Sylvia Cooper

City Ink columnist and correspondent for The Augusta Chronicle.

City Ink: Candidates play the part

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Political forums are good political theater, and the actors get better with every rehearsal.

It’s just a shame they play mostly to an audience that already knows who it will nominate for an Academy Award on Election Day.

Such was the case at two forums last week – the Republican 12th Congressional District forum Saturday, sponsored by the Greater Columbia County Republican Women, and the 100 Black Women of Augusta’s forum for Richmond County sheriff’s candidates Thursday.

At Saturday’s forum in Evans, author and political consultant Phil Kent, the moderator, told the candidates they’d be given two minutes to introduce themselves, after which he would ask them a few questions, followed by questions from a panel and the audience. He posed his first question to state Rep. Lee Anderson. It was about an answer An­derson gave at a forum in Statesboro about the Federal Reserve which sounded like he didn’t know the difference between reserve funds and the Federal Reserve.

“I’m glad to answer the question, but I thought we were supposed to have a two-minute introduction,” Anderson drawled.

“You’re absolutely right,” Kent said. “We’ll start with you.”

“I’m fed up just like you’re fed up,” Anderson began. “I’m fed up with Obama and John Barrow spending all our money. A president and a congressman who want to force the highest tax increase in American history down our throat, called health care reform. It’s time to send a businessman and a farmer to Congress to straighten out the mess. … It’s nothing fancy about me. I’m not a show horse. I’m a workhorse. But I get the job done.”

Wright McLeod, a former Navy pilot, said he believed in the Constitution and that when he was young all he ever wanted to do was join the military.

Rick Allen said he didn’t believe in centralized government and that the November election is the most important in the history of the nation.

Maria Sheffield said she believed every department of government should be audited annually, so everyone would know exactly what they’re doing.

All four, who hope to win the July 31 primary and go on to defeat Barrow in November, said they’d work to repeal “Obamacare.”

“Pretty soon, we’re going to have a tax if we don’t have an electric car,” Allen said. “This law must be stopped. Send John Barrow back to where he’s from and Obama back from wherever he’s from.”

TOUCHE: To a question about what they’d do to reign in unnecessary entitlement spending, waste, fraud and abuse, McLeod said, “I know. You know. We all know that the biggest threat to our nation is spending. One of my opponents talks like he’s willing to cut spending, but at the same time, he’s the recipient of stimulus money. That is wrong.”

“Which opponent is that?” Kent asked.

“Let me be very, very clear,” McLeod responded. “There’s nothing illegal about it. He just won those contracts. He won them fairly. He was probably the low bidder or best provider or whatever the criteria was. But that’s stimulus money. That’s my money. That’s your money. That’s wrong.”

After the applause from McCleod’s supporters waned, Allen said, “Let me just say that as I understand right now, Wright’s in the real-estate business, and you’re closing mortgages every day. That’s how you put food on the table. Well, guess who’s buying all those mortgages in the country? Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. So I rest my case.”

IT TAKES RESPONSIBLE PARENTS, NOT A VILLAGE: At Thursday’s sheriff candidates’ forum at Diamond Lakes Community center, three of the candidates were asked, “What is your plan to stop the high number of murders in Richmond County?”

Lt. Robbie Silas said targeting youths and educating them on the consequences of those “significant crimes.”

Lt. Richard Roundtree said there’s a direct correlation between a lack of education and violent crime.

Capt. Scott Peebles said he’d use a two-pronged process: get involved with at-risk youth and get guns off the street through undercover operations such as Operation Smoke Screen and Fox Hunt, which resulted in a 40 percent drop in aggravated assaults.

The best answer to the question wasn’t given at that forum but at Saturday’s forum by Allen in response to a question about education.

“The first thing we’ve got to do is reinvent the family,” he said. “The family is in trouble in this country. That’s why the kids are in trouble. The family is the greatest economic engine ever created in this country, and this government is devastating the family.”

THE BELL TOLLED THE END OF AN ERA: The Augusta State University community gathered on the center campus Friday to say goodbye to President William A. Bloodworth Jr. as the school’s bell tolled the end of his 19-year tenure leading the school.

“It was very touching,” he said. “Then I said goodbye to my staff. It was a little sad.”

The night before, hundreds crowded Sacred Heart Cultural Center to celebrate his retirement with gifts, tributes, song and a $115,395 check for a scholarship in his name.

It’s been a distinguished career, one he never planned for or imagined.

“I had a single mother who had an eighth-grade education,” he said. “We lived in San Antonio and moved around a lot. I never saw this. I don’t think that’s the way anything happens. You end up in places you never thought you’d be.”

When he decided it was time to step down last year after 18 years and become a professor again, he thought he’d be leaving the office in the hands of another permanent president.

“But it didn’t work out that way,” he said.

Instead, as everyone knows, the Georgia Board of Regents decided to consolidate ASU and Georgia Health Sciences University, a union that won’t go into effect until January.

“I have mixed emotions,” he said. “I’m going to make the transition from president to professor. It’s a little isolating. But teaching is exciting. I feel blessed to have a career for a few more years.

“I really do not think I will work less, but I will be more focused,” he said. “Being a college president is multitasking on steroids. You don’t know what you’re going to be dealing with.”

During the Jennifer Keeton controversy, he received 40,000 e-mails in one day from her supporters across the country. The graduate student sued the school in 2010, alleging that a requirement to read material about homosexuals and increase her exposure to them after saying she’d tell gay clients their behavior is morally wrong violated her First Amendment rights.

When Bloodworth came to Augusta in 1993, the ASU campus was a horrible-looking place, with arsenal buildings built in 1941. Then in June 1997, the Board of Regents agreed to replace six old buildings, known as “the six-pack,” with two modern ones. The school also got federal money for the History Walk. The University Village Apart­ments were developed for student housing. And ASU finally got a decent student center, the Jaguar Student Activities Center.

“We added academic programs, grew enrollment and had success in basketball and golf and created a women’s intercollegiate golf team,” Bloodworth said.

Leaders have a strong desire to lead and get things done, and it is difficult to stop and listen to others, he said.

“I hope along the way I’ve learned to listen to faculty and staff, and make decisions based on the advice of others.”

Comments (53) Add comment
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jackrussell
219
Points
jackrussell 07/01/12 - 07:14 am
6
6
He wears that vest because he

He wears that vest because he actually hits the streets with his officers and works. You folks sure talk a lot about things you know little of. But hey, if it makes you feel better to be ugly, go ahead. I don't see Peeble's camp slinging mud.

beerandpizza
143
Points
beerandpizza 07/01/12 - 07:19 am
4
4
Then maybe credit should also
Unpublished

Then maybe credit should also be given to Lt. Robbie Silas who also spends his entire 12 hour shift running, chasing, and apprehending suspects with his shift. EVERY NIGHT!!! Be careful, one just might know waaaaaay more than you jack r. I dont see peebles camp slinging FACTS either!!! More like side stepping A LOT of facts.

seenitB4
87116
Points
seenitB4 07/01/12 - 07:21 am
3
4
mud slinging

You haven't looked very far then.....mud from all sides.....some stick & some won't.........some have talked about hair on a candidiate.....really....like having hair will make a difference..geez

beerandpizza
143
Points
beerandpizza 07/01/12 - 07:24 am
4
3
One just might be more privy
Unpublished

One just might be more privy to information than others. Difference with some, are the information given (or known) is facts. Be ignorant by what you dont know or refuse to see what you do know. Either way, the one you support is NOT even close to being qualified for such an honorable position as Sheriff.

seenitB4
87116
Points
seenitB4 07/01/12 - 07:25 am
2
1
hair

Does hair on the head make a good Sheriff???

What about a hairy chest.....does that??

Riverman1
83834
Points
Riverman1 07/01/12 - 07:36 am
3
0
SeenIt, I knew you knew a lot

SeenIt, I knew you knew a lot about HIM.

beerandpizza
143
Points
beerandpizza 07/01/12 - 07:53 am
1
0
so long for now
Unpublished

Ok River and seenit..... I have to be at the office at 9 am. Got work to do ;-) Enjoy your day. Stay hydrated!

Riverman1
83834
Points
Riverman1 07/01/12 - 08:19 am
2
2
Be safe, Beer and Pizza. We

Be safe, Beer and Pizza. We need people like you.

seenitB4
87116
Points
seenitB4 07/01/12 - 08:04 am
2
1
heh heh

I will admit to loving a hairy chest......could care less about the head.....to me bald is beautiful......
Usually bald men are MUCH smarter ....:):)

seenitB4
87116
Points
seenitB4 07/01/12 - 08:27 am
1
1
Beer/pizza

Now I want a pizza for lunch.....mind over matter.....we humans can be programmed .........politicians do it all the time..

iLove
626
Points
iLove 07/01/12 - 09:49 am
6
2
When truth is spoken here,
Unpublished

When truth is spoken here, the conversation usually jumps to something waaaay off topic.

seenitB4
87116
Points
seenitB4 07/01/12 - 10:58 am
2
4
Hair & pizza

If "someone" had been keeping up with the comments about the Sheriff's race they would know that "hair" has been brought up in comments by others....we are simply commenting on those comments....& pizza is flaunting his pizza all over the place heh heh...& pizza also plays a part in the Sheriff's race.....some have ordered pizza & maybe wasn't paid in cash.......

soooo my dear---we are on topic in more ways than some can imagine...

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 07/01/12 - 11:04 am
7
3
When you resort to calling a

When you resort to calling a person a Kardashian, you are admitting that your arguments are weak.

If that is the worst you can say about Peebles, then he has my vote.

As for Silas, take a few minutes and actually talk to someone on his shift. I have. If they don't respect him, then how can we?

seenitB4
87116
Points
seenitB4 07/01/12 - 11:05 am
3
2
Winner has pizza

I hope when Freddie wins he will have a pizza party at Julian Smith/or barbecue party at Sconyers or BOTH----play country music with a live band......
btw....what will the winner of points get on here? How long will we wait Sean for that answer......??

seenitB4
87116
Points
seenitB4 07/01/12 - 11:09 am
2
1
Not weak

It is called "levity"........just a little here & there makes life more enjoyable.......try it sometimes...

seenitB4
87116
Points
seenitB4 07/01/12 - 11:18 am
2
1
Freddie needs this at his winning party

Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill Minnesota

Country music star Toby Keith opened a location in his chain of "I Love This Bar & Grill" establishments in the summer of 2010 in suburban Minneapolis. The country music bar has a mechanical bull called "Toby" for patrons to ride. Customers can order drinks from an 85-foot bar shaped like a guitar. They can also order Southwest-themed cuisine from late morning into late evening. Live music and dancing are among the other activities at the bar. The bar is open seven days a week.

Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill Minnesota

1623 Park Place Blvd.

Saint Louis Park, MN

A riding bull......:)

Hi B4Real.......gotta run now seeya later

Khan'tB4Real
948
Points
Khan'tB4Real 07/01/12 - 11:20 am
1
4
I just want to get something
Unpublished

I just want to get something straight. So a person who has only been up to the rank of a LT on road patrol is not smart enough to run RCSO? This has been said over and over by the supporters of Peebles on the AC in so many words. Someone must have been in CID and part of administration to be sheriff of RCSO, right?

Then please explain to me how the individual who now holds the #3 spot at RCSO made it to his position when his highest rank was a ROAD PATROL LT?

Can't think of anything huh? That's right. Because the person in that #3 position is one smart and respected leader!

Khan'tB4Real
948
Points
Khan'tB4Real 07/01/12 - 11:28 am
1
0
Me too SeenIt. Things to do.
Unpublished

Me too SeenIt. Things to do. Have a great Sunday and stay out of this heat. I bet RM is in pool, floating around with a cold beer. Think I'll have some pizza today myself.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 07/01/12 - 02:04 pm
5
1
"Haha"

"Some people" on here make up some "facts" about particular candidates and claim to "know things."

If you need to use "quotation marks" around every "statement," it makes me "wonder" about the "truth" of the "statement."

I am willing to bet some people on here have never dealt with any of the candidates professionally. They watch their "eyes" at a "forum," channel their inner Dr. Phil and come to a conclusion. Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.

HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 07/01/12 - 02:09 pm
4
0
Oh please! They've all made

Oh please! They've all made promises to different people already. Kb4rl, that #3 person was a Captain before taken on that position not a Lt, and yes he is smart. With that said it takes a person in charge with enough sense to put the right people in place to oversee the administration.

Khan'tB4Real
948
Points
Khan'tB4Real 07/01/12 - 02:50 pm
1
3
Time will tell. And the truth
Unpublished

Time will tell. And the truth will all come "out of the closet" about each one involved. Defend and deflect all you want but a snake is still a snake even when it sheds its skin.

Khan'tB4Real
948
Points
Khan'tB4Real 07/01/12 - 02:55 pm
1
0
Lol Insider. You make me
Unpublished

Lol Insider. You make me laugh!!!! But I'm """"NOT"""" laughing WITH you.

Khan'tB4Real
948
Points
Khan'tB4Real 07/01/12 - 03:10 pm
0
2
Where did #3 spend his entire
Unpublished

Where did #3 spend his entire career with RCSO prior to being #3? Cid? Administration? Jail? Too bad he'll be kicked to the curb in some made up position for a RESERVE.

beerandpizza
143
Points
beerandpizza 07/01/12 - 03:32 pm
0
2
NOT worried
Unpublished

I"m not worried in the least. Quotaions are placed because when the real terms are used, then I get blocked after the post ("TRUTH") gets deleted. I'm not worried about Captain Kardashian or his past. I know the truth. I do not take what people say as fact, I look at the facts, which I have seen.

HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 07/01/12 - 03:45 pm
1
0
Kb4r, thats not true at all.

Kb4r, thats not true at all. No facts to your statement just rumors, but following most Sheriff elections in all areas the entire administrative staff is replaced.

Khan'tB4Real
948
Points
Khan'tB4Real 07/01/12 - 04:12 pm
0
0
That's not true BUT ...
Unpublished

That's not true BUT ... that's not true BUT. Wow! Just wow! Hilarious.

Riverman1
83834
Points
Riverman1 07/01/12 - 06:45 pm
0
2
Could We Get a Statement From the Candidates?

Could we have all the candidates verify they will not hire anyone as a higher ranking officer from outside of the Sheriff's Office even if they are big campaign contributors? CAPTAIN P, THE OBAMA SUPPORTER? Lt. Silas? Lt. Roundtree, Lt. Ivey? Freddie Sanders? Michael Godowns?

Riverman1
83834
Points
Riverman1 07/01/12 - 06:49 pm
0
0
Insiderinformation said, "As

Insiderinformation said, "As for Silas, take a few minutes and actually talk to someone on his shift. I have. If they don't respect him, then how can we?"

So you are dropping innuendo that officers don't respect Silas without a bit of evidence?

Riverman1
83834
Points
Riverman1 07/01/12 - 06:56 pm
0
0
High Society said, "No facts

High Society said, "No facts to your statement just rumors, but following most Sheriff elections in all areas the entire administrative staff is replaced."

Care to give us examples in Richmond or Columbia Counties? That understandably happened in Aiken County when Michael Hunt, an outsider, won the election. But did Sheriff Strength do that when he took over? Sheriff Whittle?

fatboyhog
1944
Points
fatboyhog 07/01/12 - 06:57 pm
1
0
Silas is a great beat cop. He

Silas is a great beat cop. He is not a manager or a supervisor. When road officers resent the fact that he gets into things and then calls someone in to handle what he started, it doesn't take long to lose respect.

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