GOP gunning for House District 97

House District 97 has been a seat which has been tough to hold since 2000, when Republican David Owens was the first Republican to win the Dorchester County-based district by a mere 200 votes. In the races which have followed, races for the seat have been decided by just a few hundred votes, with the seat changing party control four times since 2000.

Democrat Patsy Knight defeated Republican incumbent George Bailey in 2006 by just several hundred votes, winning a re-match against Bailey by a similar margin in 2008. While she ran unopposed last year, Bailey ousted one of the two Democrats on Dorchester County Council, whose district included much of Knight's district.

District 97, which combines rural upper and central Dorchester County with outlying parts of Summerville, was turned decidedly more Republican in redistricting, shedding some of its more Democratic areas along US 78 and I-26, while keeping it's growing Republican precincts in the Summerville area. With the district's BVAP reduced to 27% from the upper 30s, Dorchester County Republicans see a golden opportunity to take the seat once and for all, knocking out the county's only resident Democratic legislator in the process.

Nancy Pelosi: Unionize Boeing plant or close it

In case you missed it, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says the National Labor Relations Board should shut the Boeing Charleston plant down or require it to be a union facility.

When asked in a CNBC interview if "it's right that Boeing has to close down that plant in South Carolina because it's non-union?”

Pelosi responded “Yes. I don't think they close it down. I would hope they would make it union.”


Meanwhile, requests for comment from South Carolina Democrats regarding Pelosi's remarks by state GOP leaders have gone unanswered.

House Republicans continue battle against NLRB

Already the subject of inquiries by House Republicans, the Obama-staffed National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) , which has been putting South Carolina under increasing pressure, will find its abilities to harrass South Carolina (or any other state) even more limited due to new legislative tactics.

Of the five members of the Board, two seats have been vacated when the terms of the seat holders expired. Once a third member's term expires before the end of the year, the Board will be unable to conduct business, such as the ongoing efforts to punish South Carolina for holding a referendum to protect workers' rights and allowing Boeing to open a production facility in Charleston.

To fill these seats, the Obama administration can either offer NLRB appointees capable of winning Senate approval or make recess appointments while Congress adjourns, seating those who might have trouble getting past Senate vetting without a vote. Such recess appointees would hold their seats through the end of next year without receiving Senate approval. To prevent the Obama administration from pulling such an undemocratic move, House Republicans have launched a new legislative tactic. The use of pro forma sessions in the House (Article 1, Section Five of the Constitution) which keeps Congress from officially adjourning when either the House or Senate remains in session, will keep the Obama administration from being able to make such recess appointments.

Clemmons passes on 7th District bid, opts for re-election

In spite of speculation which put him as one of the front-runners for South Carolina's new Seventh Congressional District, Myrtle Beach State Rep. Alan Clemmons has passed on joining the growing field of candidates seeking the seat. Instead, he will seek re-election to his State House district.

In talking with the Blogland, he cited a desire to remain close to South Carolina while his teenage daughter was still at home. He expresed great optimism that the growing field of GOP candidates would produce a candidate who would carry the district next fall.

His intent was also reported in Sunday's edition of the Myrtle Beach Sun News.

Clemmons, as Chair of the House's redistricting subcommittee, played a key role in re-drawing the state's Congressional districts earlier this year, along with the legislative districts. His decision to remain in the State House runs against accusations by some sources that he was drawing Congressional maps to guarantee himself a free ride to Congress.

Richmond Tea Party challenges favoritism for Occupy group


While Occupy groups attempt to create the impression they are similar to Tea Party groups, evidence makes it increasing evident they couldn't be more different. While the Tea Party groups champion self-sufficiency, autonomy and indepenence from government, the Occupy movement makes self-indulgent demands from others and doesn't mind dodging accountability and dumping the costs of their actions upon others.

The Richmond Tea Party group is calling the city of Richmond and the Richmond Occupiers out for their self-indulgent hypocrisy:

The tea party group is sending Jones an invoice for the charges incurred for the Tax Day rallies it has held at the plaza the past three years, arguing that the Occupy Wall Street offshoot group squatting there has been using the park illegally and free of charge since Oct. 15.

"The tea party keeps being compared to the occupiers. Well, in the way we're treated, there's no comparison. It's like a slap in the face," said Richmond Tea Party spokeswoman Colleen Owens.


The Occupy movement's selective rage


While the Occupy protestors rant about corporate greed and bailouts, that anger seems oddly focused. Unlike the Tea Party groups who often railed against corporate bailouts by the current administration as well as against Republicans they perceived as having supported past bailouts, the Occupy groups seem to direct very little anger at fiscal cronyism by the current President and the Democratic Party, which seems to go hand-in-hand with increasingly-open alliances between Occupy groups and Democratic party leaders.

For evidence of the growing connections (which the Occupy people try to deny), one need only look to the example of the Charleston group, whose meager ranks include two prominent local Democrats: Phil Noble and William Hamilton.

Amidst the selective anger of the Occupy movement are signs of a pro-Democratic agenda in the deafening silence over automotive bailouts which were a priority of the Obama administration, which don't get the same criticism as bank bailouts which were made pre-Obama, as well as the shift in anti-war rhetoric from Bush-bashing to generic opposition to violence.

But not everyone is fooled. Among those who are getting the hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty of the growing Democrat-Occupy alliance are the folks with Heritage Action , who have called Obama and his fellow Democrats out for cozying up to the enemies of the Occupy movement, pointing out that Obama:

Tim Scott bill to give employees more choices on unions

One major complaint about labor unions in the workplace is that once they're in, they become difficult for employees to disband. Pressure upon employees to not sign petitions for a de-certification vote or go against other wishes of the union leadership, which profits off union dues, can be intense.

Lowcountry GOP Congressman Tim Scott has sponsored, along with Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, legislation that would give workers who work in union workplaces more rights and protections. The Employee Rights Act ("ERA") would require that all union members have the right to vote with a secret ballot on recertifying a union every three years, require a majority vote by secret ballot before a strike could be called and would also require unions to obtain the written consent of every member before spending dues money on anything other than collective bargaining activities.

Research has shown considerable public support for the goals of Scott's legislation.

Guest Op-Ed: Larry Marchant - "2012: The GOP’s McGovern Moment?"

This guest op-ed comes from Larry Marchant. A long-time activist in the GOP going back to the days of Governor Carroll Campbell, he is the President of The Palmetto Policy Group, a public policy and governmental relations firm. As always, if you'd like to speak your piece, email your op-eds to earl@earlcapps.org.

I’m the guy that risked his marriage and career, lost some friends, clients and income, and was the butt of a few late night comedic jokes.

I’m concerned about a division – a “my way or the highway” approach to politics – which is being fed by a small but well-funded segment of the Republican Party. The continuation of the media sound bites, political gamesmanship and the division does nothing to solve the many serious problems we face – in fact all those things conspire to make those problems worse.

Have we forgotten just twenty years ago when South Carolina was – if not the envy of the nation – certainly on its way up the national ladder? Under Governor Carroll Campbell, the Palmetto State was starting to climb out of the bottom. We had one of the lowest unemployment rates in America, our schools were improving and we were attracting quality jobs at every turn - and a Republican governor was making all of this happen with a Democratic-controlled legislature!

Campbell’s formula was simple: Leadership plus cooperation equals progress. It’s not too complicated – but it is becoming far too uncommon in our state.

Guest Op-Ed: Stephanie Rawlinson - "Who should run for the Seventh?"

This guest op-ed comes to us from Stephanie Rawlinson, 1st Vice Chair of the Florence County GOP and Broker-in-Charge of the McLaughlin Company, a Pee Dee real estate and commercial development company. As always, if you have something you'd like to share with our readers, you are welcome to submit a guest editorial via email to earl@earlcapps.org.

Recently, I seem to have ruffled some feathers when I made this statement:
The Pee Dee still has a major hurdle to cross, if a person is sincere about protecting the Pee Dee they should spend time defending it to the Justice Department and assuring we get the 7th District rather than campaigning for a seat that has not yet been finalized. A person who announces a candidacy before the Justice Department rules shows no regard for the process, a serious immaturity in judgment, a lack of concern for the region and an unwillingness to put their own desires second to the advancement of the Pee Dee.

Many have asked me what exactly I meant when I said this, so I am going to spend a little time and clarify my statement.

Guest Cartoon: Jamie Walton & "Biden's Twisted Tongue"

Another submission from Jamie Walton of Rock Hill.

As always, submissions of guest editorials and cartoons are welcome for submission. Any submitted articles will be published verbatim and the source given credit. Send them via email to earl@earlcapps.org.

The Republican Women of Dorchester County

A blogger meets with a bunch of women late one night … and attends a meeting.

The October meeting of the group featured GOP Committeewoman Cindy Costa and Dorchester County State Rep. Chris Murphy. A good group to hang with, the Blogland always appreciates their warm hospitality.

You can catch them every third Tuesday of the month, meeting in the back room at the Dog and Duck restaurant, next to Arby's on Trolley Road in Summerville.

Annual Barnwell GOP dinner


Last night, Barnwell County Republicans packed the house for their annual dinner. The Blogland was there and enjoyed their hospitality (and the BBQ as well).

While the event brought in three big GOP stars: SCGOP Chair Chad Connelly, SCGOP Second Vice-Chair Chair EJ Cousar and State Education Superintendent Mick Zais, it was Zais who gave the most meaningful information to attendees, promoting his agenda of focusing on boosting accountabilty, competition and incentives in South Carolina public schools.

Zais pointed out there was "no one-size-fits-all solution", warning that the "traditional school system puts every child in an assembly line, factory type system where every child is the same" for which he advcoated customization and personalization". Touching on his days in the U.S. Army where many soldiers came from disadvantaged homes, he reiterated his believe that "every inner city family has a right to the same choices for their children's education as anyone else."


Also, Kinlaw was recognized for his early support of renewed efforts to boost the state GOP's Silver Elephant fundraising program with a pin from Connelly.

Any way you go, it's a long drive to Barnwell County, but well worth it. Ben Kinlaw and the Barnwell GOP team are always great company.

Donehue to address national campaign IT conference

Donehue Direct would like to announce that CEO Wesley Donehue will be speaking on "The Digital Candidate" at the 2011 CampaignTech Conference. The conference will be held November 10-11 in Washington, D.C., and is being hosted by Campaigns and Elections magazine.

Donehue has been a good friend and a noted innovator in the political netroots world and it's always been a great experience to work with him. While we can't break away for this, we're sure those who attend will learn a ton.

Congrats!

State immigration compliance law challenged

Months before it takes effect, South Carolina's new immigration compliance law is being challenged in court. Alleging the act is unconstitutional, the following groups have filed suit to block the law's implementation, alleging "South Carolina and the nation have watched the devastation caused by laws like this as families have fled Alabama, businesses have lost patrons, and a climate of fear and hate have settled over the state":
American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of South Carolina, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Immigration Law Center, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and the law firms of Rosen, Rosen & Hagood and the Lloyd Law Firm.

While the coalition alleges the new law "unfairly and illegally targets the Latino community with improper arrests and detentions", we reviewed the legislation and - not surprisingly - we didn't find any race-specific language.

Also, if any of our readers observe any recent outbreaks of devastation, fear or hate which they refer to anywhere in South Carolina, please let us know - because haven't seen any.

NLRB employer mandate postponed

The 11-by-17-inch notice should be posted in a conspicuous place, where other notifications of workplace rights and employer rules and policies are posted.

This implementation of this NLRB mandate, which was intended to take effect on November 14, will now be delayed until January 31 of next year. Reportedly, the NLRB's reason for the delay was that it needs to “provide enhanced education and outreach” to small and mid-sized companies.

Recently, the S.C. Chamber of Commerce joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in filing suit against the National Labor Relations Board (Chamber of Commerce, et al. v. National Labor Relations Board, et al.,) to challenge NLRB-issued regulations which will require nearly all employers to post a large notice to employees informing them of rights under the National Labor Relations Act, including their right to unionize. Many in the HR profession see this pending rule as little more than free advertising for labor unions and has been accused of being part of an ongoing pattern of the Obama administration giving free assistance to help labor unions reverse a long trend of declining membership, such as the current NLRB action against Boeing's new North Charleston manufacturing facility.

A pioneer lost

Guest cartoon: Jamie Walton - Obama & Taxes

Guest Op-Ed: Bill Connor, "The Hollow United States Military?"

Today's Guest Op-ed comes from Bill Connor, an Orangeburg attorney and Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army reserve. Guest submittals will be considered for publication if sent via email to earl@earlcapps.org. All op-eds will be published in their entirety and attributed to the original author.

On September 22, 2011, while testifying in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, stated: "If you took a trillion dollars out of defense that would break us”. He was referring to the mandatory cuts in Defense if the “Super Committee” failed to reach a plan for a budget. At the same hearing, Admiral Mullen warned that further cuts going past the $315 Billion planned “has forced us to look into the abyss”. The new Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, testified that further cuts would cause "catastrophic damage to military and ability to protect this country." Unfortunately, the new military drawdown and defense cuts are the most drastic seen since the post-Vietnam period of the 1970s. While the media and Presidential candidates put all focus on the nation’s economic problems, they ignore a gathering storm on the horizon: A “hollow” military.

Defeated Dem to make second House bid in Berkeley County?

In a heavily-Republican county such as Berkeley County, it's hard to find a Democrat willing to get beat like a drum once, much less twice. But it seems like Democrat Tonia Aiken-Taylor, who just lost a special election to fill House Seat 100 by about twenty points, plans to run for the House again next year.

After she lost to Republican Rep-elect Eddy Southard last week, Aiken-Taylor told the Charleston Post and Courier: "This was just a practice run."

Where she presently resides will remain in District 100 (presuming the redistricting plans receive pre-clearance from the Justice Department), a large part of the town of Moncks Corner, where she holds an at-large Town Council seat, will be moved into Rep. Joe Jefferson's majority-black House District 102. Some have told the Blogland that Aiken-Taylor may move into 102 and challenge Jefferson in next year's Democratic primary, knowing the nominee will easily carry the seat in the general elections.

Since the chances of a Democrat winning in heavily-Republican District 100 in what is expected to be a decent year for Republicans would be slim, using her head-start in the mostly-Democratic portions of District 100 which are being moved into District 102 seems a more logical next step to follow up on her "practice run".

We'll be watching this one.

GOP surge in WV guv race tied to Obama woes?

Today, voters in West Virginia go to the polls to decide who will complete the gubernatorial term of Joe Manchin, who won a spirited race last year to fill the state's then-vacant U.S. Senate seat.

After Manchin managed to break out of a close race in the closing weeks of his 2010 Senate race, Republicans weren't given much of a shot at contesting the race to replace him, but the race between acting Democratic Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and GOP businessman Bill Maloney, which started out as a sure-bet win for Tomblin, has changed radically with polling showing undecided voters breaking heavily for Maloney, cutting a lead of over thirty points to dead even.

Herman Cain's own brand of bigotry

Since Gov. Perry has been going there for years to hunt, I think that it shows a lack of sensitivity for a long time of not taking that word off of that rock and renaming the place.

The attacks from Cain seem ironic considering the kind of bigoted rhetoric Cain has directed at American Muslims. In March, Cain promised that he would not appoint Muslims to serve in his cabinet or in the federal judiciary.



E-verify use mandatory in 5 states

Following the Supreme Court ruling (Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. Whiting) in which justices ruled 5-3 that the state of Arizona could mandate the use of the federal E-verify system as a means of screening new hires, other states are following Arizona’s lead to mandate it’s use.

Legislation sponsored by Berkeley County Senator Larry Grooms will require South Carolina employers to use E-verify next year. In addition, three other states will also mandate E-verify usage next year: Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.

For a first occurrence by a private employer, after July 1, 2012, of failure to verify a new hire through the E-Verify federal work authorization program within three business days, the Department of LLR must place the employer on probation for a period of one year, during which time the private employer must submit quarterly reports to the agency demonstrating compliance with the law. A subsequent violation within three years of the law’s verification requirements must result in the suspension of the private employer’s licenses for at least 10 days but not more than 30 days.

A private employer who knowingly or intentionally employs an unauthorized alien must have his licenses suspended by the Department of LLR on a first occurrence for at least 10 days but not more than 30 days.

Crescent Magazine offers positive look at SC


As hard a task as it may sound, Upstate political and public relations strategist Taft Matney has put his experience, his contacts and his knowledge of the Palmetto State into creating Crescent: The Magazine, a publication taking some positive looks at life and politics in the Palmetto State:

There’s a lot going on in South Carolina, and you deserve to know about it. At least that’s the premise behind CRESCENT.

With a mixture of original and aggregated content, it’s a look at South Carolina news and politics that may give you some “inside baseball” while making it understandable and entertaining.

Go take a look. We think he's got something pretty good going on here ...

Back in South Carolina

After a two-week hiatus traveling the Eastern Seaboard from South Carolina to Nova Scotia by car and cruise ship, it's time to get back to work. The Blogland has returned, so watch for new ramblings to appear soon.