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Echo Chamber – The Mister Potato Head Smackdown March 4, 2007

Posted by fitsnews in 2008 Presidential Primaries, SC Politics.

Mister Potato Head


FITSNews – March 4, 2007 – There’s a good chance that Spartanburg County Republican Party Chairman Rick Beltram went to bed last night thinking he had told that mean old Sic Willie … and told him good.

Well grab some coffee, Mr. Chairman. Because you’re about to have a very, very long morning.

The Potato Head fun started when Beltram sent a rather snippy e-mail to South Carolina’s resident political bad boy (and FITSNews founder) protesting our coverage of Thursday’s GOP Presidential straw poll …

Here’s Beltram’s e-mail:

—–Original Message—–
From: rick beltram [mailto:rick.beltram@intedge.com]
Sent: Saturday, March 03, 2007 6:30 PM
To: w@viewpolitik.com
Subject: bad vibes


I have very clearly read your recent blogs. They are pure trash and “hateful”. Today, I did call a number of folks that know you well…..they say that maybe you are having a hard time with life and should seek “help” before you hurt others.

However, all our activists in Spartanburg do/did a great job and they are highly insulted by your attacks. We know that to have 800 people attend Precinct meetings is a very great feat! (especially in the midst of a Tornado Watch)

We do rush sometimes to communicate information without using spellcheck and do appear on TV without make-up. We have never made any claims to be good looking. We just push the cause and do the effort for the greater good of the GOP.

I remember in 2002 when it appeared that you were going to have a very difficult time with Hodges…..Spartanburg gave the team a bigger margin than the home county of Charleston.

Aaron Shenin’s article last Thursday hit the mark exactly…..that information is the correct record…..your stuff is fabrication. (I knew all the folks at our HQ on Thursday and no “veteran GOP consultant” was present, etc.)

We do however, have very long memories. (CDV)

We will continue to take the high road at all costs.

Please do not expect me to answer your calls any longer.

Rick Beltram

Yeah. Now here is Sic Willie’s response:


VIA E-MAIL – MARCH 4, 2007

Mr. Richard Beltram
Chairman, Spartanburg County Republican Party
725 Black Wolf Run
Spartanburg, S.C. 29306

Dear Chairman Beltram:

I just received your e-mail (copied below).

On behalf of FITSNews.com, please accept my humblest and most sincere apologies if our web site’s coverage of the Spartanburg County GOP Presidential straw poll (“We Don’t Count So Good Down Here“) was in any way offensive either to you or your organization. I can assure you it was meant entirely in good fun, especially the discussion of your uncanny resemblance to Mr. Potato Head.

Having said that, please permit me to take issue with your fundamental premise.

Frankly, I fail to see how the Spartanburg County Republican Party’s inability to perform simple arithmetic is in any way the fault of FITSNews.com. I am horrible at math, Mr. Chairman (I can provide you with my old grammar school report cards in case you’d like to see for yourself), but the last time I checked you just add the numbers up and you get a total.

Calculators are also helpful in the event the numbers are too big to remember in your head.

As you note, weather reports did indicate the presence of some severe storms in the Spartanburg area on Thursday evening, but your e-mail makes it sound as if your staff was trying to do level three calculus (without scratch paper) while dodging flying cattle on the set of “Twister.”

Thankfully, it appears that no animals (or abacuses) were harmed in the production of your straw poll, although the same thing probably can’t be said for our state’s hard-earned reputation as a hotbed of basic mathematical proficiency.

Certainly the faith your e-mail demonstrates in the veracity of South Carolina’s mainstream media is touching, Mr. Chairman, as is your devotion to the “greater good of the GOP.” I will be sure to bear those points in mind the next time I concern myself with the opinion of someone who can’t count, has no sense of humor and looks a lot like a toy I used to play with as a small child.

Mr. Chairman, in case you haven’t noticed (which judging from your e-mail, you haven’t) FITSNews.com exists to give political aficionados and casual observers alike a much-needed break from the unrelenting stream of sanctimonious, self-absorbed political pablum propagated on daily basis by people like you. Take me seriously, don’t take me seriously, it’s entirely up to you.

I’m just having fun.

In closing, I was a bit curious as to your remark, apparently issued on behalf of the entire Spartanburg GOP, that “we do however, have very long memories. (CDV),” which appears in your e-mail just before your pledge to “continue to take the high road at all costs.”

I’m not sure what you were attempting to communicate by that comment, Mr. Chairman, but I have no plans at present to disrupt the long-term memory of anyone affiliated with the Spartanburg County Republican Party.

You and your colleagues should feel free to remember whatever you want, for as long as you wish to remember it. I would, however, recommend that someone remember how to count the next time you decide to hold a straw poll on national television.

With warmest regards, I am,

Very Sincerely Yours,

“Sic Willie” Folks

Founder, FITSNews.com

P.S. – I’ll be taking the liberty of posting our exchange on FITSNews.com, so be sure to keep visiting and commenting. We sincerely appreciate your patronage.

So, who won the Mister Potato Head Smackdown?



1. Applelover - March 4, 2007

What’s up with Rick’s “royal we” bit?

2. BlackRiverRambler - March 4, 2007

Methinks Rick dost protest too much.

3. Minto McGill - March 4, 2007

SIc’ em Willie

4. table for one? - March 4, 2007

“Now serving…. Beltram, party of one”

5. G.L. - March 4, 2007

Guys like this are the reason so many people are fed up with politics and don’t get involved. I’d like to say that I’ve never read so much self-absorbed bullshit in my life but I see it every day in the newspapers and other media from political operatives and those in leadership positions.

6. Robert - March 4, 2007

I enjoyed some of your phrasing.

7. Woodruff Globe TGrotters - March 4, 2007

Looks like Mr Potato Head got sliced, diced and fried. Ding! Fries are done!

8. Don Johnson - March 4, 2007

We all knew Rick couldn’t count when he said 2,000 people would show up. Is this really a surprise?

9. KJB - March 4, 2007

Never heard of level 3 calculus, but you did say you weren’t a math wizard. If you are referring to the 3rd Semester of college level Calculus, (assuming you pass the first 2) the class would be Differential Equations (single variable Calculus – worked backwards) – Truly making your point even sharper. I know you would want to know, cause thats the way you roll!!

10. Earl - March 4, 2007

Don, you know he said that 2,000 people weren’t expected … didn’t you hear that? He said it after he said that they were going to 1) exceed their 2003 turnout and 2) turn out 2000.

Sounds like Rick “Kerry” Beltram to me, when you think about it.

11. Earl - March 4, 2007

“I remember in 2002 when it appeared that you were going to have a very difficult time with Hodges…..Spartanburg gave the team a bigger margin than the home county of Charleston.”

Can anyone explain what Beltram meant by that statement? Since he didn’t claim to have played a role in this, I wonder if he was putting it out there to see who assumed he had a role in this, or is that we’re supposed to know that he IS Spartanburg County?

I’m confused … maybe Beltram will bend his rule and elaborate on this comment?

12. Woodruff Globe Trotters - March 4, 2007

I don’t think we are talking rocket science for Beltram. As a matter of fact if he cannot add he will obviouly think that multiple regression is when he goes on his written and verbal diatribes from a 13 year old mentality to an 8 year old to finally an infant like behavior with very little bowel control. Now, that is Beltram multiple regression.

Nice post other than it is way over his head, much like the first derivative of x.



13. LH Oswald - March 5, 2007

The royal “we” came from Sanfrod, they speak that way when laying down markers and looking under the hood or calculating the delta. That’s what royals do, all that. But it’s better than pissing up a tree or barking in the wind. It ain’t rocket surgery.

14. The trophy mouth strikes again » The Palmetto Scoop - October 5, 2007

[…] and people call him on it. We’ve got news for you Ricky, when you use your bully pulpit to cover your own ineptitude, you’re going to make […]

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