Are Herbert or Tucker any Match for THE ARMADA?

OPINION by The Arrowflinger

Rarely, if ever, has there been such a display of raw, naked, affluent power as this fundraiser handbill for a candidate for the Chair of the Columbia County Commission.

This invitation to a (fundraising) “Event” for Doug Duncan, now the District 1 Commissioner, might have dissuaded Mark Herbert and Pam Tucker from even qualifying. It didn’t.

It is breathtaking. This is a crew perfectly capable of raising $400,000 or even more, if they want to maintain their ironclad control of Columbia County.

They do.

Over here one finds fellow Commissioners Trey Allen, Gary Richardson, and Bill Morris. Not an overt sponsor on this invite, current Chairman Ron Cross has been cited in the Augusta Chronicle as donating heavily to Duncan’s campaign. On it we find stalwart backers of Cross from earlier campaigns like Jean Garniewicz and the Ivey Brothers.

Over there one sees the names of three voting members of a Board of Directors of a bank, that kinda, sorta got a timely backdoor bailout from Columbia County, Robert Pollard, Ron Thigpen and Larry Prather.

A bunch of the rest are developers, realtors, and builders.

Of course, no campaign endorsement list for a Columbia County incumbent politician worth his, or her, salt is complete without Sheriff Clay Whittle. He has been at this for decades now, hasn’t he?

The most amazing aspect of this list are the power brokers from old Augusta throwing their weight into this contest. State Department of Transportation Board member (former Chairman) and former Augusta Commissioner Don Grantham, former Georgia Representative Barbara Sims, and former State Department of Transportation Board member and former Augusta Commissioner Bill Kuhlke are on this list. Throw in names like McKnight and Hull – both of those last names emblazoned on the new Georgia Cyber Center for Innovation and Training in Augusta – and you get a stunning array of power.

This election might have been over before it started.

But then again…

The political seafloor is littered with invincible armadas that suddenly developed holes in their Hulls.


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  1. Why is so much money being donated to a candidate to help him win a position on Columbia County’s Board of Commissioners? I understand the position doesn’t pay nearly that much money. And one wonders why folks in Richmond County are spending so much for a race in Columbia County? I would submit it’s because that particular candidate has made BIG promises to those BIG supporters. This means he would go into this position already owing a lot of people a lot of things—-many of which would NOT be in Columbia County’s best interests.
    Wouldn’tit Make more sense for us to elect a candidate who hasn’t already promised so much to those who have already DONE to our county what’s been done? Do we just want more of the same old same old?

    • The Arrowflinger

      In recent years local governments increasingly engage in public-private partnerships, which generally involves transfer of public assets directly or indirectly into private hands. Examples are the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, The Augusta Convention Center, and the Evans Town Center.Also, larger developers in Columbia County have always sought advantages in how county ordinances apply to them. A shift from strict enforcement to forbearance can mean $millions.

      This writer likes the position that the voters have in this race to make positive changes. Doug Duncan is a great candidate and perhaps he can get his powerful supporters to adjust what they are about or are doing. The techniques used at and began in 1983 with a job through Commissioner Duncan’s company, MAU. Similarly, Pam Tucker is a great asset for the county and would serve well.

  2. It is strange.

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