The Cornbread Dressing Award for Career Achievement goes to former State Representative Dan Cooper of Williamston. Cooper resigned at the end of the session of General Assembly this Spring. Cooper served as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and was often a conservative voice with reason in that position. Cooper resigned to spend more time with his family, something we at VUI applaud. Cooper served the people of South Carolina well in his time in office and earned our recognition.
The Cranberry Sauce Award for Local Government achievement goes to Aiken County Assistant Solicitor Steve Kodman. Kodman lost his battle with cancer on November 14th of this year. But, as he battled cancer, Kodman continued to move cases along as a prosecutor. He showed how a man does things as he goes out. Kodman served the people well until his last day. That said, VUI must mention Kodman's boss, Strom Thurmond, Jr., and how he worked with and honored Kodman.
The Holiday Ham Award, given to the biggest self promoter in South Carolina politics again goes to Will Folks. His self important blogging about his love hate relationship with Governor Haley and the University of South Carolina continues at a high level. Folks is not a bad guy, but no one loves to read his own words on the internet more than he does.
That brings us at VUI to the political Turkey of the Year Award. This one is difficult. There are so many to choose from. Michelle Bachmann comes to mind. Ron Paul comes to mind. Herman Cain comes to mind. President Obama has a claim. But, in the end, we at VUI give the award to Lt. Governor Ken Ard. Ard was a hero a year ago, but remains under investigation for his campaign finance issues now. We give the nod to Ard, because his antics give ammunition to people who want to make his position appointed instead of elected. Few have degraded the prestige of their office the way Ard has. It will only get worse in 2012.
That brings us to the Holiday Fruitcake Award. This one has been controversial. People get upset when their pet political figures are called fruitcakes. Again, Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul come to mind. But in the end we dub the "Occupy" movement. Those folks claim to be for the people, but they urinate and defecate in parks and grounds that belong to the people. When responsible government officials ask to clear them and just clean up, the "Occupy" people sue and go nuts. God bless them for excersing their rights to assemble and protest. But, geez, come on, let people clean up after you. What started out as a legitmitate protest has turned into people disrespecting their fellow taxpayers by defecating and urinating in public places. Grow up people!
The Golden Drumstick goes to the politician or politico with the best performance. Attorney General Alan Wilson deserves some recognition for his performance. Wilson had a lot of naysayers, but he has turned out to be a proven crime fighter and good lawyer for South Carolina. But, the Golden Drumstick goes to Newt Gingrich. Six months ago, Newt was done. The so called professionals left him. Now his idea driven campaign makes him a real contender in South Carolina and for the nomination to be President of the United States. Newt's return from the politically dead earns him the Golden Drumstick.