Wednesday, July 16, 2008

To the South Carolina Democratic Party

You suck.

No. Seriously. The state party is a joke. Its candidate for U. S. Senate was a member of the Horry County GOP Executive Committee when he filed to run as a Democrat. Apparently, the Horry County GOP did not kick him out until June, so for much of the primary campaign he was still a member of the Horry County GOP Executive Committee. Every time he was asked about it, he was lying when he failed to acknowledge his realtionship with the GOP.

I know. I never mentioned any of this either. Guess what? I suck too. I knew the guy was a Republican and I hardly ever said anything about it. I made shadowed references to it. At the Galivants Ferry Stump Meeting, I said that I didn't join the Democratic Party to run in this election. That was as close as I ever came to attacking my former opponent to a large group of people. I made the conscious decision not to attack him. I made a conscious decision to tell people about myself, not my opponent. I tried to be a nice guy.

Nice guys finish last.

Yeah, the news media sucks too. Jim Davenport at the Columbia Bureau of the Associated Press seems to be the only news reporter interested in finding out anything about Bob Conley's relationship to the GOP. His colleague Seanna Adcox was thorough in finding out about my background. So I certainly want to say that the Associated Press did a good job of trying to find out about the candidates. The Big Picture, a show produced by SCETV, and its host Mark Gwinn did a good job interviewing the candidates (I am including all of the staff of The Big Picture in this). It isn't their fault that Bob Conley elected to lie to them about his affliation to the GOP. But the rest of y'all, y'all suck. I know y'all thought it was supremely arrogant of me to presume to run for United States Senate. It seemed to be the only thing y'all were really interested in covering. Really, there is no ranking of aristocracy in this country. Anyone who wants to run for the U. S. Senate is entitled to do so.

Oh, and Bob Conley is a liar and that is beyond suck.

But all of that fails to relieve the state party of sucking. The state party did nothing to find out anything about the unknown people who filed to run for the party nomination. And I do mean nothing. There are many good people staffing the offices of the state party and I am not saying any of them suck. They are great people eager and determined to work hard for our state. No, I mean the "highly placed Democratic Party leaders." Not one of them ever tried to contact me to find out anything about me. On the county level, yes. County chairs were constantly seeking to contact the campaigns. But not the state level leaders.

Although those state level leaders were all to happy to tell reporters they had never heard me, even though they may have actually worked with me previously. To his credit, Joe Erwin has expressed his regret at having told reporters he had never heard of the candidates. However, when I spoke with him, he didn't seem the least bit interested in speaking with me. But he is certainly not the only state level leader in the South Carolina Democratic Party. He isn't even the state party chair any longer. So, it really wasn't his responsibility and certainly not his alone.

After the June 10 primary, I told a reporter that the Democrats had just nominated a Republican. In the article in which that quote appeared, Don Fowler was also quoted seemingly discounting my quote and saying that the Democratic Party welcomes everyone, even those with conservative beliefs or former Republicans. I did not say Bob Conley was a former Republican; I said he was a Republican. The following week, after the automatic and mandatory recount (not anything I requested, Minuteman assholes), an Horry County GOP official broke the news that Conley had been a member of their Executive Committee up until shortly before the June 10 primary. That is what I meant, Mr Fowler. Maybe I should have said "he is not a Democrat" to more precisely get my meaning across, but as I said, I suck too.

But Don Fowler is not the only Democratic leader in this state. He isn't even a DNC Committeeman any longer. His only leadership role really is as the husband of the State Party Chair, Carol Fowler. And she has only been Chair for a year. I look forward to seeing great things with her as our Chair.

No, the people I am really referring to are our elected officials. Not one of whom reached out to me. Not one of those whom I attempted to reach out to bothered to return my calls or respond to my emails. It is sort of a "I got mine" attitude. I saw nothing resembling an appearance that separate campaigns were preparing to work together in a coordinated effort. How are we ever going to win back this state if campaigns don't work together? How are we ever going to do what is best for our state if elected officials, or candidates, seem more interested in protecting their own territories rather than helping others get elected?

And that was the most disappointing thing I learned during my brief campaign.