Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 3, 2017

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 3, 2017

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.

Alexander Stephens was sworn-in as Governor of Georgia on November 4, 1882; Stephens had earlier been elected Vice-President of the Confederate States of America.

Democrat Woodrow Wilson, who spent part of his youth in Augusta, Georgia and married Ellen Louise Axson, whom he met in Rome, Georgia, was elected President in a landslide victory on November 5, 1912.

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.

Howard Carter found an entrance to the tomb of King Tutankhamen on November 4, 1922.

On November 4, 1932 Georgia Governor Richard B. Russell, Jr. campaigned on behalf of Democratic candidate for President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to his unprecedented third term as President of the United States on November 5, 1940.

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, 1964, Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson was elected President over Republican Barry Goldwater.

Richard M. Nixon was elected President of the United States by a plurality vote on November 5, 1968.

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

On November 4, 1980, Republican Ronald Reagan was elected President, winning 489 electoral votes to 49 for incumbent Jimmy Carter.

Note on the electoral map in that clip, states that Reagan won were colored blue, and Georgia was a red state, going for Jimmy Carter.

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.

On November 5, 2002, Sonny Perdue was elected the first Republican Governor of Georgia since Reconstruction, beginning the modern era of Republican dominance of Georgia state politics.

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

On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama was elected President, becoming the first African-American elected to the position.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Americus voters are deciding whether to allow Sunday sales of liquor.

If voters pass the referendum, several package stores would be allowed to sell liquor on Sundays from 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

The referendum is on the ballot for Americus voters on Tuesday, November 7.

Also on the ballot for Americus voters is a mayoral election between incumbent Barry Blount and Laura Lee Bernstein.

Floyd County voters have two Special Purpose Local Option Sales Taxes on their ballots.

Floyd County voters are slated to decide on five-year extensions of the ELOST and SPLOST collections.

The 1-cent education local option sales tax would fund up to $80 million in school construction projects. A $63.8 million package is proposed for funding through the 1-cent special purpose, local option sales tax.

Elections Supervisor Willie Green said 3,109 voters had cast ballots as of Thursday at the three locations. Fewer than 15,000 people voted on the 2013 SPLOST and ELOST packages.

South Georgia early voters are said to be coming out in large numbers for early voting.

Residents in Mitchell County have been coming out to the polls in large numbers. District two has seen 385 early voters and district one has already seen 126 voters.

Crisp County has also seen an overwhelming amount of early voters with 570 votes thus far.

Dougherty County only has one contested election in Ward Two. As of Tuesday, 68 early voters have come out to the polls and seven have mailed in ballots.

In Worth County, 140 early voters have come out to the polls.

In Irwin County, two districts are up for grabs along with an amendment to keep SPLOST. 162 voters have exercised their right to vote early.

“Large numbers” and “overwhelming” being, of course, relative.

Candidates for Senate District 6 are spending tons of other peoples’ money.

The Gwinnett Daily Post has extensive coverage of local elections:

Duluth City Council District 2

Braselton City Council District 4

Peachtree Corners City Council Post 4

Lilburn City Council Post 3

Norcross City Council

Savannah City Council will vote whether to proceed with a $12.8 million reconstruction of Memorial Stadium.

Snellville‘s Prescription Drug Take Back event netted 243 pounds of unwanted prescription medication.

Pooler opened its new municipal complex comprising a courthouse and three-story city hall and police headquarters.

State legislators will recommend that state government consolidate data across departments.

Georgia’s agencies maintain separate files and can’t easily share information.

[Georgia’s Joint Study Committee on Transparency and Open Access in Government] — chaired by Rome Republicans Sen. Chuck Hufstetler and Rep. Katie Dempsey — plans to recommend a state data integration plan to the General Assembly in 2018.

“This is a very important path: Evidence-based policy-making,” Patterson said.

“I could feel the light bulbs going off up here,” said Dempsey, who chairs the House human resources budget subcommittee.

Hufstetler, who serves on the Health Care Reform Task Force, homed in several times on how an integrated data system would benefit a revamp of state services.

He said he expects at least one more meeting of the joint open access committee before it files its final report.

Flowery Branch city council voted to raise water and sewer rates 4%.

The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce hosted a legislative forum.

Former Rep. Ben Harbin served as the keynote speaker for the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce-sponsored breakfast at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion.

Delegates who spoke at the breakfast included Sen. Jesse Stone, of Waynesboro, representing District 23; Rep. Barry Fleming, of Harlem, District 121; Sen. Lee Anderson, of Grovetown, District 24; Rep. Jodi Lott, of Evans, District 122; Rep. Tom McCall, of Elberton, District 33; and Rep. Mark Newton, of Augusta, District 123.

Each year, the delegates espouse the goals and expectations they have for the legislative session in Atlanta, where they will begin work at the beginning of the year.

The Georgia Tea Party issued a statement supporting the completion of two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle.

The group said in a press release it acknowledges that developing a free market in electric power generation and distribution is desirable, but current technology makes that goal both expensive and impractical.

“While we are mindful of the principles of free market economics, we also acknowledge that the electric power industry, which is regulated by the elected Public Service Commission, has been successful in providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity in our state for a number of years,” said J.D. Van Brink, party chairman.

“Electric power rates in Georgia are among the most competitive in the nation. These competitive rates make life more affordable for residential customers and help businesses compete here at home and in international markets.”

Van Brink went on to call it critical that the project was finished.

“Nuclear power is a vital source for inexpensive, reliable electricity in Georgia. Finally, national security interests require that the U.S. remain a leader in nuclear power development. To allow another nation to take the lead would be a big mistake.”

The Georgia Supreme Court reversed a decision by the Court of Appeals on Open Records and remanded it to the trial court.

[T]he Georgia Supreme Court has reversed lower court rulings that barred access to Northside Hospital’s financial records.

The unanimous decision, announced Thursday, remands the case back to the trial court. Justice Nels Peterson wrote that the trial court applied the wrong legal standard in ruling against access to the records by plaintiff E. Kendrick Smith, an attorney.

At the heart of the long-running dispute was whether the nonprofit Northside Hospital was subject to the state’s open records law.

Attorney Peter Canfield had argued for the plaintiff that Northside – a hospital system based in Atlanta – is subject to the Georgia Open Records Act because it was created by a public hospital authority, which is a government entity, and that the system operates solely on the authority’s behalf.

A Northside spokesman, Lee Echols, said that “we are grateful that the Georgia Supreme Court has decisively rejected the appellant’s claim that virtually every Northside Hospital document is a public record, just as the trial court and Court of Appeals previously have stated.

“From the beginning, the single goal of Mr. Smith has been to gain access, on behalf of a Northside Hospital competitor, to confidential business information that is clearly protected from disclosure,’’ Echols said. “Northside Hospital looks forward to prevailing as we move forward in the legal process.”

Northside’s restructuring occurred in the early 1990s. It’s now an extremely successful hospital system, with more than $2 billion in revenues, and is set to add Gwinnett Medical Center, a large suburban system, to its fold. Northside has said for years that its flagship Atlanta hospital delivers more babies than any other community hospital in the nation.

Georgia Democrats are fielding candidates in all of this month’s special elections for state legislative seats.

All nine seats up for grabs in Tuesday’s state legislative special elections feature a Democratic contender — no small feat for a party that often doesn’t mount even token opposition in GOP strongholds. Party leaders hope the challengers, despite the long odds, are a taste of what’s to come next year.

Democrats are in the running to represent districts covering parts of Athens, Cumming, Dalton and Watkinsville that haven’t seen a Democratic challenger since the maps were redrawn in 2012. And they’re mounting a furious campaign to wrest away an Atlanta-based district that a political newcomer almost won last year.

Some of the Democratic candidates acknowledge it’s a long shot to win districts that have long been held by Republicans. But they say they’re eager to offer voters another choice after elections of one-party rule. Besides, they add, anything can happen in low-turnout special elections.

Several of the districts up for grabs are, like the Smyrna seat, Democratic strongholds. But House Minority Leader Bob Trammell said the Democratic challenges in more hostile territory make Tuesday’s vote a watershed moment for a party ready to scrap with the GOP.

“Our candidates are making the Democratic case from Watkinsville to Whitfield County,” he said, “and voters are excited to have competitive campaigns presenting important policy contrasts on the issues.”

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating allegations of animal cruelty at the Warner Robins Animal Control shelter.

The Houston County Sheriff’s Office asked the GBI to take on the case after a complaint by a county animal control officer. The county contracts with the city to keep animals at the shelter.

The Warner Robins Police Department operates the animal shelter. Police spokeswoman Jennifer Parson said in an email that she could not comment on the allegation because it is a pending investigation.

“However, we are confident that the investigation will reveal the truth,” she said. “We also stand behind our employees.”

J.T. Ricketson, the special agent in charge of the Perry GBI office, confirmed in an email that the agency had been asked to “look into some allegations of possible animal cruelty at an animal shelter in Houston County.”

The complaint came a week after the city shelter euthanized 61 dogs and cats on Oct. 20.

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