Is THIS What To Expect?

The race for South Carolina State Superintendent of Education has gotten pissy, primarily because of the campaign manager for one of the candidates.

J. W. Ragley, Dr. Mick Zais’ spokesperson/campaign manager/attack dog has made it his mission to smear one of Zais’ opponents, Dutch Fork High School teacher Kelly Payne.  Attacks are something one might expect in a political campaign, but Zais/Ragley have gotten a bit creepy in their … ummmm …pursuits of Ms. Payne.

Ragley can often be seen filming Payne at campaign events, even those Dr. Zais doesn’t attend.  An example is the recent Myrtle Beach Tea Party meeting, at which Ms. Payne was endorsed.   One of their members asked Ragley why he was filming it and he replied that every campaign videos their opponents.   However, Zais’ is the only one of all of the statewide the SoE campaigns for any office known to video opponents and he only videos Kelly.   [Pause for a thought:  What DOES he do with those videos?]

Following the May 1st Berkeley GOP Breakfast, Ragley sent the following “tweet” on Twitter:

First sign destroyed. This sign happens to be by Dutch Fork High School. Guess when you’re desperate, you’ll destroy someone else’s sign. 11:59 AM May 1st via UberTwitter

No one from the Payne campaign was in the Dutch Fork area.  A minor detail, I know.  But, I guess when you’re desperate, you’ll make any thing up.

On another occasion, upon leaving for Dutch Fork High after attending an early morning fundraiser in downtown Columbia, Ms. Payne noticed Ragley following her car all the way to school.

As I said, CREEPY.

Among Ragley’s “tweets,” I like this one the best:

Just saw a raccoon crawl into a sewer on Duncan Street.                       9:59 PM Apr 28th via UberTwitter

J.W.:  If you don’t feed ’em, you won’t have to worry about them coming into your living room.

Ragley’s sewer residency is what is to be concerned about.  If this is the type of person running this type of campaign for Dr. Zais, then his potential administration as Superintendent would be a great worry.  Are these dung-tossing tactics what should be expected if he’s elected?  Will those who disagree with him have to look over their shoulders to see if they’re being (metaphorically) followed?  Can they expect to be lied about for not toeing the Zais line?  Will shortfalls or failures be automatically blamed on someone else as responsibility is shifted to innocent parties to protect the Superintendent?

Campaigns are intense, passion-fueled adventures.  Things happen, things are said and things get out of hand.  But the consistency of the tactics engaged can be revealing about the character of the candidate and insight into his/her practices.

Dr. Zais is known for treating his subordinates poorly.  If he is elected, EVERY school administrator, staffer and teacher will be his subordinate.  And, since accusations seem to come so easily, Heaven protect any student or parent that disagrees with SoE policies.

Zais/Ragley have provided an education on what might be expected if successful in being elected.



17 thoughts on “Is THIS What To Expect?

  1. Here’s what I think of the state of the Supt. of Ed. race:

    If you’re a Republican Party regular, you’re probably voting for Zais.
    If you’re a Tea Partier, you’re probably voting for Payne.
    If you’re a Christian conservative, you’re probably voting for Nelsen.

    Everyone else? They really have no idea who any of these candidates for this down-ballot position are.

    Oh, and the whole videotaping opponent’s speeches is standard operating procedure for political campaigns. What it should tell you is that an experienced political operative running Zais’ campaign has information that leads the Zais campaign to believe that Payne is their biggest threat, and they’re already planning for the Zais/Payne runoff. Though one would think that a volunteer and not a rival campaign manager would be doing the filming, but whatever.


  2. Charlie…there you go again. The Payne “endorsement” took place at the Horry GOP hoedown, where Mick Zais was speaking. It was a public event. So you’re facts are wrong…again.

    Second, the Zais sign was destroyed the same day as a held by Dutch Fork where Ms. Payne was campaigning on May 1 at a 5k according to Preston Baines.

    Third, the Payne campaign has a guy with a buzz cut who travels to video tape Mick Zais. I’ve got some video of him from a meeting in Saluda where no one from the Payne campaign showed up.

    Finally, I think it’s fair to ask why Kelly Payne would not be in class during the middle of the morning. Every day she takes off to campaign is a taxpayer-paid day off. It’s really that simple: she has and is campaigning on the taxpayer’s dime.


    • First, didn’t say Dr. Zais wasn’t at the Myrtle Beach event.
      Second, she was also in Berkeley Country that morning.
      Third, if “no one from the Payne campaign showed up,” how is buzz-cut from the Payne campaign?
      Finally… What is Ms. Payne’s class schedule? Are you accusing the DFHS principal of being complicit in time-card fraud? Does she campaign on scheduled and/or approved time off?


      • Charlie, you’re wrong. Thank goodness you are not in law enforcement because your investigative skills are worthless. Kelly Payne herself announced her whereabouts on the morning of May 1.

        “Watching my 7th grade son in a 5K race Dutch Fork Middle to Walmart. Go Jack!” – 7:50AM, May 1st via text

        “65 to 69 Berkeley County GOP Breakfast Club Straw Poll. Thank u for your support wish I could’ve gone!” – 11:55am, May 1st via text

        She wasn’t in Berkeley County on May 1st and she wasn’t at the Berkeley County GOP Breakfast club. If she was somewhere else in Berkeley County, then she was lying about being in Dutch Fork….which happens to be right by the Mick Zais sign that had been torn apart and thrown into the woods. I have a picture text to prove it.

        The facts, yet again Charlie, are not on your side.


        • J.W. You are right and I was wrong about Ms. Payne being in Berkeley County that day. My info was incorrect and I take responsibility for posting it here.

          Further, given that Ms. Payne was in the same zip code as the torn sign CLEARLY makes her culpable in its destruction.

          Don’t get too cocky, though, J.W. I’m asking the Lexington County Sheriff’s department to investigate you regarding a series of burglaries in the county. After all, you WERE in Lexington County when the crimes took place, and facts ARE facts.


  3. Ever heard of high school late start on certain days? If you are running the public schools you should be aware of these things. The morning event you are referring too was on a late start day. I was invited to the same event and saw Ms. Payne.


  4. JW Ragley, Katon Dawson, Robert Cahaly, Warren Tompkins…come on, these guys are the devil. They love smut, smear and slime.

    Anyone that hires them loses my vote.


  5. This is just more evidence that Ms. Payne is doing the right thing and on the road to be the next State Superintendent of Education. You’ve got the Zais campaign running scared, Ms. Payne! Keep up the good work!


  6. The videotaping of speeches doesn’t bother me, for either side. It’s common practice, like a football team taping another school’s games. The following her in her car part IS creepy, though. Very, very creepy. What is he trying to find? A secret meeting with Bill Ayers where they’re plotting the demise of conservative America? Come on. Does he really have to follow her???? Maybe he just wants to feel like he’s a super-sleuth. I bet he even wears dark sunglasses and a fake mustache. Mr. Ragley, you’re not that cool. Keep video taping (legally, of course), but stop following her. Please.

    And in a school full of students who love Ms. Payne, isn’t it possible that a rambunctious teenager tore the sign down and not somebody from the Payne camp? I know, “dirty politics” is much juicier. Don’t let logic get in the way.


  7. Can you imagine what a thrill for all of the tongue-wagging hyocrite voyeurs with no real lives a Zais administration would be if it was filled with soap opera script writer wannabes like Ragley. Does the general who professes to be a man of great integrity even know what his top lieutenant is doing instead of using his creativity to address the real issues in this campaign? Or could Ragley be working on his own Section 8?


  8. TO the comment that stated that High School starts late???? Please tell me when that happened?? Was it a two hour delay day??? Your comment wasn’t quiet clear seeing that school doesn’t JUST start late.


  9. How many days has Payne missed for a campaign? I heard she missed the maximum amount plus her personal days. Those are days missed for the student’s learning. I read that Payne only got her teaching certification in 2005. In 1995, she received her BS in Political Science. Then, I heard that she had been a public school teacher for 15 years. Which is it? Which is it? Something smells somewhere.


    • P.S. It was her campaign that stated that she has been teaching for 15 years. You don’t teach for 15 years in the public classroom if you only got your certification in 2005. Which is correct?


  10. So how many years has Kelly Payne actually taught school?

    Zais taught in a classroom for what, three years, at West Point?

    Nelsen has taught at Furman for 20+ years?

    Has Payne taught for five, ten, 15? I can’t figure it out.

    If Payne’s trump card that she has taught in the public school, then how many years has she actually taught in public schools?


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