Ouch. That's gotta leave a mark.
Wednesday morning, a blizzard of e-mail messages traveled around from James Hanby Sr., announcing his resignation as chief of staff for Terry Holley.
Holley, from Harlem, is running for the 10th District seat in the U.S. Congress. He already had an uphill fight: He's a Democrat in a Republican-dominant district; and, the seat is already occupied by Republican Charlie Norwood, who is so confident of re-election that he's actually using his ads to help the candidate running for the district next door.
Even under the best of circumstances, it's bad news to lose the guy running your campaign with less than two weeks to go before the election. But when that guy uses your campaign's media mailing list to resign and say that his former boss has "lost his moral compass" and is "not the man to represent Georgia in the United States Congress?" Double-ouch.
The basic reason for Hanby's harsh break with the campaign is that he says Holley hasn't paid him. Hanby says Holley owes him $13,000, and was reimbursing himself from campaign contributions rather than paying Hanby.
Holley, who sent out a response to Hanby's very-public resignation, doesn't deny the pay deficit, but counters that Hanby had a problem taking direction and showing up for work.
To make things even touchier, Holley also passed along a letter Hanby wrote to Richmond County Democratic Party Chairman Lowell Greenbaum, seeking "assistance" in "easing my cash flow situation" - in other words, begging for money after he quit.
With all the harsh words, I wouldn't be surprised if someone didn't lawyer up before this is all over with.
During the schools' fall break, most of my family traveled west to visit my brother-in-law near Atlanta. What we saved on accommodations we spent in outlet stores.
He actually lives in fast-growing Alpharetta. In what was depicted as a contrast to Columbia County, a writer recently lauded Alpharetta as an example of a community that is doing a good job of managing growth and setting development rules.
Holy cow. Whoever said that obviously has never been to Alpharetta. Maybe the community's plans look good on paper, but the view from the ground is another story.
Alpharetta has two things going for it. First, it has an already defined downtown that is undergoing somewhat of a revival, much of it from people who have fled Atlanta and want a little dose of quasi-country quaint. Second, there are beautiful horse farms dotting the rolling countryside.
For developers, however, those horse farms represent lots of acres of cleared land. As a result, they're rapidly disappearing to make room for expensive homes.
How expensive? Well, one sign advertised new homes "from the $600s" - as in $600,000 and up. Yikes.
Alpharetta still isn't as bad as Gwinnett County. But Columbia County, in comparison, has nothing to be ashamed of, either - even if some people will always believe other communities' grass is greener.
Halloween: Oct. 31
Madge Shaw and her daughter, Kim Ball, dropped by while I was gone. They had read my column about the county getting calls asking when Halloween would be celebrated, and brought me some Snickers.
Madge is the widow of the late Aubrey Shaw, a former News-Times columnist who I'm sure would have snickered at the goofiness of callers wanting to know when Halloween would be - as if it should be on anything other than Oct. 31.
For my part, I welcome the opportunity to remember Aubrey - even more than I appreciate the candy.
Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to barry.paschal at newstimesonline.com.
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