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District 12 race is starting to heat up

Posted: May 15, 2012 - 11:01pm

If you’re at all an observer of election politics, you know there’s a tension between political camps where everyone waits to see who’ll stumble first.

The “gotcha” factor has been getting worse in recent years. Our ability to ferret out things from candidates’ distant pasts has improved as old newspaper archives have become available electronically. Social media have allowed instant distribution of every gaffe, and the 24-hour cable news cycle turns every anthill into Mount Everest.

Thus, we see things like the asinine dustup last week over an allegation that, nearly 50 years ago, a young Mitt Romney might have been mean to a gay classmate.

Stop. The. Presses.

Seriously: Barack Obama can sit in church as an adult for 20 years listening to a raving racist and claim not to notice, but we’re supposed to get worked up because Mitt Romney had bad manners when he was a teen?

Anyone who points out a stumble gets attacked, of course. We would probably faint from shock if a candidate ever admitted making an error without pointing fingers at everyone else.

Whatever the case, the stumbling phase first appeared in the District 12 U.S. congressional race a few months ago.

In January, during a forum between the four Republican congressional candidates in Statesboro, Lee Anderson was asked about the Federal Reserve. He launched into a response that, to be charitable, indicated he was confused.

Anderson talked about “federal reserves” as if the federal government has a budget surplus. Naturally, the other candidates responded with their own less-confused opinions on the Federal Reserve.

After his opponents helped a painful video of the exchange make the rounds, Anderson’s camp responded not by admitting he’d erred in his response, but by accusing the other candidates of attacking him.

Then, last week, Rick Allen filed an ethics complaint against Wright McLeod, contending McLeod’s campaign had illegally mined data from Allen’s financial disclosures and used it for fundraising purposes. They also said McLeod had failed to properly account for some of his expenditures, including rent and staffing.

McLeod’s campaign responded by claiming he was being attacked for frugality. The press release didn’t mention the data-mining allegation.

All this certainly will provide fodder for the candidates as they get set for an upcoming debate planned for Columbia County.

The Columbia County Republican Party and the Greater Columbia County Republican Women last week announced that they’re planning to hold a debate between the four Republican congressional candidates at 10 a.m. June 30 at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center.

Should be fun, if you’re into that sort of thing.

(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. Email barry.paschal@newstimes online.com, or call 706-863-6165, extension 106. Follow at twitter.com/

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Comments (10)

Little Lamb


Congress has passed so many laws that we cannot keep up with them all. Each one of us has broken some of those laws. So it is entirely possible that Wright McLeod violated the law when he used Rick W. Allen's required federal candidate filing document as a source to attempt to raise funds. But would such a law make any sense? Not to me. The filing documents are public records.

Still, I'm voting for Rick W. Allen whether McLeod violated the law or not.

Local Interests

Bad manners?????

Paschal, you completely blew it on this one.

The "Our Opinion" column very accurately points out the senior prank committed by the Greenbrier girls went well beyond the definition of a prank and deserves to be treated more harshly.

However, you then switch to partisan politics in suggesting that Romney's physical assault of a fellow student should be just passed off as "bad manners". I'm pretty sure that if you could find a case in Obama's past where he attacked a classmate with a pair scissors, you would call it more than "bad manners".

You then go on to suggest that Obama committed at least as serious of a crime by going to church where the preacher occasionally took radical positions. If that is a crime, every Baptist in Georgia should be thrown in jail.

Romney's assault, if occuring today, would be considered a hate crime because he committed it against someone he thought was homosexual.

We all knew bullies back in school, and I doubt we thought any of them were presidential material.

Little Lamb


We don't know whether Barak Obama was a bully in his school days because he had all the records sealed. But we certainly have witnessed Barak Obama's bullying behavior since becoming president. It isn't pretty. It is the thuggish behavior common in Chicago politics. It includes smearing your opponent (e.g., the haircut in prep school) instead of running on your record.


Check the Indonesian School Records

If we want to find out about the behavior of Obama in school we would have to find a way to view his school records in Indonesia where all students were required to be Muslim.

Local Interests

Smoke but no fire

You guys sure are trying hard to blow smoke up where smoke doesn't belong. Problem is, there's no fire.

Gang leader, thug, , assault, hate crime. That's a real fire.

Little Lamb


In that debate to be run by the Columbia County republicans, do you think they might give a copy of the questions to Lee Anderson ahead of time, so he can look up the words to know what they mean?


let him who is without ethics throw the first stone

How do we know that Obama was in church to make deals with developers and politicians and therefore was oblivious to the sermons from the pulpit. It happens. Right here in Mayberry.



Brutal at best. Once he is in office he can hire a "media rep" to create and articulate his views. But only at re-election time or when he decides he would rather have that other political job that he agreed not to pursue for the term of his office.


Anderson in Congress Could Be Fun

Honestly, I'm torn between McLeod because I believe he is the best qualified and Anderson because he would be a hoot in Congress and keep our district in the national news all the time. He could even top Paul Broun with his "pledge of allegiance without pausing" type statements.

If Lee Anderson wins, Sheriff Whittle and the rest of Lee's insiders will have the last laugh. I can imagine that party now.


12th District

I have been following the accusations leveled by Rick Allen against Wright McLeod. I think the Federal Elections Commission should make decisions about the legality of the mailing lists. I get all kinds of mail from candidates and special interests that I did not solicit and in some cases would never support. These are generated from mailing lists shared by parties interested in contacting as many people as possible. Singling one or two letters out from thousands as "stealing" from another candidate seems more of a coincidence than fraud. Mr. Allen's signs say he is not a politician, but this seems like a political move to me.