EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – Five new inductees have joined the Gilmer County REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) program this week with the official REACH Signing Ceremony on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.
The ceremony was hosted at Clear Creek Middle School’s media center with special guests Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston and Brad Bryant from the Georgia Student Finance Commission.
The inductees, Sarah Enfinger, Eduardo Gonzalez-Santos, Emma Heaslip, Sandra Pantoja, and David Rafael-Garcia, signed their agreements during the ceremony as did their parents to adhere to the requirements of the agreement and move toward their choices for post-secondary education.
Speaker Ralston said during the ceremony that this year’s students are joining a group of more than 2,400 students in Georgia who have been a part of the program over recent years.
Ralston said, “The REACH program exemplifies what can happen when communities come together and the public and private sectors work hand in hand to support our young people. REACH is also an example of the state’s continuing commitment to supporting our students and public education. Whether it has been fully funding public schools through QBE, paying for school security improvements, or raising teacher salaries, our general assembly continues to invest in education all across the state.”
The REACH signing is a part of Georgia’s program as a needs-based scholarship that begins in 8th grade. REACH Scholars are paired with a mentor and an academic coach throughout high school. Scholars must maintain good grades (2.5 GPA in core courses), behavior, and attendance throughout middle and high school. Scholars who successfully complete the program and graduate from high school are awarded a $10,000 scholarship that can be used at HOPE-eligible institution in Georgia.
Bryant also took a moment to offer special thanks to the school board members and the mentors to these students for the time and effort they put forth to help the students saying the children are the future, but “it’s the adults that serve the children that are the future.”
Another surprise for the day’s events, the students saw a video message from Georgia Governor Brian Kemp congratulating them on the ceremony and their steps toward the future. Kemp said, “Today’s ceremony is the beginning of a journey. Your REACH scholarship puts you in the fast lane on a road to the future of success. I look forward to watching you accelerate into that future.”
See more photos from this event at FYN’s REACH 2019 Photo Album on Facebook.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Elections office reported a record-setting first day of early voting.
Maintaining high numbers compared to some elections, this mid-term season is shaping up to be just as important and well attended as the 2016 elections as we are already showcasing quite similarly to that year.
Out of 20,491 registered voters in the county, including those deemed inactive at this time, Gilmer has seen 6,804 people voting early either by the 6,308 who voted in person at the Registrar’s Office, 487 voters who mailed in ballots early, or the 9 electronic ballots that were mailed in.
Compare that to the 2016 election who saw 6,833 early voters in person, 660 mail-in ballots, and 30 electronic ballots. With such similar numbers, the small gap could simply be a swing towards voting on election day. However, the numbers for this year could still rise as Head of Voter Registrar’s for Gilmer, Nelda Spires says these could still come in early next week.
Comparing this year’s 6,804 total early voters to 2016’s 7,523 highlights the rising attention people have been paying to recent events and politics. As Gilmer moves into next Tuesday, election night, citizens are closely watching final tallies for both parties. Stay with FYN as we report election night totals in real time for Gilmer County
Pro-English voters should ask questions
By: D.A. King
A December 2015 Rosetta Stone poll showed that a bipartisan 76% of Georgians support making English Georgia’s constitutional official language. The idea is English as official, not “English only” as goes the portrayal by dishonest opponents.
Policy differences for candidates in the race for Georgia governor may not extend to allowing Georgia voters to decide if the state constitution should be amended to make English the official language of government.
According to an AJC report last week, Democrat candidate Stacey Abrams promised to oppose constitutional official English in the General Assembly as governor and boasted of fighting against allowing voters to answer a ballot question when she was in the legislature.
We thought it surprising that the AJC did not include a quote or position from Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp on the voter-popular issue, so Wednesday, October 3, this writer sent a policy question and request for a quote to the Kemp campaign.
“Do you support allowing Georgia voters to decide on a ballot question that would amend the state constitution to make English the official language of Georgia government and which would end current practice of offering the written road rules portion of the DDS drivers license exam in (eleven) foreign languages?
If so, will you use the power of the governor’s office to promote that cause for the 2020 election?”
We have not received a response from candidate Kemp. Curious voters should ask him.
All concerned should be aware that Georgia has a 1996 statute in place that makes English the official language, but also says officials can ignore that directive:
“State agencies, counties, municipal corporations, and political subdivisions of this state are authorized to use or to print official documents and forms in languages other than the official language, at the discretion of their governing authorities.”
The concept of allowing voters to have a voice on the matter is quite popular in the Georgia senate. Introduced by state Senator Josh McKoon, in 2016 SR 675 passed the Georgia senate with every Republican member voting “YEA,” But it was not allowed a vote on the House floor.
McKoon’s Resolution created a ballot question voters would have considered that year which read:
“Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that English is the official language of the State of Georgia?”
All persons desiring to vote in favor of ratifying the proposed amendment shall vote “Yes.”
All persons desiring to vote against ratifying the proposed amendment shall vote “No.”
If such amendment shall be ratified as provided in said Paragraph of the Constitution, it shall become a part of the Constitution of this state.”
Most conservatives would like to have the chance to answer that question in November, 2020.
Readers who are not closely involved in Gold Dome politics are likely asking why they have not already been permitted to vote on making official English part of the state constitution. It helps to know that the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce are vehemently opposed to that idea.
It may also help to know that in metro-Atlanta’s DeKalb School District alone, administrators are dealing with students from 180 different countries who speak 140 different languages.
Without a constitutional mandate that English is the official language of government, readers can make their own predictions on how long it is before the angry marches in the streets begin with the demand that government in Georgia accommodate every imaginable language with the cry that “diversity is our strength.”
It seems like something a Republican candidate for Georgia governor would comment on. Comprende?
D.A. King of Marietta is president of the Georgia-based Dustin Inman Society.
Blue Ridge, Ga. – After a heated runoff race, the results are in and Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp has beat out opponent Lt. Governor Casey Cagle for the Republican nomination.
What was polled as a tight race between the two candidates ended up being what some would consider a landslide victory for Kemp. Kemp received 69.46 percent of the vote statewide with Cagle pulling in 30.54 percent.
Kemp will now face the Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams for the seat of Georgia Governor.
Abrams and Kemp are not strangers, as they have gone head to head over election issues while Kemp has served as Secretary of State.
“All of these liberal groups that are going to be in play in Georgia supporting her (Abrams), I’ve fought,” Kemp said about his past experiences with Abrams.
Citing that he has already faced George Soros, Eric Holder, Thomas Perez, Common Cause Georgia and New Georgia Project, Kemp is confident that he can beat them again.
Kemp explained where some of these groups came into conflict with the Secretary of State office, “They sued us and several counties saying that we weren’t registering voters, 10 different counts. Then they wanted us to settle. I wouldn’t do it. I made them go to court and we won all 10 cases.”
“I know what’s coming,” Kemp said about his preparation for proceeding in the gubernatorial race. “I know how to fight.”
Blue Ridge, Ga. – Brad Raffensperger has defeated David Belle Isle in the July Runoff Election.
Raffensperger and Belle Isle vied for the Republican nomination to seek the seat of Georgia Secretary of State. The Secretary of State seat is open with no incumbent as current Secretary of State Brian Kemp moves forward in the gubernatorial race.
With all 159 counties reporting, Raffensperger was able to receive 61.76 percent of the vote while Belle Isle fell short only receiving 38.24 percent.
Raffensperger will move forward to the November General Election where he will face Democratic nominee John Barrow.
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Blue Ridge, Ga. – Geoff Duncan narrowly beats out David Shafer in the July Runoff Election.
In what was by far the closest race to take place during the runoff, Duncan beat out Shaffer by a mere 1672 votes. In some precincts across the state this race showed wins by a margin of only 2 votes.
Duncan and Shafer vied for the Republican nomination to seek the seat of Georgia Lt. Governor. The Lt. Governor seat is open with no incumbent as current Lt. Governor Casey Cagle chose to throw his name in the hat for the Republican nomination in the gubernatorial race.
With all 159 counties reporting, Duncan was able to receive 50.15 percent of the vote while Shafer fell short receiving 49.85 percent.
Duncan will move forward to the November General Election where he will face Democratic nominee Sarah Riggs Amico.
Ellijay, Ga. – Results are in and completed to decide the final decisions on preliminary elections for this cycle. These are the incomplete and unofficial results, meaning they are final and awaiting certification by the secretary of state.
Tonight completes the polling for positions for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Secretary of State for the Republican Ballot and the School Superintendent for the Democratic Ballot.
As the results continue through the night, FYN will update our article with the latest results until the final unofficial results are confirmed at the end of the night.
Results are as follows:
Casey Cagle – 810 25.69%
Brian Kemp – 2,343 74.31%
Geoff Duncan – 1,598 53.11%
David Shafer – 1,411 46.89%
Secretary of State
David Belle Isle – 1,016 34.94%
Brad Raffensperger – 1,892 65.06%
State School Superintendent
Sid Chapman – 51 70.83%
Otha Thornton – 21 29.17%
Reposted with permission from the Dustin Inman Society blog
While the liberal media ignores the fact, both candidates in the bruising two-month Georgia Republican gubernatorial primary race have avoided immigration issues where the eventual governor can make the biggest difference.
With run-off day looming tomorrow, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp have mostly kept their immigration focus away from topics that may offend the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and narrowed to “sanctuary cities” and on illegal aliens who have already committed additional crimes in the United States – or “criminal illegal aliens.”
The main driver of illegal immigration is illegal employment, which was not mentioned in either campaign.
In addition to black market labor, they are also both dodging obvious and voter-popular immigration issues where a governor can play a central role, including drivers licenses to illegal aliens and official English for government.
No mention of protecting jobs for American workers
When asked in a statewide December 2015 poll, “Who should get the future jobs in Georgia? – Americans, including legal immigrants already here, illegal immigrants already here, newly arrived legal immigrants and guest workers or it doesn’t matter, workers who will work for the lowest wage.” A whopping 90% of Republicans said Americans, including legal immigrants already here should get priority.
Silence on allowing voters to decide on constitutional official English
Nearly 86% of Republicans – and 76% of all voters polled – answered “yes” when asked “would you support an amendment to the Georgia constitution that makes English the official language of government?” in the same poll conducted by Atlanta-based Rosetta Stone Communications
Despite the objections of the business lobby and with a unanimous party-line vote, in 2016, the Republican-controlled Georgia state senate passed a Resolution that would have allowed all Georgia voters to answer a ballot question that year on English as the state’s constitutional official government language.
But the legislation quietly died with Democrat “no” votes when Republican House leadership instructed Republicans to stay away from a sub-committee hearing which killed the bill.
Official English is not a voluntary campaign topic for either of the Republican candidates for Georgia governor. This despite one metro-Atlanta school district boast that 140 foreign languages are spoken by its students.
While it is not widely understood by voters, currently, the state of ten million offers the written road rules portion of the drivers license exam in eleven foreign languages.
Drivers licenses for illegal aliens – not a campaign issue
The same statewide poll that asked about official constitutional official English showed that 80% of Republicans and 63% of all Georgians also want to end the practice of giving any drivers license to any illegal aliens.
Many voters are unaware of the fact that Republican Georgia has issued more than 20,000 drivers licenses and official state photo ID Cards to individuals who the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services classifies as lacking lawful immigration status – but who have been given work permits by both the Obama and Trump administrations.
This group of aliens includes recipients of the Obama DACA deferred action on deportation amnesty, aliens who have been granted deferred action outside of the DACA amnesty and aliens who have already been ordered to be deported by federal officials.
Work permits, officially known as Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) are issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services which is an agency in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The 2005 REAL ID Act implemented after the horror of 9/11 says that illegal aliens who have been granted deferred action on deportation or who have been ordered deported but then apply for permanent residence use that temporary condition as “evidence of lawful status” for the purpose of obtaining a federally approved drivers license or state ID card.
⦁ In a direct contradiction, USCIS says “Current law does not grant any legal status for the class of individuals who are current recipients of DACA. Recipients of DACA are currently unlawfully present in the U.S. with their removal deferred.”
⦁ Through an official spokesperson, USCIS has provided a breakdown of the classification codes contained on the work permits that illustrate the immigration status of the bearer.
⦁ USCIS also operates the SAVE verification system for official agencies to determine immigration status of applicants for public benefits. Drivers licenses and ID cards are public benefits in Georgia.
⦁ Appointed by current governor, Nathan Deal, Georgia’s Attorney General, Chris Carr, has told an Atlanta NPR affiliate that “We have continuously and clearly taken the position in ongoing legal cases that DACA does not confer legal status.” (July 17, 2017 WABE News).
Georgia is among the states that issues the identical drivers license to legal immigrants with ‘green cards’ and foreigners who entered the US lawfully on temporary visas – including Mercedes Benz executives – as are issued to the aliens the state Attorney General and USCIS says lack legal status. The defacto national ID, these credentials are used as valid ID to enter military bases, federal buildings and board airliners in America’s airports.
Drivers license issued to all non-citizens in Georgia, legal status or illegal status. Photo: DDS
Sponsored by conservative state Senator Josh McKoon, in 2016, legislation passed the Georgia Senate by a two-thirds majority – with every Republican vote except one – that would have clearly marked driving and ID credentials to note the illegal immigration status of the bearer. That measure was allowed to expire without a hearing in the GOP House, controlled by business-oriented Speaker David Ralston. McKoon also sponsored the official English Resolution.
Most Georgians do not realize that under state law the same aliens USCIS says have no lawful status but have been issued a work permit are eligible for state unemployment benefits.
The jobs-for Americans, drivers license/illegal alien/unemployment benefits issue is not a topic in either Republican candidate’s campaign for the Republican nomination for Georgia governor.
Georgians deserve to now where the candidates stand.
The powerful Georgia business lobby has long worked against protecting jobs and wages for legal workers, use of E-Verify, immigration enforcement and official English. Georgia ranks ahead of Arizona in its population of illegal aliens, according to estimates from DHS and the Pew Research Center. One estimate is that the crime of illegal immigration costs Georgia taxpayers $2.4 billion annually.
The current governor, two-term, business-first Republican Nathan Deal, has avoided the illegal immigration issue since his first year in office. But, Deal boasts that Georgia is named number one state in which to do business by Site Selection magazine.
The influx of migrants and the anti-enforcement power of the business lobby will eventually result in a Democrat in the Georgia governor’s office. This year’s far-left, anti-enforcement candidate for the office, Stacey Abrams, has a real chance of winning and has recently received a one million-dollar donation from Georgia Soros.