As former Columbia County commissioners, it has been our desire to avoid public statements about the Republican primary campaign for Senate District 24. ... It is with reluctance that we have now decided to break our silence. It is simply unacceptable to allow the absolute distortions of a TV ad and a flier mailed by the Brush campaign to stand without comment.
Jim Whitehead has been depicted as having a political relationship with the indicted former state Sen. Charles Walker because his tire business has a state contract. The truth is Whitehead's supplier obtained a state contract through the bid process with the state purchasing office. The price is set by the contract and Whitehead supplies tires under the contract. The ad uses data that is from a period after White-head left office. There is no conflict of interest in this business arrangement. There is no business or personal relationship with Walker. This is an interesting allegation coming from someone who had Robin Williams as an Atlanta roommate.
The flier paints Jim Whitehead as a tax-and-spend liberal. Nothing is further from the truth. The facts are that when the Democratic Party was in control, the Legislature passed a requirement that all local governments publish a notice when they did not roll back the growth of their tax digest. This was designed to embarrass high-growth counties which were largely Repub-lican. The digest is simply the normal growth in private property values and is critical to high growth counties to cover inflation and growth in services. It is not a millage rate increase.
Whitehead did not orchestrate the stormwater utility fee or any other tax. Every serving commissioner since the mid-1990s participated in these decisions. The other tax referenced by Brush was the bonded indebtedness of the courthouse and jail projects. The voters of Columbia County approved those projects, not Whithead.
...The Campaign to Re-Elect Joey Brush has impugned the reputation and character of all recent members of the Columbia County Board of Commis-sioners. We will not presume to tell the voters of this Senate District who they should vote for, but we cannot allow this challenge to our integrity to go unanswered. The Brush campaign material is simply untrue.
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