House District 45 GOP primary challenger under fire (again and again)

There's unusual and there is really strange.  In the latter category is the world that York County Council member Paul Lindemann, who seems to be aiming at a primary challenge to GOP State Rep. Deborah Long, seems to live in. 

In 2008, he made national news over his DUI arrest. As the GOP nominee in a heavily-Republican district, he won re-election but was disavowed by many in local Republican circles for a series of run-ins with law enforcement.  He later paid a fine and court-related costs of $1,026.76 for the charge of "driving with unlawful alcohol concentration".

In less than 10 minutes, a three man, three woman jury found that York County Councilman Paul Lindemann must pay sub-contractor John Long more than $2,000.

Long filed a civil lawsuit that alleged Lindemann did not pay for work that Long did more than two years ago on Lindemann's home.

“The jury unanimously found in favor of Mr. Long vs. Mr. Lindemann in the amount of $2,635,” Judge David S. Wood said during magistrate court this morning.
Lindemann said he would not pay the judgment: "I don’t owe $2,600 – the guy will never get a red cent".

But it's not the only bill which has gone unpaid. According the York County website, the property tax bill on Lindemann's home for 2009 is unpaid.

Recently, his candidacy was blasted repeatedly in a meeting of Republican Party leaders from both counties in the district, who were seeking to talk him out of waging a high-profile bid for office. The majority of those in attendance supported a range of options from a public endorsement of Long to a formal censure of Lindemann.

Prior to Lindemann's arrival one party leader in attendance referred to Lindemann and a business associate as "Dumb and Dumber", a comment which was greeted by laughter by many of the attendees.

When asked to explain his candidacy, referred to an outpouring of emails from “business supporters”, alleging Long has “a true disconnect with her district … she doesn’t know the issues”.

Nobody else in the room heard complaints about Long, with one in attendance saying “we’re hearing the opposite”. All of those who spoke attested to hearing complaints. When challenged to present names, he refused to divulge them, saying “don’t worry, you will know in a few weeks”.

Other remarks shared with Lindemann included:
  • "Our phones have been ringing off the hook about you."
  • "You’ll get beat by a red-headed stepchild."
  • "This guy is giving me a line of shit a mile long."
  • "I can't support you because I know what is coming down the pike. Paul, don't blow it off. Don't blow us off."
  • "The Democrats are going to make it personal if you get the nomination, and the media is going to destroy you."
Since that meeting, it's gotten worse, with more lawsuits announced and more calls for him to resign his Council seat, to which Lindeman responded "you can tell the Republican party that the press I’ve gotten in the last few weeks has more than bolstered my decision to run again", claiming he's "had more e-mails, more phone calls and more pledges for money towards my next election".  When we searched the local papers for letters to the editor to see what some of  these "calls" might be, we only found two scathing editorials, with excerpts below:

Lindemann has no pretense and really, no power. He is a county councilman!

I’m not going to denigrate his position as I’m sure hundreds of hard working elected officials exist at county levels across the land. I’m here to laugh at his failing to understand the game. You don’t lie, cheat, steal, drive with a suspended license and sleep over another woman’s house at the local level; you do those things at a state and national level.  - Fort Mill Times, 1/26/10

I hope the people decide that Lindemann is wrong. Not only does he not need to be on York County Council or in the state House, he needs to be out of the public eye altogether. - Rock Hill Herald, 1/18/10
More of those "messsages from the people" can be found in the comments section of the most recent news story.  Not surprisingly, none of these supposed masses of supporters felt the need to speak up.

If Lindemann's streak of bad news continues, the winning strategy for any candidates he faces - either for re-election to his Council seat or for the State House - to sit back and watch this guy self-destruct.

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