Rep. Matt Gurtler plans round-two in “Atlanta Swamp”

News, Politics
Matt Gurtler

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – A month has passed since Georgia State House Representative Matt Gurtler was reelected to serve a second term, and Gurtler says a “no nonsense, limited government, conservative message” was heard “loud and clear.”

State House District 8 – which is composed of Towns, Rabuns, Union, and White Counties – received the highest voter turnout in Georgia during the 2018 General Primary, with nearly ten thousand ballots cast. The 29-year-old contractor from Tiger, Georgia, retained his seat under the Gold Dome, earning 60 percent of the vote on May 22, 2018.

In what the Republican representative referred to as an “historic election,” Gurtler reiterated that prior to this year’s primary, it was unprecedented for a sitting governor or state speaker to actively campaign against an incumbent within their own party. Gurtler’s challenger was heavily funded, and rally-endorsed by state-level GOP leadership.

“The entrenched, big government, establishment politicians showed their true colors, and opposition to real conservatives,” Gurtler expressed, “They don’t want limited conservative conservatives at the State Capitol, and will oust dissenters who question the process and their crony capitalist agendas.”

Gurtler went on to say that by exercising independent legislative judgement, and adhering to what he considers the true principles of the Republican Party, political opposition outside of the district ensued. “There is a swamp in Atlanta too, and they are afraid of losing their power, and of anyone who says no,” Gurtler claims, “Because I stand for limited government, less taxes, fiscal responsibility, individual liberty, and free markets, I threaten the establishment.

“For the last two years, I’ve stood up to the establishment, even when it had a political cost, or public perception was counter-intuitive,” Gurtler continued, “Our no nonsense, limited government, conservative message has been heard loud and clear in this election, and I will continue to lead by example, and be the conscience of the party.”

The representative says that in the coming months, he will draft and perfect previously-introduced legislation, and continue to push forth House Bill 156, Constitutional Carry, which was initially introduced by Gurtler in early 2017. “Fifteen states have passed Constitutional Carry, and I will be working hard to ensure it passes this coming session, and with the new governor’s help, we have a real chance to have Constitutional Carry in Georgia next year,” Gurtler explained, “Constitutional Carry will make the Georgia Licence Permit optional for law-abiding citizens. We shouldn’t have to pay the government, or be treated like a criminal in order to exercise a natural right.”

Gurtler states he plans to hold a series of local town hall meetings prior to the commencement of the 2019 legislative session.

“The people simply want honest politicians, and government to get out of their lives,” Gurtler asserted, “They want people to call out the establishment, call out the corruption, the waste, and the handouts. For far too long, politicians have been counting on you to not pay attention, but as Thomas Jefferson said, ‘Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.’ We must always be fighting, and that is the charge I will continue to take at the Capitol these next two years.”

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin@FetchYourNews.com

Matt Gurtler returns to state House

Election 2018

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – FetchYourNews (FYN) announces Matt Gurtler as victor of state House District 8.

District 8 encompasses Towns, Rabun, Union, and a portion of White County in northeast Georgia.

Representative Gurtler was elected in District 8 in 2016 and will return to the state House to serve another term.

FYN is awaiting a statement from the representative.

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin@FetchYourNews.com

District 8 House race turns sour in final stretch

Election 2018, News

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – As the May 22 General Primary election draws near, state House District 8 challenger Mickey Cummings has launched what his opponent, Representative Matt Gurtler, described as a “smear campaign” by resorting to a barrage of published political attacks geared toward the incumbent’s voting record.

At a public speaking engagement April 27 in Hiawassee, Cummings said he had no intention of running a negative campaign.

Matt Gurtler

Rep. Matt Gurtler

In a paid advertisement, Cummings claims that Gurtler has “voted against our kids,” while asking, “Don’t our children deserve better?”

Cummings included Gurtler’s voting history, listing “no” to school safety funding, “no” to better training for school resource officers, and “no” to hundreds of thousands of dollars for our local schools.

Gurtler explained that the issues Cummings has chosen to highlight were lumped together within the “all-or-nothing” $26 billion state budget, which Gurtler has repeatedly described as “omnibus, riddled with subsidies, and wasteful spending.”

Gurtler believes the budget should be divided and departmentalized, with separate votes cast for each sector.

Gurtler says Cummings is cherry-picking segments embedded within the bloated budget, hoping to solicit an emotional response from voters.

“What you are seeing are typical establishment tactics, a blanket attack,” Gurtler told FetchYourNews (FYN). “This election is between me and the establishment. It shows just how deep the swamp goes. They don’t want a dissenting voice in the House. They want an ask-no-questions, yes-man.”

State House leaders, including House Speaker David Ralston, have poured a total of $13,700 into Cummings’ campaign thus far, with Cummings recently announcing a political rally scheduled for May 16, at the Union County Farmers Market, with sitting Governor Nathan Deal and House Speaker David Ralston in attendance.

While negative campaigning is often considered “politics as usual,” it is unprecedented for an acting governor to endorse the opponent of an incumbent within his or her own party.

Mickey Cummings

Mickey Cummings

Time will tell whether Governor Deal’s decision to campaign for Cummings hinders or favors Gurtler’s re-election odds.

Cummings did not return FYN’s request for comment on campaign contributions, nor the upcoming rally.

A debate between the state House candidates will be aired live on FYNTV.com Tuesday, May 14, at 9 a.m.

FYN Chief Executive Officer Brian Pritchard will moderate the state House District 8 debate.

Count on continuing coverage as Election Day approaches.

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin@FetchYourNews.com

House challenger Mickey Cummings: ‘Public embarrassment, hostility toward leaders, wrong approach’

Election 2018, News, Politics
Mickey Cummings

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Local State House challenger Mickey Cummings made an appearance at Sundance Grill Friday, April 27, 2018, at the Mountain Movers & Shakers forum. While Cummings never mentioned his opponent, Representative Matt Gurtler, by name, insinuation was apparent.

“I believe that public embarrassment and hostility toward our leaders is the wrong approach. Sooner or later, we’re going to need those people to help us to solve our issues and our problems,” Cummings professed. “I don’t believe we should ever burn a bridge unless we absolutely have to.”

Matt Gurtler was elected to the Georgia State House in 2016, and throughout his first-term while representing District 8 – which includes Towns, Union, Rabun, and portions of White County – Gurtler maintained a reputation of boldly challenging the status quo in the minds of his supporters.

The self-professed, ultra-conservative incumbent – a steadfast proponent of limited government, and a stickler for what he considers responsible spending – has proven to be a thorn in the side of leadership, voting against the State House at a rate of 39 percent.

Cummings, who currently holds office as Chairman of Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation (BRMEMC), believes other avenues of negotiation should be explored “before you drop the bomb.”

Candidate Cummings briefly described his method of approach, using a conflict between BRMEMC and another unnamed electric co-op as an example: “We talked about it, and talked about it, and nothing ever happened. We called out the gentleman publicly, and we got what we wanted.”

In addition, Chairman Cummings spoke of the success of BRMEMC, stating that equity has increased by 3 percent since serving on the Board of Directors, at a spike of 1 percent per year.

“That’s unheard of in the electric co-op business to do that much,” said Cummings.

“Our Board has also improved transparency by opening board meetings to our membership. We’ve also become more responsive to our members and their needs,” Cummings stated.

FetchYourNews (FYN) attended the initial BRMEMC session, held Nov. 6, 2017, and reported the requirements for public attendance.

“I’m not a politician. I never planned to be,” Cummings said. “I believe the office should seek the candidate, and with people across the district asking me to run, to provide the leadership they deserve, I felt called to do so.”

Cummings spent 33 years as a county agent, 26 of which were spent in the mountains “working with farmers and saving the lives of youth through 4-H.”

“I’ve also helped to develop our farmer’s market that has helped to revive our vegetable industry, not only in Union County, but in Towns County as well. In 1990, we had roughly 30-to-35 growers in our county, growing specific vegetables,” Cummings explained. “By 2000, that number had decreased to five. Because of this decline was the death of older farmers, and their heirs found out that they could sell their property, develop the land, and make much more money than they could in farming.”

The creation of the Union County Farmers Market has allowed growers to profit locally, rather than venturing elsewhere to sell the fruits of their labor.

Along with continued support of agriculture, Cummings listed the establishment of widespread rural broadband internet access as a top issue he hopes to tackle if elected to represent District 8.

When the candidate was asked his position on the Second Amendment by a voter, Cummings divulged that he supports the right to bear arms, noting a history of gunsmiths in his ancestral lineage.

Incumbent Matt Gurtler is scheduled to address the Mountain Movers & Shakers in Hiawassee Friday, May 4.

Early voting begins Monday, April 30, with the primary election taking place May 22, 2018.

Count on FYN for continued coverage of District 8 State House race as the election approaches.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin@FetchYourNews.com

Matt Gurtler updates Blairsville citizens on Gold Dome End-of-Session

News

Georgia State Representative Matt Gurtler was hosted by the Union/Towns County Tea Party at their meeting on April 25, 2017, held at the Union County Community Center in Blairsville, GA. Gurtler was in great form as he mingled with the attendees.

Once the meeting came to order and preliminaries were addressed, Gurtler opened by announcing two Georgia House of Representatives Resolutions that he penned. The first Resolution was in honor of the life and memory of Major Leon Davenport of Blairsville, Union County, GA, who passed away in January 2017. He said Davenport had been a veteran of WWII, the Korean War, the Cold War, and the Viet Nam Conflict. Gurtler went on to recite the entire Resolution to much applause from the audience. Davenport’s family was present and accepted the plaque.

Georgia District 8 Representative Matt Gurtler presenting honor plaque to Mrs. Davenport.

Georgia District 8 Representative Matt Gurtler presenting honor plaque to Mrs. Davenport.

Gurtler recited a second Resolution that he wrote in honor of former State Representative Steven Allison, who, he said, was instrumental in helping him get his start in Georgia politics.

Former District 8 Representative Steven Allison with current District 8 Representative Matt Gurtsler

Former District 8 Representative Steven Allison with current District 8 Representative Matt Gurtsler

Calvin Coolidge, said Gurtler, once stated that it is more important to kill bad legislation than to pass good legislation. This was the theme of Gurtler’s presentation. He said Georgia has the third largest state House of Representatives and it is Republican controlled, yet there are House Bills coming out that are anything but conservative. As Georgia Districts go, he said, Georgia District 8 is one of the most conservative in the United States and he is doing all he can to fulfill the promises he made to this District to lessen the burdens on taxpayers and to reduce the size of government.

Gurtler mentioned several Bills. He Said that HB225 that would have regulated and taxed Uber and Airbnb services. He said Uber is a free market solution to taxi cabs, that the prices are a lot lower than taxis because there is competition. Fortunately, he said, this Bill failed. He mentioned, also, the Internet sales tax Bill. He said it would have meant a $274M tax increase to Georgia taxpayers. He said the Bill ultimately failed, but it failed in the (Georgia) Senate. He said many of his colleagues, disappointingly, voted for it and it passed in the House. He said HB 340 originally had a tax increase for used car dealers and buyers, but that was taken out.

Gurtler said that there were some good bills that passed; for example, Campus Carry will probably be signed by Governor Deal. However, he said, it’s so watered down now that some are calling it Compromise Carry. He said he wished it could have been a clean bill allowing for more personal responsibility and less government intrusion. Another Bill, he said, that is good is one that now allows for a tax credit for donations to rural hospitals. The “Back the Badge” specialty license plate Bill passed, he said, and that’s a good thing for law enforcement. The “Beer Bill” passed and is on its way to Governor Deal, he said. Gurtler said he thinks this is one of the best Bills of the year because it deregulates an industry and allows producers to sell their product directly to consumers, rather than require that they use a distributor.

Regarding hotel/motel taxes in Georgia, Gurtler said Columbus, Augusta, Macon and Atlanta are four of the highest hotel-taxed cities in the US; for example, about 22% of a hotel bill in Columbus goes to state taxes. The national average is about 13 per cent, he said.

Gurtler said that his Freshman year as a Georgia State Representative has been an eye-opener. He said having the responsibility of voting for or against something that affects millions of people in Georgia really makes you “put your money where your mouth is”. He said that he votes his principles every time without regard for backlashes from his colleagues. He said the control mechanisms have been in place for a long, long time and pressures to ‘go along and get along’ are very real. He said he had tried to repeal the hotel tax that was passed in 2015 and couldn’t even get it out of committee. He said it’s still in Transportation Committee and he will try again during the 2018 Legislative Session to repeal it. Gurtler said he also introduced Constitutional Carry, a Bill that would allow law abiding Georgia residents to open carry or concealed carry without having to get a license. He said licensure to exercise Constitutional Rights burdens Georgia taxpayers by about $15M a year. He said there’s a big disconnect between what the people want and what the Legislature does, as is proved by the fact that he couldn’t get the bill out of committee even with support from the Republican Party, several gun rights groups, several sponsors and the backing of his District. But, he said, he will continue to fight.

He is making a difference, though. He said there have been instances where colleagues have said to him that his lone dissent (or assent) on something has made them think a lot harder about what they’re doing; and some have even changed their votes. He said he’s trying to assemble a coalition of conservatives and make Georgia truly the best place to do business and allow the freedoms that Georgia’s law abiding citizens are due under our Constitution.

When queried about the growth of government and whether the so-called needs are real or manufactured, Gurtler responded that the natural inclination of government is to expand; and it will grow unless we (the people) fight back. That’s why it’s so important; not only for citizens to be informed, but for politicians to be true advocates for the people; to be cognizant of and fight for what the people really want. He said he doesn’t see many representatives of the people, and not just in Georgia, that put the people ahead of themselves and their special interests.

When asked about the current state of hospitals and health care, Gurtler responded that, currently, one waits an hour to see a doctor for five minutes. In a free market system, he said, one would wait five minutes to see a doctor for an hour.

Gurtler did say, when addressing corporate welfare and government subsidies: “It’s immoral to take from one person and give it to another”.

Several other questions were asked and answered. Gurtler said that the video of the Town Hall Meeting would hopefully be up sooner rather than later on his Website.

Author

Friday we voted on about 60 pieces of legislations in one day!

Featured, Politics
Matt
As I keep telling you, session gets busier and busier as we approach sine die, the 40th and last day.

That has ramifications for all Georgians, as more and more bills that affect our lives come to a vote.

Friday we voted on about 60 pieces of legislations in one day!

Here’s the truth; between my Chief of Staff, two Legislative Interns and myself, we barely had enough time to read each and every bill.

It was a mad rush to analyze policy, decide votes, track amendments and catch on to all the political maneuvering going on late into the night.

I mention more about the good and bad bills for the week in my weekly newspaper column, but I was very excited about HB 204, which I Co-Sponsored, passing the house.

It will make sure only property taxes show up on your property tax bill, protecting private property rights.

I was also extremely excited about HB 329 passing, which changed our income tax from a progressive rate, to a flat rate, and per the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute could cut taxes by to up $154 million.

That doesn’t change my desire to repeal the income tax entirely, which is why I Co-Sponsored my friend Emory Dunahoo’s Fair Tax bill this week.

We also defeated two odious bills, HB 71 which infringed upon a doctor’s private contracting rights, and HB 302.

I was going to vote NO on HB 302 and had prepared a speech to speak against the bill in the well.

Word spread quickly and HB 302, which would’ve misinformed Georgians about property tax increase, was magically tabled, effectively killing the bill!

Here is the speech written the night before:

“Fellow colleagues, this is the first time I come to the well to speak against a bill. As you know, I am not a fan of government mandates nor am I a fan of property taxes, but as long as property taxes exist I think it’s important that taxpayers know of a potential tax increase.

Title 48, Chapter 5, Article 1, Section 32 of OCGA provides that a levying authority shall publish a notice of a possible tax increases and HB 302 makes changes to that notice.

The changes strike every mention of tax increase and strike an easy to understand example of what that tax increase might represent for the average home.

The new language uses the terms “proposed revenue” and “additional tax revenue” making the whole matter almost sound positive!

Property taxes are an issue that affect all Georgians, including renters through higher rates. Each dollar taken from an individual and away from the private sector hurts our economy and hurts jobs.

I believe that if a property owner faces a potential tax increase, he or she should be informed, and that notice should not be ambiguous.

I also believe that this bill will leave taxpayers less informed and possibly left feeling deceived.

For those reasons I ask you to join me in voting NO, and in doing so, protecting the current protections for taxpayers in Georgia code!”

I’m kind of disappointed I didn’t get to give my speech but I’m ecstatic we killed the bill, next step, replacing property taxes with a consumption tax.

That next step will definitely take longer.

Two other bad bills also failed late on Friday, HB 225, a tax increase on ridesharing (Uber & Lyft), as well as HB 196, a corporate welfare bill disguised as so-called economic development.

That’s where we saw the worst of politics.

These bills were immediately motioned to be reconsidered, and later that night voted on again.

Both bills passed the second time, after political arm twisting and back room deals.

My friend and journalist Jessica Szilagyi explained it quite well in an article for AllOnGeorgia. CLICK HERE to read the article…

So what happened with my bills as crossover loomed?

As you know I’ve chosen to spend a lot of my effort on two bills this year, HB 156 Constitutional Carry & the HB 364 $5 Hotel/Motel Tax Repeal.

I will go into further detail in the future, but here’s the short version.

I was basically given the run around.

On Monday morning my committee hearing on HB 364 was canceled 30mins before it was supposed to take place.

This is after a weekend spent preparing testimony and communicating with hotel owners in the district.

The owner of the beautiful Beechwood Inn in Clayton even took the time to write a two-page letter to the committee, explaining the devastation and inherent unfairness this tax has had on his business.

The lobbyist from the Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association had planned on attending, and my staff came in early to print materials.

HB280
All that to be left with a last minute cancellation because of “scheduling conflicts”.

Constitutional Carry was also under attack last week, from leadership no less, going so far as to “embargo” this pro-Second Amendment legislation that has now passed in 14 other states.

None of this is surprising, limited government conservative ideas are met with a cold welcome down here, I’ve seen it all before.

This only fuels my passion for our shared values and principles.

I’ll leave you with three rhetorical questions.

Should our Constitutional rights be used as political tools?

Should political games come before the well-being of all Georgians?

And, why is there such a disparity between campaign rhetoric and what happens under the gold dome?

Thank you for your support, it is an absolute honor.

Freedom & Prosperity,

Matt Gurtler
(706) 490-2285

Thank you to Banks for finding the perfect quote of the week:

“The patriot, like the Christian, must learn to bear revilings and persecutions as a part of his duty; and in proportion as the trial is severe, firmness under it becomes more requisite and praiseworthy.

It requires, indeed, self-command. But that will be fortified in proportion as the calls for its exercise are repeated.”

– Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence & 3RD President of these United States

Copyright © 2017 Matt Gurtler for State Representative, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Matt Gurtler for State Representative

115 Sawmill Lane

Tiger, GA 30576

Author

It truly is an honor to serve Union, Towns, Rabun & White counties.

Featured, Politics

Matt

 

It truly is an honor to serve Union, Towns, Rabun & White counties.

Sometimes that service comes in the form of stress, little sleep and big pressure

Other times that service comes in the form of perseverance, fun and excitement.

Usually it’s a mix, but one thing that is consistent is that there’s always a lot of hard work.

This week that hard work paid off.

I’ll first tell you about my personal favorite, and something that should give fellow limited government conservatives a lot of hope.

As you know, the natural course of things is for government to grow.

Too often, only a small group of my colleagues and I stand against the tidal wave of new regulations and new taxes.

I have sometimes been the only dissenting vote against big government.

So what’s the point?

One of my colleagues made a confession I am extremely grateful for; he stated that every time concerns are brought up, or even just one NO vote is on the board, it makes him think twice.

It makes him wonder if he missed something, and why this bill didn’t pass the limited government litmus test.

That’s progress right there!

We are moving the ball forward.

Last column I mentioned a $274 million tax increase that passed the house with only a dozen or so dissenting votes.

Another bill would give a special tax break on high-end boats; we’re talking million dollar boats here.

As a free-market capitalist I am certainly not against individuals making a lot of money and using it as they please, but I am against anyone getting special privileges, especially when it comes to taxes.

What we need is a level playing field, with lower and fair taxes for everyone.

The special tax break passed and was shortly there after followed by another special tax break, this time, much closer to home.

This tax exemption would affect concrete mixing equipment, and would directly benefit my family’s construction company’s bottom line.

I voted NO.

Why should I get a special tax break, but not the tractor supplier or the hotel owner?

That sounds like a lot of bad news Matt, where’s the good news?

The numbers!

It was most apparent Thursday when a bi-partisan coalition came together and defeated a bill that would’ve put more regulations and costs on low-voltage contractors.

The bill failed, with 117 Representatives voting NO.

That NO represents jobs protected and consumer’s wallets safeguarded.

Last week we also safeguarded jobs, for doctors this time, with a nearly unanimous YES vote. 

With HB 157 the House repealed language that gave certain doctors a monopoly when it came to who is allowed to advertise their services, and how.

That’s a whole code section of laws that harmed the free-market, gone!

Last but not least in the list of great news, is HB 364, my $5 hotel/motel tax repeal.

I’m excited to announce that Chairman Tanner confirmed a Sub-Committee hearing.

The process down here isn’t always pretty, and it can take a long time to simply get the conversation started sometimes, but that’s the job.

Building relationships, putting in the work, treating everyone fairly, and doing what is right by your constituents goes a long way.

Talking about relationships, it has been wonderful to have such a great relationship with Young Harris College.

This week we had quite a few visits from YHC, including the president Cathy Cox and education students.

Matt1 Matt2
I can’t forget the quote on the week.

“We may explain success mainly by one word and that word is WORK! WORK!! WORK!!! WORK!!!!

Not transient and fitful effort, but patient, enduring, honest, unremitting, and indefatigable work, into which the whole heart is put.”

– Frederick Douglass

Freedom & Prosperity,

Matt Gurtler
(706) 490-2285

Copyright © 2017 Matt Gurtler for State Representative, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Matt Gurtler for State Representative

115 Sawmill Lane

Tiger, GA 30576

Author

Georgia House 8th District Candidates Answer Questions

Politics

Union County Republican Party and Union/Towns TEA Party sponsored Georgia House 8th. District candidate forum. Forum moderator FetchYourNews.com CEO Brian K. Pritchard.

Candidates: Joshua Littrell, Matt Gurtler, Kent Woerner, David Barton.

Watch forum video below.

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