Columbia County B.Y.O.B. Finances

OPINION by The Arrowflinger

What you are about to hear in this poor quality audio recording is the last three minutes of The Austin Rhodes Show of Friday, May 18, 2018. Your arrowflinging protector shook things up, more than a little, one might think.

When GB&T bank board members Rick Allen and James G. Blanchard were mentioned in the present tense, it was in the context of a meeting with law enforcement several years ago, before the bank merged with South State Bank and that Board of Directors was disbanded. Also, neither was a voting member of the Board with management oversight.

As to former Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean, who was the acting chairman of the county finance committee, he actually did not object AT THE AWARD MEETING, but just listen to what he said in making the astounding motion to let Ron Cross and Charlie Allen vote!

Dean’s conviction was on charges unrelated to this banking vote. Judge Blanchard being the judge who put him in prison and would not grant a retrial despite recanted testimony is more a demonstration of how weird events get twisted in Columbia County. The Arrowflinger tried to get Judge Blanchard, a former family business partner, to discuss this ugly banking matter back in 2014, but somehow we had trouble connecting. There is more there, perhaps, for a later date.

With respect to Edward J. Tarver, he was a member of the GB&T Audit Committee in 2008 and 2009, before becoming the US Attorney on December 17, 2009. Tarver had audit responsibility for the 2008 Financial Statements, which later became the basis for the Columbia County bank selection in April 2010. About a month before his nomination, The United States Securities and Exchange Commission sent the GB&T Chief Financial Officer Darrell Raines a letter expressing questions, possibly requiring a restatement of those 2008 financials.

Imagine that! A sitting US Attorney’s immediately preceding bank Audit Committee work was questioned by the SEC! None of this seems to have dawned on Columbia County Finance. Or did they know? Or did one of them know?

As for Rick Allen, perhaps he can confer with his cousins who owned 40% of GB&T and his brother, the GB&T shareholder who delivered the bank a timely $100 million cash infusion and draft a banking bill like he wrote about in the Augusta Chronicle last year. We have the perfect title. We can call it the Rick Allen B.Y.O.B bill…..BAIL OUT YOUR OWN BANK bill.

-AF

 

The Boardroom Trail to the Talisman

OPINION BY The Arrowflinger

Talisman – an object held to act as a charm to avert evil and bring good fortune.

The revelation to the American public that its establishment media is biased, lazy, and protective of their turf surely by now must extend to the Augusta contingent of “recognized” media. After all, activists brandishing Georgia Open Records Requests and publishing their own stories reinforced by documents offering obvious proof got too big to ignore between 2011 and 2013.

By 2014, you might think their “professional” inquisitiveness would have taken hold, but the Metro Spirit took resolute opposition to perceived competition to extremes. When the reformers started investigating the Reynolds Street Parking Deck boondoggle the Metro Spirit cover was one of black helicopters over the deck. Somehow, they later were acknowledging the discovery of liens on the property under the parking deck as common news. There is no way they would admit that the City Stink blog systematically awoke Augusta to such a ridiculous circumstance without THEM! The exception was Metro Spirit Writer and radio talk show host Austin Rhodes occasionally would provide some coverage to the alternative media, most recently with the absurd Tractorgate Scandal that saw Augusta men and Equipment secreted three counties away for work on private property of an ex-Augusta contractor.

The Columbia County Commission meeting of May 6, 2014 was covered by Spirit reporter Eric Johnson, who promptly disregarded the directly presented challenge to then Finance Committee Chairman Ron Thigpen’s bonus with Georgia Bank and Trust. That bank was awarded a highly irregular mass banking deal with the county, with Thigpen recusing himself from the commission vote.

Instead Johnson decided to interject his own bias and implied that the real subject was instead Chairman Ron Cross, then up for reelection. The acknowledgement of all of our enhanced “time and attention on this stuff” was very true, however. He even got handed key documents in the hope that he would pick up on the story. No way Jose.

Collateral Metro Bank

Astounding. Georgia was number one in mortgage fraud in the USA for 5 years from 2000 to 2004, leading to a tsunami of bank failures in 2008 through 2010, losing 1/5 of the state’s banks, yet NOBODY can come to suspect any alligators in their local banking swamp. The “media” ad sales blindfold “reporters.” “Their” advertisers cannot be corrupt because they pay the media’s way.

What the Spirit’s Johnson blew off was a chance to investigate how Columbia County’s cash infusion into his bank may have boosted Thigpen’s bank bonus. Had he pursued it he might have found the Talisman. From there an epic of financial gamesmanship might have been his prize!

In this burgeoning saga, the Talisman is a man, recently the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, Mr. Edward J. Tarver. When the bank executive compensation contracts were changed for 2008 and 2009, before his appointment as US Attorney, Tarver sat on Georgia Bank and Trust’s Audit Committee. (Page 23)

For the bank, Tarver had to do absolutely nothing to ward off scrutiny from investigators. All he had to do was sit in his office. Mr. Tarver is a fine man by all accounts and is respected but the simple fact is that he could be a cross between Nelson Mandela and Billy Graham and be the Talisman. Common sense says that one look at documents signed by Tarver or approved by his bank audit committee would make federal agents turn away. That is just how things are in the real world.

He wasn’t the only well-positioned protector of the bank, either. Someone in Authority upon seeing this picture of the Bank Board in 2007, the year before the financial world came unraveled might have whistled and exclaimed with eyes as large as saucers, “these are the most powerful people in Augusta!”

The story almost sounds straight out of Washington DC and the recent news bombshells over the conflicts between the FBI and Department of Justice up there.

In Columbia County’s banking controversy, the bankers are off enjoying their stock sale proceeds but the county finance department and the finance committee of the County Commission will now have to explain why they have been incompetent, or far worse.

May be no Talisman for District One Commissioner Doug Duncan, who is running for the Chairmanship of the Columbia County Commission with the backing of those same bankers. He had the chance to investigate 3 years ago, shortly after taking his seat, but dropped the ball. Former GB&T Chairman Robert Pollard, Former GB&T Chief Operating Officer Ron Thigpen, and Former GB&T Voting Board Member Larry Prather are listed as Duncan Supporters.Former GB&T shareholder and current Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross, who voted for the suspect award of the county primary banking contract to GB&T, is said to be a Duncan contributor.

Law enforcement on three levels of government has the greater responsibility of having turned a blind eye until the Statute of Limitations expired, possibly allowing financial thieves to escape prosecution.

There are no Pulitzer Prizes that will be awarded to Augusta “journalists” from this scandal, either. The artwork was nice, though!

-AF

Augusta’s Black Hole of Transportation Finance

OPINION by the Arrowflinger

Two months ago on the 13th of March, Augusta Engineering Director Dr. Hameed Malik appeared before the Engineering Committee of the Augusta Commission to provide an update on the downtown Transportation Investment Act projects. Please listen to these comments by Dr. Hameed referencing the need for Augusta to cut, downsize, delay, and even cancel the TIA projects in the middle of the program and especially the end of the Augustan TIA program. At the end he mentions discussions to do another REGIONAL TIA with other counties.

What? Augusta gave away $109 million to 12 other counties to make TIA work and its OWN projects face lack of funds? Only in Augusta!

Source – CSRA Region TIA Constrained Tool Master Spreadsheet
supporting the CSRA TIA Program at the time of passage in 2012

What? The projects at the end are short of money after the Augusta National Berckmans Road TIA projects were built to the hilt?

What? The first project completed, Riverwatch Parkway was to cost $30 million ($20 million TIA) but news reports said the TIA money was $30 million and the total cost $65 million. Doesn’t this scream that the 15% revenue shortfalls and enormous overruns mean that the out of control program needs a new regional one to cover it all up, and, as Dr Hameed said, to finish the present TIA projects?

Why are the politicians not telling the good people of Augusta and Columbia County, the other major donor county, that the Georgia Legislature passed Single County TIA/Tsplost in 2016, so Augusta could keep its $109 million after 2022? Even tiny Dade County can have its TIA without all of these complications.The 2016 bill prohibits getting out of a regional TIA mess until it is complete, so they are stuck.

Agraynation.com readers will recall several downtown projects got sent to the back of the TIA bus to allow the Augusta National finagling to build the Berckmans Road project to the max. Furthermore, during the TSPLOST debate and later this site provided enough facts to the public that Columbia County decisively, including the financial trickery in the numbers now apparent in the 16% shortage in funding.

Senators Hardie Davis, Jr. and Bill Jackson of the Augusta Delegation hatched this money transfer out of Augusta back in 2010. Now the damage is coming clear.

Why do establishment politicians continue to embrace a failed regional government while feeding it Hundreds of millions of dollars? Why do none talk about the double taxation that hit Augusta area to the tune of another $550 million with the new fuel taxes in 2015?

Only Representative Barry Fleming showed the bravery to promise corrective action.

Elect folks like Barry. Send the others down the road where they sent your money.
-AF

Was it PERJURY?

By The Arrowflinger

(In the latest coverup in the Augusta Equipmentgate Scandal, which saw City of Augusta, Georgia resources deployed to work on private property in Lincoln County in March 2017  has just been released. In it, the Augusta Richmond County Grand Jury issued a statement which said they found no criminality had occurred.)

The Presentment of the Augusta Richmond County Grand Jury of yesterday, June 27, 2017 on the Use of Augusta manpower, heavy equipment, trailers, supplies, fuel, fringe benefits and trucks on Private Property in Lincoln County back in March contained this statement:

The testimony revealed that the excavator was never actually used as the weather at the time was inclement.

The presentment also says that the Augusta Mini-excavator was  on the Lincoln County private property from March 8, 2017 to March 17, 2017.

That statement is most interesting as video taken on March 16, 2017 at the Lincoln County site shows a large freshly-installed culvert and drainage work that certainly seems to have been performed by an excavator and the only excavator in evidence was the one owned by the City of Augusta.

District Attorney Natalie Paine needs to determine which witness provided that testimony and whether perjury occurred.

If there was no perjury in the production of that presentment, she needs to explain why not and, while she is at it, explain why so many material aspects of this incident were omitted from any investigation by her or the Augusta Richmond County Sheriff’s office.

-AG

Rocking Their World – Digging into Augusta’s Equipment Scandal

By Arrowflinger Al

On Thursday, May 25, 2017 citizens of Augusta, Georgia and surrounding counties were shocked to learn that City of Augusta personnel, vehicles, materials and construction equipment had been found deployed and operating on private land in Lincoln County, Georgia, 40 miles from their assigned work site at the Augusta Solid Waste Facility on Deans Bridge Road.

This week the resulting uproar concluded with the resignation of Augusta Solid Waste Director Mark Johnson. Will the Johnson resignation calm the turmoil surrounding a botched investigation by a conflicted Augusta Richmond County Sheriff Department, who turned out to be the custodian of an excavator used in the misbegotten affair, the apparently imprudent white commissioners defending Johnson against evidence, black commissioners defending an Administrator who bungled accountability, and a District Attorney who remains to be kept clueless of the events?

Stay tuned. What happens in Augusta, should stay in Augusta. This time it didn’t and the repercussions look to be immense.

Here is the first hand account of the events from March 15, 2017 through May 28, 2017. Names have been replaced by Pseudonyms.

********

Wednesday March 15, 2017

2017-03-15 17:23:00     THE ARROWFLINGER reaches top of a hill on an easement road between lands of Cox, Kitchens, bank and partners Troy Meeks and Landowner O of Statesboro, sees construction equipment and stone pile. Stops to video beagle. Joined by neighbor and Informant.

2017-03-15 18:17:15     THE ARROWFLINGER meets Informant going back to get serial numbers and photos of an equipment trailer he claims is City of Augusta owned. Informant wants to know who bought the property where the stone pile is. THE ARROWFLINGER states he has met Landowner O but not his partner.

Texts Between THE ARROWFLINGER and Informant

2017-03-15          19:01:29               Informant           Phone Number Redacted            I got confirmation its county equipment

2017-03-15          19:09:41               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Do you have a guess about when it was bought?

2017-03-15          19:14:26               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I can find out

2017-03-15          19:44:20               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            You know, if they are not alerted and they are getting rock for free, they will be at it for days because that road has to be rocked all the way to Booths Branch road. They excavated and installed a 30 or 36 inch pipe in the creek bed last week.

2017-03-15          19:50:06               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Your bud who is talking to you might/probably spill the beans, but if we just observe for a few days and take pictures we will have a better picture. The land was bought by Landowner O (guy I met) and Landowner M of Statesboro. We need the serial number off the equipment and the ARCSWD inventory or purchase record. If it looks strong, then state investigators should be called.

2017-03-15          19:55:49               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Landowner M used to work with Director as a contractor

2017-03-15          19:57:10               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            The trailer was purchased by the county and I took pic of the vin number the escalator was seized by the county and falls under the sheriff

2017-03-15          19:58:16               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I will go back early tomorrow and photo the vin of the track hoe

2017-03-15          20:04:11               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I am gonna go out early on my walk. Probably find a good spot on Booth branch near gate to observe.

2017-03-15          20:12:31               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Sounds like the Boyz came to play in our backyards! I am amazed.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Texts of March 16, 2017 Between THE ARROWFLINGER and Informant

2017-03-16          09:40:44               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Good morning! A dump truck left about 10 minutes ago. Let’s observe today. They plan on ditching the low spot inside the gate. So they don’t plan on stopping today. I think another rock truck might be coming

2017-03-16          09:43:09               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Ok

2017-03-16          09:44:30               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I think if you want to do this up right, we need to notify Sheriff Beggs followed shortly by Roundtree. The pols will just f**k it up. So will we if we go for a big ‘got you’ as delicious and tempting as that might be.

2017-03-16          09:45:40               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Get the pros in. If they f**k it up then I or we can raise hell.

2017-03-16          09:48:38               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Right

2017-03-16          09:51:26               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I got a conference call T 10 I will get with you after that

2017-03-16          09:53:06               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            They dropped a load at the second wet spot between gate and creek.

2017-03-16          10:46:00               THE ARROWFLINGER     Two dump trucks videoed entering gate and then leaving after dumping loads at stone stockpile on hill.

2017-03-16          11:08:00               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            2 trucks came and dumped. Got some video

2017-03-16          11:08:08               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            No tags

2017-03-16          11:08:33               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Got names of haulers I think

2017-03-16          11:51:58               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Got pix and video of all equipment with serial numbers

2017-03-16          13:12:45               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I can call Augusta Commissioner MW and just talk to him he can’t stand Director

2017-03-16          13:30:11               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Yes, but anything Augusta Commissioner MW can do can be done if law enforcement drops the ball. Law enforcement can remove these people. Augusta Commissioner MW can only fire them

2017-03-16          13:31:30               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Law enforcement can surveillance them when they bring in dozers and graders

2017-03-16          13:36:09               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Ok I will stand by you know more than me

2017-03-16          13:37:07               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Also I don’t see permits posted

2017-03-16          13:38:47               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I am going to call Sheriff Beggs In a bit

2017-03-16          13:39:04               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                           Knitter is doing research

2017-03-16          13:40:15               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            On Augusta database. Knitter is a systems person

2017-03-16       14:06:00       Knitter emails THE ARROWFLINGER a .pdf showing that Landowner M attended a prebid conference for landfill work  at the ARC Solid Waste Facility on 1/20/2017

2017-03-16       Around 14:00:00       THE ARROWFLINGER calls ARC Chief Deputy, with whom he had conversed about contract mismanagement and fraud during the Augusta SPLOST 7b campaign in 2015. Tells that 2 pieces of equipment are reported to be operating in Lincoln County and one of them is assigned to the ARC Sheriff Department Shooting range at the Deans Bridge Road landfill. Chief Deputy denies that Sheriff Department has any equipment.

2017-03-16       15:21:00   THE ARROWFLINGER is texted the email address of Augusta Richmond County Chief Deputy by same for purpose of uploading pictures and serial numbers from Canon camera that is not net-connected.

2017-03-16       16:56        THE ARROWFLINGER sends ARC Chief Deputy summary of situation, events, observations and equipment serial numbers

2017-03-16       18:16        Chief Deputy requests pictures be emailed, saying he will “get to the bottom of this.”

2017-03-16       18:38        THE ARROWFLINGER suggests that ARC Chief Deputy hold off until following Monday, based upon information from inside Solid Waste Department that additional ARC assets would be deployed to Lincoln County site. It was noted that even heavier equipment would be needed to place the stone.

Texts of March 16, 2017 Between THE ARROWFLINGER and Informant Resume

2017-03-16          18:48:07               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            ARC Chief Deputy Redacted is now interested. Told him waiting til Monday to pursue is advised. Told him I now believe this is a real deal. Suggested CID come up under coordination and advice of Sheriff Bruce Beggs.

2017-03-16          19:07:53               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Sweet

2017-03-16          19:29:50               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I suggested that. Told him I will be here.

2017-03-16          19:32:42               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Nice

2017-03-16          19:40          THE ARROWFLINGER called back by Lincoln Sheriff Beggs, who indicates he has discussed with ARC Chief Deputy

2017-03-16          22:30:00          THE ARROWFLINGER takes his dog, Lilly, for a tour of fields and then down Booth Branch Road. There was a navy blue 3/4 ton, long wheelbase pickup pulled into a 4-wheeler path onto Corps Land about 80 yards from the red gate into the combined properties and grading project. Did not get License plate.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Texts of March 17, 2017 Between THE ARROWFLINGER and Informant

2017-03-17          02:10:00          THE ARROWFLINGER awakens during interlude when heating system was off. Hears heavy truck in the distance. Goes outside and finds the sound coming from Booths Branch Road. Quickly dons insulated Coverall, grabs automatic pistol and digital camcorder. Calls Informant. Gets no answer. Jumps in truck. Drives to red gate at properties/ grading site. Waits and listens. Concludes that the truck was leaving, not entering.

2017-03-17          09:43:08               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            All equipment was removed in the middle of the  night.

2017-03-17          09:45:06               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            No stone deliveries this morning?

2017-03-17          09:46:57               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Long trailer and excavator are GONE

2017-03-17          09:47:46               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Well it might be back on Monday

2017-03-17          09:48:29               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Unless someone said something to them

2017-03-17          09:49:05               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I think the latter. Sold out. Again

2017-03-17          09:50:03               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            They should be delivering more rock at the standing water spots

2017-03-17          09:50:12               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            They ain’t

2017-03-17          09:52:27               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Yea well we have proof they county equipment out here

2017-03-17          09:55:53               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I am with you I think someone tipped them off

2017-03-17          10:01:28               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Can’t talk anymore. We might have given the right people what they need.

2017-03-17          10:10:22               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I just got a call (From Inside Source at ARC Landfill) we should talk

2017-03-16       About 10:20        THE ARROWFLINGER  calls Landowner K, with whom Landowners O and M has an easement agreement with cost-sharing provisions to discuss the condierable part of the construction on her land. She states she is not paying anything and that Landowner M told het that they can repair the easement road at least cost because they have connections in Richmond and  Columbia Counties. Also discussed was the new culvert installation and the work done on US Army Corps of Engineers lands.

2017-03-17          12:42:21               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I have a visitor (ARCSD Investigator) at 3 who may want to come talk to you, if you are open.

2017-03-17          12:48:39               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Sure

2017-03-17          15:04:34               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            You coming to my place or yours

2017-03-17          16:09:08               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            They (investigators)are headed back to you.

2017-03-17          16:09:40               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Ok I am tell them everything I know

2017-03-17          16:10:16               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Tell them the truth. They will want your source.

2017-03-17          16:10:37               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            We went out to the site.

2017-03-17          20:07:00               Informant calls THE ARROWFLINGER and reports an automobile parked at entrance gate to the combined properties where the work was going on.

2017-03-17          20:09:24               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Should I call the investigator?

2017-03-17          20:10:28               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Call 911

2017-03-17          20:11:17               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            And tell them what?

2017-03-17          20:17:42               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I called the shield (sheriff?) number they sending someone out

2017-03-17          20:30:00 to    20:50:00 THE ARROWFLINGER spots Director emerging from around posted gate: Augusta Director explains that he came to check on one of his contractor’s pieces of  equipment, as Bobcat Rentals had called his contractor concerned when an ARCSD investigator called earlier in the day. Shows text and photo sent.

2017-03-17          22:09:00               THE ARROWFLINGER      Transmits video of Director to ARCSD Investigator

2017-03-17          22:35:39               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            (pictures of Director)

2017-03-17          22:53:48               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Yup Director

2017-03-17          22:55:22               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Sent to investigator and our Sheriff

2017-03-17          22:55:47               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Send short video too

2017-03-17          22:55:54               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted      Sent

2017-03-17          22:56:03               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Sweet

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Texts of March 18, 2017 Between THE ARROWFLINGER and Informant

2017-03-18          01:12:04               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Directors name is not on the property his equipment’s showed up there and he drives out here to check why?

2017-03-18          01:13:58               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Monday I will tell cid he was out here

2017-03-18          01:17:23               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            He knew where it was!

2017-03-18          01:18:16               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Yea

2017-03-18          01:18:31               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Probably 500 yards inside gate?

2017-03-18          01:28:24               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            The bob cat belongs to Bobcat Renter which is anther contractor who works for the landfill

2017-03-18          01:32:31               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Yes, that was the name Bobcat (of Augusta) gave Redacted LEI.

2017-03-18          01:33:24               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            See it’s all dirty

2017-03-18          07:18:27               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            And it is why I have been looking to just leave. I have been fighting it like nobody else in this state for 5 years, except for hunting seasons, and have only lost “friends” who are on the gravy train. Knitter and I have been looking in McCormick and Abbeville counties but now I am thinking northern Mississippi or North Carolina. Yeah, it is like this all over, but any place else I don’t know about them and I damned sure won’t look again. I seesaw between going apes**t exposing how utterly crooked the Augusta area is, making fun of the ridiculous fakery, and just leaving. I think this deal is the last straw.

2017-03-18          12:49:37               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I white Silverado just pulled out with a bobcat I think it was Bobcat Renter

2017-03-18          12:49:59               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Ok

2017-03-18          21:02:18               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            When we ride Lilly to tour fields for deer we will ride down Booths Branch Road to the gates and back. Probably in the next 30 minutes

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Texts of March 19, 2017 Between THE ARROWFLINGER and Informant

2017-03-19          09:51:08               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Yesterday they hand dug a drainage ditch to drain the mud puddles 10 yards inside the gate. They also unloaded 3 rolls of geotextile fabric at the rock stockpile.

2017-03-19          09:51:24               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Took pix

 

 

 

Monday, March 20, 2017

2017-03-20          06:16:34               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Heavy truck just went down Booth Branch Road I am going to see what’s going on

2017-03-20          06:19:36               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Ok

2017-03-20          06:36:55               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Drove Ranger out last  4 wheeler trail to left on Corps Land just before gate. Gonna walk Booth Branch past Landowner K.

2017-03-20          11:02:14               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Well, my early morning hike was a quiet one. No turkeys seen or heard.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

2017-03-21          10:10:55               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            A big truck just went down

2017-03-21          10:11:51               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Ok

2017-03-21          10:12:34               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Landowner O probably will keep on plan to finish

2017-03-21          10:13:22               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            It was the trash truck

2017-03-21          10:15:37               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Lol

2017-03-21          10:16:18               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Filled my roller can up an hour ago

2017-03-21?       11:10:00        THE ARROWFLINGER      Researches Grantor and Grantee Indices of the Clerk Of Superior Court of Lincoln County to ascertain if Landowner O and Landowner M had transferred any property interests to Director. Finds no evidence of that. Finds Easement agreement from Landowner K to Landowners O and M after a $5000 payment which settled the access rights of the parties. Noted that all landowners bear maintenance and improvement costs.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

2017-03-22          08:11:29               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I’ve been in the woods sense sun up haven’t heard any turkeys

2017-03-22          08:30:11               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            They have been in hiding. I did see a gobbler on the side of a road in McCormick County Sunday.

2017-03-22          12:37:34               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Hey I am sorry about this morning I wasn’t trying to be rude

2017-03-22          20:41:07               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I know. No problem. I want to talk over how you work from the house.

2017-03-22          20:41:56               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Ok

2017-03-22          20:45:55               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I thought I heard turkeys this morning on my walk back down below the houses on Bamboo Trail.

2017-03-22          20:46:22               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Bambi

2017-03-22          20:46:24               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Sweet

2017-03-22          20:46:43               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            We can chat in the morning

2017-03-22          20:46:57               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Ok

Thursday, April 27, 2017

2017-04-27          11:33:00               THE ARROWFLINGER Calls ARCSD Investigator looking for update and leaves message requesting a return call

Friday, April 28, 2017

2017-04-28          15:38:00               THE ARROWFLINGER Calls Lincoln County Sheriff and leaves message asking him to prod ARCSD into giving an update citing uncertainty over personal status with respect to activity in the public eye

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

2017-05-02         15:15:00               ARCSD Investigator calls THE ARROWFLINGER, apologizes for delay in responding, then says that the investigation was completed and turned over to the Augusta District Attorney and to the Augusta Administrator for an audit. Knitter hears the conversation because the Bluetooth truck phone grabbed the call and it was broadcast in the yard.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

2017-05-16          19:52                     THE ARROWFLINGER      Texts Commissioner G to suggest that he look out for special audit funds for Administrator’s Office. No Response.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

2017-05-18          19:52                     THE ARROWFLINGER Turns over pictures and summary of events as they existed March 15 through March 20, 2017 to Osprey. Osprey is an Augusta resident with contacts who might discuss.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

2017-05-20          09:32:09               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Those Statesboro guys are up here for the first time in ages. They are boring perk test holes with an auger.

2017-05-20          12:01:36               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Oh

2017-05-20          12:03:12               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I thought those guys  would squirm their way out of any trouble

2017-05-20          12:06:31               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Does Landowner O even know? Landowner M is SCI and was With Dabbs….but is Landowner O an ARC contractor, too?

2017-05-20          12:08:48               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I Think Landowner O is a. Contractor

2017-05-20          12:24:35               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            It’s awful funny they ran out of money and had to move all the equipment out at at 3 am

2017-05-20 13:12:00        THE ARROWFLINGER    calls Commissioner MW, leaves message to please call

Monday, May 22, 2017

2017-05-22 16:40:00        THE ARROWFLINGER      texts Commissioner G to relay that Osprey has pictures and video of Lincoln County events. Concludes with “Its Y’all’s Hellhole”

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

2017-05-24 11:32:00        THE ARROWFLINGER      calls Commissioner H, leaves message to please call

2017-05-24 11:38:00        THE ARROWFLINGER      calls Commissioner MW, leaves message to please call

2017-05-24          19:29:20               THE ARROWFLINGER         Phone Number Redacted                            Well, you were right. They are blaming the guy who retired 2 days into the investigation, saying it was a mistake that the equipment got sent.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

2017-05-25 09:12:00        THE ARROWFLINGER      Called Osprey. Both agreed that more commissioner angles needed than Commissioner G and Commissioner F, with whom Osprey had communicated.

2017-05-25 09:32:00        THE ARROWFLINGER      gets call from Commissioner MW, explains background and the developments to that point. Agrees to forward the unchanged, original questions and information of 3/15 to 3/20/2017 to ARC Clerk of Commission

2017-05-25 11:57:00        THE ARROWFLINGER Emails information sent to Osprey on 05/18/2017 to ARC Clerk of Commission

2017-05-25 13:08:00        THE ARROWFLINGER confers with Osprey, who had talked with Director earlier, and who recommended that THE ARROWFLINGER call Director directly with issues and questions.

2017-05-25          13:27:00               THE ARROWFLINGER Called Director. Asked if Landowner M, Landowner O, or Bobcat Lessee are Augusta Contractors and if he knows any of them. He said no. Asked if DW of Stateboro was a contractor. He said they were but had not done any work since 2013. Said that Landowner M’s firm was not awarded Landfill contract after he was on bid documents at January 2017 bid meeting. (Confirmed by THE ARROWFLINGER) Award contested and work might be rebid.(THE ARROWFLINGER agreed, as it had been in the newspaper) Director asked about stone purchases and stated that Augusta purchases aggregates under annual bulk purchase agreement and stockpiles various stone products at landfill. (Known in Advance by THE ARROWFLINGER)When asked how Director knew where Bobcat Lessee’s equipment was when Director and THE ARROWFLINGER met at the gate to the combined properties at 8:16 PM on March 16, 2017, Director stated that he was directed to follow the power line and that the equipment was parked under the power line.

Director asserted that the reason he could find his way in the dark when spotted coming out of the gate to the combined properties at 8:22 PM on March 16, 2017, was that he arrived in the daylight. (Official Sunset was 7:37 PM, but conditions at his exit were clearly past darkness)

Director repeated his purpose for coming out of the gate to the combined properties at 8:22 PM on March 16, 2017 was that a contractor at his facility called him, after being unable to contact Director’s subordinate employee, and was concerned about verifying the location of the Bobcat and cutter, so he drove out to the site in Lincoln County to locate the equipment and report back to the contractor, which he had done.

Director queried THE ARROWFLINGER about why he was not called earlier into the process of determining the status of the investigation. THE ARROWFLINGER said that the investigation was in the hands of ARCSD and that he was told that it was turned over to the DA. THE ARROWFLINGER turned to Osprey, an Augusta citizen, to investigate because Augusta is his city. THE ARROWFLINGER had performed considerable free work for Augusta and insisted on better contract controls since 2011 and did not feel compelled to conduct an investigation based upon GORA requests because that cost money and the Augusta Commission had failed to act to provide a solution to that obstacle when it had been proposed.

Director suggested that he had answered all questions truthfully and that THE ARROWFLINGER should accept that, to which THE ARROWFLINGER responded that there were too many inconsistencies in how the work was sequenced and suddenly halted when the investigators arrived at the Augusta Solid Waste Facility on 3/16/17. Director asked if THE ARROWFLINGER had approached the landowners to which THE ARROWFLINGER responded that the investigation should have done that and no report had been issued.

Director asserted that Administrator’s office and ARCSD had determined that there were no criminal violations, but that one of his supervisors had retired as planned but moved up during the investigation. Director admitted that said supervisor had done work at the Lincoln Site. THE ARROWFLINGER asked for a copy of that investigators’ report but Director said he could not provide it.

THE ARROWFLINGER reminded Director of THE ARROWFLINGER’s powerful defense of Director in a commission meeting presentation on another matter.

THE ARROWFLINGER agreed to forward an accounting of the conversation to all who had gotten questions and information from THE ARROWFLINGER regarded the Lincoln County matter and he did.

2017-05-25          14:57:00               THE ARROWFLINGER emails ARC Clerk of Commission that he talked to Director and provided a summary of points upon which there was agreement, but not points of disagreement, which had been previously sent.

2017-05-25          15:16:00               THE ARROWFLINGER      Agrees to discuss the March Events in Lincoln County in an on-air conversation with Most Dangerous Man in Augusta Politics, Austin Rhodes of  radio Station WGAC.

2017-05-25          15:38:00               THE ARROWFLINGER      goes on the Austin Rhodes to discuss the March Events in Lincoln County

2017-05-25          23:47:35               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            3 weeks ago The investigator said it was referred to the DA and to City Administrator for an audit,  but the DA has nothing. When the guy called that day that my new truck grabbed the audio and output it on the speaker so Knitter heard him say it. They are trying to duck and cover but I am satisfied I have it covered with enough proof.  It would be helpful to show how Landowner M has recently been working there. They didn’t apparently get the contract and Dabbs Williams did work in 2011 I found. The equipment they have conceded and also that the supervisor who was moonlighting retired 2 days into the investigation. Your info was spot on. The heat is on and some of them are spinning deeper. Hope your trip is productive. We got rain!

2017-05-25          23:50:28               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Nice I heard some of it through the internet on the radio show good job

2017-05-25          23:51:17               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            If he was moonlighting why was he driving a county truck out there that’s the word I got from Inside Source

Friday, May 26, 2017

2017-05-26          00:13:44               out         Phone Number Redacted                            I wish I had walked up tge hill when the Bobcat brush cutter was being used and seen the truck. Pretty sure he was there on a weekday morning

2017-05-26          00:31:49               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Yup

2017-05-26          18:12:36               out         Phone Number Redacted                            Can you tell me who got retired?

2017-05-26          18:13:13               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            McKinley Williams

2017-05-28          00:35:00               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Also McKinley has worked there so long and knows all the equipment I can’t imagine he would make a mistake I think he is just covering for Director

Sunday, May 28, 2017

2017-05-28          00:35:45               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Did Director contact you? If he did he his trying to cover himself

2017-05-28          00:39:21               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I was told to call him. I did.

2017-05-28          00:40:39               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Oh well he is a snake with a lot of political connections

2017-05-28          00:41:11               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            That’s based on my experience

2017-05-28          00:44:39               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            He said he did not know Landowner M or Landowner O…..the landowners. Said he did not know Bobcat Renter….the Bobcat lessee. Said DW has not worked there since 2014. Ssid stone is bought under annual contract and stockpiled. Got on my case for not calling him until after sending out claims.(emails to ARC Commissioners)

2017-05-28          00:47:22               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            That’s a lie Bobcat Renter was out there last year helping extend the sides of the land feel(fill) to meet the air space. Landowner M was out there all the time him and Director went to lunch several times

2017-05-28          00:48:03               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Said he got up here before dark is why he had no flash flight and found the equipment because it was under the power line easement. .. Trouble with that is my video is time stamped 8:48 pm (exit time)

2017-05-28          00:48:40               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Augusta Commissioner G is barbequed

2017-05-28          00:48:55               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Sweet

2017-05-28          00:50:38               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted            I have Commissioners Augusta Commissioner W and Augusta Commissioner G FURIOUS AND LOADED FOR BEAR for Tuesday’s commission meeting.

2017-05-28          00:51:01               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Administrator in deep S**t

2017-05-28          00:51:20               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Administrator.

2017-05-28          00:51:42               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Administrator

2017-05-28          00:52:29               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I am going to have all their a$$es.

2017-05-28          00:54:14               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Good, if Director told you he didn’t know those guys he is lying. Why did he tell his staff he had property on the lake?

2017-05-28          00:55:47               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            That excavator has a small’ backward reflex clam-shell or scoop. Small blade. Not suited for moving stone piles. The loaders at landfill. ARE

2017-05-28          00:57:14               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Every one out there knows they mini excavator every one used it including McKinley

2017-05-28          00:58:31               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            What about the trailer the county just purchased did he make a mistake with that to

2017-05-28          00:58:33               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted           (I am hearing) Commissioner G says landfill doesn’t use that sort of stone. However, it is too fine to use for road without geotextile underlayment. There are 4 (actually 3) rolls of that there

2017-05-28          01:00:16               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Bull s**t we use crush and run all the time look at the camp sites at the sheriff range they have three sites up there for campers I know because I was told I could park mine there

 

2017-05-28          01:00:29               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Sounds like McKinley was the Bobcat operator up here. Isn’t that what you found out?

2017-05-28          01:01:29               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Yes I know he ran that for sure

2017-05-28          01:02:18               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Well that means an arc employee destroyed us government property

2017-05-28          01:02:45               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            The landfill Owens (owns) John Deere skid steeres (steers) not bob cats

2017-05-28          01:03:29               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                              McKinley loves Director and will cover until it’s his a$$

2017-05-28          01:04:29               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I am gonna fry some a$$ Yes Bobcat was rented to Bobcat Renter by Bobcat Augusta. Director was concerned about it because Bobcat called him.

2017-05-28          01:05:49               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Yea brother he knew what was going on he just want to take his Own or parents Winnebago out there

2017-05-28          01:06:20               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            So Director was concerned about the Bobcat that destroyed corps woodland. And his supervisor ran it. Perfect.

Footage from March 16, 2016 as events were unfolding.

2017-05-28          01:07:07               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            You keep asking questions and I’ll keep giving information they can’t hide from us

2017-05-28          01:07:32               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            What about the trailer?

2017-05-28          01:08:18               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            The press and politicians want my hide. After 5 years you handed me something to tear Augusta apart with.

2017-05-28          01:08:19               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            That was county property no one made a mistake with that

2017-05-28          01:08:44               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            They brought it to me

2017-05-28          01:09:14               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            It does not have property tag or number on it

2017-05-28          01:10:09               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Oh, they are conceding that the trailer and excavator are Augusta assets

2017-05-28          01:10:51               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Yea

2017-05-28          01:11:26               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted            The landfill does have loaders and graders right?

2017-05-28          01:11:47               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I would to see Director gone. I want to live out there in peace

2017-05-28          01:12:31               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I am pretty sure that will happen.

2017-05-28          01:12:59               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Oh yea komatso 320 front loaders and they use roads department grader they also have a cat roller

2017-05-28          01:13:43               in            Phone Number Redacted                            I know because I have worked on all of it

2017-05-28          01:15:43               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Ok. Good. So you are sure others saw Director with Landowner M and know that Bobcat Renter did work there

2017-05-28          01:16:49               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            The investigator did not turn over anything to the DA like he said. It was his bad luck that his call to me telling me that came on over my car speakerphone so everyone in my yard could hear it

2017-05-28          01:17:37               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Buddy is ready to testify that he saw him up here in fact I was in the back (actually the passenger seat) seat of the investigators car and Buddy did not see me when he stopped them in the road and demanded to know who they were

2017-05-28          01:18:00               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            The sheriff’s department is screwed about as bad as Commissioner G and Director

2017-05-28          01:22:21               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            You can ask any one who works at the landfill when I quite Bobcat Renter was working out there and that was april last year

2017-05-28          01:23:29               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Commissioner G called you a disgruntled employee. I am gonna make him rue those words. (Because it was a smokescreen. Informant had nothing to do with the perpetrator’s actions.)

2017-05-28          01:23:38               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Talk to **** he was a supervisor and he just got hired back

2017-05-28          01:24:57               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Sorry I meant James ******

2017-05-28          01:25:17               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Why would he say that when I resigned

2017-05-28          01:26:19               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I went to lunch with him and Director and I said grace before the meal. Dirty people

2017-05-28          01:26:30               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Don’t worry about that. You are gonna love it.

2017-05-28          01:27:07               Informant           Phone Number Redacted

2017-05-28          01:28:24               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Gonna go back to bed. Good night!

2017-05-28          01:29:23               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Good night from California

2017-05-28         14:23:00                THE ARROWFLINGER calls Landowner K and learns that no investigators contacted her after the mid-March incidents. Conversation lasts 39 minutes. Topics beside social updating of family and friends include the easement road work. Three times Landowner K reiterates that Landowners M and O kept saying that they  had connections to get the work done. No mention was made of Columbia or Richmond Counties in that context, as was the case in the mid-March conversation.

2017-05-28          15:36:00               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                         Investigators did not contact you or Landowner K

2017-05-28          15:37:00               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                           Nope I talked to them once The day you were with them

Thursday, June 1, 2017

2017-06-01        19:00?                Augusta Administrator calls THE ARROWFLINGER on his land line phone (no logs)and a Q&A session resulted that lasted about 30 to 40 minutes. THE ARROWFLINGER called the Informant while the Administrator was on the other line to ascertain that the Informant would allow her to have his number. Later Informant called to state that he and the Administrator had talked and would continue the next day.

2017-06-02        13:08 Commissioner H calls to verify that the Administrator had talked to Informant

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

2017-06-06          15:27:00 ?             Director resigns and Augusta Commission accepts his resignation.

Can the good people of Augusta get their rogue government under control?

 

 

  • AG

 

The JERK of Lincoln County?

On Tuesday April 19th, 2016 the Lincoln County Republican Party held a candidate forum at the public Library. Your Arrowflinger was there and asked the candidates very tough questions. Former House District 117 Representative Lee Anderson, now running for the Senate District 24 seat, and his wife Donna were seated the next row in front. When Lee got up to speak my questions were pointed at his previous record of voting for double digit fee, rate, and tax increases on us. Donna turned and called me a “jerk” numerous times, although the only clearly audible one was at the end, when I loudly challenged Lee to take further questioning.

Now, the point being made is that we go broke very fast paying double digit cost increases when our incomes are increasing less than 2%. Lee and Donna have a solution to this dilemma though. You see, Lee’s first cousin Superior Court Judge David Roper heads the guardian ad litem program in Augusta which became a national scandal because of the guardians’ ad looting. Now Donna is in that stable of ad lootems, supplementing their family income. We don’t have that option, do we?

None of the other candidates or their parties reacted with anger at my tough questions, only the one person divorcing parents would expect to stay calm.

Later radio talker Austin Rhodes quipped that the Andersons don’t need the money, but did the other Ad lootems who punished distraught parents with outrageous fees??

Usually the phrase “grab the wife and kids” is hyperbole in a political season, but can you families of the 24th risk having a rogue judge, rubber-stamp lawmaker, and angry guardian ad lootem wife all aligned against you in the event of divorce?

Think about it.

Watch and listen, as Arrowflinger Al gets tagged with yet another insulting label to join many other such Badges of Honor.

GOP Cookie Jar Lid Slams on Rep. Jodi Lott

LottJodi4879

 

The November 2014 race to fill Georgia House District 122 seat, vacated by retiring Representative Ben Harbin of Evans was the ugliest, most hotly contested election in the modern history of Columbia County. It saw 2 months of nonstop attacks by radio station talk show host Austin Rhodes on hapless candidate Joe Mullins conjoined with the collapse of the campaign of departing Columbia County District 3 commissioner Mack Taylor. Taylor’s efforts became mired in a nasty war with Mullins, complete with subterfuge, private investigators, and backdoor conniving with the radio talker.  Columbia County, sick of the carnage, chose political newcomer Jodi Lott in the December runoff.

Representative-elect Lott was probably giddy with excitement still when she was sworn in this January. Her refreshing enthusiasm, undiminished by the grinding  reality check of public life, was apparent to everyone in the area. Her primary campaign issue, a “fairtax” (a sales tax) to replace the state income tax, seemed unstoppable in the Georgia House of Representatives, as leadership and the membership voiced support.

Like the rest of us, Jodi Lott found the meaning of “lip service,” that when grizzled politicians like House leaders move their lips, you can count on it being in service to a lie. In this case her treasured tax relief met uncompromising doom at the hands of  Governor Nathan Deal, who cited the danger that moving from an income tax to a sales tax would pose to Georgia’s burgeoning film industry, which heavily benefits from income tax credits. The House leadership beat a retreat, citing the futility of going against the governor’s wishes.

That is the “official story.” Here is a much more accurate explanation. The reason that the citizenry of Georgia will never see their income taxes cut, or replaced by a sales tax, is that other income tax credits have been a back-door, almost totally-unaccounted for, stream of public funds to connected political donors from the Republican hierarchy in the legislative and executive branches.  They give away income taxes that have to be made up by increased income taxes on us. No income tax means that the payola scheme dies.

Our City Stink/Agraynation.com  collaborative effort uncovered the scandal in 2012, during investigation into the details of the Magnolia Trace subsidized housing development uproar.  After the public fury, this writer had traveled to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) offices and spent an afternoon pouring over records of the Magnolia Trace income tax credit applications in the company of DCA attorney Phyllis Carr.  The review did not uncover any smoking guns assignable to Columbia County Officials, but found a huge one wafting smoke toward the Georgia Republican Party and its senior officeholders in government.

You see, the availability of income tax credits, especially the low income housing tax credit, had been around for years. Most of these credits expired unused. That was until Missouri based Affordable Equity Partners got measures through the Georgia legislature allowing the credits to be exchanged, marketed and sold to taxpayers who could use the tax credits.  Affordable Equity and its sister Capital Health Management, Inc. funded a bevy of GOP-beneficent PACs and made direct contributions to nearly all of the important party office holders. To date, Governor Deal has received $10,000, House Speaker David Ralston has received $9,500, Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle has received more than $17,000 from this stable of companies and related PACs. The  GOP, its incumbents in the legislature and other supporting PACs have received another $240,000.

Magnolia Trace affair was also a scandal in its approval process and the political donation largesse was a deciding factor for approval in this writer’s opinion. How widespread are these failures and malpractices by DCA and how much is it costing the people of Georgia?

Representative Lott and tax reformers take note! To get tax reform for the people the path is directly through your leaders’ hefty campaign finances.

Let’s see if the candidates now running for Senate 24 and House 123 seats on passing a “fairtax” have that much tenacity.

 

A Crusading Chronicle Turns to Jihad

The independent media in east central Georgia fully expected the Augusta Chronicle to launch a crusade against 12th District Congressman John Barrow, the leviathan-besting survivor of six previous bouts with Billy Morris’ crumbling media empire and we were not disappointed. The salvo began with an opinion piece on September 15 and letters to the editor blasting the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DNCC)’s ads on behalf of Barrow, which targeted Rick Allen’s government contracts. Allen, the Republican Party nominee opposing Barrow, quickly and adeptly incorporated the newspaper’s attack on Barrow into his own campaign ads.The crusade had begun.

The Chronicle and Allen actually were justified in ridiculing the DNCC ads, because it was RW Allen, LLC, who held those contracts, not Rick Allen, who has had a declining participation in his firm in recent years, while retaining the title of President of the Firm. Also, as Allen, the Republican campaign apparatus, local talk radio, and the Chronicle pointed out, most of those contracts were competitively bid on a hard price basis and the “cost overruns” were indeed minimal.

The DNCC baited a trap. The Allen apparatchiks, especially Morris Communications, stepped into it. John Barrow, a Harvard Law graduate, probably wasn’t an unwitting beneficiary. If he was, he won’t be much longer, for the denunciations and denials of the DNCC charges by Allen and the Chronicle will only focus attention on the scandal-plagued Tee Center project, now termed the Augusta Convention Center, where RW Allen was the construction manager and a Chronicle affiliate was the chief beneficiary. It wasn’t hard bid, but was one of those loosey-goosey “guaranteed maximum price” deals and Augusta was billed the maximum price.

Before the contract trap was even sprung by the Barrow team, the Chronicle-Allen media express derailed less than 10 days of leaving the station. Its crusade suddenly was rerouted into a jihad against Islamic US citizens of Augusta.

The Islamic Society of Augusta had gotten acceptance of an invitation to debate from both Allen and Barrow for a debate to be held at the Islamic Center in Evans on September 27. Steve Crawford, editor of the Columbia County News-Times, a Morris publication, had agreed to be the moderator. Both candidates agreed to the Islamic Society hosting the event, Crawford’s moderation, and the place.

With no warning, Morris management took its newly-found jihadi knife and backstabbed host and moderator by forbidding Crawford from moderating. The event was put into danger of cancellation. Barrow appeared at the side of the Islamic Society’s Dr. Hossam Fadel and denounced the Morris action. Rick Allen was silent with the only response being the Allen campaign’s celebration of the “gotcha” moment of capturing Barrow in the company of a Muslim “cleric,” as they put it.

The debate was ‘saved’ by moving it to the less-than-200-person capacity of the Columbia County Commission Chamber from the 800-person-capacity Islamic Center. By several accounts, hundreds were turned away who arrived on time. The Chronicle’s jihadi knife got them too.

Before the debate began, Columbia County Republican Party Chairman Dewey Galeas added fuel to outrage at Republican party tactics by refusing to take Dr. Fadel’s offered hand for a handshake. Such ugliness is sure to be linked to other recent incidents by the state and county Republican parties.

Inside there were discussions of these events and a question was asked about the threat of Islamophobia to the constitutional rights of US citizens that are supposed to exist despite race, creed, national origin, religion or political belief. Here is the video of those remarks.

The Insider at the Metro Spirit concluded:

When (talk radio show host Austin)Rhodes pressed Atkins to explain which candidate was uncomfortable with the Islamic Community Center as the venue, Atkins was honest.

“It was the Rick Allen campaign headquarters,” Atkins told Rhodes.

Someone in the Morris-Allen alliance decided that the images of knife-wielding terrorists beheading folks in Iraq would be a nice thing to pin on John Barrow, turning the law abiding, honorable citizens in the Islamic Society into victims of a back-stabbing. Newsprint won’t stanch the bleeding and electronic publication won’t heal the wound.

The Chronicle‘s express might or might not get derailed at a guaranteed maximum price to its owners, but November 4 is Judgment Day when the voters decide whose political future is decapitated and whether it will be with his own knife.

Austin Rhodes Political Theories Not from Einstein

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”
– Rita Mae Brown , but frequently attributed to Albert Einstein

The last time Saxby Chambliss’ Georgia seat in the U.S. Senate was contested, it was by Democrat Jim Martin in 2008. The general election ended in a run-off. This writer, normally a Republican and fanatically conservative, endorsed Jim Martin out of sheer fright of the damage “Taxby,” as he is known in Georgia, might do with another term. After all, Chambliss had voted for the now $17 trillion Medicare D unfunded liability, the Patriot Act that took our constitutional rights, and a smorgasbord of outrageous government spending.
None of that mattered to Augusta radio talker Austin Rhodes. There isn’t a smidgeon of independence in his body when it comes to partisan politics. There is no “Republican” too objectionable to be supported to the hilt. Humorously, there is a Georgia prison system that has come to house many of his favorites. When it came to voting for Martin, Rhodes yammered about how important it was to vote for the “conservative” Chambliss for the sake of avoiding the dangerous liberal Supreme Court justice appointments Democrat Martin might vote to approve and all of the perils that the “liberal” Martin might engender.

Chambliss won.

Oops! Chambliss voted for the nomination of John Roberts to be the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Roberts voted for Obamacare, the greatest Republican-feared monster ever.

Read that one slowly. The “conservative” Austin wanted and got to avoid disastrous liberal court decisions voted for the Justice delivering the biggest liberal program that could be imagined!

Sadly the damage that the GOP establishment clown Taxby would go on to inflict will likely result in the financial collapse of America! Chambliss was the ranking member on the Agriculture Committee when the chance came to reform the colossal $400 trillion financial derivatives markets that caused the 2008 Lehman Brothers collapse. Derivatives were the biggest problem, because these insurance “contracts” where written without the reserves required by every state insurance commissioner and didn’t keep enough money to pay off the contracts when they became bad gambling debts. This came from a Saxby Chambliss vote in 2000. Worse than that, they were made even better than our money in the banks by a worse Chambliss vote that allowed mixing of the bad gambling debts with insured bank deposits!

Readers probably understand that they can call their insurance agent to place a binder on insurance for their new car. However,those binders cannot be deposited and spent . That requires a cash transaction. They aren’t “money good”. Well, in the panic of 2008, $10 million increments of insurance binders/derivatives/gambling bets were being made whole at taxpayer expense with the bailout of AIG.

$10 million or more in our money went to reimburse a phone conversation memo? Most employees cannot get $250 travel costs paid with no receipts!

Jim Martin would never have been in a position to correct these catastrophic errors. Saxby/Taxby was as the ranking member of the Agriculture Committee. Did he demand that no longer could phone calls cost taxpayers $100’s of billions in total? Watch this for yourselves.

There you have it. There are more derivatives now than in 2008 and they can still be a phone call, thanks to Saxby Chambliss.

Now in 2014, Austin Rhodes is still hawking US Senate candidates based upon their party affiliations, citing possible court nominations and legislation.

This writer is with Austin in supporting Republican David Perdue, having campaigned for him to the hilt in the primary season.

Perdue or even Democrat Michelle Nunn are far more capable than the retiring Chambliss.

Let’s hope this time Austin has it right, even if the reasoning isn’t sound by Einstein standards.

Old Bo – The Tail Wagged of a Thief

T-Boned at the Augusta National

Friday June 22, 2012
Augusta, GA
by Al Gray

This hunter has a confession to make.

I hated old Bo as much as Uncle John loved him.
Bo was the fastest beagle in Uncle’s pack of 32 and the houndish fellow had real charisma, hence John Rhodes would never leave the scoundrel home, as much as I wished he would. You might ask why a beagle could be despised by a fellow, especially one with “Happiness is a Beagle” emblazoned on a 40 year old sweatshirt. For me it was simple. I usually avoid people like old Bo.

The reason Bo always led the pack was straightforward.

He cheated.

While the rest of the pack sought the rabbit with nose to dusty ground, diligently working to stay on track, Bo would run ahead or cut in front. When the more deserving of his fellows would correct the course of the pack, after the rabbit threw them a loop or an out, Bo would always be opportunistically waiting to charge into the lead, his chop mouth a-barking.


I was aghast and disgusted. Bo was a cutter who stole the glory from those who worked very hard for it.

Taking all 32 of the pack was a troublesome affair. The hunters always had to keep count when loading the dogs up, lest one be left behind. A poor rabbit was doomed, because the pack would split, so that when he doubled back, he likely would run smack into the other half. One simply cannot convey the ground shaking racket 32 beagles make!

Uncle John’s best friend was Judson Bentley brother to his brother-in-law Irving Bentley. Judson was a most humorous, often cigar-chomping fellow, who frequently accompanied Uncles John, Land and Andrew on their rabbit hunts. Jud was the grandfather of WGAC radio talk show host Austin Rhodes (no relation to John Rhodes or this writer’s maternal grandfather).

John Rhodes was a notoriously frugal man. He drove a 1964 green Ford Ranger pickup. Instead of footing the bill for a serious box box to go in the back of it, Uncle fashioned a cover over the bed that was anchored in the corner post boxes. Instead of having a real dog box door, the box only had the tailgate to hold the pack in place. It was an accident waiting to happen.

One extremely cold morning in 1966, John, Land and Jud headed south toward Burke County with a half-compliment of 16 charged-up, excited beagles. In those days there was no Bobby Jones Expressway, so that the hunters leaving from Stevens Creek Road in Martinez had to pick a tortuous path down Washington Road, to Berckmans Road, over to Highland, then to Wheeless, over to Lumpkin Road and then south on Highway 56.

A terrible thing happened.

Just as they rounded the corner onto Berckmans Road at the big green water tower on the Augusta National side of the road, the truck either grazed the curb or encountered a bump. The tailgate fell down. All 16 beagles poured out into the intersection of Washington Road and Berckman’s road! Cars swerved. Horns blew. After a few minutes traffic stopped.

It was simply a miracle. John and Land caught and reloaded dogs while Jud, who at this point was pretty serious about events, counted. People got out of cars to help. Babe, Tiny, and Beulah were already rooting around in the vines along the National’s fence trying to jump a rabbit. Sadly what could have turned into a epochal story of a beagle pack running wild down Magnolia Lane was thwarted by the excellent fencing. Beulah was not amused when Land picked her up. She growled.

Travelers kept feeding wayward hounds into the back of the truck. 


Jud had counted 15.

Where was Bo? The uncles went looking while Jud lit a stogie.

They heard a commotion from across the street, in the A&P parking lot. A woman had dropped her bag of groceries, which gave that larcenous hound, Bo, his chance. Bo trotted back to his master, meeting him halfway across the lot, with a T-bone steak in his mouth. John Rhodes didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, because he had to pay the woman for her spoiled groceries.Bo had done what he did best, cut loose from the others to steal a treat.

With Bo in hand and order restored, the party headed on down to McBean, where the threat was no longer automotive, but was more in the order of avoiding moonshiners, rattlers, and old Miz Robinson.

Jud talked about that morning for years and it became a Rhodes family legend.

History doesn’t record what happened on the hunt that day, but hunters and 16 beagles were blessed with tragedy averted at the water tower. All have passed and all that remains is their memory.

Arrrr—-roooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

I thought I was beyond Bo’s reach when he died, but then cousin Hugh turned loose his pup Flash one morning the next season. The dog raced out ahead looking to cut in front and steal the lead. “Cheater!” I muttered….then a the thought hit.


Bo left a son.***
A.G.
Al and Queenie 1973