They’re Listening…And Acting

Tell us they’re not listening.  According to the State Ethics Commission website, State Representative Ben Harbin (R-Evans) has a new campaign committeeWilliam Byrd Lee IV of Augusta is Harbin’s new campaign committee Chairperson and Elizabeth Barton of Atlanta is the new Treasurer.  This is newsworthy because Judge Bobby Christine was, for years, Harbin’s Chairperson, and for years, Judge Willie Saunders was Harbin’s Treasurer.  This is newsworthy because for months we have been reporting that a judge’s involvement in a political campaign violates judicial canon.  However, Barry Paschal has known this but for his own reasons and/or agenda, has refused to report this to the community, probably to keep images intact, placating those he admires so dearly (more on this will surface in the near future).

We do not know if Harbin knew that judicial canon was being violated by having a judge (2 judges) on his committee.  Some of us said that whether he knew or not, he is not fit for office for having judges serve on his campaign committee.  Some of us said that he probably trusted the judges’ honor and integrity to tell him if their association (public endorsement) wasn’t kosher.  Since they knowingly violated Canon 7 of the Georgia Code of Judicial Conduct and continued to remain in violation for years, our opinion is that they should be removed from office and admonished by their party’s leadership.  How arrogant and egotistical are Bobby Christine and Willie Saunders?  How can they be trusted to render fair, impartial, and legally binding decisions and wisdom as judges when they have flaunted this clear violation for years?  They can’t.  You also have to wonder why Barry Paschal and Morris Communications continue to refuse to report this.  Well, they hid it for years so what’s a few more years of censorship right?  It’s obvious that they have agendas.  Remember, Paschal reported on Brett McGuire filing an “intent card” to accept campaign contributions for the Republican primary for Columbia County Commission Chairman, BEFORE Ron Cross announced reelection (many know that Cross was saying that he WOULD NOT run again).  Many consider McGuire to be an accounting whiz and have alleged that he can put you to sleep discussing numbers and figures.  Why would Ron Cross change his mind and decide to run again?  Why would a judge stand up and publicly endorse Cross knowing that judicial canon forbids it?

You decide.  Here’s the very beginning of Canon 7 of the Georgia Code of Judicial Conduct:

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*;

make speeches for a political organization or candidate or publicly
        endorse a candidate for public office;

What do you think?  There it is in black and white.  Bobby Christine made a speech endorsing Ron Cross at the dual reelection announcement of Ron Cross and Scott Dean.  Bobby Christine and Willie Saunders served as Harbin’s campaign committee for years, yet not a word was uttered by Paschal, not a word was uttered by Morris.  They have their agenda and actual news does not appear to be part of it.  We report the truth people, and let you decide.  Will Barry Paschal and Morris Communications ever…ever…ever do that?  Answer…



2 thoughts on “They’re Listening…And Acting

  1. I would like to think that I got the ball rolling with the judges thing, and I am not at all upset that you did not attribute it to me. But I would like to know who started/circulated a rumor of me snooping around the Elections office. As far as why the media has never reported on Christine’s and Saunders’ political involvement, who knows? Perhaps it did not know that what they were doing is not permitted. However, it knows now, and, if only for credibility’s sake, should mention it. But, the First Amendment protects Barry Paschal’ and Morris Communications’ right to not mention it. I would think that if you send an email Barry’s way and ask him about it, he would probably answer; he has always been good with regard to responding to questions. Now that you wrote about it and I reflected on it. I sat next to Saunders in Fatz Cafe in 2008 at one of the Columbia County GOP monthly breakfast meetings (we did not know who each was), a meeting during which I spoke on behalf of my own camdidacy and Saunders spoke on Ben Harbin’s behalf. Now don’t quote me on this, but during that campaign, I spoke at a few breakfast meetings, and for one of them at Fatz, Barry Paschal was present with one of his children. When it was my turn to speak I remember saying, “Barry, good to see ya'” because just a few days prior, he hammered me in an editorial. Was this the meeting that saw Saunders speak on behalf of…endorse, Harbin? I am not certain. Was he even a judge during that time? I think that he was. As far as Ben Harbin not being fit for office, I disagree. My opinion is that he did not know judicial canon prevents Christine and Saunders from being on his Committee, and that he relied on their character and honor to basically look out for him and inform him of things that should not be. In this case, his CHAIRMAN and…and…his TREASURER “should have” not taken the post, or, resigned the post upon getting a black robe. But, political posturing and that nonsense won, i.e., “I’m Ben Harbin’s Chairman”, “I’m Ben Harbin’s Treasurer” and I could care less as to whatever political fallout may befall Harbin. Christine and Saunders should be ashamed of themselves. No need to worry, though, the truth will soon surface (perhaps you and I are hearing the same things). Governor Deal will regret some appointments and local in-crowd wannabes will have egg on their faces and they will be deserving of them.

    Posted by Lee Benedict | June 29, 2011, 1:17 am
  2. Uh Oh, Lee. You misspelled candidacy. If history is any indicator, Barry Pascal will devote at least two editorials to to that. That will be a minimum of two more weeks until Barry reports the violations of judicial cannon. Thanks a lot.l

    Posted by Dave in Evans | June 29, 2011, 11:42 pm

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