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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Shannon's Flaw
Jonathan Pait
October 28, 2004

Well, I was wondering what take the editor of MetroBeat, James Shannon, would say about my conversation with him regarding the Citizens for a Conservative Greenville.  I wasn't surprised.  He strikes at Selby - a write-in candidate he has no great love for.
A group of Bob Jones University employees started a write-in campaign on Selby's behalf under the apparent theory that representative government in Greenville County will perish without retired police officer Selby around to make derogatory comments about Martin Luther King.
Now, James, James, is this really what they say? If MetroBeat is to ever be taken seriously, it would help you to not misrepresent and put your cutesy delusions where they don't belong.
A spokesman [that would be me] for Bob Jones acknowledged the employment status of the write-in group members, but insists their efforts have no official connection with the school.
First, it isn't just BJU employees starting the write-in campaign. Second, I wonder if employees of Furman were involved in starting a write-in campaign, would Shannon try to make such a big point of it? His obvious intent is to insinuate that what I told him is not correct. Hey, James, you calling me a liar?
In a curious twist, Selby himself took an oath when he became a Republican candidate not to engage in this sort of activity, but the movement continues.
Here you go again. Selby has no connection to this campaign. I know you just can't accept that, but it is the simple, unvarnished truth - I am not a liar. The write-in campaign would go forward even if Selby asked it to stop.
The question now is whether Selby will siphon enough votes away from Trout to tip the election to White. The write-in process is cumbersome enough to ensure that probably won't happen, and Trout has another potential advantage with voters who don't traditionally vote Republican but came out in the primary to defeat Selby. After the Selby campaign repeatedly scorched Trout with vicious personal attacks, the perception was that Trout emerged even stronger from this trial by fire. Once you have walked through the fire with a candidate, it makes it a little more difficult to then turn around and discard him because of his party label.
I actually find myself in agreement with the general point of this analysis. However, once again Shannon has convinced himself of an "untruth." Selby's campaign did not attack Trout with "vicious personal attacks." Yes, there were some people who did so - but it was not the Selby campaign. Selby had the information but made a decision not to use it. Do I wish that he would have spoken out against the attack on Trout? Sure, but that does not mean that Selby was behind the mailings that came out seeking to undermine Trout.

Trout finds the democratic process to be embarrassing? This from the Greer Citizen:
Trout calls the [Selby] write-in campaign "an embarrassment for the people of District 18 and an extreme embarrassment for the Republican Party. I think this committee is the same bunch who mailed out that hate letter about me before the last runoff."

Let's see...what are these folks doing that is illegal or unethical? How is participating in the process in a reasonable and tactful way embarrassing? Why is Trout concerned about the reputation of the Republican Party? He came along to the Party a little late and calls himself an "independent" Republican. You may not like what these folks are doing, but embarrassing?

Of course, I can't let his spurious comment about the CCG go by without comment. The "group" didn't even exist before the primary - it didn't even form until weeks after the primary. This group could not be responsible for the "hate letter." Also, I make no apologies that I am friends with the members of this group and I know beyond a doubt that Trout's "thinking" about the group is false.

My understanding is that Selby won't even be in the area on the day of the election. He will be gone visiting a sick relative. Man, I know a write-in win is nearly impossible, but after watching all of this unfold it sure would be neat to see the campaign succeed.

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When "Metro Beat" forsook Ralph Bristol's column and decided to make itself into a wholesale "progressive""hip" paper (word up: It used to be a half-hearted and embarrassingly poor imitiation of "progressive" free papers like Phoenix' "New Times", now it's a wholehearted embarrasing imitation of "progressive" free papers like Phoenix' New Times) it lost even fish wrapper status with me. . . .

Read the rest.

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