Carolinas AGC Legislative Reception is TONIGHT!

While we hope you've marked your calendar already, the calendar girls are here to remind you one more time that the annual Carolinas AGC legislative reception will be held this evening from 6 to 8 pm at the Summit Club.


This is a great opportunity for legislators to unwind a bit after session and touch base with people in the state's construction industry, so we're hoping to see a lot of legislators and staff there.

Don't miss it!

Guest cartoon: Walton - "Obama's Clown budget"

Construction types coming to State House tomorrow

Carolinas AGC, the state's foremost association for general construction contractors, will be inviting their members to visit the State House. Their "Day on the Hill" begins at 2pm, followed by their annual legislative reception at the State House.

The Blogland might be there too. Stay tuned ...

Guest cartoon: Walton - "Made in China"

Guest cartoon: Walton - "Chester County Rubber Stamp"

Carolinas AGC Legislative Reception - next Wednesday

Like the calendar girl is suggesting ... it's that time of year again - the annual Carolinas AGC legislative reception will be held on Wednesday, February 22.

This is a great opportunity for legislators to unwind a bit after session and touch base with people in the state's construction industry, so we're hoping to see a lot of legislators and staff there.

Of course, the Blogland will be there, so you don't want to miss the occasion.

That's Wednesday, February 22 from 6 to 8 pm at the Palmetto Summit Club, right across from the State House. Note the NEW LOCATION, mark your calendar and come join us.

Santorum campaign out to convert Jews?

As a Presidential candidate, Rick Santorum has show a willingness to pander to social conservatives by highlighting his stance on issues near to the hearts of socially-conservative Christians, just as he did before his home-state voters threw him out of the Senate back in 2006.

Now it seems that the Santorum campaign may be connected with a radical Christian group which works to convert Jews to Christianity - Jews for Jesus - by way of a recent Hannukah mailing by the Santorum campaign aimed at South Carolina Jews which quotes the same Christian biblical verse as one which is featured in a Jews for Jesus website article about Hanukkah which is critical of Jews:

Birthed out of the tumultuous Inter-Testamental Period, Hanukkah is a key celebration in the Jewish tradition. For many Christians, this near-Christmas, Jewish holiday carries a darkness of ignorance. Allow Jews for Jesus the opportunity to shed some light on the Festival of Lights.

The group's overt efforts to criticize Jewish teachings and convert Jews runs counter to a growing trend of acceptance and respect between Christians and Jews and the group's efforts and claims have been universally repudiated by Jewish theologians and scholars.

Given Santorum's close ties to evangelical Christians who make up much of his active support, and are seen as those least accepting of Jews, a potential connection between the mailing and radical groups like Jews for Jesus doesn't seem out of the question.

If true, this takes Santorum's agenda of advocating forcing values through the political process to a whole new level by using campaign resources in thinly-veiled effort to evangelize Christian teachings.

Inquiries to the Santorum campaign seeking clarification on this connection - not surprising given our frequent criticms of Santorum - have gone un-returned.

Bryngelson kicks off House 97 bid with strong GOP support

Jordan Bryngelson, a Summerville area Republican and Dorchester County's GOP state executive committeeman, kicked off his bid for House District 97 Saturday morning over grits, eggs and politics at the Lowcountry GOP Breakfast Club's monthly meeting.

Joined by state and local GOP politicos who were in attendance for the group's tenth anniversary event, Bryngelson promised a strong challenge to incumbent Democratic Rep. Patsy Knight, talking about his long ties to Dorchester County and promising to tackle the challenges presented by the county's long-underperforming upper county school district - Dorchester 4.

With filing in several weeks, the race is shaping up to be a general election contest between Bryngelson and Knight.

Senator Thomas faces major primary challenge

Greenville County Republican Senator David Thomas is one of the longest-serving GOP legislators from the Upstate, having been elected to the Senate in 1984. While he's lost bids for higher offices (Lt. Governor in 2002 and Congress in 2010) he has long counted on a safe political backyard.

This year could be different as a large field of Republican primary challengers threatens Thomas' hold on the seat, following a distant fourth-place finish in the 2010 GOP primary for the Fourth Congressional district.

Jim Lee, who also ran for the Fourth District seat, announced his plans to seek the Senate seat last fall. Also in the race is Mauldin attorney Chad Groover, a fomer federal and state prosecutor, and Ross Turner, a Greenville insurance company President who also serves on the Upstate Judicial Merit Selection Committee. Joe Swann, a retired business executive and Clemson University trustee is expected to enter the race.

Thomas' poor showing in the 2010 Congressional race is a sign of potential weakness, suggesting low name recognition in his district. Thomas finished just third place out of five candidates with eighteen percent of the votes cast from his Senate district's precincts, coming in just ahead of Lee.

GOP primary battle for 8th Circuit Solicitor's office

A nasty GOP primary battle seems to be shaping up in the 8th Circuit Solicitor's race, with three Republicans in the race and rumors that more may join the race.

Thus far, incumbent Jerry Peace faces two challengers: David Stumbo, a prosecutor whose resume includes several years in the state Attorney General's office as well as an assistant solicitor in the 11th Circuit, and Ben Shealy, an attorney in private practice who previously worked as a prosecutor in the Eighth and Thirteenth Judicial Circuits.

Voting Under The Influence has weighed in on the race, warning of

... very well placed interests who want to keep Peace in his job. But, Stumbo presents a challenge like no other. Though they will not officially say so, there are real people with influence who are tired of Mr. Peace and how Mr. Peace does things. Mr. Stumbo, with his resume and earnest efforts, gives such folks a real choice in the Republican primary.

Reportedly other Republican candidates are organizing campaigns for the seat as well. We're sure this race will see a lot of fireworks and we'll be sure to keep you posted on this race as it develops.

The 8th Circuit covers Laurens, Newberry, Greenwood, and Abbeville Counties.

Santorum: A Jewish holiday card with a Christian message

Yes, really.

The Santorum campaign wasn't talking to anyone about this one - but considering the gross insensitivity and cluelessness of the piece, we're not surprised.

Guest Cartoon: Jamie Walton - "Clyburn sleeping"

Turning 41

This Sunday, yours truly turns 41. But according to my daughter Bonnie, I've been old for years - but she forgets this is the Strom Thurmond state, where age is relative. It's all what you make of it.

For those who are interested, there will be a small birthday gathering tonight in Clarendon County. It'll be at The Palms at Wyboo Plantation, which is right off SC 260 near the Clarendon County Airport. The event starts at 8pm and you'll have to buy your own drinks.

Mapquest this address for the event: 2576 Players Course Dr, Manning, SC 29102.

Guest op-ed: Bill Connor, "The Proven Failure of Obama's Keynesian Economics"

Today's guest editorial is penned by Orangeburg Republican Bill Connor, an attorney and Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves who occasionally shares his thoughts via the Blogland. You too can contribute by sending an email to

John Maynard Keynes wrote prolifically about economic theory as the world moved through the Great Depression in the 1930s. "Keynesianism" posited what has come to be accepted wisdom among so many of our current“elites”, particularly those in the Obama administration: The requirement for government involvement in the free market to stimulate spending. This was the motivation behind Obama's failed economic "stimulus" spending in 2009 and continued over-reach of government control. Keynes wrote that the greatest danger to a national economy during recession was in savings. He preached that government and consumer spending magically “stimulated”economic growth through demand. Therefore, he admonishes, political leaders should deter personal savings through inflation and interest rate tinkering. The past three years of stagnation have proven the failure of government stimulus and control.

It gets worse.

Headed South in North Carolina

Up in North Carolina, things seem to just get worse for Democrats. Yesterday, former Congressman Bob "Who are you" Ethridge, who lost his seat in 2010 after a highly-publicized moment where he attacked a student on Capitol Hill, announced he would seek the Governorship in the wake of the decision by current Governor Bev Purdue not to seek another term.

Instead of seeking another term on a ticket headed by Barack Obama and Bob Ethridge, Asheville Congressman Heath Shuler announced yesterday that he would not seek re-election in a Congressional district which had been recently re-drawn from a swing district to one with a comfortable Republican lean. This follows the decision by fellow North Carolina Democratic Congressman Brad Miller to not seek another term in a district also redrawn to include a modest Republican edge.

For those of you who haven't seen Ethridge's moment of fame, check out this video:

After Florida: Why a long GOP race could be a good thing

As the dust settles from the Florida Republican primary, the race for the Republican nomination remains unsettled. At this point, it's hard to see the contest settled at least until some time in March, as there will only be a handful of primaries and caucuses until March, when a series of "Super Tuesday" contests will award large numbers of delegates.

While some Republicans think a prolonged nomination contest will divide the party, raise negatives with swing voters, and bleed the eventual nominee dry, recent political history suggests that such a drawn-out contest does not necessarily mean defeat. This being the case, perhaps Republicans should relax and allow the candidates more time to work a larger number of states and prove themselves capable of campaigning in multiple states over a long period of time.

Even though Republicans have traditionally preferred short contests, afraid of the potential fallout from a protracted nomination contest, each of the last three elections where Democrats switched control of the White House from the GOP were prolonged contests: