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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Wingate comes out swinging
Jonathan Pait
May 3, 2002

Following is an excerpt from a release by the Wingate for Governor campaign. It tells of Ken Wingate's recent visit to the office of Charlie Condon.

Is Mr. Wingate bringing up an honest question? Is he thrusting his lance at a windmill? Can this help him? Can it hurt Condon? Does it help any of the other candidates?

Feel free to weigh in with your own ideas. The one thing that does seem only right is that Condon join the budget debate. Of course, do we really want to see another debate?

Released May 2, 2002
Full release at:

"Mr. Condon, I have asked you to join me here today in your office, face to face, to explain why you are attempting to perpetrate a fraud on the people of South Carolina.

In recent weeks you have intentionally and repeatedly misled our people by stating that if you were elected governor, you would completely do away with property taxes on all cars, homes, farmland, business property and industrial property, without exception.

Mr. Condon, you know very well that will not happen. Why would our stateís chief law enforcement officer make such a promise when you know perfectly well it is one you cannot possibly keep? Either you do not understand your plan or it is a lie. On one hand I am disappointed in you, and on the other hand I am furious with you for the way you have played fast and loose with the public interest.

Your tax plan leaves a gap of hundreds of millions of dollars unexplained. Which vital services are you going to cut, such as education, roads and highways, police protection, or fire protection, to close the gap?

You have skipped the budget debates at which all of the other gubernatorial candidates appeared and were questioned closely by economists and government experts. Why didnít you show up?

Itís no wonder we have a crisis in trust for our so-called public servants. It appears that gimmick is too shameful to keep you from using it to try to win an election. You are wrong, you know it and I know it. And when I see something wrong Iím not going to stand by and watch it happen.

That is why I am here today. If weíre going to correct the shameless pandering, we first have to challenge itÖand then elect people who will stop it, once and for all. As a CPA and business lawyer, I have performed government audits and worked with thousands of financial statements. I cannot and will not tolerate this kind of smoke and mirrors with the budget of South Carolina.

I challenge you today to a two-hour public debate at which all of the candidates for governor will be given another opportunity to explain how their tax and budget proposals work. The rest of us have done it before; we look forward to having you join us.

Arenít you the same attorney general who sued Governor Hodges last year over budget manipulations? You ought to sue yourself for committing consumer fraud with your tax plan."

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