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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 27, 2018

On July 28, 1868, United States Secretary of State William Seward proclaimed that the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution had been ratified and was now part of the Constitution. The first section of the 14th Amendment often forms the basis for litigation and reads:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Georgia initially rejected the 14th Amendment in 1866, later ratifying it on July 21, 1868 as a condition for readmission.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt made his eighth visit to Warm Springs, Georgia on July 29, 1927.

Congress passed legislation establishing the National Aeronautic and Space Admininistration (NASA) on July 29, 1958.

The Doors’ “Light My Fire” became their first #1 hit on July 29, 1967.

On July 27, 1974, the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee approved the first impeachment article against President Richard M. Nixon.

The first such impeachment recommendation in more than a century, it charge[d] President Nixon with unlawful activities that formed a “course of conduct or plan” to obstruct the investigation of the Watergate break-in and to cover up other unlawful activities.

The vote was 27 to 11, with 6 of the committee’s 17 Republicans joining all 21 Democrats in voting to send the article to the House.

The majority included three conservative Southern Democrats and three conservative Republicans.

On July 28, 1978, Animal House was released, instantly becoming one of the greatest films of all time. In case you’ve never seen the film, there is a tiny little bit of adult language in the following clip.

On July 28, 1994, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp commemorating “The General” locomotive, which was stolen in 1862 during the Great Locomotive Chase. Today, The General may be viewed at The Southern Museum in Kennesaw.

A bomb exploded at a free concert in Centennial Park in Atlanta on July 27, 1996.

Police were warned of the bombing in advance, but the bomb exploded before the anonymous caller said it would, leading authorities to suspect that the law enforcement officers who descended on the park were indirectly targeted.

Within a few days, Richard Jewell, a security guard at the concert, was charged with the crime. However, evidence against him was dubious at best, and in October he was fully cleared of all responsibility in the bombing.

Carl Lewis won his fourth consecutive gold medal in the long jump at the Atlanta Olympics on July 29, 1996.

Former Georgia Governor Zell Miller took the oath of office as United States Senator on July 27, 2000. Miller would go on to win a special election for the remainder of the term in November 2000.

On July 27, 2014, former Braves manager Bobby Cox and pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, along with former White Sox player Frank Thomas, who was born in Columbus, Georgia.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal appointed Tom Rawlings as Interim Director of the Department of Family and Childrens’ Services (DFCS). From the Press Release:

Gov. Nathan Deal [] appointed Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) Director Tom Rawlings to be the interim director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS). Rawlings’ appointment follows the departure of DFCS Director Virginia Pryor. Deal also appointed OCA Deputy Director Rachel Davidson to serve as Interim OCA Director. Both appointments are effective Aug. 1.

“Every child deserves a safe, loving and supportive environment in which to grow and learn,” said Deal. “DFCS and OCA are instrumental in our efforts to protect and care for Georgia’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens, while providing all children with greater opportunities to succeed. Throughout his extensive career in juvenile justice and child advocacy, Tom Rawlings has demonstrated a profound commitment to ensuring the health and wellbeing of young people across our state. I am confident he will serve Georgia well and that Rachel Davidson will build upon our initiatives at OCA. I am grateful for Director Pryor’s leadership and wish her the best in her next endeavor.”

GOP Gubernatorial nominee Brian Kemp said he’ll leave any dealings with Amazon to Gov. Deal’s administration, according to the AJC.

The secretary of state said Thursday he was briefed by Deal on the state’s Olympics-like pursuit of the $5 billion campus, which could bring as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs to Georgia. And he said he’s going to let the governor take the lead.

“I committed to him tonight that I understand there’s only one governor at a time,” he said.

He added: “I’m going to look at anything we’re doing, but I don’t have any control as secretary of state what they’re voting on in the Legislature, whether they’re calling a special session. I trust the governor and the Department of Economic Development to put our best foot forward and make sure we’re getting a good return on our investment.”

The governor said in January he’d call a special session if Amazon narrows its choices to Georgia, which could set up fraught election-year negotiations. The Seattle-based company has said it will select its finalist by the end of the year.

Georgia Democrats have a large number of female candidates on the November ballot, according to the AJC.

Former state lawmaker Stacey Abrams won the top spot in May, and is now running to become the first African-American woman to be elected governor in U.S. history.

But with Tuesday’s vote, we now know that the Nov. 6 ballot, in addition to Abrams, will feature 10 other female candidates for federal and statewide offices — a number unprecedented in Georgia political history.

Nine of those 11 Georgia women are Democrats.

In addition to Abrams, Democrats have nominated women for lieutenant governor (Sarah Riggs Amico), insurance commissioner (Janice Laws), and two open seats on the Public Service Commission (Lindy Miller and Dawn Randolph).

On Tuesday, Lucy McBath and Carolyn Bourdeaux were added to the Democratic list, winning the Sixth and Seventh District congressional nominations, respectively. Two other women, Lisa Ring and Tabitha Johnson-Green, won their congressional nominations in May.

Democrats may take issue with Brian Kemp’s record on election security, according to the Macon Telegraph.

Daniel Franklin, a political science professor at Georgia State University, said the issue could have an impact in November.

“If Stacey manages to convince Georgia that Kemp was incompetent at the one thing that he had to do as secretary of state, which is monitor the election … some Republican voters might not turn out to the polls,” he said.

Ryan Mahoney, a Kemp campaign spokesman, had a different view.

“According to the Department of Homeland Security, Georgia was not targeted by Russia or any other bad actors during the 2016 presidential election,” Mahoney said.

Under Kemp, “Georgia launched online voter registration, enhanced cybersecurity, implemented voter ID and citizenship check laws, and stopped radical groups from undermining the democratic process,” Mahoney wrote in an email.

Gwinnett County Commissioner John Heard opposes a November transit referendum, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Heard, who is up for re-election and facing a Democratic challenger this fall, said plans for bringing MARTA to the county are “fatally flawed” and a “rushed, poorly conceived ‘Pig in a Poke.’” He also called the transit agency a “tax-eating boondoggle” in a statement.

One of the commissioner’s qualms was with how many representatives Gwinnett would have on the MARTA board, versus how many representatives are on it from other communities.

“The board is dominated by representatives of Fulton County, DeKalb County and the city of Atlanta,” Heard said. “The current MARTA Board has 13 members. If Gwinnett joins Gwinnett will have three members on the board. Gwinnett will be outnumbered 13 to 3.

“Gwinnett’s tax dollars will be used to subsidize an inefficient, top heavy, politically influenced board for 10 years with no visible or tangible benefit to Gwinnett.”

Hall County voters will decide on a “Brunch Bill” referendum in November, according to AccessWDUN.

Hall County has now officially joined the list of local governments that will place a question on their November General Election ballots pertaining to Georgia Senate Bill 17, commonly known as the Brunch Bill, signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal on May 8, 2018.

Voters will be asked if they would like to move up the time on Sundays when alcoholic beverages can be served by as much as 90 minutes, allowing sales to begin at 11 a.m.

Gainesville, Oakwood and Flowery Branch leaders have already considered that action (Gainesville and Flowery Branch approving the question, Oakwood will decide next month); the Hall County Commission followed suit Thursday evening with a 3-1 vote to include the question.  Commissioner Scott Gibbs was opposed; Commissioner Jeff Stowe was absent.

The Macon Telegraph has a great story on the geography of 2018 elections in Georgia.

Republicans are also looking to turn out voters in smaller cities and rural areas, as they watch Democratic winning margins climb in metro Atlanta and indications of a blue wave rippling outward through the city’s suburbs. At a Thursday night “unity rally,” top Republicans urged a few hundred party leaders and elected officials to muster for conservative values to keep the state red.

In this Georgia election, the most important area to watch will be the Atlanta suburbs, said Coker.

Donald Trump failed to break 50 percent in the suburban GOP strongholds of Cobb and Gwinnett counties in the 2016 general election. The loss of those counties spooked some Georgia Republicans.

Republicans won’t concede Atlanta’s suburbs easily, but Democrat gains there are the more reason to make sure GOP supporters outside metro Atlanta vote. Kemp himself often mentions that he’s visited all 159 Georgia counties during the campaign. Vice President Mike Pence went to Macon in endorsement of Kemp.

“There’s going to be a much clearer choice here than we’ve had in the past between the parties,” said Alan Abramowitz, a political science professor at Emory University.

“Now I think with a liberal, African-American Democrat running against a very conservative full-throated Trump supporter, it’s going to be a very polarized choice here in Georgia,” said Abramowitz. “Which is kind of the trend we’re seeing in the country too.”

The Macon Telegraph looks at what a trade war might look like for pecan farmers.

After President Donald Trump placed tariffs on imported Chinese products, the Chinese retaliated by raising tariffs on U.S. exports to China. That includes an increase of the tariff on pecans from 7 percent to 47 percent. On Tuesday, the White House announced $12 billion in aid to farmers impacted by the trade war.

The tariff increase has little immediate impact because pecans aren’t being exported this time of year, but it could mean a lot once the harvest begins in the fall and growers are looking to sell their pecans.

China is especially important to local growers because the Chinese love Georgia’s big, meaty pecans. Pearson Farm in Fort Valley has about 3,000 acres of pecan trees, and about 60 percent of the crop is exported to China, said Lawton Pearson, a partner in the business.

Currently pecans are the only crop in the state significantly impacted by the trade war, said Julie McPeake, communications director for the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

China also put a 25 percent tariff on soybeans, a big Georgia crop, but McPeake said that shouldn’t impact Georgia farmers. Although China is a big buyer of U.S. soybeans, McPeake said most of Georgia’s soybeans go toward making feed for the state’s large poultry industry.

Savannah Police are working on four homicides committed in the last week, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Georgia and South Carolina ports will share a joint chassis pool, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The Federal Maritime Commission took no action, which functions as an approval, against the Southern States Chassis Pool agreement at their meeting on Wednesday.

The agreement was filed by the two authorities in June and will be effective starting Aug. 2.

The new chassis pool will serve Charleston and Savannah ports, along with intermodal terminals in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia and South Carolina.

GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch has said the pool is needed to fill a chassis shortage and to upgrade the equipment.

Manatees are congregating around Jekyll Island, according to The Brunswick News.

State Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist Clay George said when encountering manatees on the beach, it’s best to leave them alone.

“Unlike dolphins and whales, manatees have really tough skin, so they can stand being out of the water — or in shallow water — for hours at a time, and basically when water comes back, they’ll just swim off,” George said.

Also, manatees tend to weigh more than 1,000 pounds, so it’s better and safer for people to stay back. George said there have been a larger number of sightings around Jekyll because of a treated wastewater outfall on the intracoastal waterway, which attracts manatees because they want to drink the fresh water. However, the main aspect is there are simply more manatees in the water and they’re spreading out.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 26, 2018

Caroline Valdosta

Caroline is a young female mixed breed dog (Lab mix?) who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Valdosta/Lowndes County in Valdosta, GA.

Charlotte Valdosta

Charlotte is a small, young, female Terrier mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Valdosta/Lowndes County in Valdosta, GA.

Stevie Valdosta

Stevie is a female Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Valdosta/Lowndes County in Valdosta, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 26, 2018

On July 26, 1775, the United States Postal Service was created by the Second Continental Congress, may God have mercy on their souls. Benjamin Franklin served as the first Postmaster.

On July 26, 2015, former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the first pitcher inducted who had undergone Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow.

Smoltz won the 1996 Cy Young award and reached the playoffs 14 times with Atlanta. The Braves won five pennants and the 1995 World Series with Smoltz on the roster. He’s the first pitcher to win more than 200 games and save at least 150 games. He’s also the first player inducted with Tommy John surgery on his resume.

Smoltz understood his debt to John.

“I’m a miracle. I’m a medical miracle,” Smoltz said. “I never took one day for granted.”

Smoltz also heaped praise on former manager Bobby Cox and teammates Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, who were inducted a year ago, and delivered a message to parents of the players of tomorrow as the number of Tommy John surgeries continues to escalate.

“Understand that this is not normal to have a surgery at 14 or 15 years old,” Smoltz said to warm applause. “Baseball is not a year-round sport. They’re competing too hard, too early. That’s why we’re having these problems.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal and the Georgia Department of Transportation broke ground on a project to widen I-85 north of the I-985 split, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 25, 2018

Max Madison

Max is a young male Hound mix who is available for adoption from the Madison Oglethorpe Animal Shelter in Danielsville, GA.

I may be big, but I’m a lap dog at heart. Want a loving companion who will love on you and give you kisses? I’m your perfect match! I’m friendly and don’t bite. I love people and don’t mind other dogs, but people are my favorite.The Madison Oglethorpe Animal Shelter is a high intake shelter. Please don’t delay! It could mean the difference of saving a life or two. The one you adopt and the next one that will get a chance.

Binx Madison

Binx is a young male Hound & German Shepherd Dog mix who is available for adoption from the Madison Oglethorpe Animal Shelter in Danielsville, GA.

AJ Madison

AJ is a young male Shepherd mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Madison Oglethorpe Animal Shelter in Danielsville, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 25, 2018

The All-Star Game was held in Atlanta on July 25, 1972, with the National League winning 4-3 in ten innings.

On July 25, 1974, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the case of United States v. Nixon that executive privilege did not allow the White House to refuse to turn over audio recordings that had been subpoenaed by a special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Congratulations to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the Republican nominee for Governor.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 24, 2018

Gwinnett SD-06

SD-06 is a 3-month old male Newfoundland mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.

Gwinnett Pen 232

Pen 232 is a 10-week old female Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.

Gwinnett Pen 211

Pen 211 is a 3-month old male Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.

Peter Pig Gwinnett

Peter is a female funny-looking dog pig who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 24, 2018

The United States Postal Service was established by Congress on July 26, 1775. I mailed them a birthday card on Friday; they’ll probably receive it next week.

On July 24, 1778, Georgia ratified the Articles of Confederation.

Georgia’s John Walton was present on July 9, 1778, and signed the document then. Georgia’s other two delegates – Edward Telfair and Edward Langworthy – did not sign until July 24, 1778, which is the date most often used for Georgia’s ratification of the Articles.

An interesting sidenote is that John Walton‘s brother, George Walton, signed the Declaration of Independence on Georgia’s behalf.

On July 24, 1919, the Georgia General Assembly rejected ratification of the 19th Amendment, which extends the right of voting to women.

At 12:51 EDT, we mark the safe return from the moon of Apollo 11.

The number one song in America on July 24, 1982 was “Eye of the Tiger,” by Survivor, from the Rocky III soundtrack.

On July 24, 2000, former Georgia Governor Zell Miller was appointed to the United States Senate to serve in the seat vacated on the death of Senator Paul Coverdell.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke to the Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia in Jekyll Island, according to The Brunswick News.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 23, 2018

Dodger Coweta

Dodger is a young male Miniature Pinscher mix who is available for adoption from the Newnan Coweta Humane Society in Newnan, GA.

Fabio Coweta

Fabio is a young male Pit Bull Terrier mix puppy who will be available for adoption from the Newnan Coweta Humane Society in Newnan, GA.

Newnan Coweta

Zelda is a young female Pit Bull Terrier mix puppy who will be available for adoption from the Newnan Coweta Humane Society in Newnan, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 23, 2018

On July 23, 1864, Union and Confederate forces in and around Atlanta gathered the dead and worked to save the wounded. Union artillery began bombarding Atlanta. On July 23, 2014, Republicans did the same in the aftermath of the Primary Runoff Elections the previous day. Democratic artillery advertising would soon fill the air.

Former President Ulysses S. Grant died on July 23, 1885.

The Cleveland Metropolitan Park District was established on July 23, 1917 and currently has a set of beautiful parks winding through the city. If you’re going to be in Cleveland for the 2016 Republican National Convention, take some time to tour the city, including the parks.

John Smoltz started his first game as a major league pitcher on July 23, 1988, as the Braves took a win over the New York Mets.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Vice President Mike Pence headlined a rally for Brian Kemp’s gubernatorial campaign in Macon on Saturday, according to the Macon Telegraph.

President Donald Trump endorsed Kemp about four days before the rally.

Pence flew into the Macon Regional Airport and a motorcade took him to the Wilson Convention Center, where hundreds of Kemp signs were staked out in the median of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Secret Service agents, Bibb County sheriff’s deputies and Monroe County sheriff’s deputies helped with security.

About a thousand people filed through a metal detector and gathered in the auditorium waiting for Kemp and Pence.

At times, the crowd would chant “build that wall,” “Kemp” or “USA.”

Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 20, 2018

Lifeline Animal Project’s Fulton and DeKalb County shelters are completely filled and need to take in 40-60 animals per day, so they’re begging for foster and adoptive homes. From WABE:

Karen Hirsch is public relations director of the LifeLine Animal Project, which oversees the shelters for both counties.

“It’s just gotten to the crisis point,” Hirsch said. “Usually spring is the time when unspayed animals will mate and get pregnant, and summer is the time when all those babies end up at our shelter.”

Hirsch says summers are busy for the shelters, but this summer, the county shelters are seeing double the number of dogs coming in each day.

She said some of the 900 dogs at the county shelters will need to be euthanized or transported to any shelters with extra room in North Georgia.

The following dogs are desperately looking for a temporary foster or adoptive home and are located at the DeKalb County Animal Shelter, 3280 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd, Chamblee, GA 30341.

Willington DeKalb

Willington is a male mixed breed dog who is available for foster or adoption from Lifeline Dekalb Animal Services in Chamblee, GAWillington is pictured here with his favorite toy, but he will gladly trade for a forever home! This boy is an active pup that loves long runs and a big backyard to play! Volunteers say he loves head scratches and is a master at frisbee!

Kayden DeKalb

Kayden is a 2-yeard old, 44-pound male mixed breed dog who is available for foster or adoption from Lifeline Dekalb Animal Services in Chamblee, GAKayden throws no shade. He is ready to be your sidekick! This one of a kind guy knows how to sit, shake, and is eager to learn more.

Becky DeKalb

Becky is a three-year old female mixed breed dog who is available for foster or adoption from Lifeline Dekalb Animal Services in Chamblee, GA. Along with Becky’s A+ handshake comes the cutest speckled feet we’ve ever seen! This lovely thee-year-old has a low-key personality and tons of love for her future forever human. She enjoys going on leisurely walks, being adorable, and practicing her tricks! Becky can’t wait to meet you at LifeLine’s DeKalb Animal Services!