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Pillsbury

Augusta Politics

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I wanted to start a topic on politics in Augusta because the Mayoral race is coming up and this city is just so weird when it comes to politics. Apparently, Ronnie Few is running for Mayor of our fair city. Yes, that's right, the same guy who was once Chief of the AFP, run out of town and then hired to the Washington (DC)Fire Department. A number of our commissioners, including Willie Mays, went to campaign on his behalf in Washington, describing Augusta as a typical Southern city where white racists ran Mr. Few out of town. Incidentally, Mr. Few only lasted a few months in Washington before he was run out of town.

Now it appears our candidate is embroiled in another controversy upon his declaration of running in November: apparently he used to live in Columbia County and swore under oath that his main domicile was located in Evans, Georgia. He claims he resides at Port Royal condiminums downtown and a man in Evans who bought the house from Mr. Few claims tha the house was never lived in. This man, however, was a little too supportive of Ronnie Few on television tonight. This is important because to qualify to run for Mayor one has to have had residency within Augusta as of November of last year. Anyway, the store is here: Few Story

I make no judgements here, but Few was corrupt and I see no reason why the highest position in our city (even if is more decorative than substantive) should be awarded to him. Okay, so maybe I am making a judgement, but I voted for Helen Blocker-Adams last year and I still think she should run again (even though Deke is doing a good job as far as I'm concerned).

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In other news, Bob Young, the Mayor who never did anything, is apparently being considered as director of the National Parks Service. Apparently being a big Republican nowadays is quite lucrative, especially if you're a washed-up mayor who never achieved anything while running the second most important city in one of the most populated states in America. Kind of reminds me of Michael Brown: Bob Young

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I wanted to start a topic on politics in Augusta because the Mayoral race is coming up and this city is just so weird when it comes to politics. Apparently, Ronnie Few is running for Mayor of our fair city. Yes, that's right, the same guy who was once Chief of the AFP, run out of town and then hired to the Washington (DC)Fire Department. A number of our commissioners, including Willie Mays, went to campaign on his behalf in Washington, describing Augusta as a typical Southern city where white racists ran Mr. Few out of town. Incidentally, Mr. Few only lasted a few months in Washington before he was run out of town.

Now it appears our candidate is embroiled in another controversy upon his declaration of running in November: apparently he used to live in Columbia County and swore under oath that his main domicile was located in Evans, Georgia. He claims he resides at Port Royal condiminums downtown and a man in Evans who bought the house from Mr. Few claims tha the house was never lived in. This man, however, was a little too supportive of Ronnie Few on television tonight. This is important because to qualify to run for Mayor one has to have had residency within Augusta as of November of last year. Anyway, the store is here: Few Story

I make no judgements here, but Few was corrupt and I see no reason why the highest position in our city (even if is more decorative than substantive) should be awarded to him. Okay, so maybe I am making a judgement, but I voted for Helen Blocker-Adams last year and I still think she should run again (even though Deke is doing a good job as far as I'm concerned).

Sounds just like the commissioner story a couple of weeks ago. Keith Brown was found not to have lived in Augusta the required two years so he was forced out of the race and he resigned last week as the interim commissioner for his district.

Personally I think Blocker-Adams would have been an excellent choice for mayor. Deke is doing good though so I see no need to replace him.

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^ yeah, and that's kind of sad too considering I think Keith Brown made an honest mistake. He seemed to be one of the few good people on that commission.

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He seemed to be good although he voted against the condo project. Other than that I think he was getting ready to do some positve things for our district.

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Just a quck update about the race for Mayor in November. Apparently Ronnie Few has been challenged on his residency of Augusta. It appears that he filed for homestead exemptions over the past 3 years and he would have to pay that money back to run for Mayor.

In an attempt to make Deke Copenhaver look bad, publications are being handed out claiming that Deke really lives in Aiken County. This should be an extremely harsh election.

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with the election near I just want to see who is the favorite in the mayor race? mayor deke copawhoever is making major moves right before election. is that a good strategy?

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Deke Copenhaver won last night with 65 percent of the vote. Good job in Augusta. Deke

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I see good things for Augusta in the next few years. Deke was the best choice IMO.

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I completely agree. In his short stint as interim mayor, he was able to bring about results that seemed unthinkable a year ago, and he promises that there's more big announcements in the works... Couple that with a sharp decrease in mindless political in-fighting, and the future looks bright for Augusta indeed!

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I completely agree. In his short stint as interim mayor, he was able to bring about results that seemed unthinkable a year ago, and he promises that there's more big announcements in the works... Couple that with a sharp decrease in mindless political in-fighting, and the future looks bright for Augusta indeed!

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The commissioners have yet to vote on a budget for this year. They turned down anothe proposed budget today. I guess it's good not to approve the first thing handed to you but it's getting close to the end of the year and they have yet to agree.

Here's an article.

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I'm probably wrong about this, but I think they just act in the place of the Mayor if he's not around. Kind of like the Vice President. Like I think Willie Mays was the pro tem and then when Bob Young resigned he took over.

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I'm probably wrong about this, but I think they just act in the place of the Mayor if he's not around. Kind of like the Vice President. Like I think Willie Mays was the pro tem and then when Bob Young resigned he took over.

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^ We've not really had problems with corrupt mayors in the past. You'd probably have to go back to the 80s to find a corrupt mayor, i.e. Ed McIntyre (I can't spell). But the city commissioners as well as various representatives have been very corrupt---including some still sitting on the commission. As well, we had representatives to Atlanta like Robin Williams and Charles Walker, both of whom are currently in Federal prison.

I do think that the local government in the past has not given us as Augustans anything to really be proud of. Though it's a nice area to live, most people move to the surrounding counties, while looking in our corrupt and increasingly poor central county. I do think that has hampered people moving into our downtown area. But in my entirel life, I don't think I've ever seen downtown Augusta with as much potential as it has right now. Things are really happening down there......

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Agreed, and I wouldnt say Augustas Downtown has been that slow to redevelop. Slower than say, maybe Greenville or Columbia but it has definately taken advantage of its riverfront area with Riverwalk. Broad street has taken off too with loads of coffee shops, clubs, restaurans, galleries, etc. Remember, Augusta has quite a large Downtown area...larger in area than Greenville, so it has more land to develop which takes longer.

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Greenville has also been at it longer than most places. They've been investing in downtown for about 25 years, and it took 20 before things really started to pop. That length of time was more related to national real estate trends than anything. My point, however, is that with time I see no reason why Augusta can't accomplish the same thing.

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<soapbox>

I didn't vote for the consolidation (I knew it would be a mess), and frankly careless about "white flight" Columbia county politics (what has Augusta Metro become? A wag for Cross pundits?). What I do care about is cleaning up the southside of abandoned homes and drawing business here. Expanding mass transit (not the crazy 5 day a week schedule that doesn't even serve Tobacco Road); having a cinema or some type of entertainment center (not a racetrack, let alone a horse arena) that I can take my nearly 80 year-old mom, too.

How hard is it to just have an accessible park on the southside?

Now I'll give credit to my commissioner for bringing the bus stop back (yeah, some of us Augustans don't live on Lake Forest Drive, let alone live in $200,000+ homes out in Evans, we actually work for a living, retirees or disabled), but I really want them to stop bickering on racial politics (as it's a capital corrupting factor). I'm not going to blame just the commissioners as they're just one side of this mess, but like the Israeli and Palestinian conflict one side has to be "bigger" and set the right example. Because Bubba isn't going to change ranting about some black commissioner (or another James Brown hate fest).

If there's anything I hate about my hometown is whites and blacks still willfully segregate themselves, be it in their churches, where they eat, work and shop. The Copenhagen chaw chewing Evans boy isn't middling with the pants dropping soul brother off Tobacco Road. That separation just breeds the worst racial attitudes. Just read the weekly Whine Line to see by how much!

I may come off strong here, but being a native and still living in Richmond County, I'm one Tee'd Augustan watching my beloved city go down the tubes. Partly because of the bickering commissioners, partly because our newspaper "king's" meddling, partly because of folks fleeing, and partly because the city residents forgot that Augusta isn't "disgusta". This isn't a city I remember 20 years ago, let alone 10.

Augusta's corruption is in her soul now. It's going to take a mighty preacher to chase that devil away. More than urban development, more than a trickle of low paying jobs (with no job security), and more than the musical chairs our local government plays which ol' Billy loves to "report" about (if you're old enough to remember the "city editor" wars with South Augusta, you'll know what I mean).

Heck, I'd take Pop Newman's Calhoun Expressway fiasco anyday compared to this malaise being served now!

</soapbox>

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I agree with you. I'm a lifelong Augusta resident (Richmond County) and much of the corruption is sickening. I'm not sure what to do. The racial politics in this city is ridiculous---but I guess it's present everywhere. The Chronicle is the worst newspaper I've ever read. It's a right-wing rag that caters to whatever Billy Morris wants. People read it because they don't have a choice.

I think Deke Copenhaver tries as best he can and I do believe in his sincerity (although I originally voted for Helen Blocker). I think our commisioners are a bunch of morons---all of them with the exception of Annie Beard and maybe Joe Bowles---but he made me mad a couple of weeks ago when I heard him on the radio.

I'll write more in a bit.

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let alone live in $200,000+ homes out in Evans, we actually work for a living

While I agree with much that you have said, I take objection to this statement. I live in a $200,000+ home and work my damn ass off for a living.

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O'Billy's father did a good thing by literally breaking the Cracker party apart, but his son isn't cut from the same cloth. He's another one of those corporate welfare types (the horse arena nonsense is a prime example). Would think all of Augusta would want Regency Mall to be used again, but not on the backs of us working folks for a rich person's hobby (it's his interest and he wants taxpayers to pay for his pleasure). Besides, we wouldn't know the real cost of the project until after the ink is dried. Nope, no more of this money down the hole projects.

The Augusta Chronicle is historical, and folks read it not just because O'Billy is using it as a political organ, but because it's one of the oldest newspapers in the country. As much as I live online ^_^ and code, :wacko: I'm still the type that likes to read from pulp over breakfast. But I do find I read more of the Spirit than AC, mainly because of the Whine Line (I also listen to CSPAN's Washington Report) because I like listening to real peoples thoughts, not just editorial pieces from airheads -- a certain local radio personality is a prime one, too!

I'm a little more sympathetic with the commissioners. Not for their behavior, but the reason they put up a fight. Politics is about race in Augusta, and as long as White folks drop that "N" word around Augusta like a greeting (or that certain radio junkie goes on some tirade), and Blacks look for excuses, it'll remain. No one is winning in this game. Not these "sons of the south" types who rally their flag on the campus of Paine College (and no one can say that was due to "heritage", that's blatant rubbing it in their face); nor the Al Sharpton/Jesse Jackson types that turn eveything back to the 1950s. It's 2007, and those who instigated those Jim Crow laws are old men with no power or dead now.

Sometimes I wish I could talk some sense to both sides, because the city is dying - yes, dying - from these turf wars.

What happened to the success we got in the 60's with attracting good paying jobs? What happened to the development of PARKS and entertainment venues (besides eateries as that IS entertainment here)? What happened to SIDEWALKS? Augusta (that's Augusta, not Evans or Martinez) isn't Atlanta, it's not sprawled out, it could afford a sidewalk and not having to cross 6 lanes of Washington Road traffic just to WALK to a friend's house. Savannah has bike trails, we can't even get 1000ft of sidewalks. :angry:

Is it all gone because folks are more interested in kickbacks????

Yep, three votes here for Blocker, too. Think she has promise, and if Dems and Republicans would warm up to her, she could be more than the first woman mayor (hopefully she can also break the deadlock).

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While I agree with much that you have said, I take objection to this statement. I live in a $200,000+ home and work my damn ass off for a living.

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From my experience with some of the city's movers and shakers (you know the Augusta Country Club set?), work is but a golf club and jawing on the phone. If they had to tend to their own lawns, let alone groom that turf on the green, they'd appreciate what real work is and understand that folks who do it aren't all illiterate trailer trash, either.

I terribly dislike class warfare, but when folks look down their nose at people because they're not some AKC papered pet it's darn hard not too. Augusta is rife with this class attitude, and it's sickening.

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