Churchgoers find incendiary fliers after Sunday services

pramati@macon.comOctober 14, 2013 

District 6 Commission candidate Adah Roberts Monday denounces a negative campaign flier that appeared at area churches Sunday. Though the flier endorses Roberts, she denied any involvement, noting that she has run a positive campaign.

A campaign flier left on car windshields outside several churches Sunday included a racial epithet and branded more than a dozen men and women as closet Republicans.

Macon-Bibb County District 6 Commission candidate Adah Roberts, one of three candidates that the flier supported, denounced the circular and said she did not like her name being associated with it.

The flier attacked Macon Mayor Robert Reichert, who is running to become mayor of the new consolidated government, and Macon Councilman Larry Schlesinger, who is running for the District 2 commission seat. The runoff for the final spots in the new government is Tuesday.

The flier said both men are “Republicans,” and it accused black voters who support them of being “Plantation Nigras.”

Reichert and Schlesinger have run only as Democrats in previous campaigns. This election is nonpartisan.

The flier listed several other prominent Macon residents as “Republicans,” including state Reps. Nikki Randall and James Beverly, former state Sen. Miriam Paris, District 9 Commissioner-elect Al Tillman, and Councilman Charles Jones. None of them has ever registered as a Republican.

According to the flier, “Reichert did nothing” during the investigation into the shooting death of Sammie “Junebug” Davis last December in the parking lot of the Kroger store on Pio Nono Avenue. The flier also called out prominent officials and residents who have supported Reichert and Schlesinger.

It concluded by asking voters to support former Mayor C. Jack Ellis, who is running against Reichert; Councilman Henry Ficklin, who is running against Schlesinger; and Roberts, who is running against Councilman Ed DeFore.

Roberts said Monday that she thinks she was included on the flier because she is black, and the candidates who are being attacked are white. She said she found the flier on her car when she was leaving Pentecostal Temple on Anthony Road on Sunday.

She said she glanced at it and threw it away.

“I in no way approve of negative campaign material that was left on cars at my church,” she said. “I have not run a negative campaign in my own district, and I do not approve of this one. I do not know who printed it, and I was not asked for my approval. I do not like my name on this material.”

Reichert declined to comment, except to say he doesn’t think it will have any impact on Tuesday’s vote.

Schlesinger would say only, “Desperate people do desperate things.”

Ficklin said he had not seen the flier until shown a copy of it by The Telegraph. He said he had nothing to do with it, but added that “there are people out there who are still mad about Junebug.”

Ellis called the flier “despicable,” saying there was no place for something like it in the race.

“It sounds like the dirty tricks of Republicans,” he said, adding that it was an attempt to alienate the supporters of Bibb County Chairman Sam Hart away from a potential Ellis vote.

Hart finished third in the Sept. 17 race, and he hasn’t endorsed either candidate. The flier accuses Reichert “and his Republican Obama haters” of using Hart “to get Republican consolidation passed,” then dropping their support of Hart to become mayor.

“Our campaign has zero to do with it,” Ellis said. “They threw that other stuff in there to attach it to me, and I resent it.”

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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