Is Dick Williams hurt because Sally Harrell won’t buy ads in The Crier?

Above: Dick Williams on Fox 5 Atlanta’s “Georgia Gang”

Jonathan Grant

Hoover Republican says what?

I met Dick Williams in the 1980s, when he was a columnist for the Atlanta newspaper and I was spokesman for the Georgia Public Service Commission. In the years since, I would sometimes watch his political show, “The Georgia Gang,” but I quit because life is short and the show was spiraling downward into unrelenting horribleness. In preparing to write this post, I pulled up the most recent episode on YouTube and watched long enough to see Williams rail against the New Deal.

Former State Rep. Sally Harrell

Williams also publishes The Crier, a weekly newspaper in Dunwoody, and all pretense of honest journalist aside, he’s covering Georgia’s hottest Senate race, between Republican Sen. Fran Millar and former State Rep. Sally Harrell. Millar has never faced a serious challenge since he was first elected to the legislature 20 years ago, but this year is different. Harrell, who served three terms (1999-2004) and resigned to raise her family, has never lost a race. A key fighter in the Resistance, she has relied on countless small donations and an army of grassroots volunteers to get out her progressive message in a rapidly changing Senate District 40, considered Georgia’s most flippable. Its voters favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by double digits in 2016. Sally won the Democratic primary with nearly 70 percent of the vote. All this makes Republicans nervous, of course. Fran hasn’t responded well.

There’s ample reason for Fran to worry

Who’s crying now?

Word is that Millar resents the fact that he even faces opposition, and it appears that his media sidekick does as well. Williams’ bias is ridiculously transparent. For example, his latest headline: “Millar honored by governor, his opponent makes an appearance.”

GOP Sen. Fran Millar

At first I thought the reactionary Republican was going to give Harrell the Voldemort treatment by not even mentioning her name. But actually, he ended up devoting more verbiage to the challenger, although he heaps the praise coverage on Millar. Williams follows his introduction of her with this nugget: “Harrell, who has yet to announce her candidacy to readers of The Crier …”

Really? What is that supposed to mean? There’s no reason Williams couldn’t do his job by grabbing his rotary phone, dialing the operator, and asking to be connected with Sally for an interview. Then again, I don’t think news coverage is what he’s talking about. I mean, if you want a good seat in the dinner theatre, you gotta tip the maitre d’, amIright?

But the senator has longstanding reservations, so he’s going to get the best seat in the joint. Over the years, Millar has spent $23,472 on ads in The Crier. What this proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that the senator has too much money. More on that later.

I’ll say this for Harrell. She’s thrifty. Besides the army of volunteers, she gets her campaign manager to work for free, while Fran is shoveling out big bucks to a consulting firm and apparently paying to place yard signs. Again, he hasn’t ever faced a serious challenge, so he probably doesn’t know how to respond effectively. So, expect to see more Millar ads in The Crier!

Get off my lawn!

Grumpy Old Man

To add an unintentionally comic touch, Williams also brought up a months-old non-issue that he’s intent to keep harping on: Sally marched in the Dunwoody Fourth of July parade. Apparently, there were too many Democrats, and Williams was upset that the city would tip over, or something. Or maybe she deprived the city of revenue. I’m sure that the main problem for Williams was Harrell’s strong showing of support on her opponent’s home turf.

Bottom line: Unbelievably petty.

In the end, Williams just comes across as a grumpy old man, flailing because his old buddy, advertiser, and political soul mate appears to be in trouble in this year’s election.

Get used to it, Dick!

Disclosure: I’m biased, too. Ask me why. (One reason: Millar voted for this)


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