Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 3, 2016


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 3, 2016

John Willis Menard became the first black man elected to Congress on November 3, 1868 from the Second District of Louisiana. Menard’s election opponent challenged the results and prevented Menard from taking his seat, though in defense of his election Menard became the first black man to address Congress.

On November 3, 1913, details of the federal income tax were finalized and published after the ratification earlier in the year of the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Bacon, Barrow, Candler, and Evans Counties were created on November 3, 1914 when voters approved Constitutional Amendments – prior to these Amendments, Georgia was limited to 145 counties. On the same day, Carl Vinson was elected to Congress from Georgia, becoming the youngest member of Congress at the time. Vinson would eventually become the first Member of Congress to serve more than fifty years. Vinson’s grandson, Sam Nunn would serve in the United States Senate.

The Chicago Tribune published the infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline on November 3, 1948. Ultimately, Democrat Truman won 303 electoral votes to 189 for Republican Dewey.

Laika, a female Siberian Husky mix who was found stray on the streets of Moscow, was launched into space aboard Sputnik 2 on November 3, 1957.

On November 3, 1968, Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson was elected President over Republican Barry Goldwater.

On November 3, 1970, Jimmy Carter was elected Governor of Georgia.

Democrat Cynthia McKinney became the first African-Amercian female elected to Congress from Georgia on November 3, 1992.

On November 3, 1998, Democrat Thurbert Baker was elected Attorney General and Michael Thurmond was elected Commissioner of Labor, becoming the first African-Americans elected to statewide executive office in Georgia.

One World Trade Center opened on November 3, 2014, more than thirteen years after the 9/11 attacks.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The mighty Berkmar High School celebrates its 50th Anniversary this week.

It’s scheduled for 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 5 and includes food prepared by culinary arts students, music from fine arts students and student-led tours of the school. Berkmar memorabilia from across the decades will be on display. At 3:45 p.m. a program will begin in the theater with videos and a number distinguished guest speakers, including community leaders and alumni, who will reflect on the school’s community and students over the years.

Lilburn Mayor Johnny Crist will read a proclamation at the event declaring the date Berkmar High School Day in honor of its 50th year.

The school was formed from the consolidation of Lilburn and Bethesda high schools, and the name came from the combining of two voting districts, Berkshire and Martins. Lilburn and Bethesda were the last of 10 high schools to be consolidated in Gwinnett. Since there was such great rivalry, it took several years to agree upon a name and a location for the new high school.

The first enrollment was 425 students from eighth-grade through 12th grade. This school year, it has 2,951 students.

Site Selection magazine has named Georgia the number one state in which to do business for the fourth year in a row, according to a press release by Gov. Nathan Deal.

For a remarkable fourth time in a row, Georgia has once again been named the top state in nation in which to do business, highlighting the vitality of our state economy and the business-friendly environment that continues to help companies grow,” said Deal. “The collaborative framework on both state and local levels has led to the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs for Georgia families, enhanced community outreach by investing millions in local areas and improved the overall quality of life for all citizens. In the last four years, many small businesses have expanded in Georgia and numerous international companies have established operations here, reflecting the foundation offered to job creators. Georgia leads the way in providing companies with a low tax burden and a business-friendly climate. In return, there have been more than 575,000 private sector jobs created since 2011. This recognition for our statewide economic development is a testament to the unwavering commitment displayed by our industry leaders, community partners and the people of Georgia.”

“Georgia’s fourth consecutive top state business climate ranking is based on where corporate expansion projects are occurring and where investors say they want to commit their capital for the long term,” said Mark Arend, editor-in-chief of Site Selection. “Our readers say the state’s fiscal soundness, predictable economic and regulatory climate, workforce and transportation infrastructure are their main reasons for investing in Georgia.”

“Site Selection’s fourth consecutive No. 1 ranking speaks volumes to our business-friendly environment, world-class infrastructure network, top-notch academic institutions, nationally-ranked training programs and vibrant socioeconomic culture,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Governor Deal made Georgia a state with a reputation for success, which we celebrate today with our economic development partners across the state.”

Amendment One, the Opportunity School District Amendment may not be sunk, but it appears to be taking on water.

A pro-Amendment 1 group responsible for spending tens of thousands of dollars on Georgia TV stations since September has cancelled all air time outside metro Atlanta, and curtailed its spending within the metro Atlanta market.

The group, which has made its purchases under the name of “Opportunity for All Georgia Students,” had cancelled – as of Tuesday – TV ads scheduled for airing by the top TV stations in Columbus, Augusta, Savannah, Albany, and Macon.

Atlanta television stations may be the biggest losers in Georgia this year, with Presidential campaigns bypassing the pricy media market.

Clinton has spent more than $3 million on television ads in Florida, compared with a $100,000 Georgia buy in September.Clinton may be spending pennies in Georgia compared with other swing states, but Tharon Johnson, a top Democratic operative in Georgia who helped lead Obama’s 2012 campaign in the South, sees this year’s numbers as encouraging news for Democrats in Georgia.

An uptick in presidential spending in Georgia is notable, he said, since for years the state was deemed so safely in control by the GOP that neither side found it worthwhile to spend money here.

“This is the process that a battleground state goes through when they’re shifting from being red to purple, which means that it’s a cognitive growing process in resources,” Johnson said.

The Trump campaign, meanwhile, has only spent about 12 percent of what Clinton has here ahead of Tuesday’s election, or $233,000 — not even enough to buy him a house in many corners of Atlanta. And his two joint fundraising committees with the Republican National Committee have not spent any money in Georgia in anticipation of the election.

The Cherokee County Republican Party voted to oppose Amendment One, according to the group’s Facebook page, where you can view the full text of the resolution.

Holly Springs voters will elect a new Mayor as Tim Downing is not running for reelection.

At the municipal level, Holly Springs will see a new mayor elected for the first time in more than a decade, with candidates Steve Miller and Jim Laughlin vying to fill the seat of outgoing Mayor Tim Downing.

What has been a relatively quiet campaign season so far is heating up, with an ethics complaint filed Monday against Miller alleging the candidate incorrectly filled out his campaign disclosures.

That complaint, however, will not be reviewed until after the General Election, an official with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission said Tuesday.

The complaint, was mailed to the commission Oct. 26 by Holly Springs resident Debbie Proctor.

In the complaint Proctor alleges Miller failed to list the occupation and employer of donors who gave more than $100 to his campaign efforts in his June disclosure. The complaint also says Miller failed to list his purchase of yard signs on the campaign expenditures portion of his disclosure forms.`

State Rep. Andy Welch (R-McDonough) writes in favor of Amendment Two in the Newnan Times-Herald.

Earlier this year, the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office participated in Operation Riptide, an undercover investigation coordinated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center and 18 other members of the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Together, they arrested 18 alleged predators, all of whom were accused of targeting at least one minor for purposes none of us want to imagine.

As a community, we should be grateful for the efforts made by law enforcement agencies in Coweta and across the state to stop the unspeakable crimes of child trafficking and exploitation. We should also come together to assist the young victims whose innocence has been forever lost and who too often have no place to turn.

These are the children sitting in our schools, playing in our neighborhoods and sitting next to us in church. They are boys and girls, black and white, wealthy and poor. They have one thing in common – they have been tricked or coerced into circumstances that have drastically changed their lives.

This November, on the general election ballot, we have the opportunity to ensure that these children – with an average age of only 13 – have access to the care and support they need to move forward and rebuild a normal life.

Those who oppose this amendment either do not believe that funding should be dedicated or they disagree with placing a fee on any particular industry. The fact is that if funds are not dedicated they are vulnerable each year to shifting priorities and political agendas. Ten hours of testimony and debate considered by House and Senate committees revealed that pimps use these venues to market their human commodities – which at times includes children.

No child chooses to be trafficked or sexually exploited. They grow up with very different dreams about what life is going to be like and have ended up in the middle of a nightmare. Voting yes on Amendment 2 will give them their dreams and their life back. We owe them that chance.

Henry County has avoided stories of vote-flipping machines in early voting.

“If units are calibrated correctly, there shouldn’t be any issues,” she said.

She did, however, note that one voter with longer fingernails complained of voting issues and said issues can often occur with voters who rest other fingers on the touch-screen voting machines.

Early voting will continue at five locations throughout Henry County through Friday. Election day is Tuesday.

Newnan County has not been so fortunate, with the Secretary of State’s office opening an investigation after a voter complaint.

More than 25,000 Cowetans have already cast their votes for the presidential and general election.

One of those voters allegedly had issues having the electronic voting machines properly record a vote, and the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office has opened an investigation into the problem.

Coweta Elections Superintendent Jane Scoggins said no claims of anyone having problems were reported to poll workers or poll managers at Coweta’s two early voting locations. She said the first inkling she had of the state investigation was when a reporter contacted her Wednesday, after the investigation was mentioned in an online Atlanta Journal-Constitution article.

She did receive a call later in the day about the investigation. Scoggins said the investigator she talked to told her that the problem wasn’t reported by the affected voter, but by a third party.

The investigation was opened on Wednesday after receiving a complaint, said Candice Broce, press secretary for Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

“It appears that it was someone who had difficulty making selections on the voting machine,” she said.

Broce said that the office had received similar complaints in three other counties, and opened investigations in all of them. Last week, the office investigated problems in Bryan County. It was determined that Bryan County officials did not properly test the machine.

The AJC notes additional complaints about voting procedures.

The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it has opened investigations into four additional counties including Baldwin, Clayton, Cobb and Coweta. In each instance, the office received notice from state Democratic officials of an individual voter in each of those counties who reported a problem with an individual machine. Officials removed a machine in Bryan County last week after the AJC reported a similar problem, and that original investigation remains open.

Congressman John Lewis traveled to Florida to campaign with Hillary Clinton.

On Tuesday, [Clinton] traveled with Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights hero, who reminded Clinton supporters of the struggle to secure the right to vote. And on Wednesday morning, she stopped at an early voting state in a largely Caribbean-American neighborhood.

“We must get out and vote like we’ve never voted before,” Lewis told a crowd of about 4,000 people in Ft. Lauderdale. “Don’t let anyone keep you home.”

The Georgia Court of Appeals sided with former Snellville Mayor Kelly Kautz in a dispute with the city over attorney fees.

The legal battle between Kautz and the city over the fees stretch well over a year, to when she was still Snellville’s mayor. Kautz had taken the city council to court over the powers of the mayor versus the powers of the council, and the suit ended in a settlement.

That set up the legal battle over the attorney fees. A Gwinnett County superior Court judge sided with Kautz last year, awarding her $88,000 in attorney fees. City officials have been fighting it since then, arguing they shouldn’t have to pay the fees because it ended in a settlement and they felt that meant she didn’t win.

“The city has not cited any applicable authority, nor have we found any on point, suggesting that Kautz was not successful in asserting her position because she obtained relief by virtue of a settlement agreement instead of from a jury or the court,” the appeals court judges wrote in their decision …

“We note that, generally, one may be considered to have prevailed on a claim, even though a case has settled, when the court can deduce from the settlement agreement that the party obtained the relief sought.”

Grantville City Council member David Riley has resigned due to moving outside the city.

City Manager Al Grieshaber said it is his understanding that the council will appoint someone to fill his remaining term and that is his recommendation for the item to be discussed at the next council meeting on Monday, Nov. 14. Whether or not any action is taken is up to the council.

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