Anti-semitism charges in Macon-Bibb Commission Runoff


Anti-semitism charges in Macon-Bibb Commission Runoff

From the Macon Telegraph:

District 2

Henry C. Ficklin and Larry Schlesinger, both members of Macon City Council, hope to represent a district that sweeps along Riverside Drive and Broadway. The race is less than amicable.

Ficklin said Schlesinger got out of a years-old complaint about alleged meeting violations only because state Attorney General Sam Olens shares Schlesinger’s faith, Judaism. Schlesinger is a rabbi and City Council member Charles Jones, who faced similar allegations about the open meetings violations, is a pastor.

“I believe if I shared the faith with a priest of my faith, that I’d be hard-pressed to take any kind of reprisals against them and would find some language that would excuse them,” Ficklin said. “I do believe that, yes. … The fact is, he broke the law. Nothing was done. He was given then an opportunity to conform to the guidelines that the law provides. He refused.”

Schlesinger, asked if he regarded Ficklin’s claims as anti-Semitic, paused for a long time.

“I think it’s an absolutely outrageous statement that does have prejudicial overtones,” he said.

Ficklin said his statements are about the Jewish faith, not about Jewish ethnicity, and therefore are not anti-Semitic.

Schlesinger is distributing copies of an email he says comes from Olens, which states that Schlesinger is not under any investigation.

Olens’ office confirmed Friday that an investigation of Schlesinger and Jones found no violation. The Telegraph also asked Counsel to the Attorney General, Daryl Robinson, for a response to Ficklin’s comments.

“The office will not dignify the offensive religious bigotry underlying the second question with a substantive response,” Robinson wrote in an email.

But the two candidates are separated by more than the ethics claims. Ficklin says Schlesinger’s supporters actively encouraged a September candidate, Paul Bronson, to stay in the race to siphon off votes from Ficklin. Bronson has endorsed Schlesinger since his September loss.

via Last-minute campaigning, controversy mark Macon-Bibb commission runoffs | Elections |

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