COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

Blog Topic: Raging Election

  • In the Loop: Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry Is Running for Senate

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    Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry is joining what is shaping up to be a crowded Democratic field for U.S. Senate.

    The Atlanta suburb, a city of about 13,000, is home to many refugees and often referred to as the most diverse square mile in America. 

    In his campaign announcement, the 36-year-old touted his record as the "millennial mayor," including decriminalizing marijuana, enacting a $15 minimum wage for city employees and making Election Day a holiday.

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  • In the Loop: Candidate Announces Run for Commission District 8 Seat

     

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    Andrea Farnham.

    Andrea Farnham recently announced her intention to run for the Commission District 8 seat held by Andy Herod since 2007.

    Farnham, a couples and sex therapist who owns the private practice Just Relationships, has lived in Athens since 2012. She is active in the Green Acres/Crestwood neighborhood association, the local Democratic Party chapter, Oconee Street United Methodist Church, Gaines Elementary School and several professional organizations. She said she was motivated to run by entrenched poverty in black communities and social and political disenfranchisement.

    From her news release:

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  • In the Loop: Senate Candidate Teresa Tomlinson Says Trump Should Be Impeached

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    Democratic Senate candidate Teresa Tomlinson.

    Democratic Senate candidate Teresa Tomlinson believes House Democrats have a "duty" to begin impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump, regardless of whether it's politically advantageous.

    "The fact of the matter is, you're not up there to get re-elected," she told a group of Athens Democrats over breakfast Saturday morning. "You're up there to lead."

    While most Democrats believe Trump committed crimes and abused his power while in office, they are split on whether to move forward with impeachment. Some, remembering the GOP's unpopular impeachment of President Bill Clinton, think impeaching Trump might boost his chances of re-election.

    Even if the Democrat-controlled House did vote to impeach, it would likely be a futile gesture, as 67 votes in the Senate are required to convict, and Republican senators have shown no signs of abandoning Trump.

    "We have to go through the process," Tomlinson said. "If the Senate votes to acquit, they vote to acquit."

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  • In the Loop: John Barrow Will Run for Georgia Supreme Court

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    Former congressman John Barrow of Athens will run for an open seat on the Georgia Supreme Court, he announced today.

    An appellate court depends on the combined experience of its judges to arrive at decisions that are fair and just,” Barrow said in a news release. When Justice [Robert] Benham retires, the Supreme Court will lose almost as much experience as the rest of the Court combined.  That’s why I’m running—to offer my experience to help maintain the kind of balance we want in our Supreme Court.”

    Barrow's father, James, was a Superior Court judge in Athens and oversaw the desegregation of the local school system.

    John Barrow graduated from UGA and Harvard Law School, and clerked at two federal appeals courts before opening a private law practice in Athens.

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  • In the Loop: Voting Machine Bill Passes on Party-Line Vote

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    Oconee County’s three legislators in the Georgia General Assembly last week voted in favor of House Bill 316, which selects new voting machines and responds to allegations that voters last year were denied access, absentee ballots were not counted and vote tallies were incomplete.

    The vote on the House bill was partisan, and Sen. Bill Cowsert from the 46th District, Rep. Houston Gaines from House District 117, and Rep. Marcus Wiedower from House District 119, all Republicans, sided with the Republican majority.

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  • In the Loop: Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement Kicks Off Voting Rights Tour Thursday

     

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    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file

    Mokah-Jasmine Johnson.

    On Thursday, Feb. 28 from 6–9 p.m. at Hendershot’s, the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement will launch a seven-city tour to promote voting.

    “The 2018 elections in Georgia left many people wondering if voter suppression played a role in the final outcome,” said AADM cofounder Mokah-Jasmine Johnson, who was featured recently on HBO’s “Vice News” for her work to get out the vote in Athens. “So, I wanted to do this tour to inform and encourage everyday citizens to stay engaged and get involved.”

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  • Homedrone: R.E.M. Tells Congress and Media to 'Ghost' Trump

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    When you're sure you've had enough/ of this president, well hang on.

    R.E.M. continued its long-running feud with Donald Trump over the weekend, firing back at the president after he tweeted a video featuring one of its songs to his 58 million Twitter followers.

    The video, originally posted by pro-Trump meme account @CarpeDonktum, consists of a series of images of Democrats looking sad at Trump's State of the Union Address, set to the 1993 R.E.M. hit "Everybody Hurts." The video was taken down for copyright violation, but Trump later posted the same video, this time set to Lee Greenwood's "Proud to Be an American."

    "World Leader PRETEND!!!" the band said in a statement referencing another one of its songs. "Congress, Media—ghost this faker!!! Love, R.E.M."

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  • In the Loop: Democrats Make Slight Gains in Oconee County

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    Public Service Commissioner Chuck Eaton.

    Republican Brad Raffensperger got 67.1 percent of the vote in Oconee County in the runoff for secretary of state on Tuesday, up just slightly from his 66.8 percent vote on Nov. 6.

    Democrat John Barrow received 32.9 percent of the vote in Oconee County on Tuesday, up from the 30.7 percent he received in the three-way contest on Nov. 6.

    In the Public Service Commission race, incumbent Republican Chuck Eaton received 68.1 percent of the vote in Oconee County on Tuesday, down from the 69.4 percent he received on Nov. 6.

    Democrat Lindy Miller received 31.9 percent, up from the 27.3 percent she received in the three-way race on Nov. 6.

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  • In the Loop: ACC Attorney Says Board of Elections Illegally Closed Meeting

     

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    Savannah Cole/file

    The Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections broke state law when it went into executive session in September to discuss opening an early voting site at Cedar Shoals High School, according to the ACC Attorney’s office.

    Tension continued in the Board of Elections on Tuesday as they discussed the closed-door meeting. The attorney’s office concluded the board was in violation of the Georgia Open Meetings act. Assistant county attorney John Hawkins provided the results of the review to board members.

    On Sept. 4, the BOE decided to go to executive session to discuss “personnel matters” since more poll workers would be needed for an additional early voting location. Under the Open Meetings Act, the board is permitted to go to executive session if it involved personnel matters. However, other topics were discussed, and the personnel exemption is meant to cover discussions about specific employees or candidates for positions, not hiring more personnel in general.

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  • In the Loop: Athens' John Barrow Loses Bid to Become Georgia Secretary of State

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    Republican Brad Raffensperger defeated Barrow in a runoff Tuesday.

    Democrat John Barrow lost his bid to become Georgia's secretary of state Tuesday to Republican Brad Raffensperger, and Republican incumbent Chuck Eaton kept his seat on the Public Service Commission, defeating Democrat Lindy Miller.

    Barrow's loss means that a Republican will be running Georgia's elections in 2020—when President Donald Trump and one of his staunchest supporters, GOP Sen. David Perdue, are on the ballot—and 2024, when Gov.-elect Brian Kemp will be up for re-election.

    It also comes amid widespread accusations among Democrats that voter suppression efforts under Kemp, the former secretary of state, cost Democrat Stacey Abrams the gubernatorial election.

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