Trump ally pays bail for others | ANF+ Political Update’s weekly wrap

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Burt Jones, Jon Ossoff, Brad Raffensperger, Brian Kemp made headlines this week. So did Donald Trump, but that’s nothing new.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 12:22 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2023 at 3:06 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Georgia has been under the nation’s political microscope before, but never more so than now.

Here’s a recap of Sept. 11-15, 2023:

Bobby Jr. calls the DNC a “rigged game”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s, longshot campaign for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination condemned Thursday’s meeting of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) rules and bylaws committee in the nation’s capital.

Kennedy’s campaign is accusing the DNC of keeping the meeting silent, where, it said, resolutions dealing with Georgia, Iowa, New Hampshire, and other states were expected to be presented.

“This is the DNC’s version of the ‘hidden ball trick,’” said Kennedy Campaign Manager Dennis J. Kucinich, the former eight-term Democratic Congressman from Ohio and twice a candidate for the Democratic nomination. “The DNC wants to carry on without public and media attention.”

Kennedy, who is scheduled to make a Georgia appearance next month, said the DNC’s delegate selection plan is a “rigged game.”

On August 14, 2023, Campaign Manager Dennis Kucinich asked Georgia Democratic Party leaders for clarifications on Georgia’s ballot process, including state party chair U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams. “For over a month none of these party officials found the time to clarify our understanding of the presidential ballot access rules or how they interact with the new broad powers of both the DNC Chair and State Party members who have already publicly endorsed our opponent to bar ballot access,” the Kennedy campaign said.

Skandalakis examining Lt. Gov. Burt Jones’ role in Trump indictment

Last month, Pete Skandalakis, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council of Georgia, filed a motion seeking access to the special grand jury’s final report into former President Donald Trump.

Late last week, when the special grand jury’s report was fully released, Skandalakis’ office released a statement that he is continuing to pursue the appointment of a special prosecutor “to handle any matters concerning former State Senator Burt Jones of all the facts and circumstances surrounding the investigation.”

Jones is one of 20 people who were named in the final special grand jury report but unidicted.

“A special prosecutor has not been appointed to the case as of today and we do not expect an appointment to be made immediately,” Skandalakis’ statement said.

Raffensperger continues purging Georgia voter roles

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger continued his efforts this week “in ensuring Georgia’s voter lists are the cleanest in the nation,” according to his office. More than 82,000 voters were identified this week as potentially having moved out of state, and they are being mailed notices prompting them to cancel their registration if they have moved.

Those doctor’s bills can be a real killer

Georgia Watch Executive Director Liz Coyle traveled to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday with other community activists from across the U.S. to urge the Biden administration to do more to address the medical debt crisis.

More than 100,000 people in Georgia have some form of medical debt, impacting both the uninsured and underinsured.

Georgia Watch is a statewide, non-profit consumer advocacy organization working to inform and protect Georgia consumers on quality of life matters, such as predatory business practices, high utility costs and access to the civil justice system.

Shouldn’t this already be illegal?

Georgia U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff introduced legislation to ban stock trading by members of Congress. On Tuesday, Ossoff and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) introduced the Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act, which will require all members of Congress, their spouses, and dependent children to place their stocks into a blind trust or divest the holding, ensuring they cannot use inside information to influence their stock trades and make a profit.

“Members of Congress should not be playing the stock market while we make Federal policy and have extraordinary access to confidential information,” Ossoff said. “Stock trading by members of Congress massively erodes public confidence in Congress with serious appearance of impropriety, which is why we should ban stock trading by members of Congress altogether.”

Ossoff and Kelly were two of only 10 sitting members of Congress last session to place their portfolios in blind trusts.

Three Georgia congressmen want anti-communism taught in schools

Three Georgia GOP congressmen joined with more than two dozen others from across the U.S. to encourage the teaching of anti-communism in American middle and high schools.

U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, whose 3rd district stretches from Atlanta’s southern suburbs of Atlanta to northern Columbus; Buddy Carter, from coastal Georgia’s 1st district; and Rich McCormick from metro Atlanta’s 7th district; reintroduced H.R. 5349, the Crucial Communism Teaching (CCT) Act.

According to Ferguson’s office, “the CCT Act makes educational materials available through the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation to help educate middle and high school students about the dangers of communism and totalitarianism, and how they are contrary to the founding principles of freedom and democracy in the United States.”

Georgians love their lottery

A nationwide study has revealed the states in which lotteries make the most money.

The research by CasinoReviews analyzed 2022 data from the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries to establish the states where lottery sales outweighed prizes by the most.

Georgia comes out as the state spending the sixth most per capita on lotteries; $5.5 billion in sales through 2022 equates to a per-person spending of $518.41 in the state.

With $3.3 billion given out in prizes in the state, lotteries have a revenue of approximately $2.2 billion. This makes for a per capita revenue of $202.20, the 10th-highest figure nationwide.

In terms of overall revenue, that $2.2 billion means Georgia is the seventh most profitable state for lotteries nationwide.

Y’all come back now, hear? | Tourism is king in the Peach State

Gov. Brian Kemp announced this week that 2022 was record-breaking for the state’s tourism industry.

While attending the Governor’s Tourism Conference on Jekyll Island, Kemp announced more than 167 million domestic and international visitors in 2022 brought in $39.8 billion in spending, surpassing the previous record set in 2019 by $2 billion.

Total economic impact for Georgia travel and tourism reached $73 billion in 2022 - a 13 percent year-over-year increase. Travel demand supported more than 442,600 jobs across the state, an increase of more than 20,000 jobs between 2021 and 2022.

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