Sylvia Cooper

City Ink columnist and correspondent for The Augusta Chronicle.

Sanders says friends have disappeared

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After Tuesday’s election in which Richmond County Democrat sheriff candidate Richard Roundtree trounced his Republican rival, Freddie Sanders, Sanders said his phone stopped ringing and every call he made to friends went to voicemail.

“And these are my friends,” he said with a laugh. “One of them went home and tore my signs off his fence and went inside and turned his dog loose in the yard, so if I came by I wouldn’t come in.”

“Even that no-good Ronnie Strength left a message,” he said.

Sanders said before he even he heard Strength’s message, he thought, “This ain’t good.”

“Ronnie said, ‘Congratulations, Richard. I knew we could beat that no-good… Uh oh,’ before he hung up.”

Strength said he’s called Sanders every day since the election to “give him hell” because he told him not to run, that he couldn’t win, even if he got every white vote in the county.

But Sanders has no regrets.

“I’m in business,” he said. “I have a job. And my claim to fame is that I’m still a part of that historic moment.”

“I’m the first white sheriff’s candidate that got beat by the first black sheriff in Richmond County,” he said.

Sanders said that with Roundtree in office and Marion Williams back on the Augusta Commission, my job writing this column will be like “hunting over a baited field.”

2 MINUTES X 19,000 = 633 HOURS AND 20 MINUTES: Williams was always making news during his previous two terms on the commission and promises to do the same in the future, first by challenging Mayor Deke Copenhaver’s right to limit the time commissioners may speak on a subject to two, two-minute speeches.

“You can’t limit an elected official from speaking because they’re the voice of the people,” Williams said. “I was elected by 19,000 people. How can you speak for 19,000 people in two minutes? People want a voice to speak for them. Too many mistakes have been made, and nobody has addressed them.”

But that doesn’t mean he gets two minutes for each of the 19,000 people. If he did, the Boy King’s timer would have cobwebs on it before Williams finished talking.

I’m sure the mayor is looking forward to Williams’ return. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see how it all turns out since Williams prevailed in other situations, such as when citizen activist and CSRA Help founder Woody Merry sued in 2006, challenging the legality of the commissioners’ use of abstentions to prevent majority votes on controversial issues. A judge said the mayor could cast votes in such situations, but the Georgia Supreme Court reversed that ruling.

ONE BRADFORD CHOPS ANOTHER: Merry, whose middle name is “Bradford,” has since turned his attention to running criminals out of town and just last week chopped down a Bradford pear tree in Harrisburg to send a message to drug dealers who used it as a meeting spot.

He also spray painted “GOT COPS,” the citizen crime fighters’ catchy acronym, which stands for Get Out of Town; Citizens on Patrol, in black over graffiti on a nearby wall.

I’ve heard of painting the town red….

IT AIN’T OVER ’TIL IT’S OVER, EXCEPT FOR ELECTIONS: Republican Dave Barbee, who manned the party’s campaign headquarters in Augusta, summed up Tuesday’s election this way: “We got smoked. Friday, before the election with absentee and early voting, the election in Richmond County was over. O.V.E.R. We were so far down, if we’d had a train running to the polls we still would have lost.”

For example, at the end of the day Friday, Mitt Romney had a little more than 10,000 votes in the county to 26,000 for President Obama. Twelfth Congressional Republican candidate Lee Anderson had 8,963 votes in Richmond County to Democrat John Barrow’s 27,048.

Roundtree had 24,994 votes by Friday – more than he got on Election Day – to Sanders’ 11,563.

The Democrat candidate for district attorney, Evita Paschall, had 23,278 in Richmond County to Republican incumbent Ashley Wright’s 12,308. The big turnout for Wright in Columbia County saved her job. And so it went.

In the District 23 state Senate race, perennial Democrat candidate Robert Ingham spent zero dollars and energy campaigning and ended up with 40 percent of the vote in losing to incumbent Republican Jesse Stone.

SENATOR BARROW?: Barrow’s big win Tuesday has some folks speculating he’ll run for the U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss in 2014.

Chambliss is perceived to be weak because of his stance on immigration and meetings with Senate Democrats last year on deficit-reduction plans that critics said meant tax increases. He was booed at the state Republican convention five years ago because of his position on immigration, which many thought wasn’t conservative enough.

And Barrow has proved he can beat Republicans. He’s done it five times, although he had to move twice after the Republicans drew him out of the district. He lived in Athens in 2004 when he beat Republican incumbent Max Burns. In 2006, after redistricting, he moved to Savannah and beat Burns again. In 2008, he beat Republican John Stone. In 2010, he beat Republican Ray McKinney. When the Republicans drew him out of the district again this year, he moved to Augusta and beat Anderson.

“We’ve moved him out of the district two times.” Barbee said. “He’s moved two times. We’ve done everything but shoot the son of a gun.”

If Barrow ran for the Senate and won, he wouldn’t have to run again for six years, and he’d have a say in the appointment of federal judges in Georgia.

REST IN PEACE, SHERIFF: The death of former Sheriff Charles B. Webster Saturday marked the end of an era. He was the last of the once-powerful, old-line south Augusta politicians. Before he retired at the end of 2000, after 17 years in office, I interviewed him. He drove around south Richmond County, visiting places and telling stories about what happened at each one and how things used to be. He said that he never wanted the spotlight and never planned to run for sheriff until the Southside Mafia talked him into it and that he was tired of law enforcement.

“It’s not my cup of tea,” he said.

Helping others get elected was.

“I’ve done fairly well for myself,” he said. “I can recall when I was 10 years old, and a man offered me $2 a day to plow, and I plowed a mule. He says, `Charles, you’re good for your age.’ He said, `I’ll pay you top wages.’ And I plowed two days and made that $4.

“I got more money in my pocket right now than we made on that farm that whole year. And we had plenty to eat. Don’t get me wrong. We were just like everybody else. And it wasn’t that bad.”

Being born in hard times makes a fellow appreciate more, he said.

“You appreciate your friends and your fellow man a little bit more,” he said. “You have a little bit more compassion. I think sometimes when people are born with a silver spoon, you don’t see that.”

He’d grown a little sad after so much reminiscing.

“Richmond County has been good to Charlie Webster, and I thank them,” he said, tearing up. “I do. I’ve been a lucky man.”

TODAY IS VETERANS DAY: Kiss a veteran and thank them for the sacrifices they made to keep us free and our country safe. I already kissed mine.

Comments (51) Add comment
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seenitB4
85152
Points
seenitB4 11/11/12 - 10:28 am
4
2
Doesn't matter what color ..

The sucking sound of tax $$$$ going DOWNTOWN sounds the same...in the CSRA & the Greater Atlanta area.....

omnomnom
3964
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omnomnom 11/11/12 - 10:28 am
6
0
Heh. I remember when Ol'

Heh. I remember when Ol' Woody Merry was trying to talk up West Augusta seceeding from A-RC.

Block grant funding would make sure each district gets a more equitable allocation of tax revenues.

What we have now is ahem. uh. ah. wealth redistribution.

seenitB4
85152
Points
seenitB4 11/11/12 - 10:34 am
3
3
Question to the posters

How many posters are paid by tax money in Richmond county.....more than you can even imagine...

loblolly
469
Points
loblolly 11/11/12 - 10:37 am
0
0
Is that the
Unpublished

same Barbee of catfish king and claypit 3 fame?

soapy_725
43672
Points
soapy_725 11/11/12 - 10:43 am
1
0
Taxpayers sue the ARC commission, mayor and Fred Russell
Unpublished

Flood the court system with individual law suits by property owners charging. mail fraud, malfeasance in office, criminal conspiracy. It can be proven. It will shut down the system. Non violent protest. Redress of grievances can work. The only thing the money handlers fear is taxpayer organization. The roaches will leave when you take away their subsistence.

soapy_725
43672
Points
soapy_725 11/11/12 - 10:50 am
1
0
Fred Sanders do not run
Unpublished

for any political office. You are a better man that to soil you self in the "pile of feces" that is ARC politics. Freddie look around you at the many fine citizens of ARC who have the intellect, business tools and moral fiber to be great leaders. Yet we never see them wading into this cesspool.

It will destroy your soul. And Augusta ain't worth losing your soul.

Rock on Mr. Sanders. We remember Savannah Rd. You have done yourself and your parents an honor with your success. You have earned respect. You are living the American Dream that other pretenders wish to steal.

soapy_725
43672
Points
soapy_725 11/11/12 - 10:54 am
1
0
Fleming Community tried to
Unpublished

separate themselves from downtown. They knew what was coming in the 1970's. Their frog got boiled by small annexations of area, revenue and votes. The systematic dilution of voting by demographic dispersal. We were there. Remember that old TV show. We were there.

dichotomy
31990
Points
dichotomy 11/11/12 - 10:59 am
8
1
If Freddie wants a lot of

If Freddie wants a lot of friends and some new customers he should take on looking at the legalities and process for the citizens of South Richmond County to separate from the "City of Augusta" whether it be by means of annexation to an existing municipality or by forming their own government. I don't care which. So what if it takes 8 years for a lawsuit, they've been robbing us with an illegal property tax system, illegal fire department taxes, and a crooked property vaulation system for 17 years, and illegal garbage fees for 10 years. Freddie, if you need a retainer just click on my icon and drop me a note. I had just as soon give you my money as give it to Paul Simon, endless downtown redevelopment in areas that start deteriorating again before the mortar is dry, the "won't die" ball park, and a sheriff who wants to pat the little punks, thugs, muggers, and thieves on the butt, do the dap with them, and send them on their way to do it again.

I know it must be hard for the rest of the county to get a grip on this, but we here in South Richmond County have seen the quality of life serverely deteriorate since consolidation. And we basically have not seen ANY benefit, increase in services, or monetary savings. In fact, all we have seen is the opposite. We are taxed MUCH more, we are charged double and triple for trash service that most of us already had from private haulers, our resaurants and retail have closed en masse, the roads have deteriorated, the "stormwater" ditches are not being maintained, we have LESS police protection and boy is that fixing to get worse, and we have NO representation on the commission in ratio to the amount of tax dollars we provide. We are part of a blood sucking government in which we are TOTALLY POWERLESS to have ANY INPUT as to where our tax dollars are spent. We have ONE representative who we send downtown and his only choices are to vote to give our money to Paul or give it to Laney Walker.....or usually after the blackmail vote swapping and backroom deals, double the amount and give it to both.

As the daughter and youngest child of a good friend of mine once said after the father went around the dinner table asking who broke the window in his gargage and all of the boys denied it, and the father told her "well it must be you", she looked up and said "daddy, how do I get out of this chicken crap outfit".

Little Lamb
45275
Points
Little Lamb 11/11/12 - 11:01 am
7
0
Annexation

Open Curtain brings up an interesting idea. Does the consolidated government charter explicitly forbid the cities of Hephzibah and Blythe from expanding their boundaries? Are they forever stuck with their shapes and sizes? I hope not. If Hephzibah and Blythe city governments were to work together, they could form a swath eight or ten miles wide across the south part of the county from Fort Gordon all the way to the river. McBean would become a section of Hephzibah, much as Buckhead is in Atlanta.

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 11/11/12 - 11:40 am
5
0
Riverman said:

Geez, does no one get it's satire? Freddie shows his wisdom once again with his humor.

Yes, we got it Riverman..I am sure everyone understood it plain and clear. You know the old saying though that a many a truth is said in jest?

allhans
23523
Points
allhans 11/11/12 - 12:28 pm
2
1
On the national level after

On the national level after appearances by Joe Biden, who went all over the country saying Republicans will take your SS and Medicare, folks were told that a bus was waiting outside for them to board and go VOTE NOW!!
I don't think that Republicans got to that level, I didn't see it, but it could have been happening.
Republican candidates have to learn to play the "Game".
Voters in RC know that Republicans are out numbered...have been for years.
IF it had been McLeod or Allen rather than Anderson in the state race, the results would have been the same. Barrow would have still won. Do we really expect Democrats to cross over?
Run as a Democrat or save your time and money. The "D" following your name is all that matters, that says it ALL.............

itsanotherday1
41879
Points
itsanotherday1 11/11/12 - 12:34 pm
1
0
@Allhans

Barrow would not have won IMO, against McLeod or Allen. Does anyone have the district numbers comparing total votes cast for Romney vs votes for Barrow? That would be a good yardstick to see how many conservative votes Anderson lost.
Too, since Romney was a shoe-in and Anderson not palatable, some people may have just sat it out and not voted all.

itsanotherday1
41879
Points
itsanotherday1 11/11/12 - 12:41 pm
2
0
Baited field

"Sanders said that with Roundtree in office and Marion Williams back on the Augusta Commission, my job writing this column will be like “hunting over a baited field.”

LOL!! Truer words never spoken. If the commission wasn't a circus already......

My brothers and sisters in Richmond County; you truly have my sympathy. Really.

Gage Creed
16704
Points
Gage Creed 11/11/12 - 01:04 pm
3
0
If Betty Beard had run and

If Betty Beard had run and won...we could all sign up for lifts, tucks, and staples! Just like the old times!

allhans
23523
Points
allhans 11/11/12 - 01:04 pm
1
0
its another day1.. I realize

its another day1.. I realize that some of our RINOs endorsed Barrow, was it a vote against Anderson? I don't know.

cheapster505
566
Points
cheapster505 11/11/12 - 01:16 pm
1
0
friends?

friends ? more like golddiggers job seekers now that you lost think how Romney feels about his "Friends" "supporters" the Next day after Loss is the quietest Winners get the "Laurals"

AutumnLeaves
6996
Points
AutumnLeaves 11/11/12 - 01:30 pm
3
0
I haven't...

I haven't been able to read all the responses to this article, but please tell me the first part of Sylvia's article regarding Freddie Sanders and alleged comments by him and Sheriff Strength were satire and not serious. Otherwise my question is "what????".

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/11/12 - 02:31 pm
2
0
Quick Annexation Research.

Still digging, but here what I have so far.
=================

Augusta-Richmond Co. Charter History GA HR 1051
http://www1.legis.ga.gov/legis/1995_96/leg/fulltext/hb1051.htm
Allowed the consolidation vote.

The details of the A-RC Charter
http://www.augustaga.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/748

Ran a quick PDF search on it any occurrence of:
expand,
expansion,
annex,
annexation,
annexing,
growth,
limits
Blythe, and Hephzibah
Nothing says Blythe or Hephzibah cannot not expand by annexing adjoining properties in accordance with GA law.

If Fact:
A-RC charter Section 7-60. requires compliance with state law. The board must comply with all property tax laws of the State of Georgia. The dual tax standard with the South Side paying more is a direct violation.

Plus GA. Law is clear on the process for annexation.
See O.C.G.A. Title 36, Chapter 36.

Regarding the A-RC
Section 1-42 protected Blythe
Section 1-43 starts how Hephzibah IF this and IF that... Boy were they smart to vote NO.

Section 1-44 and 1-45 cover some interesting ground

1966 history when this mess started
Note the lawyer names and people involved in these suits
http://supreme-court-georgia.vlex.com/vid/council-augusta-richmond-busin...

http://supreme-court-georgia.vlex.com/vid/city-council-augusta-richmond-...

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/11/12 - 03:01 pm
1
0
Avg Home Taxed value

See the $$$ numbers quoted by Fred Russell when suggesting growth projects and other tax projections a few months ago. He was talking about a $4 million shortfall in the 2013 budget when he cited the figures.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/11/12 - 03:19 pm
2
1
I think we need a blogger named

Thumbs Down,
we seem to have one person that seems to thumbs down on everything even condolences?

Little Lamb
45275
Points
Little Lamb 11/11/12 - 04:14 pm
3
0
$4 Million

If Russell was predicting a $4 million dollar shortfall a few months ago, he would not have factored in the million dollar shortfall just for operating the TEE Center for one year. So we'd better count on a $5 million shortfall. Much of that one million will pass through the hands of Riverfront LLC, where there's opportunity for skimming.

Riverman1
82158
Points
Riverman1 11/11/12 - 09:38 pm
1
1
Taxes Paid by South Augusta

When you consider what taxes are paid by South Augusta, don't forget all the industry with the large facilities and land holdings located there. That is significant.

I wish you guys luck trying to figure out a way to break away from Augusta.

corgimom
31080
Points
corgimom 11/11/12 - 09:43 pm
3
1
Since when is Downtown the

Since when is Downtown the same as the CBD?

Answer: It's not, and we all know it except for one person.

Little Lamb
45275
Points
Little Lamb 11/12/12 - 01:33 am
0
0
Thumbs up, Corgi

Right on, Corgimom.

445
Points
Lakeside95 11/15/12 - 11:20 am
0
0
South Augusta

Those citizens need to start working now to elect someone. The longer they wait to field a candidate for mayor- the more likely some Hill or West Augusta guy will get it. The Southside does not deserve this treatment.
Yes- there was more crossover vote in the 12th race than ever before.
Look at the numbers for DA - if not for the white, Republicans in Columbia County...Paschall would be DA. That race should never have been so close- so why was it?
Sanders was not helped in the primary because all the Republicans just know that Pebbles would win. So wen Sanders was the only guy against Roundtree- there was no campaign structure, no coordination and certainly no money. The next time a guy comes to the party and says, yeah I'm a Republican but I'm going to run as a Democrat so I can win...don't be surprised when he loses. Peebles, and his crew gave us Roundtree -hope their happy.

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