 1922, Rebecca Latimer Felton was appointed to the United States Senate from Georgia following the death of Senator Tom Watson. After initially being rebuffed by the Senate, Felton was sworn-in on late in November, becoming the first woman to serve in the United States Senate.

The Savannah River Bridge opened on October 4, 1925.

Thurgood Marshall was sworn-in as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on October 2, 1967.

Betty Talmadge, then wife of Senator Herman Talmadge, hosted a fundraiser with Rosalynn Carter and Joan Mondale on October 2, 1976.

Ground was broken for The Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta on October 2, 1984.

Beverly Hills, 90210 debuted on October 4, 1990.

On October 3, 1995, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder.

The last Braves game at Turner Field was played on October 2, 2016, with the Detroit Tigers besting the Braves by 1-0.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp appointed Lt. Col. Chris Wright as Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety and colonel of the Georgia State Patrol, according to the Albany Herald.

The Board of Public Safety voted Thursday to approve Lt. Col. Chris Wright to serve as the next Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety and colonel of the Georgia State Patrol, following interim Commissioner Gary Vowell’s planned departure.

“I want to thank Col. Vowell for his service to the people of Georgia,” Gov. Brian Kemp said in a news release. “When he took over as interim Public Safety Commissioner, none of us could have imagined the challenges we would face in the coming months. He has been an exemplary public servant, and my family and I wish him the best in the days ahead.

Georgia First Lady Marty Kemp announced a new Human Trafficking hotline, according to the Albany Herald.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 1, 2020

Original Communist (O.C.) Karl Marx published Das Kapital on October 1, 1867.

Voters in the state of Washington adopted the state constitution on October 1, 1889.

The first World Series of baseball opened on October 1, 1903.

On October 1, 1908, Ford introduced the Model T.

Happy 96th Birthday to former President Jimmy Carter, who was born on October 1, 1924 at Wise Sanitarium in Plains, Georgia, the first American President to be born in a hospital.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Warm Springs, Georgia for the 21st time beginning on October 1, 1931.

In a Special Election October 1, 1940, Florence Gibbs became the first woman elected to Congress from Georgia, completing her late husband’s term and serving through January 3, 1941, but no standing for a full term of her own.

Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong proclaimed the Communist People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949.

The Carter Center in Atlanta was dedicated on October 1, 1986.

Mikhail Gorbachev named himself Chairman of the USSR’s Supreme Soviet on October 1, 1988.

President George H.W. Bush condemned Iraq’s takeover of Kuwait in a speech to the United Nations on October 1, 1990.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp yesterday issued Executive Orders, renewing the Public Health State of Emergency, and, providing guidance. From the AJC:Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 30, 2020

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

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

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

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

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

October 5, 2020 is the voter registration deadline for the November general election. You can sign into the Secretary of State’s MVP webpage to check that your registration is up-to-date.

Vice President Mike Pence arrives in Atlanta around noon today, according to the AJC.

The vice president is set to arrive in Atlanta around noon Wednesday and then will head to the Cobb Galleria Centre to speak at the Faith & Freedom Coalition Policy Conference.

His visit comes on the heels of President Donald Trump’s campaign stop in Atlanta on Friday to court Black voters – and polls that show the state has become increasingly competitive.

Aside from Pence, this year’s agenda includes U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler; Gov. Brian Kemp; anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist; and local pastor Benny Tate.

Kwanza Hall and Robert M. Franklin, both Democrats, took the top slots in yesterday’s election for the Fifth Congressional District, and head to a December runoff.

From the Associated Press via AccessWDUN:

Voters will be called back to the polls for the Dec. 1 runoff, deciding whether Hall or Franklin will get only a month in Congress representing the Atlanta-centered district. The November general election between Republican Angela Stanton King and Democrat Nikema Williams will decide who serves the full two-year term that begins in January. Neither was on Tuesday’s ballot.

Franklin, now a professor at Emory University, raised the most money of anyone running — almost $130,000, including $20,000 of his own. The 66-year-old reemphasized Tuesday as results came in that his experience and training would allow him to pick up Lewis’ mantle and bring “moral clarity” to Congress, saying he would focus on COVID-19 relief, voting rights and reducing police violence against African Americans. The latter two of those issues are unlikely to make any progress in Congress before January.

Hall, who lost a race for Atlanta mayor after three terms on the City Council, said he was called to the race by a sense of “personal obligation.” The 49-year-old said he would try to make the district a pilot site for efforts to fight COVID-19 and to spend more on infrastructure.

Governor Brian Kemp made several stops yesterday in North Georgia, according to AccessWDUN.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said this afternoon that having 200,000 rapid COVID-19 tests coming to the state is a “game-changer” during a stop at the the Dawsonville Pool Room as part of a North Georgia tour.

“One of the frustrations for parents has been having to quarantine just because you’re close to somebody who that maybe had a positive test,” said Kemp. “If we could test those individuals that they’re in that position every day, or every couple of days, it may be where you could change that guidance.”

“One of the things that Dr. Toomey and I have tried to do is to make sure that we are putting things out there that people can buy into,” said Kemp. “And to go backwards on that, I just don’t think people would be able to comply with it.”

Kemp was expected to make four more stops at small businesses today during the North Georgia tour. These included CAIRE in Ball Ground, Geraldine’s Bodacious Food Company in Jasper, CORE Center in Ellijay and Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge.

From the Gainesville Times:

Gov. Brian Kemp paid a visit to North Georgia on Tuesday, Sept. 29, making a stop in northeast Hall to laud Kubota Manufacturing of America Corp.’s expansion at a groundbreaking ceremony for an $85 million engineering and design center.

“I think it’s important in these tough times … to stop and celebrate the good things we have going on in our state, not only for our people to see but for the rest of the country and the world to see,” Kemp said to a group of government and business officials. “It makes a difference on decision makers from an economic development perspective.”

“The only thing I would ask is when you get the facility finished, I would like to come up and try some Kubota vehicles and other things,” Kemp said to the crowd, drawing laughter. “And I heard you’re building this in a very friendly way to the neighbors, so I won’t be causing any disruption.”

Gwinnett County has issued nearly 120,000 absentee ballots for the November general election, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

“With this year, we’re not confident we could come up with even a pretty accurate estimate of turnout just because everything is so different,” Gwinnett Elections Supervisor Kristi Royston said. “We’re not sure — is it absentee-by-mail, is it individuals who do vote in person during advance (voting) or is it election day — you know, where are we going to see the higher participation.”

One indicator that turnout is going to be high is the number of absentee-by-mail ballots that have been requested in the county. Gwinnett officials said they have issued about 118,650 absentee ballots, including overseas and military ballots, as of Tuesday morning.

By comparison, Gwinnett sent out about 100,000 absentee ballots for the primary election, but got back roughly 85,000 ballots, Royston said.

“We had said, when we were prepping and planning for this, that it wouldn’t surprise us if we did 250,000 (absentee ballots sent out for the general election),” Royston said. “That being said, a large number of the ones we would expect are already here. It’s the ones that were on file, the ones that individuals are starting early.”

Royston did warn that voters who go to the My Voter Page system provided by the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office need to understand there is a difference between the date an absentee ballot is “issued,” and the date on which it is mailed to the voter.

“If we’re working today and (elections staff workers) key in the application, that’s the issue date,” Royston said. “The issue date is not reflective of the mail date. As far as what is issued today, it’s not going to be mailed today.”

Royston said Gwinnett will have 23 absentee ballot drop boxes around the county for the general election. The boxes will be located at all 15 libraries in Gwinnett as well as at all eight early voting, or advance-in-person voting, sites in the county. Ballots put in the drop boxes are expected to be picked up by elections staff on a daily basis.

Chatham County announced the locations for eight new absentee ballot drop boxes funded by the League of Women Voters, according to the Savannah Morning News.

At a press conference Tuesday, Board of Registrars Chairman Colin McRae said seven of the eight new boxes have been installed, though they won’t be accessible for “about a week” because of the installation of surveillance cameras.

“We’re going to announce the date that they formally come online. We’re hoping that it will be either late this week or early next week,” McRae said. “That will give us time to get all the logistics in place to have the footage available to us.”

Absentee ballot boxes are required to be in a location with 24-hour video surveillance. Additionally, the boxes will be affixed to the ground. They have to be emptied every 72 hours prior to the early voting period. During the early voting period — from Oct. 12 through Oct. 30 — they have to be emptied every 24 hours.

“Several of these locations are still in the process of getting the [surveillance cameras]. We are in the process of getting the hardware installed to ensure our access to the security cameras footage,” McRae said.

The Gainesville Times profiles the candidates in State Senate District 50, currently held by Republican Bo Hatchett.

Bulloch County notched its first full week with fewer than 100 COVID-19 cases since June, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Clayton County public schools will stay online-only for the time being, according to the AJC.

Several members of the 55,000-student south metro Atlanta community’s school board made it clear at a Monday meeting that they are uncomfortable sending teachers and students to brick-and-mortar classrooms due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Right now, I am not for going back,” said Alieka Anderson, board vice chairwoman. “We need to look at things a little bit more. We need to see how this flu season is going to carry out.”

Clayton Schools leaders say they have been deluged with emails and calls from parents and faculty worried that the south metro district would feel pressure to follow Cobb, Fulton, Henry and other metro school systems in allowing students the option of returning to classrooms for in-person instruction.

Gov. Brian Kemp weighed in on the subject Tuesday, saying his administration has provided the tools to make going back easier, but that the decision to reopen is up to local leaders.

Richmond County will hold jury selection at the James Brown Arena, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Move over rock stars, barrel racing pros and graduates — James Brown Arena is to be the new setting for Richmond County residents to become trial jurors.

Since the pandemic, all courts statewide have been under emergency orders imposed by Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton that prohibited juror trials and grand jury sessions. But his latest order earlier this month cleared the way for the resumption of grand jury sessions and planning for jury trials.

Richmond County Court Administrator Noland Martin said Tuesday that the county’s plans must be approved by the Supreme Court, but the judicial staff is confident it will be and that jury trials can resume by the end of November.

Because of the need for social distancing, there wasn’t a space big enough in the Augusta-Richmond County Judicial Center for selecting juries. But there is in the arena. Superior Court Chief Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. signed an emergency order designating the arena as a courthouse annex, which allows jury selection to take place there.

Glynn County is moving forward with consideration of new rules for short-term rentals, according to The Brunswick News.

At the heart of the issue, according to [Commissioner Peter] Murphy, is a desire to put a stop to unruly renters in residential neighborhoods who disturb the peace, impose safety requirements on short-term rentals and collect taxes from those who aren’t paying.

Complaints abound from county residents who have had negative experiences with large groups renting homes in their neighborhoods, Murphy said. In addition, many short-term rentals operate on an uneven playing field, gaining an advantage over hotels, motels and other forms of lodging by dodging the 5 percent nightly bed tax on room rentals.

A short-term rental ordinance has been kicked around for so long — the entire four years of Murphy’s tenure, in fact — that he feels there’s not much left to discuss.

“We need to take a vote up or down,” he said.

The Gwinnett County Tax Commissioner‘s Office is sending property tax bills beginning Thursday, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Oconee County received a $750,000 grant of federal funds from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to expand the Senior Center, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

Savannah City Council deadlocked on a choice of three candidates for city manager and may restart the hiring process, according to the Savannah Morning News.

“At this point we could not get consensus on a singular candidate,” Mayor Van Johnson said Tuesday morning. “It appears we are at an impasse.”

The council and mayor met Monday in a closed session to discuss the finalists. The meeting lasted more than three hours.

Johnson said the council was “nowhere near” an overwhelming majority in favor of any one of the candidates. In fact, none of the three had the support of at least five council members — a simple majority — during the discussion, according to Johnson.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 29, 2020

On September 29, 1526, 600 Spanish colonists led by Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon landed on the Georgia Coast, the first European colonists in Georgia.

Ayllon established San Miguel de Gualdape on Sapelo Sound in present–day McIntosh County. He sailed north from Hispaniola during the summer and first landed in present–day South Carolina. Meeting no natives, he traveled south along the coast before settling in Georgia.

To help establish the colony, Ayllon brought with him the very first group of slaves.  But hunger, disease, and conflict with the natives all took their toll, and the settlement survived for only three months.

Other sources say that the September 29, 1526 landing was in South Carolina and Vasquez de Ayllon established San Miguel de Gualdape on October 8, 1526.

WSB-TV took to the airwaves for the first time on September 29, 1948.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today is election day for the Fifth Congressional District to fill out the remainder of the term of the late-Congressman John Lewis. It’s so meaningless that the Democratic nominee in the November election for a full term, isn’t running.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 28, 2020

William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, invaded England on September 28, 1066.

Other sources say that the September 29, 1526 landing was in South Carolina and Vasquez de Ayllon established San Miguel de Gualdape on October 8, 1526.

Washington Yorktown

General George Washington led continental troops into the siege of British forces under General Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia on September 28, 1781.

On September 28, 1863, two Union generals lost their commands after the Confederates routed federal forces at the Battle of Chickamauga.

On September 28, 1889, Georgia Governor John B. Gordon signed legislation designating January 19th a state holiday in honor of Robert E. Lee’s birthday. In 2015, Robert E. Lee’s birthday and Confederate Memorial Day were stricken from the Georgia calendar.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

From the AJC:

On the defensive in Georgia, President Donald Trump on Friday unveiled proposals in Atlanta that include promises to secure more lending for Black-owned businesses and a pledge to create a federal Juneteenth holiday commemorating the end of slavery.

Speaking to a cheering crowd of hundreds of Black Republicans, Trump spoke less about the individual policies and issued a broader challenge to Joe Biden’s supporters to question Democratic initiatives as polls show the two are locked in a tight race in Georgia.

The Trump campaign has focused intensely on Georgia, a state that’s crucial in his bid for reelection. Republicans have carried Georgia in every presidential election since 1996, but Biden’s campaign has forced Republicans to shift resources to the state.

And even as Trump prepared to speak at the Cobb Galleria Centre, the White House announced that Vice President Mike Pence would return to Georgia next week to headline a religious conference in another indication of the state’s battleground status.

[President Trump] credited U.S. Sen. David Perdue for persuading him to endorse Brian Kemp in the 2018 Republican runoff for governor against Casey Cagle. And he urged Republican rivals U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins to stay in the free-for-all special election in November.

“I want to congratulate you both for fighting the good fight,” he said, adding that their intense competition will help drive turnout that could boost his campaign.

“Don’t anybody get out,” he said, turning to their conservative supporters. “The only thing I know for sure: They’re all going to vote for me.”

From WSB-TV:Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 25, 2020

On September 27, 1779, John Jay, who previously served as President of the Continental Congress, was appointed minister to Spain to seek Spanish support for the revolution.

On September 25, 1789, Congress adopted the first twelve amendments, called the Bill of Rights, to the United States Constitution. A little more than two years later, in 1791, enough states had ratified ten of the Amendments, with two not receiving sufficient support.


On September 25, 1864, Confederate President Jefferson Davis met with General John Bell Hood and visited troops at Palmetto, Georgia.

President Franklin Roosevelt made his ninth visit to Warm Springs, Georgia on September 27, 1927.

On September 26, 1928, future President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke in Atlanta on behalf of Democrat Alfred Smith’s campaign for President.

The first televised debate between major party candidates for President took place on September 26, 1960 between Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon.

Kennedy emerged the apparent winner from this first of four televised debates, partly owing to his greater ease before the camera than Nixon, who, unlike Kennedy, seemed nervous and declined to wear makeup. Nixon fared better in the second and third debates, and on October 21 the candidates met to discuss foreign affairs in their fourth and final debate. Less than three weeks later, on November 8, Kennedy won 49.7 percent of the popular vote in one of the closest presidential elections in U.S. history, surpassing by a fraction the 49.6 percent received by his Republican opponent.

Ronald Reagan appointee Sandra Day O’Connor became the first female Justice of the United States on September 25, 1981. In an interview with Terry Gross, she recalled receiving the call from President Reagan:

“I was working in my office on the Arizona Court of Appeals,” she tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “I was at the court in my chambers when the telephone rang. And it was the White House calling for me, and I was told that the president was waiting to speak to me. That was quite a shock, but I accepted the phone call, and it was President Reagan, and he said, ‘Sandra?’ ‘Yes, Mr. President?’ ‘Sandra, I’d like to announce your nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow. Is that all right with you?’ Well, now, that’s kind of a shock, wouldn’t you say?”

The Princess Bride was released on September 25, 1987. Inconceivable!

Nirvana’s Nevermind was released on September 24, 1991.

On September 25, 2008, the last car came off the line at GM’s Doraville Plant.

September 27 is a red-letter day for the Atlanta Braves and pitcher John Smoltz. The team won a record 14th straight Division Championship on this day in 2005. Smoltz set a team record for regular season wins (24) on September 27, 1996 and extended his team record for strikeouts hitting 276.

On September 27, 2002, Smoltz set a National League record with 54 saves.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

President Donald Trump arrives in Atlanta today to campaign, according to the AJC.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 24, 2020

James Oglethorpe was named Commissioner of Indian Affairs and Charles Wesley was named Secretary of Indian Affairs by the Georgia Trustees in London on September 24, 1735.

The Judiciary Act of 1789, which established the first federal judicial system, was adopted on September 24, 1789 with the signature of President George Washington. Under the Act, the original size of the Supreme Court was five Associate Justices and a Chief Justice. Washington nominated John Jay as Chief Justice, and John Rutledge, William Cushing, John Blair, Robert Harrison, and James Wilson as Associates.

Also established on September 24, 1789 were the office of Attorney General of the United States and the United States Post Office Department.

On September 24, 1862, the Confederate Congress adopted the Seal of the Confederate States of America.

The Decatur Female Seminary opened with 60 students on September 24, 1889 and would later be chartered as Agnes Scott College.

White vigilantes seeking to assault African-Americans after reports of four white women being assaulted led to the Atlanta Race Riots on September 22-24, 1906, which would claim the lives of at least 25 African-Americans and one white person.

On September 24, 1960, USS Enterprise CVN-65, was launched from Newport News Shipbuilding in Norfolk, Virginia, the first Galaxy-class starship nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Enterprise was inactivated on December 1, 2012 and decommissioned on February 3, 2017.

On September 24, 1976, former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter resumed campaigning after the first debate against President Gerald Ford.

On September 24, 1979, CompuServe offered the first dial-up computer information service to consumers.

Launched as MicroNET in 1979 and sold through Radio Shack stores, the service turned out to be surprisingly popular, thanks perhaps to Radio Shack’s Tandy Model 100 computers, which were portable, rugged writing machines that dovetailed very nicely with the fledgling, 300-baud information service.

MicroNET was renamed the CompuServe Information Service in 1980. Around the same time, CompuServe began working with newspapers to offer online versions of their news stories, starting with the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch in 1980. At least 10 major newspapers were offering online editions through CompuServe by 1982, including The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Examiner.

On September 24, 2009, it was announced that the College Football Hall of Fame would move to Atlanta, where it opened on August 23, 2014.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Nate Silver of 538 is out with new estimates in the Georgia Senate races.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 23, 2020

Bon Homme Richard

John Paul Jones, at the helm of US ship Bonhomme Richard, won a naval battle off the coast of England on September 23, 1779.

After inflicting considerable damage to the Bonhomme Richard, Richard Pearson, the captain of the Serapis, asked Jones if he had struck his colors, the naval sign indicating surrender. From his disabled ship, Jones replied, “I have not yet begun to fight,” and after three more hours of furious fighting the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough surrendered to him.

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark returned to St. Louis Missouri from their exploratory trip to the Pacific coast on September 23, 1806.

On September 23, 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was speaking at a dinner with the Teamsters union and addressed attacks that had been made by Republicans, including the allegation that after leaving his dog, Fala, behind in the Aleutian Islands, he sent a Navy destroyer to fetch the dog. This would become known as the “Fala speech.”

These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don’t resent attacks, and my family don’t resent attacks, but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I’d left him behind on an Aleutian island and had sent a destroyer back to find him—at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or twenty million dollars—his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since. I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself … But I think I have a right to resent, to object, to libelous statements about my dog.

The idea for the joke was given to FDR by Orson Welles. The political lesson here is that any time you get an audience laughing at your opponent, you are winning.

A statue of former Georgia Governor Eugene Talmadge on the grounds of the Georgia State Capitol was unveiled on September 23, 1949, the 65th anniversary of Talmadge’s birth near Forsyth, Georgia in 1884.

On September 23, 1952, Senator Richard M. Nixon was under fire for allegedly accepting $18,000 and using it for personal expenses. To salvage his place as the Vice Presidential candidate on Eisenhower’s Republican ticket, Nixon took to the airwaves in the first nationally-televised address and delivered what came to be known as the “Checkers Speech. From The Atlantic:

[A] 1999 poll of leading communication scholars ranked the address as the sixth most important American speech of the 20th century — close behind the soaring addresses of Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The “Checkers” speech wins this high rank for one stand-out reason: It marked the beginning of the television age in American politics. It also salvaged Nixon’s career, plucking a last-second success from the jaws of abject humiliation, and profoundly shaped Nixon’s personal and professional outlook, convincing him that television was a way to do an end-run around the press and the political “establishment.”

Click here for the full text of the “Checkers Speech.”

The last game played in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium took place on September 23, 1996.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The death rate from COVID-19 is considerably higher among black patients, according to the Augusta Chronicle.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 22, 2020

On September 22, 1862, Republican President Abraham Lincoln issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which stated,

“. . . on the first day of January [1863] . . . all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”


President Rutherford B. Hayes visited Atlanta on September 22, 1877. Click here to read the text of his speech in Atlanta.

White vigilantes seeking to assault African-Americans after reports of four white women being assaulted led to the Atlanta Race Riots on September 22-24, 1906, which would claim the lives of at least 25 African-Americans and one white person.

On September 22, 1918, the City of Atlanta gasoline administator prohibited non-emergency Sunday driving to conserve fuel for the war effort.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

A Special Election is being held September 29, 2020 to fill the remainder of the current term in office of the late Congressman John Lewis. From the Center Square:

The special general election for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District is on September 29, 2020. A runoff election is scheduled for December 1. If no candidate wins a majority of the vote in September, the top-two vote recipients will advance to the runoff.

Seven candidates are competing in the special election:

• Robert Franklin (D)
• Kwanza Hall (D)
• Barrington Martin II (D)
• Mable Thomas (D)
• Keisha Sean Waites (D)
• Chase Oliver (L)
• Steven Muhammad (Independent)

The winner of the special election will serve until January 3, 2021. The seat is also up in a regularly scheduled election on November 3.

Governor Brian Kemp issued Executive Order, renewing the order relating to unlawful assemblage, originally issued July 6, 2020. Under the latest order, the state of emergency ends on Monday, October 19, 2020 at 11:59 PM.

Both United States Senators from Georgia favor moving forward with the nomination of a new Supreme Court Justice, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Albany Herald.

“I am confident that President Trump will nominate another highly qualified candidate who will strictly uphold the Constitution,” Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., said during the weekend. “Once the president announces a nomination, the United States Senate should begin the process that moves this to a full Senate vote.”

Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., called for a Senate vote during an appearance Saturday on Fox News.

“We need to bring forward a conservative justice – someone who will be a strict constructionist, who will protect innocent life, who will bring those Second Amendment cases and make sure we’re protecting our right to bear arms in this country,” Loeffler said. “And we need to keep that process moving – regardless of it being an election year.”

Athens-Clarke Mayor Kelly Girtz is asking Governor Kemp to strengthen his executive order on some businesses, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

Clarke County’s new COVID-19 case rate (recorded as cases per 100K people) over the previous two weeks was 800 as of Sunday, higher than all but three small Georgia counties, Wheeler, Chattahoochee and Stewart.

In a Monday letter to Kemp, Girtz asked Kemp for more clarity in the state executive orders restricting how bars and restaurants operate “to ensure that seated environments and table service are the only manner of operation allowed.”

Girtz also asked Kemp to change the maximum number of people allowed in a gathering to 10 from its current 50.

“House gatherings continue to be problematic,” Girtz wrote. “The 50 person gathering limit simply allows much greater opportunity for spread.”

The Ledger-Enquirer looks at how the Columbus mask mandate is working.

While new cases were declining in the weeks before, city leaders and state health officials said the lack of a coronavirus surge following Labor Day weekend is a sign that Columbus’ mask mandate is doing its job.

Hospitalizations and test positivity rates are down as well, suggesting the virus is spreading at a lower level than it was earlier in the summer. However, fewer coronavirus tests are being performed in Columbus and across the state, bringing concerns that health officials won’t be able to detect or track potential outbreaks before they become bigger problems.

“I think the mask mandate obviously is having some effect but the masks are not a magic bullet,” Mayor Skip Henderson told the Ledger-Enquirer. “It’s a big part of the overall prescription to try to hold down the spread. But I do think I think it has contributed to our numbers continuing to decline a little bit.”

Republicans prefer in-person voting, while Democrats favor absentee ballots, according to the AJC.

How Georgians vote increasingly aligns with their political preferences, with Republicans more likely to show up in-person and Democrats preferring absentee ballots, according to a new poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The partisan divide in voting method could result in Republicans showing larger leads from initial counts of in-person votes on election night, with Democrats catching up as more mail-in ballots are tallied in the days afterward. Election outcomes might not be known for days in close races.

About 34% of Georgia voters surveyed said they plan to vote on Election Day, according to the AJC poll of 1,150 likely voters. The poll had a 4-point margin of error.

Among voters who identified themselves as Republicans, nearly half said they’ll show up on Nov. 3. Just 19% of Democrats — amid concerns about the coronavirus — intend to vote on Election Day, with 44% saying they plan to cast absentee ballots and 33% during three weeks of early voting.

The Republican preference for Election Day voting comes after Trump has repeatedly cast suspicion on the potential for fraud with mail-in voting. In Georgia, absentee voting fraud has been rare in recent years, though Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger recently opened an investigation into about 1,000 people suspected of double-voting by casting both absentee and in-person votes.

On the other side of the political spectrum, Democrats have been pushing absentee voting as a way to get votes in and avoid the possibility that voters would stay home rather than stand in line.

Of voters who cast partisan ballots in this year’s primary and have requested an absentee ballot for the general election, 61% used Democratic Party ballots in the primary and 39% pulled Republican Party ballots, according to an AJC analysis of election data.

During the primary, each party’s voters cast absentee ballots at about the same rate, 49%.

Help is on the way! The Georgia Department of Revenue issued rules governing home delivery of alcohol, according to the Capitol Beat News Service.

The state Department of Revenue has issued rules governing home deliveries of alcohol based on legislation the General Assembly passed in June.

“The Department of Revenue has done an outstanding job putting together regulations that prioritize the safe sale, secure transportation and timely delivery of alcohol to residents who are over the age of 21 throughout the state,” said KC Honeyman, executive director of the Wine and Spirit Wholesalers of Georgia.

The bill, which Gov. Brian Kemp signed last month, gives local governments the ability to opt out of home deliveries if they choose.

The bill also expands the current state law allowing tastings of beer, wine and sprits from just wineries and distilleries to package stores.

The Trump Administration announced new funding for anti-human trafficking efforts, according to Fox5Atlanta.

Attorney General William Barr and Presidential Advisor Ivanka Trump took part in a round table discussion with Gov. Brian Kemp, First Lady Marty Kemp, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vic Reynolds, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, and others at the office of U.S. Attorney BJay Pak.

“I’m very proud that these resources are going to help law enforcement officers and victim service providers hold perpetrators accountable and give the victims of these crimes a place to turn for refuge and support,” Barr said.

Earlier in the day, Barr and Trump visited the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, which helps child abuse victims from DeKalb and Fulton counties.

“Georgia has become a model in terms of how to approach the problem,” said Barr.

U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler’s latest ad says she’s to the right of Atilla the Hun, according to the AJC.

In the ad, released Monday, a couple lounging on a couch compare notes about Loeffler’s conservative record backing President Donald Trump before a khaki-wearing actor remarks: “Yep, she’s more conservative than Attila the Hun.”

The screen darts to a re-imagining of the ruthless leader, who was ruler of the Hunnic Empire during a reign of terror that pushed back Roman expansion and conquered vast parts of Asia and eastern Europe.

Then comes a narrator: “More conservative than Attila the Hun. Kelly Loeffler, 100% Trump voting record.”

Once, Loeffler was promoted as a candidate who could help win over wavering moderates and independents in Atlanta’s suburbs, particularly on-the-fence women. Now her campaign is tongue-in-cheek comparing Loeffler, a wealthy former financial executive, to a murderous despot from the 400s.

Florida Man Congressman Matt Gaetz criticized Loeffler, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Athens Banner Herald.

Rallying with U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, the Gainesville Republican aiming to unseat Loeffler, Gaetz riled up a raucous crowd at the Cobb County GOP headquarters by calling Loeffler a “country club” Republican who owed her seat to a governor’s appointment and wealthy background.

“I understand that Kelly Loeffler has a lot of money,” Gaetz said at Friday’s rally. ”[But] a seat in the United States Senate should not be a reverse dowry paid in the greatest country in the world.”

Loeffler, who as a new senator voted against impeachment in February, has embraced the support of Georgia’s governor. Kemp joined her on the campaign trail earlier this month and was featured prominently in a new campaign ad released this week.

“She’s not a politician, not a political insider,” Kemp says in the ad. “She has earned my vote.”

Democrat Jon Ossoff said he will work on rural healthcare and funding for historically black colleges and universities, according to WALB.

“We have two crises here in this state,” Ossoff said. “First of all, an affordability crisis.”

Ossoff describes prescription medication and healthcare costs in one word: “It’s a scandal.”

“It’s because the health insurance and drug companies have bought off Congress, and Congress lets them rip off our families,” Ossoff said.

If he’s elected in November, Ossoff promises to crack down on price-gouging, strengthen coverage for pre-existing conditions and expand Medicaid by adding a nonprofit public option.

“If you’re an hour or even two hours from a hospital or from a primary care physician, that’s not good enough,” he said, calling for more physicians in rural communities and federal assistance to fund new clinics.

“Georgia’s HBCUs are vital, they’re underappreciated, under served and they’re under resourced,” Ossoff said. “The Senate and Congress need to provide immediate relief to HBCUs as part of the next relief package.”

Ossoff said his plan promises “to deliver substantial federal resources to make tuition affordable and debt free for all H-B-C-U attendees. Think about how transformative that will be.”

Former State Senator and U.S. Attorney Ed Tarver (D) said he won’t drop out of the race for the U.S. Senate seat held by Senator Kelly Loeffler, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

“We must have a candidate in the runoff who can win based upon his or her demonstrated record and experience when compared to their opponent in the runoff,” Tarver said.

The announcement comes as other Democrats urge Tarver and Matt Lieberman to back out and support Atlanta pastor Raphael Warnock. Former Columbus mayor Teresa Tomlinson said it was time for Democrats to “coalesce” around Warnock.

“Convincing Democrats to withdraw from the Special Election does nothing to bolster another candidate’s lack of experience,” Tarver said.

State Rep. Richard Smith (R-Columbus) endorsed Congressman Doug Collins for the U.S. Senate seat held by Kelly Loeffler, according to WRBL.

Rep. Richard Smith had been on the sideline until recently. Smith — the chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee and a lieutenant to Speaker of the House David Ralston — is backing the challenger Collins.

“In my case, it was relatively simple,” Smith said “I have known Doug Collins since 2006. I think that’s when he got elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. Over the next four or five years I had the chance to work with him before he ran for Congress. He’s a very bright young man.”

Congressman Drew Ferguson, is also on team Collins. But two local General Assembly members — Senator Randy Robertson and Representative Vance Smith — are backing Loeffler.

“She’s doing a great job and she’s showed she’s willing to push back against forces,” Robertson said. “And she’s a strong female leader. And I am excited to support her for those reasons.”

The General Election is November 3rd. Advance voting starts Oct. 12th. If there is a runoff, it will be January 5th.

Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-Albany) hosted a farm tour with local leaders last week, according to WGXA.

The Dougherty County Commission will fund additional absentee ballot drop boxes, according to the Albany Herald.

Dougherty County voters will have three additional locations to drop off absentee ballots with the approval on Monday of the drop boxes and additional staffing for the Voter Registration and Elections Office.

The Dougherty County Commission approved the $158,000 package that includes two full-time employees, extra money for a busy election year and three drop ballot drop boxes by a 5-1 vote after lengthy discussion on the issue.

Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson requested that the two additional full-time staff members be included in the 2020-2021 county budget.

Fulton County Elections will spend a $6.3 million dollar grant to help with November elections, according to the Saporta Report.

[Elections Director Richard] Barron detailed Fulton County’s plan for a more efficient voting process, which includes increasing the number of precincts and poll workers, adding mobile voting buses and offering a voting app ahead of the Nov. 3 election. The increased measures are funded by a $6.3 million grant from the Center for Tech and Civic Life.

“One of the silver linings from June is we have been able to count on community partners to step forward and say ‘we want to be involved in this election,’” Barron said. “And that has enabled us to get a lot more facilities involved to be polling places for this election.”

This time around, the county has increased its number of polling places to 255 precincts, including State Farm Arena which will have about 300 polling stations and 60 check-in areas. The Georgia International Convention Center in College Park and the Dorothy C. Benson Senior Multipurpose Complex in Sandy Springs were also added as precincts and will hold 50 polling stations each.

As the number of precincts increased, the county is also adding more poll workers to staff the Nov. 3 election. More than 6,000 people applied to be poll workers, but Barron said the county only needs to train and assign about 2,900 poll workers. That number is an increase from the 2,100 who worked the polls in 2016.

Augusta is down to two finalists for the new city manager, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

John Elger resigned from the Habersham County Board of Education for District 5, according to AccessWDUN.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 21, 2020

On September 21, 1863, the federal Army of the Cumberland retreated to Chattanooga after its defeat at Chickamauga.

Bert Lance resigned as Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Jimmy Carter on September 21, 1977. After a jury acquitted him on ten federal charges in 1980, Lance served as Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia from 1982 to 1985.

General Colin Powell was confirmed by the Senate Armed Services Committee as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on September 21. 1989. Powell served as National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan before being appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by President George H.W. Bush; in 2000, Powell was nominated by President George W. Bush as Secretary of State, the first African-American to hold that post.

On September 21, 2011, R.E.M. announced on their website that they were quitting as a band.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Television spending in the campaign between Senator David Perdue (R-Glynn County) and Democrat Jon Ossoff (Atlanta) has exceeded $83 million dollars, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Total TV/radio ad spending in the race, including future bookings, is now more than $83.4 million, political advertising broker Medium Buying reported last week.

“Money is being poured into Georgia because it could go either way,” said Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia.

[Kennesaw State Political Scientist Kerwin] Swint said the outcome of the Perdue-Ossoff contest will go a long way toward deciding whether Georgia Democrats continue building on the momentum of the 2018 elections. Two years ago, Democrat Lucy McBath won a suburban Atlanta congressional seat the GOP had held for decades, while former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams lost the gubernatorial race to Republican Brian Kemp by a narrow margin.

On the other hand, a Perdue reelection victory could key a Republican rebound in Georgia from 2018, Swint said.

Georgia also will play a large role in which party controls the Senate next year. Besides the Perdue-Ossoff race, a second Georgia Senate seat will be up for grabs Nov. 3, with 21 candidates on the ballot in what is essentially a special election to replace retired GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson.

Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-Atlanta) and Republican Congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-14th) both appeared at a rally with Catoosa County Republicans, according to News Channel 9.

Marjorie Taylor Greene is the Republican nominee for Georgia’s 14th congressional district and is hoping to become the first woman to be elected for that district on November 3rd. She spoke with Senator Kelly Loeffler about the upcoming election.

“I refuse to be the generation of Americans that were too complacent, too lazy and too busy to step up to the plate and allow our country to be pulled down into the depths of socialism,” Taylor Greene said.

Saturday afternoon, she explained her campaign slogan Save America, Stop Socialism.

“Their policies will wreck our economy, destroy our jobs and crush our children’s futures and dreams. I can’t bare the thoughts of looking into my grandchildren’s eyes and tell them the story about how America fell into a pit of socialism,” Taylor Greene said.

Georgia Senator Kellie Loeffler spoke about her time in Washington. She told the crowd that President Trump wanted her to say hi to Georgia for him.

“I’m pro life, pro gun, pro trump and they are never going to silence me,” Senator Loeffler said.

Senator Loeffler also said she is the most conservative U.S senator around today.

Riley Bunch writes about the Trump campaign’s ground game in the Tifton Gazette.

This cycle, the Trump Victory volunteers have knocked on more than 900,000 doors, according to the campaign, and made of 5.6 million phone calls. A feat that may not have been necessary in Georgia in the last general election.

“We understand that boots on the ground matter,” Brian Barrett, regional political director for the campaign, said. “That can be the difference maker in a campaign.”

While time continues to edge closer to what is being hailed on both sides of the aisle as “the most important election of our lifetime,” Republicans have amped up their canvassing in Georgia and other states where they haven’t always had to fight for the vote.

Although Trump hasn’t added a stop in Georgia to his ongoing string of massive rallies, he’s made numerous visits as president and wooed high-profile state politicos. But senior advisors say their strategy to build excitement for the president isn’t always flying him to the Peach State in Air Force One, but dispatching senior advisors and family members as surrogates to reach a larger number of voters at once.

“Whenever these folks come in to the state,” Billy Kirkland, senior advisor to the president, told CNHI, “they help to add to the excitement, to build the excitement and recruit more and more volunteers that in turn, become trained activists for the president.”

“Trump Victory’s volunteer army has been growing exponentially throughout the cycle, yielding thousands of Georgians who are trained, tested and ready to get out the vote for President Trump and Republicans up and down the ticket,” Savannah Viar, campaign spokesperson, said in a statement. “The unbridled enthusiasm behind President Trump and his pro-growth, America-first agenda will keep the Peach State red in November.”

Gwinnett County voters will have more voting options than ever before, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Gwinnett County commissioners voted 4-1 on Tuesday to offer three weeks of advance in-person voting at nine locations ahead of the Nov. 3 general election. Commissioner Tommy Hunter cast the lone vote against the request, which came to the commission from the Gwinnett County Board of Registrations and Elections.

“In the past, the highest number (of early voting locations) we had was eight locations,” Gwinnett elections supervisor Kristi Royston said.

Early voting, or advance in-person voting as it is officially called, for the general election will be held from Oct. 12 to Oct. 30.

The line-up of advance in-person polling sites this fall includes the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville for a second time this year. The fairgrounds, which has seen several of its events canceled or postponed this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, was previously drafted to serve as an early voting site ahead of the state primary election in June.

“The fairgrounds are going to give us an opportunity to offer a larger facility that will have more check-in stations and more voting machines,” Royston said.

The elections office will be open daily, including two weekends, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. while the fairgrounds and the county’s seven traditional satellite polling sites will be open daily, also including two weekends, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“We are increasing all satellite locations to be open the entire three weeks, which includes two weekends, and we’ve not previously had the satellites open for the entire time,” Royston said.

Augusta area election offices are preparing for November, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Richmond County is likely to see the largest number of voters ever, around 100,000, participate in the Nov. 3 vote, Elections Director Lynn Bailey said.

While another record number – Bailey said around 40,000 – is expected to request absentee ballots, those who don’t will head to the polls to vote in person on or before Election Day.

With a hazard-pay bonus, poll workers make at least $175 for the election. They must be 16 years or older, a U.S. and Richmond County resident and not an immediate family member of a candidate or public official.

Some groups are asking Governor Brian Kemp to use some federal aid funds for direct microgrants for families with educational needs, according to the Rome News Tribune.

In a letter sent Sept. 15, groups including the American Federation for Children, the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta and GeorgiaCAN urged Kemp to reserve more than $20 million in federal COVID-19 funds for microgrants, which cover small one-time expenses.

The letter says families could use those grants to purchase technology needed for virtual learning, tutoring services, specialized therapies and for so-called “pod” settings in which students meet in small groups for online classes.

“We believe that offering direct assistance to parents at this time is a necessary lifeline to help prevent those with the greatest need from falling further behind their peers,” the letter says.

The letter also asks Kemp to reserve part of any approved microgrant funding for families whose students have special needs and are currently in virtual-learning environments.

The City of Brunswick will receive $148,000 in federal funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, according to The Brunswick News.

According to Mary Carpenter, a spokesperson for U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-1, the funding will be used to prevent, prepare for and respond to the pandemic.

“Public services include those for people experiencing homelessness or elderly people, and services related to employment, crime prevention, child care, health, drug abuse, education, fair housing counseling, and energy conservation,” she said. “Previous tranches of funding have been used to partner with non-profits to provide homeless services, increase PPE availability, increase testing, and make available food assistance for low- or moderate- income children.”

Brunswick Mayor Cornell Harvey said the funding will also help pay for personal protection equipment for public safety responders and sanitizing equipment for staff and the public.