Barry Paschal's June 22 column was a bit critical and misleading of Lee Benedict, my choice for House District 118.
I read both of Benedict's press releases and must say that he explained everything thoroughly and with sincerity. Many of us, myself included, might have handled the situation another way, but none of us are challenging Ben Harbin, and with that, his media and powerful allies who appear to be lining up behind him this close to the election.
Paschal's editorial mentions Benedict's "nasty attack" on Jim Cox. Having read Benedict's statements, they were not nasty attacks but valid concerns. Cox works for many candidates as a "political consultant." Yet in a May 2006 report by WRDW's Laurie Ott, court testimony connected Cox to the laundering of money for Linda Schrenko. Add to this the fact that a vacancy was made available on the Columbia County Planning and Zoning Commission and was filled by Cox. Benedict exposed this and I applaud and thank him for putting his community before his candidacy.
Also mentioned in the editorial were Benedict's civil judgments - old news. He mentions this on his Web site and disclosed it two months before Ben Harbin's DUI arrest. He entered into a contract four years ago for legal and financial services that was breached, and therefore was left to fend for himself. Incidentally, Ben Harbin voted for HB 1027 in House Vote 1100 on April 4, which would allow drunken drivers to take court-ordered defensive driving courses online.
Why did Paschal not present an accurate picture? People need to know these things.
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