Let me preface this column by pointing out that while I do live in Cobb County, I am not represented by the county commissioner who allegedly hired a voodoo priestess to put a curse on a political rival.
Thankfully, I live in a part of the county which is not in Annette Kesting's district. This whole ordeal is straight out of the "How to embarrass the people you were elected to represent" play book.
In case you have not yet heard the TV news stations talking about it, here's what happened. A South Carolina voodoo priestess has come forward, claiming Kesting allegedly wrote two bad checks to pay for a ceremony in which a curse would be placed on a gentleman by the name of Woody Thompson, so he would either, get cancer, or die in a car accident. The Georgia Bureau of Investigations is looking into the case.
Thompson defeated Kesting in a primary runoff earlier this year.
Naturally, Kesting denies the whole thing, and she may be innocent, but this is not a column to discuss that aspect of the issue.
When we elect people to office, especially county commissioners and school board members, this is not the kind of situation we expect or want to see happening. This is the kind of behavior you expect from a vertically-challenged sheriff, who thinks he's a comic book superhero.
It seems as if no matter where you go, elected officials have some degree of quirkiness to them. Growing up in Cobb County, going to college in Mississippi, and eventually working in Clayton County, I am convinced that the majority -- not all -- of elected officials may have a little bit of strangeness to them.
I want to stress that I am not saying all politicians are strange. There are some very level-headed elected officials. Lord knows the last thing I need is a group of people running around screaming, "He said all politicians are messed up in the head!" That is not what I'm saying.
Again, I want to repeat this to make it perfectly clear -- I am NOT saying all politicians are messed up in the head.
But, there are a few out there who are ... well ... out there.
I'm reminded of a job interview I had with a weekly newspaper in North Carolina's outer banks shortly after I graduated from college. The publisher told me about some members of the local county commission acting in defiance of a proposed ordinance. The proposed law would have banned public urination.
Yup, it would have said it is against the law for a person to urinate outdoors.
The way it was told to me, one of commissioners got up during the commission meeting and exclaimed, "No one's going to tell where I can and cannot [expletive]!"
If I had gotten the job, these are the people I would have been covering. However, I did not get the job, and I eventually ended up at a newspaper in Florida. As a sports reporter in the Orlando area, I didn't have to cover elected officials. Therefore, the closest I got to absurdity was a fistfight breaking out between athletes at a game involving a Baptist private school and a Lutheran private school.
In essence, we should acknowledge that we will never reach a point where we only elect Plain Janes or John Does to the county commission. At least not as long as a Ziggy Stardust is running against them. Sure, Ziggy may seem normal from time to time, or he/she may give a good speech at a forum, but it's still Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars are still lurking somewhere in the shadows.
Curt Yeomans covers education for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.