Monday, October 30, 2006
Well, it IS October ! You know, sometimes you have expectations on he campaign trail. Some good and some bad. We've had a gameplan from Day 1, and we've stuck to it with pretty good success. Well, we deviated from it a little tonight, with no expectations, and it turned out to be one of those nights that make you glad you run.
I was told by a member of the African-American community in Florence that my candidacy was being talked about, and that there was a lot of consideration for voting for me, based mostly on the job I do. However, I needed to get out and let them find out about my ideas. I backtracked to attend the Delta Theta Sigma Sorority Alumni Meet the Candidates Forum in Florence tonight, and I absolutely KICKED BOOTY !!
My opponent had another event, so he spoke his two minutes and left - and I took the opportunity and ran with it. I was creative, I was positive, I was an innovator, and I spoke to everyone on a common level - all the stuff I usually do wrong! There is one thing we candidates look for when we speak - the up and down headshake. It lets us know that we are making sense, that we are connecting with them - that we might really get their vote. To get that from a group of black sorority sisters is golden, and it was all over the room.
I had answers for everything tonight, ideas for Education that School Board members never thought of, ideas to bridge the gap between council and the community and local groups' benefit. It was a beautiful thing to have people coming up to me afterwards, thanking me for running, and seeing that my cards didn't end up in the trash.
It showed me that there is a lot of common ground between almost all of us, even though our approaches might not exactly meet. If we get that magic 20% of the African - American vote - and we can - than this race can make history. Cross your fingers!!
"Sorry Folks, the Party's closed..... The Jackass outside should've told ya. NYUK, NYUK, NYUK!!"
- Marty Moose, in National Lampoon's Vacation.
Trolling through the SC political blogosphere, I've begun to notice something. The left leaners among us are noticeably absent lately. Don't believe me, take a quick gander, and here's what you'll find:
LaurinLine: The literal Queen of the Blogs, is spending the last weeks of Election Season making improvements to her website. I like the changes already. What once was a blog that you only had an inkling that leaned left, has gotten angry and partisan.
Devinely Southern: Frank? Frank?? FRANK!!!???? The Two peas in a pod post is now two weeks old. I think Frank got stuck in DC, and didn't realize that the Capitol shuts the power off when they leave.
Dems in the South: On hiatus to help Robert Barber. DITS ha spent the past month sweeping up the ashes of Barber's restaurant, and making attack ads on Andre Bauer. Note to staff: make at least one positive ad FIRST before you go negative. It's like making your first single a ballad - you end up looking fruity.
Crack the Bell: Tim is still working , but the bent has gone a bit more National, the only recent post being that Mark Sanford's approval rating might not be correct.... but Tommy Moore is a builder, a product of public skoo's, from a mill town, and........... aw, forget it!
Not Very Bright: NVB is as consistent a blogger as I've seen, and he makes some compelling arguments, but his last post was a few days ago, on a trip to Alaska. I guess Michael Ray Ellisor's numbers are about as good as Gary McLeod's, and not meriting time to hit on Joe Wilson.
Exception: Politics Rocks. Ah, young Michael is coming fast and furious, even if the posts look like this.... Oct.29: KAREN Oct30: FLOYD Oct 31: SUCKS!!
Sunday, October 29, 2006
I have this stray cat that I feed on my porch a couple times a day. This morning after I fed him, I found it regurgitated on the porch, only to disappear later. I imagine the noise he made puking up that Cat Chow sounded a lot like Tommy Moore in tonight's debate.
Mark Sanford has never had a reputation as a great public speaker, but Tommy Moore made him look like Bill Clinton tonight. Moore stuttered and stammered his way through the hour long debate, but I guess it is a little difficult to stay focused when you're telling half truths the whole time. The tired, 'out of touch' attack , even when supported by the disallowed cheering by Moore's RINO buddies in Myrtle Beach, was weak, uninspired and meritless in what was definitely a home game.
My suggestion is for Moore to intern for Howard Stern, where can spend his time making Howard's baked potato, and interviewing B-list stars like Raquel Welch. It's debates like tonight that make you wish it was a law that you have to watch a debate in order to vote.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Dizzy Dean, Enos Slaughter, Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith and now Albert Pujols.... Congrats, Moye !
I can never get enough of this picture of Clyburn and John Kerry. It looks like Kerry is actually massaging the back of Jim's neck. No wonder Gary accused him of being against the Marriage Amendment!
That was about the only interesting exchange from what I read of their 50 millionth debate against each other. I only read coverage from The Sumter Item, and it was pretty standard fare: Clyburn with his Quality of Life issues (mostly for his alma mater and Orangeburg), and Gary referring to everything as Socialism ....... all I can say is Da, Comrade!
This is starting to be like the 5th Season of American Idol or Survivor.... Been there, done that. Nothing is more boring than watching the same train wreck for the 20th time. Here is my question: Who can the GOP recruit to run for Congress in 2008? My gut tells me that this is Clyburn's last go around. He will shoot for a Cabinet position afetr promising to "deliver" SC to someone (like he did for Kerry in 2004?). If not, he'll cash in his two pensions, and scare a few corporations into giving him a board spot.
If I'm right, the seat will be wide open, so the smart thing is to find the right person now, and get them exposure for two years. Throw out some suggestions, and NO, YOU CAN'T SAY ME!! I don't have the cash to make a serious dent. I have an idea or two, but I'll keep them to myself. Cast the net wide, and let's have out own vetting process...
I was on the campaign trail tonight at a Thomas Ravenel function thrown by organizer extraordinaire, Mary Tepper. Mary and Jed's home is fabulous, and they always throw a good party. I worked my way around , and ran into the Queen of Conservative blogging, Sunny Philips herself.
We chatted about various campaigns, and some of which were a bit disappointing. Needless to say, I think we agreed that the two of us are smarter than a couple pros in the business - although Sunny is the only one who actually makes a living in politics!
Monday, October 23, 2006
Just sit right back, and you'll hear a tale... A tale of absolute stupidity, paranoia and outright lies. You think picking on a candidate's driving record or how short her skirts are is hitting below the belt. Well, welcome to a new low - the Florence County Democrat.
It seems that I have been accused of plotting to entrap my opponent by attempting to have a traffic stop set up on him after dinner last Tuesday. You read right - somehow a Phantom Sheriff's deputy and I conspired to have him pulled over on his way home, in an attempt to embarrass him and improve my chances of winning November 7th. As I have been told by the other candidate himself, he was told by a "reliable source" that a member of the Florence County Sheriff's Dept. named "Lt. Dean" were only stopped because the County Sheriff himself found out and put a stop to it. I called Sheriff Kenney Boone personally today, and he has absolutely no knowledge of any of this.
This runaway rumor in the other camp apparently caused them to decide to go for retribution in the form of a smear campaign. Saturday night, flyers were stuff into newspaper boxes and mailboxes ( a $1000 per offense charge) in Lakewood , Windsor Forest and Grove Park subdivisions highlighting an incident I was cleared in earlier this year. I have 136 of them in my possession, and about 400 more ended up in the hands of residents. So, not only has my opponent's camp (directed or otherwise) engaged in dirty politics, they did it based on a complete and total lie from their own side !
Of course , I was only made aware of this after the flyers were planted. In response , I do have a couple questions... First, do you have any control over "your people"? I see teenagers with better ethics than this bunch. Secondly, why did no one call me during the four days between the 'Road Block' incident and the flyer mess? It's the first thing I did when I found out what happened. Initially, I thought this was a independent act of stupidity, but the more I find out, the more doubt I have.
Next, what will be my response? One word.........Nothing. Try and tar me all you want, but I don't play dirty in campaigning. Maybe you thought my famous "bad temper" would make me do something stupid. Maybe you guys in the Democratic Party were expecting less of a campaign, but "my people" and I are better at it than you, we know the issues, and we're a class act. Will we win? Who knows, but there is no doubt that the 6-3 edge in County Council is in serious danger. Thanks for the juice, guys!
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Burgersprattster Sprattsterburger Spratt's Penpal
I've been waiting a while to use the Burgermeister pic again! With 17 days til the Election finally ends, the time has come for Ralph Norman to really hit John Spratt , and hit him hard, or else this race is in big trouble. Here is my suggestion..
Spratt has finally ended his negative ads against Norman concerning Immigration. It was a little annoying after a while, but it was effective. First , it caught Norman looking like hypocrite. Note to staff: If you bring up an issue make sure your candidate is squeaky clean on it. It's effectiveness was evidenced when I was waiting at the Drs. office. It was on, and I heard the man next to me mutter the famous line, " Saying one thing and doing another." When an ordinary citizen finishes your commercial, you've got him.
So, where does Ralph go from here? By spinning the tables on Spratt with his newest ad issue: Social Security. I've said from day one, this is where to attack Spratt as an elitist hypocrite. It's easy, and will fit into a 30 second spot well. Millions depend on Social Security, and Democrats like Spratt and Jim Lieburn, uh Clyburn, go out and scare the heebie jeebies out everyone over 60 by making it sound like Congress is gonna play Russian Roulette with their retirement checks on the stock market. A little truth about investing the fund, and about how Spratt makes his money would work wonders.
The fact is , Spratt is loaded. How much? I don't know, but I do know something very important. Every candidate has to file a financial disclosure statement. I remember because mine had a slew of zero's..Among it are their stockholdings. Spratt's stock portfolio has somewhere between $1.6 and 8.8 Million !! If the stock market is so risky, why is Spratt invested up to his neck in it?? Because he likes taking chances? No, it's because it makes him money, like it would for his constituents. John Spratt isn't depending on Social Security when he retires - he's got a pension, he's loaded and God Bless him. I'm a Republican, I don't hate people for their wealth.
From Norman's end, it's a can't lose, which is better than some of his other tactics have done. What's the worst that could happen? They find out he has stocks and he supports it for the voters too? Spratt brought it up, now it's time to make him sorry he did. Here's what I see.......
It's a Fact. By 2017, the money going into the Social Security Trust Fund will be less than the money spent, and by 2041, it will be gone. It's also a fact that John Spratt doesn't want to invest the fund in bonds that would earn more money and literally save the Fund . It's kind of odd, considering that Spratt has millions of his own money invested in the Stock Market. Why is it good enough for him, and not good enough for YOU?? Who's Saying One Thing and doing another NOW , John? Vote for Ralph Norman.
I love this stuff!
Friday, October 20, 2006
Without a doubt, this week's most ridiculous story is the one about Chris Rock's Mom getting dissed at the Cracker Barrel in Murrell's Inlet back in May. Not one to miss a photo op (legitimate or not), Rev. Al Sharpton was on hand to blow some hot air on the subject. Of course, if Al wasn't at an adjoining table, I'm not interested in his opinion.
Denny's used to be the place famous for ignoring minorities , but the new target seems to be Cracker(?) Barrel. There is one major flaw in this theory, and i'll get to it later. For those of you not familiar with the story, Chris Rock's mom went to the Barrel O' Crackers , and after getting a table, she was not served or given a menu for 30 minutes. The manager seemed to do his best to make it up to her , offering her the meal for free. Even though Mrs. Rock refused, a gift basket was sent to her later - indicating that she let them know who she was. Well, a mere 5 months later, Mrs. Rock made the long trek from Andrews to Murrell's Inlet to lay the smackdown on Cracker Barrel, with Rev. Al in tow.
If Al is trying to portray Cracker Barrel as a den of rednecks openly discriminating against African Americans, he's got a steep climb ahead. You see, Cracker Barrel discriminates against everyone, because EVERYONE waits at the Barrel!! Has anyone ever gotten into that place without waiting an hour an a half, wandering aimlessly through the Country Store, checking out twenty types of pecan logs. Getting your name called there to eat is like getting paroled or hitting the lottery. Those poor waitresses are serving a non-stop crowd of people who have waited an eternity to just sit, they're bound to miss someone. Mistakes happen. When I go to the doctor, and I get to the waiting room, I know I'm gonna be there a while. So what do I do? I take a nap. I think someone overreacted that day.
My one question is: Where is Chris during all this?? I can picture a 5 minute skit on this on HBO sometime soon. My real hope is that this goes away fast.
Oh wait, that's Bill Parcells... Must have mixed them up in my files. We are now in full swing for the TV ads. Some are good, some are iffy, and then there is The Big Tuna's big lie - $500 Million dollars worth.......
Last year, we exposed the hypocrisy of the supposed "Budget Cuts" to Medicare - where a 7.4% budget increase was described by Democrats as a cut. Now Tommy Moore is graspign at straws with his attack on Mark Sanford's record on education.
Education funding is alot like the half glass of water. Some focus on how much is there, and others focus on what isn't there - then blame others for it, when they themselves have more to do with it than the one they are blaming. Back in the 70's - when Tommy Moore first took his seat in the Senate, the Legislature decided to set a concrete level for the state to fund education at, one that is still used today. For about the first 25 years, the Legislature and Senate - of which Moore is a major cog of - ignored that level.
After realizing that poor education leads to an inability to recruit companies, thereby making unemployment higher, a poor quality of life and higher crime, South Carolina did something about it. Those who say that the State needed to reach that set mark established in the Days of Disco , Lava Lamps and neon Led Zeppelin posters. In three short years, we escaped the deficit trap that kept us from funding education "fully", and that was done with Mark Sanford as Governor. It might seem kinda hard to criticize a record like that, but Tommy Moore's twisted logic has found it..
Moore accuses Sanford of "cutting' the gap between the old benchmark and what was funded, even though funding increased every year, up to the point this year when the amount funded reached the mark for the FIRST TIME EVER ! Sorry Tuna, but when you spend more on something than the year before, it is not a cut.
Here's the funny part. When taking into consideration who has been in Columbia for how long, who is REALLY more responsible for the education cuts? Should we blame Sanford , who's been there three years, or Moore, who 's been there for 28 years!! Tommy, if it's gonna take you 28 years to solve any other problems in SC, I'll pass.
It seems that someone from the Morning News was at the debate three weeks ago!
Cameras were running for all the candidates. Luckily, I didn't see it. Want to see me and all the other local candidates? Click onto www.scnow.com and click onto Election 2006, or on the Morning News icon at SC hotline.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
SC House Seat 63 candidate Kris Crawford had a cookout Saturday at Ebenezer Park in Florence. A crowd of about 200 came out to eat, chat and see The Plaids. Among the guests were US House District 5 candidate Ralph Norman, along with signs for Andre Bauer, Thomas Ravenel and those hard to find Sanford signs. Money was also raised for breast cancer research.
It was a good time, and we all got an opportunity to make new friends, talk issues, and get some signs in yards. Thanks to Kris, Becca and his army of Red Smurfs for the invite.
Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il has upped the ante in his conflict with President George Bush. Kim announced that he has pulled his Ambassador from the United Nations - and replaced him with Hip-Hop star Kanye West.
" Sure, his Korean isn't so great, but the guy is a star, and he gets under Bush's skin like nobody I know - he's my dog!" quoted Il. West was slightly less enthusiastic: "I'll tell you, I don't understand a word the guy said, and my knowledge of International Diplomacy is weak. what am I supposed to say? George Bush doesn't care about........ Koreans?? But hey, the check cleared, so I gotta represent."
Premier Il was undaunted nonetheless.... "C'mon! Think of all the cool raps he can make up with my name: I'm Kim jong Illin', If Bush Be Willin', He'll get his Fillin', of Kim Jong Killin'.... Pretty Phat, don't you think?" West had no comment on Il's rapping abilities, or of any musical collaboration wiith him.
This does further heighten tensions between the US and North Korea, but Kim seemed rather flippant about his recent nuclear testing. "It wasn't REALLY a nuclear device..... those ICBM's were really two sticks of dynamite tied to a Roman Candle." And the underground detonation?? "Let's just say lighting a cigarette in an underground bathroom is a bad idea."
Yes, Reino for County Council Signs are now available for yards all across District 3. They are great way to show your support for lower taxes and true represenattion of your neighborhood. If you want one ( or a few more for your friends), e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, October 08, 2006
In today's Florence Morning News, they released the results of their Voice of the Voter survey. Here are the results:
1. School Quality
4. Managing Growth/ Crime (tie)
6. Parks and Recreation/ Environment.
1. Protecting Children from Sexual Predators
2. Health Care
4. Tax Reform
5. Credit Rating/ School Choice (tie)
1. War in Iraq
2. Economy/ Homeland Security (tie)
4. Gas Prices
5. Social Security/ Immigration/ Gay Marriage (tie)
Well, the people have spoken. Are some issues in the wrong categories? Are some not controllable by elected officials? Comments?
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Give a moment or two to the angry young man,
With his foot in his mouth and his heart in his hand.
He's been stabbed in the back, he's been misunderstood,
It's a comfort to know his intentions are good.
And he sits in a room with a lock on the door,
With his maps and his medals laid out on the floor-
And he likes to be known as the angry young man
- "The Angry Young Man" by Billy Joel.
Okay, maybe it's time for a little explaining of things. SC6 is not an official website of my campaign. Originally, I did it anonymously, but I was accidentally outed last year. It is essentially a forum for me to express my views on topics - not just political. If I want to chat about football or music or a date I had, this is where it will be. In short, if some of you are looking at SC6 expecting me to talk only about issues pertaining to my county council race, you will be disappointed. I use this to entertain you, but mainly to entertain myself.
Now, onto other things... Somewhere along the line, I've been labeled as a negative, angry person. It's not the first time that I've heard this. Heck, even the lady I've been dating told me that to a certain extent. So, is this assertion correct? No and maybe. After all, how we are viewed is how we are, right? Perception may be reality in politics, but that doesn't make it fact.
I've never had an easy road in politics. This is my second race , and both are seats held by African-Americans. Let's face it , if this were an easy seat to win, someone else would be running for it. I take the hard jobs, because losing is not a big deal to me. The goal is to discuss issues, expose hypocrisies, and end up with a more honest government . If I were satisfied with the job a person was doing, I wouldn't be running - hence, the criticisms. A battery runs on both positive and negative, and there is a lot of negative to run off of in Florence.
Does this make me angry? Not at all... If all we want is someone to blow smoke and make empty promises, be my guest and vote for the other guy - we'll figure out how to pay for it later. I will not lie or promise to get elected, and I sure will not down my family to get sympathy. During the summer, I was attacked from all sides, and I took the high road and just waited for the truth to come out. Having the media report that with as much gusto as they did in attacking me would've been nice, but that is how it goes. So, maybe a little anger is justified....I am what I am - a real person without a front or pretense of any kind.
Maybe if I were a better public speaker, I'd be viewed in a better light. When I get on Council, my strengths will come out: Right now, there is a huge split in Council. Most decisions are made based on who isn't there, and doing an end around in Executive Session. A centrist member whose focus is on what is best for the citizens is sorely needed. Sorry, I have zero tolerance for doubletalk and misrepresntation, so if that makes me angry, then I'm guilty. It's just too bad that it doesn't anger everyone.
I'll work on a kinder, gentler Mike Reino, faults and all...
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Orangeburg County has been kicking this Inland port idea around for awhile, and a plan has finally been presented by CaroLinks, the developer in charge of this project. I've been waiting for this to come out before making a decision, in the hope that the people making this project were a lot smarter than I am.. that they had a magic bullet to actually come up with a sensible, ecenomically sound plan that would satisfy everyone. Well, they're not smarter than you or me I guess. This plan seems to inconvenience even more people, and make the cost of doing business at the port even more costly.
The plan for the original inland port was to still begin at the existing Port of Charleston, where a connector to I-26 or a railway would be built to transport cargo up to the area at I-95 and 301. This might be a good time to mention again that, like Jumbo Shrimp, Inland port is an oxymoron - with emphasis on moron. With every transfer of cargo, additional costs are incurred. So, cargo that ends up in Orangeburg has higher costs than those that come from the Port of Charleston. Costs aside, the port in this form would bring business to an area that depends way too much on the federal government for support. Too bad this isn't the plan...
I refer to the map above. See the blue stuff? That's Lake Marion. Yep, CaroLinks has decided that the best course is to unload at the Wando Terminal instead. From there, they will unload the cargo onto barges and ships the size of European tugboats (whatever those are), where they will unload(again) in Santee. Then they will transport the cargo over Hwy 6 to a distribution center near Hwy 15, where they will be transferred (again) to trucks , and sent to the Main Facility at the US 301/ I-95 Interchange. The rebuilding of the new exit will be $40 million. The Main Facility isn't exactly around the corner from the unloading area either. It will be a 25 mile transport down 301. Doesn't exactly sound like an efficient business plan, does it?
At the same time, it drives a nail right through the heart of Santee's main asset. Tourism. Does anyone want to fish next to a barge, or buy a house and watch the cargo ships go by? I doubt it. Santee has spent decades building it's reputation as a sportsmen's paradise, but if this plan goes through, forget about it. CaroLinks isn't concerned about the lake, and Orangeburg Economic Development wants everyone who is interested to come there. So who is there to stop this plan? Not anyone, really. I wouldn't put pressure on Governor Sanford to block a plan that may help an economically distressed area, but it can be altered.
It doesn't make much sense to buils a port 25 miles south of the lake, then make the path to it go north of the lake. If the connnector to I-26 that was originally planned can be done , it would seem to make the port a fiscally more sensible plan. But sense is not always an overriding factor in the decisions. For the sake of business owners in Santee, and the people who have hundreds of thousands of their money invested in homes on Lake Marion, let's hope so.
Wake up, Harry! I wonder what he was thinking about when this pic was taken... Please leave you thoughts in comments. If you had any doubt that Harry Reid is the wrong man to lead the Democrats, this week proved it. While the GOP is led by a W., the Dems have their own W, and that stands for WIMP.
After months of wrangling between the Bush Administration and a few GOP Senators (namely John McCain and Lindsey Graham), they finally reached a mutual pact that will address the long overdue issue of detainee treatment of terrorists. What did Harry Reid do? He whined, and he complained, all for the sake of politics.
For years, there has been an outcry from the Democratic leadership to come up with a specific plan for treating the suspected terrorists being held in Guantanamo and elsewhere. While they may like for them to be treated according to the Geneva Convention, the fact is they are not an organized nation or Republic, so they do not deserve to be treated as such. Reid's big problem is that the Supreme Court will knock it down in a few years. I'll trade that possibility for proactively attacking terrorists in the meantime. Yes, the Republicans saw November coming, got down to business and compromised. That is politics, but at least it's politics aimed towards a positive direction - defeating terrorism. Politics that hurts our security at home and abroad is defeatist and un-American.
Perhaps we would take the Democrats more seriously if they were led by someone who has some gravitas - or huevos, whichever you prefer. Dingy Harry has no force behind any of his messages, delivered in that nasaly, high pitched tone. It's bad enough to preach a message of defeatism (I mean redeployment) and concession, but at least counter that message by having a tone of strength. The Democrats were better off with Tom Daschle, or maybe Nevada can hire the guy who played the Senator in The Godfather II. Those would be a step up.
If I have learned one thing, it's that the message isn't always as important as the messenger. It's no wonder the Dems aren't raising money when they are led by Harry Milquetoast.. So here's to another couple more years of Republican majority in the Senate.