So much politics, so little stomach.
Starting Monday, candidates for local offices can sign up to run in the July 20 primary. We already know of a couple of people planning to run as Republicans.
But this year we might even have some Democrats filing, too. That would be very good news - especially for the Columbia County Republican Party.
As we've noted many times before, in the absence of competition from outside the party, the county GOP tends to spend its time as a circular firing squad.
The latest installment in this mess came this past week when the party's fundraising chairman quit and fired off an open letter blasting the party in the process (see the letter to the editor today). A couple of current and former party officials shot back to all the original recipients of that letter.
As I posted on Facebook in the smoking aftermath:
"I hope all my pals in the Columbia County Republican Party have been as entertained as I have by all their catty-sniping-snarky-towel-snapping e-mails to each other today. Reading them has been almost as fun as riding past a car wreck full of nuns and orphans that landed on baby ducks. I say 'almost,' because at least the wreck would likely leave something salvageable, like maybe feathers or a chrome door-handle."
Ah, good times.
Anyway, all this comes not only as people can sign up to run for office as Republicans, but also for the party to hold its county committee meeting on Tuesday, where all this juvenile drama undoubtedly will be part of the festivities.
Meanwhile, the Democrats quietly have been organizing the recruiting, so there likely will be at least a few candidates coming forward from their camp.
Now, despite some Republicans' efforts to chase off all their supporters, most voters in the county still reflexively pick the GOP candidate in contested races. So any Democrat candidate will have a tough time actually getting elected. They know that.
In the meantime, though, it'll certainly give the Republicans something to focus on instead of eating their young.
Also this week, Georgia State School Superintendent Kathy Cox and 10th District Board of Education member Brian Burdette are coming to town supposedly for a "public hearing" on education.
In addition to touring a local school or two, they'll be at Augusta's Lake Forest Hills Elementary School from 7-8 p.m. Monday.
They'd actually asked about holding this meeting at the Columbia County Board of Education office, and School Board member Mike Sleeper recently made that request on their behalf. The rest of the board, and Superintendent Charles Nagle, in essence said thanks, but no thanks.
Gasp! Why would the local school board and school superintendent turn down an opportunity to host a visit from the state school superintendent and their district school board representative?
Here's why. If the state superintendent wanted to make a working visit to Columbia County, you'd expect her office to contact the local superintendent and formally deliver the request, right?
In this case, Cox and Burdette contacted Dave Barbee, the 10th District chairman of the Republican Party. He then called on the very-Republican Sleeper to set it up.
It's no coincidence that Cox will also be filing for re-election this week - as a Republican. Does anyone really think she wanted to visit Columbia County, the largest reliably Republican county on this side of the state, just so she could hold some kind of education town meeting?
Yeah, and I'm a baby duck.
Couldn't help but notice this unusual coincidence:
The quarterback of the Pittsburg Steelers got drunk in a (Milledgeville) Georgia bar, groped a girl and got (temporarily) kicked off the team.
A quarterback for the University of Georgia got drunk in a (Valdosta) Georgia bar, groped a girl and got (permanently) kicked off the team.
Their names: Roethlisberger and Mettenberger.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow at twitter.com/barrypaschal.)
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