Even without any major statewide candidate contests to encourage turnout, African-American voters in Georgia are on track to cast a larger share of the presidential vote than in 2008, according to the latest figures from the secretary of state’s office.
As of today, 780,545 Georgia voters have cast their ballots for the Nov. 6 election. Of those, 33 percent have been African-American.
In 2008, when drawn to the polls by the prospect of electing the nation’s first black president, African-Americans cast 30 percent of 3.9 million votes in Georgia.
The question is whether this year’s participation statistic will shrink between now and Tuesday week. Even if it drops slightly, it could be taken as a sign that President Barack Obama’s political base remains enthusiastic, and hasn’t been discouraged by the ups and downs of October.
You also have to wonder what heavy black turnout would mean for Georgia’s charter school measure.
Here’s that “first time” ad from the Barack Obama campaign – clearly aimed at the young and virginal – that everyone’s talking about:
Those polls that show the presidential campaign to be a squeaker? Newt Gingrich doesn’t believe them. From Politico.com:
“I believe the minimum result will be 53-47 Romney, over 300 electoral votes, and the Republicans will pick up the Senate,” the former House speaker said Thursday night on Fox News’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”
Earlier this week, during an interview in Iowa, President Barack Obama predicted that, after the election was done, Washington would come together and create that “grand bargain” to address a $16 trillion federal debt and avoid the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts set to go into effect at the close of the year.
On Thursday, speaking Republican rather than Democrat, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson said much the same thing:
Said Georgia’s junior senator:
”I think we’ll postpone the ‘fiscal cliff’ from the end of this year, into next year, with certain speed-bumps and thresholds that Congress must perform on before we get there. We’ve got a crisis ahead of us. It’s got to be solved, it’s got to be a comprehensive solution, which is going to take pushing it into next year. But we need a deadline to make sure Congress faces the music on spending, on entitlements and on taxes….”
It was pointed out that sequestration would cost Georgia 24,000 jobs. Said Isakson:
”Most of those jobs are in Marietta, Ga., where I live, at Lockheed-Martin. So I know a lot about what you’re talking about. Automatic sequestration, across-the-board at the Department of Defense would be disastrous. Congress ought to be doing its jobs. We ought to be finding efficiencies that make sense.”
Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge K. Dawson Jackson on Thursday dismissed a second lawsuit against opponents of the Nov. 6 ballot measure on charter schools. See the details here.
Plaintiffs had accused the Gwinnett school board and the Georgia School Board Association of improperly using taxpayer resources to campaign against the measure.
In tossing the request for court intervention, Jackson made a finding worth reading. He said the lawsuit qualified as a SLAPP action. That’s a “strategic lawsuit against public participation” – often used by developers to freeze civilian opponents in zoning cases and such.
Lawson invoked the state’s anti-SLAPP statute:
The General Assembly of Georgia has recognized that “it is in the public interest to encourage participation by the citizens of Georgia in matters of public significance through the exercise of their constitutional rights of freedom of speech and the right to petition government for redress of grievances.
“The General Assembly of Georgia further finds and declares that the valid exercise of the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and the right to petition government for a redress of grievances should not be chilled through abuse of the judicial process.”
Over at WABE (90.1FM), Rose Scott reports that state Rep. Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta, will introduce legislation to give parents more control over all public schools – including the right to change the administration of a low-performing school.
Now, some people might argue that Lindsey is advocating a reduction in local school board authority – and they would be right.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider