[Nfbofsc] Positive Note 1473

David Houck nfbsc at sc.rr.com
Wed Nov 5 20:01:25 UTC 2014


November 5, 2014

Memo To:  Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents &
Others

From:  Parnell Diggs, President

Positive Note 1473

Dear Fellow Federationists:

 

              We are releasing the Positive Note slightly later than normal
so that we may bring you special Election coverage:  South Carolina Votes.
Since the statewide Seminar early in 2014, we have been talking about the
General Elections and my participation as a candidate for the Office of
Attorney General.

You may recall that I had been a candidate for Congress in 2012 and received
approximately 1400 votes.  I finished third in a Primary Election that year.
In 2014, I had the high honor of being a major party nominee for statewide
office and was therefore entitled to appear on the November General Election
ballot.  This was a huge step forward for me, as many candidates offer to
run for office and never progress through the Primary, especially in a race
for statewide office.

While I had no opposition in the Primary in 2014, it is important to realize
that a major party would not permit a candidate to run whom the party did
not support.  This is to say that, even if a candidate (whom the party did
not support) filed to run for office, another candidate would be recruited
in an effort to assure that the party supported the ultimate nominee.

In my case, the party was quite happy to have me on the ballot, and thus no
other candidates were recruited.  I tried to represent my party well and
help move the party forward without detracting from the effort to elect
candidates, which is the ultimate goal of any political party.

I believe I was able to add to the effort.  That being said, I believe my
Federation family is aware that Tuesday evening was a tough night for
Democrats across the nation.  With limited resources, however, my vote
totals were similar to other Democratic candidates who spent millions of
dollars on the 2014 campaign.  When I went to bed on Tuesday, I had received
over 474 thousand votes.

My campaign was not solely an effort to demonstrate the capabilities of
blind people, but it was a welcomed consequence.  I believe blind people
received favorable exposure in the general public as a result of the
campaign.  Incidentally, some of my biggest supporters were Republicans who
know me well.  Nearly a half-million votes is a lot of votes, and I am
honored to have received the support of so many South Carolinians including
those in my Federation family.

Let me tell one final short story.  Bakari Sellers, a candidate for
Lieutenant Governor remarked during a campaign rally that he had met a lady
who was responsible for getting fifteen blind people to the polls to vote
absentee.  He did not immediately see the Federation connection, but I knew
right away that he was speaking of none other than State Board member Linda
Dizzley, and I told him so.

I am grateful to everyone who gave their time, financial support, energy,
and manpower in the effort.  I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Valerie
Bouler Johnson, who drove thousands of miles helping me get from place to
place in the many campaign appearances required of candidates for high
office.  I would not have been competitive without her, nor would the
political forces in the state have seen me as even a serious candidate.
Thank you, my Federation family.

What we have done together is important because the National Federation of
the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic which defines you
or your future.  Every day, we raise expectations of blind people because
low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams.  You
can live the life you want:  blindness is not what holds you back.   Joining
me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB
of SC.  Here is Dr. Capps.

              Our distinguished state President Parnell Diggs received some
40% of the statewide vote for the office of Attorney General.  This is an
excellent result as the incumbent, Alan Wilson, the son of Congressman Joe
Wilson, for the past several weeks had been continuously in the media as the
result of his prosecution of former Speaker Bobby Harrell.  Given all of
these circumstances, I think it's safe to state that virtually no one could
have defeated the incumbent.  We are really proud of our state president who
cris-crossed the state in his campaign for Attorney General.
Unquestionably, President Diggs' political speeches received appreciation
from those at his many political stops.  We also applaud his supportive wife
Kim and teenage son Jordan.  As everyone knows the federation is doing
everything it can to improve the public's understanding about blindness -
what it is and what it is not.  President Diggs has a positive attitude and
is an excellent speaker.  He leaves a good impression with those who are
privileged to hear his presentations.  Parnell certainly had the support of
the state's blind community and this is a plus for everyone concerned.  In
his campaign he received a lot of good publicity.  I especially felt the
extensive article in The State newspaper some few weeks ago was most
favorable.  The "Free Times" is a weekly publication in Columbia received by
businesses and residents.  This excellent weekly spoke of Parnell in a
positive light.  At no point did I ever see any negative coverage about
Parnell's blindness.  Those of us who are close to him appreciate his
service in the NFB of SC.  He is now in his 15th year as President of the
NFB of SC and is popular throughout the state and nation.  Parnell is still
young and this campaign is probably not the last one as he is committed to
public service.  He will have our support and gratitude.  Like many of you
across the state we stayed up until midnight watching election returns,
which is two hours past our normal bedtime.  We add our appreciation to the
thousands of South Carolinians who voted for Parnell Diggs.

 

Final Thought:  "Power does not lie within the politicians but within the
voters."

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