As you may have seen on the front page above the fold on today's State Newspaper "The Richland County Election search panel is misled and confused". As my partner Jonathon Rush said when he read that "congratulations you're now in the same boat as the voters". So welcome aboard!
The commish of this debacle is Herbert Sims who apparently informed the rest of the rag tag crew to keep it secret who the 3 finalists to replace Lillian McBride are. That according to search panel member Sue Berkowitz. Now that goes in direct violation of state law which dictates the 3 finalists names are to be released to the media upon request. But of course they weren't. Not until the press got a hold of Richland County attorney Larry Smith. Smith seemed confused as to why the panel wasn't releasing the names. "I told Mr Sims once you got down to 3 names, the law made those 3 names subject to being released to the media upon request. Sue Berkowitz said Sims "either didn't understand that or chose to tell the rest of the committee we were not allowed to give it out". Sims was reached Wednesday by phone but told the press he'd have to call them back and as of this morning has not. What can't these people screw up?
In case you're wondering the press finally did receive the 3 names. They are all currently election directors in their respective counties. Howard Jackson Orangeburg. Patricia Jefferson Sumter. Adam Ragan Gaston NC. One of these 3 will have the pleasure of replacing Lillian McBride.
I found this interesting as well. Lillian was paid $89,124 a year. She had no previous experience, and yet received the highest salary for county Election Commissioner's in the state. She replaced a man who had held that position for 4 decades and had run complaint free elections. Mike Cinnamon made approximately $68,000 before the commission violated our state law by combining the commission and voter registration. The violation was because they never had the authority to do that. Then to add insult to injury they paid McBride 20 grand more than Cinnamon, and when the election turned into a joke tried to blame Cinnamon! They said he didn't leave her enough information to run a smooth election. McBride eventually resigned and was quickly re-hired at a salary of $74,600 per year this time working with Voter Registration and Absentee voting. The thing that's striking is the new Director of the Elections Commission will be hired at an approximate salary of $75,000 a year. Yes Lilian McBride will be making roughly the same salary as the person who is supposed to come clean up her disaster. And still several thousand dollars more than the guy who did it great till he was forced out.