I just heard that I’ve been ‘accused’ of being the mastermind and organizer of the great and very successful petition drive yesterday. Although I would be honored to have that great distinction, the truth is I was one of many followers of some really talented and dedicated organizers that made yesterday such a success.
The fact that there is a false accusation out there is not bothersome to me. The problem I am having is the underlying tone of those making the accusations is one of disbelief that I, as an elected official, am participating in the signing of the petitions at all, much less
At the risk of angering some of my fellow ‘club members’, I am embarrassed and concerned that none of our Spartanburg County elected officials (save one that I know of) have participated in, or even asked to participate in, this petition process. If we as a group have come to think that one of the easiest ways to keep our jobs is to ensure that no one can be on the ballot against us, we not only set ourselves up as elitists, but dictators as well. Sitting back and watching a failed election cycle where thousands may (because of redistricting) be forced to be represented by a person they NEVER had a choice in voting for is not acceptable. If accusations are to be made, they need to be made at those that chose not to participate.
I have made it clear that I am not endorsing local candidates this time around. I did, for the sake of democracy and free elections, participate in getting signatures yesterday for one of the decertified candidates. I want to personally thank and commend many of Rep. Forrester’s supporters that came out yesterday and signed the petition for his would-be opposition. They were clear that they liked Rep. Forrester, but as one of them said, they “liked democracy more”. That is a true understanding of democracy.
I am grateful for, and proud of, those that have participated in the signature process so far – both signers and solicitors. Keep up the hard work and keep the goal in mind – free elections – not hindered or dictated.