Subject: Undated Press Release re Candidate Maurice Washington, FROM: ATTORNEY ANDY SAVAGE
Good Afternoon Richard,
I have received an undated Press Release purportedly prepared on behalf of the Charleston County Democratic Party. How shameful. I further heard that this press release was presented as a threat to intimidate and hopefully prevent a candidate from filing for Senate Seat 42. The Release states that you suggested he should run on the Republican Ticket. Really? You also condemn (by implication) Senator Ford. You might want to check the former Senator’s approval rating in District 42 before you embarrass yourself further. How your colleagues in the Club House feel about him may not be accurately reflect that of his constituents.
If it is true that this release was really prepared by you and was not disseminated as part of an effort to besmirch you and the County Party, then I think it is time for you to step back and reflect. You do not dictate who can and who cannot run for office in a Democrat primary election. There is no litmus test in South Carolina to run as a Democrat or with any other party. Who are you to determine who can run and who cannot? Another filed candidate who you apparently approved might have had the same threats made to her.
By your decision to promote this threat accompanied by a offensive and misleading press release you personify what is wrong with politics today. There was once a time the Democrat Party was considered a “Big Tent” party. It was thought to be inclusive. It welcomed folks who were not in lock step with the Party’s or anyone else’s agenda. For whatever reason you have elected to condemn a possible candidate because he has constantly crossed the aisle and formed alliances that he believed would best serve his constituents. He did that and his constituents (in the cases you reference, the students of SCSU) were better off for it. You condemn him for having the “Big Picture” and for not representing narrow, parochial interests. Shame on you! We need more persons in public office who are not ideologically bound. Candidates who can make a determination what is in their constituents best interest, not their own best interest or that of their Party. In the recent Congressional election I financially supported four Republican primary candidates and one Democrat. I thought that they were the best possible candidates. I went “all in” with the Democrat in the general election because I thought she would be the best representative for our community. You and others of your ilk are the very reason why Andy Brack, Jim Rex and others are talking about forming a Third Party. You and your ilk have caused a severe erosion in the membership of the Democrat Party. Much like the other Andy I no longer have a party where I feel my politics are welcome. Your putative press release confirms that.