The S.C. Policy Council – a libertarian-leaning think tank based in Columbia, S.C. – has been on a war footing against embattled S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell for several years now.

In fact more than a few fiscally conservative lawmakers who have relied on the group’s policy expertise in years past have privately expressed frustration to FITS that “all they do over there anymore is battle Bobby.”

There’s some truth in that criticism. The Policy Council is the group that filed the original ethics complaint against Harrell nearly two years ago – a complaint which has since mushroomed into a statewide grand jury investigation run by S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson. Since then the group’s leader, Ashley Landess, has made Harrell’s destruction her all-consuming passion.

Landess’ latest chess move? An “online poll of state lawmakers” aimed at forcing them to publicly affirm their loyalty to the embattled legislative leader.

“The Speaker of the S.C. House is the most powerful politician in South Carolina,” the poll’s introduction states. “He exercises vast power over the election of judges, controls some of the state’s most powerful agencies by board appointments, and dictates much of the state budget process. In recent years, Speaker Bobby Harrell has been re-elected by near-unanimous votes. But with an ongoing Grand Jury investigation into his conduct, many South Carolinians are asking if House members think Harrell can continue to fulfill his duties effectively.”

The poll gives those South Carolinians “an opportunity to put the question to their lawmakers.”

There’s even a big red button inviting them to email their State Representative about the matter …


Less than 24 hours after it was first posted online, no lawmakers had responded to the poll – or at least no results had been posted to the Policy Council’s website.

Will that change?

We shall see …

Harrell is due in court later this month as the S.C. Supreme Court hears Wilson’s appeal of a lower court ruling attempting to shut down his grand jury probe.