The Mayflower left Plymouth, England, for the New World on September 16, 1620. Thirty-five of 102 passengers were members of the English Separatist Church seeking religious freedom from the Church of England. Originally aiming to reach Virginia, Mayflower eventually landed at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
A single pistol shot on September 16, 1920 opened former Cherokee land in Oklahoma to white settlers in a “land run” to claim property.
The original stimulus act was announced to bring $70 million in federal money to Georgia to build roads and public buildings on September 16, 1933.
On September 16, 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Selective Service and Training Act requiring males 26-35 years of age to register for the draft. On the same day, Sam Rayburn of Texas was elected Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and would go on to hold the post for 17 years total, the longest tenure of any Speaker.
GPB has an article on the 1957 Les Paul Goldtop guitar used by Duane Allman on the first two Allman Brothers records and on “Layla” by Derek and the Dominoes. That guitar recently sold for $1.25 million dollars.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
Governor Brian Kemp appointed Gwinnett County Commissioner Jace Brooks (R) and Tucker Mayor Frank Auman to the Georgia Regional Transit Board, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Governor Kemp spoke in Swainsboro last week about the Rural Strike Force, according to WTOC.
In his announcement, the governor says his creation of a team to work on rural economic development is not creating another government agency, but getting existing ones that are already working to work together to bring more business, jobs, and growth to rural areas outside Atlanta. He says he’ll use the Department of Agriculture, Department of Labor, and economic development to work together on what they can do to help rural communities bring about new projects and jobs.
“We’re moving the needle all around Georgia, but we want to bring more to rural Georgia because they’re the ones that need it the most right now,” Governor Kemp said.
He says by bringing agencies, utility companies, university research, and more together, they can make it more effective and bring growth to rural Georgia.
Atlanta may host a debate for the Democratic candidates for President, according to the AJC.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she and other state Democrats are in “very active discussions” with the party to schedule a debate in Georgia.
“I’m absolutely lobbying for it,” she said after the debate in Houston. “When you look at what’s at stake in Georgia – two Senate races – there aren’t many opportunities like that. To have that opportunity in Georgia, it only makes sense that we bring this field of candidates to our state.”
“Georgia represents the future of the Democratic Party,” said Nikema Williams, chairwoman of the state party. “We would love to see national candidates debate the issues in front of the Georgia voters who will take us to victory next year.”
Democrat Stacey Abrams launched another
fundraising scheme vanity project political organization, according to the AJC.
The Georgia Democrat, the runner-up in last year’s gubernatorial election, kicked off the new initiative by Supermajority with a speech to hundreds in Atlanta who broke into applause when she recounted how she refused to concede to Gov. Brian Kemp.
“As women, we are taught there are certain rules we have to follow,” she said, adding: “We are taught that it’s our responsibility to meekly accept the outcome and to trust the rules as they were written down. I don’t.”
Supermajority was founded earlier this year by several well-known liberal leaders: Alicia Garza, who helped start Black Lives Matter; Katherine Grainger, a partner with Civitas Public Affairs Group; Ai-jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance; Cecile Richards, the former president of Planned Parenthood; Jess Morales Rocketto, the alliance’s political director; and Deirdre Schifeling, a Planned Parenthood adviser.
“Our world is at stake, because the values that made us the strongest nation in the world — those values are being shaken,” said Abrams, who slammed Republicans who “celebrate racism and misogyny, who revel in their xenophobia, who put children in cages and call it good, or worse, look away and say, ‘It doesn’t really matter because they’re not us.’”
“We’re not going to shut up. This is our nation,” said Abrams. “These are our people. And it’s our responsibility: When the rules are broken, you fix them. When the system is broken, you take it over.”
Dueling rallies were held in Dahlonega this weekend, according to the Gainesville Times.
Ralliers separated by barricades Saturday afternoon in the downtown Dahlonega square shouted chants across the space usually filled with tourists to the mountain town.
“God, Family, Country, Trump” was met with “Racists, Sexists, Anti-Gay, All the Nazis Go Away” as about 250 gathered, monitored by a law enforcement presence about 600 strong and representing 36 agencies.
Chester Doles organized the rally in support of President Donald Trump but withdrew his application for a permit to rally amid growing concern of white supremacist undertones.
Doles is a former member of the Ku Klux Klan and was an organizer for the National Alliance, a mostly defunct white supremacist group with deeply anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant beliefs.
Counterprotesters, supported by the Socialist Coalition of North Georgia, who spoke at the event claimed the family-friendly advertisement for the rally was a “facade” in order to build a fascist movement.
Two were arrested at 1:22 p.m. on North Park Street for inciting a riot, according to a news release from the city of Dahlonega. Earlier, University of North Georgia Police had arrested someone at 10:30 a.m., before the demonstrations began, for obstruction and possession of a weapon in a school safety zone.
The rally numbered somewhere between 35 and 50 self-described patriots on one side of the square, countered by three times that number of counterprotesters shouting from behind barricades on the other side. Both groups were outnumbered by 600 state and local law enforcement officers, many sweating out the afternoon heat in full riot gear.
“We know we are on the right side of history,” said rally organizer Chester Doles. “With the rise of socialism, American patriots are standing up.”
Yellow ribbons hung outside businesses and on street lamps and traffic signs in silent protest of the rally, said Charlotte Arsenault, minister of Georgia Mountains Unitarian Universalist Church in Dahlonega. Arsenault was one of 10 pastors who helped organize about 30 parishioners who attended the counterprotest.
On the counterprotesters’ side, people were filtered through a security checkpoint about a block away from the Gold Museum. Law enforcement used hand-held metal detectors to scan each protester. No backpacks were allowed in the area cordoned off for counterprotesters on the south side of the square, but firearms were allowed as long as they weren’t loaded with any ammunition. No visible guns were seen on any counterprotesters or rally supporters.
“It’s presented as a pro-Trump rally, but they’re trying to get conservatives to go along with white supremacy and that’s not OK,” [Atlanta resident Aileen] Loy said.
Is anyone else reminded of what happened in Forsyth County in 1987?
Oglethorpe County was named the first “broadband ready community by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, according to the AJC.
Oglethorpe, located east of Athens, earned the designation by passing an ordinance requiring the county government to decide whether to approve or deny broadband network projects within 10 days after their applications are deemed complete by the county. The ordinance also limits internet application fees to no more than $100.
The broadband certification means internet projects in Oglethorpe will receive priority for potential future state funding for internet expansion in rural areas, according to a bill passed by the Georgia General Assembly last year.
Local governments can apply for the broadband ready certification through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
Five Georgia schools are adding girls flag football to their athletic programs, according to the AJC.
With funding from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, support from the NFL, the Atlanta Falcons and several corporate sponsors, the gridiron is becoming an equal-opportunity athletic field for youngsters of both genders. After a well-received inaugural season last year in Gwinnett County, five other school systems came on board this fall — Cherokee, Forsyth, Henry, Muscogee and Rockdale. That comes to 52 high schools in the program.
The grant covers fees for referees, field costs, jerseys, equipment, athletic trainers, administrator fees and coaching stipends. The purpose of this initiative is to provide an opportunity for high school girls to participate in football activities and be part of an organized high school sports team.
Proposed cuts to the state budget will largely relty on eliminating authorized positions, according to the Tifton Gazette.
The Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget publicly posted a document online late Wednesday that summarizes where state agencies plan to find the savings. The document was released the same day the state announced last month’s revenue were down 2.8%, or $50.3 million, compared to last August. Revenues for the new fiscal year are up just 0.2%.
Most of the proposed reductions will be found through personnel cuts or eliminated vacant positions.
Positions going unfilled or eliminated in the current budget include 12 full-time consumer protection workers in the Department of Agriculture, 16 regional investigators with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and 21 child welfare workers in the Department of Human Services. The state expects to save $4.3 million by not paying 49 people to do those jobs as provided for in the state budget the governor signed in May.
“Some proposals lack specifics. That’s normal. They’re not final. We’re early in the process,” Candice Broce, the governor’s communications director, said on Twitter, noting that the budget cuts are still subject to the governor’s review and change.
While several agencies proposed cutting jobs and programs, K-12 schools and colleges requested about $400 million in additional funding this year and next to meet enrollment growth, and the agency that runs Medicaid, the health care program for the poor, disabled and elderly, asked for nearly $300 million, according to a review of budget plans by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Some of the most costly things the state does — educating students, providing health care to the poor, and building roads — were exempt from Kemp’s edict to cut spending. In fact, about three-fourths of what the state spends — much of it for programs that are funded based on the number of Georgians enrolled in them — didn’t have to be cut back. Many of those areas asked for more money because their costs are rising.
“Most of government is people driven, driven by the number of people who come through the door,” said Ben Harbin, a former Republican lawmaker who headed the state House Appropriations Committee during the Great Recession. “Education is seats in the desk. Medicaid is people walking into the doctor’s office. You can’t cut that.
Kemp ordered the cuts in August to both prepare the state in case of an economic downturn and provide the money needed to meet his priorities, such as higher teacher pay.
Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols will bring the Clean Energy Roadshow to Albany, according to the Albany Herald.
Taking place at Albany State University’s West Campus from 9 a.m.-noon on Sept. 24, the event is designed to open attendees to a world of new possibilities for saving money.
“The Alternative Fuel Vehicle Roadshow and clean tech seminar help you prepare for resiliency and sustainability in your business or community,” coordinators of the event said in news release. “Energy costs can capture a major portion of any fleet operating budget, so it pays to be efficient with those dollars. Whether you refit or replace vehicles, install solar, upgrade lighting or make energy-efficiency improvements, our experts guide you through the planning and decision-making stages to make you RFP-ready.
A two-hour seminar and commercial vehicle display allows attendees to map their sustainability and economic development plan using natural gas, electric and propane gas vehicles. Echols will host a guided, walking showcase of alternative-fuel cars, trucks and buses followed by a seminar on current trends in alternative fuel vehicle technology, transportation, energy security, and resilience for rural and urban communities.
Technology Association of Georgia and Clean Cities Georgia are also expected to highlight their work building a clean tech future.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr joined elected officials in 20 states in supporting the Trump Administration’s new proposed energy rules, according to the Albany Herald.
Attorney General Chris Carr has announced that the state of Georgia has joined a coalition of officials from 20 states in supporting the Trump administration’s Affordable Clean Energy rule as it faces a challenge in court. The coalition, in a motion filed Thursday, seeks to intervene in defense of the rule’s repeal of the so-called Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era regulation.
“The Clean Power Plan was a far-reaching attempt by the prior administration to regulate what it could not legislate,” Carr said. “We oppose regulatory overreaches like the Clean Power Plan, which would have killed jobs and raised electricity prices, and we appreciate President Trump’s commitment to repeal it and replace it with the Affordable Clean Energy rule, which will restore the state’s proper authority to regulate energy.”
Georgia joined the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming, along with the governors of Kentucky and Mississippi, and the Mississippi Public Service Commission, in supporting the rule.
The Rome News Tribune covers the off-season work of local legislators.
Three of Floyd County’s four state lawmakers spent several days this summer as guests at an education seminar hosted by the Medical Association of Georgia.
Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome; Rep. Katie Dempsey, R-Rome and Rep. Eddie Lumsden, R-Armuchee, also attended the National Conference of State Legislatures’ legislative summit in Nashville, Tennessee.
Dempsey was a presenter at the NCSL summit, which ran Aug. 4 through 8. She joined panelists from Virginia, Utah and Kansas to discuss “The Lawmaker’s Role in Tackling the Data Conundrum” on Aug. 6.
Glynn County Commissioners will discuss a proposed 2020 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Transportation (T-SPLOST) proposal, according to The Brunswick News.
All seven commissioners have expressed their desire to impose another 1 percent sales tax once SPLOST 2016 collection ends on or before September 2020. At a meeting earlier this month, the commission indicated that it wants to put the questions on the May 2020 primary election ballot.
Collection of SPLOST 2016 began on April 1, 2017, to pay for infrastructure projects, equipment purchases and two brick-and-mortar projects — a new animal control shelter at the county’s public safety complex and a veterans memorial park between I and J streets.
At a past meeting, most county commissioners said they would like to see the list remain mostly dedicated to road, bridge, sidewalk and drainage projects. A special committee is in the process of determining the best way to address a space shortage in the Glynn County Courthouse, an issue that may result in a “vertical” SPLOST project on the 2020 ballot.
Murray County voters will vote on a T-SPLOST this November, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.
Sole Commissioner Greg Hogan says the county needs to repave about 50 miles of roads each year just to keep them maintained and probably more like 60 to catch up on a backlog of work.
“We currently only pave about 10 miles of roads a year,” Hogan said.
That’s why he has placed a five-year Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) on the Nov. 5 ballot. The TSPLOST is a 1% tax on most goods sold in the county.
If approved by voters, the tax would begin April 1, 2020. Hogan says that over its five-year life, he expected the tax will bring in about $23.5 million.
“It can only be used for acquiring rights of way, moving utilities, bridges, culverts, patching, milling and widening roads, shoulder preparation,” he said. “You can’t use this for anything other than roads or sidewalks, things like that. You can use it for bike paths. But I’m not interested in that. Right now, I just want to get our roads into good shape.”
Would-be candidate for Mayor of Dallas Narda Konchel plans to appeal her removal from the ballot, according to the Rome News Tribune.
A former Dallas mayoral candidate says she plans to appeal the county election board’s action earlier this week to throw her off the Nov. 5 ballot after upholding a challenge to her city residency.
Narda Konchel posted on her campaign’s Facebook page today that she planned to petition through Superior Court to appeal the board’s unanimous decision Wednesday to disqualify her as a candidate for Dallas mayor against incumbent Mayor Boyd Austin.
Austin, who is seeking re-election to a seventh term, challenged Konchel’s candidacy by saying she had not satisfied the city charter’s requirements for living in the city and being a registered voter for one year before her qualifying date of Aug. 19, 2019.
The Paulding County Board of Elections and Registration voted to uphold Austin’s challenge and disqualified Konchel.