Sylvia Cooper

City Ink columnist and correspondent for The Augusta Chronicle.

With four pastors on ballot, Augusta might have a prayer

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Looking down the list of candidates who qualified for mayor and Augusta Commission, I see there are four pastors. If all were elected, the mayor’s office and four commission seats, counting sitting Dis­trict 9 Commissioner Marion Williams, would be filled by preachers.

God knows the city needs some divine intervention, but the meetings would never end.

The candidates include state Sen. Hardie Da­vis, who is a pastor, and four other interesting characters. Among them is District 4 Commissioner Al­vin Mason, who I have told you before is oratorically gifted but should guard against falling further in love with the sound of his own voice. He should also refrain from bullying city staffers in public if he hopes to reach the rarefied heights of governing.

Mason and Davis are considered by many to be front-runners. Davis is also oratorically gifted, as he should be, being a preacher and all. Some fault him for a lackluster tenure in the Legis­lature, but there’s not too much a Democrat can do when the Republicans are in charge, is there?

Candidate Helen Blocker-Adams is the only veteran of a mayoral contest, having come in third behind Willie Mays and Deke Co­pen­haver in 2005. The next year, she challenged state Rep. Quincy Murphy for his House seat and lost. Maybe she’ll do better this time since Herman Cain is coming to campaign for her. Maybe not.

Then there’s Charles Cummings, who along with his wife, Teresa, won the Turkey Joint award in City Ink’s 2010 Annual Turkey of the Year Contest.

Teresa told commissioners that Charles would not be involved in Mamie Lee’s Southern Cooking on Tobacco Road in order to get a beer and wine license in 2009. Charles had been barred from applying for a license for 10 years after a teen was shot to death on a dance floor at the location, then known as Super C’s, in 2007.

As it turned out, Charles Cum­mings was involved in Mamie Lee’s, and they kept running a dance hall without a license. The sheriff’s investigator who witnessed the dance hall operation said he asked employees for the license holder, Teresa Cummings, and they looked “dumbfounded and didn’t know her.”

While candidate Lori Myles is not a pastor, she is a pastor’s wife, which is close. She’s also a teacher at T.W. Josey High School, where she made news last year when Richmond County school Superintendent Frank Roberson reprimanded her in writing for trying to teach her students a lesson using a racial slur.

Two handouts containing a slur commonly known as the N-word were apparently intended to “shame these students by indicating their behavior was an affront to the memories and brave examples of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks,” Roberson’s letter stated.

Myles also made the news in 2006 when she filed a federal lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and retaliation for rejecting then-Superintendent Charles Larke’s advances and complaining about the school system’s hiring process.

RUNNING TO HAVE A SEAT ON THE COMMISSION: Quali­fy­ing for the District 2 seat were pastor Cleveland Gar­rison and Dennis Williams, the president of the Augusta NAACP from 1988 to 1994.

District 4 candidates include Pastor Melvin Ivey, a close ally of Commissioner Marion Williams. If you like Wil­liams’ brand of politics, you’ll probably like Ivey’s.

Also seeking the seat are retired soldier Sammy Sias, who ran four years ago; Gwen­dolyn Watts, a college instructor; and Tomesenia Jackson.

In the District 6 race, candidates hoping to replace term-limited Commis­sioner Joe Jackson are Bob Finnegan, the chairman of the Richmond County Re­pub­lican Party; Roger Gar­vin, a former city public works employee who says he’s a “visionary”; and Tony Lewis, who ran for the seat in 2007.

Urban Pro Weekly publisher Ben Hasan also qualified for the District 6 seat. His opponents should remember the old adage, “Never get into an argument with anybody who buys ink by the barrel.” However, Hasan’s newspaper is small, so he only buys ink by the quart.

Pastor Angela C. Harden also qualified.

Augusta attorney Bran­don K. Dial is challenging District 10 Commissioner Grady Smith, a plumbing company owner.

The nature of politics being what it is, the question for District 10 residents becomes, “Do you want a lawyer or a plumber representing you?” We all know both of those professions deal with a lot of stinking things.

AND I WILL NOT ACCEPT … Former President Lyndon Johnson and former District 1 Commissioner Matt Aitken have a lot in common: big ears, big egos and both held news conferences to announce they weren’t going to seek election. In Johnson’s case, people actually cared.

HE’LL BE THE JUDGE: State Sen. Jesse Stone qualified to seek re-election to his 23rd Dis­trict seat last week. Friday, he wrote on his Face­­book page that after prayerful consideration and consulting with his family and supporters, he had decided to apply for the State Court judgeship of Burke County. The seat was vacated by the death of Judge Jerry Daniel.

Stone said rumors had circulated that he’d already applied for and had been offered the judgeship:

“Earlier this week, rumors had circulated that I had already applied for and had been offered this judgeship. Although I had been asked to run and had in fact been nominated and encouraged by others, the rumors were untrue and premature, and so I issued a press release confirming that I had qualified to run for re-election to the State Senate. I am still in the Senate race and do not intend to resign unless I am appointed interim State Court Judge.”

HEY YU: Eugene Yu, who switched from running for the U.S. Senate to running for the 12th Congressional District seat, might just be a good fit for Washington. Yu filed for bankruptcy in 2004, and the vehicles and parts at his business, Commercial & Military Systems Inc. on Mike Padgett Highway, were auctioned in 2007 as part of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation.

The proceeds were to pay debts to 70 creditors. Four of those creditors, Re­gions Bank, Sudimat CA, South­eastern Equipment Co. and the federal Small Busi­ness Administration, secured liens against CMS for $3.3 million.

In 2007, bankruptcy court trustee Edward Coleman III filed a federal lawsuit against Yu and his wife, Jonie, to recover $300,000 in property and money. Cole­man alleged that the Yus took money out of the business just before the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case was converted to Chapter 7.

Yu said Saturday that his company was contracted with the Venezuelan government and after a dispute with U.S. government, the Venezuelan government canceled the contract.

“At the time, we had a Venezuelan agent who forced me to pay his commission when the contract was cancelled,” Yu said. “He came to Richmond Coun­ty and sued me for millions of dollars and drove me into bankruptcy.

“I was clearly a victim of circumstances. It’s all in the public record. Anybody who wants to can go take a look at it.”

Comments (14) Add comment
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augusta817
75
Points
augusta817 03/08/14 - 09:46 pm
10
1
Add Links

Would it be possible to add links to this column so those of us who want more information could get it with a click? The links could be to candidate bios and past Chronicle stories. Since there is little or no breaking news here, I think a techy on staff could do this. Let's bring the paper up to 2014.

galaxygrl
1270
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galaxygrl 03/08/14 - 10:03 pm
9
1
Brilliant

Brilliant!

Connor Threlkeld
897
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Connor Threlkeld 03/08/14 - 10:31 pm
9
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Augusta817, enjoy!

Augusta817, enjoy!

dichotomy
34795
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dichotomy 03/08/14 - 11:51 pm
11
3
For the mayoral race I guess

For the mayoral race I guess if you eliminate blowhards, bloviators, liars, crooks, and questionables it don't take long to narrow it down to Helen Blocker-Adams or just leave it blank.

GnipGnop
12532
Points
GnipGnop 03/09/14 - 05:03 am
12
2
A lawyer, a plumber and a bunch of preachers

Walk into a commission meeting...sounds like the start of a good joke...unfortunately the joke is on the tax payers....

dickworth1
954
Points
dickworth1 03/09/14 - 05:48 am
12
4
Preachers
Unpublished

It seems to me that looking at the crime in our area, that if you are calling yourself a preacher, then you should be doing the Lord's work
full time and should be preacher from the Bible and not from the of your skin. Any preacher that supported Obama supported a candidate that praises gay people, encourages gay couples to challenge the laws
of the state, but most of all go against God's laws should not be called a preacher of God's word. Supporting the current administration which supports abortions and forces employers to pay for birth control thru obamacare is another issue and making false statements about your insurance coverage is another wrong from this administration, but you constantly hear from so called preachers that they are a man of the cloth, maybe so, God will deal with them at the chosen time, but we as electors must use common sense when voting. It is time to pick a candidate for the people and for the good of Augusta just remember the past years that some that running for local offices have allowed our taxes for trash pickup to double, now we find out that you are being billed an extra month's water this year, you are paying 13 month's water for 12 month period, we have come as far as the mayor's Masters reception being cancelled, no one wants a key to this city as it is at this time. This city will be another Detroit if spending keeps on and the local government assumes that splost is automatic, it is not and where the money is designated to go is not what this city needs.
I urge all voters to do your homework and vote for the one that will serve the community and sincerely cares about the citizens and the city.

Dixieman
16049
Points
Dixieman 03/09/14 - 06:16 am
11
3
The jobs nobody wants...

...will go to the people nobody wants to see in them.
What a bunch of loonies.
Please put a line marked "None of the Above" on the ballots this year!!! If not, I will have to write in Mickey Mouse or Dixieman again this year.

myfather15
55794
Points
myfather15 03/09/14 - 06:51 am
6
3
"Son of man, prophesy against

"Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD;"

" O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts."

"They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them:"

"Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness."

"Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD."

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;"

"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."

Just because someone has a title as a pastor, preacher, teacher, prophet, doesn't mean they should be trusted.

People have trusted MEN with such titles, for far to long!! Trust in the CREATOR, not in the creation!! Could this be exactly what's wrong with the Country?

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 03/09/14 - 08:36 am
7
4
HBA is set up in a good
Unpublished

HBA is set up in a good position, think about it.

seenitB4
91146
Points
seenitB4 03/09/14 - 09:04 am
3
5
Hardie Davis

My money is on him.

soapy_725
43817
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soapy_725 03/09/14 - 09:35 am
0
0
Amen and Amen!!!! myfather False profits all.
Unpublished

Amen and Amen!!!! myfather False profits all.

soapy_725
43817
Points
soapy_725 03/09/14 - 09:36 am
0
0
They use professed piety to cover their greed.
Unpublished

They use professed piety to cover their greed.

soapy_725
43817
Points
soapy_725 03/09/14 - 09:38 am
0
0
St Peter was worried about politics. Jesus said "feed my sheep"
Unpublished

St Peter was worried about politics. Jesus said "feed my sheep"

soapy_725
43817
Points
soapy_725 03/09/14 - 09:38 am
0
0
The federal government uses "reverneds" to control the masses.
Unpublished

The federal government uses "reverends" to control the masses.

soapy_725
43817
Points
soapy_725 03/09/14 - 09:39 am
0
0
The "reverends" are the buffers between slave and slave owner.
Unpublished

The "reverends" are the buffers between slave and slave owner.

itsanotherday1
45610
Points
itsanotherday1 03/09/14 - 09:41 am
6
2
Davis has the most money in

Davis has the most money in the kitty, so he does have the advantage. I think HBA would be more of a uniter than the rest.

Clemsondoc
172
Points
Clemsondoc 03/09/14 - 09:56 am
1
5
I don't know if preachers will help

Seems like a house cleaning at all levels and imported talent from more successful similar sized local cities might be an idea.

internationallyunknown
4515
Points
internationallyunknown 03/09/14 - 10:14 am
3
3
Truth be told

Hardie Davis has the face
Alvin has the backbone
Helen has the brown nose
Everyone else is a nobody.

TrulyWorried
15536
Points
TrulyWorried 03/09/14 - 11:05 am
6
1
Mayoral election

Let us pray - - - -

countyman
20730
Points
countyman 03/09/14 - 12:16 pm
4
4
Nothing to see here!!

The sky is always falling in Richmond County and the media will continue to make everything in Richmond County about race...

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 03/09/14 - 12:36 pm
0
0
What IS
Unpublished

the criteria required to become a "minister" in the black community?

Butterman
3690
Points
Butterman 03/09/14 - 01:07 pm
3
2
HBA
Unpublished

Ask her to give you a straight answer on anything.... you will be waiting till Kingdom come. She'll launch into some double talk about "positivity" and "hope happens" bs. If you've been happy with Deke's fence-sitting style of "leadership", then you'll love Helen. My money is on Mason or Davis. I prefer mason because he has a backbone and would be the exact opposite of Deke's spineless leadership. he also opposes SPLOST and wants so move commission meetings to the evening so the working people can attend.

willie7
1000
Points
willie7 03/09/14 - 04:06 pm
0
0
Sylvia I commend you for this
Unpublished

Sylvia I commend you for this article. You brought all the dirt out on all of the candidates---- fair and objective.

willie7
1000
Points
willie7 03/09/14 - 04:12 pm
0
0
My two cents are on
Unpublished

My two cents are on Davis.---He will work hard to unite the city and move forward with a lot of progress. He has some very good advisers!!

harley_52
24053
Points
harley_52 03/09/14 - 09:46 pm
3
0
Does It Really Make Much Difference?

....the Mayor is pretty much a toothless tiger, isn't he/she?

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