There are a lot of small men in South Carolina politics. And I don’t necessarily mean men of diminutive stature. Or unimposing girth. Or generally insignificant men. I mean small men. Men who sink beneath their stations, slip below their circumstances, shirk their duties as fathers, shift blame onto others, refuse to accept responsibility for their own failures … and who generally fail to do the decent thing by those around them.
How do I know this? Because I was minding my business last Thursday when I was served with paperwork in connection with South Carolina family court case 2021-DR-10-0886.
What is this case?
Unfortunately, those who attempt to access the online court docket in Charleston County – where this action was filed – will find none of its public records available for review I know this because my lawyers tried to pull these public case files, but like so many actions involving prominent Palmetto State politicians – they have been sealed.
So … what’s the deal?
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According to an email from Lexington, S.C. attorney Ashby Jones – who represents Cunningham’s ex-wife, Amanda Bonfiglio Cunningham – a contempt action has been filed by the former congressman alleging his ex-wife “interfered with and impacted Mr. Cunningham’s profession, occupation or employment” during the 2022 gubernatorial election.
Wait … wait? Cunningham’s occupation?
Longtime readers of this news outlet will recall occupational identification is something of a moving target for this former “ocean engineer,” but it certainly sounds as though Cunningham – who currently fancies himself as a political consultant – is admitting he is a career politician.
Anyway, citing the court-ordered seal on this case, Jones declined to provide me or my attorneys with a copy of Cunningham’s lawsuit against his ex-wife.
“The file is sealed,” she wrote in the email. “I am not able to provide a copy.”
All I know is the subpoena commands me to appear in Charleston County court on June 20, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. It further commands me to appear for a deposition five days earlier – on June 15, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. EDT – at Jones’ law offices.
Again, though … what is the deal with this case?
Apparently, Joe Cunningham’s lawsuit is all about (gasp!) tweets made by Amanda Bonfiglio Cunningham which were (gasp!) retweeted by this news outlet’s official Twitter page during the 2022 election.
The horror, right?
Who knew a grown man’s itching inferiority complex, unhealthy obsession with his ex-wife, narcissistic gaslighting addiction and desperate need to scapegoat his own embarrassing political impotence was something that needed to be addressed via South Carolina’s clogged family court system?
Such is Cunningham’s mile-wide sense of entitlement, it would appear …
Alas, it now falls to Amanda Bonfiglio Cunningham’s attorneys to prove this frat-tastic man-child never had a snowball’s chance in Hades of becoming governor of South Carolina.
“We are seeking information concerning the political climate for Cunningham’s race both before and after the tweets,” Jones wrote. “We are also seeking concrete information concerning the amount of people who viewed your retweets and/ or posts, as the allegation is that Ms. Cunningham’s allegedly improper comments were amplified through the retweets. Your retweets are imbedded in the body of Mr. Cunningham’s contempt complaint and he references FITSNews by name.”
Does he, now?
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To be clear: Cunningham did not lose the 2022 election because of anything his ex-wife said or did. Or anything this news outlet said or did to amplify her statements. Hell, I was much harder on his “Republican” rival.
He lost the 2022 election before it even began because his über woke, anti-free market party has been careening into irrelevance in the Palmetto State for decades.
Democrats have not won a statewide election in the Palmetto State since 2006 (17 years). They have not won a governor’s race or a U.S. Senate race since 1998 (25 years). All eight statewide elected offices are currently occupied by GOP politicians, as are six of seven congressional districts. “Republicans” also enjoy supermajorities in both chambers of the S.C. General Assembly, for whatever that has been worth.
As if such odds were not sufficiently formidable, Cunningham thought it wise to alienate black voters during a contentious Democratic primary (and then re-alienate them when he chose a white running mate during the general election). Beyond pissing off the black vote, Cunningham also angered old people … the state’s largest, most consistently motivated voting bloc.
In particular, he pissed off one incredibly powerful elderly black man.
But hey … let’s forget about all that, right? Let’s instead allow Cunningham to sit back and throw Kindergarten shade at the mother of the child he now uses as his political prop. Oh, and that reminds me – according to the subpoena I received one of those “allegedly improper” tweets consisted of Amanda Bonfiglio Cunningham politely asking her then-estranged husband to stop using their child as campaign propaganda without her permission.
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Yeah … it takes a special kind of “smallness” to sue a woman for trying to protect her child.
In fairness, as one of my Democratic friends recently noted I have never particularly liked Joe Cunningham. Earlier this year, as he was touting his purported affiliation with the national No Labels movement, I derided him as “another empty suit with his hand out, trying to bank on a name that frankly never was all that formidable in the first place.”
Turns out that was far too charitable an assessment of this “man.”
“Success has a million fathers,” the old expression goes. “But failure is an orphan.”
That’s how it is supposed to be, anyway. Unfortunately for Amanda Bonfiglio Cunningham, her ex-husband seems incapable of losing her – and his political career – with so much as a solitary strand of his dignity intact.
Or his manhood …
THE SUBPOENA …
(Via: S.C. Ninth Judicial Circuit)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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