Georgia Chamber, Largest Companies Fund Smear Campaigns to Oust Populist Legislators
In the 2014 primaries, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Georgia’s largest companies funded vicious smear campaigns to remove populist legislators who were elected by the grass roots efforts of Georgia citizens. The campaigns were led by $95,000 from the chamber and its political action committee (PAC) and fueled by $50,000 contributions from giant Georgia companies such as Coca Cola, Delta Airlines, Georgia Power and AT&T.
In some cases, funds were collected from unsuspecting employees who believed that they were contributing to support company friendly legislation or “good government” advocacy. Instead, the money was used to run deceptively untruthful campaigns that resulted in the removal of two of the more independent minded representatives in the Georgia State House.
The corporate funds were given to an organization called the Georgia Coalition for Job Creation, (GCJC). The coalition address is a post office box at a downtown Atlanta hotel. The GCJC is
headed by Chief Executive Officer Shawn Still. Still is a member of the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce and owner of Olympic Pool Plastering. Public records show Robert F. Hatcher Jr. as Treasurer / Secretary and Anne Lewis as the Registered Agent. Mr. Hatcher is a Director at Mid Country Financial of Macon and Ms. Lewis is an attorney who also serves as General Counsel for the Georgia Republican Party. The coalition web site defines its purpose:
“The Georgia Coalition for Job Creation is an independent committee that seeks to elect leaders who have demonstrated a willingness to fight to grow jobs and expand economic opportunity for all Georgians.”
The Smear Campaigns:
Instead of using the funds to further job creation, the coalition targeted selected legislators or candidates using extensive, slanderous attacks. One of many examples is Sen. Michael Williams. Williams was a candidate running against former Sen. Jack Murphy, who had support from flyers mailed by the coalition. Sen. Johnson actually created jobs by opening a successful restaurant in Forsyth County. However, he was targeted by a mailer with an unproven claim that he abused his former wife. Before he entered the race, Johnson received a threatening package that attempted to blackmail him with that same allegation. The coalition keyed on that unproven allegation and even went so far as to create a “Michael Gone Wild” web site. The allegation and web site are especially dubious since Sen. Johnson has proven to be one of the mildest mannered, most rationale and compassionate members of the entire state legislature. Even if it was true, the mailer and web site had nothing to do with job creation and they run counter to the coalition’s stated purpose.
But the top two targets of the coalition were sitting House members: Rep. Charles Gregory and Rep. Sam Moore. Comprehensive campaigns against them included viciously false postal mailers, negative social media pages or web sites advocating that the legislators be fired and supporting mailers for their political opponents. Gregory, former state director for the 2012 Ron Paul presidential campaign, won his House District 34 seat in Kennesaw using a grass roots funded, door to door campaign. Gregory consistently fought against excessive spending, supported reduced regulations, and opposed tax increases. These are all considered to be pro job growth positions. Nevertheless, the coalition accused him of supporting Obamacare although he actually voted once to nullify it. The coalition also criticized his opposition to drug tests for food stamp recipients and a variety of other things that are not related to job creation.
The Big Lie:
But the most vicious coalition attacks were reserved for Rep. Sam Moore, Rep. Moore won a special election to replace Calvin Hill who died while in office. He won that Cherokee County House District 22 seat with a grass roots funded door to door campaign. Rep. Moore did not take campaign contributions from corporations, PACs, lobbyists or legislators and could not be controlled by them.
Shortly after taking office Moore introduced a bill to remove loitering laws that have been consistently ruled unconstitutional and caused localities to pay millions of dollars in damages. The coalition seized that opportunity to create a Fire Sam Moore social media page and web site and send flyers to his constituents claiming that the reduction in loitering laws would allow sexual predators in schools. The claim had a problem: It was a lie and it still is:
- Loitering laws only apply at unusual times when children would not normally be present O.C.G.A. 16-11-36:
- Non parental access to children at school is prevented by the Children Protection Act
- O.C.G.A. 21-2-1180;
- Children are further protected by State Sex Offender Registry Laws
- O.C.G.A. 42-1-15;
- Known predators are also required to wear an electronic monitoring device O.C.G.A. 42-1-14.
The lie was created and propagated on February 21, 2014 under the supervision of House Speaker David Ralston who manages the floor proceedings. On that day, a small handful of fellow Republican legislators took to the well of the floor in a highly unusual, orchestrated maneuver to criticize Moore’s just introduced bill, HB1033. That, in itself, was remarkable considering that many legislators don’t even read and understand their own bills during the entire bill life cycle. Yet they supposedly analyzed the bill of another legislator before it was even assigned to a committee.
The Republican legislators, most of who were on the House leadership team, had a motive. They had already flooded Moore’s previous opponent, Megan Biello, with $17,000 in contributions during the special election. That was when Moore defeated her in a February 4 Republican primary run-off. Biello continued to run for the seat that Moore won and would face him again in the upcoming primary. Her campaign raised $30,000 in total with over 97% of the money coming from out of district sources. She benefitted significantly from the negative publicity Ralston’s House leadership supporters generated against Rep. Moore as well as coalition mailers sent by the coalition on her behalf. Biello had no track record indicating that she would “fight to grow jobs and expand economic opportunity for all Georgians.”
Selectively funding one Republican primary campaign over another is nothing new for Ralston’s House leadership team. In a 2012 District 46 primary, legislators gave over $27,000 including $5,000 from the Speaker to ensure the defeat of a minister, Rev. Martin Hawley. Hawley was running for the seat of Rep. Bobby Franklin a healthy, independent minded, 54 year-old who was found dead in his Cobb County home on July 26, 2011. Rev. Hawley, one of Franklin’s pastors, raised 96% of his $11,000 in campaign funds from individuals. John Carson, the candidate supported by Ralston and his House leadership team raised about 93% of his $54,000+ from legislators, PACs, lobbyists and corporations. His overwhelming 5:1 spending advantage resulted in a 2:1 margin of victory in that Republican primary.
Michael Williams survived the onslaught with some help from talk radio show host Erick Erickson. He upset Sen. Jack Murphy in his primary and became a state senator. Gregory and Moore were not as fortunate. Rep. Charles Gregory lost a close 52%-48% primary to Bert Reeves. Reeves used the same lies in his flyers that the coalition used against Gregory. The coalition had even claimed that Gregory supported sexual predators in schools even though HB1033 never had a hearing or a vote.
Rep. Sam Moore lost by about 2% in a close three way race with Biello and Wes Cantrell, garnering close to 30% of the vote in a May 2014 Republican primary. Biello lost the run-off to Cantrell in July. Both Biello and Cantrell repeatedly used the lie to attack Moore. Since voters are not familiar with Georgia law, the truth didn’t matter and the lie worked. The candidates and the coalition had repeated the lie often enough until it became the truth.
Speaker Ralston had to know that allegations regarding Rep. Moore’s bill were false since he is a criminal defense lawyer. Nevertheless, he facilitated creation of the controversy. Civic leaders became outraged over the orchestrated attack on Moore, Ralston’s tampering with primary election funding and the dictatorial way in which he runs the House runs in defiance of democratic principles. Those leaders, including some from the speaker’s own party called for his resignation at an April 29, 2014 press conference in the Georgia Capitol. However, Ralston continued unopposed as Speaker of the House and retained his seat against primary challenger, Coach Sam Snider.
Connecting some Dots;
The Gregory–Reeves race provides us further insight into the depth of corruption in and around the Georgia state government. Reeves had rented an apartment in District 34 a week before qualifying and then immediately filed to run for Charles Gregory’s seat. Reeves worked as lawyer in the offices of GMHC360 LLC. Records show that he and one or more of his campaign staff members were located at 57 Waddell St. in Marietta.
During that time the offices of GMHC360 were located at the 57 Waddell St. address. Heath Garrett Is a founding partner of GMHC360. Garrett leased the top floor of the small two story building from Cobb County which previously used it as a property management office. Garrett was chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. He also served as lead political strategist for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and their SPLOST efforts.
OF course, the Georgia Coalition for Job Creation did not really operate out of a hotel post office box as its mailers imply. Substantial evidence including photos, financial filings, social media postings, news reports and other records show that employees and sub-contractors of the coalition worked in the very same floor and office building at 57 Waddell St. then.
If you think this all sounds like a conflict of interest you likely would be right. The coalition was conducting attack campaigns against candidates and supporting ads for the opposing candidates. At the same time it operated from the very floor and office building that housed a candidate they were supporting and one or more of the campaign staff members.
Although this arrangement has pretty clear ethics violations, the coalition had little to worry about. In 2011, Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Heath Garrett to the State Ethics Commission when Executive Director Stacey Kalberman was demoted, her top deputy fired and two other employees pressured to conceal evidence. Kalberman’s Ethics Commission was conducting an investigation of Gov. Deal’s campaign finance activities. The commission eventually shelled out roughly $3 million in taxpayer funds to those four top former employees who filed different types of wrongful termination lawsuits.
The memory of the 2014 Republican primaries serves as a graphic example of how corporate elitists and establishment politicians control Georgia state elections and Georgia legislators. The examples cited are only three of a dozen cases where the GCJC tampered with Georgia elections. In these cases, the deception and lies shown above were used by the GCJC to assert false or deceptive claims against candidates in a manner inconsistent with their stated purpose.
The coalition has already struck again this year with the same method of operation against different legislators or candidates. The coalition has been sustained during this election cycle by $150,000 from Georgia Power alone and another $40,000 from AT&T. The GCJC is prepared to continue striking and capable of subverting the will of Georgia voters anywhere in the state.
The Georgia Coalition for Job Creation is a vivid illustration of why Georgia ranks as America’s most politically corrupt state according to the Center for Public Integrity. The state received an “F” in Political Financing, Legislative Accountability and Ethics Enforcement Agencies, which was given a “0”. It will take a mass effort from citizens, corporate management, news media and legislators to turn things around. Establishment politicians allow this type of corruption to continue in Georgia because they benefit from it.
POLICE BREAK-IN, SHOOT WOMAN 3 TIMES AFTER SHE CALLS 911
Note: News involving Amy Bramuchi was removed from the site to respect her privacy
BROOKHAVEN CITY ATTORNEY RESIGNS AFTER ALTERING DOCUMENTS TO PROTECT MAYOR
By Garland Favorito
Jun. 20, 2015
THE HIDDEN FORCE BEHIND GEORGIA’S MOVE TO LEGALIZE NO-KNOCK SEARCHES
By Garland Favorito
Mar. 11, 2015
Unanimous Public Opposition at Senate No-Knock Search Warrant Hearings
On March 4, a Senate Non-Civil Judiciary Committee passed Chairman Jesse Stone’s SB159 bill that proposes to legalize no-knock searches for the first time in Georgia history. Two days earlier the committee heard testimony but did not vote on SB45, Sen. Vincent Fort’s bill that also introduces no-knock searches. Both bills mirror no-knock search language in Rep. Kevin Tanner’s HB56 which passed a subcommittee hearing two weeks prior. Stone submitted his bill immediately after citizens convinced Rep. Tanner to suspend pursuing his bill during the session due to growing public concern. Stone then scheduled a hearing for his bill the day after it was read in the Senate. SB159 may have slipped through with no opposition but weather threats caused state offices to close and the hearing to be delayed.
During the rescheduled Senate hearings no member of the public or law enforcement spoke in favor of the bills. All members of the public, two lawyers, a law enforcement officer and even the family member of a victim testified against it. So many members of the public signed up to testify that they ran out of time at the first hearing on Monday. Most members of the public wore stickers indicating opposition to the bill and they sat directly in the first two rows in front of the Senators. Nevertheless, 7 senators voted for SB159 after amending it and it passed out of committee.
Illegal No-Knock Raids Result in in Murder, Maiming
Awareness of Georgia no-knock searches escalated in 2014. On May 28, a 19-month-old toddler, Bou Bou Phonesavanh, was critically injured in his Habersham Co. home when deputies broke in expecting to arrest someone who had made a $50 meth sale to an informant. Reports indicate that Nikki Autry issued an illegal no-knock search warrant signed by Judge James Butterworth while Deputy Charles Long hurled a flash-bang grenade into “Bou” “Bou’s” crib causing severe injuries to his face and chest. Over 35,000 people signed Sen. Fort’s petition to pass “Bou” “Bou’s” law that would require officer training and raise a standard from reasonable suspicion to probable cause. But SB45 has no provision for officer training and it actually would lower the standard in Georgia code from illegal to allowable with probable cause.
On Sept. 24 in Dublin Georgia, Laurens Co. undercover deputies broke into the home of David Hooks, a 59-year old construction company owner and grandfather. They fired at least 17 shots inside, some through walls, and Hooks died from multiple wounds. He was shot twice in the back while lying on the floor, according to family attorney Mitchell Shook. Hooks, a hunter, offered no known resistance even though he and his wife Teresa, thought they were being burglarized again. Sheriff Bill Harrell indicated that deputies were justified in killing Hooks because he had an unloaded shotgun on his person but the sheriff did not explain why Hooks would have picked up an unloaded weapon to defend his property. Deputies searched the home for 44 hours and did not find a single trace of drugs.
The deputies acted on a tip from a methamphetamine addict who burglarized Hooks’ home and stole his SUV two nights earlier. Despite tipster Rodney Garrett’s lack of credibility, Deputy Chris Brewer obtained a “knock and announce” warrant and got Magistrate Judge Faith Snell to sign it. But the deputies broke in instead, according to Teresa Hooks who survived the attack. Brewer has a long history of questionable tactics. In 2002, he filed a suit against District Attorney, Ralph Walke for libel, slander and breech of contract in performing his duties. Walke had refused to prosecute Brewer’s warrants and contended to Brewer’s superiors that Brewer had committed perjury at least six times.
Disinformation Campaign Misleads Media, Public
After studying the three no-knock bills, it is apparent that there is a massive disinformation campaign of myths behind them. Bill sponsors claim that no-knock searches are legal in Georgia, however, the clear plain text of O.C.G.A. 17-5-27 requires officers to give “good faith verbal notice of intent” describing their “authority and purpose” before executing a search warrant.
Sponsors justify their argument that no-knock searches have been legalized in case law, by referencing to two court rulings that have each made an exception for a specific case. Case law applies only to rulings in specific cases. There is no provision in the Georgia Constitution for the judicial branch to create legislation. That power is granted solely to the General Assembly. Judges can interpret law for a case but a Judge cannot override a Georgia law unless the judge declares it unconstitutional.
Bill sponsors claim the bills will place restrictions on no-knock searches but the bills actually remove the ultimate restriction by attempting to legalize them. Sponsors also assert that the bills will reduce the number of no-knock searches but it is obvious that legalization will increase, not decrease, the number. Thus, the public is being enticed to support the bills based on claims that the bills add controls on no-knock search warrants when the bills actually lower the standard to obtain no-knock search warrants.
The Hidden Agenda to Eliminate Criminal Liability
Some legislators insist that they have no alternative other than to legalize no–knock search warrants but there are a variety of restrictions that legislators could place into the code to protect Georgia citizens. For example they could:
- Precisely define the conditions of a good faith verbal notice of intent to search
- Create penal statues for law enforcement officers who execute illegal search warrants
- Exclude any evidence collected in an illegal search from being used at a trial
- File impeachment charges against judges who fail to discharge duties in agreement with the law
Deputies and police do not seem enthralled with the bills since they may be called to unnecessarily risk their lives in a no-knock search raid that conflicts with O.C.G.A. 16-3-23, the right to use force in defense of habitation. Once police are not required to identify themselves, residents may think home is being burglarized during a nighttime raid and choose to defend their property. That creates a risk of gun battles between police and innocent law abiding citizens inside their home. So who benefits from that?
The text of the original bills have one overriding primary purpose: That is to prevent law enforcement from being held criminally liable for crimes committed during highly profitable, illegal raids. Ironically, the Georgia General Assembly proposes to remove this protection of accountability just as the public all across America is demanding more accountability from law enforcement and judges. Riots and unrest that other states have experienced could now increase in Georgia if such a law is passed. After eliminating the possibility of finding law enforcement criminally liable for an illegal raid, the families of future victims will have little or no legal recourse in Georgia courts. This hidden agenda is exactly opposite of what the public is being led to believe about how the bills will control no-knock searches.
The Force behind Georgia’s Move to Legalize No-Knock Searches
When SB159 was introduced suspicion intensified as to why three bills that had nearly identical language to legalize no-knock searches had been submitted to the legislature. The bills spanned both the House and the Senate and included versions by both the Democrats and Republicans. Although senators were unwilling to conform to public demand during the Senate hearings, those hearings revealed that the hidden force behind all of the strange behavior is the Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia.
The Prosecuting Attorneys Council (PAC) is a taxpayer funded entity within the judicial branch of the Georgia state government. It is separate from the Attorney General’s office which is in the executive branch. PAC is somewhat of a rogue organization that reports to no one in the judiciary. The council is essentially run by Executive Director Chuck Spahos and PAC Chairman Danny Porter. Spahos, the Henry Co. Solicitor General and Porter, the Gwinnett Co. District Attorney, testified for SB159 on March 4.
During his SB159 testimony, Chuck Spahos admitted that he assisted in drafting the language of the bills. Each bill has an identical clause to provide for no-knock search warrants that override current Georgia code. O.C.G.A. 17.5.27 requires an officer to provide an “attempt in good faith to give verbal notice” of the “authority and purpose” in executing a search. However, each bill prefixes current law with a clause that starts: “When a search warrant does not contain a no-knock,..” That clause exempts law officers from current requirements and subverts the protections that the law provides Georgians against unreasonable search and seizure. It is Spahos who is primarily responsible for the bill language that proposes to legalize no-knock search warrants. Thus, Spahos is a key individual behind the hidden agenda to eliminate criminal liability for law enforcement and judicial officers who violate the law by authorizing illegal raids.
The hidden agenda of the Prosecuting Attorneys Council became more obvious throughout the Senate hearings. Porter, who favored SB159, signed up to testify against SB45, which required probable cause for a no-knock search warrant instead of reasonable suspicion. Sen. Fort’s probable cause amendment eventually passed onto SB159 along with another amendment from Sen. Bethel. That amendment required any judicial officer who issued a no-knock search warrant and any law enforcement official who obtained such a warrant to explain the usefulness of that warrant to the next impaneled grand jury. The amendment would have helped end the practice by judicial activists of executing illegal no-knock search warrants in Georgia. Once they passed, Chairman Jesse Stone expressed his disappointment with the will of the committee. The Prosecuting Attorneys Council then lost most of its interest in the bill.
Cover-Up Expected in Hooks Investigation
Ironically while working on this legislation, Chuck Spahos was recently appointed by Attorney General Sam Olens to investigate the role of law enforcement in the murder of David Hooks. Since Spahos is the primary individual behind the bill language that proposes to eliminate criminal liability for law enforcement, it is now clear that he has a supreme conflict of interest in heading an investigation of the Hooks case. Thus, it is likely that the Hooks investigation will go the way of a cover-up similar to other investigations that have been conducted nationally. In several of those cases law enforcement officers were absolved of responsibility after murdering innocent, unarmed citizens who posed no threat to them and committed no crime. Given that the credibility of Spahos in investigating the Hooks matter is now compromised by his role in drafting the highly controversial legislation, one key question remains:
What does Attorney General Sam Olens, plan to do about the appointment of Spahos?
POLICE MURDERS OF CIVILIANS CONTINUE – 4 MURDERS CAPTURED ON VIDEO
By Garland Favorito
Jan. 31, 2015
Police initiated murders of unarmed, non-threatening civilians who committed no crime or were suspected of a victimless crime have continued despite media hype around the August 6 shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. Four separate killings have now actually been captured on video. Here is a recap of some murders from different areas of the country, a summary of how we can bring accountability to local law enforcement and links to videos and audios that support the conclusions reached in this article:
GEORGIA – David Hooks:
In Dublin Georgia on Sept 24, undercover Laurens Co. deputies broke into the home of David Hooks, firing about 17 shots and killing him in the presence of his wife. It was another classic, out of control drug raid gone wrong. The unidentified deputies incredibly acted on a tip from a methamphetamine addict who burglarized Hooks’ home and stole his SUV two nights earlier.
Despite a ridiculous lack of credibility of the tipster named Rodney Garrett, Magistrate Judge Faith Snell issued a “knock and announce” warrant. But the deputies did not knock and announce according to Mrs. Hooks, instead they broke into the house of the 59-year old construction company owner and grandfather, who never fired any gun even though he thought were being burglarized again.
Laurens County Sheriff Bill Harrell, indicated that officers were justified in killing Hooks because he had a shotgun, which was later found to be unloaded. Harrell did not seem to understand that Hooks had a constitutional right to have a firearm in his house to defend himself. Mitchell Shook, the attorney for his widow, has since outlined evidence that the deputies shot Hooks through a wall and later in the back while he was lying on the floor. Officers searched the home for 44 hours and did not find a single trace of drugs.
- Wmaz13 – 2014/12/13/ – David-Hooks-Rally
- Wmaz13 – 2014/10/01 – warrant-meth-raid-led-to-fatal-laurens-shooting
OHIO – John Crawford:
In Ohio, two youths handling toy rifles were shot and killed instantly by police officers who arrived at the scene due to misconstrued 911 calls. Both of the victims were by themselves and neither had threatened anyone including the officers. Both murders were captured on video.
On August 5 near Dayton, 22 year-old John Crawford III was shot and killed instantly while shopping inside the Beavercreek WalMart and talking on a cell phone to the mother of his two year old daughter. The store video shows that he picked up a BB gun that Walmart sells and was holding it while looking at other merchandise to buy. Crawford was shot by officer Sean Williams who raced into the store in gear. The video shows that Williams fired the fatal bullet after the startled Crawford had dropped the gun and was on the floor.
After the murder, Detective Rodney Curd questioned the mother of Crawford’s daughter for well over an hour without telling her Crawford was dead. In the recorded interview, he repeatedly asked her where Crawford got the gun. At that point, Curd should have been fully informed that there was no gun. If Curd really did not know there was no gun and was not intentionally lying to her, the Beavercreek Police would have to be totally incompetent.
Ironically, it was Williams who committed the only other killing by a Beavercreek police officer when he responded to a domestic call and shot a popular retired Air Force officer, Scott Brogli. Williams arrived at the Walmart after a dispatcher received a 911 call but did not verify or screen the information received from the caller. The Walmart shooting was so traumatic that it also resulted in the death of Angela Williams, 37, of Fairborn, who had a previous medical condition. Ms. Williams was a mother of 5 children and two step children.
OHIO – Tamir Rice:
In Cleveland on November 22, 12 year-old, Tamir Rice was immediately shot to death when police arrived at the Cudell Recreation Center. You can the caller in the 911 audio tell the dispatcher, Beth Mandl, that Rice was a “juvenile” and the air rifle he had was not a real gun but “probably fake”.
The video below shows Officer Timothy Loehmann shooting the 12 year old after Loehmann and his partner race to the scene and he gets out of the police car. The officers then arrested Rice’s traumatized sister.
The Cleveland Police Dept. came under fire when reporters discovered that the dispatcher who failed to relay key information had been previously fired from her first dispatcher job and Loehmann had previously been found unfit for the small Independence Ohio police force due to his emotional and performance problems.
NEW YORK – Eric Garner:
On July 17, 2014 Eric Garner was attacked by five New York Police Department (NYPD) officers and choked to death by Officer Daniel Pantaleo. He can be heard saying at least a half dozen times that “I can’t breath” during the video of his murder. Garner had just broken up a fight. His alleged victimless crime was selling loose cigarettes.
The NYPD has a gory history of murdering unarmed civilians. In a previous OpEd article, I documented how in 2006, NYPD undercover officers fired about 50 bullets into the car of 23 year old Sean Bell, killing him and permanently injuring his two passengers,. All were unarmed, had no drugs and were on their way home from a New York night club. The families of those victims eventually received over $7 million in taxpayer funded settlements from the NYPD.
Prior to that in 1999, four NYPD officers killed Amadou Diallo after firing 41 shots and hitting him 19 times. The officers asked Diallo for identification while he was in a dimly lit area and when he produced his wallet they falsely believed it was a gun.
NEW MEXICO – James Boyd:
But a recent OpEd news article provided an extensive article identifying the police force that kills unarmed citizens at the highest rate as the one in Albuquerque, New Mexico. That city has paid out well over $25 million in settlements to families of citizens killed by their police officers just since 2010.
One example is the March 16th murder of James Boyd, a mentally ill homeless man who was camping without a permit at the Eastern Mountain ravine. Boyd was shot and killed by officers Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez, members of a special militarized police unit known as the Repeat Offender Project (ROP). It sports a hangman’s noose as its logo. Sandy can be heard on a police transmission calling Boyd a “lunatic” and stating that “I am going to shoot him”, which is exactly what he did. Sandy and fellow officer Sean Wallace, who has killed two unarmed civilians, were on the Albuquerque force despite being fired as New Mexico State Troopers for taking payments from Wackenhut while on duty.
The video shows that after officers convinced Boyd to come down from his position on the mountain and Boyd began to do so, they released a flash bang grenade and an attack dog. That caused Boyd to panic and draw a knife to hold off the dog. They then ordered him to get down on the ground and when Boyd obeyed, Sandy and his partner Dominique Perez fired about at least a half dozen shots from their assault rifles. As Boyd lay face down on the ground and able to barely move one leg, 3 more bean bag shots were fired until Boyd is motionless. An officer then released the attack dog fearing that the helpless Boyd could somehow still use his knife. The dog mauled Boyd’s leg but by that time Boyd appeared to already be dead. Police Chief Gordon Eden stated that the shooting was “justified” because Boyd was threatening a police officer when killed. The video indicates that Eden lied.
DISTORTING THE ISSUE: The national news media has served mainly to distort the issue by focusing on the Ferguson shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson even though there is evidence that Brown’s aggressive actions against the officer may have led to his own death. While emphasizing that shooting, the media rarely mentions the previous murders in nearby Berkeley where 3 undercover law enforcement agents fired 21 bullets into a car at a fast food restaurant, killing its unarmed occupants, Earl Murray and Ronald Beasley. No drugs were found and the murders left eight children to be raised by their widows.
The grand juries in that case and the Ferguson case were manipulated by the same prosecutor, Bob McCulloch, as explained in my previous OpEd article. But most news media outlets avoid discussing how grand juries can be manipulated and how the U.S. Constitution is consistently being violated in these cases. Instead, the play the race card to keep Americans divided against each other. Although the black community has certainly been victimized the most, it is not really about race. It is about enforcing the U.S. Constitution for all. In the five examples above, Hooks and Woods, the two who are rarely mentioned by the national news media, were white.
SOLVING THE PROBLEM WITH ACCOUNTABILITY
In my previous OpEd article I also explained how most of the perpetrators of these murders have gotten away with their crimes simply because they wear a badge. The New Mexico police officers were recently charged with murder. It took years to remove the officers who murdered Sean Bell in a hail of bullets from the NYPD. Most of the rest remain unaccountable along with their superiors who mismanaged their activities. These unnecessary tragedies events give local law enforcement a bad reputation nationally. But the problem could be easily solved in local law enforcement and prosecutors would make a commitment to a national initiative for accountability. Here are a few first steps that they could take to align their activities better with the U.S. Constitution and the protections from intrusion that Americans have been granted:
- Stop breaking into American homes to gather evidence of suspected crimes
The only legitimate reason for law enforcement to break into a civilian home without permission is to serve an arrest warrant that cannot otherwise be served
- Stop taxpayer funded sting operations
Police have no business committing a crime or attempting to lure someone into committing a crime. Their job is supposed to be to prevent crime
- Stop expensive, taxpayer funded undercover operations that combat victimless crimes
If the alleged crime has no direct victim there is no need to run an elaborate undercover operation in an attempt to prevent it
- Use independent prosecutors to investigate crimes committed by officers against civilians
Prosecutors outside of the local departments that were involved in the crime are more likely to conduct an investigation impartially
- Hold public grand jury hearings for officers who commit crimes against civilians
When prosecutors know that a grand jury hearing is going to be public they will be less likely to attempt to manipulate the jury with incomplete or distorted evidence
And anyone who thinks the answer is more federal involvement should think again. In 1992, a federal sniper Lon Horiuchi, shot and killed Vicki Weaver from about 100 yards away as she stood in the doorway of her Ruby Ridge, Idaho home holding her baby. Agents had attempted to frame her husband, Randy in a sting operation by getting him to sell a sawed off shot gun. Randy Weaver was awarded over $3 million of taxpayer money in a settlement for her death.
In 1993, militarized BATF agents killed six Branch Davidian church members when they attacked their property. Seven weeks later, FBI and special forces massacred 74 Branch Davidians in a military assault. The Davidians’ were militarily attacked because they were suspected of having an automatic weapon.
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.