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“Republican” politicians in South Carolina love nothing more than to jointly jack each other off (rhetorically, anyway) over how “conservative” and “business-friendly” they are. Meanwhile, the out-of-work, underpaid sheeple of the Palmetto State (most of them edumicated in our worst-in-the-nation public schools) nod and guffaw as they go along for the ride …

It’s a sad commentary on the past, present and … at least for now … the future of our ass-backward banana republic.

Anyway, aided and abetted by an intellectually incurious mainstream media (i.e. here and here) and a bunch of entrenched, apologist special interests (i.e. here and here), this sad charade goes on and on (da-da-doom-de-doom-da-da) … getting more expensive each year.

Fortunately, one group – the S.C. Club for Growth – has had the balls to consistently to call a spade a spade as it relates to the free-spending ways of our “Republican” lawmakers. And while the Club has lost considerable credibility by sticking with some of Gov. Nikki Haley’s recent status quo moves (like her tax swappery and flip-floppery on the executive budget), to its credit the organization is still giving an accurate look at how state lawmakers vote on fiscal issues.

According to the latest Club report cards – released on Monday – a total of only 15 (out of 170) state lawmakers received “A” grades for their votes to protect the taxpayers.

Of those fifteen, only nine are still serving in the S.C. General Assembly this year. Two of these lawmakers (Nikki Haley and Mick Mulvaney) were elected to higher office, while one – Rex Rice – was defeated in his bid for higher office. Meanwhile a pair of House members lost their reelection bids (Jim Stewart and Joey Millwood) while another state lawmaker, Ted Pitts, retired and is now serving on Haley’s staff.

In the State Senate, the remaining “Taxpayer Heroes” are Lee Bright, Kevin Bryant, Greg Ryberg and Tom Davis. In the S.C. House, they are Ralph Norman, Eric Bedingfield, Nathan Ballentine, Tommy Stringer and Wendy Nanney.

As we congratulate them, let’s ponder for a moment these scores received by our state’s “Republican” leaders …

Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman: F-minus (0)
Senate President Glenn McConnell: F-minus (18)
House LCI Chairman Bill Sandifer: F (21)
House Ways and Means Chairman Danny Cooper: F (25)
House Speaker Bobby Harrell: F (34)
House Asst. Majority Leader Bruce Bannister: D-minus (41)
House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham: D (45)
Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler: D (47)

Yeah … and we wonder why this state’s economic is sucking wind …

Anyway, click on either of the links below to access the scorecards … (which include a listing of the votes used to reach these determinations).