Hard to Starboard
We here at FITS have always liked State Rep. Ralph Norman. After all, he's one of Gov. Mark Sanford's "Taxpayer Heroes," a rare, genuine fiscal conservative in a sea of big-spending Columbia RINOs.
That's why we were so excited, initially at least, when Norman announced last October that he would challenge incumbent Democrat John Spratt for the U.S. Congress. He seemed just the kind of small government, lower tax-candidate that was needed to oust one of D.C.'s most powerful Democratic insiders.
Of course, we had no way of knowing at the time that Norman would end up associating his campaign with one of the sleaziest political goon squads the state of South Carolina has ever seen. We also had no way of knowing that this ethically-challenged outfit would pull an Armstrong Williams, essentially paying off an ostensibly "unbiased" journalist to write favorable content about Norman's chances.
Thanks to some intrepid reporting from the Queen of the S.C. Blogosphere, however, we now know the truth, a little something the folks over at Starboard Communications (pictured above) are apparently still having at little problem owning up to.
"It's the lie that gets you," Richard Nixon once boasted after nailing Alger Hiss on perjury charges in 1950. Of course it was the lie that ultimately got Nixon, too.
Not surprisingly, Starboard's President, Walter Whetsell, has a history of this kind of shadiness.
It was Whetsell who was famously busted in the 2002 GOP gubernatorial runoff after creating a fictitious group for the purpose of sending a false and inflammatory mail piece attacking Gov. Mark Sanford's conservative credentials, part of a secretive last-ditch effort by former Lt. Gov. Bob Peeler's campaign to thwart Sanford's GOP primary momentum.
It was the lie that got Starboard back then, too.
Sanford's campaign was able to link the Whetsell mailing back to Peeler and the whole scam blew up in their faces.
But begging the larger question, Mark Sanford? A liberal? On what planet does that hold true?
Kind of makes you wonder how Whetsell & Co. expect to be taken seriously when they call John Spratt a "Nancy Pelosi liberal." That may in fact be true, but this is a crew that has cried wolf one too many times.
Tragically, Ralph Norman has gravitated to these gutter-dwellers and let a White House with a 30% approval rating dictate his campaign strategy. No wonder recent polls show him getting his rear end handed to him in the 5th District, in spite of the "momentum" that Town Hall columnists are being paid to tell you his campaign is enjoying.
Wise up, Ralph. You're better than this.
You need to be plowing full-speed ahead into the challenges facing your district with a positive, issues-based campaign that the voters can be proud of, not trying to skirt around them with cookie-cutter political goonsmanship.
Just remember where "Hard to Starboard" got Titanic.