Anti-Gas Tax Website Angers Liberal State House Leaders

“TOO MANY HATS”  A new website harshly critical of powerful S.C. Senate president Hugh Leatherman has liberal leaders at the State House buzzing … and left-leaning journalists trying to identify the elusive authors of the page. The website – – takes aim the diminutive legislative leader for the various (often…


A new website harshly critical of powerful S.C. Senate president Hugh Leatherman has liberal leaders at the State House buzzing … and left-leaning journalists trying to identify the elusive authors of the page.

The website – – takes aim the diminutive legislative leader for the various (often conflicted) ways in which he influences how transportation dollars in South Carolina are spent.

Leatherman is the lawmaker pushing the hardest for the passage of an increase in the Palmetto State’s gasoline tax – even though our residents pay a bigger chunk of their income on fuel than residents of any other state (save Mississippi or West Virginia).  And even though lawmakers have routed hundreds of millions of dollars in new, recurring money to the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) in recent years.

All for … well … 

Why’s he doing that?  Duh.  This is South Carolina.  He’s making money off of the waste and inefficiency, obviously.  Lots of money.

Anyway, using a simplistic, cartoon strip-style – Leatherman’s many powerful positions within state government are listed as different “hats,” with the takeaway being that his power over the transportation funding process is pretty much unchallenged.

“What makes Senator Leatherman so powerful?” the site’s authors ask. “Well, he wears a lot of hats.”

Indeed he does.  Which is why he’s been the most powerful politician in the Palmetto State for some time now.

Well … except for that whole “filibuster” thing.

We like this site … it drones on a bit, but it gets the basic point across: That there is no accountability in a system in which one person is making all of the decisions. 

So … who is responsible for the site?

It’s not clear.  No claim of authorship is made, and the domain name was registered privately.

Some believe the site is the work of Americans for Prosperity, a national group funded by billionaire industrialists Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch which has been working to defeat the gas tax in South Carolina.  Others believe the site is a project of the S.C. Coastal Conservation League – an environmental group which has previously drawn attention to the specific wasteful transportation project featured on the “Hats” website.

Whoever is responsible for the site, it has had the desired effect.  People are talking about it … and as a result, we’re writing about it.


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Vincent Lehotsky January 31, 2016 at 9:23 pm

There are those who come out as Defenders Of The Gas Tax.
In such a manner that is questionable as to their reasoning.
And all I can think of, is that there is one other hat this man wears.
One that says that he’s these people’s god.

shifty henry January 31, 2016 at 9:30 pm

That website should present a huge chart showing the connections to each of his “hats” and their connections right down to the lowest of the ones wearing ‘beanies” –=– you know, similar to the way the Feds showed how the Mafia was organized. That might take the starch out of Leatherman’s shorts.

Herman W. "Buz" Martin February 1, 2016 at 6:05 am

Um. That’s not starch. Take a whiff, you’ll see.

Ellatbrown4 February 1, 2016 at 7:25 am

6?my neighbor’s mate is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet?….A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn More right Here????? http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsMoney/GetPaid/98$hourly .?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?.?,?oi…

fl ? p ?? February 1, 2016 at 8:33 am

Smells like when Tango slaps the shit out of me daily! LMAO!!

Janelle Wethington February 2, 2016 at 5:49 am

6?my neighbor’s mate is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet?….A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn More right Here????? http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsJobs/GetPaid/98$hourly .?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?vs……..

shifty henry January 31, 2016 at 9:45 pm

What is the grey thing in the photo?

Bible Thumper January 31, 2016 at 9:48 pm

Let sleeping dogs lie.

Positivedifference54 January 31, 2016 at 10:18 pm

Just completed a drive from Spartanburg to Lancaster down SC 9. Some of the road was smooth, other parts had their fair share of potholes. Other parts felt like I was driving a boat on a choppy lake. What’s up with all the potholes on the south bound side of SC 9 going over the Catawba river? Whether your for increasing or leaving the gas tax alone that’s your decision. What I can tell you is that there are way too many miles of State roads that need to be rebuilt including the road beds. Something needs to be done sooner rather than later.

CorruptionInColumbia February 1, 2016 at 4:19 am

That we have serious issues with our roads, you are absolutely correct.

As many have already stated, I believe that the money to fix them is already there. These scumbag crooks like Leatherman are just out to feed their need for personal greed by these measures to raise gas taxes. You’d think these jerks would have enough money already but they always want more, more, and moar.

With the ground still water-logged in so many parts of the state, I do question the wisdom of trying to do anything beyond the temporary repairs they are currently doing. Will re-bedding and other major (and needed) repairs last? Will spending that money before the ground dries out be fruitful or serve a purpose?

I know what you say about the safety of roads is true. I know domething needs to be done, but I am curious if work done now will last.

I wish the idiots in Leatherman’s area would vote him out. This greedy old bastard is hurting the state and its citizens with every year hr remains in office.

TroubleBaby February 1, 2016 at 12:31 am

That dog reminds me of Jake from Adventure Time.

fl ? p ?? February 1, 2016 at 8:33 am

Looks like the dog from The Oatmeal.

fl ? p ?? February 1, 2016 at 8:35 am

Looks like I was right: The pose is in there but his eyes are different.

TroubleBaby February 1, 2016 at 9:04 am

I’ve never seen “The Oatmeal” before-

I only know Adventure Time because of my kids(1 specifically), every time I watch it with her I feel like I’m on a bad acid trip back in my college days.(well, I never dropped acid, but I have friends that did and freaked out…let’s say it was a bad bag of weed instead)

I could find Adventure Time entertaining during/after a joint, but those days are long behind me, unless SC legalizes it…which I doubt is going to happen in my lifetime.

INUnivHoosier February 1, 2016 at 9:05 am

They haven’t sorted out how they will siphon money from the tax revenue, yet. Give it a couple years.

Herman W. "Buz" Martin February 1, 2016 at 3:03 pm

It’s really a weird trip. When my daugher was little, she had some fairly weird TV, in addition to Blue’s Clues, which was pretty normal. There was Rocco’s Modern Life, Courage The Cowardly Dog, Doug, Ren & Stimpy, Hey Arnold!, stuff like that. But there was a coherent story and you could sort it out from the weird parts. What my grandkids watch … as you say, it’s like an acid trip, and not always a good one.

TroubleBaby February 1, 2016 at 4:06 pm

I had a soft spot for Ren & Stimpy even though I was a young adult at the time.

CorruptionInColumbia February 1, 2016 at 4:34 am

I also wonder about projects like the one that has been in progress for (way too) many months in the area of Leaphart Rd and Mineral Springs Rd in West Columbia. I wonder who is getting paid and how much to keep that clusterphuck dragging out as long as possible.

When is it supposed to be completed? Is there even a target date to complete it? When will the new stop lights there be un-bagged and turned on?

The way the crews didlefart around with this project and keep traffic flow impeded even worse than normal for that intersection is one of the reasons I question whether doing anything permanent before the soil has a chance to dry out is worth while. Projects are necessary to fix roads, but they are such a pain while they are in “progress”, especially ones such as this. We sure don’t want to spend forever (and the money) on one of these elephant pregnancy projects, only to have to re-do it a year or less down the road.

idcydm February 1, 2016 at 6:27 am

Governments at all levels will only be satisfied when we the people are 100% dependent?

Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms. ~ Aristotle

The Colonel (R) February 1, 2016 at 7:04 am

Kinda defeats the whole checks and balances thing doesn’t it.

TroubleBaby February 1, 2016 at 9:10 am

Leatherman- “I am the checks and balance- Tis’ good to be king.”

Herman W. "Buz" Martin February 1, 2016 at 3:08 pm

Yes. He checks the balance of his bank accounts regularly, and finds what he finds to be very good indeed.

Mack February 1, 2016 at 7:34 am

The State Senate, by its adopted rules, is a corrupt organization. 46 Senators were elected by their constituents to represent them, however, the first thing they do is adopt rules that give all the power to one or two people.

It is a repudiation of the premise of free elections. It relieves them of all accountability and makes it possible for them to collect contributions, manage their “special interest’ and walk with the swagger of privileged.

Vote the 46 out…every damned one of them. Don’t be fooled by the faux disgust some of them display, they are in on the fraud. They are all worthless pieces of crap.

Burn it down February 1, 2016 at 10:48 am

Voting is a waste of time. Guy Fawkes, “the last man to enter Parliament with honest intentions”, had it right.

MauldinGuy February 1, 2016 at 7:52 am

The site is good, as far as it goes. But, it left out:

The E.D. of Department of Transportation and the Director of State Fiscal Accountability Board have their salaries set by the Salary Oversight Commission, which Leatherman chairs. Be a Leatherman director, and you make more.

Leatherman approves the salaries of the senate staff. Be a Leatherman staffer and you make more.

He approves, as Finance Chairman, the budgets of all of these groups AND any government group that might “push-back” to his power, such as the Inspector General, the Attorney General, etc. Be a Leatherman guy and your agency gets more money.

There are more ways he exerts power, but breakfast is ready.

Harris February 1, 2016 at 7:53 am

When you control the money you control everything. And no one can dispute that Leatherman controls the state’s money.

Indi February 1, 2016 at 8:59 am

The love of money is the root of all evil.

The love of “other people’s money” is evil.

Herman W. "Buz" Martin February 1, 2016 at 8:45 am

When Leatherman shuffles off the mortal coil, there’ll be nobody to take his place. Not another living soul in the State House has been able to amass that much power. Thus, many will rejoice. I will not. I take no pleasure in the death of any politician. There is no doubt his demise (or departure from the legislature before that inevitable event) will create an enormous power vacuum. Great changes will come. Not all of them to everyone’s liking. Perhaps not all of them for the good.

James February 1, 2016 at 8:57 am

I respectfully disagree. Leatherman is good, but he is not the first.

Special interest, greed, lazy but ambitious politicians, an even lazier press, etc. all untie to create the “great one.” Until the rules of the Senate are substantially change, there will always be a “Leatherman.”

Herman W. "Buz" Martin February 1, 2016 at 3:12 pm

My point is that it took him many years to amass that power. Any pretender to his throne will have to be as long in the tooth as he before they’re as powerful. And first, he or she will have to beat shit out of any and all other pretenders to the throne.

shifty henry February 1, 2016 at 9:51 am

little hen houses … little roosters // big hen houses … big roosters /// but not all hen houses are the same

Lone Ranger February 1, 2016 at 11:11 am

Why yes I AM Hugh Leatherman and I DID rip down patriots’ flag WITHOUT letting you vote

But now it IS 2016 and my inside polling means my chance of reelection—yep–very remote !!!

Jack's inflamed gout February 1, 2016 at 11:11 am

It’s the Costal Conservation League and someone should let the Oatmeal website know they are in violation of copyright infringement.

I appreciate what they are trying to do, but the URL sucks (doesn’t get to the point) and the message gets really lost. Dana Beach probably thinks he is smart, but being smart loses the message impact.

Give it a C on issue advocacy.

Jack's cock holster February 1, 2016 at 1:45 pm

You’re a glory hole.

Herman W. "Buz" Martin February 1, 2016 at 3:11 pm

It’s different enough not to be infringement. And given the fact that it is none by a non-profit for a good cause, it might be deemed fair use in any case.

That sort of minimalist modern cartoon style is one of several that have almost become generic in recent years.

MajicMike February 1, 2016 at 6:37 pm

Leatherman is one crooked mo fo. He has the state by the balls and is squeezing hard. If the people behind the website think this is going to phase Leatherman they are delusional.

Leatherman will be the President of Hell when he gets there, Lucifer is going to get the boot from the little digger!


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