Say what you want about the partisan political battles we see in Washington, D.C., but there are few things that compare with the “family hate” on display when interparty power struggles pit Democrat against Democrat and Republican against Republican.
We are seeing that kind of animosity in spades in Richmond and Columbia counties this season … so much so that you have to wonder whether we are going to get out of all these battles without blood drawn.
In Richmond County, while there are technically few party primaries that are creating heat, the two lifelong Democrats vying for state court judge have folks in each camp beside themselves. Monique Walker is hoping to unseat the appointed Bo Hunter, one of the last of the dying breed of Southern white male Democrats you can find in office in this area. While the position is nonpartisan, Hunter is trying to remind everyone of his political pedigree, and the establishment legal community is quietly pushing him as hard as they can.
To say that it would be an embarrassment to have Ms. Walker, who barely escaped Federal prison in the case that sent her Dad (former State Senator Charles Walker) to the pokey for almost a decade, win a Judgeship, would be the understatement of the year. She was clobbered by Ed McIntyre’s daughter in law in the race for solicitor a few years back, but in a contest against an old white guy in Augusta, Ga., in 2018, it is hard to see her losing.
When it comes to the mayor’s race, incumbent Hardie Davis is doing all he can to embrace the beauty, splendor and magnificence of South Augusta, while riding the wave of enthusiasm for his Regency Mall arena relocation scheme. Many believe it to be the only reason he remains a favorite to retain his seemingly powerless (but well-paid) position atop the Augusta government. For those who were counting out Gould Hagler III as the long shot dark horse (ironic, huh?) in this contest, don’t look now, but two different polls show the race in a dead heat. Hey, in the Trump Political Era, anything is possible!
I guess we can also toss in the acrimony, accusations and distrust that abounds in the ranks of the local Richmond County Democratic Party, where longtime chairman Dr. Lowell Greenbaum has been moved into an “emeritus” position, while the rest of the party leadership are going at each other’s throats. Restraining orders, arrests and armed police guards are now par for the course at the meetings, and as much as I try to keep up with all the soap opera drama being generated by the personalities at war, it is like watching The Three Stooges doing battle with The Marx Brothers. No idea who is going to win, but the losers will likely be taken away by the Keystone Cops.
While tempers flare in Augusta-Richmond County in certain contests, there is no comparison to the white-hot-hate we see in Columbia County Republican showdowns this year. The main lightning rod, for good or for ill, seems to be Pam Tucker. You either love her (for chairwoman) or you don’t. If you don’t, those who do are more than happy to relegate you, your children, your mother, and all your family pets, to the deepest, darkest pit in Hell.
Anyone who doesn’t support Tucker’s self-made, grassroots campaign is accused of being a “crooked, bought-off, stuck-up, money-grubbing, country clubber who hates women.”
Pam even accused me, a lifelong friend and supporter of hers, of endorsing her opponent because she “doesn’t have the keys to the country club.”
If she had said Monkeemobile, Heinz Field, or the Starship Enterprise, she may have been onto something … but “keys to the country club?” ME?
No, it has nothing to do with anything Doug has done, or can do, for ME PERSONALLY. It has everything to do with the life in politics he has led since working with Otis Hensley, Lillian Johnson and Mike Eubanks in 1988 to defeat the lifelong Democrats who were screwing up life and government in Columbia County. Doug was a conservative Republican before it was fashionable to be one, and he has worked long and hard for GOP causes and candidates both at the forefront of politics, and behind the scenes.
Pam got in this race because she believes she was done wrong by county administrator Scott Johnson. Rather than stay in place as Georgia’s best EMA director and fight that good fight, which I begged her to do, she quit.
As a result, my family and my county has been less safe than it should have and could have been under her EMA leadership. Nothing against the current EMA director, but it will take years of experience until he is, what Pam was.
In the meantime, if Pam got to work doing all that Doug Duncan has done to prepare him for the chairmanship of Columbia County, it would take her quite a while to catch up as well. Doug’s knowledge of the state GOP leadership, which is firmly in control of Georgia and will be for some time, is second to none. There is no way Pam can re-create what 35 years of political groundwork has done for Doug Duncan. Certainly not anytime soon.
I did not “change course” on Pam, she “changed course” on me. Doug in the meantime, is right on schedule, and is primed to take Columbia County to the next level.
Pam’s political naiveté was never on better display than her recent endorsements of fellow candidates Hafeez Chaudhry (District 1) and Lee Muns (District 3). While I understand that she wants and needs two more votes to accomplish any changes she wants to make in county government, taking these two gentlemen aboard her bus was not a wise move.
Mr. Chaudhry’s campaign Facebook page recently referred to his opponent Connie Melear as a “lightweight” and “immature.” I cannot “LOL” enough at such ridiculous statements. Mrs. Melear comes to the ballot as the most seriously educated, professionally accomplished and successful businesswoman ever to offer for office in Columbia County. Bar none.
Disagree with her politics, question her ambitions, ponder her motives… all legitimate political strategies. But for Chaudhry to describe her as an “immature lightweight,” well, my two-word reply to that was to call him a “colossal dumbass.” Case closed.
Then to Lee Muns, whose financial and business difficulties were reported in the Augusta Chronicle this week. While it would seem Lee does have bigger problems to handle, much more important than voluntary political entanglements, those legitimate concerns pale when compared to the hideous personal conflicts of interest a victory would guarantee him from day one.
Lee is married to the ex-wife of Columbia County administrator Scott Johnson. Yep, the same guy Pam Tucker has promised to “run off.” I understand the complexities of dealing with an ex-wife and her new husband. I was comparatively lucky in that department, but even I wouldn’t push my luck by voluntarily running for a position that would put me in direct supervision of the man. But, hey… Lee says, “hold my beer,” prompting his new nickname, “Colossal Dumbass Jr.”
If everyone in this “new age” Brady Bunch/Addams Family saga got along, that would be one thing, but these folks all can’t stand each other. The adults don’t speak, the grown children involved are at odds, and in the midst of it all, Lee decides he is going to run for a supervisory position over his wife’s ex. I would write all this up in a script and send it to Hollywood, but no one would believe it; it’s just too damn stupid. As long as Lee’s wife’s ex-husband is the administrator of Columbia County, he has no business at all running for the commission. NONE.
All the above animus, all the knives, all the nasty remarks, strictly within the confines of the Republican Party.
With friends like those, who needs enemas?