Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 5, 2014


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 5, 2014

On September 5, 1774, the Continental Congress convened for the first time at Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia; delegates attended from all the colonies except Georgia.

The Heart of Atlanta Motel opened at 255 Courtland Street in downtown Atlanta on September 5, 1956. It included a three-story diving platform reached by spiral stairs and a pool large enough to hold a ski boat. African-Americans were not allowed at the Heart of Atlanta. [Photos © Georgia State University]

heart of atlanta

After passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned racial discrimination in interstate commerce, the Heart of Atlanta’s owner sued the federal government, asserting that the Act was an overly broad interpretation of the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.

The resulting decision by the United States Supreme Court upheld the Act, finding that Congress was within its authority to ban racial discrimination in businesses affecting interstate commerce.

Atlanta Time Machine has a webpage with interesting images of the Motel.

On September 5, 1969, United States Army Lieutenant William Calley was charged with murder in connection with the deaths of 109 Vietnamese civilians at My Lai. An Army inquiry listed 30 people who knew of the event and charges were filed against 14; Calley was the only conviction. Later, President Nixon paroled Calley. From 1975 to 2005 or 2006, Calley lived and worked in Columbus, Georgia, before moving to Atlanta. In 2009, Calley apologized for the events at My Lai while speaking to a meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Columbus.

Georgia Politics

This is how a professional handles a Democratic tracker.

We’ve heard of other professional pols who incorporated introducing their trackers as part of their stump speech, and of trackers who grew to personally like the candidates they followed because they were treated warmly and with respect.

Of course, trackers first became news in 2006, when United States Senator George Allen referred to a tracker as “Macaca” and the resulting firestorm cost him both his Senate reelection and what was then a promising start to a possible 2008 Presidential bid. And then there was Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” moment.

The lesson I present this morning is that there is nothing a tracker can record of your standard stump speech that will do you as much harm as you will do yourself and the entire rest of your ticket if you confront them. Here’s a small sampling of what I’m seeing on Facebook:

GAGOP Women 3 GAGOP Women2GAGOP Women1

Whatever damage the GOP suffers in November will be entirely self-inflicted.

Since no one is stepping up, I’ll go ahead an apologize to Ms. Tisdale:

Dear Nydia Tisdale,

I’m not a Republican party official, nor do I represent the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office, so I can’t apologize for them. But as a long-time Georgia Republican who believes our state is best served when conservative Republicans are elected, I would like to apologize for your treatment at the recent campaign event.

There’s no excuse for the behavior of one or two individuals, and many Republicans were shocked and offended by what happened, myself included.

I have long appreciated your work on behalf of Georgia voters in shedding light on local government, and sharing what you see at campaign events. Your video above showing Governor Nathan Deal greeting you and a professional tracker does more to show his personal graciousness and decency than anything I’ve seen in the mainstream media. I hope his treatment of people sets a good example for others and that you will be at least tolerated peacefully, if not warmly welcomed by most Georgia Republicans.

In defense of Georgia Republicans, I will note that the actions of a Deputy do not reflect those of the party, but the damage to our reputation is done.

The Atlantic has a new story on the life-on-the-road of a political campaign tracker. It’s a good read:

There is a weird symbiosis between trackers and the campaigns they’re covering. Some trackers will actually develop an amiable relationship with the campaign staff. “It really depends on the candidate,” Farr said. “We’ve definitely had candidates that were very respectful and even created friendships with some of our trackers.”

“It’s a mix,” Miller said. “There are friendly staffers. I’m having trouble thinking of an example where it’s completely amicable.”

There are definitely stories to the contrary. In August, one of America Rising’s trackers caught heat for recording a public event for Alabama’s Democratic candidate for attorney general, Joe Hubbard. At the event, Hubbard accused the tracker of “dirty tricks” and retaliated by tweeting out photos of the tracker, his America Rising ID badge, and his LinkedIn profile. In June, two trackers employed by the Republican Party were caught using “spy glasses” to record a private fundraiser for Michigan’s Democratic candidate for governor.

Ideally for America Rising and American Bridge, though, the campaigns will eventually ignore the tracker altogether and let her do her work. In exchange, the tracker won’t hassle the campaign—until her video gets uploaded to YouTube later that night.

“In the vast majority of cases, we tell our trackers we want them to be a fly on the wall,” Miller said. “We want them to go stand in the back of the room, not be a problem, and get as much video as possible. This is not like the old days where you’d jump somebody out from behind a bush and try to create a news story. That’s not our objective.”

“I do think that the press people’s initial instinct is to be hostile,” Miller said. “It’s more trouble than it’s worth to be wasting a staffer’s time trying to kick out a tracker when they should be signing up volunteers.”

More about that poll

Walton County GOP

I’ll be discussing the recent statewide poll at the Walton County Republican Party meeting Monday night. I hope to see you there.

Governor of Georgia Ballot

Male Female
Nathan Deal 47.17% 40.60%
Jason Carter 36.14% 46.00%
Andrew Hunt 7.34% 6.01%
Undecided 9.35% 7.38%


United States Senate Ballot

Male Female
David Perdue 46.72% 40.02%
Michelle Nunn 37.78% 50.59%
Amanda Swafford 10.60% 4.82%
Undecided 4.90% 4.57%


State School Superintendent Ballot

Male Female
Richard Woods 52.21% 42.44%
Valarie Wilson 38.39% 47.17%
Undecided 9.40% 10.39%


Do you see the problem? Good. Now look at the previous story and read it again, remembering that the person removed from the GOP rally was female, and that two of the three Facebook comments were written by females.

Military cutbacks

Congressman Sanford Bishop (D – Lower Left-Hand Corner) says that military funding cutbacks have already damaged readiness and that base closure talk is premature.

“We’re using old weapon systems and old equipment, which requires higher maintenance costs,” Bishop said. “So we’re sort of rolling the dice, if you will, hoping for a better economy, hoping for more resources.”

Along with a majority of Congress which recently voted against BRAC, Bishop said now is not the time for base closures or sequestration, which are automatic budget cuts across the board on the federal government level.

“Sequestration is the worst thing that could happen to the country on the defense side and on the non-defense side,” Bishop said. “It has wrought havoc for our government, for our country and for our people, and we need to eliminate sequestration. We need to get past that and get to an orderly fiscal process.”

Given the global threat of the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq as well as the aggression of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Bishop said BRAC would send a dangerous message to the world. He also said being fiscally orderly can help strengthen the military.

“I prefer peace to war but, of course, in order to have peace, you have to be in a position of strength also,” Bishop said. “We can’t disarm ourselves and become impotent in terms of our military strength and hope to have an influence (and) a deterring effect on aggression.”

Meanwhile, the Pentagon recommends scaling back two military hospitals in Georgia.

In Georgia, the Pentagon is recommending changes at Martin Army Community Hospital at Fort Benning. The Pentagon report says the hospital has 45 staffed beds and 24 inpatients per day. A Pentagon analysis recommends downsizing to a birthing center with holding beds and outpatient care. The Army disagreed.

The Pentagon also recommends changes at Winn Army Community Hospital at Fort Stewart. The report says the hospital has 45 staffed beds and 24 inpatients per day. The Pentagon recommends downsizing. The Army disagrees.

No changes were recommended at Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon. The hospital has 89 staffed beds and 58 inpatients per day.




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