Nikki Haley: Obama's Silence on Boeing Is Unacceptable



This is a republishing of an op-ed by Governor Haley which originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal challenging President Obama to explain his position on the action of the Obama-appointed National Labor Relations Board to block Boeing's North Charleston plant:

In October 2009, Boeing, long one of the best corporations in America, made an announcement that changed the economic outlook of South Carolina forever: The company's second line of 787 Dreamliners would be produced in North Charleston.

In choosing to manufacture in my state, Boeing was exercising its right as a free enterprise in a free nation to conduct business wherever it believed would best serve both the bottom line and the employees of its company. This is not a novel or complicated idea. It's called capitalism.

Boeing has since poured billions of dollars into a new, state-of-the art facility in South Carolina's picturesque Low Country along the Atlantic coast. It has created thousands of good jobs and joined the long tradition of distinguished and employee-friendly corporations that have found a home, and a partner, in the Palmetto State.

Phil Leventis to face redistricting axe?

The last two cycles of redistricting have seen the Pee Dee region lose legislative representation. Four House seats moved out of the region in this time, with two or three more seats likely to be erased as the region continues to lag behind the state's population growth.

Senate seats have been harder to pick up and move because there are fewer of them. Their larger population has allowed them to stretch the seats geographically, picking up pockets of the more populous metros to the west of the region and along the coast in order to avoid taking a Senate seat out of the Pee Dee region entirely.

But this year, long-term population trends may have reached a tipping point, with talk around Columbia increasingly suggesting the Senate seat held by long-time Sumter Democrat Phil Leventis will be wiped out, possibly to create a new GOP-leaning district in the Lowcountry region.

Joe Wilson's Bluffton Town Hall meeting


A full house of Lowcountry residents braved storms and tornado warnings to attend Congressman Joe Wilson’s Bluffton Town Hall meeting, which followed his appearance at the opening of the new police station for the Town of Bluffton.

Much of Wilson’s focus was on economic development, consistent with the “Joe Means Jobs” message of last year’s re-election campaign. This tone was set by local economic development officials who opened the meeting with a presentation on the challenges faced by the region. Their concerns focused upon the lack of regional cooperation and vision, which they both described as “we know what we don’t want, but we don’t know what we do want – or where we want to go.

Wilson followed their presentation by discussing how these concerns guided his Congressional votes, discussing how regulations, Obama care and debt burdened businesses. He promised to support raising the debt ceiling only with “substantive limits” on spending, pointing out that he voted against the continuing budget resolution in March out of concerns that not enough spending cuts were being made.

Mark your calendar - this Friday: Clemmons' herding act

We're sure this is the first time that a state legislator has gathered more than one or two members of Congress for a fundraiser, much less gotten them all to travel to one of the most distant points in South Carolina: Myrtle Beach

But Alan Clemmons is no stranger to herding much wilder beasts than members of Congress, so maybe it's not so surprising, rounding up four of the state's five GOP U.S. House members for a Friday mid-day fundraiser: Jeff Duncan, Mick Mulvaney, Tim Scott and Joe Wilson.

They'll be in Myrtle Beach at Ripley’s Aquarium from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.

Hosts ~ $1,000.00 Gold Sponsors ~ $500.00
Silver Sponsors ~ $250.00
Couples ~ $100.00 Individuals ~ $75.00

If you're going, be sure to RSVP with Heather Ammons: 843-457-4852 or Heather@AlanClemmons.com

Crossman ruling helping out-of-state construction companies?

While efforts are ongoing to resolve the Crossman issue which is threatening the state’s construction industry, the Blogland has become aware that some out-of-state companies are seeking to take advantage of the problem.

Reportedly, representatives from a number of out-of-state construction companies have approached various investors and developers involved in South Carolina projects, telling them about the Crossman ruling and warning them that South Carolina-based companies might be uninsured on projects past, present and future.

There were concerns about the ability of this ruling to put South Carolina contractors out of business, but now the impact of this ruling upon the state’s construction businesses and workers may be felt sooner, as these out-of-state companies use the ruling to build in-state business presences.

The Blogland has spoken to a number of individuals with knowledge of this situation. For now, their names, as well as others involved, will be kept confidential – but if these companies start getting business that may have gone to South Carolina-based companies, it’s likely that at least some of these names will be known soon.

Senate Bill 431, which passed the Senate handily, awaits further action in the House, where it was the subject of four hours’ debate two weeks ago in the Labor, Commerce and Insurance Committee (some of which was attended by yours truly), as well as more discussion this week.

The high cost of a life of crime in Berkeley County

It seems as if Berkeley County isn’t a very friendly place for criminals these days.

Less than two weeks ago, three tried to break into a Moncks Corner residence to steal guns. One perp, Bobby Gadsden, was snuffed out by a homeowner acting in self-defense, while two others were later arrested as accessories.

Today, there’s yet another perp taking up space in the Berkeley County morgue. Jerome Darby, who attempted to disarm an arresting officer, may have failed to get the gun, but he was successful at getting himself killed.

According to a Blogland search, it appears that he may have been a rather busy fellow. We found the following convictions in Berkeley County court records (in addition to other charges for which he was not convicted):

Todd Rutherford: At least he's honest about it

Usually politicians pretend to pay attention while they're really ignoring us. But some are more honest  - like Richland County State Rep. Todd Rutherford.

We received this email from Nancy Corbin from Berkeley County, who shared this email she received from Rutherford last week, telling her that he doesn't read emails which are sent to him:

From: Todd Rutherford
Date: Fri, Apr 22, 2011 at 8:20 AM
Subject: In response to your email
Thank you for taking the time to contact me.  Due to the high number of messages received, these messages are not reviewed.  I encourage residents of my district to contact me via telephone at my State House office (803) 734-9441.

At least he's being honestly ignoring us. We guess that counts for something?

We would publish his email address, but since he's not checking it, there's no point in doing that. Just call his legislative office, leave a message, and hope he calls back.

Mark your calendar - this Thursday: Karen Floyd tribute


Republican Woman of Distinction Award Luncheon honoring SC Republican Party Chairwoman Karen Floyd Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Please Join S.C. Representatives Rita Allison, Joan Brady, Shannon Erickson, Phyllis Henderson, Jenny Horne, Deborah Long, Wendy Nanney & Anne Thayer.

The Palmetto Club 1231 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC

Presenting Sponsor | $1000
Participating Sponsor | $500
Supporting Sponsor | $250

Award Ceremony Tickets ~ $100

Mark your calendar - Tuesday, 5/10: Senator Mike Rose fundraiser


State Senator Mike Rose, since returning to the Senate, has become known as one of the more vocal advocates for workplace safety, helping lead efforts to amend the 1978 Underground Utilities Damage Prevention Act.

He's holding a fundraiser reception in Columbia and we're asking our readers to drop by and show their support:

Tuesday, May 10 · 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Vista Room at the Blue Marlin
1200 Lincoln Street Columbia, SC

Mark your calendar: Karen Floyd tribute, Thursday, April 28


Republican Woman of Distinction Award Luncheon honoring SC Republican Party Chairwoman Karen Floyd Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Please Join S.C. Representatives Rita Allison, Joan Brady, Shannon Erickson, Phyllis Henderson, Jenny Horne, Deborah Long, Wendy Nanney & Anne Thayer.

The Palmetto Club 1231 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC

Presenting Sponsor | $1000
Participating Sponsor | $500
Supporting Sponsor | $250

Award Ceremony Tickets ~ $100

Walton Cartoon: Voter ID

Rep. Shannon Erickson turns 39 today

At least she acts like she's 39.

Be sure to wish Beaufort County's junior legislator (and one of the Blogland's favorite legislators) a Happy Birthday - and tell her to take tomorrow off!

Tim Scott's Town Hall meeting in North Charleston


Getting a big crowd to turn out to hear a Congressman on a Wednesday night isn't always easy, unless you're Tim Scott, who built a strong following both during and after his winning Congressional bid. In that case, it's easy to fill the place - which is what he did tonight in North Charleston at one of his Congressional Town Hall meetings, telling the audience the "greatest ideas I get are from you".

Much of the presentation focused on the current state of the federal budget, arguing that "we need tough love" to reign in the budget situation, warning that while the growth of entitlement programs was "unsustainable", controlling Medicare costs would be far more challenging than Social Security. 

The Lowcountry Congressman also pointed out the growth of the share of the national debt held by foreign investors, having gone from just five percent of the national debt in 1970 to nearly half of the debt, warning this would put the United States at the mercy of outside interests.

He did briefly touch on the decision by the National Labor Relations Board to force Boeing to move its 787 production line to seat, promising to do all he can to stop their efforts and keep the Boeing plant in North Charleston on schedule.

Feds besiege the Lowcountry over Boeing


This month marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, which began with Confederate forces firing on Fort Sumter.

Not to be left out of historical events, the Obama Administration, via the National Labor Relations Board, has decided to restart the siege of Charleston, via today's decision to bring an action to prevent Boeing from opening it's North Charleston plant, which is expected to begin rolling out 787 Dreamliner jets next year:

The National Labor Relations Board is seeking a court order that in effect would require Boeing Co. to move its second 787 assembly line to Washington state.

The second line is being built in North Charleston.

Blogger-alien experience: Your guess?


As discussed last week, the Blogland has been informed that a South Carolina political blogger has been abducted by aliens - or at least claimed to have been.

We're hot on the trail of this mystery and hope to have news for you soon.

But in the interests of good clean fun, we're going to invite our readers to tell us who they think we'll be naming as the victim of the South Carolina Alien-Blogger experience.

Walton cartoon: The Aliens Cometh

SC blogger abducted by aliens?

We're looking into reports that at a South Carolina political blogger claimed to have been abducted by aliens.

These reports came to light recently, leaving those who've heard them trying to play shocked, amazed, amused, and even feeling slight burning and itching sensations.

This investigaton is ongoing, but in the Blogland tradition, we don't like to lay the cards on the table until we have all the facts lined up, so stay tuned ...

Clarendon Republicans need Moye Graham

This Saturday, Clarendon County Republicans will elect a Chair to lead their party for the next two years.

Moye Graham, the current Chair, has earned another term to lead a party which is emerging as an effective alternative political voice in Clarendon County.

Redistricting: Do counties matter any more?

The shift away from the primacy of counties in the process of legislative representation has been ongoing since the mid-20th century, when the county-based system of legislative representation ended (each county was alloted one Senator and a proportionate number of Representatives who were the top placing candidates on an at-large countywide ballot), allowing for multi-county legislative districts.

In two generations, county boundaries have gone from being the central determining factor for legislative boundaries to one of the least important. With House seats expected to require roughly 40,000 residents and Senate seats 100,000, large urban county delegations of fifteen or twenty or more are expected to increase, while rural districts will be a conglomeration of precincts from numerous counties.

Two other milestones have further reduced the importance of considering counties in the reapportionment process: the creation of county Home Rule in the 1970s which took legislators out of the role of running county governments and a 1990s court case which required weighted voting on county legislative delegations.

This trend has generated some pushback from local elected officials who are concerned that small rural counties are getting increasingly shut out of what they believe to be fair representation.

Mark your Calendar: May 7 - Honor Flight Lowcountry


Mark your calendars for the evening of Saturday, May 7th for the heart-warming “Welcome Home” of the fourth Honor Flight Lowcountry.

Approximately 100 local WWII veterans, along with their guardians, will return to Charleston International Airport about 7 pm that evening and the “more the merrier” as they are welcomed back from their long day in Washington, DC.

With past Honor Flight homecomings, the ever-faithful Patriot Guard Riders have made appearances as have Citadel cadets, active-duty military, JROTC groups and masses of flag- waving, sign-carrying, grateful, civilians. Please be there to welcome them back from their trip.

Honor Flight Lowcountry’s goal is to ensure that all area World War II veterans get a chance to visit the memorial dedicated to them and their fallen comrades. Please visit their support information page to see how YOU can support their mission of honoring these honored heroes. Or you can call (843) 906-0399.

Democratic campaign organization: Whites need not apply


It looks like the Democrats are gearing up for the 2012 election cycle and at least some of them are looking to play the race card early.

We received this link to a job posting on the Columbia edition of Craigslist (http://columbia.craigslist.org/npo/2297761878.html):

Participants receive intensive training while working on a high-profile Democratic campaign in a large east coast city. Participants are paid as independent contractors, and receive reimbursements for gas & cell phone. Housing is provided.

Applicants must be able to relocate temporarily, from mid-June through September, and must have a car & insurance.

African American organizers are especially needed to motivate and activate under-represented communities. Please apply ASAP for the 2011 Democratic Campaign Management Program by sending your resume, cover letter & 3 professional references to: DemCampaigns@aol.com. We will contact qualified applicants by phone to schedule interviews.

Mark your calendar: Mick Mulaney on tour

He may not be a wild rock star, but Congressman Mick Mulvaney is hitting the road across the Fifth District holding a series of Town Hall meetings later this month.

Monday, April 18th: Town Hall in Florence – 6:30pm-8pm

Florence-Darlington Technical College (Fred C. Fore Auditorium in the 400 Building)
2715 W. Lucas Street  Florence, SC

Wednesday, April 27th: Town Hall in York – 6:30pm-8pm

Baxter M. Hood Center (Barnes Room)
452 South Anderson Road, Rock Hill, SC

Thursday, April 28th: Town Hall in Kershaw – 6:30pm-8pm

Council Chambers at the Kershaw County Government Center
515 Walnut Street, Camden, SC

SC DSS: Your tax dollars at ... work?!?

Legislative budget cutters might want to consider outlawing SC DSS to save tax dollars, with another high-profile report of gross negligence by the agency in Kershaw County:

An Elgin mother and her boyfriend were in jail after her 22-month-old son walked away from their house Sunday for the second time in eight days.

Jacklyn Marie Jacobson, the 25-year-old mother, and her boyfriend, 21-year-old Jose Bleckler Gloria, both of Ashley Creek Drive in Elgin, were in the Kershaw County Detention Center on charges of unlawful neglect of a child, Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said. The boy and a 6-month-old baby, who also lived in the home, have been taken into protective custody by the S.C. Department of Social Services, he said.

In light of the agency's heavy-handed approach taken towards many parents who are targeted by anonymous complaints, including serial complaints, it's inexcusable to see the agency taking no action to the first instance of gross neglect, which took place earlier this month. The Kershaw County Sheriff wasn't sure why the child was allowed back in the home after the first incident:

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Here in the Blogland, we've often chuckled at the newcomers to politics who see everything in an extreme either-or context, defining everyone as either "establishment" or "reformer".

Anyone who can take such a simplistic view of state politics is either very uninformed or intellectually dishonest, as those who've been in the state's political arena for any amount of time (which the "children" call "insider establishment" types) learned a long time ago that it's never black-and-white. Such types often end up resorting to gutter childish tactics when they find that it's not enough to think you're right and that you have to actually inform and persuade people to come around to your point of view (and typically do a lousy job of doing so).

The newest target of the slimeball tactics preferred by these self-proclaimed "anti-establishment" types: Midlands GOP activists and SCGOP Chair candidate Bill Connor.

Mark your Calendar: April 19 - Lowcountry NRA banquet to feature Wayne LaPierre & Sheriff Al Cannon

Wayne LaPierre, the Executive Vice President of the NRA, will be the featured speaker at this year's Lowcountry Friends of the NRA Banquet.
This will be held on April 16th at the Dorchester Shrine Club, Hwy 61 in Summerville, SC. Doors will open at 5:30 PM with Lowcountry Seafood Dinner being served around 7:30 pm by Parklane Seafood of Columbia.
Pre-Banquet Sales of Special Drawing Tickets for the winners choice of a Taurus M44 Tracker Revolver .44 MAG or Sturm Ruger Hawkeye 7mm-08 Rem Rifle both engraved with NRA Logo, are available through event committee Members. These tickets are for $10 each or 3 for $20.
Tickets, which can be purchased with a credit card online at www.friendsofnra.org/sc/events, are:
  • Individual Dinner Ticket-$30.00
  • Youth Ticket-$15
  • Friendship Table Package- $225.00 (Includes 8 Tickets)
Business Sponsorship Packages are also Available

Guest cartoon: "Believe it or not"

Jamie Walton sends in this cartoon. It's not Ripley's ...

Bill Connor for SCGOP Chair


Until today, the Blogland has remained neutral in the race for the Chairmanship of the South Carolina Republican Party. Two reasons motivated this: first, to be a neutral and objective observer of the process, free to praise and/or criticize candidates; second, was because while all the candidates were nice people and committed to conservative ideas, they lacked the sufficient experience to lead the state party.

The decision of Bill Connor, an attorney and Army infantry officer, to enter the race after Patrick Haddon, the Chair of the Greenville County GOP, withdrew, has substantially changed the field. Connor comes to this race with a level of experience and ability that stands above the other candidates.

It is the recognition of the changed field, as well as his strong qualifications, that the Blogland has decided to endorse Bill Connor lead the South Carolina GOP.

Senate Bill 431: Fixing the "Crossman" problem

Senate Bill 431, which has made its way over to the House, is one of those pieces of legislation that few understand but have a major impact upon an entire sector of the state's economy. Given the impact this issue has upon the state's construction industry, it merits a serious look at quick action by legislators.

The bill was pushed forward to address a recent state Supreme court ruling: Crossman vs. Harleysville. In this ruling, the court ruled that a construction company's general liability insurance policy was not intended to cover claims for poor workmanship and that this was supposed to be addressed by performance bonds.

The urge to engage in "trial lawyer/tort reform" spin over this issue should be suspended, because the issue is far more complicated than that (as many issues are). This is an issue which needs to be addressed - and Senate Bill 431 can help move towards that problem.

As someone who is involved in loss control and insurance issues for my employer, this is one of those issues I know at least a little something about, so if you need some help sleeping this afternoon, read on ...

House District 64 special election coverage complaints?

We've received several reports that Democrats aren't happy about the stories that are being written about the ongoing race to fill the vacant State House District 64, including reports that their candidate himself is making some of those phone calls.

We'd like to remind Mr. Johnson and his supporters that the Blogland keeps an open door to complaints or alternate points of view. Any of them are certainly welcome to contact us via email.

In the meantime, here's some afternoon music:

Redistricting: The future of the Legislative Black Caucus

Over the last two decades, a trend of growing assimilation of black South Carolinians into the state’s majority-white communities has gone hand-in-hand with the decline of the state’s rural population, as well as stagnant population growth in state’s inner-city urban areas, the two kinds of areas where the remainder of the state’s majority-black legislative districts are based. There are concerns that these demographic shifts could result in “retrogression” – a decline in the number of majority-minority electoral districts – which could result in a lawsuit blocking new legislative districts by the Justice Department, which has made the creation and protection of majority-minority districts a priority.

The practice of maximizing the number of districts where a majority of residents were from a racial minority group first saw widespread use in the 1990s, where it went hand-in-hand with a rapid increase in the number of minority legislators, as well as Republican legislators, in Southern states. This created a win-win for black and Republican legislators, but also saw the near-elimination of white Democratic legislators in many Southern states. In several Southern legislative chambers, white Democratic membership is counted in single digits.

This year’s data showed a changing population mosaic which will present major challenges for those who wish to maintain this status quo.

Amazon: Not a bargain?



South Carolina always has offered generous incentives to mega-businesses. We’ve never liked this, because it warps our already dysfunctional tax system and gives an advantage to the newcomers over home-grown businesses, but we’ve accepted it in some cases because that’s what you have to do to compete with all the other states that do that.

But you have to draw a line somewhere, to identify a price you can’t pay to buy new jobs. Amazon’s request for a significant competitive advantage over our locally owned businesses, as well as Walmart, Best Buy, Lowe’s and all of its other big online competitors — companies that employ tens of thousands of South Carolinians — crosses that line.

Economic development deals often overlook the external costs - and there are often lots of them which need to be considered. In some cases, those deals costs more than those industries bring in. When they do (and the Amazon venture may end up being one of those cases) it's best for everyone to walk away from the table.

Kevin Johnson: Your tax dollars on vacation

In tough economic times, families in places like Manning are facing tough times, having to cut back and do without.

Everyone except their Mayor.

Manning Mayor Kevin Johnson, the Democratic candidate for the vacant State House District 64 seat, has been living large at taxpayer expense. Over the last twenty months, he’s been to all sorts of places, courtesy of his financially-struggling constituents: Washington, D.C., Hilton Head, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Greenville, Columbia and New Orleans.

We’re pretty sure that’s more travel than most Manning residents – or District 64 residents - have been able to afford during this economic downturn. Maybe this explains the town’s initial reluctance to release these reports before the election, as well as why threats were being aimed at those who were expressing their concerns.

So where did the money (and Kevin Johnson) go?

Tega Cay campaign scandal brewing?

We've been in contact with a number of people who've informed us of some ethical concerns with at least one candidate in the upcoming town elections in this lakefront community in York County.

There's always something going on in York County, so stay tuned ...

Lowcountry blogger scandal brewing?

According to Voting Under The Influence:

Sources and emails obtained by VUI seem to point to the notion that a South Carolina Governor isn’t alone in seeming to be unable to “get over” a certain Lowcountry blogger who now is rumored to be engaged and off the radar. The scandals around the Lowcountry blogger continue to mount.

No comment from the Blogland.

More threats in House 64 special election race

The nasty war of threats and intimidation by Clarendon County Democrats continues as they struggle to hold onto the vacant District 64 state House seat in Clarendon and Williamsburg Countiesseat in an upcoming special election.

Recently, Sanders sent a FOIA request to the Town of Manning where Johnson serves as mayor, requesting records about his expenses. Johnson threatened legal action against Sanders, telling the Manning Times newspaper:

Mayor Johnson was accused of several things, some of which are defamatory and libelous and may lead to legal action.

Our sources have reported the lawsuit threats were also directed at Clarendon County Republicans who forwarded the media release via email. Todd Kincannon, a Columbia attorney who has represented various Republicans and GOP organizations in legal matters around the state is planning to assist in defending against Johnson's threats: