Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The State Newspaper v. K-Flo, Pt. II

We'll be the first to admit that Spartanburg businesswoman Karen Floyd didn't exactly knock it out of the park in her two debate performances this week.

Nor are Floyd's latest television ads particularly impressive.

And we're still not entirely pleased with her recent backpedaling on the issue of school choice. It's made her look indecisive and evasive, two qualities you don't want prominently displayed on the eve of the fight of your political life.

All in all, whatever retainer Floyd's paying Sanford advisor Jon Lerner, she's obviously not getting the highly-regarded consultant's best effort in this race.

Having said all of that, Floyd has done absolutely nothing to deserve the continuing journalistic mugging she's receiving at the hands of The State newspaper.

This morning's front-page story focuses on a $100 contribution made by Floyd's step-mother to the campaign of her opponent, Jim Rex. It follows another front-page story two days ago that revealed (shock) that 33 of 34 local superintendents (in a poll conducted by The State) were supporting Rex over Floyd.

Let's play devil's advocates, shall we?

Assume that the Floyd campaign put our a press release highlighting the fact that 33 of 34 leading school choice advocates were endorsing her candidacy.

Would The State have run a story on that? Let alone put it on the front page with a screaming headline?

Of course not.

In all likelihood, reporter Bill Robinson would have politely called Floyd spokesman Hogan Gidley back and informed him that, in The State's opinion, school choice supporters endorsing Floyd "isn't news."

In fact, the only way such a hypothetical endorsement would have ever make it into the pages of The State were if Robinson needed a "hook" to write yet another hit piece attacking Floyd for the contributions she has received from school choice supporters.

They might have published it then, and if so, the endorsement might have made the last paragraph of Robinson's one-sided story.

Ready for another hypothetical?

Now let's suppose that The State obtained conclusive evidence that Jim Rex's step-father (in the event he even has one) had written a $100 check to the Floyd campaign.

Would The State have written a story about that? Much less plastered it on the front page with another screaming headline - this time above the fold?

Of course not.

If anything, Aaron Sheinin and John O'Connor (both of whom FITS considers diligent, unbiased reporters, by the way) might have included the item in The State's Sunday "Buzz" section - a humorous, informal collection of weekly political briefs that are read by Rusty DePass, a staffer in Joe Wilson's office and maybe a half-dozen other political junkies.

Go ahead and tell us we're wrong. We're used to hearing that, and occasionally we are wrong.

But honestly, if the two campaigns were reversed in this situation we'd bet every penny in our pockets against every penny in all of your pockets that things would have gone down exactly as we just described them.

That, friends, is the definition of a double standard, and the embodiment of a biased, irresponsible form of agenda-driven journalism that has absolutely no place in a free-thinking society.

Since we railed quite extensively on The State's fundamental abdication of its First Amendment responsibility two days ago, we'll spare you another Dennis Miller-esque rant today.

Just know that as far as the Superintendent of Education race is concerned, The State newspaper might as well be Jim Rex campaign headquarters.


Blogger Upstate Voice said...


To start, you worked for Sanford, therefore you worked for Howard Rich. A very significant portion of your current contract revenues come directly from Rich's pocket. Dance all you want - you work for Howard Rich.

Karen Floyd is a joke. A failure as a wife, a failure in business, and a tireless self-promoter and opportunist.

Sounds like just the resume that Howard Rich looks for.


2:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I submit that you were wrong about The State's article about 33/34 superintendents the other day, and you're still wrong about it.

OF COURSE it's a news story. The State Superintendent of Education is going to have to work with these people!!!!!

The fact that they overwhelmingly disapprove of Karen Floyd's candidacy doesn't mean that she's a bad candidate -- indeed, I suspect that to you and some other conservatives, it means she's terrific! But it raises obvious questions that the public may be interested in considering.

How will she get along with these folks, if elected? Will they buy into her agenda? Will they actively thwart her efforts? Since they're bosses are really the local school boards, will she be able to influence them much at all?

These are questions worth pondering -- regardless of which candidate you support or what you think of so-called "educrats" -- and it was a good story for The State to report.

Plain and simple.

3:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your wrong, Will. How can you not run the story on the front? The Post and Courier did as well. A candidate's own mother and father endorsing the opponent is a very intriguing story, no matter the candidate or the race. Say what you want about the other story, but this one is legit and I'd say causes some problems for Floyd among voters who are on the fence. Her own stepmother can't say anything more for Floyd other than "I wish Karen well" ... ouch.

3:24 PM

Blogger faithinsound said...

Actually, people, we work for Satan. It's as simple as that.

You can call him Howie Rich, Mark Sanford, Karen Floyd (although that would be calling him a "her"), or whatever name you want, at the end of the day it's all just a Rolling Stones song to us.

But in the spirit of Mick Jagger's "have some sympathy, and some taste," perhaps Upstate Voice should purchase the box set and give the tune a spin since "taste" is obviously not a word that's in your vocabulary.

We've been critical of Floyd.

Hell, we were critical of her in this post.

We think she's run a bad campaign and we also happen to think that Rex is probably the best candidate on the Democratic ticket by a mile.

In fact, if Jim Rex had more than $4,000 in the bank, this race would be his to lose at this point, which come to think of it probably explains The State's front-page filleting of Floyd.

Rex doesn't have the cash to get his message out, so somebody's got to do it for him, and in addition to The State that apparently includes the Upstate Voice posting comments like "Karen Floyd is a failure as a wife."

Of course, what do we know, right?

After all, the Devil made us do it ...

Enjoy your service,


4:03 PM

Blogger Upstate Voice said...

No, Will. It's not anywhere near that complicated or esoteric, although I admit you have a gift for eloquence when decsribing the obscure and meaningless.

You work for Howard Rich. You're a pawn in his game, no different than Sanford, Floyd, Eckstrom, Gross, et al. You have all sold your souls to Rich, to extend your analogy.

Your only criticism of Floyd is that it seems she's having some guilt pangs about screwing the children, and taxpayers, of South Carolina, by backing away from Rich's voucher plan.

As for taste, come on man. You chiding someone about taste is both priceless and a little sickening.

And Karen Floyd is, in fact, a failure as a wife (thrice officially, fourth only rumored for now). It's public record.


6:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Folks…

The Floyd/Rex race is supposed to be about education. It, theoretically, is of interest to the more educated and intellectually inclined people in SC. Perhaps even the more culturally enlightened among us.

But please notice that the anti Floyd people are red faced and virulent in their personal attacks against Floyd, Sanford and anyone else that stands for meaningful change in education.

They have attacked Mrs. Floyd, her mother, her adopted sons, her contributors and those that agree with her plans to invigorate education in SC. There is nothing academic about their attacks…it is personal. The harshness and bitterness of their personal screeds shows that the Floyd/Sanford plan has hit these dead beat/failure oriented “education professionals” right where it hurts them most…their pocketbooks. Take away their gravy trains of “pay for failure” and they go wild…not just polling day wild but post office melee wild.

All data shows that Mrs. Floyd will win this race…and I only hope that when she does she arrives at the bloated, loser filled offices of the Education Department…with a van full of pink slips.

7:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will Folks talking to someone about taste.

Now that is just plain funny.

7:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


This is a sad column because it reads like a sour grapes. Too bad, so sad.

By the way UV, I love the "failure as a wife, a failure in business, and a tireless self-promoter and opportunist" - sounds like a great campaign slogan!

7:50 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice Upstate!

Hey Will... enjoy your service!

9:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone should actually check their facts. Mr. Kanes went on the record that he is voting for his daughter and is sending a contribution to her. See the Spartanburg-Herald Journal article.

That the State didn't include this fact and let the implication of the Rex campaign that Dr. Kanes wasn't voting for his daughter is either shoddy journalism or lends credence to FITS' contention that The State has an agenda.

Perhaps Mrs. Floyd should seek campaign contributions from the private schools Mr. Rex's children attended and his ex-wives....

While Mrs. Floyd is talking about getting more money to the classroom, restoring discipline and actually teaching all children to read, Mr. Rex's campaign is obsessing about minimal donations from embittered step-family members.

Does the name Cinderella ring a bell?

9:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The most telling part of this story is that her dad waited for all of this to occur before contributing to his own daughter's campaign. Not to mention that his wife felt strongly enough to take the time and effort to write a check to her opponent. I'm sorry, but I've had a jerk stepfather or two in my lifetime but they still would have contributed to my campaign if I was running for office. I can't help but think that Floyd has character issues, the first being that she's willing to sell herself out to out-of-state benefactors.

9:46 AM

Anonymous west_rhino said...

Anon 2 Karen Floyd's father did not endorse Jim Rex... read the full story or just keep drinking the KoolAid.

Wil, since ther are no real investigative reporters in SC, could you tell me if the half billion Jim Rex says K-Flo will cost our overpriced schools is the same 500 million that Tommy Moore claims Governor Sanford stole from starving minorites in the same schools?

I'm beginning to wonder if we have pie in the sky promises that better fit a cash flow pyramid system infomercial economics pitched to the soccer mom crowd...

Seersucker seems not to want that aspect out there.

10:08 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I reside in Spartanburg and work in the same circle as Ms. Floyd. Her father and stepmother also reside in Spartanburg part-time. Neither parent had intended to give their daughter/stepdaughter any financial support for her campaign until the journalists discovered Ms. Kane's contribution to Mr. Rex. To "even things out", Mr. Kane then (and only then) sent a matching contribution to his daughter. Until then, he had not made any plans to do so.

One interesting bit of info that never made it to any papers is that back in July when Ms. Floyd celebrated a birthday, she sent invitations to a large number of people, including their children. They were invited to celebrate her birthday with her for a charge of $10 per person, children, too A campaign contribution disguised as birthday party admission. Most people who received the invitation were not only insulted, but had never seen anything so tacky.

Should she be elected, will she reside in Columbia or commute to and from Spartanburg? I don't see her husband (#3) giving up his funeral business but then if she abandons her children and resides in Columbia, she'll miss out on the Mother of the Year Award.

Karen Floyd is a real piece of work. And having worked with her before, I guarantee you she will never get my vote nor my support.

11:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

More than ever I am convinced the problem with education resides in the marginal abilities of "government workers" whom we have mistakenly entrusted our children too.

Their low caliber and personal attacks show a group lacking in intellectual ability and moral character.

Disgusted….I am truly disgusted.

6:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa, hoss....now it's that educators are not-too-bright people who lack moral integrity.....

Will, what's your take on that?

9:47 PM

Blogger The Body Politic - Joshua Gross said...

UV wrote: Sanford, Floyd, Eckstrom, Gross, et al.

Wow, what a group, I should be so fortunate... To be considered as a friend of those three terrific people, all three of whom I support wholeheartedly (and of my own accord, by the way)... I am truly honored.

Thanks -- you totally made my morning.

8:34 AM

Blogger Upstate Voice said...


You seem like a fairly intelligent guy. Why in the world would you spend your time and effort pimping for Howard Rich?

Oh, yeah. Money.


1:39 PM


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