Read the Eckstrom e-mails to Payne

February 18, 2010 

Excerpts from e-mails from S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom, R-Lexington, to Kelly Payne, the Dutch Fork High School teacher who is seeking the GOP nomination for state superintendent of education

From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 11:11 PM

Subject: GOOD STUFF!!

To: Kelly Payne

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 ...

http://www.redbookmag.com/love-sex/advice/best-sex-article-tips

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 9:10 PM

Subject: REQUEST AND PRAYER REQUEST

To: Kelly Payne

I miss you, Baby. I'm glad you said you weren't mad.

But I know I had a big role in making you depressed. WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP YOU OUT OF THIS PAIN? Leave me if you truly want to, but NEVER while you're in pain! You'd be more likely to regret it later. What can I do - anything to help?

I have a knock-down, drag-out B&C Board meeting at 9:30 in morning. Won't you pray for me like you've always done, please? Please? I need you!

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 9:26 PM

Subject: Re: REQUEST AND PRAYER REQUEST

To: Kelly Payne

BTW, I'm so proud of your school district newsletter domination. Just be careful, some people hate to see others (like you for instance) be successful. The more success, the greater the risk. Hope I can find a copy of the newsletter as a keepsake to treasure.

Did you see the hits RJ and I took on the FITS post today on Jim Rex?

The NRA banquet organizing committee asked me to be the keynote speaker for their event on May 16. ... Should I ask RJ to take you as his date? Or will there be someone else by then? I know there's no limit in the number of guys you have to choose from. That's just one reason I've been so grateful for your love!

Please let me know if I can ever help you with anything. Now I'll quit bugging you. I pray that God will bless you especially with his presence. I remember so fondly the way we use to exchange Bible passages. They'll always be marked in my Bible! They (and you) were so encouraging at a very rough time for me!!

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Mon, May 11, 2009 at 9:40 PM

Subject: A BUNCH OF STUFF

To: Kelly Payne

You go ahead and act as wacked-out and irrational as you want to; it still won't likely douse my love for you. I'm thinking you can control your goofy behavior - that it's just an act - and that you use it as a defense mechanism. You recognize your own criticizable behaviors and then you accuse your significant others of that same behavior, figuring that if you beat to the punch by criticizing , they'll be less likely to criticize you. I'm not sure why you're so deathly afraid of criticism from someone who loves you - just thinking about advice with a thoughtful, open mind can be constructive and liberating, you little thin skin!

Whoever taught you to behave like that toward a loved one ... not only was a horrible teacher but did you a terrible disservice. Even if you convince yourself you're powerless to change in that regard, whatever you do, don't pass that behavioral disorder on to your kids.

You remind me in a way of a movie from the early nineties, called something like Fisher King. It was about Robin Williams and some low-confidence girl. He took her on a date and then he asked to see her again. She told him "no" because if he got to know her he wouldn't like her just like everyone else. He assured her that he did know her. He told her that he knew she was different in certain ways (I don't clearly remember the ways), that he knew who she was, that he loved her, and that he wouldn't leave her like everyone else had.

She was shocked to find that kind of love and understanding in a man, looked him eye-to-eye, and asked him tenderly whether he was real. What a moment!! The flick pierced my heart - I identified more with her at the time than I did with him. Can you identify?

Get over it. Get on with living a full life. I'm looking for someone just like you (ah ... you, really) to live and enjoy life with ... ; life to its fullest. Don't be such a freaking narcissist. It's not at all becoming of someone as nearly perfect as you! And get past that freaking passive aggression - you piss and moan when RJ doesn't call you back right away, but you willfully refuse to call me back, delighting instead to make me wonder why you're not answering me for days at a time.

And out of love and consideration for you, I've taken your incoming calls while meeting with governors, agency heads, federal cabinet officials, Budget & Control Board meetings, giving speeches like tonight, and nearly every other imaginable setting. I won't even get into trying to explain to you, particularly when you call all spun up about some matter, how impossible it is to let you know I'm tied-up on official business. It's never the call that's the problem. It's your reluctance to listen when I'm tied up in front of someone. Food for thought.

Finally, maybe you don't get anything from seeing me. (sniff) You implied tonight that having to see me more than once a week makes me high maintenance. Let's cut the bull crap. You need to level with me Kelly. No more playing with my feelings please. You know that I want you. You know who I am. Love me or leave me. You have a clear-cut choice. This ain't a game. How could you resist so fine a specimen? Love u! Your turn to talk.

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Subject: PEANUTS II

To: "Kelly Payne"

Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 11:33 PM

Dear Lucy,

I'm so very dense ... some things will NEVER change ( ... headaches, tired and worn-out - you use that over and over including this afternoon, stress, politics, throwing up, ... etc. etc. etc. ...). I'm clearly just your comic strip joke.

I know from experience that a person never has enough time to fit in everything, but most people make room in their lives for the things they really desire. It's become more and more clear you don't desire to make me any meaningful part of your life.

Your call. No hard feelings ... but sure I'm disappointed. Anyway I should be spending more time lavishing my dear mother with the consistent, dependable, sacrificial love she lavished on me for a lifetime. Best of all, she'd delight in every measure of love I'd show her.

Hopefully your friend anyway but at a less threatening level to you. You can keep the football.

Charlie Brown

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 9:46 PM

Subject: Re: -

To: Kelly Payne

I'm very imperfect Kelly. I humbly admit it. I've never maintained otherwise. I think of a passage in Jeremiah that says:

Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast only in the Lord ... let him boast only that he knows me.

That's my only hope. My ONLY hope for eternity is that God promises to be merciful to me, an imperfect sinner. When God looks at me, he see's only his son because I know him.

You were so right yesterday morning. If we must part, let's do so in kindness. I don't know why we haven't been able to work things out. We just haven't been able to. Lots of reasons I guess. I hope you never thought I was flawless. That would be an awful weight for anyone to try to drag through life.

Put me out of your mind for a few weeks. It'll make you feel better. You'll meet someone from amoung all those hundreds of new friends you've made on Facebook recently. God bless you Kelly.

I'll be fine eventually. I'll do my best to keep up with you from a distance ... but I won't interfere with your life. And I'll pray for you the rest of my life. I promise I will. It's impossible for me to feel anything other than love for you. I'm pretty sure God did that to me and for you. You're a remarkable girl!! I'm so comforted that you're a Christian. We'll be able to frolic together in Heaven one day! Love. Your Richard.

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 10:20 PM

Subject: Re: -

To: Kelly Payne

You're not being unreasonable at all. I'm the one at fault, not you. I want you to be happy and at peace.

I just looked up the verse you "gave" me back in March 2008 as I was leaving home:

For I am the Lord, your God,

who takes hold of your right hand

and says to you, Do not fear;

I will help you.

- Isaiah 41:13

It was a tremendous encouragement and comfort to me then ... and still is. I hope it gives you the same encouragement and comfort at this time. I love you deeply too.

I wonder what plans God has in store for us. I'm guessing it'll probably be (another man's name) for you. But I might be done with this frustration. I'm not up to the task. I think I'll take up golf! ...

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 11:25 PM

Subject: Re: Happy Bday

To: Kelly Payne

That's so thoughtful of you. How can you love me and hate me at the same time? What a feat! If you ever want an understanding, supportive and long-suffering man to work through and maybe conquer this malady with you, let me know. Your excuses are smoke screens for the most part. I offer you that opinion out of love.

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 11:14 PM

Subject: Re: TAKE GOOD CARE

To: Kelly Payne

Just saw ur reply. Sorry that I sent my text an hour or so ago. I wouldn't have bothered you with my text if I had known how you felt.

Guess I was thrown off by our phone conversation around 7p tonight in which u said u really loved me. But actually it sounds now like uv already discarded me for other interests. I admit I got that same impression Sunday when u said u were trying to break ur "addiction" to me, and that I was laying "power moves and guilt trips" on u. That's not the stuff love is made of.

What's been most confusing is that that when I informed you last week I had started moving forward legally (something I thought would make you very happy) you panicked and since that moment have cut off almost all contact with me. I think it's dawned on you that you don't have time for both me AND FaceBook, so you've had to choose one over the other. I understand. I know I'm not nearly as exciting as a social networking site and never will be. One word of caution: PLEASE be careful not to let FaceBook crowd out your precious kids, your faith, and you career. It too can be addictive if you choose not to guard against its control of your life.

You know how I've felt about you. I was always 100 percent honest and genuine with my love. You can speak ill of me now or in the future if you feel compelled to. And even if you do, you're safe because I'll NEVER speak ill of you. That's another promise to you I'll never break.

God bless you, Kelly! ...

Sorry for letting you down. Hope you'll at least keep my bumper sticker on your car. I love you and always will! I've said my piece so will now quit bugging you. Don't want you to think of me as just another bothersome Andre-type. ... So long.

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Sun, Jul 12, 2009 at 9:14 PM

Subject: YOUR HAPPINESS

To: Kelly Payne

We're probably too much alike to always see eye to eye. Do what you feel you need to do, but please don't hate me the rest of your life.

I hope that sooner or later you'll feel like talking again

Praying for you often. Love

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 6:35 PM

Subject: PLAN B OR C OR D

To: Kelly Payne

Hey Kelly!

You might notice this is similar to an email I sent you last night ... I still have the same sentiments to share.

I wish you and I could have made things work!! But for our emotional well-being, I'm not going to argue at this time with the decision you've made. But let's remain in regular touch. There's no reason we can't maintain a good friendship. After all, you're already my best friend ever.

Kelly, I'm grateful to you for the love you shared with me ... and now hopefully for your continued special friendship. Let me know if you ever need anything. In order to give you the space you want, I'll stop trying to anticipate your need for help with chores. But I'm standing-by to respond to any request you make - like for painting or furniture repairs or campaign questions, etc. Put me to the test!

I think you'll agree we learned (too well!) how to find each other's buttons and how to really push 'em. As special friends, maybe we won't do that so much. No need to. Won't get us anywhere.

Hope you enjoyed your day. I'll leave a kitchen item for you on your doorstep when I leave (a) card within an hour or so. I'm about to shower. Been in yard and sun this afternoon. Whew ... off to shower. Call anytime. I'll try not to bug you, especially when you're annoyed with me. Hugs and pecks! Richard

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2009 18:49:56 -0700 (PDT)

To: Kelly Payne

Subject: Nice!

A husband! Ouch!

You might never realize how deeply disappointed I am that I don't meet your requirements for that acting role. You're all I've been able to dream of and long for since the "wonderful spark" ignited our dear friendship. But my longing to spend time with you and to find my encouragement and support from you has clashed over and over with your longing for detachment and independence. For reasons I can't relate to, you've been unusually driven to doing things on your own. But you're surely entitled to feel anyway you want. We're obviously wired very differently.

If I were ever able to get to the point of choking off the intense feelings I have for you, maybe I could manage my heart a little more to your liking. But that heart then would be a lot smaller than the one that's now thumping inside me, and besides, you probably wouldn't care much for a dishonest heart that would need to try to manage our relationship by attempting to convinced itself that it's not that strongly attracted and attached to you. And that heart would have a low survival rate because it would kill it to have to give up on the beautiful ideal it's sought its entire life.

I think you and I came close to making this work. .... Sorry I haven't been able to deliver or conform. I don't think I'd ever want to trim down or strip away layers of my heart to conform.

It's sure not what I've been hoping for and working toward, but can't we try to remain regular friends where our different needs for love won't be as likely to get in the way? If that ends up interfering with plans you're pursuing, I promise I'll get completely out of your way. I'm okay with you taking plenty of time and distance to think about it. So the next communication between us will be your. I'll try hard to accept what you need, rather than what I want. luv, Richard

PS - I'll leave your book and key and part of my heart in your mail box tomorrow. You're the best!

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Tue, Sep 8, 2009 at 7:25 PM

Subject: YOUR SITUATION

To: Kelly Payne

You know I'll help you. Hope you'll let me. Love to all.

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 10:23 PM

Subject: news account and video

To: Kelly Payne

For very personal reasons I bawled my eyes out when I saw this tonight. Margaret's love was the most perfect and understanding love I've ever experienced. Maybe you and the other candidates will find a spot in your agendas to provide for the very special needs of this most special segment of our population. I can assure you from my personal experience that people like my sister give a whole lot more than they take. You'll find this impossible to believe, but no doubt I would've been even more selfish and an even bigger FAH - if Margaret hadn't taught me so many positive things through her precious love and life. My life was immeasurably blessed by hers and I can't wait to see her in heaven. Go ahead and belittle me for my intense feelings. I don't care. My spirit is completely broken. I'm now trying to refocus on things that are more eternal.

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 10:36 PM

Subject: Gd Nt

To: Kelly Payne

Just been praying for you ... Good night baby. I love you.

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Richard Eckstrom to (Kelly Payne)

show details 10/28/09

Just realized ... NOTHING stimulates GOOD workouts like a BAD breakup. I'd gladly have given up good workouts for the rest of my life. Whatever else might happen, we need to remain close friends. I won't be pushy though. I just hope that ...

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 11:05 PM

Subject: PLEASE READ THIS

To: Kelly Payne

It feels obvious that you've moved on ... so out of consideration for you I know I should no longer love you ... but I admit that I still do. I need just a little more time. Surely you know how sensitive I am. Please don't hold that against me as a weakness ... I've always considered it a strength. I at least want you as a friend, Kelly. Not the Face Book kind of friend, but the real kind.

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Sat, Nov 7, 2009 at 7:50 AM

Subject: WE'VE BEEN FORGIVEN

To: Kelly Payne

Hey Kelly,

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.

Tenderly,

Richard

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Sat, Nov 7, 2009 at 8:40 PM

Subject: MEDAL OF HONOR

To: Kelly Payne

Was hoping to talk with you today to tell you about a tragedy that touches you. On Oct 2 when I was at the Citadel I met a MOH recipient my age named Len Kellum who lived in Fla. We hit it off really well and I told him about a very special friend who was a Soc Studies teacher who was running for State Supt of Ed.

I asked if he'd come to speak to your class the end of May if I paid for his trip (right before your Primary election) and he said he'd "try." I've been communicating back and forth with him and finally got his agreement three weeks ago. Was wanting to surprise you with the big news (huge media potential) and I thought about waiting to tell you on your birthday. But the other night ... I was busting to share the big, big news. Then the bottom kind of fell out with you and me ... and I've been trying to decide how Len's visit is going to work if you and I never talk again, as it's been looking might be your intent.

Well, today I informed Gen Lacy that Len was coming and he turned white as a ghost. He told me Len was killed in a motorcycle accident in mid Oct (it could have been the very day he and I spoke)! I have a picture I was going to give you of him that has Gen Livingston in the background. I took a couple others of him and me that I erased because they weren't very good - I figured we'd get more pics when he visited.

So Kelly, cherish your days. Hug your kids (and mom). Tell them everyday you love them. None of us is guaranteed there'll be tomorrow. Is it okay for me to tell you that I love you? I really do.

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 10:43 PM

Subject: BYE

To: Kelly Payne

For two years I dreamed of you being with me in Washington and other places meeting and dining with government leaders like I did tonight. It'll take a long time to force that dream from my mind. Maybe I'll never want it out. You'd have been a natural.

When you were my friend, you were the best friend I ever had. Awesome in fact. Even if you never talk to me again I'll never forget you. While you've proven that things would never have worked, as you've been able to tell I'd have devoted the rest of my life and resources to being understanding of your idiosyncracies and trying to make you know genuine love. Maybe before you get too old and infirm you'll realize how good we compliment each other. If not, I hope you find the second best.

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 10:48 AM

Subject: Emails last night; public date tonight

To: Kelly Payne

Just connected the dots regarding your reason for sending emails last night. I feel badly I made you that uncomfortable. Just do what you feel you have to do. It would be selfish for me to try to interfere with your decision. Don't look back. Go for it.

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Sun, Nov 15, 2009 at 7:10 AM

Subject: WEEKEND

To: Kelly Payne

That was the BEST EVER. I love you too.

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Date: Sat, Jan 23, 2010 at 3:53 AM

Subject: FEELINGS

To: Kelly Payne

I love you and miss you so much Kelly.

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Sent: Feb 6, 2010 11:28 PM

Subject: I wish u had the ability and ...

I wish u had the ability and willingness to get inside ur heart and make it love me. If u could I'd MARRY U IN AN INSTANT b/c in everything else you're m ...

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Sent: Feb 12, 2010 11:26 PM

Subject: I already HAVE frozen to death ...

I already HAVE frozen to death thinking about the temp of ur heart. I'm texting u from my new home in heaven. What's not to believe? You'd really have to

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Sent: Feb 12, 2010 11:55 PM

Subject: Brrrr.

Brrrr. Hope u have a wonderful nite of sleep. Think pleasant thoughts of me as u fall asleep and u might get lucky enough to dream of me.

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From: Richard Eckstrom

Sent: Feb 14, 2010 8:30 PM

Subject: I told her.

I told her. Now I need for everyone to just leave me alone for a few days. Don't come out. Talk tomorrow maybe.

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