By Paul Gable
We are in the final week of campaigning before the June 9th primary elections and we are seeing all the oddities and sound bite messaging that come with a final week push.
Cam and Heather Crawford are attempting to use endorsements by Gov. Henry McMaster and the Chairman of the Governor’s Floodwater Commission to prove to voters that they should be reelected.
This pair loves endorsements. However, they didn’t work for their prize candidate former Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus two years ago. The Lazarus campaign trumpeted endorsements by many sitting politicians but the voters weren’t fooled. They understood this is just a ploy used by the establishment to attempt to keep its minions in office. Which brings up the question, why is the SCGOP paying for so many mailers for Heather Crawford?
The Crawfords are bragging about getting ditches cleaned and attempting to get local governments to increase their debt obligations with a so-called ‘buyout program.’ If they were really effective, Heather would have been able to get state grant money, not loans, available for a buyout program. After all, the state had a 2 billion revenue surplus last year.
For that matter, they would have been able to get significant state funding for the Interstate 73 project they love to promote. That hasn’t been accomplished either.
When you look at their supposed list of accomplishments, it is obvious that the rhetoric is high but the performance is low.
Their most significant accomplishment, if you wish to call it that, is picking a fight with Horry County Rising, a citizens group with many members who are flood victims and who is actually trying to address flooding issues and mitigation.
If the Crawfords were really trying to help, they would attempt to work with this group, but that would take away from the photo ops and attempts to be center stage, which the Crawfords believe will fool the voters.
Another interesting quirk in campaigning comes from county council candidate Terry Fowler. From the beginning of his campaign, Fowler has made rash statements that after June 9th new home building in District 9 will stop. He has tried to paint several competitors as lackeys of the development industry because they are realtors.
However, sources tell GSD that Fowler, a retired police officer, now drives a truck transporting trusses for homes. Is that not also a job that supports development? Is it to be assumed that just because a person has a job in a certain industry he is in the pocket of that industry and shouldn’t be considered as a candidate? If so, that would seem to eliminate Fowler for consideration also.
The Fowler campaign has been putting out negative comments about the other candidates. It is my understanding there are some skeletons in the Fowler closet also and people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
The voters know that development is not going to stop in Horry County. What should be talked about is how to eliminate it from wetlands and floodplains rather than talking about stopping it altogether, which is not going to happen.
We have the interesting case of House District 105 candidate Steve Robertson attempting to bully his opponent into a debate through posts shared on his newspaper organization’s Facebook page. First of all, it’s too late to organize a debate, voting is in six days.
I also question the use of a media outlet to promote the candidacy of its owner.
However, a debate would be fun because I would like to hear Robertson defend an editorial he wrote three years ago supporting using locally collected hospitality fees to construct the boondoggle I-73 project rather than using it to fund public safety personnel and equipment.
And we have Alan Clemmons trying to convince the voters of House District 107 that he really wants to represent them when he has been seeking other jobs for the last several years.
There is also Clark Parker running for auditor giving out the wrong date for primary voting as well as many other campaign messages that defy the imagination.
Many years ago, an attorney for the South Carolina State Ethics Commission told me that the only thing that has to be the truth on campaign materials is who paid for them and the address of the payor.
Beware the message.