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Pork Barrel Trash Talk, SC Style




For those of you not following the latest money-wasting machinations over at the S.C. State House, a powerful group of Lowcountry South Carolina lawmakers is pushing to make the College of Charleston the state’s fourth government-funded “research university.”

What’s a research university? Glad you asked … it’s a hole that sucks your money.

In other words it’s precisely the last thing taxpayers need to be subsidizing in a state that already spends a disproportionately large size of its budget on “higher education” (which isn’t even a core function of government in the first place).

Try telling that to fiscal liberals like S.C. Lieutenant Gov. Glenn McConnell and House Speaker Bobby Harrell, though – both of whom have been aggressively pushing this “Charleston University” boondoggle. In fact the millions of dollars in new government funding earmarked for this new “research university” is widely regarded as the payoff to College of Charleston board members for selecting McConnell as the school’s next president earlier this year.

Everybody’s back is getting scratched in other words … at your expense.

One lawmaker standing up to the boondoggle? S.C. Senate “majority” leader Harvey Peeler – who can occasionally be coaxed into doing right by taxpayers.



After Peeler spoke out against the deal earlier this week, Harrell dispatched another naggingly inconsistent “Republican” – S.C. Sen. Larry Grooms – to try and reason with him.

Only “trying to reason with him” ended up in the communication of a threat from Harrell to tie up a children’s literacy bill Peeler is hoping to move through the S.C. House.

How did this threat from Harrell go over? Not well …

“Tell him I said ‘f*ck you,'” Peeler told Grooms late Wednesday, according to our sources.

Grooms – one of those annoying social conservatives – reportedly told Peeler that he didn’t feel comfortable passing along a message that contained profanity, and offered to merely convey Peeler’s general displeasure.

“No,” Peeler told him. “Tell him I said ‘f*ck you.'”

Whoa …

Think that’s heated? It gets better …

At the annual legislative basketball game later that day, Peeler spied Harrell sitting courtside and approached him.

“Did you get my message?” Peeler asked Harrell, according to multiple lawmakers and lobbyists who witnessed the exchange.

“Yeah,” the Speaker responded. “I heard you said you weren’t happy with me.”

“No, that wasn’t the message,” Peeler responded. “The message was: F*ck you.”

Then he walked off …

Hmmmm … so that’s where Peeler’s political operatives get their potty mouths from …

Those in attendance at the game were shocked, although a pro-Peeler source reminded us to “please emphasize that it was all in response to a legislative threat.”

“Harvey didn’t just roll up and ‘go Gaffney’ on him,” the source said, referring to Peeler’s rural Upstate hometown.

Language and tactics aside, taxpayers should probably root for mutually assured destruction in this particular scrape (i.e. the defeat of both McConnell and Harrell’s “Charleston University” and Peeler’s big government literacy program). Come to think of it, if juvenile spats like this succeed in cutting government spending – we should pray for more of them.

Dysfunction that keeps money from being blown on unnecessary expenses is good dysfunction …