July 12, 2022

Protestors in Savannah. Credit: Craig Nelson/The Current GA

Supporters, opponents of abortion mobilize

“The personal is political,” activist and scholar Carol Hanisch wrote more than a half-century ago. As the reaction to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade shows, nothing is more personal — and political — than abortion.

As a federal appeals court weighs the fate of Georgia’s anti-abortion law and the state’s abortion rights community debates ways to challenge it, nearly a thousand pro-abortion rights demonstrators marched through the downtown Savannah on Sunday to demand that abortion be restored as a fundamental constitutional right.

In the sweltering heat, they chanted (“My body/My choice,” “Hey, Hey/Ho, Ho/These justices have got to go!”, “Church and state/Separate!”) and waved placards (“No Uterus, No Opinion,” “He who have not a uterus should shut the fucketh up!”, “Regulate Dick Not Jane”) — all signaling the fear of many demonstrators that the Supreme Court’s decision puts America on a slippery slope over rights related to the most intimate areas of their lives.

Amid heart-wrenching, sometimes harrowing, testimonies from women about abortions they’d undergone, there were, notably, appeals to marchers to register to vote, suggesting that the issue of abortion won’t be easily pushed aside by the Republican go-to issues of inflation, immigration, and crime.

The Georgia Democratic Party hopes, for sure, to harness the passion and outrage sparked by the Supreme Court’s decision. Meanwhile, the state Republican Party seems to be trying mostly to change the subject, lashing out at Sen. Raphael Warnock for being “out of touch” and ridiculing gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams for claiming Georgia voters are suppressed.

Under the banner “Women for Life!” anti-abortion supporters will hold a march on July 17 at 1 p.m. The procession will begin at Johnson Square, move to City Hall, then to River Street, Savannah Area Republican Women announced last week.


Herschel Walker after securing the GOP nomination for U.S. senator May 24, setting up a race with Sen. Raphael Warnock. Credit: Georgia Recorder

Kumbaya. Not.

Herschel Walker’s campaign is undergoing a major overhaul, including a senior adviser for campaign operations (Chip Lake), a communications director (Will Kiley), a communications consultant (Gail Gitcho), and a media consultant (Scott Howell), Politico reported yesterday. The Washington Post says it’s part of a “rescue mission” led in part by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Happy-hour excursions, a book club and — dare we suggest it, a staff retreat — may be some of the team-building exercises in order following last week’s story in the Daily Beast in which unnamed staff members are quoted as calling the candidate a “pathological liar.”

Walker’s dissembling over the number of children he has is only one example of his lies and evasions, the story quotes staffers as saying. The candidate lies “like he’s breathing,” one adviser told the Daily Beast, saying aides long ago stopped believing anything he says. “He’s lied so much that we don’t know what’s true.”

A kumbaya moment seems unlikely anytime soon.


Home page of Danieldefense.com

A no-show?

As of last night, it wasn’t clear whether Marty Daniel, the CEO of Daniel Defense, will testify next week before a House Committee investigating gun manufacturers that sell assault weapons to civilians. In a July 6 letter, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, asked Daniel to appear before the panel on July 20 and gave him until last Friday to confirm his appearance. Neither the committee nor Daniel Defense returned calls and messages requesting comment on the panel’s invitation to Daniel.

It was the Bryan County-based Daniel Defense, a leader in the online retailing of guns, that sold an AR-15-style semiautomatic assault rifle to Salvador Ramos, which he used along with a Smith & Wesson semi-automatic to kill 19 students and two teachers and wound at least 17 others at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, in May. A receipt showed he purchased the rifle from the online retailer the day he turned 18, eight days before he carried out the massacre.

In her July 6 letter to Daniel, Maloney said that information provided by Daniel Defense “has heightened the Committee’s concern that your company is continuing to profit from the sale and marketing of weapons of war to civilians despite the harm these weapons cause, is failing to track instances or patterns where your products are used in crimes and is failing to take other reasonable precautions to limit injuries and deaths caused by your firearms.”


It won’t go away

Differences over the 2020 presidential election and questions over the integrity of Georgia’s voting system continue to roil the Republican Party.

Case in point: In remarks at a recent meeting of the Skidaway Island Republican Club, Rep. Jesse Petrea (District 66) said the Washington-based Heritage Foundation had ranked Georgia first in the nation in voter integrity—a testament, he said, to the legislature’s passage an elections bill (SB 202).

Actually, it’s ranked second, but no matter: The praise for the state’s election system was too much for a man in the audience, who angrily jumped to his feet, declared the whole thing bunk, and advanced towards the stage. Not to be outdone, Petrea shouted, “Go home to mama.” Tempers eventually cooled. The man refused to identify himself to a reporter.


Speaking of election integrity . . .

Pooler’s Brittany Brown, the new president of the Southeast Georgia Republican Assembly, acknowledges that election integrity “isn’t everybody’s favorite topic,” but making sure there is no problem with the voting system is important to restoring confidence. “That’s a big passion of ours — cleaning up voter rolls and things like that,” she said.

Formerly known as the Southeast Georgia Republican Alliance, the renamed SEGRA is now part of the Georgia Republican Assembly, which describes its mission as helping the Republican Party “live up to the lofty ideals of the Republican Party platform and the principles of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.”

The reconstituted SEGRA encompasses Chatham, Bryan, Effingham, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties. “We are action-oriented, with a huge focus on education,” Brown said.


Notable

We couldn’t help but point out to you two new opinion surveys, one on confidence in American institutions, the other on sports betting.


We want to meet your friends! If you like this newsletter be sure to share it.

Support non-partisan, solutions-based investigative journalism without bias, fear or favor on issues affecting Savannah and Coastal Georgia.

Craig Nelson is a former international correspondent for The Associated Press, the Sydney (Australia) Morning-Herald, Cox Newspapers and The Wall Street Journal. He also served as foreign editor for The...