Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 14, 2014

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 14, 2014

On August 14, 1784, Russians invaded settled Alaska, founding the first permanent Russian settlement at Three Saints Bay.

Dentist, gambler, and gunfighter Doc Holliday was born on August 14, 1851 in Griffin, Georgia.

Speaking of Griffin, here’s an interesting list of ten things you didn’t know about Griffin, Georgia.

On August 14, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln hosted a group of African-American men at the White House to discuss emancipation of American slaves outside the United States as colonists.

The Second Battle of Dalton was joined on August 14, 1864.

Veterinary medicine was first regulated in Georgia after the signature by Gov. Hoke Smith of legislation on August 14, 1908.

Governor Richard Russell signed a proposed Constitutional Amendment removing the requirement that all taxes be paid before a citizen was allowed to vote.

The County Unit System of elections was created on August 14, 1917 when Governor Hugh Dorsey signed legislation by the General Assembly.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935. The road to perdition is paved with good intentions.

On August 14, 1945, the Japanese surrender to the Allies was made public in Japan.

In the afternoon of August 14, Japanese radio announced that an Imperial Proclamation was soon to be made, accepting the terms of unconditional surrender drawn up at the Potsdam Conference. That proclamation had already been recorded by the emperor.

A Special Session called by Governor Miller to address legislative redistricting after the United States Supreme Court threw out Georgia’s Congressional redistricting map was convened on August 14, 1995.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will announce that the following Co-Chairs have been named for his Georgia leadership team, joining Congressman Doug Collins (R-Gainesville), who was previously announced as Georgia Chair.

State Sen. Judson Hill
State Rep. Matt Ramsey, (R-Peachtree City) Georgia House Majority Caucus Whip
State Rep. Christian Coomer, (R-Cartersville)
Julianne Thompson, former co-chair of the Atlanta Tea Party
Rachel Little, former Gwinnett County Republican Party chair

Gov. Walker has experienced considerable support in Georgia, and his campaign will continue to have a strong presence in the state in advance of its March 1 primary election. Walker has made five trips to Georgia so far this year, and two since announcing his candidacy just a month ago. Among SEC Primary states, Gov. Walker’s message of fighting and winning for hard-working taxpayers has been especially well-received by voters, activists and elected leaders in Georgia.

This makes the second Presidential candidate to announce a Georgia state leadership team, after the Ted Cruz campaign’s announcement last week. Walker held a Meet and Greet event this past weekend at Lovie’s Barbecue in Buckhead during the Red State Gathering.

Earlier this summer, I interviewed Governor Walker on his campaign, and the importance of the SEC Primary to his effort.

rafael_cruz_flyer_general

Hispanic Patriots will host an event in Buford with Rafael Cruz, the father of United State Senator and Presidential candidate Ted Cruz. Rafael Cruz is every bit the gifted speaker his son is and it’ll be a great event.

Add the Buford Dam on Lake Lanier to the list of places you can’t fly your drone.

Motorists crossing over Buford Dam between Forsyth and Gwinnett County may have noticed an electronic sign encouraging safety.

The flashing messages read: “Be safe with fire.” “Wear your seatbelt.” “No drone zone.”

That last warning began appearing recently, said Lisa Parker, a deputy public affairs officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District, which encompasses Lake Lanier.

The corps, which manages the dam, wanted to alert visitors that using a drone to get footage of the area, which is government-owned property, is illegal.

Kennesaw Mayor Mark Matthews held a Town Hall meeting and wouldn’t answer a question about whether he’ll seek reelection.

Mathews said Thursday night he would not yet announce whether he was running for re-election.

The mayor referenced the upcoming election in his opening statements at the town hall meeting. In addition to the mayor’s position, council seats held by Cris Eaton-Welsh and Tim Killingsworth are on the November election ballot.

Qualifying for the seat will take place Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 at Kennesaw City Hall. Candidates for mayor must pay a fee of $576 and for the council must pay $360 to be eligible to run in the Nov. 3 election, according to the Cobb Elections office.

The State Elections Board has fined Fulton County $18,000 to settle a complaint over violations during the 2008 and 2012 elections.

The violations include failure to place voters in correct precincts, failure to update the supplemental voter list, failure to timely process address changes and other registration documents, failure to provide official voter lists to all precincts, failure to provide absentee ballots to all voters who requested them, failure to process all provisional ballots, failure to complete required paperwork to ensure the accuracy of the election and other violations.

These violations led to qualified voters not being allowed to cast ballots, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office said on Thursday in a news release.

“I am glad that we were able to come to an agreement with Fulton County on these issues,” said Secretary of State Brian Kemp, chairman of the State Election Board. “The size of this fine shows that Fulton County recognized there were serious issues in how it administered these elections, and I believe they are committed to fixing these issues going forward. The State Election Board has not and will not stand for violations of state election law. Anything that leads to qualified voters not being able to cast a ballot is completely unacceptable, and I applaud Fulton County for recognizing and fixing these issues. I also applaud the State Election Board for standing up for the right to vote.”

DeKalb Ethics Board finds Stan Watson violated code

The DeKalb County Ethics Board found last night that County Commissioner Stan Watson violated the county ethics code but declined to suspend or remove him from office.

The ethics board then considered whether to remove Watson from office or suspend him, but decided to reprimand him, instead.

Watson has admitted that a company called APD Solutions was paying him $500 a month at the very time the company was seeking a county contract.

Watson did, in fact, vote to award the company a one-million dollar county contract, and several months later, while he was still on the company payroll, voted again to award the company an additional $500,000.

Members of the ethics board called that a serious conflict of interest.

“It was evident that he had violated the code, based on the wording that was presented to us, and there’s no doubt in my mind about that,” ethics board member Nikki Forman told 11Alive News after the vote.  “However, I will go on record to say I don’t believe that he should be removed from office.”

Chairman John Ernst, who supported suspending Watson, said the board’s decision to reprimand Watson is more than just a slap on the wrist.

“The citizens will know that what he did is wrong, and Mr. Watson will also know that what he did was wrong,” Ernst said.  “And it’s something that probably can be used against him in a political campaign, that, in fact, he violated the code of ethics.”

DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester, the Board’s sole Republican, wrote on her blog that she had no advance notice of the soccer deal that will cost county taxpayers at least $12 million dollars.

DeKalb iCEO Lee May via his Chief of Staff Edmond Richardson has confirmed Nancy Jester was not invited to sign the April letter inviting Mr. Blank to consider DeKalb County.

Commissioner Nancy Jester had NO knowledge of any kind regarding the DeKalb soccer deal in April.

DeKalb County iCEO Lee May said differently on the day the Commission voted for the soccer deal.

Lee May Lie2

Then he won the first “GaPundit Award for Ironic Juxtaposition.”

Lee May Lie

 

Jester also writes that the use of County general funds to pay for the soccer facility is inappropriate and that Parks and Recreations funds should be used.

Building soccer fields and locating the County Parks and Recreation Department is clearly an expenditure that should be paid from the segregated, Parks and Recreation fund.  County residents pay a specific millage rate for that service.  I see no reason why cities that have their own Parks and Recreation Departments, for which their citizens are taxed, should pay for the County’s development of a parks and recreation facility and department office relocation and rent.  This is contrary to the purpose of fund accounting and the service delivery strategy that each city negotiates with the county.

Similarly, the Roads and Drainage component of this deal should be paid from the Roads and Drainage Fund.  There is no reason that cities that do not use DeKalb to provide these services should pay to demolish and relocate this department.

The abuse of the General Fund is striking.  Keep in mind that DeKalb raised the General Fund millage rate by over 2 mills this year; resulting in a millage rate increase for every city in DeKalb.  And this increase is on top of increased property assessments for 2015.

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