LIKE THE SWALLOWS RETURNING TO CAPISTRANO …
Shortly after Christmas this website’s home office received a frantic phone call from Kelly Payne – a local high school teacher and former Republican candidate for statewide office.
Payne is best know in Palmetto political circles for her on-again, off-again toxic relationship with ethically challenged S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom – which we’re pretty sure is set to some sort of metronomic pattern of break ups and make ups.
This star-crossed affair has seen courtroom drama, police reports, sexually transmitted diseases (allegedly), wedding rings for sale on Craigslist and (most recently) allegations that Eckstrom broke state law by spending campaign money on Payne’s travel to the 2012 Republican National Convention.
Anyway, we knew better than to take the call … but we did.
Payne was “desperate,” she said. Our holiday coverage of her chronic romantic retardation had wounded her.
She was “leaving Richard for good,” she vowed. She was ready to really change – to “start her life again.”
After listening patiently, our founding editor Will Folks (a.k.a. Sic Willie) told Payne the truth: He’d heard all this from her before. Like everyone else in South Carolina.
Later one of our friends – a respected political operative from the Pee Dee region of the state – called to intercede on Payne’s behalf.
“Please give her another chance,” the operative pleaded.
So we did … although we advised the operative to set her stopwatch for when Payne fell back into her toxic relationship. We also advised Payne to be prepared for a public reprimand when (not if) she went back to Eckstrom – including her allegation that Eckstrom physically abused her.
Well guess what … like clockwork, “Keckstrom” is back on, people.
“You told me so,” the operative confirmed to us. “And you warned her.”
Seriously … if only everything in life were this reliable.
“She used me and I’m sorry I went to bat for her,” the operative continued. “I believer (sic) her about the abuse. As a victim of criminal domestic violence I have zero tolerance for a liar.”
Yeah … we know a thing or two about that, too.
Here’s an item from Payne’s Facebook page this week celebrating her return to Eckstrom … thus re-completing the “Keckstorm” for the eleventy kabillionth time.
Ahhhhh, saggybahhhhhhls …
So … why are we writing about this? Well, this is South Carolina – where emotionally unstable people are routinely placed in positions of authority over billions of dollars in public funds. And Eckstrom is – or very soon will be – a candidate for reelection to the office of Comptroller General (a job he’s had tremendous difficulty performing in recent years).
“I haven’t heard anything to indicate he isn’t filing,” a source on a rival campaign told FITS.