Monday, July 09, 2007

Voucher Week at Barbecue & Politics

The Discovery Channel has Shark Week. The Grand Strand has Bike Week. And the Jewish faith has Hanukkah. All these roughly week-long events are action-packed, informative, and likely to make you gain 5-10 pounds.

Here at Barbecue & Politics, we have something we like to call "Voucher Week," and it starts today.

If you're a regular, you may sometimes wonder what my major beef is with the out-of-state voucher lobby. You may think, “Man, Gervais sure is rough on the out-of-state voucher lobby. He should be more nicer.” (You should use better grammar, even in your head.)

Or you may ask yourself, “Why does Gervais always say ‘out-of-state’ when he talks about the out-of-state voucher lobby? Gervais is the greatest.”

You may even lie awake at night and query, “Why does Gervais hate non-South Carolinians such as the people behind the out-of-state voucher lobby? And why is he peering in my window?”

The answer to all these questions is “yes,” even though none of them was even a yes/no question.

But my unadulterated disdain for non-Sandlappers is more of a “minor personality flaw” than it is my reason for exposing the sham groups trying to unload vouchers on the Palmetto State.

I’ll admit that the anti-public school blood oaths give me the heebie-jeebies something fierce. However, even without the "no more government involvement in education" mantra, or the "public education is welfare" nonsense, I’d still be all over these guys.

Why? Because even worse than the damage these outsiders would gladly do to SC schools is the damage they are already doing to the integrity of our political system.

Of course, there’s the famously unsuccessful efforts to obscure the origin of the funding for the groups themselves. But that’s become kinda funny by now. What we'll look at this week is another aspect of the voucher lobby’s plot: the bankrolling of hand-picked legislative candidates almost entirely from out-of-state ideologues.

I know, I know... “almost entirely” sounds like overblown rhetoric, right? How much am I really talking about here? A “little nudge?” A “shot in the arm?” 30%? 40%? 50%?

I mean, these voucher groups use the palmetto tree in their logos, so their handpicked candidates probably have gobs of SC support, perhaps supplemented by a smidgen of cash from afar. Right?

Come back tomorrow (and all week) to find out. And bring a box of tissues if you're a sucker for good old-fashioned, people-driven democracy. We’ll look at some actual financial disclosures from actual candidates during SC's last election cycle, to see what it looks like when a contender for a seat in our State House is almost entirely funded by the out-of-state voucher lobby.

Crowd the kids around the computer and put some popcorn in the microwave. Voucher Week is underway! (Go to Part Two)


Silence Dogood said...

Yeah, Gervais this will be better than Jaws Part IV, of course the people who made that crappy movie were not trying to hi-jack my state legislature and would not have several members of my general assembly bought and paid for, so I guess I'll tune in.

Swamp Fox said...

At least you have the right analogy. Like a shark fin in the water, when people see the V word they shut down their brains and switch into panic mode until the danger passes.

You know, as in "If vouchers take over our schools civilization as we know it will perish from the face of the Earth." Wait, Life and Palmetto Scholarships are vouchers. But then that's college and so it's different. (Whyyyy, those wascally wegislators, surewy under the spell of vile out-if-state infwuences, snuck them in as "schowarships" rather than "wouchers." I hate wascally wegislators.)

Out of state groups can spend all the money they want, but the last time I checked only South Carolinians go into the voting booths to vote for South Carolina political candidates. It's a good tactic if you can't attack the message to attack the messenger.

Are we really so incredibly stupid that we will vote against our self-interest because a bunch of out-of-state knuckle heads say do.

OK. I see your point.

Otherwise, where's the beef? Or maybe the pork? Or the chicken? Or whatever kind of BBQ's giving you indigestion.

I'm looking forward to Voucher Week. Sure to be the hit of the summer. Do do, do do, do do, do do... you had to see the movie.

Rob W. said...

Excellent. I'm excited about some more investigative reporting and bloodsport.

Anonymous said...


Vouchers are a scam. You can quote us on that. They will fix nothing and only drive the "separate but equal" wedge deeper into S.C.

We already tried the separate but equal thing, and it failed. Just like vouchers fail.

Our editorial staff is looking forward to you outing more of the snake oil salesmen.