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Heard wrongly vilified in School Board flap

Carlton Fletcher

Carlton Fletcher

Don't wanna talk about politics.

-- Korn

Sometimes it's not really what we say, it's the way we say it.

Case in point: A number of citizens took to the soap box -- and to the various anonymous gripe sites -- to complain about Greater 2nd Mt. Olive Baptist Church Pastor the Rev. Lorenzo Heard's efforts to run for the Dougherty County School System School Board as an independent candidate after challenger Lane Price defeated incumbent Anita Williams-Brown in the July 31 Democratic Primary.

This man who brings the word of God for a living was vilified by some in the community, elements of his private life -- some of it factual, some of it based on small-town, small-minded rumor and innuendo -- were even brought into the discussion. For some in the community -- and let's be straight here and make that a large element of the white community -- the pastor of one of the most active black churches in Southwest Georgia became an element of "what's wrong with the Dougherty County School System" simply by announcing he wanted to run for the School Board.

(Full disclosure here: I, like many citizens in the community, wondered -- and I did so in print -- if there were not other factors motivating Heard's late entry into the race. Certainly comments from some prominent members of the black community in the wake of Heard's dismissal as a viable candidate did nothing to dispel such concern.)

But I'm amazed at the number who cried foul when Heard announced plans to run as an independent candidate. Even Price, who'd run a brilliant campaign that centered on the building of a unified black and white coalition of voters, chose to condemn Heard for his decision.

"The voters have already decided," she told Herald education reporter Terry Lewis. "I was elected by a vote of the community at-large, not just by one segment of our society. It is disturbing to me that racism is coming to the surface. ... This has nothing to do with the children of Dougherty County. This is all about maintaining power. Why did he not get in during the primary?"

What seems not to register with Dougherty County citizens -- Ms. Price among them -- is that Lorenzo Heard did nothing wrong when he announced plans to run as an independent candidate. Georgia law allows such a tactic, just so long as certain rules are met. Had Heard indeed followed those rules and turned in a valid notice of candidacy, paid his qualifying fee and collected the required number of signatures of registered voters, he had as much a right to run for office as Price did.

Tim Nelson did the same thing over in Lee County, following the required steps to qualify as an independent candidate in a quest to unseat County Commissioner Rick Muggridge. In fact, when Muggridge learned that Nelson had followed all the necessary steps to qualify as a candidate, the incumbent welcomed Nelson into the race.

I'm reminded of Jimmy Carter's 1976 run for the presidency when there was a push by some to throw Ted Kennedy's name into the mix at the Democratic Convention despite Carter's success in the primaries. Asked what he would do if Kennedy did indeed become a legitimate challenger for the nomination, Carter proclaimed, "I'll kick his ass."

Price would have come across as a lot stronger candidate had she done the same thing as Muggridge or Carter. Instead, she jumped on the "This is not fair" bandwagon, detracting somewhat from her well-designed and well-earned victory in the primary.

Heard, on the other hand, did not win any style points either when he suggested that the Elections Board stacked the deck against him when it ruled he had not met the qualifications to run as an independent candidate. His case would have been a little stronger if he'd met even one of the requirements. Zero-for-three is not a good day at the plate.

Heard tried to save a little face by saying after the board's ruling that he wasn't surprised, that he "expected" the board to rule as it did. When you turn in an invalid candidacy form, don't pay your qualifying fee and don't get the required number of signatures, I guess you would expect as much.

The question, one would carefully assume, realizing that this is Dougherty County, now becomes when students can expect the politics to end and the righting of wrongs to begin. It can't be soon enough.

Email Metro Editor Carlton Fletcher at carlton.fletcher@albanyherald.com.

Comments

seeker 1 year, 7 months ago

And now he is showing his true colors - filing a frivolous lawsuit! Yes, he had every right to enter the race as an Independent candidate and, had he met the legal requirements to do so, he would be legally running against Lane Price. But no, he first didn't meet the filing deadline - submitting a copy rather than an original affidavit. Okay, with an abundance of caution, let's bend over backwards and be more than fair. Let's say that he did. There's the little matter of submitting the necessary number of VALID signatures on a petition. Even though he has not properly submitted his notice of candidacy, let's go to the trouble and expense of validating the signatures on his petition...Oh, imagine that! There are not enough signatures after removing the fraudulent ones! So we must now defend against his frivolous lawsuit! "Wrongly villified?" I should say NOT!

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FryarTuk 1 year, 7 months ago

This is a simplistic commentary leaving out a great deal of the history relevant to Heard's entry into the contest. It also does not discuss the manner in which the man attempted to force himself into the race. No one said he didn't have a right to qualify as an independent candidate but it was his judgement which became the central and fundamental issue. In so far as the prattle about his pecadillos, he'll just have to man up. Tell him if can't take the heat to get out of the kitchen. You take a cheap shot at Dr. Lane Price to make yourself look good with the Heard group but more than anything it is pandering condescension.

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rightasrain 1 year, 7 months ago

Amen, FryarTuck! Fletcher knows that Heard attempted to qualify ONLY because Dr. Price won the School Board seat fair and square. If Heard was truly interested (other than keeping the status quo black) he should have run against Dr. Price to begin with. In Albany it's all about black vs white. Period.

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Abytaxpayer 1 year, 7 months ago

Carlton how do you sleep at night? How are you not constantly falling off the left side of the bed?

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tywebb 1 year, 7 months ago

he's got that side pushed up against the wall. He just bumps his head alot which explains most of his posts

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BettyBowTie 1 year, 7 months ago

If Heard had run as what he is, a Democrat, back when Price and Williams-Brown ran against each other this would not be an issue. The fact that he comes in AFTER a white candidate wins, and tries to elbow his way into the seat shows it is indeed about race. Mr. Heard does not want a white person to have that seat. Mr. Fletcher should move from his cozy place in Lee County, back to the mess that is Albany if he wants to tell us how to feel about this Heard business or anything else here for that matter.

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B4it 1 year, 7 months ago

Most of Carlton's articles rate right down there with Cynthia Tucker's articles. The only good their race baiting dribble brings is to line the bottom of a bird cage.

But I'm amazed at the number who cried foul when Heard announced plans to run as an independent candidate. How can you be amazed when people like you keep throwing this kind of shenanigans in your reader's face? City Commissioner, Tommie Postell, had just recently indicated he wanted another black on the Aviation Board instead of a very qualified white former pilot. There is a distinct effort by some to maintain an element of control.

L Heard's words, actions and timing were pretty clear as to his intentions for running for a School Board position, and it was not because he was concerned for the students.

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flochapmanbellsouthnet 1 year, 7 months ago

MR. Fletcher I agree with you we as a church need to stop breaking down the church one church at a time,remember the church is not the building it is us, there is wrong on both sides of this, I am sure REV. Heard didn't collect all of those names himself so don't put this on him even though they were working on his behalf, people are going to be who they are. I am concerned about the CHURCH. Why cant we forget about Race and work together for the good of our kids who are black and white,the board shouldn't vote black or white but vote kids. Keep this in mind,what you do as the church is important to not only to you but to GOD.

                                                      A CONCERNED CITIZEN
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Momof3 1 year, 7 months ago

Ahhh yeah, ok. The man can run all he likes as an independent, but at LEAST follow all of the rules and don't expect them to bend for you. Everyone else has to so what makes HIM special? He didn't have all his information in like he was suppose to, he forged signatures and STILL didn't have enough to qualify and now it's everyone's fault but his. Give me a break.

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USTPC 1 year, 7 months ago

I was going to comment but everyone who already has pretty much said what I was going to say. :-)

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ObjectiveEyes 1 year, 7 months ago

"Heard, on the other hand, did not win any style points either when he suggested that the Elections Board stacked the deck against him when it ruled he had not met the qualifications to run as an independent candidate. His case would have been a little stronger if he'd met even one of the requirements. Zero-for-three is not a good day at the plate."

Carlton, you admit that he didn't follow ANY of the rules. Soooo, what's the point of your "commentary????" More useless drivel from the end of your pen.

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USTPC 1 year, 7 months ago

Hey Carlton, now that Heard has filed a lawsuit claiming that the Board Of Elections should be using 5% of the 46,000 2008 registered voters instead of using 5% of the current 59,000 2012 registered voters (which by the way is the same 59,000 registered voters all the other candidates had to use to run including Dr. Price) and the fact he actually stated that he shredded the affidavit out of "frustration" do you still think he is being unfairly vilified and criticized?

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Citizen_A 1 year, 7 months ago

I am sorry, but the minute anyone decides to run for any public office the skeletons will come out of the closet. And people are people, and are going to find something to talk about. It is a fact of being in public office, noone is exempt. The only way for it not to happen is to not have skeletons. Which, if you are human is almost impossible. Everyone does at least one bonehead thing in their life. So, that being said the man is still an idiot. Above and beyond his skeletons, and us squawker airing the dirty laundery...the fact is he couldn't get his act together enough to file paperwork correctly, pay the fee, and provide legitimate signatures. And now he wants to sue? Again I day "IDIOT"! We have enough of those on the school board and in the administration, we don't need another one.

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waltspecht 1 year, 7 months ago

Does anyone believe he would have tried to file as an Independant had Price lost? That explains a whole lot about the man and his beliefs. Just how Christian those beliefs are certainly comes into question. Just how much a man of God he is also comes into question when one knows his real history.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 7 months ago

By the way, FC stated " . . . elements of (Heard's) private life -- some of it factual, some of it based on small-town, small-minded rumor and innuendo -- were even brought into the discussion. . . " I was out of the loop on the pecadillo things will someone bring me up to speed? Never hurts to know about your community leaders. Come on don't be shy. Somebody out there has Heard something. Cough it up. We can start with the factual and then branch out.

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Shinedownfan 1 year, 7 months ago

You go to walb's articles from a few weeks ago, and read all their trashy comments, you will be brought up to speed... wow... them r some wild comments in therrr...
Go check out Kelly's comments on this ... she knows him.
http://www.walb.com/story/19205777/heard-applies-for-school-board-seat

You gotta start the comments from the bottom. This article from August 6. Wow!

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tywebb 1 year, 7 months ago

Fletch, you said.....Heard tried to save a little face by saying after the board's ruling that he wasn't surprised, that he "expected" the board to rule as it did. When you turn in an invalid candidacy form, don't pay your qualifying fee and don't get the required number of signatures, I guess you would expect as much. THE PROBLEM IS.....he's not surprised because they were against him from the start because he's black (in his mind) NOT because he didn't follow ANY of the rules! He "expected" it because the man is out to get him, NOT because he didn't follow ANY of the rules!!! Come on, why do you have to make yourself TRY to look good in the eyes of a black church? They don't need any help playing the poor, pitiful me, always got the man against me, card! they do that quite well on their own.

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nofreeloader 1 year, 7 months ago

Isn't it amazing how much we've heard from Price,since Heard's announcement of intent to run. 1 time is all I've read. She's spoke the truth of the matter,not something most folk around here are use to. I'm sure had Heard entered the election properly an qualified in the proper manner as a independent as prior elected officials have in the past. Dr.Lane Price would've excepted the challenge with grace an tact..Instead the sting of a woman's scorn is misconstrued to the seemingly you've stoop to their level ideology. She might have thrown 1 mud pie. A direct hit if you ask most. Least she isn't whaling in her own slop as Heard seems to be getting all to good at. If all of this mess ends with Heard vs Price . Its fair to say ,Heard was gentleman enough to open up Dr Price's can of whoop azz for her.

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MisterEd 1 year, 7 months ago

If Karma holds true, I sure hope that one day Carlton gets to come back as a brother, because damned if he ain't always crying for 'em.

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Bubbavet_rureel 1 year, 7 months ago

The cat is out of the bag, Sister lives in Valdosta, and this explains the negative environment she foster toward people of __.

READ MY LIPS - WE THE CITIZENS LOVE ASU,DCSS, DARTON, and all other ATTRACTIONs.

Stop using the global internet to cause dispair in our community. We are winners! we alsways win.

Stop hidding behind your empty sad song's.

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tywebb 1 year, 7 months ago

Hellbany? Is that the fill-in-the-blank answer? you are freakin' delusional. If sister is "causing dispair in our community" because of what she types on the herald's website then the community is in worse shape than i thought!

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Shinedownfan 1 year, 7 months ago

Sister Ruby, you better not go anywhere. We NEED your comments!

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 7 months ago

Carlton is still full of Cow Manure and needs a Nuclear Enema Once Per Day for 14 Days says Doctor Sister Ruby.

The Prime Move in "Reverend Pastor" Heard's motivation is what? The insistence that a Black be on the DCSS to replace AW-B? No other motivation makes sense, given the facts and the actions that transpired as described.

But then if you are full of Cow Manure (or Mary Jane) as Fletcher usually is.........then nothing needs to make Sense.

Fletcher is a Grand Disgrace to a newspaper attempting to attain Legitimacy.

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chinaberry25 1 year, 7 months ago

If Heard was a white person and tried to do this, then we would not even be having this discussion. If would be over!!! You are not on the ballot. What you failed to mention is that all those other folks got their names on the ballot in a timely manner. No last minute shady tactics. And you have the gall to say something against Dr. Price.

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redneckgourmet 1 year, 7 months ago

Consider the source. This is a shining example of how he and most of his colleagues in the media think. We are the stupid masses, yet every column of his that I've later regretted reading is not intellectually curious and as deep as his rock n' roll quotes. I never read one comment about how the reverend didn't have a right to run. Yet, that is the conclusion he draws. Mr. Fletcher, please take the advice of the lyric at the top of your column and don't talk politics.

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Cartman 1 year, 7 months ago

Can't you people see that Carlton writes these articles to provoke a reaction? Don't ever forget that his job is to help sell newspapers. BTW, nice antagonist piece Carlton.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 7 months ago

Of course I don't have the vision you have but I don't buy the Albany Herald. I read it on line free of charge.

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Roundman 1 year, 7 months ago

Carleton--- We are so glad that you left Irwin County. Just wish you would change your name. You are not a real Fletcher!!!

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TheMember 1 year, 7 months ago

Mr. Fletcher, please do some research before you spew racial hate. Interview the boards lawyer and you may find out the Mr. (man of the lord) Heard is lying straight through his golden grill. Maybe you can ask Mrs. Nickerson or her secretary if the form turned in that day was admittedly a SCANNED copy. I couldn't bear to read your whole article, but you do realize he ( Mr. (man of the lord) Heard plainly stated, "I did not want to run, but when we could not find anyone to do it, I had to step up." I realize that not many people read the Herald and you are trying to create rating, but please investigate just a little before getting diarrhea of the mouth.

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ittybittyme 1 year, 7 months ago

Carlton, as usual you have your head in the clouds, what Heard is doing made be legal,etc. but it is the motive behind it that is wrong. You need to stop writing how right the black community is when they do this stuff. You are one of the reasons that people don't buy the herald anymore because you don't tell the truth. You stopped doing that long ago.

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Jacob 1 year, 7 months ago

Carlton, do you think Heard would have tried to qualify for office if Dr. Price were black? Be honest and courageous and answer the question. A simple yes or no will suffice. No need to explain the ramifications. All will understand.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 7 months ago

2016 Obama's America is now playing at the movies in Albany. Better go see it quick, y'all.

There's free tickets at the box office paid for by me for the following: Carlton Fletcher, hotdog, bubbasmithredneck, lynn227, debbie44, coachjohnson42, bubbavet_rureel. If I left off any other mindless dopes who need an education on His Royal Highness Barack Obama, just pm me.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 7 months ago

Heard RIGHTLY vilified. Fletcher WRONGLY justified. Simple!!

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FlunkyMonkey 1 year, 7 months ago

Mr. Fletcher, I think you owe the people of Albany an apology. We are not nearly as stupid or ignorant as you think we are.

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