Tuesday, April 26, 2011

26 APR 11: Right Power

In January we asked a Big Blog Question about which is the number-one "power couple" in Columbus. But maybe we didn't define "couple" properly. I was thinking about married couples - but there can be others. For instance, Columbus could use a big-time wrestling tag team.

A new "power couple" downtown came to my attention only Monday night, but apparently has been around for a couple of months. It combines two of the best-known names in local politics -- but not in the way you might think. It's like people thinking the 14th Street Bridge was closed because President Philip Tomlinson is a cousin of the mayor....

Seth Harp's law office on Second Avenue used to be known as Harp & Associates. Now it's called Harp Poydasheff. Even the firm's initials indicate how High-Powered it is.

The "Poydasheff" in Harp Poydasheff is NOT the former Columbus Mayor, but son Robert Poydasheff Jr. While he has a law degree, a recent Ledger-Enquirer column notes he used to work at Synovus. Another local name jumps the Synovus ship, before it sails for somewhere like Charlotte.

Former mayor Bob Poydasheff still has a law office, and it's practically next door to Harp Poydasheff. But the elder Poydasheff has admitted to me he's in semi-retirement. He'll prepare a will for you - and he might actually witness you signing it, since the chances of you outliving him are pretty strong.

The Harp Poydasheff website emphasizes work on family law, as well as "trust and estate." But another line mentions "governmental affairs" - and that's where some Columbus residents wonder if the trust should end.

The newspaper column noted Harp Poydasheff has approached Columbus city officials about doing lobbying at the Georgia Capitol. The reported price of that work: $20,000. Yes, I know the legislature only is in regular session 40 days a year - but gas prices keep going up.

City Manager Isaiah Hugley reportedly gave the offer from Harp Poydasheff serious consideration. It's easy to understand why. Hugley's wife may be the "Queen of the Legislature" (as declared by The Courier) - but the kings these days are Republicans like Harp and Poydasheff.

But I was more curious about Harp Poydasheff becoming a candidate for top "power law firm" of Columbus. Making a list of these candidates can be a challenge, because plenty of unknown attorneys can buy full-page ads in the Yellow Pages....

The law firm which comes to mind first for "power" in Columbus is Hatcher Stubbs. Its ad in the phone book lists "estate planning, real estate, corporate banking" at the top - but government watchers know the firm's hands are involved in many local projects. Two attorneys are on the Charter Review Commission, and I doubt they're proposing ways to add city employee pensions to wills.

-> A strange thing happened when we went all-in at last Thursday night's live poker tournament. Read what happened at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

BLOG UPDATE: The Columbus NAACP has called a late-morning news conference downtown, to announce "a collaborative effort" with the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce to "move our city forward." Based on the events and news of recent months, I assume the purchase of new tablecloths is NOT one of them.

The Chamber of Commerce hired an African-American woman last week as a Senior Vice President. Deidre Williams's focus will be on "small business" - but clearly a bigger message is being sent here. If Mike Gaymon is smart, he'll assume Williams is wearing a hidden microphone at all times.

As it happens, the Chamber of Commerce began a week focused on small businesses Monday evening. WRBL reported one of the firms receiving an award was Country's Barbecue. I'm stunned by this - considering that restaurant chain still refuses to serve chicken and dumplings 12 months a year.

I'm holding a couple of e-mails until a pending news story occurs. So let's see what other tasty topics have come our way in recent days....

+ Which East Alabama doctor offers to pray with major patients before operations? Then leads the operating room staff in a "circle of prayer" as well? Doesn't he realize church pastors who emphasize "faith healing" won't know what to make of him?

+ While downtown Columbus stayed dry, evening thunderstorms left extensive damage in the Crystal Valley neighborhood. Trees were knocked down in a mobile home park - and if that doesn't persuade the convicted sex offenders living there to straighten up their lives, I don't know what will.

+ Phenix City Police told WTVM a suspected drunk driver crashed into the KFC on Broad Street, then waved a gun. I assume the officers grilled him - and even threatened to "fry" him.

+ The Drudge Report posted a headline about the start of "military patrols" downtown, and questioned the use of the title "courtesy patrol." Someone needs to tell Matt Drudge these soldiers were NOT entered in the Best Ranger competition.

+ Evening newscasts talked about the return of the noisy "13-year cicadas" to the Columbus area. Hmmmm - these must be different from the "17-year cicadas." The ones we mentioned on this blog only two years ago [17 Aug 09]. If all these bugs ever learn how to read calendars, we're in big trouble.

+ Instant Message to WTVM: Let me get this straight. You're giving away an "Apple a day" starting Thursday afternoon. Then Thursday night, you're presenting a "special report" on amazing things my iPhone can do?! Can we also expect a Lee Brantley editorial condemning Google and Microsoft for trying to conquer the world?

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