DO GEORGIA REPUBLICANS have something to hide? Probably not, but that’s not what you might guess from the way some of them reacted at a high-profile public rally on private property Saturday in Dawsonville.
The lineup at the Burt’s Pumpkin Farm event featured most of the names that will be atop this fall’s GOP General Election ballot, including those of Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue.
Midway through the remarks from the stage, a Dawson County deputy forcibly removed a video journalist, Nydia Tisdale of Roswell, who was seated on the front row — reportedly along with the governor and his wife. While it is routine these days for campaigns to send videographers to record their opponents’ public events, Tisdale, owner of AboutForsyth.com, is reportedly nonpartisan.
Tisdale can be heard screaming in pain in the background on another tape of the incident posted on the Jasper-based website pickens.fetchyournews.com/archives/4611-Video-Journalist-Forcefully-Removed-From-Republican-Meeting!.html.
AFTER THE DUST SETTLED State Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black introduced the next scheduled speaker, state Attorney General Sam Olens.
And the crowd — most of which had sat on their hands or laughed (as indicated by the tape) as the journalist was booted out — got more than they probably bargained for from Olens, who is well known as an advocate for strengthening the state’s Sunshine Laws.
“Let me be possibly politically incorrect here 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? That 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? … Who’s the winner in the long run? Not a good move.”
Not by a long shot.
Turns out those running the show at the event “picked on the wrong Marine,” as the saying goes. Olens and Tisdale have a history of sorts. The attorney general came down on her side two years ago after the mayor of Cumming ordered her to stop taping a council meeting and then had her escorted out of the council chambers. Olens ruled afterward that the city had violated the state’s Open Meetings Act and asked the city be fined $1,000 and that Tisdale be reimbursed for attorney fees.
As for Olens’ “apology” for being politically incorrect, more power to him. We only regret there aren’t more elected officials who are equally “incorrect.”
MANY READERS might not realize it, but Cobb is deep in the throes of a heroin epidemic, with numerous fatal overdoses reported in the past year. The latest evidence was last week’s bust by Cobb police of a heroin-distribution ring involving 48 people.
And while there are many typical “lowlifes” at the center of things, the epidemic’s tentacles have reached well beyond that.
Around Town gets plenty of news releases, most of them run-of-the-mill and not worth more than a line or two in the paper. But not the one we received Monday courtesy of Cobb’s leading heroinawareness organization, the Davis Direction Foundation. The non-profit was formed earlier this year by two grieving parents, Missy and Michael Owen of Kennesaw. We quote:
“Five months ago today, the doorbell rang and the detectives told us that our precious son had been found dead in his car due to a suspected heroin overdose,” it begins. “Our world was forever changed. Davis was the oldest son of our five children and was a brilliant, beautiful and compassionate child. He was overcome with stress in his life and turned to opiates in the family medicine cabinet to address his anxious and sleepdeprived existence.
"He was a chosen leader: president of his senior class at Kennesaw Mountain High School, editor of his high school yearbook, Top 10 percent, Hall of Fame, and nominated to be Mr. KMHS. While attending Kennesaw State University and making the Dean’s List, he died alone in his car at the age of 20, leaving behind a precious daughter, four siblings and a devastated Mom and Dad.
“Since that time, we have chosen to make a difference for other families involved in the fastest-growing epidemic in our nation. … The ‘Heroin Highway’ is running through every major city in America and we are losing the brightest and best to this deadly drug. Enough heroin to kill a person is available on street corners in every major city in America for less than $10 a bag.”
The Owens set up the Davis Direction Foundation to raise awareness, help Cobb families network with the treatment and recovery agencies in the area and give support to families and law enforcement officers who are on the front line battling heroin addiction.
The group plans its first-ever “A Day for Davis” Golf Tournament and Charity Auction Sept. 15 at the Governor’s Towne Club in Acworth. For more info, go to www.cobbfoundation.org/2014/07/a-day-fordavis-first-annual-golf-tournament-auction/.
EVENTS: The North Georgia State Fair has a powerhouse lineup of country music acts coming next month, including Mark Wills on Sept. 20, Jo Dee Messina on Sept. 24, Cobb native Travis Tritt on Sept. 25 and the legendary Kenny Rogers on Sept. 26. The concerts are free with paid admission to the fair, which officially is known as the Superior Plumbing North Georgia State Fair. ...
Cobb Taxpayers Association Chairman and SPLOST opponent Lance Lamberton will be guest speaker at Saturday’s 8 a.m. breakfast meeting of the Madison Forum at The Rib Ranch in east Marietta.