I am most grateful to have the support of sensible Republicans who believe in lower taxes, more efficient government and better public safety. Who did not support me was the far right and special interest characters of the Chatham County Republican Party. I'm sure come November they will be voting for Pete anyway. In the short course they supported James Dewberry in an attempt to punish me for speaking out for sensible and improved public policy: impact fees on new construction, changing CAT buses from big to smaller and from diesel to smarter fuels, and working with the City of Savannah to support curbside recycling in the county.
Instead of picking apart reasonable and now very common policies (now routine in other communities and counties across the state of Georgia), they should have paid attention to my long standing position that Chatham County property taxes are too high, not uniform between like kind classes and unfair to most property owners. Plus, they might want to think what is in store for the Chatham County budgets in 09, 010, 011? The tax digest will be flat or down (inflation included) and they won't have a fifth vote to stop a tax increase. Or do they enjoy being a minority on the commission so Pete will be the deciding vote to increase taxes?
Some of them also went a little nutty because back in January I made a comment to Larry Peterson of the Savannah Morning News that I was considering voting for Barack Obama. Many of the same CCRP individuals are the ones who sent me the emails over and over again about how Obama is a Muslim, won't salute the flag and is otherwise an evil person. Please.
They are also unnerved because some of the people who I met and worked with last year in the city recycling petition campaign, have decided to enter the races of sitting republicans commissioners. To them I say, this is America and those who want to be candidates have just as much right as anyone else to run. I did not "put them in the race." They saw the need to improve public policy at the county level and made up their minds to offer their own ideas. Sorry that some in CCRP feel I don't meet the CCRP country club standards, get over it.
Too and also, may I remind everyone that in January it was this commission that stood up together in Johnson Square, Kicklighter, Gellatly, Stone and Farrell (all Republicans) and announced that they would be running as a team, a conglomerate of Democrats and Republicans pledging their unwavering support for one another in this year's 2008 election.
It takes a lot of nerve to complain about another person who wishes to enter the election process after you have stood toe to toe and shoulder to shoulder in an obvious attempt to stifle any opposition and avoid any discussion of your record in this year's election cycle.
So perhaps we have cleared the air a little bit on the recent primary race, I hope so. The back story is what it is, convolution and frustration indeed, perhaps better discussion and better public policy will emerge in part because of it, not despite it.
PS: My advice to CCRP? Next election - recruit a Republican candidate for chairman that you approve of. (Kicklighter and Gellatly each have over 8 years service on the commission so why didn't CCRP encourage either of them to move up?)