By: Steve Trubilla
There are consequences to standing at the tip of the spear in any battle, and there are also casualties. You must being willing to fall if you stand for anything.
It is better to go off the field with honor, carried by warriors on your shield, than to cower behind it, letting others suffer the slings and arrows.
I have known many true warriors in my life, people that were driven by a sense of purpose, duty if you will. Few have been in politics.
When I took on the challenge of writing this column, I made a personal commitment I would take no remuneration, or comprise to obligation of anyone. I would not be owned.
I would write nothing, if I could not write what I believed to be the unvarnished true. I want to say clearly to all, the owner of this paper never tried to restrict what I have written.
On occasion he did not agree with me; he censored nothing.
I cannot recount the number of times others attempted to do this. Their names are important, I will not take up space calling them out. Suffice to say, many are among your elected leadership and county executives.
A common statement I hear is, “Now you are not going to write that, or please do not quote me.”
Then there are those that have said, “You better be careful, there are people that will stop at nothing if you get them angry at you, you do know there is a lot of money involved.”
So long as I was the only focus of their attacks, my shoulders remained rigid. I have carried a heavy pack many times.
And so it did come to pass; carefully veiled threats, attempts at intimidation, and probes into my personal life and relationships. Never ending and as recent as the moment I am writing this.
The focus and strategy has shifted. It is now on others as well.
I am being used as a hammer to smash the efforts of honorable people that seek office. Correspondence has been sent out telling people to watch me and those that associate with me.
I feel this has the potential to incite violence, and has risen to a level that places the security and safety of my family at risk.
I want to help improve things in our community, but this is a bridge too far.
It has often been said that there is corruption in Franklin County. I have said it is more a matter of competence than corruption. Well, now I believe it is both.
This was brought to a head with our current primary election. It seems I stepped into a bear trap when I commented in a good way about two Democrats. Certain powerful party operatives do not see them as the “fair haired boys” or, in this case, girls.
They are Patricia Burnette Chastain for Clerk of Court and Cindy Bostic for District Attorney, strong competent women, with integrity and moral courage.
I did my homework and found Chastain, while homegrown, was not “part of the club.” She was working at a hospital when “the deal” was made, and make no mistake, a deal was made for Alice Faye Hunter.
Unlike Shelley Dickerson who is not only an officer in the Democratic Party, but is also bound by the PAC and the “special interest” money supporting her, Patricia Chastain is obligated to no group or organization.
I also learned a judge picked Chastain, an “outsider” from the courthouse, over Dickerson, an “insider” at the courthouse, and trained by Hunter, to finish out Hunter’s term. This was a deliberate act by a most honorable man that must have had great insight. Had he wanted to appoint Mrs. Dickerson he would have.
As for Bostic, she has 18 years as a prosecutor, and the reputation of a junk yard dog for locking up murders and child molesters. Her opponent Michael Waters, who I am told is a nice guy, has only ever tried one jury case, which he lost. I have asked him if this is true and he will not respond to me.
I asked no less than a half a dozen lawyers why they supported Waters for DA over Bostic. They all told me because his father had been the district attorney, and they feel he would be “easier” to make a deal with.
Well, what if it was your child molested, daughter raped, or wife murdered. Do you want the DA cutting deals! Is the courthouse now some kind of lawyer money-making game machine? Let’s make a deal.
Is this choice really rocket science? Is it? Of the two, Bostic is hands down the most experienced. But of course, she is a woman and not “in the club” either.
I believe things are done a certain way and are controlled by certain people. Powerful people that would be best left alone. It brings to mind the classic movie, “Walking Tall.”
So, if charged as being a non-Democrat that supported Bostic and Chastain I am guilty. Yes, I am, and proud of it.
The difference now is I have another good reason. Those that “control” the political machine, and that I believe are behind attacking and threatening me, do not want them in office.
If you need only one reason to vote for them, consider this.
You are being promised a hot dog if you vote their way. They have made it easy for you, and sent you a pre-filled-out ballot so you do not get confused. They will even give you a ride so you do not get lost.
They are telling you I am the right wing leader of the “Tea Party,” a coded message. My take on this, I am racist and I have invaded your (their) kingdom, they allege.
It is a bold-faced lie. My opinion is they may think you are not bright enough to see it for what it is.
My feeling is you should be insulted by this, what audacity, such arrogance.
Could it be someone thinks they have you well trained, and on a political leash?
Who is telling you what to do and think? It is not me; I just want you to think. Vote for who you believe is the right person, and for Pete’s sake, not someone that gives you a hot dog.
If you want me to write this column and fight for you, then you need to get in the fight. Now is the time to seize the initiative. I could care less what your politics are. We do what is right, because it is right.
What price should one man be willing to pay if others will pay nothing? I take the threats, effort to silence me, and intimidation very seriously.
The time has come for me to ask myself the question: Is it time for me to move on?
If you care at all, say so, call the editor and tell him, write a letter, do something. If not, I understand and will bid you “fair winds and following seas.”
Please consider voting for Chastain and Bostic. I think I have laid out the reasons for you to do so.
I also like Jerry Jones for sheriff, and Roger Lytle for county commissioner. I do not dislike the others, vote for who you want.
I want to thank Gary Cunard and the entire staff of The Franklin Times for the wonderful opportunity of allowing me to be part of their team.
Last words, and they may very well be my last words in The Franklin Times, you decide.
I am not perfect and have made mistakes. Taking this stand makes those mistakes a target-rich environment for some to feed on. This is not about me, it is about you.
Semper Fidelis. Latin for Always Faithful.
“Together we are many.”