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NWGRA Chapter Adds Walker County to Regional Chapter

NWGRA Chapter Adds Walker County to Regional Chapter

NWGRA President Eddie Caldwell and GRA Secretary Joanna Hildreth led a good chapter meeting last weekend, adding Walker County to the NWGRA chapter and voting on their local platform! If you live in northwest Georgia, be sure to reach out to Eddie or Joanna to get involved in the NWGRA!

The WGRA chapter is also scheduled to add Douglas and Harlson counties to regional chapter this week. In order to start a county chapter, according to the GRA state bylaws, a county has to have at least ten GRA members.

Eddie Caldwell serves as the President of the NWGRA chapter, which includes Whitfield, Catoosa, Murray, Gordon, and now Walker counties. Working together, their membership has successfully defeated several proposed SPLOSTs and Tax Allocation Districts (“TADs”) that were introduced by low-voter scorecard Republicans from the Georgia General Assembly.

The GRA Passes Resolution Calling for Withdrawal of Children from Civil Government Schools

The GRA Passes Resolution Calling for Withdrawal of Children from Civil Government Schools

Fayetteville, GA—At the GRA State Convention on Saturday, the GRA membership passed a series of strong resolutions addressing several hot-button controversies of the day. Among them was a resolution to “END INDOCTRINATION OF CHILDREN IN GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS.”

The text of the resolution was unique in that it called upon families and parents to take action to solve a societal problem, rather than calling upon anyone in civil government to act. The text of the resolution reads in full:

WHEREAS, the civil government school system has been the primary promoter of socialistic, anti-Republican ideas in our communities; and

WHEREAS, the government school has been responsible for countless children from Republican homes turning against the principles that were taught to them by their parents and has led to many graduates voting Democrat; and

WHEREAS, government schools have proven themselves to be untrustworthy by forbidding prayer and the teaching of the Bible, and promoting Critical Race Theory, cultural Marxism, sexual deviancy, abortion, atheism, evolutionism, mandated vaccination and other false and harmful ideas; and

WHEREAS, Critical Race Theory is a flagrant attempt to teach unveiled, hard-core Marxism and racism; and

WHEREAS, the conservative exposure and intervention that prevented certain schools from teaching Critical Race Theory this year in no way guarantees government schools will not attempt this kind of indoctrination again in the future with greater success; and

WHEREAS, this damaging indoctrination usually occurs before parents are made aware of it or have organized to oppose it; and

WHEREAS, parental protest and interference at school board meetings has proven to be insufficient at checking the advance and of leftism and has only brought parents under investigation for being “domestic terrorists”; and

WHEREAS, the sustainability of all conservative victories are at risk if the next generation does not understand and embrace Republican values, which are American values;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the GA Republican Assembly calls upon all Republican families to immediately remove their children from these harmful facilities and pursue alternative education options and furthermore suggests that local church leaders and Republicans without school-age children designate a portion of their volunteer time and personal resources to assist struggling families in their community in the pursuit of alternative education options.”

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Gwinnett RA Chapter Wins Awards for “Club of the Year” & “Volunteer of the Year”!

Gwinnett RA Chapter Wins Awards for “Club of the Year” & “Volunteer of the Year”!

Fayetteville, GA—At the GRA State Convention this year, volunteers from the Gwinnett chapter of the Georgia Republican Assembly received two of our most prestigious awards. We were pleased to bestow for 2021 the “Club of the Year” Award upon the Gwinnett group for their excellent example running their local chapter.

For many years the Gwinnett chapter been setting a good example for other local chapters in how they have held regular meetings (even during COVID), setting up local membership benefits, and hosting candidate forums and holiday parties that have helped to share useful information and good will in the community! There is a lot we all could benefit from in emulating them in these ways.

In addition, Gwinnett County Republican Assembly officer Mary Gordon was also awarded the “Volunteer of the Year” Award due to all of her hard work (often behind the scenes) helping to run her chapter and helping to organize and host special events for her chapter and GRA events. Mary has been gracious as well as skilled in all her service, demonstrating a sensitivity to others that many would do well to emulate.

We heartily congratulate these good folks from Gwinnett for earning this well-deserved recognition!

The GRA Elects New Officers for the 2021-2023 Term

The GRA Elects New Officers for the 2021-2023 Term

Fayetteville, GA—Today GRA members from across the state gathered to elect new Executive Committee officers for the next years.

We wish to congratulate to our new GRA Executive Committee!

Our new elected officers are:

Alex Johnson: GRA President (& NFRA President)
Nathaniel Darnell: NFRA Director
Catherine Bernard: NFRA Director
Brant Frost V: 1st Vice President
Jim Fernander: 2nd Vice President
• Abigail Darnell: 3rd Vice President
• Nate Porter: Treasurer
• Joanna Hildreth: Secretary
• Denise Burns: Assistant Secretary

Congratulations also to the Gwinnett Republican Assembly (County Chapter President: Gregory Howard) for winning the “Chapter of the Year” Award, to Philip J Singleton for winning the Legislative Award, and to Mary Gordon for winning “Volunteer of the Year.” Thanks to Derrick E Grayson, Kellie Pollard Austin, Ron Jones, and Zach Procter for offering to serve. We look forward to working with everyone to advance the GRA and get great principles which help all people enacted into law.

Registration Open for the Georgia Republican Assembly 2021 State Convention

Registration Open for the Georgia Republican Assembly 2021 State Convention

Join us as we hear from some of the most Conservative Political Leaders fighting for Georgia at the local, state, and national level.

Guest Speakers: Garland Favorito, Voter GA

We’ll hear what Favorito and the Voter GA organization has learned and are fighting for in Georgia’s court system regarding the Georgia 2020 elections. He’ll share what the Voter GA organization has done, is doing, results, and where we can get involved to make a difference.

Additional Invited Guest (not confirmed to date) Marjorie Taylor-Greene, U.S. House Rep. for GA Congressional District 14.

Matt Gurtler, Chief of Staff for U.S. Congressman Thomas Massie, and former GA House Rep. for District 8.

Additional Speakers to be announced. 

ELECTIONS FOR GRA EXECUTIVE BOARD

• President, NFRA National Director 1, NFRA National Director 2, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, 3rd Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer.

(If you are interested in running for any of the above mentioned positions, please submit your experience and political resume to Debra Williams at: debrapio@bellsouth.net, or call for any questions at 770-789-7017).

If you would like more information on serving on any of the following Committee(s) for the GRA, please contact Debra Williams at: 770-789-7017. (Flyers and sign-up will be available at Convention as well.) 

• Federal Committee, Chapter Relations, Membership, New Member, Newsletter, Legislative, Events, Public Relations, Speaker’s Bureau, Coalition of Leaders, State/GOP Vetting

Registration, Chick-Fil-A boxed Meal, Vender/Candidate Table can be purchased through Eventbrite.

Registration: $35 Boxed Meal $10 (Must be pre-ordered)

Beverages and Snacks available for purchase.

Vender/Candidate Tables $50 (Contact Debra Williams @ 770-789-7017 for questions).

To register now, visit our EventBrite page.

Catoosa RAs & Liberty Watchdogs Defeat Redevelopment Powers in Ringgold, GA

Catoosa RAs & Liberty Watchdogs Defeat Redevelopment Powers in Ringgold, GA

Northwest GA—On Tuesday, voters in Ringgold, Fort Oglethorpe, and Catoosa County all overwhelmingly rejected a controversial Redevelopment Powers proposal on the ballot that would have given the local municipalities the authority to create “Tax Allocation Districts” (TADs) and provide Tax Increment Financing for redevelopment.

These redevelopment powers operate on the premise that “blight makes right”! That is, any part of the community which the local government agency deems to be “blighted” can become a “project area” and be artificially stimulated by tax dollars through corporate welfare to developers. A similar measure was defeated earlier this year in Whitfield County.

One of the concerns expressed by voters was the permanence of this proposal, if adopted. Like many additional or emergency powers, when once surrendered by the people and seized by the civil government, they have no expiration date and power thus surrendered is not easily restored.

Joanna Hildreth
Joanna Hildreth

Joanna Hildreth wears many hats as an activist in the area. In addition to serving on the GRA Executive Committee, Joanna was elected this year as the Catoosa County GOP Chair, and she serves as the Vice President of the Northwest GA Republican Assembly chapter. She was very pleased with the outcome of the vote on Tuesday: “I opposed the referendum because at the root it increases the government’s power. I believe in small government, and this was a step in the other direction. We can’t trust that every county board in the future will wield these additional powers wisely. If the referendum had passed, the people would never be able to vote to end it. Only the governor has that authority.”

The Catoosa GOP voted to publicly oppose the Redevelopment Powers—in opposition to their state legislator and fellow Republicans State Rep. Dewayne Hill (R-Ringgold) [who has an “F” on his GRA Voting Scorecard, by the way] and Rep. Steve Tarvin (R-Chickamauga) who together co-authored HB 778, HB 764, and HB 766, the legislation that put the Redevelopment Powers question on the ballots in the first place. “The GOP precinct chairs were instrumental in calling voters, door-knocking, and sign-waving,” Hildreth explained. “Mitchell Horner, Ringgold precinct chairman of the Catoosa GOP and chair of our policy committee, started the Committee on Catoosa Taxation to raise money and purchase signs.”

The Catoosa GOP partnered with other groups like the Northwest GA Republican Assembly and also utilized social media, radio and television interviews.

Liberty activist Nick Ware attended the October 4th Town Hall meeting about Redevelopment Powers that was held at the Colonnade. “After I heard that presentation I knew I had to push forward,” he said. “I wan’t going to let the ‘powers that be’ have power forever and not stand up!” With that inspiration, Nick decided to put his liberty convictions in action and prepared a presentation about the potential danger of this measure and began spreading the word in the County. Ware and many Catoosa voters believed this measure was problematic for various reasons: it’s interference with the free market, the indebtedness it would create, the lack of accountability, and the special favors and deals it would allow to be given to the political elite and their friends.

“I utilized as many tools as I could to educate the voters,” said Ware.

Threat of Eminent Domain Prompts Emotional Response

Catoosa homeowners were also concerned about the threat of property seizure through eminent domain under this proposal.

“Supporters say if you keep your property looking tidy, you have nothing to worry about. But what about the elderly and disabled who can’t keep their house tidy?” said Nick Ware.

Nick expressed concern for people like the elderly couple who live and operate a small fruit stand on Boynton Road against whom a complaint had recently been filed or the woman overcome with worry and brought nigh to tears because her property borders an area intended to be developed. “I advised her to just hold out and see how the vote goes”, he said, “and she was very happy to hear about the outcome.”

Originally, eminent domain required proof that a property was being taken for “public use” such as the widening of a road, but in 2017 Georgia law was amended to allow local governments to use eminent domain to condemn blighted property and transfer it to a private developer for purposes of economic development. Of course, the original property owner is still entitled to receive what the civil government officials deem “just compensation,” but what is that to the owner of his childhood home or the property that has been passed down through family generations?

Not all Catoosa citizens share these concerns, however. John Pless, the Public Information Officer for Catoosa County told the Chattanooga Times Free Press, “What this would have done is essentially leverage the power of government to redevelop blighted areas. This was not a tax increase, and it was absolutely not a land grab.”

The referendum question was only narrowly defeated in the City of Fort Oglethorpe with only 51.05% voting “No” to Redevelopment Powers, and in the City of Ringgold 60.29% voted “No.” However, in Catoosa County voters rejected it by a staggering 82.55 percent! The fact that the measure failed in all three districts, to the local GRA and liberty activists, is a triumph worth celebrating. Voter turnout was remarkably low with only 4,927 ballots cast for the entire County, a mere fraction of the 32,099 votes cast in Catoosa in the 2020 Presidential election. Some voters have suspicions that controversial measures like these are intentionally put forward in election years where voter participation is expected to be low in order to increase their chances. But the vigilance and community organization of grass roots activists were able to win the day in spite of the low turnout.

George Bettersby protested the TAD in the public comments portion of the October 21 Catoosa Board of Commissioners Meeting. He said, “The county has a horrible reputation for conflicts of interest… The County has had so much problems trying to explain the TAD to taxpayers, they even brought in an expert from Atlanta to try and explain it to us old rednecks. Certainly the devil is in the details. However, one thing you can bank on: the local builders, developers will get richer on the aching backs of our taxpayers young and old.”

While some voters may not fully understand Redevelopment Powers, Tuesdays polling showed they were nonetheless skeptical and may have reasoned intuitively that, if government officials were not asking for more money and more power, they wouldn’t have to get voters permission with a new ballot referendum.

An Ideological Ballot Question

The proposal was very broad and generic in nature and did not specify a certain area or a private developer that would benefit from it. This means the underlying question put to the voters was ideological:

Should local government have the power to artificially stimulate or develop an area that the free market has rejected and is therefore not developing organically?

Should the government provide enhancements that were not merited in the free market?

Should local government have the power to seize private property, against the will of the property owners in order to accomplish the community enhancements that elected officials deem beneficial?

The triple rejection of this proposal by the Cities of Ringgold, Fort Oglethorpe and Catoosa County is likely an indication of voters core worldview and fundamental beliefs about the role of government in the lives of the citizenry. A belief that would appear to differ from their elected representatives Dewayne Hill (R-Ringgold) and Steve Tarvin (R-Chickamauga) who sponsored the legislation.

The GRA Calls Out Fulton GOP for Fundraising for Atlanta Democrat

The GRA Calls Out Fulton GOP for Fundraising for Atlanta Democrat

“Fulton County GOP corruption strikes again!” The Georgia Republican Assembly has joined with voices of other concerned Republican political activists in metro-Atlanta by expressing their shock and displeasure at yet another new antic of the Fulton GOP.

The Fulton County Republican Party posted on their official Fulton County GOP web site, which is paid for with donations to the Fulton GOP, a brochure advertising a fundraiser for Democrat Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore. Moore is running for Mayor of Atlanta.

Screenshot of the fundraiser for a Democrat on the Fulton GOP web site

In addition, the Fulton GOP Chair Trey Kelly and his fellow Fulton GOP officer Ashford Schwall appear on this fundraiser event for the Democrat Atlanta City Council President! In addition to serving as officers of the Fulton GOP, Trey and Ashford are also on the Georgia 11th District Republican Party Commitee along with many members of the Cobb Republican Party, the Bartow Republican Party, and the Cherokee Republican Party. Michelle Carver from Fulton, the wife of 11th District GOP Chair Brad Carver (who was formerly found giving public donations to Democrat candidates) also included her name on the fundraiser event.

This is a clear-cut violation of the bylaws for the 11th District GOP and arguably a violation of GAGOP bylaws that prohibit any Republican officer from providing public support to a Democrat. For example, in the 11th District GOP bylaws, it states under Section 2.07 that officers of the 11th District Committee may be removed “for cause,” and it defines “cause” as, among other things:

“ii. Conduct detrimental to the party.”

“iii. Any public support, including financial support, of any candidate or nominee of an opposition party …”

The Rules of the Eleventh District Republican Committee, § 2.07 (b).

Holding a fundraiser for a candidate who is currently serving in office as a Democrat seems to be conduct “detrimental to the party.”

Members of the Fulton GOP who defended the actions of its officers argued that because Felicia Moore is running for Mayor of Atlanta, and the mayoral race is non-partisan, the rules of the party were not violated. We beg to differ. Both the letter and definitely the spirit of the rules are clearly violated.

Unlike some of the nitpickiness about rules that has been scattered lately in various GAGOP controversies on social media, this is a violation that strikes at the heart of why we have separate party organizations.

The response from those trying to justify the fundraiser also illustrates the disconnect within the group we call “the Establishment,” who care only about political power (rather than the Republican principles) in the Atlanta “swamp”:

Felicia Moore is currently holding office as a Democrat. Whether the particular office she is now running for is partisan or not, we know from the candidate’s political identification, current partisan office, track record, and worldview what the policies are she is going to promote if elected to new office! She is not going to be promoting policies that are consistent with Republican principles; she will be promoting Democrat policies. She will work to advance the Democrat Party in Fulton and squelch the Republican candidates in Fulton. No wonder then there was so many reports of election fraud coming from Fulton last year!

To put it another way: If you rename Atilla the Hun as “Joe Smiley,” it makes him no less dangerous. If you rename a bottle of arsenic as “sleeping potion,” it makes it no less dangerous. And if you rename a Democrat a “non-partisan,” it makes her no less dangerous!

“[E]lecting Democrats (even if they’re calling themselves non-partisan),” wrote GRA President Alex Johnson, “simply helps them [the Democrats] with fundraising and name ID. So then they can donate money to other Democrats (like Stacey Abrams) and their endorsement may sway others. It also gives them a perceived platform to advertise their brand (Democrat governance).”

“The GOP is a brand and a team,” Alex said. “As a brand, imagine it/your brand as Coca-Cola. Does Coca-Cola host events and then serve Pepsi at them, or suggest that people try out Pepsi products? No. What about having Pepsi and Coke both available, but just without labels on them? No again.”

“The Democrat Party,” GRA NFRA Director Nathaniel Darnell added, “stands for agendas that are immoral. Things like murdering the helpless and stealing from others. What Republican doesn’t acknowledge that murder and stealing are evil? Anyone who is a part of that becomes an accessory to that kind of evil activity. How can we in good conscience provide any kind of promotion to political candidates who are part of a party working to advance these kinds of evil statist activities?”

Furthermore, multiple Fulton activists have pointed out that there were one or two candidates who were Republicans also running for Mayor of Atlanta. Devonta “Sully” Sullivan was one candidate running who is reported to be a Republican, but the Fulton GOP and its officers are not throwing support behind any of them, nor are they seeking to recruit any better Republican candidate to run. With moments like this, we find ourselves wondering why the Fulton GOP thinks they exist. “With Republicans like you, who needs Democrats?”

The Cobb County chapter of the GRA initially posted on social media about this issue when the story first broke on Saturday, October 9th. The fundraiser was held on Friday, October 8th.

On October 22nd the Buckhead Young Republicans announced they are following the example of their elder peers and also hosting an event to promote an Atlanta Democrat running for Mayor. However, the Buckhead YRs would be giving attention to Felicia Moore’s opponent, the former incumbent Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. One significant difference between the events, however, is that the Fulton GOP event was specifically described as a fundraiser, while the Buckhead YR event appears listed as only a candidate speaking forum. Since the Fulton GOP has already made clear that they regard this race as an “anything goes” because the candidates are “non-partisan,” it appears they have no basis to complain against their youthful counterparts supporting this opponent to their preferred candidate.

GRA President Alex Johnson Elected President of the NFRA

GRA President Alex Johnson Elected President of the NFRA

Scottsdale, Arizona—Over the weekend, Republican Assembly leaders and delegates from all over the country met for the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA) Convention. Attendees heard from elected officials such as House Freedom Caucus Chairman Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ), candidates such as Mark Finchem for Arizona Secretary of State, and spokesmen and educators such as Charlie Kirk with Turning Point USA.

A portion of the GRA delegation attending the 2021 NFRA Convention in Scottsdale, Arizona

On the final day of the convention, participating members of the NFRA Board voted to elect a new President for the national organization. Mr. Willes Lee (originally from Hawaii, but more recently moved to Virgina) has served as the NFRA President for the last four years, and has been a noted board member as well of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

When the tally of the ballots was reported, the Georgia Republican Assembly’s President Alex Johnson was announced to have won the election. GRA NFRA Directors Debra Williams and Nathaniel Darnell were both present to vote for Alex, who won by three votes. In addition to working as an attorney from DeKalb, Alex has helped to revitalize and rebuild the GRA over the last six years.

Watch Alex Johnson’s speech for his candidacy at the 2021 NFRA Convention.

In addition, GRA member James Jordan, CPA was elected as the NFRA Treasurer when his opponent decided to drop out of the race at the last moment.

“The NFRA will now become the organization it is meant to be,” said GRA NFRA Director Debra Williams. “Look forward to see great things happen!”

“Alex has built a great team, set a fine example, and spear-headed relentlessly over the last several years to build the GRA,” said GRA NFRA Director Nathaniel Darnell. “We know he’ll do a great job taking that same success to the national Republican Assembly organization.”

The NFRA announces Alex Johnson as the winner of the election.