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SC Politics

2024 Endorsements: Reject South Carolina’s Ruling ‘Uni-party’

There’s a slate of candidates challenging South Carolina’s failed status quo … you should vote for it.

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For decades, South Carolina has failed miserably to live up to its vast, untapped potential. The state’s numerous competitive advantages – including breathtaking natural beauty, abundant resources and industrious citizens – have withered on the vine as neighboring states have raced past us on every important indicator. The primary culprit behind this chronic lack of competitiveness? An antiquated, byzantine, corrupt, dysfunctional state government – one that empowers and enriches itself (and the entrenched interests which prop up its ruling politicians) rather than the people and businesses which provide its lifeblood.

We see the pervasive rot in our anemic workforce, in our struggling schools, in our third-world infrastructure and in our increasingly violent cities and neighborhoods. And we continue to see it despite massive increases in government spending fueled by some of the nation’s highest tax rates and most oppressive fees.

“Republican” politicians in Columbia, S.C. – like the Democrats who preceded them – simply refuse to change this broken, one-way ratchet. They refuse to rethink what government should be and how it should function. They refuse to reduce its size and scope – or insist it be ethical and accountable. They also refuse to invest in real “economic development” – a.k.a. taxpayers and small businesses – as they engage all manner of pay-to-play corporate cronyism.

They are, in short, stealing our money … and worse, stealing our promise as a state. And the cost of this ongoing theft – in both dollars and lost opportunity – is soaring.

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RELATED | SC ‘RESTRUCTURING’ BATTLE

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It’s gotten to the point these “leaders” can literally misplace $2 billion of your money … for five years … and not even miss a beat. Oh, and not even think for half a second to give that money back to the people who provided it (since the government clearly didn’t need it).

Good ‘ol boy corruption and self-serving bureaucratic excess are not new to South Carolina. They have been generational for … well, generations. But the racket is officially bipartisan now … starting with the drawing of anti-competitive districts meant to insulate dutiful uni-party puppets from credible challengers.

What have decades of anti-competitive elections wrought? Easy: “Bipartisanshit.”

To recap: From 1878-1994, generations of corrupt, self-serving white Democrats bore exclusive blame for the myriad problems plaguing the Palmetto State – rising poverty, academic regression, third world roads and bridges, escalating violence, etc. Over the last quarter century, however, legislative power has been vested exclusively in the hands of white “Republicans” – many of whom simply flipped parties (albeit not governing philosophies) as a means of maintaining their power over the pursestrings. Oh, and their power over the judges.

To keep up appearances, select black leaders have been invited to participate in the ongoing graft and corruption – creating a self-serving, self-perpetuating (and perpetually results-challenged) uni-party oligarchy.

And I say “uni-party” because let’s be clear … the words “Republican” and “Democrat” mean absolutely nothing anymore in Columbia, S.C. And haven’t meant anything since the GOP got its hand on the rudder of the ship of state.

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In fact, to be a “Republican” in South Carolina these days means to be a sworn enemy of all the things the party purports to stand for: Less government, lower taxes, more prosperity and more personal freedom. Such beliefs – shouted from the rafters by all GOP candidates when they are seeking votes – vanish completely from the equation when they start casting votes.

Grand old pussies, people. That’s what they are.

Not only do ostensibly foundational GOP values have no place in the GOP anymore, “Republican” leaders are actively trying to oust the small handful of lawmakers who still subscribe to them.

To wit: An ongoing status quo jihad against a small group of conservative lawmakers who have christened themselves the Freedom Caucus.

This group has had a target on its back since it formed – and over the last two years, the amount of establishment flak being poured into that target could stop an Eastern Front army in its tracks.

Since obtaining their numerical supermajority following the 2022 elections, House “Republican” leaders have engaged in a full-frontal attack on the Freedom Caucus aimed not at reducing its ranks – but eliminating it from existence. Last year, they kicked these conservative Republicans out of their own caucus for declining to sign a “loyalty oath” to the establishment. This year, they’ve effectively bribed challengers to run against Freedom Caucus members in GOP primary elections – begging their special interest masters for the funds to “get rid of them.”

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Where should you invest your political capital? Our Palmetto Political Stock Index has got you covered!

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Is there any confusion as to whether the S.C. House of Representatives’ leadership is behind this effort? No … there is not.

They are 100 percent behind it – just as they are zero percent transparent about who is funding it. Although if you look on the disclosure forms of challengers to the Freedom Caucus, you’ll see a lot of the same names contributing identical amounts to the same group of puppet candidates.

Let me be clear: This column – which will doubtlessly be contorted and distorted by the more vocal status quo apologists in Columbia – is not a blanket endorsement of everything the Freedom Caucus has done. There are many legitimate criticisms of the group – in fact, I published one such criticism on my website last week. Also, I personally called out many of the group’s members for their hypocritical opposition to a long-overdue medical marijuana bill last year.

“GOP leaders killed (medical marijuana) with a capable assist from a recently formed ‘freedom’ caucus … yet another example of Palmetto State politicians acting in a manner totally inconsistent with their self-applied political adhesives,” I noted at the time.

I’ve even blasted a few of them for being hypocrites in their own use of state tax dollars.

So obviously the Freedom Caucus isn’t perfect … and some of its members are, as their critics have suggested, a few bricks shy of the proverbial full load. Maybe more than a few bricks.

But as a collective – as a united, uncompromising and (hopefully) expanding force against uni-party rule under the S.C. State House dome – they are indispensable to a desperately needed reorientation of the governing ideology of the Palmetto State. Because right now, South Carolina’s governing ideology is that of a cancer cell … mindless growth that will one day destroy it from within.

Accordingly, those who care about a freer, more prosperous, more accountable future for our state would be well-served by clicking the box for the following candidates in this spring’s GOP primary elections …

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Thomas Beach
Jody Bohman
Mike Burns
Bill Chumley
April Cromer
Vic Dabney
Bill DeVore
Adam Duncan
Sarita Edgerton
Elizabeth Enns
Stephen Frank
Greg Ford
Lee Gilreath
Shannon Grady
Rob Harris
Sherry Hodges
Chris Huff
Elias Irizarry
Jay Kilmartin
Josiah Magnuson
RJ May III

Ryan McCabe
Alan Morgan
Brandy Tarleton
Jackie Terribile

Stan Tzouvelakas
Joe White

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Like ’em or not, the Freedom Caucus is making a difference – by forcing difficult votes that force the ruling party to at least pretend to honor its stated convictions. Or be exposed as hypocrites. And as crazy as some of them are, its members are successfully changing the rules of engagement in Columbia, S.C. – which is probably why the party bosses threatened by this group’s existence are dropping seven figures in an effort to take its members out.

A clumsy effort, at that …

For the first time ever, there is a legitimate check to the failed uni-party establishment in the S.C. General Assembly. For the first time ever, there is a credible challenge to the shameful, self-serving status quo which has produced a crappy economy, crappier schools, crappier roads, crime-infested communities (especially rural ones) and corrupt courts – all while vacuuming billions and billions of additional dollars from historically low-income, overtaxed, out-of-work citizens struggling to make ends meet.

As I’ve previously noted, South Carolina was home to the most liberal GOP-controlled legislature in America three years running – until the Freedom Caucus came along and started challenging Republican leaders on key spending votes. I’m a bottom line guy … and the bottom line is South Carolina taxpayers will benefit tremendously by expanding the membership of the Freedom Caucus and shrinking the ranks of the corrupt ruling uni-party.

Not everyone in the media agrees with me, though …

“The S.C. House’s Freedom Caucus is unlike anything we’ve encountered before, and it has forced us to write this unprecedented anti-endorsement,” the editorial board of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier opined this week.

The pro-establishment paper’s full-throated defense of the status quo begged its readers to vote for “anti-Freedom Caucus candidates, and help our legislature get back to serving us.”

“Most of what Republicans and Democrats in the legislature do is work together to solve actual problems,” the fawning propaganda piece continued.

The problem with that perspective? It is based on a demonstrably false premise and a dangerously disingenuous naïveté. Our legislature is not serving us … it is stealing from us. And its “Republican” and Democratic members are not working together to “solve problems,” they are conspiring with one another to enrich themselves and the interests they serve as they exacerbate those problems. And they are doing so at your expense – and at the expense of future generations of South Carolinians.

Your vote in the upcoming primary will either preserve that failure … or give those who are fighting it a fighting chance.

So choose wisely …

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and eight children.

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3 comments

Avatar photo
Dr Roberts Top fan June 7, 2024 at 7:26 am

Thanks Will, this information is very helpful

Reply
Fill Wolks June 7, 2024 at 10:42 am

The P&C’s column nailed it. The “Freedom” Caucus is no different from the regular republicans Will puts on blast. Their votes from issue to issue will be in line 99% of the time. The difference is the “Freedom” Caucus has no actual interest in governing. They are wasting our time and tax payer dollars by engaging in political stunts for social media clout. It’s no different than what we see from the likes of MTG at the national level. And as usual, Will can’t refute any substantiative point. Just label the criticisms as being “pro-establishment” or “the swamp” and move on. The “Freedom” Caucus appeals to the lowest common denominator and it’s no surprise Will eats it up.

Reply
Debbie Jones June 7, 2024 at 10:59 pm

Will, I loved this article. It reflects the frustration so many conservatives feel in the ones we went to the State House only to be bought out by big pharma or George Soros. Please consider adding Nadine Deif to the list of candidates to vote for, as she is running against my RINO Rep., Joe Bustos, in Charleston County. He thinks the Freedom Caucus is “out of touch” with the Republican Caucus, when it’s the other way around! NadineDeif.com

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