There are three Democratic and two Republican candidates for DeKalb County State’s Attorney. Only one of them, GOP hopeful Clay Campbell, has brought up the issue of corruption in local government. The following is my transcription of Campbell’s closing remarks during the Chamber of Commerce candidates’ forum last Tuesday. I’ve stripped out an “uh” or two and ignored his tendency to drop the “g” (e.g. “lettin'”). To listen for yourself, visit WLBK for the podcast.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have to begin the process of healing our community. We can’t keep going back and forth: Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative, name calling–we can’t do that anymore. It’s not good for us, and it’s not a good model for our children. We have to again restore the respect for government officials that they deserve. We have to elect people that will come forward and serve the public good.
I’m reminded of this Victor Wogen matter here with the City Council of DeKalb. I remember reading in the paper that, you know, this individual apparently felt it was within his power to refer business of the City of DeKalb back to his own business without letting anybody know what was going on. I find that appalling. I’m surprised it wasn’t investigated. I was completely enamored and, and surprised to see people standing actually out in front of the city hall of the City of DeKalb protesting that. And that shows me, ladies and gentlemen, that we’re not dead, that we do care. That when you have actions like that, that are taken by public officials that were given the trust of the taxpayer, that if you don’t do that [interference/unintellible] you oughta be investigated a little bit.
We have to show people that you have to respect the law–everybody has to respect the law. And when people don’t respect the law, it trickles all the way down from the oldest citizen to the youngest citizen. And no longer does anybody want to pay taxes; no longer does anybody want to follow the rules. Now everybody thinks, “If they’re above the law, then so am I.” We can’t do that. We have to get back to those people that were standing in front of the city hall down there a couple weeks ago and say, “Look. This is our government and we’re gonna take it back, and we’re gonna make it serve our citizens.” Because ultimately, we pay for it.