Last-minute ploys in city council race


ince I haven’t decided what I think about it myself, let me ask you: What do you think of the last-minute attacks in the Columbia City Council at-large race?

Two examples of what I’m talking about: Cameron Runyan holds a press conference to claim that incumbent Daniel Rickenmann had a conflict-of-interest on recent tentative decision to approve a six-story development in Five Points. There was a story about that in the paper the other day.

Then, on Sunday, the above flier shows up on windshields outside Bethel AME Church. (This was reported on in today’s paper.) There is no date on the photo, and little explanatory information. But to describe it as simply as possible, it purports to show Mr. Rickenmann at what has all the marks of a Kappa Alpha fraternity party. But I suppose it could be just about anything. As to whether that’s Mr. Rickenmann, well … all those preppy white boys tend to look alike to me. As I said awhile back, I think Cameron Runyan looks like Daniel Rickenmann, so don’t go by me.

Here’s what today’s news story said:

The fliers showed a picture of Rickenmann at a fraternity party while
he was a student at USC. He and a group of fraternity brothers, some
dressed in Confederate uniforms, are posing in front of a Confederate
battle flag. In the picture, Rickenmann, dressed in a tuxedo, is
toasting the camera with a drink.

Or, you could just look at the picture above.

No one has taken responsibility for the flier — neither Hamas nor the Symbionese Liberation Army has come forward, and Mr. Runyan denies it outright.

Both of these attacks came after we had endorsed Mr. Runyan for the seat, and we had no interest in running anything about them in editorial. We don’t even have an editorial position on the (relative) high-rise in Five Points — I’m at odds with my three associates on that one — much less what role Mr. Rickenmann should or shouldn’t have played in the decision thus far.

As for the "Confederate" picture… even if we had raised it to denounce Mr. Runyan (or whoever distributed it; I don’t know who), it would have focused so much negative attention on Mr. Rickenmann that it would look like we, as Runyan supporters, were piling on. (Add to that our usual reluctance to air any new charges in the last day or two of an election, when it’s too late for the accused to give a fair answer.)

Anyway, it all came out in the end for Mr. Rickenmann, so congratulations to him and his supporters. I just provide this post as a place for y’all to discuss the last-minute stuff.

22 thoughts on “Last-minute ploys in city council race

  1. bud

    I’m just glad that I can buy beer in Columbia now. That particular resolution was the most important aspect of the election.

  2. Brad Warthen

    What’s Lee talking about? Rickenmann was the “Don Tomlin” candidate, for those keeping such score.
    Don’s candidate lost in the OTHER race, not this one.

  3. Jack Twist

    Runyan was DOA as soon as Joe Azar publicly endorsed and supported him. Once that happened, many viewed Runyan as a fringe candidate popular with kooks/loons.
    Now, Runyan’s political future (like Azar’s) is over before it even began.
    Voters again overwhelmingly rejected Azar’s toxic and self-serving views.

  4. Doug Ross

    > I’m just glad that I can buy beer in
    >Columbia now. That particular resolution was
    >the most important aspect of the election.
    Amen! Now if we can just get rid of ALL the ridiculous blue laws… the whole notion that the government can set what time of day a store can open is bizarre.

  5. Candid

    Warthen shows his melanin bashing preferences: “all those preppie white boys look alike to me.”
    Beat up on those white boys, racial profile them, discriminate against them–it’s OK, they are white, the pariahs of society. Ship them all back to Europe, right Warthen?
    Definitely, Get the blue devils out of law enforcement, so only negro cops and troopers can make traffic stops, that would stop that nasty negro profiling law enforcement engages in, right Warthen?

  6. Jimmy

    This is the funniest thing ever. Runyan hired the Quinns to run his campaign, and the crew who helps run the Southern Partisan put out a piece like this? Hilarious.

  7. Rosewood voter

    I had planned to vote for Runyan and then was disappointed to see these rotten tactics. Stuff like this just degrades the democratic process…I always hope for a higher standard in local elections. Anyway, the photo stunt was enough to change my mind at the last minute and I voted for Rickenmann. On the other hand, Belinda set a great example on how to run a positive, honorable campaign.

  8. Tony Snell

    Let’s give Rickenmann kudos for also running a positive campaign. Furthermore, he received broad support and a resounding, double-digit win. I’m proud to have him as our representative! One day, The State may get it right.

  9. Mike

    >One day, The State may get it right.
    That’ll be the day after my partner of 14 years, and (as of our visit to Canada last summer) my husband of 9 months, have our marriage recognized by not only The State, but the state of South Carolina.

  10. Randy Ewart (SC)

    Interesting tangent, Mike.
    The lack of significance assigned to this photo speaks to a main component of the race issue provoked by the Wright situation – how whites may be oblivious or dismissive of the undertones. Sure, this was a dirty trick, but this is also a public official with many black constituents.
    KAs are not just another group of “preppy white boys” – fraternities in the south are segregated by choice. This is an organization whose central identity is composed of a strong affiliation with the Confederacy.
    My contention is not that this is necessarily wrong as I have not put much thought into it. My point is that there is no dialogue.

  11. Steven

    “KAs are not just another group of “preppy white boys” – fraternities in the south are segregated by choice. This is an organization whose central identity is composed of a strong affiliation with the Confederacy.”
    Fraternities everywhere are segregated by choice. I don’t know of a single white person that was in the traditionally “black fraternities” when I went to USC. As to KA, yes, their central identity is strongly linked to the confederacy, but a large part of that has to do with the fact that their ideals are based on those of their “spiritual founder,” Robert E. Lee, a confederate general.
    I’m not a KA, but I have known several and I don’t believe their fascination with the confederacy has anything to do with a hatred of blacks or a desire to go back to slavery. I don’t know KAs to be any more racist or prejudice than the typical white male who grew up in South Carolina. Do we really need more dialogue about the confederate flag?

  12. Brad Warthen

    Who said I was not? But I was never in a frat. I was a committed independent. That’s not to brag on my fierce individualism; in my day, fraternities were seriously uncool. I think they’re pretty uncool NOW, but in my day they were a very unfashionable subculture. So not pledging one was a sort of conformism back then.
    Personally, I’m packing my bags in anticipation of this “send the white boys back to Europe” program. My wife and I have been wanting to go visit England or Ireland, but haven’t had the time or cash, what with family commitments. This sounds like a great opportunity — although I’d rather have gone back when Tony was the PM.

  13. Fartmeister

    Everyone knows that KA’s are great guys. Everyone also knows that Columbia is a city run BY blacks FOR blacks.

  14. Dulce

    There are white members in the historically black fraternities and sororities nationwide. I personally know of a few a white members that pledged at USC. Plus the comment that Columbia is a city ran by blacks for blacks is racist in it self. If you have a problem with the political structure of Columbia you need to get involved. Regardless of Rickenmann’s affiliation with KA he is involved in the political process. He is trying to make a difference.I also don’t think that he is racist because of his affiliation with KA.

Comments are closed.