Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 6, 2015

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 6, 2015

The first Mennonites arrived in America on October 6, 1683 aboard the Concord.

Cy Young threw his last professional baseball game as a member of the Boston Braves on October 6, 1911.

On October 6, 1953, WTVM-TV began broadcasting in  Columbus, Georgia.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience held its first rehearsal on October 6, 1966.

The second Presidential debate between Republican incumbent Gerald Ford and Democratic challenger Jimmy Carter took place on October 6, 1976. During the debate, Ford said, there was “no Soviet domination in Eastern Europe”.

Pope John Paul II became the first Pope to visit the White House on October 6, 1979. Carter’s notes from the meeting are at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta.

The last four B-52 bombers stationed at Robins Air Force Base in Warner-Robins left the base for the last time on October 6, 1983.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

This week, I’m kicking off the GaPundit Fall Tour. On Wednesday, I’ll be speaking to the University of Georgia College Republicans at 7 PM somewhere on campus. On Thursday, I’ll join Tharon Johnson at the Georgia Municipal Association’s Legislative Policy Committee to provide lunchtime entertainment. Let me know if you’ve got a group you’d like to invite me to.

Last night, the Georgia Republican Party held it’s fall fundraiser featuring Frank Luntz.

“The Georgia Republican Party is fortunate to have strong supporters who are committed to growing the base and earning victory for our nominees at the ballot box,” said Georgia Republican Party Foundation Chairman Jack Kingston.  “I am confident that we will have the funds in place to launch an aggressive, comprehensive, data-driven victory program that protects our U.S. Senate seat and helps Republicans win back the White House in 2016!”
“Thanks to the outpouring of support from hardworking Republicans throughout the state, the Georgia Republican Party is equipped for battle,” said Georgia Republican Party Chairman John Padgett.  “With our pro-growth, pro-freedom message, we can keep Georgia red and ensure that America’s best and brightest days are still to come.”
Later this month, the Georgia Republican Party will host a 2nd Amendment Celebration at Wild Bill’s in Duluth.  This exciting event on October 24 from 11AM-2PM features music from Beau Davidson, Irlene Mandrell, and T. Graham Brown.  Special invited guests include Georgia elected officials and presidential candidates.   For more information, click here.
I’ve been told the GAGOP raised over $200k last night. Congratulations and next time you see Jack Kingston, please thank him for helping the state party.

Quite bluntly, I’ve had it. I am so over-the-top sick and tired of hearing how corrupt DeKalb County Government is. I am sickened by what I read and sickened that I can’t bear to  read beyond the headline itself. I am just done.

But honestly what sickens me the most is the silence among the politicians and pundits within my own party who have always failed to stand up and call for resignations when it is so incredibly apparent that it has to happen. For the good of the county to say nothing of the Party, is there nobody willing to stand up and say they have had it? Is anybody, pol or pundit or party hack, willing to stand up for anything at all?

For the last twenty years, the DeKalb Democratic Party has done nothing to foster a civic virtue or maintain a culture that incubates a professional and ethical political class. It has failed to vet candidates; it has failed to recruit or build a pipeline for the future. The immediate result is that wannabe candidates can ignore the party organization, but clothe themselves in the once proud and now tattered brand.

So the hard truth of it is this county  will never  enjoy political  renaissance we are all so desperate for unless Democrats get their act together and find candidates and party leadership that the voters can embrace as competent and ethical and post-tribal. Until that happens the County will continue to struggle to find its way back.

And Republicans in DeKalb County have to figure out how they can effectively be part of the solution in a county where they are outnumbered 6-to-1 on the County Commission and have only one legislator in each chamber’s county delegation.

And here’s one of the problems: CEO Lee May continues to ignore North DeKalb, which happens to be largely Republican-held territory.

Some taxpayers in northwest DeKalb County said Monday they’re convinced that the head of the county is avoiding a face-to-face meeting with them as he fends off accusations of corruption.

Interim CEO Lee May announced he will hold five town hall meetings, but none in Brookhaven or Dunwoody.

“We want someone in there who is someone that can be trusted,” resident Mary Kozik said. She was disappointed to hear that May won’t be holding a meeting in northwest DeKalb County.

“It’s bizarre. I don’t understand why not north DeKalb,” Kozik said.

“If town halls are being held elsewhere, why in fact aren’t they being held here? There has to be a reason and probably not a very good one,” Kozik said.

I suspect the Bowers report on corruption in DeKalb County will be a major topic at tonight’s Town Hall meeting hosted by Commissioner Nancy Jester at Brookhaven Town Hall.

iCEO Lee May’s first Town Hall Meeting after the Bowers report was released will be held Thursday night from 6:30 to 8 PM at the Manuel Maloof Center, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, GA 30030.

Both the LaVista Hills Alliance, the pro-city group, and DeKalb Strong, which opposes more incorporations, have called on DeKalb CEO Lee May to resign.

Meanwhile, Governor Nathan Deal and Attorney General Sam Olens are open to intervening in DeKalb County if the GBI review of the Bowers investigation concludes it is warranted.

The governor said Monday he was concerned by the report, issued by investigators that Lee hired, and said he would work with Olens to decide whether to launch a state investigation. And Olens said through a spokesman he would “discuss any necessary further steps” with Deal’s office.

“We’ll see as it continues to unfold exactly what the nature of these problems are, and whether or not they overlap into criminal conduct,” Deal said.

If Deal decides to intervene, he could have several options. He could ask the Attorney General’s office or another agency, such as the U.S. Attorney’s Office, to conduct a separate probe. He also could try to remove May from office himself, though it’s unclear whether he has the power to do so.

“There’s not an official investigation launched by the state, and that would probably be something in the hands of the Attorney General working with us in that regard,” said Deal. “We don’t know if it’s going to lead to that at this point.”

GBI spokesman Scott Dutton said the agency’s review would probe the report from a “law enforcement perspective” to delve into what criminal elements, if any, stand out.

Yesterday, foreign ministers meeting in Atlanta announced their consensus on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

[T]rade ministers from 12 Pacific Rim nations announced Monday morning in Atlanta that they had reached consensus on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The pact, which encompasses countries comprising 40 percent of the global economy, will cut tariffs on many products and achieve mutual recognition of standards on others.

“Most importantly, the agreement achieves the goal we set for an ambitious, comprehensive, high-standard, balanced agreement that will benefit our nation’s citizens,” said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman at a press conference at the Ritz-Carlton downtown. He added that the tariff reductions amount to 18,000 tax cuts in countries with which the U.S. currently has no free-trade pact.

The deal would affect international trade for decades to come, and trade ministers seized on that sentiment in their remarks.

But the pact now faces ratification battles in the partner nations’ respective legislatures. If passed in Congress, the TPP would ensure an enduring legacy for President Barack Obama’s trade agenda. Mr. Froman, who will speak before Congress Monday, said the deal will be a “2016 issue,” given that trade-promotion authority requires President Obama to give Congress 60 days notice before putting it to a vote.

Early voting begins next week, and Macon-Bibb County voters will decide on a penny sales tax for education, but they’ll do so in 7 fewer precincts.

Early voting starts next week in Macon-Bibb County as voters weigh in on a 1-percent sales tax referendum that would benefit the public school system. But voters are being encouraged to double-check their polling locations because of recent changes.

The Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections has reduced the number of precincts from 40 to 33 by combining some as a cost-saving measure to help with Macon-Bibb County’s need to reduce next year’s budget.

Board of Elections Chairwoman Rinda Wilson said the board was considering lowering the number of precincts to 26, but officials compromised and settled on 33, which is projected to save the county $21,000.

Athens was named a top ten city for singles by Livability.com, while Macon was ranked the number two “best value” city in the nation for travel in 2016. Columbus, Georgia is ranked as the Peach State city with the highest rate of sexually-transmitted diseases based on 2013 data.

Governor and Mrs. Deal kicked off Pre-K Week with a trip to Friendship Learning Center in Buford.

The governor and first lady’s visit marked the beginning of Georgia Pre-K Week. Georgia pre-K programs across the state will receive visits from state leaders, who will have the opportunity to see what the programs are doing firsthand.

“We were so pleased to represent pre-K for the state with the kickoff event this morning,” said Kasandra McDaniel, owner of Friendship Learning Center. “It was an honor.”

In August, Deal announced his intention to devote $50 million back to the Georgia Pre-K Program, after years of cuts to teacher pay and increases in class size. This year, the program serves approximately 84,000 students across the state.

“We do intend to put additional revenue into the pre-K program,” Deal told the press at Friendship Learning Center on Monday. “We know that it is one of the most important elements in increasing the educational level of people in our state. We believe we can reduce the class size back to 20, which is our primary goal, and then of course to raise the salaries for the teachers and assistant teachers in our programs.”

Rafael Cruz Oct20
Rev. Rafael Cruz, father of Senator Ted Cruz, will speak at a lunch in Gainesville on Tuesday, October 20th. Click here for reservations and tickets.

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