Club for Growth targets two

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that refuses to address South Carolina’s most important problems including high taxes, too much regulation and an outdated government structure.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 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 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 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…

18 thoughts on “Club for Growth targets two

  1. weldon VII

    “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…”
    What’s a self-professed occupant of the “upper quintile” in American income doing complaining about someone’s income level?
    Do you believe all wealthy people are evil, Brad, or just the ones who don’t have allergies?

  2. Willis

    The Club, of which I am a member, is a group of humorless right-wingers (neo-libertarians) that believe money and taxes = all the important things in life. They fail to see that civilized people can and do band together to enhance the world we live in.
    The Club, and I am speaking in generalities here, is a heartless bunch. At the last event I attended I studied the group and tried to discern what charitable activities or giving they were involved in…and sadly, the slate was nearly bare. These guys consider giving to the Club for Growth the same as if they had given to the disable man down the street!
    In the end, their allegiance is to a dead piece of paper, not to the living souls around them. That separates them from the rest of society…and thankfully for us, there are more of us than them

  3. Linda Rayborn

    I have no respect for Club For Growth and believe they are “bought and paid for”. The way they distorted Governor Huckabee’s record just made me sick. Many Americans no longer look the them for any reliable information.

  4. Matt

    As long as legislators say one thing at home and do another in Columbia, we’ll keep endorsing challengers. The future of SC is too important.
    Recently we’ve endorsed 17 incumbents, 2 challengers, and one candidate in an open race. Our endorsements are based on a 3 and a half year voting scorecard for incumbents as well as extensive interviews and research on any candidates who aren’t sitting legislators. While it might be fun to make false insinuations about our group and our members, we think it more constructive to actually focus on the important issues facing our state.
    The reality is that we represent hundreds of South Carolinians investing in the political process with ONLY the goal of improving our state. One would think the editor of our state capital’s newspaper would welcome more involvement from the citizens of our state rather than attacking them. It’s further baffling given our group’s focus on restructuring, as you have been espousing its importance for years. We are the one group out there actively working to elect people to make it a reality.
    In fact, you called Jake Knotts out yourself in this very blog for his consistent votes against letting voters decide on constitutional officers. Perhaps you have superior powers of persuasion to encourage Senator Knotts to vote differently on that issue in the future, but we will cast our lot with a candidate who says she supports restructuring rather than one who has consistently voted against it.
    There are other issues important to our members where we probably agree and certainly others where we disagree. However, I would hope that we could agree it’s a bit irresponsible for someone in your position to publicly paint over 700 South Carolinians with one broad stroke. Our membership includes students, teachers and law enforcement officers as well as doctors, lawyers and accountants.
    Meanwhile, I have to disagree with Willis’ comments. Some of the most charitably active people that I’ve ever met in my life serve on our board and are part of our membership, and that list includes people generously supporting inner city public schools, higher education, social services and all types of philanthropic activities in our state. In fact, our Chairman started and owns a company that was named as the most charitable in Charleston by an association of fundraising professionals.
    In closing, I’d say don’t forget that there are real people with real concerns supporting SC Club for Growth. We’ve waited too long for positive change in South Carolina and those supporters can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  5. Joshua

    A hearty “Hear, Hear” to both Matt and Doug.
    As someone who used to be involved with this process, might I suggest you look at the Club’s Scorecards (House and Senate). Anyone with an “F” grade should be nervous this week.
    You’ll also see on those cards which issues we care about. Pretty normal, conservative stuff – tax cuts, spending restraint, government reforms, school choice, and non-activist judges.

  6. weldon VII

    Surprise, surprise. My county’s three representatives at the State House all have “F” grades, but they will all be re-elected anyway.
    The Club for Growth doesn’t aim so low as where I live.

  7. Ross

    The “SC” Club for Growth is a joke.
    31 of 46 senators received an “F” from the Club. Only 49 of 124 house members passed. I personally got a zero on the exam because I failed to use a #2 pencil.
    Worse, you only had to score 36 out of 100 to get a D. So, in all reality, 85% of our lawmakers “failed.”
    The upshot is that either 145 Sandlappers elected by the majority of their communities don’t represent South Carolina values, or the “SC” Club for Growth doesn’t.
    I wonder which one it is.

  8. Lee Muller

    Every special interest group has its own grading system relative to its goals. I think any reasonable yardstick for fiscal responsibility would have to give a failing grade to most of the legislature, because it takes a majority to pass these bloated spending plans each year, without any real budgeting process, and loaded with earmarked pork projects.
    SC government received a $3.5 BILLION windfall in the last 4 years from the economic growth due mostly to small federal tax cuts. Embarassed to the spending a $1.0 BILLION SURPLUS in 2007, the legislature raised their spending plan to gobble up every dollar of surplus revenue. Now, with the economy cooling a bit, everyone in government and mainstream media is crying about “budget shortfalls” of a few million dollars of this surplus.

  9. anonymous

    March 25, 2008
    Sheriff calls press conference on missing couple case
    Sheriff P.J. Tanner has called a press conference for Wednesday at 11 a.m. to answer questions about John and Liz Calvert, part-time Hilton Head Island residents who have been missing since March 3.
    Tanner said in a news release today that he will address questions on the investigation into the disappearance of the Calverts, as well as those concerning the apparent suicide of Dennis Gerwing, a former business associate of the Calverts who was found dead in a Sea Pines villa after the Sheriff’s Office said he was a “person of interest” in the case.

  10. Brad Warthen

    Um… what did THAT have to do with the subject, “anon?”
    Doug, and I mean this in a nice way: Don’t presume to tell people what I “believe.” I can do that myself. You tell us what you believe. That’s what we’re here for. Thanks.
    Ross, why don’t you maintain your blog any more?
    Hey, Joshua — those things you listed briefly are not “conservative” concepts, normal or otherwise, with two exceptions: Spending restraint, and “non-activist judges,” by which I assume you mean strict constructionists. That is a conservative concept. The others are liberal concepts. The Club for Growth is a liberal outfit. Want an example of a conservative one? The Palmetto Family Council. I’m speaking in very general terms here, but I’m not using words as freely (as liberally) as you just did.
    This is why I don’t like using words like “liberal” or “conservative.” The words have been abused beyond all recognition. Being “conservative” is popular in South Carolina, so lots of folks go around saying they’re “conservative,” but when you look at their positions, they are not.
    Perhaps there’s a place somewhere else in the country (Massachusetts? New York? Minnesota?) where folks go around claiming to be “liberal,” whatever their positions. But I wouldn’t know, not having encountered it.

  11. Doug Ross

    Okay, Brad, sorry for putting words into your mouth.
    How about “I believe Brad believes charity begins in other people’s wallets”. Does that pass the parsing test?
    Take any issue and decide whether you think the government should be MORE involved or LESS involved than it currently is. If every answer you give is MORE, then you are a charter member of Club For Sloth.

  12. Brad Warthen

    Hey, I’m a charter member. Just don’t let the Club know about the hours I keep; they’ll throw me out.
    Mark, I forgot to address you. First, thanks for commenting; I rely upon folks who are directly involved with things to jump in and flesh things out for us, and I appreciate that you’ve done that twice now.
    Second — what did I say that was so awful? Sure, I had a lot of disagreements with the Club, but here I am providing a forum for whatever you want to say, and even reproducing your release word-for-word, with very little commentary of my own. Is it so awful that I have a mildly joshing tone about y’all’s impressive mechanism for reaching endorsement decisions, as opposed to our less efficient, more deliberative process? Can’t I have a little fun here on my own blog?
    By the way, say hey to Chad for me. And is Ben Rast still involved with y’all? Say hey to him for me, too.

  13. Jovan1984

    The Club for Growth is a neocon organization that supports government intrusion into our private lives. They don’t represent America’s values. We need people in Columbia that represents America’s values, and neither of the three people that the Club have endorsed represents America’s values. What happens in Columbia does matter to the people of Washington, San Francisco, NYC, and other places.

  14. bud

    Take any issue and decide whether you think the government should be MORE involved or LESS involved than it currently is. If every answer you give is MORE, then you are a charter member of Club For Sloth.
    I like that. Brad is clearly a man who supports more government intervention at all levels on nearly all issues. It is about as clear as it gets.

  15. Bill C.

    Anybody that’s against Jake Knotts has my full support… I don’t even need to know what else they stand for.

  16. Grabbag

    I haven’t got time to study politics morning and night. Yet I still try and inform myself as much as possible so I can vote wisely.
    Brad, I need either unbiased neutral, accessments of candidates, in context, or accurate explanations of the bias of a group which self proclaims “orthodies,” and then trashes a candidate. Without knowing these things, an endorsement or unendorsement by such and such a group is meaningless.


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