Georgia’s GOP Congresspersons, Along with Pro-Vaccine Governor, Resist Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) is leading the charge among Republican officials to litigate against President Joe Biden’s order that all employers with 100 or more staffers ensure that their workers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they show a negative test weekly.

“Just ended a call with my fellow Republican governors,” Kemp tweeted Friday. “We are fighting back against @POTUS’ outrageous overreach and attack on individual freedom.”

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Gov. Brian Kemp Wants Afghan Refugees in Georgia

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp reportedly has invited Afghan refugees to resettle there, and his announcement has not carried over well with Peach State conservatives. Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jones said on his social media pages this week that Kemp’s suggestion is reckless and threatens national security.

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Georgia Officials File Motion to Dismiss U.S. Department of Justice’s Lawsuit Against SB 202

Georgia officials have filed a motion to dismiss the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) lawsuit against the state’s new voter integrity law, Senate Bill 202. Gov. Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr this week released a statement and called the lawsuit “politically-charged” and said it seeks “to intrude into the State of Georgia’s constitutional authority to regulate the time, place, and manner of its elections.”

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Georgia Department of Community Health Says COVID-19 Justified No-Bid Contract

Georgia officials rewarded an Alpharetta-based medical company with a generous no-bid contract and cited a provision in state law that allowed them to do so during emergencies — in this case, COVID-19. Jackson Healthcare provides medical staff to several of Georgia’s hospitals and nursing homes through its subsidiary Healthcare Workforce Logistics (HWL). Company CEO Rick Jackson donated generously to Georgia’s top politicians, including Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Jackson’s company subsequently received a $434 million no-bid contract. Company officials said politics “had absolutely nothing to do with it.”

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Georgia Campaign Donor Says Politics Did Not Influence Generous No-Bid COVID-19 Contract

Richard L. Jackson

The president of an Alpharetta-based medical company whose CEO donated generously to Georgia’s top politicians and subsequently received a $434 million no-bid contract said Tuesday that politics “had absolutely nothing to do with it.” Rick Jackson, the CEO of Jackson Healthcare, donated roughly $1 million to various statewide political candidates. Jackson donated to, among others, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

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Corporate Donor to Brian Kemp, Geoff Duncan, and Brad Raffensperger Got Exclusive No-Bid Contract for COVID-19 Services

Outside shot of Jackson Healthcare in Alpharetta, GA.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger accepted generous campaign donations from a medical company that got a $434 million no-bid contract  with the state to help fight COVID-19. This, according to a new article in The Georgia Health News.

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Federal Judge Denies Injunction Request to Stop Georgia’s Voter Integrity Law

A U.S. District Judge on Wednesday denied one group’s request that he issue a preliminary injunction against certain sections of Georgia’s new voter integrity law, Senate Bill 202. The Coalition for Good Governance requested the injunction for the July 13 runoff election for Georgia State House District 34.

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Georgia U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams to Co-Chair Commission to Fight ‘Voter Suppression’

U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams (D-GA-05) announced she will co-chair the Washington, D.C.-based Congressional Voting Rights Caucus to fight what she calls voter suppression bills in 14 states. In this role, according to a press release, Williams will replace the late U.S. Congressman John Lewis.

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Brian Kemp Announces People Who Will Serve on Georgia Jobs and Infrastructure Committees

Gov. Brian Kemp this week named members of the Georgia Jobs and Infrastructure Committees, responsible for receiving applications and making recommendations regarding federal COVID-19 relief funds allocated to the state through the American Rescue Plan. State government entities and units of local government, as well as industries and nonprofits are eligible to apply, Kemp said in an emailed press release.

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Vernon Jones Asks Why Joe Biden’s DOJ Isn’t Suing Other States for Their Voting Laws

Georgia gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jones said U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is suing Georgia unfairly for its new voting law when officials in other states impose the same standards upon their voters. U.S. Justice Department officials announced last week they will sue the Peach State over its new voting law Senate Bill 202.

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Vernon Jones Commentary: Governor Kemp, Georgia Needs an Audit Now

For several months, I have demanded that Governor Brian Kemp carry out a full forensic audit of Georgia’s ballots from the election last year. Growing evidence indicates that either fraud or gross negligence occurred that potentially swayed the result of the presidential election. But for one reason or another, Governor Kemp refuses to act. It’s long overdue for him to perform the job that he was elected to do. We simply can’t wait any longer.

On June 17, I held a press conference at the State Capitol in Atlanta exposing irregularities that occurred when ballots were tabulated in the presidential election. As the investigative news outlet Just The News reported, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger received a report in November that his office commissioned with a private contractor. The report exposed the disaster of the election in Fulton County.

Just The News reported that the contractor “recorded troubling behavior like the mysterious removal of a suitcase of sensitive election data known as polls pads, used to authenticate voters.” This contractor “also observed that sensitive election materials were left on a dock at a warehouse without supervision.” The full report documents troubling and revealing events that occurred throughout the entire process of Fulton County officials tabulating votes. It’s a disaster that should never happen again and should have never happened in the first place.

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Georgia SOS Brad Raffensperger Issues Challenge to Stacey Abrams and Joe Biden After DOJ Lawsuit Announced

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger reacted harshly Friday to news that U.S. Justice Department officials, under Attorney General Merrick Garland, will sue the Peach State over its new voting law Senate Bill 202. “The Biden Administration continues to do the bidding of Stacey Abrams and spreads more lies about Georgia’s election law,” Raffensperger said on Facebook Friday.

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Kemp Ends Georgia’s Public Health State of Emergency as of July 1

Georgia’s public health state of emergency will end on July 1 under an executive order signed by Gov. Brian Kemp.

Kemp first declared a public health state of emergency on March 14, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration helps the state easily access supplies and other resources needed to combat the spread of the coronavirus. It lifts certain medical and commercial transportation regulations.

Tuesday’s order extends the declaration by one day and one minute.

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Economic Development Roundup: Green Hydrogen Fuel Production Plant Slated for Georgia

hydrogen fuel plant

Hydrogen solutions provider Plug Power will invest $84 million to open a green hydrogen fuel production plant in Kingsland, Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp’s office said.

The investment is expected to create 24 jobs in Camden County. Plug Power’s GenKey solution combines critical elements to power and fuel and provides services to Amazon, BMW, Southern Company, The Home Depot, Group Carrefour and Walmart.

“With this hydrogen production plant, we are expanding our green hydrogen network to provide zero-emissions fuel to customers in Georgia and across the Southeast,” Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh said. “Investing in Camden County is the right choice to support Plug Power’s continued growth.”

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Georgia Unemployment Rate Drops, but Mom-and-Pops Still in Jeopardy

Georgia officials announced Friday that the state’s unemployment rate had dropped for the 13th straight month from 4.3 percent in April to 4.1 percent for the month of May. Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, however, said more pressing matters remain.

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Group Provides Petition to Fight Critical Race Theory in Georgia

Classroom full of kids, that are being read a book

Members of a group called No Left Turn in Education this month asked Peach State residents to stand up to Critical Race Theory (CRT) and sign a petition asking government officials to ban it. In a press release, No Left Turn in Education Georgia chapter members also said they want K-12 schools statewide to ban the 1619 Project and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion & Action Civics.

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Georgia Economy Strong as Net Tax Collections Up Nearly 70 Percent Versus This Time Last Year

The State of Georgia’s May net tax collections approached $2.66 billion for an increase of roughly $1.08 billion, or 68.1 percent, compared to May 2020. Net tax collections in May of last year totaled $1.58 billion, according to a press release that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp released this week.

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Vernon Jones Accuses Georgia Gov. Kemp of ‘Sitting on the Sideline’ During 2020 Election

Former state lawmaker and GOP gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jones released a video on Thursday criticizing Georgia Governor Brian Kemp for his actions during the 2020 election process.

“In 2020, I witnessed, firsthand, Brian Kemp abandon the President, costing us two Senate seats and the Oval Office. He chose to sit on the sideline,” Jones said. “While Brian Kemp was on the sidelines, I was on the frontlines — rallying support for the President, criss-crossing the country, and fighting for the integrity of our elections.

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GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Vernon Jones Files Amicus Brief in Lawsuit Against MLB

Vernon Jones, former state lawmaker and GOP candidate for Governor, filed a Amicus Brief in the Georgia lawsuit against Major League Baseball.

According to a tweet by Jones, the Brief is in support of a lawsuit filed by the Job Creators Network for damages lost in response to the decision to move the MLB All-Star Game from Atlanta. The MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred decided to pull the game because he claimed the new law restricted voting access.

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Georgia GOP Censures Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger

The Georgia Republican Party passed a motion on Saturday at their state convention to formally censure current Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

“A censure is about as strong as it gets out of here, other than our votes at the ballot box which is the most important censure of all,” added Mike Crane, District 3 Chairman of the state party, before reading the language of the censure. 

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Booed at State GOP Convention in Jekyll Island

Governor Brian Kemp booed

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp spoke to members of the state GOP at their convention in Jekyll Island Saturday, but few people in the crowd of about 2,000 heard what the governor had to say. That’s because so many people in the room drowned Kemp’s words out with almost-deafening boos.

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Georgia Board of Education Formally Opposes Critical Race Theory

Classroom of students.

Members of the Georgia Board of Education voted Thursday to formally oppose teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the state’s K-12 classrooms. Board members, according to their resolution, described beliefs such as CRT as “concepts that impute fault, blame, a tendency to oppress others, or the need to feel guilt or anguish to persons solely because of their race or sex.”

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Georgia Republicans Demand Brian Kemp Seek Forensic Audit of 2020 Election

Republicans throughout Georgia have asked Gov. Brian Kemp to convene a special session of the state legislature so that independent parties can conduct a forensic audit of the state’s November 2020 presidential election. These Republicans sent an open letter to the people of Georgia, which they forwarded to The Georgia Star News Thursday.

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Vernon Jones Tells Brian Kemp to Investigate Mysterious Fulton County Warehouse Break-In

The apparent break-in at the Fulton County warehouse where officials were storing ballots for a pending audit has prompted Georgia gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jones to demand an official investigation. “This report, if true, is deeply concerning and needs to be independently investigated at once. I am calling on Governor Kemp to immediately order an investigation into this matter by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation,” Jones told supporters Monday in an emailed statement.

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Georgia Lawmakers to Study Crime in Atlanta

Police line do not cross tape

Georgia lawmakers will study the rise in crime in Atlanta this summer.

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee plans to hold a series of hearings to look at the causes and solutions for the increase in crime in the state’s capital city.

“We want to have productive hearings that can get down to exactly what’s going on because, as you all know, the success of the city of Atlanta is directly impacted by the success of Georgia and vice versa,” Committee Chair J. Collins, R-Villa Rica, said.

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Georgia Secures AAA Bond Rating in 2021

Gov. Brian P. Kemp this week announced Georgia has again secured the highest ratings of AAA with a stable outlook from each of the three main credit rating agencies: FitchRatings, Moody’s Investors Service, and S&P Global Ratings. This, according to a press release that members of Kemp’s staff published on his website.

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Gov. Kemp Bans Vaccine Passports in Georgia

Passport

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed an executive order on Tuesday banning the use of vaccine passports throughout the state. 

The order explicitly states that no state agency, provider of state services, or state property is allowed to implement any vaccine passport program or require proof of vaccination in order to enter the premises of a location or conduct business. Additionally, vaccination will not be required to enter the state of Georgia.

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Brian Kemp Warns Georgia About Critical Race Theory, but Vernon Jones Says He Has a Plan to Get Rid of It Altogether

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp this week submitted a letter to members of the state board of education and warned about the dangers of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in public schools. But Vernon Jones — Kemp’s declared Republican opponent for next year’s gubernatorial race — also denounced CRT and said, if elected, he’ll do more than just warn about it.

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GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Vernon Jones Calls for ‘An Immediate Forensic Audit of the Georgia 2020 Election’

Georgia GOP gubernatorial candidate and former State Rep. Vernon Jones called for “an immediate for an immediate forensic audit of the Georgia 2020 election” at a press conference on Wednesday. Here is a transcript of that press conference: Jones: The integrity of our election is nonnegotiable. It is non-negotiable. Zero…

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Georgia Gov. Kemp Officially Launches 2022 Campaign

Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia has officially launched his 2022 campaign, according to a press release from his campaign.

“Brian Kemp has a strong, conservative record of fighting for life, standing up for law enforcement, cutting taxes, protecting lives and livelihoods against the COVID-19 pandemic, and defending election integrity,” Kemp’s campaign manager said the statement. 

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Embattled Secretary of State Raffensperger to Seek Another Term

Controversial Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger confirmed on Tuesday that he will seek another term. 

Raffensperger has been the focal point of criticism of Georgia’s election from both sides of the political aisle. He routinely ignored the widespread concerns over election security throughout the state.

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Trump Releases Statement on Georgia Lieutenant Governor

President Donald Trump released a statement on Monday celebrating the decision that Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan will not seek a second term. 

“Good news for Georgia and the Republican Party. Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan won’t be running again for office. He was the one who, along with Governor Brian Kemp, stopped the Georgia State Senate from doing the job they wanted to do on the 2020 Presidential Election Fraud,” Trump said. 

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Kemp Extends Suspension of Georgia Gas Tax by a Week

"Sorry out of service" bag covering gas pump

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp extended the state’s temporary suspension of the fuel tax through May 22 as Colonial Pipeline works to become fully operational after a cyberattack.

Kemp issued an executive order Monday that suspended the gas tax, increased weight limits for trucks transporting fuel and prohibited price gouging. The order was set to expire Saturday before Kemp extended it Friday.

“While Colonial Pipeline is now operational, the company has informed the public that it will be a few days until full service is available statewide,” Kemp said in a statement. “This executive order will ensure fuel supply chains have every resource needed to deliver gas quickly and safely, and that Georgians aren’t hit with state gas taxes at the pump during this shortage. I continue to ask Georgians to only purchase the fuel they need for essential travel through the upcoming weekend.”

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Gov. Kemp Signs Georgia Lodging Tax, Income Tax Credit for Teachers Bills

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp

Hotels, motels, short-term rentals and most lodging facilities in Georgia will be required to pay a $5-a-night excise tax as of July 1.

Gov. Brian Kemp signed House Bill 317 into law. It imposes the fee on all lodging facilities and rooms except those that do not provide shelter and extended-stay rentals. Extended-stay rentals allow guests to occupy a room or facility for at least 30 consecutive days.

HB 317, which Kemp signed Wednesday, also requires online short-term rental companies such as Airbnb to collect hotel and motel excise taxes and pay them to local governments.

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Black Panther and Marvel Studios Director Blasts SB 202, but Films at Georgia Facility That Requires ID to Enter

Trilith Studios

Marvel Studios director Ryan Coogler will soon arrive at the Fayetteville-based Trilith Studios to film the Black Panther sequel. But if Coogler wants to set foot on the Trilith Studios property then he and everyone else with business there have to present their personal IDs. A sign at the front of the facility says so.

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Vernon Jones Promises Aggressive Campaign to Unseat Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp

Standing across the street from the Georgia State Capitol, in Liberty Plaza, and addressing a crowd of supporters Friday, former State Rep. Vernon Jones answered “the $64 million question you all have been asking.” “I am planting my flag on the hallowed grounds of the Georgia State Capitol. I am officially announcing my candidacy for the great state of Georgia’s governor. I am so excited I have to say it again. It’s so nice I have to say it twice,” Jones, a Democrat-turned-Republican and political ally of former U.S. President Donald Trump said.

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Vernon Jones Expected to Explain Friday Why He Wants Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s Job

Former Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones is expected to announce Friday that he will again run for office next year — but this time to challenge current Gov. Brian Kemp. Jones tweeted Thursday that he will host a national press conference at 10 a.m. Friday at the Georgia State Capitol, Liberty Plaza. Jones said he will address “his future efforts to put Georgia first.”

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GOP Movement Afoot in Georgia to Censure Brian Kemp, Geoff Duncan, and Brad Raffensperger

Republican officials in two Georgia counties this week formally censured Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on the grounds that they betrayed former U.S. President Donald Trump last November. Conservative activist Debbie Dooley told The Georgia Star News Wednesday that the GOP pushback against those three Georgia officials has only just begun.  

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Electric Vehicle Plant in Georgia Gets Word on Whether it Will Keep 2,500 Jobs Going

Georgia officials announced Sunday that SK Innovation will continue to operate its battery manufacturing plant in Jackson County, thus saving 2,600 jobs. Gov. Brian Kemp announced the news in an emailed statement.

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Georgia to Lift All COVID-19 Restrictions

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced on Wednesday that Georgia is lifting all COVID-19 restrictions.

“We know hard-working Georgians cannot endure another year like that last. That is why beginning tomorrow we are loosening the remaining restrictions on our economy here in Georgia,” Kemp said in a video statement Wednesday.

Starting from Thursday, Georgia businesses will no longer be required to enforce social distancing, the ban on gatherings will be eliminated and the ability for authorities to shut down businesses that violate restrictions will be taken away, according to The Hill. 

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Joe Biden Has Sunday Deadline to Save 2,600 Georgia Jobs

U.S. President Joe Biden may have to decide this week whether to overturn an International Trade Commission ruling against SK Innovation and, thus, save thousands of jobs in northeast Georgia directly tied to the project. More than 2,500 Georgia jobs are at stake at this Electric Vehicle (EV) battery plant in Commerce.

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Donald Trump Says Georgia’s Voter Integrity Law Didn’t Go Far Enough, Faults Brian Kemp and Geoff Duncan

Former U.S. President Donald Trump criticized Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan this week and suggested Democrats in the state got the better of them. “Too bad the desperately needed election reforms in Georgia didn’t go further, as their originally approved bill did, but the governor and lieutenant governor would not go for it. The watered-down version, that was just passed and signed by Governor Kemp, while better than before, doesn’t have signature matching and many other safety measures, which were sadly left out. This bill should have been passed before the 2020 Presidential Election, not after,” Trump said in a written statement.

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More Corporations, Including Google, Microsoft, and American Express Denounce Georgia’s Voter Integrity Law

More corporations are speaking out against Georgia’s voter reform law, otherwise known as Senate Bill 202. Officials at Microsoft, American Express, Google and others this week condemned SB 202 as a form of voter suppression.

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Brian Kemp, Others, Tell Corporate America They Will Not Retreat on Georgia’s Voter Integrity Law

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Saturday told Major League Baseball officials and executives at Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines that he will not buckle under to their pressure. Kemp, flanked by several supporters at the Georgia State Capitol, said he will not do away with the state’s new voter integrity law, Senate Bill 202. The governor also told state residents that Democrat and former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is lying about the new law and fundraising off of her lies.

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