Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Disappointing Governor Sanford

An incumbent Governor with millions in the bank, with grumbling about how much of it is from out of state embarks on a negative campaign consultants hope define his lesser funded opponent. His opponent sits virtually silent through the summer months while the incumbent attacks away. Does that scenario seem familar? It should. I am talking about Governor Jim Hodges in 2002. Governor Hodges attacked Mark Sanford early in the 2002 race and Sanford sat all but silent for what seemed like an eternity.Consultants like the early negative stuff, even when it is the form of a cheezy website, because they believe such defines the opponent because the opponent can not fire back.It backfired for Hodges in 2002 and has turned Sanford into just another poltician in 2006.I did not support Sanford in the GOP primary in 2002. But, by the time the 2006 general election rolled around, I bought into Sanford's calling for ideas in politics, not negative attacks. I voted for him full of hope for the change in the political environment in South Carolina.Then series of events over the past four years dashed those hopes of mine. First, the Governor showed he would be pigheaded just for the helluva it. Then, the Governor took pigs into the state house. Then, the Governor's people, including his wife, starting getting into other Republicans' races. Then, the Governor and his wife topped it off by asking that their rental property in Charleston be taxed as residential because they lived in the Governor's Mansion.It just boggles the mind how fast the Sanford of 2002, the reformer, the coalition builder, the ideas guy, morphed into the Sanford of 2006, the typical politician, lobbing shallow attacks, and jockeying for personal gain.It is so disappointing. And, I know by just saying that I will join the long list of people the Sanfordites believe are RINOs. But, it is disappointing. Sanford and his people's acts are going to make this year's governor's race a helluva lot closer than it should be. And, even after victory, they are pretty much assured of four more years of getting hardly anything they want done.It is ironic. The man who ran to make the Governor's office stronger will likely leave it weaker than it has been in years just because he and his people seem unable to get along with members of their own party. Contrast that to Governor Campbell, who built coalitions of not only Republicans but of Republican and Democrats to get things done. To Campbell, getting things done and having relationships was far more important than "being right" all the time.Sanford's only hope is that this state is solidly Republican. If this state were close to a tossup state, he would be toast. Those who whisper about presidential ambitions for the Governor are living in a dream world.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Israel, The Democrat's congressional ad, etc.

What a mess in the middle east. I said at the time that when former Prime Minister Sharon fell in a coma due to a stroke, the peace process in the Middle East fell into a coma with him. Sharon was an old warrior who had the background to make peace happen. Since his stroke, Palestinians saw fit to elect terrorists to power. Add it up and you get one helluva mess. With Iran in the picture, an our men and women in uniform in Iraq sitting between Israel and Iran, well, you can see the mess.

Speaking of messes, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has issued an ad that has caused a firestorm of controversy. The ad touts about things turning for the worse for America. One shot of caskets returing home from overseas has people in an uproar. The inclusion of the photo was tacky and disrespectful. But, what struck me was the unnecessary cameos in the ad of various Democratic Congressional leaders. In pure cold political analysis, the cameos of leaders broke up the power of the ad. I guess their egos could not allow for a clear and powerful ad. Showing the problems we face, with Clinton's remarks at the end would have been far more powerful without the ego stroking cameos. That should provide some comfort to those of us who are Republicans. The Democrats seem to still have a disconnect with people.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Lexington county clerk's office for Ellisor?

In the course of my business, I find myself in the records rooms of Clerks of Court and Registers of Deeds throughout the midlands and the state. On July 12, I found myself waiting a spell for some files in the Lexington County Clerk of Court's office. While I was waiting there in the records room area, which is public, I noticed a Ellisor for Congress bumper sticker prominently displayed above the desk of the assistant clerk who ran the records room. That got me to thinking. Is the Lexington County Clerk of Court's office standing up against Congressman Joe Wilson and for his Demorcratic opponent? Just what is going on. Why is such a partisan political statement so well displayed? Isn't Clerk of Court Carrigg a Republican? What is she trying to prove by allowing an Ellisor sticker to be showed in public?

Just things I thought about as I waited in what seemed like forever for the public records I requested.

Lexington county clerk

Sunday, July 09, 2006

BBQ verus the Island and out of state crowd

State Senator Jakie Knotts of Lexington County, one of the counties Governor Mark Sanford lost to Oscar Lovelace in the Repubican primary, is trying to petition his way on the November ballot for Governor.

While I wished that Knotts had ran in the primary against Sanford, I can not help but relish the fun we are all going to have if Knotts makes the ballot and the campaign.

Knotts made it clear in the state paper that he was was the real man's candidate, a man who ate in places where real people ate and hung out with real people. That stands in stark contrast with the man from Sullivan's Island, whose social circles are limited to shall we say, the upscale, and whose donors are in large part out of state fatcats.

What a hoot this is going to be. Sanford needs the "bubba" part of the GOP to win the election, and Jake Knotts is Mr. Bubba himself. The Repubican party in South Carolina has become so big there now seems the chance for a class battle within it.

Who knows who benefits from this? Some analysts say Moore, but I am not so sure. Bubbas who don't care for Sanford and were ready to vote against him were probably going to hold their noses and vote for Moore. Now, they will have Jake to vote for.

I am not a fan of Governor Sanford. I think he has wasted nearly four years in office trying to score wins on issues that don't really matter at the cost of losing support from the GOP legislature on issues that do matter.

As for Knotts, I say hooray for him. I might disagree with him from time to time, but no one can question the man's political courage. He has to believe that what he is doing is right. It would be far easier just to be quiet this political year. But, Knotts is joining the battle in the arena.

Only time will tell how well Knotts does. He will be up against the millions of out of state money Sanford has at his beck and call. I look for some sort of negative website to come out about Knotts before the ink is dry on his petitions. That will be just the start of what that crowd will try to do to Knotts.

But, again to Knotts's credit, at least he is standing up for that portion of the South Carolina Republicans who are fed up with the man from the Island and his out of state backers.

It is going to be a war. No holds barred in the Palmetto state. If I were Tommy Moore, I would just let them duke it out.

What a time to be a blogger on SC politics.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Did Sanford get the political kiss of death?

Forget disgruntled Republicans in Lexington. The South Carolina Republican Party has launched a website attacking Tommy Moore, the Democratic nominee. It is a disco type website, which scores points for being creative. Yet, on that website creeps up an old issue that has been the kiss of death to Republican candidates in years past: an allegation that Moore wanted children to have condoms. This has been tried time and time again, all with losing results. Senator Billy ODell faced such charges twice, as did Rep. Ronny Townsend up in Anderson. Both won big. Inez Tennenbaum faced such and won big in her State Super. of Education races. Beasley's folks attacked Hodges on such things. Remember how that worked out for then Governor Beasley.

Indeed, it seems some members of my party are more concerned than Bourbon Street whores when it comes to sex. It is embarassing. I hope they don't plan to put mail in people's homes with such things in it that children can get ahold of and read.

There are real issues to debate the governor's race over, big issues. Having state party resources spent on a comedy website that uses the old kiss of political death, condoms and kids, is just such a waste.

Are those guys trying to be mellodramatic and over the top? Do they not live in the real world? Do they want to lose? Who knows, but is damn embarrassing for those of us who are REAL REPUBLICANS, men and women who care about the issues of taxes, spending priorites and doing the right and honorable thing in politics.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Smith retires, let the bidding begin

Longtime state senator Verne Smith has resigned his seat due to health reasons. Smith was a longtime indepedent thinking conservative, aka RINO to the outsiders who like to buy our politicians of late. So, let the bidding begin. Will the thousands of dollars pour into the special election from out of state on certain dates, some it all from the same address? Will the outsiders buy a seat like they did with Don Bowen, or will they claim "upset" when a true conservative endorsed by the local community wins, like with Mike Gambrell in House District Seven? Who knows? With the money flowing like it is this year from outside South Carolina into it, all I can say, is let the bidding begin.

Elliott right to challenge runoff

The Post and Courier is reporting that Dorchester County Councilman Skip Elliott is challenging his four vote loss in the Republican primary runoff last Tuesday. Jamie Feltner, the runoff "winner" by four votes is obviously unhappy with the decision by Elliott. However, it appears, from my sources in the lowcountry, that as many as forty primary voters were told they could not vote in the runoff when in fact they could.

With only four votes separating the candidates, and this Republican primary being the election for the post, it makes sense that the process be exactly right. As such, Elliott is right to protest and call for another election. Even if he just got five more of those forty votes than Feltner, he would be the county councilman for another term.

I hope the Dorchester County Republican Party Executive Committee and the State Republican Party Executive Committee do the right thing in this case and let there be a fair conclusion to this matter.

It seems the only fair conclusion is an another election with everyone who is eligible to vote being allowed to vote.

Had those forty or so voters not been turned away from voting by mistake, I would be the first to say let the results stand. However, when so many in such a close race had no chance to vote at all when they should have been able to vote, its grounds to get it right.

That is why we have a process with elections. Elliott is just standing up for using the safeguards.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Who are these people so interested in SC politics

I am going through the campaign disclosures and I have detected a pattern of certain people from states like New Jersey, New York, Florida, Nevada, etc., all giving to various candidates for SC House and other offices. Who are these people? I don't know now, but I am working on it. In the next few days, I will post on this blog the names of those people and who they gave to, all of the donations are in the maximum amount so far. Just why would someone in New Jersery or the other states be so interested in politics in South Carolina to fork over big money to influence the votes? I have seen enough to know already that there is a pattern or influence being attempted here. The question is why? I plan to lay out the donations to the candidates and will keep digging.