Tuesday, November 20, 2007

2nd Annual Thanksgiving Political Awards

It is that time of year again. It is time for turkey, football and family. It is time for Voting under the Influence’s Second Annual Thanksgiving Political Awards. The past year has been a tough one politically for conservatives, and frankly, for everyone involved in politics. With the Presidential candidates stooping into to South Carolina, it did give me more potential award nominees. This year we at Voting under the Influence not only looked at state politicians, but presidential candidates and political activists around us. I hope you will enjoy our picks and get both the insight and humor of our crack staff’s hard work.

We begin with the Cornbread Dressing Award for career achievement. That award goes to outgoing SLED chief Robert Stewart. Stewart oversaw the reform of the once very political SLED and led South Carolina law enforcement though one of its most stressful days in Abbeville a couple of years ago. Stewart led SLED with integrity and honor and he will be missed.

Next, there is the Cranberry Sauce Award for local or county government. Last years winner, my dear friend Anderson County Councilman Bill McAbee, disappointed me by voting to raise taxes when he thought he had to. With this years winner Voting under the Influence’s crack staff came up might be a surprise to the readers of this blog. The award goes to Mayor Joe Riley of Charleston. Forget who has a D or R beside their name, sometimes local government is about owning up to things and answering hard questions. After the tragedy in Charleston regarding the lost fire fighters over the summer, Riley stood tall in the saddle, so to speak, answered the questions and acted to make his city government cooperate with state and federal investigators. Voters in the Holy City rewarded him for his efforts with an overwhelming re-election.

We now come to the Holiday Ham award. This award is for the politician or activist who seems the best at self promotion. This year’s winner is Will Folks, owner of the FITS news blog. From the pictures of scantily clad women he posts to the defense of the Governor he used to work for he pretends to loathe, no blogger or political activist in South Carolina has promoted himself better. Folks has rehabilitated himself from scandal ridden Sanford staffer into a bona fide voice in state politics better than Jimmy Carter rehabilitated himself from failed President to respected elder statesman.

Next, there is the Fruitcake Award. The name of the award is self explanatory. There were a couple of people to consider, but Congressman Dennis Kucinich comes out the hands down winner. The man talks about seeing UFOs as well as having some kooky ideas about how to run the government. How he ended up with a hot wife nearly two decades his junior frustrates the Voting under the Influence staff.

Now, we move on to the good stuff. The next two awards are the big ones. The first is the Golden Drum Stick award for political achievement. This award goes to the individual or group who had outstanding political achievement.

The nominees are:

1)Attorney General Henry McMaster. McMaster is an open supporter of Johh McCain, yet retains political viability through his solid performance as Attorney General. He might have a style that, allegedly, grates some staffers, but McMaster hits a note with the voters going after internet predators, financial con artists and the like. No one seems to have a better politically tone sensitive ear than Henry McMaster for the job he has.

2)Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Yes, I know he is not from South Carolina. But, not Presidential candidate has performed better in debates here in South Carolina than Huckabee. If Huckabee had money, he would be a force to be reckoned with. As it stands, do not be shocked if he is the VP nominee.

3)State Senator Shane Massey. Massey came virtually out of nowhere to win the seat held by long time senator and Democrat Tommy Moore. Massey beat an old veteran Democrat in a district that still demographically favors Democrats.

4)State Rep. Dan Cooper. Cooper quietly led his forces in the House to get what he wanted politically, with the Governor and the Governor’s well funded groups breathing down his back. Agree or disagree with Mr. Cooper, Mr. Cooper knew how to get his way in the end in the House and the Budget and Control Board.

5)Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. How any Presidential candidate, much less one in the Republican primary, can stay in the top two when having a record of supporting gay rights, gun control and abortion rights, is beyond me. It is a true act of political legerdemain. Rudy has some political gifts that seem to be shaking up the traditional view of South Carolina politics.

The winner is…..State Senator Shane Massey. Our crack staff and I can not say enough about his victory and how it will reshape state politics. Watch the young senator from Aiken County, he will prove to be a force to be reckoned with.

That brings us to our final, and least coveted, but perhaps most covered award: Political Turkey of the Year. Voting under the Influence’s nominees for Political Turkey of the Year are:

1)Senator John McCain. No candidate for President dropped as far and as quickly as John McCain did when he voiced support for the illegal alien amnesty bill. South Carolina voters already are dealing with more and more “authentic” Mexican foods being put on their grocer’s shelves and standing in line behind people who rattle things off in Spanish. Then there is the case of the illegal Hispanic alien in Newberry who molested a little girl but can not be found because he has so many alias names. There is simply no way anyone can win an election in South Carolina being soft on illegal immigration.

2)Anderson County Council. Yes, I include the entire lot, though some are more to blame than others. While serious business has to be done, it seems over the past year, the elected leaders of Anderson County prefer to make personal digs. They are laughed about at local establishments and ridiculed. Yet, my guess is most of them will be re-elected the next go around. But, they still can not get along like adults should.

3)Governor Mark Sanford. Re-elected by a big majority, he still lacked the basic people skills to get anything meaningful done through the General Assembly. Add to that this so called reformer’s move to give left over state grant money to one of his political operations, and well, his political powers just keep dwindling. While Sanford did give the money back to the state, it just shows that this so called “non politician” practices politics as usual. Sanford’s chances of getting some the reforms he proposes, some of which are sorely needed, through the General Assembly are nil.

4)Former State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel. Ravenel had it all: money, charisma, and political clout. He gave it all away to personal demons. The charges of him distributing cocaine to friends forced him to resign his office in disgrace and enter rehab. Perhaps no South Carolina political figure in modern times had more potential and lost it so quickly.

5)State Rep. Jim Harrison. Fair or unfair, the fact that his daughter was one of the folks who benefited for the SC Supreme Court throwing out a section of the bar exam will come back to haunt Harrison politically. I do not know the particulars of the exam. I also assume the Court acted with the utmost integrity. However, in politics, perception is reality, and some pol out there is ready to make the most of the perception that Harrison is just another good ole boy.

The winner of the Poltical Turkey of the Year award goes to…hands down…overwhelmingly…Thomas Ravenel. Can you believe what the guy threw away? While I feel sorry for him to some degree, I still shake my head.

Well, that is it. The Voting under the Influence’s Second Annual Thanksgiving Political Awards post is now in the can. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving. Remember to be thankful to God for the things you have and for our troops who keep us in freedom. Also, remember the line from ole great grandpa. “During the holidays, there are two kinds of turkey. One is for eating. The other is for drinkin’ so you can put with your relatives.”

Stay safe and be thankful. Let me know what you think. I am thankful you read this blog.


  1. Nope, Joe Riley doesn't deserve the Cranberry sauce award, voter apathy led to victory with perhaps ten percent of Charleston's registered voters feeling the gravity to cast a ballot to prop him up. Local media seems to bear some complicity with tanking the damning stories on him, be it the issue of Ruben Greenburg finally hitting the fan or the remaining questions surrounding the ISO 9001 Class A Fire Department that appear to have more to do with paper standards that lower insurance rates than any REAL effectiveness issues. I'd defer to David Farrow and Marc Knapp for drilling down on Charleston's feet of base metal and clay.

  2. No black people considered for any award. You cracker ass cracker! No Democrats considered. You cracker ass cracker!

    This is racist stuff you post here.

  3. Although an unapologetic misogynist pig, Sic Willie is funnier and smarter than you.


  4. Ty, that's an interesting thing, Jim French, eidtor of the Charleston's The Chronicle, is probably more deserving of the Cranberry Sauce as a voice crying in the wilderness, though he is treated by the house boys like Denmark Vessey, threatening their station at massa's table. Black folk haven't got the stomach or the fire to replace Joe Riley or Hilary Clinton, cause too many still either are cowering at massa's feet or are keeping them cowering from the pulpit.

    Ty, rather than taking the jive ass critic's position, stump broke as it is, how about some nominees of your own for the same awards?

    Cat got your tongue?

  5. Thanks for commenting, Will. :)

  6. Bill McAbee voted to raise taxes "this year" and voted to raise the solid waste fee up 50% "this year".

    He should get the RINO award. Let's face it, all the council has to deal with is mainly fiscal issues. He failed miserably. Bill is not a leader, he is a follower. I think if a decent candidate emerges he and Michael Thompson will be defeated.

    Question: Why did Bill feel he "had" to vote for a tax increase?

  7. your "crack staff" ... ?!? you have staff that procures crack? just call ty up, i'm sure he can help.