Steve Benjamin’s Cronies Ramp It Up

LOTS AT STAKE IN COLUMBIA SC MUNICIPAL RUNOFF || By TAYLOR BROWN || If you listen to commercial radio in Columbia, S.C. you have probably heard local attorney I. S. Leevy Johnson shilling for mayor Steve Benjamin‘s chosen city council candidates. Evidently Benjamin’s organization, which has gone all in for candidates Aaron…


taylor brown|| By TAYLOR BROWN || If you listen to commercial radio in Columbia, S.C. you have probably heard local attorney I. S. Leevy Johnson shilling for mayor Steve Benjamin‘s chosen city council candidates.

Evidently Benjamin’s organization, which has gone all in for candidates Aaron Bishop and Andy Smith, has figured out that if the mayor cannot replace his pocket vote, Brian DeQuincey Newman, it will be very hard for him to continue pushing through his pet projects and upping the spending for the mayor’s office.

The current worry, according to a source familiar with the situation at City Hall, is that anti-Benjamin candidate Howard Duvall has the city-wide race sewn up, making Smith a “zombie candidate.”  Candidly, Duvall has put out some of the worst, most poorly designed mail-pieces I have ever seen.  Were his consultants trying to make him appear as a pasty, old angry white man?  If so, nice work.

I am supporting Duvall.  In fact I met him on Main Street last week and wished him good luck.

It is also beginning to look like newcomer Reverend Ed McDowell may pull out the city’s second district race.  This would mean that the gravy train for Benjamin and his cronies would be cut off.

Which brings me to the real point of this election: For Benjamin, the mayorship was always just a stepping stone toward his real goal of replacing U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn.  Benjamin and his handlers now see that this election could be the beginning of the end for his congressional aspirations.  With a working council that is suspicious of the mayor and his motives – and able to vote down his silly and wasteful projects – the voters may begin to see “Mayorhood” for the disaster he is.

Back to Johnson, though. A local trial lawyer and funeral home entrepreneur, this former lawmaker is a principal in the firm of Johnson, Toal and Battiste.  One of the other principals, Luther Battiste, was a former city councilman.  Meanwhile William Toal is the husband of S.C. Supreme Court justice Jean Toal.

Like many ex-politicians or individuals with familial ties to the powerful and prominent, they are trading on their public service and connections to cash in.  For the cash to continue, though, they need Benjamin in office.

Dear voters, if you care about the future of our city you should vote for Duvall and McDowell.  The choice is simple: Keep Benjamin’s gravy train rolling – or vote in some new people who are willing to take a long, hard look before the city spends money it doesn’t have on wasteful projects.

Taylor Brown is a 20-something Wofford College graduate who somehow got sucked into politics at an early age.  She is easily won over with Rush’s fast food, wine, and spirited political arguments.


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Tazmaniac November 16, 2015 at 2:37 pm

Great piece Taylor. Could you do a flood follow up about the status of City infrastructure? I would be especially interested about what has been done in Water/Waste water to get back to pre-storm condition and what has been planned for bringing improvements to the system.

City Council November 16, 2015 at 2:59 pm

If you let us double your taxes, we’ll cover all the pipes and dams in the city with duct tape and call it fixed for the next fifty years.

TroubleBaby November 16, 2015 at 3:29 pm

“what has been done in Water/Waste water to get back to pre-storm condition”

lol…that’s not a very high standard.

Tazmaniac November 16, 2015 at 3:37 pm

I’ve heard some horror stories. The proper amount of money for items like that is not nearly as sexy to politicians as stadiums, art centers, trolley cars, or light rail. Akin to waxing your car twice a week without changing the oil. The City has a golden opportunity cover up their poor decisions and I find it interesting to see if they do so.

Sic Semper Tyrannis November 16, 2015 at 4:06 pm

The people that wash and wax keep me in the chip’s. 24’s with blown motors and a skittle paint job, we love em.

Squishy123 November 16, 2015 at 6:29 pm

Spotlight, don’t forget that the cops let them keep the spotlights.

Bible Thumper November 16, 2015 at 4:14 pm

Columbia already had a waste water treatment facility called Lake Marion.

Little Dutch Boy November 16, 2015 at 5:21 pm

Someone in the city a few days ago was talking about needing $7,000,000 to pay for the emergency fixes to the canal, the said same canal they broke by negligence and incompetence. Though THAT they most certainly were not talking about.

Tazmaniac November 16, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Didn’t the military ( National Guard?) do that fix? Maybe the Colonel can expound but isn’t that a State or Federal expenditure? I can see & 7 million to take it from there, raise sides ,upgrade electrical, pumping, and storage.

Little Dutch Boy November 16, 2015 at 5:47 pm

One private construction company was ALREADY in for about $3-4,000,000 I read.

Little Dutch Boy November 16, 2015 at 6:15 pm
Mark M. November 17, 2015 at 12:46 pm

It’s NOT fixed. It’s blocked off at one end, but the gaping hole remains. It’s going to take a lot of money, and engineering to fix it, but…you know…we need that baseball stadium…

TARevolution November 16, 2015 at 3:04 pm

Don’ you “LIKE” Benjamin as FITS does, while claiming to be diametrically opposed to everything he stands for, politically…yet you hate EVERY Republican ever mentioned…but you claim to be conservative???…

Liars (see Obama and his media) are the biggest threat to freedom we face…

Found Him! November 16, 2015 at 4:24 pm

^^^^^ Spotted the Benjamin voter! ^^^^^

Dexter November 17, 2015 at 9:50 am

Don’t you “LIKE” establishment Republicans as liberals do, while claiming to be diametrically opposed to everything they stand for…yet you hate EVERY democrat ever mentioned…but you claim to be a Republican???…
Liars (see GT and his pseudo-conservative cohorts) are the biggest threat to common decency we face…LMAO

TARevolution November 17, 2015 at 10:25 am

Just HATING me is not a going to float you. I’m just a poor, insignificant poster on a political website. The only way you could be more insignificant, is by being obsessed with your hatred of me.

Krazy Kat November 16, 2015 at 3:31 pm

The end is near, T-Bone!

Lone Ranger November 16, 2015 at 5:07 pm

What?…a Columbia felons’ den slush fund?…really?…why next we’ll be asking ourselves why

Diamond Jim stole 50 mil—E.W. cheated on taxes—and the Police hid felon Ben’s D U I ???

TellitLikeitis November 16, 2015 at 7:53 pm

We need to do a better job of reminding Mayor T-Bone what his priorities aught to be. If “Shitwater” is too descriptive, maybe we should call him Mayor Water Boy. Yep. I think that works just fine. Mayor Water Boy.

9" November 17, 2015 at 6:05 pm

What’s up with Stevie Wonder,dude?

fucktbone November 17, 2015 at 9:33 pm

Mayor Tbone’s days of freedom closing fast! Tony and Patrick Cannon talking and providing in prison.

Squishy123 November 17, 2015 at 10:57 pm

Looks like T-Bone took one in the shorts tonight.

Florist Glump November 18, 2015 at 1:09 am

In yo’ FACE, corrupt, liberal asshole Mayor Steve.

Sweet outcome. Even at this late hour, if I knew where a party was happening to celebrate this, I’d be on my way.

It will be a wonderful day in Columbia when you’re out of that mayor’s office and I don’t have to listen to your bibbitybobbity bibbitybobbity motormouth BS’ing lying, deflecting, red herring spewing, straw man mouth on local news.

Wait. Actually, I *don’t* listen to you. I hit the mute button. You’re a turd on my shoe.

Only the stupid people like you; and those who need you to work an inside deal and grease their palms. The smart, reasonable people who know how a city should be run despise you. How does that feel?

Burningspeare November 18, 2015 at 8:41 am

I.S., Benjamin & Clyburn are our state’s leading Uncle Toms who are impeding Black progress.


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