South Carolina: Governor’s race will be a battle

South Carolina: Governor’s race will be a battle

By Hastings Wyman – South Carolina has an incumbent governor, but as lieutenant governor, Henry McMaster acceded to the office upon the resignation of Gov. Nikki Haley (R), now Ambassador to the United Nations. As a result, other ambitious Republicans do not feel obligated to stand aside and give McMaster a free ride back into office. “There are a lot of South Carolina leaders waiting their turn to run,” says Charleston Mercury publisher Charles Waring, “and they are going to run.” Nevertheless, McMaster has major assets. Greenville consultant “Chip” Felkel says that McMaster is “going to have some deference” as the current governor. “The power of incumbency is incredibly important,” especially in fundraising. McMaster had raised $160,000 by the 4th Quarter, a figure sure to grow. In addition, McMaster will be in the news on a regular basis. Most of the publicity will be good, although the indictment of prominent Republican state Sen. John Courson for allegedly depositing a refund of unspent campaign funds into his personal account won’t help. The scandal could expand to affect McMaster, since he and Courson use the same campaign consultant, Richard Quinn & Associates. McMaster has stood by both Courson and the Quinn firm, which has not been indicted. McMaster, 69, has run for statewide office six times, winning three and losing three. He was elected attorney general and lieutenant governor, but he lost his 2010 gubernatorial bid. “Henry is well-liked,” says Club for Growth’s former president Chad Walldorf, who touts the prospects of potential contender Catherine Templeton, “but a lot of people comfortable with him as lieutenant governor did not expect him...
Atlanta ponders marijuana decriminalization; Victory for Georgia brewers as SB 85 passes House

Atlanta ponders marijuana decriminalization; Victory for Georgia brewers as SB 85 passes House

As the state legislature fights its own battles over the use of medical marijuana by Georgians, the Atlanta City Council is preparing for its own vote on decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana within city limits. City Councilwoman Kwanza Hall on Tuesday proposed an ordinance that would drastically reduce the penalty for individuals caught with under an ounce of marijuana.  Currently that crime is a misdemeanor carrying up to a $1000 fine and 6 month confinement.  Under Hall’s proposal, being caught with under an ounce would be a mere $75 fine, no jail time, and no criminal record. Possessing any amount of marijuana would remain illegal under state as well as federal law. Earlier this year Democrat state Senator Harold Jones introduced SB 105 which would have similarly reduced punishments for possessing small amounts of marijuana.  That bill failed to make it out of the Senate Rules Committee. The City Council will vote on the proposal at their meeting next week. See the full text of the proposal...
Democrats gripped by special election performance anxiety

Democrats gripped by special election performance anxiety

By Gabriel Debendetti (Politico) – Money is flooding into Democrat Jon Ossoff’s campaign. The national party has started running focus groups on his behalf. Thousands of volunteers have flocked to his team to help him win his April special election for a vacant Atlanta-area congressional seat. The race for Georgia’s 6th District has suddenly become a focal point, viewed as a chance to send Donald Trump a message by channeling the party’s grass-roots rage, energy and frustration into a single contest. But party leaders are growing increasingly frustrated by the nationalization of this race and another in Montana — and worried about unrealistic expectations in Republican-friendly seats where the Democrats are at a decided disadvantage. Read...
March Madness on Campus and in the Courts; Remembering When We Defeated Georgia Tech

March Madness on Campus and in the Courts; Remembering When We Defeated Georgia Tech

By Orit Kwasman & Ruth Malhotra College basketball’s March Madness officially started Thursday, but this month’s stories of campus controversies have already been lighting up the scoreboard. A renowned conservative scholar and liberal professor are shouted down and physically abused by a mob. Students are caught on camera openly admitting to double standards when it comes to religious freedom. And, a university employee is caught washing away pro-life chalkings. Sadly, this is not a string of isolated incidents but rather reflective of troubling trends in academia. And while these stories may be shocking to many, they sound all too familiar to us. As college students at Georgia Tech in the early 2000s, we endured literally years of censorship and condemnation whenever our views were not in line with the faculty and administration’s extreme Leftist political agenda. In the name of “tolerance” and “diversity,” Georgia Tech officials forced us to take down a display confronting radical feminism, pressured us to participate in “Coming Out Week,” and prevented our organizations from accessing school resources – just a few examples from our litany of run-ins with the campus tolerance tyrants. Professors, academic deans, and eventually the president of Georgia Tech told us we were “not a good fit” for the school because of our deeply held beliefs; that it was “people like you” who were responsible for the lack of civility on campus; and that we needed to “go through mediation” to change our views on matters of morality and public policy. When confronted about the administration’s hypocrisy and indoctrination, one dean brazenly admitted, “Students have been indoctrinated for the first 18 years of...
South Carolina: Mulvaney vacancy draws 15 hopefuls

South Carolina: Mulvaney vacancy draws 15 hopefuls

By Hastings Wyman – Seven Republicans have filed to run for the 5th District congressional seat left vacant when Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) resigned to become director of President Trump’s Office of Management and Budget. Three Democrats have also filed in this heavily Republican district. In addition, three Libertarians are running, and one each from the American, Constitution and Green Parties. The primaries will be held on May 2, with runoffs, if needed, on May 16. The General Election is set for June 20. The Republican field includes four candidates from York County, the district’s most populous county; two from Kershaw County and one from Newberry County. The York County candidates are: Tommy Pope of York is the former speaker pro tempore of the state House of Representatives, a post he resigned to make the run for Congress. Pope, 54, originally gained notice in 1994 when, as a circuit solicitor, he successfully prosecuted Susan Smith for the murder of her two young sons. He had previously announced he would run for governor in 2018, but has since said that prospect is “on hold.” Ralph Norman of Rock Hill is a native of the county and a successful real estate developer. He resigned from the state House of Representatives in February to run for Congress. He ran for this seat once before in 2004, losing to Democratic incumbent John Spratt. Ray Craig of Lake Wylie is making his second bid for Congress. In 2016, he challenged Mulvaney in the Republican Primary, contending that Mulvaney was “too right of center, and I’m just right of center.” Among issues he cited were Mulvaney’s...
See Hastings Wyman’s speech on changes in Southern politics

See Hastings Wyman’s speech on changes in Southern politics

  Last week Southern Political Report Publisher Emeritus gave a speech in Tallahassee on the changes in Southern politics over the past half-century.  From Strom Thurmond to Donald Trump and beyond, Wyman mixes his signature humor with a substantive dialogue that traces the evolution of politics in the South. Read the full speech...