House District 38 Poll

January 29, 2010 by  
Filed under SC Politics

Before the old poll system died, I was able to recover the voting data for the House District 38 race.

With that said, I would like to offer these disclaimers:

  1. Polling before and during January probably is not the best practice
  2. Web polling typically is not scientifically accurate.
  3. Our polls do there best to prevent users from voting multiple times

Things don’t look good for the incumbent, Joey Millwood.  Millwood, who is an outsider and doesn’t play by the standard rules of politics, appears to have upset the political establishment.  That doesn’t bother him though.  He’ll continue to do what he believes is right, stirring the pot when necessary.

With that said, here are the results of our first poll.  You can always vote in the new poll below if you don’t believe these results…

Candidate Votes Percentage
Doug Brannon 4 5.5%
Joey Millwood 15 20.8%
John Moore 46 63.8%
Bob Walker 4 5.5%
Other 3 4.4%

[polldaddy poll=2606264]

Jan. 2010 House Race Update – District 33

January 28, 2010 by  
Filed under SC Politics

Lanny Littlejohn, Representative House District 33

With Littlejohn announcing his retirement a few weeks ago, we thought we would take a look into this race and see what is going on.  Let us know what your thoughts on this race and let us know who your pre-filing preference is in our poll below!

Lanny Littlejohn

Contributions:  $0.00
Expenditures:  $1,736.66
Cash on hand: $9,088.25

Littlejohn announced his retirement from public service back in November.  His latest contribution report affirms that has he has taken in zero dollars in contributions and he is calling it quits.

Weldon Davis

Contributions:  $0.00
Expenditures:  $39.00
Cash on hand: $756.39

UPDATE:  Davis is announcing today he is running as a Republican in District 33, courtesy the Herald Journal. We have updated the poll.

Our poll will not include Weldon, as of of now, he is uncontested as a democrat.  At least he was a democrat in 2008 when he ran against Littlejohn.  Lastly, we have only heard rumors that Weldon is considering a run again.  Looking at his filing reports, he hasn’t begun raising any money.

Manning Lynch

Contributions:  $0.00
Expenditures:  $0.00
Cash on hand: $5,721.64

Lynch was thought to be a big contender in this race, but latest rumors we are hearing state that he is not going to run.   Lynch did not raise any money in this last cycle.  This would tend to lend these rumors to be true, but I think it is still to early to tell.

Eddie Tallon

Contributions:  $29,233.98
Expenditures:  $914.40
Cash on hand: $30,269.58

Tallon by far raised the most money and has the best stock pile of any of the candidates.  Rumors on the street state he will probably take the primary without any real issues.

Tallon’s contribution report appears to be a who’s who of donors.  There are also several donors whose name is “X X” with an “X X X” address.  There are 18 of those records, but if memory serves me right, these are below the reporting threshold requirement for who the individuals are.

UPDATE:
Corrected comments on Junie White, my apologies Mayor White.

[polldaddy poll=2608673]

Apple is Coming to Haywood Mall

January 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Tech

Apple Is Posed to Open Store in Greenville, SC

I was doing my nightly wrap up of programming and reading the latest reviews on Apple’s newest product, the iPad, I decided to see if the rumors we had heard two years ago were finally coming true.

What rumors, Apple opening a retail store in Greenville, SC. I had heard that a store would be coming to the new Magnolia Park Town Center in Greenville or the Pointe development across from the Shoppe’s at Greenridge on Woodruff Rd.  Both of those projects, I believe, have been put on hold.  So the only other logical place to put one is in Haywood Mall or downtown Greenville.

For those of you who don’t know me, I am a web developer by trade and unfortunately for my wife, a Mac geek.

So while taking a look, we found on Mac Rumors updates that started talking about a Greenville Apple Store again.  So I decided to take a look and found job listings on Apple’s website for a Greenville retail store!

Apple Greenville Job Listing

I for one can’t wait to have a Apple store 30 minutes from home.  It beats driving to Charlotte or waiting a few days for my new items to come in the mail.  My wife on the other hand is all but pleased.  She immediately envisions hours of trolling around the new store playing with gadgets which inevitably leads to a new purchase.  My best bet may be trying to get a part time job, I could use the discount!

So we want to know what you think about the possibility of an Apple Store in Greenville.  Leave a comment below.

[polldaddy poll=2607920]

Spartanburg House Race Update – District 35

January 22, 2010 by  
Filed under SC Politics

The Race for House District 35 could provide some fireworks, then again, it may provide zero fireworks.  Looking at the current fund raising totals, I was not thoroughly impressed.

The biggest note of this race could end up being the huge legislative delegation issue that existed for several months.  Kelly was elected vice-chairman of the delegation and in a compromise, he lost the seat to Sen. Shane Martin.  This ultimately has no real meaning, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this come up.

Don’t forget to vote in our House District 35 poll at the bottom of this post!

Keith Kelly

Contributions:  $4,400.00
Expenditures:  $3,644.24
Cash on hand: $1,301.80

Kelly’s finances seem a little short considering his incumbent status.  Of the $4,400 we have listed here, $3,000 of it is a personal loan to the campaign and $450 comes from actual individuals.  I do not know the landscape of this district very well (I don’t know if the oil reservoirs in lower Spartanburg are in his district), but he received $600 from petroleum companies in the last cycle as well.

Expense wise, he paid “On the Mark, LLC” (believe this is a Tompkins organization) almost $3,000 for an invoice and other businesses for radio advertising.

Willie Casey

Contributions:  $0
Expenditures:  $0
Cash on hand: $0

Wilie Casey has his name listed as a potential candidate for the election, but no forms have been uploaded.  Is he running?

William “Bill” Chumley

Contributions:  $1,420.00
Expenditures:  $3,130.00
Cash on hand: $348.72

Bill Chumley, another Sullivan candidate, also loaned the campaign money, $500.00.  Bill’s fund raising efforts appear to come from individuals in his district, with one coming from the county.   Looking at his expenses, we see he had to pay Sullivan during this cycle, $3000. Since filing, Chumley’s largest expenses have been paying Sullivan $5,500 in consulting charges.  For fairness sake, consulting could include printing of materials, etc.

Ironically though, Millwood, another Sullivan client, did not have a payment to Sullivan in the last two cycles, which we believe is the time he changed consultants.

Contracts are contracts and I guess all contracts are not equal.

[polldaddy poll=2606202]

Change in Test Causes Spike in School AYP Scores

January 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Press Release

Contact: Neil Mellen
South Carolinians for Responsible Government (SCRG)
803.212.1051

Officials have released details of this year’s public school rankings and parents are in for a surprise.

While Adequate Yearly Progress (or “AYP”) scores for elementary and middle schools across South Carolina have risen slightly, higher levels of student achievement are not the cause.

“Most of the improvement we see is the result of changes to the testing and scoring system,” explained Randy Page, president of an educational watchdog organization in Columbia. “When the schools switched from the PACT test to the new PASS test standards were lowered, giving the false impression that achievement gains were made.”

“Teachers, parents, students, and just about everyone was happy to see the PACT test replaced, but the school administrators and school boards lobbied hard to include a provision that weakens the way the new test would be graded and reported,” observed Page.

Last year, national testing experts at the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) criticized the new PASS test standards “as among the bottom quartile in a recent cross-state comparison of proficient standards within 27 states.”

The NWEA report further noted that just switching from PACT to PASS, would bring about a “dramatic” increase in the number of students meeting the standards “even with no actual improvement on student performance.”

Officials at Data Recognition Corp (DRC), a Minnesota based firm with political connections to Superintendent Jim Rex, seemed to agree. DRC created and helps to administer the PASS test, and was the primary contractor on the PACT test that PASS replaced. Last year a DRC official admitted to the press that under the recommended PASS scoring benchmarks, more students would fall into higher categories, which would lead to higher scores. In other words, scores would automatically rise even if student and school performance were stagnant.

Page and others have made the case that increasing parental choice would strengthen the state’s accountability laws and free up more resources for public schools.

“An educational tax credit program would provide parents with real options and save local school districts over $5,000 in locally raised revenues for each child whose parents exercise a choice about where their child attends school” noted Page, who pointed to similar programs already in effect in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Florida. “Educational tax credits would spur investment in education and give parents more of a reason to be engaged with their students education – that is something that standardized tests and AYP reports alone will never accomplish.”

Details of the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for local schools and districts can be found online at: www.ed.sc.gov/topics/assessment/scores/ayp/

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