Tim Echols and a Lack of Self Awareness

I do not really know Tim Echols, though we encounter each other in the same evangelical circles on occasion. Many of my friends have always eyed him as a charlatan or huckster, but I try to give the benefit of the doubt to people in politics who are open with their faith. Often, people open with their faith in politics get labeled as a huckster or charlatan whether they deserve it or not. People are naturally, and largely justifiably so, suspicious of the wholly devout getting their hands dirty in politics.

In the past year, those of us trying to give Tim Echols the benefit of the doubt are left with only two conclusions. The first is that his critics are right and he is a charlatan using up the good will of evangelicals to advance in politics. The second is that he lacks any self-awareness about the perception and keeps digging deeper into the perception.

As a friend of mine would say, perhaps it is time to embrace the healing power of “and”.

His behavior on the PSC has been embarrassing. His excuses to repeated appearances of impropriety do not really hold up. And today he sends out an email that I struggle to reconcile with any sense of good decency for any Christian politician who is not a huckster, charlatan, or fraud.

Simply put, Tim Echols’s is behaving badly, seemingly lacks any self-awareness about it or does not care, and risks labeling the evangelical community that has supported him for so long as fools for their continued support.

Today’s example of callous self-interest involves his Easter greeting.

I’ve received several hundred Easter greetings from politicians in the past 48 hours from all over the country — federal office holders and candidates, state office holders and candidates, and local office holders and candidates from California to Louisiana to Florida to Maine.

Of all the ones I’ve received, only Tim Echols felt compelled to turn his Easter greeting into a promotional vehicle for himself, not his country or his God. Made worse, it wasn’t just a vehicle of self-promotion, but an Easter fundraising pitch.

Christ threw the money changers out of the temple upon his entry into Jerusalem. Evangelicals in Georgia might ought to consider the same next time Tim Echols in on the ballot. His Easter “send me money” email is below the fold.

From: Tim Echols
Date: Sun, Apr 8, 2012 at 8:24 AM
Subject: News from Tim Echols

Happy Easter,

I bring you Easter Greetings from the entire Echols clan on this beautiful weekend.

It is my honor to serve as Chairman of the Georgia Public Service Commission this year. I’m working hard to protect consumers, promote free-market and innovative solutions (particularly in the area of nuclear power), and champion conservative values in and out of the hearing room.

It is not easy to break into politics. Without the help of so many, I would not be where I am today–having won three elections in 2010 to finally attain the seat. I am grateful for the continued support and encouragement I am receiving. I am writing today to ask you to consider another donation to my re-election effort. Click here to give.

The PSC has dozens of judicial-like hearings, and we have a transcript of each one. You are always welcome to contact me and receive a full transcript where you can hear my questions to Georgia Power and others we regulate, as well as amendments and votes I cast. Surprisingly, I hear from very few ratepayers and citizens about issues before the PSC. I hope that changes over my term as I travel around the state and inform folks about the important matters we consider at the Commission each week. If you are in a Rotary or Kiwanis Club, I am happy to come out and make a presentation about the Commission’s work.

In the meantime, can you help by making a contribution to “Friends for Tim Echols” today? Please click the link below to make a donation, or mail a check to PO Box 80008, Athens, GA 30608.

Are you on Twitter? Follow me at www.twitter.com/timechols or on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/groups/timechols/

Thanks for your support.

Tim Echols

Click here to make a donation to my re-elect campaign

PS Click here to see my latest newsletter and to sign up.

26 comments

  1. Calypso says:

    Erick, contradictory to your headline, I think Echols is completely aware of his actions. As he is a fool, he continues them.

  2. Rick Day says:

    So Echols can’t shake down the base for a donation on Easter, yet it is perfectly fine for the preacher to shake down the congregation for donations during Easter Service? I mean come on, of ALL days to shag for shekels?

    *nods*

    The jokes: they just keep writing themselves

  3. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    Wait, where’s the place in the e-mail where I can donate a five-star meal and a hot night out with an escort (male or female), or what is better known as “the usual” down at the Gold Dome?

  4. NoTeabagging says:

    I think Echols meant to write, “in and out of the hearing range.” (not room).

    This is another great example where politicians, so out of touch with their elected roles, focus solely on campaign $$$.

  5. Oliviqa05 says:

    Erick..Your comment that you really dont know Tim Echols(except for what your “close” friends tell you) says a lot about your credibility to write about the man. Why dont you try getting to know him? Believe you will find, as I have, that he works extremely hard as our PSC Chair on the right issues, as opposed to perhaps just showing up at meetings & working behind closed doors within the acceptable political circles. Tim is sincere in his effort to represent the citizens of Ga., true to his beliefs, & not afraid to speak out the issues that are important. Like I said, get to know him, then write..Ill bet he will meet you anytime, anywhere.

  6. ryanhawk says:

    Tim Echols replacing Bobby Baker on the PSC is a pathetic sign of the times. He even manages to make the remaining members of the PSC look good in comparison, which is saying something.

  7. AMB says:

    Shocked, simply shocked at a Republican using religion as a fundraiser and rallying point. Under which impervious rock have you been hiding? Little Ralphie Reed makes this guy look like an amateur.

  8. ispeakout says:

    Thank you Tim for all you did before being elected and after being elected. You are one of the few leaders that have a vision for not only serving but developing the next generation to be ready to run for office and serve. While others keep whining, just keep shining.

    • Charlie says:

      All he did before he was elected, like taking a decent retainer from John Oxendine during the period he was illegally laundering campaign contributions in Alabama, and prostituting the kids in his TeenPAC “charity” to generate consulting fees.

      And for all he’s done after being elected, like charging his travel expenses to his daughter’s track meets to the taxpayers, and for trying to shake down the Augusta National Golf Club for Master’s tickets.

      • drjay says:

        i was tempted to check out the taxi stands myself this week, but i already had my tickets, so i figured there was no need…

  9. komi says:

    I know Tim for over 16 years. He is a good friend and a mentor. He is a man with sincere heart full of compassion to serve others to the best of his ability. He has invested his life in serving families and now as PSC member, he is devoted to work for Georgians. As a man of God, Commissioner Echols is an honest man and a true leader with great vision. He is a generous and a man of his word. Over the years, I have seen him fight selflessly for others and for the state of Georgia.

  10. Calypso says:

    I find it rather amusing when a negative post about Echols is on PeachPundit, the number of new screen names which appear for the first time in his defense.

  11. Steve Collins says:

    Everyone likes to sit around and joke about whether Tim Echols or his mentor, John Oxedine is more corrupt – which is fine. But, we all need to be more aware of his pet projects. He’s proposed an extremely liberal agenda. Tim never misses an opportunity to cozy up with the solar lobbyists and is constantly proposing new solar projects subsidized by his fellow Georgians. It’s not like the program that was recently proposed at the Legislature, where private landowners could install their own solar, Tim wants you and I to pay higher electric bills so he force GA Power to replace coal plants with solar and he can pick some select winners (and can pick their pockets).

    Be careful of this guy, he says he’s a Conservative, but he’s always looking for big government programs to prop up liberal darlings like solar and wind power.

  12. jim2011 says:

    Tim promised to raise the stature of the PSC and has worked tirelessly, traveling across the state, to educate consumers about the PSC and its important issues. A politician keeping his promises to the voters of Georgia. It’s so shocking to some here, that you believe there must be something wrong with his keeping his promises. He’s working to improve the lives of each and every Georgian, not just the members of the good ol’ boy club.

    Tim is a good Christian man and I wish people would quit perpetuating lies about him. He is a great man who will be Governor of Georgia someday. The PSC is a stepping stone to bigger and greater things that will make the citizens of our great State very proud.

    • Charlie says:

      Posted without irony is that you see Tim’s job to raise the stature of his current office as a stepping stone to greater things.

      Tim remains a proud and unapologetic follower of the John Oxendine business model.

    • analogkid says:

      Yes, he will join that long list of PSC commissioners that have moved on to “bigger and greater things,” as shown below:

      1.
      2.
      3.

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