In his recent filing with the Federal Election Commission
, congressional candidate Mark Sanford
reported receiving $2,500 from conservative mogul David Koch
on February 1,the Sunlight Foundation first reported
With a net worth of approximately $34 billion, Koch is ranked by Forbes
to be the fourth most-wealthy American. Executive VP of Koch Industries, a conglomerate affiliated with paper, chemicals and oil, he’s better known for political activism and special-interest lobbying.
An apparent basis for his support of Sanford in this special election, the two agree on many political principals.
For example, Koch is a board member of the libertarian Cato Institute
. In 1980, he was vice-presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party
, running on a platform that called for elimination of Social Security, minimum wage and corporate taxes.
In his own political career, Sanford openly identified with the movement, calling his identification as a libertarian “a badge of honor.
” In his previous term in U.S. Congress (1995-2001), he voted
against strengthening Social Security and sponsored a bill for its privatization.
Both also have affiliation with the Tea Party. Koch is an original founder of Americans for Prosperity
, a conservative organization affiliated with creation of the organization by its partner group, FreedomWorks. He’s also credited with providing ample funding
to the Tea Party movement.
Columbia’s The State newspaper says Sanford was a “Tea Party frugal before it was politically fashionable
,” and The Daily Beast says he “was Tea Party before there was a Tea Party
The South Carolina
Libertarian Party, which has no candidate in this race, also identifies with the Tea Party movement, using the “Don’t Tread On Me” Gadsden Flag in the header logo of its website
Other notable donors to Sanford’s campaign include Thomas Ravenel, who then-governor Sanford suspended from the state treasurer’s office in 2007 after federal indictment on cocaine charges
, and billionaire hedge fund investor Richard Chilton.
Sanford is one of 16 Republican candidates in this special election to fill the 1st District seat, which has remained empty since January when Tim Scott assumed Jim DeMint’s senate office following resignation.
The primary race is March 19; the victor of an anticipated April 2 GOP runoff will face the Democratic candidate in a May 7 final election.
That Democrats and Republicans think differently is rather obvious to most.
But these opposing political supporters even think from different parts of the brain, a recent study found.
According to the recent (and appropriately titled) “Red Brain, Blue Brain
” report, Democrats have higher activity in the left insula – the part of the brain that processes internal cues and emotions – when facing risks.
When Republicans think about risk, however, they have much higher activity in the right amygdale, the region of the brain associated with fear and exterior cues. As a result, these conservative-leaning voters “show greater sensitivity to threatening stimuli,” the report concludes in its summary.
In other words, Democrats tend to think through challenging circumstances before responding, while Republicans are more prone to react impulsively and emotionally to outside influences.
The “Red Brain, Blue Brain” study was conducted by professors of medicine, psychology, psychiatry, biology and (of course) political science, and was released by the Public Library of Science
on Feb. 13.
Eighty-two subjects who identified their political preferences participated in the research, which included MRI tests conducted as they participated in risk-taking mental exercises and games. Researchers confirmed subject party identification by voting records.
Although the study was just released, similar ones have circulated in recent years, and it seems the Republican Party has kept up with the topic, too.
For example, a 2008 study published in Science
noted that conservatives have much quicker and stronger physiological reactions to sudden noises and alarming photos than do liberal Democrats, and establishes connotation between Republicans’ knee-jerk responses and their political beliefs of increased military spending and capital punishment.
Republican campaign platforms and political ads used that year and in following have been laden with such tactics, too. For example (and see slide show for images at the bottom of this page):
- The McCain campaign was often criticized for using “fear factors,” such as calling opponent Obama a “terrorist” and implying racial division in 2008.
- Hoping to build support for offshore drilling, the GOP falsely claimed that China was drilling immediately off the coast of Cuba, threatening U.S. oil supplies.
- Arguments against the Affordable Care Act from 2009 and 2010 told of “death panels.”
- Both Republican candidates and the National Rifle Association continue false claims that “Obama will take away your guns.”
- The “Obama is a Muslim” tactic has been continuously promoted, and at times in support of the juvenile “birth certificate” argument.
- In March 2010, an internal party presentation that was leaked to media showed how the Republican National Committee intended to promote the term “socialism” as a fear-inducing tactic in voter outreach and fundraising.
- Voters saw that fraudulent “socialism” tactic regularly used in 2012, too, and from Republican candidates for U.S. Senate and U.S. House, not to mention the presidential race.
- A tactic now known as “Medi-scare” – a false claim that the savings Obamacare produces for Medicare were actually cuts to its benefits, thus threatening the well-being of seniors – was widely used by many campaigns.
- And in last year’s elections, strongly religious voters were pelted with ads and other communications that frequently referred to “danger” and “threats” to “Judeo-Christian” values. Some were even told that a vote for President Obama was equivalent to “reject(ing) Jesus Christ” and would “put your own soul in jeopardy,” and were threatened with the claim that their votes would “be recorded in eternity.” (See video at bottom of this page)
Apparently, and as 2012 election results showed, the population of “blue brain” Americans seems to be dominant.
Another study associating political beliefs to specific operation of the brain was released recently, as well.
Last year, the Univ. of South Carolina released a neurological study of similar format
but focusing on different areas of the brain. Similar to the “Red Brain, Blue Brain” results, this study found members of the opposing parties to have higher activity rates in different cranial areas.
Democrats have more activity in the part of the brain connected with wider social connections, such as friends and issues that affect more people and are inclusive of other parts of the world, the USC study concludes; on the other hand, Republicans are dominantly active in the brain region associated with tight social connections, such as family and their own personal properties and interests.
While millions across the country watched Sunday's Super Bowl, a prominent South Carolina Republican spent the time tweeting crude comments about the game and its participants, leading to a series of arguments that are still ongoing.
Todd Kincannon, a Columbia attorney and ranking member of the South Carolina Republican Party, apparently drew the last straw in the Twitter community with the following message, submitted at 9:09 p.m. on Feb. 3:
“This Super Bowl sucks more d--- than adult Trayvon Martin would have for drug money.”
was the unarmed, young African-American who, while walking in his father’s subdivision, was shot and killed by a Neighborhood Watch coordinator in February 2012.
Retorts from many were quickly responded to in counter-tweets from Kincannon, who responded with insults and additional questionable comments on race, violence and homosexuality.
In other tweets submitted during the game, Kincannon referred to Colin Kaepernick, the biracial quarterback who started for the 49ers in yesterday’s game, as “quadroon” and “mulatto.”
In an interview yesterday with Huffington Post Live
, Kincannon defended his Twitter statements, saying “they were just for fun.”
- In October 2012, a conservative online journal reported that Kincannon was caught “sexting” (not once, not twice, but three times), submitting nude photographs of himself and requesting the same from women in the Columbia region.
If rape wasn’t bad enough, a new proposal in New Mexico could make it one hell of a lot worse if passed.
A bill introduced yesterday to the state’s legislature would make it illegal for a woman impregnated by rape or incest to abort, Huffington Post first reported
The charge she’d face? Evidence tampering.
Introduced by Rep. Cathyrnn Brown
calls for charges of third-degree felony to be filed in such circumstances.
While endorsed by the National Right to Life
organization in her last election, Brown states her bill is not geared against abortion, however.
In a formal statement issued this morning, Brown said its goal is “to deter sex offenders” on basis that women might be pressured by their rapists to abort in order to destroy evidence.
“By adding this law in New Mexico, we can help to protect women across our state.”
However very strong evidence of rape, ranging from DNA to clothing fibers, can be collected directly from the victim with use of sexual assault forensic evidence materials
(or “rape kit”), and immediately after such incidence. Women are not required to submit to police for such testing
, and no offspring is required to prove an individual committed rape.
Brown quickly received sharp criticism.
Pat Davis, director of ProgressNow New Mexico, today told the Albuquerque Journal
“The bill turns victims of rape and incest into victims, and forces them to be incubators of evidence for the state.”
New Mexico reported 857 cases of forcible rape
in 2011. Its risk rate of 41.2 incidents of rape per 100,000 citizens ranks fifth highest
in the United States.
A three-year medical study found that approximately five percent of rape victims are impregnated; only 30 percent
of women who become pregnant by rape decide to carry the fetus through term.
Ultra-conservative organizations argue against abortion in cases of rape impregnation, claiming that the procedure would result in two persons being violated
With Democrats holding a slight majority in New Mexico’s state house
(37 of 70 members), Brown’s bill is unlikely to pass, if even voted on.
“The bill is wrong and should never see the light of day in any legislature in this country, let alone New Mexico,” said Javier Gonzales
, chair of the state’s Democratic Party.
First elected to represent Dist. 55 in 2010
, Brown’s issued two other bills this year; H.103
calls for strict voter ID requirements, and H.163
allows public utility companies first rights of refusal.
She’s a member of the house Judicial and Agriculture/Water Resources commissions.
Both the Republican Party and Tea Party movement slipped in public approval, says a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll
, with each falling to its lowest rating since Obama first took the White House.
When asked to rate their opinion of the Republican Party, 49 percent of respondents responded negatively; 26 percent offered favorable ratings of the GOP, while 24 percent were neutral. Only one percent were unsure how to rate the political organization.
Forty-seven percent noted negative reception of the Tea Party, as well, with only 23 percent stating positive regard (20 neutral and 10 unaware/unsure).
These ratings found in the Jan. 12-15 poll are the highest in negative scoring for both groups in four years.
In Feb. 2009, just weeks after President Obama began his first term, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found ratings of the Republican Party to be 28 percent positive versus 43 percent negative.
The highest overall rating for the GOP was shortly after the 2010 election cycle. In December of that year, positive perception of the party was 38 percent, while 37 percent rated it negatively.
Favorable reception of the Tea Party movement hasn’t outweighed negative response since June 2010, when it scored 34 percent positive to 31 negative. Since then, it’s progressively declined to the new low reported in the recent poll findings.
Meanwhile, Obama begins his second term with a positive rating from 52 percent of the public (37 negative and 11 neutral), rising from his lowest score of 44 percent in August 2011.
Perception of the Democratic Party rose to its highest in approval (44 percent, versus 17 neutral/38 negative) since July 2009.
This survey of 1,000 American adults has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.
(from The Daily Beast)
John Kuhn may have ended his congressional campaign shortly after first announcing it, and due to potential violations of election laws made in a recent letter requesting donations.
The Charleston attorney and one-time state senator formally declared
his interest in the 1st Congressional District race on Dec. 18.
In a Dec. 28 letter, a copy of which was recently posted on Summerville Patch
, Kuhn requested campaign donations for the special election required to fill the seat of Rep. Tim Scott, who assumed an empty senate seat following Jim DeMint’s Dec. 6 resignation.
(click for larger image)
The single-page letter (see on right) is openly missing a disclaimer notice – the common “paid for by” box – that the Federal Election Commission requires to appear on all distributed for a campaign.
Specifically, 11 CFR 110.11(c)(2)
states “on printed materials, the disclaimer notice must appear within a printed box set apart from the other contents in the communication.”
The common disclaimer is absent from Kuhn’s letter, however.
Any materials for collection of federal campaign donations are also to list maximum contribution amounts, which for congressional races are $2,500 per person per election cycle, and other donation restrictions.
Kuhn mentions no such limitations, however. In fact, his letter asks recipients to donate “as much as you possibly can(.)
“I need a lot of money,” the letter reads.
And if any recipient honored the request, Kuhn’s campaign might face difficulty in complying with yet another regulation.
Federal campaigns are required to report to the FEC the name, mailing address, occupation and employer of all who donate over $200 in one year to political campaigns, and donation requests are to specify that requirement. Even though Kuhn’s letter requests contributions, it doesn’t ask for the needed information.
The Charleston attorney seemed confident in his campaign when submitting the letter. “I have a great chance to win this election because they drew the perfect district for me after the last census.”
Filing for the special election begins on Jan. 18. Primary races are scheduled for March 19, and voters will select a new congressional representative on May 7.
In 2001, Kuhn was elected state senator of District 43, covering parts of Charleston and Berkeley counties.
However, he lost the primary race in the next election cycle to Chip Campsen
, who still holds the office.
Kuhn made news in early 2012 when he endorsed Ron Paul
in South Carolina’s Republican presidential primary.
He hasn’t even assumed the office yet, but Tim Scott is already campaigning for his re-election.
Shortly after being appointed this afternoon
to fill a soon-to-be empty seat of South Carolina U.S. Senator, an email blast calling for donations to the 2014 race was submitted in bulk.
“It’s truly an honor to have been appointed by Governor Haley to replace Jim DeMint in the U.S. Senate,” the message begins.
“We must work together to stand up to the big spenders in Washington. Will you join with me by donating what you can here? I have set a goal of reaching 10,000 contributors in 48 hours and would appreciate your help.”
A postscript to the email concludes “I will have to run for re-election next election. Your support will help ensure we keep this seat in Republican hands.”
Although he takes DeMint’s seat on Jan. 3, Scott will have to be formally elected to the senate position in 2014 to continue what will then be the final two years of the term.
In his appointment acceptance speech, issued at a 12 p.m. press conference from the State House, Scott appeared to focus more on the upcoming election than his duties for the next two years.
“I look forward to taking the opportunity to introduce myself across the state.”
Scott has held office in Charleston County and the Lowcountry’s 1st Congressional District, leaving him rather unknown in other parts South Carolina. On Dec. 6 DeMint announced he was resigning
the office to be the new president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank in Washington D.C.
Scott was first elected to the U.S. House in 2010, and was re-elected in 2012.
Rep. Tim Scott will assume Jim DeMint’s U.S. Senate seat in January, Gov. Nikki Haley announced.
At a 12 p.m. press conference on Monday, Haley said part of her decision was based on Scott’s pro-business but anti-worker stance, specifying his record of argument against the National Labor Review Board as example.
“I have no doubt that the entire state knows that this is the right man for our state and for our country,” said Haley, who shared campaign events with Scott in 2010
when each was first elected to their current office.
Scott returned the compliments when accepting the appointment. “South Carolina is better because we have Nikki Haley as our governor.”
He said economic issues would be a primary focus when he takes the senate seat in January.
He’d also spend time campaigning for the 2014 special election, he inferred. “I look forward to taking the opportunity to introduce myself across the state.”
Scott has represented parts of Charleston on county council and in the state legislature, and currently represents the Lowcountry’s 1st Congressional District. He’s never campaigned in other parts of South Carolina, however.
In 2014, voters statewide get to choose if Scott or another candidate will complete the remaining two years of DeMint’s term.
DeMint, who announced his resignation on Dec. 6
, joined Haley and Scott at the press conference, as did Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Trey Gowdy.
“I’ve known (Scott) for years and am confident he will serve our state with honor and distinction,” DeMint stated this afternoon in an email.
The outgoing senator will become president of the Heritage Foundation in January.
A special election will be held in early 2013 to fill Scott’s seat. Many local Republicans stated interest in the office, indicating potential need for a primary election.
Should any Democratic Party candidates file to run for the office, its primary winner will face the final Republican nominee in a final election. Bobbie Rose
, the Democratic nominee who ran against Scott in last month’s general election, expressed a tentative interest in the special election to Summerville Patch
Crist speaks at 2012 DNC (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
He was elected governor of Florida as a Republican and later ran for U.S. Senate as an independent, but Charlie Crist is now officially a Democrat.
While attending a holiday party at the White House on Friday evening Crist, 57, signed official paperwork to make the party switch.
“I’ve had friends for years tell me, ‘You know Charlie, you’re a Democrat and you don’t know it,” he told the Tampa Bay Times
by telephone interview after the party.
President Obama offered him a “fist-bump” after learning of the switch, the newspaper reports.
Crist was a Republican candidate when he was elected state senator in 1992, and remained with the GOP when elected Florida’s Education Commissioner in 2000, attorney general in 2002, and governor in 2006.
He ran on the GOP ticket for U.S. Senate in 2010, but exited before the primary phase due to sharp competition from Marco Rubio. Crist continued his campaign as an independent
, but lost to Rubio
in the general election.
The switch didn’t occur because of any change in Crist, but changes in the conservative movement. While he still holds true to conservative principles of gun rights and low taxes, Crist also supports education and civil rights – issues he finds the GOP to have neglected.
Speaking at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, he said
“I didn’t leave the Republican Party; it left me.”
Crist had more succinctly criticized the GOP in his August endorsement of Obama, stating
“an element of their party has pitched so far to the extreme right on issues important to women, immigrants, seniors and students that they’ve proven incapable of governing for the people.”
Crist is expected to again run for governor in 2014
(Lindsay Street/Summerville Patch)
For Tuesday's presidential debate, the Charleston County Republican Party hosted a watch party
complete with food, drinks and ... someone dressed in pimp garb who wore an Obama mask.
I find that personally disturbing, not just because I’m active with the competing party in the area, and not just because I find CCRP's welcoming of that attendee to be just as discriminatory, negatively-stereotyping and racist as his costume, either.
What offends me is the negative implications now placed upon my Republican friends and relatives.
The person who pulled this stunt made it clear that the Republican Party no longer represents the values of its voters. While party officials and representatives may talk about faith, families, limited government and other so-called conservative issues, their actions are completely different. And that unfairly paints a negative image upon voters who actually support those ideals.
We see this in Republican politicians and candidates very often.
Take, for example, the rhetoric regularly stated by our Republican congressman Tim Scott
. He publicly complains about “big government,” but his record seems to indicate he’s in favor of “Big Brother.”
He voted to extend warrantless searches of your computer
, for example – that allows government to directly access your computer, even your Internet history, at any time without any authorization or even established need. Scott also voted to allow your employer to force you to give up your passwords to social websites
, such as facebook, so that your boss can keep a close eye on your private life. If your employer doesn’t like what he sees, or if you refuse to hand over your passwords? You can be fired.
How, then, is Scott supporting the traditional Republican tenets of freedom and smaller government?
This hypocrisy is especially evident in Carter’s campaign platform. In a “Political Courage” survey he answered earlier this year
, for example, Carter gave some classic conservative answers, calling for reductions in Medicaid benefits and absolutely no restrictions on the purchase or possession of weapons.
In 2000, though, and in response to a survey from this same Vote Smart organization, Carter said he supported an increase in Medicaid benefits, even for non-US citizens. And we should “maintain and strengthen” gun laws, he said. (See his 2000 “Political Courage” responses here
.)So to which party, then, does Carter actually align: Democrat or Republican?
Neither one. Carter apparently wouldn’t represent anyone other than himself.
I think he made that perfectly clear earlier this year, too. During a primary debate, when asked about his previous run for the same office as a Democrat, Carter openly stated that he intentionally misled voters that year. He was only running as a Democrat because he thought it was a strong Democratic district, he stated.
Carter said that, if he’d won that 2000 contest, he would have switched parties the very next year, right after being elected.
This “say one thing, do the opposite” pattern from the GOP isn’t in any way reflective of the Republicans I know.
My brother, for example, who’s a very conservative financial consultant, is quite fed up with the financial irresponsibility that the GOP keeps presenting in its budget proposals.
A neighbor and very good friend, who’s quite firm in his faith, has lost faith in the Republican Party because of the apparent double-standard its elected officials hold for themselves.
And I know that the Republican voters in our community aren’t childish with hints of racism, either, even though that seemed to be the projection at Tuesdays’s local GOP event.
To the actual, true Republican citizens in the Lowcountry, don’t worry – I won’t let that incident affect my perspectives of you and your values, and I’ll make sure local Democrats know that, too.
But you need to reclaim your party very quickly, or else just leave the GOP.
Until then, we all need to vote our values this November. And the only way to do that, apparently, is by voting Democrat, especially in these local races.