If you have read any of my blog, I think it is obvious that I was not a journalism or English major. In fact, for most of my political career, my relationship with the media would have been best described as contentious and untrustworthy. As a blog, I am not held to some of the same journalism ethics and standards that would be expected of the legal organ; I am certainly not objective. I find that I am very biased and my wife would be happy to confirm it. Finding a balance in writing about our legal system in Hall County is going to be my greatest challenge.
I imagine that a lot of investigative reporting starts with a phone call or e-mail describing some sort of injustice. The problem is that while looking for evidence, you are automatically biased to prove the injustice. I also imagine that a lot of investigative reporting is dismissed based on the fact that there seems to be a grudge or a conspiracy theory in place. I think that you can easily tell if you are onto something based on the response to your open records request. When I was told that my request would cost almost $1,000 to produce a couple of files, I knew that I was onto something.
Even after challenging the bill, it became obvious that this was not going to be an easy task getting to the Truth as the ORR was produced in the most cumbersome way: page prints (reduced sample). I received the log by way of two files that added up to a total of 7,264 pages. Unlike the file that was produced through an open record request on me, the courthouse seems to want to make this process as difficult as possible. But never fear Truth readers, while it has taken me awhile, I have run all 7,264 pages through an OCR program and will soon have the pages databased in a format that can make the data useful.
“Public men and women are amenable ‘at all times’ to the people, they must conduct the public’s business out in the open”, Chief Justice Weltner as stated in the case of Davis v. City of Macon. So before we look at the data, we need to acknowledge that the problem with sunshine is that the ballot box should be the ultimate trial to determine a person’s success in office; but it doesn’t work on judges since no one will run against an incumbent. I have lived in Hall County for 10 years and I can only think of 1 time when an incumbent was challenged (and he barely lost). There seems to be no accountability to the people from the courthouse. They get just about whatever they ask for from the commission and there is very little accountability. Well, the buck stops here.
And so, we will start our investigation; we will try to keep our mind open and follow the Truth where it leads us. This investigation may be biased or due to a conspiracy theory, but since I have the data I want to start the series of articles with something that has nothing to do with the original complaint. Keep coming back as we start to look at the problems in our courthouse.