South Carolina's reform movement suffered another blow Wednesday when Kelly Payne, a candidate for the Republican nomination for state superintendent of education, verified a series of leaked love e-mails to her came from Republican S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom.
Eckstrom is married. But he has been separated and living apart from his wife for two years, according to his re-election campaign. Payne, who is divorced, is a Dutch Fork High School teacher.
Eckstrom, 61, the state's top accountant, is one of the most influential members of the reform movement, which has pushed for smaller government, lower taxes and more accountability and transparency in state government.
Excerpts from the emails
Hope you can open this link ... seems like the stuff you'd enjoy! Practice anyone? I'm willing to be your guinea (sp?) pig. Hope you had good weekend. Love ...
You go ahead and act as wacked-out and irrational as you want to; it still won't likely douse my love for you. ... just thinking about advice with a thoughtful, open mind can be constructive and liberating, you little thin skin!
I'm okay with what you told me to do. You were pretty upset with me so I don't think you really meant to say what you did. I'm not expecting you to love me, but PLEASE DON'T stay angry at me. Just starting Guard duty so you'll be safe from Muslims today.