Home / Opinion / Kemp’s Private Political Party Makes Its First Move

Kemp’s Private Political Party Makes Its First Move


The backstory to understand these events

JUN 30, 2023

In my April 16 Sub­stack, “Bri­an Kemp Has Become His own Polit­i­cal Par­ty, Says ‘FU’ to Geor­gia GOP,” you will recall the Governor’s state­ment to a gath­er­ing of his recent­ly-formed Geor­gia First Lead­er­ship Com­mit­tee, inform­ing the cadre of elite polit­i­cal con­trib­u­tors, “We can no longer rely on the tra­di­tion­al par­ty infra­struc­ture to win in the future.” I con­tin­ued,

“Buoyed by the polit­i­cal suc­cess of win­ning a sec­ond, final term, Kemp has effec­tive­ly declared that the Geor­gia GOP has out­lived its mod­ern use­ful­ness, and should be put out to pas­ture. To Kemp, the Geor­gia GOP has become obso­lete, unre­li­able. There­fore, the gov­er­nor can effec­tive­ly say, “FU,” to the Geor­gia GOP and his now estranged, Geor­gia Repub­li­can voters.”

Kemp makes his first big move

Okay, I hear you. You are ask­ing what does that real­ly mean? 

Well, ask your­self, what does a polit­i­cal par­ty do? A polit­i­cal par­ty estab­lish­es a legal­ly-defined pub­lic enti­ty to 

  1. Coa­lesce like-mind­ed peo­ple to cre­ate a base of polit­i­cal pow­er, and,
  2. Pro­vide fund­ing for can­di­dates the base decides best sup­port their polit­i­cal purposes.

Thus, in April, I declared that Bri­an Kemp, an indi­vid­ual, albeit the Gov­er­nor of Geor­gia, “has become his own polit­i­cal par­ty.” So, now, let’s ask how did he do that and what does that real­ly look like? 

To begin answer­ing, let’s look again at what I said in April when I wrote, 

In pass­ing SB221, Repub­li­cans in the 2021 Gen­er­al Assem­bly effec­tive­ly coro­nat­ed Kemp, hand­ing him the pow­er to raise unlim­it­ed cam­paign funds from any­one and every­one, includ­ing out-of-state cor­po­rate enti­ties desir­ing an audi­ence for King Kemp to hear their requests.

Thus, we know Bri­an Kemp has been plan­ning this move for quite a while. Dur­ing the 2021 Geor­gia Gen­er­al Assem­bly, Repub­li­can law­mak­ers “hopped-to” on a Kemp request, pass­ing into law the abil­i­ty for statewide elect­ed offi­cials and can­di­dates to appeal for, and receive, unlim­it­ed polit­i­cal con­tri­bu­tions from well-to-do indi­vid­u­als, but also inter­est­ed cor­po­ra­tions and LLC’s, the share­hold­ers and mem­bers of which of course would remain anony­mous. Form­ing his so-called “lead­er­ship com­mit­tee,” Kemp imme­di­ate­ly under­took estab­lish­ing Geor­gia First, the group to whom he made the dec­la­ra­tion I referred above. 

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In so doing, Bri­an Kemp accom­plished goal #2 above, which is again, to pro­vide unlim­it­ed fund­ing for can­di­dates the base decides best sup­port their polit­i­cal purposes. 

But what base are we even talk­ing about? Bri­an Kemp is offi­cial­ly a mem­ber of the Geor­gia Repub­li­can Par­ty. The Geor­gia GOP has noth­ing to do with Geor­gia First. The funds are com­plete­ly sep­a­rate. Geor­gia First is essen­tial­ly a pri­vate club in the form of a cor­po­ra­tion, a pro­pri­etary polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion with no real rules under law reg­u­lat­ing its pur­pos­es or, impor­tant­ly, dis­pens­ing its funds. There is no tie what­so­ev­er bind­ing the Geor­gia GOP to Geor­gia First or any oth­er orga­ni­za­tions estab­lished under SB221. 

Okay, we under­stand that. But how would Bri­an Kemp, Gov­er­nor of Geor­gia, accom­plish goal #1 above, which is to coa­lesce like-mind­ed peo­ple to cre­ate a base of polit­i­cal pow­er? Enter, the “Repub­li­can Coali­tion.” As the Geor­gia Record recent­ly report­ed“repub­li­can ‘coali­tions’ appear to be pop­ping up in coun­ties across Geor­gia.” As cor­po­ra­tions new­ly-estab­lished on the Geor­gia Sec­re­tary of State web­site, the Geor­gia Record (GR) list­ed evi­dence of at least 17 of these orga­ni­za­tions, 16 of which have been reg­is­tered by one Brent Her­rin, you guessed it, a Kemp appointee. 

Who is Brent Herrin? Why is he important?

As the Geor­gia Record report­ed, in 2021 Kemp appoint­ed Her­rin to the Geor­gia Com­pos­ite Board of Pro­fes­sion­al Coun­selors, Social Work­ers, and Mar­riage and Fam­i­ly Coun­selors. Par­en­thet­i­cal­ly, doesn’t it seem a lit­tle out­side the role of gov­ern­ment to estab­lish a Board of Pro­fes­sion­al Coun­selors? Well, I dun­no. I mean, what do coun­selors do? Obvi­ous­ly, they coun­sel. So, who do they coun­sel? There you go. Now you are ask­ing the right ques­tion. Licensed Pro­fes­sion­al Coun­selors (LPC’s) are “mas­ter’s-degreed men­tal health ser­vice providers, trained to work with indi­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies, and groups in treat­ing men­tal, behav­ioral, and emo­tion­al prob­lems and dis­or­ders.” Dur­ing the 2021 Gen­er­al Assem­bly, HB395 passed into law, mak­ing Geor­gia the very first state in the nation to sign on to the Inter­state Coun­sel­ing Com­pact, now duly-estab­lished among over half of the 50 states. 

The Inter­state Coun­sel­ing Com­pact (ICC) allows LPC’s to prac­tice their craft across state lines with­in states join­ing the com­pact. Why is that impor­tant? It is impor­tant because the ICC works in con­junc­tion with Georgia’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Inter­state Men­tal Health Com­pact, estab­lished under GA Code § 37–10‑2 (2019), also signed into law by Gov­er­nor Bri­an Kemp, which effec­tive­ly estab­lish­es a mul­ti-state law-enforce­ment juris­dic­tion, in oth­er words a coop­er­a­tive, inter­state law-enforce­ment drag­net, designed to mon­i­tor and even arrest indi­vid­u­als a par­tic­u­lar state with­in the com­pact legal­ly deter­mines could be a “dan­ger­ous, or poten­tial­ly dan­ger­ous men­tal heath patient. Licensed Pro­fes­sion­al Coun­selors are autho­rized to “Diag­nose and treat men­tal and emo­tion­al dis­or­ders, includ­ing addic­tive dis­or­ders.” So here we have two laws recent­ly passed in Geor­gia, signed by Bri­an Kemp, autho­riz­ing the diag­nos­ing of men­tal dis­or­ders by LPC’s, to include whether indi­vid­u­als are “dan­ger­ous, or poten­tial­ly dan­ger­ous,” as well as the arrest of those so-diag­nosed hav­ing escaped their allowed areas of per­son­al recog­ni­zance, and the return­ing those indi­vid­u­als from an arrest­ing state by law-enforce­ment offi­cials, pro­ceed­ing direct­ly across state lines back to their state of ori­gin. In many ways, these author­i­ties rep­re­sent those of a police state. 

Arti­cles V and VI of GA Code § 37–10‑2
Arti­cles V and VI of GA Code § 37–10‑2

Because Licensed Pro­fes­sion­al Coun­selors are charged with diag­nos­tic author­i­ty, their sig­na­tures on orders of arrest and return of these escapees across state lines from one state to anoth­er are vital­ly impor­tant to the pur­pos­es of the Inter­state Men­tal Health Com­pact. With­out the sig­na­tures of diag­nos­ti­cians legal­ly rec­og­nized across state lines, the author­i­ty to read­i­ly arrest and return men­tal health escapees, would not exist. Mr. Her­rin is on the Geor­gia State Board charged with cer­ti­fy­ing those who would poten­tial­ly sign “arrest and return” orders. 

How does all that tie in?

I told you all that so you would under­stand that Brent Her­rin is obvi­ous­ly an indi­vid­ual Gov­er­nor Kemp con­sid­ers with­in his per­son­al, “Cir­cle of Trust.” 

Accord­ing to evi­dence sub­mit­ted by the Geor­gia Record, Brent Herrin’s sig­na­ture embla­zons the reg­is­tra­tion papers of “all but one” of the present 17 coun­ty-based Repub­li­can Coali­tions. Ask your­self a sim­ple ques­tion: What do coali­tions do? Why, coali­tions coa­lesce, don’t they? Cer­tain­ly they do. Polit­i­cal coali­tions coa­lesce like-mind­ed indi­vid­u­als to accom­plish polit­i­cal objec­tives, thus accom­plish­ing the first goal of any polit­i­cal par­ty, which I ref­er­ence above. Thus, between cre­at­ing and oper­at­ing Gov­er­nor Kemp’s Geor­gia First Lead­er­ship Com­mit­tee and reg­is­ter­ing “Repub­li­can Coali­tions” in and among the var­i­ous coun­ties in Geor­gia, Bri­an Kemp is well under­way toward the goal of becom­ing his own polit­i­cal par­ty, as I described his pur­pos­es in my April 16 Sub­stack, to wit: 

Just as I said Kemp would do in April

But what polit­i­cal pow­er would a cor­po­rate, “Repub­li­can Coali­tion” real­ly pos­sess against that of a legal­ly-rec­og­nized polit­i­cal par­ty with­in the State of Geor­gia, and in par­tic­u­lar with­in the coun­ties in which they are estab­lished? Here is where we arrive at the ulti­mate pur­pose of this discussion. 

Law­ful­ly, an incor­po­rat­ed polit­i­cal coali­tion should not rate on the scale of pow­er of a polit­i­cal par­ty orga­nized with­in the laws of the State of Geor­gia. Shame­ful­ly, appar­ent­ly that doesn’t mat­ter. The first case in point is that of recent events in Chero­kee Coun­ty, where the law gov­ern­ing the appoint­ment of elec­tion board mem­bers has been cir­cum­vent­ed by the coun­ty com­mis­sion. Accord­ing to the Geor­gia Record“Har­ry John­ston and the Chero­kee Coun­ty Com­mis­sion chose to ignore a Repub­li­can nom­i­nee to the Chero­kee Coun­ty elec­tion board and instead appoint­ed some­one from this new­ly formed cor­po­ra­tion.” What we are see­ing with this elec­tion board appoint­ment is best described as a “ursur­pa­tion,” in oth­er words, a “wrong­ful seizure of author­i­ty.” I say that because the law declares the Chero­kee Coun­ty Com­mis­sion “shall” choose “from” nom­i­nees pro­posed by the two applic­a­ble polit­i­cal par­ties, Repub­li­can and Demo­c­rat, to be appoint­ed to the elec­tions board. But then the law seem­ing­ly turns around on itself, appar­ent­ly under some uniden­ti­fied cir­cum­stance, autho­riz­ing the com­mis­sion to bypass the man­date of “shall,” mak­ing it an “if,” and sub­sti­tut­ing its own nom­i­nee “if” the com­mis­sion does not appoint the nom­i­nee the law says it “shall” appoint. So, if, say, the Chero­kee Coun­ty Repub­li­can Par­ty nom­i­nat­ed an indi­vid­ual present­ly in the coun­ty lock-up for a 6‑month sen­tence, the law would allow the com­mis­sion to bypass that nom­i­na­tion and appoint anoth­er can­di­date. Here, how­ev­er, noth­ing like that has hap­pened, yet the coun­ty com­mis­sion effec­tive­ly chose Bri­an Kemp’s nom­i­nee, in oth­er words, a nom­i­nee com­ing from the Chero­kee Coun­ty Repub­li­can Coalition. 

Kemp speak­ing at Davos last Winter
Thus, we see in these events the begin­ning of a pat­tern, in which forces back­ing Geor­gia Gov­er­nor Bri­an Kemp are effec­tive­ly attempt­ing a pri­vate takeover of the Geor­gia Repub­li­can Par­ty. That takeover is appar­ent­ly being accom­plished through increas­ing­ly con­trol­ling the Repub­li­can rep­re­sen­ta­tion nor­mal­ly present with­in the mem­bers con­sti­tut­ing coun­ty elec­tion boards. One can­not say Bri­an Kemp is not polit­i­cal­ly savvy attempt­ing all that we are see­ing. But we can also expect he has received ade­quate coach­ing, hav­ing befriend­ed those who run the World Eco­nom­ic Forum, a gath­er­ing to whom he received an invi­ta­tion to speak last win­ter. So, even though the appar­ent make-up of the Geor­gia Repub­li­can Par­ty, includ­ing an over­whelm­ing num­ber of coun­ty GOP’s, has become decid­ed­ly Trumpian and “Amer­i­ca First,” estab­lish­ment Repub­li­cans, led by Kemp, are mak­ing a play to “wag the dog,” exert­ing polit­i­cal influ­ence at the coun­ty lev­el to place their own peo­ple onto elec­tion boards where vital deci­sions, such as whether to resist using Domin­ion vot­ing machines, would be made.


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