District 56 Dirty Tricks – Part II


By Paul Gable

The “dirty tricks” effort to sway voters in the S.C. House District 56 race, with a door hanger allegedly bringing voters a message about the positions of the two candidates in the race, strongly demonstrates to what level elections in America have sunk.

Allegedly funded by Freedom Works, a Washington, D.C. 527 PAC run by former U.S. Representative Dick Armey, the real genesis of the door hanger remains a mystery.

Grand Strand Daily contacted the Washington, D.C. national headquarters of Freedom Works to inquire about the door hanger. We were told Freedom Works knew nothing about it and had no files on either candidate.

The hanger’s message was that one of the candidates, Dennis DiSabato, refused to answer questions about what were called key issues.

This message was distributed, despite the fact that DiSabato was never asked the questions, much less given the opportunity to answer them.

It is a perfect example of the damage to the election process that the Citizens United decision wreaks. Here we have an anonymous group attempting to influence an election with no transparency about who it is, where it is or what it is.

As one reader e-mailed to us recently, “I am sick and tired of the efforts of people from outside this state to tell us how bad we are and how we should do it the way that they pay for. South Carolina is just small enough to be the guinea pig for the crazy ideas of some old and bored rich man. And, the wannabe important candidates eat up the money and spew out talking points that seem to contradict themselves.”

Actually, this has the appearance of a last ditch effort by the local Tea Party to elect somebody to office. Make it look like Freedom Works, one of the national 527 PAC’s the Tea Party looks to for guidance, is interested in the race and maybe people will be inspired to vote for the candidate who is credited with giving the best responses.

That effort is helped if one of the two candidates was never asked the questions, as is the case in this race. However, the door hanger has all the reality of Lewis Carroll’s walrus talking of many things – “Of shoes and ships and sealing wax; Of cabbages and kings.”

As a local conservative acquaintance of mine said recently, “The local Tea Party leaders are political opportunists more interested in photo ops than getting any real message of positive change across.”

Nikki Haley hoodwinked this group into supporting her run for governor two years ago. Since her election, Haley’s specialty has become taxpayer funded vacations to the great cities of the world in the name of alleged economic development. Doesn’t sound like the smaller government and reduced spending the Tea Party advocates.

One thing is certain; no one in the Washington, D.C. headquarters of Freedom Works gives a damn about the S.C. District 56 House race.

So where does that leave the average voter attempting to make an informed decision about which candidate will best represent them?

I still have enough faith in that average voter to believe he or she will listen to the candidates. That he or she will pay no attention to a faulty door hanger message, one which no one will take credit for, but which got to them by someone trespassing on their property and littering their door way.

The door hanger: freedom works

The following e-mail was received from Jackie bodnar at Freedom Works:

Comment: Hope this email finds you well. I saw your recent article about FreedomWorks (https://www.grandstranddaily.com/dick-nixon-freedom-works-and-house-district-56/), and wanted to make sure you saw this clarification issued by FreedomWorks Southeast Regional Director Allen Page today:
“FreedomWorks has developed voter education literature for decades, and mailed each candidate running for seats in the South Carolina House and Senate a copy of its 2013 -2014 South Carolina Legislative Issues Questionnaire. Fiscal conservative Mike Ryhal received a perfect score in his responses, while his opponent Dennis DiSabato, Jr. did not respond to the questionnaire at all. Instead, Mr. DiSabato had campaign representatives contact a SuperPAC intern who would have no knowledge of c4 literature. We look forward to hearing Dennis DiSabato explain his economic positions during the debate this week, rather than continuing to divert attention away from the critical economic issues facing our community this year.”
Time: Wednesday October 24, 2012 at 12:56 pm.



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