Who did I vote for: Andre, Hammond, Weathers, Ryberg & Staton

Since I stay pretty busy with work, kids, and grad school, I've made it a habit to take advantage of the state's loose guidelines on absentee voting to request my absentee ballot for the GOP Primary and send it in.

For those of you who care enough to read, much less care what I think, I'm going to discuss my choices this week, starting with the down-ballot races, and then finishing with the Governor's race tomorrow.

I'm sure ya'll have your own picks, and if not, what the heck has kept you from figuring out who and why for so long?!?

Your comments are welcome and encouraged ...

ANDRE BAUER FOR LT. GOVERNOR

No, this has nothing to do with some of Campbell's people accusing me of tearing down their signs - I promise!

While Andre's driving record has drawn a lot of attention (some of it well-earned), it has taken it away from his public service record, which is also deserving of attention and has earned the respect of the Senators who deal with him on a regular basis, including Democrats. This editorial by my State Senator, Randy Scott, is a particularly good discussion of the real issues in the race.

Our Lt. Governor should, regardless of appointment or direct election, should continue to preside over the Senate. Since he was first elected to the House in 1996, Andre has served in both houses of the Legislature and has experience which neither of the other candidates has. This puts him heads and shoulders above both Campbell and Jordan.

Andre has, in spite of his mistakes, earned a second term in office.

MARK HAMMOND FOR SEC. OF STATE

How come this guy doesn't have a campaign website?!?

I can't think of anything wrong Mark has done in the job, and through initiatives like the Business One-Stop project, has attempted to continue Jim Miles' efforts to improve the office and been smart enough to leave what Jim accomplished in place.

The other candidate, while a nice enough guy, just really hasn't made enough of an argument that Hammond hasn't earned a second term.

HUGH WEATHERS FOR COMM. OF AGRICULTURE

This was, believe it or not, my toughest choice. Both William Bell and Hugh Weathers come with impressive resumes of leadership in the agricultural community, and both come well-recommended from people I know and trust.

Unfortunately, a decision had to be made, and I could only choose one candidate. For me, the deciding factor was Weathers' experience in the job and his leadership in keeping the agency moving smoothly after Charles Sharpe gave up the office under indictment.

But either way you vote in this race, you can't make a bad choice. I wish every race for public office had a fielding of candidates who were as well qualified.

GREG RYBERG FOR STATE TREASURER

Greg, who barely lost in 2002, is making a second bid for the office, and has my support. Having served in the Senate since 1992, and been known for his tenacity, he'll make a great improvement in the office and on the Budget and Control Board.

However, had he not been in the race, I may well have supported
Rick Quinn. After losing re-election to his State House seat (a point which he has clearly downplayed in the "as Majority Leader" rhetoric), he has waged an aggressive campaign across the state for this job. He has racked up more miles than any other candidate in the race, and has clearly out-worked anyone else in the race. If nominated, he would likely pose as much a threat to the Democratic incumbent, Grady Patterson, as Ryberg would.

Jeff Willis started out as a pretty sincere guy, but as the race heated up, his campaign seems to have lost momentum and focus. His "Homes for Vets" and "Fight Identity Fraud" efforts, while commendable, have no relation to the office of Treasurer and seem to be ploys to regain the spotlight which other candidates have drawn away.

While Willis complains about personal money in this race, an argument that has some merit, it's worth noting that he was the first to seed his campaign with a big chunk of personal cash. Still, he worked hard in this campaign, and he is sincere in his desire to be a good public servant. I hope this is not his last bid for public office.

BOB STATON FOR SUP. OF EDUCATION

I know this one is gonna piss some people off, but too bad. I calls 'em like I sees 'em.

I support school choice, but I still support Bob Staton. Why? Because education involves many more issues than just K-12. I've met all five candidates, and even had a pretty good political chat with
Ms. Floyd, but as someone who deals with issues related to adult education and workforce training, Bob is the only candidate who really expressed concern or understanding of these issues.

As a non-traditional student who graduated high school courtesy of a GED, got a BA at the age of 33, and continued to grad school, I know education is truly a life-long process. Bob shares my belief and wants to facilitate this for others who want to engage in this pursuit to create new opportunities for themselves and do better for their families.

While I'm not really concerned about Floyd's history of giving to Democrats, I am concerned about how her supporters have waged an attack-dog campaign to discredit Staton's record as a Republican, and her lack of willingness to convince them to back off. You know what they say about glass houses ...

Kerry Wood is a really nice guy, whose concern for our state is commendable. Mike Ryan is someone whose political career, I hope, will not stop at County Council. But in this race, I have to choose one candidate, so Staton gets my vote.

Last but not least, tomorrow is my discussion of how I voted in the Governor's race. I'm sure few of you will expect THIS outcome!

7 Response to "Who did I vote for: Andre, Hammond, Weathers, Ryberg & Staton"

  1. Michael Reese 6/6/06 08:23
    Earl,
    Thank you for sharing your views/vote. Looking forward to what you come up with tomorrow!
  2. Paul 6/6/06 12:20
    Mr. Bauer should do the public this public service - not drive under the influenece of alcohol. :)
  3. Earl Capps 6/6/06 17:28
    paul, are you attempting to imply that he drives under the influence?

    remember, the only cheap shots that are allowed here must be directed at the blog owner, and must be of the amusingly clueless and inbred variety of postings.
  4. SC-Conservative 8/6/06 00:44
    See the thing is, Andre does not drink alcohol at all. He was pretty rowdy when he was really young (like in high school), but he doesn't drink anymore.
  5. Ginger 8/6/06 01:22
    Bauer's foes -- his main foe, anyway -- have taken to trying to spread the rumor that he was drinking that day the plane crashed. Only one problem with that rumor: ANDRE DOESN'T DRINK!!!

    High road, guys, high road.
  6. Palmetto Neocon 8/6/06 10:24
    Earl, I was beginning to think that you copied me or visa versa, but then, you had to go and endore SATON, uh STATON...Bob Staton is the one who has given money to democrats, and Bob Staton really is more of the Status Quo....you are disapointing me man.
  7. Earl Capps 8/6/06 11:16
    Neo - I wasn't out to win anyone's approval, so while I'm not disappointed by not getting your approval, I am disappointed by rhetoric like "SATON, uh STATON".

    Crap like that is one of the reasons why I'm supporting Staton - I get tired of sound-bite politics by pit bulls who give their handlers plausible deniability, and make voters more cyncial and less likely to turn out to vote.

    I thought we got rid of crap like that when Hodges got routed in 2002. I guess not.

    Actually, Karen Kanes Floyd has a history of giving to Democrats, including Inez herself. Just go to these links ... http://www.followthemoney.org/database/SideContributor.phtml?si=199840 and http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/contributor.phtml?si=199640&d=961287

    They both gave money to Democrats in the past, that doesn't include national candidates. Like I said, when in a glass house ...

    Does being appointed by David Beasley to his post and helping oppose video poker seem like your run-of-the-mill liberal Democrat?

    If you want to focus on politics, not policy, then Ms. Floyd sounds like a pretty good deal. But as someone who deals with our workforce and training from a practical standpoint, I hear nothing about these concerns from Ms. Floyd or her campaign.

    When you have high school graduates who can't fill out an application, and when you have employees who don't have the basic skills to be trained for better-paying positions, you have a major problem that is outside of the K-12 world.

    Those are issues I deal with every day, both with my employer, and as an appointee to my local Workforce Investment Board. Floyd has not addressed those issues, Staton has addressed them, and he has reached out to the construction industry and trades, where I make my living, to listen to our concerns.

    Further, the reality of our education system in SC is that NOBODY is in charge. You have a Superintendent, 16 member board, a Legislature, a Governor ... nobody really makes decisions in that agency. But you want to blame Staton for what's going on in the department.

    First, fix the department so the Superintendent has real power to run the Department, either as an elected or appointed officer, and then get back to me on who should be held accountable.

    But if you really think a new Superintendent can turn night into day, you're sadly mistaken. We are confronted by some deep-rooted cultural problems, especially in our inner-cities and rural areas, that make any sizable progress unlikely in the near future.

    While I disagreed with Hodges over the First Steps program itself, I do agree with basic premise that we must change the culture many of these kids are raised up in before we can improve the performance of our schools. Spend a little time in an inner-city school (I have), and you'll see what I mean.

    Those who, like Floyd, would have us believe there are silver bullets and quick fixes, are sadly mistaken. That kind of rhetoric is the one most likely to produce no real substantive change, and continue to consign our state to chronic high-unemployment, low wages and many other social ills.

    At least Staton is willing to be honest about these problems. Therefore, he has earned my support, even if you wish to tar him (and maybe me too after these remarks) as a liberal.

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