Category: Georgia Politics


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 5, 2018

On December 5, 1887, Georgia voters approved a new State Constitution and voted to keep the state capital in Atlanta instead of moving it back to Milledgeville.

On December 5, 1933, Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment, repealing the 18th Amendment and ending prohibition. Earlier that day, Pennsylvania and Ohio had ratified the Amendment.

On December 5, 2000, the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou was released.

On December 5, 2006, Republican Chuck Eaton won the General Election Runoff for Public Service Commission District 3, beating incumbent Democrat David Burgess. Total votes cast: 215,092.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Runoff results 12052018

Last night, Chuck Eaton was re-elected to the Georgia Public Service Commission with more than 1.4 million votes cast in the Runoff Election, making him the only Georgia politician to win two statewide General Election Runoffs.

In the court-ordered redo of House District 28′s Republican Primary, the results are too close to call, with 3 votes separating leader and challenger Chris Erwin from incumbent Dan Gasaway.

HD 28 Redo Results

From the AJC:

The repeat election between state Rep. Dan Gasaway and challenger Chris Erwin was ordered by a judge because dozens of voters received ballots for the wrong districts in the original May 22 Republican Party primary election.

Erwin led Gasaway after all Election Day votes were reported, but provisional and overseas ballots were still pending. It’s unclear how many of those ballots were outstanding. They could still be counted if they’re received by election officials by Friday.

House District 28 covers all of Banks and Stephens counties, as well as about half of Habersham County.



Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 4, 2018

On December 4, 1783, General George Washington told his officers he would resign his commission and return to his life at Mount Vernon.

The Battle of Waynesboro, Georgia was fought between Wheeler’s Confederate cavalry and Kilpatrick’s federal troops on December 4, 1864.

Governor William Northen signed legislation placing on the statewide ballot a constitutional amendment to increase the number of Georgia Supreme Court Justices from 3 to 5 on December 4, 1893.

On December 4, 1932, a 12-foot tall statue of Tom Watson, former state legislator, Congressman, and United States Senator from Georgia, was placed on the State Capitol Grounds.

On December 4, 1945, the United States Senate voted to approve full U.S. participation in the United Nations. Georgia’s Senators voted in favor.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Polling places are open today until 7 PM, with runoff elections for Public Service Commission and Secretary of State. From the Rome News-Tribune:

Democrat John Barrow and Republican Brad Raffensperger are vying for the secretary of state position charged with overseeing voting. Republican incumbent Chuck Eaton and Democrat Lindy Miller are battling it out for a seat on the PSC, which regulates utilities.

Floyd County Chief Elections Clerk Robert Brady said Monday that any voter registered by the Oct. 9 deadline is eligible to vote in the runoff, even if they didn’t vote in the November general election.

Those who are voting absentee should be aware of a change, for this election, in the deadline to return their ballots.

“Because there was such a short time to get them out, any ballot postmarked by Election Day that we have in our hands by Friday will be counted,” Brady said.

The law says “by the last mail delivery,” he noted, but if anyone hand-delivers their ballot before the office closes at 5 p.m. it will be accepted. Brady said few problems with absentee ballots have been reported locally, although there could be delays in the mail.

From the Statesboro Herald:

More than 2,900 Bulloch County residents already have voted in the statewide runoffs for Georgia secretary of state and a Public Service Commission seat. For all other registered voters, precinct voting places around the county will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Last week during the five days of in-person early voting, 2,608 voters cast ballots in Bulloch County. In addition, 321 paper absentee ballots were returned out of the 735 mailed from the local election office, said Elections Supervisor Patricia Lanier Jones.

So that’s 2,929 apparently completed ballots so far, 7.3 percent of the county’s 39,983 registered voters.

Election Day voters are expected to cast their ballots at assigned traditional precincts. Absentee ballots that were previously mailed to voters can be returned, but no voting will take place at the election headquarters in the county annex Tuesday, Jones reminded voters. It was the early voting location only.

Under a statewide extension, absentee ballots returned by Friday, Dec. 7, will be counted.

From the Ledger-Enquirer:

Just this past Friday, the person serving as Georgia Secretary of State until we see who wins the runoff sent out a news release saying absentee ballots for Tuesday’s election will be accepted until Dec. 7, under a court settlement:

“U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg signed a voluntary consent order negotiated by the Democratic Party of Georgia and Secretary of State Robyn A. Crittenden to extend the deadline for acceptance of absentee ballots in the December 4, 2018 run-off election. Certification of results for the November 6, 2018 election was enjoined until 5 p.m. on November 16, 2018,” it says.

“Based on the terms of this consent order, an absentee ballot postmarked by December 4, 2018 – the date of the run-off election – and received by county election offices by December 7, 2018 must be counted if the ballot is otherwise valid. County officials must include these absentee ballots in their certified election return.”

As voters who’ve not voted early go to neighborhood polls 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Columbus already will have banked thousands of ballots, some from residents who at a rate of 130 an hour voted early in-person last week in the Community Room of the City Service Center off Macon Road, like this: Monday 543; Tuesday 992; Wednesday 999; Thursday 1,296; Friday 1,841; total 5,671.

At the mayor’s request, the elections board extended voting by two hours on Thursday and Friday, shifting the schedule from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. to 8 a.m.-7 p.m., based on complaints some people wanted to vote after they got off work.

From the Valdosta Daily Times:

Early voting in the runoff concluded Friday, Nov. 30.

In Lowndes County, 4,240 registered voters participated in early voting for the runoff, according to the Lowndes County elections office.

More than 22,000 Lowndes County voters cast ballots during the early-voting period leading to the Nov. 6 general election.

Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden announced the date of a Special Election.

Notice is hereby given that a special election shall be held on January 8, 2019 in the parts of Gordon and Murray Counties that comprise Georgia House District 5 after the passing of State Representative John Meadows. A run-off, if needed, shall be held on February 5, 2019.

Qualifying for the special election shall be held in the Elections Division of the Office of Secretary of State, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SE, West Tower Suite 802, Atlanta, Georgia 30334.  The dates and hours of qualifying will be Wednesday, December 5, 2018 beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m., Thursday, December 6, 2018 beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m., and Friday, December 7, 2018 beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 1:00 p.m. The qualifying fee shall be $400.00.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 is the last day to register to vote for all persons who are not registered to vote and who desire to vote in the special election.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 3, 2018


On December 3, 1775, the Grand Union Flag, comprising the Union Jack with thirteen red-and-white stripes was raised for the first time by Lieutenant John Paul Jones over the USS Alfred, a colonial warship. The flag would be used by Continental forces thorugh 1776 and early 1777.

USS Alfred

On December 3, 1776, General George Washington wrote Congress that he had moved most of his army across the Delaware River from Trenton, New Jersey to Pennsylvania.

On December 3, 1864, Union forces under the command of Gen. William T. Sherman skirmished against Wheeler’s Confederate cavalry at Thomas’ Station in Burke County, Georgia.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Glynn County saw high turnout during early voting for tomorrow’s elections, according to The Brunswick News.

Voters cast 3,768 ballots during the early voting period, said Elections and Registration Supervisor Monica Couch.

The Glynn County Board of Elections mailed out 1,418 absentee ballots and accepted 450 of them as of 5 p.m. Friday, with more in the hopper, Couch said.

Early voting for this runoff election surpassed the last two, likely because the ballot included statewide races this time around. In 2016, the total turnout was 538 — 183 early — for the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission Post 1 runoff election.

There was no general election runoff in 2014, but JWSC’s Post 2 seat went to a runoff in 2012. 1,079 voters turned out for it, 140 of them early. Utility commission elections were held during the primary elections this year, and that race was decided in July during the primary runoff.

If a voter still has an absentee ballot or recently mailed one, Couch recommended checking the ballot’s status at Absentee ballots will continue to be accepted until the close of business, 5 p.m., on Dec. 7.

From the Newnan Times-Herald:Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 30, 2018

John Wesley left Savannah on December 2, 1737.

John Wesley’s strict discipline as rector of Christ Church in Savannah irritated his parishioners. More trouble followed when he fell in love with Sophia Hopkey, the niece of Georgia’s chief magistrate. When she married another man, Wesley banned her from Holy Communion, damaging her reputation in the community.

His successful romantic rival sued him; but Wesley refused to recognize the authority of the court, and the man who would eventually found a major Protestant denomination in America left Georgia in disgrace on December 2, 1737.

Touro Synagogue, the oldest existing synagogue in the United States, was dedicated on December 2, 1763 in Newport, Rhode Island.

General George Washington set up winter headquarters at Morristown, New Jersey on December 1, 1779.

On November 30, 1782, British and American signed a preliminary treaty in Paris to end the American Revolution, which included withdrawal of British troops and recognition of American independence.

On November 30, 1819, the SS Savannah returned to Savannah, GA from its trip as the first steamship to cross the Atlantic.

On December 1, 1824, the election for President of the United States, in which no candidate received a majority of electoral votes, went to the United States House of Representatives.

Andrew Jackson of Tennessee won 99 electoral and 153,544 popular votes; John Quincy Adams–the son of John Adams, the second president of the United States–received 84 electoral and 108,740 popular votes; Secretary of State William H. Crawford, who had suffered a stroke before the election, received 41 electoral votes; and Representative Henry Clay of Virginia won 37 electoral votes.

As dictated by the Constitution, the election was then turned over to the House of Representatives. 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.

The Skirmish at Rocky Creek Church took place near Waynesboro, Georgia on December 2, 1864.

The City of Sandy Springs began operations at one second after midnight on December 1, 2005. Three years later, Dunwoody became a new city, on December 1, 2008.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The late former Congressman Mac Collins was eulogized at a funeral yesterday, according to

He ran for the state senate as a Republican in 1982 and 1984, losing both times. He prevailed in that race in 1986 and, once sworn in, was one of only 11 Republican senators in the state.

In Congress, he was considered one of the key architects of the GOP’s Contract With America. He served on the powerful Ways and Means committee, the Permanent Committee on Intelligence and as deputy majority whip.

Collins was a member of Rock Springs Church. Among the notables in attendance at his funeral there Sunday were Gov. Deal and first lady Sandra Deal; governor-elect Brian Kemp and his wife, Marty; Congressman Drew Ferguson; and Department of Corrections commissioner Greg Dozier. Former house speaker Newt Gingrich and current Sen. David Perdue made remarks at the service via video link, praising Collins’ work ethic and his commitment to those who elected him.

Collins was eulogized by Dr. Phil DeMore and Rock Springs pastor Dr. Benny Tate. In his remarks, Dr. Tate noted that, while in Congress, Collins turned down the opportunity to sign up for the lucrative congressional pension plan saying he would just get along with Social Security like his constituents.

The Augusta Chronicle looks at early voting in their area.

In the statewide runoff for Georgia secretary of state and public service commissioner and a District 3 runoff for Richmond County Board of Education, 1,934 cast early ballots, bringing the county’s three-day total to 5,348.

As of Thursday, 1,382 paper absentee ballots of 1,918 issued to voters had been accepted by the Richmond elections board.

Another day, another lawsuit from the Democrats. This time, the Democratic Party of Georgia filed suit asking for additional time for mail-in absentee ballots to arrive and still be counted, according to the AJC.

The federal lawsuit asks a judge to require Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden to order counties to treat absentee mail-in ballots like those sent by military voters, which means they would have to count ballots postmarked by Election Day and received within three days after the election.

According to the complaint, 44 counties didn’t mail their first absentee ballots until Monday and another 21 counties waited a day later. With mail delivery taking three to four days to reach voters in some parts of the state, the lawsuit said, the delay will risk disenfranchising voters.

The lawsuit could affect a large bloc of voters in the runoff, which will decide the secretary of state’s race and a Public Service Commission seat. At least 121,000 voters have submitted an application for absentee mail-in ballots in the runoff election.

From the Associated Press:

Results of the general election were certified Nov. 17, but a federal lawsuit filed Thursday by the Democratic Party says at least 65 counties didn’t send out absentee ballots for the Dec. 4 runoff until this week.

Generally absentee ballots must be received by Election Day to be counted. The lawsuit asks a judge to order that absentee ballots postmarked by Dec. 4 and received by Dec. 7 be counted. It also asks that the secretary of state be prohibited from certifying the election results until she has confirmed that those ballots have been counted.

A special election will be held March 19, 2019 to fill the Atlanta City Council seat vacated by the death of Ivory Lee Young, according to the AJC.

House District 28 voters still have today and Tuesday to vote in a redo of the Republican Primary, according to

Judge David Sweat set the election for Dec. 4 after ruling that the election would be held again due to errors in the May 22 election.

District 28 includes Banks, Habersham and Stephens counties.

Judge Sweat agreed with information provided by Gasaway in a seven-hour hearing that 74 ballots were cast incorrectly in Habersham County in the May 22 election.

Information was presented that 74 people voted in the District 10 election, although they live in District 28.

The judge ruled that all eligible voters can cast a ballot except for citizens who voted on a Democrat ballot in the May 22 election.

Gasaway and Erwin are both on the Republican ballot.

Gasaway is the incumbent. Erwin is the retired Banks County School System superintendent.

Congressman Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) will likely serve as the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, according to the AJC.

The three-term congressman was recommended by GOP colleagues on Thursday evening to be the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, the powerful panel that is expected to investigate various White House scandals and mull impeachment proceedings under new Democratic leadership.

The recommendation to elevate Collins was made by the leadership-aligned Republican Steering Committee, a secretive group that Collins himself has been a member of over the last two years. The full House GOP conference must vote to approve of  the appointment before it can be finalized.

The same panel rejected the campaign of another Georgia Republican, Tom Graves of Ranger, to lead the party on the House Appropriations Committee.

Graves, a former state legislator who has served in Congress since 2010, had pitched himself as a disruptor who would stand up for Trump and conservative interests during government spending negotiations, but he faced off against a trio of more senior opponents. Texas Republican Kay Granger ultimately won the committee’s recommendation earlier Thursday.

From AccessWDUN:

The full House GOP conference will have to vote on the appointment before it’s a done deal. The newspaper report said the recommendation to elevate Collins to the position was made by the Republican Steering Committee.

The House Judiciary Committee oversees matters related to the “administration of justice in federal courts, administrative bodies and law enforcement agencies,” according to a definition on the committee’s website.

Republican Brad Raffensperger campaigned for Secretary of State in Augusta yesterday, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Brad Raffensperger reinforced a campaign tenet of not being John Barrow in a Thursday appearance in Augusta.

With Friday the final day to vote early and just four days until Tuesday runoff elections, Raffensperger, the GOP nominee for Georgia secretary of state, accused Democratic runoff opponent Barrow of being soft on voter ID requirements and intent on using hand-marked paper ballots.

“Y’all warned me about this guy, John Barrow,” said Raffensperger, a Johns Creek, Ga., engineer and business owner. “He puts forth a lot of effort.”

Raffensperger also said Barrow signed a 2011 letter sent to every secretary of state opposing photo ID requirements.

Lanier County businessman Franklin Patten announced he will run for the State House seat being vacated when State Rep. Jason Shaw is appointed to the Public Service Commission, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Franklin Patten, owner of Southern Financial Systems, Computer Design and co-owner of Patten Blackberry Farms, announced in a statement this week he will seek the House District 176 seat being vacated by Jason Shaw.

Shaw has been appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to serve on the Public Service Commission starting Jan. 1, forcing a special election for his House seat.

District 176 covers all of Lanier and Atkinson counties and portions of Lowndes and Ware counties.

Patten will run as a Republican.

Whitfield County Magistrate Court Judge Shana Vinyard is on voluntary paid leave, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

Chief Magistrate Judge Haynes Townsend said it is unclear when she might return to the bench. Townsend said he has not had contact with Vinyard since she went on leave. Townsend wouldn’t comment on why Vinyard is on leave and said he couldn’t comment on any ongoing investigation, but said, “It is not through our office.”

“There is not too much more than that I can say at this point,” Townsend said. “She is an elected official, and I don’t have the authority to put her on administrative leave. I am the senior elected official and I gave her the option to stay in her office or staying at home. She decided to stay at home. Under Georgia law, you can’t do anything to a judge’s salary while they are still officially a judge.”

Whitfield County Administrator Mark Gibson said he was aware Vinyard was on paid leave but said the county has no control over elected court officials. Vinyard was elected to the court in 2016, filling the seat of Kaye Cope, who resigned after being arrested for DUI.

Outgoing Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson spoke about the beginning of her political career to a women in business luncheon, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

The attorney and then-executive director of MidTown Inc. had sought the opinion of a well-known and respected city politico in Columbus, with the two meeting for lunch at the Burger King on Wynnton Road. This came after others in the community had suggested she should possibly run for mayor.

The conversation with the person, who Tomlinson did not name, became starkly blunt as it unfolded in the fast-food eatery and she asked his thoughts about her considering elected office, a challenge she had never tried before.

His assessment: You’re definitely going to lose. Why, she asked. Nobody cares about economic and community development, he said of the issue that Tomlinson was considering putting an emphasis on as mayor.

The future candidate said the adviser then tossed out another observation, declaring that “you’ll never win because white men don’t like you.” On Wednesday, she compared that to today’s political analysts on the cable news networks, who divide people by demographics to include gender, race and age, then make broad generalizations about how those groups will vote in an election.

“What that was was the good ol’ boy system, the old-school way of wanting to push me away from this opportunity, knowing that somebody like me, a Gen-Xer, somebody that had my experience, might shake up a system that he and a few others were used to,” she said. “So I needed to move on down the road.”

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs denied low income housing tax credits for an apartment complex in Macon that was opposed by local residents, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency reimbursed Glynn County $1.5 million dollars for storm cleanup, according to The Brunswick News.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources expects to move some staff into a new regional headquarters in Floyd County, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

Right whale calving season is set to begin after a goose egg in 2017-18, according to The Brunswick News.

Saturday, staff from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will take to the skies for the first time this season to see if any right whales have made it south, and if there are any early births to report. Georgia DNR partners with the Sea to Shore Alliance, which will launch its first flight of the season Dec. 8.

“Hopefully, we’ll start seeing some whales in December,” [Department of Natural Resources biologist Clay] George said. “Really, the population’s at a point where it’s in decline — that’s pretty clear at this point, that’s it’s been declining since 2010, and the scary thing is that the rate of decline actually seems to be happening faster than they were increasing in the 2000s. So, if we don’t start seeing some calves starting this year, it’s really concerning, because that means the whales are just going to be setting themselves back farther and farther, numbers-wise.”

A “Freeport” tax exemption for e-commerce passed in Chatham County, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The freeport exemption gradually eliminates inventory taxes on goods that come in through our ports destined for e-commerce fulfillment centers.

For years, online retailers have preferred to bring their products in through the Port of Savannah, whose reputation for speed, efficiency and customer service is unmatched on either coast.

Because area governments charged an inventory tax on e-commerce shipments warehoused here, retailers wanted their products on trucks and trains and on their way as soon as possible – putting Chatham County at a distinct disadvantage when it came to attracting fulfillment centers and the added jobs and revenues they could bring.

Trip Tollison, President and CEO of the Savannah Economic Development Authority, has long asserted that, if not for its inventory taxes, Chatham County would have much to offer as an e-commerce hub.

Earlier this year, Savannah lost a substantial fulfillment center project to Bryan County, which had exempted e-commerce inventory taxes in 2016. And, in October, Amazon announced it would build a temporary fulfillment facility in Effingham County.

Yesterday, Gov. Nathan Deal announced that e-commerce giant Wayfair will create 1,000 jobs in a new fulfillment facility in Savannah.

“There is no question that the voters’ approval of the e-commerce ballot provision helped carry the Wayfair project from the one-yard line over the goal line,” Tollison said Thursday.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 29, 2018

Georgia ratified the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution on November 29, 1794, which reads,

The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state.

On November 29, 1947, the United Nations passed a resolution to partition Palestine and allow the creation of a Jewish state of Israel.

On November 29, 1963, President Lyndon Johnson appointed the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, referred to as the Warren Commission. Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr. of Georgia was appointed to the Commission.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Floyd County is seeing a rush of early voters ahead of next week’s runoff elections for Secretary of State and Public Service Commission, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

“Everything’s running smoothly,” said Elections Technician Vanessa Waddell. “(Turnout) is a little higher than an average runoff, but I haven’t heard of any hiccups.”

Today is the last day the Rome Civic Center will be open, but early voting continues through Friday at the County Administration Building, 12 E. Fourth Ave. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All 25 precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, the day of the election.

A total of 1,405 voters went in person to the two sites through Wednesday, and Waddell said they’ve mailed out 683 absentee ballots to people — typically elderly or disabled — on their standard list.

From WTXL:

Leila Dollison, Tift County’s Election Supervisor, said 224 people cast ballots on the first day of early voting, so she expects better than usual turnout.

“If it’s anything like the general election, we can expect a good turnout. People seem to be interested,” said Dollison.

From WJBF:

There was record early voting for the mid-terms three weeks ago and some say they won’t be surprised if it’s not as busy for the run-offs.

“It probably will be but hopefully it picks up later. You know if you want to be heard you got to vote so they know what they got to do,” said Augusta voter Sylvia Harris.

The Municipal Building and the three usual satellite locations are open for early voting.

From the Tribune & Georgian:

The Kingsland mayor’s race with incumbent Kenneth Smith and challenger Grayson Day is headed to a runoff election on Tuesday along with two state offices.

After votes had been tallied in November, none of the four candidates for Kingsland mayor had received a majority of the votes, 50 percent plus one vote. Day, a sitting councilman, took 41.94 percent of the votes and Smith claimed the second spot at 24.64 percent. Jim McClain, also a councilman, was just 96 votes behind Smith with 22.76 percent. Former councilman James Ham received 10.39 percent of the vote.

Former U.S. Attorney and Acting Attorney General Sally Yates will not run for office, according to the Associated Press.

Yates told a Bloomberg summit in New York she has no aspirations to pursue politics— in Georgia or elsewhere— despite her many years of public service.

“I just have to confess running for office is just not anything I’ve ever felt drawn to,” she said. “You know what feels like you or doesn’t.”

Muscogee County Board of Elections voted to extend early voting hours, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

At Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson’s urging, the Muscogee County Board of Elections and Registrations has agreed to extend Columbus’ early voting for Tuesday’s runoff by two hours on Thursday and Friday, the final days of advance voting.

The hours were 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Now they will be 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The mayor made the request Tuesday night, after the 5:30 p.m. Columbus Council meeting. She told elections director Nancy Boren the city had heard complaints about the schedule.

Tomlinson responded to the Ledger-Enquirer’s inquiry Wednesday night, in a voice message saying District 7 Councilor Mimi Woodson found people trying to vote when she got to the council meeting around 6 p.m., and they were upset they were not able to cast ballots after they got off work.

The extended hours will increase the cost of the runoff, which was not included in the elections office budget, though councilors were warned runoffs were possible, when the budget was approved.

Though no local races are on the runoff ballot, Columbus residents have shown considerable interest in the holiday election: 543 voted in person on Monday and 992 on Tuesday. Boren said her staff had mailed out 3,412 absentee ballots as of 2 p.m. Wednesday, and had a stack of absentee ballot applications that had just come in the mail.

Coweta County Commissioners formally asked their legislative delegation to allow a referendum on property tax breaks for seniors, according to the Newnan Times-Herald.

The Coweta County Board of Commissioners executed a resolution Tuesday asking the legislators who represent Coweta County to introduce “local legislation” in the 2019 Georgia General Assembly session that would allow Coweta voters to decide whether or not to increase existing school property tax breaks for those 65 and older.

Though the increased exemption proposal was approved by the Coweta Board of Education, under state law the county commissioners must pass the resolution requesting local legislation.

If local legislation is approved, the next step will be putting the question on the ballot.

Historically, the delegation has required a unanimous vote by a governing body before it will move forward with local legislation. And the school board vote was 6-to-1, with school board member Linda Menk opposed.

That lack of a unanimous vote from the school board was discussed by the commissioners Tuesday night.

“Essentially, since this was not unanimous, then the local legislators are not going to consider it?” asked Chairman Al Smith.

Glynn County has received a grant from the Georgia Department of Agriculture that can be used to provide spay and neuter services, according to The Brunswick News.

Starting later this month a grant from the Georgia Department of Agriculture will, pending approval from the Glynn County Commission, pay for spay and neuter surgeries for low-income county pet owners.

“We anticipate, depending on the breakdown between male and female, dog and cat, since the cost is different for each one … we’re estimating around 60 pets will be able to be spayed or neutered with this grant,” said Animal Control Manager Tiffani Hill.

Animal Control plans to partner with Island Animal Hospital to perform the spay and neuter surgeries on pets.

While the program is aimed at low-income residents, Hill said animal control won’t rule out anyone who doesn’t meet federal guidelines.

“We’re going to have people write an explanation on their application as to how they qualify of free spay/neuter services and submit to us some piece of documentation indicating they are low-income,” Hill said. “We don’t want to rule somebody out because they make a few dollars more than the federal guideline.”

Free surgeries are limited to Glynn County residents exclusively, and each household can only apply for three pets. The surgeries will be performed at Island Animal Hospital.

Hampton City Council will interview candidates for interim city manager, according to the Henry Herald.

Athens-Clarke County‘s citizens SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) committee will consider project requests totalling more than one billion dollars, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.

An Athens-Clarke County citizens committee must sift through 88 project proposals costing about $1.2 billion to whittle down what to include on a referendum for a renewed 1 percent Special Local Option Sales Tax.

The Athens-Clarke Commission has tentatively capped the dollar amount for expected tax collections at $248 million, which equals about nine years’ worth of collections, according to Athens-Clarke County fiscal planners.

That’s going to mean more work for the citizens committee, Athens-Clarke SPLOST administrator Keith Sanders told a separate citizens committee appointed to oversee the 1 percent special sales tax for transportation Clarke voters approved last year, raising sales taxes in Athens to 8 percent. That penny tax is projected to pay for 19 projects totaling $109.5 million during its five-year limit.

The sales tax proposal commissioners are working on now would not increase the sales tax, but would keep it at 8 percent if voters approve its continuation in a November 2019 referendum.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 28, 2018

On November 28, 1777, Congress appointed John Adams as commissioner to France, replacing Silas Deane.

The Grand Ole Opry began live radio broadcasts from Nashville, Tennessee on November 28, 1925.

The Tawana Brawley case began on November 28, 1987; the greatest lasting impact would be the rise to celebrity of community activist the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal last week appointed State Rep. Jason Shaw (R-Lakeland) to the Public Service Commission seat being vacated by Doug Everett.

Shaw will serve the remainder of Everett’s term and will represent the 1st District of the PSC. The appointment will be effective Jan. 1, 2019.

“I would like to thank Doug Everett for his more than 15 years of dedicated service as a commissioner and I wish him all the best in retirement,” said Deal. “Rep. Shaw has significant experience both as a businessman and in public service, and I am confident that he will be an effective representative for the people of Georgia as a member of the Public Service Commission.”

Fair Fight Action, founded by losing Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams, filed a federal lawsuit contesting Georgia’s voting system, according to the Associated Press.

The lawsuit was filed in Atlanta by Fair Fight Action against interim Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden and state election board members. It asks a judge to correct problems with the state’s elections system.

In a fiery speech ending her campaign Nov. 16, Abrams announced that a lawsuit would be filed against Georgia “for the gross mismanagement of this election and to protect future elections from unconstitutional actions.”

Flanked by Democratic state lawmakers at the Georgia Capitol earlier this month, Abrams’ campaign manager who’s now CEO of Fair Fight Action, Lauren Groh-Wargo, said the campaign believed Kemp “mismanaged this election to sway it in his favor.”

Abrams said the election was marred by systemic voter suppression. She rattled off a list of concerns, pointing to absentee ballots thrown out by what she called “the handwriting police;” a shortage of paper ballots to back up broken voting machines; and Georgia’s so-called “exact match” voter registration rules that require information on voter applications to precisely match state or federal files.

In Bulloch County, 796 voters cast early ballots the first two days of this week, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Voters number “662 and 663 just walked in the door,” Bulloch County Election Supervisor Patricia Lanier Jones had said when phoned shortly before 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. So another 133 voters must have filed through before 5 p.m., when she provided the total of 416 Tuesday voters and the cumulative 796.

She said that if the total from Monday, 380 voters, became the average for the week, that would be “good for the runoff” in early voting. With more voters Tuesday, the daily average is now 398.

Early voting is available three more days, 8 a.m-5 p.m. through Friday, and in only one location, the Board of Elections and Registration office in the county annex, 113 N. Main St.

Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-West Point) was elected as a Chief Deputy Whip in the Republican caucus, according to the AJC.

“Drew is respected and well liked and has built relationships across the entire spectrum of our Conference,” Scalise, R-La., said in a statement. “He is a strong advocate for the conservative principles that House Republicans stand for and his fighting spirit will be a huge asset to us as we work to stop the radical, leftist agenda being promoted by House Democrats.”

Ferguson, who recently won a second term in Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District, worked on the whip team during his first two years in Congress alongside Georgian Tom Graves. He is viewed as one of the Georgia delegation’s most ambitious newcomers: he hosted now-Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy at the Kia assembly plant in his district last month and Scalise for a fundraiser in February. The former dentist and West Point mayor is also angling for a spot on one of the House’s most powerful committees next year: the tax-writing Ways and Means panel.

His new position will put him on the front lines as party leaders seek to stymie the Democratic majority’s top legislative priorities. It’s a highly social job that will put him in contact with all House Republicans, relationships that could help him secure even higher leadership posts down the line.

Georgia’s delegation to the U.S. House all joined in a letter requesting funding for hurricane relief, according to the Albany Herald.

All of the 14 members from Georgia currently in the U.S. House of Representative sent a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the chairman and ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee requesting legislative action by the Dec. 7 government funding deadline to address recent natural disasters, including Hurricane Michael.

On Oct. 10, Hurricane Michael entered Georgia as a Category 3 hurricane and was the first major hurricane to directly impact the state since the 1890s. Recent projections conducted by the University of Georgia place the losses for Georgia’s agricultural industry caused by Hurricane Michael at around $2.5 billion.

“We write in support of legislative action to address recent disasters befalling our nation,” wrote the members. “Over the past month, Georgia has responded to and is now recovering from this devastating storm. We have identified agriculture and the impacted rural communities as critical areas in which the support of the federal government is essential to our recovery.”

“Federal assistance for these recent disasters is essential to help our nation recover. We urge Congress to work with the administration to ensure disaster relief resources are made available prior to December 7, 2018. Thank you for your support and we look forward to working with you to secure these critical resources.”

It is signed by Reps. Austin Scott, Sanford D. Bishop, Earl L. ‘Buddy’ Carter, Dr. A. Drew Ferguson IV, Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr., John Lewis, Karen Handel, Rob Woodall, Doug Collins, Jody Hice, Barry Loudermilk, Rick W. Allen, David Scott and Tom Graves.

Gwinnett County has proposed a $1.8 billion dollar budget for FY 2019, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The $1.8 billion budget proposal was presented to county commissioners, and two incoming commissioners, at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center on Tuesday. It includes several new positions, most of which are in public safety, but it also continues a 4 percent pay for performance increase. A mid-year 3 percent market adjustment is also included.

“It is a good sign that we are able to address many of the issues that are addressed in this budget,” said commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash, who contrasted the 2019 budget with budgets from the economic downturn at the beginning of the decade.

“We know the need for additional public safety personnel is a continuous one. We weren’t able to do what we needed to do in those areas during the (Great Recession). It’s a good thing to be able to be at the point where we’re able to address those needs.”

A public hearing for the budget proposal is scheduled for Dec. 10, and the Board of Commissioners is set to vote on adoption of the budget at its Jan.3 meeting, according to a schedule released by the county.

Included in that budget is $750,000 for the March 2019 election to decide the future of transit in Gwinnett, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The special election that Gwinnett County commissioners called for March 2019 to hold a referendum on whether the county should join MARTA now has price tag — and it’s a quarter of a million dollars higher than previously thought.

County spokeswoman Heather Sawyer said $768,937 was set aside in the county’s $1.8 billion proposed 2019 budget, which was unveiled Tuesday, for the referendum. It had previously been estimated that the election would cost about $500,000, and that figure had been floated around for months.

If voters approve the referendum, MARTA could take over Gwinnett County Transit’s operations next summer as it begins absorbing the county’s existing transit system.

MARTA would also be required under the terms of its contract with Gwinnett to implement the county’s Connect Gwinnett Transit Development Plan, which calls for a major expansion of multi-modal transit throughout the county.

Rome City Commission voted to allow a homeowner to opt out of a historic district, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

Savannah City Council adopted revisions to the municipal code addressing property maintenance, according to the Savannah M0rning News.

The changes were touted by Mayor Eddie DeLoach during a press conference Tuesday as a way to improve neighborhoods.

“That’s what this is all about,” DeLoach said. “We want people, wherever they live, to feel comfortable about what they live by and who they live by.”

Booker Gainor, Mayor of Cairo, Georgia, helped a motorist from a wrecked vehicle, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

“My only thinking was to get him out of the vehicle as quickly as possible,” said Gainor, who said he initially thought the vehicle was on fire. “It took some time because he had blacked out.”

The mayor, who said he could smell fumes from a gas tank rupture from the road, saw steam rising from the swamp water and mistakenly thought the vehicle was smoking and would soon erupt in flames.

“I just really believe with all of the gas, the only way to really get him out of the vehicle was when I noticed he had a wedding ring,” Gainor said. “So I said, ‘are you married?’ And he said yeah. So I asked, ‘what’s your wife’s name?’ just trying to get him to answer questions like that to get him assimilated. He told me her name and I said, ‘hey, we’ve got to get you to her.’”


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 27, 2018

President George Washington declared November 26, 1789 the first “public day of thanksgiving and prayer.”

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
Go. Washington

On November 27, 1864, Sherman ordered the courthouse in Sandersville, Georgia burned.

On November 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Fourth Thursday in November as the modern Thanksgiving celebration.

[I]t was not until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to fall on the last Thursday of November, that the modern holiday was celebrated nationally.

With a few deviations, Lincoln’s precedent was followed annually by every subsequent president–until 1939. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt departed from tradition by declaring November 23, the next to last Thursday that year, as Thanksgiving Day. Considerable controversy surrounded this deviation, and some Americans refused to honor Roosevelt’s declaration. For the next two years, Roosevelt repeated the unpopular proclamation, but on November 26, 1941, he admitted his mistake and signed a bill into law officially making the fourth Thursday in November the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day.

On the same day, a Japanese navy fleet left port headed toward Pearl Harbor.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Click here to check your voter registration and for early voting locations.

According to the Secretary of State’s absentee voter list, 46,407 early votes have been processed by local boards of elections.

Early voting started yesterday in the Runoff Elections for Secretary of State and Public Service Commission, according to WTOC.

Early voting starts Monday, Nov. 26 for the runoff elections in Georgia.

The early voting period will last until Friday, Nov. 30.

One of the biggest statewide runoff races is for the position of Secretary of State.

Republican Brad Raffensperger and Democrat John Barrow are locked in a tight race to see who will replace Robyn Crittenden as secretary of state. Crittenden was appointed by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to fill the remaining term of governor-elect Brian Kemp.

From the AJC:

“Because of the historic turnout we had for the general, we’re preparing for a big turnout for this one,” said DeKalb Elections Director Erica Hamilton.

Hamilton said while she does not expect to see anywhere near the 60-plus percent voter turnout seen in the general election, her office expects far better than the 14-percent average turnout for past runoffs.

She has a message for DeKalb County voters:

“Whether you vote on Election Day or absentee, your ballot will count, and if you have any questions, please ask us in advance, please check your voter status,” she said.

Also from the AJC:

Unlike the general election, there’s no requirement for early voting on a Saturday before the runoff.

Absentee voting is also available for the runoffs. Voters can fill out an absentee ballot request form and return it to their county election offices. Mailed absentee ballots must be received by local election offices by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

All registered voters are eligible to participate in the runoff election, even if they didn’t cast ballots Nov. 6. The voter registration deadline for this year’s election was Oct. 9.

From the Henry Herald:

Through Nov. 30, voters can cast their ballots at the Henry County Elections and Voter Registration Office, located at 40 Atlanta St. in McDonough. From Nov. 26-28, election hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Nov. 29 and 30, hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Election Day is Dec. 4, and voters can cast their ballots at their regular polling precinct.

From the Brunswick News:

The Glynn County Board of Elections originally planned to open the polls on Wednesday, but Elections and Registration Supervisor Monica Couch said election workers were able to open earlier.

As long as there are no federal runoffs on the ballot, state law provides no deadline for a early voting in a runoff for state and local seats to begin, only saying it should begin “as soon as possible.”

Democrat John Barrow and Republican John Raffensperger are facing off to become the next Georgia Secretary of State, while Republican incumbent Chuck Eaton and Democrat challenger Lindy Miller are seeking a seat on the Public Safety Commission. Libertarian candidates in both races did not receive enough votes to qualify for the runoff.

The polling places are located in the Office Park Building, 1815 Gloucester St. in Brunswick, and in Glynn County Fire Station No. 2, 1929 Demere Road on St. Simons Island.

President Donald Trump yesterday endorsed Republican Brad Raffensperger for Secretary of State via Twitter.

Trump Tweet BradRaff

Georgia Health News looks at a prospective healthcare agenda for Governor-elect Brian Kemp.

Republican Kemp, who will take office in January, opposed Medicaid expansion during the campaign, while Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams strongly supported it. Gov. Nathan Deal and his fellow Republicans who control the Georgia General Assembly have resisted expansion since it became an option for states several years ago.

But there may be other health care ideas coming under a Kemp administration that can bring coverage to more Georgians. And those ideas come under the general heading of “waivers.’’

A Kemp administration, meanwhile, could pursue one or more waivers that fall short of full expansion. States can propose waivers to change their health care programs under the Affordable Care Act. Such changes must receive federal approval.

Kemp’s move to add Tom Price, a former U.S. secretary of health and human services, to the gubernatorial transition team could pave the way for such a waiver plan, says Kyle Wingfield of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

The Price addition may mean ‘’the Kemp team understands they need to do something on health care,’’ Wingfield said Monday. “We would say that bringing in someone like Tom Price indicates that they get that and they’re looking for someone who’s very familiar with how HHS works.’’

The Statesboro Herald writes that Democrat John Barrow has an uphill fight against Republican Brad Raffensperger in the runoff election.

Unless affected by court decisions lingering from the dispute over the governor’s race, in-person early voting will be available Nov. 26-30 in the general election runoff. A runoff for a seat on the Public Service Commission will also appear on the statewide ballot.

“We haven’t had many statewide general election runoffs,” said University of Georgia Political Science Professor Charles S. Bullock III, Ph.D. “But there were two for the U.S. Senate and two or three for the Public Service Commission, and one consistency has been that Republicans won every one of those.”

In Georgia’s statewide general election runoffs, the Republican has consistently won, whether initially in the lead or in second place, Bullock said.

“So what that tells you is that, at least in the past, Republicans have been more successful in getting their voters to come back for that second vote,” Bullock said.

Republicans’ traditional “as a whole better educated, a bit more affluent” voter demographics have been “two strong correlates of voting” participation, Bullock said.

Barrow, in a phone interview Friday, observed that the 2018 election season has been markedly different than those that produced statewide runoffs in the past.

“I think there are so many differences between this climate right now and what happened in 2008 and what happened in 1992, I wouldn’t know where to begin,” Barrow said. “But I know this. This is an equal-opportunity challenge for both sides in this race, and there are lots of problems that need to be fixed and there is only one candidate running in this race that has promised to fix these problems in a bipartisan manner.”

Georgia’s Nick Ayers could be in line to be the next White House Chief of Staff, according to the AJC.

Chatham County Board of Assessors Vice Chairman Tommy Boondry was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine and methamphetamine, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Boondry was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of cocaine, possession of drug-related objects, and permitting an unlicensed person to drive and open container, Johnson said.

The Chatham County Board of Assessors is responsible for notifying the public of changes in property tax law.

Chief Appraiser Roderick Conley said the Board of Assessors has no comment on the arrest, and the board is investigating the matter.

Whitfield County‘s 2019 budget includes a $2.2 million dollar surplus, and a local resident is asking Commissioners to consider a property tax cut, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce will host their annual Eggs and Issues breakfast on December 13, according to the Gainesville Times.

Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter honored Kimya Motley with the Victims Voice Award, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Porter said at the breakfast, which allows Gwinnett crime victim assistance agencies the opportunity to meet one another and learn about services that other agencies offer, that Motley has “tirelessly advocated” for Georgia and Gwinnett’s crime victims.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 16, 2018

The Georgia Trustees visited the first group of settlers on November 16, 1732, the day before they were scheduled to depart England for the New World.

On November 17, 1732, the first English headed to colonize Georgia set off from Gravesend, England, down the Thames. Their supplies included ten tons of beer.

On November 16, 1737, the Georgia Trustees learned that England’s King George II would send 300 soldiers, along with 150 wives and 130 children to the settlement in Georgia.

On November 17, 1777, Congress submitted the Articles of Confederation to the states for ratification.

Abraham Lincoln began the first draft of the Gettysburg Address on November 17, 1863.


Abraham Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on November 18, 1863.

On November 16, 1864, Sherman left Atlanta in smoking ruins.

A 2010 Wired article argues that Sherman’s rampage through Georgia and the Carolinas changed modern warfare.

Vengeance aside, the real objective of Sherman’s march was to cut the Confederacy in two, cripple Southern industrial capacity, destroy the railroad system and compel an early Confederate surrender. It was also intended to break Southern morale — in Sherman’s words, to “make Georgia howl.”

Sherman was vilified for his barbarism, but the Union commander was a realist, not a romantic. He understood — as few of his contemporaries seemed to — that technology and industrialization were radically changing the nature of warfare.

It was no longer a question of independent armies meeting on remote battlefields to settle the issue. Civilians, who helped produce the means for waging modern war, would no longer be considered innocent noncombatants. Hitting the enemy where he ate and breaking him psychologically were just as important to victory as vanquishing his armies in the field.

Sherman grasped this and, though he wasn’t the first military proponent of total war, he was the first modern commander to deliberately strike at the enemy’s infrastructure. The scorched-earth tactics were effective. The fragile Southern economy collapsed, and a once-stout rebel army was irretrievably broken.

Meanwhile, the marshals of Europe watched Sherman’s progress with fascination. And they learned.

Carl Vinson was born on November 18, 1883 in Baldwin County, Georgia. At noon on that day, U.S. and Canadian railroads implemented four time zones for the first time.

Efficient rail transportation demanded a more uniform time-keeping system. Rather than turning to the federal governments of the United States and Canada to create a North American system of time zones, the powerful railroad companies took it upon themselves to create a new time code system. The companies agreed to divide the continent into four time zones; the dividing lines adopted were very close to the ones we still use today.

Most Americans and Canadians quickly embraced their new time zones, since railroads were often their lifeblood and main link with the rest of the world. However, it was not until 1918 that Congress officially adopted the railroad time zones and put them under the supervision of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Mickey Mouse debuted in a black-and-white film called “Steamboat Willie” on November 18, 1928.

On November 18, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt traveled from Washington, DC to Savannah, Georgia by train for Georgia’s Bicentennial and delivered a speech at Municipal Stadium.

Herman Talmadge was sworn in as Governor of Georgia on November 17, 1948, ending the “Three Governors” controversy. Click here for a review of the “Three Governors” episode by Ron Daniels.

Carl Vinson was honored on his 81st birthday in Milledgeville, Georgia on November 18, 1964; Vinson did not run for reelection in 1964 and retired after 50 years in office.

Richard Nixon declared before a television audience, “I’m not a crook,” on November 17, 1973.

President Richard M. Nixon flew into Robins Air Force Base for Carl Vinson’s 90th birthday on November 18, 1973; on the trip he announced the next American nuclear supercarrier would be named USS Carl Vinson.

On November 18, 1989, Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey signed the Abortion Control Act, the first abortion restrictions enacted after Roe v. Wade.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Legislative Affairs

The Georgia State House convenes today at 11 AM for Day Four of the Special Session.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Election for November 15, 2018

James Oglethorpe left London on November 15, 1732 headed to a Thames River port named Gravesend, where he would board the ship Anne and lead the first colonists to Georgia.

On November 15, 1777, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union were adopted in York, Pennsylvania.

Congress was a single house, with each state having one vote, and a president elected to chair the assembly. Although Congress did not have the right to levy taxes, it did have authority over foreign affairs and could regulate a national army and declare war and peace. Amendments to the Articles required approval from all 13 states. On March 2, 1781, following final ratification by the 13th state, the Articles of Confederation became the law of the land.

Edward Langworthy of Savannah, Edward Telfair, and John Walton signed the Articles of Confederation for Georgia.

Stephen Heard Conan OBrien

On November 15, 1815, Patriot leader Stephen Heard died in Elbert County, GA. Heard served on Georgia’s Executive Council during part of the American Revolution and as its President from 1780 to 1781. He later served in the Georgia House of Representatives, as a judge in Elbert County, and as a delegate to Georgia’s 1975 Constitutional Convention. The above portrait of Conan O’Brien Stephen Heard hangs in the basement (pied a terre) level of the Georgia Governor’s Mansion.

On November 15, 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman’s army left Atlanta on its March to the Sea.

On November 15, the army began to move, burning the industrial section of Atlanta before leaving. One witness reported “immense and raging fires lighting up whole heavens… huge waves of fire roll up into the sky; presently the skeleton of great warehouses stand out in relief against sheets of roaring, blazing, furious flames.” Sherman’s famous destruction of Georgia had begun.

On November 15, 1977, President Jimmy Carter hosted the Shah of Iran in Washington, where they spent two days discussing U.S-Iranian relations.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Election

Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) wrote an op-ed in the Washington Times that I encourage you to read in its entirety.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 14, 2018

General Sherman’s army prepared for the March to the Sea on November 14, 1864.

On November 14, 1944, the Constitutional Convention working on a revised document for Georgia reversed its position on home rule that had been adopted the previous day on the motion of Governor Ellis Arnall.

Three astronauts with connections to Georgia – Eric Boe, Robert Kimbrough, and Sandra Magnus – were aboard the space shuttle Endeavor when it lifted off on November 14, 2008.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

State Representative John Meadows (R-Calhoun), Chair of the House Rules Committee has died after fighting cancer, according to News Channel 9.

“My dear friend John was a great man – brave Marine, loving father and adoring grandfather,” said Speaker Ralston. “He loved his family with total devotion. His public service, both as a Marine and a State Representative, was grounded in trying to ensure his children and grandchildren saw a better tomorrow.”

“John was outwardly fierce and courageous but he was, at the same time, one of the kindest and most generous souls you have ever met. There aren’t words to describe the magnitude of this loss for our House of Representatives or the State of Georgia, and my heart is simply broken under the weight of this sad news.

“My heart goes out to John’s family – particularly his beloved wife Marie, his children B.J. and Missy, and his grandsons Will, Patrick, and Max.”

Rep. Meadows was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in November, 2004 and represented the residents of Murray and Gordon Counties. In addition to chairing the Rules Committee, he also served on the Governmental Affairs, Industry and Labor, Insurance, Retirement, and Game, Fish, & Parks Committees.

Governor Nathan Deal unveiled his proposed legislation for South Georgia relief after Hurricane Michael, according to the AJC.

Gov. Nathan Deal proposed $200 million worth of income tax credits Tuesday for landowners in southwest Georgia as incentive for them to replant trees destroyed last month by Hurricane Michael.

The tax break was part of Deal’s package introduced as state lawmakers convened a special session designed to help fund the cleanup and rebuilding of southwest Georgia after the storm.

The tax break would aid both timber and pecan farmers who saw their trees destroyed by the storm.

The tax credits would be available to landowners in 28 counties hardest hit by the storm. Deal’s chief of staff, Chris Riley, called the $200 million “a drop in the bucket to what was lost.”

Deal also proposed about $270 million in other spending, much of it going to debris cleanup. The state will pay part of local government costs, including overtime for staffers who worked long hours during and after the storm.

From the AJC:

State Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, shared her love of the chairman.

He was “a person who cared very much for those that are disadva`ten champions legislation to protect children and senior citizens. “He also cared about the vulnerable population, whether it was young or old.”

Meadows stuck by his friends and left no doubt what he stood for, House Ways and Means Chairman Jay Powell said.

“He’d tell you exactly what he thought. You might not like it, but he was not going to sugarcoat it,” said Powell, a Republican from Camilla. “You didn’t really like it at the time, but in the long run it was the best thing for you to know where you stood and what he thought.”

Today, the State House will convene for Day Two of the 2018 Special Session, beginning at 10 AM.Continue Reading..