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Savage Truth: Good Deeds Get Punished

Do Americans enjoy putting down positive initiatives?

This is a column of opinion and analysis by 13WMAZ's Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Randall Savage.

Clare Booth Luce created the catchphrase, "no good deed goes unpunished."

Luce used the term to underscore the notion that positive actions are often undervalued or greeted with hostilities. Luce was an author, politician, U.S. Ambassador and public conservative speaker.

The catchphrase came to mind recently while reading Facebook postings about the race for the District 141 seat in the Georgia House of Representatives. Four Republicans are seeking the position that opened when state Rep. Allen Peake decided against seeking re-election.

They are Gary Bechtel, real estate; Shane Mobley, healthcare provider; and Todd Kinebrew, financial planner; and Dale Washburn, real estate.

Prior to running for state representative, Bechtel served on the Bibb County Board of Education, Bibb County Commission and the Macon Bibb Commission. But his service on the board of education generated the most critical and untrue comments in the social media chatter.

The Facebook naysayers are trying to link Bechtel to the scandal and alleged criminal activities surrounding former Superintendent Romain Dallemand. They either don't know, haven't bothered to check or don't care about whether the venom they're spewing is true.

It is false.

There are eight members of the Bibb County Board of Education. Bechtel was one of the three board members who voted against hiring Dallemand in the first place. The other two were Lynn Farmer and Susan Sipes.

Led by Bechtel, those three also cast the negative votes when Dallemand produced his now defunct Mandarin Chinese proposal. Under that scheme, all Bibb students would be required to learn Mandarin Chinese in order to maker their way through the school system.

Because Bechtel voted against Dallemand's hiring and Mandarin Chinese debacle, Dallemand retaliated by releasing confidential educational records of Bechtel's son. Bechel filed a lawsuit against Dallemand because of that.

Bechtel, Farmer and Sipes also worked together to bring to light the fact that Dallemand slipped through a $7 million payment for computers and software in violation of school procedures and bidding guidelines.

Those software products remain unused in a county warehouse.

Since then, Dallemand and some midstate businessmen have been indicted on federal bribery and fraud charges.

Bechtel isn't mentioned in any of those indictments. But he, along with Farmer and Sipes, should be commended for bringing attention to the alleged wrongdoings and getting the ball rolling toward the federal investigation of Dallemand and some of his local business associates.

If anything, that shows Bechtel despised Dallemand and couldn't get the embattled former superintendent out of Bibb County fast enough. Bechtel would be more likely to toast the federal prosecutors than say a kind word about Dallemand.

Many times tempers flare and untruths fly in the heated political arena. Both of those unfavorable traits have manifested themselves in the District 141 contest.

Eligible voters should support their preferred candidates. But while making those choices, it would be good if voters would leave the bull manure in the barnyard where it belongs. Don't let Luce's five-word catchphrase enter the election.

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