The deadly events of Jan. 6 will mostly be marked around the country by solemn ceremonies to remember the day that the pro-Donald Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol.
But at the Cobb County GOP headquarters, a group of far-right activists will hold a two-hour long program Thursday to lionize the insurrectionists who stampeded into the Capitol to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory.
The 5 p.m. program will begin with a livestream of Trump’s press conference from Florida, and continue with a call to action for Cobb Republicans.
It will conclude with a candlelight vigil for the “J6 Patriots” – the shorthand that extremists have created for the rioters who sought to overthrow the government, including at least 30 who are being held in a D.C. jail without bond awaiting court dates for the most serious crimes that day.
Democrats have their own name for the Jan. 6 program. State Rep. Teri Anulewicz, who represents a slice of Cobb County, said it was an “homage to treason.”
But Salleigh Grubbs, the chair of the Cobb GOP and organizer of the event, sees it differently. She said she wants to acknowledge the Americans who lost their lives during the riot and “to pray for those who have been denied justice.”
“To those who have cast quick judgment concerning this event, under no uncertain terms are we condoning any form of violence nor the glorification of what happened at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021,” she said in an email to your Insiders. “This miscarriage of justice should concern ALL AMERICANS.”
As Cobb has turned into a Democratic stronghold in the Trump era, the local GOP that once embodied the mainstream conservative movement has become a hotbed for conspiracy theorists.
That transformation will be on full display Thursday, as the late U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, who came up in the Cobb GOP and built his career on working with political opponents, is laid to rest.
Hours later, the Cobb GOP will start its program to honor the “J6 Patriots.”
For a deeper look at the details and timeline of how the pro-Trump forces tried to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results, check out the AJC project that published just before the New Year.
It’s Inauguration Day for Atlanta mayor-elect Andre Dickens.
Our City Hall team is up with the five questions they’ll be looking for answers to as the mayor-elect takes office.
As for the nuts & bolts of the day:
- Dickens will be sworn in at a 1:00 ceremony to be held outdoors at Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium.
- The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required to attend. Dickens’ press team noted that University System of Georgia rules prevent them from requiring proof of vaccination or a COVID test to attend, but testing will be available on sight for the COVID-cautious and curious among you.
- The event will also be live streamed. But if you’re looking for a souvenir program, don’t bother. The former tech executive has announced programs will digital-only, in an effort to “advance sustainability and technological efforts.”
The U.S. Senate is back in action this week while the House takes another week of holiday vacation.
However, members of both chambers are expected to gather in Washington on Thursday to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will also deliver remarks that day while former President Donald Trump has scheduled the above-mentioned counter-programming in Florida.
Senate Leader Chuck Schumer has outlined a wide 2022 agenda that includes another attempt to pass federal voting laws and continued work on the sweeping Build Back Better bill.
And keep in mind that if Congress doesn’t act, millions of families will not receive the advanced child tax credit payments that have been landing in their accounts for the past six months.
Five strikes, and she’s out. Twitter “permanently suspended” the personal account of U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene after she posted more COVID-19 misinformation.
Greene reached the final level of Twitter discipline after various infractions over the past year, and the company announced Sunday that she would no longer have access to the account with nearly a half-million followers.
Greene can still post from her official account, which she uses for congressional business, @repMTG. But if she uses it to post any questionable content, it’s likely that Twitter will expedite a suspension there, too, under its rules prohibiting people from using secondary accounts to get around its disciplinary actions.
U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker has spent the opening months on the campaign trail speaking mostly to conservative media outlets that offered him friendly questions. But even that strategy has its dangers.
Over the holiday break, Walker sat down with Brian Pritchard, the uber-conservative commentator from north Georgia.
In a clip highlighted by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, Walker claimed that the late John Lewis wouldn’t be in favor of voting rights legislation named in Lewis’ honor, which is sponsored by Georgia’s U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock.
And he called Lewis, a legendary U.S. House member, a senator.
“Senator Lewis was one of the greatest senators that’s ever been and for African Americans that was absolutely incredible. To throw his name on a bill for voting rights I think is a shame.”
Walker also trended on Twitter over the weekend for a confusing statement taped from his home in Texas about Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan.
On a similar note, Herschel Walker’s critics dug up a portion of an October 2020 radio interview on the Pat McCrory Show when he was asked if he’d ever consider running for office.
Here’s what he said:
McCrory: “First of all, I got to ask you this immediate question: Based upon your speech and based upon your just incredible composure and speaking skills, have you ever thought about running for political office yourself?”
Walker: “Well, it’s funny, I get asked that a lot, and I have to say no. I’ve never thought about it. I don’t think that’s cut out for me. It’s a little bit different, so I’m gonna have to pass on that one.”
State Rep. Winfred Dukes isn’t 100% running for agriculture commissioner yet.
The Albany Democrat filed paperwork for the statewide post over the weekend, but he told us he wants to “float the idea” for now.
“I just wanted to see what the interest out there was like,” he said. “I’ve been at the Legislature for about 25 years. I want to weigh my options.”
Dukes would make a formidable candidate to succeed Republican Gary Black, who is running for U.S. Senate. He’s served on the House Agriculture Committee for 15 years and comes from the state’s agricultural heartland.
But running for the post will risk his redrawn seat, which will combine parts of his district with that of Republican state Rep. Gerald Greene.
The new territory narrowly tilts toward Democrats. But if Dukes runs for statewide office, Greene would likely be the favorite.
In one of outgoing Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ final acts in office, she announced the recipients of the city’s Phoenix Awards Sunday.
Among the 16 awardees were Ambassador-designate and state Rep. Calvin Smyre, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, former city council member Myrtle Davis, and the late Jovita Moore.
Bottoms said the awardees “have made an indelible impression upon our city and our administration.”
And on her last full day as mayor, Bottoms also posted a video to social media with the note, “Thank you Atlanta. I love you.”
Finally, from the “News You Can Use” file, one of your intrepid Insiders reported over the weekend that the Georgia Bulldogs’ date with destiny at the NCAA national championship Jan. 10th will likely affect the opening session of the Georgia General Assembly. More:
We're told to expect House Speaker David Ralston — a die-hard Georgia football fan who plans to attend the game in Indianapolis — to gavel in the session around 8 a.m. Jan. 10 and quickly dispatch with some formalities before gaveling out.
Several state Senate leaders told us the chamber plans a “get out quick" day, as well, for the state legislators who are planning to attend the game.
That also means lawmakers are likely to skip Tuesday, though the schedule won't be formalized until both chambers agree on the timing. There's also a chance legislators convene on Tuesday, though little work is expected to get done.
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Look for the regular schedule to resume Wednesday morning with the Georgia Chamber’s annual Eggs & Issues breakfast.
And on Thursday, Gov. Brian Kemp will deliver his annual State of the State speech to the General Assembly.
As always, Jolt readers are some of our favorite tipsters. Send your best scoop, gossip and insider info to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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