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James Smith: Henry McMaster Wants To Keep His Job, Not Do His Job

“We need a governor who will care more about doing the job than keeping the job …”

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Columbia, South Carolina attorney James Smith is the frontrunner for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in the Palmetto State.

For whatever that’s worth …

Given the partisan leanings of the South Carolina electorate, running as a Democrat on the statewide ticket is the equivalent of undertaking a kamikaze mission – which is why so many fiscally liberal politicians simply switch teams and run as “Republicans.”

What’s the difference, right?  Exactly …

“Republican” rule has resulted in massive increases in taxingborrowing and spending on a state government that has consistently produced abysmal outcomes – economicallyfiscallyeducationally and with regards to infrastructurepublic safety and other core functions of government.

Oh, and let’s not forget chronic corruption.

It’s a mess, people …

Can Smith capitalize on all the dysfunction, though?  It’s doubtful …

To his supporters, the former S.C. House minority leader is a devoted family man and former war hero who has fought for decades in defense of poor South Carolinians who continue to be underserved by their leaders.  To his detractors, he is a raging liberal – one with some too-close-for-comfort ties to the “Republican” consulting empire currently at the heart of an ongoing, multi-jurisdictional investigation into corruption in state government.

(Click to view)

(Via: James Smith for Governor)

Does it matter which version of Smith you decide to accept?  Probably not … because he has no chance of winning this race (unless the all-powerful GOP decides to nominate a cartoon character instead of an actual candidate).

Speaking of that cartoon character, Smith took a shot at incumbent “Republican” governor Henry McMaster during his campaign kickoff event this week.

“We need leaders we can be proud of,” Smith said.  “We need leaders who no longer accept being at the bottom of every list we want to be on the top of, and being on the top of every list we want to be on the bottom of.”

That’s true …

“We all share a common frustration,” Smith added.  “We are all sick and tired of it. No matter where we find ourselves on the political spectrum, we have a right to expect a government that works for us.”

That’s also true …

Is McMaster’s administration providing such a functional state government?  Not according to Smith.

“We need a governor who will serve all the people of this state,” Smith concluded.  “A governor that can unify our state.  We need a governor who will care more about doing the job than keeping the job.”

Smith will get no argument from us on that last line.   While McMaster was in Greenville, S.C. this week collecting big bucks at a presidential fundraiser headlined by Donald Trump, one of his many dysfunctional cabinet agencies was being thoroughly exposed by a panel of state lawmakers (most of them members of the governor’s own party).

Don’t get us wrong, South Carolina chief executives don’t have the sort of control over their own branch of government that leaders in most states have – but McMaster’s administration has been especially (frighteningly) disengaged when it comes to those agencies over which it does have control.

This disengagement has produced tragic consequences …

And costly consequences …

As bad as things are, in a general election setting we suspect it won’t matter, though.  Whoever wins next June’s “Republican” primary battle is likely to prevail next November by a sizable margin over whoever wins the Democratic nomination.

One reason for that?  Democrats have yet to articulate an alternative to “Republican” rule that doesn’t involve throwing more money and more government at the same problems.

So far, Smith’s only announced challenger for that laurel is Lowcountry businessman Phil Noble – a hardcore progressive who is likely to occupy the far left fringe of the ideological spectrum in this race.  Others – including several sitting black lawmakers – may also throw their hats into the ring.

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