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.
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.
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.
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.”
Martin 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 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.
(See slideshow of those tweets and other images below)
This history contradicts his public statement against former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned from congress in May 2011 after caught tweeting suggestive photos of himself – the same misbehavior for which Kincannon himself is now accused. On Sept. 13, 2011, Kincannon suggested that people send the Republican who replaced Weiner “some disinfectant. The office needs it.”
On Jan. 5, Kincannon began promoting a retaliation method against what he alleged to be organized campaigns to falsely label false conservative tweets as spam, thus limiting their reach and damaging Twitter accounts.
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.
After serving the first year of his term amid consistent ethics investigations and charges, Ken Ard formally resigned this morning.
Before a grand jury could release any statements on its investigation, which pertained to Ard’s providing false information in a settlement with the State Ethics Commission, the Republican lt. governor stepped down.
In a letter to Gov. Nikki Haley offering “a great apology,” Ard took sole liability for the multiple charges he’s faced.
“During my campaign, it was my responsibility to make sure things were done correctly. I did not do that. There are no excuses nor is there need to share blame. It is my fault that the events of the past year have taken place.”
In March 2011, Ard was charged by the SEC with 92 campaign finance violations, including use of over $24,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses. Included in the items Ard purchased in an eight-week period immediately after the 2010 election were a family vacation, clothing for his wife, a PlayStation, a flat-screen television and an iPod.
Further investigation raised the count of violations to 106, and in June Ard paid $62,100 in fines and reimbursements.
After that settlement, however, the state Attorney General’s office took further interest after it received report that Ard may have provided SEC with false documentation in his defense.
In July the case was forwarded to a grand jury, which has met four times. A formal statement pertaining to its findings was anticipated for release within the next week.
Attorney General Alan Wilson scheduled a press conference regarding the case for 1 p.m. today.
In a statement issued in reply to Ard’s resignation letter, Gov. Haley said “I valued Ken’s partnership and wish Ken and his family all of the best going forward.”
Adding further weight to this difficult circumstance will be determining who takes Ard’s place.
According to the state constitution, the President Pro Tem of the senate is to assume the role of lt. governor.
However, Glenn McConnell – the Charleston Republican who holds that position – might have no interest in the limited role of that office.
McConnell’s insinuated he would temporarily resign his position until the lt. governor’s office is filled.
Another state senator, John Courson (R-Columbia), stated interest in the office.
Browsing the internet this evening, I stumbled across what I find to be the clearest, most concise indication that no one in the State of South Carolina should ever have faith in the Republican Party.
To wit, its operative leaders are the sloppiest, dumbest group of attention-seekers imaginable. And if anyone ever wondered why SCGOP has waged such a war against public education in our state, it's clearly because its active members never got any education themselves.
Below is an exact word-for-word and letter-for-letter depiction of the current headline story on the Charleston County Republican Party's website:
REP. TIM SCOTT – MIKE HUCKAGEE “UNDECIDED SOUTH CAROLINA VOTERS” FORUM
Former Arksanas Gov. Mike Huckabee will hold a forum for Undecided Voters that will be cohosted by arranged our Congressman Tim Scott.
Now, I understand that "HUCKAGEE" could have stemmed from the B/G mix-up that's a common typo on our QWERTY boards. But wouldn't the local members of his party be more familiar with that spelling, and have noticed the error quickly? Don't forget the "Arksanas." And "cohosted by arranged our"?
Think about it. That's the name of a former governor, former presidential candidate and current national news darling (albeit FOX News). And the write-up is about a presidential primary election in our state to which the entire nation is paying attention. Don't you think whoever made that entry to CCRP's site should have ... oh, I don't know .... copyedited, maybe? Thought it over for a second? Double-checked?
Then again, it's already obvious they don't pay attention to any of the candidates they select and vote for. (Um, hello?!?! Governor "help another state's competing port take business away from ours" Haley? Appalachian Sanford? And that big long list of SCGOP folks busted for crimes ranging from harassment to drug dealing to sexual abuse of children?)
If they'll overlook errors of that magnitude, I guess paying a nickel's worth of attention to the press releases they type up and distribute online isn't very important to them, either, even though the entire nation is paying very close attention them at the moment.
I won't let them use their density as excuse for the Jan. 21 primary results, though.
Just so you know I'm not making this up (and just in case the Charleston County GOP hears about this and tries to make the corrections later), I snagged an image of that page:
South Carolina is ranked the third “most religious” state in the nation, according to a Gallup poll; 80 percent in the state say religion is an important part of their daily lives.
Ties are found between faith and politics in the state, too. In a recent Winthrop poll, over two-thirds of Palmetto State Republicans identified themselves as born-again or Evangelical Christians.
And faith influences their votes. In exit polls from the 2008 General Election, 40 percent of South Carolina voters said they were born-again, and with religion influencing their candidate selection. Eight-five percent of these born-again Christians in the state voted for John McCain, who led South Carolina 54 to 45 over Pres. Obama.
More specifically, identification with the Christian faith is a factor for these GOP supporters. According to that same recent Winthrop poll, conducted just weeks ago in mid-September, 29.5 percent of Republican voters in the state incorrectly believe Obama is Muslim; only a third acknowledge him to be Christian.
That false assumption is a primary basis of their objection to the president, too, apparently; 88.6 percent of South Carolina Republicans disapprove of Obama, according to the Winthrop poll.
But if identification with the Christian faith is so prominent in the state, and has such influence on Republican voters, then why the hell (oops – I mean “heck”) have these same South Carolina Christian Republicans increased their support for Herman Cain after they learned of multiple claims of his alleged attempts of infidelity?
He might sing gospel, but Cain needs to practice the words he sings, too.
Just two days ago, which was two days after he made national news for past claims of sexual harassment, Cain had substantial lead in a Rasmussen poll conducted amongst South Carolina Republicans. From a slate of eight candidates, Cain took 35 percent, distantly leading closest competitor Mitt Romney, who had only 23 percent.
A few weeks ago, though, Cain only led Romney by one. An Oct. 10 poll of state Republicans by American Research Group found Cain to have favor from only 25 percent to Romney’s 24.
So has this news of sexual harassment somehow increased his appeal to these religious Republicans? Three-quarters of the Rasmussen poll participants admitted they knew of the harassment reports, after all. And Cain’s support is greatest (40 percent) from those who identify themselves farthest to the right as “very conservative.”
Additional claims of sexual harassment from Cain came out yesterday after the poll results were released, but that won’t affect his status here, either, apparently.
And why is that? Because these Christian Republicans in the state only seem to favor candidate identification with their faith, and not actual representation of it. Just take a look at their recent voting habits.
GOP candidate Nikki Haley was elected governor of the state after three claims of extramarital affairs – each made by another Republican in the state – were made public during last year’s campaign.
Haley succeeded former Gov. Mark Sanford, the Republican who made national news in 2009 after having an affair in Argentina at public expense.
Sanford’s ex-wife Jenny endorsed Haley last year (following her own divorce from the philandering governor), and defended Cain in a recent op-ed (although it was written before all the allegations became public).
Many Republican officials in the state wound up in jail for immoral crimes.
Add in the Republican former state treasurer convicted of cocaine distribution; the Republican lieutenant governor cited for over 100 violations of using campaign donations for personal pleasures; the employee of the state Republican Party charged with illegal eavesdropping on teleconference calls; the Republican assistant prosecutor and former state representative caught in a cemetery with a prostitute; the SCGOP executive committee member who molested his step-daughter (who was also a coordinator with the state’s Christian Coalition); the Republican segregationist senator who impregnated a teenaged African-American girl out of wedlock and continually denied being father of her child …
Where, pray tell, is the Christianity in those South Carolina Republicans? Who were regularly supported and even elected by Republican voters in the state?
These Christian GOP voters of South Carolina – who credit non-support of Obama due to their false assumption of the president’s non-Christian status – apparently continue their trend of support for Christian-in-name-but-not-in-action candidates. This time in a man now accused of four instances of sexual harassment and assault.
And – given this established pattern – these Christian Republican voters might not be actually supporting the terms of their faith. Instead, they only like the name, it seems for at least some of them.
A 58-percent majority of them say they’re unsure of the validity in claims against Cain despite records of the National Restaurant Association paying out-of-court settlements to those women, apparently because of his consistent denial even though clear evidence is found.
But 73 percent of these same South Carolina Republicans claim the president is dishonest despite having no foundation to that argument; 37 percent of them still don’t believe he was born in the U.S., even, according to the recent Winthrop poll.
They supported the supposedly Christian platforms of Republican candidates who were convicted of heinous and unchristian crimes, but claim the president (who’s never had any charges or even claims against him) isn’t a Christian, and without any foundation to the argument.
They don’t support Obama’s proposals of apparent Christian themes, either; the healthcare program, social security, Medicare and Medicaid, environmental programs and even labor laws are under attack by Republicans who claim to be Christian, but who apparently need a bible refresher course. (“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’” [Matthew 25:40])
Faith is more than a badge, folks. It’s not just a sign to wave and hide behind, and it’s supposed to be evident not just at Sunday services alone. And these particular Republicans in the state need to remember that not only on the next time they go to the polls, but right now, too, when they’re still deciding between candidates.
These particular Republican voters in the state need to practice what they preach. If using candidate faith as a determining factor, then don’t just apply it in name alone. They need to apply those terms of faith to the candidates’ practices and actions, too. Maybe then will they stop electing persons who wind up charged with non-Christian crimes.
The president of the Grand Strand Tea Party was arrested yesterday for allegedly selling pirated computer programs.
Anthony Trinca and his son Michael were charged with counterfeit trafficking. Both were released on $5,000 bonds.
(Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
The complainant states he purchased six copies of Rosetta Stone language instruction programs on two occasions from Trinca’s Computer Repair Dirt Cheap in Myrtle Beach.
Trinca’s low price of $125 for the software was the impetus, says the victim. The programs ordinarily sell for $179 in individual units and $379 for complete instructional series.
The victim says he learned the programs were fake after trying to sell them himself. When he tried to return the software for refund, the complainant says Trinca refused. Noticing other computer programs for sale at very low prices heightened the suspicion of foul play, and Horry County police were notified.
The homepage of the Grand Strand Tea Party is currently down, but other pages on the site are still accessible.
“Preserving the American Way of Life: Truth – Honesty – Family – Faith” reads the site’s header.
The Horry County Police Department may be thankful county Tea Party chair Trinca wasn’t influenced by other Tea Party groups in the state.
The Kershaw County chapter (Kershaw County Patriots) recently posted an article titled “When Should You Shoot a Cop” on its facebook page. On July 25, the chapter’s organizer Jeff Mattox was asked by SCGOP to step down from his other position of co-chair of the Kershaw’s Republican Party.
The state Republican Party also asked Corey Norris, who first posted the link on his own facebook page, to resign from his executive position with the Lexington County GOP.
Yesterday, Mattox publicly stated refusal to honor SCGOP’s request.
Kershaw County Republican Party chairman Chris Oviatt said Mattox’s “co-chair” position was only created at last year’s convention to merge the Tea Party into the county's GOP.
The Republican Party in South Carolina has definitely tolerated mergers and multis of late.
Take Jeff Mattox, for example. A co-chair of the Kershaw County GOP, Mattox is also a self-described Libertarian and an organizer with the Kershaw County Patriots, a Tea Party group.
But his latest meandering drew the last straw from the SCGOP. And it was just a facebook faux pas that made Mattox so much a menace that he was forced out of his party position.
On the Kershaw County Patriots’ facebook page, an article titled “When Should You Shoot a Cop” was posted on July 15. Mattox quickly “liked” the entry.
The posting actually originated from another GOP county executive, Lexington County’s Corey Norris, just a half-hour earlier on the same day.
A Kershaw County Patriots member and mutual acquaintance of Norris and Mattox reposted the website article on the local Tea Party group’s facebook page, where it earned Mattox’s “like.”
In his posting, Norris continued the sentiment of the “Shoot a Cop” article, which states “the history of the human race would have been a lot LESS gruesome if there had been a lot MORE ‘cop-killers’ around(.)”
Norris’ commentary supporting the article, which he called “VERY good,” was captured by national media. Politico’s site features image of Norris’ “cops must understand they have no more rights than anyone else” comment.
After catching wind of this from Politico, the state Republican Party requested both Norris and Mattox step down from their positions.
“Their actions are unacceptable,” Matt Moore, SCGOP executive director, toldPolitico.
The state’s Democratic Party was quick to respond, as well. SCDP chairman Dick Harpootlian criticized SCGOP’s low-level response, and state Sen. Vincent Sheheen toldPolitico, “I think we've seen a real shift in the Republican party over the last 8 to 10 years that culminated in the last election -- a move away from those traditional positions and more a flat out anti-government approach.”
The incident didn’t just bother the SCGOP and the SCDP, though; it stirred up local police, too.
After learning of the facebook postings, police in Kershaw County’s town of Camden were instructed to wear body armor.
*** UPDATE: 2:07 PM EDT - JULY 26 Mattox is refusing to honor SCGOP’s request that he step down from his county party’s co-chair position, according to a recent report from the Associated Press.
He says the request from the state party and his Kershaw County GOP violates constitutional rights.
Mattox told AP: "The Constitution gives everybody the right to free speech. And if you start to pick and choose what is and what is not appropriate speech, then what good is the Constitution?" "Maybe they need to go and amend the Constitution to say, 'You have the right to free speech except,' and then tell us what is unacceptable."
Yesterday evening, Mattox was asked to resign his co-chair position, which Kershaw County GOP Chairman Chris Oviatt said was only created last year as a way to incorporate tea party ideas into the county's Republican politics.
County GOP chairman Chris Oviatt says Mattox’s “co-chair” position was only created at last year’s convention to merge the Tea Party into the Kershaw’s Republican Party.
In February 2010 Karen Floyd, who was then state party chairperson, announced an informal merging of the SCGOP with the Tea Party, and with goals of unifying the similar organizations.
Although SCGOP reiterated its demand for resignation this morning, Mattox says he is “unapologetic” in his refusal to accommodate the request.
In the Apr. 30 election for new party chairman, the South Carolina Democratic Party picked attorney, former district solicitor and political consultant Dick Harpootlian, who wore the same party chair shoes from 1998 to 2003.
Harpootlian may have his hands full with the very impressive counterpart of the state’s Republican Party, though.
One week later on May 7, the state GOP elected a new party chair of outstanding accolades, too. Meet Chad Connelly, Amway salesman.
Yep – that’s right. Recruiting unemployed folks to peddle cheesy home products is his claim to fame. Connelly made it up the Amway ladder at least to Ruby Level, and even credits his personal success to the fraudulent, pyramid-scheming cult in his book “Freedom Tide.” (Just click here to read the rave reviews Connelly’s received from his own sales team!)
But Amway’s not the only one of Connelly’s ventures; he once operated the Sandlapper Group. A political consulting firm for state Republican candidates, Sandlapper became known for getting lots of out-of-state campaign donations, mostly from Howard Rich, the infamous New York Libertarian. That’s the same Howard Rich known to sneakily send multiple checks in maximum contribution amounts all from the same address, but under different business names, resulting in as much as half million dollars for GOP candidates in South Carolina every election year.
And even though it seems apparent that Sandlapper went out of business (well, it only got one of its six clients elected in 2008…), that didn’t bring Connelly down.
He kept his ties with Howard Rich, who paid Connelly $63,500 a year to lead the so-called “South Carolinians for Responsible Government,” which is nothing more than a pro-voucher front group operating a scheme to get public tax dollars to pay for private education.
And he’s on the board of Palmetto Family Council, too, the far-right group affiliated with the national Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. Even though PFC claims it promotes “healthy marriage catalyst,” that didn’t stop them from quickly forgiving Mark Sanford after his Argentina affair, and even trying to cover for him on their website. And, yes, PFC is also in favor of giving public education funds to private schools, too.
So let’s do a recap on this guy and the positive attributes he brings to the SCGOP, and in direct comparison the new chair of the state’s Democratic Party:
Connelly - campaign law twister
Harpootlian - solicitor, prosecutor and enforcer of law
Connelly - failed campaign consultant
Harpootlian - SCDP chair who helped unseat a Republican governor after only one term, and for the first time in the history of our state
Connelly - strong foe of public education
Harpootlian - filer of the lawsuit that forced Gov. Sanford to accept the needed federal funds for our state's public schools
Connelly - successful Amway salesman
Harpootlian - successful attorney, campaign consultant and party chair
And why is this of such concern to local Democrats? Well, just think of how difficult of a job we'll have in the 2012 elections! With a guy like Connelly in the chair, we're in for some trouble, because his attributes will make Republicans seem so much better in comparison.
I mean, just think of the positive improvements Connelly could directly offer to our state! When South Carolina kids from middle-class households have no schools to attend, thanks to the SCGOP chucking the money over to private academies, they can work as door-to-door salesmen under Connelly’s sales scheme! And in doing so, the state could chop Medicaid even further by having those uneducated kids sell Amway’s Nutrilite™ products to our senior citizens.
South Carolina Republicans, you have us on the edge of our seats! You strategic plotters, you …
TOTH to WIS-TV, Columbia's NBC affiliate, for scoring up the information our recently elected GOP officials didn't want us to know.
Like this juice on Nikki Haley, for example:
She campaigned for governor on a "small government" platform. She took office swearing the state was at budgetary risk. South Carolina couldn't afford to provide many services, she said, indicating cuts to Medicaid and public education were necessary. She then continued a layoff of state employees that began under the last governor's term, bringing the total to 1,766 jobs cut within the last year.
And then Columbia's Channel 10, after more than one Freedom of Information Act request, got records proving Haley is paying her own top advisers $247,101 more than previous governor Mark Sanford paid his staff. (Read more about it at the WIS-TV website.)
The highest pay of $125,000 goes to Tim Pearson, who ran Haley's campaign last year.
Just like state Rep. Harry Ott told WIS reporter Jody Barr, "we give $125,000 job to somebody who works on our campaign and at the same time, we cut services to handicapped children."
WIS-TV got the same dirt on treasurer Curtis Loftis, who added who new staff jobs for a payroll increase of $143,553, and with one of those jobs going to the father of Loftis' business partner.
(While some of this information about Haley was suspected and previously reported in general terms, WIS-TV gets the credit for scooping up the exact details, and for finding out the info on Loftis, too.)