(Editor’s note – The following is an op-ed submitted to Grand Strand Daily by Bill Warner, Captain, USNR-ret., a retired attorney and a resident of Carolina Forest. It is an excellent description of what is happening in the SC House District 56 race with the television and radio ads and mailers, ostensibly by a third party PAC, in support of Tim McGinnis.)
Paul Gable’s incisive, thoroughly documented account of the twisting and turning campaign finance contortions apparently involved in the House District 56 special election has been a real revelation to me of not only the universal money and politics culture in South Carolina, but of its regulatory climate as well.
At the outset, let’s get past the “outsider” sticker I get pasted on my forehead every time I open my mouth around here about our local polity. My people settled along this part of the coast in North and South Carolina nearly 300 years ago – about 1720 – and the many branches of that family tree are still alive and well, particularly around Wilmington. My parents lived in Surfside Beach for 30 years where I was also a property owner, and where I’ve probably spent more time than anywhere else in the world except the place where I made my living for 55 years, Louisville, Kentucky.
Even if somehow I am by definition a disdained “outsider,” I’ve got bad news for the folksy, down home good ole boy culture that the reigning “insiders” wear like a motheaten cardigan. There’s too many of us – with more pouring in every day – sooner rather than later a clear majority of voters. And we’re simply not taken with the quaint backwoods oligarchy we have here fumbling and bumbling with a modern millennial urban community. Also, please note we’re not into the bread and circuses that pass for authentic governance, and worse, we’re not going to shut up.
Politics is in my blood. My original and still much revered political mentor was my grandmother, Katherine Mayo Cowan, who was mayor of Wilmington, North Carolina, and a stalwart in Democratic politics in North Carolina in the 1920’s and ‘30’s. She was active in FDR’s campaign in 1932 and then an executive with the National Recovery Administration for ten years – along with Frances Perkins, one of the highest-ranking women in that national government.