Among those who read the column were its intended targets, who responded via email.
“A great column,” the Gingrich email began. “Tell Junior E. Lee we are proud of his deep research and insights. Looking for truck now. Does he have a preferred model? Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
“Leroy and Louise”
Yarbrough, after confirming through private sources that the email missive was indeed legit, emailed Around Town that while he was flattered by the Speaker’s email, it nonetheless left a bad taste in his mouth.
“This note from the Gingriches does not come as particularly good news to me. People with a sense of humor are no fun. I need all the humor-impaired subjects I can find. Fortunately, there are others. That is why God invented politics and lawyers.
“I wanted to tell Junior but he is very busy right now trying to get the flying squirrels out of Arveen Ridley’s attic before they chew up all his back issues of the Farmer’s Almanac.
A THIRD CANDIDATE is expected to toss his hat in the ring today for next summer’s race for chairman of the Cobb Board of Commissioners.
The candidate, a retired Marine officer from east Cobb who has never held elective office but who has been active in local political circles in recent years, tells Around Town he will run in the Republican Primary against incumbent Chairman Tim Lee. Already on board as a challenger for Lee is former Chairman Bill Byrne, who ran the county for most of the 1990s but has been mostly out of politics since resigning the chairmanship in an abortive quest for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2002.
A third challenger for Lee may still be waiting in the wings. That would be retired business exec Larry Savage of east Cobb, who ran against Lee last year without success and who has reportedly made known his plans to run again next year.
Yet just as many see the GOP presidential field as somewhat “lacking,” many view the field of announced candidates for the Cobb chairmanship the same way.
Lee’s tenure has been rocked by turmoil, thanks to his support for the county road SPLOST, his successful push to raise property taxes (rather than cut spending) to balance the county budget, and now his support for the regional TSPLOST and its budget-busting Atlanta-to-Cumberland rail transit line.
Meanwhile, many remember Byrne as a competent but often-polarizing chairman and aren’t sure they want to revisit those days.
Hence, the oft-heard wish recently that “someone else” would run. The name most frequently heard along those lines is that of former Commissioner Thea Powell, who served in the late 1980s and won plaudits last year when serving as an interim commissioner. But she told Around Town in July that she would be unable to run due to her new job as a development associate with the non-profit St. Jude’s Recovery Center in Atlanta.
Which brings us back to Lee and Byrne, and to today’s candidate and possibly to Savage.
Lee, meanwhile, is said to be heartened by this month’s easy re-election of Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews, who serves with Lee on the regional TSPLOST board and, like Lee, has been on the receiving end of an earful of anti-rail invective. Mathews trounced former Mayor Leonard Church by a 65-35 margin.
At any rate, with the primary still seven months away, Lee has plenty of time left in which to try to right his ship, regardless of who his challengers turn out to be.
MORE POLITICS: Georgia Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise of east Cobb will kick off his campaign with a reception at the Strand Theatre on Marietta Square at 6 p.m. Dec. 13. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more.
THE NEW Cobb Civil War Round Table will feature local historian Brad Quinlin at its meeting Thursday with a seasonal topic: “Letters from Home at Christmas.” Quinlin will be reading excerpts from letters he has unearthed while combing the National Archives in Washington, D.C. The meeting begins at 7 and the presentation at 7:30 at the KSU Social Sciences Building auditorium. Quinlin also will be selling and signing copies of his new book, “Duty Well Performed — A History of the 21st Ohio Infantry.” Incidentally the CCWRT, though only four months old, has grown to 93 members already, reports President David Brannan. For more on the meeting, go to www.cobbcwrt.org …
MDJ Edit page editor Joe Kirby will be speaker at today’s Smyrna Rotary and Thursday’s Marietta Kiwanis Club meetings; his topic being his new book “The Lockheed Plant.” If you need a speaker for your civic, religious or other group, or a copy of the book, contact Kirby at email@example.com.
BRENAU UNIVERSITY conferred its top non-academic awards Nov. 10 on rare books donor Fred D. Bentley Sr. of Marietta.
Bentley, who spearheaded the development of the Rare Books Room and its collection of significant works of literature and art, received the Distinguished Service to Brenau award.
A retired Marietta attorney, former legislator and civic and political leader in Cobb County, Bentley has donated close to 2,000 rare books, manuscripts and documents to Brenau, including a document signed by both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, an original printing of a Shakespeare work, and first editions of Hemmingway’s “A Farewell to Arms,” Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” and Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind.”
Thanks to Bentley, Brenau now also holds the largest collection of playwright Eugene O’Neill first editions and a small loveseat that Bentley acquired from O’Neill’s home.
“These books ensure that generations of students to come will be able to see some of the great books of the world that will be preserved and available for people long after our Kindles wear out and get replaced by the next generations of reading technology,” said Brenau president Ed Schrader.
THE SOUTHERN MUSEUM OF CIVIL WAR & LOCOMOTIVE HISTORY will host “A Civil War Christmas” from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday. The museum will be decorated for the holiday and will feature period music and dancing in the Cobb Energy Hall Gallery. Admission will be half price. During the event, officials from the Smithsonian Institute will recognize the museum’s 10th anniversary as a Smithsonian Affiliate. Refreshments will be served.
The Museum also has hired Ken Hoo as its new early childhood educator. He’ll be responsible for the weekly “Mommy & Me” preschool program, student field trips, homeschool days and program development. He formerly worked at The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, the USS Constitution Museum in Boston and the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire. He taught kindergarten at Kennesaw Elementary School before completing the museum studies program at Tufts University.