I'm on City Council in Macon, Georgia. I have an extremely safe seat. And I'm not one to put up with the
bullsh** diplomatic niceties that come with small town politics. Some things need to be said in Macon, but people are too damn gun shy.
One member of Council, Elaine Lucas, capitalizes on this fact. She punches people and dares them to strike back. Should they, she cries like a girl and places both the race card and the victim card.
Well, when the local radio station replaced me on the air (I was only a temp) with Chris Krok, he would not let her get away with her stuff. I didn't either, but I was more diplomatic on air than him.
When Elaine Lucas attacked the Police Department because they transferred a guy from her area to another part of town, she threatened to block the Police Department's budget and demanded an investigation. It turns out the guy was her spy. He'd tell her all sorts of stuff going on in the Police Department and used it to his benefit. Elaine has constantly tried to undermine the police and other city personnel. Chris Krok won't let her get away with it. He has been chief defender of the Police Department against her and she hates him for it.
Well, the Police Department has invited Krok to speak at an Awards dinner tomorrow night. That resulted in this email from Elaine, who wanted members of the media copied on the email:
It has come to my attention that there is a potentially divisive situation about to be created by the invitation from the Police department to Chris Krok for the police awards program tomorrow night. I had planned to attend along with my son and his date as I always try to support the police department both in spirit and in council proceedings. I will, unfortunately, not be able to attend the program. My husband is incensed that this person would be invited since he has heard me over the years talking with and advocating on behalf of police officers as we lay in bed together late at night. Many of the officers are retired, but some are currently employed police officers, and at the time, had legitimate concerns for their jobs. I have been there for over 20 years working on behalf of our law enforcement. But this is an insult and I take it personally. It is also my understanding that other council members and some police officers will not attend if Chris Krok attends and is on the program. Does the police chief condone the reckless actions of Chris Krok? Do we want to further divide our city workforce? Does the police chief condone allowing Chris Krok to freely ride with police officers purely for the purpose of further dividing this community? I hope not. I am seeking an answer from the police chief and the Mayor. Joyce, would you please forward this message to all council members, Mayor Reichert, and all news media. Of course, Chris Krok loves the media attention--positive or negative.
If that wasn't enough, she followed up with this threat to the Police Department (she sits on the Appropriations Committee):
What I am simply saying that there have been many police officers that have sought my assistance and support in pay issues and personal employment issues over the years. My husband has listened to conversations that I have had with these officers who have called at all hours of the day and night. Some of these calls have come very late after we were all in bed. I have listened and supported and comforted. To have this same police department turn against me and invite (or allow) Chris Krok to speak at an awards program where they know that I will be in attendance is an insult. I am asking for immediate action to uninvite him or I will not attend. All future police department concerns and budget requests should be addressed to Chris Krok for action.
It is a dangerous thing when elected officials begin bullying others to censor people or face repercussions. I felt the need to respond. Here is what I wrote back, quoting from her email.
"All future police department concerns and budget requests should be addressed to Chris Krok for action."
That's pathetic. Elected officials should have thicker skin than this. Shame on you.
Then the Mayor chimed in:
Christmas is a season which has resulted in a truce, even in times of active warfare, and there have been recorded instances where enemies have been in community events to celebrate the season. I have not been the victim of attacks by Mr. Krok anywhere near the extent you have, and it's easier for me to suggest that scripture suggests we love our enemy. However, I've always heard that you can "kill'em with kindness". At the very least, being kind blunts their criticism and can change their attitude. It may have been an unintentional oversight or poor judgment on the part of the MPD to include you and Chris at the same event, but this provides you with an opportunity to be magnanimous, charitable, and a true Christmas spirit. This morning was the first that I heard of this problem, and there is little time for contemplation and action before tomorrow night's event. I hope you will attend.
After the Mayor, Chris Krok himself responded. Elaine had insisted the Council Clerk copy all members of the media on her email, but Chris was left off. I figured since we're talking about him, I might as well copy him. So he responded to everyone on the original email with a new email as follows:
You'd better not pout..you'd better not cry....
C'mon, Elaine! It's CHRISTmas! This isn't about you or me..it's about the Macon Police Department! I think the event is big enough for you AND me. I'll give you a big CHRISTmas hug..or, if you want, I can pretend like you're not there...either way, I'm coming, and I hope you'll come to!
Merry CHRISTmas to all..and to all a good night!!
Then Elaine responded to the Mayor descending into the paranoia that consumes her:
As I said before, I do not plan to attend the event where this person is speaking. Today it's me, but tomorrow it will be you or your family. This man puts me and my family in danger every day with the possibility that some kind of lunatic will act on his hate-filled words. What kind of Mayor are you to allow this to occur? You have the power to stop this. If I or any of my family are harmed, you will bear part of the blame because you could have struck a blow for sensitivity, respect, and protection of all citizens, including councilmembers.
Then she responded to Chris Krok's email with this:
Go straight to hell!!!
Then she responded to my email:
How thick would your skin be if Chris Krok decided to shift his attention to you and your family? Would you like for him to talk about your wife as he has talked about my husband of 32 years, State Representative David Lucas. Would you like for him to attack you professionally as he has with me? He has accused me of theft, of trying to force a child onto Ritalin, and of teaching ebonics in my classroom years ago. How would you feel to be called Eric "Adolf Hitler" Erickson each and every morning on radio? But then you were responsible for bringing him to Macon and telling him who to attack, weren't you?
Since you think I am pathetic, let me tell you what's pathetic about you. Your service on council is pathetic. Your blog is pathetic and crusty. You are a SMALL man.!!!
So, I felt the need to respond as follows, quoting from her email:
"How would you feel to be called Eric "Adolf Hitler" Erickson each and every morning on radio?"
You should google me. I've been called a lot worse routinely. And next time you have someone call your home and describe how they are going to cut off your eye lids and make you watch as they rape and murder your wife and child, you can talk to me about having a thick skin. That's actually happened to me. You've just been called out on the radio. Suck it up.
"But then you were responsible for bringing him to Macon and telling him who to attack, weren't you?"
No, I wasn't. But I know it gives you comfort to think so. I did not meet Chris until after he was hired.
Elaine, this email is indicative of how you behave. You are a bully on a kindergarten playground. You can throw the punches, but you cry like a little girl when someone hits you back. And guess what, we're all starting to get a clue and punch back at you. None of us start it. But more and more of us are glad to finish it.
You have bullied, browbeaten, and condemned half the city and people are no longer putting up with it. No one is doing to you anything you haven't done to others. You just can't take it. City employees bow in front of you and laugh behind your back about you. I may be small, but you are joke and your own punch line.
The fact is, Elaine, you are a cheap politician with a weak character. The politics you engage in are reprehensible. You don't actually ever try to get ahead or get your ward ahead. Instead, you'd rather hold the whole city back in the squalor you seem to like. Dogs with fleas or pigs with mud, pick your metaphor. They both describe you.
That's it for now. We'll see if she decides to engage further. She took the initiative to copy every member of Council, the Mayor, the media, etc. on the emails, so I've kept it up.
City Council can be lots of fun if you just don't care about playing nice with people who really don't deserve it.