Karen Floyd’s Crisis of Confidence - and an Opportunity


It’s been a long tough week for the S.C. Republican Party - and it’s just Tuesday.


I was asked by SCGOP Chairwoman Karen Floyd last summer to become the Treasurer of the party, and after some initial guidance by Glen O’Connell – who had served as SCGOP Treasurer for a few years under Katon Dawson – I assumed that role in December of 2009. I resigned three months later.

In short, I would describe my tenure as an absolutely toxic experience that I could simply no longer endure. Not only was I forced into a reactionary position concerning the party’s extravagant spending on non-electoral items, I was also forced to oversee expenditures on items that would only serve political insiders in Columbia – and to do so without objection.


Many of you may have read a blog post this morning by our former Party Treasurer, John Cattano, attacking the financial position of the South Carolina Republican Party. Mr. Cattano served as our Treasurer for roughly three months earlier this year, and at that time had very little interaction with day-to-day finances of the Party. As such, I fear that much of what he posted arose from a lack of understanding of Party expenditures, rather than any ill intent. Nonetheless, Chairman Floyd believed it was important for me to send around this short response to our Executive Committee in an effort to separate fact from fiction.

As Sawyer is the guy who once shilled for Governor Sanford (and like everyone else, got left holding the figurative check), he normally wouldn't receive a shred of credibility in the Blogland, except that others have joined him in challenging Cattano's allegations.

Maybe Cattano's letter would have raised little notice had other concerns not been raised about the SCGOP over the last year:


  • The party is on its third Executive Director since current Chair Karen Floyd took office last year.

  • The SCGOP website was pulled down when Floyd took office, and remained down for months.

  • An ambitious agenda to improve coordination with the grassroots hasn't seen a lot of action (including yours truly being told in the middle of a crowded breakfast club meeting that he was being put on a SCGOP committee that, thus far, either hasn't met, or uninvited him).

The bottom line is that the current state of affairs in the SCGOP, in the eyes of many we've talked with, could be described as "confused".

This isn't something that can be put solely on the back of Cattano and a small group of malcontents. Others have expressed their concern that the state party hasn't taken the bold new directions promised by Floyd during her candidacy for the SCGOP Chair (which was supported by the Blogland last year).

As the Chair, it's up to Floyd to establish and defend the credibility of the organization which she is responsible for leading. Email volleys fired by staff will not suffice to set the record straight. Failing to respond, both in words and deeds, may help convince others that Cattano is right, and maybe even fuel these concerns.

Crisis creates opportunity. With Floyd's leadership brought into question, perhaps this can be the opportunity she needs to set the record straight and bring the party faithful together. Doing so could do much to help the GOP take the best advantage of what is expected to be one of the best electoral environments they've had in many years.

9 Response to "Karen Floyd’s Crisis of Confidence - and an Opportunity"

  1. Anonymous 13/4/10 20:32
    Only a fuckin RINO like you would write shit like this.
  2. Anonymous 13/4/10 20:43
    Earl I have no confidence that Karen will turn this around. The SCGOP is now a herd of cronyism. Karen Floyd is the most toxic leader yet. This is coming from someone that is not a fan of Dawson and McMaster. Now I would take Katon back in a heartbeat.
  3. Wesley Donehue 13/4/10 22:00
    The website was not down for months. You just didn't hit the Enter Blog button on the splash page. Splash pages are found on most political sites now. Not sure why you keep saying this.

    The blog was updated nearly daily and had the contact info for all counties.
  4. Earl Capps 13/4/10 22:31
    Wes, I knew that only after someone told me to look for it, but it was not apparent for the uninformed visitor.
  5. John 13/4/10 22:32
    This might sound a bit abstract (and maybe even corny), but what about the notion that in order to be a good Republican Party chair, you have to really have that idealistic "Proud to be a Republican" feeling deep down inside of you. It has to be a part of you the same way being a Catholic is for some of a Game cock fan is for others. I got that from former chairs like Katon Dawson and Henry McMaster. For those of us who have known of Karen Floyd in Spartanburg for years, well frankly that is not her. She was never what I'd call a "strong Republican" deeply committed to the party when she served on County Council from 1998-2002, and before that she was a supporter of Democrats and Democratic causes. I think there is a tremendous difference between calling yourself a Republican and using the party as a springboard to elected office (which many people do) and actually being the "Top Republican Activist" in South Carolina which is what the SCGOP chair needs to be.
  6. Anonymous 13/4/10 22:48
    Come on Wes, you're a good guy. I know Earl says a lot of good things about you, but how many average joe types figured the "Enter Blog" link out? Cut him some slack here. I had the same problem
  7. Anonymous 14/4/10 01:05
    So who's paying you to write this shit? May as well tell us since we'll find out.
  8. west_rhino 14/4/10 09:25
    Suffice it to say that, the website became far less user friendly, not the wisest of moves.

    I only have to look towards one of SCGOP's rising tech talents that was driven to the Libertarian Party, to understand that the winner of statewide (or county wide) popularity contests aren't always the wisest of leaders.
  9. Anonymous 14/4/10 14:44
    Earl, I've got to hand it to you. You made sure that you were persona non grata while Katon was chair, and you just made sure your welcome will be no better as long as Karen is chair.

    How to lose friends and enrage enemies, Blogland Style

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