Sylvia CooperCity Ink columnist and correspondent for The Augusta Chronicle.

City Ink: Eclectic group shows up to support Barrow

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Augusta’s former first lady Gwen Fulcher Young held a meet-and-greet for incumbent 12th District Democrat Rep. John Barrow at her home Thursday. Although her husband, Bob, had been invited to neighbor Joe Bowles’ house for a drink during the party, he was in the kitchen drying glasses. When somebody asked him whether he was supporting Barrow, he said he was supporting his wife.

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It was what you might call an eclectic group of folks, with conservatives such as Al Gray, Dr. Edouard Servey and his wife, Cheryl, and a liberal Democrat and Paine College historian, Dr. Mallory Millender. Young said it was the first time he’d seen Gray and Millender agree on anything.

Barrow is personable, engaging and brilliant. Fulcher Young said he’s a solid, Southern gentleman, which is, of course, the best kind.

Fulcher Young, a Republican, was widely quoted as saying that sending Barrow’s Republican challenger Lee Anderson to Washington “would be like sending Honey Boo Boo up there.” So she’s supporting Barrow.

Before leaving to speak at the Richmond County Democratic Party “Get Out the Vote Rally” at the Henry Brigham Center, Barrow called a cabinet meeting – a kitchen cabinet meeting – and there beneath a bouquet of shiny pots and pans, he said 12th District voters have a real choice, unlike those in most districts that have been drawn to protect incumbents or to ensure a certain party gains the seat.

He also said that he has been endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Rifle Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce but that Gwen’s endorsement meant the most to him.

INSTEAD OF A RECEPTION, HOW ABOUT A SLAP IN THE FACE? The Richmond County Democratic Party executive committee voted to cancel a November reception honoring retiring Sheriff Ronnie Strength because Strength, a lifelong Democrat, endorsed his best friend, Republican Freddie Sanders, for sheriff.

“He’s entitled to support the person he wishes, but it’s awkward for the Democratic Party to hold a reception for him in view of his support for Mr. Sanders,” Chairman Lowell Greenbaum said.

NEVER AT A LOSS FOR WORDS: He’s 91 years old and has had a stroke, but the hits just keep on coming from the Rev. Joseph Lowery – most of them aimed at Republicans.

Speaking at the Demo­cratic Party rally Thursday, Lowery had the crowd laughing, shouting, whistling, chanting and standing by invoking the names of civil rights leaders, exhortations, biblical quotations and opinions on a variety of things: Republicans, Democrats, gay marriage and charter schools.

Republicans and Democrats a la Lowery:

• “My daddy died having spent most of his life as a Republican ’cause the Democrats weren’t no good then like the Republicans are no good now.”

• “Some folks say they don’t see no difference between Democrats and Republicans. That’s a flat-faced lie. That don’t mean I think the Democrats are all they ought to be. … Sometimes there’s room for improvement. We’re too chicken. We’ve got to fight and stop being chicken. It’s hard to find a white person now in Georgia who’ll stand up and speak out.

• “The senator from Pennsylvania, (Rick) Santorum, was arguing with (Mitt) Romney, and Romney said, ‘You want to make a bet? I‘ll bet you $10,000.’ Many Democrats couldn’t do that. No Democrat I know could reach into his pocket and get $10,000 and bet you on the spot. That’s one of the different distinguishing features. Democrats favor working and ordinary people. Republicans look out for the rich folks.

“Democrats are working people. We believe in supporting each other as working people. Working people have rights. We don’t have $10,000 in our pockets. We don’t hardly have $10,000 in the bank.”

• Gay marriage: “I‘ve never married no same-sex couples. I don’t know if I ever will. I don’t worry about other folks’ sex life. I think some high-level Republicans in the past years or so have come out to be gay. Some people are so busy fighting gays so hard because they’ve got something in common.”

• Charter school amendment: “I think you’re right to urge people to vote no on the constitutional amendment. Who told the governor he could take 10 or 12 people and run the whole state education system? What will happen is they will continue to siphon money away from the public schools. … We’re not against charter schools. We’re against a proposal for a power grab by a small group trying to control the money. It’s not good for a democracy.”

SPEAKING OF CHICKENS: The next best thing to being at the rally was the barbecued chicken that pit master Roy Searles, who catered the event, insisted on giving me. He said I’m always bragging about Sconyers barbecue, so he wanted me to try his. It was very good. I think it was a tie, but I’ll have to sample both again to be sure.

WHERE’S WALDO? OR YET ANOTHER BOO BOO, HONEY? Twelfth Congressional District Republican candidate Lee Anderson’s campaign continues to hide the candidate except at carefully staged events such as the one Barry Paschal, the publisher of The Columbia County News-Times, reported Friday:

“The Columbia County Republican Party, on their Facebook page, called out to members to come to Lee Anderson’s headquarters at noon with this message from chairman Dewey Galeas:

“ ‘The press will be at Lee Anderson’s headquarters today at 12n. Please drop by if you can for background photos and show of support.’ ”

The News-Times folks weren’t sure which “press” was to be there, since they weren’t notified – and they’re right down the street. And the party’s PR person said she was unaware of anything going on. So Paschal sent a reporter to Anderson headquarters to see what was going on. It sounded as though they lined up a “press” event with favorable media and a crowd in the background.

“Turns out they were giving an interview to Channel 26 for a fluff story on how the Anderson camp is gearing up for the election,” Paschal said. “The party sent out the notice for volunteers to be in the office so that it looked like the campaign HQ was busy.”

The reporter said he was embarrassed for them.

“It’s really strange,” Paschal said. “It’s like Lee – who I’ve known my entire life as a very different person – has been kidnapped and is being held hostage in a back room while all these professional campaign operatives pretend he’s hard at work.”

Shortly thereafter, one of Anderson’s campaign people dropped by Paschal’s office.

“She said the Anderson campaign didn’t call for all those volunteers to come in for the TV interview; that was done by the Columbia County Republican Party, trying to be helpful,” he said. “I had commented on the event on their Facebook page; they’ve since removed all related posts from the page, and it now says ‘This post has been removed or could not be loaded.’

“So it looks like the party is trying to remove evidence that it even happened – or, at the very least, to sanitize my comment that WAGT TV was ‘being played.’ ”

Meanwhile, the campaign person insists that Anderson has done interviews all over the district with just about everyone. They just don’t particularly like The Chronicle. Do tell.

Comments (31) Add comment
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Lou Stewall
Lou Stewall 10/21/12 - 11:37 am

Gwen Fulcher Young (GFY) makes fun of Lee Anderson's background, grammar, drawl,etc. As the wife of a former minor elected official, her background could be looked at also. I won't go into it because I don't want this post to be taken down. If she is having a party for 50 guests, and only 12 show up, why would you need for your husband to be in the kitchen washing glasses? Borrow some from Joe Bowles. Anyone think Bob Young would like to run for Congress in 2 years against John Barrow instead of a Republican. Nice try GFY.

allhans 10/21/12 - 11:43 am
And pray tell me why Gwen

And pray tell me why Gwen Young uses "Fulcher" as her middle name , why not Cheeseborough. They are both exes, aren't they.

Riverman1 10/21/12 - 02:09 pm

Anybody get any pictures?

rebellious 10/21/12 - 02:56 pm
If I were undecided

in the Congressional race, I just firmed up my selection. Being backed by Mallory Millender is a kiss of death to my vote!

Sheriff Strength's shunning by the local Democrat party may give Freddie that little push he needs to pull in the moderate Dems in the area. Thanks a bunch!

JRC2024 10/21/12 - 02:58 pm
I was going to ask the same

I was going to ask the same question alhans but thought the paper would pull me for that. Cheese fixes transmissions and Fulcher was a lawyer I think. If I were her present husband I would not like the use of any former married name.

notme 10/21/12 - 04:01 pm
Barrow will vote for Pelosi

Barrow will vote for Pelosi for speaker. That is all I need to know. He will not get my vote.

Tullie 10/21/12 - 04:53 pm

Who cares what Gwen Fulcher Young thinks or that she is going to vote for Barrow?

She probably has Fulcher as her middle name because she was selling real estate and she was known as Gwen Fulcher. That way people will still know who she is..instead of a nobody..Gwen Young.

Cheeseborough must have been an ex before Fulcher, you don't keep tacking on names from an get rid of them like you do the ex.

Obviously Bob Young is secure in his manhood, he does not mind her name and he is in the kitchen drying dishes, supporting his wife.

rmwhitley 10/21/12 - 05:07 pm
If Gwen Fulcher Young

is a Republican, we ( true Republicans) don't need a "true gentleman" democrat that kisses barack obama's derriere in Washington. We certainly don't need Mrs. Young calling herself a Republican, either.

harley_52 10/21/12 - 10:28 pm
I Don't Really Have A Problem....

....with a self-proclaimed Republican abandoning the Party to vote for a candidate they honestly believe is a better choice than the one the Party has nominated.

I DO have a problem with that person campaigning for the Democrat candidate and publicly criticizing the Republican candidate. That goes far beyond being simply a matter of personal conviction, it's a matter of political agenda. I doubt Ms. Fulcher-Young's sincerity as a Republican and consider her much more an opportunist to join the team she thinks will win. I agree with Riverman, as usual.

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