The 2010 elections have historic consequences in South Carolina. South Carolinians will elect a new Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Adjutant General, Superintendent of Education, and new members of Congress from the First and Third Congressional Districts for certain. Fourth District Congressman Bob Inglis is in the fight of his political life, and Treasurer Converse Chellis faces a tough opponent in Curtis Loftis. Comptroller General Eckstrom faces opposition in wake of his embarrassing email exchange with Kelly Payne. Several SC House primaries are interesting. So, less then six weeks out from the June primary, the state should be hot with politics.
But, in reality it is not. Sure, activists are on fire and campaign workers and some bloggers are all excited, but the public seems unplugged. Campaign contributions are down and people are just not that excited. VUI always gauges the public mood not by scientific polling, but the conversation at the breakfast places and the feed store. Over the past twenty years, such folks have been a good barometer of what is going on in politics. They vote. They read the papers. They care. This year, they are not excited.
There are a combination of things at play. First, there is no candidate that has the "big mo" as former President Bush the Elder called it. There is no candidate that everyone embraces and wants to talk about and is excited about. Jim DeMint comes closest to that, but he is going to win in a walk. No candidate for Governor stands out. Few folks even know all the candidates for the other offices. People know they do not like President Obama's policies, but beyond that, they just do not have the time or the inclination to get fired up over any of the candidates.
That brings up the the second reason for such. VUI calls it political fatigue. We in South Carolina have been through a lot over the past few years. We had an Agriculture Commissioner disgraced for cockfighting of all things, a former Lt. Governor and Comptroller General convicted of being a financial crook, a state Treasurer convicted of distributing cocaine, and a Governor who went A.W.O.L. to quench a pathetic love for a woman in Argentina. Add to that the disappointments of the Obama Administration so far, which has led to the Tea Party movement, and you get an electorate that is frustrated and fed up. Many are so frustrated they choose not to care anymore.
We at VUI do care. You readers should as well. The people we elect determine how our state and country are ran, and how the money we contribute via taxes is spent. For that reason, VUI is going on on a limb. In the next two weeks, we will be covering the various major races, with a few local races here and there in our articles.
Where we are going out on a limb is this offer. Any candidate who wishes to make a statement to our readers can email it to us at email@example.com. The statement will be posted as an article without editing. That said, VUI reserves the right to comment on that statement in another article. Those of us at VUI cannot make people care, but we can use our little place on the internet to allow all the candidates to tell us why they deserve our votes. Hopefully, candidates will accept our invitation and give our readers a reason why to support them.