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Our Version Of Snopes

We took some time to sit back and discuss our thread on Barry Paschal’s tantrum while responding to a letter to the editor submitted by a member of the community, in this case, Lee Benedict.  We wondered why Barry Paschal would behave that way when the letter was mostly provable facts and some opinion.  We discussed this with readers as well.  We came up empty, but decided to dig a little deeper and see what happens.  We decided to create our own little “Snopes”.  We check facts before we publish a thread…can’t speak for others in Columbia County, but we do, so this is just to provide more information for our readers.

Paschal refers to what Benedict wrote as a “petty, petulant tantrum”.  www.dictionary.com defines petulant as, “moved to or showing sudden, impatient irritation, especially over some trifling annoyance”.  Some of what Benedict mentioned dates back 18 months.  And the most current topic commented on appeared in the March 30, 2011 edition of the News Times. It is obvious that Paschal and Morris Communications are covering for Bobby Christine and allies of Ron Cross, which is their First Amendment right, but for a news company to be so biased, it diminishes its credibility.   Paschal responded to Benedict in 5 minutes, and what Benedict wrote about was <1-18 months old.  We ask you, who gave the best (only) example of a “petty, petulant tantrum”?  Who thinks that what the letter stated and what you will read shortly is some trifling annoyance?  Barry Paschal is the “Publisher” and made claims of being the “Editor”.  He is not some green horn rookie beat reporter new to the area.  He knew exactly what he was and still is covering up.

 http://newstimes.augusta.com/stories/2011/03/30/opi_610725.shtml Barry Paschal wrote “There were a couple of quirky, inside-baseball things I noticed in the recent District 4 special election, which won’t be cleared up until the April 12 runoff.
• The candidates had “R” or “D” after their names, designating a party affiliation. It’s a non-partisan race. That shouldn’t have happened.”  Survey says…

O.C.G.A. § 21-2-540 GEORGIA CODE Copyright 2011 by The State of Georgia
TITLE 21. ELECTIONS
CHAPTER 2. ELECTIONS AND PRIMARIES GENERALLY
ARTICLE 14. SPECIAL ELECTIONS AND PRIMARIES GENERALLY; MUNICIPAL TERMS OF OFFICE
§ 21-2-540. Conduct of special elections generally, states:
“Candidates in special elections for partisan offices shall be listed on the ballot according to party affiliation.” Less than one year ago, Paschal was encouraging others to vote for Scott Dean in the Republican primary. A primary means that it is a partisan office being contested. As an aside, Paschal has referred to people who state things that are not true as “liars”.  Why would Paschal knowingly publish something that isn’t true?  Bill Morris was Ron Cross’ hand picked candidate.  Did Paschal do it because if he kept the focus on “D” and “R”, and the “D” was a black man, enough voters would not vote for the black “D”?  Remember that the race was decided by a margin of 23 votes.  Paschal never printed a retraction or publicly apologized for accusing the elections office of improperly conducting an election (Columbia County’s elections director is black too)…so you decide. 

We wondered what Benedict meant by “Taxpayors”, and sure enough, research revealed that Paschal made an issue of it.  Evans resident Jim Bartley created the Columbia County Taxpayers Council.  Apparently on Facebook Bartley spelled it, “Taxpayors”, and for whatever reason or reasons, Paschal pounced on that quicker than Mike Sleeper can dart out of a school board meeting to hit the parking lot and call the media and report what happened so that we can hear his voice on the radio.  He made numerous references to it in editorial columns.  Bartley is a homebuilder, so if he spells taxpayers “Taxpayors” on Facebook, no big deal.  If he builds a house and it’s all wrong, come back and we’ll talk.  Why would Paschal seize the moment (more than once) to attack Bartley?  Paschal the “Publisher”, is that, and should have…must have known about the Georgia election law he reported on so woefully inaccurately and the little left out fact that a judge publicly endorsed Ron Cross.  Paschal’s agenda is not known at this point…but he sure has one.  Where were we?  Oh yes…Paschal berates Bartley, but goes leaps and bounds beyond Bartley’s spelling error and into the land of covering up for the inner circle.

This is what the News Times News Editor, Donnie Fetter, reported about the Ron Cross reelection announcement, and he refused to mention that one of those who endorsed Ron Cross is Columbia County Chief Magistrate Judge Bobby Christine, which is against judicial canons: http://newstimes.augusta.com/stories/2009/11/08/new_554759.shtml

This is from the State Bar of Georgia’s Code of Judicial Conduct which clearly states that judges may not endorse candidates:
“CANON 7
Judges Shall Refrain from Political Activity Inappropriate to Their Judicial Office.
A. Political Conduct in General.
(1) A judge or a candidate* for public election* to judicial office shall not:
(a) act or hold himself or herself out as a leader or hold any office in a political organization*;
(b) make speeches for a political organization or candidate or publicly endorse a candidate for public office;”http://www.gabar.org/handbook/georgia_code_of_judicial_conduct/

As if that were not enough, Judge Bobby Christine is State Rep Ben Harbin’s campaign committee “Chairperson”, and Judge Willie Saunders is Harbin’s campaign committee “Treasurer”, and this is according to Harbin’s most recent Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report, dated January 7, 2011.  Sure sounds like a public endorsement doesn’t it?  Does it have an aroma of not one judge but two holding “any office in a political organization”?  But again, the News Times and Morris Communications are caught hiding improper acts.   Is this a news source, or is this a good ol boys lobbying firm whose goal is to sway the public into believing things that are not true and creating images for a select few?  We’re still waiting for Paschal to report these facts and print a retraction for his errors and apologize the Columbia County’s elections office.

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