Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 4, 2014


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 4, 2014

On December 4, 1783, General George Washington told his officers he would resign his commission and return to his life at Mount Vernon.

The Battle of Waynesboro, Georgia was fought between Wheeler’s Confederate cavalry and Kilpatrick’s federal troops on December 4, 1864.

Governor William Northen signed legislation placing on the statewide ballot a constitutional amendment to increase the number of Georgia Supreme Court Justices from 3 to 5 on December 4, 1893.

On December 4, 1932, a 12-foot tall statue of Tom Watson, former state legislator, Congressman, and United States Senator from Georgia, was placed on the State Capitol Grounds.

On December 4, 1945, the United States Senate voted to approve full U.S. participation in the United Nations. Georgia’s Senators voted in favor.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Mike Young, previously Mayor of Helena, Georgia, will serve as the first Mayor of McRae-Helena, a combined city, after winning a runoff election.

In a pretty odd situation, Robert Goff won the runoff election for Dade County Commission District 3, with 475 votes to 272 for incumbent Rick Breeden.

Goff previously represented District 3 on the County Commission. He resigned last March in order to run for a spot in the statehouse against Georgia Rep. John Deffenbaugh.

After the loss, Goff decided to run for the commission seat he’d given up.

“To carry the county again under the circumstances, it’s an honor to me,” he said.

Because Goff resigned from the commission midterm, he will only serve on the County Commission for another two years before there will be another general election for two commissioner seats, as well as the county mayor.

Breeden, the man who replaced Goff after Goff’s resignation, said he is fine with the outcome. He said he only stepped up after community members asked him to.

Ashley Durrence was elected Chairman of the Tattnall County Commission in a runoff election with 63 percent of the vote to 37 percent for Keith Dixon.

Rob Simms will take the reins of the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to Politico:

Coming off a big win on Election Day, the National Republican Congressional Committee — the campaign arm of House Republicans — will move its political director, Rob Simms, up to executive director.

“Rob was instrumental in helping us win this historic majority and now he’s going to lead our efforts to keep it and help Members build the best campaigns possible,” said NRCC Chairman Greg Walden (Ore.) said in a statement.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Chairman Greg Walden again and look forward to continuing to be a part of our outstanding team at the NRCC,” Simms said. “Chairman Walden and I want to build upon the improvements we made in 2014, and engineer a stronger committee and an even stronger majority.”

Simms served as Georgia’s deputy secretary of state from 2007-09, and has been involved in multiple congressional and gubernatorial campaigns.

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens has joined the 17-state lawsuits against President Obama’s Executive Amnesty.

The 17-state coalition led by Texas is suing over Obama’s recently announced executive actions on immigration, arguing in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that the move “tramples” key portions of the U.S. Constitution.

Merry Hunter Hipp, communications specialist in Gov. Nathan Deal’s office, directed questions about Georgia’s involvement to the state’s Attorney General’s Office.

“We are a nation of immigrants, and I value the many contributions made to our country by immigrants. We are also a nation of laws,” said Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens in a statement.

“As the complaint itself states, ‘This lawsuit is not about immigration. It is about the rule of law, presidential power, and enforcement of the U.S. Constitution.’ There is no question that immigration reform is needed. However, President Obama’s unconstitutional, short-term action only adds to uncertainty faced by those wishing to live in our country.”


Deal rings in a new tradition

Georgia Liberty Bell photo by Georgia Building Authority

Photo by Georgia Building Authority

Governor Nathan Deal will ring Georgia’s replica of the Liberty Bell to mark the opening of his inauguration ceremony on January 12, 2015.

“The Liberty Bell, much like Liberty Plaza, has historical significance to our state,” Deal said. “It was intended for use at patriotic occasions, and we look forward to restoring that tradition. It is my hope that the Liberty Bell will become part of Georgia’s inaugural ceremony for years to come.”

Georgia’s Liberty Bell is one of 55 full-scale replicas commissioned by the federal government as part of a savings bond drive in 1950 and presented to the states.

A 1976 article about the Liberty Bell replicas notes that Georgia’s copy had been stored in the State Capitol, but was proposed to be moved across the street, where it now stands outside.

A great photo, and a great story

Guy Davis with Ronald Reagan628px

Yesterday, Shawn Davis texted me this photo of his father, the late Guy Davis, with President Ronald Reagan. I happened to be talking to Jim Galloway at the time and showed him the photo. With Shawn’s permission, I sent a copy to Jim and it wound up in his Political Insider column. It turns out that Jim had accompanied Davis on that tour of Washington, but hadn’t been allowed into the Oval Office for the meeting with Reagan. It’s worth reading Jim’s contemporary column.

Davis later jubilantly walked off the White House grounds with indelible proof – a video of him seated with Ronald Reagan – that he has the respect of the Republican who counts.

“He was really easy to talk to. It was like talking to Hugh Hardison,” Davis said, referring to Georgia’s former public safety commissioner.

Unfortunately, Davis probably won’t be able to show those politically golden moments to anyone – he’s got no money to build them into a television commercial. “Nobody’s going to see it unless one of many promises come through, ” Davis said afterward. [The above photo is a product of that trip]

The Davis campaign has raised only $70,000 thus far and has no plans to use television in his challenge to incumbent Gov. Joe Frank Harris. “I knew that before we came up here, ” said Davis, whose campaign is so frugal that he and his staff took the subway from National Airport to their downtown hotel, at a net savings of approximately $30.

Davis is hoping that a peacemaking meeting that took place Monday in Atlanta might bring a change in his underfunded status.

Davis said he met with state GOP chairman Paul Coverdell and other state Republican officials for 90 minutes, airing his complaints about the state party’s lack of involvement in the gubernatorial campaign.

Take note of the plaque on Reagan’s desk, which reads, “It CAN be done.”

Leo Smith: What Eric Holder Forgot

Leo Smith, Director of Engagement for the Georgia Republican Party wrote about Eric Holder’s visit to Atlanta.

When Holder abruptly mentioned the harsh impact of the “prison industrial complex” on African American men and the desperate need for criminal justice reform, my ears perked.

As Minority Engagement Director for the Georgia Republican Party, I spent a majority of the year meeting with African American, Asian, and Latino groups around the state to discuss Republican efforts to empower small business owners, enhance educational opportunities for our youth, and encourage economic growth and opportunity.  One of the key legislative efforts mentioned was Gov. Deal’s criminal justice reform legislation.

Thanks to criminal justice reform in Georgia, incarceration rates for African Americans is down by 20 percent. This “unmistakable” downward trend is a direct result of the expansion of accountability courts throughout the state. In the first quarter of 2014, more than four thousand people where enrolled in accountability courts throughout the state, and many of these Georgians would likely be in prison today if it were not for the bold leadership of Republicans like Gov. Deal.  Instead of being locked in a cell, they are home with family.

But this Republican backed initiative was not mentioned by Holder or anyone on stage that night.  Credit to the Georgia General Assembly and the hundreds of pastors, judges, lawyers, and community leaders involved in these reform efforts was never given.  Awards and accolades given to the Governor for his leadership on this important initiative were never mentioned or applauded.

Congressman Tom Price

On the extension of tax provisions:

“This extension of certain tax provisions will restore, temporarily, a modicum of certainty for, and prevent a tax increase on, families and businesses. This legislation is no solution to the challenges we face in America’s tax system. It simply buys more time for Congress to forge a long-term agreement on these specific items – some of which should not be extended in the future – and, more importantly, on fundamental tax reform. The House of Representatives has already voted to simplify and make permanent several of these provisions. We have advanced the cause of broader tax reform through discussions and committee activity.”

“As we head into a new year with a new Congress, we must keep our focus on achieving real results and producing a tax code that is simpler and fairer for American families and businesses. This will require the White House to cooperate and work with Congress on what can be a tremendous benefit to America’s economy.”

On the states’ lawsuits over Obama’s Executive Amnesty:

“The 17 states, including Georgia, which are helping spearhead the challenge to President Obama’s executive amnesty ought to be commended for their leadership. In the wake of the president’s unlawful disregard and disrespect for the Constitution, elected officials at both the federal and state level must pursue realistic avenues to hold the Obama Administration accountable.”

We have an obligation to protect and defend the rule of law enshrined in our Constitution and with it the voices of the American people we represent. By stepping forward, these states are providing crucial leadership and support at this critical time.”

Price will influence selection of OMB Director:

Douglas W. Elmendorf is an obscure figure beyond a narrow radius around Capitol Hill. As the director of the Congressional Budget Office, his nuts-and-bolts job is to serve as the official scorekeeper on the price of legislation and the referee on the budgetary and economic impacts of policy, from the Affordable Care Act to an increase in the minimum wage.

The budget office wields enormous power in its proclamations over legislative cost and effect; working the referee has been time-honored since the office’s creation in 1974. But the hand-wringing over the changing of director has almost always been partisan, not intraparty.

The decision rests in the hands of Republican leaders, including the new chairmen of the House and Senate budget committees as well as the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees. Representative Tom Price, a Georgia Republican and a strong conservative, will be writing the House’s budget next year, while Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin moves to the Ways and Means Committee, which originates tax bills and has the dominant role in health care legislation.

Both men argue that the budget office should use more “dynamic scoring” when assessing the cost of tax cuts, saying the impact on the Treasury would be mitigated greatly by the additional economic growth they contend the cuts would engender.

Senator-elect David Perdue

On the federal debt level:

“It’s downright shameful that our national debt has gotten this out of hand. We have a full blown crisis because Washington is addicted to spending, and it’s hurting the country. Washington’s failure to address our debt will have dire consequences for our economy and our families. We have a national debt that is larger than our GDP, and our kids and grandkids will be fiscally handcuffed in the future. Not only is our rising debt dangerous for our economy, it hurts our national security. Nations like China own trillions of dollars of our debt, and perpetually borrowing from them only makes us more vulnerable.”

“It’s tragic that Washington has allowed our debt to spiral out of control, and we must take steps to tackle it head on. I believe that we must pass a Balanced Budget Amendment, so that Congress works together to make sure we don’t spend more than we take in. Another commonsense place to start is to eliminate the billions of dollars wasted on redundant agencies and programs within the federal government. For the sake of our national security and economic strength, I will work with my Senate colleagues in the new Congress to reduce our national debt and grow our economy through responsible reforms.”

State Rep. Jason Spencer on HB 17

State Rep. Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine) has pre-filed House Bill 17, called the Hidden Predator Act. He writes about the bill:

All of the research shows that child sexual abuse victims will not openly identify their perpetrator until they have reached adulthood, usually in their 40s and 50s.  For that very reason, the state of Georgia removed the [Statutes of Limitations] SOLs on criminal prosecutions of child sexual abuse in 2012 in its criminal justice reform proposal passed by the General Assembly.  The General Assembly must now put the civil law on the same parity with the criminal law when it comes to identifying child sexual predators.  Therefore, child sexual abuse should be treated like an SOL for murder, not like a property dispute.  We need to shift the balance from enabling predators to protecting children.

In the upcoming 2015 Legislative Session, I will be introducing the Georgia “Hidden Predator Act,” or House Bill 17.  This bill will provide a meaningful 30 year extension to the civil SOL for child sexual abuse claims, essentially giving a survivor up to age 53 years to file a claim in civil court going forward.  This will allow the halls of justice to open to current victims and allow them the time they need to seek justice in the courts where they were once barred from entering.  The SOL extension will also bring the names of perpetrators into the pubic, and they will no longer be hidden.

The State Capitol Prepares for Christmas

State Capitol Lobby Christmas

Decorating State Capitol Christmas Tree

State Capitol CHOA tree

Event Calendar

Barry Loudermilk Congress: Holiday Reception & Canned Food Drive

December 4 @ 5:00 PM7:00 PM

Loudermilk For Congress Office, 9898 Highway 92, Woodstock, GA

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Gwinnett Tea Party: Christmas Dinner

December 4 @ 7:30 PM8:30 PM

The Flying Machine, 510 Briscoe Blvd, Lawrenceville, GA 30045

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Join us for our annual Christmas Dinner. $12 gets you ham, chicken, veggies R…

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Gilmer County GOP: Christmas Dinner

December 5 @ 6:00 PM8:00 PM

JJ’s Restaurant, 24 River Street, Ellijay, GA 30540

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You Are Invited to… The Gilmer County Republican Party’s Christmas Dinner …

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Fayette County GOP: Christmas Celebration

December 5 @ 6:30 PM7:30 PM

Fayette Event Center, 174 North Glynn St, Fayetteville, GA 30214 

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  Fayette County Republican Party cordially invites you to Event Center Ann…

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Atlanta YR: Holiday Party

December 5 @ 8:00 PM

City Club of Buckhead, 3353 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30326 

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  Mark your calendars for the best holiday event of the year, and get ready…

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Cobb County GOP: Tribute to Rep. Phil Gingrey with Gov. Nathan Deal

December 6 @ 8:15 AM9:15 AM

Cobb GOP HQ, 799 Roswell St, Marietta, GA 30060

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Join Us and Governor Nathan Deal at the Cobb GOP December First Saturday Breakfa…

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Fayette County GOP: Breakfast

December 6 @ 9:00 AM10:00 AM

Unnamed Venue, 174 North Glynn St., Fayetteville, GA 30214

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The speaker is Bill Fogarty, Chairman, Georgians for Fair Tax .                 …

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22nd Annual Dallas Christmas Parade, Walk/Ride with Rep. Gravley and Friends.

December 6 @ 12:00 PM3:30 PM

Dallas Elementary School

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Please join me and my campaign for the 22nd Annual Invitational Christmas Parade…

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Savannah Area YR: Christmas Party and Awards Dinner with Sen. Josh McKoon

December 6 @ 6:30 PM8:30 PM

Moon River Brewing Company, 21 W. Bay St, Savannah, GA 31401 

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  Our annual Christmas Party will also be an Awards Dinner. KEYNOTE SPEAKER…

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Governor’s Mansion: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

December 7 @ 6:00 PM7:00 PM

Georgia Governor’s Mansion, 391 West Paces Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30305

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December 7th at 6:00 p.m. – Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony –…

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Greater Gwinnett GOP Women: Christmas Party

December 8 @ 6:30 PM9:00 PM

Long Horn Steakhouse, 800 Lawrenceville Suwanee Rd, Lawrenceville, GA 30043

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GGRW Christmas Party Bring a wrapped gift for the Gift Grab. Contact Peg Murray:…

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Putnam County GOP: Christmas Celebration

December 8 @ 6:30 PM8:30 PM

Clover Room – Rock Eagle, 350 Rock Eagle Road , Eatonton, GA 31024

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Whitfield County GOP: Christmas Dinner with Sen. Josh McKoon

December 9 @ 6:30 PM8:30 PM

Dalton Depot Restaurant, 110 Depot St., Dalton, GA 30720

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Whitfield GOP December Meeting: A Christmas Gathering and Dinner among Friends!!…

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Buckhead Freedom Coalition: Why The Grassroots Are Winning & How with Debbie Dooley

December 9 @ 7:00 PM9:00 PM

Taco Mac – Lindbergh, 573 Main Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30324

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Freedom rangers unite!!!! Come gather with your brothers and sisters who are pat…

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Happy Birthday – Congressman Austin Scott

December 10

Happy Birthday – Congressman Austin Scott

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Toy Requested

Athens – Clarke County GOP: Christmas Party

December 11 @ 7:00 PM9:00 PM

The Pub at Gameday, 251 West Clayton Street, Athens, GA 30601

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  We would like to cordially invite you to our annual Christmas party on Th…

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Hall County GOP: Christmas Party

December 11 @ 7:00 PM9:00 PM

Recess Southern Gastro Pub, 118 Bradford St NW, Gainesville, GA 30501

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You are Invited To an Evening of Fellowship And Good Cheer To Celebrate the Holi…

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Cherokee County GOP: Christmas Party

December 12 @ 6:30 PM9:00 PM

Towne Lake Hills HOA, 1007 Towne Lake Hls E, Woodstock, GA

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  (This event will take the place of our December meeting!)Please join the …

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Paulding County GOP: Christmas Party

December 12 @ 7:00 PM8:00 PM

Audrey’s Cafe, 105 Village Walk, Dallas, GA 30132

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Please join us on Friday, December 12th as we celebrate the Christmas holidays w…

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Gwinnett County GOP: Christmas & Hanukkah Brunch

December 13 @ 10:00 AM12:00 PM

Summit Chase Country Club, 3197 Classic Drive, Snellville, GA 30078

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Christmas and Hanukkah Brunch

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Rockdale County GOP: Christmas Luncheon

December 13 @ 12:00 PM3:00 PM

Honey Creek Golf Club, 635 Clubhouse Dr SE, Conyers, GA 30094

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Rockdale GOP Christmas Luncheon Contact: for more infor…

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FREE / UN-wrapped Gift

Jackson County GOP: Christmas Party

December 13 @ 6:00 PM7:00 PM

Jefferson Club House, 302 Longview Drive, Jefferson, GA 30549

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Dedication of the Nativity Scene at the Capitol

December 15 @ 12:00 PM1:00 PM
State Capitol
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Columbia County GOP & CSRA GOP Women’s Club: Christmas Party

December 15 @ 7:00 PM9:00 PM

GAGOP 12th District Field Office, 2834 Washington Road, Augusta, GA 30909

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Cobb County GOP: Christmas Reception

December 16 @ 5:30 PM8:30 PM

Marietta Garden Center, 505 Kennesaw Avenue, Marietta, GA 30060

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Cobb Commissioner – Elect Bob Weatherford: Community Swearing-In Ceremony

December 17 @ 4:00 PM5:00 PM

Cobb County Board of Commisioners, 100 Cherokee Street, Marietta, GA 30090

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DeKalb County GOP: Ringing For Rick on Christmas Eve

December 24 @ 9:00 AM2:00 PM

Northlake Mall, 4800 Briarcliff Road, Atlanta, GA

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Join the DeKalb County GOP on Christmas Eve for Ringing For Rick O…

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Happy Birthday – Senator Johnny Isakson

December 28

Happy Birthday – Senator Johnny Isakson

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