The first statewide poll since last Saturday’s bitter debate shows Donald Trump still leading the Republican presidential field in South Carolina, and a narrowing race for second. From Public Policy Polling via The State newspaper in Columbia:
Behind Trump, who has 35 percent support in a new poll, U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas are tied for second place — at 18 percent each….
Ohio Gov. John Kasich is in fourth at 10 percent support, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, tied with 7 percent support each.
Also in South Carolina, Donald Trump once again raised the idea that he may run as an independent candidate if he doesn’t secure the Republican nomination. From ABC News:
Trump attacked the Republican National Committee, saying it “better get its act together” and it “does a terrible job.” Trump said he believes the RNC treated him unfairly.
Trump also went off on the crowd that booed him during Saturday night’s GOP debate in South Carolina: “Look at it, that was a wealthy room.”
“The whole room was made of special interests and donors, which is a disgrace from the RNC,” Trump said. “The RNC better get its act together because, you know, I signed a pledge. The pledge isn’t being honored by the RNC.”
The GOP frontrunner signed a pledge in September vowing not to run a third-party candidacy, but at the rally he called it a “double-edged pledge” and said he believes the RNC is in default on their side of the agreement.
When Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders arrives in Atlanta tonight, one of the first people to agree him will be Ted Terry, the millennial mayor of Clarkston and one of the most outspoken opponents of Gov. Nathan Deal’s attempt to ban Syrian refugees from resettling in Georgia. He said he didn’t come to his decision to endorse Sanders hastily – “unlike many elected officials across Georgia.” Here’s more:
“It is not just my agreement on the issues that influenced my decision, it is also the excitement and energy among my cohort of millennial voters for Bernie Sanders. I believe in order to win the White House in November we need the millennial vote to turnout in record numbers, and Bernie Sanders is the candidate most capable of achieving this.”
(We wrote the above before news broke of state Sen. Vincent Fort’s defection from the Hillary Clinton camp to the Sanders campaign. Which might have just upstaged Terry.)
That time when Gov. Nathan Deal met with the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia:
We told you on Monday that Republicans were pointing to Georgia Supreme Court Justice David Nahmias as a potential SCOTUS nominee – if the GOP wins the White House and maintains control of the U.S. Senate. But in an interview with Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM), Nahmias himself isn’t impressed:
“I hear that kind of talk every once in a while, and it’s very flattering. But it is not something I think is either very realistic or that I have any focus on.”
The Marietta Daily Journal reports that a protest by the family of a man fatally shot by police shut down a Smyrna City Council meeting on Monday:
Soon after the meeting began, the council was hearing a rezoning case when several dozen demonstrators, angry over the promotion of the officer, began shouting “No more business as usual!”
The council’s proceedings were drowned out, and they rose to file out the back, although the noise was too great to make out whether a motion to adjourn had been made.
Sgt. Kenneth Owens’ promotion to the rank of lieutenant went into effect Monday.
The Democratic-oriented group Better Georgia has taken some shaky video of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle climbing into Franklin Graham’s tour bus last week and turned it into an accusation:
Over at Channel 2 Action News, Richard Belcher has dug up the background on House Judiciary Committee Chairman Wendell Willard’s bill to deprive the State Bar of influence on the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the body that investigates judges in Georgia. It’s aimed at current the JQC chair, Lester Tate and the commission’s handling of a case against DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Becker.
Supporters of legislation to permit the production of medicinal marijuana in Georgia will hold a 3 p.m. rally today, featuring the delivery of a petition with 12,000 signatures on it.
In a related development, we’re told that we now have a Georgia Hemp Industries Association, a trade organization focusing on the development of industrial hemp farming and related products and industries. From the press release:
GHIA was established by James Bell of Georgia C.A.R.E. Project, a cannabis advocacy group, to focus specifically on industrial hemp and to separate the issues of “marijuana” from its cousin “hemp.”
GHIA was formed in response to the growing interest in hemp as a commercial crop. Nine states are currently growing hemp, another 19 have passed legislation and many others are considering legislation.