League of Voters Forum Review
BY RON WILLIAMS
There were two apparents that one could be left with from the League of Voters candidate forum held last Thursday evening at the Columbus Municipal Complex between the candidates running for mayor and council in the upcoming May 7th municipal primaries and June 7th general election!
The first apparent, after reading the Commercial Dispatch editorial about the forum the next day in the daily, was that, whoever wrote the editorial apparently wasn’t there. Why? Because the writer estimated between “50-60 people turned out”
Come again? Packet Publisher Colin Krieger counted 108 at the very beginning,and more came in. I, too, did a quick, early head count and stopped at 100 and there were more.
The second apparent was independent mayoral candidate Bo Jarrett. Jarrett told me more than a year and a half ago of his intentions of running for mayor. So keeping with that thinking, and how long Jarrett has had time to prepare, the best he could muster to questions from moderator Steve Rogers was, “you caught me off guard with that question. I didn’t come prepared to make a speech!”
Which is more or less saying, Bo, that you didn’t come prepared. So, apparently Bo is not going to give us any substance during this race.
OK. I fully realize that there is much more to being a mayor than being able to answer questions and make fancy speeches with fancy words. And in fairness to Jarrett, there are people out there who respect on-the-spot honesty. But, Bo, you need more substance with your answers. Please? Your answers of, “maybe I’ve said too much already” and “maybe I shouldn’t be talking about this at all” are becoming repetitive. Please do us a favor and ‘talk about it!’ In fact, give us some facts and quit beating around the bush. Get it out there! Say what you mean and mean what you say. In as much as incumbent Mayor Robert Smith has been called a “bully” and a “micro-manager,” at least he’s always been a matter-of-fact kind of guy. Lately, he’s certainly been trying to present a more ‘kinder, gentler’ side to his image, but Smith has always been a man who speaks his mind, right or wrong. Put him on the spot, and he’ll start talking and not holding back. Jarrett, on the other hand, is not giving us any substance with his opinions on the current crime situation in Columbus or other such matters. Put it out there on the table! Please!
The other mayoral candidate challenging Smith is Republican Glenn Lautzenhiser. Glenn did a very good job during the forum of establishing his positions for mayor. Lautzenhiser is a very good communicator and is articulate. His love of Columbus and its rich history and faithful citizens are apparent. (Again…in fairness to Jarrett and Mayor Smith…their love for Columbus is equally apparent. Mayor Smith often reminds us of his beautification efforts that he certainly deserves credit for. RW)
The winner for the evening, if you want to call a forum candidate a winner, was Mayor Robert Smith. He was successful in reminding voters of his accomplishments while serving as mayor (whether he was the cause or not…it happened on his watch). And, he has become a prolific speaker (which was a sore spot in the past for Smith). And no one challenged any of his comments or tried to pin him down on the crime situation or other problems in Columbus. (Example: When Mayor Smith and Glenn Lautzenhiser gave answers to a particular question from Rogers, when it came time for Jarrett to respond, the best he could muster was, “I couldn’t add anything to that. These are two smart gentlemen here!”) Of course, it would help if a question was asked that would actually spark some real debate about how things really stand in Columbus.
I don’t know who will win this mayoral race! But if I had to pick a winner right now, I’d say Smith still has a sizable lead. Why? Because no one will speak up about some of the underlying issues and problems in Columbus. I’m not talking about making accusations or pointing fingers at anyone. I’m talking about how we need to lay it out on the table. Open up some real, honest-to-goodness dialogue and start discussing those things that well, that Bo Jarrett doesn’t think he needs to be talking about.
Until that happens, it’s going to be business as usual! And Robert Smith’s reign will go on come June 4.
Ricin Sent to Senator Roger Wicker
Police intercepted a Ricin-laced letter sent to Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker Monday. The letter, coming so quickly after the Boston bombings during the running of the Boston Marathon, was an eerie reminder of the days directly following 9-11 when several congressmen received letters laced with anthrax.
The letter was intercepted at an off-site facility in Washington where letters to congress are received and carefully checked before delivery. Ricin, if inhaled, can be deadly. The letters sent after 9-11 were laced with anthrax. Ricin is much more dangerous than anthrax because anthrax is treatable with antibiotics.
A full investigation has ensued and authorities and Homeland Security are on alert.
[UPDATE: A suspect has been taken into custody since this was printed- ed]
Kenny ‘Kosmo’ Ramsey Passes Away
When a singer/musician dies that many of us grew up with, a part of us dies with them. Kenny ‘Kosmo’ Ramsey died Sunday morning. Kosmo was the brother of Howlin’ Wolf Festival Director Richard Ramsey.
Kosmo fronted many bands, including ‘Southern Soul’, ‘Taxi’, ‘Wired’ and more (as recalled by J Dee Mckay). A photo provided by Richard is of Kenny fronting ‘Snake Doctor’ back in 1974 beside ‘Granny’s Lounge’. Granny’s sat near the now-entrance to Magnolia Motor Speedway back in the day. Kenny performed with many local musicians over the years including J Dee Mckay, Timmy Joe Perrigan, his brother Richard, Jim Beaty, Harold ‘Moose’ Vickery, Bubba Hardy, Dean Swartz, Mike Chain and many others.
RIP brother Kosmo!
The Movie ’42’ is an Inspiration
’42’, the recent story of the life of baseball player Jackie Robinson, who was the first black major league player, is in theatres. The movie has taken in 28 million at the Box Office. It stars Chadwick Boseman as the young Robinson, who broke the color barrier in the major leagues after Brooklyn Dodgers Exec Branch Rickey (portrayed splendidly by Harrison Ford) sought him out and brought him up through the Dodgers program.
I don’t normally critique movies. But this is more than just a movie. It’s an important history lesson in race relations and I encourage everyone to go see it…and take your kids, please! Lowndes County District 4 Supervisor Jeff Smith told me that he intends to take his basketball team (more than 60 strong) to see the movie. I told Jeff that it’ll likely be a huge influence on them.
Go see this movie! Oh, and Ford? He should win an Oscar for his portrayal of Rickey. Simply outstanding!