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Studdard campaign whizzes on the truth, commits political fraud

Cal Beverly's picture

OPINION — I’m disappointed in David Studdard. He’s running a truth-challenged runoff race against Marty Harbin for the Republican nomination to the Georgia Senate, District 16 (Fayette, Spalding, Pike and Lamar counties).

His robo-calls have been misleading at best, calling himself the “only real” conservative in the race. He’s about as real as watermelon Kool-Aid, having the flavor but none of the substance.

But Studdard represents the old guard of the GOP, desperately clinging to fading power against upstarts like Harbin, who represent founding principles rather than “for sale” politicians.

Studdard’s camp has authored two hit pieces designed to show up in your mail boxes just before election day. Studdard’s supporters’ hit pieces are just flat-out lies.

One mailer links Marty Harbin to some “bill to allow sex offenders at our schools.”

The second accuses Harbin of wanting to “risk lives” after “his ideas ... bankrupt seniors” and “close hospitals in Fayette, Spalding and Lamar counties.”

Having known Marty Harbin for nearly a quarter century, I’m throwing the flag and calling foul on Studdard and his friends.

I emailed Studdard Monday and asked for an explanation.

“I have had two conversations with Marty today. He called me this afternoon and told me about this. I have assured him and I assure you, I have no idea where this is coming from. Marty and I are working together to find out who is doing this. What Marty described to me is disgusting and I absolutely condemn it. This has no place in this race. If I am able to determine who is doing this, I will do everything in my power to stop it,” Studdard wrote back.

I emailed him back, “Would not a call from you to your mailing house holding mailing permit #96 in Kennesaw answer your (and my) questions about who is behind these two pieces? With supporters like these, who needs enemies, right?”

Studdard’s response: “That particular mail permit has been used by dozens of campaigns in Georgia and has been paid by multiple campaigns in 2014. I believe Marty’s campaign used it also. We called them today and asked what mail we have there. Nothing like what Marty described is up there. And no one from my campaign has seen it.”

How lawyer-like. Here’s my problem with Studdard’s carefully phrased response. If he doesn’t know and can’t find out who is paying for a large, expensive mailing on his behalf, calculated to benefit only Studdard, across four counties — after being an Atlanta cop and now an attorney — then he’s too dumb to be writing laws for the rest of us. And if he does know, then he is just a very bad liar.

So I question whether Studdard is doing “everything in my power to stop it.” Notice also that he did not disown the content of the hit pieces.

These lying mailers introduce me to a set of Studdard’s fervent friends: Willing to do or say anything to get their bought-and-paid-for candidate elected even if that means slandering a good man in the process.

And Marty Harbin is a good man. I’ve known Marty for nearly 25 years. His family-owned agency currently carries all my business insurance coverage and has since 1993, the year The Citizen came into existence.

Marty has always stood with me when I needed him. He has always been reachable, on both business and personal levels.

Marty is loyal and he has never lied to me. He is a man of his word. He gets things done. He is and will continue to be a man of integrity, whether he gets elected or not. I count him as my friend.

I don’t personally know Studdard. The singular memory I carry of him is our Dec. 5, 2012, front-page headline, “Cops grab lawyer for whizzing on a tree” ( Outside a bar, “Studdard said he saw a former client who he felt was in no shape to drive home, and he offered her a ride home or a chance to call a cab or a friend to pick her up. Before they had a chance to do that, however, Studdard went to relieve himself ...” the news story said.

Fayetteville cops took the former cop and current attorney to the pokey for his display. In that, at least, the innocent tree was the only victim.

In a mental cartoon, I picture Studdard and a bunch of big-money Atlanta power brokers standing together and whizzing on a tree labeled “Truth,” and one of them turns to look at you, the voter, and says, “You’re next.”

My thought? Mr. Studdard exposes himself publicly, for the second time.

Here’s Harbin’s response:

“I had hoped that this campaign would remain positive and clean, but it looks as if the power brokers and lobbyists in Atlanta are determined to get my opponent elected. An un-named person forwarded me the mailing pieces that are going to be used to attack my character because I simply returned a questionnaire that I had received. These people have linked me to a candidate that the organization supported, but in fact, I made contributions to Wes Cantrell, who was running against their candidate.

“These mailing pieces are funded by the power brokers and lobbyists in Atlanta who do not want me to be elected. If you want to know the truth, then you need to follow the money. The evidence shows that the majority of Mr. Studdard’s funding is coming from people outside the 16th District — mainly from Atlanta.

“From the reports filed June 30, 2014, Mr. Studdard received 70 percent of his contributions from outside of the district and only 30 percent from within the district. The people of the 16th District should be represented by a senator that represents them, not the power brokers and lobbyists in Atlanta. It is this group that has chosen to discredit and defame my character so the candidate that they support can win this election.

“There is no truth whatsoever in what is being communicated in these mailings. They are slanderous lies and must be refuted. This is the type of thing that often happens, but should not and does not need to happen in politics. There needs to be transparency, honesty and integrity in those who hold or run for office, and we must demand it by holding them accountable for the things they say and do.”

[Cal Beverly has been editor and publisher of The Citizen since its founding in 1993. He has lived in Peachtree City since 1977.]


It was only a matter of time until true colors were shown. I had a nice conversation with Marty when he canvassed my neighborhood a few weekends ago.

This also tells me a lot about the decision making skills of one of our commissioners who is a very strong supporter of the whizzer.

As if I had not had enough robocalls in the last few months, 2 days ago I received one from the candidate himself. This article explains a lot on why/how so many calls were generated prior to the primary. Not a good sign. Of course, doing your business outside in a parking lot is not a good sign, either. Anyone know the outcome of the arrest mentioned in the article link?

ginga1414's picture

It doesn't bode well at all when campaign contribution records reveal that a 16th District candidate received 70% of his campaign contributions from outside the district.

Atlanta has enough. The voters in the 16th District need a representative who is on our side. No question about it.

Another call this evening. Gravely voiced male robocall saying he is with Lynn Westmoreland and something about a PAC connected with him and to vote for....Studdard..he's the only true Republican running. You know, the other 87 voters living in our home might vote for him, but sorry, not me.

Looking forward to supporting Marty....a great man and leader. Can't believe the lies that the Studdard campaign is putting out there. I have already talked to a few families that have switched their vote because of this. Thank you for posting what you did Cal.

tortugaocho's picture



Dear Friends,

I have tried to stay out of the hotly contested state senate race, sure I have my favorite, but I haven't "involved" myself, until now. When I ran for Congress everything I said or in any my paid advertisements was the truth to the best of my knowledge. If a candidate for office can't tell the truth, just think what they will be like if elected.

Today I received a mailer and in the Barnesville paper was the same advertisement titled "David Studdard has been endorsed by these Lamar County Republican Leaders." There is the picture and names of four people. Let me tell you who has "endorsed Mr. Studdard" :

1. Frank Abbott (R), Lamar County Clerk. Frank is a great guy, we graduated from high school together and has a great wife and family. The problem? He is a life long democrat and has always been elected as a democrat.

2. John Stuckey, former Chair of the state party. I have been told he lives in Coweta County and since 1996 I have never seen him at the Lamar republican party.

3. Alton Russell, former Third District Chair. He is from Columbus.

4. Mark Butler, state Labor Commissioner. He is from Carrolton.

Those are the endorsements of Lamar County republican leaders? Three from outside the district and not from Barnesville and an elected democrat. How sad.

We must insist our elected leaders do better. The choice is up to you.

Kent Kingsley



NUK_1's picture

I'm not a Studdard supporter, but something from Kent Kingsley who thinks that Venezuela is in the same continent as the USA is kind of troubling, along with the fact that he also thinks we get most of of our oil from the Middle East when that hasn't been true in many years. We get it about all of it from CANADA which has been fact for years. UGH. This isn't difficult.

Bash the whizzing wanna-be all you want and the non-stop robo-calls, but what Kingsley thinks is hardly the end-all.

Barlow is on a robo call endorcing Studdard because he's A rated with a rifle. Whoodee doo

Obama offers free phones for votes...... Studdard offers free late night rides to drunken damsels in distress in the wee-wee hours of the night.

Gotta love Studdard's lawyerly establishment RINO excuses..... Just like what he did with the tree he is doing to us.... Peeing on our feet and trying to convince us it tis raining......

Somehow and oddly.... The Studdards so remind me of Clinton Dynasty Wannabees. Studdard fits in perfectly with our current crop of self-serving political hacks. Jean should be so proud....

Nuff said.....

abeautifulday4us's picture

"Studdard's lawyerly establishment RINO excuses."

Perhaps you are right, Silence.

Look at what Mr. Studdard said when arrested:

"Studdard noted that he did not expose himself to anyone else during the incident, and that had he stayed home to watch the ACC championship football game instead of the going to the tavern, the incident wouldn?__t have happened."

Apparently it was intended to be a bigger night than the ACC.

I really wish we could vote "none of the above" in the Kingston Perdue contest just because of the robo-calls..I have had at least 3 calls a day and Studdard pretty much lost any chance of my vote with the negative campaigning and incessant Robo Calls. We really need a political no-call list badly. I received 5 calls today and at least 4 yesterday. Do they honestly think if you get called enough it is going to swing the vote..yes, it will the opposite way...

G35 Dude's picture

It is funny that right after this article was published I started getting calls from Studdard's campaign claiming that Harbin was sending out mailers that said he was supported by Mike Huckabee. The call then says that isn't true and to go to to verify. Personally I'll just be glad when the election season is over. Next election I'm going to keep score as to how many calls that I get from candidates and vote for the ones that called me the least.

3 for Kingston, 3 for Perdue and 3 for Studdard

Robo Calls? Who advised these RINO Establishment hacks? Sounds like something out of a Ronnie Chance consulting playbook. How unimaginative.

G35 Dude's picture

Just got another Robo call from Studdard's campaign. This one says that Harbin is falsely claiming the support of Newt Gingrich.

This is silly..2 more for Perdue and one for Studdard...

They are out of hand.

G35 Dude's picture

A week ago, I probably wasn't going to bother to vote in this runoff. To be honest I planned to wait for November. In a telephone poll after I had stated that I was undecided in the Studdard - Harbin race, the caller asked which way I leaned. So I picked Studdard. Well I did go vote today. I voted for Harbin. Why? The ridiculous number of Robo calls that I received yesterday from the Studdard campaign was just too much. I understand that you need to get your message out. But please keep in mind that if you go overboard I will not vote for you. Personally if you want my vote tell me that you're going to introduce a bill that limits the number of times a candidate can call a given number. Want to be in touch with me? Publish an email address that I can email and/or a phone number that I can call you at my connivence. Call me one or two times with this info and whatever message you want me to know. Then leave me alone or lose my vote.

mudcat's picture

Those recorded calls annoy me way beyond what I can handle. We had 25 calls since Sunday 4PM thru last night. Are you kidding me?

My new policy is not voting for any candidate with a recorded call. Obviously, I did not vote today or earlier.

Stop the stupid easy way out, you silly candidates. You got some 20 year old advising you and he's a tech hero? BFD. Dump him and do something different. All politics is local. Go door to door and act like you care. The recorded calls are stupid and do not work on my generation.

I was invited to one of the conf call town meetings for Lynn Westmoreland and my question was do you support limiting robo-calls for candidates or No political call list. Unfortunately, they never got to the question..It is a little irritating when people spend 10 minutes spouting off all the stuff they have heard on Fox News instead of getting to the actual question. This election cycle has been intolerable, I work from home and the number of interruptions by election calls is ridiculous. Some states limit the number of calls and some have no call lists. There is a group that tries to get the word out that you do not want to be contacted and lobbies for restrictions.. I wouldn't mind the old fashion staffer or volunteer calling and asking for my vote but this is close to harrassment. I ended the night yesterday at 15 calls and if Harbin sweeps Studdard part of it was the calls and negative campaigning.

NUK_1's picture

Looks like 60-40% with almost all precincts reported now.

Perdue-Kingston may be an all-night affair and a re-count with how close they have been all night.

PTC Observer's picture

Does that mean the robo calls will stop? ;-)

At least until end of October....

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