Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Republican Civil War in Anderson County


The Anderson County Council meeting Tuesday night was interesting. Thinly veiled accusations about the use of the one of the county's credit cards by Bill McAbee and one of his political appointees were made by members of the public that tend to be Cindy Wilson supporters.

Those public comments were made after Council Chairman Michael Thompson read a prepared statement that defined the comments rules, making clear that the council meeting was not a town hall meeting and would be governed by rules of order. I found it a bit odd. Since Anderson County Council does not have town hall meetings, the citizens comments time is only time citizens can put public comments to council members face to face. Such a handling of citizen's comments might be the legal manner to handle them, but it is not politically astute. It also denies the use of the "safety valve release " of free speech Justice Holmes wrote about. To Chairman Thompson's credit, he did not enforce the rules with a heavy hand.

Bill McAbee fired back at Cindy Wilson and her supporters with both of his political guns via a presentation that was meant to lead one to believe that Ms. Wilson used her quest for county government information to help her family negotiate for higher prices from the county for a sewer line easement.

I do not know if that is true or not. No one knows another's heart. But, the statistics were impressive. More money per acre was paid out to Wilson's family members than others. Now, that could be because of the information Ms.Wilson obtained or it could be Ms. Wilson's family are just sharper at negotiating.

Two things did stand out to me about the presentation. First, it is clear that Wilson's family, for all Wilson's concerns about the taxpayer, got more money per acre from the taxpayers than others. To be fair, Ms. Wilson can not control her family. However, one can be assured that if Mr. McAbee, or Ms. Floyd, or any other member of the council had such a thing happen in regards to their family, Ms. Wilson would grab the nearest microphone and shout out about her concern for the taxpayers.

The second thing that stood out about the presentation was the lack of outrage and indignation from Ms. Wilson. When it came her time to speak, I expected the anger that comes when someone is wrongly accused. Instead Ms. Wilson stumbled over her remarks at first, rambling on about how she could not get information from County Administrator Joey Preston. She basically ended up saying something like she would be willing to be investigated if everyone else would be investigated. It reminded me of Nick Theodore's gaffe in the 1994 Gubernatorial debate when you told David Beasley, "I'll stop lying about you, buddy, when you stop lying about me."

Contrast Ms. Wilson's remarks to that of Ron Wilson. (Yes, longtime readers, that Ron Wilson.) Mr. Wilson angrily responded to an accusation about a meal on a county credit card he attended in Alabama when Mr. Wilson was working to recruit the SCV convention to Anderson. Mr. Wilson promptly said he was paying for the meal and is going to write a check to the county for it. Then, he dropped what might be the public bombshell of the night. Mr. Wilson contended there is a legal fund that assists Ms. Wilson in her cases against the county. He noted that he once contributed $1000 to it, and asked whether there was full disclosure on who gave to that fund. Ms. Wilson again sat without expression.

While it is very likely Mr. Thompson would not have allowed Ms. Wilson to continue, she at least could have shown some sort of outrage at the suggestion that she was being unduly influenced. Indeed, people and members of council showed much more indignation about what the city of Anderson water system charges non city residents in the county than Ms. Wilson did to attacks upon her honor and dedication to the taxpayers.

Mr. McAbee's presentation and Mr. Wilson's assertion will likely be challenged and they will likely face a similar presentation. Larry Greer's voiced hope about the council, six to one Republican, stopping biting themselves is not likely to happen any time soon.

A Republican civil war was declared Tuesday night in Anderson County. I am not sure I would have made that call. It has been under the surface for years, but Tuesday night, one side went politically nuclear. As with any war, a political war is a dangerous thing, there is no telling what will happen next.

I am disappointed to find my home county in such a state. I take comfort, though, that at least no one pulled out their knives, like a member of the Allendale County school board allegedly did twelve years ago. But, just in case, I understand metal detectors at the meeting are on the way.

11 comments:

  1. Anderson TaxpayerFebruary 20, 2008

    I can't wait until Cindy or Bob makes their presentation against Bill McAbee. And, I have news for his appointee, she is a public official, she can't hide behind McAbee's skirt anymore. We will tell the world just what is going on under that skirt.

    Stay tuned taxpayers, and learn the truth about Brian McCarty, and how he has done more to hurt real Republicans than anyone else in South Carolina.

    How many times did Preston and McAbee treat you on the county credit card, Brian McCarty?

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  2. taxpayer, that one is easy to answer. Neither Mr. Preston or Mr. McAbee has treated me on the county dime.

    I hardly know Mr. Preston.

    NOT ONE DIME of county money has been spent on me.

    The last time I dined with Mr. McAbee, I picked up the tab. The time before that he and his wife and son were guests at my home.

    They were my guests long before Bill went on council,and they wil be welcomed afer he leaves.

    While I disagree with some of the political moves made by Bill, he and his family are my friends. They will be welcomed in my home when all this crap is over.

    If you don't understand that, taxpayer, I don't really care. It means you are a pissant.

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  3. I feel your concerns, too. Although I may have a different view point.

    My thought is this the stuck pig squells (sp?) the loudest.

    Bill McAbee has changed. He is not the Republican I voted for. He has lied to his constituents, and he will pay the ultimate political price. He will be defeated.

    Bill must explain why he signed a credit card with high meal prices. Who was with him from the county? Why were they with him.

    This is not to hurt Bill, but more than anything, this is to bring sanity back to our county and our government. You can't have a vacation on our dime. You can't have an out of town fling on our dime. I hope this is not what has happened.

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  4. Brian,

    I am glad I stumbled upon your blog the other day. It is good to find like-minded individuals here in Anderson County. With that said, let me offer my thoughts into this "civil war."

    It's about time it happened, honestly.

    Where I'm from in South Carolina, Republicans are Republicans, Democrats are Democrats, and Libertarians are a novelty. Here in Anderson, there are just as many RHINOs as their are traditional SC Republicans (which are about 2-3 steps removed from a traditional Southern Democrat).

    I digress...

    The undercurrent here, the CAVE as the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies them as, reminds me a lot of the anti-tax group that was formed in Lexington County a number of years ago (I believe you have referenced it on more than one occasion). This group will always ALWAYS oppose change and seek to preserve the status quo even if it means bringing harm to others or themselves.

    This “civil war” will do what needed to be done some time ago: Properly identify individuals in the county about where they stand on key issues. Wearing the GOP button, sadly, is not enough anymore. Through proper identification, the people can make clear-cut choices about who they want as their elected officials and who they need to stand in opposition to.

    It will also aid in shining the light of truth upon those who stand in dark corners and fling veiled threats, insults, and innuendos about.

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  5. sshm:

    Glad to have you read and post on here.

    You make good points. However, there is a difference. "We the People" the Lexington County group did not call into WVOC and threaten people or follow people around taking notes.

    The Aryan Nation leader who lives around Red Bank didn't act that way.

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  6. Actually what is happening up in Anderson is par for the state in most ways. Sanford and his ilk cherrypick this and that make their Libertarian Party push with it.

    People in Anderson are just a bit nuttier, but the basic divide is the same here in the Pee Dee.

    Didn't Bill McAbee tick off Sanford a few years ago? Don't doubt my good friend Mark having a hand in attacking McAbee.

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  7. Hey, can't you get a hint? Don't you know its time for you to pack your bags and just leave? You are not welcomed here. Go back to Columbia and quick! Honea Path does not need you!

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  8. Harley,

    Sanford could care less about a lower level elected official like Bill McAbee. Why would he care what a bone-head thinks.

    Are you Bill McAbee trying to make yourself look big in the eyes of others?

    This is really a funny post. Sanford pissed at McAbee, I bet he doesn't even know his name.

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  9. Sanford knew McAbee well enough to declare him off the reservation during a meeting of the GOP leadership in 2000.

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  10. Stan the ManFebruary 23, 2008

    McAbee was the Indian leaving with the fat squaw that was not his wife?

    Sanford saw this coming? He saw that McAbee would become a liberal at the beck and call of the little dictator?

    Bill McAbee is nothing more than a man who is going trough the midlife crisis. Instead of a new car, he reached for a fat babe and a credit card.

    The little dictator could not be happier to oblige.

    Admit it, Mr. Honea Path lawyer, you underestimated the little dictator. He corrupted your friend right under your nose.

    Pay for your diet cokes all you want at Sullivans, you can't save your buddy. Why don't you just move back to Columbia?

    Take that. Civil war? Yep.
    Just how much money did your buddy's squaw make on a real estate sell to the county? How much of that did she kick back to your buddy?

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  11. Cindy Wilson is a crook. It is good to see someone call her on it. She surrounds herself with crooks and ex cons. Ask that reporter that loves her so much about his record. The radio guy has been on a watchlist for years because he clearly hates America and anything that resembles order.

    That's why those folks hate anyone who is Sheriff. They hate anyone who keeps them from running their crew.

    I would call her Caoo Cindy, but the mafia has more dignity and respect for people and their family lives.

    Cindy is the leader of a bunch of misfits cons.

    That's all.

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