An organized group of citizens has come to light after two direct mail fliers were sent to voters.
The first, titled “What is Dariel Daniel hiding?” addresses two state tax liens totaling more than $14,000 Daniel, who is running for Troup County School Board, owes.
The second accuses Mike Freeland, who is running for county commissioner, of wanting to shut down Little League baseball in Troup County.
LaGrange Mayor Jeff Lukken is listed as the attorney and agent, Citizens for the Future of Troup County, which is registered with the Georgia Secretary of State. Lukken confirmed Tuesday he was the listed agent for the group.
“I am a member of ‘Citizens for the Future of Troup County,’ and I was asked to be the registered agent,” Lukken said. “The group represents a number of good people from all over Troup County that are very concerned about the misinformation and vicious attacks on our local institutions and community leaders. These Troup County residents want to provide the facts and set the record straight.”
The group’s president is Nancy Green. Green, a community volunteer, is perhaps best known as the Troup County resident who filed a complaint against Bill Gilmore, chairman of the Troup County Republicans, when Gilmore tried to get her to write a letter saying she would not vote for President Barack Obama in November. Other listed officers of the group are Vice Chairman Ricky Wolfe, who is chairman of the Troup County Commission, and Drew Ferguson IV, secretary, who is mayor of West Point.
No one with the citizen’s group would speak Tuesday, but a press release was issued.
“Citizens for the Future of Troup County is a group of concerned citizens that assembled together for the betterment of our government,” the press release said. “Too many untruths have been told in the past few years to Troup County, and we are here to display the facts as they are being told to our citizens.
“Our group is legal and being funded by citizens from all walks of life. Our area and country have incurred some very tough financial times. Now is not the time to allow agenda-driven individuals an opportunity to hijack what we have all worked so hard to build here in Troup County. We are blessed to have been afforded more opportunities than most areas of Georgia and the nation as a whole, and we want to make sure the future is bright for all of our citizens.
“We have and will continue to get out the truth for our upcoming elections. Mr. Dariel Daniel has unpaid taxes and, we believe, should be disqualified from running for office. If you are going to be in a position to raise taxes or spend tax payer money, you should have paid your own taxes.
“Mr. Mike Freeland said in his own words in the LaGrange Daily News ‘It does not make moral sense to burden these people with higher taxes to pay for ‘world class’ facilities that benefit only a very narrow and specialized segment of the citizenry.’ These are his own words, not this group’s words. Mr. Freeland is a candidate for county commission and obviously wants to stop funding for our recreational departments and go to a volunteer-based recreational facility. It would be nothing short of a disaster.”
Freeland responded to the accusations on his campaign website:
“I have never held a position of converting the Parks and Recreation Department into an all-volunteer entity,” he said. “I have never held a position that would “shut down little league baseball in Troup County.” Persons making such claims are completely misrepresenting my position. There are continued calls from government officials to spend more taxpayer money on recreational facilities, I am merely providing an alternative and innovative approach to achieving enhancements to recreation without causing further tax burdens upon county residents.”
Daniel responded on his Facebook page:
“I will not explain my taxes and refuse to engage in rumors and mudslinging,” he said. “J.K. Boatwright handles my taxes and that’s all I need to say. I will add that Georgia wants to tax me on money I made in Texas where there is no income tax and we are fighting that battle now.We have filed an extension. Slinging mud and trying to tear my character down will not work…especially when we’re talking about the IRS.