Category: Georgia Politics

15
Feb

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

On February 15, 1796, Georgia Governor Jared Irwin and legislators gathered with a crowd for the burning of the “Yazoo Act.”

On February 15, 1898, the battleship U.S.S. Maine exploded in Havana harbor, Cuba.

On February 15, 1952 Gov. Herman Talmadge signed a joint resolution directing the purchase of Stone Mountain for development as a Confederate Memorial.

On February 15, 2011, Georgia Congressman John Lewis was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work in the civil rights movement.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Under the Gold Dome Today

2:00 PM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS HUMAN RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE 341 CAP

The Georgia General Assembly convenes again on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 for Legislative Day 17.Continue Reading..

12
Feb

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

Today is Georgia Day, celebrating the founding of the Thirteenth Colony on February 12, 1733.

After years of planning and two months crossing the Atlantic, James Oglethorpe and 114 colonists climbed 40 feet up the bluff from the Savannah River on this day in 1733 and founded the colony of Georgia.

George II granted the Georgia trustees a charter for the colony a year earlier. The trustees’ motto was Non Sibi Sed Allis—not for self but for others. Georgia would be a philanthropic and military enterprise that would provide the “worthy” poor a new start and serve as a buffer between Spanish Florida and the English colonies.

The trustees prohibited slavery and large landholdings….

On February 14, 1779, Lt. Col. Elijah Clarke led a charge against British forces at the Battle of Kettle Creek.

Congress enacted the first fugitive slave law, on February 12, 1793 requiring states to return runaway slaves to their owners, even if the state in which the slave was captured did not permit slavery.

Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in Hodgenville, Kentucky.

On February 12, 1867, the editor of the Milledgeville Federal Union expressed dismay at the rapidity with which Atlanta was growing and basically everything about Atlanta.

“Atlanta is certainly a fast place in every sense of the word, and our friends in Atlanta are a fast people. They live fast and they die fast. They make money fast and they spend it fast. They build houses fast, and they burn them down fast… . They have the largest public buildings, and the most of them, and they pass the most resolutions of any people, ancient or modern. To a stranger the whole city seems to be running on wheels, and all of the inhabitants continually blowing off steam.”

On February 13, 1941, Gov. Eugene Talmadge signed legislation that proposed a Constitutional Amendment changing the 2-year terms for Governor and other statewide Constitutional Officers to 4-year.

On February 13, 1956, Gov. Marvin Griffin signed legislation adopting a new state flag incorporating the Confederate battle flag.

On February 14, 1956, the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation calling for the protection, cleaning and maintenance, and display of historic Confederate flags at the State Capitol.

On February 14, 1958, the Georgia General Assembly passed a resolution purporting to censure President Dwight D. Eisenhower for using National Guard troops in the integration of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas.

On February 14, 1977, the B-52s played their first gig at a Valentine’s Day party in Athens.

Later that year, the group began making regular runs in the Wilson family station wagon up to New York City for gigs at seminal New Wave clubs like Max’s Kansas City and CBGB’s. With Kate and Cindy in their mile-high beehive wigs and 60s thrift-shop best, and Fred looking like a gay, demented golf pro, the B-52s made an immediate impression on the New York scene, and their independently produced single, “Rock Lobster,” became an underground smash.

The B-52s are still in business three decades later, minus Ricky Wilson, who died of AIDS in 1985. Significantly, their success is widely credited for establishing the viability of the Athens, Georgia, music scene, which would produce many minor successes and one massive one—R.E.M.—in the years immediately following the breakthrough of the B-52′s.

https://youtu.be/2VCCiY17hKw

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On February 12, 1999, the United States Senate voted 55-45 against convicting impeached President Bill Clinton on a charge of perjury. Senator Paul Coverdell voted guilty and Senator Max Cleland voted not guilty. On the second charge of obstructing justice, Coverdell and 49 other Republicans voted guilty and Cleland joined 49 other senators in voting not guilty. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required to convict a President, so Clinton was acquitted on both counts.

On February 13, 2007, United States Congressman Charlie Norwood (R-Augusta) died at home.

Seven years ago, on February 12, 2014, most of Georgia state government was closed by Executive Order because of an ice storm.

On February 14, 2012, we published the first edition of the GaPundit daily political news, featuring dogs. We originally thought that the dogs would be temporary until enough people complained about them that we felt the need to go to once a week. We were surprised that the adoptable dogs have become the signature of GaPundit’s otherwise-political offerings and our greatest success.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Shall we consider this the first salvo in the 2022 Georgia Governor’s election? From the New York Times op-ed by Stacey Abrams and Lauren Groh Wargo:

We met and became political partners a decade ago, uniting in a bid to stave off Democratic obsolescence and rebuild a party that would increase the clout of regular, struggling Georgians. Our mission was clear: organize people, help realize gains in their lives, win local races to build statewide competitiveness and hold power accountable.

Georgians deserved better, so we devised and began executing a 10-year plan to transform Georgia into a battleground state. As the world knows, President Biden won Georgia’s 16 electoral votes in November, and the January runoff elections for two Senate seats secured full congressional control for the Democratic Party. Yet the result wasn’t a miracle or truly a surprise, at least not to us. Years of planning, testing, innovating, sustained investment and organizing yielded the record-breaking results we knew they could and should. The lessons we learned can help other states looking to chart a more competitive future for Democrats and progressives, particularly those in the Sun Belt, where demographic change will precede electoral opportunity.

The steps toward victory are straightforward: understand your weaknesses, organize with your allies, shore up your political infrastructure and focus on the long game. Georgia’s transformation is worth celebrating, and how it came to be is a long and complicated story, which required more than simply energizing a new coterie of voters. What Georgia Democrats and progressives accomplished here — and what is happening in Arizona and North Carolina — can be exported to the rest of the Sun Belt and the Midwest, but only if we understand how we got here.

That last part is powerful. It’s technically a header, but it’s also the first step. Like admitting you have a problem. Any candidate who wants my vote for a leadership position in the Georgia Republican Party needs to demonstrate that they’ve given some thought to that issue. And that they’re capable of understanding it and translating it to action.Continue Reading..

11
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 11, 2021

On February 11, 1733, the first military formation in Georgia was held, as male colonists assembled with their muskets.

On February 11, 1776, Georgia Royal Governor Sir James Wright escaped from house arrest in Savannah to a waiting British warship HMS Scarborough.

Burt Reynolds was born on February 11, 1936 in Lansing, Michigan, though some accounts say Waycross, Georgia. Beginning with Deliverance, filmed along the Chattooga River in North Georgia in 1972, Georgia rose to number three in the nation for film production while Reynolds’s star rose to prominence. Other Reynolds movies filmed in Georgia include The Longest Yard, Gator, Smokey and the Bandit, Cannonball Run, and Sharky’s Machine.

https://youtu.be/CNDDxVkTELc

https://youtu.be/YkXgnqtH7tY

https://youtu.be/qWG9ROB_2Zk

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Under the Gold Dome Today

8:00 AM Senate Health and Workman’s Comp Subcommittee of Insurance and Labor – 450 CAP
8:00 AM Senate Ethics – 307 CLOB
8:00 AM HOUSE EDUCATION – 506 CLOB
8:00 AM HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT – 606 CLOB
8:00 AM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS EDUCATION SUBCOMMITTEE – 341 CAP
8:30 AM HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS – 406 CLOB
9:00 AM HOUSE RULES – 341 CAP
9:30 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD16) – House Chamber
10:00 AM Senate FLOOR SESSION (LD 16) – Senate Chamber
11:30 AM HOUSE Special Committee on Election Integrity Rich Subcommittee – 406 CLOB
TBD Senate Rules Upon Adjournment – 450 CAP
1:00 PM Senate Subcommittee B of Judiciary – 450 CAP
1:00 PM Senate Public Safety – canceled – Mezz 1
1:00 PM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE – 341 CAP
1:00 PM HOUSE Regulated Industries Alcohol Subcommittee – 506 CLOB
1:00 PM HOUSE Regulated Industries Regulatory Subcommittee – 515 CLOB
2:00 PM HOUSE Judiciary Non Civil Setzler Subcommittee – 406 CLOB
2:15 PM Senate Transportation – canceled – 450 CAP
2:15 PM Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs – canceled – Mezz 1
2:30 PM HOUSE Regulated Industries Low THC Subcommittee – 515 CLOB
3:30 PM Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities – Mezz 1
4:45 PM Senate Government Oversight – canceled – 450 CAP

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

SB 49 – Buildings and Housing; procedures for alternative plan review, permitting, and inspection by private professional providers; provide(Substitute)(SLGO(G)-45th)
SB 86 – “Fair Business Practices Act of 1975”; requirements for solicitations of services for corporate filings required by the Secretary of State; provide (AG&CA-20th)
SB 33 – Torts; cause of action against perpetrators for victims of human trafficking; provide (JUDY-45th)
SB 32 – Public Disclosure; certain personal records of state and federal employees; exempt (Substitute)(JUDY-28th)
SB 34 – Domestic Relations; name change; victims of human trafficking may petition; provide (JUDY-45th)

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Open Rule
HB 208 – State holidays; second Wednesday of February of each year as National Swearing-in Day in Georgia; provide (Substitute)(SP&CA-Cheokas-138th)

Modified Structured Rule
HB 67 – State government; public property; extend automatic repeals of certain provisions (HEd-Martin-49th)
HB 129 – Sheriffs; compensation; modify certain provisions (PS&HS-Watson-172nd)
HB 246 – Motor vehicles; issuance of replacement licenses and permits; increase fee (MotV-Watson-172nd)

Governor Brian Kemp announced $1000 dollar bonuses for many state workers, according to WALB.Continue Reading..

10
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 10, 2021

On February 10, 1787, the Georgia House of Assembly named William Few, Abraham Baldwin, William Pierce, George Walton, William Houstoun, and Nathaniel Pendleton to the Constitutional Convention called to revise the Articles of Confederation at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

On February 10, 1861, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi received word that he was chosen as President of the Confederate States of America.

On February 10, 1972, David Bowie made his first appearance as Ziggy Stardust.

https://youtu.be/G8sdsW93ThQ

On February 10, 2015, on the anniversary of the United States House of Representatives passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation proclaiming February as Black History Month.

Milton Lockett was the Army’s first Black Ranger instructor at Fort Benning and later spent his career with the Columbus Police Department, according to the Ledger Enquirer. It’s a great story.

The Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson has canceled tours planned for President’s Day, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

The museum’s normal tours will resume on Feb. 24, according to Robyn Macey, programs and marketing director with Historic Augusta.

At that time, tours will again be available Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays on the hour from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. by appointment. Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for students K-12. Call Historic Augusta at (706) 722-9828, or visit www.wilsonboyhoodhome.org.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Save the Dates:

March 9 – Runoff Election in State House District 90, comprising parts of DeKalb, Henry, and Rockdale Counties

March 16 – Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST) in Oconee County. Early voting begins February 22, 2021.

Continue Reading..

9
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 9, 2021

On February 9, 1825, the United States House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams as President of the United States, despite his having received fewer popular votes than Andrew Jackson. Congress voted for the President after no candidate received a majority of electoral votes in the 1824 election.

The 12th Amendment states that if no electoral majority is won, only the three candidates who receive the most popular votes will be considered in the House.

Representative Henry Clay, who was disqualified from the House vote as a fourth-place candidate, agreed to use his influence to have John Quincy Adams elected. Clay and Adams were both members of a loose coalition in Congress that by 1828 became known as the National Republicans, while Jackson’s supporters were later organized into the Democratic Party.

Alexander Stephens was elected Vice President of the Confederate States of America on February 9, 1861.

On February 9, 1926, the Atlanta Board of Education voted to prohibit teaching evolution in the Atlanta Public Schools.

On February 9, 1964, the Beatles debuted in America on The Ed Sullivan Show.

https://youtu.be/jenWdylTtzs

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

It’s election day in parts of Georgia today.

Voters in the Griffin Judicial Circuit, comprising Fayette, Spalding, Pike, and Upson counties, will decide whether to retain District Attorney Marie Broder, who was appointed to fill a vacancy by Governor Brian Kemp.

House District 90, comprising parts of DeKalb, Henry, and Rockdale counties, votes today in a Special Election, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

From the AJC:

Six Democratic hopefuls are vying to fill a vacant DeKalb County-based Georgia House seat Tuesday.

A special election was called in December after former state Rep. Pam Stephenson, D-Lithonia, withdrew her candidacy in September.

Candidates vying for the seat include Diandra Hines, who served in 2019 as a legislative aide to former state Reps. Michele Henson and Vernon Jones; Angela Moore, a public relations specialist who finished in third place in the 2010 Democratic primary for secretary of state; Greg Shealey, an entrepreneur who finished third and second in the Democratic primaries for the seat in 2020 and 2018, respectively; Joel Thibodeaux, an auditor who placed second in the 2018 Democratic primary for Senate District 43; Stan Watson, a former state representative whom Stephenson defeated in the Democratic primary last year; and Ed Williams, a community activist who finished in fourth place in the Democratic primary for DeKalb County Commission District 7.

A runoff [if required] has been scheduled for March 9, a few weeks before the legislative session typically adjourns.

Under the Gold Dome Today

12:00 PM Senate Rules Upon Adjournment (Senate) 450 CAP
8:00 AM Senate State and Local Governmental Operations – 307 CLOB
8:00 AM HOUSE MOTOR VEHICLES – 606 CLOB
8:00 AM HOUSE SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT – 506 CLOB
8:00 AM HOUSE Insurance Property and Casualty Subcommittee – 406 CLOB
8:00 AM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS TRANSPORTATION SUBCOMMITTEE – 341 CAP
9:00 AM HOUSE RULES – 341 CAP
10:00 AM Senate FLOOR SESSION (LD 14) – Senate Chamber
10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD14) – House Chamber
1:00 PM Senate Insurance and Labor – Mezz 1
1:00 PM Senate Higher Education – 450 CAP
1:00 PM HOUSE INTRAGOVERNMENTAL COORDINATION – 341 CAP
1:00 PM HOUSE Motor Vehicles Driver Safety and Service Subcommittee – 415 CLOB
1:00 PM HOUSE Ways and Means Sales Tax Subcommittee – 403 CAP
1:00 PM HOUSE Education Academic Innovation Subcommittee – 515 CLOB
1:10 PM HOUSE Ways and Means Public Finance and Policy Subcommittee – 403 CAP
1:30 PM HOUSE Judiciary Scoggins Subcommittee – 132 CAP
1:30 PM HOUSE Education Academic Support Subcommittee – 515 CLOB
2:00 PM HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ELECTION INTEGRITY – 406 CLOB
2:00 PM HOUSE HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES – 606 CLOB
2:15 PM Senate Health and Human Services – 450 CAP
2:15 PM Senate Public Safety – canceled – Mezz 1
3:30 PM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS GENERAL GOVERNMENT SUBCOMMITTEE – 506 CLOB
3:00 PM HOUSE ENERGY, UTILITIES AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS – 403 CAP
3:30 PM Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities – 450 CAP
4:45 PM Senate Transportation – canceled – 450 CAP

Governor Brian Kemp yesterday issued Executive Order #02.08.21.01 renewing the State of Emergency about unlawful assemblage through March 8, 2021 at 11:59 PM.Continue Reading..

8
Feb

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for February 8, 2021

Sally Danas Dog House Rescue

Sally is a 3-4 month old, 13 pound (and probably growing) Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from DanasDogHouse in Smyrna, GA.

Gigi Priceless Pooch Rescue

Gigi is a year-old, 55-pound female Hound mix who is available for adoption from Priceless Pooch Rescue in Atlanta, GA.

Gigi is loving, house broken and can use a doggie door to let herself out. She would love a doggie playmate and maybe some kids to love on her. She loves to play with squeaky toys. She especially likes the small ones that fit easily in her mouth. Gigi is living with several other small dogs and gets along well with them. She sleeps in her doggie bed every night. She was previously hit by a car and recovered.

Piyo Priceless Pooch Rescue

Piyo (aka Pepe?) is a 3-4 year old, 9-pound male Chihuahua and Pug mix who is available for adoption from Priceless Pooch Rescue in Atlanta, GA.

Piyo appears to have some residual pain in one leg from an earlier injury. He takes inexpensive meds for the pain. He’s completely housebroken and may have had a doggie door. He’s been trustworthy in the house but if food is involved, he is on high alert. He loves to play tag and wrestle with the other dogs his size. He will entertain himself with his bone or a toy. Piyo is a champion snuggler and will charge up onto the bed and dive under the covers. 

 

8
Feb

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

On February 8, 1751, the first session of the Georgia Provincial Parliament adjourned, having convened on January 15, 1751.

On February 8, 1955, Gov. Marvin Griffin signed a resolution by the General Assembly calling on Congress to require racial segregation in the military.

On February 8, 1956, the Georgia State House adopted a resolution purporting to hold the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education null and void.

On February 8, 1981, R.E.M. held their first recording session at Bombay Studios in Smyrna, recording “Gardening At Night,” “Radio Free Europe” and “(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville,” as well as others.

https://youtu.be/4zgh0y9vTgY

https://youtu.be/KStirqnmD6Y

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp announced legislation designed to foster the manufacture of medical supplies in Georgia. From a press release:

Governor Brian P. Kemp today announced the roll out of House Bill 304, the Georgia Made Medical Manufacturing Act, carried by Representative Jodi Lott (R – Evans). One of the Kemp Administration’s key initiatives for the 2021 Legislative Session, this bill will incentivize the production of medicines and medical devices in Georgia, limiting the state’s need to compete with other states or foreign nations for critical supplies.

“One of the lessons we learned early on in the pandemic is that we cannot waste time in bidding wars with others for life-saving supplies,” said Governor Kemp. “Last session, we incentivized the production of PPE in the Peach State to alleviate that problem, build up our stockpile, and make it easier to stay in business in the era of COVID-19. HB 304 is a natural next step to that program and will help us build on Georgia’s momentum to become a leader in all sectors of the health care industry. No one state or nation should hold a monopoly on critical medicines and medical supplies, and we should bring these industries and the jobs that come with them back to America and here to Georgia.”

During the 2019-202o Legislative Session, the State of Georgia enacted a PPE Tax Credit to incentivize manufacturers of personal protective equipment, including those existing Georgia manufacturers which did not traditionally manufacture PPE but began doing so in response to COVID-19. The Georgia Made Medical Manufacturing Act is modeled off that legislation, increasing the amount of credit available under the Jobs Tax Credit to incentivize job creation and investment in the medical equipment and pharmaceutical manufacturing industries.

This measure will work to ensure collaboration between the public and private sector in Georgia to cultivate long-term growth and development of the state’s health care ecosystem. Currently, the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s COVID-19 Suppliers Map features more than 350 suppliers of PPE throughout the state. The map is available for viewing here.

Under the Gold Dome Today

9:30 AM HOUSE Judiciary Gunter Subcommittee I – 132 CAP HYBRID
10:00 AM Senate FLOOR SESSION (LD 13); Convene and recess until 1:00 p.m. – Senate Chamber
10:00 AM HOUSE STATE PLANNING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS – 406 CLOB
12:00 PM Senate Government Oversight – 450 CAP
1:00 PM Senate Finance– canceled – 450 CAP
1:00 PM Senate FLOOR SESSION (LD 13) – Senate Chamber
1:00 PM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD13) – House Chamber
1:30 PM HOUSE Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Energy Subcommittee – 506 CLOB
2:00 PM Senate Rules Upon Adjournment (Senate) 450 CAP
2:00 PM HOUSE Governmental Affairs General Government Subcommittee – 406 CLOB
2:15 PM Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs – Mezz 1
2:30 PM HOUSE PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELAND SECURITY – 606 CLOB
3:30 PM Senate Judiciary – 307 CLOB
3:30 PM Senate Science and Technology – 450 CAP
3:30 PM HOUSE Judiciary Reeves Subcommittee – 132 CAP
3:30 PM HOUSE Governmental Affairs State and Local Governments Subcommittee – 406 CLOB
4:45 PM Senate Education and Youth – 307 CLOB
5:45 PM Senate Ethics – canceled – 307 CLOB

Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton extended the emergency order governing court operations across Georgia, according to the Albany Herald.

Sunday’s order is nearly identical to the last extension order he signed on Jan. 8, and it continues the suspension of jury trials. However, the order signals that jury trials could resume next month, noting that “the surge in COVID-19 cases that led to the suspension of jury trials appears now to be declining. Assuming that conditions generally continue to improve, it is anticipated that the next extension order on March 9 will authorize Superior and State courts, in their discretion, to resume jury trials as local conditions allow,” the order says.

“We have never shut down the courts since this emergency began,” Melton said. “However, because we compel people to come to court, and due to the large numbers of people required for jury trials, early on we suspended jury trials and most grand jury proceedings. Since then, our courts across the state have been hard at work putting in place plans for their resumption in compliance with public health guidance and guidelines by the Judicial COVID-19 Task Force to safeguard the health and safety of all involved.”

The hope now is that the recent decline in the number of cases, along with the rollout of vaccines against the virus, will allow jury trials to resume in March. In a remote emergency meeting last Monday with members of the Georgia Judicial Council, Melton said, “If things continue to show themselves as favorable, barring any setbacks, our hope is to open up jury trials in our March order.” He encouraged judges to act now to prepare.

Georgia’s rules on fillling vacant elected judicial offices is causing some consternation, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Gov. Brian Kemp – given notice that Augusta Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Michael N. Annis was resigning Feb. 1, 2020, and with the March 10 death of Richmond County Civil Court Chief Judge William D. Jennings III – on Monday appointed Jesse Stone and Carletta Sims Brown, respectively, to replace them.

But Kemp made both appointments after Annis’ and Jennings’ last terms in office expired Dec. 31. Kemp and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr had no comment when contacted by The Augusta Chronicle.

“That’s the new dilemma in Georgia: judgeships,” said Mercer University School of Law Dean and former Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox.

The state Supreme Court ruled Blackwell’s election was rightfully removed from the ballot because the governor was empowered to appoint his successor, Cox said. The court ruled that if a judicial office becomes vacant before the term of office ends, the governor is entitled to make the appointment.

The Savannah Morning News looks at what a casino could mean for the area.

Savannah stands as the most marketable because “the intersection of I-95 and I-16 clocks traffic counts second only to Atlanta intersections,” according to [Atlanta developer Richard] Lackey, whose company helped develop The Battery, a mixed-use complex in Cobb County that includes the Atlanta Braves’ Truist Park.

Specific Savannah-area sites remain closely guarded secrets. The lawmaker sponsoring the casino gambling legislation, Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) referenced the Interstate 95 corridor in a discussion in December. He specifically mentioned Port Wentworth.

Proposed sites are unlikely to be within the Savannah city limits, as several members of Savannah City Council have voiced opposition to casinos. Pooler, Bloomingdale, Garden City, unincorporated Chatham County and Port Wentworth all abut portions of I-95 or I-16.

Lackey said casino owners/operators have several criteria for a good site location for a casino resort.

“It has to be a minimum of 100 upland acres, close to an exit ramp, and visible from Interstate 95,” Lackey said. “They also want it near a state line.”

The sites should be easily reachable by car for those who live in major population centers, he added.

From the Capitol Beat News Service via the Albany Herald:

A Georgia developer who helped build The Battery, a mixed-use complex in Cobb County that includes the Atlanta Braves’ Truist Park, recently released renderings of three proposed casino resorts around the state, injecting tangible details into an issue that has been debated more often in broad generalities.

“It gives a hometown flavor to have somebody in Georgia who would be a frontline player,” said state Rep. Calvin Smyre, D-Columbus, co-sponsor of a constitutional amendment to legalize casinos in Georgia introduced in the state House of Representatives late last month.

Smyre’s hometown is the site of one of the casinos proposed by Rick Lackey, founder of Atlanta-based City Commercial Real Estate. It would be built along the Chattahoochee River.

Lackey also is eyeing sites along Interstate 85 in Lavonia near the South Carolina line and along I-95 in Midway south of Savannah. Besides casinos, the resorts would include luxury hotels, entertainment venues and retail shopping.

Siting casinos along Georgia’s north-south interstate highways is key to attracting tourists, Lackey said.

“There are people who drive through Georgia on I-75, I-85 or I-95 on their way to Florida,” he said. “At some point, they’re going to stop and get gas, a Chick-fil-A sandwich and go to the bathroom. We don’t have anywhere for them to stop and stay.”

Whether Gwinnett County Schools Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks will continue in that role is under debate, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

“I’ve never worried about my job,” Wilbanks told the Daily Post. “I give 100% every day and I work at the pleasure of the board. If that’s not what they want, if they get three votes, they can change that.”

As a five-member board, it takes three members voting in favor of an action to enact it. The board is made up of Chairman Everton Blair, of District 4; Vice Chairwoman Karen Watkins, of District 1; District 2 Board Member Steve Knudsen; District 3 Board Member Mary Kay Murphy; and District 5 Board Member Tarece Johnson.

Wilbanks’ contract is up for renewal on June 30, 2022. But the superintendent — who is in his late 70s and will be approaching his 80s when that renewal date arrives — did not say whether he will ask for it to be extended.

The divide over Wilbanks can be illustrated by the fact that there are competing petitions circulating in Gwinnett County.

One petition [] calls for Wilbanks to be fired by the school board. The petition, which has 333 signatures and is signed by “The Concerned Stakeholders of Gwinnett County Public Schools,” accuses Wilbanks of having “enabled a racist and ableist school culture that caters to upper middle-class white students.”

The other, which [] is being circulated in Republican circles, is designed to rally support for the superintendent. It had 1,724 signatures as of Saturday. It states the GCPS “has been a leader on a multitude of levels in education for the past two decades” under Wilbanks’ leadership.

United States Senator Jon Ossoff (D-Atlanta) spoke to Riley Bunch of the CNHI papers about his priorities in the Senate.

Ossoff wants to make good on campaign promises and said he is urging his pandemic-fatigued colleagues to expand their efforts.

The 33-year-old Ossoff told CNHI his top priorities are increasing federal allotments of vaccine doses to states, rushing stimulus checks to Americans and dedicating more dollars to smaller cities and towns that have been previously left behind in bailout efforts.

“We need to move swiftly to pass COVID relief with this Senate majority,” Ossoff said. “And we need to be bold in delivering the level of relief that families and small businesses and local communities need to survive during this crisis.”

“I am working intensively within the Senate, urging inclusion in this COVID relief bill of direct relief for smaller communities like Valdosta, Americus, Thomasville and Milledgeville,” he told CNHI. “So that local mayors, local police departments, local fire departments, local school systems, local health systems are getting the direct federal support they need to keep serving Georgians and save jobs.”

Both Ossoff and Warnock said they continue advocating for $2,000 stimulus checks for Americans — a prominent campaign promise — although Biden favors $1,400.

“We have to make good on the commitment that we made back in December,” Ossoff said. “$600 was never enough, and the commitment was to increase the stimulus to $2,000 and those checks need to be sent in short order.”

From the Macon Telegraph:

[Senator Raphael Warnock (D-Atlanta)] cast a key “yes” vote early Friday morning for a budget resolution that paves the way for President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief deal. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer credited Warnock and his Georgia counterpart, Sen. Jon Ossoff, for giving Democrats control of the chamber and allow them to move forward with more COVID-19 aid.

Warnock has been consistent in his support for $2,000 direct payments. The Washington Post reported Thursday that the latest Democratic plans include $1,400 checks to people earning under $50,000 and $2,800 to married couples under $100,000. Warnock said in an interview with the Ledger-Enquirer and Telegraph hours before the budget resolution vote that relief is “urgent.”

“First thing we got to do is we’ve got to pass this COVID stimulus package. We cannot delay on this another day,” he said. “People in Georgia are suffering. And many of the people who a year ago were passing out food to others are in soup lines themselves. …We’ve got to support our small cities and towns, and we’ve got to support rural Georgia as well.”

Warnock called efforts by Republicans in the Georgia state House and Senate to impose voting restrictions “anti-Democratic.” Roughly two dozen pieces of voting legislation have been filed in the General Assembly, and a large portion of them are Republican-backed bills aimed at absentee by-mail ballots or absentee voting.

Warnock is co-sponsoring the For the People Act which would expand same-day registration, in-person early vote and no-fault absentee voting. The legislation would also prohibit states from restricting by-mail voting. Warnock has also announced his support of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which could require Georgia to get preclearance from the U.S. Department of Justice before changing its voting laws.

“They’re creating a solution in search of a problem,” he said. “We know that voter fraud is virtually nonexistent in our country. And some people just don’t like the results.”

U.S. Representative Andrew Clyde (R-Athens-ish) has been fined for bypassing metal detectors at the United States Capitol, according to AccessWDUN.

Several national media outlets have reported Clyde, a Republican from Jackson County, and GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas are the first lawmakers to be fined under a new House rule. The rule, adopted Tuesday, imposes a $5,000 fine for a first-time offense and a $10,000 fine for subsequent offenses.

The fines will be deducted directly from each congressman’s salary.

The rule was enacted in response to the Jan. 6 breach at the U.S. Capitol where protesters stormed the building. Six people were killed during the four-hour raid on the Capitol. Dozens of protesters were arrested.

From the Gainesville Times:

Clyde’s office released a transcript of remarks the congressman made on Fox News late Friday night. In the interview, Clyde calls the issue a constitutional one and says he plans to appeal.

“Those metal detectors are there to detain us … and that’s a violation of Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution. … The Constitution says that we cannot be impeded when we go to the floor to vote, and those metal detectors are unconstitutional.”

The House adopted the rule Tuesday on a 216-210 vote. All Republicans voted against it, including Gohmert and Clyde.

The congressmen have the right to appeal to the Ethics Committee within 30 days and could only escape the fine if a majority of that panel agrees.

“I’m going to fight it,” Clyde said on Fox Friday. “I’m going to appeal it, and then I’m going to take them to court, because this is unconstitutional. We’re all set up to do that.”

The Glynn County Board of Education is considering stipends for substitute teachers, according to The Brunswick News.

“With COVID-19, it’s been a challenge to keep all of our classrooms covered with substitutes when people are out, for a myriad of reasons,” said Michele Seals, employment staffing manager for Glynn County Schools, during a school board work session Feb. 4. “But we felt like one way we could definitely recognize those substitutes who are coming on a regular basis — and we have quite a few come on a regular basis — is to provide them with some type of stipend at the end of each semester, of about $250.”

Substitutes who work 50 percent or more of a semester would earn the stipend.

Superintendent Scott Spence said the school system received emails from substitutes asking why they were not included in the districtwide stipend distribution last month for full-time and part-time staff.

“This is our way of rewarding those substitutes we consider priority substitutes who come more often,” he said. “And it’s about 24 (substitutes) that worked more than 50 percent of the time last semester.”

Clarke County public schools will reopen to in-person learning in phases after Valentine’s Day, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

Augusta City Commissioners are weighing a return in in-person meetings, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

“The senate and house are meeting in Atlanta and in Washington. What makes Augusta so different that we can’t go in for three hours one day a week?” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.

With commissioners sitting in front of various backgrounds, from a garage to a tropical island, smoking and eating as they wave their hands to speak, McKnight said some in the community have asked if the group is getting too comfortable.

“They are questioning the decorum, the way it looks. It’s just unprofessional,” she said.

McKnight and two of her colleagues – John Clarke and Sammie Sias – are alone in want[ing] to restart in-person meetings. Last week, the body voted 6-3-1 to reconsider resuming in-person meetings only after reviewing COVID-19 case numbers in 30 days.

JoEllen Smith, a small business owner, wrote an Op-Ed about the importance of local government, in the Savannah Morning News.

One of the few bright spots of 2020 is the extent to which citizens became involved in the political process. Everyone has an opinion, and people even know the names of the latest Supreme Court appointees. Does all that affect your life? Yes, of course it does, and it can be fun to follow politics like competing football teams.

But in terms of day-to-day and month-to-month control over your life, there is nothing quite like local politics. It has the most impact on how you live, with whom you live and what will happen to your surroundings and your wallet.

Most people are aware that these elected bodies have control over zoning issues but would you be surprised to learn that they can even dictate the types of materials used in construction of new homes; grant an “easement or franchise” to a private company over the very public streets you drive; or even sell the street you live on all together[?]

In mid-March, perhaps 11% of the city residents of Richmond Hill will choose one of their leaders granting them this power. You read it right. There is a special election for a vacated seat on the council. If past patterns hold up, only 11% or 12% of voters will even turn out.

Two long-term residents, Les Fussell and Marcus Thompson, are the only two who have qualified to run. Do you know them? Have you talked to them? Do they see life in your city the same way you do?

It’s important folks. Don’t take a chance, pay attention locally as much as you do nationally.

Gainesville set qualifying fees for local offices to be elected in November, according to AccessWDUN.

For the Gainesville City School Board, District 1, currently held by Andy Stewart, and District 4, currently held by Dr. Heather Ramsey, are both open. Stewart and Ramsey both were elected in 2017.

The fees to qualify for the school board seats are $174.60. “This calculation is based on the formula that the state requires us to use, and based on information that was provided by your finance director,” said Denise Jordan, Gainesville city clerk, at this week’s school board work session.

In the city, Wards 1 and 4 are also up for election. Sam Couvillon and George Wangemann, respectively, occupy those seats on city council. The mayor’s post, currently held by Danny Dunagan, will also be on the ballot. Qualifying fees for city council are higher, with council members needing $819 to qualify and the mayor needing $864 to qualify.

In 2014, the mayoral position became an elected post; prior to that, the mayor’s job responsibility rotated among council members. Dunagan is the only person to have been elected to that role. Wangemann, however, has announced he will challenge Dunagan for the mayoral job.

Athens-Clarke County Mayor Kelly Girtz issued an official apology for the city’s role in the demolition of a Linnentown in the 60s to make way for college dorms, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

Once the homes in Linnentown were razed and moved, the University of Georgia built three high-rise dormitories on the property along Baxter Street.

The proclamation by Girtz precedes a discussion by the Athens-Clarke County Commission to consider a more wide-ranging resolution, expected to face a vote at a special-called meeting Feb. 16.

Commissioner Mariah Parker is expected to present the resolution calling for recognition and redress for Linnentown, its descendants and Black communities harmed by the decisions made under a federal program called “urban renewal.”

WeGo, part of the Gainesville transit system, will take area residents to COVID vaccination appointments for a dollar, according to the Gainesville Times.

From Monday, Feb. 8 until March 31, the city is offering WeGo rides to vaccine appointments at a reduced rate of $1 per ride to eight vaccination centers throughout the city. The service normally operates at $3 per ride.

Gainesville-Hall County Community Service Center Director Phillippa Moss said she believes the service can be a “game-changer” for a community that has been hit especially hard by the ongoing pandemic.

In some rural areas across the country, people have found COVID-19 vaccinations inaccessible due to long commutes between vaccination centers or limited to no transportation options.

“We are a resource-rich community, and we did not want transportation to be a barrier for people getting the vaccine,” Moss told the Times. “When our staff and I noticed the uptick in cases in our country, we knew we needed to use our resources like WeGo to make a difference during this pandemic.”

WeGo operates a 10-12 person fleet from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and riders must download the app to schedule a pick-up time and destination.

2022

Governor Brian Kemp has raised more than $6 million dollars for his reelection campaign next year, according to the AJC.

Gov. Brian Kemp raised about $1.9 million for his reelection campaign in the past seven months and has about $6.3 million banked as he heads toward a possible rematch with Democrat Stacey Abrams.

Kemp spent about $20 million in 2018 to beat Abrams in a relatively close race. However, former President Donald Trump has promised to back GOP opposition against Kemp in 2022 because the governor was unwilling to help him illegally flip the results of November’s election.

Abrams — who outspent Kemp in 2018 — reported having only $48,000 in her gubernatorial account at the end of 2020. But the voting rights group she founded, Fair Fight, has raised about $100 million since late 2018.

Georgia Secretary of State Bradd Raffensperger told the AJC he will run for reelection.

Raffensperger said he is “absolutely” seeking another term and said he’s confident Georgians will come to understand “what we did is right” when he refused intense pressure from Trump to reverse his defeat.

“We’re following the law,” he said. “And if you want to win, you have to have a vision. You have to run on a platform of what you want to do. And you need to be unified. You can’t eat your own. You can’t backbite.”

Charlie Bailey became the first Democrat to announce a 2022 bid when he launched his campaign in January seeking a rematch against Attorney General Chris Carr after his narrow defeat to the Republican three years ago. He’s trying to get a jump on other rivals, including state Sen. Jen Jordan, who is expected to join the field.

But top Democrats say they’ll benefit from a sense of unity behind Abrams and Warnock that Republicans can’t match.

“We’re going to remove all the doubt that Georgia is a blue state next year,” said Dasheika Ruffin, a veteran Democratic strategist. “They’re going to have to throw the kitchen sink to try to stop Stacey, and it still won’t work. And because of that, the entire ticket will rise.”

Meanwhile, Cobb County Republican Party Chair Jason Shepherd announced he will run for Chairman of the state party. From the AJC:

Georgia GOP chair David Shafer is trying to maintain control of a party apparatus he won in 2019 with a pledge to beef up a “neglected” grassroots in dozens of counties that have no local GOP organizations.

But Shafer is facing growing internal pressure after Georgia voted Democratic for president for the first time since 1992 and Republican incumbents were swept in last month’s Senate runoffs.

Cobb County GOP chair Jason Shepherd on Saturday announced a challenge to Shafer at a grassroots breakfast where he was introduced by former GOP chair Sue Everhart. And other activists could mount a bid for the job before the June vote, including Scott Johnson, a former Cobb GOP chair and state Board of Education member who was runner-up to Shafer in 2019.

Shafer, a former state senator who unsuccessfully ran for lieutenant governor in 2018, hasn’t formally announced yet but his allies say he is likely to do so soon.

Shepherd’s platform will center on uniting a divided party that has suffered grievous defeats, even in his own backyard: Cobb has swung increasingly Democratic since Trump’s 2016 election and is now a key cornerstone of the party’s coalition in 2022.

5
Feb

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

On February 7, 1733, the first Georgia colonists had been here a week and they finished building a hand-operated crane to move heavy supplies and livestock from their boats to the top of the forty-foot high bluff where they were building a settlement.

John and Charles Wesley arrived at Tybee Roads, at the mouth of the Savannah River on February 5, 1736, along with James Oglethorpe and 254 other colonists.

On February 5, 1777, Georgia’s first Constitution was adopted in Savannah, creating the first eight counties. Happy birthday to Wilkes, Richmond, Burke, Effingham, Chatham, Liberty, Glynn, and Camden counties.

The 1777 Constitution was progressive for the time, outlawing primogeniture and entail, English common law doctrines that controlled inheritance of land.

Primogeniture ensured that the eldest son in a family inherited the largest portion of his father’s property upon the father’s death. The practice of entail, guaranteeing that a landed estate remain in the hands of only one male heir, was frequently practiced in conjunction with primogeniture. (Virginia abolished entail in 1776, but permitted primogeniture to persist until 1785.)

Georgians restructured inheritance laws in Article LI of the state’s constitution by abolishing entail in all forms and proclaiming that any person who died without a will would have his or her estate divided equally among their children; the widow shall have a child’s share, or her dower at her option.

The House of Assembly, Georgia’s legislative body, held its second meeting after statehood on February 6, 1788 in Savannah.

The Southern Pacific Railroad completed its “Sunset Route” from New Orleans to California on February 5, 1883, giving the SP a dominant position in transcontinental railroading.

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois. In 1980, Reagan would be elected President of the United States, beating incumbent Jimmy Carter. When he was born, his father said, “he looks like a fat little Dutchman.  But who knows, he might grow up to be president some day.”

The Southern Pacific Railroad completed its “Sunset Route” from New Orleans to California on February 5, 1883, giving the SP a dominant position in transcontinental railroading.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt announced his “court packing” plan on February 5, 1937. After the United States Supreme Court found some of his “New Deal” legislation unconstitutional, Roosevelt’s proposal would have encouraged the retirement of justices older than 70 and for those who did not retire, appoint an assistant Justice with full voting rights on decisions by the Court.

https://youtu.be/aUBH1dygxyE

On February 5, 1945, Governor Ellis Arnall signed legislation abolishing the poll tax, making Georgia the first Southern state to do so.

Georgia’s 1877 constitution authorized the tax, which limited voter participation among both poor blacks and whites. But most whites got around the provision through exemptions for those whose ancestors fought in the Civil War or who could vote before the war.

In 1937, the U.S. Supreme court upheld Georgia’s poll tax as constitutional. But in 1942, Georgia voters chose Ellis Arnall for governor and the progressive Arnall ushered in a wave of reforms, including abolishing Georgia’s poll tax.

Nigel Tufnel, of the band Spinal Tap, was born on February 5, 1948.

https://youtu.be/KOO5S4vxi0o

On February 6, 1952, Governor Herman Talmadge signed resolutions of the General Assembly that included:

A resolution calling on Congress to call a convention to propose a constitutional amendment to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment and instead allow a maximum rate of 25 percent on any federal income, transfer, gift, or inheritance tax.

A resolution urging U.S. Senator Richard B. Russell to run for the presidency.

On February 6, 1956, Governor Marvin Griffin addressed a joint session of  the Georgia General Assembly, asking their support for House Resolution 1185, which introduced the idea of “interposition,” in which the State of Georgia would declare the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 and 1955 Brown v. Board of Education decisions “null and void” in Georgia. That day Griffin also signed a raft of legislation for his “massive resistance” agenda against integration of state schools.

On February 5, 1974, “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe,” by Barry White reached #1 on the charts.

https://youtu.be/mb0Fo6-_b3g

On February 7, 1980, Pink Floyd opened “The Wall” tour in Los Angeles.

https://youtu.be/olmueHn7_L4

Def Leppard’s “Pyromania” began a 92-week run on the best-seller charts on February 5, 1983. Rock on.

https://youtu.be/748IjOdrjwg

On February 6, 1985, Reagan gave the State of the Union. During the speech he announced what would be known as the “Reagan Doctrine.”

https://youtu.be/q2hx19SLNHo

On February 7, 1990, the Communist Party Central Committee of the Soviet Union agreed to a proposal by Prime Minister Mikhail Gorbachev that is should give up its political monopoly.

The response from the United States was surprise and cautious optimism. One State Department official commented that, “The whole Soviet world is going down the drainpipe with astonishing speed. It’s mind-boggling.” Former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger indicated that he was “personally gratified and astonished that anyone would have the chance to say such things in Moscow without being shot.” President George Bush was more circumspect, merely congratulating President Gorbachev for his “restraint and finesse.”

Ironically, the fact that the Communist Party was willing to accept political challenges to its authority indicated how desperately it was trying to maintain its weakening power over the country. The measures were little help, however–President Gorbachev resigned on December 25, 1991 and the Soviet Union officially ceased to exist on December 31, 1991.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today is the last day of in-person early voting in the election for Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney. Incumbent Marie Broder is seeking election to a term in office after being appointed to her position by Gov. Brian Kemp. From The Citizen:Continue Reading..

4
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 4, 2021

On February 4, 1789, George Washington was unanimously elected by the Electoral College as the first President of the United States; Washington’s runner-up John Adams served as Vice President. Washington would repeat the feat four years later on February 4, 1793.

On February 4, 1801, John Marshall took office as Chief Justice of the United States. Marshall continued to hold the post of Secretary of State until March 4th. In one of American history’s rich ironies, Marshall, who served at the same time in the judicial and legislative branches of the federal government, would write the Court’s opinion in Marbury v. Madison, establishing the supremacy of the Supreme Court in matters of applying the Constitution through judicial review and establishing the doctrine of separation of powers. Marshall would serve during the terms of six Presidents.

On February 4, 1861, the Provisional Confederate Congress convened in Montgomery, Alabama, where it would draft a Constitution for the Confederate States of America, beginning with a near-verbatim copy of the United States Constitution.

On February 4, 1976, the Georgia Senate approved a resolution previously passed by the State House proposing a Constitutional Amendment to allow Governors of Georgia to serve two consecutive terms and voters approved in November 1976. Then-Governor George Busbee won reelection in November 1978, and since then Democrat Roy Barnes is the only Georgia Governor to not win reelection.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Floyd County Sheriff Dave Roberson and other local law enforcement officers are raising money for the Special Olympics, according to the Rome News Tribune.

Since he started raising money mid-January, Roberson has beat his $1,000 goal and is close to hitting $1,500. Wilson has $289 raised of his $500 goal, while the entire Georgia Bureau of Investigation team has beat their $8,000 goal by $633.

“For as long as I can remember, we’ve had some assistance with Special Olympics locally,” Roberson said. “When I heard what the GBI was doing this year, I volunteered to do what I could to help the Special Olympics program.”

Polk County police detective Brandy Brady is also participating with Roberson, Wilson and the rest of the GBI team.

It costs about $110 per athlete to attend the event so the more money raised, the more opportunities can be given out.

Click here to support Sheriff Roberson’s efforts on behalf of Special Olympics. All the money goes to the Special Olympics.Continue Reading..

3
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 3, 2021

On February 3, 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, prohibiting racial discrimination in voting.

On February 3, 1887, Congress adopted the Electoral Count Act to clarify how Congress was to count electoral votes.

Electoral vote counting is the oldest activity of the national government and among the oldest questions of constitutional law. It was Congress’s first task when a quorum appeared in the nation’s new legislature on April 6, 1789. It has happened every four years since then. Yet, electoral vote counting remains one of the least understood aspects of our constitutional order.

The Electoral Count Act of 1887 (ECA) lies at the heart of this confusion. In enacting the ECA, Congress drew on lessons learned from its twenty-five previous electoral counts; it sorted through innumerable proposals floated before and after the disastrous presidential election of 1876; and it thrashed out the ECA’s specific provisions over fourteen years of sustained debate. Still, the law invites misinterpretation. The ECA is turgid and repetitious. Its central provisions seem contradictory. Many of its substantive rules are set out in a single sentence that is 275 words long. Proponents of the law admitted it was “not perfect.” Contemporary commentators were less charitable. John Burgess, a leading political scientist in the late nineteenth century, pronounced the law unwise, incomplete, premised on contradictory principles, and expressed in language that was “very confused, almost unintelligible.” At least he thought the law was constitutional; others did not.

Over the nearly 120 years since the ECA’s adoption, the criticisms faded, only to be renewed whenever there was a close presidential election. Our ability to misunderstand the ECA has grown over time. During the 2000 presidential election dispute, politicians, lawyers, commentators, and Supreme Court justices seemed prone to misstate or misinterpret the provisions of the law, even those provisions which were clear to the generation that wrote them. The Supreme Court, for example, mistakenly believed that the Supreme Court of Florida’s erroneous construction of its election code would deny Florida’s electors the ECA’s “safe harbor” protection; Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s hasty submission of his state’s Certificate of Ascertainment was untimely under the Act; and Democratic members of Congress framed their objections to accepting Florida’s electoral vote on the wrong grounds. Even Al Gore, the presidential candidate contesting the election’s outcome, misread the federal deadline for seating Florida’s electors.

Only the United States Congress could so obfuscate a matter as seemingly simple as counting that its Act remained undecipherable for more than one hundred years.

The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified by Delaware on February 3, 1913, giving the Amendment the requisite Constitutional supermajority of three-fourths of the states. The text of the Amendment reads, in its entirety,

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

President Woodrow Wilson died on February 3, 1924 in Washington, DC. Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia (pronounced Stan-ton) and spent most of his youth to age 14 in Augusta, Georgia. Wilson started practicing law in Atlanta, Georgia in 1882, leaving the next year to pursue a Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University. His wife, Ellen Louise Axson, was from Savannah, and they married in Rome, Ga in 1885.

On February 3, 1959, a chartered Beechcraft Bonanza carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson crashed near Mason City, Iowa, killing all aboard.

https://youtu.be/NN2L84dvoag

Jimi Hendrix recorded Purple Haze on this date in 1967.

https://youtu.be/SHdlSolwktU

The Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson in Augusta will offer tours for Presidents’ Day, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Reservations are available for guided tours on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Groups are limited to six people from the same party and masks must be worn throughout the tour.

Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for students K-12.

Wilson lived in the classical revival house at 419 Seventh St. during his formative years in Augusta in the 1860s. Built in 1859, the home’s first occupants were The Wilsons after the Trustees of First Presbyterian Church purchased it in 1860 as their Manse where Wilson’s father served as their minister.

Aside from the Presidents’ Day tours, the museum is open for tours Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays on the hour from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. by appointment. Call Historic Augusta, Inc. at (706) 722-9828, or visit www.wilsonboyhoodhome.org.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Under the Gold Dome Today – LD 11

8:00 AM HOUSE INSURANCE (House) 606 CLOB
8:00 AM HOUSE AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS – 406 CLOB
8:00 AM HOUSE SPECIAL RULES – 506 CLOB
10:00 AM Senate FLOOR SESSION (LD11) – Senate Chamber
10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD11) – House Chamber
12:00 PM Senate Rules – 450 CAP
12:30 PM HOUSE BANKS AND BANKING – 341 CAP
1:00 PM Senate Health and Human Services – 450 CAP
1:00 PM Senate Natural Resources and Environment- canceled – 307 CLOB
1:00 PM HOUSE HIGHER EDUCATION – 606 CLOB
1:00 PM HOUSE Ways and Means Income Tax Subcommittee – 403 CAP
1:30 PM HOUSE JUDICIARY – 132 CAP
2:00 PM HOUSE GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS – 406 CLOB
2:15 PM Senate Education and Youth – 307 CLOB
2:15 PM Senate Retirement – 450 CAP
3:00 PM HOUSE HUMAN RELATIONS AND AGING – 341 CAP
3:00 PM HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ACCESS TO THE CIVIL JUSTICE SYSTEM – 132 CAP
3:00 PM HOUSE INDUSTRY AND LABOR – 506 CLOB
3:30 PM Senate Finance – 450 CAP
3:30 PM HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ELECTION INTEGRITY – 606 CLOB
3:30 PM HOUSE GAME, FISH AND PARKS – 406 CLOB
3:30 PM HOUSE STATE PROPERTIES – 403 CAP
4:00 PM Senate State Institutions and Property – Mezz 1 CAP
4:45 PM Senate Judiciary – 307 CLOB

Governor Brian Kemp yesterday unveiled a legislative package to improve education, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Augusta Chronicle.Continue Reading..