More phones in SC prisons

While the FCC opposes allowing states to jam cell phones in prisons, the problem of inmates using cell phones in South Carolina prisons continues, as it does in many other states.

We'd like to share three Facebook profiles courtesy of the good folks at Charleston Thug Life, who do a great job of catching lowlifes online. All three are doing time  in South Carolina prisons: 

Mr. Green even posted his cell phone number in the photo above. We're sure he's lonely so give him a call.

Tinubu campaign selects campaign theme song

Sources have indicated that Seventh District Democratic candidate Gloria Tinubu has settled on a campaign theme song.

Guest Cartoon: Walton - "Vote Obama to save the Earth"

Florence Republican would consider VP role

Florence County Republican Mike Reino surprised South Carolina political observers when he announced that if asked, he would consider being the GOP Vice-Presidential candidate. He enters a large field of those who have been the subject of Vice-Presidential rumors, including South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

“Who wouldn’t consider this,” he said. “There’s a ton of travel, the work hours suck, and if I got elected, I’d be the butt of late-show jokes, just like the last few Vice-Presidents: Dick Cheney, Al Gore, Dan Quayle and Joe Biden. Not only that, but fewer people would want to go hunting with me.”

Moye Graham, Chairman of the Clarendon County Republican Party, dismissed these rumors: “If it’s this hard to get Mike to come down to Wyboo for free beer, how can he find the time to travel the country to do hundreds of fundraisers and publicity events?”

This speculation about Reino’s candidacy has reached a feverish pace amid surveys of Republicans indicated that, if asked, most of them would consider the slot. “Not surprising,” said Joe Schmoe, a Washington-based political columnist. “After all, if you ask me to shoot myself, I’d consider it. It doesn’t mean I’d do it, but we tend to think about most things we’re asked to do before we decide if we’re going to do them or not. At least after we graduated from college, stopped smoking pot and dropping acid and sobered up so we could get a job.”

Brian McCarty, another state political blogger, agreed with Schmoe: “Think about it - the odds of actually getting asked are about as good as most of us getting the hottest dame in the bar to talk to us. If it happens, great, but let’s face it, it ain’t gonna happen for most of us. But if asked, sure, I'd be willing to consider being number two in the fall of next year, as would most of us.”

Twitter war over Harrell's House seat

Twitter parody alter-egos are nothing new. In fact we follow more than a few of them. Some of them are better with one-liners than a lot of comedians.

In the race for State House Speaker Bobby Harrell's seat in Charleston County, a Twitter alter-ego war has broken out, featuring , a parody of Fair Tax advocate John Steinberger, who is waging a petition candidacy against Harrell, and , a parody of Harrell.

 debuted tonight, featuring a round of Beavis and Butthead "Cornholio" quotes.

If you're on Twitter, both of these are well worth following. 

We have no idea who is who is behind these, but if we ever find out, we're gonna buy them a few beers.

OSHA employer penalties rising

Employer should be wary of increased efforts by federal and state OSHA officials to enforce and penalize employers. While some actions aimed at increasing penalties have been bottle-necked in Congress and in federal courts, but such roadblocks alone won't stop employers from facing increased headaches and costs from OSHA visits to workplaces. Increased OSHA inspections will allow the agency to spot and cite violations with increased frequency, the federal agency is also changing the rules which govern how penalties are applied to greatly reduce the latitude given to employers and set employers up to face quickly-increasing fines for workplace safety violations.

In writing for the Society of Human Resource Management labor attorney Allen Smith reported on a presentation by Nina Stillman, a labor attorney with Morgan Lewis in ChicagoAs penalties are capped by existing federal laws, OSHA has increased penalties by ramping up the use of repeat violator citations. Stillman said OSHA “is doing repeats all over the place.” Such citations are very costly for employers, costing up to five times the penalty of the first-offense citation. 

Stillman also reported that OSHA has increased the penalties by:

Race on for Florence GOP State Committeeman

With the resignation of Florence GOP state Executive Committeeman Julian Young, the race is on to replace him. Four potential candidates have offered their names for the race:

  • Susan Minck was recently disqualified from her intended bid for Florence County Council but was expected to lose that bid handily. When visiting that area before she was disqualified, we counted at least fifty in-yard sign placements for the GOP nominee, but only one for her. She recently moved to Florence, but starting at the top isn't a way to learn the ropes.

  • Tommy Phillips, a past Florence GOP leader, who recently lost his bid for Seventh GOP District Vice-Chair handily.

  • Mike Reino, a past GOP contender for the Sixth Congressional District seat and former Sixth District GOP Vice-Chair. He's also the well-known author of the SC6 political blog who has developed a state-wide political following between his blog and involvement with the Four Horsemen, a power circle of four long-time GOP activists.

  • Renee Woodberry is a relatively new face in the regional GOP circles. A hard-working local GOP volunteer, she was recently named campaign coordinator for a rural State House candidate.

Given these choices, Florence Republicans should pick Reino.

Guest cartoon: Walton - "What is Obamacare?"

Tinubu's Delta vote: Public service or self-serving?

Last year, while Seventh Congressional District Democratic candidate Gloria "the Green Quitter" Tinubu was still serving in the Georgia State House, she came out against legislation which would extend an existing fuel sales tax break for Delta Airlines, telling the press "Delta doesn't need this money. We do." On March 16, she stood by her position when she voted "NO" on House Bill 322 (the bill passed 113-61).

But was this why Tinubu voted against Delta - or was there a more selfish reason which might explain why she wanted to cost the airline millions of dollars?

According to a 1990 story published in the Atlanta Constitution-Journal, Tinubu sued Delta Airlines, alleging an injury caused by a passenger's luggage caused her to lose her 1989 bid for Atlanta City Council:

Supreme Court reins in union political fundraising - again

A ruling by the Supreme Court last week continues years of rulings by the Court which have reined in the ability of labor unions to collect funds for political activities from workers. Last week's ruling in the case of Knox v. Service Employees International Union, Local 1000 continues that trend, calling into question a union practice of collecting the money from workers for political activities. 

In the Knox ruling, the Court held that the method used by the service employees' union to collect special fees for campaigning against two referendum questions in California in 2005 violated those workers First Amendment free speech rights. The court issued two rulings on separate issues in the lawsuit

  • In a 7-2 ruling, the court concluded that the union did not give proper notice to non-union members before making the deductions.

  • In a 5-4 ruling, the court ruled that the method used by the union to allow non-union members in the state's "agency shop" workplaces to "opt out" of such special fees was insufficient to protect their First Amendment rights, ruling that non-members should be sent a notice giving them the chance to "opt in" to the special fees.

The case was initiated by eight California civil servants in response to a 2005 "special assessment" imposed by SEIU officials to raise money to campaign against four ballot proposals, including one that would have revoked public employee unions' special privilege of using forced fees for politics unless an employee consents. The plaintiffs argued that employees who refrained from union membership who were forced to pay union dues as part of the state's agency shop workplaces were given no chance to opt out of paying the SEIU's political assessments.

Charleston Coroner: SC Coroner of the Year

Congrats go to Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten, who was named the 2012 Coroner of the Year by the South Carolina Coroner's Association.

A Registered Nurse with a BS in Nursing from USC, Wooten has sixteen years' experience in the Charleston County Coroner's office, having joined the Charleston County Coroner's office in 1995. She was named Chief Deputy Coroner in July 1996 and then appointed Coroner on September 1, 2006 to fill a mid-term vacancy. Wooten was elected to a full-term in 2008 and is standing for re-election in November.

Being Coroner isn't always a good job to have, but Wooten has earned good marks for her competence, professionalism and compassion in this office and has, in our humble opinion, earned this recognition. Voters would be wise to keep her on the job for another four years.

Tinubu: Atlanta Olympics racist?

While the Democratic primary for the Seventh Congressional District seemed to avoid overt racial overtones, many felt racial identity played a major role in the race. If the race card was played to help Tinubu win the Democratic nomination, it wouldn't be the first time that the Green Quitter, a.k.a. Democratic nominee Gloria Tinubu, has done it in her public career.

While many called the 1996 Olympics, held in Atlanta, where Gloria Tinubu served on City Council, lost two mayoral bids and represented a part of it for a few months in the Georgia State House, Tinubu accused the event of hurting minorities and accused city officials of racially-targeted purging, while she criticized the city's mayor for engaging in racially-charged rhetoric.

According to Harvey Newman of Georgia State University, the event generated an economic impact of over $5 billion, as well as numerous improvements to infrastructure, housing and sporting facilities around the entire metropolitan area. It was also praised for raising the reputation of the Atlanta metro area among major business leaders.

But Tinubu's assessment of the impact of the Olympics seems to reject the Kennedy-esque view that a rising economic tide lifts all boats. Quoted in a report published five years ago by the Center on Housing Rights and Evictions, an international liberal advocacy group, Tinubu said the 1996 Olympics adversely impacted minorities and accused Atlanta officials of discriminatory purging of the city for public relations benefits:

Happy Fourth of July

We want to wish our readers a Happy and SAFE holiday as we celebrate the founding of the American Republic. We'll be celebrating with too much beer and fireworks and hope you'll be off doing whatever works for you and yours.

Be sure to reflect upon the price that has been paid for our freedoms and take a minute to ask if we're doing our best to make sure those sacrifices weren't in vain.

Clarendon Dem feud still boiling

The ongoing war between Clarendon County's top Democrats continues, as current State Rep. Kevin Johnson, the only remaining Democratic candidate for Senate District 36, fights back against efforts by the Eleazer Carter, the county's Democratic Chair - who was removed from the ballot himself - to remove him from the ballot.

As first reported several weeks ago, Carter sent a letter that Johnson should not be on the ballot. One copy of the letter was received by the Clarendon County Election Commission, which in turn sent the letter to the State Election Commission. While no action has been taken by the State Election Commission, state-level Democrats have told the commission that Johnson should remain in the ballot. 

As an insurance policy against being booted off the ballot, Johnson has begun a petition campaign. Reportedly other former Democratic candidates are conducting petition drives in the hopes of getting on the November ballot.

Guest Cartoon: Walton - Justice Roberts

Feds considering hiring quotas for disabled

Keep in mind that many local and state programs receive federal funding, thus could fall under the scope of this proposed rule.

Claiming a thirteen percent unemployment rate for those with disabilities, Patricia Shiu, director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, said "specific goals" and "real accountability" were needed to ensure increased hiring of disabled individuals.

That means mandates upon employers are in the works.