Mark your calendar: Major Saturday events - Summerville and Lancaster


In case you've got time on your hands and not much to do on Saturday, here's a couple of events you may want to put on your calendar:

Lowcountry GOP breakfast club, Summerville - 9 AM
Kelly's BBQ, U.S. Highway 78, 2 miles south of US 17-A
Special guests: GOP AG nominee Alan Wilson and Adjutant General-elect Bob Livingston

Old Elrod auto dealership, Lancaster - 12 NOON
US 521 Bypass, just north of SC 9 East interchange

The annual 9/11 memorial service in Summerville sees 100+ turnout and the Lancaster Tea Party turned out 350+ July 4th weekend, so whichever event you pick, you will NOT be disappointed.

Zais challenges Holleman to keep politics out of State Education Department


It's no secret that the State Department of Education has been a taxpayer-funded front for Democratic campaign activities:

  • Jim Rex, the current Superintendent, is leaving after one term after a failed attempt to use the office as a stepping stone to run for Governor. His political consultant, Zeke Stokes, has been paid $122,236 since Fiscal Year 2007-2008. (S.C. Comptroller General’s Transparency Website, https://ssl.sc.gov/SpendingTransparency/VendorIndex.aspx, Accessed 9/8/2010, Vendor Search Term “Zeke Stokes”).
  • Inez Tennenbaum, his predecessor, ran for U.S. Senate in 2004, losing to GOP Senator Jim DeMint. Like Rex, she left office following her failure to move up the ladder.
This pattern should be of great concern for those who believe South Carolina schools need leadership by committed education professionals, instead of craven political ladder-climbers.  That's why the reform pledge issued by Mick Zais, the outgoing President of Newberry College and GOP candidate to lead the agency, is a needed breath of fresh air:

John Spratt's Chicken Rule #3

Recently, we told you about John Spratt's "Chicken Rules":

  
Here's Spratt's Chicken Rule #3:  When facing tough re-election prospects, avoid engaging your opponent in debates whenever possible:


Mulvaney told reporters that he wants to hold debates in each of the 14 counties in the 5th Congressional District. Spratt signaled he's open to more meetings - including an upcoming debate on S.C. ETV - but did not specify dates or locations.


"There will be, I'm sure, a number of different forums," Spratt said.

Yeah, right.

Considering that fellow Fifth District resident Democrat Vince Sheheen challenged his GOP opponent to five debates in specific locations, we view Spratt's response as weak and ... chicken.  If Spratt had respect for his constituents, he'd dispense with his three Chicken Rules and face Mulvaney often in full view of the public, with recording taking place.

If his Chicken Rules are any indication of the lack of confidence Spratt has in Fifth District voters, then perhaps they need to give him a vote of no confidence in November.

SC Democratic congressional candidates for open seats broke


According to the FEC website, Democrats seeking S.C. congressional Democrats aren't doing too good at fundraising, with Republican candidates having raised $10,787,160 to date, compared to Democrats, who've raised $6,519,073.

Of the $6.5mil, almost all of it was raised by Democrats in three of the six districts, two of them incumbents:

Code Red: The John Spratt video



In response to our appeal for video content of this debate, the group obtained a video recording of Tuesday night's campaign debate at the Lake Wylie Lions' Club between endangered chicken Spratt and GOP State Senator Mick Mulvaney. The video is being uploaded to their YouTube website. The upload will be complete later on tonight.

You can find the video at: http://www.youtube.com/user/sc5codered.

We encourage anyone else with "too hot for TV" video content of South Carolina's most secretive Congressman (not) at work to let us know and we'll be sure to let our readers know where to find your videos.

Wanted: Your Spratt debate videos


While the rest of the world seemed to find out today about John Spratt's chicken act, the Blogland would like to remind our readers that - thanks to several readers active in the Tea Party and Sack Spratt groups - we broke this story two weeks ago, challenging our readers to defy Spratt's "Chicken Rules":


Spratt's handlers informed the Lions Club membership they would agree to let print media cover the event, but insisted that no television media be allowed inside and the event cannot be recorded. It was reported to us that many of the members resented Spratt's ultimatum, but agreed in order to get the event to happen.


We encourage our readers to test Spratt's resolve to cover his rhetorical tracks by attending this event with video recording devices.

We have been informed that several attendees did record at least part of the event, and in the opinion of several people we spoke with, Spratt was poorly focused, rambling and confused.

But we believe our readers deserve more than just second-hand reports of what happened. That's why we're asking anyone who has video content to post it on YouTube. If you don't have the ability to upload it for online viewing, please forward an electronic copy to via postal mail and we'll be glad to put that content online for you. If you wish to remain anonymous, we will respect your wishes and not disclose your name or any other identifying information.

Help us show people what Spratt doesn't want them to see.

1st District Democratic meltdown


As if Democrats don't have a tough enough time running a competitive race in South Carolina's First Congressional district, which has been held by the GOP for three decades, they're running with their ranks divided. While the district usually attracts more third-party Congressional candidate filings, it's interesting to see that of the six candidates lining up to face GOP nominee Tim Scott:

  • Keith Blandford, Libertarian

  • Robert Dobbs, Green

  • Ben Frasier, Democratic

  • Rob Groce, Working Families

  • M E Mac McCullough, United Citizens

  • Jimmy Wood, Independence
... three of these candidates have Democratic party histories:

Mark your calendar: Lowcountry GOP breakfast club to hold 9/11 memorial this Saturday

THIS SATURDAY Lowcountry Republicans will remember 9/11 with a memorial tribute to those lost and those who are serving their country in public safety and the armed services, followed by a Homeland Security presentation featuring Alan Wilson, GOP nominee for Attorney General and Adjutant General-elect (and Major General) Bob Livingston.

As part of the tribute, the Color Guard will be provided by the Washington Light Infantry.

The group meets every second Saturday of the month (except July) at Kelly's BBQ restaurant at 9am. They're located at 10475 Hwy. 78, which is located between Summerville and the Ladson fairgrounds.

Christians challenge to Turks over Agia Sophia a test of Islamic tolerace

An international group of Christians is going to challenge the tolerance of Islamic nations in an upcoming trip to Istanbul to use Agia Sophia (The Church of the Holy Wisdom), once the center of Eastern Christianity before the city's conquest by Islamic invaders in the 15th century. A letter written by Chris Spirou, President of International Congregation of Agia Sophia, informs him of the group's intent to hold services in the church, which was converted into a mosque but is currently not used as a place of worship:

Your Excellency Prime Minister Erdo─čan,

I am writing to inform you that our organizations, “The International Congregation of Agia Sophia,” the “Free Agia Sophia Council of America,” and the “Free Agia Sophia Council of Europe,” and our members from throughout the world will visit Istanbul in September of 2010. The purpose of our Congregation’s visit is to conduct Holy Liturgy Services in the Holy Church of Agia Sophia, the Great Church of Christianity and the Symbol of the Orthodox Christian Faith until the Holy Church’s seizure by the Ottoman Turkish forces on May 29, 1453.

 
If Muslims want a mosque near Ground Zero, perhaps they'll allow this church to resume its role as one of the grandest churches in Europe. After all, a little fairness is all they're asking for, right?

Remembering Bob Harrell, Sr.

According to reports received by the Blogland, Bob Harrell, Sr., long-time Lowcountry businessman, former SCDOT commissioner and father of State House Speaker Bobby Harrell died earlier this morning.

I first met Bob back in the early 1990s and supported him when he ran for the then-open 1st District Congressional seat in 1994. While he didn't win (Mark Sanford went on to win the GOP primary and general election that year), he never let it get him down and kept working at his business, in the community, and enjoying life with his family. He showed how valuable it is to keep winning and losing in perspective.

He worked hard to build up a successful business as an insurance agent and commercial property owner, as well as raise two sons and a daughter who've done well in their own right: Bobby, insurance sales and Speaker of the State House, John, an attorney, and Lea, a psychiatrist. Along the way, he made more than a few friends and earned the respect of a lot of people in the Lowcountry and beyond.

Including me. I'll miss him and I know many others will as well.

Please keep the Harrell family in your thoughts and prayers.

Day of mourning announced for Joshua Gross


It's a day of mourning in the Blogland as we remember our friend and regular reader Joshua Gross.

Sometimes one has to be the bearer of bad news, and it's not something we relish here in the Blogland, but when we must, we will.

So if you know Joshua, be sure to take a moment and reach out to him on this, the occasion of his 40th Birthday. Don't forget to buy him a beer or two as well, since it's the weekend.

House District 60 candidate can't find his way home?


As the race for House District 60 heats up, Democratic candidate Benny Webb, who is challenging Republican incumbent Phillip Lowe, is called out on his residency in a recent candidate forum.

When Webb attempts to evade the question by questioning the credibility of the local newspaper, which originally reported on Webb's residency issues, the questioner responds by saying he followed up on the story by riding by the location himself and based upon his observations, doubted Webb.

Webb then admits he stays with his wife outside of the district some nights and with his brother in the district others, which seems a little flimsy to us. But at least he's not sharing jail space with his buddy, the former (now indicted) Sheriff of Lee County.


Mark your calendar: Sept. 11 - Lancaster Tea Party


While the GOP tide swept much of South Carolina in the 1990s, Lancaster County remained one of the last of the "yellow dog Democrat" areas of the state. With the looming election battle royale between Congressman John Spratt and State Senator Mick Mulvaney for the Fifth Congressional District seat, it's a battleground that's a must-win for whoever will go to Washington next year.

One of the largest and best-organized Tea Party groups has taken root in that former Democratic stronghold, regularly turning several hundred out at their events, which has to be great news for Mulvaney and lousy for Spratt.  The last one, on July 3rd, saw 350+ turnout, and we've got word they'll be doing it again, so you don't want to miss this event:

September 11, 2010 - 12:00 Noon

845 Lancaster Bypass East (U.S. 521/SC 9) at the old Elrod auto dealership

Addressing the Haley rumors


Yesterday afternoon, FITSNews, always one to spot a good story in the making, followed up on a blog posting which discussed bloggers, sex and gubernatorial candidates.

Somehow, amazingly, that trail led to me.

I have been asked by a lot of people to comment on these rumors over the last 48 hours, and have refused to comment on the matter. The most I've commented was in response to questions from FITS:


FITS just received the following text from Earl Capps in response to rumors about him and S.C. Rep. Nikki Haley. “I’m not going to admit or deny that one,” Capps said. Asked specifically if he had ever been romantically involved with Haley, Capps said “I am not going to address those allegations at this time until I figure out what someone has gotten a hold of. That is my official position.”

So ... do you really want to know what I have to say about all of this?

Time running out on Sheheen?

In 1994, an election year where South Carolina Republicans seemed to have everything going for them, their gubernatorial nominee squeezed out a 51% victory. Some say many of the same elements which almost turned a sure-bet win into a squeaker are present this year, yet many polls suggest that Nikki Haley, the GOP nominee, may walk away with an easy win in November, leaving Vincent Sheheen, the Democratic nominee far behind.

The 1994 primary was a bitter one, as the extension of a long-running intra-party war between social conservatives who had taken control of the party at the SCGOP's convention a year before, and more moderate party elements. Many of those who won the convention floor fight backed House Speaker Pro Tem David Beasley in the gubernatorial primary, while the opposition was divided between former Congressmen Tommy Hartnett and Arthur Ravenel. When Beasley defeated Ravenel in the run-off, many who didn't back Beasley for the nomination simply sat the fall race out, while others were courted by former Lt. Governor Nick Theodore, who had won the Democratic nomination.

While some see the same kind of elements in place this year, polling is increasingly pointing to a slowly-growing lead for Haley that may soon prove impossible for Sheheen to overcome.

Mark your calendar: Bill Connor debt retirement party next Tuesday


Running for statewide office or serving in Afghanistan ... we're not sure which of the two is more dangerous and thankless a task, but Bill Connor's done both.

If you want to thank him for taking the time to run for office and help him pay down his campaign debt, please join the Blogland his upcoming debt retirement party next Tuesday:

September 7 from 6:00 to 8:00pm at
Rosalia's Mexican Restaurant
2347 Chestnut Street in Orangeburg

We understand he'll be signing copies of his book at the event, so if you haven't gotten your copy, this could be a great chance to do that.