The following letter was emailed Thursday afternoon to several of our state’s most powerful elected officials (and members of their respective staffs) directly from the desk of our intrepid founding editor, the notorious Sic Willie.
As you will soon gather, it involves the ongoing debate over how to best restructure our splintered and dysfunctional assemblage of legislatively-dominated fiefdoms into something resembling a coherent form of 21st century government.
Ironically, while taking a few swipes at S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley – this document is actually the latest example of our founding editor’s efforts to immediately and dramatically expand her power.
Anyway, here goes …
April 14, 2011
Via Electronic Mail
Fr: Will Folks
Re: S.C. Department of Administration Legislation
Dear Honorable Leaders of the Great State of South Carolina,
On behalf of the readers of FITSNews.com – an influential and widely-read paragon of journalistic integrity with which I am sure you are all intimately familiar (some more intimately than others, obviously) - I await your official response to an inquiry that affects the very heart and soul of our state’s ability to efficiently perform its fiduciary duty to the taxpayers.
Indeed, the exercise in investigative journalism to which you are now privy is an effort to ascertain the sense of the state’s leadership regarding the creation of a Cabinet-level Department of Administration here in South Carolina – our lovely yet functionally-challenged little banana republic (bless its heart). It is also an effort to put to bed a disturbing rumor that has been circulating regarding some decidedly “non-transparent” horse-trading that is allegedly associated with the passage of this long-overdue reform.
Specifically, several highly-placed sources within the S.C. Tea Party movement – all of whom are in full possession of their faculties (as well as their teeth) – have informed me that a closed-door agreement was recently struck between her Excellency the governor and the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee regarding the eventual form the Department of Administration was to take. As I am sure all of you are aware, this legislation is currently being debated by the esteemed and honorable members of the S.C. General Assembly, who in their infinite wisdom are endeavoring to determine which government functions should be placed under the purview of the Governor’s Cabinet (where it would appear there is no shortage of high-paying, taxpayer-funded jobs these days).
As I have written previously, following the unceremonious rejection of then-Gov.-elect Nikki Haley’s initial choice to lead the S.C. Budget and Control Board (an individual whose nomination was discussed extensively by Haley, Ashley Landess and Chad Walldorf during the “Join the Movement” bus tour last October), her soon-to-be Excellency was forced to settle on a longtime personal confidant, Eleanor Kitzman, as her fallback choice for this $174,000 a year position.
I am reliably informed that in order to secure Kitzman’s appointment as a “compromise candidate,” her Excellency the governor and the distinguished Senate Finance chairman reached a closed-door agreement that she (her Excellency) would sign whatever Department of Administration legislation emerged from the Palmetto state’s most revered and deliberative legislative body, which as I am sure General Glenn McConnell of Charleston will be happy to inform you is none other than the S.C. Senate.
If true, this would be a most troubling development.
Obviously the Senate’s vision for a Department of Administration includes substantially less accountability than the already watered-down House plan – a point that is generally acknowledged by fiscal liberals such as Cindi Ross Scoppe as well as fiscal conservatives such as myself.
Accordingly, I would like to know the position of each of you as it relates to which functions you would like to see placed within a Cabinet-level Department of Administration. Also, I would like to know your position with regard to an amendment that was offered during the House debate over this legislation. This amendment – shot down by a “Republican” majority - would have simply handed over all the functions of the Budget and Control Board to her Excellency the governor. I understand that lawmakers may have another opportunity to cast an up or down vote on a similar amendment prior to this bill making its way to another elaborately-themed (and hopefully meaningful) bill signing ceremony.
This latter proposal is obviously the reform that my website has consistently championed – and will continue to champion moving forward.
I believe very simply that if we elect a governor to lead the executive branch of government – then we should entrust him or her with “supreme executive authority,” not merely a smattering of that authority.
Who knows? Perhaps if South Carolina entrusted its chief executives with real responsibility then our people might actually start electing leaders with the consistency of character necessary to faithfully discharge those responsibilities? Of course given the deplorable status of our over-funded public education system, I acknowledge that this may be wishful thinking.
Dum(b) Spiro Spero, right?
In closing, S.C. Senator Tom Davis has aptly described our current government structure as a “legislative tyranny.” Will you, the elected leaders of our state, now take the necessary steps to end this tyranny? Or, in the name of political expediency and backroom deal-making, will you pass “Reform in Name Only” that only cements its stranglehold on our state while at the same time adding to the weight of our already over-burdened taxpayers?
I eagerly await your replies.
Most Sincerely and Reverentially Yours,
Obviously, we’ll be providing updates in the event we receive any responses from any of these elected officials (or their spokespersons) …
In the meantime, if you’d like to read more about our vision for what state government ought to look like, we invite you to consult the book of armaments.