17 SEP 10: Scoopin' or Droopin'?
It's a day for blog housecleaning of sorts -- as we try to sort fact from fiction on several current topics. People who contact us may think they have scoops. But after further review, they might really be.... uh, well.... that stuff runners try to dodge on the Riverwalk.
1. MARK OF SUSPICION? Our posts this week about Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers included a familiar name. Goodwill's media spokesperson is Kim Cantrell - and that led one critic to bring up Muscogee County School Board candidate Mark Cantrell. Why he would add another circus to his resume, I have no idea....
But anyway: the critic suggested there's an ethics problem because Mark Cantrell's Action Buildings business provides Goodwill Industries donation boxes, while Kim Cantrell is a Vice President. You wondered why he was called "Johnny Outlaw," didn't you?
But there's one big problem with this complaint - as the critic claimed Mark and Kim Cantrell are husband and wife. Mark Cantrell told me Thursday that's NOT true, because Kim is his sister-in-law. He admitted it can be "hard to keep up" with his relatives - but he's also an admitted "workaholic," so the truth could be the reverse.
Mark Cantrell told me he doesn't know anything about how Action Buildings received the right to provide Goodwill Industries donation boxes. To borrow from his commercials, he apparently doesn't need room for that stuff....
The GWISR critic hinted at a conflict of interest, because the donation boxes were never put out for bids. But if Goodwill Industries is a privately-run operation, I don't think it's required to do open bidding. After all, no one seemed to complain when Pastor Wayne Baker hired son Zeph as a youth minister.
By the way, Mark Cantrell says he's a long-time blog reader - so he was ready to explain that "campaign press party" which was moved last week. Cantrell took part of the blame, saying he presumed the Muscogee County School District would have the same rules for both the Public Education Center and the main library. Apparently one place is more dignified than the other....
2. DEAL BROKE-N? Another phone call this week told me about Georgia gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal having to sell his home, because his son had filed for bankruptcy. I called the Deal campaign minutes later about this revelation - only to be told it was already a front-page story in the Atlanta newspaper. Lesson: always ask for a source first.
Campaign spokesman Brian Robinson confirmed a sporting goods store opened by Nathan Deal's son went out of business, and Deal has sold a North Georgia home to help pay off the debts. Robinson adds Deal has a second smaller home, and will not "be homeless" - but your vote in November could put Deal in a nice Atlanta mansion for four years.
Brian Robinson promised me Nathan Deal would pay off all his debts - and the Associated Press discovered Thursday the size of those debts is bigger than we thought. Deal has business loans worth nearly three million dollars, which were never disclosed. With red ink like this, Deal would work with a Republican legislature perfectly.
Nathan Deal should have reported his business loans to the Georgia Ethics Commission months ago. He called the failure to do so an "oversight" - since he's been so busy focusing on that irresponsible deficit spending by President Obama.
If Republicans are stunned by the financial troubles of Nathan Deal's son, what until they learn what his daughter is doing in Columbus. Katie Deal performs in "The Full Monty," which opened Thursday night at the Springer Opera House -- a play about male strippers. Somehow I get the feeling her dad will wait for the bootleg DVD to go on sale.
3. WHICH WAY WAYNE? This item takes us to the InBox, where a reader answered Thursday's mention of Columbus mayoral candidates at the voting booth:
Richard, I thought I heard Paul Olson say on the Calvin show (Rise & Shine) that he had researched Wayne Anthony's voting record and that for five years straight prior to this year Mr. Anthony had voted in the Democratic primaries. I do not recall Mr. Anthony denying this. Paul Olson also stated that in North Columbus Mr. Anthony had stated he was a Republican. I remember Mayor Wetherington saying on the radio he didn't know what he was, a Republican or Democrat. But I don't remember him saying which primary he had voted in and I don't recall anyone checking his voting record.
WRBL dug deeper into the matter Thursday night -- and it turns out Nancy Boren at the Election Board had it wrong. Wayne Anthony voted in the Democratic primary and runoff this summer after all. If Mayor Jim Wetherington asks Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren to review this, ministers really WILL have a reason to protest.
Paul Olson was
his usual self unhappy with the correction about Wayne Anthony's primary voting. He accused the Election Board of releasing "erroneous information - purposely, I believe...." Why do I get the feeling Olson's Election Night "party" will be on the ground floor of the Government Center?
As for the long-term record: WRBL found Wayne Anthony has voted in ten Republican primaries and runoffs since 1996, compared with eight Democratic contests. Anthony explained he and his wife selected conservative candidates with the best "qualifications and experience and values." Those candidates never seem to jump party lines at Fox News Channel.
The review also confirmed Zeph Baker has voted in one Republican primary. He says he switched sides in 2004 to choose "the best candidate for Columbus." Last time I checked, Dylan Glenn had taken that vote of confidence and moved far out of town....
That leaves Teresa Tomlinson - and the Election Board found she's voted Democratic in every primary and runoff for 15 years. She may be accused of supporting "gays," but at least her voting record is straight.
4. REC-GATE UPDATE. A court hearing is planned today, on a motion to issue a "gag order" in the case of accused Columbus Parks and Recreation Director Tony Adams. A gag order?! Do they actually want me to write MORE jokes about this?
5. AMAZED IN ATLANTA. When we drove to Athens a few weeks ago to watch Kansas
get ridiculously throttled by play Georgia in women's soccer, we passed several noteworthy things in metro Atlanta....
+ QuikTrip has billboards proclaiming their fuel is "gas-alicious." I thought that title only belonged on food from Olive Garden.
+ The High Museum of Art is showing a collection of Salvador Dali paintings. Someone should walk in the door singing "Dali High," to see if anyone gets the joke behind it.
+ A tall sign in College Park for Kennedy & Cohen furniture finally has come down. It stood for more than 20 years after the store closed -- as if some history buffs really believed it was opened by President John Kennedy.
In one more note from there: Seattle won the WNBA championship Thursday night 87-84. The Storm swept the Atlanta Dream in three games. But at least the Dream made the final round in three seasons - while the Hawks have been dreaming of doing that for more than 40 years.
COMING THIS WEEKEND: A day of starvation (some would say) and memories of the circus....
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