Group launches fundraiser to cover $4,400 'racist pig’ email request

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

Indivisible Georgia 7, a grassroots anti-Donald Trump group that's made headlines by demanding town hall meetings with members of Congress, has recently found a new target in Gwinnett County Commissioner Tommy Hunter.

And now it's started an online fundraiser to help cover the hefty cost of an open records request for the embattled leader's emails.

“Tommy Hunter’s emails sent and received belong to the people of Gwinnett County, and we’d like to have a look,” says the page, which had raised more than $1,700 by Sunday evening.

“We’d love to see what our elected official is writing about.”

Indivisible coordinator Ron Denham said his group requested almost five months worth of emails sent or received by Hunter, who's been under heavy fire since The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first published screenshots of a Jan. 14 Facebook post in which he called U.S. Rep. John Lewis a "racist pig" and referred to Democrats as "Demonrats."

Gwinnett County officials told Indivisible that the open records request would cost $4,466.65 to fulfill because an employee has to manually review each email and redact information that’s not subject to open records laws — primarily personal email addresses or cellphone numbers of everyday citizens that made contact with Hunter.

The estimate is based on the time it would take the lowest-paid qualified employee (Hunter’s assistant, who makes $31.29 an hour) to do the work.

In the 10 days or so its been live, Indivisible’s online fundraiser has collected a significant amount of money. But member Miranda Lynn Baumann said the cost of the request raises its own questions.

“We feel it disincentivizes public engagement by residents,” she said.

Indivisible Georgia 7 is a local arm of a national movement aimed at "resisting the Trump agenda." The second half of its name comes from Georgia's 7th Congressional District, which covers parts of Gwinnett and Forsyth counties and is represented by U.S. senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, as well as Rep. Rob Woodall.

The group has also been active in protests over Hunter’s refusal to resign from Gwinnett Board of Commissioners. Its Facebook page has nearly 850 members.