On Monday, May 11, the Index-Journal ran the following headline story:
It reports how SC Senate Candidate and McCormick lawyer, Billy Garrett, ran afoul of election laws by distributing campaign material to county employees while on county property. This activity violated the Hatch Act – the law designed to enforce fairness in political campaigns and one which is routinely ignored by the Trump Administration.
All of the masks had to be returned.
Later, when questioned by the Post & Courier, Garrett stated that “the protective gear wasn’t meant to rustle up votes”. This claim was made despite the masks having the phrase “Garrett for SC Senate” splashed across the front.
Two troubling aspects have come to light from this incident:
- A candidate who has previously touted his expertise in the law blatantly runs afoul of it. That indicates either a feeling that he is above the law or just not as well-versed as he ought to be.
- Instead of owning up to the mistake and vowing to do better, Garrett offers an outright falsehood. “…wasn’t meant to rustle up votes”? Where have we seen this deny-deny-deny playbook before?
Incompetence & dishonesty: Is that a winning combination?
We hope that the citizens of Greenwood County take this incident for the warning sign that it is. We understand people make mistakes and they should certainly be assessed based on them. But more importantly, it’s how the person follows-up on that mistake that most reveals his or her character. And we now have some insight into Billy Garrett’s character.