SC

Rural SC Mayor To Challenge Richard Eckstrom?

S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom’s personal life is an ongoing disaster. More importantly, he is failing miserably in his obligations to South Carolina taxpayers. Accordingly, it’s not at all surprising we are starting to hear rumors of candidates eyeing his seat … One name we’ve been hearing quite frequently in…

S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom’s personal life is an ongoing disaster. More importantly, he is failing miserably in his obligations to South Carolina taxpayers.

Accordingly, it’s not at all surprising we are starting to hear rumors of candidates eyeing his seat …

One name we’ve been hearing quite frequently in connection with a possible bid against Eckstrom? Hartsville, S.C. mayor Mel Pennington.

Pennington was one of the leading contenders for the recently created South Carolina seventh congressional district two years ago, but he opted out of running because his wife was undergoing treatment for breast cancer and one of his daughters was suffering from complications related to a life-threatening heart defect.

Obviously that would have been a bad time to announce for public office … well, unless your name is John Edwards.

Anyway, our sources tell us Pennington’s wife and daughter have completely recovered – prompting him to take inventory of his political prospects.

What are those prospects? Well, were he to decide to challenge Eckstrom in the 2014 Republican primary election we’d say his prospects would be pretty good.

Eckstrom raised just over $4,000 during the first quarter of 2013, according to his campaign finance disclosure forms. He has a little more than $57,000 on hand in his campaign war chest. That’s a pretty paltry sum for a statewide elected official, people – particularly seeing as Eckstrom is one of five votes on the powerful S.C. Budget and Control Board (SCBCB), a quasi-legislative, quasi-executive administrative agency that handles a broad swath of state government’s executive functions.

Pennington, on the other hand, has family money – as well as what one source described as a “huge donor base” to tap should he decide to enter the race.

We don’t know much about Pennington other than a few tweets he’s exchanged with our founding editor, but he seems like a nice guy. And obviously at this point pretty much anybody would be better than Eckstrom.

Of course were Pennington to announce his candidacy, one of the first things he would need to do to earn our support would be to publicly call for the elimination of the SCBCB – and to come out in favor of a constitutional amendment making his office an appointed position in the future. Both of these reforms would help end the splintered executive authority that currently exists in the Palmetto State – one of many reasons our state is so dysfunctional.

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62 comments

teddy June 14, 2013 at 10:13 am

This would give Eckstrom more time to spread his Ickstrom STD virus!

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teddy June 14, 2013 at 10:13 am

This would give Eckstrom more time to spread his Ickstrom STD virus!

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Suck it Pennington June 14, 2013 at 10:29 am

He has ruined Hartsville. Playing firefighter and begging the police dept for blue lights. How did the jack be nimble case work for.ya Mel???

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Jack Schmidt June 14, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Last I checked, the lying mother of a puppy in the Jack be Nimble case was brought to justice and convicted of her crimes.

In the early days of said case, Mayor Mel worked with citizens, business leaders, and law enforcement to hold together a community and keep paranoia and
vigilantism at bay.
As for the firefighter aspect, if anyone wants to know where Mr. Pennington is during a crisis, just look towards the front.
Better than a majority of “leaders” who play it safe in the rear with the gear …

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Marie Harrison June 14, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Yeah, Randy H. would be MIA. like the POS he is.

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Ms. Prissy June 14, 2013 at 1:17 pm

That would be Randy Halfacre the slug trogladite Mayor of Lexington? Close associate and butt buddy of Lexington Ring leader Danny Frazier and associate of the trash man Bob Peeler (also butt buddy of Frazier,Jimmy Metts, Little Timmy)?

You are right, he is a POS.

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suck it pennington June 14, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Ask Tim Kemp who the true leader in Jack Be Nimble. It was him for calling BS and he was “let go” for it. It was Mel who made the statement ” stop every black male in the city” the week after. Yea he’s at every fire in his buncker gear begging for aa microphone. He looked like a dumb ass at the fertilizer plant explosion. He’s a pooser wantabe.

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Suck it Pennington June 14, 2013 at 10:29 am

He has ruined Hartsville. Playing firefighter and begging the police dept for blue lights. How did the jack be nimble case work for.ya Mel???

Reply
Jack Schmidt June 14, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Last I checked, the lying mother of a puppy in the Jack be Nimble case was brought to justice and convicted of her crimes.

In the early days of said case, Mayor Mel worked with citizens, business leaders, and law enforcement to hold together a community and keep paranoia and
vigilantism at bay.
As for the firefighter aspect, if anyone wants to know where Mr. Pennington is during a crisis, just look towards the front.
Better than a majority of “leaders” who play it safe in the rear with the gear …

Reply
Marie Harrison June 14, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Yeah, Randy H. would be MIA. like the POS he is.

Reply
Ms. Prissy June 14, 2013 at 1:17 pm

That would be Randy Halfacre the slug trogladite Mayor of Lexington? Close associate and butt buddy of Lexington Ring leader Danny Frazier and associate of the trash man Bob Peeler (also butt buddy of Frazier,Jimmy Metts, Little Timmy)?

You are right, he is a POS.

Reply
suck it pennington June 14, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Ask Tim Kemp who the true leader in Jack Be Nimble. It was him for calling BS and he was “let go” for it. It was Mel who made the statement ” stop every black male in the city” the week after. Yea he’s at every fire in his buncker gear begging for aa microphone. He looked like a dumb ass at the fertilizer plant explosion. He’s a pooser wantabe.

Reply
Marie Harrison June 14, 2013 at 11:53 am

Dick is a dick and he needs to go far away.

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Marie Harrison June 14, 2013 at 11:53 am

Dick is a dick and he needs to go far away.

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Marie Harrison June 14, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Putting all else aside, they are just a beautiful family. Not creepers like Richard the infecter.

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Harry June 15, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Yes they are very attractive and he is strappin hot

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Marie Harrison June 14, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Putting all else aside, they are just a beautiful family. Not creepers like Richard the infecter.

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Harry June 15, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Yes they are very attractive and he is strappin hot

Reply
Whatever June 14, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Uckstrom needs to go.

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Whatever June 14, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Uckstrom needs to go.

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M326 June 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I’ll vote for him. But I would vote for anybody other than Richard the Infector. Is he a Republican (primary) challenger or Democrat?

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M326 June 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I’ll vote for him. But I would vote for anybody other than Richard the Infector. Is he a Republican (primary) challenger or Democrat?

Reply
Yelsewh June 14, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Mel looks a bit like Will Forte from SNL. He certainly outkicked his coverage with that wife of his.

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Mike at the Beach June 14, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Rich guys rarely marry ugly women. Strange, no?

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Yelsewh June 17, 2013 at 4:53 pm

He’s a funeral director. Is he rich? I don’t know.

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Mike at the Beach June 17, 2013 at 9:54 pm

By way of disclaimer I said earlier that I only have the info from the comments here, so I am not sure either. Most say that he has a little cash, so I would guess he probably does. No sin, that…

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Yelsewh June 14, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Mel looks a bit like Will Forte from SNL. He certainly outkicked his coverage with that wife of his.

Reply
Mike at the Beach June 14, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Rich guys rarely marry ugly women. Strange, no?

Reply
Yelsewh June 17, 2013 at 4:53 pm

He’s a funeral director. Is he rich? I don’t know.

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Mike at the Beach June 17, 2013 at 9:54 pm

By way of disclaimer I said earlier that I only have the info from the comments here, so I am not sure either. Most say that he has a little cash, so I would guess he probably does. No sin, that…

Reply
nitrat June 14, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Would the guy happen to have have any qualifications that would make him a decent comptroller?
Or, is being kinda pretty with a pretty family good enough? Someone with this kind of illness in the family, even if everybody’s fine now, is not a smart thing to do – for them. Does he need better benefits?

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Jay June 15, 2013 at 9:09 am

Richard’s mental illness is takes the cake.

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nitrat June 14, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Would the guy happen to have have any qualifications that would make him a decent comptroller?
Or, is being kinda pretty with a pretty family good enough? Someone with this kind of illness in the family, even if everybody’s fine now, is not a smart thing to do – for them. Does he need better benefits?

Reply
Jay June 15, 2013 at 9:09 am

Richard’s mental illness is takes the cake.

Reply
Concerned Citizen June 14, 2013 at 3:30 pm

“. . . publicly call for the elimination of the SCBCB — and to come out in favor of a constitutional amendment making his office an appointed position in the future.”
(quote from above)
Amen, brother.

“Two months ago this website exclusively reported that S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom — whose disastrously hypocritical personal life makes frequent headlines — was three-and-a-half months late (and $150,000 over budget) in submitting the state of South Carolina’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for FY 2011-12.”
— fitsnews, May 16, 2013
~~~~~
QUESTIONS:
Granted, Eckstrom’s personal life is in perpetual turmoil, and the CAFR was late once, but:
(a) What are his stated positions on eliminating the state whorehouse … I mean the SCB&CB … and making the Comptroller’s Office appointed?
(b) In addition to stated positions (a), what actions has he taken? Words are cheap.
(c) What is Eckstrom’s explanation for the delay in producing the 2011-12 CAFR?
(d) What are Pennington’s technical qualifications for this position? (Please don’t say that this is a figurehead / political position with no accounting experience needed, or that “The staff handles it.”)
~~~~~
Producing a CAFR is no mean feat, and GAGAS (governmental accounting) is so complex that most CPAs only vaguely understand it. At least Eckstrom, a CPA, does have a mastery of GAGAS.
The “Pennington family” photo is naturally more pleasant than “old man Eckstrom” but please, people, let us ask hard questions of both candidates and make them answer.

Reply
Concerned Citizen June 14, 2013 at 3:30 pm

“. . . publicly call for the elimination of the SCBCB — and to come out in favor of a constitutional amendment making his office an appointed position in the future.”
(quote from above)
Amen, brother.

“Two months ago this website exclusively reported that S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom — whose disastrously hypocritical personal life makes frequent headlines — was three-and-a-half months late (and $150,000 over budget) in submitting the state of South Carolina’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for FY 2011-12.”
— fitsnews, May 16, 2013
~~~~~
QUESTIONS:
Granted, Eckstrom’s personal life is in perpetual turmoil, and the CAFR was late once, but:
(a) What are his stated positions on eliminating the state whorehouse … I mean the SCB&CB … and making the Comptroller’s Office appointed?
(b) In addition to stated positions (a), what actions has he taken? Words are cheap.
(c) What is Eckstrom’s explanation for the delay in producing the 2011-12 CAFR?
(d) What are Pennington’s technical qualifications for this position? (Please don’t say that this is a figurehead / political position with no accounting experience needed, or that “The staff handles it.”)
~~~~~
Producing a CAFR is no mean feat, and GAGAS (governmental accounting) is so complex that most CPAs only vaguely understand it. At least Eckstrom, a CPA, does have a mastery of GAGAS.
The “Pennington family” photo is naturally more pleasant than “old man Eckstrom” but please, people, let us ask hard questions of both candidates and make them answer.

Reply
Lester June 14, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Hartsville’s budget, $13 million
http://www.hartsvillesc.gov/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/BUDGET-2012-2013-FINAL.pdf

South Carolina’s budget, $27 billion

http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess119_2011-2012/appropriations2012/ta12ndx.php

I prefer someone with more experience behind the wheel.

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Jay June 15, 2013 at 9:03 am

If you want someone more experienced at commiting fraud then re-elect Richard.

Reply
Lester June 14, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Hartsville’s budget, $13 million
http://www.hartsvillesc.gov/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/BUDGET-2012-2013-FINAL.pdf

South Carolina’s budget, $27 billion

http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess119_2011-2012/appropriations2012/ta12ndx.php

I prefer someone with more experience behind the wheel.

Reply
Jay June 15, 2013 at 9:03 am

If you want someone more experienced at commiting fraud then re-elect Richard.

Reply
Carolinacarolina June 14, 2013 at 11:20 pm

He is a know it all if you don’t believe it just ask him! Such a smart ass!! I feel sorry for his wife… Wonder if she knows about his girlfriend??

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Mike at the Beach June 15, 2013 at 12:18 am

First let me say I in no way know this guy and rarely even read about him since he doesn’t really operate in my market, but in general it would surely fit into the picture many folks paint of the dude coming from “family money” and maybe having enjoyed somewhat of a privileged lifestyle. Many such folks convince themselves that they are much more responsible for their perceived successes than they really are. I don’t know if that’s the case with Pennington, but it wouldn’t surprise me – the SC political world (really American politics) is full of those guys.

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shifty henry June 15, 2013 at 9:45 am

like Sanford? …..

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Mike at the Beach June 15, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Sure, Shifty- many would lump ol’ Markie into that category, and judging by the comments on here every time he posts, most FITSers (FITS-throwers? FITSians?) would throw T-Rav into that camp as well. My Columbia boys say there are many up there on the local and state circuit, too. Kennedys on the national stage (although it looks like their day may be passing them) would seem to fit the mold too.

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Carolinacarolina June 14, 2013 at 11:20 pm

He is a know it all if you don’t believe it just ask him! Such a smart ass!! I feel sorry for his wife… Wonder if she knows about his girlfriend??

Reply
Mike at the Beach June 15, 2013 at 12:18 am

First let me say I in no way know this guy and rarely even read about him since he doesn’t really operate in my market, but in general it would surely fit into the picture many folks paint of the dude coming from “family money” and maybe having enjoyed somewhat of a privileged lifestyle. Many such folks convince themselves that they are much more responsible for their perceived successes than they really are. I don’t know if that’s the case with Pennington, but it wouldn’t surprise me – the SC political world (really American politics) is full of those guys.

Reply
shifty henry June 15, 2013 at 9:45 am

like Sanford? …..

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Mike at the Beach June 15, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Sure, Shifty- many would lump ol’ Markie into that category, and judging by the comments on here every time he posts, most FITSers (FITS-throwers? FITSians?) would throw T-Rav into that camp as well. My Columbia boys say there are many up there on the local and state circuit, too. Kennedys on the national stage (although it looks like their day may be passing them) would seem to fit the mold too.

Reply
Jeffy01 June 14, 2013 at 11:29 pm

At least this guys woman doesn’t look like a man.

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Jeffy01 June 14, 2013 at 11:29 pm

At least this guys woman doesn’t look like a man.

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James June 15, 2013 at 12:58 am

Mel’s campaign will be run by Walter Whetsell. Whetsell worked for Eckstrom as a state employee in the 90’s. What did Eckstrom do to piss off Whetsell?

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James June 15, 2013 at 12:58 am

Mel’s campaign will be run by Walter Whetsell. Whetsell worked for Eckstrom as a state employee in the 90’s. What did Eckstrom do to piss off Whetsell?

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Don June 15, 2013 at 1:38 am

Thank goodness

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Don June 15, 2013 at 1:38 am

Thank goodness

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Don June 15, 2013 at 1:44 am

The state financial report is 6 months late. It is inexcusable. That prick Eckstrom spends his time at the State Guard while his chief of staff Jim Holly is part time lawyer for Infrastructure Bank.

Leadership of that Comptroller General’s office does not have time to do the states business.

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Don June 15, 2013 at 1:44 am

The state financial report is 6 months late. It is inexcusable. That prick Eckstrom spends his time at the State Guard while his chief of staff Jim Holly is part time lawyer for Infrastructure Bank.

Leadership of that Comptroller General’s office does not have time to do the states business.

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Fastmouth June 15, 2013 at 10:38 am

Sorry Sic, don’t agree with you in your statement calling on Pennington to come out in favor of making Comptroller General’s office an appointed one. This does nothing by continue to take the power away from the people. Dysfunctional government or not, the people need to be in control – not a select few. Just my opinion.

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Big Daddy June 15, 2013 at 10:38 am

Sorry Sic, don’t agree with you in your statement calling on Pennington to come out in favor of making Comptroller General’s office an appointed one. This does nothing by continue to take the power away from the people. Dysfunctional government or not, the people need to be in control – not a select few. Just my opinion.

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Billy Change June 17, 2013 at 9:04 am

The guy’s family business is running a funeral home in Hartsville. He also started up a company that puts athletic logos on dress pants and sells them at upscale men’s stores. Mel was never hurting, but he wasn’t born into the lap of luxury either. He is also a big personality and very motivated. He definitely has his eyes on a prize bigger than Hartsville.

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Billy Change June 17, 2013 at 9:04 am

The guy’s family business is running a funeral home in Hartsville. He also started up a company that puts athletic logos on dress pants and sells them at upscale men’s stores. Mel was never hurting, but he wasn’t born into the lap of luxury either. He is also a big personality and very motivated. He definitely has his eyes on a prize bigger than Hartsville.

Reply
Competence Counts June 17, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Comptroller General is a job for a board certified accountant. Are any of the candidates CPAs???

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Competence Counts June 17, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Comptroller General is a job for a board certified accountant. All candidates should be CPA’s.

Reply

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