As I first brought it to your attention in my June Substack, Kemp’s Private Political Party Makes Its First Move, there appears a concerted effort across Georgia, orchestrated by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and his chosen operators, to control strategic county boards of elections seats. Controlling those seats is how the Georgia “uniparty,” headed by Brian Kemp, outnumbered many times by true, grassroots Republicans, apparently hopes to “wag the dog” and hold onto political power without the actual votes to do so. The idea is this: If one can centralize, and thus control the counting of votes, which Secretary of State Brian Kemp accomplished in 2017 (just in time to become elected governor), and if you can control local policy-making toward registrations and vote-counting on election boards in key counties, such as Cherokee, Fulton and now Forsyth and others, and if you can raise enough private funding, the unpopular Kemp “uniparty” believes it can maintain political control over the state.
But the Georgia “uniparty,” as I call it, headed by Brian Kemp, is not a “political party,” per se. Think of it as an unofficial, but well-financed and effective “political POWER association.” Perhaps you have picked up on this, that what Kemp and his cohorts care about most, is political power. They are not conservative. They are not liberal. Although they choose a party affiliation to get on ballots, they are effectively neither Republican nor Democrat. They are power wielders and brokers and by using deceptive practices they are bent on doing all that they can to build and maintain political power in Georgia, and they are very good at it.
Uniparty operators use their knowledge to establish an air of supremacy over local Republican Party rules and parliamentary procedures. They become the “knowledge authorities” of the local party. The rank and file members look to them on how the rules and parliamentary procedures are supposed to work. Having established trust among the party faithful, they become the “go to guys” on parliamentary questions and election law, making it easy to manipulate outcomes to accomplish various personal objectives.
One way of establishing control over party rules and procedures, for example, is to become the rules committee chairperson and county party parliamentarian. Party rank and file members have families and jobs, and rarely desire the additional responsibilities those offices require because they do take time and effort, without pay, and there are many other pressing matters to occupy one’s limited time. In short, it is pretty easy to be voted into a job no one else wants. Once in position, however, because, apparently, no one among the faithful knows any better, an aggressive rules chairman and parliamentarian can manipulate perceptions of party rules and procedures in the minds of the party membership to accomplish practically anything he or she wants, including being personally nominated and appointed to strategic and powerful local government boards. And, apparently, what I describe is how Joel Natt became a member of the powerful Forsyth County Registrations and Elections Board (BRE).
“Say what you want,” recently wrote one former Forsyth County Republican Party Chairman, “but the way the [Natt] appointment was made is the way it has been done as long as I have been involved with the Forsyth County Republican Party.” Informed that those appointments were not lawful, when asked to specify the nominations he made without party approval to the board of commissioners during his tenure, becoming indignant, the former GOP chair proudly doubling down, “I never did anything without the authority of the EC (Executive Committee) or CC (County Committee), as the case may have warranted. I do not recall a “vote” being taken but rather the EC (Executive Committee) had the opportunity to object. I considered it an approval by acclamation as is permitted.”
But the law does not permit “approval by acclamation” of the “Executive Committee” comprised of 6 office holders. The law requires an affirming vote of the “county executive committee” comprised of approximately 35 members, those 6 office holders PLUS as many as 29 precinct chairs, as the party is presently configured. The individual to whom I attribute those remarks, is the one who appointed Natt to the BRE in 2019, proudly admitting on social media he took the vote of no one. Assuming he is truthful in those comments, it appears Joel Natt has been unlawfully occupying the same BRE seat he is scheduled to swear to accept Tuesday, for the last 4 years!
So now we get to see how Forsyth County Republican Rules Committee Chairman and Parliamentarian, Joel Natt, apparently planted himself on the Forsyth County Board of Registrations and Elections (BRE) in the first place. He knew the rules and legal procedures regarding that appointment, when evidently no one else did. As reported to me by Republican members during this time, Natt indoctrinated the minds of local Republican executive office holders with distorted perceptions of those rules and procedures, twisted to favor certain political outcomes, creating, for example, a prevailing impression that only one person, the county party chairman, a friend who could be trusted, possessed power to unilaterally nominate members to that powerful board, and that no one else had any say whatsoever in who would sit on it. Boiling it down very simply, planting references of this distorted reality into the minds of key individuals, well in advance of an impending nomination, and even intimidating, from time to time, those in position to question his interpretations of the rules and procedures, in the end, Natt received the unilateral nomination from his friends, the party chairpersons, at least twice, resulting in the subsequent, now successive, appointments he desired.
This is how politics works. This is how elections get stolen. This is why good people must step out of their comfort zones and get involved.
And don’t count on your commissioners to follow the law any better than those former party chairs or the nominee, the good ole boys and girls on the commission “rubber stamping” whatever a party chair, or even someone who purports to be a party chair, sends them. It’s just too simple to pull the wool on good people. Too many times, good people seem to think everyone one else is “good people,” too, never imagining that anyone would have ulterior motives.
And it almost worked without a hitch. The Georgia uniparty in the person of Mr. Natt almost took the seat opening September 1 on the Forsyth County BRE without a fight. But then somebody actually looked up the law. The law does not say what the county Republican parliamentarian led everyone to believe at all. According to the Forsyth County Code, Article III, Section 2, which mirrors state law, an entire countywide committee of Republicans must vote to ratify a nominee before the chairperson can tender it to the board of commissioners for appointment. And importantly, according to Article III, Section 4, the commission cannot simply “rubber stamp” a party nomination “like they’ve always done.” Instead, the law requires the commission to CERTIFY the nominee is “duly appointed as provided in the Act,” meaning he or she was appointed exactly as according to the procedures of Article III, Section 2, a requirement the commissioners keep playing playing too dumb to understand. In my letter below, I explain it such that a 3rd grader can comprehend.
In the present case of Mr. Natt’s apparent unlawful appointment, the county commission did what it usually does, “rubber stamping” it a full six months prior to the end of the present term of Mr. Natt, previously appointed unlawfully 4 years ago according to his friend. But when the new county Republican chair pointed out that the Natt “uniparty” nomination did not follow the law, and was therefore unlawful and void, the commission members effectively said, “not our problem” never moving an inch to correct the error since learning about it in May, never moving to restore the rule of law, and appoint a truly lawful nominee.
This Tuesday, despite the best efforts of many local patriots, two-time Manchurian candidate Joel Natt is scheduled to swear in to succeed himself as the next Forsyth County BRE member, having never been nominated according to the law in two terms, having instead effectively funneled his nomination to the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners via two now former Republican chairmen, friends who would soon to be out the door of party politics, leaving the residue of tainted, unlawful appointments to haunt the people of Forsyth County for four more years.
Because we are nearing the end of this phase of the struggle for lawful representation on the Forsyth County Board of Registrations and Elections, yesterday morning, September 3, I sent the following letter to each member of the Forsyth County Commission via email :
When we last communicated, it was August 3rd, one month ago. At that time I asked you to provide a response to my legitimate concerns regarding the apparent unlawful appointment of Mr. Joel Natt to Forsyth County Board of Registrations and Elections (BRE). To date I have received no response, and you have also failed to respond to the questions offered by the Forsyth County News. So, in case you simply forgot, to refresh your memories, I and many others contend the Joel Natt BRE appointment was unlawful because neither the previous Chairman of the Forsyth County Republican Party, nor the members of the Forsyth County Commission, fulfilled their lawfully-prescribed duties under Forsyth County Code Article III, Sections 2 and 4, which as you know is state law. It was the Republican Party Chairman’s responsibility to take the appropriate vote as the law requires (I will offer more on that below), and it was YOUR responsibility to CERTIFY that the law was followed, meaning the entire law regarding the appointment of BRE members. There is no getting around that.
What it means to “CERTIFY”
Because you stubbornly refuse to acknowledge what it means to “CERTIFY,” apparently it falls on me to help you to understand. Consulting Black’s Law Dictionary, to CERTIFY means is “to authoritatively confirm as being genuine or true as represented, or comply or meet specified requirements or standards.” Thus, when the county commission CERTIFIES that Joel Natt has been “appointed as provided by the Act,” the board “authoritatively confirms as true” that Mr. Natt’s appointment “complies with the specified requirements,” as those specified requirements are described in Forsyth County Code Article III, Section 2 below. To help understand what that means, I will provide an example. Please study this label:
The manufacturer of this diesel exhaust fluid CERTIFIES that its product COMPLIES WITH THE ISO 22241 STANDARD. As Black’s Law Dictionary tells us, to CERTIFY means “to authoritatively confirm as being genuine or true as represented, or comply or meet specified requirements or standards.” Thus, if the fluid from a manufacturer’s container, leaving the factory bearing this label, is a substance OTHER THAN diesel exhaust fluid ISO 22241, the exhaust system of any engine in which it is used could suffer heavy damage. That means the exhaust fluid manufacturer found negligent, having falsely or mistakenly CERTIFIED that the fluid in the container is what the label says it is, could be held liable to pay for those damages. You with me? Because it is CERTIFIED ISO 22241, that certification creates a legal foundation for diesel engine operators or other interested parties to depend that the fluid behind the label is sufficient to its stated purpose and safe to use in diesel engines.
Now, would you ever imagine a case in which this manufacturer of diesel exhaust fluid would bypass a dependable certification process and simply “rubber stamp” that its product, used in millions of diesel engines worldwide, complies with ISO 22241 standards? Knowing the potential damage it could cause otherwise, would you not expect this manufacturer to always exercise an appropriate level of diligence to make sure its product complies with those standards? We all know the answer to that question. Still, the law does not tell the manufacturer how to go about CERTIFYING its product meets those standards. In fact, the manufacturer does not have to do anything at all if it chooses not to, which would be fine as long as the fluid in the container actually is the fluid as CERTIFIED on the label and causes no damage to the end users’ property. Similarly, when the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners CERTIFIED that Joel Natt was “duly appointed as provided in the Act,” as long as that lawful requirement might be true, no damages might result. And, just as before, no one can require the BOC do anything it does not want to do. BUT, as soon as it turns out Mr. Natt was NOT “duly appointed as provided in the Act,” having been CERTIFIED that he was by the county commission, just like the diesel exhaust fluid manufacturer who performs no due diligence to CERTIFY its product, and the product turns out faulty and damages engines of its users, both the BOC and the manufacturer could be liable for resultant damages. And that is where we stand at this moment. When the statute says the board of commissioners has a responsibility to CERTIFY the law was followed, it means that it is the board’s responsibility to take WHATEVER MEASURES ARE SUFFICIENT to satisfy itself that the law was followed, knowing that if the commission makes a mistake, meaning as things turn out the law was not followed, the county and perhaps even the commission members themselves, shown negligent, could be liable for damages. The law does not spell out how you CERTIFY, only that you MUST CERTIFY. You have to decide the process to do that for yourselves.
Because neither the members of the BOC, nor the county attorney, will seemingly acknowledge understanding the basic principle above, written in plain English in the law, and acknowledge their lawful responsibilities in appointing BRE members, I have taken the time now to explain it as I believe it to mean.
“Manchurian” swearing in Tuesday on the strength of an unsigned, two line letter
Because neither the former Republican chair, nor the county commission, DID THEIR JOBS according to the law, the people of Forsyth County now have an apparent “ringer,” a “Manchurian candidate,” about to take office in one of the most important and powerful board positions in Forsyth County Government, and perhaps even the state and nation, as we head toward the 2024 elections. And unfortunately, no one in position to stop an interloper from taking office appears interested in following the law. Interestingly, last year, prior to midterms, the individual now apparently FALSELY OR MISTAKENLY CERTIFIED BY THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS according to the reasons above, and who is on the verge of taking office on Tuesday, agreed on video that somewhere between 29,000 and 34,000 names on Forsyth County voter rolls “should not be there.” Yet an hour before confidently making that statement to fellow Republicans, he voted NO to a motion to investigate nearly 13,000 of those names, a fact leading many to question whether there is an agenda behind everything we are witnessing here.
Since my last correspondence with you, I was at least pleased to discover two commissioners among you in favor of directing the county attorney to answer my concerns. Perhaps they are interested to know his response as well. Either way, of course, that leaves the other three blocking the way. What puzzles me is whether the remaining three are actively covering for the county attorney, or the county attorney is covering for them, or maybe both. And now, a practically avoidable travesty is scheduled to occur on Tuesday morning at the Forsyth County Elections Office, making an answer to my concerns at this point moot. Unless something drastically changes, it appears yet another Manchurian candidate (this kind of appointment process has been going on for quite some time) will unlawfully assume an appointed position on the Forsyth County Board of Elections he is not entitled to. He should not enter that office because not one member on the Forsyth County Republican Party committee required to lawfully ratify his nomination to the board was even given an opportunity to vote, one way or the other. Furthermore, the Forsyth County Commission, charged with the responsibility to CERTIFY that the law regarding BRE appointments was duly followed, chose rather to rubber-stamp his appointment purely on the strength of an unsigned letter, ostensibly from the former county Republican chairman, a letter so improperly written it is not even addressed to the correct board. Astounding is the fact that the entire paper trail required to certify an apparent Manchurian candidate, obviously favored by those in high positions of state power, to a board of elections seat in Forsyth County, Georgia, is that single correspondence you see below, nothing else.
Who really has standing to sue?
It is reliably reported by others in attendance that during a private conference between two commission members and the chair of the county Republican “chief executive committee” and committee attorneys, that one commission member asked the county attorney whether the Natt appointment could be voided. His answer was, as reported, “yes.” However, qualifying his response, he subsequently expressed to the commission members, “but you could be sued.” Now, really, who would sue the county for voiding a provably-unlawful BRE appointment? Mr. Natt would not sue the county over a board seat he knows would be provably-unlawful for him to hold. But, as also reported, during that meeting, the county attorney did not express concern for suits that could arise for NOT voiding an unlawful appointment. Why did he offer such a one-sided legal opinion?
I ask that question because, as it turns out, the Forsyth County Republican Party Executive Committee (“chief executive committee” as described in OCGA 21–2‑113), comprised of, at maximum, six members, IS NOT the committee at all empowered by law to vote on the ratification of a BRE nominee. Instead, according to OCGA 21–2‑113 it is the entire “county executive committee,” which by that statute is the county committee at-large, normally numbering around 35 members, who must ratify a BRE nominee by majority vote before he or she could be tendered for appointment by the board of commissioners. Not coincidentally, it was the official Forsyth County Republican Party Parliamentarian, Joel Natt, who therefore bore a responsibility to know the law regarding appointments, but who reportedly steered the party “chief executive committee,” including the former chairman, to believe his nomination was controlled by one individual, the same now former chairman who purportedly wrote the letter above. That makes approximately 35 individuals who, as of today, because of county commission negligence, and/or affirmative disregard, were apparently systematically denied the lawful right to vote on Mr. Natt’s nomination before the commission rubber-stamped the appointment on February 2, 2023, having received not even a signed application for that appointment. It’s astounding that the Forsyth County Commission would freely hand out powerful board positions in county government without even requiring an application, or even a signed letter or affidavit of qualification.
But on top of those 35 or so committee members denied by the county commission the lawfully-prescribed right to vote on Mr. Natt’s nomination prior to rubber-stamping it in February, on July 18 of this year, 23 members comprising a quorum of the same lawfully-empowered committee actually did officially vote, fully ratifying the nomination of Mr. Stefan Bartelski to the contested board position. A record of that law-fulfilling vote to ratify Mr. Bartelski as Republican nominee to the BRE, including the signatures of the 23 committee members so ratifying, was sent to you by present party chair Mendy Moore, giving you official notice and proof, CERTIFYING for your purposes that Mr. Bartelski is the only lawful nominee ever presented for the position’s appointment for the term commencing September 1. Stubbornly, almost as if someone outside the five commission members is orchestrating the board’s decisions, you chose never to consider Mr. Bartelski’s claim on the seat at all. Thus, in refusing to consider Mr. Bartelski, you chose against considering the only lawfully-nominated individual for the position of BRE member for the coming term, apparently knowing that the candidate who sailed through your committee in February, with no scrutiny whatsoever, was unlawful.
Now, I am not an attorney, but from this layman’s perspective, it appears that by your actions you have inadvertently created at least three classes of plaintiffs with provable damages against Forsyth County:
1. those you denied the lawful right to vote for or against the Manchurian you rubber-stamped in February;
2. those whose lawful votes ratifying Mr. Bartelski were summarily disenfranchised by your decision not to consider them, and
3. Mr. Bartelski himself, who remains at this moment the only lawful nominee ever proposed for the office in question, the term of which officially began September 1, whose lawful claim you stubbornly still ignore.
And I am not counting the hundreds of thousands of Forsyth County citizens, such as myself, by whose tax dollars the county commission would pay to defend itself. I am also not counting the plethora of ethics charges each member of the county commission could conceivably face. Great job, commissioners! Because you took such excellent advice from your county attorney, who warned only of one suit by an individual who had no case at all against you, you now have up to 35 individuals, each who appear to possess slam dunk cases against the county commission, possibly to include civil rights violations, which the Forsyth County taxpayers would have to pay to defend. As a taxpayer with standing in all of this, whose dollars would go to defend such malfeasance, I am dumbfounded.
Again, I am no lawyer. But there appear even more cases which could result from your horrible and dishonorable management of this situation. When the county commission members ultimately refused to even investigate the appointment of Mr. Natt, after being properly notified of the apparent fact of his unlawful nomination, refusing in the process to take up the lawful nomination of Mr. Bartelski, each member therefore did so with knowledge of the apparent fact that Mr. Natt’s nomination and subsequent appointment was unlawful. Republican Chair Mendy Moore informed you of that on May 17. She spoke with several of you in the meantime. She sent you notice of Mr. Bartelski’s nomination, CERTIFYING his lawful ratification by including the “county executive committee” signatures demonstrating such, on July 18. I and numbers of others communicated that same apparent fact to you many times and in many ways, both written and orally during your meetings. Your own ethics rules as well as state ethics rules under §45–10‑3 require that government board members “never be a party to the law’s evasion,” opening the door for countless ethics charges which would naturally come against you. Thus, because you did all of that knowingly, never taking any steps to even investigate, while owning the statutory responsibility to do so, if the courts determine you have been wrong, and the appointment of Mr. Natt was indeed unlawful, I understand you could very well have exposed yourselves personally should any of the 35 or more potential plaintiffs referenced above, choose to litigate against you. And as you undoubtedly understand, the county attorney cannot be paid with taxpayer funds to defend you for knowingly and unlawfully violating your prescribed duties and responsibilities, not to mention your ethical responsibilities regarding law evasion. Apparently, the only task for any one of those potential plaintiffs, or all of them for that matter, to prevail, would be to demonstrate that what all these parties have been telling you since May 17 is indeed true, meaning that the Natt nomination, and subsequent rubber-stamping of his appointment to the BRE, was in fact unlawful.
But, like I say, I’m no lawyer. I’m just a county taxpayer who knows what he knows and doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, but one who is very concerned about the mismanagement of Forsyth County under this board of commissioners. Your personal attorneys will have to advise you in all of your potential liabilities here. And that’s a good thing for you to know. I wouldn’t count on the county attorney for much help in this. He appears to have been instrumental in creating this difficulty for you in the first place. And he won’t be able help defend you personally anyway. Taxpayers watching this miscarriage of justice will make sure of that.
Board of commissioners still has a chance to repair
All that said, you still have the smallest chance to make all of this right and avoid bigger problems. All you have to do is void the appointment of Joel Natt before he takes office, or convince him to stand down and relinquish his appointment. From what I understand, any aforementioned damages would incur only upon his swearing. But, I understand voiding his appointment would now entail convening an emergency session, taking a vote and directing someone authorized to speak for the commission to contact Governor Kemp over Labor Day weekend, and plead with him to cancel the swearing order of Mr. Natt scheduled for Tuesday. Because of the apparent role the governor has been playing in support of Mr. Natt’s appointment already, and perhaps because of the mood he has recently displayed, that is not a conversation I expect anyone would relish to have.
Perhaps, therefore, it is time to speak with Mr. Natt.
You were advised of the issue in a timely manner; you subsequently received a nomination conducted in accordance with the law; you are on record having been advised that you have the option of changing the nomination and to date have failed to take action to correct the unlawful nomination. You can be assured that allowing an unlawfully nominated candidate to take office will create damages to many who hold standing in the matter. You will not be able to use lack of authority for your failure to stop the damage from occurring.