Category: Georgia Politics

25
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 25, 2021

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

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

On October 25, 1980, “You Shook Me All Night Long” became AC/DC’s first top 40 hit.

The Greene County African American Museum opened in Greensboro, Georgia earlier this month, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

Opening day for the Greene County African American Museum in Greensboro on Oct. 16 marked a joyous occasion for all in attendance. But for Hillman, it was the first step in encapsulating the long-overlooked history of Black leaders in Greene County.

“It all goes back to when I was a child growing up in White Plains,” said Hillman, executive director of the museum. “I always wanted to know — how did I enter into history?”

Growing up in a segregated school setting, there were very few resources and only the white community had access to a public library. But teachers at her school worked to ensure students saw that Black leaders were making a difference, Hillman said.

Now, she hopes the museum in Greensboro can serve as a resource for those hoping to learn about Black history and to commemorate forgotten Black leaders in Greene County.

“Even though we’re living in 2021, some things are still happening, and until we understand our history, how can we pass anything on to our children?” Hillman said. “That’s one thing I want to do. I want to bring encouragement, to bring a voice to those people who came before me.”

The Norfolk Southern Railway is donating archival material to the Atlanta History Center, according to the AJC.

In 1836 the state of Georgia decided to build the Western & Atlantic railroad to link Georgia’s ports with the Midwest. A surveyor, seeking a location for the southernmost point of the W&A, found a likely spot in the North Georgia woods, and hammered a spike in the ground.

That mark on a map became a scruffy settlement called Terminus, which turned into Marthasville, and then Atlanta.

Next month Norfolk Southern opens its new national headquarters in Atlanta, and to celebrate, the company has donated a massive archive of railway history to the Atlanta History Center.

The Southern Railway archive includes hundreds of thousands of pages of correspondence, minute books, reports, construction plans, and more than 20,000 photographs that together provide a look at the growth of Atlanta and the Southeastern United States.

“The history of Southern Railway is inseparable from the history of this region,” said Jim Squires, chairman and CEO of Norfolk Southern, in a statement. “This treasure trove of material belongs in Atlanta, and there’s no better home than the Atlanta History Center.”

“This puts us on the map as a museum with a quintessential railroad collection,” said Sheffield Hale, president and CEO of the history center. “It gives us that piece of Atlanta history, and regional history, with such granular detail and so many stories we wouldn’t otherwise have.”

Among the other memorabilia in the archive is the breakfast menu from the dining car that carried Franklin Delano Roosevelt to his favorite retreat in Warm Springs. On offer were stewed prunes, figs with syrup and cream, scrambled eggs with minced ham, Post Toasties, Grape Nuts, pots of coffee, tea and Postum and, for the very hungry chief executive, a breakfast sirloin steak.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

A Dublin, Georgia man is accused of spending $57,000 in federal COVID relief loan proceeds to buy a Pokemon card, according to the Macon Telegraph.Continue Reading..

22
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 22, 2021

On October 24, 1733, the Georgia trustees ordered a ship to Rotterdam to pick up a group of Lutherans expelled from Salzburg, Austria, and then send the Salzburgers to Georgia.

General James Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia, signed a treaty with the Spanish government of Florida on October 22, 1736.

On October 24, 1775, Lord John Murray Dunmore, British Governor of Virginia, ordered the British fleet to attack Norfolk, VA.

On October 24, 1790, the Rev. John Wesley wrote the last entry in his journal, which he began keeping on October 14, 1735.

On October 22, 1832, the Cherokee Land Lottery began in Milledgeville, with more than 200,000 Georgians competing for 53,309 lots of land.

Georgia Governor John B. Gordon signed legislation on October 22, 1887 that increased the number of justices on the Georgia Supreme Court from 3 to 5.

President Grover Cleveland arrived in Atlanta for the Cotton States and International Exposition on October 22, 1895.

The first American “Unknown Soldier” was chosen on October 24, 1921 in Chalons-sur-Marne, France.

Bearing the inscription “An Unknown American who gave his life in the World War,” the chosen casket traveled to Paris and then to Le Havre, France, where it would board the cruiser Olympia for the voyage across the Atlantic. Once back in the United States, the Unknown Soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C.

On the Presidential campaign trail, Franklin Delano Roosevelt arrived in Atlanta on October 23, 1932, speaking to 10,000, and continued on to his “second home” at Warm Springs, Georgia.

smFDR Atlanta 1932

FDR campaigning in Atlanta and Georgia in 1932.

FDR Georgia

When he arrived at Warm Springs, FDR gave a short speech:

“Two more weeks to go. . . . First, let me say this: this old hat, a lot of you people have seen it before. It’s the same hat. But I don’t think it is going to last much longer after the 8th of November. I have a superstition about hats in campaigns, and I am going to wear it until midnight of the 8th of November. . . . Well, it’s fine to see, and I’m looking forward to coming down here for the usual Thanksgiving party at Warm Springs, and having a real old-fashioned Thanksgiving with my neighbors again. I thank you!”

The Charter of the United Nations took effect on October 24, 1945.

On October 24, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower pledged the United States’ support for the South Vietnam government led by President Ngo Dinh Diem.

On October 23, 1971, the Coca-Cola Company launched the advertising campaign “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke.”

On October 24, 1976, Newsweek released a poll showing Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter leading President Gerald Ford in 24 states, with a combined 308 electoral voters.

On October 22, 1991, the Braves played Minnesota in the first World Series game in Atlanta.

Georgia-born Clarence Thomas was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on October 23, 1991.

The Atlanta Braves won Game 2 of the 1995 World Series, beating Cleveland 4-3, on October 22, 1995.

Georgia artist Howard Finster died on October 22, 2001.

One of my dogs is named Finster, after the artist.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp issued Executive Order #10.21.21.01, extending the State of Emergency for Continued COVID-19 Economic Recovery through November 27, 2021.

The COVID death rate in rural Georgia is now higher than for urban areas, according to the AJC.Continue Reading..

21
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 21, 2021

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

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

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

On October 21, 1888, the Augusta Chronicle published a letter from General William Tecumseh Sherman.

Pleasant Stovall, editor of The Augusta Chronicle, wrote the famous old general, and what do you know? He answered, in perhaps the most famous letter to the editor ever printed in the newspaper.

It was published Oct. 21, 1888, and basically, the old warhorse said he didn’t attack Augusta because he didn’t have to. He wanted to get to Savan­nah where the Union Navy could bring him supplies.

However, he offered to correct the oversight if Augusta felt neglected, writing: “I can send a detachment of 100,000 or so of Sherman’s Bummers and their descendants who will finish up the job without charging Uncle Sam a cent.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Oscar Meyer Weinermobile will be in town this week, according to CBS46.

Oct. 21: Kroger at 3651 Peachtree Pkwy Suwanee, GA (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
Oct. 22: Kroger at 6001 Cumming Hwy NE Sugar Hill, GA (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) and Kroger at 400 Peachtree Industrial Blvd Suwanee, GA (3 p.m. – 6 p.m.)
Oct. 23: Kroger at 6555 Sugarloaf Pkwy Duluth, GA (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) and Kroger at 3093 Steve Reynolds Blvd Duluth, GA (3 p.m. – 6 p.m.)
Oct. 24: Kroger at 3035 Centerville Hwy Snellville, GA (11 a.m.  – 2 p.m.) and Kroger at 1670 GA-124 (3 p.m. – 6 p.m.)

Governor Brian Kemp attended the groundbreaking for a large solar installation in Lee County, according to a press release.Continue Reading..

20
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 20, 2021

The United States Senate ratified a treaty with France on October 20, 1805, closing the deal on the Louisiana Purchase.

On October 20, 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt stopped in Roswell to visit his mother’s girlhood home at Bulloch Hall.

Lewis Grizzard was born on October 20, 1946 at Fort Benning, Georgia.

On October 20, 1977, a small twin-engine plane carrying members of Lynyrd Skynyrd from Greenville, South Carolina to Baton Rouge, Louisiana crashed in a swamp in Gillsburg, Mississippi. Singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, vocalist Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray died in the crash.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The State of Georgia is now going after the lawyer representing elected Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Mark Jones, according to WSAV.

A week after embattled Muscogee County District Attorney Mark Jones retained Chris Breault as his defense lawyer, the State of Georgia is asking that Breault be removed from the case.

The state’s latest motion asks Houston County Superior Court Judge Katherine K. Lumsden to disqualify Breault, because he’s a potential witness in the case.

The trial is scheduled to start on November 8th.

In the motion, the state says that Breault must take the state in the case for two reasons.

“Mr. Breault is the only person who can overcome the hearsay objection to his statements in the Facebook messages. The testimony of the murder witness can not do that. Mr. Breault’s conversations with the defendant are important to establish how Mr. Breault came in contact with the witnesss.”

Breault issued the following statement: “The authorities know they can’t beat DA Mark Jones on a fake case if I am his lawyer. They are doing everything they can to get rid of me. Like him or hate him, Mr. Jones deserves a fair trial with the counsel of his choosing.”

Breault recently represented Jones in a criminal case alleging property damage to the Columbus Civic Center parking lot during the taping of a 2020 campaign rap video. That case, tried in September, ended in a mistrial when multiple witnesses were watching live-stream video of the trial.

Continue Reading..

19
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 19, 2021

British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia on October 19, 1781,  ending the American Revolution.

On October 19, 1790, Lyman Hall, one of three signers of the Declaration of Independence from Georgia, died in Burke County, GA. Hall was elected Governor of Georgia in 1783, holding the position for one year, and was an early advocate for the chartering of the University of Georgia.

On October 19, 1983, the United States Senate voted 78-22 to create a federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., to be celebrated on the third Monday of January. The House passed the King holiday bill, sponsored by Reps. Katie Hall (D.-IN) and Jack Kemp (R-NY), by a vote of 338-90 in August. President Ronald Reagan signed the legislation on November 3, 1983.

The Ledger-Enquirer wrote about the beginning of what would eventually become Fort Benning.

100 years ago, Camp Benning raised its flag on Oct. 19, 1918, almost two weeks after the first Army troops arrived on Macon Road where the Columbus Public Library and other public buildings stand. The only evidence from the MidTown site that housed 300 tents is a nearby monument in the neighborhood at South Dixon Drive and Mimosa Street.

That small camp led to a bigger location 8 miles down the road and redesignated Fort Benning on Feb. 18, 1922. The Maneuver Center of Excellence is home of the Infantry and Armor schools as the sixth largest military installation in the United States.

“Columbus has been a good neighbor to us and wanted us here,” said Scott Daubert, director of the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center. “They wanted us here. They courted the government.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

As of the most current Absentee voter file released by the Secretary of State’s Office:

Total votes cast:            51,432

Mail-in votes cast:          2067

Electronic votes cast:            2

In-person votes cast:  49,363

Here are the General Election stats for one year ago, October 19, 2020, drawn from the Absentee voter file released daily by the Secretary of State’s office:Continue Reading..

18
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 18, 2021

The Mason-Dixon line separating Pennsylvania from Maryland was established on October 18, 1767.

In 1760, tired of border violence between the colonies’ settlers, the British crown demanded that the parties involved hold to an agreement reached in 1732. As part of Maryland and Pennsylvania’s adherence to this royal command, Mason and Dixon were asked to determine the exact whereabouts of the boundary between the two colonies. Though both colonies claimed the area between the 39th and 40th parallel, what is now referred to as the Mason-Dixon line finally settled the boundary at a northern latitude of 39 degrees and 43 minutes. The line was marked using stones, with Pennsylvania’s crest on one side and Maryland’s on the other.

Twenty years later, in late 1700s, the states south of the Mason-Dixon line would begin arguing for the perpetuation of slavery in the new United States while those north of line hoped to phase out the ownership of human chattel. This period, which historians consider the era of “The New Republic,” drew to a close with the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which accepted the states south of the line as slave-holding and those north of the line as free. The compromise, along with those that followed it, eventually failed.

On October 18, 1867, the United States took over Alaska from Russia and ran up Old Glory there for the first time.

Separated from the far eastern edge of the Russian empire by only the narrow Bering Strait, the Russians had been the first Europeans to significantly explore and develop Alaska.

Seeing the giant Alaska territory as a chance to cheaply expand the size of the nation, William H. Seward, President Andrew Johnson‘s secretary of state, moved to arrange the purchase of Alaska. Agreeing to pay a mere $7 million for some 591,000 square miles of land-a territory twice the size of Texas and equal to nearly a fifth of the continental United States-Seward secured the purchase of Alaska at the ridiculously low rate of less than 2¢ an acre.

On October 18, 1870, Rockdale and McDuffie Counties were created when Georgia Governor Rufus Bullock signed legislation creating them.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The New York Times this weekend ran a story that Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, a Democrat, had called out the National Guard to assist short-staffed hospitals.Continue Reading..

15
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 15, 2021

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

The Pennsylvania Gazette published a criticism against the British Tea Act on October 16, 1773.

The Tea Act of 1773 was a bill designed to save the faltering British East India Company by greatly lowering its tea tax and granting it a virtual monopoly on the American tea trade. The low tax allowed the company to undercut even tea smuggled into America by Dutch traders, and many colonists viewed the act as yet another example of taxation tyranny. In response, the “Philadelphia Resolutions” called the British tax upon America unfair and said that it introduced “arbitrary government and slavery” upon the American citizens. The resolutions urged all Americans to oppose the British tax and stated that anyone who transported, sold or consumed the taxed tea would be considered “an enemy to his country.”

Five thousand British and Hessian troops surrendered to patriot militia on October 17, 1777, ending the Second Battle of Saratoga, and leading to France recognizing American independence and sending military aid.

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

An editorial published pseudononymously by Alexander Hamilton on October 17, 1796, accused Thomas Jefferson, then a Presidential candidate, of having an affair with a slave.

Happy birthday to the Texas Rangers, created on October 17, 1835.

In the midst of their revolt against Mexico, Texan leaders felt they needed a semi-official force of armed men who would defend the isolated frontier settlers of the Lone Star Republic against both Santa Ana’s soldiers and hostile Indians; the Texas Rangers filled this role. But after winning their revolutionary war with Mexico the following year, Texans decided to keep the Rangers, both to defend against Indian and Mexican raiders and to serve as the principal law enforcement authority along the sparsely populated Texan frontier.

On October 16, 1854, Abraham Lincoln, a candidate for Congress, spoke against the Kansas-Nebraska Act and called the practice of slavery “immoral.”

Lincoln, who was practicing law at the time, campaigned on behalf of abolitionist Republicans in Illinois and attacked the Kansas-Nebraska Act. He denounced members of the Democratic Party for backing a law that “assumes there can be moral right in the enslaving of one man by another.” He believed that the law went against the founding American principle that “all men are created equal.”

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

On October 16, 1918, visitors to the Southeastern Fair at the Lakewood Fairgrounds were required by the Georgia State Board of Health to don face masks in order to prevent the spread of the Spanish flu.

Paul Anderson, known as the “World’s Strongest Man,” was born in Toccoa, Georgia on October 17, 1932. From his New York Times obituary:

As the unknown substitute for the injured American champion at the first Soviet-American dual athletic competition, in Moscow in 1955, the 5-foot-9-inch Anderson was scorned by his hosts.

The scorn turned to snickers when Anderson called for a weight of 402.4 pounds, more than 20 pounds above the world record. The snickers stopped when the 340-pound Anderson lifted the weight. By the time he set another record, in the clean and jerk, he was being hailed by Soviet fans.

The stunning achievement at the height of the Cold War made Anderson an instant American hero, and it was largely an anticlimax when he set three more world records at the world championships in Munich, Germany, later that year.

Although virtually conceded the gold medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, Anderson was stricken with a severe inner-ear infection.

Competing at 304 pounds and with a 103-degree fever, he fell so far behind his chief rival that on the final of three required lifts, he needed to clean and jerk 413.5 pounds, an Olympic record, to claim the gold. Twice he tried and failed. On the third attempt he asked God for a little extra help and got it.

“It wasn’t making a bargain,” he said later, “I needed help.”

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

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

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

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

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

Maynard Jackson was elected Mayor of Atlanta on October 16, 1973. Jackson was the first African-Amercian Mayor of Atlanta; he served eight years, and was elected for a third, non-consecutive term in 1990.

On October 16, 1976, Jimmy Carter campaigned in Youngstown, Ohio.

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

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

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Statewide Early Voting

In-person 25,688

Mailed ballots returned: 294

Mailed ballots issue and outstanding: 22,833

Mail ballots requested, not yet issued: 645

Statewide Early Voting on this day in 2020:
Total votes cast:          972,177
Mail-in votes cast:        585,593
Electronic:                        4,688
In-person votes cast:    381,896

Suspended Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill (D) has filed a lawsuit against Governor Brian Kemp, according to the AJC.Continue Reading..

14
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 14, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pooh_Shepard1928

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Advance voting is off to a slow start in Rome’s municipal races, according to the Rome News Tribune.

As of Tuesday evening, 83 people had cast their votes in the Rome City Commission and Board of Education races. About 31 of those votes were cast on Tuesday.

Early voting will continue through Oct. 29 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Weekend voting will be available this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Community Room on the second floor of the Floyd County Administration Building at 12 E. Fourth Ave. Voting will also be available on both Saturday, Oct. 23, and Sunday, Oct. 24.

Three Rome City Commission seats are on the ballot. Incumbents Jamie Doss and Randy Quick are running for reelection and Elaina Beeman is stepping down from the city school board to run. Candidates Victor Hixon, Tyrone Holland and LuGina Brown are also seeking one of the three seats.

All seven Rome City Board of Education seats will be filled. Incumbents Faith Collins, Jill Fisher, Melissa Davis, Will Byington, Alvin Jackson and John Uldrick are joined on the ballot by Tracy McDew, Pascha Burge and Ron Roach.

From the Gainesville Times:

Turnout was light, but Craig Lutz, vice chairman of the Hall County Board of Elections & Registration, said it’s too early to tell if the new election law impacted overall voter turnout.

He said he was encouraged by the number of people who have voted by mail thus far.

“When people show up to vote on the first day, it’s always exciting,” Lutz said. “I remember when I was elected to the City Council in Flowery Branch, I think there were only 70 votes total in that race. Municipal races typically do not get large turnouts, so the fact that we did have people show up on the first day, and the fact that so many people requested absentee-by-mail ballots is encouraging in the fact that it looks like a lot of people are really engaged in civic activities that are going on.”

Early voting polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until Oct. 29, and Saturdays Oct. 16 and 23.

Regardless of any postmark, ballots must be received in the elections office by 7 p.m. on Election Day, the same time as voting ends for all 31 Election Day precincts. Ballots cannot be returned via email or fax. They must be mailed in, dropped in the drop box, or delivered to the elections office in the Hall County Government Center at 2875 Browns Bridge Road.

“All absentee ballots must arrive at (the) county election office by election day,” according to the State of Georgia website.

Georgia Governor Stacey Abrams endorsed a Clayton County candidate, according to the AJC.

The campaign for Clayton County Commission candidate Alaina Reaves posted an endorsement video from Stacey Abrams on Tuesday.

Reaves is running against former Clayton County school board member Alieka Anderson in a runoff for the District 1 seat formerly held by Commissioner Sonna Singleton Gregory. Gregory died in late May after a long fight with ovarian cancer.

Governor Brian Kemp appointed Amanda N. Heath to the Superior Court for the Augusta Judicial Circuit.

Elected Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Mark Jones is under fire again based on anonymous statements, according to WSAV.

Suspended District Attorney Mark Jones asked a person that the state refers to as a “contact” for a location where he could purchase and obtain cocaine the Georgia Attorney General’s office alleges in new motions filed late Tuesday.

The filing states this incident occurred in July of 2021, while Jones was the elected District Attorney of the Chattahoochee Valley Judicial Circuit. The filing said the incident happened after Jones was intoxicated late one night. The evidence alleges around 3:00 a.m. Jones began banging on The Hooch’s doors, a bar located in downtown Columbus, Jones’ was asking for his keys which employees of the establishment told him they did not have.

When contacted for comment on the new allegations, Jones’ Defense Attorney Christopher Breault said he’s eager to examining the prosecution and their claims in court.

“Three weeks ago, the authorities coached witnesses who came to court and gave false testimony—including their star witness who perjured herself in open court. If they will do it in one case (the Civic Center Donut Case), then they will do it in others. I take anything said by these people with a grain of salt, and look forward for examining them in open court.”

The evidence states defendant Jones “kept screaming that he was the District Attorney, and he would shut down the bar.” It was after this that Jones received a ride home from a contact. The filing also said Jones thanked this contact for the ride and offered them a “free felony” before asking where he could purchase cocaine.

From the Ledger-Enquirer:

Prosecutors are claiming suspended District Attorney Mark Jones offered an unidentified person a “free felony” and asked where he could buy some cocaine this summer, according to new court documents.

The Tuesday evening filing from state Deputy Attorney General John Fowler is the latest in a string of motions alleging Jones committed misconduct in office and intended to abuse his power as district attorney.

In the motion, Fowler argues that the court should allow this evidence to be submitted because the alleged cocaine incident and other events demonstrate Jones’ attempts to “abuse his power as District Attorney.”

“He threatens to shut down the bar because he is the District Attorney. This goes to the Defendant’s state of mind and his intent,” the document reads. “Furthermore, it goes to explain the Defendant’s behavior in the State’s Case-in-Chief. That is, the Defendant’s behavior is not a mistake; it is not an accident; it is not as a result of the Defendant’s inexperience as a prosecutor. This evidence directly explains the Defendant’s behavior as the District Attorney: the Defendant’s intent is to abuse his power.”

“Because of that, the authorities are doing everything they can to attack the character of Mr. Jones,” [Jones’s lawyer] Breault said. “There’s an old saying in the Law: ‘If you can’t attack the case, then attack the person., So that’s what is going on here. They know the cases are weak on the merits, so they are doing everything they can to tarnish Mr. Jones’ reputation as a person.”

Swainsboro City Council members say the Mayor’s racism brought meetings to a halt, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

“This whole thing is a damn monkey show,” Mayor Charles Schwabe said after ending the Aug. 24 meeting, using the racist reference while seemingly unaware the Zoom meeting’s audio and video remained on.

The plaintiffs, African-American council members John E. Parker, Rita Faulkner and Bobbie Collins, warned, “We can still hear you,” but the conversation continued and revealed Schwabe’s motive, the lawsuit says.

“The decision to halt the meeting was not based on any legal requirements or any substantial justification, but rather due to the race of plaintiffs, and the subsequent belief that the plaintiffs should not possess the power to decide critical council votes because they had become the numerical majority,” it said.

The NAACP branch weighed in on the recent events, voicing support for the plaintiffs in the “seeming impasse” that’s now blocking city business such as implementing American Rescue Plan funding.

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents changed tenure policies for most institutions, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

The changes will replace a tenure system that allows professors to be fired only for a specific cause following a thorough peer review process with a new system that permits professors to be dismissed if they fail to take corrective steps following two consecutive subpar reviews.

The changes in post-tenure review, which will apply to all system schools except Georgia Gwinnett College, stem from a working group formed in September of last year that reviewed the current policy and submitted recommendations to the regents in June.

“The goal of the changes they recommended is to support career development for all faculty as well as ensure accountability and continued strong performance from faculty members after they have achieved tenure,” the regents wrote in a prepared statement.

But representatives of the system’s faculty warn the new tenure policy will make it easier to dismiss professors without due process. A report released by the working group found that 96% of professors who go through the tenure review process receive positive reviews.

Augusta Technical College has made a deal with an undisclosed Fortune 500 tech company, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Augusta Tech and company representatives signed a memorandum of understanding last week, a document that typically precedes a formal legal partnership.

While the partner’s identity has not yet been publicly disclosed, Barron’s and Fortune magazines have ranked the tech-industry titan as one of the most admired and most respected companies in the world.

Whirl credited Tech’s growing cybersecurity program for raising the school’s profile high enough to register on the radar of some of the world’s biggest corporations. Earlier this year, Newsweek magazine cited Augusta Tech among just three two-year colleges in the United States with superior cybersecurity programs.

Augusta Tech’s new partner will provide training, some of which can result in professional accreditation. Students and faculty also will have access to the company’s platform of products, including a supercomputer. Companies that operate supercomputers include IBM, HP, Dell, Cray and Fujitsu.

The National Defense Authorization Act contains more than $12 million dollars for Moody Air Force Base, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

About $12.5 million has been included in the next National Defense Authorization Act for building new helicopter parking aprons for the 41st Rescue Squadron at Moody, according to a statement from Sen. Jon Ossoff’s office Wednesday.

Ossoff and Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock worked to get the money ahead of schedule to aid the 41st’s move to the new HH-60W Pave Hawk combat rescue helicopter, used for search and rescue missions, the statement said.

If the act is passed, the funding authorization will provide an adequately sized, properly configured parking apron for the new helicopter fleet, Ossoff’s statement said.

“I am proud we were able to secure the appropriation of this critical funding and I am glad that it will also be authorized this year. Moody Air Force Base is a unique and nationally important military installation and ensuring the future of the HH-60Ws and the 41st Rescue Squadron is a Georgia priority. Georgia remains a crucial part of our nation’s defense infrastructure, and I will continue to support our military installations and service members to ensure they have the necessary tools to lead the way for our state and nation,” Warnock said in a statement.

Brunswick and Glynn County leaders discussed safety preparations for the trial of three men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, according to The Brunswick News.

“Public safety is always paramount,” [Brunswick Mayor Cornell] Harvey said. “We don’t want people to tear up our area.”

[Glynn County Commission Chair Wayne] Neal said he expects a “tremendous amount of visitors” for the trial and they have the right to voice their opinions peacefully.

“As we move through this trial, there will be some good things and bad things,” he said. “Our team is prepared for every eventuality. We have resources from around the state and surrounding states. Glynn County is prepared to do the best of our ability.”

One thousand local residents received jury summons for the trial, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Savannah approved permits for the Savannah Marathon, opening the season for larger events, according to the Savannah Morning News.

City officials announced that November permitted events can continue as COVID-19 cases trend down across Savannah. This means that the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon, one of the biggest events of the year, will take place next month as scheduled.

“After some lengthy discussion, and based on the data, and the advice of my medical advisory team, we have decided, thus I’m deciding to allow large outdoor events, to maintain the mask mandate in public buildings. In city facilities we will allow (events with) 60% of capacity,” Savannah Mayor Van Johnson said Wednesday during a virtual press conference.

An estimated 16,000 runners will be in Savannah for this year’s marathon, which is scheduled for Nov. 6 and 7. It will be the 10th year runners have hit the streets of Savannah, but the city has set conditions for the event.

Doraville enacted a moratorium on marijuana dispensaries, according to the AJC.

The City Council unanimously voted Monday to issue a 90-day moratorium on businesses that sell medical cannabis, including THC oil and products. While there’s no current businesses focused on selling these products in Doraville, City Attorney Cecil McLendon said he’s heard there is interest in the metro Atlanta market.

“The (number of) dispensaries are limited,” McLendon said. “But I know they are looking at the metro area (to find) locations for dispensaries.”

State law dictates that only 30 medical marijuana oil dispensaries can open in Georgia. Recreational marijuana, which is illegal in Georgia, typically has a much higher proportion of THC than medicinal cannabis.

Doraville isn’t the first city to take this preemptive step. Alpharetta issued a similar moratorium in early September, and its city leaders decided to issue more stringent regulations on where medical marijuana dispensaries can operate.

United States Senate Candidate Herschel Walker canceled an out-of-state fundraiser, according to the AJC.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker canceled a fundraiser with a conservative film producer who until Wednesday used a rendering of a swastika as her Twitter profile picture.

Walker’s campaign said in a statement that the event at the Texas home of Bettina Sofia Viviano-Langlais has been “called off,” hours after the campaign initially contended the symbol wasn’t a swastika but a sign of opposition to vaccine requirements.

Walker’s campaign spokeswoman early Wednesday said the swastika is “clearly an anti-mandatory vaccination graphic.” In another statement hours later, the campaign disavowed Viviano-Langlais’ usage of the symbol and said Walker opposed antisemitism and bigotry “in all forms.”

“Despite the fact that the apparent intent behind the graphic was to condemn government vaccine mandates,” the campaign said, “the symbol used is very offensive and does not reflect the values of Herschel Walker or his campaign.”

From WSAV:

Spokesperson Mallory Blount says Walker is a “strong friend of Israel and the Jewish community” and says the symbol is offensive.

The Savannah-Chatham County Public School System is seeking voter approval of a penny sales tax for education called an E-SPLOST or Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education, according to WTOC.

You’ll get to vote on the measure in November. One of the largest projects it’ll pay for – building a new replacement Windsor Forest High School.

District 6 School Board Member Dr. David Bringman hosted a town hall. They talked about the other plans for ESPLOST 4 in addition to discussing current ESPLOST projects that they are working on.

Architects also discussed their current plans for the new school should this pass and the 18 other substantial rebuilds at other schools. District leaders also emphasized pennies can make a huge difference in our community over time.

The vote for ESPLOST 4 will appear on the ballot on November 2.

Macon is also seeking voter approval of a sales tax measure, according to the Macon Telegraph.

In Macon, voters can vote for or against an “Other Local Options Sales Tax,” or OLOST, in a special election. The OLOST would add a penny sales tax on the dollar for county purchases and services, while allowing for a property tax rollback, reports the CCJ’s Liz Fabian. According to the county, the additional tax revenue would go to pay public safety and emergency services, road repair, street cleanup, park maintenance and more.

Property taxes collected for Macon-Bibb County would be initially reduced by 5 mills according to House Bill 575, which authorized the additional tax, and then by an estimated 7 mills, more than one-third of the county’s property tax rate. The OLOST would bring in an estimated $30 million a year for the county.

“This would be the largest single property tax reduction in our community’s history,” Mayor Lester Miller said back in April. “The OLOST will generate millions in revenue for our general fund and, because of our geography, we know that more than 70% of it will come from people who live outside of our county. “It will provide much needed funding for public safety infrastructure and even to begin planning for the second phase of our payscale to ensure we can retain deputies, firefighters, and other first responders.”

Read more at: https://www.macon.com/news/politics-government/article254947112.html#storylink=cpy

Julius Hall will re-appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court the decision to remove him from the ballot for the election of Mayor of Port Wentworth, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Disqualified Port Wentworth mayoral candidate Julius Hall plans to refile his appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court after the court clerk confirmed Hall’s appeal was dismissed because he used the incorrect application.

The paperwork snafu led the state’s high court to decline to hear Hall’s case for reinstatement. The clerk’s office said the Georgia Supreme Court would consider the case should Hall refile using the correct documents.

Hall said he plans on refiling the appeal soon, but that he is “not going to make it for this term,” meaning in time for the Nov. 2 election.

Jeffrey Lundy will be on the ballot for Fort Valley Mayor after a judge reversed the city’s decision to disqualify him, according to 13WMAZ.

Councilman Lemario Brown will no longer run unopposed for Fort Valley mayor on the November ballot.

On Wednesday, [Peach County] Superior Court Judge Connie Williford reversed a decision made by Fort Valley election officials, ruling that mayoral candidate Jeffery Lundy will be placed on the ballot.

This decision comes after the city of Fort Valley held a hearing Sept. 27 to determine if mayoral candidate Jeffery Lundy qualified for the November 2 election. Then, the city’s election supervisor, Scakajawea Wright, decided that Lundy did not meet the 12-month residency requirement laid out in the Fort Valley charter.

The order signed by Judge Williford says Wright “erroneously calculated the 12-month residency period from the date of qualification.”

Judge Williford says Wright looked 12 months back from the qualifying date for the election instead of 12 months back from the Nov. 2 election date, meaning that if Lundy was a resident of Fort Valley before Nov. 2, 2020, he is qualified to run. Wright said in her original order that Lundy was a resident of Fort Valley as of Sept. 9, 2020.

Floyd County Commissioners voted to seek a review of the county elections board handling of the 2020 elections, according to the Rome News Tribune.

Senate Bill 202, or the Elections Integrity Act, was signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp this year. Under the new law, local governments or state legislators can request a performance review of their local elections boards or superintendents conducted by the Secretary of State’s office.

On Tuesday night, Floyd County commissioners endorsed a third party peer review for the elections board and office, as opposed to enacting a state run performance review.

According to Elections Board Chair Melanie Conrad, they’re looking at bringing in elections clerks from neighboring counties to review their operations. Board member Corey Townsend said he has already reached out to chief clerks in Bartow County and Paulding County, and they’re also considering approaching the Gordon County clerk.

Rep. Katie Dempsey, R-Rome, said that she disagrees with the county’s actions and supports bringing in the Secretary of State’s office to conduct a performance review of the elections board and is willing to go further.

The process, if enacted by the legislative body, requires one local representative and one local senator to sign off on it.

“We’ve got to do our due diligence on it,” Dempsey said early Wednesday. “The reality is we can do it or (the county) can do it, it does not require votes.”

Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, a cosponsor of SB 202, said Wednesday that Floyd County could benefit from the state review as well as a review by elections officials from nearby counties.

“Historically, our elections have been slow and we’ve had some problems. I don’t see fraud, but if they want to bring in successful county boards and follow up with the state, I don’t have a problem with that,” he said.

Dempsey went on record to oppose the county-approved peer review, saying there’s no basis for it in Georgia law.

Henry County Superior Court Chief Judge Brian Amero dismissed a lawsuit over Fulton County’s 2020 elections, according to the Associated Press via WALB.

The lawsuit was originally filed in December and alleged evidence of fraudulent ballots and improper ballot counting in Fulton County. It was filed by nine Georgia voters and spearheaded by Garland Favorito, a longtime critic of Georgia’s election systems.

Henry County Superior Court Chief Judge Brian Amero’s order dismissing the case says the voters who brought the lawsuit “failed to allege a particularized injury” and therefore lacked the standing to claim that their state constitutional rights to equal protection and due process had been violated.

Favorito expressed frustration after the ruling, saying his team had “prepared diligently to show the evidence of our allegations” at a hearing the judge had previously scheduled for Nov. 15. He said an appeal is planned.

“All citizens of Georgia have a right to know whether or not counterfeit ballots were injected into the Fulton Co. election results, how many were injected, where they came from and how we can prevent it from happening again in future elections,” Favorito wrote in an email. “It is not adequate for any organizations to secretly tell us there are no counterfeit ballots and refuse to let the public inspect them.”

Chatham County and Effingham County have deployed speed cameras in school zones, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The cameras are active on school days. They start an hour before the first bell and run through the entire school day, turning off one hour after the final bell. They take down your plates if you go more than 10 miles over the speed limit. The first fine is $100. Every ticket after that is $150.

“Even during the day, when we’re traveling through the school zone, they’re moving pretty quick!” said longtime resident Rick Schirtzinger. Schirtzinger has lived by Islands Middle School off Islands Expressway for more than 20 years. He feels the cameras are long overdue.

“Oh, the cameras are a great idea, yeah,” Schirtzinger said. “I think people need some incentive, if it has to be financial, to follow what the rules are.”

13WMAZ spoke to the candidates for Mayor of Warner Robins about their plans to address violent crime.

13
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 13, 2021

On October 13, 1870, Governor Rufus Bullock signed legislation creating the Georgia State Board of Education.

On October 13, 1885, Governor Henry McDaniel signed legislation authorizing the creation of a state school of technology as a branch of the University of Georgia; the school would open in Atlanta in October 1888, and in 1948 was renamed the Georgia Institute of Technology.

On October 13, 1918, the ban on public gatherings in Atlanta to prevent spread of the Spanish flu, was extended an additional week.

On October 13, 1976, Democrat Jimmy Carter received a post-debate bump against President Gerald Ford, with polls showing Carter at 50%-40% over the incumbent, up from 47%-45% before the debate.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

One year ago, the early voting stats for the General Election were:

Total votes cast:               628,516

Mail-in votes cast:          499,494

In-person votes cast:     129,022

Today, the early voting stats for the General Election are:

Total votes cast:               9,281

Mail-in votes cast:             197

In-person votes cast:     9,082

Mail-in applications:    21,341

Mail-in ballots issued: 20,808

In-person Advance voting began in Columbus, according to WTVM.Continue Reading..

12
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 12, 2021

Former Confederate President Alexander Stephens was released from federal prison on October 12, 1865 and returned to Georgia.

1929 UGA vs Yale Tix

The first game in Sanford Stadium was played on October 12, 1929, with the University of Georgia Bulldogs beating the Yale Bulldogs. Here is ten minutes of the game.

1929_Georgia_vs_Yale

On October 12, 1958, The Temple was bombed after a phone call to WSB warned that Black churches and Jewish temples would be blown up.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Early voting starts today in local races across Georgia. From WTOC:

You do not need any special reason to vote early in the state of Georgia. Absentee mail-in voting is now underway and they will send out ballots until October 22.

In Chatham County, early in-person voting starts at 8 a.m. on Tuesday and will run until October 29. There are 5 locations where you can vote early; the main elections office, Chatham County Mosquito control, the Civic Center, Islands library and the Southwest library.

From WSAV:

Early voting for the November election begins on Tuesday in Chatham County. Just over 227,000 people are registered to vote in the county, according to the board of registrars.

Due to Senate Bill 202, also called The Election Integrity Act of 2021, voters should expect several changes when it comes to in-person voting and mail-in ballots.

In-person early voting runs from Tuesday, Oct. 12, to Friday, Oct. 29. Voters can expect to use new electronic ballot marking devices while voting in person.

You can also vote using an absentee ballot. As of Monday, 754 people have requested one, according to the board of registrars.

You can submit a request form until Friday, Oct. 22. To do that, you can physically request a ballot at the board of registrars or submit one over mail, email or fax.

Instead of a signature, absentee ballots will be now verified through ID or the last four digits of your social security.

You do not need to provide a reason to vote early or absentee.

From WALB:

Early voting in Albany starts Tuesday, Oct. 12.

Because of Senate Bill 202, there will be two extra days to vote. Those days will be Saturday, Oct. 16 and Saturday, Oct. 23.

“They would need identification. Any one of the acceptable forms of ID. Of course, the only expired identification that is acceptable is the Georgia’s driver’s license. All other identification must be current. They provide the identification, they are looked up in the system, they are provided a voter card, and they are moved over to the machine to cast their ballot,” Nickerson said.

You must live in Wards 2, 3, and 5 to vote in this election. Voters will be deciding the Albany City Commission seats for those wards.

Wait, what? The so-called “voter suppression legislation” passed by Georgia Republican legislators created extra days to early vote?

From the Albany Herald:

Ballot drop boxes placed around the city are a thing of the past, but the early voting period for Albany municipal elections that begins on Tuesday will include two Saturday voting days.

Nine candidates are vying for the three ward seats up for election on Nov. 2, and early voting will extend through Oct. 29, with Saturday voting on Saturday and Oct. 23.

The elimination of drop boxes and the addition of mandatory Saturday voting days was part of a new law approved earlier this year by Georgia legislators, Dougherty County Voting Supervisor Ginger Nickerson said. The Saturday voting will be a first for municipal elections.

One ballot drop box will be available at the voter registration office at 222 Pine Ave. in the Government Center for the Nov. 2 election.

Ballots can be dropped off through 7 p.m. on election day, Nickerson said.

From the AJC:

Featuring the race for mayor of Atlanta and local contests statewide, the elections will be the first time many voters go to the polls since the General Assembly passed Georgia’s new voting law in March. Voters will decide on mayors, city councils, school boards and tax referendums.

Early voting locations, hours and sample ballots are available online on the state’s My Voter Page at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov. Voters must cast ballots in the counties where they’re registered.

Changes to voting laws affect early voting in several ways.

The minimum early voting hours are set at 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and counties can offer up to 12 hours of daily early voting, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In previous elections, early voting times were required “during normal business hours,” but those hours weren’t defined.

Early voting will also be offered on two Saturdays, and local election offices have the option of providing voting hours on Sundays as well. Before the law, one Saturday of early voting was required.

Fulton County fired two election workers based on allegations of shredding voter registration documents, according to the Associated Press via WSAV.

A Fulton County statement says preliminary information indicates that the employees checked out batches of applications for processing. Instead of fully processing them, they are alleged to have shredded some of the forms.

Fellow employees reported the alleged actions to their supervisor Friday morning, and the two employees were fired that day.

The county reported the alleged actions to the secretary of state’s office and the district attorney’s office for investigation. The county’s election operations are already under review by the state.

From the AP via AccessWDUN:

It’s not immediately clear whether the 300 voter registration records in question were lost, county spokeswoman Jessica Corbitt said.

“Normally, processing a voter registration application involves entering them in the state system, updating them, verifying their information,” she said. “That is the matter that’s under investigation — was that process completed.”

Fulton County Registration and Elections Director Rick Barron reported the allegations to the secretary of state’s office of investigations.

“Fulton County called the secretary of state’s office. We told them about this and we asked them to investigate,” Corbitt said.

Any Fulton County resident who tries to vote in an upcoming election and is found not to be registered will be able to vote using a provisional ballot, and an investigation will follow, the county statement says.

From Fox5Atlanta:

According to officials, the county allegedly shredded 300 paper voter registration applications in the last two weeks. State law requires officials to preserve any documents relating to a primary or general election for two years after the election.

[Fulton County Commission Chair Robb] Pitts alerted the office of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to investigate as well as contact the Secretary of State’s Office, which is doing its own investigation.

Raffensberger has previously called for Barron and the county’s Registration Chief Ralph Jones to be fired immediately.

Pitts countered, saying he believes Raffensperger wants the state to take over elections in Fulton County.

“His ultimate goal is based on the provisions of Senate Bill 202, he would like to take over the elections in Fulton County, That is not going to happen, period,” said Pitts.

Any Fulton County resident who has questions about their ballot or application can contact the Fulton County Department of Registration & Elections at 404-612-7030.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) wants a federal probe of the shredding allegations, according to WALB.

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office has already launched an investigation into the allegations.

“After 20 years of documented failure in Fulton County elections, Georgians are tired of waiting to see what the next embarrassing revelation will be,” said Raffensperger. “The Department of Justice needs to take a long look at what Fulton County is doing and how their leadership disenfranchises Fulton voters through incompetence and malfeasance. The voters of Georgia are sick of Fulton County’s failures.”

Raffensperger said new allegations have come to light that Fulton County was seen shredding 300 applications related to Georgia’s municipal elections. State law requires election officials to preserve elections documents related to primary or general elections for 24 months after the election.

After repeatedly calling on the General Assembly to provide the authority to the Secretary of State’s office to “fix failing counties,” Raffensperger said SB202 has finally provided the means to do so. Beforehand, because counties ran elections, there were few avenues for accountability at the state level when counties repeatedly failed their voters. The State Election Board had only limited ability to help voters, such as those in Fulton County, who had been failed repeatedly by their county elections leadership.

Republican Herschel Walker campaigned for United States Senate in Savannah, according to WTOC.

We asked Walker, if elected how he plans to work with both republicans and democrats.

“Why are we not praising this country trying to work together to get things done and that’s what I want to do. You know I’m not coming to the senate to look good or to become famous, I’m all ready that. What I can do is try and make something better for this country by bringing people together, going across the isles shaking Democrats hands asking what can I do? Tell me something I may not know that I can help you to solve, and they can do the same thing to me as well and that’s one reason why I decided I wanted to run for that Senate seat,” Walker said.

Remember, anyone running in 2022 will be up against Democratic Incumbent Raphael Warnock.

The Ledger-Enquirer looks at the SPLOST on November’s ballot for Columbus and Muscogee County voters.

In less than a month, Columbus voters will decide if they’ll approve a 1% special-purpose local-option sales tax, or SPLOST.

If approved, the tax would begin April 1, 2022 and collect $400 million over a period of roughly ten years. The biggest ticket item on the slate of projects is a roughly $200 million judicial complex to replace the Government Center, but the tax would fund other projects. There are public safety expenses to make, roads to fix, parks to improve and pools to repair.

The sales tax rate would be 9% for 9 months if voters pass the SPLOST. The regional Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) expires in December 2022. The rate would remain at 9% if Columbus voters renew the TSPLOST.

The 9% rate would be the highest in city history and among the highest in Georgia. As of Oct. 1, no Georgia county pays a sales tax rate greater than 8.9%, according to the Georgia Department of Revenue.

Early voting will take place at the City Service Center on Macon Road from Oct. 12-29. The last day to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 22. One ballot collection drop box will be located inside the City Service Center and will only be open during hours of early voting.

13WMAZ profiles the candidates for Warner Robins City Council Post 1 and looks at local races across Central Georgia.

MACON-BIBB COUNTY has an election underway as well, but the only choices are Yes and No.

Voters will decide whether to approve a special extra penny sales tax, the “O-LOST,” aimed at bolstering county finances.

FORSYTH-MONROE COUNTY: Voters countywide will decide whether to approve a transportation SPLOST to pay for road and bridge improvements.

GRAY voters will decide whether to allow the sale of distilled spirits within the city. You can buy beer and wine there now, but not the hard stuff.

PEACH COUNTY voters will decide whether to approve a transportation SPLOST to fund road and highway projects.

WILCOX COUNTY voters will decide whether to continue an education SPLOST to help fund school projects.

The Gainesville Times profiles the candidates for Gillsville City Council Post 2.

Savannah and Chatham County local redistricting proposals were discussed publicly, according to WTOC.

Chatham County Commissioners and Savannah-Chatham County Public School board members got a look at the proposed changes to their districts on Monday.

The lines change based on where the people live. And over the past 10 years, the most growth has been in the western parts of Chatham County.

So even though every district will likely be re-shaped in some way, some of the more noticeable changes will be in districts like the 7th and 8th. The Metropolitan Planning Commission is heading the data-driven effort, and have been meeting with commissioners and school board members over the past month to explain how they arrived at the current proposed changes.

There are still several steps that need to be taken before these changes are finalized, beginning with two presentations to the public before meeting with the local state delegation in December.

“We have to go to the legislators, who have to go to the reapportionment, who have to go back to the legislators to vote, and then it goes to the Governors desk before all of this is final. So there are still four steps in the process and we are just at step one,” said Chatham County Commission Chairman Chester Ellis.

Chairman Ellis says the goal is to have the changes to state lawmakers by January, with the Governor making the changes official by the end of the upcoming session.

In addition to the public presentations with all the MPC information, both the school board and county commission will be posting the information on their respective websites to residents can check out the changes.

Floyd County Commissioners will consider changes to the county board of elections, according to the Rome News Tribune.

Floyd County Commissioners will hear a response from the elections board concerning previously voiced complaints against the board as well as elections office during the Tuesday evening meeting.

In addition to that, they’ll hear two recommendations from the volunteer citizen board — to increase the number of board members as well as conduct a performance review.

At a previous meeting, commissioners stated they want to give election board members a chance to respond to the concerns. Elections board members are also requesting an independent, third party review of the board’s operations, as well as the elections office.

In addition, election board members are requesting that commissioners increase the Board of Elections and Registration from three members to five members. Currently, Melanie Conrad, John Scott Husser and Corey Townsend serve on the board.

Former Georgia Insurance Commissioner Jim Beck (R) will be sentenced in federal court today, according to WSAV.

Jurors in July swiftly convicted the 60-year-old Beck on 37 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and tax fraud.

Prosecutors are asking a federal judge to sentence Beck to 10 years in prison.

Defense lawyers are asking for a shorter sentence.

Beck’s trial detailed a scheme that channeled more than $2.5 million from the Georgia Underwriting Association to his own bank accounts.

I will pray for Jim Beck and his wife, Lucy.

Former Port Wentworth Mayoral candidate Julius Hall will not appear on the ballot after the Georgia Supreme Court denied his appeal, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Hall filed an appeal to overturn his disqualification [by the County elections board] as well as a motion to have his name returned to the ballot while the appeal played out. Both cases were denied according to the supreme court’s clerk’s office.

On Sept. 27, Chatham County Superior Court Judge Lisa Colbert affirmed a previous decision by the Port Wentworth superintendent of elections, Shanta Scarboro, to disqualify Hall from the race based on a Georgia law that states a convicted felon must have their civil and political rights restored as well as have 10 years elapse from the end of their sentence in order to run for public office.

The Supreme Court decision puts an end to a month-long challenge between Hall and the piece of the Georgia constitution denying his right to run for public office.

A year ago, another candidate on the local ballot was disqualified from running based on the same law. Tony Riley, who ran for Chatham County Commission argued that his crime – conspiracy to distribute cocaine – did not meet the “felony of moral turpitude” standard cited in the law. His appeals failed.

Three child advocacy groups are starting a pro-mask campaign, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Gwinnett Daily Post.

“The adults charged with caring for our children are still getting sick,” said Dr. Erica Fener Sitkoff, executive director of Voices for Georgia’s Children. “We know some school districts are running double bus routes because bus drivers are ill. We know central office staff in some districts are subbing in classrooms because they can’t find enough substitutes to cover sick teachers.

“Wearing a mask isn’t fun,” said Dr. Veda Johnson of PARTNERS for Equity in Child and Adolescent Health. “It can be cumbersome and hot. But evidence shows it is a primary way to stop the spread of COVID-19 for children too young to be vaccinated.”

The public service announcements will run statewide on broadcast television as well as digital and social media.

Cases of COVID-19 have been coming down in Georgia in recent weeks after a summer surge.

Clarke County public schools are working on the details of a vaccine mandate, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

The Clarke County School District is making the moves to implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for staff, with final details to come.

During a Thursday evening work session, the Clarke County Board of Education discussed an in-progress policy for a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The board will vote Thursday to send the policy out for public comment. After public comment, the board will take another vote on whether or not to implement the policy.

At its most basic, the policy in its current form requires employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, with the possibility for a medical or religious exemption.

If an employee is exempt — or if they refuse the vaccine — they would be required to take weekly tests. Kara Dyckman, raised the issue even having exemptions if employees could still refuse.

Another issue raised was the logistics of testing employees on a routine basis, including the potential cost that would cost the school system and how the testing would be done.

Staff estimated that a COVID-19 saliva test would cost $52 a person. It was also estimated that 700 staff members out of the 2,400 staff have not yet been vaccinated, so if that remained true, weekly testing would come out to $36,400.

Board member Nicole Hull referenced the cost to conduct the testing and was concerned that those funds were being used for the tests rather than other “important things for our children.”

Brunswick finds that vaccine incentives pay off in higher vaccination rates for city employees, according to The Brunswick News.

Brunswick Mayor Cornell Harvey says some city departments have raised their vaccination rates significantly since the commission approved bonuses two weeks ago.

City officials chose to offer a $500 incentive as a way to increase the number of employees protected from COVID-19.

“We’re not mandating the vaccine,” he said. “Some people need the incentive. We’re trying to keep the city running.”

Prior to the decision to approve the bonus, City Manager Regina McDuffie said only 46% of city employees were vaccinated.

The cost to replace workers stricken with the virus and the city’s share of medical expenses to treat them make it more cost effective to offer the bonuses, she said.

Commissioners voted 3-2 to approve the bonus two weeks ago, with Commissioners Julie Martin and Johnny Cason voting no. They questioned if a bonus was a wise way to spend taxpayer dollars.

McDuffie said it costs city insurance $70,000 for each employee hospitalized with COVID-19.

The money for the incentive comes from American Rescue Plan funding the city recently received.

The City of Savannah doesn’t care when you hold trick-or-treating this year, according to WTOC.

Chatham County tells WTOC they will not weigh in on trick-or-treating dates this year.

“We were informed that Pooler has decided to do trick-or-treating on Saturday, October 30th. That was an individual municipality decision,” said Catherine Glasby, Public Information Director for Chatham County.

The county says the Chatham County Police Department will take extra precautions on Halloween to patrol neighborhoods, and the officers usually have candy to hand out as well.

Maybe Chatham County are the fun police.

Valdosta wants a greener Halloween, according to WALB.

City of Valdosta officials said there are ways to make this Halloween more eco-friendly.

Halloween candy wrappers can be a plastic nightmare when tossed out into the streets and they can cause pollution and harm wildlife.

Candy wrappers are made up of different materials, like plastic and aluminum. Those materials make it difficult for wrappers to be recycled.

“It’s really important not to throw your candy wrappers on the floor. I know once we got our little superheroes and princess all dressed up and we’re out the door, they’re in a hurry to eat their candy and they find a good piece and it’s easy to just dispose of it and throw it on the ground. But what people don’t always realize is that it actually ends up in our rivers and streams. That can harm our fish, turtles and alligators,” said Angela Bray, stormwater manager.

Dougherty County is receiving $3.3 million in federal tornado relief funds, according to WALB.

This is part of the federal emergency management hazardous mitigation grant program. The program is designed to help those homeowners who live in areas that are prone to natural disasters.

County Administrator Mike McCoy said this grant is going toward 18 homes, most of them being in Radium Springs.

“This has been going on since 2017 that these folks first applied to have their homes purchased and here we are, almost 2021 and they’re just now getting an award letter. Homeowners have the ability to say, ‘hey, I don’t want to reside at this location anymore because I have spent as much as I (was) dealing with disasters,’” said McCoy.

McCoy said homes that the government buys from homeowners become the county’s property.

He said the land is taken off [the property tax rolls] and can no longer be used for development and only for green space.

Henry County spent $6.35 million dollars of federal COVID relief funds on rental assistance, according to the AJC.

Since May, 803 residents have received help from the Georgia Micro Enterprise Network, which the Henry County Commission hired to administer the funding. The group received 1,638 applications for the CARES Act funding, with 362 still pending. A total of 473 applications were deemed ineligible.

“With this program, we are excited that we were able to meet the needs for Henry County residents, pretty much in record time,” GMEN Executive Director Elizabeth Wilson told commissioners at a recent board meeting.

The average payment was $7,804 per participant, said Karen Curry Davis, president and CEO of Curry Davis Consulting Group, which helped GMEN on the funding. The group paid almost $40,000 to the landlords of residents who were in arrears, some of whom were behind 10 months or more.

Hall County Commissioners are expected to vote Thursday on pay raises, according to AccessWDUN.

Basically, the pay increases would go into effect fourteen months from now, on January 1, 2023, and raise the chairman’s base salary to $50,000 per year and the salary of each district commissioner to $45,000. The last time a pay increase was approved was in 2007.

Athens-Clarke County Commissioners voted to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

Athens commissioners voted to recognize the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, formerly celebrating Christopher Columbus Day.

“This land that we are on right now, as well as all of Clarke County and Georgia, was originally inhabited by indigenous people, specifically here in Athens, Cherokee and Muscogee people,” said Commissioner Tim Denson.

The resolution not only recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ Day but states that it supports events that “encourage understanding and appreciation” of the tradition and culture of Indigenous people.

The resolution additionally looks to “correct omission of the Indigenous Peoples’ presence” in Athens by directing the county manager to work with the Office of Inclusion and ACC departments, Indigenous people, and historians.