by Ron Gregory
While response to my last column has been positive from readers at large, it seems there are those who simply wish to confuse the facts with issues that should be irrelevant.
Let me start by just saying this: either those who insisted letters had been received from the Mingo County Commission advising them that they had been “appointed” poll workers cannot comprehend simple English or they intentionally have sought to mislead people. There’s no two ways about it. One or the other must be the case.
Additionally, public officials who have tried to make political hay from the “un-appointment” stories are either stupid or demagogues. They can also not understand common English or they hope to stoke the fires of local prejudice to make it appear the “crooks” at the courthouse have done another dastardly deed. In the former case, it is a sad commentary that elected officials are too stupid to read a questionnaire and realize what it says. On the latter, those who attempt to lead by deceiving the public are just as wrong no matter which “team” they are on.
Rather than calmly listen to stories that precinct workers had been appointed and then removed within days, at least one elected official went berserk. She demanded to be placed on the County Commission agenda so she could “question” how commissioners decided to appoint three people and then “un-appoint” them. The problem with that premise is that it didn’t happen. So, questioning the honestly and integrity of the county commissioners based on a falsehood is counter-productive. The Mayor of Gilbert might as well schedule an appearance “on the agenda” (apparently a big deal in Mingo) to ask county commissioners why they are still beating their wives and husbands. It would make just as much sense.
It is interesting that a town public official would demand placement on an agenda to pursue a falsehood two weeks down the road anyway. Has Vivian Livingood ever heard of picking up the phone, calling Commissioner Mark Hubbard, and simply asking if any of the story is true? Apparently not. According to Livingood, she plans to attend the April Commission meeting “to ask questions on behalf of the people of Gilbert.” What questions do she and the three people who claim to have been mistreated have? Why do residents of Gilbert give a damn who is appointed poll workers? Will that change their public water supply, garbage pickup … what?
I mean can you actually hear the 88-year-old lady living in her Gilbert double-wide say, “on please, Mayor. Go to the County Commission meeting and ask questions about the poll workers”? Come on now ….
The question-and-answer sessions (this being the second one in April) are designed to make County Commissioner Hubbard look bad in light of his contest with Thomas Taylor. Any excuse will do to form a mob and go attack the commission. The County Commission has no obligation whatever to fund projects in the Town of Gilbert. As a separate municipality, it is theoretically supposed to live within its own tax base and budget. County commissions are doing any town a favor if they kick in money to support town projects. They should be praised; not attacked.
Staging what amounts to Taylor for Commissioner rallies at county commission meetings is a waste of government time and money. It is not an exercise in democracy but, rather, a blatant attempt to utilize a public meeting for personal political gain. It is just plain wrong.
But at press time, Livingood has still not acknowledged she went off half-cocked without facts in hand. She remains on the Commission agenda. Perhaps Taylor will appear with political signs in hand and just turn the fiasco into a full-fledged campaign rally. He might as well.
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As our story said, the three injured parties were not appointed and then removed as election officials. They were never appointed in the first place. Why doesn’t Livingood and her supporters post on social media that they were wrong and will not make their campaign appearance?
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Oh, that’s right. Livingood may have done that. She deleted me from Facebook for using vulgar language and insulting her lying friends on her page. For the record, Livingood’s grandchildren sometimes look at her site, she says, and they had never before heard or seen the words I posted. Such sheltered lives some of us live.
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The Mayor and all her minions can insist appearing before the county commission is not designed as a part of an organized Taylor campaign effort if they want. The only person they have running for Commission is Taylor, however, and his incumbent opponent is Hubbard. So, who other than Taylor could these rallies be designed to promote? Uhhh … let’s see. I CAN read a question and know it is not an appointment; I do NOT mislead readers with false allegations.
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One of those supporting Livingood’s campaign for Taylor insisted that I am opposed to Taylor because he does not respond to my requests for interviews. He doesn’t “kiss up to you,” according to this village idiot. The same idiot who was supposed to nominate Livingood for the interim House of Delegates term but lacked the ability to get out of his chair, apparently.
My concern with Taylor’s arrogance toward me is based on my experience with those like Mingo Prosecutor Teresa Maynard. If they refuse to communicate with me, folks, they also do not talk to the common citizen. Can anyone imagine how Taylor would perform as a County Commissioner? If he didn’t like someone, he would not return their calls or requests for information. It is the public he is at war with; not me. This is the same public he claims he wants to serve.
What would Taylor’s role as a county commissioner be? Does he get to dictate policy for all of Mingo? I suppose he would. Would he answer to any citizen? Based on his current behavior, apparently not.
Everyone knows I disagree with plenty of things Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith and Hubbard have done. But one thing is for certain: when I call them they either answer immediately or return the call quickly. They never avoid me; they never plead that they are “too busy” as Taylor says he is to speak with me. If Taylor is that busy, and isn’t a County Commissioner, how busy would be become if he were one? How could he return a constituent call when he doesn’t have the time?
I have said on Facebook that I am not joining the Taylor for Commission campaign train. It left the station without me on board. Hubbard has always been kind, reasonable and upright in his responses when I have asked tough questions. I have the cell phone numbers for all three commissioners and can call any time. Taylor, meanwhile, is “too busy” to be bothered with little things like answering questions about his positions on public issues.
Other than the fact that Taylor thinks Hubbard is a crook, does anyone actually know what his plan for the future of Mingo County is? Do we know if he HAS a plan? Would we agree with it if we knew what it was? Citizens deserve answers from Taylor, who would rather take a Sunday afternoon and have himself photographed on the side of a mountain than respond to the public and press.
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What does Thomas Taylor have to hide? We may find that out over the next few weeks.
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Meanwhile, what do I have to hide? Absolutely nothing. Regular readers were tired by my “confessions” in the early days of this column. Some even asked me to stop with the confessions and report on politics. If anyone in any camp in Mingo wants to know what all I have been ACCUSED of, check past columns of mine or go to The Charleston Gazette Website. Pay $5 to get each and every article and editorial. Spread them on Facebook or wherever you wish. You will not scare or deter me from telling the truth.
Or, as one of my close friends once observed, “they won’r embarrass you; you’re past being embarrassed by ANYTHING they say.”
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It would be no surprise to anybody to let readers know we at the Corridor Chroniclge endorse the re-election of Mingo County Clerk Big Jim Hatfield. There’s no bmore caring and diligent public official anywhere than Hatfield.
He deserves the vote and support of everyone in Mingo.
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Your comments, story ideas, rumors and plans to attend public meetings to raise holy hell are appreciated. Gosh, I hope Livingood’s grandchildren don’t read this column and see the vulgar language I just used. Use my email address listed or call my cell, 304-533-5185.