Sylvia Cooper

City Ink columnist and correspondent for The Augusta Chronicle.

City Ink: Richmond County sheriff election is going to the dogs

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When Augusta resident Jeanne Cleveland received a voter registration form from the NAACP addressed to McGregor Cleveland, she couldn’t figure out where they got her dog’s name.

“How in the world did anybody come up with McGregor Cleveland?” she asked. “I know they vote dead people, but I didn’t know they vote dogs, especially dead ones.”

McGregor, a West Highland terrier, died about two years ago, but there his name and address were on an envelope containing voter registration documents partially filled out and a hand printed note to “Please fill in boxes 4, 5, and 6.”

Box 4 had spaces for phone number, date of birth, gender and race. Box 5 had spaces for driver’s license or Georgia ID number, and Social Security number. Box 6 had spaces to check “yes” or “no” for citizenship and whether McGregor would be 18 before Election Day; spaces to date and sign an oath affirming his address, eligibility, and that McGregor has not been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude or is not mentally incompetent.

As it turns out, McGregor’s voter registration form was one of five million mailed in 27 states by the Voter Participation Center, which targets minorities and unmarried women for various clients, such as the NAACP.

Look for another mass mailing of registration forms and absentee ballots in August.

Lynn Bailey, the Richmond County Board of Elections executive director, said such mailings have been “trickling in the last couple of months” and that there’s nothing illegal about them.

Ineligible applications will be weeded out through the state’s application process, which involves matching application information with Social Security and driver’s license data, she said.

A WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN’ GOIN’ ON: A play in one act.

Dramatis Personae:

Jerry Lee, a black and white terrier

Elvis, a black Labrador retriever

Waylon, an Australian shepherd

Hank, a bloodhound

Emmy Lou, a long haired dachshund

Loretta, a black Irish setter

Willie, a scruffy mongrel

Scene I

(Four dogs are lying in the bushes panting when a black and white terrier comes up and barks.)

Jerry Lee: Great balls of fire, it’s hot! My name’s Jerry Lee, and guess what I got in the mail from the NAACP?

Elvis: Hi, Jerry Lee. I’m Elvis, and I’d be all shook up if you didn’t say it’s a voter registration form.

Jerry Lee: How’d you know?

Elvis: Animal instinct. And we all got the same form.

Jerry Lee: What did you do with them?

Elvis: We mailed them to the Board of Elections, and now we’re registered to vote. Well, all of us but Waylon over there. He ate his.

Jerry Lee: I’m going to mail mine, too. I’ve always wanted to be registered and not just a mutt all my life. What party should I say I’m in? Republican or Democrat?

Elvis: I registered as a Democrat so I could vote in the sheriff’s race.

Emmy Lou: You don’t have to be a Democrat to vote in the sheriff’s race. You can cross over and vote in the Democratic primary. That’s what Loretta and I are gonna do. Aren’t we, Loretta?

Jerry Lee: (scratching his ear) Well, I sure didn’t know that. I just might do the same, but I’m going to think about it while I take a breather under this bush, if you don’t mind.

Scene II

(Emmy Lou jumps up and starts barking. A scruffy mongrel comes toward them.)

Emmy Lou: It’s Willie! Willie, where have you been? You didn’t even call.

Willie: But you were always on my mind. You were always on my mind.

Emmy Lou: Come on in. We were just talking about who we’re gonna vote for in the sheriff’s race. Did you get a registration in the mail like we did?

Willie: No, and I wouldn’t vote anyway. I hate government, especially the law and the IRS. And I won’t be here because I can’t wait to get on the road again. On the road again. I just can’t wait to get on the road again.

Elvis: Well, I’ve narrowed my choice to two – Richard Roundtree and John Ivey.

Emmy Lou: Why?

Elvis: Because I think they’re the best candidates, and they’re black like me.

Emmy Lou: Roundtree’s not black. He’s tan like me. I’m gonna vote for him.

Jerry Lee: If we’re voting along color lines, who should I vote for since I’m half and half?

Emmy Lou: I don’t know. Maybe you oughta run for president. I thought about votin’ for Robbie Silas, but he’s a road deputy, and when he sees me out runnin’ the streets, he calls animal control.

Scene III

(A bloodhound wanders up and sniffs Loretta.)

Hank: Hey good lookin.’ What you got cookin’? My name’s Hank. Move it on over. Move over little dog. The big dog’s movin’ in.

Elvis: (growls) If you’re lookin’ for trouble, you came to the right place.

Hank: I’m not lookin’ for trouble. I’m just so lonesome I could cry.

Jerry Lee: Well, walk right in and sit right down. We’re just talking about how we’re all registered to vote and who we’re going to vote for, for sheriff. Are you registered?

Hank: Yes. I got this registration form in the mail. I’d planned to vote in the Republican primary, but I’ve decided to vote Democrat because I saw the light.

Loretta: I’m votin’ for Peebles. Elvis, what would it take for you to vote for Peebles?

Elvis: Money, honey. My man is Roundtree.

Waylon: Even among us, the vote is split, so you know with four candidates in the primary, there’s gonna be a runoff. I just wish I hadn’t eaten my registration form, darn it.

Emmy Lou: I’m bettin’ on Roundtree and Peebles in the runoff. And the winner will face the winning Republican in November. It’ll be close, and one of ’em will win by a hair.

Jerry Lee: Until then there’s gonna be a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on.

STRANGER THAN FICTION: This has to be the strangest sheriff’s race in the history of Richmond County.

Sheriff Ronnie Strength groomed Capt. Scott Peebles to take over when he retired, putting him out front in three major undercover operations and making it clear he would endorse him this year.

Then Strength’s wife, Patti, with the help of some south Augusta politicians wanting to resume the role of kingmakers, made an end run around Ronnie and pushed her brother Robbie Silas into the race. So there Ronnie was, torn between a commitment to Peebles and family peace.

Understandably, he chose family peace and announced he would not endorse anybody until after the July 31 primary. Well, he isn’t the first man, and he won’t be the last, to be snookered by a good-looking woman.

Now Peebles is the target of a smear campaign by operatives of opposing candidates. But it won’t stick.

Look at candidate Richard Roundtree. When he was with the sheriff’s department, he had three female deputies fighting over him at a substation in the Econo Lodge and had to be transferred to restore peace, and I don’t think that has hurt his candidacy one bit.

So will the sheriff endorse Peebles if he comes out ahead in July, over his longtime friend Freddie Sanders if Sanders wins the Republican primary?

I think I know what he’ll do if Silas wins.

But then, as I said earlier, this has to be the strangest sheriff’s race in the history of Richmond County.

Comments (56) Add comment
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Dixieman
13821
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Dixieman 07/14/12 - 09:14 pm
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5
But...

...there is no need for a voter ID law! (according to the Democrats).

Riverman1
81250
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Riverman1 07/14/12 - 09:50 pm
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15
Ronnie Strength Has Second Thoughts

I have it on good authority he has second thoughts about past IMPLIED SUPPORT of Peebles, THE OBAMA SUPPORTER. He does support Robbie Silas, also, as evidenced by his financial support.

Strength recently started to disperse his considerable campaign chest that he has to get rid of and he’s offered considerable opinions with his contributions.

He has thrown his financial support to three candidates, one a Republican, Freddie Sanders. He has not thrown his support to one as is implied by some. Remember Ronnie Strength laid it on the line once with an incumbent Sheriff who was crooked.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 07/14/12 - 11:41 pm
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2
Well, that's an interesting comment

Well, that's an interesting comment, River, and doggone hard to figure out too for the obvious reasons. Lost your address, email me with it, please.

Karen Slater-McDaniel
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Karen Slater-McDaniel 07/14/12 - 10:33 pm
3
8
My mind is still spinning ...

What in the world? The past couple of months what is up with Sylvia and all of her "theatrical" based articles?

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 07/14/12 - 10:59 pm
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8
Out of the loop

I must agree, Karen, that Sylvia is out of touch. Strength is becoming weaker and weaker as this race unfolds. His whiny, pouting whimpers about his officers’ tepid response to the crazed shootings on First Friday shows he is headed out to pasture, and we citizens must head for a safer county somewhere else.

longarm
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longarm 07/14/12 - 11:45 pm
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RM, nothing is worse than

RM, nothing is worse than someone with no insider access attempting to impact public opinion. Like you.

southiegal
26
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southiegal 07/15/12 - 12:09 am
11
1
Peebles is the best

Peebles is the best qualified...That's the reason all are trying to smear him..As for cops in other counties supporting him they want the best to
help in any way capturing criminals & support across county lines. Wouldn't you? I wouldn't trust any of the others.
Strength is in real pickle since he's still w/wifey

allhans
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allhans 07/15/12 - 12:51 am
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1
That is so funny!

I think it's hilarous that dogs are getting voter registration forms from NAACP.
My dog hasn't yet, but that might be because he is registered as an Independent.

myfather15
52582
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myfather15 07/15/12 - 04:01 am
8
3
Acorn, NAACP, ACLU.......Do

Acorn, NAACP, ACLU.......Do you still believe we have fair and honest elections? Ask yourself that question, if someone is elected, do you HONESTLY KNOW that they were elected completely fair?? Its a very strong question but must be asked. There are election frauds on both sides of the isle but its seems rampant on the left side. MANY more examples on the left. The only one the left can point out if the 2000 election where some absentee ballots might not have been counted. Yes, thats bad but there are much more heinous acts that have came from the left. Anyone remember the Blank Panther party guys standing in front of the polls in Philly, with a baton in their hands?? They should have been arrested immediately but Eric Holder, that disgusting piece of filth stated there was no case.

onlysane1left
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onlysane1left 07/15/12 - 05:05 am
4
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Cart before the horse

Funny, how the NAACP gets thrown out there for voter fraud, yet NONE of the dead dogs have voter cards for the upcoming elections. One of those cards was sent to my home for a someone who I know but doesn't even live in my state. These are just consumer list that are given to agencies. I bet no one would complain if the dogs were given credit card applications.........

seenitB4
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seenitB4 07/15/12 - 05:40 am
2
4
What a race

STRANGER THAN FICTION: This has to be the strangest sheriff’s race in the history of Richmond County.

Ya got that right my dear!....kin-friend-co worker & newbie...this is a keg of dynamite waiting for the match.....Dear Sylvia knows more than she is saying....hehheh...so does River.....
I would talk about dogs too.......where do you put the "stuff" as G Carlin would say...:)

seenitB4
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seenitB4 07/15/12 - 06:08 am
2
1
Riverman1
81250
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Riverman1 07/15/12 - 07:11 am
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What do you think it means?

Sylvia brought out the Roundtree episode with the female deputies then said Peebles is the target of a smear campaign, but it won't hurt him. What do you think she is referring to?

"Now Peebles is the target of a smear campaign by operatives of opposing candidates. But it won’t stick.

Look at candidate Richard Roundtree. When he was with the sheriff’s department, he had three female deputies fighting over him at a substation in the Econo Lodge and had to be transferred to restore peace, and I don’t think that has hurt his candidacy one bit."

(Willow, I emailed you through the Chronicle. I lost your address, too.)

Riverman1
81250
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Riverman1 07/15/12 - 06:55 am
2
7
Longarm

Longarm said, "RM, nothing is worse than someone with no insider access attempting to impact public opinion. Like you."

Sorry, but I don't respond to personal comments, especially from new screen names.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 07/15/12 - 06:58 am
3
3
heh

Don't make us answer THAT.....I want to keep posting on here a while longer......but anyway---what do we know about "sticking".......our teflon is still working....
Last week I saw MANY signs out---nice too...many for F Sanders & Silas.....the "smart" dogs sometimes beat the "big" dogs....

Boy ...I like dogs ...:)

chascushman
6653
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chascushman 07/15/12 - 08:33 am
4
2
@only
Unpublished

‘I bet no one would complain if the dogs were given credit card applications.........’
Yeah but a lot of places ask for a photo ID to use the credit card.

blues550
368
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blues550 07/15/12 - 08:42 am
0
1
OH!
Unpublished

It's Great
To Live
In Columbia County

Riverman1
81250
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Riverman1 07/15/12 - 08:51 am
2
1
This column is giving me deja vu

What's up with that? SeenIt?

seenitB4
83988
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seenitB4 07/15/12 - 08:58 am
2
1
RM

Ya gotta stop trying to figure it out.....the dogs will all come home sooon....we won't have to give them directions....dogs can smell their way back home....dontcha know nothing!

longarm
55
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longarm 07/15/12 - 09:05 am
6
2
RM, you don't have to. I just

RM, you don't have to. I just hope that no one is swayed by the personal opinions of an uninformed person hiding behind an anonymous screen name.

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3099
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Karen Slater-McDaniel 07/15/12 - 09:20 am
3
3
Take the dogs to the pound; they're rabid ...

Don't know anything about DOGS coming home ... but there maybe some CHICKENS coming home to roost.

Riverman1
81250
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Riverman1 07/15/12 - 09:31 am
2
4
Someone named LongArm

Someone named LongArm said, "I just hope that no one is swayed by the personal opinions of an uninformed person hiding behind an anonymous screen name."

That's funny coming from "LongArm."

But exactly what did I say that you dislike? Maybe we should discuss the point.

southernguy08
499
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southernguy08 07/15/12 - 09:45 am
1
0
VOTER I.D.
Unpublished

Voter registration forms going to dogs, but the liberals STILL say that requiring i.d. to vote is discrimination. Now, for news in the sane world.

Riverman1
81250
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Riverman1 07/15/12 - 10:35 am
2
5
Thard

I have to wonder what I said that caused such anger? Here are the two posts I made. What did you disagree with?

Was this it? “Sylvia brought out the Roundtree episode with the female deputies then said Peebles is the target of a smear campaign, but it won't hurt him. What do you think she is referring to?”

Or was it this? “I have it on good authority he has second thoughts about past IMPLIED SUPPORT of Peebles, THE OBAMA SUPPORTER. He does support Robbie Silas, also, as evidenced by his financial support.
Strength recently started to disperse his considerable campaign chest that he has to get rid of and he’s offered considerable opinions with his contributions.

He has thrown his financial support to three candidates, one a Republican, Freddie Sanders. He has not thrown his support to one as is implied by some. Remember Ronnie Strength laid it on the line once with an incumbent Sheriff who was crooked.”

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3099
Points
Karen Slater-McDaniel 07/15/12 - 09:49 am
2
5
Longarm ... I take it THAT is

Longarm ... I take it THAT is your given name on your birth certificate?

It's kind of difficult to argue a point regarding hiding behind a user name when you are using one also.

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3099
Points
Karen Slater-McDaniel 07/15/12 - 09:57 am
1
4
Maybe someone could explain

Maybe someone could explain to me why the supporters of ONE candidate come on the AC and post away and then go back and delete their comments later? If you support someone and have something that you believe is a rebuttal to something posted that is inaccurate or an out and out lie, then WHY delete it and put (..) on every deleted post?

And this isn't just ONE commenter, it happens a lot.

Riverman1
81250
Points
Riverman1 07/15/12 - 10:10 am
1
2
Karen, that was confusing. My

Karen, that was confusing. My post where I said I voluntarily took her name down was removed, too. I was TOLD she had decided she didn't want her name known anymore (after you pointed something out) and I was not to refer to her anymore. So I complied...voluntarily. Maybe that's an option we all have and can fix it so others can't comment negatively about something we say?

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3099
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Karen Slater-McDaniel 07/15/12 - 10:15 am
1
3
RM ... I was not referring to

RM ... I was not referring to THAT particular incident. It was more in general because I have witnessed this by more than one person since this campaign began.

I'm just wondering why someone would take the trouble to post a rebuttal and then delete it later (unless required to by Sean).

Riverman1
81250
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Riverman1 07/15/12 - 10:22 am
3
2
I Remember Those Too

I remember those, too, but didn't those posts simply disappear? How can you remove your posts without the blank box still being there? You can edit your posts, but you can't delete them. Right?

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3099
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Karen Slater-McDaniel 07/15/12 - 10:32 am
4
2
Just guessing ...

Maybe if you leave the .. dots there Sean takes the post down or you have to email Sean to delete them. Not sure. I have not discovered a way to delete it yourself nor deactivate your account.

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