Frankly, he hasn't got time for that. Wiles' Job One is to keep contractor and former Cobb School Board chairman Lindsay Tippins from taking his seat in the 37th State Senate district in the upcoming primary election. Besides, I promise to always be available for him to tell me where I can put my commas (if you get my drift.)
But had Wiles asked, I would have said that having his colleagues in the State Senate host a fundraiser for him at a posh restaurant in ritzy Buckhead was not such a good idea. In the first place, it makes him look like the ultimate political insider in a time when incumbents are not held in high esteem by the electorate. As we are seeing in the national elections, this is the day of the outsider.
In the second place, holding such an affair in an eatery on West Paces Ferry Road seems a bit elitist for somebody who represents Acworth, Powder Springs, Kennesaw, Austell and a bit of Smyrna. I know his buddies chose that place so the lobbyists could find it easily and drop off their checks, but why couldn't they have gathered at the Dairy Queen on Kennesaw Due West Road? The lobbyists' money would still be bankable and the Blizzards are terrific.
Third, I wouldn't have let it be known to the Atlanta newspapers that such a function was taking place and have them write about Wiles' pals "circling the wagons." Good grief. That just makes it worse.
Wiles reminds me of our esteemed members of Congress who hold fundraisers at fancy Washington watering holes and then come back home and rail about the special interest crowds taking over government.
If John Wiles is to win reelection - and it is no sure thing - this is not the way to do it. Stay out of Buckhead and tell your buddies in the Senate to go meddle in somebody else's campaign. I don't think any of this will impress the folks in the 37th. They want their phone calls returned, their emails answered and their issues resolved. Leave Buckhead to the yuppies.
ON ANOTHER SUBJECT, I had the pleasure of hosting former Cobb Commissioner Butch Thompson and his wife, Marsha at dinner recently. Thompson had bid on and "won" dinner with my wife and me at the Cobb County Swordsman Ball Silent Auction last fall. (Some wag said second prize was two dinners with me and third prize was a week's worth. Ha. Ha.)
As most locals know, Thompson was one of plaintiffs who successfully sued the Cobb County School Board to stop the $100.8 million take-home laptop initiative back in 2005.
Thompson and ambulance company owner Bo Pounds also sued Cobb EMC. Their suit, which was settled in December 2008, called for the EMC's Cobb Energy to be shut down and its money-losing ventures folded back into the EMC. The legal process continues to drag on, but my money is on Thompson and his allies.
I must confess that I did not know the former commissioner well until we dined but he is a no-nonsense guy. He found the use of SPLOST money for the laptops to be wrong and decided to take action. Same thing with the Cobb EMC and its management of their ill-fated Cobb Energy unit.
The man suffers fools poorly. Maybe that is why we hit it off so well at dinner.
MY COLUMN on Stephen Northington, of Cobb County, running for Insurance Commissioner brought responses from supporters of Maria Sheffield who is also running in the GOP primary for Insurance Commissioner and is from Cobb. She and her husband live in Mableton and she has raised almost $180,000 for the race, all without loans. I was also reminded that Dr. Beth Farokhi, of Cobb County, is running for State School Superintendent in the Democratic primary. So noted and thanks for the responses.
FINALLY, MONDAY IS MEMORIAL DAY. Take a moment to give thanks to our veterans and remember reverently all those who gave their lives so that we can live in a free country. May we never forget that democracy doesn't come cheap and it is not guaranteed.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at email@example.com or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.