SC Democratic Party chairman homes in on GOP ‘purity pledge’

Though the South Carolina GOP wasted little time distancing itself from a county Republican Party’s resolution requiring GOP candidates to sign a “purity pledge,” deeming it illegal, the South Carolina Democratic Party is using it to allege that Republicans are crazy about sex.

Late last month, the Laurens County Republican Party passed a resolution outlining 28 principles to which GOP candidates must adhere if they want to be on the June 12 primary ballot — including, among other issues, that they abstained from sex before marriage, will not commit adultery, will not view porn and will oppose civil unions between members of the same sex.

On Monday, however, Laurens County Republican Party Chairman Bobby Smith said that candidates who do not sign the pledge will not be denied a chance to run.

“The purpose of the resolution was to try to ensure that candidates who wish to file to run on the ticket simply support the party’s platform,” Smith told UPI. “Our party has had much success over the past few years, and we want to make sure they uphold the party’s principles if running on the party’s ticket.”

Nevertheless, the South Carolina Democratic Party is not ready to let the pledge go.

“Since it is apparent porn and sex must be a big enough problem in the Republican Party to warrant a written pledge to avoid them, I would be very cautious about getting into a small space like a bathroom or a voting booth with a Republican,” South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian wrote in a statement Wednesday.

The South Carolina Democrats have even produced a web video alleging that Republicans have a problem with sex, pointing to former Gov. Mark Sanford’s affair, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s pregnant teenage daughter and former Vice President Dick Cheney’s support for gay marriage.

According to the State Republican Party, the pledge is illegal and not even in line with the state GOP.

“The state party does not endorse this action, and no county party can legally keep a qualified candidate off the ballot,” said Matt Moore, executive director of the S.C. Republican Party.

“These kinds of purity tests are at odds with our long-term strategy of being a dominant party,” Moore added. “We’ve got to be for limited government, less taxes. That’s what our platform is about.”

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