Sylvia Cooper

City Ink columnist and correspondent for The Augusta Chronicle.

Politicians share what's on their holiday wish lists

  • Follow City Ink

Why does Augusta Commission member Grady Smith never go Christ­mas shopping for his wife with another person? What do many Augusta commissioners say they’d like to have for Christmas if they could have anything they want politically? Which commissioner doesn’t like to go to Christmas parties and why? Which commissioner was born on Christmas Day? And who had a Christmas party last week and didn’t invite you?

City Ink can answer all of those questions except the last one because we didn’t get invited either, though we were invited to the Harrisburg Neighbor­hood drop-in and a 50th wedding anniversary party.

WHO IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE FOR? Smith never goes Christmas shopping with another person because he was out with a contractor one evening and after a little Christmas cheer, the contractor suggested they go Christmas shopping. They went to the mall, and after wandering around for awhile, ended up at Victoria’s Secret. The contractor found something he thought would look good on his wife, so Smith said he’d take one too. When the saleslady asked him what size his wife was, he made a guess and ended up with a super petite.

“That wasn’t a very good Christmas,” Smith said.

It could have been worse, though: “What if I’d bought extra large?”

Now, Smith waits until 4 p.m. Christmas Eve to shop for his wife.

“I’ll buy what I have to buy, and I won’t ask anybody anything,” he said. “I say, ‘I’ll take two of these and two of those in different sizes because no matter what I buy she’s going to take it back.’”

ALL HE WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS IS HIS TWO FRONT TEETH: When asked what he’d like for Christmas if he could have anything he wanted, Smith said, “bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, blond, brunette, redhead …”

What he said he’d like politically was for the commissioners to get along and do what’s best for Richmond County.

“And I feel like if we could get rid of two black commissioners and two white commissioners and replace them with four Hooters girls of any color, I could get along with the four Hooters girls,” he said.

I asked Smith whether he’d been to any Christmas parties, and he said he was leery of them.

“You know green is the only color I care about, but the color I fear the most is blue,” he said. “Blue lights coming up behind me.”

I asked whether he had Sheriff Ronnie Strength on speed dial, and he said if you call Strength after 7 p.m. you get a voice message that says, “If you’re calling me about the DUI you’re about to get, hang up and call (706) 821-1080 or (706) 821-1085, which is also Dial A Prayer.”

GREEDY GRINCH STEALING CHRISTMAS: Commissioner J.R. Hatney is leery of Christmas parties, too. He’s not against them. He just doesn’t go.

“I’m not against Christ­mas parties, but I’ve never been to one when somebody didn’t get drunk and act stupid,” he said. “You can drink all you want to, but I don’t have to sit there and watch you.”

What Hatney would like most for Christmas politically is “true justice and fairness for all.”

“That would bring me joy,” he said.

For himself, he doesn’t want anything.

“I don’t live for me,” he said. “I live for other folks. The people are suffering now more than any time in history, not because of a shortage of resources but because of greed.”

WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR: District 1 Commissioner Matt Aitken said he doesn’t need anything for Christmas this year but will need a new job in 2013 because Olin Corp., where he works, will pull the plug on its mercury-based process in Augusta in October.

“I’ll either be working at another plant, be a full-time commissioner or be Mr. Mom,” he said.

His Christmas political wish is to see greater harmony among the commissioners.

MIGHT AS WELL WISH BIG: Commissioner Bill Lockett said he wishes for another happy birthday Christmas Day, and his No. 1 wish is that the commission would make a New Year’s resolution to become a cohesive group and conduct the people’s business in accordance with existing law, always remembering they represent all of the people.

Commissioner Jerry Brigham also wants commissioners to get along better next year than this year.

“We seem to be a lot like Congress,” he said. “We don’t seem to have a whole lot of stuff we’re willing to compromise on.”

DON’T CRY FOR ME: The best Christmas present anyone could give Commis­sioner Joe Jackson would be a trip to Argentina to hunt doves or to the Great Barrier Reef to scuba dive.

Politically, he would like commissioners to really look at the city charter and quit micromanaging everything.

“And think about all the taxpayers, not just the ones in their district,” he said.

FROM DIFFERENT POLES: Richmond County Demo­cra­tic Party Chairman Lowell Greenbaum doesn’t celebrate Christmas. But for Hannukah, he wishes for President Obama’s re-election.

Former Richmond Coun­ty Republican Party Chair­man Dave Barbee wants a guarantee of the end of the Obama administration and to hear Strength announce he’s going to run for sheriff again next year.

Barbee attended the sheriff department’s annual Christmas luncheon Thurs­day and said that was the main topic of conversation. Everybody was asking Strength to run for one more term.

ONE STONE, ONE VOTE: I regret missing that party because I’d planned to ask John Hardin, who is supposed to know everything about Glascock County, whether there’s any truth to a story my plumber Lewis Harbeson told about late Glascock County Sheriff James English.

According to Lewis, the sheriff and one of his deputies were out in a cemetery copying names from headstones to be used in the upcoming election. After they’d covered half the cemetery, the deputy said, “Sheriff, don’t you think we’ve got enough names now?”

English drew himself up and said, “Now look here, deputy. The people on that side of the cemetery have just as much right to vote as the ones on this side.”

CLEAVING TO EACH OTHER: Jane “Cleaver” Howington (no relation to June Cleaver) and her husband, Jerry, were honored Saturday with a 50th wedding anniversary party put on by their sons, Jay and Jed, and their wives Cori and Heather.

Jane, you will recall, received her nickname after Jerry convinced her she had Alzheimer’s disease. Subsequent testing at Georgia Health Sciences University indicated Jerry was out of his mind, not her. Afterward. she was moved to observe that somebody was going to find Jerry someday with a cleaver in his skull.

Congratulations to the happy couple.

NAME DROPPING FROM THE DROP-IN: The Harrisburg party was held at District 1 Augusta Commission candidate Butch Palmer’s newly opened beauty salon, Salon 606, on Crawford Avenue. Also hosting was former mayoral candidate Lori Davis.

Among the guests were Aitken; Ed Presnell; Dr. Bill and Sherry Hammond; Rusty Moulton, owner of Redfire Media; Keith Bailey, a Crawford Avenue resident and artist who designs mascot costumes for sports teams all over the world; Bill Goodwin; Bette Glasscock; and Edie Siegler.

Guests received bottles of Salon 606’s Ghetto Glorious Crowning Glory conditioner and lip gloss as favors.

Comments (21) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
eb97
835
Points
eb97 12/17/11 - 09:20 pm
0
0
The Harrisburg party was one

The Harrisburg party was one very good party, with good food, beverage, entertainment and some of the best people you would ever want to meet.

allhans
23603
Points
allhans 12/17/11 - 09:39 pm
0
0
I wish I had known more about

I wish I had known more about it. I have lost touch in the last few years and would like to attend one of the monthly meetings.

My wish for Christmas is that Dave Barbee gets his wish for Christmas. That would make Christmas of 2012 a wondrous thing.

Dipshot
-5
Points
Dipshot 12/17/11 - 09:55 pm
0
0
I can't believe Jerry Brigham

I can't believe Jerry Brigham had the gall to say this: "“We don’t seem to have a whole lot of stuff we’re willing to compromise on.”.. yeah thanks to people like you Jerry. You were all for compromise on redistricting on the ad-hoc committee you served on and voted to approve the compromise map.. then you turn around and voted against it at the commission meeting a week later. Hows that for compromising and getting along? If you want your Christmas wish granted for next year, you might want to start practicing what you preach.

Dipshot
-5
Points
Dipshot 12/17/11 - 09:57 pm
0
0
Btw, Dave Barbee does realize

Btw, Dave Barbee does realize that Sheriff Strength is a Democrat, right? Or is that just for appearances?

Riverman1
83421
Points
Riverman1 12/17/11 - 11:34 pm
0
0
If Matt Aitken loses his job

If Matt Aitken loses his job working with mercury at Olin (that explains a lot) I say let's make him mayor. He kind of fits the mold for our mayor's position, don't you think?

Jilly Bean
0
Points
Jilly Bean 12/18/11 - 01:49 am
0
0
I heart Matt Aitken and I

I heart Matt Aitken and I hope everything works out well for him. He is a good man and cares abut this city.

Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 12/18/11 - 04:31 am
0
0
Sheriff's should be

Sheriff's should be independent - the law should change.

Sheriff Strength has done a good job but he deserves to be able to retire as that is his desire.

blues550
376
Points
blues550 12/18/11 - 08:13 am
0
0
Best Christmas gift of all tp
Unpublished

Best Christmas gift of all tp Commissioners comes from RCBOE in a new lunch sandwich for their student - The Augustan. 1 slice of white, 1 slice of rye with PBJ & pimento cheese in betwee.

Commissioners will reject gift until color of jelly is agreed upon.

Alvin will propose turkey to be sustituted to honor JB.

CorporalGripweed
0
Points
CorporalGripweed 12/18/11 - 12:16 pm
0
0
I don't know if Sheriff

I don't know if Sheriff Ronnie (I'm not a social worker) Strength is a democrat or a republican. I DO feel he's more of a politician than a law enforcement officer. We need a sheriff who wears a uniform. Not one who wears a suit.

allhans
23603
Points
allhans 12/18/11 - 01:57 pm
0
0
To win as sheriff in R.C. you

To win as sheriff in R.C. you have to run as a Democrat or at least that is what the old-timers say.

Dipshot
-5
Points
Dipshot 12/18/11 - 02:20 pm
0
0
The sheriff's race is

The sheriff's race is partisan and yes it's just a tradition in Richmond County that to be elected Sheriff you have to run as a Democrat.. not that anyone believes that Ronnie Strength has much in common with the modern Democratic party.. it's all a technicality. I agree with others, make the sheriff's race non-partisan like all of the the other local races.

itsanotherday
0
Points
itsanotherday 12/18/11 - 03:28 pm
0
0
tomcasey, the moderation does
Unpublished

tomcasey, the moderation does appear to be very arbitrary at times. I've seen posts pulled under a story here when almost verbatim comments were allowed to stand in the Athens sister newspaper under the same story. Maybe it is also some thin skinned readers/bloggers who complain.

Riverman1
83421
Points
Riverman1 12/18/11 - 03:38 pm
0
0
TomCasey, I was told not to

TomCasey, I was told not to call Mayor Deke a cartoon character or the moderator would personally delete my account. I had many of my comments disappear concerning Scott Dean and I know enough to know when what I post is not out of bounds. I was also told by an editor that commenters don't have any regards to what we say about others meaning he had no respect for us. I wonder if he gets IT now? "Gradated" and all that.

Little Lamb
45763
Points
Little Lamb 12/18/11 - 04:53 pm
0
0
Riverman wrote: I was told

Riverman wrote:

I was told not to call Mayor Deke a cartoon character or the moderator would personally delete my account.

I'm glad they did not delete my account over my "What, me worry?" characterization of Fred Russell! Is that a valid "things I'm thankful for at Christmas" entry?

Dipshot
-5
Points
Dipshot 12/18/11 - 07:51 pm
0
0
Well I don't post all that

Well I don't post all that often and I don't think that I have had a comment removed, but I have noticed the inconsistency and have seen certain comments disappear for no reason when I could not find anything objectionable in it. I can understand deleting any comments that border on being libelous and of course any that contain obscenities and/or profanity, but lampooning a public figure, esp a politician is completely within bounds. Heck the Chronicle does it just about everyday with their political cartoons. So they can poke fun at president Obama's ears or compare Chiquita Johnson to a banana, but we can't poke fun at the mayor and compare him to a cartoon character? Whatever. That seems a tad extreme and inconsistent.

Dipshot
-5
Points
Dipshot 12/18/11 - 07:53 pm
0
0
I did notice on The Scott

I did notice on The Scott Dean stories that comments that made fun of his hair were removed. Didn't understand that either. I mean lighten up.

Riverman1
83421
Points
Riverman1 12/18/11 - 08:20 pm
0
0
After the story about Scott

After the story about Scott Dean and the county employee married to the soldier in Iraq surfaced, I started to go after Dean pretty hard. When he won reelection I had a personal campaign to make fun of him everytime something came up about him.

I was told I was trying to be a comedian the way I slammed him always and was compared to a burlesque comedian, rimshot, chopped liver and all. Well, besides the fact I really was pretty funny, there was a serious purpose behind my comments. (The person addressing me wasn't Sean by the way.)

Riverman1
83421
Points
Riverman1 12/18/11 - 08:21 pm
0
0
The thing someone on the

The thing someone on the Chronicle staff may miss is the purpose behind our comments if they are quickly reading all of them. If someone makes fun of Scott Dean's hair, he may be using that to point out his behavior patterns the same as Sylvia does with her humorous remarks about the "Boy King." The same as when I was calling Deke a benign, harmless comic book character. That characterization in no way violated the terms of service.

Why was I told to stop? Because it was effective, biting and Deke didn't like it. So, yes, there is IMPROPER censorship.

Riverman1
83421
Points
Riverman1 12/18/11 - 09:18 pm
0
0
Corporal, yep. You know I

Corporal, yep. You know I criticized Billy Morris in a few posts and I did feel strange doing it, censorship aside. He pays the bills and I don't want to be a rude guest who isn't gracious enough to have manners and slam the host after drinking his liquor.

I also know Mr. Morris (feels more respectful to call him Mister. See how that affects me. Ha) has done lots of good things for Augusta that I dutifully pointed out. The problem is he is so entwined in everything going on in Augusta in a business way. The TEE Center that has a direct benefit to his business interests for example. Honest discussions have to consider his involvement in most everything that goes on round these parts.

cityman
-6
Points
cityman 12/18/11 - 11:07 pm
0
0
Ghetto Glorious crown and
Unpublished

Ghetto Glorious crown and glory conditioner....ROTFL!!!!

Dipshot
-5
Points
Dipshot 12/18/11 - 11:30 pm
0
0
well I don't always comment

well I don't always comment unless I feel compelled to do so, but I must say I do enjoy reading the comments beneath the articles, especially from certain people. I will often come back many times just to see if there are more comments. Certainly that is what The Chronicle wants, more website hits. That's good for online advertisers. So it seems counter-intuitive to remove and censor comments so arbitrarily. But if that's how things are then so be it I suppose.

AutumnLeaves
7572
Points
AutumnLeaves 12/19/11 - 06:30 pm
0
0
Sorry I missed the Harrisburg

Sorry I missed the Harrisburg party, had to work. I thought the invitation was nicely done, though and based on all the positive feedback, here and other websites, it seems a lot of people I know, or am acquainted with or I would like to get to know better, did go, and I'm happy that they had such a nice time.

AutumnLeaves
7572
Points
AutumnLeaves 12/19/11 - 06:35 pm
0
0
Re: Lowell Greenbaum's

Re: Lowell Greenbaum's comment. Is he really the chairman of the Democrat party here? Why in the world would anyone, Democrat, Republican or other, want Obama to add on another four years? I don't see any promising candidates, a few mildly interesting ones, but Obama isn't on any list of mine as a possibility. We need a positive change.

KSL
128644
Points
KSL 12/19/11 - 07:37 pm
0
0
I saw information on a bumper

I saw information on a bumper sticker today. It said "Are you better off than you were 4 trillion dollars ago?" Pretty well sums it up, don't you think?

Back to Top

Top headlines

DaVitte slaying suspect still in Florida

A month after the slaying of 55-year-old Bill DaVitte, suspect Daniel Nelson Robinson, 21, remains in a Jacksonville, Fla., detention facility.
Search Augusta jobs