Democrat attack ad against Mulvaney distorts facts and overlooks truth about Spratt

After holding their fire unusually late in the campaign season, national Democrats have entered the Fifth District race, engaging in the same sort of high-volume negative campaigning that they've unleashed in vulnerable races across the country.

Their first attack on GOP Fifth District candidate Senator Mick Mulvaney: accuse him of working to outlaw Social Security, basing their attack on a single vote on amending a non-binding resolution and using wording and images that suggested he would make it a crime and support jailing senior cititzens.

The ad, which employes the shopworn Social Security "Senior Scare" tactic, uses as its sole piece of evidence a vote on an amendment to a non-binding Senate Resolution (S424, Amendment 3, 5/19/09). For those who know better, a resolution is not binding, so passing it could never have banned anything:

Guest op-ed: A response to Cyndi Mosteller's attack on Haley

We received this editorial from Tommy Grimes, a Florence attorney who is the current Sixth Congressional District Chair of the South Carolina Republican Party, responding to a recent editorial published in The State by former SCGOP officer Cyndi Mosteller of Charleston. This editorial is presented in its entirely, without commentary, for our readers:

I have known Cyndi for years and while I often do not agree with her I believed that Cyndi thought that what she did was in the best interest of the SCGOP. I have to admit I was wrong.

I've been operating under the assumption that the reason Cyndi devotes so much time and energy to shouting at anyone who would listen was that she simply does not get it. Well, I was wrong. Her problem isn't that she doesn't get it; her problem is that she knows she can't sell it! We have serious problems facing SC, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, Cyndi Mosteller is not the least bit interested in solving it. Cyndi is interested in three things and only three things-making you afraid of it; telling you who's to blame for it and trying to make herself look good in the process.

Reapportionment to boost GOP congressional prospects (and check out the cool game)

Redistricting projections indicate a bright future for the Republican Party.

GOP-leaning states such as Arizona, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Utah are poised to reap the benefits of a population shift and gain a House seat each after the 2010 census, according to a new report from Election Data Services (EDS). Republican-friendly Texas could gain as many as four seats.

Meanwhile, Democratic-leaning states such as Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan and New Jersey are poised to lose one congressional seat apiece, if the projections hold true, while New York and Ohio could lose two seats each.

Spratt re-election prospects tanking?

As Mick Mulvaney continues to hammer away at John Spratt in the Fifth District, national news media has taken notice that the Democrats have held back their promised television buys in the Fifth District race, raising the possibility that they're pulling out of the race:

Meanwhile, the DCCC is beefing up its ad buy in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., which could go to help Reps. Chris Carney (D-Pa.) and Kanjorski. It has already reserved more than $750,000 in the media market but has doubled that to $1.5 million, according to a GOP strategist.

The committee also has yet to spend in districts represented by several longtime Democratic incumbents who face real challenges this fall, including Reps. John Spratt (S.C.), Ike Skelton (Mo.), Chet Edwards (Texas) and Pomeroy.

It’s canceled two ad buys in North Dakota for Pomeroy.

The NRCC has spent close to half a million dollars targeting those incumbents

Dems divided in AG race?

The race for the state’s open Attorney General’s office has been fairly low-key since the end of the June GOP primary and run-off, where GOP nominee Alan Wilson won the run-off handily. Since the race was set with Wilson’s nomination, both candidates have been working to prepare for the short fall sprint to November, focusing on fundraising and networking.

Wilson’s primary campaign strategy of building his credentials as being pro-law enforcement by seeking the endorsements of the state’s Sheriffs during the primary may have given him an early start towards the fall campaign, as well as made it harder for Matt Richardson, the Democratic nominee, to approach the fall campaign with his Democratic voter base united behind his candidacy.

During the GOP primary, Wilson announced the endorsements of twenty-nine of the state’s forty-six Sheriffs. Fifteen of these were Democrats, representing most of the state’s counties with Democratic Sheriffs. The only sizable counties with Democratic Sheriffs that did not endorse Wilson are Richland and Sumter, not counting Orangeburg, whose recently-passed Sheriff Larry Williams had endorsed Wilson:

Dems falling short in State House races?

Internal polling shared with the Blogland today showed strong GOP leads in two State Houses races which are being closely watched, offering a sign that Republicans may be on their way to padding their State House majority in November:

  • In District 47 in York County, Democrat Rep. Herb Kirsh may be in serious trouble, with polling showing him with only 30% of voters against 54% for Tommy Pope, his GOP challenger, leaving just 16% undecided.
  • In District 60, incumbent GOP Rep. Phillip Lowe, who represents a district with a 38% black population in Florence and Sumter Counties, showed a 22 point lead in internal polling.

    For South Carolina Democrats who were hoping to avoid further losses this fall, this kind of polling data can't be good news.

    Meet John Elledge

    A little personal interest stuff we wanted to share with our readers ...

    John Porter Elledge is the Great-Grand Father of Charles Schuster, who is the Chair of the Berkeley Republican Breakfast Club.

    This photo was taken in 1864, while he was serving in a Confederate battalion.

    Former Lee County Sheriff in more trouble, connected to State House candidate

    Already deep in trouble with the feds on drug charges, former Lee County Sheriff E.J Melvin, who was forced out of the office in May when initially charged by the feds, has been indicted on nearly fifty federal charges:

    Former Lee County Sheriff E.J. Melvin has been indicted on 47 new charges, including racketeering and money laundering, and prosecutors said Wednesday the allegations represent more layers of a complex drug conspiracy case.

    They said Melvin's cooperation with drug dealers dates to early 2001, the year he was sworn in as sheriff. That year, prosecutors said in the 45-page indictment, Melvin began soliciting bribes from dealers in return for his protection.

    Melvin also trafficked drugs himself, prosecutors allege, "describing himself to an associate as 'untouchable.' "

    Judging John Spratt by his own words

    Kudos to the Fairfield County Tea Party folks for doing their homework and finding these nuggets of budgetary wisdom from endangered Congressman John Spratt, who bashed Republicans in September 2006, alleging they were doing the same kind of things that he and a Democratic Congress are doing now.

    We will refrain from commentary on this and simply allow our readers to see Spratt's words and make up their own minds about how well what he said then lines up with what he has done in his present role as House Budget Committee Chair.

    First, here's what he has to say about the failure to pass a budget, suggesting failure to pass a budget is a call for the dismissal of Congress:

    Dying to re-elect Ed Clements?

    In Ed Clements' tenure as Solicitor, an office he has held for nearly twelve years, he waits until the middle of a tough re-election battle to seek his first death penalty. If his Circuit was relatively crime-free, it might make sense, but Florence and Marion Counties are hotbeds of violent crimes, for which he has criticized by his challenger, former federal prosecutor Rose Mary Parham.

    Dozens of murders, often gang and drug related, have plauged the two counties, often forcing Parham to bring in federal prosecution to get a handle where Clements' efforts failed to get results.

    In this case, this decision to (finally) seek a death sentence is suspect for two reasons - first for the timing of the case, and then because the murder victims were informants in another case. According to SCNow, Montez Myhell Barker of Florence was charged with being, in effect, a contract killer:

    Death by Powerpoint

    Every semester, when my public speaking classes cover the chapter on visual aids, I like to share this video about smart PowerPoint design. While some of these points, like animations, apply just to electronic presentations, some of this advice has broader applications for many kinds of visual design.

    Hank says "Keep the Change"

    We're the Blogland and we approve this message:

    Mark your calendar: Spartanburg GOP rally Saturday

    The folks from the Spartanburg GOP have put together an event that you don't want to miss this Saturday, from 4-7 p.m. They'll be at the Strawberry Hill Farm on S.C. Route 11, near Chesnee.

    Be sure to bring your lawn chair or picnic blanket and enjoy free BBQ and ice cream with some of the Upstate's GOP candidates and Republican party leaders, emceed by SCGOP State Chairman Karen Floyd and SC National Committeeman Glen McCall and music by Lawsons Fork Creek Bluegrass Gospel Band.

    If you're a Grand Strand Republican with nothing else to do ...

    The First Congressional District race is all but over, with Republican Tim Scott rolling towards a landslide win and Democrats broke and divided, turning their guns on each other. Few Democrats are even offering for office in legislative or local races.

    So if you're a Republican in the Grand Strand, what is there to do?

    We've got a recommendation - Ilario Pantano, a former officer in the Marine Corps and veteran of Iraq - is waging an aggressive campaign for North Carolina's Seventh District, which straddles the South Carolina stateline from South of the Border to North Myrtle Beach. He's made considerable headway in his candidacy, breaking a lead over the incumbent Democrat in recent polling and being added to the "Young Guns" list of targeted NRCC races.

    Clements the latest Democrat to turn chicken?

    The Pee Dee region is well known for being a place for poultry. While most of them won't be seen or heard from except for Sunday dinner, one of those chickens has a name:

    12th Circuit Solicitor Ed Clements

    Clements joins other Democrats who've adopted what the Blogland has termed "Chicken Rules" - rules in which they seek to hide their resumes and other inconvenient truths, as well as avoid the public spotlight.

    Clement earns this honor by not responding to a debate invite from the campaign of Rose Mary Parham, a veteran federal prosecutor:

    The "real question" of the New York mosque issue

    We subconsciously interpret this mosque as a symbol of our own spiritual anemia, and fear the challenge it presents.

    The real question is not what we're against, but what, if anything, we're for.

    The tragedy is not that Muslims want to worship their god, but that we've become a stranger to ours.

    An interesting point worth considering ...

    Tell Tim Scott to go ...

    ... have a Happy Birthday today.

    Ketner and First District Democrats open fire - on each other

    South Carolina's First Congressional District went Republican in 1980, when Tommy Hartnett took the open seat. Since then, Democrats have generally lost the seat by large margins, with the exception of Linda Ketner's 2008 bid, where she held then-incumbent Henry Brown to a single-digit margin of victory.

    Since the GOP took the seat in 1980, Democratic candidates have consistently waged poor campaigns for the seat, allowing GOP incumbents - except in 2008 - to easily pass the 60% mark, often reaching 70%, if challenged at all. However, each year the seat was open (1980, 1988, 1994 & 2000), Democrats could be counted on to wage aggressive and well-funded campaigns which held the GOP nominees under the 60% mark.

    Given that history, as well as Ketner's strong challenge two years ago, Democrats were expected to wage an all-out effort this year. Instead, their ongoing efforts have made the race a cake walk for Tim Scott, the GOP nominee.

    Higher ed construction may not be such a bad idea right now

    Over the last four years, construction costs at our state's colleges have totalled about $1 billion, according to a recent report in The Greenville News. Since the recession began, building projects valued at $60 million have been approved.

    College officials cite the necessity of keeping up with the demands for program improvements and growth. And they make the point that building expenses don't come from the same pot of money that colleges depend on for operating expenses.

    Nevertheless, it is still reasonable to question whether a building boom is warranted during these tough economic times.

    While the op-ed raises legitimate concerns, such as the cost of maintaining an overlapping set of two-year USC campuses, citing how USC-Sumter shares a parking lot with the regional technical college, as well as continual increases in tuition rates, the issue isn't as simple as their op-ed would make it seem. In fact, at least some of this construction activity may turn out to have been shrewd investment.

    Debate? What debate?

    The only thing worse than doing nothing is to do something, and screw it up. That would describe lame duck Congressman John Spratt's handling of the recent "debate", a closed-door event where he refused to participate unless no audio or video recording was allowed.

    Technology being what it is these days, the SC5 Code Red folks got the whole event on video. While John Spratt thinks what he says and does is none of your business, we believe you're entitled to the truth, so go watch the video.

    Special thanks to the Chester County Republican Party for making this cartoon available.

    Blogland in the Field: Episode #1 - talking BBQ & politics with Joe Wilson

    We're always looking for new ways to inform and entertain our readers. The newest effort is Blogland in the Field, which will give our readers short video interviews with candidates, public officials and newsmakers in the Palmetto State.

    Episode 1 was recorded recently in Neeses, South Carolina with Congressman Joe Wilson:

    Mirror, Mirror on the wall ...

    In the middle of a recession, every public agency and institution has two hundred grand to throw away, right?

    That's what the folks at USC-Beaufort want to do. They don't want to change what they're doing - just their name.

    How stupid can you get?

    It pays to know about who is working against you, but it's sometimes you should do your homework on your own supporters and facts before you put them in the public spotlight.

    The Democratic candidate went on the attack in the New Mexico Governor's race, featuring a teacher who praised the candidate's record. It turned out the teacher might've had another reason for being in the ad: the Republican in the race was the prosecutor who put her husband behind bars for 23 years for kidnapping.

    Not surprisingly, Susana Martinez, the GOP candidate went after the ad, framing it as part of an ongoing effort by her opponent to deceive voters.  While Martinze was pulling ahead in the polling before, we suspect she'll make even more progress with this rebuttal ad that went on the air:

    Holleman's Chicken Rules?

    Frank Holleman and John Spratt have long histories in the South Carolina Democratic Party, which might explain why they act a lot alike ... and like Spratt, Holleman's got his own set of Chicken Rules.
    The Blogland has raised concerns about the State Department of Education becoming a political safe harbor for Democrats. This might be less of a concern if the Department actually got something done in the last twelve years which Democrats Inez Tenenbaum and Jim Rex ran the agency, but if the continuing poor performance of state schools is any indication, both should have spent more time running the agency and less time running for higher offices. 

    While GOP Education candidate Mick Zais has rightfully called for the office to be run professionally, pledging to remove politics from the department, Democratic candidate Frank Holleman has responded with his own Chicken Rules. The first has been to refuse to respond to Zais' call to pledge to de-politicize the office. The second has been to carefully scrub his political resume for anything which suggests he is a long-time Democratic political operative with close involvment in the political stepping stone game played by past Superintendent Inez Tenenbaum.

    Sack Spratt goes online

    5th District Democratic Congressman John Spratt is fighting for his political survival against GOP challenger Mick Mulvaney. Unlike most races, a large grassroots movement has organized to oppose Spratt's re-election, turning out by the hundreds at Tea Party events and flooding the district with "SACK SPRATT" yard signs.

    Michael Steele coming to the Lowcountry, Sept. 17

    The Blogland has confirmed that RNC Chairman Michael Steele is coming to the Lowcountry this Friday.

    Steele, as part of his ongoing "Fire Pelosi Bus Tour" will be visiting the Lowcountry GOP regional Victory campaign headquarters at 7671 Northwoods Blvd, Ste. G, North Charleston, which is near the Ice Palace, from 6:30 to 7:30pm. After this, he will attend a fundraiser for First Congressional District GOP nominee Tim Scott.

    This will be a free event, and is open to the public. You can also follow the Tour via the web:

    We're not sure if this was planned to head off Nancy Pelosi's upcoming visit to Charleston, but like the old joke goes about the spy business: "there is no such thing as coincidence".

    Nancy Pelosi to visit Charleston, Sept. 25

    We're not kidding, she's really coming.

    Pelosi, D-Calif., will give the keynote address Sept. 25 to the Charleston branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

    Shirley Sherrod, former director of the USDA’s Rural Development program in Georgia, also will talk. She was ousted from her job in July after comments she made in March were characterized as racist.

    We invite our readers to consider how they can best welcome the Ms. Pelosi to the Lowcountry. Feel free to share your ideas with our readers.

    Mark your calendar: BBQ in Columbia with Alan Wilson and Rick Santorum

    This Wednesday, September 15th, Alan Wilson and Rick Santorum are going to be having a BBQ lunch fundraiser for Wilson's campaign at Doc's Barbecue in Columbia.

    You can join them as they provide a grassroots update and a chance for friends, family, and supporters to join together for barbecue. Doc's is some of the best BBQ in South Carolina, so if you're going to be in the Midlands that day, you don't want to miss this event!

    State Representative Bill Wylie

    Condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the friends, family, and colleagues of Greenville County Republican State Representative Bill Wylie, who left this Earth this morning.

    He was also well-known in the Upstate business community as a former manufacturing executive who was very active in Upstate civic organizations, including serving as a Workforce Investment Board member.

    I met him on several occasions and he was always thoughtful and took time to respond to questions or concerns.  A really nice guy and hard-working public servant. He'll be missed by many.

    America can survive

    Reagan: "There should be no place on Earth where terrorists can rest"

    Back in the 80s (a really cool time), the United States demonstrated its resolve in addressing the terrorist threat of Libya. When evidence pointed to the involvement of Libya in a series of terrorist attacks upon American and European citizens and interests, the United States and Great Britain carried out a joint mission to strike at strategic targets in Libya.

    Going on television shortly after the completion of the aireal bombing raids, President Ronald Reagan discussed the strikes and why they had been carried out. He closed his brief speech with a short warning for our nation's enemies:

    Mark your calendar: Major Saturday events - Summerville and Lancaster

    In case you've got time on your hands and not much to do on Saturday, here's a couple of events you may want to put on your calendar:

    Lowcountry GOP breakfast club, Summerville - 9 AM
    Kelly's BBQ, U.S. Highway 78, 2 miles south of US 17-A
    Special guests: GOP AG nominee Alan Wilson and Adjutant General-elect Bob Livingston

    Old Elrod auto dealership, Lancaster - 12 NOON
    US 521 Bypass, just north of SC 9 East interchange

    The annual 9/11 memorial service in Summerville sees 100+ turnout and the Lancaster Tea Party turned out 350+ July 4th weekend, so whichever event you pick, you will NOT be disappointed.

    Zais challenges Holleman to keep politics out of State Education Department

    It's no secret that the State Department of Education has been a taxpayer-funded front for Democratic campaign activities:

    • Jim Rex, the current Superintendent, is leaving after one term after a failed attempt to use the office as a stepping stone to run for Governor. His political consultant, Zeke Stokes, has been paid $122,236 since Fiscal Year 2007-2008. (S.C. Comptroller General’s Transparency Website,, Accessed 9/8/2010, Vendor Search Term “Zeke Stokes”).
    • Inez Tennenbaum, his predecessor, ran for U.S. Senate in 2004, losing to GOP Senator Jim DeMint. Like Rex, she left office following her failure to move up the ladder.
    This pattern should be of great concern for those who believe South Carolina schools need leadership by committed education professionals, instead of craven political ladder-climbers.  That's why the reform pledge issued by Mick Zais, the outgoing President of Newberry College and GOP candidate to lead the agency, is a needed breath of fresh air:

    John Spratt's Chicken Rule #3

    Recently, we told you about John Spratt's "Chicken Rules":

    Here's Spratt's Chicken Rule #3:  When facing tough re-election prospects, avoid engaging your opponent in debates whenever possible:

    Mulvaney told reporters that he wants to hold debates in each of the 14 counties in the 5th Congressional District. Spratt signaled he's open to more meetings - including an upcoming debate on S.C. ETV - but did not specify dates or locations.

    "There will be, I'm sure, a number of different forums," Spratt said.

    Yeah, right.

    Considering that fellow Fifth District resident Democrat Vince Sheheen challenged his GOP opponent to five debates in specific locations, we view Spratt's response as weak and ... chicken.  If Spratt had respect for his constituents, he'd dispense with his three Chicken Rules and face Mulvaney often in full view of the public, with recording taking place.

    If his Chicken Rules are any indication of the lack of confidence Spratt has in Fifth District voters, then perhaps they need to give him a vote of no confidence in November.

    SC Democratic congressional candidates for open seats broke

    According to the FEC website, Democrats seeking S.C. congressional Democrats aren't doing too good at fundraising, with Republican candidates having raised $10,787,160 to date, compared to Democrats, who've raised $6,519,073.

    Of the $6.5mil, almost all of it was raised by Democrats in three of the six districts, two of them incumbents:

    Code Red: The John Spratt video

    In response to our appeal for video content of this debate, the group obtained a video recording of Tuesday night's campaign debate at the Lake Wylie Lions' Club between endangered chicken Spratt and GOP State Senator Mick Mulvaney. The video is being uploaded to their YouTube website. The upload will be complete later on tonight.

    You can find the video at:

    We encourage anyone else with "too hot for TV" video content of South Carolina's most secretive Congressman (not) at work to let us know and we'll be sure to let our readers know where to find your videos.

    Wanted: Your Spratt debate videos

    While the rest of the world seemed to find out today about John Spratt's chicken act, the Blogland would like to remind our readers that - thanks to several readers active in the Tea Party and Sack Spratt groups - we broke this story two weeks ago, challenging our readers to defy Spratt's "Chicken Rules":

    Spratt's handlers informed the Lions Club membership they would agree to let print media cover the event, but insisted that no television media be allowed inside and the event cannot be recorded. It was reported to us that many of the members resented Spratt's ultimatum, but agreed in order to get the event to happen.

    We encourage our readers to test Spratt's resolve to cover his rhetorical tracks by attending this event with video recording devices.

    We have been informed that several attendees did record at least part of the event, and in the opinion of several people we spoke with, Spratt was poorly focused, rambling and confused.

    But we believe our readers deserve more than just second-hand reports of what happened. That's why we're asking anyone who has video content to post it on YouTube. If you don't have the ability to upload it for online viewing, please forward an electronic copy to via postal mail and we'll be glad to put that content online for you. If you wish to remain anonymous, we will respect your wishes and not disclose your name or any other identifying information.

    Help us show people what Spratt doesn't want them to see.

    1st District Democratic meltdown

    As if Democrats don't have a tough enough time running a competitive race in South Carolina's First Congressional district, which has been held by the GOP for three decades, they're running with their ranks divided. While the district usually attracts more third-party Congressional candidate filings, it's interesting to see that of the six candidates lining up to face GOP nominee Tim Scott:

    • Keith Blandford, Libertarian

    • Robert Dobbs, Green

    • Ben Frasier, Democratic

    • Rob Groce, Working Families

    • M E Mac McCullough, United Citizens

    • Jimmy Wood, Independence
    ... three of these candidates have Democratic party histories:

    Mark your calendar: Lowcountry GOP breakfast club to hold 9/11 memorial this Saturday

    THIS SATURDAY Lowcountry Republicans will remember 9/11 with a memorial tribute to those lost and those who are serving their country in public safety and the armed services, followed by a Homeland Security presentation featuring Alan Wilson, GOP nominee for Attorney General and Adjutant General-elect (and Major General) Bob Livingston.

    As part of the tribute, the Color Guard will be provided by the Washington Light Infantry.

    The group meets every second Saturday of the month (except July) at Kelly's BBQ restaurant at 9am. They're located at 10475 Hwy. 78, which is located between Summerville and the Ladson fairgrounds.

    Christians challenge to Turks over Agia Sophia a test of Islamic tolerace

    An international group of Christians is going to challenge the tolerance of Islamic nations in an upcoming trip to Istanbul to use Agia Sophia (The Church of the Holy Wisdom), once the center of Eastern Christianity before the city's conquest by Islamic invaders in the 15th century. A letter written by Chris Spirou, President of International Congregation of Agia Sophia, informs him of the group's intent to hold services in the church, which was converted into a mosque but is currently not used as a place of worship:

    Your Excellency Prime Minister Erdo─čan,

    I am writing to inform you that our organizations, “The International Congregation of Agia Sophia,” the “Free Agia Sophia Council of America,” and the “Free Agia Sophia Council of Europe,” and our members from throughout the world will visit Istanbul in September of 2010. The purpose of our Congregation’s visit is to conduct Holy Liturgy Services in the Holy Church of Agia Sophia, the Great Church of Christianity and the Symbol of the Orthodox Christian Faith until the Holy Church’s seizure by the Ottoman Turkish forces on May 29, 1453.

    If Muslims want a mosque near Ground Zero, perhaps they'll allow this church to resume its role as one of the grandest churches in Europe. After all, a little fairness is all they're asking for, right?

    Remembering Bob Harrell, Sr.

    According to reports received by the Blogland, Bob Harrell, Sr., long-time Lowcountry businessman, former SCDOT commissioner and father of State House Speaker Bobby Harrell died earlier this morning.

    I first met Bob back in the early 1990s and supported him when he ran for the then-open 1st District Congressional seat in 1994. While he didn't win (Mark Sanford went on to win the GOP primary and general election that year), he never let it get him down and kept working at his business, in the community, and enjoying life with his family. He showed how valuable it is to keep winning and losing in perspective.

    He worked hard to build up a successful business as an insurance agent and commercial property owner, as well as raise two sons and a daughter who've done well in their own right: Bobby, insurance sales and Speaker of the State House, John, an attorney, and Lea, a psychiatrist. Along the way, he made more than a few friends and earned the respect of a lot of people in the Lowcountry and beyond.

    Including me. I'll miss him and I know many others will as well.

    Please keep the Harrell family in your thoughts and prayers.

    Day of mourning announced for Joshua Gross

    It's a day of mourning in the Blogland as we remember our friend and regular reader Joshua Gross.

    Sometimes one has to be the bearer of bad news, and it's not something we relish here in the Blogland, but when we must, we will.

    So if you know Joshua, be sure to take a moment and reach out to him on this, the occasion of his 40th Birthday. Don't forget to buy him a beer or two as well, since it's the weekend.

    House District 60 candidate can't find his way home?

    As the race for House District 60 heats up, Democratic candidate Benny Webb, who is challenging Republican incumbent Phillip Lowe, is called out on his residency in a recent candidate forum.

    When Webb attempts to evade the question by questioning the credibility of the local newspaper, which originally reported on Webb's residency issues, the questioner responds by saying he followed up on the story by riding by the location himself and based upon his observations, doubted Webb.

    Webb then admits he stays with his wife outside of the district some nights and with his brother in the district others, which seems a little flimsy to us. But at least he's not sharing jail space with his buddy, the former (now indicted) Sheriff of Lee County.

    Mark your calendar: Sept. 11 - Lancaster Tea Party

    While the GOP tide swept much of South Carolina in the 1990s, Lancaster County remained one of the last of the "yellow dog Democrat" areas of the state. With the looming election battle royale between Congressman John Spratt and State Senator Mick Mulvaney for the Fifth Congressional District seat, it's a battleground that's a must-win for whoever will go to Washington next year.

    One of the largest and best-organized Tea Party groups has taken root in that former Democratic stronghold, regularly turning several hundred out at their events, which has to be great news for Mulvaney and lousy for Spratt.  The last one, on July 3rd, saw 350+ turnout, and we've got word they'll be doing it again, so you don't want to miss this event:

    September 11, 2010 - 12:00 Noon

    845 Lancaster Bypass East (U.S. 521/SC 9) at the old Elrod auto dealership

    Addressing the Haley rumors

    Yesterday afternoon, FITSNews, always one to spot a good story in the making, followed up on a blog posting which discussed bloggers, sex and gubernatorial candidates.

    Somehow, amazingly, that trail led to me.

    I have been asked by a lot of people to comment on these rumors over the last 48 hours, and have refused to comment on the matter. The most I've commented was in response to questions from FITS:

    FITS just received the following text from Earl Capps in response to rumors about him and S.C. Rep. Nikki Haley. “I’m not going to admit or deny that one,” Capps said. Asked specifically if he had ever been romantically involved with Haley, Capps said “I am not going to address those allegations at this time until I figure out what someone has gotten a hold of. That is my official position.”

    So ... do you really want to know what I have to say about all of this?

    Time running out on Sheheen?

    In 1994, an election year where South Carolina Republicans seemed to have everything going for them, their gubernatorial nominee squeezed out a 51% victory. Some say many of the same elements which almost turned a sure-bet win into a squeaker are present this year, yet many polls suggest that Nikki Haley, the GOP nominee, may walk away with an easy win in November, leaving Vincent Sheheen, the Democratic nominee far behind.

    The 1994 primary was a bitter one, as the extension of a long-running intra-party war between social conservatives who had taken control of the party at the SCGOP's convention a year before, and more moderate party elements. Many of those who won the convention floor fight backed House Speaker Pro Tem David Beasley in the gubernatorial primary, while the opposition was divided between former Congressmen Tommy Hartnett and Arthur Ravenel. When Beasley defeated Ravenel in the run-off, many who didn't back Beasley for the nomination simply sat the fall race out, while others were courted by former Lt. Governor Nick Theodore, who had won the Democratic nomination.

    While some see the same kind of elements in place this year, polling is increasingly pointing to a slowly-growing lead for Haley that may soon prove impossible for Sheheen to overcome.

    Mark your calendar: Bill Connor debt retirement party next Tuesday

    Running for statewide office or serving in Afghanistan ... we're not sure which of the two is more dangerous and thankless a task, but Bill Connor's done both.

    If you want to thank him for taking the time to run for office and help him pay down his campaign debt, please join the Blogland his upcoming debt retirement party next Tuesday:

    September 7 from 6:00 to 8:00pm at
    Rosalia's Mexican Restaurant
    2347 Chestnut Street in Orangeburg

    We understand he'll be signing copies of his book at the event, so if you haven't gotten your copy, this could be a great chance to do that.