Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 27, 2020


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 27, 2020

On October 27, 1775, King George III addressed Parliament, raising concerns about an American rebellion.

The First of the Federalist Papers, an essay by Alexander Hamilton published under the pseudonym Publius, was published on October 27, 1787.

The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of San Lorenzo, also called Pinckney’s Treaty on October 27, 1795, setting the 31st parallel as the border between Georgia and Florida.

The nation’s first Gold Rush started after Benjamin Parks discovered gold in what is now Lumpkin County, Georgia on October 27, 1828.

Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York City on October 27, 1858.

President Woodrow Wilson vetoed the Volstead Act, which implemented the Eighteenth Amendment prohibition on alcohol, on October 27, 1919; the House overrode his veto that same day and the United States Senate overrode the veto on October 28, 1919.

Navy Day was established on October 27, 1922.

October 27 was suggested by the Navy League to recognize Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday. Roosevelt had been an Assistant Secretary of the Navy and supported a strong Navy as well as the idea of Navy Day. In addition, October 27 was the anniversary of a 1775 report issued by a special committee of the Continental Congress favoring the purchase of merchant ships as the foundation of an American Navy.

Ronald Reagan delivered the “A Time for Choosing” speech on October 27, 1964.

And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man.

This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down—[up] man’s old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.

We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.

Jimmy Carter campaigned in New York on October 27, 1976.

Gladys Knight and the Pips reached #1 with “Midnight Train to Georgia” on October 27, 1973.

Andrew Young was elected Mayor of Atlanta on October 27, 1981.

Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy accepted the last Ford Taurus built in Hapeville, Georgia on October 27, 2006.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Here are today’s General Election stats, drawn from the Absentee voter file released daily by the Secretary of State’s office:

Total votes cast:       3,154,931

Mail-in votes cast:        1,165,633

Electronic votes cast:          9,251

In-person votes cast:   1,980,047

Governor Brian Kemp issued a statement on the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

“Congratulations to Justice Barrett on her confirmation by the U.S. Senate. It’s abundantly clear that President Trump nominated a highly qualified jurist who holds the utmost respect for the rule of law and the Constitution of the United States. I am confident that Justice Barrett will continue to set the standard for judicial conduct, and I thank Senators Perdue and Loeffler for their strong support of her confirmation.”

Governor Kemp will headline a pro-TRUMP “MAGA Rally” near the site of a Biden campaign event today, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Kemp, U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson and [the] Georgia GOP Chairman [] will attend the “MAGA Meet-Up” at Manchester Mill, 10 Callaway St. The counter-rally will last from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to the event’s webpage. Admission is free.

Biden, who announced his Georgia trip Saturday, is expected to deliver remarks in Warm Springs on bringing Americans together to address the crises facing the nation before traveling to another campaign event in Atlanta. It is his first trip to Georgia as the party’s nominee.

I’m sure that’ll be a warm welcome for the Democratic campaign.

Voter turnout remains brisk in Clarke County, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

As of Friday, the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections had sent out 22,224 absentee ballots, and 13,599 had been returned, and as of Monday morning, 11,832 people had voted early in person.

This weekend, 2,052 people voted Saturday as Athens-Clarke opened up more advance voting sites, said Athens-Clarke County Director of Elections and Voter Registration Charlotte Sosebee. At the new locations, 566 cast ballots at the Athens-Clarke County Library on Baxter Street, 464 at the Board of Elections Office downtown, 415 at the Cooperative Extension office on Cleveland Road, 403 at the Athens-Clarke County Tennis Center on Lexington Road, and 204 at the Miriam Moore Community Service Center on McKinley Drive.

An additional 476 voted Sunday at the only site open, the Board of Elections office.

Democrat Joe Biden will campaign in Warm Springs, Georgia today, according to WRDW.

According to the former vice president’s team, Biden is scheduled to deliver remarks in Warm Springs, a small town in Meriwether County with a population of around 400 people, in the afternoon of Tuesday, Oct. 27, exactly one week before Election Day.

Vice President Biden is expected to discuss “bringing Americans together to address the crises affecting our nation.”

After his remarks in Warm Springs, Biden will attend a drive-in event in Atlanta to encourage Georgians to take part in the last week of early voting.

The last time Meriwether County voted for the Democratic candidate in a presidential election was 2000.

From an AJC article on the choice of  Warm Springs for Biden’s Georgia debut:

Warm Springs is in Meriwether County. The city itself is in House District 137, represented by state Rep. Debbie Buckner, D-Junction City. But a good portion of Meriwether County is in House District 138, home to House Minority Leader Bob Trammell, D-Luthersville.

Democrats need to pick up 16 seats on Nov. 3 to take control of the state House. As part of an all-hands-on-deck effort to make sure this doesn’t happen, Republicans are pouring $1 million or so into an attempt to defeat Trammell.

Biden’s visit to Warm Springs may be, at least in part, an attempt to counter that. Take a moment to absorb that. The Democrat who is currently the odds-on favorite to be the next president of these semi-United States has a campaign schedule that will offer protection to a local state lawmaker representing a rural district.

My question is when will the leftist mobs come to cancel Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the racist who imprisoned more than 100,000 American citizens in concentration camps because of their Japanes heritage. A commission appointed by then-President Jimmy Carter found that the internment was the result of racism and the concentration camps were cruel and inhumane. Why is it okay for an American political science professor to minimize FDR’s racist actions and establishment of concentration camps?

Dr. Jill Biden campaigned on behalf of her husband’s Presidential bid in Savannah, according to WSAV.

Dr. Jill Biden held a drive-in rally Monday night at Savannah State University campaigning for her husband Joe Biden. She’s urging Georgians to get out and vote early.

Biden visited both Macon and Savannah Monday. Her first stop was in Macon, where she attended a Georgia Women for Biden Early Vote Event.

Late Monday afternoon, Biden stopped in Savannah for an Early Vote Drive-In Rally. Biden spoke to a socially distant crowd.

The Biden campaign is still taking this pandemic seriously only allowing people to attend the drive-in rally in their cars to social distance. Everyone was asked to wear a mask and have their temperatures checked. Biden supporters took note of this as they see Joe Biden as someone who can lead the country through the coronavirus pandemic if elected.

From the Savannah Morning News:

Speakers before Biden included Mayor Van Johnson, State Sen. Lester Jackson, State Reps. Carl Gilliard and J. Craig Gordon, and Savannah State students.

From WGXA in Macon:

Dr. Jill Biden [campaigned] in downtown Macon on Monday.

She [spoke] at the Tubman Museum on Cherry St. for the Georgia Women for Biden early vote event, scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

“One precinct could win a state. This state of Georgia could win the election. Will you be that one vote,” stated Jill.

After speaking in Macon, Jill Biden is set to head to Savannah for an early vote drive-in rally.

From the Macon Telegraph:

“We actually have a chance to turn Georgia blue,” she said.

The remark drew applause for the former second lady who, sporting a red dress, spoke at a Georgia Women for Biden event, where 40 or so invitees gathered outside the Tubman Museum at the foot of Cherry Street.

Perhaps twice that many supporters and onlookers lined Fifth Street across from the nearby Terminal Station.

Jill Biden had moments earlier been introduced by Karla Redding-Andrews, daughter of the late singing great, Otis Redding, who is vice president and executive director of the Otis Redding Foundation. The Foundation promotes music-and-arts education in and around the Macon-raised soul icon’s home region.

Jill Biden then went on to mention hardships of parents juggling to hold jobs and raise families during the coronavirus pandemic, be they working from home or on the front lines of the COVID-19 response.

“They’re worried about paying their bills and whether their children will be safe when they go to school,” she said. “We aren’t divided. We’re just trying to survive the chaos of Donald Trump’s America.”

Joe Biden unsurprisingly endorsed the Democrats running for United States Senate in Georgia, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

The endorsements for Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff come as both face increased attacks from Republican opponents in their respective Senate races amid a blitz of television and social-media ads down the home stretch before Election Day.

“We need [Warnock] in the Senate to keep up that fight and help push our country forward to restore the soul of this nation,” Biden said of Warnock.

“I know Jon will put [his] passion to work for all Georgians, fighting for Georgia’s working families, not the powerful,” Biden said of Ossoff.

The AJC looks at the potential for political upheaval in Gwinnett County.

Gwinnett elected its first Black candidate to a countywide seat in 2018 — just months before its bicentennial. This year, all 10 Democratic candidates running for countywide office are Black, meaning a sweep this fall would leave just one white elected official outside the judiciary.

Wayne Hill, a former county commission chair who won as a Republican in 1992 after losing his first race as a Democrat in 1988, said the red wave of the 1980s snuck up on people.

“Some [Democrats] who got beat were shocked,” Hill said of 1984, when Republicans rode Ronald Reagan’s coattails to control countywide offices. “No one’s going to be shocked this time.”

“You can’t deny the numbers,” said longtime Republican state senator Renee Unterman, who retired this year for an unsuccessful Congressional run. “It’s like you close your eyes and overnight, it just flips.”

State Rep. Heath Clark (R-Warner Robins) held a campaign rally, according to WGXA.

Georgia Representative Heath Clark held a rally for his campaign for re-election to the Georgia House of Representatives to represent District 147.

The rally took place at Gracie’s: A Rooftop Bar on GA HWY 96.

“I’ve been a strongly independent and vocal voice for our community, as well as with the military base here in Robins and all the military bases we have,” stated Clark.

The candidate states his time in the house he has been making sure there was a strong budget that didn’t see any cut salaries for state employees.

“The only state employees that had a pay cut was state legislature, we made sure we took care of state employees with the budget for COVID,” stated Clark.

Democrat Jon Ossoff (Atlanta) spoke about his priorities if he’s elected to the United States Senate, according to the Macon Telegraph.

“Rural health care will be my highest priority in the US Senate,” Ossoff said. “In the last 10 years, nine hospitals in rural Georgia have closed. Sen. David Perdue — our federal representative in the senate — supports blocking Medicaid expansion for Georgia. Georgia taxpayers are already paying for Medicaid. He thinks it should go to other states. I think it should come to Georgia to make health care more affordable for families here and to sustain our rural hospitals.”

A recent study found that states with expanded Medicaid are less likely to face hospital closures. Nearly half of Georgia’s 67 rural hospitals are considered vulnerable or at-risk for closure.

“[Middle Georgia] counties have suffered from the refusal of Georgia politicians like David Perdue to expand Medicaid,” Ossoff said, adding that counties in the rural areas “have some of the worst health outcomes in the state. We need to invest in building new clinics and strengthening and sustaining our rural hospitals.”

“On Day One, I will co-sponsor the constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision, and get secret money out of politics,” he said.

“We’re far from out of the woods in this pandemic, this disease that’s taken nearly a quarter of a million American lives and forced millions of Georgians to file jobless claims,” Ossoff said. “We need to empower medical experts, public health experts to lead a strong public health policy to control this virus. And we need to be providing more financial and economic support for working families and small businesses to jumpstart our economy.”

Both Ossoff and Republican Congressman Doug Collins campaigned in Athens, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

Republican Rep. Doug Collins of Gainesville spoke to young supporters in the Memorial Hall ballroom on the University of Georgia campus Monday afternoon as he pursues the Senate seat now held by Kelly Loeffler, appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp last year to fill the unexpired term of Johnny Isakson. Isakson, 75, retired from the Senate at the end of 2019 for health reasons, halfway through his six-year term.

Collins, 54, is leaving his Georgia District 9 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives to run for the Senate seat. He is one of 21 candidates vying in a special election to succeed Isakson, including Loeffler, 49. Collins and Loeffler are seen as the front-runners among the Republicans in the race.

Also Monday afternoon, Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff spoke at a rally on the new College Avenue Plaza, created by closing a block of the street in downtown Athens across Broad Street from the UGA Arch.

Chatham County elections officials suggest that people who have not yet received their absentee ballots may want to consider early voting in-person, according to the Savannah Morning News.

With Election Day just over a week away, Chatham County Board of Registrars Chairman Colin McRae and Board of Elections Chairman Tom Mahoney urged those who had received their absentee ballots to complete it and drop it off in one of 10 drop boxes around the county.

If voters have requested an absentee ballot but have decided they would rather vote in person, McRae recommends they bring their absentee ballot to an early voting site before Friday, where it can be spoiled, allowing them to cast an early in-person ballot instead.

“We’re encouraging people to try to take care of this before Election Day, because every person who brings in a ballot to be spoiled on Election Day ties up the line for people behind them, so we’re trying to encourage people to take advantage of the early voting locations,” McRae said.

As of the end of the day Sunday, a total of 34,527 voters had cast their early, in-person ballot. In 2016, there were 35,892 votes cast over the entire early voting period. In Chatham County, 54,462 absentee ballots had been requested by Sunday, and 28,040 had been returned and processed.

Georgia State House Bill 789 attempts to increase transparency in healthcare and reduce instances of “surprise billing,” according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Albany Herald.

House Bill 789 will establish a rating system Georgians can use to determine which physician specialty groups in their insurance plan’s provider network serve a given hospital.

The surprise billing legislation that gained the most attention during this year’s General Assembly session applies only to health insurance plans regulated by the state, Georgia Rep. Mark Newton, R-Augusta, House Bill 789’s chief sponsor, said Monday.

Newton’s companion bill is aimed at the approximately 60% of Georgians enrolled in plans that are exempt from state regulation, typically large employer plans regulated through federal law.

“The public deserves to know when they go to an emergency room if the doctor who fixes their kid’s leg or sews them up is in their [insurance plan’s network],” said Newton, who works as an emergency room doctor.

Augusta city government faces a $5 million dollar budget shortfall due to COVID-19, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Revenues are “sharply declining” because of business and industry closures and losses from affected events, such as the Masters Tournament and Arts in the Heart of Augusta, which are hoped to return to normal next year.

To balance the general fund, Sims has proposed taking around $4 million from the city’s fund balance, which currently stands at around $30 million.

Commissioners are expected to take up the budget at a workshop Tuesday.

Savannah-Chatham County public schools started the third phase of reopening this week, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Four Richmond County schools closed temporarily after 40 people tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Rome City Schools are going all-virtual after staffing shortages caused by COVID-19, according to the Rome News Tribune.

“The critical point came when we realized we might not be able to staff the classrooms,” Superintendent Lou Byars said.

All schools in the Rome City School system will be going virtual with a prospective return date of Nov. 9.

Teachers have been given the option to teach virtually from their classrooms or from their home.

“If they have children we’re encouraging them to teach from home,” Byars said.

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