Worked up: Goreham, King square off over illegal workers during town hall
by Jon Gillooly
March 15, 2013 12:41 AM | 5275 views | 46 46 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cobb Commissioner Helen Goreham and activist D.A. King, president of The Dustin Inman Society, debate their differences on illegal immigrants in the work force Thursday night during Goreham’s town hall meeting in Acworth.<br>Staff/Emily Barnes
Cobb Commissioner Helen Goreham and activist D.A. King, president of The Dustin Inman Society, debate their differences on illegal immigrants in the work force Thursday night during Goreham’s town hall meeting in Acworth.
Staff/Emily Barnes
slideshow
Commissioner Helen Goreham and immigration activist D.A. King of the Dustin Inman Society clashed during a town hall meeting Thursday evening over the topic of tax dollars going to illegal immigrants.

During the question-and-answer portion of the event hosted by the commissioner, King seized on a comment made by Goreham about the importance of being judicious when hiring project managers and construction workers. King said Goreham had voted against a program that would have allowed federal agents to review the hiring records of county contractors to ensure employees are legally able to work in the U.S.

The program is called the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers, or IMAGE.

Goreham said she would not debate King on the IMAGE subject. The proposal was turned down by the county commission last month.

One reason it was killed, Goreham said, was because it was terrible legislation that forced any company doing business with the county government to apply for IMAGE certification.

King said at least Goreham was now admitting the truth of how the proposal worked, given that at a previous town hall meeting and in form letters to constituents, she mischaracterized the proposal by claiming it would apply to all businesses in Cobb, which was inaccurate.

“Sir, I slipped up a couple of times, and I do not get the kind of treatment you get in our local newspaper, so therefore I don’t even get credit for appropriate statements, so therefore I will not even debate this issue,” Goreham snapped.

Goreham said King had his chance to speak before the Board of Commissioners.

“You have used your blogs to skewer me all over based on allegations, and no one asks for proof for you for your allegations that you share with the community. It’s over. It is done,” she said.

“Oh, it’s not over,” King said.

Proposal for a committee

The town hall meeting, held at the North Cobb Senior Center, drew about 60 residents and 25 members of the county’s staff.

One person at the meeting asked Goreham about her proposal to form a committee to study best practices for ensuring tax money does not go to illegal immigrants.

Goreham said she would like to form such a committee, called the Contractor Eligibility Assurance Study. The committee would have 10 members, with each commissioner appointing two people. She said she hoped it could have recommendations for the Board of Commissioners by the end of the year.

“The study will encompass the full spectrum of the county’s current contracting practices to identify potential loopholes that might allow ineligible workers to be employed on county work without detection,” Goreham said. “It is Cobb County’s intent to impose disciplines necessary for zero tolerance in this regard.”

This prompted a loud laugh from King, causing Goreham to say, “Please sir, a little respect.”

Answered King: “That would be very little, yes.”

Goreham told King that in that case he could leave.

“Thank you. I appreciate your leave,” King answered.

Goreham went on to say that the study will include inspections of activities of county contractors and their subcontractors, regardless of tier, including day laborers who are paid in cash. The proposal must first be approved by the full Board of Commissioners, she said.

“We will not have people who will be non-objective — that’s for certain — because there was too much of that going on in the preliminary work,” she said.

Communication dispute

King addressed the crowd by speaking of his friends, Billy and Kathy Inman of Woodstock, the parents of Dustin Inman, a 16-year-old boy killed in a traffic accident in 2000 by illegal immigrant Gonzalo Harrell-Gonzalez.

“The way Billy Inman tells it to me, and I know him to be a very honest man, when he called your office to leave a message urging you to vote yes on the ordinance, he was told by your secretary that ‘other people had lost children. He should get over it and stop dragging it around,’” King said. “My question is, madame, do you have any plans on investigating that?”

Goreham said she had asked her assistant about the incident and was told that’s not what took place. And besides, King was giving secondhand information, she said.

Yet King said the message came directly from Inman.

“Well, you know, I don’t know Billy Inman. I know that you have dragged him and his wife to our meetings,” Goreham said.

Responded King: “Billy dragged his own wife in a wheelchair.”

The MDJ asked Goreham’s assistant, Annette Friant, to verify what exactly happened.

“I have nothing to say to you,” Friant angrily snapped.

Criticism of ‘delay tactic’

After the meeting, Sue Stanton of north Cobb, one of the attendees at the town hall, called Goreham’s committee “worse than a delay tactic.”

“I feel that they really don’t want to go there, and as far as coming up with this committee, I think a better thing would be to have a group of citizens to go to work sites and yell, ‘green card check’ and see how many people scatter,” Stanton said.

Stanton said she believes Goreham will be defeated in next year’s election.

“Her support of the TSPLOST, her support for the SPLOST, the fact that she was against IMAGE, the tax increase and the green space, the waste of money on that green space that’s nothing but an eyesore, I think is going to come back to haunt her,” Stanton said.

Another attendee, Michael Opitz of east Cobb, president of the Madison Forum, was equally unimpressed by the proposed committee.

“So many times politicians create committees to delay the obvious,” Opitz said. “We know we have a problem. I don’t think we need another committee to study what the problem is. The problem has been identified. We know what the solution is. It’s just having the political will to do it, and the reason that we’re in this situation that we are with so many illegal immigrants in Georgia, more than Arizona, is that our politicians have lacked the political will to take decisive action to protect our community as well as protect our jobs.”

Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews said his city has no plans to form such a committee.

“The county, as well as the city, requires all subcontractors to fill out the E-verify, confirm that they’re on it,” Mathews said. “It’s state law. I mean everybody is in compliance with that. I don’t understand really what the issue is because we do that, Cobb County does that. What’s the issue?”
Comments
(46)
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Don4366
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March 18, 2013
There should be no legal loopholes that allow businesses to hire illegal aliens. We do NOT need illegal aliens taking jobs from American citizens and legal residents. Our legislators need to enact appropriate laws to prevent businesses from hiring illegals. Using E-verify for all workers, contractors, self-employed contractors, and "consultants" needs to be a requirement for ALL businesses. The little time it takes to perform an E-verify background check is very small and NOT A BURDEN. There is really no excuse not to use E-verify for ALL persons in the Georgia workforce.
anonymous
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March 17, 2013
Mark Mathews should see King's MDJ blog and watch the video so he can (finally) understand the issue.
anonymous
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March 17, 2013
More D.A. Kings! Less Tim Lee's, LIsa Cupids and Helen Gorehams!
anonymous
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March 18, 2013
You are definitely in the minority in your way of thinking. DA King does not hold public office. Lee and Cupid and Goreham are in office by majority vote that disagree with you. Eat it.
anonymous
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March 15, 2013
Let me "splain". What D.A. King did is what we all need to do. Its obvious he had this Goreham lady in a "Gotcha" moment and she did what all incompetent politicians do in this situation and that is to snap back at the person who just "Gotem". If Goreham does not want to be held accountable or answer to the taxpayers then she needs to find another job. We as taxpayers have sat long enough while our country as we know it is being destroyed. Thank you D.A. for your tireless work. Im really confused as to her comment about terrible legislation because contractors doing business with the city would have to become IMAGE certified. Why dont we just do away with building permits also to make it easier for contractors. Who has Goreham in their hip pocket probably on the wallet side?
Jammer51
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March 15, 2013
I think WATCHER maybe onto something with Citizens taking photos of suspicious job sites. Earlier this week the MDJ had a story about Marietta City School Board approving $300K for roof repairs. One company located in Dawsonville and the other in Lithonia. Guess no roofing companies in Marietta or Cobb County wanted to bid on these jobs. Having some experience in construction, I suspect there is very little variation in the cost of the materials. This leaves only "labor" and "overhead" as cost variables. So workers are going to commute from Dawsonville and Lithonia to Marietta just to perform a lot of manual labor repairing roofs? No qualified people locally? Sounds like something to keep an eye (and a camera) on.
anonymous
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March 18, 2013
As one experienced in proposal writing, location is not a factor in evaluating proposals and in fact could bring a lawsuit if terminated from the proposal process based on location.
W.5. Low
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March 15, 2013
I support D.A. King 100%. I have met the Inman's and heard their tragic story personally.

For Goreham to disparage them as she did is disgraceful. No one like her should hold public office
anonymous
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March 18, 2013
What you have to say about the girl that killed a governor's intern by getting drunk and running a red light? She is a white american. You would think from the Inman's that all people that kill while driving impaired are illegal immigrants. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find another case such as this. What you would find if you are hard pressed is that almost all drunk drivers that kill are americans. Where are the Inman's at this outrage? I dunna know. Maybe the Inman's drive impaired but they are exempt from imprisionment because they are white americans.
Pam J
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March 18, 2013
Anonymous, it has to do with insurance. Illegal aliens do not have insurance. If you get hit (and killed) by one, your insurance will have to pay and your rates will go up. Plus, you can't sue your own insurance company.
Joe Guzzardi
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March 15, 2013
Three cheers for DA! Illegal immigration has gone on too long. And to think that Ombama supports an amnesty plan that would give automatic work authorization to 11 million aliens while so many in Georgia are unemployed.

This is not the time for delay but rather the immediate implementation of E-Verify to ensure only legally authorized workers get scarce jobs.
Do something
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March 15, 2013
REMEMBER THIS.........if legalization is given to 12 MILLION illegal aliens they will be eligible to bring their relatives into the U.S.......PLUS with their high birth rates.....12 MILLION will turn into 50 MILLION or more real fast!!!

Help stop ANOTHER Amnesty: (Both legalization and path to citizenship are Amnesties)...

SUPPORT NUMBERSUSA: Google......NUMBERSUSA

(Yahoo won't allow links).

Don't wait for somebody else to do it.

Numbersusa is a grassroot organization who lobbies in Washington D.C. against illegal immigration and they will show what YOU can do to help. Be sure to sign up for their e-mails that will let you know when the latest bills dealing with illegal immigration are being introduced and how YOU can make a difference! Donate to Numbersusa! They are doing a great job and need your support.
forumsforjustice
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March 15, 2013
EIGHT MILLION illegal immigrants, are continuing to break our laws, by using false, or stolen, SS numbers, to work in, non-agriculture, on-the-books, American jobs.....while only 6% of the over 7 million U.S. employers are using E-Verify. ...For every illegal immigrant working, an American isn't....Mandate, and ENFORCE, E-Verify, for ALL jobs, for ALL employees, and for any entitlement. DHS receives continuing employer/employee SS number no-match lists from the SSA. The SSA also sends out thousands of no-match letters to employers, but due to the lack of any real enforcement, by DHS, these notices are largely ignored. Make the SSA employer/employee no-match list available to the individual states, if not to the public, and we, the people will address the problem.
Neta Rice
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March 17, 2013
I totally agree with you, except the number of ILLEGALS in this country is over 18 million. All breaking the laws of the United States with the help of weak kneed politicians, who are afraid to stand up for citizens. I am sick of law breakers being rewarded for their actions while law abiders are punished.
A Taxpayer
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March 15, 2013
I'm terribly sorry I missed this meeting. D.A., please let your supporters know the next time you plan to appear at a Goreham town hall meeting or other public assembly. We will be there to back you up if you want to call her out on her pandering to the illegal alien contractor community again.
Cobb Whiners
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March 15, 2013
What if Dustin Inman was killed in a car accident by a Jewish driver? Or a female driver? Or maybe a Methodist preacher? How about your cousin? Would you blame the entire group?

This anti-immigration nonsense is embarrassing to Cobb County.

I see that the new pope is from Argentina, but his family is from Spain. I sure hope his family immigrated legally and that he didn't steal the job from an American
VFP42
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March 15, 2013
That's what I keep saying. Cars killed this kid. Whether or not the driver at fault had filled out his immigration paperwork while crossing the border, the kid would still be dead from a car crash.

D.A. King is just trying to increase the size of local government under the guise of providing jobs for "Americans" (never mind Mexico is in the Americas) when the only jobs his ideas would add would be government jobs!
yonaton
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March 15, 2013
No, if anything is embarrassing to Cobb county and even the USA as a whole, it's idiots like you who apologize for every wrong that's committed by anyone that's not caucasian and working. Apparently you seem to think that breaking our laws is okay. Apparently you think that since you only heard about one person being hurt/killed by a law-breaking illegal alien it's never happened anywhere else in this country - by illegal aliens - and never will again.

If anything is *truly* apparent, it's that scum like you don't deserve to live with the freedoms this country provided you all your life and that you should emigrate to Spain (you mentioned it so I presume you adore it) or Cuba or Russia or any other number of dictator-run countries so you will finally be truly happy and not have to cry over anyone calling the law-breakers 'bad people'.

If that doesn't work for you, you can always kill yourself so you don't have to whine about it anymore and it will also save the rest of us some good air.
anonymous
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March 18, 2013
AMEN. Look up Krista Scott that killed a governor's intern. White american female, upper income from her parents, driving totally absolutely wasted and ran a red light (then tried to whine with unsuccessful lawyers that the governor's intern ran the red light).
Watcher...
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March 15, 2013
With current technologies, cameras are everywhere.

I know that Illegal Aliens and their supportive lobby will scream "racial profiling," but let's put our cameras to work (remember to activate date and time stamps) and document suspected illegal job sites.

Send your findings to Cobb County Commissioners and the MDJ.

anonymous
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March 18, 2013
What would your qualifying criteria be of suspected illegal job sites?
Dave Gorak
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March 15, 2013
Elected officials like Helen Goreham are a walking mockery of the oaths they take. While unemployed citizens around them suffer the indignity of having to compete with illegal aliens for jobs that belong only to legal workers, Goreham and her ilk continue to dance to the music of a greedy business community that is equally without any principles.

Dave Gorak

Executive director

Midwest Coalition to Reduce Immigration
Goro Meis
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March 15, 2013
HOORAY DA! Why didn't anyone else speak up to Helen ? Sorry I missed it!

“We will not have people who will be non-objective — that’s for certain — because there was too much of that going on in the preliminary work,” she said

Question: Why didn't the Board "form a committee" before King got involved? What Goreham means is that they will eventually form a committee - with out the most knowledgable person in Georgia - with business people and handpicked cronies to take a year to say that everything that can be done is being done and "we are wonderful" - they also are praying that Johnny/Tom Price and Co. will vote in another amnesty so that they can relax until the nation is taken over by the uneducated gimme poor criminal voters. Look what it did for S. Cobb. Hello DeKalb Hola Mexico. King calls it Georgiafornia.

Good bye Helen Goreham. No one but the Chamber of Commerce will miss you!

Cop out
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March 15, 2013
Matthews what a cop out! So the signed up for E-Verify. Does it mean they are using it? Contractors across this county are using illegals every day and everyone knows it! We know where they live but no one does anything. They don't pay taxes and then they get all of the free stuff us taxpayers fund like reduced lunches at school, our county medical facilities, etc. If they paid to use our public schools since they don't pay taxes I might be ok with it but they don't. The only answer is to do what Arizona did and they will leave like they left Arizona.
anonymous too
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March 15, 2013
I feel as a contractor that does federal and state work, and does not hire illegals at any level, that it just keeps adding to the paperwork. Most of you must not realize that we have to sign our employees through E-Verify. Our subcontractors are required to be compliant as well. We are just adding another cost and another level of paperwork to an already bogged down system.
I feel?
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March 15, 2013
Dear pitiful contractor:

Some of us realize that EVerify only checks numbers and that illegal aliens steal citizens numbers every day. It is well documented that illegals beat E-Verify and that it only applies to real employees. The courthouse was built by illegal aliens who were hired as "independent contractors" and were never near an I-9 form or E-Verify because they weren't employees. Too bad that Mark mathews lives in a bubble. Helen is not smart enough to get this. But Tim is. Which is why he lied in 2012 to get reelected and then backed out of his promise on image.

King should be praised.

WSB tv did a news piece on this for a fireman's station in Smyrna. A lady showed it at the Cobb board meeting. Hello Max Bacon. I have not seen it in the MDJ.
anonymous
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March 15, 2013
If Goreham was trying to give the impression she was in agreement with DA King, you gotta wonder why she would not just come out and say "D.A. , I mis-spoke earlier. You and I are completely on the same page. I am with you."

Thanks D.A! Give 'em hell and make 'em eat. This rino crap cluster here in Cobb County government has got to be excised.
Pat H
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March 15, 2013
It is clear that Goreham has the same attitude toward the Inmans as her assistant, Annette Friant. I believe there has been other problems with Annette, a county employee flunkee who forgets that she is supposed to serve the people, but assumes the opposite.

Mr. King was not disrespectful, Ms. Goreham. Perhaps the Chamber can have positions for you and Annette after the next election.
Watcher...
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March 15, 2013
IF Ms. Friant did make the comments mentioned in this article, I suggest that Ms. Goreham and Mr. Hankerson give her some counseling.
HappyHere
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March 15, 2013
The description "Goreham had voted against a program that would have allowed federal agents to review the hiring records of county contractors" is incorrect. It should say she voted against a program that would have REQUIRED federal agents to review those records. That's a big difference. The 3 Commissioners don't disagree with the goal of keeping funds out of illegal workers' hands, they disagreed with the way the King ordinance did it. People who think there's only one way to get something done are myopic. The 3 only want to look at other ways to accomplish the goal without county business grinding to a halt because of the way this law was written by Mr. King. Please realize the code wouldn't just have affected road project contractors, it would have affected all vendors, some of whom are the only ones out there that can provide a certain service or product. People need to stop their irrational name calling and single vision perspective and let County leadership explore all options, as good leaders do.
ACTUALLY
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March 15, 2013
ACTUALLY, Tim Lee 'complained' that the ordinace DID'NT include vendors. Watch the tape of the Feb 26 meeting! Nice try Helen. Watch out for that falling house descending on you and your flying monkeys. You lied to us on the cobb legislation on this image system. it wasn't for all businesses in Cobb. but it should be!
HappyHere
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March 15, 2013
I'm not Helen, but I did read the proposed ordinance:

(b) – “Contractor” means a person, company, corporation, VENDOR or entity

(regardless of level or tier and including independent contractors) that enters

into a contract or offers a bid for the “performance of services” with the County

or provides labor for payment of any amount in any manner for any purpose.

My point is that the language was pretty far-reaching and the impact to County operations needs to be considered.
C. Smith
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March 15, 2013
To HappyHere: You can't argue with stupid and most of the people on here are just plain stupid. You make total sense and you write as an adult, not a 6-year old bully. Maybe they will take their toys and go home.
mk-yeah for King!!
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March 15, 2013
Excellent job, D.A.!

This is exactly what must be done!

Expose the traitors!!

Matthews says, what's the problem??

The problem, Matthews, is all of you not so honest politicians sneaking your way into office w/ an agenda that does NOT protect this country or the American people!

We are tired of politicians LIES!!!!!

As D.A. has shown, the problem is some of the contractors that sign affidavits are getting a pass on their non compliance.

NOONE's auditing the paperwork OR the jobsites!!

D.A. King presented a SOLUTION. The solution is let ICE audit the books. I'm not sure if the IMAGE includes on site audits, but if not, like Sue Stanton's comment, this is where the day labor loophole would be exposed. The books & work sites!!

Ms. Goreham,... shame on you for not having taken the time to speak w/ Billy & Kathy Inman.

It seems you've had the opportunity, but chose to dismiss them. Very telling.

You could never match Kathy & Billy's dignity!!

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