Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

The Political Vine is the home of political news, satire, rants, and rumors.

The Railroading of Nydia Tisdale by Dawson County

Bill Simon, December 6th, 2017

Prelude

On August 23, 2014, a publicly advertised GOP Rally was held on Burt’s Pumpkin Farm in Dawsonville, Georgia, a city located in Dawson County.

At that event, an arrest occurred by a sheriff’s deputy who was working ‘security’ at the private event. This arrest, and all stories about it (including several on the PoliticalVine.com website) have occupied the minds of many people in the media for the last 3 years and three months.

The criminal trial for the accused “trespasser,” as well as person accused of obstructing a police officer (two charges, actually, one a misdemeanor, and one a felony) named Nydia Tisdale, commenced on November 27, 2017 in Dawson County Superior Court, and concluded in the early evening of December 4, 2017. This story was issued after the verdict.

Introduction

In case you were unaware of the verdicts in the case of the State of Georgia vs. Nydia Tisdale, closing arguments were made on Monday, December 4, and the jury deliberated for approximately 4.5 hours on the 3 charges against Nydia, and this was their unanimous decisions:

Felony Obstruction of a Police Officer: NOT GUILTY
Criminal Trespass: NOT GUILTY
Misdemeanor Obstruction of a Police Officer: GUILTY

Now, the truly odd thing about this decision by the jury is that if she did not “criminally trespass,” then, by what right or authority did then-Captain Wooten have to assault her and drag her out of the August 23, 2014 GOP Rally at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm to start with?

Is it the belief of the State of Georgia that if you are not in violation of a law (such as ‘criminal trespassing’), then a Georgia law enforcement officer (“LEO”) has the perfect right to do WHATEVER he/she wants to do to you, and you are to submit to that LEO’s desires at that moment without any kind of protest, resistance, or a right to simply ask why you are being told to do something?

Because an answer of “YES, WE [State of Georgia] CAN!” is what the only logical conclusion is to take from this jury decision.

According to this jury decision, Nydia Tisdale, on August 23rd, 2014, was sitting quietly in a chair on the front row of a political rally that was occurring on private property, holding her video camera, taping political speeches. And when people connected with the event approached her and told her to stop filming, she did not stop…And then she was approached by an event security guard who claimed under oath that he told her “Stop filming or you’re going to have to leave,” she, again, did not stop taping…and that is when she was grabbed by the security officer (with the help, by the way, of event organizer Clint Bearden, who perjured himself under oath so many times, I lost count)…BUT, she was found NOT GUILTY of criminal trespass, so, how did a jury find her guilty of misdemeanor obstruction of a LEO?

Well, the answer to that question can be found in evidence to be presented here, now, in this article. Some of this evidence was presented at trial, and some of it wasn’t.

And, though the evidence that wasn’t presented at trial isn’t eligible to be used for an appeal of this court’s decision…I think it is crucial that you (whether you are of the crowd who wrongly despises Nydia Tisdale, or you support Nydia Tisdale, or you remain neutral on her) are now made aware of this evidence.

Because Nydia is fighting two battles right now: 1) In actual judicial court, and 2) in the court of public opinion.

BDU Khakis, Black Polo Shirt, Badge on Left Side

It was testified to by many of the State’s witnesses that on that day in August 2014, Tony Wooten was dressed-in “khaki pants, a black polo shirt that had a Dawson County Sheriff’s Department (“DCSO”) badge stamped/embroidered on the left-side of his shirt.” They also stated that he wore a gun and there was a badge clipped to his belt.

During trial, on November 30, 2017, State’s witness Morris “Pepper” Petitt’s testimony is reflected in the following tweet made by Chris Joyner of the AJC, who was a reporter in the courtroom:

“Pettit: ‘She was saying ‘who are you?’ and that stuck in my head because you can tell he was a police officer.” Defense objects and asks judge to advise jury to ignore the comment. Judge Christian obliges, but they heard it.

I did not witness Wooten’s testimony during the trial last week, but I did review his testimony in the pre-trial hearing in the Fall of 2016. In that testimony, Wooten testified that he was wearing “BDU-khaki pants, black polo shirt with sheriff’s badge printed on shirt, carrying a gun and radio.”

SO, according to many of the state’s witnesses, it was, essentially, “patently obvious” that Wooten was an officer of that law that day, and Tisdale should have known. And, in my reading of the report of the Internal Affairs investigation that was started back on August 25, 2014 by DCSO, I read that people like Clint Bearden had this interchange with Major Goodie:

“Major Goodie asked Clint if Captain Wooten identified himself, and Clint advised that Tisdale had plenty of opportunities to see that Captain Wooten was in fact a law enforcement officer.”

“Plenty of Opportunities”

Read the rest of this entry »

Pumpkin Gate Trial to Commence November 27, 2017

PV, November 22nd, 2017

Almost Three Years & Three Months Later to the Day…

On August 23, 2014, an…incident occurred at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm in Dawson County, Georgia. There was a Republican Rally taking place for the General Election. A lot of the Republican bigwigs were there (i.e., elected officeholders and people running as a Republican for elected government offices, not political party offices).

At that rally, a conservative, freelance video-journalist named Nydia Tisdale was recording the political speeches that all the candidates were making. She was charging no money for her time for this activity, as she had done several times previously for many GOP candidates and GOP-related functions for a couple of years.

Her sole purpose in attending and recording was to simply video-record the speeches and, later on, upload the recordings of the speeches so others could watch and listen. In her recordings, she did not offer the viewer any kind of political analysis or commentary on the speeches. All she was doing was acting as a recorder of an event, and she would provide access to the recordings to the public via an online video viewing platform (YouTube). And, she intended to promote the speeches via the Web for anyone who missed the rally (as she had done before at other campaign events), but who may have been interested in seeing the speeches to get a feel for the candidates running for public office on the ballot that upcoming November.

Well, that was all her intentions were…but, someone else at that rally had a pre-conceived notion of who Tisdale was, and he instigated a series of events that resulted in Nydia Tisdale getting charged with criminal trespassing and charged with assaulting a police officer.

If you wish to get the full story on all that transpired on that day, here is a link to a bevy of stories written by the Political Vine, with links to the AJC’s articles, etc. These stories have become what PV has coined to be “Pumpkin Gate.”

The purpose of THIS edition of the Political Vine is to inform our reading audience that the trial for Nydia is set to officially begin this Monday, Nov. 27th, at 9:00 AM, in front of Judge Martha Christian, Courtroom C on the 4th floor of Dawson County Superior Courthouse at this address:

Dawson County Government Center
25 Justice Way, 4th Floor, Courtroom C
Dawsonville, GA 30534

The trial is scheduled for Monday, November 27 thru December 1.

Nydia has many supporters who have been following this case since August 2014, and if you are a supporter who can find the time to attend the trial, it would help her greatly in moral support for you to be in the courtroom.

As it has been reported in the AP, Nydia is being represented by criminal defense attorney Bruce Harvey on a pro bono basis for his time.

However, her defense has not been without hard-dollar costs expended by her and her husband. Court transcripts cost a lot of money ($5000 or so), as well as money to pay for legal researchers, etc. to help in her defense preparation, and this has been a huge financial drain on Nydia and her husband personally as it takes money away from normal life to devote to defending herself.

She is ineligible to set-up any kind of GoFundMe page because GoFundMe does not allow for funds to be collected for criminal defense.

SO, if the thought of a bunch of crooked good ‘ole boys (and girls) conspiring to lie to destroy someone’s life, take away her liberty, and imprison her, turns your stomach, please consider a financial donation to her personally at this link: https://www.paypal.me/NydiaTisdale. She is, literally, in the fight of her life.

Where in the world is Cecil Staton?

PV, November 22nd, 2017

*** STORY UPDATE 11/22/2017 ****

Due to a tweet that is out there in the Twitter-sphere, and that fact that on an intermittent basis, PV receives calls from people who encounter the slimy…crooked…moron named Cecil Staton in their random life, we are updating this article because the GrassrootsFrenzy.com website referenced originally on this post from 2011 was taken offline a few years back.

Since there is still, apparently, interest in Cecil Staton, PV feels there is still a history that needs to be preserved about scalawags like Cecil Staton, and the following links are both live links, and, eventually, PDF-versions of the old GrassrootsFrenzy website will be provided (sourced from the Internet Archive website are available for your viewing/reviewing pleasure):

Home page of GrassrootsFrenzy.com: https://web.archive.org/web/20140517084627/http://grassrootsfrenzy.com/

How Beth Merkelson was Unmasked: https://web.archive.org/web/20141014111406/http://grassrootsfrenzy.com:80/report.php

Beth Merkelson’s Emails: https://web.archive.org/web/20141013221848/http://grassrootsfrenzy.com/beth-emails.php

FAQ: https://web.archive.org/web/20141013141833/http://grassrootsfrenzy.com/faq.php

Press Coverage: https://web.archive.org/web/20141012193334/http://grassrootsfrenzy.com/press-coverage.php

*******************************************************
[Below is the Previous Post made in 2011]

There is a new Website up that continues the saga of Beth Merkelson & Cecil Staton:

Grassroots Frenzy

How many judicial appointees does it take to screw-up Georgia?

PV, November 13th, 2017

Rumors have it that one of the scumbags involved in the 2014 Pumpkin Gate saga is scheduled to appear this Wednesday in front of the Judicial Nominating Commission (“JNC”) to apply for a Superior Court Judge vacancy.

Since there were several scumbags at that event in August 2014, you might wonder which scumbag it is? Why none other than Clint Bearden (who, coincidentally, works with a scumbag of an entirely different breed named David Ralston).

Bearden is an attorney who also works as a part-time magistrate judge now. But, he believes, apparently, that he has kissed enough royal ass in the political world to gain an easy-peasy appointment to the Superior Court.

PV Provides An Executive Summary Refresher: Back during the 2014 General Election, there was a GOP election rally public event held on Burt’s Pumpkin Farm in Dawson County. The event was promoted to the public via several ways to get them to attend.

Nydia Tisdale, a conservative, freelance videographer (of the Website AboutForsyth.net) saw the public notice on Facebook, and packed-up her camera to attend and film the speeches.

When one of the attendees to the event (another scumbag named Pepper Pettit) saw Tisdale sitting in the front row filming the show, he quickly conferred with Bearden and essentially told him something to the effect of: “We gotta kick her out of here as quickly as we can. She’s the gal who exposed all the corruption with my friends in Forsyth County, and with the Governor here today, she might film something that exposes all of our secrets here in Dawson!”

So, a plan was quickly hatched between Bearden and Pettit, and Johnny Burt, the owner of the farm, was consulted on the plan, and the plan was put into action that eventually ended-up with Tisdale…a 90 lb. waif of a woman…getting physically assaulted by a 165 lb burly “security guard” (who was an off-duty cop named Tony Wooten, who was at the farm on that day, and was not legally authorized to engage in what he engaged in), and who also enjoyed frotting himself while he had Tisdale roughly pinned against a counter.

If you have 18 minutes, 43 seconds, to watch this video, you can witness this event. This was videotaped by Tisdale as she was dragged around (the camera was strapped to her hand and she could not let it go), and at one point at around the 15:25 mark, you see the scumbag Clint Bearden observing the assault as if witnessing the mauling of women was an every day event in his life. (And, hey, with a mentor-lawyer like David Ralston, it likely is an everyday event in his life.)

Now, lots of folks in this video are lying (thus why PV refers to them as ‘scumbags’), and none of them were Tisdale. She was the victim of a callous bunch of political scumbags, one of whom is Clint Bearden, who is now thinking he should be allowed to sit on a Superior Court bench…so he can be put in charge of deciding how and when to violate other people’s rights, just like he helped his breathren do in Dawson County when it comes to sacrificing women for political expediency.

With any luck, there is a majority of people on the JNC who would prefer someone with character and integrity in the real world to recommend to the Governor to sit on the bench.

Sources for this story include:

Snapshot of law resume from Clint Bearden’s Website

Pumpkin Gate & Related Documentation from PoliticalVine.com

Rules & Procedures of the JNC (Paragraph 6 is why PV is providing this information to the JNC)

November 15, 2017 JNC Agenda

List of Members of the JNC (as captured tonight from the JNC Website)

Track Record for Competent Georgia Republican Attorney Generals is 0 to 2

PV, November 1st, 2017

Rumors have it that the Georgia State Attorney General’s Office is too incompetent to act as State Defense Counsel for Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Kennesaw State University in the civil lawsuit that challenged the results of the 6th District Congressional Race earlier in 2017.

Within four days of that lawsuit being filed, the voter records server holding that info was “wiped clean” and the AG’s office claimed information on it was all gone.

This is the headline and lede from a late-breaking story from today’s Fulton County Daily Report: “Georgia Attorney General Quits Defense in Server Wiping Case…Secretary of State Brian Kemp released a statement Wednesday saying the law firm of former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes will represent Kemp and other state election officials.”

PV is Astounded: Wow…our State AG’s office must be the most incompetent public law firm in the country. That, or, it was the AG’s office who advised Kennesaw State University personnel to wipe the server clean after the lawsuit because, hey, why not? After all, all communication between the State AG’s office and the Secretary of State/Kennesaw State University is held in confidence under “attorney-client privilege.”

Yes, “privilege” to lie, cheat, and steal, all under the auspice of being a sovereign entity that spends whatever money it wants to defend criminal behavior (Hey, Georgia State Supreme Court? Thanks so much for making our state the most corrupt in the US by allowing our state agencies to engage in criminal behavior, but declare they are exempt from prosecution due to “sovereign immunity,” you bunch of dumbasses).

PV wonders if it was Chris Carr himself who advised the deletion of the server information…? If so, the Georgia State AG is both incompetent AND corrupt.

Or, Carr and every lawyer in the Department of Law is just garden-variety incompetent because now the State of Georgia has to hire an ex-Governor’s law firm to handle the defense??? Pardon PV, but WHAT-THE-F*CK???

BY THE WAY, IF Democrat Ken Hodges wants to run for AG in 2018, PV will back him because all the “Republican Attorney Generals” (i.e., Sam Olens and Chris Carr) have demonstrated themselves to be COMPLETELY incompetent in the job!!!

PV P.S.: Say, Goobernor Nathan Deal? STELLAR job you did there in appointing someone who had ZERO competence in actually practicing law.

A Fundraising Analysis of the Georgia Governor’s Race

Bill Simon, July 24th, 2017

I have started blogging on the website AllOnGeorgia.com, and here is my debut article analyzing the June 30 campaign disclosures of the 7 candidates vying for the 2018 Primary and General Election slots:

http://allonpolitics.allongeorgia.com/2018-georgia-governors-race-fundraising-analysis/

I will still keep blogging and issuing Special Alerts via my PV e-mailed newsletter as that is still needed for the “No Sugar Added” type of political subject matter. So if you are not subscribed to that, you can do that here: http://politicalvine.com/politicalrumors/pv-signup/

John Watson, Resident Scorpion…

Bill Simon, May 21st, 2017

Beware of the Scorpion That Cannot Change Its Natural Instinct

Are you familiar with the fable known as The Frog and The Scorpion? Here is a short version of the story:

“A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”

The frog is satisfied, and they set out. But in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”

Replies the scorpion: “It’s my nature…” “

Now, NOT to include every lobbyist/government relations person out in the world to be a scorpion (because, yes, I have a few friends who are honorable lobbyists), but in the case of the one running to be the next Georgia GOP Chair, the only way to describe John Watson is to refer to him as the Scorpion in our saga…and all of his naive, gullible followers and supporters are the Frogs who are too blind or too ignorant to understand what kind of creepy-crawler they have agreed to support.

AND…here is why in point-by-point reasoning:

1) The real job of people like John Watson involves being, essentially, the lead marketing and sales rep for any number of businesses who provide services and products to government entities. So, John Watson does not merely “lobby” the State Legislature while they are in session; what his primary job as a government relations person is develop friendly, business relationships with city council members, county commissioners, mayors, municipal purchasing managers, city managers, county managers, etc. That is, both decision-makers, as well as people who influence decision-makers for purchasing services and products from Watson’s clients.

2) A LOT of the major county and city municipalities in the Atlanta-metro area are run by Democrats. REAL Democrats. And, a lot of the legislators who are Democrats have a LOT of influence on the various elected people and employees who work in the municipalities. So much so that people like Watson rely on developing relationships with the Democrat legislators, not to be a nice guy to the ‘minority party’, but to get them to a point where they can influence these other Democrats in municipalities who hold the key to allowing Watson’s clients to become a qualified bidder for any kind of suitable RFP (Request For Proposal) the municipality needs to issue.

3) John Watson is married with kids. His paramount job is to provide for his family with their needs via earning a living. Which means, when it comes to politics, Watson will always seek to maintain relationships over playing hardball in politics.

4) Watson’s business partner is Lewis Massey. Lewis Massey is a Democrat. He’s a nice enough guy, but he’s a Democrat. Not to say that all Democrats are bad, but doing business with one while you are playing yourself off as a tough GOP party chair is a tough sell to rely on. Massey is to Watson like Carville is to Matalin (though, Massey and Watson’s relationship has lasted far longer).

5) See, Massey WANTS Watson to win because he knows it’ll be terrific FREE ADVERTISING for the new company of Massey Watson and Hembree, LLC. Every time John Watson’s name will be mentioned in the newspaper, it will say “Ga GOP Chair John Watson…blah, blah, blah…Watson is also a partner in the lobbying firm of Massey Watson Hembree, LLC.”

6) A few years back, Watson and his business partners were embroiled in the DeKalb County corruption probe as per this story here: http://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt–politics/vendors-dekalb-government-probe-earned-millions/ptETu66oENsrKGVViU7mHM/

7) Though they were cleared of any wrongdoing in that DeKalb case, it won’t look good for the GAGOP to see that bullsh*t again when something similar blows-up in the City of Atlanta, or some other Dem-controlled municipality, where Massey Watson Hembree will be named, again, and if Watson is serving as GA GOP chair, that will muddy the GA GOP brand quite a bit, all on its own.

8) But, more to the point, next year, when it comes to having to play hardball with the Democrats in this state, Watson will wuss-out because he MUST maintain relationships with ALL the Democrats in office because, as mentioned before, his livelihood relies 100% on maintaining those relationships on good terms with all Democrats.

9) AND…just to demonstrate exactly what we’re talking about here, here is a list of Democratic entities that John Watson and his former firm of Massey Bowers Watson Hembree contributed money to WHILE the 2016 Presidential race was ongoing between Trump and Clinton:

http://politicalvine.com/casinos/MasseyBowers-Fall-DemCont.jpg

10) The first three $250 contributions were to keep three very good Democrat influencers in Watson’s pocket so as to help his business clients: Valencia Seay, Horacena Tate, Stacey Evans.

11) The last contribution shown of $250 was to hedge a bet with the Democratic Party of Georgia in case Trump lost. That was the purpose of that contribution.

12) John Watson may vote Republican…but, as the practicing lobbyist that he is, in the world of the government relations business that he is in, he must maintain good relations with people on both sides of the aisle. And maintain those relationships is of paramount importance to him.

So, when it comes time next year to, say, beat-up the Democratic nominee for Governor, whether it be Stacy Abrams or Stacey Evans, on behalf of, say, our Republican nominee Hunter Hill, how hard of a hit is Watson going to be willing to allow the Ga GOP to hit Abrams or Evans with?

Answer: The Scorpion will sting the froggy Republicans over pissing-off his fellow Scorpions in the Dem Party, and he will nullify the GA GOP’s efforts in ways like making sure the direct mail program from the GA GOP resembles a Powder-Puff football game rather than full-impact football.

After all, this Scorpion still has to make a living, regardless of who is elected to a Constitutional office. And, if the Dems regain power, the Scorpion’s business pal, Lewis Massey, will be able to introduce Watson to even MORE people in Democrat positions of power to help build Watson’s bank account.

Hope all you Frogs who support this Scorpion wake-up. Because at least with Alex Johnson, Michael McNeely, or Mike Welsh, NONE of their livelihoods rely on maintaining good relationships with the opposition party. None of them are scorpions.

If any of you frogs continue to support John Watson after reading this Vine and seeing the contributions he made to the Democratic Party of Georgia last Fall to maintain ‘good relations’ with the DPOG, you are morons. Freaking…MORONS.

Will The Real Kay Kirkpatrick Haltom Please Stand Up?

Bill Simon, April 4th, 2017

PRELUDE

Did you know that when someone in Georgia refers to the process of “registering to vote,” what you are really doing is applying to the State of Georgia for them to grant you a Voter ID Card? I conclude that by examining the explicit wording of this law, OCGA 21-2-417.1. Voter identification card. Because the majority of what this law instructs is what information is included on the State defined “GEORGIA VOTER IDENTIFICATION CARD.”

The application to register to vote/apply for a voter ID card can be found online here: https://registertovote.sos.ga.gov/GAOLVR/images/reg_form.pdf

AND, the very first requirement in the law to register to vote is to provide your “Full Legal Name.”

The problem with not registering under your actual legal name is covered under OCGA 21-2-561. False registration…where it specifies the following (which have been bolded in parts because you should understand exactly the pitfalls with falsely registering a name as an elector):

Any person who:

(1) Registers as an elector knowing that such elector does not possess the qualifications required by law;

(2) Registers as an elector under any other name than the elector’s own name; or

(3) Knowingly gives false information when registering as an elector

shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years or to pay a fine not to exceed $100,000.00, or both.”

So, let’s turn our attention to the

SENATE DISTRICT 32-SPECIAL ELECTION

Read the rest of this entry »

Regarding State Senator Brandon Beach (aka “Casino Beach”)

Bill Simon, March 30th, 2017

On February 27, 2017, a Political Vine (alternatively referred to as “Vine” or “PV”) article was issued regarding the vigorous legislative promotion of casino gambling legislation by Senator Brandon Beach and others. PV compared the “campaign contributions” by out-of-state casino interests to be equivalent to the noun “bribes,” in which that definition was based on a common dictionary meaning rather than any kind of statutory definition of that term.

In response to the 2/27/2017 issuance of the Political Vine, Senator Brandon Beach had his attorney send me a cease and desist letter, and included a copy of the PV edition in question (See this PDF of that letter).

In this letter, Beach’s lawyer, Robert D. Cheeley of the Cheeley Law Group, LLC, asserts that “political contributions are legal in Georgia, and politicians are entitled to accept contributions, so by definition they are not bribes.”

For the record, Georgia’s statutory definition of what constitutes a campaign contribution is found in OCG 21-5-3(7) and while this excerpt I use here is an abridged version of the entire statute, I invite anyone to read the entire definition for themselves: “Contribution” means a gift, subscription, membership, loan, forgiveness of debt, advance or deposit of money or anything of value conveyed or transferred for the purpose of influencing [emphasis added] the nomination for election or election of any person for office…”

But, of course, no politician would ever take generous campaign contributions in direct exchange for political favors, would they?

After all, there is some kind of legal line, however thin it may be at times, between bribery and campaign contributions from interests seeking special interest legislation. Consider the case of Former Alabama Democrat Governor Don Siegelman and the several years in federal prison he has had to contemplate on that distinction: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-high-court-when-is-a-campaign-contribution-a-bribe/2012/08/12/68cdd94e-e2f9-11e1-a25e-15067bb31849_story.html (if that link does not pull-up the Washington Post article, this is a PDF version)

Similarly, New Jersey Democrat Senator Robert Menendez has that opportunity to contemplate the contributions/bribery nexus regarding earmarked contributions to a Democrat “Super PAC” by a medical provider who secured the assistance of Senator Menendez in lobbying then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to rule in his favor in an ongoing dispute over $8 million in Medicare overbillings. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/07/09/dr-salomon-melgen-menendez-supporter-released-on-18-million-bond/. Menendez has a 68-page indictment against him.

There is concern in the Peach State as citizens contemplate the morally corrupting influence of Las Vegas-based casino operators seeking a beachhead in Georgia. While truth is a defense to any defamation suit, perhaps only the U.S. Department of Justice would have the resources and clout to prove in court a quid pro quo regarding campaign contributions in exchange for legislation favorable to the person or entity who contributed the money.

If forced to litigate over the Vine article in question, the Defendant’s legal team would assert Georgia’s “anti-SLAPP” statute, O.C.G.A. § 9-11-11.1. This particular statute declares, “The General Assembly of Georgia finds and declares that it is in the public interest to encourage participation by the citizens of Georgia in matters of public significance and public interest through the exercise of their constitutional rights of petition and freedom of speech. The General Assembly of Georgia further finds and declares that the valid exercise of the constitutional rights of petition and freedom of speech should not be chilled through abuse of the judicial process.”

So, to be clear, if I am sued by Senator Beach, or any other legislators involved in promoting casino legislation after their receipt of campaign contributions from casino interests, the court will be asked to award full attorney fees and expenses of litigation, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 9-11-11.1.

There are a couple of specific elements in Mr. Cheeley’s letter that need to be cleared-up before I address his demands:

(A) Regarding Cheeley’s assertion in his first paragraph that “Specifically, that website is www.securecampaigner.com(sic) doing business as Political Vine dot com, www.politicalvine.com.” that is a completely inaccurate statement/assertion/assumption on Cheeley’s part.

The Website of “www.secure.campaigner.com” is a domain solely under the control of my email management vendor (known as Campaigner.com), for which I pay a monthly fee to be able to manage the email list, as well as compose and email-out the publication whenever I write one.

That email vendor offers services to the entire world on its platform and is, I believe, based in Canada. I have zero ownership of that entity, nor do they have any ownership of my PV website.

So, “Campaigner dot com” is not doing any kind of business as “Political Vine dot com.”

With regards to the website called www.politicalvine.com, yes, that is under my sole control for its content.

(B) Cheeley then appears to make some kind of point that because I did not place an asterisk in the Subject Heading of the 2/27/2017 Vine email that I “notably” omitted the asterisk next to the word “Bribes” in the Subject Line titled “Rumors have it…Casino Bribes-UPDATE!…02-27-2017” as if to mean I intended something nefarious.

I deliberately omitted the use of the asterisk in the “Subject Line” of the email (no, it is not the “caption” as he referred to it in his letter) because IF asterisks and other similar symbols are present in an email’s subject line, the email servers taking-in those emails sometimes interpret those emails as potentially being spam emails, and they get rejected, and therefore not delivered to the intended recipients. Thus the reason why the asterisk was omitted on the word “Bribes” in that one instance, which, when compared to the “twenty times” in which the word appeared in print in that 2/27/2017 PV as “bribes*” this one instance is not significantly meaningful.

For the record, I believe I will/would prevail in court in defense of any lawsuit brought by Beach or anyone else. However, I know that lawsuits such as this type will take an extremely lengthy amount of time to have resolved, and I do not wish to have my mind or my life occupied by it for the next 3-5 years.

Therefore, with regard to the four specific “demands” placed on me by Beach’s lawyer:

Demand #1: Regarding Cheeley’s demand of removing “from any and all of your websites all defamatory and disparaging remarks regarding Senator Beach and ‘bribes’ made by you or any visitors to your site.”

The only thing that was ever placed on the PV website was the 11-Page PDF document that was assembled using campaign contribution disclosure data publicly accessible via the Georgia Government Transparency and Finance Commission’s Website (known as Ethics.Ga.Gov). That 11-page PDF document I compiled has been removed from the PoliticalVine.com website. No remarks of any kind were ever posted to the PV site.

Also, the original email that was composed and sent out via my account on Campaigner.com has been deleted off my account, and the online version (i.e., “server-based” version) can no longer be accessed.

Demand #2: I will cease and desist publication of that specific, and allegedly defamatory, remark about Senator Beach relating to his sponsorship of casino legislation after receipt of campaign contributions from casino interests.

Demand #3: I hereby retract any alleged implication of violation of the Georgia criminal statute on bribery by Senator Beach and the casino interests who have generously contributed to his campaign. However, the reference to the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of “bribe” is what it is. A “bribe,” according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary is: “1) money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust. 2) something that serves to induce or influence.”

Note that the 2nd definition provided by Merriam Webster for the word “bribe” is that it can be “something that serves to induce or influence [emphasis added].” Compare that definition to the statutory definition of what a campaign contribution is (provided near the beginning of this PV edition).

Demand #4: I will tender five dollars ($5) to the Cheeley Law Group, LLC, in full accord and satisfaction of the strenuously disputed demand for payment of attorney fees for Senator Brandon Beach.

Aut pax aut bellum.

Trump 2016 Strikes Emory University…Again!

PV, November 22nd, 2016

Rumors have it that the precious little snowflakes who inhabit the campus of Emory University are no longer feeling the idyllic beatitude they signed-up to experience…nay, apparently, a cloud of pallor has wafted over the campus and invaded their safe spaces.

Here, forthwith, is a copy of the emailed letter sent out on November 21 from the desk of Claire E. Sterk, Emory University President:

“November 21, 2016
Dear Emory Students, Staff and Faculty,

“Following my letter of November 9, many of you did reach out to each other, including me. There is an overwhelming call to comfort each other, to ensure that we are a safe community, and to express hope for the future. In addition, a letter requesting the need for a sanctuary campus and ways to protect all members of the Emory community is being reviewed by the university leadership.

“We do not know what the future holds for our nation or for the world. But we do know that Emory’s future is determined by our shared values, our respect for each other, and our open and courteous engagement. Together, we will face the challenges of our time. We have to listen to each other. We must look each other in the eye and be honest and respectful. We need to value each other. Emory always has been and will continue to be committed to the principles of academic freedom in a community that affirms everyone’s rights to speak, learn, and grow. While doing so, we will not tolerate bullying, intimidation, or discrimination on any level. Instead, we expect empathy, mutual respect, and courteousness.

“As one of the top research and teaching universities, Emory has the people, knowledge, and talent to equip itself to create a better world for all. Let’s respond to the challenges posed, apply all that we have to offer in the service of humanity, and remain steadfast in our commitment to the values, vision, and mission that unite us. Much work already is underway, whether through formal and informal conversations, structured programs, intentional training to address unconscious bias, a curriculum that defines challenges in the nature of evidence, and more—including our external engagement and our willingness to be bold.

“As Thanksgiving is upon us, let’s honor each other, be thankful for the communities to which we belong and the opportunities before us, and help each other exceed our expectations of what we can accomplish together.

Sincerely,

Claire E. Sterk
President

PV Sez: Upon reading this sentence from the first paragraph “In addition, a letter requesting the need for a sanctuary campus and ways to protect all members of the Emory community is being reviewed by the university leadership.” the PV’s keyboard got soaked with hot coffee being spewed out in a violent convulsion of laughter and merriment.

What-Da-Fuq is a “sanctuary campus?” PV’s mind reels with the instantaneous thoughts of wondering what thoughts and worries are racing through the mind of President Sterk to inspire her to be writing this letter?

And, PV’s trying to imagine what kind of new campus rules and polices this bunch of whiny-baby “administrators” will be dreaming-up to protect the snowflakes from any potential speech intimidation, and thereby likely squash free speech and free exchange of ideas if they are the ones they disagree with? (E. G., President Trump and anything remotely conservative).

Maybe Sterk & Co. will seek a bill from the Georgia Legislature that allows them to secede from Georgia, but still keep getting funding help by the Georgia Board of Regents?

We will stay tuned…with our street chalk in hand…

Will The Next Ga Attorney General Be A Chia Pet?

PV, September 27th, 2016

Rumors have it that Governor Nathan Deal is planning on replacing Attorney General Sam Olens with current Georgia Economic Development Department Commissioner Chris Carr whenever Sam Olens quits as AG to take-on the job as the new Kennesaw State University President. Stories in the news have been floating for about a month in various newsy-oriented publications, the most recent one being today’s Atlanta Business Chronicle (See story link here).

PV Sez: Oh, really? Hey, nothing personal against Chris Carr…he is a fine, fine Southern gentleman…he happened to attend the same high school as the PV’s Chief Bottle Washer…and then after Carr graduated 12th grade, well, his life took an unfortunate turn. He stumbled into a really bad gang of folks that have been terrorizing the Georgia landscape for over 200 years…their hideout is located in the sleepy town of Athens, Georgia…where, like The Eagles song Hotel California, you can checkout, but you can never, ever leave…and that insanity remains with you for the rest of your life as you wake-up every day with the urge to shout “Go D**gs!” and then search for the closest bush or fire hydrant to sniff and pee on.

ANYWAY…all that aside….there’s a teeny-tiny problem with Chris Carr becoming the next Attorney General of Georgia. Simply put, he is not qualified in the legal, lawyer sense. Two glaring problems:

1) According to the Georgia Constitution, Article V, Section III, Paragraph II (b): “No person shall be Attorney General unless such person shall have been an active-status member of the State Bar of Georgia for seven years.”

According to the current State Bar Status of Mr. Christopher Michael Carr (See PDF copy dated 9/27/2016 here) Mr. Carr’s status is “Inactive Member in Good Standing.”

On the Ga Bar Website, that status is stated to mean the following: “Member who is in good standing, paid inactive dues, but by member’s election is currently not eligible to practice law in Georgia.”

And…here’s the deal: Mr. Carr was admitted to the bar 11/1/1999. PV is not sure where he worked for the first few years after that admittance date, but, beginning in about mid-2003, Chris Carr started working for Johnny Isakson in his first run for US Senate in the 2004 election as the campaign manager.

After Isakson got elected, Carr went to work for Isakson in some capacity…he was not immediately made Chief of Staff of Isakson during the first few years…Heath Garrett was CoS of Senator Isakson’s office first, but Carr was working, perhaps, in the Georgia office for Isakson. Sometime passed, and several years later, when Garrett left the Isakson CoS position, Chris Carr filled that slot for Isakson’s CoS.

After serving with Isakson straight thru for a number of years, Carr was appointed to the Georgia Economic Development Commission. In none of these positions did Chris Carr EVER serve as a “practicing lawyer.”

2) Maybe Chris Carr spent the four years after being admitted to the bar in November 1999 doing some kind of lawyer-type work. But, even if he did, he stopped practicing law by mid-2003 when Johnny started his run for US Senate, and Carr has never worked in the practice of law since then.

So, the Ga Constitution is pretty clear: Must be active member for seven years.

Maybe the State Bar will let Chris Carr cheat…by him just showing-up at the State Bar Pay Window and forking over money to declare himself a “practicing lawyer” and “Ta-Da! Instant Attorney General! Just add cash and watch it grow!” (kinda like a Chia Pet…maybe we will call Chris Carr the ‘Chia Pet Attorney General‘ if he gets the appointment.)

BUT…he has no trial court experience to speak of…and, he has no true, operating knowledge of the law. Sure, as Isakson’s CoS, he may have edited legislation that “made law”…but he has no idea how to actually ‘practice law.’ Big difference, Folks…BIG. Difference.

Now…if Governor Deal wants to cheat the citizens of Georgia…by wrangling with the State Bar to let them easily change Carr’s bar status, guess no one can stop him from doing that.

But…this we know…by Chris Carr not knowing one thing about the true practice of law…he will be relying on Department of Law lawyers for his ‘guidance’…and some of those guys/gals regularly engage in violations of the Georgia RICO Act, as well as engaging in other notorious acts of legal malpractice.

So, if Mr. Carr would like to risk his future as being the Top Legal Chia Pet (even though he would be unqualified to advise someone on even how to fight a traffic ticket at this juncture), be our guest in getting sucked into a cesspool of malpracticing, crooked-to-their-core Georgia government lawyers. Hey, nothing like a federal indictment landing at your front door to wake you up in the morning, eh, Mr. (future) Chia Attorney General?

How much of a slimebag lawyer is AG Sam Olens?

politicalvine, September 21st, 2016

Sam Olens tries to silence opposition by having him disbarred

“Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens conceded in pleadings filed in federal court that there was never any basis for his request to have a duly licensed attorney barred from practicing in Georgia or pursuing claims against the Attorney General.

“In July of 2016, Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens filed a pleading with US District Court Judge Eleanor Ross requesting an order to have the attorney pursuing state and federal RICO claims against the Attorney General and other state officials barred from practice in the state and federal courts of Georgia.

“Olens based the request for this extreme measure on alleged “abuse of the legal process.” This serious charge was based on the attorney supposedly filing the federal RICO action in defiance of two previous state court orders dismissing actions brought on the same set of facts.

“However, in the July pleading the Attorney General neglected to mention that both of the state court dismissal orders Olens relied on had been reversed and vacated–and therefore had no legal effect whatsoever, and certainly did not bar the action from being moved from state to federal court, much less call for the lawyer to be barred from practice.”

Read the full story over at http://gwmac.com/sam-olens-tries-silence-opposition-disbarred/

Today's Deep Thought

You might think that the favorite plant of the porcupine is the cactus, but it's thinking like that that has almost ruined this country.



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