Wednesday, August 23, 2006

T-Rav Into the RINO's Den

The State House grounds will turn into the plains of the Serengeti this Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. as GOP Treasurer nominee Thomas Ravenel sits down for his "RINO inquisition" at the hands of liberal GOP kingmaker and Board of Economic Advisors' chairman John Rainey.

Rainey, who has evidently forwarded a twelve-point agenda to Camp Ravenel for the meeting, seems primed to grill his own party's nominee on assertions Ravenel has made regarding the state's unfunded liabilities, Treasurer Grady Patterson's antiquated investment strategy and, oddly enough, what constitutes the "greatest economic expansion in human history."

Thursday morning's meeting is the latest in a three-week old spat between the two men, which began when Rainey attacked Ravenel publicly August 6 in the Greenville News, calling him a "dilettante" and insinuating that his election would threaten the state's fiscal stability.

Rainey's twelve-point agenda also fires a shot across the bow at GOP Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom, challenging Ravenel to defend Eckstrom's performance during the latter's four years of service as Treasurer from 1995-99.

Aside from the presumptuousness of Rainey (a.k.a. the "Seersucker Kingfish") to demand such a meeting in the first place - let alone to insist on the location, agenda and attendees (which will include press) - the lengths to which he is prepared to go to defend Patterson's abysmal record is truly remarkable.

Ravenel, whose shoot-from-the-hip, "Damn The Torpedoes" approach to this race has paid dividends thusfar (that's just how he "rolls," remember), nonetheless should take care not to approach this meeting with too cavalier an attitude.

Rainey may be a straight up anti-tax relief, anti-school choice RINO whose BEA estimates have missed the mark by roughly $800 million since he took office, but no one can polish a turd as adeptly as he can, he's got an army of left-leaning economists (Bill Gillespie) in lockstep behind him and his liberal advocacy for our state's poorest school districts (he financed the "Corridor of Shame" documentary with Democrat consultant Bud Ferillo, remember) has forever endeared him to the press.

More importantly, Rainey doesn't have to prove anything tomorrow - all he has to do is argue semantics or find one number that causes T-Rav to trip up.

Make no mistake, T-Rav has balls as big as church bells for agreeing to "debate" Rainey, but he is clearly the man with the most to lose.

On a positive note, this is probably as close as we're going to get to a debate in the State Treasurer's race given Democrat Patterson's inability to formulate a complete thought or stand for extended periods of time.

That doesn't excuse Rainey's pompousness, but if T-Rav was looking for a worthy adversary, he's certainly found one.

Stay tuned to FITS for complete coverage of tomorrow's showdown at the Wade Hampton Corral ...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

For ten years as an undergraduate and graduate student at the College of Charleston, (and a couple of years after leaving the school), I was a resident of Charleston. While there, I often heard an old saying that went like: "people here are a lot like the Chinese, they eat a lot of rice and worship their ancestors."
I think that analogy can now be extended to include the public policy and political debate in this entire state. God forbid that someone disagrees with the extreme right wing idealogues around here. The naysayers start with name calling and slightly veiled threats of retribution. Soon it moves to outright verbal hostility. If the culprits don't soon fall back in line and move two notches to the right of Attila the Hun then the tanks will soon rumble through our own Tiannimen Square. We are starting to look and act more like the Chinese every day.

9:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not big balls, just brains of brick for making such a spectacle of himself.

It's one thing not to have the unified support of one's party, but to make a highly-publicized media event of it? Geez.

This "debate" will all but say "we're here tonight to let the entire state know that fellow Republicans don't support my candidacy" ... Patterson's people couldn't come up with a more effective opening salvo for their campaign, nor could they have afforded to buy the air time for it.

Rainey has to be a supporter of Patterson. But I bet he never imagined a few harsh words could have caused all of this.

The Patterson campaign has to be thanking Rainey handily for such a successful act of treason against a fellow Republican.

10:26 AM

Anonymous Rob W. said...

On an unrelated note, what's your take as a "school choice" advocate on the recent study of the effectiveness of charter schools?


11:44 AM

Blogger Bill Smith said...

Damn Will, no one can make a campaign for Treasurer seem more like Ali-Frazier than you. Good job.

11:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Whats up with bashing Rainey; I thought he was Sanford's boy or vice versa. You repubs are like lions these days, eating your young at every opportunity. Last time I checked T-Rav was running against Grady (Good luck getting that guy on ETV). This entire dialogue is absurd.

1:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has Jenny Sanford endorsed Rainey yet?

2:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob W. -- in SC, if a charter school fails, it goes out of business. that's the way it should be. but a traditional public school gets propped up and continues to fail its students year after year. besides, the study you reference was a national one, not one particular to SC. In SC, two of the state's very best high schools -- Greenville Tech and James Island -- are charter schools.

2:51 PM

Blogger STR said...

Call Ravenel now and tell him to back out....just tell the media that he's sick with the flu or something. He doesn't need to do this.

2:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"liberal advocacy of our state's poorest school districts"?
Is that suppose to be a negative for the man? Thank God for men who would attempt to help and improve those school districts and not push for their abandonment like our present Governor. By the way, Asreader "Rob" points out, the much-vaunted charter schools appear (on the basis of test scores) appear to be inferior to regular public schools.

3:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

T-Rav is a complete moron for agreeing to do this...and Rod for that matter never should have allowed it. Will, you are right, Rainey has nothing to lose and Thomas does. But, also there is nothing that Thomas can possibly gain from this encounter. Agreeing to this "debate" is just another example of T-Rav's bad decision making. He is letting his ego get in the way as per usual. Will, you can say what you want about Rainey being a RINO or whatever, but we all know he is extremely intelligent. Ravenel does not deserve to be in the same room as Rainey. I hope Rainey eats Ravenels lunch tomorrow.

4:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone is overlooking the Shealy genius behind this-- The words "unfunded liability" are finally being discussed (and covered by The State.)

7:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael Reese - have you had too many lemon filled or something? Get a clue rookie. Are you upset cause your daddy can't save our state like Thomas can? I'm voting for Thomas as ST and would do the same if he were running for Lindsay's seat or for Gov. Reese - go back to your crappy interviews for crappy donuts. Get a life dude. And Clemson sucks.

8:46 PM

Blogger MaskedMedia said...

Rainey is a fucking jerk and everyone knows it. He's not a real Republican and whether he has ties to Sanford or not, who cares? Rainey is an embicile who belongs on Planet of the Apes.

8:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope Ravenel makes Rainey stick to financial issues and not try to pin him down on possibly challenging Lindsey in 2008. If Ravenel does a good job for two years he would have a decent chance against Lindsey McCain.

9:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll tip my hat to T-Rav anyday on this one and shame on Rainey and whoever is behind him to do this to the Republicans --- We in South Carolina can't get s fair shake to look progressive - we must always deal with the likes of this nonsense going on today with this 21st duel.

10:09 AM

Anonymous Look Away, Look Away said...

Anon sez--"We in South Carolina can't get s fair shake to look progressive - we must always deal with the likes of this nonsense going on today with this 21st duel."
I really can't even believe I just read that line. I want some of what Anon is smoking, that must be some wicked stuff. SC and Progressive in the same sentence is as much of an oxymoron as 'military intelligence' or 'living in Greenville'. Gimme a break....

10:54 AM

Blogger SCPolitico said...

Having attended this senseless meeting whereby the majority of attendees looked at times to be witnessing lunacy at best, I must say that this was another grand use of tax payer dollars at work!

Good job Mr. Rainey you showed the world today who you really are, I just cannot put it in to words here...

Anon – “overlooking the Shealy genius” Oh yeah he’s a real gene alright…

1:03 PM


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