HIAWASSEE, Ga. – State House Representative Matt Gurtler addressed the Towns County Republican Party Thursday, June 20, at Daniel’s Steakhouse in Hiawassee. The second-term official reviewed the highlights of the recent legislative session, explaining his voting history to the crowd-filled room, while promoting an ongoing mission to “bring principles back into politics.” Gurtler has unapologetically represented District 8 since 2016 when elected to serve Georgia’s top conservative district.
Representative Gurtler spoke in opposition of the ever-increasing state budget which continues to rise between $1.1 to $1.5 billion annually, while heavily favoring the “Heartbeat Bill” which prohibits abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, advancing the House floor by a single vote. The staunch conservative touched upon free-market broadband service, the importance of historical monument preservation, and advocated for “in-house” hemp cultivation, stating that the proposed bill incorporates a high level of governmental control, referencing the measure as “the most highly regulated bill in the nation at this point.”
Gurtler concluded the address with an emotive argument against House Speaker David Ralston, a feud that reached its peak during Gurtler’s 2018 re-election campaign; fueled by Ralson’s open support of Gurtler’s challenger, and Ralston’s critique of the rebel of the House. Gurtler defined Ralston as exhibiting an “abuse of power,” claiming that the speaker “rules with an iron fist” while blocking bills, and attempting to oust those who oppose him. “This is someone who needs to be replaced,” the District 8 representative said. True to past form, Gurtler called for Ralston’s resignation as House speaker. “It’s all about power. It’s all about maintaining power…,” Gurtler professed, adding, “They know that the power is crumbling underneath their feet.”
Representative Gurtler’s full legislative voting record is available online..
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Republican Party is gearing up for the 2020 election cycle by hosting a presidential watch party this evening, Tuesday, June 18, at the residence of Towns County GOP Chairwoman Betsy Young. President Donald Trump is expected to announce his intent to pursue a second term as America’s commander-in-chief during a televised launch rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL.
“The GAGOP has asked people all over Georgia to have a celebration and use social media to share it, showing our support for this president,” Chairwoman Young said.
“The Fake News doesn’t report it, but Republican enthusiasm is at an all time high,” President Trump tweeted on the morning of the launch. “Look what is going on in Orlando, Florida, right now! People have never seen anything like it (unless you play a guitar). Going to be wild – See you later!” While the Orlando venue is expected to be filled to capacity with 25,000 supporters, an estimated 100,000 individuals were noted to have requested attendance. ClickOrlando, a Florida-based news source, reported Trump’s supporters began arriving outside of the vast arena 40 hours prior to the start of the event.
The local watch party is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in Hiawassee with President Trump taking the Sunshine State stage at 8 p.m. For information on attending the open event, dial Betsy Young at 904-382-1912 or email TCGOPChair@gmail.com
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – The Towns County Republican Party hosted two guest speakers Thursday, May 16, at their monthly meeting at the Towns County Civic Center in Hiawassee. Georgia State Senator John Wilkinson addressed the “Good, Bad, and Ugly of the 2019 Session” and Dr. Gerry Chotiner spoke on subject of political correctness, “To Be or Not to be PC.”
Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw opened the meeting with quotes by former President Ronald Reagan. Top of Georgia Speech Training contest winner Gabe Moody spoke on the importance of the American flag before leading the group in the Pledge of Allegience. Students Summer Rahn performed the National Anthem, and Samantha Church introduced Senator Wilkinson.
The senator praised the state’s balanced budget and AAA bond rating, noting that 90-percent of senior citizens pay no state income tax. Wilkinson informed that Georgia is considered the number one state to do business in the county, and relayed that he believes Governor Brian Kemp had “a great first session.” The state official expressed disappointment in the failure to pass the “recess bill” which would have mandated 30 minutes of recess each day for school children. Wilkinson said it was a good year for education, as teachers received pay raises, and 2,300 schools which took part in a study will each receive $30,000 to improve school safety. The senator spoke favorably on the “heartbeat bill” which bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. “Georgia need to be a state that stands for life,” Senator Wilkinson said.
Dr. Chotiner spoke on the history of political correctness, providing statistics from a 2015 study conducted by Yale University. According to Chotiner, 51 percent of students favored speech codes, and 33 percent could not identify the First Amendment which protects free speech.
Towns County Republican Party recently launched a website, and GOP Chair Betsy Young displayed it on a laptop computer near the refreshment table for attendees to view. Towns County GOP meets on the third Thursday of each month at 6 pm at the civic center on the courthouse campus.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – US Congressman Doug Collins is scheduled to address the Towns County Republican Party at Moondance Restaurant (formerly Cafe Portofino) Tuesday, April 15, from 5-6 p.m. The public is invited to attend.
“Do you remember, ‘Madame Attorney General I never thought I would hear myself say this, but, I miss Eric Holder,'” Towns County GOP Betsy Young asked. “Congressman Collins was speaking to Loretta Lynch as she refused to answer questions regarding the visit on the tarmac with Bill Clinton. Now as the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, he has a seat on one of the most powerful committees in the US Government and is the number five person on the Republican side of the US House. He’s vocal and stands up to the tacit remarks of the those who constantly attack and belittle our President, Donald Trump.
“We learned from him that, ‘Nellie Ohr’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee reveals she and Bruce Ohr met with Christopher Steele one day before Peter Strzok opened the FBI Investigation into President Donald J. Trump’s campaign; coincidence?’ He then released the transcript and continues to do so, legally. Transparency is his goal; go to https://dougcollins.house.gov/Papadopoulos for the full report on how it got started. We might have never known if he hadn’t taken the ball and run with it, as they say.”
Congressman Collins has served as a United States Representative of Georgia’s 9th Congressional District since 2013. Collins is a member of the House Committee on the Judiciary and is Vice-Chair of its Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. As a member of the House Committee on Rules, he also helps manage every piece of House legislation that comes to the House floor.
(Feature Photo Credit: FOX News)
DILLARD, Ga. – Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw was awarded “Distinguished Local Elected Official” by the Ninth District Republican Party at a dinner ceremony at the Dillard House in Rabun County April 12. Towns County citizens submitted letters of nomination, leading to Bradshaw being selected for the recognition.
“Since Cliff was sworn in as commissioner, he has been going to available classes to help him become a better leader…,” one such letter read. “Cliff is a very high energetic young man who always states he wants our county to be successful. It’s our county not his. He is very receptive to all Towns County residents. He is transparent and accountable, especially at the third Tuesday monthly county commissioner‘s meeting. I consider it an honor to be able to nominate Cliff Bradshaw for consideration of the GOP Award for DISTINGUISHED COUNTY ELECTED OFFICIAL in recognition of his outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in addressing the issues of Towns County.”
Commissioner Bradshaw told FYN that he was deeply honored to be nominated and recognized.
The Republican Party hosted the Ninth District convention the following day, April 13, in Dillard. Towns County Delegates representing Hiawassee are Chair Donna Barrow, Secretary Betty Phillips, GOP Chair Betsy Young, GOP First Vice Chair John Alger, Cecil Dye, and Trina Coleman. Young Harris delegates are Chair Charles “Chuck” Luca, Secretary Betty Luca, Scott Ledford, and Harvey Cohen. Delegates representing Macedonia are Chair Daren “Bear” Osborn, Secretary Todd Tibbets, Jeff Pierot, and Melissa Griggs. US Congressman Doug Collins attended the convention, addressing the delegates.
The Georgia Republican Party will hold its state convention May 16-18, 2019, at the Savannah Convention Center in Savannah, Georgia. The event is open to the public, although only delegates may participate in the business matters of the convention.
Feature Photo: Towns County GOP Chair Betsy Young with Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Republican Party, in cooperation with Towns-Union Tea Party, is scheduled to host a presentation on Islam, Jihad, and Sharia Law, featuring Chris Gaubatz, a renowned expert on the subject. The presentation will take place Thursday, March 28, at the Towns County Civic Center in Hiawassee. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The event will begin at 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend at no charge.
The following morning, Friday, March 29, Gaubatz will address the Mountain Movers and Shakers at 8 a.m. at Sundance Grill in Hiawassee. Meetings are open to the public.
Gaubatz trains law enforcement on strategies and modus operandi of jihadists in order to locate and prosecute the networks, testifying before the U.S. Senate on the importance of minimizing radical Islam in combatting terrorism. Gaubatz works with citizens, legislators, and leaders at the local and state levels to expose and dismantle the networks.
“Muslim terrorists, by whatever name, are all believers in fundamental Islam and have declared war against western civilization, especially America and the Jewish State of Israel,” Gaubatz said.
Gaubatz is Vice President of Understanding the Threat.com, an organization dedicated to providing strategic and operational threat-focused consultation, education and training for federal, state, and local leadership and agencies, and designing strategies at all levels of the community in order to defeat the jihadi threat. As the son of a career Air Force OSI Special Agent, Gaubatz grew up in England, Korea, California, and Utah, and today calls southwest Virginia home. Gaubatz worked for several Fortune 500 companies conducting fraud investigations and asset protection, as well as insurance sales.
In 2007, Gaubatz began researching the threat of jihadi organizations in the United States by posing as a Muslim convert and attending Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas conferences gaining access as an intern with the Hamas organization Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Virginia.
While working at the CAIR MD/VA office, Gaubatz uncovered a fraud scheme perpetrated by CAIR’s “immigration attorney” who was defrauding Muslims in the community while lying about handling their immigration proceedings. When the office was shut down by CAIR in an effort to conceal this criminal activity, Gaubatz was invited by Hamas/CAIR leaders to work at their headquarters in Washington, D.C. During that time, Gaubatz obtained over 12,000 pages of documents from Hamas/CAIR and over 300 hours of covert audio/video recordings. The entire story is featured in the book Muslim Mafia authored by investigative journalist Paul Sperry and Dave Gaubatz.
Towns County Republican Chair Betsy Young encouraged the community to attend the presentation. “Please plan to come and hear Chris open your eyes,” Young remarked. “Bring a friend.”
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Republican Party Treasurer Harvey Cohen has taken a step in a quest to change state income tax law.
Cohen, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) of 40 years who practices law tax, reached out to Georgia Senator John Wilkinson and Georgia Representative Matt Gurtler in a letter to state his case.
“Georgia individual income tax law provides for a limited standard deduction which is much smaller than the current federal standard deduction,” Cohen explained. “Georgia individual tax law limits its taxpayers to its standard deduction if that taxpayer claims the standard deduction on their federal tax return. For example, a Georgia taxpayer claiming a federal standard deduction of $24,000 (for a joint return) would be limited to a Georgia standard deduction of $6,000. The result of this tax structure of Federal verses Georgia deductions results, and will continue, in many cases, to result in Georgia taxpayers receiving Federal tax refunds, but owe Georgia income taxes.”
Cohen added that he received a call from a friend who didn’t understand why her daughter and son-in- law owe Georgia income tax, yet are receiving a federal refund.
“In past years, their itemized tax deductions were approximately $12,000 plus, and this year they are limited to the Georgia standard deduction of $6,000 because they are claiming the federal standard deduction of $24,000. The spouses, in this case, are a Cherokee County Sheriff’s deputy and she is a Cherokee County Childrens’ Advocate for the Cherokee County Court System. Neither of them are substantial income earners.”
“Another example of this unconscionable situation is my daughter,” Cohen continued. “Her earnings approximate $45,000, and she owes no Federal income tax, but owes Georgia income tax of approximately $1,800. I have talked to other Georgia CPA s and licensed tax preparers and they concur with my conclusion that Georgia’s tax law is punishing it’s citizens due to it’s individual income tax law’s standard deduction amount vis-a-vis the federal tax law’s standard deduction amount, and because Georgia’s tax law limits the use of deductions to the $6,000 standard deduction if the federal standard deduction is claimed.”
Cohen invited State Senator Wilkinson and State Representative Gurtler to contact him if inclined to discuss the matter further.