Robinson Responds to 'Wienergate'
Douglasville Mayoral Candidate Rochelle Robinson contacted Douglasville Patch to give her side of the story after being accused of vote buying.
"I would not insult the voters by trying to buy a vote with anything, especially not something as insignificant as a hot dog," Robinson said. "That's insulting to the people and to me.
"The fact is, I was given the hot dogs as an in-kind donation and I wanted to share them with the community. And we were never within 150 feet of a polling station. I didn't personally give out any hot dogs. I didn't say, 'I'll give you a hot dog for a vote.' When people left the polling place, we said 'would you like a hot dog?'
"I just wanted to feed the community," she said. "It didn't matter if you voted or not."
Robinson said she went into several downtown offices to offer employees lunch.
"Mr. Persons is the one who made the complaint," she said. "And then Laurie Fulton called the Secretary of State's Office. When I found out, I asked my supporters to go to another site. Then I waited there for an hour and a half."
She said Cecil Mann was the investigator who arrived.
"Three weeks prior to the election, I called the City and asked if I needed a permit or a business license," Robinson said. "They said I didn't need anything. They said talk to the board of health. I spoke to Robert Gore, a manager. He said, 'Your're fine.' The City or the board of health didn't say check with the board of elections or the Secretary of State's Office.
"I've been texted and told that other candidates have handed out food on election day," she said.
Robinson said she's heard of other examples of candidtes handing out food on election day, including Douglasville's current mayor, Mickey Thompson.
"He's given out Danishes, coffee, donuts and orange juice," she said. "The only difference is, I did hot dogs."
Robinson said Grill King, based out of Dekalb, was the company making the hot dogs. She said Clarkston Chief of the Police Tony Scippo is her supporter who gave the in-kind donation.
"He used to be a deputy sheriff in Douglas County and still has family here and ties to the community," she said.
"My intent was to feed the community and say thank you. When we were asked to stop we took the hot dogs and gave them to a homeless shelter. I'm going to move on from wienergate and continue my race."
A copy of the complaint is included in the photo gallery attached to this story.