Photo by Adam Crisp/Mount Pleasant Patch
Martin Skelly, a Democratic candidate in the special election for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, formally withdrew from the contest.
At a Feb 11. press conference in Charleston, Skelly credited the strength of one primary opponent’s campaign as the main reason for his withdrawal.
Citing her national name and the Democratic principles of her platform, Skelly endorsed Elizabeth Colbert-Busch.
"(She) has demonstrated that she is an outstanding candidate who can inspire both the party faithful and the political center we need to achieve consensus and end gridlock in Congress," he said.
Colbert-Busch, who was also present at the press conference, said “I am so pleased and honored to accept his endorsement,” the second she’s received from former primary opponents.
Bobbie Rose, a 2012 candidate for the office, endorsed Colbert-Busch on Jan. 30
, two days after pulling out from the race.
Skelly’s withdrawal narrows the Democratic candidate slate to two: Colbert-Busch and Ben Frasier, who has run for congressional offices in almost every election cycle since 1972.
Frasier’s candidacy may have contributed to his decision, too, Skelly alluded.
"When I entered the race, I thought that if my pursuit of the nomination required a divisive primary campaign which would hurt the Democrat's chances (in the general election), then I should step aside," Skelly said.
Known colloquially as the “perennial candidate,” Frasier’s reputed to be a Republican plant who enters Democratic primaries only to harm other candidates’ campaigns.
“At the end of the day, you’re either in it for the party … or you’re in it for yourself,” Skelly said.
Despite yesterday's announcement, Skelly’s name might still appear on the primary ballots, the State Election Commission said on Monday. “We will try and hope to (correct the ballots),” said Chris Whitmire, SEC’s Director of Public Information, “but we can’t give definitive answer at the moment.”
Skelly is expected to join Colbert-Busch at a candidate forum this evening in Ridgeland, where he’ll repeat his endorsement.
Hosted by the executive committee of the Beaufort County Democratic Party, the event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Services facility (721 Okatie Hwy.).
She’s no longer a candidate, but Bobbie Rose is still active in the special election for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional seat.
On Jan. 30, Rose endorsed Democratic candidate Elizabeth Colbert-Busch.
Her decision to offer support during the primary election was based on similarity of their platforms, Rose says.
“I’m glad there’s a candidate who shares my views.”
In 2012, Rose’s campaign included platform issues of business development, labor, health care and environment. She says Colbert-Busch shares the same stances on those topics.
She will join the Colbert-Busch team as an adviser, a job Rose says she’s ready to begin in full gear.
“Time is an issue for every campaign,” she says, “especially in this special election cycle.”
While Rose had nine months to campaign in 2012, this year’s March 19 primary date gives candidates only seven weeks to compete in this special election’s first round. The final election date follows only seven weeks later on May 7.
Although she considered entering this year’s race, Rose formally withdrew on January 28
, the last day of candidate filing. Other candidates
on the Democratic Party’s slate are Martin Skelly and Ben Frasier.
Three candidates – a notable name, a newcomer and a non-stop, naysaying novelty – have entered the Democratic Party’s slate for the upcoming special election in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District.
Filing for the race, which follows Tim Scott’s resignation after his appointment to an empty Senate seat, closed at 12 p.m. on January 28.
Elizabeth Colbert-Busch might not have the national recognition of her brother (political comedian and TV star Stephen Colbert), but she’s quite well-known in the Lowcountry.
She’s worked directly with the Port of Charleston, and through many avenues: intern with the State Port Authority, board member of the Propeller Club, chair of the Maritime Association, founder of the Charleston Women in International Trade organization, and Director of Business Relations for port-user OOCL.
A College of Charleston grad, she serves on the Alumni Advisory Board for her alma mater’s business college, and since 2008 works as Director of Development for Clemson University’s Restoration Institute in North Charleston.
A Virginia native, Martin Skelly has resided in Charleston for only about six years. He’s been active in the community throughout, though.
He once served as president of the Father’s Club at Porter-Gaud, where his children attend school, and was an interim director at Trident Technical College in Charleston.
His work in international trade is evident in Skelly’s campaign, which focuses to date on the economy. “We live in the greatest country in the world, but our dysfunctional Congress is standing in the way of our economy.
“The people of South Carolina don’t want to sit back while the chaos in Congress pushes us closer to an economic meltdown,” Skelly says; “they want a sensible path forward to get our spending under control, achieve energy independence and create good jobs.”
The last to file, and just before deadline, was Ben Frasier, who has run for office in almost every election cycle since 1972.
Frasier stood out in the 2010 race with a platform that seemed identical to Republican candidate Tim Scott’s – he advocated lower taxes on wealth, and spoke openly against labor unions.
“We need to forge new and lasting solutions to the crises that have befallen South Carolina,” he said this afternoon, stating that employment was the district’s biggest need.
Bobbie Rose, the Democratic nominee for this office last year, withdrew her bid on
January 28. She stated intentions to examine the candidate slate before announcing any endorsement.
The winner of the Democratic primary will face whichever of the 16 Republican candidates takes the nomination.
The primary race for each party takes place March 19, followed by runoff (if necessary) on April 2.
A general election to fill the vacant seat is scheduled for May 7.
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Yesterday evening POLITICO reported
that, at a week-long convention of the American Israel Educational Foundation last year, some Republican congresspersons and staff members wound up taking a spontaneous swim in the Sea of Galilee – a skinny dip, even, for one of them.
The Aug. 13-21, 2011 event in Israel was attended by South Carolina’s Tim Scott
. He did not partake in these separate festivities that evening, though, according to the communications director at Scott’s D.C. office.
While it was declared to be an “Educational Seminar in Israel,” many took the event to stereotypical convention debauchery, and to such a degree that the FBI investigated it.
Out of approximately 60 attendees, over 20 of them – members of congress, their staff and at least one spouse and one of their children – are reported to have jumped in the Galilee after a night of celebration that some acknowledge included heavy drinking. Only 13 have been identified by name, however.
Of the congresspersons named, all are freshman representatives: Jeff Denham, Michael Grimm, Ben Quayle, Tom Reed (accompanied in the water by his wife), Steve Southerland (with his daughter) and Kevin Yoder.
It was Yoder who admitted to removing all of his clothing before the group. “(R)egrettably I jumped into the water without a swimsuit,” he stated in written response to POLITICO.
Also identified were staff persons of majority leader Rep. Eric Cantor (Steve Stombres, Laena Fallon and Kristi Way) and majority whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Laena Fallon and Emily Murray).
“(Scott) was not at the Sea of Galilee,” Sean Smith from the congressman’s D.C. office said today in email, but did attend the week-long seminar “to show his support for a strong US-Israel relationship.”
In September, Scott submitted a post-travel disclosure form
to the House Clerk detailing the $21,268.04 cost of the trip, which was paid for by AIEF. Half of the amount covered the costs for Scott’s nephew, who accompanied him.
About three weeks after the “Educational Seminar in Israel,” Scott spoke about his attendance
in a sermon to the local Seacoast Church. He said that, while attending, he was approached by a Jewish Israeli who told him that U.S. capitalism was dependent on Christianity for its success.
Thirty-two Republicans from the House were invited to attend
the week-long AIEF event, and most were allowed to bring a guest; other GOP representatives were invited to come to a similar AIEF conference the following week, and Democrats were eligible to attend the previous week.
A total of 81 representatives
(55 Republicans and 26 Democrats), not counting their staff or other guests, attended the three seminars.
Rep. Jeff Duncan was the only other South Carolina congressman invited.
The total transportation costs of AIEF’s conferences last year (approximately $1.5 million) was a record-high
for congressional travel.
AIEF is a non-profit charitable organization openly affiliated with
the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC
). Shortly after last year’s trip in question, claims were made against AIEF
for it accepting tax-deductible contributions, then forwarding that money to AIPAC.
Earlier this year, Scott was required to refund some of the money
he received related to attending another political organization’s conference, and because he brought one-too-many guests with him.
A picture can speak a thousand words; a Tim Scott vid can shout a million.
Last week, Sen. Michael F. Bennet
(D-Colo.) made an intriguing presentation to his colleagues at the Capitol, complete with charts and graphs to visually aid his argument.
And what was the topic? To sum it up simply, the public hates our friggin’ guts, Bennet told his legislative counterparts.
Only nine percent of Americans approve of Congress, according to a recent Gallup poll
, Bennet showed.
To really get the point across, he demonstrated how much worse that approval rating was in comparison to other woes and evils. The public gives the IRS 40-percent approval, for example, and even BP had a higher rating (16 percent) right after last year’s infamous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Here’s a video of his presentation:
(posted on youtube
Here’s an image of the chart Sen. Bennet used in that presentation:
(snagged from the Washington Post
The goal of Bennet’s presentation was to remind other senators how the public is really paying attention to their actions and results, as many in Congres continually fail to recognize. As a result, he implied, they need to overcome the polarity and start working together.
(Well, try telling that to our own Jim DeMint, Sen. Bennet. He was the one senator to vote against
a bill aimed at getting jobs for military veterans.)
While Bennet offered some notable comparisons in his presentation, there are actually many, many other things – bizarre ones, even – that have higher approval ratings than our U.S. Congress does right now. For example:
- 45% of Americans (and 70% of Republicans) think waterboarding is “sometimes justified”
- 44% believe we shouldn’t bother getting UN approval before invading a foreign country (thus violate treaties)
- 36% say purposefully defaulting on mortgage payments is okay
- 30% approve of pornography
- 25% reject the concept of evolution, saying it definitely did not happen, in approval of the “earth is only 6,000 years old and we once lived with dinosaurs” freako-theory
- 12% believe cloning humans would be morally acceptable
- 11% think polygamy is okay
That’s right; two percent more Americans – that’s over 6 million people – think it’s okay to simultaneously hitch up with multiple wives than the number who currently approve of the U.S. Congress.
Now, how low can you go?
On a brighter note, at least public opinion is far, far greater for the president, and even improving; 43% approve
of Pres. Obama, according to a recent Gallup poll (…and even though 18% think
In last week’s address regarding the budget crisis and potential default, as well as congress’ delay in resolution addressing those problems, Pres. Obama suggested citizens contact their representatives directly to offer their opinions.
And millions of Americans did just that, and very quickly, too.
Speaker Boehner's website and email went down last week due to high volume
, not very many got through to their representatives, though. Handling about 700 calls a minute through the next day, phone lines to Washington D.C. were jammed. Emails were sent at such volume that congress’ server stifled. Some representatives’ websites went down. Even the facebook pages of some members of congress crashed after being flooded with comments in high volume.
So is there another method we can try next time, especially since it seems we’ll need to contact them frequently to remind them of who we are and the representation we expect?
Well, let’s just say a little birdie told me that there sure is. That’s right – you can always tweet!
Aside from emails and office phones, all congresspersons from South Carolina have Twitter accounts, too. And if your message is short and sweet enough (140 characters max), it can quickly travel directly to their computers, iPods, cell phones and Blackberries. You’ll have your twitter pals (“followers”) as witness, too.
Here are links to the Twitter accounts of South Carolina’s congressional representatives:
Tim Scott (CD-1): twitter.com/#!/RepTimScott
Joe Wilson (CD-2): twitter.com/#!/CongJoeWilson
Jeff Duncan (CD-3): twitter.com/#!/RepJeffDuncan
Trey Gowdy (CD-4): twitter.com/#!/tgowdysc
Mick Mulvaney (CD-5): twitter.com/#!/RepMickMulvaney
Jim Clyburn (CD-6): twitter.com/#!/Clyburn
Jim DeMint (senate): twitter.com/#!/jimdemint
Lindsey Graham (senate): twitter.com/#!/GrahamBlog
To tweet a message directly to any of these SC congresspersons, add an “@” in front of his twitter ID name (for example, “@RepJeffDuncan” or “@CongJoeWilson”). Your message goes through; your message is saved.
If you don’t already have your own Twitter account, don’t sweat it – it’s easy to do. Just go to its website (www.twitter.com
), fill in the info boxes, and there you are. (And here’s a link to another site
that offers a guide to personalizing your Twitter page and other tips.)
Remember – these are your representatives, whose job includes communication with all constituents. Next time, don’t let a D.C. overload come between you and them. (HT to FearLess Revolution; if you’re not a South Carolinian, visit this page to learn the Twitter account names of your representatives.)