Cobb GOP Chairman Jason Shepherd, who has been traveling in Germany with his family, said he planned the trip back in December. To save money, while his wife and children flew to Berlin, he used miles to fly to London, planning to use cheap regional carriers to fly on to Berlin and meet them.
Originally, Shepherd said he planned only a quick visit to Oxford to turn in some paperwork at the university where he has been studying, but when the congressional election ended in a runoff, another idea crystallized.
Shepherd emailed the Georgia Republican Party, asking if it knew where Ossoff’s London office was, and enlisted a friend who works for a member of the U.K. Parliament.
The two met in front of Ossoff’s office a few hours after Shepherd landed in London. Shepherd said he edited the video on his iPhone before uploading it to the internet (www.youtube.com/watch?v=AW0jg5STJZY&feature=youtu.be).
The video begins with Shepherd reading an Ossoff campaign pamphlet about bringing jobs to Georgia’s 6th District.
“But today, I’m in London, England,” Shepherd says, looking into the camera. “And what’s behind me? Jon Ossoff’s London business. Jon Ossoff doesn’t live in the 6th District, and he doesn’t even bring his own business to the 6th District. How can we count on him to create jobs in the district?”
The GOP chairman ends the piece by placing a Karen Handel campaign sign at the gate of Ossoff’s London office.
“And we’ll just go ahead and leave this right here for Jon Ossoff to remind him to move to the 6th District,” Shepherd says.
Michael Owens, chair of the Cobb Democratic Committee, said while he can appreciate Shepherd’s dedication in attempting to win this election, he hardly sees what the London trip has to do with the Ossoff campaign or the issues that affect 6th District voters.
“Jon has stated many times that he is the co-owner of Insight TWI, a company that produces investigative documentaries. This means that Jon’s company works and partners with local investigative journalists around the world,” Owens said. “Just this year, one of Jon’s teams uncovered mass killings and sexual slavery by ISIS on the front line in Iraq while producing a documentary for the BBC. The BBC is in London, so I’m not sure why Jason finds it so troubling that Jon may have a presence there. Again, I appreciate Jason’s effort, but I think he wasted a bunch of money to take a Karen Handel sign across the Atlantic.”
(Owens said he wasn’t aware Shepherd was in London anyway because he didn’t mention it in the video.)
In any case, as chair of Cobb’s Democratic Party, Owens said he has chosen to spend his time in the district working directly with the voters and volunteers to help send Ossoff to Washington.
“If Jason, as the chair of the Cobb GOP thinks it’s more effective to go leave the district at this crucial time and track down leads about the good work that Jon Ossoff has done in London then that is up to him. I along with Jon, the campaign and our volunteers are focused on issues that matter and affect the people of the 6th District,” Owens said.
Yet Shepherd said that’s the beauty of technology.
“While I may be in Europe, I am still able to coordinate the Cobb GOP’s GOTV (get out the vote) efforts to recruit volunteers for our team captains, get our message out via email and social media, and receive reports via text and phone,” Shepherd said.