Editor's Note: What's New in the Blogland

After a while of putting it off, I finally rearranged and revised the Blogland layout. The biggest change was the long-overdue updating of the sliding headline box.

The other noticable change was two categories regarding the 2010 election cycle were replaced with two new categories: Election 2012 and Guest Op-Eds.

The Guest Op-Eds category will (hopefully) give our contributing writers and cartoonists a bigger audience for their views. Engaging and empowering readers is a big part of what the Blogland is about.

Hope you like the changes. If you've got any feedback or input, feel free to email earl@earlcapps.org.

Guest op-ed: Is Sarah Palin running?

This guest op-ed comes from Blogland reader Charlie Lybrand. Lybrand has been the elected Register of Deeds for Charleston County since 1995. You can submit your guest op-ed, which will be printed verbatim with attribution, by emailing earl@earlcapps.org.

In December of 2010, I wrote a heartfelt endorsement of Governor Sarah Palin to this Blog in hopes that she would offer for the Presidency of our great country. Almost eight months have passed since my original article. I still consider myself a Palin Supporter. But I do have to tell you, my patience is getting a little worn.

I recognize Governor Palin’s announcement (in or out) is hers to make and not mine. But that doesn’t keep me from being Antsy. You see, having been through multiple primaries and six successful county wide General Elections, I’m ready to officially get this thing kicked off. Like most Palin supporters, I’m ready to get in this fight.

E-verify mandatory in SC on January 1

As someone in the HR field in the construction industry, immigration issues are nothing new. To try to keep ahead of the curve, as well as help refute the notion that we provided jobs to illegal immigrants, my company embraced the use of E-verify two years back and tasked me with verifying the company's new hires.

We've obviously done a good job of this as we passed a random compliance audit by SC LLR last year.

Not only that, but I've seen the system flag people. In all but one case, they chose not to contest being flagged by the system.

Thus far, the use of this system, which verifies employment eligibility against several federal government databases was voluntary. Employers could continue obtaining documents which 1) established identity and 2) eligibility to work in the United States and completing the I-9 form. Without E-verify, employers were required to accept documents at face value, even if they suspected those documents were fake.

Come January 1, that will change as all South Carolina employers will be required to use E-verify for new hires. According to the SC LLR website:

Mark your calendar: Aug. 29, Orangeburg - Joe Wilson & Jim DeMint picnic and reception

On Monday, August 29, 2011, Senator Jim DeMint and Second District Congressman Joe Wilson will be visiting with Orangeburg Republicans for a evening fundraiser and GOP rally:

Cox Farm
Deer Crossing Road, which is off U.S. 178 just west of Orangeburg

4:30 - 5:15 pm Private Reception with US Senator Jim DeMint and Congressman Joe Wilson

5:00 - 7:00 pm Picnic and Tea Party

Tickets for the picnic are $25 and sponsorships with admission to the private reception are as follows:

Mark your calendar: Aug. 25, North Charleston - Tim Scott town hall featuring Michele Bachmann

In the second of an ongoing series of Meet-The-Candidate town hall forums for Presidential candidates, First District Congressman Tim Scott will bring GOP Presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann to North Charleston. The event will be held on August 25 at 7 pm at Trident Technical College in North Charleston.
I am excited to introduce my colleague Michele Bachmann to the voters of South Carolina, and I know she will find a deep base of support in our state. The town hall series is an opportunity for voters to ask candidates the questions that are important to them, and in the process, to determine which candidate is best qualified to be our Republican nominee and our next President.

Trident Technical College is located at 7000 Rivers Avenue (U.S. Route 52-78) in North Charleston.

Bachmann campaign attacks another reporter

It looks like the Presidential campaign of Michele Bachmann is getting known for it's "hands-on" approach to media relations.

Network news senior vice president Jeffrey Schneider said reporter Brian Ross was shoved Tuesday as security tried to block him from the Minnesota congresswoman while he asked whether she had to miss votes because of migraines.

Guest Cartoon: Jamie Walton - Obama's nightmare

Famous brats endorse Huntsman

The campaign for Jon Huntsman has a new strategy to boost their campaign. If you can't get big names to endorse you, just get their less-accomplished kids to do so and hope nobody notices the difference.

The most recent example was Jeb Bush - JUNIOR - also known as the son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who attempted to suggest in a release that he played a key role in advancing the candidacy of Florida Senator Marco Rubio:

Two years ago, I jumped on board Marco Rubio's campaign when he was polling at 3 percent, and we made history,” he said. “With Jon, I can't wait to make history again.

This release was sent out so vague that even some Huntsman people thought the endorsement was from the former Governor, not his son.

We're as likely to buy that Bush Jr's role was the pivotal endorsement as we are any claim to greatness of the "brat endorsements" by Mikey and Tumpy Campbell, failed political candidates who campaigns attempted to cash in on the historic record of their father, former S.C. Governor Carroll Campbell.

Michele Bachmann holding clergy-only meeting at SC campaign stop

According to sources, GOP Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann will be holding a clergy-only private event during a campaign stop in Florence on August 18th.

However, we have no word on if reputed Bachmann supporter Cyndi Mosteller, a former Lowcountry Republican, will crash the doors at this event to confront people over their religious views?

We here in the Blogland take a dim view of those who tie politics and religion too closely together, which is a view held by at least some of those in the Bachmann camp. We'll try to keep you posted about this event.

GOP prevails in Wisconsin recall elections

Democrats unhappy with the GOP's stand against labor unions in Wisconsin huffed, they puffed and they brought in millions of dollars and hundreds of outside "volunteers". They targeted recall campaigns for six of the most vulnerable state Senate districts in what was a normally a reliable Democratic state. Polling showed leads in at least four of the six, including two by double-digit margins, while Republicans were barely clinging on in the other two.

While it seemed their plan couldn't fail, that's exactly what happened.

Democratic efforts to flip enough Senate districts to overcome the GOP's 19-14 majority fell short. Republicans held onto four of the six targeted races and carried just under 53% of all votes cast in the recall elections.

More cronyism in Florence County

If Florence County isn't one of the most crooked counties in South Carolina, it's certainly one of the most obviously bassackwards ones when it comes to ethics and local goverment.

Last year the Blogland talked about major conflicts of interest with Solicitor Ed Clements, known for a lousy prosecution record that might have something to do with his close ties with local defense attorneys, including one really whiny one who emails the Blogland to tell us "we don't get it".

Mark your calendar: Sunday, Charleston - Tim Scott town hall featuring Jon Huntsman

First District Congressman Tim Scott is building on his growing reputation by working with local GOP and Tea Party organizations to bring Presidential candidates to the Lowcountry in a series of Town Hall style events.

The first Town Hall, featuring former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, will take place this Sunday - August 7th - Charles Towne Landing, beginning at 5 pm. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Other dates will be announced in the coming weeks, with Michele Bachmann scheduled to appear on August 25th.

The First in the South Presidential Town Hall Series will be cosponsored by the Berkeley, Charleston Dorchester, Georgetown and Horry County Republican Parties, the Charleston and Myrtle Beach Tea Party groups, along with the Mount Pleasant and Summerville 9-12 Project groups.

For more information on the Series, be sure to visit www.timstownhalls.com.

Mark your calendar: September 17, 5th District GOP rally in Lancaster

Having teamed up to topple former Congressman John Spratt last year in what was the highest-ranking national-level political ouster in the state since the last Royal Governor fled Charleston in 1776, Fifth District Republicans are leaving nothing to chance, planning a big regional rally to start planning for next year's elections:

September 17, 2011 - 10:00-3:00pm
At the Buford Recreational Center
4073 Hurley Walters Road Lancaster, SC

This event is being hosted by all of the 5th District Republican Parties and the SCGOP.

I won't be there since there's a scheduling conflict with my wedding, but here are some of the people who WILL be attending the event:

Mark your calendar: August 29, Orangeburg - Joe Wilson & Jim DeMint picnic and reception

On Monday, August 29, 2011, Senator Jim DeMint and Second District Congressman Joe Wilson will be visiting with Orangeburg Republicans for a evening fundraiser and GOP rally:

Cox Farm
Deer Crossing Road, which is off U.S. 178 just west of Orangeburg

4:30 - 5:15 pm Private Reception with US Senator Jim DeMint and Congressman Joe Wilson

5:00 - 7:00 pm Picnic and Tea Party

Congratulations - it's a District!

Governor Haley, joined by over 100 Pee Dee residents and GOP activists, signed the recently-passed Congressional redistricting plan into law at a bill-signing event in Myrtle Beach today. 

During the bill-signing event, Haley congratulated the activists for "making their voices heard" and discussed a number of appearances at the State House where those lobbying for the Seventh to go to the Pee Dee region, wearing their "Pee Dee Wants the 7th District" t-shirts, turned the State House into a "sea of red".

This represented the end of the long legislative battle over the final location of the state's new Seventh District. Various plans competed to place the district in one of two locations: the Pee Dee and Grand Strand region or the Lowcountry based in Beaufort, Berkeley and Dorchester Counties.

Guest op-ed: Diane Carr, Partisan elections for York County

York County Republican Party Director of Communications, Diane Carr put out an excellent editorial response to counter the Rock Hill Herald Editorial Board Op-ed title: “Say no to partisan elections” (http://www.heraldonline.com/2011/07/27/3248477/say-no-to-partisan-elections.html#ixzz1TJpSxB1e). While Carr's response has not been published in the Herald, we've agreed to republish it here.

Blogland readers are welcome to submit editorial material for publication. All documents are published verbatim and credit is getting to the author. Send them via email to earl@earlcapps.org.

I write in response to the editorial published on July 27, 2011 titled, “Say no to partisan elections.” It’s interesting how the same old arguments against partisan elections at the school board and municipal levels are regurgitated every time the subject is brought up by those who are opposed to the idea. The Herald editorial did not disappoint.

We read that partisan elections would bring “baggage” with which voters would have to contend such as divided government like Columbia and Washington, “where political bickering and dysfunction often rule the day.” There may be other reasons those politicians don’t see eye-to-eye other than party affiliation. Many issues considered by local, state and federal lawmakers are important, complicated and have far-reaching consequences. Public debates are needed to clarify these issues and to learn constituent’s thoughts on matters that may affect them and their families for generations to come.