Friday, October 27, 2006

Yeah, It's the Silly Season

We had to take a break from politics yesterday.

Seriously, there's just too much silliness going on.

At the top of the ticket, Gov. Mark Sanford is cruising to a decisive victory, but his intellectual lightweight campaign manager Jason Miller continues to throw amateurish "Hillary Clinton" jabs at Tommy Moore.

Remember the "Thrilla in Manila?" The punch Ali never gave Foreman?

This one's over, Team Sanford. Time to dial down Mr. Miller's testosterone a couple notches and start acting like it.


In the Comptroller General's race, Democrat Drew Theodore is running an especially harsh new attack ad against Republican Richard Eckstrom.

Ironically, the same man who's authored Internet posts about husbands cheating on their wives and the feasibility of having sexual intercourse in luxury automobiles claims he will "restore honor and integrity to the Comptroller General's office" in his new ad.


And Don King is going to restore honor and integrity to Las Vegas.

Incidentally, three weeks later we're still waiting for "DrewT" to provide a shred of evidence supporting his debate statement that Sic Willie "attacked his family" and "attacked his father."

What say you, DrewT? We're still waiting ...


In the Superintendent of Education race, Jim Rex has no money with which to attack Karen Floyd, so The State newspaper and Laurin Manning are doing their best to pick up the slack. We've always found Laurin to be incredibly objective and fair-minded in the commentary on her blog, which is why reading her rants over the last few weeks has been especially disappointing.

Miss Manning seems to have converted to the belief that all of us who support school choice are "cancers" who are under the thumb of New York millionaire Howard Rich.

She even accuses school choice backers of wanting to turn South Carolina's kids into "guinea pigs."

We can't speak for anybody but ourselves here at FITS, but we happen to support school choice because we've seen it work in other states and believe it's worth trying here, especially in historically underperforming districts. Obviously doubling per pupil funding, doubling the education bureaucracy, raising teacher salaries above the Southeastern average and implementing monumental new governmental "accountability" standards hasn't done the trick.

Seriously, more money hasn't produced the desired result, so why not try something new?

We don't always approve of SCRG's tactics, nor have we been particularly impressed with K-Flo's campaign - and we've said so on multiple occasions.

We even have a great deal of respect for Jim Rex on a personal level, and although we disagree with him on this issue, we think that his conduct over the course of this race has by and large been emblematic of what the political discourse should be about in South Carolina.

We wish the same could be said for Miss Manning.


As the Silly Season goes, this race probably takes the cake.

Democratic Treasurer Trav Robertson - scratch that, Grady Patterson - has launched yet another salvo against GOP nominee Thomas Ravenel, this time on the issue of a $19,500 fine from the Federal Election Commission from Ravenel's 2004 Senate race.

Ravenel, who simply paid the fine rather than spending thousands more to fight the validity of a completely innocuous charge, has to be pleased that this is what Patterson is running on after four decades in the Treasurer's Office.

Patterson's campaign had previously dug up decades-old liens filed against Ravenel's business partner after a sub-contractor failed to pay bills that Ravenel had already given them the money to pay.

Accordingly, Ravenel paid the bills a second time.

Given Grady's stretching of the truth the last go-round, media outlets in South Carolina have been far less inclined to bite on this latest attack.

Ah, the Silly Season ... you gotta love it.


Blogger Upstate Voice said...


Word is two different state daily papers are planning multi-page "investiagtive reports" on Howard Rich and outside money in SC politics to run this Sunday.

Wonder if your name will appear?


1:46 PM

Anonymous college student said...

what do you mean by "doubling the education bureaucracy?" will you substantiate that for me?

i'm doing a term paper, and i'd like the direct source.

1:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laurin Manning has lost any reasonable perspective in the Floyd/Rex race, and launches hourly attacks on those she disagrees with as if they were wicked and evil. There is no point in enumerating the flaws in her arguments in that she is unhinged and certainly unable to discuss any differences in a meaningful fashion.

The odd play here is that in order to fling herself onto the deck of a sinking ship, she has jettisoned any claim to dispassionate discourse, and especially in relation to her coverage of the legislature she will certainly have lost credibility with the more intelligent members of her audience.

Ms. Manning has shown that the frumpy, 30ish exterior of hers masks the emotional temperance of a 17 years old cheerleader…for the losing team.

2:00 PM

Anonymous west_rhino said...

Wil, you missed the shell game gambit attempted by Daddy's Dilettante Drew, blaming Eckstrom for the loss of the SC's credit rating.

Thus we have a new film tie in for the DT boy, Clueless!!!

2:19 PM

Blogger faithinsound said...

Dear College Student,

The AP reported in 2004 that the number of Department of Education employees making $50,000 or more had doubled since Inez Tenenbaum took office. Pretty cut and dry.

We assume if you're actually a college student you can Lexis-Nexis the article for yourself, but if you don't have a Lexis-Nexis card we're sure Laurin Manning will let you borrow hers.

And to our good friend Upstate Voice, we suppose we'll wait like you to see if the untold hundreds of thousands of dollars Sic Willie has reaped from the teet of Howard Rich actually make it into those two "investigative" reports.

Of course when it doesn't, we won't hold our breath waiting for your apology.


2:49 PM

Anonymous college student said...

sounds like the people making $49,500 a year got a cost of living adjustment.

but you know that, right?

don't worry. st. peter never took statistics, and blogs are exempt anyway

2:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One might argue that Laurin has gone pretty hardline over this stuff -- which, indeed, may be different from her traditional approach.

But she's been way more reasonable in her take on things than Will's absurd rant against The State -- the one with all the North Korea talk....the one that lambasted what was a perfectly reasonable article for the paper to publish. So she remains way out ahead in the "keeping things in perspective" race, I'd say.

The deal is that Howard Rich is a pretty controversial guy. He seems to be a hardcore libertarian, which may be fine but raises some flags with people (how would moderates and GOP types respond if an acknowledged communist was funding any number of Democratic candidates in SC?).

Rich's advocacy, from what I've read, helped to get an anti-government measure passed in Colorado that fouled up things there to the point that it had to be repealed.

And on the matter of school choice, while there may be some plans that work great for poor children, there are a lot of folks who have a hard time buying that a rich anti-government guy from New York -- along with a lot of other anti-government, well-off, conservatives -- are in it to help poor children.

So, I don't know....maybe Laurin has gone a little overboard. But maybe it's quite legitimate to want to really examine how politics are funded in our state and what the intentions of the funders really are.

3:05 PM

Blogger Upstate Voice said...


You're actually hanging "doubling the bureaucracy" on "twice as many educators making more than $50,000"?

That's either the stupidest or most dishonest thing I've ever heard.

Marshall and Howard will be proud of you.


3:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The AP reported in 2004 that the number of Department of Education employees making $50,000 or more had doubled since Inez Tenenbaum took office. Pretty cut and dry."

What's pretty "cut and dry" is that this in no equates to doubling the education bureaucracy.

Will, surely you can do better than this....a total mishandling of the facts.

Maybe Inez Tenenbaum raised salaries on the high end (if $50,000 is really all that "high end") and cut staff at lower pay levels. Maybe there were quite a number of people who were close to the $50,000 mark and got slight raises.

And what about local school districts? My guess is that there are FAR more "educrats" working in local districts than in Columbia. Did Inez hire more people to work in Orangeburg's district office? Or in Richland District 2?

It seems quite clear to me that you're insinuating that Inez doubled the number of school administrators ("educrats") statewide. If that is your aim, it's really, really dishonest. Even to say she "doubled" the bureaucracy in Columbia appears to be far from proven by what you've written here.

It's misleading propaganda like this that has played a big part in making the education debate so nasty.

3:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will, this post is "emblematic" of why I don't like you. Whether you admit it or not, you can't just agree to disagree with people. You think you're always right. Manning has been your friend for a while - sometimes when I flip from your blog to hers I feel like I'm reading the same post over again - but as soon as she pushes for something that's opposite of your opinion you get mean. Rather than nicely saying you disagree or even something witty, you undercut her, inferring she's become possessed by some supernatural force. I'd say this is a character flaw you need to work on.

3:20 PM

Blogger Upstate Voice said...


Take your meds, man. That darned second personality (FITS)is popping up again.


5:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listening to the radio debate, the only applause line the Guv got was mentioning Hillary Clinton. Got to stick with what gets their attention.

5:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop writing complimentary notes to yourself, Will. Silly, indeed.

6:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Earlier today, Laurin Manning wrote on her blog that "Rush Limbaugh ought to be dragged out to the town square and shot, but that’s not the point of this post."

Uh, if that's not unhinged, then I don't know what is.

Laurin's just another liberal who forgot to take her meds.

6:55 PM

Anonymous tammy said...

When God was giving out BALLS, he obviously overlooked the anonymous posters in the SC blogsphere.

Y'all are attacking Laurin because she is standing up for what she believes in?

Oh yeah--I forget. The SC 'good ole boy's biggest threat...a woman with more brains and balls. Go Laurin. You got their attention.
;-) And now I know why they all support Karen Floyd.

11:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously -- why claim that the education bureaucracy has doubled, then claim to have the facts to back up the charge, when the facts you cite clearly do not prove your claim?

9:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you heard the one about Laurin and Robert Barber going to a cock fight…only to find Howard Rich there holding his cock recently re-named Jim Rex?

9:40 AM

Anonymous tammy said...

When God was giving out BALLS, he obviously overlooked the anonymous posters in the SC blogsphere.

oh, I think I said that already.

1:17 AM

Anonymous Floyd's Ghost said...

Wil, when did you sneak that pic of Deisree's son?

9:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your obsession with balls is unseemly.

Please cease your flirtation with success, and return to the silence of your own unread blog, and leave the good folks here in peace.

Please accept these comments in the spirit in which they were intended.

3:35 PM

Blogger faithinsound said...


We welcome and appreciate your comments. Keep 'em coming!


4:19 PM

Blogger sh said...

I have done a lot of research on school vouchers and tax tuition credits and to say that they have truly been successful in other states is not actually true. If you do a study and compare apples to apples private schools (which are predominately white) and the college prep classes in public schools they fare about the same. If you add in the public schools around the nation that put $ in to have smaller classrooms they fared about as well. The way the legislation in SC read was, in 2005 you would have gotten a 3200-tax credit against what you owe the SC state gov. In 2006 it was lowered to 1000 credit to be used against what you owed on your SC tax return. Do you honestly think that poor kids in failing districts parents make enough to use a tax credit? If you do a search on where tax credits have been approved then you would see that the majority of people that took advantage of this were income brackets of 50,000 to 80,000. In the legislation that was introduced in SC it had an income cap of 75,000. Again what segment of the population is that going to help? I think that if more parents got involved and were pro active in their schools, reduced class sizes, more career track classes, stricter discipline policies, and less red tape and standardized testing so that teachers could actually teach. All that would help make a difference. I am not an educator or teacher. I am a parent that cares deeply for all children! I think we do need to revamp our education system but vouchers are not the answer. Also Milwaukee is often cited as an example but they only offer vouchers to a certain number and those kids are in inner cities schools. We don't have the demographics to do that. Back to the state's that have the credits. Corporations are allowed to give money to be able to scholarship these poor kids in that don't qualify for a tax credit. The corporations get .90 on the dollar credit for what they give. In turn the general budget has less money for all the other things, such as garbage service, fir fighting, ems..... in essence we are taxed someplace else. It also a known fact that No Child Left Behind has put a lot of strain our schools and teachers and haven't received the dollars that were promised to help carry out all the mandates. What good are the mandates if you don't have the resources to carry them out? Our SC legislators and SCRG, all children matter hasn’t come up with any better solution to help our kids and help our state. At this point it’s all theory. If SC really wants school choice come up with a plan - sit down and figure out how it will help, whom it will help, transportation? differences in actual tuition costs to kids? How and what will the accountability be if new private schools open up? The established private schools that already have a reputation for academics have already said they don't want the voucher students unless they meet the academic standards that are already in place. In Fla. there have been a lot of school that have popped up and just as many shut down because they are finding out there are a lot of misappropations of funds. So please don't let our public education be a thing of white flight. Be concerned about all kids.

10:22 AM


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