Friday, July 14, 2006

Thanks for getting your Gerv on!

Best wishes from Hannah Jane, Petunia, Gervais Jr., and Gervais. Thanks for reading and commenting here at Barbecue & Politics -- hope you've had as much fun as I have!

Take care,

Reach Gervais at gervaissbridges at earthlink dot net.

Quick links:
Who is Howard Rich?
Who is Karen Iacovelli?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

23% of Floyd's contributions from Howard Rich

Richly endowed
I promised myself I'd stop, but this is incredible.

According to the latest ethics disclosures, Supt. of Education candidate Karen Floyd has raked in $288,530 in about a month and a half, since her last report.

But that's not really what's incredible... most of that was from two big bank loans: $100,000 from First National Bank and $81,572 from NBSC.

So Floyd really only “raked in” $106,958 in contributions.

What's incredible is how much of that was from SCRG's boss, New York libertarian Howard Rich:

5/26 405 49 Associates 73 Spring St., Rm. 507, New York, NY, $3,500
5/26 538-14 Realty, LLC 73 Spring St., Ste. 507, New York, NY, $3,500
5/26 Silver & Silver Properties, LLC 1010 One Premier Plaza, Atlanta ,GA $3,500
6/02 123 LaSalle Associates 73 Spring St., Rm. 507, New York, NY $3,500
6/02 123 LaSalle, Inc. 73 Spring St., Rm. 507, New York, NY $3,500
6/02 Bayrich, LLC 73 Spring St., Ste. 507, New York, NY $3,500
6/02 Dayrich, LLC 73 Spring St., Rm. 507, New York, NY $3,500

That’s $24,500, or 23%, from one man's ever-growing arsenal of companies.

Another $17,500, or 16%, came from several companies -- Aspect Energy, Azimuth Energy, Walnut Software, etc. -- which share an address: 511 16th Street, Suite 300, Denver, CO, 80202. The address is also shared by a voucher organization called "Alliance for Choice in Education," whose name is not found in the ethics filing.

All told, 47% of Floyd's contributions were from out-of-state. And 23% was from Howard Rich. I don't know if I mentioned that.

go to next Rich-related post

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Eupha-para-dizzle-isms: a retrospective

Sadly, the Barbecue & Politics Blog is in its final few days... it's about time for Gervais to move on to bigger and better things. Anyway, I've been going through the archives to find some of my favorite posts. Here's a re-hash of sorts -- a compilation of definitions as bogus as SCRG's grass roots. Enjoy!

The terms you need to know...

Gervais says, following state government can be tough – here are the terms you need to know to keep up with the legislative session:

Act - A bill that has passed both houses of the General Assembly and the Governor's veto

Adjournment - The time of day by which state constitutional officers are required to remove livestock from State House grounds

Amendment - Any change made or proposed in a bill by adding, changing, substituting or omitting. If a bill is like a girl with low self-esteem, an amendment is like a boob job.

Appropriation - Money set aside by formal action for specific use, judiciously applied toward the maintenance and improvement of the state, except for when it goes to the Education Establishment, where it gets thrown at schoolchildren (usually rolls of pennies)

Bill - Draft of proposed law presented to the Legislature to be amended beyond recognition. If debate makes legislation stronger, a Bill is like a ninety-pound weakling who gets sand kicked in his face at the beach. The seagulls are the amendments. Don’t use this metaphor in an exam situation.

Calendar - List of pending legislation, according to the order of business scheduled on a legislative day; also, something you can hang on your wall to remember that May 10th is Confederate Memorial Day

Caucus - An informal meeting of a group of the members, sometimes called on the basis of party affiliation, and in the case of the Senate Democratic Caucus, usually held in the corner booth at the Waffle House

Clincher - When a bill has received a reading, and a motion to reconsider has been tabled, this maneuver is referred to as a “clincher,” due to the fact that no other parliamentary motion can bring the Bill up for reconsideration. Also, the reflexive tightening of the anus by fellow Republicans whenever John Graham Altman opens his mouth.

Cloture - A common misspelling in journalism. It’s Coulter, you dumbasses, and she’s a pistol!

Confirmation - Approval by Senate and/or House of an executive appointment … as if the Governor would hire anyone without impeccable credentials

Debate - Discussion according to parliamentary rules. If legislation is like a 90-lb weakling who gets a boob job, debate is like a seagull with low self-esteem. Again, you may want to use your own analogy if you’re being tested.

Decorum - Proper order, etiquette, and conduct of members during a floor session while the Governor carries defecating pigs into the State House

Died in committee - The defeat of a bill in committee by not returning it to the House or Senate for action; also, a term used to describe Glenn McConnell’s breath

Filibuster - This is pretty much when someone talks and talks and talks, but nothing gets done. Think Sanford and unemployment, but applied to the Legislature.

Fiscal year - July 1-June 30. My fiscal new year’s resolution to stop shooting fireworks seldom lasts more than four days.

Gallery - Balconies or other specific areas of chambers for visitors to view the proceedings of the Legislature. Sometimes peanuts are served, and then guess what it’s called? Still “gallery.”

Germaneness - The relevance of amendments, speeches, etc., to the Jackson Five

Hopper - A depository for bills awaiting introduction. Sometimes it’s filled with grass, and then guess what it’s called? Still “hopper.”

Lobbyist - A representative of a special interest group whose function is to influence legislation affecting his special interest by writing letters to the editor under a pseudonym

Motion - Formal proposal offered by a member of the House or Senate; also, when Senate fullback Jakie Knotts jogs laterally, prior to the snap, to confuse the House linebackers during the annual House/Senate football game

Out of order - Not being conducted under proper parliamentary rules and procedures; also, the House Ms. Pac Man machine donated by the video poker lobby in 1998.

Simple Majority - The GOP

Sine die - Final adjournment. From the Latin sine, meaning “without,” and die, meaning “accomplishment”

Skeleton bill - A measure introduced without substance, in South Carolina usually referred to as simply “bill”

Sponsor - Legislator who introduces a bill, amendment or resolution; also a company that pays legislators to wear their apparel, as the Dorkwad Glasses Company apparently does Rep. Tom Dantzler

Stand at ease - A term referring to that situation in which the body does not recess or adjourn but suspends its deliberations; also, a term often heard muttered by members while Nikki Haley has the floor

Status of Bill - The position of a Bill at any given time in the legislative process. It can be in committee, on the Calendar, in the other house, etc. Also, good, thanks for asking.

Stopping the clock - A practice of lengthening the hours of the legislative day irrespective of the passing of the hours of a calendar day. Used to be called clock-blocking, in the General Assembly’s wilder days.

Sunset - Expiration date of a measure. If you eat a measure after its sunset, you may be in for an upset stomach.

Table - A means of disposing of a bill or other matter. Sometimes it’s done while drinking coffee, and then guess what it’s called? COFFEE TABLE!!!!! YAY!!!

Take a walk - To purposely be absent to avoid voting on a measure. Be careful not to do this on the "wild side," lest the coloured girls go doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo.

Veto - The action of a Governor in disapproval of a measure passed by a popularly elected legislature controlled by his own party. Literally, means I forbid, which gives it an air of gravitas until the legislature overrides it later.

Primordial Primer: the terms you need to know about the origins of man

Below: Ascent of man from Homo Idioticus
(or "Alt Man") to Homo Pious Piedmontus
Today the Education Oversight Committee’s subcommittee on academic standards will listen to testimony from scientists hand-picked by Senator Mike Fair, to determine whether our science standards regarding evolution should be revised. It’s a complicated topic - it would take decades to attain Fair’s nuanced understanding of evolutionary biology and education standards – but here are ten terms you should know if you want to keep up with what is probably the most important issue in our state, except for every other issue in our state.

Charles Darwin – A 19th Century naturalist so far ahead of his time scientifically that he patented a magnetic ornament of a fish with legs, to adhere to automobile bumpers, long before the automobile was even invented.

Genesis – Creationists believe this first book of the Bible to have a scientifically correct description of the origin of Man. Scientists argue that there is only one man whose origin in Genesis is systematically verifiable: Phil Collins.

Homo erectus – A species of hominid that lived between 1.8 million and 300,000 years ago, eventually dying off out of embarrassment for its name.

Intelligent Design – The theory that Man is too physically complex and beautiful a creature to have evolved without some divine or extra-terrestrial guidance. Disproved in 12,000 B.C. with the discovery of the scrotum.

Linnaean classification – This is what it’s called when scientists say Homo sapiens instead of “man.” Linnaean classifications are used to provide scientists with common nomenclature because they are the same everywhere. The lone exception to this rule is the Roadrunner, who is alternately called Speedipus rex, Velocitus delectibus, and Tastyus supersonicus.

Mammals – The class of animals that share characteristics such as hair/fur and mammary glands, as in the original draft of the public breastfeeding bill: “Be it enacted that breastfeeding mothers ain’t nothing but mammals, so as to provide that they may do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.”

Peking Man – A Homo erectus discovered in China in the 1930’s. Also, the reason that South Carolina is 48th in the nation in unemployment. See, there’s this book called the Flat World or something, and it says people in McCormick County are in direct competition with people in Shanghai and New Delhi and blah blah blah, etc etc…

Scopes Monkey Trial – In 1925, a young biology teacher named John Scopes taught evolution, contrary to a Tennessee statute passed by religious fundamentalists. The trial was immortalized in the classic film, Footloose, starring Kevin Bacon.

Social Darwinism – the type of Darwinism right-wingers don’t have a problem with.

Vestigial -- Any structures that have been greatly reduced in size and function over evolutionary time, to the extent that they now appear to have little or no current function. Famous examples are the Tyrannosaurus Rex’s arms, the ostrich’s wings, and John Graham Altman’s brain.

Primary Primer

Gervais says, the primary season is finally upon us, even if some candidates are skipping out on today's gubernatorial debate like it's an Air Force Reserve drill weekend. In order to adequately follow the slings and arrows, the barnstorming, and the visceral missives that make up party politics, I’ve compiled a glossary of the terms you need to know.

Ad hominem – This term describes an attack at the character of another politician – presumably in a state where the politicians have character which can be attacked.

Baiting – Politically, an effort by one candidate, elected official, or party to gain an advantage by placing opponents on the defensive, as in, ‘In the last Attorney General primary, McMaster baited his opponent mercilessly.’

Debate – Face-to-face discussion between or among candidates so viewers can judge them based on their qualifications, leadership abilities, and hair. As in, ‘A master debater, McMaster baited his opponent mercilessly.

Endorsement – Term for when one politician lends his name to the support of another. An endorsement is meant to instill voter confidence in an unproven candidate, but occasionally it leaves would-be voters asking, “Who the hell is John Sununu?”

Hat in the ring – To throw one’s hat in the ring is to enter a political contest. The term comes from boxing, where throwing a hat into the ring signified a challenge. Other classic boxing terms commonly heard during political campaigns include “on the ropes,” “below the belt,” and the timeless “we wuz robbed.”

Incumbent – For several years, I assumed the little “I” in parentheses next to a candidate’s name stood for imbecile. I was only half right; it also stands for incumbent, which means the current office-holder and implies a “leg up” on one’s opponents. Interestingly, incumbent is also a synonym of lying.

Margin of error – A measure of how lazy pollsters are.

Mudslinging – Apparently, in other states, the political process has deteriorated to the point where issues such as education and unemployment are no longer the focal point of political campaigns. In these states, politicians attack each other in an act termed “mudslinging.”

Political Efficacy – The belief on the part of the individual that he or she can "make a difference" through voting, giving campaign contributions, working on a campaign, or even running for political office. Examples of a high degree of political efficacy in SC politics include the large voter turnout in Greenville County, the abundance of political volunteers in Richland County, and the multitude of large campaign donations in Broward County.

Primary – Term for when a political party decides its candidate for the general election by whatever candidate gets a majority of Katon Dawson. Some parties also use popular vote to decide.

Rhetoric – The ability to use language effectively to influence others. Used by most politicians, but not all; Jakie Knotts influences others via interpretive dance.

Straw Poll – A nonscientific poll, taken in such a slapdash fashion that any results are not truly representative of the population. I know, it does sound a lot like a primary.

Stumping – Term for making speeches, from when politicians once stood upon a tall tree stump to make their remarks. Also, the term for asking the Governor about job creation.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Nobody messes with Howard Rich...

...nobody. From the AP's "Board doesn't approve lawsuit help for ethics watchdog agency":

The state Ethics Commission isn't finding help from the state in its legal fight with a group it says spent money to influence voters before last week's primary.

On May 30, South Carolinians for Responsible Government, a group pushing tax breaks for parents who send their children to private school, sued the commission in federal court, saying its free speech rights are under attack.

The commission asked Attorney General Henry McMaster to defend the case, but he declined with no explanation. Then on Wednesday, the Budget and Control Board couldn't get a unanimous vote needed to approve money for legal help because state Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom objected.

go to next Rich-related post