Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 21, 2015


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 21, 2015

On September 20, 1863, the Confederate Army of the Tennessee under General Braxton Bragg repelled Union forces under General William Rosencrans at the Battle of Chickamauga. After Gettysburg, Chickamauga is generally considered the second-bloodiest battle of the Civil War, with 18,500 Confederate casualties and 16,100 Union dead.

On September 21, 1863, the federal Army of the Cumberland retreated to Chattanooga after its defeat at Chickamauga.

On September 20, 1976, Playboy magazine released an interview with Jimmy Carter, then a candidate for President.

Bert Lance resigned as Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Jimmy Carter on September 21, 1977. After a jury acquitted him on ten federal charges in 1980, Lance served as Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia from 1982 to 1985.

General Colin Powell was confirmed by the Senate Armed Services Committee as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on September 21. 1989. Powell served as National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan before being appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by President George H.W. Bush; in 2000, Powell was nominated by President George W. Bush as Secretary of State, the first African-American to hold that post.

On September 21, 2011, R.E.M. announced on their website that they were quitting as a band.

Georgia Politics

Jeb Bush was in Athens this weekend for the UGA-USC game.

Jeb Athens

Here’s a bit from NBC:

The scene at the tailgate Saturday was reminiscent of the Iowa State Fair earlier this year, as the Republican presidential candidate was mobbed for selfies and autographs by students and others tailgating ahead of the game.

The governor delivered an abbreviated version of his stump speech touching on his goals for economic growth and asking for support in the coming primary elections, but he spent the vast majority of the event greeting the crowd individually.

Asked repeatedly which team had his support Saturday, Bush said he was “neutral,” but quickly added he predicts Georgia will win the conference.

One group of students told Bush they’re fans of Trump but wanted a photo with the governor anyway. The crowd broke into chants of “Jeb” several times thought the afternoon.

Jeb Signs Athens

11Alive tells us Bush will return to Athens.

This won’t be the only time Bush will mix politics and SEC football, however.

He’s set to attend the Georgia-Tennessee game in October and a game between Louisiana State University and Alabama in November.

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle introduced Bush.

Casey Cagle Jeb Athens

Fletcher Page of the Athens Banner Herald got this quote about Jeb Bush from Vince Dooley:

“I met him before, I like him,” Vince told me. “He’s got a broad perspective. He did a great job in Florida. He’s very smart, and he’s a real gentlemen. I don’t know if you can say this or not, but that might be a handicap. He’s very nice.”

And I’ll award one point for whomever came up with this Jeb! 2016 lapel sticker in UGA colors. Good move.

Jeb2016 UGA sticker

Marco Rubio will be in Atlanta at 10 AM this morning, and has released some Georgia endorsements. From the AJC:

His endorsements include state Sen. P.K. Martin and state Reps. Geoff Duncan, Chuck Efstration, Buzz Brockway, Trey Kelley and Bert Reeves.

“There is no candidate that I trust more to keep our country safe in the 21st Century than Marco, and I am proud to be part of his Georgia leadership team,” said Duncan, R-Cumming.

Martin, of Lawrenceville, said Rubio’s performance in Wednesday’s debate “proved once again that he’s ready to lead us into a New American Century.”

Bush’s son, Jeb Bush Jr., will be in Atlanta on Wednesday for a college student meetup at Georgia State University. And we hear Rubio is considering making a gameday stop to Athens in two weeks for the epic Georgia-Alabama matchup.

In South Georgia, Rubio picked up an endorsement from Congressman Austin Scott (R-Tifton).

In a statement from Rubio’s campaign to The Associated Press, Rep. Austin Scott cites national security as his reason for backing the senator. Scott says Rubio “is ready to be commander-in-chief the first day in office.”

Early Voting Begins October 12

If you need to register to vote, click here to register online.

Across the state, many cities will open Early Voting in municipal elections on October 12th.

Oct. 5 is the last day to register to vote in this year’s city elections, and there are several contests to be decided in Rome and Cave Spring. Advance voting for the Nov. 3 election starts Oct. 12.

In the last city elections — in 2013 — turnout countywide was 32.24 percent. A special purpose, local option sales tax referendum and Sunday alcohol sales also were on the ballot.

In 2011, just 87 of Cave Spring’s 595 registered voters cast ballots in their City Council election, a turnout of 14.6 percent.

Rome’s city elections were canceled because the races were uncontested.

This year, six of the nine seats on the Rome City Commission are up for grabs and the races are contested.

State and Local Government

Former Augusta Mayor Bob Young has dropped out of the 2016 Repblican primary for State House District 123.

Young’s July announcement that he’d challenge Republican incumbent Barbara Sims in next year’s election created a mini-domino effect in Augusta politics. The next day Sims announced she’d retire at the end of her term next year. And a few hours later, Wright McLeod, an Augusta lawyer and Republican candidate for the 12th District U.S. House seat in 2012, announced he’d run for the seat, too.

Young said he’s comfortable with his decision not to run because his top three campaign issues have been accomplished, the first being the unpopular name of Georgia Regents University being changed to Augusta University. His second issue of eliminating the state income tax is a growing movement, and the third is that the district will have new representation.

Meanwhile last week, Dr. Mark Newton, the chairman and medical director of the Emergency Department at Doctors Hospital in Augusta, announced he’ll seek the 123rd District seat. Newton is also founder and CEO of MedNow Urgent Care Centers, which has three locations in Richmond and Columbia counties.

The Marietta Daily Journal spoke to local legislators about proposals to bring gambling to the Peach State.

None of Cobb’s six state senators or its 15 state representatives are part of the committee, which is scheduled to present recommendations on how to better fund the scholarship program by Dec. 1.

State Sen. Judson Hill, R-east Cobb, said it’s too early in the process for him to make a decision.

“Expanding gambling and horse racing in Georgia is an issue that needs further extensive study to determine the possible impact and consequences,” Hill said. “It’s premature to make a determination about such a major initiative for our state, especially when only two study committee meetings by a few legislators have been held on the topic.”

State Rep. Don Parsons, R-north Cobb, expressed a similar sentiment.

“A legislative study committee is just beginning to look at the issue of casino gambling,” Parsons said. “It has not been debated and reported out of any standing committee in the Georgia Legislature, and to my knowledge there have been no hearings before a standing committee. This is an issue wherein economic development and individual liberty will have to be weighed against the potential problems that an expansion of gambling currently allowed by Georgia law might bring to our state.”

State Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, has sponsored several bills to expand HOPE grants and scholarships and said she supports both casinos and horse racing coming to Georgia.

“I support this measure — and am a cosponsor of the legislation — because it will provide a new revenue stream to support the HOPE grant, HOPE scholarship and pre-K,” Evans said.

Evans is referring to a proposal from Savannah Republican Ron Stephens filed late in the 2015 legislative session that she cosponsored: a constitutional amendment allowing a maximum of six casinos in the state but no more than two within a region.

The candidates for Savannah Council District One met to discuss issues with voters, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Alderman Van Johnson is running for his fourth term on the council, while Bernetta Lanier is challenging him for the seat.

Both candidates sat down recently to discuss their priorities for the district and the city. In addition to crime, issues included projects funded by the special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST), the performance of the city manager, the proposed Canal District and new arena and gambling on Hutchinson Island.

State legislators may weigh-in again on the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline, which is controversial in Savannah.

Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry ruled that Kinder Morgan had not proved why there was a public necessity for the pipeline that would justify granting the company power to seize land from unwilling owners, a legal authority lawyers call eminent domain.

And Kinder Morgan attorneys quickly filed suit, setting the stage for a hearing Nov. 13 in Fulton County Superior Court.

That date makes it possible for Judge Kimberly M. Esmond Adams to rule before the General Assembly convenes in January, leaving an opening for lawmakers to act if they see the need.

Legislators say they’re deciding what their next move is.

“There was discussion back when this was hot and before the ruling about dealing with this in the legislature this year. That has kind of dropped off the radar,” said Rep. Jesse Petrea, R-Savannah.

For now. Burns will call House Republicans this fall to set the majority party’s agenda.

“When we get together to start to talk issues, I suspect this will be one of them,” Petrea said.

The Senate majority caucus, also controlled by Republicans, meets Oct. 12 to have a similar discussion.

Diverging diamond bridges in Gwinnett County are being called a success, so you can probably look forward to more of them.

It’s been more than two years since the Pleasant Hill diverging diamond interchange opened and officials are now sharing data on its effect on traffic in the area.

Those figures include a 20 percent drop in accidents and a 51 percent drop in the number of times cars had to stop between Club Drive and Satellite Boulevard, according to Allen and Gwinnett County Transportation Director Alan Chapman. There’s also been at least a 40 percent decrease in delays, they said.

“That is a huge improvement,” Chapman said.

Cherokee County Commissioners will likely approve a $209 million FY 2016 budget when they meet on October 6th.

The Muscogee County Board of Education will consider tonight whether to adopt new financial reporting requirements for discretional spending by the Superintendent.

Top Army Generals are discussing how gender roles in combat and standards for soldiers interact after two female soldiers passed Ranger School at Fort Benning.

Dawson County Sheriff’s Office Major Jeff Johnson announced he will run for the top job in the open seat election next year.

A veteran lawman and current Major in the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office has announced plans to run for the top job in the department.

With nearly 23 years of service, Johnson has experience in detention, patrol, courts, investigations, specialized assignments, training, internal affairs, and community programs. He currently serves as the detention commander as well as a departmental firearms and defensive tactics instructor.

“The office of the sheriff is a complex entity,” Johnson said in announcing his candidacy.  “There are many components with many different functions and responsibilities. Your sheriff must be well experienced in these areas in order to effectively lead and command. To make the informed and educated decisions regarding our community, a sheriff must possess the first hand knowledge and ability to assess these issues. Otherwise, he or she is simply relying on the advice of others.”

Johnson says his motivation to run for the office is simple. “As a county resident for over 31 years, I have a vested interest in our people, our county, and our safety. This is where I work, where I worship and where I play.”

Dalton City Council will consider whether to allow road sodas alcoholic drinks to be carried around downtown.

Council members are scheduled to meet Monday at 6 p.m. in City Hall. On the agenda is an ordinance that would allow licensed restaurants and bars within the downtown Dalton business district to sell alcoholic beverages up to 16 ounces in a plastic or paper cup to patrons who could then carry them outside within the business district. That district is bordered on the north by Waugh Street, on the east by the railway track, on the south by Morris Street and on the west by Thornton Avenue.

Currently, patrons may only drink poured beverages inside a bar or restaurant or in any outdoor areas they have.

The change was requested by the Downtown Dalton Development Authority, which found that cities that have areas that serve as hubs for dining and entertainment allow patrons to move from one establishment to another with a drink in their hands.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Corporal Jason Roberson was named National Association of State Boating Law Administrators officer of the year.

Roberson was named the top boating officer in Georgia back in February and was later made a national finalist following an award by the regional boating association.

“I can’t think of a more deserving officer to receive this prestigious award,” said DNR Law Enforcement Director Col. Eddie Henderson in a news release. “When Jason is in the boat, he is the best of the best when it comes to boating enforcement.”

Lake Lanier has served as Roberson’s patrol area, working with DNR for the past 15 years.

Of utmost importance, he said, has been making sure motorists and boat operators that are under the influence of drugs and alcohol are removed.

“Getting those impaired operators off the waters and off the highways is probably one of the most important things we can do,” he said.

The Eleventh District GAGOP will hold a marksmanship event on Friday, October 2, 2015 from 4-8 PM at Adventure Outdoors, one of GaPundit’s favorite stores.

Registration: $45 for marksmanship event, plus reception

$10 for reception only in advance. $15 at door

Click here to get your tickets online.

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