In reading Preston Spence’s recent Herald letter, in which he re-named the LEED-IE PAC as the ‘PIG PAC’ (people-in-gangs political action committee), I recalled an old song my mother sang to me, “Knick knack, paddy whack, give the dog a bone….” It seemed apropos to me that Lee County conservatives might re-lyric the refrain of this popular children’s song as follows:
PIG PAC, paddy whack, give the ‘boys’ their due; the ‘Womack Militia’ is coming after you.
Let’s be clear on one thing- there really isn’t a ‘Womack Militia.’ This fictitious moniker derives from the LEED-IE PAC’s shameless political ads in the local daily, seeking to demonize one of the county’s hardest working and most fiscally conservative public servants while mobilizing anti-conservative feelings to defeat GOP candidates that Commissioner Womack (and the Republican Party) support. Ironically, there is a groundswell of anti-liberal sentiment in Lee County. Citizens here are fed up with the boorish behavior of those who seek to perpetuate higher taxes and elevated spending levels without accountability in our county. Rather than a ‘militia,’ the voters of Lee County are coming after those who pretend to serve the interests of our citizens (but who really are just taking care of their buddies, the good old boys of Lee County).
Imagine my surprise on Tuesday when we heard from county officials that two of the PIG PAC’s supported candidates were late filing their required campaign finance reports- a violation of state law. Seriously. Tamara Brogan (PIG PAC endorsed candidate for the School Board) and the right honorable Reverend Ricky Frazier (PIG PAC supported candidate for commissioner) both neglected to file their reports by the 5PM cut-off on Monday. So, here’s the question of the day- Do we genuinely want to entrust tens of millions of dollars in annual financial decision-making to these kinds of candidates for local office, people who can’t even get simple campaign finance reports in on time? I sure hope not.
This isn’t the first run-in on campaign finance law-breaking for Ms. Brogan (who is closely associated with local hack blogger Keith Clark). She ran unsuccessfully for county commissioner two years ago and one or more of her campaign reports remained in error for many months. Were it not for the good graces of our local Board of Elections, Ms. Brogan could have been charged with a misdeameanor and fined $500 for her malfeasance. Is this a behavior she learned from Keith Clark? Is this what we can expect from PIG PAC candidates running for office?
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, the PIG PAC also supports the Reverend Shawn Williams and he too has been associated with questionable practices (like failing to outsource janitorial services in the public schools when he had a personal financial interest in the matter). Reverend Williams’ church also had a financial interest in after-school programs funded by state taxpayers and that were graded deficient by state inspectors as recent as six months ago. One can only wonder if that’s one of the reasons he was moved by his Bishop from the Fair Promise church and if that’s why he has now quit the AME Zion church association. As they say, where there is smoke….
Oh, and lest I forget to mention, the PIG PAC isn’t all that it claims to be. Just yesterday (May 1, 2012) the new LEED-IE PAC ad on page A8 of the Herald lists the citizens that reportedly support their candidates and who oppose the other candidates. Trouble is, that’s a false claim. Several of those listed have already denounced the ad on facebook and insisted they were misled about the ad and the candidates they reportedly were supporting. One such individual contacted the Herald directly and asked to have his family’s names removed from the list. Another is drafting a letter to the editor denouncing the ad and the use of his name. Several prominent personalities in the community have complained that Paul Gay is duping people so he can add their names to the list. Interesting isn’t it that the guy with a CLEAR conflict of interest (being the sole source for providing insurance and benefits for all public school employees) is the ringleader calling around to sign people up for the PIG PAC? Paul Gay and Lynn Smith and a number of other dishonest officials doing these calls should be ashamed of their misrepresentations. They are not worthy of serving on the BOE or receiving future contracts with the school system.
Enough for now. But stay tuned, I’m sure there will be more on the PIG PAC saga as we get closer to election day. For those of you going to the polls, be wary of any candidate the PIG PAC supports. One day, they will be coming after you too!