Thursday, March 30, 2006

Ravenel Files for Treasurer?

Out of nowhere, former U.S. Senate Candidate Thomas Ravenel has filed for the Republican nomination for State Treasurer today, joining a crowded field that already includes former House Majority Leader Rick Quinn, State Sen. Greg Ryberg and Jeff Willis of Pickens.

Ravenel, who ran surprisingly well in the 2004 U.S. Senate contest ultimately captured by Jim DeMint, brings a number of interesting attributes to the table in the State Treasurer's race - not the least of which is his ability to self-fund his campaign to the tune of $2 million or more, as he did two years ago. Also, his consultant from the 2004 race was none other than Andre Bauer advisor and resident "Dirty Trickster," Rod Shealy.

The son of former U.S. Rep. and State Senator Arthur Ravenel, Thomas certainly suprised a lot of folks with his announcement today, including all of us here at FITS. Frankly, we saw the Charleston businessman running for a higher office come 2008 or perhaps even a gubernatorial bid in 2010.

Ravenel has been active with the SC Club for Growth of late, serving on its board of directors and penning an oped just nine days ago decrying the double-digit spending growth in the State Legislature.

But Ravenel announcing for the Treasurer's Office at the eleventh hour in a primary with two well-known, well-organized and well-backed candidates who've both already been campaigning at full-tilt for nearly a year is very surprising indeed.

Sure, the Treasurer's Office is the next-to-last bastion of Democratic control among the state's Constitutionally-elected positions and its occupant holds a seat on the powerful State Budget & Control Board. But given how close Ravenel came last go-round in the Senate race (observers say he would have beaten DeMint for the runoff nod had he bought television in key Aiken and Rock Hill markets toward the end of the campaign), his instant war chest potential and his telegenic good looks, it would have seemed a downballot race like Treasurer wouldn't have interested him - particularly with the field already so well established.

Ryberg, who has veteran GOP'er Warren Tompkins' firm running his race, has said he'll spend "whatever it takes" to win the Republican nod and take the Treasurer's Office away from incumbent Dem Grady Patterson, and has hinted at hiring the same ad man who crafted Republican John Thune's winning message over former Democratic Majority Leader Tom Daschle in South Dakota's recent U.S. Senate shocker.

Quinn, who started his campaign by building a second-to-none grassroots network, probably won't need as much complementary "air war" TV commercials and radio spots to be effective in turning out the vote. Word has it Quinn is also enjoying a very successful fundraising quarter, which he will need to keep up in order to stay financially competitive. Another strength is that Quinn has been way out in front of the other candidates on message, touting his comprehensive tax overhaul/ property tax relief plan to rave reviews on the stump while the crux of Ryberg's more socially-conservative message seems to be "I'm with Sanford."

And then there's Willis, a nice guy who's done a lot better than observers initially though he would, but who is now faced with three gorillas in the ring instead of two.

How those three gorillas (who are incidentally affiliated with the state's top three political consultants) maneuver in the cage over the next three months is certainly going to make this one of the most interesting, most expensive downballot races the State of South Carolina has ever seen.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff Willis is not from Spartanburg

2:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

he's from Easley

2:49 PM

Blogger faithinsound said...

Thanks anon,

Sleazly, got it.


3:13 PM

Anonymous Otis the Drunk said...

A few little things for you to ponder Will. It wasn't until the 1970's that the Governor had a security detail drive the governor full time, ask Walter Edgar, Mrs. McNair sometimes drove Governor McNair around as did first ladies Byrnes and others. That I learned from hearing his radio program.

If it is your sole premise that the lt. governor not have a security detail and full time driver, fully explain why it is necessary that our current, our past and future governors need one and why the general assembly should not eliminate the funding for this "pork barrel spending." Why can't the governor drive himself, fly himself, or have his wife drive him where ever he goes?

Seriously, look at our procedural rules: both the Speaker of the House and President Pro Tempore are entitled to a security detail but neither of them use them, but just because Bob Peeler voluntarily gave it up...why should Andre Bauer be penalized?

I understand the security risk of the Governor giving it up, he is practicing for the secret service detail he will be using when he runs for president.

If all lt. guv's of recent note have been afforded this tool of safety and security why shouldn't this one.

just a thought.

By the way, Will are you the one who leaked this information about Andre to the mainstream press? You are still working tirelessly for the Sanford Policy and mission after your dismissal last year.

This does seem like a tactic of trying to eliminate someone who is against your camps theory of a govnernor/lt.governor ticket rather than letting the voters decide whom they want to elect to their public offices no matter what their party affiliation.

3:40 PM

Anonymous Will Folks said...

Dear Friend,

Like the rest of South Carolina, I learned about Lt. Governor Bauer's recent traffic stops through reports in the news media.

Additionally, I announced my resignation from the governor's office to pursue a career in the private sector on July 19, 2005 - three days before the alleged incident involving my former fiance. I was never dismissed from my position.

You are correct, however, in your assertion that I personally support the notion of the governor and lieutenant governor running on the same ticket.


Will Folks

5:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The incident isnt "alleged" Will. You are the one who entered a guilty plea my friend.

6:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

well written piece FITS. this already interesting race has just turned chaotic.

6:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon - and Richard Jewell was the Olympic Park bomber too wasn't he?

8:39 PM

Blogger Earl Capps said...

Willis is a nice guy, and it's shame he's probably going to get crunched in a race that has grown into a Clash of the Titans.

He's a hard worker, and willing to put his personal money where his mouth is. I always hate it when candidates like him don't get the credit they deserve for the work they've done, but there's only room for one winner.

After this race, I hope we see him back in the ring for another, and more winnable, office.

9:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Ravenel had bought TV in Beaufort, and Aiken...He bought cable 2 in Rock Hill, and most to all SC candidates do not buy time on Charlotte NC TV.

11:22 AM

Blogger Otis the Drunk said...

the last anonymous makes a very good point. But Earl, you are a good guy-Will Folks is not! He is the one who leaked all of that stuff on Andre Bauer.

Negative politics is wrong and he should be ashamed of himself.


12:51 PM

Blogger Earl Capps said...

not sure about that. some willie guy says i don't know what i'm talking about and some campbell fan says i'm busy tearing their signs down.

heck, there are probably people out there who say i kick the dog down the street and beat my kids.

most chickens(alad)s around here hide their names and identities, and throw around personal sludge without the least bit of regard.

sure is easy to trash people when they can't trash you back, i always say.

4:20 PM

Anonymous truthbetold said...


Earl, what do you have to say about this??? Why do you own the "Campbell2006.org" domain? And furthermore, why did you buy it last March?

...too many fools this April...

William Capps
156 Robert Drive
Ladson, South Carolina 29456
United States

Registered through: Cheap-DomainRegistration.com
Domain Name: CAMPBELL2006.ORG
Created on: 11-Mar-05
Expires on: 11-Mar-07
Last Updated on: 23-Feb-06

Administrative Contact:
Capps, William earlcapps@webstop.net
156 Robert Drive
Ladson, South Carolina 29456
United States
(843) 532-8439

Technical Contact:
Capps, William earlcapps@webstop.net
156 Robert Drive
Ladson, South Carolina 29456
United States
(843) 532-8439

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12:41 AM


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