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Catherine Templeton: What I Was Doing On Election Night In 2012



by CATHERINE TEMPLETON || ’Tis the season – I get that, and there will never be enough ink available to me to respond to all of the inaccuracies – or explain all the things that are “accurate” but make sense only if you know the whole truth.  The hardest part is finding the grace to smile, hold my tongue, and understand that people will do anything for power.

I have been startled that even the liberal media has refused to put up some of governor Henry McMaster’s attacks against me.  When the liberal media has more integrity than our governor, it is time for a new governor.

It is also frustrating to suffer inexperienced hot shots who don’t understand the gravity of being the governor.

I take a deep breath and whisper, “if you only knew.”

One of my recent favorites is the outrage from John Warren over my voting record.  When he was trying to make me a Democrat, he must have looked at my voting record.  When he realized I had never voted in a Democratic primary, he had to find something to criticize.  I have voted since I was eighteen years old, but I missed the presidential in 2008 and 2012.

Aghast?  Okay.  If that is all it takes, then you aren’t going to like all the tables I turn over anyway.

I don’t have a clue what I was doing a decade ago.  It is all a blur since I had two three-year-olds and a five-year-old.  But I know exactly where I was on Election Day (and night) 2012.

I was working for Governor Nikki Haley and was on a call with the Homeland Security Advisory Commission.  They let me call in because it was late afternoon and I needed to drive back home.  Chief Mark Keel of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) asked me to move to a secured line because foreign nationals were trying to hack into the systems at the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC).

This agency holds the nuclear schematics, vital records that are the genesis of all identity theft, and personal health information – among other things best left unsaid.

I held secret security clearance because I was charged with monitoring the plutonium that enters our port, the chemicals that threaten all of our citizens, and the health of our most vulnerable citizens.  I spent the rest of the day – and all of the night – in the server rooms at SCDHEC with the U.S. Department of Defense and other federal and state law enforcement experts.

When I walked out the next morning and squinted at the sun, I remember being on the phone with Governor Haley.  She told me Barack Obama had been reelected and I told her we kept South Carolina safe for one more day.

So no, I didn’t make it back home.  But then again, I’ve always made decisions based on the best interests of the people, not the politics. As Winston Churchill said, “we do what is required.”

So my question is this: Where would you rather I have been that day?

Catherine Templeton is a Lowcountry labor attorney and candidate for governor of South Carolina.  She served as director of the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (SCLLR) and later as director of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) under former governor Nikki Haley.



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