I’ll just post his press release and let the commenters provide the commentary. You can read it yourself here.
Ray McBerry Responds to Personal Attacks and Answers Question about his Continued Candidacy
I have recently become the target of lies and personal attacks during my campaign for governor and have even been asked by one of my opponents to withdraw from the race. These circumstances have required me to give grave consideration to these matters.
The story of those making the allegations has changed at least four times; and even the reporter pushing this story has acknowledged in a voicemail to me that those telling it have also changed their story to him in the last week. The allegations are false and even the few shreds of truth that have been allowed to remain are countenanced in a false light by an admixture of half-truths.
These lies and false allegations were initiated by the stepfather of a young lady from church whose mother has previously thanked me on more than one occasion for counseling her daughter.The lies and half-truths in this story are too many to list. The mother began by not informing me from the outset of the seriousness of the emotional and behavioural problems of her daughter before I counseled her, an important piece of information that would have been helpful to have had BEFORE agreeing to speak with her daughter to try to find out why she was having problems at home and at school. I counseled her to respect and obey her mother and stepfather’s rules, even when she told me that they ordered her to stop dating a boy at her school solely because he was of another race. It was not until after several statements from the young lady led me to ask some pointed questions about the stepfather that I was accused of any impropriety. I asked the questions in a sincere attempt to ascertain whether the threshold of doubt existed to report my concerns to the authorities. The young lady, who turned seventeen years old during the time of this controversy, told me things about the stepfather that seemed questionable; and she said that there was no one else, besides myself, in whom she felt that she could confide at the time. As soon as I began asking questions related to the things that the young lady had said about the stepfather, he immediately began to accuse me of impropriety. I had absolutely no improper relationship nor sex with the young lady. This is a total recent fabrication, even from the story which this family told to the media just a week ago. The only thing of which I am guilty is that I was a good person who was naive and trusting of a family that I should have had no reason to be otherwise.
These lies and allegations were brought before both a magistrate judge and the state professional standards commission about eight years ago. After hearing all of the evidence presented by my accusers, the judge ruled that there was not even evidence to bring charges against me on the least possible charge of “contributing to the delinquency of a minor,” let alone more serious ones, and dismissed the case for lack of any evidence of wrongdoing. At the same time, the stepfather attempted to have the state professional standards commission revoke my teaching certificate, even though the young lady had never even been a student at the school where I taught on the other side of the county; and, after a year and a half of investigating these false allegations, the commission, too, arrived at the same conclusion as the court and refused to revoke my certificate, choosing, rather to suspend it for one week in the middle of the summer when school was out citing as its reason for doing so that “the educator did not follow generally recognized professional standards” because I counseled the young lady about the stepfather without the mother present each time. I still hold a valid teaching certificate in Georgia today which I may renew at any time of my choosing.
Again, I state unequivocably that I was cleared of these ridiculous allegations against me nearly eight years ago by a court of law in this state because, in the words of the judge, there was no evidence presented that I broke a single law. Years now, after the statute of limitations has run out so that there is no way that my accusers’ accusations can come under the scrutiny of perjury… and now that I stand a great likelihood of being one of the two candidates in the runoff after our Republican primary, this family has decided that there is a “new” version of their story to be told. Having been cleared of these allegations by a court of law, I will NOT allow others to slander and libel my good name and act as though they know better than the courts, including my political opponents and members of the media.
In the governor’s race, I have been declared the winner of each of the debates in Athens, Tifton, Warner Robins, and, most recently, LaGrange in which I received more votes in the straw poll of nearly 300 voters than all of my Republican challengers combined. These were not GOP campaign staffers but real, live Georgia voters from the general public. Some in the media with a liberal bias, as well as the moderates within the Republican Party are terrified at the success that my Campaign has achieved in this race. These personal attacks and character assassination are the same kind of “last resort” strategy that is always employed against successful conservatives in the hopes of silencing the message.
As for my lone opponent who has said that if I do not withdraw from the race, she will no longer attend any debates or forums that I attend… I can only say that I completely understand why Karen Handel would say that. If I were Karen, I would not wish to debate Ray McBerry either… but not for the reasons that she has implied… but, rather, because she loses so badly each time that we debate. She simply cannot keep up with myself or any of the other candidates in this race and has been looking for an excuse to exempt herself from debating me for some time. As she read the words prepared for her by someone else Saturday in Dunwoody, she was visibly shaken and trembled at the podium. She betrayed her own conscience in reading that statement, just two days after laughing and joking with me in LaGrange and playing with my son with his Hotwheels car. Karen has demonstrated that when important issues arise, she can only follow the orders given to her by handlers behind the scenes. That is NOT the kind of leadership that is needed from Georgia’s next governor. We already have that kind.
But… after taking all of these things into careful consideration, along with what is best for my family and for Georgia, I have asked you here today to announce that not only will I be remaining in this race… but that our Campaign has renewed its vigor.
On Friday, we experienced the largest number of new volunteers joining our Campaign through our website at GeorgiaFirst.org that we have ever had in a single day; and today our number of volunteers on the ground approaches 2300 across the state, with more joining every day… a larger campaign organisation than every one of my challengers in this race combined.
Furthermore, at least three individuals to be named later will be facing court proceedings for libel after the November election for things which have been stated either in print or online. We have secured their words in writing, with their names attached; and it is a foregone conclusion to demonstrate their libel. All that remains to be seen is the amount of the award unless the parties involved acquiesce immediately to the exact instructions which are given by my attorney. I will be aggressively prosecuting anyone who continues this libel, or reprints that of others, whether they be blogger, media, or political opponent.
This sort of personal attack simply reveals the fear and desperation that my political enemies have because of the growing success of my Campaign… which is exactly why we will continue to press the battle to our political opponents and why I will continue my stand as the strongest constitutional conservative in this race.
A complete copy of this press release will be available this afternoon at GeorgiaFirst.org. Thank you for coming today.
May God save the sovereign state of Georgia.