Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 19, 2018

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 19, 2018

British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia on October 19, 1781,  ending the American Revolution.

USS Constitution, named by President George Washington, was launched in Boston Harbor on October 21, 1791.

During the War of 1812, the Constitution won its enduring nickname “Old Ironsides” after defeating the British warship Guerriére in a furious engagement off the coast of Nova Scotia. Witnesses claimed that the British shots merely bounced off the Constitution‘s sides, as if the ship were made of iron rather than wood. The success of the Constitution against the supposedly invincible Royal Navy provided a tremendous morale boost for the young American republic.

Today, Constitution serves as a museum ship, and has sailed under her own power as recently as 2012. Southern live oak, harvested and milled on St. Simons Island, Georgia, is a primary construction material for Constitution.

On October 19, 1790, Lyman Hall, one of three signers of the Declaration of Independence from Georgia, died in Burke County, GA. Hall was elected Governor of Georgia in 1783, holding the position for one year, and was an early advocate for the chartering of the University of Georgia.

The United States Senate ratified a treaty with France on October 20, 1805, closing the deal on the Louisiana Purchase.

On October 20, 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt stopped in Roswell to visit his mother’s girlhood home at Bulloch Hall.

Dizzy Gillespie was born on October 21, in Cheraw, South Carolina.

President Warren G. Harding spoke in Alabama on October 21, 1921, and publicly condemned the practice of lynching.

Harding was a progressive Republican politician who advocated full civil rights for African Americans and suffrage for women. He supported the Dyer Anti-lynching Bill in 1920. As a presidential candidate that year, he gained support for his views on women’s suffrage, but faced intense opposition on civil rights for blacks. The 1920s was a period of intense racism in the American South, characterized by frequent lynchings. In fact, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) reported that, in 1920, lynching claimed, on average, the lives of two African Americans every week.

Lewis Grizzard was born on October 20, 1946 at Fort Benning, Georgia.

On October 21, 1976, Billy Carter spoke to an audience in Albany, Georgia, about his brother’s campaign for President.

On his brother Jimmy’s drinking habits, Billy said, “Jimmy used to drink liquor. Now he’s running for president he drinks Scotch, and I’ve never trusted a Scotch drinker.” Billy preferred the alcohol choice of his brother’s running mate, Walter Mondale – “I liked him the best of all the ones who came to Plains. He’s from a small town and he’s a beer drinker.”

Today, Billy Carter’s service station is preserved as a museum in Plains, Georgia.

On October 20, 1977, a small twin-engine plane carrying members of Lynyrd Skynyrd from Greenville, South Carolina to Baton Rouge, Louisiana crashed in a swamp in Gillsburg, Mississippi. Singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, vocalist Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray died in the crash.

On October 19, 1983, the United States Senate voted 78-22 to create a federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., to be celebrated on the third Monday of January. The House passed the King holiday bill, sponsored by Reps. Katie Hall (D.-IN) and Jack Kemp (R-NY), by a vote of 338-90 in August. President Ronald Reagan signed the legislation on November 3, 1983.

The Atlanta Braves won the first game of the 1995 World Series on October 21, 1995, as Greg Maddux dominated the Cleveland Indians, allowing only two hits. Native American groups protested the names of both teams.

The Ledger-Enquirer looks at the beginning of what would eventually become Fort Benning.

100 years ago, Camp Benning raised its flag on Oct. 19, 1918, almost two weeks after the first Army troops arrived on Macon Road where the Columbus Public Library and other public buildings stand. The only evidence from the MidTown site that housed 300 tents is a nearby monument in the neighborhood at South Dixon Drive and Mimosa Street.

That small camp led to a bigger location 8 miles down the road and redesignated Fort Benning on Feb. 18, 1922. The Maneuver Center of Excellence is home of the Infantry and Armor schools as the sixth largest military installation in the United States.

“Columbus has been a good neighbor to us and wanted us here,” said Scott Daubert, director of the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center. “They wanted us here. They courted the government.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Morning fix for numbers junkies:

Total early ballots cast so far: 387,186

2018 General Early Voters who also voted in the 2016 Presidential Preference Primary Election

Republican – 133,359

Democratic – 80,171

R:D ratio – 1.663

2018 General Early Voters who also voted in the 2018 General Primary Election

Republican – 89,971

Democratic – 70,539

R:D ratio – 1.2726

Early voting continues today and Saturday in many counties. Here’s where you can early vote in Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett Counties this weekend.

Early voting turnout is more than double that of 2014, according to the Gainesville Times.

On Monday, the first day of early voting, 1,216 people voted early, according to Terenda Sargent, registration coordinator with Hall’s elections office. In 2014, on the first day of early voting that year, only 448 people voted. For the first three days of early voting this week, a total of 3,642 people voted in person at the government center, the only polling place open this week.

But for the first three days of early voting in 2014, 1,594 people voted.

Sargent said in an email that Hall has 120,848 registered voters who would be eligible to vote in these midterms. About 3 percent of voters had already gone to the polls by Wednesday evening.

And that does not include absentee ballots — as of Wednesday, 841 had been returned, and 2,883 had been mailed, according to Sargent.

Governor Nathan Deal announced four new judicial appointments.

The Honorable Holly Veal will fill the vacancy in the Flint Judicial Circuit created by the retirement of the Honorable Arch McGarity.

The Honorable Nicholas Primm will fill the vacancy in the Piedmont Judicial Circuit created by the retirement of the Honorable David Motes.

The Honorable Rebecca Crumrine Rieder will fill the vacancy in the Atlanta Judicial Circuit created by the retirement of the Honorable Doris Downs.

The Honorable John Stephenson will fill the vacancy in the Dougherty County State Court created by the appointment of the Honorable Victoria Darrisaw to the Dougherty Circuit Superior Court.

The AJC looks at the election for Georgia Attorney General.

The Republican incumbent, Attorney General Chris Carr, and his Democrat opponent, Charlie Bailey, a former Fulton prosecutor, agree: Gangs constitute a growing threat to public safety.

There’s even a consensus on how best to deal with the problem. But the agreement ends there in a contest that’s grown increasingly bitter, with both sides raising questions about the other’s motivation, commitment, experience and effectiveness in dealing with gangs and other issues facing the state.

“He (Bailey) actually thinks he’s running for district attorney,” said Carr, who compares the job to that of a managing partner of a law firm.

“It’s a little bit legal. It’s a little bit policy. It’s a little bit communications,” said the GOP nominee, formerly chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. “My experience is perfect for this job.”

“Atlanta’s gang problem is larger than ever and growing. And it was Charlie Bailey’s job to put them away,” one ad, paid for by the Republican Attorneys General Association, states. The ad cites limited crime stats during Bailey’s tenure in the Fulton DA’s office and blames the Democratic candidate for a rise in murders, assaults and rapes.

State Senator Chuck Payne (R-Dalton) differs on Medicaid expansion from his Democratic opponent, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

State Sen. Chuck Payne, R-Dalton, and Democrat Michael Morgan of Whitfield County squared off Thursday night at Dalton’s Mack Gaston Community Center as part of a candidates forum conducted by the League of Women Voters of the Dalton Area.

The two are in the Nov. 6 general election for state Senate District 54, which covers all of Whitfield and Murray counties and parts of Gordon and Pickens counties.

Payne, who is retired from the state Department of Juvenile Justice, said he opposes calls for Georgia to expand Medicaid coverage to all adults under 65 earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Currently, Georgia limits Medicaid coverage only to people who meet certain criteria, such as parents of minor children or pregnant women. The left-leaning Georgia Budget and Policy Institute estimates some 473,000 Georgians would gain health insurance under the expansion. The federal government would cover 90 percent of the cost of the expansion.

“We need to stop relying so much on the federal government,” said Payne. “That $22 trillion debt? That’s you and me, and it’s only going to get worse if we don’t put a stop to the spending.”

But Morgan, a lab manager, favors such an expansion.

Democrat Stacey Abrams campaigned at Georgia Southern University this week, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Abrams is questioning the propriety of Republican Brian Kemp administering the election as Secretary of State while on the ballot for Governor, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Democrat Stacey Abrams wants Kemp to give up his secretary of state post, charging Kemp has an obvious conflict of interest. Democrats maintain he is trying to suppress votes as the election nears.

Kemp and his backers counter that he can be impartial, pointing to a history of previous secretaries of state who have run for higher office while overseeing elections and avoiding controversy.

They accuse Abrams of stirring the ballot furor for political gain. Kemp has no intention of stepping down.

“Stacey Abrams is either intentionally misleading Georgia voters or simply does not understand how voting works in our state,” said [] a Kemp campaign spokesman. “Clearly, she is unfit to be governor.”

The Macon Telegraph looks at two other states in which the Secretary of State is running for higher office.

Elected secretaries of state in Georgia and Kansas — who in their official capacities oversee the elections in their states — are running for governor. Ohio’s secretary of state is running for lieutenant governor. All are Republicans.

They have faced scattered calls to resign but have refused to do so. Election reformers say the situation underscores the conflict of interest when an official has responsibilities for an election while also running as a candidate.

Neither major political party has pushed to remove partisanship from election administration.

Democratic state legislators are criticizing Gwinnett County for rejecting absentee ballots, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The Georgia Black Legislative Caucus held a press conference at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center on Thursday to address reports that the county was rejecting hundreds of absentee ballots cast for the Nov. 6 general election.

Caucus members said 464 absentee ballots, out of 7,779 absentee ballots that they said had been received in Gwinnett, have been rejected by the county. The legislators accused county officials of suppressing votes, particularly ones cast by minority voters, through the rejections. It’s an allegation county officials have denied.

They said the percentage of rejected ballots in the county is significantly higher than the totals seen elsewhere in Georgia.

County officials assert they have not broken any laws by rejecting the ballots, however. Secretary of State records frequently listed “insufficient oath information” and missing signatures as reasons why an absentee ballot in Gwinnett was rejected.

Jefferson County, Georgia is under scrutiny after allegations of voter suppression, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

In the midst of the race between Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams, which some polls are calling a dead heat, claims and counter-claims are being hurled regarding an incident Monday in which 40 elderly members of the county’s senior center in Louisville were allegedly told to step off a Black Voters Matter bus offering to drive them to the polls on the first day of early voting.

Some advocacy groups, including the founders of the Black Voters Matter as well as the county’s chair of the Democratic Party, who scheduled the event, are calling the incident blatant voter suppression. The issue is especially heated in Georgia as 53,000 voter registration applications – the majority of which are from minorities, according to The Associated Press – are on hold by the Secretary of State Office because they didn’t follow the state’s exact match policy. Kemp is the current Secretary of State.

County officials who fund and operate the center argue that no one’s vote was suppressed as it had previously scheduled other transport for its seniors to the polls.

Brunswick will send revised property tax notices to some taxpayers, according to The Brunswick News.

The Albany Herald looks at continuing hurricane recovery efforts in the Albany area.

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