Sylvia Cooper

City Ink columnist and correspondent for The Augusta Chronicle.

Voters last hope for Blocker-Adams

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When the history of Augusta politics is written, one chapter will be about mayoral candidate Helen Blocker-Adams. And the title will be, “She Had One Foot in the Mayor’s Office and the Other on a Banana Peel, Then Somebody Liened On Her, and She Slipped Away.”

Who in the world – except for the people she stiffed on loans and leases - would have ever thought she was such an imposter? Billing herself as an entrepreneur and successful businesswoman, she had a lot of folks fooled until somebody dropped a packet of Aiken County court records on media doorsteps.

And that was just the beginning. Unable to talk her way out of the growing evidence of unpaid bills and a lapsed 501(c)3 license, she suspended her campaign. She has not, however, officially withdrawn from the race, which means the chapter about her in the political history of Augusta could be titled, “Her Political Boat Was Sinking in a Sea of Debt Until Voters Bailed Her Out.”

NOT YOUR USUAL BAG LADY: Yes, she had a lot of people fooled, but not everybody, especially those who wrote checks after she endorsed Deke Copenhaver over interim Mayor Willie Mays in 2005, according to an Augusta commissioner who was there.

After the endorsement, a group of “concerned” Au­gus­tans held a cocktail party and collected thousands of dollars and gave it to Blocker-Adams in a bag so she could pay off her campaign debt.

I asked the commissioner how he knew that, and he said, “I was there. I wrote a check. I’ve got the canceled check.”

THE HILLBILLY WHO WOULD BE BARON: This latest turn of events with Blocker-Adams brought to mind something that happened when I was in high school.

A man who purported to be a defector from the Hitler regime came to Tifton and made the civic club rounds speaking of his daring escape from Germany during the war and his adventures before coming to the United States.

He called himself something like Baron Von Fursten­burg and spoke with a thick German accent. I think he even spoke to us during a Tifton High assembly. He got engaged to English teacher Miss Greene, who roomed with math teacher Miss Hayes. He gave Miss Greene a diamond engagement ring. You could tell she was so proud of it.

Apparently Miss Hayes had had her eye on the baron, too, and after he gave Miss Greene the ring, the two teachers became enemies. They’d been living in the same apartment, but they got into a big fight and separated over the baron. We were giddy with gossip about it.

After all this celebrity and attention, The Tifton Gazette ran a front-page story that Von Furstenburg was an imposter. Not only was he not an escapee from Hitler’s regime, but he wasn’t even German. He was married with three or four children who were in North Carolina, and his accent came from an injury he’d received in a car accident.

I don’t know how he got exposed, but it might be that his wife was after him for child support or something.

Needless to say, it was a big shock to everybody, especially Miss Greene.

SOMETIMES IT SEEMS THERE COULD BE NO MORE SURPRISES. AND THEN …: After all the sturm and drang over getting the Ur­ban Redevelopment Agency board to approve issuing $28.5 million in revenue bonds to finance Marble Pal­ace renovations by May 20 or face having the project shut down, it turns out three of the five members are ineligible to serve on the board, so the board’s action is null and void and there will have to be a do-over with three new members.

Board Chairman Henry Ingram, Universal Plumbing owner Larry Jones and Augusta Technical College President Terry Elam must be replaced because they serve on other boards. City code states that a person can sit on only one board or authority at a time, a rule that escaped almost everybody’s attention.

During several meetings and long discussions among special city counsel Jim Plunkett, city finance officials and the board, they were warned that time was of the essence because they were “dangerously close” to running out of money.

But the board didn’t want to issue the bonds until they were assured that Augusta commissioners were aware that if SPLOST 7 didn’t pass, the $2.9 million annual bond debt would be paid with property taxes. So it took another painfully long meeting for the board to be assured that the commission knew what it was doing, which is never a sure bet.

Plunkett said officials were proceeding to issue the bonds when City Clerk Lena Bonner alerted them about the ineligible board members.

“I’m glad Lena raised the issue before we issued the bonds,” he said. “We’ve just postponed everything.”

The mayor will nominate three new members next week for commission approval.

EIGHT IS ENOUGH: There were two things I wanted to tell you about last week but didn’t have space. Now I can’t remember but one of them.

It was about something that happened at the AMBUCS mayoral forum luncheon. They served thick slices of pork loin, which I noticed most folks at our table didn’t eat. I thought it was a shame to throw it away when there were so many starving dogs in the world, so I asked the folks nearest me whether they minded if I wrapped their leftover meat in a napkin and took it home to my dogs (even though they are far from being starving).

We were rounding up the meat when club president Janice Dixon began making final remarks. I was so preoccupied with the pork that I wasn’t listening until I heard her say my name, so I apologized and confessed that I was taking the meat. Everybody laughed and began donating their pork; then somebody asked how many dogs I had, and I said, eight. “We did have nine, but we lost Little Lucky in March.”

He was 14 and crippled. Some cretin had dropped him by the road during a rainstorm, and I found him crying and muddy under the bushes by the back door. He was so little I bathed him in the bathroom sink. Sometimes I called him Little Moses. So that’s an example of why we have so many dogs.

When I’m in the pet store, and the clerk asks what kind of dog I have, I say, “Every kind there is.”

OUT ON A LIMB, PART 2: Last April, I told you about how I tried to get a snake out of a cedar tree and save a bird’s nest but failed because the only way I could reach him with a long pole was to stand directly underneath the branch, in which case he might fall on my head, and I would immediately have a stroke and die on the spot. So it came down to me or the bird’s nest. And after mulling it over a few seconds, I made the obvious choice and went into the house and had a drink.

Well, guess what? He was back Friday. Same tree. Same snake. The only difference is that this time Ernie was at home. So I started screaming, and he came running and got a shotgun and shot the snake’s head off while I watched. Then, something fell on my head, and I got hysterical until I saw it was a piece of pine straw and not a snake. Still, my nerves were shot. So I went into the house and had a drink.

Comments (23) Add comment
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Dixieman
14425
Points
Dixieman 05/17/14 - 07:12 pm
6
3
HBA could yet win

Her name is still on the ballot.
Perhaps her middle name should be "Machiavelli"!
Stay tuned, folks...it is only going to get more and more interesting between now and late Tuesday night!

dichotomy
32136
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dichotomy 05/17/14 - 08:53 pm
14
3
"it turns out three of the

"it turns out three of the five members are ineligible to serve on the board, so the board’s action is null and void "

This slipshod backwater government is so incompetent they couldn't get a quickie in a whorehouse with a $100 dollar bill.

So what other decisions has this illegal board made that need to be reversed?

Paaaaathetic.

Riverman1
82436
Points
Riverman1 05/17/14 - 08:57 pm
8
4
Snake In The Tree

If HBA wins and make no mistake she's still trying, I'll go in the house and have a drink. Months a go I started asking questions about the "entrepreneur-author."

triscuit
2995
Points
triscuit 05/17/14 - 09:09 pm
6
2
Man, I'd love to see that

Man, I'd love to see that list of "concerned citizens." Basically rewarded her for her endorsement. Who's the criminal here? I guarantee they are all backing Hardie DAvis now.

Riverman1
82436
Points
Riverman1 05/17/14 - 10:09 pm
6
3
Rents Too High Party

Remember that guy who ran for mayor in New York City under the Rents Too "Blank" High Party? HBA should run under that party's name.

TrulyWorried
13541
Points
TrulyWorried 05/17/14 - 10:25 pm
4
1
Attention -

Calling Rick McKee - be on stand by - this will be a busy time for you. Hope you will be considered for a bonus!!

internationallyunknown
4052
Points
internationallyunknown 05/18/14 - 12:40 am
1
4
Want

more of the same...elect Hardie or HBA.

May the best person win...for the sake of the citizens...

Both HBA and Hardie have ties to the same network of people...

corgimom
31466
Points
corgimom 05/18/14 - 06:31 am
3
3
Dichotomy, don't forget who

Dichotomy, don't forget who nominated them- that would be Deke!

avidreader
3128
Points
avidreader 05/18/14 - 08:12 am
5
1
Entertaining!

"So I went into the house and had a drink."

Sylvia, you're my kind of woman!!

seenitB4
85748
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seenitB4 05/18/14 - 09:26 am
3
2
Sylvia you are funnie!

"Then Somebody Liened On Her, and She Slipped Away.”

That is my way of dealing with crap too--Go in the house & have a drink--works everytime!

Darby
25096
Points
Darby 05/18/14 - 09:55 am
3
0
"Perhaps her middle name should be "Machiavelli"!

No, tell you what.... If she wins this one, I'll chip in to buy her car a vanity plate.

The name?

Phoenix

bullbatt
24
Points
bullbatt 05/18/14 - 11:39 am
0
0
HBA
Unpublished

Hellen Blocker-Adams; stands up and tells us that she has not done anymore than what 90% of the population has done?? Essentially calling 90% of us deadbeats!!! if you Richmond county voters can elect some one for mayor that calls you all "Deadbeats", then i can,again, say it was a GREAT day when i left Richmond county , Columbia county with all its faults and issues is much better than any day in Richmond county with its clowns that attempt to get elected for a paycheck in place of making it a better place. You elect a DEADBEAT for mayor, you deserve what you get. Another reason to avoid avoid that part of the CSRA,

Conservative Man
5448
Points
Conservative Man 05/18/14 - 11:42 am
2
0
HBA is toast..period.

The majority of voters haven't even cast their ballots yet, so to think she will get 2%-5% more than what she has now is being generous..

Agree with the commenter who said she and Hardie are tied to the same network of people..Hardie and Helen have always been interchangeable in my book..Hardie will also be a continuation of the "House of Copenhaver"..just with a darker face at the helm..Lets hope the electorate is smart enough to realize this and vote for a real change...

One other tidbit, to think about.. few weeks a go, someone close to an official at the Marble Palace told me "the fix is in, Hardie will win with 52% of the vote"...I was kinda taken aback because the number was so specific.
So lets watch and see what the tally turns out to be...if what this person said is true, it would mean more than "last minute revelations" are in play here..MUCH more.

badmoon426
1086
Points
badmoon426 05/18/14 - 11:52 am
2
0
Conservative Man...

...I agree the 'fix is in'. I guess the 52% tally is to try and make it more realistic than Deke Copenhaver's 'fix is in' final vote percentages in past elections.

Moving Augusta Forward.

Riverman1
82436
Points
Riverman1 05/18/14 - 02:30 pm
1
1
Baron Von Furstenburg

I don’t agree with any of this conspiracy, fixed election conjecture. She had 40 cases of legal action taken against her for not paying her rent over about 6 years. Plus she had the bad debts from North Augusta. How can all that not come out? The guy who sent the delinquent rent information went on the radio and gave his reasons. The Chronicle had to follow-up once that info was made public and withdraw their endorsement.

Just like the poll showed BEFORE all this, Davis has a huge lead. It’s likely he will do far better than 52% (the number mentioned above).

The only question I have is the effect this will have on those who were going to vote for HBA. As evidenced by these comments, some sort of reverse psychology may be at work that will give her even more votes. She knows that and is staying in the race because of it (and other reasons). The only frauds in this column were Baron Von Furstenburg and HBA.

Sweet son
10104
Points
Sweet son 05/18/14 - 01:28 pm
5
1
Blocker-Adams being the con-woman that she is might be

smarter than we all think. She might even be using her mismanagement of money and all of the publicity to further her cause. She may be thinking that notereiety might just bring the votes she needs. Look at Obama, he was reelected by the dumb/dem/liberals after 4 years of mismanagement and flaunting the law

Just thinking she might be onto something by not withdrawing from the election.

gargoyle
16263
Points
gargoyle 05/18/14 - 01:48 pm
0
0
The king makers and power

The king makers and power brokers in Augusta are in full spin cycle over explaining HBA 's finances. No one has a clue how or why funds vaporize without a trail. There will be spell binding story under the hood but we will only get the Disney safe for family version .

Lori Davis
905
Points
Lori Davis 05/18/14 - 02:33 pm
5
0
For the record...

…I do not believe there was a "conspiracy" against Ms. Blocker-Adams..what happened to her was a direct result of mismanagement of her personal finances…I DO however believe that vote rigging and election fraud is common practice in Augusta…and has been for years..

I also believe the poll was bogus…the polling model used by the company is untried and unproven to give accurate results…given who commissioned the poll the results are (to me ) suspect….

But no matter…come Tuesday night all of our words will be but vapor in the mist..and Augusta will either have a Mayor who will be more of the same failed policies of the last eight years or someone who will change the direction of this city for the better..We will either defeat the bloated, unnecessary TAX called SPLOST VII or it will be retained giving the ruling elites in Augusta an even bigger trough of money to put their collective snouts into, to the detriment of the rank and file citizen…

Vote wisely on May 20th…Alvin Mason for Mayor…No to SPLOST VII..

edcushman
7930
Points
edcushman 05/18/14 - 02:44 pm
5
0
' I DO however believe that
Unpublished

' I DO however believe that vote rigging and election fraud is common practice in Augusta…and has been for years.."
Ms. Davis, I agree. The left has been doing it for years all over the country. The end justifies the means.

triscuit
2995
Points
triscuit 05/18/14 - 02:54 pm
0
0
Who all was invited to the

Who all was invited to the "cocktail/bag" party for HBA I in 2005? Anyone running for an office or sitting on the commission now?

Riverman1
82436
Points
Riverman1 05/18/14 - 02:57 pm
3
0
Alvin Mason Would Be Great

Well, for my personal record, I believe Alvin Mason would make an excellent mayor. He has matured as a Commissioner. In this campaign he's said the things I agree with. The only misstep he's made is allowing the Marion Williams support to become widely known although I understand he probably had to court Williams to get some of the black vote where Davis has such strength. I believe Davis will win it all in the primary, but if Mason should somehow win this thing, Augusta would be in good hands. Not in the hands of the "Boys."

Little Lamb
45360
Points
Little Lamb 05/18/14 - 04:28 pm
2
0
Mason

Mason's my man.

rmwhitley
5542
Points
rmwhitley 05/18/14 - 06:52 pm
0
0
Unfortunately,
Unpublished

character and honesty are not issues within the majority of the black communities. A few examples: marion berry, charlie rangel, jesse jackson jr., adam clayton powell, eric holder, obama, the former mayors of Charlotte, Trenton,N.J., bill campbell, harold ford, et al.

Truth Matters
6633
Points
Truth Matters 05/18/14 - 07:08 pm
1
0
@Little Lamb--4:28

@Little Lamb--4:28 PM
"Mason's my man."

Glad to finally see that I can agree with you on something.
Thumbs up!

peace4784
115
Points
peace4784 05/18/14 - 07:24 pm
0
0
The good old money boys are
Unpublished

The good old money boys are afraid of Helen. Thats why they started this last minute smear campaign. Helen should stay in the race to make them sweat. Let the voters decide. Its the voters vote to do with what they want. The good old boys do not want a female mayor. Helen got too close for their comfort. They could not buy HBA. They want a man puppet. Pastors and commissioners are for sale.

triscuit
2995
Points
triscuit 05/18/14 - 09:59 pm
0
0
Interesting headline...

"Voters last hope for Helen Blocker-Adams"

Actually voters are the last hope for ALL of the candidates.

Bizkit
30803
Points
Bizkit 05/19/14 - 09:31 am
0
0
Well obviously not paying

Well obviously not paying your bills, lying, cheating, stealing, extortion doesn't mean a thing to the black community-hence Ed McIntyre almost won the 2002 Mayoral race after getting out of prison. I think this maybe an issue with the white community but history has a precedence of overlooking criminal activity in the black community.

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