CHOOSE FREEDOM! #COBBFIRST
Dear Fellow Patriot,
It is with sadness that we report the passing of Mr. Harold Smith, former Smyrna Mayor and long time active member of the Cobb County Republican Party. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time. Below are details as published from the Marietta Daily Journal.
RIP: Former Smyrna Mayor Harold Smith, 91, considered the guardian of the city’s past, died peacefully at home on Saturday.
Smith and his late wife, Betty, were among those who chartered the Smyrna Historical & Genealogical Society in 1985. One of their reasons for doing this was to establish a museum for the public, a goal that was realized seven years later when the Smyrna Museum opened in the city’s old health clinic building across the street from city hall. The city razed that building as part of its downtown redevelopment efforts, moving the collection to its present home near the entrance of Smyrna Market Village in 1999.
In a 2017 MDJ interview, Smith observed how museum visitors can see the town’s history in a variety of displays with artifacts dating back to as early as 1832.
“So many people are moving in here,” Smith said of Smyrna. “But half the people don’t even know this town’s got any history.”
Smith watched Smyrna change dramatically over his lifetime. The quiet Georgia town of his youth grew into a bustling extension of Atlanta. He emphasized the need for residents new and old to take an interest in Smyrna’s past. If for no other reason, he said, to prevent the mistakes of the past from being repeated.
“When you don’t care about your history,” Smith said, “you do the same thing over and over again.”
A funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, May 29, at the Smyrna First Baptist Church with Dr. Jeff Pennington officiating. Interment will be in the Smyrna Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 28, at the Carmichael Funeral Home in Smyrna."
Chairwoman Cobb GOP
by Jason Shepherd
Are you WOKE?
If you applaud MLB's decision to pull the All-Star Game out of Atlanta because a political campaign can't pass out water less than 150 feet from a polling station but see no problem with MLB having an exhibition game in Cuba where you can be jailed or executed for being a member of another political party, you just might be WOKE.
If you think MLB was standing up for voting rights by hurting small and minority owned businesses in Cobb County because Georgia only has 17-19 days of early voting but see no issues with keeping their HQ in New York, whose voting laws also prohibit food and drinks, but also only give voters 9 days of early voting and require voters to provide a reason to obtain an absentee ballot, you just might be WOKE.
If you continue to echo President Joe Biden and call Georgia’s new election integrity laws “Jim Crow 2.0” or “Jim Crow on steroids,” despite the fact the President earned “Four Pinocchios” from the left-leaning Washington Post, you just might be WOKE.
If you put partisan lies ahead of the livelihood of Cobb County residents and business owners, you just might be WOKE (or at least a member of the Cobb County Democratic Party).
Regardless of what woke culture and corporate CEOs following it say and threaten, Georgians will not be swayed by corporate economic blackmail based on lies and disinformation from the left and their newly appointed leaders like Stacey Abrams.
Meanwhile, the left is promoting HR 1, which will completely undermine our elections as they have been conducted at the state level for over 200 years.
As Chair of Cobb County and Chair of the Over 80,000 caucus for the Georgia Republican Party, I have drafted a resolution which would ban Coca-Cola products at all Georgia GOP functions (hey, we are in the South, sweet tea is good enough for the GAGOP, right?) and prohibit any official Party travel being made on Delta Airlines. If you want a copy of the resolution to propose at your county or district convention, click here to download.
I will also be drafting a resolution aimed at Major League Baseball (let’s see where they pick for the All-Star Game and what voting restrictions the new state has).
As I have said on Fox & Friends, MLB should be supporting stealing bases, not stealing votes.
However, if that’s what you favor, you’re probably not WOKE. Congratulations for that!
Yours in Freedom,
Chairman, Cobb County Republican Party
We put locks on our doors to keep what we value safe and secure. With just a little bit of security, we protect our property, our loved ones, and our possessions from those who want to take them from us.
Recently, Georgia Republicans passed Senate Bill 202, legislation designed to provide a little bit of security to protect one thing Georgians, and all Americans, value...our right to vote in fair and secure elections, no matter your party, your race, your religion, or your ethnicity.
The 2020 election revealed numerous security problems in the way elections are administered in Georgia, threatening every valid vote cast.
Georgia Republicans are fighting to protect EVERY legal vote. It doesn't matter if you are a Republican, Democrat, or independent, you deserve to know when you cast your vote, it is SECURE and it will be COUNTED.
Democrats are attacking the law. Along with their allies in the media, they are falsely calling it "Jim Crow 2.0" and "voter suppression."
But Democrats complain about election integrity for the same reason thieves complain about door locks.
You would think that Democrats would be the experts on Jim Crow...after all, they were the authors of the Jim Crow laws, but there is nothing nothing of the old, Democratic Jim Crow in today's election security legislation.
To help you fight against the Democrats' false and misinformation campaign, here's some facts on Georgia's new Election Security law;
1. Just like when you vote in person, the new law requires photo ID to be included with any application for an absentee ballot, sunsetting the ridiculous signature verification process, so no one can steal your ballot, and your vote, by claiming they are you. No voter suppression there.
2. Added drop boxes for absentee ballots into Georgia law. Technically, outside the COVID emergency order, they are ILLEGAL. Now they won't be and will be in voting locations and open during regular voting hours where they can monitored by poll workers and Republican, Libertarian, and Democratic poll watchers.
3. Authorizes a Superior Court judge to keep the polls open past 7:00 PM if there were issues at a voting precinct. Definitely no suppression there!
4. Added a second Saturday for early voting. Before Senate Bill 202, counties only had to have one Saturday of early voting. Now the law says they have to have two. Counties can choose for themselves if they want Sunday voting. I've never heard having more weekend days to vote being considered "voter suppression," have you?
5. Tired of waiting in long lines year after year because your Democratic run county can't seem to figure out how to run elections? The new law allows the State Board of Elections to step in and fix the problems so you won't have to wait in hours-long lines to vote anymore. To me, that seems to make voting easier, not harder.
6. Finally, it strengthens the 150 foot politics-free safe zone where only voters and election workers are allowed so no one will harass you while waiting in line to vote. And despite claims by the Democrats, you will still be able to bring your bottle of water with you when you vote.
The new law has other measures designed to protect your right to vote, and to make sure when you vote in Georgia, you can have full confidence your vote will count.
We lock our doors to protect what we care most about. Our Georgia legislature and Governor Kemp have added new locks to protect and secure our right to vote.
I encourage you to join me in thanking our elected officials for working to secure the vote for everyone in Georgia.
Visit www.legis.ga.gov to find your legislator and call Governor Kemp at 404-656-1776 to thank them for securing and protecting every Georgian's right to a fair and secure election.
Every time I talk to a member of the media, they always ask me the same question: Is the Republican Party Donald Trump's Party?
The answer to me always seems obvious, even if it is not the answer they are looking for or hoping for. The members of the media are hoping for one of two answers, either one would satisfy their agenda. They are either hoping for:
They use the first answer to paint the party as a bunch of zealots, hopelessly devoted to a cult of personality centered around the person they believe is dangerous, fanatical, and disgraced by two impeachments and electoral loss. They will then find that "NeverTrumper" who will give them the second answer they are looking for, someone despondent about the direction the GOP has taken under Trump and all too ready to join the Democrats in decrying the end of the Republican Party they once knew.
I don't give them either answer.
The answer to the question is not one that contemplates personalities or people, but the underlying values and principles of the GOP.
Too often we (and the media) define the Party by those who run under the banner of the GOP. For the media and the left, they want to define the Party based on which Republicans they despise the most at any given moment. They demonize a candidate or office holder then start a "guilt-by-association" campaign hoping to turn Republican against Republican, and, far too often, they get what they hoped for.
This double standard, of course, is never applied to Democrats.
In our own Party, it takes a different look as the grassroots members of the party threaten to abandon the GOP, seemingly willing to turn our cities, counties, states, and nation over to the Democrats if a Republican fails their purity test.
It's as if somehow those Republicans elected to office are chosen by some small cabal of Party leaders (the infamous "smoke-filled-room) and forced on us unsuspecting grassroots Republicans against our will, when in reality, all GOP nominees are ultimately chosen by thousands of Republican primary voters.
My answer is always different. When asked, I tell the media, "Yes, this is Donald Trump's Party, but it's also Ronald Reagan's Party, Teddy Roosevelt's Party, and Abraham Lincoln's Party too. The reason is each one of them ran as a Republican because they believed in the principles, ideals, and beliefs of the Republican Party."
Donald Trump's position in the Republican Party is not secured because of who he is, but because of what he believed and what he did as President. One of Donald Trump's earliest actions was to cut taxes. As I ask the media, what is more Republican than a "tax cut"?
Donald Trump's love of country and firm belief in its inherent greatness is second only to Ronald Reagan's in my lifetime. Both used the campaign slogan "Make America Great Again" (though Reagan added "Let's" at the beginning). In fact, every Republican candidate we have had has stood head and shoulders above the Democrats in love for our nation. Compare that to the campaigns and governing of the Democrats who would seem to want an America submissive and weak.
In fact, across the broad scope of Donald Trump's accomplishments, what actions, policies, or practices did he engage in that were not Republican? I do not know many Republicans who would look at his accomplishments and not be able to put them squarely within the beliefs of the Republican Party. What I do know is there were far too many Republicans who cared more about his personality than his policies or accomplishments. They chose style over substance, and refused to vote for him.
This was evident in Donald Trump's first major speech since leaving the White House, where he proudly backed the Republican Party and put to rest the idea that America needed yet another third party.
Even former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley took to Twitter calling Trump's speech "strong" and noting that the GOP civil war the media is hoping for is "not going to happen."
Still, there are those who claim to be supporters of the President who DO want a civil war in the GOP. In doing the work of the Democrats, they seek to purge not just the NeverTrumpers from the GOP ranks, but anyone who they believe was not sufficiently supportive enough. In their anger, rather than trying to build the Party, they seek to practice the politics of subtraction, rather than reaching out to add to the ranks of the GOP.
No political movement has ever found long term success in purges, and it will only result in assuring more Democratic victories in 2022 and 2024, whether or not the nominee is Donald Trump.
Republicans must stay united on our principles. That doesn't mean that Republican elected officials who do not uphold the principles shouldn't be primaried...far from it! As I said, we are a party of principles, not people or personalities.
That means we let the Republican Primary voters vote, then respect the will of those voters. We don't take our ball and go home just because we disagree with the majority of the primary voters.
I said that in 2016 when the Republican Primary voters gave Trump the nomination, and shamed Republicans who demanded I respect the will of the voters when it was McCain or Romney, but would not themselves when it was Donald J. Trump, and I will continue to say that today.
The reason is, there is not a cabal of Party bosses who decide the candidate and force that candidate on the voters, quite the opposite! It's the voters who decide the nominee and force the Party bosses to do their job...get that candidate over the finish line in November. If we divide ourselves, we will not make that happen.
As Donald Trump said on Sunday, the Republican Party needs to "unite and be stronger than ever."
A house divided against itself cannot stand, but we need our Republican leaders to stand up and not cower one way or another for political expediency.
As Donald Trump said yesterday, "Let's start a new party and let's divide our vote so that you can never win. No, we're not interested in that."
Neither am I and neither should anyone who is proud to uphold the principles on which our Republican Party was founded.
If we do that, as Donald Trump said, "We will be united and strong like never before, we will save and strengthen America."
This past week a great voice of conservatism was silenced as Rush Limbaugh succumbed to lung cancer.
Over the past week, much has been written and said about the life and legacy of Rush Limbaugh; the fact he revitalized the declining genre of talk radio, galvanized the conservative message, gathered together the largest daily radio audience in history with his dedicated "Dittoheads" who listened to Rush each and every day, and how he constantly reminded us his first job was to keep the show entertaining. Those of us who go back decades with Rush certainly remember Paul Shanklin's parodies.
More than anything else, Rush informed. With "talent on loan from God" (Rush believed all of us had some natural talent on loan from the Almighty we could and should tap into to benefit ourselves and others), Rush was able to coalesce conservativism and explain it to his audience, winning converts, opening the eyes of those who were conservative, but voting against their own self-interests, and helping those of us who were conservative with talking points to evangelize the message of conservatism and speak to the folly of liberalism.
For his boldness, Rush was constantly maligned by the left. They tried to cancel him before "Cancel Culture" would become the de facto left-winged tactic. When Rush tried to become a commentator for the NFL, the left made sure his tenure was short, as was his attempt to become a co-owner of the St. Louis Rams. But Rush didn't dwell on either snub too long.
Rush had his private personal struggles, but they were struggles that he brought us in to, because he considered his listeners his family. We went through his battles with addiction and his hearing loss with him. The compassionate left still mocks Rush for these struggles, but he was never shy about them, hoping his experience would give courage and strength to others fighting their own private battles.
Rush was so influential that many of us remember the first time we heard him. For me it was in high school, sitting in my step-father's car running errands. He had Rush on the radio. My political beliefs were already well formed, but this guy on the radio was speaking about my beliefs in a way I had never heard. I was in school when his radio program aired each day, so I stayed up late to watch his far too short lived television show. I bought and read his books. I listened. I learned. I didn't always agree, but even in those very rare times I didn't see things the way Rush did, I always understood his arguments and analysis.
I never met Rush, but once I actually got through and was in the line-up to speak to El-Rushbo. Unfortunately, I couldn't stay on the line. I also was once mentioned on the Rush Limbaugh Show, but it was when Erick Erickson was sitting behind the Golden EIB Microphone.
Rush may be gone, but he will live on. He will live on in the lessons, his writings (the Rush Revere series of books sits on my children's book shelves), and in how he helped many of us to refine our voice, if not outright find it.
During World War II, in the darkest days of Winston Churchill's tenure as Prime Minister, it was said later by President John F. Kennedy that Churchill's ability to weave together words to inspire and uplift the British people and the British nation "mobilized the English language and sent it into battle."
Rush Limbaugh did the same thing with the English language and the message of conservatism and patriotism. He mobilized it and sent it into a campaign to change our nation, taking up the mantle left by Ronald Reagan to encourage, inspire, and uplift conservatives during the years of Bill Clinton, through the Republican Revolution of 1994, Bush v. Gore, and so many other struggles, reforms, victories and loses, for over 30 years, Rush was there.
We have lost so many this past year even in our own Cobb County Republican Party due to cancer; Bette Tempest, Phyllis Slaght, and Fairuz Rafique, who also died of stage 4 lung cancer, which is what took Rush as well.
Now, as of this week, his talent is no longer on loan from God, and Rush is no longer on loan to us as well. Rush's battle is over. His struggles have ended and he is no longer suffering. For us, the work still goes on. Rush has given us a model. He spent 30 years teaching us to find our voice. At some point, it is always necessary for the student to leave the instruction of the teacher and to teach others what was taught to them.
As Rush always said, we all have talent that is on loan from God. It is time for all of us to find that talent within ourselves and continue to spread the message of freedom, liberty, individualism, prosperity, and most importantly, the special place of greatness that the United States of America occupies in the long history of the world, the message that Rush spoke about each and every day.
If we do that, if we continue to use our talents to spread the message of America's greatness like Rush did, then when all is said and done, we will be Rush's lasting legacy.
On Saturday, March 13, 2021, the Cobb County Republican Party will hold Precinct Caucus Meetings to elect new Precinct offices, House District Chairs and Secretaries, and finally, delegates and alternates to the County Convention on April 17.
The 2020 elections and 2021 runoff proved one thing, the need for a more energetic and more engaged grassroots organization. In a couple of weeks, before the March 13 meeting, I will again be hosting a Precinct officer training course at Cobb GOP headquarters and via Zoom for anyone who cannot or does not feel comfortable attending in person.
The Cobb GOP has a two page description of the duties of each Precinct officer position as well as an extensive Precinct Officer Handbook, to help you decide in which position you believe you have the time, skill, and experience to serve.
Often times, even those elected to precinct positions look past our precincts, and neglect this critical foundation of the Republican Party. The precincts are the Republican Party in our neighborhoods and each Precinct officer needs to approach their position with the same dedication and focus as they would if they were running for county or even state party chairman.
In 2021, we need people to claim their seat - to step up and lead the Republican Party in their neighborhood an community! Please watch the video below to find out more and please share with your friends and neighbors about how they too can get involved.
Pre-register TODAY for the Cobb County Precinct Caucus on Saturday, March 13!
On Saturday, February 6, 2021, the Cobb County Republican Party celebrated the 110th birthday of Ronald W. Reagan with the tribute video below. In the nearly four years I've been Chair of the Cobb County Republican Party, we have worked under one theme: CHOOSE FREEDOM.
That theme is above, it's on the sign at our Headquarters, our literature, and our website. The reason is, everything the Republican Party stands for comes under that central idea...CHOOSE FREEDOM.
It comes from what Ronald Reagan once said about freedom:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
Enjoy the tribute and remember, in the end, the choice is about FREEDOM, and nothing else matters if we can maintain that.
Here's your Sunday civics lessons about absentee ballot signatures, consent agreements, secret ballots, and new elections: There has been a lot of talk (and several tweets from President Trump) on verification of absentee ballot signatures. In Georgia, when an absentee ballot comes in, the outer envelope has an oath the voter must sign. Under Georgia law, if the signature does not match the signature on file for that voter, the ballot is marked "REJECTED" and not counted. If the signature matches, the ballot is taken out and sent to another room where it is opened far from the signature so it cannot be traced to the original envelope. That's how we preserve our right to vote by SECRET BALLOT. If your signed envelope can be traced back to your ballot, it would mean the vote was not secret.
My former law school classmate and good friend Doug Collins sees that as a problem, I don't. Probably the first time we've disagreed on anything.
In March, the State of Georgia was being sued by the Democratic Party. Instead of continuing to fight the lawsuit which would have cost millions in taxpayer funds, the two parties (the State of Georgia and the Democratic Party) reached a settlement called a "consent agreement."
It was signed by the attorneys for the two parties including the Attorney General of Georgia and attorney Vincent Russo, who was representing the State of Georgia, but who also was and is currently the General Counsel for the Georgia Republican Party appointed by Chairman David Shafer. The consent agreement did two things;
The first point provides for more ballot security, but the second point seems to provide for much less. I will explain it.
The consent agreement says the following:
"When reviewing an elector’s signature on the mail-in absentee ballot envelope, the registrar or clerk must compare the signature on the mail-in absentee ballot envelope to EACH signature contained in such elector’s voter registration record in eNet AND the elector’s signature on the application for the mail-in absentee ballot. If the registrar or absentee ballot clerk determines that the voter’s signature on the mail-in absentee ballot envelope does not match ANY of the voter’s signatures on file in eNet OR on the absentee ballot application, the registrar or absentee ballot clerk must seek review from two other registrars, deputy registrars, or absentee ballot clerks." <emphasis added>
Let's say John Doe wants to steal my vote by absentee ballot. John fills out an absentee ballot request and signs his version of my name. When he mails back the fraudulent ballot, he signs the oath with his version of my name. The staff at the elections office looks at the signature they have on file for me. It doesn't match. Because of the consent agreement, they now look at the application for the ballot and see that the forged signatures do match and the fraudulent ballot is accepted as legitimate. In tweets, the President has highlighted the consent agreement In practice though, it may be more poor wording than an actual election security threat. This, of course, has not stopped Republican Party Chairman David Shafer from demanding a re-evaluation of the signatures, something President Trump has been demanding be part of the process.
Furthermore, noted attorney L. Lin Wood has filed suit to get the consent agreement overturned.
However, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, has said in statements though that they are still requiring the procedure is still be a two-step process requiring each of the signatures to match both the application and eNet. As he has explained, "When the voter marks their absentee and places it in the envelope to return to the county, the voter MUST sign the oath on the outside of the outer envelope. When the ballot is returned to the county, the first thing the county must do is compare the signature to the absentee ballot application (unless the application was made online) and then also compare the ballot envelope signature to the signature(s) of the voter from the voter registration system. Again, the signatures must be consistent, though need not match 'exactly.'"
If that is actually what is happening in practice, then it should make sure that, absent massive collusion at the county level, which would be easy to uncover, ballots with signature mismatches are not getting through to the final pile of ballots.
So what happens if we do, in fact, have a recount signature review based only on the signature on file, as the state law originally required, and reject ballots that have a signature mismatch? The only thing you can do is disqualify that VOTER, not their ballot, which is mixed in. We also don't know if we disqualified a Biden voter, a Trump voter, or someone who wrote in "Mickey Mouse" for President! However, if we disqualify enough VOTERS, we can ask for a NEW ELECTION!
Yes, because we don't know which ballots are their's (that whole secret ballot thing) the only option is a re-do. But, since the Electoral College meets on December 14 to cast the votes from President, then that is the deadline if we are going to go for that re-do. Since the U.S. Constitution sets that date, we can't get around it.
Also, the threshold for invalidating an election is very high. While lawyers are not exactly known for our math skills, this requires MATH
Right now, Joe Biden is leading Donald Trump in Georgia by 14,122 votes. So, right now you're thinking if we invalidate 14,123 voters, we can get a new election, right?
Once again of those 14,123 voters, we don't know how they voted. So we need more, A LOT MORE voters to be disqualified.
To do that, you must find the total number of people who voted overall, the total number who voted in that race, the difference between those numbers, and then add the difference between the two candidates.
4,991,938 million votes were cast in the Presidential election for the three candidates, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and Jo Jorgensen, but maybe 5,000,000 (a good round number for easy lawyer math) voters picked up ballots and votes were cast with write-in votes for Mickey Mouse and people who skipped that election so, that would be our total number of people for this hypothetical. The difference 8,062.
So the real number of voters who have to be disqualified to force a new election is 14,122 + 8,062 = 22,184.
That number is possible but unlikely with just signature mismatch. But remember, if we can find 22,184 (remember, this is just a hypothetical number as we don't know yet who many voters participated, it could be much more, especially since we basically ignore the 60,000+ votes the Libertarian candidate got) VOTERS who were not qualified to vote, then we can take it to COURT and ask for a new election.
Erick Erickson has explained how he had a court case in 2000 on this issue, but with much smaller vote totals.
A recount only determines if the numbers were correct the first time (they usually were not) but recounts rarely change the outcome positively for Republicans (odd how that works). Georgia is not just conducting a recount but an AUDIT as well to make sure the software in the machines tabulated votes correctly versus the paper printout which each voter should have checked for accuracy.
Election fraud happens all the time, but can only make a difference in a close election. This was a CLOSE election (hear that Joe Biden CLOSE, no mandate for you). What we have to ask is why did we allow it to be this close? How could we have gotten the message out better? Could the President have changed his tone to appeal to more to people in the center, not people like me who only are concerned about his amazing policy achievements, even if I wasn't always thrilled with how he presented himself.
To me, the proof of the greatness of this president was not in what he said, but his policies that have helped me (mostly) recover from the Obama-Biden economic malaise, the fact he was willing to take bold steps and fulfil promises made, but never carried through by his predecessors, and the judges and justices he put on the federal bench.
Too many voters decided that wasn't what they wanted. They wanted a touchy-feely President (and we all know how touchy-feely Biden and his hairy legs are).
We will see how that works out for America. Now it's time to focus on saving the Senate, and our Republic.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2020
CONTACT: Jason Shepherd
Democrats Entering Private Property at Night to Destroy Signs for Trump; Other GOP Candidates
(MARIETTA, GA) – Cobb County Republican Party Chairman Jason Shepherd calls on Cobb Democratic Party Chair Jacquelyn Bettadapur to denounce the destruction, vandalism, and theft of signs on private property and to actively discourage Cobb Democrats from engaging in vandalism and theft of signs, especially Donald Trump signs.
“The issue isn’t limited to yard signs, which have been disappearing out of people’s yards at an alarming rate,” said Cobb GOP Chairman Jason Shepherd. “We are having to replace or repair our large Trump signs daily as Democrats are entering private property to slash, vandalize, and even steal the signs, most of which are 8x4 feet!”
The vandalism and theft started almost immediately as the Cobb GOP started distributing Trump/Pence signs back in July. As people started returning to Cobb County Republican Headquarters asking for replacement signs, the Cobb GOP decided to print signs notifying would-be vandals and thieves, “You May Steal Our Signs, But You Cannot Steal Our Vote!”
When the larger Trump/Pence signs arrived, the problem got even worse, starting with the very first 8x4 Trump/Pence sign being cut in half just hours after it was put up on the property owned by an Asian-American Trump supporter in Mableton. Within the last couple of days, Trump signs have also been either defaced, destroyed, or stolen on private property across Cobb, including at the home of Mrs. Gwen Tritt, the mother of County Music Star Travis Tritt, who is in her 90's. Vandals have even brought ladders onto private property in order to deface and destroy signs that were placed higher to be out of reach.
“If you needed any other evidence that putting our county in the hands of Democrats will bring the same kind of lawlessness we have seen in other Democratic run cities this past spring and summer, you only have too look at the utter disregard they have for both freedom of speech and private property, going so far as to frighten and silence a 90 year old woman” said Shepherd. “The Cobb Democratic Party, if it truly believes in law and order and free speech, will do everything it can to put an end to it.”
However, many homeowners are putting their signs in places where security cameras can pick up the thieves and are ready to prosecute if they can be identified.
“These Democrat ‘sign ninjas’ operate in the dark of night, but we are getting eyes on them and are ready to prosecute when they are caught,” added Shepherd. “This happens in every election, but I have never in more than 26 years of campaigning seen it to this level and extent.”
In addition to silencing the free speech of their fellow citizens, vandalizing and destroying candidate signs can carry with them a number of criminal penalties, including charges related to entering private property in order to vandalize, destroy, or steal a sign. These can include charges like theft, destruction of private property, and criminal trespass, each of which can carry jail time, fines, and probation.
However, in addition to the criminality of the action, Shepherd looks at it as a desperation by Cobb County Democrats.
“Winners don’t care what the other side says. Winners just win,” said Shepherd. “By working this hard in the dark of night trying to silence people shows the Democrats’ message is not a winning message and ours is winning BIGLY.”
Trump sign in Mableton on private property cut in half hours after being put up.
Trump sign defaced on private property in East Cobb.
A Trump-Pence sign with a Cobb GOP "You may steal our signs" sign.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Jason Shepherd
October 19, 2020 Chair@CobbGOP.org
Cobb GOP Files Ethics Complaints Against Democratic Sheriff Candidates Craig Owens and Jimmy Herndon
Complaints Outline Numerous Violations of the Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Act
(Marietta, GA) – The Cobb County Republican Party filed ethics complaints today with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission against Democratic Sheriff candidates Craig Owens and James “Jimmy” Herndon, alleging multiple violations of Georgia’s Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Act (“Campaign Finance Act”).
The complaint against Owens, the Democratic nominee for Sheriff, highlights numerous violations of the Campaign Finance Act, including failing to disclose thousands of dollars in campaign donations and/or expenditures, failing to file a Personal Financial Disclosure Report as required by law, as well as late filings of his Campaign Finance Reports. The complaint against Herndon, who filed challenges to incumbent Sheriff Neil Warren and his other Democratic opponents to get them thrown off the ballot on technicalities, but lost the Democratic Primary on June 9, highlights his failure to file any Campaign Finance Reports after his April 30 report.
“Craig Owens is asking Cobb voters to elect him to a position to run a 3,500 bed jail in a one million square foot facility with a $95 million annual budget, but he cannot even file a simple campaign finance report correctly,” said Cobb County Republican Party Chairman Jason Shepherd. “How can Cobb County voters entrust him to handle the job of Sheriff when he cannot follow basic campaign finance laws?”
Despite running on a campaign slogan of “Truth, Trust, and Transparency,” Owens’s campaign finance reports show his campaign is anything but transparent. Absent from Owens’s disclosures is the representation of his campaign by Marietta attorney Cindy Yeagar of the Yeagar Law Firm, which represented the Owens campaign in an appeal to the Cobb County Superior Court from the unanimous decision by the Cobb County Board of Elections to remove Owens from the ballot after fellow Democrat James Herndon alleged Owens did not correctly qualify for the Office of Sheriff. The Owens campaign challenged the Board’s decision, and the Cobb County Superior Court reversed the decision of the Board.
The Owens campaign hired three law firms, including the Yeagar Firm, which also appears on Owens’s Campaign Finance Report as providing free office space for the Owens campaign, but Owens’s original April 30, 2020 Campaign Finance Report makes no mention of his legal representation by Yeagar or either of the other two firms that represented him. Four months later, on September 1, Owens filed an amended April Report showing payments of $3,000 and $5,000 to the other two firms, but still nothing regarding the Yeagar Firm, which is listed in Court documents as having filed and participated in the appeal.
“Whether it is an oversight or an intentional omission to hide his legal representation from the voters remains to be seen,” said Shepherd. “However, it is hard to be truthful, trustworthy, and transparent while withholding whether the Yeagar Firm represented the campaign as an in-kind contribution or if he had to pay the law firm like he did the others, or a combination of both.”
However, that is not the only area where the Owens campaign has failed to be transparent. Each candidate for public office is required by law to file a Personal Financial Disclosure Report detailing the candidate’s personal finances and whether the candidate might have a financial conflict of interest the voters need to know about. The Campaign Finance Act requires the Personal Financial Disclosure Report be filed within 15 days of qualifying for the office, which happened back in March. To date, Owens has not filed a Personal Financial Disclosure Report.
“It’s ironic that Craig Owens’s party has been demanding that President Donald Trump disclose his tax returns, which is not required by law, but are silent about Craig Owens failing to file his Personal Financial Disclosure Report, which is required by law, said Shepherd. “Just more Democratic hypocrisy.”
This is not the first time that Craig Owens has come under fire for lack of honesty and transparency. It was a failure to file a required affidavit during qualifying that lead the Cobb County Board of Elections, including the Democratic members of the Board, to unanimously vote to disqualify Owens, but he has also received flak for misusing his military uniform on his campaign pieces, a likely violation of Department of Defense rules and regulations.
According to Department of Defense Directive 1344.10, members of the Armed Forces, including retired members, may NOT, in campaign literature (including Web sites, videos, television, and conventional print advertisements) use or allow the use of photographs, drawings, and other similar media formats of themselves in uniform as the primary graphic representation in any campaign media, such as a billboard, brochure, flyer, Web site, or television commercial. For the purposes of this policy, “photographs” include video images, drawings, and all other similar formats of representational media.
Throughout his campaign, Owens has used photos of himself in uniform as the primary graphic of himself on his partisan campaign mail, his campaign website, and campaign Facebook page.
“Owens owes our men and women in uniform an apology for his misuse of the uniform,” said Shepherd. “It is clear that he either is choosing to ignore the laws regarding his campaign finances and use of his uniform, or is ignorant of the laws, which any good cop will tell you, is no defense.”
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE COMPLAINT AGAINST OWENS: Page 1, Page 2
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD COMPLAINT AGAINST HERNDON: Page 1
CLICK HERE FOR DoD Directive (see page 6)
CLICK HERE FOR EXAMPLE OF OWENS USING HIS UNIFORM FOR PARTISAN CAMPAIGN PURPOSES
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