What is it with South Carolina Republicans and telephones these days?
First there was House Speaker Bobby Harrell – an ardent opponent of transparency in government – admitting that he was responsible for an anonymous “pro-transparency” robo-call attempting to influence the outcome of the race for Speaker of the House. More recently, there’s the brewing scandal involving SCGOP operative Wes Donehue, who is alleged to have illegally eavesdropped on a conference call held by a group of rival Republicans.
Today’s GOP phone fun comes courtesy of Eric Bikas, the Republican nominee for S.C. House District 26. According to an incident report obtained by FITS, Bikas was arrested in May of 2008 for allegedly threatening one of his employees over the telephone.
According to the incident report (included below), Bikas told the employee that he would “break his knees” as a result of a verbal altercation between two of their family members. Bikas then allegedly told the employee that he would (get ready for the quote of the year) “bitch slap your grandma to keep her mouth shut” and that the employee’s “whole family is a piece of shit.”
The employee later called Bikas with a Pickens County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Deputy present, at which point Bikas is alleged to have “used excessive obscene language and threatened the victim multiple times.”
The deputy then got on the phone with Bikas and informed him that he could be arrested for “speaking like that on the telephone.”
Bikas’ alleged response to the deputy?
“‘Go ahead and arrest me you don’t know who you are dealing with.’”
Apparently he was correct because prosecutors decided to drop the charges against him … of course the disposition date on the charges was July 18 of this year, just ten days after Bikas won the Republican nomination to replace Rep. Rex Rice.
Bikas faces Democrat Judy Gilstrap on Nov. 2. If he wins, he should fit right in with the S.C. House Republican Caucus. In 2007 S.C. Rep. Thad Viers (R-Horry) pleaded no contest and was fined $500 for threatening the life of his estranged wife’s lover and other members of his family. Viers’ attorney, S.C. Rep. Todd Rutherford, claimed that his client was “under the influence of love” at the time.