Thursday, May 29, 2008

Separation of Church and Plate?

From the editorial page of today's Anderson Independent-Mail:

"A state’s license plate, if legislated for the whole, should reflect something all of its citizens can endorse, and not exclude those of other faiths or views."

And from today's column from The State's Cindi Scoppe:

"The Legislature isn’t establishing a state religion when it allows anyone who can get 400 people to order a special new type of license tag to have one made; but there’s good reason to think the courts might say it’s doing so when it passes a special bill for the Christian tag."

Gervais says, my only contribution to this debate is a graven image of Michael Landon. Which, if I can find 399 other like-minded Sandlappers, might be on the back of my truck pretty soon.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More voucher cash rolls into SC


Gervais will keep you updated on this post below as Howard Rich's South Carolinians for Responsible Government bundles his money and sends it into races around our state.

Here's the latest:

Deborah Long, House 45
5/19 $1,000 Bradford Mgmt of NY (73 Spring St. NYC)
5/18 $1,000 123 LaSalle Associates (73 Spring St. NYC)
5/18 $1,000 Alan J. Pomerantz (767 Fifth Ave., NYC)

UPDATE: Sources tell Barbecue & Politics that this is not the first time SCRG president Randy Page has funneled thousands of dollars to someone named Debbie.



Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A little perspective

When assessing how much out-of-state money NYC millionaire Howard Rich’s voucher group South Carolinians for Responsible Government funnels into our state’s political campaigns, it’s useful to compare the numbers with those of other politicians.

So, I did just that. I took a few of the members of SCRG’s slate of State House candidates and compared their percentages of New York City funding, thus far in 2008, to other randomly selected politicians. Here's how it came out:

SCRG candidate Joey Millwood: 72% of funding from NYC.
Politician Micah Kellner: 69% of funding from NYC.

SCRG candidate Ed Rumsey: 36% of funding from NYC.
Politician Dick Gottfried: 25% funding from NYC.

SCRG candidate Kyle Boyd: 14.6% funding from NYC.
Politician Daniel J. O’Donnell: 14.3% of funding from NYC.

As you can see, every one of these South Carolina voucher candidates received a higher percentage Big Apple money than his counterpart.

Which isn’t really a big deal, except that all of the "randomly selected” politicians are actually New York state lawmakers … whose districts are entirely in New York City.

Big May for Howard Rich & Friends (UPDATED)

Many of the pre-election campaign finance disclosures for the June 10th primaries are in, and it looks like Howard Rich's South Carolinians for Responsible Government spent the month of May doing what it does best: funneling out-of-state voucher cash into local political contests around our state.

Once again, the New York libertarian is poised to be the single biggest special interest in South Carolina, through the myriad business entities he uses to bypass our contribution limits. And remember, historically about half the out-of-state cash from Howie and friends comes in during the "blind spot," the couple of weeks between the pre-election disclosure and the actual election.

Anyway, here's the 2008 totals so far.

Kyle Boyd, House 48
5/12 $1,000 LaSalle Associates (73 Spring St. Rm 507 NYC)
5/12 $1,000 LaSalle Associates (73 Spring St. Rm 408 NYC)

Joseph Bustos, House 112
5/13 $1,000 123 LaSalle Assoc. (73 Spring St. NYC)
5/08 $1,000 Bradford Mgmt (73 Spring St. NYC)
5/13 $1,000 Alan Pomerantz (767 Fifth Ave. NYC)

Mike Fair, Senate 6
5/23 $1,000 123 Lasalle Associates (73 Spring St. NYC)
5/23 $1,000 Alan J. Pomerantz (767 Fifth Ave. NYC)
5/23 $1,000 Yvonne Rich (2111 West Rd Mtn Home, AR)

Sheri Few, House 79
4/29 $1,000 123 Lasalle Assoc. (73 Spring St. Rm 507 NYC)
4/29 $1,000 123 Lasalle Inc (73 Spring St Rm 408 NYC)
3/04 $1,000 188 Claremont LLC (73 Spring St Rm 408 NYC)
3/04 $1,000 332 E 11 LLC (73 Spring St Rm 507 NYC)
3/04 $1,000 Bradford Management (73 Spring St Rm 507 NYC)
2/28 $1,000 Joseph Stilwell (26 Broadway, 23rd Floor NYC)
2/28 $1,000 John Kirtley (339 S. Plant Ave., Tampa, FL)

Heyward Hutson, House 94
5/16 $1,000 123 Lasalle Associates (73 Spring St. Rm 507 NYC)
5/16 $1,000 Bradford Mgmt of NY (73 Spring St. Rm 507 NYC)
5/16 $1,000 Alan Pomerantz (767 5th Ave NYC)
5/16 $1,000 Yvonne Rich (2111 West Rd 1 Mtn. Home, AR)

Bob Leach, House 21
3/14 $1,000 332 E 11 LLC (73 Spring St. Rm. 507 NYC)
3/14 $1,000 188 Claremont LLC (73 Spring St. Rm. 408 NYC)
3/14 $1,000 Joseph D. Stilwell (26 Broadway 23rd Flr. NYC)
3/14 $1,000 Yvonne Rich (211 West Road 1 Mtn Home, AR)
3/14 $1,000 John Kirtley (339 S. Plant Ave. Tampa, FL)

Deborah Long, House 45
5/19 $1,000 Bradford Mgmt of NY (73 Spring St. NYC)
5/18 $1,000 123 LaSalle Associates (73 Spring St. NYC)
5/18 $1,000 Alan J. Pomerantz (767 Fifth Ave., NYC)

Joe Mahaffey, House 36
2/29 $1,000 322 E 11 LLC (73 Spring St. Rm 507 NYC)
2/29 $1,000 538-14 Realty, LLC (73 Springs St. Rm 408 NYC)
2/29 $1,000 Joseph D Stilwell (26 Broadway, 23 Flr. NYC)
2/29 $1,000 John Kirtley (339 S. Plant Ave. Tampa, FL)

Joey Millwood, House 38
5/14 $1,000 Bradford Mgmt of NY (73 Spring St NYC)
5/12 $1,000 123 Lasalle Associates (73 Spring St NYC)
5/16 $1,000 Alan Pomerantz (767 5th Ave NYC)

Wendy Nanney, House 22
5/12 $1,000 Alan Pomerantz (767 Fifth Ave. NYC)
2/26 $1,000 John Kirtley (339 S Plant Ave. Tampa, FL)
2/13 $1,000 Joseph Stilwell (26 Broadway 23rd Floor NYC)

Roger Nutt, House 35
5/09 $1,000 123 Lasalle Assoc. (73 Spring St. NYC)
5/09 $1,000 123 Lasalle Inc. (73 Spring St. NYC)

Ed Rumsey, House 2
5/12 $1,000 Bradford Mgmt of NY (73 Spring St. Rm 507 NYC)
5/12 $1,000 LaSalle Assoc. (73 Spring St. Rm 507 NYC)
5/12 $1,000 Alan Pomerantz (767 5th Avenue NYC)

Tim Scott, House 117
5/14 $1,000 123 Lasalle Inc (73 Spring St Rm 408 NYC)
5/14 $1,000 123 Lasalle Assoc. (73 Spring St Rm 507 NYC)
5/21 $1,000 Alan Pomerantz (767 Fifth Ave. NYC)

Katrina Shealy, Senate 23
5/06 $1,000 123 LaSalle Associates (73 Spring St. NYC)
5/06 $1,000 Bradford Mgmt of NY (73 Spring St. NYC)
5/15 $1,000 Joe A. Pence (424 Flinthill Place Mtn Home, AR)
5/15 $1,000 Eric S. O’Keefe (5367 Highway C Spring Green, WI)

Tommy Stringer, House 18
5/07 $1,000 123 Lasalle Inc (73 Spring St. Rm 408 NYC)
5/07 $1,000 123 Lasalle Associates (73 Spring St. Rm 507 NYC)
5/19 $1,000 Alan Pomerantz (767 Fifth Ave. NYC)

Trey Whitehurst, House 3
5/02 $1,000 123 Lasalle Inc (73 Spring St Rm 408 NYC)
4/30 $1,000 123 Lasalle Assoc. (73 Spring St Rm 507 NYC)


Notes:

1. Rep. Joe Mahaffey announced he was dropping out of his race the same night he received his $4,000 bundle from SCRG.

2. 73 Spring Street, NYC is the address of Howard Rich.

3. Joseph Stilwell of New York is a director of Rich’s “U.S. Term Limits.”

4. Yvonne Rich of Arkansas was a co-director of Rich's “Colorado At Its Best.”

5. Joe A. “Skip” Pence appears to be the spouse of Yvonne Rich.

6. Eric O'Keefe was a director of Rich's "Legislative Education Action Drive."

7. John Kirtley of Tampa is chairman of a national voucher group with ties to Amway and Wal-Mart.

Monday, May 26, 2008

This morning...


... I sensed a strange disturbance in the Blogosphere...

Happy Memorial Day

"But in spite of all the other towns in America that claim to be the site of the first Memorial Day (all claiming spring, 1866), African Americans and Charleston deserve pride of place."

-Prof. David Blight, Yale University
From The Post & Courier

Pictured: Charleston Race Course, site of what some historians consider to be the first Memorial Day celebration.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Gullick not gullible

SCRG's recruited voucher candidates are pretty good at saying they aren't in favor of vouchers, but like most of us, Rep. Carl Gullick (R- York) doesn't have any trouble seeing through the "BS barrage" of libertarian Howard Rich & Company.

From the Rock Hill Herald:

Gullick went on to add that tax credits are "like a voucher for morons" and that the reason candidates avoid using the term "vouchers" is because it doesn't poll as well as saying "tax credits."

School vouchers add sizzle to S.C. House race
, 5/22/08

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Will Folks blasts Scott Talley

Lawmaker, state Senate candidate, and father Scott Talley (R-Spartanburg) may have thought he was safe running a commercial featuring himself reading books to the two adorable little kids pictured to the right.

But he was so, so wrong.

That’s because Talley didn’t count on Will Folks (CDV-Columbia) exposing the fact that on some nights in 2006 these kids were, by Folks’ estimation, probably NOT read to by Talley.

That’s right. Former Sanford spokesman, crack investigator, and domestic violence criminal Will Folks has looked at records of legislative receptions and has propounded the theory that in 2006 there were nights in which the words “I do not like them, Sam I Am” never even crossed Talley’s lips.

In a post called “Aw…So…Cute” Will Folks writes, “there’s no way Talley made it home in time to put the little rugrats to bed those 29 nights.”

Zing!

I, for one, will stay tuned as Seuss-gate unfolds. When a tough guy like Will Folks blogs about someone’s kids, it’s important to listen to what he has to say.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New website exposes Howard Rich’s agenda for SC’s primaries

New York millionaire Howard Rich is pretty crafty. This primary season, if you haven’t noticed, Rich seems to be running several campaigns almost entirely from the accounts of his SC front group, South Carolinians for Responsible Government.

It’s a pretty good plan: most if not all of any given voucher candidate's mail pieces and phone calls actually come from Howard Rich's SCRG.

That way, bloggers like myself can’t point out that Candidate X received 99% of her funds from the out-of-state voucher lobby, or that Candidate Y received 99% of his campaign funds from the out-of-state voucher lobby, or that there is an actual sitting legislator who got 84% of his funds from the out-of-state voucher lobby.

Instead, these voucher candidates have access to the millions of dollars in SCRG’s operating account (SCRG received $3 million in 2006 alone) yet don’t have to disclose one red cent of it to SC voters. SCRG has a lawyer ready to sue if we pesky SC voters even dare to ask.

It’s pretty ingenuous, but Howard Rich didn’t count on actual Sandlappers being even ingenious-er. Fortunately for those of us who don't want SC’s political process hijacked by out-of-state anti-school ideologues, the good folks at TakeSCBack.com are all over Howie like hash on rice.

Something tells me this new site is going to get a lot of visitors between now and June 10th.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Upstate lawmaker pours Howard Rich a big glass of Get Lost


Rep. Bill Sandifer:

“I had someone from the SCRG tell me that if I agreed to support their school voucher program that they would not support anyone running against me. I always refuse that kind of thing … This is not about serving in the office. It is about taking me out of office.”

Anderson
Independent-Mail 5/19/08

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Gullick's opponent not a big voter

One of these two people has definitely voted since 2004.

The other one is the voucher candidate recruited to run against Republican lawmaker Carl Gullick of York County.

From the Rock Hill Herald:

“[Sanford]'s not being supported like he should," Boyd said Thursday night. "I'm a true conservative Republican."

Boyd hasn't voted in an election since 2004, county and state records show. Sanford has appeared on two ballots in that time, a Republican primary and general election in 2006. Sanford won both contests.

Asked Friday about his absences, Boyd said: "That's a good question. I wasn't able to get away from school, that's all."

A short time later, Boyd re-contacted The Herald to say his recollection had changed and that he did vote in 2006. He declined to elaborate.

Oh, brother. I don't even know where to start. But here are three thoughts:

1. There should be a law where, if you're going to be working out of state, you can vote early, perhaps by mail, even though you are "absent" on the actual day of the election. Call me a hopeless dreamer.

2. SCRG's patented "fog this mirror" test for recruiting candidates is working very well.

3. Remind me to never, ever, ever try to pull one over on the reporters for the Rock Hill Herald.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Purple senator blogs out!

Kevin Bryant wants to end the PACT real real real bad, but apparently doesn’t want to have to vote on it.

In case you have an aversion to purple people or for some other reason do not visit Anderson senator Kevin Bryant’s blog, you’re missing his “open letter” to Superintendent of Education Jim Rex. I believe Dr. Rex actually responded to Bryant’s blog, but his response was deleted.

Anyway, Bryant begs for an end to the PACT (but not requiring his vote) on his blog, which I suggest you read for yourself.

All of this leads me to three observations:


1. Barney the dinosaur called and he wants his complexion back! Zing!

2. Nothing says "I'm not playing politics with the PACT" like an open letter posted on your blog. To lend even more gravitas to such a letter, paint yourself purple.

3. "Something" tells me if Howard Rich candidate Karen Floyd had won the 2006 Supt. of Education election, we wouldn't be seeing such gamesmanship from Bryant. But it's hard to say what that "something" is. Also, Kevin Bryant is apparently purple.



Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Southern Pig BBQ: Heaven off I-77

Gervais and the family - Mama, Hannah Jane, Petunia, and Gervais Jr. - recently tried a new 'cue joint out in Blythewood called Southern Pig BBQ.

I say "new," but Southern Pig has been around for a few years. It just recently has been bought back by its original owners, who know a thing or two about settin' out a good Southern buffet, having learned the trade under the wings of Ray Lever's BBQ and Oak Grove Barbecue.

In addition to the tangy, mustard-infused pulled pork, Southern Pig features a nice beef hash and a solid showing of the fixin's you'd expect: collards, green beans, corn on the cob, mac & cheese, cole slaw, etc. The buffet also has some items you don't often find on the buffet table, like navy beans, ribs, new potatoes, and chicken wings.

By far, the best item on the buffet was the fried chicken. It might be the best fried chicken you'll ever taste. In the wrong hands, Southern Pig's tasty fried chicken could spell the end of democracy as we know it. In the right hands, its crispy succulence could be the key to lasting peace in the Middle East.

Southern Pig is open for lunch and dinner every day but Monday, and even offers a breakfast buffet on Saturday. The buffet price is a little high for adults ($9.50) but is offset if you bring the ankle-biters, who eat for a buck apiece.

Gervais says, next time you find yourself on that stretch of blacktop between Columbia and Charlotte, stop in to Southern Pig for a great barbecue buffet. Right off exit 27, in the IGA shopping center.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Conservation Voters endorsements today




See the full list of endorsements over at SC Politics Today.

Based on a random sample, it seems to help if you have a "conservationist" last name.

Monday, May 12, 2008

SCRG & Sanford target Upstate GOP lawmaker

District 2 Republican Bill Sandifer has become the first House candidate (I'm aware of) to be targeted by Gov. Mark Sanford this primary season.

Last month, Sandifer was the target of negative push-polling paid for by Howard Rich's voucher group "South Carolinians for Responsible Government," according to the Daily Messenger.

This month, Sanford himself is apparently taking a long Monday lunch to campaign against the GOP lawmaker.

All of this brings Gervais to a few observations:

1. The last time SCRG got involved in Oconee County politics, they lost big time. Unless victory means having your candidate found passed out drunk in a Domino's Pizza drive-thru with cocaine, in which case they won big time.

2. Chad Connelly's Sandlapper Consulting is running the campaign of Sandifer's opponent, Ed Rumsey. According to the most recent tax information, Connelly is also a $63,250-a-year director of SCRG. (pdf). We're going to have to take a good "Barbecue & Politics" look at this Connelly fellow.

3. Some people's heads are just too fat to fit in a standard thumbnail-sized window. That's not an insult, it's a medical fact.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Thursday THRASH Award: "SC" Club for Growth

Why did the SC Club for Growth target Rep. Bill Cotty in 2006?

That’s an odd question to kick off the final Thursday THRASH award, I know. Especially because the SC Club for Growth says it’s definitely not shilling for an out-of-state agenda, which is the entire basis for the THRASH awards.

True, the Club has had some interesting, out-of-state characteristics during its brief existence. The Club's website still features Karen Iacovelli, member of “New Yorkers for Choice in Education,” on its board of directors. She’s most famous around these parts for signing a statement that says she favors “ending government involvement in education,” the pledge of a California-based outfit called the Alliance for Separation of School and State.

And yeah, the last Executive Director of the SC Club was California transplant and blogger Joshua Gross, who thinks "public education is welfare."

But hatred of our schools is a real-deal South Carolina value, people … just like badminton is. And besides, the SC Club has nothing to do with schools.

The SC Club’s mission is fiscal conservationalism, not vouchers. Electing fiscal conservativationists – that’s its thing. Totally independent of out-of-state control.

So naturally, the Club has a PAC that targets candidates who don’t follow their agenda, which, I repeat, is not dictated from out-of-state interests. I can’t say that enough.

So why did the Club for Growth target Bill Cotty in 2006?

The Club recently ranked the Republican representative the 7th most conservative representative in the state. So it doesn’t make a whole helluva lot of sense at first blush.

I wanted to get an answer to this, so Gervais called the SC Club’s executive director, Matt Moore.

What did Matt say? Well, nothing. He wouldn’t talk. I talked to his answering machine a couple times, and then got an email from him offering to answer my questions via email.

Here’s the queer thing: You know how Gervais reached Moore’s answering machine? I dialed 212-1051.

That’s the number for South Carolinians for Responsible Government. For some reason, I suspected the SCRG receptionist could patch me right through to the Club for Growth’s Executive Director, if I asked nicely to speak to Matt.

Just a crazy hunch, but I was right.

You see, SCRG’s founder/financier, New York libertarian Howard Rich, is also the president of "Club for Growth State Action," according to 2008 records obtained from the Virginia Corporations Commission.

"Club for Growth State Action" oversees and supports the 7 state Club for Growth affiliates, like the one we’re lucky enough to have. According to tax filings, Rich has personally served as director of several of these state affiliates, including Arizona, Kansas, and Pennsylvania. (The SC Club’s tax filings are not available online.)

So in 2006, when Howie spent $20,000 on two separate candidates, one in the primary and one in the general election, to try to oust the unsinkable Bill Cotty, the “SC” Club for Growth dutifully did its part to help Rich. After all, he pays the rent.

So why did the Club for Growth target Bill Cotty in 2006? I think it’s obvious. It starts with "v" and rhymes with schmouchers, and Cotty wasn't buying it.

But that's just my opinion. If you really want to know for sure, you can just call 212-1051 and find out. And when SCRG receptionist Maxine puts you through to Matt’s Club for Growth voicemail, let ‘em know the Club is a winner … of the 5th and final Thursday THRASH award.


The Howard Rich Advocacy & Shilling for Hire (THRASH) awards were created to honor "South Carolina" political advocacy groups that are controlled by, funded by, or specifically created by out of state interests under the guise of representing the actual interests and values of actual South Carolinians.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Matt Moore is a Talley-whacker

That’s right. The executive director of the SC Club for Growth, Matt Moore, recently whacked Rep. Scott Talley (R-Moore), saying Talley “consistently stood in the way of tort and workers' compensation reform.”

The missive was part of the Club for Growth’s endorsement of another candidate in the Senate District 12 race. A week earlier, the Club also sent out a letter saying Talley had voted against tort and workers compensation reform.

One little problem with all this whacking of Talley, though. According to Robert Dalton of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Moore is just making it all up. Talley voted in favor of tort and workers compensation reform.

And in addition to his altogether unimpressive Talley-whackage, Moore apparently cooked up similar whoppers about Rep. Keith Kelly and Sen. Jake Knotts, according to Dalton's post.

All of which leaves Gervais with three questions:

1. Which interstate welcome sign says it’s “Okie-McDokie” for out-of-state politicos to move to the Palmetto State and lie to South Carolinians?

2. Did I really construct this whole post around the desire to write the term Talley-whacker?

3. Wasn’t Joshua Gross just as capable of this stuff?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Will Folks might be delusional

I just visited the web site of former Mark Sanford spokesman Will Folks, who has now apparently completed the transition from common criminal to American hero, at least in the phone booth of his own mind.

Folks is now saying he is “standing up for” the 1st Amendment by posting recorded phone conversations a state senator made from jail.

Uh, okay.

No doubt posting someone’s telephone conversations implicates the 1st Amendment (just try to do it in China) but I think Will might be fooling himself when he says he's “standing up for” the Constitution here.

There are thousands of South Carolinians standing up for the Constitution right now. Like, I mean, they are actually under an oath to support and defend the Constitution, not just invoke its protections like the rest of us. Needless to say, I’m talking about real men and women who have vowed to fight real bad guys to protect our way of life.

And then there’s Will Folks. The closest Folks has come to combat was throwing his fiancĂ©e across a room.

Or, as he put it: “I am perfectly willing to admit that as I was trying to get her to let go of me, she may have lost her balance or been knocked off balance with sufficient momentum to cause a fall.”

Gervais says, the boy has a way with bullshit, I’ll give him that.

Don’t get me wrong, people … hearing Alec Baldwin yell at his kid over the phone changed my life for the better, and may be the reason I have cable broadband. And Folks can post any porn, poetry, phone call, or combination thereof on his blog as far as I care.

But let’s be real. That’s enjoying the First Amendment, not protecting it.

Unless, of course, he’s enjoying it with sufficient momentum as to cause it to be protected.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Bauer wins Kentucky Derby

Lt. Governor clocked at 101 mph on backstretch

B&P News - Churchill Downs

Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer of South Carolina stunned the not-really-sports world Saturday by winning the 134th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

The 38-year-old Bauer, previously unknown in the realm of thoroughbred racing, was clocked at speeds in excess of 101 mph, becoming the first rider in history to “lap” other participants during The Run for the Roses.

“There’s nothing quite like a horse race,” said Bauer in an interview after the race. “In some ways, a horse race could be a metaphor for a lot of things, but I doubt anyone would ever use it as such in a sentence.”

Despite being three feet taller and at least fifty pounds heavier than any other jockey in the field, Bauer was able to was able to lead his horse, SC2, to an unrelenting lead. Asked whether he intends on siring any other thoroughbreds with SC2, Bauer stated that he didn’t hear any sirens, but that he certainly would have stopped if he had.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Uh oh...trouble in paradise?

Everybody knows how it feels when two people who seem so perfect for each other can't hold their relationship together. It sucks. I think R.E.M. probably summed it up best in the song, "Love Hurts," but I've never really understood the words because of my uncontrollable sobbing whenever it comes on the radio.

That's why I was really bothered when I clicked on a link at SC Hotline yesterday.

SC Hotline, for those of you who are unaware, is a news aggregator/filter run by a couple of guys named Mike Green and Jeffery Sewell. News aggregation/filtration is collecting the news from around the state, then filtering out the "bad news," then putting it all on a website. Outside the news aggregation/filtration business, I'm pretty sure Sewell and Green are best known for inadvertently destroying political campaigns.

So anyway, while at SC Hotline, I clicked on a link called "Ravenel's prision what is it like? Who is there?" Here's the substance of the post:

I saw this article in the state and I thought I would google a little bit about the prison in Jesup, GA.

I found out Kevin Geddings is at the same prison maybe they will be roommates?
http://youtube.com/watch?v=N5karmsuqxM&feature=related

Here is the main prison website. http://www.bop.gov/locations/institutions/jes/index.jsp

Here is how you can write to Ravenel while he is in prison. http://www.myinmatelocator.com/Federal/Federal_Prisons/Jessup_Federal_Correctional_Institution.html

Why don’t you all do some google searches and post some more information about the prison here?

Okay, whatever.

I can see why that might be interesting on a slow news day, even if the grammar and spelling leave something to be desired. But the post didn't really get interesting until the comments:
Jeffrey Sewell Says:
May 1, 2008 at 3:54 pm

Take this crap down, Thomas has apologized, been sentenced and will shortly begin to repay his debt to society, not to mention the 250k he handed the Feds.

What is the purpose of this post Mike Green? Still disappointed that another fellow human let you Mr. Perfect down…Cast no stones, hmmm.

Oh, schnap! No he didn't! Yes he did! Pull his hair!

This little back-and-forth between Mike and Jeffery makes me very worried, and leaves me with just a few questions:

1. Is the brain trust behind SC Hotline on the rocks after all these years?

2. How many times can Jeffery Sewell drop Thomas Ravenel's name before it is irreparably broken?

3. Is Hannah Jane being facetious when she calls me "Mr. Perfect?"

4. Ravenel's prision what is it like?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Thursday THRASH Award: South Carolinians for Responsible Government

Who didn’t see this one coming?

The SCRG debacle is well-documented in this blog and elsewhere, but it bears constant repeating, because it's hilarious.

It all started a few short years ago, when New York millionaire Howard Rich “saw his opening” to install a private school voucher plan in the Palmetto State.

Step One: Dispatch Todd McCauley, a field representative for Rich's US Term Limits organization, to register a group called “South Carolinians for Responsible Government” with the secretary of state.

Step Two is then obvious: Write fake letters to the editor of The State newspaper under the pseudonym “Dennis Sinned” and get caught red-handed.

It sounds foolproof already, but SCRG’s sleeve is stuffed with more aces than the bullpen at the All-Star Game.

The group accidentally uses Howard Rich’s phone number on their tax return. Then they launch a radio ad that mispronounces “South Carolinians.” They sue the Ethics Commission in order not to reveal their funding, because that way no one will suspect they have anything to hide.

It’s a floundering, flailing, FUBAR-fest all around. All paid for by, well we don’t know who.

But then again, all that stuff happened years ago. It’s the distant past, and the THRASH awards are for groups that shill for out-of-state interests right now.

Now when SCRG says it’s a native, grass-roots effort, we can probably believe it, despite the polls and whatnot. Sure, Howard Rich may have provided a little “seed money,” but that’s no reason to think he’s still pulling the purse-strings of SCRG for his voucher agenda.

So, um, why is SCRG President Randy Page wearing a Cubs hat in this exclusive photograph obtained by Gervais?

Well, there’s an explanation. Taxes. SCRG needed to do their taxes a few months ago. And obviously, South Carolina “grass roots” groups who need to do their taxes often take a short trip to the suburbs ... of Chicago.

But now you’re probably thinking to yourself, "That seems like a real bother. Why doesn't Randy just go to one of those places with the Statue of Liberty lady dancing out front?"

Well you’re wrong to think that. It isn’t inconvenient at all. Actually, it’s much easier. Not for Randy, but for his boss.

You see, there's a few more groups that get their taxes done at this same accounting firm in the Chicago suburbs.

Like "US Term Limits," founded and directed by Howard Rich.

And "Americans for Limited Government," chaired by Howard Rich.

And let’s not forget “Legislative Education Action Drive,” or the “Parents in Charge Foundation,” directed and founded by Howard Rich.

Because at the end of the day, when you're trying to balance the gobs of libertarian voucher cash in all these groups, you probably want the same guy doing the balancing.

Gervais says, it’s a darn shame. Here's a guy getting paid almost $88,000 a year to shill for Howard Rich, yet can’t even get his front-group's taxes done down the street.

Don't just hang your head, SCRG, take a full bow. For abusing the proud label "South Carolinians" while being a puppet for out-of-state interests, you've definitely earned the spotlight ... and this Thursday's THRASH award.

The Howard Rich Advocacy & Shilling for Hire (THRASH) awards were created to honor "South Carolina" political advocacy groups that are controlled by, funded by, or specifically created by out of state interests under the guise of representing the actual interests and values of actual South Carolinians.