Sylvia Cooper

City Ink columnist and correspondent for The Augusta Chronicle.

Sanders has slim shot at sheriff

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Like Mark Twain’s premature obituary, reports of Augusta attorney Freddie Sanders’ political death were greatly exaggerated.

Last week, I told you he was not going to run for sheriff of Richmond County. I should have known better, despite the fact that impeccable sources said he wasn’t going to run. Also, Sanders called a week ago out of the blue to make sure I understood he’d never said he’d run, only that his “intentions” were to run. He also said he was not committed to run and was still listening and talking to people.

So I went out on a limb, and Monday he sawed it off.

I asked him how he came from being “not committed” Friday to being committed Monday, and he said, “I guess I thought about it and made the decision I would like to be the sheriff. I love law enforcement and sincerely believe I’ll be a good sheriff. I know the sheriff’s department inside out.”

I didn’t ask whether he was running to establish himself as a bonafide Repub­lican to enhance his chances of being appointed to a Superior Court judgeship – as some have speculated – because I knew he’d say no.

Last week, I also wrote – and still believe – that Sanders would draw votes from Republicans who otherwise would cross over and vote in the Democratic primary in order to vote in the sheriff’s race for one of the two white candidates – Scott Peebles or Robbie Silas. That would lessen their chances of winning or getting into a runoff with Lt. Richard Roundtree or Lt. John Ivey. Should there be a runoff in the Democratic primary, Republican primary voters could not vote in it.

In addition, some Demo­cratic voters would cross over and vote for Sanders if he were to have opposition in the Republican primary, which could also lessen Peebles’ and Silas’ chances while enhancing Roundtree’s. Those voters could not vote in a Democratic runoff.

Anyway, I wrote that Sanders’ chances of winning were Slim and None, and Slim had left town, but Sanders has almost convinced me he can bring Slim back to town. However, to win in the general election with a 75 percent turnout, he’d have to get every single one of the estimated 29,000 Republican votes and 9,001 of the estimated 48,000 Democratic votes.

POTENTIALITY: On another note, potential sheriff Sanders represented potential mayor Alvin Mason when Mason pleaded not guilty of domestic assault in Richmond County State Court.

Sanders said Mason was intervening in a “family potential disagreement” between Mason’s wife and adult daughter when his wife, Velma, got shoved up against a wall and got a little cut on her neck.

The episode was potentially damaging to Mason’s political career. Sanders played it down as being a “potential” disagreement. But doesn’t it make sense that if Mason had to get in between the two women to keep them from coming to blows, the disagreement had already gone beyond “potential”?

NOTHING TO SNEEZE AT: Unlike the pollen in Au­gus­ta, commission and school board district voting days and lines are still up in the air because the politicians failed to approve a plan that reflects population changes since the 2000 census. At least we do know they’ve dropped this in the lap of a federal judge somewhere.

Legislation that shifts Augusta Commission elections from November to July must be pre-cleared by the U.S. Justice Department by the opening of qualifying May 23. If it is not, the law will not take effect until next year, and this year’s elections will be in November.

DON’T IT ALWAYS SEEM TO GO … The Legislature did approve transferring the Golf and Gardens property to Georgia Health Sciences Uni­versity and the old public library at Ninth and Greene streets to the city. City Administrator Fred Russell said the library will be torn down to make way for a parking lot.

THEY SAID HE’LL BE SORELY MISSED: The local delegation sponsored a resolution commending Sheriff Ronnie Strength on the occasion of his retirement. He was lauded in the House last week for his leadership and deep personal commitment to the welfare of residents, his remarkable diplomacy, his keen sense of vision, and his unquestionable integrity to justice and law enforcement during his 35 years of “superlative service.”

PRAISE ON TOP OF PRAISE: The Richmond County Democratic Party is organizing a “celebration” for Strength on April 20 at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center. A non-partisan buffet dinner and recognitions are planned. Tickets cost $50, and you can make a reservation by calling (706) 722-8111.

QUITE A BAND OF MERRY MEN: Mayor Deke Copenhaver will be a panelist on the Veterans Advisory Board of Robin Hood aboard the Intrepid Museum in New York City in May. Robin Hood, co-chaired by former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman and U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen and Steve Cohen, the founder of S.A.C. Capital Advisors LP, invests millions to support direct service programs for veterans and their families.

“Your efforts to help veterans in Augusta are exemplary, and mayors and other government, private sector and nonprofit practitioners from across the country would benefit significantly by hearing from you firsthand,” Mullen wrote in the invitation.

The conference will focus on issues facing veterans. Panelists include Mullen; Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs’ chairman and CEO; Jes Staley, CEO of JP Morgan Investment Bank at JPMorgan Chase & Co.; journalist and author Tom Brokaw; Wes Moore, an author, businessman and U.S. Army veteran; The Daily Show host Jon Stewart; retired Gens. Pete Chiarelli and Stan McChrystal and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Augusta’s Boy King, the first mayor in America to finish all three legs of an ESi Ironman 70.3 Augusta twice, says he’s not focusing on petty politics.

“I’m focused on working together with people who can make a huge difference in our city, such as our new community partners at Starbucks, as well as the panelists I’ll be serving with in New York,” he said. “I want Augusta to become a model city, and I have access to people who can help make it happen.”

I’LL DRINK TO THAT: After the Augusta Commission approved an amendment to the county code to allow Sunday sales of beer, wine and liquor beginning today, the mayor said he wasn’t going to comment about Sunday sales going into effect on April Fool’s Day.

“But,” he added, “it’s something to consider.

Comments (19) Add comment
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Riverman1
82451
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Riverman1 03/31/12 - 09:20 pm
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Finally, everyone gets it

Finally, everyone gets it that Freddie Sanders is running for real.

Austin Rhodes
2855
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Austin Rhodes 03/31/12 - 09:31 pm
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*ahem*

*ahem*

Little Lamb
45398
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Little Lamb 03/31/12 - 10:02 pm
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Sylvia Cooper wrote: City

Sylvia Cooper wrote:

City Administrator Fred Russell said the library will be torn down to make way for a parking lot.

How about thinking big and making it a parking deck?

raul
4668
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raul 04/01/12 - 12:47 am
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Are they seriously going to

Are they seriously going to demolish the old library building for a parking lot? I don't want to hear in the future of the need to build additional office space for any governmental entity when that building could be refurbished and used for that purpose.

seenitB4
85836
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seenitB4 04/01/12 - 04:38 am
1
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Well Sylvia I'm glad he cut

Well Sylvia I'm glad he cut the limb off.......how much more can he say.....
Naysayers will keep good men from office.....I will say this again..

HE KNOWS AUGUSTA---HE KNOWS THE OFFICE--HE WILL DO A GREAT JOB--AUGUSTA NEEDS HIM--

When yall get a good candidate why do some try to run him off ????
STOP pre-guessing what will happen & how the people will vote.....believe it or not but the BLACKS want to stop crime in their neighborhood too!!!!

GEEEZ you news folks get on my last nerve sometimes!

seenitB4
85836
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seenitB4 04/01/12 - 04:46 am
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Yeh...I can see Mayor Mason &

Yeh...I can see Mayor Mason & Sheriff Sanders....coming soon ..LOL

Maybe that is what is worrying some in downtown....maybe...

my.voice
4731
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my.voice 04/01/12 - 07:36 am
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A parking lot on a gateway to

A parking lot on a gateway to downtown is a really poor choice. That's a prime chunk of real estate. Downtown doesn't need a parking lot, especially in this area.

LuvMyTown
2009
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LuvMyTown 04/01/12 - 07:43 am
4
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Tear down the old library for

Tear down the old library for a parking lot? A bad choice. Building looks solid and attractive. Has any effort been made to sell or reuse? No parking lot is needed. Ugly scar on Greene street will be left behind.

Riverman1
82451
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Riverman1 04/01/12 - 08:08 am
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Interesting that the

Interesting that the Democrats are throwing a celebration for one of their own in Sheriff Ronnie Strength. So we have all these Democrats running for Sheriff and only one Republican.

As I've said often, Richmond County is now majority black and it's logical to assume a Democrat catering to the liberal black views should hold the major elective offices in town, but I'm sure some of them are also conservative along with the Republicans and could make this happen for Sanders.

If you are liberal, Democratics, Obama supporting, candidates, such as Scott Peebles and Richard Roundtree, by all means support your guys, but if you are conservative, don't play the dishonest game of claiming you are a liberal if you're not. That's simply dishonest and can't be justified. Now Richmond County has a choice with conservative Freddie Sanders.

Riverman1
82451
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Riverman1 04/01/12 - 08:31 am
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Slim Shot Sanders smashes

Slim Shot Sanders smashes supporters of Silas and Scott slates for Sheriff with sincere statement.

Hey, that name may catch on. Slim Shot Sanders.

allhans
23562
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allhans 04/01/12 - 08:31 am
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Since the entry of Sanders

Since the entry of Sanders into the race will only do harm, what is he after?

allhans
23562
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allhans 04/01/12 - 08:34 am
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Is the "bipartisan" dinner

Is the "bipartisan" dinner for Strength a fund raiser for the Democrat Party?

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 04/01/12 - 11:10 am
1
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Shhhh... Don't say anything

Shhhh... Don't say anything negative. The Masters are coming! The Masters are coming!

csraguy
2250
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csraguy 04/01/12 - 12:33 pm
1
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It really does not matter

It really does not matter what party the Sheriff is but what kind of Sheriff they will be. From the candidates thus far, Peebles is the most prepared and ready to progressively move the Sheriff's Office forward.

Tell it like it is
35
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Tell it like it is 04/01/12 - 02:36 pm
2
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Robbie Silas is the best man

Robbie Silas is the best man for the job. Please give him your support, he will be a honest and fair Sheriff for all races. I have known Robbie for over 20 years and can say nothing except good things about him.
The additional training he needs can be done when he is elected. What else can be expected of a candidate ?

Little Lamb
45398
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Little Lamb 04/01/12 - 04:33 pm
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my.voice posted: A parking

my.voice posted:

A parking lot on a gateway to downtown is a really poor choice.

I doubt whether a parking deck at 9th & Greene is really the best use of that property either, my.voice. But, come on, to call that corner a gateway to downtown is tugging at the wrong heartstrings. Ninth Street from Greene Street to Walton Way is no gateway. It is the very heart of downtown. What Fred (What, me worry?) Russell needs to think is about Augusta's growing up. We need parking and land is scarce. Therefore, a five-level parking deck to serve library patrons will be the ticket. They will have to float bonds, of course, to build it; and they will have to charge for the parking to pay off the bonds. And Riverfront LLC will be happy to intervene as the manager of the parking deck such that the city will not have to hire any new employees with those cushy benefits.

Hey, isn't there a model already in place? There is a multi-story pay to park deck on Reynolds managed by Riverfront LLC. And there is a two-level free parking deck catty-cornered from 9th & Greene. We have matches made in heaven in this city.

seenitB4
85836
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seenitB4 04/02/12 - 06:52 am
1
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allhns asked what is he after

allhns asked what is he after (Sanders)

Well just maybe he is telling the truth & he REALLY wants to make Augusta a better & safer place to live.....he certainly isn't doing it for the $$$.....I see what the man sees in Augusta...esp. south Augusta....that is our homeplace....we were raised in that area....crime has taken over in certain areas & we all know that.....some say it can't be fixed---well I don't believe that.....it will take some tough police work----we had that in the 70s..it worked!!!
You need a good combination of leaders--working together to make it work.....Augusta doesn't have that right now----the only thing that matters to some is downtown.....& that "ain't" working!

Riverman1
82451
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Riverman1 04/02/12 - 08:47 am
0
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Of course it matters what

Of course it matters what party you represent. As Sylvia explicity says, this is about the black and white division with little thought to who wins except the person of the right race. Keep in mind Richmond County is predominantly black now.

Peebles claims to be a Democrat and proudly said he was at Obama's inaguration (even if working) as a badge of honor. But if the white candidates running as Democrats are not true Democrats they are sacrificing their integrity to run as such.

Freddie Sanders is the only one openly running in a party that fits his political philosophy unless Peebles and Silas are liberals. Sanders is full speed ahead as a white Republican and betting on his honesty to get the support of conservatives of both races and the victory. You have to admire him.

Riverman1
82451
Points
Riverman1 04/06/12 - 06:45 am
0
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Interesting the way the

Interesting the way the University of Arkansas is handling the revelation married football Coach Bobby Petrino is having an affair with an Athletic Dept. employee. He has been suspended immediately while an investigation takes place. Contrast that with what happened to some in the RCSO who are now running for sheriff.

Some of the supporters here told me it's not illegal or against RCSO rules and shouldn't matter. I said bull before and was wondering about the state of the RCSO if this is the attitude. Glad to see common sense is present somewhere even if not around this election.

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