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The email exchange Scott Hollowell did NOT release

Cal Beverly's picture

Since school board candidate Scott Hollowell has made my editorial column published July 25 the centerpiece of his final days of campaigning, it might be helpful to include what Hollowell is omitting from the original email exchange.

Hollowell is charging that “... I’ve been denied publication in The Citizen ...”

That is a lie. Read the exchange below — particularly the email that explicitly conditions Hollowell’s spending money with The Citizen on printing, for free, his and his supporters’ letters in The Citizen — and draw your own conclusions.

Also note that Hollowell slipped right on by the question about whether he voted for Janet Smola the last election. He continues to demonstrate his stealth evasions and all-round slipperiness.

And he is just flat lying about his and his supporters’ access to being published online at TheCitizen.com.

Below is that email exchange, from the beginning.

-----------------------—

The original email from me to Hollowell.

Subject: Questions about telephone survey and your positions — 7/12/12 1:49 p.m.

Scott, last night I received (and participated in) a telephone political survey that asked only three questions about support for the T-SPLOST, Rep. Westmoreland and you.

That naturally got me curious. For the record and for publication, please answer the following questions:

1. What did you or your campaign pay for this poll and who suggested it to you?

2. What implications should I draw from this interesting confluence of you plus a congressman plus a regional sales tax? Are you all getting your backing from the same pool?

3. Rumors abound that you are the Smola-backed replacement on the BoE, intended to carry on Smola-like policies and positions in the future.

So I ask you, flat out, no slippery evasions, (1) how long have you known Janet Smola, (2) have you and she or anybody connected with her had any conversations about her decision not to run again and your subsequent decision to run in her place, (3) did you vote for Smola the last election, (4) based on what you know about school board votes in the past year (and I assume you ought to know something about those votes), how would you have voted on the following issues:

(A) Settlement of the NAACP lawsuit;

(B) Appointment of Leonard Presberg to the BoE;

(C) Selection of Presberg as chairman;

(D) The future status of Tyrone Elementary School?

Scott, I've been doing this a long, long time. I am expecting honest, up-front answers from you. Please do this voter (and other voters who will read about this) the courtesy of explicit answers ("the whole truth and nothing but the truth") to the above questions.

--
Cal Beverly
editor/publisher
The Citizen Newspapers
Fayetteville, Ga. 30214
editor@thecitizen.com
website: www.TheCitizen.com
770-692-2561

------------------------—

Late that night Hollowell replied:

From: Scott Hollowell, 7/12/12 11:32 p.m.

Cal,

What’s your deadline for the responses?

Cheers!

Scott Hollowell

Financial Advisor

LPL Financial

2011 Commerce Drive

Suite B101

Peachtree City, GA 30269

------------------------—

The following day, this is the first email I received:

On 7/13/12 3:24 PM, Scott Hollowell wrote:

Cal,

Diann wants my campaign to spend more money advertising in The Citizen.

There is no reason to beat around the bush on this – you clearly support Barry Marchman and have blocked my “letters to the editor” and my supporters’ “letters to the editor”.

Marchman supporter “letters to the editor” are running in the Citizen even after your “policy change” email – which if you were serious about carrying through on your policy shouldn’t be running.

The Citizen provides an important communication vehicle for the community. You are doing a disservice to the community by failing to provide a balance of viewpoints regarding the School Board election.

Bottom line – because of your unfairness I must state – if you want my campaign to spend advertising money – we need to come to an agreement about my letters to the editor and my supporters letters being printed.

I also found it amusing that you warned me not to be evasive or slippery.

I left 2 messages for you when I announced I was running so we would have a chance to get to know each other and you could ask me questions about my vision for the school system. You can confirm with John Munford. That is hardly the actions of an evasive candidate.

Let’s talk about this.

I can be reached at 678-788-6009

Cheers!

Scott Hollowell

School Board Candidate

-------------------------—

Seven minutes later, this email from Scott Hollowell arrived in my inbox:

From: Scott Hollowell 7/13/12 3:31 PM

Cal,

Regarding your questions – here are my responses:

Scott, last night I received (and participated in) a telephone political survey that asked only three questions about support for the T-SPLOST, Rep. Westmoreland and you. That naturally got me curious. For the record and for publication, please answer the following questions:

I am also curious about the poll and I have to say I do not appreciate my name being attached to other campaign issues. I do not know who is conducting this poll but it is certainly not us. I would ask you to please share information on who has put together this poll as I have a few questions for them.

Your first two questions are moot points – it isn’t my poll.

1. What did you or your campaign pay for this poll and who suggested it to you?

2. What implications should I draw from this interesting confluence of you plus a congressman plus a regional sales tax? Are you all getting your backing from the same pool?

3. Rumors abound that you are the Smola-backed replacement on the BoE, intended to carry on Smola-like policies and positions in the future.

So I ask you, flat out, no slippery evasions, (1) how long have you known Janet Smola, (2) have you and she or anybody connected with her had any conversations about her decision not to run again and your subsequent decision to run in her place, (3) did you vote for Smola the last election,

I have heard this before. It is reasonable to conclude people who would like to see Barry elected are spreading the rumor, using the Citizen blogs, as their preferred method of communication. It is a malicious rumor with no foundation in truth.

Ben Nelms has seen me attending School Board meetings for the past 3 years. I have children in the school system and am a strong advocate for an excellent public school system. I have also been concerned about the financial issues impacting the school system from both the state and FCBOE. So I attend meetings, became an informed citizen and am running for School Board. Also I view the health of the FCBOE as a keystone for the community. I want to do everything possible to ensure we have a strong school system.

I am active in the community and frankly enjoy being a viable citizen of Fayette County. Fayette County is my home - I want to see it flourish and I want to serve as a member of the School Board. Having served on a number of committees and active in the business community, I know a lot of people – including Janet. I have no idea what “Smola-like policies and positions in the future” are – nor am I interested. I have my own viewpoints on ways to address challenges facing the FCBOE. As far as I’m concerned, Janet served her time as an elected school board member and has chosen to step down which opens up her seat. I am running for it and hope I get elected.

I have my opinions on the issues you listed below. What I am not privy to is the information the school board had to make their decisions. You certainly have more information per Ben Nelms expertise and FCBOE insider contacts – so I’m taking your questions as you simply asking for my “opinion” not on you dissecting a “right or wrong answer” but rather you’d like to get a sense of how I view these issues. Fair enough?

(A) Settlement of the NAACP lawsuit;

Philosophically, I am in favor of at-large voting. I would have like to have seen the School Board coordinate a defense with the County Commissioners. However, I have not been privy to legal counsel provided to the School Board or to the County Commissioners.

(B) Appointment of Leonard Presberg to the BoE;

Dr. Tolbert’s death created a disruption to the school board and a new representative from his district needed to be chosen by the school board members.

I heard the candidates speak at a school board meeting and thought there was good representation of citizens who had qualifying backgrounds. I do not have the information the school board had to make their choice so I really can’t say if Presberg was the best candidate. The school board voted unanimously for Presberg - clearly they felt he was the most qualified.

(C) Selection of Presberg as chairman;

The elected school board members chose him. You’d have to ask them. The important question for me is – do I think I can work with him. And yes, I do. I believe an important quality to being a good community leader is the ability to work with people with different viewpoints. I believe I can work with Leonard Presberg as well as other current school board members.

(D) The future status of Tyrone Elementary School?

I am concerned for the welfare of Tyrone if Tyrone Elementary School closes. I think there is an important community tie into Tyrone Elementary that can’t be callously underestimated. There is also a costly septic tank issue, costs of running Tyrone Elementary and new school sitting vacant down the road. These are exactly the kind of problems I want to be elected to resolve.

It’s easy to look at Tyrone Elementary and see a financial liability but I look beyond that. I see a community that is deeply rooted into Tyrone Elementary that will be badly hurt by its closing – because I am committed to Fayette County I want to find solutions to challenges that will benefit the growth of our County. I’ve got some ideas on this – but it would be premature to discuss them without having all the facts – and those will only be available to me if elected.

Cheers!

Scott Hollowell

Financial Advisor

LPL Financial

2011 Commerce Drive

Suite B101

Peachtree City, GA 30269

-------------------------—

Next is my reply to Hollowell:

From: Cal Beverly 7/13/12 5:16 PM

Scott, you are in error that Marchman supporters’ letters (for Marchman) are running in the PRINT edition of The Citizen. NO candidate or candidates’ supporters’ letters have appeared in the PRINT edition since the first week of July.

Please specify exactly which print edition you allege I ran a Marchman letter following the change in editorial policy announcement. You will find none.

I reviewed ALL letters to the editor that appeared in the print edition since early April. Qualifying for the posts did not occur until May 23-25. During that span up until today, only three letters have appeared in print that even mentioned the school board races:

1. April 24 — County Commissioner Steve Brown criticized Janet Smola and Terri Smith. Neither you nor Mr. Marchman, of course, had even announced your intention to run.

2. May 15 — Mary Kay Bacallao wrote about her candidacy. She did not mention you or Mr. Marchman, and of course, she is running for a completely different post than yours.

3. May 29 — Again, Steve Brown criticized Smith/Smola, but made no mention of either you or Marchman. (By the way, as many have found out in the past, had Mrs. Smola or Mrs. Smith chosen to send me a letter to the editor in defense, I would have printed it in the very next edition before any other letters.)

That’s it: That’s the extent of printed letters to the editor mentioning any school board races prior to July 4. Since July 4, all political candidates’ or candidates’ supporters’ letters have been published ONLY online and NONE has appeared in the print edition.

Thus, I find NO evidence for your assertion, “... you clearly support Barry Marchman and have blocked my “letters to the editor” and my supporters’ “letters to the editor”. Marchman supporter “letters to the editor” are running in the Citizen even after your “policy change” email – which if you were serious about carrying through on your policy shouldn’t be running.”

Scott, you are wrong and I suggest you should not make unfounded accusations that cannot be supported by any cursory examination of the evidence.

ALL candidates’ and candidates’ supporters letters (including your announcement) have run in the online edition, where print costs are not a factor.

For example, your letter headlined “BoE Post 1 candidate Hollowell: ‘More realistic and in-depth understanding’” and beginning with the line, “This is my first run for a political seat and I find my campaign for Post 1 School Board Representative invigorating,” was posted online July 5 and continues to be available online.

So, please specify exactly how is it that I am “doing a disservice to the community by failing to provide a balance of viewpoints regarding the School Board election.” As demonstrated above, you have not been singled out for unfavorable treatment nor has Marchman been singled out for beneficial treatment on my editorial pages to date.

As for your charge of my “unfairness,” please specify exactly how I have been unfair to you so far in this campaign.

As for your spending any money with The Citizen, you will have to make that business and political decision yourself without any “agreement” with me about anything.

However, I repeat my request that you answer my original questions to you contained in my email of July 12 with the subject line, “Questions about telephone survey and your positions.”

To paraphrase Forrest Gump, “Evasion is as evasion does. Slippery is as slippery does.” I am being completely fair with you: Either your answers or your refusal to answer will be printed.

I also will correct your subject line, “advertising issue.”

This is not an advertising issue. This is a truthfulness of candidates issue.

Cal Beverly
editor/publisher
The Citizen Newspapers
Fayetteville, Ga. 30214
editor@thecitizen.com
website: www.TheCitizen.com
770-692-2561

---------------------------—

Hollowell replies the following day, and note that he indicates he understands that all such letters are now being published online, not in the print edition:

From: Scott Hollowell 7/14/12 12:49 p.m.

Cal,

I am referring to the email that Joyce sent Phil Smelley. I’ll include it below my signature line.

It is my understanding that Phil submitted and it has not appeared in the online edition.

I get the print vs online aspect of it. I understand they are not appearing in the print. I am talking about the online edition.

I did you send you the answer to your questions. You should have received them around 3:30pm yesterday. Let me know if you didn’t. I have an email delivery receipt but not a “read” receipt.

I am busy during the day running my business.

If you need further clarification, you can reach me on my cell phone 770-344-9640.

I am heading out now to knock on more doors and meet more voters.

Cheers!

Scott Hollowell

Financial Advisor

LPL Financial

2011 Commerce Drive

Suite B101

Peachtree City, GA 30269

---------------------------—

The single letter that Hollowell was referencing as not having been published was published online the following day and has been available since at this address: http://www.thecitizen.com/articles/07-15-2012/school-board-needs-hollowell.

NO letter from Hollowell or a supporter intended to be published as a letter to the editor has “been denied publication in The Citizen,” as alleged by Hollowell.

Mr. Hollowell, the candidate for our school board, has been caught in a lie. He is now exposed for an interesting quid pro quo proposal involving his campaign money and publication of his free letters.

Now you know a little more about Scott Hollowell that he isn’t telling.

Cal Beverly, editor and publisher
The Citizen

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