Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 12, 2022


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 12, 2022

Former Confederate President Alexander Stephens was released from federal prison on October 12, 1865 and returned to Georgia.

On October 13, 1870, Governor Rufus Bullock signed legislation creating the Georgia State Board of Education.

On October 13, 1885, Governor Henry McDaniel signed legislation authorizing the creation of a state school of technology as a branch of the University of Georgia; the school would open in Atlanta in October 1888, and in 1948 was renamed the Georgia Institute of Technology.

On October 13, 1918, the ban on public gatherings in Atlanta to prevent spread of the Spanish flu, was extended an additional week.

1929 UGA vs Yale Tix

The first game in Sanford Stadium was played on October 12, 1929, with the University of Georgia Bulldogs beating the Yale Bulldogs. Here is ten minutes of the game.


On October 12, 1958, The Temple was bombed after a phone call to WSB warned that Black churches and Jewish temples would be blown up.

On October 13, 1976, Democrat Jimmy Carter received a post-debate bump against President Gerald Ford, with polls showing Carter at 50%-40% over the incumbent, up from 47%-45% before the debate.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Quote of the Day comes from Vienna Mayor Eddie Daniels after he rescued a family from a trainwreck. From 13WMAZ:

“It knocked me foolish for a few minutes,” Daniels said.

A new poll by the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs show Governor Brian Kemp with a wider lead over Democrat Stacey Abrams, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has opened a double-digit lead over Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams, according to a poll released Wednesday.

However, Georgia’s U.S. Senate race is in a dead heat, the Capitol Beat/Georgia News Collaborative Poll found in a survey of 1,030 likely general election voters conducted Sept. 15-Oct. 4 by the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs.

The survey found state Sen. Burt Jones, R-Jackson, with a slight lead for the open lieutenant governor’s seat over Democrat Charlie Bailey.

Kemp drew the support of 51% of poll respondents to 40.7% for Abrams, giving the governor a lead of 10.3%. Libertarian Shane Hazel was a distant third with 2.3%, while 6% of those surveyed were undecided.

Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., was favored by 46.4% of the poll respondents, to 43.4% for Republican challenger Herschel Walker. Given the poll’s margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, the race is essentially tied.

Support for Jones stood at 43.5%, with 38.8% of survey respondents favoring Bailey. Factoring in the margin of error left Jones with a slight lead over his Democratic rival for lieutenant governor. Libertarian Ryan Graham was third at 4.0%, and 13.8% of respondents were undecided.

The survey found Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger well ahead of state Rep. Bee Nguyen, 47.9% to 33.9%

Likewise, GOP Attorney General Chris Carr held a strong lead over Democratic state Sen. Jen Jordan, 47.4% to 38.8%.

Black voters who responded to the poll overwhelmingly preferred Democrats Abrams and Warnock, not surprising since most Black voters support Democratic candidates. But Warnock outperformed Abrams among that group of voters, 89% to 80.7%.

Walker, a former University of Georgia football star, drew only 2% support among Black voters, while Kemp was preferred by 8% of Black survey respondents.

From the AJC:

The results reinforced a trend of lagging support among Black voters that has dogged Abrams’ campaign. It shows that 81% of Black voters back the Democrat, 8% support Kemp and 10% are undecided. Strategists say Abrams must be at least 10 points higher among Black voters, the most reliable Democratic constituency.

Warnock, the state’s first Black U.S. senator, outperformed Abrams among African American voters with 89% of the vote. That’s a 12-point gain compared with the last UGA poll in September, while Abrams’ support in the demographic grew by about 2 percentage points.

Kemp’s approval rating hit 54%, fueled by broad backing from conservatives and older Georgians. It’s the latest poll that shows Kemp has largely consolidated the Republican base after humbling a Donald Trump-backed opponent in the May GOP primary.

The Georgia Department of Public Health reports lower numbers for COVID and monkeypox statewide, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Rome News Tribune.

COVID cases in Georgia are down about 80% since mid-August, Dr. Cherie Drenzek, the agency’s epidemiologist and chief science officer, told members of the state Board of Public Health.

Hospitalizations are down 89% since the omicron variant hit its peak last winter, while the number of deaths from the virus in Georgia has fallen to about 100 per week, she said.

However, three new omicron subvariants are starting to show up in Georgia and around the country, Drenzek said. Together, they account for about 23% of the current caseload in Georgia, she said.

Drenzek said cases of monkeypox have declined consistently during the last few weeks both in Georgia and nationally.

Georgia has 1,839 cases of the virus in 64 counties, she said. However, 85% of those cases are concentrated in metro Atlanta, she said.

The vast majority of cases are in men who have sex with men, Drenzek said. In fact, 98% of the Georgia cases are in men.

Only 5% percent of the state’s monkeypox patients are hospitalized, Drenzek said.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R-Johns Creek) said he expects high turnout in November, according to WTVM.

Many have criticized Raffensperger and other Republicans for passing Georgia’s new “Election Integrity Act.”

Critics call the law restrictive, saying it will make voting more difficult, but Raffensperger says the numbers speak for themselves.

“Under the Election Integrity Act, we had 800,000 more voters than ever before. We’ll make sure we have fair and honest elections. It’s never been easier to register to vote. It’s never been easier to vote.”

Raffensperger predicts a high voter turnout for the upcoming midterms, driven by several national issues, including the economy and abortion — not to mention the important congressional, state and local offices.

WTOC misspelled his surname eight times in two different variations.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency changed rules that will help Gullah Geechee communities to access aid, according to WTOC.

Until recently, FEMA required documentation like a deed or title to prove residency causing problems for those whose land goes back generations but without much paperwork being filed.

“This has a huge impact on Gullah Geechee populations from North Carolina to north of Jacksonville,” said Meldon Hollis, a retired emergency management professor.

At a community meeting Monday, the former emergency management professor explained a change in FEMA guidelines that’ll allow the native island community to sleep better during summer storms.

Instead of needing a deed or title to their homes, FEMA is now accepting alternative paperwork to recognize land ownership like tax receipts, bills, or addressed mail from the government.

”We may not all have the documents readily available, but if it’s as simple as a utility bill or something like that then that makes it a lot easier.”

Thanks to the easier path to proving ownership, Hollis wants native islanders to know an initial rejection to an insurance claim will now be easier to overturn.

Former Georgia Governor and current Chancellor of the University System of Georgia Sonny Perdue spoke with the Dalton Daily Citizen News.

“Our job is to help them (students) succeed in their lives,” said Chancellor of the University System of Georgia Sonny Perdue. “Higher education is that important. It can change lives. We call it a million-dollar deal. Over their lifetimes, people who receive a college degree will make an average of $1 million more than if they hadn’t earned that degree.”

Perdue and members of the university system’s Board of Regents, who oversee the system, are meeting Tuesday and Wednesday at Dalton State College.

Perdue, a former Georgia governor, said in today’s job market, where some low-skilled jobs are paying up to $20 an hour, it can be tempting for someone graduating from high school to go to work.

“We want them to take the long view and see that a college degree is a pretty good investment,” he said.

Perdue said the university system is also trying to increase the number of articulation agreements between schools in the system and schools in the Technical College System of Georgia or between different schools in the university system.

For instance, students with associate degrees in engineering technology or information technology from Georgia Northwestern Technical College can transfer into a related bachelor’s degree program at Dalton State College.

“We want to give them a clear path to career advancement,” Perdue said.

Perdue said holding the cost of higher education down is one of the Board of Regents’ highest priorities. There have been no tuition increases in the last three years and none in five of the past seven years.

Fewer than half of voters watch traditional over-the-air stations, according to The Hill via WSAV.

The poll found that only 49 percent of registered voters nationwide have traditional TV subscriptions, and the figure falls to 39 percent in 10 key battleground states.

But more than 80 percent of registered voters nationally and in key battleground states indicated they stream television.

Those 10 battleground states were Pennsylvania, Nevada, Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Florida and Colorado.

“The story this election season is the same whether you are looking nationally or at the key battleground states. Voters have left traditional linear television in droves,” Ashwin Navin, co-founder and CEO of Samba TV, said in a statement.

“Only 39 percent of independent swing voters in battleground states have traditional TV,” Navin continued. “With so many elections now being determined by the slimmest of margins, campaigns need to dramatically rethink how they reach voters in the closing weeks to ensure they are not just saturating the same shrinking number of households with ads while leaving the vast majority of the electorate under-reached.”

The poll found millennials and Gen Z voters were more than twice as likely to stream than having a traditional linear television subscription. The gap only grew when polling those younger voters in battleground states.

“The data points very clearly that the future king of political ad spending will be streaming. Voter eyeballs are more likely to be present there by a factor of almost two to one,” said Dritan Nesho, founder and CEO of HarrisX.

The pollsters also looked at respondents’ social media use, finding that Facebook remains the most used platform nationally by registered voters, although Gen Z voters are staying away from the platform in larger proportions and moving to TikTok and YouTube.

Thirty-seven percent of Democratic voters indicated they use TikTok weekly, compared to 27 percent of Republicans.

Friday’s debate between U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker will be invitation only for the live show, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The long-anticipated showdown will be held before a live audience of approximately 440 attendees at Plant Riverside’s District Live event venue. But attendance is by invitation-only – with the campaigns issuing the invites.

The general manager of Nextar’s local TV station, NBC affiliate WSAV, said the tickets were split amongst the two campaigns, who will be responsible for filling the seats.

“There were no tickets sold,” said WSAV’s David Hart. “There was a relatively small allotment. It’s not a large venue compared to an auditorium. Less than 200 tickets are available, the vast majority of them were divided equally between the two campaigns, and those tickets are in their hands now.”

The rest of the tickets, Hart said, were split among WSAV and Nexstar.

Election officials vow to enforce “no phone” rules in voting precincts, according to The Brunswick News.

People are asked to leave their cellphones in their vehicles before entering a polling place. Cellphones brought into a polling place must not be visible and must be turned off.

Violators will be asked to put their phones in their vehicles if they ring or are seen inside a polling place.

Chris Channell, supervisor of the Glynn County Board of Elections and Registration, told board members at Tuesday’s meeting that the new state law will be enforced without exception.

“This is something strictly enforced this year,” he said. “If they talk back, fight, argue, this is something we are going to enforce.”

The board is also close to achieving its goal of having no polling places in public schools.

“Hopefully, we’ll be out of all the schools by the end of the year,” Channell said. “Unfortunately, some schools could become backups in case of an emergency.”

The Georgia General Assembly’s Joint Study Committee on Georgia Music Heritage heard suggestions for fostering the music industry in Georgia, according to the Center Square via the Albany Herald.

State lawmakers could soon consider increasing the state’s tax incentives for music or creating a state-run music office to help performers, managers, songwriters and producers.

The state office’s staff would advocate in Georgia and at the federal level on behalf of issues that affect songwriters and performers, such as royalties, David Lowery, an Athens-based musician, told the committee. The office could potentially partner with state offices in other states to study relevant issues.

“Most musicians are hard-working entrepreneur types and not really looking for a handout,” Lowery, a University of Georgia Music Business School professor, told lawmakers. “What they’re really looking for is to be treated fairly under the rules and regulations and how business is supposed to work in the United States.”

“The Texas music office, as well as the city of Austin music office, have weighed in quite helpfully on behalf of songwriters and performers when we’re getting the short end of the stick with royalties,” Lowery said.

Brian Hudson, a musician and Georgia Music Partners advisory board member, urged lawmakers to consider changes to its tax incentives for the music business, including lowering the thresholds and making the credits transferable.

Hudson suggested lawmakers consider lowering the spending threshold for a “tour origination” to $100,000 and lowering the other spending thresholds to $50,000.

“It’s not working because the thresholds are too high,” Hudson told lawmakers. “…The cost of recording has come down dramatically and so the thresholds under the current law are just way too high, and the fact that the credits are not transferable, which they are in post-production film and video games, that’s the other reason it’s not working.”

McIntosh County Sheriff Steve Jessup and McIntosh County Commissioner-elect Davis Poole received ethics complaints filed by a losing candidate, according to The Brunswick News.

Both men have been given 30 days to respond to the complaints filed by Tim Gardner, a candidate for McIntosh County Commission who lost in the primary election earlier this year.

Gardner complained that Jessup actively campaigned for Poole prior to the primary election, driving the candidate to different locations on county time in a county vehicle.

In more than one instance, county employees were required to attend meetings on county time, where Poole gave a campaign speech, Gardner said.

Robert Lane, deputy executive director and general counsel for the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, told Jessup and Poole in his letter that staff will review the complaint to determine if there is a “basis to proceed forward with prosecution.”

Gardner said the problem he has with Jessup actively campaigning against his opponent was him doing it on county time.

There is also a complaint against the McIntosh County Republican Party filed by Poole regarding a rally on Sept. 17, where party resources were allegedly used for the promotion of non-Republican candidates in violation of party rules.

The Gainesville Times profiles Hall County Board of Education District 2 member Republican Mark Pettitt and his opponent, Democrat Isabel Martinez Flynn.

In April, Gov. Kemp signed HB 1084, a law that limits what teachers can say about race in the classroom.

Flynn: “I do not support it. I will follow it,” she said. When asked why she doesn’t support the law, she said, “Because I think it leads to ignorance. Let’s keep in mind that racism is a fact in our history, and this fact is supported by the evidence.” She said the law “is going to limit (teachers), what they can teach. And if they limit your knowledge, they are leading you to be ignorant.”

Pettitt: “The good thing about this is that it really doesn’t have a whole lot of effect on Hall County Schools because CRT and divisive concepts and things of that nature have not been a part of our culture, and parental rights have been a part of our culture. And if parents and students are offended, or parents have issues with what’s being taught in our classroom, we’ve got processes to work that out at the school level. We’ve always honored those,” he said. On whether the bill could stifle teacher discussion, he said, “I graduated in Hall County 11 years ago, and we’ve had some pretty robust political and philosophical discussions in some of our government and history classes … but I never really felt like any of my teachers were inserting their own agendas onto students, and, for the most part, I don’t hear about that in Hall County today as a board member.” He doesn’t think teachers should express their own political beliefs in the classroom unless an individual student asks. “I think it’s safer not to have a teacher express their political beliefs. When you have a class of 28 kids, they are not asking for that.”

The City of Savannah will clear out a homeless encampment, according to WSAV.

Mayor Van Johnson says it’s a matter of health and safety.

An outreach team from the Chatham Savannah Authority for the Homeless is already set up at the encampment, signing up people for services to help them relocate. That includes providing storage units, mental and physical health resources, and space at local shelters.

Johnson said The Salvation Army and the Union Mission have opened up 30 additional triage bed spaces in their emergency shelters. The city and the homeless authority are even making it easy for some to leave the Hostess City.

“Individuals who want to reconnect with their family or friends in other areas, because of this relocation, will be eligible for free Greyhound bus tickets once contact is made,” Johnson said during his weekly media briefing Tuesday.

After the encampment is cleared, the city plans to fence it off and cut down much of the brush around it, to provide better visibility of the area.

From WTOC:

The City of Savannah is evicting the approximately 35 to 40 people living under Truman Parkway on President Street. They have until this Thursday to leave the place they call home.

The day center that is expected to open at Union Mission in November should give people somewhere to go, according to Darsey.

“So you’ll have night shelter emergency crisis bed space at night for different shelters and then you’ll have actual day centers for people to go get respite care, do their laundry, take a shower, get hot meals.”

People can also get free Greyhound bus tickets to reunite with family and Renegade Paws Rescue will take in pets that also living under the bridge.

The city will be sending crews to clean the area once it’s vacated.

Savannah City Council will likely vote on whether to strike the name of John C. Calhoun from a public square, according to WTOC.

The Mayor of Savannah says the city council will vote later this month to remove the name of former slave owner John C. Calhoun from a downtown square.

A coalition has actually been heading the effort to change the name of Calhoun square for years. Mayor Van Johnson says the city is trying to do their part to get Calhoun’s named removed from this square since Calhoun was a slave holder and defender of slavery.

John C. Calhoun is a former U.S. Vice President, but he had no connection to Savannah, according to Mayor Johnson.

Johnson says in order to change the name of the square, they have to get signatures from the businesses that surround the square.

“He was also a chief architect of the political system that allowed slavery to persist. Regardless of what the square is named or renamed, one of our squares should not be named in honor of a man like John C. Calhoun,” said Mayor Van Johnson.

Mayor Johnson says the square will be unnamed until a new name is chosen. When a new name is picked, the mayor says there will be information in the square on who John C. Calhoun was and why he should not be honored by people in Savannah.

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