November is almost here

Republican blogger announces write-in candidacy for Governor

Brian McCarty, an Upstate GOP blogger with a long history in Republican circles, has decided to stir the gubernatorial pot a little more than it's already being stirred by announcing his candidacy for Governor.

(A) write in vote for me is a stand for you. I am an old political hand and I know I have little chance of getting big votes, but a write in vote for me will not be wasted. I will keep this blog running long after Election Day, and I will keep calling it like I see it. The people who make a living everyday need someone standing up for them, and well, it looks like that guy is me.

RINO-bashing website pimping Democrats?

Will Folks, the editor and publisher of, is fond of proclaiming that he's waging a one-blogger war against those he judges to be a "RINO" via his website.

But we've talked with more than a few people who've insisted that Will does his blogging for hire, pointing out that his site has given favorable coverage to liberal Democratic candidates and taken shots at Republican candidates in general election contests, as well as noting his lack of disclosure about just what he does for a living.

So we decided to check it out. Since we read FITS regularly (but never with kids around due to some of the content), it was easy to check into these claims.

Hutto's financial problems boiling over into legislative spending account?

Getting re-elected isn't the only problem Democratic State Rep. Anne Peterson-Hutto is facing these days.

Her finances have come under scrutiny from several sources, including the Blogland, and recently, more information has come to light, adding extravagant legislative expenditures and at least one reported judgment for credit card debt to two foreclosure proceedings for the same property on James Island.

Spratt heading for defeat?

On the heels of a poll showing John Spratt's GOP challenger Mick Mulvaney running ahead by ten points, the New York Times' Five Thirty-Eight election forecast website, which had given Spratt a modest 51% chance at re-election, has changed their forecast to reflect Spratt's continued political slide.

Let's see if the Dems pull their last-weekend TV to try to salvage other races.

State House races to watch

With less than a week to go before Election Day, several State House seats seem to be hotly-contested. While Republicans are pushing hard to build upon strong voter sentiments in their favor as part of their "Drive for 75",  Democrats will focus upon holding back GOP ambitions. While most of these seats are not really surprising places for hot races, a couple were ones which a lot of observers initially felt were pretty safe bets.

We'll look at seven House races: Upstate Districts 26, 44 & 47, Midlands District 79, and Lowcountry Districts 115, 116 & 119. Democrats currently hold six of these seven seats, with the one GOP seat being an open one, as well as one of the Democratic seats.

Endorsement: Richard Eckstrom for Comptroller General

In the race for Comptroller General, the differences couldn't be clearer. Voters can choose between an innovative financial leader and proven fiscal conservative with a long record of public service and a perennial candidate who has dabbled in lots of things, including lobbying for questionable organizations, and shown a less impressive record of public service.

Richard Eckstrom, the Republican incumbent, is the Blogland’s choice for a lot of good reasons. A CPA who has served a term as Treasurer and two as Comptroller, he’s learned a lot about governmental finances, and put that knowledge to work in a number of initiatives, most notably in the online check registers which have opened up state and local government finances to the public. His continuing record of military service is also commendable as he is one of the highest-ranking officers serving in the South Carolina State Guard.

Eckstrom has been a thoughtful and deliberate teambuilder, picking battles and promoting ideas based upon their importance, not upon winning votes. He has won over the support of public officials from both parties for his initiatives, as well as stood up to his own party in the legislature over the budget.

Endorsement: Mick Mulvaney for Congress, Fifth District

Two years ago, American voters, seduced by the swan song of “Change”, installed Barack Obama as President. Less than a year later, it was seeing what “Change” was all about that motivated State Senator Mick Mulvaney to challenge incumbent Congressman John Spratt, when he attended a tightly-controlled public hearing held by Spratt over Obama’s health care legislation.

While Spratt has taken this kind of controlling approach towards his constituents, he failed to exercise control where it has mattered most: over the national budget, of which he oversees as Chair of the House Budget Committee. This was demonstrated by his failure to enact a budget this year, as well as failing to exert any degree of restraint over a budget process run amok.

But it’s par the course for Spratt, who has long played one tune back home and another in Washington: claiming to be a middle-of-the-road politico back home, while working hand-in-hand with a Democratic leadership which has rewarded him with his current Chairmanship. To try to divert attention from his record, he has engaged in a misleading negative campaign against Mulvaney, which has received considerable scrunity by the Blogland in recent weeks.

National observers writing Spratt off?

Since the beginning of the year, national observers generally rated the Fifth District race as a toss-up, with Spratt and Mulvaney polling in very close range of each other and very few undecided, including a July poll that showed the race a 46-46 tie.

The observers are well-connected and seasoned pros who make their predictions upon a number of elements, including published polls, leaked internal polling data, talks with politcal operatives from both parties, and watching the ever-important flow of TV dollars into races. More often than not, their predictions end up coming true.

So when they say someone's in trouble, they're usually right. Now they're starting to say John Spratt is in trouble of losing to Mick Mulvaney.

Endorsements: Constitutional question recommendations

The Blogland has talked plenty about people running for office, but there's more on your fall ballot than candidates.

That's right, we're talking about those often-confusing state Constitutional Amendement questions. This year, there are four questions being presented to voters.

Not surprisingly, the Blogland has an opinion about how to vote on these. We will present the plain-language explanation of each, followed be our recommendation in italics:

An Edenmoor resident speaks out

We were recently contacted by Deborah Kay Odom, a resident of the Edenmoor development since last year, whose perspective on the issue further challenges both the credibility of the claims made in the Spratt ads, as well as his intent to politicize the issue without any real regard for the problems associated with the development. Here is what Mrs. Odom had to say:

5th District residents sound off about Spratt

Mulvaney Commercial - Neighbors from Mick Mulvaney on Vimeo.

Robert Barber dodges lobbying questions

Four years ago, Robert Barber got caught in the closing weeks of his failed bid for Lt. Governor when information about his past lobbying relationships came to light. These relationshps, as well as his being an attorney, were inconvenient truths which were brushed under the rug during that campaign, as well as his ongoing bid for Comptroller General.

These truths were a little difficult to ferret out, as sources reported to us that hard copies of lobbying reports filed with the State Ethics Commission had been disposed of, making it difficult to determine  - until a campaign commercial four years ago tied Barber to lobbying for a bill which would have brought back the sport of cockfighting.

Early voting showing GOP voter surge nationwide

Two years ago, Democrats used early voting processes, which are becoming more widely common in many states, to boost their overall turnout. This time around, it looks like Republicans are getting into the game, and in a number of key states, preliminary reports suggest they're turning out strong.

In a story by Jim Geraghty at National Revew Online, early voting turnout by Republicans is way up in a number of states which will play key roles in facilitating a GOP romp next month:

Colorado’s early vote is 7.1 percentage points more Republican.

Iowa’s early vote is 10.2 percentage points more Republican.

Louisiana’s early vote is 25.9 percentage points more Republican.

Maine’s early vote is 13.3 percentage points more Republican.

North Carolina’s early vote is 14.9 percentage points more Republican.

In Clark County, Nevada, it is 7.1 percent more Republican; in Washoe County, Nevada, it is 11 percent more Republican.

He's not the only one picking up on this building political wave.

Democrat jumps ship, blames Spratt's Edenmoor attacks

In a press conference held in Lancaster this morning, Cotton Cole, a Democrat serving on Lancaster County Council, joined the GOP and blasted Congressman John Spratt for misrepresenting the issues related to the Edgemoor development in Lancaster County in his attack ad campaign against GOP challenger State Senator Mick Mulvaney. 

The Edenmoor attacks were cited as the final issue that got Cole to join the GOP, a warning sign that Spratt's decision to attack on this issue was starting to backfire.

Cole was joined by Mulvaney, as well as SCGOP Chair Karen Floyd, GOP National Committeeman Glenn McCall, and about 100 local Republicans.

The Blogland will be discussing more news related to backlash against Spratt's negative campaigning over the next few days.

Endorsements: For Congress - Jeff Duncan, Trey Gowdy, Tim Scott

Next year, at least three of South Carolina's six Congressional will be represented by freshmen, and maybe four, depending upon the outcome of the tight race for the Fifth District.

The Blogland endorsed candidates for two of the state's three currently-open Congressional seats in the Republican primary: Jeff Duncan in the Third and Trey Gowdy in the Fourth. The Blogland endorses them once more, as well as First District GOP nominee Tim Scott, to fill these seats in Congress.

We've endorsed these three Congressional candidates upon their individual merits, as well as their shared ground and potential to form a great team in Washington.