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Secret SC Confederate Flag Pact Falls Through

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HUGH LEATHERMAN’S EFFORT TO BUY OFF CONFEDERATE GROUP FAILS

|| By FITSNEWS || A secret agreement between S.C. Senate president Hugh Leatherman and leaders of the South Carolina division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCSCV) regarding the Confederate flag fell through at the last moment, multiple sources familiar with the closed door negotiations tell FITS.

Leatherman – the state’s most powerful politician – had hoped to cement the agreement prior to the S.C. General Assembly debating the flag next week.

The flag controversy has arisen in the aftermath of the horrific, racially motivated “Holy City Massacre,” the mass murder of nine black churchgoers at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston, S.C.  There, nine black parishioners – including S.C. Senator Clementa Pinckney, the church’s pastor – were gunned down by Dylann Storm Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist.

We’ve written extensively in support of removing the flag – and doing so expeditiously.  We’ve also provided some extensive historical context related to this debate (here and here).

Under the terms of the “Leatherman agreement” – confirmed by SCSCV leaders and Senate staffers – lawmakers would have agreed to ongoing funding for the H.L. Hunley Confederate submarine (including the construction of a Confederate museum to house the sub and other Civil War-era artifacts).  Additionally, they would have agreed to continue printing SCSCV license plates – while providing a location for the SCSCV to erect its “Secession Monument.”

In exchange, the SCSCV would have provided its written endorsement supporting the removal of the Confederate flag from the north lawn of the S.C. State House.

Basically this was an effort by Leatherman to bribe flag supporters with your tax dollars.

The deal collapsed, though, when a former SCSCV leader caught wind of its particulars and threatened to rally rank-and-file members of the organization against it.

Leatherman – who is under immense pressure from corporate interests to get the flag taken down – was reportedly livid at the deal’s collapse.

Too bad …

We opposed government funding for the H.L. Hunley before this debate began, and we oppose it today.  We also oppose government funding for museums – Confederate or otherwise.  These are simply not core functions of government – and they do not deserve to receive tax dollars under any circumstances.

Furthermore, it’s not entirely clear that those who want the flag moved need to make any concessions in order to get the controversial banner taken down – although a recently announced Ku Klux Klan rally, alleged threats against lawmakers and robo-calls attacking flag opponents have made members of the S.C. General Assembly exceedingly nervous.

Hopefully they will summon the necessary resolve when they reconvene on Monday …

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