By Garland Favorito
Dawson County officials are under scrutiny since the Sheriff’s office forcibly arrested a non-partisan videographer, confiscated her camera and returned the video with a gap that eliminated her “Help!” screams. But her ordeal pales compared to recent Dawson Co. related cases involving attorneys Jennifer Paige Clark and John G. Wilbanks Jr. who were found dead in Alabama and Florida, respectively.
THE STRANGE DEATHS OF TWO ATTORNEYS
Wilbanks was found with a “massive facial injury” on the beach near his Fernandina beach home north of Jacksonville, Florida on December 12, 2012. He died of “multiple wounds to the head” after firing 3 shots from a Smith & Wesson 9mm. The medical examiner ruled his death a suicide from a single gunshot as noted in the Police report. Wilbanks was a 57-year-old member of Gideons International, a Blackshear Place Baptist Church Sunday school teacher and “a dedicated public servant with a decades-long history of effective prosecution and the administration of justice” according to his employer.
Clark was found dead of natural causes at her home in Mobile, Alabama on May 27, 2012. Her death was attributed to a heart condition although she was a 41-year-old avid runner, vegetarian, yoga practitioner and part-time ballroom dance instructor. Clark had no medical problems and her parents, Larry and Hilda, suspect that there was foul play after her aggressive exposure of corruption in Georgia.
But what do these two out-of-state 2012 deaths have to do with Dawson County and Judge Jason Deal? Wilbanks was an Assistant District Attorney who supervised the Dawson County office and Deal was the former Dawson County Attorney before becoming a Superior Court judge for Hall and Dawson counties. Just days before Willbanks’ death, Judge Jason Deal requested that the GBI investigate him for reasons that the GBI did not disclose. Jennifer Paige Clark represented her parents against the City of Flowery Branch in Judge Deal’s court. When she uncovered corruption in Flowery Branch during depositions, Deal and his former assistant attorney, Paul Stanley, maneuvered to have Clark removed from the case and investigated. Her parents provide the amazing details:
DEAL’S BOGUS “CONSENT ORDER”
In 2003, Jennifer Clark’s dad, Larry, sued the city because a broken water main had diverted water onto their property and damaged the foundation of a house they owned. [CV-2003-cv-2830-C] Their daughter, Jennifer, represented them while residing in Alabama. She used a free (Pro hac vice) sponsor, William J. Casey, who was also from Mobile, but licensed in both states. During depositions, Jennifer discovered more than water was being diverted. Testimony revealed that the mayor had diverted taxpayer funds for personal use and there was more potential misconduct by other officials. When Jennifer took separate actions to hold those involved accountable, the Flowery Branch attorney filed a motion to have her removed from the case. Clark then requested her dad to hire an attorney to help her, which he did in August of 2005. She selected another Alabama lawyer named Blake Lowe but rather than use Casey as his Georgia (Pro hac vice) sponsor, Lowe insisted that he needed his own sponsor. He contacted Paul Stanley without the Clarks’ knowledge or permission.
Although he had not even met the Clarks, Stanley submitted a “Consent Order” that made him the Plaintiffs’ lead attorney in place of Jennifer Clark. The “Consent Order” that included mediation and a continuance was never signed by either the Plaintiffs or the Defendants. It was done without the knowledge and permission of the Clarks and signed only by Stanley and Deal on November 14, 2005.
The Clarks did not find out about the bogus “Consent Order” until a February 2006 hearing. On that day, Stanley admitted in court that he had just met the Clarks for the first time. Stanley told the Clarks that Judge Deal was going to remove Jennifer from the case by revoking her pro hac vice and that he had to be assigned to the case or Deal would throw it out. Larry Clark, who hired his daughter and Lowe to represent him, was stunned by Stanley and his demand for payment just prior to the hearing. He was forced to retain Stanley, who was friends with the Flowery Branch City Manager. Clark was stunned even more he found out that Stanley billed him for many hours worked before Clark even knew him.
In March of 2006, Deal cited the bogus Consent Order and signed another order that was written by the Flowery Branch attorney to remove Jennifer from the case. In May of 2006, Deal signed an order for Stanley to withdraw and Stanley quit the case without Larry Clark’s consent. In July 2006, Deal denied Jennifer Clark’s motion to be restored to the case. He cited his bogus Consent Order again and made remarks that she believed to be false and defamatory as noted in a letter she subsequently sent Deal.
CLARK’S COMPLAINTS AGAINST DEAL & STANLEY
In November 2006, Clark retained Jay Casey to represent him but Deal would not allow him to be on the case. In February 2007, Jennifer Clark filed a Judicial Qualifications Commission complaint against Deal and he recused himself. In his February 2007 affidavit in conjunction with the complaint, Larry Clark explained that he had hired four attorneys and was still denied his right to representation. In June 2007, he had to settle the case without a lawyer for less money than he spent in attorney fees. He lost thousands of dollars on top of the original water damages but expected that his awful ordeal was over.
Jennifer Clark felt that she was obligated to get her dad’s money back from Stanley and clear the allegations she believed to be false in Judge Deal’s July 2006 ruling. After the commission took no action, Clark filed a federal lawsuit against Judge Deal in June of 2007 for defamation of her character and denial of her father’s due process. The case was dismissed in September 2007 [US07-cv-0071]. In August 2008, she filed a request for an investigation of Deal to the Georgia Department of Law, which referred it back to the local District Attorney. In September 2007, with Power of Attorney on behalf of her dad, Jennifer Clark sued Stanley for fraud but that case that was dismissed in February 2008. She and Larry Clark also filed grievances against Stanley with the Georgia State Bar, which chose not to investigate.
THE ALABAMA STATE BAR’S BIZARRE TACTICS
Stanley reacted by sending a letter with accusations against Clark to the Alabama State Bar in December 2007. Although the Georgia case was outside the concerns and jurisdiction of the Alabama State Bar, the bar assigned Richard Shields of Mobile Alabama to investigate it. He sent a report to the Alabama State Bar which it will not disclose. Jennifer Clark cooperated with that investigation ASB-08-16(A) and believed that it found Stanley’s complaint to be retaliatory. She expected the complaint to be dismissed but found out in June 2008 from correspondence that the investigation was not closed.
In August 2008, the Alabama State Bar opened a second investigation against Clark that was highly unusual for three reasons. [ASB -08-155] First, the bar opened the second investigation even though there was no complaint. Their letter stated the complainant to be “none”. Secondly, the bar routinely refuses to open many investigations each year after receiving written complaints from Alabama citizens. Thirdly, the investigation was opened based on the content of courtesy copies that Clark had provided for the bar during July 2008 while trying to resolve outstanding grievances against Deal and Stanley.
The second investigator, Sandy Robinson, also of Mobile, posed the question to Clark as to why a letter that she had written to attorneys for Deal and Stanley did not violate Rule 3.10 which states: “A lawyer shall not present, participate in presenting, or threaten to present criminal charges solely to obtain an advantage in a civil matter.” Clark referred her to the first investigation and asked twice to specify the language that was in question. She received no further response in their correspondence.
The bar then took the additional unusual steps of leaving both investigations open for 3 ½ years without informing Clark. The years 2009, 2010 and 2011 past as all parties went about their normal business again although Clark received some threats, harassment and vandalism. But unbeknownst to Clark, the bar rekindled their initiative against her during 2011 after Jason Deal’s father became Governor of Georgia. In January 2012, the bar filed charges against Clark all of which were based on Georgia actions stemming from the Flowery Branch case that has no bearing in Alabama.
The first set of charges made no mention of any actions by the initial investigator, Richard Shields nor gave any indication that the charges were consistent with the conclusions of the local investigation. The charges repeatedly claimed Clark violated the bogus “Consent Order” that was signed by Jason Deal in the Flowery Branch case even though the Plaintiffs and Defendants were unaware of any order and Stanley had no authority to submit one. Also listed were other related charges. The second set of charges claimed that Clark violated Rule 3.10 although the case was in Georgia and no complaint was ever filed. All charges in both documents stemmed from actions taken by Clark to counteract the bogus “Consent Order” that was submitted by Paul Stanley and signed by Jason Deal.
JENNIFER PAIGE CLARK’S LAST DAYS
On May 16, 2012, that bar conducted a formal hearing on the charges that stemmed from the Flowery Branch case. Clark repeatedly explained that she could not discuss the case because it would violate attorney client privilege. She argued that the bar must obtain the express consent of her Flowery Branch case client to proceed. She also noted that there was no injured party in that case or any other of her related Georgia actions. The bar did not address her arguments but found her guilty on most charges.
On May 18, 2012, the bar issued a restraining order against Clark to prevent her from practicing law and they seized her attorney trust account. Although Clark never had a complaint filed against her by any client or the general public, the restraining order claimed that: “Clark is engaging in continuing conduct which is causing, or is likely to cause, immediate and serious injury to a client or the public.”
On May 27, 2012, Jennifer Paige Clark was found dead in her home after being unmercifully harassed. Clark had appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court a few days earlier. Ultimately, her “misconduct” involved threatening government officials with criminal prosecution while a civil case was still pending. Neither Jason Deal nor Paul Stanley has ever been held accountable for signing the bogus “Consent Order” and setting off a chain of events that likely led to the death of Jennifer Paige Clark.
NOTE: Special thanks to Alabama’s “Legal Schnauzer” blogger, Roger Shuler, for his in depth coverage of a story that was just too hot for Georgia media organizations to touch. Here are his original postings:
- Did Alabama state bar retaliate against lawyer? – 10/10/12
- Lawyer’s death and wrongful accusation by Alabama State Bar – 10/29/12
- Citizens call for probe of Judge Jason Deal in two lawyers death – 01/15/13
- Did Alabama lawyer Jennifer Paige Clark die because she refused to sell out? 1/31/2013
Off-Duty Deputy Attacks Videographer Filming Public Event
Ralston Law Attorney Instigates Attack, Web Sites Changed to Hide Connections
Sheriff’s Office Returns Confiscated Video with Gap Eliminating Screams for Help
By Garland Favorito
WHO IS NYDIA TISDALE?
Nydia Tisdale is a non-partisan videographer who owns AboutForsyth.com. She records a variety of political events, government meetings and candidate forums. I know her personally from all of the wonderful coverage she gave us in our successful efforts to remove the GA Hwy. 400 toll. She represented one of many professional media outlets who helped us explain to the public that former Governor Sonny Perdue extended the toll in violation of the agreement with the City of Atlanta after construction costs had been recovered. Nydia’s work is special because she posts her “Nydeo” videos on her website with no filtering and no political commentary. Candidates truly appreciate her free publicity. But things went wrong on Saturday, August 23:
THE FACTS ACCORDING TO AUDIO, VIDEOS & WITNESSES:
Nydia accepted an invitation to attend a public rally for Republican candidates held on August 23, 2014 in Dawsonville, Georgia. The event took place at Johnny and Kathy Burt’s Pumpkin Farm and the public invitation was extended on the Deal for Governor Facebook page and at least two local newspapers. Dawson County Republican Chairwoman, Linda Clary Umberger, later explained: “This meeting was advertised as ‘Open to the Public’ and there were no announcements or signs requesting recording devices to be put away.”
One of the advertisements shown below identified Clint Bearden as the point of contact. Nydia actually helped promote the event through her normal social media news outreach by forwarding Twitter tweets and Governor Deal’s Facebook Event invitation:
When Nydia arrived she introduced herself to Kathy Burt, told Kathy she would record the governor and they had a pleasant conversation. She recorded the pumpkin farm sign, David Perdue’s arrival and other activities to give viewers a sense of being there in person. Nydia sat on the same front row as Governor Deal and his wife Sandra. The organizer, Clint Bearden, a former Dawson County Republican Chairman, kicked off the event that included nearly every statewide Republican candidate in Georgia. Nydia, who sat immediately in front of Bearden, began recording along with another journalist and the Burts had no reason to care.
About ten minutes into the presentation, Matt Burgess and then, Clint Bearden told Nydia to cut the video camera off or leave. She explained that she was invited and it was a public event. Bearden, an attorney from Speaker David Ralston’s law office, was then seen speaking to Johnny Burt. He returned in a couple of minutes with Dawson County Captain Tony Wooten, who was off-duty and retained to provide security for the event. Sheriff Billy Carlisle originally claimed that Wooten was acting in his official capacity. Wooten told Nydia to turn the camera off or leave and then grabbed her before she had a chance to respond.
As Labor Commissioner Mark Butler was speaking, Wooten began physically removing Nydia from the event. At 12:30 into the audio at the FetchYourNews link below you can clearly hear Nydia state repeatedly to Wooten: “What is your name, identify yourself, who are you?” Wooten, who carried a gun and wore a shirt with a police logo, did not respond. By about 14:20, Nydia had been dragged off and was bent over with her arm twisted behind her. She begins screaming “Help!” at the top of her lungs six times, while you hear chilling sounds of some Dawson County Republicans laughing and Butler trying to make light of the situation.
CONFISCATED VIDEO RETURNED WITH GAP AND MISSING SCENES
Wooten confiscated Nydia’s camera, arrested her and filed charges of criminal trespassing and obstruction. [O.C.G.A. § 16-7-21, O.C.G.A. § 16-10-24] The obstruction charge contends that Nydia Tisdale elbowed Wooten in the cheek and kicked him in the shin. Tisdale contends that never happened because Wooten was always behind her, holding one of her arms behind her back and she was holding the camera with her other hand. Wooten never mentioned either of these acts on Nydia’s returned video and no witnesses have publicly corroborated the charges so far.
The video in Nydia’s camera was returned to her from the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office six days later on August 29. However, when she uploaded it just hours later she found that the original video was returned from the Sheriff’s office with a gap in the recording. Missing from the confiscated camera video is the key segment that contained Nydia’s blood-curdling screams of “Help” at least six times on the Fetch Your News audio. (14:20-14:30)
The forced removal occurs at 12:30 on the Fetch Your News audio and 14:15 on Nydia’s video, which contained extra preliminary recordings of the farm and candidate arrivals. At about 15:50 on Nydia’s video, 1:35 later, there is an interruption and gap in the recording where the action, conversation and scene all change abruptly. The gap is less than 15 seconds before Nydia’s screams of “Help!” that can be heard from a distance on the Fetch Your News audio. Her screams and the activity that occurred before them are missing on the confiscated video returned from the Dawson County Sheriff’s office. Did the Sheriff’s Office alter the video while it was in police custody? Start the Fetch Your News audio beginning at 12:30 and Nydia’s video beginning at 14:15 in two separate browser windows. Play them concurrently to watch and listen to her removal and then reach your own conclusions.
NYDIA’S CAMERA SHUT OFF DURING STRUGGLE
Some key conversations that occurred are now missing because of the gap and a struggle that caused the camera to shut off when Wooten attempted to wrest it away from Tisdale. After Butler spoke, he came over and was heard telling Wooten that he had no objections to being recorded. Johnny Burt was heard telling Wooten he could let Nydia leave. Kathy Burt was heard stating that they did not want to press charges. Wooten ignored them and made the arrest.
Nydia’s recording shows Bearden present while she continually explains to Wooten that it was a public event and she had already talked to the owner, Kathy Burt. Johnny Burt then says, “I am the owner.” Linda Clary Umberger, chair of the Dawson County Republicans, apologized to Nydia and told Wooten that Nydia helped publicize the public event. After he ignored her, Linda exclaimed: “This is wrong” and walked out. Moments later, Nydia then screams several times: “You are hurting me, you are hurting me!” before the camera is shut off.
SAM OLENS DEFENDS TISDALE
At 24:00, it was time for Attorney General Sam Olens to speak and he now seems to be the only statewide Republican left who cares about freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Olens defended Nydia but it was 13 minutes too late and he did not seem to realize that the event was advertised as public in Deal’s social media and a local Dawsonville paper. He explained:
“Let me be possibly politically incorrect here for a second. If we stand for anything as a party what are we afraid of with the lady having a camera filming us? What are we saying here that shouldn’t be on film? What message are we sending? Because it’s private property they shouldn’t be filming? What is the harm? The harm that this poses is far greater than her filming us. What are we hiding? If we are telling you why we are running and what we stand for, what are we hiding? There is no reason for that. That is not right. It is private property. The private property owner has the right to not have the person there. Who is the winner in the long run? Not a good move.”
Olens did not tell the audience that just two days earlier he had won a case against City of Cumming and Mayor H. Ford Gravitt when the mayor refused to allow Nydia to record a public meeting and had her forcibly removed. The Mayor and the City of Cumming were assessed $12,000 in penalties to be paid to the state plus attorneys’ fees. However, Nydia has gotten no compensation for the violation of her rights since her lawsuit is still pending. Here is Nydia’s video of Mayor Gravitt violating the Open Meetings Act [O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1]:
Here is Olens’ press release and the judgment along with a picture of Olens and Nydia at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm just before the attack:
- AG Summary Judgment against Mayor of Cumming – 08/21/14
- Olens Prevails Defending Open Government in Nydia Tisdale Case – Press Release – 08/26/14
PREVIOUS ATTACK ON TISDALE BY REPUBLICAN WOMEN OF FORSYTH COUNTY
Nydia did not believe Bearden nor Wooten since she knew Kathy Burt was aware of her activities and Nydia had been lied to similarly earlier in the year. On April 16, she was at Norman’s Landing Restaurant recording a Republican Women of Forsyth County meeting that was covered by two news reporters. But before she could record the candidate who was scheduled to speak she was told on camera by Forsyth Republican Women member, Peggy Green, that “You are not welcome here … the person who owns this building asked you to leave.” Peggy Green was apparently upset about Nydia filing a state ethics complaint that found Forsyth County Commission candidate Pete Amos had failed to declare on his financial disclosure over 70 properties in which he or his family had ownership.
At about the 7:00 mark in the video below, you can see Peggy Green punch Nydia in the arm and grab her camera. To protect herself and her property, Nydia decided to leave. On her way out, Nydia got a recording of Forsyth County Commissioner Todd Levent apologizing for what happened. She filed battery charge the following day. When Forsyth Detective Kim Reed contacted restaurant owner Bill Norman, she discovered that Peggy Green had lied. Norman told a Forsyth detective at about a minute into the April 21 audio below that he refused to get involved, that some Republicans wanted Nydia to stay and he thought some media coverage was better than none. Peggy Green repeats the same false story about Bill Norman wanting Nydia to leave three times in just over three minutes beginning at 11:10 in the April 30 video below recorded by the Forsyth detectives. Green was never charged with lying to them:
- Republican Women of Forsyth County meeting at Normans Landing Restaurant – 04/16/14
- Bill Norman, owner of Norman’s Landing Restaurant – Audio with Detective Reed – 04/21/14
- Peggy Green interview by Forsyth County detectives – 04/30/14
REVENGE FOR RALSTON?
If you have been concerned enough to read this far you are probably wondering: “Why would Clint Bearden get Wooten to remove Nydia Tisdale while at least one other journalist was recording and Nydia has given many local Republican candidates free publicity with her unfiltered videos?” There were no signs posted, no announcement made and no concern on the part of Bearden when the event started with cameras rolling from the front rows.
Bearden was reportedly nervous after the first speaker, Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, mused at the 3:50 mark that he almost puked when listening to Michelle Nunn during her recent debate with David Perdue. But nausea is a condition that many Georgians might suffer listening to Nunn, Perdue or any other candidate for that matter. In addition, Hudgens was smiling and joking while on camera; therefore, it is clear that Hudgens was not at all intimidated. On the contrary, there is a more logical reason for Clint Bearden to target Nydia.
Bearden, an attorney in the office of David Ralston, had a logical political motive once he realized what Nydia Tisdale had previously recorded. Tisdale, in her efforts to record a wide variety of events, was one of the videographers who covered the call for David Ralston’s removal as speaker at the Capitol on April 29. That day, civic leaders including some key Republicans, gathered at the Capitol and called for a new speaker after pointing out evidence of how Ralston runs the House as a dictatorship. They also explained how he uses a leadership funding scheme to subvert the will of Georgia voters by sending huge sums of money to selected candidates in Republican primaries.
Bearden’s actions intentionally or unintentionally served as retribution for his law partner, Speaker David Ralston. Need more? Consider this: To hide the direct connection between Speaker Ralston and himself, Clint Bearden removed his biography from the ClientBearden.com web site. It was replaced by the statement: “My Site is Coming” even though his site already existed at the time of the attack on Nydia Tisdale. Fortunately, you can click on the link below to find an archived version of his internet site prior to the attack on Nydia. I also saved the top part of his home page before it was removed and you can see below how it touts his relationship with Speaker David Ralston:
Still not convinced? Here is a clincher. The David Ralston law offices password protected their public site to hide the relationship between Bearden and Ralston since the attack on Nydia. Why would a business password protect the public web site that it uses to attract clients? I just happened to capture their home page before it was password protected and you can see the answer. It shows somewhat dated pictures of law partners, Ralston and Bearden side by side:
If David Ralston and Clint Bearden have nothing to hide, why are they in major cover-up mode?
JOHNNY BURT’S CONFLICTING STATEMENTS
Remarkably, Nydia Tisdale has continued to speak positively about the Burts throughout her entire ordeal. However, owner, Johnny Burt, did not return the favor. Burt has refused interviews or to answer questions other than those from the Dawson News and Advertiser publications. He was quoted in them with a variety of statements that contradict witnesses, videos and other evidence:
- Burt stated that Nydia “misrepresented herself” to his wife as being associated with Governor Deal. Kathy Burt has not corroborated that claim and Nydia’s video shows her identifying herself correctly to the Perdue campaign.
- Burt stated that Nydia “was making everybody uncomfortable.” Nydia’s video shows that the first three speakers were not uncomfortable. The first speaker, Ralph Hudgens, joked about her video recording and the third speaker, Mark Butler, told her and Capt. Wooten that he had no objection to her camera.
- Burt stated: “She tried to hit Tony with the camera and he had to remove the camera from her hand” and “she slapped him in the face.” Tisdale denies these claims and her video shows the camera in her possession until it was shut off. Wooten never listed either claim in the obstruction charge and would have done so if they occurred.
- Burt said that he told Wooten “have her cut the recorder off” and then “to get her out” although Nydia explained to Bearden and Burgess that she had talked to Kathy Burt. Johnny Burt also confirmed that: “He did everything I asked him to do.” The problem with these statements is that witnesses saw Wooten talk only with Bearden and no one is known to have seen Wooten talk to Burt just prior to the attack. Burt later changed his story to say he gave Wooten a signal to remove her from the property.
- Burt stated that Nydia “was here to make trouble and that’s what she did.” however, the evidence is overwhelming that is not true.
The following evidence shows that Nydia had no inclination whatsoever to cause any type of trouble and it indicates that Johnny Burt knowingly or unknowingly is lying about that:
- Nydia Tisdale promoted the event beforehand on her web page and in tweets:
- Nydia Tisdale has already made this professional recording of Governor Deal speaking recently and posted it on About Forsyth:
- Nydia Tisdale received this press pass from the campaign of U.S. Senate candidate, David Perdue, a Burt’s Farm speaker, when she previously recorded him on Election Night of the Primary Run-Off:
- Nydia Tisdale made many other professional recordings of Republican candidate speeches on AboutForsyth.com with no filtering or political commentary.
- Nydia Tisdale has never been known to disrupt an event in progress at any time while she is recording or even ask a question for that matter.
- Nydia Tisdale, prior to being attacked, was sitting quietly filming at this event no differently than she has done at many other events.
If Johnny Burt is telling the truth that he told Wooten to get her out, then he was the one who made the trouble for everyone involved, including all statewide Republican candidates. Political Vine editor Bill Simon stated that he believes Burt offered a cover story to protect Bearden, Wooten and House Speaker David Ralston. You can contrast the evidence presented in this document with Burt’s statements in the following articles and draw your own conclusion:
GOVERNOR DEAL’S PUBLIC FACEBOOK EVENT
Governor Deal’s spokesperson, Jen Talaver, said that “…this incident was in no way related to Deal for Governor….” On the contrary, it has everything to do with Deal for Governor. The event was advertised on the Deal for Governor Facebook Event page as a public event that he was hosting and updates were made in his name. Here is the page link and images of the updates:
MORE VIOLATIONS OF GEORGIANS’ RIGHTS THIS YEAR
Lack of consideration for the public rights of Georgia citizens has become common place in Georgia this year under Governor Deal’s leadership.
On May 28, a 19-month-old toddler, Bou Bou Phonesavanh, was critically injured in an unwarranted drug raid at a Habersham County home when police used a no-knock warrant and a flash-bang grenade that landed in his crib. Governor Deal responded that we should look at Georgia law but made no effort to enforce the Constitutional rights of the child.
On January 14, Sandy Asbill was stopped without probable cause at a vehicle checkpoint, pulled from his vehicle by federal agents, and arrested while traveling on U.S. 76 in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Asbill said he learned later that Governor Deal authorized federal agents to stop citizens there even without probable cause. Both incidents seem to be obvious unreasonable searches and seizures according to the clear plain text of the 4th Amendment.
WHAT WE CAN DO
Governor Deal and nearly every other statewide Republican candidate were present at the publicly advertised event in Dawson County. They all watched the attack on a non-partisan journalist unfold and did nothing to prevent it. This entire ticket proved on Saturday what some have said all along. Georgia Republican leadership has no intention of protecting public rights of Georgia citizens and there are not enough Georgia Republicans who care. This time the leadership has actually devoured one of their non-partisan supporting news sources.
Furthermore, House Speaker David Ralston and the House Republican leadership are conducting a systematic purge of Republican candidates and office holders who support liberty causes and Constitutional rights. A letter was delivered to Governor Deal during the April 29 press conference to take action concerning Speaker Ralston but Governor Deal did not respond.
Nydia is now facing two criminal charges and will have to defend herself because the Georgia Open Meetings Act applies only to government agencies. Justice in Dawson County may be hard to come by since Governor Deal’s son, Jason Deal, was the former Dawson County Attorney and is now a Northeastern District Superior Court judge. The parents of an attorney who appeared before him in a case against the City of Flowery Branch requested the GBI to investigate whether or not Judge Deal had a role in their daughter’s 2012 death and the 2013 death of the supervisor in the Dawson County District Attorney office. The GBI, whose director was appointed by Governor Deal, does not investigate government officials:
So here is something you can do to protect your rights. Instead of giving money to the Republican Party, Republicans or Democrats, why not contribute to Nydia Tisdale’s defense fund? She has already spent tens of thousands to secure our rights to record public government meetings like the one in the City of Cumming. Nydia’s court cases may do more to protect the rights of Georgians than all of the candidates on the Republican and Democrat statewide tickets of the combined. Please join me in donating to her defense fund at AboutForsyth.com.
AUTHOR’S HISTORICAL NOTE: Few Americans realize that the Republican Party ascended from a sectional to a national power after the Lincoln administration arrested over 200 northern news editors and publishers for opposing the invasion of their fellow Americans who had voted to join the Confederate States of America. Those imprisoned for years without a trial include Frances Key Howard, a news publisher and grandson of Star-Spangled Banner author Francis Scott Key. Also imprisoned was George Armistead Appleton, grandson of Major George Armistead, the commander who defended Baltimore against a British fleet during the key battle that won the War of 1812. Both were imprisoned 47 years later at Fort McHenry exactly where their respective grandfathers had defeated the British and penned the Star-Spangled Banner.