Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 30, 2017


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 30, 2017

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.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Marietta is considering regulating short-term rentals like AirBnB.

Marietta officials are talking about cracking down on some users of short-term rental websites like AirBnB who they say are overstaying their welcome in the city.

“When you go on AirBnB today and look at Marietta places, there’s a couch in Marietta. $15 a night,” said Councilman Stuart Fleming at a meeting of the city’s Judicial and Legislative Committee Wednesday night. “I’m not making it up. How do you get that person?”

A bill that would prevent local governments from regulating or prohibiting short-term or vacation rentals offered by services like AirBnB was filed earlier this year by state Rep. Matt Dollar, R-east Cobb. The bill didn’t receive a vote, but because the Georgia Legislature works in two-year cycles, the bill is still on the books and could get a vote after the Legislature convenes in January.

The city has received complaints about noise, increased trash and traffic from these rental properties, and they may also be taking money from the city by not charging guests hotel taxes.

One option being considered by city staff would be to implement an ordinance similar to one being considered by Knoxville, Tennessee, that would require those who wish to operate short-term rentals to get a license from the city.

Governor Nathan Deal could be required to testify in the case against citizen-journalist Nydia Tisdale.

A motion to quash a subpoena served to Gov. Nathan Deal by the defense team for citizen journalist and Roswell resident Nydia Tisdale was denied by Senior Superior Court Judge Martha Christian mid-trial Wednesday night.

Deal was served the subpoena by Tisdale’s defense on Monday; service was accepted by Deal’s executive legal assistant Rhonda Barnes.

Northeastern Judicial Circuit Senior Assistant District Attorney Conley Greer filed a motion to quash the subpoena on Wednesday morning on behalf of Deal.

Greer said a “definite, definite” time would need to be set for Deal to attend the trial.

Christian decided to uphold the subpoena despite her hesitancy over the governor having such late notice.

Deal was one among many other state officials to be served subpoenas by the defense.

Robin Martinelli, an investigator and process server working with Tisdale’s defense team, said that officials who were served subpoenas either personally or through their counsel include state Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods, state Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler and former Attorney General Sam Olens.

She said an attempt was also made to serve U.S. Senator David Perdue, R-Ga., and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, but that the two are currently in Washington, D.C.

State Rep. Sam Watson (R-Moultrie) will speak at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College’s fall commencement on December 14th.

ABAC President David Bridges and ABAC Alumni Association President Niki Vanderslice will present the George P. Donaldson Award and the ABAC Alumni Association Award to the top associate degree graduate and the top bachelor’s degree graduate participating in the ceremony.

Watson, a 1999 ABAC graduate, represents House District 172 in the General Assembly. He is also a Colquitt County farmer who is the managing partner of Chill C Farms and the Moultrie Melon Company.

Watson was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award presented by the ABAC Alumni Association in recognition of alumni who have distinguished themselves through professional achievement, community service and service to ABAC.

Selected as the Freshman Legislator of the Year by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce in 2014, Watson is the Rural Caucus chair in the House and serves on the House Agriculture Committee. He is also the vice chair on the Appropriations Economic Development Subcommittee, vice chair on Transportation, vice chair on Natural Resources, vice chair on Special Rules, and secretary on the Retirement and Ways and Means Committee.

Floyd County Commissioners are working on bringing pay levels for correctional officers on par with police officers and sheriff’s deputies.

Larry O. Morten, a former bookkeeper for the Glynn County Clerk of Superior Court has been indicted.

A former Glynn County court bookkeeper was indicted Wednesday on 70 counts of theft in the taking of more than $76,000 from the courts, most of the money coming from child-support funds.

A Glynn County grand jury returned the indictment against Larry O. Morten who was discharged from his job Jan. 23, 2015, about two months after Chief Deputy Clerk of Superior Court Darren Jones discovered money missing from various court accounts.

Morten was hired in August 2008 as an accounting technician, and he was fired for “misappropriation of funds,” Glynn County said.

The indictment accuses Morten of taking $76,008.75 from October 2008 until November 2014.

That amount comes nowhere near the last estimate of $673,000 that is missing from the court. The indictment does not address that gap.

Most of the money was taken from the Superior Court’s Child Support Receiver account.

The challenge to Linda Pritchett’s candidacy in the SD 39 runoff election was rejected.

The Secretary of State’s Office on Wednesday evening responded to a request from a Senate District 39 voter who asked Secretary of State Brian Kemp to challenge Pritchett’s qualifications, alleging she had lied on her declaration of candidacy.

In a letter to Erin Glynn, the Fulton County attorney who made the request, the general counsel for the Secretary of State’s Office, Ryan Germany, said Pritchett pleaded guilty in 2006 to a misdemeanor offense of larceny in Fairfax County General Court in Virginia.

Glynn in her letter to the Secretary of State’s Office pointed to an internet background check service that alleged Pritchett had pleaded guilty to felony larceny charges. Pritchett told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier this week that she has never pleaded guilty to a felony.

Fred Swann, running as a Democrat for the 8th Congressional District, spoke to the Tifton Gazette.

“Rural infrastructure is a thing that nobody wants to work on, but it is the bedrock of economic development for these areas,” said Swann. “If we don’t get this right and get it right soon, then some of these communities are getting ready to evaporate.

“We are going to have to work on a big investment in rural infrastructure. It’s a “have-to” because these places are dying. Through no fault of their own—they are fighting with every thing they have got to do well with what they have, but they just need some help to create that foundation that they can grow.”

Swann lists several areas of infrastructure development he’d like to focus on: roads, water and power and broadband internet access.

“That digital divide is enough,” said Swann. “Even if they didn’t have other issues like smart grid electrification or not enough access to major roads, etc. That one thing would be enough to push them apart where they’re no longer able to compete. And that divide continues to grow as our technology continue to evolve and advance.

“I just don’t know that we can continue to trust people who will hijack people’s healthcare for their own political reasons,” said Swann. “Personally, I’m fighting for Medicare for all as a solution.”

Swann and Jimmy McInnis are currently running for the Democrat nomination.

Incumbent Austin Scott and Danny Ellyson are expected to run for the Republican nomination.


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