SC GOP Gubernatorial Runoff

June 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Opinion, SC Politics

Who do you support to be South Carolina’s republican nominee for governor?

The runoff is between State Rep. Nikki Haley and Congressman Gresham Barrett and the vote is next Tuesday, June 22nd.  Here’s our two cents, take it for what it is worth.

Nikki Haley

Haley won the initial primary collecting almost 49% of the vote, even after multiple allegations (2) that she had extra-marital affairs.  She received the endorsement of Sara Palin and is the beauty of the SC Tea Party.

I personally have liked Haley for several years.  Especially on her transparency and reform initiatives.  Of course, even some of that has come into question recently.  In particular, The State newspaper is calling her out over contradicting stimulus votes.

My biggest fear with Haley?  I’m afraid she’ll run into the same issues as Mark Sanford had.  That is, not being able to work with the legislature to get the key reform initiatives passed.

Gresham Barrett

Our biggest complaint with Barrett is that he first voted against TARP, then voted for it.  That, and in my opinion, he campaigns to heavily on his Christian credentials.

Most recently, he was questioned by a political activist concerning a “miss-statement” in one of his campaign ads claiming he was retired. The activist confronts Barrett and he agrees that there was a mistake, but the activist was trying to tie this mistake to our friends in Connecticut.  In particular, the activist is referring to Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal who had been lying about his service record, claiming to have been in Vietnam.

My biggest fear with Barrett is he’ll flip flop on key issues.

Who Wins?

So who will win this race and who are you supporting?  Here’s your chance to make the best case for your candidate.

Who is Leighton Lord?

June 15, 2010 by  
Filed under SC Politics

Lord is seeking the Republican nomination for SC Attorney General in next Tuesday’s primary runoff against Alan Wilson, son of Joe Wilson. Lord played a pivotal role in bringing Boeing to SC, which he caught some flak for earlier in the campaign as well.

Lord has had a very successful career as an attorney and was elected to be Nexsen Pruet’s chairman of the board in November 2005 (source Nexsen Pruet.com).

But late last week, we received an anonymous tip that we should look into Leighton Lord’s past financial contributions to political candidates.

Lo and behold, the candidate seeking the GOP nomination for Attorney General had made a few contributions to candidates on the other side of the isle, in particular Democratic Gubernatorial nominee Vincent Sheheen. The other donation in question was made to Dwayne Green, who was running against former Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Sen. Robert Ford.

Leighton Lord III Donation To:
Vincent Sheheen (State Senate – D), 3/30/2009, $250

Leighton Lord III Donation To:
Dwayne Green (State Senate – D), 2/26/2008, $200

Since Lord is the managing partner and chairman of the board of Nexsen Pruet, we figured he may have some role in how they donate monies to candidates in the elections. So below you will find those contributions too.

Nexsen Pruet Donation To:
SC Democatic Party, 5/19/2008, $2500

Nexsen Pruet Donation To:
Gilda Cobb-Hunter, 6/7/2008, $250

Nexsen Pruet Donation To:
Darrell Jackson Sr, 6/11/2008, $1000

Nexsen Pruet Donation To:
James E Smith, 12/15/2008, $1000

Nexsen Pruet Donation To:
Senate Democratic Caucus, 2/29/2008, $1000

Nexsen Pruet Donation To:
Senate Democratic Caucus, 8/12/2009, $1000

To be extremely fair, the company has made several larger contributions to republicans during those cycles as did Lord make similar contributions to republican candidates.

This raises some further concern, considering the beating Bob Inglis has given Trey Gowdy for his financial contributions to former Senator Fritz Hollings.

Inglis has been able to successfully question Gowdy’s conservativism and has drawed enough questions into that race.

So, Mr. Lord, how do you explain your donations to democratic candidates?

We have requested comment from the campaign which has not been returned as of publishing.

Who We Like – SC 4th Congressional

June 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Opinion, SC Politics

Back in the summer of 2008, I began looking intently to June 8th 2010. I was tired of Inglis’ politics and wanted change.

I began doing the research to see what it would take to mount a serious campaign against Inglis. This is no secret to the congressman, I had been one of his most vocal critics since 2007.  Needless to say, during this research, I soon realized I didn’t have the resources at my disposal.

I was approached by members of Jeffrey’s (not Christina or family) camp in November 2008 and was asked to consider not running and backing her. I responded with a quick no.  It was nothing personal against Jeffrey, I had many conversations with her and felt like she was a great person, but my gut said no.

During early months of 2009, I was able to interview most of the candidates and developed my personal opinions on who I liked in the race.

I decided that Andrew Smart was the way to go in April. He was young, intelligent, energetic and I liked his positions on the issues. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out quite like I had hoped.

So here’s my personal thoughts on each of the candidates.

Bob Inglis

The incumbent. My disagreement over policy has long been an issue. Unfortunatley, I began to discover that leadership was not a strong quality of Mr. Inglis either.

I say this because he spent tax payer money to research immigration, and develop his 5 points on immigration that he still talks about, but has never stepped up to he plate to introduce a bill. During many of his Let’s Talk forums, he gave the impression he supported amnesty, but was spared voting on it when it died in the Senate.

He claimed he was going to introduce an alternative health care bill, but never did.  But he did introduce a “Repeal It” bill.

Inglis’ votes to limit the freedoms of individuals (He voted to extend the Patriot Act and warrantless wire tapping), unfunded mandates like the Real ID that was embedded into the Tsunami Aid Bill, TARP, and his energy policies which have created many questions in itself.

Again, it is nothing personal against Inglis, it is about his positions.  I hope he and his team understand this.

Trey Gowdy

I was honestly surprised to see Gowdy jump in this race, probably just as much as Inglis was.  Most of our sources and rumors indicated that Gowdy would be making a run for Attorney General.  Gowdy would have made an excellent AG and I probably would have supported him 100%.

Gowdy was one of the candidates we were never able to settle down on an interview.  And it wasn’t his fault.  I had consulted with the campaign and discussed opportunities, but I was never able to work it into my work schedule.  My apologies to Gowdy up front and my readers.

All along, one of my concerns, drawbacks on Gowdy was his support of McCain in the 2008 primaries.  I understand and respect Gowdy’s reasoning, but it was of concern.  Gowdy is a prosecutor and I’m not sure how effective that will translate into working for votes in Congress.

Christina Jeffrey

Christina Jeffrey talks all the right points to attract a Tea Party activist or even a Ron Paul supporter.  What bugged me through the election cycle is her mannerisms and the several lies she was caught in.  The biggest of which was who she supported for President in 2008.  In a debate, she said she voted for Duncan Hunter, and when questioned on it later, she stated she voted for Huckabee and even worked for Rudy Giuliani.  A wild stretch considering her “most conservative” candidate monicker.

Jeffrey claims she not the political establishment and she’s different because she’s a constitutional scholar.  She’s also been a community organizer by her own accounts, working on multiple campaigns with Get out the Vote efforts and working in the county party.  Lastly, according to her profile, she’s never been in a position of authority.  All of her experience is in the classroom teaching constitutional theory.  She has not managed budgets or personnel.  All of this sounds to much like our current president, Barack Obama, and most of us agree all of these supposed great attributes have failed horribly.

Dave Thomas

With all due respect to Sen. David Thomas, when he announced, I choked.  His claims to be the conservative choice and a jobs congressman were all laughable.  He then goes on to say that when elected, he will establish a commission with leaders across multiple states to determine a solution to the nations financial problems.  I’m really rolling on the floor now, Why?

In the spring of 2009, Thomas and 4 other leaders held a press conference in Spartanburg telling people they were going to roll up their sleeves and fight the stimulus.  Unfortunately, Thomas didn’t keep he sleeves up long, as he rolled over and voted to take all of it.  Sources tell us he was even instrumental in getting votes to take the money.

And in regards to fixing the nations problems, what has he done to reduce the size of SC’s $21 billion dollar budget and not raise fees and taxes on its citizens?

Jim Lee

When speaking with each of the candidate, Lee came across as the most candid.  He also spent the most time with us, 3 hours in our interview, and he didn’t beat around the bush when answering questions.  Jim has been very humble and appreciative of the support he has received and he doesn’t belittle his opponents or critics.

Jim is a supporter of the enumerated powers act and also provides a solution for the social security crisis.   Jim supports the enforcing of our existing immigration laws to solve the illegal immigration crisis  and believes the private sector can solve the health care crisis, developing a patient centered patient led system.

Jim has the experience of managing projects and budgets and has a history of working with teams to find the best solution.  He can be influential too, which is also a great quality.

Jim is the only veteran, so he understands the needs of our servicemen, and he has the real world experience some of the others do not.

My Vote

I voted absentee today, casting my vote for Jim Lee.  I encourage you to do the same, voting for a candidate who will listen to his constituents and will not talk down to you. Voting for a candidate who has ran a clean campaign on the smallest budget.  A campaign for “We the People”.  A candidate who is candid and will fight for you in D.C.

4th Congressional Pre-Primary Filings

June 4, 2010 by  
Filed under SC Politics

One thing I have learned, the winners in this race are Brains on Fire and Creative Communications, who have taken in $235,493 and $170,000 respectively.  They have pocketed some serious dough.  Below is the last run down on the candidates financial situation and our weekend poll leading up to the primary on June 8th.

Bob Inglis

Donors: 55 itemized donors, 39 In District ($46,750.00)
Contributions:  $61,263.56
PAC: 9 PAC ~$11,500
Expenses:  $168,498.53
Cash on Hand:  $139,600.81
COH Change:  -$107,209.34

Bob’s campaign staff has been promoting Jim Lee over the past few weeks while tearing down everyone else in the race.

Either way, we find a few of the individual contributions a little strange.  Inglis has taken in $4,800 Marshall Saunders and $4,800 from Pamela Saunders, both from Coronado, CA.  Marshall’s occupation/employer is listed as the Citizens Climate Lobby.  My understanding of federal election law states that the max contribution is $2400 per person.

Other expenses of note.  Inglis paid the “National Right to Life” committee for campaign advertising (Your thoughts please?).  Inglis’ marketing partners pocketed another $110K and his wife made another $4,000.

Trey Gowdy

Donors: 123 itemized donors, 115 unique, 108 in district ($63,299.91)
Contributions:  $68,043.91
Expenses:  $217,767.83
Cash on Hand:  $39,003.21
COH Change: -$149,723.92

WOW!  This is the most surprising of all the campaigns thus far.  In the last 45 days, Gowdy has spent all but $39,000 that he has taken in this election cycle.  In total, he has spent close to $400,000.  Of course, this does not differentiate him much from  Inglis who has spent over $500,000 during this election cycle.

During this reporting period, Gowdy spent $146,956 with Creative Communications Inc on media placements.  That is on top of the ~$23,000 he has spent previously with them (~$170,000).  Another $41,113.50 was sent to his consulting firm, First  Tuesday Strategies for polling, 2 or 3 commercial productions and consulting expenses.

I realize Gowdy is trying to win an election, just like everyone one else in this race, but to spend $217,000 in 45 days is insane.

Christina Jeffrey

Donors: 11 itemized donors, 9 Unique, 7 in-district  ($6,400)
Contributions:  $7,130.00
Expenses:  $6,043.04
Cash on Hand:  $7,984.79
COH Change: $1,086.96

Jeffrey’s campaign appears to be tanking.  Her fundraising has been dismal.  Biggest expenses were office rent ($2,000), mailings ($1,800) and another $550 to Upstate Printing & Publishing (Boiling Springs Tea Party).

Jim Lee

Donors:  22 itemized donors, 22 unique, 21 in district ($10,410)
Contributions:  $13,534.00
Expenses:  $9,893.05
Cash on Hand:  $4392.60
COH Change $2,352.95
Debt:  $13,650.97

Lee had better fund raising performances than Thomas and Jeffrey, but has managed to incur debt in the amount of $13,650.  Jim’s largest expense is to Dark Horse Strategy Group who is responsible for all mailings, advertising and campaign materials, approximately $5,600.

David Thomas

Donors:  8 itemized donors, 6 unique, 2 in district ($4,300)
Contributions:  $9,920.00
Expenses:  $57,642.54
Cash on Hand:  $39,101.04
COH Change:  -$7,722.54
Debt:  $44,643.83

David Thomas must be pretty confident in his chances to win.  He has loaned his campaign $43,000 since entering the race last summer.  The most recent loan was in the amount of $40,000 on May 14.  In other words, Thomas’ campaign was broke at the time of filing.  Thomas has also spent $33,967 on television advertising between the major networks.

[polldaddy poll=3299958]

The Ads – Jim Lee for Congress

June 3, 2010 by  
Filed under SC Politics

Jim Lee, Candidate for Congress, SC-4

We will be publishing candidates YouTube ads on our site for your convenience. No portion of this article or the following articles in this series represents an endorsement made by Gary Coats or The Conservativist.

Jim Lee, 48, earned degrees from Hibert College in NY and Phoenix University in data processing and information science.  He has been married to his wife Laurie, for 29 years, and has 5 children.  Jim is a reservist in the USAF and has ~30 years experience in information technology, ranging from software development to leadership and consulting positions.

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