There’s been a lot of talk lately about a particular “Godfather” in South Carolina … but there’s no question as to who the real Godfather is in the Palmetto State.
It’s Hugh Leatherman, a “former” Democrat who wields unrivaled power in state government owing to his status as president of the State Senate and chairman of its influential finance committee – which exerts enormous control over the state budget each year.
Leatherman has used his power, too … just not to the benefit of our state.
The diminutive 86-year-old – who has survived numerous health scares over the years – survived an electoral challenge two years ago from a candidate backed by former governor Nikki Haley. And while he’s obviously beloved in his backyard (the Palmetto Pee Dee), Leatherman has become the synonymous with the status quo at the state level – meaning his value as an endorser in the 2018 “Republican” gubernatorial primary is negligible at best.
In fact it could even be argued an endorsement from Leatherman – who in addition to being liberal is notoriously corrupt – is a net negative for the gubernatorial candidate receiving his imprimatur.
That’s especially true in the current climate – which features an electorate hungry for an outsider with no proximity to the state’s failed political system.
Obviously, that outsider is not going to be incumbent “Republican” governor Henry McMaster – a four-decade veteran of Palmetto politics who has been scarred by his proximity to the state’s failed, corrupt status quo. In fact, his insider status is one of the main reasons McMaster is struggling to win a race that was supposed to be a shoo-in after U.S. president Donald Trump gifted him the governor’s mansion last January.
Anyway, all of this is background for a specific question: Who did Leatherman endorse for governor?
(Click to view)
That’s a picture of Leatherman taken on Monday night at a McMaster campaign rally in Florence, S.C. – an event at which the liberal Lilliputian reportedly endorsed the incumbent’s gubernatorial bid.
Posted to the Facebook page of a McMaster supporter, the image of Leatherman was quickly removed – although obviously not fast enough. We tweeted it earlier this week, a social media jab that has reportedly caused great consternation within the McMaster campaign.
Why do they care?
Well, for starters Leatherman’s endorsement of McMaster is further proof that the fix was in a year ago when the left-leaning governor “vetoed” the legislature’s unconstitutional gas tax hike. Of course we didn’t really need any additional evidence of that, did we?
We called McMaster’s gas tax veto what it was from the very beginning … a “charade.”
And everything that’s been uncovered since then has borne out our contention.
The endorsement also makes it abundantly clear that McMaster’s decision to remove Leatherman’s son-in-law from the state’s influential Department of Transportation (SCDOT) commission two months ago was done with the liberal lawmaker’s blessing.
Our guess is McMaster’s campaign was also leery of Leatherman’s endorsement becoming too publicized – at least outside of the Pee Dee.
Why? Because as noted above … it could actually hurt McMaster.[timed-content-server show=”2018-Jan-17 00:00:00″ hide=”2018-May-18 00:00:00″]
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Not surprisingly, one of McMaster’s rivals for the GOP gubernatorial nomination – Upstate businessman John Warren – seized the opening.
“Yesterday we saw career politician Hugh Leatherman endorse fellow career politician Henry McMaster,” Warren tweeted on Wednesday morning. “He was returning the favor. McMaster endorsed Leatherman ’16 – instead of the conservative candidate in the primary. As governor, I will never betray our conservative values.”
Actually, Warren dinged McMaster yesterday afternoon over the status quo backing the latter’s campaign received …
“Career politicians endorse career politicians,” he wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday. “Hugh Leatherman has been in the senate for decades, passing massive budgets and tax increases as finance chair. It speaks volumes that he is endorsing Henry McMaster. I stand with conservatives, not liberal politicians.”
UPDATE: Well, well … Leatherman is now telling The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier he hasn’t endorsed anyone in the governor’s race.
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