Sylvia Cooper

City Ink columnist and correspondent for The Augusta Chronicle.

Young Turks, Old Guard at odds over who knows best

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The struggle between the Old Guard and the Young Turks for political power in Augusta is heating up. And Mayor Deke Copenhaver 's comments in last week's City Ink about the commission needing input from the "best and brightest" got the Old Guard riled up.

The mayor is said to be supporting 31-year-old Sean Frantom for the Super District 10 seat to increase the number of like-minded commissioners in the Royal Chambers. When asked about it last week, he said it was more exciting to see young candidates running and that the commission needs "that young perspective."

Commissioners Joe Bowles and Joe Jackson , who helped host a campaign drop-in for Frantom at the Partridge Inn, are among the Young Turks. Old Guard member and current District 10 Commissioner Don Grantham who is supporting Grady Smith, a man twice Frantom's age, got his nose out of joint over the mayor's remarks.

"Don't you think Hugh Conley still makes a great contribution to this city?" he asked. "And what about Gen. Perry Smith , a retired three-star general? Is he not innovative and creative, writing all those newspaper columns? And what about Ike Washington ? Didn't he contribute to the betterment of Augusta? And Dr. Curley Watson ? A hundred years old. He delivered over 18,000 babies and is still practicing at University Hospital.

"It appears that the wise old men just won't do what our Boy King wants. Therefore, he's looking for young ones who will. And where did they get the name, the Young Turks? If you look into that, you'll find out they would stab you in the back and cut your throat."

IN GOOD STANDING WITH AARP AND NRA: Anyway, if Dr. Watson hadn't delivered all those babies, there wouldn't be enough Young Turks in Augusta to go around.

And look at Judge Carlisle Overstreet , 65 years old and can still shoot straight.

WHAT IN A NAME? Medical College of Gold President ZZZZ wanted to rename the college so that it would better represent its true role as Georgia's medical health sciences university in Augusta. To that end, he appointed the Committee on Re-naming the President's University of Sciences (CORPUS). When CORPUS met for the first time, the members mulled things over awhile and decided they needed a subcommittee -- a team of medical specialists from within their ranks to identify elements that should be in the new name, the order in which they should come, and why. So they appointed a subcommittee to Divide Elements Linking Essential Core Team Initiatives (DELECTI). When DELECTI met, they shortly reached the conclusion even more help was needed to meet ZZZZ's naming expectations, so subcommittee chairman Dr. C.A. Daver proposed forming a sub-subcommittee of CORPUS and DELECTI composed of specialists from Medicine, Cellular Biology and Gasentrology (MCG). After dozens of meetings and discussions, they all came together as one body -- CORPUS DELECTI MCG -- to announce a new name. It was the Medical University of Georgia (MUG), which everybody thought was plug ugly, so the Board of Regents stepped in and renamed the medical college as the Georgia Medical Health Sciences University, Augusta branch.

HE'S JUST A GREAT GUY: The Senior Citizens Council honored Brian Mulherin Sr. with a dinner and roast at The DoubleTree Hotel on Friday for his many years of community service, and about 200 people learned a few things about the man everybody seems to love.

For example, he was once in the seminary studying to be a priest until he discovered he was allergic to celibacy. He rides a Harley. He once owned the Rock-A-Dry-Baby baby diaper service in Augusta and drove a blue station wagon with an emblem of a stork carrying a baby in a diaper on the side. His daughters were so embarrassed to be seen riding in it, they hid. They were so relieved when disposable diapers put him out of business and he had to get a "respectable" job as personnel director at Georgia Regional Hospital, said his daughter Nancy Bachelder , who, along with daughter Barbara Mulherin and son Tommy, spilled the beans about Daddy at the roast. One even revealed that his motto when he owned the diaper service was, "Your baby's poo-poo is my bread and butter."

So many good things were said about Brian there's not space here to repeat them, but Mike Rucker sort of summed it all up when he said: "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He lives in Brian Mulherin. Nay, Santa Claus is Brian Mulherin."

IRISH BY THE GRACE OF GOD: (Printed in City Ink, April 10, 2005.) Neita and I were talking about Sacred Heart church when she mentioned that Brian's parents, Joe and Elizabeth Mahoney-Mulherin , had gotten married there at 6 a.m. in 1916 and then caught the train for New Orleans. Then she said they weren't Brian's natural parents, that he had been left on the doorsteps of Dr. William Mulherin 's house on Greene Street in 1923 with a note from his mother saying she was too poor to keep him.

Actually, the story was he had been brought to Dr. Mulherin's house when he was 3 weeks old by a girl who said she was on her way home from work when she was stopped by a pretty young lady at the corner of Marbury and Telfair streets. The lady asked her if she knew where Dr. Mulherin lived and gave her a note and a bundle and asked her to deliver them to the doctor's home.

In the note, the mother promised to come to Dr. Mulherin's house the next night to explain everything, but she never showed up.

The Mulherin clan embraced baby Brian and were wonderful to him. Years later, he wanted to know who his natural parents were and went to the state adoption registry for help. Just as the investigator was about to find out, Brian "chickened out."

When he was grand marshal of the 1995 St. Patrick's Day parade, he told the story of his delivery at a breakfast meeting.

"I told them the story about being delivered to Dr. Mulherin and how lucky I was because that's how I became Irish and how I became parade marshal," he said.

"I said if I had been delivered two doors down, I would have been a Silverstein and would have been working at Silverstein's Laundry and Dry Cleaners instead of at the parade."

Bernie Silverstein likes the story, but the truth is, the Rubensteins, not the Silversteins, lived two doors down.

"But I would have been Jewish," he said.

OMG: During the Columbia County Commission meeting Tuesday, state Rep. Ben Harbin was on the agenda to receive an award from the Association County Commissioners of Georgia. He was running late, so commissioners skipped the ceremony until he could arrive. After all the commissioners returned to their seats from bestowing a proclamation in honor of the late Jake Ivey , Commissioner Scott Dean checked the screen of his cell phone and told Chairman Ron Cross that Harbin was on the way.

"Have we not told you about texting from the podium?" Cross quipped.

"The only reason I looked was to check on Ben," Dean said, obviously a little flummoxed.

Before the recent controversy over Dean exchanging text messages with a county employee, he drew attention from the lawyers for Marshall Square because, during the original zoning discussion, he was exchanging texts with school board member Mike Sleeper , his best friend and campaign chairman who was sitting in the audience.

Harbin drove up a few minutes later. Surely he sent his own text message to Dean while safely pulled over, or at least while sitting at a traffic signal, since the state Legislature this year outlawed texting while driving.

City Ink thanks Barry Paschal, the publisher of The Columbia County News-Times, for his contribution to this week's column.

Comments (19) Add comment
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Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 08/22/10 - 04:30 am
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Harsh comments form the

Harsh comments form the outgoing Super District commissioner huh?

I know how he feels,

Brad

getalife
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getalife 08/22/10 - 08:28 am
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Sylvia, why not research the

Sylvia, why not research the missing $25,000.00 that someone took from the tax office and include in your City Ink. So far all officials have skirted this issue.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/22/10 - 09:19 am
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I wonder if Scott Dean ever

I wonder if Scott Dean ever gets his fast text messages mixed up when he is texting Harbin?

"What are u wearing?"

"Let's pinky promise."

"Mike won't tell."

MissKitty715
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MissKitty715 08/22/10 - 10:23 am
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Thanks for your coverage of

Thanks for your coverage of the Roast on Friday night. We all really had a great time and it was great to be able to honor such a good and decent human being!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/22/10 - 10:56 am
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Come to think of it, Harbin

Come to think of it, Harbin and Dean may have some of the same fast texts on their phones. They may even have the same number(s) in their phone memories. That could have really gotten confusing. I say let Mike Sleeper handle all the texts for both of them since he is their FRIEND and presented the BOE measure that his cell phone records and messages couldn't be divulged to the public.

Bear - Lillian Smith
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Bear - Lillian Smith 08/22/10 - 11:10 am
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In stead of painting the

In stead of painting the younger generation as not having earned some sort of right of passage, perhaps the community would be better served if the old guard embraced their enthusiasm and willingness to serve.

With age should come wisdom, and a responsibility to know when its time to turn over the reigns and provide support and encouragement to future leaders.

Remember fellas......many of you at some point where standing in their shoes!!

Although I have been a life long Republican, I had a tremendous respect for President John F. Kennedy and his accomplishments.
Take note gentlemen....he was elected to U.S. House of Representative when he was a mere 29 years old, to the Senate at age 35, and became the youngest elected President of the United States at age 43.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/22/10 - 11:43 am
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JFK gave us the Bay of Pigs,

JFK gave us the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missle Crisis, the Berlin Wall and led us into the Vietnam conflict.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 08/22/10 - 11:59 am
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RM1, Bay Of Pigs: Planned by

RM1,

Bay Of Pigs: Planned by Ike and Dick Nixon
Cuban Missle Crisis: caused by Ike and Dick not taking care of business
Berlin Wall: was handled as best it could be.
Vietnam: well, blame Johnson, JFK was assassinated two full years before combat troops were commited in 1965

I am sure Sean will not have us at war with CC or Aiken.

Young people need to be included. Don Grantham made osme crappy comments about John Butler needing to stay home and raise his kids.

Vote against ALL incumbents and those BACKED by out-going members,

Brad

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/22/10 - 12:13 pm
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Brad, JFK refused to

Brad, JFK refused to authorize promised air support at the Bay of Pigs. There are all kinds of contingency plans always on the boards and to blame it on Eisenhower is wrong. You know that from being in the Army before. When a president commits to use a plan, it's his responsibility.

The Cuban Missle Crisis was poorly handled according to every historian I've read and brought us to the precipice of global thermonuculear war. Plus, we had to pull our missles out of Turkey.

While it is true American advisors had been in Vietnam since 1950, Kennedy tripled their number in 1961 and again in 1962.

Discussionstarter
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Discussionstarter 08/22/10 - 03:48 pm
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So... are they going to

So... are they going to investigate Scott Dean or not? I hope this does not get swept under the rug by Ron Cross? If it gets ignored..... then where are the ethics? Ron and Scott should have been voted OUT.

irishfarmer
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irishfarmer 08/22/10 - 04:21 pm
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Age should not be of any

Age should not be of any matter. It should be about who is best for the job. Sean Frantom will make a great commissioner for Augusta/Richmond County. He has a vision to move Augusta ahead. Joe Bowles needs some help on the commission him and Joe Jackson at times are alone. Vote for the best leader not for the oldest Augusta. Vote for the best leader not by the race of the canidate as well. If we as Augustans did that Augusta would be better off today. Remember this all of my fellow Augustans because it is true. Love people and use things. Dont love things and use people. Give our young leaders of today like Sean Frantom and Taylor Bryant a chance. Let our Youth take the lead and fulfill the obligations they have of taking over the reigns. As I have said in the past Augusta has some great young leaders who are ready to lead us and our state to a better future. The Sean frantom's, Taylor Bryant's and B.B. Langham's have had excellent examples to follow in the footsteps of in Joe Bowles and Joe Jackson.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/22/10 - 08:08 pm
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Keep Taylor Bryant's name out

Keep Taylor Bryant's name out of that mess. He is the true independent one.

Bear - Lillian Smith
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Bear - Lillian Smith 08/22/10 - 09:09 pm
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Riverman1, political party

Riverman1, political party views aside, Kennedy was and is still regarded by many on both sides of the isle as having served his country with honor. He was not perfect by any stretch, but the bar has moved so far down since his death, any poor decisions or transgression on his records pale in comparison.

In any case, my point was.....the youth of our community are seeking to be a part of the process...and they're willing to do more than just hold a title, mark time and offer lip service. It's a HUGE mistake to discourage them now.....we "will" need them in the future.

It's difficult enough to get good people to run for public office as it is....which is why we often end up at the polls voting for the lesser of the two evils. That's pretty sad!

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 08/23/10 - 01:33 am
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Young or old doesn't matter

Young or old doesn't matter it is the person and the ones "pulling their strings" that are important. If you look at those few who got Frantom to run as "their boy" with little business, political or other experience, they are simply trying to get someone into office under the guise of fresh and new ideas when really the only ideas he has come from them. It actually works out better for some of the older politicans to have someone like this doing their bidding for them so they can be at a safe distance. Just know the candidates, their reasons and who is behind them when making a decision....look at who pulled the strings for our new president with great fresh ideas....

Riverman1
79615
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Riverman1 08/23/10 - 05:00 am
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Well said, Bear Lillian

Well said, Bear Lillian Smith.

Bear - Lillian Smith
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Bear - Lillian Smith 08/23/10 - 05:37 am
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Asitisinaug, Turn your

Asitisinaug, Turn your statements around and they could be applied to any candidate. A few well placed "questions" or "innuendos" could manipulate voters, yet never actually having stated any as a fact.

Case in point.....here is your statements from the opposite prospective;

"If you look at those few who got "insert name" to run as "their boy"...."with little...political or other experience, they are simply trying to get someone into office under the guise of..."insert descriptive terms"....when really the only ideas he has come from them. It actually works out better for some of the older politicians to have someone like this doing their bidding for them so they can be at a safe distance. Just know the candidates, their reasons and who is behind them when making a decision."

See my point? :-)

In politics, facts have little to do with perception and perception wins elections. You simply ask the questions....lead the horse to water...and watch voters react.
It's classic. :-)

disssman
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disssman 08/23/10 - 06:14 am
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Sylvia, Perry Smith is a

Sylvia, Perry Smith is a retired Major general (2 stars) and there is a whopping difference betwee a 2 star and a 3 star general. But he is a good guy.

sjsd17
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sjsd17 08/23/10 - 06:42 am
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Out with the

Out with the old........................

cleanup
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cleanup 08/23/10 - 06:59 am
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Poor, addled Grantham. Good

Poor, addled Grantham. Good riddance.

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