Gwinnett Land Deal

This is interesting. Some folks in Gwinnett County are more than a little concerned about a $4.6 million land buy for a “passive park” that is mostly completely underwater and not useable.

“This is about keeping a promise, a promise to my constituents that we would not put any more apartments in the district,” Green said. She says Gwinnett County bought the land so the county could control development and stop apartment construction.

Chairman Bannister, on the other hand, describes the “passive park” as overgrown, under water, and completely unusable. “It is a swampland most of the time. Scrubby trees, not real pretty to look at. We can’t do anything with it,” he said.

“Not everyone has the same view of what a park should be,” Green responded. And not only is the function of the park in question, the bigger question is about how much the county paid for it, and whether it was a waste of taxpayers dollars. “How much do you think the land was worth?” Saltzman asked Chairman Bannister. “It’s worth nothing to me,” he replied.

Records obtained by CBS 46 News show county tax officials appraised the land at $2.9 million just two months before Commissioners voted 3-to-1 to pay $4.6 million for the exact same property.

65 comments

  1. I Am Jacks Post says:

    Noteworthy passages:

    Gwinnett County Commissioner Lorraine Green argued, “This is one of the best purchases in Gwinnett County history.”

    The 36-acre plot of land that’s at the center of the complaint is described by Green as a “park,” but others say it’s a waste of taxpayer funds.

    The key question some residents are asking is did the county overpay for a piece of questionable land?

    Investigative reporter Wendy Saltzman asked Chairman Charles Bannister if the county bought a $4.6 million piece of swampland. “Pretty much,” he responded.

    Bannister voted against the purchase. Meanwhile his opponent in the county election, Commissioner Green, was one of three Commissioners who voted to buy the land. The property off Beaver Ruin Road is in Commissioner Green’s district.

    Records obtained by CBS 46 News show county tax officials appraised the land at $2.9 million just two months before Commissioners voted 3-to-1 to pay $4.6 million for the exact same property.

  2. I’m confused. The county had to buy the land to prevent apartments from being built but how can you build apartments on swampland? But if it’s really swampland, why did the developer want to build anything there? And why did the developer sue when the county denied his request to build apartments if it was swampland and he couldn’t build on it anyway?

  3. Jimbo says:

    I spoke to friends in Gwinnett County about this and I am confused as well. Rumor is that Chairman Bannister sure did not have an issue selling two parcels of land to Habitat for Humanity at DOUBLE their appraised value. Then there is the Lilburn Post Office… Maybe someone should file an ethics complaint against Bannister…hmmm

    Bannister and his minions / surrogates Bill Simon and Joe Newton have run and very nasty and negative campaign… Bannister must know he is about to lose…

    Bannister also does not mind violating State Law by using the state seal on campaign literature. The State law clearly lists who is authorized to use the state seal on campaign literature and county commission chairman is not on the list…
    Might be a good case for the State Attorney General to rules on.

  4. PegM says:

    Buzz is right on target on this issue…If you are calling out Green on this issue, you are also calling out Nasuti, Kennerly, and Beaudreau. Are they evildoers too? I think not.

    This is just another twist of truth for the Good Ol’ Boy’s to trash a competitor. And Joe Newton is so obviously a tool of the Bannister campaign, it’s not even funny. Gee I wonder where a guy who lives in an apartment near Jimmy Carter can afford the thousands he has invested in newspaper ads, tee shirts, etc??? Makes you wonder…..

  5. Dawgfan says:

    I don’t have a dog in this fight I live in Fulton County, but it could be a tempest in a teapot. The swamp question aside someone wanted to develop the land for apartments and was denied. They then challenged the county’s decision in court. Now, if the county thought it would or could lose the lawsuit and its goal was to prevent the land from being development as apartments then purchasing the land would be an equitable solution. If you’re the property owner you would want the price to be based on the value as apartments not it’s current use, and if you think you have a strong case you would hold out for that. So, from what I know it kind of makes sense.

    The question of payback sounds to me as fairly ridiculous. Commissioner Green says the property owner didn’t make a contribution to her campaign so no conflict there. It’s likely the apartment developer made a contribution, but if the property owner sells the land to the county they only loose so no conflict there. Finally, the attorney’s may have made a contribution, but they get paid either way. In fact they probably stood to gain more from the lawsuit going to court so they actually loose as well.

    Now, you can make any judgment you want about the value of preventing more apartments being developed, and what the taxpayers of Gwinnnett get for that. If I lived in another district I wouldn’t be happy. I just get tired of everyone trying to make a federal case out of anything they don’t like.

  6. Bill Simon says:

    PegM,

    Mr. Newton worked for a living for a good while as a clerk in a Cobb County judge’s office. I believe you will find he EARNED his money and his retirement funds and chooses to spend it as he pleases.

    TOO bad YOU’VE become such a tool for a corrupt damn fool by the name of “Lorraine Green.”

  7. Bill Simon says:

    PegM, TWO

    By the way, Kevin Kenerly IS an “evildoer” as well, and a corrupt SOB.

    Beaudreau may be as well, it just takes a lot of time and effort to uncover truths about people.

    As far as Nasuti, rumors have it that Nasuti’s law firm is a direct sub-contractor for the Gwinnett County Office of Law. But, yeah, I know, YOU would likely think that’s okay…

  8. Bill Simon says:

    ADDENDUM to “I Am Jack’s Post”:

    “Saltzman found the Gwinnett County Commission had already turned down plans to develop that property as an apartment building.”

    Soooooo…if Lorraine Green and the rest of the Commission had “previously turned down plans to build apartments” on that land, HOW is it that Lorraine Green thinks it’s the deal of the century for the county to buy the land under her claim “we had to do it to stop apartments from being built.”

    Apartments weren’t going to be built there AT ALL.

  9. PegM says:

    CORRECTION I have spoken to a person close to the Bannister campaign and someone whom I trust to be a truthteller. I take back any innuendo that Joe Newton is associated with the Bannister campaign. I have been told, and believe, that it is not true. Apologies on that.

    However, I still think that Joe Newton is a total nutcase who should not be taken seriously.

    I am not going to change any minds here….so I will crawl back under the blankets and only stick my nose out on election day where I am safe in the voting booth.

    Klattu Barrata Nickto

  10. BobG says:

    It is not my intent to siphon readers away from this esteemed blog, but I have published FACTS on this issue to exhaustion.

    The county did not overpay: critics are comparing ASSESSED value (for taxes) to APPRAISED value. While the county-assessed value was $2.9m, the INDEPENDENTLY APPRAISED value was found to be $4.7m.

    The county hired an independent consultant to VERIFY that the previous owner could build apartments on the land. Contrary to the uninformed claims of one commenter, the tract was the subject of a lawsuit in which the developer intended to do just that. The county had received notice that the plaintiff would prevail if the case went to court.

    The FACTS are detailed in this thread: http://tinyurl.com/gwinland1

    Further, the county has often purchased floodplain (Bannister calls it `swampland`) for parks. In fact, some of our best passive and active parks are 60% and 70% floodplain; the very popular Suwanee greenway is 100% floodplain. Floodplain is NOT `swampland,` and anyone who makes the comparison is being intellectually dishonest.

    You are invited to read the FACTS here: http://tinyurl.com/gwinland2

    Finally, I spoke directly with the county’s recreation director. The greenspace purchase satisfies an IDENTIFIED NEED in the area. That area has the densest population in the county and is also the fastest growing, in terms of population.

    You are welcome to view a draft master plan for the park here: http://www.talkgwinnett.net/stuff/files/beavruin_parkplan.pdf

    I will not editorialize, for some are easily distracted from the FACTS.

  11. Bill Simon says:

    Here’s a few questions:

    1) IF the plaintiff in that lawsuit was to prevail in a court of law, then that means the court would have decided that the land could be used in whatever way the developer wanted.

    2) NOW, if the court ruled that XYZ parcel of land should be re-zoned for ABC use, then where exactly in the Code of County Commissioner Responsibilities is it written that it is the DUTY of the county to prevent someone from building-out the XYZ parcel to its highest and best use?

    Where is that written, Bob? Seems to me, Bob, that, quite frankly, the Commission in this case deliberately interfered with what would have been a legal undertaking for the landowner to develop anything they wanted, as long as it adhered to zoning laws.

    Bob, uf you subscribe to the notion that it was okay for the county to swipe land before someone came along and invested THEIR money into the business enterprise they wanted to, then you REALLY consider getting out of the Republican Party, and go join the Socialist Party.

    The Socialists LOVE to do things “for the good of the people” and quash free enterprise in the process.

    Those are the FACTS about the action by the Commisison in this case to buy land to prevent free enterprise from happening.

  12. “I built these apartments up from nothing. When I started, all I had was swamp! Other developers said I was daft to build an apartment building on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show ’em! It sank into the swamp, so I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. I built a third one. It burned down, fell over, and then it sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up! And that’s what you’re going to get, lad–the strongest apartment building in Gwinnett County!”

  13. Jimbo says:

    Joe Newton is not “officially” associated with the Bannister campaign but he does talk to them on a regular basis. It is foolish to believe Newton is just doing all this on his own. Newton called Glenn Pirkle the day after the Primary and urged him to endorse Bannister. Newton did not get a positive response. A few minutes after Newton hung up Bannister called Pirkle himself and asked for his endorsement.

    Bannister is using surrogates to do his dirty work and Newton is one of them. Why do you think Bill Simon know so much about Newton?

    Bill Simon and B.J VanGundy are close friends . B.J is one of Bannister’s top advisors and rumor has it that B.J help fund the start up of Simon’s Political Vine.

    Danny Porter was never contacted by Channel 46 news about the land deal. Joe Newton just filed a verbal complaint and asked that it be presented to the Grand Jury. Porter will do this as it is any citizen’s right.

    Porter’s office routinely handles county contracts over a certain amount. He found no irregularities with this contract when it was signed two years ago.

    Call Porter and get the facts.

    Also check out Bannister’s “sweetheart land deals”

    http://www.talkgwinnett.net/index.php?option=com_joomlaboard&Itemid=131&func=view&id=975&catid=2

  14. BobG says:

    Bill, your understanding of the court process is flawed, making your entire assumption invalid. Here is how it works:

    1. ANY Commission can decide to deny an application for rezoning. In other words, they can decide to CONTINUE to apply the current zoning.

    2. The applicant can sue, alleging that continuing to impose the CURRENT zoning restrictions results in an unlawful “taking” because, the applicant alleges, the property does not have a reasonable economic use as currently zoned.

    3. The court can agree with the applicant. However, the court CANNOT impose its own zoning; that is not within the court’s authority.

    4. The application is then remanded to the Commission for another hearing and decision. The BoC is not told to what rezoning classification the property should be changed; only that the CURRENT zoning has resulted in harm to the owner.

    5. At any point in the process, the BoC can offer the owner “another deal” and, if that resolves a pending lawsuit at the same time, great. In this case (and all others not involving condemnation), there is a “willing seller” and a “willing buyer.” No “deliberate interfence;” no “swiping of land;” nothing.

    The Commission nor any individual Commissioner did anything wrong. Your candidate disagreed with the land purchase and, now, has decided to obfuscate the facts to his political advantage. And he has found surrogates willing to do the same.

    Nothing “socialist” about it, either. I don’t expect an apology, but do the readers of this site at least get an “oops, my bad” for your ill-informed comments? That would be refreshing.

  15. Bill Simon says:

    Jimbo,

    A) You are truly a moron.

    B) Since you are a moron, I will explain things like this to you: I am a person who knows a WHOLE lot more people than you do. I’ve met people you haven’t met.

    I’ve also met people without any introduction from any campaign.

    Joe graduated from the Coverdell Leadership Institute (an organization you are clearly not qualified to be accepted to) several years after I did, and I met him through there.

    THAT’S how I know about Joe Newton.

    The only thing YOU know about is how to consistently demonstrate how utterly stupid you are…and, to affirm why it is exactly you are too chicken to blog under your real name.

  16. Bill Simon says:

    Jimbo, Part 5,345

    The “start-up of the Political Vine?”

    Jimoron…how much do you actually think it COST me to “start-up” The Political Vine?

    Oh..wait…I should actually keep this a secret and then go write a book so idiots like Jimbo would buy it to learn how STUPID they are.

    Ah, shoot…I have about as much time to write an e-book as I do to answer Jimbo. Okay, hereit is…here’s the TOP-SECRET to starting an e-mail list:

    1) You get a free e-mail address
    2) You start collecting e-mail addresses scooped from e-mails sent out by political people.
    3) You compile these.

    Pre-3) It helps if you yourself are an expert at manipulating data using a program like Microsoft Access (ooh..which actually MAY mean it was Bill Gates who helped finance the Political Vine start-up!)

    4) You create a newsletter and writing style wholly your own.

    5) You send the newsletter out to a bunch of people whom you don’t really know.

    6) They write back and say “This is FUNNY! Keep it up!”

    7) You are encouraged by the feedback by these strangers, most of whom you’ve never really met, to keep sending out the newsletter.

    8) Eight years goes by and you remain on top of the heap in Georgia.

    YES, that is the secret to the “start-up” “costs” of The Political Vine.

  17. Bill Simon says:

    Bob,

    I have a brief moment only, and then I got to leave. You stated this:

    1. ANY Commission can decide to deny an application for rezoning. In other words, they can decide to CONTINUE to apply the current zoning.

    2. The applicant can sue, alleging that continuing to impose the CURRENT zoning restrictions results in an unlawful “taking” because, the applicant alleges, the property does not have a reasonable economic use as currently zoned.

    IF this is the case, then there is no end in sight to ANYONE buying land ANYWHERE to be able to ALWAYS be able to rely on the government to bail them out of a bad investment.

    Think about what you’re saying in these two paragraphs. I’ll be back later.

  18. Dawgfan says:

    Bill:

    You said: IF this is the case, then there is no end in sight to ANYONE buying land ANYWHERE to be able to ALWAYS be able to rely on the government to bail them out of a bad investment.

    Where the hell do you get that from? The only reason the county bought the land is because it did not want apartments there, and they knew they were going to loose the lawsuit. That won’t be the case every time someone buys land.

  19. Jimbo says:

    Bill, several things:

    1. I am a CLI graduate

    2. I was referring to the PV Web site. You also did not deny that you and B.J VanGundy were very close friends.

    Let me get this straight: B.J. is a top advisor to Charles Bannister. Bannister is in a run off with Lorraine Green and is rumored to be behind. YOU, Bill Simon, send out an email attacking Green and the entire Gwinnett County Commission.

    It does not take a genius to understand that VanGundy uses you to do “dirty” work when he has issues with groups or people.

    Here is a acutal video posted on Bob Griggs site of the Commission Meeting where the land deal was approved. No one raised an issue with the price of the land.

    Go the county web site

    http://www.gwinnettcounty.com/cgi-bin/gwincty/egov/ep/gcbrowse.do?channelId=-34860&pageTypeId=536880236

    Select the January link from the `2007 Calendar.`

    Select `BOCbusiness011607` from the `OnDemand Video` popup, then click `View Selected Program`

    In the next popup, click the entry at 2007-0133 of the business meeting, described as:

    “Approval/authorization for the Chairman to execute a purchase and sale agreement between Retail Development Partners, LLC and Gwinnett County, Georgia approving the purchase of 36.945 more or less acres located in land lot 210 of the 6th district, Gwinnett County, Georgia in the amount of $4,650,000 and the acceptance of a donation of 20.967 more or less acres, in land lot 210 of the 6th district and authorization to execute all necessary documents to complete closing, District 1/Green (Staff Recommendation: Approval)”

  20. Bill Simon says:

    Dawg,

    Take off your “G” hat for a moment and hold your tobacco spit while I explain this to you:

    You’ve stated that Gwinnett county “doesn’t want apartments.” In fact, that is Lorraine Green’s defense of the deal.

    SO, now that developers and investors KNOW that is the “evil development” to the county commissioners, they all know now to go out and find the cheapest, rattiest piece of dirt out there, and regardless of how difficult and costly it WOULD be to develop into apartments, they will proclaim their intent to make it into apartments.

    And, the county commission will come in and buy it up (meanwhile not disclosing the fact that SOME of them are part of the LLC that is part of the LLC that is part of the LLC who owns that particular piece of land).

    AND, this whole process will happen again whereby the property suddenly gets inflated in value because the government will knowingly step-in and bid-up the price to avoid those evil apartments.

    It could apply to apartments in Gwinnett. It could apply to Wal-Marts in the City of Atlanta. It could apply to Hooter’s in Habersham County.

    YOU, Lorraine Green, Bob Griggs, et al. are setting the standard to be that the municipality is going to sail into the real estate game and snatch-up any piece of property at ANY price to prevent what they cannot legally prevent from being built.

    Holy sh*t. What a great way to scam the taxpayers.

    Now, Dawgfan, you can spit or you can swallow.

  21. Bill Simon says:

    Jimbo,

    I’ve previously ADMITTED TO YOU ON THIS WEBSITE that I was best friends with BJ.

    So f*cking what?

    That doesn’t discount the fact that I despise Lorraine Green because she’s an idiot.

    IT also doesn’t discount the fact that there is a grand jury investigation into Lorraine’s actions on this vote.

    Attack me all you want, Jimbo. You cannot ARGUE facts, so you attack me. My reputation and integrity is FULLY intact.

    Let me layout for you ALL the morons you’ve supported in the past and present that I don’t support, nor will I ever:

    ASH
    Debbie Ellis
    Kathryn Gartland
    Greg Howard
    Ralph Reed
    Maria Strollo

    And the list can go on. And, I’ve attacked these people because they are fakes and schemers and belong somewhere else besides the Republican Party. As do YOU, Jimbo.

  22. Dawgfan says:

    Easy trooper, I don’t know what they’ve got you on but they need to up the dosage.

    Not every piece of property can be zoned for something unwanted, and not every county will offer to buy it if it can. Trust me it is VERY hard to find land that would fit the scenario you described. Besides I would much rather have a property owner given fair market value for property than just being screwed by a capricious act of government.

    Let voters of Gwinnett or any other county deciding if this is a wise use of taxpayer money, but don’t bring the law in just because you don’t agree with it.

  23. Bill Simon says:

    Dawg Sez: “Let voters of Gwinnett or any other county deciding if this is a wise use of taxpayer money, but don’t bring the law in just because you don’t agree with it.”

    Gosh, Dawg, I shouldn’t “bring the law in” if I think CORRUPT COMMISSIONERS own the land they are voting on for the county to buy?

    I “shouldn’t bring the law in” if a developer who DID contribute money to a commissioner to encourage her to bring this deal forward that HE was stuck with?

    Dude, you better “up” your chawin’ terbacky to a higher quality grade.

  24. Bill Simon says:

    Doug,

    That money would be a great infusion to help us here at The

    http://www.PoliticalVine.com

    Would you like to head-up our new marketing initiative? A vine devoted purely to the Gwinnett County FUBAR that happens with so much regularity, the FUBAR participants don’t have to worry about getting enough fiber in their daily diet.

  25. Dawgfan says:

    Simon I’m thinking you’re a sad sad lonely man.

    People aren’t corrupt just because you hate them. People don’t need to be dragged in front of a Grand Jury because they have done something to cross you. Why don’t you just calm down and try not insulting people just because they disagree with you.

  26. Doug Deal says:

    Bill,

    I used to live in Gwinnett County, and I must say that I agree with you. However, living now in Bibb County and being a former Macon resident, I get enough FUBAR in my diet to keep an entire (Macon sized) city council regular.

    However, I am writing my check for $0.47 now (less postage) and will take possession of my controlling shares in the Political Vine at the earliest convenience. However, will that then qualify me as bankrolling your publication?

  27. Bill Simon says:

    Dawg,

    You have the logic backwards (no! you don’t say! A dawg that gets cigol backwards): The people are not corrupt because I hate them. I hate them because they are corrupt-acting, corrupt-minded people.

    Get the difference?

  28. Bill Simon says:

    Doug,

    C’mon, man. A check? We can do this through PayPal where I get charged a $0.30 transaction fee and pay 2.9% of the transaction in processing fees.

    My way will still cost less than a $0.41 postage stamp.

  29. Icarus says:

    O.K. kids,

    It’s Friday Happy Hour time now.

    Everyone had had the opportunity to make their point. Go drink a cold one and remember that politics is fun.

  30. Icarus says:

    Why would we want to waste good football money on the College of Arts and Sciences? That’s just for the kids that can’t get into the B-school.

  31. Doug Deal says:

    Icarus, when I see “Net” and “Football” in the same sentence, I turn the channel because you must be talking about that fake Euro futbol.

  32. Jimbo says:

    Bill, I have never heard of Maria Strollo and don’t know Gartland.

    I do know you and the venom you spew. I do know there are many GOP activists that will refuse to volunteer for a campaign that does business with your ID Builders company. I hear that number is growing every time you send out your emails.

    As for the Gwinnett land deal, there is NO official Grand Jury investigation. Nothing illegal was done.
    That is something Bannister’s mouth piece, Joe Newton is spreading. Bannister is allowing the reputation of the entire commission to be trashed so he can hold on to power.
    I urge everyone to actually watch the video of the meeting where the vote was taken to purchase the land.

  33. Bill Simon says:

    Jimbo,

    YAWN. The people you have “heard from” are the people I would never do business with anyway.

    But, hey, YOU keep doing the dirty work of Mark Rountree and his company Landmark Communications.

    Oh, I know, you “don’t know Mark Rountree or anyone who works for him” either. Yeah. If we only had a way we could verify that, Jimbo. But, alas, we don’t. Because YOU are too chicken to reveal your name. 🙂

    See you in the funny papers, Jimbo.

  34. Bill Simon says:

    Icarus,

    I have a simple rule that I live by: You come after me and my way to earn a living, and I will come after you…but 20 times worse.

    Jimbo’s of minor concern of mine. It’s not him spluttering out these blog posts; it’s the idiots behind him and communicating with him via e-mail, phones, text, IMs, etc. to encourage him. He doesn’t know this stuff by himself; he gets it from other sources.

    Mr. Rountree thinks it’s okay to come after me. He’s going to find out exactly what that decision is going to cost him…and nearly every single one of his clients from now until 2010 will feel the effects of that decision. 🙂

  35. Bill,

    I hate to burst that bubble, my friend.

    And I say this not to hurt your feelings–

    But you’re not on my even radar screen enough to ‘come after you’.

    To be honest, I’m not sure exactly what you meant by saying that, nor does anyone else around here.

    It sounds loony.

    I do find it ironic that you were in my office multiple times this year asking my staff to send you business. I’ve got more of your company mints in our firm’s kitchen drawers than could feed the chinese army.

    It’s a liberating place in life to not have personal hatreds or similar passions. I do find some people, particularly self-important people politics, to be nothing short of laughable, harmless clowns. But there’s not an ounce of hate or interest in “coming after” someone.

    From what I can tell, Bill, it seems the only person coming after you is yourself.

  36. Bill Simon says:

    Mark,

    Almost 3 hours before you came out to play (after my comment above at 6:40 PM). Fascinating.

    No bubble bursted, Mark. By the VERY fact that someone thought to notify you of this post, and that you felt compelled to post, tells me (and, anyone else with a clue) that…I am on your mind.

    As far as the”irony” goes, I’m very glad we did not do business. I do not wish to be associated with someone (business or personal) who can only stoop to the sneakiest way to try and win a race.

    For your info (and, others), I filed open records requests with the Gwinnett Solicitor’s Office. Ms. Szabo responded according to the law with a copy of your e-mail to her dated Friday, July 11, 2008 at 2:16 PM.

    There is no text from you in that e-mail. Just a copy of the front-and-back of the Bannister piece that you believe is in violation of some law.

    I have exchanged several e-mails with Solicitor General Szabo on the matter of what goes on in her office when complaints of various types come in.

    Are you aware that the majority of activities her office is engaged is trying to deal with things like custody jail cases and family violence cases, both of which, according to Szabo, demand a “faster-track” to getting assigned to an investigator.

    I do not know how many times you called her prior to your e-mail to her, but I know it had to be at least once. Because I know from personal experience in bringing a case to even a district attorney, DAs and SG’s do NOT know every aspect of the law.

    So, had you relied merely upon e-mailing the front-and-back of a mailpiece, in ANY other Solicitor’s office in this state, they would not have had a clue as to a) what to do with it, and b) certainly would not have had a clue as to what to do with it when a newspaper reporter called them within 2 hours or so of you sending it to confirm that “Yes, we have received a complaint about Bannister’s mailpiece.”

    Now, there is no way I can obtain an “open record” of a phone conversation you held with Ms. Szabo. But, the true fact is that you thought that enough of a “crime” had taken place that you could (as you did in 2006) obtain the “help” of a client of yours to help you defeat another candidate. Whereas, if you actually had to run a race above board and honest, you would likely lose every single time.

    Now, you may think you have done nothing wrong in getting the appearance of charges of a misdemeanor nature held against your opponent, but since you now have a…what is it?…ah…approximately 13-year time span of doing similar things, someone else may think differently.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Oh…you’re likely wondering why “13-years”? I’m sure you remember the first time you pulled crap like this back in late 1995-early 1996 in the Robert Lamutt vs. Bill Venema race for a state senate seat in Cobb County.

    Your candidate, Bill Venema, got his ass handed to him explicitly due to your attempts to muddy Lamutt with an “investigation by a DA” due to your inability to read a homestead exemption.

    I am certain that to a person of your…moral shallowness that it would be “liberating” to have a place in life not to have “personal hatreds or similar passions.” I think criminal psychologists refer to those types of people as sociopaths, don’t they?

  37. Jimbo says:

    Bill, you are truly funny. You don’t have an issue going after other peoples way to earn a living but don’t like it when the tables are turned on you.

    You start your threats and intimidation. Let’s look at the facts. I, and many others, believe the only reason candidates have done business in the past with you is that they figure you won’t attack them if they are your clients.

    Now, I have heard many activists are fed up with your attacks and tactics. Many will refuse to volunteer or donate money to candidates that do business with you. When candidates do business with you, they are, in a sense, condoning your attacks on Republicans and are helping to enable you to continue your attacks.

    The Bannister campaign broke the law when they used the state seal on that mailpiece. Georgia law clearly spells out who is authorized to use the state seal on campaign literature. Please show me where it says a commission chairman is authorized…I am waiting…

    Billy, you have dual faces. You think it is ok for Bannister’s mouth piece, Joe Newton , to brag to the news media about a grand jury investigation when there is none. You don’t have issue with that, but have an issue with a clear violation of state law being pointed out.

    Obviously your best friend B.J. VanGundy, (Top advisor to the Bannister campaign) must have asked you to intervene. Why else would you? You live in Cobb County..

    I can honestly tell you that I have never met Mark Roundtree

  38. Bill Simon says:

    The unfortunate thing is that nobody “gets me” to intervene in a race. That would imply that they could also “get me” to do other things.

    There have been many times that people like BJ have wished I would shut up. In fact, during the earlier years of the Political Vine, after it was known who was behind it, BJ was one of the folks trying to get me to shut it down…lots of times.

    I have not taken direction from BJ on what I say or do. I just have this innate ability to DO IT on my own. I honestly don’t know what that condition is called when a human being thinks and acts on his own. Gosh…I think it may just be an element of the human condition.

    I get into races these days for my own pleasure…and my own belief that in order for “good government” to happen, good people need to be installed.

    Several posts upstream from here, Jimbo, you claimed that you had been a graduate of CLI.

    I personally doubt that you did (kinda hard to verify these things with posters like you), but you might recall the basis for CLI: Its premise (and, I think part of its name if I recall) is ALL about “Good Government for Georgia.”

    I’m not bound like you seem to think I should be to what goes on in my county, my congressional district or any part of the Atlanta-metro area, or even any part of this state.

    Your “opinion” on what’s going on in Gwinnett and how I should act or not act is of no consequence to me. I highly doubt you have the intellectual capacity to grasp that, though.

    But, I’m always willing to educate the ignorant, “Jimbo.” Guess that’s just my nature, far beyond the world of politics.

    P.S. As far as you declaring anything like “I can honestly tell you” this, that, or the other, you don’t have a history that anyone can rely on to trust that statement.

  39. Jimbo says:

    Bill, a piece of advise, I can really understand you and B.J trying to set up a “plausible deniability”. Do you really think you are the only one that understands what is going?

    Who made you the judge of who is trust worthy and who is not? Were you crowned some kind of deity while I was on vacation?

    Your complete arrongance astounds me… Seek treatment

  40. Jimbo says:

    If Mr. VanGundy really disagreed with you, then why hasn’t made a public statement urging you to stop trashing Republicans? He is strangly silent and so is Cobb GOP Chairman Scott Johnson.

    Anthony-Scott Hobbs made sure candidates were qualified and that the ballot questions were turned in to the Cobb Election Board office. Too bad Johnson was not capable of the same thing. If that had been ASH, you would still be condemning him. The fact Johnson turns a blind eye to you trashing elected Republicans in another county speaks volumes about him.

  41. Bill Simon says:

    Jimbo,

    HERE’S a better question that should be asked: who are YOU to worry about anything in the Gwinnett county commissision race?

    Do you live in Gwinnett County?

    Because, for someone who stated in another thread somewhere regarding the missing questions on the ballot (and, just repeated his whine in the previous post), it certainly appears that YOU live in Cobb County.

    SO, the biggest question is, why are you so bent out of shape over what I do?

    Do you think YOU are the Ruler of All Republicans and YOU decide how they should act?

    Perhaps you missed reading the US Constitution regarding the RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH.

    There is NO caveat that says “You only have the right to free speech if you are going to speak out against members of a political party that you are not a member of.”

    I see, though, that you are still in love with Anthony-Scott Hobbs. You REALLY need to seek some professional counseling for that issue of yours.

  42. joe says:

    Bill,

    I am from Henry County, and don’t really care what y’all do in Gwinnett. You, however, cited the US Constitution, which I do care about. There is no “RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH”. What part of “Congress shall make no laws…” do you have a problem understanding. It is within the rights of a State or even a County to make laws regarding your so called “RIGHT”.

    It is absolutely amazing that you would accuse somebody else of missing reading the Constitution, when you have obviously mis-read it.

  43. Bill Simon says:

    Joe,

    PLEASE try to go make a law that restricts my right to free speech.

    Go ahead. Make my day. Punk-Ass.

    (Ooh. I just took liberties in expressing myself, Joe. What are YOU going to do about it?)

  44. Doug Deal says:

    joe,

    You are about 100 plus years behind on the Constitution. You aren’t one of those people who don’t pay taxes because the Constitution once said that direct taxes are illegal, are you?

  45. Bill Simon says:

    Dang! It’s been well over 18 hours since someone has tried to beat-up on me and failed to gain any ground or wear me down.

    I’m having withdrawal symptoms…

  46. POdGunOwner says:

    Bill,

    I am new to this site but have read through this blog and have to ask, if you say, “I do not wish to be associated with someone (business or personal) who can only stoop to the sneakiest way to try and win a race.”

    Why on earth would you have anything to do with Charles Bannister or anyone who supports him. I think we need huge changes in the people who hold office in Gwinnett County, but Charles Bannister’s race against Lorraine Green has been nothing but stooping to sneaky ways to win this race. I am glad there are folks out there keeping an eye on what is going on in government but sir, after reading what you have posted here, there is no way in my mind that any reasonable person would believe that you have any credibility.

    On other point, you said “PLEASE try to go make a law that restricts my right to free speech.” Apparently you are not aware that there is law restricting speech Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969).

    An by the way when you write “Dang! It’s been well over 18 hours since someone has tried to beat-up on me and failed to gain any ground or wear me down.” Please don’t think for a minute than anyone with a lick of sense believes that they could change your mind or wear you down. You know, come to think of it, Karl Marx was kind of like that…..

  47. Bill Simon says:

    POdGunOwner Sez: “I am new to this site but have read through this blog and have to ask, “

    No, POd, you’re not “new” to this site.

    So, starting off a conversation with me by TELLING a blatant lie does not bode well for any argument you have to make about Charles Bannister.

    NEXT Contestant, please!

  48. Bill Simon says:

    POGO, Part 2

    Well, just for my own education, I looked up the case you cited.

    So, am I to understand that YOU might be trying to imply that my speech on this blog constitutes an “immediate lawless action” as described in Brandenberg, et al.?

    I’m certain you can probably go lie to a judge or the police and get something to happen against me before next week’s run-off…but, then you’ll get caught for making false statements or false police reports…of which there are laws against.

  49. umustbekidding says:

    I was out of town all last week so I’d just like to chime in…Bill Simon is brilliant and I would not volunteer on any campaign that had anything to do with the people on Bill’s list. They make the party look bad and Bill is a true conservative.

  50. Bill Simon says:

    Dear The Following People: “Jimbo”, “POdGunOwner”, Mark Rountree et. al:

    Hey…in case you clowns didn’t know, your candidate lost. STICK ALL YOUR COMMENTS WHERE THE SUN NEVER SHINES!

  51. Bill Simon says:

    Hey…by the way, everyone…the accusation that Bannister “broke the state seal law” got dismissed by the Solicitor’s office on July 25th. I take it you all didn’t get a copy of that memo (available via Open Records Request)…or, if you did, you’re afraid to publicize the facts.

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