TAXPAYER ALLIES TARGETED FOR DEFEAT
Conventional wisdom dictates that “Republican” members of the South Carolina House of Representatives who voted in favor of a costly, controversial and constitutionally dubious gasoline tax hike could face consequences at the polls during next spring’s GOP primary elections.
That makes sense …
Such consequences could be even more severe if the new law – which contained an assortment of “revenue enhancements” – failed to result in swift, measurable improvements in the quality of the Palmetto State’s roadways.
Of course there’s another angle to consider …
Sources at the S.C. State House tell us the handful of lawmakers who voted against the gas tax hike are also being targeted for defeat by the powerful legislative leaders who supported the odious law.
Leading this effort? According to our sources, influential S.C. ways and means chairman Brian White (below) has vowed retaliation against House members who did not stand in lockstep with the chamber’s liberal “Republican” leadership on the gas tax. Not only does White intend to exact his revenge at the polls next June, he is reportedly eager to make these taxpayer advocates feel the pain in the upcoming state budget (which his committee takes the first crack at each year).
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(Via Travis Bell Photography)
In other words, there will be no letting bygones be bygones. GOP lawmakers who took the courageous step of standing for taxpayers in the face of the entire South Carolina political establishment will be targeted for defeat as a result of their votes.
As much as we’d like to, we’re not going to get too terribly indignant about that. Fair is fair. If those of us who battled against the gas tax (and we did just that … for years) wish to oppose its supporters, then it doesn’t make much sense to complain when those who supported the dubious levy wish to go after its opponents.
We think it’s wrong for White to use the state budget as a tool of retribution – and we will certainly call him out if specific examples of such payback are commended to our attention – but when it comes to the political arena, fair is fair.
We do think White is a rather curious choice to lead such an effort, though …
As this website reported last month, the fiscally liberal “Republican” is on substantially less-than-firm footing in his backyard in Anderson County, S.C. An ideologically diverse group of GOP activists has joined forces in the hopes of ousting him from S.C. House District 6 (map) – a seat he has held since 2000.
We’re told they have a good chance to do just that, too … even though White has a massive campaign war chest (more than $184,000 at last count) and will no doubt be able to raise additional funds in short order as next spring’s election approaches.
Bottom line? It’s going to be a busy, bitterly contested election cycle next spring … in the state legislature and at the statewide level, where punches are already flying.
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Banner via Travis Bell Photography