Bully tactics used by John Raber in his The Dahlonega Nugget column on September 2 ought to be an embarrassment to all members of the Lumpkin County BOC.
Chairman Raber says, “The BOC, at the advice of legal counsel, took the necessary steps to protect every citizen who wants to, and has a constitutional right to, sign a petition. The BOC made certain that those who sign a petition were doing so without exposing themselves to a fine or imprisonment.”
The only one exposing himself is John Raber. He has clearly shown himself to be nothing more than a small time, playground bully spewing false statements in an attempt to make people afraid to sign a petition. Fear is the weapon of a bully who does not have truth on his side.
The constitutional right to petition government cannot be limited by the Lumpkin County BOC. If Raber continues threats of fines and jail in a effort to limit the rights of his constituents, some young lawyer is going make a name and a lot of taxpayer money challenging Lumpkin County while defending the constitutional rights of its citizens.
As an attorney, I challenge John Raber to present a single case in the United States where a person has been fined for signing a petition. Imprisonment for signing a petition or for collecting signatures is ludicrous!
The greatest fear for a bully is to be successfully challenged. Having the people stand up to him by daring to sign a petition, is clearly getting under Raber’s skin.
Bullies thrive by attacking the vulnerabilities of others. Raber knows that a lot of folks in this county are afraid of speaking out. He mentioned during the Work Session the fear and distrust of “these mountain folk.” Such emotions are well founded when people think someone is trying to take advantage of them.
By setting up absurd and unnecessary requirements, the BOC attempts to prevent county residents from signing petitions by making them afraid. Members of the BOC are the ones in violation of the law; the people have nothing to fear. Only the BOC should be afraid.