Rush Limbaugh has his . . . well, here is mine. This is my record of news stories and issues that interest me. You can also find more headlines at the site where I serve as editor: The Common Voice.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Skipping a MetroBeat

District 18: Trout, White...and Selby?

I just got off the phone about a half an hour ago with James Shannon, editor of Greenville's MetroBeat. It was an interesting conversation.

James didn't give me much background, only that he was calling because of a recent filing with the State's Ethics Commission. He then started asking me some rather short questions to confirm this or that - specifically concerning those BJU employees who have helped form the Citizens for a Conservative Greenville. Bottom line is that these guys are trying to do everything they can to keep things above board and one of the first things they did was file with the Ethics Commission - unlike an earlier group on the other side, Citizens for a Better Greenville.

I could hear the conspiracy wheels turning even over the phone line. You could sense that he was thinking that there was some sort of active connection between Bob Jones University and this new group. He even seemed to want to draw the connection that Bob Taylor, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and current County Councilman, might have some kind of puppet-string control over the organization since Jim Knisely, one of the members of the organization is a mathematics teacher in that school.

I have to chuckle as I think about it, because I get to see this from both sides. It is true that these guys are employees at BJU, but they did not form their organization in that context. It just so happens that the connections where made because some of the members attend the same church in Greer. It was after those church "parking lot conversations" after services that the idea originated. I know because it is my church that they attend. Sure, some other BJU folks from District 18 have joined up - but so have others not related to BJU.

Bob Jones didn't even know anything about this until those guys who work at BJU realized that it would be wise not to have him blindsided by the news when it hit the fan. So, he was notified about what they were doing, but that is as far as it went. That is the extent of the Bob Jones University administration involvement.

Do I think that these guys will succeed? As I said on The Common Voice, history certainly is against them. However, I do admire them for getting involved and not just talking about it. I admire the desire to do it right and ethically. I admire their willingness to throw themselves into the meat grinder when they know that people are going to want to accuse them of being motivated by the Martin Luther King, Jr. issue (which I know for a fact not to be the case).

It isn't my battle. I'm not a District 18 voter. However, it is kind of fun to be an observer. My only question at the moment is, "How will James Shannon write this one up in MetroBeat?"


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