(D) Jon Ossoff Has Republicans Worried in the GA 6th Congressional District Special Election

Featured, Politics

In Jon Ossoff’s newest commercial, while wearing a purple tie, seems like the guy who is ready to reach across the aisle to get things done in Washington D.C. Ossoff claims that both parties are wasting your tax money. There is 16 billion dollars in duplicated programs and he will work with anyone for the best interest for the people. Ossoff has plenty of money to work with; he is raking it in from The DNC, Moveon.org, The Daily Kos, and many other left leaning groups. Republicans on the other hand are working to collect endorsements and raise money on their own. The RNC and The RCCC are pouring money into advertising against Ossoff but are not able to show support for any of the 11 Republican candidates. With 18 total candidates in the race, Ossoff is currently poling 40%. This puts Ossoff in the position to run a campaign attempting to win the 50% + 1 on April 18th to prevent a runoff. The best any Republican candidate can hope for is to keep Ossoff under 50% and be in the runoff. In this segment #BKP explains why he thinks Jon Ossoff’s commercials are effective and the Republican counter attack may not be working.

Fannin Commissioners plan to cut Fannin Chamber Budget – Will they kill the golden goose?

Opinion

Fannin county Board of Commissioners made a decision to reduce the percentage of hotel/motel tax which was allocated for the Fannin County Chamber.  The reduction which will begin in 2018 will change the percentage the Chamber receives to 60% from 70%.  The plan now is for another reduction which will be made again in 2019 making it a 50% / 50% split.  During discussion Fannin County Post Commissioner Earl Johnson said he would like the money to be used for specific earmarked projects.

The Fannin Chamber has been extremely effective in tourism marketing and local merchants and taxpayers have enjoyed the benefits.  In this ever changing climate of small towns and communities vying for the tourists’ dollars we couldn’t help but wonder how will this change impact our area.  Currently Blue Ridge/Fannin County has numerous and varied methods of drawing the crowds including digital marketing, billboards, magazines, and more.

Listening to some people voice opinions on this matter in the past several months, the echoing sentiment seems to be how successful our town of Blue Ridge/Fannin has been in attracting visitors.  Our Fannin Chamber has been very instrumental and successful with putting Blue Ridge/Fannin on the map and maybe some do not realize how this happened.  Our fear and the fear of many, is the reduction in resources to our Chamber will have an impact which may not be easy to reverse.

It may seem to the current Board of Commissioners a good idea to make this reduction, thus giving them what may be considered “newfound funds” but what will be the results of this change in the long run.  It’s not too hard to realize 40% of 1 million is $50,000 less than 30% of 1.5 million, of course these are estimates but the timing seems likely for the drop in tourism to coincide with the marketing decrease which will be a forced change on our local chamber.  Not only does Fannin/Blue Ridge compete with other small towns but add the newly opened Casino and the marketing package it has put in place, along with other areas who aspire to draw similar crowds, could really put our tourism numbers at risk.

The sad news for everyone however may be the effects which could be felt for years to come.  Hopefully the Fannin County Board of Commissioners may review and research the possible outcome and perhaps even reconsider.   FYN did our own research and spoke to some people who have decades of research on tourism.  One of our contacts agreed to let us share his findings on the effects of advertising to small towns.

FYN decided to reach out to Andrew Levine, contributor to Forbes Magazine,  who wrote this article & agreed FYN could have permission to share :

Why Tourism Advertising Is More Powerful Than You Think

Is there a halo effect generated by tourism advertising?

Yes, we can survey consumers and directly see how a state or city’s advertising campaign works in influencing perceptions of a destination’s tourism product and ultimately in motivating travel.  But are there other benefits in boosting the community’s overall image with the same audience?

North Dakota is a case in point.  For the past decade, the state’s “Legendary” campaign has been a successful branding statement connecting the state to potential travelers in an emotional and authentic manner.  The most recent ROI research shows that North Dakota’s U.S. campaign generated over $100 in visitor spending for every dollar spent on advertising.

ND New

North Dakota’s “Legendary” advertising campaign kicked-off in 2005.

But here’s where it gets even more interesting.  Are the same viewers more positive to North Dakota as:

  • A place to live? Yes, up 41%.
  • A place to start a career? Yes, up 100%.
  • A place to start a business? Yes, up 75%.
  • A place to attend college? Yes, up 87%.
  • A place to purchase a second home? Yes, up 113%
  • A place to retire? Yes, up 75%.

Graph

Tourism advertising helped boost the state’s image in unexpected ways.

Longwoods asked the same six questions in assessing the impact of advertising campaigns for a number of other states, including North Carolina, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The findings couldn’t have been more consistent.  In each and every case, effective tourism advertising had the same impact, improving consumer perceptions of each state in accidental yet positive ways.  And while tourism marketing has been shown to generate significant economic impact by driving visitation, these results demonstrate the potential long-term benefits for broader economic development.

Edward Thorndike, an early educational psychologist, first coined the term “the halo effect” in a 1920 article titled “A Constant Error in Psychological Ratings.”  Thorndike asked two commanding officers to evaluate their soldiers in terms of physical qualities (neatness, voice, physique, bearing, and energy) and personal qualities (including dependability, loyalty, responsibility, selflessness, and cooperation). He found that if an officer liked one aspect of the soldier, he tended to have a positive predisposition toward everything about him.

Nearly one hundred years later, the same can now be said of tourism advertising.  We’ve known for a long time that effective tourism advertising campaigns build positive feelings toward a travel experience and inspire travel.  But thanks to Bill Siegel and the Longwoods team, we now know that the same campaigns have other benefits that elevate impressions of a destination in an unintended yet positive manner.  Bill Siegel and his firm Longwoods International have been tracking the performance of the advertising campaigns of countries, states and cities for over 25 years.

Mr. Andrew Levine’s bio:  He’s passionate about places and how communities work to attract investment, tourists and talent. For 20+ years, he’s served as President/Chief Creative Officer of Development Counsellors International (or DCI for short). DCI is the leader in marketing places having served over 450 cities, states, regions and countries. It is his belief that place marketing is fundamentally different from consumer marketing (but both practices can learn from each other). A goal in his writing and teaching is to simplify concepts and avoid buzzwords. If you have a high school education, you won’t need a dictionary for anything he’s written.

Georgia State Patrol sends warning on placing homemade/advertising signs – It is illegal and will be enforced!

Featured, News

FetchYourNews.com recently spoke with the Georgia State Patrol regarding individuals who are placing illegal signage on State Roadways and on State Road Signs.

It is illegal and dangerous.  Road signs are engineered to breakaway in a safe manner if a motorist loses control of a vehicle and hits a sign.  If someone places another sign, such as a homemade sign,  on the structure, it changes the engineering and becomes a hazard.  If you put up a sign on the roadway or in the median and someone wrecks it could put you in a position of liability to be sued for their injuries and damages.

Georgia State Patrol wants to send the warning – if anyone is caught placing any signage on road signs or otherwise on the road illegally the law will be enforced with no exceptions.  The idea is to keep the roads as safe as possible for travelers.  Just because you have done so in the past doesn’t make it okay and violators will find themselves in trouble.  If people have been warned and cited it may end up with an individual going to jail.

No one may place, maintain, or display on, or in view from any highway an unauthorized sign, signal, marking, or device that purports to be or is an imitation of or resembles any official traffic control device (such as a stop or slow sign) that attempts to direct traffic movement or that hides from view or interferes with the effectiveness of any official traffic control device or sign. No one may place or maintain, nor may any public authority permit, commercial advertising on any highway traffic sign or signal. The state or local traffic authority with jurisdiction over the highway may cause any prohibited sign, signal, or marking to be removed without notice as a public nuisance (CGS § 14-310).

See this link for additional info: Road Sign Laws

Ads in Fannin Focus do not show up correctly in Sheriff Candidates Campaign Financial Reports

Featured, Featured Stories, News

Mark Thomason, the publisher of the Fannin Focus has been in the news a lot lately. This is an unrelated story to Thomason’s arrest, “Journalist Jailed”. It does, however go with the big picture of Thomason’s publication the Fannin Focus, “Intent on Integrity”. Read the story and you decide.

FYN has a copy of every Fannin Focus issue since primary election qualifying. We have reviewed each page for all campaign advertising. We also have a copy of the Fannin Focus advertising rate sheet. We have cross referenced the ads with the rate sheet. We have all the documents to support this article. FYN files the following report on three Fannin County Sheriff Republican Party Candidates, Johnny Scearce, Jack Taylor and Larry Bennett.

Fannin Sheriff Candidates Political Ad Reporting in Fannin Focus

#FanninCartel Defined

“A coalition or cooperative arrangement between political parties intended to promote a mutual interest”. Did this happen in the Fannin County Sheriff’s race?

Larry Bennett, Republican Candidate for Sheriff placed ads in issues of the Fannin Focus on 3/31, 4/7, 4/14 and 4/28. According to the Fannin Focus advertising rate sheet, the number of ads and the size of the ads Bennett placed should have totalled $1,142.78 in advertising with the Fannin Focus. According to Bennett’s Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report he spent $0 in advertising with the Fannin Focus. Bennett is the former police chief of McCaysville GA.

Jack Taylor Republican Candidate for Sheriff placed ads in issues of the Fannin Focus on 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 3/24, 3/31, 4/14, 4/21, 4/28, 5/5, 5/12 and 5/19. According to the Fannin Focus advertising rate sheet, number of ads and size of the ads Taylor should have totaled $7,970.63 in advertising with the Fannin Focus. According to Taylor’s Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report he spent $600 in advertising with the Fannin Focus. This left $7,370.63 of unreported spending with the Fannin Focus. Remember all those full page ads Taylor ran in the paper?

Remember the marquee at the Swan Drive-In, “Vote Jack Taylor for Sheriff”? What did Taylor pay Steve Setser, the owner of the Drive-In, for the advertising? Taylor listed Setser on his Campaign Contribution Disclosure, but in the space where a candidate has to give the amount of the contribution, Taylor wrote “Setser“ but would not give a price or “no charge” (You can legally donate goods or services to a candidate {In-Kind} but the candidate must describe the donation and place a value on their campaign disclosure). In-Kind contribution values must comply with campaign finance laws. Setser is required to place a value on his contribution. Steve Setser also donated $463 for T-Shirts and $300 for flyers to the Taylor campaign.

Jack Taylor Swan

Now, that brings us to Johnny Scearce. Scearce is currently the Blue Ridge City Police Chief. Scearce has run for Fannin County Sheriff several times and is used to filling out a “Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report”. One would assume that Scearce would understand he has to list everyone who contributes to his campaign and show all outlets where he has spent money.  According to Scearce’s Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report filed on 6/30, he showed $0 left in his campaign account.

Johnny Scearce Republican Candidate for Sheriff placed ads in issues of the Fannin Focus on 3/17, 3/31, 4/7, 4/14, 4/21, 4/28, 5/5, 5/12 and 5/19. According to the Fannin Focus advertising rate sheet, the number of ads and size of ads Scearce placed should have cost $4,946.89 in advertising with the Fannin Focus. According to Scearce’s Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report he spent $0 in advertising with the Fannin Focus.

johnny brenda 3johnny full page 3

Scearce hired  Kendell Goss as Campaign Marketing Manager. Scearce paid Goss $3,369.00 and listed it as advertising. Sources tell FYN, Goss handled the campaign website, prepared speeches, and campaign video along with other marketing materials.

Let’s just suppose Goss used some of the money to place ads in the Fannin Focus…it still would have to be disclosed! Scearce disclosed that he spent money directly three times with The News Observer and once with WPPI – FM so why wouldn’t he disclose any money paid to the Fannin Focus or place the ad directly himself?

There is no disclosure on who paid for the ads. We could not find one Johnny Scearce or Larry Bennett ad in the Fannin Focus that discloses “Paid for By.” One could understand if the publisher missed one ad but it seems he missed them all! Why not show who is paying for the campaign ads, it’s a campaign finance rule?

Sheriff Dane Kirby spent $0 with the Fannin Focus and placed no ads in its paper.

The publisher of the Fannin Focus is Mark Thomason. If Thomason decided to give the advertising to the candidates for free, the Fannin Focus would still have to be listed on the candidates campaign finance reports with an “In-Kind” amount. If an “In-Kind” was the desired result to benefit the above listed candidates by Thomason, the amounts have far exceeded the campaign contribution limits.

Some questions…Did Mark Thomason extend $13,460.30 of free advertising to three Fannin County Sheriff candidates? Why just the Sheriff candidates? Could they have been in cahoots (colluding or conspiring together secretly)? Wonder how the other candidates who paid for their ads must feel? Wonder what the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission will think?

Click to read campaign finance reports.

Johnny Scearce 6302016

Jack Taylor 6302016

Larry Bennett 6302016

 

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Related story: Fannin Focus Mark Thomason Arrested, Journalist or Vendetta

 

 

 

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