DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, one of metro Atlanta’s most powerful leaders, finally told jurors and the public his side of the story Wednesday, testifying in his corruption trial that he never retaliated against county contractors who refused to give campaign contributions.
It happened in 2012. Georgia won the SEC East and played Alabama for the conference title. Georgia Tech tied Miami and North Carolina for first in the ACC Coastal but, since the Tar Heels were ineligible and the Hurricanes chose in late November to remove themselves from postseason play, the Yellow Jackets advanced to meet Florida State in the league championship game.
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Sometimes the most interesting part of a political rally is what unfolds on the sidelines.
As Georgia’s top Republican candidates gave their stump speeches on Saturday at an Alpharetta event, a chess match was playing out a few feet from the podium between the Democratic tracker hired to film Gov. Nathan Deal and GOP Senate nominee David Perdue and the crowd members tasked with blocking him.
Republicans and Democrats have long employed trackers in Georgia, and during the primary Perdue was sometimes followed by multiple video-camera armed men hired by Democrats and GOPers hoping to catch a gaffe. Democrat Jason Carter was also tagged with one shortly after he announced his gubernatorial bid.
Often, the trackers are treated like just another TV camera at events, but sometimes they are given the cold shoulder. Here’s a glimpse at the complex yet captivating dance between tracker and blocker that took place on Saturday.
It started with a two-pronged effort to block the tracker with a pair of signs:
As the tracker elevated, so too did the blocker, with the help of a nearby folding chair:
Then came the fancy footwork:
Next, the tracker pulled at a secondary camera on his cell phone to film the action. Another blocker quickly came to obstruct that lens.
Finally, near the end of the event, the frustrated tracker was hemmed in from all sides. He still was able to get audio, of course, just not any visual to go with his recording.