The Valdosta Daily Times on Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger:
Brad Raffensperger is courageous.
It is easy to agree with your friends and oppose your enemies.
It takes courage to oppose your friends and agree with your political enemies.
In his soft-spoken, gentlemanly way, Raffensperger stood up to the playground bully and history will treat him kindly.
In an hour-long recording of a telephone conversation between the Georgia secretary of state and President Donald Trump, the president can be heard threatening Raffensperger, alleging he knowingly allowed people to vote illegally, going on to say that is a criminal offense and suggesting he could be criminally prosecuted.
Trump insisted his fellow Republican “find” him the necessary votes to win the Georgia election.
It is more than noteworthy that Trump did not say Raffensperger needed to “find” all missing votes but instead just the number needed to declare Trump the victor in the presidential election.
The shakedown didn’t work.
It didn’t work because instead of finding non-existent missing votes, what Raffensperger found was integrity and the courage of his convictions.
Raffensperger plainly told Trump the election has been settled, checked and rechecked, and that any suggestion otherwise is based on false, unreliable, data.
Biden won the election and carried the state of Georgia.
Why is the GOP not outraged by Trump’s behavior?
The answer is simple – they are accustomed to it.
This call was simply Donald Trump being Donald Trump.
The oddity in Georgia is that heretofore, both Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp have been the darlings of the state’s Republican voters, and now they are public enemy No. 1.
It is not because Raffensperger and Kemp have changed.
They are both still Republicans and they are both still ultra conservative.
So, what changed?
They dared to stand up against the wild and reckless claims of an off-the-rails president.
They opposed Trump.
Look, you are either a conservative Republican or you are not.
Kemp and Raffensperger are conservative Republicans.
They are not, however, blind Trump loyalists.
They both have supported him.
They both voted for him.
Neither of them are RINOs or closet Democrats.
Anyone who says they are, is simply not being honest.
The question is are you loyal to the principles of conservatism, to the platform of the Republican party and the core values of democracy or simply loyal to Donald J. Trump?
Raffensperger has shown exactly where his loyalties lie.
He is a Republican and a man of integrity.
The Brunswick News on funds that are available to make storm repairs for residents of three Georgia cities:
While 2021 is a new year, the problems of past years continue to haunt many in the area. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is still causing a great deal of economic distress for many. Some issues residents are dealing with go back even further.
One of those issues is the damage dealt by Hurricane Irma in 2017. The massive storm brought torrential rain, hurricane-force winds and a massive storm surge to the Golden Isles.
The damage it left behind was great and not everyone had the means to make the necessary repairs. A new disaster recovery program is seeking to help those in need.
Residents in the cities of Brunswick, Kingsland and Albany are all eligible for some of the $8 million set aside to help the recovery efforts of those who need it the most.
Anyone questioning whether such a need still exists more than three years later should look at how many locally have already applied for help. More than 70 applicants have filed the paperwork to get help since the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Outreach Center opened just six weeks ago.
If you live in Brunswick and are still dealing with repairs related to Irma, we encourage you to take advantage of this process. There are four priority eligibility criteria, including low income residents, seniors over the age of 62, applicants that have at least one child and persons with disabilities.
If you have been denied help by other agencies due to property and title issues, you should try applying for this grant. People with such issues will be offered free assistance from the Georgia Heirs Property Law Program.
You can fill out a short survey and get a checklist of required documents at the outreach center at 503 Mansfield St. in downtown Brunswick or online at www.brunswickga.org.
The Golden Isles has been pretty lucky the past three hurricane seasons.
While there were some close calls with Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and Hurricane Isaias in 2020, we managed to avoid taking a direct hit from either storm. As we saw with Matthew in 2016 and Irma in 2017, we can’t expect hurricanes to avoid our area forever.
If you haven’t been able to make needed repairs on your home, then consider applying for help from this grant. There is still time to apply and get the funds needed to make the needed repairs.
If the wheels of bureaucracy spin fast enough, hopefully those repairs can be made before the next hurricane season begins.
The Daily Citizen-News on helping a Salvation Army located in Dalton, Georgia:
This past holiday season, the familiar red kettles of our local Salvation Army weren’t as full as usual.
Donations to The Salvation Army of Whitfield, Murray and Gordon County, which provides help to our community when we need it most, were down significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic as fewer shoppers were out at stores this holiday shopping season, and many were carrying less cash and coins than in years past.
Overall, our local Salvation Army faces a $20,000 shortfall.
In a recent letter to the editor, officials with The Salvation Army said the nonprofit may have trouble helping all in our community who need their support, as homelessness and economic hardship have been on the rise over the past several months.
Nonprofits and community organizations across the country are facing the same issue: more requests for help due to the pandemic, but fewer resources to provide that assistance.
If you need services or know of someone in need, visit The Salvation Army’s office at 1109 N. Thornton Ave. or call the main office at (706) 278-3966.
The local Salvation Army said there are several ways you can help:
• Officials say the best way to ensure The Salvation Army’s “vital services continue” in Whitfield, Murray and Gordon County is with a sustaining monthly gift of $25 per month at https://give.salvationarmyusa.org.
• Ask Amazon Alexa to donate by saying, “Alexa, donate to The Salvation Army,” then specifying the amount.
• Give any amount by texting “KETTLES” to 91999.
• Mail a check payable to The Salvation Army to P.O. Box 1463, Dalton, GA, 30722.
Our community has a tremendous track record for stepping up to help each other during times of need. We believe this latest call to help will be no different. We humbly ask those who are able to contribute to The Salvation Army do just that.
Every penny counts.