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bill connor

By FITSNews || Endorsements are like assholes, people … every media outlet has them.  That’s why you should always take a media endorsement with an ocean of salt, whether it comes from us or not.

Sure, we’ve got “props” with certain audiences, but do your own research … and vote based on the issues that you believe matter most.

Having said all of that, we are endorsing Bill Connor for S.C. Lt. Governor because based on what matters most to us he’s the best candidate for the job – which it’s important to remember is a part-time position that has zero power or influence.  In fact, it’s a position that we feel should be folded into the Cabinet of future governors (and included on the gubernatorial ticket in future elections) if it is ever to become relevant in S.C. governance – a position Connor supports.

More than structural issues, though, it is Connor’s consistent support for core fiscal conservative principles that have positioned him head and shoulders above his opponents in this race, again, in our eyes.  And while he doesn’t have a voting record of his own yet (Connor has never held elected office), he has clearly embraced the limited government mantra – and been embraced by the Tea Party movement that is pushing it.

God help him should he ever stray from those principles.

Meanwhile, Connor’s main opponent in this primary election – Florence County Councilman Ken Ard – has embraced the failed tax-and-spend approach of the state’s most prominent RINOs, House Speaker Bobby Harrell and Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman.  Also, Connor’s other “credible” opponent in this race, disgraced Lowcountry Judge Larry Richter, is one of the most ethically-bankrupt individuals ever to run for office in the Palmetto State.

Beyond ideological and political considerations, there’s another reason we like Connor – a reason which was given national amplification in a recent story in Human Events …

U.S. Army Lt. Col. (then major) Bill Connor had experienced little combat action prior to Aug. 21, 2007. It was early in his deployment to Afghanistan, and much of his experience at that point had been IED attacks.

But the series of ambushes that unfolded that day against him as he led a six vehicle convoy south of Forward Operating Base Martello in Kandahar Province was so close (nearly eyeball-to-eyeball) and intense, the 39-year-old Airborne-Ranger infantry officer briefly wondered if he or any of his men would get out alive. Others briefly questioned their survival too.

Connor has been in “the sh*t,” people.  Not only that … he’s led troops through it, too, which regardless of ideology is something we can appreciate and something which we believe forms a solid foundation for leadership.

Right now, the Lt. Governor’s Office in South Carolina doesn’t amount to much – even with its recent acquisition of the Office on Aging.  Why do you think we call it “Lite Gov?”  Our hope, though, is that Connor can use the limited powers of the office along with its bully pulpit to be an advocate for taxpayers, particularly given the increasing likelihood that the next governor won’t be using their limited powers to do that.

The flag of the fiscal conservative movement in South Carolina has been on the ground ever since S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford dropped it last June to go and chase some tail in Argentina … who better than a soldier to pick that flag up?

Incidentally, we’d like to point out that this endorsement was a very close call – not because of Connor’s recent social conservative pandering, but because of former Insurance Director Eleanor Kitzman‘s decision to jump into the race.

Assuming there’s something about Connor that rubs you the wrong way, Kitzman would be another solid choice, although we suspect Connor would be more aggressive in taking on the entrenched status quo in Columbia.

He sure as hell better be … or we’ll be introducing him to our definition of “incoming fire.”