Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game
Webster's dictionary defines the word "hate" as consisting of "intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury."
Well if that's the criteria, then the following South Carolina politicos more than make the cut.
Of course, as you enjoy this inaugural installment of FITS' "Top Ten Most Hated People in SC Politics," do at least consider the advice of our good friends in the band Nada Surf, who'd humbly remind you that "hate will get you every time," or for that matter John Lennon, who said "all you need is love."
1. Will Folks - Owner of the sharpest, most vitriolic tongue and the most poisonous pen in South Carolina politics, Sic Willie Style is all about bringing the visceral hatred for the status quo. "Will Folks isn't going to be a thorn in my side, is he?" a politician recently asked one of the top political consultants in the state. "Nope," the consultant answered. "But he will be a .45 Magnum in your face." 'Nuff said.
2. Phil Leventis - This one's easy. His excessive filibustering keeps State Senators from the two most important things in their lives - their liquor and their mistresses. Plus, listening to his incessant nasal droning is about as entertaining as listening to that Chinese dude from American Idol.
3. Randy Page - Ironically, Randy is one of the nicest guys in the business. He just happens to be top dog for the state's premier political ass-cutting squad, South Carolinians for Responsible Government. Randy also happens to be very good at what he does, which often involves "dropping the hammer" (albeit politely) on RINO legislators who oppose school choice, tax cuts and other market-based reforms.
4. Scott English - Known affectionately around the State House as "Dr. No," who knows how many millions in budget vetoes or new spending would have been spared the gubernatorial axe had "The English" not been in the building. What's the expression, a camel through the eye of a needle? That's getting tax dollars through English's policy shop in the Governor's Office.
5. Larry Marchant - Larry just doesn't give a damn. He's one of the richest, most influential lobbyists in the business and he takes on all of the most controversial clients and issues. Dapper, debonair and raised on the Carroll Campbell school of bruised knuckle politics, is it any surprise he's always got the hottest babes in the business working for him? Jealousy, it would seem, breeds contempt.
6. Jim Davenport - He's the last call you want to get late at night if you're a politician in South Carolina. An old-school reporter who's broken more big stories and scandals in this state that the top three major papers combined, "Davs" is another nice guy who just happens to do his job incredibly well. He's hated because he's good and when he's got dirt, he doesn't discriminate.
7. Mark Sanford - Everything was mozying along just fine up in the Jokerville favor factory, a little back-scratch here, a little pork barrel project there, until one day this tall, tanned, chart-and-graph toting egghead from Sullivans Island came up and decided to start protecting the taxpayer for a change. Nothing's been the same since, and they hate him for it.
8. Terry Sullivan - Reporters hate Sullivan. But then again to meet Sullivan is pretty much too hate him, unless of course you enjoy condescending arrogance coupled with incessant whining. It's almost like listening to Will Folks bitch and moan except without the occasional relaxing break to talk about all the hot women he's slept with.
9. Mark Sweatman - After his title as State House pimp was briefly taken from him in 2003, "Sweat-dog" is back - with a vengeance. Talk about All-Star numbers, particularly with multiple runners in "scoring" position. "Don't go 'round breaking young girls hearts," Michael Jackson's momma warned him in Billie Jean. Sweaty ain't buyin' that.
10. Annette Young - People love Annette. Really. What's not to love about somebody with a sailor's vocabulary and enough gravel in her voice to meet all of South Carolina's unmet infrastructure needs? No, people love Annette because she's the Mayor's girl when it comes to moving votes, and crossing her means crossing Bobby.
Well there you have it ... enjoy and make sure to tell us who we missed!