Walton Cartoon: "Never Give Up"

This cartoon from the Walton household was done by THEIR guest cartoonist - a ten-year old who submitted this cartoon, which they in turn submitted to the Blogland.

This looks like sage advice for a Monday.

Enjoy the week ... and never give up!

Jim Clyburn: Twenty years & nothing to brag about

I spend a few moments before I leave in the morning or before I close my eyes at night trying to figure out how I can do something to make every one of you proud.

How could Clyburn make every one of us proud? Let's look at what he's done so far:

Senator Grooms rejects write-in campaign, stands with Sanford

Berkeley County State Senator Larry Grooms, who narrowly missed getting into the GOP run-off for the First Congressional District special election, became the subject of a write-in effort launched by an out-of-state group. In a statement sent to the Blogland, Grooms flatly rejected this effort, re-affirming his support for GOP nominee Mark Sanford:

I learned today that a national conservative tea-party group has expressed their intent to launch a write-in campaign on my behalf. Their decision was done without my knowledge or consent. It is my desire to untie conservatives, not divide them.

While I am grateful to have had their past support, my race is over.

I am asking them to stop their effort.

Rep. Shannon Erickson turns 39 today

Ok, regardless of what she tells you or what her driver's license might say, at least the Beaufort County legislator ACTS like she's 39.

Which isn't a bad thing.

Be sure to wish one of the Blogland's favorite legislators a Happy Birthday - and tell her to take tomorrow off (as if anyone doesn't want to take Mondays off).

Becky Delleney: Is it true?

Yes, it's true. We checked it out and confirmed it.

Today is her birthday. If you know her (and you should), be sure to reach out and wish her a Happy Birthday.

While her husband Greg is a well-recognized politico, as the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Becky is well-known for being here, there and everywhere on the South Carolina political landscape as the most visible Republican from Chester County.

She's also a lot of fun to hang out with.

Happy Birthday Becky - be sure to have a great day and an even better weekend!

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 Palmetto Club.

This afternoon, construction industry leaders will be visiting the State House to learn more about how the legislative process works and share their concerns with legislators.

This event is always 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!

Construction types coming to State House tomorrow

Members of Carolinas AGC, the state's foremost association for general construction contractors, will be visiting the State House tomorrow. Their "Day on the Hill" begins at 2pm, followed by their annual legislative reception at the State House, which will be held at the Palmetto Club from 6 to 8pm.

As always, the reception 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.

The Blogland will be there as well.

Think before you send: E-mail etiquette in the workplace

This article is cross-posted from my professional HR & Safety blog - "Earl Capps On The Job":

Recently, I was asked to put together a short presentation on e-mail etiquette in the workplace for one of my company's workgroups. There's a lot of talk about what to say and not to say in e-mails circulating around so it wasn't hard to put it together, but with a little reading a handful of points become apparent.

The blog Civility and the Workplace shares some useful insights from David Shipley and Will Schwalbe, who wrote the book "Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home", summarizing three key points from their book:
  • Think before you send.
  • Send email you would like to receive.
  • Write email that is so effective that it cuts down on email.
These are certainly three excellent basic rules to follow. From there, everything else is as the legendary Rabbi Hibbel once said of the Jewish Torah, "is just commentary. Go and study it."

Barbara Richman, a human resources consultant writing for Lorman Educational Services Employment and Labor Update, shared ten basic rules for using e-mail in the workplace:

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, April 17. This will follow an afternoon of construction industry leaders visiting the State House

As always, the reception 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, April 17 from 6 to 8 pm at the Palmetto Club, right across from the State House. Be sure to mark your calendar and come join us.

Rob Alt: Today's birthday boy

Rob's in the middle!
It may be Monday, which isn't a good day for most people, but today, it's Rob Alt's birthday.

Alt has become well-known in Clarendon County as the owner of The Palms at Wyboo, a restaurant located in lower Clarendon County, near Lake Marion. It's a great place to get dinner and hang out for a few beers.

It's also one of the best-known gathering spots for Republican politicos in the region, hosting numerous events, including for the infamous Four Horsemen.

Rob's rebuilding the restaurant after a fire took place last year and we're certainly looking forward to seeing what he's done with the place.

In the meantime, we hope our readers will join us in wishing Rob a big "Thank You" for his efforts and a Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Allen Olson

He may be a cheesehead to some, but in the Blogland, Allen Olson is today's birthday boy!

Be sure to join the Blogland in wishing Allen a Happy Birthday!

Florence County: Renee Woodberry for State E.C. rep

For years, Florence County Republicans have struggled to match their performance in major races with down-ballot races, going Republican in major top-ballot races, but leaving the county in the hands of shady Democrats well known for serving themselves instead of the public. While this problem precedes the takeover of the Florence GOP by the current reining faction four years ago, these problems have become increasingly toxic, holding them back at the local level while alienating them from Republicans outside of their county.

This need for change is why the Blogland endorses Renee Woodberry to represent Florence County on the State GOP Executive Committee.

At the Seventh District convention, we watched as a Florence County candidate for District Chair won all but one delegate from his home county, but lost almost every delegate from every other Pee Dee county. There's a lot of other complaints that we've become aware of and issues that we've experienced personally, but our readers don't have the time to hear the laundry list. Besides, we'd rather talk about a path forward - which is something Renee can do.

Clarendon County: Keep Moye Graham Chairman

Some things are best done three times just to make sure, which is why the Blogland is backing the best-known rural County Chair Moye Graham, from Clarendon County, for a third term (as we did in 2009 & 2011).
For years, Clarendon Republicans were seldom seen or heard, but Graham has turbo-charged the Clarendon GOP, helping boost their recognition in the community, seeing statewide candidates regularly take well over 40% of the county's vote and helping engineer some embarassing political upsets. He's also attracted a large following from Republican VIPs from across the state, who regulary go out of their way to attend events in his county.
Of the many occasions where we visit rural county GOP meetings, we can say that Graham has some of the largest meeting turnouts that we've ever seen, bigger than many counties with two or three times the population. Most importantly, Graham engages that turnout by recruiting them to work in races, especially with phone banks that support candidates in other counties and states.
Clarendon County Republicans used to be few in number and they didn't matter to anyone - but not anymore. Under Moye's leadership, they're going on offense. That's a change for the better, earning him a third term, which Clarendon Republicans should give him at their county convention later this month.

Richland County: Sandra Bryan for State E.C. rep

One would have to go back decades to see a point at which Richland County Republicans were so politically irrelevant in their county. Last year's elections were a disaster for the county's GOP: another State House seat and County Council seat lost, another long-safe House seat won by a squeaker and a total disaster in another Senate race - and a major part of the county's GOP voters are now pondering secession via the Birch County effort because they feel so politically marginalized and see so little hope for change.

Not only that, but a lot of experts believe the only one of the county's four State Senate seats held by a Republican will flip to Democratic control when Senate President Pro Tem John Courson retires.

There are a lot of Republicans in Richland County that we like, but the problems faced by the county's GOP won't be solved by a popularity contest. They require serious and immediate action - which is why the Blogland endorses Sandra Bryan for the open-seat contest for the county's State Executive Commiteee post.

Happy Birthday to Charleston Thug Life

The Blogland wants to extend our thanks and best birthday wishes to Charleston Thug Life - a ground-breaking blog which exposes the hoodlums who hang on social media, showing you the bad, the worse, and the downright ugly.

Screen captures are paired up with rap sheets - and in some cases those exposed are actually doing time, using smuggled phones to keep in touch.

Writing on their website, they are telling their readers that they plan to keep on keeping on:

We are starting to see small changes. Some bond judges have taken note of the unfavorable and professionally embarrassing exposure and are actually setting more appropriate bonds on violent and repeat offenders. Citizens have been made aware of what is happening in their neighborhoods and we get more and more information from them every day. We don't know for sure, but we suspect law enforcement finds at least some of this information useful and actionable.

Our plan is to keep going. Our hope is that more citizens choose to become involved and forward information. We are a small group with other responsibilities to tend to and we definitely welcome any assistance.

Do we know who they are? No, and nobody else does either, but it's likely that disclosing such information would put people in harm's way and cost some their jobs. Thus anonymity is a good thing for these guys, especially since they tell it to you straight, presenting the facts to back up their arguments and allow dissenting (and often downright ignorant) points of view to be presented in the comments section of their stories.

Others are attempting to follow their lead, most notably Upstate Thug Life. We think that's a good thing.

The guy who killed my brother

The Blogland may be down for a few days (but given the slowdown in writing since I started the new job, that may not be as unusual as it might've once been) as I'll be in court in Charleston this week.

Many of you have asked about the status of the case regarding Brandon Ancrum, who was charged with reckless homicide in the death of my brother back in July 2010. Well, that's why I'm going to be in court - the case is going to trial.

The case has moved forward with a very hands-on treatment by the Solicitor's Office. Some of the delay was due to the need to move some very time-sensitive major cases forward (let's face it, nothing in this case is changing) - moves which my family, myself included, endorsed.

Since getting out on bond, Mr. Ancrum hasn't let life slow him down, as evidenced by two subsequent traffic-related convictions. Apparently the requirement to turn in his driver's license and stay under house arrest didn't last long.

Let's hope the Lowcountry streets are a little safer after this week.