Originally created 10/25/02

Burns ad gets pulled



Republican 12th Congressional District candidate Max Burns' campaign has pulled a radio ad alleging that Democratic foe Charles Walker Jr.'s company charged Georgia prison inmates $10 a minute for phone calls, and a campaign spokesman acknowledged an error in the cost.

"Further research has shown that amount to be a $4.99 surcharge, plus 89 cents per minute," spokesman Chris Ingram said Thursday, a day after Mr. Walker threatened legal action against Mr. Burns.

The Burns camp, however, stands by its concerns over Mr. Walker's company's role with the bankrupt MCI Worldcom to "gouge the families of Georgia prison inmates with exorbitant telephone charges," Mr. Ingram said.

"A five-minute phone call would cost nearly $10," he said. "We take responsibility for the error but stand by our assertion this is an exorbitant amount of money for a phone call in a day when prepaid cards can be purchased at your local 7-Eleven."

Mr. Walker's attorney contends the Burns camp has compounded the damage against his client by issuing subsequent statements from spokeswoman Ann Forbes and by not running retractions.

"If such a retraction is not forthcoming, Mr. Walker Jr. will seek to enforce all of his rights available under the law," attorney G. Scott Rafshoon stated Thursday in a letter to Mr. Burns.

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or sylviaco@augustachronicle.com.