The blog.

14
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 14, 2016

cannon

Cannon is a three-year old male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

Cannon is a happy boy that can’t wait to find his very own person. He is a long and lanky dude with a soft feathery coat and a knack for making you smile. Cannon is in urgent need of a foster or permanent home.

bella

Bella is a sweet senior female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

She would love to go home with you, she promises she won’t be much trouble. Bella is a shy, gentle girl who lives in the shelter’s front office. She has free range in the office and never makes a peep or gets into anything. She prances around the office and checks people out and occasionally asks for pets. She is fine around other dogs, but keeps her distance so she can check them out before approaching. She is a great listener and is very obedient. She is even housetrained! She stands by the door to let you know that she needs to go outside.

Bella’s favorite activities include sleeping on her giant orthopedic bed, checking new things out, and eating duck-flavored treats. If you are looking for a laid back, quiet, and sweet companion, look no further than Bella! She would love to meet you here at LifeLine’s DeKalb Animal Services!

amslie

Amslie is a 7-year old female Bulldog mix who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

Amslie is a sweet, shy girl who would love a comfy bed to rest on, a family to shower with love, and maybe even a few toys. Amslie gets along great with other dogs and may enjoy sharing a canine companion in her forever home. Her wrinkly face is sure to win you over the second you see it! She is seven years old and weighs about 47 pounds. Meet her at LifeLine’s DeKalb Animal Services!

14
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 14, 2016

President George Washington returned to the City of Washington on November 13, 1789, ending the first Presidential tour.

On the same day, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to his friend Jean-Baptiste LeRoy, in which he said,

“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

General Sherman’s army prepared for the March to the Sea on November 14, 1864. The March to the Sea began on November 15, 1964.

The planned route for the 17th Corps was to march from White Hall to Stockbridge, McDonough, Jackson, Monticello, and Gordon and encountered Confederate regiments from Kentucky at the Battle of Stockbridge. To the west, one or two Kentucky regiments engaged the 15th Corps in another skirmish.  [E]arlier that morning, Maj. Gen. Henry Slocum had led the 20th Corps eastward out of Atlanta with instructions to follow the Georgia Railroad eastward to Decatur, Lithonia, Covington, and Madison, tearing up the railroad along the way.

With three of his four columns on the road, Gen. Sherman remained in Atlanta with the 14th corps to oversee the destruction of anything with possible military value to the Confederacy. The next day, they would then proceed east on the road to Lithonia, then in a southeastern direction to Milledgeville, where the 20th and 14th corps would reunite in seven days.

On November 13, 1865, the United States government issued the first Gold Certificates.

The Georgia General Assembly adopted a resolution against ratifying the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution on November 13, 1866.

In deciding not to ratify the 14th Amendment, the General Assembly adopted a committee report explaining that: “1. If Georgia is not a State composing part of the Federal Government known as the Government of the United States, amendments to the Constitution of the United States are not properly before this body. 2. If Georgia is a State composing part of the Federal Government … , these these amendments are not proposed according to the requirements of the Federal Constitution, and are proposed in such a manner as to forbid the legislature from discussing the merits of the amendments without an implied surrender of the rights of the State.”

Excavation began for a new Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on the site of the former City Hall/Fulton County Courthouse on November 13, 1884.

Walt Disney released “Fantasia” on November 13, 1940.

Georgia Governor and Constitutional Commission Chair Ellis Arnall moved that a home rule provision be included in the new draft of the state Constitution and his motion passed 8-7 on November 13, 1944.

On November 14, 1944, the Constitutional Convention working on a revised document for Georgia reversed its position on home rule that had been adopted the previous day on the motion of Governor Ellis Arnall

On November 13, 1956, the United States Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that struck down a law requiring segregation on buses in Montgomery, Alabama.

Ronald Reagan announced his campaign for the Republican nomination for President of the United States on November 13, 1979.

“The people have not created this disaster in our economy; the federal government has. It has overspent, overestimated, and over regulated. It has failed to deliver services within the revenues it should be allowed to raise from taxes. In the thirty-four years since the end of World War II, it has spent 448 billion dollars more than it has collection in taxes – 448 billion dollars of printing press money, which has made every dollar you earn worth less and less. At the same time, the federal government has cynically told us that high taxes on business will in some way “solve” the problem and allow the average taxpayer to pay less. Well, business is not a taxpayer it is a tax collector. Business has to pass its tax burden on to the customer as part of the cost of doing business. You and I pay the taxes imposed on business every time we go to the store. Only people pay taxes and it is political demagoguery or economic illiteracy to try and tell us otherwise.”

“The key to restoring the health of the economy lies in cutting taxes. At the same time, we need to get the waste out of federal spending. This does not mean sacrificing essential services, nor do we need to destroy the system of benefits which flow to the poor, the elderly, the sick and the handicapped. We have long since committed ourselves, as a people, to help those among us who cannot take care of themselves. But the federal government has proven to be the costliest and most inefficient provider of such help we could possibly have.”

“I believe this nation hungers for a spiritual revival; hungers to once again see honor placed above political expediency; to see government once again the protector of our liberties, not the distributor of gifts and privilege. Government should uphold and not undermine those institutions which are custodians of the very values upon which civilization is founded—religion, education and, above all, family. Government cannot be clergyman, teacher and parent. It is our servant, beholden to us.”

“We who are privileged to be Americans have had a rendezvous with destiny since the moment in 1630 when John Winthrop, standing on the deck of the tiny Arbella off the coast of Massachusetts, told the little band of pilgrims, “We shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world.”

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on November 13, 1982 in Washington, DC.

On November 13, 2006, groundbreaking began for a memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Three astronauts with connections to Georgia – Eric Boe, Robert Kimbrough, and Sandra Magnus – were aboard the space shuttle Endeavor when it lifted off on November 14, 2008.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

President-elect Donald Trump has selected RNC Chairman Reince Preibus as his Chief of Staff.

President-elect Donald Trump named Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus as his chief of staff, a selection that suggests the Republican is interested in a more conventional approach to governing after his insurgent campaign.

Mr. Trump on Sunday also named Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist and senior counsel. Mr. Bannon, who was chief executive of the Trump campaign, was in consideration with Mr. Priebus for the White House’s top personnel position.

“Steve and Reince are highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign and led us to a historic victory,” Mr. Trump said in a statement. “Now I will have them both with me in the White House as we work to make America great again.”

The selection of Mr. Priebus will, by definition, help organize the transition. This decision allows Mr. Trump and his team to focus on identifying 15 cabinet positions and more than 1,000 top posts that must be confirmed by the Senate.

While Mr. Priebus’s elevation is a nod to the Washington establishment, Mr. Bannon brings a more disruptive political force into the White House.

Some Georgians cheered the announcement of Priebus as Chief of Staff, with Republican National Committeeman Randy Evans writing on Facebook,

“Reince is a great choice for President-elect Trump as Chief of Staff.” and “Good for Georgia; good for America.”

Meanwhile, Debbie Dooley took to Twitter, writing

Clear D.C Insider @Reince is thumbing his nose at the message voters sent 11-8. We want an outsider. @realDonaldTrump#NoPriebus

and

Talk to a few folks about Priebus. Bannon has the real power, not Priebus. The people won that… @realDonaldTrump made a good decision

Some folks in Cobb County are looking to cast blame for Hillary Clinton carrying what has traditionally been a GOP bastion.

Gwinnett County also went for Hillary Clinton, with 51% of ballots cast for her.

“It’s a county I’ve been keeping my eye on, along with others, in terms of the increasing diverse registration figures coming out of the county, but I thought Republicans would hold onto it this year and probably 2020 would be when it flipped,” [UGA Political Science Professor Charles] Bullock said. “It’s four years earlier than I thought anyway.”

Tuesday’s results are a sign of a major shift taking place in Gwinnett politics where Republicans hold a lot of power, but are gradually losing ground to Democrats at the ballot box.

Gwinnett Democrats biggest victory was Hillary Clinton winning the county in the presidential race with nearly 51 percent of the vote. Not even her husband, who narrowly won Georgia in 1992, ever won Gwinnett.

There were other victories for Democrats this year, though. They flipped one seat in the Gwinnett County Legislative Delegation when Sam Park beat incumbent state Rep. Valerie Clark.

Meanwhile, the House District 101 race between Republican incumbent Joyce Chandler and Democrat Donna McLeod is so close that it still isn’t clear who won. The candidates are waiting on the counting of provisional ballots, and an expected recount, before they know who won.

“Given the diversity in the county’s population, the fact that the Democrats are doing better there isn’t surprising,” Bullock said. “That suggests this may very well continue into 2018 when we vote on all of the (state) constitutional officers.”

“Although the county went Democrat for president and added one more Democrat in the legislature, there are still an awful lot of Republican voters there,” Bullock said. “The county is one that both parties are going to want to contest very seriously and try mobilize their followers within the county.

“Gwinnett’s one of the most populous counties in the state and some project it will become the most populous county in the state. Even though it’s tipped from more red to now more blue, neither party is going to just write it off.”

There were other signs of lower support for Republican candidates on Tuesday. U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson got nearly 49.8 percent of the vote this time. When he first ran for the seat in 2004, he got 64.8 percent of Gwinnett’s vote, and he later got 62 percent of the county’s vote when he ran for re-election in 2010.

Hall County voter turnout set a new record with 78.5% of registered voters casting ballots.

But turnout among Latino and African-American minorities did not materialize as strongly as Democrats had hoped.

It’s a result seen in Hall, across the state and nationwide that was as significant to Republican Donald Trump’s victory as was his support among white working-class voters.

Hall Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee said results would be formally certified Monday after counting a few dozen provisional ballots. But there are even less of these cast than there were in 2012.

Trump won Hall County overall with 72.73 percent of the vote while Clinton received 22.73 percent and Johnson managed 3.24 percent.

Johnson performed better with voters on Election Day than he did in early voting, while Clinton and Trump fared stronger in early voting totals.

Columbus provided a rare bright spot for Opportunity School District Amendment 1 proponents.

But while the referendum failed by a wide margin statewide (60-40 percent), a slim majority of Muscogee County’s voters favored the proposal (51-49 percent). The difference is significant, insists John Thomas, the District 2 representative on the Muscogee County School Board.

“This result indicates the majority of local citizens are so frustrated with our failed local public system that they are willing to relinquish control of schools to the state,” Thomas told the Ledger-Enquirer in an email. “This result validates the position (District 8 representative) Frank Myers and I have been taking, and I continue to be proud to stand with Frank on the short end of many, many 7-2 votes that continue to rubber-stamp our schools into failure. We will continue our fight, and now it is clear, with the support of the majority of the people.

“Perhaps this local result will finally provide the wake-up call the administration needs to join us in these efforts.”

Board chairman Rob Varner of District 5 replied in an email to the Ledger-Enquirer, “I categorically reject the suggestion that the local vote to support the amendment was, in any way, a negative reflection on our district.”

But Hillary Clinton carried Columbus votes by a wide margin.

Overall, Trump got 26,901 votes to Clinton’s 39,602 in Columbus, or 39 percent to 57 percent, with Libertarian Gary Johnson drawing 2.6 percent and write-ins 1.2 percent.

Columbus’ results were not alone in reflecting a racial divide. The pattern held statewide and across the nation, said Jacob Holt, a political science professor at Columbus State University.

“Really Clinton did well in areas where you had a larger African-American population,” he said.

Extremely well, in Columbus, but not always as well as Barack Obama in 2012.

Cobb County Commission Chair-elect Mike Boyce will speak to the Cobb County Republican Assembly tonight at 8 PM at Rib Ranch, located at 2063 Canton Road in Marietta.

Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach would like the general assembly to take another crack at eminent domain, revisiting some of the limitations added in recent years.

Mayor Eddie DeLoach recently expressed an interest in continuing the effort [to address blight], despite the potential challenges posed by lawmakers’ concerned about property rights. And the city may have a better chance at getting something passed as next year’s legislative session approaches.

Rather than going it alone, the city will have the Georgia Municipal Association on its side. And at least one state representative, the dean of the Chatham County legislative delegation, has indicated he supports the push for changes.

DeLoach called for the council to pursue the matter after the issue was raised on Oct. 27, when staffers presented the Savannah City Council with the 2017 housing and community development plan.

The Office of Chatham County Surveyor will cease being an elected office in 2017.

Earlier this year, [incumbent Surveyor Bert] Barrett asked Georgia Rep. Jesse Petrea, R-Savannah, to introduce legislation that would do away with the elected surveyor post in Chatham County. After getting the full support of the Savannah delegation, the bill was passed by the Georgia General Assembly and subsequently signed by Gov. Nathan Deal.

The bill abolishes the post of the elected Chatham County surveyor and declares that the person serving in the post on Jan. 1 of this year — Barrett — serve until the expiration of the current term, which is the end of this year.

11
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 11, 2016

jill
Jill is one of three female Labrador Retriever mix puppies who are available for adoption from Pound Puppies ‘N Kittens Incorporated in Social Circle, GA.

pecan

Pecan is a young male Boxer mix who is available for adoption from Pound Puppies ‘N Kittens Incorporated in Social Circle, GA.

barney

Barney is an adult male Beagle who is available for adoption from Pound Puppies ‘N Kittens Incorporated in Social Circle, GA.

Today Mrs. GaPundit makes her yearly donation to PatriotPAWS, a fine organization that trains and provides service dogs of the highest quality at no cost to disabled American veterans and others with mobile disabilities and PTS in order to help restore their physical and emotional independence.

Healing4Heroes is a Peachtree City, GA based group that helps veterans by saving shelter dogs and training them to be ADA-compliant trained service companions and providing them at no cost to veterans.

Veterans K9 Solutions, Inc in Augusta, GA also saves shelter dogs and trains them to serve veterans.

The Gwinnett County Animal Shelter is offering free pet adoptions for veterans during November.

In addition, the shelter will be extending its special on pet adoptions through the end of this month. The special includes adoption fees, the first round of vaccines, microchip, and spaying/neutering for $20.

The Gwinnett Animal Welfare and Enforcement Center is located at 884 Winder Highway in Lawrenceville. The hours of operation are every day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, visit www.gwinnettanimalcontrol.com or follow @Gwinnett Animal Shelter to see adoptable pets, upcoming events, and details on caring for your pet.

11
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 11, 2016

The first twenty-three cadets at Virginia Military Institute began their service on November 11, 1839.

On November 11, 1918, word reached Georgia that an armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany, ending World War One. Georgia Governor Hugh Dorsery declared a state holiday. Armistice Day, marking the end of World War I, was first celebrated on November 11, 1919 and is celebrated on November 11th every year.

In 1938, Congress recognized November 11th as Armistice Day, making it a legal holiday, and in 1954, at the urging of veterans, Congress renamed the holiday “Veterans Day.”

The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery was dedicated on November 11, 1921.

On Armistice Day, in the presence of President Harding and other government, military, and international dignitaries, the unknown soldier was buried with highest honors beside the Memorial Amphitheater. As the soldier was lowered to his final resting place, a two-inch layer of soil brought from France was placed below his coffin so that he might rest forever atop the earth on which he died.

The Tomb of the Unknowns is considered the most hallowed grave at Arlington Cemetery, America’s most sacred military cemetery. The tombstone itself, designed by sculptor Thomas Hudson Jones, was not completed until 1932, when it was unveiled bearing the description “Here Rests in Honored Glory an American Soldier Known but to God.” The World War I unknown was later joined by the unidentified remains of soldiers from America’s other major 20th century wars and the tomb was put under permanent guard by special military sentinels.

On November 11, 1942, the draft age was lowered to 18 and raised to 37. At the time, African-Americans were excluded from the draft over concerns about a racially-diverse military.

In 1945, the idea was put forth to expand Armistice Day to honor all veterans and in 1954, Congress made the change to “Veterans Day” official.

The “General Lee” first left the ground, using a ramp to clear a police car, during filming of “The Dukes of Hazzard” on November 11, 1978.

Ronald Reagan became the first President of the United States to address the Japanese Diet in Tokyo on November 11, 1983.

On November 11, 1988, the Georgia Vietnam Memorial was dedicated in front of the Sloppy Floyd state government building across the street from the Georgia State Capitol.

On November 11, 1997, a monument to Georgia’s World War I veterans was dedicated, also in front of the Sloppy Floyd building.

Three years ago today, on November 11, 2013, the Atlanta Braves announced they would move from downtown Atlanta to Cobb County.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Chuck Payne, an experience Georgia Republican Party leader is the first candidate to throw his hat in the ring to succeed Sen. Charlie Bethel in the 54th Senate District. Payne wrote on Facebook,

Because the compassions, the care and the concerns of a lifetime have brought me to this day, and with my wife, my children and my family and friends standing with me, today, I announce that I WILL seek the Georgia State Senate in the 54th District of Georgia.

From the time that I was 18 years old and signed my name to join the US Army, and throughout my 30 years of service to kids and families with the GA Department of Juvenile Justice, and of my 26 years of committed efforts with Georgia Republican Party, a single voice of purpose has driven me in seeking a better tomorrow for ourselves and the next generation, and only, “Because the Future Matters!”

As, generations before us had committed themselves to insure the very freedoms we have known, so is it our great responsibility; that we do the same for the next. So, just as a family friend had recently shared, “The time has come; the door has opened”, so, faithfully, I step forward seeking to serve my neighbors, and our communities of the 54th District of Georgia.

I hope you will join us, as we move forward to the Special Election of December 13th, and graciously, I would appreciate your support, your prayers and certainly your vote!

I pray, may God’s Blessing be upon us, all.

Oconee County Commission Post 3 voters will return to the polls for a December 6 runoff election.

Oconee County voters sent the three-way race for the Post 3 seat on the Board of Commissioners to a runoff. The race is to fill the the unexpired term of Republican John Daniell, who resigned and is unopposed for the commission chairman’s seat. Daniell’s unexpired term continues through 2018.

Seeking the seat were Republicans Ben Bridges, 50, production manager at a chicken-processing facility; Chuck Horton, 62, the director of parking in downtown Athens who is also a former Oconee County commissioner and former Oconee County Board of Education chairman; and Marcus Wiedower, 40, the president of BluePrint Builders, 3 BH Inc., and Bulldawg Builders.

Horton led balloting with 45.4 percent of the vote, or 7,701 of the 16,945 votes cast. Wiedower, who will join Horton in the runoff, garnered 5,201 votes for almost 31 percent. Bridges received almost 24 percent of the vote in his losing effort, claiming 4,043 ballots.

Oconee also voted to legalize Sunday package sales of liquor and in favor of a 1% E-SPLOST.

Jackson, Georgia Mayor Kay Pippin is prepared to issue liquor store licenses after voters approved a referendum on Tuesday.

The vote was 858 in favor and 508 against, or 62.81 percent to 37.19 percent, according to uncertified results.

Campaigns had been waged on both sides of the issue with proponents pointing, in radio ads, to jobs and development. One opposition group, the Foundation For Life Change, argued package stores will hinder development and harm the community.

“The voters have made their support of the referendum abundantly clear with nearly 63 percent of the vote. The city is ready to issue business licenses to the first applicants prepared to meet the criteria required by the city’s ordinance governing the sales of packaged spirits,” Jackson Mayor Kay Pippin said. “This new retail business in our city will be held to high standards.”

The Jackson City Council voted in August to call for the referendum after being notified a petition had collected enough signatures to put the vote on the ballot. In the months since then, the city crafted a new ordinance to regulate package stores.

Democrat Hillary Clinton appears to have won the popular vote, while the Electoral College will deliver the presidency to Republican Donald J. Trump. I hope this means all that silliness about the National Popular Vote will fade away, at least among Georgia Republicans. The LA Times reminds us that in November 2012, Donald Trump tweeted, “The electoral college is a disaster for democracy.”

Georgia Congressman Tom Price (R-6) could be at the center of Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare in coming months.

The fast-track procedure Republicans will most likely use to avoid a Democratic filibuster in the Senate puts Georgia U.S. Rep. Tom Price at the center of the effort to undo the law.

“What the American people understand is that the only person standing in the way of Obamacare repeal is President Obama,” the Roswell Republican said in an interview Wednesday. “So when President Obama is gone, there’s a great opportunity to work together.”

As chairman of the House Budget Committee, Price will be in charge of authoring and shepherding a special type of legislation that will allow the GOP to strike broad sections of the Affordable Care Act — the same mechanism Democrats used to advance key portions of the health care law six years ago without the help of the GOP.

Price, who worked as an orthopedic surgeon before being elected to Congress in 2004, estimated there would be a transition period between the repeal vote and when a replacement plan could be crafted and advanced.

“You can’t just change it overnight,” he said. “What we believe is important is to allow individuals voluntarily to move to the kind of health coverage that they seek for themselves and for their families. We’re not going to force anybody to do anything like the Obama administration has done.”

Senator David Perdue is urging his colleagues to take a hard line on dealing with Obamacare after the national elections.

“If we have the majority, they don’t need to compromise, we don’t need to compromise on one thing, that’s Obamacare,” the Georgia senator said on Trending Today USA with Rusty Humphries Wednesday.

“We repealed Obamacare this year without the Democrats. We can do it again early next year and it will become law — we will repeal it from law, because we’ll have a president that won’t veto it. I believe that we’ll repeal the Waters of the US, we’ll repeal the Clean Air Act, and we’ll pass Keystone Pipeline again. And all three, all four of those things will get signed into law by President Trump, so that’s with the votes we already had. That’s no new Democrats. That’s just what we did this year. So I’m hopeful that that will set a tone.”

“All four of those things will get done in the first 100 days, I think,” he said.

Purdue added Republicans would take aim at the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill as well.

Four hundred residents of Atlanta took to the streets to protest Trump’s electoral win.

Upson County voted more than 2-to-1 for Donald Trump, as the Republican demonstrated great strength through South Georgia.

“For our community I think we see a future. We heard the things we wanted to hear again. He knows that we are hurting and he’s going to help us,” said Trump supporter Kayla Thompson.

Thompson, a longtime Thomaston resident, and her friends voted for Trump, encouraged in part by his economic plan which includes creating 25 million jobs over the next decade, and what that might mean for their own families.

“He’s going to create jobs. There’s no jobs where we live. You have to go out of state to work,” said Trump supporter Megan Epps.

“Many good people around here, especially in this town, in this county, they want a good job and I think President-Elect Trump will be the one who can help bring some of this back to America,” said Thomaston Mayor John Stallings.

The Thomaston mayor is an ardent Trump supporter. He believes Trump will make good on his campaign promise to repeal NAFTA and bring jobs back to the United States, back to economically depressed communities.

“We’ve had high unemployment rates here and I think having someone in the presidency that’s a businessman and that’s mentioned doing away with NAFTA bringing these jobs back from overseas putting these people , that’s what people want,” said Stallings.

CBS News visited Dublin, Georgia to hear from voters about the Presidential election.

We sat down with three Trump voters at the Minute Grill, where diners have chewed over politics since 1963.

“If Donald Duck had been running against Hillary Clinton, I would have voted for Donald Duck,” said Harold Martin, who is retired Navy.

Joe May is a soybean farmer. They’re both lifelong Democrats. Not this year.

How can Trump make Dublin great again?

“By helping the economy,” May said. “Putting more money in here. Money is everything.”

That was their big issue.

Trump’s message of America-in-decline resonated in Dublin, Georgia, population 16,000. This midpoint between Atlanta and Savannah was once a manufacturing hub.

On Election Night, America’s rural areas voted overwhelmingly for Trump. Urban areas were Clinton country: She won 81 percent of Georgia’s metro vote.

Lance Hooks is a 39 year-old registered Republican. He remembers when Trump campaigned in rural Georgia back in February.

“He was smart enough to come rally his base,” Hooks said. “His base was the working-class America and that is the reason he got the electoral vote he got.”

Butts County District 2 Commissioner Robert L. Henderson Sr. was reelected to a third term in office.

Gwinnett County Judge Melodie Snell Conner extended voting hours an additional twelve minutes at the Sweetwater Middle School precinct due to the precinct opening late. Your humble narrator attended Sweetwater Middle School.

10
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 10, 2016

lucille

Lucille is a 3-5 year old female beagle mix who is available for adoption from Hart Co. Animal Rescue Inc. in Hartwell, GA.

Lucille was found with a 2 inch puncture wound in her chest. She is house trained, good with other dogs and adorable. Please apply at hartcountyanimalrescue.org to adopt this sweetie.

charlie

Charlie is a 5-6 year old male Yellow Labrador Retriever who is available for adoption from Hart Co. Animal Rescue Inc. in Hartwell, GA.

Charlie is a sweetheart in spite of the fact that he has had a very tough life…when rescued, he was only 40 lbs; was starved, abused, heartworm positive, and had had his vocal cords cut….but he’s a tough guy and has bounced back with lots of TLC.

Charlie has been fulled vetted, and his heartworms have been treated. He is now a healthy, happy, boisterous 85 lb lap dog and is great with everyone. He would,d make a wonderful addition to any family. For more information on this super dog, please call Judy Partain @ 706-436-3476 or apply at hartcountyanimalrescue.org

tony

Tony is an adult male American Bulldog & Labrador Retriever Mix who is available for adoption from Hart Co. Animal Rescue Inc. in Hartwell, GA.

Tony was surrendered to the shelter back in May after he nipped a child that was taking a freshly caught squirrel away from him. Can you blame him? He worked hard for the catch, squirrels are fast! He has been with us for far too long! Tony is the sweetest guy we have ever met. He loves to snuggle & play keep away with his toys. All of the kids who come to visit are his best friends. He is great on car rides & leash walks.

Tony enjoys when the shelter volunteers take him on shopping trips & field trips to the lake. He is always a perfect gentleman. We would love to see him in a home with plenty of outdoor space & older children who understand the mind of a dog. Please help our shelter favorite find his home!! Apply at hartcountyanimalrescue.org

10
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 10, 2016

Today we celebrate the birth of the United States Marine Corps, which traces its lineage to the Continental Marines, formed by a resolution adopted by the Second Continental Congress on November 10, 1775. Here, former Georgia Governor and United States Senator Zell Miller tells of his decision to join the Marine Corps and the change it made in his life.

A monument to Nancy Hart was dedicated in Hartwell, in Hart County, Georgia, on November 10, 1931. Hart was an active Patriot in the American Revolution.

On November 10, 1934, two years after his election as President, FDR made his 28th trip to Georgia.

United States Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Moultrie) was born on November 10, 1943. Chambliss was elected to Congress in 1994 as part of the “Republican Revolution” led by Newt Gingrich.

The iron ore freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sunk in a winter storm on Lake Superior on November 10, 1975.

Former State School Superintendent Linda Schrenko was indicted by federal prosecutors on November 10, 2004 on eighteen counts.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Senator Johnny Isakson was reelected without a runoff, but several other elections will go into extra innings.

Judy B. Neal and Regina Lewis-Ward head to a special runoff election for Mayor of Stockbridge.

Neal garnered 3,088 votes, or 31.94 percent, while Lewis-Ward earned 3,760 votes, or 38.9 percent. As of 10:30 p.m. 10,450 votes were cast from a pool of 14,304 registered voters.

The mayor will be decided in the Dec. 6 runoff election since none of the four candidates earned 50 percent plus one vote to claim victory.

Other opponents in the race include Alphonso Thomas who earned 1,731 votes or 17.91 percent. Partha Chakraborty trailed with 1,018 votes or 10.53 percent of votes cast.

DeKalb County Commission Super District 7 also heads to a runoff election in December.

With all but absentee-by-mail votes counted, Adams and Mangham had received the most votes for DeKalb Super District 7, which represents about 350,000 residents in the eastern half of the county. The district includes Doraville, Tucker, Stone Mountain, Lithonia, Pine Lake and unincorporated areas.

Because neither candidate received more than half of votes case, a runoff will be held Dec. 6.

Whoever wins the runoff will take the seat previously occupied by Commissioner Stan Watson, who resigned in March to make an unsuccessful run for county tax commissioner.

In another DeKalb Commission race, Democrat Steve Bradshaw defeated Republican Willie Willis to represent District 4, which covers about 145,000 people in the Stone Mountain area.

Berrien County Interim Sheriff Ray Paulk won the special election to finish the current term but is in a runoff election against Frank Swanson for a full term.

Paulk beat out two other candidates in a special election to stay in office through the end of the year, finishing former Sheriff Anthony Heath’s term. Heath left office after pleading guilty to civil rights violations for beating two suspects.

“A candidate must have 50 percent plus one of the votes to take the election,” said Melanie Ray, Elections Supervisor.

In the general election vote, Paulk pulled in just under 49 percent of the vote in a four-man race. “Ray Paulk and Frank Swanson took the top two percentages. So they will both be in a runoff,” said Ray.

Paulk and Swanson will face off in December to see who will serve a full term as Berrien County Sheriff. “In the end, I was banking on a runoff and that’s what we were dealt with,” said Swanson.

WABE spoke to one of Trump’s most prominent Georgia supporters about what the Presidential election means for Georgia.

Trump’s win “sends a signal” to the state Legislature, said Republican state Sen. Michael Williams of Cumming. He called himself the first Republican official in Georgia to endorse the now president-elect.

“I think the discussions that we have are going to dramatically change based on the leadership that we see from Donald Trump,” Williams said.

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce released a report outlining three ways the state might use federal money to get health care for people who are poor or disabled.

“I think that talk needs to kind of just be shelved until we see what President-elect Donald Trump does with Obamacare,” Williams said.

Sen. David Perdue, one of the first Georgia Republicans and senators to support Trump, may have the most to gain.

“Americans sent a strong message,” Perdue said, using language similar to what he might have used during his own 2014 campaign. “I hope the political class in Washington will learn the right lessons from this latest election.”

Georgia Republicans helped deliver Peach State electoral votes for Trump by putting boots on the ground statewide.

At a final pre-election rally on Monday, Georgia GOP chair John Padgett scoffed at a report that Democrats made more than 420,000 calls and knocked on nearly 100,000 doors. He wasn’t the only one. We quickly received numbers from Trump operatives showing their volunteers made contact with nearly 2 million voters. And they said they staked a nearly 100,000 vote advantage in absentee ballots and early voting. It showed on Tuesday, when Trump won the state by about 250,000 votes.

Jefferson Riley, the Mayor of Mansfield, GA got himself into hot water with an old joke.

A mayor outside Atlanta says he was wasn’t serious when he posted on social media telling his followers to remember that Democrats should vote on Wednesday.

“Remember the voting days: Republicans vote on Tuesday, 11/8 and Democrats vote on Wednesday, 11/9,” Jefferson Riley, the mayor of Mansfield, Ga., wrote on his personal Facebook page on Tuesday.

Social media users were quick to criticize the mayor for the post, which widely circulated via screenshots even after Riley deleted it. Some also defended the mayor.

Riley, who in 2014 became mayor of the small city about 50 miles southeast of Atlanta, called the post a joke in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“People take things so seriously. You can’t joke about anything anymore — especially on social media,” he told the newspaper.

Columbus voters overwhelmingly rejected the “tax freeze thaw” championed by Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.

With 23 of 26 precincts and 56 percent of the early vote counted, the referendum to thaw the freeze is losing by about a 61-39 percent spread. No votes total 27,515 while Yes votes total 17,325.

Supporters and opponents of the referendum to thaw the freeze have disagreed on whether the new law would be constitutional and what would happen if it were tossed out by the courts. Supporters said the city would just revert to the tax freeze. Opponents say the freeze would have been repealed, so all homestead property would go into the fair market system, instantly lifting the freeze completely.

They have also disagreed about the potential impact on the city’s second Local Option Sales Tax, the OLOST. Opponents have said that because the initial legislation allowing the OLOST referendum had the freeze as an enabling requirement, if the freeze went away, so would the OLOST and its $30 million in revenue annually. Supporters say that is not the case, because the freeze would remain on the books forever, even though eventually, no property in the county would qualify to be under it.

9
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 9, 2016

don

Don is a medium-sized adult male Terrier mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia in Gainesville, GA.

trumpkin

Trumpkin is a male Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, Inc. in Alpharetta, GA.

My mommy is Narnia a pure bred boxer, and I am named for a character in the Chronicles of Narnia.

None of my people have ever met my daddy, so we don’t know what he might look like. But since I’m black and white with eyes that are starting to turn blue, you know he must have been a handsome devil!!!! I have 9 brothers and sisters, so we keep my mommy and my foster mommy really busy.

This picture of me was taken on my 5 week birthday. I will be ready to be adopted when I am eight weeks old, which would be in mid-November. But if you love my cute little face you can arrange to meet and pre-adopt me after I’ve gotten my first shots. My foster mommy says people will line up for a good looking puppy like me, so put in your application today so I can start my “forever” by spending the holidays with you!

mike

Mike is a male Beagle & Boston Terrier mix puppy who is available for adoption from East Coast Humane Society in Alpharetta, GA.

9
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 9, 2016

General William Tecumseh Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 120 on November 9, 1864.

Headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, in the Field, Kingston, Georgia, November 9, 1864

5. To corps commanders alone is intrusted the power to destroy mills, houses, cotton-gins, etc.; and for them this general principle is laid down: In districts and neighborhoods where the army is unmolested, no destruction of such property should be permitted; but should guerrillas or bushwhackers molest our march, or should the inhabitants burn bridges, obstruct roads, or otherwise manifest local hostility, then army commanders should order and enforce a devastation more or less relentless, according to the measure of such hostility.

6. As for horses, mules, wagons, etc., belonging to the inhabitants, the cavalry and artillery may appropriate freely and without limit; discriminating, however, between the rich, who are usually hostile, and the poor and industrious, usually neutral or friendly. Foraging-parties may also take mules or horses, to replace the jaded animals of their trains, or to serve as pack-mules for the regiments of brigades. In all foraging, of whatever kind, the parties engaged will refrain abusive or threatening language, and may, where the officer in command thinks proper, given written certificates of the facts, but no receipts; and they will endeavor to leave with each family a reasonable portion for their maintenance.

7. Negroes who are able-bodied and can be of service to the several columns may be taken along; but each army commander will bear in mind that the question of supplies is a very important one, and this his first duty is to see to those who bear arms.

8. The organization, at once, of a good pioneer battalion for each army corps, composed if possible of Negroes, should be attended to. This battalion should follow the advance-guard, repair roads and double them if possible, so that the columns will not be delayed after reaching bad places.

Former Confederate General John B. Gordon was sworn-in as Governor of Georgia on November 9, 1886.

On November 9, 1938, Kristallnacht began the organized destruction and looting of Jewish businesses and homes in Munich, Germany.

On November 9, 1989, the former East Germany announced that citizens could cross the border to West Germany. That night, crowds began tearing down sections of the wall that divided the city.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Last night and this morning, much of Governor Nathan Deal‘s legacy was decided.

The Opportunity School District Amendment was overwhelmingly rejected by voters, losing by a 60-40 margin. From the Augusta Chronicle,

Amendment 1, otherwise known as Opportunity School District, failed across Georgia on Tuesday after being rejected by around 60 percent of statewide voters.

More than 55 percent of Richmond County voters opposed the bill (40,661 to 32,756).

“Look, Nathan Deal’s a great man and I agree with a lot of things he’s accomplished,” said Richmond County school board member Jimmy Atkins, who represents District 8. “But right now he’s a lame-duck governor. By the time Opportunity School District truly gets going, he won’t be in office to take the fall.”

From the Union-Recorder,

Lyn Chandler, Baldwin County Board of Education chairman, spoke for the board in an interview with The Union-Recorder Tuesday night.

“As you know, a majority of the board supported opposition to amendment one,” Chandler said. “The board did not feel like that was the best route to go. We’re pleased that amendment one did not pass.”

“I think what it’s going to do is cause some interest in looking at ways to improve public education. The fact that that it did come into play and it was on the ballot — that’s a good thing,” Chandler said. “Hopefully we’ll move forward and continue to look for ways to improve our public education.”

And from the Rome News-Tribune,

“We already have so much in place to help schools,” said Faith Collins, chair of the Rome Board of Education. “I’m surprised that this was even brought up as an option.”

“I think the amendment not passing is a good thing for local control,” said John Jackson, superintendent of Floyd County Schools. “I have felt all along that this amendment was simply a duplication of services. The state DOE has measures in place to help failing schools. I feel like this was a wrong move.”

Lou Byars, interim superintendent of Rome City Schools, said he felt that while the legislature had the best interests of Georgia students in mind, the OSD is not a solution.

“Their heart was in the right place, but they do not know our schools and our community,” Byars said.

Chip Hood, chair of Floyd County’s Board of Education, said he is pleased that Georgia voters

trust local boards, but he does want something to be done about failing schools.

“I think that failing schools is a problem that needs to be addressed,” Hood said. “But the focus needs to be on those schools and those districts. I do feel good that the citizens of Rome and Floyd County have made it clear that the Rome City and Floyd County school boards are doing everything we can to help our schools.”

Another piece of Gov. Deal’s legacy was cemented this morning when he nominated three members of the Georgia Supreme Court and two new members of the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Georgia Supreme Court
Gov. Nathan Deal today announced the appointment of the Honorable Michael Boggs, the Honorable Britt Grant and the Honorable Nels S. D. Peterson as justices of the Supreme Court of Georgia. Boggs will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of the Honorable Hugh Thompson. Grant and Peterson will fill new seats created by the passage of House Bill 927 during the 2016 session of the Georgia General Assembly. The appointments will take effect Jan. 1, 2017.

Michael Boggs
Boggs currently serves as a judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals. He was previously a superior court judge in the Waycross Judicial Circuit. Boggs earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southern University and a law degree from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. He and his wife, Heather, reside in Blackshear.

Britt Grant
Grant serves as the solicitor general in the office of the Georgia Attorney General. She previously served as counsel for legal policy in the Georgia Attorney General’s office and worked as an associate attorney in the firm of Kirkland and Ellis in Washington, D.C. Grant earned a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and a law degree from Stanford Law School. She and her husband, Justin, have three children and reside in Atlanta.

Nels S. D. Peterson
Peterson currently serves as a judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals. He was Georgia’s first solicitor general, a position created in 2012. Peterson earned a bachelor’s degree from Kennesaw State University and a law degree from Harvard Law School. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two children and reside in Marietta.

Georgia Court of Appeals
Gov. Nathan Deal today announced the appointment of Sen. Charlie Bethel and the Honorable Tillman E. “Tripp” Self III to the Georgia Court of Appeals. Bethel and Self will fill the vacancies created by the appointments of the Honorable Michael Boggs and the Honorable Nels D. Peterson to the Supreme Court of Georgia. The appointments will take effect Jan. 1, 2017.

Sen. Charlie Bethel
Bethel is the owner of Bethel Resolutions, a dispute resolution service. He currently serves as a state senator for the 54th District in the Georgia General Assembly. Bethel earned a bachelor’s degree from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia and a law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. He and his wife, Lynsey, have three children and reside in Dalton.

Tillman E. “Tripp” Self III
Self serves as the chief judge of the superior court of the Macon Judicial Circuit. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army. Self earned a bachelor’s degree from The Citadel and a law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. He and his wife, Amy, have four children and reside in Macon.

The appointment of Sen. Charlie Bethel to the Court of Appeals opens a vacancy in his Senate seat for District 54, as well as opening the Chairmanship of the Senate Insurance & Labor Committee.

Congratulations to Meagan Hanson, who pulled out a squeaker over incumbent Democrat Taylor Bennett to win election to represent House District 80, which means that she represents me and Mrs. GaPundit in the State House.

In Gwinnett County, two Republican incumbents had mixed results in yesterday’s election.

State Rep. Joyce Chandler won her reelection by less than a percentage point in House District 105, while State Rep. Valerie Clark (R) lost by just over one percentage point in House District 101.

State Rep. Mike Cheokas (R-Americus) lost narrowly to former Americus Mayor Bill McGowan.

For those of you wishing to go to Washington or work in the federal government in Georgia under the new Donald J. Trump administration, we recommend checking out the Plum Book, the official guide to positions that the President can appoint. The 2016 version should be published soon.

Senator Janice VanNess, elected last December in a special runoff election in Senate District 43 lost to Democrat Tonya Anderson, whom Van Ness beat out previously.

 

8
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for for November 8, 2016

trusty

Trusty is a four-month old male Labrador Retriever puppy who is available for adoption from the Washington Wilkes Humane Animal Shelter in Washington, GA.

Trusty is very sweet and friendly, but shy. He enjoys people, is good with other dogs and kids. He is adjusting to shelter life and learning to walk on a leash.

freckles

Freckles is a 6-8 week old young female Hound mix puppy, one of four (including one male) who are available for adoption from the Washington Wilkes Humane Animal Shelter in Washington, GA.

smudge

Smudge is a female – another of the 6-8 week old young Hound mix puppies who are available for adoption from the Washington Wilkes Humane Animal Shelter in Washington, GA.

8
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 8, 2016

On November 8, 1860, Savannah residents protested in favor of secession following the election of Abraham Lincoln.

President Abraham Lincoln (R) was reelected on November 8, 1864.

Franklin D. Roosevelt made his 15th trip to Warm Springs, Georgia on November 8, 1928 after winning the election for Governor of New York.

Richard B. Russell, Jr. was elected to the United States Senate on November 8, 1932 and would serve until his death in 1971. Before his election to the Senate, Russell served as State Representative, Speaker of the Georgia House, and the youngest Governor of Georgia; his father served as Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. On the same day, part-time Georgia resident Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the United States.

On November 8, 1994, Republicans won control of the United States House of Representatives and Senate in what came to be called the “Republican Revolution.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today, we vote for President of the United States, to reelect Senator Johnny Isakson, and in some jurisdictions, the local politicians who will affect your life far more than anyone working in Washington, DC.

•     Take your ID with you – click for the acceptable forms of ID.

•     Make sure you are in line by 7 PM – as long as you’re in line by closing time, you’ll be able to vote.

•     If you’re not sure where to vote, check the Secretary of State’s website here. If you voted by absentee ballot, that site also allows you to check on whether your absentee vote was received.

•     If your machine is misbehaving, don’t press the “Cast your vote” button without being certain that it properly reflects your preferences and don’t hesitate to get a poll worker to help you.

•     For issues that can’t be resolved by the poll workers, to submit a complaint, you can contact the office through Secretary Kemp’s social media or use the “Stop Voter Fraud” website and hotline at (877) 725-9797. You can contact his office via Twitter at @BrianKempGA or on Facebook.

Early voting is fine and all, but I prefer to vote on Election Day, as the good Lord intended. Unless I will be unable to vote on election day, I don’t early vote because if something causes you to change your vote preference, if you’ve already cast your vote, there’s no way to undo it.

In November 2010, during a Superior Court runoff in DeKalb County, accusations of lying about endorsements surfaced against candidate Michael Rothenberg, then accusations of fraud surfaced that would ultimately lead to his being indicted and pleading guilty in federal court.

“This defendant stole from investors who trusted his judgment,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “His fraud is particularly egregious because he was involved in defrauding investors at the very time he was seeking to be elected as a DeKalb County superior court judge and because he used a portion of the illegal proceeds to fund his political campaign. Ultimately, his fraud scheme was uncovered, and his quest to be elected ended in failure.”

But he came very close to being elected to the bench.

After Courtney Johnson won the runoff election with 61% it wasn’t clear how much of her victory could be attributed to the last news cycles of the election.

But precinct-level returns shed some light.

Mike Jacobs’s district comprises eleven precincts in North DeKalb. During early runoff voting, Rothenberg ran the table here, carrying 66% of the vote and all but two of the eleven precincts. On election day, voters gave Courtney Johnson 56% of the vote, a twenty-three point gain over the weekend, and she carried nine of eleven precincts.

Courtney Johnson won the rest of the county handily, approaching 90% in a number of precincts. But it is instructive to view the sea-change in voter sentiment in reaction to a news story about candidate ethics.

And that’s why I prefer to vote on Election Day.

Last night, Mrs. GaPundit was speaking to her mother, who lives in Pennsylvania, where early voting is very limited and less than 5% of votes are cast as absentee ballots. Kudos to PA.

The Georgia Republican Party Victory celebration begins at 6 PM tonight at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead, located at 3300 Peachtree Road, NE – Atlanta.

The Democratic Party of Georgia is hosting an event at the Hyatt Regency, 265 Peachtree St. NE Atlanta, GA 30303, as well as election return parties across the state.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp doesn’t expect voting problems today, according to the Macon Telegraph.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp visited Macon on Monday to detail his office’s preparations for Election Day as large crowds are expected to turn out at polling places throughout the state. Nearly 2.4 million took advantage of advanced voting during this election cycle, eclipsing the turnout in the previous two presidential elections.

“If you are someone encountering long lines at polling locations, I would encourage everyone to remain patient and calm,” Kemp said. “We know it’s going to be a busy day.”

The Secretary of State’s Office has set up a hotline at 877-725-9797 for anyone having voting problems Election Day that extend beyond what precinct workers can handle.

“If you or anyone you know see something suspicious call our hotline,” Lewis said. “We are working on the front-line making sure the election is secure, accessible and fair.”

Along with the secretary of state, other agencies will have people monitoring polling sites Tuesday. The U.S. Department of Justice will have members of its Civil Rights Division in Hancock County while in Macon-Bibb County the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is partnering with local NAACP chapter to ensure equal access to ballots.

Kemp said that his office will be able to handle any voting problems that arise.

“We will run every single complaint down,” he said. “We’ll be the ones that can react the fastest to that. We will have (investigators) deployed at strategic locations across the state.”

Cobb County set a new record for early and advance voting, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.

Cobb closed its record-setting three-week early voting period on Friday with 161,112 votes cast either in person or through the mail, a 37 percent increase over the 117,315 votes cast early over the same period in 2012.

The early voting period was capped off by a single-day turnout record on Friday, when 20,929 people turned up to the county’s 11 early voting locations to cast a ballot, according to unofficial numbers from Cobb Elections.

Additionally, should a voter experience any issues with a voting machine, they should stop voting and get a poll worker, Eveler said. As long as a ballot has not been submitted, voters can be moved to a new machine.

“The poll manager can actually cancel that ballot and move them to a different machine if they’re not comfortable with that machine,” she said. “Or maybe there’s something they can fix or they can tell them, ‘Oh, that’s normal.’”

Johnny Isakson appeared in Macon at a Get Out the Vote rally with Governor Nathan Deal.

Isakson also held a rally in Columbus, Georgia.

“You heard in my remarks mention, Columbus is the business center of Southwest Georgia and our state.  It’s the home of Prat and Whitney, It’s the home of Aflac, it’s the home of TSYS, It’s the home of Synovus, It’s the home of NCR.  It’s a great city. Columbus and Muscogee County always play a big role in Georgia and we want to get every vote we can in every corner of the state,” said Isakson.

‘Isakson Day’ is far from finished, he will be heading to Macon, Albany and his final stop at the Cobb County Republican Party headquarters in Marietta, Georgia

Houston County Republicans expect a large turnout for Donald J. Trump at the polls today.

Henry Childs, chairman of the Houston County GOP and an ardent Trump supporter, said he believes that party loyalists who didn’t like Trump will end up voting for him. Childs said when he speaks to people with doubts about Trump, he urges them to focus on how he stands on the issues rather than his personality.

“I go back to the basics,” he said. “What are your values? Do you believe in the right to life? Do you believe in the sanctity of marriage? A balanced budget? Then you fit right in with Mr. Trump.”

Kelly Burke, a former Houston County district attorney, was a strong supporter of Ted Cruz in the primary. With an acrimonious relationship between Cruz and Trump, winning over Cruz supporters has been one of Trump’s biggest challenges.

Burke said he would not count himself as ever having been among the “Never Trump” faction, but he did not at one time think he would vote for him. He has since changed his mind and voted for him during the early voting period.

Burke said it ultimately came down to the fact that Trump is closer to his views.

“Trump has really hit a nerve and I think appropriately so,” Burke said. “I think he has helped the Republicans understand what the biggest bulk of Americans are worried about.”

Like the Childses, Burke believes Trump will carry Houston County, a longtime Republican stronghold, by similarly large margins as previous Republican presidential candidates have.

The Gainesville Times reviews local elections as well as statewide candidates and the Constitutional Amendments.

Federal poll monitors will be in Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Hancock Counties today.

Hancock County, where voting advocates have tussled with election officials over alleged voter purges and polling location closures, is the third Georgia county where federal monitors will be stationed. The Democratic National Committee Justice Department is also staffing its own toll free hotline at 800-253-3931.

Voting advocates including the Georgia NAACP had petitioned the Justice Department to consider sending federal monitors here for the presidential election, which is the first since a 2013 U. S. Supreme Court decision striking down a provision in the national Voting Rights Act requiring jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination to seek approval before making changes to voting rules.

The Albany Area YMCA offers childcare for voters today.

The Central Facility on Gillionville Road and the Lee County Branch are offering Election Day childcare.

Y members can drop off their kids for free. Others in the community can do so for a small fee.

“We just felt that it would give everybody an opportunity to get out to vote and drop their children off in a safe environment at the YMCA,” Assistant Childcare Director Sarah Mitchell said.

You can find more information at the organization’s Facebook page.

Lilburn City Council held their first meeting in the new City Hall.