All politicians complain about "dirty politics."
Georgia's Sierra Club is complaining about "dirty" politicians.
The environmentalist group last week announced its "Dirty Dozen" list of lawmakers it says "have gone at least one extra mile to make our state a little worse for all of us," with actions that harm or fail to protect the state's natural environment.
The only local lawmaker making the list is state Sen. Joey Brush, about whom the Sierra Club says: "Brush ... has opposition and is quite likely to be defeated. Brush has distinguished himself by engaging in extremely unbecoming attacks on the state's wonderful Garden Club ladies from the floor of the state Senate, not an endearing behavior.
"Brush is another developer, or at least his family is in the construction business -- it is not entirely plain what precise role Sen. Brush plays in the family firm. He has been quoted as promising local homebuilders that he will eliminate regulations of stream buffers and soil erosion; this is dangerous and loose talk which needs to be eliminated."
Take it all with a grain of salt. Environmentalists and builders just generally don't get along. But at least those who disagree with Georgia's Sierra Club can't claim the group is unfairly partisan: The "Dirty Dozen" hits six Democrats, six Republicans.
An interesting aside: Sam Booher of Martinez is vice chairman of administration for the Georgia Chapter, having served last year as state chairman. He once ran against Brush's Republican Primary opponent, Jim Whitehead, when Whitehead was running for Columbia County commissioner.
'Loafing' strikes again
Speaking of Joey Brush, a February piece in Atlanta's Creative Loafing newspaper still is a big undercurrent in his re-election campaign. It put into print long-swirling allegations that Brush led a swinger's lifestyle in Atlanta while portraying himself as pious back home.
Brush's defense mostly centered on attacking the tabloid as liberally biased; he said the paper targeted him because he disagrees with their push for homosexual "marriage" rights.
The paper's latest local target, however, is no conservative. Creative Loafing brands Charles Walker as its "Scalawag of the Week."
In last week's edition, Walker is raked over the coals for his well-documented (and heavily fined) ethical lapses, and for predictably responding to the 142-count federal indictment against him as "politically motivated" and racist. But voters probably won't re-elect Walker to the seat he lost two years ago, the paper predicts.
"We're confident that, after tossing Walker once already, Augusta realizes it deserves better." Gee, they don't know Augusta very well, do they?
Roy Barnes, by the way, told Atlanta reporters that he thinks Walker's indictment was timed to occur the day before the ex-governor spoke at Walker's Augusta rally.
Hunka burnin' politics
Atlanta (I spent the weekend there; can you tell?) also is buzzing over a candidate for Fulton County Superior Court judge, Tom Ford, who took off his shirt while parading in last week's homosexual hoedown, the Atlanta Pride Celebration.
Creative Loafing ran a photo of muscular Ford, standing in a car driven by a shirtless man. The Atlanta Constitution's Political Insider column quotes an Atlanta homosexual newspaper as reporting that Ford "elicited quite a reaction from gay men along the route."
Ford's campaign adviser? None other than Phil Kent, the conservative former editorial page editor of The Augusta Chronicle, now working in Atlanta as a political consultant. Uncomfortably for Kent, he is one of many campaign strategists using opposition to "gay marriage" in races against incumbent judges.
"I told him to go out and get votes, but this is ridiculous," Kent told the AJC.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to email@example.com.)
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