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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Utterly Annoyed By Karen Floyd
Jimmy Moore
June 11, 2006

Karen Floyd puts on a good face, but she can be very vindictive

This is the first time ever that an election year has rolled around and I have been 100% totally disinterested in being involved in it at all. It's not so much because I don't support some of the excellent candidates running this year such as Gov. Mark Sanford, Secretary of State Mark Hammond, or any of the other fine conservative candidates for statewide office in 2006. And I fully intend on voting for the best people for the respective jobs they are running for as they seek to continue to serve the people of the state of South Carolina.

But there is one person on the ballot on Tuesday who I will NOT be voting for, despite the fact that Republicans are all goo-goo, ga-ga drooling and tripping all over themselves to bow down and kiss her feet for agreeing to run for Superintendent of Education to replace Inez Tenenbaum -- I'm referring to Karen Floyd.

Unless you've been totally out of it for the past few weeks, then you have undoubtedly seen Floyd's image blasted across your television screen with those front-and-center fancy schmancy political ads featuring high-profile endorsements from Sanford as well as both Republican U.S. Senators, Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint. Impressive, huh?

Or perhaps you have seen those bright green signs with Floyd's smiling mug shot which screams, "Please vote for me, I'm your woman to enact change in education!" They've even got this cutesy little web site talking about everything Floyd is going to "change" about education in South Carolina.

Rah rah, freakin' rah! Yawn.

Call me a dissenting voice regarding the candidacy of Karen Floyd this year, but I for one am just a little underwhelmed by her. It's not her sudden support for school choice in South Carolina which I am very much in favor of seeing come to fruition during Sanford's second term (nobody in their right mind doubts Sanford is a shoe-in to handily defeat Tommy Moore in November, do they?). In fact, all of the ideas she puts forth on the issues are very much in line with what conservative Republicans believe. Floyd has been well-versed by the powers that be about what she needs to say to win this election.

So why am I so utterly annoyed by Karen Floyd?

It's time for a history lesson class. Flashback to November 1, 2003 for just a moment at the Spartanburg County Republican Party Convention where Floyd surprised the delegates there that day when she graced us all with her presence and summarily decided to run against the incumbent Spartanburg GOP Chairman Rick Beltram although she wasn't even a delegate to the convention and had not been active at any of the local part events in the previous year.

For all intents and purposes, Floyd thought she had everyone fooled with this little stunt of hers and in her mind she fully expected to win that day so she could become the leader of the Republican Party in Spartanburg.

Guess what? It didn't happen. For the first time in her career, Karen Floyd LOST an election! GASP, she LOST! Yes, it was a close vote (138-126), but she still suffered a stinging defeat despite all the charm and concern she could muster up with the clout she had within the inner circle of Republican politics as a former Chairwoman of the Spartanburg County Council. Her plan backfired, though, and she was thoroughly embarrassed. She should have been because she stepped into something she didn't have any business being involved with.

In a recap of the day's activities that took place at the convention, I wrote this SC GOPUSA column about it the next day and posted it online where it was then picked up by SCHotline. Since there were no other news stories about what had happened at the Spartanburg GOP convention, my column was the only one out there about it. It was my opinions about what I had observed and nothing more.

But Karen Floyd was absolutely furious with it!

Within days of my column being posted online, I received a hand-delivered letter from Floyd's attorney Ken Anthony demanding that I print a retraction to my column and threatening to take "legal action" against me if I refused to apologize and scrub the column from the Internet.

I refused to be intimidated by these strongarm tactics by Floyd and her hotshot lawyer because the First Amendment protection of free speech and press were on my side giving me free reign to express my opinions just as I had always done in my columns and still do in my columns today. The Spartanburg-Herald Journal even wrote a story about this political soap opera entitled "Floyd considers suing over GOP official's column."

Nothing ever came of these threats made by Floyd, but she had shown me and the entire world her vindictive side quite clearly.

Zoom back to the present day and it's now 2006. The kinder, gentler Karen Floyd is the darling of Republican politics in the state of South Carolina as people prepare to cast their vote for her in the GOP primary race on Tuesday and then again in November against the no-name candidate the Democrats are putting up against her. There's no doubt in my mind that Floyd will become the next state superintendent of education and will probably help Gov. Sanford enact historic change in education in South Carolina (if they can get stubborn members of the General Assembly to comply).

But I couldn't let this issue continue to gnaw at me without expressing my sincere concern about what I see as Floyd's character flaws. If my personal experience with her is any indication of the kind of person she really is through that smile and charm she puts on in front of people, then I'm not so sure we need someone like her in a position of leadership and power working on behalf of the people of this state. I cannot in good conscious pull that lever in her favor on Tuesday and will probably just not vote in that race this year. Like I said, Floyd is going to win anyway, so it's a moot point.

Some will accuse me of having sour grapes, stating that I need to look the other way at what she did and get over it already. I'm sorry, but I cannot do that. Not once has Karen Floyd ever even considered apoligizing to me for the undue stress she brought on me and my family with her threat of a lawsuit. Here's a woman who's got money coming out of her ears and political aspirations as bright as anyone in South Carolina. But she wanted to sue a man who probably makes less than one percent the money she does and is by Floyd's standards just a simple pauper!

What's even more annoying to me is the fact that Floyd doesn't even remember threatening to sue me. I met her at a state political function last year when she was first getting into the Education Superintendent's race and she had no clue who Jimmy Moore was when I was introduced to her by name. She robotically asked me, "Do you want to get involved in my campaign?" I so badly wanted to say, "No way in Hell, lady!," but I was polite and simply nodded and smiled.

Politics, for me, has become a superficial facade and it's probably been that way for a while. It's funny how one candidate can cause someone who has played an active role in politics for most of his life to become jaded and tuned out to politics. I never thought it could happen, but it has all thanks to the candidacy of one Karen Floyd.

Arrogant, power-hungry, and oblivious to her surroundings -- that's Karen Floyd. I just thought you might want to know who you'll be electing into office as Superintendent of Education in South Carolina.

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A friend of mine who is Jewish told me an interesting Floyd story. It seems that Superintendent-nearly-elect Floyd was invited to my friend's synagogue to present her views to the congregation a few weeks before the election. . . .

Read the rest.

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