Down and out in South Carolina

Things have sputtered to a halt in South Carolina.  We’ll have to try again next year.  This is the strangest legislature in the country, and one of the most ethically challenged  — by design.  They make $10,000 a year and are in session five months.  “Outside income”, whatever that may mean, is necessary for a legislator to make a living.

85 year old Senator Hugh Leatherman is a real life Boss Hogg.  He’s run the Senate with an iron fist for 30 years, and everybody goes along.  He won’t talk to anyone except a select group of fellow Senators.  He was a lifelong Democrat who only switched parties to stay in the majority.  He wanted an increase in the gasoline tax and held everything else hostage.  The bizarre rules of the South Carolina Senate allow him that kind of power.

As far as I’m aware no one has any real idea of what to do with this guy.  The entire Senate is up for reelection next year.  You file between March 16 and March 30.  Maybe he’ll run, maybe he won’t.  Maybe that would help, or not.  Who the hell knows?  We’ve got seven months to figure out South Carolina.  We’ve got to come up with plan B.  It may involve the Reagan Initiative.  True regulatory reform would be a boon to the economy of South Carolina, just like the rest of the country.  It might motivate the business community to get involved.  Maybe we have to figure something else out for this state.

Next year, between February 9 and February 20, South Carolina will be at the center of the Republican nomination drama.  Maybe the fact that it’s the only southern state that hasn’t passed a BBA Resolution will get some attention.

Contrary to my understanding, NCSL starts on August 3rd, so we’ll have to move the date of the Article V Summit.  Either to Friday, August 7th, or to  Saturday, July 25th in San Diego, just after the ALEC meeting.  Whichever one Senator Faber will be able to attend.  All they need to do is agree on 1) One state, one vote 2) one Amendment, on one subject  — balancing the budget and 3)   assurances that wayward delegates would be recalled and sanctioned.  Then we can adjourn for cocktails and the awards dinner.  If we can’t get the Peterson Foundation to sponsor this there’s something wrong with us, and with them.

It’s interesting to compare the calendar of the nomination contest with the calendar for passage in our last six states.  I’m going to do that in my next post.  The first two phases of the nomination end on March 15th, with Missouri, Illinois and winner take all Florida.  At that point we could have passed our Resolutions in Oklahoma, Idaho, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming, getting us to 33.  We would need wins in Arizona or South Carolina.  If Kasich’s still in the race he could raise holy hell in those states, and get everybody fired up about their useless legislature.

Maybe that’s how we get 34.

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