Last summer – shortly before the Mark Sanford sex scandal sucked all of the oxygen out of Palmetto state politics – we wrote a post blasting soon-to-be-former State Treasurer Converse Chellis for his decision to lend a private maritime museum $9.2 million.
Joined by S.C. Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman and House Ways and Means Chairman Danny Cooper, Chellis agreed to the loan Patriots Point the money so that it could make repairs to the USS Laffey – a decommissioned Korean War-era destroyer located in Charleston harbor.
Our basis for opposing this loan was two-fold … first, we don’t believe taxpayers should subsidize private businesses. Second, we don’t see the preservation of old U.S. naval vessels as a core function of government (a view that applies to Confederate submarines as well). In fact, unless the Laffey was being retrofitted to actually fight the Koreans (like, today) then this is $9.2 million state government should have never spent.
Looks like these free-spending politicians should have taken our advice …
According to reporter Jim Davenport of the Associated Press, Patriots Point is in imminent danger of defaulting on this $9.2 million loan – meaning that S.C. taxpayers will be left holding the bag.
From Davenport’s story:
A $9.2 million loan default expected Wednesday by South Carolina’s naval museum for repairs to the World War II destroyer USS Laffey has state officials irked about promises the Patriot Point Development Authority made a year ago that it has no way to keep.
That authority has no way to repay the money and that has state financial leaders questioning its credibility.
Actually, it is the credibility of our state’s financial leaders that we should (once again) be questioning.
As is the case with S.C. Senate President Glenn McConnell‘s ongoing phallic obsession with the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, South Carolina taxpayers are once again taking it up the yin-yang on a totally non-essential expense.
Fortunately, voters in their wisdom saw fit to throw Chellis overboard earlier this year … but as long as big spenders like McConnell, Leatherman and Cooper are still running the show in Columbia, your money will continue being wasted on crap like this.