When you see the two Republican candidates for District 97 standing side by side, they’re easy to tell apart.
Jordan Bryngelson is tall, slender and notably young, with a thick crop of dark hair he keeps closely cut. Ed Carter is shorter and much older, and the gray hair on his round head has a notably receding hairline.
When you hear the two speak at the same event, however, they become identical twins. Neither Bryngelson nor Carter has a campaign platform stance that is in any way distinguishable from the other’s.
They made that clearly known, too, as they stood next to one another at a debate of Republican candidates, held at the Dorchester County Council building in Summerville on April 30.
Both claimed intentions to provide the best of support to the district’s rural areas.
The top priority for both would be new jobs in the district, they said, followed by modifications for improvement to education, which each claimed would be achieved by charter schools and parental school selection (which translates to sending public school funding to private schools, only for the benefit of upper-income families).
Both Carter and Bryngelson swore to support the bizarre “Fair Tax” program (which is so unfair that even the Bush Administration tossed the concept out the window).
And each one promoted himself to be a tried and true conservative, both using the term “100 percent” so often in those self-descriptions that they each exceeded their quota for use of the phrase by 150 percent.
But if there was any notable difference between them that stood out tonight (aside from their age, height and hair), it was in their declarations of faith to the Republican Party.
Not that each one doesn’t have party faith, mind you. It was the way that Carter explained his one-time run as a Democrat that made him not just visibly distinguishable, but maybe even ethically different, from Bryngelson.
In 2000, Carter ran
for this same District 97 State House race as a Democrat, winning the primary but losing a very close race in the General Election to Republican candidate David J. Owens.
But that doesn’t mean he ever strayed away from the GOP, he claimed.
“The only time I ever voted for a Democrat was when I ran as a Democrat,” Carter said when asked by Summerville Patch
reporter Lindsay Street
about that last campaign.
He only ran as a Democrat, he told the packed house of voters, to intentionally mislead voters.
“In 2000, that was a strongly Democratic seat,” Carter explained, a seat being exited by then-incumbent Rep. George Bailey.
(Bailey is currently a county councilman, and who not only openly played the party-switch game himself, but who even tried to run as a candidate in both the Democratic and Republican party primaries in the same election for the same office. That was in ’06, when he was unseated by the now-incumbent Democrat, Rep. Patsy Knight.)
“What we were doing in 2000 was, run as a Democrat, secure the seat. Then when we redrew the (House district) lines and make it Republican, switch parties next year, and make that a Republican seat from then on out.”
And wouldn’t you know it? The Dist. 97 lines were just redrawn to the likings of the Republican Party. The northeast portion, which is dominantly African-American and Democratic-leaning, was pulled out. It’s now in Dist. 104 that’s represented by the African-American Rep. Joe Jefferson; rural white (and very conservative) portions of Colleton County were added to 97 in its place.
“Now with redistricting this year, it looks like it’s going over to lean Republican,” concluded Carter’s excuse.
But did Carter actually conclude the story? Or even come close to an excuse?
Who was the “we” in the “what we were doing” and “when we redrew” statements?
And when at any time in these back-room deals did the interests of voters get considered?
In his excuse, Carter openly admitted that his intentions were not to represent the public, but only his own interests and those of his Republican Party.
Remember, mind you, that both candidates made the same “party, not the public” pledge.
Carter, however, one-upped Bryngelson by admitting to cheap, unethical and deliberately-misleading schemes.
Thankfully, no matter which one pulls it off in the June 12 primary race, voters can still select Rep. Patsy Knight in November.
Knight won’t let middle-class tax dollars be used to the pay the private school tuition for children of upper-class families, unlike the declared goals of those Republican candidates. Different from the stances of both Bryngelson and Carter, she doesn’t fall for the “Fair Tax” foolery, either. Separating her from those two even farther, she represents all constituents, not just a political party.
And in distinct difference from Ed Carter in particular – and which he publicly admitted – Knight has not, will not, and never will mislead voters with any cheap, back-room, political trick.
(by Karl Rove & Co.)
Only once in the last half-century has South Carolina awarded its electoral votes to a Democratic presidential candidate.
A top Republican advisor is predicting that the Palmetto State could turn blue once again this year, however.
In a recent state-by-state breakdown
, Karl Rove listed President Obama to have a three-percent lead in South Carolina over Mitt Romney, the apparent Republican candidate.
The Republican political consultant and former Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush includes the state with five others in a “toss-up” category.
Rove doesn’t list a source for his recent state-by-state estimates, but refers to poll results compiled by Real Clear Politics
for a nationwide status.
Obama has led Romney in practically every
national poll conducted over the last 15 months, according to Real Clear Politics. However, its few South Carolina polls that included a head-to-head contest between the two show the Republican candidate in the lead.
The most recent of such South Carolina polls
listed by Real Clear Politics was conducted in October 2011, in which did Romney take 46 percent to Obama’s 40, leaving 14 percent undecided.
Another aggregate poll result source, David Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections
, shows Romney’s lead over Obama in South Carolina to only be 44 to 43
, and includes a more recent poll from January 2012 in its compilation.
The Obama campaign appears to regard the state as winnable, having opened
a local campaign headquarters in North Charleston last October.
In a November interview on the South Carolina Radio Network, Ben LaBolt, press secretary for the president’s re-election campaign, said
“If we’ve got supporters in a state, even if it’s a traditionally red state, they ought to have the means to help the campaign if they want to get involved, and that’s exactly what they’re doing.”
Adding weight to the state in this year’s election, South Carolina gained a delegate, rising to nine
John Kennedy won South Carolina’s delegates in 1960
with 51 percent of the vote. It wasn’t until 1976
before another Democrat, Jimmy Carter of neighboring Georgia, won the state. The Republican nominee won in South Carolina every election since.
John McCain led the state in 2008 with 54 percent
of the vote. Obama had a majority of votes from Charleston County, however.
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Tea Party politicians won many elections in 2010 with promises to reduce
Rep. Tim Scott, however, seems to have done the opposite despite his Tea Party pledge
, even outspending his predecessor who was often criticized for unnecessary expenses such as franking.
And one particular category of spending increase by Scott could imply political favors and cronyism, another point that conservative and liberal voters alike continue to speak against.
The “Statement of Disbursements of the House” for the end of 2011 shows
Scott spent roughly $1.272 million for operation of his offices, approximately four percent more than Rep. Henry Brown spent in 2010.
Making the comparison stand out further, Brown’s 2010 totals
included additional one-time expenses, such as bonuses to staff upon the close of his office as he stepped down after five terms and 10 years. When compared to Brown’s more ordinary expenses from 2009,which didn’t include that same rate of bonuses, Scott outspent his predecessor by almost $100,000 in just his first year in congress.
One very direct category of spending comparison between Brown and Scott is rent on local offices in the 1st Congressional District.
In 2010 Rep. Brown paid $2,700.33 every month for a district office in North Charleston, and another $750 a month for a small Myrtle Beach office.
In 2011, though, Scott spent almost 10 percent more on district offices, including the same one used by Brown in Myrtle Beach.
That Myrtle Beach property is owned by Republican state Rep. Alan Clemmons
, a self-declared friend
and political ally of Brown’s, insinuating that Brown allowed his taxpayer-funded expense account to pay for political favors.
Beginning in January 2011, right after he took over Brown’s spot in Congress, Scott began paying more than Brown did for the same office in the previous month. In the same category of reciprocating political favors, Scott was endorsed
by property owner Clemmons in the 2010 primary.
Scott does rent a different Charleston-area office than Brown did, but this one not only costs about 10 percent more than Brown’s ($2,975 a month), but is also owned by yet another South Carolina Republican politician.
Scott’s West Ashley office is owned by state Rep. Bobby Harrell, who operates his own insurance firm
from the same property that carries the name "Harrell Square Center." Scott's $2,975 per month rent is paid to Charlotte D. Harrell LLC, the office rental service listed under the name of the state representative’s wife.
Like Clemmons, Harrell endorsed
Scott early in the 2010 primary campaign.
Scott’s total office expenses in 2011 were a definite stand-out from other South Carolina representatives, even from the expenses of long-standing Rep. Jim Clyburn.
While Clyburn’s total expenditures in 2011 exceeded Scott’s by approximately $85,000, the 6th Congressional District representative also has more obligations; he sits on more committees than Scott, is required to travel much more than Scott, and is third-ranking party official in the House with more administrative expenses.
Despite the seniority of Clyburn and the staff who have worked for him in his 20 years in the office, Scott spent more on compensation to his rookie personnel. While both have 21 staff members, Scott gave additional bonus pay (“other compensation”) to nine of his personnel at the end of 2011, pushing his office’s total payroll over $1 million. That’s about $24,000 more than Clyburn paid his experienced staff.
Scott also paid himself over $3,000 directly from his office’s budget for the specific expense of “private auto mileage,” a program similar to tax credits for commercial use of a private vehicle, through which did he collect money based on mileage he drives in his own car. Clyburn, however, did not apply for nor receive any such compensation.
None of the other South Carolina representatives spent more, or spent a greater portion of their total allowance (84.72 percent), than Scott, either. The 2011 office costs of the other Republican congressional representatives in the state ranged from $1.064 million/74.35 percent of total allowance from Rep. Mick Mulvaney (Dist. 5) to $1.183 million/82.01 for Dist. 2’s Rep. Joe Wilson.
South Carolina has an unemployment rate of 8.9 percent
, ranking 42nd worst of the 50 states and DC, but … Gov. Nikki Haley is on a self-promoting and self-profiting book tour
The state has the third-worst high school graduation rate in the country (58.6 percent
), but … Haley needs to appear on talk shows
instead of in her governor's office.
And despite her dismal approval rating from voters (only 37.3 percent
), the governor is only focusing on glamour shots and sound-bite promos.
(posted on youtube
When is she going to leave the stage and return to the state capitol? That's a good question, says the South Carolina Democratic Party.
The SCDP chair has an answer or three to that question, too.
"Nikki Haley has spent the last month with her publicist, shuffling from talk show to photo shoot while the folks in South Carolina have spent their time trying to earn enough money to put the groceries on the table," says Dick Harpootlian.
“The only thing Nikki has worked hard at is becoming a pol-ebrity: a politician-celebrity. First it's Rod Blagojevich, then Sarah Palin. Now Nikki Haley wants her 15 minutes.”
Haley's official schedule
for the month has consisted dominantly of media appearances and special-event speaking.
Meanwhile, the state has undergone much debate and political skirmishes over vital issues, such as port improvement funding
, state health insurance
, and state government restructuring
"Instead of peddling books, Nikki Haley should be doing the job she was elected to do," Harpootlian says.
The brutal media show Obama no mercy, catching him in a private moment and promoting it all over the country.
It seems like a Republican dream come true, too.
(Source: The Onion)
Some people - somewhere - somehow - will believe this video is true. Even with its "China declares war" closing, some will still take this satire as truth and promote it.
At a private gathering yesterday, Republican candidate Mitt Romney told campaign donors about his true presidential goals, some he admitted he didn’t want the general public to know.
What Romney didn’t know, however, was that media were nearby and heard everything
His true goals and beliefs? Cut from, merge and even eliminate federal government departments. He’s already won the support of Fox News’ “true believers.” And he hopes Hispanics suffer economically now in order to win their votes in November.
Garrett Haake from NBC, who recorded Romney’s address while standing with other media below the event’s setting, caught Romney stating he would consolidate many government departments and eliminate some; even “Housing and Urban Development, which my dad was head of, that might not be around later,” Romney said.
The Dept. of Education wouldn’t be completely removed, Romney told attendees at the gathering, but he would “make it a heck of a lot smaller.”
He can’t let voters know of his true intentions with the Dept. of Education, though, he said, because he learned that public opposition to the concept harmed his campaign for U.S. Senate in 1994.
Also, Romney said part of the reason he wants to cut from that department is to harm teachers’ unions, according to Haake.
While Hispanics may be leaning towards Pres. Obama at the moment, Romney acknowledged, one way to get their vote would be if the economy were poor enough to have that topic outweigh the subject of immigration. “We have to get Hispanic voters for our party,” he said.
Romney also spoke of poor reception he received from all television media except for Fox News, which he said was only viewed by “the true believers.” He leads the Obama campaign on the Internet, though, he said, and particularly through web applications like Twitter.
In an average of recent polls
, Obama leads Romney by three percent. The most recent poll
, conducted April 13-15 by CNN and ORC International, shows the president leading his Republican challenger by nine percent.
As we fumble around with paperwork and calculators on this second-to-last day to file personal income taxes, many of us Americans will grumble and gripe about folks who cheat on taxes and get away with it.
But those tax cheaters aren't the real problem, according to a recent online posting by Frugal Dad
. The real slap in the face to us regular, real (i.e. "non-wealthy") Americans are the ones who are legally getting away with paying little if any taxes, and despite millions - even billions - in earnings.
"Only 1% of taxes on wages and salaries goes uncollected; however, it’s estimated that every year the U.S. Government loses $100 billion to legal tax havens employed by corporations and multi-millionaires," reads the recent entry by Frugal Dad Jason.
Take Google, for example, which shuffles its U.S. earnings offshore for much lower tax rates in other countries. Or presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who we've known for some time to send his earnings to the Cayman Islands (and, we recently learned, to Swiss bank accounts
See Jason's interesting graph below: