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Bobby Christine: Pinhead or Patriot

We received an email from Lee Benedict of Martinez about complaints he filed with the Judicial Qualifications Commission about Judges Bobby Christine and Willie Saunders.  Amen!  We have been asking for people to do this for months and at least one person did.  The email was sent to Mike Wynn of the Chronicle, Metro Spirit, us, NBC Augusta, WRDW, and WFXG.  Benedict wrote that…actually, we’ll just copy and paste it below.

Letter from the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commissions

#########################

Good afternoon.  Attached you will find a letter from the Judicial Qualifications Commission, State of Georgia, to me, dated August 15, 2011.  The letter explains the Commission’s findings regarding three (3) formal complaints I filed; two regarding Judge Bobby Christine, and one regarding Judge Willie Saunders.  The two against Judge Christine pertained to 1) being State Representative Ben Harbin’s Campaign Committee Chairperson for several years, and, 2) formally endorsing Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross for reelection.  The complaint against Judge Saunders pertains to his being State Representative Ben Harbin’s Campaign Committee Treasurer for several years (I was present at an event in which Judge Saunders spoke in support of Representative Harbin’s reelection bid).
 
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/

I had mentioned some of the above in a Letter to the Editor of The Columbia County New-Times several months ago, which, was not published.  However, a scaled-down version was published last month.  A local anonymous blog has reported the events, but that is all.  That being said, I was not looking for a media blitz about the judges’ behavior, but a modicum of journalistic integrity was anticipated.
 
I filed the complaints after neither the local media nor the local political apparatus uttered a word about not one but two local judges violating, and arrogantly so, basic judicial rules regarding political involvement.  Representative Harbin has since replaced his campaign committee, and for the record, I do not believe that he knew the judges were in violation of their own code for all of those years.
 
The Commission’s letter really sums up why the canon exists, and what baffles me to this day, is how these judges could be so brazen, cocky, and arrogant as to flaunt such egregious violations of rules that all judges in Georgia must adhere to.
 
It was not my intent to contact you regarding this matter.  The complaints were filed, and my receipt of the letter led me to believe that Judge Christine and Judge Saunders had been notified by the Commission about its findings.  Judge Christine was the guest speaker at the Columbia County Republican Party of Georgia’s monthly breakfast held on August 27th.  I had hoped, and quite honestly expected, for him to inform the group, a friendly audience, of what he had done.  However, for reason(s) only known to him, he demurred from doing such.  Therefore, I chose to send this to you.  I am sending this to all of you…all of the local media outlets that have a contact email on their respective company’s website (I do not want to be accused of only selecting certain outlets), because we cannot have judges who make decisions regarding our lives running amok and violating simple, basic tenets of the system.  If someone makes a mistake, fine, mistakes happen, fix it and then move on.  But these were no simple mistakes.  In my estimation, they were willful, arrogant, politically-motivated violations of judicial canon, and reflective of people who should not be affiliated with the legal/judicial system.  It is the legal system, not, the political system, and their judgements and motives must now and forever more be suspect.
 
Thank you all very much for your time and attention.
 
Lee Benedict

#########################

It must have been difficult for Benedict to file the complaints, let alone send this to the media.  As we understand it, Benedict and Christine are friends, or at least friendly and civil to each other.  Christine is a Republican and US Army reservist.  Benedict is a Republican and former US Army active duty member.  We wondered why he would go to this length, but after reading his email again, it all makes sense now.  It is nice to see a staunch Republican attempting to police his own partymembers.  And let’s remember who started this…Bobby Christine.  He’s the one who got up there and endorsed Ron Cross and we’re sure that he knew judicial canon prohibited it.  But he did it anyway.  He knew that being Ben Harbin’s chairman was a no-no.  But he did it anyway.  Same thing for Willie Saunders.  So let’s not go after Benedict.  We have called him out on a few things, but this, he gets a Patriot vote and Christine and Saunders get a Pinhead vote.

Why has the media been silent on this for years?  Barry Paschal knew but chose to censor the newsworthy information in a show of allegiance to Christine.  Since we mentioned it, let’s discuss it – certain media people have taken jabs at us for being anonymous as is their right.  To that we say:

  1. Is this America?  If it is, we have that right, just as Barry Paschal has the right to censor Judge Bobby L. Christine’s violations of judicial canon.
  2. If our being anonymous is such a big deal, why?  Do you intend to retaliate against those who speak the truth about local government and those who run it?
  3. Our being anonymous is such an issue, but the media refuses to report about local judges violating canon.  What’s worse?
  4. The media refuses to report about local judges violating canon, but devotes 2, more actually, stories about a local private citizen spelling taxpayers taxpayors.  What’s worse?
  5. The media refuses to report about local judges violating canon, but devotes 2, more actually, stories about a local private citizen spelling taxpayers taxpayors and who he lives with.  What’s worse?
  6. Our being anonymous is such an issue, but did the media ever make an issue about newspapers’ “Our Opinion”?  “The Insider”?  We don’t know who writes those things.  Shall we continue?  What’s worse?
  7. Our being anonymous is such an issue, but we have never been challenged on what we report.  We report the truth and back it up with links, names, dates…So if that’s all you got, WHOA!

This is America!  We will continue to report the truth while enjoying anonymity and not worrying about the local political party goons messing with us for speaking our minds and telling the truth.

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Discussion

10 thoughts on “Bobby Christine: Pinhead or Patriot

  1. Woah! Y’all missed something in your report. Mr. Benedict quoted Canon 7 or the Georgia Code of Judicial Conduct. The canon states “A judge or a candidate* for public election* to judicial office shall not: (b) make speeches for a political organization or candidate or publicly endorse a candidate for public office”. When Judge Christine spoke at the 27 August CCGOP breakfast, he was again in violation of Canon 7. While I have not attended a CCGOP breakfast for a couple of years, they are still official CCGOP events. Canon prohibits not only speeches endorsing a political organization but “for a political organization” as well (per the quote above). Of course, this is just another knock against that Bryan Buttinski guy (or whatever his name is). He should know better before asking a judge to violate judicial canon. Shame on them both.

    I expected better from you guys (or gals).

    Posted by Dave in Evans | August 30, 2011, 10:27 pm
    • Dave, thanks for reading and commenting. You raise a good point. But Canon 7 prohibits judges from making speeches for a political organization. Christine’s role was a guest speaker, and since he’s an “elected” official (in an elected position he was appointed to…we’ll see next year if he is elected), we found no fault with him speaking to the CCGOP. If he were asked to speak to a meeting of the CC Democratic Party, we believe that he should, but he probably will not. Thanks again for your contributions.

      Posted by Columbia County Conservative Viewpoint | August 31, 2011, 6:35 pm
  2. I don’t see any problem with Judge Christine speaking at the CCRP breakfast. He was not invited to make a political speech. Rather he was there to give us an overview of his duties and responsibilities as the magistrate judge. As a public servant, he has the responsibility to run a transparent operation and answer questions. I am in no position to speak for him, but I believe he would speak to any group of voters in Columbia County if he were asked.

    Posted by YeSun Wiltse | September 9, 2011, 5:28 pm
  3. Thank you Ye Sun. We have no problem with him speaking either. As Lee Benedict stated in his statement, he was speaking to a friendly crowd, and since he was on his home turf, it would have been a good time for him to admit his endorsement of Ron Cross and remaining Ben Harbin’s campaign committee chairman for years after being appointed to a judicial position. He chose to remain a coward and not be honest with the people, even after he knew that a formal complaint (2 complaints) was filed against him. There is no excuse for Judge Christine to endorse any candidate, even read a letter from Sheriff Whittle, or be involved with a political campaign. On Monday/Tuesday, we will run another piece on this.

    Posted by Columbia County Conservative Viewpoint | September 9, 2011, 6:14 pm
  4. I heard about this and had to read it for myself. All of what you have written appears to be true. I have met Christine several times and have heard him say that he heard “the cannons roarin’” while wearing his Bronze Star lapel pin. I have also heard him say that his mission in Iraq was to hold court. How could he have earned the Bronze Star for holding court? I have served in combat as have 2 of my children, and I can tell you that Christine didn’t earn a thing. The Bronze Star is “awarded” to most field grade officers (O4 and above) who did not directly cause the death of an American soldier, and for this judge to talk himself up as a war hero spits in the face of all veterans who served and did our jobs without looking for a medal. If he is some combat veteran war hero, he should have no problem admitting his breaking the law, and it also reinforces your “coward” comment. Whoever runs against him next year will receive my vote and a donation!

    Posted by COL EAK(ret) | September 11, 2011, 1:03 pm
  5. There is no doubt in my mind that Bobby Christine is a fraud and should not have been allowed to address the Columbia County Republican Party and should be disqualified to be a Magistrate Court Judge.

    It is my understanding that there are two lawyers in Augusta who have served in Iraq. One is Sean Hammond, who may not look like the typical soldier but was actually in battle in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He has the real medals and a big scar on his face to prove it. When he returned from war he gave one speech to the CCRP and has made no further public appearances since.

    The other lawyer, Bobby Christine, served in Iraq in the rear as a JAG lawyer and was never in any real danger. Then, apparently based on his connections, as usual, he received a bronze star for his service as a JAG lawyer. However, from hearing the comments made by Christine’s closest gal pals Austin Rhodes and accused child molester Scott Dean, you would think that Christine was the second coming of Rambo, George Patton or Audie Murphy.

    Does anyone else think it’s sad that the one real soldier/lawyer who actually served in battle chooses not to talk about his service and is not recognized for it while the other, the fraud who hid in the rear with the gear, makes speeches all the time and lets his “friends” parade him around as the great war hero?

    The CCRP has many distinguished former soldiers in its ranks. Why is the CCRP and those soldiers who know Christine is a fraud not speaking out?

    It really just sounds just like more Columbia County Republican cronyism.

    Posted by JB | September 13, 2011, 5:02 pm
  6. Reminds me of John McCain and others injured in combat who rarely mention their experiences, versus John Kerry and his self-inflicted wounds that “earned” him three Purple Hearts…Kerry has a vanity plate indicating his Purple Hearts. If you are a true, legitimate soldier, sailor, Airman, Marine or Coast Guardsman, you do NOT seek attention for your service or time in the limelight. And then there are the others.

    Posted by Lee Benedict | September 13, 2011, 11:27 pm
    • I have patiently been waiting for the two attorneys, Sean and Bobby to give me a signed court order since last February in which entitles me to a small amount of money. That order was superseded in June. What does one do to make this happen? They have to sign it and give it to the judge that was presiding over the case. I am retired military. I don’t have a bronze star but I have 3 meritorius service medals which isn’t bad for being enlisted, a female, and never went to war! Had the bags packed for Saudi though!

      Posted by Edna Alberti | January 14, 2012, 7:49 pm

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