Saturday, November 1, 2014

When Even Holding Your Nose Doesn't Work

I am proud of being a Democrat, mostly.  There are times when they do make it difficult.  For example, about a week ago, I went to my mailbox and found what turns out to be the nastiest piece of campaign crap I have received this election season, which certainly says a lot.  Worse thing about it, is it came from a Democrat.  Well, not exactly "a Democrat."  It came from one of those shadowy groups in which individuals don't have to own up to their ugly message.

This is what I received:

Don't be surprised if the first word your eyes are drawn to is the word "Negro."  And it's not a coincidence that both lunatic Cliven Bundy and Thomas Legare are in similar poses.  What's going on here is guilt by association.  Now, I don't know Thomas Legare, but I do know that he is a longtime businessman in Charleston County, and the thing you don't do in Charleston is toss racial slurs at people who live and work here.

Anyway, the text affirms, not that Legare is a racist, but that he supports racist, anti-American radicals (which in Fox Newspeak could be just about anyone).  Again, I do know that Legare has said some crazy stuff in support of Cliven Bundy.  But the association here is that his support of Bundy makes him racist.  Are you fired up???

I tend to distrust political ads and I like to know where they come from.  So I looked up the upstanding-sounding "Lowcountry Leadership Initiative," the group that paid for this mailing.  Turns out that this is a new political action committee formed to raise money for candidates who support the controversial completion of I-526.  When I first looked it up, there was an October 20 Post and Courier article by Diane Knich, in which the reporter stated that not much was known about the group.  But on October 28, the intrepid Knich followed up with more specific information about the pursuits of the PAC.  Lots about the politics, but, imagine that, still nobody owning up to being a part of the group.

Well, I would be ashamed to admit to it as well.  And so should Anna Johnson, the County Council incumbent running against Legare.  Last weekend, I sent her an email asking her to denounce the group and the mailing, and just as with Ms. Knich, I received no reply.  And the most recent mailing by this group doubles down, calling Legare a "Tea Party radical" who "sided with racist Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy in an armed standoff with our own federal troops."  In which they either got carried away with their rhetoric, or they maybe wanted us to believe that Legare was right there with Bundy.   

It appears that Anna may be finding herself in a bit of a shit storm; by siding with the wrong bunch, I believe she herself has crossed the line of common decency here in Charleston.  Over the years since she has been convinced that completing I-526 is a good idea, she has not only suddenly been dressing a whole lot better, but has found herself bitterly opposed by former supporters.  This deceit and dirty dealing by Lowcountry Leadership Initiative has not helped.

Tragically, Anna has also done some good with the County Council, by supporting much needed social programs.  For this reason, I had planned on holding my nose and voting for her on Tuesday.  But I will speak against dirty politics and I draw the line at giving my vote to someone who has been bought by a group of such sleaze that they work anonymously, and with no ethical constraints.

So on Tuesday, I plan on leaving Charleston County Council District 8 blank.  I urge you to also take a stand on this race, which represents the dirtiest of dirty politics.

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