Letter to the Editor

Published on 17 June 2024 at 21:25

I am Michelle Chaffee’s husband.

I have spent the weekend contemplating recent events and the responses from both the community and the mayor.

I want to be clear. 

Newt threatened my wife.

You can debate the credibility of that threat all you want but it does not diminish it was a threat. A threat that was supported and bolstered by the Mayor and a councilman in the form of text and emoji. 

My wife and I do not know Newt so we don't have years of knowledge to support Newt would never hurt anyone. I imagine if the mayor had become privy to text messages where I, someone he doesn't know, had texted the exact same thing about his wife he would feel differently. While the notion anyone would show up on my property to act towards my wife in a way that would require bail and expect the professional, he would most require is a lawyer... is, well, optimistic. All this being said it is my understanding and only my understanding as I was not present, When Newt was served a notice of trespass, he was very apologetic citing it was only a joke but understood it was a bad joke and that he felt awful he made my wife feel unsafe in her own home. If this understanding is correct, I give Newt credit for being decent and empathetic. 


In contrast, the mayor opted to post on a public forum that he saw no threat. This instigated numerous comments, many by the mayor's family, to denigrate, mock and bully my wife. Many of these comments were liked or loved by the mayor himself. 


  1. Carol Cartledge

    Tina Bailey.  Way to go! I'll get the tar if someone else will get the rail! Nobody wants this -#@*_/ here!


This was one post that was "loved" by Tina Bailey


Bruce Bailey says no one should feel unsafe in Washington but his actions are antithetical to that sentiment. Not only would it appear he wants my wife to feel unsafe... he revels in it.


Personally, I would prefer he spent his time trying to make Washington the bucolic paradise some imagine it is and most wish it was.


This is an op ed... these are my opinions.

 I imagine at the rate we're going the facts will be sorted by lawyers, a judge or perhaps a jury.





Add comment


Thomas Coulson
25 days ago

Thank you for being a Stand Up Guy, Joe.
The BS that went down has no place in Washington-Wilkes. It's too bad certain citizens have the brain capacity of another past century. This town needs to be and do better.

Ken Parris
24 days ago


Thank you for your well written and balanced letter. I believe you have articulated what a majority of people in Washington believe as well.

The name calling and mischaracterizations by Bruce Bailey, Tina Bailey and their extended family from Washington (and to states beyond) that has taken place since last summer are a very sad testament to the true character of a small, incestuous group here that have no other message of leadership and vision to share.

The text thread publicly shared by Bruce Bailey acting as Mayor and the “got u r back” bro-fest led by Andy Anderson was laced with middle school level mentality misogynist threats.

That none of the members of our City Council has stepped forward to publicly apologize further demonstrates the void.

Leaders take responsibility for mistakes — not lie, cover and obfuscate.

Yet these are the same behaviors which were on display during the elections last year .. so no surprise… just continuing disappointment.

It is unfortunate threats and blackmail tactics are deeply rooted in the behaviors of this City’s leaders. It is more unfortunate so many here fear speaking out and speaking up.

Change is underway though as you note, and because so many illegal activities have occurred through City Hall and continue, a legal reckoning is ripe.

Sometimes the old structure just cannot be renovated. You must simply tear it down to the ground and build anew.

I hold out hope as you express that the evil currents hiding under wear-on-the-cuff Christianity will be overcome.

I know there are individuals on the council with the ability to help lead this change. I wish for them the courage and resolve to lead not follow or shirk in an effort to conform.

We saw a great demonstration of this recently when Nate Cullars would not back down in his initiative to remove a vile cancer from the City’s team of employees. What he did and has pursued as a lone voice - until the very end - took vision and courage and a display of someone who truly loves Washington and wants what is best — not just empty words

And among the most courageous of all is Michelle and her incredibly professional work to investigate, report and shed light on so much that has for too long been a system of oppression for so many. She has truly shined light into the darkness.

In the 25 years I’ve been in Washington never has there been this quality of true journalism and reporting. Her work and that of Richard Crabbe are world class.

May this summer and fall bring us a wellspring of this same type of guts and grit by Nate from all of us who not only want to see — but know there is a much better way for Washington than we are living now.

Straighten those backs!

Tyler Amanda Anders
24 days ago

Nobody shows up at your house as a joke, don’t allow evil people to gaslight you and remember there are more people for you than against you. Praying the lord sends his angels to comfort you and your family in the most of doing good work. Thank you for all you do.