Mayor of Importantville Addresses State's Economy
The "Mayor of Importantville," House Speaker Bobby Harrell today unveiled his vision for improving South Carolina's economy - a three part plan focused on sweeping K-12 enhancements, a substantial increase in Higher Education investment and a massive transportation infrastructure and government works program he referred to as "The Real Deal."
"I know my dear friend the governor will likely disagree with me," Harrell said. "But I'm running this bitch now. He can sit and spin for all I care."
Harrell's plan - which would raise government spending in South Carolina by approximately 8,317% over the next twenty years - would result in the creation of roughly 350 new jobs, all of which Harrell has already promised to various less-than-successful relatives of General Assembly members.
"I heard Bill Sandifer's brother's sister-in-law's neice had fallen upon tough times up in Oconee," Harrell said. "I want her to know that the Mayor feels her pain, and help is on the way. She will have a brand job with a brand new office at Clemson PSA under my new plan, editing their fine 'raising earthworms' publication and organizing local 4-H meetings."
Harrell disputed criticism of his plan from those who maintain South Carolina is already spending too much money on higher education.
"The average state spends 10% of its general fund dollars on higher education," Harrell said. "We here in South Carolina spend 17% of our general fund dollars on higher education. I say let's make it 20%."
Harrell also resisted criticism from Democrats who claimed his powerful father, DOT Commissioner Bob Harrell, was behind the dramatic increases in highway infrastructure spending.
"My dad is growing peanuts," Harrell said, referring to their family's Lowcountry farm. "When was the last time Mark Sanford grew anything on his farm?"
Still, Harrell was forced to explain three $100-plus million bridge projects in Dorchester, Lexington and Florence Counties. Engineers at each site indicated the bridges were being constructed to provide passage over absolutely nothing.
"While it is true there are no roads, creeks, rivers, train tracks or other impediments necessitating the construction of these three bridges, everybody likes a ribbon-cutting and besides, we've got plenty of money," Harrell said.
Harrell added that specific requests from powerful leaders like State Rep. Annette Young, Sen. Jakie Knotts and Sen. Hugh Leatherman made his approval of the projects a political necessity.
"I cannot say no to my good friend Annette," Harrell said. "That Dewar's-induced gravel in her voice renders me incapable of resistance. When she asks for something from the Mayor, she's going to get it."
Finally, Harrell's plan added several gazillion dollars to the $2 gazillion emergency aid plan announced yesterday by State Superintendent Inez Tenenbaum, but withheld the vast majority of that money until 2007, when Tenenbaum will be out of office.
The Superintendent, long friendly with the Mayor, nonetheless praised his initiative.
"As governor, I will work closely with the Mayor to ensure that no South Carolina tax dollar is left untapped and no government boondoggle is left unapproved," Tenenbaum said, until her husband Samuel tapped her on the shoulder and reminded her that she is not yet a candidate for that office.
Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer called Harrell's plan "fab-foo-goo-tastic, if you are a liberal editor at Time Magazine."
"We have a choice," Harrell said. "We can actually work to improve our economic climate and create thousands of new jobs, or we can have government use your tax dollars to buy a few of them for the well-connected. I think our choice is clear. As for me and my House, which I'd like to remind you is the South Carolina House, I say Higher ed jobs for every legislators' cousin."
Slick Willie, since he is no longer the gov-nah's mouthpiece, was not asked for comment on the Harrell plan. But now you know what he would have said because, as well you know dearest readers, I AM WILL FOLKS.