Politics & Government

Political Notebook: Senate candidates defer on big items

The Georgia Republican Party attacked Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn this week about a months-old primary debate. Asked about leadership of the Veterans Affairs, Nunn said, “I defer to the president’s judgment.”

Republican Senate candidate David Perdue mentioned that deference in a Warner Robins interview this week with The Telegraph and the Washington Post. Then he suggested he would defer himself when asked about military budgets.

“Anything that costs as much as the F-35, you have to be very, very sure that it’s going to fulfill its missions and so forth. I leave that to the generals and the military experts,” Perdue said.

The two issues of deference aren’t perfectly comparable. The U.S. Senate is responsible for confirming the secretary of Veterans Affairs, who oversees tens of billions of dollars in spending each year. The F-35 program is expected to cost more than $1 trillion.

MILLEDGE-THRILL

Milledgeville is a double winner in the annual Georgia Downtown Conference Awards of Excellence. Gov. Nathan Deal announced the 13 winners, from more than 50 nominees, at an Aug. 21 ceremony in Decatur.

In addition to an overall development award, which went this year to Cartersville,a dozen cities took awards in four categories: urban design, organizational projects, economic development and downtown promotions.

Milledgeville won silver in design and bronze in organization.

“Our downtowns are the heart of our communities, and these award-winning cities set the standard for downtowns across the state and nation,” Deal said in a news release. “A vibrant, economically robust downtown is a sign of an actively engaged community committed to enhancing its economic competitiveness and its quality of life.”

CAUGHT ON FILM

Macon Mall’s owners contributed a new adornment to the Macon-Bibb County Government Center, a much-enlarged view of how the building looked in 1894.

Mayor Robert Reichert called attention to the blown-up photograph during a recent commission meeting. About 5 feet by 7 feet, it covers one wall of the committee room. The Facilities Management Department will build a frame for it, Reichert said.

He thanked Hull Storey Gibson for the picture, a duplicate of one of the many historic Macon scenes on the mall’s interior walls.

The Government Center building, formerly called Macon City Hall and originally a cotton warehouse, has received several additions since the picture was taken.

Commissioner Elaine Lucas said her “granddaddy” was the driver of a water wagon shown trundling past the building, a joking claim that Reichert briefly took seriously. But Commissioner Bert Bivins went further.

“Ed’s probably in that picture,” he said, referring to Commissioner Ed DeFore, who is 82 and has held local office for 43 years. DeFore’s responding chuckle did not constitute a denial.

TRANSPORTATION QUESTIONS TO REACH MACON

A state transportation meeting will come to Macon next week.

The Joint Study Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Funding will begin its next series of meetings in Tifton from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

A meeting Wednesday will be held in Macon, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Presidents Dining Room of Mercer University.

The committee, created under House Resolution 1573, is searching for new sources and methods of funding for critical transportation needs. It’s led by state Rep. Jay Roberts, R-Ocilla, and state Sen. Steve Gooch, R-Dahlonega. Committee members include state Sen. David Lucas, D-Macon.

DINNER AND A TALK

The Middle Georgia Republican Women are hosting a dinner at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6605, 1011 Corder Road, Warner Robins. The speaker will be Michael J. Daugherty, founder and president of LabMD, and author of a nonfiction thriller, “The Devil Inside The Beltway.” Daugherty’s book details his fight with the Federal Trade Commission. The meal costs $15. Make a reservation by emailing bch5050@cox.net.

LOCAL APPOINTEES

Gov. Nathan Deal recently appointed Middle Georgians to state boards or panels.

Quentin L. Jude, chief of The Medical Center of Central Georgia Police Department, was appointed to the Joint Study Committee on Violence Against Health Care Workers.

Jude also serves on the Criminal Justice Advisory Board for Central Georgia Technical College and is a board member for CGR Credit Union. He lives in Macon.

William S. Sightler was reappointed to the Georgia Composite Medical Board. He is the medical director at Riverbend Correctional Facility in Milledgeville and previously was the medical director at Wheeler Correctional Facility in Alamo. He serves on the Georgia Osteopathic Medical Association board and is a past president. A former medical officer in the U.S. Army Reserves, he has a pharmacy degree from Mercer University, a medical degree from West Virginia University and a masters degree in business administration from Kennesaw State University. He lives in Eatonton.

REGISTER RAPIDLY IF YOU WANT TO VOTE

In case you missed it: The November elections are rather important to Georgians. Register to vote by Oct. 6, either in person through many government offices, including a county Board of Elections office; at tinyurl.com/voteingeorgia online; or through the “GA Votes” apps in the Android or Apple stores available through your smartphone or tablet.

Writers Jim Gaines and Mike Stucka contributed to this report.

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