He makes bowties look good

We want to wish a very Happy Birthday to one of South Carolina's coolest and most insightful politicos - Wesley Donehue.

For those who can make it, he'll be doing a special edition of Pub Politics, South Carolina's must-see web show, from the Sly Fox in the Vista starting at 6pm today. 

We've been told he's turning 36 today, but we haven't been able to confirm these reports.

Even if you can't make it, please join us in wishing him a Happy Birthday.

So this is what "change" is all about?

As Barack Obama talked about "earning the respect" of foreign nations and ending pay-to-play politics on the campaign stump, it's a little puzzling that his approach to solving the Guantanamo prisoner problem comes across as more pay-off politics and heavy-handed treatment of our allies:

Slovenia, seeking a meeting with President Obama, was encouraged to “do more” on detainee resettlement if it wanted to “attract higher-level attention from Washington”; its prime minister later “linked acceptance of detainees to ‘a 20-minute meeting’ ” with the president, but the session — and the prisoner transfer — never happened. 

Please note that Slovenia, the nation having its arm twisted by the White House, is a member of NATO, the United States' foremost political and military alliance.

Buying foreign favors and snubbing allies to clean up the mess made by short-sighted Presidential policies sure sounds like the kind of thing that Candidate Obama said he'd never do.

But we guess that's what they call "change"?

Leslie Nielsen

While he didn't star in a lot of major Hollywood hits, his presence was unmistakable. It's hard to imagine classic Hollywood comedy without thinking about Airplane and Police Squad.

Talent like this doesn't come this way often.

He'll be missed in the Blogland and a lot of other places as well.

It must have been a slow news day at WIS

Bloggers are accused of being one-sided, unprofessional, and not living up to journalistic standards. So when we find sloppy and unprofessional reporting by traditional news media outlets who are supposed to be setting the standards for journalism, we find such claims amusing.

Last week, WIS TV reporter Jack Kuenzie decided to grant a disgruntled former employee a forum to air his grievances against his former employer. In this story, Victor Harris, a Midlands resident, alleged he was fired from an unnamed Midlands trucking company. In the story, Harris claimed, without presenting any evidence, that he was fired for refusing to drive more than the permitted number of hours. He also alleged that safe practices were regularly ignored by his former employer.

So where did the story go wrong? Lack of fairness, lack of evidence and a clear lack of understanding of the trucking workforce demand:

Catch up with the Blogland via Facebook

As part of the efforts to make the Blogland more connected to its readers, as well as to each other, there's now a Facebook fan page for readers to sign up to.

Those who sign up will get the new Blogland stories on their Facebook feed, as well as have easier access to yours truly. As an exclusive bonus, you can expect some tidbits that won't show up on the blogsite as well.

Tune in for more of the news, opinions and attitudes that you've come to expect from the Blogland by CLICKING ON THIS TEXT LINK or hitting the box on the left side of this website.

Post-election party switching boosting GOP's 2010 gains

Just like 1994, the 2010 GOP wave that swept the South didn't stop with election night. A wave of party switches which helped pad the GOP's electoral gains in the months following the 1994 elections seems to be repeating itself.
Here's this fall's party-switching action:
  • Following the GOP's upset takeover of the Alabama House and Senate, four House Democrats crossed over, giving the GOP a two-thirds super-majority in a chamber where it was the minority a month ago. Alabama state Reps. Alan Boothe of Troy, Steve Hurst of Munford, Mike Millican of Hamilton and Lesley Vance of Phenix City announced their plans to defect, citing a wake-up call from their constituents who went heavily for Republicans in most other races.

With Republicans now holding either two or three of the "cards" (House, Senate and Governor) for reapportionment control in most of the southern tier states from Arizona to North Carolina (Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico are the exceptions), these switches may not be the last.

Thankful for you

On this day of Thanksgiving, the Blogland has many things to be thankful for, but most importantly, we're most thankful for ...


Your readership, support, story leads, feedback, interview responses and patience mean the world to us.

Wilkins a smart pick to lead Haley transition

A lot of people, the Blogland included, had it's skepticism about how Governor-elect Nikki Haley would approach. We agree with WYFF-TV's op-ed that picking Greenville attorney David Wilkins, former State House Speaker and Ambassador to Canada, to lead her transition efforts was a smart move:

In Wilkins, Haley gets a seasoned political mind and a strong voice in the South Carolina political process. She also gets a name which is widely recognized and accepted as a party leader who is separate and apart from the Sanford Administration. Finally, Wilkins is respected by both parties and may be someone who can help unite the legislature with the Governor's office after a rocky eight year run. We believe David Wilkins is the right man at the right time to help Governor-elect Haley mold the Governor's Office and he may mend some legislative fences along the way.

In the 1990s, Wilkins proved his ability to lead in the State House, building consensus for GOP proposals in the State House before Republicans took control after the 1994 elections, as well as leading the chamber after Republicans took control. He did a lot of heavy lifting to move through legislation regarding restructuring, property tax reduction, auto insurance reform and truth-in-sentencing. 

Two years after his return from Canada, where he won considerable praise as the United States ambassador, he'll be back in thick of state government via the Haley transition team. His experience will be invaluable to helping get the Haley administration off to a good start.

We hope this kind of smart thinking about combining conservative principles with smart governance will become the standard for doing business in the Haley administration.

Worth watching

With the ARRA short-term bailouts ending and state government revenues still down, few are expecting that 2011 will be anything but another tough fiscal year. The Charleston Post and Courier gives credit to Governor-elect Haley for not waiting for January to start working to manage the situation:

The state's budget situation is bad and going to get worse, with another $1 billion in revenue losses expected next year. It's an occasion for action, not hand-wringing, and Gov.-elect Nikki Haley has taken a major step toward cutting government without crippling it.

Mrs. Haley has named a Fiscal Crisis Task Force to make recommendations before the Legislature meets in January. The quality of that group is an indication that the General Assembly will get a substantive plan, not only to cut state government, but to reform it.

Why did conservatives support Harrell over Norman?

Many fingers are being pointed at the landslide defeat of Ralph Norman in his challenge to sitting House Speaker Bobby Harrell. In losing 112-5, he found few bases of support. Republicans lined up solidly behind Harrell, including many of the more conservative members. Even Republicans on his home county delegation were split, three for Norman (including Norman) and three backing Harrell.

Some conservative activists have been asking what went wrong. We've heard, and examined, two theories about some of the dynamics in the Speaker's race:

Haley vs. Harrell?: The first "conspiracy theory" we've heard was from those who alleged this was a Haley vs. Harrell battle. We've spoken to a number of legislators, as well as a couple of people close to Haley, all of whom have made it clear that Haley was not involved in this race, nor were House members trying to send her any sort of message.

RINO vs. Conservative: While the first theory we heard lacked credibilty, the second theory we heard - that Norman wasn't as conservative as his backers might have believed - had more credibility.

A look at the 2009-2010 scorecard of the Palmetto Family Council's PAC, an influential organization in GOP circles, gave Norman a 50% score. Norman was tied with Rep. Brian White as the lowest-scoring Republican on their scorecard. We've been told these ratings were shared amongst legislators in recent days.

It's no small irony that Carl Gullick, who Norman replaced last year, had an 83% score, in spite of those who argued Gullick was a "RINO".

Hammond announces 2010 Angels and Scrooges

Carrying on a tradition started by his predecessor, Secretary of State Mark "Dirty Harry" Hammond announced this year's "Angels and Scrooges", identifying those registered charitable organizations who devoted the largest, as well as smallest, shares of their revenue towards their programs.

It's interesting to note that while all of the Scrooges were based outside of South Carolina, eight of the ten Angels were based in-state.

The Angels were groups which had been established for at least three years; has collected revenue greater than $20,000; 80 percent or more of the revenue must go toward the charities’ program goals; makes good use of volunteer labor; and receives minimal funding in grants.

The Scrooges were those who spent a high percentage of their collections on stated program activities and/or use of a high percentage of collections to pay professional solicitors. The following criteria were considered:  the charity had given 40 percent or less of the revenue to the charities’ program goals; collected revenue greater than $20,000; and spent a large amount of donations on the use of professional fundraisers.

So who were the good guys and bad guys?

House Leadership elected: Harrell rolls Norman, Jay Lucas elected Speaker Pro Tem

York County State Rep. Ralph Norman lost his bid for Speaker earlier today. with most of the House conservatives backing incumbent Speaker Bobby Harrell for another term. Final vote count: 112 Harrell, 5 Norman.

Republicans on Norman's home county delegation were split. Norman was supported by Tommy Pope and Gary Simrill, while Reps Greg Delleney, Deborah Long and Steve Moss went with Harrell.

Darlington County Republican Rep. Jay Lucas was elected to replace outgoing Rep. Harry Cato as Speaker Pro Tempore.

Today's Judicial qualifications

The Judicial Merit Screening Committee released candidates for three judicial seats today:

  • Fifth Circuit, Circuit Court Judge: Benjamin, Meadors & Hood
  • Ninth Circuit, Family Court Judge: Mack, Martin, Turner
  • Thirteenth Circuit, Circuit Court Judge: Englebardt, Mackenzie & Verdin

Special thanks to Ferris Bueller for keeping us updated. More screening reports are due tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Congressional redistricting to benefit Horry County?

A while back, the Blogland discussed the prospects of South Carolina getting a seventh seat in Congress, speculating on how the seats may be drawn. Right now, all the signs point to reapportionment being a big win for the folks from heavily-Republican Horry County.

Over the last few decades, political muscle of the county which bills itself as the "Independent Republic of Horry" has grown considerably, making it the largest metro area in the state not to have a resident member of Congress (Aiken, Beaufort and Florence are the others).  Each round of redistricting over the last three decades has added a State House seat to the county and the county likely will claim another seat, or draw in major parts of seats from neighboring counties, next year. Also, the Senate seat currently held by Dick Elliot was originally an upper Pee Dee seat, but over the 1991 and 2001 reapportionment cycles has gradually been moving into Horry, a process which will likely be completed next year.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that Myrtle Beach State Rep. Alan Clemmons is expected to be one of the key legislative players in redistricting. He cautioned us that "regardless of where a 7th SC Congressional District calls home, the area encompassed by the other 6 districts will, by necessity, be dramatically altered."

But there are other people outside of Horry County who would probably like moving Horry into a 7th District.

The Whip. Whipped.

It's official - J.C. Hammer ... um, Jim Clyburn .. gets hammered, dropping a bid for another term as the Democratic House Whip, allowing Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) a free ride to be the second-in-command of the House Democrats as they go into exile, led by the same person who led them into this year's massacre: Nancy Pelosi:

A race between Hoyer, D-Md., and Clyburn, South Carolina's 6th District representative, for the post of party whip took shape in the days following the election and quickly took on racial overtones. Clyburn is the most powerful African-American in Congress, and he drew a formal endorsement from the Congressional Black Caucus. But he failed to generate enough additional support to overcome Hoyer’s strength among liberals and conservatives alike, and it appeared his only options were to run against Hoyer and lose or else concede the obvious and step aside.

Glenn McCall to seek SCGOP Chair?

This morning, RNC Committeman Glenn McCall confirmed to the Blogland that he is considering entering the race to replace outgoing SCGOP Chair Karen Floyd.

At the present time, our sources have also indidcated that Columbia attorney Todd Kincannon, a former SCGOP Executive Director, and Newberry businessman Chad Connelly, who lost a 2003 State Senate primary to Senator Ronnie Cromer, are also looking at running for the seat.

Stay tuned ...

Picking the hot State House races - how we did

In the run-up to last week's State House races, we picked out several races that we felt would be close races that deserved watching: House Districts 29, 44, 47, 79, 115, 116, and 119. Two of these three races we picked as ones to watch were GOP gains.

We'll discuss how the seven we picked fared, as well as look at two other races that we completely missed:

GOP lining up behind Mobley to replace Mulvaney

State Senator Mick Mulvaney hasn't even turned in his resignation and the race to fill his Senate seat may already be ending.

According to the Lancaster News, GOP leaders in the Senate district are already lining up to support Lancaster pharmacist Hugh Mobley, while the 2008 Democratic candidate, who ran a close race for the seat, opted not to seek the seat:

Mobley has already picked up the support of three Republican leaders – state House representatives Deborah Long of Indian Land and Ralph Norman of Rock Hill and Greg Gregory, the former District 16 state senator from Lancaster.

This leaves confused Democrats like Bayles Mack little opportunity to enter the race.

Karen Floyd: Mission Accomplished

Whatever one may call Karen Floyd, nobody can call her "quitter".

Four years ago, when she lost her bid for State Education Superintendent by a mere 500 votes, few - including yours truly - would've imagined she'd be back anytime soon, much less winning the Chairmanship of the SCGOP unopposed a year later.

What's happened for South Carolina Republicans during her tenure as Chair would probably have been considered just as unlikely:

  • A three seat gain in the State House (5 if you count 2 seats gained by a special election and a party switch a month prior to her taking office, both efforts in which she was heavily involved),
  • The ouster of long-time GOP target John Spratt in the Fifth Congressional District,
  • A clean sweep where every statewide GOP candidate won by no less than four percentage points (four years ago, Floyd lost by 500 votes and two other winners by margins of less than 4%).
How big a deal were these gains?

Lieutenant General Melvin Zais

The Island Packet newspaper tells a pretty interesting story about incoming State Education Superintendent Mick Zais' father, Melvin, that we felt our readers would want to read:
Melvin graduated in 1937, prepared to be a journalist. But first he was committed to a hitch in the U.S. Army. During the buildup to World War II, he volunteered for America's first airborne battalion. By 27, he was a lieutenant colonel. He rose to four-star general and was commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam.

The blue-collar Yankee married a Tennessee belle, and they had two boys. Both of them graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Like their father, both were paratroopers in Vietnam. And all three of their sons have been paratroopers in Iraq.

Both of Melvin's boys got doctorates, and the younger one, Mick Zais, made it to two-star general. Last week, Mick Zais was elected South Carolina's state superintendent of education.

Lt. General Melvin Zais, a veteran of both the Second World War and Vietnam War, led the 101st Airborne division and then the Third Army. His many decorations and honors include the Distinguished Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Legion of Merit with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Bronze Star. In his later years, he retired to Beaufort County.

Karen Floyd not seeking a second term as SCGOP Chair?

The Blogland has learned that SCGOP Chair Karen Floyd will hold a press conference this afternoon to announce her decision to not seek a second term at the helm of the state party.

This decision, on the heels of a major sweep in last week's elections, has caught a number of people that we've spoken with off guard, especially since SCGOP Chairs typically hold office for two to four terms, including the last three: Barry Wynn, Henry McMaster and Katon Dawson (who complains we never say anything nice about him). Those who want to succeed Floyd will have six months to campaign to replace her at the May 2011 convention.

So who might want the job?

Alvin Greene for President

Greene, the unlikely Democratic Senate nominee in South Carolina who lost overwhelmingly to Republican Sen. Jim DeMint last week, called the state Democratic Party on Tuesday to ask how much it would cost to run for president.

“Maybe. I’ll have to see,” Greene told POLITICO when asked whether he was considering filing to run for president. He confirmed that he called the state party Tuesday to ask about the fee. The state party’s spokeswoman, Keiana Page, confirmed that someone called the party Tuesday asking about the presidential filing fee but said that the caller did not identify himself.

More candidates looking at Mulvaney's Senate seat

The Lancaster News confirms that while GOP State Rep. Deborah Long isn't looking at running to replace State Senator Mick Mulvaney when he goes to Washington in January, others from Lancaster County are eyeing the race:

  • Democrat Mandy Powers Norrell, who lost to Mulvaney in a race to fill the then-open Senate seat two years ago.
  • Lancaster businessman Hugh Mobley, who we've been told would seek the GOP nod. Given the district's strong GOP lean, we're sure he won't be the only Republican in the race.

Democrat seeking GOP nod for Mulvaney's Senate seat?

Not surprisingly, the jockeying is underway to fill Mick Mulvaney's soon-to-be-vacated State Senate seat. While some had floated name of State Rep. Deborah Long, fresh from a landslide win as the first Republican re-elected to House District 45, our sources indicate she wasn't interested.

Reportedly, long-time Fort Mill Democrat Bayles Mack is looking at making a bid for the seat. Mack  is a long-time Democratic Party figure in York County in addition to holding a number of appointed posts. This involvement includes recent state campaign contributions to Vince Sheheen, recently-defeated State Rep. Herb Kirsh and several York County Democrats, as well as contributions to the campaign of recently-defeated Congressman John Spratt ($1000 in 2006, $1000 in 2008), Inez Tenenbaum's failed 2004 Senate bid, Alex Sanders' failed 2002 Senate bid ... and even Al Gore.

Which doesn't really explain why Mack is considering running for this Senate seat as a ... Republican?!?

We're sure Mack won't be the only one looking to run for this seat, so stay tuned.

Who will run the Haley administration?

Wes Donehue kicks off the speculation about who will serve as Haley's Chief of Staff

As Gov. Mark Sanford leaves office, and longtime aide Scott English likely walks with him, who will be the next gubernatorial chief of staff? We keep hearing six names over and over who may be in line to assume the position when Gov.-elect Nikki Haley takes office in January.

While most of these names seem like pretty solid picks, and all of them come with some degree of merits, there are two who really stand out for key slots in the Haley administration. While we think Scott English, who's done a solid job of bringing stability and sanity to Sanford's administration in it's last year, deserves a chance to stay on, it sounds like he'll be heading up the Budget and Control Board, where we're sure he'll do good work.

SCGOP scores big with absentee voting efforts

In the 2000 and 2002 elections, a major push by the South Carolina GOP to increase absentee and early voting turnout paid off big dividends. Not surprisingly, a return to focusing upon that nuts-and-bolts aspect of winning elections paid off heavily this year.

In the gubernatorial race, Haley beat out Sen. Vince Sheheen by taking 51 percent of the 142,552 absentee ballots cast in the election. The work paid off in strong GOP counties like Lexington, where Haley took a nearly two-thirds advantage. The results were a little better in the lieutenant governor contest, where Florence County councilman Ken Ard was able to claim a little more than 54 percent.

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson pulled 57.7 percent of the total, and won each of the three most populous counties, including Richland ... Sen. Mick Mulvaney’s challenge to upset U.S. Rep. John Spratt was a little closer, considering that Spratt had experience on his side. Still, Mulvaney netted 52 percent overall and won four of the five biggest counties, including claiming almost two-thirds of the absentee vote in York.

Republicans sweep the South, top to bottom

In January, when Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe is sworn in, he'll be the only one of his kind doing so: of all the statewide officials taking the oath of office in those nine states, he'll be the only Democrat. From Texas to South Carolina, the GOP won all the others.

Of the eighteen legislative chambers in those states, only two will be led by Democrats. On election night, Republicans seized control of four and cut the Democratic majorites in the Arkansas House and Senate by over half, while gaining control of dozens of legislative seats in the others, including over twenty House seats in Texas.

Writing in Real Clear Politics, Ben Evans argues that the "white Southern Democrat — endangered since the 1960s civil rights era — is sliding nearer to extinction."

The State's Haley story hits and misses

Some late-night reading caught John O'Connor at The State in a little sloppy homework.  In the story which claimed "Haley’s 51 percent majority was the smallest for a gubernatorial win since 1970.", we did a little checking, because it didn't sound right.

Guess what we found out? It wasn't right - and it took less than 10 minutes to find out.

The correct answer is that of the other four Republican Governors elected since 1970, three of them won their first bids by margins less than Haley's four-point margin (51-47%). Here's the history of the other close calls:

What the Next Speaker Must Do

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, incoming House Speaker John Boehner outlines his agenda for the next two years:

Tired of politicians who refuse to listen, Americans who previously were not involved or minimally involved in the political process are now helping to drive it. While their backgrounds are as diverse as the country itself, their message to Washington is the same: Government leaders are servants of the people; the people are not servants of their government.

The members of the 112th Congress must heed this message if there is to be any hope of repairing the shattered bonds of trust between the American people and their elected leaders. And that begins with the speaker of the House, who as leader of the institution must lead by example.

It's good reading, and if his fellow Republicans play ball with his plan, then perhaps the GOP won't end up blowing it's opportunity to lead, as it did following the 1994 elections when Bill Clinton was able to turn the GOP tide enough to win re-election.

For those who haven't seen it, here's Boehner's election night address:

Happy Birthday to Roxanne Wilson!

The Blogland wants to extend Happy 39th Birthday wishes to Roxanne Wilson, wife of Joe "No Lie" Wilson and mother of AG-elect Alan Wilson.

We're sure she's quite pleased with seeing both Alan and Joe win this week, as are we.

Congressman Jeff Duncan to hold "Thank You" events next week

Like any well-raised country native, Jeff Duncan seems to have remember his manners well. As proof of that, he's having a "Thank You" tour across the Third Congressional District to thank people for their support next week, with evening events in Greenwood, Anderson and North Augusta.

If you can make it, contact Walker Smith at Walker@JeffDuncan.com or 864-430-2730.

Here are the event times and locations:

Polling shows strong support for Contract From America

Earlier this week, well-known GOP pollster Frank Luntz reported on the results of a survey of voters which solicited their opinions of the Contract From America, which the Blogland has endorsed. The results of this survey, which was sponsored by Freedom Works, showed strong support for the Contract, even from swing independent voters. 

The survey findings also cautioned that voters expected a Republican majority to work to produce results on those issues, and that many would consider supporting a third party if the GOP didn't keep its promises to reduce and reform the federal government.

When incoming House Speaker John Boehner promised "our new majority will be prepared to do things differently... to take a new approach that hasn't been tried before in Washington ", he'd be wise to pay attention to the findings of Luntz' report:

Building a Majority

Interesting reading in the Wall Street Journal about how the House GOP leadership built the supporting apparatus that played a key role in this week's landslide House takeover:

House Republicans put themselves in position to ride that wave, casting themselves at every turn as the alternative to Obama policies, and maneuvering to reap the benefits of the tea-party anger that soon began spreading.

Many Republicans doubted the approach would work. But by early this year it had created a sense that a House takeover was possible. That in turn triggered a torrent of contributions to the party and to independent conservative groups that bought ads on behalf of Republicans, helping create a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.

Check it out.

The Tea Party's moment of vindication

(T)here is not a single Democratic President since FDR whose administrations went smoothly ... This doesn’t bode well for an Obama administration. Not only that, but history usually dictates that a party’s upswing will not last for long – typically two election cycles before stagnation sets in or the course reverses itself.

Two years later, this warning seems to have become prophecy, as the Obama administration and the Democratic Party faces a radically-altered political landscape. Who is largely to blame for stopping the Democratic Brave New World in its tracks?

From where we see things, the prize goes to the much-maligned, but now vindicated, Tea Party movement.

In another prediction turned prophecy, we saw that one coming as well.

USC students deserve their $15 grand back

If you're a USC student and think your tuition is too high, here's one of the reasons why:

Students in USC's Carolina Productions agreed to the $15,000 fee for a lecture, meet-and-greet and book signing on campus last Wednesday. The funds came from a student activity fee paid by all students.

Lee McKagen, an event coordinator with Carolina Productions, said his organization doesn't regret paying $15,000 for Sanford's appearance.

We're having a hard time figuring out where anything Jenny Sanford has to say is worth fifteen grand, especially in the current economy. But if you, or someone you know, is a USC student, it might be a good time to ask that question, and maybe ask for your money back.

So what did you miss last night?

If you didn't tune into a gazillion channels, websites and emails, you may have missed some of what went down last night. So we'll fill you in on some of what you missed:

  • South Carolina Republicans won big in major races, with a clean sweep of all statewide offices and the ouster of Rep. John Spratt reducing the Democrats major office-holdings to Jim Clyburn, who easily brushed aside the under-funded and poorly-run campaign of Jim Pratt.
  • State House Republicans picked up three seats, including one surprise, knocking out three Democratic incumbents: Tommy Pope prevailed over the senior House member Herb Kirsh in York County, Peter McCoy foreclosed on the most repulsive member of the House - Anne Peterson-Hutto - in a sobering victory in Charleston County, and CofC graduate student Kevin Ryan knocked off Georgetown Rep. Vida Miller.
  • Meanwhile, a race that was expected to be a sure bet pickup for the GOP was blown when perennial candidate Sheri Few, well-known for two prior primary defeats and conspiracy theories for those defeats, lost to a relatively-unknown last minute fill-in Democratic candidate in House District 79.

But it wasn't just South Carolina where the GOP tide rolled. While a lot of the Democratic political bodies are yet to be tallied, what took place elsewhere was staggering:

Hutto speeding to sobering defeat

McCoy judgment a foreclosure on Hutto's short legislative career in House 115

Race on for State House Majority Leader?

They're not even waiting for the votes to be counted before jockeying for leadership positions at the State House.

Beaufort Rep. Shannon Erickson has announced her candidacy for the post currently held by Kenny Bingham (R-West Columbia). Erickson is presently the Chair of the House Republican Women's Caucus and, like Bingham, is unopposed on today's ballot.

Bingham is expected to seek another term as well, barring a possible move to replace outgoing Speaker Pro Tem Harry Cato (R-Traveler's Rest), a race which presently has only one candidate - Rep. Jay Lucas (R-Hartsvlle).

According to sources we've spoken with, both are committed to what one described as a "clean, fair race for the seat and not against each other".

We're sure there will be more to follow on this ...

Vote Tomorrow - or Today - and then go have some fun!

The Blogland wants to give everyone who has been working their butts off to support their candidates a hand for a job well-done. Republican, Democrat or anyone else, y'all have all shown us what you're made of. Win or lose, once the votes are counted and races are decided, be proud of yourselves and the work you've done.

Many thanks also goes out to the many Blogland readers who've sent in story leads and tips that resulted in many of these stories, endorsements and op-ed pieces. It's been a pretty wild ride this year, and we have you to blame.

Watch for live election reports tomorrow night on both the Blogland website and the Blogland twitter feed at "BloglandEC".  But as many of you are tired and are sick and tired of Election 2010, the Blogland is going to make your life a little more peaceful by taking the next forty or so hours off.

I'll be in work meetings all day today and most of tomorrow, but will be in Columbia Tuesday night for election night parties. I hope to see some of you out there and meet you in person - even those of you I didn't always agree with - so if you see me out and about, be sure to stop me to say hello (or F*** you, whichever works). If you want me to drop by your event, email me at earl@earlcapps.org.