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Welcoming 'them' here

Posted: August 26, 2012 - 12:03am  |  Updated: August 27, 2012 - 11:22am

Just what we need: An intense sheriff’s race in Augusta between a black Democrat and a white Republican, and a race between a black Democratic president and a white Republican challenger.

After the results Tuesday night set up that scenario, the jokes started flying – though all of them carried a serious, cautionary undertone.

“Anyone need an agent to put their Augusta house on the market?” asked one Realtor – who added, “Never mind; who’d buy it?”

One official wisecracked that we can expect a 10 percent hike in Columbia County’s property value next year as residents flee across the border.

The jokes turned serious the next day. Within a few hours, I’m told, nearly three dozen Richmond County Sheriff’s Office employees – including ranking officers – inquired about jobs in Columbia County.

Republicans have high hopes for the possible election of Freddie Sanders as Richmond County sheriff. Democrats have more realistic reasons for optimism because they have more voters, and President Obama is on their ticket.

The prospect is disconcerting. Scott Peebles, who ran as a Democrat out of necessity or perceived expediency rather than conviction (even though he claimed otherwise, to which everyone says “baloney”), was far and away the best, most-qualified candidate for Richmond County sheriff. No one can make a rational claim otherwise.

Yet Richard Roundtree beat him in the runoff, for two reasons that had nothing to do with law enforcement credentials: One, because Peebles’ supporters pushed such an air of inevitability that his voters didn’t bother to go back to the polls (see also: Whitehead vs. Broun, 2007); and two, because Roundtree’s ethnicity trumped all qualifications.

It’s an absolute, iron-clad certainty that Roundtree’s supporters would deny it, perhaps even to themselves, but that’s just the reality. Richmond County’s majority of black voters will vote in November for Roundtree because he is black and because he is a Democrat, sort of in that order. While there, they will vote for Obama because he’s black and because he is a Democrat.

Wait; did I just use the term “they”? Am I being “insensitive”? If so, that’s OK; I got it from Roundtree, in his comment after the election:

“I think the citizens of Augusta responded and said we’re not going to let them dictate our destiny,” Roundtree said.

“Them”? Really? Who’s “them”?

We’ll know soon enough, because many of “them” could be our new neighbors here in Columbia County. “They” might not leave the country if Obama is re-elected, but don’t be surprised if many of “them” quietly exit Richmond County now that a well-qualified cop has lost the election to a glorified community organizer who happens to be the right color.

As the bumper-sticker says: “Will the last person out of Augusta please turn off the lights?”

 

(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/
barrypaschal.)

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Comments (8)

Riverman1

Why Peebles Lost

1. Running as a Democrat and bragging about past support of Obama
2. Not reeling in the criticism of Ronnie Strength for not endorsing him
3. Allowing an unpopular radio host to rave about him constantly
4. Allowing the Waynesboro Group to endorse him even though they couldn't legally
5. Having Joe Jackson contribute a thousand dollars to his campaign...wink
6. Having it pretty well known Lewis Blanchard would be hired to some high ranking position. Who knows what Sam Nicholson wanted, but I know HIS connections.
7. Pandering at the NAACP forums as opposed to Freddie Sanders
8. Trying to buy black votes with fried chicken
9. Ticking off Riverman

Doug Duncan

Shameless Plug

To prevent a further slide into the abyss Ashley Wright must be reelected as our District Attorney.

Riverman1

I Wouldn't Hire Them

"Within a few hours, I’m told, nearly three dozen Richmond County Sheriff’s Office employees – including ranking officers – inquired about jobs in Columbia County."

The way I saw many Peebles supporters acting online, slamming the sitting Sheriff and his wife and in some cases using their own names, on things like Monday Night Mayhem, I wouldn't hire them. They have no loyalty or respect.

Clay Whittle already had to put up with Peebles supporter Lewis Blanchard and his campaign tactics one time. Let them go to McDuffie County where they apparently have friends.

afadel

Is Roundtree that bad?

Living in Columbia County, I did not pay attention to Roundtree v Peebles. Let's assume Peebles was a better candidate and a better sherriff. Is Roundtree so bad that good police officers in Richmond County should resign and look for work elsewhere? How do we know that the people who want to work in Columbia County are good police officers? Every change in administration will result in some personal conflicts, and that's understandable, but why would real estate values go down?

Sweet son

@Barry: Great Article

Sad but so true! Just wish voters would think about what they are doing when voting for one who has done a terrible job for four years and another who has already had opportunities in the Sheriff's Dept. and messed them up.

Riverman1

Austin said today only two

Austin said today only two RCSO officers have contacted the CCSO. Who knows?

Barry Paschal

Actually, Austin said two had APPLIED

Austin said two RCSO cops had actually APPLIED for jobs with CCSO (responding to an allegation that 53 had submitted applications). Austin then said there had been far more inquiries. That matches my information that nearly three dozen (the actual number, as of that Wednesday afternoon, was 32) "had inquired about jobs."

I rarely am able to listen to Austin, but happened to be in the car today to hear his comments.

Riverman1

Okay

Thanks for the clarification. So only two have applied. I guess they identified themselves as RCSO personnel when making inquiries? I wonder how many inquiries CCSO gets in an ordinary year? About listening to Austin, I must admit I still do. It's like watching MSNBC most of the time though.

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