Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

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Stalking Statute vs. First Amendment: Which should win?

by Bill Simon

I am fascinated with the degree of ignorance exhibited by so-called “professional reporters” at media outlets like the AJC. I actually thought Jim Galloway, Dan Malloy, and Greg Bluestein were smart(er) than most of the rest…at least smarter than the Huffington-Post. I’m never making that presumption again.

I have to give credit to a true, smart journalist, for the following statement she made on Facebook regarding this incident with George Chidi and him getting served a Temporary Protective Order initiated by Tom Owens: “Correlation does not mean causation.” (- Benita Dodd, who now works with Georgia Public Policy Foundation)

Meaning, that just because Chidi got served a TPO on Monday…after the time of his publication of the hit-piece on Tom Owens, that does not mean that the publication of the story caused the TPO to be obtained and issued. And, in fact, it did not. The timeline of actual, documented events proves that.

But, before I get to the timeline of events, I wish to offer proof of Tom Owens’ claim that George Chidi did NOT, in fact, identify himself as a journalist, a reporter, or a blogger.

Upon seeing Tom Owens for the first time at the September 18 event at St. Anne’s, Chidi approached Owens and said I know who you are, and I am going to destroy you…” and he said that without identifying himself to be a “reporter” or a “journalist” or a “blogger” with the infamous PeachPundit.Slime blog.

Let me show you folks something. Here is Side 1 of a business card I got from Ariel Hart, Reporter for the AJC back in 2012: http://www.politicalvine.com/dekalb/REAL-AJC-Reporter-1.jpg

Here is Side 2 of that same card: http://www.politicalvine.com/dekalb/REAL-AJC-Reporter-2.jpg

THAT card identifies someone with the media.

Do you want to know what George Chidi provided the Owens’ campaign people with for his “ID” on September 18, 2014? This card: http://www.politicalvine.com/dekalb/GeorgeChidiBC.jpg

His Pine Lake City Council business card. Show me ANY indication on this card that identifies him to BE a “journalist”, a “reporter” or a “blogger.”

Chidi ASSUMED people knew who he was because he ASSUMED he was some great dude in the political blogging world…a world that the real working people in the world ignore because they (believe it or not…I know this will be a shock) have…gasp…other things going on in their lives!

Tom Owens is about 62 years old, has served for 20 some-odd years in the Army, putting-up with ALL kinds of stuff that punk-ass bloggers and reporters for the AJC, et al. have never bothered to do (wouldn’t have the guts TO do), and he had no idea who the “Great (sic) George Chidi” was.

So, Owens had never heard of him, and all he knew of George Chidi inside of 3 minutes was a) Chidi was an asshole, and b) Chidi was a threatening asshole, and c) Chidi was a city councilman of some po-dunk city, and d) Tom Owens did not want ANYTHING to do with Chidi, and he told Chidi to leave him alone.

After telling Chidi to leave him alone, Chidi texted him multiple times, called him on the phone, and addressed him at public events…which all constituted violations of Georgia’s Stalking Statute:

OCGA 16-5-90. Stalking;

(a)(1) A person commits the offense of stalking when he or she follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person at or about a place or places without the consent of the other person for the purpose of harassing and intimidating the other person. For the purpose of this article, the terms “computer” and “computer network” shall have the same meanings as set out in Code Section 16-9-92; the term “contact” shall mean any communication including without being limited to communication in person, by telephone, by mail, by broadcast, by computer, by computer network, or by any other electronic device; and the place or places that contact by telephone, mail, broadcast, computer, computer network, or any other electronic device is deemed to occur shall be the place or places where such communication is received. For the purpose of this article, the term “place or places” shall include any public or private property occupied by the victim other than the residence of the defendant. For the purposes of this article, the term “harassing and intimidating” means a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes emotional distress by placing such person in reasonable fear for such person’s safety or the safety of a member of his or her immediate family, by establishing a pattern of harassing and intimidating behavior, and which serves no legitimate purpose. This Code section shall not be construed to require that an overt threat of death or bodily injury has been made.

Now, as to the timeline, this is the precise order of events:

Sunday, October 5: Tom Owens goes to the DeKalb County Magistrate Court to seek an arrest warrant for Chidi who continues to stalk him after being told to leave him alone. What he gets is this date of a Notice of a Warrant/Probable Cause Hearing which specifies the two Georgia Statutes Chidi violated: OCGA 16-5-90, and OCGA 16-11-39.1 (harassing phone calls, repeated calls)

The Magistrate Judge recommends to Owens to go to the DeKalb Superior Court the next morning to get a TPO issued against Chidi. On the evening of October 5, at a forum, Chidi approaches Owens and engages, yet again. That sealed it for Owens to hit the courthouse the very next morning, Monday, October 6.

Monday, October 6 at 9:00 AM: Chidi publishes his 5-page hit piece against Owens.

Owens is already IN the DeKalb County Courthouse at that time of the morning, waiting in line to get his TPO signed. I doubt he saw the article Chidi published while he was in court…and if he did, it didn’t matter. He was already in the process of applying for the TPO due to Chidi stalking him.

Look on Page 4 of these documents in this PDF see the Time and Date Stamp of Owens Application for a TPO…it says “OCT 6 9:52 AM”, stamped by the Court as “FILED.”

NOW…the TPO was supposed to be delivered in 1-3 days by the Sheriff’s Office. It got expedited to be delivered that day (October 6) because of actions Chidi took to beat-up Owens more, and defame him by way of combining a picture of Tom Owens, with the written statement ON HIS FACEBOOK WALL of “There’s nothing quite like interviewing a man while he’s ready to shoot you.” (I have that graphic).

So, when someone saw that post by Chidi, they tipped-off Owens to see it, and he called the Sheriff”s Office to let them know that Chidi was now publishing material to defame and ruin him. And, the Sheriff’s Office pulled-up the graphic, and THAT post of Chidi’s caused the Sheriff’s office to get a deputy to jump the line and make a beeline to deliver the TPO to Chidi’s house ASAP that day.

The thing is, on this whole story, Chidi (a self-described Progressive) did not initiate this thing on his own. Todd Rehm did by encouraging Chidi to destroy Tom Owens because Todd Rehm has almost as equal a losing record of backing candidates for office as “The Editors of PeachPundit.com” have (who have twice backed Karen Handel for statewide office, once in 2010 and again in 2014, and both times, Handel lost).

And, Todd Rehm tried to get Nancy Jester elected for State School Superintendent. She came in 5th out of a field of nine earlier this year. (He also went all-in to try and get Bob Barr in for the 11th CD…he lost that race, too, for Barr.)

He, along with Senator Fran Millar, have political hardons for some bizarre reason to get fired DeKalb County School Board Member Nancy Jester elected to SOME other elected office where she can screw-over the taxpayers again with her incompetency.

Actually, the reason why Millar wants Jester is because he sells insurance to municipalities, and he wants to be the inside-dealer with Nancy Jester to see if he can worm himself into DeKalb County government.

Todd Rehm pretty much hates everyone (including himself), but he most hates people who tell the truth. So, he will continue to malign Tom Owens in his daily publication drivel, and his “fellow ilk” like Mike Hassinger (who has also lost a lot of races for candidates he backed), et al. will also continue to spread ill will and misinformation about Tom Owens.

These younger turds like Todd Rehm are just useless human beings when it comes to being decent to veterans like Tom Owens.

I would say “May God have mercy on your souls” but I don’t think any of these people deserve “mercy.” They who choose to treat people like Tom Owens the way they treat him should have to experience in Eternity exactly what they inflict on others while they live on Earth.

Follow me on Twitter: @PoliticalVine2

Amanda Swafford

US Senate Candidate

One Response to “Stalking Statute vs. First Amendment: Which should win?”

  1. Alan Wood Says:

    Good article Bill. I had no idea about all those details until I read your take. Not surprised that guy writes for the Peach Pundit. Check this article I wrote out which links people here


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Instead of having 'answers' on a math test, they should just call them 'impressions,' and if you got a different 'impression,' so what, can't we all be brothers?


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