S.C. Senator Robert Ford (D-Charleston) has waded into the “Richland County Robbery” controversy, urging black elected officials to rally around embattled elections director Lillian McBride.

“Lillian McBride should not be persecuted or fired,” Ford wrote in an open letter this week, accusing unnamed black leaders of bowing to the demands of their white constituents.

“I’ve notice(d) a strange type of attitude from Black elected officials who represent districts that are majority white,” Ford wrote.  “They believe they were elected because they were different from other Blacks. They honestly believe that their White electorate voted for them because of this imaginary difference. As a result of this misinterpretation they develop the distorted opinion they have to represent the district differently than any other elected official.”

Ummmmm … okay.

Ford then accused unnamed black officials in Richland County of embarking on “a quest to be like Clarence Thomas and Allen West” in criticizing McBride for her role in last month’s “botched” election.

But was the Richland County election really “botched?” Or was McBride’s “incompetence” a deliberate effort to suppress white turnout in precincts that opposed a massive $1.2 billion tax hike that appeared on the ballot?

We are convinced it’s the latter … despite the best efforts of pro-tax hike forces to cover up the scandal.

Two years ago, this tax increase failed by just 600 votes – prompting Republican and Democratic state lawmakers to oust a 30-year election veteran and install McBride (who is all sorts of connected to the tax hike movement) as election director.

The result?  Mysterious shortages (and malfunctions) of voting machines in precincts that voted heavily against the tax increase two years ago – leading to seven hour wait times in some of these precincts.  These shortages and malfunctions resulted in widespread violations of a state law mandating at least one operable voting machine per every 250 registered voters.

Thanks to this illegal voter suppression, the sales tax hike passed by a 52-48 percent margin.

Why is Ford – an outspoken Lowcountry lawmaker – weighing in on a Midlands issue?  Well, U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn has already played the race card on McBride’s behalf … and our guess is Ford doesn’t want to be upstaged.

Of course Ford’s concern for McBride seems misplaced seeing as she’s being fitted for a golden parachute, not a scapegoat’s role.

As we’ve noted in several previous posts, what happens to McBride is of little concern to us.  Our concern is that Richland County hold a valid, legal election prior to imposing this $1.2 billion tax hike.

We’re still waiting on such an election to be held …