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CLEMONS: The ugly side of opposition to Rivian
Shane Short
JDA recruiter Shane Short speaks at a public meeting about the incoming Rivian EV plant Jan. 11 in Social Circle.. - photo by Covington News/File Photo

The Rev. Tommy Fountain has been a gracious host as 1025 Church in Monroe has become a gathering spot for big events.

One such event was Monday night as the Walton County Republican Party welcomed Gov. Brian Kemp. Brother Tommy was thrilled to have such dignitaries in his house of worship, but made it clear respect would rule the day.

“Do not make me escort you out,” he told the hundreds in attendance. “I’m just asking you to be gentlemen and ladies.”

That’s a pretty sad commentary on our world these days, but also not terribly out of order. I’d heard some chatter about opponents of the Rivian deal coming to confront the governor, who signed off to bringing the company’s heavy-duty truck plant to Walton and Morgan counties.

To say the least, this project isn’t universally loved. There has been opposition, particularly in the Rutledge area of Morgan County. (Oddly, I’ve heard very little in the Social Circle area or elsewhere on the Walton County side of the deal.)

But Kemp did not mention Rivian in his remarks to the Walton County faithful, even as his brother-in-law, state Sen. Bill Cowsert, did.

Worse is the news out of the Morgan County Citizen that Shane Short has decided it’s pointless to continue with town hall meetings over the project.

Folks, this can and will be a good deal for our community. But name-calling and threats aren’t the way to register your opposition.

Be better before Brother Tommy throws you halfway to the Auto Zone.

David Clemons is the editor and publisher of The Walton Tribune. He previously served as the publisher of The Covington News.