In case you missed it, things got a bit tense at the 8th Congressional District GOP’s Fish Fry and State Committee meeting in Perry on August 26th. At the last minute, the host, 8th District GOP Chairman Chan Jones, decided to impose a dress code forbidding clothing displaying anything about election integrity. Jones has been an out-spoken opponent of election integrity efforts on the GA GOP State Committee. A few guests were told about the change on Friday, but most who drove several hours to the event from different corners of the state were unaware of the dress code until confronted inside the venue. Many who were wearing t-shirts from VoterGA or GeorgiansForTruth were told to remove their shirts or leave.
This effort to censure was done in violation of contract with these ticketholders. Nothing in the negotiations for the Fish Fry specified that ticketholders could not wear election-integrity themed shirts before they paid. Once the host took their money and issued them tickets without that restriction, he ceased to have the legal authority to exclude them under those conditions. They did not do anything disruptive. It is a shame that these Republican hosts would want to censure a message so near and dear to the Republican principles of the grassroots. Why would anyone be against election integrity?
There were several cellphone videos taken by attendees at the event, and a few captured highlights which have been shared widely online. One video is of a law enforcement officer—at the direction of the 8th District Chair—telling a group of attendees (including Grady County GOP Chairman Jeff Jolly and several GRA members), “All of you are criminally trespassing. If you don’t leave you’re going to be arrested,” because they were wearing voter integrity shirts.
Another video shows Sam Carnline with Georgians For Truth politely asking Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger about election integrity, and the S.o.S. nervously walked away mid-sentence without answering.
Still another video shows Sam speaking with Governor Kemp, in which Kemp says, “If you give anybody a machine they can hack it.”
After Governor Kemp left, several of our members reported that the the dress code was no longer enforced and a number of folks put back on their voter integrity shirts and wore them openly without any opposition for the remainder of time at the venue.
Thankfully, no one was arrested or injured to our knowledge. But it was shameful that anyone was put in fear that they could be arrested. Despite that this has historically been a well-known Establishment event, true patriot conservatives were numerous in attendance and really had a warm reception by most of the others there. The GRA had a table at the event space, and many folks conversed with our members in an amiable manner, took brochures, and signed the petition to investigate Fani Willis.
In spite of the ridiculous tactics to exclude folks from our side at the venue, it was a good day overall. It was encouraging to hear that people are waking up and our members are making a positive influence on the party. 🙂