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Minnis: I’Ll Win Leadership Fight

FNM leader Dr Hubert Minnis unveiling his 'Roc Wit Doc' slogan in the House of Assembly, pictured with deputy leader Peter Turnquest and Loretta Butler-Turner, who is to challenge for the leadership at the upcoming convention. Photo: Yontalay Bowe

FNM leader Dr Hubert Minnis unveiling his 'Roc Wit Doc' slogan in the House of Assembly, pictured with deputy leader Peter Turnquest and Loretta Butler-Turner, who is to challenge for the leadership at the upcoming convention. Photo: Yontalay Bowe

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis said he has no doubt that when his organisation convenes its highly anticipated three-day national convention next month he will remain the FNM’s chief.

If the event goes as Dr Minnis has confidently predicted, it would be the third time that he was voted into the party’s top post.

Dr Minnis told reporters yesterday that he had no concerns about a leadership challenge from his party’s former deputy leader, Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner.

Mrs Butler-Turner and Senator Duane Sands have joined forces to contest the FNM’s top two leadership positions, with the latter vying for the deputy leader spot.

Following the morning session of the House of Assembly, Dr Minnis seemed unbothered by the news, expressing certainty and repeating his newly coined campaign slogan that everyone would “Roc with doc”.

Earlier, while making his contribution to the 2016/2017 budget debate, Dr Minnis was resolute as he addressed issues within his party, saying: “We are now preparing for a convention and I will enter as leader and I will emerge as leader of the Free National Movement.

“The delegates, Mr Speaker, will ‘roc with doc’. The young people will ‘roc with doc’. The Family Islands and the entire Bahamas will ‘roc with doc’. My deputy will ‘roc with doc’.

“As I look at their faces (government MPs) I can see their grimaces. I know, Mr Speaker, they are prepared to ‘roc with doc’.

“The 5,000 plus children that I have delivered into this world who are now able to vote will ‘roc with the doc,’” he said, referring to his time as an OB/GYN. “I say to them, Mr Speaker, I delivered (you) safely into this world and it is now time to deliver me and the FNM.”

He added: “Speaker, I thank the almighty God for giving me the fortitude to persist in my duty in the face of a firestorm of criticism from within and without.”

Later responding to a question from The Tribune about the leadership race, the embattled party leader said he believed in democracy. He said the party’s delegates would remember him as a leader with concrete plans and elect him as their leader once more.

“It is a democracy,” he told reporters. “Once it’s a convention all positions are open.

“I believe in democracy, I have no doubt that I will go in as leader and I will come out as leader. I am not concerned about that.

“The Bahamian people know what I am all about. The Bahamian people know that I am more concerned about uplifting them and I want to create tax free zones. I want to ensure that their electricity stays on. We will make sure there are decreases.

“I want to make sure they have more disposable cash so that they can spend it within the communities.

“They understand, they understand. I want it clear. People say I am against Bay Street. No I am not against Bay Street. I only want to see the wealth and opportunities spread to the inner city and beyond.”

“I will go in as leader and I will come out as leader and I know that if you were there you too would ‘roc with doc,’” Dr Minnis added.

Mrs Butler-Turner and Dr Sands finalised their decision on Saturday and informed Dr Minnis and FNM Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest of their intentions on Sunday.

The pair ran for the same positions in 2014 and lost to the current leadership duo, though they did not run as a team on that occasion.

“It is not lost on either of us that we would’ve attempted (to win posts) at the November 2014 convention but all I can say is that in life, defeat is only final if you don’t get up and try again,” Dr Sands said when contacted by The Tribune on Sunday.

For her part, Mrs Butler-Turner said she endorsed all Dr Sands had to say about the matter. She declined further comment.

The leadership battle comes at a delicate time for the FNM, as Dr Minnis is believed to have only agreed for the early convention to take place after six parliamentarians, including Mrs Butler-Turner, threatened to seek his removal as leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Assembly.

Dr Minnis’ tenure as leader has been defined by intra-party friction, creating fractures in the party.

Nonetheless, when he was challenged in 2014, he defeated Mrs Butler-Turner by more than double her number of votes.

Comments

Honestman 4 years ago

If Doc comes out of the convention as leader it will be as leader of a hugely diminished party. This is the "last chance saloon" for the FNM. If the delegates get this wrong then the FNM will be an irrelevance come May 2017.

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sheeprunner12 4 years ago

The questions that we must all ask HAM:

What will you do different if you win the FNM leadership race for the third time?????? ............ Yes or NO??

Can you unite the party's factions once and for all????????............ Yes or No??? Can you challenge the PLP's propaganda machine in the next election????????? .................. Yes or No???

Can you create a viable platform with a vision for a future Bahamas????? .............................. Yes or No??????

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TalRussell 4 years ago

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by TalRussell

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Economist 4 years ago

He has learned well from the PLP. He is playing to the grass roots. He is offering "pie in the sky".

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Abaconian 4 years ago

Yeh, it's a joke. I can't believe some people are still trying to play like Bay Street "runs the Bahamas" and is holding everyone else back. Nonsense. It hasn't been that way for years. In fact, many Bahamians with money - black and white - old and new money - are terrified about what is going on. People want to get their money out of the country. People are afraid to invest. Prohibitive taxes and gov. red tape are preventing small Bahamian businesses and Bahamian entrepreneurs from success...meanwhile foreign investors like the Chinese play by their own rules and negotiate favourable terms with the gov. often with little benefit to Bahamians... and some people still want to put the blame on Baystreet? Get out of here. That's nothing more than a pathetic political move to try and appeal to the masses. It's also a case of shooting yourself in the foot. Once you see the wealthy Bahamians start to move money out, close up business and sell off property (as is happening now)... you know we are in for trouble. Maybe they should try and make it easier, not harder, for BAHAMIANS to do business in our own country. People may not like the connotations associated with "Baystreet" but these are the very people who own businesses, and create jobs for Bahamians, and create wealth. When they suffer the rest of the Bahamas suffers, and vice versa.

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TalRussell 4 years ago

Comrade Abaconian, what say yee about the Bay Street Boys meddling to the tune of 500 Hundred thousand dollars to foots the hotel, plane tickets, meals, etc, etc of out island delegates willing to travel on 27-29 July 2016, to the red party's hastily called convention called for no other reason than to remove Minnis as the party's leader to be held at the the Meliá Nassau Beach Hotel? If reds were smart they would put an immediate halt to this Bay Street Boys often used colonialism tactic.

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Abaconian 4 years ago

Even if that were true, how is that a colonial tactic? And how can you imply that the Bay Street Boys are colonists when they are just as Bahamian as anyone else? The only form of modern-day colonialism I see going on in this country is coming from the Chinese and other foreign investors whose interests are often short term and/or purely self-serving. They have more control over our government than the BayStreet crowd do. Also, the "Baystreet Boys" and other wealthy Bahamians (both black and white) actually live here permanently. They have children here, they own houses, businesses, property, they employ people, they pay taxes, they vote. I think their interests are more in line with the future interests of the country than you seem to think.

Have you ever stopped to think that maybe people are just fed up with the corrupt, inept PLP government, and want to to see an FNM leadership in place that can win the election and get the country back on its feet?? You sound like you are stuck in the past. Time have changed. This isn't about installing a gov. that will only pander to the interests of the wealthy in this country, this is literally about saving the country from economic and social collapse. If wealthy Bahamians are putting in an effort to try and prevent that then I don't blame them.

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Victor 4 years ago

I am a delegate from a family island seat. I have been contacted by neither Doc or LBT's teams with offers to pay for flights or hotel rooms and as far as I am aware, that's the case for my entire delegation. Furthermore, I don't think anybody in our group would be persuaded one way or the other by free lodging.

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licks2 4 years ago

Do you actually think when you write? Reread your post. . .IT IS CALLED CIRCULAR REASONING. . .in other words. . .your affirmation ended where your denial begun! Lol!

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NassauBoy77 4 years ago

I agree. He is playing to the grassroots in hopes that they will blindly follow.

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licks2 4 years ago

The cut-behind the people put on the yes vote workers who thought "the grassroots are dumb and will follow anything". . .will be placed on any party or person that think they can "swing" the people with foolishness! Those days are long gone fella. . .the PLP will tell ya that!

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sheeprunner12 4 years ago

Now is the time to recall Bumpy and set Abaco free!!!!!! ........ the islands south of Exuma such as Long Island also need to petition Britain to re-join Old Dominion

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crimestopper 4 years ago

Why not, the queen is still on our monies and the privy council won't let us excite the laws of our land i.e. hanging, lets all be brits

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Economist 4 years ago

Why are you even contesting it?

You had 2 years as Leader. You failed to discharge your duty as Leader.

When you were elected, I had no problem with you as Leader. If you had discharged your duty, many people, like myself, would have been supporting you today and there would be no challenge.

Your failure, after a full 18 months as Leader, to fill the position led me to look for a replacement or another party. I was frustrated with waiting for you to show some leadership.

If you are re-elected I will not be voting FNM. Not only do I have no faith in you now, but I don't think that you have a grasp of what is really needed to save our Bahamas.

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DillyTree 4 years ago

Minnis is my MP, but has done absolutely nothing for this constituency -- take a look around. And this is an easy constituency, so if he can't manage this, how will he deal with the Bahamas as a whole?

If Minnis is on the ticket in 2017, I will simply stay home. I will not vote for him. Period.

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sheeprunner12 4 years ago

Dilly Tree ........... are you asking that Doc spend his own money to improve the constituency?????? ............ what is your understanding of the role of an MP???? ............ can you imagine having LBT as your MP?????

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DillyTree 4 years ago

Sheeprunner, I certainly do know what an MP is SUPPOSED to do, and Minnis isn't doing it -- as aren't many MPs. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that most MPs aren't doing their jobs properly. It's become a far different role, apparently, than what an MP's role should be. We've lost our way!

And yes, I do think LBT is a far better MP than Minnis. I would happily have LBT as my MP. At this point, I'd rather have my cat as MP instead of Minnis. Does that answer your question?

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proudloudandfnm 4 years ago

Re-electing Minnis would be flat out stupid..

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banker 4 years ago

Suppose God created a rock so heavy that he can't lift it?

Suppose that the state of the Bahamas is so deeply corroded by its endemic problems, that it cannot be fixed?

We need to create 10,000 jobs that pay decently just to move the yardsticks, and not by very much.

We need reform and downsize the civil service.

We need to rehabilitate a couple of generations of young Bahamian males who are chronically unemployed and inculcated into the gun culture.

We need to reform taxation.

We need to reform the justice system.

We need to upgrade the literacy of our human capital.

Tough tough problems to solve with a country deeply in debt, and leaders who don't have a clue.

Priority #One is to create 10,000 jobs with the people that we have now.

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TalRussell 4 years ago

------ Martin Luther King Jr., "The Drum Major Instinct" Sermon -----

...//////https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBiFn...">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBiFn...

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NassauBoy77 4 years ago

Minnis has failed as party leader in the biggest of ways by failing to do what is expected of him at the very basic level of leadership and that is to unite his team. If the FNM delegates cannot see that this man cannot and will not lead us to victory in a few short months, then they are blind. We are at an all time lov as a party. He is the leader, he is responsible!!!

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sheeprunner12 4 years ago

That should be priority #1 ............ rally the troops and circle the wagons in the face of (PLP) adversity .......... sadly the FNM underbelly is exposed

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TalRussell 4 years ago

Comrade Abaconian, let me ask if you have ever stopped to think that just maybe the people are just damn fed up with any corrupt, inept government and they do not want to attach a color code to who the inept or corrupt members government looks like in skin colour?
Are you telling me, it's all Minnis's fault that the red party have not during the four plus years since the 2012 General, performed as you would have expected from a government in waiting to have performed?
How is it you expect this bunch of red shirt MP's to get the country back on its feet - when they can't even make up their minds to deliver a 'fire Minnis" letter to Her Excellency Marguerite?
Oh no, what they are asking all reds to do, is to vote at convention to fo their damn dirty business for them. Am I right?
Tell me something. Has Loretta even confirmed that she is contesting against Minnis. If not, why in the hell not?
Why is her running mate for deputy leader - speaking for Loretta?
Are you serious that Loretta, Dr. Duane, Richard and Chippie can appeal to voters outside the boundaries of their UBPism boundaries?

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crimestopper 4 years ago

Roc with Doc and fire LBT for her treason.

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TigerB 4 years ago

MY view is this, do things the same way get the same results.

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licks2 4 years ago

Roc with the Doc. . .or get ready for five years of DNA government. . .hehehehehehehehehehe!

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John 4 years ago

Roc wit Doc .. Sounds a little lame. Who wants a doc that rocks? Hello.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years ago

Over the past 5 years or so I've moved most of my wealth outside of the Bahamas; wealth mainly gained from the sale of my successful business and property holdings almost a decade ago when the writing was on the wall and I began to realize Ingraham was no different than Christie and that we Bahamians (whether black, white or in-between) were rapidly becoming a minority in our own country. The business I sold has since folded leaving 50 plus Bahamians without a job and the properties I disposed of are now worth less than half of what I I sold them for. Thankfully I have a second passport from a good country that I can flee to with my family on a moments notice. There are many Bahamians like me who have been fortunate enough to position themselves for the worse case scenario. And that scenario would very quickly arise if Minnis ever became PM. Some would say I should simply pack my bags and leave now as I do not seem to have an ounce of patriotism left in me. To that I would say.....I'm seriously thinking about it. But as a Bahamian I have every right to leave the Bahamas on my own terms and at the time of my choosing. Minnis ever becoming PM will greatly help me with that decision!

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banker 4 years ago

My SME and large business clients have been doing exactly what you describe since 2006 -- disposing assets, moving networth exposure offshore, economic passport, etc etc. And their story is the same -- their former assets are worth a fraction of what they were in 2006.

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John 4 years ago

Personally I think Butler-Turner should have done like Hillary Clinton did after Obama defeated her: Sit small, support him (Obama) and wait her turn. Her latest moves reflects her as a person so desperate for the leadership post, that she would use even "the one who came in from the cold"' to help her get it. What happens then? They turn against each other and someone gets slapped down? Again even! Minnie does not appeal to many as the great, applause rousing, christmatic leader that many believe is needed to drum up the support and the votes needed to win the upcoming election. But Minnis is consistent in his ways and is not known for waffling, at least too much. Those in the close inner circle says he is well organized, methodical, and has great plans for this country. Loretta Butler-Turner was an excellent second in command to Minnis until she became over obsessed with becoming leader, either through her own ambitions or by those using her to get rid of Minnis. Politics makes such strange bedfellows. It also makes power thirsty (animals dogs is too strong) turn on their masters.

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Economist 4 years ago

The Big Difference is that Obama quickly showed himself to be a leader.

Since Minnis failed then I think LBT is correct to make a bid for a leaderless party.

Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Angelica Merkel all would have and did.

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Economist 4 years ago

Sad at what a backward country we are.

But, then again, our flagging economy is indicative of our outdated and backward thinking.

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licks2 4 years ago

You mean like Charles Maynard et al gave him 6 months after his Abaco statement? And was sniping at his every move all the way to the big cut-hip he put on LBT and yinna still would not follow him!! SO HE LEFT YINNA BEHIND AND MOVED FORWARD!!

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John 4 years ago

@ Economist: the referendum was defeated by a vote of ate least 3 to 1. There were also three female voters to every male voter. So do you think Bahamian women will support and vote for a woman prime minister at this juncture?

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truetruebahamian 4 years ago

Doc don't Rock! Time to slip him overboard and leave him to swim to wherever he wants to go!

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truetruebahamian 4 years ago

TalRussell, who are the Bay Street Boys these days? They are mostly politically entitled PLP cronies and non white. Even so it is a convenient dead target at which political darts are thrown to inspire the empty threat of the white boogyman when probably over half of those even back then were not white nor were they anti black. It is amazing how politics rewrites history!

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TalRussell 4 years ago

Comrade TrueTrueBahamian, are tying to create noise to distract attention away from the fact that while lots is being said about Loretta as the next red party leader, she hasn't publicly spoken a word confirming she will be seeking Minnis's job?
Don't you find it so weird when it's her deputy leader running mate Dr. Duane who is the only one confirming her having entered the July 27-29, 2016 leadership race?
Besides, although Brent in offering his support for Loretta, he has also made it clear that he and Papa Hubert, will not rule out entering the leadership race?

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truetruebahamian 4 years ago

However and regardless, Minnis has got to go.

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licks2 4 years ago

Why? Now talk sense. . .and while ya at it answer this. . .if he so retarded and can't think himself out of a paper bag. . .then why not leave him to himself. . .stop nit-picking everything he does to show how no good he is! We the people still remember when Minnis said during the Abaco by-election that Papa time is over. . .the people who are ripping Doc in the FNM went on record that "he has six months to show his leadership". . .and yall hit the ground "jooking him up" all over the place. . .

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DEDDIE 4 years ago

Minnis won the last leadership race by 298 to LBT 106. That's a huge margin to makeup. Its not reasonable to believe that LBT would be able to makeup the difference. 298 is more than what Ingraham got. She has to get 96 grassroot delegates to flip. Remember she has two major obstacle to overcome. Been a woman and the fact that her brand and that of her family is more PLP than FNM. Grass root FNM's are stauchly anti-PLP.

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sheeprunner12 4 years ago

We have a situation in Britain where if Cameron loses the Brexit vote ....... he will be expected to resign as PM ......... WOW!!!!!

So, why is it that Perry or HAM cannot honour their inherited Westminster traditions ...... our Bahamian leaders have no political integrity................ they act as common rogues

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licks2 4 years ago

I have concluded that the tribune will not publish no comments here that are not anti-minnis such as sheeprunner, economist, honestman, dillytree et al., and now nassauboy77. . . check for yourselves. They only place those persons in the news paper for the public! If persons here don't believe me. . .check. . .this is their section!! I have all of the papers stacked in my office. I begun to noticed this some time ago. . .now I am sure.. .THEY HAVE A RIGHT. . .IT IS THEIR PAPER. . .THEY CAN PUBLISH WHOMEVER THEY WISH!

Now a non-partisan posters like myself or pro-minnis writers. . .are not given equal time in public posting of thoughts on this site. . . typically painting an anti-minnis bent to their readership. . .or should I say. . .LBT cheer leaders. When I realized what appears to be happening I thought to myself. . .IS THIS WHAT SIR E. DUPUCH STOOD AND FOUGHT UNFAIRNESS FOR TO HAVE HIS LEGACY DOING THE SAME THING! But I say this to all who will use such tactics to stifle an opposing thought. . .REMEMBER JUNE 7!!!

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sheeprunner12 4 years ago

Licks ........... you have been given more latitude on this thread than any other commentator .......... especially with your vile, obscenity-ridden rants

We are always trying to be fair to the topic at hand (even if we have an obvious bent) .......... you owe us fair-minded patriots an apology

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Zakary 4 years ago

Not to be pedantic, but I think the above poster is referring to the hand-picked comments that are printed in the actual newspaper, and not the online sections.

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licks2 4 years ago

First. . .you gave me no latitude. . .I CAME. . .I SAW. . I TOOK! THIS IS A PUBLIC ACCESS SITE. . .I WAS GIVEN THE PERMISSION TO BE HERE JUST AS YOU WERE!

YINNA ARE VERY EASY TO LOGICALLY BEAT-UP ON! SHOW ME ONE VILE. . .OBSCENE-RIDDEN POST I PLACED HERE! JUST ONE AND I WILL APOLOGISE TO YOU ALL! AND THE EVIDENCES ARE IN THE PAPERS. . .I SUGGESTS YOU GO READ THEM FIRST. . .THEM COMMENT! THERE IS VERY LITTLE TO NOTHING FAIR MINDED ABOUT MUCH OF WHAT IS POSTED HERE BY THE ANTI-DOC GANG!

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Greentea 4 years ago

Dear former PM Ingraham and DPM Symonette. Stay home. We need to be moving forward and the future isn't yours. It doesn't belong to Christie, Davis or Minnis either. We need to find some political leaders for the future of the Bahamas. I am sure you see the mess we are in, but your coming back helps no one. Your service has been noted. but in the front office- it is done.

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licks2 4 years ago

Papa told the reporter who asked him to publically comment on Doc leadership. . ."I am not Rollins". . . he snapped back. There goes a political giant. . .Papa don't play that school yard mess. . .Lol!

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