By Paul Gable
Virtually every political campaign has its share of misinformation, exaggeration, boasts and BS. That’s the nature of the beast today and the reason so many people are turned off by the political process.
Once in a while, a candidate and his campaign staff will decide even that type of conduct is not enough in an effort to win an election.
This is what appears to have happened in the race for the S.C. House District 58 Republican nomination.
Earlier this week, the Jeffrey Garland campaign issued a release stating that retiring Rep. Liston Barfield had endorsed Garland. It would have been fine if the release stopped right there.
However, through inexperience or arrogance, the release went on to quote Barfield as saying Garland is the “most qualified” candidate to represent the district then went through a litany of Garland’s supposed conservative credentials.
I spoke with Barfield after seeing the press release and asked him if, in fact, the quotes attributed to him in the press release were accurate.
Barfield said they were not. Barfield said he endorsed Garland, but, the rest of the statements attributed to him in the press release were not his words.
“I did endorse Jeffrey Garland but I wouldn’t say he’s the most qualified. They’re all good boys, every one of them’s good,” Barfield said.
Barfield said he had talked to all three candidates, Garland, Jeff Johnson and R. A. Johnson, to tell each that he felt he had to endorse Garland because of his (Barfield’s) long association with Garland’s father, Will Garland.
To be perfectly correct, instead of endorsing candidate Jeffrey Garland, Barfield endorsed Will Garland’s son.
Everything in the press release beyond stating Barfield endorsed Garland was made up!
We all give a lot of leeway to statements in political literature, but, it does seem beyond the pale to simply make up quotes about your candidate and attribute them to someone else. Such actions are totally deceitful and, when caught, do not reflect well on those committing them.