Political Notes — What does Trump’s campaign schedule tell you?

[private]Donald Trump’s campaign sent out his schedule for Tuesday and Wednesday, and the selection of sites raises questions that have already been raised about the Republican nominee’s strategy.

The Trump schedule includes a Tuesday night event in Texas, a Wednesday afternoon rally in Florida, and a Wednesday evening rally in Jackson, Mississippi.

Two of those three events don’t make a lot of sense, from a strategic campaigning point of view.

Texas is a deep-red state that has been voting Republican for two decades. Mississippi is an even deeper-red state over that same period of time and doesn’t have the excuse that Texas does of a strongly growing Latino population.

The election analysts agree. From Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball to Fivethirtyeight to Real Clear Politics, they all place Texas and Mississippi squarely in the Republican column for Trump.

Florida is a state that has flipped Democratic in the last two presidential elections, but is still close enough that it’s ranked as a vital battleground state, so it makes strategic sense for Trump to stage an event there.

Here’s the official statement from Trump spokesman Jason Miller:

“Today Mr. Trump is in Texas for two large fundraisers and then he will be taping an important town hall on border security and crimes committed by illegal aliens that will air nationally over two nights on Fox News’ Hannity.

“Following the second fundraiser, Mr. Trump will be speaking at a rally in Austin to draw additional national attention to his call for border security as well as the need for a Special Prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton’s bought and paid for State Department.

“Tomorrow Mr. Trump returns to the battleground state of Florida where he will have two Tampa-area events, and he will spend all of Friday campaigning hard in another battleground state, Nevada.”

The Miller statement does not explain why Trump devoted time and energy to hold a rally 10 days ago in Fairfield, Connecticut, a solidly blue state, but has not done an event in Georgia, a state that really is in play, since his June rally at the Fox Theater in Atlanta.

There are many warehoused rape kits

One of the biggest triumphs for state Rep. Scott Holcomb (D-Atlanta) in this year’s legislative session was the passage of a bill mandating that law enforcement agencies process rape kits that had been collected but untested in criminal cases.

It turns out that there are a lot rape kits that have been idly “warehoused” by police.

Claire Simms reports on Fox 5 Atlanta that the untested rape kits number nearly 3,500:

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation confirmed the number of previously untested rape kits in Georgia has grown to nearly 3,500.

Under a new statute passed by state lawmakers this year, law enforcement agencies had until August 15 to create and submit a list to the GBI of “warehoused” kits in their possession.

As of the end of last week, the GBI had collected a total of 2,411 previously unsubmitted kits from all over the state.

GBI Spokeswoman Nelly Miles said law enforcement agencies had notified them of another 1,070 they intended to submit to the lab by the end of the month, as required by the new law.  According to Miles, that figure only represented 48 agency “responses.”

Those kits are made up of any evidence collected by a law enforcement agency before January 2015.

Why a spaceport?

The House Science & Technology Subcommittee on Commercial Space, which was created at the urging of Rep. Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine) to promote the development of a spaceport in Camden County, held its first hearing at the capitol today.

The agenda consisted largely of presentations from commercial space corporate spokespeople trying to make the case for building a launching center off the Camden County coast. They did prompt this cut-to-the-chase question from Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth):  “Why can’t we send things down to Cape Canaveral and launch them there?”

The response: You’d have to deal with military bureaucrats in Canaveral rather than launching at will from the Camden coast.

Spencer said the second subcommittee hearing will be held Sept. 13 in Camden County.  “There will be a site visit as well and we’ll brief you on the status of the environmental study,” Spencer told committee members.

Some thoughts on the JQC constitutional amendment

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer’s Dusty Nix weighs in on the proposed constitutional amendment to move the Judicial Qualifications Commission under legislative control, and he doesn’t like the idea:

One of the sponsors of that legislation is Rep. Johnnie Caldwell, R-Thomaston. But Caldwell’s career in public office didn’t begin under the Gold Dome. Before being elected to the House, he was a district attorney and later Superior Court judge in the Griffin Judicial Circuit.

He resigned from that office as the Judicial Qualifications Commission was investigating allegations of repeated sexual harassment by Caldwell. Now, as WXIA-TV in Atlanta reported last week in a detailed and disturbing story, Caldwell is trying to dissolve the agency that investigated him.

The testimony against Caldwell might well never have resurfaced. A WXIA reporter tracked down the transcripts in the Fayette County Courthouse electronic database, but the folder for the hard-copy transcript of that testimony contained, according to WXIA, “only an addendum listing the courtroom exhibits from that day.” The rest of the transcript — 236 pages, including the testimony of a female attorney in Caldwell’s court — was missing.

After contacting a court reporter, the TV station reported, “not one but two certified copies of the previously missing transcript suddenly appeared in a drawer that had been empty during our earlier visits.”

Among the printable allegations: “[Caldwell] leaned in to give me a hug and crammed his tongue in my mouth,” and “He would tell me to wear my pants a little tighter in court.”

Caldwell, contacted for a response to the report, told WXIA, “I accepted responsibility for making a mistake. Since then I have tried to move forward with my life and make my family and friends proud of me.”

“Moving forward” apparently means scrapping the JQC and putting oversight of cases like Caldwell’s in the hands of legislators … like Caldwell.

© 2016 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Donald Trump , Jason Spencer , JQC constitutional amendment , Scott Holcomb , spaceport , untested rape kits