Some true classic moments performed by Republican presidential candidates -
Thomas Ravenel (snagged from WLTX)
Many Ron Paul followers cite an assumed “legal drugs” position as the basis of their support for the Republican presidential candidate.
This evening, the latest endorsement for Paul seems to add weight to their argument.
Thomas Ravenel, the former South Carolina state treasurer who shortly after being elected was convicted of drug charges, endorsed the Texas congressman earlier today.
In an email and facebook posting submitted on Dec. 30, Ravenel alluded to his drug conviction in his formal endorsement statement. “As a victim of a government’s costly ‘War on Drugs’ — I have first-hand knowledge of the failure of an inherently repressive system that’s based on the notion of protecting people from themselves.”
Elected to the state treasurer’s position in 2006, Ravenel was first indicted for cocaine possession with intent to distribute in June 2007, six months after assuming the office. After admitting regular use of many illegal narcotics, including marijuana, ecstasy and LSD, he was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison.
Throughout his campaign, Paul has issued many statements – both directly and indirectly – that he finds drug enforcement to be fruitless, if not unconstitutional. In a previous campaign statement, he said “all drugs should be decriminalized. Drugs should be distributed by any adult to other adults.”
Paul is predicted to finish second behind Mitt Romney in the upcoming Jan. 3 Iowa caucus, the first in the primary series for the Republican presidential nomination.
At the time of his initial indictment, Ravenel was state chairman for former New York governor Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign in South Carolina. He’d previously run for U.S. Senate in 2004, finishing third in the GOP primary race, and was fined $19,000 by the Federal Election Commission for failure to properly file election forms.
Earlier this month, Ravenel made national news for filing suit against his former fiancé.
The South Carolina Republican presidential primary is scheduled for Jan. 21.
Despite all the hoot and holler about next week’s Iowa Caucus, other state primary races are still getting attention, too. Take Virginia, for instance.
The Old Dominion state’s recent primary news isn’t limited to the fact that its ballots will only have two candidates, though. And it’s not just the fact that its own resident, Newt Gingrich, won’t appear on those ballots, either.
In a decision made yesterday, the Virginia Board of Elections approved a unique proposal that actually restricts its voters in an archaic, if not Kremlin-esque, format. In order to participate in the Mar. 6 presidential primary, voters will have to sign a “loyalty oath,” swearing in writing that in the November General Election they will vote for whichever Republican ultimately wins the party nomination.
And if they don’t? Then those same folks in Virginia (a state that doesn’t register voters with any party to begin with) won’t be allowed to vote that day.
The pledge reads “I, the undersigned, pledge that I intend to support the nominee of the Republican Party for president.”
Can the VAGOP really make such a requirement? Well, yes, but only due to a very new update to its state code that passed earlier this year (Section 24.2-545 of the Code of Virginia).
But that doesn’t mean the requirement is valid, though. After all, the state Board of Elections didn’t make the decision until yesterday, which was only 69 days before the primary election. And, according to that same Section 24.2-545, that wasn’t soon enough.
“The requirements applicable to a party’s primary shall be determined at least 90 days prior to the primary date,” the Code of Virginia reads.
There’s even an elected Republican official who objects to it, too. Delegate Bob Marshall of Virginia’s 13th Dist. offered a written objection in a news release earlier today; “I think this sends the wrong message,” he wrote, adding that oaths are “detested by many good Republicans.”
The pledge is even rather oxymoronic, too, Marshall says. “Virginia’s Republican leadership wants to mandate a loyalty oath when Virginia’s Republican officials are in court fighting the Obamacare mandate?”
Will the “loyalty oath” remain on the books for the March primary? Well, no formal objections have been filed yet, but let’s wait and see.
Virginia election officials have other fish to fry first, after all. Rick Perry filed suit against the state, claiming its candidate petition method (which he and most other GOP candidates failed to complete), is unconstitutional. His case will be heard Jan. 13.
Remember your state motto, Virginia - "down with tyrants"! Remind your state's GOP about that, too, while you're at it, because they're "loyalty oath" garbage is rather tyrannical.
Ron Paul (L) and Kent Sorenson (snagged from Iowa Freedom Report)
Less than one week before the Iowa primary, the state director of Rep. Michelle Bachman’s campaign jumped ship and endorsed another candidate.
State Sen. Kent Sorenson (R-Indianola) announced this evening he was changing his support to Rep. Ron Paul while attending a “Salute to Veterans” rally organized for the Texas congressman.
“Today, I am switching my support from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul for the 2012 Iowa Caucuses and the presidency of the United States,” Sorenson said, calling the decision “one of the most difficult I have made in my life.”
“Ron Paul is the only candidate to predict the current mess we find ourselves in economically, and he’s the only candidate to offer a true plan to cut spending and balance our budget.”
Jesse Benton, chairman of Paul’s national campaign, welcomed the endorsement in a formal statement. “Congressman Paul is delighted to accept the endorsement of Sen. Kent Sorenson, whose blessing and assistance carry a great deal weight in Iowa. The fact that he doesn’t take this decision lightly tells a great deal about the Senator and Ron Paul. This endorsement is a rare find and we hope it pushes us nearer to our goal of a strong top-three finish at the January caucus.”
In the most recent poll of Iowan Republicans, Paul lead all candidates with 24 percent. Mitt Romney was a close second, taking 20 percent; Bachmann was a distant fourth with 11 percent.
The Iowa caucus is scheduled next week for Jan. 3.
Sorenson had been employed by Bachmann for about seven months. Rumors first begin circulating that Bachmann would hire Sorenson in late March after he spoke warmly of the Minnesota congresswoman in a CNN interview.
“I hope she decides to run,” he said on March 10. “She is somebody that (sic) has the credentials to fire up the grassroots. She would be someone who could unite different factions of the party. She is a strong fiscal and social conservative.”
Sorenson was hired as her Iowa state campaign director shortly after in late June, and helped Bachmann win the Ames Straw Poll in August. Paul placed a close second.
Sorenson attended a Bachmann campaign event earlier today without any indication of his last-minute switch. When asked to speak on Bachmann’s behalf, Sorenson told other campaign staff he couldn’t because he just had dental work done.
Late this afternoon before Sorenson’s surprise announcement, Bachmann focused her attention on Paul while campaigning across the state, saying he “would be a dangerous president.”
Sorenson won a very close race to represent Iowa’s State House Dist. 74 in 2008, and was elected to State Senate Dist. 37 in 2010.
Dr. Chris Lamb, a professor of Communications at the College of Charleston, composed the following entry that recently appeared in The State as a guest column:
Chris Lamb (photo snagged from CofC's site; click to access)
The State reported Sunday on a Winthrop University poll that revealed only 34 percent of registered voters approve of the job Nikki Haley is doing as governor.
Upon reviewing Haley’s first year in office, one is left wondering not why her approval rating is so low but rather why it is so high.
Jan. 13: The Associated Press reports that Haley will pay her chief of staff, Tim Pearson, $125,000 per year — $27,500 more than Gov. Mark Sanford paid his chief of staff the preceding year.
March 3: Haley appoints a campaign contributor, attorney Tommy Cofield, to the University of South Carolina’s Board of Trustees, replacing Darla Moore, the largest benefactor in the school’s history.
March 15: The State, drawing on documents received through a Freedom of Information Act request, reports that Haley’s 2008 application for a job as a fundraiser for the Lexington Medical Center listed her previous salary at $125,000 a year — $100,000 more than what she really earned at her parents’ clothing store.
April 21: The State newspaper, citing documents from another FOIA request, reveals that Haley’s office tried to convince news organizations to report that Darla Moore was replaced because she ignored multiple requests to meet with the governor. The documents provide no evidence that Haley tried to contact Moore prior to March 3.
June 18: Haley and a delegation of 26 others go to Paris to recruit business to the state. North Carolina sends seven people to the air show. Georgia sends two.
Sept. 5: Post and Courier reporter Renee Dudley writes that the governor’s June trip to Paris cost the state an estimated $127,000. The costs include airfare, five-star hotels, a soiree for foreign business leaders and a chalet at the International Paris Air Show.
Sept. 8: Haley calls Dudley a “little girl” during a nationally syndicated radio interview.
Sept. 8: Haley tells the Lexington Rotary Club that half of applicants for jobs at the Energy Department’s Savannah River Site failed drug tests and half of the remaining applicants couldn’t pass reading and writing tests.
Sept. 12: The Post and Courier reports that Haley and her staff stayed overnight at luxury beach cottages at Kiawah Island, at a cost of $3,641. By comparison, Gov. Mark Sanford held his staff retreats at his family farm in Beaufort, where they cooked hamburgers on a fire pit and slept in sleeping bags.
Sept. 20: Haley acknowledges she can’t support the claim she made at the Lexington Rotary Club, adding, “I never felt like I had to back up what people tell me.”
Nov. 8: The Post and Courier reports that Haley is in California again to speak to conservative groups, expand her national image and raise money for her 2014 re-election campaign. The newspaper reports that Haley has flown more than 50 times and has spent a month and a half outside South Carolina since becoming governor. It says the governor has accepted 20 flights from people with potential business with the state, including three who were appointed to important government positions.
Nov. 10: The board that oversees the Department of Health and Environmental Control overrules an initial staff decision and approves a water-quality permit for the Georgia Ports Authority to dredge the Savannah port. The decision is made without public hearings or feedback from political, business or environmental leaders. Critics charge that Haley and the board, comprised of the governor’s appointees, betrayed the state’s interests by giving Savannah a competitive advantage over Charleston.
Nov. 18: The Post and Courier reports that the governor’s trip to Europe cost the state $158,000, not the $127,000 earlier reported.
Nov. 20: The State discovers from an FOIA request that Haley’s staff has deleted emails between staffers, possibly in violation of state public records laws.
Dec. 8: Lawmakers, business groups, and environmentalists publically challenge DHEC’s decision. Says GOP Rep. Chip Limehouse: “I don’t think this issue is going away any time soon.”
Lamb’s taught writing classes at CoC, where he also advises the student newspaper, since 1997. (I included this entry on Robservations chiefly in memory of my own college rag’s advisor, the late [and infamous] Don Lee Keith. Plus, Chris might buy me a beer one day.)
This entry appears with his direct permission.
His latest book, The Sound and Fury of Sarah Palin (Frontline Press), comes out in January.
Lee Walter Jenkins (photo by Rob Groce)
This evening’s “The Power Hour” on 1230 AM radio has a whole new angle from its regular shows: instead of discussing how South Carolinians’ rights are being tangled into yet another knot, special guest Lee Walter Jenkins will tell how one just got untied.
Beginning at 6 p.m., Jenkins will join guest-host David Calef to talk about the recent block to a questionable law that alienated many voters.
Columbia listeners can tune-in to WOIC 1230 AM, and others across the country can listen from the station’s website. (Click here and then use the “listen live” link on that page.)
On Dec. 23, the Dept. of Justice submitted notice to the state that its Voter ID law, enacted in May, could not be used. The new law would prevent almost a quarter-million voters from participating in elections, DOJ noted in its review, and would also disproportionately affect minority citizens.
Jenkins’ part of the state would have been far more affected, too. Marion County, whose Democratic Party he serves as chair, is dominantly African-American in population.
In its notice to the state Attorney General’s office, DOJ wrote “minority registered voters are about 20 percent more likely than white registered voters to lack DMV-issued identification.”
Calef, whose regular “Inside Politics” show airs Sundays at 6 p.m. on WOIC, is filling in for regular “The Power Hour” host Lopez Martinez.
Earlier this year, Jenkins was a dark-horse candidate for chair of the state Democratic Party.
But we can't tax the "job creators," right? Uh huh.
Our current unemployment rate of 8.6 percent is the lowest it's been since April 2009; we still have 13.3 million without work, though.
That additional 1.85 percent we could gain, and just from those executive bonuses, would amount to 2.86 million jobs.
The listing of 2.86 million jobs was of my own calculation, using average wages and benefits costs. When asked by commenters for more details, I went to the original source of the image above and tracked its own source.
That original source is a recent report from SEIU, which lists the total bonuses paid by those six banking institutions to total $143 billion, and the number of jobs that could be created by that money to be 3.6 million. (Link to that SEIU document)
I assume my use of benefits costs to be the reason for variations.
Below is another image from the same MoveourmoneyUSA.org group, this one detailing the total number of jobs that could be created with the bonuses paid per institution. Please note that its calculations appear (to me, at least) to not be inclusive of other employment expenses aside from wages.
South Carolina's recent "Voter ID" law has been rejected by the U.S. Dept. of Justice.
In letter issued today, Asst. Sec. Thomas E. Perez explained that the state could not enforce the law because it would unfairly affect minorities, restricting their legal right to vote. (Full letter attached below.)
As a result, voters in the state will only need to present a voter registration card in order to vote. A drivers’ license or other state ID can still be used.
Signed into law by Gov. Nikki Haley in early May, the bill required all voters to show a state-issued picture ID at the polls in order to participate in elections. However, and as the state legislature itself admitted at that time, 178,000 currently registered voters were without such photo identification. As DOJ researched the situation further, the number rose to 239,333.
Not only would the Voter ID law have alienated college students, seniors and disabled citizens, but it would disproportionately affect minorities, who “constituted 34.2% of registered voters who did not have the requisite DMV-issued identification to vote,” DOJ said in its letter to the state.
“(M)inority registered voters are about 20% more likely than white registered voters to lack DMV-issued identification,” Perez wrote.
Voters attempting to acquire photo IDs faced difficulties, too. Included in reported stories to date:
“We followed up with you immediately by telephone,” Perez wrote, “but the state offered no additional documentation.”
The potential rejection of the Voter ID law was already established. In August, DOJ stated the new law couldn’t be enforced in the November elections, and due to the state’s failure to issue new IDs in timely fashion. Earlier this month, Atty. Gen. Eric Holder spoke skeptically of the law.
South Carolina had already been rated last in voter accessibility earlier this year.
After hitting the airwaves in November following a questionable arrest, Occupy Columbia will again be featured on local radio, this time detailing the latest chapter of their battles with Gov. Nikki Haley.
Occupy Columbia participants Dillon Corbett and Walid Hakim will appear on this evening’s “The Power Hour” show on WOIC 1230 AM.
Starting at 6 p.m., the show can also be heard online (click here and then use the “listen live” link on that page).
Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that Haley could restrict Occupy Columbia from overnight use of state property. The ruling sharply limits the demonstration that’s lasted for about 10 weeks, during which has the group faced many obstacles from the governor.
On Nov. 16, Haley gave the organization two-hour notice that it must clear from State House grounds after 6 p.m. That evening, after 33 days of presence at the Gervais St. facility, 19 participants were arrested by the state’s Bureau of Protective Service and the Dept. of Public Safety.
Just five days later, the group returned, this time with support from the city’s mayor, who had denied the governor’s request for aid from Columbia police on Nov. 16. Occupy Columbia also filed a restraining order against Haley on Nov. 22.
Listeners who’d like to comment or ask questions of Corbett and Hakim can call (803) 742-1230 or call toll-free at (888) 671-7278.
Guest-hosting tonight’s show for regular “Power Hour” host Lopez Martinez will be David Calef, whose regular "Inside Politics" show airs Sundays at 6 p.m. on the same station.
Corbett and Hakim spoke on “Power Hour” with host Calef on Nov. 25.
Paper money is unconstitutional? And so is Medicare and Medicaid? Oh, come on, now....
Robservations by Rob Groce is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.