Our Opinion

This will serve as our first in what we would like to be a regular segment titled, “Our Opinion”, which this week will be devoted to Barry Paschal and Morris Communications and their presumably underhanded tactics that went unnoticed by most of the population.

This all started as a result of information told to us by a reader that involved an alleged letter to the editor of the News Times that Barry Paschal allegedly refused to publish.  It turned out to be true, and the letter writer forwarded his letter and Paschal’s response that we published.  We were not surprised at Paschal’s refusal to print a letter or at his typical arrogant over the top response.  We were surprised at another Paschal/Morris stunt that you all must know of.

The letter writer (LW) is a teacher, and Paschal knows it and anyone with knowledge of Columbia County politics knows it.  We disclose up front that the letter writer posted some things in detail on his Facebook page which caused us to send an email to him asking for more information.  He refused further commentary but told us we were welcome to quote what he posted to Facebook.  The Facebook post in addition to the buzz around town about what he told some of his close friends, makes us comfortable with reporting the situation.

LW posted something to Facebook during school hours.  If a teacher is at school, then he/she should not be using Facebook and we’ll be among the first to say it.  However, we will not assume that someone is present for work on any given day.  Allegedly, Paschal sent an email to LW’s principal and/or assistant principal and mentioned his post.  Good job Barry.  Did you email the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commissions and spill the beans on Bobby Christine and Willie Saunders?  Did you email the Department of Revenue inquiring about a 400% discrepancy regarding reports of Columbia County’s tax-exempt properties?  Probably if not definitely, not.

Someone asked LW a question on his Facebook page regarding Paschal’s inquiry, and this was his response: “Gee, how did you hear about that? In any event, it’s sort of true; it was an email about the time of a Facebook post. The post was done via BlackBerry as I was on my way to the restroom near the end of my planning period, and, the post took roughly 30 seconds.”

We have numerous issues with this.  If Paschal sent LW an email or commented on his post and wrote something along the line of, “I sure hope you’re not doing this from school”, anyone would understand that.  But we saw the post Paschal whined about, and it was posted at 10:13AM, and, it indicates that it was done via BlackBerry.  Why would Paschal go straight to LW’s boss?  Looking at the timeline beginning with the letter’s submission and LW’s Facebook comments on Paschal’s eloquent reply, it’s obvious that Paschal, and perhaps even Morris, are trying to inconvenience him at work, or get him fired, by retaliating for sending a letter to the editor that speaks the truth and that Paschal can’t stand.  Barry Paschal, a Morris Communications executive, goes to a letter writer’s boss over this.  That’s dirty pool.  What is Paschal’s agenda?

Is this a Morris policy?  If someone submits a letter that is not liked by Morris executives or strikes a nerve with them, is it Morris policy (written, spoken, or implied) that company executives/employees will find something to complain to his/her boss about?  Please tell us so we know not to communicate with Morris Communications employees and can inform our readers to do the same.

Paschal is a near-self-proclaimed knower of all things and education expert.  We know that he led the crusade to keep a Spanish program for 3rd graders alive when those funds could have been used for things to help learn English or other trivial tidbits that may be useful when taking the CRCT.  Maybe we should monitor some Columbia County schools for trivial matters that we can try to get people fired for, or at least cause friction in their workplaces?  Perhaps we will monitor teachers and principals and bring anything…anything, to the board’s attention?  No.  We won’t stoop to Paschal’s level.

Our Opinion: Morris Communications needs to tell the public about its new policy and have a chat with Barry Paschal about his tactics, if he was not operating at Morris’ behest that is.  That really is without class or professionalism, and crosses the line.  We also believe that Columbia County Republican chairman Brian Slowinski must admonish Judge Bobby Christine and Judge Willie Saunders for violating with gusto, judicial canon.  Will he qualify each person to run as a Republican as a result of their actions?  We seem to recall a News Times report about Slowinski giving a dressing down to the GOP’s executive board about being nicey nice to Ron Cross, and we know that he contacted people NOT on the executive board and asked them to remove the link to our Ron Cross puppet cartoon that they had on their own personal Facebook page.  It only makes sense that he do the same to two judges who so brazenly and publicly violate judicial canons.  If they claim that they didn’t know they violated canons, then they are not fit to sit on any bench.  It is Slowinski’s duty to inform them of their arrogant flaunting of violating rules.  If he does not, then his executive board must step up.  This will tell the public whether Slowinski is a chairman, a leader, or a faithful steward to a select few.  If his admonishment to the executive board made the paper, certainly he owes them the same courtesy of admonishing judges who thumb their noses at the public.

 Ben Harbin’s disclosure report



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