Sylvia Cooper

City Ink columnist and correspondent for The Augusta Chronicle.

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

  • Follow City Ink

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
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.
iLove
626
Points
iLove 07/15/12 - 11:07 am
0
1
Black voters
Unpublished

The AC is really pushing for Peebles.

The AC likes to paint ROUNDTREE in a negative light.

Instances as these is what has black voters fired up and ready to vote.

We need someone not cut from the same cloth. Augusta's crime problem is OUT OF CONTROL and Roundtree can relate the most to majority of the offenders.

Roundtree for Sheriff.

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 07/15/12 - 01:05 pm
6
0
Right RM

Now tell me. What is wrong with Peebles for sheriff . He seems to have the best qualifications of all the candidates but you seem to have serious problems with him. Since I respect your opinion on most matters I would like to know why you are so dead set against him. Aside from him being an Obama supporter what are his shortcomings? I would really like to know as this is an important job that he is running for.

Sweet son
10372
Points
Sweet son 07/15/12 - 01:32 pm
5
0
Riverman and Karen!

You guys know too much about the Sean AC Police! You must have been taken down and gotten the little curt Sean email like me. Believe me I am smiling right now and sometimes wish I hadn't hit the "save comment" button. Also sometimes I think the Sean AC Police are too quick to hit the "pull comment" button. Glad we have this forum in which to agree, disagree and sometimes just banter among ourselves.

Jake
32528
Points
Jake 07/15/12 - 02:06 pm
2
2
Disappearing comments

I have also had some comments "disappear" with no explanation. Used to be if you had a post pulled then the email would come about why it was pulled.
I think I have been posting by the "rules" so when a post vanishes it makes one wonder if someone in the control booth just doesn't personally like it so it goes to the old cyber graveyard on top of Boothill. Selective censorship is not good for anyone.

Riverman1
83730
Points
Riverman1 07/15/12 - 02:17 pm
2
0
Mr. Duvall

Mr. Duvall, thanks for the kind words. I respect your opinion, too. I sent you a message via the Chronicle. I assume that system is still working. I've said plenty on here why I oppose Peebles besides him claiming to be a Democrat. There's more. Email me.

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 07/15/12 - 02:47 pm
0
0
RM1

Somewhere out in cyberspace is an email coming your way.

Riverman1
83730
Points
Riverman1 07/15/12 - 07:34 pm
0
0
Carleton

Got it and returned one.

Riverman1
83730
Points
Riverman1 07/15/12 - 09:03 pm
0
0
Clk asked, "Riverman only

Clk asked, "Riverman only please. How do you email on the chronicle?? please just answer that question and make no other comments."

Keeping my comments to a minimum. Heh. Click on the person's name, then click the "contact" button on top right. I hope that helps.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 07/15/12 - 09:15 pm
0
0
Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 07/15/12 - 09:32 pm
0
0
I will say we have certainly

I will say we have certainly been entertained with a significant amount of "Drama Queen" lately.

Truth Matters
6814
Points
Truth Matters 07/15/12 - 09:29 pm
0
2
Truth Matters

I hope the intent of this article was not an attempt to discredit the NAACP as was done with ACORN. People grow up! I assure you, if McGregor the Terrier shows up with voting card/ID in paw, he will be turned away from any voting line.

It's not a crime to send out mailing lists. I have received solicitations at my home address from a well known Chevrolet dealership in town addressed to my 72 year old relative who has never lived in this city, never driven a car (I'm not sure she ever learned to ride a bike), has glaucoma, and lives 3 hours away. But they will put her in a new car at 0% interest. Should we ban that dealership? Maybe they are trying to commit auto sales fraud!!!

Go figure!!!

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 07/15/12 - 09:36 pm
0
0
Not a problem as long people

Not a problem as long people produce a valid id before being allowed to register to vote and while excercising their voting.

I do think many canines would make wiser decisions, though.

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3100
Points
Karen Slater-McDaniel 07/15/12 - 09:34 pm
0
0
I know, right Willow ... The

I know, right Willow ... The AC has been giving AOL a run for it's money today on private messages! Lol

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 07/15/12 - 09:40 pm
0
0
Yes, Karen, it's been one of

Yes, Karen, it's been one of those times when some discussions are better left unpublicly discussed.

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3100
Points
Karen Slater-McDaniel 07/15/12 - 09:43 pm
2
1
You could not be more correct

You could not be more correct Willow.

Of course you & I aren't "Mr. Popularity" like River has been today! All hail Riverman ... hoo ha ha!

seenitB4
86992
Points
seenitB4 07/16/12 - 07:15 am
2
1
OMG OMG

I just thought of something.....new tactic they are trying...keep RM busy & he won't have time to post on here....hoooowww clevver...

Don't fall for that River---don't be weak..:):):)

longarm
55
Points
longarm 07/16/12 - 08:09 am
1
2
RM, what you say doesn't move

RM, what you say doesn't move the needle for me one way or the other. I know better than to get my news from a message board commenter. So, nothing that you have said has 'bothered' me or 'made me mad'. However, it's reckless and irresponsible for you to say that you have 'sources' or otherwise inside information when no one even knows who you actually are. That sort of conduct has the ability to sway peoples' opinions in very important local elections. Meanwhile, it is more likely than not that you are just making up the information to better suit your own political ends. Personally, I don't care what you say. I just think that you should exercise a shred of responsibility and decency when you choose to put your two cents in. You want to be a journalist? Put your name on your 'information'. Otherwise, stop.

seenitB4
86992
Points
seenitB4 07/16/12 - 08:21 am
3
1
Excuse me longarm

Your name is???

I don't really want to know......but there are many reasons to keep our name private....I'm sure you can understand that..
I agree many good men are in this race & we can ALL lighten up some..

seenitB4
86992
Points
seenitB4 07/16/12 - 08:35 am
1
0
I like the name--made me think of this..

Long Arm of the Law

In Cumberland Kentucky
On a cool autumn evening
Billy lay in love with Marianne
She was a rich judge's daughter
He was a son of a miner
But that night their love was more than they could stand
The judge said to his daughter,
“That son of that coal miner
Is someone you'd do well to leave alone.”
She knew her dad so well
She knew she couldn't tell
But the truth was bound to show before too long
Their love had started growing on it's own

You can't outrun the long arm of the law
No, you can't outrun the long arm of the law

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3100
Points
Karen Slater-McDaniel 07/16/12 - 09:03 am
3
1
How ironic!

Longarm says:

"However, it's reckless and irresponsible for you to say that you have 'sources' or otherwise inside information when no one even knows who you actually are. That sort of conduct has the ability to sway peoples' opinions in very important local elections. Meanwhile, it is more likely than not that you are just making up the information to better suit your own political ends."

What if he actually DOES have information? Should he just sit back and shut up like everyone else who KNOWS the truth about certain things are doing? Should he voice his opinion or be silent? Because you do not actually KNOW whether his truth is the truth or not, correct? In essence, you are asking someone to be silenced because YOU personally do not want to hear what he has to say?

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3100
Points
Karen Slater-McDaniel 07/16/12 - 09:10 am
3
1
SeenIt ... fear of the truth

SeenIt ... fear of the truth coming out will always make people use other tactics ... they try to deflect the conversation, or divert to other issues ... and deny, deny, deny. It is an attempt to take the heat off of themselves and put it onto someone else.

Riverman is not stupid ... he knows what is what.

seenitB4
86992
Points
seenitB4 07/16/12 - 09:21 am
2
1
So true ksm

Yeh we know RM....he has been around the block a few times.....but he does have 1 big weakness though & it is.....

..........

...........

............

FISHING!! heh heh

Little Lamb
45870
Points
Little Lamb 07/16/12 - 09:26 am
1
0
Saginaw, Michigan

The poem about the Long Arm of the Law you posted, Seenit, reminded me of a Lefty Frizzell song:

I loved a girl in Saginaw, Michigan
The daughter of a wealthy, wealthy man
Her dad called me ‘that son of a Saginaw fisherman’
Not good enough to take his daughter’s hand

There are more verses, of course. It is a great song, and Lefty's singing, well he was a great one.

seenitB4
86992
Points
seenitB4 07/16/12 - 09:33 am
1
0
LLamb

Yep...so many good ole songs///I fought the law & the law won.....& many others......
Sometimes I see the "law" all around us on here...:)
Hard to explain LL......

seenitB4
86992
Points
seenitB4 07/16/12 - 09:59 am
1
1
Bonnie & Clyde

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHzrJTOZhWM

Yeh baby....we have some bonnie/clyde types on here ......RM knows them .....does the longarm of the law know them!!
They are renting from me...:):)

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 07/16/12 - 10:08 am
0
0
Politics have always been

Politics have always been nasty. Up until now, the political machines and media have controlled the outcome. Social media and interactive commenting forums have changed that considerably and some people don't like it. That's too bad. There is wisdom in keeping one's identity confidential particularly when abusive powers exist.

I know Riverman, personally. Whether you like what he says or not; he isn't making it up. The Sheriff's position is very important and powerful. I've lived here all of my life and Sheriff Strength has been the most trustworthy man that I have seen serve this county. Augusta should not settle for less. After the primary, i would like to see him stand up and firmly take a position of endorsing one candidate.

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3100
Points
Karen Slater-McDaniel 07/16/12 - 10:32 am
0
3
Willow, everything you have

Willow, everything you have said is so true.

Sheriff Strength has done a wonderful job and has been an exemplary Sheriff for RCSO. With his budget limitations annually the man has made do with what he has been given to the fullest extent. I would hate to see someone step into his place and cause RCSO to have a blackeye like it did under some other administrations many years back (think 1984).

One thing I love about Sheriff Strength is that he has an open door policy to the public, and is always willing to answer any and all questions from anyone. And he is a straight shooter verbally.

And this is exactly why it is extremely important to do your homework and seek the truth about who you are voting for ... don't take anyone's word for it. Ask for yourself. Use your intuition when listening to what the candidates say, how they say it, what they avoid or sidestep when asked about.

noway
201
Points
noway 07/16/12 - 11:31 am
3
1
Vote Peebles

Peebles IS the best qualified. It doesn't matter WHAT his "party" is. The Sheriff's race should be non-partisan anyway. If this was NOT an election, and you had to hire the best qualified person, you would hire Peebles, without a doubt. I just hope that Richmond County residents understand the importance of voting in the primary. Vote in the democratic primary so you can vote for Peebles. This county can't afford to not elect Peebles.

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3100
Points
Karen Slater-McDaniel 07/16/12 - 12:43 pm
0
3
Noway, in your OWN words,

Noway, in your OWN words, without going to his web page or FB page and cutting and pasting, please tell us why you say: "Peebles IS the best qualified. This county can't afford to not elect Peebles."

Because he has the many classes from RCSO according to his GAPOST record? Because with a TEAM (and not all by himself), he and MANY others behind the scenes, were able to put together 3 operations? Because he now has a college degree (although his GAPOST record states he only has a high school diploma ... someone may want to get that corrected)?

Let's see ... Roundtree has a Master's Degree, John Ivey has a college degree. And WOW, talk about an education, Freddie Sanders not only has a Bachelors Degree, he also has a JD (law degree). I am not sure about a college degree for Godowns and Robbie Silas has a HS diploma.

I keep hearing the same ole same ole comments that are almost carbon copies of each other. Make a case for your candidate that would persuade people to cast their vote.

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 07/16/12 - 01:52 pm
0
0
Willow Bailey

I think that the sheriff has an obligation to endorse a candidate. He is the most qualified person in Richmond County to determine who his successor should be.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Former commissioner's case remains under review

While former Augusta commissioner Donnie Smith's statements to Georgia State Patrol investigators likely can't be used against him, the state Office of the Inspector General continues to conduct ...
Search Augusta jobs