Often you will see my name and then a comma and then “Former three term Liberty County Republican Party Chairman”. For people that have lived here a long time and know any the history of Liberty County politics, holding this elected office is no claim to fame. It is just a claim to being active longer than most. In fact, if others want to put it in the fewest words, holding that title guaranteed they could call me one more “loser” in a long line of loser chairmen. Over 100 years of nothing but losing is what I signed up to try and help change. And my chairmanship, along with the people that ran on the Republican ticket before 2004 was - well we were forerunners at best to what is now the dominant party in the county. We had that one victory that we pointed to and said that would be the start of the Republican Party being the dominant party in Liberty County. That victory was Bobby Rader. He knew the odds were against him and that if he ran as a Democrat he could probably win easily, but Bobby is not that kind of person. He made a clear statement. That he "read both platforms and watched both parties" and he "identified with the Republican party... win or lose.”
One of the candidates that ran back in those days was Eddie Shauberger. He ran for County Judge and then for State Representative several times. I was the County Chairman when he was seeking office. Recently Mr. Shauberger made a calculation. He heavily invested himself and his time in an all out effort to re-elect Henry Patterson sheriff. His efforts and the efforts of others who either do not live in Liberty County or they have just recently moved here, are far and above the efforts most people have ever made to elect someone. I had no idea Shauberger had such a personal interest in the sheriff’s race until I hinted that I would support Bobby Rader. I knew Mr.Shauberger tried to use our friendship and the idea an incumbent almost always wins to twists my arm to support Patterson. And I also knew Mr. Shauberger was relentlessly trying to sell Ray Akins on the idea almost every Republican would go to the polls and vote for the incumbent. I knew he kept saying it would be good for him and Ray to be associated with Patterson and the Outsiders. It was weird how his focus almost seemed to be solely on this race. We had no idea why it was so important to him. Our alliance and our commitment to each other was to work hard to elect the best conservatives we could find ("no matter what happened to us") – but Shauberger never argued anything but some mysterious personal interests.
Readers could stop here and say who cares who we were for, but (even though I agree) again I beg you please read on. I made up my mind early that even though this might be an ugly political year that most anyone that knows Bobby Rader knows he is not only a good man, but a highly qualified energetic man that could help make our sheriff department better. Since Ray had met with Harry Patterson several times I thought I better get busy if I wanted to convince Ray to vote for Bobby. But it wasn’t long before Ray went from a skeptic to a Rader backer. Ray was easy to convince. I told him to consider Patterson’s record and that definitely helped. Then I pointed to Rader’s experience and the general public feeling and my personal knowledge that Rader has a great deal of integrity and… their record of party affiliation was important because it helped prove his integrity: “Rader ran as a Republican and risked everything when he could have won as a Democrat while Henry ran the first time as a Democrat”.
Ray switched to being a Rader fan early, but told me not to tell Eddie because he did not know what Eddie was up to but that this race had some kind of unusual hold on him. We played along with Eddie but thought we knew his motivation must go beyond some ridiculous idea that ANY sheriff could help the legal problems involving Eddie’s company. The legal cases would be completed before the outcome of all these elections. (Read further and find out how that our suspicions that Eddie was abnormally committed to this race were verified!)
I tried to get a feel for the race so I could change Eddie’s vote. I addressed Eddie’s issues – Eddie had said Pattterson was an incumbent and that incumbents almost always win. He called him a shoe-in. But as I began to do my research as near as I could tell there were no prosecutors in the District Attorney’s office or the County Attorney’s office who thought Patterson deserved re-election. The County Clerk, the District Clerk, the”Black Robes". Nobody I talked to seemed impressed with the job Henry Patterson was doing as sheriff. As a matter of fact, on the streets talking to average people when I could more openly ask people about the race, I rarely found anyone that would say they were voting for say “Patterson”, almost 100% said Rader. So I tried to persuade Mr. Shauberger that if his intent was to work to elect the person most of the people in the courthouse and in Wal-Mart, and at the ball game were voting for, then he had the wrong side. Whatever his point about “Being on the same side as the Outsiders was” I still don’t understand. Other than he told Ray and me over and over he was helping them investigate a long list of Liberty County citizens.
Here is what I want people to know (not who Richard Pegues is voting for or who Eddie Shauberger is voting for– people could easily look at my track record as Chairman and Eddie’s track record and say who cares – these two men are losers. But they should also look at my record of activism and conclude my interests are what they have always been... like or not, I have worked to elect Republicans for almost two decades and it has cost me, not benefited me). I want you to know while Shauberger was still acting like a good friend, he was recording meetings he had with us and meetings he had with Bobby Rader. He was telling people my wife is a “whore” and that I used her and political connections to get our son out of trouble years ago. He was cursing my name as bad as any sailor has ever cursed a man. He was doing this while he was calling Bobby Rader “brother”. He was doing this to me and my family – when the closest thing we have come to any kind of public scandal is our public defense and friendship with Eddie Shauberger. He was doing this while he was stiffing Ray Akins and leaving him paying almost all of the legal bills and still lying to Ray about his ownership in IHHC years later. He was doing this while he was being ordained a Baptist preacher down in Oak Island.
When I arranged to meet Mr.Shauberger and to attempt the steps set out in the Bible to settle differences, I knew he was taping me. I very purposely made sure to mention several times what he called my wife and the threats he made toward my son and how it made me feel like hitting him in the face. I tried to make sure this man would have a chance to listen to his stupid tape and think how some jury he was preparing for or his buddy the Sheriff would view HIM in the tape. I tried to give him a chance to stop whatever devious plan he was involved in. I tried to get him to stop calling my wife names and threatening my family when he knew I had done just the opposite of what he was saying he would allege if I continued promoting Rader on the internet. But Shauberger shut the tape off eventually and admitted what he had done (I have proof of what he said without his tape). But later he said if I try to bring blackmail charges or defamation charges against him, he will play his tape. My conclusion: he was not there to come clean and stop whatever it was he was up to. He was there to try and get something to fight off a possible lawsuit. He must have loved me saying “What I ought to do.......”. He must have really thought it was clever saying what poor health he was in and how me saying I felt like punching him in the face caused him so much angst. This man who had the audacity to say what he said about my wife and say half the courthouse was involved in some plot to make a teenager’s case turn out like almost every other similar case,was now saying he was somehow the victim?
Whatever Mr.Shauberger is up to it appears to be more comprehensive than we originally thought. He has laughed at Ray and me for reminding him to stick with our original pact and push to elect the best conservatives we can elect. He has focused on the legal problems he has connected to his ownership of a home health care company. He has now been heard bragging that Rader will be shown to be associated with Ray Akins and that he has cut all kinds of deals with people in his criminal and civil lawsuits to make Akins take a fall right before the primary. He has also intimated in the past that they “Will make Bobby look like a real slime-ball before election day”. And in case you haven’t seen it this group of terrible people have already used the internet to cover me with all kinds of reasons I should lose my job and go to jail. All lies. All baseless and ridiculous.
Politics can be an ugly business. Especially when good ole boy politics is being uprooted. Mr. Shauberger and a very imaginative, very black-hearted re-election team have plans for getting people to see people the way they need them to. They have plans to continue to demonize two easy targets – Ray Akins and me. And we accept their attempts to lump us in with some of the people who truly have committed criminal acts around here as part of the price of being so involved. We are honored to have served as a decoy from some of the public officials they have clearly prepared to target..... even though their tactics seem like they add up to an ignorant political strategy
But it is the next stage that is not acceptable. The effort to divert attention away from all of those reasons people have in the back of their minds of why we need a new sheriff. The effort to whitewash and embellish Patterson’s record as sheriff and to suddenly come up with all kinds of new revelations never before heard about a long time justice of the peace - it is all too much! We are proud to say we would like Rader to be elected sheriff - just as we thought the best candidates in the last election were Brown, Shivers, Morefield, Chambers, Cain, Warner, and others. It is too much to say what these people are suggesting. They want to tell voters our support of Bobby Rader is a reason to vote for Patterson because there is not any better reason to vote that way.
Contributor, Richard Pegues