There are millions of honorable men and women who will never run for political office because they refuse to subject themselves and their families to the ugly world of politics. Our nation suffers as a result.
And if a candidate dares to take on the political establishment the attacks can become outrageous. It happened to Sarah Palin, it happened to South Carolina’s Governor Niki Haley and it is happening to me.
Within days of announcing my candidacy for Alpharetta City Council there were vicious lies about my positions on a local blog. You can read about those attacks here.
And the lies haven’t stopped. Last night at a campaign event a woman asked me about my position on Amana Academy. I explained that I have consistently fought to protect Windward’s master plan over the years and told her that I made my opposition to the school rezoning clear to Alpharetta City Councilmembers before I ever decided to run for political office.
I also mentioned to the woman that my political opponents had spread false rumors about my position on the issue. As I handed the woman a campaign sign for her yard she replied, “It’s funny you should say that because someone called me the other day and told me that Cheryl Oakes’ opponent supported Amana Academy.”
So let me set the record straight. I have spent more than a decade helping the people of Alpharetta fight to protect their schools, property values and quality of life. Before I decided to run for council I personally distributed hundreds of flyers on behalf of people opposed to the school relocation because I wanted my neighbors to know the legitimate, objective reasons it would be bad for our community. Any insinuation that I support the Amana Academy rezoning is a bald faced lie.
In fact, my opponent, Cheryl Oakes, is the candidate who opened the door for changes to the Windward master plan by voting to approve seven high rise condominium buildings one block from the Amana site in 2008. She supported that project over the objections of hundreds of nearby families and when it is built there will be more than 12,000 cars added to one of the most congested intersections in Alpharetta.
Those are the facts.
The tactics of deception are disappointing but not surprising. I fully expected people to lie and deceive in this campaign because they have done it in the past and will continue to do so as long as it keeps them in power.
The episode reminds me of the old saying, “In democracy you get the government you deserve”. In the context of Alpharetta politics I hope that isn’t true.
We deserve better.