Since 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.