On the campaign trail: The tale of the tape from Burt’s Pumpkin Farm

Nydia Tisdale, the independent journalist who was arrested and jailed for videotaping candidates’ speeches at a Republican Party rally on Aug. 23 in Dawson County, has now posted the tape she shot on YouTube (viewable here).

The clip lasts for 18 minutes and 42 seconds and mostly consists of GOP statewide candidates Ralph Hudgens, Richard Woods and Mark Butler making routine campaign remarks to the crowd gathered at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm near Dawsonville.

The last four and a half minutes of tape provide audio of Tisdale’s argument with Dawson County sheriff’s deputy Tony Wooten as Wooten frog-marches her away from the event and prepares to take her to jail to be booked on assault charges.

The Tisdale incident has gained statewide media attention, and some notice in the national media as well, because she was ejected and arrested for doing what political trackers routinely do at campaign events: shoot video of politicians making speeches.

You can watch the tape and make your own judgment as to who’s at fault. Here are some highlights to look for:

2:35 – Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens starts talking about the shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act, although he stops short of saying he will do everything he can to be an “obstructionist” for Obamacare.

5:50 – Hudgens criticizes Michelle Nunn’s recent performance in a debate with David Perdue, saying, “I thought I was going to absolutely puke, listening to her.” Hudgens then realizes Tisdale is taping his remarks and adds: “I don’t know why you’re videotaping but, yes, I said that.”

8:25 – Hudgens hands off the microphone to Richard Woods, the candidate for state school superintendent.

12:20 – Woods hands off the microphone to state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.

14:18 – Someone’s hand (presumably that of Deputy Tony Wooten) blocks the lens of Tisdale’s camera, signaling the start of her run-in with the sheriff’s department. On the remaining four and a half minutes of the tape, you can hear Tisdale shouting, “What is your name? Identify yourself.” Wooten at one point tells her, “now you’re going to jail for resisting arrest.”

Monkeys on coke, and other pressing issues

The latest NRCC attack ad on 12th Congressional District Rep. John Barrow (view it here) criticizes Barrow for voting to pass President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package in 2009.

The commercial picks a couple of earmarks from that stimulus bill in its attempt to ridicule Barrow’s vote:

Announcer: Is John Barrow serious?

Barrow: I’ve passed $100 billion in spending cuts.

Announcer: Really? Barrow supported Obama’s trillion-dollar stimulus. Spending $800,000 studying how monkeys react to cocaine and unfairness. $25 million on chair lifts and snowmaking at a Vermont resort. And millions creating jobs in China.

When it matters most, Barrow votes with Obama.

Senate race still rated a tossup

The poll aggregation website run by Real Clear Politics still rates Georgia’s Senate race between Republican David Perdue and Democrat Michelle Nunn as a tossup – one of nine Senate races it places in that category.

The other Senate races ranked as tossups include those involving Democratic senators Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mark Udall of Colorado, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and Kay Hagan of North Carolina, along with Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. The open races in Michigan and Iowa are also in the tossup column.

Real Clear Politics also puts the governor’s race between incumbent Nathan Deal and Jason Carter in the tossup category.

© 2014 by The Georgia Report


Tags: Burt's Pumpkin Farm , John Barrow , Mark Butler , NRCC attack ad , Nydia Tisdale , Ralph Hudgens , Richard Woods , Senate race