When a Georgia State House member casts its vote and the vote board locks, a screen shot is automatically taken with the time of the vote on the picture. Also the Georgia House sends out a tweet with the date and time a bill passes.
On June 23rd there appeared to be 2 hours and 18 minutes between SB 474 and HB 426, The Hate Crimes Bill. Between the two bills was HB 838 the Peace Officers’ Bill of Rights. State Representative Matt Gurtler voted YES on SB 474, he was ABSENT for the vote on HB 838 Peace Officers’ Bill of Rights, and Gurtler voted NO on HB 426 the Hate Crimes Bill.
Article continues below pictures.
Google maps says it takes an hour and twenty one minutes from the State Capitol to Carnesville, the Franklin County county seat. Round trip would have been 2 hours and 42 minutes not counting time to get to and from your car at the Capitol. So how did Matt Gurtler get to Franklin and back in two hours and eighteen minutes? Then there is the photo which he claims is not real, taken at the Capitol elevator door with a timestamp of 3:15. The House Tweet vote time for HB 838 shows the vote was taken at 3:04.
After hearing that a photo may have been altered I felt it was necessary to dig deeper. This is a serious accusation. Was the Clyde campaign trying to make Gurtler look like he doesn’t support law enforcement? Was Gurtler being unfairly smeared by his opponent?
Or is he really Dr. No or No Show Gurtler? At a time when we are hearing “defund the cops” Law Enforcement in Georgia want to know which Lawmakers have their backs. On June 23rd the Georgia State House at approximately 3:05 passed 92-74 the Peace Officers’ Bill of Rights and Standards for Punishing Individuals Who Commit Offenses Against Peace Officers.
Absent during the vote was Georgia State Representative Matt Gurtler. Gurtler is in a runoff against Andrew Clyde to be the Republician candidate on the ballot for the 9th Congressional District in November. The seat is currently held by Doug Collins.
When Gurtler was asked where he was that caused him to miss the vote on HB 838 and does he support law enforcement his answers were “sure I support law enforcement” and I’m running for office and had some campaign issues to take care of.
Missing this important vote has many in law enforcement in the 9th district asking what was more important at that time than showing support for our peace officers? What campaign business? Where was he at the time of the vote? Then the photo appears. One that shows Gurtler at the doors of the elevator at the Capitol.
Immediately the Gurtler campaign goes into damage control claiming the photo is photoshopped and he was in Franklin county at the time of the vote on HB 838.
(Below is the clip from the debate Friday, July 17th.)
In a debate on July 17th in Jackson County, Gurtler claims the photo was photoshopped, that he was in Franklin county.[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqf-XzeX8m8[/embedyt]
Moderator: House Bill 838 known as the Peace Officers’ Bill of Rights you did not vote on that, you were not present when that bill came to the floor, why not?
Matt: I support law enforcement, what I think is disgusting is photoshopping pictures of me when I am not at the Capitol, we recessed at noon. I went to go talk to people in Franklin county. To understand their needs and return back to the Capitol. I support any Bill that upholds life, liberty and the constitution. To say I walked on the vote, I have never walked on a vote.
Moderator: You’re saying the photo that shows you at the Capitol is photoshopped?
Matt: Yes, I left at noon and got back around three hours later back to the chamber to make it in time for the Hate Crimes Bill.
Moderator: Would you like to respond to that Mr. Clyde?
Andrew Clyde: Sure, it is not a photoshopped photo at all. It’s an I-phone live photo and it has a timestamp Matt. I think the people of Georgia need to know how you would have voted on the bill, Yay or nay?
Matt: Yes, I would support any bill that supports the constitution and supports our law enforcement.
Several of Gurtler’s votes in his career as a state representative that he voted NO on, he would say although he found many things in the bill he liked he had to vote NO because a specific part he found unconstitutional.
The question that remains unanswered is whether Gurtler thought HB838 is constitutional?
In Atlanta Press Club Debate Sunday July 19th during the candid question segment Clyde chose to ask Gurtler again about his whereabouts at the time of the vote on HB838.
Clyde: You missed this vote but I think voters would still like to know do you believe that HB838 also known as the Peace Officers’ Bill of Rights is constitutional and would you have voted yay or nay on this specific bill as it is written?
Matt: I said yes. That I would support any bill that upholds the constitution and upholds life, liberty and the property. I think it’s very disingenuous to attack me on something and photoshop photos when I’m not even in the Capitol. We had recess that day. I retired after talking to constituents in Franklin county. ‘
Gurtler again makes the claim the photo is photoshopped and he was in Franklin County at the time of the vote. He dodges Clyde’s direct question “Do you believe HB 838 is constitutional?” and “would you have voted YAY or NAY as it is written?”
So on Monday night, July 20th at the Fannin County Republican party meeting I asked Mr. Gurtler if he would be on my show Tuesday morning? He agreed to be on at 9am Tuesday morning. Late Monday night I received the following message from him cancelling due to a scheduling conflict.
Message from Gurtler: “Hey Brian, I thought I could do it. But my schedule won’t allow it. Was good to see you tonight.”
Message from Banks Wise, Gurtler’s campaign manager: “Hey Brian, good to see you. Matt spoke too soon and wasn’t aware of his schedule. He had a full day and can’t make it on the show.”
I attempted to get him to reschedule but received no answer to my text. I wanted to give Gurtler a chance to say with whom he was meeting in Franklin County at the time of the vote. Provide some hard facts. Surely someone took pictures of his visit.
I sent Gurtler a message last Friday night, July 24th, telling him I wanted to talk to him Saturday at the Stephens County Republican Party BBQ. He knew I planned to ask him questions. After Gurtler finished speaking at the event I watched him sneaking out to avoid me speaking with me. While I don’t like ambush journalism there are some questions that need cleared up. If he makes a serious claim that the photo showing him at the Capitol is photoshopped and he was in Franklin County at the time of the vote on HB838, who was he meeting with and how did he make it to Franklin county and back to the Capitol to vote on the Hate Crimes Bill in 2 hours and eighteen minutes? His campaign manager Banks Wise maintains he was not at the Capitol June 23rd at the time of the HB 838 vote.
I think the voters in the 9th Congressional District along with all the Peace Officers in the Ninth District would like to know what could possibly be more important in Franklin County in this time of strife and turmoil than showing total and unanimous support for law enforcement.
I am still open to the answers and Matt Gurtler is welcome on my show anytime.
Watch Georgia’s 9th Congressional District Republican Debate LIVE FYNTv.com!
BKP interviews the candidates for the 9th Congressional District. These candidates discuss with BKP the latest in the news from Black Lives Matter, Pro-Life or Pro-Choice, Department of Education and the 2nd Amendment on if they support it or not. These interviews will better help you get to know the candidates for the June 9th election.
ELLIJAY, Ga – With the Georgia Primary finally set for June 9, the nine candidates for U.S. House of Representatives District Nine seat met for a Zoom debate.
The nine Republican candidates are State House District 8 Rep. Matt Gurtler, District 50 State Senator John Wilkinson, State House District Rep. 9 Kevin Tanner, property rights attorney Ethan Underwood, small business owner Kellie Weeks, small business owner Andrew Clyde, former law enforcement officer Maria Strickland, physician Paul Broun, and Constitutionalist Michael Boggus.
All candidates voiced their support for the big issues like Second Amendment Rights, supporting President Trump, limited government, and fiscal conservatism. However, Gurtler took the opportunity to call out fellow Georgia General Assembly members for their yearly budget votes.
“As one of the three elected officials in the State House and the Senate, I think it’s funny when I hear my opponents Tanner and Wilkinson say that they’re fiscally conservative, yet they vote for the budgets, which add a billion to 1.5 billion dollars every year to Georgians. I oppose those budgets every year and we also take one to one federal money, which adds to the national debt that’s something that I’ve been fighting for more transparency with HB4,” expounded Gurtler.
Wilkinson responded, “I’m proud of the state we live in. I’m proud to serve on the appropriations committee. I’m proud that I’ve been able to help the counties of Northeast Georgia during my service at the legislature I think that speaks for itself. When you have a triple-A bond rating, a balanced budget, and you’re the number one place in the nation to do business and a million more citizens than you did ten years ago, something must be going right and I’m proud to be part of that.
“I’m a Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, anti-federalist type politician. They believed in a limited role of the federal government. The states under the 10th amendment have certain responsibilities – transportation, education infrastructure, [and] other things are part of the [state’s] responsibility. I’m proud we have a balanced budget in Georgia, a triple-A bond rating, one of the few states in the country that does. I’m proud that Gov. Kemp continues to put forth a well-balanced, conservative budget. I’ve been proud to support that along with most every Republican in the House. We did have a few Democrats and one member of the panel who did vote against the budget.”
Gurtler called out their responses as “fake talking points” by Republicans, and he’s the only proven conservative in the race.
COVID-19 and State Bailouts
On the topic of COVID-19, everyone admitted the virus is real, but it’s time to safely get the country back to work.
“Certainly, the coronavirus is a health issue, not a government issue. In my opinion, Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, and even Dr. Toomey in Georgia, they’re swamp creatures, and they have been able to accomplish what Comey, Clapper, Brennan, Strzok, and all those other people tried to do to take this president down, stated Broun. “We need to get this economy going. We need to let people be responsible for their own actions.”
“I would never diminish the fact that people are afraid,” said Tanner. “I have been surprised how quickly people are willing to give up their liberties for safety. I think that is a concern. I think we have small government overreach in many areas. I have been amazed at how well businesses have stepped up on their own.”
Many also denounced the first $2.2 trillion bill for government overreach and unnecessary spending. Gurtler said that “75 percent of the bill had nothing to do with the coronavirus.”
Wilkinson championed moving manufacturing back to the U.S. and making China accountable for some of the debt incurred by COVID-19.
Most were against a states bailout by the federal government, except Strickland.
She said, “I would think a limited amount of bailout would be appropriate to some of the states only because this a unique situation that no one expected to be getting into. Granted, the states some of them like New York, New Jersey that spent their money on illegal immigrants and all this other kind of thing. They didn’t prepare for the future. We do need to bailout some of them, but only a limited amount.”
“I think it’s fine if the states get a stimulus as long as it goes to people and the small businesses,” stated Boggus. “Small businesses [are] the backbone of this country. This stimulus should be pork-free unlike the last one and there shouldn’t be [any] ice cream bought by Nancy Pelosi.”
Underwood brought up the Federal Emergency Relief Act, which is available to all states to purchase medical equipment and relief.
“Are the states not going to tax us? Because it seems like every level of government thinks their money comes from somebody different, and it’s all coming from us. We all the taxpayers here,” explained Weeks. “We’re all just getting billed again and again and again.”
“Several states were in trouble before this started because of irresponsible decisions at the state level. Bailouts don’t work. Bailout bills are always filled with pork and actually reward bad decisions,” heralded Clyde. “We have a huge national debt and it would be irresponsible to add more to it. We need to get the people back to work.”
Hear detailed answers from all the candidates about the next COVID-19 package, contact tracing overreach, and defunding the World Health Organization, watch the debate here.
Turning to the ongoing saga of affordable healthcare for Americans, all candidates agreed that Obamacare should be repealed.
Underwood championed a private healthcare system that travels with people. It would no longer be tied to employers, which prevents many individuals in the gig-economy from accessing reasonably priced and effective healthcare plans. He added that preexisting conditions must be factored in when creating a new healthcare platform.
“Stand firm against socialized medicine,” said Gurtler. When Republicans controlled the House and Senate, they still couldn’t repeal Obamacare.
“People in our rural areas deserve good healthcare and the best way to do that is to get the federal government completely out of it,” Wilkinson stated.
Broun, who previously served in Congress and worked as a physician, presented his bill that would put doctors and nurses in charge of medical decisions. “All healthcare goods and services cheaper for everybody.”
“The only solution to health care is a free-market solution,” said Tanner. “The bigger underlying problem is the pharmaceutical companies have their hand in almost every Congressional race and Congressman in Washington. They’re controlling the drug prices. Gov. Kemp appointed me to chair the mental health reform commission last year. One of the biggest challenges we faced was the pharmaceutical companies and their desire not to have changes in our healthcare system.
To hear the candidates’ comments about President Trump, immigration, China, sanctuary cities, staying in touch with voters, and closing statements, check out the debate.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – State House Representative Matt Gurtler, 8th District, formally announced Feb. 18 that he received a campaign endorsement from U.S. Senator Rand Paul. “I am proud to receive Senator Rand Paul’s endorsement for Congress,” Gurtler said. “Rand Paul is one of the few men in Washington D.C. willing to stand up for the Constitution and take on the establishment.”
Sen. Paul’s endorsement reads as follows:
“Matt Gurtler is a proven conservative who has stood strong against out-of-control government spending and the special interests in Atlanta. He is the exact type of conservative leader we need in Washington who will defend liberty and serve the people of Georgia’s 9th District, not the DC insiders. He has my full and total endorsement.”
Sen. Paul is a member of the Republican Party, a U.S. Senator representing the state of Kentucky, and a former candidate for President of the United States.
Featured Image: U.S. Senator Rand Paul
ELLIJAY, Ga. – State House Representative Matt Gurtler spoke with FYN CEO Brian Pritchard in a live FYNTV interview, Feb.13, on the state budget cuts, related HB 4, and his announcement to run for the 9th Congressional District seat vacated by U.S. Senate-seeking Representative Doug Collins.
Gurtler, who is running on a platform of limited government, free markets, and individual liberty, said that the decision to run for U.S. Congress did not come lightly, and reached through deliberation and prayer. “We looked at the State Senate seat, we looked at the Congressional seat and had an opportunity to go up to Washington D.C. to meet with the conservative leaders in the House and also the Senate, and theses individuals and individuals reaching out to me across the District really encouraged me to run,” Gurtler said. “They’ve been watching me, and that I’ve been standing up to the powers that be, and the insiders in Atlanta and the special interests and the bloated budgets, and so it was sort of flattering that they noticed me there. And so we came back, and me and my family prayed, and we made the decision for Congress. We feel that we have a lot of support around the District. We’re going to work our tail off. We’re going to put tens of thousands of miles on the car again and wear the soles out on our feet and just bring the message of limited government to a wider audience, and a national audience if we are elected, so that we can really educate people.”
Gurtler said that members of the House and Senate voiced a need for “revolutionaries” to educate people on a national level, specifically against socialism. The State House Representative, who was in Washington D.C. during the telephone interview, divulged that he met with the Young Americans for Liberty, Freedom Caucus, and Club for Growth – an organization that is spending millions to fight Congressman Doug Collins in the U.S. Senate race.
Gurtler added that he received an endorsement from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
The 8th District representative later shared his support for the Second Amendment in a social media post. “Our founders understood the right of self-defense is a natural and God-given right,” Gurtler wrote. “Red Flag laws and gun confiscation legislation like we see in Virginia, are dangerous to the principles of a free society and go against our constitutional rights. I will stand up for our 2nd Amendment rights in Washington DC just as I have done from day one at the State Capitol these past 4 years.”
Continue to follow FYN for local, state, and national campaign coverage as the May 19 primary election approaches.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – State House Representative for the 8th District, Matt Gurtler, officially announced candidacy for the 9th Congressional District seat on the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 12.
“We did not expect this opportunity to come so soon,” Gurtler stated in a press release. “However, I’ve learned that it is not enough to simply support the Constitution, the Second Amendment, or love liberty… We must fight for our shared values and principles like I’m doing in Georgia. Since Day ONE of my time serving in the Georgia State House, I’ve tirelessly fought to defend Georgia’s constitutional conservative values, principles, and our God-given rights. Working alongside Governor Kemp, I’ve been fighting for Georgia to become a national leader in defending our second amendment rights. Congress needs proven limited government conservatives who will stand up to Speaker Pelosi and fake Republicans like Mitt Romney and John Bolton. I support President Trump’s agenda to bring our troops home, cut job-killing regulations, and defend the right of the unborn.
“My decision to run for Congress does not come lightly. My family, close friends and many of you helped me pray and deliberate over this decision. Ultimately, I made the decision to run knowing that I will be a champion for the Constitution, a voice for liberty in Congress, and serve the people of Georgia.”
Follow FYN for continued coverage as Election 2020 advances.