Presidential ambitions running wild?

Apparently my daughter isn't the only one who wants to be at the White House these days - and a lot of those who do seem to be showing up in the Palmetto State.

Minnesota GOP Guv Tim Pawlenty is in state this week doing an event for Mick Mulvaney's congressional bid. 

Last Friday, Huckabee's folks were in town for some high level meetings, including discussions with party leaders about targeting key legislative and statewide races this fall.  Huckabee has been active in South Carolina races since his 2008 candidacy, endorsing the gubernatorial bid of Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer as well as Steven Moss, who took the House District 30 seat last year in a special election.

Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin have been involved a'plenty in South Carolina races. Palin with Nikki Haley and Tim Scott. Romney with Haley, as well as recent announcement of support for Peter McCoy, the GOP candidate seeking to oust Rep. Anne Peterson-Hutto from House Seat 115 in Charleston County.

Reportedly Newt Gingrich will be visiting soon.  Looks like things are starting to heat up as prospective candidates jockey for a winning position in the "First in the South" SCGOP Presidential primary, which is just 18 months away.

Fair Tax advocate says "No Fair"

... because he didn't get chocolate ice cream for his birthday today.  But we still want to wish John "Fair Tax" Steinberger a very Happy Birthday from the Blogland.

While we're not totally sold on the Fair Tax concept yet, we're not thrilled with the current system, and without people like John working to elect candidates and advocate ideas, we'll never get the kind of tax reform our state and country needs.

So today - and every day - our hats are off to John Steinberger. Thanks for your hard work and have a great birthday!

Richard Eckstrom gets Budget & Control Board meetings online

Kudos for Comptroller Richard "Top Gun" Eckstrom for bringing the state's Budget and Control Board meetings to the web.  According to a press release:

On Tuesday, Eckstrom sent a letter to members of the board to advise them that ETV has tentatively agreed to live-stream the meeting on its Web site, The meeting is set for 9:30 am on Wed., June 30.

“It’s my hope that the live-streaming of these meetings will be an ongoing thing,” said Eckstrom. “The Budget and Control Board is a powerful entity with tremendous influence over state spending, yet most people probably don’t know what goes on in these meetings – or what the Budget and Control Board even does. The goal is to provide greater citizen-access to these important deliberations.

Ok, we're sure this will prove to be some of the most boring webcam action out there, but better to be boring, honest, and accountable than the days of exciting, freewheeling backroom politics.

For those of you who want to watch, the web address is

Attorney General candidates on Second Amendment issues post-Chicago ruling?

The day after the Supreme Court's Chicago ruling, we're still waiting for the two candidates for Attorney General - Republican Alan Wilson and Democrat Matt Richardson - to fire out the kinds of press releases that can be expected from AG candidates on major Supreme Court rulings.

For those of you who missed it, the Supremes overturned the City of Chicago's ban on handguns yesterday, and defended the Second Amendment, which protects our right to keep and bear arms, as well as the 14th Amendment, which applies the liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights to all Americans: "no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States". Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito argued:

Self-defense is a basic right, recognized by many legal systems from ancient times to the present day ... ndividual self-defense is the central component of the Second Amendment right.

We've talked with a number of Second Amendment conservative activists who are curious where the two Attorney General candidates stand, and if they would be willing to litigate against the kinds of local gun bans which the Supreme Court overturned in the Chicago ruling.  Thus far, neither candidate has spoken out on the ruling.

S.C. immigration compliance: It's no joke

Last year, the Blogland wrote about South Carolina's Illegal Immigration Reform Act, which was considered one of the most comprehensive in the nation for addressing illegal immigration. One of the key areas of focus in this law was the practice of hiring illegal immigrants by South Carolina businesses.

To help address these issues, SC LLR was tasked with conducting audits, both at random and in response to complaints reported to the agency.

One year and one day after writing about this, my company was the subject of a random compliance audit by LLR and passed with flying colors. This audit process has resulted in over 100 businesses being cited to date.

It's important to know that passing an audit can take a year or more of following the rules for hiring closely, which isn't always an easy thing. As you may know, part of my job is human resources and compliance, so part of my job entails dealing with issues like these. For those readers who are in management or own their own businesses, here are some things you need to know:

Pub Politics, Boyd Brown and the Blogland

Special thanks to Phil Bailey and Wes Donehue, two of the coolest politicos in South Carolina politics, for allowing me to appear on this week's episode of Pub Politics, where Republicans, Democrats and beer come together.

It's always an honor to go up on stage, or a barstool, with guys like these, and you won't find a more happening place to discuss politics, online or off.

If you're curious to see the episode, here it is:

Pub Politics Episode 11: Boyd's Big Win from Wesley Donehue on Vimeo.

Comedy and Power Point design tips

Part of teaching public speaking involves teaching these students how to do effective presentations with Power Point.

One of my students shared this video from the website "Technically Funny", where Don McMillian makes comedy out of office technology. He's also got a YouTube channel, which has a lot of good videos, including this one where he makes fun of poor Power Point design:

Can a single issue fuel Republican support for Sheheen?

Writing in today's issue of The State, John O'Connor discusses the possibility of significant GOP defections to support Democratic candidate Vince Sheheen:

But with the nomination of state Rep. Nikki Haley, a protégé of Gov. Mark Sanford, the question is will moderate Republicans get on board or abandon ship for Democratic nominee state Sen. Vincent Sheheen?

Standing with the employees of Columbia printing and promotional firm R.L. Bryan Co., Sheheen’s message was not subtle: Business is standing behind him. Robert Royall, who served as commerce secretary for Republican Gov. David Beasley, said he would help raise money for Sheheen. The S.C. Chamber of Commerce endorsed the Democrat in the primary and said Tuesday it would back him this fall.

O'Connor isn't the only one who's spotted this unease with Haley by some Republicans. In recent weeks, a number of Republicans we've talked with who haven't been enthusiastic about Haley's gubernatorial candidacy have often cited a single issue as the reason they were reluctant to cross party lines to support Sheheen:


Primary 2010: Winning and Losing in the Blogland

Of the nine candidates endorsed by the Blogland in this year's primary elections, seven won their races. We're not sure what that means, but we're sure glad most of those we respect and support prevailed in their races.


Governor -Gresham Barrett
Education Super. - Mick Zais
Comptroller General - Richard Eckstrom
Congress, 3rd District - Jeff Duncan
Congress, 4th District - Trey Gowdy
Congress, 6th District - Jim Pratt
House District 47 - Tommy Pope


Governor - Robert Ford
House District 41 - Boyd Brown

We'll be gearing up to follow the action this fall, so watch for more news, opinions and attitudes from the Blogland about the people and issues of Election 2010.

Pulling the plug on SC Hotline?

A little-noticed event in the SC political world took place in the closing days of the run-off campaigns when the SCHotline website went offline. It was an event for which FITSNews appropriately asked the old "If a tree falls in the woods" question.

Not surprisingly, Jeff Sewell, the current publisher of SCHotlie, cried foul:

On June 17th’s domain name was redirected to rendering the site inaccessible by former founder and current minority partner Mike Green of Starboard Communications. This after current managing partner Jeffrey Sewell negotiated and accepted advertising dollars from reform candidate for S.C. Superintendent Elizabeth Moffly.

“It is no secret that Mike Green and Starboard Communications are supporting and or working with establishment candidate Mick Zais for Superintendent of Education and that this is a deliberate attempt to sideline Elizabeth Moffly’s campaign and message” Said Jeffrey Sewell.

So we decided to get the other side of the story by asking Mike Green. Here's what he had to say to us:

11 year-old topples House Speaker

The Blogland has become aware of reports that House Speaker Bobby Harrell may have been toppled from his post in the State House by an unexpected coup which put an 11 year-old at the Speaker's podium.

These pictures provide clear proof of Bonnie, the daughter of political blogger Earl Capps, presiding over the House late last week following a surprise turn of events in which not a single House member attempted to stop her from wielding the Speaker's gavel. In one picture, she is shown pushing a button which reportedly opens a trap door below offending House members, dumping them into the pits of eternal damnation.

In a scene in the the movie "Con Air", Nicholas Cage remarks on the sight of a sports car being towed through the air by a cable attached to an aircraft, suggesting that "on any other day that might seem strange". Given the recent string of strange events in state politics, we find ourselves thinking the same thing.

Stay tuned should new developments take place.

Leadership matters: Why we support Gresham Barrett

It’s no secret the Blogland hasn’t always said nice things about GOP gubernatorial candidate Gresham Barrett, but those who know the Blogland’s tradition of keeping an open mind and open door should know that yesterday’s disagreements don’t blind us to the realities of today – or blind us from doing the right thing for South Carolina’s future.

This is why Gresham Barrett is the Blogland’s choice for Governor in the GOP run-off.

A lot of people talk about leadership, but Barrett is the one candidate for this office who has a proven record of leadership on many levels: a successful businessman, service in the military, legislative service, and service in Washington.

Leadership matters: Why Nikki Haley is wrong for South Carolina

The Blogland hasn’t shied away from speaking out on the issues of concern in South Carolina, nor have we hesitated to cry foul when we disagree with something. State Representative Nikki Haley is someone the Blogland has stuck up for, but as we discussed in the last posting, just because we think someone’s right one day doesn’t mean we won’t disagree with them the next.

In this case, we couldn’t disagree more with Haley’s contention that she is the best-qualified to be our state’s next Governor. Much of what we’ve seen suggests that she is far from qualified or ready to take the helm of state, especially one divided and demoralized by the lack of leadership from outgoing Governor Mark Sanford.

Congress, 4th District: Gowdy offers positive change & proven leadership

Since the election of Scott Brown in an upset victory in the recent Massachusetts Senate race, a wave of political upsets have swept out incumbents and favored candidates around the country. This wave has reached South Carolina, leaving Fourth District Congressman Bob Inglis struggling to get another term in Washington.

Inglis once was a fresh face on the political landscape in 1992, when he toppled incumbent House member Liz Patterson, and again when he lost a close bitter race against former Senator Fritz Hollings. But in recent years, Inglis seems to have lost his way with his GOP base.

Trey Gowdy, the Solicitor from Spartanburg, offers a chance for Republicans to get back on track, which is why the Blogland believes he is the best choice for Fourth District Republicans.

Congress, 3rd District: Duncan's experience makes the difference

Most Blogland readers know that we endorsed Jeff Duncan in the Republican primary, and stand by that endorsement in the run-off election on Tuesday.

With the race for the GOP nomination narrowed down to Duncan and Richard Cash, a political newcomer, the choices become far more clear. Duncan’s experience will give the people of the Third District a reliable conservative voice and effective representation in Congress.

Mick Zais: Proven, qualified and ready to lead South Carolina schools

It’s hard to understand what went wrong in the GOP race for Superintendent of Education, but when one of the candidates is a former General and current college president and the other has no education experience and no serious managerial experience on her resume, it’s obvious something went wrong.

We’re not surprised that Newberry College President Mick Zais finished in first place in the crowded field of candidates, given his impressive qualifications. However, we’re surprised – and a little disappointed - that neither Brent Nelsen and Kelly Payne, veteran educators with considerable support among the GOP base.

On Vacation

We wanted to tell our readers that the Blogland leaving for a much-needed vacation. The postings of the last few days were pre-written for the most part, as I've been working 12-hour days to clear the work agenda for my vacation.

We also wanted to tell the retards with the Haley campaign how much we have enjoyed jerking your chains with each posting over the last two weeks and watching you respond with all the intelligence and civility of retarded chimps. Same goes for Nancy Harrelson supporters.

Those who know me know my daughter Bonnie and I will be on the road for a few days, but where is a classified secret. So your nasty and threatening emails and phone calls and postings may go unanswered for the next few days.

But please, don't let that stop y'all from sending them in. Comedy material is always appreciated.

Be sure to watch for the Blogland endorsements which start running tomorrow, and while we're gone, no fighting, wild parties, and for goodness sakes, don't get the cops - or John Stewart and Stephen Colbert - called by the neighbors.

Chalk opponents to team up to score run-off upset

Rep. Richard Chalk's re-election prospects seem to be dimming in the upcoming run-off vote for House District 123 on Hilton Head Island.

Third-place candidate Kate Keep won 31% of the vote in a race that was almost an even three-way split. While she initially had said she would sit the run-off election out and let the other two candidates - Chalk and Andy Patrick - duke it out, we've been told that she has changed her mind and plans to endorse.

Reportedly, Keep will endorse Patrick today.

Of the four incumbent House members, Chalk had the lowest primary showing - just 36 percent - and faces a tough battle to hold onto his House seat in next week's run-off.

Also facing run-offs are GOP Reps Marion Frye from Saluda County and Joey Millwood from Spartanburg County, and Boyd Brown from Fairfield County.

House 123 GOP run-off heats up in Hilton Head

The run-off for House Seat 123 is heating up.  In an almost even split of the vote, incumbent Rep. Richard Chalk got 35% percent of the vote against two opponents in the primary:  Andy Patrick, who got 34% and Kate Keep, who got  31%.  Chalk and Patrick will square off in a run-off vote next week.

It seems Chalk will have his work cut out for him, with several key local politicos supporting Patrick in the race. According to an email sent out yesterday by Beaufort County Council member Stu Rodman, who ran against him in 2008:

• Hilton Head Island voters have a clear choice:

1. The incumbent, who doesn’t deliver politically, is part of the problem not the solution, will unlikely ever attain significant leadership in the House, doesn’t work with local officials and raises the majority (62%) of his campaign funds elsewhere in order to run (and represent Hilton Head Island ???).

2. Andy has an impressive track record (check out and will represent us well in Columbia. He is endorsed by Senator Davis, our former House Representative Jo Ann Gilliam, the Coastal Conservation League, The Club for Growth and dozens of business and community leaders.

Join me in voting for Andy Patrick on Tuesday June 22nd

Ms. Keep has remained silent in the run-off thus far, and according to our sources, may not endorse either candidate.

Chalk has faced numerous opponents in past races and generally polled under 60%. Given his poor showing in the first round, as well as the knowledge that incumbents who poll under 40% in a primary lose run-offs, and it's hard to see how Chalk can win next week.


Some people think they can have it both ways in South Carolina politics.

We're talking those who say powerful government is a dangerous thing, but then want to do all they can to get power.

We're talking about those who say transparency is a good thing, but then don't mind groups spending huge sums without disclosing their donors in support of their candidates.

We're talking about those who obsess over sexual allegations related to Andre Bauer and Lindsey Graham, using lots of vicious language, but then say Sanford and Haley's lives are nobody's business.

We're talking about those who fall for what someone says, without looking at what they've done.

There's lots of hypocrisy out there. We hope our readers are smart enought to know the difference.

Full house at Lowcountry GOP breakfast with run-off candidates

Kelly's BBQ in Summerville was packed to standing-room only with 200 attendees for a candidate's forum featuring the GOP run-off candidates for Lt. Governor, Attorney General and First Congressional District.  In addition, candidates from several other run-off races from statewide to county offices were in attendance.

Yours truly was moderating the event, keeping the speakers within their alloted time limits (more or less) and then allowing those in the audience to present questions.

This group loves the Q&A part of the events, and for good reason. Candidates can craft and spin standard speeches, but it's a little tougher to spin a response to a question from a randomly-selected audience member. But if you try with this crowd, they'll eat you alive.

Special thanks to those who donated to the group's sound system fundraising drive, as well as the news media from several newspapers and TV stations who showed up to cover the event and interview candidates.

The group will take July off, but will be planning a busy roster of events beginning with the second Saturday in August.

Elizabeth Moffly's campaign priorities: Haircuts, clothing and drycleaning

Apprently when you're Education Superintendent candidate Elizabeth Moffly, looks are everything.

Which might explain why she spent hundreds of dollars of campaign cash on ... haircuts?

And almost six hundred dollars on clothing.

We knows this sounds a little out there, but we couldn't make something like this outraegous up if we tried.  According to the S.C. Ethics Commission's website, she spent 1,465.15 of the total $24,458.57 spent by her campaign to date on clothing, haircuts, and drycleaning:

Patrick Haddon: Public Relations Rocket Scientist

We all know that the recent "raghead" comments by Senator Jake Knotts were far from the best and brightest examples of political discourse in recent South Carolina politics, but in dealing with embarassing misstep, a standard public relations approach is to make a concerted effort to isolate the problem and work to contain the damage.

But not everyone seems to think that's the best approach. Just ask Patrick Haddon.

While Haddon is doing double-duty as the 1st Vice-Chair of the SCGOP and Chair of the Greenville County GOP, he obviously still has time on his hands. To help occupy some of that time, he took a different approach to crisis PR, working to drag others into the mess created by Senator Knotts' commentary, namely Congressman Joe Wilson and his wife:

"I also call upon all Republicans endorsed by Senator Knotts to refuse his endorsement, and all Republicans who have endorsed Knotts to withdraw their endorsements," Haddon said. "I especially call on our great congressman, Rep. Joe Wilson, to withdraw his endorsement of Senator Knotts, and on Roxanne Wilson to resign as Knotts' campaign manager."

In case Haddon wants to know a few things about public relations, yours truly has taught and written on public relations and is employed in the field.  Here are some basic tips in Crisis PR management from a public relations website that Haddon should have read before taking shots at the Wilson family:

More on Harrelson

The mess that is Nancy Harrelson continues to get worse.  We've reported that she owes from her 2008 failed Congressional bid, and has a record of burning clients.  In Florence County, her debts, both personal and related to her business, totalled over SIXTY THOUSAND dollars in tax liens and judgements.
But don't just take our word for it. According to the Florence County government website (, here is what she owes:

  • Judgements going back to 2000 which total $53,684.28

  • Tax liens going back to 2004 which total $9,388.63
It seems to us that having Harrelson as the nominee for the Sixth Congressional District would be a black eye for South Carolina Republicans, especially in the areas of the Sixth Districe where local Republican candidates often struggle hard enough to win.
If you want to read the detail of these liens and judgements, we've got them:

Andre Bauer's Last Day reception

Capping fourteen years of legislative service, including eight as Lt. Governor, Andre Bauer will host a "Thank You" reception for friends and supporters at his State House office next Tuesday at 11 a.m.  This will kick off his last day presiding over the State Senate.

Andre invites anyone who wants to come to drop by and say hello.  We'll see you there.

Moffly: The Run-off RINO

The amazing thing about this year's GOP run-off races is the presence of several fringe candidates in several races.  One of whom is Elizabeth Moffly, who is in a run-off with Mick Zais for the GOP nomination for Superintendent of Education, barely edging out three others for second place, but finishing far behind Zais.

While Moffly talks a big reform game, four years ago she supported and worked for Jim Rex, the current Education Superintendent, whose campaign for Governor flamed out in the face of tragic performance by students in the state's public schools.

This RINO appears to be laying down, as if sleeping off another drunken night on the town, which is something Moffly might know a few things about. We've seen her at more than one event totally plastered, along with her campaign sidekick, Jay Waddell - a complaint we've heard from more than one GOP party official. At a recent dinner, we were stuck at the same table while this drunken RINO and her party buddy laughed and carried on, while treated to a string of text messages from others who couldn't help but rub our misfortune in.

It's our best guess that after one of those long nights, she was confused and ended up filing as a Republican, because given her close involvement with Rex, she seems more like a Democrat to us.

Shhhh ... don't wake the RINO. She's probably sleeping it off again.

Bad business dealings dog Nancy Harrelson's candidacy

Recently, we discussed the bad business dealings of Nancy Harrelson, a perennial candidate who is waging a second bid for the Sixth Congressional District, on the heels of being defeated by two-to-one margins in her last two bids for office.

If she can't keep promises to people in her business, how can anyone expect her to keep promises if elected to Congress?

We've also talked with several party officials who have received calls this year, as well as 2008, from those who she owed money or services to, threatening to reveal her.

Since the first story ran, that's what they've been doing, and we'd like to share some of what they had to say.

Andre Bauer says "Thank You"

... and thanks back at Andre for fourteen years of service in the General Assembly, as well as for some of the most memorable personal campaign experiences I've ever had.

Primary 2010: The changing of the GOP guard

In addition to the widespread bloodletting against a number of Republican incumbent legislators tonight, a major changing of the guard took place as some of the state's longest-serving Republicans saw their political careers draw to a close with tonight's election results.

Three of the longest-serving figures in the major leagues of SCGOP politics are now on their way out: Andre Bauer, Bob Inglis (probably) and Henry McMaster, taking with them several decades of experience in major leadership roles.

Primary 2010: A bad night for incumbents and favorites

If there was any message in tonight's primary results, it was that incumbency or favorite status didn't mean a lot to voters on either side of the primary ballot. Those who got beat or were forced to struggle to hold onto their seats included a lot of high-ranking SC politicos.

So who lost tonight? The highest-ranking casualties were State Treasurer Converse Chellis, who lost handily to challenger Curtis Loftis, as well as House Speaker Pro Tempore Harry Cator from Greenville County. But they weren't the only ones.

Blogland endorsement recap

Tomorrow, many Blogland readers will be casting ballots in various races in the South Carolina primary elections. In some of those races, where there was either an exceptional candidate, or an exceptionally bad one, the Blogland has made endorsements.  You're welcome to consider what we had to say, but even more importantly, you should do your homework before voting in the Tuesday primary elections:


Governor - Nobody
Comptroller General - Richard Eckstrom
Congress, 3rd District - Jeff Duncan
Congress, 6th District - Jim Pratt
House District 47 - Tommy Pope


Governor - Robert Ford
House District 41 - Boyd Brown

Also, don't forget to hop through the photos of volunteers out campaigning and working hard for their candidates (Parts 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6)

Primary photo watch, Part Six

This is the sixth installment of primary campaign photos and the campaigns keep sending the photos in. We really appreciate everyone thinking about the Blogland, as well as wanting to make sure their people get recognized for their efforts.

This one starts out with the hard-working Brent Nelsen supporters greeting motorists heading into Mount Pleasant on the Arthur Ravenel bridge.

If you've got photos of your people hard at work for those last-minute votes, send them via email to

Primary photo watch, Part Five

And here's more ...

Kids for Barrett

Primary photo watch, Part Four

The photos keep coming and we're enjoying putting them up and giving your hard-working volunteers props for their efforts, so be sure to keep them coming and we'll keep putting them up for everyone to see.

To kick off the last installment of photos for tonight, we'll let Ken Ard show off some of his campaign people hard at work.

You can email your campaign photos to

Primary photo watch, Part Three

For the third installment of the primary photo watch, we take you on another tour of the primary campaign action across the state, with thanks to the campaigns who keep sending these pictures in.

We appreciate their efforts as well. No matter how things end up Tuesday night, none of these people have anything to be ashamed of. We know they gave it all they got.

The photos keep coming in, so look for more updates - and if you've got photos to share, send them in and we'll keep putting them up there until tomorrow night.

Just remember that the campaigns who send these photos in appreciate their hard-working volunteers, and in the Blogland, you're nothing without your team, so we appreciate them taking advantage of this opportunity to give their people props for a job well done!

Primary photo watch, Part Two

As part of the Blogland's ongoing tribute to those who make South Carolina's Primary 2010 happen, heere are more pics of the hard-working folks - and animals - who are part of this year's primary campaigns.

We don't care if you're working for a town council or Senatorial candidate - if you're working, let people see what you're doing out there.

The first post showed a "dog race" developing between various candidates.  The dog race between candidates continues, this time featuring a photo of the mascot of the Ken Ard campaign.

Here's more from out there.  Be sure to keep sending those photos on and we'll throw them up there.

Remembering D-Day

Primary photo watch, Part One

Ask and ye shall receive. When we asked our readers to send pictures of people out campaigning, from city council to Governor, we got some quick responses.

We really appreciate those who volunteered and worked their tails off as the primary campaigns entered the home stretch. While there will be more, here are the first ones:

Tim Scott's dog (Republican for Congress, 1st Dist.):

Another dog for Leighton Lord (Republican for AG):


Campbell's "Tough Jobs" campaign tour

The Blogland hasn't always written flattering things about Carroll "Tumpy" Campbell, but today we're going to do something that will catch everyone off guard, even his own people.

We're going to say something nice about the guy and his campaign.

Really, we are.

We've always been impressed with people who try to come up with new ways to connect with voters and develop a better two-way flow of communication, instead of the all too common "talking-to/talking-down" approach. Campbell's "Tough District Jobs Tour" is a good example of that.

Voting in the Sixth Congressional District GOP primary?

When chimpanzees fight, it probably looks a lot like the GOP primary for the nomination for the Sixth Congressional District seat - lots of childish fighting amongst those who aren't very bright, and for no obvious reason.

Republicans running for the Sixth District is about as futile as Democrats running for the Third and Fourth Districts. They can't win, but they can give the incumbent party more reasons to turn out voters in lower-ballot swing races, as well as drawing away GOP activists who would otherwise work against a very vulnerable John Spratt in the Fifth District.

The best showing the GOP has ever made against Clyburn was in 1992, when Florence City Council member John Chase waged a six-figure campaign for the seat, getting 38%.  In the GOP landslide year of 1994, Clyburn got 66% of the vote. In light of that, the "Beat Clyburn" message seen on Jim Pratt's signs are a joke.  But there are even worse jokes on the GOP primary ballot, so we'll give the few Republicans stuck in the 6th District our thoughts who they should NOT vote for, and some thoughts about who their best choice is.

Sine Die & Muchos Gracias

Charles Dickens begins The Tale of Two Cities with the words "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times".

For legislators, this year was somewhere in between the two.

This year was filled with numerous challenges due to the continued lagging economy, accompanied by the most heated statewide races in years. They still managed to get some thins done: long-overdue reform and restructuring of the Employment Security Commission and cutting back spending were the most notable accomplishments of the year.

Statewide endorsements: GOP race for Governor

This year's race for Governor has taken many twists and turns as candidates have come and gone, in the shadow of the ongoing slow-motion wreckage of the current gubernatorial administration.

In making an endorsement in this year's GOP race, it was decided that instead of telling you who to vote for, we'll share our concerns and positions relative to this race, and let you decide which candidate should carry the Republican Party's banner this fall.

Our readers are usually pretty smart people, well-informed and capable of making their own minds up, so instead of telling you who's good or bad, right or wrong, extreme or RINO, or whatever else other people will say, we're going to let YOU decided who to vote for on your own.

So what's important to us in the Governor's race?

Statewide endorsements: Democratic primary for Governor

While the Blogland fully expects to endorse the Republican gubernatorial nominee this fall, it is going to exercise a little editorial discretion and recommend a candidate in the Democratic primary for Governor:

The Blogland encourages Democrats who turn out on June 8 to 1) stay on their side of the ballot and 2) vote for Robert Ford for the Democratic nomination.

You can stop laughing now. Ok, maybe you can't, but in any event, we'll discuss our impressions of the candidates.

Unopposed statewide GOP candidates earned nominations

This year's field of GOP candidates for statewide offices is wide, with most statewide offices, both open and incumbent, facing primary contests.

The Blogland has already endorsed Richard Eckstrom, the current Comptroller General, for re-election in the June 8 Republican Primary, and will announce a series of endorsements in the next few days.

However, candidates for three statewide races will face no primary opposition - incumbents Secretary of State Mark Hammond and Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers, as well as Adjutant General nominee Bob Livingston - and deservingly so, and we thank Republicans for ensuring that they will face free rides in the upcoming June primary.

Dems splitting ranks in House 115 race?

Two years ago, Democratic State Rep. Anne Peterson Hutto defied odds by winning the District 115 State House seat by a few hundred votes in a terrible year for GOP voter turnout. In a year which is likely to see much higher Republican voter turnout, she can't afford to have her Democratic base split in a district which is usually goes for Republicans.

Which is exactly what seems to be happening.

Long-time James Island politico Eugene Platt, who has served on the James Island Public Service Commission since 1993 and was the Democratic nominee for the seat in 2006, is launching a petition candidacy to enter the fall House race.