Political Activist Says He Is ‘Totally, Absolutely’ Disgusted

Joe Newton, the man behind an anti-Beaudreau website and postcard mailing explains the reasons for his actions.

Political activist Joe Newton says he is not endorsing anyone in the Gwinnett County District 3 commission race.

“I don’t tell you who to vote for. All I tell you is who not to vote for,” he said.

Newton, who made headlines in 2008 during a widely publicized dispute with Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway regarding the commission chairman race between Charles Bannister and Lorraine Green, has focused his attention this year on Gwinnett County District 3 incumbent Mike Beaudreau.

Newton has created a website and initiated a mass postcard mailing outlining his concerns about Beaudreau’s activities while in office.

“If there is anything [on the website] that is inaccurate or untruthful, show me the documentation that it is and I’ll take it down and apologize for it,” he said.

Newton said he began investigating Beaudreau several years ago while looking into several Gwinnett County land deals. According to Newton, he has paid thousands of dollars of his own money to gauge whether or not certain controversial land purchases were justified.

“I do this on my own and I pay for it myself,” he said. “I don’t sneak around doing it.”

That initial investigative effort led Newton to explore other ethics concerns -- issues he has outlined on his website.

“I am totally, absolutely disgusted with it,” he said. “I don’t even want to live in the county with these people.”

Though Newton is firmly convinced Mike Beaudreau should not be re-elected, he said he is not affiliated with or supporting any of the other candidates in the race.

“I don’t care who is elected as long as it is not Beaudreau,” he said. “I don’t care one iota.”

Newton also said he had nothing to do with a recent .”

While acknowledging that Beaudreau has a large support base, Newton maintains that would not be the case if people knew more about the candidate.

“His fans don’t know him. They’ve never looked into who he is,” Newton said.

Newton explained he has invested his own time and money to shed light on what he calls serious ethical concerns.

“I just lay it out there and you make up your mind,” he said.

Beaudreau declined to comment specifically on Newton's activities, saying only, “I’m not going to dignify his actions with a response.” 

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Gwinnett Watchdog July 18, 2012 at 03:29 AM
R, until you provide proof to back up your claims, its just a bunch of anonymous internet chatter.
Brett Harrell July 18, 2012 at 03:48 AM
Beaudreau and I disagree on several policy issues. We do not disagree on honesty, integrity, truthfulness. and worthiness for service. The last person I would seek guidance on electing my County Commissioner would be Joe Newton. Of course, providing full disclosure, he supported Democrat Warren Auld against me in the Republican primary for the Georgia State House. He lost. His chosen candidate is less than he portrays himself to be, unlike Mike Beaudreau who is exactly who he presents himself to be. Agree, disagree, you know where Commissioner Beaudreau stands. His opinion and stance is based on policies he believes are in the best interest of the citizens he serves. Though we may disagree on a policy, I respect his integrity and proudly voice my support for Mike Beaudreau for County Commissioner. If you would like to know more, please ring my cell at 404-966-5804 or email me at brettharrell@comcast.net
Jerome Williams July 18, 2012 at 03:49 AM
Looks like R is still playing his games. From what I hear he's working for Korom but he'll deny it. Funny he always comes up with some phony dirt on the guys running against his boy.
Floyd Akridge July 18, 2012 at 04:42 AM
As usual...well said Brett.
Floyd Akridge July 18, 2012 at 04:49 AM
Joe Newton exposes himself with his own words. You have to wonder why he'd say he didn't care who was elected as long as it wasn't Commissioner Beaudreau. That kind of caution to the wind thinking is nothing short of irresponsibility. Perhaps Joe Newton has motivation which he does not put into writing. Perhaps it's not ethics Joe Newton is upset with but perhaps he is desperate to rid the county of Commissioner Beaudreau's strong leadership, ethics and integrity. Joe Newton...I DO KNOW COMMISSIONER BEAUDREAU. Because of my work I am having to vote by absentee ballot. Today, I voted and the absolute FIRST oval I circled was for Commissioner Mike Beaudreau....SPECIFICALLY because I DO know him.
North Georgia Weather July 18, 2012 at 10:36 AM
All you have to do is look past Joe's wild way of expressing himself and look at the issues that he has raised. It's not about Joe or how he expressed himself, it's about the actions of county commissioners and how they do their job. There shouldn't be so many red flags if everything is on the up and up. If the issues Joe raised weren't the truth, there would quickly be legal action taken to have them removed. Why hasn't that happened? And Jerome, R didn't come up with the "dirt", others did. Do your research and you'll find out the truth. You don't have to dig very deep among Gwinnett County Commissioners to hit pay dirt.
Tom Waters July 18, 2012 at 01:31 PM
It has legs only based on Newton's "facts" and not all of the facts. Every contract entered into by the county is scored and evaluated, based on information such as overall costs, savings, viability of the vendor, etc. Was the Ricoh contract the best one submitted for the county? Those facts didn't fit Newton's "facts", so you don't find them on his website. Also absent is whether or not Beaudreau voted on the contract, or did he recuse himself as he should have in a conflict of interest situation. That "fact" is also absent from Newton's site.
Tom Waters July 18, 2012 at 01:40 PM
If Joe Newton possessed an ounce of integrity and was actually doing what he claims, he would put forth ALL of the facts on a give situation, not just those that fit his needs. His 'sleazy" card and his website are both nothing but an unbalanced rant and an attempt to fix an election. Personally, I don't appreciate an attempt to steal my vote through published ignorance.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew July 18, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Well the equipment is in place is it not? IF NOT, please feel free to completely deny any purchase orders were approved. Have the equipment leases been voted on? Renewed? What more proof is required? Have there been other bids solicted during the period?
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew July 18, 2012 at 01:50 PM
There's no phony dirt required, the actions taken in MAJOR commission policy votes have provided all the proof/dirt needed for those who are really fact based.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew July 18, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Like this Gwinnett Watchdog? Still haven't received a valid reason why 4,500.00 of Kevin Kennerly moneys from 2008 ( and 2006 if a stickler) haven't been returned, sent to Gwinnett for Kevin's outstanding taxes or RETURNED to Kevin’s bankruptcy trustee. This is the fastest proof of integrity or simple fix any campaign could possibly make. Question from Oberholtzer to Beaudreau: Don't you think you should return campaign contributions from Kennerly? http://soundcloud.com/daculapatch/001-a-029-kristi-z0000355 http://www.gwinnettcounty.com/portal/gwinnett/Departments/Elections/CampaignDisclosureReports/CampaignContributionReports/BoardofCommissioners Since the statements continue to “add on” each year until the elected official exits the office, it shows EVERYTHING collected and EVERYTHING spent. So the campaign NEVER really CLOSES per the State of GA. on hand balance 12/31/2010 for Mike B was 9K and change… Kevin Kenerly (Personal) 02/02/ 2008 2,000.00 http://www.gwinnettcounty.com/static/departments/elections/pdf/Michael%20Beaudreau%20-%20CCDR%2003.31.08.pdf http://www.gwinnettcounty.com/portal/gwinnett/Departments/Elections/ Kevin Kenerly (Personal) 09/26/2008 1,500.00 http://www.gwinnettcounty.com/static/departments/elections/pdf/Michael%20Beaudreau%20-%20CCDR%2009-30-08.pdf Kevin Kernerly Campaign 2/15/2006 1,000.00 http://www.gwinnettcounty.com/static/departments/elections/pdf/Kevin%20Kenerly%20-%20CCDR%2003-31-06%20BOC%20District%204.pdf
Joe Anderson July 18, 2012 at 02:48 PM
It is important to understand that Joe Newton isn't an activist; he is a lobbyist. He was under the Gold Dome pitching a land annexation for a Mosque this past session. It is also important to connect the dots. He is a crony of Bill McKinney, Shirley Lassiter, and Charlie Bannister. McKinney is involved with Oberholtzer's campaign and was present at Oberholtzer’s fundraiser at the golf club on Satellite Blvd. Bannister is another of Oberholtzer's mentors. This article by the current Chairman of the Republican Party in Gwinnett lays out Newton’s MO: http://www.gwinnettgazette.com/main/section/6-guests/470-levell-responds-to-last-minute-attacks You see Newton has a history of spinning half truths about candidates that are opposed to his sinister cronies. Ironically he is trashing his own cronies, because their reputations are so tarnished and throwing Beaudreau in with them. The logic is something like you should not vote for Rob Woodall because he served in the same Congress as Charlie Wrangle. It is of course false logic. I am an unabashed supporter of Mike Beaudreau. Mike has worked hard for the people of Gwinnett. He has always been an honest voice for the citizens, even while those around him fell under the spell of Fat Cat developers and their big money. The Fat Cats don’t like Mike, because he says NO to willy-nilly changes to the land use plan. We need Mike Beaudreau fighting for us, thank goodness he is willing.
Adrienne Levesque July 18, 2012 at 04:33 PM
I agree whole heartedly!
Adrienne Levesque July 18, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Joe, Thank you for laying out the connection. This tactic is hallmark J.O.
Adrienne Levesque July 18, 2012 at 04:42 PM
I have visited the website, largely because part of it is based on a tunnel built at my family business. I'd like to see the documentation used to produce the litany of lies I read regarding the tunnel. Mr. Newton is obviously given to producing material that is known to be false, because any examination of documentation surrounding the tunnel clearly states the history of safety issues (including a fatality) on Rosebud Road, the traffic burden, and the process by which we applied for SPLOST funding from both the county and city of Snellville (which was combined with our own expenditures to complete the project). Apparently that documentation was missing when Mr. Newton put his website together. So, Mr. Newton...I'd say you have at least one apology due.
Mike Korom July 18, 2012 at 04:58 PM
@Brett Harrell Brett, this is exactly what I believe the people of District 3 are tired of, country club Republicans that support another candidate solely because of their ‘worthiness of service’ or ‘agree, disagree, you know where he stands’ mentality. The fact is his policies of a socialized trash plan, county ownership of a golf course, Cool Ray Field tax burden, county controlled cell tower taken from a private citizen, SDS litigation etc. all fly in the face of conservative ideals. I asked you at Snellville Days how you can support Mike Beaudreau in light of your HB291 proposal that would disallow anything other property taxes on a property tax bill which flies directly in the face of Mike’s trash plan and your answer was, “Mike and I disagree on a lot of things but he’s been a long time supporter of the party and I’m supporting him.” Interpretation; you’re new to the seen, it doesn’t matter if his policies are not conservative, Mike’s a party man. And this is the crossroads to which the citizens of District 3 have arrived. Will they vote for the guy that’s ‘been there done that’ in the Republican Party and done what HE thought was right for the citizens or will they vote for a true conservative, politically unconnected newcomer? www.mikekorom.com mikekorom@bellsouth.net 404-427-6762 still-to date- no correspondence from the other candidates
George Wright July 18, 2012 at 05:04 PM
It's clear most of you are political insiders concerned only about the candidate whom you support. This is a concern in itself. Some of us are concerned about being represented by people that take advantage of their position. Just go to the Ga Ethics Commission website and examine Beaudreau's campaign contributions. Go to Gwinnett County's website and examine the contracts the contributors have with Gwinnett County - contracts that Beaudreau voted on. To clarify - to benefit themselves or others that give money or favor. Not one of you is discussing whether this public servant Commissioner Mike Beaudreau used tax funds to go to Braves games, funerals, lunches, etc. Not one is denying how he benefits his position through contracts and jobs. Not that you need to speak for him, he could do that himself. I gave him the opportunity. Not only did he not respond, he removed my question on his Facebook. Since this time I have received several public doc excerpts verifying validity and confirming allegations. I understand they will be aired publicly. On a side note: I believe Commissioner Shirley Lassiter had blind supporters like many of you. Most politicians (including misguided ones) can do good deeds. Once they cross the threshold of taking advantage of those they represent, they need to hang up their hat and resign their position. An honorable civilian would take ownership of their actions and if need be realize it's time to call it a day.
Tom Waters July 18, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Who was he entertaining at the Braves Games? Whose funeral? Lunches with whom? I assume they were county related entertainment or meetings, you assume he was with 17 party girls. Is it better th look at ALL of the facts, or just those tha tsuit your needs? On first read I thought you might be an alias for Newton, but your comments are far too close to rationality.
EthicsInGwinnett July 18, 2012 at 06:32 PM
An article giving Joe Newton yet another chance to make his point but the author didn't have the guts to ask him about his: "Roberts also said she has filed a police report in regard to a June 9 incident in which she alleges that a man approrached her residence "apparently to try to frighten me out of the race." Roberts alleges that a man named Joe Newton came onto her property this past Saturday while she was unloading groceries from her vehicle. She said Newton has recently urged her to withdraw from the race because of concerns over her residency. "I immediately called my husband to tell him to hurry home," Roberts said. "I then attempted to take a picture of Joe through my front door, and when he saw what I was attempting to do, he left our property and sped away." Roberts said she filed a police report the next day." http://brookhaven.patch.com/articles/roberts-residency-challenge-ridiculous It does matter who brings forth accusation, whether or not they are accurate, and what the person bringing the accusations forth has to gain. On all those counts Joe Newton fails the smell test. He's in this for his own gain and I guarantee you if his chosen candidate wins he'll try to get his hands on taxpayer money. He's tried it before.
EthicsInGwinnett July 18, 2012 at 06:33 PM
As mentioned above, Newton is a crony of Bill McKinney, a close associate of Charles Bannister. McKinney always has two candidates in a race: Remember Jodie Rosser and Butch Poss? We know McKinney is associated with Oberholtzer's campaign and Jerry has embraced Newton's tactics on his Facebook page. Who is McKinney's other candidate? Korom or Hunter? Since Korom was the only candidate to condemn Newton my bet is Hunter is McKinney's other guy. Be very careful folks. You can't count on Dacula Patch and Joe Newton to bring you the facts, you need to find them out for yourselves.
George Wright July 18, 2012 at 07:58 PM
You would have to ask him although he does not appear to want to talk about the subject. I asked him a yes or no question which he could have elaborated and got my response of being removed. Possibly as a political friend of his and web spokesman for him you can get an answer or perhaps you know it. Regardless of who Beaudreau was "entertaining" at a Braves Game, or visiting or paying respects at a funeral, or lunching, or Christmas party, it should not be paid by our tax dollars. I was shocked the county has expense accounts like private business for politicians. I can understand every now and then having to travel somewhere for county business however his list is ridiculous. I have seen a few pages of his expense report submitted to the county for reimbursement - not all and they were shocking. Lunch, Christmas parties, etc. These expenses could have easily been written off as tax deductions through the IRS. NOT reimbursed by County tax dollars. I don't believe a private business would pay all of these expenses. Confused with your last comment and the backhanded slight is noted.
George Wright July 18, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Your amusing rants are entertaining in light of your name. In all your rants, assassinations, and guessing games of other candidates you fail to have any interest in tax dollars being wasted or self serving politics. If I used your logic, Beaudreau supporters are web bullies who have no interest in good governing or wasting money. I don't believe that would be a fair statement.
Joe Anderson July 18, 2012 at 09:18 PM
This ain’t my first rodeo, but I don’t consider myself a political insider. Perhaps a little background is in order. I am a former Snellville Councilman. I ran with Brett Harrell, Melvin Everson, and Jerry Oberholtzer in 1999. I was elected twice and served my community four years. For the ten years prior to that I had worked as a homeowners’ advocate to stop a $100,000,000 road project that would have primarily benefited a local land promoter and in its wake destroyed the integrity of 33 neighborhoods. During the course of that I was on the Snellville Planning commission, a county study team, and an ARC study team on the US 78 corridor. In those heady days Oberholtzer and I fought the land promoters, the local politicians, and the entire GA DOT as advocates for Gwinnett homeowners. I have known Jerry for more than 20 years, but I don’t know who he has become in the last couple of years. It is very disheartening to me. I am praying for my old friend. I have known Mike for about nine years. I know him to be a man of integrity. He has asked me to serve on one short term panel a few years back, which I did. That’s it, no political favors. We have knocked on a bunch of doors together and received many warm receptions. Mike has held the line on the millage rate despite a sinking digest and has held the line on the land use plan. Cont.
Joe Anderson July 18, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Part of the trap set by these last minute mudslingers is for their opposition candidate to leave their campaign plan and spend hours and days trying to explain vagaries of micro issues they have thrown at the wall. Mike is not going to fall for that--it ain’t his first rodeo either. He is on course and God bless him. I think what people are sick of is mudslinging. Funny thing, Newton’s mudsling has disgusted so many people, it might even help Mike B.
George Wright July 19, 2012 at 03:04 AM
I can appreciate your background and friendship with Beaudreau. How is this relevant to Beaudreau's choices in charging taxpayers for going to ballgames, lunches, Christmas parties, ties with contracts, et cetera? The mudslinging is coming from Beaudreau's camp as well. I find that irrelevant. Stick with the issue. God Bless everyone.
J. Morley July 19, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Well said Mike. Now Korom isnt the only candidate to respond in this blog...Ha! Tommy Hunter for commissioner!
Joe Anderson July 19, 2012 at 10:32 AM
George you have taken the mudslingers bait. Thanks for the blessing though.
Brett Harrell July 19, 2012 at 01:17 PM
@Mike Korom Mike, I believe you misunderstood and misstate my response to you here. Rather than try to "interpret" what I said, simply read what I wrote above. Brett
Gail Lane July 19, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Joe, I know personally of several previously "undecided" voters who are casting their early votes for Mike as a result of the mudslinging. I think when you "sling" it with such a big bucket, you really can't help but get a bunch of it on yourself and very little on the intended victim.
Gwinnett Watchdog July 19, 2012 at 06:59 PM
I just find the country club comment ironic from a man who lives in a country club.


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