James Smith and Jim Rex are Minimally Adequate

November 25, 2008 by  
Filed under SC Politics

James Smith and Jim Rex are both rumored to be contestants for the Democratic Gubernatorial Ticket.  And it appears that they both believe the same thing.

The two are both grandstanding on SC Education problems believing that a Constitutional amendment is necessary to fix our public education system.  Here is what James Smith had to say in a recent email:

Fellow South Carolinians:
The election of our new president has proven that we are willing to bring CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN to America. We are asking for your help to make a CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN for South Carolina.

Please sign the petition supporting a constitutional amendment to insert the words “high quality education” in South Carolina’s constitution, replacing our current standard of “a minimally adequate education.”

The petition asks the legislature to allow the people of South Carolina to vote on this amendment in the 2010 election, and we are the principal sponsors of this legislation. Please join us today!

Go to www.GoodbyeMinimallyAdequate.com and sign the petition today.
Let’s bring CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN to South Carolina!
Thank you.
State Senator John Matthews (Senate District 39)
Representative James Smith (House District 72)

With all due respect, how much more money can we throw at the public school system and expect changes?  I am reminded of a quote from Albert Einstein.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

And you cannot blame it all on the teachers or the educators.  When are the parents going to step up to the plate and take responsibility for the individuals they placed in this world?

When are you going to allow teachers to fail students again with out being punished?  When you are moving kids along when they are not ready to move to a higher grade?  You are punishing the rest of the kids in the classroom.  It is bad when a teacher says the following to you:

We cannot move on to the next phase of math though because the rest of the students are not ready.

Forget “minimally adequate”.  The parents of these children need to take the responsibility to work with their kids.  Some of these parents need to learn English.  That would be the first step in solving some of our problems.  Next communicate with your teachers, find out what YOU can do to make your child better and you, the parent, work with your children.

Speaking of which, it is time to do homework now!

I hope the people of South Carolina get a better choice for Governor than these two individuals.

The Continuing Battle For Spartanburg Delegation Chair

November 12, 2008 by  
Filed under SC Politics

I had the privilige of talking to several individuals tonight concerning the race for chairman of the delegation this past Monday.  Needless to say, this will not be the last story as more continues to develop.

I had spoke with Steve Parker and he explained his logic leading up to the meeting this past Monday.  He stated that his objective was for the chair to be from the older group of officials and the vice-chair be one of the officials just winning their first term into public office.

Steve spent the past week lobbying for Littlejohn to be chair and was trying to position himself to be vice-chair.  As we all know, Steve got the losing end of the deal there as he was not even nominated.  We did learn that one senator offered to go ahead and nominate after Kelly & Millwood were nominated.  Parker stated that he told him not to worry about it, the numbers are not there.

Then there is Shane Martin.  Our sources have indicated that he was not even lobbying for the position and was happy to support Littlejohn.  Matter of fact, it appears he is still willing to support him.

Lee Bright is the next question.  As he showed up a little late, he started the questioning of the votes from the beginning.  He in fact mentioned that the vote may should be weighted.  He also told the Herald Journal that he was going to look into this further.

Lee Bright may be the lone ranger in this crowd.  It appears that he will do what he feels is right no matter the cost.  It will be interesting to watch this one develop.

Our sources indicate that he (Bright) has made contact with Senate lawyers and it is believed that the vote was supposed to be weighted.  We have heard from one source that they may push to accept the original vote for Chair, but take the weighted vote for vice chair, making Joey Millwood the vice chairman instead of Keith Kelly.

And here is the logic on the weighted votes.  The biggest argument here is that if a count were always the method for procedural votes, then the house members would always out weight the senate members.  By using the weighted votes, they (Senators) can then have an equal voice.

There is still the question of whether or not Bright’s votes counted.  There is an argument between the two factions that since Bright was not sworn in, his vote did not count.  The other side of the argument is that this ceremony was not an official ceremony.  The official ceremony is scheduled to be in Columbia in the next month or so.

Some may say what is the big deal, it is just a title with no real authority.  What does matter is the possible corruption in the process.  This is what is trying to be eliminated from our government; thru transparency issues, etc.  What is truly happening then if this is the case for a delegation chairmanship.

Either way, we have not heard the last of this.  We’ll keep you informed on the latest developments.

Catching Up on Inglis After The Election

November 11, 2008 by  
Filed under SC Politics

Bob Inglis via The Conservativist

Bob Inglis Speaks to Spartanburg GOP on November 1st, 2008

It should come as no surprise to you that the Congressman and I are at odds over many things. That does not mean that I don’t respect him and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate him on his recent victory.

See Bob, I can do more than just criticize!

Now on to more pressing issues. Let’s start with the bailout…uhum…the Recovery Package. At Inglis’ Let’s Talk lunch this past month Congressman Bob Inglis gave an update on his vote. He stated he had to ask himself the following question:

Is the risk of doing nothing greater than the risk of buying $700 billion of illiquid securities?

He decided to support the bailout so the economy could make an emergency landing rather than crash. He said with the facts he knew, he was glad that we have a democratic republic because the people were missing this one.

He further stated that we must do something about Medicare and Social Security to get the budget under control. He believes this is one of the largest symptoms of our budget crisis.

Some argued then to just get rid of it. It was stated that many of us will never see its benefits, therefore let us manage our own retirement. The Congressman stated we really cannot do that, it will make many people mad, especially those that are counting on it.

I couldn’t resist the opportunity and shot back

Congressman, with all do respect, it didn’t matter that you pissed off America by supporting the bailout. So what is the difference in applying that logic to axe Social Security.

Now, I realize there are bigger complications with just eliminating social security. My objective was to get the point across that just because it will make people mad cannot be a valid excuse, it didn’t apply to the bailout.

There was also a little plus for Congressman Bob Inglis in the bailout that was passed. In it was a provision to allow for a cap and trade system on carbon. It was called the “ENERGY IMPROVEMENT AND EXTENSION ACT OF 2008“. It was found in Division B of HR 1424.

To at least finish this off on a positive note, Congressman Inglis did vote to change the bankruptcy laws for Reservists and National Guard troops who may be serving actively.  This should provide them more protection while they are earning less than their normal salaries while serving our Great Nation.

Division In Spartanburg

November 11, 2008 by  
Filed under SC Politics

As we mentioned in an earlier post, the division in the county delegation is apparent already.  And it’s not across party lines either.

I would like to share with you the vote weight scale for the county.  It is based on population amounts and is distributed to make a sum of 100.  This becomes key.  You will see in the video below where a last minute decision was made to ensure the desired outcome.

District Member Vote Weight
SD 11 Glenn Reese 17.893
SD 12 Lee Bright 17.310
SD 13 Shane Martin 13.791
HD 34 Mike Forrester 6.510
HD 36 Rita Allison 6.457
HD 32 Derham Cole Jr. 6.425
HD 38 Joey Millwood 6.403
HD 37 Steve Parker 6.356
HD 31 Harold Mitchell 6.230
HD 35 Keith Kelly 6.217
HD 33 Lanny Littlejohn 4.972
SD 14 Harvey Peeler 1.006
HD 42 Mike Anthony .430

View the picture below.  This is taken before the vote and it shows where each candidate remained seated for the rest of the meeting.  Note the 2 nameplates at the center of the platform and exiting House Speaker Pro Tempore Doug Smith.

Spartanburg County Delegation

The Vote for Chair(s)
It went down in style.  Below you will find the video of the event but here’s the quick vote count.  Littlejohn wins the vote based on a decision by Doug Smith that supposedly for procedural matters, vote count is the preferred method instead of a weighted vote.  The video shows some hesitation in the decision process. Kelly wins the vote using the same procedure determined from the previous vote.

Member Chairman Vice-Chairman
Martin Kelly Millwood
Lee Bright Y Y
Mike Forrester Y Y
Harold Mitchell Y Y
Mike Anthony Y Y
Glenn Reese Y Y
Keith Kelly Y Y
Lanny Littlejohn Y Y
Derham Cole Y Y
Rita Allison Y Y
Shane Martin Y Y
Harvey Peeler Y Y
Joey Millwood Y Y
Steve Parker Y Y
Total Votes 9 4 8 5
Weighted Vote 44.603 55.397 38.247 61.753

One question that leads me to believe that the division exists is based on the following question:

Why did half of the group expect it to be a weighted vote and the other half a count?

Two of eldest members of the group, Reese and Littlejohn, were on two different pages as to how the vote was counted.  This isn’t the first time that they witnessed the county delegation chairmanship proceedings.

And what caused the chair(s) to coincidentally be set up at the center of the stage?  There appears to be a rat afloat and we hope to get an answer.

Here is the video:

A Riff in Spartanburg Delegation

November 10, 2008 by  
Filed under SC Politics

It appears there is division in the county delegation just one week after the election.

The vote for chair went to Littlejohn (9) Shane Martin (4). We have learned that although by the numbers Littlejohn won, Martin won by a weighted vote. All 3 senators and Joey Millwood carried more weight than the other 9 voting members. I’ll get details later.

The same question could be posed for the vice chairmanship. Kelly gained 8 votes and Millwood 5. Again the three senators plus two house members voted for Millwood.

The question to raise is whether or not this vote was conducted accordingly by Doug Smith, exiting House Pro Temp.

If not, it appears that Doug Smith was not done with politics and left his exiting mark on the Spartanburg County Delegation.

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