City Ink: Election is a three-ring circus

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Tuesday’s primary election in Richmond County has turned into a three-ring circus.

In the center ring is the sheriff’s race, which has turned scandalous on the Democratic side, with some fire-breathing supporters of Lt. Robbie Silas attacking Capt. Scott Peebles via newspaper and social media Web sites.

An investigator’s wife obtained the personnel files of other officers and started smearing them, too.

You can just imagine how that went over in the sheriff’s office. Officers aren’t speaking to one another, and the investigator was given a few days off for his own good.

WHERE IS THE RING­MASTER? Lots of folks say it all could have been avoided if Sheriff Ronnie Strength had endorsed Peebles early on as he had said he’d do before brother-in-law Silas got into the race.

“If Ronnie had announced he was endorsing Peebles back last October, you could have put all this to bed,” Augusta Commission member Grady Smith said. “I think some of what’s going on is not good for the county. Some of the cuts run deep. Neighbors and friends won’t be speaking after this is over. I just see it’s sad for what’s going on.”

Republicans are crossing party lines to vote for Peebles like lemmings headed to the sea.

The negative campaign has turned Commissioner Joe Bowles into a Democrat – temporarily.

“Thanks to the criticism of Scott Peebles by Robbie Silas supporters, I have decided not to vote for my friend Wright McLeod and vote in the Democratic primary,” he said.

Commissioner Joe Jackson said he, too, is crossing party lines to vote for Peebles.

“He asked me for my support,” he said. “No other candidate asked me to support him. I believe in my heart of hearts Scott can pull this off without a runoff. Who is most qualified to handle a $55 million budget and a 790-man sheriff’s office? I’m going to vote for Elaine Johnson, Carlisle Overstreet and TSPLOST.”

THE JUDGE OF JUVENILE DELINQUENTS IS DELINQUENT: In another ring, where Juvenile Court Judge Willie Saunders is challenging incumbent Carlisle Overstreet, the chief judge of the Augusta Judicial Circuit, lawyer Jack Long will seek another venue to pursue his challenge to Saun­ders’ eligibility because of delinquent federal taxes.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp ruled in Long v. Saunders that although Saunders owes more than $159,000 in federal taxes, his bankruptcy repayment plan meets the state law standard and he’s qualified to run for office.

Next week, Long and his attorney, former Gov. Roy Barnes, will appeal Kemp’s ruling in Fulton County Superior Court.

“It now leaves the executive branch of government, where it’s been, and goes to the judicial branch,” Long said. “It’s not a moot issue even after the election, because we’re dealing with something that could reoccur.

“And I think for the state of Georgia we need to have a definitive ruling of the plain meaning of the constitution.”

Saunders has not paid federal taxes for self-employment income from his law practice in eight years, nor has he paid his 2011 taxes. He filed for an extension to file his return but not for an extension to pay.

Of the $159,000 delinquency, Saunders will pay only $87,000 as part of his bankruptcy plan, Long said.

IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO EXCUSE TO RUN: In the third ring of the primary circus is an improper flier that showed up in mailboxes and on Web sites that states “Official Democratic Ticket” at the top and “Vote & Elect” above photos of President Obama, sheriff candidate Richard Roundtree and clerk of court candidate Hattie Holmes-Sullivan. At the bottom it states, “One Team One Dream 2012.”

When Richmond County Dem­ocratic Party Chairman Lowell Greenbaum heard about the flier, he issued a media release stating the party is endorsing no candidate in the primary.

“Any mailing, Web site or Facebook that carries such an endorsement is false,” he stated.

Greenbaum said he’d made it clear to everyone that the party did not endorse in the primary.

YOU OUGHT TO BE ON TV: Former Mayor Bob Young was such a good moderator during Friday’s televised roundtable discussion with the four candidates for Georgia’s 12th Congressional District, he should consider a career in television.

Oh, wait! He already had one. Thirteen years as assistant news director and anchorman at WJBF, the
station that held the debate.

He looked very good for someone who spends most of his time in the swamp. He’s the president of Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy. He’d done his homework and kept the discussion lively.

Questions ranged from the new penny tax for transportation to the federal budget and farm subsidies, about which Young presented some interesting statistics.

Candidates Maria Sheffield and Rick Allen said they were opposed to the transportation tax. McLeod called it “just another tax increase, another layer of bureaucracy.” Lee Anderson said he sees it as an investment in the community.

JOHN DEERE GREEN: Dur­ing a discussion of farm subsidies, Young said, “Now we know ZIP code 30904 is the home of many family farms, the Hill section in Augusta. And over the past 20 years in 30904, 88 residents have collected subsidies of $684,000.

“How about ZIP code 30901, downtown Augusta? Well, they’ve got the Satur­day market down there. They’ve got the farmers market. They’ve also got 67 family farms receiving $564,747 in the same period. Move on out to Columbia County. There’s a lot of family farming out there, right? Two hundred twenty-two people received $1.5 million in subsidies in 30907.

“And Lee, you received $110,000 in farm subsidies, didn’t you?”

“How many years?” Anderson asked.

“Since 1995,” Young replied. “The point is, do you need those to run your farm? Do the people living in urban centers need subsidies?”

“When a true farmer has a severe drought, they need help,” Anderson replied.

Allen said that’s why he wanted to audit every agency and department of federal government.

“This is nonsense,” he said. “This waste has got to stop.”

Sheffield said it was not only waste but fraud in some cases.

McLeod, however, said the subsidies passed the tax code and were in the rules and regulations of the agriculture department.

“Come get your check,” he said. “It’s not illegal. And some people will say it’s not even unethical.”

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ELECTED TO SERVE: Toward the end, Young asked the candidates whether they had anything they wanted to say to one another. McLeod took exception to Anderson’s mailer that compared Anderson to the other candidates.

In the category of public service, Anderson listed being a state representative and Columbia County commissioner. By McLeod’s name, he stated “None.”

“I served in the military 20 years,” McLeod said.

“As an elected official,” Anderson said.

“What is that, Lee?” McLeod asked.

“I respect your service tremendously,” Anderson said.

“Well, then send out a retraction,” McLeod said.

Anderson apologized but didn’t mention a retraction mailing.

Comments (92) Add comment
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Laughingatchu007
89
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Laughingatchu007 07/28/12 - 11:02 pm
6
3
Bad taste is bad taste

It does not matter whether or not she has documentation. Her ramblings have been done in bad taste. I would have rather seen all the positives about the candidate she supports than the negatives about the competition. Maybe, just maybe that could have swayed my decision. As for Austin well his comments were in bad taste but I am entertain by his ramblings everyday. And as far as I'm concerned I'm entitled to my own opinion and the comments sections allows me to voice that. Therefore I will continue to share my opinion and ask questions about the investigator in question. Which I can, for you see I have not slandered his name or attempted to defame him. I have simply tried to make light of the situation and article. I'm sorry you and I don't share the same sense of humor. And yes Augusta politics in general is like watching the Jerry Springer show.

Laughingatchu007
89
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Laughingatchu007 07/28/12 - 11:04 pm
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1
I need to clarify

Even though I said KSM's comments were in bad taste I still found them amusing. But I enjoyed Springer when it was still on.

Little Lamb
45863
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Little Lamb 07/28/12 - 11:06 pm
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3
This reminds me of a song:

Hey there lonely boy, lonely boy, don't you want a lonely girl like me?

Commissioner Joe Jackson said he too is crossing party lines to vote for Peebles. “He asked me for my support,” he said. “No other candidate asked me to support him.”

Do you vote for someone merely because he asked you to support him? Sad.

Laughingatchu007
89
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Laughingatchu007 07/28/12 - 11:06 pm
5
0
Thanks

I heard that he was internal affairs which unless internal affairs is something different at the SO he is more akin to human resources and conducting checks on new hires. Am I correct? Not meant to be a dig I just want to be clear in what he does for the department.

Little Lamb
45863
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Little Lamb 07/28/12 - 11:16 pm
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Thin Air

Sylvia Cooper reported:

Saunders has not paid federal taxes for self-employment income from his law practice in eight years, nor has he paid his 2011 taxes. He filed for an extension to file his return but not for an extension to pay. Of the $159,000 delinquency, Saunders will pay only $87,000 as part of his bankruptcy plan, Long said.

That is the easy part.

Now what I wish Sylvia Cooper would report is, Where did Saunders spend the money?!?!?!?

Riverman1
83602
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Riverman1 07/28/12 - 11:23 pm
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1
Rebel and LL, oh, I know

Rebel and LL, oh, I know where the money came from. Do you know where this comment came from? "You know I don't have that kind of money?"

Little Lamb
45863
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Little Lamb 07/28/12 - 11:24 pm
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No

Sorry, RM, but I don't know. I'm just a little lamb, lost in the briers.

Brad Owens
4420
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Brad Owens 07/28/12 - 11:29 pm
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1
WOW!

Karen Slater-McDaniel,

Let me say up front that I support Captain Scott Peebles in the Democratic Primary. I have known him a long time and he was always the man the Sheriff sent to our meetings downtown when we were working on anything that required his input. He has always been helpful, professional and I like his ideas on where he wants to take the department. I really don't know any of the other men in the race personally.

With that said, I am not sure who you support, but I like your style lady! I like folks that put their real name on their postings, I give you credit for that. No matter what happens on Tuesday I hope you stick around, stay involved in politics and speak your mind.

I also love the FOI Act and using Open Records Requests, that's how me and my friends get a lot of our information too.

You have guts, I'll give you that.

Brad

rebellious
20685
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rebellious 07/28/12 - 11:32 pm
3
3
007

"I heard that he was internal affairs which unless internal affairs is something different at the SO he is more akin to human resources and conducting checks on new hires. Am I correct? Not meant to be a dig I just want to be clear in what he does for the department."

Sgt McDaniels duties are to perform background checks, perform pre-employment polygraphs and Expungements. He has no access to RCSO employee files nor does he handle any compliants investigations against RCSO employees.

And I appreciate your comments. Mrs. McDaniel was attempting to show the" doins" of the department which one candidate is in charge of as an indicator of what to expect if he is elected Sheriff. While I have no desire to dredge up that sordid discussion, my point is that her comments were not founded from gossip or hearsay, but rather from personnel files obtained through the FOI requests. She has been castigated, brow beaten, and labelled as batcrap crazy, by those who oppose her candidate choice. Her husband's manhood has been questioned as well. That, I believe, is the injustice in this whole fiasco.

Little Lamb
45863
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Little Lamb 07/28/12 - 11:34 pm
3
2
rebellious
20685
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rebellious 07/28/12 - 11:34 pm
2
2
Riverman

I know, and I am not surprised. If you want to find out you will have to "pick a lock" as my lips are sealed.

Riverman1
83602
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Riverman1 07/28/12 - 11:35 pm
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1
LL, I answered you privately.

LL, I answered you privately. You have the idea, but the whole thing is funny.

Riverman1
83602
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Riverman1 07/28/12 - 11:37 pm
2
4
Brad, of course that's what

Brad, of course that's what this is all about. Fairness. I started as a Peebles supporter, went over to Freddie when he got in and have had a front row seat into the truth of what's going on. Peebles is not what most think. Silas is a better candidate for the Democrats.

Little Lamb
45863
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Little Lamb 07/28/12 - 11:52 pm
5
0
Clowns

I faintly remember something about a peanut huller and a strongman at the Exchange Club Fair. Also, a mayor (is that the same as a burgermeister?) might have been in the loop.

Riverman1
83602
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Riverman1 07/29/12 - 12:00 am
1
3
Funny stuff from the past,

Funny stuff from the past, LL.

But back to THIS election. I'll predict if Peebles wins a night club owner will be hired into a high ranking position at the RCSO.

goldie53
46
Points
goldie53 07/29/12 - 12:17 am
5
3
Augusta politics

Well this is Augusta politics at its finest. I see why the Mayor has to have the prayer breakfast in this town. Why must Augusta be the laughingstock and joke of South Georgia?

Run, Forest Run away from Augusta GA as fast as you can! Especially from Richmond County!

rebellious
20685
Points
rebellious 07/29/12 - 12:22 am
1
2
Payback

All that moneh come frum somewheres. Payback will be a coming, foh show! And the sound of opposing candidates bumper stickers being ripped off will be like a giant shriek across the county. Cause to the victor go the spoils. I predict if Peebles wins,...I think I will keep that prediction off the web, but I do have a prediction.

Curious about the Peanut huller and strongman. I've lived here all my life and don't get that one.

Riverman1
83602
Points
Riverman1 07/29/12 - 12:25 am
1
1
Rebel, best we don't go there

Rebel, best we don't go there now. It will get us off target. Email me. I'll answer tomorrow. Going to bed now.

seenitB4
86824
Points
seenitB4 07/29/12 - 06:36 am
2
2
Brad

I might not agree with your candidiate of choice but I sho do with the comments about a spunky lady.....It seems some in Augusta don't appreciate that women have a brain --can think--do other things besides birth babies..
KSM has given all of us something to think about-----The Sheriffs wife has taken a beating from radio jockeys--mouths of the south & even on here....they are 2 smart ladies......I thank you both ....
When we say on here "things are not what they seem"---believe it.....
money talks & it sho has been talking lately!!!

rebellious
20685
Points
rebellious 07/29/12 - 08:22 am
1
1
Riverman

You don't have a contact tab. email me, if you will, please.

Riverman1
83602
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Riverman1 07/29/12 - 08:22 am
4
0
Allhans said in reference to

Allhans said in reference to misinformation in the column, "Let's let Sylvia explain.
With so many accusations of "misinformation" on all sides it is impossible to know who is wrong."

Fat chance of that.

seenitB4
86824
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seenitB4 07/29/12 - 09:17 am
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Lefty

Lefty the weasel could explain RM....

allhans
23619
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allhans 07/29/12 - 09:20 am
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4
Good morning all. Lots of

Good morning all. Lots of drama..Ho-hum.

You have to wonder why..
BTW>>More and more Republicans have been and are backing Peebles.
These are local business owners with safety in mind..nothing else. No hidden agendas.

Riverman1
83602
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Riverman1 07/29/12 - 09:25 am
4
2
Allhans said, "BTW>>More and

Allhans said, "BTW>>More and more Republicans have been and are backing Peebles.
These are local business owners with safety in mind..nothing else."

Are they stripclub owners?

allhans
23619
Points
allhans 07/29/12 - 10:11 am
0
4
RM I suppose I should take

RM I suppose I should take that as trying to be cute instead of making more of it than it's worth.

KSL
128948
Points
KSL 07/29/12 - 10:15 am
4
0
I hope whoever is elected

I hope whoever is elected will get the support of the good folks in the community. He's going to need it.

Riverman1
83602
Points
Riverman1 07/29/12 - 10:19 am
4
0
Allhans, probably a lot of

Allhans, probably a lot of truth to it more than being cute. But you said more and more Republican businessmen are moving to support Peebles. I must have missed that. Care to name one or two? If you mean Joe Jackson, I think we've aleady had a good laugh at his support.

allhans
23619
Points
allhans 07/29/12 - 10:28 am
0
4
RM..I am not one of those

RM..I am not one of those with "guts" who expose the private life of others. I will tell you that the business owners are members of what is probably the largest civic group in Augusta. They not only run large buinesses, they also sponsor charities.
They would all get a kick out of your comment. Maybe use it at their next meeting.

Now.That is ALL, folks..I'm not looking for one of those 'shoot outs".

Riverman1
83602
Points
Riverman1 07/29/12 - 10:37 am
3
3
Allhans, I didn't realize the

Allhans, I didn't realize the largest, unnamed civic group with unnamed business people in Augusta had expressed unanimous support for your candidate. I learn something everyday on here.

But you said this: "They would all get a kick out of your comment. Maybe use it at their next meeting."

Tell them they have my permission to use anything I've said they find humorous. I suppose you are talking about the stripclub support?

Riverman1
83602
Points
Riverman1 07/29/12 - 10:43 am
3
3
News Flash

The largest civic organization in the western hemisphere which will remain unknown, but has the most important people on this side of Ludowici as members, but who will remain unknown, and has contributed to every charity from Wagener to Thomson in the CSRA, although the charities will remain anonymous has decided to support Freddie Sanders. I can't reveal more.

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