Saturday, June 19, 2010

Celebrate Freedom & Emancipation. Vote Pat Gibson-Hye this Tuesday...

June 19th is an important date in history, as it marks the date in 1865 that Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas and announced to the people of Texas that the Emancipation Proclamation was gonna apply to them too.

Here in Florence, "Juneteenth" has a little bit of a different history thanks to Councilman Ed Robinson. Back in 2008, Robinson got $7400 from the then City Council to host a Juneteenth festival in Florence. If you don't remember attending that Juneteenth festival, maybe it's because the festival didn't take place until August 23, 2008. Or maybe part of it did take place in June as Robinson has never seemed too sure himself. Coincidentally, the festival took place about two weeks after people (namely Larry Smith with The Community Times) started wondering what happened to the money awarded for the festival. When those questions started being asked, Robinson certainly didn't offer up any specific date, simply saying it would be held "in August."

Then, the festival gets set up, with the press appearing to being informed about day beforehand. Robinson subsequently submitted "receipts" which he says shows his festival cost about $14,000. (Interesting that the receipts "document" the band costing $7500 when just days before in remarks to the press, Robinson stated the band cost almost $6000).

Uh...maybe Robinson really did have the festival "rescheduled" before people started asking questions. Then again, maybe he scrambled to throw something together to cover his ass once Larry Smith and The Community Times sunk their teeth into it. We do know that his "receipts" were so convincing that not even Robinson's old council, chaired by his buddy, "the most progressive black mayor," Frank Willis wanted to touch funding for the festival again.

So, East and North Florence, 3 days after Juneteenth, you'll have to the opportunity to get rid of a representative that has given the festival a bad rap here in Florence. Vote Pat Gibson-Hye in Tuesday's runoff.

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