The Campaign Spot

Ah, the Constituent Service of Sanford Bishop’s Staff!

I put Rep. Sanford Bishop, Georgia Democrat, on my list of surprisingly vulnerable Democrats at the beginning of the week. Like clockwork, there is a sign that Bishop and his staff aren’t ready to run a tough race:

U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, said he has reprimanded his local agricultural specialist aide, Jamey Crozier of Edison, for the terse message Crozier left on Calhoun County farmer and fertilizer dealer Edward Wilkins’ phone in late March. Bishop said he plans to take no further action against Crozier.

“Hey, Edward, this is Jamey,” Crozier said in the voice mail, a copy of which was obtained by The Albany Herald Monday. “My boss man (Bishop) heard what you said there awhile back, so don’t think about calling me about no f****** FSA money anymore.”

“Apparently Jamey was offended by what he heard, which he said was made as I was getting into my car,” Bishop said Tuesday. “I did not hear the comment. A while later I got wind of the incident. I reprimanded him and said we would never threaten to withhold services from constituents. He thought he was protecting me and got caught up in the heat of the moment.

“It’s an unfortunate event for everyone involved, but as far as I’m concerned the matter is closed.”

Crozier contends the message regarding federal Farm Service Agency funding was left after Wilkins made a slur against Bishop following a discussion in which Wilkins expressed his displeasure over Bishop’s vote favoring passage of federal health care reform. Wilkins denied making any such remark, which is alleged to have occurred at the Peanut Proud Festival in Blakely in late March.

Did Crozier leave the message because Wilkins used bad language, including allegedly the n-word, while criticizing the congressman? Or was it merely public criticism that was enough to set him off and spur him to threaten to withhold government assistance? (It is interesting that Wilkins doesn’t say anything like, “how dare you use that word” or anything like that.)

Republican Mike Keown, who is challenging Bishop, argues that the situation requires more than “a slap on the wrist.”

Language warning in the YouTube video below; the F-bomb is not bleeped out.

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