Dispatches from government reporter Johnny Edwards

Bowles: I'm being threatened, too

It seems Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Mason isn’t the only elected official in Augusta receiving threats.

Mr. Mason said at his monthly constituent breakfast last weekend that a “local millionaire” sent him threatening e-mails back in May, which turned out to be from non-millionaire real estate broker Joe Edge. Livid that the trade, exhibit and event center wasn’t moving forward, Mr. Edge wrote, “I will do everything I can to ensure you don’t get re-elected if the commission does not change their mind,” and, “You should really consider the consequences of how this will affect the city of Augusta and your re-election chances.”

Questioned by The Chronicle, an unapologetic Mr. Edge said he’ll go so far as to make a campaign donation to Mr. Mason’s opponent.  

Now Commissioner Joe Bowles tells The City Core he’s being threatened, too. Banker Joy B. Mitchell-Booker and teacher Cleveland O’Steen, both residents of Mr. Bowles’ district, are engaged in blatant attempts to remove him from office.

There’s both a paper trail and motive. A few weeks ago, they each paid a $360 qualifying fee to the Board of Elections, which means that on Nov. 3, their names will be on the ballot along with Mr. Bowles. The commissioner is concerned that such activities jeopardize his ability to represent District 3 next year.

Could it be that Ms. Mitchell-Booker and Mr. O'Steen disagree with Mr. Bowles' views and positions, and are therefore trying to affect his re-election chances?

A review of Board of Elections records shows Mr. Bowles is the only commissioner being targeted in such a way.

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HillGuy
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HillGuy 09/16/09 - 08:14 pm
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certainly this is tongue in

certainly this is tongue in cheek.

joebowles
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joebowles 09/16/09 - 08:30 pm
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Johnny, Thanks for the

Johnny, Thanks for the laugh.

 

Harrisburg Homeowner
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Harrisburg Homeowner 09/16/09 - 10:15 pm
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Definitely....this is a

Definitely....this is a gas!  I'm ROTFL.... (that's "rolling on the floor laughing" for those of you who don't chat online often)

Joe has my vote and as soon as he gets some signs up, he can come put one in my yard.  He works for his constituents.

avesposito
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avesposito 09/17/09 - 12:21 am
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Ha!

Ha!

bettyboop
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bettyboop 09/17/09 - 06:27 am
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 Wonderful !!........

 Wonderful !!........

Harrisburg Homeowner
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Harrisburg Homeowner 09/17/09 - 08:00 am
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Johnny....I HAD to come read

Johnny....I HAD to come read this one again!   I needed a "laugh fix" for the day.  You have certainly hit the nail on the head with respect to our Mayor Pro Tem's comments.

I AM STILL LAUGHING!   This is good...real good!

truth-now
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truth-now 09/17/09 - 08:02 am
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Go, Joe, go!!!  Keep doing

Go, Joe, go!!!  Keep doing what you're doing.  We need your common sense on the Commission.  Seems others have gotten blinded by the "power" and forgotten that they are supposed to represent the voters who elected them.

Brad Owens
4287
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Brad Owens 09/17/09 - 10:21 am
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Joe needs to stick to his

Joe needs to stick to his proclaimed 'conservative' values and vote against the TEE center and all the other wastful pork associated with this bloated project.

Taylor B
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Taylor B 09/17/09 - 11:03 am
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I think Bowles claims

I think Bowles claims libertarian, but I'm not sure. Some of his votes don't seem that way. I think it would be a great idea for him to oppose the TEE. I give him lots of credit on the SPLOST opposition. I'd love to talk to him about some of his past votes on things.

Johnny Edwards
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Johnny Edwards 09/17/09 - 11:16 am
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Joe definitely identifies

Joe definitely identifies himself as a Libertarian. Check out the comment he posted on this article:

http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/2009/09/16/met_548353.shtml

While he's supported the TEE center, he's also said that if it isn't built, the $20 million in the bank should be returned to taxpayers.

HillGuy
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HillGuy 09/17/09 - 12:34 pm
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Supporting the wasteful TEE

Supporting the wasteful TEE Center on its exaggerated claims is certainly NOT a libertarian position, but his position on returning the money back to the people is. How about Mr Bowles come out in support of letting the voters decide in a referendum if they want this new TEE Center costing close to $70,000,000.. remember Joe, the voters never approved of this behemoth.. and let voters decide what to do with that original $20 million from 05 SPLOST... now that would be a very Libertarian position.

Johnny Edwards
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Johnny Edwards 09/17/09 - 12:43 pm
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If such a referendum were to

If such a referendum were to be held, it would have to be in the July 2010 primaries, and both the Republican and Democratic parties would have to agree to add it to their ballots. That's according to Board of Elections Executive Directory Lynn Bailey.

Taylor B
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Taylor B 09/17/09 - 12:49 pm
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At this point, I am scared

At this point, I am scared to add it to a referendum. I think it would be SPLOST all over again. This town can't show up to defend itself. I say build a $20 million dollar TEE center. Something that will be easy to bulldoze ten years from now.... And be done with it. The voters get what they asked for, and we stop the bleeding.

Harrisburg Homeowner
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Harrisburg Homeowner 09/17/09 - 01:30 pm
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I am going on record as

I am going on record as OPPOSING us taxpayers funding the $70 million TEE center behemoth.  We voted for a $20 million TEE center.  For politicians to use our vote as a license to add to the TEE center expenses to make it into a $70 million TEE center is outrageous.  If they want to go ahead and build a $70 million TEE center, then use the $20 million we voted for and obtain private funding for the remainder. 

For once I agree with Betty Beard.  We need to hear both the pros and cons of building a TEE center here in Augusta.  Then we can be fully informed and go forward from there.  If the pros outweight the cons, a special referendum is definitely in order.  We did not vote to spend $70 million.  Only $20 million.

Newsreader
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Newsreader 09/17/09 - 05:14 pm
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This is an outrage! How

This is an outrage! How could anyone find fault with a sitting commissioner? And bribing the Election Commission to get their names on the offical ballot. There should be a Federal Investigation of these actions. Next thing you know, these two hoodlums will form a group to collect money and put out advertisements. Mr. Bowles has done nothing to deserve this! All civic minded citizens of Richmond County should unite against this radical set of activist and put them in their place. It could happen in your district next. Look at District 1 where the sitting commissioner is "retiring" and five people are trying similar tactics to get a handhold onto her office and its entitlements. This must be stopped. If we do not "nip it in the bud", the next thing you know we will have a democracy with qualified, competent, responsive, elected officals. This movement could spread farther than the County Commission. HELP US NOW!!!

Taylor B
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Taylor B 09/17/09 - 05:58 pm
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I think the commission

I think the commission reflects the voters of Richmond County, not the residents. Turnout is so low, only people that will directly benefit vote. If two wolves and a cow vote on what's for dinner, who's on the menu? Its not just here, its a nationwide issue. The moral of the story is vote. And if you vote Libertarian, I wouldn't mind a bit.

HillGuy
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HillGuy 09/17/09 - 08:45 pm
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That will work.. or just put

That will work.. or just put it on the NOV general election ballot... I think some state laws need to be changed.. I see no reason why this shouldn't be on this November ballot.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 09/17/09 - 08:49 pm
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Can't be in November,

Can't be in November, elections aren't county wide in November.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 09/17/09 - 09:10 pm
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What you can do is not vote

What you can do is not vote for anyone that supports the TEE center. That's my advice.

HillGuy
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HillGuy 09/17/09 - 09:19 pm
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I agree with you there.

I agree with you there. Butch Palmer is on record of being against this waste of tax money... Aitken and Jo Rae Jenkins are for it.. Not sure what the positions are on TEE of the other two dist 1 candidates. Joe Bowles seems to be for this white elephant.. curious of the position of his opponents. I'd like to hear more about this Joy Mitchell and Osteen. Usually I agree with Bowles.. but he is way off on this and this is a MAJOR issue.. wasting $70,000,000 of our tax dollars is NOT something to be taken lightly.

HillGuy
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HillGuy 09/17/09 - 09:25 pm
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If you are truly a fiscal

If you are truly a fiscal conservative or a libertarian, then there is no way you can support this TEE center.

jackfruitpaper833
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jackfruitpaper833 09/18/09 - 07:17 am
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I'm voting for O'Steen Joe

I'm voting for O'Steen Joe needs to go, he's just mad because someone else is running against him, you can't be COMMISSIONER forever.  And besides there are people who don't like you Joe.

Taylor B
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Taylor B 09/18/09 - 07:51 am
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Why does Joe need to go? He

Why does Joe need to go? He seems like the only guy on the commission looking out for the taxpayer. If I'm not mistaken, the commissioners are limited to how many times they can run. Jack, what makes you think O'steen will do better? What is his platform? I have been looking online, for his website or something, and I can't find anything. I would like to know more details.

joebowles
104
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joebowles 09/18/09 - 10:46 am
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Jackfruit, Based on your

Jackfruit, Based on your racist posts, I don't want your vote. I also doubt based on your posts that you live in District 3.

 

Taylor B
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Taylor B 09/18/09 - 10:52 am
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Shhhhh! Joe! You're going to

Shhhhh! Joe! You're going to spook him. Let him get in the open so I can get a clear shot! So... Jack... Please go on...

Johnny Edwards
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Johnny Edwards 09/18/09 - 11:11 am
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That's the spirit,

That's the spirit, newsreader!

WideOpenSpaces
5
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WideOpenSpaces 09/18/09 - 01:47 pm
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Who said anything about $70M

Who said anything about $70M of tax-payer money?  If you've read the news carefully, the remainder of the project is paid through people who stay at hotels in Augusta through a hotel tax - NOT local taxpayers.  Besides, why turn down a project that already has another hotel developer wanting to build a good hotel like a Hyatt right next to the Augusta Common?  A $25M investment in the city from that developer is better than the empty buildings there now, don't you think? 

HillGuy
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HillGuy 09/18/09 - 02:01 pm
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If Joe supports this TEE

If Joe supports this TEE Center white elephant then he is NOT looking out for the taxpayer.. perhaps I am wrong on this and he has changed his position on TEE.. but he seemed more than willing to just hurry this along and spend close to $70mill on this waste.

HillGuy
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HillGuy 09/18/09 - 02:22 pm
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Actually the remainder would

Actually the remainder would be paid through city issued bonds (backed by property taxes) and the $1 a night hotel tax would take money out of the local economy, as that is money that these visitors would not have in their pockets to spend at local businesses.

Taylor B
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Taylor B 09/18/09 - 02:27 pm
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It would also require giving

It would also require giving $300,000 more for "revitalization" each year, robbed from alcohol taxes from the civic center. That's okay though, if we run out of money, we can just find something else to tax. If the Hyatt wants to build a hotel, great. Bending the taxpayers of this county over shouldn't be part of the deal. Here's a compromise. Let the city donate the land, private companies build the TEE, and pay no property tax for five to ten years. Make a deal like the one that dug the Panama Canal. Think outside the 70 million dollar box. Where is the creativity in our commission?

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