It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
The Richland County Election Commission met behind closed doors again yesterday to discuss their lone remaining candidate to take over the job once held by Lillian McBride. Two other candidates with question marks on their resumes have already dropped out. Unfortunately the final candidate comes with red flags of his own.
Howard Jackson, current Orangeburg County elections director, was the focus of a SLED investigation shortly after being appointed elections director in 2008 in a probe over the distribution and collection of absentee ballots. The case was closed after no evidence of criminal wrongdoing was discovered.
Jackson however failed to disclose this when initially interviewed for the position; otherwise I wouldn’t have a problem with it. What’s worse, his failing to mention it or the hiring board’s failure to uncover it? Tough question. Either way it’s just one more reason for the voters of Richland County to wonder if elections will ever be the same again as long as this bunch is running the show.
Here’s an idea. Start from scratch. And while you’re at it open the doors wide for everyone to see the process unfold. Only then will the commission have a chance to begin to rebuild trust with voters.
Yesterday’s meeting was the second closed door session in less than a week and there is another scheduled for tomorrow. Open it up for all to come and see. Maybe they will have a few ideas about what is best for the county since this board doesn’t seem to have a clue.
Mentioned this morning that my wife was watching Piers Morgan on CNN last night when she realized he didn't say a thing about yesterday's Benghazi testimony.
Piers opened with the Cleveland kidnapping case, went to the Jody Arias verdict and back to the Cleveland case again.
Sure these are big stories, but what about Benghazi? On second thought, is the Arias case that big of a story? It is made for TV, but check out today's State Newspaper. There isn't a single word about it! It sure did provide the cover that the MSM needed to ignore the Benghazi story.
CLICK to see how the media did, or in this case did not cover yesterday's Benghazi hearings.
Dick Harpootlian would like to know apparently. This past Friday at the annual BIG DEM get together, Harpootlian dropped this line that left some of us wondering if libs would have screamed racism if a Republican had said it.
You just have to wonder if the folks in charge of local government are as lax with their own money as they are with the taxpayer’s. In a previous post I wondered about the $52,000 that the City of Columbia fronted the retirement system to allow former Chief Randy Scott to “retire” early and collect full benefits even after returning to the job 15 days later. BTW, as far as we know there is and never was anything in writing that would have required Scott to pay that money back.
Now it’s Richland County which continues to throw money into the deep, dark hole over at the Election’s Commission. You know the story well, no point in rehashing it here, but apparently it is far from over. According to the State, each of the three finalists to take over the job held by Lillian McBride have job related issues in their pasts that will do nothing to instill even a shred of confidence in the good voters and taxpayers of the county.
Now we find out exactly how much money (your money) has been paid to lawyers as they try to figure out what when wrong back in November. You would think it should be a fairly easy investigation, but apparently not considering we are more than six months removed from the debacle and still don’t have a final report from the lawyer employed by county to tell us what went wrong. What we do have is a big bill from Steve Hamm to the tune of more than $72,000! It got to the point where Hamm was told that he could no longer be paid for his services even though no final report has been submitted. To his credit he has continued to work pro bono.
What is more baffling is the hiring of an attorney to represent the interests of the Lillian McBride. Why are taxpayers footing the bill for an attorney for McBride? If McBride herself is the subject of a lawsuit while in the employ of the county I get it, but otherwise? We are even told that this same attorney helped to “negotiate” her new position in the department. For the record, county taxpayers have paid nearly $10,000 for those fees. Yep, you have gotten hosed twice when it comes to McBride. Gotta wonder what else we’ll find out before all this is said and done.
Go ahead and write the check. Be sure to make it out to “Incompetence”.