We have received the following press release from Jason Carter’s campaign:
ATLANTA—Gov. Nathan Deal refused to intervene, or even criticize the forcible removal of a video journalist from an open campaign event, even as the state’s top law enforcement official condemned the move.
FetchYourNews.com and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution are reporting that video journalist Nydia Tisdale was forcefully removed from a Republican rally on Saturday that had been advertised as a public event.
Gov. Deal was reportedly present for the entire event, but did not acknowledge the incident in his remarks. Even though he was the rally’s headliner, Deal’s spokesperson later denied the incident was related to their campaign and refused to comment on it: “As this incident was in no way related to Deal for Governor, I am referring you to the owner of the private property at which the event took place.”
But Attorney General Sam Olens condemned the move in his remarks, saying, “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? … The harm that occurs post-this is far greater than the harm of her filming us. What are we hiding? If we are telling you why we are running and what we stand for, what are we hiding?”
This is not the first time that Nydia Tisdale has been at the center of attention over issues with her videotaping. She was asked two years ago to not to film the meetings of the Cumming City Council. She also was asked to stop videotaping at an event held by the Republican Women of Forsyth County back in April of this year.
It is also not the first time that Attorney General Sam Olens has come to her to defense, as he defended her right to videotape the Cumming City Council meetings.
Gov. Deal was a speaker at the event, but he made no comments about Tisdale’s videotaping or her removal from the event while speaking. I think that Sen. Carter is placing a lot of responsibility on candidates, including himself, for actions that may happen at a political event that they are attending. There are decisions that are made independently by event organizers and attendees that are outside of the control of the speakers themselves. I hope that Sen. Carter is now prepared to personally disavow and handle all issues that may arise at campaign events that he is present at, since he chose to raise the subject.
If you read through the details provided at FetchYourNews.com, everything was apparently fine until Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens first called attention to Tisdale’s recording of the event, which was being held on private property. Commissioner Hudgens pointed out Tisdale’s videotaping of the event after he made the statement that he “thought [he] was going to absolutely puke” after listening to Michelle Nunn during the recent forum between Nunn and David Perdue.
Tisdale has provided proof, though, that she was an invited guest to the event and thus felt that she had the right to record the event as a guest. Evidently there were people at the event that thought otherwise, as she has been charged with criminal trespass. She has also been charged with obstruction of an officer.
What do you think? We all know the detrimental impact of the recording of Romney talking about the “47 percent” had on his campaign in 2012. Should the comments made by Sam Olens be the policy going forward for Republicans? Should Republican groups ever ask for videotaping to be stopped at events advertised to the public, even if the event is on private property? Is there an inherent right for a citizen to record partisan events? Should there be different parameters for political trackers? Is the Governor actually responsible for the actions of the others, just because he is a speaker at event? Should the speakers instead take more responsibility for what they say and not worry about who may be recording the event?