Posted: 6:28 pm Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

How a plan to keep a GOP rally off the Internet went awry 

By Jim Galloway

Last Saturday began very sweetly for Nydia Tisdale, citizen journalist.

She was at Burt’s Farm in Dawsonville, a private concern mobbed by tourists during pumpkin season, to point her video camera at several GOP candidates at the top of the November ballot.

They were scheduled to speak at the rally, which had been advertised as a come-one, come-all event.

Most journalists, this one included, are capitalists. We do what we do for money – and God bless the publishers who pay us. But there are those who write and operate their cameras for free, simply because they are driven.

Tisdale is one of those. She had arrived early enough to claim a seat on the front row, and quickly ran into Attorney General Sam Olens. “I knew you’d be here,” he said.

Before she was tossed out of the event, Nydia Tisdale snagged of photo of herself with Attorney General Sam Olens. Photo courtesy of Brian Pritchard, fetchyournews.com

Before she was tossed out of the event, Nydia Tisdale snagged of photo of herself with Attorney General Sam Olens. Photo courtesy of Brian Pritchard, fetchyournews.com

Olens asked her for a private word, and Tisdale obliged. In 2012, the mayor of Cumming, Ga., had tossed Tisdale from a city council meeting – for pointing her camera at the proceedings.

Olens had taken up for the 51-year-old journalist. Two days earlier, the attorney general told her, a judge had signed an order that leveled a $12,000 fine at the city and mayor for violating the state’s open meetings law. The decision wouldn’t become part of the court record until Monday, but Olens wanted her to know.

“I was on Cloud Nine. I was ebullient,” she said. A judge had recognized that what she did had value, and should be protected. Tisdale asked a fellow journalist to snap a feel-good photo of her and her protector.

That was as good as Tisdale’s Saturday would get. Within the hour, she would be screaming, bent double over a store counter in her black sun dress, with her arms twisted behind her and a deputy close on her haunches.

All because she had pointed her video camera at Republican candidates. Not a proud moment for a political party in need of female support.

It began with a speech by state Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, who has earned local renown for speaking off the cuff. Last August, Hudgens became a video star on Democratic websites, when he declared himself an Obamacare “obstructionist.”

But on Saturday, Hudgens’ target was Democrat Michelle Nunn, the U.S. Senate candidate, and her recent debate performance with Republican David Perdue. “I thought I was going to absolutely puke,” the state insurance commissioner said to much laughter.

And then he looked at Tisdale, who was on the same front row as Gov. Nathan Deal and his wife. “I don’t know why you’re videotaping,” Hudgens said.

Organizers of the event said they had barred Democratic trackers and their cameras – which they could, given that it was on private property. But Tisdale is not a tracker. “I don’t sell my work. I put it up on YouTube,” she would later explain.

It doesn’t make sense, but if a political rally is to be conducted within a secret Cone of Silence, then the polite and sane thing to do is for someone in authority to go to the microphone and announce the policy – and apply it to everyone with a smart phone.

From all we can learn, this did not happen. Instead, organizers targeted the woman with the camera in the front row. Brian Pritchard, a capitalist-journalist with fetchyournews.com, sat in the second row. He was not approached. Pritchard kept his voice recorder on and his camera snapping.

Which is how we know what happened next. Clint Bearden, a local attorney and former Dawson County GOP chairman – and one of the organizers, asked Tisdale to stop her videography. She declined, pointing out that she had been invited to attend.

A county deputy was summoned. As we said, Tisdale is driven. She did not go quietly. Her screams punctuated the event.

“I’ve had a lot of things happen as a speaker…” state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler gamely told the crowd over the noise, to nervous laughter.

Tisdale would eventually be charged with trespassing, a misdemeanor, and obstructing an officer “by elbowing him in the right cheek area and kicking him in the right shin.” That last one’s a felony.

”He didn’t need to have his body pressed against my rear end,” Tisdale said Wednesday.

Linda Clary Umberger, chairman of the Dawson County GOP, followed the citizen journalist and the officer to an outbuilding. “I watched as a woman was bent over the counter on her face, with an officer over her,” Umberger said. “If I had been her, I would have elbowed him in the face, too.

“I was so upset at how they handled it – I walked out,” said the county GOP chairman. It was one of those seminal events, she said, likely to split relationships and end friendships. The arresting officer, fetchyournews.com would report Wednesday, has been suspended pending an internal investigation.

The rally went on without Umberger and Tisdale. But only Olens dealt with what everyone had witnessed. The attorney general couldn’t ignore what had just happened to the same woman he’d spent the last two years defending.

“Let me be possibly politically incorrect here a second,” Olens told the crowd. “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?

“Who’s the winner in the long run? Not a good move,” the attorney general finished.

Local reports quote Johnny Burt, co-owner of the tourist attraction, as saying that Olens approached him afterwards and advised him to drop any charges against Tisdale.

Olens has declined further comment. But Sheri Kell, spokeswoman for the Olens re-election campaign, told us that this was not so – the attorney general didn’t learn of the arrest or charges until after he left Burt’s Farm. “He did suggest to Mr. Burt that he should allow her to stay and that we should let her continue to video the rally,” Kell said.

As for Tisdale, she was released on $6,200 bond. She is too bruised to be happy about the outcome of her fight to record the Cumming city council. And her camera, a $1,500 gift from her husband, remains locked up. “I can’t work without it,” she said.

270 comments
PiercePyrite
PiercePyrite

"“If we stand for anything as a party, what are we afraid of with the lady having a camera, filming us?"

That's exactly it.  They don't stand for anything as a party.  They have to portray themselves one way in front of their constituency and another in front of the general public.  

I think this has to do with recent GOP members having their own words destroy their credibility as was the case in the Romney 47% comment.  

Give a Republican a mask and it's the only way he'll tell you the truth about his ideas.

duckboy36
duckboy36

By hosting this event didn't the Burts turn their property into a public forum and losing their right to arbitrarily remove some one from their property for the duration of the event. That is my understanding do to many supreme court rulings. I would appreciate feedback from knowledgeable experts in first amendment and property rights law

cybervigilante
cybervigilante

Let's change that from Republicans to Punkpublicans.

twentysixth
twentysixth

This is the kind of NAZI police state the Republicans want us to live in. As long as we do what they want and don't resist then everything will be fine. 



sandralynnsparks
sandralynnsparks

People in the state of Georgia need to realize that the GOPs in power have been trodding on the first amendment rights of ALL Georgians when they single out anyone they feel is a Democrat or liberal (read that as ANYONE who may not agree with their policies) and tries to deny them the ability to either cover a public meeting or ask questions at a public meeting. The Republican party that once existed in the United States, the one that actually DID believe in constitutional rights, is no more. It has been replaced with opportunists backed by a few rich men who want to destroy our nation, and silence disagreement by strong arm tactics. I will not be voting for ANYONE on the GOP ticket as long as this terrible situation continues.

PSWallace
PSWallace

I am wondering about this incident myself, and am wondering if it may be the case that some of the GOP side are fully aware of the lack of respect for privacy certain Progressives have, and the willingness of the media to help out if it can damage someone who might prove problematic to the great glorious Progressive cause.

In other words, is there anything out there, that if known by a person, would cause that person to have an entirely different perspective on, and willingness to tolerate, Democrat tracking of individuals because of politics? In fact would cause that person to say to themselves "no more. Not one step more further, not one"?

I don't know, but I do wonder.

GREYGHOST
GREYGHOST

Keep up the good work Nydia. You the one.  You got'em on the run. ;-)


LiveFyre you the Place.  :-)

Grey Ghost



Forsyth County
Forsyth County

This Nydeo (video) sent a chill down my spine.  It is loaded with the police brutality, failure to identify as an officer, failure to have proper equipment (handcuffs), inappropriate bodily contact failure, failure of the GOP, failure of Burt's Pumpkin Farm, failure to uphold press rights, failure to uphold journalist rights, failure to uphold women's rights, failure of the Dawson County Sheriff's Office. Please note: Attorney General Sam Olens came to Tisdale's defense and the women seen in the video who came to Mrs. Nydia Tisdale's  defense is Dawson County Republican Chairwoman Linda Clary Umberger.  Also, Sally Forest, the Gilmer County Republican Chairwoman, attended the public event also publicly condemned this action along with Umberger in scathing letters. 

http://www.aboutforsyth.net/v3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7783

JoeMama2
JoeMama2

Every one of those scumbag politicians/public "servants" who stood there silently and did NOTHING deserve to get voted out of office.  They should have told pumpkin-head Burt to stuff his little sideshow and walk out but they were cowards.  I am certainly keeping this incident in mind come November.

quaterhorselady
quaterhorselady

That's exactly right!   “I watched as a woman was bent over the counter on her face, with an officer over her,” Umberger said. “If I had been her, I would have elbowed him in the face, too. “I was so upset at how they handled it – I walked out,” said the county GOP chairman. It was one of those seminal events, she said, likely to split relationships and end friendships. 

Keep it up GOP!  The Dems love your ignorance and misogyny.  Apparently, here in GA, the party of old, white men, who are willfully ignorant and cannot hide it are on their way OUT!  There is no description of the disgust we women feel when confronted with patriarchal ignorance enhanced by the testosterone fueled mishandling of the UNarmed Tisdale by the ARMED policeMAN. 

On second thought, the whole of the Georgia Legislature AND Governor's office can be described as such.  YES, I am angry.  Angry enough to VOTE and WORK on some of the current campaigns to unseat the GOP.

Kayu
Kayu

Reading this again, several things popped out at me:  Olens had to preface his defense of Tisdale by stating he might be politically incorrect.  Why would he have to say that?  He was only stating the truth. Hudgens said that he didn't know why Tisdale was videoing the event but that isn't what he meant by that statement. He meant he wanted her to stop.  Was it cowardness that prevented him from asking her politely to stop what she was doing?  Or was the same dynamic in place that caused Olens to preface his remarks as politically incorrect? The only other person who defended Tisdale, besides Olens, was another woman, Umberger, who said the elbow was justified.  Ever wonder how European Jews could be rounded up, put in ghettos and then shipped off to concentration camps with few speaking up?  Well, that same dynamic happened right here in Georgia.  Others knew what they witnessed wasn't right but didn't stand up for Tisdale. 

Kayu
Kayu

After what happened to Romney the GOP is understandably skittish about being filmed.  However, current video technology is such that undetected video tapng is becoming easier and easier and one day soon video technology will become invisible.  Honest people like Tisdale, who don't try to hide what they are doing, will one day disappear from sight like the video technology they are using. 

Bernie31
Bernie31

A Message to The Gop:

I Want You To Stop Being Afraid...

Of Other Americans

Of Women

Of Other Religions

Of Other Classes

Of Other Races

Of Other Nations

Of Free Speech

Of The Right To Choose

You Are Americans, Act Like It!

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 who is still running around the board today with his arms up feeling the need to do damage control, like someone really cares.  td I hope you are not planning on posting some more Fox News propaganda videos today because they were an epic failure last night.  “I watched as a woman was bent over the counter on her face, with an officer over her,” Umberger said. “If I had been her, I would have elbowed him in the face, too. “I was so upset at how they handled it – I walked out,” said the county GOP chairman. It was one of those seminal events, she said, likely to split relationships and end friendships.  Just when the arrogant, we are right on everything, GOP thinks they have some female votes nailed they show how misogynistic they are and disgust their own women. 

Quandry
Quandry

Overall the Republicans have very good ideas on lowering our taxes and reigning in the government spending.

I like their message on these issues – but I have a very negative perception of the party overall.

I believe many Republican candidates will express views that they personally don’t agree with – but have to express them in order to get votes from their “base” supporters.

Hats off to Sam for speaking out and standing up for Tisdale – but I don’t know if his stance will help his political aspirations (probably not).

The reason I believe the Republicans don’t want some events recorded is because these events are meant for hard line Republican supporters only.

This means – there will be “frank” conversations that could raise some eyebrows of those not welcome and thus not in attendance (but they still need some of the “outsiders” to vote for them in November).

This is the Republican Party – and they have very conservative views that may make some folks uncomfortable.I say let them have their privacy, like it or not, good or bad – that’s the American way.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH……

Forsyth County
Forsyth County

A wealthy Democrat donor will likely realize that there aren't any campaign finance contribution restrictions in funding the defense of Nydia Tisdale.  Can you imagine the witness list?  Governor Deal, Attorney General Olens, US Senate candidate Perdue and about every other top GOP official in the state. David Perdue should immediately apologize to Tisdale for not acting on Saturday because he was in shock and offer to fund her entire defense personally. 

BigHat
BigHat

Hudgens should have shot her, claimed "Stand Your Ground" and he would have gotten off with out even a slap on the wrist, maybe even gotten a high-five "atta boy" from all the other GOP candidates.  The whole thing would have blown over with a single paragraph buried on page B-4 of the AJC and nobody would notice.     Although it could start a perfectly legal trend: "Stand Your Ground, Shoot Your Reporter"; way to go Georgia! 

Observant1
Observant1

Good Gawd! Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!  The GOP doesn't need this crap in a tight election year, but on the other hand the woman should have been more cooperative, given that the event was on private property and the organizers had every right to ban video cameras. 

td1234
td1234

"“I told [Sheriff's Capt. Tony Wooten], ‘Have her cut the recorder off.’ He went up to her and she refused,” Burt said. “Then I told him to get her out. He asked to her leave politely, very politely, and she refused to leave. So he had no choice but to forcefully remove her.

“She tried to hit Tony with the camera and he had to remove the camera from her hand and she slapped him in the face and I saw that. Tony only done what he was asked to do by the property owner and that was me.”

Had she cooperated with the request to stop recording, Burt said she could have stayed.

“If she had in the least cooperated, just cut her camera off, and sat there through the meeting and asked all the questions she wanted to at the end, it would have perfectly fine. But she misrepresented herself to start with,” he said."


http://www.peachpundit.com/2014/08/27/another-side-of-the-nydia-tisdale-story/

Bernie31
Bernie31

Mr.Hudgens yer got a call on line one. Who is it? Bert!....Okay.

Ralph yer Ruined muh Business an muh Life. What in de world wus yer thankin? I offered muh place for ya'll ta use and muh place goin be a Total wreck!

Muh Wife, she jest won't stop Howlin. She jest been cryn fer days Now. She say we deserves ta GIT everythang dats comin ta Us. 

Now git on de Horn wit Nathan an do sumpin.


I am a Dyin down here and Ya'lll ain't HEPin me at ALL.


Yer know Dat Woman done got a Lawyer...an now I gots ta GITS mine ta keep MUH Farm.


Sum body gots ta Hep me wit dis...dis is goin be expensive. 


Ralph, I can't give up de farm....its been in de family fer generations.


Muh wife sey we goin be put on de streets. 


what was yer thankin....or was yer thankin at ALL?  I jest want ta know.



Bayonet
Bayonet

The cowardly GOP has made a hash out of carrying the conservative banner.  Especially with behavior like this, because it feeds the adolescent viewpoint which demonizes honorable values.  Let's not be naive in the process though; doubtless Tisdale is an activist that would post videos edited to distort things from context in order to facilitate a hate narrative against the GOP (dishonsesty is bread and butter of the Left).  Sadly, they hyocritical theme of class bigotry and racism which infects the progressive (despising those who've worked to achieve success, and judging all by a group identity----especially denouncing the "white male"...YES, that IS racist!) is not going to get dragged out and examined by the cultural media.  And sadly, in a world where Harry Reid can make all kinds of racist statements (like last week joking about "Wongs" at the expense of Asians) and there won't be a peep of critical exposure, the GOP has to understand that it gets held to a huge double standard in the image crafting media industry held in near stranglehold by those with bitter childish indoctrinated attitudes. They should have welcomed Tisdale.  And if she distorted the rally on YouTube; then at that point (had it happened), they could have proceeded with slander charges.  Which candidly, the GOP ought to do when they're lied about.  BUT....sadly, they won't pull the trigger.

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

"“I don’t know why you’re videotaping,” Hudgens said."


If Hudgens is a candidate for any office, please vote him out.  Is he THAT SCARED of being videotaped that he can't handle it?  He should probably just stay at home and relax if he doesn't want to be in front of an audience in the 21st century. 


Point every camera at Hudgens, get him more comfortable with it, so he doesn't over-react when someone actually wants to videotape him. 


If he does not want to be videoed (that a word?) then that probably means he is offending someone or something and doesn't want it to be made public. 

Otherwise, there should be no fear of making his words public. 


And these actions started by him show the depths of insecurity in the current GOP. Come on guys, get your party straightened out and quit kicking people out of your events.  Otherwise, the more people you kick out, the more people will see that you do not welcome them. 


OldEngineer
OldEngineer

I love the smell of fried fake indignation in the morning. The event was advertised as open to the public – so what happened to truth, justice and the American way and all that? I guess that’s not allowed at GOP events.

Pandamonius
Pandamonius

Republican "Rebranding" strategy:  "Let's keep doing exactly what we were doing before, but this time we'll prevent media and private citizens from recording us and holding us accountable"

PSWallace
PSWallace

In fact, if those of the GOP are in the wrong, and they very well may be, then this has its genesis in the Progressive refusal to run anything but a rigged gamed, enabled by control of media institutions and academia.

Naturally, there are those who may scoff, and will do so, but there may be a very salient data point out there that says "Progressives respect no rule of conduct but their own right to do as they please, to whom they please, when they think it necessary."

Zoey728
Zoey728

@Quandry But not freedom from the consequences of said speech.

GaBlue
GaBlue

@Observant1

Except that's not what happened. They DIDN'T ban video cameras. They new she was coming; they knew she was there filming. The property owner chatted with her over pie before the event. It wasn't until Azzwipe Hudgens realized his obnoxious comments would not look good on the internet that he made an issue of her being there. You can't make up rules after the fact and then scream, "She broke the rules!"  Only a JERK would think that's okay.

OldEngineer
OldEngineer

@td1234  Back to the MLK lunch counter, busses and schools analogy - if this was the case, civil disobedience is how we Americans got here. The cop was suspended - they appear to get that message.

historywriter
historywriter

@Bayonet The scuttlebutt is that Tisdale is bipartisan and goes to a great deal of effort to make sure she doesn't express a point of view in her posts.  She just reports what happens at meetings.  However, this is the third time, at least, that she's been kicked out of primarily Republican venue.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Bayonet If what you say about "double standards", "held in near strange hold by those with bitter childish indoctrinated attitudes" is true then you GOP men need to first clean your house before you can criticize someone else on theirs.   “I was so upset at how they handled it – I walked out,” said the county GOP chairman".  When your own women are disgusted by the GOP then you guys really are disgusting and no one else in America should have to be subjected to GOP ideology which is, of course, disgusting.  

Lobosolo
Lobosolo

@Bayonet Bayonet, you're just as clueless as these folks you vote for... go read some history...


Kamchak
Kamchak

@Bayonet 

...would post videos edited to distort things...

Got proof?

OldEngineer
OldEngineer

@EdUktr  I wish I may, I wish I might, the first star I see tonight. Do you only look at the ones that agree with your innermost mental defective?

OldEngineer
OldEngineer

@Pandamonius  Spot on. Even George Will recognized that this isn't working and will not wrk in the long run, in that the demographic supporting this is literally aging and dying off.

sandralynnsparks
sandralynnsparks

@PSWallace The games been rigged by fake conservatives (using the guise of "true conservatives") taking advantage of real ones, and stifling moderates and a progressive movement that is now more moderate than liberal, because they THINK before they vote! Time for you to think - If Progressives were rigging the system, FOX would be a progressive network, the major donors would be progressive companies, and the Congress would be a fully progressive unit, because that's where the big money would go. Big money is used to rig elections.  If Progressives were rigging the system, the Supreme Court would be in their pocket, and all the laws would reflect that position. Actual conservatives only make up 25% of the voting population - and yet they have been led to believe they are the majority, because of GOP rigging. The real majority of this country are moderates that lean a bit one way or another and are less prone to brainwashing by rich manipulators. This GOP problem is not going to go away until Republicans have the courage to stop voting for Republican candidates that shouldn't be in office in the first place - and send a strong message to their own party. The country will not be destroyed if Democrats or Independents are elected. It is already handicapped by what foolish or greedy Republicans have done in the past six years. We have the worst Congress in the history of the United States, and what they have done (really not done) affects all of us in the negative. There is nothing positive in the GOP. There won't be until the Republicans take their party back from the hands of greed and opportunity - and a desire to control everyone's lives.

Zoey728
Zoey728

@PSWallace  "Progressives respect no rule of conduct but their own right to do as they please, to whom they please, when they think it necessary."

What color is the sky in your world?  Your cognitive dissonance is astounding.  

 

JackChambers
JackChambers

@PSWallace  Thank you for pointing out how ignorant the republicans are. You are one of the better spokesmen for them. You don't try to candy coat any thing. You just reveal the stupidity in all its glory. How dare progressives record republican speakers and post their own words and actions for the world to see.

td1234
td1234

@OldEngineer Is he suspending for his tactics or for violating her non-existence rights to tape an event on private property? 


Why do you not mention that Ms. Tisdale has a pending felony charge against her for assault on a police officer?

allbookdup
allbookdup

@td1234 @OldEngineer  Does OE need to repeat everything in the article? "Tisdale would eventually be charged with trespassing, a misdemeanor, and obstructing an officer 'by elbowing him in the right cheek area and kicking him in the right shin.' That last one’s a felony."

Dragging a woman against her will into an outbuilding out of sight, bending her facedown over a counter and pressing his body against her - sounds like she was the one being assaulted.