Taylor Brown: City Of Columbia Election Update

LOW-TURNOUT AFFAIR LEADS TO TWO KEY RUNOFF RACES || By TAYLOR BROWN || This year’s city of Columbia, S.C. municipal election was a (very) low turnout affair, as predicted, with less than thirteen percent of voters bothering to go to the polls – abysmal.  The conventional wisdom prevailed in the at-large race…


taylor brown|| By TAYLOR BROWN || This year’s city of Columbia, S.C. municipal election was a (very) low turnout affair, as predicted, with less than thirteen percent of voters bothering to go to the polls – abysmal.  The conventional wisdom prevailed in the at-large race with the liberal establishment candidate Howard Duvall headed to a runoff in two weeks against Andy Smith, the hand-picked candidate of embattled mayor Steve Benjamin.

The real story of this week’s voting would appear to be Benjamin’s weakness among black voters.  In the city’s second district race, newcomer Reverend Ed McDowell edged out Benjamin’s hand-picked candidate, Aaron Bishop.  These two are also headed to a runoff.

Readers may remember Benjamin’s cabal pulled a surprise annexation of Bishop’s house earlier this year in an effort to keep this vote in the mayor’s pocket.  Personally I like Bishop, but I do not think he would be an objective voice on council.

City insiders say much of the angst in the black community stems from the thuggish behavior of the mayor.  Furthermore, rumors of marital problems between Benjamin and his wife, judge DeAndrea Gist Benjamin, over his involvement in “Stripper-gate” have not helped his standing in the community.

Never mind the fact Benjamin seems unable to keep a job, or that he and his cronies on council gave him a taxpayer supported raise (to $75,000 annually) to serve as our part-time mayor.

If Duvall and McDowell win their respective runoffs, Benjamin would not have the votes to push through his shady last minute deals.  The voting block of Leona Plaugh, Moe Baddourah, Duvall and McDowell would be able to set and control the council’s agenda.  Benjamin would be reduced to relying on the ethically challenged council members Tameika Isaac Devine and the ever clueless Sam Davis as his base votes – and then try to pick up a vote from one of his other members.

Expect Benjamin to go “all out” in the next two weeks for his newest toadies.  Otherwise he risks being reduced to a figurehead.

My takeaway?  The citizens of South Carolina’s capital city have the opportunity to retake control in two weeks time.  Do the voters have the guts to do it?  Although I NEVER pull for the Clemson Tigers, the voters of Columbia should take some advice from Tigers’s head coach Dabo Swinney and BYOG – bring your own guts – to the runoff election.

As much as it makes me ill to say it, that philosophy has made Clemson the No. 1 football team in America.

My preferred candidate Joe Azar did not make it into the runoff.  I supported Joe because he has a vision for our city and refuses to play political games with city resources.  He would have also been a perpetual thorn in the side of Benjamin and company.

None too excitedly, I will support Duvall and hope he does not engage in the type of underhanded behind the scenes dealings that characterized his patron Kit Smith‘s time on Richland County Council.

I am also pulling hard for Rev. McDowell to win and be voice for open and honest government on council.

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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jimlewisowb November 4, 2015 at 9:12 am

Nice post, but really, who gives a rat’s ass

The only reason anyone goes into Columbia is to get on the other side

E Norma Scok November 4, 2015 at 9:18 am true. I still don’t know why people live there. That place sucks.

CorruptionInColumbia November 4, 2015 at 2:05 pm

It looks like it sucks because the residents are:
a) too stupid to vote
b) they vote but choose the worst of the worst crooks when voting
c) keep re-electing the same crooks, over and over

erneba November 4, 2015 at 9:27 am

The city of Columbia’s politics has devolved into a banana republic-like situation minus the bananas. Heard the Piggly-Wiggly has them on sale.

CorruptionInColumbia November 4, 2015 at 7:41 pm

My Piggly Wiggly was bought out by Bi-Lo a few years ago and shuttered.
Thankfully, it looks like we’re about to get a K j’s, apparently affiliated with IGA.

erneba November 4, 2015 at 7:50 pm

We have a Pig in our area, but it is so damn expense. Prices are like a small convenience store. The only grocery stores in my area are IGA, Pig, and Wal Mart. The Pig and the IGA are really expensive, so most of my grocery shopping is at Wal Mart.

shifty henry November 4, 2015 at 9:30 am

Taylor is going to gain some weight being treated to chiliburgers with port wine to get her endorsements. I have this weird image of her surrounded by the candidates in her bedroom while she (forgive me – please!!) sits propped up and smiling like Jabba the Hutt …..

shifty henry November 4, 2015 at 9:33 am

Erneba , how in hell did you do that when I hadn’t even posted yet..?!!?

erneba November 4, 2015 at 9:36 am

You are my inspiration for inane behavior.

stumpknocker November 4, 2015 at 9:37 am

and remember enani is inane spell backwards

erneba November 4, 2015 at 9:41 am

And “shifty henry” spelled backwards and translated to lower Sudanese means “fun.”

shifty henry November 4, 2015 at 10:02 am

Thanks for the compliment, although I am trying to withhold all of my venom until after the political conventions next summer. This has kept my blood pressure at an acceptable level. But you folks can unknowingly set up some good posts begging for some joke or humor.

Taylor is improving and as long as she stays away from submitting articles about boutique shops, food and clothes, I’ll read every article. (oops, photos of ladies with thigh-high skirts and 6 inch heels are acceptable, though. PS: After Sic discovered that I saved his fotos of Mrs. Sic modeling her new shoes, and would use them occasionally as my desktop background, well — that was the end of that!)

My caffeine is kicking in —- gotta’ go!)

shifty henry November 4, 2015 at 9:40 am

There you guys go again — making me look up definitions again

erneba November 4, 2015 at 9:47 am

OH, you know what I ran across yesterday? An old box of Navy belongings:
My old still fill fits.
turtle neck wool sweater…it fits.
My old navy records…DD214 and such.
An old tech manual on the AN/URC 32( did you ever use one?)
In storage boxes in one of my storage sheds.

shifty henry November 4, 2015 at 10:13 am

I only have two articles left which have remained in the same condition as the day they were hurled at me at boot camp — pea coat and watch cap! Although I have gained 125+ lbs since then I can still wear them in a pinch. Uh, “pinch” is correct because (a) I can’t button the coat, and (b) the cap is very tight since I now proudly display the full “Grand Dad’s Head of Hair”

That pea coat is an amazing piece of work, especially in cold, windy, blizzards!

erneba November 4, 2015 at 7:45 pm

I wore my pea coat a couple of times last winter.

shifty henry November 4, 2015 at 10:20 am

When my Dad passed away, my youngest sister threw out an old box. It was his footlocker from WWII when he was stationed in England for the upcoming invasion. He was running a tire retread unit at a secret location outside of London. My sister didn’t know the significance of the contents – it was just junk to her. It was his footlocker which contained items and mementos from that time. One item I remember was his issued shaving razor kit (never used).

TroubleBaby November 4, 2015 at 9:50 am

“sits propped up and smiling like Jabba the Hutt ”

I christen her new Star Wars name as : “Jabba the Slutt”

I keeeeeeed! I keeeeeed!

(ducks from thrown shoes)

shifty henry November 4, 2015 at 10:05 am

PS: I also saved Taylor’s beach fotos….

TroubleBaby November 4, 2015 at 10:29 am

One can never have enough fap material.

Taylor Brown November 5, 2015 at 9:28 am

To get my endorsement it requires a significant Rush’s gift card… I joke. Mostly.

shifty henry November 5, 2015 at 9:46 am

Just keep an upbeat attitude and your high spirits and you’ll be just fine.

shifty henry November 5, 2015 at 2:50 pm

The nursing home takes a group on an outing to Rush’s.
The first person off the bus is an old guy who hobbles in
and has a hard time walking and is hunched over. He goes
up to the counter and says: “Banana Split, please.” The lady
at the counter replies: “Crushed nuts?”
“No,” the old man says: “arthritis.”

9" November 4, 2015 at 9:31 am

There was an election?

stumpknocker November 4, 2015 at 9:34 am

i remember it only because it is about the only election that my candidate wins.

9" November 4, 2015 at 10:08 am

That’s good enough.I really didn’t know until this morning,but a guy I’ve known since grammar school won,so everything’s copacetic

stumpknocker November 4, 2015 at 9:35 am

say what you want about Columbia but my friends and family that come to visit have a great time the only reason my cousin did not move here is his wife is a teacher and did not want to take the hit on her salary, politics aside the only complaint i have is that we do not have a really good fish market.

E Norma Scok November 4, 2015 at 4:51 pm

Well, you’re right the DO have a lot of gang violence, and corrupt politicians, and law enforcement, and unemployment, and all the bad stuff of a big city without any of the good. I’m glad you choose to live there!

Tazmaniac November 4, 2015 at 9:37 pm

I’ve liked kayaking the Riverbanks -Gervais run and taking friends and family to the zoo. Sesquintenial is pretty cool, on my short list of camping soon.

Clarence Boddicker November 4, 2015 at 9:38 am

“Drugs. Gambling. Prostitution. Virgin territory for the man who knows how to run it all.”

Quietus November 4, 2015 at 9:39 am

Anyone that Mayor T-Bone endorses should get the immediate kiss of death. Azar would have been better than Duvall but everyone needs to vote against another Benjamin lackey so go Mr. Duvall. I’m Glad I don’t live in Columbia or Richland County anymore.

exhausted in Columbia November 4, 2015 at 10:16 am

WE DESPERTELY NEED TO TAKE BACK OUR CITY FROM THIS THUG MAYOR & HIS THUGOCRACY! So very glad (and VERY relieved) Rev. Ed McDowell defeated Aaron Bishop – phew! Now let’s turnout the vote for Howard Duvall to defeat Andy Smith in the 11/17 run-off election – one down & one to go citizens of Cola. town!

Doc November 4, 2015 at 10:57 am

Lol. I like you Taylor, but just because Benjamin didn’t endorse McDowell and Duvall doesn’t mean they won’t be in his back pocket. They are still libs. They may be better choices but the city is still screwed.

The Buzzman November 4, 2015 at 1:15 pm

Taylor, I don’t live in Columbia, but I do agree with you about Joe Azar. I’ve known him for 46 years or so — well, with at least a 4-decade gap there where we were not in touch. He does not play partisan politics, that’s for sure. That’s why he is a danger to the vested interests.

CorruptionInColumbia November 4, 2015 at 3:29 pm

I continue to be both astounded and pleased with Taylor’s metamorphosis from where she was early-on, to where she is now! Keep it up!!!!

35TWW November 4, 2015 at 5:52 pm

I picked Duvall as the lesser of 3 evils. Pretty clearly Runyon was dead meat. Smith’s endorsement by Benjamin was a kiss of death to me. All I needed to hear was the Duvall would have opposed the Bull Street debacle and I was sold. Frankly, if Smith gets on council it want be long before they try to push through some kind of city gay rights ordinance, with special protections for the transsexual “community,” whatever the heck that is.

Oh well. I hope the voting trends continue. I can’t imagine Runyon’s people voting for Smith, given the way Benjamin stabbed Runyon in the back.

Benjamin is bad news. I hope somebody plausible runs against him next go around.


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