We Deserve Better

There are millions of honorable men and women who will never run for political office because they refuse to subject themselves and their families to the ugly world of politics. Our nation suffers as a result.

And if a candidate dares to take on the political establishment the attacks can become outrageous. It happened to Sarah Palin, it happened to South Carolina’s Governor Niki Haley and it is happening to me.

Within days of announcing my candidacy for Alpharetta City Council there were vicious lies about my positions on a local blog. You can read about those attacks here.

And the lies haven’t stopped. Last night at a campaign event a woman asked me about my position on Amana Academy. I explained that I have consistently fought to protect Windward’s master plan over the years and told her that I made my opposition to the school rezoning clear to Alpharetta City Councilmembers before I ever decided to run for political office.

I also mentioned to the woman that my political opponents had spread false rumors about my position on the issue. As I handed the woman a campaign sign for her yard she replied, “It’s funny you should say that because someone called me the other day and told me that Cheryl Oakes’ opponent supported Amana Academy.”

So let me set the record straight. I have spent more than a decade helping the people of Alpharetta fight to protect their schools, property values and quality of life. Before I decided to run for council I personally distributed hundreds of flyers on behalf of people opposed to the school relocation because I wanted my neighbors to know the legitimate, objective reasons it would be bad for our community. Any insinuation that I support the Amana Academy rezoning is a bald faced lie.

In fact, my opponent, Cheryl Oakes, is the candidate who opened the door for changes to the Windward master plan by voting to approve seven high rise condominium buildings one block from the Amana site in 2008. She supported that project over the objections of hundreds of nearby families and when it is built there will be more than 12,000 cars added to one of the most congested intersections in Alpharetta.

Those are the facts.

The tactics of deception are disappointing but not surprising. I fully expected people to lie and deceive in this campaign because they have done it in the past and will continue to do so as long as it keeps them in power.

The episode reminds me of the old saying, “In democracy you get the government you deserve”. In the context of Alpharetta politics I hope that isn’t true.

We deserve better.

Georgia Tea Party condemns racist flyer in Alpharetta

The inflammatory flyer I found in my mailbox yesterday made the 11 o’clock news last night and there is still no confirmation that the material was distributed by anyone affiliated with the Tea Party movement or even those people opposed to the local zoning issue. As mentioned in my previous post, I smell a rat…, I find it far more likely that this material is part of a smear campaign directed at both of those groups.

The WXIA news report is here. Below is the most relevant section:

The flyer ostensibly tries to mobilize opposition to Amana Academy — a Fulton County charter school that opened in 2005. Amana offers students in kindergarten through eighth grade language classes in Arabic.

The State Coordinator of the Georgia Tea Party Patriots says the group is not officially associated or recognized by the state organization.

“We are very suspect of this flyer. No one has heard of this group and no contact information is listed,” Tea Party Spokesperson Julianne Thompson wrote in a prepared statement. “We believe it is either a group of local extremists afraid to use their own names… or it is an attempt at character assassination.”

“Either way, we strongly condemn this type of flyer, its disgusting language and intention. This group is in no way permitted to use the name of the Tea Party Patriots.”

The state Tea Party says they are focused on, “fiscal responsibility, limited government, and free markets.”

As I said in my previous post, no one with half a brain would believe the distribution of such vile material in our neighborhood could possibly help their cause. This is evidenced by the fact our residents were so disgusted  that they actually called the local TV station to report such an incident.

I hope that Alpharetta’s local authorities are able to use security camera footage from homes in this area to identify the actual perpetrators of this ridiculous stunt. If the flyer was created by someone crazy enough to believe it would help their cause the person is dangerously detached from reality and if it was done by someone so filled with rage that they would go to this extreme to smear other people as racists then they are dangerous and pathetic. Either way they need to be off the street.

I smell a rat…

This afternoon I checked the mail and found a flyer under my mailbox that was offensive… and I smelled a rat. The flyer used repulsive and inflammatory language to describe people who are currently trying to rezone land in our neighborhood for the Amana Academy charter school.

But there is something fishy about that flyer. It doesn’t pass the sniff test. It smells like a rat.

The note is purportedly from a group identified as the “Milton County Tea Party Patriots Citizens Council”. Why would a group name themselves after a county that doesn’t exist? They wouldn’t. There is no such group.

According to Google there is not one single mention of such a group anywhere on the web and there is no such group identified on the Teapartypatriots.org website. I pay pretty close attention the political groups and figures around Alpharetta and not once has anybody ever mentioned the existence of such a group.

So what would be the purpose of distributing an inflammatory flyer and attributing it to a group that doesn’t exist? Could it be an attempt to get the attention of all the Federal Department of Justice investigators who have swarmed into Alpharetta looking for signs of prejudice after last year’s mosque case?

Perhaps. It would certainly make sense. Obama’s minions have been swarming around Alpharetta like killer bees looking for any evidence they can find to prove how racist these North Fulton conservatives are. What better way to get their attention than to distribute an offensive flyer and attribute it to the Tea Party?

I do know some people that oppose having the Amana Academy dropped on their doorstep. Some of those people also opposed the Windward Mill project, The Metlife project and the subsidized senior housing project. But none of the people I have spoken to would ever be associated with the stuff circulated in our neighborhood today. In fact the people that object to the school zoning on reasonable, legal grounds had previously expressed fear that something like this would be used to discredit them because it only serves to offend people in our community.

So that leads me to two possible conclusions.

The first possibility is that there really is a lone nutjob out there stupid enough to think name calling and making up groups would help stop the school zoning. That rules out anyone around here that has voiced opposition to the school because they know this will hurt their cause. It also rules out anyone around here smart enough to tie their own shoes because you would have to be an absolute moron to think such a flyer would help your cause in Windward. But it is possible that such a person does exist so I can’t rule it out.

On the other hand the flyer could have been distributed by a person or group of people that thought distributing such material and falsely attributing it to a Tea Party organization would achieve some other goal. Perhaps smearing legitimate zoning opponents, drawing media attention, influencing lawsuits or attracting the Justice Department.

I don’t know and probably never will know who distributed the flyer in my mailbox today. It could have been one dumb person or a conniving opportunist with a hidden agenda. But based on personal experience I’d say the conniving opportunists in Alpharetta outnumber the people dumb enough to pull a stunt like that by about 1404 to 1.

I smell a rat.

P. S. I hope that if anyone knows the real source of the flyer send me a note.