Zais Campaign: Horry GOP For Sale

The Horry County Republican Party conducted a straw poll during its “Throw Down Hoe Down” this past weekend.  In that poll, Dutch Fork High School teacher Kelly Payne bested five other candidates in a vote of preference for State Superintendent of Education.  Unfortunately, the campaign organization for one of those candidates is extraordinarily bitter and has implicitly accused the coastal Republicans of being on the take.

Dr. Mick Zais’ campaign director and renowned smear merchant J.W. Ragley, in a whiney fit for which he is so well-known, “tweeted” the following:

Strong showing for @MickZais tonight in Horry. Unlike the “transparency” candidate, we do not buy straw poll ballots. #sctweets                                                                                                  8:42 PM May 10th via UberTwitter

Not only is it in bad form (and sophomoric, crude and unprofessional) to denigrate another candidate’s superior showing in a straw poll, but in doing so, the Zais campaign has impugned the whole of the Horry County Republican Party.   I’m sure the Party held a legitimate and honest poll in an attempt to gauge the preferences of its members.  But, because Zais didn’t win, the organization is smeared, charged with running a phoney vote and selling out to the highest bidder.

It’s also a pretty bizarre accusation anyway given that Ms. Payne’s war chest is so low and, thanks to a $100,000 loan, Dr. Zais’ is considerably larger.  If anyone could afford to “buy straw poll ballots,” it would be Zais.

Hmmmm….. did any of the other candidates for Superintendent make similar accusations?

Shhhhhhh… listen carefully…….  Mmmmmm  I can’t hear anything.

Nope, just the Zais campaign.

For those who DID vote for Dr. Zais in that straw poll (gratis, I’m sure), this is some administration to look forward to, isn’t it?

Oh…. in a the state GOP “Silver Elephant” straw poll*, Dr. Zais won, but Kelly Payne didn’t accuse him of stacking the deck.   Interesting though, that in the span of just about 2 weeks, Zais first won a poll, then, more recently, lost one.  Is his campaign tanking?

* Corrected.



11 thoughts on “Zais Campaign: Horry GOP For Sale

  1. Charlie:

    For someone who was a “Senior Editor” at DoD for 34 years, your reading comprehension skills seem to be receding just a bit. There hasn’t been another Horry straw poll; the one you claim to be from Horry was the Silver Elephant Straw poll that Mick Zais won with 54%. There were 2 paying customers who voted that evening, Mick and his wife, the Payne campaign had at least 3.

    But as has been the case with the Payne campaign, the facts keep getting in the way in the way of her claims.

    By your standards Charlie, the Payne campaign impugned the integrity of the ENTIRE SOUTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN PARTY. Here is the Facebook conversation between Delinda Ridings and Preston Baines about the Silver Elephant straw poll in April 26, 2010 at 5:30am:

    “Preston Baines: I certainly had no interest in buying votes like some other candidates.” (Don’t worry Preston and Delinda, I already have the screen capture, so don’t worry about taking it down like you’ve done other posts.)

    But to answer your question directly, when I’m walking by to our collateral table and I overhead Preston asking Delinda for another dollar because “he found someone else to vote for Kelly” at the hoedown, I would say that is buying a vote and against the spirit of any straw poll. But hey, if that’s what the Payne campaign thinks they need to do is spend money buying straw poll ballots, that’s their call.

    But the straw poll count is 2-1 Zais; we’ll see how the rest of them turn out. Looking forward to your next false and misleading post.


  2. Y’all are worked up over straw polls?

    Campaigns have that much time on their hands?

    It’s like junior high, here.


  3. To obtain a ballot, the cost was one dollar. But to actually vote with your ballot, your hand was marked with an indelible marker.

    So … even if some candidates’ staff members had bought ballots (which I seriously doubt), only one vote per person was accepted.

    Sometimes campaign mangers and staff make comments and statements that do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of their candidate. This should apply to both candidates mentioned in this article … or any race for that matter.

    Even more interesting to me is that this campaign manager was eavesdropping on a private conversation of an opponent’s staff … and that the same campaign manager ensures that he videotapes the stump speech’s of this particular opponent trying to glean a morsel for mudslinging.

    Further, it seems to me that those who sling mud reveal more about their own character than those they seek to denigrate.

    Nonetheless, the votes that will really count will be on June 8th.


  4. Zais should be careful about who he hires. I see him, and all other candidates for Superintendent as qualified individuals. This race is highly undecided and it is unwise for buffoons like JW to be walking around Horry County making claims about ONE vote. It really speaks to his character.

    Like I said its a tight race with very qualified people and stunts like this garner no sympathy for Zais. Just keep it up JW!


  5. You know, that Superintendent straw poll, for whatever those are worth, was just a few votes away from “Undecided” winning.

    Looks like Undecided nearly won or actually did win a few of those races down in Horry. It’s a very volatile electorate, who maybe is just now paying attention to a lot of races.

    Might be a better idea for campaign guys to quit farting around on the internet and instead start trying to get votes.


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