Barry Babb declines to respond to Citizen questions

Tue, 07/01/2008 - 5:26pm
By: The Citizen

Babb, Barry NEW mug4web

Barry Babb declined to answer questions posed by The Citizen.

Following is text of a letter submitted and signed by all four candidates in the sheriff's race: (scroll down further to read the questions authored by The Citizen)

“The candidates for the Office of Sheriff of Fayette County have discussed your invitation to participate in the online candidate forum being hosted by The Citizen. Unfortunately, we have decided unanimously not to participate in this forum, in this format.

“While we have chosen not to participate in this forum, please understand that we are not opposed to discussing our positions on issues or responding to citizens’ questions involving the sheriff’s election. Citizens with legitimate questions or concerns may attend any of the published candidate forums or contact us via email or telephone information, which is published on our individual websites.

“The blogs on the online edition of The Citizen contain many slanderous and baseless attacks on the character of each candidate for office. Many things are reported as fact when, in fact, they are little more than rumor or biased personal opinions transparently disguised as fact.

“We are more than willing to discuss issues related to our campaigns in an open forum where a sense of responsibility on the part of the questioners in important.

“In several threads from various posts online about each of the candidates for sheriff, there have been countless attacks that are completely outlandish, untruthful and defamatory to say the least. We believe that participating in a forum of this type will only invite more of these type comments and be unproductive.

“Besides, we are all busy campaigning for office and responding to baseless anonymous attacks would consume an enormous amount of time which we feel would be better spent on more constructive business.

Barry Babb
Wayne Hannah
Thomas Mindar
David Simmons”

Questions for ALL candidates for Fayette sheriff:

1. What is the extent of Fayette County’s “gang problem” currently and how do you specifically plan to address it?

2. Are the department's responses to crime in Fayette right now just about right or do they need improvement?

3. What are the department’s biggest weaknesses and how do you specifically plan to address them?

4. What are the department’s greatest strengths, and how will you build on them?

5. Three of the four candidates work for the sheriff’s department now. After the summer primary, should the unsuccessful deputies start looking for other jobs? What is your philosophy on dealing with in-department opponents after you win?

6. Describe in detail how you will do things differently than Sheriff Johnson has done them. Or do you intend NOT to do things differently?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Questions for specific candidates:


1. Some have questioned your credentials after your website did not mention your time working for the Georgia Building Authority. Tell us why that was omitted and provide details of your job title and day-to-day duties. Also provide details of why you resigned/quit/were downsized or fired from the position.

2. You have touted your FBI training as proof that you are better prepared. Please explain what aspects of that training you want to apply to the way the sheriff’s office enforces law in Fayette County.

3. Previously, you had a testimonial on your website from Ike McKinnon, who served as chief for several years while you were his chief of staff at the Detroit Police Department. After a blogger started questioning Mr. McKinnon’s motives in an apparently scandal-plagued police department, Mr. McKinnon’s testimonial was removed from your website. Could you explain why, in detail, you decided to remove the letter of recommendation from Mr. McKinnon, who called you a good friend?

4. You have alleged that Fayette County has had a dramatic spike in commercial and residential burglaries, but according to the sheriff’s office Fayette is on track to have just 13 more burglaries this calendar year compared to last calendar year. Assuming those numbers are accurate, how do you explain how your data is “off”? Or do you feel comfortable your data is correct and charge that the sheriff’s department’s data is inaccurate?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -


1. Will your wife continue to work for the sheriff’s office if you are elected? If so, how do you plan to address the inevitable problem of conflict of interest, whether real or perceived?

2. Have you — as charged by some — been campaigning in uniform and using your department vehicle for campaign work? If so, how do you justify the use of a taxpayer-funded vehicle? Did you get permission from the sheriff to do so?

3. Please explain your side of the scenario where you went to a man’s house to talk to him about political sign issues; (this issue was detailed in a letter to the editor several weeks ago); the letter writer accused you of attempting to intimidate him but a blogger said you actually know the letter writer and that he is a neighbor you are acquainted with.

4. Please explain your alleged recent “visit” to the sheriff’s department’s roll call in terms of who requested it and what it accomplished? Was the same opportunity extended to all candidates?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -


1. You have been accused of being “too religious” by some observers, and one blogger said you have bible classes at the sheriff’s office. Is this true and why do you consider it to be appropriate?

2. Should Fayette County continue its practice of aggressively pursuing fleeing suspects at high speeds in vehicle chases, or do you think such actions endanger the motoring public?

3. Of all four candidates, you have lived in Fayette County the longest. Will you be able to set aside your friendships and personal relationships to be a fair and partial administrator? Please explain in detail how you plan to handle such issues.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -


1. A fellow deputy and a former one have called into question several interactions they’ve had with you that call into question your ability to control your temper. Characterize your temperament and your ability to stay cool when things are getting hot.

2. Compared to the other candidates you appear to have the least amount of experience in law enforcement. Others have said you lack any supervisory experience. How do you respond to those observations and how are you prepared to handle the gravity of administrative duties that are the sheriff’s responsibility?

3. On your website you indicate that you want to increase proactive and aggressive patrols. Do you plan to hire new deputies for these positions or do you plan to reassign current deputies to handle that workload? Also, please give us numbers in terms of how many patrol cars are out there now and how many you would like to see on the road.

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Cal Beverly's picture
Submitted by Cal Beverly on Wed, 07/09/2008 - 7:38pm.

WARNING to all sheriff’s race posters

The sheriff of this site is warning you to check your personal attacks at the county line.

Political speech has wide latitude, but some of you posters are crossing way beyond the line of taste and fair comment.

Cut the purely personal attacks or get off the site.

Any further rantings about private persons will get you banned.

Cal Beverly
The Citizen
Fayetteville, Ga. 30214

MajorMike's picture
Submitted by MajorMike on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 8:46am.

I am at a real crossroads on this race. To my mind there are no acceptable candidates in this race yet I take my right to votes very seriously. What to do? The probability is that I will choose to "write in". I hope Disney can spare Mickey Mouse for a few years.

JAFO 72's picture
Submitted by JAFO 72 on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 12:10pm.

I may be voting for Bob Barr this go around. He seems like one candidate that still believes in Liberty, Freedom and less Big Government.

"Everytime you vote Democrat God kills a kitten."

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 1:03pm.

Barr isn't a libertarian and his nomination sort of points out the problems the LP has internally. He's still against the legalization of drugs and his embraces of statist ideas like the Patriot Act and the Defense of Marriage Act are not close to libertarianism.

Barr is sort of a born-again libertarian like Neil Boortz has become(ex far-left liberal, ex far-right conservative, whatever gets ratings I guess), though I think Boortz actually believes it more than Barr does. I think it's just expediency in Barr's case.

JAFO 72's picture
Submitted by JAFO 72 on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 1:35pm.

I have not had a great deal of time to investigate Barr as a candidate. I do prefer, and agree with most of the ideals of the LP as opposed to what we currently have, but I need more info. Some of the other items such as legalizing drugs and the Defense of Marriage are not priorities for me. Secure the borders, fix/abolish the current tax axe, and let the states govern themselves.

Their website is somewhat lacking in information. I think most Libertarian converts are coming over from both of the old parties. Those that you deem as “born again” are simply disenfranchised with the same old crap.

“Every time you vote Democrat, God kills a kitten.”

Submitted by McGerkin88 on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 8:22am.

mailers from Babb? Actually, I haven't received any from Babb, Mindar or Hannah. Several from other candidates but not from these 3. Anyone else receive any mailers from these guys?

Submitted by skyspy on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 8:44am.

They are meeting with homeowners. No mailings. They met with our association a couple of weeks ago. I like this better, I can ask my own questions instead of listening to soft questions at the naacp forum.

Submitted by McGerkin88 on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 9:04am.

most candidates do both. Most have enough contributions coming in to do both. Just wondering why these 3 didn't. Someone had asked me and I really didn't know why.

Channel 24 ran the Sheriff and BOE forum last week. Did anyone see it?

Submitted by Fayetteresident on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 1:29am.

I believe that Babb is the most qualified of the candidates. He has supervised more employees over the years, prepared more budgets and been involved in every aspect of the Sheriff's Dept. The transition from Sheriff Johnson to Sheriff Babb would be the best choice.
Eventhough he proudly professes to be a Christian, he is the most fair man I have ever met. He belongs to a group of Christian believers called the Fellowship of Christian Officers. It's much like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes found in our school system today. Barry Babb has integrity. Simply put, he does the right thing even when no one's around.
It IS the right time for Sheriff Babb...he has seen this county grow from only the "Dairy Queen" to the Pavillion & beyond. He's not only the best choice for Sheriff RIGHT NOW, but for the next twenty - thirty years!

Submitted by TruthWarrior on Wed, 07/09/2008 - 5:35pm.

While I admire your loyalty I think it's not totally true. Hannah was supervising people before Babb came to work at the Sheriff's office. I'm not sure about the number supervised and don't know if that matters. The voters make that decision. Babb has not prepared more budgets. The budgets that Babb has prepared have fallen short. His division falls short on overtime. His officers never get all of there uniform allowance due to budet shortfalls. The new patrol division vehicles are slow to be put on line due to equipment for the vehicles not being budgeted properly. None of this is true with Hannah's budgeting.
I understand that Babb is proudly a christian. I am thankful for that. But that alone does not make him the most fair man. Babb has promoted several officers without useing departmental policy guidelines. He has hired a friend before the officer has completed departmental and POST pre-employee requirements. He has shown favortism in issuing vehicles and other equipment. Not true of Hannah.
Hannah has also seen the county grow from the Dairy Queen to the Pavillion and beyond.
Babb is a nice guy but I believe he needs to wait a few more years to mature. Being a Sheriff is not just about being nice.
Vote for Hannah. He is the best candidate for the job. But that's my opinion.

Submitted by ujustgotburned on Wed, 07/09/2008 - 6:44pm.

Everything that you stated in your comment is factual and can be supported. I wish that some of the other bloggers on this site would show their support without being so tasteless. If Babb is such a christian man, I doubt that he would approve of the defamation that has been taking place in this forum.

Submitted by McGerkin88 on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 8:34am.

"He's not only the best choice for Sheriff RIGHT NOW, but for the next twenty - thirty years!"

Not per his wife! Remember what Babb said when asked by Hannah to work for him once he is elected? I do.

Submitted by ujustgotburned on Wed, 07/09/2008 - 6:48pm.

supposed to say? Of course she wants her husband to win!

DELETED & WARNED about personal attacks on private persons/

Submitted by bluemoon on Mon, 07/07/2008 - 11:20pm.

Too bad you can't just build a float to get a vote. You will have your day but not yet. The big dogs are too strong. But, the winner is the one that you support in the runoff.

Submitted by bluemoon on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 8:16am.

The posters to my original message make interesting points. Maybe he gets in the runoff then who knows...

Submitted by ole sarge on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 6:16am.

Barry Babb is a fine young man, a credit to law enforcement, and an outstanding member of our community.

I have observed his development as a leader over the past two decades and found him to be a resourceful and energetic officer as well as a sincere gentleman at all times. His concern for fellow officers has served him well throughout his career.

As a Fayette native, his commitment to family and community is a life-long affair. This will continue to grow if we are wise enough to elect his as our sheriff.

Submitted by skyspy on Mon, 07/07/2008 - 11:30pm.

Sounds like our best bet. No negative stuff coming from his camp. He has ideas that sound practical.

It's a shame Mindar is splitting the vote. If he had management experience it would be worth a try but...

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