Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections for February 17, 2013


Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections for February 17, 2013

On February 17, 1783, the Georgia House of Assembly passed legislation granting Revolutionary War veterans free land.

On February 17, 1801, Thomas Jefferson was elected third President of the United States.

After a bloodless but ugly campaign in which candidates and influential supporters on both sides used the press, often anonymously, as a forum to fire slanderous volleys at each other, the then-laborious and confusing process of voting began in April 1800. Individual states scheduled elections at different times and although Jefferson and Burr ran on the same ticket, as president and vice president respectively, the Constitution still demanded votes for each individual to be counted separately. As a result, by the end of January 1801, Jefferson and Burr emerged tied at 73 electoral votes apiece. Adams came in third at 65 votes.

The flawed voting system that was so problematic in the election of 1800 was later improved by the 12th Amendment, which was ratified in 1804.

The United States Senate passed the Missouri Compromise on February 17, 1820 as an attempt to find middle ground on the issue of human slavery.

Southern slaveholders, eager to replicate their plantation system in the West, wanted to keep the new territories open to slavery. Abolitionists, concentrated primarily in the industrial North, wanted the West to be exclusively a free labor region and hoped that slavery would gradually die out if confined to the South. Both factions realized their future congressional influence would depend on the number of new “slave” and “free” states admitted into the union.

In exchange for admitting Missouri without restrictions on slavery, the Compromise called for bringing in Maine as a free state. The Compromise also dictated that slavery would be prohibited in all future western states carved out of the Louisiana Territory that were higher in latitude than the northern border of Arkansas Territory.

On February 17, 1854, Georgia Governor Herschel Johnson signed legislation passed by the General Assembly placing a referendum on the November ballot on whether to move Georgia’s Capitol from Milledgeville to Atlanta.

On February 17, 1893, Georgia Congressman Tom Watson added an amendment to a postal service budget requiring a pilot program for free rural mail delivery.

On February 17, 1960, arrest warrants were issued after an Alabama prosecutor indicted Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. for filing false tax returns. During the trial, the examiner who identified the alleged issues testified that he was under pressure from his supervisors to find problems, and the all-white jury took less than four hours to find King not guilty.

On February 17, 1974, Governor Jimmy Carter and Coretta Scott King unveiled a portrait of the late Martin Luther King, Jr. in the State Capitol. The portrait would be replaced by a larger one in 2006.

Last week, on the day I noted the anniversary of the first Fugitive Slave Act, passed by Congress in 1793, a friend wrote back to me,

there are some of us who find this as offensive…there had to be more worthy historical moments in Georgia history that all Georgians would find interesting..That is not a black history fact with merit.

I believe that our country and our state have been marked to this day by the tension present at our nations founding between lofty ideals of freedom and the tragic reality that our predecessors engaged in human slavery. I don’t celebrate all historical facts, but believe that honesty and progress toward a better state and nation require that we remember these shortcomings and remind ourselves of them. On that same day I also noted that Georgia was first founded in 1733 with a prohibition on slavery, and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. Such are the tensions that bring us to this day – today.

On August 1, 1816, Jefferson wrote to John Adams,

“Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both….I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”

On January 22, 1820, he wrote of his dream to create a University,

“my hopes however are kept in check by the ordinary character of our state legislatures, the members of which do not generally possess information enough to percieve the important truths, that [knowledge] is power, that [knowledge] is safety, and that [knowledge] is happiness.”

Under the Gold Dome Today


8:00 AM RULES 450 CAP



8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Jacobs Subcommittee of Judiciary Civil 132 CAP
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Fleming Subcommittee Judiciary Civil 415 CLOB
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM RULES 341 CAP
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Welch Subcommittee of Juvenile Justice 515 CLOB
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Life & Health Subcommittee of Insurance 406 CLOB

Open Rule
HB 762 Motor vehicles and traffic; procedure for passing sanitation vehicles;
provide (MotV-Harrell-106th)

HR 1158 Congress; establish national energy policy to strengthen access to and
removal of impediment to domestic sources of energy; encourage

HR 1159 Congress; establish national energy policy to strengthen access to and
removal of impediment to domestic sources of energy; encourage

Modified Open Rule
HB 744 General appropriations; State Fiscal Year July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015

HB 820 Condominium associations; standing to participate in litigation under
certain circumstances; clarify provisions (Substitute)(Judy-Powell-171st)

HB 842 Appeal and error; payment of costs and indigency affidavits; clarify
provisions (Judy-Willard-51st)

HR 1055 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012; repeal or amend;
encourage (Ins-Atwood-179th)

Last week in review

Senator Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga) chairs the Senate Rules Committee and sent out a review of the storm-shortened past week.

Even with the shortened week, the Senate took legislative action on a number of bills that are now in the House for consideration or on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature. Some of the more notable bills include:

Senate Bill 294 allows an individual licensed as an Electrical Contractor Class II to perform low-voltage contracting without obtaining a statewide low-voltage contractor class license.
Status: Passed Senate; under consideration in House.

Senate Bill 301 – This bill permits the use of certain wood materials in school construction as long as it is in compliance with state fire and building codes.
Status: Passed Senate; under consideration in House.

Senate Bill 305
SB 305 authorizes a fire marshal, state inspector or code official to deny a permit or issue a stop-work order by written notification if it is determined that building construction or plans are not in compliance with state fire safety standards.
Status: Passed Senate; under consideration in House.

Senate Bill 329
SB 329, also known as the Work Based Learning Act, will change the provisions of and rename the Youth Apprenticeship Program to the work based learning program.
Status: Passed Senate; under consideration in House.

House Bill 494
HB 494 requires private airstrip owners and utilities companies to work together during the installation of safety markers on utility lines to provide adequate visual warning in use of private airstrips.
Status: On Governor’s desk.

Words matter

Republicans once had the pioneering work of Frank Luntz to rely on when word-smithing the major political issues. It was Luntz who reshaped the debate on the estate tax by suggesting Republicans frame the issue as “the Death Tax.” Now Democrats have caught up and were able to reframe the debate over the debt-ceiling into a debate on whether Congress should default on the full faith and credit of the United States. A fascinating story from NPR.

Some would say a small a small miracle happened in Congress this week. The House and Senate passed an increase of the country’s borrowing limit that was clean – meaning there were no spending cuts or other conditions attached to it. It was also passed without much drama: no default countdown clocks flashing on cable news channels, no last-minute negotiations. Even the rhetoric between Democrats and Republicans seems fairly tame. Well, Doug Hattaway says that happened in part because of a simple turn of phrase that his communications firm helped introduce. And Mr. Hattaway joins us in the studio. Hi.


SIEGEL: You can contend that this came out to just changing some words. Which words are we talking about?

HATTAWAY: We’re talking about changing the word debt ceiling or debt limit to the word default. What we do at my firm is map out the language that’s used to define the national debate on a given topic. When we looked at this debate, Democrats and Republicans were both saying – talking about raising the debt limit. We suggest the Democrats start a new conversation by talking about default instead.

SIEGEL: Avoid default?

HATTAWAY: Exactly. The problem for the Democrats was that when this first came up in 2011, when the Republicans first played this card, about half of the voters were concerned about raising the debt limit because when you hear that, it sounds like you run up the credit card and that’s a nonstarter.

SIEGEL: And literature from your firm, you have a graphic, don’t say this: debt ceiling, raise the debt ceiling, refuse to raise the debt ceiling or irresponsible. Say this, default crisis, avoid a default crisis, default on the debt, catastrophe.

HATTAWAY: Exactly. That last word is an important one because for – emotion works with cognition in our brains to help us with the tension and retention and motivation. So a message has to create emotional reaction for people to notice it or remember it much less be move to act on it.

#GASEN Debate

I’m still accepting proposed questions for the February 22d Debate among the Republican candidates for United States Senate from Georgia.

#GASEN ads

David A. Graham of The Atlantic writes that the best political ads of the cycle come from Georgia’s senate race.

The threat from Nunn means the GOP primary matters more; Democrats lick their lips at the prospect of a candidate who might stumble badly and hand the seat to them as Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock did in the 2012 Senate races in Missouri and Indiana. And a heated primary means excellent videos.

Our first contestant is Broun, whose ad conforms neatly to the “keep it simple, stupid” school of marketing:

Perdue’s launch video is almost as good. Most of the five-minute epic is classic American political pastoral: inspirational lite classical, recollections of small-town childhood life, earthy shots of the Georgia landscape, humblebrags about his business success.

What makes the ad so great is what happens once you’re lulled into a false sense of familiarity and security. Suddenly, around 2:45, there’s a menagerie of crying babies, wearing onesies emblazoned with Perdue’s opponents’ names. “Paul” and “Phil” even have stethoscopes. If this doesn’t vault Perdue from the back of the polls to the lead … it won’t be a surprise. But it’s still a great ad.

I had not seen that ad by Paul Broun, and I agree with Graham that it’s brilliant. The 15-second format is also perfect for running as paid pre-roll on YouTube.

Here’s a pro-tip: if you’re touting your candidate’s Georgia roots, learn to pronounce Houston County.

Let me buy you coffee

A number of y’all have used the “Buy Me Coffee” button in the morning email, so I’d like to return the favor. Here’s how I’ll buy a Starbuck coffee for one winner each day this week.

1. Follow me on Twitter – both my personal account, and the GaPundit account.

2. Tweet something out that includes @toddmr and @GaPundit in the tweet and I’ll choose one. Make me laugh out loud, and you’ll probably be the winner.

3. I’ll buy one winner each day a coffee via Tweet a Coffee and Starbucks.


Events Calendar

Rep. Jack Kingston: U.S. Senate Savannah Headquarters Grand Opening

February 17, 2014, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Kingston Senate HQ, 10001 Abercorn Street, Savannah, GA 31406

+ Google Map

Celebrate the grand opening the Jack Kingston for US Senate Savannah campaign office grand opening. Lunch will be provided.

Find out more »


Americans For Prosperity – Georgia: Stand Against ObamaCare Rally – With AG Sam Olens, Sen. Judson Hill & Rep. Jason spencer

February 17, 2014, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Georgia State Capitol, 206 Washington St SW, Atlanta, GA 30334
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$30 – $50

Georgia Department of Economic Development: Georgia’s International Representatives – Annual Visit

February 17, 2014, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

InterContinental Buckhead, 3343 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30326

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The Georgia Department of Economic Development invites you to meet Georgia’s international representatives located in:   Brazil • Canada • Chile • China • Colombia Israel • Japan • Korea • Mexico United Kingdom & Ireland • Europe  Learn about these strategic world markets at the Global Market Insights seminar and discuss export and investment opportunities at the networking reception. Last year’s sold out event included more than 300 attendees. Georgia’s representatives keep our state globally competitive by helping make the state a leading location…

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Forsyth County Tea Party: Debate – State Senate District 27 & County Solicitor General

February 17, 2014, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Forsyth County Administration Building, 110 E. Main St, Cumming, GA 30040

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Forsyth County Tea Party Sponsors Debate The Forsyth County Tea Party is sponsoring a debate for the announced candidates for the County Solicitor General and for State Senate District 27.  All three announced candidates for solicitor general have been invited though only two are confirmed. Both of the announced State Senator candidates originally confirmed but the legislative schedule will keep the incumbent from attending. Solicitor General Candidates • Donna Gopaul • William (Bill) Finch • Susan Zereini State Senate Candidates • Jack Murphy •   Michael Williams

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Conservative GOP Women of North Atlanta: Meeting with Karen Handel

February 17, 2014, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Magnolia Bakery, 5175 South Old Peachtree Road, Norcross, GA 30092

Our Guest Speaker will be: Karen Handel – Candidate for U.S. Senate of Georgia

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British Consul General: The Beatles Revolution Documentary Screening

February 17, 2014, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Richard B. Russell Special Collections Library, 300 S Hull St, Athens, 30605

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Barrow County GOP: Meeting with Kingston, Collins, & Kidd

February 17, 2014, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Winder Woman’s Club, 15 West Midland Ave, Winder, GA 30680

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Guest Speakers – 1st U.S. District Rep. Jack Kingston, candidate for U.S. Senate, Mike Collins, candidate for 10th U.S. District, and Doug Kidd, candidate for Public Service Commission

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Young Jewish Republicans: Dinner Featuring Jeffrey Sprecher

February 18, 2014, 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Maggiano’s – Buckhead, 3368 Peachtree Road , Atlanta, GA 30326

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Join us for a Young Jewish Republicans Dinner  Featuring Jeffrey Sprecher Founder and CEO, InterContinental Exchange (ICE)  Kosher food is available upon request by February 12th. Space is limited–RSVP is Required by February 12th. Please email Orit Sklar at About our speaker:   Jeff Sprecher is the founder of IntercontinentalExchange Group, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), serving as the company’s Chief Executive Officer since May 2000 and as the Chairman of the Board since November 2002. Under Mr. Sprecher’s guidance, ICE has expanded from…

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British Consul General: 50th Anniversary of ‪The Beatles‬ USA Tour

February 18, 2014, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Hendershot’s Coffee Bar, 237 Prince Ave, Athens, 30601

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British Consulate-General, Atlanta Join British Consul General Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford, Peabody Awards and Georgia Film, Music, and Digital Entertainment at Hendershot’s Coffee Bar in Athens to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of ‪#‎TheBeatles‬ USA tour Feb. 18 at 7pm! It should be a groovy time! ‪#‎UKATL‬‪#‎50YearsMusicFriendship‬

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Georgia Right to Life: Pro-Life Day at Georgia State Capitol

February 19, 2014, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Georgia State Capitol, 206 Washington St SW, Atlanta, GA 30334

GRTL is planning a Pro-Life Lobby Training Day at the Capitol. This is a time when you and your friends can come and learn how to lobby at the State Capitol. The class will be basic training for those who have never been to the Capitol or know very little about the legislative process. It will even be a great refresher course for the seasoned veteran! On February 19th in room 417 in the Capitol, we will hold a…

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GA Young Republicans: Under the Gold Dome with Gov. Nathan Deal

February 19, 2014, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Georgia State Capitol, 206 Washington St SW, Atlanta, GA 30334

Join us for our 2nd annual Georgia Young Republicans at the Gold Dome event. This year we are honored to have Governor Nathan Deal as our guest speaker. Members of the House and Senate come mingle with Young Republicans from across the state, so don’t miss it. Space is limited. You *must* have a ticket. Click the ticket link above. Elected Officials do not need a ticket.

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Rep. Doug Collins: Hosts Veterans Benefits Fair in Toccoa

February 20, 2014, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Stephens County National Guard Armory, 245 East Savannah Street, Toccoa, GA 30577+ Google Map

COLLINS HOSTS VETERANS BENEFITS FAIR Northeast Georgia’s Congressman Invites All Veterans to Toccoa on February 20th Congressman Doug Collins (GA-09) will host a Veterans Benefits Fair on Thursday, February 20th. This event is free and open to every veteran in the 9th district seeking information about VA benefits, vocational rehabilitation, educational opportunities, loan guaranty, the Georgia National Cemetery, and VA Medical Center services. RSVP: Veterans interested in attending should RSVP by calling Congressman Collins’ Gainesville office at 770-297-3388.

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Oconee County GOP: Meeting With Jody Hice and Mitchell Swan

February 20, 2014, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Watkinsville Community Center, 191 VFW Drive, Watkinsville, GA 30677

Meal: Chili dogs from Hot Thomas’ Barbecue Guest Speakers: Jody Hice and Mitchell Swan, candidates for Congress (NOTE: Reservations requested by Monday, Feb. 17. Please RSVP to Secretary Tammy Gilland at or call (706) 248-7008 if you plan on eating dinner.)

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Madison County GOP: Meeting with Commissioner Ralph Hudgens

February 20, 2014, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

ILA restaurant, 81 Main St, Ila, GA 30647

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Guest Speaker: Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens. Please RSVP! Bruce Azevedo, Chairman 706-296-3834 Mobile

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Happy Birthday – Congressman John Lewis

February 21, 2014

Happy Birthday  – Congressman John Lewis

Georgia Federation of Republican Women: Red Coat Day at state Capitol

February 21, 2014
Georgia State Capitol, 206 Washington St SW, Atlanta, GA 30334

Georgia Federation of Republican Women Red Coat Day at Georgia state Capitol

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$10 / $15

DeKalb County GOP Breakfast: With GA GOP Chair John Padgett & GA RNC National Committeewoman Linda Herren

February 22, 2014, 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
DeKalb GOP HQ, 1532 Dunwoody Village Parkway, Dunwoody, GA 30338

$ 11 / $15

Fulton GOP BuckSprings Breakfast:

February 22, 2014, 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Sandy Springs UMC Hitson Activities Center, 85 Mount Vernon Hwy, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

Speakers are David Perdue – U.S. Senate and Barry Loudermilk – GA 11 U.S. Congress

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Camden County GOP: Annual Dinner

February 22, 2014, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Camden County Convention center at the Springfield Inn & Suites

Guest Speaker candidate for Georgia Governor & current State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge.

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British American Business Group: 2014 Oglethorpe Ball: “A Night of Black and Gold.”

February 22, 2014, 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Hyatt Regency, 265 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta , GA 30303 United States

Please make plans to join us now for the 2014 Oglethorpe Ball: “A Night of Black and Gold.“ This exclusive black tie event will include a fabulous dinner, music, dancing, plus a casino where you can test your luck! Click here for more information about the 2014 Oglethorpe Gala! Tentative Schedule of Events: 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Champagne Reception  (Sponsored by Golder Associates) 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM: Dinner, Dancing and Casino Entertainment   DJ Dano from Star 94 Radio – Dan, “DJ DANO,” Blankowski is one of America’s most prominent and respected…

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February 22, 2014 6:00 PM @ 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Brenau University – Pearce Auditorium, 500 Washington St. SE, Gainesville, GA 30501+ Google Map

Savannah Area YR: Meeting With Former Miss America, Mrs. Heather McCallum

February 25, 2014, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Tubby’s Tank House, 2909 River Dr, Savannah, GA 31404

Our Speaker will be former Miss America, Mrs. Heather McCallum, wife of John McCallum Candidate for the First Congressional District of Georgia.

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