You read here before about the incumbents who are favored by the Club for Growth. Now, in this release, we see whom they want to get rid of. Since the only names on the list are those of Richard Chalk and Jake Knotts, I’m guessing this is not a final list, but I could be wrong (Matt, please correct or confirm).
Mind you, this is not the same as the governor’s "list," but I think we can assume (there I go again) that it has some names in common with it. Anyway, here’s the release:
SC Club for Growth State Action PAC Endorses Three Reform-Minded Candidates
Columbia, SC – Today, the South Carolina Club for Growth State Action PAC endorsed three reform-minded candidates who are seeking election in the upcoming June 10th primary.
Tim Scott, Stu Rodman and Katrina Shealy are lifelong advocates for smarter government, increased economic growth and more money for families and small businesses whose budgets are not growing nearly as fast as our state government’s.
Each has shown a commitment to improving a state government that refuses to address South Carolina’s most important problems including high taxes, too much regulation and an outdated government structure. Their success in this historic, watershed election will positively impact our state for decades to come.
In a legislatively dominated state, change happens at the ballot box. In the last election cycle, the SC Club for Growth State Action PAC endorsed candidates in 23 primary and general election races. Thanks in part to the electorate’s desire for change and the generosity of our members, endorsed candidates won 17 elections – an impressive 73 percent of the races in which the Club PAC was involved.
The South Carolina Club for Growth State Action PAC has already endorsed seventeen strong, fiscally conservative incumbents for re-election. Today, the State Action PAC is proud to announce the first challenger/open-seat endorsements of the 2008 primaries:
TIM SCOTT (HOUSE DISTRICT 117 – CHARLESTON)
Tim Scott is a very successful small business owner, Chairman of Charleston County Council and a strong fiscal conservative. Endorsed by Governor Sanford last fall for state treasurer and recently for this office, Tim has never voted for a tax increase nor has the council ever increased taxes during his thirteen-year tenure. Long-time incumbent Tom Dantzler, who has consistently received “F” ratings from the Club, recently chose to retire rather than face a great candidate like Tim.
Tim’s opponents for the open seat, Wheeler Tillman and Bill Crosby, both present causes for concern. Tillman served for four years in the House during the 70’s as a Democrat, ran again for public office as a Democrat in the 1980’s and only switched parties earlier this decade. Crosby wants to spend billions of dollars a year in taxpayer money on mass transportation and making local libraries a statewide responsibility.
We think Tim is unquestionably the best candidate in this race based on his record as a strong fiscal conservative and reformer. Tim will also make history as the first African-American Republican elected to the legislature since Reconstruction. Tim Scott is a rising conservative star, and we urge you to send him to the Statehouse.
STU RODMAN (HOUSE DISTRICT 123 – HILTON HEAD)
Stu Rodman is a proven, reform-minded leader who will bring his fiscally conservative principles to Columbia. He currently serves on the Beaufort County Council and was elected to the Beaufort School Board, giving him valuable insights into government.
As a businessman with an M.B.A. and an engineering degree, Stu understands how important it is for South Carolina to be competitive in the global marketplace by lowering taxes, limiting government bureaucracy, and improving educational opportunities for our children. Stu also served on Governor Sanford’s 2003 State Commission on Management, Accountability and Performance, which suggested ways to restructure and streamline state government.
Stu is challenging incumbent Richard Chalk. Chalk received an “F” in 2007 on the S.C. Club for Growth’s scorecard, which reflects his poor voting record on fiscal issues. Chalk supported a higher gas tax on working families and was one of the few Republicans to vote to overturn Governor Sanford’s vetoes on all fifty budget items in the Club’s “Lard List.” One can only assume Chalk was trying to send a message when he voted to overturn Governor Sanford’s veto of pork items like $150,000 for a new pottery program, over $8 million for Senator Hugh Leatherman’s pet projects in Florence and $9 million for a program editorial writers called “a legislative slush fund.” We hope you will send a message to Chalk by supporting Stu Rodman.
KATRINA SHEALY (SENATE DISTRICT 23 – LEXINGTON COUNTY)
Katrina Shealy is a proven leader and reformer in Lexington County. Her experience as an insurance underwriter gives her a great foundation in fiscal issues and she recognizes that South Carolina’s out of control growth in state spending must end. She supports state budget spending caps as well as tax cuts that will lower our state’s high income tax to encourage new businesses and better paying jobs. Katrina also supports important tort and worker’s compensation reforms that will safeguard our small businesses. As Chairwoman of the Lexington County Republican Party, she has done an incredible job of building a grassroots network of people who will work to support her campaign.
Her opponent is incumbent RINO (Republican In Name Only) Jake Knotts, who earned an abysmal 8 out of 100 on our most recent legislative scorecard. Knotts voted against a 29% reduction in our state income tax in 2005, complaining that letting you keep more of your tax dollars would reduce what he and his legislative buddies got to spend on government programs. And spend it they have – growing government by over 40% in the last few years! Last year Knotts even voted to send $950,000 of your tax dollars to the aforementioned Green Bean Museum and later voted to override every single one of Governor Sanford’s 228 budget vetoes that would have saved taxpayers $167 million.
To say that Knotts has worked against Governor Sanford’s reform agenda is like saying that John Edwards is willing to pay “a little extra” for a haircut. He has cast crucial votes to kill Sanford-backed restructuring plans and to prevent parents from having increased choices about where to educate their children. Just last year, Knotts voted to give a liberal judge a ten-year term on our State Supreme Court. He explained his vote by saying that the candidate was “a female who puts more diversity on the bench. It shouldn’t be about being conservative.”
Frankly, we are not sure how Knotts even calls himself a Republican after publically supporting Democrats Jim Hodges and Tommy Moore over Governor Sanford in the last two gubernatorial elections. Fortunately, he’ll finally get a chance to face Republican voters.
Knotts’ defeat will remove a major legislative roadblock to lowering taxes, slowing government growth and implementing common-sense structural and educational reforms. Katrina’s election will provide sorely needed leadership for her district and the state. In fact, Knotts seems to agree – he contributed $100 to her campaign for House in 2002. Once you are over the shock of hearing that he actually supported a Republican for a change, we hope you will support the real Republican in the race- Katrina Shealy.
You gotta hand it to the Club… here we haven’t even had our first legislative candidate interviews, and they’ve already settled on endorsements. Maybe it’s a little easier for them. Then again, maybe it’s just all that hard work, initiative and talent that helped the Club members grab their disproportional portions of the American pie, and which they firmly believe WE could do, too, if we would just buckle down and apply ourselves…