Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Fish Rots From The Head Down: Pete's Admonition....

Yesterday I received a call from Pete Liakakis. It wasn't nice but he thought he was doing me a favor. Pete informed me that he was running a 'clean campaign.' I could tell from the comment there was an inference there that I was not running a 'clean campaign.' So I asked, "Pete is there something I've done or said thus far that you feel is 'dirty campaigning'? If so, I'd like to know."

And so out it came that yesterdays post, "Pete Liakakis will raise taxes" struck a nerve. After a 5 minute diatribe (some of which was in the third person), about how Pete had lead the charge to reduce the city millage rate back in the 1990's I asked, "What about 2005?" and "what are you going to do next year 2009?" Well, Pete says it was my fault he had to raise the millage rate in 2005, you know the 5 million budget shortfall story. And about next year's budget shortfall, Pete had no response.

Now this is where it gets really creepy. Pete tells me that "people have gone out to California (I moved from California 16 years ago) and they have collected "affidavits" about you John - about some real unpleasant behavior you've done John and like you know, I told then not to release it because you know, Pete doesn't play dirty politics." 

I immediately offered to meet Pete out at the Savannah Morning News so he could release whatever he or they have on me and get it over and done with. I'm sure there must be something bad in my past. (After concluding the conversation, I emailed the Savannah Morning News to inform them of Pete's warning to me and that they were welcome to follow up directly with Pete.)

Then I said, "Pete, this call is awfully strange. Let's see if I have this right: you are calling me about running clean campaigns and then you inform me that some unidentified third party which you evidently have some sway over, may or may not release something negative about my past (2 decades and beyond) and you claim you are running a "clean campaign?" Pleeeese.....

You know for a minute I honestly flashed back to 1971, the Nixon white house: G. Gordon Liddy, Jeb Magruder, John Mitchell, Bob Hadlerman,  and John Ehrlichman. It was ugly then, and now. 

I will make this observation based on this phone call: the current leadership of the county commission lives in the past and refuses to look forward to promote better public policy for the citizens of Chatham County. The whole Team of Nine is actually the Gang of Nine and they are all  about preserving their power.  Where's the innovation, where's the progress over the last 4 years? We all know that their spending has increased 142 million dollars a year over 2004 spending (41% increase) and they have less in reserve today than when I left office. 

The leader of The Team Of Nine is out of step and should be replaced this November. Does anyone want more Richard Nixon like antics? It's time to move on and do the people's work.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Liakakis thinks you might win this election, otherwise he wouldn't bother to threaten you. I hope you are taking this as an indication of the strength of your candidacy.

John McMasters said...


I have no idea what makes Pete tick. I really just feel he thinks in an antiquated way, sort of a 80's mindset. People are starting to realize that government will roll over you if you don't participate. So much of what Pete says I've heard over and over again, it's the same old same old.

We are at a critical point in Chatham County: major population change, different demographics, the reality of ever increasing energy costs, a morbid employment sector (unless you want hotel work), transporataion is clogging up and getting worse every day. What has Chatham County done to address these important issues over the last 4 years? I can't point to much that has been done or done well so that's probably what other people think.

Pete is saying "everything is working just like you wanted so re-elect me and my team." That's pretty wrong if you look around and take stock of our situation.

Here's a perfect example of Pete's provincial thinking and approach. The effects of drugs tear our schools and community down, there's no arguing the fact drug sales, use and effects are climbing not dropping. The principal organization chartered to attack drugs from the top down is the Counter Narcotics Team.

The merged police department, Metro PD, was suppose to take control and operations of CNT from the county manager. Pete stands in the way, personally stopping our most critical organization in the fight to reduce drugs from doing their job. Why? Well, and again here's that 80's thinking, i think Pete sees it as a loss of power to the county.

I think this sort of kingdom protection comes at a dear cost to our kids and our entire community.

I will press ahead with my effort to educate and inform the people about what I would do as chairman. I can tell you this, I promise you a fair and efficient approach to running county government.

Thanks for your comments.