Friday, April 27, 2012

The office of Lt. Governor and the Governor's rant

The South Carolina House and Senate recently passed a bill that would submit to the people of South Carolina a measure that would amend the State Constitution to allow Lt. Governors to run on tickets with Governors, like Washington does, so called conservatives contend. That alone makes you wonder. People who rail against Washington want Columbia to be more like Washington. We will get into the merits of electing a Lt. Governor and why things are set up the way they are further in this post. But, first we will address the tantrum on social media Governor Haley threw when she found out the State Senate passed the bill effective for 2018. On the surface, it appears the Governor got what she wanted, wise or unwise, conservative or not. But, the Governor was angered by not getting to pick her own running mate in 2014, and launched into hyperbole with a statement that went “they don’t want the girl to get it.” Frankly, the Governor’s remarks are pathetic. Her sophomoric ranting embarrasses her and the state. The fact is fundamental changes to officers of state and federal government have always excluded the current office holders. Why does Governor Haley think she is different? Indeed her ranting makes one think that perhaps the office of Governor ought not to be elected and some sort of state manager should be hired by the General Assembly. I am, of course, using the Governor’s logic to come to that idea. The office of Lt. Governor of South Carolina is part time. It is to most an afterthought. Ken Ard did embarrass himself and the state with his antics, but legislation in the wake of such things has always proven to be shortsighted and rather dimwitted in the long term. When passions run high in public life, thinking things through runs low. The crafters of the State Constitution did not fear some Black man’s election, as the false propaganda of the pro federal government types say. There are papers, there are records. They feared egos and demagogues. They wanted the executive power of the state government to be not only spread out, but for the holders of it to be answerable to the people, not one politician who appointed them. The Lt. Governor, as President of the State Senate, was to be elected by the state at large, sort of a State Senator at large, if you will. The Howard Rich funded crowd will go on about efficiency and things like that. Fair enough. But, under the current structure, South Carolina has not created any George Wallaces or Herman Talmadges. We have not had the corruption seen in places like Illinois and New Jersey. Sure, the people of South Carolina have made some mistakes at the polls. Ravenel, Sharpe, Ard, they come to mind. That said, those mistakes, made by men who were in the political bed with the folks who want to change how our state works by the way, does not warrant us to throw out the structure of our state government. It was the very structure of our state government that protected the people from further harm. Indeed, who are these people who want South Carolina State Government to be like the federal government? Aren’t they the ones railing against the federal government? I believe in the people of this state. I swore to defend its constitution. I think the people are smart enough to elect their own executives, and I believe, that for their protection, South Carolina should not have concentrated executive power like Washington or New Jersey. Indeed, the point of federalism, and of states’ rights, is that we do what is best for South Carolina, not mimic other states or the federal government. When it comes to our leaders in this state, I think of what John Adams once said, “I look around and wonder if you all have gone mad.”


  1. Your argument for the status quo is well thought and well articulated. Too bad you don't have the money, bitch. Getting paid is what is all about, not bullshit seminars on government. Mr. Rich wants Haley to look good, show she will. Get it, loser?

  2. Sarah Palin Forever!April 27, 2012

    We elect way too many people already

    I mean the Adjutant General?Commissioner of Agriculture?Secretary of State?

    Come on most people don't know who these people are or what they do

    We should elect the Governor/Lt Governor as a team

    The Attorney General and the Treasurer

    All the rest should be appointed by the Governor and he/she should be responsible for their performance

    Quoting from a Constitution largely written by a hoodlum like Ben Tillman really doesn't make a good argument

  3. george smithApril 28, 2012

    Amen. Good post.

  4. This suggestion is terrible.

    I have several objections.

    First and foremost is that the person selected by a gubernatorial candidate likely will be past his or her prime, or a major financial contributor. Why do I say that? Think of the would-be governor as A, and the one to be picked as the lieutenant governor candidate will be B. All the potential Bs have to expose their personal and political lives to A. To do otherwise would be folly. And to do so hands to A an open-ended invitation to a polite form of blackmail.

    In you have a political future before you, would you open yourself up to A’s current and future manipulations?

    Suppose the A/B ticket loses. If B ever wants to run for governor (or any other office), what happens if A — B’s running mate — favors another candidate in that future race? Think B has much of a chance with A murmurring all sorts of secrets into an opponent’s eager ears?

    For years the lt. governor’s post was a stepping off place for the governor’s mansion. Actually that held true in the first dozen or so of the last two dozen governorships. The last dozen lt. governors have failed to advance — and that does not take into account Ard or McConnell.

    So why do we want to create a unified ticket that would be dominated by the governor? If you do this, you have to remove the duties of the Senate presidency because otherwise the 46 senators would be under the ceremonial control of the governor.

    And what is wrong with Mark Sanford having to hold his ambitions at bay due to his animosity towards Andre Bauer, or with Nikki Haley sleeping uneasily because of the appeal of a mature, seasoned Governor McConnell?