Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 14, 2016


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 14, 2016

Francis Scott Key composed the lyrics to “The Star Spangled Banner” on September 14, 1814.

On September 14, 1885, Georgia Governor Henry McDaniel signed legislation granting up to 200 acres in Fulton and DeKalb Counties to the federal government to be used in the constuction of Fort McPherson, which was named after Union Maj. Gen. James McPherson, who was killed in the Battle of Atlanta in 1864.

On September 14, 1901, President William McKinley died of an infection from gunshot wounds suffered eight days earlier.

On September 14, 1974, Eric Clapton’s cover of the Bob Marley song, “I Shot the Sheriff” reached #1 on the music charts. After 42 years, we still don’t know who shot the deputy.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Atlanta is number one in receiving robocall, according to a nationwide study.

The latest YouMail Robocall Index shows Atlanta’s 404 area code was the nation’s most robocalled area codes for the ninth straight month, with 49,362,000 robocalls in August. That’s up 13 percent over July.

The 678 area code was No. 4 most robocalled in the nation with 38,112,000 robocalls, up 9 percent over July.

Police in LaGrange passed on reports of clown creeping, which then made the rounds on social media.

Lt. Dale Strickland told 11Alive News someone started a Facebook Page (which has since been taken down) threatening to dress like a clown and drive a white van to Callaway Elementary, Franklin Forrest Elementary, Callaway Middle School, Troup High School, and Callaway High School and abduct children. Strickland says that threat is a clear violation of the law. The department is working to obtain warrants that will help them track down who posted the threats.

Stickland said there were no spottings of the creepy clown, but the police department was flooded with calls from concerned parents. The police department posted a message on Facebook: “This behavior is not cute or funny… if applicable, you may face charges.”

The LaGrange threat is the latest in a series of bizarre clown reports across the country.

They now say that the reports are probably fictitious.

The stories of clowns creeping around neighborhoods or near schools seems to be myth, according to investigators with the LaGrange Police Department.

Several Facebook posts are circulating stories of clowns in a van spotted in neighborhoods talking to children, said LPD officials. Those reports have been checked by police officers and are unsubstantiated, said Lt. Dale Strickland, commander of administrative services.

Clowns chasing young students in Macon led a parent to call 911, according to the Macon Telegraph.

A mother called 911 Tuesday after her children were reportedly chased away from a south Macon bus stop by people dressed up like clowns, Bibb County sheriff’s Cpl. Linda Howard said.

The children were waiting on a school bus in the 4700 block of Elkan Avenue shortly before 8 a.m. when they ran back home and told their mother that they’d been chased by clowns wielding fake knives and flashlights, Howard said. The kids said the clowns came from abandoned houses and bushes near Elkan Avenue and Dapleton Drive, according to a Tuesday evening news release from the Sheriff’s Office.

The kids “said it looked like it may have been like older kids or adults,” Howard said, adding that the children didn’t give a description of what they saw. “All they said was clowns.”

Some of the kids told police they received friend requests on Facebook from people dressed as clowns. Some received messages saying “I will find you,” the release said.

Deputies searched the area but didn’t find anyone dressed like a clown. Howard said the area will be patrolled in the morning and evening hours.

Fortunately for law enforcement, clowns tend to be easily apprehended due to being slowed by their big floppy shoes.

Jack Kingston and David Perdue jointly penned an editorial making the case for Donald Trump for President.

Competing head-to-head in the Georgia Republican primary for the United States Senate in 2014 we got to know each other well. During a long year of primary and runoff campaigning, each of us pledged to support the eventual nominee.

We honored that pledge and put our differences aside. Our differences were nothing compared to our differences with the Democrats who wanted another seat in the United States Senate to push President Barack Obama’s progressive agenda.

Our message is simple, and the choice is clear. The future of our country for the next 50 years is at stake. From the balance of power on the Supreme Court to our system of checks and balances in Congress, we need new leadership in the White House.

Putting Donald Trump in the White House is our best chance to finally achieve our shared goal and change the direction of our country.

Trump has tapped into a growing movement of disenfranchised Americans. His powerful message has motivated more people to get involved in the political process and he has helped increase Republican primary turnout by over 60 percent. He is listening to all of us and he has already proven he is ready to do things differently in Washington.

It is time to truly change the direction of our country and make America great again.

The legislature’s Joint High-Speed Broadband Communications Access for All Georgians Study Committee holds its second hearing on Thursday at 1 PM at North Georgia Technical College- Currahee Campus, 8989 Highway 17 South, Toccoa, GA 30577

Michael McNeely spoke at the Muscogee County Republican Party, days after announcing he will run for Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party in 2017.

When asked what he thought about the controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton’s health, as well as her recent comments on Trump supporters being called “deplorable,” McNeely said it was wrong of her to categorize voters that way.

“We should have respect for every individual that is a citizen of this country and is looking to make the right choice for the individual who will become the next president of the United States,” he said.

McNeely also touched on how the state Republican Party is pooling all its resources to help candidates win key elections across the state, as well as supporting the Donald Trump and Mike Pence presidential ticket.

As for comments on Clinton’s health, McNeely said he hopes she recovers but that questions about her health jeopardize her chances to win the election.

Hall County residents will likely have fewer Obamacare choices as providers continue to exit the federal marketplace.

Hall County will likely lose half its current insurance providers within the Affordable Care Act marketplace next year, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The move would affect about 10,400 residents who buy individual exchange coverage.

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said last week on the floor of the Senate that the ACA is but a broken promise, and that patients have a shrinking pool of doctors and health plans to choose from.

“Just last month, after Aetna, United Healthcare and Cigna announced they would leave Georgia’s marketplace, Blue Cross (Blue Shield) filed its third premium increase for the third time this summer, an increase of 21.4 percent,” Isakson said. “Earlier in the summer, Humana announced the average premium increase in the state of Georgia of a whopping 67.5 percent. And in 2016, all 159 counties in Georgia had at least two provider options. Next year, 96 counties in Georgia will only have one option.”

Most counties with just one option are rural, and government subsidies will lighten the burden of premium increases for some.

Sandy Springs City Council confirmed Mayor Rusty Paul’s appointment of as chief municipal judge.

The Supreme Court of Georgia ruled in favor of the clerk of Chatham County Superior Court in a pay dispute with the County Commission.

All seven of the state’s Supreme Court justices agreed to the opinion released this week, which determined that Chatham’s Superior Court clerk, Dan Massey, is entitled cost of living adjustments provided to other county workers by the Chatham County Commission. The opinion upholds a May 2015 order from Superior Court Judge Charles Rose of the Atlantic Circuit in Hinesville, who was appointed to hear the case after all the judges in Chatham County Superior Court recused themselves.

The case between Massey and the Chatham County Commission had been ongoing since December 2014, when the Superior Court Clerk filed suit against the county to recoup pay he argued he was owed for several years. According to the opinion released Monday, Massey was asking for the required longevity increases provided to elected officials on each subsequent term, cost of living adjustments provided for his post by the state of Georgia, and cost of living adjustments that were provided to county employees through local legislation.

But the county argued that Massey was not entitled to the local cost of living increase because the local legislation that dealt with the clerk’s salary at the time was unconstitutional and not enforceable. The clerk, they argued, was not entitled to a salary that exceeds the law’s requirements.

The Chatham County Board of Elections met with the Chatham County Board of Registrars to discuss improving election processes.

This year has been particularly busy for the two agencies, as two local elected officials have died in office over the past year, leaving vacancies that required a special election to fill.

Add to those special elections some runoffs and the regular schedule during a presidential election year, and the current tally of elections in Chatham County is at five. There will be at least one more — the Nov. 8 general election — and possibly two more after that if any of the local, state or federal races on the ballot go on to a runoff.

Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis and the City Commission disagree over who should be able to ask the law department to draft an ordinance.

Augusta Commission members made quick work of Mayor Hardie Davis’ objection to a new policy about use of law department resources and voted to remove his signature line from the document Tuesday.

Davis said the procedure “restricts the ability of a commissioner-legislator-policy maker from an inherent premise of representative democracy,” which is “to introduce legislation at any time.”

The mayor, a former state senator and representative, hasn’t introduced any ordinances to the commission since taking office, including before the commission approved the policy June 21.

But not being able to get the law office’s aid in doing so “has the chilling effect of not only hindering the legislative process, but effectively censoring ideas of an elected member of the commission,” Davis continued, then invoking Lincoln’s Gettysburg address.

Opportunity School District

Proponents of the Opportunity School District are out with a new TV ad featuring Democratic Senator Freddie Powell Sims.

From the AJC

[The OSD Amendment] faces staunch opposition from leading Democrats and educators groups who say it would give control of local schools to an aloof entity that is not accountable to voters.

Deal’s advisers hope that’s where advocates like Sims Powell, a retired middle school principal and a leader in Albany’s black community, can step in.

They aim for a replay of the 2012 fight over a charter school constitutional amendment, which earned surprising support in some heavily-black areas despite a wall of opposition from Democratic officials. And Deal has tailored his message to minority voters, casting the debate as a “moral imperative” as he speaks to groups like the 100 Black Men of Atlanta.

The Muscogee County Board of Education will vote next week on a resolution opposing the Opportunity School District Constitutional Amendment.

With eight of its 53 schools on the chronically failing list that would make them eligible for state takeover if Georgia voters pass the November referendum, the Muscogee County School Board is scheduled to vote next week on a resolution to oppose the proposed constitutional amendment.

The Muscogee board’s proposed resolution asserts, if the OSD is approved, “our local voice will be eliminated” and “would result in or have the effect of limiting the authority or the revenue generating potential of local school systems.”

The proposed resolution also claims, “Taking away local control, diminishing resources and making efforts to shift the governance of local schools will do just the opposite for the successful outcomes of Muscogee County students.”


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