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One of the most self-serving, fiscally-liberal, morally-bankrupt politicians ever to take the floor of the South Carolina Senate (and trust us … that’s saying something) wants to come back after a four-year hiatus.

John Hawkins (RINO-Spartanburg) – a left-leaning personal injury lawyer who retired from State Senate in 2009 – will run for the Senate seat currently held by fiscal conservative champion Lee Bright. Hawkins, whose campaign has launched a Facebook page in support of his candidacy, held this same seat from 2001-09. Prior to that, he spent four years in the S.C. House of Representatives.

Hawkins’ latest candidacy is bound to revive widely-circulated reports about his various “extracurricular activities.” In fact within hours of our founding editor breaking the news of his candidacy on Twitter, we heard from several women regarding their personal histories with the former lawmaker.

John Hawkins

Of course our beef with Hawkins isn’t on those grounds (Spartanburg and Greenville voters may feel differently, though) – it’s on policy.

In addition to being a steadfast ally of S.C. Sen. Hugh Leatherman – the Palmetto State’s big-spending “Godfather of Pork” – Hawkins never missed an opportunity to enhance his own bottom line at the expense of our state’s competitive position. Specifically, he repeatedly blocked efforts to reform our state’s workers’ compensation laws. Not only that, he also engaged in a major lawsuit targeting the payday lending industry – which would have been fine with us were he not simultaneously voting on issues related to the industry (and using his bully pulpit to sway potential jurors).

Whereas ethical lawmakers – like retiring S.C. Rep. Jim Harrison – recognized this conflict of interest and recused themselves on payday-related issues, Hawkins used his power for all it was worth (again, for him).

And this guy wants to replace a limited government rock star like Bright?

Please …

In a recent story, we discussed the particulars of ousting incumbents.

“More than any other government institution in the Palmetto State, heads need to roll in the S.C. Senate – specifically those of Thomas Alexander, Paul Campbell, Ray Cleary, Ronnie Cromer, John Courson, Mike Fair, Wes Hayes … and (Jake) Knotts, Hugh Leatherman, Larry Martin, Glenn McConnell, Billy O’Dell and Luke Rankin,” we wrote. “But we should be careful not to toss out Republicans who are actually voting (for the most part) in a manner consistent with the fiscal principles their party claims to stand for – particularly not with status quo candidates who support extending or expanding our state’s misadventures in crony capitalism.”

In the case of Hawkins, we don’t have to guess as to his governing philosophy … he’s laid his self-interested brand of big government bare for all to see over the course of a dozen years at the State House.

South Carolina desperately needs upheaval in the General Assembly this year – including a “turning out” of each one of the “Republicans in Name Only” who vote with Democrats to continue expanding government at the expense of the private sector.

The last thing we need to do, though, is replace one of the Senate’s few bona fide taxpayer heroes with a demonstrated status quo scum bag.