Sylvia Cooper

City Ink columnist and correspondent for The Augusta Chronicle.

City Ink: Scott Peebles alienates his Republican supporters

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What do Latasha Nicole Moore and Scott Peebles’ Repub­lican supporters have in common?

They want their votes back.

Moore claims she’s got four coming to her because she was promised a car if she’d get four people to vote for Democratic sheriff’s candidate Richard Roundtree. Many Republicans who crossed party lines to vote for Peebles and donated money, not to mention time and effort, wish they could get their votes and a refund now that Peebles has endorsed Roundtree.

Peebles’ campaign manager, Lewis Blanchard, has jumped on the Roundtree bandwagon with Peebles.

“After much thought, prayer and discussion, it is my intention to help and support Richard Roundtree in his campaign to be the next sheriff of Richmond Coun­ty,” Blanchard posted on his Face­book page Friday. “If you have not had the opportunity to hear directly from Richard, I will be hosting an event for him in the near future.”

I can’t imagine it will be the same crowd that attended the other parties Blanchard threw for Peebles. Many of them are as mad as hell.

ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS? Pee­bles announced his support for Roundtree in a news release that ended with, “This is all I will have to say publicly about the race for sheriff. No further statements or interviews will be conducted and no further comment will be made.”

It’s just as well he didn’t hold a news conference. It would have gone something like this:

Reporter: Capt. Peebles, did Lt. Roundtree promise to promote you to major for endorsing him?

Peebles: No comment.

Reporter: Capt. Peebles, did Lt. Roundtree promise your campaign manager a job in the sheriff’s office if he’d support him, too?

Peebles: No comment.

Reporter: Capt. Peebles, if Lt. Roundtree didn’t promise you a new title for endorsing him, why didn’t you just keep quiet and not make the people who worked so hard for you want to wring your neck?

Peebles: No comment.

Reporter: Capt. Peebles, did you decide to endorse Lt. Roundtree to pay Sheriff Ronnie Strength back for not endorsing you before the primary?

Peebles: No comment.

Reporter: Capt. Peebles, now that you’ve endorsed Lt. Roundtree do you regret all those bad things you said about him before the election?

Peebles: No comment. Now that I’ve answered all of your questions, I’m going to cut this off. Thank you for coming.

DO WE BUILD ON A PLATFORM OR ON A FOUNDATION? In his written statement, Peebles said his and Roundtree’s fundamental ideas regarding the direction of law enforcement are nearly identical. Augusta Commission member Joe Bowles agreed and said anyone who supported Peebles based on his platform has no reason not to support Roundtree.

“Their platforms are identical,” he said. “The best question is, why aren’t all of Scott Peebles’ supporters lining up behind Roundtree? They both want community policing and both believe in technical advances to benefit police officers. And they both believe in a citizen advisory board.”

No, Joe, the best question is, “Would you trust this man with your wife?”

Bowles, a Republican with liber­tarian leanings or vice versa, voted for Peebles. He said he hasn’t endorsed Roundtree because he doesn’t know whether he can endorse two Democrats in one year.

“My last Democrat vote was 20 years ago when I voted for Bill Clinton,” he said.

VOTES FOR CLUNKERS: Moore told investigators that a used-car lot owner approached her at a Roundtree event and promised to give her a car if she got four other people to vote for Roundtree. She said she got four people to vote but that U Wanna Ride owner Jerry Lee Jor­dan refused to honor the supposed compact. So Moore called the law and said, “I want my vote back.” The case was turned over to the secretary of state’s office.

Jordan’s wife, Cushena, took to the airwaves to declare, “This girl is crazy,” and said she and her husband want to take lie detector tests and want Moore prosecuted. Moore also wants to take a lie detector test, so I hear. I also hear the case is more than “he said, she said,” and that the police have text messages between Jordan and Moore. I don’t know about Moore’s mental state, but she’s been to an institution quite a few times in her 23 years, that being the Richmond County jail, according to police records. The last two times were 2010, once on a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and once for disorderly conduct.

There might be a credibility issue there.

DON’T MOVE THE BUS, THROW HER UNDER IT: Oh, what a surprise! Augusta’s Human Resources Depart­ment is undergoing an extreme makeover.

Dr. Malik Watkins from the Carl Vinson Institute of Govern­ment has analyzed the situation to include a survey and identified five top issues: poor customer service, unresponsiveness, lack of knowledge, lack of concern and understaffing. (Of course, what else does government always come up with to excuse sorry performance?)

Keep in mind this is the same department that investigated a disgruntled former employee’s allegations that recreation department operations manager Melinda Pearson had taken time off she wasn’t entitled to, which was one big fat lie. She had the time coming and the proof. The administration just wanted to get rid of Recreation Director Tom Beck, who signed off on her time card, and used the situation at hand to do it. She was just collateral damage.

So Deputy Director Bill Shanahan volunteered her personnel file to the media, which hadn’t even requested it, in an effort to discredit her. She was demoted to a manual labor position after 29 years with the government, where she was known as one of the hardest-working people in the recreation department.

Shortly after assuming her new duties, which included laying tile, bricks, climbing ladders and painting, she was injured on the job, which exacerbated a serious neck injury that had sidelined her for eight months in 2004. She got a good lawyer and filed for workers’ compensation, which made them mad.

ANOTHER HATCHET JOB: Now in an effort to further discredit Pearson, someone leaked one page of her workers’ compensation application to a TV reporter, who went on air last week waving it around and suggesting she’s guilty of workers’ compensation fraud. The reporter had shown the document to Bowles, who said from what he was looking at somebody made an error or “flat out tried to cover something up.”

The next day, Bowles called the news story “bogus.”

“Based on what I’ve heard from lawyer Jack Batson today, he’s looking at one page of documents, and that’s not the entire story,” Bowles said. “Based on the paperwork, Melinda Pearson did absolutely nothing wrong. Somebody did something wrong. I predicated everything I said by that one page he showed me. It’s another hatchet job by the media.”

So why hasn’t City Ad­min­is­trator Fred Russell stepped up and notified the TV station that it has aired bogus information damaging to Pearson and clear her name instead of letting the segment run over and over? Because he also commented on air about the application, why hasn’t he gone on air to personally repudiate the allegations?

BUT CAN WE REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER: Ernie and I went to see the movie 2016: Obama’s America. Everybody in the theater was older than dirt. When we got out, Ernie said it was like watching a movie on a tour bus. He said he kept expecting his hair to turn blue.

Comments (70) Add comment
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palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 09/02/12 - 07:25 pm
3
0
There are many specific
Unpublished

There are many different specific operational definitions of community policing. Though, broadly and theoretically, it is geared away from reactive in favor of more proactive policing...building ties with the community to identify community problems and assist in solving those problems, thus a preventative crime control strategy.
Sounds, perhaps, good... But police agencies are not really trained for that type of work and certainly lack the resources to solve the problems that require resources. And, it can be argued that police become the scapegoat for city leaders who really do have the power and resources and responsibility to solve some of the problems. I think that's Mr. Sanders' position, although he does not say it very well. But what police can do, that is, build more interaction with the community, has had positive image results for law enforcement by citizens. And, I think that's something sorely needed in Augusta.

janderson1945
1968
Points
janderson1945 09/02/12 - 11:43 pm
3
1
Rebellious

Rebellious, thank you for your note, it isn't necessary but appreciated. I just wish we could all state positive reasons for various candidates without going into such negativity of them and their supporters at times. Comments from many here are why in my opinion that we have less good candidates who run for public office as well as those who will get actively involved in the process. Additionally, the racially divisive comments by both races are disgusting, uncalled for and serve no good purpose for improving our city. We have lived here for quite a while now but still just don't understand the bitter racial divide that is unlike any other place we have ever lived. We ALL need to work towards bringing our area together and anyone that feels that way should stay clear of such negativity and stereotypical comments.

Willow Bailey
20605
Points
Willow Bailey 09/02/12 - 11:46 pm
1
1
@palmetto. What would "build

@palmetto. What would "build more interaction with the community" look like?

Riverman1
94212
Points
Riverman1 09/03/12 - 05:15 am
1
1
Thoughts on Sylvia's "2016" observation

Thoughts on Sylvia's observation that the anit-Obama movie, 2016, had an elderly audience. Maybe that's a good sign if the elderly are enthusiastic about getting rid of Obama. Maybe the social security, Medicare scare tactics the Democrats use are transparent to them and they are excited about sending Obama home.

Riverman1
94212
Points
Riverman1 09/03/12 - 05:14 am
2
0
Everyone Stop Being Surprised by Racial Voting

People vote along racial lines in almost every community in the nation. Stop acting like this is something unique to Augusta.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 09/03/12 - 06:05 am
2
0
Willow, as I indicated there
Unpublished

Willow, as I indicated there are countless ways to initiate/accomplish more interaction between law enforcement and the community....anything that goes beyond purely reactive policing. Mr. Roundtree outlines quite of number of these in his covenant with the city. It's posted on his website.

Riverman1
94212
Points
Riverman1 09/03/12 - 06:29 am
3
0
Community Policing and Sheriff Andy

Sure, you can call community policing anything. Sheriff Andy was the best example I've seen of it. "Y'all cut that out" works wonders if the police are respected.

Here is a key point, it also works to lower family violence crime that has resulted in far too many murders in Augusta. Some have an attitude that they only kill each other and it's not the role of the police to stop such violence. I submit having a trusted officer in the neighborhood whom the people can talk to CAN HELP.

When some type of family violence is escalating, it could be an officer dropping by to calm matters down does prevent crime and murder. The officer being embedded in the community, talking to everyone picks up on such potentially dangerous situations.

seenitB4
98457
Points
seenitB4 09/03/12 - 06:52 am
2
0
About domestic violence calls....

etween 1996 and 2009, 771 law enforcement officers were murdered in the line of duty.1 Law enforcement is a profession fraught with danger. The perils of policing are a day-to-day reality for officers and a topic that deeply concerns law enforcement executives. Reducing the risk faced by officers was a primary focus during the recent tenure of the IACP Immediate Past President Michael J. Carroll and is an issue that remains a priority for the IACP. While all policing activities involve a degree of risk, particular attention has been paid to the dangers of domestic violence calls for service.

heated anger in domestic violence is a risky call for a policeman......I wish we had a Mayberry in every county.....I wish we lived like Andy & Barney but if my husband worked on the RCSO.....I want him safe & NEVER alone on a call like this. jmo

tgentry
277
Points
tgentry 09/03/12 - 04:14 pm
2
1
Peebles and RoundTree

As I'm one of the republicans who crossed over for Peebles, I do not feel my time or vote was wasted. I believed in Peebles experience and ideas. I can certainly see why he has endorsed Roundtree. The issue I have now is character. I have looked into Roundtree's past and just cant get into seeing someone with the character flaws he has as High Sheriff of Richmond County. If anyone here voted for Peebles and got mad at him for endorsing Roundtree, then you to seem to have character flaws as well. This is just my 2 cents. Come November I will be voting republican once again.

Riverman1
94212
Points
Riverman1 09/03/12 - 04:47 pm
4
1
Tgentry said, "If anyone here

Tgentry said, "If anyone here voted for Peebles and got mad at him for endorsing Roundtree, then you to seem to have character flaws as well."

You'll have to explain that one to me.

henrystripe
62
Points
henrystripe 09/03/12 - 09:14 pm
1
1
Don't be so quick to judge Scott Peebles

What an insensitive column. You should take a moment to THINK before passing judgement on this great man. I, too, crossed over to vote for Scott. However, with the (nauseating and frightening) prospect of a Roundtree victory in November, it is understandable that Scott would endorse Roundtree. Scott is a family man and is doing whatever he can to provide for them. You know that anything less than an endorsement would potentially endanger his employment status at the RCSO under the unscrupulous Roundtree. HOW DARE YOU?? Judge not lest ye be judged, Ms. Cooper!!

Willow Bailey
20605
Points
Willow Bailey 09/03/12 - 09:50 pm
0
1
Well, River,Tgentry didn't

Well, River,Tgentry didn't volunteer an explanation to his comment on calling out others "character flaws". The only thing that makes any sense is that if we are unable to accept other people's rights to choose for themselves we likely have control or boundary issues.

Regardless, we all have various degrees of "character flaws" especially when we believe that we don't.

tgentry
277
Points
tgentry 09/04/12 - 07:20 am
1
1
Character Flaws

I will respond Riverman1. What I'm trying to say is this. Why would you think your vote was wasted, if you voted for Peebles? Elections are a gamble. You choose the candidate that you believe in and vote for them. This does not mean that they are automatically going to win. I read on here how people say they can not believe he endorsed Roundtree. Well if you are voting on the platform and platform only, then why cant you see how Peebles would endorse Roundtree? Why is it a big issue? Like I said earlier, I will not vote for Roundtree due to character flaws I see in him. I do like the platform he is offering I just cant get past the flaws. In Scott I had the platform and the good characteristics he has held in the community. I just do not understand why some can say he has basically betrayed them. Scott has a lot to think about. He has his family, he has his career he has his community. I whole hardily do not have a issue with him choosing to endorse Roundtree. Once again this is where I disagree with the Law saying you have to choose a party to vote for. The older I get the less I care about party lines. This is just me. I truly believe in a person and not the party affiliate.

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