Word is that Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross has been told by state Sen. Joey Brush, R-Appling, and state Reps. Ben Harbin, R-Evans, and Barry Fleming, R-Harlem, as well as U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Evans, that Cross will cooperate in the ousting of Republican Party Chairman Alvin Starks or face a single term, marked by no financial support from either the state or federal level.
Cross achieved success largely because of the efforts by Starks, who defused an attempt by Andy Kingery to mislead voters. The Kingery mess was the effort of Harold Mays, former Republican chairman in the early 90s, and his sidekick, former county commissioner U.H. Pittman. Of course, if Cross buys into this offer by these folks, he will have sold his soul and at the same time fall out of favor with many of the party faithful.
So, why would Norwood, Harbin, Brush and Fleming want to be rid of Starks, the only black conservative Republican chairman in Georgia? And why would Cross even consider participating with a group who didnt even want him elected to begin with?
Several things are in play. Norwoods lust for control is like that of Charles Walker, the former state senator who had his hand in everything. Starks doesnt play that game, and now Norwood has an ax to grind. ...
Next, Harbin, Brush and Fleming dont want to be held accountable for their votes and behavior in the Legislature. Starks believes in the Republican Party platform they campaigned on, and thinks they should follow through on their campaign promises.
Mays is trying to recover from his many political failures and meddling in politics. Mays and Pittman are a vindictive duo out to settle old political grudges without regard for anything or anyone except themselves. And Cross? Well, he is just a neophyte in search of a place at the political table.
The Columbia County Republican Party is in a state of total disarray. Norwood, Harbin, Brush, Fleming and Cross need to change their ways or they will be shown the exit. Voters dont like politicians who lack integrity and moral courage, and have the perception of being racist.
Richard J. Killien
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