Category: Issues

Heartbeat Law Disappointingly Ineffective Says Sidewalk Counselors

Heartbeat Law Disappointingly Ineffective Says Sidewalk Counselors

Since Georgia’s Heartbeat law went into effect on July 20th, pro-life Georgians have been surprised and disappointed by the data shared by sidewalk counselors. The observations they share from their numerous hours outside abortion facilities indicate the law is not very effective at saving babies lives despite all the pro-life celebration and the hysteria from pro-abortion activists.

Full-time sidewalk counselors (also called pro-life missionaries) who peacefully pray and evangelize outside abortion facilities have shared some disturbing reports of high abortion numbers and contrasted pre-heartbeat law averages with the averages seen today.

The Columbus Women’s Health abortuary has tripled their normal rate of abortions since the Dobbs ruling overturned the precedent started with Roe v. Wade.

Seneca Choices For Life (left) Columbus Women’s Health abortion mill (right).

Seneca Choices for Life, the local pro-life pregnancy center is strategically located beside the leading Columbus abortion facility. The pregnancy center maintains a constant presence outside the clinic, praying and pleading with women to change their mind and receive the free resources they provide.

“Just here in Columbus the abortions have tripled since before Roe,” said Amber Snipes, Director of Seneca Choices for Life.

“This is a reason we are suspicious of illegal activity because there’s been a significant spike in numbers once abortions became illegal after 6 weeks.”

Amber Snipes and infant outside Seneca Choices for Life, Columbus.

Some speculate that the high volume of abortions in Columbus is due to its proximity to Alabama, a state with stronger legal protections for pre-born children compared to Georgia. Alabama law protects children from the moment of fertilization with the only exception for serious health risk to the pre-born child’s mother. It contains no exception for rape or incest, unlike Georgia’s Heartbeat law.

Data collected by Columbus sidewalk counselors reveals the mothers entering the abortion mill drove vehicles with a diverse array of state license plates hailing from Alabama, Louisiana and even Texas. These out-of-state licenses and the higher volume of elective abortions committed in border cities like Columbus indicates that Georgia is becoming an abortion destination state.

In Augusta the data shows abortion numbers are down, but not by much.

“The volume has been cut down from about 30 to [between] 12 to 20 per day. They aren’t following the law,” said Steven Smith, a pro-life missionary in Augusta.

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North Metro RA Solidarity Petition Aims to “Ditch Dominion”

North Metro RA Solidarity Petition Aims to “Ditch Dominion”

The North Metro RA chapter (Cherokee & Pickens counties) is helping to spearhead an effort to secure 10,000 signatures in seven days (1,500 daily) on a petition demanding that we “Ditch Dominion” in favor of PAPER Ballots!

Time is of the essence! Click here to sign onto the petition!

This effort is joined with the non-partisan Cherokee Citizens for Election Integrity, an organized community action group dedicated to the preservation of Honest, Fair, and Transparent Elections, and hereby demand that our Cherokee County Board of Commissioners “Ditch Dominion” now in favor of Paper Ballots for the November General Elections.

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GRA DENOUNCES THE INVASION OF PRESIDENT TRUMP’S HOME: Unprecedented Action a Violation of the 4th Amendment

GRA DENOUNCES THE INVASION OF PRESIDENT TRUMP’S HOME: Unprecedented Action a Violation of the 4th Amendment

Atlanta, GA, August 9, 2022 — The home of a former president, President Donald J. Trump, was invaded by armed FBI agents on August 8, 2022.  This unprecedented action is something we expect to see in communist countries, but not in the United States of America.  This egregious act must have had the approval of, at the very least, Christopher Wray, Director of the FBI, but most likely also had the approval of President Joe Biden.

The Georgia Republican Assembly denounces this act as a violation of the 4th Amendment of the United States, which states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by the oath of affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or things to be seized.”

President Trump states, “After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate. It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, They even broke into my safe! What is the difference between this and Watergate, where operatives broke into the Democrat National Committee? Here, in reverse, Democrats broke into the home of the 45th President of the United States.”

We call upon every elected official sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States to denounce this attempt to intimidate and harass a former president and to weaponize our law agencies to be used as political hacks.  We ask every American to call and write their senators to decry this violation of the 4th Amendment.

About the Georgia Republican Assembly

The Georgia Republican Assembly is a member of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA), committed to reforming the Republican Party to achieve its goal of a constitutional government.  We aim to reclaim the Republican Party for Conservatives, reform the Party back to its Conservative Values, and restore Republicans’ faith in the GOP.  https://georgiara.com/

Cobb RA Event: ““The Full Impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Last Term” with Alabama Chief Justice’s Office

Cobb RA Event: ““The Full Impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Last Term” with Alabama Chief Justice’s Office

Chief Justice Tom Parker of the
Alabama State Supreme Court

One of our county chapters is putting together a special event we think you may want to attend. The Cobb County Republican Assembly is pleased have a special guest speaker for their county convention on Thursday evening, August 18th at the Cobb County GOP Headquarters: Attorney Ben DuPré, Chief of Staff to the Republican Chief Justice Tom Parker of the Alabama State Supreme Court, will personally provide a message on what is being called “the U.S. Supreme Court’s best term in the history of America!” We will hear a summary and explanation on how the court has overturned major damaging precendent that egregiously deviated from the history and text of the U.S. Constitution to circumvent our elected representative system and imposed tyranny on Americans for decades. We will better understand how the series of court decisions were landmark for gun rights, the lives of the prebornenergy development, bureaucratic over-reach, freedom of religionschool choice, and more!

Attorney Ben DuPré, Chief of Staff
for the last two elected
Chief Justices of the State of Alabama

Ben DuPré is the husband of Jerusha DuPré and the father of seven children, who are educated at home through Ezekiel Academy. Ben is a constitutional law attorney licensed in Virginia and Alabama. Although born and raised in New York, Ben came south as soon as he could, attending Regent University Law School in Virginia, before moving to Montgomery in 2001 to work for Chief Justice Roy Moore at the Alabama Supreme Court on the same day the Ten Commandments monument was installed. In 2003 Ben left the Court to work with Chief Justice Moore at the Foundation for Moral Law for nine years, defending religious liberty and advocating for the pre-born in Georgia, Alabama, and across the country.

Since 2013, Ben served as Chief of Staff for both Chief Justice Moore and now Chief Justice Tom Parker. Ben serves as a deacon at Evangel Church in Montgomery, and is grateful to be saved by grace and to be a survivor of Roe v. Wade.

Registration for the event includes refreshments, dessert, and a time for Q&A with our guest speaker. Cobb RA season pass holders get $15 off this and future events we host this year!

Here is a summary of the location and times for the up-coming event:
Cobb RA County Convention
Held at the Cobb GOP Headquarters
799 Roswell Street NW, Marietta, GA 30060
$30 early-bird registration (refreshments & dessert included)
$15 registration with season pass
Thursday, August 18, 2022
7:00 PM EST (guest speaker)

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE AUGUST COBB RA EVENT.

Georgians Call for Immediate Legislative Session to Protect Pre-born

Georgians Call for Immediate Legislative Session to Protect Pre-born

Ringgold, GA—On Saturday, more than seventy-five pro-life activists gathered in front of the Catoosa County Courthouse to praise God for the overturn of the erroneous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and call for a special legislative session to abolish abortion in Georgia with a Personhood Amendment to the state constitution.

“We are here today to rejoice in the overturn of Roe v Wade and to call on our elected officials to end the Holocaust of abortion once and for all,” said Abigail Darnell, Vice President of Georgia Right to Life & 3rd Vice President for the Georgia Republican Assembly.

Part of the proper liberty restored in the Dobbs decision was the ability for individual states to enact laws that protect the unborn without artificial restrictions from Washington,”said Vaughn Hamilton, Elder of Brainerd Hills Presbyterian Church. “Let us give thanks for this opportunity and let us pray for moral clarity and boldness from voters, to legislators to the judiciary and to the Governor.”

The rally featured local church leaders, politicians and activists who have joined forces in an effort entitled Georgians Ending Abortion. They are urging Georgians to sign an online petition to Governor Kemp which states: 

Whereas, several thousand pre-born children may be legally murdered in our state before the beginning of the next regularly scheduled legislative session; and 

Whereas, innocent Georgians may be legally murdered even if the “Heartbeat” law goes into effect because of the broad exceptions it contains;

Therefore, we urge you to immediately convene a special session of the Georgia General Assembly.”

https://www.grtlpetitions.online 

The Governors of South Dakota and Indiana have already announced their intention to convene special sessions in their states to strengthen legal protection for the pre-born, and activists are calling on Governor Brian Kemp to follow suit. Organizers of the event contend that abortion is both a sin and a crime and therefore both the church and the state have a duty to take bold, decisive action immediately. 

“Why are we meeting at the Courthouse? Because God ordained civil government to administer justice. Not individuals, not the family, not the church,” said Keith Cochran, President of Northwest Georgia Right to Life. “What is our grievance? Pre-born children are being legally murdered by their mother and her doctor without any punishment at all.”

The rally commended Chattooga County Commissioner Blake Elsberry who last week signed a Resolution for Life affirming his desire to protect all human life in his jurisdiction. Chattooga GRA-member & activist Jennifer Tudor read the Resolution. It reads:

“Be it further resolved, that the Office of the Sole Commissioner of Chattooga County hereby resolves to use all means within its power to support the sanctity of human life in accordance with its God-given responsibilities as the people’s elected governing body.” 

“This is something I have felt convicted about getting done since first taking office and I feel a heavy burden of sadness that we even have to have this debate in America. Nevertheless, now with this issue coming back to the states, I felt that it was important that our state leadership know that this office supports the right to life for the born and unborn alike,” wrote Elsberry in a statement. 

 “We are hoping in Catoosa County the Board of Commissioners will step up and do the right thing and sign that resolution as well,” said Ray Blankenship an activist in the Catoosa GOP and leader in the second amendment sanctuary movement.

Activist Charlie Wysong who led an effort to shut down the Chattanooga abortion facility which closed in 1994 said “How does it feel to have a fifty year prayer answered?”

The rally featured State Representative-elect Mitchell Horner of House District 3 (R-Ringgold) who likened the pro-life cause to the abolition of slavery. “On March 20th 1854, the Republican Party formed over the issue of abolition. Once again we must form a Republican Party around the notion of abolition – an abolition of killing children…It’s time for Republicans in the state house to have courage and act, said Horner. 

State Rep.-elect Mitchell Horner

“Republicans have had the majority in the House and Senate for twenty years. Why do we still kill babies?” Said Jackie Harling a Walker County activist and former candidate for House District 1.

The Georgians Ending Abortion petition is co-sponsored by many Republican organizations that point to the GAGOP platform which states: “We believe in the right to life from conception, beginning at fertilization, to natural death.”

“We are calling on Republicans to advance the platform they say they believe in,” said Nathaniel Darnell, the senior NFRA Director for the Georgia Republican Assembly.

State Senator-elect Colton Moore of Senate District 53 (R-Trenton) also spoke out in favor of the effort and described the intense antagonism that was displayed against the ‘Heartbeat Bill’. “I wish each of you could’ve heard the hisses and the growls from the gallery as that piece of legislation finally passed by one vote.”

State Senator-elect Colton Moore

Georgia’s ‘Heartbeat’ law has been challenged in court since 2019 and has not yet been enforced or saved a single life. Currently in Georgia, all babies may be legally murdered up until 20 weeks, before the stage in which it has been demonstrated that babies feel pain. However babies believed to have Down’s Syndrome or other ‘fetal abnormalities’ may currently be killed by abortion after 20 weeks despite the excruciating pain they may experience. This double standard is replicated and expanded in the Heartbeat bill which treats children conceived in rape or incest to a different standard of justice than consensually-conceived children, a concept that hearkens back to the eugenics of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany and Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger.

“We as an American society, we believe that we have equal justice under the law – each and every member of society. And when that fertilized egg becomes a new person, it too has equal justice under the law and we Americans must continue to fight for it,” said Moore.

“The Dobbs decision is not the end of our work, it is the beginning,” said Pastor Dan Hocker of Christian Fellowship Assembly in Tunnel Hill.

Dan Hocker referenced the pro-life work of early Christians. “We started this work on the hills of Rome. Back then there wasn’t a pill, there wasn’t even a coat hanger, back then there weren’t doctors that would ‘end a pregnancy’. Back then there were only wolves on the hills to eat those babies. But Christians would watch as they would take those babies to the hills and they would rescue those babies and raise them to have faith in the Lord that we serve.”

What about Rape?

Dan Hocker: “Is it right to take that babies little life because a sin was committed? “There’s no doubt that rape and incest are wrong. But it is still God-breathed life.”

“The only people that really have choices and options, are the people that breathe and walk among us. The unborn they don’t have that option… That female or that male in the womb, they don’t have the option to plead with their mother not to kill them. They don’t have an option or a choice to ask their father to fight for them,” said Blankenship.

Georgians who favor abortion vehemently reject the involvement of Christians in abortion law-making. Some Ringgold residents voiced their opposition from their vehicles yelling “My body, my choice” or profanity as the drive by. They often oppose Christian involvement on the claim that it violates the separation of church and state. However, activists at the rally clearly delineated the separate, distinct role of those two institutions. 

“We believe in the institutional separation of church and state, but there is no separation between God and government,” said Nathaniel Darnell.

“There is no authority except that which is given of God – received from God with the intent of reflecting the character of God,” said Reagan Marsh, Pastor of Reformation Baptist Church in Dalton as he spoke to Romans 13.

“Government when it positions itself above scripture has no authority… “Government is a restricted authority… they are not to execute or fulfill their own will nor that of the electorate. They are to serve God alone and they will answer to God as surely as you and I will. Just as surely as I will as an elder and as a pastor. God’s word alone determines good from evil, right from wrong, not mere populace or consensus or what is trending on Twitter.”

“We have a duty to see to it and to call our elected officials to the obedience that God’s word requires of them. Because how they govern reflects how people see Him,” said Marsh.

“I’m asking Governor Kemp to stand up and take a stand, as we put these petitions before him… What happens here in the state of Georgia is going to affect America and what happens in America affects the world,” said Edward Torres a Missionary with Amazon for Christ Medical Missions.

The GRA Joins with GRTL & More to Call on the Governor & Republican Legislators to Pass Personhood into State Law

The GRA Joins with GRTL & More to Call on the Governor & Republican Legislators to Pass Personhood into State Law

Monday morning Georgia Right to Life (GRTL) held a press conference announcing that the GRA and dozens of other pro-life organizations have joined to present a petition. We are calling on Governor Brian Kemp and Republican legislators to act now! They need to call a special session to pass a Personhood state constitutional amendment (or at the very least a statute) that will protect the lives of all the preborn!It’s time for Equal Protection under the law for all our children in the womb.

Click the video above to watch the Georgians Ending Abortion Press Conference.

The only pro-life legislation saving the lives of any babies in Georgia right now has been the Fetal Pain Bill which GRTL proposed and successfully lobbied Republicans in the legislature to finally pass in 2012. That legislation prevents abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and, as it was proposed to the legislature, had no “but you can murder the baby this other way” type language. (Establishment Republicans dropped in one vague exception into the bill during the last-minute mad rush of Sine Die in 2012, which GRTL did not approve of nor endorse, and in fact warned could open up the door to eugenics, especially if further expanded.)

Since that bill was passed, however, as a part of Speaker Ralston and other Atlanta Establishment Republican’s efforts to insulate themselves from accountability and consolidate power, they have helped to create a number of pseudo-conservative organizations with a presence at the state capitol— to serve as their “controlled opposition.” These organizations work to provide cover for Republicans to make them look more conservative to the voters back home even when they vote like Democrats.

Liberal Republican State Rep. 
Sharon Cooper

These pseudo-prolife groups pushed for the State House in 2019 to water-down the Heartbeat Bill, they alleged, in order to win the support of wishy-washy so-called “moderate” Republicans such as State Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Cobb), who every year earns a vote scorecard between a “D” and an “F“(high of 45% & low of 38%). In spite of these concessions, Cooper still refused to vote in favor of the Heartbeat Bill along with four other Republicans. One Democrat voted for it, but not these five Republicans.

Of course, more than one of these pseudo-conservative groups have had the audacity to call Sharon Cooper a great champion for the pro-life cause!

As a result of these failed attempts to appease these RINOs, the Heartbeat Bill has a number of unnecessary flaws. First, it does not protect preborn children prior to six weeks gestation. Second, it contains a massive loophole by relying on the medical personnel who could have a monetary interest in murdering the baby to be the sole determiner of whether there is a heartbeat. Third, babies with detectable beating hearts may still be murdered if they were conceived in rape, have a “fetal abnormality” such as Down syndrome, or if the doctor believes intentionally murdering the baby is necessary to treat a complication involving the mother’s well being.

But perhaps the worst part about the Heartbeat Bill is that it asserts that the baby is a human person from the moment of conception, while simultaneously asserting it is okay for someone to murder that child under various circumstances before a doctor admits he heard the child’s heartbeat. One cannot win hearts and minds over to our cause with such a hypocritical—such an internally inconsistent position.

Preborn human baby in a mother’s uterus

The Heartbeat Bill has not been enforced for even one single day over the last nearly four years!

We’ve given them plenty of time to do something with the bill, but not a single baby’s life has been saved by this highly-touted bill. It’s time for Republicans to prove that they really believe life begins “at fertilization”—as is spelled out in the Georgia Republican Party Platform!

We need to provide Equal Protection under the law for every child from the moment of conception without exception. Once again in Georgia it should be a crime. Criminal investigations would still be conducted in accordance with all Due Process addressed in the Bill of Rights, such as the 4th Amendment privacy protections against warrantless searches and seizures not supported by probable cause, and such as the right to a trial by jury. But murder is murder.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION CALLING FOR EQUAL PROTECITON.

After Long-Awaited SCOTUS Victories—Now What?

After Long-Awaited SCOTUS Victories—Now What?

Last Friday, June 24 served as the cap-stone on a week of landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions dealing with issues of School Choice, Gun Rights, and finally the Lives of the Preborn. As an encore, this week they gave us another win for Religious Freedom. For countless pro-lifers, gun rights activists, educators, Christians, conservatives, and just constitutional textualists, these victories have been a long time coming! In fact, many who started these efforts 50 or more years ago have long since passed.
It reminds us that the effort to stand for our principles and promote life and freedom in America is a long-game. But by the grace of God it does pay off.

President Ronald Reagan with a much younger Clarence Thomas in 1986

By at least the 1940s conservatives had started to notice a problem with a growing tyranny within the United States Supreme Court. Yet it wasn’t until the late 1970s that an organized effort began to build to counter-act that trend, to raise up a new generation of jurists to fight back, and to get the Republican Party to help. With the election of Ronald Reagan as President in 1980, for the first time Republicans seemed ready to work to turn things around.

However, the initial results proved mixed at best. Are you old enough to remember? Working with the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate up until 1987, President Reagan successfully got two excellent Justices installed onto the Supreme Court: Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. They were eager to reverse most of the worst court decisions that had contributed to America’s decline in the twentieth century. But the other two appointed under Reagan proved quite the disappointment: Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy. These last two would work to ensure that the court’s tyrannical trend would grow and entrench, often pairing with the liberal justices to thwart one conservative effort after another for the next 20 years.

Former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

We could give Reagan a mulligan for Kennedy. After all, Republicans had just lost control of the U.S. Senate in the 1986 election, and Reagan had previously offered two exceptional judicial nominees in Robert Bork and Doug Ginsberg that the Democrat Senate had turned down before Kennedy was offered as a compromise candidate. But there was no excuse for Sandra Day O’Connor. Republicans in control simply failed to properly vet her just because she was a woman, and they wanted to make good on the promise to appoint the first woman to the Supreme Court. It was an early example of the folly of identity politics.

That mixed trend continued under President George H.W. Bush, who appointed another stellar conservative in Justice Clarence Thomas, but an awful disappointment in Justice David Souter. Thankfully, Thomas has endured on the court while O’Connor, Kennedy, and Souter (finally!) retired.

Under Democrat Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama the liberals got nothing but consistent liberal Justices appointed to the court. They weren’t playing games. “Liberal” didn’t mean pro-liberty; “liberal” meant more liberal intrusion of the federal government, and a more liberally “fast and loose” interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

Demonstrators during D.C. v. Heller

President George W. Bush continued the mixed success for Republicans, though, in appointing the terrific Justice Samuel Alito and the quite disappointing Chief Justice John Roberts. Again, there was no excuse for this mistake since Republicans controlled all of Capitol Hill at this time. President Bush even originally was going to appoint Harriet Miers instead of Alito, but the outcry from conservatives was so strong that Bush had to relent. Then a shift started to happen.

In 2008 for the first time SCOTUS reversed itself on a series of repeatedly encroaching decisions that involved gun rights with D.C. v. Heller. Prior to graduating from law school, I had the opportunity to personally witness the oral arguments before the Supreme Court in Heller. It was a momentous occasion. A bright glimmer of hope. It wasn’t just the first major reversal for gun rights, but virtually the first major reversal for conservatives of any kind for the court in decades.

Then when Justice Antonin Scalia unfortuitously died in 2016, most of us thought that was the end of any hope of fully reversing the court’s tyranny in our lifetime. Thankfully, U.S. Senate Republicans had enough fortitude to prevent out-going President Obama from appointing Scalia’s replacement.

Next, do you remember the 2016 presidential elections? For many of us who had been paying close attention to what had been going on in the United States Supreme Court for decades, we trusted that despite whatever other weaknesses U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) might have, he as a conservative attorney at least knew very well what was going on with jurisprudence in D.C. and what kind of Justice the next President would need to appoint to help turn things around. We didn’t have the same confidence in presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Businessman Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz during the 
2016 presidential Republican Primary

Cruz pressed Trump on the question of who he would appoint to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Trump agreed with Cruz on the type of Justices that needed to be appointed—a key point that helped Cruz supporters feel more comfortable getting behind Trump for the Republican nomination.

And President Trump made good on his word. Working with the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate, and listening closely to conservatives, President Trump appointed three conservative Justices to the court that provided a cushion for when Chief Justice Roberts acted up. It is very likely President Trump’s federal judicial appointments will be the most lasting positive legacy of his presidency.

Trump’s three appointments:
Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, & Barrett

Yet until this previous week, all of those three appointed Justices had not yet been fully field tested. After so many previous disappointments, we were still holding our breath in suspense waiting for another possible letdown.

They didn’t let us down. This time Republicans delivered. They delivered because conservatives hounded them relentlessly. And when Republicans deliver, it makes us want to get out and vote for them again!

We don’t mean to suggest that these Justices are perfect either individually or collectively, but they do represent a major course correction in the federal court that has been a long time coming.

Pro-life activists Saturday

So while many statists and liberals took to the street this weekend to complain and protest about the decisions, many of us were celebrating. I was grateful for the opportunity to speak on behalf of pro-life activists like many of you to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Over the last 40 years, there have been so many opportunities for them to do this and … they haven’t had the courage to do it, they’ve missed opportunities, and then all of a sudden, they finally did it! We’re just so excited. Can’t believe we lived to see this day.”

Which Republicans Voted for the Terrible Version of H.B. 1013?

Which Republicans Voted for the Terrible Version of H.B. 1013?

First, who were the Republican authors who joined with two Democrats to author this terrible legislation in its original form? Answer:

• Speaker David Ralston, Vote Scorecard Rating: “F”
• State Rep. Todd Jones, Vote Scorecard Rating: “D”
• State Rep. Don Hogan, Vote Scorecard Rating: “D”
• State Rep. Sharon Cooper (Cobb), Vote Scorecard Rating: “D”

The fact that these were willing to propose a bill that had all the things in it that the original version had says a lot about them. It also says a lot that these House Republicans voted to rubber-stamp the proposal without any changes:

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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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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.