It’s beginning to seem that South Carolina’s biggest cash crop is embarrassment. If it’s not the school system, it’s being the 43rd healthiest state, number 3 in gonorrhea, top ten in the number of people below the poverty rate, 4th highest infant death rate, etc.  But, clearly, the state is getting its greatest notoriety for its politicians. 

Earle Morris, Thomas Ravenel, Operation Lost Trust, Alvin Greene, Charles Sharpe, Jake Knotts, John Jenrette, Mark Sanford, Jim Clyburn (maybe no scandal, but embarrassing nonetheless) and so on and so on.

It looks like we now get to add a couple more – a two-fer!

Lt. Governor Ken Ard has been charged with 92 ethics violations, primarily for using campaign funds for personal use.  You’ve got to work hard to get hit with that many violations.  Even State Senator Jake Knotts didn’t get that many charges.

According to a detailed article in The State newspaper, the circumstances of Governor Nikki Haley’s pre-gubernatorial employment as a Lexington Medical Center fundraiser is raising eyebrows.  Although questions about her job and dismissal from it were reported during the course of the campaign, the details and documentation are only now being made public. The governor has stated that she did not submit or sign the “smoking gun” documents cited in the article.

Both of these cases seem to be legitimate, though the simultaneous timing of the stories is interesting.  There is no such thing as coincidence in politics, so to have both the Governor and Lt. Governor making headlines for alleged ethical improprieties is more than a little curious.  Anyone who doesn’t suspect – if only for a brief moment – that there is political motive behind these revelations is a fool.  Still, the accusations certainly seem to be based on solid evidence, unlike other claims made about the Governor.

If history and legal precedent are to be followed, none of the allegations warrant either criminal charges or termination.  But, if, indeed true, these are not rookie mistakes made by people new to their office, but rather personal misconduct and delinquencies of conscious.

The governor’s administration has had a bit of a rocky start even without this latest bit of news.  Many of her supporters believe she has made some poor decisions, have questioned her judgment on some issues and perceived an almost “let them eat cake” aloofness.  Although such criticisms come with the political territory, her new detractors are among her most dedicated proponents.

Governor Haley and Lt. Governor Ard have got time to repair their reputations; after all, both are just two months into their four-year terms.  But, in the meantime, will they become defined by these and future travails?

More importantly, will South Carolina, again, be defined by embarrassing politicians?



4 thoughts on “Again?

  1. South Carolina has no more an abundance of embarrassing politicians than any other state in our fair country.
    Gov. Easley convicted (NC)
    State Rep. Glenn Richardson defeated because he was sleeping with his mother in law (GA)
    4 State Senators indicted in Bingo Scheme (AL)
    Rep. William Jefferson convicted of multiple felonies (LA)
    Rep. Mark Foley resigned after over-friendly” emails and sexually suggestive instant message conversations he had with teenage congressional pages were revealed (FL)

    I came up with theses without even thinking about it. Sure, “Fat Boy Jakie” is an embarrassment, does the name Billy Carter ring a bell (IQs are comparable). As dumb as the whole Alvin Greene issue was, Jimmy McMillan was just as embarrassing. As embarrassing as Clyburn is, at least he appears to be honest; does the name Alcee Hastings ring a bell? Mark Sanford, hah, an amateur compared to Slick Willy… I can go on and on.


  2. Isn’t Rainey the fellow who is going great guns after Haley? Isn’t he the one who “found” the incriminating document?

    So far, Pearson has pointed out that there was no signature on the incriminating document and it is the same form as another that was filled out correctly. Is this correct?

    I don’t like the idea of politicians being hired as lobbyists so I can’t say everything is above-board in the whole deal with Haley working for LMC, but the so-called evidence that such a stink is now being raised about has some validation questions apparently.


  3. Not sure that I buy into all these claims about SC being the 43 healthiest state. From my personal observations it seems that South Carolinians are more physically fit and happier than residents of other states, especially northeast states like NY, NJ, ect. Also I have noticed that the ratio of attractive women seems to be much greater in SC. In other states that i have lived in it seemed like only 1 in 10 women were attractive. But in SC it seems like 5 in 10 women are attractive. Being attractive is usually linked to good health right?

    Also the KEY to successful schools would be to privatize all of them and let free markets and freedom of choice breed success.


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