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Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

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Pumpkin Gate: The Dawsonville Saga Continues

by Bill Simon

Prelude

According to the DawsonNews.com website, Sheriff’s Deputy Tony Wooten has been “cleared” of any wrongdoing in his arrest of Nydia Tisdale on August 23rd at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm (and also the secret location of The Clint Bearden Official Training Camp for Former Law Partners of David Ralston on How To Batter Women), located in bucolic Dawsonville, Georgia.

Well, maybe according to “police procedures” and the way the state law as it currently must exist in this state, he is “cleared” by his employer, Sheriff Billy Carlisle, of not doing anything “unlawful.”

But, I would submit to you that when it comes to any LEO (“Law Enforcement Officer”) promulgating the laws of this state, that apparently it is the State of Georgia (“State”), the legal entity represented by the Legislative Branch (and all members of the State House and State Senate therein), the Executive Branch (the Governor, the Lt. Governor, the Secretary of State, the Labor Commissioner, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Agriculture, the State School Superintendent, the members of the Public Service Commission, and all sub-departments, boards and commissions thereof), and the Judicial Branch…it is the State’s current contention that there is NO REQUIREMENT for an LEO to verbally and clearly identify him/herself AS AN LEO before grabbing someone and hauling them off to jail.

Tony Wooten may not have done anything wrong himself…perhaps his defense will be that he was acting as an duly-authorized, “qualified-immunity-protected” agent of the State of Georgia, and the federal district court judge will give him a bye.

But, the main entity responsible for this ordeal is NOT Nydia Tisdale, but the State of Georgia…and how it is the corrupt entity here to allow someone’s right to their exercise of life, liberty and their pursuit of happiness to be violated without due process of law.

The Video

Sheriff Carlisle returned Tisdale’s video-camera to her yesterday, and late last night she uploaded a segment of the tape dealing with Wooten grabbing her. As you watch this take place, you will note that Nydia Tisdale is continually ASKING Wooten what his name is, and he snidely continued to refuse to answer….and when he answered, he gleefully told her she was going to jail.

In fact, at some point in the process (around the 18-minute mark), Wooten is heard to say to Tisdale “You know who I am, you saw my badge.” And Tisdale says “No, I didn’t.”

Now, here’s the thing, While Wooten is seen wearing a logoed Dawson County Sheriff’s Office polo shirt…that does not constitute a “badge.”

Because…a logo’d shirt can be created by anyone, yes, even with the official Dawson County Sheriff’s logo on it…and have it NOT be authorized by the Sheriff’s office. Ever heard of knock-offs? Really simple to accomplish when you have the right tools and knowledge (if anyone doubts me, I’ll produce an example for Tisdale’s defense to prove it).

So, since Wooten clearly never identifies himself as an LEO, was Tisdale, as a citizen, supposed to just comply with everything he demanded? Should she have believed him that he had any authority to do so? WHY is it not required in this state that any LEO acting as an Agent of the State must say the following: “MY name is Tony Wooten, I am a Sheriff’s Deputy with the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office, and the owners have instructed me to tell you to stop recording”?

Because if you believe that Tisdale (or, ANY woman) who is accosted by a male merely wearing a LE logoed shirt (and who does not identify himself via his name) should simply slump and not resist, then I would suggest to you that you might be a crazy psychopathic whackjob. Or, perhaps, you are the sitting Governor of the State of Georgia. (In this particular incident, it’s the same thing in the final effect.)

Because, then you are promoting scumbags everywhere to don “official looking LE clothing” (which can be purchased online by non-LEO people) and just go up to any woman they want and grab them and pull them off…and encouraging/training the women of THIS state to immediately comply and not demand to know who the hell is grabbing them and what authority do they have.

Apparently what happened prior to Wooten’s appearance (I am surmising what happened because of Brian Pritchard’s previous discussion of the events about Bearden’s involvement), is that first, Clint Bearden had sat down next to Nydia and whispered whatever he requested her to do, but Nydia was operating under the impression that it was a “public event” and she was allowed to video-record (Note: in a few paragraphs, I will provide the evidence that this event was an event HOSTED by Governor Nathan Deal’s campaign where his campaign publicized it as a “public event.”).

After Bearden didn’t convince her of anything, Wooten was “sent” by someone to get her to stop. You cannot hear either Bearden or Wooten because the video-cam is pointed toward the stage…and that’s all you hear until all of a sudden the camera gets turned to Tisdale’s left and there’s Wooten grabbing her with his meaty paws, and then grabbing her and dragging her off. This happens at the 14:10 minute mark of this video:

The “Public Event”

Now according to a lot of “opinions” on Facebook, et al., the event was held on private land, and the owner had the “right” to evict her.

That may be true in the finer distinctions of law…however, in the political world, this, for all intents and purposes, was a “political event”, hosted by a political candidate, who coordinated a location owned by a private individual.

I am going to give you 4 exhibits that show the following:

1) This event was created by the Nathan Deal Campaign for Governor.

2) This event was hosted by the Nathan Deal Campaign for Governor.

3) This event was meant by the Nathan Deal Campaign for Governor to be an event welcoming EVERYONE in the “public” to attend.

4) It was publicized in a newspaper in Dawson County to be open to all who wanted to attend.

5) Nydia Tisdale is shown to actually be engaged in helping to promote the event and get others to attend.

Ready?

Exhibit 1 is a graphic snapshot of the publicly-accessible Facebook Page promoting the event…note that it states that the event is “Public”, that it is a “Meetup”…and that it is hosted by the Facebook Nathan Deal campaign:

http://politicalvine.com/2014/dawsoncounty/FBPumpkinFarmInvite-1.jpg

Exhibit 2 is a graphic snapshot of the publicly-accessible Facebook Page promoting the event…from the very bottom that shows WHO created this FB event page,and when it was created: “August 21 at 2:07 PM”

http://politicalvine.com/2014/dawsoncounty/FBPumpkinFarmInvite-3.jpg

Exhibit 3: The ad published in a Dawson County newspaper:

http://politicalvine.com/2014/dawsoncounty/DealNewspaper-Ad.pdf

By the way…on this newspaper ad where it has a Deal ad and a Perdue ad…what is the FEC law regarding disclosure on ads containing federal candidates? I am not keeping-up with these things anymore.

Exhibit 4: This graphic is a picture of my (Bill Simon’s) Facebook invitation FROM Tisdale who had “Shared” the event from the Deal FB event page where it shows “Invited by Nydia Tisdale.”

http://politicalvine.com/2014/dawsoncounty/FBPumpkinFarmInvite-1B.jpg

This last graphic is kinda important to understanding the interaction between Nydia Tisdale and Kathy Burt.

Before I continue here, let me preface this: I was not at the event. I did not hear the conversation between Kathy Burt and Nydia Tisdale. I am not taking sides here as to what Tisdale said and what Kathy Burt (and her daughter, who is referenced by Johnny Burt in the first DawsonNews.com article) either heard or what she interpreted to have been said by Tisdale.

But, this last graphic DOES corroborate exactly what Nydia claimed in the video that SHE promoted the event and found out about the event via Nathan Deal’s FACEBOOK Event Page.

So, for the cooler heads in the reading audience, I respectfully ask you to put yourself in the shoes of both Nydia Tisdale and then Kathy Burt for what I believe is close to the following series of events that happened:

Nydia Tisdale lives in Roswell, so she would not have seen the Dawson County newspaper ad. She found out about this event solely via the Nathan Deal Campaign’s Facebook event page that his campaign people created, and then requested people to Share with their friends to attend.

Nydia Tisdale sees on the Nathan Deal-sponsored Event Page that it was a “Public Event” and that the Governor was “Hosting” it. For whatever drives her to do these things, she really digs going to events and videotaping them. I’ve never asked her why, but that is what she considers to be her dedicated duty (similar to why I am driven to spend my entire freaking Saturday writing things like this issue of the Vine).

Just the previous week, she had uploaded her video of a Roswell event that she recorded from August 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilrpR9uPViY

Do note that during that Roswell event, at no time did she heckle any speaker, or ask questions of any kind.

So, back to what I believe likely went on in Tisdale’s mind when she saw the event notice for a “Public Event Hosted by Nathan Deal” (who IS the “Governor”): She checks her calendar, she is free that day and that time, and confirms that she will attend the “Public Event Hosted by Nathan Deal, the Governor,” for his reelection campaign. (I am repeating all this for a reason…the reason being Nydia had previously been thrown out of a public meeting in Forsyth County by a LEO directed to do it by Cumming Mayor H. Ford Gravitt…and Gravitt was recently adjudicated to be in the wrong on that ordeal. So, seeing the Governor’s FB page state “Public Meetup” that meant in her mind that this was an event she could record, unmolested…)

She shows-up to Burt’s Farm last Saturday, finds Kathy Burt, who is likely stationed somewhere on the premises, welcoming people (I assume this because I ASSUME she may be a Southern lady raised in the South, and this is what Southern ladies do whenever a shindig is thrown that they are hosting)…and Nydia walked-up to her, introduced herself, and said something to the effect of “I was invited to this event via the Governor’s Facebook page, and I’m here to just film the events.”

Kathy Burt, standing there, greeting how ever many people she was greeting that day, heard this and interpreted it to mean that Nydia said she was there “at the invitation of the Governor to film him.” Or, something similar.

Because, I am certain Kathy Burt was not aware of the Facebook Event page set-up by the Governor’s campaign. But Tisdale used that language regarding the “Governor’s invitation” via the Facebook Page because that was HOW she came to know about the event.

So, I believe Kathy Burt interpreted Nydia Tisdale to have said something like “I am here with the Governor to film him and others.”

And, what did Tisdale claim while screaming to Wooten on that video is that she was invited via Facebook by the Governor’s Facebook event page, and that she promoted the event…two facts I just proved beyond reasonable doubt to be 100% true. (The State is going to have a bitch of a problem proving her to be an unreliable person with these graphics I’ve provided. But, as a friend of mine often says “grand juries will indict a ham sandwich in this state if the DA brings a compelling enough case to support it”)

So, again, I do hope cooler heads prevail here, and that Kathy Burt might rethink what Nydia said, and how what she said could have been possibly misconstrued by her to mean something that Nydia did not mean it to mean.

The Governor said he was “uncomfortable”…

This event, Hosted by Governor Nathan Deal’s Reelection Campaign was intended to be a PUBLIC EVENT (’cause, that’s what the Facebook Page says it is). It was created and intended to be a “public event” for any and all to come and experience the day.

Nowhere were there any signs instructing people to not video-record. Lots and lots of campaign signs of all the “Republicans” who were there, promoting their candidacy, and “rallying the troops.”

Also, as you ponder this scenario, those of you involved in politics, and know about political events, ask yourself this: If anyone was to be thrown-out of a political event (anyone who is not obviously disrupting the event) hosted by a candidate, is it not the duty of the “property owner” to consult with the HOST of the event to see if a woman quietly sitting in a chair on the front row, videotaping speeches, should be thrown-out?

Because that was not done. Not that there was a legal requirement for it to be done…I know what the law says…I’m arguing political event protocol here. For the Governor to merely remark to the AJC that he was “uncomfortable” with the scene of Wooten dragging Tisdale away is to demonstrate to me, that here’s a guy who took an oath to “uphold the Georgia Constitution”, and ended-up merely being “uncomfortable” with how his State agents carried out their interpretation of the Constitution.

As an aside, Governor Deal, do you know what us normal people (i.e., people who did not swear on a Bible to uphold the Constitution) consider to be “uncomfortable?” As an example, it’s…spending 17 hours, sweating in the same pair of underwear you put on in the morning…and feeling chafing in unmentionable parts of the body. That, Governor, is an example of an “uncomfortable” feeling.

That you, and the rest of the “Republican” yutzes there at Burt’s Farm, blithely remain sitting at an event….an event YOUR CAMPAIGN HOSTED, while someone who had been actually videotaping YOU previously, like the event on August 2 in Roswell, that you consciously (unless you were stoned on drugs that day…) attended and participated in ….I’m not “ashamed” of you, Governor…I’m disgusted by you. And, after 17 freaking years in political activism in this state, it now takes a LOT to disgust me. You’ve succeeded in one answer of “uncomfortable.”

In fact, I’m not just disgusted, I’m fed-up with supporting useless milquetoasts like you who, not only care only about yourself…BUT, you actually had the audacity to instruct your campaign spokesperson, Jen Tabler, to state to the AJC about your hosted event that “As this incident was in no way related to Deal for Governor, I am referring you to the owner of the private property at which the event took place.”

And then, there is this lie out of your mouth, Governor, according to this same AJC article: The governor said Tisdale’s ouster made him feel “uncomfortable” but because he was a guest he had no involvement in the decision.

Really? You were a “guest” at (pardon me while I repeat this, again) your…Publicly Advertised Meetup Event…on Facebook…an event Hosted by the Nathan Deal Campaign? Come again?

So, Governor, you felt that you had no right to stand-up at YOUR EVENT, and say “Look, she’s videotaping, we believe in the right to free speech in this country, and freedom of the press and she’s not doing anything wrong, and I would appreciate it if you would just leave her alone, and allow her to continue.”?

You did not have the balls to stand-up and say that? I mean, Sam Olens plucked-up enough courage after 15 minutes or so to speak-out against the crap that happened. But you, Governor Deal, did not have the temerity to do that at your…own…hosted event? Nevermind that it was Johnny Burt’s property…it was your event.

But, I realize…after seeing the $800 contribution good ‘ole Johnny Burt gave you for your 2014 campaign, that you are bought, branded, and too paid for to consider spending any time standing-up for the rights of anyone who isn’t paying you any money.

You an I live in a completely different world, Governor, and that is clear. But I have absolutely ZERO desire to allow you, or any other statewide candidate that was there and witness this crap happen, to get either elected or reelected. Because, this kind of crap is beyond “politics.”

The hurt and injury (both physical and mental) exacted against Nydia Tisdale by an agent of YOUR State… supersedes any “Republican Party principles (sic).”

It is beyond the pale of human decency. As long as this condition of LEOs not being required to a) verbally identify themselves as to who the hell they are before disrupting someone’s life, and b) not being required to ensure that the person heard and understood what he/she was saying before grabbing someone and dragging them off… I will not be supporting any statewide Republican for any office unless they publicly announce how disgusted they are, a well, with those events. (And, Gary Black…I know Johnny Burt gave you $1000 in a campaign contribution…does that mean you’re too chicken to stand-up for what’s right and what’s wrong? Are you as ball-less as the Governor is? My guess is you are, Gary…which is why I will be recommending to everyone I know to vote for Chris Irvin )

And, for any state senator or state representative in the Republican column who has been in the General Assembly since January of 2005 (when the Republicans took full control over writing, passing, and signing into law legislation)…as far as I’m concerned you are also as directly responsible for the act of the Sheriff’s Deputy as though you were physically engaged in it yourself.

I know, you folks in the Legislature will say “But, Bill we didn’t know about this condition in the law.” Yeah, well, Nydia Tisdale was not aware that she could be forcibly ejected from a PUBLIC Event, Hosted by Nathan Deal, but she has to suffer for her ignorance. You legislators should suffer for your ignorance as well.

Hell, you have no problem passing gobs of legislation to help the Georgia Chamber of Commerce interests…or the Georgia Municipal Association’s interests…but, then again, I guess when someone hand feeds you until you explode by about 300 lbs of gained fat around your waists, cheeks, jowls, thighs, and ass cheeks, what else could you possibly think about doing other than doing everything they ask you to do?

You know, couple this LEO-identification issue with the destruction of any concept of a viable “ethics agency” in this state, and we are a mere one step away from a complete Fascist-controlled State. The only thing (just a tiny step here) preventing the police from doing this bullshit more often that Wooten “legally” did is the fact that we believe in and exercise the 2nd Amendment in this state…and, (knock on wood) not all the judges are as corrupt as the police are. Not yet anyway, but that number of corrupt judges is growing in this state.

The level of Fascism in this state was caused solely by Republican rule for the past 10 years in their complete control of the Legislative and Executive Branch of the State of Georgia.

And that fact doesn’t leave us with too many choices of great alternatives, but people who give a crap about the rights of people to attend (one final time) Publicly Promoted Campaign Events Hosted By Governor Nathan Deal and similar types of events and not get accosted because they didn’t understand the sudden rule change, well THOSE people will opt to not vote for the Republicans in this state.

Because, while I cannot stand the principles (sic) of the Democratic Platform, I have seriously come to the following, acceptable conclusion to my worldview: As a Republican (one who has voted for over 25 years for Republicans), I know that the key difference between these two parties in this state is that the Democrats will have the balls to stab me in the front…because I know where they are mentally, and when it comes to relying on someone to consistently stick to their principles, I begrudgingly have to respect that.

Republicans, on the other hand, will always stab the people — people who worked for them, who “licked envelopes” for them, who volunteered hours upon hours of time for the “cause” to get Republicans elected — in the back.

The vast majority of the Republican leaders (people in positions of leading others) in elected political office, in appointed political office, in county parties, etc. in this state are lying, gutless, corrupt-minded people who do not have the character to do the right thing when it matters.

4 Responses to “Pumpkin Gate: The Dawsonville Saga Continues”

  1. Sue Deaunym Says:

    Bill,

    Having just recently found your politicalvine blog while tracking the story of Nydia Tisdale’s arrest and eviction from the Dawson Co. GOP rally, I want to begin by praising your thoroughness and attention to detail. While I may arrive at different conclusions than yours, your accounts of who said what about which aspect of the story of Tisdale’s malicious treatment really helps me understand what happened, out in the open and behind the scenes. THANKS! KEEP IT UP!

    As my understanding of the scene is enriched by your blogs, it is becoming apparent to me that this story has the potential to be a political game-changer, both locally and nationally. Several issues:

    1) Regardless of how it is dealt with legally, and who encounters and avoids adverse consequences, everyone with any sense or sensitivity knows that Ms. Tisdale’s treatment at Burt’s was indefensible. EVEN IF Ms. Tisdale is found guilty of the confabulatory charges, that it happened at a public event promoting the local GOP candidates – none of whom intervened – makes conservatives seem irresponsible, and conservativism appear terribly mean-spirited.

    2) It reveals the contrivance, underhandedness and misogyny of the bible-belt GOP. I’m hoping it will discourage conservative females from knee-jerk voting for Republican candidates, and prompt more liberal and mainstream women to register and vote. (And vote responsibly!) It exemplifies potential political blowback in the GOP “war on women.”

    3) In the aftermath of the Michael Brown, John Crawford and other more blatant cases of law misinforcement, it exposes another (thankfully less fatal) example of a police officer violating the rights of a citizen, showing quite poor judgment, and behaving very badly. This speaks to the more recent theme of police malevolence.

    4) Much of the argument in favor of Ms. Tisdale’s arrest is based on the rights of private property owners. While the Burts can hardly be seen as part of our nation’s wealthy 1%, they believed this justified their violation of the constitutional rights of a nondisruptive citizen on their property rather heinously. In the recent challenges to the sense of entitlement of the wealthy, this may be another example of the need for empowerment of the middle class, and the preservation of their rights.

    There are many more issues relevant for this incident, but these are, in my view, the most critical ones. I hope Ms. Tisdale’s dreadful experience will come to the attention of the national press as it facilitates dialogue on these issues. Your fine blogging about the incident and its implications should be greatly appreciated!

  2. Alan Wood Says:

    I run a Georgia watchdog blog so I have been following this story closely. I have read around a dozen stories or more and yours by far was the most well-written and well-reasoned one thus far. Excellent work!

    As a former Republican myself that became sick the Tea Party types spitting on what was once a party that stood for something I especially loved thus “Because, while I cannot stand the principles (sic) of the Democratic Platform, I have seriously come to the following, acceptable conclusion to my worldview: As a Republican (one who has voted for over 25 years for Republicans), I know that the key difference between these two parties in this state is that the Democrats will have the balls to stab me in the front…because I know where they are mentally, and when it comes to relying on someone to consistently stick to their principles, I begrudgingly have to respect that.”

    People like Nathan Deal are not Republicans. They are simply out to get rich before they retire or get caught. Hope you check out a few articles I wrote on Nate on my blog. I am not a fan of his.

  3. Bill Simon Says:

    Mr. Wood,

    I appreciate you visiting and posting….but, I have to correct something: The “Tea Party Types” of Republicans are HATED by Nathan Deal and the establishment Republicans in this state. Absolutely despised by Deal and his crowd. They hate having to adhere to a concept of fiscal responsibility and ethical actions.

    While I understand people like you find it far easier to demonize things, the majority of the people who are of the Tea Party Mindset…as it currently exists…want LESS government, MORE ethical leaders….MORE moral leaders….and more personal liberty and freedom.

    You’re allowed to post from here on out…but, if I catch you smack-talking the Tea Party folks again with false assumptions, I’ll respond accordingly. 🙂

  4. Alan Wood Says:

    Didn’t mean to offend and we will have to agree to disagree when it comes to the Tea Party. In any case that point was irrelevant as to why I commented which was simply to say I am glad to have found such a quality blog and to thank you. I tweeted Nydia and also sent the link to Reddit.

Today's Deep Thought

Sometimes, when I drive across the desert in the middle of the night, with no other cars around, I start imagining: what if there were no civilization out there? No cities, no factories, no people? And then I think: no people or factories? Then who made this car? And this highway? And I get so confused I have to stick my head out the window into the driving rain---unless there's lightning, because I could get struck on the head by a bolt.



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