More Jackson County Opinions...

 October 25, 2000


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Column
By Adam Fouche
The Jackson Herald
October 25, 2000

Shame on you, Mr. Candidate
Some politicians have slumped to a new low in Banks County.
A torrential downpour of negative campaigning has created a huge pit of political mud, full of slush and nastiness.
Unfortunately, some candidates aren't voicing their views or boasting their accomplishments. The need to explain one's plans for a political office has gone by the wayside.
Instead, candidates are resorting to desperate measures in a final effort to win over Johnny Voter.
Candidates have stopped packaging themselves and are trying to destroy their opponent's character.
They are turning to the rumor mill and sending out tiny lies to scour the county like rats in a freshly cut field. They are infesting the voter with false perceptions and empty campaign promises.
I hope you are proud of yourself, Mr. Candidate.
You have abandoned common decency. You no longer cling to ideals and morals. Your conscience has shriveled up and died, leaving a political carcass too desperate to care about doing the right thing.
I bet you don't even realize the image you are portraying to voters.
Do you really think we want to elect someone who is distrustful and unethical? Do you believe we want to put a person in office who will stoop to any level to get what he wants?
I think not.
And no more of the "It's all a part of politics" routine. It doesn't have to be a part of politics. It only is a part because we, the voters, allow it to be.
The time has come to abandon those old ideals.
It's time for us to stand up and demand a clean campaign. It's time for us to show Mr. Candidate that we are voting for the guy who ran a good campaign and kept his hands out of the mud.
Voters beware. Mr. Candidate is tricky and he will entangle you in his web of deception if you let him.
But, to help you relate to the injustice of negative campaigning, consider this example:
Your son has just applied for a very competitive college scholarship against another young man in your community. The other young man, seeing that your son is the better candidate, decides to start a rumor that your son once raped a fellow student.
He continues, saying your son frequents wild parties and drinks a lot.
Eventually, the rumors get to the scholarship board members. They promptly turn down your son's application and grant the scholarship to the other young man-the dirty young man.
Was it fair? How do you think you and your son would feel?
Just remember that in two weeks when you go to the polls.
Step back from all the negative ads. Vote with your conscience. You know what is right.
Send the right message to future candidates.
We don't want negative campaigns in Banks County.
Adam Fouche is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.

Column
By Tim Thomas
The Jackson Herald
October 25, 2000


A grand finale
The state championship win by Jefferson High School's slow-pitch softball team capped off an amazing season not only for the Lady Dragons but for all five teams in the Mainstreet Newspapers coverage area.
Madison County's fast-pitch team scorched their competition during the regular season, and did well at Columbus, finishing fourth overall in the state tournament. Banks County finished in the top six by winning their opening-round game, and Jackson County was also among the state's elite eight.
The fourth-place finish by Commerce is a bit surprising, given that the Lady Tigers handed Jefferson all three of their losses on the year. The competition in class A was fierce, and any of the top four teams probably could have won if not for Jefferson's return to the dominant type of game they showed all season before the Commerce losses.
Looking back, those losses to the Lady Tigers may have been just the tonic Jefferson needed going into the state tournament. Sometimes it takes a loss - particularly one to a rival - to bring a simmering kettle to full boil.
The level of success enjoyed by area teams this year is of course unprecedented, but could actually be repeated next year. Each team is ripe with young talent, and the three smaller schools will all be back in slow-pitch in 2001. Madison County may play the role of odd man out among local teams, as the Lady Raiders must find a new pitcher to replace senior Sheena Mason.
The situation at Jackson County is too cloudy to call. At a meeting Monday night, school officials decided to offer both fast- and slow-pitch in 2001, but whether enough interested players can be found for a fast-pitch team is unclear. If the Lady Panthers field only a slow-pitch team next year, they should be able to return to Columbus.
Of course, fast-pitch proponents say the school will eventually have to go that route anyway, so why not start now to avoid having to play catch-up later. They may be right, but try explaining that to a group of very talented underclassmen who now have the taste of state tournament competition in their mouths. Perhaps one of them can emerge as an overpowering pitcher such as Mason.
The class A title game was easily the most thrilling sporting event this reporter has seen all year, with Jefferson and Bryan County needing three extra innings to determine a winner. The contest drew a larger crowd than any of the higher-classification games.
In the midst of the celebration, Jefferson team members shared tearful smiles, and remembered the source of their inspiring performance.
"We did this one for Daniel Goza, baby!" pitcher Melinda Floyd was heard exclaiming as she left the playing field.
Congratulations to the Lady Dragons, and to all our local softball teams, on a tremendous season.
Tim Thomas is a reporter for The Jackson Herald. His email address is SpeckCh@aol.com.

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