Hudgens says Nunn makes him ‘puke,’ and triggers a mini-brawl

State Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, who has caused controversies in the past with provocative remarks at Republican events, sparked another one Saturday at a GOP rally in Dawsonville.

Appearing at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm with several other statewide Republican candidates, including Gov. Nathan Deal, Attorney General Sam Olens and David Perdue, Hudgens told the crowd about his reaction to last week’s debate in Macon between Perdue and Democrat Michelle Nunn:

“I was in the Chamber of Commerce event where David and Michelle had their debate and I have never seen anybody misrepresent their stands as much as Michelle Nunn did. All she wanted to do is talk about, we need to have a team, we need to have consensus-building, we need this and that.

“I thought I was gonna have to resuscitate my wife, l thought she was gonna pass out, and I thought I was gonna absolutely puke, listening to her.”

As Hudgens uttered the “puke” remark, he noticed that he was being videotaped by Nydia Tisdale, a freelance journalist who frequently tapes political events and posts clips on YouTube.

“I don’t know why you’re videotaping, but yes, I said that,” Hudgens said.

A few minutes later, a Dawson County sheriff’s deputy grabbed Tisdale and removed her from the event, even as she protested that she had a right to videotape it. She was arrested and booked at the Dawson County jail.

The forced ejection caught the attention of Olens, who told the crowd a few minutes later:

“Let me be possibly politically incorrect here a second. If we stand for anything as a party what are we afraid of with the lady having a camera filming us? What are we saying here that shouldn’t be on film? What message are we sending? That because it’s private property, they shouldn’t be filming it? What is the harm?

“The harm that occurs post-this is far greater than her filming us. What are we hiding? If we are telling you why we’re running and what we stand for — what are we hiding? There is no reason for that. That is not right. It is private property. The property owner has the right to not have the person there. Who’s the winner in the long run? Not a good move.”

An extensive account of the event and Tisdale’s removal from it can be found on Fetch Your News, a Gilmer County website that also includes videotape clips.

From the Fetch Your News article by Brian K. Pritchard:

This comment from Hudgens noticeably changed the mood in the room about Tisdale recording the event, especially for [Clint] Bearden. Hudgens introduced Richard Woods. While Woods was speaking Bearden went and sat next to Tisdale, and according to Tisdale he asked her to stop videoing or she would have to leave. Tisdale told him that she was invited and would not stop. When we asked Bearden for a comment he referred us to the authorities that arrested Tisdale for a comment.

As Woods continued to speak Bearden went to Deputy [Tony] Wooten for assistance. I then watched Bearden go and speak to the property owners Johnny and Kathy Burt. By this time Labor Commissioner Mark Butler had started speaking. Bearden returned and said something to Wooten. At this time both Bearden and Wooten approached Tisdale. Wooten told her she had to turn the camera off. Tisdale refused and continued to video. Wooten started to try to remove the camera from Tisdale’s hands. When she refused and struggled to keep the camera running, Wooten started physically removing her from the event. Tisdale physically resisted being removed turning the camera on Wooten screaming, “identify yourself, who are you?”

Butler paused as everyone watched Tisdale struggling with Wooten. Deputy Wooten then physically removed Tisdale as she continued to scream and video him.

Butler tried to continue speaking but was interrupted by loud screams coming from Tisdale in the barn (screams can be heard in the audio below). Tisdale told FYN in an exclusive interview (posted below) that she screamed because Deputy Wooten had her arm twisted up her back and she was in pain. . . .

Tisdale was taken to jail in Dawson County and charged with felony obstruction of an officer and criminal trespass. Tisdale bonded out at 12:40 Sunday morning. Dawson County took Tisdale’s video camera as evidence.

Tisdale, Olens, and Hudgens have all had issues related to videotaping political events.

In 2012, Tisdale attempted to videotape a Cumming City Council meeting, only to have Mayor Ford Gravitt order police to forcibly remove her. Olens later sued Gravitt on Tisdale’s behalf for violating the state’s open records and open meetings act, a lawsuit that is still pending.

Last year, Hudgens grabbed national media attention with a rip-snorting speech to a Republican gathering in Rome where he pledged to overthrow the federal Affordable Care Act: “Let me tell you what we’re doing: Everything in our power to be an obstructionist.”

That speech was videotaped, although Hudgens later said the coverage of his remark was “overblown” and added there’s really nothing he can do to stop the implementation of Obamacare.

He was still attacking the healthcare act in Saturday’s speech. Shortly before making the “puke” remark, Hudgens said: “Let me tell you, Obamacare is a total, total disaster . . . I’m not saying let’s just repeal it and do away with it, we need to repeal it and replace it.”

© 2014 by The Georgia Report


Tags: Nydia Tisdale , Ralph Hudgens , republican party , Sam Olens , videotaping speech