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By Will Folks

With all the back and forth between myself and S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell over the past few months, I suppose now is as good a time as any to throw my cards out on the table.

I’ve got two objectives in doing so – one, to publicly humiliate a guy who I believe is one of the most intellectually dishonest, corrupt and flat out dangerous politicians in the history of this state.

And second, to save his life … and my own in the process.

Wait, what?

Yeah, you heard that right.

I’m throwing down two gauntlets to Speaker Harrell – the first designed to make him my intellectual bitch, and the second to make sure we both live a long time knowing that I made him my intellectual bitch.

The first part of my challenge to the Speaker involves series of debates across our state.

Just me and him. One on one.

I’ll even shave and wear a tie, which ought to be worth tuning in for in and of itself.

Ordinarily, it would be crazy for a blogger to think he could challenge the most powerful politician in the state to a bunch of public debates (and have people take him seriously), but I’m pretty sure I’ve got standing here.

And besides, the Speaker’s publicly called me a liar, and I’ve called him one, too – and a lot of other things. So it the words of Marvin Gaye, “let’s get it on!”

Why not?

Personally, I think we should have five debates focused on these issues: a) the economy, b) taxes and spending, c) education policy, d) the structure of government and e) transparency, since he keeps saying he’s all for it transparency, you know.

Of course, since he is the Speaker (and all of those are subjects I would eat his lunch discussing) I’d be willing to debate him on any issue he wants … any issue under the sun.

And guess what – I’ll do it wherever and whenever he wants. And he can lay out the rules of engagement.

Seriously, just name the time and place, Mr. Speaker … I’ll be there.

So what’s the second part of my challenge?

Actually, it popped into my head after I got some blowback for a recent post pointing out that the Speaker has added more than a few LB’s since assuming his role as the Mayor of Importantville.

Well, a couple people pointed out that I’ve apparently added a few LB’s myself since becoming South Carolina’s king of new media (self-proclaimed, mind you).

So here’s the deal, Bobby … err, Mr. Speaker.

I hereby challenge you to a weight loss competition. We’ll call it “Biggest Loser: SC State House Edition.”

Oh, and we’ll do it just like the show – the humiliating first day weigh-in (shirts off, big guy), the daily workouts at the gym, and weekly weigh-ins to determine who is “under the yellow line,” i.e. who has lost the highest percentage of body weight.

Heck, maybe we could even get S.C. First Lady Jenny Sanford and her Healthy South Carolina Challenge team to officiate the proceedings?

Anyway, at the end of three months, whoever the “Biggest Loser” is will get his vanquished rival to donate $5,000 to a charity of his choice, which for us would be a local animal adoption service.

So there you go, Mr. Speaker, the guantlets are laid down and the ball … or actually, balls … are in your court.

Maybe you’ll show some balls for a change and actually take me up on one – or both – challenges.

Either way, look forward to seeing you around real soon …