Chaos Reigns In SC Senate

MAD SCRAMBLE AS MUSICAL CHAIRS SHIFT BALANCE OF POWER IN PALMETTO STATE’S “UPPER CHAMBER” The coronation of S.C. Sen. Yancey McGill (D-Williamsburg) as lieutenant governor of South Carolina was set to commence this week.  More than a dozen members of McGill’s family had come to the S.C. State House for…


The coronation of S.C. Sen. Yancey McGill (D-Williamsburg) as lieutenant governor of South Carolina was set to commence this week.  More than a dozen members of McGill’s family had come to the S.C. State House for the ceremony – and S.C. Supreme Court justice Jean Toal was in the Senate chamber ready to administer the oath of office to the longtime Democrat.

Then something went terribly wrong …

By the narrowest of margins – 23 to 22 votes – State Senators adjourned for the day, leaving McGill and his crew to twist in the wind.

“It was a real slap in the face to him,” one Democratic Senator told FITS of the surprising vote to adjourn.

First …. a recap on what led us to this point.  Current lieutenant governor Glenn McConnell (RINO-Charleston) – who inherited this largely ceremonial office following the 2012 indictment of former lieutenant governor Ken Ard (RINO-Florence) – is resigning his post to become the next president of the College of Charleston.


McConnell’s move prompted S.C. Sen. John Courson (RINO-Columbia) to resign his seat as president of the Senate – hoping to avoid being “elevated” from a powerful legislative leadership post to a largely powerless constitutional office (one that’s going to be filled in six months anyway after the 2014 elections).

McGill?  He was willing to take the thankless, temporary job because he’s a white rural Democrat (an endangered species in South Carolina) who barely managed to hang onto his Senate seat in 2012 – and was looking for an easy transition into his upcoming career as a State House lobbyist.

And most “Republicans” in the State Senate seemed perfectly willing to let him take the post …

So, the following “constitutional shuffle” was supposed to take place this week: First, a vote for temporary Senate president was to have taken place that would have resulted in Yancey McGill’s election.  Immediately after this vote was taken, McConnell was to have resigned as lieutenant governor and McGill was to have been sworn into that office.

That’s when a second vote for Senate president was to have taken place – with powerful S.C. Sen. Hugh Leatherman (RINO-Florence) holding the upper hand in that race over S.C. Sen. Larry Martin (RINO-Pickens).

Both Leatherman and Martin are “former” Democrats, incidentally.

Everybody following the progression here?  And everybody noticing that each one of these “Republican” leaders is either a former Democrat or a “Republican in Name Only?”  Good … that’s very important to keep in mind.  Especially when so-called “conservatives” make commitments in these legislative elections.

Of course the elections didn’t take place when they were supposed to … leaving McGill embarrassed, Democrats enraged and “Republicans” scrambling to deal with several late-breaking developments.

What happened?

Two things: First, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley started making calls to State Senators urging them not to put a Democrat “a heartbeat away” from the governor’s office – even if only for the next six months.  Haley didn’t say which “Republican” she preferred for the temporary lieutenant governor’s role, but Senators clearly took her admonition to heart.

Two names have emerged as possible “sacrificial lambs” for this post: Lowcountry, S.C. Senator Paul Thurmond (R-Charleston) and Upstate Sen. Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg).  According to our sources, Thurmond has ruled out running for the seat – leaving Bright as the only Republican currently contemplating taking the job on a short-term basis.

“Democrats will go ape sh*t if Bright does this,” one State House observer told FITS.

Thats’ true.  But if he doesn’t … the job is McGill’s for the taking.

The second dynamic at play is the reemergence of Courson as a candidate against Leatherman in the race for Senate president (after the lieutenant governor “shuffle” is completed, of course).  Initially Courson told his colleagues he would not run for his old office again, but his tune changed this week.  Now lawmakers who previously committed to Courson are being forced to make a decision – and complicating matters further Martin has said he will withdraw his bid for the seat in the event Courson is a candidate.

Dizzy?  We are …

Will any of this stop Leatherman from becoming Senate president (expanding his already unrivaled power base in state government)?


The cagey, curmudgeony veteran has cut far too many deals to be defeated in this race – many (if not most) of those deals involving the expenditure of taxpayer funds in the current state budget.  Additionally, sources tell us Leatherman will have the support of more than one fiscal conservative Senator in addition to his coalition of Democrats and “Republicans in Name Only,” although they declined to name the lawmaker.

“Some of Leatherman’s votes are going to surprise you,” one Senator told us.

Stay tuned … we’ll be reporting on the outcome of both of these legislative elections (and providing our readers with a list of how each State Senator voted).

UPDATE: Haley was unable to convince any “Republican” to take the lieutenant governor’s seat. As a result, Democrat Yancey McGill is now South Carolina’s lieutenant governor.

UPDATE II: And now the gig is up. Hugh Leatherman is the new president of the State Senate.

Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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Mr. Friendly June 18, 2014 at 9:19 am

Bright has no future anyway, so he should go ahead and take the job.

It’s always fun to was hyenas turning on each other, so I don’t care who “wins” given the taxpayers always lose…I just hope there’s maximum carnage in the process.

Edgar June 18, 2014 at 10:17 am

Courson has no future anyway. If he didn’t have Jean Toal in his district, he would be a complete eunuch up there. John: It will look better in your obituary to have Lt. Governor in there than not. Go ahead and take it, then move along to Still Hopes.

jimlewisowb June 18, 2014 at 10:39 am

“he would be a complete eunuch”

Edgar, hope you don’t mind my using your first name, just out of curiosity what is an “uncomplete” eunuch

just the balls removed and bat left
just the bat removed and the balls left
just one ball removed and bat left
just one ball removed and the bat removed

I have always thought of an eunuch in the same terms as one being pregnant – either you is 100% or you ain’t

junior justice June 18, 2014 at 2:45 pm

A guy with five penises walks into a doctor’s office. Curious, the doctor asks him how his pants fit. “Like a glove,” he answered.

GrandTango June 18, 2014 at 9:37 am

It’s the middle June. It does not matter right now, except to a bunch of democrats, like FITS and The State newspaper, which called it a GOP implosions.

Chaos, Implosion. More like ‘wishful thinking’ by losers who have nothing else but Pootlian, Ervin, Obama and Sheheen to hang their hats on.


GOP Implosion: The State newspaper engaging in wishful thinking:

Bad Day? June 18, 2014 at 10:30 am

You left out the % & # @ # $ % F&^King and all that other horseshit you pollute this page with. Did mama reload the nannyware when you left the basement for a baloney sandwich?

GrandTango June 18, 2014 at 11:49 am

Hata gone hate…LMAO…

F#%*king Dumba$$ June 18, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Grand Tango’s aways hating…move along, folks….

Little Miss Muffett June 18, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Mr. GrandTango has been giving me much more attention lately, and he has been looking at me very carefully and listening to my advice. Perhaps I’m having a good influence on him. He gave me a bonus last week which I will use to pay for my parking at Clemson.

Squishy123 June 18, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Oh look, Big T/GrandTango has his own blog. Isn’t that cute.

Jack June 18, 2014 at 9:40 am

Lying and backstabbing among the ranks of the Republicans. What a shock. Of course all this is nothing compared to what they have done to the citizens of this state over the last two decades they have been in charge.

Friend of Yancey June 18, 2014 at 9:48 am

There are a lot of people I would wish this kind of turmoil on and its consequent embarrassment, though only temporary. Having known Yancey since our late teens/early twenties, he isn’t one of them.

Yancey is a better man than I in steady temperance and calm demeanor. I’m here to state that his friends and family who went to Columbia yesterday to celebrate his ascension know these things better than I and that they “have his back” regardless.

Yancey McGill is a top notch guy.

GOP June 18, 2014 at 11:55 am

this republican agrees. and he will go back to his work in Williamsburg County, not become a lobbyist.

jimlewisowb June 18, 2014 at 9:55 am

Nikki…. making calls to State Senators urging them not to put a Democrat “a heartbeat away” from the governor’s office

That’s fucking funny – for this to be true the assumption is that Governor Haley has a heart –

Hell, everyone knows a Gypsy Queen doesn’t have a heart

John June 18, 2014 at 10:39 am

Is that horse named Will?

jimlewisowb June 18, 2014 at 10:51 am

Interesting question

In an earlier post there was some discussion regarding words like “fucker” and “fuckee””

Given the history of the Gypsy Queen documented on this blog over the past few years I would state without a doubt that the Queen has and is always the “fucker”

No question there have been an eclectic group of “fuckees” who have rumbled in her wagon but none who have achieved the status of “fucker”

So yes, skippy is the horse

Dr. Phil June 18, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Women have vaginas, so they get fucked, and our GQ likes it with different men. But politicians are fuckers (of taxpayers, the elderly, veterans, etc.), and so our GQ is both fuckee and fucker.

Get your body parts right, fellas.

Just another guy June 18, 2014 at 10:44 am

Listen, you can get pissed at me all you want but leave my horse out of it.

Defender of the Horses June 18, 2014 at 10:53 am

You that horse humper out of Conway?

Inciteful June 18, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Nikki’s a Hindu. She rides an elephant.

gunj June 18, 2014 at 3:30 pm

No, she is Sikh. According to my friend who is also of that religion, Sikhism is the perfect marriage of Islam and Hindu. Thus the dastar or as we call them turbans. .

Its You June 18, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Wow rasict and sexist

Deo Vindice SC June 18, 2014 at 7:42 pm

She is right on the edge of jail. Owning the state can cost you a lot. AND SHE OWNED IT. Many SC people know nothing other than ” republican ” outside of SC, It is sad that the US had to come in to check us again. For me, it’s loads of fun. Have a great day in SC !!!

Centrist View June 18, 2014 at 10:16 am

“First, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley started making calls to State Senators urging them not to put a Democrat “a heartbeat away” from the governor’s office – even if only for the next six months. ”

Guess she changed her mind.

Haley: No issues with a Democrat as interim lieutenant governor
COLUMBIA, SC — Republican Gov. Nikki Haley said Thursday that she would have no issues with having a Democrat temporarily residing in the lieutenant governor’s office.

“I just think we need to have a lieutenant governor,” Haley told reporters in front of her State House office. “This was never personal for me. If I am in this wing, somebody has to be across the hall.”

Which is it? June 18, 2014 at 10:27 am

If you have already written off the Republican party then why continue to refer to RINO’s? Redundant?

Fits Aint No Republican June 18, 2014 at 4:32 pm

The operative word in your post is “if.”

Fits is a hardcore Republican who just gets pissed at other Republicans for taking positions he disagrees with.Then,like a little kid he pouts and lashes out by claiming he isnt what he is.

On Time - not your $ though June 18, 2014 at 10:33 am

Lee Bright’s district is made up mostly of trailer trash and moped riding chain smokers who don’t vote. All he has to do is attend church and slap a few backs and he keeps his spot.

Soft Sigh from Hell June 18, 2014 at 7:45 pm

“moped riding chain smokers”
I enjoy the return of literary imagery to this site.

On Time - not your $ though June 18, 2014 at 10:35 am

Highway 101 is littered with Lee Bright signs that they didn’t retrieve. The intersection at Willow Creek golf course is particularly bad. I ran over so many of the little wire holders that I had to get out and check my tires. Scumbag litterbug asshole!!!!

Smirks June 18, 2014 at 2:41 pm

I still think losers should be forced to pick up their own road signs. By hand. Themselves. With no help.

Winners should be given a week or two before having to do the same.

john dozier June 18, 2014 at 10:36 am

A free clown suit for every member!

Philip Branton June 18, 2014 at 11:06 am

Hmmmm……..ya know……Mr. Bright does need a slap on the back for running “against” Graham and blocking MACE.

Lets hope a lawyer named CROMER in Horry county understands how to run a Haley “bus”…!!

If Lin Bennett understands how to find a seat on a “bus”……..god help Hugh….!!

If Reverend Darby understands how to “hi-jack” a bus then Glenn McConnell had better pick up a phone and call Mayor Riley…..!!!!

Ya know…..I wonder how much a call list would be worth if Bryan Crabtree has used a certain phone to call Wil Folks…!?


Norma Scok June 18, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Bryan Crabtree? The loudmouth realtor on the radio? are out there.

junior justice June 18, 2014 at 11:44 am

Perhaps Nikki has her own plans to make an early departure from Tara plantation — would she be leaving with Koller?

staff June 18, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Isn’t Nimrata planning a trip to India right after the election? Hopefully it will be a one-way trip.

junior justice June 18, 2014 at 7:09 pm

You mean that Haley actually may be allowed to LEAVE the USA?

junior justice June 18, 2014 at 11:48 am

This breaking story is raw meat for Will — like a ravenous hound who found a five pound steak … I can hear the snarling, gasping, slobbering and howling in delight from here.

junior justice June 18, 2014 at 2:16 pm

This article is the type of top-of-the-line, analytical, in-your-face reporting that I came to Fitsnews for —– thank you Amy!

G.O.B June 18, 2014 at 12:11 pm

The cockroaches are scattering.

bob sacamanto June 18, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Nikki (and/or her people) were the one’s who were OK w/this to begin with…

Old hack June 18, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Leatherman is reaching for total control of this state. he has the Dems, moderate Republicans, and now has turncoats like Kevin Bryant voting for his budget and pledging to vote for him for Senate President.
If Leatherman wins this it will be the biggest set back to conservatism in 25 years.

Dig It! June 18, 2014 at 2:13 pm Reply
junior justice June 18, 2014 at 7:16 pm

Thanks – long time since I heard that one – had that album but it ‘disappeared’ and I never replaced it…

Thomas June 18, 2014 at 2:26 pm Reply
kyle June 18, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Ok, so I was there during the entire tumultuous and ridiculous affair. Started with points of order by Sen. Shane Massey arguing about sine die and what that meant. This nothing more than wriggling for more time in order to allow Leatherman to gain additional support in place of Courson when he wants a “do over” for Senate Pro Tempore. Nonetheless, it was a huge waste of taxpayer dollars for these guys to banter about wasting time. I am of course overly critical of Republicans who show such disdain for wasting taxpayer dollars – Bright, Bryant, etc.

Fits Aint No Republican June 18, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Hey Fits why all the “former Democrat” stuff.Hell you’ve been saying nice stuff about Democratic LG candidate Bakari Sellers !

Besides seeing as how youre NOT a Republican (hahahahahahahaha)what do you care about “former Democrats?” After all,you are a “former”(Hahahaha) Republican!

If we can turn back time June 18, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Its strange seeing Nikki Setzler providing over the Senate.


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