Scott Howard spoke of his lawsuit against the Secretary of State's office. His concern is that the ballot printout Georgia voters receive is illegal because the QR code printed on it is not human readable text. He cited several examples of why this is illegal per Georgia's own policy.
Newly elected First Vice Chair of Georgia's Republican Party, Brian Pritchard, spoke on his intentions and goals in his new role, stating he will never turn away from the grassroots efforts of our Party.
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The Union County Republican Party held their November General Meeting featuring Majority Leader Senator Steve Gooch. He discussed the current economic situation and 10% inflation rate created by Democrat policies and emphasized how our December 6th vote can directly impact our future prosperity. Changes are taking place in Georgia, and with the loss of Georgia House Speaker Ralston, we’ve lost power and influence in North Georgia, even though 70% of north Georgia residents are conservative. Most of the new leadership positions in the Republican Party are now from South Georgia.
Some very conservative legislation was passed this last year, but there is much left to do. Some of the things he will be working on this year will be to cut the income tax in Georgia. The Republicans are working to cut it back to 4.99% from the current 6%. There is a $6 billion surplus in the state budget and part of that would be given back in a rebate to taxpayers. They are also working on options for property tax relief. A “floating” homestead exemption would freeze the amount of tax based on the price of your home when you bought it. It would only be reassessed at the higher rate when you sell the property to the next homeowner. Two thirds of your property tax goes to the schools. He reminded the assembled group that it costs $6,600 for each student in Union County, so property tax exemptions must keep that in mind. They are also looking at the film industry tax credits, which have exploded and need to be reexamined.
A long discussion followed about our current gas tax. Governor Kemp suspended this tax for most of this year, but this is not sustainable. We have expensive road improvements and projects that need the gas tax to operate. Nearly 54 cents is added to a gallon of gas: 18 cents is a federal tax, Georgia State adds 30 cents, and add local 3% sales tax. Without this tax, we are short $180 million a month to pay for road improvements. There is a big project coming through Union County this upcoming year that will cost approximately $170 million.
He recently attended a meeting with General Motors who stated by 2035, they have agreed to get rid of all gas powered cars. Since electric cars use our roads and bridges, he assured the crowd that they will not have a free lunch. There are three options for electric car owners: An annual fee, a tax at the charging station, or a price per mile option.
Criminal justice reform is a current and urgent topic at the state capitol. A lot of the unelected judges are letting the criminals off the hook on their own recognizance. Sen. Gooch stated that by no means should they be on their own recognizance and hopes to enact a crackdown.
He reminded the group that their vote on December 6 was critical to Georgia’s future.
Chair Dena Gooch opened the monthly meeting of the Union County Republican Party by introducing Mr. Orien Roy from the organization Turning Point USA. Mr. Roy is the Campus Coordinator and President and Founder of the College Republicans Club at the University of North Georgia. Mr. Roy was the previous College Republican Rising Event Coordinator. He presented a compelling slide show of the current state of teaching institutions today and the lack of virtue and civil discourse among many of those involved with our students. This is particularly concerning when you consider one in four students today have only one parent, and basic skills have taken a back seat to a social agenda. We need to get back to basics and constitutional understanding including freedom, free markets and limited government. Turning Point USA has several spin-off outreach groups, including Turning Point Academy, which concentrates on high school students; Turning Point Faith, which is an initiative to help churches in the fight against the efforts to subvert the family.
Mr. Roy reminded the group that our Constitution starts with “We the People”, while other constitutions, like Canada’s bill of rights which states that all of their rights are superseded in times of crisis. Our country works differently. We have human, God given rights that are unalienable.
Rob Mawyer also spoke to the audience and reminded attendees that we have one of the most important senate races in the country on the ballot and we must show up to vote, and encourage our friends and neighbors to make this a priority.
Dena Gooch, our Chair, opened the meeting.
Stan Gunter discussed the proposed Constitution Amendments that will be on the ballot November 8. Watch for the sample ballot next week. Click below for details about the proposed amendments.
Mr. Jason McCarter also spoke to the guests.
Ms. Kilpatrick discussed briefly the Patriot Movement in Union County.
Mr. Lee Knight told the group that they can now access their tax records here - simply type in your address:
Our local District Attorney, Jeff Langley, spoke to the GOP at their monthly meeting on August 20 about the duties his office has been handling. The District Attorney office handles up to 3,000 cases a year, and 24% of the cases are from Union County. He stays extremely busy, but the biggest problem he faces is a shortage of court reporters which are required during each trial.
Most importantly, he discussed the 4th Amendment of our Bill of Rights after heavily armed federal agents raided the 45th President’s home. Many questions were asked about the search warrant, the affidavit, security cameras, and general widespread lawlessness in the country.
“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 Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Mr. Langley explained that a prosecutor must not be political. You cannot target a person and then look for a crime. When a crime comes to your attention, then you begin an investigation of that crime. He went on to remark that some in our government have been trying to find a Trump crime since he came down the escalator. He assured the group, however, that our Constitution is an incredibly resilient document. Our Constitution has survived the civil war, the Un-American Activities in the 1950s, and the misuse of our CIA in the 70’s. It will survive again. But it only survives if we stay vigilant.
Discussing the upcoming election in November, he stated that during the May primary, we had 3,400 votes cast in Towns County, and 7,800 votes were cast here in Union. If we go back to the 2020 Presidential election, 6,400 people voted in Towns and 12,600 in Union County, nearly an 8,000 vote difference. He implored the audience to get those voters out on November 8.
Mr. Jason McCarter, running for School Board, also briefly spoke to the assembly.
First Annual Flag Day in Union County
Saturday was the monthly meeting of the Union County GOP. This June meeting featured Rebecca Yardley, Chairman - GAGOP 9th Congressional District, along with Mr. Stephen Aaron from Voter GA. Rebecca and Stephen explained the extreme importance of getting out the vote in November.
Our Union County Sheriff, Mr. Mack Mason, was the featured speaker at the GOP monthly meeting on February 18th. Our District Attorney, Mr. Jeff Langley opened the meeting to discuss several bills that have been proposed. See below.
Sheriff Mack then addressed the crowd and said he was probably the only sheriff in the state that will still stop speeders. He was a state patrol officer for 29 years and also spent 2 years in the military. He has been our Union Country Sheriff for 10 years.
He explained that the Sheriff’s Department was $200,000 under budget last year, but mostly because there is a staffing shortage. His department pays less than the school system, for instance, and the benefits are not as good. Several good employees have moved to other departments. The national average starting salary for a police officer is $56,000. Union county’s starting salary is $40,000, which is way behind the curve. In general, people are fleeing this profession and staffing is becoming increasingly difficult.
Last year there were 22,500 incidents called in to the Union County Sheriff’s Department. The jail intake in 2021 was 765 inmates. Last year, it was 938, or an increase of 18%, with fewer officers. There were 900 wrecks in Union County last year. All together there were 2,000 traffic arrests. Most tickets are 80 miles an hour and up, but DUIs are relatively low in Union County.
Sheriff Mack stated that they had seized over $500,000 from drug arrests and started using that money to update their vehicle fleet. Last year, not one dime from the country was used for that purpose.
The state of Georgia is passing off onto the towns and counties many duties normally performed by the GBI. Additionally, the prison system is being used as a mental asylum. One unfortunate fellow was in the detention center for 11 months before the state came in to assess and help. Many communities are requesting that Governor Kemp do something about mental health situation.
Sole Commissioner Paris bought the shoe factory acreage to build a new jail and sheriff’s office. Sheriff Mack was not sure when it would be completed, but he was encouraged since jail intake is on the rise, and other counties want us to house their inmates. The Gun Range is coming along, and trees are being removed from the 14 acres granted to Union County from the Forest Service. Union County has 98,000 acres of government owned forest land.
Mr. Langley was concerned about House Bill 48 which would make the office of District Attorney a nonpartisan office. In theory, this sounds good, but people who don’t follow politics won’t see an “R” next to a name on voting day, and may not know that one candidate is conservative and the other a “woke” District Attorney who will be soft on crime. Most district attorneys are against House Bill 48.
Mr. Langley also discussed House Bill 231 and House Bill 229. One of the bills would enable recalling your local DA with only 2% of the voters signing off on the recall. This would cause chaos as district attorneys regularly indict people who would happily recall them, and with such a small number needed, district attorneys would be recalled frequently. Most state legislators need a 30% recall, so this was a terrible idea. Read each bill here: