Lucas: ‘Asleep on the job’ flier an ‘outright lie’

A flier showing former state Rep. David Lucas yawning on the House floor and accusing him of being “asleep on the job” didn’t sit well with the longtime legislator.

At a Friday news conference, Lucas, who faces incumbent Miriam Paris in Tuesday’s runoff for the state Senate District 26 seat, called the ad -- produced by a group called Georgia Forward -- an “outright lie,” and demanded that Paris denounce it. Paris’ campaign said she had already denounced the ad Thursday.

“I’m not sure what else we can do. I guess we could set it on fire,” said Paris spokeswoman Liz Flowers.

Paris said Friday that she denies “any involvement or knowledge of the piece.”

“He needs to take that up with the originator,” she said, adding, “if he was asleep, he was asleep.”

Georgia Forward, which professes on its website to be an independent, nonpartisan organization, claimed Lucas “hit the snooze button” when Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co., once Bibb County’s largest employer, closed and left town.

At a news conference Friday, Lucas brought in a former Brown & Williamson employee and union official who said Lucas consistently “went to bat” for the company, including fighting a tobacco tax bill.

Lucas said the photograph of him yawning was taken at 11 p.m. on April 29, 2010, on a day the session began at 9 a.m.

The flier also claims Lucas “napped” as the Georgia Music Hall of Fame closed.

“David Lucas was responsible for bringing the Georgia Music Hall of Fame to Macon,” he said.

Lucas repeated his earlier claims that Paris is backed by the Georgia GOP and called her a “Republican pawn” because she voted for new election maps.

Paris, who described herself as a “fourth-generation Democrat,” said voters should “not be fooled by the misinformation about me being a Republican.”

“I stand behind Democratic principles and fight for all the people of District 26 while I’m in office. We’re going to stay focused on the issues -- job growth, better education for our children and ethics in government.”

To contact writer Rodney Manley, call 744-4623.