In another compelling demonstration of the Palmetto state’s legendary intolerance, S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom refers to former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman as a “friggin’ Mormon” in a voicemail message obtained exclusively by FITS.
Not only that, Eckstrom was reportedly driving in his state-owned car en route to the home of one of his alleged mistresses at the time the message was recorded earlier this year.
“I hope we can focus on our love tonight, too, and not just John friggin’ Mormon Huntsman,” Eckstrom tells his lover.
Both Huntsman and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are practicing Mormons. Both have also picked up a pair of early endorsements from statewide elected officials in South Carolina – with S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson backing Huntsman and S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis backing Romney.
Eckstrom, a Presbyterian, hasn’t endorsed anyone yet in the state’s “First in the South” presidential primary – although Huntsman and Romney apparently won’t be making his short list.
A spokesman for Eckstrom was not immediately available for comment, while a spokesman for Huntsman had no immediate response to the message.
FITS will be posting the audio clip shortly …
Obviously, this isn’t the first time Eckstrom has made the news for the wrong reasons.
The Comptroller’s creepy texts and emails during his affair with former SCGOP Superintendent of Education candidate Kelly Payne have become the stuff of S.C. political legend (and not in a good way). In one of those texts, Eckstrom – who was recently taken to the cleaners by his estranged wife – referred to himself as a “fine specimen.” In another text, he offered to be Payne’s sexual “guinea pig.”
In addition to his recent affair with Payne, Eckstrom has reportedly claimed an affair with a statewide elected official in Oklahoma. Rumors are also swirling regarding a possible affair with one of his subordinates in the Comptroller General’s office.
Just over a decade ago, Eckstrom settled a sexual harassment suit filed against him while he was serving as State Treasurer. The woman, Leanne R. Johnson, received $57,000 from South Carolina taxpayers as a result of the settlement.
Despite all of this, Eckstrom was not only reelected Comptroller last November – but was placed in command of the South Carolina State Guard earlier this month.
Only in South Carolina, right?
UPDATE: Here’s a link to the story that includes the Eckstrom audio.