Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

I just read the editorials on the director of the Chamber of Commerce refusal of announcing the Democratic Veterans float!

I was in the parade pulling a display for the Flat Rock Creek Fall Festival, and she screwed up  announcing  the festival she’s the head of. OK, I wasn’t too concerned, because I was told this was her first time announcing the parade.

My wife told me on the way home, the whole parade announcing was messed up. Then, she told me that the director refused to read the comments for the Democratic Party’s Veterans float. I was very peed off when I heard that, and thought it was not only a slap in the face to the county Democratic residents, but also the veterans who fought, were injured, and died to allow our political process to operate in a fair and just manner! Not to mention that there were many vets who are Democrats, and Republicans!

I really think if this is her true feelings towards the residents of Paulding County, she should resign, or be fired immediately! She’s not running the Chamber of Commerce, sounds more like the Chamber of Communism! Our county has a lot of both parties, also many independent voters, and to treat 90 year old veterans with this much disgust is deplorable! Paulding County residents deserve much better than being treated like this!

What’s our festival going to be like in September?  A three day Trump rally? I do enjoy speaking of politics, as seen in these pages, but there’s a time that it’s not appropriate, the parade and festival are some of them!

–Mike Porter


Ruschel Apologizes

Jane Taft is a Patriot. I’m saying that, because she was willing to stand up and fight against what she perceived as a slight to the Democratic Party. In her Letter to the Editor she called for my public apology. You have it, Jane. My apology though, is not for “dishonoring the right of every American to express their politics peacefully”. I did absolutely nothing that kept you/or the Democratic Party from “expressing your politics peacefully”. I believe your float went right along the parade route, unimpeded, the words/advertisement someone had sent in to be read, were read, albeit after a 5 second delay, as I injected my attempt at levity. At that point, someone ran toward the announcer’s table saying something that I couldn’t even understand and then your float had passed and the next entry was announced. Perception is an interesting concept. Always subjective and always open to interpretation. I actually thought/interpreted your (or another person’s) dash toward the 3 of us announcing, as that you were coming up to play along or provide fun banter directed back toward me about my comment. You can imagine my surprise when I read in your Letter to the Editor that you were shouting at me to “be an American.”

What I’m sorry for is that I didn’t realize that such a deep feeling of polarization and frustration apparently exists for some people even thought the election is long over. I just got home, back to Paulding, a few months ago and so wasn’t really up to speed on Paulding County politics, except to have heard that we went 70% for Trump. I truly am sorry, because if I had understood that, I would never have even  considered trying to inject some fun. I would have taken extra measures to have praised your float, the hard work that went into it’s design, and made an especially big deal about your honoring of our Grand Marshals. Huge kudos for doing that, and you guys really did have one of the best floats there. It was definitely a squandered opportunity to bring a little healing. Just to be clear, I do extend my deepest apologies.


Shannon Ruschel


Letter to the Editor: Apology Accepted!!

The comments that I made to Brandon Wobler were intended to be fun and light hearted, reflecting my personality and take on Washington politics. The comments that I actually made, which did not include, “I’m going to burn your house down” were in reference to the ever keen, highly sought after, political analyst, Madonna. We’re back to perception again.

If I had made those same observations/statements to my beloved but now deceased brother-in-law, Paul Keeler, he would have laughed uproariously and handed me a beer. It’s funny how things get twisted and embellished. The latest story I heard was that I pointed my finger at Brandon as he was leaving, swore at him and threatened to burn his f…ing house down. For someone who’s favorite songs are “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, (highly recommend that you utube it) and Mercy Me’s song, “What If”, it’s incomprehensible to me that it has come to this. Immediately upon learning that Brandon had misinterpreted my words, I wrote a letter of apology and asked him to forgive me.

After advising The Chamber Board that I had sent the letter, they also asked me to apologize to Brandon in person and to the Democratic Central Committee, which of course I agreed to do. I attempted to reach out to Brandon via his home number in an attempt to set up a time of his choice and location to apologize in person and find out when the Central Committee was meeting again, so I could offer them an apology as well.

As I type this letter, I have not heard back from him. As the days went on and things got more and more convoluted, it became apparent to me that I would need to resign my position as Executive Director of the Chamber. Let me be very clear, here. The Chamber Board did not ask me to resign. I made the decision to resign out of a personal sense of responsibility because I did indeed, violate the by-laws of the Chamber by introducing politics into a discussion, identifying myself as a Republican and all while wearing my official Chamber Badge.

In retrospect, I think I was hyped up on way too much coffee and almost no sleep in the days leading up to the parade. That’s not an excuse but an observation. I hold no ill-will toward the Chamber of Commerce or its Board Members. They did what they had to do by writing the letter they did, distancing themselves from me. We all know how the real world works…at least most of us. It would be my deepest wish that we would ALL put this behind us, return to being civil to one another and get on with the business of our lives.

As an aside…I have had a tremendous amount of support shown to me by Democrats and Republicans alike over these last couple of weeks and I thank you for it. As you can imagine I’ve been absolutely devastated by all that has transpired and only want to move on.

As another aside…Brandon just called me and we have talked. I apologized again and we agreed that this whole thing was blown completely out of proportion. It’s time to move on. I can report that my brother and sister, sages that they are, have requested that I have my jaw wired shut. Not likely to happen but I’ll take it under advisement as I run off to listen to Pharrell! The sun is out, the American Flags are still waving and in spite of everything that has happened over these last 2 weeks, I’m still really happy to be home!!!


Shannon Ruschel