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  1. GabrielSterling says:

    You’re right Erick,

    Lee Scott is so bad, even the AJC said he is “unfit for public service”. Here is the Opinion page on the Clayton County runoffs:

    Raise the bar in Clayton

    If megalomania was a country, its capital would be Clayton County. The booming Southside suburb harbors a plenitude of power-hungry charlatans and race-baiting hucksters who ply voters with cheap tricks to advance their own political agendas.

    Before going to the polls in the Aug. 8 primary runoff and in the fall general election, voters should be keenly aware of the bad actors in their midst. Among the noxious characters who have established a beachhead in county politics are John Trotter, founder of a second-rate teacher’s union, and his ally, Lee Scott, a one-time developer who is in a runoff for a seat on the County Commission.

    Scott and Trotter are little more than dime-store Svengalis who often appeal to the base instincts and ignorance of the newcomers pouring into the county. Both men have been linked to slick magazines and campaign materials that cleverly mix Bible verses with racially loaded phrases to promote their hand-picked slate of candidates.

    To be sure, the county is undergoing a demographic upheaval: Once predominantly white, it is now about 70 percent African-American. That shift has created a political vacuum and knowledge gap that opportunists such as Trotter, Scott and others have rushed in to fill.

    Because of its rapid but often lopsided growth, Clayton faces serious challenges that include abysmal student test scores, economic disinvestment and horrific traffic congestion on major thoroughfares. The racial demagoguery peddled by Trotter and Scott can only make those problems worse.

    Dismissing their creeping influence over county government would be a mistake. Only three years ago, Trotter’s blatant manipulation of three sitting school board members created chaos and nearly cost the county’s 51,000-student school system its accreditation. Scott successfully stage-managed his wife’s bid for district attorney, although she had zero experience in criminal law.

    Clayton residents need strong, effective and independent leadership. In the runoff, voters have the chance to give themselves that.

    House District 76: Mike Glanton is a military retiree and ordained minister. Although he has never served in public office, there are encouraging signs that he’d be a welcome addition to the county’s legislative delegation. Rejecting the racial “split” that he says threatens the county’s future, Glanton says if elected he’d work to expand health care access, especially for children and seniors. He also supports smaller class sizes and wants to restore state funding for public education. However, despite his commendable qualifications, Glanton has refused to address allegations about a pending harassment case involving a former employer. The winner of this runoff takes the seat.

    Clayton Commission District 1: By virtue of his long and thoughtful service, two-time incumbent Carl Rhodenizer has proved he deserves the support of voters. A retired banker and longtime resident, Rhodenizer has been a calming influence on the commission. He’s an acknowledged leader on transportation issues and has tirelessly advocated for a long-delayed commuter rail line from Atlanta to Lovejoy that could spark a much-needed economic boom in the county.

    His opponent, Sonna Singleton, has worked with Rhodenizer in the past and is a promising candidate in many respects. However, Singleton is a spokeswoman for Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill. That’s a troubling connection, given Hill’s outsized ego and the nasty power struggles with commission Chairman Eldrin Bell.

    Clayton Commission District 4: Michael Edmondson is smart and well-informed and has avoided the shameless racial pandering that makes his opponent, Lee Scott, unfit for public service.

    Edmondson is a certified financial planner who favors controlled growth and impact fees on developers to defray infrastructure costs, and says he would press to improve enforcement of county zoning codes. He supports funding for regional transportation initiatives, but opposes holding Clayton County taxpayers solely responsible for covering the operating costs of commuter rail and other projects. The winner of this race will face Republican Michael Johnson.

    Clayton School Board District 1: Despite running a decidedly low-wattage race for re-election, incumbent LaToya Walker is a seasoned and superior candidate. After some early stumbles (including her former affiliation with Trotterites), she has since proved her mettle as an insightful and well-informed board member whose experience as president of a financial consultant firm has been an invaluable asset, according to her colleagues. The winner of this race takes the seat.

    School Board District 9: Like Walker, incumbent Connie Kitchens has apparently been chastened by her former allegiance to Trotter and also deserves re-election for her hard work. A teacher in Fulton County, Kitchens says if returned to office she’ll continue to focus on increasing parental involvement in the schools, addressing discipline problems and “working as a team” with her fellow board members. The winner will face Republican Dave Barton.

    — Lyle V. Harris, for the editorial board ([email protected])

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