Greeks manipulated in city elections
Saturday, September 14, 2019
Shamefully, ECU fraternity and sorority students can be manipulated by a narrow clique in town to seat a Greenville City Council majority to do the bidding of that narrow special interest clique. We want students voting. But it’s another thing if students are lied to and offered bribes by self-serving operators with financial interests in election outcomes. Anyone running citywide or in the university District 3, and not backed by this clique, faces the possibility of the clique’s “Greek machine” tactic.
It’s no secret in Greenville that unscrupulous tactics to turn the Greek vote have been implemented successfully for several elections. Astute observers estimate 1,000-1,200 votes, roughly 10 percent of the usual total vote, turn on the Greek machine, impacting District 3 and citywide mayoral and at-large races. Greek students are viewed by the clique as an easy block vote to be manipulated with lies and cheap rewards.
Some Greek students driven to the polls in limos have told people they were promised “social points” and other things of value. They were falsely told certain candidates would close down their fraternities and sororities. Greek houses have been shut down, but certainly not because of any council action, a ridiculous notion.
Some candidates have been denied opportunity to speak to Greek life meetings — the houses risk their tax-free 501(c)3 nonprofit status if they engage in partisan politics. Casting informed votes is foundational to good government. Inappropriate manipulation of any student is concerning.
The following candidates, all up for reelection this November, were on the slate supported by the clique’s Greek machine in the past: PJ Connelly (mayor), Will Bell (D3), Will Litchfield (D5), Brian Meyerhoeffer (At-Large), Rose Glover (D1). Watch — there’s good reason to think the same shameful practice of misleading students for financial gain is being cranked up again.
The writer is the former at-large representative on the Greenville City Council.