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By FITSNews || By a vote of 69-43, the “Republican” controlled S.C. House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to include a controversial $10 million loan for a private golf tournament in the state’s $21 billion budget.

The money is for the Heritage golf tournament, which is played each year on Hilton Head Island. Currently sponsored by Verizon, the tournament will be looking for a new sponsor in 2011 – although that effort has lost considerable steam now that state lawmakers appear ready to guarantee it (with your money).

As we noted in our previous coverage, the argument that these GOP boondogglers are advancing is that the money the state spends on this tournament will pay for itself in terms of providing revenue to the region – which is probably correct.  Our counterpoint? Giving $10 million directly to local small businesses – or to the individual taxpayers of Beaufort County – would also bring revenue to the region.

So why not do that?  Who’s to say this is the best use of the money?

We polled this issue earlier this month when S.C. Rep. Brian White (RINO-Anderson) first inserted the money into the budget.  An overwhelming majority of our readers – 84 percent – believe that taxpayers should not subsidize the tournament.  Only 16 percent supported the expenditure.

While the Heritage is a PGA event, most of the game’s mega-stars skip it because it takes place the week after the Masters in Augusta.  Still, it pays out $5.7 million – including a cool million to last year’s champion, Brian Gay.

Hmmm … rich, white golfers … is that really where we want our tax dollars going?

Apparently the House of Representatives thinks so.  The House Journal – which will include a list of who voted for this ridiculousness – has yet to be published, but count on FITS to bring you that information as soon as it becomes available …

Verizon Heritage