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Forsyth, Georgia
October 17, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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October 17, 2018

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& EDITORIALS Declare among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard, publish, and conceal not, Jeremiah 50:2 A 2018, 2017, 2016 winner: Editorio[ Page excellence w B s*NewsP,o,og,oph, 20'8 ~n Ees' $~or's P%es IZI~.~L~.~ I 20111 winner:. Best Serious Cd On the Porch K'~e~O%"/ 2018, 2017 winner:. Best Humarous Column - On the Porch ~,~~ ON THE PORCH by Will Davis In my 11 years here, this newspaper has cal debates at almost every venue in Monroe Coun Weve had them at Alderman Hall (the old fire station). We've had them at the railroad depot. Weve had them at the board of education auditorium. We've had them at St. James Baptist Church on Railroad Avenue. For county commission races, we've held them out of town to get dover to the voters in each district. We've had a D' rict 2 debate at New Providence Baptist Church in Smarr. We've had a District 3 debate at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Bolingbroke. We've had at least two District 4 debates at the High Falls Fire Station (where it's hot, and hard to hear!). We at the Reporter considering holding debates to be a valuable public service, our gift to the community, and if it generates some news as a result, well, that's all the better. I enjoy moderating debates. No one covers Monroe County like we do. As the county's legal organ, we're really the only media outlet in Forsyth. I think we know as much about the issues facing Monroe County, and on the minds of our dtizens, as anyone. We ask good, tough questions because it's in all of our interests to demand more from our public officials. Better public officials means a better community. Who's against that? But, in 2008 some candidates complained that I asked ques- tions that were too tough. We asked a former district attomey why he seemed to have grand juries "no bill" an inordinate number of cases every year, more than other judicial circuits. We asked a former county commission chairman if it was fair that he kept appealing his property tax values, which essentially put him on both sides of his case. They Were tough questions. Some were submitted by readers. Other questions we came up with ourselves. When I arrived in 2007, I was told nobody really hosted regu- lar debates. So we started partnering with the chamber to host them each election cycle. But after the 2008 debate, the then- chamber president said she could no longer co-host debates with us. We 4vere simply too tough on some candidates, she said. Since the chamber at the time received funding from the county and I agreed with her that we should not try to run a debate together. We value our independence, and I've even had public officials say that our commitment to holding public offidalsac- countable has given Monroe County a better crop of them. Which brings us to this year. Our political debate in March before the May primary was un- usually rancourous. One dtizen and a state house candidate got into a shouting match over political signs. Only my blue cooler, used to transport water bottles for the candidates, kept the two from fistictfffs. hen I asked the school board candidates if they would be willing to say how they voted in the 2016 presidential election. A small contingent supportive of one candidate erupted into shouts. "This isn't a debate!" one BOE re ee shouted at me. ' ctualt,that exactly what it is," I replied. All that led to Monday's sheriff's debate. A county commissioner offered to let us use the commision chambers for and I was grateful. It has a good sound system, and seats 130. We had never had 130 at a debate. But this was also our first open sheriffs race, and some worried the crowd would be too large. The old BOE auditorium was unavailable due to renovations. The Fine Arts Center was too big for my taste. The county's Conference Center would've worked welL But commission chairman Greg Tapley seemed to think the debate is a big money-maker for us. He refused to waive the fee. So we kept it at the annex. Then Tapley called me with another beef. He said unnamed "people" were concerned that my questions would be biased, and that the debate would get out of hand. Of course I have biases like everyone else, but I ask tough questions of all the candidates and have an 11-year record. Candidates don't have to come to our debate, and some don't I reminded Tapley that his own neice is married to a candidate, so I don't know why he's so concemed about MY bias. Anywa if you were turned away from Monday's debate, I'm sorry I would've liked a bigger fadlity is well But we're a small town and do the best we can. I think the Reporters debates have improved civic life and the quality of public offidais in Forsyth. All the carping notwithstanding we're doing a service for the community. And if our debates are so popular that people can't get in and have to read about it in the paper, then I guess that's OKbyus. the M.onme County www. is published every week by The Monroe County Reporter Inc. Will Davis, President Robert 191. Williams Jr Vice President Cheryl S. WilliamS, Secretary-Treasurer Will Davis ~:~ ] Trellis Grant Publisher/Edit0r Business Manager Richard Dumas ~ ~ Diane Glidewell News Editor Community Editor Carolyn Martel ~ ~ Brand0n Park Advertising Manager Creative Director Official Organ of Monroe County and the City of Forsyth 50 N. Jackson St. Forsyth, GA 31029 Periodicals Postage Paid at Forsyth, GA 31029 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: THE MONROE COUNTY REPORTER - P.O. Box 795, Forsyth, GA 31029 SUBSCRIPTION RATE: In County: $40 Out of County:. $48 - Single Copy:. $1 Deadlines noon on Friday prior to issue. Comments featured on opinion pages are the at=ation of the writers, the do not necessarily reflect the opinions of[~ Reporter management. Publication No. USPS 997-840 PEACH STATE POLITICS by Kyle Wingfield SALT LAKE CITY- Sometimes, for perspective, it helps to back up a couple of steps. Or a couple of thousand miles. The closer one gets to Washington, D.C. - and the goings-on therein - the uglier the picture. Consider the recent confinmtion hearings for new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavana- ugh. Regardless ofhow one felt about Kavanaugh and the allegations against him, Americans of all political persua- sions were repulsed by the spectacle that senatorial "advice and consent" became. More than once during and after that process, I read or heard someone ask whether our elected offidals could ever again unite to accomplish anything positive and consequential. Yet, the response by both sides has been to turn the heat up, not down. Ifyou are waiting for a moderation of temperatures in our politics, you may seek the impossible - at least, ffwe insist on the same appmack As long as we elevate ever more mak- ing oflaw and policy to the national level, the fights will become more ex- treme. This is not a matter of ideology gone wild, money in politics, gerry- mandering, media bias or other reasons commonly offered to explain our bitter, tribal partisanship. The problem is the stakes are too A nation of 325 million souls will not agree, easily or perhaps at all, about the best way to arrange for something as personal and intimate as, sag the provi- sion of health care. Such a large popu- lace also will inevitably hold starl@, irrecondlably different views about the morality oftopics such as abortion. We do not hold increasing amounts of animus toward one another because these differences exist; we hold them because one side is in constant peril of having these differences resolved definitively, and against its wishes, in law, when such a law is applied across the entire nation. There are problems that must be addressed nationally: defense, interstate com- merce, immigration. In general, these are problems concerning our national sovereignty. Whether health insur- ance must cover five essential benefits or 10, or how far the law should intrude on one's personal choices - these do not concem national sover- eign We have elevated them as if they were. That was a mis'take. Which brings me back to the question of perspective, and the dateline for this column. I spent the past week in Uta capital, at a meeting ofleaders from other state-based think tanks. More than ever, this experience reinforced for me the thoughtfulness, capability and willing- ness of people from all 50 states to solve these problems in their state capitols, not the U.S. Capitol. The attendees were brought together by our common belief in prindples such as economic opportunity and freedom, and limited government. e e Now, I am under no illusion these prindples are the only ones espoused in our many states. I met peers in states that are unfailingly blue, states that are resolutely red, and states (like Georgia) now trying to make up their minds. I am, however, convinced each of the states is better positioned than the fed- eral government to settle such questions as how to regulate health insurance, how to provide public education, and how to invest in infrastructure. If nothing else, the stakes are necessarily lower in any one state than in all the states at once. Our nation is not go ing to shrink Nor is it at all likely to develop a sudden, broad consensus about these matters. That such a consensus existed for much of the 20th cen- tury is the aberration; the lack of one now is more akin to the first century and a half of the American experiment, and apt to continue for decades to come. We can agree to push more very important questions to the lower state level. Or we can continue to raise the stakes until the rancor of the Kavana- ugh hearings, and the political currents that swirled about and created it, seems like the good old days. The CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Kyle Wingfiekfs column runs in newspapers around the state. JUST THE WAY IT IS by Sloan Oliver l eVana "AGA- I ast week,Justice shouted out of restaurants, screamed at was sworn in in airports, and forced to cancel events an associate justice on due to threats ofphysical violence. The Supreme Court. Now, leftist cabal is completely unhinged and the country can get backto normal, cor- promises to continue in "cwility for the rect?NO.Theleftistcabalhaspromised foreseeable future. to continue their "resistance" campaign against anyone they THESE ARE not idle oppose. And since they rants by deranged liberals. oppose Justice Kava- These rants have become naugh, the resistance mainstream Democrat will continue. AS I said ideology and methodol- last week, we should The calls to resist come be very concerned from the highest levels about the left's hateful " of the Democrat Part . resistance. It's border- To prove that the "r ist line anarchy. The Dems mentality" has gone main- have promised, should stream, ask yourself- How they win in November, many dected Democrats to keep investigat- have condemned any of ing Kavanaugh for the hateful protests or the sole purpose of condemned any ofthe impeaching him. Libs intolerance such as Kathy and Dems have gone Griffin holding a severed "all in" as they contin- Trump head or death ue their attempts to destroy Brett Kava- threats against Justice Kavanaugh? naugh life, even threatening to killhim. Answer- None. Democrat politicians Some examples: As Justice Kavanaugh actively encourage the protestors to be- was being confirmed; an enraged mob come more confrontational and more oflunatics descended on the Supreme uncivil AS a result, the leftist cabal's rage Court and angrily pounded on the is only increasing. It's like they're froth- doors while screamin& '`shut it down. ing at the mouth. Shut it down? A teacher in Minnesota said, "So whd'S gonna take one for the EVERY CONSERVATIVE knows team and kill Kavanaugh?" A Google exactly what I'm talking about with the Executive slammed the GOP in a vit- increasing liberal insanity However, the riolic rant, "E YOU ALL TO HF2.J ' average liberal and Dem doesn't know and continued, "I hope the last images how etwaged they've become. That's be- burned into yourevil, treasonous cause liberal media outlets do not report retinas are millions ofwomen laughing on the increasing craziness on the left. and dapping and celebrating as your CNN, MSNBG, etc. completely ignore souls descend into the flames? Also, it. With a straight face, and completely Sarah Silverman, an X-rated comedian, believing what theysa); liberals insist hoped that President Tromp would be that conservatives who are intolerant. a victim of sexual assault, ']add down When someone only watches CNN and violated against your wil ' Eric and MSNBC, they're dudess about the Holder, the former Attorney General, left's insanity and intolerance. Several said, '"When they go low, We kick 'em? CNN anchors actually endorsed the And Hillary promised that Democrat mobs chasing Senator Cruz out of a res- incivility will continue until Democrats taumnt or the mob confronting Kirstjen return to power. Nielsen. The liberal news anchors call these mob tactics- "1st Amendment ALL OF ofthese rants come after the rights." according to the "tolerant" past 20 months of anti-Trump insanity leftists, they have a right to intimidate, - Kathy Griffin holding a severed and scream at, and chase down conserva- bloody Trump head; a New York City fives because conservatives deserve it. theater performance in which President Trump is assassinated; and Maxine SANE PEOPLE have asked why Waters (D-CA) calling for Dems and liberal women went "all in" with believ- liberals to confront and in "tlmidate ing Chris e Ford in her accusations conservatives and Republicans - in against Justice Kavanaugh. It's very restaurants, in department stores, or at a simple- this was payback Throughout gas station to ' et in their face and create histor); there have been millions of a crowd and tell them they're not wel- women assaulted, raped, and murdered come thereY Conservatives have been by men. And for most of history, men have gotten away with it. Fommate,at least in the United States, about 50 years ago, that began to change. Women have become increasingly empowered and many assault/rape cases that, previously, never would have been brought for- ward, are being provecuted. Still, there are many instances where assaults occur and it's a "She said, he said" situation which is very difficult to prove. Thus, they go unprosecuted. THEN, ALONG comes Dr. Ford who makes an accusation against a prominent, white man and millions of women see themselves in her position. The problem is that every single case must be judged independently Just because a woman was assaulted and the guy was never prosecuted, doesfft mean that every man accused becomes guil When a "she said, he said" situation, you've got to look at the totality of facts and evidence. And emotions are not fact they're not evidence. Ford made accusations against Justice Kavanaugh, and the onus was on her to prove those a ons. When Ford's memory didn't stack up against the facts, and when her witnesses said they were never at such a party and don't even know Brett Kavanaugh, the logical condusion is that he's telling more of the truth than is she. NOW THAT Justice Kavanaugh has been confirmed, the leftist cabal will quickly discard his accuser. They don't care two cents for Dr. Ford and don't care about the injustice they inflicted on her. The left doesn't even care about sexual assault, Iftheydid, Bill Clinton, Keith Ellison, etc. would be excommunicated from the part . The charge of "sexual assault" is another tool the left uses in their '"oy any means necessary" campaign of resistance. The Left thought the sexual assault charges would cause Kavanaugh to withdraw his name. The sick mentality of the leftist cabal can be summarized by Ariel Dumas' comment (see Weekly Quote below). The left is so unethical that they will happily destroy a mars life to achieve their goals. WEEKLY QUOTE: "No matter what happens, I'm just glad we mined Brett KavanaugKs life? Ariel Dumas, writer for CBS's Colbert Late Show. Sloan Oliver is a retired Army He lives in Bolingbroke with his wife Sandra. Ernail him at sloanolivet@ earthlinkna.