The flier was circulated in the Hickory Flat community and in surrounding neighborhoods, and alleges Hubbard raised taxes seven times in seven years, took thousands of dollars in anonymous campaign contributions and gave Ball Ground Recycling owner Jimmy Bobo a “sweetheart deal” for a “stump grinding business.”
The flier was found taped onto mailboxes in the communities, which violates U.S. Postal Service rules, according to postal officials.
Postal Service spokesperson Michael Miles said it’s against postal policy to place anything on or inside mailboxes.
Miles noted the law refers to this act as “evading” paying postage.
“You can’t use a mailbox to evade paying postage,” he said.
The flier lists commission District 2 challenger Channing Ruskell as the tea party favorite.
Ruskell said he was not involved with the fliers.
The flier also lists the Citizens Review and Recommendations Committee to Assist County Government and a phone number as the contact for residents wanting more information.
That committee, chaired by Canton TEA Party Patriot chairwoman Carolyn Cosby, has been critical of the county government.
Cosby on Wednesday said she was unaware of U.S. Postal Service rules and said she hadn’t received any notices of complaints from anyone.
She added the organization from now on will comply with the rules.
“We’ll comply and we are going to mail them,” she added.
U.S. Code Section 1725 prohibits the distribution or mailing of items without paying postage.
“Many people are not aware that it is a violation of USPS policy and law to place items on or in a mailbox,” Miles said. “When this is brought to their attention, they usually refrain from this behavior and there is no need for further USPS action.”
If the violations persist, Miles said the postal service can then collect the mailers and determine how much postage is due to the service.
Once they are able to determine a cost, Miles said they can actually bill the originator for the postage.
Bradshaw Farms resident Dennis Jane said the flier he received was placed inside a plastic bag inside his mailbox.
Jane, the former president of the community’s homeowners association, said a lot of the material on the flier “is upsetting to me greatly.”
He added it was somewhat “stunning” the level of political mudslinging that’s involved in the primary.
Hubbard’s neighbor Barbara Smith also received a flier.
Smith said she witnessed a pre-teenage boy hop out of a four-door pickup truck and placed the flier, which was inside a plastic bag, on her mailbox.
She noted she was also disturbed by the message.
“My husband said this was really dirty politics,” she said. “It was bad. I’m just very disappointed.”
Earl Downs, postmaster for the post office on RiverStone Boulevard in Canton, did confirm the office received calls from residents who got the fliers.
Downs said he contacted Ruskell as his name was listed prominently on the flier and made him aware of the flier. He said Ruskell was sent a certified letter about the issue.
Downs noted Ruskell said he wasn’t aware the flier was being circulated.
Ruskell on Wednesday did say he was contacted by the postal service about the fliers and noted he hasn’t personally seen the fliers.
“This is a ridiculous, nonsensical story,” he added.
He blamed Hubbard for sending out the fliers, and claimed Hubbard has told lies about being an Eagle Scout and attending the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Hubbard in a phone interview slammed the fliers as “filled with inaccuracies and factless accusations.”
Hubbard said his website, www.jimhubbardonline.com has the documentation that proves he achieved Eagle Scout status in 1959, attended Georgia Tech for two years in 1963 and 1964 and also took night classes in 1969.
It also has links to Hubbard’s Vietnam service in the U.S. Army.
Hubbard noted it “hurts me to be falsely accused of things.”
“Of all the campaigns I’ve been involved in, this has been by far the worst campaign when it comes to mudslinging,” he said. “It makes you understand why good people don’t want to run for office.”
Hubbard was a member of the Resource Recovery Development Authority, which was created by the county commission in 2006 and approved a bond rate for a maximum of $18.1 million in bonds.
The bonds were used to relocate Bobo’s company from its former location on Blalock Road near Holly Springs to its current site on Highway 5 just south of Ball Ground.
The county guaranteed financing through the issuance of bonds through the authority.
Hubbard also shared other fliers circulating in the Hickory Flat area.
Another flier contains newspaper headlines from the Tribune and the Cherokee Ledger-News regarding the controversial Ball Ground Recycling lease agreement and says: “Jim Hubbard must be replaced.”
One flier, which says it’s paid for by Channing Ruskell, asks, “Is the county government going to the dogs?”
It also encourages voters to replace the District 2 commissioner with Ruskell who will stand for “honest government.”
It also lists Ruskell’s credentials and labels him as a tea party favorite.
Hubbard did note the rules for campaign contributions don’t require him to disclose donations that are less than $101, and a lot of people donated to him on the premise that they would remain anonymous.
If he were to disclose those people, he added, he would need to consult with them
He noted most of the donations came from “little people” who have contributed $25 or $50.
“It’s just donations from ordinary people and I’m proud of that,” he said. “I’m proud that people struggling right now are taking the effort to give donation to help us get our message out.”