Dear Editor: I received a call about 10:30 p.m. from a friend asking me if I had the chance to read the recent article titled "Dillard responds to information about past charges" (Sept. 22, 2010). I stated that I had not. Upon reading the article I almost fell off my chair.
Allow me to attempt to set the record straight, if I may. About a week and a half prior to Mr. Dillard’s alleged criminal past hitting the local papers, I received a call from Mr. Sam Smiley who had asked if I could possibly meet him and others at the fabulous Roly Poly restaurant. I told him I would. Five minutes into the meeting, I was given a stack of papers outlining Mr. Dillard’s unfortunate indiscretions. While perusing the copious sheets of paper, I was told that this devastating material was going to be hand delivered to the local media by week’s end. At that juncture, I interjected with the idea of presenting this devastating material to the Dillard campaign prior to the media receiving it, with the hope of sparing his family humiliation and embarrassment. Mr. Smiley thought that the idea was commendable; however, he said I need to give the idea a little more thought.
Sam called me about two days later and agreed to the aforementioned gesture. I was again given the same materials and immediately transported them over to the Dillard campaign headquarters, where I met with his campaign manager, Mr. Harold Greenwell. I shared with Mr. Greenwell exactly what I was presenting to him. He told me, "We have former knowledge of what you are handing me, but I am totally unaware of the incident regarding the child being punched in the face by Courtney." Therefore, in the process of reading the article, I felt that the Dillard campaign was trying to take an inadvertent shot at me personally. This is why I felt a need to respond expeditiously.
I take your comments extremely personally Mr. Dillard simply because you were warned in advance by me and you have chosen to totally disregard it. So to now claim that you are being attacked and others around you are claiming the same is both unfounded and tantamount to the fable of the Boy Who Cried Wolf. Your campaign manager thanked me for trying to look out for you and your family in advance. However, I told him that I didn’t think you had the humility or decency to thank me yourself. And I was correct.
Clearly, Mr. Dillard and his camp did not know, or chose to ignore, the level of transparency that is associated with running for political office. Voters would like to know both the good and bad about individuals who seek public office. A candidate’s personal background is also a part of the campaign. I partially fault the Democratic Chairman, Stan Williams, for his lack of vetting and obtaining the necessary materials to help him make a more prudent decision as to whether or not he should lead this Democratic Party in supporting a politically flawed candidate. In essence, Mr. Dillard, you had the opportunity either to turn on the spigot by continuing your campaign or to turn off the spigot by suspending it. You chose the former. So don’t go around passing out flyers accusing the media or even your opponent for your admitted indiscretions. What a person says and does is who he or she is. Finally, I would like to know, Mr. Dillard, are you running for County Commissioner or county sympathy?