Mia McLeod is still giving the “Old Guard” hell over the Richland County elections board:
Will we ever get it right?Once again, the Old Guard (OG) has put personal loyalties, friendships and agendas above your fundamental rights. Haven’t the voters of Richland County suffered enough? Here we are a little more than a month away from the November elections, and your Richland County Legislative Delegation has not only taken its sweet time meeting to vote on County Election Commission candidates, but delegation leaders purposely postponed our meetings until the OG was absolutely sure it had the votes to get at least one incumbent reappointed.
So much for restoring integrity, public trust and confidence to the voting process…Now, with the November elections looming, four of the five appointees have been seated, while one has been denied confirmation by the Governor’s Office. It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of the Governor or Richland County Election Commission incumbents. And the fact that our delegation leaders have remained steadfast in their efforts to keep pertinent information from voters and certain delegation members, while insisting upon this appointment override, is just more proof (not that we need any) that the OG continues to play by its own self-serving, manipulative rules.If I seem frustrated, here’s why:
May 2014 – Delegation members were asked to submit their written votes/ballots for County Election Commission candidates before the House adjourned. Those ballots were supposedly our “official” votes, although several of us requested (and were denied) a full/formal, publicly noticed delegation meeting
June/July 2014 – No appointments were made, no follow-up provided and no meetings of the legislative delegation were scheduled, despite several requests
August 2014 – No appointments were made, no follow-up provided and still, no meetings
September 5, 2014 – The Richland Delegation finally met to vote in person (approximately 2 months before the General Election) to fill 5 Election Commission seats, with no discussion/disposition of the May ballots
Obviously, that May ballot thingy was yet another “shady,” unofficial OG poll/ploy to determine whether they had enough votes to reappoint the incumbent. Despite the OG Senators’ secret weapon (a.k.a. – “weighted voting”), the numbers still didn’t quite work, so what’s the OG to do?
Take no public action/votes until the numbers do work…in their favor, of course…not yours.
Waiting four more months puts new appointees at a severe disadvantage before a major general election, but that’s not their fault. It’s the delegation’s. And alas…the OG got the one incumbent it had been holding up and holding out for.
I know. Shocking, isn’t it?
Here’s where it gets a little tricky…er. Turns out, after the Governor’s Office conducted the requisite screenings, only four of the Delegation’s five appointees could be confirmed and that 5th one just happened to be the 5th highest vote-getter…you guessed it, the OG’s only incumbent appointee.
Now, I don’t know why this appointee wasn’t confirmed and that’s not my issue. I’m more concerned about whether we have a fair, transparent process so that our delegation’s OG loyalty and lack of leadership won’t cost you your vote again this November.
Knowing your vote counts is just as fundamental as the right itself.
And yet some of our delegation members have chosen to submit a letter of support, which effectively “overrides” the Governor and the procedural safeguards that are in place to protect voters–without any public input, deliberation or discussion.
Gotta give it to em…the OG gets what it wants–unequivocally and unapologetically. “The system” is set up that way. By strategically diverting attention away from the truth and pouncing on anyone who doesn’t support its agenda, the OG successfully:
- reappoints incumbents over standard procedural screenings/safeguards
- makes it “personal” by falsely accusing dissenters of character assassination
Truth is…not too long ago, I was accused of assassinating the character of yet another member of the OG’s protected class–former Director McBride.
How’s that for déjà vu?
For me, it’s always about the process—never personal.
But as I’ve told you many times before…we can’t change the message until we change the messengers.
You shouldn’t have to worry about whether your vote counts in this upcoming or any other election, but the sad truth is…until the OG is no longer running the Richland Delegation and County Elections, you’d better worry.
For Richland County voters, it doesn’t get any more personal than that…