I hadn’t heard about the Spratt campaign deciding to opt out of any recording devices for the debate with Mick Mulvaney in Lake Wylie, SC until the day before the event. His campaign cited the “out of context” remarks of one Shirley Sherrod as the reasoning behind this shut-out, but I suspect that Mr. Spratt learned from his OWN experiences being the background laugther on someone else’s filmed remarks.
Immediately I was incensed that he would close the doors on a way to keep a record for people not in attendance to view the candidates thoughts and make a decision. It became my determination to attend and, damn the “rules”, record the Hell out of this debate. I tested the sound quality if I recorded from my pocket, contacted an attorney to see what the Spratt campaign could do to me if I posted the audio everywhere under the sun & got my affairs in order…ok, not that last one. The point is, I was ready and willing to go all out to pull some audio from this debate.
Unfortunately, this was not to be.
As I live very near to Lake Wylie, I jumped in my car close to debate time and drove down to Lake Wylie to see if I could just find the place. By 6:25 I gave up. Hindsight being 20/20, I shouldn’t have assumed this place would be so easy to find and done a tad more research online. Turns out that the Lions Club, which was hosting the event, meet twice a month at a private country club in a gated community. Having just flown in from a short vacation the day before, I apparently was just too tired to think straight and find the place.
Even had I found the place, the likelihood that I could’ve gotten in was slim. The 200 tickets were sold out and these events don’t typically recognize bloggers as “true” media for press passes.
So to summarize, my congressman, John Spratt of South Carolina’s 5th district, would not allow any type of recording for a debate with less than 200 attendees at an exclusive club in a gated community. Wow. What amazing transparency this guy stands for.
In what has become typical for politicians, he tried to have it both ways by “allowing” cameras right before the debate noting that he hadn’t realized it would be such a big deal. Of course by this time everyone had arrived and set up and not brought their cameras with them.
So the end result is this. I had no story. The local newspapers are doing their usual bland coverage. There’s no film. No clips. Nothing to pin on this guy and show who he really is in the coming months.
His attempt to hide seems to have worked. Or has it?
Through this the public became outraged at Spratt’s desire to keep the public from hearing his views outside of a political slogan and his lame attempts to make it appear that he was fine with cameras were the only transparent events that he accomplished through this debacle. However, I have to admit some fault on my part. I got complacent. I knew that there would be a debate and I figured that I could watch it on tv or online afterwards to write up a story. My complacency was apparently what Mr. Spratt and the Democrats were counting on. Thousands of residents mildly involved in their local politics assuming that someone else will take care of the leg work. As was the case with the Tea Parties, it takes a spark sometime to get the people out of their chairs. In good times, there can be amazing leaders who are able to accomplish this in a positive way. In bad times, the enraging behavior of the opposition will have to suffice.
The Spratt campaign succeeded in their attempt to buy more time without the public seeing Spratt for the Pelosi rubber stamp he is. He counted on me and others to be lazy and it paid off. But if there is one thing the Democrats seem to do over and over against their best interests it’s stepping on their own feet. In these last two years, their version of stepping on their own feet is incensing the people. And when people become incensed, they stop being complacent, they stop being lazy and they start getting active.
See you at the next debate Mr. Spratt.