WEEKLY REVEREND WRAP: Reverend Warnock Fights for Veterans’ Health Care and Military Families, Secures Investments for Georgia Labor, Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
Also This Week: Warnock Campaign Confirms Participation In Walker’s Preferred Savannah Debate, Invites Walker, Again, To Join Him In At Least One Other Debate
This week, the Warnock campaign confirmed participation in Walker’s preferred Savannah debate and invited Walker, again, to join him in at least one other debate.
Also this week, Reverend Warnock continued fighting for veterans’ healthcare and military families, secured major investments for Georgia labor and healthcare in a Senate bill draft and celebrated the start of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Read about this and more below.
WARNOCK CAMPAIGN CONFIRMS PARTICIPATION IN WALKER’S PREFERRED SAVANNAH DEBATE, INVITES WALKER, AGAIN, TO JOIN HIM IN AT LEAST ONE OTHER DEBATE
This week, the Warnock for Georgia campaign confirmed Reverend Warnock’s participation in Nexstar’s Savannah debate, Herschel Walker’s preferred debate, and invited Walker again to join him on the debate stage in either Macon or Atlanta.
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer: ‘This conversation shouldn’t be this difficult.’ Warnock still wants second debate with Walker
- Sen. Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger Herschel Walker will debate at least once before November’s election. But the Democratic incumbent wants one more shot at Walker before the midterms. In an interview with the Ledger-Enquirer, Warnock expressed his frustration with Walker over debate scheduling.
- The debate over debates in Georgia’s Senate race began in June when Warnock accepted three event invitations and invited Walker to do the same. Instead, Walker proposed a fourth debate in Savannah hosted by Nexstar Media Group, a company that owns local TV stations in Georgia and across the country.
- Earlier this month, Warnock initially said he’d participate in the Nexstar debate only if certain conditions were met. Debate topics couldn’t be given to candidates ahead of time, and Walker had to agree to a second debate in Macon or Atlanta.
- This week, Warnock accepted the Oct. 14 Nexstar debate — but Walker has yet to agree to a second meeting. Warnock is continuing to push his opponent to accept another debate.
- “This conversation shouldn’t be this difficult,” Warnock said. “(Walker) said he would debate me ‘anytime, any place.’ Those weren’t my words. Those were his words. If we can’t count on you to do what you said you would do with respect to a debate, how can we trust your word on anything else you promise?”
- “We are planning to move forward with the debate on Oct. 13,” said Debbie Blankenship, director of Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism. “We have continued to reach out to the Walker campaign but have not yet received a response.”
- “Georgians deserve to have multiple opportunities who want to represent them,” Warnock said. “The question of this election is who is really ready to represent the people of Georgia at this critical moment? It’s basic to our democracy that the people would hear debates, and I hope that my opponent will not deprive the people of Georgia of an opportunity — in multiple locations — to hear why he thinks he’s ready.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: It’s on: Walker and Warnock to debate in Savannah on Oct. 14
- Walker, a first-time candidate and former football star, has been gaffe-prone on the campaign trail, leading even some of his supporters to wonder how he would fare in a live showdown against Warnock, the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
- Warnock months ago agreed to invitations from WTOC in Savannah, Mercer University in Macon and the Atlanta Press Club. But Walker refused to accept any of those dates. Instead, after mounting pressure, he accepted a fourth invitation from Nexstar affiliate WSAV in Savannah on Oct. 14.
- It will be Walker’s first debate appearance after he skipped showdowns with fellow Republicans ahead of the May primary, confident that he would coast to victory and intent on demonstrating to supporters that he was focused on Warnock.
- He repeatedly vowed he would debate the Democrat “any day of the week.” But even after Warnock accepted the trio of invitations, Walker refused to confirm any specific dates. Instead, he delivered vague responses about his willingness to debate. “Name the place and the time,” he said at one stop, “and we can get it on.”
- Warnock has used his rival’s reluctance to frame the Republican as unfit for the office. “I’ve been in the Senate for a little while right now, and I can tell you that the Senate floor is a much more challenging space than a debate stage,” Warnock said at a recent campaign stop. “And if my opponent is not ready to face me on a debate stage,” he said, “I’m not sure why he thinks he is ready to serve in the United States Senate.”
Watch 11Alive Atlanta’s Coverage HERE
Cheryl Preheim, 11Alive Atlanta: “The stage is set for a debate between senate candidates. Senator Raphael Warnock’s team says he will debate Herschel Walker in Savannah one month from today, October 14th. This is a debate many people were not sure was ever going to happen. Senator Warnock agreed to three debates earlier this year, but Walker denied all three in favor of this October debate in Savannah. It will happen less than a month from election day, November 8th.”
REVEREND WARNOCK CONTINUES FIGHTING FOR VETERANS AND MILITARY FAMILIES
This week, Reverend Warnock introduced the bipartisan Love Lives On Act, legislation that will allow spouses of deceased servicemembers to retain survivor benefits when they remarry. Currently, a surviving spouse could lose survivor benefits if they remarry before the age of 55. This bill tackles that problem affecting Georgia families by ensuring surviving spouses of active-duty, veteran, and retired servicemembers retain their benefits in the event that they remarry. The bill also reforms the administration of survivor benefits relating to health care, educational benefits, and access to base resources. This latest bipartisan effort is part of Reverend Warnock’s extensive record of fighting for Georgia’s veterans and military families.
Watch WRDW Augusta’s Coverage HERE
Nick Proto, WRDW: “Meanwhile, Senator Warnock has also introduced a new plan to help surviving military spouses. It’s called the Love Lives On Act. There are around 700 spouses that would benefit from the Act. It offers dependency compensation, education benefits, even if they remarry, commissary and exchange benefits, tricare benefits, and more.”
REVEREND WARNOCK FIGHTS TO LOWER PRICES AT THE PUMP, HOLD OIL COMPANIES ACCOUNTABLE
This week, Reverend Warnock continued fighting to lower prices at the pump for hardworking Georgia families. Reverend Warnock recently introduced the Taxing Big Oil Profiteers Act, legislation to combat corporate greed and incentivize companies to lower prices at the pump for Georgians. This legislation marks Reverend Warnock’s most recent effort to lower costs for Georgia families, following his successful push to hold shipping carriers accountable for price-gouging, strengthen our supply chain, and cap the price of insulin and prescription drugs.
Watch WALB Albany’s Coverage HERE
Madison Foglio, WALB: “So you recently introduced the Taxing Big Oil Profiteers Act, which marks your latest course of action to lower costs for Georgia families. What does that proposed act consist of?”
Reverend Warnock: “Yes, as you pointed out, this is part of my ongoing effort to lower costs for Georgia families. This particular piece of legislation will hold oil and gas companies accountable. While we’ve been paying record prices at the pump, they have been enjoying record profits… At the end of the day, we’re trying to hold oil and gas companies accountable. The top five companies, last quarter, saw a $55 billion profit with a “b” which is triple what they saw last year this time. So, what we’re seeing is a result of price gouging, and this tool in the federal tax guidelines allows us to hold them accountable and to disincentivize this kind of gouging.”
Madison Foglio, WALB: “Alright, so, I want you to break this down for everyday Georgian citizens sitting at home. How would this impact them if this act is passed?”
Reverend Warnock: “The net result of it all is to lower gas prices for consumers. So we’re doing this, number one, by holding these corporations accountable by using the tools that we have, and number two, I’ve been calling for the suspension of the federal gas tax, which is 18 cents per since February. We have seen gas prices go down. I’m grateful for that, but I still think that we still have a ways to go. Georgia families need relief and that’s the work that I’m focused on getting done for them.”
REVEREND WARNOCK SUPPORTS SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS IN AUGUSTA
This week, Reverend Warnock continued to fight for business owners in Augusta. His most recent effort will create a new micro-enterprise center, which will house all business resources in the same place—providing a space where small business owners and new entrepreneurs can get technical assistance, design an innovative business plan, and receive mentoring and training. This latest effort is part of Reverend Warnock’s extensive record of supporting small businesses and protecting jobs for Georgians.
Watch WRDW Augusta’s Coverage HERE
Nick Proto, WRDW: “Warnock has also played a big role in some local developments. We are talking about expansion for entrepreneurs here in Augusta. More than two million dollars will help create the next micro-enterprise center. This money is going to Augusta’s Downtown Development Authority in partnership with Augusta Tech. We talked with the Augusta Development Authority. The plan was announced yesterday. Their goal is to have the new center on the Broad Street Corridor, but the exact location is not clear just yet. This process started about a year ago, when they realized small businesses here on Broad Street didn’t know all the resources available to them.”
Margaret Woodard, Augusta Downtown Development Authority Executive Director: “This will be that resource to make sure that spirit stays alive and that people will want to continue to open up businesses by knowing what they need and that the resources are there for them.”
Nick Proto, WRDW: “The new building will house all business resources under one roof while offering mentoring and training of small business. This is even a place people can pitch ideas to investors, or if they don’t have a physical storefront but want to grow, they can do that here, too.”
- Funding was secured for Augusta business owners. We talked with Sen. Raphael Warnock and the Downtown Development Authority about how a “micro-enterprise” can help boost business.
- Micro-enterprise for this project means they’ll have all resources under one roof for small businesses. It’s going to have to be a large building because this project is big, and it’s an investment in Augusta. More than $2 million will go towards a new micro-enterprise center on the Broad Street corridor.
- “To have this type of resource located in the downtown area is huge,” said Augusta Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Margaret Woodard. She realized many businesses didn’t know all the resources available to them. The building will house all business resources under one roof while offering mentoring and training for small businesses with Augusta Technical College.
- This is even a place people can pitch ideas to an investor, or if businesses don’t have a physical storefront but want to grow, this is where they can do that. “Young people, it’ll bring entrepreneurs, it’ll bring vitality, and foot traffic, it’ll be a little epicenter,” she said.
- Warnock said: “Small businesses are the heartbeat of our economy, and this is our chance to give those small businesses to thrive, to get the technical assistance they need, and create a context for innovation to create more jobs in the region.”
- The goal is to not only bring in new business but help keep it alive. “This building here in Augusta will literally provide a tent for small businesses to thrive in that area, and that’s a win-win for everybody,” said Warnock.
- We asked the Downtown Development Authority about people calling the downtown area ‘dead’. They say it’s very much alive and will only continue to grow with this investment. Augusta Tech says they will offer an entrepreneurship major in this building.
- Tamika Jefferson opened the Garden City Grocer in downtown Augusta a year ago. She’s one of many entrepreneurs in the Augusta area as Downtown Development Authority leaders said the pandemic brought a significant increase in new businesses.
- “During the pandemic, we just saw the entrepreneurial spirit go crazy,” said Margaret Woodward, Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority. However, keeping a business open isn’t an easy task. “Most businesses, according to market trends, fail within the first 18 months,” Jefferson said.
- Giving new entrepreneurs the resources to succeed is the goal of a new micro-enterprise center coming to the Broad Street corridor in downtown Augusta. “We’ll see more small businesses blossom and open up on the Broad Street corridor and all over town. We want small businesses to succeed in Augusta,” Woodward said.
- Two-point-three million dollars in funding secured by Sen. Raphael Warnock will help to create the center which is a partnership between the Downtown Development Authority and Augusta Tech.
- “It will be a space for education. It will be a place for you to start a business. It will be a place for you to come and get the resources you need,” Woodward said. Some local entrepreneurs said it will mean getting help and resources early, something that could make the difference in a new business staying open. Jefferson said it could help new entrepreneurs figure out their path.
BURKE COUNTY SHERIFF APPLAUDS REVEREND WARNOCK’S SUPPORT FOR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT
This week, the Warnock for Georgia campaign released a video featuring Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams, who applauded Reverend Warnock’s bipartisan bill to support local law enforcement. The Invest to Protect Act, which passed the Senate unanimously last month, invests in local law enforcement agencies in Georgia, providing them funds for training, equipment, mental health support, officer recruitment, and retention.
Watch The Full Video HERE
Alfonzo Williams, Burke County Sheriff: “The Senator really gets that we often, in rural areas, get swallowed up by the larger agencies. So this bill is going to focus on providing funding for agencies with 200 or less sworn personnel. It’s an opportunity to address our physical and mental health needs, and I’m excited about it. And I wanted to be here to say thank you.”
REVEREND WARNOCK SECURES MAJOR INVESTMENTS FOR ALBANY IN SENATE BILL DRAFT
This week, the Senate Appropriations Committee released a draft text of the annual bills that fund the federal government. Following Reverend Warnock’s advocacy, the draft bills include robust investments in several priorities for the Albany area, including funding to help lower housing and transportation costs for seniors and recruit more nurses to address Albany’s nursing shortage. This latest effort is part of Reverend Warnock’s extensive record of creating jobs, lowering housing costs, and expanding access to healthcare for all Georgians.
Albany Herald: Warnock helps secure funding for south Georgia projects
- Following months of advocacy and conversations with partners across Georgia, U.S. Senator the Rev. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., announced Friday that he has secured critical federal investments for several Georgia priorities in the recently released draft Fiscal Year 2023 government funding bills — including more than $12 million for critical projects and initiatives in Albany and south Georgia that will create jobs, lower housing costs, improve health outcomes, and help senior citizens live independently.
- “As a voice for Georgia in the Senate, I’m proud that these draft government funding bills reflect the priorities of hard-working people from Albany to Valdosta and everywhere in between,” Warnock said in a news release.
- “From making housing more affordable for our seniors, to creating good-paying jobs that will help improve health outcomes, this legislation includes strong investments for the Albany area, and I’m going to keep fighting to get these funds over the finish line and flowing to south Georgia.”
REVEREND WARNOCK MEETS WITH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE ACROSS GEORGIA
This week, Reverend Warnock met with Chambers of Commerce from across the state of Georgia to update them on the work he is doing in the Senate to support Georgia businesses and keep the state economy moving forward. Reverend Warnock met with representatives from the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, as well as representatives from local chambers in North Fulton County, Golden Isles and Brunswick, Metro Augusta Metro Richmond County, Columbia County, Cobb County, and Albany.
Watch CBS46 Atlanta’s Coverage HERE
Allen Devlin, CBS46: “Also from yesterday, Senator Warnock met with Chambers of Commerce across the state including North Fulton and Cobb County.”
REVEREND WARNOCK CELEBRATES HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH
This week, Reverend Warnock observed the start of Hispanic Heritage Month by celebrating the contributions of Georgia’s Hispanic community to Georgia—and to the country.
Reverend Warnock has brought the voices and concerns of all Georgians to the forefront of his work in the Senate as he fights to lower costs for Georgia families, support small businesses, and protect and grow jobs across the state.
Watch Video from Reverend Warnock for Hispanic Heritage Month HERE
Reverend Warnock: “Right here in Georgia, I’ve had the opportunity to meet folks from Colombia, Puerto Rico, Chile, and those are just a few examples. Talking with Georgians is the best part of this job. And hearing their stories has been inspiring and motivating, and revelatory. It has informed the work that I do on behalf of all Georgians every single day, to pass legislation that lifts up working families, lower costs, and protects and grows jobs. Those are policies that work for all Georgians, no matter the country they’re from or the language they speak.”
MEANWHILE, HERSCHEL WALKER SUPPORTS A NATIONAL ABORTION BAN
This week, Herschel Walker doubled down on his support for a national abortion ban. Senate Republicans made it clear this week that if they win control of the Senate in 2022, their top priority is passing legislation to ban abortion nationwide, and Herschel Walker just confirmed his support, saying: “I WOULD support this policy.” Walker wants to outlaw abortion without exceptions for rape, incest, or even to save the life of the mother — saying, there’s “no exception in [his] mind.”