Local News

May 8, 2014

Neff: ‘Snake’ reference was to politics, not personal

A former campaign chairman for David Pennington said comments he made at a political gathering in Ellijay recently about the state House speaker’s late father were in reference to that man’s politics and were not personal.

Dalton resident Phil Neff spoke in support of Pennington, the former Dalton mayor who is challenging Gov. Nathan Deal in the May 20 Republican primary, at a political event in Ellijay on Sunday. During the event Neff made some comments about House Speaker David Ralston, who is running for re-election in District 7 in the Republican primary. Several candidates and political figures, including Sam Snider, who is challenging Ralston in the primary, attended the event, according to a political blog of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“Ralston — I’ve known David Ralston — I knew his dad in the Georgia Republican Party. He was a snake from the word go. David is the same way,” Neff is quoted as saying.

The comments met with criticism in the blog Political Insider and on political website Peach Pundit. Neff said he’s gotten some backlash from the comment about Ralston’s deceased father, Willard Ralston, a former clerk of court in Gilmer County and an active leader in the Republican Party.

Neff stressed the comments weren’t on behalf of Pennington’s campaign.

“I do regret saying (that) against an individual that has already passed on ...” Neff said. “I did not mean for that to reflect upon his personal character. I’m talking from a political standpoint.”

Neff said the comments were in reference to Willard Ralston’s leadership in the Republican Party, which he believes diverged from party principles Willard Ralston said he would uphold, and what he said is similar behavior from David Ralston.

Pennington, who was at the event, said he didn’t know Willard Ralston.

“I’m running for governor,” Pennington said. “(Neff’s comments) had nothing to do with me. That had nothing to do with my campaign, any of that.”

Neff said his comments regarding that race, as well as some comments he made regarding Deal, were made after he was given a chance to speak at the event. Someone in attendance recorded the comments and provided the recording to Political Insider, according to the blog.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Little library 1 mlh.jpg Little Libraries, big goal

    Whitfield County just received a new library.
    And better yet, 26 more are on the way to the region.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Picture 3.jpg Rock solid

    A great number of things have come and gone since 1974.
    One that hasn’t: a small Dalton school founded by parents wanting a unique learning environment for their children.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vann House Day '14 6 mlh.jpg History comes alive at Vann House

    SPRING PLACE — In the early 1800s, the 1,000-acre plantation belonging to Cherokee Indian leader James Vann was a bustling place.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local congressmen agree with Deal

    Regarding news last week that approximately 30 unaccompanied minors from Central America, who had crossed the southern border into the United States, were sent without warning to Dalton last year and enrolled in Dalton Public Schools, Republican politicians representing portions of Murray and Whitfield Counties agree — state and local school officials deserved to know in advance, they say.

    July 26, 2014

  • Former chamber location 2 mlh.jpg Plan could cut flooding, stormwater damage in Dalton

    On a recent day, McClellan Creek flowed gently through Harlan Godfrey Civitan Park. But some park goers who live near the area say that even a mild rain can turn the creek into a torrent that eats away at their property.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Civil War anniversary: The Battle of Crow Valley, May 9-12, 1864

    The Atlanta Campaign began during the first two weeks of May 1864 in and around Dalton. Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s strategy was to target two of his armies, about 80,000 men, against Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee at Dalton. Then, while Johnston’s attention was diverted by these forces, he would secretly send his third army, about 25,000 troops under Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, in a flanking movement to the southwest through Snake Creek Gap. Sherman’s goal was to break Johnston’s railroad supply line some 15 miles south at Resaca and trap Johnston’s Confederates in Dalton.

    July 26, 2014

  • New church being  built mlh.jpg Church construction continues

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Avans.jpg Three arrested in arson plot to claim insurance money

    Three people have been arrested for their role in a fire at a Chatsworth home as part of an insurance scam to collect money, officials said.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Investigation into MFG chemical accident continues

    An investigation is still ongoing after a MFG Chemical employee was injured earlier this month at a plant on Kimberly Park Drive.

    July 25, 2014

  • Judge sets $100,000 bond for Cohutta man accused of incest, molestation

    A Cohutta man charged with incest, aggravated sodomy and child molestation was granted a $100,000 bond over the prosecutor’s objection on Friday.

    July 25, 2014