Welcome to today’s edition of the wire, our pseudo-daily effort to engage reader tips, questions and comments in our particular … (idiom, sir?) … idiom. Anyway, while we continue perfecting this new format, please keep your tips, comments and questions coming!

Also be sure and check back during the day as we occasionally add items to the mix.

To the wire!

TIP: Did you see THIS?

FITS: Yes … good to know at least one mainstream media reporter is holding the administration of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley accountable for its promises. Otherwise, our guess is that this bill would have never been paid.


TIP: Rumor has it that at least 8 DHEC staff were told their services were no longer required.

FITS: We’ve heard those reports, too … and that’s fine by us. We’re also told that longtime S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) “legislative liaison” Wanda Crotwell is on the chopping block, which would again be fine by us. Our only regret in this situation? That there is currently no taxpayer rebate fund into which these high-dollar salaries could be routed.


TIP: In an email to DHEC employees dated 3/9/2012 “Part Time” Templeton wrote “I am not here to swell the unemployment rolls with former DHEC employees.” Really? Doesn’t seem that way to me …

FITS: Sometimes you have to sack a few bureaucrats to break a few eggs … wait. Is that how that expression goes? Kidding … look, as we’ve noted previously this website has run hot and (very, very) cold with SCDHEC director Catherine Templeton. So far we’ve seen nothing to gripe about, but then again she’s only been on her new job for about a month.


QUESTION: Your take on the big raise state employees are getting this year?

FITS: My take is that government in South Carolina is too big (10th biggest in the nation as a percentage of GDP) and its employees are overcompensated. Of course when a “Tea Party” governor doles out big raises for her staff, it’s hard to muster a coalition to block raises for everybody else.


COMMENT: We’re promoting this video for Tax Day. Would you be up for posting it on FITS News?

FITS: Absolutely … and good to hear from you guys. Cato @Liberty is one of our founding editor’s fave blogs.


TIP: I know the Ascot murders, aren’t really in your wheel house, but there were some interesting (or maybe not) chain of events, when former MLB’er Jonathon K. Johnson, listed and sold the house. He (JKJ) was the listing agent. may be nothing, but 1 week after listing the house, May 22, 2009….JKJ got a “private lender” mortgage for $150,000 adding to what appeared to be an already $748,000 mortgage with BB&T. In late Aug/09, the property is withdrawn from the market and no sold data is listed in the mls as to the Parkers having an agent or that JKJ was their sales agent. It’s likes a direct sale, between buyer and seller, closed on 8/31/09 at a sales price of $760,000, after having been listed for $899,000. Don’t know where the $150k loan came from, should be recorded, if it’s listed in the public records. Doing the math…Orig mortgage $748k + $150k = $898k … List price $899k – $150k = Damn close to what the Parkers paid for the house?? As an aside, the listing sheet describes the house as having a “secret room between two bedrooms”…

FITS: A secret room? Interesting … for what it’s worth, Johnson posted a 2-4 record in parts of five major leagues seasons with a career earned run average approaching seven. In other words, he’s probably going to wind up being more famous for owning this house than for anything he did as a baseball player. Having said that, the transactions you outlined above certainly raise eyebrows.


COMMENT: Regarding the Ascot Murders, at least it wasn’t in Columbia – they wouldn’t have found the guy for 10 days.

FITS: Ouch … and yet accurate.


TIP: Your boy Mick Mulvaney is The Hill’s “Member of the Week.”

FITS: Yes … but is his member the “Member’s Member of the Week?” Or did they retire that award after Weiner-gate? In all seriousness, though, props to Mulvaney on some well-deserved recognition. He’s smarter than the average bear, and represents this state well.


TIP: Your boy Howard Rich is in today’s Wall Street Journal with a piece on the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) fund.

FITS: Nice piece! Let’s hope that “Republicans” in Washington, D.C. who continue to exacerbate our nation’s ever-expanding entitlement culture pay heed to his words. Washington’s appetite for unchecked expansion has infected this country with a debilitating “dependency disease,” an anti-competitive cancer that’s eating away at our healthy, productive appendages in order to feed the mindless growth of an ever-expanding entitlement culture. Either we start reining in these entitlement behemoths or they will continue to consume us.


TIP: Check this out

No Pulitzer prize was given this year for institutional editorial writing. May be worth mentioning next time you are ragging on Cindi and Warren.

FITS: Ha! You know opinions are like assholes. The only difference is that ours (unlike those expressed by the editorial board of The State newspaper) are always proven correct.


TIP: Charleston GOP Chairwoman Lin Bennett is ticked off at RINO Hunt and said this (Screen cap attached):

I am having a really hard time today with the “stuff” I am hearing about the “RINO” Hunt meeting yesterday. Bobby Harrell and Chip Limehouse are anything but Rinos….we wouldn’t have Voter ID in this state if not for Bobby Harrell; a good redistricting plan – which came from the House; Boeing; a sponsor of the Fair Tax; tax reform discussions of any kind. I can go on and on and on.

As for Chip Limehouse, have we forgotten his most recent stand for conservative issues? His name is Brian Thomas and Chip had to fight some really local hard pressure from “special interests” to get Brian on the school board. And Chip has always supported strong conservative principles.

So I have to ask….is this really about rino hunting or power building??? BOTH OF THESE GENTLEMAN ALWAYS VOTED THE WAY WE -HIS CONStITUENTS- HAVE ASKED THEM TO VOTE!

Senate 41 candidate John Steinberger responded:

“It is clear that the Charleston County GOP Establishment is bugging out about the RINO Hunt meeting we had yesterday in West Ashley. Here’s the deal – grassroots activists will not accept continuing high income taxes and funding our school bureacracies first. We will change the status quo in state government!”

RINO Hunt also formed a Charleston chapter (who will be at the Republican Liberty Caucus convention on April 28th in Summerville) and leaders from several different conservative activist organizations attended including the Summerville and Goose Creek 9/12 groups, the Charleston Fair Tax group, the Charleston Tea party, and the Republican Liberty Caucus as well as tea party and 9/12 groups from other parts of the state attended.

In this article ( from the Post and Courier, from before the event, Lin Bennett says of RINO Hunt, “I don’t know what to think of those groups. Everybody was into the tea party thing. I’m not seeing that with this thing.”

Then Lin Bennett said again in the Charleston County Facebook group on Facebook, “I am hearing this guy isn’t good. From LOTs of reliable sources. He’s bastardizing the word RINO for his own personal goals.” Who exactly are those “reliable sources?” Are they the very ones being targeted by RINO Hunt perhaps?

FITS: All you  need to know about Lin Bennett is that she’s a suck-up … and a two-faced suck up at that. That she’s attempting to portray fiscally liberal Republicans like Bobby Harrell and Chip Limehouse as “conservatives” is par for the course for the “Republican” party in this state.


QUESTION: I want to contact your new liberal columnist. How do I get in touch with her?

FITS: Amy Lazenby can be reached via Twitter … @Mrs_Laz.


COMMENT: The new Robert Ariail cartoon is spot on.

FITS: Ha! They love her because she first loved them. She’s like a female Jesus that way.


Got a tip for us? Or a comment? Or a question? Submit it anonymously over on our tip line or our contact page … and remember, in addition to your tips we also publish letters to the editor and guest editorials (even anonymous ones) if you’ve got more to say on a subject. Also feel free to reach out to our founding editor directly at