Commissioner Calls Confederate Flag “Racist Sh*t” After Honoring Confederate Veterans
HERNANDO – The midterm election is well over a year away but Board of County Commissioner candidates who are up for re-election have already drawn lines in the sand, and the mudslinging has begun.
Last week’s fracas over the Brooksville Confederate Monument opened the door for heated debate among Hernando County residents. When it came down to a final decision, there was no question where the BOCC stood when they all agreed to keep the monument, and even build a fence to protect it. But one Commissioner has come under fire after he recently referred to the Confederate Flag as “Racist sh*t,” just days after claiming to strongly support Confederate Veterans.
Weeki Wachee resident, Larry Ball contacted RNRF after a heated dispute with County Commissioner Jeff Holcomb. Ball tells RNRF that the conflict began last Sunday when he tagged Holcomb on his Facebook page with a Confederate Flag campaign pin, that reads “Clinton – Gore, 1992.” Holcomb responds to Ball, “Dude, don’t tag me in that racist sh*t.” Ball replies, “What racist s**t?” Holcomb writes back, “Don’t tag me with Confederate flags.” Ball tried to explain that he was just trying to show the “hypocrisy” within the Democrat Party. Holcomb responds, “I spent all afternoon promoting a fundraiser. I don’t want a damn Confederate flag on my page.” Holcomb continues to chastise Ball, by writing, “So, I guess that makes you Champion’s bitch for repeating his lies about me!” Holcomb is referring to fellow County Commissioner Steve Champion in his statement.
Just three days before his conversation with Ball, Holcomb voiced his deep conviction for protecting the Confederate Monument. In an email Holcomb writes, “I am confused by how an act of violence in VA has provoked a movement to remove confederate monuments? The monument in Brooksville has been there for over 100 years. Why now, what has changed and what is the basis to remove it? This monument honors Confederate Soldiers, when I see it, I think of the Civil War where this country lost 600k lives in the fight to eradicate slavery from this country.” Holcomb further stated, “My research has found that the Confederate soldiers are Veterans of the United States, as veteran myself I would be opposed removing a monument to Veterans without documentation showing that they are not veterans. I think we should look at this as an opportunity to move beyond all the rhetoric and communicate with all sides to make our community stronger!”
I asked Holcomb to comment on the conversation and what he meant by Commissioner Champion’s “lies.” Holcomb declined to explain his contradictory position but he did provide the following statement: “For the past 4-5 months special interests that lobby the County Commission have been spreading inaccuracies about me in an effort to gain favor. I’m disappointed that some commissioners are repeating these falsehoods without knowing the facts. As an elected official who just returned from the Southwest Asia fighting terrorists on behalf of this nation, my only allegiance has been to do what’s right, not what a lobbyist wants me to do. In addition, I find it extremely offensive that someone is “tagging” me in social media posts to further their own political agenda. I will continue to fight those who look to tear us apart and strive to make Hernando a better place to live, work and play.”
I asked Commissioner Champion to comment on Holcomb’s accusations and he replied, “I never talk about Commissioner Holcomb unless it’s a vote that’s on public record.”
It should be noted that the Clinton – Gore Campaign pin has not been proven to be an officials pin released by the campaign; however, some 20th century Democrats were known to support Confederate heritage.
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