Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The political train wreck that is SC right now


The State newspaper reported in two separate stories that some folks are rallying around the accused.

First, the State reported tacit support from both Republican and Democratic politicos from the Pee Dee region of the state for one of their own, Lt. Governor Ken Ard, who has admitted to misuse of campaign funds for things like personal items and family vacations. Ard is under investigation by the state Grand Jury, and rumors abound he is about to be indicted.

But, if the story from the State is correct, those folks in the Pee Dee think such a misuse of campaign funds is a much ado about nothing and that Lt. Governor Ard is a good guy. The Pee Dee is legendary, for shall we say interesting politics, but the effort to make Ard look like an honest and earnest man who just goofs up on paperwork seems a longshot to VUI. Seriously, while South Carolina, and especially those in the Pee Dee play fast and loose with the rules, things like vacations and women's clothing items are not likely to past the smell test, even in South Carolina. Further, if Ard was a Democrat, he would probably be wearing an orange jumpsuit by now. And it would not have a Tiger Paw on it. Just saying.

Then there was the story about how Governor Nikki Haley voiced support for embattled South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Chairwoman Caroline Rhodes. Rhodes is accused by members of the South Carolina Senate of lying under oath to them in hearings on February 1st, about The Savannah Port Gate. The Savannah Port Gate being what we at VUI dub the dirty deal done to sell out South Carolina to dredge the Savannah River to give Georgia a good port and take away from our port at Charleston.

Frankly, Governor Haley had no choice but to give Rhodes some cover. After all, Savannah Port Gate is Haley's deal. A lot of good folks were strong-armed into it. Haley has money and support riding on it.

Add to all that the publicity the Laurens County Republican Party is getting for its sexual purity pledge. If published reports around the internet and the nation are correct, the Laurens County GOP will only accept candidates for office who did not have premarital sex and who did not engage in extramarital sex. Some contend that the measure was aimed at Republican Sheriff Ricky Chastain, who admitted an affair. Whatever the reason, it adds to the making of the image that South Carolina's leadership seem out of step and silly.

And, we at VUI could live with out of step and silly, but corrupt we can not. Add the rallying around the accused and the silly, and well, the mess that this state is in now is clearly illustrated. We are a long way from the vision of what Carroll Campbell would want for South Carolina. For that matter, as a bone to you history buffs like VUI, we are a long way from what the likes someone like Coley Blease would tolerate. South Carolina is a political train wreck right now.

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