Your morning jolt: Jim Marshall loses the ghost-hunter vote in Macon

Because life is unfair and cruel and at its heart a veil of tears, you are not allowed to read press releases with headlines like this every day:

“Georgia Congressman Jim Marshall publicly attacks ghost hunting and those who participate.”

An explanation will come, but later. This morning, the Macon Telegraph reports this:

Paul Rish, until a few days ago chairman of the Bibb County Republican Party, will challenge U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall in the 8th Congressional District, he said Monday. Rish, who will be 30 next week, is making his first bid for political office.

He is president and CEO of his own voice and data network business, Rish Telecommunications, and was head of the local GOP until resigning Sept. 30 to make this congressional run. The Republican Party has tried to take down Marshall, a Democrat, for several years now, making Middle Georgia’s 8th District a national priority.

Rish has been an active participant in the Tea Party movement. PeachPundit has more background on the new GOP candidate here.

But it is a fact that, if you Google the name “Paul Rish” and “Georgia,” on the second page of hits you come across a link to the Georgia Ghost Society, which eventually leads any curious reporter to the phone number of director and founder Bob Hunnicut.

According to its Web site, the Georgia Ghost Society, created in 1999 and headquartered in Macon, is dedicated to:

– Conducting authentic ghost research;

– Scientific investigation/documentation of various types of phenomena;

– Promotion of Georgia’s vast haunted historical landmarks;

– Offering assistance and invention to anyone experiencing a haunting;

– Providing our services in a professional manner at no charge.

The Georgia Ghost Society is not a club or simply a hobby[. A]ll members are carefully selected, interviewed and screened to ensure mature, professional behavior as well as their dedication to providing the absolute best in paranormal investigative services using the latest in equipment and protocols.

The most obvious question, which I posed to Hunnicut on Monday, was whether Rish held membership in the group. Ghosts are everywhere in politics, but it is rare for politicians to search them out.

But Hunnicut said no. He knows Rish, and considers him a friend. Because of Rish’s technical background, Hunnicut said he has occasionally sought advice from Rish, but the Republican activist is not a member of the society. If some web designer included Rish’s name on a page that is drawing Google’s attention, it was a mistake, Hunnicut said.

We talked a little more about the society. Hunnicut is no fan of the New Age thinking on the West Coast, and prefers the scientific method for his research. I expressed my surprise that his group would be headquartered in Macon rather than Savannah. But there was no mention of Jim Marshall – except on my part, when explaining who Rish would be running against, if he wins his primary.

An hour later came this:

A confidential informant has notified our office that earlier today, 8th District Congressman from Georgia, Jim Marshall sent an email to media sources in which he attacked and maligned individuals and teams interested and involved in ghost hunting….

We take serious offense to Congressman Marshall’s slander and attack on this field of interest and demand an immediate public apology. The State of Georgia has a rich and vast haunted history and it is entirely inappropriate for Marshall to insult the many Georgians as well as the rest of the nation involved in this hobby.

We have put a morning call into Marshall’s office, but have not heard back.

InsiderAdvantage President Chuck Clay, a former chairman of the state GOP, told 11Alive on Monday that, while African-American women will make up the largest bloc of votes in the Atlanta mayoral race, strategists should keep their eyes on male voters:

“Almost double the number of men are undecided as there are women at this point in time,” Clay said. “So what that tells me is one of two things: A lot of those men are not going to vote in which case that will be an impact. Or as that thirty percent moves down to where the women are which is eighteen or nineteen percent undecided, they’re going to start breaking to one or the other of those candidates.”

Atlanta Unfiltered has this gem today:

When Wayne Clough left for the Smithsonian last year, he drove off from Georgia Tech with $1.8 million in deferred pay, behind the wheel of a 2007 Lexus hybrid SUV given to him by the school’s foundation….

All told, presidents of seven Georgia universities and the current and former chancellors have collected or accrued more than $7 million since 2004 in deferred compensation.

Former Georgia Public Television honcho Mike Klein sends word of an Atlanta group we hadn’t heard of before – the Georgia Soap Project.

GSP is recovering and recycling discarded soap from hotels using a process by which the soap is sanitized, melted and remolded into new bars, then distributed to refugee camps in Africa, initially, and then worldwide.

There is an almost infinite supply of soap with more than 4.6-million hotel rooms in the United States alone, and an estimated 2.6-million bars that are discarded every day. GSP has collected nearly six tons of soap from 60 local Atlanta hotels and plans to ship the soap to Uganda within two weeks.

While you ponder the above, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s ajc.com:

  • Judge rules against Georgia in water fight. Again.
  • Hall County oasis could disappear under lake.
  • Magic Johnson cinema at Greenbriar Mall to close.
  • Some Grady dialysis outpatients run into early snags.
  • Delta, Hartsfield-Jackson reach lease deal.
  • Piedmont Park getting more cameras.
  • Austell residents angry over flood.
  • Commerce Club, One Ninety One Club merging.
  • Some opinion:

  • Jay Bookman posits that, in Oxendine’s Georgia, God would return to public schools.
  • Georgia breaks pledge to teachers.
  • Pro & Con: Should Obama send more U.S. troops to fight the Afghan war?
  • From elsewhere in Georgia:

  • ABC: Feds say bloggers must disclose payments for endorsements.
  • And beyond:

  • WP: Overdraft-fee revenue up 35 percent, study says.
  • WSJ: Apartment vacancy rate rises to 7.8 percent.
  • NYT: U.S. push to expand in Pakistan meets resistance.
  • For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    14 comments Add your comment

    Rochelle Covington

    October 6th, 2009
    11:03 am

    What is it going to take to get City Councilman Lamar Willis’ name off the ballot? He owes $44,000 in back taxes, which makes him ineligible for office. He’s been sued by the State of Georgia. To top it off, Fulton County just ordered him to pay $25,000 in fines for not registering his “charity.” http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-politics-elections/fulton-county-court-fines-155836.html

    Surely we can do better than to have a known crook on the ballot.

    Daedalus

    October 6th, 2009
    12:02 pm

    Keep litigating the water wars Sonny — that way you can push off any decisions to the next Guv.

    Way to accept responsibility. Truly a GOP virtue.

    LeeH1

    October 6th, 2009
    12:57 pm

    I already thought the Republicans _were_ the Georgia Ghost Society!

    Anti-Jim Marshall

    October 6th, 2009
    2:39 pm

    Very cute LeeH1, why not put that to music while you driving in your BMW on your way to pick up your next stimulus check.

    Mercer grad

    October 6th, 2009
    2:57 pm

    Jim Marshall has my vote. He is smart, works for his constituents, and if ever elected to higher office of governor or senator, would usher Georgia into the 21st century, to join the rest of the world.

    Reap

    October 6th, 2009
    3:01 pm

    And I thought the politicians in CA were f n inept….thanks now I don’t feel so screwed and alone…just screwed

    Mercer grad

    October 6th, 2009
    3:11 pm

    And he doesn’t spend all his time (and PAC money) on the golf links. This country is faced with enormous problems, and our two senators are wallowing in PAC money and perks while the ship is sinking.

    RetiredSoldier

    October 6th, 2009
    5:16 pm

    Mercer grad-

    Two points:
    1. You really think someone can be “smart” that votes for Nancy Pelosi for speaker?

    2. You really think Marshall doesn’t take PAC money.

    Get a refund for that education if they offer it.

    Retired Marine

    October 6th, 2009
    10:16 pm

    Great response Retired Soldier! MercerGrad is either too naive or too ignorant to understand that real life can’t be taught in a classroom.
    Marshall was a terrible Mayor and he should be ashamed of forgetting the valuable lessons learned in the military.

    Wing nuts of the confederated Taliban GOP have lost it

    October 7th, 2009
    10:00 am

    vote for the health bill are you will will be a Ghost in the 8Th. have some balls, or be gone bank on it Jim!!! Don’t be a 007 Republican.

    RetiredSoldier

    October 7th, 2009
    1:04 pm

    Thanks Retired Marine.

    Bibb County Resident

    October 7th, 2009
    1:58 pm

    I would rather have a Congressman look for ghosts than have one that pretends the one named Nancy Pelosi doesn’t haunt his every move.

    The fact that this story was promulgated by the Marshall campaign shows you that he is afraid of something, and it isn’t ghosts. It’s his record of sitting silently by while the liberals of his party tear this country apart.

    Wing nuts of the confederated Taliban GOP have lost it

    October 8th, 2009
    9:56 am

    Bibb County The conservatives had killed this country just look at the last eight years. from spending money to tax cuts for the rich and companies to going to war on a lie this is still costing us out of the wazoo to 9-11 and much much more. and you want more of the same. look at this state, the GOP had done the same . They are nation and state killers. Jim was a just OK as mayor but on health care if he vote no we will vote no for him Bank on it!!!
    The people in bibb County can not agree what day it is. To many people wants to be in charge and full of hate on all sides mess up place!! I moved!!

    [...] Like all underrepresented voting groups, ghost hunters in Georgia want their voices to be heard. They certainly will not be voting for Jim Marshall for re-election as a U.S. Representative in the 8th Congressional District of Georgia. Why? Because part of Marshall’s platform seems to be anti-ghost hunters: [...]