Taylor Brown: City Of Columbia Election Update

“NO SOUP FOR HOWARD DUVALL” || By TAYLOR BROWN || The upcoming at-large Columbia, S.C. city council race has been a yawn so far.  It is generated no heat, less light and little interest.  In truth, these elections are low turnout affairs with voter participation usually registering in the low to…


taylor brown|| By TAYLOR BROWN || The upcoming at-large Columbia, S.C. city council race has been a yawn so far.  It is generated no heat, less light and little interest.  In truth, these elections are low turnout affairs with voter participation usually registering in the low to mid-teens.  Yes, you read that right – low to mid-teens.

Most people don’t even know who is running: Which is where FITS can help.  As this website noted (in an unrelated story) Howard Duvall is running against incumbent councilman Cameron Runyan.  In my personal opinion, Runyan is a dead man walking – no one seems to like or trust him.  He went from being mayor Steve Benjamin‘s “chosen one” to being persona non grata at City Hall in a relatively short amount of time.

Others on the race include Joe Azar, John Adams, Andy Smith … perhaps some house pets are running, too?

Speaking of house pets, Smith was recruited by Benjamin to do his bidding.  Azar?  He’s run for office many times before and seems to be the only candidate in the race who has demonstrated a working knowledge of city government.  John Adams?  He just wants an office, any office will do.

But back to Duvall …

According to my sources, he is the hand-picked candidate of former Richland County councilwoman Kit Smith.  A wealthy liberal who travels extensively and maintains multiple homes, Smith did not want to tie herself down with public service – but did want a reliable minion to continue doing her bidding.

That’s where Duvall comes in …

Duvall is no conservative.  His former job was shilling for city governments as head of the liberal Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC).

His current job title?  Grumpy Old Man.

During the democratic presidential debate I referred to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders as that old man you would see yelling at a waitress because he’s a jerk and … well, deaf.


This is something that I imagine Duvall would do … but probably at an Olive Garden.

Recently, Duvall was asked about his stance on the city stealing money from its water and sewer fund, which is going to cost users over a billion dollars to fix.  Unbelievably, Duvall reportedly supports the city continuing to pilfer from this fund.  In fact his old special interest recently filed a brief with the S.C. Supreme Court in support of the city continuing to take money from the fund, even in light of the current problems, and in contradiction of state law.

Joe Azar supports creating a commission that’s independent of the City and represents all users – which I think is fair.

I want to support Andy Smith, but with Benjamin endorsing his candidacy I just can’t.  That is sad; I really want an independent voice for the arts on council, but, sadly, I do not think Smith has the stones to stand up to Benjamin and his corporate cronies.

In fact I believe Smith was recruited because Benjamin knows he will be an easy mark …

Sadly, I put my money on Duvall to win this race – but I plan on voting for Joe Azar, and would encourage anyone who cares about city government spending their money wisely to do the same.

Taylor Brown is a 20-something Wofford College graduate who somehow got sucked into politics at an early age.  She is easily won over with Rush’s fast food, wine, and spirited political arguments.


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Elfego October 23, 2015 at 11:36 am

Duvall pushed for all the city elected officials to get all kind of perks and raises.

Tazmaniac October 23, 2015 at 11:42 am

Good article Taylor! I’m liking your evolution in your writing, for what it is worth.

lewerj October 23, 2015 at 12:36 pm

This article reads like Sic Willie wrote it himself. Is Taylor’s writing really evolving, or is she getting a good deal of “help” from her editor?

shifty henry October 23, 2015 at 2:00 pm

I put her foto on my desktop for today…..

Tazmaniac October 23, 2015 at 2:21 pm

Better grab that one of Catherine with a pearl necklace that Thumper is pimping.

shifty henry October 23, 2015 at 4:54 pm

where? — I’m checking comments now but will look when I get out of this…………

shifty henry October 23, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Today I put up the 4-frame shots of Taylor at the beach…. looks great! Thanks, Taylor!

CorruptionInColumbia October 23, 2015 at 11:57 am

Good article, Taylor!!!! Like the Scarecrow in “The Wizard Of Oz”, it looks as though you have finally discovered your brain, after a rough start. Hang in there and keep up the good work.

Tazmaniac October 23, 2015 at 1:27 pm


Superfly October 23, 2015 at 12:24 pm

Suggesting that Howard Duvall does not know how city governments operate has to be one of the dumbest things I’ve read here in a long time. How more uninformed could you possibly be? Yes Howard is a Democrat and liberal. Which sounds like a characterization of most voters who live in the City of Columbia. If you really want to vote for someone who is likely to scream at someone, vote Azar who first ran for Mayor of Columbia before you were born. Geez, talk about an eccentric old kook.

Columbia Fireflies Fan October 23, 2015 at 12:44 pm

What is the status of Azar’s lawsuit against the city regarding the pilfering of water and sewer profits?

Superfly October 23, 2015 at 1:02 pm

The SCSC remanded it back to the lower court for trial.

Little Dutch Boy October 23, 2015 at 12:28 pm

the city stealing money from its water and sewer fund, which is going to cost users over a billion dollars to fix.

Someone should ask why a little of the funds stolen from the water “profits” did not go to repairing the long nonfunctioning intake gates to the Columbia Canal that feed the water system. These very same gates then let in vastly too much floodwater that overtopped and destroyed the dike. We probably would be staggered at the trivial cost of a minimal gate repair a month, year, or decade ago compared to the vast expenditure even just up to now to block the flow in the failed canal, far less what it is going to cost to repair and upgrade.

Columbia’s chickens come home to roost. Or perhaps that should be some sort of waterfowl. Of odd ducks, squawking parrots, and old coots we now have aplenty..

Water Over The Dam October 23, 2015 at 5:42 pm

You don’t know the half of it.

A multifaceted failure. It all should come out eventually.

And shit flies too! October 23, 2015 at 7:18 pm

“Columbia’s chickens come home to roost.”

You meant Fireflies. Fireflies coming home to roost. They used to be sand gnats.

Leveled Levee October 24, 2015 at 4:35 pm

It not only flies, it prevails, it succeeds, it rises, it prospers . . . at least within SC bureaucracies of any description.

There is never any accountability, even for major screw-ups. No one cares. Sometimes not even Fits, oddly enough. The shabbiest excuse will do. If we looked at alibis that way the prisons would be empty.

But fortunately there must be some liability in contention here, and that should eventually pry things out. We will see.

#NoNewTaxes October 23, 2015 at 12:40 pm

John Adams is a businessman advocating for limited government and lower taxes. He will line up nicely with Moe and Leona. Vote for Adams!

Squishy123 October 23, 2015 at 12:55 pm

“Taylor Brown is a 20-something Wofford College graduate”, or in other words a recent college graduate who think she knows everything, but in reality doesn’t know shit.

Mensa Test October 23, 2015 at 12:57 pm

Amazingly though she’s smarter than you.

Squishy123 October 23, 2015 at 2:56 pm

Not likely, I’m smart as fuck.

CorruptionInColumbia October 23, 2015 at 1:00 pm

She is getting better. I was one of her biggest detractors, back when she was pumping out all of that whiney, millennial, garbage. It was truly awful.

Her last two (counting this one) articles show that she is capable of improvement and that she is evolving. I hope she continues down this path.

Squishy123 October 23, 2015 at 2:57 pm

What happened to the chick Will hired to write about shoes and shopping in 5 Points?

CorruptionInColumbia October 23, 2015 at 3:02 pm

Good question!

Where are they now? October 23, 2015 at 5:17 pm

Liz quit writing for Fits about three months in as I remember. She runs a social media marketing company now.

sparklecity October 23, 2015 at 10:33 pm

You mean like what placemats to put on the table for Thanksgiving or what to wear if you are past your prime parading around the tail-gating areas and herding your drunk husband and bratty kids into Williams-Brice??????????

sparklecity October 23, 2015 at 10:26 pm

She went back to being a Junior Leaguer………..
Because that is all she was good for………….

Jeffrey October 23, 2015 at 1:37 pm

This is weird. You guys have been doing Runyan’s bidding on the (obviously campaign motivated) insurance premium stuff, now you come out with an endorsement of…Joe Azar? Strange stuff.

Taylor Brown October 23, 2015 at 1:41 pm

I’m not Will. I have my own opinions.

John Adams October 23, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Taylor. Can we talk? 803.920.2920

TroubleBaby October 23, 2015 at 7:19 pm

Jesus that’s creepy.

Shuffling Turds October 23, 2015 at 2:42 pm

All aboard the Columbia fail train!

Next stop: Detroit

Kirby October 23, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Haiti or bust!

Captain Edward Smith October 23, 2015 at 7:14 pm

You can use my ship for that trip.

Fecal Matters October 23, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Joe is the only person up for election that I would trust to do things in the best interest of the residents of Columbia. Oh but Mayor T-Bone Shitwater will make sure that his next yes man is elected, just ask Lillian McBride. My money is on Andy Smith curling up in Steve’s lap.

sparklecity October 23, 2015 at 10:23 pm

Hey “Sugar”
You Gonna be at the Fox Bar & Grill tomorrow for the Blues shing-ding or are you gonna be somewhere you don’t get your fancy duds dirty?????
Something tells me you are too tight-butted to show up at a blue-collar/multi-ethnic music function in Columbia……………..
Your first PBR is on me (like you haven’t slammed one at the Nu-Way!!!!)
Or is it because your “shit don’t stink” for you to show up?????

sparklecity October 23, 2015 at 10:37 pm

If I’m not mistaken you were “hot-to trot” for Sanitorium and posted in your own blog he was the greatest thing since sliced bread….
Where’s he now sugar????????

Taylor-something October 24, 2015 at 8:52 am

Hell froze over.

Taylor, you finally wrote an article that is worth reading.

Thank you and Congratulations on your first real success!

Now I don’t have that feeling of lost time where I wish you would just shut up and show your titties to prove some real worth.

35TWW October 26, 2015 at 8:50 am

No way I could vote for Andy Smith: (1) He’s Steve Benjamin’s hand-picked crony; (2) He’s a single issue candidate (gay rights or some such); (3) His employer is largely dependent on government largess for its support; and (4) Even though he is running for an at-large seat, he likely knows nothing about Columbia other than Main Street, the Vista, Five Points, and maybe a couple of downtown neighborhoods.
I hate to say it. I don’t much like the guy. But I’m voting for Runyan.


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