Clayton voters make stupendously bad choice

It is hard to express just how stupid a decision this is.

Former Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill has reclaimed the office he lost four years ago despite 37 pending felony charges that accuse him of using his government office and his 2008 campaign to enrich himself.

With only one precinct uncounted, Hill was ahead. But the charges he’s facing make it uncertain whether he will take office in January because the governor could suspend him until he goes to trial.

But incumbent Sheriff Kem Kimbrough, the man defeated by Hill, gives it a good college try:

“Don’t be sorry for me. Be sorry for Clayton County. I’ll be fine but there are a whole lot of people’s lives that will be affected by this and maybe they have to see this for themselves. It’s something I’ve heard a million times; only in Clayton County. It is what it is.”

On one hand, I think Gov. Nathan Deal ought to use his power to bar Hill from taking office until the 37 counts against him are resolved. The man has proved himself incapable of handling power in a responsible fashion, and in this case, the power involved comes with a gun and a badge. That’s a bad combination.

On the other hand, maybe the governor ought to stand aside and let Clayton County voters deal with the consequences of this terrible decision. Hill’s history in office and the charges against him were hardly a secret to Clayton voters. Why should the governor march in and save them from themselves, particularly when by doing so he would burnish Hill’s status as a martyr in the eyes of his supporters?

The outcome will also have consequences beyond the sheriff’s office. Clayton County’s reputation was already troubled. A decision this flamboyantly bad cements its image as ungovernable and inoperable. The ramifications of this will play out for years, and not in a good way.

A true headshaker.

– Jay Bookman

352 comments Add your comment

Common Sense isn't very Common - Bored in Pittsburgh

August 22nd, 2012
6:59 am

Once again voters can be stupid if they choose to be.

Common Sense isn't very Common - Bored in Pittsburgh

August 22nd, 2012
7:00 am

First, best and off to work now LOL.

Common Sense isn't very Common - Bored in Pittsburgh

August 22nd, 2012
7:02 am

On one hand, I think Gov. Nathan Deal ought to use his power to bar Hill from taking office until the 37 counts against him are resolved

But who saves us from Deal?

Gordon

August 22nd, 2012
7:06 am

I grew up in Clayton County, and it was a wonderful place to live. If it were somewhere else, I might find this humourous, but it is very sad to me.

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 22nd, 2012
7:06 am

:shock:

holy crap.

I mean, SERIOUSLY??? they voted for a guy with 37 pending felony indictments???

talk about you get the gummint you deserve

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 22nd, 2012
7:07 am

(oh, and while we’re at it, my over/under for “but … but … but … Obama” is 37 comments)

Aquagirl

August 22nd, 2012
7:07 am

Why deprive them the chance to see their Sheriff do a perp walk? I think that would be all kinds of awesome. Especially if they find the two tallest cops available for his escort.

Thomas Heyward Jr

August 22nd, 2012
7:08 am

If Nathan Deal tried anything……..Eric Holder would be all over him.
.
It’s the ObamaNation dawg.
This is how we do it.

Jay

August 22nd, 2012
7:12 am

Heyward, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

August 22nd, 2012
7:12 am

Geez oh Pete…..

Jay

August 22nd, 2012
7:13 am

and USinUK, you clearly underestimated our crowd.

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 22nd, 2012
7:15 am

Jay – 7:13 – evidently I gave them too much margin for caffeine lag.

Van Jones

August 22nd, 2012
7:16 am

THIS is another perfect example of why it’s hard to feel sorry for folks in Clayton.

Thomas Heyward Jr

August 22nd, 2012
7:17 am

Whatever dude.
.
I would get used to this as the Chicagoiniziation of America continues.
.
It’s just the way we roll.

Thug

August 22nd, 2012
7:17 am

Clayton County: epitome of dysfunction junction.

yes, Loretta this is a bad neighborhood now.

BOB FROM ACCOUNT TEMPS

August 22nd, 2012
7:18 am

Jay – you are a funny guy: you opine that the gov should not save the people of clayton co. from their own stupidity, but you were all for the president saving the auto industry from their mismanagement.

eddy

August 22nd, 2012
7:19 am

“Now it is ONLY 37 felony indictments!! If it had been 38, we, the voters of Clayton county, would not tolerate that.”

Jay

August 22nd, 2012
7:20 am

Right Bob. Because those are identical situations that clearly require identical approaches ….

Thomas Heyward Jr

August 22nd, 2012
7:20 am

And furthermore, as I do conduct business in Clayton County from time to time, I believe that Sheriff Victor Hill is an outstanding citizen who has been unjustly slandered by jealous political rivals…..dawg.

Mick

August 22nd, 2012
7:21 am

thomas

You’re of the same mindset of those clayton county voters – can’t see the forest through the trees or just plain stuck….

Normal Free...Pro Human Rights Thug...And liking it!

August 22nd, 2012
7:23 am

I saw this on the news this morning and did a face palm salute to those folks. Glad I don’t live in Clayton County.
————-

BTW, isn’t @@ from Clayton County? I think Bob must be, given his 0718… :)

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 22nd, 2012
7:24 am

“epitome of dysfunction junction.”

what’s their function?

hookin’ up indictments and convictions and jail sentences …

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 22nd, 2012
7:25 am

“you are a funny guy: you opine that the gov should not save the people of clayton co. from their own stupidity, but you were all for the president saving the auto industry from their mismanagement.”

holy moly.

The sheriff in Clayton County actually controls the employment situation of millions of Americans??? who knew he held that much power!!

Normal Free...Pro Human Rights Thug...And liking it!

August 22nd, 2012
7:25 am

Just realized Jay did a double deal on us…sneaky Jay, very sneaky… ;)

Call It Like It Is

August 22nd, 2012
7:25 am

The wisdom of my father. Went to 1st and 2nd grand in Clayton County, then one day my dad says were moving. Our family moved to the sticks to which I thought it was anyway to West Cobb in 1979. I can remember being furious with my Dad, and my mother having some choice words. All he said was it would be better for our future. Love ya Dad.

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 22nd, 2012
7:26 am

eddy – as Bette Midler once said – “I’ve got standards … they’re low, but I’ve got ‘em”

Jerome Horwitz

August 22nd, 2012
7:28 am

Wow – This blog is going down hill really fast. Some much for intelligent discussion. We have a sheriff with 37 pending felony counts and posters go off on the president. Somewhere those who thought that the internet would lead to an exchange of ideas are probably wishing they stayed home that day.

Aquagirl

August 22nd, 2012
7:28 am

The AJC article quotes one Pat Pullar, head of “Talking Points 4 U.” She sounds like a hired mouthpiece for Hill. She’s also the vice chair of the County Elections and Registration. I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories, but if she’s on Victor Hill’s payroll that is a disturbing scenario.

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

August 22nd, 2012
7:28 am

Thomas

I’m pretty sure Chicago can do without you as well…..

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 22nd, 2012
7:31 am

“the Chicagoiniziation of America”

the whole country is going to have lake-effect snow?

or just really crappy deep-dish pizzas?

3 Pak Calour

August 22nd, 2012
7:33 am

Bookman iz bugging yo.
He ait’t unnerstanding.
Folks in ClayTown are crunk yo.The Hill is tight yo.
Ifn ya got a problem with the po-po of Claytown…..then best you rollout….know whatta Im saying.
.peaceout.

Mick

August 22nd, 2012
7:34 am

I love chicago! One of the greatest american cities ever, they don’t need no goobers around anyhow…

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

August 22nd, 2012
7:35 am

USinUK

as a Chicago native (Logan Square) I have to agree – the deep dish is
crappy (I make an exception for Lou Malnati’s – his crust is special)

Real Chicago pizza is made in the neighborhoods in family joints that have been on the same locations for years with thin crust, loads o’ cheese and homemade sauce….

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 22nd, 2012
7:37 am

Granny G – 7:35 – WORD on the family pizza joints … and, yes, the crust should be thin-thin-thin!! The deep dish version just leaves a ball of cheese and dough in your gut … blech.

Mick

August 22nd, 2012
7:38 am

**Real Chicago pizza is made in the neighborhoods in family joints that have been on the same locations for years with thin crust, loads o’ cheese and homemade sauce….**

Yes, very good pizza but….can’t compete with true Italian new york pizza – the best…

skydog

August 22nd, 2012
7:38 am

“Chicagoiniziation”

Does this mean we are getting more blues bars like Buddy Guys place?

To Smart 4 da South

August 22nd, 2012
7:39 am

Clayton County’s claim to fame should be Hartsfield-Jackson International airport, but it’s renowned for the coup d’état thrown by former Sheriff Victor Hill after taking elective office and firing scores of white officers. This blatant disregard for due process set the tone for race relations on the Southside.

And now, the bulletheaded citizens of ClayCO have re-instated a soon-to-be convicted felony… Reminds me of the re-election of a certain crackhead as mayor of D.C… Just plain stupidity.

stands for decibels (SfBA)

August 22nd, 2012
7:39 am

I was kind of curious about Clayton County’s brand of constabulary excellence, came across this delightful anecdote from last year:

http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/15572447/officer-accused-of-terrorizing-citizens-still-on-force

CLAYTON COUNTY, GA (CBS ATLANTA) -

A Metro Atlanta police officer is accused of being out of control and assaulting the citizens he was sworn to serve and protect.

CBS Atlanta News has obtained more than 500 pages of internal affairs complaints lodged against Clayton County police officer Michael Hobbs in the last five years.

Chief Investigative Reporter Wendy Saltzman found dozens of use-of-force reports brushed aside by Clayton County internal affairs, including claims Hobbs is terrorizing citizens.

One of those citizens is Brian Hoolihan. Hoolihan passed out in his car along side a road in Clayton County in a diabetic coma back in 2007. He had a sticker on the window of his car, warning about his life threatening medical condition.

A police report shows Officer Hobbs arrived at the scene and wrongfully assumed Hoolihan was drunk. Hobbs forced himself into the car and struck Hoolihan twice with a closed fist to the face and another blunt elbow blow to his head.

[...]

CBS Atlanta obtained the gruesome pictures of Hoolihan, bloodied and beaten on the side of the road, at the hands of an officer who was supposed to protect him.

southpaw

August 22nd, 2012
7:41 am

“who knew he held that much power!!”

He did. If you don’t believe it, just ask him.

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

August 22nd, 2012
7:42 am

Mick

Now that’s a challenge that would be fun ….

We’d have to try them side by side.

I'm a liberal and believe everything I read and nothing the other side comes up with...cause we're smart and they are not

August 22nd, 2012
7:43 am

I don’t get it. Just like in Augusta a few years ago, State Sen. Charles Walker, the most powerful African American in Georgia, had 140 Federal charges against him, and while under investigation, won in a landslide….didn’t matter, he was convicted on all counts and currently in Federal prison in Estill SC serving 10 years…….. And if allowed to, would win again upon release…GEEZ. Blacks interviewed here said what he did was not a big deal. Defrauding the Feds and tax payers was owed him….boy o boy.

skydog

August 22nd, 2012
7:44 am

Skydog = 30 locations in 30 years. Puerto Rico,California, Perry Ga, Charleston, SC, St Simons, Cinn. Charlotte, all over Tex ass.

#1 spot?

Chicago

Mick

August 22nd, 2012
7:46 am

granny

Yes, it would be…I suggest lou’s in the bronx – best pizza and chicken parmigian in the city…

Peadawg

August 22nd, 2012
7:47 am

I support the 2nd option. Let Clayton County live with the outcome. Deal shouldn’t bar him from office. Let Clayton County learn the hard way.

stands for decibels (SfBA)

August 22nd, 2012
7:50 am

let Clayton County voters deal with the consequences of this terrible decision

That’s reasonable enough for the alleged “adults” who voted FOR him.

What about those who didn’t? what about the kids who don’t have a say in this?

“Collateral damage,” as Little Timmy McVeigh might say?

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

August 22nd, 2012
7:50 am

Mick

Vito and Angelo’s on Fullerton in Logan Square…..35 years…and
still just a hole in the wall.

Mick

August 22nd, 2012
7:53 am

granny

Thanks..I’ll be sure to check it out, just might be in chicago in october…

Doggone/GA

August 22nd, 2012
7:53 am

“What about those who didn’t?”

Well, maybe they should have worked harder to get those who didn’t vote to get up and go vote.

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 22nd, 2012
7:54 am

“Vito and Angelo’s on Fullerton in Logan Square…..35 years…and
still just a hole in the wall”

yep. you can keep your “foo-foo” food (as my mister likes to call it) – give me a hole-in-the-wall joint ANY day!!!

skydog

August 22nd, 2012
7:55 am

granny, Did you ever go smelt fishing along Lake Michigan?

(smelt fishing is kinda like coon hunting. It don`t really matter if you catch any or not, the quest is the fun)

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 22nd, 2012
7:55 am

… and your point, Ima???

kawasaki kid

August 22nd, 2012
7:57 am

Great example of the old adage that “people will believe what they want to believe”. Many in Clayton County felt that Hill was just a victim of politics and that a crooked little dictator is just what they needed. They were simply “raging against the machine”. Of course, Hill will never be allowed to take office.

Thomas

August 22nd, 2012
7:58 am

A great, local (and fast growing non profit serving the disabled and disadvantged community) just took over “Worktec” in Clayton County. Clayton County and its leadership are beginning to see and do the right thing. There will always be characters such as Mr. Hill and I trust the voters in Clayton will be toward more mature thinking.

Thank you for the local story Jay

Taxi Smith

August 22nd, 2012
8:00 am

This just means more decent people will bail out of Clayton County. Shame.

stands for decibels (SfBA)

August 22nd, 2012
8:00 am

… and your point, Ima???

Lessee… he’s helpfully tossed in a “the most powerful African American in Georgia” and a “Blacks interviewed here said what he did was not a big deal.”

You really need to ask?

Madmax

August 22nd, 2012
8:01 am

Democrat under 37 felony counts beats out Democrat under charges of sexual harassment. Who would have thought Democrats could do this. I thought republicans cornered the market on stupid. Jay, are you saying the voters should have elected someone under investigation for sexual harassment? Seems like it was a bad situation no matter the outcome.

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 22nd, 2012
8:02 am

dB – “You really need to ask?”

yep, I do.

I want him to say it out loud. Loud and proud, that’s our Ima …

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

August 22nd, 2012
8:02 am

skydog

Nope…no smelt. Our boys went up to the chain o lakes occasionally or to the upper peninsula for coho or walleye.

mmmmmm….walleye

bob

August 22nd, 2012
8:04 am

Jay, why should Deal step in, he would be bashed as being a racist.

GT

August 22nd, 2012
8:05 am

I think you let Clayton swing from the tree, twist is the wind,kind of the same way we let Akin fulfill the dream. We are living in a second take world where people think there are no consequences to their actions and that we make things like global warming up because we are bored. We bail the big banks out of their stupidity so they can load up superpacs to go against the middle class that bailed them out, probably using the middle class bail out money to do so.

I see the Tea Party electing the same irresponsible suspects. They have the same, “we will show the world” attitude Clayton County has with about the same thought process. Let this run its course. There is a reason we think these people are wrong and some of the greatest education is real life. I say that and you would have thought Bush was a full degree in what not to do in government yet here they come again with memories a foot long. What has to happen is the country has to explode so entirely even the spin and superpacs can’t lie about it. The truth needs to be so in your face that you can taste it not some female made up body function to stop pregnancy or the Republican, Tea Party myth of the week. What happens when you introduce ignorance or no government into the formula it invites criminal activity. You saw it in the Bush years, you see it in Wall Street and you see it in Clayton County.

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 22nd, 2012
8:06 am

“I think you let Clayton swing from the tree”

mmmmmmmmm … you might want to rethinking that “strange fruit” image …

I’m just sayin

Patrick

August 22nd, 2012
8:07 am

“Stupendous is as Stupendous does”.

–Forrest Gump

Definitely let Hill take office. “You get the government you deserve”.

Have fun Clayton County!

bob

August 22nd, 2012
8:08 am

Wow, A bunch of dems re elect a clown and GT makes it all about the tea party and George Bush.

Madmax

August 22nd, 2012
8:08 am

GT – how do you link Clayton to Tea party and Republicans? I missed that as both candidates are good Democrats.

independent thinker

August 22nd, 2012
8:10 am

Only in Georgia- state that elected a governor who resigned for ethics violations in Congress. If we can be a national embarrassment. we will do it by God. We need Aikens to run for office in Georgia not Minnessota. What else is new?

Mick

August 22nd, 2012
8:11 am

I’m just sayin…it’s another day in paradise and there’s a hurricane brewing out there…let’s just see if that ol hurricane can go a bowling towards tampa and increase the fun factor..

Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (aka "Knuckle-Dragger")

August 22nd, 2012
8:12 am

I assume this guy is a Democrat, right? If he was a Republican, we would have heard about it by now, or seen it in print.

Hmmmmmmm

August 22nd, 2012
8:12 am

I’m not surprised… This country voted in Obama…. Same thing… Simply STUPID people, making STUPID decisions… Pathetic!

MiltonMan

August 22nd, 2012
8:12 am

Funny that Jay does not mention that Clayton is perhaps the most democratic of all Georgia counties. The county would be better used by being a dumping ground for nuclear waste – go ahead and shut down Yucca Mountain & use Clayton County in its place.

Thanks Clayton County for being the laughing stock of Georgia.

stands for decibels (SfBA)

August 22nd, 2012
8:13 am

let’s just see if that ol hurricane can go a bowling towards tampa and increase the fun factor.

eff that. I don’t want a storm to grab the headlines. The RNC is doing a great job of framing themselves as misogynist loons. Let that freak flag fly.

Brad Steel

August 22nd, 2012
8:14 am

How does one win with that taint? Was Marion Barry his campaign manager?

He has a huge taint!

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 22nd, 2012
8:14 am

“Let that freak flag fly.”

forever may it wave

Madmax

August 22nd, 2012
8:14 am

Time for Jay to write another column and get the traffic off of this one. The Cons, Tea Partiers and Republicans are havint too much fun.

Jm

August 22nd, 2012
8:15 am

What else is new?

ATL swirls the drain….

MiltonMan

August 22nd, 2012
8:16 am

“We need Aikens to run for office in Georgia not Minnessota. What else is new?”

Minnesota??? Thought it was Missouri. Minnesota has its fair share of moon bats – Jesse Ventura, Al Franken, Ellison, etc.

Prisca

August 22nd, 2012
8:16 am

And I thought DeKalb County was in bad shape for tolerating and rewarding graft and crime in high places. Clayton County is absurd. Guess they like it that way. I hope in November we can get rid of some of the elected officials in DeKalb who have wasted our tax money on payoffs and other abuses of power. But Gwinnett has its stories, too. C’mon, people, things have got to change. Get out there and vote against these people.

MiltonMan

August 22nd, 2012
8:19 am

GA Democratic Nominee for governor in 2014: Victor Hill. Vote Vic!

Mick

August 22nd, 2012
8:19 am

stands

How long can you beat a dead horse before it’s really dead? The news cycle has just about run its course and we are now well into the overkill. As far as the repub plank and abortion? No surprise there…

GOP Voter

August 22nd, 2012
8:21 am

Sure. And let’s give them a whole bunch of TSPLOST money for a new bus system.

MiltonMan

August 22nd, 2012
8:22 am

The election motto for Vic was the best: Small in stature but long in felony charges.

hiram

August 22nd, 2012
8:23 am

I don’t see a lot of difference in Clayton County’s voters electing this guy and Georgia’s voters electing Brother Deal, or Perdue Partners http://perduepartners.com/

As It turns out, Honey Boo Boo does project a pretty accurate representation of the average Georgian’s mentality.

gadem

August 22nd, 2012
8:25 am

When I picked up the paper this morning and saw that Victor Hill had won, I just shook my head in utter disbelief. The voters of Clayton Co. deserve what they get…

Mark

August 22nd, 2012
8:26 am

Right Jim, let deal step in and save the day. The same guy who was under ethics violations before he took office as governor….HOW HYPOCRITICAL IS THAT?

Misty Fyed

August 22nd, 2012
8:28 am

Well..most of the voters are probably graduates of their stellar public school program after all.

Frederick Douglass

August 22nd, 2012
8:28 am

I remember when the good folks of Birmingham/Jefferson county elected Bull Connor after he’d been caught drunk and naked in bed with his secretary……regardless of race, voters can be fickle.

ty webb

August 22nd, 2012
8:29 am

Jay, you’re sounding awfully “racist”…kudos!

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 22nd, 2012
8:30 am

“Jesse Ventura”

is an independent, not a Dem.

Sad Day in Clayton County

August 22nd, 2012
8:31 am

Voters just do not get it!! Georgia loves its politicians that have excessive baggage!! The laughing stock of the U.S…..gotta love this state!!! Maybe when the high school graduation rates increase the citizens will begin to think differently!!

Misty Fyed

August 22nd, 2012
8:31 am

Maybe it’s time to get rid of office of Sheriff. Just role the responsibilities under a police chief who is vetted and hired. That’d save the tax payers bundles in public corruption investigations.

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 22nd, 2012
8:32 am

“ATL swirls the drain….”

does Clayton count as ATL?

GT

August 22nd, 2012
8:32 am

Is Akin a good Republican or a overreaction of mixing church with state? The Republicans created the Tea Party inviting these folks into their tent by using the religion card. It is like feeding a dog at your back porch. They wanted their vote but didn’t want their input, too late you now have a nut house of greedy “Christians” who you will find will not sit in the back seat and let the establishment of your party drive. If they can get Rolex watches running mega churches what fortune can a whole nation offer these ambitious folk. There is a small shade between ambition and criminal you will soon know it well.

Frederick Douglass

August 22nd, 2012
8:33 am

Oh, and Bull Connor was married…..the secretary was 20 years his junior.

Misty Fyed

August 22nd, 2012
8:33 am

Sad Day…..you must not follow politics in places like Chicago and Washington DC. We try hard, but we aren’t quite at that level of embarrassment yet.

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 22nd, 2012
8:34 am

okay, if this is going to be in my head, it might as well be in everyone’s …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrnZSLwfzVs

Misty Fyed

August 22nd, 2012
8:35 am

GT..you are absolutely right…and the best example we have is to simply look at the democrat party.

Brosephus™

August 22nd, 2012
8:39 am

I feel for the citizens of Clayton County, but I have my own brand of ignorance to deal with in Henry. So, please forgive me if I don’t appear to be all to gung ho about their situation. I’ve gotta find a way to see if our current commission chair is interested in doing a write-in candidacy.

But, hopefully the citizens of Clayton County will be much better served by their county commission than their sheriff.

Misty Fyed

August 22nd, 2012
8:39 am

Maybe we are looking at this wrong. When Victor Hill gets sentence, maybe they can have him serve his time in Clayton County. That way he can be on duty 24-7. They won’t have to pay him or give him vacation. Just 3 squares and a cot. That may not be such a bad deal after all.

Fly-On-The-Wall

August 22nd, 2012
8:42 am

Since all of the voting age people in Clayton County are considered legal adults then they must live with the consequences of their actions. Until their actions affect others outside their county we should leave them to their own devices.

godless heathen

August 22nd, 2012
8:42 am

As so eloquently stated by Justice Roberts in the Obamacare opinion: “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”

Take heed guv.

Sad Day in Clayton County

August 22nd, 2012
8:43 am

Sad Day…..you must not follow politics in places like Chicago and Washington DC. We try hard, but we aren’t quite at that level of embarrassment yet.

_____

Is their high school graduation rates better? Can you get a better education there and move on to a better quality of life? Georgia the state that never seems to rise higher than the 5th grade mentality!!