A letter to the editor published in The State Newspaper this morning called Treasurer’s Office candidate Greg Ryberg “one of the most honest, honorable and straightforward people I have ever known.”
Kindly permit us to say, "Hogwash."
In all of our years, we have never seen a candidate so willing to deliberately lie and distort his record the way Greg Ryberg has on the gambling issue.
Just this week, FITS received in our mailbox a piece of Ryberg propaganda (pictured above) that said: “When gambling threatened to deal South Carolina families a bad hand … Greg Ryberg ha(d) the courage to stand for what’s right.”
The truth about Greg Ryberg and gambling goes a little something like this: “When gambling threatened to deal the families of South Carolina a bad hand … Greg Ryberg had the audacity to reap huge profits off of the lottery and video poker while pretending to oppose it so he could pander to right wing voters.”
Far from “standing up” and “fighting gambling,” Ryberg made thousands of dollars operating video poker machines for years in his convenience stores. Of course when it came time to run for public office he “conveniently” took them out, but then he flip-flopped once elected and allowed the video poker machines to come right back as part of a $49 million deal to sell his stores.
And that’s not even the half of it. While standing in the well of the South Carolina Senate back in 2000 and railing against the evils of gambling, Ryberg’s convenience stores in Georgia were selling lottery tickets by the thousands.
Talk about a hypocrite. He pockets huge profits from gambling in his “business” life but turns around and claims to be an anti-gambling crusader in his political life.
“No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true,” Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote in The Scarlet Letter.
Perhaps Senator Ryberg should read that passage, or maybe he should stop pandering to Bible-Beaters and actually pick up a Bible himself, in which case we would refer him to the Book of Matthew, Chapter 6, Verse 24:
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Mammon.”
We like Greg Ryberg’s fiscal conservatism here at FITS, we really do. But we’ll take an honest big-spender over an outright liar any day of the week. And that’s what Greg Ryberg is – a liar.
Unfortunately, in a rare moment of political miscalculation, Gov. Mark Sanford has chosen to endorse Senator Ryberg. He’s obviously operating under the assumption that Ryberg’s word means something and that he will “stand up” against wasteful spending on the Budget and Control Board.
Given Ryberg’s definition of “standing up,” however, the governor is being incredibly naïve. In fact, when one of Ryberg’s primary opponents was making inroads with influential Clemson University supporters, Ryberg made it clear to them that his support of the governor would not extend to Budget and Control Board votes affecting Clemson.
What a chameleon.
FITS will be unveiling its full list of primary predictions and recommendations in this weekend’s “Heard in the Echo Chamber” edition, but if you care even remotely about honesty and integrity in your elected officials, then your choice in the State Treasurer’s race is crystal clear:
Anybody But Ryberg.