23 February 2015

East Metro Bites: 2.23.15 Edition

So much to discuss, so little time. Grab your plate and dig in: 

Newton County Politics is a hot mess right now:

Delia Fleming, Chair of the Newton Co. GOP, has decided to break GA GOP bylaws and state election law in order to maintain her and her cronies' perceived sense of power. Oh brother... 
  • Peach Pundit's coverage. Tone-deaf? Ah...that's a big 10-4!
  • Bill Simon's on the mutha! From his Political Vine e-newsletter:
    "It's not GOP-convention season without corruption taking place somewhere...
    Really?  REALLY, Newton County GOP?  You people just have to be...the most tarded county Republican party in this state (to date, this year, at least...so, you other GOP parties have some guidance now in how idiotic you can act).
    So, here's the gist of the Newton County Republican Party idiocy: After precinct mass meetings were held in February, the county party chair, Delia Fleming, sent a letter out to some of the people who were elected at the precinct mass meetings that they are "ineligible"to attend the county convention in March.  The reasoning is stated to their Newton County GOP Rules that someone has to have accumulated enough "merit points" to participate.
    The ever-so-slight problem with this letter, and her claim, is that their "party rules" are, in fact, ineligible to have any standing to be applied during this Convention Call season.  Yeah, party rules do NOT apply in any way, shape, or form during this bi-annual party reorganization process.
    The only "rules" that apply to judge eligibility of any delegate to a county convention are: 1) The 2015 Georgia GOP Convention Call, 2) the State Republican Party Rules (specifically, Rule 9.2), and 3) Robert's Rules of Order.  All three govern, and no county party's, or even a district party's, rules/by-laws have any legal standing whatsoever.
    In fact...interestingly enough, there are actually a couple of state laws (O.C.G.A.) that apply and nullify letters like the one sent by Chair Fleming:
    Georgia Election Code OCGA 21-2-111: (c) "The respective county executive committees of each political party shall formulate, adopt, and promulgate rules and regulations, consistent with law and the rules and regulations of the state executive committee, governing the conduct of conventions and other party affairs. No such rule and regulation shall be effective until copies thereof, certified by the chairperson, have been filed with the superintendent of the county."
    Fleming's letter notifying some Newton County GOP convention delegates that they have not "fulfilled the requirements of Article II-Party Membership of the Newton County Republican Party" is in direct violation of the 2015 Convention Call, et al.
    AND, there is a remedy for this via this section of OCGA, Georgia Election Code OCGA 21-2-112(a): "When the state executive committee of a political party has reason to believe that the orders, rules, or regulations of the state executive committee, relating to all party matters except the conduct of primaries, are not being, or will not be, fairly, impartially, or properly enforced or applied in any county by the county executive committee of the party in such county, the state executive committee shall issue to such county committee a written notice of opportunity for hearing."
    This letter is in violation of the State Call, and is an attempt by the Newton County GOP to act in an unfair manner against registered voters who complied with the public notice to attend the mass-precinct meeting and qualify to become a delegate.  Their county committee rules have no standing whatsoever.
    This letter from Chair Fleming is in direct violation of the law ordering them to "comply with the orders, rules, or regulations of the state executive committee" because NO SUCH "merit system" applies to delegates elected from the mass precinct meetings.
    You folks on the State Committee have been informally notified of the violation and a link to a copy of the letter.  I imagine there will be a more formal 'notification' via the many people who received such letters in Newton County...but, that process may or may not occur before the county convention.  Is the State GOP going to simply sit on their rear-end while this type of clear violation of the state committee's rules and regulations regarding the 2015 convention process remains unanswered?
    Let me put it this way: It won't be a very wise move if you ignore it, Mr. Padgett...because 2016 is just around the corner, and why would you want to encourage a lot of grief boiling over from 2015 to bleed into the 2016 cycle?  (Of course, if you ask Anne Lewis, I'm sure she'll come-up with some ridiculous, half-assed interpretation of the law that won't make sense to anyone except herself...)"

    And even I get into the act here a few days ago. 

    Also, as I understand it, this is now on the national radar and a writer from Freedom Outpost will be attending tonight's Newton GOP meeting in downtown Covington.

20 February 2015

An Open Letter to Delia Fleming


I'll never forget the first time I spoke with you. I had called you right at the beginning of 2012 to talk to you about the upcoming 2012 convention cycle. You were so mean and rude to me, and that has pretty much continued ever since.

With that said, I always had a soft spot in my heart for you. I would continuously surprise and, quite frankly, amaze people when I would stand up for you or just dismiss your social ineptness and lack of tact. Even though you've been basically horrible to me for the last three years, I couldn't help but to...like you. I've been tagged as an optimist to a fault, and someone who has always wanted to try to keep the peace, but I did truly feel that way.

That is up until yesterday when I found out what you've been up to. You're like a sneaky cat, Delia. I don't know what's wrong with you. Of the approx.120 folks at the precinct meeting on February 7th, pretty much 85-90% of us had come to terms to do the right thing and bring everything together for the future of Newton Co. and in one fell swoop, you pretty much tried to ruin all of that.

Why? That's a good question. Is your ego and sense of importance more important than the future of our county? If so, then that's YOUR problem. Or is it something else? Rumors abound, but I'm not going into that here.

I'm sorry, but with all due respect, I think it's time for you to move on. You need to write another letter to every delegate apologizing for your egregious actions and then I think you need to resign from the Newton Co. GOP.

Disappointingly Yours,

Marshall McCart

12 February 2015

A Write-up In Which I Discuss the Newton Co. County Attorney Situation with a UGA Football Reference/Analogy

I had originally written this over a month ago but decided to sit on it. Against better judgement, I decided to share it, in its entirety, right now. Remember, this is over a month ago. Lord knows, I wanted to edit some things, but then I was just like...Nah!

I'll add a new post with some new thoughts soon. In the meantime, enjoy!


So the Newton County Board of Commissioners voted last night to reappoint William Thomas Craig, Esquire, as the County Attorney of Newton County for one more year. This was not unexpected, but yet it remains quite the mystery why the elected members of the Newton Co. BOC won't even look at trying to find ways to curb the excessive spending that is required for these legal services.

As was mentioned by a number of folks, these expenses are simply outrageous! And way out of line with what other counties of similar size spend on legal services. Hell, right here in Newton Co., we see the City of Covington, with a much higher budget, spending way, way less than Newton Co. does.

Why does this continue to happen? Was JC Henderson right? Has Tommy Craig been the county attorney for 38 years? I was thinking it was more like 25. Surely not 38. God help us if so; are we really that fucking stupid? Regardless, I think anyone that has an ounce of common sense would tell you that it's a very bad idea to have the same County Attorney for so long. It seems intuitive that it would breed conflicts of interest. Having a financial interest in things that aren't in the best interests of Newton Co.? Not a problem. He gets paid either way. If he messes up, as he's done many times over the years, he just gets more money to fix his own screw-ups. Jeez! Good work if you can get it, I guess. Speaking of JC, I hope Tommy Craig bought him some flowers before that meeting. I mean WOW! I think they might have to rate the video of Tuesday's BOC meeting now. Keith Ellis wasn't far behind. Nor was John Douglas or Levie Maddox. Sickening... 

At least we had Nancy Shulz trying to fight the good fight. But then again, Craig's reappointment passed 5-0, so it's not like she really did a whole lot. But still, I appreciate her willingness to try to stand up for some fiscal sanity and respect for the citizenry. Over the years, I don't know how many times I've seen her fight and scrape for something that had no shot. Or how many times she's been willing to make a motion that needed to be made but for no one else to offer up a second. Or how many 4-1 votes there have been where she's the 1. Tell you what, sometimes I think she's the only one out of the bunch that has a set!

And now, time for a musical interlude. From the incomparable Elizabeth Cook:

Maybe the savior of Country Music. She's great, don't you think? 

Anyway, back on point:

As some of y'all may know, I'm a big fan of UGA football. As some of you may also know, we recently lost our Offensive Coordinator, Mike Bobo, after he took the Head Coach position at Colorado State. I'm happy for Bobo. He deserves it. I've pretty much been a Bobo fan for almost 20 years. We're the same age and both attended UGA at the same time. I watched and appreciated his playing career and have since done the same with his coaching career. Despite coordinating the most prolific offenses ever in the history of UGA football, even up until his final game on the staff, Bobo was much maligned and very much a polarizing figure for the Bulldog Nation.

After he took the CSU job, I was sad to see him go but thought, as many others did, if this wasn't ultimately a good thing moving forward. You see, there had always been that rift in the DawgNation about Bobo. Didn't matter about the stats, data, or other info showing that he was a superb OC, there were those, a whole bunch of 'em, who didn't like him and were never going to like him. The rift was just too wide.

And then I think about the Newton Co. BOC. And how they've said time and time again that Wm Thomas Craig was just the greatest thing ever for Newton Co. How he was a genius. How he loved this place. How much money he had saved the county (which for all the tens of millions he's been paid, that would be great if he was able to save a bit here or there, ammaright?). The problem, though, is this: based on polls and just based on an honest feel for the public sentiment, upwards of 80 to 90% of Newton Co just isn't buying it. The popular sentiment is that Craig - making more than just about any County Attorney in Georgia to a tune of upwards of $1 Million per year, and having been in the same position for over a generation (maybe two?), and having multiple conflicts of interest, and, as was all but confirmed by the BOC last night, found to be the one literally RUNNING the county - IS. THE. PROBLEM. The rift just seems too wide.

So...with all that said, I think it's time for William Thomas Craig, metaphorically speaking, to take the Colorado State job already.