News Mayor of Atlanta town shuts down festival because his feelings were hurt

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by dawg, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

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    College-Park-Arts-Festival-2015.jpg

    There won’t be an arts festival in College Park this fall, in large part because somebody was mean to the long-serving mayor.

    In a council meeting in June, Mayor Jack Longino cast the deciding vote against the festival, saying he was blocking the event because organizers campaigned against him in last year’s election.

    “I think that sometimes the do-gooders in this city need to figure out where you want to be and what you want to be and how you want to be,” he said after the vote.

    Longino accused opponents of saying “mean” things about him during the campaign, including that he was corrupt and racist.

    “When you can come to this community and you can say those kinds of things and you want to kick me around and expect me to support you? You got another thought coming. I’m tired of forgiving people who treat people bad,” he said.

    The naked, political score-settling involved in the cancellation of the long-running College Park Arts Festival is kind of breathtaking. People often suspect government officials of using their positions to punish their opponents, but to actually hear someone say it is unusual to say the least.

    But Longino wasn’t done. When a reporter for the South Metro Neighbor last month asked him about the festival, Longino threatened the newspaper. He said he would pull the city’s legally required advertisements, such as announcements of city meetings or zoning decisions.

    “The paper should not be writing stuff like that. And if you write something that I don’t like, and you make me mad, we will quit using y’all as our city organ,” he told the paper. “We will find somebody else to use. We’ve come close to doing that before.”

    A chilling effect

    To their credit, the Neighbor ran the story anyway, including the mayor’s threats, but Longino’s behavior has had a chilling effect on political discourse in town. In fact, festival organizers and members of the local arts community were reluctant to talk to me at all.

    “There are a lot of people scared to talk,” College Park resident Fritz Engelmann told me.

    Engelmann, who has lived in College Park for a decade, was offered to me as a surrogate for people in the arts community who don’t want to speak out publicly against Longino, in part because they hope they can mend fences with the city fathers.

    Hollie Manheimer, executive director of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, said Longino’s public comments verge on using official power to stifle political expression.

    “Regardless of the circumstances, free speech cannot be inhibited by hurt feelings,” she said.

    Apart from his hurt feelings, Longino said he wouldn’t approve a permit for the festival because the weekend requested conflicts with another important city event — Woodward Academy homecoming.

    The private school, one of College Park’s most prized assets, has hosted the arts festival in the past, but declined to do so this year because of the conflict with homecoming. Festival organizers took the opportunity as chance to move the festival downtown, a proposal favored by the city’s Main Street Association.

    Longino said that is a non-starter. The city can’t handle both events at the same time, he said. But if that was the mayor’s objection, he was acting on a hunch. He said he had not asked city staff if they could accommodate both the homecoming and the festival.

    “I don’t know. I haven’t asked that,” he said. “In my opinion, we can’t.”

    Longino said he told festival backers they could choose another weekend, but that’s problematic.

    For small artists and crafters, fall is an important time. Artists hop from festival to festival selling their wares. Engelmann said the College Park festival could not change weekends without bumping up against competing festivals in nearby cities. And while organizers had hoped they could work out their problems with Longino, Engelmann said they decided to cancel this year’s event out of fairness to the artists.

    “They couldn’t keep asking artists, ‘Hold on, we’ll have a date for you next week,’” he said.

    Woodward President Stuart Gulley said the school has no objection to the “traditional date” of the festival.

    “Woodward objected to the date only to the extent that the festival needed to be housed on our campus,” he said.

    Festival organizers prepared two options for moving the event downtown, but neither received consideration from the council. The annual festival brings in about 7,000 visitors and 120 vendors, and organizers estimated the gross economic impact at more than $278,000.

    The festival website now has a banner announcing this year’s event is cancelled. “Contact the city to find out why,” the website states.

    Settling grudges

    Losing the festival is a big disappointment to supporters, many of whom have moved to the city in recent years and see College Park as an undiscovered gem in metro Atlanta.

    “I tell people all the time that College Park is one of the wealthiest communities I’ve ever been around,” Engelmann said. “It had nothing to do with monetary values. The wealth we have is the families, the relationships and the diversity we have. By the council taking offense by somebody choosing to support a different candidate, it’s really tearing our wealth down.”

    There is a friction between old residents and new in this blue-collar suburb adjacent to the airport. With a population of just about 15,000, new five-bedroom homes priced in the $400,000s share the same block with the two-bedroom bungalows offered for less than $100,000.

    The Longino family has deep roots in College Park. Jack Longino, 62, has lived his entire life in the city. He has served as mayor for 20 years, a position his grandfather, George, held a century ago. For four decades, the mayor has run an auto repair shop a stone’s throw from the City Hall, and in his comments about the festival he referenced his long tenure several times.

    He also spoke numerous times about the disrespect he felt his opponents showed to his wife, whom he referred to as the “first lady.”

    “They talked to my wife on the street and called her my sister-in-law’s name,” he said.

    Longino said he feels like the one who is being wronged, and compared festival organizers to unruly children or disruptive students who have come seeking a favor.

    “You expect me to bend over and forget what you did to me yesterday? No,” he said.

    Longino, who won reelection in November by 36 votes, said he “absolutely” is referring to statements made during the campaign by his opponents.

    “They thought they had it won, and when they lost they all said, ‘Oh, hell,’” he said. “You can’t go around being mean to people.”

    Is he using his official position now to settle those grudges? “I could be,” he said.

    “Only this,” he said, tapping his heart, “knows why I voted.”

    But, in case anyone is confused, he added, “In the political world, if you want something from government you dang sure ain’t going to go around and talk bad about them.”

    http://www.myajc.com/news/news/loca...s-political-score-blocks-arts-festival/nsDMJ/
     
  2. FishySausage

    FishySausage Original Nuttah VIP Gold

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    What a clown.
    I really hope this poor excuse for a mayor gets his ass bounced next election
     
  3. face palm

    face palm Well-Known Member

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    as long as Guam doesnt tip over I'm ok
     
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  4. scoobyla

    scoobyla Well-Known Member

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    imagine if he started a thread here and chriza posted a cheeseburger, he'd prolly have the site shut down
     
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  5. yaddc

    yaddc Well-Known Member

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    I had tickets for that.
     
  6. ChimneySweep

    ChimneySweep Well-Known Member

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    Retaliatory shots fired. Good for him. I hope this is the beginning of something beautiful. :clap::tflip::pray::jumpclap::cheer2::freebird::beer:
     
  7. ELMACO510

    ELMACO510 Resident Asshole VIP

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    What's conveniently absent from this article is this POS scum bag's political affiliation. That's right, you guessed it, he's a racist democrat. He's your run of the mill anti-American, anti-Constitution democrat.

    BUT, you know what, the people of College Park get what they deserve. A racist democrat. Blacks are so convinced (by their own people and the media) that liberals are going to help them. In reality they are intentionally and willfully oppressing blacks. Really this situation is no different that of Hillary, Bill, and Barrack. They're just to damn stupid to see it.

    That said, you get what you ask for. Enjoy your shit sandwich College Park, GA.
     
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  8. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

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    Did you really?
     
    yaddc likes this.
  9. hugh jasol

    hugh jasol white trash on dope Gold

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  10. ELMACO510

    ELMACO510 Resident Asshole VIP

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    Exactly!
     
  11. yaddc

    yaddc Well-Known Member

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    NASA Naaaaa only foolin
     
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  12. Tipsey Russell

    Tipsey Russell VIP Extreme Gold

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    if you're a grown man and you quietly hold a grudge--and use any power you have to silently get back at people then good for you


    if you're a grown man and admit you're being a dick because you got your feelings hurt then you're a faggot
     
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  13. yaddc

    yaddc Well-Known Member

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  14. BrulesRules

    BrulesRules Just grab 'em in the biscuits Gold

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    Sounds like this guy took a lesson in Government by Hillary, "what's in it for me?"
     
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  15. idiotbox

    idiotbox Looking for a dime and found a quarter. VIP

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    Born and raised in college park, wouldn't shed a tear if a dirty bomb was detonated there.
     
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  16. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

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    :fil:
     
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  17. slab0meat

    slab0meat negative creep

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    People do irrational things when their feelings are hurt. I've seen the horrors firsthand.

    :(
     
  18. Savryn

    Savryn Active Member

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    Elections have consequences. You piss off the incumbent be prepared for the fallout.