Sen. Robert Ford: Open letter to Carol Fowler and the South Carolina Democratic Party Hierarchy

September 2010

Alvin Greene, Candidate for the U. S. Senate and Ben Frazier, Candidate for the U. S. House representing the First Congressional District of South Carolina were duly elected by the voters in the June 8, 2010 Democratic Primary. Under the Democratic Party Rules dating back from the Modern Democratic Party in the 1830’s, when you won the Primary the Democratic Party was obligated to support the candidate. The Democratic Party has never elected their candidate by convention they are elected by the Primary. In the past, most of the time the Primary was honest and fair to every candidate. But recently in America, Democrats and Republican officials with their elitist and self-serving ambitions have decided to circumvent the democratic process. Dictated by bigotry and their prejudiced attitudes they have the illusion that they should choose the nominee. Their recent behavior demonstrates they will do anything in their power to do just that. At least when the Republican Party attempts to choose their nominees they often yield to external public pressure nor do they yield to divisive internal party pressure. Officials in the Democratic Party always take a negative position and do everything in their power to promote their self-serving agenda.

I would like to advise and warn the Democratic Party and their official body it is imperative that you publicly support Alvin Greene and Ben Frazier. If you do not you are essentially delivering a fatal blow to the future of the Democratic Party. In America, we vote by secret ballot and who you vote for is private matter. No one can force you to vote for anyone. But for the party to send out correspondence and deliberately not include the names of the two Democratic Primary elected candidates is bigotry at its best. The two main reasons why it is hard for Democrats to win in South Carolina is one, the attitude of the Democratic Party and second the idea that the party has the right to select the nominee. A majority of the people that have contacted me regarding this incident perceive the actions as racist because Alvin Greene and Ben Fraizer are both African-Americans. But to categorize the act as racism is far too easy — it’s simply plain old prejudice and the attitude that you are better than others.

The Democratic Party is not a closed social club. It is a political party whose main function is to elect people to public office. When you choose a candidate and discriminate against another candidate – we lose more than we have gained. Have you not observed that South Carolina has one of the lowest voter turnouts in the United States? In the last Presidential Election Democrats had a 90% voter turnout nationwide, South Carolina only recorded a 71% turnout?

In closing, my advice is to work with all people who are Democrats or be prepared to continue to lose all of our elected seats. Any Democrat in South Carolina can tell you that the party is making a catastrophic mistake. You might be wondering why no one else is speaking out on this issue. I’m speaking out because I am the longest serving African-American elected Democrat in the state. I have been elected to office since 1974, elected to two public offices as a Democrat. Prior to my being elected, I worked in thirty-seven states performing massive voter registration as a Democrat on campaigns sponsored by labor organizations and the Civil Rights Movement. Well, and last but not least you don’t have any strong White or Black men with the courage to buck the system; they are simply afraid of the party as a whole and the contribution you provide. Overall, many of these people are not interested in serving the citizens who elected them anyway; they are only interested in serving themselves and their family members and friends.

State Senator Robert Ford, Senate District 42