Friday, June 30, 2006

Here's a couple random old posts from the early days of B&P... enjoy!

DeMint "giddy" about upcoming film

Below: Sen. DeMint (R-SC) holds his advance tickets for Rent.

B & P News - Washington

South Carolina's junior senator, Jim DeMint, has described himself as "absolutely giddy" about the upcoming big screen release of the hit Broadway musical Rent. "I've seen the live show at least seven times," the Republican told reporters last week. "You better believe I already have my tickets for the movie version."

DeMint's affinity for Rent, a story which tackles such controversial issues as homosexuality and AIDS, came as a surprise to many of his conservative constituents, but not to his peers in Congress.

"Oh God, he's a huge Rent fan," said Senator Lindsey Graham. "He knows every word. I haven't seen him this excited since the director's cut of The Birdcage came out on DVD."

DeMint, who drew fire for speaking against homosexual teachers during his senatorial campaign, is a much misunderstood senator, according to Congressman Joe Wilson. "That self-righteous, pious Jim - that wasn't the real him," said Wilson. "It's just a role he played to get elected. It's part of the job."

"He's always trying to get us to come over and watch Will & Grace," Wilson continued. "And eat his 'fantastic quiche.' It's a little weird."

Rent is a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner. It opens in theaters nationwide on November 23rd.

Governor endorses Floyd's views on education
Sanford displays Pink Floyd's The Wall
We don’t need no thought control, says Sanford at press conference

B & P News - Columbia

Governor Mark Sanford held a press conference yesterday to give his official endorsement to the education agenda of the classic rock band Pink Floyd.

“We don’t need no education,” said Sanford to an enthusiastic group of homeschoolers and stoners. “We don’t need no thought control.”

The governor’s remarks got a warm reception by most of the attendees, some of whom joined Sanford for a brief game of hacky-sack after the speech. Others were not so pleased.

“He was supposed to be endorsing Karen Floyd for Superintendent of Education,” said spokesman Joel Sawyer. “Instead he’s up there reciting 'Another Brick in the Wall.' I mean, it’s called shorthand, jackass. Help me out here.”

The speech echoed many of the governor's previous sentiments regarding public schools, and some political insiders say they were not surprised with the Sanford’s familiarity with the influential band.

"My husband loves classic rock," said First Lady Jenny Sanford. "He must have listened to Wings' 'Live and Let Die' like a hundred times while he was working on his Medicaid proposal."

“He’s a huge Floyd fan,” agreed Lt. Governor Andre Bauer. “At the mansion he tried to make me watch the Wizard of Oz while Dark Side of the Moon played in the background. I was like, 'No thanks, Captain Trips'."

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Bauer endorses Dale Moore for First Lady

Endorsement not actually an endorsement except it is, says Lt. Governor

B & P News - Columbia

In a surprise move yesterday, South Carolina Lt. Governor and recent primary runoff victor Andre Bauer endorsed Dale Moore, wife of Senator Tommy Moore (D-Clearwater) for the office of First Lady of South Carolina.

“She’s the right person for the job,” said Bauer in an interview Tuesday evening at his victory celebration at an Irmo restaurant. “I don’t do endorsements, so don’t take this as an endorsement, but I endorse Dale Moore for First Lady of South Carolina.”

Bauer was pulled over – but not ticketed – for driving 101 mph on Interstate 77 in February.

As the news of Bauer’s endorsement spread throughout the state’s political circles, not everyone was pleased. Some think the Lt. Governor overstepped his bounds by endorsing Mrs. Moore.

“It’s just tacky is all it is,” said Jenny Sanford, the incumbent First Lady of South Carolina. “What business does the Lt. Governor have chiming in on who should be First Lady?”

Bauer was pulled over – but not ticketed – for driving 101 mph on Interstate 77 in February.

Some political analysts agree that the endorsement of Dale Moore was inappropriate.

“Popularly elected public servants should hold their tongues rather than meddling with the ceremonial positions in South Carolina’s not-really-government,” said USC political science professor Savannah Rivers. “Plus, you never know when endorsements like this can backfire.”

Governor Sanford said he had no comment on the Dale Moore endorsement, but will contact reporters with his opinion “as soon as it is given to [him].”

The State Newspaper contributed portions of this report.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Reaction to Rich's riches

How 'bout that?

Barbecue & Politics got a mention in yesterday’s (Hilton Head) Island Packet for last week’s serial on “Missourians” in Charge, “South Carolinians” for Responsible Government, and New York developer Howard Rich’s other curiously named pet projects.

From columnist David Lauderdale’s “Learning how to do the limbo when money sets the bar”:

A number of people told me during the session that money is influencing legislation in South Carolina like never before. The result is special interests getting what they want -- at the expense of everyone else.

A South Carolina blog I like to follow ( is reporting one way the money-for-policy scheme works. It shows how out-of-state money is pouring into South Carolina politics.

People who can buy influence are the ones who set the bar. And the rest of us have to learn to do the limbo to our new theme song: "It Could Have Been Worse."

Thanks for the plug, Mr. Lauderdale, and welcome to all of you Islanders getting your Gerv on for the first time!

Everyone else, check out David's fine blog here.

go to next Rich-related post

Monday, June 26, 2006

Gervais, anti-Semite

I usually don't respond to this sort of thing, but this anonymous comment caught my eye today. It was on "I Hate the State Newspaper (dot com)":

Barbeque and Politics and Anti-Semitism?

Posted By: Anonymous - 6/22/2006 9:30:53 AM

What is the fascination at with Howard Rich? Mr. Rich is a freedom loving American and has done absolutely nothing wrong.

Why do the people behind the B&P blog pursue him so hatefully? Why are they so mean-spirited in their persecution of him?

Could Anti-Semitism underlie their zeal?

I guess it warrants an answer, just in case a) it's a genuine question and b) Howard Rich is of the Jewish faith:

Yes. Anti-Semitism underlies my zeal to expose the bankrolling of SCRG and the voucher effort almost entirely by a New York libertarian millionaire through bogus corporations. Isn't it obvious?

go to next Rich-related post

Friday, June 23, 2006

Who is Howard Rich? pt. 5

So how much influence does libertarian multimillionaire Howard Rich have on SC politics from his SoHo apartment? Instead of asking his lobbyists lurking on Gervais Street -- whose nerves seem rather tender anyway -- let's gauge his influence the old-fashioned way: in dollars.

From the State Ethics Commission database, here are the contributions (since December) from Rich's address, 73 Spring Street, New York, NY for... let's pick someone at random here... Governor Mark Sanford:

12/1/05 - Joseph R. Rich - $3,500
12/1/05 - Daniel Rich - $3,500
1/9/06 - 123 Lasalle Inc. - $3,500
2/16/06 - 4220 Broadway Inc. - $3,500
2/16/06 - 4220 Broadway LLC - $3,500
3/27/06 - 123 Lasalle Associates - $3,500

That's not your eyes going out on you. There's two Riches, two LaSalles, and two Broadways. All donating the maximum contributions, from the same address. But they're different, see. They're all so very different.

And if you think $21,000 is an inordinate amount to contribute to one candidate, it gets better. Or worser, depending on your perspective.

Governor Sanford also got $3500 from "Spinksville, LLC" in Baltimore, MD (3/28/06). Spinksville’s principle address isn’t actually in Maryland, though. It’s 73 Spring Street, New York, NY, and Rich is the principle agent.

Another $3500 came from "405 49 Associates," which offers a Houston, TX listing, but has an “alternate” address of 73 Spring Street, New York, NY.

Now the shell game really gets tricky…

The Houston address of “405 49 Associates,” is 10200 Richmond Ave., Suite 250, Houston, TX, 77042.

That’s also the address of an entity named “West 14 & 18 LLC,” which contributed heavily to four State House challengers and one Supt. of Education candidate.

A Google search reveals another company, JMG Realty, also at 10200 Richmond Ave., Suite 250, Houston, TX, 77042. But JMG’s Atlanta address is “1010 One Premier Plaza, 5605 Glenridge Drive, Atlanta, GA 30342,” from which another $3500 was contributed to Sanford in the name of “Rosemeade Investors, LLC,” (4/12/06).

The Atlanta address is apparently the home of another Rich prop-up as well, “Ashborough Investors,” which contributed heavily to five pro-voucher State House challengers and one Supt. of Education candidate.

And I’m sure there’s more, better-concealed money out there that Gervais, with his public school figgerin', just isn’t smart enough to spot. But I think that’s enough to answer the question, Who is Howard Rich?, as it applies to SC politics.

He's what's wrong with SC politics.

go to next Rich-related post

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Who is Howard Rich? pt. 4

Okay… so as you can probably guess, "123 LaSalle", "Fund for Democracy", "4220 Broadway", and "Bradford Management" share more than just a parking lot at 73 Spring St., New York, NY.

It turns out they have a lot more in common. At the center of all this southbound moolah is Libertarian multimillionaire Howard Rich, the "president" of Bradford Management and Fund for Democracy. His wife, Andrea, does her share of the housework by heading the other two mock organizations, 123 LaSalle and 4220 Broadway. And it is housework; the couple resides at 73 Spring St.

(Note: I wanted to find a picture of Andrea Rich and a journalist, but I couldn’t. So this one of her and John Stossel will have to do for now.)

At any rate, you might have read a blurb about Howard Rich in The State recently, from the article, Groups could sway voters:

“Through corporations set up in New York, Maryland, Texas and Georgia, a New York real estate developer named Howard Rich has contributed nearly $40,000 to Floyd and seven House challengers.

Rich is president of U.S. Term Limits and is a major sponsor of national school choice campaigns. He is also active in the libertarian Cato Institute.

Efforts to reach Rich were unsuccessful.”
Now’s as good a time as any to take a step back and recap what we’ve learned so far…

1. There’s a group deceptively named “Missourians in Charge” that - despite the name - isn’t very Missourian. It is actually bankrolled ($1.36 million so far) by Howard Rich via the Fund for Democracy, 73 Spring Street, New York, NY.

2. Three other Howard Rich intermediaries – 123 LaSalle, Bradford Management, and 4220 Broadway -- together funded 65% of the total amount of voucher lobby contributions to SC lawmakers in 2004.

3. Rich is still plowing money into South Carolina to buy a legislature that will pass Put Parents in Charge.

4. There’s a tax group called “South Carolinians for Responsible Government” which campaigns against opponents of vouchers, and won’t disclose its funding. SCRG purports to be a “grass-roots” organization, won’t provide a list of its members, and sadly cannot pronounce “South Carolinians” on its radio ads.

If you think Gervais is trying to suggest that Howard Rich holds the purse-strings of SCRG from his New York apartment -- well, I don't want to put too fine a point on it. Make of the facts what you will. All I'm saying is that Howard Rich holds the purse-strings of SCRG from his New York apartment.

There’s really only one question about the whole thing… Why all the bogus intermediaries? Why the “123 This” and “4220 That” and whatnot? If Howard Rich wants to bankroll fake-grassroots organizations and candidates he’s never met who'll buy into PPIC, why doesn’t he just do it under his own name?

That’s an easy one for those familiar with campaign contribution limits…but I’ll break it down for those simple minds who think $3500 is the maximum contribution someone can make to a candidate.

But we'll save that for tomorrow, when we find out just how much money one New York millionaire can give to a candidate for office here in South Carolina.

go to next Rich-related post

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Who is Howard Rich? pt. 3

So 73 Spring Street, New York, NY is ground zero for Missourians in Charge….hey, makes sense to me. But last night, as I was in my recliner perusing the Kansas City Star, I remembered that I’d seen this Big Apple address once or twice before.

According to The State’s online database, in 2004, $43k of the $44k contributed to SC lawmakers from the voucher lobby was from out-of-state. The majority of it came from three entities: 123 LaSalle, Bradford Management, and 4220 Broadway.

Anyway -- and this is like the mother of all coincidences -- according to the SC Ethics Commission, the address for “123 LaSalle” is 73 Spring Street, New York, NY.

And the address for “Bradford Management?” That’s 73 Spring Street, New York, NY.

I know what you’re thinking… What’s the address for “4220 Broadway?” It’s 4220 Broadway, you moron! Just kidding -- it’s 73 Spring Street, New York, NY.

They’re all the same address as Fund for Democracy, which pays 99.7% of the bills for Missourians in Charge -- the tax group with fake “Show-Me State” grass roots, which is unlike anything that exists in contemporary SC politics.

Four totally different companies doling out money from the same building. If you’re wondering whether they play each other in softball, I’ll let you in on a little secret:

"Happy Endings" on Two Notch Road ain’t just a massage parlor, and these "companies" aren't run by different people. But that’s tomorrow.

For now, let’s just take comfort that no one’s trying to bankroll a bogus grass-roots group with a deceptively native-sounding name here in our state.

go to next Rich-related post

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Who is Howard Rich? pt. 2

Where was I? Oh yeah, Missourians in Charge.

Even though there’s probably no connection whatsoever between Missourians in Charge and South Carolina politics, I figured I’d read a little more about them. Turns out, they decided earlier this month to sue the state government:
The sponsor of two ballot measures rejected by the Missouri secretary of state’s office sued Friday, arguing that disorganized petitions should not override 400,000 signatures in support[…]

Despite its name, Missourians in Charge has few ties to Missouri. Most of its funding – $1.36 million – came from the Fund for Democracy, a New York organization bankrolled by developer Howard Rich.
I wanted to find the address of this “Fund for Democracy,” the committee that bankrolls MIC from just barely outside the Show-Me State. In case I want to send ‘em a request to fund some democracy for me.

Anyway, I found the address here. It’s 73 Spring Street, New York, NY.

When Hannah Jane and I visited New York last April, we shopped a little near there, in SoHo. Mostly window shopping, if you know what I'm saying. That's how Gervais rolls. We also saw the musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (starring John Lithgow), which was a riot.

But anyway -- what does 73 Spring Street have to do with SC politics and our own dirty rotten scoundrels? Probably nothing.

go to next Rich-related post

Monday, June 19, 2006

Who is Howard Rich? pt. 1

As you may have noticed, Gervais likes to scan several newspapers online each day, just to get the full scoop on what's going on out there. The State. The Post & Courier. The Beaufort Gazette. The Kansas City Star. The Greenville News. The Myrtle Beach Sun. I try to check them each out as much as possible.

This sure was an interesting article from the Kansas City Star last month. Here’s an excerpt:

The group calls itself Missourians in Charge and is hoping to shape the state’s constitution, particularly as it pertains to government spending and eminent domain.

As it turns out, the group is bankrolled not by Missourians but by a wealthy New York developer named Howard Rich, a man who is not even sure how often he has been to Missouri.

“Oh, many times” he said.[…]

Reports filed last month with the Missouri Ethics Commission showed that [Missourians in Charge] received $295,810.08 in donations between January and March. Just more than $810 came from the Institute for Justice, a Libertarian public interest group based in Virginia. The rest — a total of $295,000 — came from a New York group called Fund for Democracy. That group is headed by Rich.
But what does this article have to do with SC politics? Aw, probably nothing.

go to next Rich-related post

Monday, June 12, 2006

2006 Primary Undorsements

Gervais doesn’t do endorsements. Even though I’m sure my endorsement would carry about as much weight as Mary-Kate Olsen at the International Space Station, I made a promise never to endorse candidates during a primary. Wait, no, that was somebody else...

Anyway, I do do Undorsements. Undorsements are similar, but opposite. So here are the first/last non-annual Barbecue & Politics Primary Undorsements. Enjoy!

Governor, GOP
Undorsement: Mark Sanford

Big shocker. At the risk of bringing the anonymous “Ross….daddy...Oscar” guy back to the comments, Mark Sanford gets the first and most emphatic Undorsement this year.

Four years ago, Sanford swore to discharge the duties of Governor to the best of his abilities. Sadly, the only discharge that can be attributed to Sanford resulted in brown stains on the State House carpet.

He’s managed to appoint an avowed opponent of public schools to the Education Oversight Committee, badmouth those same public schools on TV with John Stossel, and put hundreds of miles on his Schwinn during his term.

Meanwhile, SC’s 2002-2005 economic growth was the worst of any three-year period since the early 1990’s, and our unemployment rate ballooned. Sanford vowed to cut income taxes, and he delivered: 140,000 South Carolinian workers don’t have income to tax.

On the other hand, state employees are now sharing rooms whenever they visit Paris. But if that did it for me, I’d go ahead and rename this site "Crunchy Barbecue."

Governor, Dem
Undorsement: Dennis Aughtry

I like that the guy seems not to give a rat’s, but I think it’s the platform of legalized gambling that bothers me. Part of the thrill of gambling is doing it illegally.

Lt. Governor, GOP
Undorsement: 1/3 of an Undorsement to each candidate

Bauer gets his share - not for speeding, but for Gervais having to read the phrase “101 mph on Interstate 77” about a hundred times in The State:“Groomsmen were Doug Johnson of Walterboro, Tom Smith of Swansea, and Andre Bauer – who was pulled over but not ticketed for driving 101 mph on Interstate 77 – of Columbia.”

Jordan gets his share, not for the Buddhist/Muslims thing, but for the why the hell do you pronounce your name that way thing. Whether it’s the river or the basketball player, it’s always rhymed with warden. Not burden.

And Campbell gets his, not for the college thing, but for the kid who keeps posting comments about “Andre A**hole” on this blog.

Superintendent of Education, GOP
Undorsement: Karen Floyd

It’s a shame to Undorse somebody simply based on their supporters, but every once in awhile you can get a pretty clear picture just by connecting the dots. In addition to being endorsed by Sanford, she’s also earned the nod of the education experts at South CaroLINEians for Responsible Government. Plus bloggers Will “the department of education is the Nazis” Folks and Joshua “my first public schoolteacher was a witch” Gross. Marshall, Dennis, Willard, and Gross… that roster is to education what the baby-blue Braves were to baseball.

But when Karen “I proclaim publicly that I favor ending government involvement in education” Iacovelli showed up on Floyd’s disclosures to the tune of $2500, it cemented her Undorsement.

Treasurer, GOP
Undorsement: Entire Field

Every “___ for Treasurer” commercial is one less chance for me to hear that “Beep Beep” song. I love that song.

Attorney General, GOP

Undorsement: Henry McMaster

McMaster has been unfairly hammering small businesses such as mine for years. Granted, my small business is a meth lab. But still.

Commissioner of Agriculture, GOP
Undorsement: None

Whether Weathers gets his bell rung, or Bell withers and Weathers wins, this race is a bellwether of things to come in future GOP primaries.

Adjutant General, GOP
Undorsement: Stan Spears

Even though Spears is unopposed, he gets a big fat Undorsement. It’s been years, and South Carolina is just not fortified for the long-anticipated two-front war against Georgia and Florida.

Comptroller General, Dem

Undorsement: Drew Theodore

Also unopposed, but I’ve heard that Theodore is a comptrol-freak, and he cracks whenever things get the slightest bit out of comptrol. Not what we need at South Carolina’s comptrol panel.

That’s it for the first/last non-annual Barbecue & Politics Undorsements. Please feel free to add your own Undorsements in the comments. And remember: If you or one of your candidates was Undorsed, please don’t take it as an honest difference of opinions on the issues. Because it’s probably personal.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Duke's Bar-B-Q: Roll on in

Last weekend, Hannah Jane and I decided to pile Petunia and Gervais Jr. in the wagon and try Duke’s Bar-B-Q, right off Platt Springs Road in West Columbia.

Duke’s is actually on Emmanuel Church Rd., right next to one of my old stomping grounds, the Three Fountains Skating Rink. (You can barely make out the skating rink in the background of the photo.) Back in the day, Gervais used to “shoot the duck” with the best of ‘em, and, on occasion, limbo with all the other limbo boys and girls - all around the limbo world.

In fact, during my elementary school years, I had one of my birthday parties at the skating rink. One girl from my class, we’ll call her "Lucille," got me a pair of socks for a present. Lucille has four kids now. Justice may not be swift, Lucille, but it’ll eventually catch up to you.

Anyway, I digress. We tried Duke’s, and it was great. Our endorsement was so enthusiastic that my in-laws tried it the next night, and loved it.

Duke’s is a Friday & Saturday only joint, but believe me, that’s a good thing. Any place that has peach cobbler on the buffet should only be allowed to operate two days a week, preferably with an on-site cardiologist.

There are two types of pulled pork – “naked” and “pre-mustardized” -- and an array of sauces, of which the original was my favorite. There were also corn nuggets, fried chicken, mac and cheese, cole slaw, baked beans, homemade mashed potatoes, and the best milk gravy this side of Batesburg-Leesville. 35 items total, plus a makeshift drive-thru to boot.

Gervais says, if you feel like some great down-home barbecue on the weekend, lace up the old go-fasters and couple-skate over to Duke’s Bar-B-Q in West Columbia. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

New Game: Mark Sanford or 'Runaway Bride' Jennifer Wilbanks?

Okay, by now everyone should know how to play “Who Said It?

Gervais will furnish the quotes, and you decide who said it – governor Mark Sanford, who is too busy with "official duties" to debate GOP primary opponent Oscar Lovelace; or Jennifer Wilbanks, the would-be Georgia bride who gained notoriety last year by staging her disappearance on the eve of her nuptials.

Remember to keep your score! As always, Professor Gervais will assign grades. Let’s play!

Who said it – Mark Sanford or “Runaway Bride” Jennifer Wilbanks?

1. "We'll play it by ear."

2. "We’ll see... We’re open to the possibility come June."

3. "Honestly, I wish I could give you and everybody else that answer. Because I know that they want to hear that. And they deserve to hear that. But I honestly, I don't know."

4. "I’m not saying you never say never, but I’m saying I gotta do everything that I gotta do within the context of the other things that I’m trying to do."

5. "But obviously, I was stressed, because I am a perfectionist."

6. "I've only got so many hours in the day."

7. "I was running away. Because that's what I've always done. That's what's comfortable to me."

8. "I said I would get to a debate if I could; that is not the case."

9. "I know everybody wants this great answer to that but it wasn't one certain thing. Or I-- there was one moment when I said I cannot do this. I don't want to do this anymore."

10. "I’m stretched as it is…People clearly know where I stand on the issues."


1. Jennifer Wilbanks (6/21/05, Katie Couric)
2. Mark Sanford (3/7, AP)
3. Jennifer Wilbanks
4. Mark Sanford (6/3, Herald-Journal)
5. Jennifer Wilbanks
6. Mark Sanford (6/5, Greenville News)
7. Jennifer Wilbanks
8. Mark Sanford (6/5, Greenville News)
9. Jennifer Wilbanks
10. Mark Sanford (6/2, Beaufort Gazette)

How did you do?

8-10 correct: Good job! You’re an expert at distinguishing the quotes of Jennifer Wilbanks, who is known for her cold feet, from Mark Sanford, who is simply very busy.

5-7 correct: Well done. You have a knack for discerning the words of a fearful bride who will avoid facing her suitor at all costs from the words of a candidate who isn’t scared to debate, but is simply really, really busy.

2-4 correct: Here’s the deal. Read the quote, and if it sounds like somebody running scared, that’s the Wilbanks chick. If it sounds like someone who isn’t trying to get out of anything, but is extremely busy doing governor stuff, that’s Sanford.

0-1 correct: Sad. Five of the quotes are clearly from someone who is prone to apprehensive back-pedaling when faced with an unpleasant situation, while the other five are from someone who enjoys debate, but just can’t find the time to discuss the issues.