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Not even six weeks ago, a group of Republican lawmakers assembled in downtown Spartanburg S.C. (under the statue of Revolutionary War hero Daniel Morgan, no less) to “roll up their sleeves” in support of Gov. Mark Sanford’s plan to use a portion of federal “bureaucratic bailout” money on debt repayment.

Mind you, we’ve never been wild on Sanford’s whole “debt repayment” idea.

As we’ve noted, our approach to this whole thing would have been to force state government to fundamentally reform its operations (including the implementation of a spending cap) before receiving a nickel of “stimulus” cash.

If it refused to do so, we’d have given every dime of that money to the people who are going to have to pay it back one day – the S.C. taxpayers.

But that’s just us …

Senators Lee Bright, Kevin Bryant, Shane Martin, David Thomas (and Rep. Joey Millwood, too) gathered together that sunny Spring day to support Sanford’s plan – which remains infinitely preferable to the legislature’s plan to pump this particular $740 million into the same old broken bureaucracies.

In case you missed it, here are all five of those lawmakers on the front page of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, “rolling up their sleeves.”


So … did they keep their word? Did they really “roll up their sleeves” and try to keep this money from careening into the government abyss?

Senators Bright and Bryant – and Rep. Millwood – clearly did. On dozens of votes, they’ve stood their ideological ground despite enormous pressure from legislative leadership.

But what about Senators Martin and Thomas?

Sadly, no.

Both Martin and Thomas, for example, voted for Sen. Hugh Leatherman’s budget resolution forcing Gov. Sanford to take the stimulus money and use it for the Senate Finance Committee’s version of the state budget.

Additionally, Martin and Thomas have voted with Leatherman (and against the taxpayers’ best interests) on numerous other procedural votes related to criminal prosecution and adequately funding our Department of Corrections.

Rolling up their sleeves? More like rolling over, if you ask us.

Here’s our point – if you’re going to stand in front of a bank of reporters and TV cameras and say you’re going to do something … do it.

Don’t say you’re “rolling up your sleeves” to help the taxpayers, though, and then turn around and vote with Hugh Leatherman. That’s misology.

This state has enough fake Republicans already. We don’t need any more …