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Oconee Republicans Rescind Media Restrictions

The Oconee County Republican Party Executive Committee has placed severe restrictions on media coverage of its meetings, starting with the one on Thursday and running through the election in November.

Tammy Gilland, chair of the local party organization, said that media representatives are allowed to attend the next three party meetings but that they are not allowed to record the meetings in any way and not allowed to take any notes.

Gilland said the recording and note-taking prohibition “will apply to all media.”

Michael Prochaska, editor of The Oconee Enterprise, said Tuesday that he has not been notified of the media prohibition, and Lee Shearer, who covers Oconee County for the Athens Banner-Herald, said today that neither he, reporter Wayne Ford, nor editor Donnie Fetter received the notice.

Gilland communicated the policy to me in a personal email message she sent me Monday.

Gilland said the local organization will use part of its meeting “to strategize with our Republican candidates for State Senate, State House, and local school board. This will be sensitive information that we do not want shared with the opposition.”

Charles Bullock, a distinguished political science professor at the University of Georgia, is the guest speaker at Thursday’s meeting, which will be held at 6:30 pm at the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce, 55 Nancy Drive in Watkinsville.

For more, visit Oconee County Observations.

UPDATE: Becker reported Thursday that Gilland has lifted the restrictions and told Becker that the party would skip the business portion of the meeting and adjourn after Bullock’s speech.