December 5, 2005
On Tuesday Augusta voters will choose between Deke Copenhaver and Willie Mays for mayor. Now, both candidates’ names are in the middle of what some are calling last minute dirty politics. News 12 is here to explain.
When it all started, the candidates in the mayoral race said they were pleased that this campaign season had been free of any dirty politics and mudslinging. But now that may have changed after several controversial flyers were distributed. But the problem is no one knows who to blame.
“It is a dirty trick. We don’t know whether this was a republican trick, overzealous democrats or a combination,” said Lowell Greenbaum.
Local Democratic Party Chairman Lowell Greenbaum says he will find out who’s behind the hundreds of cards being mailed out under the name Democrats for Black Augusta, urging voters to elect Willie Mays, Freddie Handy and A.K. Hasan in the runoff, with a tag line “Support Those Who Support Us.”
“If I as a white person receive this in the mail and wasn’t politically smart, I’d say this is wrong, I’m not going to vote for this guy. That’s the dirty trick here,” Lowell said.
Deke Copenhaver held a press conference on Monday along with Helen Blocker-Adams and Tommy Boyles announcing plans for a special taskforce. But he took a minute to respond to speculation that his campaign is behind the cards.
“And I can tell you absolutely, unequivocally, I had nothing to do with that whatever it is, nobody in my campaign did,” Copenhaver said.
This all comes two days after a flyer was distributed linking Copenhaver and Blocker-Adams with comments attributed to State Rep. Sue Burmeister. Under their picture it says ‘they won’t come out for a runoff.’ The flyers were passed out under the name Friends to Elect Willie Mays. Which resulted in Deke Copenhaver demanding an apology from Mays. Mays says his camp is not responsible for the flyers, and thinks Copenhaver should be more concerned about his political relationship with Burmeister.
“And to have someone on there at the top of your stationary, maybe that’s what he needs to be disconnected from, not trying to run me around for an apology for something I don’t even know about,” Mays said.
And Helen Blocker-Adams says she believes Mays had nothing to do with the flyers.
“There’s no way in the world Mr. Mays could have approved this, for one thing, his name is spelled on there wrong twice,” Adams said.